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Date Posted: 09:57:32 06/20/04 Sun
Author: CKJCampaign manager
Subject: Letter to An Taoiseach
In reply to:
P. Hurley-Irish Emigrant NYC
's message, "Irish America remembers Capt. Kelly" on 07:46:06 06/19/04 Sat
AN ACKNOWLEDGE FROM THE TAOISEACH WAS RECEIVED WEEK-ENDING 19TH. JUNE.
Oct5th_vets68@hotmail.com Derry City BT48 7HR
June, 4, 2004
Mr. Bertie Ahern TD,
C/o Dáil Éireann,
Dear Mr. Ahern, Re; Capt. Kelly Justice Campaign
Within hours of the death of Mr. James J. Kelly, a former Irish army captain, on July 16th 2003, you made a public statement pointing out that "he had acted on what he believed were proper orders", and went on to add, "personally I have no reason to doubt his integrity". On the basis of facts already within the public domain, and your own comments, several 1968 civil rights veterans undertook a campaign shortly afterwards. In the weeks that followed, and without prior contact, Capt. Kelly's widow, Sheila, immediate family and relations, and many others publicly endorsed our efforts, both at home and abroad. They all concur with, and strongly endorse your comments.
On St. Patrick's Day this year, Mrs. Sheila Kelly launched the Captain Kelly Justice Campaign web site at www.captainkelly.org. Such has since been updated to include an International Petition, a paper copy of which I enclose for your consideration. This was launched at the unveiling of a memorial stone to Capt. JJ Kelly, at an Irish cultural and sports centre, in Upstate New York, last Saturday (May 29th). Mrs. Kelly attended the moving ceremony, and her son, Justin, based in Boston, addressed those assembled there in the Catskill Mountains.
The Irish launch of the paper petition is scheduled at a press conference and public meeting at the City Hotel; Queen's Quay (Strand Road), Derry City on the afternoon of July 16th, the first anniversary of Captain Kelly's sad passing. Mrs. Kelly and other members of her family have already indicated their intention to be present. I have been asked to chair the event and messages of support are being invited from those unable to be personally present, due to other pressing demands on that date.
The main reason I am writing to you personally, both as An Taoiseach, and leader of Fianna Fáil - the Republican Party, is to ask you to consider meeting Mrs. Kelly and other members of her family, with the view to discussing potential remedial action. Such may speed an earlier resolution, and possibly avert additional pressures, emotionally, financially and in terms of demands in time. Such factors are often associated with a campaign of this nature, which need not be so. Can you, and we, spare them that? We therefore hope, you agree with us that this family should not have to endure a protracted and demanding campaign, and therefore we appeal to you to personally take this justified cause a further step forward.
I am delighted to note, that since St. Patrick's Day several TDs and senators, and locally based councillors are among the scores that have viewed and signed the on-line petition. What I fear most is that the demands associated with a paper petition may create more stress on Mrs. Kelly and her family, in particular. in the weeks, and months ahead. If this process can be shortened, by your humane and practical intervention,
it would certainly be in the best interests of all concerned. An early solution should now be sought. The sooner the better, we hope and pray.
Thanking you for your kind attention to this correspondence.
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