Category: Archive

Irish-American NewsbriefsAhern to speak in Boston

February 15, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Ray O’Hanlon

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is to deliver the annual commencement address at Boston College’s 122nd Commencement Exercises on Monday, May 18. Ahern will also receive an honorary law degree during the ceremony. The Boston visit will be just four days before voters in Ireland deliver their verdict on the April 10 Northern Ireland peace agreement and Ahern, in his address, is expected to advance the Irish government’s position in support of a “yes” vote in the Republic’s referendum.

Meanwhile, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, who chaired the talks preceding the accord, is the scheduled commencement speaker at the University of New Hampshire on May 23. Mitchell last week received an honorary law degree from Trinity College Dublin.

FERRIS COMING Martin Ferris, member of the Sinn FTin _rd comhairle and the party’s negotiating team, is expected to deliver the party’s definitive views on the Northern Ireland peace accord at a public meeting on Monday, May, 11 at Rory Dolan’s, McLean Avenue, Yonkers at 8 p.m. Ferris will be flying to the U.S. immediately after the Sinn FTin special _rd fheis, which will this weekend decide the party’s formal response to the agreement. The event at Rory Dolan’s is open to all and admission is free.

BEN TO BILL Rep. Ben Gilman has urged President Clinton to sign into law the foreign aid bill that includes congressional MacBride Principles legislation.

Gilman, who chairs the House International Relations Committee and is co-chair of the congressional Ad Hoc Committee for Irish Affairs, wants Clinton to move quickly on the bill, which has been passed by both the House and U.S. Senate.

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In a statement, Gilman described the MacBride component of the bill as being a help in cementing the April 10 peace agreement in Northern Ireland.

The MacBride portion of the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act requires organizations receiving funds from the International Fund for Ireland to comply with the nine fair employment guidelines named after the late Sean MacBride.

TDs HERE A delegation of the Ireland-U.S. Interparliamentary Group led by Speaker of the D_il or Ceann Comhairle Seamus Pattison TD is visiting New York, Boston and Washington, D.C, this week.

The delegation comprises Pattison, Progressive Democrat Desmond O’Malley, who chairs the D_il’s Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, TDs Brendan Smith, Michael Kitt and Matt Brennan of Fianna F_il; Alan Shatter, Michael Noonan and Dinny McGinley of Fine Gael; Dr. Pat Upton of Labor and Independent TD Thomas Gildea.

D.C. BRIEFING Bernadette Sands McKevitt and Rory Dougan of the 32-County Sovereignty Committee concluded their U.S. visit in Washington, D.C., last week by briefing several members of Congress, including Reps. Peter King, Richard Neal and Jim Walsh, chairman of the Friends of Ireland.

The duo used the meetings to criticize the April 10 peace accord for Northern Ireland.

“The central flaw of the document is that it continues the denial of the right of the Irish people to national sovereignty and continues British colonial rule,” Sands-McKevitt said is a statement arising from the Washington meetings.

VERY BRIEFLY Members of Irish Northern Aid held the group’s 17th annual Hunger Strike Commemoration outside the office of British Airways in Manhattan on Saturday, May 2.

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