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My American Struggle for Justice in Northern Ireland [Paperback]

Sean McManus


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Book Description

May 1 2011
For almost forty years, Fermanagh native Fr Sean McManus has been at the heart of the Irish American campaign against injustice in Northern Ireland. This is his personal account of how he mainstreamed Northern Ireland on Capitol Hill, after Church and State exiled him from Britain in 1972 to silence him on the issue. He founded the Irish National Caucus in 1974, 'the driving force that would diminish Britain's influence with the US government'. He forced through Congressional action to stop the sale of US weapons to the RUC and made the MacBride Principles on fair employment a powerful force. And all this time he was opposed not only by the London and Dublin governments but also - and ironically and inexplicably - by elements in the Republican Movement. Fr McManus also chronicles the events and social context that influenced him, growing up in Kinawley, a parish divided by the Border, in a large patriotic family. He gives thoughtful insights into seminary life in the 1960s, and how his faith, theology and philosophy of non-violence developed.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Collins Press (May 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848890982
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848890985
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g

Product Description

Review

'The man who has been helping to craft the agenda for Irish America over the past 30 years has written a compelling inside view of the pursuit of peace and justice for Ireland' -- Irish Voice

About the Author

Sean McManus is a brother of Frank McManus, former MP, and Patrick McManus, an IRA member killed in 1958. In 1971, a Redemptorist priest based in Scotland, he was arrested in Northern Ireland during an anti-internment demonstration. His superiors sent him to the United States in 1972 where he founded the Irish National Caucus in 1974, a Washington D.C.-based Irish-American lobby group.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Significant Memoir and History of Modern Irish Nationalism in America May 10 2011
By PeteR - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Using primary sources this book chronicles the work of the Irish National Caucus in Washington D.C. during the height of the war in Northern Ireland in 1970, to the present. Of particular interest is the documentary evidence that Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), Congressman Thomas P. O'Neill (D-MA), and NY Gov. Hugh Carey, did everything they could at the behest of the Irish Government to thwart Irish-Americans in their pursuit of equality and fair employment for their compatriots back in Northern Ireland.

Thousands of lives might have been saved if these "Four Horseman" had had the courage to stand up to the British and Irish governments in the advancement of justice in Ireland. Fr. Sean McManus provides proof that it was American elected representatives of various backgrounds, Italian, Jewish, African-American, Mormon, and others that ultimately brought the fair employment MacBride Principles into US law in spite of those big four so-called Irishman. This book is a fascinating account of events by the man who created the first modern Irish lobbying organization on Capital Hill and beat the British and Irish governments at their own game.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One-Man Lobby Oct. 12 2011
By penman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When the history of Irish-American engagement in bringing the Troubles in Northern Ireland to a just resolution is written, it will have to weigh the persistent and fearless efforts of a remarkable man, Fr. Sean McManus. His account of how the Irish National Caucus worked for decades to shape Irish-American opinion and persuade the U.S. Congress to face up to the real issues is an important part of that story.
Political lobbying is a major industry in Washington D.C. Every interest group maintains an office here to see that it is not left out in the cold. This is an expensive business. It would have cost millions to do what he has achieved all by himself, and on a shoestring.
This account shows how he did it: with a single-minded passion for justice, offering a political alternative to violence.
My only reservation is that its author does not set forth with sufficient clarity--as he is evidently able--what in the experience of growing up in County Fermanagh moved him so.
We can go elsewhere for that.
But only here will you find the story of how an outsider became a Washington insider. And not for promotion or self-promotion, but to promote a just peace in Northern Ireland.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Memoir-Writing at Its Very Best! Oct. 1 2011
By William Hughes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Father Sean McManus's tome literally covers the waterfront! When needed, it draws the last four decades of struggle in the U.S. for justice in Northern Ireland with a broad brush. Mostly, however, it gets into the ring and gives you a blow-by-blow account of this remarkable priest's compelling career on Capitol Hill in the service of a better future for the peoples of Northern Ireland. It's Memoir-writing at its very best!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read to understand why peace in Ireland is taking so long to achieve. Oct. 17 2011
By Mary H - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you want to understand why it is taking so long for peace in Ireland then read this book. This book lets you in on what was really happening behind the scenes in our country while the Irish were being tortured, jailed, and killed in Ireland. What our so-called Irish leaders were doing or should I say not doing. This book makes it very clear who are the true friends of peace in Ireland.
Fr. Sean McManus's book is not only his story but it is the story of the Irish, it's our history. Far to long others have been telling the Irish story from their perspective. It is vitally important that a people tell their own story so future generations will know the real history of the Irish and their fight for freedom, for peace and human rights in their own country.
Fr. Sean has done his part by putting his pen to paper, now it is our turn to make sure that this story doesn't end here. This is our history, it is up to each and every one of us to read this book and pass it on for others to read. The struggle is not over, there is still much work to be done, Ireland is still divided, we need to work for a free and united Ireland, an Ireland that has peace and justice for all.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Man with a Righteous Purpose May 21 2011
By Dr. Ruth L. Newland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am not Catholic and only remotely Irish, but I loved this book. My American Struggle for Justice in Northern Ireland is truly inspirational. Fr Mc Manus very humbly recounts his amazing story: how almost single-handedly he changed Congressional policy in regards to equality and justice in Northern Ireland (though he himself constantly stresses he could not have done a thing without the dedicated support of Irish-Americans).

But the book is not just about his work on Capitol Hill. Fr Mc Manus wonderfully lets the reader know what his early life was like growing up in Northern Ireland. Also, he gives a delightful account of his years in an English seminary, where he spent seven years studying for the priesthood. But then he explains the onslaught of The Troubles in 1969; his conflict of conscience as the Church demanded he be silent about injustice; his refusal to be complicit by his silence; and the price he paid for his courage. Church and State - when they could not silence him - conspired to exile him to America. But God works in marvelous ways. Instead of silencing the Good Father they gave him the greatest platform in the world, which he used with skill and relentlessness.

One of the amazing things in this story is that despite the powerful opposition this Irish priest faced, and despite all the unfair attempts to crush and demonize him, he never shows bitterness. Fr Mc Manus --to use his own words - "fights like hell for justice but forgives like Heaven".

This is an admirable book by one courageous priest.
It should be read not only by Irish-Americans but by all Americans who admire the man who sacrifices everything for truth and justice. It is not just an Irish classic, but also an American one.

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