A Common Bond of Hope and Hardship
A Letter from Ireland
Every week Ciarán Quinn sends a letter from Ireland to supporters in the US. Never miss a letter by signing up for the Friends of Sinn Féin Newsletter on our website.
I'm back in Ireland, jet-lagged but still buzzing from our visit to Washington and New York.
The trip was a resounding success, with Irish Unity, Brexit, and the Legacy issue high on the US agenda. Being on the Hill and walking the corridors of the Capitol Building is remarkable and only matched by the warmth of the welcome.
On the last day of the visit, we had the opportunity to meet Irish Community leaders at the Emerald Isle Immigration Centre, a nonprofit organization based in New York that works to help immigrants with a wide array of supports including immigration information, social services, education, and employment.
It demonstrated the best of the Irish Community, a service that is welcoming to all in need.
Immigration always brings with it a sense of displacement. The separation from home, family, and friends. Recent immigrants are in a precarious position, fall ill or lose a job and suddenly the safety net is gone. It is an experience of generations of Irish. It is shared with other immigrant communities.
To have a service like the Emerald Isle Centre to support and guide immigrants through the process of establishing a life in a new country is essential. It is doubly hard for those who arrive undocumented.
The experience and expertise of generations of Irish immigration are shared with other communities in this center in a common bond of hardship and hope. It was an inspiring demonstration of true community leadership. It is the Irish tradition of meitheal in action.
It was great to meet up with old friends and make new ones.
As for now, between unopened emails and follow-ups, I have a busy couple of weeks ahead.
Enjoy your weekend.
Ciarán Quinn is the Sinn Féin Representative to North America