Irish-Americans Welcome Carnahan- Hearing

Posted By: September 17, 2010

September 16, 2010 — “Human rights must be the heart and soul of
the Irish Peace Process. And a strong Bill of Rights must take center
stage in Northern Ireland—an area that never showed much respect for
human rights. Nor was it ever meant to because it was artificially
engineered to be a sectarian State by the British in their Government
of Ireland Act of 1920”.

That is what Fr. Sean Mc Manus, president of the Capitol Hill –based
Irish National Caucus, said regarding today’s Hearing before the House
Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and
Oversight — Chaired by Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-MO). Fr. Mc Manus

“However, the Good Friday Agreement 1998, followed by the power-
sharing executive have dramatically changed things for the better.

Sadly and ironically, Protestant paramilitaries — supposedly on
ceasefire—are terrorizing some Protestant families. And the British
Government and elements in the PSNI seem to turn a blind eye. Some
dissident Republicans are trying to start up the conflict again but
have little support.

The United States has played a key role in combating discrimination in
Northern Ireland through the Mac Bride Principles, which the Irish
National Caucus launched in November 1984. However, there is still
reason for concern, and still much work to be done.

A recent Report by the NY State Comptroller’s office (with which the
Irish National Caucus works closely) states that, “the Government
economic development agencies… continue to steer outside investment
toward Protestant areas, most especially those in and around Belfast”.
(Report on Northern Ireland Investment. 2010).

This helps to highlight one of the most profound and fundamental
problems in Northern Ireland: the deep, historic anti-Catholic
sectarianism upon which the State was founded.

However, there is little point in criticizing that sectarianism
without repealing the Act of Settlement 1701, an integral part of the
British Constitution, which institutionalizes and justifies that very

For all these and other reasons, it is still vital for the U.S.
Congress to stay actively involved in promoting unity and peace, human
rights and equality, nonviolence, and reconstruction on the island of

Irish Americans congratulate Chairman Russ Carnahan for his commitment
to human rights in Ireland and across the globe. He deserves great
credit”. END.