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Lawrence takes leaf from own history

At a recent sitting of the Lawrence City Council, City Councilor Eileen O'Connor Bernal sponsored a resolution calling for a United Ireland as outlined in the Good Friday Agreement.

The resolution was cosponsored by all nine council members and unanimously adopted.

The resolution states that in an attempt to prevent civil war, Ireland was artificially divided into two regions by the Government of Ireland Act of 1920.

Both the six county region, Northern Ireland, and the 26 county region, the Republic of Ireland, were provided with separate home rule. While the Act did provide for eventual reunification of Ireland, it wasn't until 1998 that the Good Friday Agreement was signed and approved by the voters of both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This Agreement included provisions for achieving a United Ireland through purely democratic and peaceful means and provided for the development of North/South Institutions and cross-border cooperation.

Lawrence now joins Philadelphia, San Francisco, Cleveland and Syracuse in adopting a resolution calling for a united Ireland by electoral and diplomatic means.

Division 8, Ancient Order of Hibernians and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians of Lawrence worked with Councilor Bernal on the resolution and supported the passage of the resolution with their presence at in the chamber at the council session.

The ties between Lawrence, Massachusetts and Ireland are strong. In 1919, the Lawrence City Council became the first legislative body in the United States to recognize the New Republic of Ireland.

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