“He was subsequently executed and buried in an unmarked grave”

The Provisional IRA’s “P O’Neill” has been briefing selected members of the press again. Or as Brian Rowan puts it in the Belfast Telegraph, “the man I met yesterday no longer functions as P O’Neill, but he still speaks with all the authority of the republican leadership”. They’ve suddenly remembered they ‘disappeared’ somebody else. Joe Lynskey, described as a “senior IRA intelligence officer” in the Irish News which reported “it is believed that Mr Lynskey had a relationship with a married woman, also from Beechmount, while her husband was in prison.” As Brian Rown notes.

In a detailed briefing the source revealed: In 1972 the IRA executed and buried Joe Lynskey; He was an IRA volunteer in Belfast at that time; Lynskey was summoned to a meeting outside Belfast by the then leadership; He wasn’t aware that he was under (IRA) investigation at that stage; He was arrested by the IRA; He was court-martialled for breaches of IRA standing orders; He was subsequently executed and buried in an unmarked grave.

Their memory was obviously jogged by those reports in the Irish News, making this another case of attempted damage limitation. And it adds yet yet another name to the list of the Independent Commission on the Location of Victims Remains. From yesterday’s Irish News.

The Irish News previously revealed how a Monaghan man who was a member of a small IRA unit guarding Mr Lynskey in the days leading up to his death had given details about the murder. He claimed Mr Lynskey was held in an IRA safe-house between Castleblayney and Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, some time in August 1972. The victim was in the house for more than a week waiting for senior IRA members to arrive from north of the border to carry out an internal “court martial” which sealed his fate. Details of Mr Lynskey’s disappearance are expected to be included in a soon-to-be published book Beyond the Grave by journalist Ed Moloney. The book contains transcripts of interviews given to Boston University by IRA man Brendan ‘The Dark’ Hughes prior to his death from a lengthy illness in 2008. Mr Lynskey never married or had children and while his parents searched tirelessly for their son prior to their deaths, he was never officially reported missing.

As I said when the last name was added to the list

As previously noted, the NI Assembly have debated those “human rights violation[s]” for which limited immunity was sought, and granted, during The Process™. In the Belfast Telegraph, Brian Rowan recounts being read a list in 1999 of “[10] people executed and buried by Oglaigh na hEireann”. But if “There’s no political reason to keep lying”?

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  • The Raven

    Of all the nastiness that took place on this blood-spattered and sheep-infested isle, this “disappearing” routine sickens me most. Shameful really. I think it’s those that are left behind which claw most at the imagination of what that suffering must be like. “Searched tirelessly” conjures its own particular image.

  • iluvni

    Who was the head of the IRA in Beechmount at the time?

  • iluvni

    Who was the head of the IRA in Beechmount at the time?

  • IRIA

    Sounds like they are trying to get ahead of Moloney’s new book. Should be some more interesting “nuggets”.

  • granni trixie

    Yes, should be interesting reading. What I do fear however is that Maloney repeats again in this book,insensitively, that Jean McConville was an ‘informer’ – the family make a good case for saying this is not the truth. Not that her abduction and murder would justify amyone murdering her. Whom would it serve to rake over this version,given how the family have suffered already?

    Sometimes journalists think that they are above human decency. If Maloney is reading this I beg him to rethink.

  • scarecrow

    leaking out the details on the drip drip…

    Truly horrifying story there.

  • Scaramoosh

    Another notch on the belt of the dysfunctional scum that likes to masquerade as freedom fighters.

    Is it the case that this man was murdered for a marital indiscretion, whilst paedophiles within the movement were seemingly a protected species?

    Ah for sure, I get it; the wounded ego of an IRA prisoner, counts more than the welfare of our children.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    The greater the light shone on the 1972 the better. While victims and families clearly deserve justice..there is the old saying that justice delayed is justice denied.
    People will inevitably concentrate on their own partisan sense of injustice which is a shame because denying one set of justice while highlighting another only diminishes everyone and brings about a round of whataboutery.
    Joe Lynskey was seemingly “executed” (personally I prefer the word “murdered”) in 1972 and justice still denied.
    Later this year we might……or might not……..get a report on another series of 1972 killings were justice was delayed and denied.
    Or we might someday get the real deal on “collusion”.

    We had three lots of combatants here…and frankly not everybody…….or indeed anybody comes thru it with much credit.

    granni trixie,
    as to your specific point on Jean McConville, I have always noted the family denying the “informer” angle. In a sense it makes no difference because murder is murder.
    Yet if this WAS the reason (excuse whatever) for her murder then I think “justice” demands that it is reported.
    Ed Maloney is one of the few good journalists around and if indeed “the charge” is included in his book….there should be and hopefully is anacknowledgement of the familys denial.
    However from a purely historic sense of accuracy, there is no point telling “half the story”.
    Something…..decency as you put it…IS owed to the McConville family.
    The rest of us are owed facts.

  • joeCanuck

    When people murder someone and call it “execution”, I wonder do they feel holy.

  • Danny Boy

    So not only were women and girls left vulnerable to untouchable scumbags within republican communities, but those married to republicans were truly in it ’til death do us part’, like it or not. So much for protecting Mother Ireland, boys.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    or they call it judicial execution in Texas, an act of war (the Twin Towers), collateral damage (Hiroshima or Dresden), a tragic mistake (Stockwell Tube Station) and any of a number of things to make them feel better

  • granni trixie

    “Facts” are open to interpretation and selection and there is no one truth,the McConville story being a point in question – your statement that Moloney is “one of the few good journalists around” is another example of contested definition posing as ‘fact’.

  • sdelaneys

    TV3 was interesting last night in looking at the murder of Paul Quinn by the IRA. The programme makers claim that there were attempts to intimidate them during the making of the programme; they claim that they were followed around and photographed..

  • Dec

    Is it the case that this man was murdered for a marital indiscretion, whilst paedophiles within the movement were seemingly a protected species?

    Ah for sure, I get it; the wounded ego of an IRA prisoner, counts more than the welfare of our children.


    If you read the full Rowan report (and not just the bit Pete highlights) it alleges Mr Lynskey had his lover’s husband shot (and refers to a further fatal shooting that arose from the first shooting.

  • GFASupporterButRealist

    The Provos’ Orwellian vocabulary: “executed” is murder, by any standards. “Informer” ? — now if you happen to NOT be in the Republican movement (like Jean McConville) and are kind to a soldier OR tell a soldier(s) about something, does that make you an “informer,” or is that not your “human right” (Monica McWilliams of NIHRC and Martin O’Brien of CAJ, take note)which applies to you i.e. your right to make a political choice because you don’t share the bloody views of the IRA or UVF or whoever ? Oh, no that makes you a “legitimate target”, eh ? Remember that squalid fudge ?
    And “marital indiscretion” gets you murdered ? But paedopholia doesn’t ??? I suppose there is a “hierarchy” of victims, informers, perpetrators in the IRA. How sophisticated a philosophy. Vomit-inducing……

  • Catherine

    Newton Emerson wrote a line recently that struck me:

    “We built peace by compromising the principles of good government but we can only secure peace by upholding them.”

    By extension, we built peace by compromising our principles our what constitutes a civilised ppeaceful society: we can only secure a civilised peaceful society when we rid ourselves of the political leaders with blood on their hands.

    We must make every effort to move beyond sectarian politics, to an era when we are all abhorred at the past equally, and where bread and butter issues dominate our politics.

  • joeCanuck

    when we rid ourselves of the political leaders with blood on their hands.

    Easy to say Catherine but people are probably still too fearful of shadows to actually cease voting for them.
    Time will take care of it, say 10 years or 2 elections.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    granni trixie,
    You cannot seriously be suggesting that contested facts should not be reported.
    My position is that contested facts should be reported.AS CONTESTED FACTS

  • Catherine


    Yes I understand that.

    We are now 15-18 years into a peace process. How long more must we be expected to tolerate the political sectarianism that dominates our lives. It is time, and long past it some might argue, for right thinking people to put a stop to the sectarian bickering. It is only we the electorate that can bring Northern Ireland out of the fearful shadows- because our elected officials are served better by keeping us under those same shadows.

    We all share a responsibility of creating an acceptable functioning country to live in where we can meet basic standards of good politics, accountability, civilised society…… It is fine and well for me and you to point the finger saying ‘but people are….’ we are part of that people and we must demand change.

    Why can’t a SF member be courageous enough to stand up and state: Gerry et al, leave the stage not because we are not thankful for all the hard work you have done, but because we as a society can NEVER move forward while people you* hurt badly in our recent history will not and should not accept you?

    * I mean this in a collective way.

    I do not direct this solely toward SF- I apply it across the board.

    Our history is horrid, blame equally meted out- who cares? Aportion the blame where you will. Could it be that we remain in a comfort zone rehashing it day in and day out.

    Could it be that creating a new narrative, new discourse demanding political stability, civility, economic promise/regeneration etc etc etc, is not what we really want?

    It certainly doesn’t appear to be on our assembly’s agenda.

  • joeCanuck


    You sound like me 30 years ago. Then I thought that the Alliance Party could help achieve that. When it became obvious that there was no prospect of that happening in the near or middle term, it became one of the main reasons for me and family leaving N.I.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “collateral damage (Hiroshima or Dresden)”

    Nothing collateral at all about Hiroshima. Hiroshima was home to the Imperial Japanese Army’s Fifth Division and Second Army HQ. The Second Army HQ was responsible for the defense of southern Japan. And payback’s a b.

    Lastly, speaking of freedom fighters, the late Tomas Confessor to the puppets of Japan: “I wish to thank you for reminding me what General Bell wrote to Mabini that ‘only the possibility of success is the sole justification of war and as soon as that possibility disappears, civilization demands that for the sake of humanity the vanquished should submit to the victor.'” I’ll take it as given that what General Bell told Mabini does not figure into your analysis of the moral responsibility for Hiroshima.

  • granni trixie

    joeC>: dont lose heart – I rejoice that I am in Alliance – ultimately it will/is working.

    eg cultural change (albeiot slowly)
    structural change: GFA.

  • Mr Lynskey was held on a farm (prison) for a week before the members of the Kangaroo court showed up to go through the travesty of a trial. He must have been terrified, which is the name of the game right?

    I would like to know if any member of that Kangaroo court has since been accused of child molesting, rape or the covering up of these crimes.

    I would not trust any of em with a neutered cat.

  • Cynic2


    Who knows? You may have voted for them or indeed some of them may have gone on to lucrative careers working for the police as informers, or both. It’s a rum old world isnt it. All that nonsense wee republicans were taught at their mother’s knee turns to dross. Rapists, murderers, cuckolders, child abusers, paedophiles ……oh yes and they killed a few people for political reasons as well

  • joeCanuck


    No offence but please don’t say killed when you obviously mean murdered.

  • Cynic2

    I was with you right up to the point of “republicans were taught”. Was this a one way street? I think you will find that loyalists were ‘taught’ the same thing and for much the same reason.

    I am coming round to the idea of ‘conspiracy theories’. Perhaps the morons who murdered Mr Lynskey, murdered the only ‘straight’ intelligence officer the IRA had! Well done them eh.

  • Catherine

    The Dirty War is going to get filthy in the coming weeks, I suspect.

    And lost in all of this is the suffering ordinary people are going through (foreclosures, bankrupties etc- suicides, depression).

    Why aren’t we discussing the mishandling of the economy? Where is the discussion on the New York Pension Funds Investment that was lost because of ‘cirsumstances’ at the Belfast office.

  • Catherine

    I know this is off-topic, but I really believe we must try to focus on matters of real importance.

    I am wondering who got jobs in this operation in Belfast and who was paid £ 3,000,000.00 in salaries, travel costs etc.


    “There were repeated signals during 2009 that an investment by the Emerald Fund was imminent, but in fact not a dollar of the New York City pension fund monies was put into any local project. This remains the case.

    However, reliable sources confirm that $3 million from the initial $75 million pledged has been spent on wages, office costs and travel expenses. The rest of the first tranche of $75 million remains in New York City coffers and efforts are now afoot to secure that money for future investments in the North.

    Concern over the failure of the Emerald Fund to attract matching commitments from other bodies apparently led to a decision by New York City Pension Fund to pull back from its involvement with the fund.

    Last year, the Emerald Fund was put under the microscope after it was revealed that it had made a commitment to pay $3 million to an intermediary who had lobbied New York City on its behalf – a legitimate procedure at the time though “placement agents” have since been barred from working for clients in deals involving the New York City and New York State pension funds. “

  • Pete Baker


    Try focussing on the topic at hand, if you would.

    We covered the Emerald Fund story when the Irish News carried it, before the Irish Echo picked up the news of the latest problems.

    See this post.

    And this subsequent one.

    I may trim these comments back later to avoid further diversion.

  • Catherine


    Yes, trim away, I just found the Emerald Fund thread.

  • Catherine

    I think you will find, we all will probably find that to people who could ‘ignore’ the theft of £20,000000 the loss of a mere $3000000 is no big deal.

    The murder of Mr Lynskey will probably not amount to much either, but he and all the disappeared deserve our attention.

  • granni trixie

    Pete: didnt realise you were policing us!
    Surely diversions is a kind of sport here?

    Anywat, keep tryin’.

  • socaire

    Is there enough room on the moral high ground for all you losers?

  • socaire!

    Here was I thinking you had found higher planes, and all the while you were jealous of the ‘moral high ground’, surely you know there is room up there for all.

    Mr Lynskey, may have been an adulterer or even a murderer. Who knows, he had no trial, no jury and no funeral. His parents endured beyond understanding or forgiveness, and those who murdered him may have been shielding child abusers and rapists. No cause is worth the subjugation of the people it is supposed to represent.

  • GFASupporterButRealist

    Socaire, there is room on the MHG but doubt you’d qualify…..must be packed out on the Moral Low Ground where you are though…..on the MHG we’re winners and on the MLG they’re…well…you know….

  • Dread Cthulhu

    FJH: “or they call it judicial execution in Texas, an act of war (the Twin Towers), collateral damage (Hiroshima or Dresden), a tragic mistake (Stockwell Tube Station) and any of a number of things to make them feel better”

    What with you blowing all that smoke, I’d guess that you’re not environmentally compliant, neh?

  • Mr E Mann

    this is the terrible logic of “armed struggle.” A man not only allegedly undermines the PIRA’s morale by birddogging a prisoner’s wife, but he also allegedly commits an very ordinary crime by having the husband shot. It’s not clear whether he used his IRA position to set up the hit (see Raymond McCartney), or if he knew *some other* armed men who would do such a thing for him.

    In a normal society he’d have been arrested and possibly sent to prison where he would pay his debts, unless all the cuckolded husbands inside got to him. But not in the Provos’ liberated zone. They could hardly turn over a disgraced IRA intelligence man to the RUC. They had no long term prisons. Any physical punishment short of execution would turn him into a dangerous informer. What were they going to do but have a drumhead court and kill him?

    That’s what people sign up for in armed insurrection, the kind of justice system people in, say Derry, lived with for 20 years. Was it worth it? If there was a God I’d beg him to promise this kind of crap never happens in Ireland again.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Alas I leave issues of environmental protection to those under 18.
    When they are old enough to vote they wont care either.

  • Paddy

    Will the INLA cough up Seamas Ruddy’s remains now?

    Glad to see OIRA, the Loyalist/criminal group, have handed in their weapons, just as Tom Gill gets buried. I see Sean Garland attended. Extradition is a slow process.

  • sdelaneys

    Paddy. ‘Tom Gill’, you’ve been on earth a good while, by the sound of it.

  • Dixie Elliott

    The Moral High Ground…That wouldn’t be Stormont…Would it?

    Nah! Thats Cloud Cuckoo Land!

  • There is no such place as the ‘moral high ground’, there is only what people will accept as necessary for the cause, and no cause is worth the physical, sexual or emotional abuse of a child. As for the rape of young girls. It happens in every conflict but if the poor victim has nothing else, she usually has the certain knowledge the sadists involved were the enemy!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Certainly there is a moral high ground — it has glorious back-lighting. In Northern Ireland, it makes for a better target — all that glorious back-lighting makes for an excellent silhouette.

    Too many folks engaged in blowing smoke, thinking that bringing up unrelated factoids, as if things that happened in a formally declared war have anything to do with the ugly intramural violence in Northern Ireland.

    The real foolishness is that the petty tribal conflict permits the excuse of the very crimes you mention, since there is the myth that certain folks aren’t expendable. This protection extends to close family, as appears to be the case with Adams — the truth about Dear Leader’s sibling would serve to undermine The Cause, don’t’cha know.

    I suspect that, as things become more “normal,” more of these awkward tales will come to the surface, like turds in a bucket of milk. Without the pressures of the conflict to maintain the myth of indispensable leadership, the excesses of the leaders, along with the accumulated sins of the past with bubble up over time.

    Should be interesting…

  • Dread Cthulhu

    What you say may be true. We will find out in time. Any ‘dynasty’ founded on such shallow ground will find their dynasties short lived,

    The ‘war’ was all the more difficult for both, or all three sides, I should say, because it was largely fought behind smiles and lies. To do that the real prisoners of war, were first and last their own communities.

  • fitzy

    “In a normal society he’d have been arrested and possibly sent to prison where he would pay his debts, unless all the cuckolded husbands inside got to him. But not in the Provos’ liberated zone. They could hardly turn over a disgraced IRA intelligence man to the RUC. They had no long term prisons. Any physical punishment short of execution would turn him into a dangerous informer. What were they going to do but have a drumhead court and kill him? ”

    I’m definitely not excusing, or even trying to present a logical rational for this murder, but let’s not be silly and claim that turning Lynskey over to the RUC would have gotten anywhere regarding justice for the husband that he was supposed to have had shot. He would have been offered money, immunity, and a new identity for grassing on the ra… remember, belfast in the 70’s was anything but a ‘normal society’.