Roscommon in the west of Ireland is twinned with Roscommon in the State of Michigan in the American midwest.
Thousands of miles away from the banks of the Shannon, lies Roscommon in the State of Michigan in the United States of America. Roscommon Herald reporter Mary Travers and United States Circuit Court Judge Timothy Green have traced the links between the two back to the 1830s. It was then that Charles O'Malley from Roscommon in Ireland, founded Roscommon, Michigan on Native American territory.
It was home, partially of the Chippewa.
But by all accounts, there was no opposition when when Charles O'Malley imposed the name of Roscommon on the area.
Seán Doherty, former Minister for Justice and Regional Tourism Chairman spearheaded a plan to twin the two Roscommons. The resulting twinning ceremony was attended by Judge Greene, his wife Alma and Father John McCracken. The guests were welcomed by Senator Brian Mullooly and other leading political figures and members of Roscommon County Council.
Senator Mulloley gave an address of welcome and friendship,
Roscommon County Council extends a sincere expression of fellowship and friendship with Roscommon County, Michigan with whom it shares a similarity of environment and development aspirations for tourism, with the hope that the sharing of experiences by both Counties can lead to the realisation of benefits for the respective communities.
Liam Naughten Fine Gael TD for the Roscommon constituency also addressed the gathering and presented the judge and his wife with plaques. All of the American guests received gifts of locally crafted products to mark the occasion, however the biggest surprise of the day came when Deputy Doherty presented Judge Green with his very own Irish passport.
In his speech Judge Greene noted his assignation to rule on what has become known as ‘the surrogate twins case’ pending in America. When people read about the case he wants to remind them that he is
Tim Green from Roscommon, not from Michigan.
In time Judge Green wants to see closer cultural and economic links between Roscommon in Ireland and Roscommon, Michigan.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 23 September 1987. The reporter is Jim Fahy.