Major Victory for MacBride Principles House and Senate Conference Approves

Posted By: March 29, 2013

Washington, D.C., March 11, 1998 — In a major development, the House and Senate Conference of the U.S. Congress approved the MacBride Principles last night. The Principles, approved as part of the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998, mandate that all recipients of funds from the International Fund for Ireland in Northern Ireland must be in compliance with the MacBride Principles.

“This is a truly magnificent development in a long campaign for the MacBride

Principles,” said Fr. Sean McManus, President of the Irish National Caucus, the Capitol Hill-based Irish lobby. “That it comes as a St. Patrick’s day gift is particularly welcome.”

The Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 will now go back to the full House and full Senate on Thursday or Friday for up-or-down vote. Members must vote yes or no for the entire Bill. They can not debate or oppose particular sections of the Bill. That means in effect that the MacBride Principles will be passed. The Bill will then go to the President for his signature.

Fr. McManus paid special tribute to Congressman Ben Gilman (R-NY), Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, for his splendid and consistent leadership on the MacBride Principles campaign. “In all of history Ireland has never had a truer Congressional friend than Ben Gilman,” Fr. McManus stated.

Fr. McManus also praised Sen Al D’Amato (R-NY): “Sen D’Amato also played a key role in persuading Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, not to oppose the MacBride Principles being included in the Bill.”