MARCH 7, 2001
Today, J. Terry Ryan, President of The Children of Ireland Group, successfully concluded his part in the Irish-American Unity Conferenceís (IAUC) annual "Irish Issues Advocacy Meetings" in Washington, DC along with other Irish-American organizations.
Out of over 70 IAUC scheduled meetings over a three-day period, Terryís participation included discussions with the Irish Embassyís Ambassador, Sean OíHuiggen and staff, Country Officers and Foreign Affairs Officers with the State Departmentís Bureau of Foreign Affairs and Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Among some of his congressional meetings were those with the offices of Senators John Kerry (MA), Joseph Lieberman (CT), and Ted Kennedy (MA) and Representatives James Walsh (NY), Marge Roukemo (NJ), Peter King (NY), Allen Boyd (FL), Ilean Ros-Lehtinen (FL) and Donald Payne (NJ). †
His schedule concluded with a joint meeting today at Republican National Committee (RNC) headquarters with Ann Wagner, RNCís Co-Chairman, and Susan Ann Davis, President of the National Assembly of Irish American Republicans. All meetings were arranged through the IAUCís national headquarters in Washington which annually provides a forum for not only its own members but other Irish-American organizations to discuss human rights issues in Northern Ireland. †
Commenting on his meetings, Terry indicated, "Although the new Bush administration is still in its formative and transition stage, I, personally, left with a strong sense of its commitment to the continuing peace process. The style of its commitment will be different than the Clinton administration but I feel it has an exceptionally good perception of the Irish-American publicís need to see a strong continuing effort toward a lasting peace through the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) and the Patton Report. As such, I feel this perception will continue as every effort is made to resolve existing stalemates." †
Regarding the current political void due to the GFA not yet being fully implemented, Terry noted, "The current void in Northern Ireland has tremendously increased tension in communities since January 1st with sectarian attacks of well over 50 known pipe and petrol bombs thrown into homes and hundreds of little-noticed gun and personal attacks on families and individuals, many of which have been directed toward innocent young adults and children! There was even a cache of bombs found on the top of a school several weeks ago! In ALL of my meetings, the message I delivered consistently emphasized that peace efforts need to get back on track DURING the administrationís transition process." †
The Children of Ireland Group, Inc. specializes in purchasing recreation and education equipment for community centers in Ireland, especially, Northern Ireland. Doing so, it provides long-term assistance to community centers, on both sides of the conflict, to attract needy at-risk kids into the centers. There, social workers are able to address a myriad of problems including an extremely high suicide rate, drug usage, and teen pregnancies, one of the highest rates in Europe. The Group maintains the only known daily listing on its web site of sectarian attacks solely against children (on both sides of the conflict). CIG is an international membership organization with additional information on its