News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)

September 20, 2006

IAUC National Convention in Chicago Sept 29-30


Washington, DC: September 21, 2006 – On September 29th and
the 30th, the Irish American Unity Conference (IAUC) will hold
their 23rd Annual National Convention at the O'Hare Doubletree
Hotel, Chicago, Illinois.

Speakers at the convention will be covering some of the major
issues concerning Irish-Americans. These include: progress
toward a united Ireland, US immigration reform, the US UK
extradition treaty, the status of policing in Northern Ireland,
and the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the 1981 H-Block
Irish Hunger Strike.

Several renowned speakers will be present. They include:

* Nuala O'Loan - the Police Ombudsman for N. Ireland. Her office
provides an independent, impartial police complaints system for
the people and police under the Police (Northern Ireland) Act
1998 and 2000. Mrs. O’Loan is a Senior Lecturer in Law and has
held a Jean Monnet Chair in European Law at the University of
Ulster since 1992. She is currently the Chairman of the Northern
Ireland Consumer Committee for Electricity, and is also a Member
of the Police Authority for Northern Ireland, and Vice-Chair of
the Authority's Community Relations Committee.

* John Finucane - Pat Finucane’s son. Pat, a human rights lawyer
from West Belfast, was murdered in front of his wife and children
on 12 February 1989 by the pro-British Ulster Defense Association
(UDA) and British military intelligence. John will be coming to
speak on behalf of the efforts to have a truly independent
investigation into his father’s death.

* Bobby Lavery - a former Sinn Fein Belfast City Councilor

* Cara McShane - a Sinn Fein Councilor for County Antrim, N.

* Marian Walsh - one of the founding members of the Victims and
Survivors Trust in Belfast, a support organization for those who
have suffered or lost family members due to the conflict.

* Douglass Cassel - current director of the Center for Civil and
Human Rights and the Lilly Endowment Professor of Law at Notre
Dame Law School in Indiana.

* Jerry Boyle - a Chicago attorney and human rights activist who
has been campaigning against the US UK Extradition Treaty and
promoting fair immigration laws.

* Margo Harkin - a freelance producer who recently completed
programs on Bloody Sunday and the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike. Both
will be shown at the convention.

* Terry Kirby - a former H-Block blanket man and one of the 38
prisoners who escaped from the Maze Prison in 1983 in the largest
jailbreak in British history.

* Malachy McAllister – an American resident who faces deportation
after an immigration court denied his appeal for asylum.

* Matt Morrison – a participant in the civil rights march in
Derry that became known as “Bloody Sunday”.

* Maureen O’Looney – a Chicago IAUC member and lifelong Irish
Republican activist.

Annual awards will be presented to individuals who have
distinguished themselves by campaigning for peace and justice in a
united Ireland. These awards and winners for 2006 are:

:: Paul O'Dwyer Award - Congressman Chris Smith (NJ),

:: Sean MacBride Award - Bobby Lavery,

:: Patrick Finucane Award - Father Aidan Troy & Sean Cahill,

:: Dan O'Kennedy Award - Matt Morrison

:: Bernadette Barry Award – Jerry Lally

:: Special Recognition Award - John Finucane and to his mother
Geraldine for their campaign over the last year for an
independent investigation into Pat Finucane's death

:: Special Presentation Award: Deportees Ciaran Ferry,
Paul Harkin, Malachy McAllister, John McNicholl

Rick Coleman, the President of the IAUC-Chicago Chapter and local
members are looking forward to hosting a successful event which
will attract participants from across the United States and
# # #

Contact: Deanna Turner, National Director of Communications

Irish American Unity Conference
National Office
611 Pennsylvania Ave, SE #4150
Washington, D.C. 20003

Chicago Contact: Bill Chambers,
Midwest Regional Coordinator of the IAUC

National Press Officer: Jay Dooling

"Working for Justice and Peace in a Re-united Ireland”
nonpartisan, nonsectarian, chapter-based human rights
organization working for justice and peace in Ireland. We
are a wholly American 501(c)(4) organization that advocates
the end of British colonial occupation and the peaceful
reunification of Ireland. We endeavor to achieve these
goals by working through the American democratic process.
Individually, our members represent every occupational and
educational stratum in the United States.

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