“Don’t Sabotage MacBride Principles,” Irish-Americans tell United States Senate



“Don’t Sabotage MacBride Principles,” Irish-Americans tell

United States Senate


CAPITOL HILL Wednesday, August 1, 2017— The United States senate has been told

Irish-Americans are deeply concerned with the section in the Financial Choice Act that would, in effect, most shamefully sabotage shareholder proposals by over 99% of the American people.”


In a letter (July 28) to all the 100 U.S. Senators, the organization that launched the MacBride Principles on November 5, 1984 states: “That section of the Act would destroy the SEC Shareholder Proposal–Rule (14a-8) replacing it with a requirement of 1% ownership of the company over a three-year period (instead 1% or $2000 for one year) in order to be able to submit a proposal.

So, for example, this would mean that to submit a shareholder proposal to Apple, one would have to own $7.5 billion in shares —and to submit a shareholder proposal to Wells Fargo, one would have to own $2.5 billion in shares —whereas at present one only needs to have owned $2,000 worth of shares for one year.”


The writer of the letter, Fr. Sean McManus —president of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus—  tells the Senators: “This would amount to a flagrant attack on America’s founding principle, ‘We the people.’ It would outrageously eliminate millions of citizens and the average American from having a say on the conduct of publicly held companies. The ordinary citizen, investor, consumer, and stakeholder are dismissed, leaving only the super-rich with any say. What American can possibly condone this? And what Member of the U.S. Senate would vote for it— to take away the voice of the ordinary citizen, franchising only the mega rich?  It is undemocratic, un-American, and would further lend credence to the all too common charge that the U.S. Congress is controlled by the 1% mega rich.”


Then, specifically on the implications of all this for the Mac Bride Principles, Fr. Mc Manus’ letter explains: “ From a specifically Irish-American perspective, it would damage the most effective campaign ever against anti-Catholic discrimination in Northern Ireland: The Mac Bride Principles. The Mac Bride Principles—a corporate code of conduct for American companies doing business in Northern Ireland— were launched by the Irish National Caucus on November 5, 1984.Since then, 116 companies have agreed to implement the Mac Bride Principles. The Principles have been signed into law by 18 States and numerous cities and towns. And the Principles were twice passed by the Republican-controlled Congress and signed into law by Democratic President Clinton in 1998.”


Fr. Mc Manus’ letter concludes with :“Therefore, this terrible initiative is not only an attack on basic American values but it will be seen as an attempt to sabotage the Mac Bride Principles, which have played a key role in promoting equality and non-discrimination in employment in Northern Ireland, thereby making a vital contribution to the Irish peace process.


I am totally confident in saying that the Irish National Caucus is reflecting the opinion of the majority of concerned Irish-Americans—Republicans and Democrats alike— when I respectfully ask you to take a strong stand against this un-American attempt to silence the voices of ordinary American citizens.

Please respond promptly as we are publishing the position of all U.S. Senators on this vital issue for Irish-Americans.”


Fr. Sean Mc Manus


Irish National Caucus

P.O. BOX 15128

Capitol Hill

Washington, DC 20003-0849

Tel. 202-544-0568

Fax. 202-488-7537

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