Victims Forum: obfuscation, fudge and waffle

The Victims’ Forum members were announced yesterday as noted below by Pete Baker. The Forum is to advise the Victims’ Commission and the Executive on the needs of victims and is also to be asked for their views on the definition of a victim and how the past should be addressed. The Commission will review the Forum’s work in June 2010. Most of the Forum’s members were either injured themselves or had family members killed or injured during the troubles. However, major controversy has surrounded the appointment of Michael Culbert a convicted IRA killer who spent 16 years of a life sentence in gaol for the murder of a police officer.

Jim Allister has denounced the appointment of Culbert: “The appointment of a man with Culbert’s pedigree is an obscenity which will be grossly offensive to many innocent victims throughout Northern Ireland. It is clearly yet an other attempt to sanitise the men of violence.”
as has Derek Hussey: “The appointment of Michael Culbert — a former IRA prisoner who was sentenced to 16 years for the murder of a police officer — is an insult to innocent victims from right across our community. People of all backgrounds suffered at the hands of terrorist organisations. To place on the forum someone who has committed murder on the behalf of one of those organisations is a calculated insult to those murdered, injured and bereaved by republican and loyalist terrorists.”

Members of the Forum also seem less than optimistic about it prospects with Willie Frazer suggesting that it has “very little chance of it going anywhere;” he also attacked the decision to go away to Scotland for a residential meeting. However, he has not yet at any rate, carried through his threat of July to boycott the Forum if it had former terrorist members: “They can have as many terrorists as they want sitting on it because there will plenty of empty chairs, as no genuine self-respecting victim would give credibility to such a body.” Raymond McCord (another member of the Forum) pointed out that: “They would not allow me to say in the pen biography that my son had been murdered.”

Frazer is probably correct that it is unlikely that the group will agree on the definition of a victim. A possible way round this impasse would be if issues such as this are fudged with for example a victim defined so loosely as to allow everyone to hold to their own definition, in which case it is unlikely that the Forum’s views will be either united or remotely convincing to wider society. The likelihood of that is of course quite high as the Victims Commission itself has already been a fudge with four commissioners rather than the initially envisaged one.

Fudge and obfuscation has of course already been part and parcel of the Commission; as recently as this week the Commission has been accused of confusing victims with Seamus Heaney whose brother Denis was killed stating:

“The last few years have just been waffle, there hasn’t been a straight answer given to anybody on any issue that’s been brought up. I thought far too many issues were on the agenda, and it just seems to me it’s going to make the delivery of anything for victims much more complex.”

It seems unlikely that much progress beyond the waffle is going to occur any time soon.

  • Pigeon Toes

    “Fudge and obfuscation has of course already been part and parcel of the Commission; as recently as this week the Commission has been accused of confusing victims with Seamus Heaney whose brother Denis was killed stating”

    You aren’t wrong there

  • cly

    yeah turgon i see your point, and jim allister’s too. Gunmen and widows of gunmen included in a victims’ list. How disgraceful. RUC and British army gunmen’s relatives included on this list. How disgraceful. The murders and terrorism these people carried out, yet the cheek of them to count themselves as victims. Victims of what? Protecting a bigoted state? Still its as well we are in a pece process and are open and listening to our opponents views. Otherwise I’d be a narrow mineded uncreconstructed bigoted, woulnd’t I?

  • Dewi

    On a practical level there are a lot of them. To get 30 people to come to an agreed view on a footpath route is well nigh impossible – for this group to come to an agreed view on such sensitive subjects is challenging to say the least.

  • Dewi

    Sorry – it’s closer to 40 than 30 members.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Turgon,

    I agree with Frazer getting an agreed definition will be difficult – for my own part I would simply define a victim as

    “anyone whose life was negativley impacted upon by the political violence”.

    It would be interesting to see a ‘Unionist’ definition – it may possibly be more difficult to define a vicitim if it is NOT totally inclusive which would presumably be the main characteristic of Unionist definitions.

  • iluvni

    They do love their wee trips in the ‘peace process’ industry, dont they?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    As the Norn Iron tourism industry is understandably not very well developed it is only a little surpising that suitable accomodation was not available but I would be more suprised if something suitable was not availabe just south of the border. And yes something that was actually cheaper – accomodation in the South has always been competitive with the North in terms of price.

    Turgon,

    have you got a clear definition of what a ‘victim’ in this context is?

  • fin
  • GGN

    The thing is Turgon is that there were two sides to the conflict.

    That may not fit in to your understanding nor your political narrative, but it is true.

    Restricting a victims forum, and I am not convinced of the need to those victims as defined by the TUV would somewhat defeat the purpose.

    You may seek to limit attendence to those you consider non-terrorists.

    I would like to to open your mind for a few seconds to the reality that many if not most in the nationalist community experienced the security forces in a very different way to you, and in many cases would see them as a source of terror.

  • Scaramoosh

    “It seems unlikely that much progress beyond the waffle is going to occur any time soon.”

    Jim Allister will be happy then; but where is his alternative solution as to how the matter can best be resolved?

    Where is his psychological appraisal of what a victim actually is?

    Is he capable of contributing anything to the debate that is not divisive; negative and antideluvian?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    fin, Dewi,

    did you see the thread started by Dewi re. the WW2 Welsh prionsers publication? Your first link regarding the GAA scores distribution would fit nicely into that theme. Have any of these notes survived?

  • Shergar

    Do the likes of Jim Gray and various drug dealers shot in countless feuds also count as ‘victims’?
    This is the sort of mentality that led Lord wotsisname to describe Ian Brady and Myra Hyndley as ‘victims’ also.

  • Freddie

    The cheerleading on this thread for the inclusion of an individual personally responsible for the death of another human being on a body designed to provide a definition of a ‘victim’ and identify victims’ needs is distasteful.

    This should not surprise anyone. The Republican community for many years supported physically and with their votes those who kidnapped, injured and killed, amongst others, their fellow Irishmen, women and children.

    That they should now wish to elevate those responsible to positions that imply that their murderous activities were justified
    and acceptable is, again, not a surprise.

    There argument then follows that, for example, the wife of a murdered police officer is as unacceptable as the officer’s murderer and her inclusion in the forum is as challenging to their community as the murderer is to others. This simply brings their warped mindset into sharp relief.

    These attempts to rewrite history must be confronted and the argument that all are equally culpable and all can claim victimhood must be exposed for the lies they are.

  • Turgon

    USA,
    I am afraid it is you who have let yourself down. Comparing the Stormont regime and the Nazis demonstrates your pathetic bigotry (as well as falling instantly foul of Godwin’s Law).

    In addition the vast majority of the police officers murdered were either doing ordinary policing activities like directing traffic, walking the beat etc., or most often at home with their families or in their own cars. They were not actively engaging in a war; they were murdered pure and simple.

    As an analogy to the United States tell me do you regard Richard Snell as having been guilty of the murder of Arkansas State Trooper Louis P. Bryant? I do but the logic of your position means that you should not. Indeed your logic would make those police officers killed on the 11th September 2001 not murdered when all right thinking people regard them as murdered victims the same as any others.

    Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit,
    At least your questions are fair and reasonable. As to who I regard as victims, I will have a go. I accept that there is no hierarchy of grief and I am sure that Seamus Heaney is as distressed by his brother’s death as any of the victims I know are distressed by the deaths of their loved ones. There is, however, a hierarchy of victmhood in the sense of the person actually killed and terrorists killed being terrorists are in a very different category to everyone else.

    I regard the vast majority of the victims here as entirely innocent: clearly the children could be nothing other than innocent victims; though I guess to some cheerleaders it was all their and their parents fault for being prods on Holy Irish ground. I suspect that was behind the attempted IRA mass murder of children at Tullyhommon.

    Clearly I also regard the murders of soldiers and policemen, prison officers etc. as murder and that they are victims. Many were of duty but off or on duty that were not actually fighting a war they were trying to protect the community and stop terrorist murderers.

    Also all the civilians were clearly victims although again the terrorists and their cheerleaders try to suggest that they worked for people or were related etc.

    I also regard most of the terrorists killed as victims: most died whilst at home in sectarian attacks by the hand of another lot of terrorists. As such I guess the IRA men killed by loyalist terrorists are sort of victims and vice versa. However, they were not in any way pleasant or decent people. However, no one gave the loyalists (or vice versa) the right to kill them.

    I also accept that it is sad that terrorists died whilst committing their crimes. However, I must admit at baulking at calling victims the terrorists who died when they attacked an off duty UDR man and he fired back.

    I believe there are differences between the victims. I wish with all my heart none had died. However, I can see that the whole thing is very fraught and in honesty I think that there will never be agreement on some cases. The areas and severity of disagreement depend on who is speaking to whom.

    I also completely reject the idiotic notion that Michael Culbert is any sort of a victim. He created a victim, he is not a victim. The fact that he spent 16 years in gaol for murdering a police officer does not in any shape manner or form make him a victim: it makes him a convicted murderer.

    Another group all that omits of course is all the injured and Eames Bradley’s ignoring of them in the money was simply another example of the laziness and moral vacuity at the heart of their project. Just because people did not die does not make them victims. There are also the relatives etc. who were victims in a way too. However, I also completely reject this nonsense that we were all victims.

    Sorry not a great answer but an honest attempt.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Turgon,

    So your definition of a victim is somoene, even if he is a ‘terrorist’ as long as he has physically suffered – although you explicitly exclude those who inflicted suffering on others.

    To me that sounds fairly inclusive.

  • palebluedot

    I wonder why the Forum is being asked to give views on the definition of the word “victim”. It is clearly a politically contentious task. Also, it is not necessary as there already is legal defintion in existence. This is contained in the legislation which established the Victims and Survivors Commission and the Victims’ Forum, i.e. the The Victims and Survivors (NI) Order 2006. Article 3 of the Order sets the following defintion:

    3. — (1) In this Order references to “victim and survivor” are references to an individual appearing to the Commissioner to be any of the following—

    (a) someone who is or has been physically or psychologically injured as a result of or in consequence of a conflict-related incident;

    (b) someone who provides a substantial amount of care on a regular basis for an individual mentioned in paragraph (a); or

    (c) someone who has been bereaved as a result of or in consequence of a conflict-related incident.

    (2) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1), an individual may be psychologically injured as a result of or in consequence of—

    (a) witnessing a conflict-related incident or the consequences of such an incident; or

    (b) providing medical or other emergency assistance to an individual in connection with a conflict-related incident.

  • fin

    Turgon, regarding compensation been paid to killers, many innocent people including a lot of children died at the hands of the Army and the RUC, examples include Bloody Sunday, Newlodge, Ballymurphy, Aidan McAnespie, I believe the govt paid compensation in virtually all rubber/plastic bullet deaths, the people responsible continued to draw a salary, and today will most likely be in receipt of a pension relating to their job.

    The list of course is much much longer, there is also a need to into account the victims murdered with weapons imported by the intelligence services and distributed by Brian Nelson.

    Also the soldiers and RUC who supplied arms information and turned a blind eye to unionist terrorism.

    What are your thoughts on these people and those who gave the orders?

    Sammy, actually seen Dewi’s post and didn’t make the connection, well spotted, but I doubt they’ve survived, resources in the H-Blocks were scarce by all accounts so I imagine they were reycled, interesting parallel though.

  • Sean

    Turgon

    You fell at the very first post

    Too many in the Nationalist community the RUC, Bspecials and the army WERE the terrorists

    You do not see them as such because they were YOUR terrorists, a crime you often nlevel against the nationalists and the IRA

  • Shergar

    So, were my owners ‘victims’ or not?

  • Reader

    cly: Gunmen and widows of gunmen included in a victims’ list.
    Setting aside your confusion between terrorists and the security forces, there are still two steps removed between your examples. So, how about you come clean: “A killer and the widow of someone who may conceivably have killed someone”
    I think I have improved upon the accuracy and relevance of your remark, while still indulging your republican viewpoint. Let me know if you disagree.

  • fin

    So reader, whats your definition of a ‘terrorist’

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

  • barnshee

    Fin

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

    Seems to fit IRA ok

    1 Violence

    2 Deliberate targeting of non-combatants –

    3 Perpetrated for a political goal –

  • fin

    barnshee, It also fits the Specials, RUC and British Army, happy to cite examples if you wish

  • fin

    although to be fair barnshee the term can also be attributed to any side in any conflict

  • barnshee
  • Turgon

    USA,
    I am sorry but you did compare the NI state to Nazi Germany. I guess you now realise that it was something of a foolish debating tactic. However, complaining that I point it out simply repeats the mistake: however, we will move on.

    You do not answer whether or not you think Richard Snell murdered Louis Bryant. Again I ask whether or not Bryant was murdered? You also do not answer whether or not the American police officers killed on 11th September were murdered. You see I do regard them as the victims of murder just as I do Bryant, just as I do the police officer victims of IRA murderers. The fact that you cannot agree to this simple concept marks you out as a pretty simplistic cheerleader for republican terrorism.

    Incidentally on the subject of police officers murdered by the IRA what about the mainland GB police officers murdered by the IRA such as Glenn Goodman a Yorkshire police officer murdered in 1992 by the IRA. Was he murdered?

    Or what about Michael Clerkin, Samuel Donegan, Francis Hand, Gerard McCabe, Seamus Quaid and Gary Sheehan all members of the Garda Siochana murdered by the IRA? Were they murdered?

    On the idea that the RUC officers murdered were all in armoured police cars you ignore the fact that many of them were murdered off duty in their own homes or in their own private cars. Do you regard them as murdered?

    Then we have community police officers such John Graham and David Johnston shot whilst on foot patrol in Lurgan. Do you regard them as having been murdered? Or does your pathetic cheerleading allow you do regard such people as legitimate targets?

    As to Culbert being a “victim;” it is an insult to all decent people. Culbert is only a “victim” in that he was put in gaol for committing murder. That does not make him in any shape manner or form a real victim rather he is a victimiser or to be specific a murderer and his presence on a Victims Forum makes a mockery of justice.

  • what a waste

    I hope friends and relatives of victims like Jim “Jonty” Johnston and Stephen Warnock and Jim Gray are represented on this forum so we can see it for the charade it is.

    In fact why not take a chunk of money from the health budget (unimportant stuff like Cancer care or the like) and give it to the victims commissioners to distribute (not from their £90,000 salaries though!)as they see fit.

  • Archie P

    Another obscenity occurred on the 29th August in the little village of Claudy, when a ‘Window of Hope’ was unveiled in memory of the nine victims of the three IRA bombs that exploded on the 31st July 1972 and the Organiser, invited [wait for it] an IRA murderer who is now the Mayor of Londonderry….

    Here are the written words of one who was objected in a letter to the local press:

    I find it repugnant that an IRA murderer, now the Mayor of Londonderry,Paul Fleming, was invited not only to the unveiling of the window in Buncrana but to the unveiling in Claudy on the 29th August. Fleming’s organisation, the IRA murdered the nine people in Claudy that fateful 1972 Monday morning and have neither admitted it nor apologised for it and no one has yet been charged with the nine murders and the multiple victims who suffered injuries that day…some of them sadly now deceased.

    For Organiser to tell the families of the deceased a couple of weeks before the Claudy unveiling that ‘old Fleming won’t be invited’ having already issued a formal invitation to him, showed a total lack of sensitivity to those bereaved families and Fleming’s arrival at the event showed a total disregard for common decency on his part. Most of the families thought he was the Mayor of Buncrana, as the event organiser had told them Fleming wouldn’t be invited and one person, who had a parent killed in the bombings was pulled into a photograph taken next to Fleming, totally unaware of his IRA murdering past and is now distraught at being mislead by the organiser. It is a total disgrace tht this was done to the families and I would say that the organiser days of self-publicity on the backs of the Claudy and Omagh families are now over. I trust they will cut all ties with this person, who appeared interested in self not the families and doesn’t appear to have a political brain in their head….had they any, Fleming wouldn’t have been near Claudy….nor Buncrana!!

  • Turgon

    Archie P,
    I would be keen to get any further information you have on your comment above. Please email me.

  • Archie

    Turgon….If you care to Google, ‘windows of hope, buncrana’ or subsitute Claudy, you’ll see photographs of Fleming in them.

    I can tell you that the families of the Claudy murdered are incensed, livid and that goes for both the Protestant and Roman Catholic victims.

    The feel they were mislead….

  • ==
  • ==

    BTW…..Fleming, the murderer of an old man named Shotter is on the left..

  • what a waste

    The fact that murderers like Fleming and McGuinness got way with their crimes is incidental.
    The ‘victims’ gravy train has left the station, heavily laden with expenses forms, destination nowhere.

    £££££££!

  • Gertntfe

    Turgon you waste your time with the yank fool. Any specimen from the country that first made legal racial segregation and systematically murdered all but a handful of its native peoples to steal their land has nothing to offer in debate.

  • Turgon

    USA,
    So we are getting a bit closer to admitting the folly (and offensiveness) of comparing NI to the Nazi state: I guess that is progress.

    However, I am bewildered that you accept that the police officers were murdered yet you think the a murderer should be on the Victims Forum: a bit of cheerleading to lose yet.

    As to your attempt to compare the IRA with the RUC etc. of course that is classic cheerleading. However, despite your lies and slander the simple fact is that the overwhelming majority of police officers committed no crimes and did nothing wrong whereas all the IRA were members of a murderous sectarian terrorist organisation and very many of them personally committed acts of murder.

    You also cannot escape from the fact that the majority of police officers were actually ordinary “bobbys on the beat.” If they were in armoured police cars that was because the IRA kept trying to murder them. The fact that so many died was of course in part because they continued to try to conduct normal policing functions. that they were not always able to do so was because of the terrorists. You will find that prior to 1969 most policing was completely “bobbys on beat.”

    You also ignore the simple fact that very many police officers were murdered when not on duty (or sometimes even as retired police officers).

    To say that all IRA members who died were murdered is of course nonsense (and a calculated lie). IRA members attacking an off duty police officer or UDR were not murdered, they were lawfully killed in self defence.

    Your attempt to minimise the relevance of Culbert’s position on the Forum is also of course dishonest. It would be correct if a police officer (or other) convicted of murder was on the Victims Forum. I would oppose that as strenuously as I would the presence of Culbert: a murderer is a murderer in my book.

    Again, however, we see that you are attempting to find a way of hiding your cheerleading and support for violent terrorism here in Northern Ireland with the classic lies that it was a war, we were all to blame and the police were as bad as the IRA.

    That was, is and will remain a lie and the overwhelming majority of people in NI of any and no political position regard such as a lie. The fact that you try to perpetuate that lie tells us all we need to know about your cheerleading agenda.

    The idea of compassion and empathy is laughable: such are terms perverted by those who want people to believe the lie that right and wrong were not crystal clear here in NI and are a further example of cheerleading for terrorists.

  • DoctorWho

    USA. As usual you show a total ignorance of American as well as Irish history.

  • barnshee

    “FYI those that stole the land and murdered the native peoples were primarily Ulster-Scots.
    Ring any bells closer to home?”

    Er- no the largest group of land thieves and immigrants were actually german. They form the largest self-reported ancestry group in the United States

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_American
    so you know bugger all about your own history as well as Ireland

  • Gertntfe

    Who would have pictured all those Ulster Scots in their plantation mansions keeping the blacks in their place and then nipping west to deal with the pesky redskins? Impressive multi-skilling.

    I expect Rodney King could have easily picked up the Ulster Scots accents between the baton blows if it hadn’t been for the bells ringing in his ears.

    BTW I am neither old nor a chap, but hey don’t worry about it. I expect being a yank your pretty used to getting things wrong.

  • Turgon

    USA,
    You accuse me of having a political agenda and then you state utter nonsense such as that plenty of RUC officers did commit crime and that “We also know the RUC even used loyalist criminal elements and drug dealers to act as right wing counter insurgency death squads.”

    My agenda is to stop ill informed cheerleaders getting away with telling lies and trying to compare NI with Nazi Germany. The fact that you regard the RUC as a “locally recruited militia” shows your political bias. If that is so how is it that so many loyalist terrorists were gaoled? Hardly emblematic of vast collusion is it? Collusion occurred, it was utterly wrong but your attempt to pretend it was on a vast scale is just another republican lie to try to explain away the wicked actions of your friends in the IRA.

    As to our troubles being a conflict: no it was crimes committed by organised criminals of both the loyalist and republican sort. You cannot accept that because you are a cheerleader for republican terrorists.

    Then we get to the complete errors of fact: you say: “do you think the IRA killed them all?” which is of course a calculated lie. Of course I have frequently denounced the loyalist murderers and will do so again. However, it is a simple fact that the IRA have admitted to the murder of 1708 people. When one adds in those murdered by the IRA but not admitted (Claudy, Kingsmills, etc. etc.) or supposedly by other republicans it is actually over 2000. Now clearly that is not all and in no way to I ignore the wicked murders committed by loyalists but the simple reality is that most murdering was done by the IRA and their republican proxies.

    You on the other hand as republican cheerleaders do try to minimise the importance of the murders committed by the IRA and maximise the importance of those committed by loyalists and particularly talk up the extremely small number which may have been committed by any agents of state or with collusion. They may have occurred but the number is tiny: no less wrong but the problem is that you cannot accept putting the blame for most of the sectarian murder campaign where it belongs: squarely with your friends in the IRA.

    By the way I do not think you are stupid: no you are a deliberately and calculatedly misinformed supporter of murderers. I would never give you a fool’s pardon: you are an concious supporter of sectarian murder.

  • Big Maggie

    Turgon,

    Really, you insult the intelligence of all here by claiming you do not have a political agenda. Of course you have; it’s evident practically every time you blog.

    But it’s nothing to be ashamed of. We all have one to a greater of lesser extent. USA clearly has one and it’s diametrically opposed to yours. I have one too.

    It was a little silly of you to misinterpret USA’s Hitler remark and you should retract your condemnation.

    “As to our troubles being a conflict: no it was crimes committed by organised criminals of both the loyalist and republican sort.”

    This is silly too. Of course the Troubles were politically motivated. They weren’t a struggle for hegemony on the lines of, say, gangland turf wars in Limerick. The IRA were fighting for their political ideals; their Unionist oppos were fighting for theirs. The fact that both factions morphed into criminal gangs does not detract from those political goals.

    Having said all that, I denounce the appointment of Michael Culbert. Murderers of any stripe have no place on a victims’ commission.

  • Neil

    First of all, is it necessary for all members of a forum to be the subject of that forum? For example if there were a forum on child abuse, would the recomendation be that all members must have suffered child abuse, be child abusers or maybe they simply have children?

    In my field the people who are most involved with a product are not involved in post production discussions, testing etc. Usually the more emotionally involved someone is, the less rational they are. So in the example of this forum, would it not be a better idea to have a cross section of the community at large?

    Second, there are many examples where people say, for example that an IRA man killed by return fire from a state agent is not a victim. Bully for that individual, but the chances of someone who’s been dead twenty years showing up at the victim’s forum would be really slim.

    All the dead on either side of the conflict left behind relatives, each of whom would be suffering equally. Even the mother’s of IRA men are victims, many of them would not have known that their sons had joined up, and lost a loved one none the less.

    To say that one mother’s grief is less than another mother’s grief when both deaths occurred because of the political situation here is false. If the political situation had not been such as it was both mother’s would still have their children, so the IRA man’s mother has lost the same as the UDA man’s mother.

    Finally I would point out to those that argue that the families of dead IRA men are not victims and should not be included – where is your vitriol for Shirley McMichael who’s husband (according to the bbc: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/8236765.stm) was ‘involved in orchestrating a number of sectarian murders’.

    It just sounds like the same old same old. Unionist terrorism, not on the radar, not mention of the UDA/UFF linked people, not mention of collusion (Turgon says it happened but not on a scale for us to involve ourselves in – sorry Turgon no dice, we have every right to the same anger you express to the IRA against the security forces who murdered, for example over 20 young children with rubber bullets alone).

    As far as Turgon is concerned Republicanism must don sack cloth and ashes due to the fact that the security forces only murdered a wheen of yous, and there’s no victim like a protestant victim. His continuous disingenious attempts to portray USA’s remark pointing out that the laws of a country are not always just; as having been a compare and contrast NI/Nazi Germany should be sufficient to show the dishonesty he’s prepared to employ to justify the British behaviour, and his own position here.

  • Barnshee

    “It just sounds like the same old same old. Unionist terrorism, not on the radar, not mention of the UDA/UFF linked people, not mention of collusion (Turgon says it happened but not on a scale for us to involve ourselves in – sorry Turgon no dice, we have every right to the same anger you express to the IRA against the security forces who murdered, for example over 20 young children with rubber bullets alone). ”

    Its simple really –most people– the innocent had NO CHOICE –totally uninvolved prod and mick,sitting in bars cafes,waiting for the bus,essentially minding their own business– were attacked.

    Others had a CHOICE they CHOOSE to bomb kill, riot-(what kind of parent of any hue allowed their children to be at risk?)

    The people with NO CHOICE are the victims –the rest who CHOOSE to murder main and riot -wherever they came from are not in the same boat. They deserve nothing other than odium and due legal process.

  • Turgon

    Big Maggie,
    I have never denied I have a political agenda it was USA’s dishonest claim that s/he has none which I was objecting to. You appear to agree with me that s/he has one.

    As to the troubles crimes being politically motivated: well it was a sort of politics but a very perverted one which led to gunning down people in churches and the like. Indeed it was so perverted a political agenda that dignifing it which the term political seems at times inappropriate: sectarian murder seems a better term. I do agree, however, that the sectarian murderers claimed a political motivation.

    Neil,
    I never said there was a hieracrch of grief: there is, however a definite hierarchy of responsibility and Culbert is in no way a victim; rather he is a murderer. I would equally object to a loyalist murderer being on the Forum.

    Your allegation that the police “murdered” people with plastic bullets is of course a dishonest lie. It is sad that people were killed by the plastic bullets but it was not murder.

    As to collusion yes it occurred but had it been remotely near the scale republicans claim there would have been many more murderrs of republicans and many less loyalists in gaol. However, any ammount of collusion was utterly wrong and is unacceptable. That of course applies to collusion with any group and by any legal organisation (RUC / British Army or Garda).

    I require anyone who murdered anyone to apologise and recognise the utter evil of their actions whether they be British Army, RUC or terrorists. If they do not I cannot do anything to them but we can all see them for the unrepentant criminals that they are.

    As to USA and the Hitler remark: maybe if s/he had not wanted to be picked up on it s/he should not have made it.

  • DoctorWho

    Neil

    “First of all, is it necessary for all members of a forum to be the subject of that forum? For example if there were a forum on child abuse, would the recomendation be that all members must have suffered child abuse, be child abusers or maybe they simply have children?”

    But Neil it would be inconcievable that a child abuser would be placed on a forum concerning child abuse as the offense it would naturally cause would be enormous. Likewise in this instance placing Culbert on a victims forum is insensitive and an attempt to sanatise what people like him where all about. He is not a victim, he was a creator of victims.

    Furthermore you criticise Turgon for mis-representing USA (who is well renowned for his awful posts), yet you quite deliberately misrepresent what Turgon has to say. He has been un-equivocal in his condemnation of murder from whichever source it came from. He is quite right to point out that collusion existed and in some cases resulted in the murder of individulas, he has not questioned the right of such people to be considered as victims.

    He is quite right to accuse certain posters of being cheer leaders for the republican cause, because clearly that´s what many on here are.

  • Big Maggie

    Turgon,

    “As to USA and the Hitler remark: maybe if s/he had not wanted to be picked up on it s/he should not have made it.”

    Come on, be a man and retract your hammering of USA. You inferred something he didn’t mean at all. You’re in the wrong there.

    It reminds me of the drubbing Mary McAleese received for more or less the same “offence”. I still recollect the Unionist whingefest and the calls on her to apologize. She did but should not have. Come to think of it, I don’t recall many Unionists apologizing for their past misdeeds. Is this always to be a one-way street?

    “As to the troubles crimes being politically motivated: well it was a sort of politics but a very perverted one which led to gunning down people in churches and the like. Indeed it was so perverted a political agenda that dignifing it which the term political seems at times inappropriate: sectarian murder seems a better term. I do agree, however, that the sectarian murderers claimed a political motivation.”

    This contains so much wishy-washy language it’s hard to know where to begin. But I’ll try.

    You claimed the Troubles were not a conflict. Of course they were. Politics lay behind them, and the striving for national identity, one which the leaders of the one-party state continually sought to either destroy or sideline.

    To hear some Unionists speak you’d swear that a couple of Nationalists met in a pub one night in the late sixties and decided to murder policemen and Unionist civilians on a grand scale. But you know full well that the IRA campaign didn’t happen like that, nor did it happen in a vacuum. Unionist misrule was the spur. Had the leaders of Unionism not gone too far then all might have been resolved peacefully. But no, history tells us that it seldom happens that way.

    Let’s hope that we can all pick ourselves up, admit our wrongdoing and attempt reconciliation.

  • Mike

    USA

    “There are many victims of all different shapes and sizes. An RUC member was an armed combatant”

    Utter rubbish – you state this is so simply because a terrorist group claimed they were “combatants” so they they could murder them in cold blood.

    They were police officers. They certainly weren’t engaging in “combat” when they investigated burglaries, brethalysed drivers, talked to neighbourhood safety partnerships or in schools, apprehended shoplifters, etc etc.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Mike,

    I addressed the same question to Turgon some time back – but do you/Unioinsts accept that the threat of violence helped both establish the Northern state and to maintain it – i.e. there was a feeling that Unionists might turn on the their fellow Irish countrymen and slaughter them if the British decided to leave us all to it?

    I think this is important because it may tease out any double standards in relation to the political use of force in Ireland.

  • Archie P

    Cut the crap Republicans….

    A victim is anyone doing their job, socialising, not engaging in illegal activity and who was killed due to the actions of an illegal organisation or a member of an proscribed organisation engaged in illegal activity’…..

    Therefore, any loyalist terrorist, Republican terrorist is not a victim, irrespective of how they were killed. If killed by the legal forces of law and order, then it was probably for good reason. The only good terrorist is a dead one…in any part of the world.

  • Seamus

    I don’t recall any RUC / Army member placing a bomb under an IRA man’s car, placing bombs in buildings blowing them to smithereens as the IRA did.

    In my home city of Doire, the IRA only stopped their blowing up of buildings, when it became evident to continue would level some of the many properties they had bought up with their ill-gotten gains, through frontmen in many cases.

    Question: How do you know a Doire millionaire? Ans: Cast your mind back to the 1970/30s and recall who sold the Republican News in the bars in the Bog !!!

  • Seamus

    CORRECTION: ….1970/80s…’

  • Driftwood

    No-one was ever murdered by the British Army, lets bury that myth alongside Mossad causing 9/11 etc etc

  • DoctorWho

    iwsmtdi

    “there was a feeling that Unionists might turn on the their fellow Irish countrymen and slaughter them if the British decided to leave us all to it?”

    Really, I don´t know about that. I do know however that republican turned on republican in the Free State when the British left them to it.

  • Sean

    Seamus

    6.I don’t recall any RUC / Army member placing a bomb under an IRA man’s car, placing bombs in buildings blowing them to smithereens as the IRA did.

    Two simple words Rosemary Nelson or two more Pat Finucane, They may not have planted the bomb or pulled the trigger but they made sure no one was there to stop them. That facilitation of murder makes the security forces every bit the terrorists that the IRA was. And if you don’t accept that how about Bloody Sunday, The Falls Road curfew and internment all perfect examples of politically motivated violence perpetrated on innocents and that was your definition of terrorists wasn’t it?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Doctorwho,

    yes there was that, but I was aksing you about the threat of Unionist violence – a bit of denial going on?

  • DoctorWho

    iwsmwdi

    Hardly, your post was utter waffle. While there was a threat from loyalist murderers during the troubles towards decent people from all walks of life, there has never been a threat from the wider unionist community towards fellow Irishmen north or south. In fact the only time the wider unionist community came close to mobilisation was in 1912 during the Home Rule Act, and of course at that time unionist vitriol was aimed at the British, prompting some British politicians to label unionists as traitors.

    I would however like you to expand on your claims and provide some shred of evidence, other than a “feeling”.

  • DoctorWho

    sean

    “Two simple words Rosemary Nelson or two more Pat Finucane, They may not have planted the bomb or pulled the trigger but they made sure no one was there to stop them. That facilitation of murder makes the security forces every bit the terrorists that the IRA was.”

    It is the facilitation of terrorist double agents that should be questioned in the murder of Pat Finucane, not the complicity of the security forces involvement.

    It seems obvious and indeed is well documented that people died on both sides, while the security forces protected their moles within loyalism and republicanism. While these tactics where questionable and repugnant to many they where not comparable to the actions of the terror organisations.

  • ed

    dr. who

    being complicit in a murder makes you a murderer

  • DoctorWho

    ed

    I don´t think they where complicit in the murder, but by means of the questionable tactics they used in relation to the protection of informants, their hands are certainly not clean.

    In order to combat terrorist organistions whose main tactics are to shoot defenceless people in the back of the head, you have to ask how culpable are the secuity forces in employing such tactics.

  • DoctorWho

    USA

    I bet though you´re in the Girl Guides.

  • DoctorWho

    usa

    As a unionist I must be the one who´s a nazi, who shot Kenendy, created the great famine and wiped out all the Dinosaurs. Tinky Winky I think.

  • barnshee

    “Here are a few more links for that illiterate, Ballymurphy massacre . The Springhill massacre and Bloody Sunday ”

    Well I can`t speak for ballymurphy and springhill but I can for bloody sunday because in the words of max boyce ” I was there”.

    Firstly buck stupid politicians decided to ban a parade/march. Stupid Stupid Stupid– repeating the mistakes of 1968. again ignoring the excellent advice of DI McGimpsey “let them burn this shithole to the ground”– (sub text put this scum totally in the wrong)

    The army gets sent out to prevent the march/parade –20 year old squaddies stand for hours under a hail of shit in tins,piss, bricks iron bars and finally get pissed off and shoots a few. Really shit on the parade.

    Fact Derry catholics attacked the army.
    Fact the army shot some of them.

    Thats the order of the day– Speaking purely personally if I had been a squaddie and had to put up with what they had to put up with– I would have thought that the result was not too bad.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    DoctorWho,

    1912 and all that.

    The glorification by the unionist community of the ‘mobilisation’ of 1912 with its threat of violence and the repeated promise to ‘fight’ by their political leaders at the merest hint of a British wihdrawal (Paisley, Robinson et al) left few in doubt as to what that ‘fight’ might mean for the Nationalist community. The message to the British has been clear stay here or we will start a civil war – a warning that the often murderous behaviour of the various security forces* both before and after the foundation of the state and the denial of their wrongdoing evident in this thread only reinforces.

    The failure by Unionists to grasp the political significance that the deeply sectarian state
    (founded on the threat of civil war coupled with actual attacks by ‘their’ security forces on Nationalists) has had in motivating Nationlaist to support an insurgency against that sectarian state facilitates their one sided view (that even the British dont believe) that the insurgency was simply a criminal conpsiracy. The GFA settlemt which has placed the insurgents at the heart of government and their behaviour as statesmen since then has provided the proof to anyone in doubt of the deeply flawed unionist analysis of the troubles.

    *During and since the latest round of troubles the British have had to disband three wings of the security forces partly at least because of their murderous sectarianism.

  • DoctorWho

    iwsmtdi

    “The glorification by the unionist community of the ‘mobilisation’ of 1912 with its threat of violence and the repeated promise to ‘fight’ by their political leaders at the merest hint of a British wihdrawal (Paisley, Robinson et al) left few in doubt as to what that ‘fight’ might mean for the Nationalist community.”

    Hmmm, the Ulster covenant glorified, of course, however signing a petition is generally seen as a passive form of protest as opposed to say the Easter up-rising which was a violent attempt to remove Britain from Ireland.

    Again you offer emotional feelings and no evidence, in fact even Ian Paisley is on record as saying that he would have to accept a UI if democracy dictated it.

    Of course if Britain had´ve or will unilaterally leave Northern Ireland that could be deemed by many to be undemocratic and could possibly lead to violence. However such a scenario is highly unlikely to happen, so im afraid we´re stuck with each other amigo.

  • ed

    dr.who
    so they are justified in becoming terrorists because they fought terrorists? nice strawman but the ruc and the less than specials and the b/a engaged in terrorism long before the PIRA were ever dreamed up

    barnshit completely pathetic!! the paras were justified in shooting people in the back because everybody did not like them? I would hate to see the darkness that lies in your soul

  • DoctorWho

    ed

    I wonder where the leap of imagination came from in your interpretation of my posts.

    I think the tactics operated by the security forces are and have been open for discussion. Getting back to the subject of the thread the inclusion of a convicted murderer, no matter how reconstructed he is, on a forum concerning victims is insensitive and deeply insulting.

  • DoctorWho

    usa

    I don´t wish to defend Barnshee, because he is largely wrong, but the words pot, kettle and black spring to mind when I read your last post.

    Anyway good night.

  • lizard

    I object to this bit

    ‘I don’t know Mr. Culbert, but after the garbage and lies I have read here today I would suggest that Mr. Culbert, for all his faults, is able to exhibit more human decency and compassion than the far right xenophobic unionists who have posted here today

    Nasty words are worse than murder?

  • Mike

    USA

    “I don’t know Mr. Culbert, but after the garbage and lies I have read here today I would suggest that Mr. Culbert, for all his faults, is able to exhibit more human decency and compassion than the far right xenophobic unionists who have posted here today.
    Shameful. ”

    Cold-blooded murder versus typing some things you disgree with with on an internet forum.

    “Human decency and compassion” indeed. *Rolls eyes*

  • USA

    Yes Mike, that is a valid point.
    The Mr. Culbert of today has served his time, perhaps he is ready to move on and try to help the victims.
    I just don’t like folks like Turgon screaming outrage about one individual and tarnishing the whole enterprise. Who does he think he is? It’s not all about his political agenda. Having looked at the members of the forum it is plain to see there are members from all walks of life, including many armed groups. Are the nationalists complaining about the UDR members, the loyalist members, the RUC?
    If they are I have yet to be made aware of it.

  • Turgon

    USA,
    You seem to be quite distressed at us unionists complaining about you and your cheerleading ways. I am afraid I am not especially distressed.

    You proudly tell us “I am not a member of any Irish republican or even nationalist political parties or groupings. I am not a member of paramilitary groups and I am not a member of any Irish-American groups. I am not even a member of the relatively harmless AOH as I regard them as a sectarian organisation.

    Unforunately, however, your non sectarian credentials are somewhat undermined by the fact that you accuse the British Army and RUC of murdering people and tar them with the same brush as the real murderers (the UDA, IRA etc.). You deliberately overstate collusion. You deliberately understate the very large number of loyalist criminals arrested and gaoled by the supposedly riven with collusion RUC. I deny neither collusion nor individual murderers by members of the RUC or army. However, as compared to the murders committed by the assorted terrorists they are extremely few in number. That there were any is unacceptable but the simple fact is that the ovwerwhelming majority of the murdering was committed by the terrorists.

    You then try to say that Culbert (a convicted murderer) has served his time and may be ready to move on. Well I await his unreserved apology for his previous murderers – I have no doubt I would be waiting a very long time. Even if he did by some chance apologise it would be in immensely bad taste to have a convicted murderer on a Victims Forum.

    A further problem with your supposed non sectarian credentials is that you attend the likes of Gerry Adams’s meetings to promote a united Ireland and have frequently commented here in support of him. Now there is nothing wrong with wanting a united Ireland but when you keep company with the likes of Adams do not expect unionists to have much time for any claimed non sectarianism. In addition you have even had the nerve to claim in the past that Adams has made an acceptable apology for IRA crimes.

    USA the simple fact is that I, and judging by the discorse on this thread, most unionists on this site regard you as a cheerleader for and supporter of the leaders of the most prolific sectarian murder gang during the troubles (the IRA). It is an unbelievably fine distinction between being a cheerleader for Adams and a cheerleader for the IRA. You may in your own mind be able to make that distinction: however, I am indeed most unionists do not see it that way. Now by all means carry on whinning about how nasty we are to you but Mike’s reply to you above sums you up perfectly.

  • barnshee

    “”Barnshee,
    Your comments are insulting to human decency, you are a low life, an apologist for the murderers of these unarmed civilians.
    You probably have more in common with this scumbag”

    Repeats
    ” I was there” were you ?
    Which part of my post do you consider inaccurate
    Repeats
    1 Firstly buck stupid politicians decided to ban a parade/march. Stupid Stupid Stupid—repeating the mistakes of 1968. Again ignoring the excellent advice of DI McGimpsey “let them burn this shithole to the ground”—(sub text put this scum totally in the wrong)
    2 The army gets sent out to prevent the march/parade —20 year old squaddies stand for hours under a hail of shit in tins, piss, bricks iron bars and finally get pissed off and shoots a few. Really shit on the parade.

    Finally my personal opinion which I believe even today I am entitled to is that ,on a purely personal basis having been subjected to the levels of abuse that the unfortunate squaddie was subjected too I am surprised that they did not shoot more.

    So then
    Which FACTS are inaccurate( hints ban/parades abuse attack shit piss iron bars shots)

    Which opinions do you disagree with (hint stupid, politicians, shithole (to dispute shithole you really would have to prove that you lived in Derry)) unfortunate squaddie, shot more

    I look forward to you reply

  • Turgon

    USA,
    I am a supporter of Jim Allister whom you may call a radical. You on the other hand are a cheerleader for terrorists and a worshiper of Gerry Adams whom many / most in this provience regard as not having blood on his hands but to be mired in blood up to his neck. The term radical is inappropriate for Adams. better is a supporter of murder – and that statement is being mild compared to what many think.

    As to the TUV yes I am in it. However, to call the TUV far right is interesting. The TUV has no attached fascist paramilitary wing unlike your firends. Incidentally in terms of personal politics I am not very far right but lies from you are to be expected.

    I am not a member of the Orange Order.

    USA you seem most distressed that you have been exposed as a pro terrorist cheerleader. You have tried for some time to present a reasonable face on this web site and have tried to appear a reasonnably well informed and balanced individual. The fact that over the course of the last number of weeks and especially on this thread you have been exposed as a simplistic cheerleader for terorists is useful and important. That I have had a hand in it is something from which I take some personal satisfaction.

    Now please carry on ranting as it merely reinforces your pro murderer credentials.

  • Driftwood
  • Barnshee

    USA

    Note that you ignore my questions

    I lived in Derry and was at work in Derry on bloody sunday (a lone prod in a mick dominated office- catching up on oustanding accounts if you must know) Three of us (2 micks 1 prod) were present in waterloo place on the day.

    Incidentially I have absolutely no problem in describing the deaths of the 13 as murder. What pisses me off is the ignorance of those who paint a picture of a inocent church parade being set upon by the brits and ignore the fact that the crowd spent hours trying to murder soldiers.

    We were not and never had been
    1 members of the OO or similar (as far as I know)
    2 members of police army or paramilitary organisations (as far as I know)

    Myself and the AFM micks were also present in waterloo place in 1968 where we witnessed at first hand the events ( I had to go to jimmy porters TV shop in william street to pick up a repaired TV fer christs sake)

    Jimmy (see above) had a scanner and we could listen to police and army radio calls. The police wanted to clear out (and let the mob wreck the city centre– Littlewoods was always first to be looted) They got over-ruled and as they say the rest is history.

    Two outstanding memories from the period one very good one bad

    1 The dubliners free concert in the bog

    2 The violence put a stop to me parking in the dark with young ladies at the backof Creggan roundabout

    Any time you want an exactly accurate picture of exactly what happened — ask

  • Big Maggie

    Barnshee,

    “What pisses me off is the ignorance of those who paint a picture of a inocent church parade being set upon by the brits and ignore the fact that the crowd spent hours trying to murder soldiers.”

    Let me get this straight. You mention “shit in tins, piss, bricks iron bars”. Not the weapons I would choose were I attempting to murder heavily armed soldiers of a crack regiment. And how do you account for the shooting in the back of several victims?

    No, face it, the paratroopers’ actions were those of terrorists, i.e. actions intending to sow terror among civilians. Which they succeeded admirably in doing.

    Turgon, you denounce USA as a cheerleader for terrorism. I wonder if you agree with me on the actions of the paras on Bloody Sunday.

  • barnshee

    “Not the weapons I would choose were I attempting to murder heavily armed soldiers of a crack regiment. And how do you account for the shooting in the back of several victim”

    I seem to have blown off usa

    Big maggie

    I invite you to stand in front of me while I throw a steel bar 2ft long 1 inch diameter at you head –agh sure I did not intend to kill you. What other purpose of the attackes on the army-was intended.

    “No, face it, the paratroopers’ actions were those of terrorists, i.e. actions intending to sow terror among civilians. Which they succeeded admirably in doing.”

    Partly right– the para in my view and in my sight took an unbelievable amount of abuse and missiles then I think they lost the plot and said “fuck it I have had enough” lets kill a few -thats what paratroopers do ” we`ll show these fuckers”

    To us the para started to take it personally. We saw them glowering, the body language change the itching to attack to charge. (We were ordered out of waterloo place twice and sneaked back twice via strand road)

    Soldiers ran amuck and killer rioters. Who do I blame?

    1 The politicans who ignored good advice

    2 The army hierarcy who regarded the rioters as lesser people.

    3 the poor 20 year old squaddies who lost their tempers

    4 The rioters who confronted attacked and provoked the army

    What would I know— I only witnessed it

  • Big Maggie

    Barnshee,

    I accept without reservation that the paratroopers had missiles thrown at them. Do you know if any of those missiles hit their targets? I don’t recall reading reports of soldiers requiring medical treatment for injuries sustained.

    What I do recall are reports of soldiers shooting to kill—as opposed to merely wounding—which they certainly did, fourteen times.

    One wonders about the outcry had Bloody Sunday occurred in Finchley.

  • Sean

    Barnshee

    Nor does it explain why there was never any prosecution for the murders of the back shot children

  • barnshee

    Sean

    What part of running amuck fails to explain people being shot

    Maggie
    We saw two soldier casualties both blood on face
    Bear in mind we were fringing in and out of the end of William street.( Treated less than kindly by soldiers on one occasion The day of seeing the riot from both sides (a la 68) were long gone— we had actually discussed back tracking along strand road up Lawrence hill joining the marchers from the northland road —-thank fuck we did not.

    I fear you have been watching too many westerns soldiers are tuaght to shoot to kill. Only Roy Roger could shoot to wound.

    Our local soundings/roumers were that there was an element in the crowd that hoped for a rerun of 68 They had taken on the police and won why would it be any different? Unfortunately y they were dealing with the brits who failed to stick to the script.

    Due to previous rioting and damage to shops caused by incendiary devices, an estimated total of £4 million worth of damage had been done to local businesses. Inevitablly Littlewoods was the first major shop to be sacked ( Amazingly they are still there strong stuff govt compensation. By this stage it was virtually impossible to get insurance without the famous get out clause`not covered by loss or damage caused by civil insurrection`).

    I think the powers had decided that this time property would be protected.

    Back at work later there was endless debate as to what actually happened all sorts of allegations were made (and later testified to) one man was witnessed by Father Edward Daly and others haphazardly firing a revolver in the direction of the paratroopers. The iRA admitted to being in the crowd –various allegation were made against M McGuinness

    A claim was made at the Saville Inquiry that McGuinness was responsible for supplying detonators for nail bombs on Bloody Sunday. Paddy Ward claimed he was the leader of the Fianna Éireann, the youth wing of the IRA in January 1972. He claimed McGuinness, the second-in-command of the IRA in the city at the time, and another anonymous IRA member gave him bomb parts on the morning of 30 January

    We were asked endlessly “what really happened” –replying honestly we said we don`t really know all we have is the bare bones of what we saw
    Crowd gathers
    Crowd attacks army
    Arm stand for hours any takes it
    Soldiers jump barriers and disappear
    Shots are heard
    People are dead

    If I were an insurance assessor I`d apportion the bills as follows

    Politicans 50%
    Army 30%
    Crowd 20%
    once a bean counter always a bean counter

  • Big Maggie

    Barnshee,

    “We saw two soldier casualties both blood on face”

    I’m sure you’re right about the bloodied soldiers. You were there, after all.

    It’s just that it’s news to me. Here for example is a report by two Sunday Times journos sent to cover the incident. I’m supposing they were impartial.

    Perhaps too impartial. The ST refused to print their story.

    An excerpt. The emphasis is mine:

    “The Army’s version is not only denied by every eye-witness we have spoken to, many of them not Catholic and/or not Irish; it fails completely to answer any of these difficulties: we can find no evidence that any shots, petrol or nail bombs were fired at the Army, or that any of the crowd of civil rights marchers were armed; no wounded soldiers have been produced and none were shot; none of the wounded survivors of the shooting, supposed to be IRA suspects if not members, were searched; no guard was placed over them at Altnagelvin Hospital; we can find no trace of the two alleged by Army spokesmen to have admitted that they were armed, and no trace of arms; four of the dead men and two of the wounded were shot in the back or from behind.”

    Certainly soldiers are trained to shoot to kill—in combat situations when confronted by armed enemies. But what was to prevent the paras “stopping” rioters by aiming for the legs? They had enough ammo; one of them fired off 23 rounds.

    Sorry, murder is murder. Bloody Sunday was a shameful day for the British Army.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    The other factor relating to Bloody Sunday and army behaviour in general is the political context it occurred in – a deployment against rioting miners in the North of England (in their own country) however unlikely in the 1970s and any subsequent shooting of 13 of those taking part would have led to a political response and not an armed insurrection by the North of England against the state.

    In the context of Norn Iron the events of Bloody Sunday were seen as part (quite rightly in many ways) of a pattern of Britian’s behaviour that had strecthed back centuries and history was now repeating itself with the army effectively deployed to prop up a discredited Orange violent state.

    For many Nationalists trapped by a border mainly in place to placate mad-dog Unionism which had threatened civil war, this was simply proof positive that Britain had no moral authority to govern – as put succintly by the saintly John Hume ‘it’s a United Ireland now or nothing’.

  • Sean

    Barnshee

    How does running amok excuse the soldiers from facing murder charges? If anything running amok would require the full sanction of the law as they were no longer acting as soldier but as murderers

    ……unless they were “just following orders”

  • barnshee

    But what was to prevent the paras “stopping” rioters by aiming for the legs? They had enough ammo; one of them fired off 23 rounds.

    see above re roy rogers —army is more clint eastwood

    If you want a view from a totally honest man try

    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/events/bsunday/mcclean.htm

    Raymond McClean– knew him personally if he says it happened it happened=== also

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Sunday_(1972)

    “In the event, one man was witnessed by Father Edward Daly and others haphazardly firing a revolver in the direction of the paratroopers.

    another 100 percent honest man again –if he says it happened it happened

  • Sean

    Funny how people who back up what you want to believe are 100% honest but those who disagree have questionable pedigrees

  • arnshee

    ……unless they were “just following orders

    You have put your finger on it my boy–
    To charge the squaddies they would have had to include the generals and the politicans and think what a precedent that would be.

  • barnshee

    Sean

    Where do Ray MCClean and the Rev (later the Bish) agree with me?

    I tell you what I saw.
    They tell you what they saw.

    I recommend them both particularly Ray who I know as 100% good guy

    His stuff is worth a read if only for his setting the scene and his prescience

  • Big Maggie

    Barnshee,

    You can haul in Roy Rogers or Clint Eastwood until you’re out of breath, but how does an unarmed kid with his back turned to him represent a threat to a heavily armed, well-trained soldier’s life?

  • barnshee

    You can haul in Roy Rogers or Clint Eastwood until you’re out of breath, but how does an unarmed kid with his back turned to him represent a threat to a heavily armed, well-trained soldier’s life?

    He dosn`t and you point is?

    My point– mob attacks soldiers– soldiers attack mob, mob runs away, soldiers shoot at mob running away —people get killed.

    Paras definitely should not have been there

    Mob should not have been there . Ain`t hindsight wonderful.

  • Big Maggie

    Barnshee,

    Nice try at moral relativism. But kids were murdered on the streets of a UK city by British servicemen. Nobody’s been convicted of any of those murders therefore British justice can lay no claim to the high ground. Until such time as justice is done, Britain may not criticize foreign regimes—such as the Chinese or Sri Lankans—for similar behaviour.

  • RepublicanStones

    Wow, we have some people here claiming the british army never murdered anyone (given the sordid history of British forces in Ireland alone, this is laughable) and another claiming Bloody Sunday was not murder. Shooting of unarmed civilians seems ok if the guys doing it are in uniform and in reciept of the queens shilling….oh and if the victims on the business end of the SLR/SA80 are irish. Unarmed civilians either running away, going to the aid of others or waving white hankerchiefs were not murdered? the fact that the BA thought it necessary to stuff nailbombs into one of the victims pockets tells you they themselves knew what some of their supporters here are not willing to admit.
    Big Maggie is spot on, Chinese Troops shoot unarmed civilians its murder, the British do it, its the crowds fault.

  • Barnshee

    Sigh

    READ what I write- particularly read Ray McCleans book and his concerns about the appearance of the paras at earlier events.

    Of course
    “Unarmed civilians either running away, going to the aid of others or waving white hankerchiefs were .. murdered? ”

    What were they doing prior to running away? they were certainly a rioting mob immediately prior
    Are they in any way culpable?

    The people responsible will not to be held to account because
    as I say previously in answer to the comment

    “……unless they were “just following orders—

    “You have put your finger on it my boy—
    To charge the squaddies they would have had to include the generals and the politicans and think what a precedent that would be”

    For the above reason the Widgery enquiry was a whitewash. If you don`t hang the politicans out to dry then you can`t expect the squaddie to take the blame.

    As a resident in Derry over the period all I am doing is setting the context– this would include
    the problems in Derry immediately prior

    eg

    “On 10 August Bombardier Paul Challenor became the first soldier to be killed by the Provisional IRA in Derry, when he was shot by a sniper on the Creggan estate. A further six soldiers had been killed in Derry by mid-December 1971. 1,932 rounds were fired at the British Army, who also faced 211 explosions and 180 nail bombs and who fired 364 rounds in return. (Provisional IRA activity also increased across Northern Ireland with thirty British soldiers being killed in the remaining months of 1971.)

    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Sunday_(1972))

    I am simply correcting the view that an innocent church parade was ambushed by the army. I repeat the opinion that costs and blame should be apportioned as follows

    Politicans 50%
    Army 30%
    Mob 20%

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘What were they doing prior to running away? they were certainly a rioting mob immediately prior
    Are they in any way culpable?’

    Not to much experience with the military and such thing as rules of engagement do we barnshee. Plus i suggest you read what each victim was doing prior to being murdered. Are they in any way culpable? No.

  • Barnshee

    “What each victim was doing prior to being murdered”

    They were running away-

    I saw them run away, I saw them riot prior to and immediately before they ran away

    “Are they in any way culpable? No. ”

    There we differ
    Were the politican culpable–Yes
    Was the army culpable– Yes
    Was the mob culpable–yes

    I just happened to present on the day – The mob failed to realise the game had changed ( again I plug Rays book- he helped organise the protest- he was there treating the shot and wounded and he attended the post mortems)

    The traditional sack of the city was not going to be allowed. They ALL got it wrong– only the degree of blame is in dispute

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘I saw them riot prior to and immediately before they ran away’

    Let me get this straight, you saw each and every murder victim on Bloody Sunday rioting…then running away…then being shot.

    Have i got that correct?

  • barnshee

    10.‘I saw them riot prior to and immediately before they ran away’

    Let me get this straight, you saw each and every murder victim on Bloody Sunday rioting…then running away…then being shot.

    Have i got that correct?

    Slo–oppy writing on my part– we saw the crowd riot– we saw the army jump the barriers we saw the crowd panic and run (not to mention the three of us) we heard shots we had no idea how many– we thought dozens. We bailed out back to the office and began phoning wives girl friends etc

    At that stage we bailed out totally to MCIvors pub in burnfoot (via victor campbells in bridgend)

  • USA

    Barnshee,
    Glad to see you are backing away from some of your offensive statements such as:
    “Speaking purely personally if I had been a squaddie and had to put up with what they had to put up with—I would have thought that the result was not too bad.”
    I guess you realized you went way beyond the pale and have spent some time skillfully clawing your way back. At least you tried to come back.
    I would certainly agree with your points about the culpability of the politicians. I also respect the ligitimacy of your experiences on the day in question. And for what its worth, yes I have been to Derry a couple of times.

    Turgon,
    Glad to see you finally admitted you are a follower of the radical Jim Allister and indeed are one of his far right cronies.
    And unlike Barnshee you still churn out lies and propaganda for your great bald leader. Newsflash, your little band of backwoodsmen are the runts of the litter, you will not be allowed to gain power.
    You claim I worship Gerry Adams? Don’t be getting all “Peter Baker” on me now Turgon as I have never even met or spoken with Gerry Adams. And as I told you last week (unlike you) I have no connections with Irish groups or political parties in Ireland or here in the US. Despite all this however, in your warped world I qualify as a fucking terrorist? Even asshole George W Bush was not that far right.
    One party Stormont rule is not coming back dude, try playing a new tune.

  • Turgon

    USA,
    You claim not to be a worshipper of Adams yet you proudly extolled his supposed “apology” to the victims of the IRA and his “strategy” for a united Ireland. You claim not to be a cheerleader for terrorists yet laud Adams and tell us that the IRA were just one armed group etc.

    The reality USA is that you are a cheerleader for IRA terrorists. However, this long discourse has clearly shattered any credibility you may have had and has exposed you and your cheerleading. As far as I am concerned that is a job well done. Now carry on whining about it: it simply highlights your pathetic views.