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Sunday, Bloody Sunday

By Patrick Van Roy On March 10th, 2019

Sunday, Bloody Sunday a guest post by Paul

A bit of a break from Brexit and London knife crime

Pat recently blogged a piece on the Alabama marches in ’65 which got me thinking about recent events at home. A number of British soldiers involved in the Bloody Sunday shooting dead of fourteen innocents in 1972 will learn next week if they are to be prosecuted for the killings:

Bloody Sunday: Ex-para’s comments condemned as ‘cold and brutal

This has of course led to fury within certain sections of the British military and political establishment, citing the release of prisoners as part of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 where prisoners convicted prior to the signing of the agreement would be released on licence once they had served a minimum of two years would be released, as to why these prosecutions shouldn’t occur and that the soldiers responsible for the deaths were just following orders, (hmmmm).

The ever competent, (sarcasm off), British Government Secretay of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, further inflamed the issue earlier this week when she stated that :

Killings during the conflict by soldiers and police were “not crimes”, and That these people were “acting under orders and under instruction and fulfilling their duties in a dignified and appropriate way”

Tories have abandoned pretence of impartiality on North

Immediately after Bloody Sunday a judicial inquiry headed by Lord Chief Justice Lord Widgery was established to investigate the events of the day. After sitting for three weeks it concluded:

‘ that the soldiers had been fired on first, and there was “no reason to suppose” that the soldiers would have opened fire otherwise. (That) there would have been no deaths had there not been an illegal march, which created a “highly dangerous situation in which a clash between demonstrators and the security forces was almost inevitable”

After inconsistencies in the report the inquiry was branded a whitewash by Irish nationalists who agitated and campaigned for another inquiry which was established in 1998 and chaired by Lord Saville of Newdigate. After an
enormously expensive twelve years of investigation the Saville Report was published:
Main findings of Bloody Sunday inquiry

In the wake of Saville the then British Prime Minister David Cameron made a public apology on behalf of the British Government for Bloody Sunday:

Bloody Sunday: PM David Cameron’s full statement

So the question is, after almost fifty years should these soldiers, now old men, be held accountable for the shootings bearing in mind that the British ‘security forces’ were responsible for 10% of the deaths in the Irish conflict with more than just over 5% of those deaths being civilians and, to my knowledge, only four soldiers have ever been convicted of murder with each of them spending less that five years in jail and all being reinstated into the British Army and paid lost earnings upon release?

Our neighbour and family friend was murdered in the Ballymurphy Massacre in Belfast by the same regiment, and possibly even the same people, five months before the Paras ran amok in Derry. His children only want their father exonerated as an innocent and nothing more. I’d probably sway against prosecutions for Bloody Sunday but that may be easy for me to say as I didn’t have anyone murdered in the massacre.

195 Responses to “Sunday, Bloody Sunday”

  1. Generally it isn’t a good idea that victims get to decide on prosecutions and punishment; it has to be decided objectively and impartially. As hard as it may be for victims – of all sides . to bear, probably the best thing is to realise that the Troubles were a very special phenomenon born of a very special political set-up, and that the people involved were, for the most part, individuals who otherwise would have led normal, peaceful and law-abiding lives. The politicians who let such injustice continue for so long – for 50 years – bear responsibility.

    There comes a time when events have to be consigned to the history books. An exception is due for example in relation to the Nazi crimes, because they have no lobby and prosecutions there won’t upset anyone. But when two formerly warring communities live alongside each other and when they are now trying to think less of the past and more of the future, it’s best if the slate is wiped clean and investigations of all past acts within a political context up to, say, the year 1998 be discontinued.

    Ideally, an admit-and-amnesty procedure would allow those who killed to admit to their past and then automatically avail of an amnesty. That would be great for history geeks but also to help families etc. get closure. But of course very few would own up to what they have done.

    The Paras have at any rate shown themselves to be complete cowards. They were afraid to go to Derry for the inquiry, insisting on the whole lot decamp and move over to London just to take their statements. Then they hid behind “Soldier D” etc. aliases and spoke only from behind a screen. Pathetic. Former RUC and UDA men are living beside their former deadly enemies and have apparently less fear than British soldiers living in a different country hundreds of miles away .

  2. The Paras have at any rate shown themselves to be complete cowards.

    They were at best a poorly led rabble, a disgrace to the uniform, to their nation, to all military tradition.

    A significant number of them would have committed murder that day. They know it, their families and neighbors know it, all here know it.

    Lennon’s heart was somewhat in the right place, but this, like so much of his post Beatles work is just brutal music.

  3. Ideally, an admit-and-amnesty procedure would allow those who killed to admit to their past and then automatically avail of an amnesty. That would be great for history geeks but also to help families etc. get closure. But of course very few would own up to what they have done.

    That would roughly be my personal position Noel. Some form of truth and reconcilliation proccess where those involved would tell their stories without fear of prosecution which would bring a degree of closure to victim’s families and draw a line under the past. I’ve written above of family friends whose father was murdered by the Paras during the Ballymurphy Massacre in 71, they’ve stated to me that what they what is an official admission as to the facts of that day and an exoneration of their father as an innocent victim.

    It would never happen of course as the three protagonists in the conflict, Republicans, loyalists and the state’s armed forces were all guilty of inhuman, depraved acts which would certainly be considered war crimes and none of them would ever tell the whole truth.

    Pat, as always, many thanks.

  4. But this, like so much of his post Beatles work is just brutal music.

    Without Yoko’s wailing I think it would be a fairly good rock song.

  5. Incidentally, should anyone be interested this is good reading as to the polarisation within the issue:

    https://sluggerotoole.com/2019/03/06/there-is-an-easier-way-than-bloody-sunday-prosecutions/

  6. as to why these prosecutions shouldn’t occur and that the soldiers responsible for the deaths were just following orders, (hmmmm).

    Were those IRA members who planted bombs killing innocent men, women & children only following orders?

  7. Were those IRA members who planted bombs killing innocent men, women & children only following orders?

    Yes, I suspect they probably were. Now, do have any thoughts on the actual point re prosecutions for acts committed years ago?

  8. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=r0zGVVcsbPg

    Paul McCartney, separately, was on the exact same page as John Lennon on this

  9. as to why these prosecutions shouldn’t occur and that the soldiers responsible for the deaths were just following orders, (hmmmm).

    Were those IRA members who planted bombs killing innocent men, women & children only following orders?

    And your point on that particular “(hmmmm)” was…what exactly?

  10. Yes, I suspect they probably were.

    “Yes, you suspect they were”

    Ffs!

    Hmmmmmm.

  11. The point of hmmmmmm was that that argument has been used before.

    Now, is it too much to ask you to stop being the toxic fucking troll for five minutes and actually give your opinion on the subject of the post regarding prosecutions?

  12. Now, is it too much to ask you to stop being the toxic fucking troll for five minutes and actually give your opinion on the subject of the post regarding prosecutions?

    Touched a Republican nerve have we?

    😁

    Your racist hatred for the British has been noted.

  13. //Were those IRA members who planted bombs killing innocent men, women & children only following orders?//

    They weren’t following orders in that they had probably volunteered for the operations they were in. Someone else usually made the plans and told everyone what to do; the men then carried it out but were not forced to be part of it.

    A kind of symmetry to the British soldiers on Bloody Sunday. The soliders had to be there, were forced to be involved, but the actual killings were generally the individual soldiers’ own idea. If they had killed nobody on their rampages, nothing would have happened them. They killed without orders.

    Another thing is that the soldiers definitely wanted to kill people that day; whereas most (though probably not all) IRA bombs were intended to cause damage, and civilians were generally not targeted (although of course everyone knew that civilians inevitably die in such bombings). Killings by the IRA were deliberate when army, police etc were targeted.

  14. In my opinion the Peace Process has been an almost impossible achievement. It’s flaws such as the release or nonprosecution of certain criminals and criminal acts were real flaws yet necessary flwas. To open one group, no matter how deserved, to prosecution and not others would create real problems and damage to a fragile situation. It is a great sacrifice to victims and their families, but a necessary one.

  15. Someone else usually made the plans and told everyone what to do; the men then carried it out but were not forced to be part of it.

    Precisely, they were not forced, only following orders.

  16. //Precisely, they were not forced, only following orders.//

    They were not so much following orders as following plans. The IRA simply did not have the same rigid chain of command that a regular army has.

    The need for secrecy and fear of betrayal meant that one guy or two got the idea, discussed it with a few others they knew and trusted, carried out surveillance etc., made concrete plans, maybe got clearance for the operation from higher up in the organisation, then got together a few guys to carry it out. There are really no “orders” there in the strict military sense.
    Bomb attacks within Northern Ireland, especially in the early years, were very much local affairs, usually planned and carried out by local youths with bombs they’d made themselves, without approval from the hierarchy being sought or obtained.

  17. //In my opinion the Peace Process has been an almost impossible achievement. …To open one group, no matter how deserved, to prosecution and not others would create real problems and damage to a fragile situation.//

    That’s it.

  18. So..

    The IRA terrorists “only following orders” = good

    The British military “only following orders” = bad

    Correct?

  19. //The IRA terrorists “only following orders” = good//

    Are you talking to me?

  20. To open one group, no matter how deserved, to prosecution and not others would create real problems and damage to a fragile situation.

    Just to reiterate that my own preference would be some form of truth and reconcilliation proccess where those involved would tell their stories without fear of prosecution Mahons. However, on your point above:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-47415011

  21. Paul beat me to the punch.

    The narrative, shamefully spread by the British Government, is that soldiers and only soldiers are being prosecuted. That is a lie. IRA volunteers continue to be prosecuted. John Downey is being prosecuted for killing two soldiers. And in terms of the passage of time, Downey’s alleged offences occurred only seven months after Bloody Sunday.

    So you are right. “To open one group, no matter how deserved, to prosecution and not others would create real problems and damage to a fragile situation”. The problem is that has been the situation in Northern Ireland. If the IRA kill someone the state do everything they can to put that person in prison. If the British Army, or the RUC etc… kill someone the state do everything they can do to make sure that person is never put in prison.

  22. I prefer the Lennon song to the (sadly) more famous U2 song. The absolute complete insult was in November 2017 when Bono dedicated Sunday Bloody Sunday to the British Army. Lennon rightly aims at the people responsible for Bloody Sunday. Bono honours them.

  23. I didn’t realize that Bono had done that.

    Wow.

  24. Bono is on a (relatively short) list of people who I wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire.

  25. Biggest poser ever

  26. I lost any respect for him back in 2005, in the ‘Make Poverty History’. He lectured governments that they needed to spend more money on x, y and z. Which would be perfectly acceptable if he wasn’t a tax dodging scumbag.

  27. Wasn’t the Bono comment directed at the military in general and not in support of the British military’s actions on Bloody Sunday itself?

  28. Yes, he wants governments to spend money but he does not want to contribute to the tax pot that these expenditures are funded bt

    A complete fraud, Donald Trump with a guitar

  29. It wasn’t in support of the British Army’s actions on Bloody Sunday. But he still dedicated Sunday Bloody Sunday to the British Army.

  30. https://www.quora.com/At-the-concert-in-Trafalgar-Square-did-Bono-dedicate-the-U2-song-Sunday-Bloody-Sunday-to-the-British-Army

  31. “Yes, he wants governments to spend money but he does not want to contribute to the tax pot that these expenditures are funded bt

    A complete fraud, Donald Trump with a guitar”

    Pretty much. I can’t stand tax dodgers. They are the one group in society I genuinely hate with a passion. But when someone combines that tax dodging with moralising on government spending that is where they go too far.

  32. Here’s the Telegraph article (surprisingly for the Telegraph it is one of its rare articles that isn’t behind a pay wall):

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/what-to-listen-to/u2-celebrate-peace-unity-remembrance-day-performance-trafalgar/

  33. It seems like he dedicated it to the military in general. An akward phrasing, and probably a poor choice of songs to utilize. As offenses go I think it is in the let’s move on category.

  34. A bit like dedicating Holocaust Memorial Day to the German Army.

  35. We shall overcome to the Klan.

  36. I don’t think your examples are equivalent. I suspect he was trying to utilize the song in a way to make some sort of reconciliation statement. It was poorly phrased, not thought out, and probably did more harm (causing knee jerk reactions) than good, but again hardly aajor event.

  37. The British Army executed civil rights protesters. To dedicate the song about the execution of 14 civil rights protesters to the executioners is beyond offensive.

    I think certainly my second example is quite equivalent.

  38. He didn’t dedicate to their actions.

    Frankly,he has over the years correctly condemned violence by both sides. Which is a position taken by the majority of Irish people,

  39. “He didn’t dedicate to their actions.”

    So if you dedicate a song to the SS but not to their actions then that is ok?

  40. The British Army is not the SS. Grow up.

  41. No. You grow up. Your desires to minimise and trivialise the British Army’s campaign in Ireland have been exposed before. Your one sided assaults on the Finucane family for example.

    The British Army executed civil rights protesters. Executed civil rights protesters. To honour them with a song about that event is disgusting.

  42. You are now mischaracterizing me in addition to Bono. Which is my nice way of saying lying.

  43. “You are now mischaracterizing me in addition to Bono. Which is my nice way of saying lying.”

    http://www.atangledweb.org/?p=36232

    But his death does not need to be elevated above other victims, and that is what the Finucane movement wants. Pure politics.

  44. You found a statement that made my point, you elevate his death over others for political reasons. Just as you pretend Bono was somehow honoring those particular soldiers involved in Bloody Sunday.
    It is why the selective prosecution of one group over the other won’t work. There are too many like you who see it only from one side.

  45. “You found a statement that made my point, you elevate his death over others for political reasons.”

    No I don’t, nor have I. It is you who is very selective in your condemnation. You condemn the Finucance family but don’t condemn other victims groups who only campaign for their loved ones. You demand they publicly campaign against the IRA in a way you don’t demand the victims of IRA violence do so with state violence. Your bias is obvious.

    I also imagine however that if someone dedicated a song about say Kingsmill to the IRA then you would categorise it as more than “a poor choice of song”.

  46. “Just as you pretend Bono was somehow honoring those particular soldiers involved in Bloody Sunday.”

    I don’t pretend anything. I never said Bono was honouring the particular soldiers involved. He dedicated a song about Bloody Sunday to the organisation that perpetrated it. If someone was to dedicate a song about 9/11 to Al-Qaeda would that be ok as long as it wasn’t specifically dedicated to Mohamed Atta?

  47. I am critical of those who campaign for only one set of victims. You’ve said above he was dedicating it to those responsible for Bloody Sunday, and unless your contempt for the English extends to the English language. Your 9/11 analogy is juvenile and part of your obvious breakdown.

  48. “I am critical of those who campaign for only one set of victims.”

    You have been critical of only those who are the victims of state violence. You have never condemned another set of victims for only campaigning for their loved ones.

    “You’ve said above he was dedicating it to those responsible for Bloody Sunday, and unless your contempt for the English extends to the English language. “

    Are you suggesting that the British Army didn’t carry out Bloody Sunday? Is your contempt for state victims now that you are going full Widgery?

  49. Yes, I have and do.

    I’ve not said the British Army didn’t carry it out. You resorting to false claims which is usually the province of the right wing here.

  50. “Yes, I have and do.”

    Give me one example. Name one time on this site where you have condemned IRA victims for not campaigning for the victims of state violence.

    “I’ve not said the British Army didn’t carry it out. You resorting to false claims which is usually the province of the right wing here.”

    I said “Bono dedicated Sunday Bloody Sunday to the British Army”. The British Army carried out Bloody Sunday. You are no saying that I am falsely accusing him of dedicating it to the organisation that carried out Bloody Sunday.

    So which is? Did the British Army carry out Bloody Sunday or did they not?

  51. *now saying

  52. Feel free to search my thousands of comments over 10 years, I have no intention of doing so.

    Are you retarted? Serious question. I’ve never said the British Army didn’t commit Bloody Sunday, I said he wasn’t dedicating the song to them for THAT.

  53. “Feel free to search my thousands of comments over 10 years, I have no intention of doing so.”

    So I take it that is a no then. You have never condemned another set of victims for only campaigning for their loved ones. Like the biased bastard you are you only reserve that for the victims of state violence, and the Finucane family in particular.

    “I said he wasn’t dedicating the song to them for THAT.”

    I never said he did. I said he dedicated the song Sunday Bloody Sunday to the perpetrators. There is nothing wrong in what I said. Maybe in your bigotry you misread my comment.

  54. You think I index my comments? In any event I have criticized those who campaign for only one set of victims and do so today (mark this comment for future reference).
    I didn’t misread you, you misread you. You seem to be suggesting the British military is collectively responsible for one event.

  55. You specifically attacked the Finucane family. You named them in your attack. I want you to be consistent and specifically attack another group. Do it now. Go on. Name one other group of victims who don’t meet your standards (just as a guide none of them do).

    “You seem to be suggesting the British military is collectively responsible for one event.”

    Are they not? The British Government’s spokesperson for Northern Ireland said at the dispatch box this week that the people who carried out Bloody Sunday “were people acting under orders and instructions, fulfilling their duties in a dignified and appropriate way”.

    The British Army carried out Bloody Sunday. That is a fact, whether you want to admit it or not. To even suggest otherwise is ludicrous.

  56. I have written that the killing of Finucane was murder. I have also written that people have wrongfully elevated his murder while ignoring murders of others not on their side. There are Unionists who take the same tact and that too is wrong.
    As to the British Army I have said that it’s members committed Bloody Sunday (see above)

  57. The distinction is that a particular nation’sI military is not collectively responsible for one incident.

  58. You have never attacked another family in the vile personal way that you attacked the Finucane family. That you fail to apply that to other families means either you are biased or you are a coward.

    “As to the British Army I have said that it’s members committed Bloody Sunday (see above)”

    And so your problem with my statement about Bono dedicating a song to the perpetrators of Bloody Sunday is what?

  59. “The distinction is that a particular nation’sI military is not collectively responsible for one incident.”

    The British Government disagree. The soldiers who carried out Bloody Sunday “were people acting under orders and instructions, fulfilling their duties in a dignified and appropriate way”.

  60. I have not made any vile personal attack against the Finucane family.
    I am critical of anyone seeking justice for only one side.
    You are being deliberately obtuse on the song dedication for obvious reasons.

  61. I agree with Seamus here. To write and perform a song in honour of A massacre of civilians and then use it as a dedication to the military organisation that carried out the killings is extremely crass and insulting however pacific the intentions.

  62. I like Noel’s (first) comment above.
    We refer to the NI violence as “the troubles”, as if to denigrate it to the level of a small skirmish, but it was war, wasn’t it? And lots of bad things happen in war, on both sides. Soldiers find themselves in fearful life/death situations and they have to make snap decisions.
    Yes, from a “Brit” point of view the IRA committed some awful atrocities, but even I am willing to step back and try and see their point of view for a moment: They wanted us out of NI, diplomacy was no good, so I can hear Mr Adams say in my mind “what the f*** were we supposed to do? Only target ‘legit’ miltary targets? Make sure we never harmed a civilian? It’s WAR, man, and that’s the way war is”. I begrudgingly accept that, and by the same token I accept that the UK soldiers had to make a lightning decision and fired onto (perhaps) innocents on B.S. It’s war, it’s f****d up.

  63. I have also written that people have wrongfully elevated his murder while ignoring murders of others not on their side

    Mahons, I’ve no wish to become involved in the exchange with Seamus and yourself but that comment can’t go unanswered. The only people who are responsible for the ‘elevation’ of the Finucane murder are Pat Finucane’s wife and children and his former business partner Peter Madden who have been absolutely tenacious in utilising all and every avenue open to them in ensuring that the murder of Pat finucane won’t be buried. The Finucane family / campign are under absolutely no obligation whatsoever to campaign or lobby on behalf of other victims.

    Brexi, you might be surprised to find that I generally agree with you but let’s first get one thing out of the way:

    I accept that the UK soldiers had to make a lightning decision and fired onto (perhaps) innocents on B.S.

    After twelve years of investigation theSaville Inquiry concluded that al those murdered on BS were innocent. If you have any evidence to the contrary I suggest you contact the Home Office.

    Yes, from a “Brit” point of view the IRA committed some awful atrocities, but even I am willing to step back and try and see their point of view for a moment

    That’s very noble of you. Are you also willing to step back and try and see the awful atrocities the British state forces were responsible for? Or better still, are you even aware of them?

  64. Paul – it’s a cause that is championed in certain Republican circles where the investigation of Republican misdeeds is not only not given the same priority, it is ignored and opposed.

  65. Paul, I’m very probably not aware of most of the things you refer to. How could I be? As a good Brit, I watched the BBC News in the 80s and 90s etc (I now call it the BBC Views), how can one be aware of the other side’s view unless one has access to it?
    Ironically, it’s only now that I behold the UK subservient to foreign powers and wishing to extricate my country from that influence, that I can see the Irish point of view in the same way. (Although stangely the Irish political parties that fought for independance from the UK now seem to want to keep EIRE in subserviance to the same powers that WE want to be free of! Some brown paper envelopes have certainly changed hands, it seems).

  66. Yes, you’re right Mahons. As I said, the family have been ferociously tenacious in utilising every an all avenues open to them including prominent legal figures, the Courts, the British and Irish governments and politicians including but by no means limited to Sinn Féin.

    The Finucane campaign have no responsibility whatsoever in lobbying for any other individual or collective victims or how those outside the campaign highlight it in regards to other cases.

  67. //The distinction is that a particular nation’sI military is not collectively responsible for one incident.//

    The British army’s responsibility for Bloody Sunday doesn’t start or end with the Paras who did the killings that day.

    As far as I can see, the killings themselves were not the major crime of Bloody Sunday. Mass killings happen in war or serious conflict. They happened even in the US with demonstrators during the Vietnam war, and of course in Vietnam itself. The French in Algeria, the Dutch in Indonesia …..

    What in a way was worse, and what was so frustrating for many young Catholic men in NI at the time that the saw no other option but to join the IRA, was that the army at every level at the time, and including the British government, tried to cover up for the unlawful killings, telling lies, claiming the dead were terrorists and that their soldiers were only returning fire. Later they collaborated closely with the official government inquiry to make sure a completely false picture of the events came out, one that exonerated the soldiers and blamed the victims.

    The same thing happened again several times. On one occasion, soldiers guilty of wanton murders, stabbing to death, of innocents in NI went free and stayed free. But many years later, one of their commanding officers read reports of the Yorkshire Ripper. He thought the methods of the ripper were so similar to those of his former comrades that he spilled the beans. Only then did it come out that soldiers had been responsible for those killings after all and that a whole chain of command had long been aware of it.

    While I believe every shot fired on Bloody Sunday was unjustified, it still has to be rememmbered that the whole thing happened in the middle of a violent riot. As such, it’s wrong to compare their actions with those of the SS, and madness to compare them with Al Queda.

  68. That’s the point I make Brexi, ALL the British media was heavily sanitised regarding the conflict in the wee six.

    As to your second point, it’s the will of the Irish people is sovereign. However,

    A bit of a break from Brexit and London knife crime

    Let’s not drag this off on an EU tangent yet again.

  69. …But it’s not dragging it off on a tangent, is it? It’s essentially the same basic thing, although the details are different. The Irish voted, and then were made to vote again on Lisbon, until the “right” vote was obtained, and now the UK’s Brexit vote is being delayed, tampered with, a million false “objections” raised, etc etc, until surely there’ll be another “decisive” vote which goes the “right” way, and then suddenly there’ll be no more calls for a “peoples’ vote”. So much for “the will of the People”!

  70. I believe that everyone who might have committed murder should be investigated and charged if evidence exists. That is everybody whether in uniform or not. That is everyone including those who received ‘stay out of jail’ letters from Blair. There must be consequences to heinous acts and they should be severe. There should be no time limit or exceptions due to age. Investigate every last one of them and put them on trial if the evidence warrants. Murders deserve it and society needs it. The “Troubles” will not be over until every wrongdoer is dealt with legally, and the sooner the better.

  71. …But it’s not dragging it off on a tangent, is it? It’s essentially the same basic thing, although the details are different

    I don’t see how a post about the potential prosecutions of soldiers involved in the murder of fourteen innocents could be any different from the UK’s Brexit but just to comment on your incorrect ‘The Irish voted, and then were made to vote again on Lisbon, until the “right” vote was obtained’. The Irish rejected Lisbon and the then Taoiseach Brian Cowan went and renegotiated the Treaty with the EU and gained, IIRC, nine amendments before the treaty was put again to the Irish electorate. That’s generally how negotiations in business politics etc are conducted.

    But, as I said, this is meant to be a bit of a break from Brexit and London knife crime so let’s not drag it off on yet another EU tangent eh?

  72. Whenever anyone argues the point that a historical event involving a country wanting to free itself from enforced colonial rule is the same as a country leaving a voluntary international political union all they are doing is showing how little they understand either.

  73. “While I believe every shot fired on Bloody Sunday was unjustified, it still has to be rememmbered that the whole thing happened in the middle of a violent riot.”

    A riot that occurred because of the actions of the security forces that day. The decision to not allow the march to proceed along William Street to the Guildhall was always going to provoke a response. In fact it was likely designed to provoke that response to give the Army the pretext they needed to carry out aggressive actions.

    “As such, it’s wrong to compare their actions with those of the SS, and madness to compare them with Al Queda.”

    The comparison to Al-Qaeda was in response to Mahons insistence that the actions of a few can’t be laid at the feet of the whole organisation. If that was the case then the majority of Al-Qaeda members can’t be blamed for the actions of Mohamed Atta, and others.

  74. “it’s a cause that is championed in certain Republican circles where the investigation of Republican misdeeds is not only not given the same priority, it is ignored and opposed.”

    Except you attacked not just Republicans for it but the Finucane family personally, something that you have never done in any other case in the conflict. You have never attacked any other family seeking justice for their loved ones. That a lawyer reserves special criticism for a family of a lawyer murdered for doing his job is disgraceful.

  75. The murder of Patrick Finucane deserves special consideration not only because of its particular brutality (armed men broke into his home and shot him dead while he was eating his dinner in the kitchen with his children) but, again, because of official involvement before and after the crime.

    If his murderers weren’t actually members of the “Security Forces” (I think it was a British government minister who said there was a 70% overlap between Loyalist deathsquads and the UDR), they were tolerated, encouraged and facilitated by the British army and police. And of course after the killing, the British authorities did everything to cover up their crimes and continue to do so to this day.

  76. Seamus – I’ve not attacked the Finucane family personally for seeking justice for the murder. My criticism is for those who seek to limit investigations and prosecutions in accordance with their political advocacy. Gerry Adams is an excellent example of this hypocrisy. Think he wants a full and fair inquiry into all murders?

  77. “I’ve not attacked the Finucane family personally for seeking justice for the murder”

    Of course the Finucane family want his murder investigated. They are less enthusiastic about investigations regarding murders committed by the IRA.

    It is the elevation of some victims over others, for political reasons. They don’t want justice for all, just justice for some.

    Their links to the IRA would make me wonder why some call for apologies to a family that should be making them.

    I am willing to suspend belief and pretend with you that Pat Finucane was the white sheep of his family and merely a human rights lawyer.

    If people here believe that Pat Finucane was merely a human rights lawyer than I would suggest that a naive person would be in good company.

    Call me when the Finucanes work closely with those seeking to investigate IRA murders. Until then, I have a fairly good idea of who is being played.

  78. Each of my comments a gem, thank you for reposting them as repition may assist you in seeing the light.

  79. “Of course the Finucane family want his murder investigated. They are less enthusiastic about investigations regarding murders committed by the IRA.

    It is the elevation of some victims over others, for political reasons. They don’t want justice for all, just justice for some.”

    There used to be here a contributor who very tragically lost her mother in an IRA attack.
    I don’t remember anyone criticising her for – very understandably – being “less enthusiastic about investigations regarding murders committed by the” BA.

    That negligence was never mentioned with a single word, if I remember right.

  80. My criticism is for those who seek to limit investigations and prosecutions in accordance with their political advocacy

    That would be criticism of an awful lot of people in this situation.

    Including those on these pages who have long advocated prosecution of the IRA but who have never said one thing about prosecuting the substantial number of bad cops and bad British military.

    The police weren’t neutral upholders of the law. Bad police helped create the problem, even before the IRA had been revived, following the orders of bad government.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/apr/22/lost-moment-exhibition-northern-ireland-civil-rights-1968-troubles-what-if

  81. I can think of no one here or in public life who has sought prosecution of all wrong doers on a consistent basis. Not one, not ever.

    Including those who say that they’d like all terrorists prosecuted but who have never said one word about the bad cops or British Army.

    And if that’s the case, it’s a bit unfair to single out the Finucane family for being selective, when everyone else has been selective as well.

  82. //The police weren’t neutral upholders of the law. //

    There was an anti-Republican nexus from sections of the British government to the army, police and even Loyalist paramilitaries. That’s what Pat Finucane was up against.

    He and Rosemary Nelson died in the attempt, but they at least helped expose and ultimately end it.

  83. All sides were wrong, it was a disgrace no matter how you slice it. I am however just an outsider looking in with no vested interest.

    I see reason for shame on all sides.

  84. Noel – I prefer not to address a particular contributor’s situation.

    I’m not singling out the Finucane family, they just happen to be identified in the discussion. And my criticism was directed more at the use made of his death by others.

  85. “I’m not singling out the Finucane family, they just happen to be identified in the discussion.”

    And yet in no other discussion on the Troubles and its many victims (and there have been many on this site) have you ever had a go at a family for only campaigning for their loved ones. You reserved that criticism for the Finucane family.

    “And my criticism was directed more at the use made of his death by others.”

    And yet you diverged from that criticism to attack not only the Finucane family but the memory and character of Pat Finucane himself.

  86. There was an anti-Republican nexus from sections of the British government to the army, police and even Loyalist paramilitaries. That’s what Pat Finucane was up against.

    He and Rosemary Nelson died in the attempt, but they at least helped expose and ultimately end it.

    Well said Noel. Rosemary was an exceptional woman and an exceptionally competent and professional officer of the court who was hated by both the RUC and loyalists because of her clientle, the RUC telling her clients many times that she’d ‘be gotten’ and both publicly verbally abusing and physically assaulting her. It’s the twentieth anniversary of her murder on Friday.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/jul/04/rosemary-nelson-murder-public-inquiry

    The prominance of the Finucane case over the very similar Nelson case is also a good example of the unstoppable dilligence and relentless determination of the Finucane family not to let the murder of Finucane be buried nor forgotten.

  87. The family contained at least 3 IRA members. Is that inaccurate?

  88. Is that question directed at me Mahons?

  89. No, it is directed from me a/k/a the vile basted to Seamus.

  90. It is accurate. Is it relevant?

  91. As relevant as a taco bowl is to a border wall, Seamus.

  92. oops – wrong thread!

  93. Only if one considers the irony of a family so affiliated with terrorists to call for justice for murder.
    Once again, Finucane himself was brutally murdered and no affiliation or participation he had can alter that fact.

  94. “Only if one considers the irony of a family so affiliated with terrorists to call for justice for murder.”

    So much for not putting individual groups above or below one another.

    There is no irony in it, no more than the families with links to the RUC or the British Army campaigning for their loved ones.

    “Once again, Finucane himself was brutally murdered and no affiliation or participation he had can alter that fact.”

    Doesn’t stop sly and sleeked wee shits like yourself trying to though.

  95. Seamus – glad to see you can keep your composure. I think a better analogy would be families with deep ties to the UDA or other paramilitary groups.
    In my opinion the success of the Peace Process has been based in great part on those who wanted all the killing and retribution to end.

  96. Of course that is the analogy you would like, not least with your attempts to sanitise the British Army. Even going as far on this thread to claim they didn’t carry out Bloody Sunday – which you quickly abandoned when it was pointed out how insane that was.

    A family can be involved in the conflict and still want justice for their loved ones. If someone is in the British Army can they no longer campaign for their loved ones? Would it be ironic giving the 300 or so killings by the Army during the Troubles (the majority of which were civilians)?

  97. Only if one considers the irony of a family so affiliated with terrorists to call for justice for murder

    The driving force behind the Fincane campaign are Finucane’s (protestant) wife Geraldine, a legal researcher, his two lawyer sons John and Micheal and his former bussiness partner Peter Madden. To my knowledge none of them have ever had an affiliation with terrorism.

    Finucane himself was brutally murdered and no affiliation or participation he had can alter that fact.

    Are you suggesting guilt by (family) association or indeed that Pat Finucane himself participated in some degree in the IRA Mahons?

  98. I never said the British Army didn’t commit the Bloody Sunday killings. There were clearly unjustified killings by the British Army, and intimidation during the Troubles. Are you suggesting the 300 killings by the British Army were homicides?

  99. Paul – I’ll certainly defer to your knowledge of the nuclear family. As for Finucane himself, I don’t know. If he was in the IRA his killing would still be murder. There is some indication he was (I believe the source has been challenged). You have more aquaitance with the story, do you think it impossible that he was?

  100. Paul McMahon, on March 11th, 2019 at 11:02 PM Said:

    Are you suggesting guilt by (family) association or indeed that Pat Finucane himself participated in some degree in the IRA Mahons?

    I am willing to suspend belief and pretend with you that Pat Finucane was the white sheep of his family and merely a human rights lawyer.

    If people here believe that Pat Finucane was merely a human rights lawyer than I would suggest that a naive person would be in good company.

    Mahons, on March 10th, 2019 at 8:18 PM Said:

    In any event I have criticized those who campaign for only one set of victims and do so today (mark this comment for future reference).

    Mahons, on May 24th, 2011 at 6:27 PM Said:

    From what I’ve read by all accounts Rosemary Nelson properly and bravely advocated on behalf of her clients in a difficult system. Whatever the crimes committed by her clients, they deserved a zealous defense. When an officer of the Court such as Nelson is murdered for doing her duty, even if it is an unpopular duty (I should say especially if it is unpopular), the State should fully investigate and prosecute those responsible.

    Mahons, on March 11th, 2019 at 12:11 PM Said:

    Each of my comments a gem, thank you for reposting them…

    If you were my client, I’d be advising you to stop talking…

  101. Well homicide is when one person kills another person. So they definitely were homicides. Obviously some would be legal and not murder. Some may even have been justified. Most werent. As I said over half of all British Army killings were civilians.

    Were they all asking for it like you are insinuating about Pat Finucane?

  102. Seimi- if you were my lawyer I would. Feel free to explain what factual issue you take with any of my comments. I understand the emotional ones.
    By homicide I meant murder (we will have to disagree on what homicide means). By most you mean at least 161 killings by the British army were unjutified? Perhaps you are correct, what is your source and I will review

  103. I don’t believe Finucane was merely a human Rights lawyer. But as I’ve said repeatedly his killing was murder and unjustified. Is it your position that it is impossible that he was in the IRA?

  104. I don’t know. If he was in the IRA his killing would still be murder.

    So, just to be clear on this, does than mean you’re not / can’t b suggesting guilt by (family) association or indeed that Pat Finucane himself didn’t participate in some degree in the IRA?

    If so I’d like you to withdraw your no affiliation or participation he had can alter that fact. as there’s a not so subtle inference therein.

    There is some indication he was (I believe the source has been challenged).

    The claim was made by double murderer and informant within the IRA Seán O’Callaghan who stated that he once saw Finucane in Donegal bar where an IRA meeting was allegedly taking place. The same person was prohibited from giving evidence at the Omagh bomb civil action by presiding Judge Mr Justice Morgan who called O’Callaghan a ‘practiced deciever’:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7924601.stm

    Do you think it impossible that he was?

    Very few things are impossible. The allegations against Finucane being a member of / associated with the IRA are based on his three brothers being members. He also had three other brothers, a sister and two parents who weren’t members of the IRA.

    I’d say that that, along with his strong friendship with a senior RUC dectective:

    http://www.nuzhound.com/articles/breen/arts2011/oct16_ex-RUC_friend_Finucane_urges_family_accept_review__SBreen_Sunday-World.php

    suggest a very strong likeliehood that he wasn’t.

  105. Seimi- if you were my lawyer I would.

    Signature quip; not particularly funny, but giving the impression of being offhand and spontaneous.

    What else do you believe Pat Finucane to have been, Mahons? You’re very good at insinuation, vague, witty remarks and half-comments. What about an actual statement?

    I’ll repeat it, lest you get too caught up in your next no-doubt pithy opener:

    What else do you believe Pat Finucane to have been?

  106. Paul – I believe he had a connection and stepped over the line. This in no way justifies his murder.

  107. Seimi- It is quite funny, though no doubt less so to the subject. I do believe him to have been in the IRA, but I don’t believe his murder was justified.
    By the way, is the suggestion of someone having been in the IRA a slander or high praise in your circles?

  108. Okay Mahons. Pease outline what you believe this connection and ‘stepping over the line’ to be and what grounds your beliefs are based on. (sincere request for sincere discussion).

  109. It’s coming up on 1am here and I have to be awake in six hours. I’m away to bed.

    I’ll have a look in on this tomorrow and see if anything has developed.

  110. Mahons – it’s not that funny, really 😉

    I do believe him to have been in the IRA…

    Can you provide evidence of this, other than that it is your opinion?

    …but I don’t believe his murder was justified.

    I don’t think anyone has ever suggested otherwise.

  111. Fair enough. I had a Monday that makes it feel like 1 am.

  112. Seimi- my quip wasn’t up to Churchill’s famous exchange. Some Society woman told him if she was his wife she would poison his food. He replied if he was her husband he would eat it.

  113. I don’t think I can prove he was. I do believe he was based on what I’ve read. Human Rights lawyers were not indiscriminately killed in NI, he had a strong family connection, there is the claim he was by a witness NOW in disfavor in Republican circles and others who offered their own denials of membership Gerry Adams)

  114. (Gerry Adams) strike me as less than credible.

  115. God four comments in a row…who am I Harri?

  116. I don’t believe Pat Finucane was in the IRA.
    He was a catholic, intelligent, successful and probably had Republican sympathies the same as most Irish people have. That would have been reason enough for his killers to murder him.

    Even if he were so inclined, it’s doubtful if the IRA would want him in the organisation.
    A good external lawyer who defends their members in court is obviously more in their interest.

  117. You could be right Noel. Possibly it was interest to not have him a member then. It is certainly within their interest to not have him revealed as such now. I don’t think there will be a definitive answer that satisfy anyone. There is an example of denial of membership of the likes of Gerry Adams that strains credibility.

  118. The truth is that paramilitaries on both sides waged campaigns of threats, violence and even murder against lawyers and the judiciary during the Troubles as the murders of Rosemary Nelson, Finucane and several Judges and magistrates (and some of their family members show). To focus an inquiry on one incident and not all doesn’t sound like justice to me.

  119. “To focus an inquiry on one incident and not all doesn’t sound like justice to me.”

    There isn’t a focus on one incident. Any incident is eligible for investigation. And if new information comes to the fore then there would be a new investigation. IRA volunteers have been prosecuted for Troubles related offences when new evidence comes to the fore.

    What is maybe different in the cases like Pat Finucane, or Bloody Sunday, or Ballymurphy, was the deliberate attempts by the state to ensure that the initial investigations were unsuccessful (if they were even carried out). As such there has been an investigation, a proper investigation, into most of the killings carried out in the Troubles. There hasn’t, until now, been a proper investigation into Bloody Sunday. There hasn’t ever been a proper investigation into Pat Finucane’s murder or the Ballymurphy massacre. As such those cases needed to be investigated.

  120. Only a matter of a few weeks ago a court found that the investigation into Pat Finucane’s murder did not meet adequate standards. The UK Supreme Court found that no effective investigation had ever been conducted into Pat Finucane’s murder. So it isn’t Republicans raising his killing above all others. It is the state lowering his killing below all others.

  121. We’re never going to see the truth or any proper investigation of these killings. The attempts to cover up the truth by British authorities have been farcical. Anyone else remember Stevens’ offices being burned down during his inquiry?
    And they still refuse to release his reports.

    It nevertheless should suffice for the record that Stevens – HM Inspector of Constabulary and a member of the House of Lords – established collusion between the British military and Loyalist deathsquads at every level, including, as he explicitely said, deliberate use of agents to commit murder.

    The IRA, or what’s left of it, is also never going to own up to its many murders of innocents, the ones that may not have been clarified by police investigations.

    Strangely perhaps, the people most likely to talk seem to be former Loyalists, who are prone to belated attacks of conscience in the form of a Christian “rebirth” or something. Their confessions also usually involve the keen participation of British forces in their crimes. They like to spread blame.

    Let grass grow over the graves. Declare an amnesty for all deeds prior to the GFA. The understandable feelings of victims’ families can’t be allowed hold society back. People should realise the Troubles was simply the result of a disasterous British policy of political sectarianism, and it brought out the worst in everyone – British and Irish.
    A lot of good things were also done, and people on all sides also have enough to be proud of.

    Time to turn from the past and make a better future for all Irish people.
    (and above all not continue the Troubles on ATW)

    I like this, by the American poet Carl Sandburg

    Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
    Shovel them under and let me work–
    I am the grass; I cover all.

    And pile them high at Gettysburg
    And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
    Shovel them under and let me work.
    Two years, ten years, and the passengers ask the conductor:
    What place is this?
    Where are we now?

    I am the grass.
    Let me work.

  122. Either way it needs to be an all or nothing approach. Either all murders committed during the Troubles should be investigated, without fear or favour, or none of them should be. It should either be all investigated and prosecuted where possible or a total amnesty (including wiping the slate clean of those already convicted – and no more of the British Secretary of State being allowed to revoke someone’s licence on a whim).

  123. I don’t think I can prove he was. I do believe he was based on what I’ve read

    Okay, that’s an entirely understandable conclusion to come to when reading biased sites like ATW. I’m going to lay out the reasons for the allegation that Finucane was an IRA member and then counter them. If I miss any or am unaware of some that you’re aware of then I’ll deal with them as they arise.

    – He had three brothers in the IRA / comes from a Republican family.

    True, he had three brothers in the IRA and to allege that his family associations mean that he was in the IRA is incredibley speculative. Finucane came from a house of ten, two parents and eight children. While three of his siblings were IRA members four of his siblings and both his parents were not. As for coming from a Republican family, he was from West Belfast. Throw a stone in any direction and you’ll hit a dozen Republican families.

    I’d argue that if having three siblings in the IRA means that you are also in the IRA then having four siblings who are not in the IRA must therefore mean you’re not.

    – IRA informer Seán O’Callaghan said he spotted him once in a border town pub where an IRA meeting was allegedly taking place, (note he very cleverly put him in the vicinity of an alleged IRA meeting as opposed to actually stating he was at it).

    Textbook hearsay. You correctly state: ‘there is the claim he was by a witness NOW in disfavor in Republican circles’ and it’s precisely for that reason that I gave the example of an expert in legal evidence and certainly no friend of the Republican Movement, Lord Chief Justice of NI and presiding Judge of the Omagh civil case. Mr Justice Declan Morgan (QC), who called O’Callaghan a ‘practiced deciever’ when he prohibited him from giving evidence during the case

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7924601.stm

    That to my knowledge is the sum of ‘evidence’ for Finucane being in the IRA. I know love is blind but I’d also make the suggestion that it’s extremely unlikely for a middle class east Belfast protestant girl to marry an IRA man and that it goes beyond the boundries of believable to think that a senior high profile RUC dectective would have a strong friendship with an IRA member for decades right up until his death.

    I’d be of the opinion that when these demonstrative facts are weighed against the unproven allegations against Finucane then it’s incredibley highly likely that the allegations have no basis and I think that anyone looking with a non jaundiced eye would arrive at the same conclusion.

    I don’t know if you’re aware of these facts and I don’t know if they change your opinion but I would like to think that reading them might at least make you rethink the process that led you to the conclusion you have reached.

    Human Rights lawyers were not indiscriminately killed in NI

    No they weren’t but they were routinely harrassed and villified by the RUC and in the cases of Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson that harrassment and villification was taken to its most extreme conclusion.

  124. The Metropolitan Police say that they are “aware of the claim of responsibility, allegedly made on behalf of the ‘IRA’, for the devices that were received at three buildings in London and at the University of Glasgow on 5 and 6 March.” They say a “recognised codeword” was received by a Northern Ireland media outlet yesterday.

    https://order-order.com/2019/03/12/ira-claim-responsibility-attempted-parcel-bomb-attacks

    /

  125. Every incarnation of the IRA has used the term IRA to describe themselves. So the ‘old’ IRA were called by the IRA (and in Irish Óglaigh na hÉireann). The modern Irish defence forces in the south use the name Óglaigh na hÉireann as well (though don’t use the name IRA). The ‘Official’ IRA used the name IRA (Óglaigh na hÉireann). The ‘Provisional’ IRA used the name IRA (Óglaigh na hÉireann). The ‘Continuity’ IRA uses the name IRA (Óglaigh na hÉireann). The ‘Real’ IRA uses the name IRA (Óglaigh na hÉireann). The ‘New’ IRA uses the name IRA (Óglaigh na hÉireann).

    So most likely these packages were sent by the ‘New’ IRA, a merger of the ‘Real’ IRA, and a few smaller Republican splinter groups.

  126. Paul – I’ve never based anything on what i’ve read only here. I don’t think his family connections are nullified by a math game. 3 deeply involved brothers is significant, especially since he focused his practice on defending their type of actions. I’m curious though, did he himself ever condemn IRA activity?

  127. //believable to think that a senior high profile RUC dectective would have a strong friendship with an IRA member for decades right up until his death. //

    I think it’s even more telling that both the RUC and Lord Stevens (and the latter probably investigated this case more than anyone on earth) said separately that PF was not a member of the IRA. There is absolutely no reason why people so familiar with the circumstances should say that if it didn’t match the information they had.

    The whole point of this argument seems to be directed at somehow making his murder more or less justified.
    Obviously the murder of PF even further undermined the little trust the Nationalist population may still have had in the British govt and army. Proving he was not in the IRA will increase this Nationalist anger against the “security forces”, while claiming he was a member somehow makes his murder less an outrage and is intended to undermine this argument.

    Except for the sake of history and understanding the Troubles, it’s all a bit pointless IMO.

  128. // I’m curious though, did he himself ever condemn IRA activity?//

    Well, if he DIDN’T, that strongly suggests he was NOT in the IRA, as you believe.

    You have to imagine what things were like in such a claustrophobic and dangerous place as West Belfast during the Troubles.

  129. Sorry, the double negatives got me. Should read:

    Well, if he DID, that strongly suggests he was NOT in the IRA, as you believe.

  130. LOL. Jesus, too much work, too little sleep

    My first statement was the right one after all.

    Between the double-bluffs in the Troubles and these double negatives, things sure confuse my foggy mind.

  131. We’re all getting more like Harri.

    Let’s hope Harri is in turn getting more like us.

  132. Have we now discounted the O’Callaghan allegations Mahons?

    I don’t think his family connections are nullified by a math game.

    Why? If the fact that three of Finucane’s siblings were members of the IRA is enough to persuasively infer that he was also a member surely in the interests of justified balance the fact that he had four siblings who were not is enough to persuasively infer that he wasn’t?

    Especially since he focused his practice on defending their type of actions.

    Defence lawyers defend clients as I’m sure you’re wel aware. Madden & Finucane also defended other clients including loyalists as well as offering property conveyance, will & probate, tort and family law services. The M&F practice isn’t ‘focused’ on defending accused IRA men.

    I’m curious though, did he himself ever condemn IRA activity?

    Not that I’m aware of. Just as I’m unaware of other prominent lawyers in the north like Rosemary Nelson, PJ or Barra McGrory, Peter Madden, Kevin Wintes, Paidraig O’Muriagh, Niall Murphy etc ever condemning such and don’t see why their professional life as lawyers would nessecitate them having to make such political statements on way or the other as it could seriously compromise their reputation.

    As a matter of fact, the only lawyers I can recall commenting on such things were Jim Allister and Bob McCartney and that was wearing their unionist politican hats.

  133. I once met the John McGuffin, larger than life and a really funny and clever man.

    He was a lawyer (“Sean McGuffin, Attorney at Law, Irish-friendly—No crime too big, no crime too small”) and also certainly “never condemned the IRA” 🙂

    McGuffin’s books were the first political books I ever read. I devoured them and they were my first introduction to the North and the Troubles.

  134. ‘The Hooded Men’ is a classic Noel. What

  135. Good post Paul.

    Phew! That was quite a slog reading through all those comments. Interesting thread.

  136. Paul – I don’t discount the claims of O’C out of hand. Mafia types are often exposed by undesirable informers.

    The sibling comparison count isn’t a math comparison. If there of your siblings have cancer get you self checked, even if 4 others dont.
    Finucane’s client base wasnt random

  137. Okay Mahons. I’m going to attempt to apply logic to your comments.

    Paul – I don’t discount the claims of O’C out of hand. Mafia types are often exposed by undesirable informers

    I’m not asking you to discount O’C’s allegations out of hand. I’m asking you to weigh the uncorraborated hearsay of an informer against that of NI’s premier legal expert on the law of evidence who stated he was a ‘practiced deciever’ in order to test the credibility of the claims. It’s also quite interesting that you equate the subject of O’C’s claims as a ‘Mafia type’.

    The sibling comparison count isn’t a math comparison

    Then tell us what other elements are compelling enough to convince you that Finucane was an IRA member? The fact of the matter is that the only speculative suggestion that Finucane was a member of the IRA is because three of his siblings were and that he came from a Republican family. When presented with the absolutely identical proposition in reverse you refuse to give the same weight to the argument. Why is that?

    Finucane’s client base wasnt random

    I agree. The section of clients of the firm that the media comment on probably chose Finucane as their defence lawyer precisely because he had three brothers in the IRA, he came from a West Belfast Republican family and they thought they had a legally competent and professional safe pair of hands for their defence. What the media doesn’t comment on although is the other mundane legal service that the Madden & Finucane law practice offer such as will & probate, tort, family and property law etc, (the legal conveyancing of the first property I bought was done by M&F).

    Based on the facts above and even without taking into account Finucane’s marriage to a middle class Protestant and his decades long close friendship with a senior and prominent RUC detective I don’t think any reasonable person would come to the conclusion that such circumstantial ‘evidence’ suggested Finucane was a member of the IRA.

  138. Paul

    As a disinterested member of the “jury” I think you have the better argument that Finucane was not an IRA man.

  139. Thank you Charles. I think that most reasonable people would objectively come to the same conclusion.

  140. I used the Mafia analogy because it is another illegal organization whose members are often brought down by unsavory types.
    The 3 active brothers are a factor, not determinative. I don’t think they are offset by inactive ones.

  141. My memory isn’t as good as it once was, but donot you have more connection to the firm than the first property conveyance? No need to particularize any private matter in response.

    I will say your some of your points are well taken, but I’m not convinced 100% one way or the other.

  142. Also as an outsider and someone who tries to avoid these threads I must comment on the one point. The Mafia analogy by Mahons is very apt and very accurate.

    The IRA has always been part of the Irish Mafia and vice versa and when you have one accepted member of a family as a member of Organized Crime the whole family is tainted let alone when you have three brothers that are known members.

    Organized crime is a family venture always has been always will be and will always be looked at in that manner by law enforcement.

  143. My memory isn’t as good as it once was, but donot you have more connection to the firm than the first property conveyance?

    Let me refresh your memory. I paralegalled for M&F for a period of time before qualifying long long after the murder of Pat Finucane. I used the example of M&F doing the conveyancing of the first property I bought as an example of the mundane legal work the comprises the bulk of M&F’s legal work as opposed to the sexy stuff that the media comment on.

    The 3 active brothers are a factor, not determinative. I don’t think they are offset by inactive ones.

    I absolutely disagree and think that most reasonable people would too.

    If Finucane having three siblings who were members of the IRA is speculative enough to determine he was a member of the IRA himself why can’t Finucane having four siblings who weren’t members of the IRA be speculative enough to determine he wasn’t?

  144. //If Finucane having three siblings who were members of the IRA is speculative enough to determine he was a member of the IRA himself //

    I used to have three sisters who were members of the Catholic Girl Guides.

    Unfortunately I was never able to fit into the uniform.

  145. Noel – the imporrant thing was you tried.

  146. If Finucane having three siblings who were members of the IRA is speculative enough to determine he was a member of the IRA himself why can’t Finucane having four siblings who weren’t members of the IRA be speculative enough to determine he wasn’t?

    They’re ALL guilty by association and you know it. Whether I’m an active participant myself is irrelevant you can’t deny what your family member is doing you’re aiding and abetting and involved in a criminal conspiracy.

    Law Enforcements job is to make their lives miserable until they can lock them up.

  147. “Law Enforcements job is to make their lives miserable until they can lock them up.”

    Well they succeeded didn’t they.

  148. Patrick – I am not arguing a guilt by association. And I am not arguing it as definitive proof. The active participation by other family members is a factor for consideration rather than a definitive conclusion.

  149. Though Paul’s point is well made. If the participation of some of his siblings in the movement is a factor for consideration then the lack of participation a greater number of his siblings should be an even bigger factor for consideration.

  150. no I’m saying guilt by association…… plain and simple. Black and white.

  151. Frankly that is Paul’s weakest point. I find his wife’s background and police and other official’s favorable omments more compelling. The extremely active paricipation of 3 family members in IRA activities is not offset by nonparticipants.

  152. Patrick I know you are, but that is an untenable position.

  153. “The extremely active paricipation of 3 family members in IRA activities is not offset by nonparticipants.”

    Why not? Considering that we are talking about the likelihood of his participation. 43% of his siblings were in the IRA. If he takes after his siblings he had a 43% chance of being in the IRA and a 57% chance of not being in the IRA.

    Thus based on his siblings he, more likely than not, was not in the IRA.

  154. Charles

    Paul, As a disinterested member of the “jury” I think you have the better argument that Finucane was not an IRA man.

    Having read through the posts myself, and taking into account my limited knowledge on this subject, I would be inclined to agree with Charles.

  155. Seamus – because you are not understanding that likelihood is not depending on a numerical comparison, but rather the significant presence of IRA members in the family. And that nonparticipation is as determination an influence as active participation.

  156. They’re ALL guilty by association and you know it

    What I do know Pat is that guilt by association isn’t actual guilt of an accusation. For example, I remember congratulating your girls when you told us they voted Dem. Not for voting Dem but for being strong enough personalities to differ from their parents. Both you and Monica are dyed in the wool Reps. By association does that mean your girls are too?

    I assume that you’ve been reading this thread. In light of the arguments above do you think Pat Finucane was a member of the IRA?

    I am not arguing a guilt by association. And I am not arguing it as definitive proof. The active participation by other family members is a factor for consideration rather than a definitive conclusion.

    So does this mean that you’ve been presented with facts that you may have been previouslñy unaware of and rethought the processes that brought you to the conclusion that Finucane was a member of the IRA?

    The extremely active paricipation of 3 family members in IRA activities is not offset by nonparticipants.

    Absolutely disagreed. If the participation of three siblings as members of the IRA is presented as persuasive circumstantial evidence of Finucane’s membership then the non participàtion of four other siblings should be given the same evidential weight and be at least equallly persuavive.

  157. Nonparticipation is Not as determinative an influence as active participation.

  158. I have to say folks. This discussion is an example of ATW at its best.

  159. “Nonparticipation is Not as determinative an influence as active participation.”

    And you’ve come to that conclusion how?

  160. “because you are not understanding that likelihood is not depending on a numerical comparison, but rather the significant presence of IRA members in the family. And that nonparticipation is as determination an influence as active participation.”

    The presence of 3 IRA members in the family did not make his 4 siblings join. So It is clear there is not a substantial pulling factor from the IRA membership of his 3 siblings (otherwise the other 4 would have – according to you – more likely than not been in the IRA).

    What we can say for certainty is that 43% of the Finucane siblings were in the IRA, and 57% were not. Thus if Pat Finucane is like his siblings then he has a 57% chance of not being in the IRA. That means on a balance of probability he was not.

  161. Nonparticipation is Not as determinative an influence as active participation

    Why? What doctrine or law dictates that activity is more persuavive that passivness in determining the status of a third party?

  162. What we can say for certainty is that 43% of the Finucane siblings were in the IRA, and 57% were not. Thus if Pat Finucane is like his siblings then he has a 57% chance of not being in the IRA. That means on a balance of probability he was not

    I think that, cojoined with the other facts listed here, make a pretty compelling case.

  163. So your conclusion is there was a 43% chance he was in the IRA?

  164. “So your conclusion is there was a 43% chance he was in the IRA?”

    No because that doesn’t take into account the other compelling facts in the case – his marriage, his friendships, the lack of IRA funeral etc…

    Based purely on his family members he would have a 43% chance. Add in the other factors and that chance drops substantially.

  165. The lack of an IRA funeral is not determination at all, it suits their narrative to say he was not. See for example Gerry Adams widely ridiculed claim he himself was not.

  166. It doesn’t suit the IRA narrative. The IRA in no way shape or form finds it wrong or problematic to be in the IRA. Adams has been widely ridiculed for his claim. You’d find very few like him, who are generally thought of being in the IRA but who maintain that they are not. I’d also imagine that when Gerry Adams dies then he will have an IRA funeral.

  167. Adams is wholly irrelevant to the discussion at hand here.

    I think that the lack of an IRA funeral is relevant but not particularly compelling. The multiple facts presented above present a compelling enough case in themselves.

  168. I disagree with the logic of a strait numerical comparison. The likelihood of participation in the IRA increases with every family member who does. I doubt there is a survey or chart, but surely 1,2 and 3 other family members increases the likelihood (and is not offset by nonpartipating members)

  169. Was Adams in the IRA? I say yes. What say you?

  170. ” I doubt there is a survey or chart, but surely 1,2 and 3 other family members increases the likelihood (and is not offset by nonpartipating members)”

    Why would it? The same pull factor of the IRA on Pat Finucane was the same pull factor on the remainder of his siblings. Surely the number of siblings is important? If you had 2 siblings and both of them were in the IRA I’d say you had more of a chance of being in the IRA than a guy with 10 siblings of whom 3 were in the IRA. The proportion of siblings in the IRA is the determining factor and the majority of his siblings were not in the IRA.

  171. “Was Adams in the IRA? I say yes. What say you?”

    Yes of course. I don’t think you’ll find anyone who says he wasn’t.

  172. Finucane as an unblemished martyr to justice does suit their narrative.

  173. “Finucane as an unblemished martyr to justice does suit their narrative.”

    Except it doesn’t as the IRA has little interest in justice. They saw themselves as fighting a war. And ultimately, at times anyway, the continued attention paid to the Finucane case can lead to troubling questions for Republicans on some of the IRA’s activities (usually in Unionist whataboutery).

  174. Of course Adams was in the IRA.

    Finucane as an unblemished martyr to justice does suit their narrative.

    And? What has the suitability of the IRA’s narrative got to do with the accusations surrounding Finucane?

  175. How can you say Adams was in the IRA. He said he was not and 100% of his sibling(s) were not?

  176. Undoubtedly you think you are being clever. But firstly the evidence that Pat Finucane was not in the IRA is not just limited to his family. The focus on his family is that you have tried to use the IRA membership of his family members to ‘prove’ that he was in the IRA. You have failed miserably in doing so, so much now you are trying to resort to ‘clever’ tricks.

    Secondly, several members of Gerry Adams’ family were in the IRA. Including his father, brother, and two uncles.

  177. Mahons, as I said above:

    Adams is wholly irrelevant to the discussion at hand here

    Instead of asking us to disprove Adams’ claim that he wasn’t in the IRA let’s get back to you proving your belief that Pat Finucane was?

    I’ve repeadtedly laid out my reasoning above as to why Pat Finucane wasn’t a member of the IRA and think that it makes a pretty convincing case. Let’s hear your reasoning as to why you’ve arrived at the conclusion that you think he was.

  178. Gentlemen – obviously we disagree on certain points. No use beating a dead horse.

  179. Obviously we do Mahons. And while your points seem to be based on the shakiest of foundations they also seem to be unshakebly set in concrete in spite of to the accumulated demonstrable facts against them.

  180. I feel so guilty in the face of your omnipotence. But I’ll get over it.

  181. Oh no Mahons, Not omnipotence. Just demonstrable facts that can’t be erased by smart arse quips.

  182. Oh give them time.

  183. A soldier who killed 2 people on Bloody Sunday is to be prosecuted, it has just been announced.

  184. // This discussion is an example of ATW at its best.//

    Do you think so?

    To me it all misses the point completely.

    Whether PF was a member of the IRA is both unprovable and irrelevant. Even if he was some kind of “honorary” member, so what? (some people seem to think that the IRA had a kind of members list, with issue of membership cards, etc., maybe even with a monthly membership fee debited to your bank account)

    More important is whether he actively, and deliberately, contributed to the IRA campaign, whether he helped the IRA beyond the normal lawyer’s duties of helping his clients, some of whom were in the IRA.

    But of course even that is not relevant to the question of some state involvement – including the original idea, planning, execution, escape of the killers, and final cover-up of the murder.

  185. https://madden-finucane.com/2019/03/14/press-statement-for-immediate-release-bloody-sunday/?fbclid=IwAR0XktOxv7pOpNiz_ZsiSFajahS7scYk8Deto4gZt6QDlvr8impIhn7m19Q

    Do you think so?

    Yes. It’s generally devoid of the usual cat call infantilism and argues the points on the strengths or weaknesses of the evidence.

  186. The solider is Soldier F, and he’ll face charges for the murders of James Wray and William McKinney.

    Which is a bit strange, because this same Soldier F admitted to the Saville Enquiry that he’d shot, in addition to William McKinney, also Michael Kelly, Paddy Doherty and Barney McGuigan on Bloody Sunday, and the latter was proven to have been shot through the head as he waved a handkerchief going to the aid of the dying Paddy Doherty. That was one of the most clearly unjustified of the killings, yet F isn’t being prosecuted for McGuigan’s murder.

  187. M&F statement Noel,

    We will give detailed consideration to the reasons provided for decisions not to prosecute the other soldiers, with a view to making further submissions to the Prosecution Service and we shall ultimately challenge in the High Court, by way of judicial review, any prosecutorial decision that does not withstand scrutiny

  188. And of course immediately..

    UK Defence Minister Gavin Williamson said the government would offer full legal support to Soldier F – including paying his legal costs and providing welfare support.

    “We are indebted to those soldiers who served with courage and distinction

  189. Whilst this is a small victory there needs to be more. Honestly I’ll probably not be happy until they put Kitson, Wilford and Jackson in the dock, something unlikely to happen.

  190. The pieces of the coup to undermine the Constitution of the United States of America are coming undone. Evidence from various sources now confirms that Obama’s CIA, DOJ and FBI illegally spied on the Trump team starting in 2015 and then built a coup to prevent him from winning the election and later remove him from office!

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/03/breaking-confirmed-obamas-cia-doj-and-fbi-started-targeting-the-trump-campaign-in-2015-long-before-what-comey-claimed-july-2016/

  191. Tuzo and certainly Ford belong in that dock with them too Seamus.

  192. Sadly both are dead.

  193. Yep.

  194. I know this may not bring you any comfort but at least for me I believe they’ve gone to meet the one real form of justice they can’t escape from.

  195. //at least for me I believe they’ve gone to meet the one real form of justice they can’t escape from.//

    Seamus, that’s a complete theological contradiction, I’m afraid 🙂

    I wonder will they give any IRA men on trial the same anonymity.

    You know, we’ll have Volunteer B and Volunteer D, and people will be speculating who Volunteer F is.
    Maybe even in the light of new cultural awareness, they’ll call him An tÓglach F.