National Geographic Finds Its Way, With Grace and Class

Posted By: March 29, 2013

By Fr. Sean McManus, President of the Irish National Caucus

CAPITOL HILL. Wednesday, January 23, 3008 —- National Geographic has mended its ways — changing the way it refers to Ireland, no longer calling it
a “ British isle”.

In its print Travel Catalog 2008-2009, and in its on-line version, National Geographic had a page advertising its May and July guided tour,” Exploring the British Isles”, listing Ireland as part of the British Isles.

Fr. Sean Mc Manus, president of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus (not a British organization) took exception to this bad geography, and on January 10 wrote to John Fahey, President and CEO of National Geographic, urging him to
correct the faux pas, and to “ assure Irish-Americans that National Geographic is still committed to excellence and geographic sensitivity”.

On January 15, Mr. Fahey replied to Fr. Mc Manus informing him that National Geographic had “revised” the way it referred to Ireland in its on-line information and would make similar changes in future print editions. It now refers to the British and Irish Isles.

Mr. Fahey concluded his letter: “ It’s our sincere hope that National Geographic Society can quickly be restored to your good graces, as well as those of St. Patrick, and anyone else who was concerned we had lost our way. It would warm my Irish heart!!”
Fr. Mc Manus said , “ John Fahey is a classy guy. I commend him on his quick and appropriate action. Now Irish-Americans can continue to admire National Geographic without any cognitive dissonance”.