Belfast Protestant thanks Catholic priest

Posted By: July 25, 2017

Secretary of State James Brokenshire and Fr. Sean Mc Manus –July 24, 2017, at Northern Ireland Bureau


BELFAST/WASHINGTON. Tuesday, July 25, 2017—  It does not happen often —given the British Government-sponsored and structured sectarianism in Northern Ireland— that a Protestant praises a Catholic priest. Yet, that dynamic was on full display over the past 24 hours in both Washington and Belfast.

In Belfast, well-known intrepid victims’ campaigner Raymond McCord, Sr. released the following statement in grateful response to Fr. Sean Mc Manus— President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus— for raising the case of Mc Cord’s son, Raymond, Jr.

Raymond, Jr. was brutally beaten to death outside Belfast in 1997 by a Protestant paramilitary organization. But because some of those associated with the killing were British Government agents and police informers, the murder was covered up.

Raymond Mc Cord, that we can have an inquest at last— 20 years after the murder. An Irish Catholic priest helping a fellow Ulsterman who is a Protestant trying to get truth and justice. It is a shame we don’t have more like Sean. As a result of Sean ‘s intervention,  I will seek a meeting with the Secretary of State. This is not going away.”

Fr. Mc Manus said: “I was proud and honored to help my good friend Raymond, Sr. whom I call ‘the Hardy Protestant Boy,’ His dedication, fearlessness, and fortitude have impressed me deeply. We brought Raymond to Capitol Hill — May 4 to May 10, 2009—   to meet many Members of Congress. When I brought him around Congress, my opening line was: “Congressman/woman, you have heard me for many years condemn British Government collusion in the assassination of Catholics in Northern Ireland. Now I want you to meet a good Belfast Protestant who wants to tell you about how the British Government has colluded in the murder of his son. It was a compelling moment, and I think finally dispelled any doubt about British Government complicity in collusion, and State-sponsored terrorism. That visit led to Raymond being invited back to testify before Congress on October 22, 2009 — before the House Sub Committee on Human Rights.”

Fr. Mc Manus continued: “Catholics in The North always knew that the British Government would, when it suited, engage in its age-old policy of political assassination as it has done throughout Irish history.  However, it came as a shock when a young Protestant like Raymond, Jr. was murdered — and not just a Protestant, but a former member of the Royal Air Force, for God’s sake— and that this murder most foul was covered-up in such a systematic and institutionalized way. What further made the crime stand out is that it was finally exposed by a brave and dedicated Englishwoman Mrs. Nuala O’Loan  in her groundbreaking Report (Operation Ballast. A Report on the Police Ombudsman’s investigation into matters surrounding the death of Raymond McCord Jr. by Nuala O’Loan.2007.) So, God bless a brave Englishwoman and a brave Belfast Protestant.  END.