Call on DUP to Join Irish National Caucus

Posted By: February 09, 2009

Call on DUP to Join Irish National Caucus

In Addressing True Roots of Sectarianism

Capitol Hill. Monday, February 9, 2009 – Irish-Americans have called on the DUP to join the Irish National Caucus , well at least in spirit .

Fr. Sean Mc Manus, president of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus, has called on a leading member of the DUP to join him in calling for the repeal of the anti-Catholic provisions of The Act of Sttlement.

In a letter to the Irish News of Belfast Fr. Mc Manus writes : “DUP Foyle Assembly Member, William Hay, is to be congratulated for his call to an end of sectarianism, “

‘Root sectarianism out of our society’ says DUP man” (February 9).

However, the roots of sectarianism lies not in the personal anti-Catholicism of the extremist individual Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist (however sad that is) but in the British Constitution, which enshrines, entrenches and ensures anti-Catholic sectarianism.

And I here call on Mr. Hay to join the Irish National Caucus in calling for a repeal of this State-sponsored sectarianism.

Imagine had there been a provision in the US Constitution forbidding an African-American being president, or forbidding the president to marry a black person… imagine how that would have stoked the flames of racism and the sick ideology of white supremacy. And imagine how the supposedly liberal British and Irish media would have denounced it.

Well, The Act of Settlement, 1701 – and integral part of the unwritten and uncodified British Constitution – contains provisions that decree only a Protestant can succeed to the British throne and that if the Monarch becomes a Catholic, or marries a Catholic, he/she forfeits the Throne and “the people are absolved from their allegiance”.

While this law may mean little to the average Englishman in the street, it has always been of the utmost importance to Protestant/Unionist/Orange extremists in Northern Ireland. It provides the ideological and philosophical underpinnings for their bigotry and sectarianism. For you see, the spurious but deadly logic goes, if a Catholic by law can’t get the top job, then Catholics are inferior to Protestants, therefore it’s okay to discriminate against them.

When Irish National Caucus launched a campaign way back in 1980 to repeal the anti-Catholic provisions of The Act, some thought it was quaint if not downright silly. That shows how “conditioned “ and desensitized people had become – even Catholics in The North were virtually unaware of this state-sponsored religious hatred at the heart of the British Establishment and the foundation stone of the Royal Family.

I welcome the growing awareness that something must be done to repeal this constitutional bigotry. However, the excuses offered for delaying effective action only serves to compound the original offense: “ it is complicated, requires a lot of work, etc.”

The “ultimate” excuse is, of course, “ but the Anglican Church would have to be dis-established”… Well, so be it. Church and State should be separate, anyway – as the U.S. Founding Fathers so wisely knew.

Finally, to get back to how will British propaganda had “conditioned” people: throughout The Troubles the British Government lamented the “ theocratic” nature of the 26 County State! And got away with it, except for the Irish National Caucus – and now, perhaps, Mr. Hay?”


Fr. Sean Mc Manus


Irish National Caucus

Capitol Hill

PO BOX 15128

Washington, DC 20003-0849

Tel. 202-544-0568

Fax 202-488-7537