A Report on the use of Plastic and Rubber Bullets in Ireland
The Ancient Order of Hibernians was honored to host a virtual release of the “Plastic Justice Report” prepared by Relatives for Justice, Belfast. The report was broadcast on YouTube on Saturday, October 24 at 4 pm Local time in Ireland, 11 am Eastern U.S.
Per FFAI Chairman Martin Galvin:
“Plastic Justice“ is a special report on how British state forces used plastic bullets to kill 17 innocent Irish people with impunity, will get a transatlantic launch on Saturday, October 24. In Belfast, joining Relatives for Justice Director Mark Thompson will be relatives of the victims: Frances Meehan,(sister of Michael Donnelly)and Mark Kelly (brother of Carol Ann Kelly). America’s oldest and largest Irish organization, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, will co-host the launch on a virtual webinar broadcast, with Hibernians across the United States joining live, led by National Presidents Danny O’Connell and Karen Keane. The transatlantic launch will begin at 4 pm in Ireland / 11 am Eastern United States.
Click Here to view the full Plastic Justice Report.
“Plastic Justice” is a key chapter in the story of British repression. This groundbreaking report will highlight Britain’s political and legal strategies to deny truth and real justice to victims’ families, such as treating victims as criminals or rioters to justify murders and intimidate witnesses. Crucial documents and files continue to be systematically withheld. Inquests or legacy investigations that could shed light on these murders are arbitrarily denied. Not one British trooper or Royal Ulster Constabulary member has ever found guilty for any of these 17 killings, even where victims were children. Both Frances Meehan and Mark Kelly will speak about their personal experiences, fighting for justice.
The report and speakers are also expected to highlight how deadly plastic bullets were used to intimidate public demonstrations of political support on issues like the Blanket Protest and Hunger Strikes of 1980 and 1981 or Internment Day protests.
The AOH and LAOH feel privileged to be invited to be a part of this launch. Britain’s broken promises on issues like legacy justice and Brexit have sparked a growing call by Irish America that the United States must be actively engaged if we are to see Britain move on legacy issues, including ‘Plastic Justice.’ There is an increasing demand to hear speakers from Ireland on these issues. Health restrictions may block us from bringing speakers to America, but new technologies mean this transatlantic launch will be joined by Hibernians and Irish Americans across the United States.
I was present during one of the killings covered by this report, that of John Downes on August 12, 1984, and have personally witnessed the continuing cover-up or “plastic justice” meted out to the Downes family; I know this launch will be a moving and important event.