The US Ambassador to Ireland is set to unveil a memorial in Roscommon, which will pay tribute to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Dan Rooney (79) and his wife Patrica, who has roots in Cloontia just outside the town, will travel to Ballaghaderreen today (Friday), where the memorial, an old Irish stone wall with two pillars, will be unveiled at the town’s fire house.
“This memorial will be the first of his kind to be erected at an Irish Fire Station and we hope that it can develop a long lasting bond between this community and that of our Irish American Friends,” Micheal Frain, Station Officer at Ballaghaderreen Fire Station said.
“We thought about the amount of Irish and Irish Americans that died and it had never really been recognized here.”
“It has been a number of years in the making and was conceived as a way to express solidarity with our brotherhood, the firemen and policemen who lost their lives in 9/11 and to mark the sacrifice that was made by them.”
“As firemen it’s our tribute to those who died on 9/11,” Frain told IrishCentral, adding “It’s a little bit of New York right here in Ballaghaderreen”.
The owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers Football team and one of the founders of the American Ireland Funds, Rooney traces his own roots to Newry, Co. Down. Patricia Rooney’s parents, Martin and Mary, both came from Derrinabruck in Cloontia.
Ambassador Rooney was appointed by President Obama on July 1, 2009. He is expected to step down from his role later this year.