DAVID and Patsy Puttnam said they were warned before going to the citizenship ceremony at the INEC in Killarney recently that it would be ‘emotional’.
‘Be prepared is what one friend said,’ Patsy told The Southern Star, ‘and they were absolutely right – it was really very, very emotional.
‘There were 950 people from 92 countries and the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee gave the most stunningly welcoming speech. It was really beautiful.
‘She wasn’t just saying “you are here now” she was saying “we really welcome you”. She almost turned it around and said our country is going to better because you are coming here with your skills.
‘That is so unlike my own country, the UK, who would think you were incredibly lucky to get there,’ added Patsy, who was also taken with retired judge Paddy McMahon’s comment that their rights are now exactly the same as his.
Describing the 45-minute ceremony, Patsy said the day was so beautiful in Killarney. ‘It is a magical place anyway, but on this occasion the sun really did shine on everyone.’
The views of both the Oscar-winning producer and his wife about Brexit are already firmly on the record.
‘What our country had become because of Brexit didn’t feel like our country anymore – it was standing for things, values, we hadn’t been brought up with. For me,’ said Patsy, ‘it has cut itself off from the world. It has certainly it has cut itself off from Europe, and it doesn’t mind how it upsets other countries.
‘Here, we are trying to bring everyone together and there is a government cutting us off from each other.’
David and Patsy have had a beautiful house in Skibbereen for 32 years, but it was only since 2009 that they made it their home.
‘I have always thought you can have as many houses as you like, but you can have only one home,’ she said.
Clearly, the couple are ‘totally at home’ in West Cork. ‘After all this time,’ said Patsy, ‘you can imagine how many friends we have made – not just Skibbereen and West Cork, but all over. It is amazing.’ Now that the couple are Irish citizens, Ireland is officially home. And, Patsy added: ‘The people of Skibbereen are family.’