Hyde Harassment Hearings Irish-Americans Hurt And Bewildered

Posted By: March 29, 2013

Washington, D.C. March 29, 2002 — A proposal by the Chairman of the House International Relations Committee(HIRC), Congressman Henry Hyde(R.-IL.) , to hold Hearings on three Irishmen jailed in Columbia is causing hurt and bewilderment to Irish-Americans who are working for peace in Northern Ireland.They see the move as ” harassment Hearings” — harassing the Irish peace-process and especially one of its main architects, Mr. Gerry Adams M.P., President of Sinn Fein.

Father Sean Mc Manus, President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus, who is leading the campaign against the proposed Hearings said:” I’ve always held Congressman Hyde in high regard. Until now he’s always been supportive of the Irish peace-process, but I don’t know what’s gotten into him.I tried to warn him that such Hearings would inevitably be seen as an attempt to harm the Irish peace-process by embarrassing Sinn Fein.But his office for months now has carried out a press campaign of leaks, innuendo and gross unfairness to Sinn Fein— not to mention jeopardizing the chance of due process for the three jailed Irishmen in Columbia.He has been incredibly unfair and irresponsible”.

As an example of Hyde’s unfairness, Fr. Mc Manus pointed to the letter Hyde sent to Gerry Adams inviting him to testify at the Hearings: ” The letter was first given to the hostile British Press before being given to Adams and gave the title of the Hearings as ‘The IRA in Columbia — The Global Links of International Terrorism’. How can any fair-minded person defend that? It sounds more like Senator Joe Mc Carthy than it does someone who is duty-bound to be fair,impartial and judicious”.

Pointing out that the Irish National Caucus is nonviolent and has no foreign principal , Fr. Mc Manus added : ” Gerry Adams has risked his life and liberty to bring justice and peace to Ireland. He is an Irish patriot who is a hero to millions of Irish-Americans. It is so sad and shameful that Chairman Hyde would treat him with such disrespect and unfairness.It does no good to the U.S.and grievous harm to Ireland. But then … this is not the first Easter that Irish patriots were mistreated by unfair and irresponsible demagoguery.