ACTION ALERT ON PATRICK FINUCANE MURDER
Many Irish-Americans and others have been energized by the efforts of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Brehon Law Society and the Irish-American Unity Conference like never before. Why? The Congressional Hearing in May held by Congressman Smith on the British governments murder of Patrick Finucane, the 15th anniversary symposium held in NYC on the 1998 Belfast Agreement and the hard work ahead for truth and reconciliation and the continuing campaign to stop the British government from demanding records from the Irish archives of Boston College, all have made Americans acutely aware that our voice needs to be heard and our actions are needed. Please join this effort to awaken a nation with whom we claim to have a “special relationship” and have them “do the right thing in approving the independent public inquiry into the murder of Patrick Finucane.
On May 15th a Congressional hearing regarding the murder of Pat Finucane was held in our nation’s Capitol. For more info on the hearing go to http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/may/15/us-congress-patrick-finucane. Your help is needed now to make a difference for justice for the family of Pat Finucane and all those other cases of collusion murders in the North. About 10 minutes of your time will make a difference.
As a follow up of that Congressional Hearing a bipartisan letter was crafted and signed bysix prominent Congressmen. Three Republicans: Congressmen Chris Smith (NJ), Peter King (NY), Timothy Murphy (Pa) and three Democrats Richard Neal (Ma), Joseph Crowley (NY) and Eliot Engel (NY). The letter is addressed to David Cameron, the Prime Minister of Great Britain. It asks that the British government live up to its Good Friday Agreement commitment and allow a full INDEPENDENT inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane.
As concerned Irish Americans we need you to contact your representative in Congress and ask that they add their name to this bi-partisan Congressional letter.
ACTION NEEDED NOW Contact the Washington DC office of your congressman/woman If you are not sure who your congressman/woman is or their DC office number visit http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/.
Once you get the member’s Washington office ask to speak to the L.A. (Legislative Assistant) who handles Irish-American issues or foreign affairs. Our basic request is for the Representative to sign a letter to British Prime Minister Cameron on a matter of concern to Irish Americans. That will help them direct the call to the right person. It might be an LA, or possibly a Legislative Director or even a Chief of Staff.
Once you have the right person on the line, tell them that a Dear Colleague letter is being circulated asking members to sign a letter to British Prime Minister Cameron urging him to hold a judicial inquiry into state collusion in the murder of Patrick Finucane. This this inquiry is a binding obligation of the Belfast Agreement. The U. K. has unilaterally dismissed the inquiry provision, and while admitting they murdered attorney Finucane refused to hold anyone accountable.
BACKGROUND Depending on how the conversation goes, you could then highlight these points from the letter.
The British Government has an obligation to initiate the full, independent, public, judicial inquiry that was agreed as part of the overall peace settlement in Northern Ireland during the Weston Park negotiations in 2001. The many previous denials and time that has passed have drained public confidence in the peace process and diminished respect for the rule of law in Northern Ireland. There are those who oppose the peace process and their opposition is dangerous. The failure to address the case of Patrick Finucane in the manner promised by the British Government provides a readily available propaganda tool for those who would abuse it to further their own ends. In our view, this represents yet another reason why a public, judicial inquiry must be established as soon as possible.
BI-PARTISAN SUPPORT The letter has already been signed by all the co-chairs of the bipartisan Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs and Friends of Ireland. They are three Republicans: Congressmen Chris Smith (NJ), Peter King (NY), Timothy Murphy (Pa) and three Democrats Richard Neal (Ma), Joseph Crowley (NY) and Eliot Engel (NY). These six Congressmen are probably the most knowledgeable on Irish issues. Ask your representative to contact Mark Milosch, of Congressman Chris Smith’s office to add their member to the letter. Mark can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Congressional phone system at 6 4123.
FOLLOW-UP Ask the LA, Legislative Director or Chief of Staff or you speak to “when can we expect your office to sign on to this letter which is so important to Americans concerned for justice and the rule of law. Suggest a time and date in the next couple of days that you will follow up via phone. Our goal is to get as many signatures as possible Remember without follow up we will not be successful.
PROGRESS REPORT Please e-mail Sean Pender AOH National FFAI Chairman at email@example.com who is coordinating the nationwide effort of Irish-American organizations and let him know who you have contacted and with what result. He can also be reached via phone at 609 462 7056. Please share this request with any and all contacts you may be able to persuade to join this effort. Time is of the essence. The Finucane family has waited far too long for justice. Remember the Finucane murder is the most prominent but only one of the collusion murders that Britain carried out with their loyalist lackeys and security forces over 30 years.
SUGGESTED TARGETS The following Congressional Representatives have been receptive and supportive of Irish issues in the past, but as of yet has not signed the letter. However, the signature of any and all Members of the House would be most welcome.
Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) Rep. Brian M. Higgins (D-NY) Rep. Steve J. Israel (D-NY) Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) Rep. William Keating ( D-MA) Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA) Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) Rep. James A. McDermott (D-WA) Rep. James P. McGovern (D-MA) Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY) Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) Rep. James P. Moran (D-VA) Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) Rep. John W. Olver (D-MA) Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr. (D-NJ) Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH)Rep. José E. Serrano (D-NY) Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) Rep. John Tierney (D-MA) Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez (D-NY)