Claudy: forgotten no longer

When the Claudy Report by the Police Ombudsman was unveiled last week it looked very much as if it would be a one or at most a two day wonder. This was one of the forgotten atrocities of the troubles, like so many others. There seemed little in the way of an organised victims’ group and few politicians apart from the local UUP councillor and Gregory Campbell pushing the issue: Campbell is an extremely busy man and Mary Hamilton is far from a house hold name.

The whole report and furore may well soon be forgotten: a minor issue to be mentioned during the off season for politics. However, when the families were allowed airtime those who wanted to speak came across as utterly honest, largely apolitical figures who simply wanted justice. None exemplified this more than Mark Eakin, the elder brother of Kathyrn Eakin, the youngest of the murdered. Not for him grandstanding or demanding his pound of flesh, no fire breathing demands: rather an utterly decent man who on the usual rough and tumble of the Nolan Show was so dignified that his dignity managed to raise the show itself above its usual fare.

As Mr. Eakin and many of the others said the report raised more questions than answers and it looked as if that was where those questions would be left as usually fairly reliable sources suggested that the Historical Enquiries Team had decided to leave the Claudy bomb to one side since the PSNI had investigated it in 2002. However, as the issue went on beyond a couple of days the HET was forced to come out and agree to meet with the families in order to establish whether or not they wanted further attempts made to investigate and if possible prosecute the murderers of Claudy.

The Ombudsman’s report is only a partial examination of the events of that dreadful day: that is not a criticism as the Ombudsman has repeatedly made clear his only function is to assess the role of the RUC at the time. The RUC does appear to have deliberately and consciously decided not to attempt prosecution or even arrest of Father Chesney. More accurately very senior officers within the RUC leadership seem to have made this decision: the Ombudsman records that a number of more junior officers were clearly keen to arrest the priest. The Special Branch Inspector in Coleraine clearly understood the potential problems but stated: “Having regard to what this man
has done I myself would be prepared to meet this challenge head on.”

The Ombudsman finds fault with the most senior officers whom he accuses of collusion with the Catholic Church and the Government to move the priest rather than arrest him. The report is at its most damning when considering this aspect stating:

6.21 With regard to police, for senior officers to have had the weight of
Intelligence and information that they had pointing to Father Chesney’s
possible involvement in terrorism and not to have pursued lines of
enquiry, which could have potentially implicated him in or eliminated him
from the investigation of the Claudy bombings and other acts of
terrorism, was wrong.

6.22 In so doing they failed to discharge a primary police duty which is to
detect crime. Such a failure, in the absence of an acceptable
explanation, could potentially have amounted to the commission of a
criminal offence. All the key individuals involved in these events are now
deceased and unable to account for their actions.

Although the Ombudsman’s remit is only for the police, he then goes on at least partially to absolve the government:

6.23 With regard to the role of the Government, they were asked by police to
assist in resolving a matter of public interest. They had a legitimate
interest in doing so. In the course of this enquiry the Police
Ombudsman’s investigation found no evidence of any criminal intent on
the part of any Government Minister or official.

This is a difficult position to rationalise. If the police were wrong (possibly criminally so) in colluding, surely government ministers were party to a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice? However, what Hutchinson glosses over is that it is stretching credulity beyond breaking point to argue that the senior RUC officers simply decided to collude in protecting Chesney from the consequences of his actions and instead moving him. Much more credible would be that the RUC asked their new masters in the NIO (remember Stormont had recently been prorogued) for guidance as to the delicate matter of the arrest of a Catholic priest for mass murder. The fact that they had anxieties is actually commendable and very far from the bigoted anti catholic RUC which is the standard republican shibboleth. The decision merely to move Chesney has much more the fingerprints of classic British Tory government expediency than any possibility of it being an RUC inspired plan. As an aside had Claudy been committed 5 years later when Roy Mason was Secretary of State it is much more likely that Chesney would have been moved to ministering within the diocese of Down and Connor close to Lisburn, for a very prolonged period, rather than in Donegal.

The questions for the government are actually much greater than those for the RUC. If by chance the RUC initiated the decision to ask for Chesney’s relocation rather than arrest: how high did that decision go politically? Was it Whitelaw’s alone? Who else did he consult either below or indeed above him? Was the decision referred to the Cabinet? If not why not? This was the mass murder of nine British citizens which the government was deciding to ignore and their murder by a man who appeared keen to carry on murdering people from within or without the jurisdiction. In the much more credible scenario that the decision came down to the RUC from government the questions are in actual fact identical.

Moving on there are significant issues here for the Roman Catholic Church. Bishop Daly tried to refute the suggestion that Chesney was one of the Claudy murderers and cardinal Brady gave him some cover pointing out the fact that Daly had interviewed Chesney who had denied involvement. If the church believed its priest it is unclear why they agreed to move him and it is also interesting that no one has challenged the assertion that Cardinal Conway accepted that Chesney “was a very bad man.” The denials of Chesney’s guilt from the church must be placed alongside their denials of any significant problems with child abuse until the whole sordid saga came out and their stuttering and incompetent response which has continued to this day. Rather, the tactic of moving Chesney appears very similar to the tactic of moving paedophile priests: it looks as if they regarded it as a similar sort of problem. Although the church will never answer it, some will wonder how a priest who, according to Catholic teaching, has been given the sacred ability to turn the bread and wine into the body and blood of Our Lord, could continue to do so after having committed mass murder. Does the church really feel that God would continue to allow that miracle to be performed by a man such as Chesney? Rather the only blood which Chesney hands had involvement with after the 31st July 1972 will have been that of little Kathyrn Eakin and that blood will have spoken most powerfully to God against Chesney and his co murderers. Others may not have seen the mark of Cain indelibly imprinted on Chesney but the One who performs the miracle of Transubstantiation will have seen it most clearly.

The other churches also have a few questions to answer. When the Saville Report into Bloody Sunday came out the Protestant clergymen were tripping over themselves to meet with the families. After this report, however, there was a much more muted response from the assorted Protestant prelates. The Church of Ireland have no press releases on their website and no discernible media profile (to be fair one can eventually find a brief statement from the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe, hat tip to Ultonia for finding it); the Methodists absolutely nothing. Both had leaders rushing to get to Londonderry in the aftermath of Saville. The Presbyterian moderator is apparently away but will travel to see the families on his return. However, it appears that the meeting is part of an event to mark the rededication of Claudy Presbyterian Church and that the Claudy families are not important enough to merit a stand alone meeting; let alone one in the immediate aftermath of the report. The selective nature of what Protestant Prelates will attend and publicise gives force to Cushy Glenn’s observation that they are more interested in the media appearance than they are in the actual pastoral needs of the local people.

Another organisation of which searching questions should be asked is of course the IRA. Francie Molloy continued last week to deny that the IRA had committed the Claudy bomb. From the Sinn Fein spokesperson on truth that is of course entirely predictable. As a party Sinn Fein and the republican movement as a whole have never had much of a grasp on truth save when it could be used to beat Unionists or the British Government and then their “truth” has never been close to what anyone else regards as factual. Molloy himself of course has been named in the House of Commons by David Simpson as a philanderer, informer and one involved in IRA murder: an interesting pedigree for a truth spokesperson; though maybe not within republicanism.

That the South Derry IRA decided to murder the inhabitants of Claudy is itself a slightly odd decision. The South Derry brigade would have had much closer targets for murder and also ones with a much larger proportion of Protestants than the mixed though predominantly Catholic Claudy. Much more logical from a republican point of view would have been the much closer and practically 100% Protestant Tobermore: alternatively the little more mixed and also closer than Claudy village of Garvagh would have been a more attractive target for the IRA. Large areas of County Antrim with large Protestant majorities would also have been much more tempting and closer targets for the IRA than Claudy: even Coleraine is as close to South Derry as Claudy. However, that is to ignore the fact that Claudy is much closer to Londonderry than Garvagh or Tobermore let alone County Antrim’s towns.

The Claudy bomb was the same day as Operation Motorman in Londonderry and it has long been claimed that Claudy was designed to distract the police and army from Londonderry. Bombs in Garvagh, Tobermore, Coleraine or Ballymena would not have diverted the security forces away from Londonderry as they would have been dealt with by the Coleraine, Magherafelt or Ballymena security forces. As such in the context of the day it is clear that Claudy would have made a much better target than the closer more Protestant towns.

That desire to attack somewhere close to Londonderry of course brings the issue round to another person who could be asked questions and who has made statements which only the most gullible or committed republicans would believe: Martin McGuinness. McGuinness of course claims to know nothing about Claudy and nothing about Father Chesney. McGuinness was the second in command of the IRA in Londonderry at the time and yet he claims to know nothing about the man reported to be the commander of the IRA in neighbouring south County Londonderry. It is interesting that he has not used the protection from answering questions of his IRA oath and that the IRA still deny involvement in the Claudy bombing. Maybe Claudy is, like Kingsmill, Darkley and a number of others: murders at which the IRA fears even its supporters might baulk. However, any pretence from its truth spokesperson Molloy that the Republican movement has any interest in a Truth Process must be met with the single word: Claudy.

The Claudy murders were amongst the most horrific atrocities of the Troubles though there are many more which vie with them. It has often been called one of the forgotten events. Now, however, a little and a partial light has been shone on it. Whether the relatives can ensure that this light will lead to what they want: the truth and prosecution of some of the many names which have long circulated in the local area as those responsible for the murderers remains to be seen. The police normally continue the investigation of a murder for decades: this case of mass murder must be no different. It may not bring justice but it may. If the relatives want the investigation to continue (as they clearly do) then this case should be no different to every other one. Clearly all the murderers are not dead. As such they should continue to fear that one day they may have to stand in court and hear that they are found guilty. Of course as they all age any who believe in God will know that there will assuredly be justice for little Kathyrn and the others in a few short years. Father Chesney already knows that.

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  • tacapall

    Blah blah blah hearsay, hearsay, innuendo and more innuendo. Who are these unknown sensitive sources who the discredited RUC Special Branch relied on for these allegations sorrounding Fr Chesney, the same special branch who for years colluded in the murder of lord knows how many people, the same people who refused to co-operate with the police ombudsmans office when they were investigating allegations that they controlled the Mount Vernon UVF and allowed their agents to carry out dozens of murders of innocent victims. I will take this story with a pinch of salt just like any story that relies on information supplied by RUC special branch.

  • Munsterview

    “….Clearly all the murderers are not dead….”

    It would seem we have a major break through here, the importance of which cannot overstated!

    Would the writer care to name the killers here and his proofs ?

    Has he passed on this information to the PSNI ?

    If, on the other hand, this statement of…… ‘ Clearly all the murderers are not dead.’…… is not based on factual knowledge could we have correction or clarification ?

    If it is personal opinion or just speculation it should have been qualified as such!

  • Cruimh

    I’m always wary of news reports – especially as in this case it is a report based on hearsay.

  • lamhdearg

    Turgon, Your post is big on sentiment but parts of it lack credibility please do not put things on slugger that have me agreeing with Munsterview. anyone know if the la Mon house massacre will get an report anytime soon.

  • There must have been a number of people involved in making and setting the bombs, unlikely they would all be dead.

    I really believe it is time to let these investigations go. HET should publish their information and let everyone draw their own conclusions. The only thing investigations do is reopen old wounds and give, depending on the atrocity, a stick to beat the other side with.

  • Alan Maskey

    Turgon

    I hope to leave this with just one comment, at least for now. I note from the previous comments you have attracted at least one troll but hopefully my comment will help.
    Your long post casts a wide net. Malcolm Redfellow will be more interested in the Tory connection than me so I will leave him or others to it.
    I have commented enough on the unfounded attacks on Fr Chesney’s character so I will pass him by too.
    Your comments on Francie Molloy would be laughable if Stakeknife, Donaldoson etc were also a joke.
    But you hit the nail for me with McGuinness. He should step up to the plate.
    We cannot have a worthwhile Ireland, divided or not, worth its salt, if lies are at its core. And Martin McGuinness waltzing around Stormont is a big lie. It sends out a message that the entire Troubles were only a bit of crack, a bit of divilment and now the right order has been established.
    We can rake over the late Fr Chesney and be accused by the troll of all sorts of things.
    But Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams could lift a lot of the fog. All they have to do is get a mike, a camera, a TV crew and talk.
    Talk the truth that is.

    I relaise this is utopian and that the Irish seem to vote for total crooks in disproportionate numbers. But we can always dream. Others, as Claudy testifies, have done much worse than we would even like to imagine.

  • Munsterview

    “…..There must have been a number of people involved in making and setting the bombs, unlikely they would all be dead….”

    Objection judge…… the witness is speculating !.

  • Turgon

    Lamhdearg and Munsterview,
    Mick (and I) are very aware of the law in respect of names. I will merely refer you to the report of those arrested by the police in 2005. Munsterview will no doubt regard the police investigation of 2005 as lacking credibility: do you lamhdearg?

  • Nunoftheabove

    Pip

    A service to truth is provided by the HET and/or other enquiries, I don’t want to live in a society which suspends its esteem for truth and gives a bye-ball to liars, perjurers, killers and unaccountable governments.

    The stick-beaters don’t need any excuse to bash their bibles on the heads of their opponents or to glorify failed paramilitary campaigns at every turn. Those guys and blokes with plummy English public school accents (and dodgy priests) get a free pass from any abandonment of the quest for truth.

    Sure, the lawyers get rich and uncomfortable facts come to light, wounds salted if not re-opened…to the extent that they’ve not really healed over properly in the first place. It may seem like navel-gazing and collective self-recrimination to others, taken in the round for me a solid determined commitment to truth in all weathers and at all hazards, numerous warts and all, does any self-respecting society credit.

  • Munsterview

    “…. Talk the truth that is……” Rich indeed from a proven liar!

  • lamhdearg

    Turgon your link in no way proves that “….Clearly all the murderers are not dead….” just that the police have quized some people with reguard to the killings, you do except that to be quized about something is not the same as a conviction for same?, but please do keep Claudy (and other cases) in the spotlight. Thank you.

  • Munsterview

    “….Clearly all the murderers are not dead….”

    Not worthy of you Turgon… not worthy at all. The police arrested many people for many things at this period…. few of them proven.

    I will accept a qualification such as …. ‘ alleged ‘ murderers !

    You of all people that set so much store by the rule of law would not surely set aside a fundamental principle such as innocent until proven guilty…. irrespective of what your security or intel chums would have told you off the record or otherwise.

    If and when you make the qualification, in keeping with the legalese you may also consider substituting the term killers for murderers, correct nomenclature and all that !

  • Turgon

    Lamhdearg,
    I have repeatedly raised Claudy: long before the latest revelations. The names of those claimed to be involved have been long known in the local area (I am from South Londonderry). The names have been placed on a number of internet sites and no attempt has been made to have them removed, and no legal action has occurred as far as I am aware. However, on slugger we are extremely careful and in deference to Mick I will not state the supposed names.

    I agree that they may be the wrong names and I do believe in innocent until proven guilty: another reason not to post them myself.

    However, after only half a life time it is extremely unlikely that all the murderers are dead. The average life expectancy now is late 70s / early 80s. Hence, unless all the murderers from 38 years ago were over 50 it is extraordinarily unlikely that all are dead. That is such an extraordinarily unlikely scenario that it is pretty clear that they are not all dead. Common sense alone proves that. However, by all means try to continue your point: the fact that it is nonsense does not seem to be deterring you.

  • alan56

    so true

  • Nunoftheabove

    I dont think investigations will produce much and nothing in the way of charges.

    Mr Maskey wants to see investigations into MMcGs activities and he is right, but will MMcG tell the truth and would there be charges? I really doubt it. I think that GA will tell everyone he was/is in the IRA first…

    Claudy is a case in point, the victims and their families may feel better knowing it is in the open but they are unlikely to see anyone charged or even questioned.

    It really is very sad and upsetting for everyone and imo investigations don’t help.

  • Turgon

    See above Munsterview. The people who killed those at Claudy were murderers. As I stated above it is inconceivable that they are all dead unless the South Derry IRA members who carried out the murders were all over 50.

  • MV

    You are having a go at me tonight!

    On a serious note two of the people involved are said to have committed suicide. I also believe no one pays enough attention to ex combatants, of every shade, and this could be properly addressed if there were an amnesty.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Pip

    Prosecutions aren’t the be all and end all but I don’t think we should airbrush the recent past quite so readily while so much useful information could be gathered . A lot of very unsound history will be written if the quest for truth is conceded too readily, even if it is in deference to so-called ‘greater good’ in the here and now.

  • Munsterview

    Turgon : I raised legal issues, terminologies and nomenclature…. and I respect your reasoning and writing enough to know that you have an appreciation of what is involved.

    If you chose to ignore these issues so be it !.

    I may not agree with most of what you write but I did credit you with being better than this. If one respects the rule of law then first principles cannot be set aside in a cavalier fashion.

  • Turgon

    Munsterview,
    The people who died at Claudy were murdered. The fact that you will not accept that shows for all your position. You can fudge all you like but the dead were murdered.

    Furthermore the Claudy report uses the term murder or murdered about the Claudy bombing on 5 occasions and as a quote on two more. The police ombudsman was willing to call it murder, I am willing to call it murder. Most people are willing to call it murder. You are not: that tells us all we need to know about you.

  • lamhdearg

    turgon i responded to your post of tonight, what the dogs in the street in south londonderry know i dont, links to internet sites that name names may have me looking at your post in a new light however as they where not provided i can only go on what you wrote.

  • Nunoftheabove

    History will be written and rewritten for years to come and it will happen regardless of any investigations or however much proof is given.

    One side will always believe the other side is getting away with it!

    People who have been hurt will mostly go on hurting, produced only when some member of whichever side wishes to make a point.

  • Turgon

    Lamhdeag,
    Yes what I wrote and what the BBC have reported and I have quoted and what common sense tells us: ie that all the murderers are not yet dead. However, you seem to think that all the murderers were over 50? Or do you believe the people of Claudy were not murdered?

    You asked me not to post things on slugger which lack credibility. It is you who lack credibility. I stated that all the murderers were not dead. That can only be wrong if one believes that either Chesney acted alone, or only with those over 50 or that the Claudy dead were not murdered. I do not know which camp you wish to put yourself into there but it is you who seem to be lacking credibility.However, by all means ally yourself with Munsterview on this one.

  • lamhdearg

    “I stated that all the murderers were not dead. That can only be wrong if one believes that either Chesney acted alone, or only with those over 50 or that the Claudy dead were not murdered” Or that the team that carryed out the MURDERS are all dead. “nothing about the man reported to be the commander of the IRA in neighbouring south County Londonderry” is C.O. the same as Q.M. enlighten me.

  • Has someone reprogrammed the Daleks to say deny deny instead of exterminate?

  • Munsterview

    More moving goalposts !

    I raised certain legal issues in-keeping with the rule of law and invited you to observe these correct norms as a respecter of the rule of law !

    Instead of bringing your not inconsiderable intellectual faculties to bear on this and teasing out the issues, if issues presented to be teased out, you instead pointed out where others also broke these norms and inter alia, gave you also the excuse to do likewise

    That, in a court of law would get short shift and is what a judge would refer to as the argument of the school yard if offered as a defense, as indeed the…… ‘ he did it first sir’…. frequently is by corner boys as an excuse for repeating hooliganism.

    However it also raises another legal practice unique to your wee corner of Ireland, one that led even led to a bit of trouble for most of the twentieth century…… as it did on the nineteenth and as it is continuing to do in the twenty first ! It is the old OO principle one law for the wood-kerns and another for the Planter.

    Got it in one, matter closed and concluded !

  • jezza

    My mums cousin was killled in the La Mon house bombing, and I remember her telling me he was one of the last identified as he was just a charred torso. (long time ago when I was a kid)

    A dog owners meeting blasted with what was in effect napalm, and not a word all these years

    Bloody Sunday , £200 Million and the victims were rioters on an illegal protest. the PM apologised, after the GFA the IRA didn’t even have the base morals to admit to wrongdoing, and instead

    as per the IRA’s 1994 statement

    “At this crossroads the leadership of the IRA salutes and commends our volunteers, other activists, our supporters and the political prisoners who have sustained the struggle against all odds for the past 25 years”

    They saluted the “volunteers” who carried out La Mon, but not a word about the truly innocent victims of their actons……

    And to hear SF say we are all victims, and all victims are equal really makes me sick, to equate the shankill bomber to my mums cousin is really really sick…….one was attending a collie dog meeting, the other was carrying a bomb to kill people…..

    Where is justice ? Where Indeed ?

    Gary

  • jezza

    My mums cousin was killled in the La Mon house bombing, and I remember her telling me he was one of the last identified as he was just a charred torso. (long time ago when I was a kid)

    A dog owners meeting blasted with what was in effect napalm, and not a word all these years

    Bloody Sunday , £200 Million and the victims were rioters on an illegal protest. the PM apologised, after the GFA the IRA didn’t even have the base morals to admit to wrongdoing, and instead

    as per the IRA’s 1994 statement

    “At this crossroads the leadership of the IRA salutes and commends our volunteers, other activists, our supporters and the political prisoners who have sustained the struggle against all odds for the past 25 years”

    They saluted the “volunteers” who carried out La Mon, but not a word about the truly innocent victims of their actons……

    And to hear SF say we are all victims, and all victims are equal really makes me sick, to equate the shankill bomber to my mums cousin is really really sick…….one was attending a collie dog meeting, the other was carrying a bomb to kill people…..

    Where is justice ? Where Indeed ?

    Gary

    Reply

  • Alias

    The principle reason why agents of the British state within a state-sponsored murder gang, PIRA, had great success in identifying members of PIRA who supplied information to the British state is that the British state was informing its agents within PIRA who those ‘touts’ were. That allowed those British agents who controlled PIRA’s ISU to identify, torture and murder 50 or so PIRA members over a 20-year period who had out-lived their usefulness to the British state. That’s how the British intelligence community operate, so it would be a foolish ombudsman that would rely on that community for veracity of evidence…

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    Pippakin: “Ex combatants, of every shade” – what sort of attention should we paying to them? A lot of people think the perpetrators of the Troubles should be wearing sackcloth and ashes rather than taking centre stage in our politics.

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    It’s based on logic surely – it’s pretty bloody unlikely every single person involved in an operation like that would have died in the interim. What are the chances: about 1000 to 1? I think most people take that as read.

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    “The police arrested many people for many things at this period…. few of them proven.”

    It is frustrating for everybody else when every time someone asks questions about a Republican bombing or murder, we get this wall of glib obfuscation and pedantry, like we’ve just heard from Munsterview, lamhdearg and others.

    Have you no idea how p***ed off the rest of society is that the vast majority of Republican crimes went unsolved, largely due to omerta and witness intimidation? The least Republicans can do is be a bit more giving and open when one of their old crimes does back into focus, it’s not too much to ask.

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    That’s how ANY intelligence community operates, Alias, when dealing with sophisticated terrorist operations. Get real. What country do you think you could go to where a group like PIRA would get better treatment? USA? France? Spain? Russia? China?

    Counter-terrorist policing and intelligence is never going to be a pretty business. Republicans should count themselves lucky; they would have come off a lot worse elsewhere.

    As for the veracity of evidence from the security services, well it’s how long is a piece of string: you’re dealing in intelligence and it has to be read with an open mind. I agree, post Iraq especially, it’s not to be taken as gospel. If I were an investigator of any sort though, I’d want to see it.

  • PaddyReilly

    what common sense tells us: ie that all the murderers are not yet dead. However, you seem to think that all the murderers were over 50?

    I think you have to realise, Turgon, is that driving around dropping off bombs, and belonging to an organisation which does this, actuarily speaking decreases your life expectancy significantly.

  • joeCanuck

    If I were religious, I might say “Jesus wept”.

    The main story here, except for the unpunished atrocity of murdering innocent people, is the political interference in a policing matter, and the failures of both the politicians and senior police officers.

  • Munsterview

    Mainland U

    Either the Law means what it says or it is what some one like Turgon interprets it to be ! If basic principles of the rule of law can be discarded then there is in effect no law. There is nothing pedantic about this issue!

    This is not a contractual obligation with rules only applying to those who keep the rules : the hallmark of a civilized society and true democracy is measured in just how well the rules and laws are observed by those who who are their custodians and implementers when those same laws are under threat.

    The Nazi did some unspeakable things during WW2 and routinely resorted to torture to aquire information from captured Allied soldiers….. I have no doubt that the British occasionally did likewise but I would be very surprised if they did so on a systematic or widespread basis. A value system was involved.

    You still believe in that value system…… I have the honor to know the British Army Doctor now a distinguished surgeon of international repute that stopped the torture in Long Kesh….. I have spend weekend seminars in his company.

    Quibble if you will regarding ‘interrogation in dept.’ not constituting torture…. this man have no doubt that it was torture or that it degraded human right values that as far as he was concerned, were intrinsic to Britishness.

    One of my own strongest memories of my own experience of the Troubles of my arrest in England is the fact that two elderly police men in the fingerprint section actually prevented my getting beaten up by special branch officers on one occasion in custody. One stood in the door of my cell and put up with both physical and shouted verbal abuse from a bunch of tugs in the hallway while the other went away and got a senior uniformed officer.

    They had no brief for my activities, they were old fashioned Bobbies that upheld the finest traditions of their force regarding treatment of prisoners in custody…… they knew no other way…… it was intrinsic to what they were.

    This is the problem with ‘your side’ your State, your, soldiers, your police services fought a Low Intensity War where there were no rules other than killing as many of us as could be killed or otherwise put out of action.

    Our side like wise, hit back at the state, its agents and servants in every way possible that is war and the reality of war every bit as much as what Alias spelled out in his post of 10.31 p.m..

    Birtish Army Officers have toured Nato and other armed forces staff colleges lecturing on how they were fighting and containing that Low Intensity War : British Government and civil administration have consistently and hypercritically denied that such a war took place in Ireland hence what is genuine outrage about something like Claudy………. just as ours was about Bloody Sunday.

    If there is an honest open admission about the reality of what happened, a dirty little war in a failed starlet in the fag but end of a dead Empire, then we may get some truth .

    The reality is there is a lie at the heart of the Peace Process : it was sold to Unionists as cementing the union, it was sold to Nationalists as leading to a United Ireland…..both are mutually exclusive ! To sustain it the past cannot be objectively discussed as it calls the present into question.

    We still have loose ends like the current dissident campaign and the well armed loyalist druggies strutting their stuff in their own untouched little kingdoms. No real problem there for Turgon et al…… in fact I would challenge Turgon to do a similar indept expose in this arena as he did on Claudy but I know that if he did so he would be risking his life and that of his family from Loyalist guns so the hell with that, I would not ask him or expect him to do so!

    So Loyalist druggies, reorganizing IRA etc is just not happening…….. its the peace process stupid…….. and ‘ Lord one day at the time’…… in yet another faltering attempt to make a failed Starlet work.

    That is reality!

    As for truth…… you cant handle the truth and neither can the Six Counties without another collapse of the current political system!

  • Munsterview

    Joe C,

    As you are taking a religious theme, this I recall from the mid eighties !

    Larne

    Soldiers, policemen and little wee churches
    Slow history advancing, reluctant, in lurches,
    God saving sinners, from each gable wall,
    but with this part of Ulster, he can do F all

  • Alan Maskey

    Turgon

    To try to get this thread back on focus and away from the whacko narcissist dead set to derail it:

    1. If the Claudy perpetrators were caught, they would be charged with murder, and might get off on a manslaughter charge. Under British law, the charge would be murder. Some PIRA/DAAD apologists would sargue there was a war on, what about the Boers, 1798, Dresden etc. But no matter. Claudy was a terrible day that still festers.
    2. Others could argue that thousands of others died and blah blah blah and htey have a point. But no matter. Claudy was a terrible day that still festers.
    3. Others may have done it and Paddy Reilly has named at least one credible alternative for coppers with an open mind.
    4. So what would you like to be done that can be done? Would you agree with putting the main “controversial” players in the Troubles – the Paisleys, Martin McGuinness, Gerry Adams, Gordon Kerr, Mike Jackson – on trial like Japanese and Germans were after 1945, and like a host of Africans, Europeans (but not Americans, British or Irish) are in The Hague at the moment? If not, what do you suggest?

  • Alan Maskey

    http://ultonia.blogspot.com/

    Turgon: Any comments on this post, which refers to your own comments?

  • madraj55

    Cruimh. Turgon claims that it was thought at the time that Claudy was chosen to divert the army from Operation motorman the same morning, but OM had already done it’s work since 4 am. so it was done and dusted in Derry well before the first bomb went off at 10.00 in Claudy. The real target of diversion was the media, as this was a big reverse for the Provos having the No go areas cleared out.

  • Alan Maskey

    http://tinyurl.com/36owbph
    Turgon,
    This is a summary of Bishop Daly in the Irish News. Please note he calls the Claudy bombers mass murderers. So you can add him to your list just as Provo apologists have him added to their s–t list..

  • Munsterview

    Mainland U.

    It is now generally accepted that the Dublin and Monaghan bombings were carried out by forces under the control of the British state.

    This was done in furtherance of British interests, a savage attach by country on another friendly state that resulted in the mass carnage of it’s citizens. The Barron enquiry requested information from the British Government, through the Irish Government….what co-operation did they get ?

    If The Republic of Ireland, a sovereign friendly country was denied this co-operation, what chance then for a full independent examination of Claudy ?

    It took almost forty years to get an admission of the facts regarding Bloody Sunday : even in another forty years and irrespective of the status of the political status Six Counties the secrets of the Low Intensity War will stay just that. It is not in British interest so the files will stay with the wherever the other grubby deeds of Cyprus, Kenyan etc are held if not destroyed.

    Stalker was the nearest we have seen to uncovering anything like the truth in the North and when he got close with evidence surprise, surprise, the lab burned down destroying the evidence !

    Who is kidding who here about genuine enquires into any aspect of the troubles ?

  • Alan Maskey

    http://tinyurl.com/2eaaukx

    Bishop Daly’s (excellent) Irish News article in full.

  • Granni Trixie

    Nomatter how much one longs for justice and some respite for the Claudy families,,the way to out the murderers of their loved ones is not through Parliamentary privilege but to pass on evidence to the proper authorities.

    Have no lessons been learned?
    We all know of at least one murder a direct consequence of this strange privileging of hearsay (ie Finucane).

    Does anyone know the basis or rationale for parliamentary privilege for as a lay person it seems to me to be light years away from what usually passes as ‘fair’.

  • Munsterview

    Care to add a Zero after 1………. and then start counting ?

  • Munsterview

    Women….. I can’t watch two of you……behave yourselves!

  • lamhdearg

    jezza please don’t let this go La Mon was as bad as anything and the people responsible must be seen for what they where. i will allways rise La mon as long as i live.

  • lamhdearg

    munster finucane+ any police officer?

  • Munsterview

    Off Topic…..but….

    This is just in. If it is correct, and these guys have an excellent track record in these matters, it means America, Europe and the developed world has just taken a big long running jump out of the brown stuff and there is a light at the end of the tunnel for us all …. a very bright one indeed !

    Puts our little problems in perspective !

    Dear Wealth Daily Reader,

    Forget about oil.

    … For the next 673 years, anyway.

    That’s how much oil and natural gas a group of geologists recently learned how to unlock – right here in North America.

  • lamhdearg

    deep well ! ?.

  • MV

    North America??? I suppose the cars will get even bigger now..

  • Munsterview

    Hopefully we have learned that lesson.!

    This could be a positive tipping point just as a double dip recession was looming in the US …. some would say it had actually arrived. Last contact I had with our yanks they were about to host a Tea party…. they are in financial services… I must try them for a comment or two!

  • Munsterview

    No, relativly shallow….. slow night so here is some of the article!

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The federal government is issuing domestic drilling permits almost faster than they could print them.

    In a massive area that — just three years ago — used to be so desolate that it could hardly sustain a shrub, an entire boomtown was blossoming.

    Rigs, roads, lights, shops, office buildings, restaurants, banks, and bed & breakfasts were popping up all over the place.

    To give you an idea of just how big this site was becoming:

    “According to the most recent edition of the study of U.S. employment trends, this little—known area is solely responsible for creating so many jobs that despite skyrocketing unemployment for the other 47 continental states, this state recorded a 3% increase in employment!”

    It literally increased employment levels across the entire state!

    And things are just heating up…

    You see, for several months leading up to the military’s oil report — and drastically increasing afterwards — hundreds of oil & gas outfits, from wildcats to big oil, have been strategically securing countless acres of land in seven, very specific regions throughout North America.

    My brief visit, 1,505 miles from home, marked just one location.

    And while you won’t read more than a blurb about it in the mainstream press, right now, they’re in the beginning stages of an all-out land rush.

    According to a report issued by Reuters, these seven spots have grown so popular that together they doubled the number of onshore rigs in the entire U.S. this year alone!

    As one Shell spokesman puts it:

    “We’ve been acquiring land and associated water rights… We’re just situating ourselves so that when the time comes, we’ll have the resources we need.”

    Why the sudden surge?

    673 Years Worth of Energy!
    World Energy Council Confirms
    U.S. & Canada Hold
    the Largest Oil Deposits on Earth

    It’s no secret that the United States and Canada contain vast deposits of unconventional oil & natural gas…

    The stuff that doesn’t rush to the ground the moment you poke a hole in the earth as though it was a juice box.

    But just how much we have has long remained the question.

    According to the World Energy Council’s latest 600 page report, we’re looking at more than three trillion barrels of oil… and more than a quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas.

    That’s enough fossil fuels to power the U.S. for the next 673 years!

    Take a look:

  • Nunoftheabove

    Granni

    Parliamentary privilege – in the UK, at any rate – is a matter of constitutional law going back to the 17th century which establishes the rights and immunities of both Houses of Parliament and their members.

    It extends beyond those privileges enjoyed by other bodies and individuals. Privilege is critical to the effective working of Parliament as it protects its right to operate independently without ‘external interference’.

    There appears to be no definitive guide to what constitutes parliamentary privilege as such but it is generally recognised that the term ‘privilege’ implies a special advantage, rather than a special protection – this is a legal disticntion.

    Long story short, parliamentary privilege in London comprises five main privileges:

    • freedom of speech and proceedings in Parliament;
    • freedom of each House to control its own affairs (referred to, for the nerds, as ‘exclusive cognisance’);
    • to control publication of its proceedings;
    • freedom from arrest; and
    • to punish for breach of privilege and contempt.

    The most significant rights however are those relating to freedom of speech and Parliament’s control of its own (sic) proceedings.

    In the NI Assembly, the position is different. Slightly, anyway. Parliamentary Privilege in the general, “Westminster” sense outlined above does not exist in the NIA. Anything that Members and members of the public know of Parliamentary Privilege at Westminster cannot be directly applied to the work of Members in the Assembly.

    The only privilege which applies to Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly relates to freedom of speech. This is contained in section 50 of the 1998 Act which provides that, for the purposes of defamation, absolute privilege attaches to:-

    the making of a statement in proceedings of the Assembly; and the publication of a statement under the Assembly’s authority. This privilege is a defence against an action for defamation but dos not represent immunity from it. I have a feeling that this may either depart from or fall into closer alignment with Westminster as and when it is legally challanged in court, which is probably inevitable. be intereresting to see the limits tested, though….any no-win-no-fee takers out there ?

    If an action is raised against an Assembly Member in respect of any potentially defamatory statement he or she has made in proceedings in the Chamber or in Committee, the Member could (sic) defend that action by relying on the privilege but they cannot rely on it as they could in London, or at least to the same extent.

    Hope this helps.

  • Alan Maskey

    Turgon:
    You will note the consistent attempts by the bombers’ trolling apologist to derail this and related threads into total tangents,
    Scratching around, I see that Jack Lynch, Taoiseasch of the time, burned all his private papers and that Cardinal Conway’s are under lock and key in Armagh’; (P de Rossa, who was never in OIRA, honestly, but did admit to being in North Korea with Sean Grland also burned his, lol).
    Links:
    . Also, for Alias ?

    I think the Irish Catholic Church could help a lot by opening up, piece by piece, all its papers; no need for scandal, just the truth. This would, among other things, help put pressure on PIRA and PSF to do the same.
    PIRA have done things that are the antithesis of catholicism: mutilating bodies, no Christian burial etc (odd for a mob who set such publicity store by them)
    We must remember that it was PIRA, who planted most of the bombs and did more than its fair share of the killings.
    PIRA and its apologists rightly figured that their own atrocities, La mOn and Claudy being good examples, would be lost to view with time, with the priority we must give to the mundane things of life and with the next Loyalist or other atrocity.
    They also steeled us all up for next step of the descent into Hell. Over the years, I have seen Nationalist sympathisiers sickened by Enniskilen, Harrods, and so many others. But they bombed on, regardless.
    Now that the dust has settled, the focus should be on the main players and the main players include Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams.
    Calling McGuinness names, as TUV’s wbsite does, does not help. He should be MADE give a full account of his activities since 1969. We do know he was on the Bloody Sunday march; he keeps telling us and that can be a mitigator. Forget the priestly monkey; concentrate on the organ grinders. That is what The Hague does.,

  • Alan Maskey
  • Nunoftheabove

    How do you propose to MAKE him give a full account exactly and on what basis in connection with Claudy ? On the basis that you don’t like him or because some cleric that you esteem thinks he might be a “very very very bad man” ?

    I agree that the church should open up its papers – and frankly it should be MADE to (I”m sure a legal basis could be found if the will was there, given the extent of the filth and scandal that we already know one would have thought that there were sufficient grounds to do so already – but not holding my breath in any case); what’s the betting that truth and scandal aren’t synonomous to a tremendous extent though do you think ?

    And on what grounds were/are the provos’ failure to adhere to catholic doctrine any worse, or even close to – ethically and morally speaking – than some of the church doctrine itself ? Their ‘AIDS bad, condoms worse’ would be one example where the numbers of civilian casualities flowing from that teaching are truly monumental.

  • Alan Maskey

    Instead of trying to hold the Claudy bombers to account and to find out what precisely Martin McGuiness knows, we must instead discuss the Catholic Church and condoms. How do you think that will sell with PIRA’s victims?

  • Nunoftheabove

    If you don’t want the doctrine or morality of the catholic church (or any other church) broached and questioned in a reasonable fashion then stop mentioning it in relation to other peope or groups (in defence of your own point at that. Either you do think it’s germane to this issue – clearly you do – or you don’t, it’s not me who has to make their mind up here fella.

    Oh, and you haven’t (yet) answered the McGuinness question either so do try staying on topic while lecturing everyone else about bringing some perspective to the matter. Do please lower your narcissusometer just a half turn, if you would.

  • Alan Maskey

    I have alrady said it: Martin McGuinness should be hauled off to The Hague, along with Adams, the Paisleys, Kerr, Jackson and the other main culprits.
    Tell me: Do you also think Claudy was a bit of Provo crack of no great consequence?

  • Nunoftheabove

    You still haven’t answered my question on McGuinness so I’ll try to break it down for you.

    * Who would make him ?
    * How would/could he be made to ? ; and
    * How likely is this to happen do you think ?

    I don’t understand the grammar of your question given the absence of context. If you’ll pay any attention to what other contributors say you’ll fairly easily grasp what they think as that’s normally what they post, in one form or another. It does involve some reading and concentration though I’m afraid but that’s the deal.

    If not, then try asking a straightforward question, adopting a grown up tone and applying some of what we in Ireland call manners .

  • Alan Maskey

    Nunoftheabove: I would not imagine from your obvious prejudices and peroccupations you have an abundance of manners.
    I am not discussing HOW McGuinness, Adams, the DUP leaders, FRU and other ring leaders should be hauled off to the Hague. I am merely stating that they SHOULD be so that the truth may be begun to be established. Can yiou see the difference between these two monosyllabic words?
    I do assume, often wrongly I am sure, readers are grown ups and can assess context. However, to indulge you yet again:
    * No reputable body currently wants to hold him or other alleged ringleaders to account. This, though, does not make it right.
    * This could change as it did with others (sorry about the two syllables there).
    * Currently, it is unlikely to happen. If the truth is to emerge, it is the ringleaders, who must talk the truth.

    It is against those who know, those who were at the centre of the loop, that the pressure, however belated, must be applied.
    I did promise Paddy Reilly I would lay off Claudy and let him get on with it. Though Paddy does suggest Dominic McGlinchey as one of the likely culprits, McGlinchey, like Chesney, is conveniently dead.
    To summarise: Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams should tell all they know if they wish to improve Ireland. Adams could begin by stating if there is any substance to the story about Jean McConville and the German shepherd. Though I find that hard to believe, his generally accepted economy with th truith does not help.

  • PaddyReilly

    Though Paddy does suggest Dominic McGlinchey as one of the likely culprits, McGlinchey, like Chesney, is conveniently dead..

    As I pointed out on the other thread, the cars used to do Claudy were stolen in Bellaghy, before Motorman. The persons who gave the warning were estimated as aged 13-17.

    McGlinchey at that time was 17 or 18. He was also in Bellaghy, having been released from 10 months internment in May of that year, the bombing taking place in July. Not too long afterwards he was reinterned.

    He would not have been high on the RUC’s suspects list, because of his extreme youth: they did not then know that he was the famous Dominic McGlinchey, as he had not yet become that.

    Nevertheless, those who like Dan Brown thrillers can convince themselves that the answer lies in a Sicilian authored report in the archives of the Vatican; those opposed politically to Martin McGuinness can convince themselves that they will arrive at the truth by hanging him upside down and lighting a fire under him.

    McGlinchey is, it is true, conveniently dead. I would not be accusing him if he were alive: law of libel and all that: Mick Fealty would not be happy with me. But he had two youthful helpers: a stab at the identity of these could possibly be made from the internet, if you look.

    But I stick to my previous statement: I think you have to realise that driving around dropping off bombs, and belonging to an organisation which does this, actuarily speaking decreases your life expectancy significantly.

  • Alan Maskey

    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/CLAUDY-REPORT-Mystery-still-surrounds.6492885.jp

    Paddy, the peelers have an interesting take on non-Fr Liam.