A contract awarded to a former British Army officer to help secure post-war Iraq should be revoked, Irish-American lobbyists in Washington said yesterday.
Tim Spicer’s firm, Aegis Defence Services Ltd, was recently awarded a $160 million contract to help secure the war-torn country.
But the decision has angered the Washington-based Irish National Caucus. It pointed out that Mr Spicer spoke in defence of the two soldiers convicted of murdering Peter McBride (18) in the New Lodge area of Belfast in 1992. Mr Spicer said he was “delighted” when Scots Guards James Fisher and Mark Wright were retained in the British Army.
Fr Sean McManus, president of the Irish National Caucus, said the 293-million-dollar contract granted to Aegis Defence Service “has Irish blood on it” and was an “insult” to Irish-Americans.
“This could undo any credit you gained from Irish-Americans for your support of the Irish peace-process,” McManus said in a letter to the U.S. president.
“US dollars should not subsidize such a person as Lt. Col. Spicer,” McManus continued, demanding an immediate revocation of the deal. “And long-suffering Iraq needs him no more than Northern Ireland needed him.”
Father McManus said he had also written to the former First Lady and New York senator, Ms Hillary Clinton, presidential contender Mr John Kerry and Senator Edward Kennedy, appealing for support.
The deal is the biggest post-Iraq war security contract to have been awarded to date.