Saville Inquiry: a very slow train coming…

Well, the one thing you can say about the Saville Inquiry report is that it is huge… But even Shaun Woodward, the current Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is shocked (shocked I tell you) that the report is sooooo big that it has to wait until, maybe, the next election… Now the conspiracy theories are out and flying… Of course, it’s plausible enough excuse that the referencing 2,500 witness statements and heard evidence from 922 individuals, 160 volumes of evidence, containing an estimated 20-30 million words, plus 121 audio tapes and 110 videotapes is going to take a while… But it would not be the first time a government inquiry’s ‘home work’ had got delayed or fallen down the back of a sofa… It;s worthy of note too that Saville can never happen again, now the UK government has bolted the door with the 2005 Enquiries Act… My own sense is that Labour will want to leave this ball in the long grass for the Conservatives to trip over pick up and run with after next year’s general election…

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  • Prionsa Eoghann

    I wonder what is in this inquiry that the British government would view as such a hot potato? I daresy it may well be something approaching the truth, but what is the biggie? A few nutters apart we are pretty sure what went on. I don’t think the British public will have an awakening over anything, I reckon that they just don’t care and never did.

    Is it the compo claims that would follow. Is prudent being, well prudent and putting it on Dave?

  • Thereyouarenow

    British truth is enormously elusive. Its also expensive and lies low in the long grass.

    Maybe its dead or did it ever live !

  • Mick Fealty

    Irish standards of truth aren’t much better…

    Prionsa,

    We all know what happened… I suspect Labour just don’t want it spilling out when they already have military high command spitting hot coals about the under resourcing of troops in Afghanistan…

    That’s the Tories’ suspicion too…

  • Heidi Concorran

    The delay is probably primarily about the British government running defence for Marty. It’s going to look bad that his “code of honour” got in the way of providing his input into this ‘truth-recovery’ process.

    Additionally Christmas is coming and the Legal Gravy Train can’t be shunted into the sidings just yet what with all those presents to buy.

  • Harry T

    Who really cares anyway? People’s minds were made up long ago. Saville, for each ‘side’, will either be the icing on the cake or a bitter pill to swallow.

    If the Brits are not revealed as the devil incarnate or the entire protest is pictured as made up of anything other than flower-carrying white dove releasing pacifists, and there is any hint that what ever happened happened in a complicated confused tension-filled atmosphere with violence in the air then Saville will be trashed.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Agreed Mick. Though I think the Great British public care far more for their ‘heroes’ than for past indiscretions. A small media spark aside it(the inquiry findings) would not play in England for very long. Ireland is another story.

    I think any subsequent compo pay outs would illicit a public outcry as opposed to the murmers I expect over the actual facts.

  • OSF supporter

    Could the reason for the lateness of this report be that Saville is holding off in the hope that a new party such as the Conservatives gets into power instead of Labour? Maybe then so the Torys can look at the report and edit and delete what they like before the families of those murdered get what they hope and rightly deserve is that those involved in the murders of those on that horrible day in Irish history receive justice. I personnally see it as a disgrace that these families are still waiting on justice. The families of the 14 murdered due to Bloody Sunday deserve the report and answers now.

  • jone

    Once it gets sent to the Brits you can expect heavy and selective leaking into the Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph long before it goes on general release.

  • Belfast Greyhound

    Sorry, but it is only on the Irish side of the Irish Sea that the inquiry has any relevance or interest.
    For 99%+ of the British population these are events with as much relevance to them as the storms that rage on Jupiter.
    It was a long time ago now and in what now appears a far away place and there have been to many other things that impact on the British consciousness for this moment of history to have any interest or meaning.
    It ground on for too long, cost too much money and long ago slipped off the mantle shelf in the livingroom of political awareness.
    This is an Irish and not a British sore and it is Irish fingers that scratching it to make it better.
    Britain has moved on long since and perhaps the Northern Irish should as well, for the sake of the future.

  • granni trixie

    Why focus on the Brits motivation for delay?
    Surely,the enquiry outcome is likely to be more a concern for Unionists – their political representatives will no longer be able to hide behind saying “allegedly” every time BS is mentioned as an example of state violence.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    BG

    >>This is an Irish and not a British sore and it is Irish fingers that scratching it to make it better.<

  • igor

    Why don’t we have a good scratch too at a former Irish minister using state funds to promote murder in an adjoining state? Oh, there’s lots to scratch.

    And Saville is now regarded generally as a joke. Ten years and £185m late …and what?

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Just as I was contemplating adding to my last post…………..cue the whataboutery!

  • Reader

    Prionsa Eoghann: cue the whataboutery!
    Simple rule – anyone who demands closure can expect immediate whataboutery.

  • Mick Fealty

    PE,

    I would not claim it was a good political judgement and, indeed, may just as good an indicator of Brown’s jumpiness (IF that’s the reason)…

    BTW, I met Paul Murphy of all people on the street the other day, stasis at Stormont etc.. He was happy as anything to chat about NI and the dissident threat, etc, but I suspect as soon as he sensed I was going to ask him about things closer to home, he made a Blair-like pivot and left ‘the area of potential conflict’…

  • igor

    Prionsa

    Wheres the whataboutery in pointing out that hundreds of millions have been poured into this enquiry (and lawyers’ pockets)but not others – especially not into teh funding of the PIRA by a rogue Irish minister? Why Bloody Sunday?

    Ah, you may say, it was the State what done it. Yes and we know that and no matter what the facts, at the absolute minimum the Paras response WAS totally disproportionate to anything coming at them from the other side – if indeed there was anything at all.

    But the Irish state did a lot of things too. It harboured and gave safe havens to terrorists. There was lots of collusion, lots of dirty little deals done then and around the first PIRA ceasefire of the 1970s. Even the terrorist groups on either side colluded in crime

  • Brian Walker

    Having sat through all of Widgery and some of Savile I believe the conspiracists are barking up the wrong tree. Note the independent stance of judges in the Cory inquiries today. And remember, it was British government frustration with Savile that contributed to the creation of a new Inquiries act which potentially time-limits future inquires through control of resources. It is disliked by the( independent) judges who now individually seek government guarantess of non-interference before agreeing to head an inquiry. I can’t see what any govenment has to gain from yet further delay. The election is a red herring; neither main party can be tarred with the Savile brush. Searing criticism of paras or commanders would hardly be a surprise at this distance but more likely are indeterminate findings after recording a long search for (literally) smoking guns. MOD foot-dragging is much to blame for earlier delay as was rebriefing of new ocunsel after so many moved on. But in the end, Savile is a botch – but then , how much better have tribunals in Dublin into multifarious scandals performed?

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    Igor

    “But the Irish state did a lot of things too. It harboured and gave safe havens to terrorists. There was lots of collusion, lots of dirty little deals done then and around the first PIRA ceasefire of the 1970s. Even the terrorist groups on either side colluded in crime”

    There is no comparison between what happened in Derry that day and allegations of collusion between the IRA and other paramilitary groups or even the Irish state.

    The Nationalist people in the north were as every much entitled to the protection of the state as the unionists were, we pay the same taxes into the system.
    Weather we liked it or not we were paying our taxes to one of the main protagonists in this dirty war.
    The British used our taxes to arm the loyalist paramilitaries then supplied them with information on fellow citizens for execution, that’s the main difference.

    The nationalist protesters in Derry were murdered on the streets that day, which was bad enough, but the state then colluded with their MOD to bury the truth and even now are stalling the release of this report for political reasons. It shows not only contempt for the truth itself but for the remaining tax paying relatives that seek it.

  • dewi

    It’s the dismal project management of the process that’s been scandalous. Announcing a further delay at this stage really means that the Saville team have no conception of critical paths.
    Password: Death hmm

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Igor

    You may also have a sore that needs scratching, it has little relevance here.

    Brian

    Ok no conspiracy. What do you see behind the hold up? The well worn excuse regarding the size of the thing surely can’t stand up again. Might any estimates of payouts(guessing they may be substantial) not reflect on whichever government is in power, like a reflected anger. It has to shine somewhere.

  • Belfast Greyhound

    BW seems to me to be largely on the money with his last.
    On the British side of the Irish Sea Bloody Sunday has the same relevance to most people as the Peterloo Massacre.
    Something that happened in the past and that’s it.
    On the British side the added benefit is that it did not happen in Britain and as such seems to hold little relevance for the majority of people.
    It is not a focus point for many in considering the political landscape in 2009.
    The only relevance the election next year has in this matter is that on one hand in constituencies with a large or meaningful Irish vote can try to use the Saville Inquiry’s lack of completion as a stick to beat the Government candidates with, while on the other hand the costs to the public purse seem unimaginably high and without end.
    It is certainly not a small, let alone substantial, issue for almost all people and politicians in Britain.
    How many politicians in British constituencies raise it as an issue in Parliament or make an issue of it all in any sense?
    There is no conspiracy here around the delay in the report appearing, just the legal system grinding away remorselessly on a drip feed of public money to a background of public indifference to its work.

  • RepublicanStones
  • fin

    Bloody Sunday is seen as a key trigger in the NI conflict. Therefore responsibility for Bloody Sunday can be made into responsibility for the entire conflict.

    How much lighter will the burden of guilt be for the IRA if the report points the finger at the BA/HMG.

    The impact of the Saville report in GB will be whatever impact the govt. wants it to have, if they want it buried at the back of the newspapers it will be, if they want it running for a week on Newsnight it will run.

    However the release will probably be stage one, if its heavily blacked out, that will be the next arguement.

  • igor

    “There is no comparison between what happened in Derry that day and allegations of collusion between the IRA and other paramilitary groups or even the Irish state.”

    Why not? Dead people are dead people. Does it matter if people are (to use your own term and I have no problem with it) murdered by once state in one batch or another through over time their agents? It is all terrible and criminal and wrong

    “it shows not only contempt for the truth itself but for the remaining tax paying relatives that seek it”

    Yes …and we are very good at that contempt in Northern Ireland and on all sides.

    Bloody Sunday was a crime. There were lots of other crimes too and many of them will never be investigated to protect the interests of some of those who now we have elected. Those widows have to grieve in private. They are not feted by the inquiries industry nor supported by expensive legal teams nor are their loved ones used as political coshes.

    The delay in Saville’s report is disgraceful. The costs of the enquiry are shameful. But many of the posts here also reek of hypocracy.

  • Brit

    “Bloody Sunday is seen as a key trigger in the NI conflict. Therefore responsibility for Bloody Sunday can be made into responsibility for the entire conflict.”

    I think the trigger had been pulled. Something about snipers, road blocks and murdering 40 British soldiers?

    Some comments:-

    1. Bloody Sunday involved unforgivable actions by the British Army, with varying degrees of cupability up the chain of command.

    2. It was not a cold blooded pre-meditated massacre (in contrast to the actions of certain other parties in these parts) but the reaction of hotheaded individuals who had previously been under attack, of varying degrees of lethality (is that a word) for the preceeding months. The soldiers were ill trained for controlling violent crowds and very poorly led.

    3. On the grand scale of violence and civillians being murdered in Europe or worldwide Bloody Sunday was a relatively small event. This in no way diminishes the suffering of the victims and their families.

    4. Why an inquiry into Bloody Sunday but no inquiries into the far more clear cut crimes of PIRA or the UVF/UDA, where they targetted and murdered civillians.

    5. The British public think Bloody Sunday is a U2 song, if they think anything at all so I am not sure what electoral damage the government thinks would flow from releasing a report which at worst would be highly critical of the Army and Government actions which took place nearly 40 years ago.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Why an inquiry into Bloody Sunday but no inquiries into the far more clear cut crimes of PIRA or the UVF/UDA, where they targetted and murdered civillians.’

    So the shooting of unarmed civilians isn’t clear cut?
    Also the PIRA were not agents of a state who claimed to be on a higher moral plane than those they were fighting, they were not a legally constituted force who were supposed to be bi-partisan. As regards the UVF/UDA, the british govt may not like where some of those inquiries lead. That said, I’d support inquiries into all.

    As regards what the british public think, I wouldn’t pretend to know what they think, I’d suggest varying degrees of knowledge surrounding the incident. As regards U2 songs….

  • Thereyouarenow

    I suppose there is always the danger of some similar british army actions taking place in Afghanistan/Iraq now or in the recent past.

    When armies are engaged in grubby conflicts it is probably better to have the public asking as few questions as possible.

    Politicians prefer the public to know what they (the politicians) want them to know.

    The politicians know best (obviously only in their own minds) and the general public are only useful in that they pay for the whole circus.(sometimes deadly circus)

  • Renny

    Republicans doublespeak on Bloody Sunday is astounding. Listening to them you would suspect that Bloody Sunday happened in a vacuum. They wish to forget that murder and mayhem had alreday been unleashed by Republican Murder Gangs, primarily the Murder Gang In-Chief styling itself PIRA.

    Republicans whinge on about this one event, aided and abetted by the Governments every open pockets, yet wish the violence of their “Army” to be airbrushed out of history.

    Expect Republican bigotry and double standards to continue should Saville produce anything less than ‘It’s all the fault of the Brits’.

    Then again no one should be surprised. Republicans don’t do shades of grey it’s all green or orange to them.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    So igor is it inquiries for all or none at all?

    Brit also reckons that the BA reputedly the best trained in the world should have all kinds of mitigating circumstances put onto the charge sheet. Including the “Aye we were bad but whatabout them IRA/UDA wans?”

    Well for a large part of the conflict the UDA were a legal organisation, even whilst everyone and their dugs knew what they were doing. British security services we now know were the drivers of this organisation in parts for long periods of time. Information is now coming to light that the same said security forces had infiltrated the IRA and were at least knowledgable if not indirect drivers of some activities.

    I would also though that British subjects would expect a much much higher code of conduct than those involved in a guerrilla war and labelled terrorists by the state they are a subject of. The truth is that the British public have at best been ambivilent to the conduct of their forces in Ireland, hence the murderous repitition.

  • Tam

    It’s heartening to read that Republican posters agree that the ‘conflict’ was aboput the state’s attempts to control illegal terrorist organisations.

    For many years I was under the illusion that Republicans regarded what happened as a ‘war’ and that PIRA was their ‘Army’.

  • Brit

    “So the shooting of unarmed civilians isn’t clear cut?”

    I didn’t say it wasn’t clear cut I said it wasn’t AS clear cut as the actions of the terrorists.

    There is a difference between:-
    (1) soldiers opening fire in the face of a violent, hostile crowd some of whom may have been intent on harming them, and in the context of a perception of IRA sniper activity; and
    (2) planting and exploding a bomb in a civillian target like a remembrance parade, a shopping centre or a pub.

    “Also the PIRA were not agents of a state who claimed to be on a higher moral plane than those they were fighting, they were not a legally constituted force who were supposed to be bi-partisan. As regards the UVF/UDA, the british govt may not like where some of those inquiries lead.”

    Well according to the PIRA perspective and those of their Republican supporters and apologists (of whom you are possibly one) they were fighting a legitimate war of resistance against an illegal occupation. What different does it make whether or not one were agents of a state (the gravest crimes of the 20th Century were committed by agents of a state acting with express authority).

    That said, I’d support inquiries into all.”

    NI would be paralysed and penniless if you had enquiries into every event that was as bad as, or worse than, Bloody Sunday.

  • Secret Squirrel

    Brit:
    2. It was not a cold blooded pre-meditated massacre (in contrast to the actions of certain other parties in these parts) but the reaction of hotheaded individuals who had previously been under attack, of varying degrees of lethality (is that a word) for the preceeding months. The soldiers were ill trained for controlling violent crowds and very poorly led.

    Had the Saville Enquiry been permitted to examine the weapons used by the brits that day, and found that the weapons were standard issue, then one could waffle on about how it wasn’t this or that.
    The Enquiry were informed that the weapons had been destroyed or whatever.

    ….The soldiers were ill trained for controlling violent crowds
    Makes you wonder why combat troops were sent in to police a civil rights march.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘soldiers opening fire in the face of a violent, hostile crowd some of whom may have been intent on harming them, and in the context of a perception of IRA sniper activity’

    I suggest you read into BS a wee bit more. Many of those killed, were shot in the back, one was waving a white hankerchief and others lying on the ground. Your just an apologist for British state terrorism Brit, no better than those you view apologising other forms.

    ‘NI would be paralysed and penniless if you had enquiries into every event that was as bad as, or worse than, Bloody Sunday.’

    So why this comment?

    ‘Why an inquiry into Bloody Sunday but no inquiries into the far more clear cut crimes of PIRA or the UVF/UDA, where they targetted and murdered civillians.’

    I await your merry-go-round.

  • Republicanstaines

    I’ll be side-stepping any point that may result in me having to say that it was only a war during the times when I say it was and at all other times it was a normal society with a blood-crazed British Army let loose on a peaceful citizenry.

    BTW I’ll be using lots of whataboutery to argue my points.

    Thanks.

  • Brit

    “Brit also reckons that the BA reputedly the best trained in the world should have all kinds of mitigating circumstances put onto the charge sheet. Including the “Aye we were bad but whatabout them IRA/UDA wans?””

    Possiby the best trained for combat and genuine counter insurgency operations against guerilla armies, but ill trained for combatting urban terrorism, less still control of violent crowds (which is very very difficult to do in a civilised fashion even if you are very very well trained for it). The “mitigating” circumstances do not exonerate those responsible for the terrible crimes, nor to they shift primary responsibility onto any third parties. They do give a cogent basis for distinguishing the actions on the British Army (in their darkest hour) with those of the other “actors” in the conflict.

    “Well for a large part of the conflict the UDA were a legal organisation, even whilst everyone and their dugs knew what they were doing. British security services we now know were the drivers of this organisation in parts for long periods of time. Information is now coming to light that the same said security forces had infiltrated the IRA and were at least knowledgable if not indirect drivers of some activities.”

    The Brits again – responsible for both sets of terrorists actions. Is there no end to our cunning?

    “I would also though that British subjects would expect a much much higher code of conduct than those involved in a guerrilla war and labelled terrorists by the state they are a subject of. The truth is that the British public have at best been ambivilent to the conduct of their forces in Ireland, hence the murderous repitition.”

    Firstly Republicans cant have it both ways, claim to be a legimiate guerilla army fighting an illegal occuption (in which case subject to the laws of war – with certain modifications) with the right to prisoner of war status ect and then switch and say, ‘oh we were just terrorists we could do what we wanted but not youse”. Anyway the fact that one can morally distinguish between the British Army and the terrorists does not mean that the British Army was not guility of wrongdoing and/or that those culpable should not be punished.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Makes you wonder why such a specialist hardcore aggressive regiment were brought into police a demonstration……………….doesn’t it?

    >>The Brits again – responsible for both sets of terrorists actions. Is there no end to our cunning?<

  • wee slabber

    Any link between the delay in P&J transfer and the delay of this report. Just wondering?

  • Brit

    “I suggest you read into BS a wee bit more. Many of those killed, were shot in the back, one was waving a white hankerchief and others lying on the ground. Your just an apologist for British state terrorism Brit, no better than those you view apologising other forms.”

    Can you ever just disagree with my argument, or refute it with “facts”, without inviting me to read something or making a comment about my lack of knowledge and, implicitly, your great store of knowledge.

    I don’t dispute your description and nothing I said contradicts it (and yes I know what happened – we in the devils own country don’t have a complete black out on documentaries and dramatisations of these events).

    As for alleged apologism please note my previous comments on this thread:-

    “Bloody Sunday involved unforgivable actions by the British Army, with varying degrees of cupability up the chain of command. ”

    “The “mitigating” circumstances do not exonerate those responsible for the terrible crimes, nor to they shift primary responsibility onto any third parties”

    If you are still unclear then I unreservedly condemn the immoral and illegal actions of the soldiers involved in Bloody Sunday.

    “So why this comment?
    ‘Why an inquiry into Bloody Sunday but no inquiries into the far more clear cut crimes of PIRA or the UVF/UDA, where they targetted and murdered civillians.’”

    I’m surprised you need me to spell it out for you but I was using this rhetorical question to draw attention to the fact that huge amounts of money and time have been incurred in inquiries into events which no worse, and in some ways not as bad, as numerous other crimes committed by other parties. I was also using it to highlight the gross hypocriscy and inconsistency of Republicans weeping crocodile tears for those killed by the Brits and wanting full historical disclosure but not applying the same approach to their own crimes.

    I await your sneering response.

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    I would support an enquiry into any murder that happened during the troubles.
    Republicans have nothing to fear from enquiries and the truth being outed.
    The only ones fearing a truth commission is the British state and its agencies.
    Alot of the killings carried out by PIRA was carried out by British agents or carried out with the prior knowledge of the security forces but yet they let the attacks go ahead in some cases killing members of their own defence forces just to protect their intelligence agents.

    An enquiry into the murders by the Mid Ulster UVF would reveal that in the early 90`s the British government security forces had a policy of targeting innocent relatives of Republicans to break their resolve.
    In the early 90`s the British state forces had a policy of targeting the relatives of known Republicans in the hope that it would break their resolve.
    In the case of a neighbor of ours Roseanne Mallon a 78yr old in a wheelchair.
    She was murdered by British state agent Billy Wright and his gang in the Mid Ulster UVF. The attack happened under the full view of two undercover soldiers who were dug into a ditch overlooking the house yet they were ordered by their masters not to intervene in the murder and video tape of the murder was not forthcoming in the enquiry into her murder that has been hard fought for by the family. The British have tried at every juncture to bury the truth of what happened in not just this case but every murder of its citizens that they were involved in.

  • Brit

    “So you don’t expect the BA to be of a higher moral code than a bunch of murdering terrorists(sic)”
    I do expect the British Army to adhere to a higher moral code than the IRA.
    And they do and did adhere to a higher moral code (for reasons I have set out in the previous discussion about whether the BA were ‘terrorists’), at least in general.
    That the British Army committed crimes does not put in on a par with the IRA. American soliders committed rapes during world war 2, but that doesn’t mean the US Army was as bad as the Red Army. The Red Army’s crimes do not make it as bad as the Wehmacht etc.
    None of this means that the IRA should be judged more leniently, either in the court of public opinion or of law, or subject to a different set of moral principles to anyone else. As you know my view is that their “war” was immoral and even had it been a Just War they committed war crimes as an operation policy.
    Nor does it mean that the British Army should be exonerated simply because other parties were worse.

  • Brit

    Tir, I think you may have forgotten to take your pills again.

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    What have I said that you disagree with? Did the British not murder Roseanne Mallon?

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    The heirarchy theory is highly questionable, much has come to light about the Soviets since the fall of the Berlin wall, and the lies about Japanese soldiers never surrendering to US marines. Truth was there was systematic murdering of prisoners going on across the Pacific theatre. A war crime. I actually agree that you cannot define the British army in Ireland by certain murderous actions, same with the IRA’s campaign.

  • Brit

    PE all sides/both sides in WW2 committed war crimes almost certainly. This does not mean that all sides were equal, either in their justification for waging war or the nature of the way they fought it. Indeed no right thinking person would claim that they were. Perhaps you view it as another war between imperialists all of whom were pretty much as bad as each other?

    By analogy it does not follow just becsause the BA and RA both committed war crimes that they are equally “bad”.

  • jone

    Well at least lessons have been learned about not killing civilians.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8266699.stm

  • RepublicanStones

    “Firstly Republicans cant have it both ways, claim to be a legimiate guerilla army fighting an illegal occuption (in which case subject to the laws of war – with certain modifications) with the right to prisoner of war status ect and then switch and say, ‘oh we were just terrorists we could do what we wanted but not youse”.

    The British cannot have it both ways. Claiming to be morally superior to the PIRA yet engaging in exactly the same type of activities they condemn the ‘illegal gangs’ for engaging in. It seems the ‘noble’ british do double standards like no-one else. And Brit, if you dislike my recommendations for reading, heres another, have a wee look at British Army policy, esp the policies advocated by the likes of Frank Kitson and Gordon Kerr. Your contention that the British Army are morally superior in any way is firmly put to bed with those boyos. And btw, do you think it was morals or because the British crown forces were under a spolight of western media which prevented the from being more obvious with their nefarious activities. BTW Lets not forget those forces include the UDR, RUC, FRU etc as well as the likes of the paras.

  • RepublicanStones

    Interesting link jone, the ‘few bad apples’ excuse raises its apologist head again.

  • Brian MacAodh

    The Para’s had a reputation for brutality, violence, and being trigger happy. Why would they be sent in that day?

    A british officer remarked how earlier that year it took all of 2 days of the Para’s being in his area to make up for all the goodwill the Army had built back up in the local Catholic community during the previous 6 months. They were that last unit that should have been controlling a crowd. Which is precisely why they were sent in to do just that. The old guard had gotten fed up with these protestors and wanted to teach them a lesson.

    “They are using real bullets” is a good book on that day.

  • Thereyouarenow

    Maybe the British want to extricate themselves from Afghanistan before the Saville inquiry lays bare(we sincerely hope) what the British Army did on Bloody Sunday.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8266699.stm
    People will begin to wonder if this kind of thing is institutional in the British Army.

  • Brian MacAodh

    It is not institutional in the British Army. At least not in the modern era. I am a nationalist and I believe this.

    However, it looks like some Germans still have the violent, fascist tendencies of old…

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/6226935/Pakistan-discovers-village-of-white-German-al-Qaeda-insurgents.html

  • Secret Squirrel

    Is it not the case Brian, that to this day, ( ie.in the modern era ) the british army has within its’ ranks, some who have been found guilty of murdering unarmed foreign nationals ?

    I’m referring to Wright and Fischer amongst others, but I think I heard that one of the pair has left the brit army following an unrelated shooting incident when he himself was shot ( not fatally.)

  • Grainte

    Ah those terrible Brits, bad to the bone. Oh how the saintly Irish have suffered.

    Boo hoo, boo hoo.

  • fin

    on the news this morning, 1 in 8 prisoners in the uk are ex-armed forces.

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    If they had of stayed in the army they would still be walking the streets!

  • Rory Carr

    Brit, in asking why there have not been enquiries into IRA actions seems to miss the obvious – that there have indeed been inquiries into practically all IRA activity and very serious inquiries indeed – criminal inquiries! In each instance it was not required that the state, after much public pressure, mount some legal or quasi-legal enquiry long after each event to determine whether or not a crime might have been committed that might require criminal investigation as was the case with Bloody Sunday where prima facie evidence dictated quite clearly that a murder inquiry ought to have been immediately undertaken and would have been if the Derry RUC District Inspector, Frank Lagan and the Derry coroner who pronounced on the deaths had had their way.

    Quite apart from Bloody Sunday, time and time again both British Army and RUC caused the deaths of quite innocent unarmed civilians (inevitably from the Nationalist community) including children and time and time again they did so with complete impunity thus freeing up any restraints on their future actions.

    It would be perfectly ridiculous to hold an enquiry into any IRA (or Loyalist) actions for what could such an inquiry possibly conclude but that a crime had taken place which was the very conclusion drawn and acted upon (with varying degrees of enthusiasm depending upon the political hue of the presumed perpetrators) in the immediate aftermath of each such action.

    I happen to agree that public enquiries are pretty pointless and always within the control of the state (the ghost of Dr. Kelly?) and no substitute for what ought to have happened – soldiers arraigned on charges of wilful, cold-blooded murder and their commanders arraigned on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and, in the interests of equality before the law, such charges to be laid before a Diplock court as with others charged with such serious crimes.

    The political masters who devised the plans for the slaughter and gave the thumbs-up, Ted Heath and Brian Faulkner, are beyond the jurisdiction of any temporal authority but then their roles always meant that they would never be called to account, British Ministers of State and certainly Prime Ministers are never called to account for their wrongdoings. It’s not fixed in law, it is however fixed in something much more rigid than law (which applies only to mortals such as you and I) – it is fixed in “that’s the way we do things, don’t you know” and there’s no appeal against that.

  • Secret Squirrel

    See if you can get that figure verified Fin.
    I’d have expected a somewhat higher proportion.

  • Caliban

    Yea Gods! Will this MOPERY never end?

    It’s tough I know that the Brits have been top dog in Ireland for some 800 years. Get over it, it ain’t goin to change anytime soon.

  • Secret Squirrel

    it ain’t goin to change anytime soon.
    Your expectations, like mine, can’t be stated as fact.

  • Guest

    “a Gods! Will this MOPERY never end?

    It’s tough I know that the Brits have been top dog in Ireland for some 800 years. Get over it, it ain’t goin to change anytime soon. “Caliban.

    Changed over a century ago.

  • Brian MacAodh

    HAHHAHAHHAHAH

    guess what. 800 years ended about 760 years ago

  • igor

    Isn’t it terrible.

    The Brits have been trying to scrape republicans off the soles of the jackboots for almost 100 years but still they cling desperately on. Its the only thing that gives their life meaning. Building / working in a democratic state is so much more difficult (and boring) than just winging on about oppression.

  • Thereyouarenow

    Igor

    Did you catch your whinging from the poms, that is if you are not a pom.

  • glencoppagagh

    Prince Eoghan
    “Is it the compo claims that would follow”

    Surely not. Didn’t the families keep telling us that they were only interested in getting ‘truth and justice’.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Glen

    Ok apart from being a particularly nasty cynic, tell me your big ideas for suitably appropriate mechanisms to attribute blame and compensate for lost lives, smashed futures, wrecked hopes etc. etc. etc?

    I am gettin the feeling that you may be of the variety interviewed in Susan Mckay’s book. The nutters that think it was all made up, them fenians were getting out of the ambulances covered in fake blood/they fired first and if………any of were innocent tough/sure they deserved it anyway the vermin!*delete as appropriate*

  • Reader

    Prionsa Eoghann: attribute blame and compensate for lost lives, smashed futures, wrecked hopes etc. etc. etc?
    3500 lost lives. Didn’t the victims’ commission already suggest £12,000 per life was appropriate? Though that didn’t go down too well. And haven’t you already attributed blame?

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Reader

    See my above comments to glensman and;

    *delete as appropriate*

    Saves time!