SPECULATION is rife that former US president Bill Clinton will stay at the family home of JP McManus in Martinstown, Kilmallock when he visits Limerick in November.
The 42nd president of the US will be the guest of honour at the annual All-Ireland Scholarship awards ceremony which is to be held in the University Concert Hall on November 17.
Sponsored by JP McManus, the educational bursary provides financial assistance to high achieving students who completed their Leaving Certificate/A Level examinations in 2012.
Mr Clinton, who visited Limerick in 1998 when in office, will present scholarships to 125 students from north and south of Ireland.
During his 1998 visit, President Clinton enjoyed the luxuries of the five-star Adare Manor and has also been a guest at Dromoland Castle – also a five-star establishment.
In November, however, he looks set to pay a visit to the home of businessman JP McManus at Martinstown, Kilmallock – and may even stay overnight.
The visit by the former president is seen as a major coup for Mr McManus and indeed Limerick.
Mr McManus welcomed the announcement saying: “We are delighted that President Clinton has accepted to be our guest of honour at this year’s All-Ireland Scholarship awards ceremony. President Clinton has a special resonance for Irish people everywhere and we are truly honoured that he is supporting our event.”
President Clinton, who graces the cover of October’s Time magazine, can command anything up to $800,000 to speak at a function.
Renowned for his invigorating speeches he is represented by the US-based Harry Walker Agency which represents the world’s best motivational, keynote and business speakers for conventions, corporate events and special events. Mr Clinton is described as an “exclusive speaker” on their website.
According to CNN, Mr Clinton had the most lucrative year on the speech circuit to date in 2011 earning $13.4 million and exceeding his previous record by 25%.
Mr Clinton’s fees were detailed in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s annual financial disclosure report. Mr Clinton delivered 54 paid speeches in 2011.
The most lucrative was a November speech in Hong Kong to Swedish-based telecom giant Ericsson – $750,000. He also earned $700,000 for a March speech to a local newspaper publishing company in Lagos, Nigeria.
JP McManus, meanwhile, has contributed a total of €32 million in support of third-level education initiatives in recognition of the 32 counties of Ireland and it is estimated that over 1,300 students from the 32 counties will benefit from the scheme over its duration. University of Limerick president Professor Don Barry said the former US president will “inspire” this year’s recipients.
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