“a prerequisite for peaceful co-existence and co-operation”

The headlines might focus on his comments about the Saville Inquiry, but it’s what Irish Senator Maurice Hayes has to say on the past in general which is of more interest, echoing as he does the comments of both the Policing Oversight Commissioner, Al Hutchison, and the Northern Ireland Criminal Justice Inspector, Kit Chivers

“The general political will that the institutions should be made to work (and) should be allowed to do so could easily be frustrated if we insist on picking at the sores of old wounds, raising old ghosts, revive old animosities and suspicions, and most of all shattering the burgeoning trust which is a prerequisite for peaceful co-existence and co-operation, ” he said.

And, once again, “Delay has its own heavy price. The poison accumulates in the system.”

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  • Cahal

    “And if Bloody Sunday, why not inquiries for every other atrocity beginning at Abercorn and ending at Omagh”

    Christ almighty, must we go over this again. Abercorn and Omagh were atrocities carried out by terrorists.

    Bloody Sunday involved government soldiers killing citizens that the same government was supposed to be protecting.

    But then we all knew that.

    A whole lot of money would have been saved if the government hadn’t LIED, LIED and LIED SOME MORE in the original enquiry.

  • heck

    It seems to me that most of this “let the past go” shite is coming from establishment figures. (Mick has suggested that there is an agreement between SF and Blair to bury the past.) State involvement in sectarian murders is different from atrocities such as Bloody Friday, the Abercorn, and Omagh. There is no disputing that the IRA was involved in these incidents. Republicans do not dispute that. However the British establishment, media and people have not come to terms with their activities in our dirty war. ( They have not admitted what they did in other colonies such as Cyprus, Aden, Kenya either and would be shocked and in a state of denial if they were told the type of war crimes they committed during the mau mau insurrection for example.)

    Over 15000 republicans and loyalists went through the Norn Iron prison system during our war. We know what they did. These inquires are about exposing what the state did. It is not to put state agents in jail. It is to have an honest narrative about what happened over the last 30 years. If not the British media and their amen chorus among Nor Iron loyalists will construct a false narrative where British shit does’nt stink like everyone elses.

    Historians need to know the truth about what went on.

  • The Dubliner

    “Bloody Sunday involved government soldiers killing citizens that the same government was supposed to be protecting.” – Cahal

    The state killed its own citizens – and the citizens elected killers to run the state. Or, at any rate, a majority of nationalists blurred the distinction between the killers of citizens and the state by electing killers of citizens to run the state. Moral outrage by said citizens becomes a strange juxaposition in that context.

  • [i]”The state killed its own citizens – and the citizens elected killers to run the state. Or, at any rate, a majority of nationalists blurred the distinction between the killers of citizens and the state by electing killers of citizens to run the state.”[/i]

    Sorry, Dub, but you should get your facts right BEFORE you start posting such nonsense. Killing combatants is NOT murder during an armed rebellion or civil war — which is what the Troubles were.

    But, the State MURDERED its own civilian citizens which is a very different thing than killing combatants during a war. Between the security forces and their unionist paramilitary allies, the State MURDERED more than twice as many as the PIRA and about 4 for every 3 murdered by all republican groups combined.

    If you want to go throwing accusations around, I suggest you make sure of your facts. Seems to me that you simply haven’t done that.

  • Aquifer

    “These inquires are about exposing what the state did. ”

    But Gerry and Martin are the state now.

    And PIRA waged a dirty sectarian war that was bound to fail in it own avowedly republican terms. States are not obliged to fold each time they is faced by an armed gang with some unique religio-political proposition.

    How about we send some eminents off to the side to brief the relatives of victims as fully as possible?

    It is clear from the speed of social development on this island that the Provo campaign may have been an irrelevance as well as an obscenity. Lets not embarass our ministers by proving it.

  • curious

    Sure lets have inquires for all the murders.

    26 Jun 1970 IRA Premature explosion of IRA bomb in Creggan, Derry. 5

    9 Feb 1971 IRA Five civilians killed on Brougher Mountain, county Tyrone 5

    4 Dec 1971 UVF Civilians killed in bomb attack on McGurk’s bar, North Queen Street, Belfast. 15

    22 Feb 1972 Official IRA Civilian workers killed in a bomb attack on Aldershot Army Base, England. 7

    20 Mar 1972 IRA 4 Civilians, 2 Policemen and 1 Solider , Belfast. 7

    28 May 1972 IRA own bomb explosion in Short Strand, Belfast. 4 civilians and 4 IRA members killed. 8

    9 July 1972 British Army 3 Civilians and 2 IRA men shot by snipers in Belfast. 5

    21 July 1972 IRA Civilians killed in 22 bombs in Belfast. “Bloody Friday”. 10

    31 July 1972 IRA Civilians killed by 3 simultaneous car bombs, Main Street, Claudy. 9

    22 Aug 1972 IRA 6 Civilians and 3 IRA members killed in a premature bomb explosion, Customs Office, Newry. 9

    20 Dec 1972 UVF Civilians shot in Top of the Hill Bar, Derry. 5

    17 May 1973 IRA British Army soldiers killed in car bomb, Omagh. 5

    12 Jun 1973 IRA Civilians killed by a car bomb, Coleraine. 6

    4 Feb 1974 IRA 9 British Army soldiers, a woman and 2 children killed by a bomb England. 12

    2 May 1974 UVF Civilians killed by a bomb in Crown and Rose Bar, Belfast. 6

    17 May 1974 UVF Civilians killed by 3 car bombs in Dublin. 26

    17 May 1974 UVF Civilians killed by car bomb, Church Square, Monaghan. 7

    5 Oct 1974 IRA 4 British Army soldiers and a civilian killed by a bomb Guildford, Surrey, England. 5

    21 Nov 1974 IRA Civilians killed by bombs in the Mulberry Bush and Tavern pubs in Birmingham, England. 21

    5 Apr 1975 Republicans 4 Civilians and 1 UDA member killed by a bomb in Mountainview Tavern, Shankill, Belfast. 5

    12 Apr 1975 UVF Civilians killed in gun/bomb attack on Strand Bar, Short Strand, Belfast. 6

    31 July 1975 UVF UVF “Miami Showband Massacre”. 5

    13 Aug 1975 IRA Civilians killed in gun/bomb attack on Bayardo Bar, Shankill, Belfast. 5

    1 Sep 1975 IRA Civilians killed in gun attack on Orange Hall, Newtownhamilton, Armagh. 5

    5 Jan 1976 IRA Civilian workers killed county Armagh. 10

    5 Jun 1976 UVF Civilians killed in gun attack Belfast. 5

    2 July 1976 UVF Civilians killed in gun attack on Ramble Inn, Antrim. 6

    17 Feb 1978 IRA Civilians burned alive in an incentiary bomb attack on La Mon Restaurant, Belfast. 12

    27 Aug 1979 IRA Lord Mountbatten, Lady Brabourne and 2 children murdered Mullaghmore, Sligo. 4

    27 Aug 1979 IRA British soldiers killed by 2 bombs near Warrenpoint, county Down. 18

    19 May 1981 IRA British Army soldiers killed by land mine, Bessbrook, county Armagh. 5

    20 July 1982 IRA British Army cavalry and bandsmen killed by 2 bombs in Hyde Park, London. 11

    6 Dec 1982 INLA 6 Civilians and 11 British soldiers killed in a bomb in Droppin Well Bar, Ballykelly. 17

    17 Dec 1983 IRA 3 Civilians and 3 policemen killed in a bomb at Harrod’s Department Store, London. 6

    12 Oct 1984 IRA Civilians, killed by a bomb at the Grand Hotel, Brighton during the Conservative Party Conference 5

    28 Feb 1985 IRA Policemen killed in a mortar-bomb attack on Newry RUC station. 9

    8 May 1987 British Army 8 IRA members & 1 civilian shot by undercover British soldiers whilst trying to bomb Loughgall RUC station. 9

    8 Nov 1987 IRA Civilians by a bomb, at the war memorial, Enniskillen, “Poppy Day Massacre” 11

    15 Jun 1988 IRA British soldiers killed by a bomb on a minibus, Lisburn. 6

    20 Aug 1988 IRA British Army soldiers killed by a bomb on a bus, near Ballygawley. 8

    22 Sep 1989 IRA British Army Soldiers killed by a bomb at an Army base, Deal, Kent, England. 11

    24 Oct 1990 IRA 5 British Army soldiers and a Civilian killed by a bomb attack on an army checkpoint near Derry. 6

    17 Jan 1992 IRA Civilians killed by a bomb on a minibus, near Cookstown. 8

    5 Feb 1992 UFF Civilians shot in Sean Graham’s Bookmakers, Ormeau Road, Belfast. 5

    23 Oct 1993 IRA 9 Civilians and the bomber killed in a no-warning bomb in a fish shop, Shankill Road, Belfast. 10

    30 Oct 1993 UFF Civilians shot in Rising Sun Bar, Greysteel, county Londonderry. Retalliation for the Shankill Road murders. 8

    18 Jun 1994 UVF Civilians shot in The Heights Bar, Loughinisland, county Down. 6

    15 Aug 1998 ‘real’ IRA Civilians killed Market Street, Omagh. 2 babies and 9 children among the dead. 2 of the dead were Spanish tourists. “Omagh Massacre” Details. 29*

  • iain

    I don’t see how suspecting the worst (and the state does seem to have colluded in murder) is better than knowing the truth. Incidently, since more catholics were murdered during the ‘troubles’ than protestants, even though catholics were a minority, was it a sectarian war against catholics?

  • Jocky

    “Over 15000 republicans and loyalists went through the Norn Iron prison system during our war. We know what they did. These inquires are about exposing what the state did. It is not to put state agents in jail. It is to have an honest narrative about what happened over the last 30 years.”

    Quite frankly heck, that is nonsense.

    so you want an honest narrative but we also know what republicans and loyalists did. Do we? Do you speak for all the victims out there? So it’s not about an honest narrative then? you see the contradiction?

    Do you thing it is possible to get an honest narrative even i fthere was the political will? Would said narrative be accepted if it wasn’t the truth that one side or the other wanted? then what?

  • Briso

    Posted by The Dubliner on Jun 05, 2007 @ 04:06 AM
    >The state killed its own citizens – and the
    >citizens elected killers to run the state. Or,
    >at any rate, a majority of nationalists blurred
    >the distinction between the killers of citizens
    >and the state by electing killers of citizens to
    >run the state. Moral outrage by said citizens
    >becomes a strange juxaposition in that context.

    Derry has never had a Sinn Fein MP and the last election returned three SDLP MLAs. Even had they voted SF, it doesn’t change the justice of their cause.

    Those people who died were murdered in cold blood. Their names were blackened afterwards. Their killers were protected, promoted and in some cases knighted. Neither Maurice Hayes nor you has the right to tell the people of Derry that the inquiry was not worth it. Those, like me, who followed every word, every day wholeheartedly disagree.

  • ingram

    Briso,

    I agree 100% with the premise of your post , if we build a new society upon damaged foundations then we should not be surprised if that foundation collapses.

    The truth should win out, the chances however are very slim and coming from Derry you will understand that.

    You have every right as do other victims of ALL VIOLENCE and criminal activity to know the truth.We now have the climate for that truth to be revealed without people resorting to violence, the fact that it will embarrass many is not a factor for me.

    Best Regards.

    Ingram

  • curious

    ‘even though catholics were a minority, was it a sectarian war against catholics?’

    I doubt it, Catholics are in a minority in the UK but here we have two Catholics in government Ruth Kelly (originally from NI) amd Liam Byrne propagating a Britian’s Day.

    Call for ‘Britain Day’ to encourage integration
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/06/05/ncitizen105.xml

    How many in SF would support Ruth Kelly & Laim Byrne’s Britians Day ?

  • jaffa

    Bob / Curious,

    Curious’s numbers give 424 deaths, 300 by Republicans, 100 by Loyalists, 14 by the British Army (including Loughall).

    What are the criteria for your selection Curious?

    And where is the justification for your 4:3 ratio Bob? You’ve made it elsewhere without any supporting analysis.

    Just how many census workers had to be edited out as servants of the imperialist crown forces or dead Irish children eliminated as collateral damage?

    Two examples – Are Marie Wilson or Tim Parry in your numbers?

  • jaffa

    That should be 310 caused by Republicans

  • curious

    ‘What are the criteria for your selection Curious?’

    All are multible murders were up to five citizens died.

    To have inquires into single deaths over the period of 35 years of the troubles would take a much more considerable time.

  • jaffa

    So 8 out of 9 deaths were squalid single person killings. Doorsteps and backstreets.

    Hardly the stuff of heroic open warfare Bob.

  • jaffa

    Apologies. Curous’s list allows all the 2’s 3’s and 4’s. Stupid comment.

    But Bob’s still a …[MODERATOR DELETED PLAY THE BALL]

    Saved you a job there Pete!

  • curious

    6: ‘Sure lets have inquires for all the murders.’

    My apoligies should have said.

    Sure lets have inquires for all the murders, beginning with these multiple groups of atrocities.

  • Harry Flashman

    I have absolutely no objection to the families of the Bloody Sunday victims demanding an enquiry but for Republicans to do so is absolute hypocrisy.

    Yes the killings were committed by British state forces but Republicans never accepted the legitimacy of the presence of the British forces in the first place, even if the Paras had handed out five pound notes in William Street that day the Republicans still would have found their presence unacceptable because they were not legally entitled to be there.

    Republicans believed that the Brits were occupying enemy troops whose very presence was the crime. So for them now to call for enquiries because “the State” carried out the killings rather defeats their original argument, or do Republicans now believe that the occupying English soldiers were legitimately supposed to be there? Why would Republicans want the British to investigate what their armed forces did in Ireland, when Republicans know what they did; they fought a war? The British are a foreign government are they not?

    Remember the Republicans believed themselves to be the legitimate lawful government and army of Ireland therefore by their own standards they must accept that they should carry out full open and honest enquiries into the atrocities and war crimes carried out by their agents, ie the IRA in such incidents as Bloody Friday, Claudy, Donegall Street, Enniskillen, Darkley, Kingsmills, Musgrave Park, La Mons etc.

    The list of atrocities and war crimes committed against Irish civilians by the forces of the soi-disant Army and Provisional government of the Irish Republic is alot longer than that carried out by the occupying forces, when will Sinn Fein start the enquiries?

  • the Emerald Pimpernel

    So Harry your basic precept is that because the IRA doesn’t accept the legitimacy of the crown forces the paras were justified in murdering 14 teenagers in a civil rights march?

  • useful idiot

    “I have absolutely no objection to the families of the Bloody Sunday victims demanding an enquiry”

    “for Republicans to do so is absolute hypocrisy.”

    Can you not read pimples?

  • the Emerald Pimpernel

    can you not useless idiot

    Yes the killings were committed by British state forces but Republicans never accepted the legitimacy of the presence of the British forces in the first place, even if the Paras had handed out five pound notes in William Street that day the Republicans still would have found their presence unacceptable because they were not legally entitled to be there.

  • Turgon

    I am not sure if this has been done before but is it not about time Bob McGowan explained his “facts”.

    Maybe he could explain what circumstances he judges a death a “murder” and not a “murder”.

    Were those killed at Enniskillen on Rememberance Sunday or the Shankill Fish shop “murdered” or do their deaths not count.

    What about the relatives of police officers murdered along thier spouses etc.

    Were retired police officers who were killed “murdered” or were they fair game in Bob’s little world.

    How about off duty police officers or part time UDR men doing their civilian jobs were they “murdered”.

    How about police men directing traffic and other tasks Bob feels are part of the Brit Prod conspiracy.

    What about those killed at the Drop Inn Well both soldiers and non soldiers which if any reach the status of “murdered” in Bob’s world view.

    Or the police officers killed in GB by the IRA were they combatants or “murdered”.

    The Australian tourists in Germany what about them.

    Were all IRA “volunteers” killed by the army murdered, what if they attacked an off duty UDR man and were killed by him were they “murdered”.

    If Bob wishes to continue to post essentially the same theory repeatedly I think he owes it to all of us to explain the methodology behind his “facts”.

  • DK

    Turgon- Bob’s stats have been done to death, but he still pops up with his single-transferable post.

    Essentially he adds up all deaths by the various loyalist groups and the security forces and compares that big total with just the provo IRA. Then he says the british and their agents killed x times as many as the IRA. Clever eh?

    He gets his stats from CAIN. His main stumbling block, apart from the nonsense of adding all non-republicans together and calling them “Brits”, is that the IRA had an obvious uniformed target, while the “Brits” did not, and in the case of some loyalists operated an intentional policy to target civilians. CAIN also has problems in that retired and ex members of organisations and politicians do not count as civilians, and neither do prison guards. Plus it doesn’t count wounded, just dead.

  • The Dubliner

    “Sorry, Dub, but you should get your facts right BEFORE you start posting such nonsense. Killing combatants is NOT murder during an armed rebellion or civil war—which is what the Troubles were.” – Bob McGowan

    Firstly, it wasn’t a war: it was a civil dispute that was properly dealt with through the criminal justice system. Secondly, if I actually missed the declaration of war between two states in accordance with the international laws of war (and I’m quite sure that PSF/PIRA is not a state and that the Republic of Ireland made no such declaration), then I suggest that the scumbags in PSF/PIRA be brought before the Hague and hanged for war crimes, e.g. targeting unarmed civilians for murder in violation of the Geneva/Hague Conventions.

    “Neither Maurice Hayes nor you has the right to tell the people of Derry that the inquiry was not worth it.” – Briso

    I suggest you reply to what I wrote, instead of replying to what you incorrectly assume I wrote.

    The killers that the majority of nationalists voted for have a vested interest in concealing the misdeeds of the past – especially when inquiries into the misdeeds of the state are linked by the state to inquiries into their own misdeeds with the express purpose of deterring their pursuit of ‘truth and justice’ in the name of those who they are supposed to represent. In the case of the Saville Inquiry in Derry, Martin McGuinness has already shown his contempt for it by perjuring his testimony before it. A vote for those with plenty to hide isn’t a vote for openness on such matters, is it? Those who voted for them know that and are complicit in the conspiracy.

  • Harry Flashman

    Pimpernel you seem to have a very basic inability to understand what is a rather simple point, let me see if I can help you.

    I never for one second suggested that what was done on Bloody Sunday was legal or acceptable, if you feel I did so perhaps you can quote the relevant passage. Is that clear enough so far? Good let us proceed.

    For Republicans to call on a British government to carry out inquiries such as Saville is to to do so on the basis that the British government are the legitimate authority to investigate what happened in William Street, because at that time the British were the proper government. This goes against all that Republicans believe.

    After the Second World War did the French government demand the German government carry out enquiries into what happened at Oradour? No, they carried out their own enquiries, as they did not recognise German authority over that town, it was a French town, the Germans were illegal occupiers.

    A leading Derry Republican and senior IRA man of my acquaintance understood this. He made it clear to Saville that he was attending the Inquiry under duress. He did not recognise the right of the British government to hold a British tribunal in Derry’s Guildhall into what happened in Derry. To recognise the Inquiry would have been to accept that the British government was investigating the actions of British soldiers in shooting British civilians in a British town, he had fought for thirty years to stand against that very idea.

    Now to my further point, Sinn Fein and the IRA believe themselves to be the true government and army of the Irish Republic, therefore on the principle that a state committing crimes against its own people is a much worse thing than if individuals do it, should Sinn Fein members not demand that their own leadership examine what their soldiers did in Claudy and Enniskillen etc?

    Or do Republicans not really believe that the IRA were the legitimate army of the Irish Republic?