Fermanagh priest meets victims' campaigner
A Fermanagh-born priest is to join forces with a life-long Loyalist in a bid to lobby senior politicians in America for their support.
Father Sean McManus, the president of the Irish National Caucus which is based in Washington, has extended an invitation to Victims' campaigner Raymond McCord, whose son Raymond Jnr was beaten to death by the Mount Vernon UVF in 1997.
Mr McCord will visit the US next month where he will speak with Democrat and Republican politicians.
Fr McManus explained the background to the invitation: "Despite the tragic divisions in Northern Ireland, there is still a strong Ulster bond, which asserts itself when the Protestant and the Catholic each experiences British injustice."
For his part, Mr McCord stated: "All my life I have been a staunch Loyalist Protestant who believes in the Union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
"I used to dismiss claims of Catholic mistreatment as mere Republican propaganda.
"So, I could not believe that my British Government and my police could be guilty of political assassinations, brutality and deadly cover-ups until it all happened to my own beloved son.
"Since Raymond Jr. was murdered, I have encountered stonewalling and obstruction from the British Government and Northern Ireland police. I can only turn for justice to Fr. Mc Manus and his many friends in Congress.
"He has assured me that the US Congress will fight for my rights as hard as they have fought for the rights of Catholics in Northern Ireland".
Fr McManus said he had been touched by Mr McCord's profound love for his son and was deeply impressed by his bravery and fearless integrity.
"I can pay him no higher respect when I call him, "The Protestant Pat Finucane of Northern Ireland".