Rumoured Senator holding up Thatcher resolution considered "friend" of Irish Republicans

Senator Robert Menendez has close ties with Irish Republican groups and reportedly continues to hold back Thatcher-honouring resolution

by The Commentator on 16 April 2013 17:22


Senator Bob Menendez, to whom the finger is being pointed at over the delay of a resolution honouring Lady Thatcher in the U.S. Senate, is supported by Irish Republican groups who call him a "friend" to their cause.

The "Irish American Coalition" recently published a letter from the heads of the "Ancient Order of Hibernians", the "Irish American Unity Conference" and a group called the "Brehon Law Society" which claimed that Menendez exerted "past efforts to expose some of the injustices of the conflict in Ireland".

The groups' websites publish material for Irish Republican sympathisers, going so far as to excuse Irish Republican Army operatives and peddle propaganda related to the Troubles between Britain and Irish terrorist groups such as the IRA. The Ancient Order of Hibernians website boasts of its links to Gerry Adams, the president of the Sinn Fein political party that has been linked to IRA terrorists.

In another letter published in recent years, Irish Republican supporters label the Senator from New Jersey, a state with a large Irish population, "Our Friend Menendez". 

The letter states: 

AS Irish Americans we appreciate a person who backs up fine words with good deeds. Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey is such a person.

Before it was fashionable, Bob was there for Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and the Irish people in their struggle for self-determination and freedom from British occupation of the North. In the early 1990s, he traveled to Belfast to support the release of the Ballymurphy 7 and the Beechmount 5, Irish teenagers held in a maximum security British prison on false charges. All were later released.

Bob was instrumental in persuading President Bill Clinton to grant a visa to Gerry Adams. He supported the courageous solicitor Rosemary Nelson in her campaign for human rights for the Garvaghy Road residents and hosted her on her visit to testify before Congress.

Whenever called upon, Bob Menendez has been there for the Irish. Now it is time for the Irish to be there for Bob Menendez.

We, the undersigned, support Bob Menendez for U.S. senator from New Jersey. We want him to continue his work for peace and justice in Ireland and the best interests of the American people here at home.

The information may go some way to explaining why Menendez could be blocking the resolution honouring the "life and legacy" of Margaret Thatcher. In 1984, Prime Minister Thatcher was the target of an IRA bomb at the Grand Hotel in Brighton. 

Mrs. Thatcher was leading the Conservative Party conference when on the 12th October, a bomb exploded inside her hotel, killing five and injuring 31. Mrs. Thatcher narrowly escaped being hurt and responsibility was soon claimed by the Provisional IRA. 

Mrs. Thatcher remarked in her Conference speech the very next day that "all attempts to destroy democracy by terrorism will fail."

UPDATE: The Daily Caller reports that On Tuesday, Menendez proposed his own version of the resolution, which is very similar to the resolution proposed by Mitch McConnell, except it strikes out four paragraphs and adds two of its own. 

Among the paragraphs omitted in the Menendez version that was in the McConnell version is a Thatcher quote about destroying “democracy by terrorism.”

Whereas Baroness Margaret Thatcher in 1984 survived an assassination attempt by the Irish Republican Army in Brighton, United Kingdom, and declared that ‘‘all attempts to destroy democracy by terrorism will fail’’;

Other paragraphs in the McConnell version removed in the Menendez version:

Whereas Baroness Margaret Thatcher in 1982 led United Kingdom efforts to liberate the Falkland Islands after they had been illegally invaded and occupied by the Government of Argentina;

Whereas Baroness Margaret Thatcher in 1983 supported the deployment of United States nuclear cruise missiles at United Kingdom bases and the deployment by the United States of short-range nuclear missiles in Europe when there was stiff opposition to her doing so;

Whereas Baroness Margaret Thatcher defended United Kingdom sovereignty within the European Economic Community;

Menendez also added two paragraphs not in McConnell’s original version:

Whereas Baroness Margaret Thatcher was an unrelenting advocate, despite obstacles to the United Kingdom’s political, economic, and strategic interests and those of her allies;

Whereas Baroness Margaret Thatcher renewed and grew the influence of the United Kingdom in world affairs;

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