Irish National Caucus

Working for justice and praying for peace in Ireland... WELCOME TO THE IRISH NATIONAL CAUCUS BLOG Ceade Mile Failte -- hundred thousand welcomes! We believe the U.S. has a vital role to play by applying a single -- not a double-standard in its foreign policies towards human rights in Ireland. In particular, we believe the U.S. must not subsidize anti-Catholic discrimination in Northern Ireland. That is why the Irish National Caucus in 1984 initiated the MacBride Principles.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

After St. Patrick’s Day, Where Goes the Irish Peace-Process?

By Father Sean Mc Manus, President, Irish National Caucus.

March 18, 2005

Now that the St. Patrick’s Day anti-Sinn Fein feeding frenzy is over, where do things go from here?

Without doubt, the enemies of Sinn Fein and the enemies of the Irish peace-process have had a grand few days, and have landed some blows. And some politicians, being politicians, ran for the tall grass, while Senator John Mc Cain disgraced himself in a Paisley-like outburst of bigotry and ignorance. What gives Mc Cain -- who participated in the totally unjust and indefensible Vietnam War, in which hundreds of innocent Vietnamese civilians were slaughtered -- the right to hypocritically lecture the Irish on violence?

But what really is the end result? Has Sinn Fein been damaged?

Anyone who knows anything about the history of Irish-American nationalism will know that it’s when the Irish Cause is under the most severe attack that Irish-American rally the strongest. They “ get their Irish up” when they see the rich and the powerful, both in Ireland and the United States, through unjust and deceitful means attempt to demonize the man who has become the very symbol of the Irish Cause, Gerry Adams.

Obstructed But Not Damaged

So has Sinn Fein been seriously damaged? No, I do not believe they have. They have been obstructed. And they certainly need to overcome those obstructions if they are to keep advancing the Irish peace-process. One of the ironies of all of this is that it has become clearer and clearer to all Americans that it is The Irish Republican Movement that has kept the peace-process alive and that without them there would never have been a peace-process in the first place -- surely not the outcome their enemies had hoped for. Irish Republicans are now seen not just as one of many players, but as the standard- bearers of the peace-process… if they fail, the peace-process fails… if they do not move first, nobody moves … if Gerry Adams gives up on the peace-process all is lost. It’s an awesome burden, and maybe an unfair one, but that’s the way it actually is --and, indeed, has been since the John Hume and Adams launched the peace-process.

The One Indispensable Leader

So in all their attacks, in all their shameful attempts to demonize Gerry Adams, the enemies of the peace-process have in actual fact helped to establish Adams as the one indispensable leader. That is why they now must try to destroy the peace-process because they know the most direct way to destroy Sinn Fein is to destroy Sinn Fein’s greatest asset, and greatest accomplishment, the Irish peace-process.

It was, again unfairly, said about Caesar’s wife “ she must not only be chaste but seen to be chaste”. So too Irish Republicans must go out of their way to show they are not involved in any wrongdoing. (Obviously Sinn Fein cannot be responsible for the action of every Republican -- no more than Teddy Kennedy can be responsible for the action of every Democrat in Massachusetts). And they must move in a major way to remove the obstructions placed on them by others -- and they cannot wait for others to do that. That would be like waiting for Minister of Justice Michael Mc Dowell to do something to help Sinn Fein increase their vote in the Irish Republic.

What Must Be Done

Sinn Fein must somehow get things back to where they were before Christmas when the IRA were, quite extraordinarily, “ prepared to speedily resolve the issue of arms, by Christmas if possible, and to invite two independent witnesses, from the Protestant and Catholic churches, to testify to this. In the context of a comprehensive agreement we were also prepared to move into a new mode and to instruct our Volunteers that there could be no involvement whatsoever in activities which might endanger that agreement”.

Somehow Sinn Fein must do this -- and they must not give a veto on their actions to Ian Paisley, Michael McDowell or John Mc Cain. They must act as free agents whose top priority is to advance the peace-process.

And Sinn Fein must somehow come to terms with the policing issue, which I knew was always going to be the most difficult of all. How can Gerry Adams look the family of Pat Finucane in the eye and tell them that all the bad old days are truly over, that all bad attitudes and bad individuals, bad laws and bad systems, have been removed and that a young Finucane could with honor and pride now join the police and protect the rights of all the people in Northern Ireland?

And yet if Sinn Fein remains aloof from the police, there will never be an acceptable police service in Northern Ireland, because the police will never fully change until Sinn Fein forces that change by its active participation.

I don’t know how Gerry Adams does all that has to be done. But I do know there is not another man or woman on the island of Ireland who can do it. Instead of being demonized Adams should be prayed for and wished Godspeed in his work to bring justice, equality, nonviolence and peace to Ireland. And in saying this I know I echo the opinion of the vast majority of Irish-Americans.

Fr. Sean Mc Manus
President
Irish National Caucus
Washington
202-544-0568

7 Comments:

At 5:56 PM, March 20, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you, if you happened to be in the Belfast on the night of the gutting of Robert McCartney, have given him the last rites or gone inside the bar with the rest of the Sinn Fein/IRA clique (who you so obviously admire) and cleaned up the bar?

 
At 8:13 AM, March 22, 2005, Anonymous Jim from Andersonstown West Belfast said...

Hi Father Sean great to see that someone is standing up for the true Irish Republicans. I read your article in Daily Ireland today and it really cheered me up knowing we have friends like you. Keep up the good work and good bless.

 
At 12:10 PM, March 24, 2005, Anonymous Menzies said...

Excellent question, Anonymous. Just where does father McManus stand on the issue of terrorism and, more specifically, IRA terrorism directed at Catholics in Northern Ireland?

Over FIFTY people have been MURDERED by the IRA since their first ceasefire. When will the IRA stop oppressing the Catholic community in the North? We were promised peace and freedom, not more oppression and injustice at the hands of these drunken, evil thugs.

Does Father McManus operate on the principle of a Bible in one hand and an armalite in the other?

 
At 12:36 PM, March 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

now you're talking Menzies.
Where does Father McManus stand on the IRA re-admitting one of those 'expelled' over the murder of McCartney.

Perhaps in his warped world a two week suspension from 'The Army' is sufficient penalty for this 'freedom fighter'.
Lucky for him the McCartney's didn't request him be shot in the head.

 
At 1:43 PM, March 25, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Father McManus should be ashaimed to call himself a Priest,he is a republician bigot.His hatred for all none Catholics is apparent in all his statements.
What about advising his friend Adams,Sinn Fein/IRA to stop murdering innocent people and give up their arms.
If you side with terrorists,you are a terrorist !!

 
At 2:07 PM, March 25, 2005, Anonymous Isaac said...

I dont think Fr,Sean has got the message yet that both Sinn Fein/IRA members McGuinness and Adams are convicted terrorists who has murdered innocent Catholic and Protestant people in the name of the Catholic Church.
Can he forgive them for carrying out these atrocities????????

 
At 11:54 AM, March 28, 2005, Anonymous Menzies said...

List Of Shame: Just some of those Murdered By IRA Since First Ceasefire:-

Christopher O`Kane 37, shot dead 2001
Eamon Collins 45, stabbed to death 1999

Paul Daly 38, shot dead 2001

Andy Kearney 33, shot and bled to death 1997

Michael Magee 34, shot dead 2001

Gareth O`Connor 24, "disappeared" travelling through S Armagh, body never found, 2003

Mathew Burns 26, shot dead 2002

Brian McDonald 51, Shot dead 2002

Seamus "Shavo" Hogan 47, Shot dead 2001

Edmund McCoy 28, Shot dead 2000

Nicholas "Mad Nicky" O`Hare 34, Shot dead 2000

Patrick Quinn 32, Shot dead 2000

Joseph O`Connor 26, Shot dead 2000

Trevor Kells 35, Shot dead 2000

Brendan "Speedy" Fagan 24, Shot dead 1999

Paul "Bull" Downey 37, Body found in South Armagh roadside 1999

Charles Bennett 22, tortured and shot dead 1999

Brendan "Bap" Campbell 30, Shot dead 1998

Bobby Dougan 34, Shot dead 1998

Kevin Conway 30, Shot dead 1998

Gerard Moran 35, Shot dead 1998

Michael Mooney 34, Shot dead 1995

Anthony Kane 29, Shot dead 1995

Paul "Saul" Devine 35, Shot dead 1995

Francis Collins 40, Shot dead 1995

Christopher "Sid" Johnston 38, Shot dead 1995

Martin McCrory 30, Shot dead 1995

Ian Lyons 31, Shot dead 1996

John Paul Devlin, Shot dead 1996

P J Judge 41, Shot dead 1996

Joseph Foran 38, Shot dead 2000

Thomas "Tomo" Byrne 41, Shot dead 2000

Josie Dwyer 41, beaten to death 1996

Mark Robinson 22, Stabbed and beaten to death 2001

Jimmy McGinley 23, stabbed to death

Robert McCartney 33, stabbed and beaten to death 2005

Bobby McGuigan 36, Shot dead 2001

Kieran Smyth, Shot dead 2001

Eric Shorthall 23, Shot dead 1995


Source: 13/March/2005 (newspaper edition of The Sunday Independent)

 

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