Minister Killeen Welcomes Pledge Of Support For Undocumented Irish

From: Dunphy PR
Published: Tue Jun 30 2009

The Chairman of the "Friends of Ireland," Congressman Richie Neal, today offered the group’s support to the case of the undocumented and pledged to further assist efforts to foster economic relations between the US and Ireland. Mr Neal made his comments during bi-lateral talks between the Friends of Ireland Congressional Delegation and an Irish Parliamentary delegation.

According to Minister of State Killeen: "The status of the undocumented Irish remains an issue of the highest priority for me and one that I have raised at Government level both in Ireland and the US on numerous occasions. Indeed, I have previously met with Congressman Neal in Washington and am delighted that he has again offered to support the case of the thousands of undocumented Irish."

The County Clare Deputy added: "Many Irish people have settled in the USA but, unable to return home, they have been separated from their families and their homes for many years. I am particularly pleased that the Friends of Ireland Congressional Delegation have pledged their support to this important issue. The group’s commitment to advance the case of undocumented is very important and much appreciated".

This week’s bi-lateral talks centred on the case of the undocumented Irish in the US, the Northern Ireland Peace Agreement, Ireland-US relations, International Fund for Ireland and the World Financial Crisis.

Commenting during his visit to Ireland, Congressman Neal said: "The need for a strong relationship between Ireland and the US is now more important than ever. The Friends of Ireland Congressional Group has a long tradition of cultivating and supporting links between Ireland and the US, and during our meetings with the Ceann Comhairle, Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Party Leaders we have undertaken to continue this support. We have also agreed to advance the case of the thousands of undocumented Irish in the US. Many of these people have made lives for themselves in America and contribute positively to the communities they live in. We feel a way must be found to accommodate the needs of this group of people."

The Friends of Ireland is a group of United States Congressmen, which promotes Irish interests in the US Houses of Representatives and helps to foster trade and cultural links between Ireland and the US.
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