DNA test may hold truth of 1984 murder…

As most of the past appears to be in the process of being systematically buried, Greg Harkin tells the complex story of one case that may yet see light, some twenty three years after the killing of Mary Travers outside St Brigid’s Church on the Malone Road in Belfast.

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  • joeCanuck

    Unfortunately history would seem to indicate that the truth about this disgusting murder will not come out. There are too many murky characters involved and vested interests.

    BTW, from the newspaper report: “..in this special report, Greg Harkin – the journalist who exposed ‘Stakeknife…”
    Does this confirm that the guy who calls himself Ingram is, indeed, a Walter Mitty character?

  • Mick Fealty
  • joeCanuck

    Ahh. OK, thanks Mick.

  • Glensman

    Its time the British Gov came clean about how their agents acted within the paramilitaries, and how high did knowledge of this go?

  • heck

    Mick
    yesterday you had an article on the CIF web site saying that we should forget what happened in the past. (a point I disagree with)

    I assume from this posting that you only intend that to apply to the Brits.

  • joeCanuck

    I don’t think it’s going to happen Glensman.
    MI5 have always been a law unto themselves. The government don’t have any control of them.
    I mean, they can even start a whispering campaign against a serving Prime Minister and force him to retire for “health reasons”.

  • susan

    Heck, in fairness to Mick, I think his point that a full reckoning with the past — the realities of the paramilitary campaigns, the involvement of the state and security forces — might very well sink the best chance available right now to deliver a future “civilly and peacefully.”

    That said, the inconvenient truth remains no one the right to ask these bereaved families — the McCords, the Travers, the Morleys — to surrender the chance to find the truth about the murders of their loved ones. Whoever they were, and whoever pulled the trigger. The families deserve answers. Perhaps the best way to prevent a return to the worst of the past is to bring the worst of it out in to the open, not bury it. I surely don’t know. As William Faulkner wrote, ‘The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.’

  • heck

    with regard to paramilitaries, we all know what they did. Over 10000 people (both loyalist and republican) went through the prison system during the course of our dirty war.

    What people are trying to do when the say forget the past, and what I object to, is to cover up the actions of the state.

    When I lived in Nor Iron I remember one man in Ardoyne being charged with with holding information because the IRA hijacked his car and used in for an operation. All the poor man had done was to delay informing the police for 24 hrs because that is what he was told to do.

    Mick was refering yesterday to government officials shreding documents to cover up crimes. That in itself is a crime and those who did it should be charged.

    if “the rule of law” is to mean anything then the state must be held to account.

  • susan

    heck
    “Mick was refering yesterday to government officials shreding documents to cover up crimes. That in itself is a crime and those who did it should be charged.

    if “the rule of law” is to mean anything then the state must be held to account.”

    Agreed, Heck.

    But examining the actions of the state will mean re-examining the actions of the state re: its involvement with active paramilitaries, agents and paid informants on both sides of the divide, and I think few, if any, know the whole truth there.

  • Roisin

    heck,

    [i]with regard to paramilitaries, we all know what they did. Over 10000 people (both loyalist and republican) went through the prison system during the course of our dirty war.

    What people are trying to do when the say forget the past, and what I object to, is to cover up the actions of the state.[/i]

    That’s exactly what they do, and it’s intentional. But that message will be drowned out by the screeching of those who attempt to obfuscate as they cling desperately to their ‘beliefs’ that the ‘state’ they support and uphold is as dirty and murderous as any state could possibly be.

  • Glensman

    It’s been called for before but i think it’s worth mentioning the merit of a Truth a Reconciliation commission.
    Until we know the truth about various state organisations and what they stand for is it fair to ask young men and women to join these shady groups.

  • Skintown Lad

    through it all, though, the dirty dealings, the shady protection of certain terrorists, the cover-ups, i have this sense that one side’s motive was to try to stop a war and the other side’s was to try to start one. i don’t think even the most cyncial republican or the most bereaved of families could say that the brits had an interest in prolonging the expensive state of affairs that was the northern ireland troubles. on the other hand the stated republican objective was to lead the way to all-out war, the imposition of an ideology by force. i might question the brits’ methods from my hindsighted armchair, but i can’t disagree with their aim of preventing terrorists from taking over the place.

  • Token Dissent

    heck – “with regard to paramilitaries, we all know what they did.”

    The point is that that the majority of the crimes committed by paramilitary groups have went unpunished. There is evidence out their, from sources like the Deputy First Minister and the British establishment, which would help bring justice and some degree of closure to many victims.

    “What people are trying to do when the say forget the past, and what I object to, is to cover up the actions of the state.”

    Why limit your argument to “the actions of the state”? There are uncomforatable truths for all sides to deal with. The British and Irish states are not alone in trying to halt historical enquiry.

    Greg Harkin’s article is extremely moving and a strong piece of journalism. The bravery of the bereaved father Mr Travers, and the whistle-blowing RUC man have to be commended. The treatment by the Ombudsman of various former RUC officers who have broken ranks and asked difficult questions does apprear to be highly dubious. As does the “stalling” of numerous other investigations.

    With regard to another tragic murky case, is anyone aware of when the enquiry into the Claudy bomb will be published? This tragedy highlights many of the sordid issues at play, including how state interests often neatly coincide with the interests of supposed anti-state forces.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Northern_Ireland/Story/0,,796304,00.html

  • Ingram

    quote Its time the British Gov came clean about how their agents acted within the paramilitaries, and how high did knowledge of this go? unquote

    LOL

    Ding Ding

    Martin

  • picador

    I look forward to Britain’s dirty war veterans selling their stories to The Sun.

  • Mick Fealty

    heck,

    The fact that there was not a question mark on the last sentence in the CIF piece was a slip on my (rather than the subs) part, but the segment at the end goes:

    “perhaps such burying of awkward past truths is a necessary step towards the future”.

    This was meant to be a discussion point, rather than, as you have (quite legitimately I guess) read it, a suggestion. I fail to see though how this post confers any approval whatsoever on whomsoever of the various parties involved.

    What’s notable about this story is that through some fluke the Travers family might just be one of the very few to find out just who did kill their daughter/sister that Sunday afternoon.

    The truth is the deeds of all parts of the state (and their informers) are being buried because there is a common political will between the British, the DUP and Sinn Fein to let it go that way. The image that comes to mind is of a large lead lined concrete box, buried not very far below the surface.

    The quid pro quo we are being offered is an peaceful and exclusively democratic future. You might take the view that earliest we might expect the ‘rule of law’ to fully resume might be 1st August. Or you might take the view that given such poisonous foundations, ‘rule of law’ is going to be beyond for some considerable time in the future.

  • Roisin

    Mick,

    [i]The truth is the deeds of all parts of the state (and their informers) are being buried because there is a common political will between the British, the DUP and Sinn Fein to let it go that way.[/i]

    Do you know this to be Sinn Fein’s position, or is that your opinion?

    My own opinion is that the truth about British state involvement in murder is never going to be revealed. If it was that would be some precedent, as in all their diabolical history across the globe they have steadfastly refused to admit their heinous crimes against humanity.

    Ding Ding Man,

    [i]LOL[/i]

    Don’t worry, everyone and their granny knows how high it went. Some prefer to be denial though.

  • Mick Fealty

    Roisin,

    It’s not a question of party positions: that’s the clear implication of St Andrews Agreement, and the multiple announcements (see the links on the CIF piece) being made in its wake.

    Even though the party did publicly support the removal of Special Branch functions to MI5 and the withdrawal of local scrutiny from the Police Ombudsman, I don’t expect that many in the party (including the negotiating team) are very happy about it, nor that was it something they wanted to give away in negotiation.

    But that’s what came out of the sausage mill in the end. And themselves and the DUP were the only local political voices that counted.

  • Roisin

    Cheers, can’t say that I paid it much mind. The Brits are never going to allow anyone to expose all they’ve done anyway. That would not only threaten their institutions, but probably their whole psyche as a nation, one that is built largely on self perpetuating myths.

  • Pete Baker

    Mick

    Those poisonous foundations are where any potential information from these inquiries seems destined to be buried.

    But I don’t think it’s accurate to suggest that this hermetically sealing of the past was “One of the toughest bits of bargaining in the last rounds of negotiation [] to have taken place between Sinn Féin and the British government”

    That would imply that there was an opposition to that sealing of the past and an active argument for full and frank disclosure.

    In fact, there are indications that the hermetically sealing is itself the desired outcome of various political groups.

    It’s certainly a position the British government made clear some time ago.. on one particular issue but undoubtedly a wider policy statement.

    “Closure on the past cannot be one-sided”

    Many within the SF leadership, among others, are likely to breathe a sigh of relief as that lead lined concrete box is lowered into the ground.. and they’ll watch closely until it is completely covered over.

  • Token Dissent

    Roisin, I find it mind-boggling that you can read the above the article and ONLY see fit to criticise “the Brits”. There is another organisation involved in this case whose “whole psyche…is built largely on self perpetuating myths”, but that appears to be too uncomfortable for you to address.

    It must be equally uncomfortable for you to realise that the state that you describe (absurdly) as being: “as dirty and murderous as any state could possibly be”, has been doing its utmost to protect and support the leadership of the Provisional repupublican movement. The fiction that the agenda of the ‘securocrats’/the British establishement is to to damage the Gerry and Martin show is laughable.

  • It seems that hardly anyone has bothered to read the links indicated – one by Mick Fealty, apparently arguing for giving up all around on inquiries into the killings of The Troubles, and the other by Greg Harkin, discussing the botched murder investigation of Mary Travers back in 1984.

    While Mick in entitled to his opinion, the article by Harkin, is an outrage.

    Harkin uses the botched RUC inquiry to revive Ingram’s allegations about Freddie Scappaticci, aka ‘Stakeknife’and Scap. Harkin would have us believe that Joe Fenton was prevented by his SB handlers from obtaining crucial evidence about the child’s murder, and five years later, Scap saw to his quick assassination when he was suspected of being the leading PIRA tout in British intelligence – what the Police Ombudsman has only started investigating now, though ‘Ingram’ and his supporters told her representatives four years ago about this, and other murders and kidnappings allegedly caused by Scap.

    The informing by the real ‘Steakknife’ aka DUKE, etc., will be covered up at Scap’s expense.

    This would just demonstrate how biased and corrupted the police in Northern Ireland have been in investigating the murder that their own officers were apparently been involved in, and not a case against truly independent inquiries into at least the leading ones.

  • I see that the new commenting rules are in place, given that my last post has disappeared without a trace, and the one above has been edited without indication, and causing mistakes in punctuation. [text removed – moderator]

    Looks like my posts disappearing completely again on this site, one way or another, is next.

  • ingram

    quoteLooks like my posts disappearing completely again on this site, one way or another, is next unquote

    Oh please, Mick another tenner in the kitty if you do? LOL

  • Now ‘Martin Ingram’ – who has encouraged his fellow operators, especially Samuel Rosenfeld aka Tommy Doheny, to threaten me by having them post maps of where I live, and where I can be reached by telephone on the internet, and to initiate libel actions against me for what I have written about them – has offered money to see me silenced.

    I wonder why he and his fellow FRU associates are going to such lengths just to see the end of another alleged Ding Ding?

  • Mick Fealty

    Trow,

    I can only sustain so much free speech. If you make your case cleanly I am happy to sustain it. If you make unsupported allegations against individuals, I can’t.

  • [Text removed – moderator]

    Just go down the list that Jane Winters’ British Irish Rights Watch has provided in the article about Stakeknife, thanks to the input that ‘Ingram’ has provided, and you will see that they all “were murdered by the IRA’s” Stakeknife, no question about it, though it increasingly appears that many more individuals were involved in the killings, some even British covert double agents, like Gregory Burns, Aidan Stairs, and John Dignan.

    I am just showing posters what it really is – what calls for a truly independent commission to unravel since it was totally unnecessary, and the dirtiest part of the dirty war.

  • Bye for now, folks.

    I am not going to tolerate a capricious administrator, picking over my posts as he sees fit, and admitting so when he feels in the mood, and not when he doesn’t – what results in their turning out to be hardly coherent, and certainly not what I intended.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Trowbridge

    Your posts wouldn’t stand up if a Harland and Wolff crane was supporting them.