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Ballymurphy And Flawed Politics

Martin Galvin in  a letter to the Irish News continues his exchange with Trevor Ringland  over the role of the British state in the North's violent political conflict.

Blame Everybody But Britain Mindset Cannot Be Taken Seriously

Re: Trevor Ringland - Northern Ireland politics continues to be our biggest problem - January 25, 2019

Trevor Ringland wants others to get past "flawed political ideologies". He links the Ballymurphy Massacre, legacy inquests, and violence outside the law, then blames internal six county politics for all the north's troubles. By turning a blind eye to Britain's role in events, he merely proves he cannot get past his own deeply flawed political mindset.

Mr. Ringland writes that 11 Ballymurphy Massacre murder victims were "killed by soldiers of their own state." Others may see it differently. Would British paratroopers have massacred a priest, grandmother and eight others over a three day killing spree, if troopers had not seen Ballymurphy as some sort of foreign Irish territory?

Would it have taken so long to order a halt, if troopers had been running amok and shooting down people British commanders regarded as really their own?

Mr. Ringland wants us to begin "an important act of remembering" by forgetting that British paratroops were unleashed to open fire in places like Ballymurphy or Derry because people there were marked as guilty of being Irish.

He preaches: "violence for political purposes outside the law was always wrong and unjustified." What does he mean? The Ballymurphy Massacre murders were violent acts committed for the political purpose of terrorizing areas hostile to British rule. However the Ballymurphy Massacre killings, like most British Army murders were not "outside the law." At least they were not outside British law for the Irish.

These killings were declared legally right and justified. British crown courts, Royal Military Police and inquests made these killings legal. The families have fought to overturn verdicts wherein the crown branded their innocent loved ones guilty to cover-up for killers.

Mr. Ringland is right to blame "deeply flawed politics" and "deeply flawed politicians" as the biggest problem. He is wrong to blame everyone but Britain, ignoring the flawed politics and politicians really responsible.

Edward Heath, his British cabinet and military unleashed British troops to begin Internment, Hooded Men torture and the Ballymurphy Massacre. Deeply flawed politicians backed Brian Faulkner with terror and repression because of deeply flawed Orange state politics underpinning British rule.

These families have waited forty-seven years. They waited as the British stonewalled, shouted witch-hunt, and withheld inquest funding behind a make believe DUP veto as a pretext. Mr. Ringland's blame everyone but Britain mindset cannot be taken seriously.


Martin Galvin is a US Attorney-At-Law.


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Anthony McIntyre

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

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