Political Action / Freedom For All of Ireland
Parliament House, Dublin
Bill O'Neill, Div 17
The purpose of the Political Education Committee is to support the initiatives of the Ancient Order of Hibernians through political action. The Ancient Order of Hibernians is non-partisan and is willing to work with all parties to achieve the goals of the Order; we can work in common cause with political figures on some issues while maintaining the right to respectfully disagreeing on others.
To quote former President Eisenhower "Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." We cannot preserve our heritage or effect change on the issues that are of important to us if we are silent. Every Hibernian is a member of the Political Education committee and has a responsibility to act when there is a call to action.
CALL TO ACTION
Urgent: Ask President Biden to Condemn U.K. Amnesty Bill in
Meeting with King Charles III
As we celebrate our independence from Great Britain, the United Kingdom continues the "long train of abuses and usurpations" in Ireland, which Thomas Jefferson wrote of in 1776. Chief among them is the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill, which would create an amnesty for murder and deny access to the courts and justice for the families of the victims of the conflict in Northern Ireland. One of the grievances that Jefferson cited as justifying the American Revolution in the Declaration of Independence was Britain "protecting [armed troops], by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States."
Two hundred forty-six years later, Britain's tactics have not changed.
President Biden will be visiting England and King Charles III on his way to the Nato Summit next week. While we know that the British monarchy is a figurehead without legislative power, their meetings still draw considerable public and media attention; it provides an opportunity for the U.S. to go on the record before a large international audience that the "shared values" that underpin the alleged "special relationship" do not include amnesties for murders.
We ask for your support by using our advocacy platform to send a letter to President Biden to discuss the U.S. opposition to the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill when he meets King Charles next week.
Time is short as this meeting was only recently confirmed, and we ask you not to put off the less than 5 minutes it will take to send a letter to the President through our advocacy platform. For you Brothers who have congressional representatives of the Friends of Ireland caucus, we also have a template letter asking your representative to reach out to the President personally and request that the President express U.S. opposition to the unconscionable amnesty.
While Time is short, the stakes are high. Reports are that the U.K. plans to finalize the Legacy Bill by the month's end. Let us not delay in taking this simple yet impactful action. Together, we can make a tremendous difference and bring long-overdue justice to those who have suffered for far too long.
I thank you in advance for your support, and please do not put this simple task that can make a tremendous difference to those who have already waited too long for justice.
Hibernians Condemn U.K.
Announcement of Troubles Amnesty.
July 14, 2021 By Neil Cosgrove
The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), the largest Irish American organization in the United States, condemns today’s announcement by Britain of its plans to create a special statute of limitations for “all Trouble’s Related Incidents” [sic]. A model of British understatement, such “incidents” including the murder of innocent civilians and numerous human rights violations by British forces.
he announcement delivered by Northern Ireland Secretary Lewis today has achieved one singular distinction: he has succeeded in uniting and rallying the community of Northern Ireland irrespective of faith or identity and all major political parties in common cause against his proposed amnesty. Would that Mr. Lewis could have achieved such unanimity in approval of a measure that advanced peace in Northern Ireland rather than achieving consensus in condemnation of his efforts on behalf of Britain to evade justice.
The universal outcry from the community of Northern Ireland makes clear that Mr. Lewis’ proposal serves only one interest: that of the British government in Whitehall. The British government has, despite signed commitments under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, the 2014 Stormont House Agreement, and the 2020 “New Decade/New Approach” Agreement, continued to thwart any attempt at a clear and transparent inquiry into the legacy of the unresolved issues of the conflict in Northern Ireland and the role of its agents including charges of collusion and state sanctioned murder. Hearings to address the legacy of the conflict in Northern Ireland have been continually stalled and promised funding for investigation withheld. Evidence in police custody has been destroyed in a series of implausible “accidents,” while other key evidence has been reported as having been “lost” only to be “found” on display at London’s Imperial War Museum. Journalists investigating these failures by the government have been arrested and intimidated. Given their well-documented campaign to evade transparency and accountability, the contention by the British government that now too much time has passed for effective prosecution is the height of arrogance.
The United States would not silently tolerate such actions and coverup by a government in Africa, Asia, South America or the Middle East; it can not in good conscience be silent now. No “special relationship” should extend to condoning injustice and human rights violations. We are reminded of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
The announcement by British Northern Ireland Secretary Lewis marks yet another instance of Britain unilaterally renegotiating the international agreements it signs; they are demonstrating a similar pattern of behavior regarding the Irish Protocol of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. Common sense dictates that no one should enter into a new agreement with a partner who has such a history of defaulting on its commitments.
Given the pivotal role that the United States played in the historic Good Friday Agreement, the Hibernians call on President Biden and all members of the House and Senate to strongly denounce this latest violation by Britain of that historic agreement and put on hold any trade negotiations with Britain until Northern Ireland Secretary Lewis’s proposal for amnesty is withdrawn, and Britain delivers on their existing long overdue commitments under international treaties regarding Northern Ireland.