Bloomberg was originally expected in the small town of Ballymote on July 28 to unveil a monument dedicated to the fighting 69th Infantry Regiment, an Irish Infantry Regiment in the New York National Guard, but had to cancel the trip abruptly, following an electrical breakdown in Northwest Queens that left almost 100,000 residents without power in their homes and businesses during some of the hottest days on record in New York City.
Now that the heat is off New York’s billionaire mayor, with temperatures returning to normal and power restored in most of the affected households, he has rescheduled the trip for a fashionably late date, next Tuesday, August 22.
Flying into Knock Airport via private jet, the mayor will attend a breakfast reception in Sligo City Hall at 8 a.m. before traveling to Ballymote, where he will give a speech at the monument’s unveiling.
Afterwards, the mayor will join the people of Ballymote at a reception in his honor, before returning to the U.S. later that day. It will be his first trip to Ireland since being elected mayor in 2001.
“I am very grateful to all the civic and political leaders in Ireland who have been so understanding of our situation — and so gracious in rescheduling the visit,” said Mayor Bloomberg in a statement.
“I look forward to meeting with them and helping to unveil the monument to the Fighting 69th, New York’s legendary Irish Brigade. No other city in the world owes so much to Ireland, and no other nation has so benefited from the bravery and valor of Irish soldiers. A monument on Irish soil honoring all those who have served in the Fighting 69th will be a fitting tribute to its members and the roots they have in that very soil.”