Pictured during their recent visit to Washington and meeting with Congressman Brendan Boyle are AOH leaders (l-r): Sean Pender, National President Judge James McKay, Congressman Boyle, Jere Cole, Danny O’Connell and Neil Cosgrove.
By Ray O’Hanlon
Don’t forget Ireland!
Amid all the rancor in Washington that was the message delivered by leaders of the Ancient Order of Hibernians last week when they met with members of Congress in the nation’s capital.
An AOH delegation, led by National President Judge James McKay, met with Congressman Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, and Philadelphia Democratic Congressman, Brendan Boyle.
The Hibernians pressed the case for sustained U.S. involvement in the Northern Ireland peace and political process, not least in the context of increased uncertainties being caused by Brexit.
The AOH case for sustained and enhance U.S. involvement is also pressed in an op-ed in this week’s issue of the Irish Echo.
The op-ed points out that at this crucial juncture there is no U.S. envoy to the North, and no U.S. Ambassador in Dublin.
It states in part: “The Good Friday Agreement cannot be a victim of its partial success with U.S. leaders lulled into a false perception of ‘mission accomplished’ and indifference on the challenges still to be overcome to achieve peace.
“The cause of peace and justice in Ireland has always made its most dramatic advances when ‘Ireland’s exiled children in America’ through their government have held Great Britain accountable.
“If we are not to see the peace process in Ireland collapse at the threshold of success, Irish America must be loud and vocal to awake their elected leaders out of their lethargy on Ireland and demand the noble work begun twenty years ago be completed in its entirety.”