Fisk back writing on Ireland

Nice piece yesterday:

The serious stuff is about Saville but I enjoyed this:

“So thoroughly did I check out every possible lead that I came up with three U-boat stories, at least one of which is absolutely copper-bottomed. The first was a U-35 which sailed in to Dingle Bay on 4 October 1939 to put ashore the crew of a Greek ship called Diamantes which it had sunk 40 miles west of the Skelligs. Those were the days when U-boat crews tried to be honourable to their victims, who in this case were duly taken by the police to Michael Long, the Lloyd’s agent in Dingle. Local rumour, however, suggested that the U-boat captain had bid his captive goodbye with the astonishing adieu: “Give my best wishes to Micky Long.” Had he been one of the many German “tourists” travelling in Ireland before the war? When my thesis was later published as a book, I received a polite letter from the long-retired U-boat captain. He had never been to Ireland before the war, he told me. And he had never heard of Michael Long”

Better from last week….

An astonishing vignette: (1st Para had just been clearing up a Shankhill Road riot)

“…There were howls of rage and curses from the Brits and eventually the Prods cleared off and the soldiers of 1 Para stood in the street looking bored. Then a door opened and out came a man in his fifties. A Belfast Protestant, hair greying, he sort of hobbled on to the street as if he’d been hurt badly years ago and he walked right up to a group of Paras and plunged his hand into his pocket. He brought out an old Army red beret with a metal badge of parachute wings fixed to it and a tatty old regimental tie.

The soldiers watched him, bemused. Then he began to tear the beret to pieces, right there in front of the soldiers, and ripped up the tie. The man was shouting ‘Bastards, bastards,” over and over again at them and he dropped the ruined beret and tie at his feet and stomped on them. The soldiers laughed. And the man kept shouting “bastards” and he was crying and then he shouted at the soldiers: “I was at Arnhem.”

  • wee buns

    Excellent insight as per usual, from Fisk, for having named the 191million cost of Saville, as being ‘expensive soap’ that froths over the role of high ranking British military shoot-to-kill jingoism, blaming yer ordinary troop instead.
    Hats off to Fisk too, for reversing the myth that embellishment is an exclusively Irish pastime.

  • wee buns

    Dewi, as you say, the secind article is better still, Fisk truely understands not only the issues of Bloody Sunday, Widery & Saville, but the connectivity to the Middle East, and to indeed to every war torn heart.
    Poignant. Journalism at it’s best.

  • Greenflag

    “I was at Arnhem.’
    I was at the Boyne
    I was at the GPO on Easter Monday
    I was at Gallipoli
    I was at Wipers (Ypres)
    I was at the Somme
    I was at Stalingrad
    I was at My Lai
    I was at Dunkirk
    I am in Kabul
    I am in Baghdad
    I am in Gaza
    I am on the West Bank
    I will be in Teheran ? North Korea ? etc etc

    And whether I’m dead or alive or soon to be dead remember whether I’m Irish or British or American or German or French or Israeli I’m fighting to keep you all free in the manner to which you have been accustomed .

    Remember without me the Brits would still be marching up and down Sackville St and the Irish Army would have a curfew in force on the Shankill and the Americans would be suffering the indignity of seeing Iraqi and Afghani troops marching up and down Pennsylvania Avenue and HMQ would be a prisoner behind the gates of Buckingham Palace under house arrest by the all conquering hordes of the mujahaddin 🙁

  • Greenflag

    And in case yiz forget the reason I’m in this army is because there are no other jobs in North or South Carolina or Kentucky or Scotland or Northern Ireland or Birmingham or North Wales and because if I join the Army and go to Baghdad or Kabul the Government will pay for my college education if I’m not killed and I’ll also have a much better chance of becoming homeless on my return from the wars than other Americans . What a deal .

    It’s also on the cards that my chances of death by suicide will increase astronomically as I’ve just heard that more Americans have died by suicide in Afghanistan so far this year than in combat with the enemy .:(

    The 300th Brit has also copped it I see . Meanwhile the Karzai clan continue to grow fat on the proceeds of the poppy trade . What a noble way to die for the greater glory of the Afghan drug lords :((((

    Bring them home -All of them !

  • wee buns

    so sad that millions identify their unimportant carcases with the state apparatus.
    Always have, and probably always will.