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August 29, 2005

2005 IAUC National Convention

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2005 National Convention
Friday, September 30 - Sunday, October 2, 2005

Westin Convention Center - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Make your Reservations for the 22nd Annual IAUC Convention!



Irish Activists to Gather for 22nd National Convention -
July 13 2005

Dear Friends of Ireland:

The 22nd Annual IAUC Convention will be September 30 to
October 2, 2005 at the Westin Convention Center in
Pittsburgh, PA

This year's theme focuses on advancing democracy in
Northern Ireland and what Irish-American Organizations can
do to help. We hope to open the discussion for attendees
and participants on how Americans can promote the
implementation of the Good Friday Agreement to bring
representative democracy to the citizens of the six

We are pleased that the leaders of many Irish-American
organizations have accepted our invitation to participate
in panel discussions on Saturday, October 1. Our other
distinguished speakers
( will include:

· Judge Peter Cory, whose investigation recommended public
inquiries into the killings of Pat Finucane, Robert Hamill,
Rosemary Nelson and Billy Wright

· Máirtín Ó'Muilleoir, journalist and author of "Belfast's
Dome of Delight"

· Mary Nelis, former Sinn Féin MLA, recipient of the 2005
Paul O'Dwyer Award

· Professor Ruan O'Donnell of the University of Limerick,
historian of the Robert Emmet Association and author

· Professor Jim Vincent of Robert Morris University whose
work includes "Tangled Roots": the Troubled History of
Irish-Americans and African-Americans

· Bill Rolston, Professor of Sociology at the University of
Ulster and author

· Diane Byrnes, radio host of Echoes of Erin

· James Lamb, Vice President, Ireland Institute of

· "Lifting a Dark Cloud" a documentary on the murder of
Kathleen Thompson produced by the Pat Finucane Center will
be shown at the convention.

This year's convention promises to be informative,
educational and enjoyable. We hope you will attend, share
your views and lend your support.

Please complete the registration form
( ) and return it
at your earliest convenience.

On behalf of President Somers and the Convention Committee,
we look forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh this fall.


Sarah McAuliffe-Bellin,
Convention Chair

Proposed Schedule of Events

(Subject to change)

Friday, September 30:

* Arrival and registration
* IAUC Board Meeting - 1pm to 5pm (open to all IAUC
* Hors d'oeuvres and Diane Byrnes, Host of Echoes of Erin -
Featured Speaker 7pm - 9pm
(Open to members and non-members dinner not included)

Saturday, October 1:

* Registration
* Saturday Morning Continental Breakfast 7:30 am - 8:30am
* Morning Speakers/Panel Presentations 9 am - 11:30 am
* Lunch and Awards Presentations 11:45 am - 12:45 pm
* Afternoon Speakers/Panel Presentations - 1:00 pm - 4:30pm
* Dinner & Keynote Speaker and Award Presentations 7pm -
* Music and Entertainment to follow
(Saturday events are open to members and non-members)

Sunday, October 2:

* Breakfast - 7:30am - 8:30 am
* IAUC General Meeting - Chapter Reports, Resolutions
Presentations and Officer Elections
9:00 am- 1 pm (IAUC members only)


Register for the 22nd Annual IAUC Convention - click here -

The 3-day registration fee of $150 includes all events and
meals listed above. Registration Packets will be mailed out
to all IAUC Members and posted on the Website soon.
Bringing a spouse or friend who wants to do some exploring
in Pittsburgh? Informational brochures on Pittsburgh and
the surrounding vicinity are available by request.

For any questions please contact Convention Chair by email:
Sarah McAuliffe-Bellin or call the IAUC Toll Free Number at
1-800-947-4282 and leave a message or direct dial 412-782-


Hotel Reservations must be made separately with the Westin
Convention Center $99/night

Call: 1-800-WESTIN1 or #412-281-3700 or book online.


Site: Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh
1000 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Telephone for reservations: 412-281-3700

Guest Room Rates: $99/night for Singles and Double/Twins +

The Westin has 616 guest rooms available 80% of which are
non-smoking. Check out the website for all the room
features and hotel amenities – this is a beautiful hotel
with some striking views of the city skyline. There is an
indoor pool and health club with sauna, steam room,
whirlpool and massage and other features.

The Westin is less than 2 blocks from the Amtrak Train
Station and the Greyhound Bus Station. There is parking on-
site and off-site parking (one block away for a cheaper
rate).Cabs are available here but I don't recommend them
for trips to and from the airport. Express shuttle service
to and from the airport. The rate is: $17 one-way and $32
round trip. The local port authority bus service may also
have a flyer shuttle from town to the airport.

As of May 2005, Southwest Airlines is flying nonstop
service from 4 cities to Pittsburgh: Chicago, Philadelphia,
Orlando and Las Vegas. My understanding is airfare prices
start at $29/one way. There may be more cities added by
then. Other airlines will be dropping their prices to
compete with Southwest. Check with an online site such as
Travelocity or Expedia or your travel agent.


We are pleased to announce that Minty Thompson, the
daughter of Kathleen Thompson, the woman who is the subject
of the documentary 'Lifting a Dark Cloud-The Kathleen
Thompson case' recently shown at the Belfast Film Festival,
is sending a copy of the film about her mother for
screening at the National Convention. Minty lived in
Pittsburgh under the Wider Horizons program before moving
back to Ireland and she hopes to visit Pittsburgh during
the convention if possible and bring the Relatives for
Justice Quilt that has a square dedicated to her mother on

For the Friday evening social, we hope to have Diane
Byrnes, host of the Pittsburgh based radio program: Echoes
of Erin, speak about Irish emigration to the Western PA

Andy Somers has requested that individuals or chapters
consider making a specific donation toward under-writing
speaker travel fees to help defray some convention costs.
If you are interested, please make the checks payable to
the IAUC with a notation that it is for speaker costs.

Send the check to:

Irish American Unity Conference
PO Box 81974 Pittsburgh, PA 15217

Contributors will receive a mention in the Convention
Program Journal. Any questions, please contact me at #412-
782-2715 or email: Sarah McAuliffe-Bellin

Sarah McAuliffe-Bellin, Convention Chair

IAUC Convention Journal Ads

Submission Due Date: September 10, 2005

Help promote democracy, civil rights, justice and peace in
Ireland by placing an advertisement or a special message in
the IAUC's 22nd annual convention program journal.

The journal will be distributed to all attendees of the
22nd annual national convention in Pittsburgh (September
30-October 2, 2005) and will be also be available for a
limited time by special mail order after the convention.
Reach out to other Irish Americans, politicians and
businesses and help the cause for peace and justice in a
re-united Ireland.

National Journal Coordinator: George Trainor, Vice
President, IAUC San Francisco Chapter. George will be
contacting chapters and helping solicit national
advertising for the journal.

JOURNAL AD ORDER FORM - click here –

For Paper Ads and payments send to:

Irish American Unity Conference
c/o Jean & Robert Kaniecki
PO Box 81974
Pittsburgh, PA 15217

E-mail copy should be sent to: Terry Griffith

Request for National Convention Raffle Donations

The National Convention Raffle Committee would like to
enlist the help of all chapters to make this year's
convention raffle a success. We are asking each chapter to
participate ensuring the success of the raffle by donating
an item/s for the raffle.

Even if members from your chapter are unable to attend,
they can contribute in this small way. Suggested items,
Irish collectibles, prints, signed books, glassware/pottery
or simply something unique from your chapters' location;
even a cash donation as a prize is a great incentive to buy
raffle tickets!

The convention is to be held in Pittsburgh on Sept. 30 –
Oct. 2. While it may seem early to begin this request, I
wanted to be sure that chapters have plenty of time to
include this item on your next meeting agenda; as some
chapters do not meet every month. We will need to receive
items by Aug. 1 in order to put together raffle
advertisement information highlighting the great prizes
that can be won. We'll send out a message so that all IAUC
members who cannot attend the convention are still able to
send for raffle tickets if they wish to participate.

For further raffle information contact: Gretchen Bales,
Raffle Chair ( Tel: #765-286-

or Jim Caldwell ( )

We hope to hear from all of you and thanks for your
continued hard work and dedication.

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