Larry Downes:
Friends of New York

Larry Downes.

Larry Downes is the New York head of Friends of Sinn Féin. Shortly after September 11 the decision was made to reroute the funds from their annual fundraiser to the victims of the attack on America. With Gerry Adams in attendance at the Sheraton Hotel in New York, over $400,000 was raised.

“We raised the money on behalf of the New York Construction Industry Disaster Relief Fund,” explains Downes. “The idea was that the money will go to famlies of construction workers killed at the World Trade Center.”

The decision was made in the aftermath of September, Downes explains “because the notion that anybody would be raising funds here in New York for something outside of the overwhelming needs in the city, didn’t sit right with Friends of Sinn Féin.”

Sinn Féin choose the Construction Industry Fund, which is headed up by Jim Cullen, a retired general from U.S. Army, who is also the founding president of the Brehon Law, primarily because “most of the people who support Friend of Sinn Féin come from the construction industry. Not to overlook the Firemen and Police and the Restaurant workers, but no one was doing anything for the families of some sixty to seventy construction workers who were killed,” Downes says.

Already the fund has received 47 applications for fund. ♦

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