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The Clown May Be Gone, But We’re Still In the Circus

Ciarán Quinn is the Sinn Féin Representative to North America. Each week he writes a letter from Ireland with news and analysis. It is featured in the weekly Friends of Sinn Féin USA Newsletter. Be sure you are subscribed to stay up to date.


A Chara, Needless to say, I will not go through all the twists and turns of the week in Westminster that finally led to Boris Johnson standing down as Prime MInister.


The week began with the Johnson government pushing through a bill that will effectively end all judicial investigations into killings in the past conflict and ban victims' families from accessing the courts. This legislation breaches existing agreements, breaks international law, and undermines the rights of the bereaved to truth and justice. These proposals were fully supported by Boris Johnson’s MPs and passed with a substantial majority. His MPs and government colleagues rebelled when the news broke that a junior member of the government had resigned following allegations of a sexual assault. Boris Johnson had appointed the alleged abuser knowing that other allegations had been made in the past. By the end of the week, over 50 members of the government had resigned and one senior member had been sacked by Johnson for being disloyal! The farce being played out is just another act by a dysfunctional government that believes that it is not bound by the norms of behavior, the rule of law, or its own agreements. It should be no surprise that a leader that denies victims access to the courts and institutionalizes the cover-up of the murder of citizens would also try to cling on to power at any cost. A leader that makes agreements and believes that they have the right to unilaterally break the same agreements did not go quietly. Boris Johnson may be gone but his politics live on. All those who voted for his Brexit Bill that breaks international law remain in place. Those who on Monday voted to deny victims access to justice, will return to their seats next week. The people of the north of Ireland, our economy, public services, and future should not be held hostage to the whim of Westminster. A new and united Ireland is the way forward. The clown may be gone but some are trapped in the circus. Is mise, Ciarán

Ciarán Quinn is the Sinn Féin Representative to North America

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