Senate Resolution Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Irish Senate and State’s Irish Heritage
Beverly Cantrell - March 15, 2022 3:53 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY – On Monday, the Senate passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 21 commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Irish Senate and the birth of democracy on the Emerald Isle. Authored by Senators Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City, and Mary Boren, D-Norman, the resolution also recognizes the role Irish immigrants have played in Oklahoma history and celebrates the creation of the American Irish State Legislators Caucus in Oklahoma.
“As we get ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, it’s only fitting to recognize the important victory for democracy when Ireland established its freedom and the creation of their Senate. As Americans, it is our hope that all people, regardless of what country they live in, will someday be able to enjoy the freedoms of a democratic society, like our two countries,” Hicks said. “Oklahoma and Ireland share many ties and we will always stand with the Irish Senate in protecting democracy and celebrating our shared heritage.”
As part of the centennial celebration, the chair of the Irish Senate, Sen. Mark Daly, has advocated for creating an American Irish State Legislators Caucus in all 50 states to foster and strengthen the longstanding relationship between the two countries. Hicks and Boren have led the charge to establish the caucus in Oklahoma.
“We’re excited to form this special Irish caucus to further recognize and celebrate the unique contributions those of Irish heritage have made on Oklahoma’s history and their continued impact on our state through education, religion, and business,” Boren said. “It also gives us the opportunity to recognize the special relationship between the Choctaw Nation and Ireland that started in 1847 with the tribe’s great gift to the Emerald Isle during the potato famine. Having just suffered through the Trail of Tears, the tribe sent money to help ease the people’s suffering; and that generosity and kindness created a unique bond and friendship that continues today.”
In 1995, Ireland’s president visited the Choctaw Nation in Durant to thank them for their generosity more than a century earlier. The “Kindred Spirits” memorial in Cork, Ireland, serves as a continuing reminder of the tribe’s kindness and the continued link between the two entities.
“Kindred Spirits” memorial, Cork Ireland
Other ongoing displays of comradery include several Choctaw leaders taking part in the first annual Famine Walk in County Mayo in 1990; Irish leaders walking the 500-mile length of the Trail of Tears in 1992; and a former Irish president being named an honorary Choctaw Chief. The Choctaws and Irish also continue working together to help those facing famine internationally.
SCR 21 will also be heard in the House chamber, where fellow Irish Caucus founders, Representatives Terry O’Donnell, R-Catoosa, John Waldron, D-Tulsa, and Mark McBride, R-Moore, co-authored the resolution.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Hicks: (405) 521-5543 or [email protected]
Sen. Boren: (405) 521-5553 or [email protected]