Friday, September 15, 2006

Mother in lone protest for 'illegal' son

Kate Heaney of the Donegal News reports:

A Leterkenny mother staged a solo protest in Lifford on Tuesday to highlight the plight of the illegal Irish in the US to visiting Ambassador James C. Kenny.

Helen McClafferty donned her protest T-shirt reading "legalise the Irishg" and handed the American ambassador to Ireland a letter from her husband Hughie. Mrs. McClafferty learned of the ambassador's first offical visit to the county and decides she would use the occasion to make her point.

She has a son living in the US who is not lehgal and it means that he has not been able to bring his two children home to Ireland to visit their grandparents.

Mr. Kenny came to Donegal at the invitation of former Mayor Councillor Dessie Larkin...

When he arrived at County House in Lifford Mrs. McClafferty was there waiting for him and welcomed him to the county.

"I thought I would have been thrown out. Mr. Kenny stopped and aid hello and admired my T-shirt. I handed him the letter Hughie wrote about the undocumented Irish in America and he took it and said he would speak to me on the way out and he did," Mrs. McClafferty said.

As the Ambassador left the council chamber he told Mrs. McClafferty he would readthe letter and give it his attention.

"I was visiting New York during the protest and I was one of the 4,000 who marched. I felt very passionate about the whole issue. All my son and the many others like him want is the freedom to travel, get a banks account and pay their taxes.

"they work very hard and contribute to the communities they live in. I have angina now and will not be able to make he trip to New York as often as I would like," she added.

For the full story reported in the Donegal News click here.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderfull Mother your son should be so proud of you as I am, I live here in New York and also miss home more so now as Christmas is only around the corner so To the wonderfull woman who is fighting for us on the other side of the water,Keep up the great work you are doing.

Thank you so much.
Steve ILIR Volunteer.

Mary B said...

Well done Helen & Hughie.

Keep up the hard work on the other side and we will do our part here.

We are not going to stop until we are all legal.

You will hopefully get to see your grandchildren in Ireland soon.

We need more parents like you to be proactive.

Anonymous said...

What a great example of what people can do to help both in Ireland and the US!

More family members should write in and tell their personal stories on the blogs and wear the t-shirts proudly at functions!

Thank you Mrs. Clafferty and Thank you to Ambassador Kenny for listening to the plight of so many.

Deanna Turner
ILIR Volunteer &
Director of Communications for the Irish American Unity Conference

Anonymous said...

Helen & Hughie
Thank you very much for your efforts at home I appreciate it very much as I too am from Donegal and Living here illegally in U.S. I would very much love to go home for christmas to see my family. Keeo up the good work

God Bless
Donegal Danny