IRISH CONGRESSIONAL BRIEFING by Fr Sean McManus


Distributed to Congress by Irish National Caucus

“Policing is and always has been one of the crucial issues in The North/Northern Ireland. I wish the new Chief Constable  for Northern Ireland well. And I know, for the uninitiated, that terminology in regards to  Northern Ireland can be a political minefield. Nonetheless, I felt I had to express concern about the language Chief Constable Byrne used recently in referring to the two undemocratically partitioned parts of Ireland. My letter in today’s Irish News of Belfast is attached.

—Fr. Sean McManus

Artificial border speak

Fr Sean McManus. Washington DC. Letters to Editor. Irish News. Belfast.  Published Friday, July 19, 2019.


I appreciate the new Chief Constable’s concern about a hard Brexit – ‘Chief constable’s Brexit warning’ (July 15) – but he would inspire more confidence if he showed more knowledge of his “beat”.

Despite his Cheshire background, Chief Constable Simon Byrne should know that it is really artificial and strained to speak, as he does in the fore mentioned article, about the many border crossings between ‘the two countries’. Surely, if he really understood the border, he would never speak like that? He would rather refer to the crossings between “the two jurisdictions”, between “North and South” or “between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland.”

Not even the most ardent local unionist on the border between Fermangh and Cavan would ever talk about “two countries” – unless he/she wanted to make a very politicized statement, which is something I hope the chief constable was not trying to do.

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