Former Speaker of the House of Representative Tip O’Neill was honored this weekend when a large number of O’Neill’s family, led by his daughter Susan and Rosemary and sons Tommy and Kip, traveled from the U.S. to Buncrana, County Donegal, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth.
“Coming here is like coming home,” said Susan, according to the Irish Independent.
“Tip’s grandmother Eunice Fullerton was born just outside Buncrana so we still see this place as home. When you’re an Irish-American, you never forget your Irish roots because it means so much about what we are and who we are.”
A special sculpture to O’Neill was unveiled at a local waterfront park.
IrishCentral Founder Niall O’Dowd was the recipient of the inaugural Tip O’Neill Donegal Diaspora Award.
Also in attendance was Nobel Prize winner John Hume.
Pat Hume, wife of John Hume who presented the award to O’Dowd.
“Tip O’Neill was one of my heroes because he typified an attitude among Irish Americans about up from your bootstraps and getting on with things,” said the IrishCentral founder. “It is a wonderful honor and for it to be presented in Tip’s name makes it very special.”
In a message Prime Minister Enda Kenny, lauded the contribution of O’Neill to Irish affairs during his lifetime.
“He made a huge contribution to assisting the land of his ancestors, not least in terms of helping to bring peace and stability to this country as well as contributing to its social and economic well-being.”