GFC Welcomes Irish Ambassador Daniel Mulhall
On Wednesday, January 16, Headmaster Tom Every and the Gonzaga Fathers Club welcomed Ambassador Daniel Mulhall, Irish Ambassador to the United States, and over 100 Gonzaga dads and guardians to the Fathers Club’s annual "Beer & Brats" dinner and meeting. Ambassador Mulhall is the 18th Irish Ambassador to the United States, arriving in August 2017, and since then has been a critically important diplomat and ally working to strengthen U.S.-Irish relationships as well as those between the U.S. and the E.U, of which Ireland is a vital member.
Gonzaga and its neighborhood have many ties to Ireland and Irish immigrants. The historical name of the neighborhood surrounding Gonzaga is Swampoodle, which was home to the largest concentration of Irish immigrants in Washington, D.C. Some histories suggest that it was the employment opportunities presented by the building of Union Station that attracted the Irish to Washington.
In 1921, during the Irish War of Independence, Eamonn de Valera, President of the Provisional Irish Republic, visited St. Aloysius Parish, adjoining Gonzaga, and addressed parishioners in the Gonzaga auditorium (currently the Sheehy Theater) for the purpose of raising funds for the Irish freedom effort. In 1948, during a stop at Union Station, de Valera met with a contingent of Gonzaga students—and granted a school holiday!
To thank Ambassador Mulhall for visiting Eye Street, Mr. Every and Gonzaga Fathers Club President Brian Knapp presented him with a custom embroidered Gonzaga Eagles jacket.