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Dan Rooney Appointed as Ambassador to Ireland

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Happy St. Patrick's Day folks. On St. Patrick's Day, Obama appointed Mr. Rooney as ambassador to Ireland. The 76-year-old has been working within the Steelers' organization for his entire life and was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2000 as the team owner. He is the son of Art Rooney, the Steelers' founder. Rooney supported Obama during the campaign trail and was the first person Mr. Rooney thanked after winning the Super Bowl this past year.

"I am honored and grateful that such a dedicated and accomplished individual has agreed to serve as the representative of the United States to the Irish people," Obama said in a statement on Tuesday. He added, “Dan Rooney is an unwavering supporter of Irish peace, culture, and education, and I have every confidence that he and Secretary Clinton will ensure America’s continued close and unique partnership with Ireland in the years ahead.”

Mr. Rooney has been an advocate of Irish rights for years, four generations actually. He wants peace in Northern Ireland. He co-founded with Sir Anthony O’Reilly the American Ireland Fund in 1976. It has raised over $250 million. The foundation is all about peace, reconciliation, community development, education, arts and the culture of Ireland.

Many Pittsburgh fans disagreed that Rooney should have publicly supported Obama, saying football and politics should not mix. Rooney was actually booed at the Super Bowl when he thanked Obama first. (Obviously, the Steeler fans quickly got over this as the Steelers won their sixth Super Bowl.) Rooney was actually a lifelong Republican before siding with Obama.

Obama seemed confident that Dan Rooney is the right man for the job. The Steelers have already adjusted to this, as Dan's son takes care of the most of the Steelers' business. Meanwhile, Dan Rooney is off to Dublin.

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