Category: Archive

Newsbriefs Time to apply for immigrant grants

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Ray O’Hanlon

The Irish government is inviting Irish immigrant aid organizations in the U.S. to submit applications for grants.

Applications must be submitted to an Irish Consulate in New York, Boston, Chicago or San Francisco.

The final approval of grants will be up Ireland’s minister for foreign affairs, Brian Cowen.

A total of $300,000 has been set aside by the Irish government for distribution in the U.S. over the coming year. Including this sum, the Irish government has funded immigrant assistance groups in the U.S. to the tune of $2.8 million over the last 10 years.

Funding is primarily aimed at supporting organizations that provide information, advice and outreach services to immigrants.

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Applications should be submitted by July 7. Payment of grants will take place before the end of September.

Details on how to apply are available from Cáit Moran, Immigration Liaison Officer at the Irish Consulate in New York, (212) 319-2552. The Boston Consulate is at (617) 267-9330, Chicago is at (312) 337-1868, San Francisco is at (415) 392-4214.

Hevesi accuses company big

New York City Comptroller Alan Hevesi has accused a leading Northern Ireland company executive of using his position to sabotage the peace process.

Hevesi has written Philip Geier Jr., chairman and CEO of the Interpublic Group of Companies, complaining about the actions of the head of an Interpublic subsidiary in Belfast.

Specifically, Hevesi is accusing David Lyle of McCann-Erickson, a global advertising and market research company headquartered in New York, of allowing "sectarianism to run rampant at its Belfast subsidiary" while allowing the company’s "good name" to be used for attacking the peace process.

Hevesi, in his letter, accused Lyle of stepping beyond normal bounds by using McCann-Erickson letterhead to recently write to seven Ulster Unionist Party MPs urging them to oppose entry into a power-sharing Executive with Catholics. Lyle described the new North government as a "confidence trick" in the letter.

"This is one of the most egregious examples of misuse of company resources that I have ever come across," Hevesi wrote Geier.

Lyle has stated that his personal political views have never been secret and that along with results of a McCann-Erickson survey he had included his personal views in a letter to Ulster Unionist Party leader David Trimble and other Unionist MPs.

"This [letter] included my assessment, based on my research experience, that unionists will face electoral disaster if they accept the IRA’s terms," Lyle said in a statement.

McAllister hearing opens

The political asylum hearing for the McAllister family from Belfast is set to open in a New Jersey immigration court on Monday, June 12. The McAllisters — Malachy, Bernadette and their four children — are battling to remain in the U.S. as a result of a loyalist gun attack on the family’s Belfast home. The hearing is set for 9 a.m. at the federal building in Newark. For details, call (718) 436-4770.

Meanwhile, The New York City Council’s Committee on International Intergroup Relations has unanimously backed a resolution by Councilmember Katherine Freed urging asylum for the McAllisters.

Irish ‘Venus’ gets life

A Las Vegas court has passed a sentence of life with possibility of parole on Sandra "Sandy" Murphy, the so-called "Irish Venus," who was recently found guilty, along with an accomplice, of murdering her wealthy Casino-owning boyfriend with a lethal drug cocktail.

Murphy, who is 28, and Rick Tabish were convicted of poisoning and suffocating Ted Binion. The trial attracted strong media attention in Ireland because at one point Murphy was bailed to the tune of $300,000 and given luxury accommodation by wealthy Irish-born showbiz impresario Bill Fuller.

Fuller, a Kerry native who first brought Irish showband legend Brendan Boyer to America, lives in Las Vegas. He also covered Murphy’s legal expenses, which, according to reports, have exceeded $150,000.

Murphy and Tabish each received a 20-year term with possibility of parole after that time has been served.

Very Briefly

€ Aer Lingus is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance as of last week. The Irish carrier is now a partner of American Airlines, which itself is examining a possible merger with Northwest Airlines. The alliance will mean a passenger "code-sharing" arrangement involving Aer Lingus, American and several other global carriers.

€ President Clinton has signed into law legislation naming the federal courthouse in Manhattan after Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who is retiring from Congress early next year. Moynihan is the current Irish Echo Person of the Year.

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