Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

St. Patrick's Day Remembrance: The Bond Between the Choctaw and the Irish


March 18, 2021

Former Prime Minister Leo Varadkar addresses leadership of the Choctaw Nation and other dignitaries on March 12, 2018 in Durant, Okla.

DURANT, Okla. - Two years ago, on March 12, 2018, the prime minister of Ireland visited the Choctaw Nation in Durant, Okla. He was in the United States during a week-long tour to celebrate St. Patrick's Day festivities.

Prime Minister of Ireland Leo Varadkar, who left that position in June 2020, wanted to visit the Choctaw Nation to thank the tribe for the generous gift their ancestors gave to the Irish back in 1847 during the Great Famine of 1845-1852 in Ireland.

After experiencing their own difficult times during the Trail of Tears 16 years prior, when the Choctaws heard about the suffering of the Irish were experiencing, they collected $170-the equivalent of $4,400 in today's dollars-and through a group of Quakers sent it across the Atlantic Ocean to help feed the starving people in Ireland.


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