RUMFORD — Monsignor Daniel P. Beegan doesn’t hide the fact that he is a member of certain gun groups, both locally and nationally.
The son of an Irishman from Ballinasloe in County Galway, Ireland, Beegan said Tuesday that he is a member of the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, League of the South and the Webb River Sportsmen’s Club of Dixfield.
He said his father, who emigrated in 1928 to New York, joined the British Army at the age of 15, expecting to fight in World War I, but the war ended before he completed training.
“My dad served two years in Britain’s Royal Army and six years in the Irish National Police,” Beegan said.
A Democrat, he said he is a dues-paying member of League of the South — a group advocating secession from America. But a Patriots for America “Constitutional Emergency” Web site listing him as its page owner is not his page, he said.
“Someone stole my picture off a Web site,” Beegan said. “I’m not a member of any militia group or tea party. I signed up for some groups for information.”
He said he agrees with some positions of the League of the South, but not all of them.
For example, he said he believes to some degree that the federal government is too strong, but he takes pride in his heritage.
“My great-great-grandfather Isaac Kimball died on the Union side in the Civil War, and I’m very proud of him,” Beegan said. The private in the 3rd Vermont Regiment Light Artillery is buried in Cabot, Vt., where Beegan was raised.