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  • Writer's pictureGreg O'Loughlin

Mary Lou McDonald to meet political and business leaders on California visit

Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald is travelling to California this weekend for a series of engagements. During the visit, she will brief Governor Newsom, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, and a number of state and congressional representatives including Congressman Mike Thompson, Assembly member James Gallagher and Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis the first woman elected Lieutenant Governor of California with responsibility for International Affairs and Trade. She will be meeting with senior global executives from several US companies including Google and Salesforce and address business leaders at an event hosted by the Bay Area Council. She will also meet with Irish Consul General Micheál Smith with Tourism Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, and the IDA.

She will address the Labor Day breakfast organised by the San Francisco Labor Council and attend a number of Irish Community events in Pairc na nGael and the United Ireland Cultural Centre. She will deliver a keynote address in the University of San Francisco on Wednesday evening.

Ms McDonald said: “I am travelling to California later this week and I look forward to meeting with political representatives, business leaders, trade unions and the Irish community.

“While we are dealing with many challenges, this is a time of real hope and opportunity in Ireland. The social and economic opportunities are immense and we want to see them realised. This requires planning and preparation, something which the current FF/FG government are completely failing to do. That is why we have a generation being left behind, a generation who will be worse off than their parents and locked out opportunity and home ownership. This cannot go on – we need change, we need progress, we need opportunity. We need our young people to have a stake in the future, a future in Ireland.

“We are approaching the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, an agreement that shows what can be achieved when people come together in common purpose. 25 years on we are now beginning to write the next chapter in Ireland’s story – the re-unification of Ireland. The role of the US in securing the Good Friday Agreement was critical and their voice will be just as important as we move towards referenda on Irish unity.

“But as we look to the future we are dealing with huge challenges globally and in Ireland. The ongoing war in Ukraine, a cost of living crisis, the fallout of a toxic Brexit, a very real and present climate emergency and a full out attack on the Good Friday Agreement from a British Tory party in internal disarray. As they elect a new leader in the coming days we need to see a change of direction. We need to see a recommitment to the Good Friday Agreement, real support for the restoration of the political institutions and an end to game playing around the Irish protocol and the unilateral actions of the British Government.

And voices in Ireland and the US could not be more unified in making it clear to Britain that this needs to happen.

“My message on this trip is about change, opportunity and working together in common cause and that is what I’m committed to delivering.”ENDS

Mary Lou McDonald will deliver a keynote address in the University of San Francisco at 7pm on Wednesday on the topic of “A Decade of Opportunity: Building a New and United Ireland - An Evening with Mary Lou McDonald” The event will be live streamed, and you can register here.

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