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    Former head of Task Force on Emigrants dies

    By Noreen Bowden | April 8, 2009

    Paddy O’Hanlon, who headed the task force on policies regarding emigrants, has died at 65 following a short illness.

    Paddy O’Hanlon became one of the founding members of the SDLP after being elected to Stormont in 1969; he left politics in the 1980s to become a barrister. O’Hanlon was appointed in 2001 to head the emigrant task force by then-MInister for Foreign Affairs Brian Cowen.

    The task force was highly influential in prompting a new relationship between Ireland and the Irish abroad. Subsequent actions by the government included the establishment of the Irish Abroad Unit and increased spending on emigrant welfare.

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