The Glenanne story proves the time for frank admissions is overdue: further prevarication over collusion implies Briitsh government cover-up

Like most of the atrocities of the Troubles the story of the Glenanne gang isn’t unfamiliar  Suzanne Breen for one gave a detailed account of the 1976 Kingmills and Reavey brothers  massacres in January 2011 based it would seem on  “ imminent” HET reports. Of the Reavey murders she stated as a matter of established  fact:

The attack was carried out by the UVF’s infamous Glenanne gang, which operated in a murder triangle between south Armagh and mid-Ulster. Made up of security force members, it was run by British military intelligence. It was responsible for up to 120 killings, including the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

Even apart from the detailed but ultimately unsuccessful efforts to pin down full guilt for the Dublin and Monaghan bombings in 1974, the story of the Glenanne gang’s operation – and a much wider supportive network- has been well known for several years although it somehow failed to stay on the surface.  Detailed witness testimony naming a string of RUC men and some army intelligence officers has been available in raw form from at least 1999.

News of the launch of Anne Cadwallader’s book  focussing on a murderous Keady pub bombing was broken by Alex Thomson (an ex-BBC Spotlight reporter) on Channel 4 News last night.  Why was it left to Anne Cadwallader and the Pat Finucane centre to expose this appalling picture in detail?   Here is a spate of cases where it would have been infinitely better for the PSNI to have announced a police inquiry years ago. If a PSNI inquiry into Bloody Sunday is justified how  can a fresh inquiry into the Glenanne gang be denied where the facts have been largely left to journalists and campaigners to expose albeit indirectly from official sources?

In a sense this is more about presentation and facing up to disclosure than disclosure itself.

Like secretary of state John Reid’s  refusal to cooperate fully with the Barron inquiry in 2002, failing to face up to the implications of collusion and criminal involvement in terrorism only feeds even more extreme claims – not that 120 murders aren’t stunningly depressing  enough –  and is  a gift to the politics of conspiracy. As David Mc Kittrick reports:

 In a striking conclusion, the HET says: “It is difficult to believe that such widespread evidence of collusion was not a significant concern at the highest levels of the security forces and government. It may be that there was apprehension about confirming  the suspicions of collusion and  involvement, particularly of RUC personnel.”

The conclusion is obvious and deserves the support of Richard Haass.  This is not a matter that Westminster can dump on the divided local parties.  The time for admissions has come. Responsibility lies squarely with the British government. This endless stonewalling is by any standards  intolerable and has long since failed to serve any interest of” national security.”

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  • paulG

    GEF,

    I counted 7 RUC in amongst that list of infamy, including Ian Mitchell and David Wilson whose derisory sentences for attempted mass murder make them appear small time.

    11 UDR and a number of protected loyalists including Jackson and Kerr who could not appear before the courts due to “Police Strategy”. What was that? Were they to busy butchering Catholics to be disturbed?

    Am Ghobsmacht

    I think Harry was referring to the Miami Showband own goal, with the ‘blown across the road’ comment. Possibly RJ Kerr also, of whom it was suggested at the time that either MI5 or Special Branch were tying up loose ends (it was known that Jackson was terminally ill by then).

    As for those who were jailed, it’s clear that there were plenty in the RUC who were genuinely there to be policemen, and they had some success, but the successes would have been much more and much sooner had they not been stymied by the Sectarian cohort within their ranks and the puppeteers above them.

    It is also worth noting that many of these murders were committed during the two IRA ceasefires in an (often successful) attempt to bring Republican retaliation and thus destroy any Protestant support for a political accommodation. Which is indeed as it panned out.

    This horrific chapter is therefore a defining one is the history of the troubles, rather than the few bad apples story – best ignored – that some would have us believe.

  • Morpheus

    Son of Strongbow
    Thanks for proving my point.

    DanielsMoran
    Table DC2116NI in the 2011 census shows that 96% of the population falls into the U80 category and 4% fall into the 80+ category. In the U80 category Catholics are already the largest group. In the 80+ Category Protestants outnumber Catholics by more than 2:1 and in the U4 category Catholics outnumber Protestants by nearly 13%. By the next census Catholics will be the biggest group in NI and I’d guess that this is why Peter Robinson is ‘reaching out’ but simply won’t be able to take the rest of the DUP with him.

  • Mick Fealty

    PaulG,

    “…let’s not forget the UVF were given the job of the IRA meeting at Cappagh. Some things stayed the same.”

    That’s exactly my point. The difference between the Glenanne Gang and the Tyrone UVF offensive between 87 and the end of the conflict was the precise and mostly accurate targeting of the latter and the scatter approach of the former.

    Cappagh is the perfect example of what looks to me (or anyone up to a blind elephant) like active collusion. Indeed it seems there was a division of labour with the SAS going for the hard core volunteers, and the UVF for their civilian associates.

    Kathleen O’Hagan, seven months pregnant, Rose Anne Mallon, Patrick Shields and his son Diarmuid (according to Moloney Diarmuid’s girlfriend committed suicide within a month of his assassination) were all civilians but most of them were close to local provisionals. In the case of Shields senior, in a way that would not have been broadly known to outsiders.

    How did that level of detail get into the hands of the UVF if not from information passed to them via the security forces from sources inside the IRA?

    To return to an earlier point I made, the arrests of the Glenanne gang at least make them plausibly deniable by the state (I think you would have to resort to Cory’s broader less onerous definition of collusion, ie by omission rather than commission).

    East Tyrone at the back end of the troubles reads much more like full on collusion written in twenty foot bloody lettering, and would almost certainly fit Hutchinson’s much tighter definition of the state’s active involvement with a non state terror organisation.

    You get some sense then as to why Billy Wright was zeroed in prison (with all manner of files missing from the police notes, when his Cory inquiry goes looking for it)…

  • BluesJazz

    Plaudits around this time should also go to SoS Roy Mason whose policy of ‘targeted engagement’ was a success. Later, Brigadier Gordon Kerr deserves our gratitude.
    And when Billy Wright, Brian Robinson, Lenny Murphy etc were all zeroed, so to speak, it was a matter of loose cannons and loose ends.
    Big Boys rules.

    [When we need a resident troll, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, cool your heels please?Mods]

  • GEF

    “What was that? Were they to busy butchering Catholics to be disturbed?”

    PaulG, The RUC had a long way to go to catch up with Catholics who butchered Catholics.

    08 March 1971

    Hughes, Charles (26) Catholic
    Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA), Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
    Shot while leaving house, Leeson Street, Lower Falls, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    19 June 1972

    Mackin, Desmond (37) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
    Shot during altercation with Irish Republican Army (IRA) members in Cracked Cup Social Club, Leeson Street, Lower Falls, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    21 July 1972

    Rosato, Joseph (59) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
    Shot at his home, Deerpark Road, Belfast. Father of intended target. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    20 February 1975

    Ferguson, Hugh (19) Catholic
    Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA), Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
    Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) member. Shot at his workplace, building site, Whiterock Drive, Ballymurphy, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish National Liberation Army feud.

    25 February 1975

    Fox, Sean (32) Catholic
    Status: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA), Killed by: People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
    Shot while walking along Cullingtree Row, Divis Flats, Lower Falls, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) feud.

    06 April 1975

    Loughran, Daniel (18) Catholic
    Status: People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
    Shot while walking along Albert Street, Lower Falls, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish National Liberation Army feud.

    12 April 1975

    Crawford, Paul (25) Catholic
    Status: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA), Killed by: People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
    Shot while selling United Irishman newspaper outside Beagon’s Bar, Falls Road, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish National Liberation Army feud.

    28 April 1975

    McMillen, Liam (48) Catholic
    Status: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA), Killed by: People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
    Shot while walking along Falls Road at the junction with Spinner Street, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Nationalist Liberation Army feud.

    05 June 1975

    McNamee, Brendan (22) Catholic
    Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
    Shot outside mobile chip van, Stewartstown Road, Suffolk, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish National Liberation Army feud.

    29 October 1975

    Elliman, Robert (27) Catholic
    Status: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA), Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
    Shot while in McKenna’s Bar, Stanfield Street, Markets, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    30 October 1975

    Kelly, Eileen (6) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
    Shot at her home, Beechmount Grove, Falls, Belfast. Father intended target. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    31 October 1975

    Berry, Thomas (27) Catholic
    Status: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA), Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
    Shot outside Sean Martin’s Gaelic Athletic Association Club, Beechfield Street, Short Strand, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    31 October 1975

    McCusker, Seamus (40) Catholic
    Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA), Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
    Shot as he walked along New Lodge Road, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    03 November 1975

    Fogarty, James (22) Catholic
    Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA), Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
    Former Republican Clubs member. Shot at his home, Rock Grove, Ballymurphy, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    09 November 1975

    Kelly, John (19) Catholic
    Status: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA), Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
    Shot as he walked along Ponsonby Avenue, near to his home, New Lodge, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    11 November 1975

    Brown, John (25) Catholic
    Status: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA), Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
    Shot at his home, Cooke Place, off Ormeau Road, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    11 November 1975

    Casey, Comgall (18) Catholic
    Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA), Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
    Former Republican Clubs member. Shot at his workplace, joinery firm, Andersonstown, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    11 November 1975

    McAllister, John (19) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
    Shot while standing at bus stop, Springfield Road, Ballymurphy, Belfast. A relative of a member of Republican Clubs. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    11 November 1975

    McVeigh, Owen (28) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
    Shot at his home, Grosvenor Place, Lower Falls, Belfast. Mistaken for Irish Republican Army (IRA) member. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    12 November 1975

    Duggan, Michael (32) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
    Chairman of Falls Taxi Association. Shot while in St Paul’s Hall, Hawthorne Street, Falls, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    29 November 1975

    Waller, Archibald (24) Protestant
    Status: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
    Shot while sitting in parked car outside social club, Downing Street, Shankill, Belfast. Internal Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) feud.

    18 February 1976

    Best, Paul (19) Catholic
    Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA), Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
    Sinn Fein (SF) member. Died three months after being shot while walking along Monagh Road, Turf Lodge, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    27 July 1977

    Cowan, Daniel (39) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
    Shot at his home, Riverdale Park East, Andersonstown, Belfast. Previous occupier intended target. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    27 July 1977

    Foots, James (27) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
    Shot as he got out of car, Unity Flats, off Upper Library Street, Belfast. Brother member of Sinn Fein (SF). Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    27 July 1977

    McNulty, Trevor (26) Catholic
    Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA), Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
    Republican Clubs member. Shot in the foyer of Alexander House, New Lodge, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    27 July 1977

    Toland, Thomas (31) Catholic
    Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA), Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
    Shot while walking along Divismore Crescent, Ballymurphy, Belfast. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish Republican Army (IRA) feud.

    05 October 1977

    Costello, Seamus (38) NIRI Catholic
    Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA), Killed by: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
    Leading member of Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP). Shot while sitting in stationary car, Northbrook Avenue, North Strand, Dublin. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) feud.

    04 June 1982

    Flynn, James (37) Catholic
    Status: Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA), Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
    Shot from passing motor cycle as he left Cusack’s Bar, North Strand Road, Dublin. Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) / Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) feud.

    21 December 1986

    McCartan, Thomas (31) Catholic
    Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), Killed by: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO)
    Shot outside his home, Commedagh Drive, Andersonstown, Belfast. Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO) feud.

    20 January 1987

    O’Reilly, John (26) Catholic
    Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), Killed by: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO)
    Shot while in Rossnaree Hotel, Drogheda, County Louth. Irish National Liberation Army / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation feud.

    20 January 1987

    Power, Thomas (34) Catholic
    Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), Killed by: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO)
    Shot while in Rossnaree Hotel, Drogheda, County Louth. Irish National Liberation Army / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation feud.

    05 February 1987

    McCluskey, Anthony (32) Catholic
    Status: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO), Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
    Found shot, Middletown, County Armagh. Irish National Liberation Army / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation feud.

    18 February 1987

    Kearney, Michael (33) Catholic
    Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), Killed by: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO)
    Shot near his home, Springhill Avenue, Ballymurphy, Belfast. Irish National Liberation Army / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation feud.

    07 March 1987

    Maguire, Thomas (19) Catholic
    Status: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO), Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
    Found shot near Forkhill, County Armagh. Irish National Liberation Army / Irish Peoples Liberation Army feud.

    14 March 1987

    Conlon, Fergus (31) Catholic
    Status: Civilian Political Activist (CivPA), Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
    Irish Republican Socialist Party member. Found shot, Clontigora, near Forkhill, County Armagh. Irish National Liberation Army / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation feud.

    15 March 1987

    McCarthy, Anthony (31) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
    Shot while travelling in car along Springhill Avenue, Ballymurphy, Belfast. Irish National Liberation Army / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation feud.

    15 March 1987

    Steenson, Gerard (29) Catholic
    Status: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO), Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
    Shot while travelling in car along Springhill Avenue, Ballymurphy, Belfast. Irish National Liberation Army / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation feud.

    21 March 1987

    Gargan, Emmanuel (25) Catholic
    Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), Killed by: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO)
    Shot while in Hatfield Bar, Ormeau Road, Belfast. Irish National Liberation Army / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation feud.

    22 March 1987

    Duffy, Kevin (20) Catholic
    Status: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), Killed by: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO)
    Found shot in playground of St Brigid’s School, Nursery Road, Armagh. Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO) feud.

    08 December 1987

    Cunningham, Patrick (27) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
    Found shot several months after being abducted, in outbuilding of deserted farm, near Castleblayney, County Monaghan. Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) / Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO) feud.

    18 August 1992

    Brown, Jimmy (36) Catholic
    Status: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO), Killed by: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation Belfast Brigade (IPLOBB)
    Shot while sitting in his car, Clonard Street, Lower Falls, Belfast. Internal Irish People’s Liberation Oraganisation (IPLO) feud.

    27 August 1992

    McKibben, Hugh (21) Catholic
    Status: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO), Killed by: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation Belfast Brigade (IPLOBB)
    Shot outside Lamh Dearg GAA Club, Hannahstown, Belfast. Internal Irish People’s Liberation Oraganisation (IPLO) feud.

    11 September 1992

    Macklin, Michael (31) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO)
    Shot outside his home, Whiterock Gardens, Ballymurphy, Belfast. Internal Irish People’s Liberation Oraganisation (IPLO) feud.

  • Morpheus[4.10]Not only will Robinson be unable to take rest of DUP with him, but they’re increasingly able to take him with them, assuming his speeches reflect what he really wants and not simply what he thinks people want to hear. I wonder if he hadn’t removed Wilson from the finance desk, would he have been forced to renege on the MLK deal?

  • paulG

    GEF,

    It is probably inevitable when a small group, in a small population takes on an Imperial Power, that most of the fighting will be on their own streets and the civilians caught in the crossfire will be their neighbours and those recruited to spy on them will be their neighbours and those the state focuses on convincing to oppose them, will be from their community also.

    The fact that Republicans killed a lot of other Catholics is irrelevant to the point that the States Security Services were behind the murders of hundreds of Catholic civilians yet Unionists (and the British) pretend otherwise, and raise false incredulity at the notion of being equated to their Bogeymen.

  • Alias

    As Mick points out, the main difference is that Kitson 3.0 had an endgame. At that stage the PIRA leadership and the intelligence services shared the same objective: an end to the violent campaign. The extent of their co-operation is unknown.

    The intelligence services also had another aim: an end to the competing national claim to the UK’s sovereign territory. The Shinners delivered that in addition to the end of violence, so it wasn’t just the means to an end that was changed but the end itself.

    The problem with the likes of Billy Hanna or Robin Jackson enjoying the level of state protection that certain republican assets enjoy is that it is impossible advance any justification, however spurious, for protecting Jackson or Hanna. They were purely a sectarian murder cabal – although the Dublin bombings were very expediently timed. How can it be argued that any lives were saved by protecting Jackson when he himself accounted for the bulk of the gang’s total?

    Certainly with Adams and McGuiness moved into leadership position an endgame was possible that was fully acceptable to the intelligence services – and, if truth be told, to the Irish political establishment.

    But even in the order was chaos:

    “Yes, the rule of law must appertain wherever you are and whatever you are doing, and that rule of law must be absolutely locked into and deal with the processes as they stand at that time. What I am saying is that certainly what we discovered—and some of it may never see the light of day, I don’t know — as we have 100 tonnes of documentation now over there — and that is not a matter for me, it is a matter for other people — is that there has to be a proper, transparent process and there has to be a meeting. There was the RUC, MI5 and the army doing different things.

    When you talk about intelligence, of the 210 people we arrested, only three were not agents. Some of them were agents for all four of those particular organisations, fighting against each other, doing things and making a large sum of money, which was all against the public interest and creating mayhem in Northern Ireland.

    Any system that is created in relation to this country and Northern Ireland has to have a proper controlling mechanism. It has to have a mechanism where someone is accountable for what the actions are and that has to be transparent, especially in the new processes and the new country which, thank the Lord, Northern Ireland is becoming and, God willing, will continue to be.” – Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington

  • paulG

    Mick,

    I certainly agree with your assessment of SAS/UVF twin pronged strategy in East Tyrone. One wonders if the provision of effective weaponry from S Africa for the UVF, UDA & Ulster Resistance wasn’t stage 1 of the Military Intelligence plan.

    My impression of the Glennane Gang is that, yes – as you say – ‘cowboys’ on reckless sectarian rampage, but also known to those higher up who, when needed, sought to influence the political course.

    Easily done, through the Loyalists Handlers or more directly through operatives like Captain Nairac.

    By the late 70’s the British and Provos were settling into Ulsterisation and the Long War respectively, and the Glennane Gang no longer fitted into the ‘acceptable level of violence’ that could be pushed off the front page, and so they had outlived their usefulness.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Alias:

    “When you talk about intelligence, of the 210 people we arrested, only three were not agents. Some of them were agents for all four of those particular organisations, fighting against each other, doing things and making a large sum of money, which was all against the public interest and creating mayhem in Northern Ireland.”

    This sums it up. The questions need to asked if the British intelligence services had so many on both sides working for them, then why were so many innocent Catholics and Protestants still allowed to die because of murder gangs?

    It seems Northern Ireland citizens were pathetic guinea pigs for British intelligence. A minority of sectarian dogs on both sides were allowed to continue butchering innocents while getting paid for it from the benevolent colonial overlord.

    Perhaps as a training laboratory for their intelligence and military personnel the British deemed Northern Ireland folk useful fodder. Can one blame them when you see how servile some Northern Ireland folk are to England’s teet?

    A nuclear blast wouldn’t remove them from it.

  • “Cappagh is the perfect example of what looks to me (or anyone up to a blind elephant) like active collusion. Indeed it seems there was a division of labour with the SAS going for the hard core volunteers, and the UVF for their civilian associates.”

    @Mick,

    Let me get this right, are you saying that at Cappagh it was the SAS that did the actual killing and that the Mid-Ulster UVF merely took the credit for it?

  • Mick Fealty

    Paul,

    One of the things that intrigues me on this subject is that with all those, albeit belated convictions, there remains a paucity of evidence on the connection with intelligence. All the more surprising when you look at all the good collation work done by PFC and now Anne in her book.

    And yet there has hardly been any work done on a state campaign in east Tyrone that when you take the time to look at it was brutal, relentless and utterly redolent of collusion. In amongst all that was the assassination of Mary McGlinchey whilst bathing her two infant children. The lack of curiosity may of course be political, but it’s the contrast is odd as sin.

    RoC,

    I think there are some misdirections in this old GlobalDashboard post (http://goo.gl/feU63i), but when I read it a few years back it really made me stop and think. It’s a paraphrase of a retired British colonel from the Paras in Geneva back in 1995, and I think it is some of the answer to your question:

    …the struggle in Northern Ireland cost the United Kingdom three thousand casualties in dead alone. Of the three thousand, about seventeen hundred were civilians….of the remaining, a thousand were British soldiers. No more than three hundred were terrorists, a ratio of three to one.

    Speaking very softly, he said: And that is why we are still there.

    It sort of validates the idea that the British Army (whatever about the intentions of the UK’s elected government) at some point developed a strategy of soft impact (and the figures quoted earlier in this thread tend to bear this out) directly from the state’s forces.

    Why did they not do more to stop non state actors high kill rate relative to state forces? Well, I’d guess:

    – One, politics. If those proportions had been inverted, we might surmise from the nameless colonel that the British calculated they might had lost.

    – Two, secrecy. Too much direct intervention would have compromised agents. The power arose from the fact agents and their work could remain undetected over time. In that regard, I’d guess east Tyrone was the exception rather than the rule.

  • Mick Fealty

    tmitch,

    No. I’m saying something happened in Tyrone that meant Loyalists started knowing who to shoot and when.

  • “Indeed it seems there was a division of labour with the SAS going for the hard core volunteers, and the UVF for their civilian associates.”

    @Mick,

    It was an IRA ASU that was wiped out at Cappagh. Were they not hard core volunteers? And, if so and they were killed by the Mid-Ulster UVF as claimed and attributed all these years, where is the division of labor that you write about?

  • Mick Fealty

    The team at Loughgall, the Harte brothers, Brian Mullan, Dessie Grew Martin McCaughey, Laurence McNally, Pete Ryan, Tony Doris, Kevin Barry O’Donnell, Sean O’Farrell, Peter Clancy, Daniel Vincent seem all to have been targeted and killed by the SAS.

    The UVF also killed Liam Ryan as well as the three guys at Cappagh, but for the most part they seem to have targeted civilians. Some, as I say, very close to the provos. Moloney notes that of 83 people killed at this time, 40 fell victim to the UVF.

    Loyalist paramilitaries between them all in the whole run of the troubles killed just 41 Republican paramilitaries, whilst republicans did slightly better 56. The close targeting in east Tyrone looks to me like an exception to the general rule. No?

  • paulG

    Mick,

    Within hours of some of the UVF’s civilian murders in E. Tyrone, SF councillors were on TV pointing out that the house had been under army surveillance, there had been lots of army activity in the days before which would disappear an hour before the killing and the killers would get a free run home.

    So it’s not that the collusion wasn’t noticed, nor that the media buried the claims. One can only presume that the Army kept the information very tight so that only 1 or 2 UVF members could be in a position to testify if they dared.

    Whether it’s only lack of leads or lack of political will is unknown. The E. Tyrone Brigade were probably the most effective before that period well armed and manned, they probably felt they were on the road to achieving something and were therefore less inclined to cease hostilities. That made them a prime target (even moreso).

    Whether or not the conspiracy theories that the Doves of the Republican leadership turned a blind eye, as their internal opposition were subdued, is as debatable as the one of pro Agreement MI6 sabotaging a Chinook full of anti-Agreement MI5, Special Branch and Army Intelligence securocrats.

    I can’t see any of the ‘colluders’ having a moral epiphany on this one and going public, or too many journalists ferriting for the answers when there’s so little public outrage on the murders of people close to the IRA.

    I’m more surprised that SF and the Authorities aren’t facing more demands, in the light of Scappaticci’s role, to clarify which of those executed as informers, were innocent of that charge.

    Now that the war is over, such information is past it’s toxic date and many republican families must be eager to have that stain removed. But if they were all informers, then the question becomes what was Scap doing there? Merely reporting back what info had been extracted before liquidating the assets?

    Nice slot in the Business Post btw.

  • RepublicanStones

    I have yet to read the book, but listening to William Crawley’s interviews on Sunday Sequence this morning whats clear is that the ‘few bad apples’ myth is just that. According to this book, reports of collusion were crossing the desks of the highest levels in Downing St and Whitehall, yet nothing was done. If collusion was known by the most senior levels of Govt and it was not nipped in the bud then it merely reflects a tacit acceptance of it – ergo policy by default…as it were.
    The attempt by the leadership of Unionism to portray collusion as being perpetrated by a few rogue officers is also patent nonsense and just as obscene as the attempt to narrow the definition of collusion in order to exempt as many of those culpable as possible (thus attempting to lend credence to the ‘few rotten apples’ myth).
    Any decent moral person should accept that collusion involves not just those who pulled triggers, planted bombs, passed on intelligence for targeting etc – but it also involves those tasked with carrying out investigations who then carried out the investigation in a manner designed to accommodate and camouflage the full extent of facts and collusion evident. Collusion also involves those in the many command roles who were cognizant of the facts of street-level collusion among their subordinates and either facilitated it or brushed it under the carpet. Collusion also involves those at the highest levels in London who were receiving reports of it and did nothing about it. There is street-level collusion where the badges met the balaclavas, but there was also administration and command level collusion, where it could have been nipped in the bud by those in senior positions and in Govt but either wasn’t or was actively facilitated. With all this in mind, Unionists who peddle the ‘few rotten apples’ myth are as laughable as Gerry claiming he wasn’t in the Provos.

  • DC
  • “The UVF also killed Liam Ryan as well as the three guys at Cappagh, but for the most part they seem to have targeted civilians. Some, as I say, very close to the provos. Moloney notes that of 83 people killed at this time, 40 fell victim to the UVF.”

    @Mick,

    The UVF and the UFF had always targeted primarily civilians. By the 1980s they were primarily profit-seeking criminals looking to live off their communities through intimidation. Thus, most were not looking to take risks. With the emergence of Sinn Fein in the early 1980s it was easier to target Republicans close to the IRA because they were public figures and at that point nearly all important SF figures were former IRA on the next step of their careers after prison. So, it would have been possible to establish who their wives and girlfriends were just by watching them. While this does not rule out intelligence provided by the security forces, it was not absolutely necessary.

  • GEF

    “The UVF and the UFF had always targeted primarily civilians”.

    How can one tell the difference between an IRA terrorist and a civilian? Did not Gerry Adams state he was never in the IRA. Had he died back in 1984 when UFF tried to kill him would all his friends and relatives just say he was an innocent civilian?

  • Tomas Gorman

    GEF,

    You’re following a dangerous logic.

    DC,

    Willie Frazer is working out his trauma issues through ignorant bigotry.

  • Barnshee

    “Willie Frazer is working out his trauma issues through ignorant bigotry.”

    Mad Willie is naming names “bring it on ” he cries
    Where are those crying libel?

  • Morpheus

    What I don’t understand about this Glenanne ‘revelation’ is why did they go after Catholic civilians if they were made up of ranking police and soldiers? With the intelligence at their fingertips why not target known IRA men?

  • paulG

    Morpheus,

    That strongly suggests, does it not, that they were more interested in putting the Catholic population back in their 2nd class box through utter terrorism, than eliminating individuals threatening the Union.

    GEF,

    I think the UDA pretty much confirmed what we all knew, when they starting wearing Fred Flintstone T-shirts with the slogan “Yabadabadoo any Taig will do”. – A case of Imbeciles aping Neanderthals.

  • GEF

    “Yabadabadoo any Taig will do”.

    Naughty naughty, did the “Imbeciles” wear these T- shirts without approval or did they receive orders by senior RUC and UDR officers when they had their collusion meetings?

    News up date:

    Anne Cadwallader: Families who paid ultimate price and were lied to, deserve the truth

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/anne-cadwallader-families-who-paid-ultimate-price-and-were-lied-to-deserve-the-truth-29705101.html

  • paulG

    Thanks for the link GEF (and DC),

    Not sure if either one helps the cause of the ‘Hear no Evil, See No Evil’ collusion deniers.

    It is always good to hear from Willie though, he has ‘little boy lost’ quality which is quite endearing.

  • SK

    I got a bit nostalgic for the 90’s listening to the various unionist outlets bend over backwards to blame-shift, equivocate, minimise- basically do anything they could to avoid having their heads pulled out of the sand for ten minutes.

    So wrapped up are they about how collusion might benefit a Sinn Fein narrative that they’re willing, as a community, to simply stick their fingers in your ears and scream ‘la la la’ whenever the ‘c’ word is mentioned. Wagons circled again. It’s pathetic. And it makes a mockery of this notion they have of themselves as being the standard-bearers for law and order.

    Once the killer had a crown on his beret when he pulled the trigger, they don’t give a shit.

  • Reader

    GEF: How can one tell the difference between an IRA terrorist and a civilian? Did not Gerry Adams state he was never in the IRA. Had he died back in 1984 when UFF tried to kill him would all his friends and relatives just say he was an innocent civilian?
    Probably not. IRA recruitment and martyrology would make it nearly certain they would acknowledge their dead posthumously.
    In fact, after the battle of St Martin’s I think they even recruited someone posthumously.