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)

February 19, 2007

IAUC Welcomes Obama's Statement on N Ireland

IAUC Welcomes Obama's Statement On N Ireland

WASHINGTON, DC – 02/19/2007 - The Irish American Unity
Conference (IAUC) welcomes Senator Barack Obama’s statement
on Northern Ireland (see full statement below) and
encourages other Presidential hopefuls to announce their
position on the Irish peace process.

Senator Obama supports a devolved government as outlined in
the St. Andrews Agreement. He implores the Democratic
Unionist Party to commit to a power-sharing executive
after the March 7, 2007 election for the Assembly. Further,
Senator Obama stressed that the president of the United
States should be personally involved in the Irish peace

The IAUC believes that without the involvement of President
Bill Clinton and former Senator George Mitchell that the
people of Ireland would not have the Good Friday Agreement.
The U.S. carries significant influence with the people of
Ireland and the United Kingdom.

We would hope that the current and future administrations
would concur with Senator Obama and put the Irish peace
process back on the front burner. The Good Friday
Agreement has been hailed as a model for peaceful
resolution of conflicts around the world.

We encourage other candidates for presidential nominations
to follow Senator Obama’s lead and issue statements on
their positions on the Irish peace process.

Senator’s Obama’s full statement:

"My family's story may be familiar to Irish Americans -- a
distant homeland, a journey across an ocean in search of
opportunity. Like many Americans of Irish descent, I too
have made the journey to my family's homeland.

"In 1987, I first traveled to Kenya, the birthplace of my
father. I discovered a warm sense of community. I
discovered a land with an unforgettably haunting beauty. I
discovered a people determined to grab hold of hope. In
short, I made discoveries that are familiar to scores of
Irish Americans.

"The determined optimism of the Irish people has enabled
them to grab hold of hope in the United States, from South
Boston to the south side of Chicago. It's an optimism
expressed in three issues so important to Irish Americans
today: a lasting peace in Northern Ireland, an American
immigration policy that keeps faith with our tradition of
offering opportunity to those who seek it, and strong
economic and cultural ties between our two nations.

"As I chair the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on
Europe, and as I travel around the country learning from
and listening to the American people, I will be advancing
ideas and policies to meet these goals.

"After years of hard-earned progress, Northern Ireland is
now poised to take another step forward. The IRA has
abandoned violence and arms and Sinn Fein has now voted to
support the PSNI. They have, in the words of Tony Blair,
made a commitment that 'has been historic and has been

"To seize this hopeful moment, the Democratic Unionist
party should take the next step outlined in the St.
Andrew's agreement: a commitment to a power-sharing
executive after March elections, so Northern Ireland can
continue the process of peace that its people so clearly
wish to follow.

"The gains of the last decade were in part made possible by
U.S. engagement. Going forward, we should continue the
practice of having a special envoy for Northern Ireland,
and the our president should personally engage on where
America can play a constructive role, working closely with
the Irish Taoiseach, the British prime minister, and party
leaders in Northern Ireland.

"We must also pursue immigration policies that keep open
the doors of opportunity in our own country. My father's
experience has informed my own views on the issue, and I
have seen the enormous contributions that Irish immigrants
have made to this country. Last summer, I joined hundreds
of thousands of people in Chicago to march on behalf of
immigration reform, walking shoulder to shoulder with many
Irish Americans who shared their own personal stories of
hope and opportunity.

"Yet our system is broken, and fixing it demands a
comprehensive approach. Last year, I reached across the
aisle to work with Republicans on this. Our proposal would
strengthen border security and prohibit employers from
hiring illegal immigrants, but it also recognizes that the
deportation of 12 million people is impossible.

"That's why it proposes a tough, earned path to citizenship
for those in the United States illegally; replaces the
flood of undocumented workers with a new flow of
guestworkers; and ensures that law-abiding immigrants are
welcome to pursue their dreams.

"The ties between America and Ireland go far beyond
bloodlines. U.S. investment in Ireland helped create the
Celtic Tiger, and Ireland's economic success has in turn
led to a boom in Irish investment in the United States.
Incalculable cultural exchanges draw us together, as do
common causes and common beliefs.

"In 1963, John F. Kennedy made his own journey in reverse
and addressed the Irish Parliament. He cited the principles
that unite our countries, quoting George Bernard Shaw's
command to 'dream of things that never were, and ask why
not,' and paying tribute to an Ireland that 'sent their
doctors and technicians and soldiers and priests to help
other lands to keep their liberty alive.'

"Today, President Kennedy would be pleased - but not
surprised - to find the Irish working to lift up other
lands from east Africa to east Asia, and to find an Ireland
that has come so very far on its own. The story of our two
countries is constantly evolving and joined together. I
welcome this opportunity to be a part of that story, and
look forward to hearing your concerns in the months ahead."

Source of Senator Obama’s statement:

Obama's Irish pitch

Senator would 'personally engage' on peace process

By Ray O'Hanlon

"Working for Justice & 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 501c(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.

Deanna Turner
Director of Communications

National Office
611 Pennsylvania Ave, SE #4150
Washington, D.C. 20003

Robert “Jay” Dooling Press Relations Officer
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?