Hallmarks of Collusion

Martin Galvin, Us Attorney at Law, with an unedited version of a letter that initially featured in the Irish News on 27 November 2013.


A chara,

Following publication of “Lethal Allies: British Collusion in Ireland”, commentators, including Alex Kane, (November 1st) put British military and constabulary collusion with loyalists in brutal murders down to “rogue criminals” operating beyond the pale of British military planners.

The ongoing inquest of 76 year old Roseann Mallon brings daily reminders why the families and friends of victims of hundreds of similar murders might see it differently.

The phrase ‘all the hallmarks of the IRA’ was once commonplace. Nationalists also came to recognize a pattern of murders committed with ‘all the hallmarks’ of deep British state force complicity.

A litany of such hallmarks has been on display in Roseann Mallon’s inquest. Her murder in 1994 shows collusion went well beyond the 120 killings, cited by the Lethal Allies authors as proof beyond reasonable doubt of systemic collusion.

Her killers struck in an area so heavily patrolled that it was said to be impossible to move without being stopped. Crown patrols spiked before the murder. There was covert camera surveillance, which family experts attested were equipped with night vision. A ten year old boy happened upon rifles readied nearby in a deserted mill.

Remarkably, this considerable array of British manpower and material was banjaxed. Precise details from surveillance or searches seemed known to her killers. Cameras were turned off. Recordings of the preceding three weeks activity were somehow erased. British patrols were ordered not to react to sounds of shots. Witnesses, including a boy who stumbled upon the weapons cache, were intimidated rather than encouraged to provide leads to suspects. The Mallon family has been made fight to compel the British to disclose damning documents.

Claims that the British procured cheap cameras useless for tracking the IRA at night, windy or rainy days, or that British troops were ordered to combat the IRA by hiding at the sound of gunshots are already the stuff of punch lines.

How could a low level cadre of criminals within the crown forces accomplish such feats? How could they pass through heavily patrolled areas undetected and undetectable? How did they turn off cameras, wipe tapes, and order patrols to ground unless backed by planning, approval, and direction at a higher level within the British military or constabulary? How could they get away with it, over and over again?

This inquest raises deep emotions precisely because we have seen it all before. Much the same pattern preceded the murder of my own close friend Liam Ryan at the Battery Bar in Ardboe, five years before Roseann Mallon’s murder. Others, no doubt, have recognized these hallmarks in hundreds of other collusion murders. If the British are serious about dealing with the past they should get serious about their legacy of collusion.

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

7 comments to ''Hallmarks of Collusion"

  1. No mention of collusion between the Garda and IRA mentioned in the damning Smithwick report. in a reply to an email that I sent him asking why he never condemned American imperialism in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Galvin said that no matter what attrocities they committed, he would never criticise the USA military. The very definition of hypocrisy. Fort Shannon, LOL.

  2. Alan-

    What damning Smithwick report-

    not a word of prove in it just a small minded judge giving his opinion-no Garda or IRA names mentioned who were involved in that operation in the report-and the 26 county government blustered an apology out-those 2 RUC leaders were not executed in the 26 counties-the easy option-they were taken out in the war zone where the british army was supposed to be taking care of security-instead the brits hid
    in there watch-towers until the Provos left-

  3. Martin,

    thanks for this. I never realised it had went out today. It was due to go out tomorrow. Sorry for running it at the same time as another piece.

  4. Chalk it up to a blonde moment Anthony. But remember 3 blonde moments in a row is a peroxide.

  5. Frankie,

    but it seems to have worked. Both are being read. It might just (by chance) be a way of dealing with the backlog

  6. A reasonable person might suggest that An Garda Siochana were working with and collaborating with a secterian police force. A secterian police force that participated with loyalist gangs in numerous murders of Catholics throughout the occupied six counties. A reasonable person might further suggest that the true disgrace in this story is that members of that secterian police force were welcomed into any Garda station in the Free State.

  7. Alan,

    Martin said that you can either refresh his recollection by posting the exchange on TPQ or sending back to him the email you claim to have from him expressing such sentiments.


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