Historic links with Mexico celebrated

Sat, Jun 5, 2010, 01:00

A PLAQUE was unveiled in the Mansion House, Dublin, yesterday to mark the bicentennial anniversary of Mexican independence and Ireland’s long association with the country.

Dublin Lord Mayor Emer Costello with Mexico’s charge d’affaires Alicia Kerber Palma unveiled the plaque, which also celebrates the centenary of the Mexican revolution.

It was donated to Ireland by the people of Mexico. Mexican independence was declared in 1810 and the Mexican revolution began in 1910.

Irish people have played an important part in Mexican history. In 1642, William Lamport from Wexford was arrested by the Spanish for plotting a rebellion to abolish slavery and to establish the Independent Mexican state.

During the Mexican-American War, which began in 1846, hundreds of Irish, German and other immigrants deserted the US army and joined forces with Mexico.

Led by Capt John Riley from Galway, they called themselves the St Patrick’s Battalion or the San Patricios. When Mexico surrendered, half of those from the San Patricios executed by the US were from Ireland.

Mexico is now home to the sixth largest Irish community in the World.

Also present at yesterday’s event were Paddy Maloney of the Chieftains and songwriter Brendan Graham. They had collaborated on the Chieftains’ most recent album, San Patricio, an exploration of Irish-influenced Mexican music. Ms Costello said it was timely and appropriate to unveil the plaque at the birthplace of Irish democracy.

“It is a privilege to be associated with the unveiling of the plaque celebrating Mexico’s independence and revolution,” she said. “It is a testimony to the friendship between our nations and our people.”

Ms Kerber Palma said the embassy of Mexico was deeply grateful for the recognition Dublin had given to her country’s two most important dates.