McGuinness thought apology would suffice instead of Inquiry…

Phillip Johnston raises an interesting question upon reading, in Jonathan Powell’s book on the Peace Process™, that Martin McGuinness never understood why the British ever initiated the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday: ie, what on earth was it for if the current Deputy First Minister believes an apology would have sufficed. So who’s big (£181.2m) idea was it? Answer: the Irish Government. Powell:

“The inquiry … has failed to give satisfaction to either side. The nadir for me was when Martin McGuinness said to me in a private conversation some years later that he didn’t know why we had done it: he thought an apology would have been quite sufficient.”

Yet, it is hardly surprising that McGuinness (who had been an IRA commander in the city at the time) was no enthusiast of this particular inquiry, since he refused to give detailed answer surrounding a number of accusations himself.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    McGuinness knew that at some stage the IRA, which he commanded, would come under pressure about why they were prepared to kill their own people and blame it on the Brits.

  • That’s all well and good, but surely it would first be necessary to establish if there was anything to apologise for.

  • Dec

    That’s all well and good, but surely it would first be necessary to establish if there was anything to apologise for.

    14 murders? (I accept your confusion over whether or not the 14 deserved to be gunned down like dogs arises from the fact they weren’t unionists)

  • Accept what you like Dec. Your stunning ability to make up bullshit to suit your own prejudices strongly suggests it’s not worth responding to your bait.

    Nevertheless I’m feeling charitable today so will explain it for you in short, simple sentences.

    1) I didn’t say I was confused.
    2) I didn’t say there was nothing to apologise for.
    3) I didn’t say there was something to apologise for
    4) I don’t know what the people who were shot were doing. It would appear the witnesses can’t even agree.
    5) I would guess you don’t know either (even though the term murder implies you’ve made your mind up).

    “gunned down like dogs”
    Fond of your hyperbole, aren’t you?

    Anyway while you’re digesting that I’ll address the big boys in the class again. The point I was trying to make was that it clearly wasn’t accepted (by the government at the very least) that the government did anything wrong, otherwise they wouldn’t have ordered the enquiry. Before apologising for something they’d need to work that out. If not by an enquiry, then how?

    Don’t get me wrong, I agree with Martin McGuinness – the enquiry is a huge waste of time and money. I just think that, since events were clearly disputed, an apology could not be practical or meaningful without establishing what actually happened.

  • the problem with establishing what exactly happened, Beano, is that the British Government has actively obstructed its own enquiry – particularly the MOD with its destruction of rifles etc. That indicates to me, if no-one else, that the British Government knew that they had done wrong that day, giving the order for the British Army to open fire on its own unarmed citizenry and that all efforts since then have been aimed at covering up that fact.
    The only reason the enquiry was ordered was to muddy the water – it hasn’t achieved anything and it won’t.

    Perhaps you’d like to go back to the little infants’ class again….

  • heck

    the reason no inquiry was needed is that the facts are undisputed (except by people like Beano). The british army murdered 14 unarmed civil rights marchers!!

    All it would have taked was for the Honest Tony to order the MOD to tell the truth. The inquiry is to pretend there is something to find out

    an analogy I have made before is appropriate. Those who deny what happened are no different that holocaust deniers.

  • Dec

    Your stunning ability to make up bullshit to suit your own prejudices strongly suggests it’s not worth responding to your bait.

    Sure Beano.

    Post number 1: The IRA killed them

    Post number 2: “gunned down like dogs”
    Fond of your hyperbole, aren’t you?

    Sorry, I tend to get emotional when armed soldiers shoot civilians in the back.

    Anyway while you’re digesting that I’ll address the big boys in the class again.

    Don’t make me laugh, you’ve the intellectual prowess of a water-spaniel. Themuuns – bad. Usun’s -good. Aad nauseum…

    Before apologising for something they’d need to work that out. If not by an enquiry, then how?

    Look at the relevant MOD files?

    The point I was trying to make was that it clearly wasn’t accepted (by the government at the very least) that the government did anything wrong, otherwise they wouldn’t have ordered the enquiry.

    I’ll not even attempt to address your ’35 years past it’s sell-by date spinning of the Widgery report’, because life’s just too short.

  • majordolittle

    A few guys from 1 Para seem to have went a bit over the top. Bif f88king deal.

  • Mick Fealty

    Can we cut the personal stuff? There’s been a lot of it recently and all it ever does is obscure the underlying issues in hand, whatever they be.

    The general problem with all of these inquiries is that that they look like courts but they have none of the power or teeth that you would normally associate with courts.

    What we know is that both the British government and the IRA have messed around with Saville. I suspect it is in the interest of neither to have the full truth of the events of that day to be fully exposed to scrutiny. Otherwise, why wouldn’t they have fully co-operated.

    What we can be fairly sure of is that 14 innocent people died as a result of army actions that day. But we do not know the full story of why. In such a case, a unilateral apology could be seen as pre-emptive of knowing the wider truth.

  • joeCanuck

    All it would have taked was for the Honest Tony to order the MOD to tell the truth.

    That assumes that the MOD would accept and act on such an order.
    There are elements of the British Establishment, like MI5, who are a law unto themselves and, if they don’t like a particular P.M. are not adverse to starting whispering campaigns against him, like in Harold Wilson’s case.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    [i]”Post number 1: The IRA killed them”[/i]

    Well, they did kill a young woman in l’derry and try to blame it on the Brits, such is their hatred and total lack of morality.

    Monica Barr is one witness who seen a gunman get shot, he wasn’t innocent.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/1564483.stm

  • Comrade Stalin

    McGuinness is moving the goalposts. The idea to have an independent enquiry was a long-time requirement coming from nationalists; and now when they get one, they say they didn’t really need it anyway ?!?

    McGuinness’s reticience to answer questions shows how, to me, the request for an enquiry wasn’t made very seriously to start with. They didn’t anticipate that they’d have their own questions to answer for.

  • Ms Wiz

    ‘What we can be fairly sure of is that 14 innocent people died as a result of army actions that day. But we do not know the full story of why.’

    To teach the Bog-Wogs a lesson? I assumed that’s what Paisley got wind of and cancelled his own counter-demo.

  • joeCanuck

    I’m inclined to agree somewhat with McGuiness. Others here have said that the facts had to be established first.
    But the “facts” as known prior to the enquiry should have allowed the British Government to put out a statement such as :
    All of the people killed and injured on Bloody Sunday were innocent victims and were unlawfully killed or wounded. (they probably would balk at the word “murdered”).
    For that action by our armed forces, we are truly sorry.

  • majordolittle

    What is it you think soldiers should do, joe? When confronted by armed gunmen.

  • Dec

    The idea to have an independent enquiry was a long-time requirement coming from nationalists; and now when they get one, they say they didn’t really need it anyway ?!?

    CS

    Martin McGuiness may not have been in favour of one but as far as I am aware the people that really count in this, the victim’s families, were fully in support of an inquiry.

  • Dec

    Monica Barr is one witness who seen a gunman get shot, he wasn’t innocent.

    Clearly you can’t read your own links.

  • Dec, I was ignoring the first comment. My “That’s all well and good” was directed at the OP/McGuinness’s statement. I’d have thought that was obvious given the context of the rest of my (rather simply put) single-sentence comment. Perhaps the fact that we had crossed wires at this point explains your subsequent attempt to put words in my mouth that don’t belong there. Sadly I fear it doesn’t.

    While your imagination is entertaining, you’ve still failed to answer the question of how Tony Blair can be expected to issue and/or order an apology for something he doesn’t know the full facts about.

    Let me try and make this plain as day for you. I don’t have a particular agenda when it comes to Bloody Sunday other than an abject failure to get that worked up over it. I haven’t studied the details to know enough to be convinced of any single truth, nor am I likely to in the immediate future.

    It’s clearly tragic for the families of those who died, but an enquiry is obviously not going to bring them back and in all likelihood, as Mick has hinted, it won’t even get to the truth. If the army were in the wrong I’d be angry at the soldiers responsible, if not, I’d be angry at (though unsurprised by) the Sinners for stirring (and I could probably just about find a new depth of contempt for Marty McG if it comes out that he was indeed up to his neck in the trouble). I’m not going to get too excited though, because I don’t think either conclusion will ever be proven and people, like yourself and those who ‘know’ that the army would only have shot if they were under threat, who have made up their minds already will continue to believe what they’ve always believed. And the lawyers will be laughing all the way to the bank with a pay-cheque of hundreds of millions of pounds.

  • fair_deal

    Folks try and keep it civil. Ball not player.

  • McGrath

    Monica Barr is one witness who seen a gunman get shot, he wasn’t innocent.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/1564483.stm

    Posted by Ulsters my homeland on Mar 19, 2008 @ 02:06 PM

    Where, even in the link you provided, did anyone state they “seen a gunman get shot”?

    It seems you are prepared to make stuff up to satisfy your own perception which is about as pathetic as the conspiracy you propose in post #1.

    Is it so unpalatable to form even a remotely fair opinion of what happened?

    And back to the subject, for the British government to offer an apology at all, with or without first going through an inquiry would imply guilt. I’m quite certain McGuinness would be delighted if the British government had admitted guilt, any guilt at all in fact. That I am afraid is about the extent of the discovery in Powells book, riveting stuff!

  • Dec

    I’m not going to get too excited though, because I don’t think either conclusion will ever be proven and people, like yourself and those who ‘know’ that the army would only have shot if they were under threat, who have made up their minds already will continue to believe what they’ve always believed.

    Whilst there is the understandable temptation, to view the opposing views as both sides of the same coin, it coveniently ignores the available facts eg the palnting of nail bombs on Gerald Donaghy’s corpse, the wounds received by the victims, photographic evidence of those who’d just been shot (proving they were unarmed). The contrasting view is purely based on the official British Army and Establishment position (despite all the evidence to the contrary) and is really no more sophisticated than the troll inhabiting this thread. Apples and Oranges, really.

  • Ms Wiz

    MD

    ‘What is it you think soldiers should do, joe? When confronted by armed gunmen.’

    Or was it the other way round? What would be your reaction if your area was invaded by gun-toting squaddies and you had a gun to hand. Give ’em both barrels? I’m sure the thought would at least cross your mind.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    [i]”Where, even in the link you provided, did anyone state they “seen a gunman get shot”?

    It seems you are prepared to make stuff up to satisfy your own perception which is about as pathetic as the conspiracy you propose in post #1.[/i]

    wind yer neck in McGrath. I meant to say “seen a gunman get shot [b]at[/b]

    as for post 1. Isn’t it true that the IRA shot an innocent women in l’derry and placed the blame on the soldiers in order to create more hatred? This was not the only time the IRA denied murder and the planting of bombs so they could blame the Brits. So what makes the opening statement so outrageous?

  • Dec, do you have a (preferably reputable) link or source for the “available facts” you mentioned?

    I suppose if I’m coming from this at any angle, it’s that I don’t trust republican allegations against the state forces (see the other thread about ‘heavy handedness’) so evidence would need to be bloody convincing.

    For me that means answering questions like (specifically in regard to ‘facts’ you mentioned).
    “who took the pictures?”
    “isn’t it within the realms of possibility that witnesses lie?”
    “Would the army or RUC have been quite so organised as to pre-meditate the day’s events to the extent required to bring their own nail bombs?”

    I’ve accepted that it’s possible, at times I’ve wondered whether it was even probably, but I don’t believe any conclusion will ever come close to passing the test of reasonable doubt.

  • probably probable

  • McGrath

    wind yer neck in McGrath. I meant to say “seen a gunman get shot at

    Posted by Ulsters my homeland on Mar 19, 2008 @ 04:19 PM

    Considering the maliciousness of your post #1, it would be reasonable to assume you meant what you meant in your post #11.

    Your attempt to re-write what happened 40 years ago is evidenced by your re-write attempt in post #23.

  • McGrath

    What is it you think soldiers should do, joe? When confronted by armed gunmen.

    Posted by majordolittle on Mar 19, 2008 @ 02:50 PM

    In this instance they seemed to have shot at anyone they had a shot at.

    As has been stated earlier, the IRA has as many questions to answer and the British government, their presence either as the initiator or as a responder is clearly the major aggravating factor.

  • majordolittle

    In this instance they seemed to have shot at anyone they had a shot at.

    Paratroopers are not policemen. They simply did what they are trained to do, which usually isn’t civil unrest. Whether it was a good idea to use that regiment or not is for the GOC at the time to answer. But soldiers cannot be blamed for reacting to gunfire. As Ms Wiz has said McGuinness clearly saw them as the bad guys and ordered his men “to give em both barrels”. Ms Wiz uses emotive terms like “invaded” – ridiculous.
    As for “gun toting squaddies” what does she expect the “armed” forces to carry?

  • Dec

    wind yer neck in McGrath. I meant to say “seen a gunman get shot at

    Unfortunately, the link you provided doesn’t contain that information either. Clearly, the reading lessons aren’t going well. 3rd time lucky?

    Beano

    Start at wikipedia I suppose

  • Mick Fealty

    Dec, behave.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    majordolittle: “Paratroopers are not policemen. They simply did what they are trained to do, which usually isn’t civil unrest.”

    Funny, the 82nd and 101st airborne have been used in instances of civil unrest, foreign and domestic. Don’t seem to recall, off the cuff, anything on the order of this disaster whilst the 101st was dealing with court order integration of schools in Little Rock, AR, during the fifties… Not to say that even storied units like the 101st don’t get bad apples now and again, but simply opening fire on a mass of protesters, as the all of non-military witnesses testified. But then, at least one fella from the parachute regiment was on record as saying that they were told by an officer to expect a gunfight and “We want some kills”.

    Majordolittle: “But soldiers cannot be blamed for reacting to gunfire.”

    And such gunfire it was, such that none of the soldiers were injured and no-one not a soldier noticed it — nary a damp squib, let alone a nail-bomb or sniper fire.

    Majordolittle: “As for “gun toting squaddies” what does she expect the “armed” forces to carry?”

    For urban work, certainly not the arms they were carrying. They should have been kitted out as riot police. Unless I mis-remember, they would have had some variation of the FN-FAL, firing a 7.62X51 round, with a muzzle velocity of 2,750 fps (838 mps). For peace-time urban work, it is just too lively.

  • Steve

    Ah Beano

    Obviously nationalists lie

    Murdering squaddies trying to cover their crimes are obviously paragons of virtue

    Silly us carry on please

  • Steve

    dolittle

    Since they were confronting a bunch of placard waving children a case of white out would seem to suffice

  • Star of the County Down

    Excuse me Dread, but given your rant above and your domicile, I must ask this. Care to regale us with the details of those wonderfully restrained North American anti-riot operations of a similar vintage to Bloody Sunday, namely Kent State (not that there was much, if any, of a riot there), Attica and the Watts riots? How many officers of the US state were convicted over those?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Star of the County Down: “Excuse me Dread, but given your rant above and your domicile, I must ask this. Care to regale us with the details of those wonderfully restrained North American anti-riot operations of a similar vintage to Bloody Sunday, namely Kent State (not that there was much, if any, of a riot there), Attica and the Watts riots? How many officers of the US state were convicted over those?”

    None, actually, since no US federal personnel were involved. National Guard formations are state-based, not US, save in times of war, when they are federalized. Likewise, state police are not Federal officers.

    Likewise, there is little similarity in the events you describe and Bloody Sunday.

    Watts: Six days of rioting in a major metropolitan center, kicked off by the arrest of a drunk driver. As such, it doesn’t really compare with a civil rights march, now does it? Given the extent of the violence, the withdrawal of the local police on several instances. Shooting by the police didn’t start until the third day. The CA NG were not involved until the fourth day and, given the forces deployed, they were not actively blasting into masses of rioters — armored cavalry and an armored division would have done far worse ad they gone off half-cocked and “looking for some kills” like the Paras.

    Attica: Attica comes closer, with bad tactical decisions made by the NY State police and the prison guards — all state employees, with nary a Fed in sight, by the way. Five dead by the prisoners, the balance by the guards in the re-taking of the prison, using shotguns — a bad tactical choice, given it was a hostage situation, where accuracy would have been at a premium. That said, State police and corrections officers are not comparable in training to the Paras, nor is the scenario comparable — several days of rioting and a hostage situation compared to a civil rights march coming under semi-automatic weapons fire.

    Kent State: Again, several days of civic disturbance — motorcycle gang members, townies and students. Several days of disturbances, assaults on police and ANG personnel seeking to disperse the crowds. This one comes the closest, as the firing on the crowds was a response to an alleged sniper, although this is a debatable allegation, just as in Blood Sunday, with the same poor choice of armaments — battlefield rifles.

    That said, the differences are also present — again, a state formation not nearly trained to the level of elite light infantry (the Ohio Nat’l Guard unit were from infantry and armored cav formations). There are no allegations of Ohio ANG personnel shooting wounded or back-shooting those running, as in Bloody Sunday — indeed, the whole of violence at Kent State was 13 seconds long… there are no quoted ANG personnel stating they wanted to “get some kills” as there is among the Paras…

    Oh, and there was a serious investigation following Kent State, as opposed to the Widgery whitewash, with some effort at forensic examination of the evidence, unlike Bloody Sunday.

    Eight guardsmen were indicted and brought to trial, although the case was eventually dismissed by the trial judge. There were also two civil trials, iirc.

    In none of these cases were professional soldiers placed on policing duties. While there are some similarities, there are differences and distinctions. What there isn’t in the three cases you bring up is any similarity in the level of training — NG “weekend warriors” and rural barracks of the state police aren’t in the same league as para-troopers — not the same discipline, not the same tactical training — not even remotely the same.

    Try comparing apples to apples.

    Second, that was not a rant. Snide and sarcastic, perhaps, but not a rant.

  • majordolittle

    Dread, I think I did mention that the paras were probably not the best unit to be deployed, the GOC took that decision, and him alone. But who knows the mindset of the officers and NCO’s that day, perhaps stuck in colonial mode. Responsibility lies with the chain of command. A Royal military police investigation should have sufficed.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    [i]wind yer neck in McGrath. I meant to say “seen a gunman get shot [b]at[/b]

    “Unfortunately, the link you provided doesn’t contain that information either. Clearly, the reading lessons aren’t going well. 3rd time lucky?”[/i]

    Dec, clearly you aren’t reading too well or else you lack the ability to summarise a news report.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/1564483.stm

    Monica Barr states,

    “The hand which was holding the pistol appeared from over the top of the window pane and pointed downwards.

    “I remember one shot being fired from the pistol. The shot had a pop sound and was certainly different from the other shots I had heard earlier.

    “Almost immediately I heard a crack and saw the wood at the top of the window frame splinter where I presume a bullet fired by a soldier below the flats had hit.

    “At around the same time the hand disappeared.”

    Dec and McGrath, I’ll go slow, so you can catch up.

    ‘The hand which was holding the pistol’ + ‘one shot being fired from the pistol’ = gunman

    ‘a bullet fired by a soldier below the flats had hit’ = the gunman was shot at.

    Simple really, when you read the evidence.

  • lamh dearg

    To return to the Saville Inquiry and the DFM.

    An inquiry was essential not just because of the terrible, evil events of Bloody Sunday but also because of the travesty of Widgery which remains an affront to the dead, their families, society and British Justice.

    Without Saville Widgery would remain as the official, legal inquiry perpetuating the slurs on the victims and the damage done to the idea of justice and the primacy of the law.

    That the DFM wasn’t and isn’t interested in truth or justice should come as no surprise to anyone who has watched his career

    That the DFM would cynically exploit the grief of his neighbours for political reasons without any genuine concern or committment to them, again no surprise.

  • Star of the County Down

    Dread,

    ‘Try comparing apples to apples.’

    Oh, I am trying. I note you address my examples in reverse order – I specifically placed Kent State at the head of the list as, in my view, it (along with the killings at Jackson State two weeks later) is precisely the US corollary of Bloody Sunday.

    ‘Kent State: … the same poor choice of armaments—battlefield rifles.’

    Don’t forget the NG also fixed bayonets before advancing on unarmed demonstrators, & bayonet injuries were inflicted on students over the preceding days.

    ‘the differences are also present—again, a state formation not nearly trained to the level of elite light infantry’

    I fail to see your point here. Quite why you hold the trained-for-battlefield troops of the Paras to higher standards in civil disturbance situations than National Guard units whose civil role had been long established, I am unclear. Is it perhaps because one is British while the other’s American?

    ‘NG “weekend warriors” ‘

    I doubt the National guardsmen who make up 43 percent of US troops in Iraq and 55 percent in Afghanistan would be overenamoured with your description of them…

    ‘There are no allegations of Ohio ANG personnel shooting wounded or back-shooting those running’

    Absolute BS – William Schroeder (one of the four who died) and Dean Kahler were shot in the back. The fact other injuries were front-facing may be attributable to the NG troops backing off initially before wheeling and firing without warning. A high proportion of those killed and injured had taken no part in the campus demonstrations.

    ‘there are no quoted ANG personnel stating they wanted to “get some kills” as there is among the Paras’

    Maybe not – but what about the fragrant James A. Rhodes, Republican Governor at the time, and his declaration that the students were “worse than Brownshirts and the Communists and vigilantes—they’re the worst type of people we harbor in America”?

    ‘Eight guardsmen were indicted and brought to trial, although the case was eventually dismissed by the trial judge.’

    Indeed, so the guardsmen never faced a trial jury. Wouldd nationalist Ireland have been satisfied with such an outcome in the Bloody Sunday case?

    ‘no US federal personnel were involved. National Guard formations are state-based, not US, save in times of war, when they are federalized.’

    As to this, I’d like to point out the National guardsmen were indicted by a federal grand jury and acquitted by the judge in a federal court.

    As Time magazine said, “The killings at Kent State are a national stain that has stubbornly refused to go away.”. Indeed.

  • Dec

    Mick

    If you asked me to behave due to my attitude to UMH, then I make no apology for taking to task a troll who makes wild and totally unsubstantiated accusations on this thread ( a quite a few others).

    If it was due to my response to Beano, (to try wikipedia), I wasn’t being fascetious – a lot of the available internet resources are from a nationalist perspective (understandably so) hence my suggestion to try (or at least start of at) wikipedia. I perhaps should have made that clearer.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    SotCD: “I fail to see your point here. Quite why you hold the trained-for-battlefield troops of the Paras to higher standards in civil disturbance situations than National Guard units whose civil role had been long established, I am unclear. Is it perhaps because one is British while the other’s American?”

    Training and discipline, for one. The National Guard, particularly during the sixties and seventies, was not and is not nearly as professional an organization as even a normal Army unit, let alone an elite formation as either an airborne or air assault division (I’m not certain when the 101st was transitioned). Nationality has naught to do with it, unless it is your position that the Parachute Regiment was not a skilled and disciplined unit and was, in fact, on a par with the National Guard.

    National Guard troops drill one weekend a month, with two weeks during the summer — other than than, barring flood or civil disturbance, they are lawyers, shop-keeps and run-of-the-mill civilian yahoos of most stripes imaginable.

    SofCD: “I doubt the National guardsmen who make up 43 percent of US troops in Iraq and 55 percent in Afghanistan would be overenamoured with your description of them…”

    *Shrug* The term has been in play for decades — they’d prolly get a bitter laugh out of it, at worst.

    SofCD: “Maybe not – but what about the fragrant James A. Rhodes, Republican Governor at the time, and his declaration that the students were “worse than Brownshirts and the Communists and vigilantes—they’re the worst type of people we harbor in America”?”

    Unless you can put a gun in his hand and place him at Kent State, his state of mind would be of little import, now wouldn’t it… whilst his words *may* have colored the perceptions of the Ohio NG personnel, it is hardly the same as quoted Paras saying that they were looking to kill someone.

    SotCD: “Indeed, so the guardsmen never faced a trial jury. Wouldd nationalist Ireland have been satisfied with such an outcome in the Bloody Sunday case?”

    Perhaps not, but it should have been obvious that the Widgery whitewash was an order of magnitude worse. Instead of ruling the waves, the UK waived the rules and hastily published a report meant to sweep the problem under the rug. An honest trial that ended in exoneration would have been at least marginally better at the very least.

    SotCD: “As to this, I’d like to point out the National guardsmen were indicted by a federal grand jury and acquitted by the judge in a federal court.”

    Court jurisdiction has little bearing on the troops. American law is a bit of a rat’s nest, insofar as there are parallel systems. While I doubt that it constitutes a white-wash, ala Widgery, it *was* the Nixon administration, meaning that some double-dealing was within the realm of possibility. But, again, precisely *what* happened to the Paras?

    Like I said, compare apples to apples and maybe you’ll get somewhere.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    majordolittle: “I think I did mention that the paras were probably not the best unit to be deployed, the GOC took that decision, and him alone. But who knows the mindset of the officers and NCO’s that day, perhaps stuck in colonial mode. Responsibility lies with the chain of command. A Royal military police investigation should have sufficed.”

    Seeing as at least one of the paras has gone on the record as having been told to expect gun–battles and the fella’s in the unit “wanting to get some kills,” I would think we have at least a decent window into their mind-set, Major. The Paras were, by the admission of some of there own, wanting to put toe-tags on some folks.

    As for who should have investigated, an honest military or civilian investigation would have been head and shoulders above the white-wash they tried to pass off.

  • majordolittle

    I agree, Dread
    Who told the Paras to expect a gun battle and what were their orders? Squaddies tend to do what they are told.
    Whoever was in command should have been held to account. But we are speculating over the ghosts of a long ago event. The lawyers are feasting on the corpses in an unprecedented display of hand rubbing. £££. Lots of bad things happened here for over 30 years. Now 1 event has become a money making circus which will please nobody.
    Only those who were there, on all sides, know what happened.

  • Dec, I’m sorry to disagree (again) but I find it difficult to believe much of Wikipedia’s content when it comes to controversial articles. I’ve seen some of the guff that goes on on the talk pages of Northern Ireland-related articles and it’s laughable at times. I’ll have a look at some stage all the same.

  • Wilde Rover

    “Martin McGuinness said to me in a private conversation some years later that he didn’t know why we had done it: he thought an apology would have been quite sufficient”

    I wonder, was he referring to Saville, or Widgery, or both?

    Clearly, an immediate apology to the families, acknowledging the innocence of those killed, would have created a different emotional response.

    Instead, blame the victims after sending out the attack dogs.

    Sending the spiral of rage ever higher.

    And now, all these years later, another bout of chicanery has enraged everyone.

    Rinse, repeat.

  • joeCanuck

    You know, WR, I have occasionally had the suspicion that all British Governments tread lightly around the Army and, especially, MI5.
    They are like a wider version of J.Edgar Hoover; they are gatherers of, and custodians of, all the dirt.
    And very few of us are squeaky clean.
    Hence the reluctance of the Government to publicly admit what they know to be true.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Well, they did kill a young woman in l’derry and try to blame it on the Brits, such is their hatred and total lack of morality.’

    sorry UMH, but your beloved british army has better form in this area, psuedo gangs and subterfuge were the order of the day in all their colonial wars, and yes even here in the north.

  • Wilde Rover

    “Hence the reluctance of the Government to publicly admit what they know to be true.”

    Yes Joe. I guess the dirtier your linen the higher you can rise in government circles.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    joeCanuck: “They are like a wider version of J.Edgar Hoover; they are gatherers of, and custodians of, all the dirt.
    And very few of us are squeaky clean. ”

    They are, arguably, worse.

    One man may be out-lived, his sycophants shuffled off the stage following his passing — Beria did not long last Stalin’s fall.

    MI-5, however, is a bureaucratic institution… barring some sea-change, it is immortal, with only occasional updates to the procedures manual.