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Justice for the Forgotten attack Jim Cusack's misreporting on Dublin Monaghan bombings

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Monday April 16, 2007 00:46author by Harry Wells - The Well Well Well Foundation Report this post to the editors

Jim Cusack and Sunday Independent deny British collusion in Dublin Monaghan bombings

Sunday Independent journalist Jim Cusack’s one-man campaign to deny British involvement in the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings is criticised in today’s Sunday Independent (April 15 2007) by Justice for the Forgotten, which speaks for the families of those who died.

No doubt collusion in 1974 bombings

Justice for the Forgotten secretary, Margaret Unwin, points out that ”This journalist has refused consistently over the years to accept any version of the event other than that relayed to him many years ago by the Ulster Volunteer Force.” Cusack ignored the main findings of the limited terms of reference of the McEntee Enquiry, concerning the inadequacy of the Garda investigation, in order to proclaim, irrelevantly and incorrectly, British innocence of collusion.
Justice for the Forgotten criticise Jim Cusack of the Sunday Independent (click to read or see link in text)
Justice for the Forgotten criticise Jim Cusack of the Sunday Independent (click to read or see link in text)

Cusack is well known as a journalist who is hostile to republicans and to anything he perhaps perceives as favourable to their case. This makes his reporting unreliable.

See also :

Cusack NewsTalk 106 Transcript: Sunday Indo v. on Dublin Riots

And (curiously, an attempt by Cusack to promote the claims of 814 vote dissident republican, Gerry McGeough):

Sunday Press Review: MSM Inveighs Against Rossport and Anti-Fascists.

Recently though, Cusack was criticised after publishing a tacky front page Sunday Independent ‘exclusive’ naming the husband of a member of the Gardai who suffered a miscarriage as the ERU member who shot John Carty in Abbeylara.

Not all the same

Not all journalists in the Independent group write to the same agenda. Many are capable of independent reporting and analysis, and are often given the space to exercise that capacity. One or two can be found in the Sunday Independent, but most appear daily in the Irish Independent, where the requirement to report the day’s news can often override the observations of sanctimonious ‘experts’ employed on the same paper to lay down their views with a very thick crayon (Kevin Myers, Eoghan Harris, Jim Cusack, Bruce Arnold, Conor Cruise O’Brien, etc)

Ironically, the best answer to Cusack’s UVF monomania was the analysis of the McEntee Report in the Irish Independent (April 5 2007):

The 1974 bombs: crucial unanswered questions remain

Dublin Monaghan – the Evidence

Cusack will not succeed win his one-man campaign to undermine the evidence of British collusion in the 1974 Dublin Monaghan bombings. It is too strong.

Take the following:

A letter from serving British Army intelligence officer Colin Wallace to Tony Stoughton, Chief Information Officer of the British Army Information Service at Lisburn, on August 14 1975, laid bare the nature of the collusion that was organised by MI5, the SAS (through the 14th Intelligence Company) and RUC Special Branch:

“There is good evidence the Dublin bombings in May last year were a reprisal for the Irish government's role in bringing about the [power sharing] Executive. According to one of Craig's people [Craig Smellie, in charge of MI6 in the North at the time], some of those involved, the Youngs, the Jacksons, Mulholland, Hanna, Kerr and McConnell were working closely with SB [Special Branch] and Int [Intelligence] at that time. Craig's people believe the sectarian assassinations were designed to destroy [then British Northern Secretary Merlyn] Rees's attempts to negotiate a ceasefire, and the targets were identified for both sides by Int/SB [Intelligence/Special Branch]. They also believe some very senior RUC officers were involved with this group. In short, it would appear that loyalist paramilitaries and Int/SB members have formed some sort of pseudo gangs in an attempt to fight a war of attrition by getting paramilitaries on both sides to kill each other and, at the same time prevent any future political initiative such as Sunningdale.”[1]

Wallace wrote again on September 30 1975, and revealed that MI5 was trying to create a split in the UVF:

“because they wanted the more politically minded ones ousted. I believe much of the violence generated during the latter part of last year was caused by some of the new Int people deliberately stirring up the conflict. As you know, we have never been allowed to target the breakaway UVF, nor the UFF, during the past year. Yet they have killed more people than the IRA!”[2]

Justice Henry Barron noted that Wallace's August 14 1975 letter was, at the very least, "strong evidence that the security forces in Northern Ireland had intelligence information which was not shared with the Garda investigation team."[3]

In his evidence to Barron, Colin Wallace noted that:

“several of the key players in the mid-Ulster UVF were working for the Special Branch and for ourselves... giving information and liaising and so forth. If you just draw the line there and don't even go any further than liaison, and if the informers were doing their job - and if they weren't doing their job we wouldn't have been using them - an operation of that size, in terms of the logistics and planning was so big that there was something seriously wrong if the Security Forces as a whole did not know that (a) an operation was going on; and (b) had some idea about it, because of the scale of it. That would have been a prime target for the intelligence agencies to get to grips with.”[4]

British investigations into the bombings was closed down a very short time after the bombings, said Wallace. He was told in no uncertain terms: ‘don’t go there’. Wallace was shocked.[5]

There were clear attempts to undermine Colin Wallace's credibility in his evidence to Barron. British Army Captain Fred Holroyd and former RUC Special Patrol Group officer John Weir suffered the same fate, but Barron saw through it.

Wallace ran the main psychological warfare, or 'psyops', department at British Army Headquarters in Lisburn, Between 1968 and 1975. This was a task involving "dissemination of information and disinformation". In September 1974 Wallace refused to become involved in what he saw as attempts by the security services to subvert British government policy. Wallace also discovered that at the infamous Kincora Boys Home a member of an "extreme loyalist organisation", William McGrath, was involved with others in paedophile abuse. The home was not closed down and Wallace suspected that "the intelligence services were using the information to blackmail the extreme loyalists into helping them".

Wallace made his opposition known.[6]

Wallace later attempted to expose security force involvement in the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, and attempts by MI5 to undermine "left wing organisations and individuals", including the then British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson.

Barron noted that Wallace was targeted by the same security services he had served. He was forced out of government service on a charge of attempting to pass a restricted document to a journalist, Robert Fisk.

Later, in 1980, after being forced into civilian life, and after attempts to highlight the injustice done to him, Wallace was charged with and then convicted of manslaughter in Arundel in Britain. With this conviction under their belt, the British tried to proclaim Wallace a ‘Walter Mitty’ character with an imagined and fantasised role in their intelligence services. As it turned out, Wallace was framed and his claims were true.

After his release from prison on parole in 1985, Wallace proclaimed his innocence and campaigned to have the British government recognise his official role in its Army intelligence services. He was successful in both.

Wallace had his conviction quashed by the British Court of Appeal on October 9, 1996.

Wallace was also separately paid £30,000 pounds sterling compensation (which was the maximum allowable) for unjust dismissal from government Service. His role within the British Army intelligence service had already been officially, though belatedly, acknowledged in 1990.[7]

Wallace was fully vindicated.[8][9] But maybe not vindicated enough for Jim Cusack.

Fred Holroyd on security force collusion in bombings

Evidence for British security force involvement in the bombings is also supported by British Army Captain Fred Holroyd, who worked for MI6 during the 1970s in Northern Ireland. Holroyd argued that "the bombings were part of a pattern of collusion between elements of the security forces in Northern Ireland and loyalist paramilitaries."

The Barron Enquiry found that members of the Gardai and of the RUC attempted to undermine Holroyd's evidence.

Barron noted that "Some of the RUC officers interviewed by the Inquiry, in their apparent eagerness to deny Holroyd any credibility whatsoever, themselves made inaccurate and misleading statements which have unfortunately tarnished their own credibility."[10]

Then Assistant Commissioner of the Gardai, Edmund ('Ned') Garvey was said by Fred Holroyd to have met him and an RUC Officer at Garda headquarters in 1975. Holroyd named Garvey, and another Garda (codenamed, 'the badger'), as being on the "British side". Garvey later denied that the meeting took place. However, Justice Barron found: "The visit by Holroyd to Garda Headquarters unquestionably did take place, notwithstanding former Commissioner Garvey’s inability to recall it".[11]

Barron further noted: "On the Northern side, there is conflicting evidence as to how, why and by whom the visit was arranged. Regrettably, Garda investigations have failed to uncover any documentary evidence of the visit, or to identify any of the officers involved in arranging it from the Southern side."[12]

Edmund Garvey was dismissed by the Fianna Fail Government on January 19 1978 without explanation, other than by stating that it no longer had confidence in him as Garda Commissioner. Fianna Fail had come back to power in 1977, ousting the 1973-77 Fine Gael Labour coalition that had presided over indifference to the Dublin Monaghan investigation (as noted by Barron [13]), the Garda Heavy Gang, repression and censorship.

John Weir on security force collusion in bombings

There is evidence of extensive involvement by official British forces in UVF violence. In addition individual, and equally extensive, RUC and UDR involvement with loyalist paramilitaries is established by admission of some of those involved. For instance RUC Special Patrol Group member Billy McCaughey, a former B Special, member of the paisleyite Ulster Protestant Volunteers and of the Free Presbyterian Church, claimed that many local RUC and Ulster Defence Regiment personnel worked with UVF paramilitaries in the Armagh and Mid Ulster area. McCaughey claimed that his RUC Special Patrol Group unit was both exclusively Protestant and "orange" or unionist. He said a Catholic was once a member, but boasted that he and his colleagues dangled his head out of the back of the jeep as it traveled at high speed. The ‘taig’ transferred out after a week.[14]

McCaughey, John Weir and others were involved in sectarian pro-British killings, on behalf of British masters. Weir confessed to his involvement, while McCaughey took some of his sectarian secrets to his grave.

John Weir was a member of a different, though equally loyalist and sectarian, RUC Special Patrol Group to McCaughey’s. He

“claimed to have been part of a renegade group of loyalist paramilitaries, UDR and RUC officers who were carrying out attacks on both sides of the border between 1974 and 1978. He named people who he said were involved in a number of these attacks - including the Dublin, Monaghan and Dundalk bombings. He also named a farm which he claimed was used as a base by the group. He alleged that senior officers in the RUC knew of, and gave tacit approval to, these activities”.[15] ”

On Page 147 of Barron’ Dublin-Monaghan Report, Weir detailed how "senior officers in the RUC knew of and encouraged connections between RUC officers and loyalist extremists."

Weir named those who knew as including:

”RUC chief inspector Harry Breen and chief superintendent Brian Fitzsimmons, head of the Newry-based RUC special branch. Breen was killed along with RUC officer Bob Buchanan by the IRA in an attack in Co Louth in 1989.”[16]


“Weir said he was told that [UDR staff instructor William] Hanna was assisted in carrying out the Dublin bombings by Robin Jackson (UVF, Lurgan) and David Payne (UDA, Belfast). He says that Stewart Young (UVF, Portadown) had been involved in carrying out the Monaghan bombing – adding that he heard this from Young himself as well as from others in the group. He said that explosives for all four bombs were supplied by a named UDR officer. ” [17]

Barron commented on John Weir's evidence "The Inquiry agrees with the view of An Garda Siochana that Weir's allegations regarding the Dublin and Monaghan bombings must be treated with the utmost seriousness."[18]

“Despite Weir's conviction for the murder of William Strathearn in April 1977 [alongside Billy McCaughey] - for which he was originally sentenced to life in prison - the inquiry found that Mr Weir's claims are 'largely credible'... Bearing in mind that Weir was an active member of the security services and that his allegations relating to the period from May to August 1976 have received considerable confirmation, the Inquiry believes that his evidence overall is credible.”[19]

The RUC furnished the Gardai with a report that attempted to undermine Weir's evidence. Barron found this RUC attempt to be highly inaccurate and to lack credibility.[20]

This is just some of the evidence that Jim Cusack will not report. A curious fellow, Cusack


1. Death Squad Dossier, Irish Mail on Sunday by Michael Browne, December 10, 2006, also partly quoted in Barron Report (2003) p, 172 (,
see also, Irish Daily Mail, November 30 2006 (
2. Ibid
3. Report by Justice Henry Barron into the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, December 2003, p. 121 (
4. Ibid., p. 173
5. See British and UVF met 10 days after bombs killed 33, by Colm Heatley, Sunday Business Post, 25 February 2007 (
6. See Report by Justice Henry Barron into the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, December 2003, p. 163-169
7. Archie Hamilton, British Junior Defence Minister, parliamentary reply on Wallace, correcting previous misleading information, Hansard Jan 30 1990.
8. See Report by Justice Henry Barron into the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, December 2003, p. 167-168
9. See also Who Framed Colin Wallace by Paul Foot, Pan 1990, ISBN-10: 0330314467, and, also by Paul Foot, The final vindication, The Guardian, October 2 2002 (,,802698,00.html), and Inside story: MI5 mischief, The Guardian, July 22 1996
10. Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, December 2003, p.29
11. Ibid p. 199-200, 206-07
12. Ibid
13. Report points finger at Coalition apathy, Irish Independent, Dec 11 2003 (
14. Bandit Country, by Toby Harnden, Coronet Books, 2000, p.190-191.
15. Report by Justice Henry Barron into the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, December 2003, p. 88
16. ibid, p. 146
17. I'm lucky to be above Ground, by Frank Connolly, Village, November 16 2006 (
18. Report by Justice Henry Barron into the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, December 2003, p. 162.
19. Claims of collusion 'must be taken seriously', by Alison Bray, Irish Independent, December 11 2003. (, see also Profiles of Weir: RUC man's secret war with the IRA, by Liam Clarke, Sunday Times, March 7 1999 ( and I'm lucky to be above Ground, by Frank Connolly, Village, November 16 2006. ( )
20. Report by Justice Henry Barron into the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, December 2003, p. 148-151.

Select Bibliography

Various Barron Reports

Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings of 1974

Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Dublin Bombings of 1972 and 1973, November 2004.

Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Bombing of Kay’s Tavern, Dundalk

Report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the murder of Seamus Ludlow

See also:

McEntee Investigation into The Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974:

Barron throws light on a little shock of horrors by Susan McKay, Dec 14 2003

Stevens Enquiry 3 (John Stevens report on collusion in the North)

Report of the Independent International Panel on Alleged Collusion in Sectarian Killings in Northern Ireland

Michael Heaney explores whether the Barron Report can bring justice, RTE Primetime report 9 December 2003

Justice for the Forgotten

Related Link:

The answer to Cusack - in the Irish Independent (see link in text)
The answer to Cusack - in the Irish Independent (see link in text)

author by Some Yank - Amerikaypublication date Mon Apr 16, 2007 02:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thank you. This is a fine example of Indy media Journalism.

Thank You

So, Indymediaistas, if it is indeed true, then what?

here in the US, we have been dealing with our own version of false flag operations, instituted by governmental forces to promote their own political agenda.

author by Platopublication date Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am amazed that anyone takes the Independent and its off spring seriously. These publications can only give a view of the world that concurs with Tony O'Reilly's. Calling them newspapers is to stretch even credulity.

author by Johnpublication date Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In what way is this attack forgotten? Its far more in the news today than other bombings of the time. Who ever reads nowadays in the media about the Shankhill Road furniture store bombing of Dec 71 (4 children killed), the Donegall Street bombing of Mar 72 (11 civilians killed), the Abercorn restaurant bombing of April 72 (scores maimed), the bombing of Coleraine in July 73 (10 civilians killed), and scores more. I'll bet most readers of this site under 40 years of age have never even heard of these bombings, although I'm sure they are fully aware of the Dublin/Monaghan bombings as they are never out of the news even today. Its the other bombings I listed above which are truly the forgotten ones. No one should object if the relatives of the Dublin/Monaghan victims want an investigation into those bombings. But, if their request is granted, there should also be investigations into all the other much-more-forgotten bombings of that period.

author by Jim-Johnpublication date Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Curiously, this is the point (the one made by 'John' above) that Jim Cusack makes.

Cusack (and 'John') cannot grasp the essential difference that the Dublin Monaghan bombings and other bombings and killings engaged in by the UVF group concerned were carried out with the connivance and in some cases the participation of covert British forces. Their strategy was to start a sectarian war by engaging in enough killing to provoke a backlash, to terrify the southern government into withdrawing from involving itself in the North, and to encourage conservative elements in southern society to concentrate on defeating republican resistance. At the same time these forces were officially attempting to be 'even handed' in keeping the 'warring factions' apart. But they were creating at the same time a loyalist warring faction to subdue the nationalist population and to create the traditional colonial model of 'divide and rule'. The Oireachatas Joint Committee, that Barron reported to, have made a finding of fact that the British were engaged in collusion, or 'international terrorism' to use the modern jargon. The question is 'why?'.

Jim Cusack can avoid considering this possibility by denying that the British had any hand act or part in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. 'Just a bunch of bombings - let us remember or forget them all' is effectively all he has to say on the subject. Neat.

author by Jilted Johnpublication date Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

John's points would be rather more authorative if he actually could get the dates and numbers killed in the bombings mentioned correct. But the general point is right; Some bombings are remembered by some people and some are not. All the sides; Brits, Unionists, Provos, Stickies, Southern establishment, Cops, (north and south) will spin and big up a particualr event for a particular reason. The relatives of those killed in Dublin/Monaghan deserve justice and the issues of collusion etc must be examined and exposed. However the dead of Claudy, Coleraine, Newry, Aldershot, Enniskillen and the Shankhill and lets not forget Birmingham also require answers and justice. As do the victims of Bloody Sunday, Greysteel, Kingsmills, Teebane and collusion. The IRA lied after Enniskillen about what caused that blast. They lied after Birmingham. And so on...So lets put all the players on the stand, no threat of revenge, lets just hear what they have to say. A truth commission which would prevent all sides from making political capital out of death and misery because it would indict them all. Many here will object, because they, no less than Cusack, want to score points off atrocities. The Provos will object, because they were the single biggest killers of the Troubles and that would conflict with the butter wouldn't melt in their mouth image.

author by Hughpublication date Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jilted John, the main losers in any truth commission would not be the Provos but the British, and to a lesser extent, the Irish States. Aside from the Kingmills shootings in 76 I can think of no other killings that the Provos have not admitted to.

Compare that with the record, or lack, of British admittance.

As for the Irish State, I for one would love to know, who in Garda, Civil Service, RTE and Govt were under the influence of British, either through dirty tricks or monetary reward.

author by Harrypublication date Mon Apr 16, 2007 13:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

‘Jilted John’ has yet another version of everybody was at it, everybody lied. Ho hum, all too complicated - let us get ourselves a magic truth serum, sorry commission.

Such an exercise, if setup tomorrow, would be a charade. Let me try and set out why I think this is the case.

Loyalist bombings and killings were undertaken by individuals who were also agents of the British state. The Greysteel killings (mentioned above) were carried out by, amongst others, Torrens Knight, who was also in the pay of RUC Special Branch. Republican atrocities either had the full weight of the British state and its forces concentrating on them, or else the British decided early on for a time on the stratagem of ‘any Paddy will do’ – and incarcerated the Birmingham Six, Guildford Four, Maguire Seven.

Loyalist informers and agents (such as mark Haddock and Brian Nelson) were protected up to a certain point, including in killing, bombing, and various forms of ordinary ‘crime’. Many were eventually expendable when political, due to public, pressure become too much, and were offered deals to hide certain of their actions (and their handlers) from public scrutiny. John Weir refused to accept a deal and got life imprisonment - see main story above. He spilled the beans as a result.

While RUC CID might make some effort to prosecute loyalists, they were routinely protected by RUC Special Branch and their masters, British intelligence.

It is reliably estimated that the majority of loyalists were controlled or were informing on each other, which theoretically would make loyalist violence impossible.

Loyalist violence was controlled and directed to a certain point – there was a certain amount of autonomy allowed for the killing of the nearest ‘taig’ victim (since most loyalists were motivated by simple sectarian hatred of ‘papists’ in general). Hence loyalist violence was a combination of indiscriminate sectarian violence, combined with directed assassinations aimed at nationalist politicians, and republicans. In the 1970s it was backed up with sectarian mass murder in the form of bombings and killings. Dublin Monaghan was part of this process, and the Kingsmill massacre of January 1976 in which 10 Protestant workmen were shot dead was in reaction to it. See the various Barron reports above – especially:

Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Bombing of Kay’s Tavern, Dundalk

See also

Barron throws light on a little shock of horrors, Sunday Tribune, by Susan McKay, Dec 14 2003


Bitter hatreds that underpin Love Ulster parade in Dublin, Irish Times, by Susan McKay, February 25 2006


Ian Paisley should say "Sorry!" to Eugene Reavey

Loyalist violence was backed up with ‘shoot to kill’ actions on the part of the security services, aimed at republican targets, irrespective of whether they were seen to be armed or not. Deputy Manchester Chief Constable John Stalker, came a cropper when investigating what the termed the “colonial” style policing of the RUC – see his book’ Stalker’ (Penguin). He was removed from the investigation (and framed in a bogus investigation into inappropriate ' business' relationships in Manchester) when he insisted on examining recorded evidence of killing unarmed people.

John Stevens, in his official enquiries, he needed three, saw his office in RUC headquarters burned down before he was due to arrest Brian Nelson - Stevens said it was arson and not properlyinvestigated. On other occasions, Stevens reported that Nelson was tipped off by his handlers when he was due to be arrested. Johnston Brown, in his ‘Into the Dark’ (Gill & Macmillan 2005) noted the same activity by RUC Special Branch to tip off loyalists before RUC CID arms raids, or house searches.

A recording by Ken Barrett, another RUC special Branch informant, in which he admitted killing solicitor Pat Finnucane (the killing investigated by John Stevens), was sabotaged by RUC Special Branch and not proceeded with for over 8 years – not until John Ware of the BBC conned Barrett into confessing on British Television to the same killing, and to the fact that he was protected before and after the killing by his secret state handlers.


Police 'aided lawyer's murder' - BBC Wednesday, 19 June, 2002


A Licence to Murder – BBC ‘Panorama’ transcripts of programme

This media exposure lead to the final and now unavoidable nailing of Barrett and to John Stevens' final report - Stevens 3 (see link to full report in main story).

Given that the barrier to full disclosure is the activity of the British (and still to an extent the Irish) secret state, once that is prized open fully, it may be possible to get near the full truth. Since official private enquiries set up by the Irish state have not been able to get disclosure from the British, we are a long way off the full picture.

The British would love a truth commission in which all the various ‘paddies’ got together and admitted doing ‘terrible things’ to each other. Such an exercise would be a charade. The pressure must be kept on the need for full independent an open enquiries north and south of the border, in which the British state admits its role in unlawful violence it said it was in fact trying to eradicate – but which in fact it was fuelling.

author by Jilted Johnpublication date Mon Apr 16, 2007 15:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The British would come very badly out of a truth commission as would the Loyalists, of all hues. However the key point in your objection is what is unsaid. The IRA would not like a truth commission because it might reveal that the armed struggle began before internment and Bloody Sunday and was not simply a respose to British injustice but had a dynamic of its own and was directed by people who wanted a war.
As for the idea that the IRA always claimed their actions; wise up as we say in the Maiden City.
Two cops blown up in Crossmaglen, August 1970 (unarmed as the RUC was after the Hunt reforms). Unclaimed.
Bombing campaign began the summer of 1970, Provisional IRA involvement revealed by the death of Vol. Michael Kane in premature explosion Belfast, September 1970.
Five people blown up Brougher Mountain Tyrone, March 1971. (unclaimed)
Three Scots soldiers killed off duty, Belfast March 1971 (unclaimed and in fact denied by PIRA)
Shankhill furniture shop (unclaimed)Dec 1971
Claudy (unclaimed)July 1972
Birmingham November 1974 (denied at the time)
One UDR man and two Prod civilians shot dead outside Newry June 1975 (unclaimed)
Sam Llelllewyn shot dead on Falls August 1975 (unclaimed)
Tullyvallen Orange Hall, Sept 1975 (unclaimed)
We could go on and on but the point is this. You are making a case that Kingsmill was a response to collusion and Loyalist violence in general. It was certainly a response to the UVF, very directly. However could a Loyalist not also claim that the Miami massacre was in response to the killings in June 1975 where 60 shots were pumped into the three Protestants returning from a dog show in Cork? There was a tit for tat nature to much of the 1970s sectarian killings, which you are trying to give a semi-justification for. Here, we'll go again. 22 November 1974, Geraldine Macklin shot dead by Loyalists working in petrol station on Springfield Rd. Next night two Protestants, fella and girl, working in petrol station on Crumlin Road shot dead. Young men caught and do their time as Provisisonal IRA prisoners. What was the strategic rationale? None; it was get them because they got us.
The republican movement do not want a truth commission not because the Brits would tell too many lies but because the myths that foster the belief that the war we have gone through was neccesary to achive Sunningdale for slow learners would be undermined. The revelations that people who weren't informers were killed by people who were wouldn't look great either. Similarly right troughout the Troubles republicans always argued that they unlike the loyalists always claimed their dead. Yet the three vols killed at Coagh in 1991 were denied by the IRA and described as Catholic civilans for several years, as was Fearghal Carrahger. According to my copy of Tirghra they were all volunteers.
My naive simplistic old-fashioned view is that the people who ordered and carried out war crimes against civilains, whether they be Brits, Loyalists or Republicans should have to stand up and say why. And tell us why it was worth it to have Ian Paisley as first minister.

author by Johnpublication date Mon Apr 16, 2007 16:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair point, Jilted John. My dates and numbers are substantially correct. But, I was listing them from memory, having been living in Belfast in 1971/72, rather than from any printed record. I particularily remember the Donegall Street and Abercorn restaurant bombings, as I was almost a victim of both myself. I left Donegall Street where I was shopping about half an hour before the bomb there exploded and I was heading to eat in and about 5 minutes walk away from the Abercorn restaurant one Saturday afternoon about this time of year when the bomb there went off. I also almost came a cropper when a bomb exploded on Bloody Friday (July 72, I believe) outside Gardiner's bookshop in Botanic Avenue and blew an enormous slate off the roof of the house next door to the student house in University Street where I was living and which landed in the bath. Had I been having a bath at the time, I'd have been sliced in two. Fortunately, it was the fashion for students in the early 70s to bath infrequently, so I and the other student residents of the house were saved. Just out of curiosity, and without any vengeful thoughts, I would love to know if any of the prominent Sinn Fein politicians I see on tv nowadays, oozing goodwill and peace towards all men, were responsible for the bombings which almost brought my demise. So, if there's to be an investigation for one, let there be an investigation for all.

author by Jilted Johnpublication date Mon Apr 16, 2007 16:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry for seeming pedantic. It is just that there are people who will come on lecture at length about Brit/Loyalist perfidy and then turn around and tell you they believe Gerry A when he says he was never in the RA. Or Martin when he says he left it after Bloody Sunday. Republicans never tell lies; the Brits always do. The IRA were acting in good faith when they made mistakes that cost lives, the Brits never were. The IRA were a 'lean, mean fighting machine' (See R. Livingstone, Andytown News) while the Loyalists were fat and useless. Hence Claudy, La Mon, the Shankhill, the Bayardo, Enniskillen, Aussie tourists, nuns driving to close to RUC landrovers, tourists who were supposed to be judges etc, etc.
Justice for the innocent-all of them.

author by Johnpublication date Mon Apr 16, 2007 18:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There's one you've left out of your list, Jilted John. The PIRA murdered Fine Gael Senator (and I think ex-TD), Billy Fox, in Monaghan in the early 70s but never claimed it. To have admitted to murdering a member of the Oireachtas would have been catastrophic for the PIRA and probably would have led to their internment in the Republic. I don't know what age you are, Jilted John, or whether you were around at the time and are writing from memory or whether you're younger and have studied the history of it all, but what you say is exactly correct. The bombings began in early 1970, long before internment. I remember them well, I was there. When they began they were relatively infrequent, one a week or so, but increasing in frequency throughout 1970 and into early 1971 when they became almost a daily occurrence. For the first year or so, that is, from their commencement in early 1970 until well into 1971, the PIRA never claimed them. In fact, for the first few months of the bombing campaign in 1970 there was considerable doubt as to who was behind them as the loyalists were letting off the occasional bomb then too. At one time in early and mid 1970, as the bombs went off with increasing frequency, although not yet killing anyone, there was widespread speculation in the media that one man was behind all the bombings and he was referred to as the 'mad bomber'. If memory serves me right, the Stormont Government, acting on this belief, actually put up a reward for his capture. It wasn't until months later when the bombings became much more frequent that it dawned on everyone that the bombings were actually a new IRA campaign. But, the PIRA certainly never claimed them or made any announcement admitting its existence until well into 1971 and possibly not even until after internment (although its so long ago, I'm not quite sure of the date when the PIRA first went public).

author by Harrypublication date Mon Apr 16, 2007 20:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What exactly is it that ‘Jilted John’ (and the other 'John') wants to know? Jilted is not that good a remembering. A lot of his detail is wrong - see below.

The IRA fought an armed violent campaign. So too did the UVF and UDA. What is it exactly that Jilted wants to know, that he does not know now?

What is really at issue is whether, aside from its official violence and repression, about which there are enough question marks, the British state was also involved alongside loyalist paramilitaries in a campaign of sustained ‘unofficial’ violence. The revelations with regard to Nelson, Haddock, the Glenane Gang in Armagh, the role of 14th Intelligence (Nairac), and the fact that most loyalist paramilitaries had RUC or British handlers, indicates that Britain prosecuted a war it said it wished to end in the name of ‘peace’.

The official and unofficial repression that this unleashed undoubtedly had the effect of prolonging the conflict and of generating the maximum amount of sectarian hatred. Such hatred on the loyalist side was allied to British security policy

And some of the ‘Johns’ details are just plain wrong – a check at would help the ‘Johns’ account to become more ‘truthful’.

To take a couple of examples:

Kingsmill Massacre

"You are making a case that Kingsmill was a response to collusion and Loyalist violence in general."

Nope, not "in general"

It was a sectarian response to the sectarian killing of six nationalists, from the Reavey and O’Dowd families, the day before. Billy McCaughey (see above) was present with the UVF at the Reavey killings and then ‘investigated’ the Kingsmill massacre the day after for the RUC. He claimed falsely that the Kingsmill massacre started his colluding with loyalists. In fact he had a history of sectarianism from his B Special days – and there was little difference between the loyalist methods in his RUC unit and what unofficial UVF loyalists did. So little in fact that they often worked happily together.

The RUC actively and immediately persecuted the remaining members of the Reavey family after Kingsmill, and attempted to finger surviving brother, Eugene Reavey, for the massacre. Perhaps McCaughey’s ‘investigations’ pointed in this direction. He was indifferent, he hated all ‘papists’ – all equally ‘guilty’ as far has he was concerned. McCaughey was only 'caught' when he suffered a nervous breakdown and confessed to the 1977 killing of a Catholic pharmacist, William Strathearn.

McCaughey said of his RUC Special Patrol Group unit:

”Our colour code was Orange and it was Orange by nature and several of us were paramilitaries. Our proud boast was that we would never have a Catholic in it. We did actually have a Catholic once, a guy called Danny from Dungivin. The day after he joined we had him dangling out from the back of a Land Rover with his chin inches from the road. He lasted a week”

(from 'Bandit Country' by Toby Harnden)

In 1999 Ian Paisley decided on his own version of a ‘truth commission’ by stating that Eugene Reavey, with others he named under parliamentary privilege, were responsible for the Kingsmill massacre. It was pack of lies, though Paisley has never retracted. The PSNI historical Enquiries team apologised for the persecution and false allegations in January 2007 - see source above. As this RUC interaction with the bereaved Reavey family was part of a typical interaction between the nationalist population and the forces of ‘law and order’, it is not surprising that most young nationalists saw themselves as trapped in a violent sectarian state in which counter violence was an inevitable outcome.

The UVF group above, part of a British ‘pseudo gang’, that comprised members of the RUC, RUC Reserve and UDR, were also involved in the previous Dublin Monaghan bombings and the subsequent Miami Showband massacre. The other common denominator is that John Weir revealed that his RUC superiors knew what was going on and that British Military Intelligence ran this group as part of a policy of creating sectarian mayhem.

Miami Showband Massacre

”However could a Loyalist not also claim that the Miami massacre was in response to the killings in June 1975 where 60 shots were pumped into the three Protestants returning from a dog show in Cork? There was a tit for tat nature to much of the 1970s sectarian killings, which you are trying to give a semi-justification for.”

First of all I have not attempted to give any justification for any of the killings, least of all Kingsmill. Secondly, no such specific event (the 'dog show in Cork' detail in particular) is recorded for June 1975. Perhaps this is it:

Tuesday 3 June 1975
Two Protestant civilians and an off-duty member of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) were found shot dead in a car in Killeen, County Armagh. Republican paramilitaries were responsible for the killings.

Thirdly the Miami massacre was nearly two months later, on 31 July 1975. It was a carefully planned action that ‘went wrong’ in that explosives went off prematurely, killing two of the UDR-UVF members planting them in the Miami van unbeknownst to the showband members, who thought they had been stopped by a 10-man UDR patrol. It was lead by a British officer. Had the bomb gone off as planned in the Irish Republic, it would then have been claimed that the band were transporting explosives on behalf of the IRA.

The UDR-UVF members then opened fire on the showband members, according to two who survived being riddled with UVF-UDR-SAS bullets - three died. John Weir later related that he was told that SAS Captain Robert Nairac, then with 14th Intelligence Company, was present at the Miami massacre (all the sources for this are above).

However, check out in particular:

Butchered by the British, Irish Daily Mail, November 30 2006 (


Death Squad Dossier, Irish Mail on Sunday by Michael Browne, December 10, 2006, also partly quoted in Barron Report (2003) p, 172 (

The British government has revealed not one iota of its participation in events like these, never mind the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. They are happy enough to let the loyalist 'paddies' take the blame, as long as responsibility can be kept away from their door.

‘Tit for tat’

Jilted John’s phrase ‘tit for tat’ was one first used by the RUC after their attempt to describe the campaign of loyalist sectarian killings in the early 1970s as ‘motiveless murders’ failed to take hold. The RUC were never happy promoting the idea that the loyalists were capable of running campaigns of autonomous sectarian killings, that were independent of republican action. Though, that this How Gusty Spence commenced his activities with the UVF in 1966. What IRA ‘tit’ lead to that UVF ‘tat’ – the 1916 rebellion perhaps? The RUC ‘tit for tat’ scenario is one that carried over into the courts. Unionist judges criticised loyalists, unlucky to be charged with an offence, for ‘taking the law into their own hands’, before letting them off with a considerably more lenient sentence than a republican in the same position would ‘enjoy’.

I suggest that the ‘Johns’ stop busying themselves chopping down republican trees and start from the premise that a state claims a legitimate monopoly on the right to use force. What happens when the state’s actions become predominantly illegitimate? And what happens when the state uses violence in a sectarian and repressive manner, primarily aimed at one community, and continues to deny it? The people of that state, including you two Johns, have a right to the truth about that. Or maybe you are indifferent to what the British state did mainly to nationalists.

author by Laois hobopublication date Mon Apr 16, 2007 22:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Justice for all the innocent, or none.

Start with the 'informers' and hundreds of Catholics that were killed 'accidentally' by the IRA / INLA etc. who started the 'war' - 'you belong to us by the fact of your birth'.

The Indo is reinventing history, maybe, but if we haven't yet got the full facts then that will happen. Our elected Dail allowed the IRA to build bombs down here that killed many more up north. A pricey decision here, a bad choice, but the big price was paid by the families.

author by Jilted Johnpublication date Tue Apr 17, 2007 09:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I grew up a Nationalist in the six counties, in the Maiden City as I said. I resent everything that the Unionists did in my city and I resent the Brits for shooting people who my family knew ( i was a small child in 1972). I also resent the fact that my family were driven mental by our town being blown to pieces by lads sent out by cynical bastards who have now accepted what they called John Hume a traitor for suggesting was all that was possible. Some of the people I grew up joined the RA and some went to jail. Most didn't get anything out of it and some were good lads. A few were bullies who liked the power it gave them on the streets and in the pubs. Luckily it never got as bad sectarian killings wise in Derry as it did elsewhere, Annie's Bar at Top of the Hill excepted. But I know what motivated a lot of people, inlcuding myself at times. We hated 'them.' The Brits, in general, except when the fuckers hassled you were an abstraction. The enemy was the ones that had held us down. Sectarian hatred was at the root of loads of what went on. By the way, if you go beyond your internet Hugh, and check news coverage of the time you will see that those men outside Newry were travelling back from a dog show in Cork, their dogs got riddled with them. The Provo ceasefire was on but their units in South Armagh were killing all around them. Ah yes, the fighting men from Crossmaglen, do you think that they would pay tax in a united Ireland? It must be terrible being that oppressed and still driving an SUV. Collusion was a reality, the peelers and Brits were up their neck in it with the loyalists. lets have it all out there. But lets not forget all the other slaughter. By the way if you want to know why SF still haven't got an MP in Derry the killing of Patsty Gillespie is worth probably a 1,000 votes to the SDLP. Whats the betting that a least one of the people involved in that wasn't an informer?

author by Harrypublication date Tue Apr 17, 2007 09:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Laois Hobo says

"Justice for all the innocent, or none."

You cannot have justice while the state dispenses sectarian and violent injustice - and continues to hush it up. 'Justice' is a monopoly function of the state (whether you like it or not). You need to demand that the state acts impartially and to force it to do so. Otherwise no one will get justice. That is why Justice for the Forgotten, Geraldine Finucane and her family, Raymond McCord, and others press for full disclosure of the British state's involvement in killing. Success there will help to win justice for all.


The Indo is reinventing history, maybe, but if we haven't yet got the full facts then that will happen. Our elected Dail allowed the IRA to build bombs down here that killed many more up north. A pricey decision here, a bad choice, but the big price was paid by the families.

The Sunday Independent and Jim Cusack is, in your terms, "reinventing history". How come then the Irish Independent did not? What was going on there? The rest of the comment is meaningless.

author by Harrypublication date Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I grew up a Nationalist in the six counties, in the Maiden City as I said. I resent everything that the Unionists did in my city and I resent the Brits for shooting people who my family knew ( i was a small child in 1972). I also resent the fact that my family were driven mental by our town being blown to pieces by lads sent out by cynical bastards

Well, John, if the British had not shot down 14 anti-internment civil rights marchers in cold blood on Bloody Sunday, then the thousands who queued up to join the IRA during the days following might have stayed home, and your town might have stayed intact. You see life in tabloid terms: provos are lead by “cynical bastards”, the rank and file are a combination of some “good lads” and “bullies”, and so on. Provos in South Armagh are “driving an SUV” and will not “pay tax in a United Ireland”. You insist on your dead dogs detail, though I think I pinpointed the event in question (you might confirm). A bit “cynical” yourself, perhaps.

On the informers question, that exercises the end of your comment, they have been a feature of British policy in Ireland since time immemorial. The facts seem to suggest that loyalist organisations consisted mainly of agents and informers. As I said, this should have made loyalist violence impossible. In fact, it made loyalist violence an adjunct to British state security policy. Loyalists did not have a fundamental problem being British agents - in their eyes it gave them status. Informers also penetrated the IRA, but not to anything like the same extent, but that has not prevented the usual media priority of writing more about less republican informers. It was the same in coverage of violence. British and Loyalist violence was underplayed, relative to republican violence.

Some people are fascinated by salacious speculation on informers and lap up all and every dubious detail, no matter how improbable. How about yourself, John ? You seem a bit lost in the maze of confusion that surrounds this issue.

Some of the speculation reported as fact on the informer business will be tested in the Irish government Smethwick inquiry into the IRA Killing of RUC chief inspector Harry Breen and chief superintendent Brian Fitzsimmons, head of Newry-based RUC special branch. The writings of the Daily Telegraph’s Toby Harnden and the Irish Independent’s (then Irish Times) Kevin Myers will be tested in this regard. Myers has got his retaliation in early, by calling Judge Peter Corey (who has done preliminary investigation of the killing of Pat Finnucane, Rosemary Nelson, and of Breen-Fitzsimmons) “Homer Simpson”. Corey found the Myers-Harnden thesis that there was an IRA mole in Dundalk Garda station as devoid of substantive evidence. Cory said:

interviews revealed how little these gentlemen relied upon fact and how much they relied upon suspicion and hypothesis…… Statements and allegations were put forward as matters of fact when in reality they were founded upon speculation and hypothesis. It would have been preferable if the [Harnden] book and the [Myers] article had made this clear. Fairness to the victims’ families demanded no less.

From: Cory Collusion Inquiry Report: Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan at

The speculations of a well-known Walter Mitty type from Newry, regularly lapped up by some media outlets who have paid him thousands, will also be tested by Smethwick. You may have read some of this material in the media, John. Did you believe it?

In the meantime, John, if you want sober factual reporting and conclusions, all of the Barron reports, the Stevens report and the police ombudsman’s report on Mark Haddock are available online. Have you read them? Why not read some and then come back.

The Ombudsman, Nuala O’Loan’s report on Mark Haddock (allowed by the RUC to kill Raymond McCord Jnr and many others) can be found at:

The rest of the reports are sourced above, as well as some media summaries. Happy reading (of course you can continue to be guided by Jim Cusack on this point, it’s your choice).

Here are some others

Pat Finucane
Cory collusion Inquiry report

Rosemary Nelson
Cory collusion Inquiry report

Lord Justice Gibson and Lady Gibson
Cory Collusion Inquiry Report

A Truth Commission will only work if those who might participate have confidence that the state will be truthful in relation to its role. Until that guarantee is there, such a commission is a pious aspiration. The South African model, that some refer to, worked because those who previously ran the state were deposed. Also, state agents, official and unofficial, could tell the truth and thereby escape prosecution. That has not happened in the North, and will not under British sovereignty. Don't fforget, thousands of republicans went to jail, suffered (often literally) the full rigors of the law, while those engaged in British violence were shielded by their government that ordered them into the field.

author by Jilted Johnpublication date Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hugh, this is really the dialouge of the deaf and ultimatlely is pointless except as an excercise in how different people can see the same things completly differently. After Bloody Sunday lots of people queued up to join the RA. Lots also didn't. Marty was getting trounced in elections in Derry by Hume until the Peace process and even nice-guy Mitchel couldn't get in. Most Catholics never supported the armed stuggle. A lot like me thought it was a good idea between the ages of 13 and 16 when we took our lunch breaks from St. Joes to fling bottles and stones and the Brits and got clattered by our teachers for doing so. Some got turned off by the fact that some guys who robed cars and strated fights at discos got hidings from the RA whereas other boys who were from the right families got excuses made for them and were let off. Some got involved, most didn't, some vote SF now, some don't. There is another story of the Troubles besides the Provo one. By the way the IRA (or IRAs) were shooting and bombing in Derry for nearly two years before Bloody Sunday, as were the Brits of course. It was a lot worse in Belfast, as an aside credelous people like yourself in 1971 believed that the UVF had killed the three Scots Brits in order to get internment introduced. All sides lie and continue to. As Gerry A said before the election, 'listen son, you don't even remember.' Well I do and I don't'think I see the world through tabloid eyes, anymore than you think you see it thorough AP/RN eyes. But my eyes have seen this. The IRA destryoyed Derry city centre. it used to be owned by Prods, its owned by Catholics now. One of the biggest buisinessmen in Derry, who runs most of the town's entertainment industry is contributor to SF. The dickheads who I have to deal with in order to get into pubs, ie the doormen, are almost all run by the Provos. Was 30 years of war worth it so wee girls from the Bog work for Catholic employers now? So members of a supposedly socialist party turn up for commemorations in SUVs? Most of us will just get with our lives as usual. Looking forward to the Big man as first minister; you would have got few recruits to the RA for that in 1972.

author by Harrypublication date Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dialogue of the blind as well it seems. Who is Hugh?

So, when it comes to Justice for the Forgotten, you can't be bothered because of provo doormen and the fact that Big Ian is forced to share power with republicans. Is that it (in a nutshell) or have I missed something?

(By the way, what kind of vehicles should socialists drive, then?)

author by Jilted Johnpublication date Tue Apr 17, 2007 14:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Justice for the Forgotten? Well Patsy Gillespie is fairly forgotten about among the ceasefire soldiers that make up the obsessives that cut and paste link after link about collusion but can't make an argument about why a war was neccesary to bring us this far. Sorry I called you Hugh by the way, must have got caught up in the flow. Its not just old cynics like me that wonder about all this you know, a fair view people who took part in the armed struggle have a lot of doubts about where it all ended up and things that were done. No matter how many times I say I agree with justice for the victims of the Dublin/Monaghan bombings, and a full investigation into every nook and cranny of the dirty war of what Britain did in Ireland you will not be satisfied because your agenda, I suggest, is not to gain justice for those killed by the Brits, or by Loyalists, but to use the issue of collusion to retrospectively justify the IRA's campaign. A campaign that killed over 600 civilians, some on purpose, some accidentially, and that copperfastened partition in a way the Unionists could never do, that widened the gap between north and south and that worse of all has made sectarianism more intense than it was in the 1960s. Ask Gerry Adams, he has written about shopping on the Shankhill, working in Protestant areas etc no Catholic can do that now. Not all the Provos fault of course, but their campaign played a big role into making this place a more divided society. The Brits are essentially gone from Derry city now, I haven't seen an army foot patrol in several years. They didn't go because of the armed struggle, they went when it stopped. But young lads in Celtic and Rangers gear are still battering each other down at the Fountain or across in Irish Street and both sides think they actually won this war! Both their sets of leaders are telling them lies, a recipe for disaster in the future. As for Paisley being forced to share power, I remember than graffitti on the walls, 'not a bullet, not an ounce' and being shouted at about there being no return to Stormont. You convince yourself that it was worth it if you want mate but I won't swallow it. I suggest again that you are more concerned with scoring political points than about about the innocent dead. I'm also away now to worry about other things, you couldn't find a few links about Derry City in the 80s for me could you?
Justice for All

author by Jilted Johnpublication date Tue Apr 17, 2007 14:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Oh sorry, people who claim to have been fighting for the 32 county democratic socialist republic should drive Austin Metros. Only. They should also avoid owning bars, clubs, resturants, shops, dealing in diesel, ciggeretes, DVDs and videos, running security companies and import/export businesses. Some of them should also take up jogging while others are spending too much time in gyms. But yeah, the Austin Metro brings back a few memories.

author by Joe Dohertypublication date Tue Apr 17, 2007 17:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What does 'Jilted John' think he is arguing about? What has his monomania to do with the actual campaign for the victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings? He keeps telling us he is not a fan of SF or of the IRA though it is irrelevant. OK, we get the message. But there are many, the majority, who do support Justice for the Forgotten and other victims' organizations without getting bogged down in party political sectarianism.

There is no point demanding basic democratic accountability because..... well because 'jilted John' is fed up with the way things have turned out. And what is this about "innocent" victims? Are there "Guilty" victims? The only other people who use this terminology are William Frazer and his FAIR organisation. They include loyalist paramilitaries who were in the UDR, but deny 'victimhood' to anyone not passing a test of unionist worthiness. It is a kind of sectarianism beyond the grave. Maybe, for all his railing against Celtic and Rangers animosity, Jilted John is content to let it pass into the next world.

Good luck to Justice for the Forgotten and all those who campaign for the truth, including Billy Wright's dad and even Billy Frazer and his mob. Unlike 'Jilted john' they are out there campaigning for something, not moping about occupying web space with parochial guff.

author by Harrypublication date Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While he appears to have gone off to greater things, the search for Derry City memorabilia from the 1980s, I have had another look at 'Jilted John's' tirade(s) of complaint against what I have contributed on the Dublin Monaghan bombings, and other acts of collusion in illegal violence by British forces - in the calm light of day.

It was difficult to figure out what the essential beef was. 'Jilted' shares a Derry trait, the ability to talk in interminable winding sentences and paragraphs that meander from subject to subject - and he has transferred it successfully to the Internet (congratulations).

I think it would be fair to sum up his view as the last clause in the following typically long sentence.

No matter how many times I say I agree with justice for the victims of the Dublin/Monaghan bombings, and a full investigation into every nook and cranny of the dirty war of what Britain did in Ireland you will not be satisfied because your agenda, I suggest, is not to gain justice for those killed by the Brits, or by Loyalists, but to use the issue of collusion to retrospectively justify the IRA's campaign.

I am puzzled because I did not set out to do as he accuses. But I think I can unravel the basis of the complaint. IRA recruitment was in proportion to political events, Bloody Sunday in Derry being the most often cited example. Recruitment also probably responded to exposure of perceived misdeeds of the state combating the IRA: killings of unarmed people, plastic bullet deaths, internment, repression, beatings, assaults (in and out of custody), collusion, sectarianism, and so on.

To draw attention to the reasons why state security policy had the opposite effect of the one intended is not to justify what the IRA did, it is to give an objective reason why perhaps over 10,000 mainly working class nationalist young people went through its ranks and through the prisons during the period of 'the Troubles'.

To put it another way, one of the reasons why the Irish government tried to suppress campaigns on behalf of the Birmingham Six and why they ignored the perpetrators of the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings in the 1970s is because they thought it would lead to justification of the IRA campaign. The victims of injustice took second place to the paranoia and fear that lay at the heart of southern government security policy. Ministers thought the foundations of the state were under threat. The search for justice, 'though the heavens may fall', was the opposite of the approach they adopted.

There is no way that 'Jilted' has this object in mind, though it is a variant of it from a historical point of view. Also, from the point of view of the victims, all bombings are the same and equally deserving of our attention. However, from a political point of view (in the broadest sense) they are not the same. Different authors and agencies were involved. All who perpetrated the acts should be forced (if necessary) to stand up and account for their actions. But it is the British state which at this point is the one agency that has refused to accept its share (a large one) for the illegal (never mind the legal) violence it perpetrated. Since the state is the agency with the power of legal enforcement, it is trying to stand aloof from political violence in society. It is a political and legal variant of the role it claimed for its forces - poor piggy in the middle trying to sort out these fractious Irish warring 'tribes'.

If 'Jilted' wants to come back, maybe he could sort out his stream of consciousness writing style first. It would help to figure out what he is saying - and maybe this would move on.

author by Harrypublication date Thu Apr 19, 2007 15:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

These articles summarise the information on collusion - don't think Daily Mail can be accused trying to justify IRA campaign (though maybe someone will try).

Click to read, and then left-click to save

Irish Daily Mail November 30 2006 (click to read, then left-click to save)
Irish Daily Mail November 30 2006 (click to read, then left-click to save)

Irish Daily Mail November 30 2006  - feature a (click to read, then left-click to save)
Irish Daily Mail November 30 2006 - feature a (click to read, then left-click to save)

Irish Daily Mail November 30 2006  - feature b (click to read, then left-click to save)
Irish Daily Mail November 30 2006 - feature b (click to read, then left-click to save)

Irish Mail on Sunday December 3 2006 - feature (click to read, then left-click to save)
Irish Mail on Sunday December 3 2006 - feature (click to read, then left-click to save)

Irish Mail on Sunday December 10 2006 - feature (click to read, then left-click to save)
Irish Mail on Sunday December 10 2006 - feature (click to read, then left-click to save)

author by Redundant Republicanpublication date Thu May 19, 2011 21:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Information about the working together of "security force members" and loyalist thugs was given to the Garda in Donegal in 1973. They had the names of 5 UDR members involved in bombing the village of Pettigo. They also received details on the link to the British army contact that supplied weapons and explosives to this group. The Garda failed to act on this information and allowed further attacks to occur in the republic. This incompetence has not been exposed. The brit agent was Robert Johnstone origionally from fermanagh and the information was supplied by Jack Lowry. A member of the UDR, George Samuel Farrell was arrested in the republic and jailed for his part in the Pettigo bombings. His court statement named the security force members involved in the attacks. Proof of collusioin was very clear.

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