Tip O’Neill, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, endorsed Éıre Nua in 1973. In 1978, then Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Representative Peter Rodino, commissioned a fact-finding delegation to investigate the U.S. State Department denial of visas to individuals advocating solutions to the conflict in the British occupied six Irish counties, commonly referred to as Northern Ireland (NI), to enter the United States. Representatives Joshua Eilberg and Hamilton Fish IV led the delegation that visited Ireland to interview the individuals denied visas to determine if there were legitimate reasons for the State Department’s action. The report published by the delegation found no legal basis for the State Departments actions and concluded that the denials of visas were a political decision made on behest of the London government who feared an airing of their neo-colonial policy in Ireland.
Ruaırí Ó Brádaıgh, a co-author of Éıre Nua, was amongst those individuals denied entry visas.
Contrary to the State Department’s assessment and consequent regressive visa policy pro-British unionists in NI viewed the Éire Nua policy proposals as a genuine attempt at Irish unity and reconciliation. In a paradoxical act of treachery, corrupt elements within the Provisional Sınn Féın (PSF) Northern Command abandoned Éıre Nua stating that it was a “sop to the Unionists.” Despite Provisional Sınn Féın’s despicable rejection of the Éire Nua policy, republican parties and dedicated individuals in Ireland and in the U.S. “kept the flag a flying” for the past four decades.
What is Éire Nua?
Éire Nua, initially proposed by Republican Sinn Féin in 1972, would, as a basic requirement, reunite the British occupied six counties of Ireland with the rest of Ireland in an all-Ireland federation comprised of the four historic provinces of Ulster, Munster, Leinster, and Connacht. This comprehensive and far-reaching policy is in stark contrast to British imposed arrangements such as the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, Sunningdale, Hillsborough, and the Good Friday Agreement, all calculated to copper-fasten and legitimize British control over the occupied six counties of Ireland. If enacted it would act as a bulwark against what everyone fears – another war.