Fight British Request for Boston College Records
ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS
BREHON LAW SOCIETY
IRISH AMERICAN UNITY CONFERENCE
Irish American News
17 November 2011
A MOGUL, A PRESIDENT & A KING SOUGHT TO FIGHT BRITISH REQUEST FOR BOSTON COLLEGE RECORDS
November 17, New York City – A coalition of the largest and most active Irish-American groups have solicited the aid of Motion Picture Association head, former Senator Christopher Dodd, former President Bill Clinton, and Congressman Peter King, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Irish Affairs, in their fight against the unprecedented request of the British government to conduct a fishing expedition of the Oral History records held in the Burns Archives of Boston College.
The College is fighting the subpoena for these records which was issued by Attorney General Holder pursuant to the U. S.-U. K. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT).
“Our careful consideration of this action by Her Majesty’s Government,” stated Ned McGinley, former National President of the AOH, “has concluded that those OPPOSED to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement are the principal beneficiaries of this unprecedented corruption of the purpose of the MLAT.”
Jim Cullen, a member of the legal team that met with Senator Kerry’s staff on this concern, observed: “Even as the litigation follows its course, we are united in our belief that the subpoena should be withdrawn for reasons permitted in the language of the Treaty documents i. e. to respond to the request would be detrimental to public policy supporting the peace process and in contradiction to America’s legal principles and justice values.”
Cullen noted the British refusal to publicly disclose information on their security services role in the Dublin/Monaghan bombings and the assassination of Patrick Finucane and Rosemary Nelson should give pause to Attorney General Holder‘s enforcement of the subpoena.
“We have in these three individuals — Dodd, King, and Clinton — key players in the process leading to the Belfast Agreement,” concluded Tom Fox of the IAUC, who remain interested in assuring that the work of justice is pivotal to peace.
“In this instance, elements within the RUC/PSNI have attempted to politicize the legal process in an apparent attempt to interfere in the elections of a sovereign nation. No good can come from this maneuver and it should be stopped.”