Senator Chris Coons and Senator Chris Murphy recently led a Congressional Delegation on a trip to Ireland. They expressed deep concern about the DUP’s continued blocking of government formation in the North of Ireland.
Senator Murphy and Senator Coons stressed that peace and justice in Northern Ireland is of
paramount importance in maintaining the ‘Special Relationship’ between America and Britain.
Despite progress being made on contentious issues, major hurdles remain, say the senators.
They both point out that their constituencies in the US have large Irish-American communities with close connections to Ireland north and south who are concerned about events unfolding this side of the Atlantic.
“It is a source of great frustration that we don’t have a government in Stormont. We’re here to figure out how we can use whatever leverage we have as United States senators and congressmen to try to convince the DUP to get into government and to do what’s right for the people of Northern Ireland,” said Senator Murphy.
The Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill proposed by Rishi Sunak’s government is opposed by civil rights groups, the Irish government and political parties in Northern Ireland, who all say it will deny justice to victims and their families.
Senator Murphy said: “I’m certainly delivering a very specific message of concern about the Legacy Bill. I continue to hear loud and clear from the people who have connections to those who still have claims and crimes that have lingered for decades that they want justice.
“They don’t want that path to justice shut down artificially by this legacy building. It’s important for me to be here on behalf of my constituents in the US who have ties to Northern Ireland to deliver a message of great concern.”
Senator Coons said: “We have listened to the concerns about this. All parties in Northern Ireland have opposed this Bill and the cutting off of any potential recovery it entails.”