In response to a 2/14/18 letter from the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the bipartisan Friends of Ireland Caucus today issued a statement calling on the President to fulfill his commitment to appoint a Special Envoy to Northern Ireland. The Hibernians wish to thank Chairman Neal and all members of the caucus for once again being responsive to the concerns of Irish America and championing the cause of peace and justice in North of Ireland.
Given the collapse of recent talks to restore the power-sharing government in Northern Ireland, the role of a fair and impartial intermediary so effectively played in 1998 by Special Envoy Senator George Mitchell, is still needed in 2018. With the collapse of power sharing, concerns regarding the United Kingdom’s ability to fulfill its Good Friday commitment to act with “rigorous impartiality” given the confidence and supply agreement between Ms. May’s government and the DUP, and the looming threat of Brexit the peace process must be reinvigorated or risk withering away. The continued lack of a U.S. Special Envoy and the perception of American disengagement sends the wrong signal at this critical inflection point in Northern Ireland’s history.
The Good Friday Agreement, and the twenty years of peace it has brought to Northern Ireland, is one of the great triumphs of U.S. diplomacy and leadership. The Ancient Order of Hibernian’s again thank the Friends of Ireland Caucus and encourage all Americans to respectfully join their call for the President to fulfill his commitment to appoint a Special Envoy to Northern Ireland expeditiously.