Caroline Kennedy says Irish must push for Ted Kennedy's dream
Quinn told those present that next week President Obama would focus on an immigration bill, saying she hoped it would move forward. “Let us not forget that Senator Kennedy was the author of the 1965 immigration act.”
He fought against “the discrimination that was developed and worked, in a way that was very dramatic and significant against the Irish.”
“We need immigration reform that incudes paths for all people including Irish citizens who are here now in an undocumented status, that allows them to get the legal status to pay taxes. The truth is, that’s what Tom Manton would have wanted, that’s what Ted Kennedy would have wanted, what they both had worked their life for,” she said, to huge applause.
Senator Kennedy was “the greatest legislator of our time,” Quinn said.
City Hall was packed with members of the Irish community. A troupe of young dancers from the Bronx called the Keltic Dreams performed, making people’s toes tap, and the audience clapped and sang along to music from Mick Moloney’s band.
The other honorees were Larry M. McCarthy, chairman of the Gaelic Athletic Assocation of Greater New York, Maureen Sheehan, from a non-profit agency called POTS, John O. Murphy, from Irish Network NYC and Irish musician and author Mick Moloney.
“The list of honorees is incredible,” said Niall Burgess, the Irish Consul General, who had a front row seat. “The new Irish, the GAA, music and culture – every sector is represented.”
Speaking to Irishcentral, Kennedy said the Irish community may be more disparate than it was in the past. “But I think this was a wonderful way to come together”.
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