Diaspora key to delivering on vision of Proclamation – Ó Clochartaigh
Irish emigrants are key to the delivery of the vision embodied in the words of the Proclamation according to Sinn Féin Diaspora spokesperson, Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.
Speaking after a series of events in San Francisco to commemorate the 1916 Rising, the Galway West – South Mayo Senator says:
‘The Proclamation speaks of cherishing all the children of the nation equally. That includes those Irish people who have had to leave Ireland for whatever reason.
‘Many of those Irish have done very well and have strongly supported the struggle for a United Ireland, civil and economic rights. The publication of a special academic report on ‘Modelling Irish Unity’ in Ireland this week, which was developed in conjunction with the University of British Columbia by our emigrant community here, shows the positive role they are still playing in shaping a better Ireland.
‘The presence of over 400 delegates from across the United States and Canada at a special Friends of Sinn Féin commemorative event in the Mansion House in Dublin last week also emphasises the crucial role that leading politicians, labour leaders, business people and community representatives play in influencing policy decisions in relation to Ireland in their home countries.
‘With an estimated diaspora of 70 million people, 40 million of whom live in North America, Ireland has unique challenges and opportunities in supporting its sons and daughters abroad and harnessing the incredible potential they offer us as a nation as well.
‘Here in San Francisco I have witnessed once again the commitment of the Irish community to the ideals of the Proclamation and their untiring support in achieving the goals envisioned in it. I have also met many people who for one reason or another cannot come home to Ireland and who need us to support them also.
‘The Irish government has failed utterly in recognising the legitimate rights of the Irish abroad to vote in elections or have political representation in the Houses of the Oireachtas. Sinn Féin remains steadfast in its aim of addressing this if and when we are in government.
‘Many of those involved in the Rising were themselves the product of Irish emigration. It is fitting and right therefore, that as part of the Sinn Féin programme of Commemorations, that I came to San Francisco to acknowledge the role played by Irish emigrants here’.