Report reveals a long post conflict history of Loyalist and Republican abuse of children…

Off The Record NI picked up on Lawrence Liam Kennedy’s report which highlights the extent of paramilitary ‘abuse’ of children…

Between 1990 and 2013:
94 children were shot by loyalist paramilitaries.
73 children were shot by republican paramilitaries.
166 children were beaten – some badly mutilated – by loyalist paramilitaries.
178 children were beaten by Republican paramilitaries.
In total, more than 500 children abused by the IRA, UVF, UDA etc.

As Jason Murdoch notes:

There is little doubt that paramilitary abuse during the Troubles was rife – and one disturbing aside of the story is perhaps the abuse that continued after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement and occurred under the guise of peace and reconciliation. For the victims of these crimes, no matter of what ‘community’ they live in or political affiliation they hold, man or woman, adult or child, answers are rightfully demanded and rightfully deserved.

Worth adding this from Malachi O’Doherty written last week and long before today’s release, who notes that many of these punishments happened in addition to police and judicial action, and not only to children:

There are several weaknesses in the “policing vacuum” argument for community vigilante attacks on criminals. One is that practically all of those shot or subjected to horrific “punishment” beatings had already been dealt with by the police.

True, many of their victims were dissatisfied with how the law had served them; people getting short sentences or acquittals, but complaints like these are common all over Ireland and Britain. Policing is never perfect and just isn’t vengeful enough for many.

The thug who stole your car or beat up your brother gets three months in a young offenders’ centre; you think he deserves more and there is a neighbourhood vigilante who will do his knees for you.

Here we had political arguments erected in defence of this and even social service interfacings with the vigilantes themselves, but that doesn’t change the basic core of the system.

A clergyman is reported in the papers to have been caught importing homoerotic pornography.

The UVF see him, absurdly, as a danger to children, decide that he hasn’t been punished enough and beat him with nail-studded clubs, the preferred weapon of paramilitaries on ceasefire. He dies. The Rev David Templeton was killed for being gay.

John Collet in Derry, a known sex offender who had already been prosecuted, is kneecapped in his home by Provisionals using a .38 Magnum, a larger-than-customary pistol, and he dies five days later.

Well, that is what a lot of people would like to see done to paedophiles everywhere when the alternative is a sex offenders’ register, lifetime monitoring and the prospect of offending again. Within the Provisional IRA there were senior members in Belfast who argued in the early-1980s that something had to be done about crime.

Busy criminals were drawing the police into the area and this was disrupting IRA operations. They also argued that the skills of the criminals could be put to the service of the IRA. If they were good at stealing cars, they could steal for the Provos.

Several criminals were made to sign amnesty agreements with the IRA.

In these agreements the men undertook to give up their criminal careers and accepted that if they went back to them the IRA would have the right to “execute” them. Three were executed under that initial scheme.

Wednesday’s debate in Dail is billed rather tamely as Statements on allegations regarding sexual abuse by members of the Republican Movement, evincing a ‘will someone (else) please remember the victims’ response from Aonghus O’Snodaigh.

However Fianna Fail will introduce a motion calling for an inquiry into the matter.

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  • Michael-Henry Mcivor

    Notice that the children who were abused by the British army / RUC etc on and off the streets do not get a mention in this report- some children’s injuries are more important than others it seems-

    There are dozens of Republican armed groups- any proof which ones did those attacks on children- ( if any )-

  • honest joe

    More than 500??????????? More like 50,000. Is stealing ones life for 35 years not an abuse????????????????

  • Tacapall

    “The report documents an aspect of both green and orange paramilitarism that should not be forgotten – the ruthless beatings and shootings of civilians, including teenagers and children, who were members of the very communities that the paramilitaries claimed to be defending”

    Yes the above did happen but why turn a blind eye to the execution and maiming of children for joyriding by the RUC and British army or the execution or maiming of children for allegedly throwing stones or even the arrest and torture of children into signing confessions leading to lengthy prison sentences. Actions carried out by the very people the state employed and paid to defend the communities from which their victims resided.

  • Stan McGlone

    There you go again with the what about the Brits rubbish. You really are the Willy Frazer of SF.

  • Zeno3

    You really are the Willy Frazer of SF.

    Brilliant Stan, just brilliant.

  • Michael-Henry Mcivor

    The Nutty Professor writes a report and you take it serious -so you think it’s rubbish that the Brit army got off with murder- wounding children with plastic bullets and beating children up during marches / Funerals etc-

  • Zeno3

    Honestly if the IRA were a Band you’d be in the mosh pit.

    Note the dates.
    Between 1990 and 2013: If memory serves me, almost all of the children killed and injured by the RUC and Army pre-dated that.

  • chrisjones2

    Who was ‘executed ‘ for joyriding. Attempting to mow down police officers and soldiers wasn’t joy ridng it was often attempted murder – in just the same way as these youths killed many people in North and West Belfast

    And the terrorist child abuse and ‘punishments’;were so effective that a cult built up among them where you weren’t a made man until you had had at least both knees done

  • chrisjones2

    What about the first IRA ceasfire in Belfast Michael. There when the youths caused problems for the Brits they reported them to SF ‘incident centres’ and PIRA beat them up or shot them for baiting the soldiers.

    Strange you didn’t mention that bit.

    Do you approve of that?

  • chrisjones2

    Where were the parents who put their children into the middle of riots or let evil men and cowards use them as shields?

    Do you approve of that child abuse?

    And why label a Professor at Queens ‘nutty’ ? Perhaps you can outline your own professional qualifications that enable you to so sufficiently evaluate his work?

  • chrisjones2

    Well PIRA claimed most of them until it became unfashionable then they invented lost of fancy names to conceal with they were doing post ceasefire.The community demands it – they cried

    Even the blessed St Mo referred to it as “just little housekeeping’

  • chrisjones2

    Now now …don’t let reality get in the way of revisionism

    Please have their conscioences to salve

  • Starviking

    The murder of David Templeton was particularly heinous – he was a nice, polite, gentle soul. His outing was to sell papers, and the people involved in his murder were never charged.

  • Tacapall

    “If memory serves me, almost all of the children killed and injured by the RUC and Army pre-dated that”

    Almost but not quite correct but seeing as we’re throwing assumptions about without evidence, obviously you support the UDA and UVF, the execution of children for petty crimes that although happened in loyalist areas and in parts of Britain no such executions took place.

  • Zeno3

    “obviously you support the UDA and UVF,”

    A bit of leap there Tac in the wishful assumptions department. I don’t support anyone who murdered innocent men women and children. I don’t even support anyone who condones, supports and commemorates those murderers.
    Where do you stand on that?

  • Tacapall

    I’ve been on this site giving my tuppence worth long before you appeared and in all that time, and im sure Mick and others can verify, I’ve never supported anyone who would use violence against another human being but I am a republican and I have lived in West Belfast most of my life so I’ve seen first hand many instances of British or RUC actions that led to the loss of life, human beings especially children were used as target practice or children were murdered for the fun of it. Had the same circumstances happened in a loyalist/unionist area or any working class area of England, Scotland or Wales the same summary executions would never have taken place.

    I have no doubt you would not support the murder of innocents but like I said on the other thread its when you start to justify actions that led to murder or define what an innocent is especially when it comes to children thats where we differ to me there is no defining.

  • Michael-Henry Mcivor

    I can read his work- it’s a joke without proof- I don’t need a fancy title to read the truth- it’s a pity that you let such people look down on you-qualifications don’t make the man or make the woman-

  • Zeno3

    The statement was ………

    ” I don’t even support anyone who condones, supports and commemorates those murderers.
    Where do you stand on that?”

    Do you or don’t you support those that condone, support and commemorates those murderers?

  • Tacapall

    If I dont support those who would use violence why would I support someone who does ? By the way would you ask that same question to all those who commemorate the Battle of the Boyne ?

  • Zeno3

    Are you saying you don’t support Sinn Fein?

    What has the Battle of The Boyne have to do with it? You lost me there.

  • Tacapall

    If I dont believe Irish people should be involved in British politics why would I support Sinn Fein ? Dont be confusing support for victims as support for those who champion the victims cause.

    Are all those who march on the 12th not condoning, supporting and commemorating murderers ?

  • Robin Keogh

    Here we go again, what about what about what about….grow up lads will yis. FFS. Its time to deal with all these issues ike adults. We either want answers or we dont? If we do then everybody has to muck in; Republicans, Loyalists, Brits, RUC, Gardai…the whole kit. Come together and get it done under an independent panel….

  • Zeno3

    “Are all those who march on the 12th not condoning, supporting and commemorating murderers ?”

    Probably, but what has that got to do with me? I don’t support any of them.
    So, just so that I can understand. You are a Republican , but you don’t support any of the Nationalist Parties or groupings including the IRA and other paramilitaries?

  • Tacapall

    I simply oppose the idea of privileged birth therefore I oppose the crown and as an Irishman have no wish to take part in British politics, I dont have to be a Catholic or a Nationalist or support the use of violence to hold those ideals.

  • Granni Trixie

    I seem to remember that when the Mairia Cahill case started up I commented on Slugger that the next group of people to find a public voice would be those who have been exiled or beaten and so its coming to pass. I do think we have to contextualise the emerging debate about paramilitary intimidation within discourse focused on what happened to Mairia Cahill. The code of silence which to some extent is maintained by intimidation is on the wane – only a matter of time before all the muck is out in the open. I also believe, despite what is asserted above, that a policing vacuum does in part explain the existence and maintenance of paramilitary rough justice system.