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rights, freedoms and repression |
Monday April 16, 2007 00:46 by Harry Wells - The Well Well Well Foundation
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)
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. Indymedia.ie 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.”
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!”
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."
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Wallace was fully vindicated. 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."
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".
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."
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 ), 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.
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”. ”
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.”
“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. ” 
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."
“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.”
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.
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 (http://www.indymedia.ie/article/80134),
see also, Irish Daily Mail, November 30 2006 (http://www.indymedia.ie/article/80012).
3. Report by Justice Henry Barron into the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, December 2003, p. 121 (http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/events/dublin/barron03.pdf)
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 (http://www.sbpost.ie/post/pages/p/story.aspx-qqqt=IRELA...1.asp)
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 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,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
13. Report points finger at Coalition apathy, Irish Independent, Dec 11 2003 (http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=...10144)
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 (http://www.village.ie/ireland/feature/%27i%27m_lucky_to...d%27/
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. (http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=...10144), see also Profiles of Weir: RUC man's secret war with the IRA, by Liam Clarke, Sunday Times, March 7 1999 (http://www.indymedia.ie/article/80602&comment_limit=0&c...81987) and I'm lucky to be above Ground, by Frank Connolly, Village, November 16 2006. (http://www.village.ie/ireland/feature/%27i%27m_lucky_to...d%27/ )
20. Report by Justice Henry Barron into the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, December 2003, p. 148-151.
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
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
The answer to Cusack - in the Irish Independent (see link in text)