William Clay Ford Jr., Executive Chairman of the Ford Motor Company, and great-grandson of Henry Ford, has returned to the ancestral home of the Ford family in Ballinascarthy in Co Cork to commemorate 100 years of Ford in Ireland, writes Trish Whelan.
Yesterday, he unveiled a commemorative plaque and bench in Ballinascarthy to mark the 100 years since Henry Ford established Henry Ford & Son Limited in Cork. The unveiling took place in the centre of the village beside the life-size statue of a Model T Ford that was erected in 2000. The site also includes commemorative plaques marking visits to the area by other Ford family relatives.
Mr Ford said “This is the metaphorical home of the Ford Motor Company. Just like Henry Ford, we could not be more proud of our family history and our Ballinascarthy roots are a huge part of that pride. That is why we are here today.”
He and his wife, Lisa (in front) and their sons, Nick and Will are pictured above at the life-size statue of a Model T in Ballinascarthy. Mr Ford is pictured below at the Ford ancestral home.
Henry Ford’s father, William Ford, and his family, emigrated to the US from Ballinascarthy in 1847 during the Famine. Henry Ford was subsequently born in Michigan in 1863. In 1903, he set up the Ford Motor Company and 14 years later, he came back to his ancestral home city and set up Henry Ford & Son Limited on the Marina in Cork.