Ford Hammered at Congressional Hearing Long Record of Anti-Catholic Discrimination at Belfast Plant

Posted By: March 29, 2013

Washington, D.C., March 13, 1997 — A key Congressional Committee was told today about Ford’s long history of anti-Catholic discrimination at its plant in Belfast.

Fr. Sean McManus, President of the Capitol Hill based Irish National Caucus — a long time critic of Ford — gave testimony before the House International Relations Committee and presented Ford as an example of anti-Catholic discrimination in Northern Ireland — and as a reason why the U.S. Congress should attach the MacBride Principles to any foreign aid to

Northern Ireland. The MacBride Principles were initiated and launched by the Irish National Caucus to be a corporate code of conduct for U.S. aid to, and involvement in, Northern Ireland.

The International Relations Committee was taking testimony regarding its upcoming U.S. State and Foreign Assistance Authorization Bill.

Fr. McManus testified:

“Ford has had a long history of anti-Catholic discrimination at its plant in Catholic West Belfast. Every group or entity that has investigated Ford since its arrival in Belfast in 1964 has criticized Ford for discrimination. Here is a partial list: the British Government Fair

Employment Agency (Ford was the only American Company ever to be found guilty of religious

discrimination by the FEA); Obair, the Campaign for Employment in West Belfast in a June 1991 report entitled U.S. Investment in the North of Ireland; People’s Democracy (a Northern Ireland civil rights group) in a report issued in 1977; Fr. Brian Brady in testimony before the Congressional Committee for Irish Affairs (July 22, 1988); the office of New York City Comptroller Elizabeth Holtzman and the current Comptroller Alan Hevesi; The Investor Responsibility