THE BILL CLINTON statue in Ballybunion owes its origins to an off-hand suggestion made by Dick Spring at Clinton’s holiday home in Martha’s Vineyard.
The former US President has golfed in town’s famous course on several occasions, with international media descending on the Kerry seaside spot on the first such occasion in 1998.
The famous round of golf led to a statue of Clinton being erected in Ballybunion and a play was even written about the occasion.
Spring, the then Labour leader and Tánaiste, joined Clinton on the links during that ’98 round but newly released State Papers show that the trip was four years in the making.
Spring visited President Clinton on the Massachusetts island in September 1994, mere days after the Provisional IRA had announced its first lasting ceasefire.
The “informal and extremely cordial”…