The British Government Believes It Can Act With Impunity
On Thursday night I joined a briefing between Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald and the Friends of Ireland Caucus on Capitol Hill. I always come away from these meetings encouraged, inspired, and grateful.
The progress that we have enjoyed for a generation since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement faces immense challenges from this British Government. They continue to threaten chaos and uncertainty over Brexit while encouraging unionists to take to the streets.
Their plans to address the legacy of the conflict amount to a full-scale coverup and the denial of the rights of those bereaved to any meaningful investigation.
The coming months are crucial as a Brexit deadline for resolving issues is set for the 30th of September and the British Government is planning to push ahead with their coverup proposals in October.
The British Government believes that it can act with impunity. Can ignore agreements, breach international law and ride roughshod over the rights of citizens. That is why the US is so important.
Successive American administrations have facilitated and supported the agreements.
Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald briefs the Congressional Friends of Ireland 2018
The Friends of Ireland Caucus have been consistent in their support for peace, prosperity, and progress. Above all else, they act as guarantors of the political agreements. They are a critical friend to all parties and guardians of the process.
The commitment of those involved is always inspiring. Some have family links to Ireland. Some have active Irish American constituencies and some act in international solidarity in the cause of peace and justice. All share the universal principles of peaceful progress, citizens' rights, and democracy.
In the coming days, we will need more friends on the Hill.
I would encourage you to ask your representatives to join the Friends of Ireland Caucus and to stand by our agreements, peace, and progress.
Hopefully in September travel will be reopened and we can thank the Friends of Ireland in person. In the meantime, let's continue to meet the challenges ahead and build support for a new and united Ireland.