By Ray O’Hanlon
The fifth of five Irish nationals arrested by the Immigration and Naturalization Service was deported to Ireland last week after spending several days in detention.
The arrests took place at two business premises in the Upper Darby section of the city. All five had arrived in the U.S. under the provisions of the visa waiver program. One had been in the U.S. only three days before his arrest.
The arrests and deportations were in ironic contrast to the picture painted in a New York Times “Week In Review” story last Sunday detailing how an increasing number of legal Irish immigrants in the U.S. are choosing to return to Ireland at a time when the Irish economy is riding high.
The story included figures supplied by the Central Statistics Office in Dublin that showed that more Irish left the U.S. for Ireland than came to the U.S. from Ireland in 1996 and 1997.
In 1996, 5,200 Irish immigrated to the U.S., but 6,400 returned to Ireland. In 1997, 4,100 came to the U.S. and 6,600 went back.
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Youth team hosted
The 26 members of Ireland’s team which took part in the Empire State State Games for the Physically challenged were hosted Tuesday at a reception in the Irish Consulate in Manhattan.
The team, with a support group of roughly equal number, has been in the U.S. since May 23 and competed with distinction at the games held on Long Island. The team returns to Ireland June 8.
Another team of 16 physically challenged Irish athletes is expected in the U.S. in a few days to compete in the World Boccia Championships at Hofstra University. The athletes, all with cerebral palsy, will be accompanied by nine support staff. The championships are set for June 15-20.
Glenn proposes Sweeney
Sen. John Glenn has written to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright proposing former Ohio Rep. Robert Sweeney as the next U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. Sweeney is also being supported by the AOH in Ohio, and has been recommended for a post in the Clinton administration by Mutual of America chairman Bill Flynn.
Okies urge human rights
The Oklahoma House of Representatives has passed a resolution urging the upcoming Northern Ireland Assembly to take immediate action to protect human rights of all people in the North. The resolution was introduced by Rep. Gary Bastin at the behest of local American Irish Political Education Committee director, Hal Cousins.
“The denial of human rights has been at the heart of the conflict in Northern Ireland. Immediate action is a moral imperative,” said Cousins.
Hynes backed for guv
New York State Senate Minority Leader Martin Connor has backed Brooklyn District Attorney Charles “Joe” Hynes in his gubernatorial bid. Connor cited Hynes’s “long experience and spotless record” and described him as “a dedicated and principled public servant.”
Kind words for Flynn
Former Boston Police commissioner Francis “Mickey” Roache has endorsed his former boss Ray Flynn, who is currently running for the U.S. Congress. As mayor of Boston, Flynn was a fighter for working families and children who never forgot his Irish-Catholic roots, said Roache. He was speaking at a communion breakfast sponsored by the Watertown Ancient Order of Hibernians.