She's trying to move past the whole email account debacle and get back to women's issues. On Monday, the Irish America Hall of Fame inducted Hillary Clinton into the organization, and she used the opportunity to highlight the importance of women in the efforts to cease fighting between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland in the 1990s. Clinton, who's not Irish, was inducted into the hall of fame, while appropriately wearing green the day before St. Patrick's Day, because of her involvement in bringing peace to Ireland.
As her husband tried to end 30 years of dangerous religious divisions between Irish Catholics and Protestants in the 1990s, the then-first lady pitched in by making women a part of the peace accords. The Clintons lit a Christmas tree in Belfast in November 1995 that symbolized their efforts in the Irish peace process and marked the historic visit to Northern Ireland. The speech Clinton gave at her hall of fame induction ceremony in New York recognized the women who contributed to the Good Friday Agreement almost two decades ago, saying she accepted the award on "behalf of all the remarkable women that I met and admired in Northern Ireland." In her speech, Clinton said:
They simply would not take no for answer. I have seen this in many places around the country where women move from being victims to agents of change. But I have never seen it more clearly, most resolutely, than I saw in Northern Ireland.
Clinton said in her speech that lessons she learned during the peace process have stayed with her. She stated:
There is still work to be done, but that remains a crucial lesson. You cannot bring peace and security to people just by signing an agreement. In fact, most peace agreements don't last.
Niall O'Dowd, the Irish America co-founder, introduced Clinton as someone who made peace happen, adding a sly acknowledgment of Clinton's potential 2016 presidential bid, by saying he welcomes her and her "potential Ambassadors to Ireland, all 16 of you."
Clinton sat at the head table at the event with John Fitzpatrick, founder of Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, and Gerry Adams, president of Ireland's Sinn Féin political party, as everyone toasted pints of Guinness. Heather Humphrey, the Irish Minister for Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht, thanked Clinton, saying, "You certainly kept your word. Thank you for standing with us when peace was not the inevitable outcome."
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