Irish American Groups Seek Voice of Boston College President in Opposing Holder Subpoenas

Irish American Groups Seek Voice of Boston College President in Opposing Holder Subpoenas
Press Release Holder Subpoena of Boston College Records & President Leahy letter
January 23th
Denver, CO & NY, NY & Wash. D. C.

The largest Irish American activist groups in the nation including the oldest Irish Catholic organization in America, the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), have appealed to Boston College President William P. Leahy S. J. to voice his misgivings about Attorney General Holder’s subpoenas to Secretary of State Clinton and members of Congress. The college is fighting Holder in the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals but it is the political arena where President Leahy’s voice is being sought.

“We believe,” stated Thomas J. Burke Jr., President of the Irish American Unity Conference, “that the request for these subpoenas are part of a broader effort to destabilize the Irish peace process by ‘deep State British security forces.’ These forces are like those in El Salvador that in 1989 killed Jesuit priests and staff at Universidad Centroamericana in El Salvador. What’s the connection? Prime Minister Cameron admitted in Parliament last month that he was “shocked” and “appalled” by the collusion of security and intelligence forces in the murder in 1989 of Irish civil rights attorney Pat Finucane. Like the government in El Savador in 1989, the British government today holds no one accountable.”

“President Leahy’s predecessor, the Reverend J. Donald Monan S. J.,” stated AOH National President Brendan Moore, “became an advocate for justice in the El Salvador murders. Speaking truth to power he pressed Members of Congress and in particular Representative Joe Moakley to fight for justice for the victims. The chosen method to get at the truth for the El Salvador killings was to withold aid from and not cooperate with the government. We believe President Leahy’s voice could transform the Holder subpoena issue in the same way. Why should Holder cooperate until Finucane’s killers are brought to justice?”

Rob Dunne, President of the Brehon Law Society explained: “Britain’s decision to re-hire retired Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers without vetting them was the key to getting some back inside who may even have been involved in Finucane’s murder. To what end? Certain of these returned retirees have worked to cover up the security forces collusion in the killing of hundreds of innocent Catholics, to interfere in the Irish political process and to literally shred the justice provisions of the 1998 Irish peace pact i.e. the Dublin-Monaghan bombing inquiry, the Pat Finucane public inquiry and the Historical Enquiries Team (HET).”

The leaders pointed out that the murky origins of the British subpoena request can be traced to the return of these retirees some of whom served in the lawless and corrupt special RUC unit that has been so cited in the Stevens and Stalker Reports and now the de Silva Review. They pointed out that no college in the nation has a longer association with Ireland and Irish Americans than Boston College and President Leahy’s voice would cause many to reconsider the wisdom of turning over any records to the British at this time.


January 16, 2013

William P. Leahy S. J.
Boston College
Botolph House
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 02467

Dear President Leahy:

In August of last year we sent a letter to you regarding the attempt by the British government to secure records from the Irish Archives of the Burns Library (see attached).

Indeed the College and, separately, the researchers who compiled those records, have fought Attorney General Holder’s subpoenas and this misuse of the U.S.-U.K Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). We welcomed the move by the College.

We had hoped that, in addition to the litigation, the College would express its views to Members of Congress regarding the threat to academic independence and constitutional freedoms.

The Writ of Certiorari currently being considered by the Supreme Court in that litigation was accompanied by amicus briefs from respected national and international journalist advocacy groups and social scientist researchers.

If Boston College were to share its concerns with other Jesuit academic institutions like St Joseph’s in Philadelphi, PA, Fordham, Loyola, MD and St Peter’s in Jersey City, perhaps the Attorney General would reconsider his action.

Over 20 Members of Congress from the states where those schools are located have followed the leadership of Senator Kerry in opposing these subpoenas not only for their threats to academic inquiry but for their flawed issuance pursuit to the MLAT.

Your voice in a meeting with State congressional leaders could complement the litigation which may or may not address the core issues.

As you may know, we filed one of the amicus briefs and focused our arguments on why the Attorney General should cooperate with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) whose record of lawlessness and human and civil rights violations is well documented.

Prime Minister Cameron recently released a report which admits the forces of law and order there conspired with loyalist terrorists to kill attorney Patrick Finucane. Not one PSNI officer was held accountable.

It is difficult to grasp why the Attorney General of the U. S., the nation’s chief law enforcement officer would, in this instance, issue subpoenas for records sought by the PSNI.

It is a travesty of justice, a misuse of America’s treaty and a threat to the Irish peace process.

Your voice is reflected in the court battle.

We ask that you also join this political struggle to defend the rule of law and seek justice.

This is not unprecedented.

Boston College, with the aid of the Representative Joe Moakley, helped expose tyranny in El Salvador and fought for justice for the victims of the Jesuit assassinations there in 1989.



Mr. Brendan Moore
National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians

Mr. Robert Dunne, Esq.
Brehon Law Society

Mr. Thomas J. Burke Jr. Esq.
National President
Irish American Unity Conference

Cc: Ms. Kathleen McGillycuddy, Chair
Board of Trustees
Boston College