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.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Raymond Mc Cord - The Protestant 'Pat Finucane'

Photo Shows Fr. Mc Manus And Raymond Mc Cord, Sr,
Outside White House, Wednesday, March 14, 2007
The Protestant "Pat Finucane"
The Raymond Mc Cord Case

CAPITOL HILL. ST. PATRICK'S DAY, 2007 --- The Raymond Mc Cord
case is going to become the Protestant version of the Pat
Finucane case.

That is what the President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish
National Caucus, Fr. Sean Mc Manus, has told Chief Constable,
Hugh Orde.

With Mc Cord's father, Raymond, SR, standing by his side, Fr. Mc
Manus told the Chief Constable in Washington that the Mc Cord
case was resonating powerfully in the Congress and the White
House because of the power of its narrative, and the impact of
the O'Loan Report --- and that it was not going to go away.

"For over 30 years", Fr. Mc Manus explained," Members of Congress
have heard me go on and on about collusion - about how the
British security forces and the Northern Ireland police
cooperated with Protestant death squads to assassinate Catholics.
What is dramatically different now is that the Mc Cords are a
Protestant family - a loyal Ulster family, proud of their British
heritage. And when people see Mc Cord's father, Raymond. Sr.,
walk the halls of Congress and the White House with a Catholic
priest like myself, it makes a powerfully compelling statement."
(Paul Mc Illwaine, father of David murdered in 2000, is also
Protestant and he too was in Washington lobbying).

Fr. Mc Manus went on to say: " Just as Irish-Americans have stood
in solidarity with the Finucanes we will stand with the Mc Cords,
and we will not let any case of collusion slip through the
cracks. Both the Finucanes and the Mc Cords are the first to
emphasize that their cases are merely the tip of the iceberg and
both want all the other cases give due attention, as do we".

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

Banished Priest Who Has the Ear of Top US Politicians

Banished Priest Who Has Ear Of All America's Top


Sunday World. Sunday, March 18, 2007
By John Cassidy, Capitol Hill, Washington DC

FR Sean McManus may have the swagger of John Wayne but he
is no high noon gun slinger who shoots his mouth off before
he speaks.

For almost four decades the USA has been the home of the
Ulster-born priest where he has been a thorn in the side of
politicians with Irish blood running through their veins.

After being "transported'' out of London 1972, the Catholic
bishops sent him to far-flung America where he hitched up
his horse in the state of Washington DC.

They thought it was a safe enough place to banish him after
he attacked the British Government and its policies in the
UK in the early 1970s.

But how wrong the Catholic Bishops were.

For it was the start of a new challenge for Fr McManus who
viewed the human rights' abuses in Northern Ireland as
equal to the discrimination meted out to the blacks in
America's deep south.

And it was here in the late 1980s that he got US
legislatures to pass the McBride Principles aimed at giving
the same rights to nationalists as unionists, turning their
workplace into a neutral environment, and ensuring all
posts were openly advertised for all to apply.

Some political observers in America say he was light years
ahead of his time when he set up the Irish National Caucus
to fight for justice and rights for nationalists back home
in Northern Ireland.

And so much so that former SDLP leader John Hume, Sinn Fein
chief Gerry Adams, and Senator Ted Kennedy from the wealthy
Kennedy dynasty wouldn't talk to him.

"I suppose I stole their thunder,'' chuckled Father Sean
this week as the Sunday World chatted to him over a dinner
in one of his favourite Thai restaurants just a few blocks
from Capitol Hill.

He reflected on the early days he went to Belfast to talk
to the leaderships of the UDA and the UVF, events which
were scary at the time but now he can afford to raise a
smile and even a gentle laugh.

"I remember staying in the Park Avenue Hotel in east
Belfast in 1978. The UVF even posted a bodyguard outside my
door! Can you imagine that, the UVF protecting a Catholic

"And I remember them paging me over the tannoy system:
'Phone call for Fr McManus, phonecall for Fr Sean McManus
please!' It was scary times.''

He remembers a UVF killer coming to his room, breaking down
in tears at what he had done.

But when he left that room, Fr McManus knew the contrition
would soon be gone and the man would be back killing again.

"I knew them all in those days. I got to know the UDA
leadership of Andy Tyrie, John McMichael and Tommy 'Tucker'
Lyttle. I had them in Washington once but Sinn Fein
wouldn't come. It was about the time there was a power
struggle at the top of Sinn Fein between Gerry Adams and
Ruairi O'Bradaigh.''

This year's drowning of the shamrock takes place against
the backdrop of the Police Ombudsman's report into
collusion between RUC Special Branch and the drug-dealing,
tout-ridden killing machine of the UVF's 3rd battalion
Mount Vernon gang in north Belfast.

To Fr McManus, collusion is nothing knew and points to a
long history of collusion in the US between the FBI and the
white supremist movement of the Ku Klux Klan.

"A 1980 Justice Department report stated that J Edgar
Hoover blocked the prosecution of the KKK in 1965, and in
1968 shut down the investigation without filing charges,''
explained the president of the Irish National Caucus.

"One of the reasons Hoover shut down the investigation was
that the FBI had an informant in the KKK who worked
directly under Bob Chambliss, the lead bomber in the 1963
attack on the Sixteen Street Baptist Church which killed
four young girls aged 11 to 14.

"The informant was called Gary T Rowe and Hoover described
him as the best undercover agent 'we've ever seen''.

It is almost a carbon copy of what Nuala O'Loan found when
she investigated the murder of Raymond McCord jnr in 1997.

"It all sounds very familiar to what was happening in the
1960s between the FBI and the KKK,'' says Fr McManus.

As the Northern Ireland parties move towards the March 26
deadline for reaching agreement and forming a new
powersharing executive, Fr McManus remains optimistic that
his homeland is close to a new dawn.

"I very much hope. It is something I have prayed for and
worked hard for on this side of the Atlantic.

"Sadly sectarianism is still rife in Northern Ireland. So
my work is not done. I think the Irish National Caucus has
still a lot more work to do in combating this

"It is my hope that the PSNI can prove to the Catholic
community that it can be trusted, that the bad old days are
over, that collusion is gone root and branch.

"And that means the British Govermennt must come clean on
collusion, something that has now been made harder by the
key role given to MI5 in Northern Ireland and by the
gutting of the Public Inquiry Legislation into the murders
of Pat Finucane, Rosemary Nelson and Robert Hamill.''

As he sits on the granite stone walls that ring Capitol
Hill, Fr McManus bemoans the way the building has been
turned into a fortress of security since the 9/11 bomb

"I use to come here every New Year's eve, rain, hail or
snow. There wasn't a person here at all and it was
beautiful when the snow had fallen . I was alone with my
thoughts. It was so peaceful and I just loved it.

"It has been destroyed. It was one of the most open parts
of this country, the seat of democracy that was open to

"Now look at it - snipers on the roof, policemen

"Isn't ironic that as Northern Ireland moves closer and
closer to peace, America is going in the opposite