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Saol Project

Mission Statement
Saol is a community project focused on improving the lives of women affected by addiction and poverty

Vision Statement
Saol is working towards transforming the way in which Ireland responds to addiction and poverty.

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SAOL got some help from poet and 'all-round inspiration', Paula Meehan in sending our message of support to St.Pat's for All.

Click on her image to listen to some of her poetry and the meesage we sent.

This picture is a still taken from the video, where Paula describes a dream of various moons dancing on the water.  By the way, the video starts (silently) for 15 seconds before anything happens, so please stay with it!.

The St. Pat's for all press release for this parade explains what they are all about (and why SAOL supports them):

(NYC) The St. Pat’s for All Parade will take place this Sunday, March 5 at 1pm from 43rd St. on Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside to 58th Street and Woodside Ave.  Over 100 groups are expected. Brendan Fay, Co-Chair of St. Pat's for All said “St Pats For All as well as being a unique cultural celebration is also a rally of support between LGBT, Muslim and immigrant communities. 


 “As immigrants Irish people remember our own story as refugees fleeing famine and poverty only to arrive on the shores of the US to encounter prejudice. This experience has shaped our lives and history. As Irish people we have transformed the anguish of the past into a compassionate advocacy for human rights across the globe. We continue to press for immigration reform. Among the estimated 50 thousand undocumented Irish there is anxiety about the future. As Irish New Yorkers we raise our voices in support and welcome our immigrant and Muslim neighbors affected by the executive orders from the President Trump administration on refugees from Syria and on visitors from predominantly Muslim countries. As New Yorkers we rally together.”


 The St Pats For All parade began in 1999 turning exclusion of the Irish LGBT group Lavender and Green Alliance from other parades into a multicultural celebration of Irish heritage. This year's honorees are Phil Donahue, celebrated pioneer in talk-show television and Anastasia Somoza, a human rights advocate.


In 1967, Phil Donahue changed the face of daytime television, pioneering the audience-participation talk format as the host of the Donahue show, a 29-year run which stands as the longest of its kind in U.S. television history. His TV journalism earned him 20 Emmy Awards -- 9 as host and 11 for the show -- as well as the George Foster Peabody Award; the President’s Award from the National Women’s Political Caucus; the Media Person of the Year Award from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance and induction into the Academy of Television’s Hall of Fame.


Donahue headlined numerous network and public television specials, including the Emmy Award-winning children’s special, Donahue and Kids, the landmark Ryan White Talks to Kids about AIDS. In 2006, Donahue co-produced and co-directed Body of War, a documentary film about a young Iraq War veteran left in a wheelchair by enemy gunfire who begins questioning America’s involvement in the war. Body of War captured, among others, the Grand Jury Prize at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival; and a People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival. A native of Cleveland, Donahue is married to award-winning actress, author and activist Marlo Thomas. They live in New York.


Anastasia Somoza is a human rights advocate. She spoke on the first night of the 2016 Democratic National Convention on American’s with disabilities. A passionate advocate for women’s rights, she is also active with the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women. The daughter of immigrants, Anastasia was born to an Irish mother and a Nicaraguan father and was raised in New York City. She is fluent in both English and Spanish, and has been politically engaged and advocating for others since the age of nine. Anastasia works as a consultant with the Shield Institute, an organization that enables people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live full, meaningful lives.


Among the 100 groups registered are local community Irish organizations, immigrant communities, and LBGT groups. There will be pipe bands, puppets, girl scouts, and stilt walkers. “9-11 families Against the Ban” will led by John Sigmund and Terry McGovern.  Irish Groups will include: the Shannon Gaels, Irish Arts Center, Irish Repertory Theater, NY York Irish Center, Irish American Writers and Artists, The Brehon Law Society. Sports groups include the NYC Shamrocks Soccer Club and the Shannon Gaels GAA.  Among the bands this year we welcome the Co. Cork Pipe Band, the Pipers of the FDNY, the Rude Mechanical orchestra and the LGBT Big Apple Band.  


Banners will honor Patrick Rice, Roger Casement, Mother Jones, Oscar Wilde. We honor the memory of Fr. Dan Berrigan and Sr Maura Clarke, Maryknoll nun killed in El Salvador who grew up in Queens. We remember Fr. Dan McCarthy priest and LGBT rights advocate and Steven McDonald peace promoter who died in January 


LGBT groups include FDNY- FireFlag, the Lavender and Green Alliance, the Catholic group Dignity NY. Pride For Youth led by Pete Carney will carry the banner of Robert Rygor an Irish gay community leader and AIDS activist who died in 1994. 


The Sunnyside – Woodside runners group led by Ann Sansaricq will have a pre parade run along the route. Following the parade Sunnyside-Woodside bars will have music sessions into the evening.


Fay also an Irish gay activist and filmmaker along with parade co-chair Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy, were two of the recipients of the 2016 Presidential Distinguished Service Awards for the Irish Aboard presented by President Michael D. Higgins in December.


Co-Chair Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy said “As a child of Irish immigrants, I am very proud of St. Pat's For All, the inclusive St. Patrick's parade in Queens.  We have always reached out to all the immigrant groups in Queens and we highlight our shared history of immigration--the joys and the trials of adopting a new country.  This year, we hold hands and embrace the children and families who face threats and discrimination. We march together.”


Co-Chair Brendan Fay said “ In a time of stress for immigrant communities this years St Pats For All is both an inclusive cultural celebration and a rally of support among Irish, Muslim and LGBT communities. As New Yorkers we need each other. We support each other. “The hospitality of St. Pat’s For All reflects the multicultural energy of New York, the generosity of the Irish and a tradition going back to St. Brigid of Kildare who urged her followers to welcome the stranger. Our name says it best  – we are St. Pats For All,” said Fay.


Click on the picture of Brendan to hear the message he sent back to SAOL from the St. Pat's for All Parade.


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