Last Week I received a call from the CEO of an organisation I am linked in with called Safe Ireland, This organisation is one I am extremely passionate about, the work they do is outstanding, their commitment to stop Violence against Women is unstoppable. Anytime I receive a call from them is a privilege, but this call was certainly one of the best to date, Inviting me to accompany them to meet the Vice President of the United States Joe Biden In Dublin Castle…….. when I say my jaw nearly hit the floor I mean my jaw really did drop. Sharon said to me “I know its short notice but do you think you can get the kids sorted”??????? LOL I did not even have to think for a second, I jumped at this opportunity to attend and accepted with grace, gratitude and excitement. Out of anyone to go and personally meet him they invited me? I was so humbled and honoured that I received this invitation.
On the morning of the event the sun was shining, then raining, then shining, I had a beautiful red dress I bought from mango to wear to this event, but as the morning went on the rain got heavier and the red dress had to go back in the wardrobe, and out came the trousers, and the hair went up.
On the way into Dublin castle, I was so excited and I was starting to get nervous. I parked the car at a car park and was running through the city centre in the lashings of rain with a scarf over my head to protect my hair from the rain as we were not allowed to bring umbrellas, I finally got to Dublin Castle and there was a massive que to get inside, all I could see was blue ponchos everywhere, I then saw the crew I was attending with, we had some laugh all of us queuing to get inside to meet the VP and the rain is absolutely pouring down from the sky, at this point it got so real and I didn’t care about the rain, I was just so happy to be here at this event and spending the day with so many influential women. Women I look up to and admire so much for their hard work and commitment.
The Que begins to move and we then go inside where we are greeted by an airport like security system, it was all so organised with security everywhere I turned, bodyguards, assistants, the feeling so was surreal. We then got our VIP name badges and went inside to the grounds, this was an outdoor event so I grabbed one of the free ponchos to keep me dry. Walking in following our guide to show us where we would be standing, we walked in and we came to our area……… WOW we had our own area, a separate area for all of the organisations like Women’s Aid, Safe Ireland, The Rape Crisis Centre, National Women’s Council of Ireland and so much more. Standing right next to the Attorney General, The Minister for Justice.. Standing right in front of the stage where the Vice President would be speaking, we were all in shock with where we were positioned, we could not believe how close we where.
There was live Music from Mundy, The Chieftains, rish language band Seo Linn, singer-songwriter Sinead White, they were all so so cool, it was great having a bop in the rain listening to Irish music, then Irish Dancers came on the stage, the atmosphere was so positive, Irish and American flags in everyone’s hand, waving them in the air. Waiting patiently on Me Joe Biden, we then heard some powerful speeches from our Taoiseach Enda Kenny. The whole event was hosted by Ryan Tubridy who has us all giggling and laughing.
The time had finally come, out came mr Joe Biden, the screams got louder, the atmosphere got more ecstatic, he entered onstage and his bodyguards surrounded the stage, He began his speech and delivered an extremely powerful speech and at one point I got emotional, One thing that stuck in my mind was that he mentioned to pass onto your children that there is always possibilities, always follow your dreams and remember the world is full of possibilities and that is something I will take with me through life and pass onto my children. His empowering speech lasted about 30/40 minutes, I was looking around and I could see peoples eyes filling up with tears over this emotional speech, it was so silent, Seagals and helicopters in the sky, I’m thinking this is a beautiful moment. IMG_6470
His speech ended and the crowd went crazy, screams, cheers, chants, it was amazing and made me so proud to be Irish, a great day, a great speech and the best still hadn’t come……. IMG_6471
Now it was time to go and meet him personally inside of the building….. eeeeek I began to get so nervous, waiting patiently inside with our group and someone said what are you going to say to him????????? HUH????? we actually get to speak to him??? OMG I thought we were just getting a group picture??? well my nerves went from 20 – 100 in like 2 seconds……….. we all start thinking of what we were going to say, it was quite funny.
We had to que in a single file, it was like being back at school but sooooooo much more exciting, Its not everyday you meet the Vice president of the United States. Standing In the Que speaking to people in front and behind, asking if they were nervous thank god it was not just me…… I was getting closer to the top of the que, looking at him and his pleasant manner, it made me feel a lot more relaxed knowing he was a gentleman. BOOOOOOOOM it was my turn, my heart was racing like really racing, (when I’m nervous I smile a lot) I started walking upto him and before I got to him he said “wow you have a beautiful smile” (you know when someone says that and you then cannot stop smiling?) he shook my hand, I could not get the smile off my face, he then said you have beautiful eyes, he laughed and said “wow child your beautiful’ I placed my hand over my heart and thanked him, I introduced myself and informed him I was with safe Ireland, I thanked him for the work he was doing for all women around the world, he asked me who I take after for my smile, I told him it was my Mother, he said tell your Mother I said thank you, when I told him she had passed he apologised and said stay strong, he then hugged me and we took a photo, I had a lump in my throat……. that 1 – 2 min conversation was one of the best moments of my life, a moment I will never forget, a moment that filled me with so much pride, a beautiful story to tell my children and grandchildren. This moment I will cherish forever.
I could not help thinking about my Mam after he said that to me, she was definitely with me in spirit, I can only imagine how proud she would be knowing I met the Vice President.
This experience has left me with so many feelings, a mixture of emotions. One thing I took from this experience is always always do what you believe in no matter what people think of you, you do what you feel is right for you. There is a reason I was chosen to go and meet the VP I don’t know what that reason is but I do believe part of it is because I took control and stood up for what I believe in and I have always stayed true to myself.
I owe massive thanks to Sharon O’Halloran – the CEO of Safe Ireland for inviting me to this event, thank you so so much and I look froward to our future plans.
Lots of Love
P.S I will have the pic of myself and the VP emailed to me, Hopefully this week 🙂 😉