ILIR vice chairman Ciaran Staunton held a two-hour meeting with the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin last week. Staunton met with Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin and the new secretary general of the department, David Cooney. Staunton said he was heartened by the Irish government's commitment to the issue. "I was very impressed with the range and depth of Martin's knowledge of the situation both on the ground in the community and with the political situation in Washington," he said. "He understands that we have two very important issues at hand; the issue of the undocumented and the issue of future legal access to America. Clearly he is being kept well-up-to-date by (Irish ambassador to the U.S.) Michael Collins and others." The meeting was also joined by ILIR board member Bart Murphy in a telephone conference from San Francisco. Staunton also paid tribute to Cooney, who was himself based in New York for some years. "Having grown up in an immigrant house he brings a unique insight to the immigration issue," said Staunton.

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