By the Irish National Caucus
The latest Democratic candidate to announce he’s running for president, former Senator Jim Webb (2007- 2013), may tout his foreign policy expertise but he has shown absolutely no interest in equality, justice and peace in Northern Ireland. Indeed, no U.S. Senator has ever shown less interest.
That is how Fr. Sean McManus — President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus— reacted to Webb’s entry into the Presidential race.
“Both Hillary and Governor Martin O’Malley have excellent records on Ireland. Indeed, no two candidates ever had better records than Hillary and Martin. (And Bernie Sanders’ office in Vermont supported my successful efforts to have Vermont pass the Mac Bride Principles in that state in May 1989). Whereas Senator Webb has demonstrated an absolute determination never to touch the issue of British injustice and anti-Catholic discrimination in Northern Ireland — despite his book, Born Fighting: How The Scots-Irish Shaped America.
Fr. McManus continued: “Lest it be thought that the background Senator Webb celebrates — his Scots-Irish ancestry— is the reason for his studied disinterest in Irish affairs, consider this: In May 2009, the Irish National Caucus brought Belfast Protestant campaigner, Raymond McCord, Sr, to Washington to lobby Members of Congress regarding the British Government cover-up of the 1997-murder of his son Raymond, Jr. We succeeded in getting a Congressional Hearing for Raymond, and we brought him back again for that Hearing in October. On both occasions, we urged Senator Webb— or at least an appropriate member of his staff— to meet with Raymond and to show solidarity with his quest for justice. But Senator Webb simply ignored Raymond Mc Cord. Indeed, he was the only Member of Congress who ignored the request to meet.”
Fr. McManus concluded: “Senator Webb reminds me of the Irish Catholic politicians in the United States — the St. Patrick’s Day‘s Irishmen— who love to sing “Danny Boy” and “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” but who were scared of touching the Irish issue. They are the Irish Catholic windbags. Senator Webb is the Protestant Irish version. A plague on both their houses.
If one does not work for justice in Ireland one cannot pretend to love Ireland, or Irish Protestants or Irish Catholics, because without justice there is no love— as the late Cardinal O’Connor’s episcopal motto declared.”