people be surprised at the Congressman Gilman's list
of human rights abuses that Father McManus has taken
up? (The Blanket 23 February 2003) It is, I accept,
inevitable that if one casts one's net into the sea
of human rights abuses some abuses will get through.
It depends on the quality of the net and the size
of the mesh. On this occasion to quote the Congressman,
Father McManus took up "individual human rights
cases, like the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four
to the political assassinations cases of Pat Finucane
and Rose Mary Nelson; from the Hunger Strikes of Bobby
Sands and his nine colleagues to the general mistreatment
of political prisoners;"
abuses were caught in his net.
that got through include the victims of the Birmingham
pub bombs, Bloody Friday; Judge Maurice Gibson and
his wife Cecily on the 25 April 1987, killed by a
500lb bomb near the border as they drove home from
their holidays, Edgar Graham, barrister and university
lecturer, shot by two gunmen outside the Queens University
library 7 December 1983, the Abercorn restaurant bomb,
the Shankill fish shop bomb, Enniskillen, the Disappeared,
Paddy Gillespie the human bomb, and on and on. All
of these victims, without exception, were killed by
republicans. Assuming that Congressman Ben Gilman's
list is the definitive list, we have to ask why it
was these particular abuses that got through Father
McManus's net. Why these and not the others? Did he
not regard these as abuses of human rights?
two people are looking at a table, one standing and
looking down, the other kneeling and looking up, are
they seeing two different tables or are they looking
at the same table but from different vantage points?
This is the simple question that Father McManus has
to answer. If he fails, as Congressman Ben Gilman's
list implies, then his claim to be opposed to all
violence lacks credibility.
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