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Dublin: 21°C Sunday 14 August 2022

Applause for Taoiseach as Clinton says 'thank you' for raising immigration with Trump

“As an American I have to say a special word of thanks to the sitting Taoiseach,” Clinton said.

Martin McGuinness funeral Source: Niall Carson

BILL CLINTON DREW applause from the congregation at the funeral of Martin McGuinness today as he paid tribute to Enda Kenny for his White House speech last week, in the presence of Donald Trump.

The former US President said:

As an American I have to say a special word of thanks to the sitting Taoiseach for what he said in the United States on St Patrick’s Day on behalf of the Irish immigrants.

The Taoiseach’s speech about the value of immigration has been viewed tens of millions of times since last Thursday.

While there was some critical Irish coverage of Kenny’s performance in Washington initially, speeches he gave after Friday’s newspapers went to print picked up traction in following days.

The New York Times referred to a “lecture” for President Trump on immigration, in its coverage of the Fine Gael leader’s US visit.

A clip of a speech at the Shamrock Ceremony, where Kenny refers to St Patrick as the patron saint of immigrants, posted online by Channel 4 News went viral on Friday.

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“Ireland came to America, because deprived of liberty, opportunity, safety and even food itself, we believed,” he told the crowd.

Four decades before Lady Liberty lifted her lamp we were the wretched refuse on the teeming shore. We believed in the shelter of America, in the compassion of America, in the opportunity of America. We came and became Americans.
The congregation also applauded as Clinton thanked DUP leader Arlene Foster for attending today.

Read: ‘He expanded the definition of us’: Clinton’s tribute to McGuinness, as thousands pay respects >

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Daragh Brophy

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