A speech by Irish leader Enda Kenny which appeared to criticize the immigration policies of Donald Trump by comparing Irish refugees from the Famine to those today banned by Trump’s executive order has gone viral.
Channel 4, in Britain, placed the speech on their Facebook page where it has attracted close to 30 million viewers to date and gone viral.
Kenny was speaking at the White House reception in his honor and Trump was only feet away when Kenny spoke about the Irish immigrant experience. Trump did not appear to react negatively to his remarks.
Democrats have seized on the speech, calling it a stern rebuke by the Irish leader, and others have contrasted Kenny’s defiance with the meek appearance of British leader Theresa May when she visited Washington.
In addition to 30 million views the Irish Times reports it has been viewed 2.9 million times on the Facebook page of moveon.org, 1.4 million times on CNN, 1,158,000 on the Occupy Democrats Facebook page and 235,000 on the USA Today website.
Occupy Democrats headline the story “Irish PM SCHOOLS Trump: ‘St Patrick Was An Immigrant’ Right to Trump’s face!”
The New York Times reported the speech under the headline: “Irish Premier Uses St Patrick’s Day Ritual to Lecture Trump on Immigration.”
In his remarks, Kenny noted Saint Patrick was an immigrant and was the patron saint of immigrants along with being the patron saint of Ireland.
“Ireland came to America because – deprived of liberty, opportunity, safety and even food itself – we believed,” he told the crowd.
“Four decades before Lady Liberty lifted her lamp, we were the wretched refuse on the teeming shore. We believed in the shelter of America, in the compassion of America, in the opportunity of America. We came and became Americans.”
“Before John F. Kennedy’s famous word’s we asked “what we could the Irish do for America," he stated.