Thank you Elaine and thank you Desmond Egan for asking me to take part tonight. Senator Krist, distinguished academics, and everyone that is involved with this fantastic initiative.
The Gerard Manley Hopkins International Festival highlights how the arts can connect people of many nations. You have academics and artists from several countries and, of course, it is great to see such fantastic American representation here.
I’d like to highlight the large contingent from Quinnipiac University. Earlier this year at the Royal Irish Academy, I launched The Famine Folios, which is an initiative of the Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University. That academic project is a great example of the type of intellectual collaboration that connects countries. The United States has forever been enriched by the skills, rich culture and vitality that generations of immigrants and visitors have brought with them. They brought with them a strong work ethic and an even stronger spirit that would help to build America. And our relationship has evolved.
Annual U.S. investment in Ireland now tops more than 200 billion. Each year more than 8,000 American students choose to study here, instilling an interest in and love of Ireland in the next generation. I am continually amazed by the rich and deep cultural exchange between our two countries.
Ireland offers beautiful locations for Hollywood filmmakers, countless performance opportunities for American musicians who tour here, and a staggering number of conferences and festivals at which U.S. and Irish artists forge new creative collaborations.
I am delighted that you have an extensive Youth Program as a key component of the festival. One of my top priorities as Ambassador has been to ensure that Irish and American young people connect through the arts and other creative industries to ensure that this robust relationship between our two countries continues to evolve with the next generation.
I have always been intrigued by the beautiful poetry of Father Hopkins – a Jesuit who had a most interesting life. I am indebted to this festival for keeping his memory and his work in the forefront.
So with that, I’d like to officially open the 28th Gerard Manley Hopkins International Festival. Enjoy the week!
US Ambassador O'Malley Opens Hopkins Festival | UK Ambassador Dominich Chilcott Lecture | Hopkins Society in Japan | Natural Anxiety in Hopkins's Landscape Poetry | Hopkins's Favorites Poem: Saint Winifred's Well | Hopkins Sermons: Priest Preacher | Jesus: Prophet Betrayed | Bridges and Hopkins’ Poems of 1918