Government Says Noraid Founder Not Welcome In Ireland
DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) _ The government said Thursday that American Michael Flannery, an Irish Republican Army supporter scheduled to visit here next month, was not welcome in Ireland.
Flannery, who sparked a controversy in 1983 when he was grand marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York, is scheduled to address a Sept. 8 ceremony in memory of an IRA leader killed 65 years ago during Ireland’s war for independence from Britain.
The ceremony is to be held on the spot where former IRA chief of staff Liam Lynch died in the Knockmealdown Mountains of southern Ireland’s County Tipperary.
Government spokesman Joe Jennings said a visit by Flannery to seek support for the IRA or on behalf of the Irish Northern Aid Committee, called Noraid, would be ″unwelcome.″ He did not say if the government would try to block Flannery from coming.
Flannery helped found Noraid, a U.S. organization that says it raises money for the families of Catholics killed or imprisoned as a result of Northern Ireland’s sectarian violence. The U.S. and Irish governments say Noraid raises money for the IRA’s fight to end British rule in Northern Ireland.
Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-NY, stayed away from the New York parade in 1983 because Flannery was grand marshal.