“be careful what you wish for…”

In the Belfast Telegraph, Henry McDonald picks up on the recent reports of the Historical Enquiries Team’s findings, and how they undermine the “changing narrative [that] has become mainstream republican orthodoxy”.  From the Belfast Telegraph article

The HET’s conclusions over the Enniskillen massacre paints those responsible as, at the very least, guilty of callous disregard for civilian life and, at the worst, as viscerally sectarian.

In relation to Loughgall, the HET line is quite stunning, because it actually aids the SAS story, rather than those on the receiving end of their firepower.

For political actors on either side who would seek to use inquiries to re-write history, these bit-by-bit explorations into the past have a double-edged quality: they can inflict as much damage on them as on their opponents.

Unless there is some kind of overarching truth commission that allows for a full excavation of what actually happened over the last four decades, then this will continue.

But does anyone really think that some of the new vested political interests in Northern Ireland are genuinely ready to open up all the files – given that they could be cause for major embarrassment, or further controversy?

Indeed.  As has been noted previously, some of those calls for “some kind of overarching truth commission” are “absurd” and “disingenuous”.  As is shouting ‘partition’ every time the economy is raised…

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  • Mary Anna

    I was only 13 years old – when i went to look for a job 1969 start of the troubles in a cafe up in Derry-window writing said: waitress wanted -catholic need not apply! Does that mean i have the right to bomb my way into power? British Stormont just because i am a second class citizen ? Is it right to blow up everyone one to bits because they do not agree with me? Set out- plan to kill and destroy families and batter people into submission its their way or no way for an united Ireland?, Burn families out of their homes -wreck lives just scare the nation to death because i am a second class citizen? No -two wrongs never make it right . these killers on both sides- did what they had to do for power control and greed fill their EGOs and pockets full of gold, Lets put our foot on the other shoe and do this to catholics south of the border would this be allowed to happen – no there would be an outcry! PIRA have did very well out of the troubles, war, conflict Dup are doing very well also they now share expenses and have full power over communities on both sides the fools only have to wave a flag and the sectarian vote wins out!
    644 civilians murdered by second class citizens PIRA 80 children murdered by the second class citizens- the second class citizens injured 47,000 PIRA second class citizens total killed 2057 persons bombed families out- where are their human rights ?SS army council Adams, Mc Guinness Danny Morrison all must be taken up for war crimes they knew that the hunger strikers win over the Brits 5 demands yet they let these brave men go to their graves – knowing that they got what they ask for- basic rights! Guilty as sin SS army council all for what? no one has the right to hurt and harm for self interests- just because we are second class citizens. Your all know the difference between wrong and right! Ps Frank Hegarty’s mother died a broken lady knowing that you Martin McGuinness were big enough to lie through your teeth promised her down on your knees- that you would return her son home safe!

  • Into the west

    Mary,
    Maybe the Brits should have pulled out in ’74, rather than prolonging the conflict.

  • Cynic2

    What? All million of us?

  • Cynic2

    The shock would have been terrible. Who would then have been left to blame? You can only stretch Cromwell so far

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Henry Mc Donald has not picked up on the reports of the HET into Loughall and Enniskillen. He has picked up on alleged leaks into these reports. It is impossible to pick up on reports that have not actually been published yet.
    I

  • Mary Anna

    Into the west – 1974 the Sunningdale agreement failed – because Ian P the pig Paisley-PIRA – they want power and allow the dirty war to continue- they did not care about humanity. That is why they are in British Stormont today they achieve – money sharing- they are all sharing expenses. Done deal. 1981 SS army council Adams let the hunger strikers die – six of them -went to their graves not knowing that they win their 5 basic demands Sin/f are guilty as sin- they wanted power political gain, votes used these poor men and let them die. Stop blaming the Brits for the dirty deals and steals of human life! Catch yourself on into the west-PIRA knew that they could never beat the brits but scared the nation to death for jobs and British pensions – I wish the brits paid them off 35 years ago! many lost lives would be at home to day with their families and loved ones! They the dictators sociopaths fascists bully boys- must now be taken to task -war crimes against humanity- inciting crimes and committing heinous crimes. No more excuses!The truth is out .

  • Into the west

    ah to the victor, the spoils mary, and if the PIRA of won
    they’d be heroes and we wouldn’t even be having this xchange.
    I don’t buy your arguement one bit !

    cynic2 , not you aul boy, the brit admin
    partition is just wrong. period .. hey ho

  • Red Lion

    Lets hope the media step up to the mark and demand answers from Sinn Fein and repeatedly ask awkward questions and go as far as they possibly can in their scutiny of such answers.

    It will likely be the same old Sinn Fein stonewalling and denial, or even just keep quiet and keep heads down on that press day and easily sidestep the soft media

  • carnmoney.guy

    During the Presidential election, Martin McGuinness was doorstepped by victims families.
    Why does that not happen more here, there is certainly more families in the North?
    Willie Frazer seems to be ploughing a lonely furrow with this approach….

    The HET report into Loughgall misses the blindingly obvious – SAS sent into action to kill, that is what they are for and that is what they do, the only time they didnt kill was in between ceasefires when they caught the sniper team in South Armagh, but again only cause they were ordered to limit lose of life at all costs. The setting for Loughgall was very different, Mid Ulster PIRA operating at will, one month after Lord Chief Justice / Lady Gibson murdered, the backlash from European mainland politicians following explosion. A year later after the Ballygawley bus bombing, another ambush, another three dead PIRA.

    When you use special forces in your own country, people will die, and there will be collateral damage

  • Pete Baker

    Pat

    “Henry Mc Donald has not picked up on the reports of the HET into Loughall and Enniskillen.”

    Read the original post again, Pat. I didn’t say they were HET reports.

    carnmoney.guy

    “The HET report into Loughgall misses the blindingly obvious – SAS sent into action to kill…”

    What a pity the Provisional gang involved chose to open fire first, rather than be ambushed by the SAS under orders to kill. Otherwise they could have been lauded as yet more martyrs to the cause…

    Given the surveillance and fore-knowledge of the attack a shoot-to-kill could have easily been carried out without the risk of the Provisionals shooting first.

    But nothing to say about Enniskillen?

  • USA

    There is no changing narrative. It is simply a version of events from a different perspective. Those who read culturaly Unionist papers such as the BT, Newsletter etc simply have difficulty digesting views that don’t fit thier version of events.

  • USA

    The British government would not fully co-operate with a truth commission either.

  • fordprefect

    USA, I agree with you about the British Government not wanting a truth commission. Gerry Adams has consistently called for an international truth commission (because he knows there is no chance of that happening). How can anyone have any faith in any “truth commission” when Adams says he was never in the IRA, McGuinness says he left it in 1974, the British denying at every turn that there was ever such a thing as collusion (just a few bad apples etc.) and Loyalists/Unionists saying that they only reacted to IRA violence (when Gusty and the boys were killing people as far back as 1966)? So, all the above mentioned want everyone else to own up to their part in the conflict, except when it comes to them!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Peter Baker,

    so it is now a case of basing threads on conjecture and guesswork?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “In relation to Loughgall, the HET line is quite stunning, because it actually aids the SAS story, rather than those on the receiving end of their firepower.”

    Unless there is a major supply of information that has not yet come into the public domain we are left with the conclusion that those who carried out the killings are the main source for this report. In other words “SAS justify SAS shocker”.

  • fordprefect

    Pat McClarnon, yeah I agree with you. How fortuitous for the HET that the other combatants are all dead. How that other Hughes brother survived is beyond me. Just like, when the RUC said there was rioting on the Falls Road when they killed Nora McCabe with a plastic bullet to the head (on the orders of Jimmy Crutchley, who was in the back of the jeep and later became an assistant chief constable), unfortunately for the RUC there was a Canadian film crew there and the filming showed that there was no one about, let alone rioting.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    On threads dealing with such incidents posters are usually reminded to wait until actual reports are published. On occasions it seems that threads on reports of leaks are permitted.
    In relation to the Loughall report it is, I believe, the first time that a report from the HET has been leaked to the media before the family/families have been informed of any possible findings.
    That in itself raises the possibilty of an attempt at conditioning the public mindset.

  • Reader

    fordprefect: Pat McClarnon, yeah I agree with you. How fortuitous for the HET that the other combatants are all dead. How that other Hughes brother survived is beyond me.
    Especially if you believe the SAS went round after the shootout finishing off the wounded. Do you?
    As I pointed out before, the experience of the Hughes brothers is a challenge to simplistic narratives from both sides.

  • gendjinn

    I’m shocked, shocked I say to find British state institutions issuing findings that vindicate British state narratives!

    Of course the British state has never lied about events in Northern Ireland before Bloody Sunday, McGurks Bar, collusion in the murder of Finucane, Birmingham 6, Guildford 4, the murder of Hegarty in Operation Motorman and on and on and on.

    So the reports/leaks of the HET that support an anti-Republican narrative are crippled before the leave the gate. Unless they come with some pretty strong evidence. None of which has been made available in this case.

    According to the HET leak the SAS are so incompetent with cover that they were spotted by part-timers from the road is in direct contradiction to the professed skills and capabilities of the SAS and serves to undermine the leak.

  • Reader

    gendjinn: According to the HET leak the SAS are so incompetent with cover that they were spotted by part-timers from the road is in direct contradiction to the professed skills and capabilities of the SAS and serves to undermine the leak.
    I haven’t seen anyone else read the leak in that way. What makes you think there was any more to it than that the IRA opened covering fire on the front of the Police Station while they were lighting the fuse? (That had been their MO on previous occasions)

  • USA

    Yes, I recall the British government also recently interpreted the meaning of collusion very strictly in a report concerning the McGurks Bar massacre (?). Again conditioning the public mindset. They have been at this since the early 70’s except back then they simply engaged in black propaganda (lies).

  • 241934 john brennan

    All IRA victims were intentionally, or unintentionally, injured, or killed, by Irish republican soldiers, who were fighting an honourable war for Irish independence.

    All IRA volunteers killed were innocent Irish civilians murdered by British security forces, with, or without, the assistance of loyalist collaborators.

  • Mary Anna

    If it was a war then they all must be taken up for war crimes -PIRA PS/F did more harm than good to their own community than anyone – they are up in British Stormont today – earning British money, and let hunger strikers die – knowing that the Brits gave into the five demands- those who can not face the truth about the boys bury your heads in the sands- they lost the war and now work for the state gained political advantage over the murders bombing killing souls of everyone What is there to be proud off- a very, dirty, dirty, dirty ,dirty war…

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    An actual report has now been issued, thankfully the relatives of those killed in the Miami Showband massacre were treated with respect and no leaks (be careful what you wish for) happened in this case.

    Of all those involved in the attack on the band who have thus been identifed 5 were serving members of the UDR and the leader, Robin Jackson, was in the pay of the RUC Special Branch.

    Not really collusion, more a full on British Security Services operation.

  • andnowwhat

    Peter Baker’s still not done a blog on the HET report that Pat mentioned?

    Odd that. He’s quite quick with the Sinn Fein ones