Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dan Rooney Named Ambassador to Ireland

The owner of the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers has been named U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. Dan Rooney has been involved with Irish peace efforts since the 1970s. He co-founded the American Ireland Fund, which raises money for peace and education programs. That group just honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Rooney takes the ambassadorship at a difficult time, with the economic slump hitting Ireland particularly hard, and the recent killings of two British soldiers in Northern Ireland. Rooney might not seem like an obvious choice for the White House. The 76-year-old has been a lifelong Republican. But he endorsed President Barack Obama in the hard-fought Democratic primary in Pennsylvania, and campaigned for him.

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