Fermanagh priest hits out at Irish far right

A US-BASED Fermanagh priest has hit out at the rise of far right sentiment in Ireland, stating Irish people opposing immigrants was “like Black Americans supporting slavery.”

Fr Sean McManus, who hails from Kinawley and is the founder and president of the powerful Irish American Caucus in Washington, was referring to recent anti-immigration protests and other incidents in the South, with a recent report by the Irish Times noting far-right Irish ‘patriotism’ was sharing information with groups including neo-Nazis.

Fr McManus has said that, given Ireland’s long and deep history of immigration, no one in this country had the right to be anti-immigrant, and those propagating such rhetoric were “inspired by Oliver Cromwell and Margaret Thatcher, not Tone, Pearce and Connolly.”


“Mother of God – who, by the way, gave birth to Jesus Christ in a stable because there was no room in the inn – how could this be happening in Ireland,” he asked.

“Irish people in Ireland, or America or any place in the world, opposing immigrants would appallingly be like Black Americans supporting slavery, or Jewish Americans supporting historic, worldwide anti-Semitism.

“In other words, a total betrayal of their own experience and history, indeed, the denial of their very soul.”
Fr McManus said far-right Irish ‘patriotism’ was “flagrantly and shamefully” renouncing not only the Gospel-based social justice teaching of the Catholic Church on the rights of immigrants, “but also the basic human decency, humanity, and solidarity of people of no faith but of goodwill.”

Noting the teaching of ‘love thy neighbour’ meant practicing social justice for all God’s children, he said, “Faith is the faith that does justice.
“If it does not do justice, it is not faith. Not Jewish, not Christian, not Muslim, not any faith. And if people of no faith, but of ‘goodwill’ do not do justice, then they are not of goodwill.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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