Counting Catholics is not sectarian head-counting but countering the original sectarian headcount

Posted By: March 31, 2018


Distributed by Irish National Caucus

” In today’s United States, Americans who believe in fairness and democracy would not defend a Congressional District that had been gerrymandered in such a way as to keep Blacks permanently out of power. And if Blacks —despite the original gerrymander—succeeded in becoming the majority, no fair American could criticize them for welcoming their reversal of fortune, and their overcoming of disenfranchisement

 Similarly, when Catholics overcome the original gerrymander of the artificial State of Northern Ireland— which turned them into second-class citizens in their own country— no fair person can begrudge their overcoming disenfranchisement, discrimination, and exclusion.

 That is the point I make in  this letter which the News Letter of Belfast (a strongly Unionist/Loyalist/Protestant newspaper) graciously published.—Fr. Sean Mc Manus

but countering the original sectarian headcount

Letters to Editor. Fr Sean McManus. News Letter. Belfast. Friday, March 30, 2018

I have never been a “count the Catholics” type of guy.

However, acknowledging that there will soon be a majority of nationalists/republicans (‘Catholics’) in Northern Ireland is not indulging in sectarian head-counting.

 It is, rather, countering and righting the original sectarian headcount and gerrymander on which the British ‘Government of Ireland Act, 1920’ was based.

 The founder of the artificial state of Northern Ireland, Edward Carson, and other unionist leaders, at the time, spelled out clearly why counties Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan had to be excluded from the new, unheard of state: those three counties had too many Catholics. As simple as that. Their inclusion would have made a Protestant caliphate impossible.

 Now almost 100 years later, the folly of such an artificial creation is evident — made more obvious by Brexit. As Martin Luther King, Jr. used to like to quote: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” (Theodore Parker. 1810-1860).

 One also has to be careful whom one quotes: the celebrated abolitionist Parker was virulently anti-Catholic!

Father Sean Mc Manus, President, Irish National Caucus, Washington, DC