“They have British blood on them…”

Alex Reid has just been talking to Olivia O’Leary in a superlative piece of radio… Controversial and, in parts, extremely moving, he recounts the day two British soldiers were beaten and then shot on the day of the funeral of the men killed by Michael Stone. All the while he held the first communication between Sinn Fein and John Hume. Asked afterwards by one senior member of Sinn Fein if he still had the documents, he replied, “Yes, and they have British blood on them”. It blows away any easy reading of Reid, or some of the worst parts of the troubles. The podcast should be available by Friday.
Here’s the press blurb from the Beeb:

“The Clonard Priest” is Father Alec Reid, a shadowy figure who, for years, was referred to obliquely by journalists and politicians as being the pivotal person behind the peace process. He refused to give interviews during that period. The only time his face was seen on camera was when, distraught, he administered the last rites to the two dead British Army corporals torn apart and shot by a Republican crowd in 1988. It became one of the enduring images of The Troubles. Since the IRA decommissioned its weapons (he was one of the appointed “overseers”), he feels his story can now be told.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty