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Father Mc Manus Replies to Mrs. O'Loan, Urges Proof in Abundance


Father Sean Mc Manus, INC • June 1 2004

Mrs. Nuala O'Loan
Police Ombudsman
Northern Ireland
Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Dear Mrs. O'Loan,

I appreciate your telephone call to me on Friday, May 28 2004, and I have now received your e-mail.

I am pleased that you have finally appointed an investigator to investigate the Mc Conville family claim that Neil was threatened by the PSNI. (In your letter, I notice, you refer to this as "a new allegation", but the Mc Conville family continues to insist that it is an old allegation, that they had, indeed, previously verbally told your Family Liaison Officer that the PSNI, themselves, had threatened Neil. In your letter you say "No member of the family made any reference to any threat by police to Mr McConville in any written statement made to the Office". Of course, the family never said they made the claim in "any written statement", but in oral testimony when being interviewed by your Family Liaison Officer).

Despite the unfortunate delay of thirteen months - and I pray it does not prove to be a fatal delay, for justice delayed is justice denied - it is my hope that the Mc Conville family will still receive just treatment.

And this brings me to another issue, which I know is going to outrage Irish-Americans and our friends in Congress: Two weeks ago, or so, according to the Mc Conville family, Caoime Mc Cann - Neil's partner and mother of his baby - was in her car along with her baby when she was stopped and questioned by the PSNI. She rhetorically asked the PSNI, "hadn't they done enough to her and her baby by killing the baby's father?" and one police officer replied, "we didn't shoot him soon enough".

One does not have to be from Kinawley to know that such a police-reply, if true, is the classic B-Special/RUC treatment meted out to Catholics since the State of Northern Ireland was created in 1920. Is this the kinder, gentler police Hugh Orde promised us and Dr. Mitchell Reiss, Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, in your presence at the State Department on March 18, 2004?

Sometimes, the way police act after a wrongful killing can tell us almost as much about their attitude as does the actual killing itself. For example, on April 22, 2004 we arranged for Diane Hamill , Robert's sister, to testify before the House International Relations Committee. She informed the stunned audience that some time after Robert was kicked to death in Portadown on April 27, 1997 by a Unionist mob (as the police looked on) a policeman came up to her, cocked his hand in imitation of a gun and pretended to "fire" at her.

What is the difference between the way the RUC treated Diane Hamill and the way the PSNI treated Caoime Mc Cann?

Mrs. O'Loan, I may be wrong, but I feel the Neil Mc Conville case - among others - may well prove to be the acid test for your Office, and, maybe, Hugh Orde's Achilles heel.

In 1964 African-Americans could not trust the FBI - for the very good reason that the FBI could not be trusted as J. Edgar Hoover was dedicated to the destruction of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and its leaders. It is my fervent hope that your Office and Hugh Orde will give proof in abundance - a thousand times over, for that is what is required - that Catholics can at last trust the police in Northern Ireland. For without such abundant proof, overwhelming and compelling, there will be no "new beginning" to redeem the past police record of racism and sectarianism.

I wish you Godspeed.

Thank you,

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




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent


All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
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Index: Current Articles

13 June 2004

Other Articles From This Issue:

An Open Letter to the Leadership of the Irish Republican Army
Paul Fitzsimmons

Fred Wilcox

Something rotten at the core of US body politic
Mick Hall

Father Mc Manus Replies to Mrs. O'Loan, Urges Proof in Abundance
Father Sean Mc Manus

The Armed Peace
Anthony McIntyre

An Irish Wake for Ronnie Reagan
Radio Free Eireann

Gareth McConnell

Venezuela: terrorist snipers, their media allies and defence of democracy
Toni Solo

11 June 2004

US Nationwide Irish American Group Holds 2004 Convention in Belfast
Sean Mc Aughey

The Chen Case @ the European Court of Justice - Money Talks and a Government Lies
John Meehan

A Left Vote for the Right Person
Anthony McIntyre

John Martin

Response to:
"Irish Americans"

Peter Urban

Sri Lanka: up country with the Tamil Tigers
Cedric Gouverneur

The Letters page has been updated.


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