Limerick poet meets US ambassador’s aide

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

ONE of the top assistants to the American Ambassador Dan Rooney has made a flying visit to meet the White House poets.

ONE of the top assistants to the American Ambassador Dan Rooney has made a flying visit to meet the White House poets.

Greg Morrison, management officer at the American Embassy, was looking around a variety of sights in Limerick when he arrived in the White House pub, Glentworth Street.

There, he met popular city poet Barney Sheehan and staff of the pub.

Organised by Barney as part of the July 4 festival, Mr Morrison was given a copy of celebrated poet Desmond O’Grady’s book ‘My Limerick Town’, as well as a variety of other mementos.

For the last decade, poetry has been a regular feature on Wednesday night’s in the White House, and Barney wanted Mr Morrison - who hails from Alabama - to get a feel of the city’s literary tradition.

He said meeting the aide “made the entire ten years [of organising poetry readings] worthwhile”.

“I am primarily concerned with promoting the White House readings globally.,” Barney added.

Although he is not the author of ‘My Limerick Town’, the Ennis Road native insisted on signing the book in his own name, before ordering Mr Morrison to present it to US President Barack Obama.

Mr Morrison said Limerick’s inaugural July 4 festival “has been wonderful.”

“We are just thrilled. The festival highlights the strong relationship between the American people and the Irish people. Our ambassador has said recently that the relationship is stronger than ever, and events like these just highlight it. It is a clear symbol of how strong the relationship is.”

Meanwhile, Mayor Gerry McLoughlin visited the White House’s poetry sessions Wednesday last. Full of praise for the first citizen, Barney said: “He was respectful and appreciative of people in the White House. No man could be more complementary.”