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the best-laid plans……gang aft a-gley!

By Mike Cunningham On May 2nd, 2014

It all started with the best possible motives, which was to set in hard memory the vaunted deeds and so-called ‘sacrifices’ of the sacred volunteers of the Irish Republican Army. Other people, with a more settled view of events, would call these ‘sacred volunteers’ by another set of names and adjectives, with ‘murderous psychopaths’ being one of the more printable versions, but perhaps back to the news.

The John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections at Boston College was to be the repository for the murderous memories of this bunch of killers, the preliminary meetings, between an American librarian, a journalist and an ex-IRA killer who had served seventeen years for the killing of a Protestant ‘volunteer’ was arranged, and this meeting was to serve as the start point for an ambitious project to record, for ‘history’, for future researchers who foraged after their version of the ‘Truth about the Troubles’. These three starry-eyed idiots, full of beer, patriotism and promises, forgot one teensy-weeny tiny detail. When they promised the killers anonymity, when they promised that no-one would see or hear the recordings until after the death of the person whose words were recorded; when they told the likes of the stone-cold killer Dolours Price that she would be remembered as a heroine of the ‘Freedom fighters’; they hadn’t put any of their ‘contracts’, their silly, stupid legally-binding promises before a trained American lawyer!

And that is why we are hearing of the arrests in Northern Ireland, of the detention of the leader of the gang of killers who snatched a widowed mother of ten from her living room, tortured her and then shot her in the back of the head before burial in an unmarked grave. He may well escape true justice, but there are many voices to be listened to, and the PSNI, in an attempt to maybe get ahead of the ridicule, have even bought new headphones!

 

7 Responses to “the best-laid plans……gang aft a-gley!”

  1. There is so much trash being written about this case, that I really must intervene.

    First, the murder of Jean McConville was by far not the worst crime committed in the Troubles. It wasn’t even the worst crime committed by the IRA.

    Everybody knows that when a section of the population rises up in arms against the government there are going to be massacres by the security forces, reprisals, informers, killings of informers, etc. The IRA was no more unusual in killing Jean McConville than the British Army was in killing 14 people on Bloody Sunday (they behaved like gentlemen compared to, say, the French in Algeria or the Americans in Vietnam). It’s pointless picking one vicious killing out of a bag of hundreds of murders, especially when, tragic as it was, it took place 42 years ago. Such a move could be justified only if it is seen as just the start of a series of prosecutions against all who broke the law since the 1960s, and that would be even more pointless.

    An example: despite the image of the Black and Tan war as being a fair and open fight, countless young men were found trussed and shot all over the country in the first few months of 1921 alone. On the morning of the original Bloody Sunday, Sean Lemass shot one of the British agents – unarmed and in his pyjamas – in the head. Now imagine if, when in 1964 Lemass, who was Taoiseach then, went to London for negotiations, he found himself arrested and charged with something that happened in Dublin almost half a century before!

    If anyone thinks these revelations are going to damage Sinn Fein, they are mistaken, and Martin McGuinness sounded silly last night playing the victim and claiming this is all part of anti-SF electioneering.

    As David said, if anything it is pro-SF electioneering. Sinn Fein is probably going to get elected in every one of the four constituencies in Ireland at the Euro elections this month, becoming the largest party in the country in terms of Euro seats. This isn’t going to stop them and, for the above reasons, will probably even help them.

  2. So just because it

    ‘was all a long time ago’

    , this murder, along with all the other IRA terror acts of killing, brutalising, fire bombing and just plain mayhem has to be forgotten and forgiven?

    It was stated that Jean McConville was murdered because she was an ‘informer’; but, if truth be told, she paid the ultimate price for a pure act of charity when she was rumoured to have consoled a British soldier who lay wounded and near to death in front of her own home! She was condemned for that, and for nothing else!

  3. If truth be told, she paid the ultimate price for a pure act of charity when she was rumoured to have consoled a British soldier who lay wounded and near to death in front of her own home! She was condemned for that, and for nothing else!

    Really Mike? This is a quote from Henry on another thread:

    Her children have always claimed that Jean McConville was killed for helping an injured British soldier. Records show that the only terrorist attack on a soldier in the area around the time of Mrs McConville’s abduction was on Private D who was shot in the thigh on December 15, 1972 – which was eight days after the abduction.

    So?

    This murder, along with all the other IRA terror acts of killing, brutalising, fire bombing and just plain mayhem has to be forgotten and forgiven?

    Good man, I’ll look forward to you doing a thread on these multiple murders which occured the year before Jean McConville was callously murdered:

    http://www.ballymurphymassacre.com/cms/

    Although I won’t hold my breath.

  4. Mike Cunningham –

    This exact point was made yesterday.

    Noel Cunningham –

    That’s alot of words when two would have sufficed to tell the bereaved where to go.

    Yes, Lemass ought to have been arrested and investigated. Being a politician is no defence, but they regard themselves as different and make different rules for themselves. There’s no difference between a Taoiseach, a terrorist and an SS soldier if crimes have been committed.

    In fact if more politicians were dragged into the dock years or decades after their crimes it would give present and future regimes pause for thought.

    “If anyone thinks these revelations are going to damage Sinn Fein, they are mistaken, and Martin McGuinness sounded silly last night playing the victim and claiming this is all part of anti-SF electioneering.”

    Yes, I can how being formally questioned over the abduction, torture and murder of a defenceless mother of ten would add to Adams’ and Sinn Fein’s kudos among the Republican voting drones.

    Really, I can.

  5. On Mike’s original post, the way the Boston “memoirs” fell into the hands of the PSNI is a classic example of cockup. The crude threats from McGuinness today make it all the more important that Adams is treated no differently from any other murder suspect. If there is evidence it must be probed.

  6. Have to disagree with Noel on this. As Peter says, it should be treated like any other murder case. The family deserve no less.

  7. Off topic, war in Ukraine has moved a lot closer tonight:

    “At least 31 people have been killed in a fire in an official building amid violence in the city of Odessa in south-west Ukraine, local police say. The deaths came as pro-Russian protesters clashed with Ukrainian government supporters in the city. Officials said some people were overwhelmed by smoke and others died after they jumped from the building.”