Surprised by negative publicity

Posted By: January 13, 2018

Letters to Editor. Irish News. Belfast. Published Friday, January 12, 2018

Far be it from me to be too indulgent of Tory rulers in Northern Ireland. However, even this Fermanagh man is surprised by the negative publicity out-going secretary of state James Brokenshire has received throughout his tenure in the north.

Because of that negative publicity, when Mr. Brokenshire spoke in July at the Northern Ireland Bureau in Washington, DC, I was expecting him to be remote, disengaged, condescending and even arrogant.

In fairness, that is not what I witnessed. Instead, I saw a man who was open and respectful to his audience. And even when I publicly challenged him on the shameful British government record on the case Raymond McCord, Jr. – who was brutally murdered by police informers – he did not react badly or with hostility. And, after the public encounter, he maintained his composure and respectful manner.

So, in fairness and justice, I must give him credit for that. After all, the ‘appalling vista’ of the British government colluding in the slaughter of a young Belfast Protestant is one of the most sensitive issues for the British government. I call that case the ‘Protestant version’ of the Pat Finucane case, mutatis mutandis (with the respective differences having been considered).

I wish him a speedy recovery.

Fr. Sean McManus

Irish National Caucus

Washington, D.C.