Tuesday, January 10, 2017

THE American Ambassador to Ireland has moved to ease fears that our “special relationship” with the US will be strained under President Donald Trump.

Speaking in Cork City Hall yesterday, Kevin O’Malley said: “I don’t think that whoever is the President of the United States is going to change the Irish-American relationship, either culturally, or business-wise. I just don’t see that changing. Our relationship is just too deep. It’s too broad, to have any one person or any administration change it, on either side. The relationship is just who we are.”

US Ambassador, Kevin O’Malley, signing the visitors’ book during a courtesy call to the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Des Cahill, at City Hall, Cork. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Mr O’Malley has spent more time in Cork than anywhere else in Ireland during his term, which draws to a close this month.

The second-generation Irish American said that what he loves the most about Cork, and Ireland, is the people.

“My wife and I have a couple of friends that live here in Cork that we have known for 30 years. I’ve done the touristy things, like the English Market and Blarney Castle, Fort Charles. I love Kinsale. That’s just a wonderful little treasure down there. The Rebel City is a fine place. It’s an easy city. People are always friendly. I’m walking the streets and people don’t know that I’m the Ambassador from the United States and they’re just friendly. They couldn’t be nicer.

“Irish people talk about the warm welcome, but I don’t think you fully realise how valuable that is, and how good you are at it. This is a wonderful, magical place. It’s in your DNA, you’re friendly, you’re a welcoming group of people,” he said.

Mr O’Malley also paid tribute to the businesses that link Ireland and America, especially those based in Cork.

“It’s just not that they are big companies, and that they are profitable. Those companies have produced world-class jobs. They have produced world class products. They are producing a swagger in the steps of the workers, who are proud of the fact that they are making items that are top of the line,” he said.

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