Leaders of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Irish American Unity Conference and the Brehon Law Society have joined in protesting subpoenas of records and tapes held by the Burns Library archives of Boston College.
After a series of meetings, representatives of the groups agreed that not only were there valid legal arguments for opposition to the subpoenas, but also foreign policy and morals grounds for doing so.
“We allege,” stated attorney Eammon Dornan, “that the (U.S.) Attorney General who has the authority to grant or deny the subpoena request, has failed to fulfill his responsibilities under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.
“That treaty,” said Dornan, “requires Attorney General (Eric) Holder to review the public policy implications of the subpoenas, especially the obligations of other treaties such as the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement of 1998 and the U.S./UK Extradition Treaty.”
Jim Cullen, spokesman for the Brehon Law Society, acknowledged in a statement that other Brehon lawyers and those designated by the AOH and IAUC, were in agreement that meetings with U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and U. S. Representative Richard Neal (D-MA). chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Irish Affairs, and others would be undertaken in order to fight the release of any records to the British government “and/or whatever rogue or dissident elements of the PSNI” may have prompted the subpoenas
“There are compelling arguments that this is little more than a political fishing expedition but there are related issues of the potential endangerment of the lives of researchers (Ed) Moloney and (Anthony) McIntyre and fundamental fairness.
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“The British government has spent nearly 40 years refusing to release records of the role of the British Army in the largest atrocity of the entire conflict, the no-warning bombing of Dublin and Monaghan which killed 33 innocent people and maimed another 200 and refusing to allow independent inquiries of the murders of Solicitors Patrick Finucane and Rosemary Nelson by the very same forces seeking the Boston College records,” said Cullen.
“Her majesty’s minions now demand the U.S. government snap to and produce academic records. We are confident that American jurisprudence and/or the American political process will be sensitive to these ironies and will provide relief or redress from this outrageous corruption of law and justice.”