Galway City Council | May 15th, 2015
A prominent Chicago-based businessman and activist for immigration reform in the USA, Billy Lawless became the 29th recipient of the Freedom of the City of Galway at a ceremony at the g Hotel. Galway City Council conferred this honour in recognition of Billy’s work on behalf of the city of Galway and on behalf of the undocumented Irish in the United States over a number of years. A successful entrepreneur who is considered ‘restaurant royalty’ in his adopted home of Chicago, his family-run restaurants employ over 260 people.
Billy’s social and civic engagement over the years has impressed on many levels as he promotes and represents Ireland abroad. As a distinguished business figure he has been shaping the conversation around immigration reform for many years in Galway’s sister city of Chicago and this coupled with his tireless advocacy work has seen him become a presence in political circles in Chicago and in Washington DC.
At the conferring ceremony, the Mayor of Galway, Councillor Donal Lyons said of Mr. Lawless:
“It is appropriate that the City Council is conferring this honour on an outstanding Galwegian, one who has his roots firmly embedded in Galway but who has succeeded on a world wide scale. He is a tireless, eloquent advocate for Immigration Reform and is a great defender of not only Irish immigrants but all immigrants.”