The McGurk’s Bar Massacre: Another Cover-up Raises Questions about Dealing with the Past

The latest example of how Northern Ireland’s troubled past just won’t go away are revelations released today that Stormont Prime Minister Brian Faulkner – in the words of the Irish News headline – ‘helped cover up truth of bar bombing.’ The bar bombing in question is the notorious McGurk’s case, which claimed the lives of 15 people.

The evidence for a cover-up is based on documents accessed by the Pat Finucane Centre and publicised by the Campaign for Truth pressure group.

The most damning information released is what Faulkner told British home secretary Reginald Maudling. It’s summarised by the Irish News this way:

He told Maudling that the British army believed the bomb had exploded on the ground floor of the bar – information he would have known at the time was inaccurate. … Faulkner said intelligence pointed to the ‘strong likelihood that the bomb was carried out by the IRA rather than Protestant extremists.’ … He had also asked the RUC to dig up any information it could on the bombing victims in order to connect them with republicans.

Of course, we know now that the bomb was not an IRA ‘own goal’ and that those who died had no links with violent republicanism.

I’m never really surprised when post-conflict investigations start implicating people at the highest level of political authority in dirty dealings.

Disparate, piece-meal investigations of particular cases during the Troubles will continue to throw up unflattering information like this, revealing more uncomfortable facts about what leaders on all sides did and did not do.

Such revelations can be sensational, but they don’t really get to the heart of ‘dealing with the past.’

Right now it is in large part up to groups such as Campaign for Truth to pursue their individual cases, painstakingly working to bring such information into the public domain.

There are many commendable groups and projects in Northern Ireland engaged in similar work. These groups have their own agendas and political perspectives and they don’t agree about how Northern Ireland should ‘deal with’ its past.

But what I think is important is that such people have their suffering acknowledged and publicly recognised – both by political authorities who can somehow represent those who held power at the time and by people in the wider society from all points on the political spectrum.

The desire for acknowledgement seems to me to be a natural, healthy and legitimate one. It is necessary for the healing of individuals and has the potential to encourage empathy among previously conflicting communities.

One of the advantages of some sort of ‘official’ truth and reconciliation process is that it can command the resources and the publicity necessary for there to be a widespread public acknowledgement of suffering and injustice.

In the absence of an official process, the most that stories like this may do is to bring victims and survivors some fleeting vindication. This is important, but it is no substitute for dealing with the past in a systematic and sensitive way.

  • pippakin

    MV

    I respect your opinion but that is what it is. Your soundings are just that, yours.

    You are doing the ‘this is a unionist site’ thing again. I have to say that I have not noticed it being particularly unionist, not if some of the ‘battles’ I have been in are anything to go by!

    My opinion of amnesty is regardless of the atrocity. I have argued for it consistently. I thought the investigation into Claudy should go ahead because it had already started. You I seem to recall were less enthusiastic. The north has an unenviable catalogue of atrocities each one merits a full, open investigation, but if that happens amnesty is I believe, over.

  • Munsterview

    pip,

    I have constantly claimed here that a Low Intensity War was fought in the North, and is still being fought on a scaled down basis up to the current time.

    Once there is an admission by the Brits that such a war was conducted within a structured basis, then all aspects of that war can be examined including ‘Black Ops’ and pseudo gangs and all the other State methodologies.

    Britain has vacated dozens of ex-Colonial countries, usually after years of mayhem and bloodshed. These Countries have since written their own histories laying bare the cruel heart of the British State, counter Freedom Fighter strategies, methods and practices. A few Brit historians have also visited these periods and told something of what the real situation was.

    Tell me one of these countries where the Brits came clean and admitted their guilt ? In this regard as far as Brit State interests are concerned Labour Governments have been little better than the Conservatives. Will Northern Ireland be any different ? To use Gogarties infamous words, will it F***!

    If and when the Brits open up all their files on The Low Intensity War, to a complete and impartial investigation with the cards falling where they will, then I would have no problem with The Irish Republican Army doing likewise. Until then Claudy and many other such events like the current bombing under discussion, cannot be examined context.

    The fact that Brigadier General Frank Keetson, the originator and instigator of all this ‘Counter Insurgency’ skullduggery was a highly decorated and respected Officer of the British army who retired as Aid-De-Camp to the Queen, despite all the blood on his hands, says all there is to say about the British Attitudes to Frank and his Low Intensity War !

    If there is a full and frank admission by the Brits, it will be the first time they did so, they still cover up some of the things they did in the American revolution in 1776 and Ireland in 1798 as in Ireland in 1922. Did they ever admit to burning Cork or Mallow? The Assassination of McCurtain by Crown Forces never mind the collateral war damage of civilians just arbitrary shot in their dozens and hundreds?

    Pip I sometimes wonder what planet you dropped into us from as for somebody that spend so much time in England, would seem to have a very poor grasp of British Real Politic in the real world !

    On the matter of Claudy, now with the ‘unmasked one gone’ ( at least in regard to that posting persona) and his pseudo little sister not yet up to speed I can comment without the usual white noise distraction. I have said before that because of the sensitive of the issues involved I do not normally comment on what happened within the Northern Command Area of The Irish Republican Army, which approximates to the Historical Ulster. Claudy is in this category.

    On these things I confine my contributions to providing historian, social and other contextualisations that may inform the debate but my input stops short of commenting on any Northern Command IRA operations save in a very general way.

  • Mark

    Munsterview – ” Pip I sometimes wonder what planet you dropped into us from ”
    I’ve just spat my coffee all over my work/ yesterday’s tribune . Sorry Pippakin but that was funny . I wonder will Alan come back as Alan or will he stay as …….

  • pippakin

    MV

    The thing about spending so much time in both countries is you get to see both sides and to feel for both sets of victims. The planet I live on is this one and I won’t accept Irish people can be treated as collateral damage by Irish people.

    The troubles were not a war and if they were some people in the republican movement would be on trial for war crimes. Oh you could say the Brits would be too but so what does it alter the fact that Irish people might be on trial for war crimes against Irish people?

    I, as I keep saying, believe in amnesty. No more questions, just an acceptance that the past happened and now its over.

  • pippakin

    Mark

    I hope you were wearing something expensive and that it is permanently stained…or better yet the splash went all over your key board!

    MV and I have been ‘fighting’ for more than a year. I did get a bit worried last week when it seemed we were in danger of agreement but now I’m reassured. The earth is round.

  • Pippa you are so arrogant and callous; “I, as I keep saying, believe in amnesty. No more questions, just an acceptance that the past happened and now its over.” How about we kill your parents and blame it on an internal drug feud and you just get over it because you can’t bring them back to life. –This is the danger when someone like you who knows nothing of how lives have been destroyed or the soul destroying frustration families go through in search for the truth which you deny because your agenda is amnesty for all combatants. And you feel everyone should make your opinion their own. You need re-evaluate your values and concience.

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    I am neither arrogant or callous and nor am I prepared to go down this road again!

    Many lives were destroyed Christy every one of them is entitled to a full investigation, the killers caught, tried and sentenced to the mandatory life sentence. Indeed there have been dissident murders to add to the list!

    The troubles were terrible I want them gone, over. Let the young have lives of peace and prosperity. Its what we all owe the young.

    Just where would you stop, what of the OTRs I understand they still can’t go home, what of those who left the country or were ‘ordered’ out?

    I’m not arrogant, I’m not callous and I’m not ignorant of the pain people have suffered.

  • Nevin,
    Even PONI admitted that there were no forensic reports available to Taylor when he made his statement to the house which therefore begs the obvious question: where did this information come from?
    Interestingly, you can compare this piece of black propaganda that we found in an RUC Duty Officers’ Report on the 5th December 1971 (section 8 http://bit.ly/i32kvX) with Taylor’s speech (http://bit.ly/eZpTdy). Now I’ve only been able to do this today thanks to your link but the similarities are evident (although Taylor doesn’t proffer the man-with-a-suitcase-own-goal theory). This report was lodged in the ministry of Home Affairs and, of course, Faulkner and Taylor were at this department’s head. PONI tried to tell us though that neither Faulkner nor Taylor had been briefed by the RUC about the bombing at this stage which we treated with incredulity as we had given them the evidence that they had been.
    The other forensics that are completely ignored by all of these pieces of black propaganda are the witness statements. Not only from the customers inside the bar but also people outside. A young lad even saw the bomb being planted and the bombers escape. These were simply ignored because it didn’t fit their psychological operation. When the forensic report was completed on the 11th February 1972, the scientist in charge concluded that the explosion “had occurred at or about the entrance door from the porch leading off Great Georges Street”. The big crater at this point would have made that an easy assumption to make anyway.
    Again, Nevin, many thanks for the above link as it makes interesting reading. It’s greatly appreciated.

  • Pippa “The troubles were terrible I want them gone, over. Let the young have lives of peace and prosperity. Its what we all owe the young.” And the truth is a danger to the young? You did not live the troubles as others had misfortune of suffering them. Instead of blindly trying to force your idea of amnesty upon everyone had you stopped to consider the subject matter of this blogg then you would know what the young want, for whom you claim to speak on behalf -in this instance Ciarán MacAirt is in pursuit of truth which you so vehemently want to remain hidden. Fact is you are not a spokes person for those who have suffered, those who survived, or those who came after. Your objection to the search of truth very conveniently sits with those with blood on their hands, now I have talked personally with members of the IRA, INLA, UDA/UFF and UVF who have no problem with the truth coming out. Nor did I get any impression from them that if the truth comes out that they will take up the gun again? Funny that isn’t it?

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    Will you stop this. I’m not claiming to speak on behalf of or for anyone. I’m giving my opinion and it a pound coin might buy you a cup of tea. No its not funny. Not funny at all nor is the fact that people are still dying.

    I’m not going to stop believing amnesty is the best way forward so you might as well stop telling me what a terrible person I am

  • joeCanuck

    Christy and Pippakin,

    This argument/discusion has gone stale. It is now very repetitious. It seems you are both determined to have the last word.
    May I repectfully suggest that it stop at the stalemate. It isn’t ging anywere useful any more.

  • Pippa I really am not concerned with the type of character you are. You confirmed my original point –your sole agenda is for amnesty for combatants at expense to the truth for many, many victims. That is what I originally objected to quite a few post ago and it has taken this long for you to stop fudging, shifting and emotive pleading and patronising the victims pain.

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    This is the last comment to you I am going to make on this subject.

    You don’t own the victims pain nor can you claim because you know some of the victims that you know or speak for all of them.

    I have not changed my mind amnesty would offer a chance for peace to do its work.

    joe

    I completely agree.

  • Pippa please do not shift the argument, rehash it, or make it afresh –Nowhere have I represented victims pain –i did direct you to what the victims say they want so you saw it did not come from me –I even provided the weblink –so boo hoo if your rather disengenious attempt at twisting things did not work.

    Joe I feel your pain but this woman has been on one agenda only (and inally conceeded that) and wishes to stiffle any discussion about the truth coming out –her argument has been that those in search for truth and/or justice are causing trouble by wanting to unearth the truth. That discovery of the truth will start the conflict all over again, which is pure BS and strawman argument.

  • Ciarán, when did the forensic people first examine the scene of the blast?

    The PONI report looks like a very poorly produced document. I wonder what that says about other PONI reports.

  • andnowwhat

    Ok, i9n support of what Christy et al are saying, here is a simple example. This time last year the “history book” said that Bobby Mc Freanery was an armed IRA man who was shot dead by a soldier.

    For over 3 decades his name and memory was soiled by the lies of the soldier who killed him which were supported by his army seniors and the prosecution service.

    This year we learned (officially) that he was unarmed and just dandering along the street with his mates when a soldier shot him fromthe very secure comfort of a sanger.

    And some say the truth should be left alone?

    There are families, both north and south, who want to know which orginisation was TRUELY behind the lost of their loved ones.

    The denial of the “known unknown” will always be an open wound for these people.

  • pippakin

    andnowwhat

    Ok let there be investigations into all the killings. Of course there will be more people wanting to know about IRA killings because the IRA killed more people and perhaps its time for a few more private prosecutions. It seems the Brits are very capable of changing the legal aid rules from time to time and for what they see as a good cause.

    After all it is clearly unreasonable of me to think the past belongs in the past and that those who seek to prolong it do so for their own purposes and don’t care if more young people are harmed or worse.

  • AndNW exactly and to emphasis your point a little further most recently a British Soldier who had always believed that he had killed Michael McLarnon in 1971 did not. This also demonstrates that truth exposure can as much establish who is not the bad guy just as it may place responsibility where it belongs.

    Ex-soldier could not have killed Belfast man, inquiry finds
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/1202/1224284573425.html

  • Pippa “After all it is clearly unreasonable of me to think the past belongs in the past and that those who seek to prolong it do so for their own purposes and don’t care if more young people are harmed or worse.”

    Where do you get off accusing those in search of truth as being war mongers? Where is your evidence that they carry guns or advocate violence? Where are their hate speeches inciting violence? Your apparent concern for young people might have been believable if your arguments were not so false and loaded. Your style of argument is is known as ‘passive agressive’ –its a tactical way of trying to advance that one agenda that you have –regardless of how wrong you are –for gods sake get a grip.

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    And you are obsessed with the past.

    Enough of this I have not insulted you, you have insulted me in almost every comment.

    This woman doesn’t believe or agree with you. Now go away.

  • Blair

    “He told Maudling that the British army believed the bomb had exploded on the ground floor of the bar – information he would have known at the time was inaccurate. … Faulkner said intelligence pointed to the ‘strong likelihood that the bomb was carried out by the IRA rather than Protestant extremists.’ ”

    Surely the Army would have been a lot more likely to brief Maudling on the facts than Faulkner?

  • Pippa “Now go away.” Sorry love but don’t project your desire for the past onto me too. While there are ways and means to silence me the past can’t and wont be and you have no control over that –thank god.

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    I’ve seen something of you the last couple of days. Its not that you stick to your own beliefs that right or wrong is understandable, even admirable. But you deny those who disagree with you the right to do their own beliefs and that is unhealthy and unacceptable.

  • andnowwhat

    Pippa, sadly, the idea that the conflict is in the past is an illusion that is easy to buy if one is untouched by it and enjoy your evenings in the horid glass fronted wine bars of Belfast.

    Go round the corner and you will meet people who are still touched dreadfully by the past. TYhe “known unknowns” are bagged as paranoia, unfounded propaganda and, by quite a few people, whinging.

    Republicans and loyalists are condemned as “terrorists” and that is the point of view that the majority of people adere to. Fair enough.

    The British state is another matter. As someone from the south, how do feel, for examole, about the very stong possibilty that another state was involved in bombing your state and killing/injuring dozens of your fellow citizens?

    What if your relative was the victim in a case where journalists have stated, off the record, they were told certain things about the murder? What if you are dismissed as a paranoid dinosaur, unwilling to move with the happy gas culture of NI’s bright new future (BTW, take a dander u pthe Falls or the Shankhill nad let me know if you can see any sign of it).

    I tend to agree with what Edwina Currie said a few months ago (base on the East Gereman model), throw open the records and let everyone see what they want/need to see.

  • Pipps it is not a matter of disagreeing with you but knowing that your argument is wrong. To put your argument you have used strawman arguments, appeal to emotion, made false assertions and delibrately misrepresented what I have said. You have repeatedly made the case that those seeking the truth are effectively war mongers and that is their motive for wanting the truth. That their only reason for wanting to know the truth about how a loved one was killed is really an underhand means of starting the conflict off all over again –I don’t just disagree with that but think you are insulting, derogotary and just absuive toward families efforts for truth. I think you despicable in how you reason victims motives.

    Your one issue is amnesty before truth thus the comnbatants get amnesty and the victims get kicked in the teeth and told to shut up.

    Taking the McGurk case as an example –if the families got the truth that does not deny possibility of there being an amnesty –that way every one is catered for –your way is fuck the families just bring in amnesty and keep a lid on the truth.

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    I have insulted no one. I have taken care to ensure that I include everyone in my belief that an amnesty would be best, there is nothing insulting about it. Nor have I misrepresented anything, I’ve barely touched the actual subjects.

    My one issue is amnesty? of course it is not, it is the one subject I have been harassed about on this thread.

    I have several times tried to walk away from it and each time you come back with another condemnation because I don’t believe what you believe.

    I would very much like this to be the last comment between us, on this subject we are not going to agree.

  • Pippa I don’t give a damn if we do or don’t agree. I wont sit quietly and let you prattle on in whatever way you want regardless of how it effects peoples lives –the brits said the victims on bloody sunday were all confirmed gunmen and bombers to silence justice. Samilar thing with the McGurk case –and are you offering something new or better by alleging that the families desire for truth is really about starting the conflict all over again? Yeah that has to be their motives, right? Couldn’t be that you are just dismissing peoples valid case in the same way the Brits have always done –it is not I disagree with you –I do not respect that –and you would do yourself a favour if you just kept those views to yourself but by all means vomit them out all you like –but dont expect silence from me.

  • Kevin Barry

    Looking at Christy and Pip’s points above, I have found them quite interesting and heated to say the least.

    If I may interject, I must say I admire the belief held by Pippa that she does not want to go over the past and that perhaps the best way to deal with this matter is by way of an amnesty for all who were involved during the ‘Troubles’. Your idea and belief in this is based on a genuine attempt to draw a line in the sand and we all get on with our lives, which is honourable and I fully understand the logic behind this.

    However, I must also say I would probably side with Christy on this issue for a very simple reason. While I agree that bringing up the past may be unpleasant for many, and I am incredibly fortunate that no one in my immediate family were ever effected in a terrible way, I do not think it is wise to leave this particular part of our past in the past.

    I personally feel that we should never forget what happened, that we should remember how terrible life became here and how people turned on their neighbours, not as part of an exercise to try and score points against one another, but so we can learn from this and make sure that this is not our future.

    I would say that I do believe there should be an amnesty put in place, but I would qualify it by saying that I want to know the truth of what happened. I want to know what were the motivations behind the people, on all sides, who carried out these atrocities.

    On this site and many other media outlets and in a conflict situation in general it is very easy to always dehumanise your opponent, to call them monsters for what they did. This makes rationalising their actions so much easier for us all, as they aren’t human. The people who committed these activities are/were human beings, with families and loves and ambitions like any other. That they would decide to take another’s life means that something went wrong, were they were able to rationalise what they were doing to say it was right.

    I don’t ever want to forget this, I don’t want future generations to be slaves to the past and our mistakes, but I do not want them to forget how horrible it got here.

  • KB, thank you and just for completeness I do not discount amnesty but it should not be at expense to innocent victims.

    On reading your comments –dont know why, but the Veitnam war came to mind in this way –the whole dynamic of that war changed when many years later it has been confirmed that the Americans faked the Tonka Bay incident which started that war. Nobody went to jail and the war did not start all over again once that crucial truth was outed.

  • andnowwhat

    Good post KB.

    THere are festering wounds in victims, their relatives and in the truth.

    It needs treated as it will keep coming back (actually, it is in a corrupted way in the shape of some on the periphery).

    The argument against inquiries is that they open wounds. The wounds are open.

  • pippakin

    Kevin Barry

    Thanks for your comment.

    The thing about amnesty is it doesn’t allow for full investigations. In a way it is the exact opposite. If full investigations were to be carried out into every atrocity of the troubles they would take decades and why would people be happy knowing the killers of their friends and relatives were walking around free. Investigations would hurt people for a long time and it would happen over and over again, each time a new investigation started.

    Amnesty is not the easy option. In many ways it is the hardest of all but I do believe the governments will eventually do it.

  • Pippa the evidence suggests the opposite to what you say –there was no investigation into the current topical case of McGurks Bar –40 years later the families still want to know the truth –in fact generations later the hurt continues -same thing with one case after another –and most of them to my knowledge all say they just want truth. So I do not think blanking the truth out is an option that the victims families want regardless of what governments and you feel is expedient.

  • Pippa just for clarity you said “Investigations would hurt people for a long time and it would happen over and over again, each time a new investigation started” I say the consistent lack of investigation for generations has added to the suffering –so do we go on your humble opinion or the fact that the families are clearly still suffering from lack of truth?

  • Blair, it’s better to read the actual Home Office notes [documents link] provided by Ciarán than the Irish News ‘summary’ with its sticky notes.

  • Kevin Barry

    Christy, Andnowwhat and Pippa, thanks.

    This will be the last I say on the matter but Pippa, unfortunately I would have to disagree with you. I feel that you can have an amnesty and seek the truth,

    I know this creates more questions than answers, such as what is the truth, how do we make sure we do not create a hierarchy of victims, whether perceived or real, who should do this and who should pay for it, will it open old wounds up etc.

    Call me insane, but I am someone who is an idealist and does believe that their is a solution to be had so long as we are honest enough to make the hard decisions. In 98 we were able to make some very hard and unpleasant decisions but like it or not, it got us a form of peace and NI is way better than 20 years ago. We have got this far, we just need to get the ball over the line and tie off these loose ends.

    Sorry if it sounds simplistic.

  • fordprefect

    I’ve been reading a lot of your comments on this subject. Did you know that on the 8th of Dec. 1971 an IRA volunteer called Tony Nolan was killed in an accidental shooting in the Markets area? The Brit establishment immediately latched on to this and put it about that it was Tony’s fault that the bomb in McGurks went off and that he was executed by the IRA for it. Of course everyone knew that this was total Bollocks! Pippa, that is why people want the truth about this, why did the Brits etc. carry on with this charade when it was quite obvious that Loyalists carried it out. (was there a hidden British hand in there?)

  • Munsterview

    Fordp……” Did you know that on the 8th of Dec. 1971 an IRA volunteer called Tony Nolan was killed in an accidental shooting in the Markets area?…..”

    This, taken in isolation, is outrageous and unbelievable to those not directly involved. However put in the context of Low Intensity Warfare, Counter Insurgency, dis-information and black propaganda it makes perfect sense.

    An opportunity presented for the British Army and Intel Agencies to discredit the IRA, in fact the exercise must have ticked off a whole load of boxes for the Brits a dozen to perhaps twenty or thirty!

    Glass were clinked in the Officers Mess on that one, congratulations offered and a few commendations went into folders and service records.A Decoration or two perhaps ? Did that make all the Brits involved monsters ? No that is how the real world works.

    Anyone recall those two French Secret Agents that blew up the green peace ship. ‘The Rainbow Warrior’ they were tried and convicted, they were quickly transferred to France, how much real jail time did they do ?

    Any surprise then that most Republicans that lived in the real world back then and now give slugger a miss ? Just as well I have developed a nice mellow tolerance in my old age otherwise reading some of this naivity, I would be reaching for the heart spray medication !

  • fordprefect

    Munsterview
    My thoughts exactly! There were hundreds of incidents like that, I’m just giving one example.

  • Munsterview

    Mark……” I wonder will Alan come back as Alan or will he stay as …….”

    Yeah, sort of miss him wouldn’t you? He could have had a sex change or he may have a little sister. Have you not noticed a certain new ‘female’ poster. Same spelling ‘mistakes’ failure clearly express feelings etc yet the toe cap swings for the republican groin at every opportunity?

    Word of warning Old Chap, would not annoy certain other parties if I were you, funny things done under the full moon, mutterings over clay models, pins stuck into certain things etc., you may find that you cannot be as hard in some areas, with some things as you once were !

    Nuff said, you are a brave man indeed ! However if you want to live dangerous who am etc ?

  • pippakin

    MV

    The full moon is not the time for evil doing. I note you are still claiming this is a unionist site. Check this thread! and when you have done that check the one on Jean McConville.

    I’m afraid I almost got my second yellow card there, but it gave Mark a laugh so it was worth it.

  • Pippa -Ah yes, Jean McConville, much of the tragedy of that case is not that she was killed but what her family went through before finally getting some truth. Fortunately for them they did get some truth before you would have the book closed on thier horrendous story. And Pippa how would you explain to them that they would be better of not going through any investigation –in your opinion it would be for their own good –regardless of any objection for them.

  • Pippa -Ah yes, Jean McConville, much of the tragedy of that case is not that she was killed but what her family went through before finally getting some truth. Fortunately for them they did get some truth before you would have the book closed on thier horrendous story. And Pippa how would you explain to them that they would be better of not going through any investigation –in your opinion it would be for their own good –regardless of any objection from them.

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    I have said that imo amnesty should only apply to those crimes that can be described as political, so the murder of Jean McConville and all the disappeared would not be covered.

    I have also said that if, as I think it might, the amnesty is made to apply to all crimes during the troubles. I personally would be upset at the thought of her murderer/s getting away with it and I can imagine the anger of her family, but I would still believe in the amnesty.

    Christy if an amnesty was in place Gerry McGeough would probably not be being dragged through the courts. It is not straight forward and as I keep saying it is not without pain.

  • Pippa whatever of Mr McGeogh if an amnesty was in place as you suggest a lot of people would never know the truth –but here again we are to consider what you think as being more important than the truth –you personally would be upset if JMcC’s killers got away with it –you not being a stake holder –but you are participating in a discussion on the McGurk Bar bombing arguing that those families affected should not be allowed access the truth? Taking yourself a bit too importantly are you not?

    Oh, as for the Jean McConville blogg most people I know, while they think it was a horrendous case, they tend to avoid it because 80% of the guffaw is more about oppurtunism and hand wringing –Just like Enniskillen Bombing I remember everyones shock and revulsion at that atrocity –and Republicans were given a harder time from their own community, more than the Brits could ever give them –Jean McConville is used in the same way as the Enniskillen Bomb was used -disengeniously –and reference to the Enniskillen Bomb is an appropriate comparison in this blogg more than any because in 1987 Enniskillen was broadcast around the world as the worst atrocity in NI having claimed the highest civilian death toll –the truth was hidden and more damage done to the McGurk Bar Families loss and suffering.

    So you may not understand why people shy away from certain tragedies but it is often not from any sense of revulsion but more to do with reluctance to become pawns in a propaganda war.

  • If anybody wants a copy of the rest of the Faulkner document they are more than welcome to it as there are other interesting discussions on Internment – I’ve just put the first page online.
    Drop me an email to info@themcgurksbarmassacre.com to say you’d like it.
    In the meantime, as we are talking about black propaganda, here is a link http://bit.ly/cGJpAq to a lovely Christmas message popped in through doors of the New Lodge (including my granda’s and most of the other customers that night). It was written and signed by Jeremy Reilly, CO of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (signature confirmed as his although it probably rolled off the printing press of the Information Research Department). Not only does he try to reinforce the IRA own-goal theory (which in effect criminalized the dead and injured) but it gives you a glimpse at their real intentions – divide and conquer, create a little internecine strife. He specifically mentions that his “immediate aim and first priority is to remove the presence of Bn Coy 1st Bn IRA and C Coy 3rd Bn Provisional IRA”. Now considering that the bomb was originally for the Gem Bar around the corner which was known as a Sticky bar (they couldn’t get at it so took the softer option) and the Provos would’ve taken the blame, it makes you wonder whether “synchronicity” could be contemplated at operational level too. Keenie-meenie indeed.

  • pippakin

    Christy Walsh

    You’re at it again. Every opinion is valid as long as its the same as yours. I’m not trying to stifle debate you are.

  • “copy of the rest of the Faulkner document”

    Do you mean the Home Office notes, Ciarán? I was commenting on that single page; I didn’t realise there was more.

    I use Scribd as a document archive. Take care with redaction as not all forms of electronic redaction are effective. Officialdom has also got caught out by Google cache when it tried to remove ‘awkward’ material that it had put online!

    I insert the redacted images and other material into a word processing program, export in PDF format and upload to Scribd.

    Officialdom has been known to release FOI material and iffy/independent reports in a PDF format which isn’t searchable. An OCR program can be used to overcome such perfidious obscurantism.

  • Pippa “Christy Walsh

    You’re at it again. Every opinion is valid as long as its the same as yours. I’m not trying to stifle debate you are.”

    “Keenie-meenie indeed.” -I have no control over you posting any response you wish –in fact your arguments have all been wrong and laboursome –but I endured you putting them –but please do not use your inability to further defend the indefensible as my restraining your ability to type. Your responses are all nonsense.

  • Nevin,

    Very valid points and I’ll get the full document uploaded tonight. I’ll do the same from here-on-in too. Live and learn.

    Kind regards,

    C

  • Thanks, Ciarán.