Irish American editor Art Cullen, whose fearless reporting won him a Pulitzer, has been recognized by the Irish Senate - here's why his native Iowa have yet to honor him.
The leading journalist (60) was praised by The Pulitzer Board for challenging powerful corporate agricultural interests in Iowa.
Cullen's work for Storm Lake Times has stirred controversy as it offended local officials, farmers, and advertisers - many of who are Republicans. The paper was also often critical of President Donald Trump.
No surprise then that despite winning the major prize, his achievement was not celebrated by the GOP-led Iowa Senate.
Cullen, whom was praised for his "editorials fueled by tenacious reporting, impressive expertise, and engaging writing that successfully challenged powerful corporate agricultural interests in Iowa", has now been recognized by the Irish Senate.
The Irish Senate have congratulated Cullen, who has family ties dating back five generations to Kilkenny.
Senator Mark Daly of Fianna Fail confirmed the news to the Des Moines Register.
"I proposed the motion and it was passed this morning by the Irish Senate," Daly, spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, the Irish Overseas and Diaspora, told the publication.
Speaking about @PulitzerPrizes winner Art Cullen of the @SLTimes whose family hail from Ireland. Delighted to tell the Senate, I will be bringing forward a motion to honour his prize winning work in journalism. A free press is one of the most important things in any society pic.twitter.com/vyytcrT4jY— Senator Mark Daly (@SenatorMarkDaly) April 17, 2018
The motion reads: "That Seanad Eireann recognizes the outstanding achievement of the Storm Lake Times Newspaper, Storm Lake, Iowa, winning the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing by its editor Mr. Art Cullen, whose ancestors came from Ireland.”
The 3,000-circulation Storm Lake Times is co-owned by Art Cullen and his older brother, John Cullen, who is the publisher. Art's son, Tom Cullen, is a reporter, and his wife, Dolores, is the photographer.
In a column penned for his paper, Cullen wrote
"I had no inkling that I was a man without honor in my own state until Bill Petroski from The Des Moines Register called last Thursday. I burst out laughing when the veteran reporter told me that a resolution citing me for winning the Pulitzer Prize has been held up by the Republican Senate majority since Feb. 14. Apparently the senators sat around the Bill Dix Memorial Roman Bath and cast their lots against me because we do not like Donald Trump, Steve King, river pollution or secret slush funds involving public officials."
Recalling for moment Senator Daly called, he continued:
"Sen. Mark Daly of County Kerry called Monday morning. He said he meant to call me last April when we won the prize, but in typical Irish fashion he procrastinated and forgot about it. With this little dust-up, Daly picked up the phone and called to say that he would be introducing a resolution on Tuesday in the Irish Senate honoring the Cullen family and The Storm Lake Times. “We are one nation, and you are of our nation,” Daly said as I started blubbering. “If your own state won’t recognize you, tell them that an entire nation stands with you. Tell them to put that where, well, you know where.”