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County Kerry, Ireland (May 26, 2012) – Today, Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – was presented with the Le Chéile award by Ireland’s Sinn Féin political party.
The prestigious award was created to honor those who have made significant contributions and advanced the cause for Irish independence. President O’Sullivan was one of five honorees presented with the award at the party’s Ard Fheis annual conference held in Killarney, Ireland.
“Through his leadership and dedication to working families here and the United States, Mr. O’Sullivan has demonstrated a true commitment to the cause of Irish freedom,” said Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams. “In his everyday work to promote workers’ rights through the union movement, he exemplifies the very motto of Sinn Féin: justice, equality and fairness for all.”
O’Sullivan, an Irish-American whose grandparents emigrated from County Kerry, was honored specifically for his advocacy work to highlight the strife of the Irish people among U.S. elected officials. In his roles as Executive Vice President of D.C. Friends of Ireland and President of New York Friends of Ireland, O’Sullivan has been a vocal supporter for Sinn Féin to secure peace, justice and a united Ireland.
“I’ve always tried to live up to the high standards set by my Irish ancestors and all those who sacrificed in the name of freedom,” said O’Sullivan. “Throughout history, the Irish heritage and the struggle for workers’ rights have been one and the same. And today, that fight continues not just here, but everywhere workers are demanding a better life. That’s why I view this award as not just an honor but a charge to do even more.”
O’Sullivan was the only American to receive the award this year. The other 2012 honorees included Des Ferguson from Leinster, Mary Nelis from Ulster, Paddy Fitzmaurice from Munster, and Teresa Bradley from Connacht.
“Accepting this honor alongside these great individuals and true Irish patriots fills me with a sense of humility,” O’Sullivan added. “And to receive it from my brothers and sisters of Sinn Féin – with whom I share such a passion for the cause of One Ireland – I could not be more touched.”