Sinn Fein also has a ‘duty of care’ to its old volunteers…

There’s a great piece by veteran journalist Alan Murray in the print version of today’s Belfast Telegraph, in which he discursively exams the idea that Sinn Fein deliberately set out to hurt the Travers family by appointing the only member of the IRA gang killed their 22 year old sister Mary.

Well, they aren’t saying why they appointed so we cannot know for sure.

But like the British refusal to hand over material to the Irish government’s inquiry to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of May 1974, the party’s silence won’t do anything to prevent people from drawing their own conclusions.

The slaughter of Mary Travers just after Sunday Mass in April 1984 was far from singular in its wanton brutality. But had the IRA been successful, none of the three family members who were the intended targets that day would have lived to tell their tale.

In fact Mary’s family, firstly through her father Tom, and latterly her sister Ann, have been extraordinarily telling witnesses to the barbarous reality of political murder.

But the IRA did not get where it is today by expressing sympathy for its victims. Any such sympathies expressed by Sinn Fein spokesmen are always general and carefully constructed to cover all murders conducted during the troubles.

And, in all seriousness, they have a ‘duty of care’ to those volunteers, like Mary McArdle, whom they sent out into the field to take (or assist in the taking of) the lives of other human beings.

When viewed from the family’s point of view this is a brutal and heartless appointment. But it was surely more than just a ‘punishment’ for Ann Travers’ recent compelling public witness. It is a demonstration that, even this far into the peace, those IRA volunteers have not been forgotten.

And, perhaps, in the run up to the West Belfast by election, that message may be more important in the shoring up the base than any wider collateral damage to its credibility in the media.

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  • tacapall

    Nunoftheabove those questions must be asked of Mr Travers as he is the one alledging them.

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/ira-double-agent-fresh-suspect-in-shooting-124095.html

    “Mr Travers asked the Ombudsman to carry out an investigation after a retired detective told him that there was a cover-up after the murder to protect the identity of a highly placed informant in the Belfast IRA.

    That man is known to have been close to Denis Donaldson during the 1980s at the time Donaldson was recruited as an agent”.

  • Turgon

    tacapall,
    “being brought up in ghettos where death, imprisonment, sectarianism, bigotry and unemployment was the norm.”

    Only Monday but surely a good candidate for MOPE of the week

  • tacapall

    Turgon Iv’e noticed a new trend lately with the usuall posters like yourself “Mope” have you learned a new word, have you ditched “Never” like I said to Pip, walk a mile in my shoes.

  • Mick Fealty

    Billy,

    I hear what you are saying. I do understand the distinction. You have pared the matter down to the important semantic question of truthfulness.

    This is my position: I take the Aristotelian view that the actions of that ASU represented the intentions of the IRA at that time. Whatever the intentions before the operation, this is the intractable reality of what happened.

    Those positing an opposite view provide no evidence other than conjecture.

    I do not assume anything that I or others of the general public NFL not know for sure. I do not assume a priori intention but the intention to kill all three on the day is self evident.

    There is also no sign of any institutional remorse, since they came after Mr Travers again.

    Whether by accident or design this was a classic terror incident. Tom Travers and his family were Catholic and as a Magistrate he probably imagined he was not on any Republican hit list.

    Thus the (irresponsible, according to Socaire) lack of precaution at Sunday Mass.

    Anyone who presumes the sheer terror that ensued was unintentional is either a fool or taking the rest of us for one.

  • dwatch

    ‘Anyone who presumes the sheer terror that ensued was unintentional is either a fool or taking the rest of us for one.’

    Exactly, and Clarke says it all in the BT article below.
    The saying that a week is a long time in politics and in another few weeks this matter will be history again and another shameful incident will have taken its place.

    ‘Sinn Fein’s double standards make it a laughing stock’

    Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/columnists/liam-clarke/sinn-feinrsquos-double-standards-make-it-a-laughing-stock-16004509.html#ixzz1NucXC5EB

  • dwatch

    Finally before I leave this thread. This letter in the Newsletter sums up the so called ideals of Sinn Fein as long as they continue to employ ex IRA murderers in top posts at Stormont in their political party.

    ‘History reveals the IRA’s fascist aims’
    http://www.newsletter.co.uk:80/community/letters

  • Sinn Feins core vote will hold they may even gain some young, idealistic and incurably stupid voters but they will not win the moderates and independents. In many ways they are typical politicians: say one thing, do another. In effect they are causing further delays in uniting this island.

  • “Sinn Fein’s double standards make it a laughing stock”

    When a political party is continuously successful and they are called the “laughing stock” that must surely tell you something about the exasperation felt the name-caller.

    Liam Clarke has been writing articles, undermining Sinn Fein, for years. Sinn Fein’s supporters will not take a blind bit of notice of any kind of hypocrisy, double standards, amorality or any other of their male-fide political action that is reported by the media.

    The real issue is not the conduct of Sinn Fein but what approach should be taken to break down the hard-wired denial (or “tefflon-mindedness”) of the community from which they draw their support.

  • dwatch

    “When a political party is continuously successful and they are called the “laughing stock” that must surely tell you something about the exasperation felt the name-caller.”

    Successful in what? SF have failed in achieving their ultimate goal a 32 county all Ireland, by the gun or the ballot box. Adams, McGuinness, Kelly, Murphy and co will all be in their graves from old age in 20 years or more.
    Northern Ireland will still be part of the UK. Full stop.

  • “what approach should be taken”

    Seymour, there are two approaches; they might or might not bring a little more justice here.

    At present police officers have to turn a blind eye to the misdemeanours of certain elected representatives and members of the public can’t avail of the justice system because of threats from associates of elected representatives.

    London and Dublin could gradually remove some of the political shackles and the MSM could do a lot more to pressurise the leadership of political parties to discipline their own members.

  • John Ó Néill

    I just checked the Irish Times for contemporary reporting on this.

    Tom Travers had been in the news relatively recently beforehand (in mid-March 1984) as he was the magistrate in the court case involving Gerry Adams where Adams was wounded in a loyalist gun attack when leaving the court. At that time there were two catholic High Court judges (Higgins and Curran), while another judge, William Doyle, had been shot dead after mass outside the same church in January 1983. I think there were a number of attacks on the Higgins and Curran homes over the subsequent years (both lived around the Antrim Rd at one point), although I’ve no idea of whether their homes had been attacked prior to April 1984. There had been a bomb placed under the car of another judge, Carswell, in January of 1984.

    Two days after the attack, the Irish Times reported that the IRA had issued a statement in which they stated “It is believed, although it is not certain, that the bullet that fatally wounded his daughter passed through Mr Traver’s body.” That may be the only ‘corporate’ statement published on the issue and any full text of an IRA statement isn’t given.
    The RUC speculated the next day (11th April, again Irish Times) that two IRA men had attended Mass in the church intending to attack another target who was too well protected and so, had abandoned that target in favour of Travers. The basis for the speculation isn’t given in the article.

  • Master McGrath

    I am more than just amazed at the notion of PIRA/SF having a duty of care to its ‘veterans’ and therefore entitled to give employment to murderers as a gift.
    For the majority of people in the Center Ground and both Catholic and Protestant the concept of veteran is not one into which murderers from IRA or Protestant Paramilitaries can easily fit.
    The more usual spelling of ‘veteran’ for these would be ‘CRIMINALS’.
    The fact that that they can be employed with total impunity say not how well the Assembly system and never-ending Peace Process is working but really how structurally fractured and morally bankrupt it all is.
    SF knows this and also knows it will continue to make such appointment simply because they can and it annoys moderate opinion with impunity.

  • Mick Fealty

    Good work John!!

  • Lionel Hutz

    I was listening to Gerry Kelly and Gregory Campbell this morning on Nolan talking about this issue. I wonder how that goes down with the voters. I thought Gerry came across very badly and made Gregory seem reasonable(quote a feat). But then I am predisposed to such a view. Nonetheless, I always think Gerry performs well but not today. There was arrogance and continuous whataboutery.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Mick

    “I take the Aristotelian view that the actions of that ASU represented the intentions of the IRA at that time.”

    If you’d said Cartesian or Heidiggerian you might have gotten away with it, but I happen to know my Aristotle, and I have no idea why you call this logical fallacy “Aristotelian”.

    Actually, I do know. Because it will mask the threadbare nature of your argument, at least in the eyes of those who haven’t read their Aristotle.

    Just to clarify, your argument is this: if a person does something, it proves that it was their intention to do it.

    This would be an obvious fallacy even if only applied to an individual. The fallaciousness is multiplied when applied to a group, further problematised by the heightened nature of the situation, and then sent into fallacy-orbit when you try to ascribe corporate intention.

    You must know all this?

    “Whatever the intentions before the operation, this is the intractable reality of what happened.”

    You have alleged that the operational objective was to kill an entire family. You understand, as would any sane person, that such an intention multiplies the depravity of the deed. Your allegation was a political act.

    “Those positing an opposite view provide no evidence other than conjecture.”

    Nor need they. You made the allegation, and have been called out on it. There is no responsibility on anyone to prove the opposite of what you allege. The responsibility is on you to prove what you allege. You have proven unable to do so. It’s not “conjecture” to point out that you have no evidence and that your logic is fallacious.

    “I do not assume a priori intention but the intention to kill all three on the day is self evident.”

    Then you need to change your original sentence, because as it stands, it makes clear that it was the a priori intention to kill the entire family. Since you admit that you cannot stand over that claim, you should stop spoofing about Aristotle and retract.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Seymour

    “The real issue is not the conduct of Sinn Fein but what approach should be taken to break down the hard-wired denial (or “tefflon-mindedness”) of the community from which they draw their support.”

    I think this goes to the heart of the matter. You should read Gramsci’s ideas on what he calls “hegemony.” (The Wikipedia page is a surprisingly good, bite-sized intro.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_hegemony

    You have to understand that you are inside the cultural hegemony that dominates these islands, while SF are outside it. That’s why there is almost infinite cultural capital expended on vilifying SF, and it’s why northern nationalists are regarded with such hostility and indeed fear by powerful elites in Belfast, London and Dublin. They simply exist outside of the hegemony, by and large. You could rephrase your post as follows: We must bring nationalists inside the hegemony.

    Personally, I think it’s pretty cool that northern nationalists remain outside. When you’re inside the hegemony, you have to unlearn an awful lot before you can understand anything about the world, and about power. Few people manage to do it. On the other hand, there are scarcely-literate drunks propping up bars in Newry, Armagh, Omagh, Derry and Andytown who have an instinctive understanding of the way the world works that is beyond the grasp of most of the dons of Oxford.

    Northern nationalists are an unindoctrinated people. Of course the indoctrinated majority regard this as a major problem.

  • dwatch

    Excellent research John, keep up the good work.
    To think that Adams and his IRA team were planning to exterminate all these four Catholic judges, magistrates whatever back in the 1980’s makes the ongoing whinging of SF about the collusion of the RUC in the Rosemary Nelson case sound hypocritically pathetic.

    John Ó Néill “I just checked the Irish Times for contemporary reporting on this. Tom Travers had been in the news relatively recently beforehand (in mid-March 1984) as he was the magistrate in the court case involving Gerry Adams where Adams was wounded in a loyalist gun attack when leaving the court. At that time there were two catholic High Court judges (Higgins and Curran), while another judge, William Doyle, had been shot dead after mass outside the same church in January 1983. I think there were a number of attacks on the Higgins and Curran homes over the subsequent years (both lived around the Antrim Rd at one point), although I’ve no idea of whether their homes had been attacked prior to April 1984. There had been a bomb placed under the car of another judge, Carswell, in January of 1984.

    Two days after the attack, the Irish Times reported that the IRA had issued a statement in which they stated “It is believed, although it is not certain, that the bullet that fatally wounded his daughter passed through Mr Traver’s body.” That may be the only ‘corporate’ statement published on the issue and any full text of an IRA statement isn’t given.
    The RUC speculated the next day (11th April, again Irish Times) that two IRA men had attended Mass in the church intending to attack another target who was too well protected and so, had abandoned that target in favour of Travers. The basis for the speculation isn’t given in the article.”

  • Billy Pilgrim, I prefer Groucho Marx to Karl 🙂

    I appear to live outside the ruling class and the paramilitary hegemonies – and not a million miles from Ballymoney – and yet I feel I have a reasonable understanding of the tricks each of them play. We have the misfortune to be victims of an unholy alliance of the two.

    “I think it’s pretty cool that northern nationalists remain outside.”

    I see no great merit in what amounts to self-imposed apartheid. I ignored it as did many of the young people and others who participated in our multri-cultural programmes. As the Lambeg drum said: “Beat me with your bodhran stick”.

  • John Ó Néill

    dwatch – an interesting interpretation of what I didn’t write.

    (a) There had been similar attacks to that on Tom Travers, indeed, identical in William Doyle’s case, to the extent that his lack of security precautions was unusual given the circumstances of the time. This was not just attacks on Catholic judges, since Carswell wasn’t a Catholic, but that prisons and prisoner issues had figured very heavily on the political stage since, in effect, internment (the Assistant Governor of the Maze Prison complex was also shot dead in March 1984). It is implied in some news coverage (in 1984) that he did not regularly attend St Brigid’s and so assumed he would pass unnoticed (offering an explanation for his lack of precautions).

    (b) We have no detail on the operational orders given to the IRA unit involved or their understanding of those orders (or indeed the reponse of the Belfast Brigade or other IRA command structures, such as whether the IRA operators got sanctioned or praised for Mary Travers death). In that regard, any interpretation of them is based on inference. The only available information is the statement carried in the Irish Times which may have been heavily influenced by the reaction to Mary Travers death (as she was a well liked school teacher in Anderstown).

    (c) At a remove of 27 years we cannot simply dial back, either in human terms (for the Travers family) or in political terms (for Sinn Féin). But there is equally no point in trying to achieve a simplistic interpretation for limited (if any) political gain today as establishing that as an acceptable methodology is no use to anyone (since the north has an endless series of sore points that can be brought up).

    For anyone that isn’t familiar with the genesis of the name Billy Pilgrim – Vonnegut, in Slaughterhouse 5, creates a character (and an alien race) who constantly travel in time so that they can see everything at once (but they can’t change anything that happens). I think there are elements of that here – however bitter it might be for those who have to stay close to events of the past – we can’t collectively keep travelling backwards and forwards over history and hope to see a future in it.

  • dwatch

    dwatch – an interesting interpretation of what I didn’t write.

    I included what you wrote so there is no mistake whatever.

    But I am intitled to add my own views and opinions (including the Rosemary Nelson matter) regards the actions of the IRA out of your research from the Irish Times irrespective of whether you approve or not.

  • Mick Fealty

    Those are close to my original thoughts John. Thus that line ref to the past being a foreign country.

    I don’t know if Tom Travers went to Mass in different parshes, but I am pretty sure St Bridgets was his home parish at the time.

    The topic I raised in my original piece was why this appointment was made at this time. None of these obsessive conjectures about the unknowable past address that concern.

  • HeinzGuderian

    I read through this entire thread last night.
    The stomach churning disgust,at pira murder gang apologists,is just that……….stomach churning !!
    People voted for Adolf and Uncle Joe…………but anyone voting Shinner,not forgetting the people they *disappeared*,needs to take a seriously long look at themselves !!! 🙂

  • “his lack of security precautions was unusual given the circumstances of the time.”

    John, his daughter Ann gave an explanation on the Joe Duffy show on RTE. It was something along the lines that he didn’t wish to put other lives at risk. He may have overlooked the risk to his own family. He was also furious with the way the Ombudsman’s office treated the police officer who had befriended him:

    He did, however, lose faith in Nuala O’Loan and her team. Mrs O’Loan’s decision, on March 7, to send 18 police officers in a raiding party to the home of a former cop who had given the family new information about the murder was the final straw.

    “I had asked her (Mrs O’Loan) not to arrest this man, but she went ahead anyway, knowing full well my feelings. I was also afraid that such a high-profile arrest would only put off any chance of other people coming forward. The arrest put paid to that (possibility).” Belfast Telegraph

  • John Ó Néill

    Mick

    @why this appointment was made at this time?

    I’d guess the real reason is as mundance as that there was an ad for Assembly/Dáil staff in An Poblacht in March and the appointments were made after the elections.

  • John Ó Néill

    Nevin – I included the Irish Times comments that suggested that he wasn’t a regular at St Brigids as an explanation given at the time. Whether then or now, I think its a bizarre line of reasoning to subject his security precautions to scrutiny (it’s not like he jumped out of a plane with a parachute).

  • It would seem from this Irish News quote that the Travers family lived quite close to the church:

    “Mary Travers (23) was shot dead during a murder attempt on her father, Resident Magistrate Tom Travers, as the father and daughter walked home from St Brigid’s Church in south Belfast in April 1984.”

  • slappymcgroundout

    “This was not just attacks on Catholic judges, since Carswell wasn’t a Catholic,,,,”

    Does the two word phrase Diplock Court mean anything to you? You might want to find out whether Magistrate Travers presided over proceedings in the Diplock Court. This piece claims that he did:

    http://www.thedetail.tv/issues/5/diplock-courts-story/non-jury-trials-form-of-normality

    And note the end of the piece. Everybody loves the Diplock Courts. And with a few words lord Trimble disappears virtually the entire Irish Catholic population in NI (they don’t exist, accordingly, everybody loves the Diplock Courts).

    And where is Munsterview? From Wikipedia:

    The transition from Internment to Diplock Courts was the culmination of a series of proposals put forth by Brigadier Frank Kitson. Kitson’s work appeared to be a blend of sociological ‘normalisation’, political policy and legal plasticity. In Kitson’s book on counter-insurgency published in 1970, he advocated for the Courts to be used as another part of the Army’s arsenal in the fight against insurgents. He argued:

    …the Law should be used as just another weapon in the government’s arsenal, and in this case it becomes little more than a propaganda cover for the disposal of unwanted members of the public. For this to happen efficiently, the activities of the legal services have to be tied into the war effort in as discreet a way as possible…

    And so they made themselves targets by joining the counter-insurgency effort.

    And dwatch, you here? Wake up and smell the coffee:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/video/2010/oct/11/northern-ireland-police-torture?CMP=twt_gu

    That’s some professional force ya got there.

  • Skinner

    I find it a continual source of interest how otherwise well educated and rational people can fail to see the reality of the IRA’s campaign. There is no better example of it than this thread with their plainly contrived semantic arguments being exposed. Even when presented with the horrible reality that the IRA deliberately killed a 19 year old just because her father was a magistrate, those same otherwise rational people will try to find a way of excusing it. Mick is right not to tolerate it as it does not even pass for argument in this instance.

    The IRA’s excuses may have been believed by some (particularly pre-9/11 Americans) but as Turgon pointed out, there are just too many incidents that betray the lies. They blew up Lord Justice Maurice Gibson’s wife without the slightest regard for her, just as they tried to kill Mrs Travers. An IRA member watched Lord Mountbatten’s little fishing boat sail out into the bay with three children plainly to be seen, before pressing the button that would destroy their lives forever. An IRA member planted a bomb at a children’s parade in Fermanagh, when the only possible result can have been civilian terror. IRA man Brendan Hughes described the campaign being fueled by “sectarian rage”. Former IRA man Sean O’Callaghan recalls how an IRA member quipped that it was a pity a female murder victim had not been pregnant, since they would have got two for the price of one. That is the reality of how the IRA conducted their campaign. Sectarian hatred was the fuel and terror was the desired outcome. I could walk a mile in anyone’s shoes and still be left with that reality.

    It is history but it is relevant because the arguments used by mainstream republicans to excuse the IRA’s activities are exactly the same as those currently used by the dissidents.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Well said Skinner . Well said !!

  • between the bridges

    you have to realize that the glorious provisional marxist fascist movement used professional Active Service Units and not sectarian murder gangs…

  • dwatch

    And dwatch, you here? Wake up and smell the coffee:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/video/2010/oct/11/northern-ireland-police-torture?CMP=twt_gu

    Horlicks slappymcgroundout, so all IRA terrorists locked up in the Maze & other prisons during the troubles were just good little Catholics going out to mass to hug the altar rails or visit the corner shop to get their granny a couple of soda farls? But those black barstewarts in the RUC and Special Branch beat the living sh!t out of them to confess to the bombing’s and gunshot murders carried out over period 1969/98.

  • Lionel Hutz

    slappy,

    Magistrate’s cannot hear crown court trials, so they could not hear Diplick Courts

  • tacapall

    “Horlicks slappymcgroundout, so all IRA terrorists locked up in the Maze & other prisons during the troubles were just good little Catholics going out to mass to hug the altar rails or visit the corner shop to get their granny a couple of soda farls”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/oct/11/northern-ireland-terrorists-miscarriages-justice

    Hundreds of men and women found guilty of terrorism offences in Northern Ireland during the Troubles are attempting to have their cases reopened, alleging that the confessions that led to their convictions were beaten out of them by police.

    The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the body that investigates alleged miscarriages, has received applications from more than 200 people who argue that they fell victim to miscarriages of justice at the province’s non-jury courts.

    So far the court of appeal in Belfast has heard 26 cases referred by the commission, and has overturned convictions in 24 of those. Solicitors in Belfast and Derry say they believe many more people will be applying to the commission in the near future.

    During the course of the Troubles several police doctors came forward to complain that terrorism suspects were being beaten during interrogation, and that the courts were dismissing their expert evidence.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/oct/11/inside-castlereagh-confessions-torture

    For more than 20 years the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and successive British government ministers maintained that IRA propaganda was largely to blame for its notoriety, and that whatever abuses did occur were the responsibility of a few “rotten apples”.

    However, a number of former RUC interrogators, men who worked at Castlereagh during the 70s, 80s and 90s, have recently told the Guardian that the beatings, the sleep deprivation and the other tortures were systematic, and were, at times, sanctioned at a very high level within the force.

    One told how Detective Chief Superintendent Bill Mooney, the RUC’s most senior detective, would fire up his interrogators before they entered the interview rooms, demanding: “What are you, men or mice – get in there!” If they failed to quickly break a suspect, Mooney would ask them: “Have I got to get in there and do it myself?”

    The facts speak for themselves.

  • dwatch

    tacapall, hundreds, did you make this number up in your head so how come none of these hundreds of ex RUC men have been charged if the Guardian articles are true?

    Bin Laden was shot in Pakistan by US seals, Ratko Mladic has just flown to the Hague for war crimes, Gadaffi is on the verge of being charged by his own people for his crimes, so when is Adams head of the IRA army council responsible for over a 1000 murders going to be tried for his crimes against humanity?

  • tacapall

    dwatch you either cant read or you’re off on a tangent. What I wrote above is quotes from the article in the Gaurdian. Lets see now, you dont believe the admissions from former RUC detectives, you dont believe the RUC’s own doctors and finally you dont believe the admission from the courts that 24 out of the 26 cases so far are unsafe so they were overturned, this is all make believe eh.

    Basra, September 19, 2005

    “Iraqi police sources in Basra told the BBC the ‘two British men were arrested after failing to stop at a checkpoint. There was an exchange of gunfire. The men were wearing traditional Arab clothing, and when the police eventually stopped them, they said they found explosives and weapons in their car. It’s widely believed the two British servicemen were operating undercover.”

    “Iraqi leader, Fattah al-Sheikh said that police had ‘caught two non-Iraqis, who seem to be Britons and were in a car of the Cressida type. It was a booby-trapped car laden with ammunition and was meant to explode in the centre of the city of Basra.”

    What about Tony Blairs war crimes or

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/footage-of-western-troops-confirms-criminality-of-war-on-libya.html

    Footage of Western Troops Confirms Criminality of War on Libya

    Proof that armed western forces are on the ground in Libya advising rebels confirms that the entire legal premise behind the NATO-led intervention has been shattered and the campaign is now a criminal act of warfare that has nothing whatsoever to do with the original justification of protecting civilians.

  • HeinzGuderian

    taca…………..* disappeared *

    Lets start with that,and see republicans trying to justify it.

  • dwatch

    What about Tony Blairs war crimes

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/footage-of-western-troops-confirms-criminality-of-war-on-libya.html

    Blair’s biggest crime was conning the citizens of Northern Ireland and releasing this bunch of republican psychopaths out under the GFA. Now we are all paying the price for this terrible mistake in the Stormont assembly and local councils.
    http://victims.org.uk/s08zhk/pdfs/counter/List%20of%20Irish%20terrorist%20prisoners%20released%201998.pdf

    This is my final post on this thread as it is becoming repetitive.

  • tacapall

    HeinzGuderian theres no justification for what happened to the likes of Jean Mc Conville or indeed any of those dissapeared.

    dwatch, yeah you’re better off as you haven’t a clue.

  • Skinner

    Tapacall it is ironic that you are accusing someone of going off on a tangent given the lengths you have gone to to divert the thread

  • tacapall

    Skinner mearly pointing out the double standards of some commentators, the turning a blind eye to Mr Travers himself accusing the RUC of a cover up but Im sure thats not what Unionists want to hear.

  • Turgon

    tacapall,
    “theres no justification for what happened to the likes of Jean Mc Conville or indeed any of those dissapeared. “

    Lets just analyse that statement a bit. What happened to Mrs. McConville is that she was murdered: same for all the disappeared. Their bodies were clearly secretly buried but seeing as they were dead that was of no concern to them.

    Colossally the most important crime committed against the disappeared was their murder: all else is of no significance as compared to that. For their relatives the appalling wickedness of depriving them of a body and an explanation would undoubtedly have magnified the horror. However, even for the relatives the main issue was the murder of the disappeared.

    What tacapall is really saying here, though it is unclear whether s/he would recognise it, is that the murder of the disappeared was unjustifiable.

    In this s/he is actually in common cause with almost everyone in this part of the world. All the murders of the Troubles were unjustified and unjustifiable.

  • PaulT

    strangely although the thread is mainly about her we seem to have discussed everyone elses crimes apart from Mary McArdle.

  • PaulT

    strangely although the thread is mainly about her we seem to have discussed everyone elses crimes apart from Mary McArdle.

    Does her part in the crime actually amount to a charge of murder.

    For example Mick you say she ‘assisted in the taking of life’ but she only became involved after murder.

    To my knowledge Derek Bentley was not convicted of murder because he was present but on police evidence that he shout “let him have it” to Craig.

    So although there are several crimes she could have been charged with, I’m not sure murder is correct.

    Does anyone know the grounds why that was the charge?

  • RepublicanStones

    As it was deeply insensitive to the nationalist community to see the likes of Mike Jackson (among others) reach the upper echelons of the British Security establishment, im not going to try and excuse the insensitivity shown by Sinn Fein.

  • RepublicanStones

    Does a black card appear for anybody else in their preview bar below the text box?

  • PaulT, you can read my contribution: 29 May 2011 at 7:41 pm.

  • RepublicanStones, for a short period we had both a black and a yellow card in the preview panel but the yellow has gone. The black is a bit disconcerting!

  • Turgon

    RS,
    Yes a black card appears for me as well. However, it is not there after I post and does not seem to come up on the screen. In addition to my knowledge Mick has not awarded me one.

    I will ask Mick about it tomorrow. I suspect the system has a minor glitch.

  • Turgon

    RS and Nevin,
    I sort of hoped it was in personal honour of me being a black Prod etc. Sadly you seem to have received the same which somewhat scuppers my theory.

  • Mick Fealty

    Yep RS. It does for me too. Will get Simon to work on it in a day or two when I’m officially back at work.

  • PaulT

    Nevin. agree broadly with that statement, but not your amended sentence.

    Many are overlooking the fact that this crime has already been tried in a court of law and the outcome of the case differs from Tom Travers account which is been held as gospel

    Your sentence is conjecture, I’m sure it was argued in court, BUT it can’t have been accepted by the court and/or police as she was charged and/or sentenced for any crime against the mother and other daughter.

    Mick et al know full well that law trumps a personal account, hence discussing Haughey is continually avoided to avoid legal issues (and rightly so)

    So, I’m using the law in defence of the IRA in the case of them murdering someone because he was a magistrate, its a funny old game.

    PS
    for anyone not knowledgeable about guns it would be worthwhile doing a bit of research before using gunpowder burns and/or misfiring automatics in your justifications, your getting it wrong

  • PaulT

    “Yep RS. It does for me too. Will get Simon to work on it in a day or two when I’m officially back at work.”

    SammyMcNally seems to have a touch of it as well : )

  • slappymcgroundout

    “they blew up Lord Justice Maurice Gibson’s wife without the slightest regard for her, just as they tried to kill Mrs Travers. An IRA member watched Lord Mountbatten’s little fishing boat sail out into the bay with three children plainly to be seen, before pressing the button that would destroy their lives forever. An IRA member planted a bomb at a children’s parade in Fermanagh, when the only possible result can have been civilian terror. IRA man Brendan Hughes described the campaign being fueled by “sectarian rage”. Former IRA man Sean O’Callaghan recalls how an IRA member quipped that it was a pity a female murder victim had not been pregnant, since they would have got two for the price of one. That is the reality of how the IRA conducted their campaign. Sectarian hatred was the fuel and terror was the desired outcome. I could walk a mile in anyone’s shoes and still be left with that reality.”

    How many German children did the RAF kill in WWII? The British Army? And they knew to a statistical certainty that the children would be killed owing to the nature of the operation. And you are partners with my country in our armed struggle in Afghanistan and environs. You are aware, yes, that my country uses these things called predator drones to kill at a distance and that it is not unheard of for wives, mothers, children, grandma to be killed in the operation? Are you out on the street protesting for the withdrawal of your troops from our alliance? And careful with the isolated incidents since they work against you as well. As always, what have you to say about Annette McGavigan? The British Army can’t even say that it took out an Irish Catholic Mountbatten since Annette was the only one killed. Next time you’re in the neighborhood:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheep23/3200228851/

    Another name for you, Margaret Gargan. “‘We were only sitting talking you know the way wee girls talk about things. Next thing she fell down. We never heard the shot. Within a couple of seconds she was lying on the ground. It all happened so quickly. Then everybody started to scream. Then we got pulled inside. The shooting continued and it was a while before Margaret’s body got pulled in.”

    And:

    David McCafferty, aged 15 lived in Ballymurphy Drive. He was the forth child in a family of seven. On the 9th of July 1972 the cease fire between the IRA and the British Government had broken down. British Army snipers were positioned in Corry’s timber yard and opened fire into the Westrock/Springhill areas seriously injuring a number of people. Local priest Fr. Fitzpatrick was called to attend the injured and David McCafferty followed behind him and local man Paddy Butler, it was at this point that word came through that a young girl had been shot further down Corry’s. Fr. Fitzpatrick and Paddy Butler walked out from the cover of a house to get across to a wounded man when a British Army sniper opened fire killing them both. Young David McCafferty walked out to retrieve the bodies when he was shot several times and killed by the same sniper as he bent over Fr. Fitzpatrick. Also killed by the snipers that night were John Dougal and Margaret Gargan.

    By the way, how many PIRA funerals were there, for their dead owing that affair? That’s some enemy combatant to civilian killed ratio there.

    And if they were fueled by sectarian hate, could you please explain why they bothered to phone in bomb warnings? I mean, I’d really like to know, ’cause I’m trying real hard to understand why, if the mission was kill Prod, they’d have phoned Prod you a warning to allow Prod you to clear the area.

    And you might want to consider as well:

    “Daithi O’Connell said [to Whitelaw] there had been too much talk about a ‘Protestant backlash’ and this and previous British governments had been intimidated by such talk. ‘These are our people,’ he said, ‘and we do not desire nor would we welcome a clash with them.'”

    And you might want to read what Tommy McKearney thought of the British policy of Ulsterization here [at pp. 174-175]:

    http://tinyurl.com/42yw98m

    So he’s still quite angry over the British policy of Ulsterization since he wanted to kill British Army folk and not you. And you can look at the chronology of deaths on the CAIN site and see that he is correct, since the number of British Army killed went down while the number of RUC/UDR killed went up. Owing to the British policy of Ulsterization. No one in London really cares about you, but when the body bags containing the remains of English lads start coming home…and so you were put up front there. But keep on being loyal.

    The PIRA had the lowest ratio of civilians killed to all killed. Your kith and kin in the UVF had the highest, then some other of your “irregular” kith and kin, and then the British Army. And then the PIRA. You can check my profile and look for my post wherein I posted the breakdown and the respective ratios. Should be easy to find as I ran the numbers down the page.

    Lastly, you and some others are living in fantasyland, or more correctly, Orwell’s Oceania, and so the grand exercise in doublethink. The British Army was originally there to protect them from you. Westminster dissolved your parliament as you had proven yourselves unfit to rule. You had a chance to show your bona fides and have voluntary and not mandatory coalition with the SDLP but in what Merlyn Rees describes as the “Protestant people rising up” you collapsed Sunningdale. And so to say that a large part of the problem was not you is simply to look reality in the face and call black, white.

    Almost forgot, but if you would read up, you’d learn that according to your Deputy First Minister there were something like 5 guys in the IRA in Derry before in internment. Hundreds not so long thereafter. As Tim Pat so aptly puts the matter:

    For Operation Demetrius, as the internment drive was termed, was botched in practically every respect one can think of. … it relied on lists drawn up by the RUC Special Branch. There were 450 names on the lists, but only 350 of these rendered themselves available for internment. Key figures on the lists, and many who never appeared on them, were warned before the swoop began. The lists were weighted towards the Officials, who, despite being the more pacific of the two IRA wings, were regarded by MI5 as the more dangerous adversaries because of their Marxist orientation. Hence their potential was assessed in cold-war terms, rather than in an Irish context. The names included people who had been interned previously, or had been active in the IRA decades earlier, but who, despite Republican sympathies, were no longer active. They also included people who had never been in the IRA, including Ivan Barr, chairman of the NICRA executive, and Michael Farrell. What they did not include was a single Loyalist. Although the UVF had begun the killing and bombing, this organisation was left untouched, as were other violent Loyalist satellite organisations such as Tara, the Shankill Defenders Association and the Ulster Protestant Volunteers. It is known that Faulkner was urged by the British to include a few Protestants in the trawl but he refused.

    The lists were so out of date that 104 people had to be released within forty-eight hours. … The army quite often simply picked up the wrong people, a son for a father, the wrong ‘man with a beard living at no. 47’ and so on. But by the time they were released, a number had suffered quite brutal treatment, as had those still detained … Internees were beaten with batons, kicked and forced to run the gauntlet between lines of club-wielding soldiers.

    The CAIN summary goes on to report:

    In response to internment the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association began a campaign of civil disobedience which culminated in a ‘rent and rates strike’ by those in public sector houses. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) was forced to end co-operation with the Northern Ireland government. In addition many commentators are of the opinion that internment resulted in increased support, active and tacit, among the Catholic community for the IRA. The level of civil unrest and the level of IRA violence surged.

    One of those “commentators” is your Deputy First Minister. You might also want to read up on the late Samuel Devanney, since according to your Deputy First Minister, was him being batoned to death in his own home that first started him down the road to armed revolution. He didn’t sign on right away, since back then was still what is now the Officials crowd running the show, but first time, he claims, that he realized that getting one’s civil rights might well require something more than peaceful protest and petitioning one’s government for a redress of grievances.

    Sorry, one more, the single thought that has probably never ever crossed your mind:

    Partition was designed to deal with a perceived majority-minority problem. Problem is, all it did was to create a smaller version of the same majority-minority problem, and with the roles reversed. Kudos to some for their stupidity. As I said, keep on being loyal to stupid.

  • tacapall

    “tacapall,
    “theres no justification for what happened to the likes of Jean Mc Conville or indeed any of those dissapeared. “

    Lets just analyse that statement a bit. What happened to Mrs. McConville is that she was murdered: same for all the disappeared. Their bodies were clearly secretly buried but seeing as they were dead that was of no concern to them.

    Colossally the most important crime committed against the disappeared was their murder: all else is of no significance as compared to that. For their relatives the appalling wickedness of depriving them of a body and an explanation would undoubtedly have magnified the horror. However, even for the relatives the main issue was the murder of the disappeared.”

    So does knowing about a murder and having the power to stop it but allowing it to happen any less callous than those who accually fired the shots.

  • Mick Fealty

    If we are moving to other cases so effortlessly: Haughey; mcConville; Devanney can we presume it is dying of whataboutery?

    PaulT: Sammy has gone to the place where bad boys go.

  • “I’m using the law in defence of the IRA”

    PaulT, I prefer to stand alongside the Travers family and the police officer who befriended them. The law can indeed be an ass and it can be used to aid and abet those who committed cruel and barbaric deeds in my, your and others’ names.

  • PaulT

    Mick, I’d say Haughey is relevant to this case, however, regarding the death by whataboutery, Yes, this thread is deceased, is dead, Monthy Pythons Parrot sketch is in my head.

    Nevin, can’t argue with that, I’m minded of Churchills line on Democracy been the worst form of government apart from all the rest. But thats because the law like religion is impaired by its implementation by people.

    Mick, there is of course another much more innocent reason for McArdle’s and others appointment and that is that unionism is only now beginning to see a defined ‘strata’ within SF.

    Prisoners were released under the GFA many republican prisoners sought to continue the ‘struggle’ through politics (which is the main principle of the GFA) and joined SF.

    This layer of prisoners turned politican and activist is now reaching the level in the party either elected or appointed where they are visible outside their local community.

    This happens after any conflict, and the aftermath of the Arab Spring will be no different.

    These prisoners were released many years ago, they have worked within and for SF for a long time, like anyone else in any other party they have progressed and these appointments are not to insult anyone, they are a recognition of achievement by the individuals.

    That is not to say unionism and Travers and others don’t have a right to feel insulted, or pain at the situation, BUT, it should be tempered with the knowledge that the pain is a two way street.

    Are those who feel this is an insult prepared to level the playing field or is part two of your arguement to defend the army pension of ‘soldier A’

  • Mick Fealty

    Paul, that’s a *very* valid point about visibility. It also demonstrates the power of the witness of articulate middle class victims.

    I think Turgon’s latest thread may be worth contributing that previous thought to…

  • “only now beginning to see a defined ‘strata’ within SF.”

    PaulT, your defence of the indefensible is commendable. Perhaps the PRM could avail of your undoubted PR skills 🙂

    The dogs in the street will know that there is and has been cross-over between the numerous wings of the PRM and that members of the Army Council will have had simultaneous roles in various ‘departments’ – multi-tasking, if you will.

    The Independent Commission on Decommissioning, in its early days, used to refer to a ‘culture of lawfulness’. This became a bit of an embarrassment as the PRM continued to indulge in unlawful activity and I’d happily speculate that that was the main reason why the use of the phrase was discontinued.

    The MSM studiously ignores the fear factor in governance at regional and local level yet it’s self-evident that the risk is there when you have a mix of Ministers, SpAds and ‘minders’ with a background in the PRM ‘military’ as well as other violent wings.

    The British government at one point was contemplating the use of paramilitary personnel in the PSNI but drew back with the prospect of political cartoonists being gifted with ‘baseball bats with blue flashing lights’. This delightful phrase was coined by an old friend of mine and was passed on to a Ministerial office. The Minister’s representative drew attention to the ‘field day’ for cartoonists – and a trawled ministerial announcement never appeared.

  • Skinner

    Slappy that is a mammoth post and I read almost all of it. I can summarise it thus:

    1. Civilians were killed in world war 2 – pure whataboutery, and from a different context.

    2. The British army killed some children and other civilians – once again whataboutery but for the record I think where the circumstances demand it those soldiers should be tried for murder.

    3. A slur that UVF terrorists are my “kith and kin”: that is so insulting that I don’t see the point in engaging with you further.

  • PaulT

    Nevin, don’t wish to descend into whataboutery with you, however, I could also point out, the trumped up charges against Stalker, the Stevenson fire….you get the picture, there’s shady people on both sides, I believe you also don’t take Robinsons troubles at face value either.

    Your other point is true but its long been a different game for SF.

    The previous crossover between the IRA and SF was because SF used elections purely as a headcount, and to be a public figure for SF was a dangerous occupation (see above).

    SF today is a political party fully engaged, and no longer used to gage support for the use of violence.

    So, yes always crossover but diff reasons, the ex-prisoners in SF today are there to build support for a political solution and largely on merit, I say merit because they were released in 1998, many of them went straight to political activity.

    That is the fundamentals of the GFA.

    They like many believed in the use of violence, got caught, went to prison, agreed that peace and politics was the better path, came out, joined SF.

    Contrast that to ‘soldier A’ and his progress through life after purposely shooting an innocent person (or 12yo girl as the latest mumbled half apology was for), whitewash inquest, no guilt, no punishment, no publicity, army career, army pension.

    Lets ask ‘soldier A’ and McArdle which life they wish they had lived, while remembering that only ‘soldier A’ actually pulled a trigger.

  • PaulT, SF is still a political wing of the PRM; it won’t be acting contrary to strategies and tactics decided by the PRM Army Council. Hence my use of the term parapolitician.

    You may well attempt to persuade me that there is now a separation of the political and other wings but the Grapevine paints a much less flattering image of the current state of the PRM.

    It’s a moot point as to whether parapoliticians are that much different from politicians who sit on trusts and community organisations alongside developers and paramilitaries. Politicians who do so are unlikely to say too much about the McArdle appointment or to call for a public audit of such trust and community organisation accounts.

    Whataboutery is a funny old game. Hypocrisy should be teased out wherever it is found. I say teased out because all exposure needs to take account of the consequences for individuals, especially those who may be vulnerable not only to the actions of paramilitaries but also to the actions of state agents.

  • Independent Ulster

    Nevin,

    You said.

    The British government at one point was contemplating the use of paramilitary personnel in the PSNI but drew back with the prospect of political cartoonists being gifted with ‘baseball bats with blue flashing lights’.

    That is the problem with this whole affair the government should never have allowed a situation where SF can appoint terrorists to government related positions and could even ‘contemplate’ allowing them into the police force.

  • PaulT

    Nevin, you need to realise that the two job specs do not overlap, a ‘parapolitican’ acts the same as a politican in a political environment, and a parapolitican acts the same as a paramilitant in a military environment.

    People in the TA don’t bark orders in the office and they don’t carry briefcases to the firing range.

    There is no need for you to invent these catagories because you may as well do it for the obese (Fattytican) or bald (Baldytician)

    And finally if ‘parapoliticans’ are a potential danger than what about ‘Soldier A’ who doesn’t have to worry about having his getting license revoked, who has already walked away from a murder change, has been told not to feel guilty, never punished, and never missed out on a days money or promotion.

    Who is more likely to commit a crime

  • PaulT, I think the categorisation is very useful; it distinguishes, for example, between the PUP and SF on the one hand and the UUP and the SDLP on the other.

    I don’t have an answer as to who is more likely to commit an other crime but I do know that the police still don’t have the freedom to pursue certain alleged law-breakers ie those with ‘indemnity certificates’. The ‘don’t ruffle good paramilitary feathers without political clearance’ edict apparently still applies.

  • ‘Independent Ulster, London and Dublin will most probably do whatever it takes to protect their respective major institutions; if that means debasing democracy here it will be done. Sometimes the spectre of negative publicity will cause second thoughts and a change of tactics. You might even find that developers will play the same game …

  • Independent Ulster

    Nevin

    You said,

    London and Dublin will most probably do whatever it takes to protect their respective major institutions; if that means debasing democracy here it will be done.

    I am not sure what major institutions you are referring to that belong to Dublin? This is a Northern Ireland matter solely related to Stormont.

  • PaulT

    Indeed, Nevin, although you also need the term ‘parapeer’ to cover those in the House of Lords from Vanguard and Ulster Resistance (founding members even!!) but with 2 para politicans in a row as first ministers and one recently retired from leading the UUP I don’t think nationalists are concerned about the dangers.

    Although the thought of Lord Reg adopting his Ulster Vanguard swagger with a civil servant and letting him/her know that it could get nasty is quite amusing, do you think the leadership of the DUP met Blair with their hands in their pockets pretending to be ‘packing’

    Actually no offence to the afforementioned politicans/parapoliticans but Nevin you’ve made me smile,

  • Limerick

    PaulT,

    I note that you make various references to ‘Soldier A’. How would you feel if he was appointed to a £80,000 a year job advising a government minister here?

  • Independent Ulster, I meant those important economic centres and institutions in the rest of these two islands that are important to either London or Dublin. Even at a lower level, paramilitaries have been given a role in restorative justice programmes whereas elsewhere the programmes would be operated by voluntary or state agencies.

  • PaulT, I wasn’t aware that Reg took his political direction from a loyalist/republican style Army Council, you know from a Brigadier McDonald or a Captain(?) McGuinness. He seems more of the Boys Brigade or Scouts type to me.

  • Independent Ulster

    Mary Travers words in the Belfast Telegraph

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/technology-gadgets/anger-over-sinn-fein-aide-mcardles-murder-regrets-16007072.html

    Nevin,

    You seem to be overestimating the role of Dublin in Northern Ireland affairs.

  • PaulT

    Nevin, your omission of Ian and Peter from that sentence is noted, and regarding Reg, merely run the same rule over him as you do for others and it will be obvious

  • Independent Ulster, Dublin’s role in NI affairs hasn’t and can’t be measured. I’ve described and linked to some of the roles but the MSM has been very remiss in its potential educational role.

    PaulT, I’m not aware of any of the three gentlemen taking their political direction from a paramilitary army council. The organisations you mention are more akin to Dad’s Army than to the organisations headed by the likes of McDonald and McGuinness. On other threads I’ve suggested that the street politics of the likes of Paisley and Hume helped set the mobs at each others’ throats but I regard Empey as much less potent in that regard than the other two.