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Ambassador Cecila Mackenna (centre) and her Irish cousins

Bernardo O'Higgins

Juan Mackenna

On September 18, 2010 Chile celebrated its bi-centennial, the 200 year anniversary of the Independence of Chile, An Neamhspleachas na Sile in the Irish language. The Irish and the Chileans have a history from its second holder of the title Supreme Director of Chile, Bernardo O'Higgins. He is considered the founding father because he held that title when Chile became fully independent of Spain. He was Irish and Basque, his father being Ambrosio O'Higgins, the 1st. Marquis of Osorno and his mother Isabel Riquelme, whose father Don Simon Riquelme y Goycolea, was a member of the Cabildo or Council of Chile. The flagship of the Armada de Chile is always named after Bernardo O'Higgins, currently it is a submarine SS 23 O'Higgins , which is rather unique.

The family of NAUTICAL LOG is Irish and Chilean, so it was a great pleasure to receive an article and the stamps issued, today from our family in Ireland. The "Irish Times" reported Friday, October 29, 2010 about the issuing of Irish stamps to commemorate two Irish officers involved with Chilean Independence. Bernardo O'Higgins 1778-1842, whose father was from County Sligo and John (Juan) Mackenna 1771-1814, who was born in County Monaghan.

From the "Irish Times" article we quote:

"The driving force behind the idea for the stamps was former Chilean Ambassador to Ireland and descendant of Juan Mackenna, Cecilia Mackenna. -----O'Higgins and Mackenna owed their presence in Chile to the tradition of young Irish men travelling to Spain for an education denied them at home."

Good Watch.


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Good Watch.