A mural expressing opposition to the legacy bill.

 Webinar Will Focus on Legacy Battle

The Ancient Order of Hibernians will be holding a webinar this Saturday, September 16, that will focus on the British government's legacy bill and the ongoing battle against it.

Said a statement: “Despite overwhelming opposition by victims’ relatives, human rights campaigners, the Irish government and six county political parties, the British government rammed through its Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill, designed to cut off legal channels for justice.

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"Relatives of victims have vowed they are ‘never giving up’ their fight for truth, and appealing for vital American support. Congressman Mike Lawler, will join victims’ relative Seana Quinn, civil rights lawyer Kevin Winters and others to discuss the next steps in the political and legal battle against the British amnesty bill in a live webinar broadcast, hosted by the Ancient Order of Hibernians this Saturday, September 16th at 11 a.m. Eastern Time, 4 p.m. Irish time."

Also expected to take part are former taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Ireland's Consul General in New York Helena Nolan. 

Added the statement: “The British amnesty bill discards the Stormont House Agreement on legacy mechanisms made with the Irish government, and ends criminal cases, Historical Investigations, Inquests, civil suits or Ombudsman investigations which could give the truth in hundreds cases including British crown force or collusion killings. Instead the British are setting up a so-called Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery (ICRIR) which victims’ relatives fear will bury the truth along with the victims.

"The British have already announced the appointment of retired Chief Judge Declan Morgan to head the Commission, which is neither independent (since appointments are made directly by the British) or likely to achieve truth and reconciliation." 

The statement continued: "Congressman Mike Lawler, a member of the AOH, has just returned from Ireland, where he and other members of a Congressional delegation met high ranking British officials and expressed strong opposition to the legacy bill directly to them. The delegation was also briefed on the issue by Irish Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin, and heard the emotional objections made by bereaved family members.

“A member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Lawler is becoming an important voice on Irish Congressional initiatives, and recently co-signed a strongly worded bipartisan Congressional letter to British Secretary Chris Heaton Harris, expressing deep disappointment with the amnesty bill.

“Seana Quinn, is the sister of Dwayne O’Donnell, one of four men murdered at Boyle’s Bar in Cappagh, East Tyrone on March 3, 1991. Only last month Attorney General Brenda King ordered new inquests into his murder and four other mid-Ulster killings, citing intelligence that British state agents/bodies played a role in the murders, ballistic evidence linking the weapons used, and wider evidence of collusion. 

“These inquests are expected to implicate the British Army’s Ulster Defense Regiment 8th Battalion, with direct links to other mid-Ulster murders, and a pattern of crown collusion around the six counties. The same weapons were used in the murder of American citizen and former Bronx resident Liam Ryan. The bereaved families now face a race against time and British amnesty shut-down deadlines. 

And the release concluded: “Irish officials, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, and Tanaiste Micheal Martin have said that the Irish government is considering indicting Britain in the European Court of Human Rights. If Ireland, as a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, brought an action on behalf of Irish citizens, it would save individual families from years of going through the British High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court before getting to the European Court." 

Zoom Registration: https://aoh.com/FFAIRegister https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_NJBz8iydSNOCIbI_JjqQRw; YouTube: https://aoh.com/WhereDoWeGoFromHere or https://youtube.com/live/tvDtVPVGC44