County Council reaches out to emigrant groups

Donegal County Council vowed to support Irish emigrant groups in the U.S. and Britain at a recent local authority meeting.

As emigration levels continue to rise, councillors said they are keen to do what they can to support the diaspora.

Fianna Fail Councillor Dessie Larkin proposed the motion after witnessing the work of the Donegal Boston GAA club, which recently won the New England championship. Cllr Larkin said the organization is providing support for many Donegal people who have recently emigrated.

"I ask that we should assist in monetary value, advice and moral support and ask that we in some way support the unbelievable work that is going on with the group," he said.

Sinn Fein councillor Padraig MacLochlainn proposed extending the motion to other cities in the U.S. and Boston: "We should expand it because they really do provide a critical role in cities. It is great to have that interaction with people."

Councillor Ciaran Borgan of Fianna Fail pointed out that a lot of people had emigrated out of necessity and not choice.

"When you are away from home it was sometimes the only place you could go. We have to remember that a lot of the people that are out there is due to the circumstances and not by choice" he said.

Independent councillor Ian McGarvey urged the council to provide support for the undocumented members of the Irish-American community also: "Those are the people that you feel most for. Some can't even get a licence to drive a car. They should be encouraged to ask for support."

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