Government apologises over Majella O’Hare killing

Another of the wrongs of the past forty years here in Northern Ireland has been acknowledged. The BBC are reporting that the government has apologised in writing to the family of Majella O’Hare who was killed by a soldier in Whitecross Co. Armagh on 18th August 1976. Miss O’Hare (aged 12) was on her way home from church when she was shot in the back by Private Michael Williams.

At the time Williams claimed that he was returning fire on the IRA. He was charged with manslaughter following an RUC investigation. To quote the HET which looked at this death in 2008:

“The original RUC investigation found that Private Michael Williams was not returning fire at a gunman as he claimed and they recommended to prosecutors that he be charged with manslaughter.
“The prosecutors agreed and charged him with manslaughter, but he was acquitted.”
“The HET supports the findings of the original investigation. We also said the RUC investigation was thorough and good.”

Hopefully this will bring some closure for the family.

, , , ,

  • turgon

    I agree and I truly have no wish to muddy the waters or come to that see former British squadies brought before the courts.

    However as you say the RUC recommended a prosecution, and I do wonder how the late Lord Justice Maurice Gibson, sitting alone without a jury, accepted there probably had been a gunman who fired simultaneously even though there was no independent evidence of anyone hearing other shots.

    more here.

    http://is.gd/u1ZdsZ

  • andnowwhat

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/mar/28/ministry-defence-apology-majella-ohare

    The reaction of the soldiers, quoted in the link above, was disgusting. Fair play to the RUC but how could Gibson have let Williams of when he had shot Majella TWICE. If my some mad freak of the imagination there was an IRA man there and if Williams shot Majella by a reactive mistake, why shoot her twice (3 shots were fired in all)?

  • I think there is “closure” and “Closure”
    The family always knew that Majella O’Hare was an entirely innocent victim. As did the Community in South Armagh. And for those who know the name beyond South Armagh. Thats a form of closure.
    Likewise it was generally known that there was no gun battle. Thats closure.
    To their immense credit the RUC did not believe Michael Williams and pursued the case. Thats closure.
    Likewise the case was prosecuted in court which is closure.

    Nothing in todays apology changes those facts.
    One can only speculate on why Michael Williams was not found guilty. Conflicting and perhaps untrue testimony and perhaps against a background where it would have been deemed “an appalling vista” to have found him guilty.
    Or indeed anyone like him….for example Bloody Sunday.
    For the “greater good”.
    But we have merely stored problems up for ourselves. Creative Ambiguity. Now for the “greater good” we cannot really hope for convictions of people who were not charged with offences back in the 1970s. Claudy for example.

    We can speculate on what has happened to “Private” Michael Williams. He seems to have got lucky in court. Did he go on to have a family, grandchildren and lead a blameless life, with just an occasional flashback to a moment that changed his life too.
    Or is he forever haunted by the experience to the point where his life has been damaged too?

    We talk about approx 3,800 dead but with multiple deaths in some situations (Claudy, Bloody Sunday, McGurks) theres maybe less than 1,000 incidents which resulted in death. Many are combatants for whom rightly or wrongly death was an occupational hazard. But the number of contested incidents is actually only a small proportion of the total.
    And even then, the incident around Majellas death is truly contested.
    A simple spread sheet can list those incidents which are still contested. There is no need for lavish enquiry. A 1,000 word statement on each would be enough to amend officialdom (even as in Majellas case History woul have reached the same conclusion years ago).
    It really is that easy.

  • andnowwhat

    Sorry for posting the same link as you Mickall. I didn’t recognise the URL

  • oops typo…the penultimate paragraph shoul read that the circumstances around Majellas death are NOT truly contested”

  • socaire

    I wonder has Seamus Mallon the guts to apologise?

  • Rory Carr

    An intriguing question, Socaire. Perhaps it might help if you were to let us know what you consider to be Séamus Mallon’s part in all this.

  • andnowwhat

    @Rory Carr

    I was wondering that too. Thought I was having a blonde moment (no offense Boris)

  • Why is this animal Williams not doing a natural life tariff?

  • andnowwhat

    @Alanmaskey

    Possibly because, as with Bobby Mc Greanery, Bloody Sunday, Ballymurphy, propaganda was king.

  • Skinner

    Do we have any information that suggests why he was found ‘not guilty’ or are we left to put our own wildly speculative spins on it?

  • andnowwhat

    @Skinner

    If you read the link you will know that the judge bought the story about an IRA man shooting at the soldiers, as story that the RUC did not believe.

  • The Word

    The apology of the British government is very appropriate in this case, noted and sends out a positive signal.

  • What has Seamus Mallon got to do with it?

  • When QE2 prostrates herself in front of the GPO to apologise both for her own existence and that of her parasitic family and enforcers, she can demob the Paras and the Royal Marines, the two terrorist groups that carried out this atrocity. She can also arrange for the execution and/or extradition of the entire chain of command involved in covering up for the Williams animal.

  • Skinner

    That much is obvious andnowwhat, but the wild speculation I am referring to more concerns the question of why he bought it. There doesn’t seem to be any evidence to suggest anything other than the judge may simply have got it wrong.

    The reported reaction of the paras would have been disgusting even if Williams’ version of the events were to be believed. It would be good to see some further action there. If any new evidence comes to light Williams should be re-tried.

    Well done to the British government for doing what they have so far.

  • Skinner

    Nothing like a bit of an over-reaction to rip the arse out of the real story there Alan. I am sure you might have included the RUC in your ‘terrorist’ list had their actions not been inconveniently noble on this occasion.

  • FJH

    “We talk about approx 3,800 dead …. But the number of contested incidents is actually only a small proportion of the total.”

    If I recall you previously referred to this “small proportion” (or proportion of that proportion) as “noisey victims” ..you aslo made clear that you had escaped unscathed from the Conflict suggesting that you had no respect for those “wallowing” (your term, see http://sluggerotoole.com/2011/03/21/remembering-the-future/)

  • Apples and Oranges Mr Walsh.

    There are alas people who wallow in their own victimhood. And as I made clear several times I have been relatively untested on this.
    Hopefully I would be a dignified and forgiving type of victim such as Mrs Joyce McCartan or Mr Alan McBride (you might even recall me saying so).
    But I fear I might be the noisy “me me me ” victim who wallows in it. We all know victims like that.
    Circumstances are such that we will never know which I would have become.

    What I dont want to be is the kinda person who having not suffered much myself feels takes an overblown degree of pleasure at the victimhood of others.
    “Troubles porn……getting off on other peoples grief” was how Art and Conflict Resolution was described last week.

  • Cases like this just go to show that the British armed forces is a criminal organisation. God know what thease scum bags are doing to the Libyans.
    Was Wiliams a seril offender? How ma ny more children did he kill whilst only obeying orders?

  • FJH

    My point, relevant to this blogg, is that here is a family who continued to ask questions about why their daughter or sibling was killed. They continued to pursue the matter and now they have gotten a result –which is a matter for them to interpret. Had this family been silenced or intimadated out of pursuing justice because of rather demeaning and derogotory remarks made by you and scores of others –then an even greater injustice would have been done. Most normal healthy people do not ‘wallow’ (at least not for very long) but they may encounter something tragic which requires them to work it out in a way that their ethics, sense of right and wrong, or loyalty to the deceased helps them cope.

    People who have been touched by the Conflict do not need those who have not to tell them to shut up and stop wallowing and being noisy victims. If any victims are excessively ‘noisy’ then perhaps it is for other victims to suggest it –but not the priviledged such as yourself.

    ” “Troubles porn……getting off on other peoples grief” was how Art and Conflict Resolution was described last week. ”

    getting of on other people’s grief is one thing but so too is piping up at every oppurtunity to try and silence people’s grief, as you do. And speaking of Trouble porn –there are other forms besides getting off on other’s grief –there is also the type which involves attending every Conflict related conference going and coining cute terms to describe everyone else.

  • Troubles porn is not a bad description. It is something like the “has anyone been raped and speaks English” jounralists getting off on the Japaense tsunami right now.

    The reral question is: what is to be done?

    1. Help the Japanese.
    2. Put animals like Williams in steel cages.

  • Indeed Mr Walsh.
    But this was my first actual Conflict Resolution Conference (if you discount the series of six lectures at the Irish School of Ecumenics).
    And of course I did not “coin” the phrase “Troubles Porn”. I had never heard it before last Wednesday. The person who made the remark was called Tim Loane, a theatre director.

    Surely the best thing for people like me….highly skeptical …of the Conflict Resolution “industry” is to actually attend the very conferences at which I have been sniping from the sidelines.
    Incredible as it seems, I actually learned something.
    The alternative is that these conferences are merely attended by those already committed to the process…which is I would hold…..90% of the problem with them.

  • HeinzGuderian

    “The war is over – time for you and Unionists to move on”.
    sammy mcnally

    Same advice apply here Sammy ??

  • FJH

    I think we share the same general distain for those who make a living from an ‘industry’ which they do more to create than solve with their use of psycho babble and jargon.

    However I was not talking about the CR Conference or any conference but pointing out fact -since previous dialogue with you that people should not simply ‘shut up’ because you are tired of hearing them –and you were quite specific about them ‘wallowing’ and being ‘noisy victims’.

    My point here is that it is fortunate for Majella O’Hare’s family that they did not heed your, or anyones call, that they should simply give up and stop being noisy victims –I made it clear to you that there were scores of families who also conduct their campaign in quiet dignity but who had not been gievn the same media/press coverage as enjoyed by Joyce McCartan and Alan McBride, whom you had referred.

    If a case is to be made of drawing any line in the sand to the past –it will not be done by using your derogotroy references, such as ‘wallowing’, or ‘noisy victims’ –especially as you concede yourself that you are not qualified to tell anyone who has lost someone on how they should act.

  • perseus

    calm down alanmaskey

    wise words christy walsh.
    I don’t think there is any conflict between “moving on” in a general sense and giving each family the best available evidential and individual response to their loved ones death/injury.

  • The plain fact about Joyce McCartan and alan McBride is that they used their victimhood for the benefit of others. As I made plain I am not sure that I could emulate them.
    As you made cllear there are scores of victims “who also conduct their campaign in quiet dignity”. By implication there are others who dont.
    Quite possibly I would be one of the kinda people for whom I have little time.
    With so many individuals conducting campaigns and so many victims groups, it would be folly to think of them all as being the same.
    Some have a quiet dignity.
    Some tear the arse out of it.

  • Cynic2

    “Lord Justice Maurice Gibson, sitting alone without a jury, accepted there probably had been a gunman who fired simultaneously even though there was no independent evidence of anyone hearing other shots.”

    Thats a false premise. The DPP had to prove to him that there wasn’t!

  • Cynic2

    “Same advice apply here Sammy ??”

    No ….. we exist in parallel universes where different rules apply

  • andnowwhat

    There are many issues at play here, the army, the judge in question, the usurping of the RUC and the attitude of crown forces at the time.

    Articles about 3rd para in the area at the time…

    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/events/other/1976/murray76.htm

  • FJH

    As you made clear above we are talking about a “small proportion of the total” you have also made had the following to say of ‘victims’ (my emphasis is on victims and not the ex-prisoners who you make integral to your rant;

    “But we have been much too respectful.
    Of the Academics.
    Of the “noisy” victims.
    Of the redemption that the ex-prisoners/terrorists claim.
    These people have had too easy a ride. Time they were confronted.”

    When I commented about your remarks –you responded with;

    “I owe the victims nothing.
    I have nothing to apologise for.”

    I pointed out that the victims were not seeking an apology from you and I could not understand that you interpret their pursuit to be a personal one against you or the community in general.

    Again you recognise only two victims as being valid;

    “The plain fact about Joyce McCartan and alan McBride is that they used their victimhood for the benefit of others.”

    The same can be said for many of those who you dismiss as being ‘noisy victims’. Raymond McCord was certainly a ‘noisy victim’, so too was Johnathan Ball’s father, the Bloody Sunday Families and now the Ballymurphy Families… where can me slot Majella O’Hare’s family? or the family of Carol Anne Kelly? Then there is Pat Finucane’s Family, or Jim Peacock’s? then their are the unsavoury cases like three petty crooks murdered on the steps of a bookies office, or joyriders who stole cars built by robots to be fatally stopped by the military as a first option? Or what about the poor soul set up and shot as informer to protect the real informer? The list far extends these cases and scenerios but only a miniscule number of the “small proportion of the total” can be descibed as ‘noisy victims’. Your use of the term is disproportional for the number of victims but it is all encompassing because the desired result is that victims dry up and disappear –in otherwords silently wallow someplace out of sight and out of mind. And whose interests does that serve?

  • FJH

    Further, in seeking justice there is no condition that familiies use “their victimhood for the benefit of others.” othewise they go without. As I made clear before Joyce McCartan and Alan McBride were elevated by the press and media and validated in a way that many others were not –that is not reflection that others are less well deserving of the same recognition –including from you.

  • I remember when Patrick Rooney’s family spoke out after so many years of quiet. None of us can gauge the awful hurt of others.
    Some things do not bear contemplation; killing children is one of those things and condoning it and sweeping it under the carpet, as happened in this case, are others.
    Christy Walsh makes valid points and the media always play their corner, Some victims’ families were selfless exemplars – Michael McGoldrick’s family jumps to mind. But that does not diminute the hell of others, or the one they got visited upon them.

    Jail is supposed to be a deterrent. As the list of kids above shows, the Brits never saw any deterrent.

  • Its nonsense to suggest that I recognise the vallidity of only two victims.
    I speak of their dignity and you suggest they are media creations.
    I speak of “noisy victims” and you suggest that I am belittling all victims.
    We appear to be at least Pot & Kettle on this.
    But frankly a thread about Majella O’Hare is an inappropriate place to discuss Conflict Resolution in general.

    Perhaps a more appropriate thread would open up.

  • FJH

    “Its nonsense to suggest that I recognise the vallidity of only two victims.” I accept you can extend to more than just two.

    “But frankly a thread about Majella O’Hare is an inappropriate place to discuss Conflict Resolution in general.”

    I am not discussing conflict resolution, you introduced that re: ‘Troubles porn’.

    I am discussing your remarks about ‘noisy victims, wallowing victims, your sense that you feel they want an apology from you or community in general, you owe them nothing and you have nothing to apologioze for.

    At what accustic level can we say the O’Hare Family were/are?

  • vanhelsing

    “The family have never wanted a second prosecution, what they wanted was an acknowledgment that what happened was wrong” Jane Winter British Irish Rights Watch

    Would imagine I wouldn’t agree with much of what Ms Winter writes but this seems about right.

    This poor girl was killed by a soldier and there are no excuses for his behaviour.

    Of course our resident troll Maskey implicates the whole of the British Army and their current raping and pillaging of Libya. Seriously get a life…

  • socaire

    This ‘poor girl’ wasn’t ‘killed’ by a soldier – she was murdered by a psychopath in a British Army uniform – a para – you know Charles’ lot. No input by Mr Mallon yet?

  • vanhelsing

    Ah the high moral standards of an IRA man 🙂

  • The Word

    Socaire

    I see that you feel that the military “theologian” of unionism is crossing one over for you to nod in. Interesting? Maybe the adulation of the values (or lack of them) of the oppressor? Maybe just badness?

  • socaire

    The high moral standards of the IRA are not in question here. It’s the ‘old wet glove slipping on the trigger as I struggled to move the heavy gun, yer Honour’ syndrome. I see that the Lord above passed His judgement on Gibson.

  • You might think its offensive to “grade” victims into general categories of quietly dignified and noisy.
    I dont think it is.
    and you paradoxically invite me to “grade” a particular family.
    Its a simple fact that there are “noisy” victims who tear the arse out of their victimhood and compel totally blameless people to share their grief and for whom there will never be enough reconciliation.
    Victims ….silent and noisy ……have paid a high (too high?) price for the place where I am today.
    Most have accepted it, moved on and even rejoice at the happy place (comparatively) we are and where their loved ones never reached. I marvel at them.
    There are others who never will. Theres only so often a person can say “I am sorry for your loss”.
    I refuse to let anyone……republican dissident, loyalist dissident, liberal dissident stand in the way of the future.
    Or …..victim.

    I obviously dont want to offend you or them by using the term “noisy”.
    Would you or they be less offended by “dissident victim”?
    Or are victims simply above criticism?

  • Driftwood

    I see that the Lord above passed His judgement on Gibson.

    Socaire, for the benefit of less enlightened viewers, would you care to elaborate on the murder of Lord Justice Gibson getting his ‘come uppance’ from an (Irish Republican obviously) ‘Higher Power’? Oh and his wife.

  • socaire

    Yeah. Pity about his wife. But if you lie down with dawgs ……………..! I am confused, woody. How is the shooting dead of a girl not murder and the blowing up of a British judge is?

  • vanhelsing

    Driftwood,

    You just don’t get Republican ideology yet; only Roman Catholics are ‘murdered’ when it’s a Prod they’re called ‘Legitimate Targets’ aren’t they Socaire?

    That’s why I loved to be lectured on morality by a man like Socaire who has none 🙂

  • The Word

    Perhaps if you accepted that the course you and others were on resulted in many undesirable outcomes, outcomes that have yet to be justified as productive to the poor and oppressed, some of whom were used anyway as fighting fodder.

  • socaire

    No No! Anybody that the State removes is ‘killed’ usually accidentally, but – to be fair- sometimes unlawfully and anybody removed by the natives is murdered. Can you keep up? If a ‘Roman’ Catholic policeman is removed, is it murder or legitimate target? And why do you use the past tense? I will continue to lecture you.

  • vanhelsing

    Oh yeah I missed a bit of the IRA’s list of legitimate targets:

    3rd best kill British Soldier

    2nd best kill Prod RUC man or UDR man

    1st best kill a Roman Catholic RUC man [cause he was a traitor also]

    Now please tell me more about your own [and the IRAs] personal morality on a thread about the awful death of an innocent girl

  • socaire

    I’m just wondering how it has come to this. Decent people on the ‘mainland’ take decent young unemployed men from the ‘mainland’ and teach them to kill. They send them over to the colonial experiment to keep the warring neanderthals apart and they end up in rural Ireland pumping bullets into a young girl. Where did it all go wrong? That’s my morality. To quote your Taoiseach “………. not only unjustified but unjustifiable”.

  • Brian

    The murdering of innocent Catholics by (official) state forces really tapered off starting around this period. Many british soldiers acted somewhat decently they could and almost all did not” pump bullets” into children. However, those who didn’t act decently and harassed, assaulted, terrorized etc didn’t have to worry about any kind of punishment.

    “If you read the link you will know that the judge bought the story about an IRA man shooting at the soldiers, as story that the RUC did not believe.”

    If the RUC wouldn’t even go along with it, it must have been particular indefensible.

    British soldier murders a child, gets put before pathetic excuse of a trial and lives his life free to do whatever the hell he wants.

    35 years later the heartbroken family gets a simple apology. Pathetic and sad…

    A former IRA man who killed a British soldier 35 years ago and spent 25 years in prison would never get off with a simple apology.

  • Cynic2

    Anyone wanting to understand why a ‘Truth’ process will not work here only needs to read this particular blog

  • Just dropped by to see how things are going since I voluntarily left awhile ago, and must say that I don’t see much improvement in the discussions, especially this one.

    In fact, it is so bad with all the whataboutery that I feel obliged to come back, and shall post on occasion when I feel again so moved.

    The most important question to answer now about the MoD’s most belated apology over the murder of poor Magella O’Hare is why now? We have all known for at least 30 years that it was a massive miscarriage of justice.

    The best explanation I can think of is the rampage that a much more destructive covert operator carried out – i. e., the callous murder of poor Francis Bradley by Solider ‘C’ on February 18, 1986 as a trial run for the assassination of Sweden’s Prime Minister Olof Palme ten days later – what could have resulted in the annihilation of us all.

    Interesting to note that no sooner did the new Northern Ireland Attorney General John Larkin call for a new, real inquest at the end of May 2010 into his murder than Derek Bird went on the rampage in Cumbria, killing a dozen of its residents, and since then, we have heard nothing more about the Bradley inquest.

    The obvious questions is: Is Bird Soldier ‘C’ in the Bradley assassination, and has it been quashed because of it, resulting in his own suicide? Has the apology for Magella’s murder been made to take the heat off what Bird did, and should still be exposed? And will we have to wait another 35 years for another SoS to apologize for his carnage?

  • FJH

    “Theres only so often a person can say “I am sorry for your loss”.
    I refuse to let anyone stand in the way of the future…(including)..victim.

    I obviously dont want to offend you or them by using the term “noisy”.
    Would you or they be less offended by “dissident victim”?
    Or are victims simply above criticism?”

    If victims have done wrong then no they are not above criticism any more than YOU are. But a victim cannot be blamed for pursuing justice –regardless of how much that disturbs YOUR sense of peace and tranquility.

    YOU are not exactly a silent individual yourself about all things northern –and you suffered no loss? Why is it ok for you to hold greater interest in the ‘future’ than people trying to find resolution –such as the O’Hare’s have recently got (to some extent). And please note –an apology seems to have been all it took –why are YOU so touchy about the Government doing such things?

    YOU can use whatever term about victims you wish –I have done no more than to ask you why your terms tend to be negative and demeaning about people who have done you no wrong? Where does that bitterness come from, if as you say, you have escaped any tragedy as result of the Conflict.

    Having followed some of the choice jargon which you fondly introduce on Slugger I have now come to conclusion that there is such a thing as a ‘Troubles Tramp’.

  • vanhelsing

    As previously stated, for the third time, now I condemn Williams for his actions. The tragic death of this young girl is indefensible. My issue here is the incongruous [or selective] morality of some of these posters as noted in some of my previous posts.

    As stated those who rejoiced at the local when the legs were blown off some part time UDR soldier or when a Roman Catholic RUC man was shot in the back whilst getting into his car – do not now [and will never] get my respect until they recognise that these were also murders. This is not whataboutery this goes to personal morality.

    My last post on the subject as I would prefer not to debate these issues any more with these people and detract from the key issue here which is Majella O’Hare

  • I have now searched the archives for the inquest that Attorney General John Larkin ordered at the end of May 2010 into the murder of Francis Bradley, and have found nothing.

    What in the world attracts your interest when a most unusual murder was carried out for strategic purposes – what Father Murray wrote most extensively about, and Mark Urban based Big Boys’ Rules on – and it isn’t even worry of discussion?

    Little wonder that Derek Bird’s carnage apparently never even caught your fancy!

    I shall see if I can get seeing-eye dogs for you at a discount!

  • MonkDeWallyDeHonk

    Driftwood

    I unreservedly condemn the murder of Gibson and his wife – as I do all murders.

    However, as a Judge he had as much interest in justice for an innocent 12 year old Catholic child who was murdered in cold blood as Widgery did for the innocent victims of bloody Sunday i.e. none.

    I personally have never supported the IRA. However, like the vast majority of Catholics at that time, I had no faith in the RUC, UDR or judiciary.

    When it’s taken almost 40 years for the Bloody Sunday victims to get their innocence recognised, 15 years for Majella, and the BallyMurphy victims still haven’t. Not forgetting the Birmingham 6, the Guildford 4 and Judith Ward.

    IRA terrorism was wrong. However, it doesn’t (and didn’t) give your heroes the right to shoot unarmed innocent Catholics in cold blood or fit them up for crimes they didn’t commit.

    Laughably, these people were supposed to uphold law and order without fear or favour – the UDR and the Parachute regiment – actually that’s not laughable, it’s sickening.

    Like I said, I unreservedly condemn the murder of Gibson. However, I have a lot more sympathy for an innocent 12 year old girl who was murdered in cold blood than someone who was complicit in letting the murderer walk free.

  • Kevin Barry

    AM, WTF? Nobody can take you seriously when you come out with such unbelievably sweeping statements that don’t stand up to any kind of scrutiny.

    VH, I would have to agree with you on the point regarding truth and reconciliation commission, though I think it would be a positive step forward if everyone put their cards on the table it’s never going to happen.

  • Now I find no discussion of Derrick Bird’s rampage in Cumbria on June 2, 2010 – what turned out to be worse than Bloody Sunday, as he apparently Soldier ‘C’, along with Soldier ‘A’, apparently Captain Simon Hayward. in the trial assassination of the Swedish statsminister – killed more people than occurred then.

    To inform your empty minds, you should read Father Murray’s minute analysis of Bradley’s assassination in The SAS in Ireland, especially his summation of on p.365.

    You just cannot get anywhere in explaining and understanding dirty wars if you fail to recognize relevant dots, much less connect them together.

    Are you people simply incapable of seeing any serious

  • Skinner

    “IRA terrorism was wrong. However, it doesn’t (and didn’t) give your heroes the right to shoot unarmed innocent Catholics in cold blood or fit them up for crimes they didn’t commit.”

    You say that as if someone is suggesting it does. The sentiment of the unionist section here seems to be “it was wrong, it seems to have been murder (though we can’t tell for definite) and the individual should be re-tried if possible”.

    That sentiment is in marked contrast to the republican view that “it’s all in the past, move on”, when republican murders are re-visited. And that’s the real reason a truth commission won’t work. But fair play to the British government for trying at least to do their bit.

  • The most belated apology for the murder of Majella O’Hare was to give the impression that the MoD had little or nothing more to answer for, now that Derek Bird’s rampage for what he had done, it seems, while working for the 14 Intelligence Company had been successfully covered up by the inquests in Workington – what HMG had done everything it could to cover up, from getting the Press Complaints Commission to make sure than the media wasn’t too probing about who Bird really was to not pursuing former RIR soldier Don Reid, one of his victims who survived, about what he knew about him in the Army in Northern Ireland before he became a fellow cabbie friend.

  • between the bridges

    re topic..if he killed this girl by accident (in a shoot out) he should have been done for manslaughter, if he murdered this girl in cold blood he should have done/do life. there are far to many murderer’s walking our streets who have yet to pay for their crimes.

    re truth commission…’Mr Adams what did you do during the low density genocide?’
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    ‘Mr Adams?’……….

  • Exactly my point Mr Walsh.
    All it took was an apology…..and as Ive suggested, a simple spread sheet of contentious issues and a 1,000 word statement apportioning blame and taking responsibility.
    No need for endless conferences. It could be done within a year.
    I dont want to have more or less interest in the Future as anyone. I just dont intend to be dragged back to it. Those that feel mor comfortable in the Past…….are welcome to it.

  • nightrider

    Can someone translate, what point, if any, Trowbridge H ford is trying to make? Olaf Palme?????

  • My point is that Derrick Bird aka Derek Bird went on the rampage in Cumbria on June 2, 2010 upon learning that the new Attorney General in Northern Ireland John Larkin had finally ordered a new inquest into the killing of Francis Bradley – what he would have the two soldiers most responsible for, especially Soldier ‘C’, give open testimony about, and what threatened to send him to prison for six years or so for doing.

    Bird reacted to the prospect with the cull in Cumbria – what HMG has done everything to cover up, and the Chief Coroner for Northern Ireland John Leckey has simply forgotten about since Bradley’s murderer has subsequencly murdered himself and a dozen others.

    Instead, it should have placed him immediately under intense surveillance for fear that he would do what he did.

    Now the authorities are still only talking most vaguely about the lessons learned from the carnage, and to help make sure of a cover up, Majella’s family gets a long overdue letter from the MoD about how unhappy it is over what happened to her only 35 years ago!

    Can you imagine, the verdics in the inquests and the letter were written on the same day!

  • Turgon

    nightrider,
    You are fairly new to the site: I will explain:

    Trowbridge H Ford was a regular commentator on slugger for many years. He claims to be (and I think it is true) a retired American university academic of some standing. However, he developed a series of ideas which seem to most to be conspiracy theories. At some point he relocated to Sweden and he now writes extensively on security matters on cryptome and abovetopsecret which would generally be regarded as conspiracy theory web sites.

    To summarise the central tenant of Trowbridge’s theory: some within the American (and British) government wanted to overthrow the Soviet Union and end the Cold War. To do this they got the British secret services to assissinate Olaf Palme the then Swedish PM (no I cannot make sense of it either).

    Trowbridge has repeatedly named an individual as the murderer of Mr. Palme: that individual has threatened Trowbridge with libel but since Trowbridge is outwith the jurisdication he has not thus far been sued for this.

    Trowbridge repeatedly named the man whom he accused of Mr. Palme’s murder on slugger and Mick and I had to remove that name due to the risk of libel against ourselves (specifically Mick). UK libel law on blogs is complex and based on case law. However, there is a danger that the owner of the blog on which the libellous comment is made can be sued. Following the the removal of his comments, Trowbridge denounced Mick as a coward and announced he would stop commenting.

    His return and the addition of Derek Bird to the cast of the conspiracy is new though typical of conspiracy theorists who add lots of seemingly irrelevant details together to elaborate their conspiracy theory. Some suggest it is a mechanism for trying to make sense of the often random complexity of the world.

    I hope that clears it up.

    Trowbridge: as you know I do not remove comments lightly. However, I must remind you that UK libel laws operate for us and if I fear you have broken them I will remove your posts.

  • changeisneeded

    “That sentiment is in marked contrast to the republican view that “it’s all in the past, move on”, when republican murders are re-visited. And that’s the real reason a truth commission won’t work. But fair play to the British government for trying at least to do their bit.”

    Skinner

    Fair play? why did it take 30 odd years ?

    The real reason is because the british will never admit their hand in the war here. If you could get Maggie and co. into a truth commission you might get something out of Adams as well, until then ….. give over.
    I mean the british government (SRR, currently deployed in armagh???) where obviously arming and training the UVF (star pistol anyone?), using Military Out Of Bounds orders to make sure their hit men got away. This, as well using the dip lock courts, media, agent provocateurs, supplying explosive, planting a few bombs/blaming it on the provos the list goes on……
    And we are constantly told that the they are the forces of law and order. Any feekin wonder people rise up…
    The British would not know fair play if it hit them round the side of the head……

  • andnowwhat

    Thanks for that Turgon.

    He had me partly lost and partly intrigued. Now he just has me very amused

  • FJH

    “Those that feel mor comfortable in the Past…….are welcome to it.”

    The current case as reference, until yesterday, I do not think the O’Hare family took any pleasure from a situation not of their creation, nor, I imagine, was it one they were comfortable with. I cannot imagine that the family of anyone who was killed before their time find comfort from that fact…

    While I wish you well in your future –perhaps you should stop taking cheap shots at those who are burdened with a sense of responsibility and burden for seeking justice for a loved lost one.

  • You really should stop trying to link the O’Hare family who have behaved with enormous dignity to the less dignified victims with whom I clearly have a problem.

  • Skinner

    changeisneeded – Do you think the investigation into the killing of Majella O’Hare and subsequent apology is a good thing or a bad thing? You give the impression that it is a bad thing because it took 30 years.

    The rest of your post contains vast sweeping statements that don’t follow in logic. E.g. “the real reason it took 30 years is because the British will never admit their hand in the war here.”

    I’m not sure how that statement really fits together. But if it were the case that the British wanted to sweep everything under the carpet, why spend a fortune to re-examine the case at all? If the killing was part of some British plot in Ireland, I’m not sure how it could possibly have achieved anything the British would want to achieve. And then there’s the role of the RUC – I guess they must have just been off-message when they recommended the prosecution of the soldier? And if there was a top-down plan to use loyalist hitmen, they would simply have killed every known IRA activist within about a year. But that obviously didn’t happen. What else? Ah yes, Diplock courts. That measure followed paramilitary violence, not the other way round. Mr Williams might have been convicted had the paramilitaries not forced Gibson J to sit alone.

    I don’t doubt that there were agents (in a legal sense) of the British state that acted illegally and immorally in NI. But to attempt to paint every incident where British agents were individually at fault into a picture where the demon British operated an expensive and unnnecessary policy of maintaining a war in NI is just not supported by the facts or in logic.

  • I must say that the site’s failure to discuss the ordered new inquest into the shooting-practice murder of Francis Bradley – in preparation for the real thing ten days later here in Stockholm – and Bird’s rampage in Cumbria as a consequence certainly does not add to its stature as a news-probing one, and any time you see fit to finally ban me, please do, as I am only here because it is just the best of a bad lot.

  • FJH

    I asked previously where on your acustic scale you placed the O’Hare family. In short, I do not see or know of any family who had a relative killed who fits your description of being ‘noisy victims’ and who are not generally dignified –who are these people you describe?

    I do think your comments about the ‘Golden Halo’ club are spot on, as you attend more of their conferences than I then you may see behaviour from Families that I have not?

    You have been specific about Noisy victims –if it was not the O’Hares, then maybe you mean the Bloody Sunday Families? –if so –in what other way could they have acted that would have resulted in justice?? The Bloody Sunday Families were condemned to the past through obstacles and Government actions –now they have been set free. For other Families I would say -justice does not have an expiry date –regardless of how that displease or disturbs YOU.

  • Oh, to be fair and constructive with Turgon’s explanation, I should add that the assassination of Palme was intended to make it look like the Soviets had done it, and catch them so much by surprise as they attempted countermeasures in reaction to the degrading of much of their underwater deterrent by US and British attiack submarines that they would throw in the sponge in the Cold War.

    This was all defeated by the spying that the Agency’s (name deleted – mods), the Bureau’s (name deleted – mods) and others did for Moscow. If they hadn’t, it would hardly have been anything amusing.

    And the covert operator who I have repeatedly stated killed Olof Palme has never threatened to sue me. He, apparently under his new identity, (name deleted – mods), has only urged me to take my claims to the Swedish police as he has been banished from Sweden for alleged drug-smuggling, and what he has served time for – what I have done but without any constructive response.

    The only person who had threatened to sue me and more is Sam Rosenfeld for various false reasons, and over which he has never taken any action.

    Trowbridge: if you keep accusing people of criminal acts which they have denied and threatened you with legal action for your accusations; then you will have to be banned. Neither I nor Mick have the time to police this foolishness- Turgon

  • changeisneeded

    Skinner, thanks for the decent response.

    changeisneeded – “Do you think the investigation into the killing of Majella O’Hare and subsequent apology is a good thing or a bad thing? You give the impression that it is a bad thing because it took 30 years.”
    I think it is bad that it took that long. The actual apology itself, only the family can decide on that.

    “But if it were the case that the British wanted to sweep everything under the carpet, why spend a fortune to re-examine the case at all?”
    Why not just come clean about open the files and save all the money. This story about the british “trying” to find out what happened through tribunals etc.. is a game. They know what they did and are spending a fortune to either hide it or deflect blame, see Bloody Sunday.

    “And then there’s the role of the RUC – I guess they must have just been off-message when they recommended the prosecution of the soldier?”
    Off message maybe, but then again they might have had a good egg in a bad lot.

    “And if there was a top-down plan to use loyalist hitmen, they would simply have killed every known IRA activist within about a year.”
    Thats a bit of a wild assumption. But to try and kill all the Ira activists would have resulted in more and more support for them. The UVF/SRR idea was to kill innocent catholics not Ira men, this would put fear into the community the Ira was based and squash their support.
    The brits knew this from previous wars and honed their counterinsurgency techniques here.
    Quite a few books have been written, lectures given, training supplied by ex-ruc men around the world atm about the “sustained low intensity conflict” here. See Libya.

    “Diplock courts. That measure followed paramilitary violence, not the other way round. Mr Williams might have been convicted had the paramilitaries not forced Gibson J to sit alone.”
    Sorry, but a trial by any other means other than by your peers is a sham trial to me..
    “Paramilitary violence” as you called it was committed by both the state and the insurgents.
    Paramilitaries did not force Gibson to sit alone, thats incorrect, it was the british government. Worked out well for them at the time.

    I am getting more and more worried about the status quo in this place not lasting much longer the way things are. So sad.

  • Again I say theres more appropriate forums that the O’Hare thread celebrating a victory…to exercise our minds on noisy victims and I certainly wont name them….but I think that the majority of people might visualise exactly who I mean. If you stepped back a little…you would too.

  • HeinzGuderian

    change

    Your dirty,little,sectarian,skirmish is over mate…………..I won’t spoil it,by telling you who won. But a stroll past the City Hall may give you a clue……….

    As for Status Quo…………I,for one,would be absolutely delighted by their demise !! 🙂

  • FJH

    YOU wont name them or can’t? The most vociferous that I can think off would be the Bloody Sunday families, Pat Finucane’s wife, McGurk’s Bar families, Robert Hamil family? Try as I might but I just cannot agree with you that any of these are/were ‘noisy’ victims. The Majella O’Hare case was also a high profile case as are agreat many others and to me none of them fit the label you have fashioned from your own resentment and sense that want something from you?

    While you claim that “the majority of people might visualise exactly who I mean” I am not so sure that they would agree with your demeaning terminology that they are ‘noisy’ victims wallowing in the past because they like it.

    It is good that you escaped the past unscathed, but I think you should have the good grace not to be so bitter for those who have been burdened with a conseqence from the Conflict.

    Your good fortune obviously does not allow you to be understanding toward those less fortunate instead YOU choose to be rather petty while you spend your day berating them as ‘wallowing’ ‘noisy’ victims.

  • Skinner

    Changeisneeded

    I’m not sure I can take this much further save to say I don’t believe the conclusions you have drawn about the British state’s role in the troubles, which arent supported by the facts for the reasons I have said.

    I don’t think the Majella O’Hare apology is part of a game, just like I don’t think the Bloody Sunday inquiry spent a fortune with the aim of hiding the truth or deflecting blame. If it was, it failed miserably, as it was proved to be a shameful episode for the British Army.

    One thing:

    “to try and kill all the Ira activists would have resulted in more and more support for them. The UVF/SRR idea was to kill innocent catholics not Ira men, this would put fear into the community the Ira was based and squash their support”

    What you appear to be saying is that killing IRA men would have resulted in more support for the IRA but killing innocent Catholics would have reduced that support. I don’t think that’s right, as Bloody Sunday (1972) showed. Are you saying this is why Majella O’Hare was killed (1976)?

  • Im not sure how I can actually spell it out for you Christy.
    Its not my position to intrude on personal grief but there are folks who have made a career out of their own and more usually other peoples grief. Can I actually be more clear without drawing you a picture?
    People who feel they have a right to speak for victims…or more precisely those victims they choose to care for.
    People who would deny us a right to a future because of their political agenda built around victims.

  • FJH

    I think you are right on some of the things you say about people profiting from other peoples misfortune –but that there are victims who do so? Anyone making a career out of their grief can be considered as a small proportion of a small proportion and not enough to demean or label the majority.

    Some victims had been considered to be of political value and their particular story elevated –usually to advance a political message. I have heard people suggest those things about Joyce McCartan, Willie Frazer, Gordon Wilson, Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams.

    On the other hand the Golden Halo Club –select their victims or create a form of victimhood to fit a particular project. Some victims may go along with it believing it will achieve whatever form of justice they are seeking –I’d say the Golden Halo Club dupe victims with their speel just like they spin it to the rest of us.

    The Majella O’Hare case comes from a pool of similar tragic cases –many of them forgotten to most of us as was Majella O’Hare until yesterday. Who would have remembered Stephen Rosterick if it were not for how his mother conducted herself –she made us all see the son she raised –does that make her a ‘noisy’ victim too?

  • changeisneeded

    Skinner, i will let you find your own conclusions. I like to hear different opinions, the facts are there for all of us.

    I don’t think anyone was prosecuted for bloody sunday. That would suit the british, just blame solider f and h or whatever,
    heres something from wiki quoting saville

    In the secret memo to his superior, dated 7 January 1972, Ford said he was “coming to the conclusion that the minimum force necessary to achieve a restoration of law and order is to shoot selected ringleaders amongst the DYH (Derry Young Hooligans), after clear warnings have been issued”. In the event, seven of the innocent victims of Bloody Sunday were indeed Derry teenagers. At the Bloody Sunday inquiry he claimed not to remember having written the memo.

    bit of a cop out in my book..whys he not in the dock?

    your other point
    “What you appear to be saying is that killing IRA men would have resulted in more support for the IRA but killing innocent Catholics would have reduced that support. I don’t think that’s right, as Bloody Sunday (1972) showed. Are you saying this is why Majella O’Hare was killed (1976)?”

    First off, I don’t think Majella O’Hare was killed for this reason. I don’t know what the reasons where.

    As to your other point.
    The main difference between 1 Para killing people on the streets of derry in front of the world press and the UVF killing people in the dark of night is huge.

    I think the military idea behind killing random catholics was to put fear into the ordinary people who then would be afraid to support the IRA for fear of loyalist reprisals. There are a few anonymous ex-service men have written interesting books about this exact topic. This technique is used widely in counter insurgency warfare today.

    anyway thanks for the reasonable discussion skinner

    ps.
    something I said must have been a bit close to the bone for Mr HeinzGuderian (lovely name):P

  • The Word

    “In the secret memo to his superior, dated 7 January 1972, Ford said he was “coming to the conclusion that the minimum force necessary to achieve a restoration of law and order is to shoot selected ringleaders amongst the DYH (Derry Young Hooligans), after clear warnings have been issued”. In the event, seven of the innocent victims of Bloody Sunday were indeed Derry teenagers. At the Bloody Sunday inquiry he claimed not to remember having written the memo.”

    We shouldn’t lose ourselves in the detail of the thinking of the enemy. They had their agenda which they can assert if they dare, and we have our agenda which was served in broad daylight like so many of the incidents that undermined the enemy.

  • Brian

    “If it was, it failed miserably, as it was proved to be a shameful episode for the British Army. ”

    Yes,but the truth was worse. After all, there was no way the BA would look good after that massacre. It took them 40 years to say that the victims weren’t terrorists? Everyone knew that from the very beginning.

    The official explanation “reckless soldiers” was pre-ordained from the get go. How conveniant to blame it on some 20 year old ruthlessly trained soldiers who were a little trigger happy in tought circumstances. The truth is not hard to find, but will never be admitted. God forbid one of the officers or ministers truly responsible for the massacre ever received any blame…especially after they got medals pinned on them by the Queen.

    Whatever, enough on that; enough has been written about it and if anyone truly believes it was just the result of unfortunate circumstances, poor choices, or over-eager soldiers than your ideological or political blinders will not allow you to accept the truth at this late date.

  • Trowbridge: This thread is about a little South Armagh girl killed by British terrorists. Her case was fully explained by the late Fr Denis Faul at the time.
    These animals murdered her for being a harmless South Armagh Catholic girl, for no other reason.
    It has nothing to do with anything, except the imperialist policies and concomitant cover ups of the British imperialist forces in places like South Armagh they controlled solely by terror, the gun and the bomb.
    There is much darkness in the world and dark corners, such as the murder of Miss O’Hare, deserves light. So too do others, but not here.
    Libel is a form of control but this thread is not the place to bang on about it.
    Miss O’Hare’s murder was one bead in a rosary of tears woven togehter by the sub human sociopaths of the Paras and Marines.

  • Turgon

    Trowbridge H Ford,
    I have removed your latest comment. I will continue to do so. I have spoken to Mick who is currently busy but when he is free he will deal with you: I suspect by banning you.

    We do not take such action lightly and I trust many on this site including republicans will agree that I do not censure comments remotely frequently. People often say things against me which I find hurtful but I leave up. I believe passionately in free speech.

    However, in your case you have repeatedly accused an individual of the murder of Olaf Palme. That individual is apparently a former member of the British Army who has threatened libel action against you. His membership of the British Army is relevant because it means that he is very likely a British citizen, presumably residing within the UK. That means that although he cannot easily sue you (you being in Sweden) he can very easily sue me or Mick. I am not going to allow you to engineer the suing of myself (or Mick). I am a man of moderate means, but I have better things to do with my time and money than defend a libel action against an individual whom I do not know, nor have anything against, in order to defend an American now living in Sweden’s right to freely express what looks to me like a barmy conspiracy theory.

    I am not interested in entering into correspondence on this issue and would ask you to desist. If not I am practically certain (being just off the phone to Mick) that you will be banned.

    By all means continue this campaign on your own website, cryptome or wherever you want. If you have real evidence present it to Swedish prosecutors: I do not mind; just stop putting it here.

  • Driftwood

    Trowbridge, your voice deserves to be heard. I assume you know about Raoul Moat being involved in both the murder of Princess Diana and Shergar. In the latter case he (Moaty) was part of a special UDR Black Ops team that specialised in racehorses.
    Some people prefer these things left unsaid. Keep on with the good work.

  • Turgon

    Driftwood,
    Thank you for that: unfortunately laughing at Trowbridge has no effect; I have tried it before. I would not mind his nonsense except I have no desire to have to engage a solicitor nor barrister to defend myself against an action for accusing someone of murder whom I have not actually accused of murder. The law is indeed an ass but that is how it is.

  • Thanks, Driftwood, as I shall keep telling truths as I see them, especially when they are proven in court, and if Mick bans me, as Turgon suspects, that’s his problem, as I have already made clear to him when it comes to such controversies. I am not here just to mouth what everyone believes or tolerates.

    And if it happens, I shall wear it as a badge of honor.

  • Turgon

    Trowbridge,
    This is not personal. This is about us not being sued for libel. You will be safe being in Sweden: not Mick or myself. For us it is not a game. We are the one’s in danger of litigation. Since it is for something I (and I am sure Mick) do not believe neither of us are prepared to use our money and risk loss of it and our property just to allow you to pursue your own views.

    Now by all means make all the claims you want on your own blog or on cryptome where they seem willing to tolerate this stuff.

  • Trowbridge

    “I am not here just to mouth what everyone believes or tolerates.”

    Neither are a lot of other people –but Turgon does make fair comment –this blogg may be held liable for your or anyones comments. I have not seen you produce any evidence to demonstrate factual truth –as that is all that will stand up in court.

  • The Word

    Turgon/Trowbridge

    Give it a rest. Conspiracy theories and threats serve no-one and deny the centrality of the existence of a source which takes neither other than with a pinch of salt.

    If he was not the carrier of a truth, how could Trowbridge have got this far? Your assets only make an ass of you at this time, Turgon.

  • http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/events/other/1976/murray76.htm

    Here is the late Fr Faul’s take on Majella O’Hare’s demise.
    Don’t insult Majella O’Hare with tangents to something galaxies away.
    Please note Miss O’Hare’s demise was part of a stinking strategy and Fr Faul was on to it in 1976, 35 years before the Brits gave their sick sorry note.

  • Brian

    Who cares about Sweden…other than their girls….

  • Mark

    Well Olaf Palme doesn’t , that’s for sure ………..