A great Jewish-American
Submitted by: Irish National Caucus
Posted: Dec 20, 2016 – 10:03 AM EST
WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 /CSRwire/ - The President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus, Fr. Sean Mc Manus has spoken of his reaction to the death of former New York Republican Congressman Ben Gilman (December 6, 1922-December 17, 2016).
Fr. Mc Manus who knew Mr. Gilman for over forty years said: “I am deeply sorry about the death of my dear friend, the great Ben Gilman. May God rest his noble Jewish-American soul.
Ben was a fervent advocate for Irish justice and peace, More than any other Member of Congress in U.S. history, he tackled the real issues that Congress could rightly address. And more than any other Congressman, he worked closely with me to ensure a great Congressional injustice and cover-up would be ended — the banning of Congressional Hearings on human rights in Northern Ireland.”
Fr. Mc Manus explained: “On October 9, 1973 — just over year since I arrived in the United States— I arranged my first Congressional Hearing. It caused deep concern in both the Irish and British embassies. After that, Congressional Hearings were, in effect, banned for over twenty years with the explicit collusion of Big Name Irish-Catholic Members of Congress.
But when the great Ben Gilman became the Chairman of the House International Relations Committee (Foreign Affairs), one of his first actions was to keep his long-time promise to me: that he would hold Congressional Hearings.”
On March 15, 1995, Chairman Gilman held a Congressional Hearing on one of the signature issues of the Irish National Caucus: the Mac Bride Principles— a corporate code of conduct for the American companies doing business in Northern Ireland—which the Caucus had launched on November 5, 1985. That Hearing would pave the way for us to get the Mac Bride Principles passed into U.S. law. And that Hearing would soon be followed by another Hearing on yet another key issue of the Irish National Caucus: exposing the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary, the sectarian police force in Northern Ireland) and the need for an acceptable police service.
Fr. Mc Manus concluded: “To me, this is a profound life-lesson for Irish-Americans: Irish-Catholic Congressmen covered up British injustice and oppression in Northern Ireland. A Jewish-American Congressman came to the rescue, broke the ban on Congressional Hearings and got the United States Congress to officially stand up for Irish justice and peace.
God rest the great Ben Gilman. May his name live forever in Irish history.”