Posted By: March 17, 2011

Four witnesses : John Finucane, John Teggart, Ciaran Mc Airt and Jane Winter

CAPITOL HILL –Wednesday, March 16, 2011—At the end of a particularly powerful Congressional Hearing, Chairman Chris Smith (R-NJ) pledged that he would escalate Congressional pressure on the British Government to end its “ obfuscation” on the four individual Northern Ireland cases before his Committee.

The four cases were : the Pat Finucane case, on which Pat’s son, John testified; the Ballymurphy Massacre, on which John Teggart testified; the Mc Gurk Bar bombing, on which Ciaran Mc Airt testified; and the Raymond Mc Cord Jr case, on which Raymond Sr ( who was unable to travel) submitted written testimony.

Congressman Smith pointed out that he was not only the Chairman of the Helsinki Commission (which held the Hearing) but also chairman of the House Human Rights Committee. He promised that he would continue to hold more hearings before both committees.

“ Congressman Smith is a real blessing to everyone who cares about human rights in Northern Ireland”, said Fr. Sean Mc Manus, president of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus. “ He has given the families of the four cases great hope and encouragement that their cases will remain a top priority in the new Congress, where the Republicans control the House of Representatives”.

Fr. Mc Manus concluded by praising all the witnesses, including Jane Winter of the British Irish Watch. “ John Finucane and Jane Winter have testified many times before and are thus seasoned witnesses. But it was the first time for John Teggart and Ciaran Mc Airt. I was very proud of both of them. They did their families proud and have made a huge contribution to the justice of their cause. By her presence at the hearing, Briege Foyle – daughter of Joan Connolly , one of the eleven murdered in the Ballymurphy Massacre – added further dignity and urgency to the cause. As did, of course, the presence of Mrs. Geraldine Finucane, who has faithfully attended so many of these hearings on her late husband, Pat.

Fr. Sean Mc Manus


Irish National Caucus

P.O. BOX 15128

Capitol Hill

Washington, DC 20003-0849

Tel. 202-544-0568

Fax. 202-488-7537