The 4th of July is celebrated as the day that Congress approved the wording of the Declaration back in 1776, but it was only finally signed by all the relevant signatories a month later on the 2nd of August. Among them were three Irish-born men and five of Irish descent.
Lisburn man Matthew Thornton and Antrim’s George Taylor were joined by fellow Irish-born James Smith and American-Irish Charles Carroll, whose family hailed from Tipperary. The remaining American-born signatories with Irish heritage were Thomas McKean, Edward Rutledge, Thomas Lynch Jr., and George Read. Add in the fact that the original broadside copies of the declaration were produced by Irish printer John Dunlap (originally from Strabane, County Tyrone), and there was a strong Emerald Isle presence in this historic turning point of America.
The Irish involvement in the birth of the US nation heralded a long-standing involvement in political matters across the ocean. With 22 out of 45 American Presidents – from Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama – tracing their heritage back to Ireland, the influence of our tiny island nation has long been present in the USA’s affairs of state.
These historic reasons and the ever-strong Irish American identity help to explain the deep ties between our two countries. Today, many of America’s largest and most well-known companies have made Ireland a hub for their European operations, further enhancing the links between the ‘old sod’ and the ‘new world’. Companies such as Facebook, Google and LinkedIn, to name but a few, have all seen the value of setting up in Ireland and have been forerunners in choosing Ireland for their MICE activities.
Get in touch with our Meet in Ireland team in New York and this Independence Day celebrate the birth of your nation, knowing your next conference or event will be in the homeland of 8 of the signatories, 22 presidents and the land of ‘40 shades of green’.
Happy 4th of July from all at Meet in Ireland!