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.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Mc Dowell's Double Standards

Mc Dowell's Double Standards
The Irish National Caucus thought readers would be interested in Brian Feeney's article on the double standards of the The Mad Mullah.

Gardai have lots in common with RUC
Irish News. Wednesday, June 8, 3005

By Brian Feeney

Michael McDowell must love passing laws. He's a man who always reaches for a sledgehammer when he sees a peanut. A new law seems to be his solution for everything. Laws about liquor licences, about minors in pubs, about immigrants and asylum seekers. He even had a referendum about them, laws about badly behaved teenagers. He's probably passed more petty-fogging laws in his short time in office than any previous minister for justice. For a man bristling out there on the right of the political spectrum, who believes there should be minimum interference by the state in peoples' lives, his record is one of petty interference anywhere he can in peoples' lives.

He's the hammer of republicans, makes them his bogey-men, he believes inequality is a good thing, a stimulant. He's rough and tough. He faces down opponents. Except that is, when it comes to the gardai. He won't take them on. For a year now one of his many bills has been making its way through the Oireachtas, An Garda Siochana bill, a bill carefully designed not to deal with the issues thrown up by the Morris tribunal's second report published last Wednesday.

McDowell welcomed the report as he did Justice Morris's first report last year but he ignored that one as he will ignore this one. Oh yes, there'll be lots of huffing and puffing and he may sack the Donegal gardai Morris castigated. Or maybe not. Perhaps he'll wait until the DPP decides whether to prosecute them. Then he can say: "Nothing to do with me mate."

Morris gently pointed out in his report that he'd been asked to produce it as a matter of public urgency, yet although he'd managed, despite all the lying and obstruction by gardai, to get his first report out in July 2004, the Dail never debated it.

Now, a year later, he suggests it might be time to 'consider' his reports. He felt it necessary to repeat in full most of his recommendations, none of which have been passed into law despite the eagerness of McDowell to pass laws.

It's obvious from Morris's remarks that McDowell's current bill is woefully inadequate to meet the tribunal's core recommendations. Morris said he was "much concerned by the lack of any independent body to receive the legitimate concerns about garda behaviour". He noted there is "no recorded incidence of an officer being held accountable for a breach of discipline". McDowell has no intention of establishing an independent ombudsman for An Garda Siochana. He has no intention of creating a Garda Authority. Gardai will still not be accountable. Indeed it requires an order from a circuit court to compel a garda to account for his actions.

McDowell intends to keep policing a closed book.

The minister for justice whose rhetoric concentrates on the misbehaviour of the poor, the young, the disadvantaged, looks set to sidestep what Morris describes as a 'scandalous situation' in the Republic's police. Morris detailed "lack of proper management at senior level, corruption at middle level and a lack of review throughout the force".

He pointed out that the sort of corruption that happened in Donegal not only could happen in other divisions but has happened.
People in the Republic are shocked, a bit like unionists here who had turned a blind eye to the awfulness of the RUC. Then, when Patten and later Stevens and O'Loan detailed RUC incompetence, ineptitude, sectarianism and collusion with loyalist terrorists, the response was denial.

Like the gardai now, the RUC was a totally unaccountable force, some of whose members literally got away with murder. In more than 30 years of the Troubles not one of the tens of thousands of people who served as RUC officers was convicted of any offence committed dealing with the communal strife.

It took the major political demarche of the Good Friday Agreement to begin to dismantle the shut and barred edifice of the RUC.

What will it take in the Republic? The answer is a lot more than the exposure of the attempt to convict the McBrearty family of a murder the Donegal gardai invented and the revelations of chaos, dishonesty and incompetence beyond imagination. Despite Patten and Stevens revealing that the RUC was even worse than nationalists claimed, unionists would never have taken the necessary action.

It seems Michael McDowell, for all his bluster, is taking the same attitude as unionists here about the RUC.

A few bad apples. What do they do to the whole barrel?

Father Sean Mc Manus
Irish National Caucus
P.O. Box 15128
Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C. 20003-0849

The God of Peace is Calling the Irish

The God of Peace is calling the Irish
Irish News. June 11, 2005

From FATHER SEAN McMANUS, President, Irish National Caucus, Capitol
Hill, Washington DC

THE Irish Peace Foundation was launched by the Irish National Caucus
on June 8 2005 to better reflect that Ireland - by the grace of God
and by the efforts of good men and women in Ireland, Britain and the
USA - is entering a 'post-conflict' stage.

The Irish Peace Foundation is exempt from federal tax so
contributions are tax-deductible.

The Irish Peace Foundation was inspired by Pope John XXIII who in his
1963 encyclical, Pacem in Terris likened peace to a house built on
four pillars: truth, justice, love and freedom.

The Catholic Church teaches that "action on behalf of justice is a
constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel" (Justice in
the World. Synod of Bishops. Rome 1971).

Pope Paul VI said: "If you want peace, work for justice."
And the late Pope John Paul II inspired us by his efforts for world

The American Protestant Old Testament scholar, Walter Bruggemann,
tells us: "In biblical faith, the doing of justice is the primary
expectation of God."

Dr Martin Luther King told us that there was no peace without justice
or justice without peace

The Irish Peace Foundation is dedicated to building the House of
Peace in Ireland by education, nonviolence, forgiveness and

The foundation has no foreign principal and does not support any
group or party in Ireland.

Naturally our first constituency is
Irish-Americans and all Americans of goodwill.

But we want to include the worldwide Irish - "wherever green is
worn", wherever Irish hearts beat with pride in their heritage, with
a love of their homeland and a desire for its well-being and peace.

Father Sean Mc Manus
Irish National Caucus
P.O. Box 15128
Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C. 20003-0849

Monday, June 13, 2005

Mad Mullah in a BlueShirt

"The gardai has utterly disgraced itself.

So has Michael McDowell. "
A few bad apples? More like rotten to the core
(Susan McKay, Irish News)
Irish News. Tuesday, June 7, 2005

"The spirit wearies at the lies, obfuscations, concealments and conspiracies to destroy the truth that would be apparent to any reasonable person who sat through more than a few days of our hearings."

This was what Mr Justice Frederick Morris said about the Garda Siochana during his investigation into how two innocent men from Donegal were framed in 1996 for a murder which never happened.

The second Morris Tribunal Report was published last week. The first one, into how gardai, among other things, invented an IRA informer and made fake bombs, was published a year ago. Morris called then for radical reform of the gardai.

This second report is even more damning. When gardai didn't have to cooperate with him, they didn't. When they did have to, "lies replaced silence". "Astonishing" lies. The Garda Commissioner, Noel Conroy, astonishingly told the tribunal the investigation into the death of cattle dealer Richie Barron had been run in "an efficient and thorough manner". Morris found it was "utterly negligent".

Last week, Michael McDowell, the Republic's loudmouth minister for justice, would have been glad of the right to silence. When he was attorney general McDowell opposed the setting up of the Morris Tribunal. After the first report, he did nothing. Forced to respond to last week's shocking report, he murmured something about 'a few bad apples'. "We have the same Garda force yesterday that we have today and we will have tomorrow," he said.

This is hardly reassuring. The Garda force of yesterday was responsible 30 years ago for having six men convicted of a train robbery on the basis of statements they didn't make and of claiming that the substantial injuries they sustained in custody were self-inflicted. The activities of the 'Heavy Gang' were investigated by retired judge, Barra O'Briain. None of his recommendations have been implemented.

The gardai got Joanne Hayes and her family to confess in 1984 that she was the mother of a murdered baby washed up on a Kerry beach. Hayes had given birth, in shame and secrecy, to another baby, which had died. When it emerged