Statement of the Congressional Friends of Ireland and Co-Chairs of the Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs on Dissident Attacks in Northern Ireland

Nov 23, 2009 Issues: Foreign Affairs

Washington, D.C. —Co-Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs Congressman Joe Crowley (D-NY),  with the Chairman of the Friends of Ireland, Congressman Richard E. Neal (D-MA), and the bi-partisan Co-Chairs of the Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Congressman Peter King (R-NY) released the following statement today in response to the gun and bomb attack by dissident groups in Northern Ireland this weekend. The Congressmen condemned the dissident actions in the strongest possible terms and called for the swift devolution of policing and justice powers.

"The dissident activity this weekend in Belfast and Fermanagh only reinforces our belief that democratic politics is the only way forward in Northern Ireland. These threats will not diminish our unequivocal support for the peace process whose template is the Good Friday Agreement. The small group of individuals responsible for these latest attacks have no support, no strategy and must be brought to justice.

We also believe that the swift devolution of policing and justice powers would help undermine the increased threat posed by the dissident groups.  This development would send a powerful message that Northern Ireland is committed to power-sharing and that the political transformation in that society is now complete. As bi-partisan members of the United States Congress, we hope the transfer of policing and justice powers happens as soon as possible."