Priest & Victims’ Campaigner Lobby US Politicians

Posted By: April 14, 2009

Priest and victims’ campaigner to lobby US politicians

By Barry McCaffrey
Irish News. Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A lifelong loyalist and a nationalist priest have formed an alliance to lobby senior politicians in the US.

Victims’ campaigner Raymond McCord has accepted an invitation from Irish National Caucus president Fr Sean McManus to visit the US next month.

Mr McCord, whose son Raymond jnr was beaten to death by the Mount Vernon UVF in 1997, will meet senior Democrat and Republican politicians in New York and Washington.

“There was a time when it would have been impossible for Raymond McCord snr to have believed that a campaigner for the rights of mistreated Catholics in Northern Ireland on Capitol Hill would become his best ally in seeking justice for his own murdered Protestant son,” Fr McManus said.

“I have been touched by Raymond’s profound love for his son and deeply impressed by his bravery and fearless integrity.”

Mr McCord said he also saw the irony in the new partnership.

“All my life I have been a staunch loyalist Protestant who believes in the union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

“I used to dismiss claims of Catholic mistreatment as mere republican propaganda.

“I could not believe that my British government and my police could be guilty of political assassinations, brutality and deadly cover-ups until it all happened to my own beloved son.

“I can only turn for justice to Fr McManus and his many friends in Congress.

“He has assured me that the US Congress will fight for my rights as hard as they have fought for the rights of Catholics in Northern Ireland.”