The Irish Emigrant: IAUC Takes Issue with Northern Ireland Group

 

The following article by Jim Lowney appeared in this week’s edition of the Irish Emigrant:

New Jersey native Kate McCabe, president of the Irish American Unity Conference (IAUC), recently met with Denis Bradley, a leader of the Consultative Group on the Past, which is seeking the best ways to deal with the legacy of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland.

“At our meeting in Derry, I discussed the IAUC’s support for the victims groups’ call for the establishment of an international, independent truth commission as the only way forward,” said McCabe. “The IAUC disagrees with Mr. Bradley’s belief that it is the wrong time to be dealing with legacy of the past. That such a process would be better undertaken 80 years from now, as Bradley believes, does not make sense.”

The Consultative Group of the Past was established in 2007 by former Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain to provide people a platform to express their opinions on how to deal with the trauma caused by the violence in the six counties. Bradley, of Derry, a former co-chairman of the Policing Board, and Lord Robin Eames, former Anglican Archbishop of Armagh, co-chair the group. It has several international advisors.

The panel hopes to complete a report this summer.

McCabe, whose father, Seamus, is a native of Tullamore, County Offaly, grew up in Short Hill, Essex County and received a bachelor of science degree from Rutgers University in New Brunswick. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

McCabe feels timing of the process to establish a credible legacy of Northern Ireland’s past is crucial.

“Truth commissions are normally established on the momentum of a regime change, and the more time that goes by with a change in government, the less likely it is for a commission to be successful in terms of gathering support, as well as evidence,” she said.

 

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