Friday, June 04, 2010

Mexico Celebrates 200 Years Of Independence

Plaque Unveiling for Bicentenary Mexican Independence- 4.06.10 096

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Emer Costello, in the presence of Alicia Kerber Palma, Chargeé d’affaires for Mexico, at 11am on Friday 4th June in the Mansion House, will unveil a plaque celebrating the Bicentennial Anniversary of the Independence of Mexico and the Centenary of the Mexican Revolution.

“Ireland has a long association with Mexico dating back to 1642 when William Lamport from Wexford helped to establish the Independent Mexican state. In more recent times Captain John Riley from Galway led the St. Patrick’s Battalion in the Mexican-American war. It is a privilege to be associated with the unveiling of the plaque celebrating Mexico’s Independence and Revolution” said Lord Mayor Cllr Emer Costello.

“Mexico is a young country but a very old nation. Our roots go back thousand’s of years. However, 2010 is an especially significant year for Mexico. On the 16th of September, we will celebrate 200 years of being proudly Independent and proudly Mexican, while on the 20th of November we will be celebrating the Centenary of the Mexican Revolution a Revolution whose ideals of Justice and Democracy shaped the destiny of current Mexico. The Embassy of Mexico is deeply grateful for the recognition that the City of Dublin gives to these important dates” said Alicia Kerber Palma, Chargeé d’affaires for Mexico.


Speech by Lord Mayor of Dublin Cllr Emer Costello

Your Excellency, distinguished guests it gives me great pleasure to welcome you here on this glorious sunny morning to the garden of the Mansion House. We gather to honour a nation and a people and to acknowledge the bonds that connect us. The nation is Mexico and today as we unveil this plaque donated to the City of Dublin by the people of Mexico we celebrate with Mexico the bi-centennial of their independence.
Although Ireland itself only gained independence less than 100 years ago, Irish men and women have been key actors in the independence of many nations across the globe. People who have left our shores have built new lives in nations from the Americas to Asia . They have played an important role in the educational, political, civil and military lives of their adopted lands. This year marks the 200 years of independence for many Latin American Nations. I am proud of the role that the Irish played in the independence of the nations of Latin America. From the River Plate in Argentina to the Rio Grande on the Mexican-US border many Irishmen fought for independence . . I am certain that they inspired those who gathered here to proclaim Ireland’s independence in 1919.
We are bound together by shared history written in the lives of those who left our shores . . Today Mexico has the sixth largest Irish Community in the world. I understand that there are over 300,000 people of Irish descent living in the capital city of Mexico alone. In the Northern states of Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, and Durango, Irish names such as Bay, Lamport, Byrne, Walsh, Foley, Hayes, and O'Leary are very common,
Probably the most famous Irishman in Mexico was William Lamport, better known to most Mexicans as Guillen de Lamport, precursor of the Independence movement and author of the first proclamation of independence in the New World. In fact I believe he was the inspiration for Johnston McCulley's Zorro,
Of course every Mexican knows of the St Patrick’s Brigade and their brave contribution to Mexico’s freedom. The San Patricios have entered Mexican folklore. The bond that they forged in blood between our people has found expression in music. The musical souls of our two nations, have been entwined through the music of the Chieftains album San Patricio. Music is a shared bond between us. Today Dublin is the home for the Mexican guitar virtuosos Rodrigo y Gabriela who played for President Obama (another Irishman) in the White House
I have to mention also three more recent people of Irish descent who contributed to Mexico namely ;
Álvaro Obregón (O'Brien) who was president of Mexico in 1920 and who has a city and airport named in his honour.
Actor Anthony Quinn ..
And the recent Mexican President Vicente Fox who visited Dublin in 2002 when the sculpture “Waiting for the Sailors” was unveiled in Sandymount .
Today we are linked not by war and freedom battles, but by the blood of previous generations and through the links between our economies. and our people. Mexico today is Ireland’s 19th largest trade partner, with total trade valued at €938.2m.
So it is both timely and appropriate that we unveil this commemorative plaque in honour of Mexico’s 200 years of freedom. On behalf of the Ireland’s capital I thank the Mexican Embassy and people for honouring us through this plaque. Let it stand for all time here at the home of Dublin’s first citizen in testimony to the friendship between our nations and people, and in the hope that we will grow closer over the coming years.

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