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Thursday, September 8, 2016 Recently released British/Northern Ireland Office (NIO) State Papers have caused considerable interest, and have given further insight into how the British Embassy spied on Irish-Americans.

The Papers were released the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), and cover the period 1980 to 1989.

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Not, of course, that the full truth is ever revealed by the British Government. Sean Mc Manus—President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus— whose life-long work always features in such Papers, said : “ This time the Papers are of particular interest for a two-fold reason : (1) they reveal how deeply worried the British Government was about our Mac Bride Principles campaign (which they accurately state is ‘ largely instigated by the Irish National Caucus’; and (2) the Papers reveal how the British Embassy penetrated and spied on Irish-American organizations.

Irish American Unity Conference One of the released papers, titled “Irish American Unity Conference [IAUC],” consists of a report dated October 10, 1985, by the British Embassy to the Head of the Civil Service in Northern Ireland, Ken Bloomfield. Bloomfield, whom another released State Paper exposed as outrageously stating that the Catholics in West Belfast are “ alienated from normal civilized behavior.”).

The Paper gives a Report on the IAUC meeting in Philadelphia, August 23-25, 1985, and explains how one of the IAUC Members, Steve Ryan, monitoring the meeting was spying for the British Embassy.

The Report lists a number of those present at the meeting, several members of Irish Northern Aid, and others, including Bob Linnon who would become the president of the IAUC(1987-1995), and a Ms. Sean Mc Manus and the Irish National Caucus, ” and that “…

Patricia O’Hagan, Chairperson of the New York IAUC. the meeting revealed a deep hatred of Father Sean Mc Manus among the IAUC elite.” The Report states Ms, O’Hagan, “declared she ‘hated’ Mc Manus.’ When asked to comment, Fr.

Mc Manus said: “I have a life-long policy of not responding to personal attacks.

But I have to make an exception in this case as it is not really a personal attack but one gloried in, and recorded by the British Embassy. Mc Manus explained: “However, I do not take all that stuff personally.

It is sad and pathetic that at the height of the Mac Bride Principles campaign—which I initiated with Sean Mc Bride’s personal consent and which I launched on November 5, 1984— that the Brits could report that another Irish organization was spending its time in attacking me. My “feelings” are not hurt because on the Irish issue I don’t do feelings.

I do analysis and discernment: because of my life-long experience and background, I can figure out from whence come the constant, systematic attempts to sabotage my work.

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