Irish-Americans Rally to Clinton 750 Pack White House

Posted By: March 29, 2013

Washington, D.C., September 11, 1998 — Irish-Americans packed the White House on Friday evening at 5:30 to welcome President Clinton back from Ireland — and to show their steadfast loyalty to “the President who brought peace to Ireland.”

“Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called the sons of God,” quoted Fr. Sean McManus, President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus. “President Clinton has admitted he sinned and has asked for forgiveness,” he said. “Let those without sin cast the first stone. I will only cast forgiveness, prayers, and my eternal gratitude at President Clinton.”

President Clinton was presented with the Paul O’Dwyer Peace and Justice Award. The Award was presented by Paul’s son, Brian.

The President gave a spirited speech to the 750 guests in which he spoke about his recent visit to Ireland and about the Irish peace-process — and about the importance of the United States and Irish-Americans staying involved in the peace-process.

“Irish-Americans love and respect President Clinton for all he has done for peace in Ireland,” explained Fr. McManus. “We must stand by him now as he has stood by us. We would be a horribly ungrateful and disloyal people if we deserted him in his present difficulties. You do not turn your back on a friend who has done so much profound good. Furthermore, it is absurd and ridiculous to suggest that because of his mistake, he should be driven from office.”

At the end of President Clinton’s speech, Fr. McManus shook the President’s hand and told him that Irish-Americans would stand by him and never forget him. The President replied, “Thank you, Father.”