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One hundred thousand welcomes to you to my official blog of all things Irish from me, Diane Byrnes, host of the Echoes of Erin radio show on WEDO Radio 810AM.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Pat Finucane Center - in Pittsburgh

A Talk on Collusion and Reconciliation
Alan Brecknell
Pat Finucane Centre, in the North of Ireland

Alan Brecknell, from the Pat Finucane Centre in Newry, County Down in the North of Ireland is on a US Tour talking about Collusion and Reconciliation in Ireland. Mr. Brecknell will address a Pittsburgh audience on Monday, August 6th at Mullaney's Harp and Fiddle, located at 24th Street and Penn Avenue In The Strip. The Doors will open at 5:00pm with a full dinner menu available.

Sean McClorey will perform music and sing ballads from 6:00 pm, then Alan Brecknell will speak on "Political Collusion and the Quest for Reconciliation, Truth Recovery and Healing in Ireland".

There will be a Question & Answer period after a short break with music once again with Sean McClorey.

The event is presented by The Year of Remembrance Committee (TYORC), an ad hoc group of members from many Irish organizations in Pittsburgh including: Divisions of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Echoes of Erin, Knights of Equity, Irish American Unity Conference, Irish Centre of Pittsburgh, The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh, The Irish Society for Education and Charity, and Daughters of Erin.

Admission is Free; Donations will be accepted at the Door; there will be a 50/50 Raffle. All proceeds will benefit the Pat Finucane Centre.

Make sure you join us and hear about Collusion and Reconciliation, www.patfinucanecentre.org.

When: Monday, August 6, 2007 Doors open at 5:00 pm
Where: Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle, 2329 Penn Avenue, in The Strip District ~ 412/642-6622 kitchen and bar will be open for your dining pleasure
Sean McClorey will perform with Ballads and Music at 6:00 pm
Alan Brecknell will speak at 6:30 pm

Why: The Pat Finucane Centre plays a leading role in the campaigns of the families of victims in the north of Ireland who seek truth and accountability so that healing may begin.

About Alan Brecknell

Alan Brecknell runs the Newry office of the Pat Finucane Centre. Alan's father was killed in an Ulster Volunteer Force/Royal Ulster Constabulary/Ulster Defense Regiment attack on Donnelly's Bar in 1975. Alan has researched collusion in mid-Ulster and the border counties for seven years now and is probably more knowledgeable in this area than anyone alive today.

Late last year an International Panel, led by Professor Douglas Cassel of Notre Dame, published a comprehensive report on collusion cases (http://law.nd.edu/news/IIP%20final%2011%2006%2006.pdf).

Alan was the local expert liaising with the panel for over two years. He has met with former members of loyalist gangs both in Ireland and in mainland Europe, and has given evidence to parliamentary committees on both sides of the border.

He is currently studying for a Masters in Human Rights Law in addition to running the PFC Newry office. Alan recently spoke at a public meeting with Geraldine Finucane, the wife of murdered civil rights lawyer, Pat Finucane, Susan McKay, journalist with the Irish News and Raymond Mc Cord, Sr. whose son, Raymond, Jr. was beaten to death by the Ulster Volunteer Force. Alan is well placed to talk about the nature and extent of collusion, the Panel report and the differing approaches to truth recovery. What is the role of the Police Ombudsman and the Historical Enquiry Team? Why does the PFC deal with both and what are the strengths and weakness of both? What are the needs of victims’ families in a post conflict situation and what role could a truth commission play?


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