Posted By: March 15, 2011

Irish-Americans Welcome Hearing Praise Chairman Smith’s Record

Fr. Sean Mc Manus ( center) with two Witnesses at Hearing : Ciaran Mc Airt( left) and John Teggart. Ciaran testified on behalf of the victims of Mc Gurk Bar bombing and John on behalf of the Ballymurphy Massacre Committee.
Capitol Hill—Wednesday, March 16, 2011— Irish-Americans welcome this Congressional Hearing on Northern Ireland: “Northern Ireland: Why Justice in Individual Cases Matters” before the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (commonly known as The Helsinki Commission) Chaired by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ). “ This will be the twelfth hearing Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) has held on human rights in Northern Ireland. Nobody has ever come near that remarkable record in the entire history of the U.S. Congress”, said Fr. Sean Mc Manus, president of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus. Fr. Mc Manus – who has been pushing Hearings on Northern Ireland for almost 40 years – added:“ And to think that under Speakers Tip O’Neill and Tom Foley — and others — all human rights hearings on Northern Ireland were once shamefully banned — from 1974 to 1995”. “ I greatly welcome this Hearing”, Fr. Mc Manus continued. “ It is so wonderful to see the Ballymurphy Massacre Committee and the families of the Mc Gurk Bar bombing getting to bring their case before the U.S Congress. I am sorry that my good friend Raymond Mc Cord, the Belfast Protestant, who has waged a heroic battle for justice, was unable to travel”. Then referring to the other case before the Committee, Fr. Mc Manus explained : “ The Pat Finucane case has long been of the highest concern to Irish-Americans. Solidarity with Mrs. Finucane and her family is an enduring Irish-American value and a top priority”. Returning to the excellent record of Congressman Smith, Fr. Mc Manus said: “ In my just released Memoirs, My American Struggle for Justice in Northern Ireland”(Collins Press, Cork), I write this about him: “[In January 1995] Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey, became Chairman of the Human Rights Subcommittee. He would go on to hold eleven hearings on the Pat Finucane case and other human rights issues. Chris is the quintessential good guy – dedicated, courageous, and committed to human rights everywhere”(page 240). [The book is now available at (British )Amazon and soon will be available at “ Incidentally”, Fr. Mc Manus concluded, “ at the last moment I was able to get a photo of the Ballymurphy Massacre Committee included my Memoirs, which further illustrates just how important I regard this case”. END

Fr. Sean Mc Manus


Irish National Caucus

P.O. BOX 15128

Capitol Hill

Washington, DC 20003-0849

Tel. 202-544-0568

Fax. 202-488-7537