As National Immigration Chair of the Ancient Order of Hibernian in America Inc., I welcome the recent appointment of the first ever US based Irish Senate member to represent Irish Immigrants abroad, Billy Lawless.
Billy Lawless, a Chicago based, Irish born business owner and recent US citizen will represent the interests of the Irish abroad. Mr. Lawless is a tireless advocate for Irish Immigrants, and as such, an ally of the AOH in our work on the issue.
As stated in a recent article, Celine Kennelly, President of the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers; US based Irish immigrant advocates have waited and fought for such a representative for many years. She also points out, there are only a handful of people that those of us who work on this subject every day would feel are qualified for this appointment. Lawless is beyond a doubt the perfect representative and as we have in the past, we look forward to working with him in his new position.
Billy Lawless is not the first US Citizen to do this. Let’s not forget, Eamon deValera was a native US citizen. European nations have often benefited from US citizens participating in their governments particularly, since World War 2.
Seanad member from 2011 -2015, Dr John Crown, was born in New York to a cab driver turned business owner, who was an undocumented Irish immigrant.
Dr Crown is a renowned oncologist, dual citizen of US/Ireland, working and living in both countries. Dr Crown is widely respected for bringing his expertise to both countries and particularly the Seanad.
Billy Lawless will no doubt, do the same given his life experience. Mr Lawless, I can attest is proud to be a US citizen. His dual citizenship cannot be revoked. At worst, he may have to relinquish his voting rights in US elections. That is not up to any of us, nor will diminish, one iota, his efforts on our behalf, his earned dual citizenship or his love two countries. For folks in the trenches of immigration reform, or any long fight, its sometimes hard to recognize a win when we get one. In Billy Lawless appointment, we have a great friend and ally in our fight for Irish Immigrants.
Let us congratulate Billy and all who’ve worked long and hard to get such a US based Immigrant representative installed in Ireland’s political structure.
Above is the actual article from the Irish Times in which Celine Kennelly’s statement appears.
Please note: Ad Hominem does not appear in the published article.
Yours in our Motto of Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity
Ancient Order of Hibernians In America Inc.
National & New York State Immigration Committee