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Annual Tip O'Neill Memorial Symposium Announced

An annual Tip O'Neill Memorial Symposium was recently announced by Cork City Council and University College Cork. Plans were revealed at a gathering in the Lord Mayors Chambers which included speakers, Lord Mayor Cllr. Tony Fitzgerald, UCC Vice President John O'Halloran, Dr. Aodh Quinlan UCC and Michael O'Neill, relative of Tip O'Neill and of Mallow Development Partnership Heritage Committee.

The inaugural event will take place in February 2019.

The Lord Mayor, Cllr. Tony Fitzgerald with Lady Mayoress Georgina Fitzgerald, Cork City Council CE Ann Doherty, UCC Vice President, John O'Halloran,Director of UCC's Centre for Local and Regional Governance, Dr. Aodh Quinlivan and Mallow-based relative of Tip O'Neill, Michael O'Neill announcing Cork City Council and UCC plans for an annual Tip O'Neill Memorial Symposium with the first planned for February next Year 2019.   Picture, Tony O'Connell Photography.

Tip O'Neill interesting FACTS:

• His paternal grandparents were Patrick and Julia O'Neill from Mallow, Co. Cork and his maternal grandparents were James and Eunice Tolan from Buncrana and Inishowen, Co. Donegal

• For 10 years Tip O’Neill was, as Speaker of the American House of Representatives, the 3rd most powerful politician in America, after the President and Vice President. Tip achieved over a long political life very great improvements in the lives of not alone his fellow Irish Americans but also of the least privileged in America generally.

• In 1977 he denounced violence in Northern Ireland and used his influential position as Speaker to play a key and indeed a pivotal role in bringing about peace in Ireland. This resulted in the establishment of the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) which since 1985 has paid out millions of pounds/euro to projects in Northern Ireland and the 6 border counties in the Republic.

• In 1986 Tip and his wife Mildred Anne Miller (Millie) received Irish Citizenship from the President of Ireland Dr. Patrick Hillery on the advice of the Taoiseach Dr. Garret Fitzgerald and his Government. Irish Citizenship is granted to persons who in the opinion of the Government rendered Distinguished Service to the Nation

• In 1987 Mr. O’Neill visited Mallow and was awarded a Civic Reception which was held at Mallow Castle. In 1985 he was awarded The Freedom of Cork by members of Cork City Corporation. After the death of Tip in 1994, Mallow Town Council unveiled a plaque in his honour in a park at the Spa Mallow and the park has been named The Tip O’Neill Park. Present for the unveiling of the plaque were his daughter Rosemary O’Neill and the US Ambassador to Ireland Jean Kennedy Smith.

• In 1991 President Bush presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom – America’s highest civilian award, which is presented for especial meritorious contributions to the national interests of America and World peace. It was well merited by Tip O’Neill, whose love for Ireland knew no bounds.

• President Bill Clinton is quoted as saying: "Tip O'Neill was the nation's most prominent, powerful and loyal champion of working people... He loved politics and government because he saw that politics and government could make a difference in people's lives. And he loved people most of all."

• Tip O'Neill never wavered in his beliefs that "all politics is local"

Picture source - Boston College Library

Thomas P. O’Neill (1912-1994) Irish American Politician (1926-1987) & Speaker (Leader) of the American House of Representatives (1977-1987).


Siobhan O'Neill, Breda O'Neill, Michael O'Neill, Lord Mayor Cllr. Tony Fitzgerald, Rose O'Neill, Mary Smyth, Dominic Smyth, Marion Sherman. Picture, Tony O'Connell Photography.

Attentive listeners to the Speakers in the Lord Mayors Chambers announcing plans for an annual Tip O'Neill memorial symposium. Picture, Tony O'Connell Photography.

Lord Mayor Cllr. Tony Fitzgerald speaking at City Hall. Picture, Tony O'Connell Photography.

Dr Aodh Quinlivan speaking at the Lord Mayors Chambers. Picture, Tony O'Connell Photography.

UCC Vice President, John O'Halloran speaking in the Lord Mayors Chambers at City Hall. Picture, Tony O'Connell Photography.

Michael O'Neill, relative of Tip O'Neill, and member of Mallow Development Partnership speaking in the Lord Mayors Chambers at City Hall.   Picture, Tony O'Connell Photography.

Councillor Mick Finn, Lord Mayor Cllr. Tony Fitzgerald, Michael O'Neill. Picture, Tony O'Connell Photography.

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