I can happily report that I just received some great news from the ILIR. Following the changing of the guard in the Irish government Taoiseach Cowen has started his new career on an excellent note.
Unfortunately this week there was also bad news about Senator Edward Kennedy's health. The Friends and Family of the Undocumented send him our best and wish him a speedy recovery.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen Meets ILIR Chairman Niall O'Dowd: The Irish Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, met with the Chairman of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, Niall O'Dowd, this week in Dublin for an hour-long meeting on the plight of the undocumented Irish in the US.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr O'Dowd described it as "very positive," and said it was clear that Mr Cowen is totally committed to helping the undocumented Irish. Mr Cowen said he will be visiting the US soon and intends to meet with the ILIR and people from the community.
He told Mr O'Dowd that he wants to hear first-hand from those most affected by the situation.Mr Cowen noted that he had worked in the US as a student and understood the impact on the Irish American community. We will keep you posted on any new developments in relation to the Taoiseach's visit to the US.
Prayers for Senator Edward Kennedy: Senator Edward Kennedy, 76, who was diagnosed with brain cancer on Tuesday, is in our thoughts this week. His commitment to securing comprehensive immigration reform has made him a hero in our community. Senator Kennedy is a real giant of the Senate. He put immigration reform on the map and has worked tirelessly to try and ensure that undocumented immigrants are not exploited and find a fair way to ensure they can stay here legally.
Without his work this issue would not even be on the radar. He attended three of our ILIR rallies and his impassioned words in defense of the undocumented will stay with us for a long time. He's been an enormous friend to undocumented Irish as well as every single Irish person who's ever set foot in the United States.
We wish him the best in his battle against his illness and we are certain that if anyone can recover from this illness he can.
Wishing you a peaceful Memorial Day Weekend,
Kelly Fincham, Executive Director, ILIR