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Mainstream Media Makes a Mess

category national | worker & community struggles and protests | feature author Dé hAoine Márta 03, 2006 01:34author by indymedia Gonzos - Indymedia Ireland Report this post to the editors

Sunday Times Editor Prints Lie Then Attacks Indymedia Ireland

making stuff up
Making Stuff Up

While the mainstream media (MSM) snoozed, Indymedia Ireland contributors were providing eyewitness testimony, photographs, video of, and commentary on, last weekend's Dublin riots. What were the MSM doing during this period? Well, the Sunday Times was concocting a story that blamed the Independent Workers Union for playing a part in organising the riots. Because Indymedia is an Open Publishing medium, the IWU were quickly able to publish a refutation of this astoundingly scurrilous claim see full story below. So far, so good. Our unprecedented speed and openness had allowed the IWU to counter publically a vicious piece of disinformation published in a widely read medium. Imagine our surprise when our editorial collective received a berating email from the Sunday Times' Irish editor John Burns, admonishing us for not checking "our" facts! Mr.Burns appeared confused about who we were and assumed that we were the IWU. He demanded a retraction of the IWU's post because it incorrectly named "Liam Clarke" as the author of the lie. Naturally we wrote to him but it seems that he still doesn't get it.

Meanwhile, Tony O'Reilly's crack team of journalists, editors, sub-editors and secret garda sources were busy churning out their own brand of shite which was neatly countered in public by Indymedia Ireland contributor Chekov. The whole fiasco (and similar disinformation spreading in the past) demonstrates what is at best ludicrous inaccuracy, but is more likely a co-opted and broken media model. The Sunday Times' article is now nowhere to be found on its archives, there is no retraction published and we have audio of another Sunday Times editor spreading the lie, this time on the radio. Here on Indymedia.ie we've clearly published the correction that Liam Clarke denies IWU involvement (although his name is on the story). Compare and contrast. Good-bye Grub Street hacks, you're only useful to the government.

Finally, Indymedia Ireland have decided to join in the fun and games and have launched a campaign to identify the ringleader of the riots after our crack team of investigative journalists have poured through thousands of photographs of the riots.

The original allegation - Sunday Times 26/2/06

The republican protest was well-planned. Leaflets circulated two weeks ago by the Independent Workers' Union stated: "We must take a stand and counter this march and tell the 'Love Ulster' campaign that we support a united Ireland. We cannot let our symbols of resistance to British rule, the GPO, the birthplace of the true Irish Republic, be subject to an organisation that supports Britain's colonial rule over the Irish people. We call on all socialists and republicans to join the counter demonstrations on the day."

Rebuttal: Independent Workers Union rejects Sunday Times allegation

IWU press release from the newswire

The Independent Workers Union unreservedly rejects the slanderous allegation printed in the Sunday Times of 26 February, and repeated by its Ireland editor Frank Fitzgibbon on the RTE programme Question and Answers, that our union published or distributed leaflets calling on people to join Saturday’s counter-demonstrations against the Love Ulster rally in Dublin.

According to the front-page report, ‘Republican riot puts a stop to ‘love parade’, by Jan Battles and Liam Clarke, the leaflets were circulated two weeks ago. It is astonishing that a journalist with Liam Clarke’s experience would not have considered contacting the Independent Workers Union in order to verify the authenticity or otherwise of such a publication. We are equally dismayed that the Ireland editor of the Sunday Times would repeat the unfounded allegation on national television without checking his facts.

The Independent Workers Union is a non-political, licensed trade union that does not endorse any party-political point of view. The Independent Workers Union did not take any position on the Love Ulster parade or the counter demonstration prior to the events in Dublin at the weekend since our union did not believe that this issue was relevant to our work on behalf of our members.

The Independent Workers Union is astounded by this sinister allegation and we ask what possible motive could be served by this attempt to implicate our union in the events last Saturday.

Noel Murphy, National Secretary Independent Workers Union

Related Link: http://www.union.ie

news3002.gif

author by Notpublication date Máirt Feabh 28, 2006 13:31Report this post to the editors

Never be surprised at anything you read in the Sunday Times. It is a mouthpiece for the British intelligence services. And just look at the type of people they have had writing for them - O'Callaghan the seedy informer, and others of that ilk. The securicrats thrive on spreading misinformation.

author by Tpublication date Máirt Feabh 28, 2006 14:41Report this post to the editors

The Independent Workers Union is well eh, independent and so far is not controlled and part of the state like the other unions. Therefore it must be discredited at all costs. Hence the slander.

Just like the way for the Centre for Public Inquiry got closed down too. Slander.

author by Chekovpublication date Máirt Feabh 28, 2006 14:59Report this post to the editors

It sounds to me like a pretty cut and dried case of libel. Are there plans to take legal action? Could be a good way to build up a nice strike fund.

author by pat cpublication date Máirt Feabh 28, 2006 15:12Report this post to the editors

you can have an nuj member charged with unprofessional behaviour by the nuj if another nuj member lodges a complaint. the nasty journalist can be acquitted, reprimanded, fined, suspended or expelled. any nuj members prepared to lodge a complaint?

author by byepublication date Céad Márta 01, 2006 15:17Report this post to the editors

were you at the rally or not? did you hand out leaflets or not?

author by Gregor Kerr - WSM - 1st May pers cappublication date Céad Márta 01, 2006 19:44Report this post to the editors

Very simple answer to that question - NO. No IWU leaflets were given out and no IWU presence on the demo.
As it happens members of the IWU were in North Earl Street on Saturday handing out leaflets encouraging people to stand up for their rights at work and to join the union. Nothing whatsoever to do with what was happening elsewhere in town.
Remember the Sunday Times claim is not that the IWU was present on Saturday but that the IWU gave out a leaflet two weeks ago calling on people to oppose the FAIR march. This simply never happened.

Related Link: http://www.union.ie
author by john burns - The Sunday Timespublication date Déar Márta 02, 2006 23:58Report this post to the editors

I am the news editor of the Irish edition of The Sunday Times.

It's come to my attention that untrue and unfair allegations have been made against our newspaper, and specifically against Liam Clarke, by your website

The Sunday Times has in its possession a leaflet in the name of the IWU, giving the correct internet website, email address and telephone number for its office in Dublin, which called on people to oppose last Saturday's march. I understand from Ray O'Reilly of the IWU that he regards the leaflet is a hoax, and this is "the second time" someone has put out a leaflet in the union's name and without your authorisation.

If that is the case, then is an internal matter for the IWU to deal with. We quoted accurately from a leaflet in its name and giving its correct details.

Coverage of this leaflet in our newspaper last Sunday was handled by our Dublin office, and not by Liam Clarke. His name was on our story dealing with this last Sunday only because he contributed other elements to that story - something you could have checked with us before you posted inaccurate information about him on your site.

author by R.isible - 1 of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Grouppublication date Aoine Márta 03, 2006 00:02Report this post to the editors

Dear Mr. Burns,

Thank you for your email. You appear to have fallen into a confusion as to whom you addressing however. You refer variously to "your website" and "[...] without your [IWU's] authorisation..".

We are Indymedia.ie, we are not affiliated to the IWU and have no formal relationship to them. Any post on the newswire is the opinion of the poster only, not of the Indymedia Ireland Editorial Collective or the other users of the Indymedia Ireland website.

Your suggestion that "you could have checked with us before you posted inaccurate information about him" would seem to be something that might be well applied to your own organ's coverage of the IWU leaflet. Why did you not check with the IWU before posting allegations about them? A piece of paper is about as much evidence as a newswire posting.

"I am the news editor of the Irish edition of The Sunday Times. It's come to my attention that untrue and unfair allegations have been made against our newspaper, and specifically against Liam Clarke, by your website"

We are happy to publish an editorial clarification, but I'd suggest that you post any factual correctionto the newswire story as a piece of peer-review commentary using the "Add your comments" link below each story.

Given your explanation of the manner by which Mr.Clarke had his name attached to the piece I'd add that as per your own explanation it appears that the poster to our newswire "quoted accurately from the piece of paper which he had in his possession

author by chekov - 1 of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Grouppublication date Aoine Márta 03, 2006 00:04author email chekov at indymedia dot ieReport this post to the editors

Hi John,

The document that you are referring to was published by the IWU, not by indymedia Ireland. If you want it retracted, I suggest you contact them at their email address and ask them to get in touch with us.

I should also point out that you are on extremely shaky grounds if you published a story based on a forgery, no matter how accurately you quoted from it. Otherwise anybody could just rustle up a forgery in minutes and quote from it freely!

Considering the fact that you apparently ran with a story based on a forgery without checking with the organisation that apparently printed the leaflet, I don't think you are in a particularly good position to give us guidance about fact checking. Furthermore, I think it is reasonable to assume that an author whose name is printed on the byline of an article is indeed the author of the article and I don't think that the fault is either with us or with the IWU in this case. It is traditional practice that by putting one's name to an article, one is declaring one's intention to stand over its contents.

author by eeekkk - 1 of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Grouppublication date Aoine Márta 03, 2006 00:05Report this post to the editors

Hello John,

Are you the journalist from the Simpsons?

Just askin'

author by john burns - Sunday Timespublication date Aoine Márta 03, 2006 00:07Report this post to the editors

It's funny you don't see the contradiction in your own email. "The document that you refer to was published by IWU, not by us," you say, as justification for publishing it. "If you want it retracted I suggest you contact them." Then you give me a lecture on not running stuff from the IWU without checking it ourselves?

Too funny for words

JB

author by John Burns (or am I?) - Sunday Times (or is it?)publication date Aoine Márta 03, 2006 02:06Report this post to the editors

So here I am, John Burns, posting again. I am reccomending that people [insert controversial call to arms here] this [date] in [somewhere].

Or is it actually me? Who's to say that this post isnt a hoax?

Maybe if someone wanted to check if it was REALLY me (which the indy editorial collective usually do when a post appears and they need to verify the authenticity of it) - they could pick up the phone and make a 30 second phone call to the Sunday Times to see if the post was genuine.

I'm not sure of the standard rate charges from a landlane in the Sunday Times Office to a mobile belonging to one of the IWU members up on their website, but I'd say the 30 second call to verify your dodgy story would cost less than 30c.

Good night...

author by saoririseoir "free journalist"publication date Aoine Márta 03, 2006 03:08Report this post to the editors

Unlike the Sunday Times, www.indymedia.ie is free and open media.

Unlike yourself and your staff, indymedia editors and journalists don't get paid, so it's more believeable that passionate telling of the truth is our raisson d'etre. You're in the pockets of your advertisers - hardly unbiassed now is it?

BTW: With regard to IWU story - you'll be wishin' you or one of your paid employees checked out the source. Repetition of a libel is no less libellous. You would have to prove that the IWU published it originally.

The only thing you've got goin' for you is money (surprise surprise). Libel actions are out of the reach of most mortals - unless there's a solicitor out there with saordlíodóir (free law) principles.

author by prole - random indy journopublication date Aoine Márta 03, 2006 11:46Report this post to the editors

What contradiction? I think the editors are pretty sure that the statement which appeared here was written by Noel Murphy, they probably checked. You, however, have no idea who wrote the leaflet which you attributed to the IWU.

If you can't see the difference between verifying a source and editing someone elses press release (which is essentially what you're asking the Indymedia eds to do) then you have no business working anywhere in the media, never mind as a news editor.

author by doctor sir toneypublication date Aoine Márta 03, 2006 15:50Report this post to the editors

Burns' comment regarding liam Clarke, "His name was on our story dealing with this last Sunday only because he contributed other elements to that story", are astonishing. This is a pretty incredible admission for a news editor to make in public. it says essentially that the bylines accompanying stories cannot be trusted. Of course the sindo dont even pretend to have any standards of journalistic integrity but i would have imagined an individual journalist to be more cautious. A couple of years ago the NYT went through a scandal over this very issue. A journalist was forced to resign when it emerged that portions of stories published under his byline were written by uncredited stringers. That paper has since enforced a strict policy of crediting all contributors to stories which is why stroies nowadays often have 3 or more names tagged on as additional reorters at the end of articles.

author by anonpublication date Aoine Márta 03, 2006 15:56Report this post to the editors

where is this this leaflet anyone have one? a scan of one, or a scan of the leaflet that was being handed out by IWU members in previous weeks?

I didn't think it was made clear that IWU's actual leaflet did not even mention the march, not that means that they had the capacity to organise riots either.

author by chekovpublication date Aoine Márta 03, 2006 16:12author email chekov at indymedia dot ieReport this post to the editors

From talking to IWU members there was never any IWU leaflet whatsoever to do with the march. On the day of the riot there were some IWU leafleters handing out leaflets encouraging workers to stand up for their rights and join a union - which is pretty much the only type of leaflet the IWU ever produces since they are a trade union and not a political organisation.

The only person who claims to have seen this leaflet is the editor of the Sunday Times. He claims to have a copy of the leaflet but I do not believe that he has yet produced it.

Unless the whole story is made up, it appears that somebody created a forgery and sent it to the Sunday Times. I have not heard of anybody anywhere who was handed such a leaflet (although this could of course pass under the radar), so if the forgery exists, I'd guess that it was most probably specifically made for sending to the media. The interesting question remains about who on earth could have it in for the IWU to such an extent that they would take such pains to spread disinformation about them? Watch this space....

author by Amateur Bamberpublication date Aoine Márta 03, 2006 17:41Report this post to the editors

"The interesting question remains about who on earth could have it in for the IWU to such an extent that they would take such pains to spread disinformation about them?"

ICTU and SIPTU in particular hate the IWU. Labour hates what it sees as Sinn Fein's influence over the IWU.
But surely they wouldn't be in cahoots with the Sunday Times in muckslinging. But then who was involved in the Mick O'Reilly muckslinging.
Am I close?

author by Anthonypublication date Sath Márta 04, 2006 16:35Report this post to the editors

I was hoping to scan a copy of the Sunday Times article cited above but it wasn't printed in the edition that I obtained although I have seen a faxed copy of the edition where it was printed. The offending article is not available on the Sunday Times web-site either.

However Frank Fitzgibbon is on public record on RTÉ's Questions and Answers (aired on 27th February 2006) saying that he had with him a leaflet "from the Independent Worker's Union and it states quite clearly that they want counter demonstrations on the day". The section of the show where Frank Fitzgibbon makes these claims has been recorded and made available for download as an audio file in both Ogg Vorbis (450kB) and MP3 (700kB) formats.

Tech Note: Ogg Vorbis is an efficient, open and patent-free format for storing audio information. It can be played using VLC and most other Free Software media players. Plugins are also available for WinAmp and other proprietary software.

Related Link: http://radio.indymedia.org/news/2006/03/8858.php
author by R. Isiblepublication date Sath Márta 04, 2006 19:51Report this post to the editors

MediaLens is a non-partisan body that keeps a record of the shenanigans of the mainstream media. We linked (with the "broken media model" link above) to an essay by one of their editors, David Cromwell, which summarises the Chomsky/Herman propaganda model. The current MediaLens piece is by Richard Keeble and details how intertwined the intelligence agencies and the media are. Worth a read. (Currently there's no direct link to the piece, it's on their front page so if someone is looking for it in the future it'll be in the MediaAlerts subsection for Mar 2006).

Related Link: http://www.medialens.org/alerts/index.php
author by Peter Feeneypublication date Sath Márta 04, 2006 22:21Report this post to the editors

Brian Murphy, who blew the lid on revisionist historian Peter Hart, with Meda Ryan, will discuss his new work on British propaganda. David Miller, author of 'Tell me lies about Iraq' and expert on British censorship on Ireland will launch the book. Chaired by Danny Morrison.

Very relevant to the discussion here. See link below to Indymedia Ireland Events calendar entry for full details:

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74416
author by redjadepublication date Domh Márta 05, 2006 13:31Report this post to the editors

Focus: Hoops of hate

How did the Celtic jersey become such a potent symbol of Irish nationalism, asks John Burns

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-1507-20....html

author by james - irelandpublication date Domh Márta 05, 2006 18:34Report this post to the editors

Please provide evidence for the claim in the 'Evening Harald' article above that some of the organisers of the March "had justified the Dublin and Monaghan bombings".

author by Chekovpublication date Domh Márta 05, 2006 19:35Report this post to the editors

I didn't have anything to do with the production of the "Evening Harald" spoof and think that the statement highlighted above is over-stating its case somewhat. However, I assume that the author is refering to statements by Willie Frazier which appear to reveal that loyalist terrorists "should never have been locked up in the first place" source Susan McKay, Irish Times, available here: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74511.

Willie Frazer is also on record as supporting Love Ulster protestors who might carry the photograph of Robert McConnell:

Organisers of a loyalist march through Dublin have said they cannot guarantee that images of a man accused of murdering 26 people in the city will not not be displayed during the demonstration.

Speaking to Daily Ireland yesterday, Love Ulster organiser Willie Frazer said: “I can’t give a guarantee a photograph of Robert McConnell will not be carried because I wouldn’t be against anyone carrying Robert’s photograph.”


Lots more on Love Ulster's links to paramilitaries and other dubious organisations at:
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/73561
and at:
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74653

So, while I do think that claiming that the organisers had specifically supported the Dublin / Monaghan bombings, there seems to be lots of evidence which suggests that they don't exactly have a major problem with that sort of thing and that the claim isn't entirely accurate.

Incidentally, the big difference between indymedia and the mainstream media on matters like this is not that indymedia articles are particularly likely to be more accurate than articles elsewhere, but that anybody can add a comment to an indy story pointing out such problems - the indymedia concept of peer review - thus allowing readers to hear as many points of view as possible before they make up their mind what to believe.

author by james - jampublication date Luan Márta 06, 2006 13:45Report this post to the editors

Thank you for the reply Chekov.

The quotes and linked articles do not show that some of the organisers of the March "had justified the Dublin and Monaghan bombings".

The claim is not as you say "overstating its case somewhat" or "isn't entirely accurate".

The claim is simply a lie.

It's simply an attempt to discredit the march organisers, and thus to justify the opposition, and rioting that occured.

Wonderfully ironic!

author by Sideshowbobpublication date Luan Márta 06, 2006 13:58Report this post to the editors

Now that Irish people have completely lost their train of thinking over the protests last week, i wish to put a damp spell on the pro orange mood surfacing especially in the irish independent/herald etc and the high morale ground stance taken by the love ulster organisers, dup, orange order etc.. I can proove they are all a bunch of hypocrites of the highest order. I am going to request a love Ireland march in remembrace of people killed by loyalists etc. The march will take place in Portadown or Ballymena or the Shankill road. It will be interesting to see what response i get by the powers to be up there and we can really see who the hypocrites are..

author by jamespublication date Luan Márta 06, 2006 14:19Report this post to the editors

Even Hypocrites have a right to March

author by Topperpublication date Luan Márta 06, 2006 14:30Report this post to the editors

"The claim is not as you say "overstating its case somewhat" or "isn't entirely accurate".

The claim is simply a lie."

Hold your horses there now. Willie Frazer has explicitly praised the man who organised the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, and he has gone on record as saying that no loyalist paramilitary should ever have been jailed. It's not a big leap to suggest that he has no moral objection to the bombings. Let's imagine that republicans were set to march down the Shankill, and the march organiser said that he'd have no problem with people carrying pictures of Thomas Begley (having already told reporters that no IRA man should have spent a day in prison). Unionists would claim, and with good cause, that the marchers had no problem with the Shankill fish-shop bombing. Such a claim would be generally accepted in the media, north and south, and nobody would call it a "lie".

I think the irony is largely to be found in your imagination

author by Sideshowbobpublication date Luan Márta 06, 2006 15:23Report this post to the editors

but by us letting them march down here, it is very important that we put the same requests on their communities/politicians to allow similar marches in their areas. This is where the likes of the orange order/dup etc will be tested to practice what they are preaching about democracy and freedom of expression. The response to a request would be very interesting and more importantly, what sinister elements would try and stop it. We cannot allow them to take high moral ground especially until they are tested on similar grounds...

author by jamespublication date Luan Márta 06, 2006 16:29Report this post to the editors

The article stated that some of the organisers of the March "had justified the Dublin and Monaghan bombings".

This isn't true.

So it's a lie.

The irony is that an indymedia article complaining about mainstream media inaccuracy itself contains lying propaganda. Did somebody mention Hypocrisy?

author by Jo TaKepublication date Luan Márta 06, 2006 16:37Report this post to the editors

Frazier stated he would not have a problem with anyone carrying Robert McConnell's picture on this sectarian march.

So if somebody was carrying Hitlers picture on a march they couldn't be accused of justifying the Holocaust?

You raised "hypocrisy" and if the cap fits...

author by jamespublication date Luan Márta 06, 2006 16:57Report this post to the editors

The organizers of the March did not justify the Dublin/Monaghan bombings. To claim that they did is a lie.

Jo, thank you for your comment. We can now invoke Godwin's Law:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

Debate over.

author by Topperpublication date Luan Márta 06, 2006 17:04Report this post to the editors

Again, to describe it as "lying propaganda" is itself a gross propagandistic distortion. As I said, it was a very logical conclusion to draw from the clearly stated views of Frazer and Love Ulster, and the very same conclusion would be drawn about republicans who had said and done the same things. Frazer praised the man who was responsible for the Dublin bombings, and approved of his picture being carried without shouting distance of where the bombs went off. He also said that no loyalist paramilitary should ever have been jailed. If people read those statements and conclude that he had no problem with the Dublin bombings, they were merely applying logic.

You are just trying to discredit Indymedia because it has done such a good job of exposing the mainstream media outlets. As Chekov pointed out already, Indymedia is based on open publishing, so anyone can put their views up on the site, and other people can correct inaccuracies if they occur.

author by James Reillypublication date Luan Márta 06, 2006 17:43Report this post to the editors

I refer James (the other one, above) to my piece on Willie Frazer and his positive relationship with those who were involved in the bombings of Dublin and Monaghan in 1974.

In contrast, despite his opposition to the killing of those he calls "innocent" Catholics, Frazer is revealed as possessing a deeply sectarian and negative view of Roman Catholics in general.

See www.indymedia.ie/article/74653

Hope that helps.

(Incidentally James, your issuing of the order “debate over” would be regarded as censorship if uttered by someone with the power to close down the discussion, or just childishness when spoken by someone who doesn’t. You may decide to retreat from the field of discussion. But, like unionism, you no longer have power over the lives of others.)

author by jamespublication date Luan Márta 06, 2006 18:30Report this post to the editors

James Reilly, thank you for the interesting link. Dixon does appear to hold racist views. He sounds like a tosser, frankly. However, he has nothing to say about the Dublin/Monaghan bombings, which is the topic we're discussing. And you're absolutely right about me no longer having power over the lives of others - in fact, I've recently discovered that I ceeded all power over my _own_ life to my wife on the day of our marriage.

Topper, no matter how it's spun, it doesn't change the fact that the organizers of the march did not justify the Dublin/Monaghan bombings, and to claim that they did is a lie.

I'm not attempting to discredit Indymedia - I was just surprised by the accusation and wanted to see if it was true. To Chekov's credit, he replied with some background. Frazier has made outrageous, hate-filled, bigoted statements, but he hasn't justified the Dublin/Monaghan bombings. Chekov himself stated that the claim is inaccurate.

> Indymedia is based on open publishing,
> so anyone can put their views up on the site,
> and other people can correct inaccuracies if they occur.

Er, Yes?

The organizers of the march did not justify the Dublin/Monaghan bombings. To claim they did is a lie. So we're correcting an "inaccuracy".

author by Intellekshualpublication date Luan Márta 06, 2006 19:02Report this post to the editors

For those gifted with alternative intellects who are arguing about whether "Indymedia" claimed that Frazer justified the Dublin-Monaghan bombings: you're arguing about a spoof newspaper which is supposed to illustrate made-up, wildly exaggerated, rubbish. It's supposed to be overstating its case!

author by James Reillypublication date Luan Márta 06, 2006 20:07Report this post to the editors

James, my namesake,

We are making progress, slowly but surely. It has been pointed out to you that the ‘Harald’ is a piss-take on the “Herald’. It seems clear to me and you may have grasped this by now.

Also, you state in relation to the FAIR spokespersons:

“[Jim] Dixon does appear to hold racist views. He sounds like a tosser, frankly.
………….
[Willie] Frazier has made outrageous, hate-filled, bigoted statements, but he hasn't justified the Dublin/Monaghan bombings.”

Nevertheless, satire is not necessarily dealing in untruths. It may point to a connection that reveals a greater truth. Your fixation with FAIR and the Dublin Monaghan bombings has caused me to do some research.

What it points to is that each time an official body or a news report points to a suspect in relation to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, FAIR spokesperson Willie Frazer is usually the first to defend that person and to deny the connection. Willie seems to know a heck of a lot. Some of his arguments seem weak, such as the assertion that a named individual could not have been involved in the bombings because he had "a few" Catholic friends. As few as Willie has (given the remarks quoted above) - or would that be less than zero?

More seriously, Frazer unjustly targets a nationalist like Eugene Reavey for a crime he did not commit. However, Frazer is the first to deny that named individuals had anything to do with unionist paramilitaries and the killings they carried out.

Yet Frazer also spoke positively about the passing of information from RUC-UDR to UVF (simply done by the same individual passing the info from his right to his left hand) and also says he would “shake the hand” of a “Paki from India” [sic] who kills an IRA member.

Information of Willie Frazer’s UVF denials with regard to his own father, Joe McCullough and Robert McConnell, all UDR members, has already been published. I attach parts of news items that seem to support what I am suggesting in relation to Dublin-Monaghan. Maybe Frazer is right and Susan McKay and the Barron Report and others are wrong.

Maybe you could go this far, if the politics of the assertion are not proven, they are certainly plausible, albeit heavily circumstantial. Enough certainly for a spokesperson for the families of the Dublin Monaghan bombing victims, who opposed Michael McDowell meeting Frazer and other 'Love Ulster' march organisers, to raise it as a serious question FAIR organisers should have to answer (see below). They don't appear to treat the proposition as a "lie".

You make up your own mind James , if indeed it is not made up already.

NEWSPAPER REPORTS NEWSPAPER REPORTS NEWSPAPER REPORTS NEWSPAPER REPORTS

IRISH NEWS December 12, 2003

Suspect 'well-respected';

By Suzanne McGonagle

A MAN named in the Barron Report as one of the suspects whose farm was used in preparation of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, has been described as "a well respected person in the community."

Families Acting for Innocent Relatives (Fair) spokesman WILLIE FRAZER said Armagh man James Mitchell was "very well thought of" and was a man who has friends on both sides of the community.

On Wednesday, Mr Justice Barron indicated in his report that it was likely that the farm of James Mitchell, an RUC reservist at the time, played "a significant part in the preparation for the attacks."

But last night, Mr Frazer refuted the allegations and said that he believed the evidence compiled against Mitchell, who is now in his eighties, was based on hearsay, and not fact.

"He is very well thought of, a quiet man and has a few Catholic friends, " said Mr Frazer.

NEWSLETTER May 31, 2004

DAN MCGINN

A DELEGATION of international human right activists were in Northern Ireland yesterday to probe claims that members of the security forces colluded with a loyalist gang in a series of murders during the 1970s.

The team of investigators ….. has already begun meeting families of people allegedly killed by the gang.

They were invited to Northern Ireland by the Londonderry-based Pat Finucane Centre and will be carrying out their investigation into allegations of collusion with the loyalist Glenanne gang over the next fortnight.

The Glenanne group has been linked to four car bombs planted by the UVF in the Republic which killed 33 people in Dublin and Monaghan.

……..

* Meanwhile, WILLIE FRAZER of victim's group FAIR has demanded to meet with Chief Constable Hugh Order over the collusion claims.

He said that Armagh residents are "very angry" about allegations of UDR and RUC personnel colluding with loyalist paramilitaries.

DAILY MAILFebruary 25, 2006

Dublin holds its breath as flute and drums take over the streets;
CITY PREPARES TO OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE DAIL

JOHN BRESLIN

FEARS were mounting last night at the prospect of violence at today's Love Ulster parade in Dublin.

The organisers say the march is simply to highlight the plight of victims of Republican violence.

But critics say its political overtones - the parade will be led by Orange bands - carry a real threat of violence.

……

Relatives of those killed in the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings have written to the Justice Minister, Michael McDowell, objecting to him meeting a delegation.

Margaret Urwin, of Justice for the Forgotten, believes there are serious question marks over organiser WILLIE FRAZER, a founder of Families Acting for Innocent Relatives (FAIR).

Mr Frazer, whose father was in the Ulster Defence Regiment and was murdered by the IRA, has been denied a protection weapon because the Police Service of Northern Ireland believe he has loyalist paramilitary associations.

……

Those taking part will mostly be relatives of people killed during the Troubles, said FAIR's Maynard Hanna. But Orangemen have been urged to attend by Grand Master Robert Saulters. They have been told not to wear the Orange regalia.

Mr Saulters said: 'For too long the pain of victims has been ignored and those who caused such misery appeased by the government. The time for pandering to the whims of republicans must end.' Justice for the Forgotten are deeply unhappy the march is being allowed to take place.

It believes the organisers are hugely selective about who they regard as victims.

Mrs Urwin said Mr Frazer has said he would not stop loyalist paramilitaries attending.

She also fears a number of loyalists closely linked to those who carried out the 1974 bombings will be there.

At a similar rally in Belfast in October, prominent members of the Ulster Defence Association, the main loyalist paramilitary grouping, were present.

…….

Minister McDowell will meet with Mr Frazer, DUP members Jeffrey Donaldson and Arlene Foster and Ulster Unionist Danny Kennedy.

NEWSPAPER REPORTS NEWSPAPER REPORTS NEWSPAPER REPORTS NEWSPAPER REPORTS

END

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74675
author by Susan Smithpublication date Luan Márta 06, 2006 20:53Report this post to the editors

QUOTE FROM ABOVE * Meanwhile, WILLIE FRAZER of victim's group FAIR has demanded to meet with Chief Constable Hugh Order over the collusion claims. He said that Armagh residents are "very angry" about allegations of UDR and RUC personnel colluding with loyalist paramilitaries. END QUOTE

In Susan Mckay's book Willie Frazer more or less justifies and certainly accepts the fact of collusion. Now here he is being a "very angry" Armagh resident when he merely hears about 'allegations' of collusion, as though it was a fiction.

Most "Armagh residents" were angry about collusion, full stop.

I think Willie Frazer is a sad man who has been through a lot of personal trauma in a situation he cannot begin to comprehend rationally. That is what sectarian hate can do to you.

author by James Reillypublication date Máirt Márta 07, 2006 09:44Report this post to the editors

James Mitchell (remember) is one of the guys who Willie Frazer habitually pops up to defend.

Sunday Tribune December 14, 2003

Irish government did not trust Wilson;
British PM Harold Wilson's remarks about internment of Dublin bombers were dismissed

Stephen Collins and Susan McKay

THE Irish government's deep distrust of the then British prime minister Harold Wilson was the reason why remarks made by him about the Dublin bombers to Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave in 1974 were not passed on to the Department of Justice or the gardai, the Sunday Tribune has learned.

Ministers from that period strongly reject the conclusion of Mr Justice Henry Barron in his report into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings that their government showed little interest in the bombings and it is expected they will outline their views to the Oireachtas Committee on Justice in the new year.

The judge drew his conclusion from the fact that neither Cosgrave or his foreign minister, Garret FitzGerald, relayed remarks made by Wilson in talks in September and November 1974, to other departments.

According to files in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Wilson told Cosgrave and FitzGerald that the people who had bombed Dublin had been interned in the North. He went on to say that this was the only way the bombers could be dealt with because there was no evidence that would stand up in court.

While Cosgrave and FitzGerald have declined to comment until they have an opportunity to study the report, sources point to the fact that at the meetings with Wilson in 1974 the Irish government was pressing to have internment brought to an end in the North. Wilson's remarks about the Dublin bombers being interned were taken as a defence of his political position rather than as an attempt to be helpful.

The Barron report has been described by a human rights group as "the tip of the iceberg".

It is understood that the Derry-based Pat Finucane Centre is to present the Oireachtas committee with a dossier in relation to a series of murders carried out by the gang of loyalists and members of the British security forces linked to the DublinMonaghan bombs, which is expected to strengthen evidence that there was collusion at every level of the system.

Meanwhile, the man whose Co Armagh farm was used as a base by the loyalist bombers of Dublin and Monaghan has described the Barron report as "a bundle of lies".

James Mitchell, now in his 80s, was a member of the RUC reserve and was convicted of storing explosives for the Ulster Volunteer Force in 1978.

Former RUC man and convicted loyalist murderer John Weir told Barron that Mitchell admitted to him that the explosives for the Dublin and Monaghan bombs were also stored on his lands.

author by James Reillypublication date Máirt Márta 07, 2006 12:34Report this post to the editors

(Last one from me for the moment - just some concluding thoughts on this subject)

Maybe James (where’s he gone) could agree to the following proposition:

FAIR spokesperson Willie Frazer habitually defends those accused of involvement in the Dublin-Monaghan bombings of 1974. He also appears to defend the practice of passing information from the ‘security forces’ (RUC-UDR) to unionist paramilitaries (UVF). As I point out, since there was dual membership, collusion was a fact of life (and death). Frazer defends collusion. The Dublin Monaghan Bombings were a product of collusion. Frazer indicates that some of those implicated in the bombings were in fact “helping the British SAS in undercover operations”. As British military intelligence were also implicated in the bombings (further information might be produced later this year by Patrick McEntee – see below) this might not be the denial it at first appears to be.

WORTHY AND UNWORTHY VICTIMS
On the broader point, Willie Frazer and his group have the right to mourn their loss (RUC-UDR-UVF) and they have the right to mourn it wherever they wish to do so. However, they do not have the right to a claim of ‘innocence’, or the right to claim that others are unworthy victims of the Troubles. That is why it is legitimate to point out these facts and to peacefully point to them when Frazer’s group parades their contentious political views in public. That is why I made the point originally that the riot obscured these facts about FAIR and Willie Frazer. They might have remained completely obscured had not the Sunday Independent (and some other newspapers), mounted an anti-Sinn Fein bandwagon and rode it to ridicule. We must be thankful for small mercies.

‘MAINSTREAM MEDIA’
I must, however, concede that the failure of what is termed 'mainstream media' to fully explain the nature of the FAIR organisation (apart from Susan McKay's piece on the day of the march) or of the so-called 'Love Ulster' organisation fuelled anger and resentment that fed into the riot. It is likely that had these organizations been reported objectively and accurately they might have decided that the jig is up and, like the Orange Order in the past, might have decided to forego a trip down O’Connell Street with unionist paraphernalia. We might have ended up with the same result but without the riot. Who wanted the riot? That is another question.

NEWS REPORT NEWS REPORT NEWS REPORT NEWS REPORT

Dublin/Monaghan inquiry granted three-month extension
Irish Independent Wednesday March 1st 2006

The findings of the commission set up to investigate the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings have reportedly been delayed by at least three months.

The inquiry by barrister Patrick McEntee was due to submit its conclusions to the Government yesterday.

However, reports this morning said the Government had approved Mr McEntee's request for a three-month extension to see if he can obtain more documents in the possession of security and intelligence services.

There have long been suspicions that the British army colluded with the loyalist paramilitaries who detonated three car bombs in Dublin and one in Monaghan on May 17th, 1974.

Thirty-three people died in the attacks, the largest death toll on any single day of the Troubles.

Previous inquiries into the bombings have been frustrated by a failure by the British authorities to hand over security and intelligence documents relevant to the case.

Asked about the latest delay in the investigation, a spokesperson for the group that represents survivors and relatives of those killed in the attacks said she hoped the extra three months would lead to the disclosure of more information. END NEWS REPORT

author by jamespublication date Máirt Márta 07, 2006 12:37Report this post to the editors

James Reilly,

Interesting quotes indeed. I'm sure you put Google under serious pressure last night while scouring the web for some quote from Frazier to back up your claim.

But you didn't find one, did you?

The _fact_ is the organizers of the FAIR march have not justified the Dublin/Monaghan bombings, and to claim they did is a lie.

When you make a claim, and it turns out to be a lie, and even when you realise you can't back up the claim, you continue to make it, it weakens your credibility.

Why not just rephrase your argument - admit that there's nothing on the public record to back up the claim that the organizers justified the bombings, but it's just more comfortable for you to believe that they did.

But then, why let the facts get in the way of a prejudice?

All the best,
James

author by James Reilypublication date Máirt Márta 07, 2006 13:39Report this post to the editors

Eh, James, It was not my argument, it was yours I was addressing, since you seemed so excited about one small detail in a spoof version of the Herald.

I was attempting to wean you off your fixation so that you could face the central and important point, that Willie Frazer and FAIR defend those alleged to be involved in the Dublin Monaghan bombings and Willie Frazer himself accepts collusion between UVF paramilitaries and RUC-UDR. As we know, one product of the collusion was the Dublin Monaghan bombings.

Take an example from today's ‘Irish News’. Willie Frazer has started to pick an unedifying fight with the families of those who died in the 1974 Dublin Monaghan bombings. He demands that they ‘distance’ themselves from RSF.

IRISH NEWS REPORT EXCERPT

“Victims group brands Fair founder a hypocrite” by Valerie Robinson March 7 2006

……

“Justice for the Forgotten last night condemned Mr Frazer’s remarks, saying its members had never been associated with dissident republicans.

“Spokeswoman Margaret Unwin said: “The victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings do not need to distance themselves from anyone with whom they are not associated. These remarks of Mr Frazer’s are rich coming from a man who has refused to distance himself from those who are suspected of carrying out the bombings as named by [Mr Justice] Henry Barron.”” END REPORT EXCERPT

There you have it James. Care to comment or is the record still stuck on “Liar, liar, pants on fire”. (I have to thank you though, as your ‘foolish consistency’ has led me - and Indymedia readers - to discover more than we would otherwise have known about Mr Frazer and his associates (and their relationship with the bombing of Dublin and Monaghan).)

author by risible - 1 of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Grouppublication date Déar Márta 09, 2006 21:17author email risible at indymedia dot ieReport this post to the editors

Scan of article from frontpage of Sunday Times

Scan of Sunday Times frontpage article
Scan of Sunday Times frontpage article

author by risible - 1 of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Grouppublication date Déar Márta 09, 2006 21:23author email risible at indymedia dot ieReport this post to the editors

last piece of Sunday Times article

Continuation of Sunday Times article
Continuation of Sunday Times article

author by risible - 1 of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Grouppublication date Déar Márta 09, 2006 21:32author email risible at indymedia dot ieReport this post to the editors

Front page of Sunday Times Feb 26th 2006

Front page of Sunday Times Feb 26th 2006
Front page of Sunday Times Feb 26th 2006

author by R. Isiblepublication date Déar Márta 09, 2006 22:56Report this post to the editors

50 hurt in Dublin Clashes
Jan Battles and Liam Clarke
REPUBLICANS rioted on the streets of Dublin in protest at a planned loyalist parade through the city centre. About 300 protestors clashed with gardai, set fire to cars, and smashed shop windows during more than four hours of violence, the worst seen in Dublin since the H-block protests of 1981.

Up to 50 people, including 30 gardai, were injured in the clashes, which began at about 12:45pm on O'Connell Street, the capital's main thoroughfare, which was packed with Saturday afternoon shoppers.

Republican rioters, some wearing hoods and covering their faces, threw rocks, firecrackers and bottles at gardai, in protest at a Love Ulster march, which was to highlight victims of IRA violence and in which marchers would carry the Union flags and Orange regalia.

The mob came well prepared, with many carrying petrol bombs and canisters of petrol. They also made use of missiles left in their path by Dublin city council, which is revamping O'Connell Street. These included signposts, poles and debris from a building site.

Journalists as well as gardai became targets, Charlie Bird, RTE's chief news correspondent, was one of those injured. He was admitted to casualty in the Mater hospital but was released shortly afterwards.

The garda riot squad was deployed and at least 40 people were arrested. Most of the retail outlets on O'Connell Street closed as rioters set fire to building rubble and shoppers fled in terror.

After the violence erupted, the Love Ulster parade was cancelled and many of the busloads of loyalists and supporters who had travelled from Northern Ireland left. A small delegation including Jeffery Donaldson, the DUP MP, and Danny Kennedy, an Ulster Unionist MLA, was bussed to Leinster House where it met with Michael McDowell, the justice minister, and held a small parade on Kildare Street.

Kennedy said: "Obviously we are appalled at the way republicans have attempted to treat us here. It is unacceptable. It exposes the fact that republicans are not, despite what they say, prepared to tolerate traditions or ideologies that are different than their own. I think they have shot themselves in the foot.

"We came in peace. We laid wreathes on both sides of the border this morning in memory of innocent lives that have been lost."

Willie Frazer, organiser of the Love Ulster parade, said republican counter-demonstrators had been bussed in from Northern Ireland. "The gardai told us that busloads came from Newry and the media told me they heard a lot of Northern voices in the rioting," Frazer said.

"They were hiding in buildings and everything. Their intention was to get into the middle of the parade, but the gardai caught on. They told us that all of a sudden there was a massive turnout of people from nowhere, just as we were nearly ready to set off."

When the republican protestors learned that some of the unionist group had reached Leinster House, they moved towards Kildare Street. Cars were set on fire en route. Lines of riot police eventually blocked their entrance to Kildare Street.

The rioting was widely condemned by politicians of all parties yesterday. President Mary McAleese said it was "totally unacceptable". Bertie Ahern, the taoiseach said, "There is absolutely no excuse for the disgraceful scenes in Dublin today. It is the essence of Irish republicanism and democracy that people are allowed express their views freely and in a peaceful manner. People who wantonly attack gardai and property have no respect for their fellow citizens."

McDowell said he condemned "in the strongest possible terms, acts of thuggery, brutality, cowardice and inhumanity which have been unleashed on the people of Dublin this afternoon at the hands of an organised mob who came to Dublin this afternoon with the intention of deliberately creating mayhem in a peaceful and prosperous city".

McDowell said he was shocked to see gardai being injured by people "carrying and defiling our national flag".

The aborted march makes this the second time this decade that loyalists have been unable to march the streets of Dublin. An Orange parade planned for the city in 2000 was cancelled after intimidation of members of the Dublin and Wicklow lodges. Mary Freehill, the then lord mayor of Dublin, was threatened and abused after she supported the Orange Order's plan to march down Dawson Street.

The republican protest was well-planned. Leaflets circulated two weeks ago by the Independent Workers' Union stated: "We must take a stand and counter this march and tell the 'Love Ulster' campaign that we support a united Ireland. We cannot let our symbols of resistance to British rule, the GPO, the birthplace of the true Irish Republic, be subject to an organisation that supports Britain's colonial rule over Irish People . . . We call on all

Continued on page 2
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Dublin riot
Continued from page 1
socialists and republicans to join the counter demonstrations on the day".

Text messages were sent out to republican sympathisers yesterday morning telling them to get to the GPO on O'Connell Street at 10am. Between 150 and 200 people responded to the call, but did not congregate together to avoid coming to the attention of the gardai.

"A lot of the faces were familiar to each other," said one of those present. "They'd be known to each other from city center bars where they watch football matches."

Donaldson said last night that he had been escorted to the border by gardai, but that was due to happen anyway.

"We were about to start our rally [at Leinster House] when a mob of 200-300 people appeared at the end of Nassau Street and attacked the gardai.

"So we were denied the right to walk and we were denied the right to speak."

Sinn Fein moved quickly to distance itself from the rioting. Gerry Adams, the party leader, described the actions of those responsible for the rioting in the city centre as "entirely wrong and reprehensible". He said: "There is no justification for what happened this afternoon in Dublin. Sinn Fein had appealed to people to ignore this loyalist parade."

author by Anthonypublication date Déar Márta 09, 2006 23:23Report this post to the editors

I've edited a SMIL file so that readers can view the video stream starting from the point where Frank Fitzgibbon is asked to give his views on the weekend's events. The original video stream for the full program is available for viewing on RTÉ at the link below.
The SMIL file is basically a reference to the Real Media video stream from RTE but has been edited so that playback starts at the point where Frank Fitzgibbon starts speaking. Since it refers to a Real Media stream, it requires Real Player or another player (such as hxplayer) using Real Media codecs to play the video. (I was going to upload this last week but encountered many technical difficulties trying to do so).

attachment RTE Real Media - Video Stream of Frank Fitzgibbon speaking about IWU on Questions and Answers 0 Mb

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/0227/qanda.html
author by risible - 1 of Indymedia Ireland Editorial Grouppublication date Sath Márta 11, 2006 02:27author email risible at indymedia dot ieReport this post to the editors

See link to article supplied by Tom.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74765
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