The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
RUC Killing of Irish-American To Become Issue in New Congress


Fr. Sean Mc Manus, Irish National Caucus • 2 December, 2006

Capitol Hill. December 2, 2006 — The 1998 RUC killing of an American-born Belfast man is set to become a hot issue in the New Congress that will convene in early January 2007.

John Hemsworth was born in Kearney, New Jersey, on November 13, 1958, and after a few years the family moved back to Northern Ireland. On January 1, 1998 John died in Belfast as a result of brutal and unprovoked beating by the now defunct RUC.

Arouse Conscience of Irish-America

"We must arouse the conscience of Irish-Americans. It is a disgrace that the killing of this Irish-American has received such little attention, and it is an outrage that his family has received no justice," said Fr. Sean Mc Manus, President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus.

Fr. Mc Manus revealed that he was stricken with guilt when he received a letter in September from John's 72-year-old father, Michael, in Belfast, imploring help: "The British Attorney General promised the family that we would have an inquest into my son's death but eight years have passed and nothing has happened. I wrote many, many letters to American politicians but not one gave me the courtesy of even an acknowledgement. It is hurtful that some of these politicians and the President's envoy can meet relatives of victims of the violence but never had the time to meet me. You would think that being the father of a natural born American would be enough to give me preference. President Clinton once said, ' America looks after its own,' but sadly this is not the case for my son."

Haunting Words

Fr. Mc Manus expressed regret that he had not received the letter sooner but vowed to now take up the issue. "Can any self-respecting Irish-American read these haunting words of Michael Hemsworth and not feel compelled to do justice for his son? Irish-Americans have done many fine things for Ireland, now they must do justice for one of their own. And shame on us if we don't."

Fr. Mc Manus is launching a campaign in the US Congress — with special attention to the New Jersey delegation — and will also pursue the issue with Dr. Mitchell Reiss, Special Envoy for Northern Ireland.

Plan of Campaign

Fr. Mc Manus explained the plan.

  1. We want American pressure to make the British Government keep its promise to hold an inquest;
  2. We want the Northern Ireland Ombudsman Office to re-open the case (to which it previously gave insufficient attention, according to the Hemsworths);
  3. We want all Irish -American groups to rally to this cause, and we ask the international human rights community to take up the issue.

Fr. Mc Manus concluded by saying, "I have a lot of confidence in Special Envoy, Mitchell Reiss. He has shown great interest in individual cases, like Pat Finucane, and I'm sure once he is fully aware of the John Hemsworth case he will give it due attention and hopefully help to fulfill President Clinton's words, 'America looks after its own'."





























Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews + Letters + Archives

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
- Frank Zappa

Index: Current Articles

3 December 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Forensic Framework Unravels
Martin Galvin

RUC Killing of Irish-American To Become Issue in New Congress
Fr. Sean Mc Manus

F's All Around
Dr John Coulter

Loose Ends
John Kennedy

The People of No Principle
Geraldine Adams

Policing, a Bridge Too Far for Republicans?
Willie Gallagher

Conway Mill Debate
Anthony McIntyre

Not Too Late for a United Front
Mick Hall

Afraid of the Voice of the People
James Bradley

Ideals Live On
Dolours Price

Ray McAreavey

Poetry in Motion
Lord Falls

Michael Pebble
Anthony McIntyre

Action Required to Stop Bullies
Dr John Coulter

O'Shea is Right on Aid Policy
David Adams

Ministerial Own Goal
Anthony McIntyre

‘Beyond the Veil: Perspectives on Muslim Women in a Western Secular Context’
Maryam Namazie

19 November 2006

The Bogeyman
Anthony McIntyre

Believe It Or Not
John Kennedy

Contra Con Artists
Anthony McIntyre

The Wrong Kind of Republican?
Ivan Morley

Equality Agenda: British Rhetoric and Reality
Martin Galvin

A Deal Done By Quislings
Mick Hall

Dr John Coulter

Deadline? Pull the other one!
David Adams

Political Policing
Martin Ingram

It's Not The Taking Part
Anthony McIntyre

Who Can Get Dr No to Say Yes?
Dr John Coulter

Equality or Equity
Michéal MháDonnáin

Michael Gillespie

Revolutionary Unionism
Dr John Coulter

Who Needs Enemies
John Kennedy

The King's Threshold
Robin Kirk



The Blanket

http://lark. phoblacht. net



Latest News & Views
Index: Current Articles
Book Reviews
The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
Republican Voices

To contact the Blanket project with a comment, to contribute an article, or to make a donation, write to:

webmaster@phoblacht. net