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NYU Acquires Irish Immigration Reform Movement Papers

October 4, 2007
N-84, 2007-08

For Immediate Release Contact: Barbara Jester October 4, 2007 212.998.6844

October 25 Exhibit and Panel Discussion Celebrate Acquisition

New York University’s Division of Libraries and Glucksman Ireland House will announce the acquisition of the papers of the Irish Immigration Reform Movement (IIRM) by NYU’s Archives of Irish America, based in the university’s Tamiment Library, at a special event on Thursday, October 25. In conjunction with an exhibition drawn from the papers, NYU History Professor Linda Dowling Almeida will interview several IIRM leaders in a conversational format, acting as moderator, on the subject of “Perspectives on Immigration to America and Ireland, 1987-2007.”

The panel discussion takes place on Thursday, October 25th, at 7 p.m., in the Tamiment Library, tenth floor of NYU’s Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South. The accompanying exhibit, “Legalize the Irish,” will be on display through December 31. The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required: email or call 212.998.3950 (option 3). A valid photo ID is required for admission.

The Irish Immigration Reform Movement was a grassroots organization established in 1987 whose primary objective was to legalize the status of undocumented immigrants from 35 countries adversely affected by America’s 1965 Immigration Act. Working for legislative reform, the IIRM grew from a small New York-based group to a national organization with branches in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, and San Jose, CA.

In the 20 years since the establishment of the IIRM, Ireland has been transformed from an emigrant nursery into an emigrant destination. “Perspectives on Immigration to America and Ireland, 1987-2007” will reflect on changes over the past two decades and consider the contemporary implications of the IIRM experience.

Almeida, of NYU’s Irish Studies faculty and author of Irish Immigrants in New York City, 1945-1995, will moderate the panel discussion with IIRM leaders Sean Minihane, Mae O’Driscoll, and Sean Benson. Minihane, now an engineer with ABM Construction Ltd in Ireland, and O’Driscoll, retired assistant vice president of JPMorgan Chase and former president of the County Cork Association, were the original incorporators of the IIRM. Benson, now with AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, was a IIRM member who became the first director of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, which opened in 1988.

The exhibition, “Legalize the Irish,” takes its name from IIRM’s provocative slogan and features some of the most significant of the organization’s papers, as well as ephemera such as buttons, posters, and sweatshirts.

The Archives of Irish America, established in 1997 as part of NYU’s Division of Libraries, is a repository of primary research materials that supports original scholarship in the emerging field of Irish-American Studies.

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Events and Traditions

Type: Press Release

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