Irishcentral.com has learned exclusively that at least two prisoners from the notorious Guantanamo prison camp on the island of Cuba will be accepted by Ireland.
During St. Patrick’s week the Irish and U.S. governments had discussed the issue but no public figures on numbers of prisoners were quoted. We understand however, that the dealis for two prisoners to be transferred have been worked out.
In an exclusive interview with IrishCentral, Hillary Clinton confirmed that the Irish government has discussed proposals to have Guantanamo prisoners transferred to Ireland and that discussions are ongoing. “We appreciate their support on this issue,” she stated.
Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin had told Clinton over St. Patrick’s Day that “ we’re a friend of America and we will respond to the issues as they emerge. And we’ve made it clear that we want to be positive in our engagement on this issue wi th the Administration.”
During the interview Clinton also covered the violence in Northern Ireland, immigration reform and the appointment of a new peace envoy to Ireland Clinton said the U.S. government is “aware of Irish proposals” for a new working visa program between the U.S. and Ireland and that a new E3 skill visas program is a possibility.
Australia has such a visa, which allows 10,000 Australians a year to come to America and work on a two-year visa contract, which can be renewed indefinitely.
She stated the new working visas program, which may require new legislation and that the administration was continuing to look at the issue carefully.
On Northern Ireland, Clinton stated that “The recent attacks which killed two British soldiers and a police officer are an affront to the values of every community, every ethnicity, every religion, and every nation that seeks peace. I want to commend the entire leadership of Northern Ireland as well as the Irish and British governments for their constructive statements and their strong resolve in the face of this attack.”
On the new peace envoy to the North, Clinton said she wanted to “wait until I have had a chance to consult “ everyone on it. I will be naming someone on my own timetable to the position,” she said.
Among those said to be under consideration are Nancy Soderberg, former Clinton White House National Security aide, former Congressman Bruce Morrison, former member of the Connolly House group which first engaged the Clinton White House on Northern Ireland, Mark Tuohey, a Washington lawyer and active member of Cooperation Ireland and Liz Bagley, former Ambassador to Portugal. It is believed that Anne-Marie Slaughter, the State Department head of public policy and planning is not interested in taking the role.