West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Mc Aleer to speak at US Easter events

Published: 15 April, 2014

West Tyrone MLA Declan Mc Aleer will visit Portland, Oregon at the weekend to take part in a series of events to commemorate the Easter Rising and to recognize the strong connection between Ireland and Portland.

Speaking ahead of his visit Mr Mc Aleer said,

"I was delighted to accept this invitation to speak and take part in a number of events in Oregon State at the weekend. Historically, there is a strong Irish connection to Portland and a few years ago the city passed a resolution in support of Irish unity.

"The Irish Diaspora in the United States has always played an important part in the struggle for Irish unity and in furthering the peace process. This is possibly best personified in the instrumental role played by Joe Mc Garrity, who hailed from my own parish of Termonmaguirc and who spent most of his adult life in the United States raising funds to support the struggle for freedom, both before and after the 1916 Rising.

"My visit to Oregon will also involve a meeting with civic leaders at Portland City hall, a briefing with a group of lawyers and a visit to a High School where I will be quizzed by students on current issues in Ireland.

"As an Omagh-based MLA, I will use these engagements as an opportunity to highlight some of the great work taking place in Omagh and the wider district. For example, the Lisanelly shared educational campus might capture their imaginations, where a site that was previously associated with the conflict is now being transformed into something that is bright, new, inclusive and futuristic.

Mr Mc Aleer concluded,

"Whilst I am happy to take part in these engagements over Easter weekend, it will be the first time in over 20 years that I will unable to attend the Tyrone County commemoration in Carrickmore and the Loughmacrory graveside commemoration on Easter Sunday.

"These, along with the other commemorations for our patriot dead are extremely important and reach to the core of what defines us as Republicans. I encourage everyone to wear their Easter lily with pride and to attend their local and county commemorations at the weekend."