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Boyle Response to Statement by British Official Minimizing Past Atrocities in Northern Ireland

March 7, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02) released the following statement condemning recent comments by the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in Parliament that killings by soldiers and the police during the decades-long conflict there “were not crimes”:

“The recent statement by the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is deeply troubling. To say the killings by British soldiers and police during the Troubles were ‘not a crime’ serves little purpose but to anger victims’ families and stoke the fires of division and misunderstanding. Dealing with the past is a critical element of the peace process in Northern Ireland, and essential to its enduring success. The Good Friday agreement affirms that ‘it is essential to acknowledge and address the suffering of the victims of violence as a necessary element of reconciliation.’ Effective investigations into all deaths during the Troubles is essential to a lasting peace. Following the Secretary’s comment, I renew my call for the Trump administration to appoint a Special Envoy to Northern Ireland.  Special Envoys have played a central role in the Northern Ireland peace process. It is time for the President to honor his assurances, and demonstrate his commitment to the region and the ongoing peace process.