“While it may be described as being a mistake, she was shot in the back”

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Reports of ‘loyalist threats’ didn’t stem the criticism, now Sinn Féin’s Mary McArdle, special adviser to the Northern Ireland Culture Minister, Carál Ní Chilín, has broken her silence over her controversial appointment.  In the Andersonstown News…

Mary McArdle was convicted and jailed for her involvement in the Provisional IRA murder of 23-year-old teacher, Mary Travers, who had been working at Holy Child Primary School in Andersonstown, west Belfast, and the attempted murder of Mary Travers’ father, Catholic magistrate Tom Travers, as they left mass at St Brigid’s Church in 1984.  The gunmen were never brought to justice.

The BBC reports

Ms McArdle told the Andersonstown News – in her first public comments since she was appointed as special adviser to Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin – that she regretted that it happened and she did not believe anything she said could ease the family’s grief.

“If I were to begin to describe the specific context of conflict I would be accused of trying to justify her death, and I have no wish to do that.”

The Belfast Telgraph has the quote, and Mary Travers’ sister, Ann Travers’ response

“I want to state clearly that the killing of Mary Travers was a tragic mistake and I regret that it happened,” [Mary McArdle] said in the Andersonstown News.

But Ann Travers accused the republican of showing no respect to victims.

“While it may be described as being a mistake, she was shot in the back,” she said.

“There were two gunman, one standing over Dad, shooting Dad, and the other one shot my sister in the back and attempted to murder my mother, held the gun up to my mother, my mother’s head, but the bullets jammed in the gun.”

She told the BBC: “Rather than Mary McArdle and Sinn Fein saying my sister’s death was a mistake, what they should be saying is Mary Travers’ death and murder is an embarrassment now to us and has come back to haunt us.”

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  • joeCanuck

    DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
    Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
    For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
    Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
    From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
    Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
    And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
    Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
    Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
    And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
    And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
    And better then thy stroake; why swell’st thou then;
    One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
    And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

    John Donne.

  • Lionel Hutz

    To look at this another way. Why would PIRA not have wanted to kill Mary Travers? Surely the point was to strike fear into anyone who played apart in the justice system. Killing the family would be even more effective than killing the magistrate. No-one has challenged Ann Travers’ account of the day so I see no reason to doubt it.

    I was also thinking about why Sinn Fein would sanction (as they must have done) the interview the Atown News. There is an election in West Belfast soon. Now SF won’t lose the seat. But should there be a sizeable drop in percentage since say the assembly elections, that would be damaging for Sinn Fein. I cannot see any other reason why they would do it for a publication with such limited readership

  • Reader

    Mick Fealty: Also, you are perfectly entitled to believe it was an accident, and that’s certainly what SF say happened.
    No it isn’t. They said it was a ‘mistake’. And they have had a couple of decades of hindsight to work that out. If it had been an ‘accident’ they could have said so on the day of the murder.

  • Mick Fealty

    Fair cop reader. Getting sloppy at this end of a long, multi thread marathon.

  • qwerty12345

    The “News” Letter is good this morning; “Why is this woman still behind her desk” – oh the outrage! On the same page a nice story about the restoration of an orange banner.

    Funny, when a completely innocent friend of mine was shot in the back by an RUC officer who never served a day I dont remember unionist outrage over how killers can have careers.

  • Mick Fealty

    There’s a lot of people who died in a ditch that no one made a fuss over, but we are not talking about them!

  • joeCanuck

    The brave Irish freedom fighters who courageously tried to free our land of this despicable magistrate are to be applauded for their valiant though botched attempt. Curses on the Castle Catholic who so callously put his loving family in harm’s way by attending a religious ceremony celebrating the overcome of his idol’s murderers by rising from the dead to put them at bay.
    May Ireland soon be rid of the vermin who came and stole the land of the Firbolgs.
    Long live a free Ireland.

    (with apologies to those who are civilly offended).

    Amen.

  • otto

    Cameron on Bloody Sunday…

    “There is no doubt. There is nothing equivocal. There are no ambiguities. What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong.”

    ““The immediate responsibility for the deaths and injuries on Bloody Sunday lies with those members of Support Company whose unjustifiable firing was the cause of the those deaths and injuries”…

    …and – crucially – that “none of the casualties was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, or indeed was doing anything else that could on any view justify their shooting”. ”

    (our fault)

    Gerry on Teebane….

    “an horiffic reminder of the failure of British policy in Ireland”

    (your fault)

    Mary Ann on Mary….

    “a mistake”

    (not really our fault, maybe still your fault)

  • slappymcgroundout

    “There’s a lot of people who died in a ditch that no one made a fuss over, but we are not talking about them!”

    That might be the problem.

    “I was also thinking about why Sinn Fein would sanction (as they must have done) the interview the Atown News. There is an election in West Belfast soon. Now SF won’t lose the seat. But should there be a sizeable drop in percentage since say the assembly elections, that would be damaging for Sinn Fein. I cannot see any other reason why they would do it for a publication with such limited readership”

    God help your clients. A court of law allows for cross of any and all witnesses. Outside the court does not. So they’re protecting their client-witness by having the friendly and not hostile interview. They otherwise know that all others concerned will pick up the story as indeed they have.

  • http://pippakin-meiow.blogspot.com pippakin

    socaire

    As far as the IRA were concerned there were two accidents or mistakes that day 1) the gun jammed and 2) Mr Travers survived, everything else was fully intentional and deliberate, Your bland acceptance is an example of the closed minds of some SF supporters, attempting to place the blame on the victim is also a well known SF tactic. Murder cannot be justified on the grounds that the murderer was on ‘our’ side . The employment of Ms McArdle is both an insult and an added wound to the victims.

  • Mick Fealty

    That is almost certainly one of the reasons why the past keeps flickering up out of the cellar in to which it has unceremoniously been thrust.

  • otto

    Anyone remember Richard Fish off of Ally McBeal?

    Whenever someone challenged him on his appalling behaviour he just said “Bygones!” and considered the matter closed…

    He also said;

    “Never trust second thoughts: next thing you know there’ll be a third and a fourth. You’ll be thinking forever!”

    See Richard Fish? That’s Sinn Fein that is…

  • socaire

    It seems to be well nigh impossible to state the obvious on this site before all the self servers and whited sepulchres land on you like vultures. I did not at any time indicate whether the attack had my personal support. I tried to show that all stories have several versions. Pick your own. But my basic point, regardless of the rights and wrongs, was that I would have been more aware of the danger my family may have been in because of my chosen career and acted differently. Now, to further politicise the Irish language, I would like to wish all my readers Lá maith agaibh.

  • streetlegal

    The Provisional Sinn Fein leadership desperately want this issue to go away. Hence, to use a cricketing analogy with which Martin McGuinness should be familiar, they are trying to play a ‘dead bat’ with the media on this one. That is why it is so important that journalists keep chipping away at them on these matters. The brutal reality of the Provisional IRA campaign must always be played back to them. Otherwise they will get away with their own romantic rewrite of the history of their ‘armed struggle’. The promotion of Mary McArdle has great significance for Martin McGuinness and the leadership of Provisional Sinn Fein – as an exercise in self-justification and a means of glossing over their terrible past.

  • http://www.banuanlae.org/ Ulick

    For those of you attempting to argue that the IRA deliberately tried to shoot dead all three of the Travers family, your case would be more convincing if you could point to an antecedent or subsequent action of similar circumstances where they also shot dead the family of their intended target. I can only think of a few bomb attacks but none whereby the family was also shot after the target for no reason other than the badness of it. No matter how you want to hang it, all this stuff about guns jamming just doesn’t stack-up. I feel for Ms Travers grief but anyone looking objectively at this issue can see that she and her family’s recollection of the incident is being used for petty politicking.

  • Skinner

    Socaire

    “Murder carries the meaning of intent to kill. I do not believe that she was the intended target.”

    Whether she was the intended target in the planning of the attack is irrelevant. The question is whether the person who aimed the gun at Ms Travers intended to cause her GBH or kill her. I think the answer is obviously ‘yes’ and you do yourself no favours by trying to make a legal argument without knowing the law. And anyway, you don’t have to engage in a legal argument to conclude simply ‘it was wrong’.

    “And to be brutally honest, if she had not been in the company of a British official when a particular grouping had widely advertised the fact that such officials were ‘legitimate targets’, then she would not have been killed. Back to my original point, if she had been my daughter, I would have sent her to a different Mass. But we all have a point to make, haven’t we, whatever the cost?”

    This attempts to focus the attention on Mr Travers, who you suggest was making some sort of point by going to Mass with his family. I have yet to hear any more repressive comment than that – that a man should not have considered himself free to attend a place of worship with his family.

    The way you apportion the blame on Mr Travers is to assume that the murder was the work of automatons and that it was inevitable. This argument follows in the same vein of those who support the murder of Ronan Kerr – “while the Brits still occupy a part of Ireland this sort of resistance will continue”. That may be a statement of fact but it completely avoids the question of whether it *should* continue. The avoidance of the *should* element seems predicated on the assumption the perpertrators are not capable of determining the morality of what they are doing and that they are not capable of refraining from killing people. And so for you the focus is not on the question of whether Ms McArdle and her associates *should* have realised that to kill a magistrate and his family would have been wrong. That is a question that would dig right into the heart of the republican pysche and is a place few of them like to go. (Hence you did not answer the question “were the killings on bloody sunday murder?” because you know your answer would expose an inconsistency in what you consider to be murder.) Far better to assume from the start that the killing of the Travers family is justified and work from there. So your focus is on what blame attaches to Mr Travers. Mr Travers probably assumed that fellow Irishmen were capable of the realisation that to murder him and his family would be wrong and would thus refrain from doing it. The majority view in any free society is that Mr Travers was entitled to make that assumption. The fact that he was tragically incorrect in that assumption does not mean any blame attaches to him.

  • http://www.banuanlae.org/ Ulick

    @streetlegal it’s more likely Sinn Féin simply want to avoid an unseemly row with a victim. It does nobody any favours.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Skinner

    Your 11.12 is a really terrific post.

    I completely disagree with Socaire, though his argument probably springs from a natural human emotion that I’m sure we can all recognise.

    I have known fathers who have lost children in violent circumstances. Without exception, they have blamed themselves. It’s the most natural thing in the world for a father to regard himself as the protector of his child, and even when that child is an adult, and even if they are far away when they come to harm, a father will naturally feel terrible guilt. Of course these fathers are not guilty in any way, shape or form, but they feel the guilt anyway.

    So, though I feel extremely uneasy about this, I can well imagine how the tragic Judge Travers must have carried around completely unwarranted but completely natural feelings of guilt for the rest of his days. That the murder of his daughter happened before his eyes, and that the killers were after him, must have made the torment all the worse. You would need a heart of stone not to weep for the poor man.

    Where Socaire goes too far, and where he shows utter callousness, is to suggest that any feelings of guilt that Judge Travers may (must?) have felt, were somehow warranted.

  • fordprefect

    Pippa,
    Were you there that day? You are going by media reports about what happened, (and we all know how reliable they are!). What happened to Mary Travers was horrific, as I’ve said on this thread earlier. I think Mick said earlier on this thread that Mrs. Travers had powder burns to her face indicating that a gun was fired AT her, not necessarily, it could have been a consequence of a gun being fired CLOSE to her that caused the powder burns. Mr. Travers said he would never forget the gunmans face because of the hatred in his eyes, yet, he picked out the wrong man. Believe me, I am not trying to justify anything that happened that day. I think what rankles with most people now, is that SF break their necks to get on tv, radio etc. to condemn the latest killing, bombing and so on, and called the killings of the two soldiers at Masserene murder, they called the killing of the policeman Carroll murder, they called the killing of Ronan Kerr murder, yet ask them to call the killing of Mary Travers, murder, or Jean McConville, murder and see what reponse you get. If you have the “cheek” to question SF about this you are called a “dissident” or that you haven’t moved on or they skirt around it and don’t answer it at all!

  • Skinner

    There are a few emerging examples of Sinn Fein assuming that in the rosey new North people have forgotten the attrocious crimes of the provisional movement. A few months ago they arranged a bash to celebrate the Bobby Sands debacle. Where did they choose? The exact site where the IRA murdered 12 people. They eventually changed the venue after an outcry from local people but it shows a certain level of arrogance that they chose the site in the first place. Contrary to some commenters don’t think they did it deliberately to cause hurt. I just think they are so entrenched in their own agenda that they don’t consider the legacy of the IRA campaign. Twas always thus.

  • Skinner

    “Skinner

    Your 11.12 is a really terrific post.”

    Thank you, I wasn’t really sure that anyone would read it! Hopefully Socaire will.

  • http://pippakin-meiow.blogspot.com pippakin

    Fordprefect

    No I wasn’t there and nor were most people. Its not the point though. I agree with: ” I think what rankles with most people now, is that SF break their necks to get on tv, radio etc. to condemn the latest killing, bombing and so on, and called the killings of the two soldiers at Masserene murder, they called the killing of the policeman Carroll murder, they called the killing of Ronan Kerr murder, yet ask them to call the killing of Mary Travers, murder, or Jean McConville, murder and see what reponse you get. If you have the “cheek” to question SF about this you are called a “dissident” or that you haven’t moved on or they skirt around it and don’t answer it at all! ”

    My point is they were all wrong and the recent dissident murders are just as wrong, those who condemn them would do well to at least let the past stay in the past. No victim should have to tolerate SF continually and brazenly rubbing salt in their wounds. As for the suggestion that a victim has an agenda, other than wanting justice for her family, because she does not appear to be a ‘natural’ SF supporter, which has been made by other/s on this thread, well that’s just downright offensive.

  • slappymcgroundout

    otto:

    But yet no one will ever be charged for crime relating to Bloody Sunday. In contrast, the human of concern here did her time. Sinn Fein might very well sing like a canary if they could be guaranteed of no crime related charges, but as McGeough indicates, that simply won’t be the case. And you can compare McGeough, who tried to kill someone but was not successful, with those who actually killed in Derry. If you’re looking for any hypocrisy it’s quite readily apparent.

    Sinn Fein/PIRA have nothing on a state that believes that it can kill with impunity. And don’t think for a moment that an “apology” means that the state understands that it cannot kill with impunity.

    Regarding Teebane, you left out the other part of what Gerry said, something about Teebane demonstrating the “urgent need for an inclusive dialogue which can create a genuine peace process”.

    Lastly, new meme for me, as I will henceforth on Slugger be referring to the British government, Westminster, as the political wing, and the British Army as the armed wing. And since the two events were but mere months apart, why don’t I call Ballymurphy and Derry, pattern and practice of the armed wing in NI. And the literal poster child of said pattern and practice:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/qbix08/3042992967/

    Ms. Travers might also find this useful as should you:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheep23/3201073430/

  • slappymcgroundout

    “That is almost certainly one of the reasons why the past keeps flickering up out of the cellar in to which it has unceremoniously been thrust.

    Leaving the past behind does not mean that you cannot talk about the past. Simply means that you cannot allow the past to dictate the course of future events. Probably some, many, are afraid that the populace won’t be keen to grasp that reality and so the cellar.

    Would otherwise help, well, don’t know what the language on the back of the card that demonstrates your proof of automobile insurance says, but here in the US, item no. 3 is, never admit to liability. And that’s just over money and never mind jail term. As some have said before me, would be much easier to come to terms, or make the best of the circumstance since some may never be able to come to terms, but you all need an amnesty. Then people with genuine remorse, which by the way, does not mean that you mean that your armed struggle was wrong, i.e., the US soldier during WWII might feel remorse at having killed the Japanese and German solider, but remorse might more freely be expressed if people weren’t worried about any statements being admissions that could be used in a future criminal prosecution.

  • Independent Ulster

    Any Unionists who voted for the GFA voted for the facilitation of this type of appointment.

    The GFA placed no onus on SF to admit any of its actions were in anyway wrong and any outrage expressed now by such Unionists carries little weight.

    As Cynic2 rightly points out above

    ‘Unionists should boycott everything emanating from the Culture Department while she remains in post and use their powers to block every proposal on the basis that her role in it makes it controversial and requiring cross-community support.’

  • Skinner

    Independent Ulster -

    It’s possible to express distaste at this scenario without necessarily concluding that the entire structure that ultimately facilitates it should come crashing down.

  • Independent Ulster

    Skinner,

    You said

    ‘It’s possible to express distaste at this scenario without necessarily concluding that the entire structure that ultimately facilitates it should come crashing down.’

    Yes, there is a certain logic to that position but as Cynic2 points this an opportunity to draw a line in the sand.

    I do not think it is possible to express distaste at Sinn Fein’s disgusting behaviour with any conviction or credibility if you have actually faciltiated that behaviour by voting for the legislation that enabled it.

    This scenario was entirely predicatable, Republican leopards do not change their spots.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Martin McGuinness indicates no u-turn over Travers row:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-13642035

    He added: “The big question that people have to answer is: are people who have been part of the conflict, are they entitled to have a role in building a better future?”

    IMO The bigger question is: does the “entitlement” of people who have been part of the conflict to have a role in politics trump the responsibility we have to not aggravate the hurt caused to victims?

    Firstly, ofcourse no-one has an entitlement to a role in politics. They only have an entitlement to seek a mandate. She didn’t. But Sinn Fein do a have a rightto appoint there special advisors. It’s not about Mary McArdle. Does the minister have a responsibility?

  • Brian

    ‘To look at this another way. Why would PIRA not have wanted to kill Mary Travers?’

    Loss of some support, bad press, outrage among some sympathetic parties, worse electoral fortunes, etc

  • Skinner

    Independent Ulster

    You can if you think the benefits of that legislation outweigh the possiblity that it may allow people to make distasteful appointments such as this (if they so choose).

  • Independent Ulster

    Skiiner,

    You Say

    ‘You can if you think the benefits of that legislation outweigh the possiblity that it may allow people to make distasteful appointments such as this (if they so choose).’

    Pro GFA Unionists were clealry warned of the perils of putting alleged unreformed terrorists into government and decided to vote in favour anyway and it was not just a ‘possiblilty’ that those unreformed alleged terrorists in government would choose to put other alleged or actual terrorists into certain positions, such as in this case, but an absolute racing certainty.

  • otto

    Slap

    “Sinn Fein/PIRA have nothing on a state that believes that it can kill with impunity.”

    You’ve got to be kidding. Does the murder of juries and judges not suggest an expectation of, or sense of entitlement to impunity? Did the Sinners eport themselves to their local police station after each action?

    Anyway – you’ve completely missed the point of this thread. It’s not about who was worse – the Brits or the IRA? It’s about militant republican’s attitude to civilian life and about how we can possibly build an effective civil society (or raise our kids) in a world where republicans insist on telling us killing teachers is at worst a “mistake” if their Dad’s a magistrate.

    Patronising lectures on British-Irish history aren’t all that helpful or relevant. Some chink of light in the wall of Shinner moral obfuscation might be.

    In fact – what might help is if the Shinners stopped treating all communication as an opportunity for propaganda and had a think about what united societies are actually made of.

    The Para’s aren’t here anymore, and the 19th Light Brigade’s house swap with Irish regiments is not a military occupation no more how shrilly some people scream it is.

    It’s just us here now – the Brits aren’t an excuse anymore.

  • fordprefect

    Pippa,
    I hope you don’t include me on that list of other/others, as I neither indicated nor said that Ann Travers had an agenda. The point you made about SF making out that people have an agenda is spot on. It’s not just, say, Ann Travers, it’s anyone! If a person disagrees with ANY SF policy, (be it about roads, education and so and so on) they are labelled as being against the peace process, nucases and people with an axe to grind! I have seen many people who gave their whole lives to the Republican Movement being demonised and called alcoholics and nutcases because they didn’t agree with a certain part of SF’s agenda, (a policy that backfired on them in a lot of Nationalist/Republican areas and which they are now trying to claw back). Just watch them (apart from Adams, McGuinness and the likes of Kelly, who are all well practiced liars), when they are caught on the hop by a journalist. Caral herself was caught on the hop and didn’t know what to do or say (she sounded like what George Galloway said, when talking about a Labour polititian on Question Time: “a speak your weight machine”), she just came out with soundbites like “the Good Friday Agreement”, “We have moved on” and “I have no comment to make”! A complete airhead, unless the party tells her what is and what is not alright to say, she has nothing to say.

  • http://pippakin-meiow.blogspot.com pippakin

    fordprefect

    No I did not intend that part of my comment to include you. I’m sorry if I gave that impression. SF are past masters at slick PR so this kind of decision is more than disappointing its surprising. I can’t believe Ms McArdle has forgotten the people she helped to murder so I find it hard to understand why she would think Ms Travers has or should.

    I completely agree about the way SF disown those who have the temerity to disagree with any aspect of their agenda and how they all appear singing in harmony from the same hymn sheet. Its so obvious that they know how to use spin that its yet another reason to wonder how this was allowed to happen beyond the arrogant assumption ‘We can if we want’ Yes, they can but no they shouldn’t.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Unionists have to face up to the fact that Nationalists are entitled for who they want. If they start with that, they might ask themselves how they can change the voting patterns.

    Nationalists have to face up to the fact that if they vote Sinn Fein, they are endorsing Sinn Fein’s narrative. You can’t cherry pick.

    What else is there to say about this?

  • fordprefect

    Lionel
    You are of course right. The depressing thing for me (I am a Republican), is that, a large section of Catholic/Nationalist/Republican voters are voting along sectarian lines, as witnessed in Fermanagh/South Tyrone. I am talking about both SF and the SDLP here. I studied a lot of the candidates in the last AE and decided to vote for PBP and the Socialists. Don’t get me wrong the Unionist electorate are every bit as bad, it’s, let’s vote for him/her to keep the other “sort” out. why don’t more people study what the candidates are standing for?

  • wee buns

    Fordprefect and Lionel

    The socialist criticism of the GFA (and one of the reasons I personally didn’t vote for it), is that it institutionalizes sectarian division; proportionality is achieved by describing people as nationalist, unionist or other.

  • babyface finlayson

    Skinner
    Your 11.12 post is spot on. I have often been angered at the use of phrases like ‘ British occupation make such actions inevitable.’ As though the perpetrators of such acts have no control over their own actions. Like automotons as you say. Or like single cell organisms, responding to a stimulus.
    You have articulated it much better than I could have, so thanks for that. I would be interested to see the response of Socaire and indeed those who justify dissident activity with this rationale.

  • Independent Ulster

    babyface finlayson,

    You say

    ‘As though the perpetrators of such acts have no control over their own actions.’

    Yes personal responsbility is what it should be all about, Republicans like to hide behind their cheap ideological mantras.

    Unionists, like Cynic2 says, should now draw a line in the sand on this apointment, including those unionists who abrogated their own personal responsiblities and voted for the GFA.

  • Master McGrath

    I am having a basic problem here with all of this.
    Just what was the ‘mistake’?
    Was it targeting the family s they went to church? Was it not loading the weapon correctly or checking the ammunition beforehand or just that it was a dodgy was being used?
    Or was it that the entire family unit was not murdered?
    Or that some survived?
    Or was it that it was WRONG in every sense to specifically pick an unarmed man and his family at an act of worship and try to murder them? Or even that it was simply wrong to try and murder a family because they were deemed to be a target?
    SF/PRIA have questions to answer here (both about the murder and the appointment) and the sad figure of Ms McArdle shows as she tries to put the best gloss possible on what was no more than another attack on the community by the sympathetic interview in the A/Town news is lees than convincing as a part
    contributing to the way forward.
    Could SF/PIRA tell us just exactly what Ms McArdle was saying was the mistake please? or even Ms McArdle say what she was exactly stating ws the mistake?
    On £80K a year she can afford the time now that she is also a servant of the Crown.

  • orly

    Seriously Mick?

    You have trolls galore all over this thread but you dump my remarks because of a swear word?

    You’re getting a bit sloppy.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/gary930 Oh Sam Bin Laden

    I suspect that, black humour or otherwise, what Sinn Fein regard as the mistake was that their cronies took out the wrong Travers sister. Perhaps they are stating behind closed doors that failing to kill Mary Travers instead was their “mistake.”

  • exsdlp

    We should stop referring to the Mary McArdle ‘interview’ in the ATN. It’s not an interview, there is no critical analysis of what she said, there are no questions put to her, the paper didn’t even bother to put a byline on the story.

    SF emailed a statement and photo and the ATN lapped it up. for interview read propaganda

  • Gopher

    Analytically looking at this appointment we are probably seeing SF consciously or unconsciously accept that they have have nowhere left to go electorally and are handing out the sweeties to the base. The DUP response reminds me of a script from “Yes Minister” to simulate activity, set up an enquiry to find out nothing can actually be done.

  • tacapall

    Three events occured in the last few weeks in relation to victims and past actions. The results of the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry that ambiguously cleared those members of the RUC who threatened her life. The refusal of the British government to hand over files to the Irish Government it holds concerning the identity of those who carried out the Dublin Monaghan bombings in which dozens were murdered and the appointment of Mary McArdle to the post of special advisor – No surprise which one the government controlled media went into a frenzy over, this appointment is no less insensitive than the two above it but Unionism and others seem to be wearing blinkers or simply have one track minds.

  • Limerick

    “For those of you attempting to argue that the IRA deliberately tried to shoot dead all three of the Travers family, your case would be more convincing if you could point to an antecedent or subsequent action of similar circumstances where they also shot dead the family of their intended target.”

    Do the murders of Thomas and Emily Bullock in their isolated Fermanagh border farmhouse count? Or can you find some weasily form of words to excuse that as well?

  • Mick Fealty

    Four Tacapall. Why leave out Smithwick??

    Also one of those things were not like the others. Three government reports and the anguished outcry of a victim.

  • tacapall

    Mick the result of that inquiry has not been decided yet but will the slap in the face they got from the British Government have any bearings on the result also the other victims didn’t get the same publicty Ms Travers got, not that she didn’t deserve it Mick just that no-one asked those other victims their opinions.

  • Limerick

    Rosemary Nelson didn’t get any publicity? Absolute nonsense of course which ignores the fact that millions of pounds were spent on the inquiry into her death, and that it rubbished the claims which republicans made about collusion.

    Is there no other whataboutery that can be introduced to divert attention away from what SF have done to the Travers family?

  • tacapall

    “Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward told the Commons that the report was “disturbing” and had raised serious issues about the police and Northern Ireland Office.

    “This makes uncomfortable reading for both agencies,” Mr Woodward said.

    “Her death was not inevitable, the reduction in risk to her was not reasonable and there were failings in efforts to reduce the threat”.

    Rubbished ! Its people like you who are trying to divert attention.

  • Limerick

    tapacall,

    Republicans claimed that the police had colluded with the people who murdered her. The inquiry completely rubbished that claim.

    Can’t you think of anything else to divert attention away from the Travers case?

  • tacapall

    You see the way you can easily dismiss any wrong doing by those who threatened Rosemary Nelsons life, made her a target then done nothing to protect her, its reasons like that that which allow Sinn Fein to appoint people like Mary McArdle they have views that are no different than your own – Uncaring.

  • Limerick

    tapacall,

    The wrong doing which was claimed by republicans in the Nelson case, namely security force collusion in her murder, has been rubbished after a multi million pound inquiry. How does that translate into me being uncaring?

    As you feel that SF are uncaring in their appointment of a convicted murderer to the job in question do you feel that what they have done is reprehensible?

  • Independent Ulster

    tacapall,

    There is a large difference between a terrorist organisation shooting someone in the back and the Police being cleared of assisting in a killing.

    Do you not see that?

  • tacapall

    “The inquiry said that it could not rule out the possibility that rogue members of the security forces had been involved in the bomb attack”.

    So did they put this bit into the findings just to placate Nationalists.

  • Limerick

    “The inquiry said that it could not rule out the possibility that rogue members of the security forces had been involved in the bomb attack”.

    Tapacall,

    A possibility is a long way from fact, and rogue members are a long way from ‘the security forces’.

    It was not rogue members of the Provos who murdered Ann Travers. In fact one of those responsible has since been highly rewarded by Sinn Fein.

    Why do you think they did that?

  • Independent Ulster

    tacapall,

    You are indulging in ‘whataboutery’ and you are trying to compare a murder with an uncorroborated allegation of assistance in a murder.

  • tacapall

    Independant. Whataboutery is suggesting Im trying to defend something, which Im not, maybe you should read my earlier posts.

    Limerick you are indulging in wordplay. There are allegations RUC special branch knew Mr Travers murder was about to happen but allowed it to happen to protect their informants. This has been alledged by a former RUC Special Branch officer and Mr Travers himself.

  • Mick Fealty

    Tacapall,

    “…the result of that inquiry [Smithwick] has not been decided yet but will the slap in the face they got from the British Government have any bearings on the result also the other victims didn’t get the same publicty Ms Travers got, not that she didn’t deserve it Mick just that no-one asked those other victims their opinions.”

    That’s weird. We don’t yet have product from the British on Dublin and Monaghan either. So why is that a reason to discount the Irish government’s unwarranted notice on the Smithwick tribunal? The Nelson inquiry cost £46.1m, Smithwick a mere €7m thus far.

    It fits the pattern you’ve laid out above (which was predicted in the Guardian four years ago: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/apr/10/buryingthepastforthesake).

    By leaving it out you throw a misleading focus on the Travers case. You are offering us a strangely (for a self-professed political cynic) defensive conspiracy theory that just does not stack up.

  • tacapall

    Mick re the Irish Governments unwarranted notice, well thats up to them to explain but I believe this, the outcome of that inquiry certainly wont suit the British Government, an operation like that would be on a need to know basis, people like Scappaticci, Donaldson, Mc Gee. Would it really be surprising the possibility that they knew about the attack on Breen and Buchanan and allowed it to happen.

  • Mick Fealty

    Tacapall,

    I’m not questioning what the Irish government’s intentions are. I’m asking you why you chose to exclude the media’s treatment of the Smithwick Tribunal from your round up?

    For reference, Smithwick was investigating allegations that the Gardai or other employees of the Irish State colluded in the fatal shootings of RUC Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and RUC Superintendent Robert Buchanan in 1989. That tribunal was established in March 2005, five months after the Nelson Inquiry was announced in November 2004 (note the differential in budget spend between the two noted in my previous post).

    So do you genuinely believe that Smithwick has had its wind up orders from the Irish government in order to protect the British government? Or are you just spinning us a line?

  • tacapall

    Yes Mick I do believe Smithwick has had its wind up orders not only to protect elements within the Irish State but more so the British Government for reasons I’ve already listed above. It should be interesting when Scappaticci, if it ever happens, actually gives evidence to it, he’s a bit of a loose cannon for both sides and Im sure they wish he would just dissapear.

  • Mick Fealty

    So why the amnesia?

  • tacapall

    Mick it has’nt concluded yet otherwise I could have added the Pat Finucane inquiry, the Robert Hamill inquiry but nevertheless I suppose you’re right it can be connected and like all enquiries here it will slap people on the wrists, recommend changes and of course no wrongdoing other than being economical with the truth.

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s the nature of the deal. And there is an upside to it, in that we get to restart some important clocks. But the Travers story shows that it is patchy and sloppy thinking on the matter is always going to be subject to disruption.

  • tacapall

    Mick lets be honest Mary McArdle was thrown to the wolves, a sacrificial lamb, quid pro quo if you like, everybody’s agreed, the circle’s squared, lests leave the past in the past.

  • Limerick

    “Limerick you are indulging in wordplay. There are allegations RUC special branch knew Mr Travers murder was about to happen but allowed it to happen to protect their informants. This has been alledged by a former RUC Special Branch officer and Mr Travers himself.”

    tapacall,

    Again you are playing up allegations and ignoring the certainties, which are that a republican murder gang attempted to wipe out the Travers family and succeeded in murdering a twenty three year old primary school teacher who was walking home from Mass.

  • tacapall

    Limrick are you simple or something, Im not denying that the PIRA were involved in the murder of Mr Travers daughter and the attempted murder of himself, his wife and their other daughter, nor do I condone it, totally wrong. Im talking about all involved not just the usuall suspects you point at.

  • Limerick

    tapacall,

    I’m glad that you don’t condone cold blooded murder, but why do you feel the need to try and deflect the guilt away from the actual murderers by concentrating on allegations by unnamed sources?

  • tacapall

    Because Limrick it is the truth, you dont believe it and I do, you dont believe people were controlled like puppets, but I know, you believe all these enquiriy results are consistant with the facts, I dont. Thats our differences.

  • Limerick

    tapacall,

    So basically you believe whatever suits your own narrative regardless of the facts. That is your perogative, but you must surely expect to be challenged on it.

  • tacapall

    “So basically you believe whatever suits your own narrative regardless of the facts”.

    I hardly think its my own narrative, Im going from what I know, what I hear on the news, what I read in the papers, accusations of collusion and lets just call it blind disregard for the lives of others has been on going for decades if not more, and with the dirty washing being made public regulary these days it is becoming increasingly clear it is true, not everyone wants to hear that though so ways out are invented to lessen the impact, you know fool some of the people most of the time but not all of the people all of the time.

    Of course I expect it to be challenged, enlightenment is the ultimate aim.

  • Independent Ulster

    tacapall,

    Why are you repeatedly raising this separate issue?

  • tacapall

    What separate issue, unless of course you’re talking about Mr Travers and an Ex RUC special branch officer alledging police knew about the murder attempt on Mr Travers life but allowed it to happen in the interests of security or whatever – Are you saying this is not connected ?

  • Limerick

    tapacall,

    I’m glad that you are now using the word ‘alledging’ you had earlier stated that you knew it to be true. Despite the complete lack of evidence to back your claim up.

    Still you have managed to successfully divert the thread which I presume was your intention so well done.

  • http://jamember.blogspot.com Procrasnow

    off topic I know,

    but,

    Has Gerry Adams let down his guard, did anyone else hear his interview on BBC radio today saying “we wanted to cooperate” referring to the cooperation of the IRA in the Breen Enquiry in Dublin

  • Limerick

    Procrasnow,

    He hasn’t let down his guard. His version of cooperation involves loudly proclaiming his version of history.

  • http://jamember.blogspot.com Procrasnow

    Limerick, my point is he used the word ” WE “. as in the cooperation in the enquiry of the IRA. He was being interviewed in connection with the unusual cooperation in the enquiry by members of the IRA and he said “We wanted to cooperate”

    If he was not involved in the IRA it would have been ‘They’ but he clearly said “WE”

  • http://pippakin-meiow.blogspot.com pippakin

    Procrasnow

    So, a slip of the tongue or an admission, who knows.