Democratic presidential candidate front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton has a long history with Ireland. She often speaks of her meetings with women on both sides of the political divide in Northern Ireland and of her induction into the Irish America Hall of Fame in March of last year.
As a result of her involvement in Northern Ireland and the massive US support shown for the peace process under her husband’s presidency, a number of prominent Irish Americans have looked back on Clinton’s links to Ireland throughout her campaign for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency to explain their own support for the former Secretary of State.
In their latest video in support of Clinton, Irish American Democrats hear the voice of their founder Stella O’Leary as she shares her thoughts on the time spent by the former New York Senator in Northern Ireland.
“Hillary would have seen bombed out hotels, bombed out buildings, she would have seen troops on every corner,” O’Leary says in the video.
“Hillary would have met very terrified people. The women knew that if their husbands, sons, left their home, that they may never see the again.”
Showing archive footage from the Associated Press of Clinton speaking in Northern Ireland and meeting with the Northern Irish women, O’Leary adds: “That meeting in that kitchen was a turning point. Hillary told them to go back to their communities, go back and talk to the women and talk across the divide.”
“These people were mysteries to each other until Hillary Clinton told them these are just other human beings.”
Stella O'Leary founded the Irish American Democrats in 1996 to support the reelection of Bill Clinton. She still serves as president of the group and has worked with the White House and members of the US Senate and House of Representatives to encourage U.S. involvement in the peace process. She was also appointed as the alternate observer of the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) by President Obama.
A long-time commentator on Irish America, last year she traveled to her alma mater – University College Dublin – to share her views on the US Presidential campaign, speaking with Belfast journalist Conor O'Clery at an event organized by the UCD Clinton Institute and Irish Network Dublin.
Below, she can be heard speaking on America's first female POTUS:
And on the Irish-American vote turning Republican: