Leaders of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Irish American Unity Conference and the Brehon Law Society have joined in protesting British subpoenas of records/tapes currently held under strict security protocols and access restrictions by the Burns Archives of Boston College.
After a series of meetings, representatives of the groups have agreed that not only are there valid legal arguments for opposition to the subpoenas but also foreign policy and morals grounds for doing so.
“We allege,” stated Belfast solicitor Eamonn Dornan, “that the attorney general who has the authority to grant or deny the subpoena request, has failed to fulfill his responsibilities under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.
“That treaty requires Attorney General Eric Holder to review the public policy implications of the subpoenas, especially the obligations of other treaties such as the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 and the U.S.-U.K. extradition treaty.”
Jim Cullen, spokesman for the Brehon Law Society, acknowledged that other Brehon lawyers and those designated by the AOH and IAUC are in agreement that meetings with Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Congressman Richard Neal, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Irish Affairs, and others will be now undertaken to fight the release of any records to the British government and/or whatever rogue or dissident elements of the PSNI may have prompted these subpoenas.
“There are compelling arguments that this is little more than a political fishing expedition but there are related issues of the potential endangerment of the lives of researchers Moloney and McIntyre and fundamental fairness,” said Cullen.
Concluded Cullen, a retired brigadier general with the Army JAG and an attorney with Andersonkill & Co. Ltd, “The British government has spent nearly 40 years refusing to release records of the role of the British Army in the largest atrocity of the entire conflict, the no-warning bombing of Dublin and Monaghan which killed 33 innocent people and maimed another 200 and refusing to allow independent inquiries of the murders of solicitors Patrick Finucane and Rosemary Nelson by the very same forces seeking the Boston College records.
“Her Majesty’s minions now demand the U.S. government to snap to and produce academic records? We are confident that American jurisprudence and/or the American political process will be sensitive to these ironies and will provide relief or redress from this outrageous corruption of law and justice.”