Congressman Neal to Speak on Current Prospects for Peace In Northern Ireland At Mount Holyoke College On Monday, February 28

For immediate release
February 18, 2000


SOUTH HADLEY, Massachusetts--As the peace process in Northern Ireland goes through its most challenging period since the signing of an historic power-sharing agreement in April 1998, a US Congressman who has played an important role in efforts to shape peace in that troubled region is set to speak at Mount Holyoke.

On Monday Night , February 28, Congressman Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts) will discuss the current situation in Northern Ireland. He will speak at 7:30 pm at Gamble Auditorium in the Mount Holyoke Art Museum. The former mayor of Springfield and a member of Congress since 1988, Neal has joined other American congressmen and top elected officials to work with political leaders in Britain and Ireland to support the peace process and put an end to a long history of sectarian violence.

Richard Neal was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1988. Neal was appointed to serve as a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, where he continues to play an active role in creating policies relating to taxation, trade, welfare, health care, pensions, Medicare and Social Security. He has sponsored legislation that would increase the national savings rate and encourage the use of individual retirement accounts. He has worked to make health care and tuition expenses tax deductible for middle-class people. He is currently a member of the Ways and Means Subcommittees on Trade and Oversight.

Since 1992, Congressman Neal has served in a leadership position within the House of Representatives as an At-Large Democratic Whip. In the 104th Congress, Neal was the Co-Chairman of the Democratic Task Force on Welfare Reform. In the 105th Congress, Neal became a Co-Chairman of the New England Congressional Caucus where he continues to represent the 23 Members of Congress from throughout the region. Neal serves as a Co-Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs, and in 1997 and 1998, he was recognized by Irish America Magazine as one of the Top 100 Irish Americans of the Year. He was named the 1999 Recipient of the Ambassador's Award by the Saint Patrick's Committee of Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Congressman Neal's remarks will be free and open to the public. Gamble Auditorium is accessible to the handicapped.