What does your da do? Quiet Conversations with Ex-UDR Members

UDR Crest

Over the years different people have been talking about conversations and their place in our peace process.  Former Chief Constable Matt Baggott spoke about “quiet conversations”, Vicky Cosstick, author of a comprehensive book on the walls of Belfast, wrote about the importance of “relationships and conversations” to help bring the walls down whilst Sinn Féin Party President Declan Kearney has been promoting “uncomfortable conversations”.  Conversations, I believe are valuable, even transformative.    I would see this article as the beginning … Read more

#Lethal Allies: this is not collusion.

This is much worse. The publication of Ann Cadwalladers Lethal Allies last month by Mercier Press was always going to have a relatively predictable reception. In many ways, nationalists and republicans have largely accepted that there was participation by members of the security forces in providing intelligence, weapons and targeting information to loyalist/unionist paramilitary groups from the late-1960s onwards. In some cases, it was even clear that either officially or unofficially, security force members and agents being run by the security services directly … Read more

Miami Showband: “Disturbing questions about collusive and corrupt behaviour”

Henry McDonald reports (John has more detail here) on the conclusion of the privately released HET report (they are all intended for the families) subsequently released via the Pat Finucane Centre into the killing of the Miami Showband on 31st July 1975. He notes: The Het team said the murders raised “disturbing questions about collusive and corrupt behaviour”. It said the review “has found no means to assuage or rebut these concerns and that is a deeply troubling matter”. Update: … Read more

To the objective, impartial observer, disturbing questions about collusive and corrupt behaviour are raised

The families of the Miami Show Band members gave their reaction to the HET’s report today on the killing of three members in 1975. In a detailed statement, the survivors of the attack report that the HET concluded: ‘To the objective, impartial observer, disturbing questions about collusive and corrupt behaviour are raised. The HET review has found no means to assuage or rebut these concerns and that is a deeply troubling matter.’ This is in specific reference to evidence relating … Read more

News Letter interview with Eric Glass

Eric Glass has been a bit of a quiet hero to Fermanagh unionists for years. Like a number of such people they have said little publicly about what happened to them during the IRA’s terrorist campaign. Now, however, Eric has spoken to the News Letter about his remarkable story of courage. Eric Glass was a corporal in the UDR and also worked for Fermanagh District Council and was for quite some time the dog warden. In 1978 he was driving … Read more

No ‘Special’ day at Stormont

Yesterday the following motion on the Anniversaries of the B-Specials (demise) and UDR (creation) was defeated in the Assembly and there will be no call from the Assembly to honour either organisation. That this Assembly notes that April 2010 marked both the fortieth anniversary of the dissolution of the Ulster Special Constabulary, or B-Specials, and also the fortieth anniversary of the formation of the Ulster Defence Regiment; expresses its gratitude to the bravery of the many people who served in … Read more