The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

In Praise of Father Mc Manus

Congressman Ben Gilman, former Chairman,
House International Relations Committee • February 2003

As I retire from Congress I want to pay tribute to Father Sean Mc Manus, the President of the Irish National Caucus.

For 30 years as a Member of Congress I have been privileged to work for many good and noble causes around the world. None has given me more pleasure than my work for equality, justice and peace in Ireland. Throughout my 30 years of congressional work, Father Mc Manus has been constantly by my side - encouraging, guiding and giving invaluable advice from his unsurpassed knowledge of the Irish issue. No one has done more than Father Mc Manus to keep the U.S. Congress on track regarding justice and peace in Ireland. Indeed, I believe historians will record that no one since John Devoy (1842-1928) has done more to organize American pressure for justice in Ireland. (The only difference being that Father Mc Manus - in keeping with his priestly calling - is committed to nonviolence).

During the past 30 years, the fingerprints of Father Mc Manus are over every piece of Congressional action on Ireland: from the formation of the Ad Hoc Congressional Committee For Irish Affairs in 1977 (which in turn sparked the formation of the Friends of Ireland in 1981) to Congressional Hearings on Northern Ireland, once banned until I became Chairman of the International Relations Committee in 1995; from individual human rights cases, like the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four to the political assassinations cases of Pat Fincucane and Rose Mary Nelson; from the Hunger Strikes of Bobby Sands and his nine colleagues to the general mistreatment of political prisoners; from individual cases of anti-Catholic discrimination to the full, frontal and triumphal campaign of the Mac Bride Principles; from stopping the sale of U.S. weapons to the RUC to putting human rights conditions on U.S. dealings with the Northern Ireland police.

Summarily, Father Mc Manus' mantra "that the United States must not subsidize anti-Catholic discrimination in Northern Ireland" has now become U.S. law and policy. Accordingly, it has been my honor and privilege to have given Congressional shape to Father Mc Manus' dream for his beloved Ireland.












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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
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Index: Current Articles

20 February 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


The Shadow of the Gunman
Paul Dunne


'Ulster Says No!' to a Bush Bomb Blitz
Newton Emerson


The Rally
Anthony McIntyre


Impressions of the NYC Anti-War Demonstration
Sandy Boyer


In Praise of Father Mc Manus
Congressman Ben Gilman


"Just Get Out!"
Gabriel Ash


16 February 2003


A Plan "B" for Tony Blair and Northern Ireland
Paul Fitzsimmons


Evidence, What Evidence?
Michael Youlton


Choices to be Made
Larry Kirwan


Talking Through His Cassock
Bert Ward


Letter to Uncle
Jimmy Sands


Long Kesh Meets Peterhouse
Anthony McIntyre


Socialists, Leadership and the Working Class
Davy Carlin




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