Meeting at their National Convention and in the wake of recent violence in the North of Ireland, the Ancient Order of Hibernians passed a resolution calling for the immediate appointment of a US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland as committed nearly a year ago by President Trump.
WHEREAS the thirty-year conflict known as “The Troubles” was proportionately one of the deadliest in human history; and
WHEREAS twenty years ago, the Good Friday Agreement was signed allowing a generation in Northern Ireland to grow up in peace and prosperity; and
WHEREAS it has been noted by all parties to this agreement that the U.S. Special Envoy George Mitchell was instrumental in making this historic document a reality; and
WHEREAS despite unquestionable successes, many of the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement that would cement a lasting peace built on parity of esteem and justice remain unfulfilled; and
WHEREAS successive scandals, such as the Renewable Heat Initiative (RHI), intransigence in fulfilling commitments on the Irish Language and lack of progress in resolving the legacy of “the Troubles” has caused a crisis of confidence in the institutions of government in Northern Ireland; and
WHEREAS the devolved Stormont government of Northern Ireland is in collapse with no resumption currently in sight; and
WHEREAS the current government of Britain is sustained by ten members of the Democratic Unionist Party, the only major Northern Ireland Party to oppose the Good Friday Agreement, calling into serious question the Good Friday commitment that the British Government act “with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all the people in the diversity of their identities and traditions”; and
WHEREAS the people of Northern Ireland rejected Brexit by fifty-six percent but contrary to their mandate to remain within the EU are being compelled to leave the European Union; and
WHEREAS Brexit threatens to repartition the island of Ireland, replacing the bridges of peace built between communities over the past two decades with a “hard border”; and
WHEREAS the Good Friday Agreement is a signature moment of U.S. diplomacy and an example to other peoples around the world mired in conflict and whose collapse would cause irrefutable harm to the cause of peace and the legacy of U.S. leadership; and
WHEREAS in September 2017, the President of the United States committed to appointing a Special Envoy; and
WHEREAS in February 2018, the U.S. Secretary of State assured the Irish Foreign Minister that the U.S. government would appoint a U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland; and
WHEREAS to date, no names have been put forth for a Special Envoy and the current Secretary of State appeared before a session of the House Foreign Relations Committee aware of neither the proposed appointment nor of a bipartisan letter signed by thirty-two members of Congress requesting that the position be filled; and
WHEREAS during these turbulent times, it would be wrong for the United States to signal disinterest in advancing the peace and security of the people of Northern Ireland; now
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED the Ancient Order of Hibernians call upon the President of the United States and Secretary of State to appoint a qualified Special Envoy to Northern Ireland to finish the job Senator George Mitchell began twenty years ago; that a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to the President of the United States, the Secretary of State, the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the Republic of Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States; and that the text of this resolution shall be shared appropriately with the news media and posted on the national website.
Signed and witnessed this Fourteenth Day of July in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Eighteen, the two hundred and forty-second year since the founding of the American republic, and the one hundred and second since the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.