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Newsbriefs Hillary confers with deportees

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Ray O’Hanlon

First Lady and U.S. Senate candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton met four members of the group known as the deportees last Thursday afternoon in the offices of a Park Avenue law firm.

Clinton met with Robbie McErlean, Gabriel Megahey, Brian Pearson and Noel Gaynor, their wives and children.

"She gave no commitment to the group but indicated her personal interest in their plight," said one observer who attended the meeting, which was closed to the press.

Meanwhile, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy has written President Clinton on behalf of the four men and also two other deportees, Matt Morrison and Gerald McDade. All six were named by Attorney General Janet Reno when she announced suspension of deportation proceedings three years ago.

"While we agree a temporary suspension was proper, three years have elapsed and each of them has settled into the United States," McCarthy wrote.

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"We do not condone their actions, but we believe they need their freedom from political persecution and remain in the United States. We ask your assurance that these men and their families will no longer fear political persecution," McCarthy’s letter, which has been co-signed by a number of other representatives, concluded.

Delay in stab suit

Exactly three years after he was almost fatally stabbed by a drunken knife-wielding teenager, Mickey McGee is still awaiting the outcome of a lawsuit against the company that served his attacker alcohol.

McGee, from Emyvale, Co. Monaghan, is suing Aramark, a Philadelphia-based company that employed vendors during a New York Jets game at Giants Stadium on Oct. 19, 1997.

McGee’s attorneys contend that the teenager, who was later convicted of assaulting McGee, had been illegally served alcohol at the game.

"We had a settlement conference in September but a trial might not occur until December or January because Aramark have asked for more medical tests," McGee’s attorney, Desmond Lyons, told the Echo.

McGee and his attorneys are also considering lawsuits against the Jets and NFL, but a decision on whether to proceed depends on the outcome of the case against Aramark.

Death of Frank McKiernan

Frank McKiernan, a long-standing member of the Cavan Association and Cavan Gaelic Football Club in New York, died Sunday, a day shy of his 89th birthday. McKiernan will be waked Wednesday and Thursday from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the Riverdale-on-Hudson Funeral Home, Riverdale Avenue in the Bronx. His funeral Mass will be on Friday at 10 a.m. at St. Margaret’s Church, Riverdale.

Famine painting at BC

A Famine-era painting depicting the ravages of the Great Hunger has been unveiled at Boston College.

The oil painting, by R.G. Kelly, has been dated for the period 1848-51. The work, alternately entitled "A Tear and a Prayer for Erin" and "An Ejectment in Ireland," depicts the eviction of a family during the height of the famine.

The painting is on display in the John J. Burns Library Irish Room at Boston College.

"One of the few paintings of the Famine done at the time, it even sparked controversy in the House of Commons, as it dealt with a subject that didn’t please the British," said the Burns librarian, Robert O’Neill.

The painting is on a two-year loan to the library. The library has also acquired documents and photographs of Thomas Clarke, the first signatory of the 1916 Proclamation.

Reps. remember Rosemary

Five members of U.S. House of Representatives have issued a statement marking the second anniversary of testimony delivered in Washington by slain Northern Ireland human rights lawyer Rosemary Nelson.

Nelson told House members of receiving death threats during her testimony two years ago. A few months later she was killed in a car bombing.

The congressmen, Chris Smith, Donald Payne, Peter King, Joe Crowley and Jim Walsh, said they would never forget what happened to Nelson or attorney Patrick Finucane, who was murdered by loyalist gunmen.

In a statement, they called on the British government to take "decisive action" to protect defense attorneys in Northern Ireland.

"We renew our call for an RUC-free investigation of the brutal murder of Rosemary Nelson and ask once again for an independent judicial inquiry into the murder of Patrick Finucane," they said.

"After 18 months, the circumstances surrounding Rosemary Nelson’s murder, as well as the harassment she withstood while she was alive, are still not being adequately investigated."

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