Irish President, Mary McAleese, along with various Argentinean representatives marked the 200th anniversary of Argentina’s revolution at the president’s state residence in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.
Argentina was the first country to officially recognize Ireland as a sovereign state. This fact has never been forgotten.
In a letter Mary McAleese sent to the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, she commented on the warm welcome that the Irish have always received in Argentina. Today, 70,000 residents in Argentina claim Irish ancestry.
She said we have not “forgotten the welcome extended by the young Argentine republic to the many Irish in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who found a better life in a new land; and whose contribution to the development of Argentina we are also proud to celebrate at this important time.
“I am certain that relations between our two countries will continue to flourish, and wish that Argentina may enjoy peace and prosperity for many years to come.”
To mark the anniversary Dublin’s Lord Mayor, Emer Costello, will preside over a ceremony at Admiral Brown Way, on John Rogerson’s Quay in Dublin.
Admiral William Brown from Mayo had such a huge involvement in the Argentinean war of independence that he is considered a national hero in Argentina, though most Irish have never heard of him.
Brown founded the Argentinean maritime forces and served as first admiral. He is commonly known as “father of the Argentine navy”. In 2006, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern unveiled a walkway, in the new development of the docklands, with a statue of Brown.
On Tuesday, President McAleese hosted a reception for ambassador to Ireland Maria Esther Teresa Bondanza and other members of the Argentine community. Following the reception there was another event at the Mansion House, the mayor’s offices, to mark the event.
This Friday, Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, will celebrate Mass with Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, the papal nuncio, at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook. Following the mass a reception will be held for the Argentinean community in Ireland.