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  • Writer's pictureGreg O'Loughlin

Is This The Way To San Jose?

A Letter from Ireland

a Chara, This week I’m traveling with Mary Lou McDonald and her Chief of Staff Dawn Doyle in the Bay Area of San Francisco. While we are not in Ireland, it does feel like home. We had the pleasure of attending a San Francisco Labor Day breakfast to share our vision of a new Ireland and to celebrate the links between labor and Ireland. It was an inspiring event to be in the company of many labor leaders committed to building a better America for all.

We attended a meeting with representatives of the Irish community and cultural groups in Pairc na nGael on the fantastically named Treasure Island, a complex built by the sweat and resources of the Irish community in San Francisco. Watching kids kick a football on a GAA pitch on a cool summer evening, we could have been anywhere in Ireland. The University of San Francisco hosted a keynote address by Mary Lou and a question and answer session with Fr. Paul. It was an informative and entertaining discussion on a changing Ireland and its place in the world. You'll find a link to watch the address further down the newsletter. Political leaders in the Bay Area have been fully engaged in Irish affairs. Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Thompson, Assembly Members James Gallagher, Kevin Mullan, and former Mayor Willie Brown, are all committed to safeguarding the progress achieved since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement 24 years ago. Politics continued in London, as expected Liz Truss was selected by the Tory party as their new leader and Prime Minister. I was reminded of the words of another Californian political leader. When Clint Eastwood was asked what it was like to be elected as Mayor of Carmel he is supposed to have said. “The good news is that you are the Mayor, the bad news is that you are now the Mayor”. So it is for Liz Truss. The buck will stop with her. She has decisions to make. To continue on the reckless course of Boris Johnson and unilaterally break international law or return to the agreements that have to deliver much. In her first call to President Biden alongside global issues of war in Ukraine and an energy crisis, he reminded her of the need to protect the Good Friday Agreement. Time will tell if she will listen. A special word of thanks to Gilbert for driving us all week and keeping us on track and on time and to Ciarán, Ronan, and Seamus for making the trip possible. Have a great weekend,


Ciarán Quinn is the Sinn Féin Representative to North America. Each week he writes a letter from Ireland with news and analysis. It is featured in the weekly Friends of Sinn Féin USA Newsletter. Be sure you are subscribed to stay up to date.

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