Biden campaign announces online forum

Irish Americans for Biden will host an online forum to address Irish American issues and concerns


By Ray O'Hanlon

Following on his recent warning to the British government with regard to Brexit, former vice president Joe Biden's positions on a range of Irish american issues and concerns will be aired on Tuesday, October 6 in an online forum with speakers including former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations during the Obama administration, Dublin-born Samantha Power.

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The Irish Americans for Biden Policy to Polls Rally will be a Zoom event beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern.

"This is the first time that any presidential campaign has established a serious, policy driven event dedicated to the issues facing Ireland," said Brian O'Dwyer, co-chair of the Irish american Democrats lobby group.

"It is recognition by the campaign of the importance of the Irish American vote and an acknowledgment of Biden’s firm roots In Louth and Mayo. If there was any doubt of Joe Biden’s unwavering commitment to peace and reconciliation in the North and prosperity for the entire island, this should be essential proof of how vital it is for all Irish Americans to vote for the Biden Harris ticket," O'Dwyer said.

A range of issues is on the slate for discussion with Brexit and the potential threat to the Good Friday Agreement top of the list.

In addition to Samantha Power, Pulitzer Prize winning author of a memoir, "The Education Of An Idealist," the other speakers will be Professor Brendan O'Leary of the University of Pennsylvania, and Biden policy advisor Brian McKeon, a former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense in the Obama administration.

The forum fills a void, at least on the Democratic side of the aisle, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic which led to the sidelining of plans earlier in the year for an Irish American President Forum, open to both parties, and which was being organized by former New York State Assemblyman John Dearie, former congressman Joe Crowley, and attorney and Irish American activist Marty Glennon.

Mr. Dearie initiated the first Irish American Presidential Forum in 1984 which was attended by Vice President Walter Mondale. Dearie was also behind subsequent forum gatherings including the groundbreaking 1992 gathering in New York where future president Bill Clinton agreed to a series of proposals including a visa for Gerry Adams and the appointment of a U.S. Special Envoy charged with bringing about an end to the conflict in Northern Ireland.

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