Category: Archive

Newsbriefs Reps. ask Trimble to back protection for Hamill family

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Ray O’Hanlon

Sixteen members of Congress have written to Northern Ireland First Minister Designate David Trimble urging protection for the Hamill family of Portadown in the face of allegations, made by Diane Hamill, that her family has been harassed and intimidated by members of the RUC.

Diane Hamill recently testified at a congressional hearing in Washington, where she gave details of the kicking to death of her brother, Robert, by a loyalist gang in 1997, while RUC officers reportedly observed, though did not intervene.

"Given Hamill’s moving testimony and the fact that both her brother and her attorney, Rosemary Nelson, have been murdered, we write to ask you to use all your public and private influence and become personally involved in ensuring the entire Hamill family is provided maximum protection," the congressmen wrote Trimble.

"We remain very concerned about her safety," they added.

The letter was signed by Reps. Ben Gilman, Chris Smith, Jim Walsh, Richard Neal, Donald Payne, Peter King, Joe Crowley, Michael Doyle, Gary Ackerman, Rick Lazio, John McHugh, William Coyne, Maurice Hinchey, Bob Franks, Bob Menendez and William Delahunt.

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Another visa chance

Irish applicants who failed to secure registration for the DV-2000 diversity visa program will have another chance before the century is out.

The Immigration and Naturalizations Service has already selected the mail-in period for applicants hoping to come up lucky in the DV-2001 lottery. the mail-in period will run from noon on October 4, 1999 until noon on November 3, ’99. According to the INS, instructions on how to enter the DV-2001 lottery will be widely publicized beginning August 2.

Only 637 Irish applicants from a possible all-Ireland total of 7,000 managed to secure registration for the DV-2000 lottery.

O’Dwyer appointed

New York attorney Brian O’Dwyer has been appointed to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. O’Dwyer, who chairs the Emerald Isle Immigration Center in New York, is one of seven new members of the commission appointed by President Clinton. The commission’s primary task is to interview potential White House Fellows and recommend the most qualified to the President. White House Fellows spend a year serving the President as full-time paid special assistants assigned to members of the Cabinet and senior White House staff.

Writer slain

A popular romance novelist whose books were set in Ireland was slain by her estranged husband in Washington, D.C., last Saturday. Nancy Richards-Akers, 46, was the author of 16 romance novels including "Wild Irish Skies," proclaimed by the Washington Post as one of 10 best romance novels of 1997. The estranged husband, ex-Marine Jeremy Akers, later shot himself dead in front of the Vietnam War memorial, according to the Washington Post. The couple had two children who were left unharmed.

Mitchell honored

Former Sen. George Mitchell was honored in Isr’l this week for his peace efforts in Northern Ireland. Mitchell received the Truman Peace Award from Hebrew University in Jerusalem for "his persistent contribution of wise counsel, sensitive diplomacy and unflagging determination" during the talks leading to last year’s Good Friday accord.

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble was also due to be honored in Isr’l this week. He was to receive an honorary doctorate from the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, but the first minister designate canceled the trip following the murder of a woman in Portadown by loyalists.

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