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National - Event Notice
Tuesday May 09 2006
01:00 AM

Cork historian challenges revisionist Peter Hart on Irish War of Independence

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | event notice author Saturday May 06, 2006 12:10author by Jack Lane - Aubane Historical Society Corkauthor address Aubane Historical Society Millstreet Cork Report this post to the editors

Hart to speak in UCC on Tuesday May 9th 2006

Serious questions raised about Peter Hart's methods

Jack lane challenges Irish historians to ask the embarrassing questions they have so far avoided.

(Search for 'Kilmichael' to see previous Indymedia articles on this topic.)
Brian Murphy accuses Hart of censorship (right-click to save or left- click to enlarge)
Brian Murphy accuses Hart of censorship (right-click to save or left- click to enlarge)

A letter to historians

The controversial revisionist historian, Dr Peter Hart, is to speak on
"Political Violence" at the Irish Historical Society in UCC on Tuesday
May 9th.

One of the events in Irish history on which Dr Hart made his
reputation is the Kilmichael Ambush of November 1920.

Hart accused IRA and ambush leader General Tom Barry, who stated that
British Auxiliaries engaged in a false surrender leading to IRA
fatalities during the ambush, of engaging in "lies and evasions". Hart
alleges that Barry simply killed unarmed British combatants without
cause.

In the hitherto accepted version, after the apparent 'surrender' and in the
lull that followed, Auxiliaries killed IRA soldiers standing in plain
sight to take the surrender. This caused Barry to issue an order to
recommence firing until all the Auxiliaries were killed. Two British
and two Irish sources from the 1920s and 1930s support Barry's account
of the false surrender. It circulated freely in West Cork after the
ambush. It was not regarded as contentious until Dr Hart arrived to
challenge it 70 years later.

While the heat of battle and the fog of war has generated the heat and
fog of this historical debate, it is important to state that Dr Hart
uses Kilmichael to view the War of Independence as a sectarian war in
West Cork. That is why the debate goes beyond arguments over what
exactly happened at Kilmichael and Hart's directly quoted
controversial contention in the Sunday Times (April 19th, 1998) that
Tom Barry was "little more than a serial killer".

Peter Hart claims support for his view that Barry lied, as a result of
interviews allegedly conducted in the late 1980s with those Hart
claimed were IRA veterans who had participated in the ambush. Peter
Hart anonymised the names of interviewees in his research findings.

This leads to an issue touched upon by Dr John Regan of Dundee
University, in a recent review of Meda Ryan's Tom Barry IRA Freedom
Fighter (Mercier 2003 HB). Regan wrote: "Hart was indeed fortunate in
finding survivors of the ambush alive and lucid nearly seventy years
after the event." Regan observed, "one of whom he [Hart] notes visited
the site with him".

Dr Hart dates an interview with an ambush scout as taking place on
November 19th 1989. The last surviving ambush participant, Ned Young,
died six days earlier, while the last surviving Kilmichael ambush
scout died in 1967. Meda Ryan has dated the time of death of all
ambush survivors in the recently published (Mercier 2005 PB) paperback
edition of her Tom Barry biography. Her dating is in agreement with
that of other researchers.

Dr Hart's persistence in anonymising his interview accounts means that
unravelling the issue is problematic. We are dealing with an event
that took place over 80 years ago in which all of the participants are
deceased. Governments operate a 30-year rule on secret material,
source material that historians usually crave. Dr Hart appears to be
operating a 'perpetuity' rule in relation to his own secrets.

As Dr Regan noted "The question pointedly raised is: Whom did Hart
interview?.... The issue of anonymity only becomes problematic if
there were no bona fide veterans to interview". Dr Hart has had
opportunity to resolve the dating problem but has declined to do so.
This is unsatisfactory.

There are other problems with Dr Hart's approach, outlined over four
issues of History Ireland (March-April to Sept-Oct 2005 – see
historyireland.com) and centre on accusations that Dr Hart omits
relevant information in original source material. An allegedly
"captured" typed document, now generally accepted as a British
forgery, purported to be Barry's account of the Kilmichael ambush. Its
true provenance as a forgery designed for a particular purpose would
have been clearer earlier had Dr Hart published it in full, instead of
quoting from it in a highly selective manner.

Similarly, Hart made an accusation of sectarianism in relation to
Protestants shot near Bandon after the Truce in 1922, an act condemned
by both sides of the then pre-Civil War Treaty divide. Hart used a
British source (the 'Record of the Rebellion in Ireland') to promote
his view that these shootings, and others carried out earlier by the
IRA, were simply sectarian and aimed at randomly selected Protestant
victims. However, the source cited by Hart contained a following
sentence contradicting the sectarianism point Hart made. Hart omitted
it in his research findings. An Irish Times reviewer referred to Dr
Hart as being "disingenuous" in appearing to deal with this omission
(January 18, 2003). Brian Murphy (2006) has pointed to further
omissions in this context.

Research by both Meda Ryan (see above) and by Brian Murphy (2006),
using original source material, has questioned Peter Hart's opinions
on the Bandon-Dunmanway sectarianism issue. Recently published and
forthcoming work by John Borgonovo (published by Irish Academic Press)
clarifies the position further with regard to sectarian loyalist
activity in Cork during the War of Independence period.

In the interests of historical accuracy, perhaps Dr Hart could address
some of these points, or else participants at the event might address
them to Dr Hart for reply.

I am sure all can agree that the questions are clear and they are important.

Jack Lane, Aubane Historical Society, Cork

References

Borgonovo, John (2006), Florence and Josephine O'Donoghue's War of
Independence, Irish Academic Press

Murphy, Brian (2006), The Origins and Oganisation Of British
Propaganda in Ireland in 1920, Aubane and Spinwatch

Regan, John (2006), Review of (2003 HB) Tom Barry IRA freedom Fighter,
in History, Journal of The Royal Historical Society.

Ryan, Meda (2003 HB, 2005 PB), Tom Barry IRA Freedom Fighter, Mercier

Hart, Peter, Meda Ryan, et al, in History Ireland, March-April to
Sept-Oct 2005 (see full content at www.historyireland.com)

Related Link: http://www.historyireland.com/magazine/features/featlist.html
author by An fear bochtpublication date Sat May 06, 2006 12:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is a link for the Regan review; not quite as critical as Jack suggests; don't know how to do this properly but if you google, John Regan, Meda Ryan you might get it...

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
Meda Ryan’s biography of the Irish guerrilla leader Tom Barry sits squarely. in a nationalist historiography which ... University of Dundee. JOHN REGAN ...
www.blackwell-synergy.com/ doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1468-229X.2006.0360d.x

author by Niall Meehanpublication date Sat May 06, 2006 19:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jack Lane above quotes directly the comments made by John Regan in his review. His purpose is to question Peter Hart’s methods, not John Regan’s opinions. It is also important to point out that John Regan is reviewing the 2003 hardback edition of Meda Ryan's 'Tom Barry IRA Freedom Fighter', and not the 2005 paperback edition. I believe this is indicated above.

The reason for the emphasis is because the 2005 paperback edition of Meda Ryan’s biography of Tom Barry carries a list of the dates on which Kilmichael ambush veterans died. This is something implied as being necessary at the conclusion of John Regan's review:

“Responsibility lies with Ryan to prove beyond question that there were neither IRA scouts nor riflemen available for interview in 1988 and 1989 or retract.”

Ryan is to some extent asked to prove a negative.

However, with the publication of the list in the 2005 paperback, unless Peter Hart has ‘unearthed’ a hitherto unknown (albeit anonymous) survivor of the ambush, I believe the matter is concluded. Peter Hart could not, as he claimed, have conducted an interview with a Kilmichael ambush survivor on November 19th 1989. Regan offers: “Sloppy footnoting might have suggested alternative explanations”. If that were the case surely Peter Hart would have grasped that particular straw by now.

John Regan is to be congratulated for being the first historian in a university history department to put these issues in print. They have been winging their way around the Internet for long enough. I don’t agree with all of John Regan’s conclusions. For instance, I believe that Meda Ryan made clear that the shootings in Dunmanway were contrary to the terms of the Truce. Regan implies in the review that she did not. Similarly, I don’t believe that Regan is robust enough in his analysis of loyalist sectarianism – there is an implication that resistance from its victims is by definition also sectarian. I don’t buy that. Also the ‘chronology’ of the review takes the Bandon-Dunmanway shootings first and Kilmichael second. Hart used his contentious argument with regard to Kilmichael to set up the Bandon-Dunmanway sectarianism chapter. Both historically and thematically that is also how they should be tackled.

Irrespective of one’s views of whether in the heat of battle a definitive view can be formed on a false surrender or on whether ‘sectarianism’ can be adduced as a motive for the Bandon-Dunmanway shootings, the point is that Peter Hart has put forward highly compromised evidence that has been found wanting. This has not been the case with Meda Ryan, Brian Murphy, and now John Borgonovo - whose next book (August, Irish Academic Press) on the Anti Sinn Fein loyalist groups in Cork during the War of Independence will be a real eye opener.

However, I have no doubt that John Regan is a methodical and thorough historian, as a result of reading his excellent and highly instructive ‘The Irish Counter-Revolution 1921–1936’. His comments help to move this debate into academia, which has been largely silent up to this point. It should be noted that the Dundee University historian ends his review tongue in cheek:

“Away from this minor fracas it is instructive to observe how the Irish historians have responded to this debate.”

Indeed.

It is high time other historians asked the same questions as John Regan. On Tuesday next in UCC, they will have an opportunity to do so.

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Sat May 06, 2006 19:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Perhaps Peter Hart is the victim of a hoax? But even so it seems odd that he is so secretive about his sources, in fact it seems unbelievable. Work which is not available to full scrutiny and academic peer-review ought not to be published. I suppose the reason that Hart's unmasking is so slow and difficult is that a lot of his peers that "reviewed" and accepted the work for publication are by implication tarnished.

Shoddy stuff.

author by An fear bochtpublication date Mon May 08, 2006 12:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tuesday should be a good time to question Hart. Then again his public lectures in Dublin last October would also have been good oportunities but in both cases Hart's internet critics either leafleted outside or just stayed away. It was Fine Gaelers who were the hostile questioners at the second meeting, because we just can't have the Big Fella criticised now can we? I look forward to hearing how the alliance of former Orange Marxists, ex-Trotskyists (now SF leadership loyalists), and traditional nationalists get along. Then in 80 years we can have another debate about how the ten men at Kingsmills were really all secret British agents. Maybe Jack Lane and co can tell us how they fell about justifying the attacks on irish workers in Birmingham after the 1974 bombings in language not too far removed from the NF at the time? Let the games begin....

author by workers association for a peaceful settlement of historicalpublication date Mon May 08, 2006 12:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1468...Set=1

That might be the John Regan review in the Historical Journal I think.

author by Letter spotterpublication date Tue May 09, 2006 09:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While I am here, doesn't the contributor above accept that Irish historians should be asking the questions - the ability to interview the dead is a unique contribution to historiography and should be explored by he rest of the profession, don’t you think?

I presume the other stuff is an attempt to derail the issue into inanity. Though I must say it always intrigues me that when a certain type of person brings up the unjustified Kingsmill massacre, they always manage to forget to mention the six Catholics shot the day before (never mind the spate of UVF/UDR/RUC killings that lead up to that point). Second class, even in death, not worth remembering, eh?

Letter in Irish Examiner Saturday May 6th
Letter in Irish Examiner Saturday May 6th

Some things never change - though regularly conveniently forgotten
Some things never change - though regularly conveniently forgotten

author by Jack Lane - Aubane Historical Societypublication date Tue May 09, 2006 12:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Re the scurrilous remarks by An Fear Bocht on what I am supposed to have said in 1974. As a worker in England at the time I hardly justified attacks on myself and others in my position. Could An Fear Bocht contribute to the debate rather than indulge in this type of nonsense, please?

author by bull shit detectorpublication date Tue May 09, 2006 20:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Actually most people do remember the 6 Catholics murdered, except they didn't all happen the day before as one of the Reavy brothers survived for a month in Newry hospital where he struck up a friendship with Alan Black the sole protestant survivor of the Kingsmill's killings. He then tragically died as a result of his wounds. What some people have a problem with is that noboy expects thugs like the UDA/UVF to have any compunction about murdering people because of their religion; but the IRA claim to be republicans lining men up and ask their religion before mowing them down, very like Wolfe Tone eh? Most of us remember the Miami massacre; do we know about the 3 Protestants riddled outside Newry the month before? (yes, one was in the UDR, the other two weren't); does anyone ever acknowledge that all of this had a knock on effect? Do you think that Tullyvallen might have contributed to Loyalists feeling they could kill Catholics? members of the IRA were killed trying to blow up protestant pubs in Armagh during 1975 and in belfast the IRA killed quite a few protestants in retaliation (sometimes!) for Loyalist attacks. 8 in one week in early August 75 if memory serves me right. remember the good samaritan? Probably not since Sinn Fein sem to think Pat Finucane was the only innocent victim of the modern troubles. What I remember graphically was the Reavey's father on UTV begging for no retliation on his Protestant neighbours but the deisal smuggling, SUV driving heroes of South Armagh didn't listen. fighting men from crossmaglen my arse.

author by Letter spotterpublication date Wed May 10, 2006 11:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So that is why the far more numerous acts of loyalist sectarianism get very little coverage, because it is ‘dog bites man’ - it is to be expected, not news, so what, "most people do remember", etc, etc.

And that is why our friend above does not mention the fact that these groups had dual membership with the RUC/UDR and were directed largely by British military intelligence - sure what do you expect, why bother, “everyone” knows.

The Reavey brothers for instance were shot by a members of the so called ‘security forces’, in UVF attire.

“The Reavey murders were carried out by a gang which included men who were dual members of the illegal UVF and the British security forces. This gang was responsible for multiple sectarian murders, including the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombs, which killed 33 people.” - (Irish Times Feb 5 2006 – see below)

Although the comment above was contributed in order to drive this discussion off the rails, the similarities with the way in which loyalists in Cork organised themselves into paramilitary groups with the RIC/Auxiliaries/Black and Tans in the War of Independence period is striking.

There are significant differences as well.

Hart says that the sectarian attacks in Cork were simply Crown forces in mufti. He fails to detect, because it does not suit his pro British viewpoint, that loyalists were as actively organised in that part of the world as in the North and were promoted by British forces. I believe that John Borgonovo’s book later this year will write up this period – in the context of the then IRA’s efforts to detect and eliminate the threat. Hart calls this sectarian killing of Protestants.

Peter Hart and our contributor above share incapacity to write about British policy in promoting sectarian conflict and in bolstering loyalist firepower, intelligence and targeting, through active collaboration and direction.

There are obvious differences in the conflict in the two periods. In Cork, the fact that Nationalists were in an overwhelming majority meant that it was relatively easier, though still difficult (due to the efforts of British forces and knowledge of the pogroms in the north against Catholics), to maintain a non-sectarian trajectory in the struggle. Nationalists, who were bombed and shot out of a United Ireland, however, through the Treaty settlement, were transformed from being part of a relatively tolerant national majority into victims of a sectarian minority, transformed into a local sectarian majority. That local majority were left to their own devices in continuing to perfect British rule in Ireland – an intensification of what was possible when the whole island was under British jurisdiction. It was vicious and it was unrelenting.

During the 1975 early 1976 period, the British were stringing the IRA along during a ceasefire with the prospect of a withdrawal – something that they had no intention of doing but which, paradoxically, terrified the Irish government (Cosgrave, Cooney, O’Brien, Fitzgerald) when they heard about it and believed it.

“Our aim is to string the IRA along to the point where their military capacity goes soggy and where Catholic community support disappears” Frank Cooper, then NIO permanent under secretary
(news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/4566310.stm)

At the same time at another level of British policy implementation. loyalists were encouraged to engage in a spree of sectarian killings. The RUC called them ‘motiveless murders’ and then cynically ‘tit for tat’ killings when nationalists responded in like fashion – though the RUC called them that when there was no nationalist response, just unrelenting unionist sectarian killings. It was during this period that the Reavey killings and the Kingsmill massacre of Protestants happened. The latter was carried out by a group called the ‘Catholic Reaction Force’. The IRA was officially on ceasefire (see above). It was of course unjustified, whatever the continual levels of targeting, assaults and killings of nationalists by unionist (British?) paramilitaries.

Our contributor above mentions the friendship between Kingsmill survivor Alan Black and the Reavey brother, Anthony, badly injured in the attack who died later. (An aside: possibly our friend - who needs to reread what I wrote - objects to people saying that 14 were killed on Bloody Sunday on the basis that the 14th died later). He does not mention (who wants to be long winded?) the other tragic factor in this sickening story that relates to the political context of sectarianism in Northern Ireland. A surviving Reavey brother, Eugene, maintained a friendship with Alan Black. This was despite Ian Paisley accusing Eugene Reavey of being responsible for the Kingsmill massacre in Westminster. The story was related by Susan McKay in the Irish Times and it is on Indymedia (www.indymedia.ie/article/74511).

I quote a section below:

Bitter hatreds that underpin Love Ulster parade in Dublin
Irish Times Susan McKay Sat Feb 5 2006

“[Alan] Black has said that earlier on the day they met their deaths, the men on the bus had spoken with horror about the murders of the young Reaveys. He has remained a close friend of the Reavey family since the events of those terrible days.

Paisley's Westminster claim, that [Eugene] Reavey was a "well-known Republican" who had "set up" the massacre, was made under parliamentary privilege.

He spoke of the "wild men" of the IRA who were free because the British government had not been ruthless enough in putting down terrorism. He said his information came from police files.

………………

FAIR [Families Acting for Innocent Victims], [Willie] Frazer admitted to a House of Commons select committee hearing last year, is controversial. "We are seen as the bad boys within the victims sector," he said.

This is largely because of its aggressive insistence that there are "innocent" and "genuine" and "real" victims, and there are others who have no right to call themselves victims at all.

According to Fair and the DUP, Eugene Reavey is in the latter category. It is an appalling lie.”


The reproduction of the Daily Ireland front cover above is relevant here as well since the sectarian killing that happened in Ballymena is in the DUP’s stronghold. Eugene O’Loan (Nuala O’Loan’s husband) of the SDLP referred in a comment on the killing on RTE to DUP responsibility for encouraging sectarianism in the town. Nationalists are shut out of every structure in the DUP dominated council. It is what the North would be like if unionist were allowed to rule as a majority. The crocodile tears of the Paisleys (snr and jnr) are taken with a pinch of salt – Paisley senior’s call to the nationalist community not to engage in “retaliation” is treated with the contempt it deserves. All nationalist politics (Sinn Fein and SDLP) is against the sectarianism that is par for the course in unionism, and which Paisley personifies. If unjustified retaliation happens, I hope it does not, someone will be personally responsible, but Paisley’s politics will be the political instigator.

I wish I had the powers of succinct expression of our friend above – but it takes effort sometimes to clean off “bull shit’ that sticks.

author by Bullshit inspectorpublication date Wed May 10, 2006 12:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And what justified killing Sammy Lewlellyen doing repair work on the Falls in August 1975-beaten to a pulp and then shot 8 times by Lwr Falls IRA including several who later achieved fame and greatness as blanket men. Former IRA prisoner Tommy Gorman has described the Belfast O/C at the time as a 'sectarian bigot' who authorised operations against Protestant civilians. The 'dirty war' indeed, but worth it to get Gerry A to the White House, no?

author by Letter openerpublication date Wed May 10, 2006 13:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Typical unionist nonsense - anything but the discussion at hand.

The Earth is flat, it always has been: “I don't have to answer for unionist sectarianism because I can pluck an example out of the mists of time presented without context.”

Read Denis O'Hearn's recent book on Bobby Sands for an intelligent discussion of this topic.

author by Letter spotterpublication date Thu May 11, 2006 09:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The “inspector” of bull dung above notes that a member of the IRA singled out another as a bigot:, in other words as an exception. What of the unionist paramilitaries - or unionism itself? If God was looking there for a non-bigot, he would have less luck than at Sodom and Gomorrah.

Let us get back to the main point in the comparison between the Troubles then, 1919-21, and now, 1968-1994/6. The main difference in the denial stakes seems to be that Peter Hart denied that Civilian loyalists mobilised then in support of the RIC-Black & Tans, whereas his equivalents today deny that the self-evidently mobilised civilian loyalists were resourced and directed by Crown forces.

Then:
The denial had as it purpose the characterisation of IRA shooting of loyalist spies as sectarian – since it was argued by Hart that they were not spies at all, simply uninvolved Protestants. Ergo, the republican campaign in shooting them was a sectarian 'tit for tat' one in which the British were largely neutral in trying to impose law & order.

Now:
The denial has as its purpose a characterisation of the IRA and the UDA/F/VF/FF as mutually antagonistic sectarian forces, with the latter a spontaneous response/reaction to the IRA campaign. This is therefore a 'tit for tat' conflict in which the British were largely neutral in trying to impose law & order.

Either way, the conclusion is clear: blame the IRA/Provos/Tom Barry, etc, etc. This sad refrain, which explains violence in the state's terms rather than the victims', is wearing very thin.

You see, it is not what you read, that is important, but what has been left out, and why.

What is a nationalist in the North - a target for unionists?
What is a nationalist in the North - a target for unionists?

author by DUP spotterpublication date Fri May 12, 2006 14:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How low can it go?

Ballymena DUP councillor’s comments on murdered teenager cause outrage:

‘As a Catholic, he [Michael McIlveen] won’t get into heaven. Catholics are not accepted into heaven’

- DUP Councillor Roy Gillespie

DAILY IRELAND May 12 2006 by Ciarán Barnes

A Democratic Unionist Party councillor in Ballymena has sparked outrage after he claimed that a Catholic murdered in a sectarian attack in the town “will not get into heaven” because of his religious beliefs.

As the family of Michael McIlveen prepare to bury the 15-year-old, DUP politician Roy Gillespie said he would not attend Monday’s funeral because it is being held in a Catholic church.

Mr Gillespie, a Protestant evangelical, made his comments after the McIlveen family invited Ian Paisley, the DUP leader and North Antrim MP, to the funeral.
Mr Paisley, the leader of the Free Presbyterian church and a staunch opponent of Catholicism, has yet to respond to the offer.

If Mr Paisley does attend, he will face fierce criticism from within his own church, particularly from hardliners such as Mr Gillespie.

Speaking to Daily Ireland yesterday, Mr Gillespie said his party leader had to decide for himself whether to attend the teenager’s funeral.

The borough councillor said: “I won’t be going to the funeral. Stepping foot in a Catholic church is against my religious beliefs.

“The Pope is the Antichrist and is the head of the Catholic church, which is not a true church or faith. I’m not going to listen to Mass in a Catholic church. I don’t care if it’s at a funeral, wedding or whatever else.”

Mr Gillespie said he prayed that Catholics would be saved. He said that, if Catholics did not repent before they died, they “will not get into heaven”.

“As a Catholic, he [Michael McIlveen] won’t get into heaven unless he has been saved. If he did not repent before he died and asked the Lord into his heart, he will not get into heaven. Catholics are not accepted into heaven.”

Mr Gillespie’s comments sparked a furious response from politicians angry at the timing of his remarks.

North Antrim Sinn Féin assembly member Philip McGuigan said: “Mr Gillespie’s sentiments are disgraceful, especially as they come so soon after a 15-year-old was murdered as a result of sectarian bigotry.

“This is the kind of attitude that causes others to carry out attacks fuelled by religious hatred. There is no excuse for these comments.”

Ballymena SDLP councillor Declan O’Loan described Mr Gillespie’s comments as unfortunate.

“There has been a wave of emotion and sympathy towards the McIlveen family. For anyone to say something that is not of this accord is very out of order indeed,” he said.
“This is not a positive contribution to good community relations in Ballymena.”

Inviting Mr Paisley to the funeral, Michael’s uncle Francis McIlveen said: “I would like him to be there. He was the first one to ring me at the hospital. He is the MP for the area and, to me, he has the right to be there.

“It doesn’t matter what anybody else says, it is what we want. If he wants to come, then he is more than welcome.”

Organisers of a loyalist band parade that is scheduled to pass the spot where Michael McIlveen was murdered are understood to be in talks aimed at postponing the march. The Ballykeel Loyal Sons of Ulster originally planned to march through Ballymena on May 20.

Churchmen in the town have asked the band to postpone the parade to ease tension.
Sinn Féin yesterday cancelled its north Antrim hunger strike commemorations to help improve community relations.

author by A Presbyterianpublication date Fri May 12, 2006 14:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Even Cromwell offered the alternative of Connaught.
(These guys are clearly nuts.)

author by Spinning Quicklypublication date Fri May 12, 2006 21:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This DUP councillor reminds me of the old cliche about being part of the problem if you've not part of the solution.

author by Letter spotterpublication date Sat May 13, 2006 11:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Daily Ireland cover 12 may 2006

These are the people who think Sinn Fein are not good enough to be in government.

The question is: will Big Ian turn his back on 50 years of sectarian posturing by darkening the doorway of an RC church and, maybe, later, much later, sitting down with Gerry Adams. Has the big man got the guts to do something that would send out a message to his followers: that nationalists are human beings with beliefs deserving of respect.

Southern Protestants made the transition – in truth they were never as fanaticized as in the North – and now look: they are voting with their feet going to church services together with the RCs. Wait, better not mention that – that is what Paisley has warned against all these years. Better stick to the script – after all, who was it said “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds?”

Principled Protestantism - DUP style
Principled Protestantism - DUP style

author by Letter Spotterpublication date Wed May 31, 2006 16:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Letter from Meda Ryan in Irish Examiner 22 May 2006 on Peter Hart's refusal to name his sources in relation to Tom Barry and the Kilmichael ambush.

An account of Peter Hart's presentation to the Irish History Society in UCC, and the challenge to him at that meeting, is in the June 2006 Edition of the Irish Political Review. There is an exchange with a Queens university historian as well on the subject of Peter Hart's unorthodox methods.

At UCC Peter Hart was unable to explain his interviews with the dead and referred instead to audio tapes with ambush survivors he had received from a third party - at which point he was asked if the tapes had brought him on the alleged tour of the ambush site, and if he was now stating that he had 'interviewed' the tapes – as distinct from a sentient human being. Peter Hart claimed that all would be revealed in a book he was proposing to write…….. on Kilmichael.

The assertion puzzled his audience who thought Peter Hart had written on Kilmichael already. That is what the fuss is about.

The chair ended the meeting early, despite the forest of hands indicating a wish to contribute to the discussion. It would be safe to say that Peter Hart did not win over any waverers with his presentation, and safer to say that his critics increased in number.

The new Ken Loach film The Wind that Shakes the Barley is sure to increase interest in this period in Irish history, much to the detriment of the position adopted by Peter Hart and the revisionist propaganda he espouses (but is unable to defend).

Historian Meda Ryan turns up the pressure on Peter Hart - double-click to read, left-click & save to download.
Historian Meda Ryan turns up the pressure on Peter Hart - double-click to read, left-click & save to download.

author by Jack Lanepublication date Thu Jun 01, 2006 16:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ruth Dudley Edwards urges Queens University audience to ignore 'well known eccentric'

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76386

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76386
author by pat cpublication date Thu Jun 01, 2006 16:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Like the Ghost of Banquo your presence was felt at that event. The barmy old git is terrified of you. She should stick to the murder mysteries, shes not too bad at that.

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