Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly and member of the Oireachtas All Party Consultation Group on Commemorations will attend the unveiling of a special plaque unveiling at the US Department of the Interior on Wednesday (18th September).
The bronze plaque includes a replica of the 1916 Rising Proclamation and refers to the creator of the Irish Flag, Thomas F Meagher as the embodiment of the links between the two Republics. Meagher fought in the Irish Rising of 1848 and in the ‘Fighting Irish’ 69th regiment of the Union Army in the American Civil war. The President of Ireland presented the plaque to the United States National Parks Service.
Senator Daly has worked with the Department of the Interior and the US National Parks Service since 2015 and helped secure permission for the plaque, which was finally installed just last week ahead of the grand reopening on Thursday.
“The permission for this plaque was given in 2016 to celebrate the centenary of the 1916 Rising, but as the Washington Monument has been closed for the last number of years for structural works, this is the first time the plaque will be seen by the public.
“I am delighted to have been invited to the Washington Monument to see the plaque unveiling. This is a great honour for Ireland and shows the strong and enduring friendship between Ireland and the United States.
“Our relationship with the US is one of our most important, it’s commitment to peace and prosperity on this island is invaluable. It’s extremely rare to secure permission for a new plaque – the last time this happened was when Alaska became a State in 1949, and it took until 1982 for that plaque to be installed.
“Ireland is one of only 17 nations to have a plaque in the monument, most of which were installed in the 1800’s when the monument was under construction.
“The Washington Monument contains commemorative and memorial stones received from all 50 States. The majority of stones were received between 1849 and 1855, and these memorial stones are only accepted in very rare circumstances, such as the admission of a new state to the union or replacement of a previously donated stone.
“The announcement of the permission for the installation of a plaque from Ireland was made by the United States National Park Service on St. Patrick’s Day 2016.
“The White House Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney who has been instrumental in this project will visit the Monument with Senator Daly and Minister Moran on Thursday morning”.