Walsh plans trip to Ireland in the spring
By Gintautas Dumcius, special to the BIR, January 31, 2014
A Galway-only visit this time, maybe in May, says mayor
By Gintautas Dumcius
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who boasts roots in Co. Galway, always keeps an eye on the ould sod, but this spring, as he rounds out his first few months in office, he plans to check things out personally. “I haven’t even focused on it yet,” Walsh told the Reporter this week as he continues to settle into his new job. “I do want to go, though, probably in May.” He added that he wouldn’t be making any other stops while over there.
The mayoral trip across the Atlantic was first floated as a rumor in Irish America magazine, which celebrates the rise of the Dorchester native with a cover story in its February/March edition. Walsh, who served as a state representative from Dorchester for 16 years before running for mayor, has made many previous trips to Ireland.
Irish America noted that after his victory, the mayor spoke to the Irish broadcast medium Raidio na Gaeltachta and pledged a visit this year. “When he returns, Walsh will be assured a royal welcome befitting a native son who has done Connemara proud,” the magazine wrote.
The mayor’s mother Mary and his late father John are natives of Connemara, a legendary region of Galway, although they didn’t meet until both were living in Boston and ran into each other at a local dance hall. Mary Walsh was born in the village of Rosmuc, and her son has a sign in his new office with the words “Rosmuc” on it, a nod to his family’s heritage.
Walsh’s campaign and election were closely tracked in Ireland, often making the front page of newspapers, and the inauguration in January attracted elected officials and residents of Galway, including County Mayor Liam Carroll and City Mayor Padraig Conneely.
After he was elected, Walsh talked to a Boston Globe correspondent in Ireland about his acquaintance with the Connemara region on the fringes of Galway. “Oh, I’ve been over there at least a dozen times,” he said. “Every summer I’d go over as a kid to my grandparents’ house in Rosmuc, where my mother is from. I loved it there: planting cabbage or sowing potatoes in the fields, feeding the chickens or fishing on the pier.”