NUI Galway to Host Major US Presidential Election Debate

Oct 14 2008 Posted: 00:00 IST
Republican Grant Lally to go head-to-head with Democrat Bruce Morrison Washington, DC comes to NUI Galway on Thursday, 30 October, when the University hosts a US Presidential Election Debate featuring senior representatives of the Democratic and Republican parties. Just days before the closely contested election, Grant Lally, national co-chairman of the Irish-American Republicans, will go head-to-head in a debate with Bruce Morrison, a former US Congressman from Connecticut and author of the Morrison Visa Program. The event, which is open to the public, will be hosted jointly by NUI Galway's Law Society and Literary and Debating Society and takes place in the University's Áras na Mac Léinn at 8pm. Grant Lally is former president of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform and McCain Delegate to the 2008 Republican National Convention. Recently he wrote that John McCain: "Is a responsible, experienced and respected leader who will strengthen America's relations with the world, raise the level of engagement with Ireland to cement the Irish peace process, and work more closely with America's friends and allies in Europe to build a more stable, prosperous and peaceful world". Bruce Morrison, described by the New York Times as a man of "intellect, compassion and vigour", has pledged his allegiance to Barack Obama's ambitions of ending the war in Iraq, increasing energy independence and providing universal health care. The moderator for the debate will be Larry Donnelly, a Boston native and NUI Galway Law Lecturer. According to Mr. Donnelly: "Over the past few months, we have seen the campaigns of the two main candidates evolve through the lens of unprecedented media interest in a US Presidential election. The 2008 election is set to be of major significance for Irish-American relations. McCain has an established history of personal involvement in the Irish peace process and Obama has recently appointed a "dream team" of high-profile Irish-American political advisors". One of the students organising the event is Peter Mannion, who is studying Law at NUI Galway and spent his summer working as an intern in the Washington, DC office of the Obama campaign. He is anticipating an exiting evening: "If the recently televised debates between the candidates themselves are anything to go by, there is no doubt that Lally and Morrison will succeed in replicating if not surpassing their controversial intensity". Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, 15 October and will be available from Zhivago's on Shop Street, Galway, and from the NUI Galway Societies Box Office in Áras na Mac Léinn. Student tickets are €2 (valid student ID required) and non-student tickets are €10. For further information on the event please contact Louise Hamilton, Public Relations Officer of the Law Society, on 0860734033 or email


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