The Kesh '74

Tonight The Pensive Quill carries a short piece by Guest Writer and frequent commenter Tain Bo introducing the handwritten account of Jim McCrystal who was witness to the burning of Long Kesh in 1974.

Recently I received a handwritten account on the burning of Long Kesh in 1974. I made a few attempts at writing an article based on the recollections but they lacked the simple finesse of the original.

Rather than do the author any injustice, his original version is carried here. The account is subtly deceptive with a calmness that makes it easy to forget he is speaking of chaos in a confined space, squaring off against the arsenal of the Brits with nothing more than makeshift weapons and a will to be treated with the respect due to POWs.

In transcribing his handwriting, I did not alter any of the language used; although typed out, it does not convey the same strength in print. It falls short of the handwritten version in which the author almost makes it sound like just another day in the prison struggle. The prisoners won the battle that day though for the obvious reasons knew they would lose the war. Brit revenge would be implemented a short time later in 1976 where political prisoners would no longer have that status, and would be viewed as ordinary criminals by the Brits diplock system. This would prove disastrous for the Brit government who highly underestimated the resolve of Irish Republican Prisoners.

They endured five long years of brutal and inhuman conditions in the H BLOCKS. Their tenacity through great sacrifice would eventually force the Brits to acknowledge this is one war, they would have to tactically retreat from; in 1981 Thatcher knew she was defeated. Ten young men had paid the ultimate price.

There are still Irish Republican Prisoners in English jails, and reports of mistreatment trickle out similar to the early days of the Blanket Protest. Is another powder keg waiting to explode?

The account begins:

Long Kesh Concentration Camp 15th Oct 1974
D. Morley Camp O/C
Governor Trusesdale
Father Tom Toner Chaplin

6 Provisional Cages 10, 13, 16, 17, 18, 20.
1 Officials “21.
5 Loyalists “9, 11, 12, 14, 19.
Internees(80 Prisoners per cage)

The Burning of Long Kesh Concentration Camp.
Tue 15th+ Wed 16th Oct 1974
D. Morley Camp O/C 4th Batt

This is my account of what happened during the burning of Long Kesh.

The trouble started in Cage 13 where Malachy Cullen was cage O/C.

Words were exchanged between Malachy and the screw while he was on a visit. It had been agreed beforehand that if there was a problem with a screw then that screw wasn’t permitted to enter the cage until the problem was resolved.

Later that evening this screw entered the cage and trouble broke out. After this, a large number of screws arrived and with their batons drawn entered cage 13 but were overpowered and had to leave.

The prisoners were then threatened that the army would be sent in to get the boys involved and bring them to the punishment cells.

At this stage, word was passed along the cages to the camp O/C, D. Morley. He asked to be allowed to go up to cage 13 to sort the problem out but was refused; this was another agreement that was broken.

With no options left, the camp O/C ordered all prisoners to be on standby and informed the screws that there would be no lock up. (Lock up was at 9pm) The screws withdrew from all over the camp.

D. Morley gave the order to burn the camp. The whole operation was directed from cage 16 as this was the cage the camp O/C was in. We were ordered to line up outside the huts and each section of men had different jobs to do. First we got ourselves equipped with (bin lids as shields) (iron bed legs) large (pieces of wood) and anything else we could get.

Tables were put against the wire fence like steps and then mattresses and blankets were put over the rolls of razor wire.

Three of us were ordered to get over the fence Willie Mc Guigan to break the locks on the gates to let the other prisoners out Martin Divine and myself were to take over the watchtower. While Martin Divine and myself were in the watchtower reporting back to D. Morley as to what was happening over the camp. The phone in the watchtower rang and martin answered it, the voice on the other end asked who was speaking and Martin said its Dave Morley O/C Provisional’s, and the voice said hope you enjoy your stay and rang off.

Prisoners from the other cages had set fire to them and we all joined up and marched through the camp burning everything except the hospital from which we got medical supplies. On our way up the camp, we met the loyalists who were in cages 9, 11, 12 they were moving out and we went in and burned their cages too. They took shelter down the camp at cages 14 + 19, which were left (loyalists).

The whole camp was a mess of flames and smoke with all sorts of noises like gas cylinders exploding and watch towers and huts falling to the ground. Helicopters were hovering overhead with searchlights, the camps lights were all out. By this time, the internees had met up with us from their end of the camp.

During the night, we erected barricades and had gathered bricks and bits of rubble to have ready for the Brits coming in. We took it in turns to rest for awhile and got some tins of soup from the burnt out tuck shop which was already cooked to get the soup out we punched some holes in the tins. When daylight came the helicopters, spotter plane kept circulating over the camp, and the C.R. gas was pouring down along with the rubber bullets. Once they had found our position, they came into the camp with full riot gear, and Alsatian dogs.

We fought from behind the barricades for about an hour but the gas and rubber bullets were getting the better of us. After this, everybody was ordered to assemble in the football field. This is where the battle was and it lasted for about two hours. As the gas landed on the ground, we tried to smoother it with wet blankets but were finally overcome too many injuries. Some of the Brits had got enough also and took off their helmets gas masks and bulletproof vests which we were able to use.

By most of the men were exhausted, injured or gassed and the Brits surrounded us and kicked and battoned us and trailed by the Hair. By this time, it was about 11 AM and we were put into the burned out cages.

We were searched and the Brits took anything that we had in our pockets, lighters, photos, Rosary Beads and they were trampled into the ground. We had to stand against the wire in the spread-eagled position, while in this position the Brits kept kicking and spitting on us and putting the dogs on us. If you moved, you were hit with a baton.

Some of the boys were made to take of their + socks and stand in their bare feet and had their toes tramped on. Some of the boys were sick and just fell to the ground and lay in the dirt. I think it was about 9 PM when the Brits finally left the cages and we got sitting down.

It was about 8 hours standing.

The first food we got was at about 9 PM it was a carton of milk each and ½ a dry Bap.

We were locked in the cages and the huts were still smoldering so we lit another fire to sit around. It was soon dark and the rain came on so we got some of the burned tin and made some makeshift shelters, it was a long night. Glad to see the daylight, as we were wet, dirty, and exhausted.

It was late in the day when we first got something to eat. The army did the cooking we got some stew. That evening we got some tea and a round of dry bread. Next day we found a burst water pipe and used it for washing and drinking. The screws were back at work but went on strike about poor working conditions.

Next thing arrived these luxury caravans, which were parked outside the cages.

Eventually we got a Portacabin (mobile hut) which was great but it only held about 30 or 40 packed like sardines. Next we got ex=army mattresses and 2 blankets each, then we got dry toilets and plastic sheeting to put over the makeshift huts. Then we got one razor between us all and a packet of 7, 0’ Clock blades, 6 bars of soap, 6 toothbrushes, 6 toothpaste’ and a new towel each.

The food started to come at regular times.

Mornings ---- Porridge
Dinner ---- Stew + round of dry bread
Teatime ---- Tea + round of dry bread

Sometimes the Brits put stones in the stew, after this, we were given a gas ring but the cylinder stayed outside we got a galv dustbin to boil water.

The army patrolled round the cages and kept turning the gas off or cutting the hose. One day we had had enough and when they came round again to cut the hose we threw the gas ring and bin over the fence on top of them. After that, we were allowed the gas cylinder + ring inside the cage. During the day, we would hang our blankets on the fence and the army would come along and urinate on them. At night, they would keep beating the old tin that was lying about, shouting remarks, shinning their torches into the cage, and throwing stones in at us.

People on the outside started to send us in clothes + boots + cigarettes and some of this stuff was held back for days before we got them.

At night, the whole place was in darkness so we were supplied with candles.

After this, we got some writing paper + 4 pens between us all.

Parcels of food started coming in on (4th Nov’ 74). We were counted twice a day and had a search they said they were looking for tunnels. Some of the other cages had been partly built again by the army and we had been moved to cage 10.

The floors were still black from the burning roofs were leaking in, no door on the toilet which were not working.

This is my recollection of what happened.

Jim Mc Crystal Hut 110 Cage 16 Long Kesh

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Anthony McIntyre

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

21 comments to ''The Kesh '74"

  1. Brilliantly written Tsin Bo. I think the extent to which Republican prisoners refused to be submissive within the context of these harsh regimes has been greatly understated.

    Long Kesh was a hell hole, and it's follow up the H Blocks produced a different set of horrors.

    A fascinating recollection by Jim Mc Crystal, well presented by you Tain Bo.

  2. Thanks Táin and thanks Jim.

    I remember a couple of visits I made to a friend in the Kesh in 74/75 previous and subsequent to the burning. A couple of surreal aspects of those visits have always stuck with me; my buddy had an obsession with 'T-shirts' particularly any with humorous or rude messages printed on and insisted that if I were to contribute to his parcel this was what he wanted.

    Whereas there were several demands being made about parcels, visits and education at that time the 'big' issue for this lad was something far more functional and innocuous. I remember him passionately announcing during one of our visits "If we don't get proper knives and forks we're going to burn this fcuking place down"! The frustration of using disposable cutlery was the paramount issue for him.

    Another detail that he mentioned that sticks with me was that some of the POW's including him had shaved their heads in expectation of the battle. He explained that they had anticipated head wounds and subsequent stitching of them would be easier and less painful.

  3. The place was a hell hole.
    A big issue was compassionate parole,
    searches, other issues were attacks by
    dogs, degrading searchers, the quantity
    and quality of food.

    The Red Cross had repeatedly highlighted
    how dire the situation was.

    There was an agreement amongst all prisoners
    groupings and leaders that the situation had
    become intolerable.

  4. From Beano

    Fionnuala—You’re right—there was an agreement by all prisoners groups that the situation had become intolerable. There was also an agreement that if Republicans were burning the camp that the Loyalist cages would be left intact. The admission by Jim that the IRA prisoners burned 9-11-12..all mixed UVF/UDA cages plus the cage that held YP’ the first admission I have seen from a former prisoner that this actually happened.

  5. Nuala,

    thanks, I appreciate the sentiment though the real thanks go to Jim Mc Crystal and all who had the misfortune of going through the conveyer belt of Brit injustice. A big thanks to the Quill for taking the extra time formatting the handwritten copy into the article adding the personal touch often lost in type.

    If we call it, what it was a concentration camp: a camp where persons (as prisoners of war, political prisoners, or refugees) are detained or confined? Usually under inhuman harsh conditions at best substandard living conditions.

    It would not take an Einstein to figure out that burning the camp down was the last and only resort the prisoners had. The Brit soldiers used as guards only fueled the hatred of the screws dishing out punishment was part of the job, a hobby for the Brits and screws something to laugh about. They made sure that the conditions would gradually deteriorate from the administration down the logic was crush the will of the prisoners.

    The higher up the more sinister the logic was, make them pay for their Political Status, the screws and Brits had no problem inflicting physical and verbal abuse along with the psychological torture of treating the prisoners as subhuman.
    Denying them as you state compassionate parole right down to basic sanitary living conditions in the end forcing their hand, something the Brits were aware of but did not take so seriously that the prisoners would follow through on their threat of burning the place down.

    I agree that the history of prison struggle is generally understated more so now, as the cronies prefer to disown factual history replacing it with the bleached out version.

    A recent good example of whitewashing the past (and the present) extremely well executed by none other than the acute or obtuse Mr. Bobby Storey depending on what moment it is. As his leader walked into a barracks for tea and biscuits, Storey probably give himself a hernia with his convincing or annoying speech. Letting us all know, they haven’t gone away, you know? fast forward a wee bit and a humbled Bobby Storey insists not only have they gone away he has the evidence to prove it.

    A great metamorphosis took place and caterpillars’ of the past transformed into their own beautiful creatures and took flight. Can we expect any truth about the past when the only thing that flew away was the truth?

    Adieu les Provos this should have been the background music. The Hunt for Butterflies though it worked well as the news was no longer on who killed a former IRA man but attention was on the funny man who wouldn’t harm a butterfly.

    A long way of stating that I would not expect much in the way of truth about the past from the Brits or their most valuable asset in the 6 counties SF. I will give them credit for using two of the four stages of the metamorphosis the only honesty in that is the word metamorphosis meaning transformation or change in shape something they are very apt at doing. History will be reduced to a Leopard without its spots.

    Go raibh maith agat Nuala

  6. Henry,

    I am not ignoring your comment I will try to reply soon, as I am typing or trying to type with one eye patched up and having to adjust my specs every few seconds so I can see the type. My apology on my delay.

  7. Beano,
    Loyalists did not act on the initial agreement, Republicans as was the case in all prison protests carried the can.
    Warped logic actually deterred Loyalists from tackling a system that was in fact oppressing them.
    I agree with you Loyalists huts should have been left intact primarily, due to the fact they wanted no part in any action, however, I should imagine it was in the heat of the moment (no pun intended) rather than a diliberate strike.

  8. Henry,

    I am glad you found some old memories relevant to the account. It probably does enter into the sphere of the surreal being behind the wire and asking for a shirt that was funny or crude. Age is the only known cure for the defiant rebellious youth and that is iffy at best when it gets down to brass knuckles in the north.

    I understand the angst and the significance of wanting basic tools, which is what utensils are, I detest plastic utensils, plates and even paper plates. A plastic knife would be useless pitted against a stale bap, a chunk of frozen butter, and when you are hungry patience go astray add the uncertainty of when the next inadequate scraps would arrive, and you have plenty of time to ponder what makes you human.

    The key word is functional we don’t even notice the significance of items we take for granted when our dignity is taken from us it becomes extremely personal something as simple as a fork, spoon and knife may sound innocuous but they are more practical and sanitary than using our hands to eat food.

    The policy has always been to breakdown republican prisoners. We don’t notice the small things anymore as having a cup of tea when these normal things are removed from us then that affects our psyche more so in a controlled environment where the only true freedom you have is in your mind.

    Shaving their heads was prudent not just in anticipation of getting your skull cracked but also fire and long hair don’t mix.

    Your comment highlights the human side of the prisoners even the Blanket Men held onto that basic human fundamental of dignity so much of what makes us human had been stripped away, an innocuous item a blanket let them hold fast onto dignity remaining unbowed and unbroken. The human will with a simple message that we are men.

    The account from Jim delivers that same message he is almost nonchalant about the burning of the camp and the following riot seems a very distant second place. The thrust of his recollection is not so much about the violent destruction of the camp but more about why it was necessary.

    Treated as Lab rats in some kind of failed British experiment subjected to harassment around the clock negotiating a sensible outcome was never on the cards for the brits. What other choice did they have than to wreck the dump?

    Thanks Henry for adding your memories to the piece I hope others do the same the more we learn the better we can understand.

  9. Beano,

    you agree the conditions in the camp became intolerable yet when push came to shove the loyalists holed up praying for the light of day to show up so the very people who made the conditions so intolerable could weigh in and save the loyalists.

    The regular Brits must have been pissing themselves laughing at the confused loyalist Paddies pretending they were the queens own guard mimicking British regimental life. The republican movement did not send one loyalist to jail. That was the Brits, who frowned upon you and your mates as terrorists.

    The same Brits looked upon republicans as terrorists something that echoed through loyalist districts but naturally, through loyalist logic they were helping to keep the queens peace by stiffing any poor taig they could get and of course were not terrorists. Yet, when nabbed by the law the loyalists found themselves doing a stretch in one of her majesties clinks.

    If republicans had intended to go after loyalists, it would have been a done deal. Jim is not admitting that republicans burnt loyalist property they burnt Her Majesties property, remember that auld bag many a loyalist pissed away their lives for, what better way to prove your British than to end up as a Brit prisoner.

    Your point of Jim admitting is up the left it is where loyalists were held not where loyalists owned. You make the poor loyalists sound like the victims of a rampaging republican mob. They were the victims of harsh treatment from the Brits maybe not on the same scale as republicans but enough for you to agree that the camp was intolerable.

    Why did the loyalists accept the poor conditions and not do anything to improve them. If you have a gripe, it should be with your leadership and the Brits. If loyalist paramilitaries believed their own hype about being so British then why did they not enlist in the BA, UDR, and RUC? The simple answer is you couldn’t just go out and stiff random taigs.

    After 76, the loyalists holed up again accepting they were now mere criminals in the eyes of the British. Republican men and women defied that policy. The loyalists just accepted whatever the Brits said, you have to put it into proper context inside and outside loyalists and republicans were enemies on the night of the fire the republicans achieved their objective attacking the regime the loyalists were not even on the radar.

  10. From Beano

    In the absence of minuted accounts from the Camp Council and as from your previous account of the fire which you have already admitted was second hand knowledge-as you weren’t there-this is, to me, another case of rewriting events to suit. I wouldn’t argue with the notion that the Loyalist cages may have been burned in the heat of the moment-I would also put it down to who some of the individuals were involved. In the case of Cage 11-where I was-the first person who came to our doors was Cleeky Clarke-who gave assurances through the window to McKeague that no property would be touched. This proved to be a lie. As for the assertion that the loyalists didn’t want to take part in any action...they had been on the exact same protests as republican pprisoners from as early as February that year—the laundry-no food-no visits-for 12 weeks-and any other form of protest until October. Doesn’t sound to me—and again I stress---I was there--- like they wanted to opt out of protesting-and “let the republicans carry the can”.

  11. Yes Táin, if we're fortunate enough we'll mellow and mature with age.
    Time, continuing education, on-going reflection, and in my own case geographical distance too, all support that process of maturation, all positively influencing the spin of fortune's wheel.

    As the wise old one says, "growing old is mandatory, whilst 'growing up' is optional."

    Those who fail to integrate that 'the past is a foreign country; they do things differently there' and who hanker after the passions of youth will continue to suffer the consequential painful frustrations. Those most intensely attached to their juvenile desires are doomed to proportionately suffer the emotional ravages of love denied.

  12. If you are speaking about the previous account I wrote for the TPQ, that came from primary sources Beano people who were there. That's how research is carried out via people where possible, and through first and at times second hand accounts. In my piece, I relied on evidence statements from Fr Faul and Fr Murray and the men who were there, one such account was the one given above, which was recorded daily. That sort of rubbishes a second hand account theory and the fact that something was skewed to 'suit'

    When it came to the crunch in relation to the pinnacle aspect of the protest, Republicans were left to carry the can. It was Republicans who were beaten, gassed, bitten and brutalised.
    By your admission, Loyalists wanted to be left alone and wanted guarantees to that end. Guarantees which you say were reneged upon. Gusty Spence also claimed to secure guarantees from the a British that were reneged upon.

    Hugh Smyth described along Kesh as being like a 'Nazi Concentration camp.' Why then did Loyalism feel under threat when Republicans were razing it to the ground?.

  13. Beano,

    you are in denial and being ridiculous pointing out that the republicans burnt loyalist property.
    What do you expect from republicans an apology?

    You still cannot point the finger at your overlords the Brits. Did an Irish court sentence you and the other drill time on square one loyalists? The answer is no, you decided on your own bat that you were going after taigs and the Brits decided that you were a terrorist and sent you off to an Brit jail.

    Did the British guards salute you or did your queen give you a medal for your disservice to the crown.
    It is not my problem that you were sent to a Brit jail by a Brit court so you could waste your life away recounting your glory days as a defender of the British state.

    I am always puzzled with that logic of how proud defenders of Ulster and the Crown reconcile with rotting away in a Brit jail. You don’t have an answer for that but keep pointing out that your enemies hurt your feelings and lied in your opinion.

    You really don’t have a logical argument the Brits put you in the camp and the Brits came to your rescue sounds so romantic but that is not the case. The only injury suffered by loyalists that night was a bad dose of nerves.

    A minor point if loyalists cages were empty then burning them should not be anything more than that a minor incident, you might have a leg to stand on if republicans had attacked loyalists but that was not their objective.

  14. Tain Bo,

    I would suggest that if the British guards had saluted Beano and co you would be fouling your pants about it. The loyalists decided that the best way they could defend their people was by breaking the law. The law punished them for it just as they punsihed republicans or the same.

    As for the ludicrous suggestion that Long Kesh was a concentration camp I suggest you pay a visit to Bergen Belsen or Auschwitz where you will get a better perspective on what that actually entails. If the inmates of those establishments had burned their huts down because of a hissy fit over a prison officer they would have been gunned down. Not offered tea and dry baps.

  15. Cue Bono,
    I think the distinction was being made between what was supposed to be a POW camp and a Concentration Camp. If you read the Red Cross reports leading up to the time of the fire, it was a dire place.

    Speaking specifically about the internees. The Red Cross cited on numerous occasions that the place was grim, over crowded, poor sleeping conditions, bad food and a strong security presence of British Army and dogs.
    Add to that the fact that, during compound searches the men had to run the gauntlet past rows of British personnel with dogs, stripped bitten and batoned and the picture that emerges is not one of Butlins.

    Quite a lot of the internees were innocent people dragged from their beds during operation Demetrius. The Red Cross reported serious psychological trauma in many instances,mostly due to the fact these men were to spend years in dire conditions and living a ' cheek to jowl' existence, yet many didn't know why. Some of those men, and especially the men who had been through the torture treatment in BallyKelly lived that existence for years.

    The Burning of Long Kesh was far from being the result of a hissy fit Cue Bono.

  16. Cue,

    as usual, you are circling the drain with obtuse commentary little gravity needed to help it down the drain.

    You are not helping Beano and you are not helping the loyalists, offering the puniest absurdity as reason. I doubt even the dumbest Brit would have even considered the taig hunters as much else than common criminals. Factor in the boredom of being a guard, soldier screws is very different from what they signed up for, no great heroic tales to hand down to the grandkids.

    Loyalists decided that the best way they could defend their people was by breaking the law.

    Interesting, I notice you separate as you defend and exclude yourself from their people. Suggesting their people and not your people not so clever boxing, why would you defend those you admit conspired to break British law that statement would mean you agree they were criminals. You also infer they were right when killing taigs to defend their people.

    Defending does not mean going on the attack you leave that part out but like Beano you establish a victimhood his being petty as he enjoyed playing paramilitary but did not enjoy when republicans burnt down the dump.

    Subtle difference republicans’ wanted to dismantle British rule you add legitimacy to that with your own disagreement where you remove yourself. It does not help Beano when you suggest he was defending his people as he and the other taig hunters considered themselves as defenders of Ulster which as we know is ruled by the British government. As for ludicrous that would sum up the logic of loyalists fight and murder to be British and then waste away in her majesties hotels.

    Nothing to do with hissy fits just a plain as day reality that lacks logical reasoning behind it. Wanting to enforce British law on Irish people but then the PUL can break the same law anytime they decide to throw a wobbler sounds insanely reasonable to me.

  17. Cue,

    I call it a concentration camp the fact that it had a heavy military presence would suggest that it was not a standard prison or meet the definition of a standard prison.

    Can you say with any accuracy that I have not visited any of the Nazi death camps? I say death camps as that was their primary function you are polite to name a few. By design, death camps built to satisfy the Nazi high command, as the other methods employed were not efficient. That ranged from shooting, hanging, stabbing, and burning people alive along with other gruesome methods. Slave labour was also a method used to kill off Nazi undesirables.

    Death camps are not even in the same book as standard POW camps perhaps when you have time you could examine the difference. Instead of attempting to establish some dull point, if I followed your logic then I would believe that the unfortunate peoples slated for the death camps would have received the same treatment as captured Prisoners of War. Death camps and POW camps two different worlds you only manage to insult the poor souls destroyed trying to score a cheap point.

    Your overlords are not as stupid as you make them out to be. It may be a disappointment to you that they did not murder Prisoners of War as they retook the camp with overkill more a matter of pride than necessity as they could have simply waited until the POWs through the towel in.

    I would go into more detail though I have noticed you duck out when the questions get tough much like the taig hunters ducked out when the going got rough.

  18. Fionnuala,

    It was not supposed to be like Butlins, but it most definitely was not a concentration camp. The article above describes what happened when they burned down their own accommodation and armed themselves with cudgels for a fight. They then complain that they got hammered in the fight and didn't have anywhere to sleep. It was completely self inflicted and it is ludicrous that they felt. hard done by afterwards.

  19. Tain Bo,

    You are completely failing to understand me. I am not here to defend Beano or the Loyalist prisoners. They broke the law, as did republicans, and they were punished for it. They knew exactly what that entailed and I am absolutely certain that they did not expect to be congratulated by either the British army or the government for their actions.

    Just as a aside it is commonly agreed that attack is the best form of defence btw.

    I have no idea what the last paragraph in your first post is supposed to mean. Please elaborate?

    The cushiest German POW camp of WW2 was a hundred times worse than the Maze. The prisoners in those camps came out emaciated due to lack of food not fat and pumped up on the weights, and with university degrees under their belts. Indeed soldiers serving in Northern Ireland often lived in much worse accommodation than the Maze.

    You shouldn't mistake the fact that I don't wade back through old posts for me ducking out of hard conversations. If there is anything you want to challenge me on please feel free to do so.

  20. Cue,

    failing to understand you or are you failing to convey your comments in an understandable manner now you are circling the drain in the opposite direction.

    You will have to accommodate me, as English is my second language. You entered into the debate under one short line I mentioned to Beano, defending the salute remark. Then, you distance yourself from loyalists and present a puny defense as the reason many loyalists ended up in British jails.

    Next, a cliché to reinforce your original defense theory a confusing way of denouncing the loyalists by giving them reason. Using your own logic republicans were doing the same thing defending their areas so in that sense you offer unintentionally legitimacy to republicans. They only were on the attack as it is the best form of defense.

    Obviously, it cannot be different for any paramilitary group and all can shelter under the umbrella of defense you provide.

    They did know that they were committing attacks primarily on unarmed taigs but you justify breaking the Law you support as acceptable in order to be more pretend British than the British. I was just pointing out how ridiculous that is for non-loyalists to figure out.

    A regular British soldier guarding the defenders of Ulster must have had a right laugh at them mimicking British regimental life. Would you describe the Mickey Mouse loyalist outfits as terrorists?
    I was being ironic about salutes and medals for the loyalist being held under British guard at least the republicans could identify the wee green men as the enemy.

    Perhaps, if a British soldier present at the time reads this he could enlighten you as to why they didn’t gun down republican prisoners.
    I have my own theory that I have been working on that might shed a little light on the burning and aftermath.

    I am too lazy to go looking for comments I said that based on the Ardoyne car incident on that thread I asked you to ask how the child was doing. No response and it could be also on the same thread I asked you your opinion on loyalist paramilitary groups, no response. Sorry that you think I would pay that much attention and go hunting down comments.

    I think you need to study your WW2 theaters you are confusing imagery. The Japanese treated prisoners horrifically that included starvation. The Nazis did not treat the British on the same level as the Japanese.

    Allied POWs

    POWs had a value so received better treatment than political prisoners or as the Nazis called them undesirables.

    You believe that death camps and POW camps are the same thing.

    Political Victims

    What is your opinion on Stalin’s death camps or was it only the British who suffered in your Hollywood version of WW2.

    You put a minimal spin on the loyalists but you do not disguise your hatred for republicans so well.

  21. Cue,

    A correction, my second question was on the Professor PFT article where he did not approve of my tone.
    I believe you weighed in to defend the loyalist paramilitaries after I remarked they were vermin.

    You make prison life sound like a picnic camp the monotony of routine is the enemy of both guard and prisoner. Why begrudge any who furthered education or do you believe being sent to prison is not punishment enough.

    I do not think I fail to understand you but fail to understand your confused reasoning


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