Seán McManus (priest)

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Father Seán Gabriel McManus (born 1944, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland) is an American-based Irish nationalist activist and Roman Catholic priest.

Birth and family[edit]

McManus was born in Kinawley, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. He is a brother of Frank McManus, former Unity MP, and Patrick McManus, a member of the IRA who was killed in an explosion in 1958 during the IRA's "Border Campaign".[1]


In 1971, McManus was a Redemptorist Father in Perth, Scotland. In August 1971 he was arrested in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, after a demonstration, because he helped a stone thrower to escape the police. In the following court proceedings he was sentenced to a fine of £20 and proclaimed:

"I do not, I never have and I never will recognise the colonial State of British-occupied Ireland ... I want to state publicly and unequivocally that I am in sympathy with the IRA - indeed sympathy is too weak a word ... I cannot join them in the fight for freedom of my country, but the very least I can do is speak up for them when they are being slandered and vilified by unscrupulously vicious propaganda. The oppressors of Irish freedom call the IRA terrorists and murderers, but I call them by their proper titles; I call them freedom fighters, I call them heroes; and I venerate their dead as martyrs for Ireland." [2]

In 1972, McManus was sent to serve as a priest in the United States, owing to his continued activism about injustice in Northern Ireland.[citation needed] In 1974, he founded the Irish National Caucus (INC), a group formed to lobby the United States Congress on behalf of the cause of justice and peace in Northern Ireland. McManus formed the organization around principles promulgated by the 1971 Synod of Bishops in their document "Justice in the World" which states: "Action on behalf of Justice is a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel."[citation needed]

The INC has developed a solid reputation within Congress, with Ben Gilman, former Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, stating, "No one has done more than Father McManus to keep the U.S. Congress on track regarding justice and peace in Ireland. Indeed, I believe historians will record that no one since John Devoy (1842 – 1928) has done more to organize American pressure for justice in Ireland. The only difference being that Father McManus – in keeping with his priestly calling – is committed to nonviolence."[this quote needs a citation][3]

In 2011, McManus was chosen to serve on the World Peace Prize Awarding Council (WPPAC). The South Korea-based Council consists of twelve international and interfaith members. In 2013, McManus was selected to be the Chief Judge of WPPAC.[citation needed]

To further promote the Holy Land Principles,[clarification needed] McManus published a new edition of his memoirs: My American Struggle for Justice in Northern Ireland…and The Holy Land. In the book he draws a close parallel between how the British Government partitioned both Ireland and Palestine.


  1. ^ "True Republicans are successors of McManus, Crossan and Duffy", Saoirse Irish Freedom, August 2008, p. 9 Archived May 18, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Priest Refuses to Pay £20 Fine. Did Not Recognise Authority of Court". Irish Times. 7 September 1971. p. 9. 
  3. ^ McManus, Sean (2010). My American Struggle for Justice in Northern Ireland. Washington, DC: Collins Press. ISBN 9781848890985. 

Further reading[edit]

  • McManus, Fr Sean (2011). My American Struggle for Justice in Northern Ireland. Collins Press. 

External links[edit]