Posted By: March 29, 2013

Irish Americans care about all the victims of the Troubles –
Protestants and Catholics

Fr Sean McManus President, Irish National Caucus Capitol Hill,
Washington DC
Irish News. Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Sean MacMurchada wonders if I am “genuinely interested in helping
an Ulster Protestant or is this just the latest installment in his
long saga of hatred of Northern Ireland and its institutions” (‘A
straight question’, October 27).

Thanks be to God, despite my many faults, there has never been
hatred in my heart for anything – least of all for my native land.

Mr. MacMurchada then mentions Protestant victims of IRA violence and
asks: “Does the Rev McManus intend to bring some of these out to
Washington to tell their story on Capitol Hill?”

That may seem a straight enough question but it is a bit confused
about the nature of my work with the United States Congress.

It also equates British government action with IRA action – an odd
thing for the writer to do, given his condemnation of the IRA.

Let’s clear up this confusion.

– By their own definition, the IRA is ‘outside’ British law – in
that sense they see themselves as ‘out-laws’ – and proudly,
defiantly so. They do not pretend to uphold British law and under
British law all their actions are illegal and criminal.

The British government, to state the obvious, is meant to uphold
British law – to be ‘in-side’ the law, not ‘outside’.

Therefore, Mr. MacMurchada should be the first to see that there is
a huge difference between a criminal act done by the IRA and one
done by the British government.

– The US Congress does not have diplomatic relations with the IRA.

It does not recognize them as ‘the legitimate government of Ireland’.

The House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs (before
which Raymond McCord Snr. so powerfully testified) was known as the
Committee on International Relations from 1995 until 2007.

That name perhaps better indicates its purpose and purview, which
was first defined when the committee was established in 1822 as
having jurisdiction over “matters which concern the relations of
the United States with foreign nations’’.

In his eagerness to attack me, Mr. MacMurchada appears to want the
US Congress to recognize the IRA as a ‘foreign nation’ which no
doubts delights the IRA.

The Irish National Caucus brought Raymond McCord snr to Capitol
Hill to testify before Congress on collusion – the action of ‘a
nation’ and a government (not individuals or groups) in conspiring
with murder and cover-up.

Had the British government not colluded in the murder of his son,
Raymond McCord Snr. would not have been on Capitol Hill, as there
would not have been a hearing because the congress would have had
no ‘jurisdiction’.

Individual crimes in Northern Ireland should be investigated by the
police not by the Congress of the United States.

I regret that Mr. Mac Murchada cannot grasp this basic point and
that he cannot rejoice that the noble and remarkably brave
Protestant Raymond Mc Cord Snr. is at last being treated with
respect and fairness in his quest for justice.

Surely it’s a good thing that Irish Americans are showing they are
concerned not only about Catholic victims of collusion (Pat
Finucane, Rosemary Nelson, Robert Hamill etc) but also about
Protestant victims as well? Why would Mr. Mac Murchada want to put a
negative spin on that?
Fr. Sean Mc Manus President
Irish National Caucus
Capitol Hill
PO BOX 15128
Washington, DC 20003-0849
Tel. 202-544-0568
Fax 202-488-7537