Ireland welcomed US President Barack Obama this morning. The President’s visit marks a celebration of Obama’s Irish heritage. Welcomed by Ireland’s deputy Prime Minister Tanaiste Eamon, The President and his wife, Michelle Obama continued on to meet Irish President Mary McAleese, where after a warm welcome, the President expressed- ‘Thank you so much. We’re thrilled to be here’.
Mr. Obama is scheduled to visit the village of Moneygall, Co. Offaly – the place of his Irish heritage. His great-great-great grandfather, Falmouth Kearney left Ireland for America 160 years ago and Mr. Obama is expected to meet with fellow descendants, including his distant cousin Henry Healy, who still lives in the rural village and Healy’s aunt, who is thought to be Obama’s oldest living relative in Ireland, who said ‘it’s very exciting for us all… We all had great excitement in the beginning when the word came through he was related to us’. The entire village has been anticipating the visit for well over a month, by re-painting houses, laying fresh pavement and tidying gardens - playing the generous and friendly hosts the Irish are renowned for.
Obama first discovered his Irish roots while campaigning for the Presidency in 2008. ‘It was brought to my attention… that my great-great-great-grandfather on my mother’s side hailed from a small village in County Offaly’. Although this visit marks the start of Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, the trip has been more popularly known as a homecoming and gesture of solidarity and kinsmanship. Obama has elaborated on this, saying: ‘The friendship and the bond between the United States and Ireland could not be stronger… Obviously it is not just a matter of strategic interests. It’s not just a matter of foreign policy, for the United States and Ireland carries a blood lineage’.
The President of The United States has always traditionally visited Ireland. It is a country of great importance to the formation of the American nation, and it is thought that there are up to 40 million Americans who claim Irish ancestry.
Ahead of the visit, the Irish Ambassador to the United States, Michael Collins, explained that the visit was ‘a chance for the President to really celebrate the ties between our countries and the kind of unique feelings that the American people have for Ireland’. He continued, saying that ‘the visit of the president represents a very bright moment for us’, a fitting statement, as upon being greeted by Mary McAleese, Obama noted that ‘The sun’s coming out – I can feel it’.
Cocktails are very important to The Wild Geese Collection. They present whiskey in a very different, very contemporary fashion. Our collection of cocktails perfectly capture the versatility of the Rare Irish and Classic expressions of the Collection.
Last week, The Wild Geese hosted an intimate cocktail clinic in Amsterdam – tucked away in a charismatic wine cellar, which provided an ideal location to share what The Wild Geese has to offer. Our resident mixologist Nick Wykes was on hand to introduce the The Wild Geese cocktail recipes.
The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey already has a remarkable relationship with the cocktail market. The Five Points and The Long Goodbye have each won a Gold Medals at the Drinks International Cocktail Challenge. The Rare Irish Whiskey is the recipient of a Silver Medal itself, and is the staple ingredient of many of our cocktail recipes, providing a memorable foundation and lasting taste.
After the tasting and mixing, our guests kindly let us know their thoughts. Thank you to all who attended and we hope you enjoyed The Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Collection. Particular thanks goes to Hans de Lang for putting together such a successful event and Nick Wykes, whose enthusiasm for The Wild Geese is eternally appreciated.
Men of Action will soon be flocking to the French town of Gruissan to take part in the Defi Wind, an amateur windsurfing competition. Nestled between the lakes of Southern France and the coast, this is a perfect location to get to capture this sport.
The event will also host the Sailors are also encouraged to produce a six minute film displaying a variety of tricks and speeds to impress a jury. Windsurfing embodies elements of both surfing and sailing, but offers a very different and unique experience. The best five films of the competition will be announced on the 23rd May and will be shown on big screens during a windsurf party on 3rd June.
Last year’s winner of the competition was Frenchman Pierre Montefon, who braved exceptional weather conditions to emerge victorious. The judges decided that only the very elite top 50 compete as wind speeds were reaching over 60 knots. To get a sense of the impressive speed competitors reach, take a look at the video below.
Charles de Gaulle was a very strong political figure in France. He was a General, Statesman and helped to reform the French government following the Second World War. He was also one of The Wild Geese.
He was intensely proud of his Irish connections. De Gaulle was a descendent of the MacCartans of Kinelarty, Co. Down. The MacCartans supported the cause of James II and when this cause was lost, Colonel John MacCartan and his son Anthony escaped to France. Anthony was just 17 when he joined the Irish Regiment of the French Army.
Twenty years later Anthony was serving as a captain in the Lyonnaise regiment when he married Suzanne De Coe Lagan, daughter of a Breton father and an Irish mother. His son Joseph became a physician in Lille, Northern France.
Joseph’s daughter Marie Angelique married Henri Louis Delannoy in 1829 and her daughter became the mother of Jeanne Maillot, and the grandmother of ‘Le Grand Charles’.
The former Irish President Eamon de Valera’s papers show how pleased De Gaulle was of his Co. Down ancestry. At a state dinner in Dublin, the general said: ‘Perhaps it’s the Irish blood that flows in my veins, because we have always come back to our origins. Ireland holds a special place in the hearts of all Frenchmen‘.
To unveil its Spring/Summer 2011 collection, fashion house Yves Saint Laurent commissioned the short film ‘No Way Back’ to further explain head designer Stefano Pilati’s vision. This short film, directed by Dutch photographer Ari Marcopoulos, is a very impressive and inspirational production in itself.
No Way Back follows Hollywood tattoo artist Mark Mahoney. It documents Mahoney’s stylistic tattooing, and offers a fresh feel to tattoos as art – as expressions, rather than rebellions. Mark explains that, although he would spend most of his spare time drawing, his art teacher discouraged him from pursuing this passion. This only drove Mahoney to find his own art form, and soon integrated himself with tattooing.
Staying true to his hopes and convictions, Mark is now considered one of the founding fathers of the art. His perseverance is reminiscent of the actions of The Wild Geese, who continued to maintain their hope of returning home. Like Mahoney, their dream of freedom took many different turns, and they found themselves influencing many different communities – just as Mahoney has found an unconventional method of artistic expression.
|‘With each new generation, there is a new legacy. Raise your glass, remember them’