William Clay Jnr following in the footsteps of his great grandfather

May 3rd, 2017 5:22 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Unveiling the bench in Ballinascarthy was William Clay Ford Jnr watched by Ned O'Flynn, Ballinascarthy and Ciarán McMahon of Ford Ireland. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

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 IT was in order to pay tribute to his great grandfather that brought William Clay Ford Jr and his family to visit Ballinascarthy last Thursday.

The family were in West Cork as part of the Ford Motor Company’s 100-year celebrations in Ireland.

‘I absolutely feel a strong connection to Ballinascarthy and I’ve bought my family with me as I have on prior visits and it’s great, it’s something that’s very important to me,’ William Clay Ford Jr told The Southern Star.

William, who is the executive chairman of  the Ford Motor Company, unveiled a plaque next to the silver Model T car to mark the centenary of the Ford company in Ireland. 

This was followed by the unveiling of a wooden bench presented by Ford Ireland with a quote inscribed from Henry Ford – ‘Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason who so few engage in it.’

A reception in the community hall afterwards saw William Clay Ford Jr address a large attendance, including the local Henry Ford committee members who organised the event. 

Tributes were paid to the former chairman Leo Meade, and committee member Sean Dineen, who both passed away recently.

‘We couldn’t be happier to be here and this is where it all began. Long before my great grandfather Henry Ford became a legend, he was just a person with a dream and in 1903 he started the Ford Motor Company and as many of you know, he failed before that,’ said William.

‘It’s very rare certainly in America to have a family company 100 years later, still run by the family. This is our heritage and this is where the Ford Motor Company began, in a metaphorical sense.’

Following the reception, the Ford family visited the ancestral burial ground in Killnagross as well as the Ford homestead in Crohane.

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