The Visit of the President to Castleconnell

This Story is: True Story

The Day Mary Robinson Came.
It was a day in the summer of 1992 the people had been preparing for many weeks for the coming of the President. She was a popular President, supported by the Labour Party and well-known for radical views. She was the first female President of Ireland and noted as a supporter of minorities. She had made the Presidency accessible to the ordinary people throughout Ireland and barely a week went by without her visiting some different part of the country.
In Castleconnell, the President had come for a special reason. She had come to open the Pink Cottage craft shop. The Pink Cottage was one of many improvements made to the village by local interest groups. Every year, there was a festival in the village around Hallowe’en. As part of it, there was a craft fair held in the Castle Oaks Hotel. Crafts from Castleconnell craftspeople and others from various parts of Ireland were exhibited at the fair.
The people of Castleconnell liked the craft fair. However, they decided they needed a permanent home for their local crafts. They chose a house next to
the Church of Ireland church in Castleconnell as the place to locate the shop.
After school in the evening, the excitement was palpable. People wondered at what time the President would arrive. They strived for the best vantage points around the village. They wondered at what route she would travel into the village. Some people waited at the school and others in the village. Others waited directly opposite the Pink Cottage in Stradbally.
The Presidential cavalcade travelled into the village past the school and went directly to the Pink Cottage. The President was warmly welcomed to the village. People of all creeds and religious traditions and none, all politics and none, watched the spectacle of the President arriving at the cottage. From
every vantage point, people watched and listened as the President began to speak.
The President praised the work of craftspeople around the country and the contribution they made to their communities. She officially opened the centre. The people of the village were both honoured and delighted. They would always remember the pleasure of the visit of the visit of the President to the village.

This story is True Story