THe IRA's own Bloody Sunday?

From a very different prespective, Derry based activist and writer Eammon McCann sees no irony in the concurrence of Bert McCartney’s murder and Bloody Sunday (sound file).

  • Davros

    That’s an excellent link. McCann is one of the best political brains we have. He made several good points including that many of those who joined paramilitaries in the past did so for what they considered to have been honourable reasons and several he has spoken to about this matter feel that
    the men responsible for this murder have retrospectively tarnished them.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Mr McCann’s attempted analogy bwetween the two incidents, the murder of Robert McCartney, and the Murder of 13 people on Blody Sunday bear very little in common.

    1) Those murdered in 1972, were murdered by British Soldiers on active duty.

    Robert McCartney was brutally butchered by IRA men, who were not on active service, and not acting on behalf of the Republican Movement.

    2) Within 1 month of the murder of Robert McCartney, the IRA carried out an investigation, expelled and disciplined members. It had also moved its position vis a vis policing in an unprecedented way.

    The victims of Bloody sunday where smeared as bombers and hooligans, and the men who murdered them were lauded, and exonerated, and were not disciplined. 33 years later, we are still waiting for those people, the victims to be exonerated, never mind seeing convictins againt the murderers.

    3) While many of the posters on this blog are keen to condemn the Perpetrators, and the Republican movement as a whole for the murder of Robert McCartney, I bet there are not many of those same people who are willing to condemn the Paras as murderers, if I am wrong, please stand up and say otherwise.

  • lámh dearg

    PC

    I’m happy to condemn the Paras for the brutal murders of 13 innocent Derry people, whose relatives, as you rightly say, are still seeking justice.

    I’m also happy to condemn the butchers of Short Strand for the brutal murder of Robert McCartney.

    Like McCann, I can see parallels, the “internal” IRA inquiry was a bit more pr friendly than the Widgery Whitewash, but less transparent and just as much a damage limitation exercise. Have the three really been expelled? What disciplinary action has been taken against them? Will they answer charges against them in open court, be represented by a lawyer and judged according to the law?

    The other obvious parallel is the fact that both Bloody Sunday and the murder of Robert McCartney were stupid own goals which drove people in exactly the opposite direction from that desired by the perpetrators of the crimes.

    Well done McCann

  • Belfast Gonzo

    PaddyCanuck

    I think you might be surprised by the number of unionists that take no pride in Bloody Sunday. I can’t think of many unionists who approved of it.

  • barney

    Nice swerve BG, but do you know many unionists who condem the paras as murderers? Most I know sigh deeply and gently explain the pressures the tommy’s were under, the need for split second decision making, the threatening behaviour of the rioters (as they ran away and as they lay dying on the floor), the provocations, the first shot theory, etc, etc. They might not be proud but they’re not losing any sleep over it either.

  • Davros

    The retreat into whataboutery makes Eamon McCann’s point. Tell us Barney and Paddy – how does what you see as faults within the unionist community excuse the cover-up after McCartneys murder by a bunch of thugs who had been at a commemorative march demanding justice for the dead of Bloody Sunday ?

  • drumcree

    Fascinating interview.

    Whilst on the subject of Good Morning Ireland, Paisley’s interview with Tommie Gorman is also quite an insight http://www.rte.ie/news/2004/0509/northpolitics.html.

    Interesting times!!!!

  • barney

    “The other obvious parallel is the fact that both Bloody Sunday and the murder of Robert McCartney were stupid own goals which drove people in exactly the opposite direction from that desired by the perpetrators of the crimes.”
    Robert McCArtney was killed in a drunken brawl. What then, ld, were the perpertrators objectives?

    Davros,

    The title of the thread includes Bloody Sunday, I didn’t bring it up. I guess you’re cool about Gonzo using it but not with my response. Whataboutery is wherever you look for it Davros. Why didn’t you support the McCartney’s in fact instead of in theory. You could have brought the attendance up to 101.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Davros, a thread was posted on this site in which Eamonn McCann, tried to draw an analogy between the murders of Robert McCartney and the murders on Bloody Sunday.

    I sought to show that analogy was an invalid one. Is this not the purpose of this blog, someone posts a story/article/whatever, and that then illicits a response/discussion.

    Eamonn McCann brought up bloody Sunday, I did not, he sought to draw an analogy between the two events, I did not. He seeks to tarnish the republican movement, and its past by drawing this analogy, it is my right to debunk that view, it is not whataboutery.

    When I talk about posters being willing to condemn republicans without hesitation, and been much less willing to do so when the ball is on the other foot, I am pointing out how McCann, the McCartneys, the people of the Short Strand, and the Bogside are being used by those same people to attack and villify the republican community, and their aspirations.

    If you want to reject the substance of my rebuttal of mcCanns analogy, you should. If you readily condemn republicans, you should be willing to condemn other parties to the conflict as readily. If not you should declare otherwise, so that the duplitious nature of your views are visible for all to see.

  • Davros

    barney – Unionists and the unionist community weren’t involved in the slaughter of Mr McCartney – THAT’s the whataboutery by you to which I refer.

  • Davros

    Davros, a thread was posted on this site in which Eamonn McCann, tried to draw an analogy between the murders of Robert McCartney and the murders on Bloody Sunday.

    You obviously either haven’t even listened to the interview or are trying desperately to lay down smoke.

    Or do you think getting drunk and slaughtering people is an appropriate way to commemorate the dead of Bloody Sunday ? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I don’t see any difference between the IRA today and The behavious of Johnny Adair and the rest of the loyalist paramilitary thugs.

  • Davros

    Whoops :

    “Davros, a thread was posted on this site in which Eamonn McCann, tried to draw an analogy between the murders of Robert McCartney and the murders on Bloody Sunday.”

    You obviously either haven’t even listened to the interview or are trying desperately to lay down smoke.

    Or do you think getting drunk and slaughtering people is an appropriate way to commemorate the dead of Bloody Sunday ? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I don’t see any difference between the IRA today and The behaviour of Johnny Adair and the rest of the loyalist paramilitary thugs.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    barney

    That is also true, and I wouldn’t dispute what you said. Unionists have not said much about Bloody Sunday over the years. One tribe rarely shows respect for the other’s dead.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Actually Belfast Gonzo raised a point, and Barney replied to his post. Should other peoples points be ignored, and not replied to?

  • barney

    I never said they were, Davros. What are you on about?

  • Davros

    I’ll repeat the question:

    Tell us Barney and Paddy – how does what you see as faults within the unionist community excuse the cover-up after McCartneys murder by a bunch of thugs who had been at a commemorative march demanding justice for the dead of Bloody Sunday ?

  • PaddyCanuck

    Nothing excuses the murder, I have posted on many occassions saying such. Nothing excuses the coverup, I asked that there be no coverup. I hope justice is done.

  • barney

    Davros,

    Once again, I have never mentioned the unionist community in connection with Robert McCartney’s murder. I have never suggested that ‘faults within the unionist community’ justified any aspect of Robert McCartney’s murder. What are you on about?
    Why did you not support the McCartney’s in person on Sunday?

  • Davros

    In that case as we are discussing the Murder and the cover-up, why bring up Unionist response to Para Murders ?

  • PaddyCanuck

    I did not mention unionists thats Gonzo fault : )

  • Davros

    3) While many of the posters on this blog are keen to condemn the Perpetrators, and the Republican movement as a whole for the murder of Robert McCartney, I bet there are not many of those same people who are willing to condemn the Paras as murderers, if I am wrong, please stand up and say otherwise.

  • PaddyCanuck

    “When I talk about posters being willing to condemn republicans without hesitation, and been much less willing to do so when the ball is on the other foot, I am pointing out how McCann, the McCartneys, the people of the Short Strand, and the Bogside are being used by those same people to attack and villify the republican community, and their aspirations.

    If you want to reject the substance of my rebuttal of mcCanns analogy, you should. If you readily condemn republicans, you should be willing to condemn other parties to the conflict as readily. If not you should declare otherwise, so that the duplitious nature of your views are visible for all to see.”

  • barney

    Davros,

    you are happy to jump on the McCartney bandwagon so long as it is likely to damage SF. But you cant’t be bothered to actually turn up when the McCArtney’s asked for support. Please take care to avoid the accusation of hypocritical cynical ooportunism.

  • Davros

    Firstly I was otherwise engaged Barney and secondly if hundreds or thousands of members of the unionist community HAD attended you would be the first to use that to undermine the McCartney family campaign.
    It would be a gift for S.F, AP/RN and D.I.

  • drumcree

    Reflect on the picture of Conlaed McCartney in the press this morning and no “man” who calls himself a Republican has the right to dodge responsibility or the difficult questions that arise from the murder, subsequent cover-up and intimidation thereafter by trying to equate their savergery with the historical actions of others.

    No-one is gloating over this.

    But lets face it – we’ve all had enough of the arrogance of these guys (I wonder how many are out on licence?).

  • Davros

    If you readily condemn republicans, you should be willing to condemn other parties to the conflict as readily.

    Why should I help you lay down smoke on this thread?

  • PaddyCanuck

    To show you are not duplicitous by nature.

  • barney

    “Firstly I was otherwise engaged Barney and secondly if hundreds or thousands of members of the unionist community HAD attended you would be the first to use that to undermine the McCartney family campaign.
    It would be a gift for S.F, AP/RN and D.I. “

    Firstly, you don’t have the same reservations about being seen to support them from the comfort of your armchair. Secondly, support for the McCArtneys should come before your political calculations. You demonstrate for me that your interest in the McCartneys’ travails is limited to what political advantage you can squeeze out of them. Heartless cynicism.

  • Davros

    Barney – stop digging 🙂

  • PaddyCanuck

    I notice on another thread Davros that you are a fan of the hunger strikers too, when they can be exploited and used in you attacks on Republicanism.

  • Davros

    To show you are not duplicitous by nature.

    So, I should demonstrate non-duplicity by helping you get SF off the hook upon which they and the IRA have impaled themselves ? That’s wonderfully American logic – How did that statement from Vietnam go ? ‘we had to destroy the village to save it’? 🙂

  • Davros

    I notice on another thread Davros that you are a fan of the hunger strikers too,

    Take it to the other thread and stop trying to disrupt this one 🙂

  • PaddyCanuck

    Condemning the perpertrators of murder on bloody sunday? How would that get SF of a hook you are trying to place them on?

    Are you ready to debunk notions of your duplicity? Condemn the murderers of Bloody Sunday?

  • barney

    Davros,

    Your’re cynicism is unbounded! When confronted with the truth you just smile and slope off quietly to another thread.

  • PaddyCanuck

    When he calls me an American, then you know he is beat! : )

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Robert McCArtney was killed in a drunken brawl. What then, ld, were the perpertrators objectives?

    I imagine their objectives on this particular night were to assert their authority over people they thought should know their place better.

    You are right in your implication that this was a criminal act, rather than a political act, committed by individuals who appear to have used their paramilitary skills and IRA colleagues to commit murder and attempt a cover up.

    It seems obvious that this was not sanctioned in advance, as it couldn’t have been. It is arguable that there came a point at which it could be reasonably described as an IRA operation that resulted in a heinous criminal act being committed.

    It would be unreasonable to tar all republicans with the one stick, but it would be even less reasonable for some republicans to beat any man to death with one.

  • aquifer

    A Sinn Fein remembrance of an attack on a Civil Rights march that was acting in the tradition of non violent direct action is hypocricy. Already then the RM had its own mix and match approach to violence and street demonstrations, just as they now queer the pitch for regional democracy. I’ll await Saville on what went down that day.

    There was a newspaper report -Guardian Observer? that Robert McCartney was murdered as a result of a gesture by a senior RM figure. The person who ordered the killing is apparently not one of those expelled.

    And expelled where to? A fuel laundering plant, the Real IRA, the Basque Country? Donegal for a while?

    We are fed up with death sentences (IRA 1779 for 292) and PIRA don’t do prisons on an ongoing basis, unless the ‘Peace Process’ counts as one.

    Hand them all in and give the witnesses their orders.

  • barney

    I’m struck by the similarities with the Brian Murphy case in Dublin. He too was savagely set upon and brutally murdered in front of scores of witnesses. There was a cover-up and a conspiracy of silence that still exists today. Some of his assailants went on the run and are still abroad, Australia I believe. But nobody suggested intimidation. That is not to deny that there was an elemnet of intimidation in the early days of the McCartney case when things were still being ‘managed’ locally. But the Murphy case raises interesting questions. Is it not possible that witnesses in the McCaartney case just don’t want to give evidence. even when encouraged to do so by SF? Is it not also possible that many people present didn’t see much or were simply too pissed to be sure what they saw? Is it not the case tat there is a culture of non-cooperation with the police that no on single trajedy can overcome? In the Murphy case the well heeled attackers and their friends gave the impression of believing themselves to be above the law be din of their wealth.

  • Davros

    I didn’t call you American – I pointed out that you were using American logic 🙂

  • barney

    Please forgive the typos, I’m off to bed.

  • lámh dearg

    Barney

    “The other obvious parallel is the fact that both Bloody Sunday and the murder of Robert McCartney were stupid own goals which drove people in exactly the opposite direction from that desired by the perpetrators of the crimes.”
    Robert McCArtney was killed in a drunken brawl. What then, ld, were the perpertrators objectives?”

    Similar to the Paras, I presume, to be in control of the area/community, to let lesser mortals know who is boss, to teach people a “lesson”.

    You and Davros can reduce his thread to the usual mudslinging as always but the similarities between the actions of the Paras and the IRA are there, and reading the reports in the Observer and the Guardian (both papers which have been gentle on the RM over the period of the Peace Process) I think the intimidation is going on in Short Strand still, despite the IRA’s damage limitation exercise, as one of the McCartney family was quoted as saying, the ongoing presence of the perpetrators is intimidation is enough. It harks back to the pictures of Gerry in Strabane surrounded by black berets and colours, it’s passé, the IRA has passed its sell-by date. Everybody knows it except the active members and the romantic diehards.

    I agree with you about the similarities with the Brian Murphy case, another example of a particular group thinking it is outside or above the law, let’s hope justice prevails in both cases and these poisonous cliques disappear from our society, North and South.

    Good night

  • aquifer

    “I’m struck by the similarities with the Brian Murphy case in Dublin. “

    I’m not. Group of SFIRA members after event commemorating an attack on innocent marchers. Brutal orchestrated murder, and cover up riots complete with SF apologist. Obstruction right up to people who could have been government ministers in charge of justice.

    If its any consolation, paras can be pretty crass company with drink taken too, and their wives may not fare too well either.

  • Hardy Handshake

    McCann was, rightly, drawing attention towards the “savage irony” of those attending a BS rally and then murdering a civilian outside a pub. It’s not much more complicated than that.

    Those republicans who are equivocol about the McCartney case bring shame upon their own cause and their own organisation. Ask many of their own comrades or former comrades – they agree.

  • barney

    HH – can you name some republicans who are equivocal about the McCartney murder?

  • JC47

    “Those murdered in 1972 were murdered by british soldiers on active duty.
    Robert McCartney was brutually butchered by IRA
    men who were not on active service, and not acting on behalf of the Republician Movement”……PaddyCanuck.

    It would be interesting to see transcripts of the IRA court martial. However if the IRA men IN and summoned TO the bar believed that they were acting under the orders of a surperior officer in the IRA then they could reasonably assume that they were acting lawfully and were de facto on ‘active service’. As members of the legitimate army of the Irish Republic ( 2nd Dail authority )they were in conscience bound to follow the orders of their superior officer. Failure to obey such an order would be deemed insubordination.

    McCanns analogy with Bloody Sunday is accurate and precise.

  • Hardy Handshake

    Barney

    Many of the republicans who disassociate with the criminal individuals responsible are not known to the general public and, for obvious reasons, do not wish to go public with this disapproval – that’s exactly the point. This is, to state the obvious, one of the most secretive orgsnizations on earth it’s worth remembering.

    Correlating SF’s all-over-the-place response to the Mr McCartney murder (Alex Maskey would be an exception, in fairness)with the genuine grass roots republican activist who is proud of his/her orgnization and its history and politics, whether we each actually care for it or not, is a big mistake.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    can you name some republicans who are equivocal about the McCartney murder?

    P O’N’eill?

  • Hardy Handshake

    Grow up Gonzo, if you’ve nothing of substance to add amble upstairs to bed.

    Ball not Man Please HH A.U.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    HH

    I’m nearly there. Long night (explain later).

    The substance was that someone asked me what IRA orders should be followed by people not in the IRA any more.

    None that I can see. You can tell me different.

    If you wanted to know what I meant by your reference to ‘equivocal’, you just had to ask.

    Only a feeble attempt to stoke discussion… no need to freak.

  • Tegan

    Hello there all
    I am doing Bloody Sunday for my history assignment and i have always loved the song by U2, my friend wants to stomp around in football boots to the drum bit at the start while im presenting my Bloody sunday speech, but shes weirds 🙂
    Bye now

    Tegan

  • MARTIN

    (1)THE paras were murderers and I condemn it
    (2)the murderers of Robert mc Cartney were thugs who were at the bloody Sunday march tagging along probably to be seen in the hope of being identified as being in the RA,like numerous scumbag hangers on that the movement has acquired not by choice,for every geniuine IRA volunteer I would estimate there were at least 400 letting on they were in it in the hope of intimidating neighbours,thats the reason I think these cut-troat low lives joined the IRA in the first place, they were psycopaths who slipped through the net,they probably didnt give a toss about a United Ireland or Bloody sunday.

    Barney.,

    just to divert slightly from the topic of this thread—not only did the 700 witnesses of the Brian Murphy murder-(not manslaughter)not want to get involved even in the absence of any intimidation–the fellows who were convicted gave themselves up to the police.

    the point in this case is yet another criticism of the Garda—-700 witnesses-no statments or arrests by the garda except from those fellows who gave themselves up,so had they not turned themselves in the gardai would have done nothing and there would be no sentences no matter how lienient they may seem.