Political Action / Freedom For All of Ireland

Committee Chairman
Bill O'Neill, Div 17

Political Action Report March 18, 2021


U.S. President Joe Biden expressed support on Wednesday for the Good Friday Agreement and said political stability in Northern Ireland is critically important as he marked St. Patrick's Day with a virtual meeting with Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin.

I hope all members of the AOH in Allegheny Co. responded to President O’Connell’s request to contact their Senators in favor to the U.S. Senators to sign on to the Senate Resolution demonstrating U.S. support for the Good Friday Agreement.


The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement’s:  Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland – Article 16

The protocol was a resolution to the sticky Irish border question and was designed to avoid a return of checkpoints along the politically sensitive frontier and minimize potential disruption of cross-border trade. 

Article 16 provides both the UK and the EU with a unilateral power to take action should the application of the Protocol give rise to ‘serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties that are liable to persist, or to diversion of trade.’

However, amid a row over vaccine delivery shortfalls, the EU has invoked article 16 of the NI protocol which allows the EU or UK to unilaterally suspend aspects of its operations if either side considers that aspect to be causing “economic, societal or environmental difficulties”.

Specialized Committee on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

This committee is one of six UK-EU committees set up by the Withdrawal Agreement to manage the implementation of different parts of that agreement, also including citizens’ rights and the financial settlement. The committee on the Northern Ireland protocol oversees UK plans to implement customs procedures on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, as well as health, regulatory and other checks. Another important task for the committee is to determine which goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK are considered ‘at risk’ of entering the EU and therefore subject to tariffs and more stringent checks.

In summary, we should continue to be watchful on the use of this Article 16, especially on how it is used, or not used in regards to “Citizens Rights” in the fair treatment of the people of Northern Ireland.

Respectfully Submitted

Bill O’Neill

Political Action Report January 21, 2021


Thousands of bereaved demand full investigation into Northern Ireland conflict

 Some 3,500 relatives of people killed during the Northern Ireland conflict have urged the British and Irish governments to fully investigate the decades of violence.

They are seeking the long-delayed establishment of an independent team of detectives to pursue fresh prosecutions and other measures to recover information about what happened.

The families have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Irish premier Micheal Martin calling for action awaited since a major political agreement in 2014.

“The peace process has repeatedly failed to deliver on our rights to truth, justice and accountability.”

The letter will appear in newspapers in Belfast and the US.

More than 3,600 people were killed and thousands injured during republican and loyalist violence and in some cases through the actions of the police and British Army.

The Government has pledged to “intensify” engagement with victims’ groups in addressing the legacy of the past.

The system for releasing Troubles-related information is not working and the “divisive” cycle of reinvestigations and civil action is failing to obtain answers for most families, ministers have said.

Without renewed focus on information recovery the prospect of securing convictions dwindles.

Arrangements were agreed by the UK and Irish governments and a majority of Stormont’s main parties in 2014.

The Northern Ireland Secretary has proposed that after a paper review exercise, most unsolved cases would be closed and a new law would be enacted to prevent the investigations from being reopened.

Mark Thompson, chief executive of Belfast-based lobby group Relatives for Justice, said about half of those who signed the open letter are 35 years and under.

This represents the current and future generations and underlines the ongoing trauma and intergenerational impact that the killing of a relative has also had on surviving families.

It’s also a clear indication that the past is ever-present and speaks to a determination, now more than at other time, that following human rights violations the human rights of victims must frame how we address the past. 

  The position remains at stalemate. This is deeply unfair to the surviving victims of the Troubles for whom a pension has been legislated but not delivered.

Article is from the Northern Ireland  - News and Star.


Respectfully Submitted

Bill O’Neill