Donlon, Still Awful After All These Years

Posted By: August 08, 2016

Shows his true colors in “66 Days,” the Bobby Sands film

 CAPITOL HILL. Monday, August 8, 2016—— The one glaring note in the superb film,” 66 Days”, on Bobby Sands, is struck by Sean Donlon, former Irish ambassador to Washington (19781981).

That is the view of Fr. Sean Mc Manus, President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus.

Fr. Mc Manus, who also appears in the film, was speaking from Fermanagh, where he saw the film: “Even after all these years, Donlon’s attitude is still awful. He personifies all that was wrong with the Dublin government in those bad old days.  And he proves from his own mouth what I was up against when I moved from Boston to Capitol Hill in 1978 to open the office of the Irish National Caucus in order to get the U.S. Congress to stand up for equality, justice and peace in Northern Ireland. The Irish Embassy of that time was the major reason Congress was not denouncing British Government injustice. But, thank God, despite Donlon we prevailed in the end.”

 Fr. Mc Manus explained: “The day Bobby Sands was buried, Donlon held an Irish Embassy reception for a delegation from Northern Ireland. Decency, respect and empathy would have demanded he postpone that reception. The delegation consisted of Protestant clergy, who surely would have understood  such a cancellation— respect for the dead being  deeply ingrained in all faith traditions on the island of Ireland. While the entire world was marking the burial of Bobby Sands, Donlon was throwing a party.”

Fr. Mc Manus concluded: “ Donlon was in effect a protégé of the late Garret Fitz Gerald. Both had this grand design: do not expose British injustice, silence Irish-Americans, marginalize Irish Republicans in The North, and promote the SDLP. How did that work out for you Ambassador Donlon?”