Thursday, 11 February 2010


©Fr. Séan McManus 2009
Fr. Séan McManus Pat Doherty

Fr. Séan McManus
Kevin McNamara,
Pat Doherty,
All Challengers

Séan MacBride (Principles)
"I once asked Séan Mac Bride if Hume over the years had ever turned to him for advice and he said he had not. When I asked him why he thought that was the case, Séan replied, emphatically and succinctly: “Because he knows I’m implacably opposed to Partition"
It may not be one of the most unusual book review that I have ever read, but I must admit, it is probably the longest. (Fifteen Pages) For this I suppose we have to thank the wonderful world of the Blogesphere, which allows Mr. Everyman, Everywoman, just to be politically correct, to publish their opinions without the space restrictions of the traditional print media.
The book in question, The Mac Bride Principles: Irish – America Fights Back, is by former Labor MP Kevin McNamara, who stood down in the 2005 election, after 36 years as a MP. After his retirement, McNamara graduated with a PhD from Liverpool University's Institute of Irish Studies in 2007, the thesis for his doctorate being the MacBride Principles.
The tone of the review is pretty much apparent in this initial paragraph of the press release by the reviewer, Fr. Séan McManus.
"CAPITOL HILL. February 2, 2010 - Fr. Séan McManus, the president of the Capitol Hill – based Irish National Caucus – which initiated and launched the Mac Bride Principles – has released his review of the new book by former British Labor MP, Kevin Mc Namara: The Mac Bride Principles: Irish – America Fights Back. (Liverpool University Press. 2009)." Fr. McManus's review is contained in the following letter he wrote to Mr. Mc Namara. While praising aspects of the book, Fr. Mc Manus enumerates factual errors, lack of proper perspective and a surprising persistent pattern of denigration against himself."
Fr. McManus also has some sharp criticisms for Patrick Doherty, whom he labels, 'The Gossip – in - Chief'. Last December, both men were honored in New York City Hall, at an event hosted by the Speaker of the City Council, Christine Quinn, for their work on the MacBride Principles Campaign.
Some extracts from the review include:
"Furthermore, Pat’s frivolous and fictional account misrepresents the nature of NorAid’s opposition to me. It was nothing personal. The Republican Movement had ordered them to oppose me. Since the beginning of the peace-process, many NorAiders have called me to apologize for their opposition."
"Pat apparently not only wants to serve as your Deep Throat but as your Gossip - in - Chief. He pulls the same stunt on the excellent Sister Regina, page 21, where he states she was hostile to me but that later her opinion of me softened. I did not know that, and I still don't know it, as you don't let Sister speak for herself but just repeat Pat's gossip. When you interviewed me, you did not hear me say, "So and so does not like Pat Doherty". Gossip mongering should have no place in a noble effort like the MacBride Campaign. It is poisonous and spreads suspicion. It is what I would have expected from the BIS, (Editor's Note: British Information Service) not from a close colleague in the struggle. Irronically, or significantly, in your "Acknowledgements" you tell us: "Pat Doherty spent two days at Westminster reading and suggesting improvements to the final text [of your book]." Page IX."
"Finally, it seems rather strange that you do not realize that there are some partisan Democrats who would have never taken on Clinton even if had flip-flopped on every promise on Ireland. And the same is true of partisan Republicans (American) in regards to a Republican president. There are not too many Clare Shorts on either side of the Atlantic … Hence the wisdom of the motto of the Irish National Caucus: "Neither Democrat or Republican but dedicated to getting both parties to stand up for justice and peace in Ireland."
"That is why I was able to stand up to President Clinton, even though there was nobody on the planet more grateful than I for his great work on Ireland. And because I had shown I was prepared to stand up to him, I could with credibility later stand UP FOR him during the Impeachment Process, writing to every Member of the House and Senate and telling them, “Let those without sin cast the first stone”."
"I once asked Sean Mac Bride if Hume over the years had ever turned to him for advice and he said he had not. When I asked him why he thought that was the case, Sean replied, emphatically and succinctly: “Because he knows I’m implacably opposed to Partition”
"However, even with all your slings and arrows, you demonstrate that Her Majesty’ Government was deeply concerned about my work. You are forced to conclude (with your inevitable qualifier, of course, but, this time at least, without a denigrating adjective): "Whether he [Mc Manus] is fully entitled to the accolade of, "Britain’s nemesis in America, the driving force that would eventually erode Britain’s influence within the United State’s government’ is questionable, but he came close to it". Page 212-213. Your partial quote is from American Policy and Northern Ireland by Joseph E. Thompson."
Even with your qualifier, that’s good enough for this humble Irishman.
You are still my friend, and I admire you, too.
The full text is available at:

No comments:

Post a Comment