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Taoiseach To Visit Native Americans Who Helped During Irish Famine


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The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is to visit a Native American tribe that donated money to Ireland during the Great Famine.

His visit to the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma will be part of his St Patrick's Day trip to the US.

On March 23rd 1847, the tribe took up a collection of US$170 (€138) for Irish famine relief - this would be worth thousands today.

This was seen as particularly poignant, since they themselves were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands in 1831.

The Choctaws were the first of several tribes to make this difficult trek, and many did not survive the trip.

As the Choctaws themselves had faced hunger and death on the journey, they felt a great empathy with the Irish people.

A monument to the Choctaw Nation was also unveiled in Cork last year.

'Kindred Spirits' by Alex Pentek in Midleton, Co Cork | Image via @IrelandEmbUSA on Twitter

Mr Varadkar says he is captivated by their story - and wants to renew one of Ireland's oldest connections with the US during his visit.


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