Book Review: The McGurk’s Bar Bombing

The McGurk's Bar BombingThe McGurk’s Bar Bombing: Collusion, Cover-Up and a Campaign for Truth with a foreword by Colin Wallace, just published by Frontline Noir, is the first book by Ciarán MacAirt, grandson of one of those killed in the bombing and  the most visible campaigner on behalf of the victims and their families. The book pulls together the results of Ciarán’s searches in various archives, responses to FOI requests and dealings with the Chief Constable of the PSNI and the Policing Ombudsman on behalf of the surviving victims and their families in what is still, at the time of publication, very much a live issue due to the incomplete nature of the Historical Enquiries Teams final report.

In that sense, this book is not solely a historical documenting of the events around the UVF bombing, the subsequent attempts to label it as an IRA own goal and the decades-long struggle to establish the facts. That will inevitably turn off readers who will only see a political imprint in the text, which is unfortunate, since MacAirt applies a methodology that others would other might do well to study (roll your sleeves up, dig deep, dig smart and keep digging). As an addition to the literature it is essential reading for any serious student of the North’s recent history.

Shorn of a reliance on the heavy mediated histories that have been published over the years, MacAirt uses contemporary reportage, survivor accounts, court, policing, parliamentary and other primary documents to produce thematic contextualisations of the bombing not just within the period following internment in the summer of 1971, but also within contemporary loyalism and counter-terrorist theory and practice. Significantly, departures in the documentation allow the source of the disinformation about the bombing to be identified (due to a recurring mistake in the address given for McGurk’s Bar). Previously disregarded evidence is identified (such as fingerprinting of the car used in the bomb run) and the whole is plausibly embedded in the application of internment in late 1971.

A review of the counter-insurgency work of Kitson, the MRF and others is also threaded through elements of the story. Colin Wallace, a witness to the Information Service activities of the time, provides a foreword and is acknowledged elsewhere for assistance in interpreting and translating documents which were either redacted for publication or simply buried amongst state papers.

Illustration is limited to a handful of maps, although it includes footnotes that might prompt the curious to find what they need on-line. At first glance, it also has a dissertation-like structure, but is actually interlaced with occasional literary snippets, Ciarán’s personalised reflections and a strong sense of the authors self-awareness in the midst of the material (I comfortably read the book in 3-4 sittings). I’m probably a bad judge as Ciarán went to school with my brother, we both have family connections to the New Lodge and pretty similar outlooks. At the same time, I can at least confirm that his voice is an authentic and authoritative one for the New Lodge/Antrim Road area of North Belfast that isn’t well represented in the canon of Troubles literature (Insider by Gerry Bradley being a notable exception).

Largely, this book documents how Ciarán and others sourced sufficient new material (from within the state’s archives) to demonstrate that even more recent state investigations into the circumstances of the bombing were incomplete. The limited co-operation from those on the loyalist side, former unionist politicians and the security forces also demonstrates how far we are from any realistic truth process even though the bombing happened in 1971. In that sense, books like Ciarán’s may end up being all we have and may become all the more important for that.

[Update: this thread is closed for comments, see final comment for a brief explanation.]

, , , , , , , ,

  • Rory Carr

    Thanks for that review, John, I have just placed my order.

    Is the author related to the late, legendary, Prionsias MacAirt ? His tenacity as well as his name suggests that he might be.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    What’s Cairan’s take on the IRA opening fire on police officers and British Army peacekeepers trying to rescue the dead, dying and injured from the rubble immediately after the bombing?

    Does he mention it?

  • John Ó Néill

    Rory – I don’t think so (Prionsias was from Clonard or somewhere on the lower Falls, as far as I know)?

    DDB – he gives a full account from Army unit action reports, RUC files etc of everything that happened that night on North Queen St in the New Lodge and Newington.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Does he condemn the IRA shooting? Or offer any opinion?

  • Fried Young Cannibal

    Do Drink Bleach,

    Because that’s the real issue here. In fact, the whole book should have been about it alone.

  • SK

    Topic title: “The McGurk’s Bar bombing.”

    DDB response: “IRA IRA IRA IRA IRA”

    Do you see the problem here?

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Police and army peacekeepers were trying to save the dying and injured from the rubble when the IRA thought they would help ‘defend the catholic people’ by opening fire on them. The police and peacekeepers had to retreat – leaving the dead and injured where they fell.

    The McGurks families now stand shoulder to shoulder with a political party which glorifies the kind of behaviour which may have led to injured victims dying at the scene instead of being given aid.

    I find that disturbing and hypocritical.

  • John Ó Néill

    Ok, DDB, he details all actions on the night of the bomb. Which specific (and actual) shooting by the IRA are you talking about?

  • anne warren

    DDB asked
    “Does he condemn the IRA shooting? Or offer any opinion?”

    Why don’t you buy the book, read it and find out?

  • tacapall

    DDBs twisting of the truth.

    Kellys Bar bombing.

    At the time, in a replica of what happened after the McGurk’s bar attack, the then British governor William Whitelaw told the House of Commons the bombing had been a result of an IRA ‘own goal’ — despite it being clear the attack had been orchestrated by the UVF.

    Ciaran MacAirt discovered that UVF members arrested on the night of the Kelly’s bar bombing were linked later to both attacks.

    The explosion injured 63 people, eight of them seriously. As the rescue operation got under way a loyalist gunman opened fire from the nearby Springmartin estate. Thirty shots were fired and ambulance crews dodged bullets to try to get to the injured.

    Barman Tommy Mcllroy was shot in the chest by loyalists as he helped dig through the rubble of the blast in a search for survivors.

    A second barman John Moran died a week later from injuries sustained in the blast. In the aftermath of the attack loyalists, the IRA and British army became involved in a three-way gun battle.

    British soldiers based at the Henry Taggart army barracks opened fire and killed Robert McMullan, a 32-year-old father-of-four, as he walked along New Barnsley Park.

    Alan Buckley, a 22-year-old British soldier, was shot dead by the IRA as he sat in the turret of an armoured vehicle in Turf Lodge. A l5-year-old schoolboy Michael Magee was discovered in New Barnsley Crescent, shot in the chest.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Group A (RUC officers and British Army peacekeepers) used their bare hands to try to rescue those injured in the bombing and to recover the bodies of the dead.

    Group B (IRA gunmen) opened fire on the scene, trying to murder those hunting for survivors.

    Group A had to retreat – leaving the dead and injured where they lay (and probably causing the deaths of some who otherwise might have been saved).

    The McGurks families stand shoulder to shoulder with people from Group B (and their current cheerleaders) while looking for any tiny piece of evidence to discredit and castigate those from Group A who tried to rescue their loved ones.

    Why???

  • sonofstrongbow

    DDB,

    I’m sure you will be unconcerned with the ‘troll’ sobriquet. It is often bestowed by those concerned with defending the Nationalist Truth on those who dare to challenge its shibboleths.

    The bomb attack on McGurk’s Bar was a despicable terrorist crime. I would like to hope that this publication would give a rounded history of the events surrounding the attack however the book’s subtitle leaves me with the impression that it is more likely to be a polemic written to a particular partisan agenda.

    Of course it is for any victim to express their grief and anger in a manner that is most comforting to them. At that level it demands respect.

    It may be that the author has indeed looked at SFIRA files alongside official sources and has been fully supported by Republican Murder Gang interlocutors, ‘honour’ notwithstanding, in his search for a comprehensive truth.

    Sadly the book is more likely to be yet another exercise in the ongoing history rewrite project where specific events are lifted out of their historical context and dropped into the imagined Brit Grand Strategy.

    A ‘strategy’ that requires any random terrorist incident to become a building block in the ‘Plan’ to do-down Irish Nationalists devised by shadowy Government puppet masters; no doubt as they stroked the nearest available white pussy.

    I ‘m sure I’ll pick up a copy the next time I’m browsing the remaindered shelves at An Culturlann and be either surprised or, more likely, confirmed in my views.

  • John Ó Néill

    DDB – given that the locals were first on the scene, soldiers who arrived dumped their SLRs in a Humber Pig and helped move rubble – when was the gunfire at the scene in McGurks that you are talking about that led to a retreat by soldiers? Having read the book and combed contemporary newspaper reports for a previous post on McGurks, I’ve never seen this claim before. Do you there is a slight chance you might be wrong here?

  • SK

    SoS,

    “Rounded history”.

    Your new friend, the man who dedicates most of his time here defending a sectarian double murderer thief to the hilt, has decided to inject a bit of tribal whataboutery into the mix.

    Do we play this sad, tribal, game with every atrocity?

    The “rounded history” for the Shankill bomb includes the fact that it was targeted because Johnny Adair kept a “control room” in the building.

    The “rounded history” for Kingsmills includes the fact that it wouldn’t have happened if not for the Loyalist murders of the Reavey murders.

    A “rounded history” for Warrenpoint would give a mention to Bloody Sunday.

    Is that how we do things? Or can we just accept that the only people who are responsible for such atrocities are those who pulled the trigger/lit the fuse?

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    I simply want to know did the author mention IRA gunmen opening fire on police and peacekeepers hunting for survivors?

    Did he condemn it?

    Did he ask Sinn Fein or the IRA to apologise?

    It’s neither trolling nor whataboutery.

  • sonofstrongbow

    SK,

    It was once suggested to me that it is inappropriate to challenge inadequates; however I’ll (again I believe) make an exception in your case.

    Your “your new friend” quip says much about your mindset. I know as much of DDB as I do of you, ie very little. From what I have read of your, ahem, contributions it seems that it is more your forte to have a need to find ‘friends’ to embolden your forays on this forum.

    My experience tells me you feel a strong compunction to rally to the cause and, comfortably mob-handed of course, defend, as you may see it, Erin’s standard bearers. In that context your riff on ’rounded history’ rings rather hollow.

    DDB raised an aspect of the McGurk incident and was shouted down for it by your pals. It may be that he is mistaken and the police and Army were not fired on at the scene. However DBB’s ‘crime’ is not the question per se rather it is his temerity in failing to join the thread Chorus.

    Now the last time I ran across you you flounced off with a note-to-self not to “feed the trolls” or some such. Your employment of the tiresomley predictable ‘troll’ comment may not provide much exposure for your undoubted razor like wit but at the very least you could follow your own advice, surely?

  • John Ó Néill

    DDB – you are now asking if he condemned something that never happened, and whether he called for SF and the IRA to apologise for it.

    You are the poster boy for the success of the Information Service.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    John,

    Are you saying the police and peacekeepers in the rescue party were not fired upon as they searched the rubble for survivors?

    Are you also saying at no time the police and peacekeepers had to retreat because of the IRA firing shots towards the scene where people lay dead and dying?

    Is that what you are definitely saying?

  • Fried Young Cannibal

    Blue Jazz,

    I’m Ross Hussey and I am reporting you to the police right now on their 999 number for that.

  • BluesJazz

    FYC
    A list of other kook conspiracy books are listed beside it:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/CELTIC-WHY-WE-ARE-PARANOID/dp/B004FQ6ATU/ref=pd_sim_b_6

    The New Lodge spide equivalent of oor Wullie or the Broons.

  • SK

    “Your “your new friend” quip says much about your mindset.”

    “My experience tells me you feel a strong compunction ”
    ______-

    SoS,

    It seems you keep a Dr Phil paperback next to that thesaurus.

    DBB is best known for his long, rambling defences of a particularly nasty little creature from the UVF.

    He has waded into a thread recounting the massacre of innocent 15 Catholics by that same organisation, doing so in the hope that he can shift the blame elsewhere. Most sickeningly, he has gone so far as to condemn the victims themselves for their subsequent electoral transgressions.

    Perhaps most tellingly, he has not uttered a single word of condemnation against the UVF.

    You call it “challenging shibboleths”, I call it sneaking regard. Except he doesnt even have the common decency to be sneaking about it.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Police Ombudsman’s report (Page 17):

    “Within two hours of the explosion, serious disorder had broken out in the vicinity. Records show that at one point during the rescue operation police personnel were fired upon and had to withdraw from the scene. An Army Major was shot and fatally wounded. Four civilians and two police officers were also shot and wounded.”

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2011/02/21/ombudsmans-report-into-mcgurks-bar/

    .
    ‘Lost Lives’ also details that only one of the victims was killed by the initial blast:

    “Eight of the victims died from crush asphyxia, three from burns, two from multiple injuries, one from the blast and crushing and one from carbon monoxide poisoning.”

    .
    How many of the fourteen other deaths (burns, crushing, poisoning, etc) could have been prevented had the local IRA actually helped search for survivors in the rubble – instead of trying to murder members of the rescue party???

    .
    Have the McGurks families ever asked themselves this uncomfortable question?

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    SK:Perhaps most tellingly, he has not uttered a single word of condemnation against the UVF.

    You call it “challenging shibboleths”, I call it sneaking regard. Except he doesnt even have the common decency to be sneaking about it.

    .
    Why would I be ‘sneaking’ about my support for the Loyalist paramilitaries who neutralised the IRA threat against my community using military force and then boxed them into a corner politically – forcing them to accept the GFA (and it’s copper-fastening of NI’s position within the UK)?

    We would not have peace in this country today if it weren’t for Ervine, Hutchinson, McMichael and the rest of the strategists of the Combined Loyalist Military Command who played the IRA like a fiddle in the late 1990s.

  • Fried Young Cannibal

    Supporter of UVF and UDA complaining about paramilitary violence.

    lol I love the internet.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Fried Young Cannibal: Supporter of UVF and UDA complaining about paramilitary violence.

    .
    No, my complaint is against the McGurks families – who stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those responsible for disrupting the search and rescue operation being conducted by the police and British Army peacekeepers.

    Here the families are taking part in an IRA march in Dungiven:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sinnfeinireland/7719232060/

    .
    As only one of the fifteen victims died from the initial blast on 4th December 1971, we can ponder whether some of those who died may have been saved had the IRA not opened fire on the scene and those trying to save the injured.

    Why are the families not asking the IRA and Sinn Fein these awkward questions?

  • USA

    Lay off the bleach, it has already done serious damage to your brain.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    SK:
    Topic title: “The McGurk’s Bar bombing.”
    DDB response: “IRA IRA IRA IRA IRA”
    Do you see the problem here?

    John Ó Néill:
    You are the poster boy for the success of the Information Service.

    SK:
    DBB is best known for his long, rambling defences of a particularly nasty little creature from the UVF.

    Fried Young Cannibal:
    Supporter of UVF and UDA complaining about paramilitary violence.

    USA:
    Lay off the bleach, it has already done serious damage to your brain.

    .
    Any chance of a mature, serious debate here?

    Does anyone care to answer the point I raised about IRA gunmen opening fire on the rescue teams – thus delaying the effort to find survivors? As only one of the victims was killed by the blast itself, are we not allowed to enquire whether the IRA may have played a part in the deaths of some of the McGurks patrons?

    Why can’t our Nationalist posters answer this point in a sensible manner???

  • John Ó Néill

    Don’t Drink Bleach – the simple answer is that no-one opened fire on the rescue teams (I re-posted a piece published immediately afterwards last year, see here, as I’ve already pointed out – there is no mention of it in any of the RUC or Army reports or the press or by the other witnesses). There were shots fired in different parts of the New Lodge, Duncairn, Tigers Bay and Newington alright but not around that end of North Queen St.

    If you are going to persist in trolling no-one will bother responding to you.

  • PaulT

    If I could just add, the Major who was shot was Jeremy Snow, Cain list his death as

    “Died four days after being shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, New Lodge, Belfast.”

    A comment on the “Operation Banner” website states

    “Major Snow was my company commander. Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. I was with the Major the day of the incident. We were plodding along, like you do when a civilian ask for directions, as Major Snow crossed the road to go to him, he was gunned down. He was a lovely bloke, a real gent and we all had the utmost respect for him. We were all gutted when it happened. I met my wife to be at his memorial service and we have been together for 30 years and to this day we do not forget the sacrifice he made. He was one of the many casuaties we had to bear to make N.I. the safe and secure place it is today… I salute you Sir…”

    Irish Times journalist Ciaran McKeown has a first hand account

    (people in another local pub had cheered on hearing the explosion thinking it was at the barracks)

    “A few hundred yards away, after the cheers on the republican side had given way to horror, loyalists on the Duncairn Gardens side of the flashpoint began cheering at “republican” deaths.

    As a sectarian riot was developing, troops arrived to separate the crowds.

    Then, allegedly to disperse both mobs, the Provisionals fired over the crowd – and fatally wounded British Army Major Jeremy Snow – the first soldier of officer rank to be killed on the street. ”

    here’s a link, worth reading, http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Untold+horror+on+blackest+of+nights.-a0249640528

    So in answer to the question
    “John,

    Are you saying the police and peacekeepers in the rescue party were not fired upon as they searched the rubble for survivors?

    Are you also saying at no time the police and peacekeepers had to retreat because of the IRA firing shots towards the scene where people lay dead and dying?

    Is that what you are definitely saying?”

    YES, I can definitedly say that everything you are suggesting is false.

    your other question
    “How many of the fourteen other deaths (burns, crushing, poisoning, etc) could have been prevented had the local IRA actually helped search for survivors in the rubble – instead of trying to murder members of the rescue party???”

    NONE, everyone in the area did everything possible, often at great risk to their own lives,

    .

  • Pickled_Peppers

    DDB wants a mature, serious debate after admitting that he openly supports this bombing, as he lionizes the UVF and UDA. Warped in the extreme.

  • Neil

    Not only does he support the group who planted the bomb, who chose McGurk’s ‘because it was the closest Catholic bar’, but he follows up with this:

    No, my complaint is against the McGurks families

    Natch. Best answer, don’t feed the trolls.

  • andnowwhat

    Look forward to getting the book when I get paid. I’ll be interested to find out how much contemporaneous questioning of the facts by the press happened. The obvious evidence of the explosion leaves me astounded that anyone bought the official lie.

    Btw, the troll is having some success in pulling the thread off course.

  • SK

    Why would I be ‘sneaking’ about my support for the Loyalist paramilitaries who neutralised the IRA threat against my community using military force and then boxed them into a corner politically – forcing them to accept the GFA (and it’s copper-fastening of NI’s position within the UK)?

    We would not have peace in this country today if it weren’t for Ervine, Hutchinson, McMichael and the rest of the strategists of the Combined Loyalist Military Command who played the IRA like a fiddle in the late 1990s.
    ______

    SoS,

    This is the man you were wading in to defend.

  • John Ó Néill

    andnowwhat – actually, its kind of appropriate since it highlights the long term impact the disinformation campaign has had.

  • andnowwhat

    John

    Via a couple of other sites, I’m aware that there’s a canon of lies and misinformation that has done the rounds for years. There was also a guy on YouTube who posted videos containing complete lies to excuse loyalist violence such as the Holy Cross disgrace. I think he went by the name of orange something. His account has been deleted.

    From what I’ve seen cut and pasted, a lot of this rubbish comes up on PULSE but it’s a notoriously difficult site to get on. The site would certainly warrant some investigation but I digress.

  • iluvni

    Given recent events where its apparent the local community are sticklers in their determination that the law of the land is applied rigourously, one must assume the McGurk’s memorial on Gt George’s St has planning permission?

  • sonofstrongbow

    DBB,

    You are at best deluded in your belief that ‘loyalist’ terrorists brought any succour to loyalist areas. Their primarily sectarian murder campaign, attacks on the police (remember they murdered Constable Victor Arbuckle in 1969 during a riot that followed on from a protest about disarming the RUC) and their criminality have all had a malign influence on the communities they claimed to ‘defend’.

    Loyalist terrorist violence also deflected the police from being able to direct all their available resources against nationalist terrorism. If their activities had amounted to no more than this they would still be a baleful legacy for all the people of Northern Ireland.

    Terrorism emanating from within unionism is rightly shunned by the vast majority of unionists as evidenced by the performance of loyalist para politicians. In that regard you DBB are very much in a minority.

    Perversely you will find fellow travellers from the other tradition who also applaud terrorist violence from within their community. Much in the same way as racketeering turf was devided up back in the day by ‘opposing’ criminal gangs you can plant your flag on your hill as they will on theirs and wave at each other.

    SK,

    With your ’rounded history’ comments all focused on defence of nationalist terrorist crimes indicating where you are at I’ll take no moral lessons from the likes of you.

  • Tomas Gorman

    “A great double buy for Xmas in the minority of New Lodge households where a member of the family can actually read. Maybe the mother could read them out loud to the children and/or their fathers.”

    Is this really acceptable on here? What if i were to make a similar statement about an Afro Caribbean community?

  • sorrel

    To bleach drinker…i was present that night the ppl of the area were joined by soldiers and all dug heroically for survivors….half a mile away between hadinge st and duncairn gdns serious rioting was going on ..shots were fired and major snow lay fatally injured..army personell and an army medical vehicle left the scene and went to where the shooting was..NEVER AT ANY STAGE DID THE RESCUERS COME UNDER ATTACK…i dont know why im replying to your shit stirrings other than to show you up for what you are…in reply to the families standing shoulder to shoulder…three families are taking it upon themselves to do this…as far as im aware the other families want nothing to do with giving credence to republican groupings..after all that is what part of the campaign is about..(if you know anything about the bombing which you obvisiouly dont you would understand) why these three relatives are taking that direction needs their explaination

  • andnowwhat

    Tomas

    It didn’t bother me as recent reports and debates show in which community the bigger educational deficit exists.

  • John Ó Néill

    I took down the post that Tomas Gorman’s refers to as it was just trolling. I’m not against debate or discussion on here (even if it gets a bit tangential), but some of the trolling is getting ridiculous (so just don’t feed them).

  • SK

    With your ’rounded history’ comments all focused on defence of nationalist terrorist crimes indicating where you are at I’ll take no moral lessons from the likes of you.
    ______________

    My “rounded history” comments served to highlight the folly of providing moral cover for the perpetrators of violence by shifting the blame elsewhere. My closing sentence was the giveaway. But you already know that.

    Meanwhile, you waded into this thread and immediately defended the first loyalist post you came across. You did so without paying any attention whatsoever to the actual content of what the troll was posting- clearly, the fact that he was in your tribe was enough.

    In doing so you defended a cheerleader for the UVF, elevating his base sectarian nonsense to the lofty status of “defending shibboleths”. I bet you even hit the “commend” button. All for one, eh?

    I’m the “mob-handed” one though.

  • SK

    * I correct myself. “Challenging shibboleths” was the phrase you used to defend the UVF fanclub.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    So the Police Ombudsman was lying?

    The report was a total fabrication?

    Or is it a case of believing the bits which suit yOur narrative and ignoring the rest??

  • sorrel

    To paul t…i remember that night not only by my presence at the scene but because my mother was one of the innocnt victims…major snow was shot almost half a mile away near the bottom of hillman st…and per procedure the army attending the scene of the explosion left to where the shooting was and also i grant to save them from attack at mc gurks …but as i have stated before…..at no time did any of the rescuers come under attack and do you not think that if they did the mod would have used that to their advantage in blackening the both wings of the ira who were active at that time….just wondering as you were there have you any thoughts or knowledge as to why the patrols why there was no security force presence prior to the bombing…..contact slugger should you wish to confer with me on this

  • galloglaigh

    DDB

    So you support terrorist sectarian murder gangs who are still armed, and still shooting… There’s a shock!

    You also support the terrorists in the UVF; the biggest importer of heroin, cocaine, and cannabis into Norn Iron.

    You also support a current drugs war between the terrorist UVF and LVF…

    And you’re on here complaining about the IRA!

    Away back into your cave with your bottle of bleach – It’s winter, and creatures like you usually hibernate!

  • galloglaigh

    John

    Surely the removal of a trolls comment merits a card?

  • John Ó Néill

    galloglaigh – that would be up to Mick – debate is fine, even uninformed debate but I couldn’t be bothered leaving straight up trolling visible even if it shows up the poster.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    galloglaigh:
    DDB

    So you support terrorist sectarian murder gangs who are still armed, and still shooting… There’s a shock!

    You also support the terrorists in the UVF; the biggest importer of heroin, cocaine, and cannabis into Norn Iron.

    You also support a current drugs war between the terrorist UVF and LVF…

    And you’re on here complaining about the IRA!

    .
    If you can’t take part in an adult debate, you shouldn’t post at all.

    No paramilitary group was more involved in murder, shooting, drugs and internal feuds than the IRA.

    Take a look at your own ‘heroes’ before going on a rant about the UVF.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    A few people obviously missed this this morning:

    Police Ombudsman’s report (Page 17):

    “Within two hours of the explosion, serious disorder had broken out in the vicinity. Records show that at one point during the rescue operation police personnel were fired upon and had to withdraw from the scene. An Army Major was shot and fatally wounded. Four civilians and two police officers were also shot and wounded.”

  • galloglaigh

    Ha ha, adult debate. You’re having a laugh…

    I don’t have any heroes DDB, one’s as bad as the other. Murder is murder is murder.

    You’re a UVF terrorist mouthpiece (sock-puppet), who openly glorifies murderers, sectarian bigots, and drug dealers.

    The UVF are filling our young people full of heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, and cannabis. They are the scum of the Earth, and are no more better than the drug gangs running around Norris Green in Liverpool, or Moss Side in Manchester.

    Scum of the Earth DDB – Scum of the Earth!

  • Neil

    No paramilitary group was more involved in murder, shooting, drugs and internal feuds than the IRA.

    They disbanded.

    Take a look at your own ‘heroes’

    No one has set out a stall supporting anyone. Other than you, obviously.

    before going on a rant about the UVF.

    Who have not disbanded, are still shooting people in the street, who have weapons, and who are currently conducting a feud in Antrim. They are the people you support. Currently.

    No, my complaint is against the McGurks families

    Which says everything that needs to be said. You support the killers, you’re problem is with the relatives of the people who your chums murdered. We get it.

  • Tomas Gorman

    Drink Bleach,

    The part of that pargraph you should have highlighted is “broken out in the vicinity”. I believe sorrel made it quite clear that gunfire had broken out and a member of the British Army fatally shot a half a mile away.

    Sorrel also made it clear that having had the misfortune of being there on the night, no members of the rescuers were fired upon at the scene of the bombing.

    Now having stated your support for the UVF, you presumably support this bombing that they carried out; intended to kill as many catholics as possible. So what angle are you coming at this from and why?

  • Covenanter

    “No paramilitary group was more involved in murder, shooting, drugs and internal feuds than the IRA.

    They disbanded.”

    The upcoming court case would suggest otherwise.

  • galloglaigh

    The Lodger/Covenantor

    Do you condemn the terrorists who planted the bomb?

    Would you also condemn the ‘Loyal Orders’ for inviting them onto the Covenant Parade?

  • galloglaigh

    I may need to correct that last question:

    Would you also condemn the ‘Loyal Orders’ for inviting their organisations, who are still shooting and killing, onto the Covenant Parade?

  • Neil

    The upcoming court case would suggest otherwise.

    No it wouldn’t. Try again:

    Facing criminal proceedings are James Gerard Seamus Finucane, 55, from Hawthorn Hill, Hannahstown and Padraic Conner Wilson, 53, with an address at the Sinn Fein Advice Centre on the Falls Road.

    Also accused are Agnes McCrory, 72, from Dermott Hill Road and Briege Wright, 55, from Glassmullin Gardens.

    It is alleged that all four belonged to the Provisional IRA, on dates between 1999 and 2000.

    I repeat. They disbanded.

  • Tomas Gorman

    Covenanter,

    The upcoming court case is related to offenses that took place in 1999 and 2000.

    Your quite wrong. The case does not suggest that the PIRA has failed to disband.

  • galloglaigh

    Yep Neil, but how can The Lodger/Covenanter complain about terrorists, when he was involved in a recent parade, where his parent organisation – the OO – invited other terrorists who haven’t disbanded, never mind decommissioned?

    The irony of it all!

  • UserAinm

    Sorry about that.

    I had the chance to speak this afternoon to 2 others who were there just after the bomb exploded and they also say no shots were fired at the rescuers. They were all mixed in together passing rubble trying to clear the site and get at those trapped.

  • Covenanter

    “Do you condemn the terrorists who planted the bomb? ”

    Of course I do. I do not support terrorism.

    “Would you also condemn the ‘Loyal Orders’ for inviting them onto the Covenant Parade?”

    Do you have any evidence to suggest that the loyal orders invited them to the parade?

    Do you condemn republican parades?

  • Covenanter

    Tomas,

    Perhaps yopu could fill me in on the background to the case as the BBC reports that I hve seen have not been especially clear about when the alleged offences took place.

    With regards to the disbandment of PIRA I wonder on what evidence peple are asserting that they have disbanded? Have they ever announced any such disbandment for instance?

  • Covenanter

    “Yep Neil, but how can The Lodger/Covenanter complain about terrorists, when he was involved in a recent parade, where his parent organisation – the OO – invited other terrorists who haven’t disbanded, never mind decommissioned?”

    Is it permitted on this site to tell outright lies about other posters?

  • Tupper

    “With regards to the disbandment of PIRA I wonder on what evidence peple are asserting that they have disbanded? Have they ever announced any such disbandment for instance?”

    Cov:

    Their statement in 2005 said that they had issued orders to end their armed campaign and issued orders for arms to be dumped.

    Here’s a link to the full statement:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/4724599.stm

    The PIRA has played games with words before, so you have to take what they say exactly as they state it.

    There is no talking of standing down, disbanding the organization or any such thing. In fact the PIRA’s statement makes it clear that the PIRA’s members are still part of the organization and have been given ‘post armed campaign’ roles:

    “All Volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means.”

    The structure of the PIRA was obviously left in place.

    For some reason though lots of nationalists and republicans keep on repeating the myth that the PIRA disbanded. The PIRA has never said any such thing.

  • Tupper

    “No paramilitary group was more involved in murder, shooting, drugs and internal feuds than the IRA.

    They disbanded.”

    Neil:

    When did the PIRA disband?

    “before going on a rant about the UVF.

    Who have not disbanded, are still shooting people in the street, who have weapons, and who are currently conducting a feud in Antrim.”

    Who are you blaming for the UVF neither disbanding, nor decommissioning? If that’s what nationalists really wanted, why didn’t they demand that during the peace neegotiations?

    In case you didn’t notice the DUP stood firm to make sure that the PIRA was neutered before they would share power with PSF. Why didn’t PSF and the SDLP demand that the UVF and UDA be neutered if that was a concern?

  • Tupper

    “It is alleged that all four belonged to the Provisional IRA, on dates between 1999 and 2000.

    I repeat. They disbanded.”

    Neil:

    1. They did not disband.

    2. If by disbanding you are talking about their orders for their armed campaign to end, and for arms to be dumped, that came in 2005. They by their own admission were still engaged in an armed campaign in 1999 and 2000.

    3. Even if the 2005 statement means something, the PIRA is still an illegal organization. It was also an illegal organization in 1999 and 2000, even if it claimed to be on ceasefire.

  • Tupper

    If this book had been about a bomb attack carried out by the PIRA, wouldn’t the usual suspects be out in force to trot out the usual ‘well there was a war on, and unfortunately bad things happen during war’.

    Why is this not being said by those same people in this case? In their opinion, was there a war on or not? Why are they not dismissing this bomb attack as being just one of those bad things that happen during war?

  • tacapall

    Tupper and what has your post got to do with the McGurks bar bombing by the UVF that was blamed on the PIRA by the Unionist Government and the RUC then by the British Government.

  • Tupper

    Tac:

    It’s got a lot to do with the comments that people are making on the subject.

    Am I not allowed to respond to the things that people post?

    Neil for example has been posting a lot of rubbish about the PIRA. Didn’t you read the thread?

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Why are people refusing to believe the Police Ombudsman’s report which states that the IRA hampered the rescue by opening fire on the scene?

    Is it hard to stomach the fact that some of those who died may have survived had the bombing had the IRA not tried to murder the rescue team?

  • tacapall

    Certainly your allowed to respond, tell him the thread is about McGurks bar, those who carried it out, why those who were supposed to uphold the law deliberatly misled the public and the world that it was republicans who were responsible when they knew it was carried out by loyalists. – Simple

  • Tupper

    DDB:

    It’s because some have a vested interest in presenting a simple message of ‘the pro-British lot are uniformly bad and we Irish folks are uniformly good’.

    It spoils the story if inconvenient facts are raised, like the one you mentioned. One also remembers the inconvenient fact that one of the Bloody Sunday dead was a nail bomber who was a member of the Provo movement. That rather soils the image of them all being innocent civilians.

  • Tupper

    tac:

    So you expect me to follow your narrative?

    Can I not respond to what I care to respond to?

    On the subject of ‘those who carried it out’, what does the book say about why they carried it out?

  • tacapall

    DDB which Ombudsman’s report are you getting this from?

  • tacapall

    “what does the book say about why they carried it out”

    I couldn’t imagine getting into the mind of anyone who would take the life of another but im sure you have your own thinking on the matter please feel free to give your views on the matter as it is relevant to the topic.

    .

  • UserAinm

    DDB, a UVF supporter, finds it hard to stomach that people died in a UVF bomb and blames this on the IRA.

  • Submariner

    “Why would I be ‘sneaking’ about my support for the Loyalist paramilitaries who neutralised the IRA threat against my community using military force and then boxed them into a corner politically – forcing them to accept the GFA (and it’s copper-fastening of NI’s position within the UK)?”

    Really DDB the Loyalist terrorist scum you support murdered 727 Catholics of which 684 were innocent civillians. That is what you support the random murder of civillians based on nothing more than their religion. You sir are lower than a rattlesnakes ball sack. Now quit trolling on this site.

  • Tupper

    “I couldn’t imagine getting into the mind of anyone who would take the life of another but im sure you have your own thinking on the matter please feel free to give your views on the matter as it is relevant to the topic.”

    What I think is irrelevant. If this is about this book I’m asking a relevant question.

    If I just stated my opinion you’d be telling me off again for not staying on topic.

    Have you read the book?

  • Tupper

    “Really DDB the Loyalist terrorist scum you support murdered 727 Catholics of which 684 were innocent civillians.”

    Sub:

    So you’re saying that you disagree with the tactics used by the loyalist terrorist groups.

    Do you support the random murder of civillians by the PIRA based on nothing more than them being civilians?

  • tacapall

    No I haven’t read the book, why does that matter ?

  • Tupper

    tac:

    Who said that it mattered?

  • Submariner

    Tupper (profile) 12 October 2012 at 7:13 pm
    “Really DDB the Loyalist terrorist scum you support murdered 727 Catholics of which 684 were innocent civillians.”

    Sub:

    So you’re saying that you disagree with the tactics used by the loyalist terrorist groups.

    Do you support the random murder of civillians by the PIRA based on nothing more than them being civilians?

    The short answer to your whataboutery and defence of DDB is a big NO

  • Tupper

    “The short answer to your whataboutery and defence of DDB is a big NO”

    So you’re saying, no, you don’t disagree with the tactics used by the loyalist terrorist groups.

    Fair enough.

    Where did I defend DDB? I simply asked you a question about one of your responses to him.

  • andnowwhat

    So, Tupper’s first ever comment was at 5.22 but kicks in like an old handed.

    DDB has gone kinda quiet.

    Anyway, back at planet on topic: let’s not forget that, like with Bloody Sunday, Bobby Mc Greanery and Ballymurphy, victims were defamed and branded as ‘terrorists’ for decades and deliberately so by the authorities of the state

  • Tupper

    andnowwhat:

    What exactly is an old handed?

    As for DBB maybe he’s gone to the pub.

    And was that the topic? tac told me off for not sticking to the McGurks theme. Why are you talking about other stuff?

  • SK

    “What exactly is an old handed?”

    He meant old hand, Harpo.

  • Submariner

    Why did you need to ask the question at all? Did I not make my position on violence clear enough in my post to DDB .

  • andnowwhat

    Cheers SK. Usual iPad complaint.

  • Tupper

    “Why did you need to ask the question at all? Did I not make my position on violence clear enough in my post to DDB .”

    You were very clear about loyalist violence. Or violence by Loyalist terrorist scum as you put it.

    Do you consider violence by republican terrorist scum to be the same?

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Can we please stay on topic?

    Have the McGurks relatives (who are happy to take part in terrorist commemoration parades) asked the IRA why they tried to murder those trying to dig the survivors out of the rubble?

    Surely delaying the rescue (and probably causing the deaths of some who otherwise might have been saved) is more worthy of condemnation than saying the bomb was an IRA own goal as the police did??

  • sorrel

    drink the bleach…you are a liar i have attended the ombudsman and het reportings and i have copies of the ombudsmans reports and nowhere does it mention the rescuers coming under attack and they were there most of the night and rem i was also present at the scene…go back down your rat hole youre nothing but despicable…and i repeat for anyone foolish enough to believe anything you have to utter …what a coup that would have been for propagandists of the govt if the rescuers had come under attack from any wing of the ira…so i would advise you to drink as much bleach as you can to refresh it after all the shit and bile that spews forth from it

  • SK

    DDB,

    This is an honest question, because your mindset is intriguing to me. Do you believe the people who planted the bomb have any moral culpability for fatalities caused?

    You have made it clear that you think it reprehensible that the IRA supposedly hampered rescue efforts. But do the people who made rescue efforts neccessary in the first place really bear no responsibility in your mind? Because that is the impression you are giving.

  • tacapall

    DDB, what Ombudsman Report did you get your information from ?

  • sorrel

    the only time there was any aggro at the scene of the explosion was when the army moved in a mechanical digger which the civilian rescuers and the red cross personnel opposed it as they thought it too early to plough through the rubble this resulted in a verbal confrontation

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Sorrel, you are merely giving us anecdotal evidence – it has no credibilty when compared to the PO report.

    We have no idea who you are (especially as you are using an alias) so your claims are virtually useless. For all we know you could be a SF or IRA member sent on here to deflect attention from the IRA trying to murder the rescue team.

    If you have EVIDENCE which counters the Police Ombudsman’s report please supply it.

  • Sorrel,

    While you’re at it you could also let the troll know when you stopped beating your wife.

  • tacapall

    “If you have EVIDENCE which counters the Police Ombudsman’s report please supply it.”

    Would that be the same Police Ombudsmans report that was later withdrawn, composed by Al Hutchinson who resigned after losing the support of his colleagues and members of the Assembly at the Police Ombudsmans office with one of his senior staff saying –

    “Al Hutchinson no longer has any positive role to play in reshaping policing in this society,” he said.

    “Every day he remains in office he is damaging the credibility of a very important part to the new beginning to policing in this society.”

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Ahhh, I’ve provided the wrong type of evidence, it seems…

    So only evidence acceptable to Nationalists is allowed?

  • UserAinm

    Can I suggest just ignoring DDB until he gets bored?

    I had to have a word with myself for trying to use such trifles as facts and logic when dealing with him. It simply won’t work.

    I’ll say this though, he cited his admiration for David Ervine earlier, he’s a figure that divides opinion around here but I knew him in his latter years and have been lucky enough to meet his sister, wife, brother and others involved in the Irish classes around East Belfast Mission.

    I wouldn’t ever assume to tell you what he would make of someone like DDB (I have an opinion though) but DDB’s mindset is closer to that of the dissident Republican ‘spokesmen’ than that of David Ervine. Maybe DDB should learn a bit more about him rather than his other heroes.

  • sorrel

    drink the bleach page 17 which you refer to in the ombudsman report concerns..ruc duty officers reports 5-6 dec 1971…and page 17 in the het report concerns relatives queries as to the validity of ” john blacks” book `killing for britain` unlike yourself when it comes to the truth i have no problem presenting proof…in fact if your so interested read up on the reports of the bombing there are newspaper reports from sunday 5th dec onwards even though most are (to use the description of the omdudsmans own diluted verdict on the ruc) biased against the victims there are no reports of the rescuers coming under attack…but then again part of the make up of being a bigot is the refusal to accept not only the views of others but also to exist in utter denial of the truth