Posted By: January 30, 2024

I know that Father McManus has moved the needle [on generating Congressional support for justice and peace in Ireland], and Father, for that I offer you, on behalf of the entire AFL-CIO, a sincere, thank-you.” President Richard L. Trumka. AFL-CIO. February 3, 2016.

CAPITOL HILL—Tuesday, January 30, 2024.                    

For immediate release.

This has been an important period of anniversaries for the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus.

  • International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2023, was the 45th Anniversary of the opening of the Caucus office on Capitol Hill, the first such Irish office ever. Click— www.irishnationalcaucus.org/45-years-on-capitol-hill
  • November 5, 2024, will be the 40th Anniversary of the Caucus’ launching of the MacBride Principles.
  • On October 2, 1972, Fr. McManus arrived in the United States. He was “transported,” as he likes to say, through collusion by Church and State in England to silence him from speaking out on England’s oppression in Northern Ireland. It was only 40 years later that he discovered that the appalling and powerful old racist and bigot Enoch Powell, English Member of Parliament, was deeply involved in his “transportation.”

So, in a sense, October 2, 1972, was the beginning of it all. However, in a real sense, February 6, 1974 (Fr. McManus’ 30 th. birthday) was the beginning when Fr.McManus founded and launched —just one year, four months, and four days after arriving in the U.S.—the Irish National Caucus. He was based in Baltimore, MD at that time.


“All of this clearly shows that this Fermanagh man does not allow the grass to grow under his feet,” said Barbara Flaherty, Executive Vice President of the Irish National Caucus and Chairperson of the World Peace Prize Presentations.” On February 6, 2024, he will be 80-years-young, going as strong and determined as ever, and showing no signs of slowing down. His struggle to make justice in Northern Ireland an American issue is unique and unsurpassed in Irish-American history.”

She continued: “Fr. McManus’ record represents a historic and heroic achievement, which he has maintained now for 45 years on Capitol Hill, against huge and powerful odds—as is rigorously documented in his classic and unique Memoirs, My American Struggle for Justice in Northern Ireland (2023 U.S.A. RE-PRINT).

No one can attest to this more authoritatively, factually, and historically than the late Congressman Ben Gilman (R-NY), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (then called the International Relations Committee). The Great Man deserves to be quoted at length, for he was there—like Congressman Mario Biaggi (D-NY) and others—when Fr. McManus had to do all the heavy lifting in the U.S. Congress, doing the work nobody else did or would do … And when the ‘sunshine patriots,’ inside and outside Congress were missing in action, lest we forget.

Congressman Gilman’s quote follows,” she concluded.


“Throughout my 30 years of Congressional work, Father McManus 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 McManus 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 McManus—in keeping with his priestly calling—is committed to nonviolence).

During the past 30 years, the fingerprints of Father McManus 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 Finucane 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 McManus’s doctrine ‘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 Fr. McManus’ dream for his beloved Ireland.’ February 2003.”

To see what many others attest about Fr. McManus’ historic work, please click— PRAISE FOR MEMOIRS AND FOR FR. McMANUS’ Work 


Fr. McManus said: “I thank God for the grace to be able to have done this work for so many years—and I thank all those who made my work possible, especially Barbara Flaherty. It has been said that working for justice is a deeply spiritual experience—and that has certainly been my own experience. I fully agree with the maxim of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) scholar American Protestant Rev. Walter Brueggemann: ‘In Biblical faith, the doing of justice is the primary expectation of God.’

And, the prophetic, timely, and official teaching of the Catholic Church has been the foundation of my ministry: “… Action on behalf of justice [is] a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel…and [a constitutive dimension] of the Church’s mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation.”( Justice in the World. World Synod of Bishops. 1971). In other words, faith must be the faith that does justice—if it does not, it is not faith in God or in Jesus Christ.

Fr. McManus continued: “The above-cited teaching has been described by Catholic scholars as the ‘best-kept secret of the Catholic Church.’ While that may be a bit over the top, nonetheless, it bears some truth, which is sad and troubling. Because without social justice, there is neither love of God nor love of neighbor. Jesus Christ, Himself, made love of God and neighbor absolutely inseparable—the ‘same Commandment.’

‘Love of neighbor,’ in effect, means we all must, to the best of our ability, do justice and want justice established on this earth. And the wonderful thing about placing social and economic justice at the heart and soul of everything is that people of no faith, but of goodwill, also believe that justice must be front and center in any decent society.”


Fr. McManus explained: “The late, great Richard L. Trumka, President of the massive AFL-CIO with over 12.5 Million members,

continued the long tradition of the AFL-CIO in supporting the Irish National Caucus until his untimely death on August 5, 2021. (The Executive Council of the AFL-CIO, under the famed George Meany, endorsed the Irish National Caucus in February 1975).

President Trumka powerfully, enthusiastically, and with wonderful solidarity helped us launch the World Peace Prize throughout the AFL-CIO and American Organized Labor. In his memory, I now refer to American Organized Labor as “Organized Love of Neighbor.” And on his death, we re-named the World Peace Prize for Solidarity the ‘Richard L. Trumka World Peace Prize for Solidarity.”

To do so was appropriate on so many levels because President Trumka personified solidarity, which his fellow Polish man Saint Pope John Paul II raised to a virtue in Catholic teaching: “Peace is the fruit of solidarity … Solidarity is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say, to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all.” (St. Pope John Paul II, On Social Concern [Sollicitudo rei Socialis], no. 38). December 30, 1987.

Solidarity includes making a preferential option for the poor (though

not in the exclusive sense). We all must make a deliberate choice to be on the side of the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed, as the Gospel demands.”

Fr. McManus continued: “President Trumka because of his wisdom and vast experience cautioned us that while all good Labor people would love our connecting Labor with the World Peace Prize, the opponents of social and economic justice would resent that connection. He predicted these opponents would not publicly oppose us; instead, they would try to manipulate some elements inside Labor to oppose us through manipulation, lies, and disinformation.

Of course, I understood that all too well, having experienced it all my life in my work for justice and peace in Ireland. The opponents of Irish justice and peace always got some ‘insiders’ to do their dirty work—internal undermining is always more effective than external undermining … However, thank God, we continue, undeterred,

unafraid, more determined, and hopeful than ever before —

and more busy.

Indeed, the past few years have been the busiest and most productive of all. Consider some examples:

  • In our campaign against England’s Legacy Bill, now an Act, we sent our key Irish Congressional Briefings to Congress every week, often twice a week, even three times a week.
  • We have written, produced, and narrated 40 Short Videos. Here’s the link to all of them—http://www.irishnationalcaucus.org/fr-sean-mcmanus-social-media-video-links-and-video-texts
  • We are about the only ones in America and Ireland who have “spoken truth to power,” challenging and exposing the appalling bigotry of King Charles’ Anti-Catholic Coronation Oath, vowing to forever stop a Catholic from being King or Queen, as demanded by the sectarian, anti-Catholic, unwritten, un-codified British constitution. This brazenly justifies England’s centuries-long persecution of the Irish. It also, in effect, condones and endorses all the discrimination against Catholics in Northern Ireland since the “Partition Act,” on December 23, 1920, made law by the King-in-Parliament.
  • Just imagine, for example, the outrage if any other Head of state vowed before God and the entire world to stop a Black, Jew, or Muslim from ever being Head of State. It also shows the wisdom of the Framers of the American Constitution, who—being aware of the inherent injustice of England’s system—refused to have an Established Church, which means no separation between Church and State. Therefore, no one should use the old canard that because the monarch is also Governor of the Church of England, the monarch cannot be Catholic. In a modern democracy, Church and State should be separate as in the American system.
  • See our articles on King Charles III. http://www.irishnationalcaucus.org/20191-2/
  • Our founding motto is now a popular online petition— ‘One Ireland Petition’: ‘Ireland, too, has the right to be One Nation under God, with liberty and justice for all.” It is hosted by Change.org and has over One Million petition views (1,129,909) and over 31,439 signers. Indeed, Change.org tells us when we get 35,000 signers our Petition will be one of the largest it has hosted. So, also, please help us to reach that target— https://chng.it/pjRvJz2bRX
  • But please realize that donations made on the Change.org site do not go to the Irish National Caucus but to Change.org. To donate to the Irish National Caucus, click— http://www.irishnationalcaucus.org/

Fr. McManus concluded: “‘We have fought the good fight, we have finished the race, we have kept the faith.’ (2 Timothy 4: 7).

Or, as Teddy Kennedy, God rest him, would put it: ‘The work continues, the cause endures, and the dream will never die.’

In solidarity with the poor and oppressed of this world —for ‘peace is the fruit of solidarity.'”