tv House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Addresses Irish Parliament CSPAN April 18, 2019 12:46am-1:22am EDT
big idea is more relevant today than ever. no government money supports c-span. it is funded as a public service by your cable or satellite provider. viewn is your unfiltered of government, see you can make up your own mind. while traveling abroad with a congressional delegation, house deliveredncy pelosi an address to current and former members of the irish parliament in dublin. it occurred on the 100th anniversary of the first sitting of the irish doyle, the lower house of parliament and she mentioned the current brexit negotiations. this is half an hour.
it gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you to the chamber to hear from our guests, the honorable mrs. nancy pelosi, leader of the house of representatives. madam speaker, we look forward to your address in this important house. it is crucially important here. your reputation, madam speaker, goes before you. renown as an-- erudite, compelling, and, indeed, international speaker. there was an eight hour address to the house of representatives. madame speaker, may i suggest that such a level of generosity is not expected of you today. [laughter] mr. o fearghail: it is good to
welcome you. our enduring links between our two pad nations need little restating. few people don't have immediate links with the u.s., and it is entirely proper that someone of your stature and experience should be with us this afternoon to reflect on those links between the united states and ireland, particularly over the past 100 years. it is a great pleasure to have so many of the house of representatives traveling with you to ireland, each of them with so many deep links and affection for this country of ours, so good fortune to you all. [applause] mr. o fearghail: i am gratified that a few short weeks after we
marked the 1918 general election, which granted votes to women, certain women, that is, we have such a strong, able, and authoritative female representatives today. many glass ceilings remain to be shattered, and it should be remembered that the vote for women was fought and won with tenacity and bravery, rather than given freely, and your presence today, madame speaker, serves to show the distance we have thankfully traveled, but we are mindful also that there remains a road left to walk. 100 years ago in the house just around the corner from this chamber, 27 men gathered with the purpose of creating a new nation state out of the fragile remnants of a broken europe. if such a term could exist, i would suggest that our dail forbearers were idealists. they knew the challenges,
in particular, standing up against the might of a strong empire. sought tod women place their fight for independence into an international context. there were only 27 in attendance, as the rest of those elected on the platform, the previous december were imprisoned. this included the first woman elected to parliament, refusing to take her seat in london and opting instead for membership of the first dail. two years previously, in 1917, an irish manifesto was presented in washington, d.c., to seek the support of our american friends for our independence. withnd's fight for liberty
america's fight for freedom almost 1.5 centuries earlier. the current past and current links means much to us. ireland and the u.s. continue to work closely in trade, investment, and education, among many other important areas of common interest and concern. long may such links and connections continue and thrive, and i am particularly anxious to see parliamentary engagements between leinster house nurtured and strengthened. [applause] mr. o fearghail: those who met to convene the first dail in 1919 issued a message to the free world in irish and french and english, and a democratic program that called for liberty, equality, and justice, as well
as an equitable share of the nation's wealth and resources. the past century has seen ireland change and evolve into a country which would, perhaps, be unrecognizable to those who sat in the mansion house in 1919. we have taken our place among the free nations of the world intrinsically linked to the european project and deeply proud of our role in you un peacekeeping. we are outward looking at anxious to welcome those calling to our shores temporarily or long-term. we have sought to create an inclusive, tolerant society, mindful of our own rich heritage but respectful of all different. we still have many challenges facing us, and we have some way to go yet to be the fair and equitable society which we all strive for, but we have traveled that path with international friends and allies. our friends in the united states congress have been steadfast in
their support for us over the past 100 years, particularly with regard to the northern ireland peace process. that help and support from america was crucial to the success of the fragile peace and delicate process over two decades ago, and it continues to be of vital importance today. i want to avail of this opportunity to renew our thanks and the thanks of the irish people for that outstanding statesman, senator george mitchell, and the supporters of ireland and of peace. [applause] mr. o fearghail: that support, madame speaker, will long be remembered with the deepest gratitude. we face major challenges now in light of the united kingdom's decision to leave the european union.
i am delighted that the senior delegation from the house of representatives, led by you, madame speaker, have taken time to visit us to see firsthand the implications for us of the difficult brexit. in this anniversary year of the first dail, i wish to thank you, madame speaker, and all of our dear friends in the house of representatives for your support past and present. we are very pleased to have you and your distinguished guests here today for this unique occasion. now, madame speaker, i would ask you to address us. [applause] speaker pelosi: mr. speaker, mr. president, members of the very distinguished, crucial body of
this crucial time. it is my great honor to address you in this historic institution in this 100th year of its founding. thank you for your invitation to join in the festivities. on behalf of the american people, it is my privilege to deliver the well wishes of our nation as you mark this extraordinary century and to extend congratulations to the dail from the congress of the united states. i am deeply honored to have the privilege as speaker to address you today, and i am also honored to have so many of our colleagues with us today. the dail eireann is the same as -- the people's house, same as the house of representatives in the united states, the people's house.
when president kennedy, the first american president to visit ireland while in office addressed you all, he declared our two nations are divided by distance but have been united by history. i am proud to visit again with a distinguished delegation of leading members of congress to celebrate that shared history president kennedy referenced and to strengthen the enduring bonds of friendship between our two nations. our delegation of republicans -- our delegation represents every corner of america, from sea to shining sea, with the chairman of the ways and means committee and the co-chair of the friends of ireland, who will be delivering the tip o'neill lecture at ulster university, where he will be awarded a degree. [applause]
speaker pelosi: as you know, mr. speaker, john morrison of connecticut is here. brian higgins -- [applause] speaker pelosi: does their applause come out of my time? [laughter] speaker pelosi: brian higgins of new york, a scholar on ireland. [applause] speaker pelosi: brian is writing a book on michael collins, and as a new yorker, there was the flag president kennedy brought here when he came as president is really a product of new york. the new yorkers are very proud of that. a representative from connecticut.
from washington state, from michigan, a freshman member of our delegation from nevada, and the only member of congress who has a parent, his father born in ireland. [applause] speaker pelosi: we traveled during holy week, a holy week tinged with sadness with the tragic fire of one of the greatest jewels of history and celebration of notre dame de paris, and we praise the firefighters who were able to control the damage and save lives and the many wonders of that cathedral. what we have here, we are deeply honored by the extraordinary welcome we have received, from our very special meeting to the warm greeting, to the beautiful
presentation of irish history and the vitality of irish culture that we enjoyed last night at the gpo, and to the invitation to dublin castle tonight. thank you for taking the lead on this magnificent welcome to ireland, a beautiful and magical land, but you know that. it is also a personal honor for me today. when my husband and i, my husband, paul, is here. we do not have irish grandparents, but we take proud in having irish grandchildren, including ryan, liam, and sean. they were baptized at the church in county wicklow, the same church where their grandfather was, and my son michael is with me somewhere. michael. that whole family, they always
remind us of the exuberance of the irish people. for a generation, our legislatures and leaders have had the opportunity to celebrate our friendship at the friends of ireland luncheon that we have around the time of st. patrick's day. it was started by tip o'neill, speaker tip o'neill, and president ronald reagan, the second year thechta. that has been the i offered auncheon, tour by the speaker of the house of the capital of the united states, who once served as a congressional intern as part of the program for leadership and said madame speaker, i used to give that tour. we have many connections, personal, professional, and today, i am said honored to retn
the warm wet -- message of friendship he brought on behalf of the irish. appreciation,e of recognition of the role that the irish played, the leadership role the irish played to build and strengthen america. the irish were soldiers in the war for american independence. so strong were they and of such bravery that a british officer have lost america through the irish. american the 19th century, irish workers built the canals, ports, railroads. irish bricklayers built our hospitals and schools. i think many of them when they left ireland heard the rumor that in america, the streets were paved of gold. little did they know they would be paving the streets when they got to america. the irish served in lincoln's army to preserve the union and save our nation. i mentioned the flag of the night -- 69th irish
brigade that president kennedy brought when he came, and the sisters of mercy came from dublin to heal our sick and to teach generations of american children, and they still do. both our nations know the joy of independence. both our countries endured the both our countries endured the traumatic experience of civil war and the satisfaction of rebuilding our nations, and it is these mutual experiences that are nations are for each other and the world, the democratic values and commitment to freedom. when ireland proudly proclaimed its independence, our people stood together. i take great pride in jeannette rankin, the first woman ever elected to the congress of the united states. our american counterpart, perhaps, to your account esther markowitz.
-- to your countesse esther markowitz. including ireland among those countries whose freedom and democracy we are fighting for, and when your constitution came into effect, members of congress from both sides of the aisle, both sides of the capital, this has always been a universal value for us. is in the speaker's office.
that belief is that another connection, why the american abolitionist frederick douglass and the irish fighter daniel o'connell found solidarity and friendship in their search for freedom. it is why african-americans in the fight for equality a half they inspired nationalist communities in ireland to fight for their dignity and equal rights. we inspire each other, and that is why young michael collins found inspiration for his vision of a new ireland in the work of a poet, walt whitman, stating that collins was known to have frequently carried with him
and heroism, and you are a land of progress, whose people forge prosperity from poverty, internationalism from insularity, and diversity from homogeneity. from famine, ireland has emerged as a confident and ascended nation on the forefront of innovation in a modern, global economy. today, the emerald isle is firmly a world leader in technologies in the clean economy, even pioneering methods to harness the great sees that break along the legendary coast of ireland. there is the world threatened by the climate crisis, recognizing that our future prosperity depends on bold action for sustainability, but we know, both of us know, that ireland and the united states, we must do better, and we must do more, and we can do it together. it is a challenge that we must all meet together with the fierce urgency it demands. this is a public health issue, a
decision for clean air and clean water and economic issue for creating good, green jobs of the future in a way that will create opportunity and reduce income inequality in our societies, a decision to keep us safe, and we were in stuttgart before we came here, and the generals told us that national -- climate change is a national security issue throughout the world in the terms of the challenges it creates, and if you believe as i do that this is god's creation, then we have a moral responsibility to be good stewards, and even if we do not share that view, we know we have him a moral responsibility to future generations to hand this planets over in a responsible way, so i hope we can work together in a very special way, because ireland is big enough to be impactful, small enough to be agile, and educated entrepreneurial to show the world smart growth. we can learn a lot from you. as president kennedy said, he said the supreme reality of our time is our indivisibility as children of god and our common vulnerability on this planet. the beauty of irish innovation and irish thinking has long stretched around the globe, but you probably know of it. there is a serious recognition that the irish have a way with words. [laughter] speaker pelosi: it has been
said. by the irish, as a matter of fact. [laughter] speaker pelosi: there were some of the greatest writers and poets, james joyce redefining the novel, samuel beckett, redefining theater, a nobel prize for lyricism, and i love this one, introducing us to one of our oldest english texts, a translation of beowulf. have you read that? it is a masterful translation of beowulf. and in modern times, a modern purveyor of the words from ireland, bono and u2, one of ireland's most beloved exports
-- there you are. i am not finished. him him -- we have learned so much at u2 concerts about what is going on in ireland, and we were honored to see bono last night, and then there was the concert in belfast in 1998. bono is here with his wife. [applause] speaker pelosi: i take pride in saying that i am one of the members of congress who has been to more u2 concerts than anyone. now, he is in the audience. [laughter] policy: -- speaker pelosi: thank you, bono, for being here, and give my best to the rest of us. something other for my children, michael, and my grandchildren, we all know, i usually do not
intrude on the music of my children. that does not apply to u2. out of the past of inward struggles, the irish republic became a bold and impactful presence, doing good around the world. it is a funny thing. inside, outside, perseverance, progress. old civilization, innovative. you have continued -- you were an early pioneer on nuclear proliferation with the u.n., 1961, to oppose the spread of nuclear arms, early leaders, visionaries. you have continued to take the lead on peace in the global peacekeeping and humanitarian missions that are filled with and led by irishmen and women -- you were an early pioneer. and during our visit, we have heard excellent arguments, including some of what i just
said, on why ireland should fit -- should sit on the u.n. security council. [applause] speaker pelosi: from the roots of heritage and history, a modern ireland has blossomed. what a powerful statement that ireland, steeped in tradition, would be the first nation and all of the world to deliver yes to marriage equality for lgbtq brothers and sisters, not by a ruling of the courts and not by an act of the legislature but by an overwhelming vote of the irish people themselves. and further, the people of ireland voted to affirm the reproductive rights of women. ireland shows the true strength
of a nation with the confidence to open itself up to new ideas, new people, and a new future. indeed, ireland truly is a nation to be proud of. ireland's story is one of hope, hope, how with vision, courage, and faith, we can build a brighter, stronger, and safer future for the next generation, and that is all of our responsibilities, to make the future better for the next generation. and this month, we mark the anniversary of one of the greatest achievements of that spirit of hope, and a better future is possible, the signing of the good friday accord in 1998, ending centuries of conflict. on that holy day, the world saw the dawn of peace in northern ireland, of which few had ever dared to dream. with the diplomatic leadership of president bill clinton, who sends his regards when he found out we were coming, and special envoy senator george mitchell, the courage of senator john washell, who my family honored to welcome to our home in san francisco in the late 1980's. he told us that night "as we bring down the walls in belfast, we must also bring down the walls in our hearts if we are going to have peace." we were happy to welcome him to our home, and with the bravery of our late friend, martin
mcguinness, who i was pleased to welcome to the house of representatives when i was a top democrat when i was the top democrat on the appropriations committee which has control over the funding for the international fund for ireland, so martin was a regular visitor to our house, to our home and house, martin is a beloved and friend in congress, and with the hopes of the people of northern ireland and all of us in america we witnessed a miracle of a new peace. we treasured the good friday accord, not only for what it meant for northern ireland and ireland. that would be reason enough, but we treasure it because it is not just a treaty. it is an epic, a value. it is an article for us, a beacon to the world. we treasure the good friday accord because of what it says is possible for the entire world, a reason to hope for the
-- for every place, dreams of reconciliation that will be possible for them, too. it showed us, as president clinton said, it is possible when you decide to give your children not only your yesterdays but their own tomorrows. as my friend george mitchell said after the signing, patriotism has to do with keeping the country in good heart. the community ordered by justice and mercy. with good heart, guided by faith and justice and mercy, america will continue to stand with you in protecting the peace that the good friday accord has realized. i have said it before and i will say it again. we must assure that nothing happens in the brexit discussions that imperils the good friday accord, including but not limited to the seamless border between the irish republic and northern ireland. [applause]
speaker pelosi: let me be clear. brexit deals it -- undermines the good friday accord, there will be no chance of a u.s.-u.k. trade agreement. i say that hopefully, that we will not have to face that reality. i say it as a prediction. as you face the challenges posed by brexit, know that the united states congress in the house and the senate stands with you. especially now, as a first generation born into the hope of good friday, and imagine, you had david trumbull and john hume at the u2 concert, children born
then are 21 years old now, entering their adulthood knowing peace. we cannot jeopardize that. [applause] speaker pelosi: we must not, and we will not allow that progress to be undermined. for generations, ireland has been the emerald thread in the fabric of american history and national life. america is grateful for your partnership, the partnership we have together, glad to share in the joy of this centennial, and looking forward to another hundred years of irish leadership in the world. as was written, i see all over ireland -- well, all over dublin so far, the tidal wave of
justice can rise up, and hope and history rise. together, we can make hope and history rhyme once more. thank you for the honor of your friendship. thank you for the honor of addressing you this afternoon. may god continue to bless america, and may god continue to bless ireland, and may god continue to bless the partnership that we share. thank you so much. [applause]
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