Boston murder highlights plight of illegals in US

THE murder of an Irishman in Boston last week should be the catalyst for having the plight of the undocumented in the United States finally addressed, according to a former mayor of Galway.

Construction worker Ciarán Ó Conghaile, who had been living illegally in Boston for the past 12 years, was shot dead in a botched robbery last week in the Dorchester area of Boston.

Police in the US are not sure if there is any link to his murder and a prior incident, where he suffered a slashed ear wound.

Mr Ó Conghaile did not report that attack to the police for fear of being deported.

But Fine Gael councillor and former mayor of Galway Pádraig Conneely said this highlighted the vulnerability of the undocumented in America.

“This murder should be the final straw. There are thousands of undocumented Irish in America and they are vulnerable. They are afraid to report crime, they are reluctant to go to hospital or do anything which might attract attention.

“This man, like so many more, could not come home to see his parents. His friends could not travel for his funeral. It is not fair and no way to live. I saw it first hand when I visited Boston and I will be taking the matter up again with Senator Margaret Creaven, who is originally from Carna in Co Galway, and who has been battling this matter since she was elected,” said Cllr Conneely.

Ciarán, 36, a native of Inis Meáin on the Aran Islands, died after being shot in the chest close to his home in Dorchester.

Hundreds of people attended his funeral on Saturday when Inis Meáin came to a standstill.

The small church on Inis Meáin was full with dozens more outside the doors of Seipeal Mhuire gan Smál agus Eoin Baiste.

Ciarán, who is survived by his parents Micheal and Anna, brother Pól and sisters Mary Anne and Deirdre, was buried beside his brother in the island cemetery facing the Burren in Co Clare.

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