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  • Writer's pictureGreg O'Loughlin

Irish America mourns passing of Rita O'Hare

As news of Rita O'Hare's passing made its way across the country, tributes and memories poured in from every corner.

United States Congressman Richie Neal said, "I am deeply saddened by the passing of my great friend, Rita O’Hare. She was an iconic figure whose contributions to peace, justice, and reconciliation on the island of Ireland will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with Brendan and the entire O’Hare clan during this difficult time. She will be missed on both sides of the Atlantic."

Pennsylvania Representative for Northeast Philadelphia, Kevin Boyle said, "Rest in peace to my good friend and Irish patriot, Rita O’Hare. When history books are written about protecting the Good Friday Agreement particularly post Brexit, Rita will be key. She labored hard & effectively in the US to prevent a hard border returning to Ireland."

Labor Lawyer and Brehon Law Society leader, Marty Glennon said, "The world has lost a remarkable person but it is also a much better place because she was in it. She gave her all to the cause of Ireland and righting injustices wherever they existed. She always made sure she had those around her focused on the task, and there was always only one task, the reunification of Ireland. If you tried to deter or detract her from that, you were dismissed."

The Irish Voice founder and writer, Niall O'Dowd wrote, "As Sinn Féin’s representative in America for 25 years or so, she became a beloved figure who basically attracted an ever-growing fan club.

The light touch covered a multitude, but she got down to business when the common courtesy had been exchanged. She built the Friends of Sinn Féin machine in America, bringing in powerful politicians and business supporters. Her message was always succinct and clear. “Irish America matters, you proved it with the Adams visa, it can make a difference, we have to keep going. The road to a united Ireland is ahead” As usual she was right.

She was a former editor of an Phoblacht, something she was not shy to remind us of when she caught a typo with her gimlet eye in our Irish Voice newspaper. ”Yiz can’t even effin spell” she barked.

She was everyone’s friend and hypocrisy's mortal enemy. She cut through BS like no one I ever met. Personally, she did not have it easy."


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