by Martin Galvin
NYAOH FFAI Chair
During our State Convention, FFAI led by Chairman Ciaran Geraghty highlighted the following issues:
TORY – DUP WESTMINSTER DEAL
British Prime Minister Theresa May called a special election, to increase her power. She lost seats and fell short of a majority. May then made a deal for votes with the Democratic Unionist Party(DUP), founded by Ian Paisley now headed by Arlene Foster, to stay in power.
Campaigners in Ireland have contacted the AOH about issues like:
A-Bloody Sunday pardons-For 45 years, the victims’ families have fought for justice. AOH members marched to support them. Criminal charges against British troopers are under consideration. The DUP wants pardons disguised as a statute of limitations , meaning no murder charges against British crown forces, for Bloody Sunday or other crimes.
B-Ballymurphy Massacre Inquests-Between August 9th-11th-1971,British troopers shot down 10 people, including a Catholic priest in the Republican heartland of Ballymurphy in Belfast. The British whitewashed the killings. The Ballymurphy families, among other victims’ families are legally entitled to inquests where the truth could be told. The British block funds for these inquests saying they need DUP permission to give these families their day in a British court.
C-Sectarian Parades-the British Parades Commission has placed some limits on Orange sectarian parades invading nationalist areas like the Garvaghy Road. The Orange Order has called on the DUP to clear the way.
D-Brexit-Britain’s decision to leave the European Community will draw a border across Ireland threatening travel hardships and economic disaster as well as undercut European Law and GFA obligations. The DUP supports Brexit with customs, trade and immigration controls across Ireland.
1918 MANDATE FOR IRISH FREEDOM CENTENNIAL
In 1918 Ireland voted an overwhelming democratic mandate for the 1916 Rising, and creation of an Irish parliament, or Dail Eireann to govern a free 32 county Irish nation.
A resolution, copy attached, was unanimously passed, that we honor and promote awareness of the legacy of this centennial.
The AOH organized successful educational and publicity tours around 1916 Republic Day, and the Fenian Manchester Martyrs. We hope to promote the 1918 vote for all Ireland freedom, with lecture tours, state resolutions, and by highlighting this vote for freedom at all our AOH Easter Commemorations etc.
MACBRIDE PRINCIPLES UNDER THREAT
One of the primary means of enforcing the MacBride Principles has been shareholder resolutions. A bill now pending in Washington would end this by requiring billions of dollars in stocks to raise justice issues. Both the state and city Comptrollers have asked for AOH help to block the misnamed ‘Financial Choice Act’ now pending in the United States Senate. Our 2 New York Senators and especially Schumer are key on stopping this bill which already passed the House.
Some members had great success in placing books on Irish history, and politics in local libraries. This is a great initiative which should be investigated and followed where possible.
There was a very positive meeting between state and national officers about the Christmas Appeal and FFAI selection.
FFAI should educate about the key issues caused by the denial of freedom for all Ireland, build political support around these issues and raise money for those affected. These elements are tied together!
NYAOH FFAI Chair