To say President Trump has had a lot on his mind in his first month in his office is a bit of an understatement so it’s perhaps understandable that he didn’t get round to proclaiming Irish American Heritage Month as early presidents have done in the past.
The oversight, however, didn’t play well with many Irish Americans. The Ancient Order of Hibernians, the largest Irish American group in the US, was dismayed by the omission and issued the following statement:
“For 26 years, American Presidents of both Parties have proclaimed March as ‘Irish American Heritage Month’ and called upon ‘all Americans to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs’.
“We sadly note that as of today, March 1st, President Trump as yet to issue an Irish American Heritage Month Proclamation. We call upon President Trump to continue the tradition of recognizing the countless contributions that Irish Americans have made to our nation’s greatness by proclaiming March as Irish American Heritage Month.”
The White House was quick to respond with Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeting that a proclamation was on its way.
President Trump then issued the following statement:
IRISH-AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH, 2017
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
“Irish Americans have made an indelible mark on the United States. From Dublin, California, to Limerick, Maine, from Emerald Isle, North Carolina, to Shamrock, Texas, we are reminded of the more than 35 million Americans of Irish descent who contribute every day to all facets of life in the United States. Over generations, millions of Irish have crossed the ocean in search of the American Dream, and their contributions continue to enrich our country today.
“From our four Irish-born Founding Fathers to Thomas Francis Meagher, the Irish revolutionary who became an American hero after leading the Irish Brigade during the Civil War, Irish immigrants have shaped our history in enduring ways. Throughout the centuries, hard-working Irish Americans have contributed to America’s innovation and prosperity — tilling the farms of Appalachia, working the looms of New England textile mills, and building transcontinental railroads — often overcoming poverty and discrimination and inspiring Americans from all walks of life with their indomitable and entrepreneurial spirit in the process.
“From these early beginnings rose generations of Irish Americans who continue to lead our cities, drive our economy, and protect and defend the land they embrace as their own.
“American culture carries an unmistakably Irish-American imprint. Our literature, cinema, music, dance, sports, and visual arts are filled with the names and influence of great Irish Americans.
“Irish Americans should be proud of the deep cultural, historical, and familial ties that have contributed to the strength of our vibrant transatlantic relationship with Ireland. As we honor the past during Irish-American Heritage Month, we also celebrate a bright future of friendship and cooperation for generations to come.
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2017 as Irish-American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Irish Americans to our Nation with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.
“IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.”
The United States went on to host several festivals and marches celebrating Irish American culture with the main events taking place on St Patrick’s Day on March 17.