Glass Hosts Delegation of Irish Victims of Collusion


Dr. Michael Glass, Director of Statewide Training at the college and a member of the National Board of the Hibernians, spent the week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day in Washington, DC with a delegation of visitors from the north of Ireland.  This unique delegation was the first one to visit the United States with members from both sides of the community-- Nationalists (Catholics) and Unionists (Protestants).  All the visitors had lost relatives as victims of British collusion, in which the British government was responsible for the deaths of many of their own citizens during the times of the Troubles. 


The trip was arranged by Glass and Sean Pender of Hamilton with Relatives for Justice in Belfast after their recent trip to the north of Ireland at the time of the release in January of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland’s report on collusion.  This explosive report detailed the use of paid agents by the Special Branch of the Royal Ulster Constabulary in the execution of multiple murders and attempted murders in the north.  This police unit was supervised by Sir Ronnie Flanagan, who is now the Queen’s Royal Inspector of Constabulary.  There are now international calls for public inquiries into all the deaths and the removal of Sir Flanagan’s title.


Glass arranged a briefing on Capitol Hill with the Congressional Friends of Ireland and a briefing at the US Department of State with Under Secretary of State Paula Dobriansky, who was recently named the Special Envoy to the north of Ireland by President Bush.  Members of the delegation met also with various members of Congress and the Senate and attended receptions at the Irish Embassy, the British Embassy, the Northern Ireland Bureau, and the White House.  The relatives presented petitions for a Congressional hearing in Belfast on collusion and the deaths.


The Washington, DC trip will be followed by a fact-finding delegation of members of Congress traveling to Belfast in early April and a small delegation of Irish American activists traveling to the north of Ireland in early May.