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Human Rights in Ireland >>
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The Pearsons & Mr. Muldowney : The End
history and heritage |
Saturday November 18, 2006 21:21 by Solas Eile
In response to Mr. Muldowney's : The Pearsons and their Prosecutors ??
In veno veritas or Out of the mouths of babes ...
Mr. Muldowney states : "........ It is not the Pearsons who are on trial but the people who killed them on June 30 1921....The IRA, the local community of Kinnitty/Cadamstown, and the Irish independence movement are now in the dock" . Really ? I thought this discussion was about the guilt of the Pearsons. Clearly Lord Chief Justice Muldowney is seeking to adopt the approach of the infamous Lord Denning in the Birmingham 6 appeals where the appeal is not to be allowed and the facts are not to be scrutinised because if they were then the police and the judiciary would be in the dock and that would be a situation "too horrific to contemplate". Not for once has Mr. Muldowney shown himself to be easily infected by the worst British vices. Just like those IRA men who saw nothing wrong in adopting the tactics and methods of the Black and Tans.
Yes, " the cat is out of the bag, the die is cast, and the grim logic of facts must now be applied no matter where it may lead" (Mr. Muldowney's own words) .
Alan Stanley's book is a voice of dissenting opinion and it is anathema to Mr. Muldowney. It is not a perfect book but it is an interesting insight and revelation from an Irish Protestant perspective and from a man whose father was initimately connected with the story. However, in Mr. Muldowney's worldview Irish Protestants should have been exterminated out of existence and it is this belief which has spurred him on to his latest outpouring. But alas the mask has slipped and Mr. Muldowney has exposed himself for what he is.
Mr. Muldowney states : "In June 1921 Irish democracy was engaged in a life or death struggle for survival." Really ? The historical record shows that negotiations were then taking place to facilitate a truce and a peaceable ending to the Troubles. If as he states the issue which decided the fate of the Pearsons was an alleged armed attack on the IRA roadblock., then why his venomous red hearing about explosions "blowing off the roof off an estate house the size of a substantial modern hotel" (Really ? Were you there Mr. Muldowney and if not who gave you this description?) . It would hardly matter unless it was a means of attempting to strengthen the case against the Pearsons. Even his language says it all : "estate house ..... the size of a substantial modern hotel" (if that is the case then they build very small modern hotels in Mr. Muldowney's part of the country).
There is no real point in taking Mr. Muldowney to task as facts do not matter to him. He talks of
" Irish democracy ... .. forced underground by the British terror regime". In many respects this was as a result of those pea brained twits in the IRA who acting without orders initiated their own campaign of terror against the RIC in 1919 instead of making a play for hearts and minds. But then militaristic minded twits are apt to prefer their guns to persuasion. Hence the campaign of murder against the RIC (and the current statregy of the Western powers in Iraq and Afghanistan and that of Israelis against the Palestinians). Why try and bring the rank and file of the RIC to recognise the Sinn Fein Government which it is much easier to shoot some of them in the back and therby intimidate others to resign. It was this policy which brought the Black and Tans to Ireland - people of a similar ilk who like the IRA believed in tit for tat , who believed facts like proof of guilt were unnecessary and superfluous and who believed in giving full vent to their emotions regardless of the consequences and the cost to innocent bystanders.
It is apparently disingenuous of me to demand names and other information yet according to Mr. Muldowney this has been thoroughly researched by Mr. Heaney and others. Mr. Stanley is taken to task for neglecting to interview ex-members of the IRA. Mr. Heaney allegedly did so but is apparently unable to provide names and statements. It is, we are told by Mr. Muldowney, " information which is probably lost forever". Yet on that basis the case against the Pearsons collapses just as any court case alleging crimes by Mr. Muldowney would also collapse today in an Irish court if the Gardai were to inform the court that the evidence is "lost".
Re the " wealth of ancillary detail fortuitously collected by Patrick Heaney from participants and observers", who are these participants and observers and what is the nature of their information.
We wait in patience. I am allegedly a "righteous indignation-fuelled zealot" according to Mr. Muldowney (but then Mr. Muldowney could never claim to be a believer in righteousness as his own words prove!). The point is not that my chances of turning up any real information are practically nil even if I am still seeking and still hammering on Messrs Muldowney & Cos. doosr! As one seeking to uphold the right of the Pearsons to a fair trial, the point is that it is the function of their prosecutors to provide the hard evidence against them, evidence that proves their guilt beyond reasonable doubt
Mr. Muldowney alleges that Dick Pearson fired shots at the roadblock but this if it happened is the action of one person and not the Pearsons plural. It was a Black and Tan tactic to take action against a whole family for the sins of one member, hence indiscriminate fire and the burning down of people's houses. Perhaps the Offaly IRA men were true Brits after all!
RE William Stanley, alias Jimmy Bradley : Mr Stanley was a native of County Laois and did not settle in County Carlow until after the War of Indeopendence. As for his alleged "loyalist exploits" which caused the IRA to order him out , the IRA was not as we know in the business of letting people off serious misdemeanours and that tells us what William Stanley was. If we are really dependant upon William Stanley to prove the case against the Pearsons, then the case is very thin.
Mr. Muldowney now expresses an interest in the Pearsons’ social trajectory which is allegedly reported as " a complex, nuanced situation into which political factors entered, not a black-and-white picture in which the Pearsons were never anything but congenital bigots who shunned and despised their neighbours from the beginning". Then why has Mr. Muldowney sought to denigrate the Pearsons in his earlier outpourings as die hard Orangeists. Indeed it can be said that Mr. Heaney has attempted to a great if flawed extent to complete the historical picture in all its complexity . The same cannot be said of Mr. Muldowney who from the beginning has had a nasty agenda to which to play.
Mr. Muldowney alleges that it is asking too much, even of a historian as industrious and reliable as Mr. Heaney, to provide us with details of the mental processes which set the Pearsons at odds with the community. Perhaps Mr. Muldowney should try harder. Perhaps it was not the "mental processes"of the Pearsons which set them at odds with the IRA but rather their experiences at the hands of IRA men. Perhaps having your home raided by the IRA looking for guns is not the best way to preserve community harmony. It certainly did not make my grandmother a lover of the IRA to have as a sixteen year old girl a gun held to her head while her father was threatened with extermination of his family (flying column on the run needing R&R like those brave American boys in Vietnam). "Bad bastards" was her comment on the IRA ever after . Perhaps we should interpret Dick Pearsons comment "aren't you great men with your guns!" in the same light.
Re Mr. Muldowney's broader historical context and the mass buring out and mass expulsion of American loyalists during the American Revolution, Mr. Muldowney seems to regret that such a policy was not pursued by the IRA. In that context his approach to the Pearsons throughout this discussion need no further explanation. Mr. Muldowney may view genocide and ethnic cleansing as appropriate means for resolving national and international conflicts but I am not sure that most Irish people would agree with him. As for Americans not entertaining any form of historical revisionism about the fate of British loyalists in their independence struggle, thenn he is obviously not a follower of trends in American historiography. A modern historian looks dispassionately at the facts but he does not throw his humanity out with the bath water . Many American historians now accept that the treatment of American loyalists was a low point and unsavoury aspect of their revolution. As rounded human beings they can call a wrong a wrong. Obviously Mr Muldowney is a fellow traveller of those die-hard Nazis and Stalinists and KKK-inclined British colonialists who never admit to a wrong and will seeek to justify it come what may
As for Americans not tolerating infringement of their sovereignty such as acceptance of British knighthoods or other foreign honours by their citizens, Mr. Muldowney is wide of the mark. Several American politicians have received honourary knighthoods in recent times without Congress battling an eyelid. Really Mr. Muldowney - speak only of what you know to be a fact! As per usual you are inclined to make statements that are as seriously divorced from reality as was Mr. Blair's dossier on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
The 1783 Treaty of Paris resolved Britain's differences with her ex-colonists who were now free to pursue their own manifest destiny policy of exterminating the indigenous peoples of the mid west and taking their land ( a policy in which Irish emigrants sadly assisted and were part beneficiaries). They were also free to prolong their use of the institution of slavery which they did for over 30 years after it had been abolished within the British Empire. That's true freedom American style for you and clearly in the Muldowney mode where extermination/expulsion are appropriate modi operandi.
As per the Anglo Irish Treaty of 1921 , compensation to Irish loyalists by the Irish Distress Committee (later the Irish Grants Committee) in London was funded by the Irish Free State.
This happened because a) many Irish Protestants had been singled out for vicious treatment by some IRA men, especially during the Civil War b) because the new Irish Free State was committed to the ideals of Wolfe Tone and the United Irishmen (unlike Mr. Muldowney) and c) it was part of the Treaty, an international agreement registered by the Irish Free State at the League of Nations
Mr. Muldowney may not know it but the Bury family were Irish Protestants. I was not aware that the Burys ran opium plantations in India and once more ask him for his proof of this. (Sorry to be such a sceptical pain but I like hard evidence!) Regrettably for Mr. Muldowney, most Irish people do not share his Tebbittite "On your Bike" mentality towards Irish Protestants which explains why Irish Protestants or "the British loyalist minority ..... loyalist remnant" as Mr. Muldowney terms them in his anti-Wolfe Tone phrase "retained their wealth, status and property and were allowed to carry on more or less as before" i.e living and dying, marrying and bearing children, working for their living and paying their taxes. Since the Irish people are such a disappointment to Mr. Muldowney perhaps he should emigrate to Zimbabwe where Mr. Mugabe and his ZANU party will prove true kindred spirits.
As for the Irish lord who protested at the stupidity of British policy in Northern Ireland, I regret to inform you that he did not tear up his British passport; he merely returned his war medals as one who had fought against fascism during WW2. In any event, his title was a UK one and as any idiot can tell you a title does not give you lordship over anything (has not since the Middle Ages) except of course in the unlettered minds of the ignorant.
Re the Protestants/British, Catholics/Irish stereotype, Mr. Muldowney should allow people to define themselves. I know it is hard to live in a democracy with its regard for rule of law and rights for everyone but that is the only choice available to Mr. Muldowney. As for Mr. Muldowney's reduction of Irish history to "centuries of dogged antagonism to British colonialism" (enchoing the old "800 years of British oppression" shorthand of simple minded republicans), the facts remain that that antagonism was not as dogged as he alleges because you cannot reduce history and people's lives to the simplicities of Marxist Leninist dogma (notwithstanding the intellectual interest which Marxist Leninism can rightly arouse). People and events are best judged in the contexts of their times and should not be forced to conform to the stereotypes of an ideology which arose centuries later.
Mr. Muldowney speaks of WW1 as " Britain’s Great War" but Britain did not start it. (Mr. Muldowney should really seek medical attention for his British phobia!) When tens of thousands of Irishmen joined up in 1914-16(many more than ever joined that minority organisation known as the IRA) , they did so partially because of German violation of Belgian neutrality and Germany's invasion of "little Catholic Belgium". Clearly Mr. Muldowney would have preferred if Britain had stayed out of the war and for Germany our "gallant allies in Europe" to have re-ordered the continent as they saw fit. Given Germany's later prediliction to engage in genocide and ethnic cleansing of minorities and the concurrence of these policies with Mr. Muldowney's own preferred means of resolving minority issues, then we can possibly understand Mr. Muldowney's choice - vile but logical.
Yes, Imperial Ireland rose and fell, that is the nature of history and it was never paradise. Mr. Muldowney is right to say that the armed revolt of Unionism against Parliament and the rule of law brought down the Redmondite house of cards (and the United Kingdom) , and ultimately, as he suggested, placed the Pearsons at the business end of a firing squad. But it is not as simplistic as he seems to suggest. Mr. Muldowney as a typical ideologically tainted republican of the black and white school plays down the real fears of Ulster Protestants which were to a great extent realised in the Catholic State for a Catholic people polity that was independent Ireland until the 1990s.
RE the first democratically elected government of Ireland , Mr. Muldowney is the one who has suggested that without the IRA the first Dail consisted of mere ineffectual ideologues. He is disengenous when he states that they "led an army of volunteers to defend in arms their democratic mandate, nothing ineffectual there" because it is an historical fact that many members of the First Dail were at odds with the IRA's tendency to pre-empt policy and to do things without reference to it.
The facts remain that Britain finally recognised Irish independence largely because of the impact
of public opinion both within the UK and abroad and the realisation that you cannot through armed force compell a people to remain part of a polity that they wish to leave. Shotgun marriages do not work and armed force does not work against majorities. The Provisional IRA came to the same conclusion re NI in recent times.
Mr. Muldowney in his typical anti-British rant speaks of the creation of Czechoslovakia and Yugosalvia in the aftermath of WW1 as if Britain was the only power in the world. Typical of a simplistic mind. He disparages the creation of Iraq (as well he might) but the fact remains that Iraq was created for its oil, not for some non existent "coveted Middle Eastern land route to British India via Persia and Afghanistan". If you want to make a valid point stick to the facts and try avoiding idiotic non existent ones. Why would Britain need a land route to India when it had a perfect sea route! Alas for Mr. Muldowney's overheated imagination!
As for the rubbish about Palestine as " a Jewish protectorate in Palestine – a little loyal Ulster in the Middle East," the facts remain that from a Jewish point of view the British were always pro-Arab which is why Jewish immigration into Palestine was restricted during the inter war years and in the immediate aftermath of WW2. Mr. Muldowney deliberately forgets the terrorist campaign conducted by the Irgun against the British administration and the bombing of the King David Hotel. As for General Pilsudski, it was the Poles who kept him in power, not the British. But then I suppose that if you are an ally of the Nazis as Mr. Muldowney clearly is then the Poles must be depicted as British stooges.
Mr. Muldowney blames the British for the Civil War and not those who proclaimed that they were prepared to wade through Irish blood to get their aims. It is true that Lloyd George threatened an escalated war if the Irish did not accept the Treaty but the Treaty did deliver independence, an Irish Parliament answereable to the Irish people, an Irish Government answereable to an Irish legislature.
It will not be forgotten that Ireland became a republic in 1949 when the Fine Gael led coalition did something that Fianna Fail, the Republican Party, the Rear Guard of the Republic, the men and women who were stupidly prepared to wade through Irish blood on a hiding to nothing, did not do when enjoying their hegemony in power between 1932 and 1948. If according to Mr Muldonwney
"the defiant side (i.e the Anti-Treatyites) quickly overcame the setback of the treaty war, and by political and democratic methods restored the independence position within twenty years", they did so without firing a shot which clearly illustrates the fact that their recourse to Civil War was a self-indulgence of the most vicious kind but very typical of people who liked playing with guns but did not like exercising their brain cells.
The right of the Irish people to independence and sovereignty is not something that is dependant on the existence of the IRA or ideology fixated nutters. It is not something based on the gun. It will exist when we and the IRA are mere footnotes in history. It is grounded in a belief in justice and moral right - not in nasty molestation and intimidation of minorities and kangaroo court lynch law.If Dick Pearson (and his brother ) died because he stood up against molestation and intimidation, then he died a true Irish patriot and the begrudgers can go damn themselves.