Betrayed then uplifted

Posted By: November 15, 2017

Distributed by Irish National Caucus
                                                                                                                             Raymond Mc Cord, Sr.
                                                                                                         Irish Echo. New York City. November 15 – 21, 2017

I want to say a sincere Belfast Protestant than- you to the Irish Echo for commemorating the 20 TH Anniversary of the murder of my 22 – year old son, Raymond Jr.:’’ McCord and Mc Manus mark sad anniversary. ” (November 9, 2017).

My son was a good young man, cruelly beaten to death by fellow so-called Unionists/Protestants.

Not only that, but the killers and those who directed them, were police informers and British agents — agents of my own government to which I had given allegiance all my life, like my father before me, and his father before him.

Yet, twenty years later, no one has been charged with young Raymond ’s murder — nor has there even been an inquest. My family has been betrayed by the state, and Unionist leaders in Northern Ireland have ignored my pleas for justice and decency. Had my son been killed by the IRA, every Unionist politician would be lining up to show support and solidarity.

But because the British Government and its agents are the guilty parties, these erstwhile Unionist leaders abandoned my family and me, refusing to stand up for young Raymond.

It was not just Unionist politicians who ran for cover, but the Protestant clergy. Not one of them had the Christian charity to stand with my family and me and that is still the case.

Just as I was believing that no one would support me I came into contact with Father McManus. A strange combination, a Catholic priest and a Protestant unionist. He had been wrongly portrayed here in Northern Ireland by some papers and politicians. He showed me nothing but friendship and support.

This good Fermanagh man reached out to me, lifted me up, brought me to America, put me up, brought me around the United States Congress, gave me a chance to make my case, and secured a Congressional Hearing for me. I had the great honor of testifying before Congress on October 22, 2009. It was a wonderful, powerful moment for my family and me.

From my long conversations with Fr. Mc Manus, I have learned what makes him tick. He has an all-consuming sense of justice and fair – play. He will always support the underdog. He continually stresses that working for justice is God ’s absolute commandment — and that “in so far as you have done it to the least of my brethren, you did it to me (Jesus Christ).”

Fr. Mc Manus is the most non – sectarian and most ecumenical person I’ve ever known. I was, therefore, astonished when I read that an Irish-American activist had absurdly claimed that Fr. McManus’ work was “counterproductive to progress.”   Father McManus works for peace, progress, truth, and justice for all, unlike many politicians in Ireland.

Through Fr. Mc Manus, I also met many fine Irish – Americans in both Washington, DC and New York City. I will be forever grateful to them all. I thank the Irish Echo and its readers.

Raymond McCord, Sr. Belfast