Raymond Mc Cord on the Belfast Launch of Fr. Mc Manus’ Memoirs

Posted By: April 11, 2012

Belfast, April 9, 2011

Unfortunately, I cannot attend Sean’s book Launch, but I would like to show my appreciation for all that he has done in helping me and my family in the pursuit of truth and justice. 

Thirteen years ago I never would have dreamed that a Catholic priest would become:  a very good friend;  a man whom  I could  completely trust; a man standing beside me and giving me his full support as I tried to expose the collusion in my son Raymond, Jr.’s  murder.

Religion has never meant much to me—Catholic, Protestant or whatever.  It just never came into my thoughts. And my sons were reared the same way. Religion was not part of their thoughts.

Sports was a big part of my life.  I usually played football and boxing in the streets with paramilitaries.

How many fathers take things for granted.  That is, their sons will carry the father’s coffin.  Tragically, due to State collusion, I carried my son Raymond’s coffin on November 9, 1997.  From then, I have battled for justice here in our wee country.  Protestant tears and heartache are just the same as Catholic tears and heartache—no sectarianism there.  Unfortunately, people have used the pain and the tears to keep the greatest people on earth, the Protestants and Catholics of Northern Ireland, apart.  It is in death that many people realize that those divisions do not serve anybody except those who wish to gain from it.

Sean Mc Manus was regarded as an enemy of the Unionist people. Propaganda was used to have the Unionists believe that.  Well I can tell you he is no enemy of mine or the Unionist people.  He is a real man who has fought a courageous battle for justice for everyone.  We all meet people in who have a great impact on our lives, and Sean has been one of those people in my life.

As some of you know, I’m standing in the elections in May, if, and that’s a big if, I get elected, I hope Sean will walk into Stormont with me.  That’s how highly I think of the man.

Hopefully, this year we will see the killers of my son charged with his murder. Sean has also played his part in this when he brought me over to Washington, and spent 2 weeks lobbying the politicians to have a Congressional Hearing to investigate young Raymond’s murder.  It was a successful two weeks as we had that Hearing due to the respect Sean commands in the corridors of power in the USA.

I’ll not keep you any longer, but I want to say I’m proud to know Sean Mc Manus as a friend and ally.  To use a phrase of Sean’s, “God bless Ireland, North and South,” and all those good people who live here. 

There will always be a welcome in this Ulsterman’s house for you, Sean.  Thank you.

Raymond Mc Cord