McFarlane trial to begin today

As the Irish Times breaking news report points out, after a lengthy failed battle to prevent the case going to court, the trial of prominent Provisional IRA member Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane – in relation to the kidnapping of businessman Don Tidey in 1983 – is expected to finally begin today in the Republic of Ireland’s Special Criminal Court. Adds Opening remarks from the trial. And a BBC report.

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  • Two bits of Don Tidey trivia:

    (1) Martin Ingram, late of this parish, alleged that Freddie Scappaticci disclosed information to British intelligence on IRA operations including
    the kidnapping of Don Tidey.

    I wonder will Freddie be coming over to give evidence?

    (2) Although Tidey was kidnapped in the south, I think he had previously been living in the north – his son was a pupil in my school (in Belfast) at some stage.

  • Granni Trixie

    Have no lessons been learned after the Donaldson murder? I personally would not like to have it on my conscience that I stirred things up by circulating ‘trivia’ concerning allegations about Scap.

  • Granni Trixie,

    I think you’ll find that it is in Ingram’s 2004 book “Stakeknife”. I can hardly be aaccused of ‘setting him up’, can I?

    Plus, I do think that if he jets in from retirement in Italy, he will certainly be provided with adequate security.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Good enough for him. Remember the hunger strikers by all means, just so long as you temper it with knowning that they all fully supported the armed struggle. Cases like this – people been brought to account for crimes from long ago – are going to be a feature of the Irish and N.I. media for a long, long time to come. Guess their day will come, after all …

  • Following the battle of the Bulge, several of Otto Skorzeny’s troops, who had been caught whilst wearing American uniforms, were stuck up against a wall and unceremoniously shot; these can still be viewed.
    Whatever excuses the SS had, those who wore garda uniforms to kidnap Tidey have none. If this former seminarian is found guilty, death by firing squad or the dog’s rope would suffice. Although the death penalty has been removed, the Provos used it on all too many occasions.
    If thischap regards himself as an IRA soldier, he should face the consequences just as the 1916 soldiers and Kevin Barry did.

  • earnan

    Don’t forget this massacre at the Bulge

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malmedy_massacre

    This kind of thing was common on the Eastern Front, but not in the west.

  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7450402.stm

    Denis Nielson, who also fancied himself as a soldier, makes the BBC today. watch the video, with the Ardoyne k—ler in mind.
    Earnan: There is more to the malmedy massacre than Wikipedia. The SS were cut no slack and were, in fact, condemned at Nuremberg as a criminal outift. Why do the Provos always want some?

  • Ard Eoin

    Dave,
    I have no doubt that if the firing squad was an option Bik would face it with the same courage and integrity that he has maintained throughout his career as a soldier in the Irish Republican Army. Good to see that people like yourself are recognising the volunteers as soldiers and not as criminals, however tongue in cheek your remarks are supposed to be.
    War is war and every side, including Garda special branch, have played their hand as it fell. Why have the british government not been called to court over the kidnapping of thousands of Irishmen and Irishwomen? Oh, that’s right, they were in political control and just called it ‘Internment’.
    I have no problem with political change or debate. Your post harks back to the days of normalisation, criminalisation and ulsterisation. The pursuit of Irish Republicans by the southern state appears petty, even the brits have moved on. This should be seen as what it is, an attack on Sinn Fein by the free state. They are attempting to create the shadow of the gunman to prevent the inevitable ise of Sinn Fein in the south. I for one hope it backfires on them. Remember Rory O’Connor?

  • Donnacha

    The Irish state is attempting to create the shadow of the gunman? I’d have thought the IRA – and by extension many in SF – would have beaten them to it.

  • john burns

    I am disgusted that Ard Eoin would refer to Breanan McFarlane as having courage and integrity. How much courage does it take to gun down women crossing the road simply because they are Protestants? Look up 1975 and see what McFatlane was involved in then. Bombing and shooting Protestants that’s what he was doing.

  • Ard Eoin

    Donnacha
    By trying Bik at this time the free state government are attempting to smear the Sinn Fein project. This at a time when they are raising the ghosts of 1916 for their own political ends reeks of hypocrisy. At least the electorate wont follow them blindly.

    Mr Burns
    Don’t give me whataboutery. If you read my post ‘War is War’. If you want to discuss reasons why Republicans felt the need to take arms then we can talk. If not go back to whatever glorious reformationist hovel you come from and talk about the good old days when catholics knew their place in the grand old orange state.

  • john burns

    Ok Ard Eoin, why did Bic bomb the Bayardo Bar in 1975 and why did he machine the 3 Protestant women who happened to be crossing the road at the time? Was that to show how brave he was or how sectarian he was and remains? Taking up arms against a soldier is one thing, machine gunning civilians is quite another.

  • ingram

    Two bits of Don Tidey trivia:

    (1) Martin Ingram, late of this parish, alleged that Freddie Scappaticci disclosed information to British intelligence on IRA operations including
    the kidnapping of Don Tidey.

    I wonder will Freddie be coming over to give evidence?

    (2) Although Tidey was kidnapped in the south, I think he had previously been living in the north – his son was a pupil in my school (in Belfast) at some stage.

    Posted by Horseman on Jun 11, 2008 @ 02:09 PM

    Ding Ding

    Still of this Parish mate.

  • Ard Eoin

    Mr Burns
    I was well aware of the incident you refered to in your original post. I REPEAT “Don’t give me whataboutery.” The Irish Republican Army apologised for the death of non-combatants, can any of the numerous pro-british forces apologise for similair incidents involving their troops? There is a very long list of innocent people on all sides who died in the war. Was stakeknife declared a butcher?
    Go talk to Willie Frazer, he is probably on your wavelength.

  • Harry Flashman

    How was holding captive at gunpoint soldiers and policemen of the Irish Republic and shooting and killing their comrades the act of an Irish Republican soldier?

    The term “filthy traitor” comes to mind more readily.

    Brick wall, firing squad, with the option of a blindfold or not, seems the most appropriate outcome.

  • Ard Eoin

    Flashman
    And what punishment would fit the crimes of Margaret Thatcher then?

  • el Django

    “And what punishment would fit the crimes of Margaret Thatcher then?”

    That’s a good one from the man who said: “don’t give me whataboutery.”

  • Harry Flashman

    No one has ever claimed Margaret Thatcher was a soldier of the Irish Republic.

    You claim McFarlane was a soldier of the Irish Republic, he is alleged to have been a ringleader of a gang of bandits who not only kidnapped an unarmed non-combatant civilian on Irish soil but who went on to capture at gunpoint soldiers and policemen of the Irish Republic and then murder a couple of them.

    Leaving aside his involvement in the murder of several unarmed Irish civilians, women included, your claim that he was a soldier of the Irish Republic is supported by no evidence.

    He was a murdering, kidnapping sectarian thug.

    I’ve changed my mind actually, firing squads are for soldiers, a hangman’s noose is the only thing this murdering, bigot deserves.

  • Ard Eoin

    El Dango
    When in Rome….

    Flashman
    You and your ilk will never change and this country will suffer as a result. You demand your pound of flesh, the old saying an ‘eye for an eye makes us all blind’ comes to mind.
    Are all combatants to be treated the same or just those who took up arms against the illegal occupation of their counrty? Are the defenders of Ulster and the forces of occupation to befall the same punishment?
    As long as your attitude persists there is only one direction we can all move and that is backwards. You perhaps fall into the camp that beleives the brits had the IRA on the run and should have finsihed the job while they had the chance. Too late for that methinks.Time to move on into a shared future.

  • Rapunsel

    Ard Eoin

    So Mr Tidey and the families of the guard and soldier killed are to be denied justice just because it might damage the Sinn Fein project?

    Me thinks that the damage was already done by the gang committing the deed. Given that “War is war and every side, including Garda special branch, have played their hand as it fell” I think that your objection to the trial is more linked to the damage that it might cause to the pro american and generally neo liberal economic policies being followed by Sinn Fein at Stormont today if and when Martin and Gerry are faced with a few difficult questions following a conviction.

    Don’t you think that the kidnapping of Mr Tidey and the killing of the soldier and guard were wrong?

  • el Django

    “When in Rome…. ”

    I take it then it’s OK for us all to engage in whataboutery, or is it just you reserving the right?

  • Harry Flashman

    In what way were an unarmed garda trainee or an Irish soldier in Leitrim “illegally occupying” Ireland?

    I could ask the same about Irishwoman crossing a street.

    There were men who fought the Brits, many bravely, there were also sectarian murderers and bandits. It is quite obvious which category McFarlane falls into.

    A rope and a stool is all that is now required to clear up unfinished business.

  • Ard Eoin

    The sharks have circled and they are baying for their pound of flesh.
    If there is to be any future for the six county state a few of the posters on this site will have to move on from their bloodthirsty calls for hnagings etc, just as IRA volunteers such as Bik have moved on and encouraged the peace that now rests on this land.
    Bik was an Volunteer IRA soldier and followed his orders just as any soldier in any army has done. If any of you have a problem it is not with this man it is with what he represents. How many Republicans would it take to satisfy your bloodlust?
    If your calls for execution are met then I will leave you with a quote from another executed Irish ‘terrorist’, Padraic Pearse;
    ‘The fools, the fools, the fools. They have left us our Fenian dead; and while Ireland holds these grave, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace. For life springs from death and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations.’

  • picador

    The prosecution of Bik McFarlane is vindictive and politically motivated. As is common knowledge McFarlane has served a out a life sentence for his involvement in the Bayardo Bar massacre which occured some thrity three years ago.

    The Tidey kidnap took place twenty five years ago and since then the political situation in our country has changed beyond all recognition. Prisoners have been released, prisons have been closed, arms have been decommissioned and the British Army have gone from our streets.

    What will the Free State government do if McFarlane is convicted? Will they send him to prison or will he be released under the GFA?

    Recently the northern authorities charged someone in relation to the disappearance of Capt Nairac back in 1977. These backdated prosecutions seem to apply republicans only. Unsurprisingly those who committed crimes on behalf of the state in either jurisdiction go unpunished and indeed are protected by the law.

    I find the attitude of those who wish to see McFarlane hanged depressing in the extreme. He has served a long sentence and upon release, used what influence he had to prevent others from following in his footsteps.

    For very different reasons I find the attitude of the poster calling himself ard eoin (please choose a different moniker) depressing. IRA right or wrong and the victims can go f*** themselves. Yeah right. Some republican you are – more like an embarrassment and a disgrace. Massacring cvilians does not count as integrity in my book. Wise up to yourself!

  • Pete Baker

    picador

    “Massacring cvilians does not count as integrity in my book.”

    And the kidnapping under threat of violence of a businessman?

    Not to mention the subsequent killing of an Irish Defence Forces soldier and a garda?

    “Some republican you are..”

    “IRA right or wrong and the victims can go f*** themselves.” Indeed.

  • picador

    I see people only deal in absolutes in this thread.

    Or double standards.

    Pete,

    I take it you would like to see those FRU / SB officers involved in the murder of Pat Finucane on trial? An independent enquiry into the cicumstances surrounding his murder perhaps? No, didn’t think so.

    What about the handlers of Mark Haddock? When do we get to see them in court? Policemen doing a dangerous job, eh?

    The M15 agents who helped Brian Nelson smuggle in tonnes of arms from South Africa? Maybe they could tell us who gave the nod? But no, I’m being ridiculous.

    So republicans are evil and should be hounded to the ends of the earth for their pass misdeeds while those who were in the employ of the state should get away scot free? ffs Wise up!!

  • Pete Baker

    picador

    Creating straw-men, and imagining positions I have not actually taken, in order to argue against me is a sign of a failure on your part, not mine.

  • picador

    But it’s what you did in your previous post, albeit through snide insinuation. Or do you not remember?

    Need I remind you that it has not yet been legally established whether the defendant was involved in the Tidey affair.

  • picador

    Pete,

    Do you believe that Bik McFarlane should be prosecuted over the Tidey affair?

    Do you believe that FRU personnel should have to answer for the death of Pat Finucane?

    Two straight forward questions.

  • Pete Baker

    “Bik was an Volunteer IRA soldier and followed his orders just as any soldier in any army has done. If any of you have a problem it is not with this man it is with what he represents.”

    Indeed, picador.

  • picador

    You’ve well and truly lost me this time.

    Bik was an Volunteer IRA soldier and followed his orders just as any soldier in any army has done. If any of you have a problem it is not with this man it is with what he represents.

    Take that quote up with ard eoin for it was he who typed it and not I.

    I note you won’t answer my questions.

  • john burns

    AS far as I am aware Brendan McFarlane was the head of a IRA unit and therefore he issued the orders not followed them. He is, in my opinion, more accountable than some young recruit.
    Also accountimg to reports, for the price of a pint, at every Sinn Feis Ard Feis ‘Bic’ will entertain you to tales of his exploits and he always has a crowd around him while proping up the bar. So much for him having moved on.
    My problem with McFarlane is his virtual canonisation by Republicians. They feel they have to defend him come what may. I put him in the same category as Michael Stone, who at least now has the excuse of being mentally ill.

  • its a very interesting article thank you for it i loved it.