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Tánaiste welcomes United States civil rights leader for Dublin lecture


Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D., will this evening (Wednesday) welcome Congressman John Lewis to Iveagh House for a lecture on the US civil rights movement and its global legacy.

Congressman Lewis, as a leader of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement from the 1960s, played a key role in the struggle to end racial discrimination and segregation in the southern United States. He continues his work as a strong congressional advocate of reconciliation today.

His Iveagh House address, the fourth in a series of commemorative lectures at the headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will be an opportunity to reflect on the influence between the civil rights movements in the United States and in Ireland and also on the earlier links between Daniel O’Connell and Frederick Douglass, who found common cause in their pursuit of the abolition of slavery.

Speaking in advance of this evening’s event, the Tánaiste said:

‘It will be an honour to welcome such a towering figure from the US Civil Rights movement to speak at Iveagh House. His message of reconciliation through dialogue and his commitment to non-violence is as relevant today as it was in the United States 50 years ago. I am particularly glad that Congressman Lewis will visit Derry and Belfast, to share his experiences of reconciliation and to gain further insight into the work towards lasting peace in Northern Ireland’

Also present at tonight’s event are Governor Martin O’Malley, of Maryland, who delivered a previous Iveagh House lecture on the legacy of John F Kennedy on US-Irish relations. More information on the lecture series is available on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Notes to Editors

Tonight's event is the fourth in a series of Iveagh House Commemorative lectures, each recalling significant events in Irish history. It follows previous addresses by the First Minister of Northern Ireland, Peter Robinson, Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland and former British Prime Minister John Major. More information on commemorative events.

Congressman Lewis is travelling to Ireland with the Faith and Politics Institute and will have further engagements in Derry and Belfast.

In addition to being the fourth Iveagh House Commemorative lecture, Congressman Lewis’ address will also be the inaugural Frederick Douglass/Daniel O’Connell address. Nettie Washington Douglass will represent the Douglass family at the event. More information on the Frederick Douglass/Daniel O’Connell Project is here:

The address by Congressman Lewis and that of the Tánaiste will be made available to media under embargo on Wednesday.



Press Office

23 April 2014