Here are a couple of pictures of Patrick Fitzgerald (special prosecutor) when he came to Ireland in 2001. These were taken just before he was appointed United States attorney for Chicago. He is a first cousin of mine. My name is Gerald Horgan but my mother was Bridget Fitzgerald from Kilmaley, Co . Clare. An aunt of Patrick and godmother to him. Included in the pictures are cousins in Co. Waterford, Patrick enjoying his stay in the Dingle Peninsula. Please note all photographs are copyrighted by Gerald Horgan and cannot be used without permission. Please wait a couple of seconds for the pictures to appear as they are in a Flash format.
By Sean O' Driscoll Irish Village Voice
Mary Downes from Kilmaley in Co. Clare has a stack of American newspaper cuttings. Her husband, Michael Downes, who refuels planes at Shannon Airport, has collected newspapers left by passengers and brought them home.
Most days, the front pages scream headlines about Mary's first cousin, Patrick Fitzgerald, the unrelenting federal prosecutor who just indicted Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff I. Lewis Scooter? Libby for revealing a CIA agent's identity.
We're going to have to get a scrapbook very soon, says Mary, who had a visit from People magazine this week as she was about to take her two kids to Irish dancing classes.
We saw this woman coming up the driveway, and I was thinking, Who on earth could that be ?
She was very friendly. She was on holidays in Connemara and People magazine wanted her to come down to Kilmaley to see the family and hear a bit about the family history, she says.
These days, everybody wants to know about Patrick Fitzgerald, the only man in America who could bring down the Bush administration.
Fitzgerald has been a frequent visitor to his cousins house over the years. As a child, Marys mother, Mary Fitzgerald, a sister of Patricks father, grabbed Patrick from the back of a pony just as he was leading into a cow shed.
The elder Mary told the Irish Voice, He was on the back of the pony with his cousin, Kevin. It was a new cowshed. He's lucky I caught them, they could have split their head open on the concrete. You couldn't watch them the whole time.
Mary Fitzgerald recalls her famous nephew as well mannered and a little mischievous as a young boy.
I had to hide the hay ladder because as soon my back was turned, they were up there and knocking down the bails, she remembers.
Patrick often came to Kilmaley for vacations with his father, Pat, his mother, Tillie, and his siblings. All of them give a hand taking in the hay during the summer months.
Pat Senior had left Kilmaley to find a new life in the States, where he met Tillie, from Feakle in east Clare. Like his son, Patrick Senior, or Paki, as he is known in the family, had a reputation for hard work.
Paddy Cahill, a 90-year-old neighbor of the Fitzgerald family in Kilmaley, remembers Paki running to make it early to work at a quarry in Darragh, near Ennis, where he worked before emigrating to New York.
Paki got a job as a doorman on an apartment block on Manhattan's Upper East Side, and he and Tillie started a family together.
When their children were old enough, the family returned to Kilmaley and Feakle regularly, recalls Mary Downes.
Paki missed Kilmaley very much, I think. He was always so happy to be home, she said. Tillie was one of the nicest people you could meet. She was always jolly, always happy to see you.
Between visits, Tillie mailed her niece in Ireland boxes of clothes. You know how it is, a lot of Irish families had the box sent over from the relatives in America. Tillie loved to send us green for St. Patrick's Day, and I mean green Mary says with a laugh.
She remembers going down to the shop in Kilmaley to buy rashers and sausages for the American visitors.
Pat and his brother John loved sausages and rashers. I remember us going down to the shops to keep them supplied, she says.
They were great fellas. Pat was always very bright, but even when he was making it big as an attorney, you'd never think it about him, he was always so easy going. There was never any bull, she said.
Patrick and John took up the accordion and visited Kilmaley on their way to compete in the Irish national traditional music championships in Buncrana, Co. Donegal.
Pat was very young at that stage, probably only 13, but they were willing to travel, they loved the music, says Mary.
When he visited, young Pat played the accordion at Carney's in Connolly village, to the west of Kilmaley. He also chatted with locals at the Kilmaley Inn, showing an acute interest in his family history.
When he left high school, Pat worked as a doorman, like his father. During the way, he called cabs for the wealthy elite of Manhattan's Upper East Side. At night, he studied law, eventually becoming a New York federal prosecutor.
When it was time to take over the Chicago office in 2001, he first went to Kilmaley to get away from it all.
He went down to the Kilmaley Inn and met the locals again, and traveled to the trad music town of Doolin before visiting his mother's family in Feakle.
He also visited Gerald Horgan, his cousin in Dingle, Co. Kerry who shared the pony ride all those years ago.
Mary Downes continues to keep the clippings and sees cousin Pat on the Irish main evening news many nights.
I had him taped the other night, she says. It was on the same tape as Fair City, the soap opera. But I think Pat's case is just a lot more important. It won't be taped over!?
(c) 2006 Dingle Region