President Obama Speaks to the People of Northern Ireland

Posted by Megan Slack
June 17, 2013
President Obama and the First Lady Wave to a Crowd at Belfast Waterfront Hall

This morning, President Obama spoke to the people of Northern Ireland from the Belfast waterfront.

"So many of the qualities that we Americans hold dear we imported from this land -- perseverance, faith, an unbending belief that we make our own destiny, and an unshakable dream that if we work hard and we live responsibly, something better lies just around the bend.

"So our histories are bound by blood and belief, by culture and by commerce.  And our futures are equally, inextricably linked.  And that’s why I’ve come to Belfast today -- to talk about the future we can build together."

It’s been 15 years since the people of Ireland approved the Good Friday Agreement, and President Obama called the achievement -- and the progress that followed it -- extraordinary. “For years, few conflicts in the world seemed more intractable than the one here in Northern Ireland. And when peace was achieved here, it gave the entire world hope.”

But "for all the strides that you’ve made," President Obama told the crowd, "there’s still much work to do."

"There are still people who haven’t reaped the rewards of peace.  There are those who aren’t convinced that the effort is worth it.  There are still wounds that haven’t healed, and communities where tensions and mistrust hangs in the air.  There are walls that still stand; there are still many miles to go.

"From the start, no one was naïve enough to believe that peace would be anything but a long journey. Yeats once wrote 'Peace comes dropping slow.'  But that doesn’t mean our efforts to forge a real and lasting peace should come dropping slow.  This work is as urgent now as it has ever been, because there’s more to lose now than there has ever been.

"In today’s hyper-connected world, what happens here has an impact on lives far from these green shores. If you continue your courageous path toward a permanent peace, and all the social and economic benefits that have come with it, that won’t just be good for you, it will be good for this entire island. It will be good for the United Kingdom. It will be good for Europe. It will be good for the world."

“And you should know that so long as you are moving forward,” President Obama said, “America will always stand by you as you do.”

Editor's Note: This entry originally appeared on the White House Blog. Follow the President and First Lady's trip to Northern Ireland and Germany on WhiteHouse.gov, and watch the President's remarks in Belfast on the White House YouTube Channel.

Comments

Comments

Henry M.
|
United States
June 18, 2013
He could have mentioned that our nation, like theirs, must also take orders from the British. We're off to fight another colonial war.
D. J.
|
United States
June 24, 2013
yes, don't need that
Don T.
|
United States
June 21, 2013
I can not believe that the Irish Government and people of IRLAND. Actually allowed Obama to set one foot on Saint Patrick's Isle. Obama just presently said that the Catholic Church is to blame for most of the hate in the world today He even told Nancy Pelosie that she needed to denounce her Catholic Faith. Obama is An unrepentant sinner. He does not own up to his horrible mistakes. He is A mass murderer and hides behind Well guarded gates & travels in limousin that has more heavy protective armored doors. Than the real soldiers still fighting over in Afghanistan. He is NO AMERICAN PRESIDENT IN MY EYES. AS WELL AS THE EYES OF MILLIONS OF OTHER .Americans. As far as I'm concerned America does not have a lawful lagedament president. Every thing he touches turns to crap. A big mess! Did the Irish know he is allowing The morning after pill. To be sold to teenagers, who don't even have to tell their parents. Obama is an evil man would he allow his girls to buy birth control. America is folding under. It will not be operating very well a year from now. GOd's is coming soon to drive Evil. From the world and millions of American will parish because they refused to repent of their sins and become members of the REAL ONE YRUE CHURCH. THE Catholic or universal church

.

Latest Stories

April 17, 2009

Faces of Port-au-Prince

Interactive Travel Map | Text the Secretary About the Author: Jerome Oetgen serves as the Public Affairs Officer at U.S.… more

Pages