MAYO VISIT Teresa McHale of Hibernia College made a presentation to Dan Rooney, US Ambassador to Ireland, in the Welcome Inn Hotel in Castlebar, during his visit to Mayo in 2009. Pic: Michael Donnelly
Tributes have been paid to Dan Rooney, the former US ambassador to Ireland, who passed away last week, aged 84.
The founder and chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers American football team had strong connections with Mayo through his wife Patricia, whose parents, Martin Joseph Regan and Mary Regan (nee Duffy), left the Cloontia area of Ballaghaderreen for Pittsburgh back in the 1920s.
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny expressed his sadness on learning of Mr Rooney’s passing.
“Dan was a personal friend of mine and the proudest Irish supporter of the Pittsburgh Steelers. During his time as American Ambassador to Ireland, Dan visited every county, and his work brought both the United States and Ireland closer together.
“He leaves a massive legacy which will benefit many people for the years to come. My deepest condolences go to his wife Patricia, and his entire family at this time,” said Deputy Kenny.
Mr Rooney served as Ambassador after being appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009 until his retirement in 2012. The Rooneys paid a two-day visit to Mayo back in November 2009 and both delivered lectures at GMIT in Castlebar on Irish emigration.