A LEADING American news anchor and political commentator will be in Inishowen this coming weekend to receive the fifth annual Tip O’Neill Diaspora award.
With the US Presidential campaign in full swing, well known TV star Chris Matthews is taking time out from his busy TV schedule to make a special visit to Buncrana to receive the award at a special award this Friday night, September 23.
Matthews, whose grandparents hail from Donegal and County Antrim, is extremely proud to be receiving an award in the name of a former American Statesman, whom he had the honour of working with at the height of his career.
“I should say something about Speaker Tip O’Neill who I had the honour to serve for a half dozen years,” said Chris.
“He brought me aboard as his aide which was the top title back then. It was the time in which he was going head-to-head politically with the newly-inaugurated President Ronald Reagan.
“It was a challenging time for him as he, the classic American liberal, was facing a popular conservative Republican president. I am proud of being part of his leadership and witnessing his courage and generosity during those years.”
Matthews said he is ‘especially proud’ of the way that O’Neill and President Reagan, despite being ‘men of different philosophies’ were able to work together for the country’s need.
“They saved social security, reformed the tax system and quietly worked together for what we in America could do to help bring peace to Northern Ireland. Speaker O’Neill, of course, was a leader in the effort to ensure that Americans played their part in ending the Troubles,” he added.
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