Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh
By Irish Echo Staff
Boston Mayor, Martin J. Walsh, is visiting Ireland to meet with officials and to reaffirm his city’s important economic and cultural ties to Ireland.
During his visit, which starts today, Walsh will receive several awards.
Prior to flying the Atlantic Walsh said: "Ireland and the Irish culture hold a special place in my heart, and are a large part of Boston's overall identity as well.
“Our economic and cultural ties to Ireland are undeniable, and it's beneficial for Boston to continue to embrace, support and learn from other countries and cities. I'm honored that our work in Boston is being acknowledged overseas."
Today, Walsh, whose parents were from Connemara in County Galway, will be given the "Freedom of the City" in Galway.
A ceremonial award, past recipients include President John F. Kennedy, Pope John Paul II, John Hume, Hillary Clinton, Richard Daley, Nelson Mandela, Ms. Garry Hynes, President Michael D Higgins and Senator Billy Lawless.
Tomorrow, Saturday, Mayor Walsh will visit the Emigrant Commemorative Centre in Carna, County Galway.
Four years ago, Walsh helped unveil a stone marker at the site of the then planned center and he has now returned to cut the ceremonial ribbon. The center educates visitors on the changing face of the rural Gaeltacht area and Galway's rich immigrant history.
On Sunday, May 13, Walsh will join local officials for the Kilkerrin Rock dedication and unveiling.
The rock has been inscribed with the words, "To all of our brothers and sisters who had to leave their families and homes, some never to return, in search of a better life abroad.”
Also inscribed will be Mayor Walsh's name, the date, and the Irish and U.S. flags intertwined.
On Monday, May 14, Walsh will be named the First Freeman of Galway County. The honor was proposed by Connemara area councilor, Sean O' Tuairisg.
The title of Freeman is a prestigious honor, ceremonial in name. It is typically bestowed upon visiting dignitaries, celebrities and valued members of the community, said a release.