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"A British Government Like No Other"
Each week Ciarán Quinn writes a letter for Ireland, with his take on current events. This week he a looks at the disregard of the British Government to international laws, agreements and norms. Concluding that a new international response is required. Sign up to our weekly newsletter and never miss an update.
Last weekend the AOH hosted a Webinar on British Government proposals to block investigations into their past actions in Ireland. I had the privilege to participate, along with leaders of Irish American organizations, Rep. Brendan Boyle and representatives of the British Labour party and the Irish Government.
Panelists included those bereaved and injured during the conflict. Jacqueline Butler, whose mother was killed by the British Army in the Springhill Massacre, Steven Travers a survivor of the Miami Showband killings, and Martin Mallon, whose aunt Roseann Mallon was a victim of collusion between loyalist paramilitaries and the British. They all spoke with quiet dignity of their determination to achieve truth and justice.
At the event, one of the panelists remarked that the Government of Boris Johnson, “was like no other”. They are correct.
While all British Governments have sought to cover up and minimize the actions of their military, this government has abandoned their commitments to truth and justice.
Their blatant disregard for International Law, Human Rights and their own Agreements is not restricted to the legacy of the conflict.
This British Government imposed Brexit on Ireland against the will of the people. They have co-opted unionist paramilitaries in their threat to the Brexit Agreements. It negotiated an agreement, threatened to break that agreement, promised to abide by that agreement, and is now again threatening to unilaterally break the same agreement.
In the lead up to June’s G7 event that took place in Cornwall, President Biden had to remind the British Government to dial down the dangerous rhetoric, respect the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, and not act unilaterally.
Their proposal for an amnesty is not about truth, reconciliation, or healing. It is about closing impartial investigations, stopping effective inquests, and ending the rights of citizens to take civil cases against a state responsible for murdering their loved ones. They are not driven by justice, but the desire to protect their military from being exposed as the murderers of citizens.
These actions require a new international response.
The British government cannot dictate terms to international partners, scrap deals, undermine the rights of citizens, and ignore the reasoned demands of the US and still expect a seat at the international table.
The US and International opinion must be unequivocal. The British Government cannot flout international law and agreements without sanction.
This is indeed a British Government that is like no other. It requires a new international response that makes clear that it can no longer be business as usual. Sinn Fein will continue to work to build a new and united Ireland free from Boris Johnston and his government.
Meanwhile enjoy the rest of your weekend. The weather in Ireland is incredible