Haass Talks: “Some of the truths which our members might reveal….”

So to pick up where Mark Devenport left off, the Northern Ireland Retired Police Officers’ Association (NIRPOA) have released their submission to the Haass Talks. It’s as interesting for what it doesn’t say than what it does…

On the current models for probing the past…

The adverse effect of the tampering with these institutions has been exacerbated by the appointment to some of them (for example the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, the Historical Enquiries Team) of staff who are poorly equipped for their work in terms of training and experience and leaders who have frequently demonstrated flawed judgement, resulting in injustice for many of our members.

On the differential expectations of who is expected to tell the truth (and who is not)…

Our association does not support the concept of a “truth commission” as the circumstances in which such tools have previously been used have been completely different. Nor do we have any confidence that anyone other than our members would actually tell the truth. Some of the truths which our members might reveal may not be considered to be helpful to the political or “peace” process.

On the political gaming of the past…

The longer term objective of the propagandists is also clear. Parties to a long-running political dispute will tend to have their own narrative of the feud; and the politics of Northern Ireland (or indeed of the island of Ireland) is no exception. But it is apparent that republican propagandists are desperate to ensure that their narrative should predominate. They are therefore using all their political muscle to skew the work of the relevant institutions in Northern Ireland in order to create a false narrative in which the squalid murders and other atrocities of the period 1969 to 1998 become dressed up as a “conflict” between the state and its citizens, with members of the various loyalist and republican murder gangs described as “combatants”. (The majority of the victims of these “combatants” were, of course, what every independent commentator would describe as civilians, even if they were to accept the idea that these murders amounted to some perverted form of “combat”).

On the matter of collusion…

A senior British police officer was permitted to spend nearly twenty years, and more resources than were ever devoted to solving the murders of police officers in Northern Ireland, in order to uncover supposed collusion; the result was that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) found no evidence in Stevens’ lengthy reports which would justify the prosecution of any police officer for any criminal offence which might be thought to be in some way demonstrative of collusion.

On the Office of the Police Ombudsman…

Many of the senior investigators lacked professionalism, training and experience, leading to a total failure to understand context and, worse still, to the production of reports which were based on assumption and conjecture instead of evidence, and which exhibited confusion over the applicability of the concepts of “beyond reasonable doubt” and “on the balance of probabilities”.

The outcome of the wrong direction which has been taken is that PONI spends time and resources in dealing with historical matters for which it is totally unequipped, when it should be concentrating on maintaining the confidence of the public in the PSNI and the present policing arrangements through a rigorous investigation of complaints relating to current policing.

On the use of Inquests regarding troubles related deaths…

It is not through any fault of our members that these matters have still not been brought to inquest. Whether through the obstruction of the families (and organisations) of the deceased, the endless prevarication of the Coroner’s Office or through the perceived political expediency of those in positions of authority, our members are now faced with giving evidence about matters the memory of which, for most of them, will have long been eclipsed by many subsequent traumatic incidents. Nor do we expect to see very many terrorists associated with the incidents under examination appearing in public to account for their actions or that of their deceased associates.

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  • Exactly what Id expect Yesterday’s Men to say.

  • “At the outset, Richard Haass made it clear that whilst he would do his best to keep the media in the loop, he didn’t share Woodrow Wilson’s enthusiasm for “open government”.

    He had asked the Stormont parties to keep their submissions confidential.” .. Mark Devenport

    So SF has ignored the Haass request and someone has released the unpublished NIRPOA submission. i’m told NIRPOA will be meeting Haass officials tomorrow, through possibly not the Panel.

  • “Nor do we have any confidence that anyone other than our members would actually tell the truth. Some of the truths which our members might reveal may not be considered to be helpful to the political or “peace” process.”

    @Mick,

    While this is probably true enough…, what goes unsaid is that many of their members might not tell the truth in an effort to preserve their personal reputations and the reputation of the institution that they spent their careers working for.

    “But it is apparent that republican propagandists are desperate to ensure that their narrative should predominate. They are therefore using all their political muscle to skew the work of the relevant institutions in Northern Ireland in order to create a false narrative in which the squalid murders and other atrocities of the period 1969 to 1998 become dressed up as a “conflict” between the state and its citizens, with members of the various loyalist and republican murder gangs described as “combatants”. ”

    Some might interpret the use of terms like “murder gangs” to describe IRA ASUs as an attempt to skew the narrative as well and ensure that one narrative predominates.

    Although the Republicans are desperate that their narrative dominates, they have a basic problem with squaring the outcome with the initial goals that they proclaimed that they were fighting for. The harder they fight, the more problems they create for themselves.

    “Nor do we expect to see very many terrorists associated with the incidents under examination appearing in public to account for their actions or that of their deceased associates.”

    This is probably true enough considering the incidents which have prompted official investigations to date and the way those terrorists have responded when called to testify.

  • gendjinn

    Republican propaganda is just such an awful and terrible thing. I mean look how wrong they’ve been over the decades:
    * Bloody Sunday victims were innocent and murdered by the British Army.
    * Birmingham 6 were innocent and confessions were beaten out of them.
    * Guildford 4 were innocent and confessions were beaten out of them.
    * Maguire 7 were innocent.
    * The various British security forces provided weapons to Loyalist terrorists.
    * The various British security forces provided intelligence and material support to Loyalist terrorists.
    * The British orchestrated a shoot-to-kill policy.
    * RUC Special Branch worked hand in glove with Loyalist terrorists and protected them no matter how many murders they committed.
    * McGurks wasn’t an IRA bomb.

    The Republican narrative wouldn’t have half a chance of succeeding if it weren’t for the fact that practically every single thing they accuse the Unionist & British states of doing, they actually did. No matter if they spent decades denying and covering it up.

  • ThomasMourne

    Simplified version of NIRPOA submission:

    1st paragraph above:
    The only people qualified to investigate wrong-doing by police are police officers

    2nd para.
    We don’t want a truth commission because we have too many skeletons in our cupboards

    3rd para.
    See contribution of gendjinn at 4.12 above

    4th para.
    We won’t mention the obstacles put in the way of Stevens, or the missing documents, etc.

    5th para.
    As for 1st paragraph summary

    6th para.
    Unfortunately we have to rely on memory since so much evidence has [conveniently] disappeared.

  • Son of Strongbow

    Ouch! Seems some nationalists are still a little miffed with the RUC.

    Understandable I suppose given the part the cops played in defeating their ‘army’ during the ‘war’.

    ‘Chukee Orla! Not today son, you’re nicked!’

  • Chinook

    Hmm,
    Gerry Adams has a split personality.He was never in the IRA although his alter ego Gearoid Mac Adhaimh was!
    Martin MacGuiness is agent “Infliction”!.

  • Alias

    “Birmingham 6 were innocent and confessions were beaten out of them.”

    How would PIRA know? They denied responsibility for the Birmingham pub bombings. If they were telling the truth they wouldn’t know who carried them out and therefore wouldn’t be able to vouch for the accused. If they were lying when they denied responsibility (and they were telling lies), they chose to let the innocent rot in prison rather than reveal the guilty (who would be, by their own standards, mere war criminals who massacred unarmed civilians). These are hardly an ilk that could be relied upon to tell the truth.

    “Some of the truths which our members might reveal may not be considered to be helpful to the political or ‘peace’ process.”

    Or, indeed, helpful to the State. While such revelations would be fascinating they’ll never be given an opportunity to make them in a public forum.

  • carl marks

    Alias
    “Birmingham 6 were innocent and confessions were beaten out of them.”

    How would PIRA know

    dont know about the IRA but i believe the british justice system declared them innocent, but dont you let facts stop you from a good old rant.

    Son of Strongbow (profile)

    19 November 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Ouch! Seems some nationalists are still a little miffed with the RUC.

    I know how small minded all the RUC done was cover for the sectarian murderers in their ranks. Told lies about mc gurks bar and burnt Stevens’ evidence when he was getting too close to the truth.
    So I suppose I could say ,
    Ouch seems some unionists can’t seem to admit that they done a lot wrong.

  • carl marks

    gendjinn
    We often hear the more backward unionists talking about Nationalist rewriting history to suit their narrative but those same people don’t seem to be able to give any examples that hold up to the slightest scrutiny and all too often all you get when you ask for proof of rewriting history is poorly disguised sectarian abuse.
    No Matter how much proof is presented to these people they are unable to leave the little bubble they have made for themselves, as I have said before the up side is they are yesterday’s men and no longer have the ability to effect things

  • gendjinn

    Ouch! Seems some nationalists are still a little miffed with the RUC.

    Understandable I suppose given the part the cops played in defeating their ‘army’ during the ‘war’.

    Someone doesn’t seem to understand the difference between Nationalist & Republican.

  • carl marks

    gendjinn
    But then you see if you can’t run out sectarian stereotypes every time, then how else do you cover up the fact that you don’t actually have a argument

  • gendjinn

    Alias,

    what the fuck is your point?

    The British police beat confessions out of them and a wide range of people including Nationalists & Republicans could see they were innocent, declared they were innocent and supported the campaign to prove their innocence. The British judiciary, the British police and the entire Unionist camp refused to acknowledge their innocence for decades and asserted that it was purely propaganda to say they were.

    Reality apparently is just a tool of Republican propaganda.

  • gendjinn

    carl marks,

    c’mon, at least he’s not make excuses for genocide like barnshee.

  • Charles_Gould

    Gendjin – if you possibly could watch your language?

  • carl marks

    gendjinn

    Suppose that’s true, but he is on record for saying that he doesn’t understand why Catholics don’t like being called Fenians. Go figure

  • gendjinn

    Charles_Gould,

    just channeling my inner Iain Banks 🙂

    You should probably invest in one of these browser plugins

  • gendjinn

    carl marks,

    Doesn’t want to understand you mean. Thing I’ve noticed over the last 20 years is that type of Unionist is dying out. More and more don’t give a flying and once the current generation of political leaders exit the stage we’ll begin to see improvements all around. Sure didn’t it take 75 years for the civil war politics to lose it’s venom in the South.

  • carl marks

    Chinook (profile)

    19 November 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Hmm,
    Gerry Adams has a split personality.He was never in the IRA although his alter ego Gearoid Mac Adhaimh was!
    Martin MacGuiness is agent “Infliction”!.

    Classic on a post about the RUC and Haass you go off on one about the Shinners, do you know the term whataboutry?

  • aquifer

    “Republican propaganda is just such an awful and terrible thing.”

    Yeah.

    Three thousand dead, the country divided along sectarian lines, and it is all the Brits’ fault.

    Repetez s’il vous plait.

  • carl marks

    “Republican propaganda is just such an awful and terrible thing.”

    Yeah.

    Three thousand dead, the country divided along sectarian lines, and it is all the Brits’ fault.

    Repetez s’il vous plait.

    Republicans didn’t kill them all, unionists and the Brits done a few themselves (including the first civilian Malvern st, the first policeman Constable Arbuckle, and he first massacre ,mc gurks bar) the place was riddled with sectarianism before the Provo’s fired a shot the unionist state was built on sectarianism. And yes the brits share some of the blame I don’t think anybody but you said it was all theirs.

  • gendjinn

    A yellow card? How amusing. I should stick to criticizing Gerry Adams I suppose.

  • Alias

    “what the fuck is your point?”

    Street thug language aside, my point is perfectly clear. It is declared in the topic:

    “Nor do we have any confidence that anyone other than our members would actually tell the truth.” – NIRPOA

    To which you responded:

    “Republican propaganda is just such an awful and terrible thing. I mean look how wrong they’ve been over the decades:”

    Citing the following as an example of the Shinners’ truth-telling ability:

    “Birmingham 6 were innocent and confessions were beaten out of them.”

    I merely pointed out that it was actually an example of their pathological inability to tell the truth.

    “How would PIRA know? They denied responsibility for the Birmingham pub bombings. If they were telling the truth they wouldn’t know who carried them out and therefore wouldn’t be able to vouch for the accused. If they were lying when they denied responsibility (and they were telling lies), they chose to let the innocent rot in prison rather than reveal the guilty (who would be, by their own standards, mere war criminals who massacred unarmed civilians). These are hardly an ilk that could be relied upon to tell the truth.”

  • Alias

    Incidentally, the real victims of the Birmingham pub bombings were 21 people who were murdered and the 181 people who were injured, plus the hundreds bereaved. It is very much a sectarian focus to consider the six people wrongly accused as the only injustice and to ignore the actual victims and their victimisers.

  • carl marks

    “Alias
    So if you spend years in prison after being stitched up for something you are completely innocent of then somehow you are not a real victim.
    If they if they aren’t real victims what were they guilty of being in possession of a Irish accent.
    Really Alias catch yourself they served 16 years in prison but that’s not enough for you. I think the Dead, the Injured, and the wrongly imprisoned were all real victims.
    It’s a pity that your hate clouds your emotion and you fail to understand the connection between a innocent imprisoned and victimhood just because you refuse to admit that the brits got it all wrong.

  • gendjinn

    Oh Alias,

    “Street thug language”, thanks for the laugh, DH Lawrence called and said you “… don’t have a fucking clue what you’re talking about”.

    I hate to be the bearer of reality but “the Shinners” are not the sole repository of Republicanism – it’s ok, don’t thank me, remedial Troubles education is provided for free.

    Whatever tangent you wanted to run off on isn’t relevant to the point being made – the official history that the NIRPOA don’t want overturned flies in the face of reality. That reality being that pretty much every crime & sin that Nationalism & Republicanism accused the British state of committing over the last 50 years, has turned out to be accurate. So please, take your hair splitting tangent and insert into your aural cavity, hammer on it long & hard with a mallet until it finally registers.

    Please post the video to youtube for everyone to enjoy.

    Thank you and have a nice day.

  • gendjinn

    Alias,

    Incidentally, the real victims of the Birmingham pub bombings were 21 people who were murdered and the 181 people who were injured, plus the hundreds bereaved. It is very much a sectarian focus to consider the six people wrongly accused as the only injustice and to ignore the actual victims and their victimisers.

    It isn’t a zero sum game, those that died, those that were injured and those who lost their adult lives to prison for a crime they didn’t commit. All of them were innocent.

    Wow. just wow. You really are the irrelevant tangent king, aren’t you?

  • Alias

    Why are you so angry with me, kid? It’s not my fault that you ignored one “Don’t try this at home” disclaimer too many and had to type that rant with a stick strapped to your forehead.

    So you would now like me to believe your new claim that your (and the NIRPOA’s) use of “Republican narrative” doesn’t refer to the Shinners but should be broadened to include “Nationalism & Republicanism”.

    But why would I believe you? I don’t see the SDLP or the Irish government re-writing history to present the Shinners’ sectarian murder campaign as a campaign aimed at securing civil rights or, as the NIRPOA puts it, to “create a false narrative in which the squalid murders and other atrocities of the period 1969 to 1998 become dressed up as a ‘conflict’ between the state and its citizens”.

    Indeed, I don’t see any so-called dissidents presented that narrative either. No, my little angry friend, it is only the Shinners who are presenting that bogus narrative.

    So why do you now try to mislead me that you were referring to “Nationalism & Republicanism” and not to the Shinners by your use of “Republican narrative”?

    Because your claim that the Shinners were truth-tellers (given in your risible list of 4:12 pm) was shown to be false by my simply pointing out to you that the Shinners lied when they denied murdering 21 people and injuring 181 when they denied planting the Birmingham pub bombs.

    Hence the relevant conclusion that the Shinners are “hardly an ilk that could be relied upon to tell the truth” (Alias) and “Nor do we have any confidence that anyone other than our members would actually tell the truth” (NIRPOA).

    So thanks for showing that, indeed, they can’t be relied upon to tell the truth. 😉

  • carl marks

    Why are you so angry with me, kid? It’s not my fault that you ignored one “Don’t try this at home” disclaimer too many and had to type that rant with a stick strapped to your forehead.

    It’s nice to see that your ability to present a reasoned argument has not been dulled by the years.
    Really you must be rattled by the arguments being presented to you if you have to resort to such infantile abuse.
    Alias please grow up!

  • I’d be interested as to who is doling out the Yellow cards?

  • carl marks

    Bangordub
    That info and why a post gets one seems to be covered under the official secrets act, I have got a couple in my time and neither email or asking on slugger has never been given the dignity of a reply, this of course would not only be informative but of course would (if the explanation was reasonable) help to avoid more cards.
    So all I can say because of a lack of openness in the process is that my perception tells me that Unionists get away with a lot more than nationalists.
    Man playing sometimes involving open sectarian abuse seems to go unpunished,
    It would be most interesting for someone to have a look at past cardings and what they were received for but that would be impossible without the reasoning behind the card.