Tuesday, 14 November 2017
The Diaspora: Statements
Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon of football now. I remember in the early 1980s when football was not that important. I remember at one stage in Lansdowne Road there were approximately 15,000 or 17,000 at the match. I had to meet a group from London. This brought home to me that most of the group were second-generation Irish. At least 3,000 came by boat from Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and London. They were the nucleus of the Republic of Ireland supporters' clubs. I remember we were in a pub. I think it was The Shakespeare on Parnell Street. That was the Republic of Ireland supporters' clubs. They never forgot. It was a simple thing. They had the resources to organise as supporters' clubs before Twitter and so on. I believe that is an aspect we need to carry on.
The 50,000 undocumented Irish need to have their status recognised in the United States. Again, there is far more we can do with the diaspora. There is far more we should do. Senator Black is absolutely right about voting rights. Senator Lawless is doing great work with the diaspora and I wish him every success.