Posted By: April 28, 2015

Fr. Sean Mc Manus and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

CAPITOL HILL. APRIL 27, 2015—— The Irish patriot and martyr James Connolly  famously said : “The cause of Labour is the cause of Ireland; the cause of Ireland is the cause of Labour.”

Fr. Sean Mc Manus— President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus— has had a very long connection with the AFL-CIO.

He founded the Irish National Caucus on  February 6, 1974. In February 1975, the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO invited him  to Bal Harbor to brief them on the Irish issue.

The Executive Council endorsed the Irish National Caucus.

Then about ten years later, the Executive Council invited  Fr. Mc Manus to brief them on the Mac Bride Principles—a corporate code of conduct for American companies doing business in Northern Ireland. 

The AFL-CIO became the first significant group to endorse the Mac Bride Principles. The Executive Council stated that there was no way the voice of the American Labor Movement could be silent about fair employment by American companies in Northern Ireland. The Executive Council rightly saw that the Mac Bride Principles could be most beneficial. Now the Mac Bride Principles are universally considered to be the most effective fair employment campaign ever regarding Northern Ireland.

On April 27, 2015, Fr. Mc Manus and Barbara Flaherty, Executive Vice President, of  Irish  National Caucus,  met with the current  President of the AFL-CIO, Mr. Richard Trumka. in personal office at the AFL-CIO Headquarters.

Fr. Mc Manus said : “ I have met every President of the AFL-CIO since George Meany. Richard Trumka is a great American and a great Labor Leader. I remember him calling me back in the 1980’s , while he was President  of the United Mine Workers of America ( UMWA) to express solidarity with the Irish struggle for justice and for our Mac Bride Principles campaign. I was very touched that this son of a Polish father and and Italian mother was demonstrating  concern for the rights of  Catholics in Norther Ireland.. So it was wonderful being back at the AFL-CIO  headquarters and meeting with this lovely man and stalwart champion of the rights of working women and men.”

Barbara Flaherty said : “ It was nice to see Fr. Sean renew his long-time contact with  the AFL-CIO. His link to American Labor has always meant so much to him because he knew it connected him with the real America— the hard-working Americans of every ethnic background who built this country. These same Americans can now feel proud that they have Mr. Trumka as a leader.”