Category: Archive

Flynn urges Bush to visit Ireland

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Ray O’Hanlon

President Bush is being urged to visit Ireland in the next few weeks by Ray Flynn.

The former Boston mayor and U.S. ambassador to the Vatican has penned the president a letter urging him to visit Ireland and tackle firsthand the deteriorating situation in the North.

“I would respectfully urge you to visit Ireland sometime this summer,” Flynn wrote in his capacity as head of the advocacy group Catholic Alliance.

“The present unsettling situation in the North requires the presence of the president of the United States as a gesture of concern and support,” Flynn wrote.

Flynn added that Irish Americans were “greatly disturbed” over recent troubling events in the North.

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“Your visit would be an important sign of the U.S. government’s continued support and interest,” Flynn said in the letter. “I know I speak for all Irish Americans when I express my admiration and gratitude for the outstanding leadership you are providing in the war on terrorism.”

Flynn said that he wanted to see the Good Friday peace agreement put back on track.

A presidential visit to Ireland, Flynn concluded, “would be a very positive symbol of hope for all the people of Ireland.”

Earlier this year, the Echo reported indications from a senior White House official that Bush would make landfall in Ireland this summer, possibly in conjunction with a visit to Britain.

Bush has previously acknowledged peace in Ireland as a foreign policy priority, just as it was with the Clinton administration.

But unlike President Clinton, Bush has left day-to-day handling of the situation in Northern Ireland to administration officials, most notably Dr. Richard Haass of the State Department.

Haass was in Ireland just a few days ago. Ray Flynn, for one, is hoping that the latest Haass visit is but a sign of a bigger one to come.

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