30 October 2003 Edition

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IAUC Convention honours Oliver Kearney

The 20th Anniversary Irish American Unity Conference National Convention was held in New York from 17-19 October. This year's convention was dedicated to the legacy and memory of civil rights activist Oliver Kearney, who passed away on 24 July. Oliver's son, Jarlath Kearney, gave a touching account of his father's life and love for Ireland.

"The Remembering Quilt" produced by the members of the Belfast-based Relatives for Justice to commemorate the lives of loved ones killed by British forces and loyalist paramilitaries in the North of Ireland was displayed. Clara Reilly and Mark Thompson were present to describe the meaning and victims represented in the quilt.

There was an impressive list of speakers including the Saturday evening keynote speaker, Father Aidan Troy, from Holy Cross School, who gave an outstanding account of the events and difficulties of the little girls' walk just to get to school. Through the generousity of individuals present, a check in the amount of $1,000 was presented to Father Troy for the Holy Cross-Ardoyne Trust Fund.

Awards were given throughout the convention.

Among resolutions passed was one recognising the need for a fair trial and calling for a just and fair verdict for the Colombia Three and a motion of support for CiarĂ¡n Ferry, that he be granted asylum to live in the US [http://www.freeciaranferry. com].

The delegates also resolved to hold next year's Convention in Ireland.

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