AOH Brother Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick will join victims’ relative Patsy Kelly, civil rights lawyer Niall Murphy, and justice campaigner Andree Murphy in a live webinar broadcast hosted by the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) this Saturday, June 10th, at 10 AM Eastern Time, 3 PM Irish time.
By its appointment of former Chief Justice Declan Morgan to head its new legacy commission, the British government is clearly signaling its intention to move ahead with the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill, despite overwhelming opposition by victims’ relatives, human rights campaigners, the Irish government and all major six county political parties. While British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is visiting Washington DC, victims’ relatives are making an emergency appeal for American help as their best hope to stop a bill designed to cut off legal channels for justice.
The British amnesty bill aims to discard Britain’s Stormont House Agreement on legacy mechanisms with the Irish government and end criminal cases, Historical Investigations, Inquests, civil suits or Ombudsman investigations, which could give the truth in hundreds of cases, including British crown force or collusion killings. Instead, the British want to set up an Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery (ICRIR), which victims’ relatives fear will bury the truth along with the victims. Although the amnesty bill has not yet been passed at Westminster, the British have already announced the appointment of retired Chief Judge Declan Morgan to head the Commission.
- Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick has been one of the leading Washington voices on Irish issues and a driving force on a series of Congressional initiatives, House Resolutions and Briefings on legacy justice. Most recently, he co-signed a strongly worded letter to British Secretary Chris Heaton Harris, expressing deep disappointment at the moves to push ahead with an amnesty bill despite the opposition of nationalist and unionist victims.
- Patsy Kelly Jr., is the son of Independent Councillor Patsy Kelly, who was abducted from work in County Tyrone and murdered in July 1974. The family has always believed the murder was carried out by members of the British Army’s Ulster Defense Regiment, and a recent Ombudsman Investigation ruled that there had been collusive behavior by the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Now the Kelly family’s 50-year fight for justice is threatened by the proposed British amnesty bill.
- Civil rights lawyer Niall Murphy will explain the legal implications of the amnesty law and how badly the law will affect families who have waited decades for truth and would be compelled to begin a long legal battle in the European Court of Human Rights.
- Andree Murphy, the Deputy Chair of Relatives for Justice, will discuss the importance of American help in the continuing political and legal battle for legacy justice.