CAPITOL HILL. Wednesday, March 12, 2014 --- A Conservative Republican and former senior speechwriter for President Reagan has increasingly emerged as a key supporter of fair play, justice, freedom and peace in Ireland.
This according to the man who for over 40 years has led the charge to keep the U. S. Congress involved in standing up for Irish justice -- Fr. Sean Mc Manus, president of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus.
The Irish-born priest was speaking about Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who was a main participant in the Northern Ireland Congressional Hearing, March 11, 2014:"Joint Subcommittee Briefing and Hearing: The Northern Ireland Peace Process Today: Attempting to Deal with the Past" before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations and the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats .
Congressman Rohrabacher is the Chairman of the latter Subcommittee, and Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) is Chairman of the former Subcommittee, commonly referred to as the Human Rights Subcommittee. This was the fifteenth Congressional Hearing that Congressman Smith had held on Northern Ireland -- a remarkable record of dedication to human rights in Northern Ireland.
Fr. Mc Manus explained: " Congressman Rohrabacher nailed his colors to the mast immediately professing his love for Ireland, and declaring that he believed the fundamental problem was that England had split Ireland into two parts. That certainly endeared him to me and to all concerned Irish-Americans. And even when he made a few technical mistakes in his presentations during the Hearing, well … " charity covers a multitude of sins" ( I Peter 4:8) -- as the Congressman, being a good Baptist, will surely know. His love (charity) for Ireland and his concern for human rights " cover" any mistake he may have made."
Fr. Mc Manus continued: " Congressman Rohrabacher struggled -- like I do -- with the issue of " dealing with the past.": how to move forward in a post conflict situation; how do victims receive justice , and how can they forgive and let go, etc. etc. Maybe the Congressman does not fully grasp the issue of collusion: how the official policy of the British Government was to create, arm and facilitate Protestant/Unionists/Loyalist assassination gangs to target innocent, uninvolved Catholics, thus spreading fear and terror so that the Catholic community would renounce the IRA -- the very same tactic that the fading British Empire deployed in Aden, Kenya, Oman, etc., etc. However, Congressman Rohrabacher did show great sensitivity to Mrs. Finucane -- and that, too, covers a multitude of sins."
Fr. Mc Manus concluded: " It was very moving to watch Congressman Rohrabacher demonstrate such concern for equality , human rights, justice and peace in Northern Ireland -- with the desire to see that Ireland, too, has the right to be one Nation, under God, indivisible, with justice and liberty for all.