During his time on Long Island, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern also opened the John Minihan photographic exhibit "To Love Two Countries: Ireland’s Greatest Generation in America" at the Irish American Society of Nassau, Suffolk and Queens in Mineola. Photographer Minihan’s black-and-white portraits of the men and women who emigrated from Ireland to America in the early decades of the 20th century celebrates a generation who stand at the end of a line receding into 400 years of Irish history. Commissioned by the Irish Arts Center and the Consulate of Ireland, Minihan traveled over two weeks in the spring of 2008 to New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia and photographed his subjects in their homes, in their church, and in their local Irish centers. The opening in Mineola signifies an important next step for "To Love Two Countries," as it travels from its successful run at the Irish Arts Center for shows in the communities from which it drew its subjects in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In his remarks, Ahern praised the Irish Arts Center, stating, “The true measure of a great arts center is its commitment to the community it serves. By bringing this exhibition back from Manhattan to the communities that were so closely involved in its creation, you have shown your commitment to the wider Irish community.”
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