Updated: 21/01/17 : 06:15:22
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Mike Pence, 'happy warrior,' makes history for Sligo

By Eugene McGloin
Political Editor

THE GRANDSON of a Sligo economic emigrant got one of the highest honours in the free world yesterday, Friday.

Mike Pence was sworn in as 48th Vice President of the United States just after 4.45pm, Irish time. 

Minutes later his mentor Donald Trump placed his hand on two bibles and was sworn in as the 45th President of the Republic.

Then teenager Jackie Evancho showed poise beyond her years with a stirring singing for the podium of the ''Star Spangled Banner.''

Flew Above

Afterwards, the two main men were toasted at a luncheon in the famed Statuary Hall in Washington which was attended by Bill Clinton and Hillary. 

In proposing the toast a colleague described Mr Pence as ''a happy warrior.''

He described the difference in their style and that of opponents: ''We play rugby, they play golf.''

During the luncheon Mr Pence was also formally presented with one of the flags which flew above the American capital yesterday morning.

Blue Collar

They didn't play too much rugby when Mike Pence grandfather left Tubbercurry in South Sligo in 1923, right after Ireland's Civil War.

Richard Michael Cawley crossed the ocean to work on buses in Chicago.

It was forgettable blue collar labour; besides America most remembers 1923 as the year Warren Harding died just two years into his White House term.

Cawley could hardly ever have perchanced to dream his own grandson Mike Pence would parade Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day one January.

Yesterday afternoon, Pence did just that and he was cheered, loudly too, after he got out to walk part of the route to his new job, white collar in the White House.

Mike Pence and his wife Karen walked just ahead of a parading band of firefighters yesterday. 

Visible Tricolours

Visible too as the couple walked and waved was a brace of big Irish Tricolours just behind them.

Not surprising as Pence himself has always spoken proudly of his Irish ancestry, rooted in Sligo and Clare he said.

Apart from being the new Vice President, Pence was installed after the November election shock as head of Donald Trump's transition team.

Not surprising then that the new President clapped and cheered and touched Mr Pence several times as the pair rewrote modern political history yesterday. 

The new doctrine is. ''America First,'' a contrast with the past century which, if implemented, find some (uneasy) echoes in every corner of the Earth.

Last night Pence and Trump were side by side as the new President signed his first documents in the Oval Office last night.

Finally, this morning's London Tmes has a wraparound souvenir photo of both men and both their wives, Karen and Melania, on the biggest day of all their lives.

Link: Sligo Today 20/1/2017.