Hibernians seeking rapid action on ambassador, envoy

Bruce Morrison with Gerry Adams


By Irish Echo Staff

The Ancient Order of Hibernians are hoping that some presidential actions will take place well within the first hundred days.

In a letter to President Joe Biden, National President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Daniel J. O'Connell, has requested that the president "speedily appoint" an Ambassador to Ireland and Special Envoy to Northern Ireland.

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Is a separate letter to Biden National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, O'Connell pressed the that former congressman Bruce Morrison be the special envoy to succeed the Trump administration's Mick Mulvaney.

The letter to the president cites the need to strengthen the ties between the U.S. and Ireland in the age of Brexit.

The letter states: "The Ancient Order of Hibernians request that you, President Biden, make the appointments of a new Ambassador to Ireland and a Special Envoy to Northern Ireland a priority of your first one hundred days.

"Both the position of Irish Ambassador and Northern Ireland Special envoy have taken on increased significance in the age of Brexit. The Republic of Ireland is home to one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe.

"With the departure of the U.K., the Republic of Ireland is the only nation in the European Union where English is spoken as a matter of course and thus a natural gateway for the United States to the European Union. It is in America's best strategic and economic interest to speedily reaffirm the strong ties between the United States and Ireland that the exchange of Ambassadors signifies; ties which predate the founding of the United States which George Washington characterized as 'Ireland, thou friend of my country in my country's most friendless days.'

"The creation of the U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland was a seminal milestone in reaching the historic Good Friday Agreement, which replaced three decades of unimaginable violence with two decades of undreamed of peace. It is a shining example of U.S. action in the cause of peace.

"Sadly, two decades on, many of the items agreed to by the United Kingdom in signing the Good Friday Agreement and subsequent international treaties remain unfulfilled. The United Kingdom has consistently delayed and dissembled on its commitment to deal with the legacy issues of the Northern Ireland conflict.

"There is still no Bill of Rights for the community of Northern Ireland. Even something as inoffensive as parity of esteem for those who wish to express their identity through the Irish Language remains elusive. The Hibernians respectfully ask Mr. President that you appoint a Special Envoy who can bring the Good Friday Agreement's noble vision to completion."

The letter continues: "'Brexit,' which Northern Ireland rejected by 56% and in which the residents of the Republic of Ireland had no voice, continues to pose a danger to the stability of the island of Ireland. While the 'Irish Protocol' has, for the moment, removed the threat of a hard British border in Ireland, the Hibernians cannot forget Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis blithely suggesting that international law could be broken 'in very specific and limited ways"' to suit British interests.

"Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. History is replete with examples of the United Kingdom not honoring its commitments to Ireland. The U.K. has repeatedly shown that the only time the cause of peace and justice advances in Anglo-Irish is when the United States manifests its interest.

"President Biden, the Ancient Order of Hibernians respectfully request you to reaffirm the United States' continuing interest in Ireland and its friendship with the Irish people by the prompt nomination of two well-qualified candidates to fill these posts of vital United States' interest."