CURRENT ISSUE:  OCTOBER 2023

Donnybrook: Whitewash at the White House, and LIV


By John Myers

His Majesty’s government is seemingly intent on proceeding with The English Parliament’s so called “Amnesty Bill” or “Legacy Bill.” While seemingly a positive sounding piece of legislation, it is the underlying purpose for the legislation to bury London’s historic role in the state sponsored violence inflicted on the nationalist community in the North of Ireland in the 20th Century.

Even the cautious leadership of the Irish Republic, Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin said, “It is a matter of regret to my government that the Legacy Bill continues its legislative progress without the support of political parties in Northern Ireland,” … “I believe that, by providing for amnesties for crimes amounting to gross human rights violations, the Bill, if enacted, would undermine rather than assist reconciliation.”

It is imperative that Irish Americans contact members of Congress to make clear this is unacceptable legislation, and the USA will not do a Free Trade agreement with a country looking to sweep history under the rug.

Census
The Irish Central Statistics Office has recently released the results of the 2022 Irish Census. For the first time in the history of the Irish Republic, the population has exceeded the five million mark. The findings were 5.1 million in the Republic and 1.9 million in the Six Counties controlled by Great Britain.

This compares with the 2016 Irish Census, where stats were 4.75 million in the Republic and 1.85 million in the Six Counties. Island wide, that was 6.6 million in 2016, compared with approximately seven million in 2022. This number is still short of the historic high of 8.1 million in the pre-famine, 1841 Census.

LIV or Die
Amnesty International, which was founded by the late Sean McBride (McBride Principles of Fair Employment), son of Maud Gonne and Major John McBride (executed for his role in the 1916 Easter Rising), labels Saudi Arabia’s human rights record as “Dire.”  It doesn’t get much lower than that. The Pro Golf Association’s (PGA) recent announcement that it had merged with the Saudi LIV Golf Tournament caught many by surprise.

Irish golfer Rory McIlroy, who had taken a principled stand to avoid the financial payoffs of LIV, said he felt like a “sacrificial lamb” – used by the PGA. Fellow Irish golfer Padraig Harrington, who also had taken a principled stand against LIV, stated, “unfortunately is proves sports washing works.”

“Sports Washing” is a form of propaganda to use sport as a cover or to whitewash a dismal record. The families of 9-11 victims, as well as the family of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and a legion of others, will not be swayed by Crown “Prince” Mohammed Bin Salami’s blood money. Meanwhile, the owner of a number of golf resorts which had greatly benefitted from hosting LIV tournaments, Mr. D. J. Trump, welcomed the merger, calling it: “Big, beautiful and glamorous.”

Independence
On July 4th, we celebrate the blessings of liberty, forged through the vision and courage of the founders during that hot summer of 1776 in Philadelphia. Let us, with a reflective pause, call to mind the Pre-Amble of the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. And let us recall, with pride, that eight of the signatories were Irish, the first Irish Americans.

White House Continues Push ofr a Return to Stormont
Great Britain’s Prime Minister, Rushi Sunak, visited the White House last month. President Biden welcomed the P.M., and in the august East Room, shared the podium for a joint press conference.
While the focus of the presser was on the war in Ukraine and improving trade between the two countries, Biden still lead his remarks pushing London to resolve the impasse in Stormont. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) continues to boycott the Northern Ireland Assembly.


This year and a half drama by the DUP risks destabilizing basic governmental services in the Six Counties. Biden has consistently made it clear that return of the N.I. Assembly is high priority to the Biden administration, as well as the complete implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. Thank you, President Biden.

Bojo Nomo
The Daily Mail’s banner headline quotes former P.M. Boris Johnson, “I’ve been forced out by a witch-hunt” (sounds familiar?).  BOJO stepped down as Prime Minister less than a year ago, but the “Partygate” investigation by the House of Commons Privileges Committee looked likely to recommend censure and suspension of Boris from the Mother of all Parliaments.


Seeing the handwriting on the wall, BOJO submitted his resignation as the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip to avoid public reprimand. On the way out the door he was spewing venom at PM Sunyak and decrying the “Kangaroo Court” he was a victim of (also sounds familiar?).


Looking to deflect blame from his lack of personal responsibility for lying to Parliament regarding parties at 10 Downing Street that violated his own governments COVID policies during lockdown, he claims this is The Establishment’s effort to punish him for leading Brexit and, ultimately, to reverse Brexit. Hang on to your dance card though, BOJO is a remarkably gifted blowhard, and one could easily see him finding his way back to Westminster.

Sinn Fein Tops Polls – Again
In May’s local counselor elections, Sinn Fein, Ireland’s oldest political party, topped the polls in the Six Counties. There are 462 locally elected seats. Last year, Sinn Fein topped the polls for the Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly at Stormont.


This year, Sinn Fein won the most local counselor (akin to a local city council member) seats, the first time any nationalist party has been at the lead. Sinn Fein went from holding 105 seats, to winning 144 seats, a HUGE gain of 39 seats.


The DUP stayed static with 122 seats, while the Alliance party gained 14 seats, to hold 67. Both the UUP and SDLP lost around 20 seats each.

Meanwhile, the DUP continues its boycott of Stormont, and no N.I. Assembly is in session. It is hoped that this recent huge Sinn Fein electoral victory will create momentum to restore life and activity to Stormont.

Sinn Fein leader in the North, Michelle O’Neil, stated,
“I am now calling on both governments, as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement, the Irish government and the British government, to come together to establish a meeting of the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference to come up with a plan for the restoration of the Assembly.”

*John Myers is an attorney in Cleveland. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

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