The lessons of justice for Claudy

Why is Claudy left forgotten and angry while Catholic Derry is elated by the Bloody Sunday report? True, the Ombudsman’s report on the Chesney allegations is a thin thing compared to  Saville. Yet in each case the call for justice remains unfulfilled. Otherwise, the contrast could hardly be more marked.

The implied suggestion that the one should balance the other is misleading. In fact, they are asymmetrical. Innocence of the victims was the burning issue in how Saville was received. Innocence was never in doubt in Claudy. In Bloody Sunday the State was violating its own rules. In Claudy, only the perverse and degenerate rules of terrorism applied. The IRA regarded themselves as accountable to no one, except themselves – and often brutally.

A report on one tragedy usually provokes calls for justice in others. This cuts across the general if vague ambition to draw a line under the Troubles. In truth nobody knows what to do next. A Statute of Limitations, even supposing it could be agreed, might not prevent relatives seeking legal redress under human rights law, although the odds in favour of getting it might lengthen  even further.

So the temptation to keep pressing cases is hard to resist. Whatever may be thought of his presentation style, who can deny that Willie Frazer’s list of atrocities is worthy of further inquiry? When you look at the bare accounts, how can you resist being drawn into the details of the “Ballymurphy massacre?”

It’s here that the issue of balance enters the debate. The successors of the IRA are fully part of the reformed State and leaders of the local Executive. The louder Sinn Fein call for more inquiries into the actions of the army and the police, the greater the pressure must be put on them to encourage voluntary admissions by former IRA members and take responsibility for their actions.

No doubt this point will be greeted with hollow laughter, notably by the usual critics of Gerry Adams . Why should they bother to confess? There are no risks and no incentives to do so. Nobody will go to jail. But until efforts to get the IRA to tell more of the truth are made, campaigns to win justice across the board will be seen as politically motivated.  And no  overarching formula for dealing with the past will succeed in the basic aim of removing key obstacles to reconciliation.

  • Big Maggie

    Thanks for the link to FAIR. Willie must get tired of typing “Roman” in every other sentence.

    Or maybe not….

  • Alan Maskey

    Willie does not like Catholics. He is not alone.

    Brian: Every single death should be examined and as much as possible found on each and every one of them. Maybe a well edited website but is taken, someone obviously wanting to cash in.
    PIRA have cases to answer regarding a string of events.
    But so too has HMG, who made a point of honouring the Paras and the BSpecials-UDR-RIR who were at the heart of so many of them worst killings
    The British Government could begin the process by declaring the paras a criminal organisation and by hanging its leading lights; the post war fate of the SS is a good guide in this respect. With the Provos, those who ordered the killing of Shergar and those who organised Bloody Friday should step forward or be stepped forward.
    Guess what? Ain’t gonna happen and the weak will mourn alone.

  • Brian Walker

    alan, pity you lapse into playing games from sentence 4. on..

  • “But until efforts to get the IRA to tell more of the truth are made, campaigns to win justice across the board will be seen as politically motivated. And no overarching formula for dealing with the past will succeed in the basic aim of removing key obstacles to reconciliation.”

    Brian, are you placing all possibility of reconciliation squarly upon one group above all others, including HMG? That unless the IRA come clean, peoples thirst for justice can be dismissed as being politically motivated. We can certainly say that Diplock Courts dispensed justice based upon the political motivation to fudge the evidence, this way or that, to best suited those in whose interests such courts were designed to protect.

    Those who hate or despise the IRA may have very valid grounds for doing so and the IRA may have a moral responsibility to provide them with answers in regard to Caludy alone. But one cannot detract the fact that the prime suspect was permited to go freely, to plot and plan, not because the IRA required that but because HMG made it possible.

    There is little doubt that there was Security Force collusion with both Loyalist and Republican paramilitaries such that the “overarching formula” to which you hint toward, requires that the ringleader “tell more of the truth” rather than the onus being placed exclsuively on bit players.

  • Granni Trixie

    I do think that there is merit in the general raison detre of FAI/WF to draw attention to hidden aspects of deaths during the troubles.. But it is how WF makes the case that is totally sectarian and takes away from the evidence. (its more than just presentation, Brian).

    Whilst I havent a lot of time for priests and know of a few who seem to have the IRAs moral world view,this is not the trend, infact many priests and the church are/were actively opposed to the IRA.

    Seems to me that Fair’s take on priests is driven by sectarian assumptions and ignorance and WF projects a sterotypical take on priests as a class.

    I agree with the post that there is much in FAIRS list to be examined but that is beside the point namely that victims of the troubles deserve better than their experience to be used as an excuse for sectrarianism.

  • I’m not in the least bit surprised that the church tried to cover this up, they’ll do anything to cover their arses. I am surprised that gov stood by and let them though

  • Mr Crowley

    Why would you be surprised by the British government being involved in collusionand coverup; particularly where the massacre of civilians was concerned?

    The most important question to come out of this, which will never be answered, is ‘who was Chesney working for when he planned the atrocity?’ Find the answer to that and it will be obvious why he was shielded from investigation.

  • Drumlin Rock


    60% of deaths were by Republicans, 40% by Loyalists, 10% by State forces.

    Excluding the exceptions, such as self-defense, self-inflicted, simple accidents, etc. most of these still require answers from all side.
    However all the focus seems to be on the 10% or perversely an attempt by SF to lump the remaining 90% onto the government as well.
    Tell me, why is Owen Patterson as a Government Minister being grilled about something a predecessor did 38 yrs ago, while nothing is asked of Martin McGuinness an IRA commander of the time sitting smug in the position he gained on the lives stolen at Claudy and many other places?
    It disgusts me when I see comments like Eamonn’s Twitter “The State can be so Cruel” it was the IRA, including those like Martin, Gerry, Connor, Gerry Kelly, who were the evil cruel sickos who planned, build, transported, placed or detonated bombs in Claudy and hundreds of other places, it was they who used this tactic over and over again without any real regret.
    I know we have had to swallow a lot for the sake of “peace” but this sick disgusting process of transferring all the blame onto “the State” must end, cover-ups, botched investigations, corrupt agents, whatever, yes they should be dealt with, but first try pointing the finger at the planners and and trigger men who account for 90% of those who died and remember just how cruel they were.

  • Alan Maskey


    I make three “objectionalble” points:

    1. The Paras are a criminal organisation. And so are the B Specials-UDR-RIR. The latter had to change their name on severla occasions because they are a byword in sectarian criminality. The Queen honoured them on, what seemes to me countless occasions. The Paras are an assault unit and ahave an unenviable “peace keeping” role. They are thugs and thye too have been honoured on countless occasions.

    2. The Provos have done some terrible things and many monkeys have done long time for many of them. Many of the ring leaders sit in Stormonet today. I single out Shergar because it was the act of morons (low life Kevin Mallon) sticking their noses in where they did not belong. Let them explain why they did it and whether they did a cost benefit analysis on it, ie whether the cost of doing tiger kidnaps and walmost wrcking the stud industry was worth it. And what exactly it was. You can tag on all the guys they used as cannon fodder and much more besides.
    3. Ain’t gonna happen. Adams and the butcher boy wil eventually vanish from the scene and be remembered with affection, the way Paisley is. Meanwhile, people like Chesney will be used to further nefarious agendas.

  • Alan Maskey

    DR: Your figures add up to 110%.
    Republicans in West Belfast killed more republicans than did anyone else.
    You mention four SFers. Certainly the first two have a lot to answer for. And htye should be mde answer in full, in somewhere liek The Hague.
    But so too should the Paras’ leaders, Gordon Kerr, those who ran The Jackal/King Rat etc. Off to The Hague with them. No British court but one staffed by impartials: Venezuelans. Colombians, Indians, Iranis.

  • pippakin

    Alan Maskey

    Venezuelans, Columbians, Iranis – are impartial???

    You are stacking the deck! and why am I not surprised.

  • Drumlin Rock

    Crowley, can you not accept that the IRA were sick murdering scum? they continued to do it for another 30 yrs.

  • RealityCheck

    Brian – Protestants murdered don’t count. The hierarchy of victims clique is a codeword for blaming the death of all RCs on a sectarian collusion of loyalists and the RUC.

    The liberal establishment have managed to sell the myth that despite the higher loyalist conviction and imprisonment rate the security establishment was imprisoning its own “force.” And to crown it all off despite the copious intelligence on the provos they directed the loyalists to target innocent RCs. Next item….the holocaust myth.

  • “The implied suggestion that the one should balance the other is misleading.”

    Very true. Sadly – it is that search for ‘balance’ that perpetuates the needless politicisation of individual events and exposes deeply held antagonisms that we have still collectively failed to decomission (for want of a better term). Someone should really workshop this issue to the politicians. It was noticeable yesterday that most people found difficulty with the detail of the Claudy report (such as existed). There was obviously little appreciation of the Ombudsman’s actual remit and a different expectation of what he would return with (I, for one, assumed that a more detailed timeline for the day of the bombing would have been presented).

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Ive avoided the other Claudy thread.
    Claudy forgotten and angry?
    Derry elated at the Bloody Sunday result?

    In 1972, “Catholic Derry” saw the British Army and subsequent Widgery aided and abetted by journalists..perceived ENEMIES collude.
    Saville vindicated them.
    In 1972 “Claudy” saw their enemies act like their enemies.
    And Hutchinsons report reveals that their FRIENDS colluded.

    Thats the big difference surely.
    “Catholic Derry” was hardly surprised by the actions of the State they largely opposed.
    “Claudy” is shocked by the actions of the State they largely supported.

  • RealityCheck

    Having read the official report, I wonder why the press have not picked up this statement, “the actions of the senior RUC Officers, in seeking and accepting the Government’s assistance in dealing with the problem of Father Chesney’s alleged wrongdoing, was by definition a collusive act.”

    Now, the families in question are entitled to huge compensation on the basis of that statement alone. They repeat that all parties concerned are deceased – but what about Machine Gun Marty? Surely he should be hauled before the courts to tell us what he knew – after all he was very prominent in demanding justice and truth when another recent report came out in the same county. I wonder why he is so quiet now?

  • RepublicanStones


    DR your attempt to apportion blame with regard to figures is ridiculous. The figures attributed to crown forces neglect those murders which were incited by the state but carried out by other groups. So whose to blame for those? The people who pulled the trigger or the people who pulled the strings. If you attempt to limit the discussion to a narrow criteria of figures you are evidently self-serving.

  • Cynic

    Well you helped establish the Church so will you say Sorry?

  • Cynic

    Gone fishin?

  • Cynic

    Perhaps there’s another SF member in South Derry who would like to make a statement?

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Drumlin’s post (typo notwithstanding) is spot on — fact is the provos made a monumental bollocks of the entire ‘troubles’ period and have proved themselves astute solely at propaganda.

    Having bravely struggled through Adam’s ‘Hope and History’ this summer, I’ve ‘learnt’ that the sole aggressors were the Brit forces, aided by ‘unionist paramilitaries’, with only the brave boys of the ra to defend the good people of the north from such crushing oppression. Notable that virtually the only mentions of provo killings were those against the British army (and a few words of regret over the damage Enniskillen caused to the SF mandate).
    Gerry aimed his book fairly and squarely at Angry O’Neill of Illinois whose great granda came from Wexford and is upset that the catholics are all living in mud huts while the brits use them for target practice. For anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of Irish reality, there’s nothing to see here.

    One other thing I learnt however, which just might be true, is that Gerry was mighty upset with the RC church who largely failed to support his murder campaign.
    Sounds like the good father Chesney may have been an exception, but Willie Frazer’s frenzied finger pointing entirely misses the point — Roman Catholicism cannot be equated with violent republicanism. Sure there were a few overlaps but by and large the RC church were rightly appalled by Gerry’s boys tendency to blow up workmen, execute mothers and destroy town centres, all in the name of ‘freeing’ Ireland.

    Claudy is one of a thousand murky episodes of the troubles, but it has to be asked, what exactly would an indepth multi-million pound inquiry achieve? Chesney died 30 years ago, anyone else made amenable won’t be punished and there’s a fair chance ‘the truth’ will only be a slice of the truth.

    Do I really want to know that my friend left La Mon Hotel in a small box because a double agent working for the British but actually a senior INLA operative set up the provos and el beardo for a smear campaign? (I just made that up by the way before a high level investigation is launched).

    What I’m trying to say is — is there really anything to be gained from endless enquiries? Assuming the truth can be got at from this distance, assuming the perpetrators are willing to be honest and assuming what evidence there is can be put to some practical use, is it really going to help the relatives or survivors?

    If the answer to the above is yes, then surely ALL victims have a right to equal treatment, not just, as per Drumlin’s figures, 10%.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Thanks for proving case, RS, “we did nathin, t’was Brits that dun it”
    We all know Marty, Gerry and co. pulled the strings, and were never far from the triggers either i’m sure.

  • joeCanuck

    There are indeed similarities between Bloody Sunday and the Claudy atrocity. In both cases innocent people were murdered and in both cases the prime suspects were never interviewed by the police.
    The people of Claudy did deserve better but that is no reason to be aggrieved at the people of Derry for getting a measure of justice. Only a tiny measure since the suspects have yet to be questioned and it is unlikely that they ever will.

    Murder is murder.

  • Brian Walker

    christy and others..No, I’m obviously not pinning all the blame on the IRA but – however belatedly – and deplorably late indeed – the essential difference between paramilitaries and the State today is that the State can still be held to account. At the very least, offiicial records can be examined and witnesses summoned. This can happen in civil actions funded by public subscription. even if no new official inquiries are held.

    On the other hand, with a de facto amnesty applying for terrorist crimes before the GFA, there is no incentive for former paramilitaries to confess beyond a desire for reconciliation and conscience. Even though it isn’t yet acknowledged in these terms,this was a big part of the price of peace, like the judgement – necessary or not – to transfer Fr Chesney to Donegal.

    The bigger unlocking can only come – if ever – when people stop holding up their hands in horror about an amnesty.
    They don’t even have to oppose its formal enactment amnesty ( even supposing it was compatible with the Human Rights Act). They only have to admit that we’ve got a de facto one now.

    I’m sure it’s true that during the Troubles rogue part time soldiers and police officers could get away with more than they should have. The HET should be able to answer some questions here. It would be very valuable to test the claims of broad equivalence between the UDR etc and paramilitaries. Despite notorious examples (eg Miami showband etc) which came to trial, I don’t accept equivalence and would welcome a wider release of evidence without further penalty in HET analyses, once the case by case reviews are complete. When the HET wraps up ( in three years?) we’ll all be in a position to assess their effectiveness generally, partly through challenges to their conclusions – as with McGurk’s bar and Claudy, for instance. I’m surprised that more HET conclusions have not been challenged already, Perhaps that will happen more in the cointinuing aftermath of Saville – much as all parties would privately deplore it..

    It seemed to me what Claudy really wanted was the truth rather than justice. if by justice means convictions.
    What holds truth back is partly the the lack of courage and honesty over an amnesty, by whatever name.

    An audit of trials, convictions, later confessions and other conclusions by affiliation, including the security forces combined, should be part of the detailed analyses which I believe should the main the vehicle for dealing with the past. It would be a vital supplement to Lost Lives by David Mc Kittrick and others.


  • A.N.Other

    Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, life in the wilderness of mirrors.

    Let’s stay absorbed in the past for ever, and let’s have hundreds and hundreds of enquiries stretching over the next one hundred years; that will keep everybody busy whist we wait for a United Ireland.

  • joeCanuck

    No, I don’t think we need any more enquiries. We know what organizations did what, more or less. The HET should just continue to investigate to see if charges can be laid.

  • I have said before that Im not in favour of historical investigations. To me they always seem to do more harm than good.

    Atrocities were committed on all sides, there is guilt everywhere on this island and no, apart from some probably well deserved financial compensation, there will almost certainly not be enough justice to go round.

    There is another side and this may not be the right time, it may even be whataboutery, but if it is it needs to be looked at some time soon. What about the ‘combatants’? I have been giving them all some thought. Of the republican activists it appears at least two of the most well known had problems with the past, and I read today that two of the activists in the Claudy tragedy are said to have committed suicide. The inability of some ex armed services people to get over their past is well known.

    An amnesty whilst repugnant to some, on all sides, has got to be better than these festering wounds, and perhaps in time it would help everyone to overcome the past. Endless commissions, committees and enquiries serve no sensible purpose.

  • Dec

    “Tell me, why is Owen Patterson as a Government Minister being grilled about something a predecessor did 38 yrs ago, while nothing is asked of Martin McGuinness an IRA commander of the time sitting smug in the position he gained on the lives stolen at Claudy and many other places?”

    Probably because the IRA didn’t set up an inquiry after Claudy and whose findings accused the victims of planting the first bomb.

  • Framer

    That the Police Ombudsman’s report took so long to be concluded is amazing given the paucity of new information.

    It also seems not to ask obvious questions or pursue obvious leads or explain peculiar facts.

    Why have all the police records disappeared? Was it carelessness, policy or accident?

    Why was Bishop Daly not interviewed?

    Why did Chesney continue in his role as OC South Derry long after the meeting between Whitelaw and the Cardinal?

  • Owen Patterson is in the frame because he is a Minister in a democratic government, ultimately answerable to us plebs.

    Furthermore, the actions of Ministers of the Crown (Whitelaw, in this case) have to be accountable.

    The Ombudsman’s report (especially paras 4.23 to 4.30) puts Whitelaw into play. He would seem to have used the 5 Dec 1972 meeting to “burn” Conway (yes, I read spy thrillers). Conway, it seems, was “jumped”. His response, that he would endeavour to have Chesney transferred to Donegal, follows only from that.

    I read all that to mean that a Minister of the Crown was complicit in, if not the instigator of the whisking of a prima facie terrorist out of the British jurisdiction.

    Certainly the RUC Chief Constable was less than happy about a transfer to Donegal (in the end to Convoy, at most — what? — 20 minutes down the road from Strabane): Shillington initialed a bitter comment on the report: I would prefer a transfer to Tipperary [paragraph 4.25].

    Similarly, let’s ask questions in the other jurisdiction.

    That was, north and south alike, a febrile time. Jack Lynch’s government was still pulling through the Arms Crisis. Whatever the court’s verdict then, evidence since attests of Blaney’s and Haughey’s deep involvement: Lynch’s rôle, sitting on his hands as long as possible, remains questionable. The Fianna Fáil Balubas (the grassroots) were rampant for intervention in the North. Patrick Hillery, Jack Lynch’s loyal (and decent) Minister of External Affairs, who had negotiated Ireland’s entry into the EEC, was one of the few cooler heads around. It would be interesting to know whether Hillery, at least, was discreetly made aware of the bundle of fun Whitelaw, Conway and Bishop Farren of Derry were translating into the other jurisdiction.

    That’s the focus. That’s the main interest here. We cannot unscrew the inscrutable doings of pathological killers or terrorist gangs, nor plumb the arcane recesses of Holy Mother Church. Neither are democratic, or accountable to us. When we countenance a loaded gun, legal or not, in a man’s hands, we shouldn’t come complaining if he uses it.

    But a Minister in a democratic government? Yes, he’s answerable. And his doings, even near four decades on, have to be scrutinised in the public domain. As are actions, nominally on our behalf, of the agents of a democratic state. That’s why the Bloody Sunday Inquiry was worth every penny. But also why the examples Brian Walker cites cannot be put under similar forensic investigation.

  • Nunoftheabove

    …in song, perhaps ?

  • Nunoftheabove

    The truth is worth it; it’s also worth asking whether the collusion between state – government and elements of the police – and religious orders could happen again 40 years later. If democracy is worth anything any more then the matter is worthy of full and impartial investigation.

  • noneoftheabove

    1) I disagree, people have been and are still hurting.

    2) Collusion between state, police, church etc. Has always happened & likely, regrettably will always happen.

    Ireland needs time to let the peace work and people need to heal.

  • Nunoftheabove

    One also wonders why certain RUC members did not blow whistles very hard indeed at the time when they must have had a very good idea that the truth was being concealed, that justice was being perverted, that church was colluding with state and and that ‘known’ players were being given a plain bye-ball.

  • Alan Maskey

    Framer and Nun: Good points. More questions than answers.

  • joeCanuck

    Truth is so elusive. Especially when there are at least two “truths” in the case of N.I.
    Was this priest guilty as alleged or an innocent victim of innuendo? We will never know, even if someone involved tells his story. Even then we could not be sure. The question cannot be asked in a Court of Law which is where we usually (but not always, of course), find some semblance of truth.
    Northern Irish people, including the unionist British of course, need to find a way to draw a line. I suspect it will just take time, a lot of time, and, even then, some people will always cling to myths or their version of the “truth”.

  • A.N.Other

    In the case of N.Ireland, the ocean of truth went about in 1972 and stayed out.

    Most people have subsequently left the beach, with only a few remaining souls (the marginalised, the dispossessed, and the angry) left to look for life under the stones. The mad, still wait for the tide to come back in. It never will.

  • A.N.Other


    In the case of N.Ireland, the ocean of truth went out in 1972 and stayed out.

  • Drumlin Rock

    still a load of crap another.

  • iluvni

    What else does Edward Daly know. Time he was interviewed by the PSNI.

  • RepublicanStones

    How have I proved your case. Your ridiculous attempt at aportioning blame by citing percentages is easily seen through as I have demonstrated. Where in my post did i say it was all anyone groups fault? I merely demonstrated that your beloved percentages are not representative of the the truth. The fact you haven’t disagreed with me, and instead have thrown the toys outta the pram demonstrates that you know full well that 10% figure is being kind, very kind to the British state.

  • RepublicanStones

    Who has been truthful DR, apart from the vicitms?

  • slappymcgroundout

    “Whatever may be thought of his presentation style, who can deny that Willie Frazer’s list of atrocities is worthy of further inquiry?”

    Brian, it isn’t his “style”. He’s an out and out bigot. Don’t encourage him.

    Lastly, if you communicate with Willie, you can share this with him:

    Puts the lie to more than a few things that Willie has said.

    And see paragraph 10. For what Bobby Morton would understand, as he said the exact same thing: “I agreed with them that the only way to stop the IRA murder campaign was to attack the Catholic community itself, so that it would put pressure on the IRA to call off its campaign.” And that’s why Kingmill, to put pressure on the UVF to stop its murder campaign. Mission accomplished. Is that what you wish the inquiry to find?

    Oh, and the Reavey brothers, item 13(v):

    (v) the murder of three Catholic brothers, the Reaveys, at Whitecross, South Armagh in January 1976. This attack was carried out by McConnell, Laurence McClure, RUC Reserve Constable Johnny Mitchell and one of McClure’s brothers who, alone, was not a member of the security forces. On the same night Robin Jackson shot the three O’Dowd brothers dead. Both attacks were co-ordinated.

    Item 13 as a whole puts the lie to Willie’s claim that there was no Glenanne Gang. John Weir says there was, and he named names. And so Willie wonders why his dad was killed. There’s his answer. Note the dates. 1974-1975-1976. Bertie Frazer was killed in 1975. Not saying that his dad was in the Glenanne Gang, but with the Glenanne Gang in existence it became open season on the RUC in south County Armagh.

  • RealityCheck

    The bitter memories of a convicted murderer do not exactly inspire great confidence in seeking truth. We have all seen the bearded tree hugger demonstrate that repeatedly recently.

    It seems that people like you latch on to the statements of a few weirdos for your own agenda. The website you list seems extremely selective in the types of victims it is interested in exploring.

    I cannot for the life of me imagine why anyone would argue that this “committee” was in effect when the reality was that the loyalists were markedly ineffective in actually killing people and eluding capture. On loyalist leader told me that he wished there was such an entity as it would have made their job so much easier. That there were a few bad apples is not surprising bearing in mind the nature of genocide against the minority Protestant population in South Armagh coupled with the collusion of the local populace, the RCC establishment and the Free State Border authorities. The only surprise is that the retaliation by the Protestant dominated security forces was not institutional and effective. They certainly had the motivation and the means if they had of so chosen. Nationalists should actually be thankful that the vast majority of the security forces showed such restraint in such a climate.

  • Big Maggie

    Can anybody enlighten me as to why there hasn’t been an inquiry into the Ballymurphy Massacre of 1971?

    I came across a horrific account in the Morning Star last Sunday. Here’s a small extract:

    “All of a sudden the paratroopers came out of the main gates of the barracks and started firing at anybody, anybody at all. A young man called Noel Philips was wounded, fell and screamed out. A woman named Mrs Connolly went to help but when she got to him she was shot in the face. The whole left-hand side of her face was taken off with the force of the bullet.

    “My daddy was wounded in the leg initially according to eyewitness accounts. He was then shot 14 times whilst he lay out in the open, from a distance of less than 50 yards. They also shot an 11-year-old boy in the groin.”

    And so it goes on, detailing heinous war crimes committed by the Paratroop Regiment. Is there any truth in this? If so then why don’t we hear more about it? From where I’m sitting it seems to overshadow the atrocities of Bloody Sunday.

  • JAH

    And so it goes on indeed.

    Never ending litany of your atrocities were worse than ours. Indignation, rising blood pressure. Then encouraging the next generation to be violent based on some dubious justification of “what those fenians/brits done to us”.

    We really need a truth and reconciliation committee. One final open confession. And realisation all were to blame. No saints on either side.

    Otherwise we are living in a brief period of calm. Someone said to me yesterday he was better off in the Troubles. That sort of thinking should make us all despair.

  • drumlins rock

    JAH, problem is there not even a hint of the Provos telling the truth, they wont even admitt to Claudy, but are careful not to deny it either.

  • Big Maggie


    “And realisation all were to blame.”

    All? By my reckoning Ballymurphy predates Claudy. It’s not a little facile to blame “all” while ignoring the natural principle of cause and effect.

    You might as well argue that Hiroshima triggered Pearl Harbor.

  • Alan Maskey

    Soi Drumlin’s Rock: who do you want to go after
    a. The Provos, who haven’t gine away you know
    b. a now deceased Catholic priest, who vehemently denied the charges levelled against him and who is of no consequence in this matter, except to stick it up the institutional Catholic Church.

    I am surprised that no one has come forward who knoew this turbulent priest in any or all the wlaks of life he had
    The only documents we seem to have are a j’acuse letter written by a Fr Liam (Glennane Gang or FRU?) and a second hand account that the late Cardinal Conway, who most likely never met Chesney, thought he was a bad man.
    Let me see. I think Ian Paisley is a bad man. He lived in Ballymena. Did he do it?

    Brian Walker does not like thatapproach so let me try another. THe PIRA, INLA etc did many terrible, stomach churning things. If you want justice for Protestants (for want of a better term), go after the big guns. It is only when you bring the big guns to account that any real semblance of the truth can emerge.
    The big guns, real of perceived, include Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. In fact, nailing those two, getting waht they know and don’t know, would take an international criminal court a very long time. It would go a long way to bringing out the skeletons.
    Whoever was in charge in Belfast should give us the alpha and omega on the Disappeared. The strap on bomb with Gillespie also needs a full airing. The Shergar incident ahows what morons were in charge of PIRA. These are the same vemin who shot dead a totally strung out junki in Dublin when they were after the drug tsars in their DAD reincarnation. Thenwe have all the post GFA killings.
    All of the victims need jusuce. The dead have their rights too. Some Brits are stil cmapigning for those shell shock victims executed as cowards during World war 1. They too desrve even a smidgin of justice.

    In return, the ring leaders of the Paras, the RUC and the UDR must be held to account and the RIR must be disarmed and disbanded.

    The late John McGuffin usd to write a column detailing the crimes and convictions of the RUC/UDR under the byline The Brigadier for An Phoblacht in his own scabrous style. He was never short of material as all those upholders of law and order seemed to do was terrorise Catholics.

    Howewver, from my point of view and I know I am not alone, however disgusting many of the acts of the Provos were – and there is no end of these disgusting acts, killing the ex RUC guy whose nerves were shattered etc etc etc – the primary blame lies with the Brits and their local toughs, who sowed the win and more than deserved the whirlwind.

  • A.N.Other

    Dear Mr Maskey

    Beware the Alibrandi link – truth may yet out;

  • vanhelsing

    Maskey as usual full of whataboutery. Whatabout the PARAs, whatabout the UDR, whatabout the RUC and whatabout Daffy Duck.

    Claudy was a massacre of 9 innocent civilians,

    ‘the primary blame lies with the Brits and their local toughs, who sowed the win and more than deserved the whirlwind’ of course it does they were also responsible for 9/11 🙂

    Clearly some elements of the British security forces were evil and colluded in the murder of innocent catholics – not in this case. So lets focus of on the crime of the IRA in this instance and the henious coverup that followed.

    ‘The only documents we seem to have are a j’acuse letter written by a Fr Liam (Glennane Gang or FRU?) and a second hand account that the late Cardinal Conway, who most likely never met Chesney, thought he was a bad man.
    Let me see. I think Ian Paisley is a bad man. He lived in Ballymena. Did he do it?’

    best you can do to get this murdering Priest off the hook? I know 5 year olds who could put together a better string of logic…

  • Alan Maskey

    VanH: You don’t do saracasm very well.
    Tell me: wer you a member of the terrorist UDR/UC/UFF? Because your IQ level and “set of beliefs” would suggest you would fit in perfectly
    Anyway, this thread is about the lessons of justice for Claudy, not Claudy. So it has to be a bit wider; there are other threads on Claudy.
    Yiu have quoted me but let me paraphhrase what you just quoted and which John EB has ben forced to agree with: HERE IS NOT ONE IOTA OF EVIDENCE AGAINST CHESNEY.
    And, if you’d been a reder o the Brigadier(the only Prod to be interned on internment day), you would know the UDR/B Specials/RIR/FRU were not a few bad apples. It was an entire orchard and more.
    So who bombed Dublin and Monaghan?
    If you read my post, I clearly state and I state again: ,MAKE ADAMS AND MCGUINnESS ACCOUNTABLE ALONG WITH THE BRIT BIGWIGS.

  • Sam

    “PIRA have cases to answer regarding a string of events” you mean the thirty years of genocidal murder and mayhem?
    If the PIRA had not embarked on and maintained that campaign the paras et al would not have been here.

  • Sam

    Well daid DR.
    may I be permitted to quote Kipling?

    The blood our fathers spilt,
    Our love, our toils, our pains
    Are counted us for guilt
    And only bind our chains –
    Before an Empire’s eyes
    The traitor claims his price.
    What need of further lies?
    We are the sacrifice.

  • vanhelsing

    You play ball not man – no offense taken from someone like yourself regarding either my IQ or belief system.

    Maskey on Claudy Bombing,

    “If Chesney were alive today, I would feel sorry for him, being hung out to dry”

    “I am sure the good Catholics of South Derry missed this man when he was cruelly taken from them” [not scarcasm]

    “Any of you ever hear of El Grito? Shortly before dawn on September 16, 1810, Fr Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla revolutionized Mexican history by summoning the locals to his church and urging them to slaughter the hated planter. Chesney is in the tradition of Hidalgo, Fr Murphy and good Fr Griffin.

    Let’s hope he too gets a GAA club called after him. But now, he sleeps, with an easy conscience, i measc laochra na nGael”[trans Their names are among the heroes of the Gaels] – used in IRA funerals…’

    Think you’re pretty clear on this man, he was a hero to you…Glad we’re clear on the type of people you idolise.

    Ps don’t bother with a response

  • fin

    Gregory Campbell cuts a lonely figure in all this and the most he can muster is a half hearted appeal for an apology from the Govt and everyone else. Yet it seems only a few short monts ago that many unionists and ex-security force personnel where baying for inquiries into IRA atrocities following the Saville report (gosh it was only a few months)

    I imagine they have one eye on Claudy and one eye on the shenanigans in South Armagh and that chap with the polished English accent that seem to pop up on either side but who seemed to retire from active duty for both sides when Nairic was killed.

    Possibly inquiries are not the way forward afterall!!

    As usual the stoops have got it wrong with their response, but is this an ideal time for bith the SDLP and SF to encourage the DUP and others to support a full Truth and Reconciliation event?

    Although I know the DUP are a bit busy at the moment in arguing with SF over publishing the names of party donors (something I had thought Slugger would have picked up on, though I guess the filling in Gerrys sandwich will always interest Pete more)

  • Alan Maskey

    VenH: Chesney is dead, like Mozart, instead of composing, he is decomposing. You and others have made him out as a monster yet you can produce zero evidence.
    Until I am shown evidence otherwise, I will believe him to be innocent. If you know otherwise, please explain.
    I never knew the man. I remember Claudy as a strange Monday, one of many strange days in the 6 counties. Right now, I cannot account for my movements on the day. However, I am sure if peoplv dug, they could easily find out where I was.That would eliminate me as a suspect.
    If the RUC terror gang invrstigating this outrage were serious, they would have interviewed Chesney’s parishioners and old, local Prods who would have eyes and ears. They would quickly ascertain whether he was involved or not and whether this bomb had the technical fingerprints of other bombs.
    I have been caught up in serious investigations and I have been amazed at the huge net coppers cast. They leave few stones unturned and they are methodical.
    If Chesney was involved, they would have put him under pressure at the very least.

    Hidalgo is a hero in Mexico. Fr Murphy was a pro Brit priest, until they torched his church. Fr Griffin comes nearer the mark. Go to Galway where roads and GAA clubs are called after him. He was abducted and killed on Bloody Sunday when Croke Park got riddled. Griffin was NOT an IRA man but a Brits out man, a non combatant. Maybe Chesney was too. I do not know. Please show me the evidence.
    In the Catholic faith, we are supposed to pray for the dead. If Chesney wants to be with the Fenian dead – who include plenty of scumbags – he is welcome to them. He can sleep easily with them as there are no pockets in a shroud.

    VanH: Why do you want to let Martin McGuinness off the hook on Claudy? To believe that Caladywas not directly linked to Operation Motorman on Derry is to be totally naive. The plea or a diversionary attack could have come from only one Derry City source:.

  • JAH

    I think you need to read my post again. You clearly don’t understand that we all are collectively to blame and that using one event to justify another is utterly futile and pointless, like all the violence in this country since 1968.

  • Mike

    Francie Molloy was on the news this week, speaking on behalf of Sinn Féin, refusing to even recognise that the PIRA was even responsible for the Cluady atrocity.

    Surprise, surprise, SF’s calls for “truth” exposed once again as the height of hypocrisy.

    Seems “truth” is an imperative as long as it doesn’t involve the majority of murders in the Troubles, i.e. those carried out by republicans.

  • fin

    Care to share the comments that bring you to that conclusion Mike?

    I understand he said the Claudy victims have a right to know the truth, same as Ballymurphy, same as those in South Armagh have a right to know what info is available on the guy with an English accent who appears to have batted for both sides.

    Mike, do you agree with the need for a Truth Commission?

  • MonkDeWallyDeHonk


    I couldn’t agree more about Frazer. It’s just laughable the number of Unionists who hold him up as some sort of respected figure who has a real impact.

    I am truly sorry for his family loss as I am for everyone who lost loved ones.

    However, unlike Frazer, my sympathy extends to ALL victims and relatives not just Protestant ones.

    I don’t speak in praise of a sectarian mudering drug-dealing terrorist like Billy Wright.

    I don’t see “Loyalist” murdering terrorist (and UDR member) McConnell as an innocent victim.

    I don’t have links with “Loyalist” terrorists as Frazer does – this was pointed out when he was refused a permit for a weapon.

    I didn’t say that the “Loyalist” terrorists released uder the GFA should never have been jailed in the first place.

    Frazer is a bitter man and a hypocrite. He has plenty to say about “Roman” Catholics and Republican terrorism. Unfortunately “Loyalist”terrorism wouldn’t appear to be an issue for Willie.

    The guy is so easy to expose that any serious journalist shouldn’t treat him with any degree of validity – I’m surprised at Brian doing so as I generally enjoy his pieces.

  • This is not South Africa there was one main criminal and racist attacker there, here it is very different. SF are highly unlikely to change the habit of decades and tell the truth and loyalists, anxious to maintain their criminal activities will likely remain silent, that leaves the British government doing all the ‘telling’. All such a lop sided commission would do is stoke the flames of sectarianism, but if course its worth remembering that’s what some want.

  • Alan Maskey

    Fraser is free to highlight what he likes. His site has value. It is up to others to highlight his flaws.

    Mike, wasn’t Francie Moloy mentioned in connection with Claudy. But he is alive and so not so easy to tarnish.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “Fraser is free to highlight what he likes. His site has value. It is up to others to highlight his flaws.”

    Who ever said that he isn’t allowed? I wouldn’t otherwise call the reference to Willie’s “presentation style” highlighting his flaws but instead ignoring his out and out bigotry (bigotry isn’t a presentation style but a way of life). I too understand and agree that Willie lost much. He needs to heal. Not indulge his hate. Again, that is his choice. Also again, doesn’t mean we have to encourage his indulgence.

    By the way, for those wondering why the PIRA never claimed responsibility the answer is simple. It was a botched operation. As the Guardian reports:

    Police believe the bombers attempted to telephone a warning from nearby Dungiven but the lines were down as the result of past bomb damage to the phone exchange.

    They then told Dungiven shop owners three bombs had been planted in the village, but the proprietors were also unable to contact the authorities owing to the line problems. One shop owner rushed to Dungiven police station with the warning, but too late.

    Ditto the Telegraph:

    Claudy has been described as an IRA “mistake”. The bombers had left their devices and driven to Dungiven to make warning calls. But because of earlier bomb damage, telephone lines were down. By the time the first warning was received, the first bomb had exploded outside McElhinney’s pub on Main Street.

  • RealityCheck

    Another Provo Priest exposed in the ranks along with Ryan and Chesney.

    For those who seek to denigrate Willie Frazer, they should at least take his list seriously. Another thought – what do priests have to do before they are defrocked from RCC? Abusing children and blowing up children allows you a transfer – so much for Holy Catholic Church.

  • Alan Maskey

    You will get a longer list of Willie Fraser’s site. Your point?

  • Nunoftheabove

    Not quite a priest, but anyway…Joseph Goebbels was excommunicated from the church. For ?…..Marrying a divorcee (a Protestant, as it happens) of course. Hope this helps.

  • Alan Maskey

    Why bring Goebells into it in a lesson about the evils and lessons of Claudy? Why all these red herrings?

  • Nunoftheabove

    Alan Maskey

    Reality made a point on what a priest has to do to be defrocked, thus the excommunication reference. Speaking of red herrings…Mexican priests ?!

    There is prima facie evidence, and quite a lot of it, against Chesney. Can you provide a persuasve explanation as to why the church authortities colluded with very senior coppers and Brit ish Ministers to put him out of harm’s way and suppress a reasonable investigation of his role in this and other matters (if any), in so doing plainly perverting the course of justice. Why would they club together to send him ‘up the country’ do you think – spiritual refreshment ?

  • Alan Maskey

    Nunoftheabove: He was moved to Donegal and was back in the six counties on countless occasions. After Motorman, when Claudy occurred, Buncrana became Ground Zero for Derry PIRA, so he was hardly out of harm’s way.
    Mexican priests (Hidalgo), Colombian priests (Torres), Fr Murphy (Boolavogue): all are revered for taking up the gun/pike.
    The Goebells red herring is interesting in another context (Kennedys and “annulments” for example) but not this.

    You throw around words like collusion, a word Rory Carr wrote an essay on here. This “ombudsman” puppet using such a loaded word opens the door for jackasses to throw it against Chesney and the Catholic Church, the real target here.

    Chesney was not out of reach in Donegal. British death squads carried out several assassinations there, the gardai could have quesitoned him, his extradition (like Martin Meehan’s) could have been sought, he could have been abducted like Leo Green or arrested on many of the occasions he openly visited the North.

    I take it you are not a Catholic and/or you do not know what small minded power freaks bishops can be. Some Conamara based priests have written books on this. The less the bishop likes you, the further you are removed from circulation. Tory Island etc. Mannix was sent to Melbourne.

    We have been told the (discredited) RUC Special Branch had the goods on him. Why did they not use it on him or on others? That is what they do; that is what they did with Omagh, for example.

    The Provisional IRA most likely planted those bombs as they did Birmingham and other outrages. My call: hold PIRA responsible. Your call: nail the Catholic Church.

  • Alan Maskey

    As regards being excomunicated, during the Irish Civil war, the Republican side was excommunicated lock, stock and smoking barrel, as were the entire population of Cooley (where PIRA later murdered a father of ten for being a Garda tout),
    So: excommunication is a red herring. PIRA killed a nun, OIRA killed a priest and PIRA would have killed more if ordered to.

  • Nunoftheabove


    Those so-called liberation priests aren’t revered by everyone so what’s that got to do with anything anyway ?

    The word collusion is explored in detail in the report – which you’ll know if you’ve read it – and the application of it in the report is advised and precise. And what is this paranoid nonsense about the report being about targeting the church ?!

    Please don’t presume anything of any kind about any religious belief that I may have or have had. Just don’t.

    There are two issues here; the provos were (and remain) responsible for the bomb and those civilian deaths (do please stop equivocating with your ‘most likely’ – we both know they did it), Fr Chesney possibly/probably among them. There is no doubt whatsoever however about the church’s role, along with their ruling class British colluders – in spiriting Chesney away. There appears to have been a clear undertanding that in return for his – at least partial – disappearance from the scene, he wouldn’t be interfered with by the authorities. I would be doubtful that this understanding didn’t extend to the authorities in the 26 counties.

    I believe that you should let the scales in your eyes fall and either decide that you are prepared to celebrate Chesney’s role as an IRA killer while a serving priest – which you appear to have no problem with in principle anyway – or accept the truth that the church and state colluded to give him a bye-ball and that they both perverted the course of justice in the process – a disgrace upon a disgrace.

    My position is clear, whereas you can’t seem to make up your mind about what argument best suits you.

  • Nunoftheabove


    None, – not one – of the c. 50% of the Waffen SS who were practicing, confessing catholics were excommunicated for their Nazism so what’s your point exactly – that the provos weren’t actually that pro-catholic (good luck with that argument) or that the catholic church wasn’t as pro-provo as you’d have preferred them to be ?

  • Alan Maskey

    Hw do you know 50% of the Waffen SS (a fine fighting force btw) were confessing Catholics. The organised SS was very anti religion. And why drag in the SS into a discussion about Claudy, which happened in Ireland, not Europe and years after the SS were disbanded?
    The Catholic Chiurch is Ireland was a target of both the Provos and the Brits, each trying to gain influence abnd to deflect criticism.
    Pascal said of critics of the Church: their criticisms migght have weight if thy knew anything about the Church they were attacking. You know little, if anything.

    So, what are the lessons of justice for Claudy? Any thoughts on that?

  • Nunoftheabove


    That’s not my measure, it’s that of (very) catholic historian Paul Johnson, and he has no reason to over-state the number, on the contrary. I make it to counter your very wavering line on the church’s relationship with morality, in Ireland or anywhere else.

    How you can argue that the catholic church in Ireland was a target of the provos is quite beyond me. Again, you seem to dismiss any criticism of the church almost purely on the strength of you not considering me catholic – almost endearingly pathetic !

    The lessons of Claudy are, as we know already – is that people who trust the catholic curch, or the british ruling class – are just either self-deluding or fools, possibly both. Either way, they’re just asking for it.

  • Alan Maskey


    The SS were fervently anti relgious. A third of Germans were nominal RC;s Himmler, the SS boss, came from a devout RC family and his cousin was a priest. The Nazis got going in Bavaria so, cp, the odds of an SS man being from a RC family was at least 1/3.
    After Ratzinger became Pope, his brother, George, also a priest, explained how the SS/Nazis controlled everything in Bavaria, especially outlets of sporty kids. This is the same reason PIRA hijacked or replaced AOH gigs like 15th August.
    However, Nazi Germany is totally irrelevant to Claudy.

    1. Claudy was most likely done by PIRA, by the “Bellaghy Butchers” if a unit has to be fingered.
    2. The organised Irish Roman Catholic has been an obstacle to Irish Repuiblicanism ever since the British set up Maynooth in the late 18th century.
    3. The ways of the RC Church (stealth and influence) is the polar opposite of PIRA’s bombs and bullets.
    4. PSF/PIRA were highly critical of several primates, Conway and Daly in particular and they, in turn, were highly critical of PIRA.
    5. PIRA claimed to be fighting for a free Ireland, an objective that is of zero concern to the RC church except in so far as it might strengthen its international hand. There are more RCs and more important ones in England than there are in Ireland.
    6. Both the RC hierarchy and the British ruling class, as you put in, are tangential to Claudy.
    7. Claudy was a PIRA tactical operation that went wrong. The questions then should be more localised, directed at PIRA, “former” members of which sit in Stormont.

  • Nunoftheabove

    How are they tangential to establishing the truth of who was responsible, we now know and both acknowledge their role in the concealment of at least part of the truth. It goes without saying that there are people alive who either committed, planned, helped and/or executed the attack itself. My point is that in the absence of a real invesitagtion, which is now virtually impossible given the collusion between church and state over Chesney and the suppression of that investigation at the time – the full truth will likely now never be told and the perpetrators never brought to justice. Anyone therefore who is of the view that the church or the state were either neutral players or honest brokers in these (or indeed many other) matters is kidding themselves on to a tremendous extent.

    Your ‘defence’ of the church over fascism isn’t even worthy of a rebuttal but we can debate that separately any old day of the week you fancy (if you’re in the mood for a humiliation, that is) if you don’t feel it’s relavent to Claudy. I do (ditto the child rape scandal in which the church is deeply implicated on a global scale and has had state collusion there too) and your insistence that the only questions which arises from Claudy are localised ones is, I’m afraid, just plain wrong.

  • Alan Maskey

    Nunoftheabove: You are intorducing the old Hitler canard and the updated one of kiddy bonking, They have nothing to do with Claudy though they have a lot to do with your mindset.
    What do we know about Claudy?
    1. It was done to relieve pressure on the Derry City IRA.
    2. The IRA unit was in Dungiven afterwards.

    Have you ever been on a mission? IRA or UFF death squad (though the latter are ,admittedly, a little different as they get waved through checkpoints).

    The hardest thing – and what differentiates Irish republican groups from Al Qaeda – is you have to escape. For that, you need what is called a safe house, where the QM takes the gear, you change clothes, and scarper from there to establish your alibi. Safe house is 10

  • Alan Maskey

    safe house is 101 level. So, if the IRA unit was in Dungiven afterwards, where was the safe house and who did it? The safe house was most likely near Bellaghy, not the very opposite direction where Fr Chesney’s parish lay.
    Give PIRA some credit. Though they treated their Volunteers like expendable shit, they did not want them getting caught totally needlessly. If the safe house was around Bellaghy, Chesney would have been a major liability. If the safe house was around Cullion, they would have had to double back generally towards Derry City, whose environs were swarming with Brits.
    Now, PIRA, being scumbags, do lay false trays, the most notorious of which was probably the Sallins train robbery, where they stitched up the INLA. Now you tell me how Chesney would have been an asset on the day, assuming, as is generally agreed, the IRA unit all went back to Dungiven (again a little thick but that is PIRA)

    If that is a little hard for you, take the RITRA campaign up to Omagh, They had bombed a string of country towns so the Special Branch had an idea of what to look out for. But what is involved in car bombing? You need a unit to nick the car and who knows how to nick the car etc etc etc. Horses for courses. That is how coppers solve cases. Look for the pattern. Chesney does not fit.

    If it don’t fit, acquit.

  • Nunoftheabove


    Hitler and kchild rape are not irrelevant, if you take the blinkers off. Not going to explain the relevance again for you.

    This remainder is just amateur Colombo nonsense with wild speculation and assumptions galore; the collusion you seem loathe to accept happened (for reasons you are loathe to even try to explain) suppressed/prevented a proper investigation and, it seems to me not not unlikely, seems to have resulted in the mysterious disappearance of the records of the investigation to that point. That investigation may well have enabled the truth to emerge. Instead, it suppressed that possibility. The responsibility for that lies with the Brits, senior members of the RUC and with the catholic church. The responsibility for the bombing itself was/is the provos’.

  • Alan Maskey

    Why are you intent on the red herring of the Nazis and pedos?Is it because the charges are baseless and, as Bishop Daly and others have said, Special Branch intelligence was minimal in those days.
    Why are you letting PIRA away with this?
    There is no Colombo or Agatha Christie in this. I have outlined some generally agreed facts. You, on the other hand, are swearing by Special Branch tittle tattle.
    On the other link, Bishop Daly said Combat, the UVF/OIRA magazine, published the address and car reg of Chesney’s mother. You agree with that?
    Or just with taking on a dead man with baseless, logically flawed allegations to support priest bashing instead of Provo bashing.
    Why did Daly not mention the missing Bingo money?

    All of this is a smear by RUC/Speical Branch/UDR. The objective was to isolate a Republican minded priest and to perhaps justify kiling their families the same way RUC/FRU agent King Rat liquidated the parents of Fox, the McKearney’s cousin.
    The Catholic Church had no hold over the Special Branch. To suggest otherwise is to suggest unpleasant things about yourself.

    The scenario myself, Paddy Reilly and othrs have put forward is totally plausible. Yours is not. It is based on the anonymous tittle tattle on a discredited force (RUC Special Branch) and undocumented comments attributed to the late Cardinal Conway, about someone he never met which Bishop Daly, who was in the loop, casts doubts over.

  • Nunoftheabove


    “Why are you intent on the red herring of the Nazis and pedos?” – I’m not going to comment on that further as you’re not a debater. The catholic church’s record on morality more generally and on amenability to normal standards of justice in this and other countries is truly appalling so feel free to defend its record if you will – you’re on a real hiding to nothing if you do sir.

    “Why are you letting PIRA away with this?” – I’m not and resent the slur suggesting I have. Whether they admit it or not – they slaughtered those innocent civilians, of that I am in: No Doubt. Whatsoever. What you don’t appear capable of accepting is that the state-church collusion has made a major contribution to the denial of – if you even accept the concept – of criminal justice on the case of Claudy. (Do you care ?)

    “I have outlined some generally agreed facts. ” – according to who exactly ?

    “You, on the other hand, are swearing by Special Branch tittle tattle.” No. For the third time, please explain why Chesney was given a bye-ball by the church and the state if this was all truly tittle tattle. Come on, not even a Willie Frazer conspiracy theory ?!

    “On the other link, Bishop Daly said Combat, the UVF/OIRA magazine, published the address and car reg of Chesney’s mother. You agree with that?” – eh ? Why would I care or even consider the garbage put out by sectarian thugs and criminal state-sponsored criminal Stalinists ?

    “All of this is a smear by RUC/Speical Branch/UDR” – can you produce a single piece of convincing evidence in support of this assertion or even a plausible explanation of why they would do so given the obvious priorities of the time we’re referring to ?

    “The objective was to isolate a Republican minded priest and to perhaps justify kiling their families the same way RUC/FRU agent King Rat liquidated the parents of Fox, the McKearney’s cousin” – Why would the state and church go to so much trouble to protect what you’re alleging was a non-entity and give such special treatment to Chesney ?

    .”The Catholic Church had no hold over the Special Branch. To suggest otherwise is to suggest unpleasant things about yourself.” – I have suggested no such thing. In this case there was a clear alignment of interest. No unlike the mass child rape scandal I referred to earlier. Or fascism. Please do try to understand this.

    The technical term for what you’re talking is, I’m afraid, what we doctors call “complete bollocks”.

  • Alan Maskey

    Nunoftheabove: Good name.
    Produce the evidence. The Special Branch and so on have not produced any. Even when the Troubles ended, the branch/MI5 insisted on getting the on the runs. Chesney was not one of them,
    He could have been arrested on many occasions after Claudy, on either side of the border,
    The Special Branch, through Whitelaw, put pressure on Conway to have Chesney moved. They succeeded. One more turbulent priest out of the immediate way. Standard practice – I have seen the Brabch do it successfully on sevrl occasions down the years.
    Would they leave anyone away with Claudy? No way.
    You seem unconcerned that Combat would publish the details of his mother. The UVF involved such devils as The Jackal, King Rat, the Glenane Gang. The Branch most likely got the UVF to publish the details and thereby help the RC bigwigs to move Chesney.
    Shane Paul O’Doherty, the letter bomber, whose family is well dug in with the RCs in Derry (and thus his early release) says Chesney’s name never came up.
    So O’Doherty and Bishop Daly – who would have been fully briefed about any Provo priest bomber – give Chesney the all clear. You know better. Produce the evidence.

    You agree with me Chesney, if he was an IRA man, was a non entity. Burt South Derry IRA included hard nuts – the McGlincheys, the McElwees, Ian Milne, Francie Hughes. Did he just walk away from them?

    You are a doctor. Not a paedetrician I hope as you have paedos (and other red herrings) on the brain.

  • joeCanuck

    You just don’t get it. Nobody here or anywhere has to produce evidence. The Police/SB or whoever never said they had evidence so far as I know. They said they had suspicions. You believe that the Police should not be allowed to follow up on suspicions. There’s merit in that; if they were allowed to do so, where would it end?They might start asking questions off their own bat or doing full investigations..
    Wise up.

  • Nunoftheabove


    We now have an official recognition of the collusion of church and state in the very probable perversion of the course of justice regarding Chesney’s alleged involvement in the murder of civilians (and perhaps non-civilians, before or subsequent to the Claudy atrocity). Why do you keep saying that he could have been arrested at any time since that up to his death when we already know that the church and state colluded in ensuring that this did not happen and that a reasonabe investigation into Claudy would not take place and perhaps now never will as a consequence of that collusion.

    I have not said that Chesney was a non-entity, I asked you very specifically why they church and state would go to so much bother to have him spirited away and suppress a full investigation into Claufy if he was a non-entity. You have not produced any plausible explanation as to why they would have done so IF he was the non-entity you seem certain that he was.

    Incidentally I do wish you would use the right terminology – paedophilia is, by classic definition, actually the love of children, which isn’t what the church is up to its neck in. That would be, for the most part, child rape.

  • Alan Maskey

    Nunoftheabove: It is hard to take you seriously when you are fixated on raping children.
    To repeat: There is no evidence against Chesney. He was not spiirited away. He was moved to a different part of the diocese. He could have been arrested on either side of the border. The RUC and RUC Speical branch lost many fine men (and women) in the course of the Troubles. Some of them, by any yardstick, were brutally killed. To imagine, as you do, that all of the RUC would allow a top Provo bomber to escape and not try to recitify matters by the Glenanne gang or by media exposure or by simple harassment is to live in fantasy land. The UVF, close comrades of the RUC, did publish the adress and car reg of Chesney’s mother so that obviously had a bearing on his Donegal decision.
    Bishop Dalty of Derry claims Chesney was innocen. You and the RUC think differently. Produce the evidence.

    Joe Canuck: Nobody here or anywhere has to produce evidence. The Police/SB or whoever never said they had evidence so far as I know.

    No evidence = no case to answer.

    The RUIC Special Branch were probably the PIRA’s most imnplacable foes and the PIRA were ecstatic when they were disbanded. If the Brabch believed Chesney was a PIRA bigwig, they would have followd it up. The Branch, like the SAS, played by Big Boys Rules/. You wise up.

  • Nunoftheabove


    You’ve now 3 times refused to explain the rationale for the decision to move Chesney on the basis on conversations between the secretray of state, leading RUC personnel and leading churchmen, and the understanding that he would not be investigated following this ‘transfer’ despite plain concern about his involvement and more than sufficient prima facie evidence to pull him in.

    You’re assuming he’s innocent because he wasn’t investigated, I’m asking you acknowledge that he wasn’t investigated on the basis of the now accepted collusion and that this happened despite – indeed apparently because of – very real suspicions that he was up to his neck in it. The cops, the britis and the church were pretty busy in 1972. Isn’t it just slightly unlikely that they would find the time to be chin-wagging on the careers and deployment of ‘non-entity’ priests in insignificant rural parishes ?

    The point of interface with the child rape scandal is plain to be seen. The church has no difficulty whatsoever putting its own people beyond the reach of human justice and has had generations of practice at doing just this time and time again in the face of evidence of truly atrocious and criminal behaviour, on the part of its personnel. If that’s not relevant then you’re in deep dark denial and I am unable to help you understand it.

  • Alan Maskey

    Here is the (British)Daily Mail take on it. Has anyone the Irish edition? Nunoftheabove, you will be happy to know “The Man from the Daily Mail” rants on about child sex abuse and the rest.
    According to the DM’s unattributed sources, the Branch thought he was still IRA active after Claudy.
    So why did they not pull him in? The Branch were not the Protestant equivalent of altar boys. They would have no problem getting an IRA bomber priest and charging him before any higher ups could move and there is no way their higher ups would stop them. There is no way they would have left an IRA bomber roam Co Derry just becuse he wore a dog collar.

    I have already told you how Catholic bishops work. They tend to be autocratic and any priest who does not kow tow to them will get shafted. I am sure priests on Tory Island are not in big with the Bishop. Daniel Mannix was deported to Melbourne as he was too big of a threat.
    So the Branch wanted less pro Provo sermons in Co Derry. Move the offender to Donegal. Problem solved.
    Though, to use your obsession with the kiddy bonking, the problem is not solved. Donegal, as I already said, is where the Derry PIRA relocated to after Motorman. So Chesney woiuld have been more of a threat there than in Cullion where they could keep an eye on him.

    Daly has explained why Chesney was moved. He was moved because his sermons resembled more the editorial page of An Phoblacht than the usual puerile drivel that passes for sermons in RC churches.
    Could you imagine if they’d moved him to the Bogside? Mass attendances would have soared and Eamonn McCann and Nell McCafferty would have been brought back to church, along with hundreds, if not thousands more. The guy would have been a media sensation.
    Could you imagine a truly independent Provo priest, saying mass outside Strand Road barracks? The Provos would have loved it.
    The RC Church works by stealth for its objectives, which have never and will never aligned with radical republicanism.

    Most priestly sermons are a waste of breath and the RC Church will never produce a firebrand preacher not just like Paisley but like countless of Protestant ministers not because they do not have such golden lipped guys in their ranks but because the bishops’ vanity would never allow it.

    Now, I am off to Church to light a candle for a wronged priest who died of cancer in 1980. I measc laochra na nGael go raibh a anam dilis.

  • Nunoftheabove


    Entirely unnecessary use of the word ‘most’ in your penultimate paragraph in my opinion but you have your theory – not backed up by any evidence, mind – and are entitled to it. I simply don’t see how having APRN-type sermons in D’gal can have seemed to anyone, including the bishops, like much of a suitable alternative to the threat of incitement of the credulous flock in south derry.

    Bit of a waste of candle too if you ask me but hey, no fire without smoke, right ?

  • Alan Maskey

    Donegal was and is a PIRA stronghold. Buncrana was an IRA town after Motorman when Derry PIRA moved there en masse. Happy days going to the Borderlands, meeting the babes from Creggan. The SAS did some abductions and killing there during those years and later stiffed a PSF councillor in Buncrana.
    I had to use the find key to find which most you meant. Silly me. And silly you.
    I went back and looked at all the times I used “most”:
    most likely the work of PIRA, most like the Bellaghy PIRA, the Special Branch were most likely PIRA’s deadliest enemies etc. Did you object to any of them? No. You obected to me saying “Most priestly sermons are a waste of breath”
    I take it you have never been to RC funerals or weddings. Sometimes, a priest, like anybody else, can do a good turn of phrase. At funerals, with which we are all all too familiar, priests, vicars, ministers, can, with a good turn of phrase, ease the moment. You won’t even give any priest credit for ever making any good speech or sermon. And you expect to be taken seriously.

  • Alan Maskey
    RC priest speaks to BBC on Chesney.
    Fr Bartlett said that decision should be the subject of more scrutiny.

    “We have had one of the Special Branch officers who was involved in the investigation tell us that he was 25 minutes away from searching Chesney’s house,” Fr Bartlett added.

    “He told us that information came from sensitive sources. Who are those sources? Why are journalists not pursuing that for the sake of the families?”

    The former Bishop of Derry, Edward Daly, has cast doubt on the police’s allegations that Fr Chesney was involved in the bombings.

  • Alan Maskey

    BT says Caludy bombers confessed to “eviol cleric Chesney” and toen blabbled about it. To Fr Liam??

  • Alan Maskey

    Here is another priest, this time shaking hands with Our Dear Leader, the bawld Gerry himself. Anyone who thinks a pin up of Des Wilson was on the bishop’s wall is nuts. Not flavour of the months as they say. I once got great joy from Wilson when he made an eejit out of the late Conor C O’Brien on The Late Late Show.

    In the big swing of things, people like Wilson and Cheney are of no consquence to the bishops. Wilson retired so he could be more free of the bishops’ influence. Chesney did not.

  • Nunoftheabove

    “Donegal was and is a PIRA stronghold”. – er, I wouldn’;t quite put it that way but in a sense that was my point. Which rather undoes your argument about the reason for sending Chesney there on account of his alleged genius for provo-inspired pulpit oratory, yes ?!

    “I take it you have never been to RC funerals or weddings”. – Dear, dear, dear, wrong again – you really have a flair for presumption, and a really unadmirable talent for getting the wrong end of the stick; indeed, not infrequently the wrong stick entirely. I’m starting to believe you have me down for some form of willie frazer groupie lmao.

    “You won’t even give any priest credit for ever making any good speech or sermon”. – No, I have just managed to escape any that they have ever made which included any terrific wisdom or genuine wit – doesn’t mean they’re incapable of doing so of course. Do let me know if you have any I can listen to, I’m sure they’re truly inspirational.