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Homeland Security

13 March 2003

Bush at Shamrock Ceremony Thanks Ireland for Anti-terror Support

(Also urges parties in Northern Ireland to build on progress) (620)
President Bush took the occasion of a Shamrock Ceremony at the White
House March 13 to thank the Republic of Ireland for its support in
Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Bosnia, its participation in the global
anti-terrorism campaign and its help in securing United Nations
Security Council Resolution 1441 on Iraq.
As part of the annual ceremony, Irish Prime Minister or "Taoiseach"
Bertie Ahern presented Bush with a bowl of shamrocks.
Bush also spoke of the historic progress achieved in recent years
towards lasting peace in Northern Ireland. "Now, all parties can, and
must, build on this progress, so that the people of Northern Ireland
can replace old resentments with new cooperation and new hope," he
Following is the White House transcript of the President's remarks:
(begin text)
Office of the Press Secretary
March 13, 2003
The Roosevelt Room
9:38 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Taoiseach, and welcome back to the
White House. Laura and I are honored you came and really glad you're
On behalf of the American people, I thank you for the bowl of
shamrocks and the good fortune they promise. This annual gift
symbolizes the deep and enduring friendship between our two countries.
The strong ties between Ireland and the United States reach back
These strong ties have been affirmed at critical moments in our
country's history. It is said that during the Revolutionary War an
Irish-American woman, Lydia Darragh, provided valuable intelligence to
George Washington's troops, helping prevent a planned British
offensive. During the Civil War the famed Irish Brigade fought
valiantly on the Union side in terrible battles, some not far from
where we stand.
And throughout America's history, we have benefitted from the industry
and the talents and the ideals of millions of Ireland's sons and
daughters. Today, our two countries share a deep commitment to
building a world of peace and security and prosperity and freedom.
We've stood together in Afghanistan, in Kosovo, in Bosnia and beyond,
to stop aggression and to alleviate suffering. Ireland is a valued
member of the coalition against global terror. And we thank you, sir.
The American people appreciate Ireland's work on U.N. Security Council
-- on the U.N. Security Council to help secure passage of the
Resolution 1441. That resolution demanded that Iraq disarm itself of
all weapons of mass destruction. We appreciate our own support for
ensuring that the just demands of the world are enforced. The
responsibilities of freedom are not always easy to bear, but Ireland
and America are joined by a common commitment to freedom's defense
against tyranny and terror.
Our two countries also stand together in another cause, working to
achieve lasting peace in Northern Ireland. Recent years have seen
historic progress thanks to the tireless efforts of Prime Minister
Ahern and Blair and many other people who long for peace. Now, all
parties can, and must, build on this progress, so that the people of
Northern Ireland can replace old resentments with new cooperation and
new hope. America has long supported this vital work, and today, that
support endures and continues. We will help where we can.
St. Patrick's Day reminds us of the close ties of family and
friendship between our countries, but everyday -- every day of the
year, America is proud to call Ireland a friend.
Taoiseach, may good fortune be yours, may your joys never end, may
good luck be with you wherever you go, and your blessings outnumber
the shamrocks that grow. Welcome. (Applause.)
9:44 A.M. EST
(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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