Category: Archive

Newsbriefs Irish American Presidential Forum set for March

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Ray O’Hanlon

The fifth Irish American presidential forum has been tentatively set for Sunday, March 5, two days before the New York State primary.

The event, formally entitled "Irish American Presidential Forum, 2000" will be held at John Jay College in midtown Manhattan.

The event is being organized on a bipartisan basis by former Democratic Assemblyman John Dearie, GOP congressman Peter King, and Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley.

The three, in a statement, said the forum would provide an opportunity for presidential candidates of both parties to think seriously about America’s role and relationship to Ireland and Northern Ireland and to respond to the issues paramount to the Irish-American community across the U.S.

"All candidates of both major parties, Republican and Democrat, are being invited, as well as candidates of the Reform Party, including Patrick Buchanan and Donald Trump," the three said in a statement.

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"Since one of these candidates will be the post-President Clinton White House occupant, this forum will be the most critical since candidate Bill Clinton, in April 1992, at that year’s forum, committed himself to granting a visa to Gerry Adams and an active American participation in the Northern Ireland peace process," Dearie said.

Dearie inaugurated the forum in 1984. It attracted Democratic nominee and Vice President Walter Mondale. Al Gore and Michael Dukakis attended in 1988. In ’92, Clinton was matched by Jerry Brown. Al Gore again attended in ’96, the first year that the forum was organized by members of both main political parties.

Meanwhile, Irish American organizations and individuals are being invited by the organizers of Forum 2000 to formulate questions for those candidates who attend. Questions should be sent to the Queens Congressional District Office, 82-11 37th Ave., Suite 607, Jackson Heights, NY 11372.

Reps. want more IFI bucks

Twenty-eight members of Congress from both main parties have signed a letter to the Clinton administration asking that the annual U.S. contribution to the International Fund for Ireland be more than doubled in fiscal year 2001.

At present, the annual U.S. contribution to the IFI is $19.6. The representatives want it raised to $40 million.

The letter was initiated by Queens Democrat Joe Crowley and sent to Jacob Lew, Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

"With the peace process now firmly in place, we expect additional foreign investment in the region. One of the best ways to stimulate this money and ensure its effective use is through an increase in the U.S. contribution to the IFI," the letter states.

During a recent visit to New York, First Lady and U.S. Senate candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said she favored increasing the annual U.S. contribution to the $40 million mark.

McAllister hearing

A rescheduled hearing in the McAllister family deportation case has been set for Feb. 8 in the federal building in Newark, N.J.

The McAllisters, from Belfast, are battling U.S. deportation efforts because they believe their lives will be endangered if they are forced to return to Northern Ireland. Before coming to the U.S., the family home was attacked by loyalist gunmen.

The hearing is listed for 8.30 a.m. The federal building is at 970 Broad St. in downtown Newark. For more details call (973)594-1253.

Meanwhile, a social in support of the McAllister campaign is being held on Sunday, January 23 at 4 p.m. at the Yates Tavern, 42-24 Bell Blvd. in Bayside, Queens. Suggested donation is $10.

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