Please join the ICC and Irish government’s new Special Envoy to the United States Congress, Mr. John Deasy TD, for a conversation on current immigration law and its implications on the undocumented Irish in the region, on Saturday, September 9 at 2:00 pm at the Irish Cultural Center, 429 Morgan Road in West Springfield. This event is free and open to the public.
John Deasy has been a Fine Gael member of Dáil Éireann since 2002, representing the Waterford constituency. His father, the former Agriculture Minister Austin Deasy, held the same seat in the Assembly of Ireland for 25 years.
U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal said he is looking forward to Deasy’s visit to the ICC.
“I have known John Deasy since the 1990s when he was in Washington, D.C. working on immigration issues,” Neal said. “Since his election to the Dáil in 2002, we have worked together to strengthen ties between the United States and Ireland. That’s why I was pleased when the new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar appointed him Special Envoy to the United States Congress tasked with immigration reform.
“The issue of the undocumented Irish in America is serious and I look forward to working with Deputy Deassy to find a solution to this problem that is mutually beneficial to our two countries. His visit to the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England could not be more timely,” said Neal.
West Springfield Mayor William Reichelt applauded the efforts the ICC is making while addressing paramount issues like immigration.
“West Springfield is an epicenter of immigration and a model of how foreign relations is beneficial to Western Massachusetts,” Reichelt said. “New businesses and patron-based organizations such as the ICC have been opening their doors in town, and have certainly added to the diversity of our community. We are quite fortunate to have these educational opportunities provided by the Irish Cultural Center.”
ICC President Sean Cahillane said the ICC is honored to be host Deasy’s visit and hear the discussion.
“Immigration is a key political issue right now in the United States, and it has already had an impact on many people Irish-born people living here, along with their families,” Cahillane said. “We’re all looking forward to Mr. Deasy’s thoughts on the matter.”
This visit to the ICC will be Deputy Deasy’s first trip to New England since his appointment to the important new post by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in June. Prior to his election, he worked as a Legislative Assistant in the United States Senate. He handled trade and foreign affairs for Pennsylvanian Republican Senator John Heinz until his tragic death in April 1991. He later worked as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Rep. Ronald Machtley of Rhode Island, and doing legislative work for the Chicago-based law firm of Gardner, Carton & Douglas, before returning to Ireland in 1997 and entering politics there in 1997.
In 2000, he succeeded his father as a member for the constituency of Waterford in Dáil Éireann, the Irish Parliament. Deputy Deasy has retained his Dáil seat at each of the elections held since then, most recently in February 2016.
Deasy has held a number of key positions in the Irish parliament, including Chairman of the European Affairs Committee and Vice-Chair of the Public Accounts Committee — the committee viewed as the most influential throughout the Irish government.