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ATW OPEN THREAD

By Pete Moore On April 20th, 2019

Phew, it’s thirsty work watching all this rugby in the garden. The PC is perched on a box, I’m perched in a deckchair, the beers are cold and all is good in the world. I hope your weekend is less hectic than mine. Have yourselves an Open Thread then. This one is decorated with a view of Antwerp Central Railway Station.

Tell us what you know –

99 Responses to “ATW OPEN THREAD”

  1. Has anyone read the book “Say Nothing” by Patrick Radden Keefe? It is based on the abduction and murder of Jean McConville and on that base the author tells the story of the “Troubles”. I found it well researched and written, the author is skilled prose artist, deft with narrative and characters. It reads very well and you are likely to learn things you did not know. Patrick Radden Keefe is a staff writer for the New Yorker magazine. The book has received several good reviews and is selling well in the US, and is also available in Ireland and the UK.

  2. Cheers NY.

    I hope the book doesn’t claim that Gerry Adams had anything to do with the McConville murder. Because he was never in the IRA, so that couldn’t have happened and must be lies by “British securocrats”. Right?

  3. Peter

    All I will say is that Adams’s defenders are not pleased with the book.

  4. Sitting in Perth airport enroute Singapore. I’m baffled just how crazy things have gotten lately. Some toytown ooh arrre aaah nutjubs killing people. Then Soreass the political nutters strolling round Dublin dressed up like Che Guevara..wtf ! Eco mentalists running amok in London? Wtf happened? Look I’ll be back Wed so sort it out before I come home..or else!

  5. Oh I noticed over breakfast. The Parmelia Hilton here uses An English Breakfast Tea produced in Germany from imported ingredients. Now it was ok but wtf! Surely English Breakfast Tea ought to be well English. Yorkshire tea would also be acceptable.

  6. Surely English Breakfast Tea ought to be well English.

    What, like grown in England or something?

    All I will say is that Adams’s defenders are not pleased with the book.

    NYer, I’ve read a few reviews of this book and they all seem favourable. I haven’t found any that say it displeases them, so I’m assuming that you have a different way of showing that ‘Adam’s defenders are not pleased?’ Can you show the evidence?
    And just to remind you again – speaking to someone in the pub is not evidence.
    I’ll be out much of today, so that should give you plenty of time to produce it.
    Just to be clear: I am not one of ‘Adams’s defenders’ – it’s just that at times, someone posts something like this as if they expect it to be believed on face value, with no backing proof or evidence, and they need to be called up on it. So, like I say, take your time, but produce your evidence.

  7. I haven’t read it and I don’t like to review stuff without reading it first. But judging by the reviews and synopsis it is based on the “wounded soldier” story that has been proven to be a fabrication.

    So it likely isn’t “well researched”.

  8. If Adams wrote a detailed confession of his role we would be told it was coerced by his aplogists.

  9. Seamus

    https://www.irishcentral.com/news/irishvoice/bestseller-say-nothing-get-gerry-adams-exercise

    The author of the review is an Adams lovey.

    You should read the book and enlighten yourself. No future good history of NI in the 20th and 21st century will ignore it and will likely quote it.

  10. Most people cite Brendan Hughes in the Boston College tapes as a basis for the claims about Adams involvement in the abduction and murder of Jean McConville. What they usually omit is Hughes explanation of why Jean McConville was killed.

    If Hughes account is believed then while the IRA was ultimately responsible for the murder of Jean McConville the British Army were responsible for the callous cynical exploitation of the poor woman’s vulnerability which handed her a death sentence.

  11. Paul McMahon

    Have you read the book “Say Nothing”? It has much to say about Darkie Hughes in addition to the murder of Jean McConville. I recommend you read the book before joing the discussion of it.

  12. I recommend you read the book before joing the discussion of it

    Do you? Well as you seem to be the only one that’s read it here I recommend that you should fuck right off and stop being an arrogant prick. Besides, I’m not talking about the book, I’m talking about documented fact regarding Hughes’ allegations.

    The fact of the matter is that you can’t believe Hughes’ allegations about Adams without believeing that the IRA found a British Army radio transmitter in Jean McConville’s flat, warned her and then abducted, killed and disappeared her after a second radio transmitter was found in her flat.

    It has much to say about Darkie Hughes

    Where does the diminutive ‘Darkie’ come into it. Did you know Brendan Hughes?

  13. Paul McMahon

    “I recommend that you should fuck right off and stop being an arrogant prick.” Your statements demonstrate ignorance of the book and absolute lack of manners. You may have been born in a barn, there is no need to act as an animal.

    “Where does the diminutive ‘Darkie’ come into it. Did you know Brendan Hughes?” If you had read the book you would know. That is one reason I made the recommendation. Are you too lazy to read the book?

  14. Seamus

    You have commented on other threads today but seem shy away from this one. Do you accept the evidence of 5:23 this morning.

    “So it likely isn’t “well researched”.” How can you justify such a statement when you admit you have not read the book? That is just plain shoddy.

  15. “You have commented on other threads today but seem shy away from this one.”

    Well dickhead I didn’t see it until you started commenting a few minutes ago.

    “How can you justify such a statement when you admit you have not read the book? That is just plain shoddy.”

    Does it mention the “wounded soldier” story? Simple yes or no.

  16. If you had read the book you would know.

    I know full well how he got the nickname. I’m asking if you knew him well enough to use the familiarity.

    I don’t think that this book could inform me of anything I don’t already know about the McConville abduction, murder and disappearance and, from the review you linked to above, it seems to be full of holes.

    What I refer to is the fact that Hughes alleges that the IRA found a British Army radio transmitter in Jean McConville’s flat, warned her and then abducted, killed and disappeared her after a second radio transmitter was found in her flat.

    Do you believe that?

  17. Not long before Jean McConville was taken away, she raised the suspicions of her neighbors. She and the children were home one night when they heard a man moaning in pain outside their front door. Jean cautiously opened the door and discovered a wounded British soldier sprawled on the landing. He had been shot. Jean tended to him, and brought him a pillow.

    Patrick Radden Keefe

    Now, despite Patrick Radden Keefe’s assertion that above has been proven to be a fabrication. So I doubt that Patrick Radden Keefe is “well researched” when it comes to this matter.

  18. Paul McMahon

    “I don’t think that this book could inform me of anything I don’t already know about the McConville abduction, murder and disappearance and, from the review you linked to above, it seems to be full of holes.’ Quite a statement to make without having read the book. There is no cure for ignorance of your type. BTW, I qualified my opinion of the review above. It is an Adams lovey piece and nothing more, but maybe that is what you like.

    Patrick Radden Keefe thoroughly covers the quality of IRA evidence in regard to Jean McConville, but you know better because you have been too lazy to read his book.

  19. Seamus

    What page is the quote in your 9:13 comment on in the book?

    Have you actually read the book or just taking cheap potshots as per usual?

  20. Quite a statement to make without having read the book.

    No, not really. Were any new epiphanies revealed to you by the book? If so what?

    I’m well aware that you qualified your opinion of the review above. So?

    Two questions:

    I know full well how he got the nickname. I’m asking if you knew him well enough to use the familiarity?

    What I refer to is the fact that Hughes alleges that the IRA found a British Army radio transmitter in Jean McConville’s flat, warned her and then abducted, killed and disappeared her after a second radio transmitter was found in her flat.

    Do you believe that?

    Well?

  21. Paul McMahon

    Your probing is pathetic. Just read the book and do not expect others to do the work for you.


  22. What page is the quote in your 9:13 comment on in the book?

    Have you actually read the book or just taking cheap potshots as per usual?”

    Not from his book but from an article he wrote.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/03/16/where-the-bodies-are-buried

  23. Your probing is pathetic

    I’m not speaking about the book. I’m speaking about the source of the allegations in the book.

    So,

    Do you believe Hughes’ explanation as to why Jean McConville was killed?

    Did you know Hughes well enough to use the ‘Darkie’ diminutive?

  24. Seamus

    I suggest you read the book. The book is much more recent that the article and a fuller exposition with many footnotes.

    Look at some of the other reporting he has done on the New Yorker website. You will see he is a very good journalist on a variety of subjects.

  25. Paul McMahon

    “I’m not speaking about the book. I’m speaking about the source of the allegations in the book.” I don’t care what you are speaking about. Stop wasting my time.

  26. So you don’t want to answer?

    That’s okay. I expected nothing less from you.

  27. I’ve not read the ‘Say Nothing’ book but I’ll add it to my ‘to read list’.
    I did read this article on line and it struck a cord with me.
    https://thebrokenelbow.com/2013/07/14/plea-to-mcconville-family-join-us-in-bid-for-british-army-papers/
    The embargo on the regiments logs until 2059 certainly suggest that the narrative from the UK Government isn’t entirely truthful.

  28. evan

    The book is a very good read.

    Regarding whether Jean McConville was transmitting info to the Brits – if hypothetically she was, does that make it OK to drag a widow from her ten children and murder her? I personally think the whether she was or whether she was not is not that important because it can never justify what happened. It can detract from the horror and injustice that was done, and that is the most important thing.

  29. Whoever gave that poor woman a second radio transmitter would have been acutely aware of what the penalty for passing information was. They would also have absolutely known that Jean McConville was already under high suspicion as a previous radio transmitter had been found in her flat.

    While the IRA shot that poor woman dead the British Army were responsible for the callous cynical exploitation of the poor woman’s vulnerability which handed her a death sentence.

  30. “I suggest you read the book. The book is much more recent that the article and a fuller exposition with many footnotes.”

    Similar to Paul I don’t believe there is much to know about the Jean McConville case that I don’t already know. Considering that in the past the same writer has used ill informed nonsense about the case doesn’t give me high hopes that his book will hold anything particularly interesting.

  31. The penalty? A death sentence? She had no trial. Whoa Nellie – hers was an extra judicial killing by people no better than mafia thugs.

  32. Whoa Nellie

    Whoa Nellie what? It was absolutely an extra judicial killing, no one’s disputing that. The penalty for spying was death and whether you agree or not is neither here nor there, it’s what it was. The British Army also knew this when they allegedly gave Jean McConville a second radio transmitter.

  33. There is an implication in the use of the word penalty that suggests some sort of justification. Perhaps you didn’t intend it that way. And the claims of her being an informer or having a transmitter are not unchallenged, correct?

  34. There was no implication of justification intended Mahons, that’s why I state above that the IRA were ultimately responsible for abducting, murdering and disappearing Jean McConville.

    Yes, the claims are not unchallenged but the point I make is that the person who makes the claims of Adams’ involvement also makes the radio transmitter claims in the same interview. Either both are correct or incorrect?

  35. I’d also challenge the idea that they were “no better than mafia thugs”. The context of the Troubles in 1972 was deeply different than the context of the Troubles of the 1980s or 90s.

    If Brendan Hughes is to be believed (with out selectively believing what is convenient for your narrative) the Jean McConville decided to help the organisation that within the last 12 months had executed 14 people in Derry. If Brendan Hughes was to believed then Jean McConville allied herself to the organisation that had already murdered 93 civilians in Northern Ireland. Where they “no better than mafia thugs”? The people who murdered 93 people, including 14 civil rights protesters? To put things into comparison the IRA had until that point murdered 98 civilians.

    Does the killing of those extra 5 people make them “no better than mafia thugs”?

  36. Mafia thugs have more sanity and morality than the people who murdered Jean McConville. Mafia thugs are saner than the Price sisters, Mafia thugs do the job and send flowers to the deceased’s family the McConville murderers dumped her body seventy miles away in an unmarked grave and spread lies about the deceased.

    Those seeking to justify the atrocity by the principles of gangster justice are depraved and demented. To the civilized there is no justification for dragging a widow from her ten children, murdering her, disappearing her body, lying to her orphans and peddling malicious lies about the woman who was murdered.

  37. Seamus

    Members of the military operate under the laws of their country and rules of their military organization. If a member violates the laws or rules under which they serve they should be brought to justice. Some guy whose head is filled with romantic nationalistic nonsense, takes an oath to some hokey group and shoots up a bunch of people is a murderous clown. You are attempting to equate two very different things. It is totally flawed and ridiculous attempt to justify grave crimes by murderous clowns acting for their own self-interest and who are a manifest danger to society. It is the type of thing a wanabee does. You have labelled yourself and deserve derision.

  38. Those seeking to justify the atrocity by the principles of gangster justice are depraved and demented

    There is no one trying to justify anything here so please stop trying to cover yourself by claiming such blatant untruths.

    Do you believe Brendan Hughes’ claim that Gerry Adams ordered the abduction, murder and disappearance of Jean McConville?

    Do you believe Brendan Hughe’s claim that a British Army transmitter was found in her flat and she admitted that she had been spying, was warned by the IRA to stop, and that a second transmitter was then found in her flat?

  39. these debates are not healthy for the site…….

  40. now I could always make it worse and give my opinion, but I shall refrain.

    Breath deep the gathering gloom…….. and smile.

  41. These debates are not healthy for the site…….

    Why ever not Pat?

  42. “Members of the military operate under the laws of their country and rules of their military organization. If a member violates the laws or rules under which they serve they should be brought to justice. “

    And when that doesn’t happen what does it render the military? What happens when the military are allowed to murder at will? What happens when the military are able to, even ordered to, kill innocent people without answering for their crimes?

  43. 😉

  44. hey Paul….. Book or a Rose…… ?

  45. Hey Paul….. Book or a Rose…… ?

    Cryptic…..

  46. what day are they celebrating in Spain

  47. Only in Catalonia.

  48. really?

  49. Saint George was the patron Saint of the Crown of Aragon, of which Catalonia was the major constituent part.

    So while Saint James is the patron Saint of Spain, Saint George remains the patron Saint of Catalonia.

  50. And when that doesn’t happen what does it render the military? What happens when the military are allowed to murder at will? What happens when the military are able to, even ordered to, kill innocent people without answering for their crimes?

    Nothing happens Seamus:

    https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/british-armys-secret-terror-unit-military-reaction-force-shot-dead-innocent-civilians-in-northern-ireland-claim-29772266.html

  51. What Seamus says above Pat.

  52. I thought Sant Jordi’s Day was a like a valentines day…… don’t know where I got that I dea, but you give a book or a rose because the combined it a book holiday?

    I like the idea of giving either a Rose or a Book two of the greatest things you can give a woman.

  53. Exactly Paul. The comparison by New Yorker (and Mahons) to gangsters or the mafia is flawed because the Mafia operates in a situation where the rule of law existed, and where there were always alternatives to what they did. In the early 1970s the IRA did not. By the 80s and 90s an alternative existed and that is when the IRA should have ended the conflict. But in 1972 the alternatives were not there – the alternative was mass pograms and sectarian murder of Irish citizens in the north.

  54. thank you gentleman for the education.

    always willing to learn.

  55. The comparison by New Yorker (and Mahons) to gangsters or the mafia is flawed

    It’s a ridiculously lazy apples and oranges comparison and about as accurate as comparing the Westies with the Kurdish YPS.

  56. Seamus

    “In the early 1970s the IRA did not.” The rule of law existed in NI in the 1970s. Some people chose to break it for no good reason. There were nationalist solicitors and barristers in NI in the 1970 providing an alternative for those who needed one.

    The comparison is not flawed. However, even mafia thugs were a cut above IRA gangsters.

  57. PVR

    “these debates are not healthy for the site…….” I disagree. This particular debate gets at the heart of the matter. It demonstrates how depraved the IRA and wannabe supporters are.

    It is because this debate has not been resolved in NI there exists to this day people who will murder and bomb for similar reasons to those in the decades before. If you read the statement of the murderers of the young woman in Derry, it sounds similar and as stupid as those produced after IRA atrocities in earlier years. This is the poison of Irish Republicanism which continues to sicken life in NI. Until it is totally cleansed there will not be peace and prosperity in NI.

  58. “The rule of law existed in NI in the 1970s.”

    So tell me how many soldiers were imprisoned for murdering innocent people in the 1970s? How many police officers?

    “Some people chose to break it for no good reason.”

    Yeah because preventing the murder of their people is “no good reason”.

  59. “Until it is totally cleansed there will not be peace and prosperity in NI.”

    How very Adolf of you. You really seem to be on an ethnic cleansing trip right now. That’s not the first time this week you’ve made this depraved suggestion.

  60. Seamus

    I note you are picking up words from me such as “flawed” and “depraved”. You are never too old to learn new words!

    “Yeah because preventing the murder of their people is “no good reason”.” It is not a good reason. Self defense and defense of one’s family is a good reason. “their people” is not a good reason: Who gave them the right other than themselves? Besides, we both know the IRA carried out a large number of operations for self-enrichment. Or, they were looking for a cushy number in prison safe from Brit soldiers and three squares a day. Very few IRA operations were preventing the murder of “their people” most were for the reasons I just stated. How do you explain the spreads and fleet of luxury cars IRA godfathers somehow acquired?

  61. So the IRA in 1972 were all about self enrichment? Have you any examples of that? You also didn’t state how many soldiers were imprisoned for murdering innocent people in the 1970s? How many police officers were imprisoned for murdering innocent people in the 1970s?

    ” Who gave them the right other than themselves?”

    If they didn’t who would do it? The community have a right to self defence. They can come together to provide for a collective self defence.

    “You are never too old to learn new words!”

    I know plenty of other words. ‘Pretentious cunt’ springs to mind.

  62. Seamus

    Take a ride out into the country in parts of Tyrone and South Armagh and be amazed at palatial homes on large spreads with fleets of luxury cars owned by people who had at most a menial job and are known IRA godfathers. How do you think they came by such largess?

    “They can come together to provide for a collective self defence.” Was there a documented democratic vote that made the IRA the selected defenders? Maybe it was by secret ballot!

    The reality is that if you were in the IRA and did not gain financially you were dispensable cannon fodder and a real sucker. When you read Patrick Radden Keefe’s books pay attention to how Darkie Hughes ended up and his opinions on his sorry state.

    Now, are there any words above you did not know? It you want to learn the derivations, just say so.

  63. “They can come together to provide for a collective self defence.” Was there a documented democratic vote that made the IRA the selected defenders?

    Loyalist and state forces trying to raze West Belfast to the ground and no one doing anything about it gave them all the mandate they needed.

    Pay attention to how Darkie Hughes ended up

    Did you know Hughes well enough to use the ‘Darkie’ diminutive?

  64. “Take a ride out into the country in parts of Tyrone and South Armagh and be amazed at palatial homes on large spreads with fleets of luxury cars owned by people who had at most a menial job and are known IRA godfathers. How do you think they came by such largess?”

    How about you stop avoiding the question? If you don’t want to answer them grow a pair and say so.

    Have you any examples that the IRA of 1972 were about self enrichment?

    You say the rule of law existed at the time. How many soldiers were imprisoned for murdering innocent people in the 1970s? How many police officers were imprisoned for murdering innocent people in the 1970s?

  65. Seamus

    If you took the ride I suggested you would see the results of the self-enrichment. I knew an IRA godfather from the 1970 who bought buildings in Belfast, had his IRA flunkies go blow it up, another group of IRA flunkies gathered up the timbers for a yard-sale he conducted and in addition got paid insurance on the blown up buildings. He had a fine house, at least 50 acres of land, several mercs and top race horses. He also seeded legitimate businesses for his daughters. I’m sure he had other ways of making money, but he sure knew how to be an IRA godfather and get rich. There are many others, but I’ll leave the research to you. When you take the suggested ride into the country, note the addresses of luxurious residences and take it from there.

    What does how many Brit soldiers were imprisoned have to do with this conversation? That is a matter for Brit law and Brit military of which I have no connection. Your flawed attempt to legitimize paramilitary gangsters is pathetic. They cannot be legitimized, nor can dragging a widow of ten children from her home, murdering her in cold blood and dumping her in a hole. Will you be trotting out the same obviously stupid justifications in twenty years time? As time passes your mindset is getting to be a rare thing, time to join the 21st century.

  66. “That is a matter for Brit law and Brit military of which I have no connection.”

    You stated “the rule of law existed in NI in the 1970s”. That is what it has to do with this conversation. If the rule of law existed in Northern Ireland in the 1970s why were the police and British Army allowed to murder with impunity?

    “If you took the ride I suggested you would see the results of the self-enrichment.”

    And again I ask have you any examples that the IRA of 1972 were about self enrichment? Not now. Not the 1990s. Not the 1980s. 1972. Any examples? Again you can say no if you don’t.

  67. NYr I agree with your 9:55….

    I just no longer can do the IRA argument….. the troll comes back.

  68. Seamus

    The example from my 1:05AM above is from the 1970s as stated. You are a poor reader.

    The rule of law existed in NI in the 1970s and if you had a complaint you could pursue it legally.

    Look, you have been beaten in argument, stop diverting and admit there is no good justification for the murder of Jean McConville or for the existence of the IRA. Do you condemn the murder of Jean McConville and the existence of the IRA? Until you make such a condemnation, no further discussion is warranted.

  69. PVR

    I understand. Another reason I take the time and effort is that the murderous IRA and its wannabee supporters besmirch the name of the Irish worldwide. Generally the Irish do very well in many lands but these guys taint that because genetically they are Irish. To be sure, they are at a much lower level that the vast majority of Irish. It is like a family with a sterling reputation for their educational, business and professional success but somehow there is a black sheep who murders, bombs and steals. You want to disassociate the family from the black sheep but he keeps doing terrible things and unfortunately has the same surname. I recall when the IRA robbed the Northern Bank in Belfast, a very accomplished Irish American confided to me that he felt embarrassed to be an Irishman. That is what the murderous Irish lowlife do in addition to all the horrendous things they do in Ireland. And, that is another reason they should be exposed, condemned and treated as the uncivilized savages they are.

  70. “The example from my 1:05AM above is from the 1970s as stated. You are a poor reader.”

    Right that anecdotal “IRA godfather” who you happened to know. If that is your evidence then you have none. What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. You have nothing. We can all invent figments of our imagination to help us win arguments.

    “The rule of law existed in NI in the 1970s and if you had a complaint you could pursue it legally.”

    So again – if the rule of law existed in Northern Ireland in the 1970s – where were all the prosecutions of British soldiers who murdered and maimed? Where were all the prosecutions of RUC officers who murdered and maimed? If the rule of law existed then those prosecutions would have occurred. Instead you had a situation where British forces were allowed to murder with impunity. Now if that is the rule of law to you then you have a very poor opinion of the rule of law.

    “Do you condemn the murder of Jean McConville and the existence of the IRA?”

    Question 1: Yes. Question 2: No. The murder of Jean McConville was wrong. Absolutely. And more to the point the decision to disappear her body and prevent her family from burying her was abhorrent. However the IRA existed for a reason, and a legitimate one at that.

    As I posted before:

    They (the nationalist people) were being attacked by criminal gangs masquerading as the RUC, the B-Men and many then legal loyalist groups. And in fact in the early years the actions of the IRA where overwhelmingly defensive. It’s operations where almost exclusively against the RUC and loyalists, and normally reactive. That changed following the Battle of St Matthew’s when loyalists attacked the Short Strand enclave, and tried to torch the local Catholic Church with petrol bombs. The IRA successfully defended it, killing two of the attackers. In similar disturbances in the city that day three loyalists where killed attacking Ardoyne. In response the Unionist government went ballistic and ordered the army to invade the Falls Road, where the Army murdered four people. One of them was a disabled man who was deliberately run over with a Saracen. Another was shot and the Army deliberately prevented the ambulance from getting him to safety in time to save him. A Polish photogropher was documenting it all when he was executed by the Army.

    After that act the decision was taken to go on the offensive against the British Army. The IRA fought the RUC after nationalists where attacked by the RUC. The IRA fought loyalists after nationalists where attacked by loyalists. And the IRA fought the British Army after nationalists where attacked by the British Army.

    What happened over the next few decades is another matter but absolutely in the early days the IRA’s actions where eminently justifiable.

  71. Seamus

    I provided you with an example from the 1970s which is evidence of self-enrichment. Why do you not accept it as evidence? Just curious. Any rational person would take it of evidence of self-enrichment by an IRA godfather and many do.

    I’m glad to see you hold the Jean McConville should be condemned. Your excuse for the existence of the IRA is the tired and ridiculous defenders of the community theory. They had no right to take on that role and often used it to pursue criminality. Ireland and the world would be much better off if the IRA never existed. The IRA mainly existed for self-enrichment and ego-boosting as documented. You need to open your eyes and stop playing dummy.

  72. I knew an IRA godfather from the 1970 who bought buildings in Belfast, had his IRA flunkies go blow it up, another group of IRA flunkies gathered up the timbers for a yard-sale he conducted and in addition got paid insurance on the blown up buildings.

    Just like you knew the names of the Paul Quinn murderers and that Sinn Féin somehow unexplainedly intimidated voters into voting you mean? All conveniant, anecdotal, made up hearsay pish

    I provided you with an example from the 1970s which is evidence of self-enrichment.

    You did no such thing. Prominent Republican Danny Morrison was my next door neighbour for years in a two up – two down terraced house built in the 1920s in the lower Springfield Rd. Why not direct us to all these palatial mansions of millionaires in West Belfast, the cockpit of Irish Republicanism?

    Walter Mitty and his tall tales immediately springs to mind.

    I’m glad to see you hold the Jean McConville should be condemned.

    Of course it should be condemned, she was a widowed mother of ten children. However, some questions on the McConville abduction and murder that you’ve repeatedly failed to answer:

    Do you believe Brendan Hughes’ claim that Gerry Adams ordered the abduction, murder and disappearance of Jean McConville?

    Do you believe Brendan Hughe’s claim that a British Army transmitter was found in her flat and she admitted that she had been spying, was warned by the IRA to stop, and that a second transmitter was then found in her flat?

    Did you know Hughes well enough to use the ‘Darkie’ diminutive?

  73. //The rule of law existed in NI in the 1970s and if you had a complaint you could pursue it legally. //

    NY, that’s one of the most off-the-wall statements re. NI ever made here. It shows you don’t know the first thing about the NI situation in the period in quuestion.

    Do you know what happened to people who went to police stations to complain that their father, brother or whatever had been beaten up by the “security forces” or lifted and interned?
    You don’t even want to know about these things.

  74. Yeah, ‘rule of law existed’ something, something, something:

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1937715.A_Very_British_Jihad

  75. Noel – there were rampant abuses and blatant discrimination. But it wasn’t Mogadishu lawlessness of the Black Hawk Down level.

  76. No one’s suggesting that extreme Mahons? The rule of law was however routinely and habitualy flouted, contrary to what NYer claims above.

  77. My analogy was more humorously intended but I also think that it makes a point that despite the level of abuse of the rule of law at the time the “activities” of the IRA were not justified. We will have to disagree on that point I am sure.

  78. The RUC, the B-Men, loyalists, and eventually the British Army, were engaging in the slaughter of innocent nationalists in Northern Ireland.

    What should the nationalist people have done Mahons?

  79. Quite a lot of the ‘activities’ at the time were not only very much justified but also very necessary. That however still doesn’t detract from the habitual and routine flouting of the rule of law so much so in fact that Balthazar J. Vorster, South African Apartheid Minister for Justice, and subsequently Prime Minister, said that he would swap all the oppressive Apartheid legislation at his disposal for a single clause of the Northern Ireland Special Powers Act.

    Yes, I don’t think we’ll find common ground on this.

  80. I wasn’t talking about the issue of collusion or anything like that. Simply the fact that there was no – or almost no – redress for people on the Nationalist side in their daily conflicts with the security sources. There was widespread abuse and casual beatings by soldiers of Catholic youngsters on the streets; not in riot situations, but simply guys walking home past bored and frustrated soliders at night. Nobody dared report such incidents to the police and even less to military authorities, that would have led only to more abuse etc.

    That was one of the most persuasive recruiting sergeants for the IRA in those early vital years, as many observers recognised at the time.

    I don’t know if anyone was talking about the IRA actions being justified or not (I havent read the thread). As far as I can see, they were, say in 1971 – 72 – neither justified nor unjustified – simply inevitable. The same level of oppression in a similar context would have led to more or less the same level of resistance anywhere else.

    The IRA should have called off its campaign after the bloody year of 1972. There was by then no hope of the British leaving in the near future, the Loyalist backlash had started in earnest and, above all, there were far too many civilians being killed by their methods and little chance of improvement in that regard.

  81. Casual beatings and acts of petty disrespect by the crooked police force happened for ages before the troubles, and not just in cities either.

  82. Add: Stormont had also been abolished and the worst of the sectarian state ended by then. Official sectarianism of course continued through the conflict and in the way the authorities pursued it, and while the IRA didn’t start the killings, there were grounds to hope that official sectarianism would have abated had the IRA campaign ended at that stage.

  83. There were grounds to hope that official sectarianism would have abated had the IRA campaign ended at that stage.

    I don’t know Noel. Witness how unionist politicians openly co-operated with sectarian murder machines in the ‘Ulster Worker’s Council’ strike to destroy the Sunningdale Agreement.

    That was based on the sectarian principle of not wanting nationalist hands on the levers of power in the state.

  84. The British demolished the orange state to combat the IRA. By 1972 a lot of that had been done but there was still plenty more of it left. In the absence of the IRA it is not unreasonable to suggest that the British would have left the orange state intact.

    Stormont wasn’t prorogued because of its sectarianism. It was prorogued because the British believed that the Unionists were incapable of combating the IRA and so wished to take control of law and order powers. Brian Faulkner had refused to allow control of security in Northern Ireland to be transferred to London, so in response the British prorogued the Northern Ireland parliament.

    In the absence of the IRA that doesn’t happen. Had the IRA gone away in 1972 then I honestly believe that the British would have restored Stormont, bowler hats and all.

  85. a good sober analysis

  86. Noel

    “Do you know what happened to people who went to police stations to complain”. That was not the only way to complain. Some took legal action using solicitors. Some registered complaints with reputable human rights organizations. You are contributing to the poor ole me school of republicanism by implying going to a police station was the only way to complain. There were other ways that were more effective. I’m surprised you do not know that. It was known in affected communities who the best solicitors were to handle such a complaint.

  87. There were other ways that were more effective. I’m surprised you do not know that. It was known in affected communities who the best solicitors were to handle such a complaint.

    Yeah, loads and loads of cops and soldiers appeared in court on various charges related to the routine flouting of the rule of law.

    For Christ’s sake Walter Mitty go and lie down or something.

  88. Judged by achieving its goals the IRA in NI was a complete failure. The goals including driving the Brits out of NI and achieving a united Ireland. Brit military and intelligence forced them into a face saving surrender. The Brit military caused many of the IRA to give up and go to prison rather than face fighting them. Brit security had agents throughout the IRA from top to bottom.

    Advances made by nationalists were made by non-violent means. Advances include curbing discrimination and increasing prosperity. IRA activities caused searches, they caused road closures and delays, they caused great restrictions and hassles to nationalists, the opposite of advances. Education, loan programs and investment brought increased prosperity. The IRA bombed city and town centres, discouraged investment and caused great personal hardship and property damage; all made nationalists poorer.

    The toxic example of the IRA caused the murder of the young woman whose funeral was earlier today in Belfast. It is past time to acknowledge the IRA should never have existed and the nationalists of NI would be much better today had they never existed. Those who defend the IRA are not only fools but contributors to ongoing suffering in NI.

  89. How many convictions for assaults by soldiers and police did Amnesty International, British – Irish Watch, PJ McGrory etc get Walter?

  90. “Why not direct us to all these palatial mansions of millionaires in West Belfast, the cockpit of Irish Republicanism?”. Godfathers do not want to live in slums.

  91. *Sigh,

    Prominent Republican Danny Morrison was my next door neighbour for years in a two up – two down terraced house built in the 1920s in the lower Springfield Rd.

    How well did you know Brendan Hughes NYer? Were you familiar with him enough to use the ‘Darkie’ epithet or is that just another tall tale?

  92. “How well did you know Brendan Hughes NYer? Were you familiar with him enough to use the ‘Darkie’ epithet or is that just another tall tale?” References above to Hughes are to Patrick Radden Keefe’s book in which the author calls him “Darkie Hughes”. It happens commonly in discussions about books, you apparently lack such experience because otherwise you would not ask such a stupid question ad nauseum.

  93. Ah, so you didn’t know him and used the ‘Darkie’ familiarism in order to attempt to paint yourself with some credibility?

    Just as I thought, a wannabe Walter Mitty.

  94. “Ah, so you didn’t know him and used the ‘Darkie’ familiarism in order to attempt to paint yourself with some credibility?” I never said I knew Hughes. Read what I wrote and see if you can understand it. It is clear I was using the name as used in the book under discussion. Just how stupid are you?

  95. A recent uptick in sightings of unidentified flying objects — or, as the military calls them, “unexplained aerial phenomena” — prompted the U.S. Navy to draft formal procedures for pilots to document encounters, a corrective measure that former officials say is long overdue.

    “Since 2014, these intrusions have been happening on a regular basis,” Joseph Gradisher, spokesman for the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, told the Washington Post on Wednesday. Recently, unidentified aircraft entered military-designated airspace as often as multiple times per month. “We want to get to the bottom of this. We need to determine who’s doing it, where it’s coming from, and what their intent is. We need to try to find ways to prevent it from happening again.”

    Citing safety and security concerns, Gradisher vowed to “investigate each and every report.”

    https://www.philly.com/news/nation-world/unidentified-flying-objects-ufos-navy-document-encounters-20190424.html

  96. According to Mellon, awestruck and baffled pilots, concerned that reporting unidentified flying aircraft would adversely affect their careers, tended not to speak up. And when they did, he said there was little interest in investigating their reports.

    “Imagine you see highly advanced vehicles, they appear on radar systems, they look bizarre, no one knows where they’re from. This happens on a recurring basis, and no one does anything,” said Mellon, who now works with UFODATA, a private organization. Because agencies don’t share this type of information, it’s difficult to know the full extent of activity. Still, he estimated that dozens of incidents were witnessed by naval officers in a single year, enough to force the service to address the issue.

    “Pilots are upset, and they’re trying to help wake up a slumbering system,” he told the Post.

    Lawmakers’ growing curiosity and concern also appeared to coax action out of the Navy.

  97. I know you never knew Hughes NYer. You just tried to infer association with the use of the ‘Darkie’ diminutive. Quite pathetic actually.

  98. Paul McMahon

    Learn how to read properly before making even more stupid comments.

  99. Whatever you say, ‘Darkie’