Last April, Hibernians across the country joined a special live webinar broadcast from the Houben Centre, Holy Cross Church, in Belfast, where two weeks earlier an event with the Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney had to be cancelled because of loyalist bomb threats. This year’s 15 grant recipients spoke about their work for freedom for all Ireland, and how much they count on Christmas Appeal donations. The Hibernian Grants Presentation is posted and can be viewed on AOH YouTube.
Grants were awarded to justice campaigners like Relatives for Justice, Ballymurphy Massacre Committee, Bloody Sunday Trust and the Witness Project; groups helping exprisoners or bereaved like EALU and Green Cross; heritage groups like the St. Patrick Centre and Duchas Oriall; groups keeping patriot graves like Belfast National Graves and Tyrone National Graves ; Cross-community groups like the Houben Peace Centre Project, Bridges Beyond Boxing Omagh Thunder Basketball; and commemorative groups like the O’Neill-Allsopp Flute Band and Greater New Lodge Committee.
Meanwhile, the new British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak is moving ahead with an amnesty bill to shut down any path to legacy justice, encouraging loyalist opposition as an excuse to undermine the Brexit protocol agreement, and saying it is up to Britain whether to ever allow the Irish a vote on reunification.
Tory economic policies designed to serve England’s wealthy are disastrous for the six counties, with the lasting damage already being felt, especially by those working for freedom for all Ireland. They fear that rising costs and a weakened currency will force cutbacks on crucial work they now provide, indeed for some groups threaten their ability to survive. These groups are appealing to the AOH!
The message was clear. Because Rishi Sunak and the British want to close down work for freedom for all Ireland, these grant recipients desperately need us to come through for them this year! We cannot let down those working for freedom for all Ireland, at a time when their work is needed most.
I am personally appealing to every State, County and Division President, to take a lead, find a way to donate through special fundraising or donations from funds. Don’t let them down! Help make Freedom for all Ireland, not an aspiration or endeavor but the reality for those Irish people still denied it!
“Ireland Unfree Shall Never Be at Peace”