Elusive Disclosure

Yesterday in Belfast Gerard Jock Davison was laid to rest. He was accorded the routine IRA funeral rites that the organisation provides for those who not just comprised its membership but who more decidedly stayed on board with the wayward direction in which the Provisional project had travelled.

Since his murder almost a week ago there has been a legitimacy battle at play over his legacy. The statement in yesterday’s Irish News by a host of community groups extolling his virtues sounded too much as if it had been composed by a Sinn Fein PRO. In its one dimensionality it suffered the same deficiency it had angrily accused the media of. It focussed almost exclusively on now and ignored then while charging that the media had mischievously done the opposite.

What makes Jock Davison’s legacy so contentious was his presence in Magennis’s Bar on the night of the death of Robert McCartney, murdered in a knife attack in January 2005. Two of Robert McCartney’s sisters have in the days since Davison’s murder taken to the media to offer critical commentary, focussing on his past as an IRA activist, dismissing his later role as a community development worker, and challenging the one dimensional view they felt was unfairly gaining sway.

Despite my unequivocal endorsement of the McCartney women's justice campaign, I harboured no personal animus towards Jock Davison. His death saddened me in a way that it did not the McCartney women in that I regretted his passing and not just the immeasurable grief it caused his family. Nevertheless, I felt their intervention, while at times unnecessarily acerbic, was important in that it added symmetry to a public discourse that was dangerously close to promoting a fiction through omission.

In tributes to Jock Davison it was said that he was murdered by thugs. True. But Robert McCartney was also murdered by thugs. There is simply no other way of describing what happened that January evening ten years ago. The criminal content of an action cannot be legitimised away on the grounds that the IRA or its members were involved. What happened during the post-bar row was not a military mission by an active service unit but a knife attack by a gang. And it was Jock Davison’s alleged role on the evening that made him the subject of much public scrutiny both in the wake of Robert McCartney’s death and again following his own murder. 

For his part Jock Davison always denied any wrongdoing other than being involved in a row. While it is known for certain that he did not accompany the knife gang into the alleyway where Robert McCartney was butchered, the McCartney women have consistently maintained that he in effect procured and counselled the murder of their brother by giving the order for an action that led directly to him being stabbed and beaten to death. 

While it is understandably unpalatable for the McCartney sisters, Jock Davison was never convicted of any crime in respect of their murdered brother. Which means if he was up to the task of a community development worker, there was no procedural reason to deny him the post. He was an acutely intelligent man and since his death I have wondered what he might have brought to his community work with the first class honours degree he was due to secure; if he would have put the community sector first or subordinated its needs to the imperatives of Sinn Fein to which he undoubtedly remained loyal. Given the IRA funeral the balance of probability shifts towards the latter. 

While the McCartney sisters felt his death was no loss to the community this is a view not shared by everybody working in the community sector including some who have no particular reason to be receptive to Sinn Fein. Councillor Paula Bradshaw of the Alliance Party certainly found his input a positive one, describing him as a “committed worker", and speaking of her "deep sadness at the loss of Gerard from the community sector". 

Unfortunately, the best summation I can offer is also a terse one. Jock Davison was a community worker. He was also central to events that led to the murder of Robert McCartney, about which full and frank disclosure still seems as elusive as it was ten years ago.


  1. The Sunday World report of this is like a script from love/hate

  2. As you rightly say a cara the Vatican Times carried a full page homage to "Jock Ddavidson.This page we are told is sponsored by 63 "community groups"I reckon it should have been titled From Zero To Hero.It seems tome from the number and makeup of these groups that this is really the republican(term used loosely)movements true response to the McCartney family,two fingers to you,we were never really serious in the call for justice for your brother or yourselves all for the optics as usual,as austerity cuts take told and they will I hope none of the above groups come knocking my door begging bowl out for their cash strapped" Community jobs"I will gladly re-direct them to Thatcher house on the Anytout rd

  3. Marty I can't work out if you are a loyalist or have special educational needs! I suppose much of a muchness!

    The fact is a huge amount of people, possibly all decent people that ever met jock Davidson usually came like and respect him!

    I first met jock as a trades man back in the 90s working the buildings site around Belfast! I never knew him as an IRa man, I knew him as an extremely hard working grafter that took no crap from contractors or lazy bastards!

    He was a family man that always spoke of his young family! He spoke of his holidays and his many interests! He was heavily involved in community work, chasing young hoods, working with the soccer team, helping in the boxing club! He never got paid for any of it, despite the hard earned wage on the site, probably more that you have done in a life time.

    As a work team over a number of years he worked side by side different nantionalities, political and religious backgrounds, not a racist or sectarian bone in his body.

    I hadn't seen jock for a while until about 5 years ago in the heavy snow and freezing weather! My aunt then in her 60s had phoned me to unfreeze her pipes, working in Dublin that day I was late getting back to Belfast, when I arrived at her markets flat jock was on the way out the door, having working on her plumbing for 3 hours, this is dispute not being a plumber and after a days work. He had a family member make her dinner and bring a gas heater to her house and didn't leave until he had the problem sorted! During one of the last conversations I had with jock he again spoke of his family, his idea of going back into education and his job as a community worker. As usual he was full of Craic upbeat and inspiration.

    My aunt used to call on him once a week complaining about dog shite on the footpath and cars parking outside her door. She described him as his big adopted son.

    So many people in the markets young and old relyed on him daily , listening to their problems taking them in their day trips. Children relyed on him for soccer and boxing. The truth is as absent relatitives we all relyed in him trying to keep order in this forgoton part of south Belfast .

    The incident in McGuuiness should not be mentioned in the context of jocks murder because it was nott jock!

    During the fight the gang leader was beaten in a fair fight, he called for reinforcements! One of his henchmen at the time was robert McCartney! I knew robert and he was always a decent enough person but he had been runing with this gangster for a number if years and was well aware of his behaviour! In the fight after the gangster had called a few of his gang member they were again beaten in a fair fight! Knives were lifted from the kitchen area of the bar by both groups. All the years I knew jock he never had the need to carry a weapon espically a knife! Any one that knew jock knows this allegation of giving this hand signal to slice mccartneys throat is a load if ballix!

    The fact what happened in McGuuiness was not of jocks making but forced upon him and acted in self defence!

    The fact is wether you like it or not, jock Davidson was highly respected, admired, liked and loved by the markets community and beyond, not because of his leadership position in the IRa , but as an individual.

    My aunt now deceased like most people in the markets are not fools and can see through the most pre cuning shitester, possibly one of the reasons sin Fein usually are not successful there!

    But the markets community, the good people in that area that includes the Chinese community that jock help settle in, respected jock for the man he was, helpful, intelligent , hard working and inspirational, the same reasons the people of the building sites back in the 90s and no doubt the volunteers of the Irish republucian army!

    He should be rembered as the great person he was not the way the Brits and uncle toms of Irish society would like to portray him!

    An Irish legend gone but never forgotten!

  4. AM writes, "What happened during the post-bar row was not a military mission by an active service unit but a knife attack by a gang." This is an important distinction, one which separates military action from thuggery. I have rarely encountered a Unionist, either during the Troubles or in more recent times, willing to make that distinction in their customary blanket condemnation of the IRA. That said, more than a few Republicans seem perfectly content to justify barbarism against non-military targets, be they joyriders or civilians or men in a bar fight, as part and parcel of a larger campaign or goal - the ends justifying a few unsurly peripheral means. Unionists have trouble acknowledging a distinction, Republicans owning up to one. Regardless of Jock Davison's role in what happened at Magennis's Bar in 2005, the incident did Irish Republicanism no favors here in the United States, nor for that matter anywhere else.

  5. Che,

    whether your intention is to sanitise Jock or smear Robert it would probably get more attention were you not to take cover behind a pen name. People get listened to when they have the fortitude to stand over what they say.

  6. A fine eulogy Ché, based on how you experienced the man. Thanks for taking time to share all that.
    Its easy to understand as to how frustrated and disappointed you feel given all the innuendo arising around Jock's death.

    Once again condolences to you and all who mourn his passing.

  7. Che You are in the habit of personalising your comments to posters educational standards and or baseline loyality , beneath contempt ,not worth replying to,as for what happened in Mc Guinness,s bar,how do you know what happened
    ,where you there, if not those who you would have listened to who were there would have the rest of us believe including the police that they were in the bogs at the time, another example of the hypocrisy surrounding that whole stinkng affair.

  8. I tend to agree with AM, if you post under your own name it gives you comments extra weight. It doesn't make them correct but the mere fact your prepared to stand over them does give them weight. By the way I post under Organized Rage here simply to give an add to my blog, a smidgen of effort will reveal who I am but it case some do not wish to exert themselves my name is Mick Hall.

    However some Republicans and socialists may have good reason for using a pseudonym. For example if they are a self employed building worker or on the cards come to that. You all can ketch my drift blacklisting and fear can ruin peoples working lives and impoverish their families, as so many Republicans and socialists have found out down the years.

  9. I take the view of HenryJoy over Che's post about Davidson.

    I find it especially sad a man's life can be dismissed over a single short period of his life.

    What I can gather many people liked this man, even AM had some reasonable and measured words to say about him.

    I like the fact Davidson took the English ruling class head on and did not walk away from his community when this did not pan out as he and most republicans would have wished.

    If anyone feels dealing with working class folks daily life problems, week in week out is a soft task then they have little understanding of human nature. He was in and of his working class community and to put it bluntly in death deserves a little respect.

    Of the two contentious issues which have been flung at him, the first of touting I dismiss with contempt for those who are making it publicly have absolutely no idea if it's true. And if they think they do know, they should either put up; or shut up.

    As to the McCartney murder, he was the most senior republican as far as I'm aware in the pub on the day. But when the type of fracas which exploded on that day happen there is no immediate chain of command, as folk are not thinking with cool heads, it is all hands to the pump on both sides.

    I'm sceptical about the alleged hand single Davidson supposedly gave, who actually saw it? All hell is breaking out yet someone spotted a signal which would have taken less than a second to make. I find it hard to believe. It may have happened but who knows? The question I would pose why would it have been necessary? By all accounts both sides were as mad as hell, no quarter was given by either. Are we really supposed to believe one of those involved in the fight sought Davidson's advice as to how far the boyos should go, and in return Davidson gave the order to kill.

    Is life in Belfast pubs really as orderly as that? Of course that type of thing does occur, for example when the young lad was beaten to death in south Armagh. but I find it harder to believe when a full blown affray breaks out in a pub which then spilled over out onto the street.

  10. How am I trying to smear robert ? I krw robert and he was a decent big fella! I am saying he kept bad company with a known and the time notorious criminal ! He was called to assist by that criminal on the night in McGuuiness !

    It wasn't any sort of gang fight arranged on face book, knives were not even involved !

    Once the fight was over , the known criminal ran into the back of the bar, the kitchen possibly for cover and retuned with a knife striking jock on the hand!

    My understanding was that none of this criminals associates had any intrest including robert continue ing with this fight, in fact once the criminal was attacked by others in the bar also by this stage with knives from the kitchen they retreated outside the premise, which jock did not!

    I don't give a fuck about any of these people or McGuuiness bar, I just think it is wrong to associate jock Davidson with this whole episode ! This did not define this man!
    He was better than that and deserves more!

    I don't like the thought that like back in the 90s after high profile killing people were sent on a wild goose chase. I have said I do not think any one who was involved in McGuuiness bar fight, which is a common enough thing around the word and never dyes any attention, had any thing to do with jocks murder, in fact I think they are being fitted up for a far in the future!

    I firmly believe that the state was behind this murder and it is my firm belief despite the fact I am not a fortune teller that know one will ever be brought to justice for it!

    The psni will explain it is complicated and people in the markets have refused to come foward, how they have an idea who is behind it but unfortunately have not got enough evidence, bla fucking bla! We have heard it all before, this time we have no political power calling for an end to state murder! Which is a pity!

    Am if I give my identity or not makes no difference , I have no position I'm not a lawyer or politician , I'm a joiner , so in genreal unless I'm fitting a front door or lift conversion people generally don't give a fuck what I think!

    Which is fair enough! But what I do know is that jock Davidson carried my family members coffins when I was away working, he stood up the British when most people were afraid and stood toe to toe with anyone with nothing but his fists, he was able help wingeing pensioners and help delinquent kids, not to mention every thing in between!

    So all I'm saying, people get there facts straight, as an ordinary man I rember jock Davidson for the great person he was a not what people are happy to make up!

  11. The highly educated and eloquent poster under the moniker Che(meaning friend lmao)tells us that recently murdered Jock Davidson spent three hours in his grans house trying to stop a leak,some say that the leakage coming from the prm pre 94 was unstoppable and we can see where that shower(sticking with the plumbing theme ) ended up, administering brit rule and austerity cuts coming , and Che calls me a loyalist lol...

  12. Che,

    how in my view you tried to smear Robert was thru damnation with faint praise - a decent big fella but a knowing henchman for a gangster.

    As Henry Joy suggested, your memory of Jock is positive and you are accorded the means to express it here regardless of whether we find it wrong or not. But in smearing Robert you undermine your own eulogising of Jock.

    Anonymity should only be used here to express views and convey ideas not to expose others to ridicule that the anonymous contributor shields themselves from.

  13. Mick,

    anonymous contributors here make an enormous contribution. There is not one commenter here that the absence of would improve the blog. I took it for granted that everybody knew who you were and that Organized Rage was a handle not a mask.

    But if people want to use anonymity then they need to do so for the reasons outlined many times here - spread ideas not taking personal pops at named people.

    I think by and large the site has evolved to that type of situation.

    There are people who do need anonymity for a variety of reasons. But it is to be used rather than abused.

  14. All this infoatiom can be found in court records and testimony from friends and family. I don't think there is any secrets here. I don't think any one has denied the relationship between the known thug and robert. The courts also provides evidence through CCTV who did not kill robert, one of those people was jock davidson!

    So I am a total fucking loss why both things are mentioned in the same sentence? Explain?

    How would any one for expample ex prisoners like if their past was used to define or excuse their murder!

    Bar fights and related deaths happen on regular occasion, usually as a result of to much drink or domestic difference . Limerick had the highest knife attack incidence two years runing per captia in the eu!

    Name me two victims? U can't . Name ne the last victim ofa fatal shooting in Dublin? U can't, this is because people generally don't give a fuck unless it effects them! Why do we all know robert McCartney ! Because the killing had an agenda!

    All this I don't give a fuck about !

    I just don't like the way so many have simply followed the media line!

    This shows to many people have the brain of a sheep and follow the flock!

    So again I am not smeering robert, but the facts that came out in court were the facts, not by the work of the psni but the excellent investigation carried out by defence barrister!

    This is all public record, I don't even want to mention robert or McGuuiness .

    I am asking people to take a measured response look at the facts then decide for yourself !

    Ask yourself have I become sea mus Mallon and will deny state muder to the end or will I use logic evidence and memory to ascertain is this murder a 2015 state execution of a republucian leader?

    Again your answer does not concern me, I knew jock I knew what he was, and for that I respected him and always inspired by him and unforunttely will never have opportunity to tell him!

    Sin e!

  15. It's your site am!

    You don't have to add the comments and can delete them at any time! If people are to give their names let it apply equally to every one! I will be happy to go with that! I don't have a clue who any one else is no winge from

    I havnt named any one that wasn't named by some one else or contain in article! In fact been carfull not to name anyone!

    If my comments offend, so fuck! This a blog not a church confession that argues against censorship!

    Usually I don't get as annoyed about this type of crap, maybe it's because I live in the USA and the place is a bit more open to self critique !

    But this whole episode and the sheepish behaviour of so many highlights how society in the six counties seems to be regressing!

    Am you have a great site and as you say the blogs are probably the best part, but if my comments offend your bunch of regulars, just say the word and I will blogg away in New York were my stuff is appreciated! No offence taken from me!

    But I will say one thing, the six counties becomes more like misspi every day! Stand up to censorship and allow free speach! If yous don't you might as well hand your selfs up to maghaberry ! Save the Brits the effort and cost of a trial!

    Ard mor acharide

  16. Mick I know of no bar brawl that led to murder where the evidence was so forensically cleaned or that within a very short period of time the markets had elected quisling $inn £eind mla,s on the scene to condemn the police follow up searches, again my personal view of Jock Davidson was that of a person willing to enforce the queens writ by being part of an organisation who murdered a volunteer on his own doorstep in Belfast , and who remained a member even if not officially after the second brutal murder of Paul Quinn I for one as a republican \socialist would be more than happy to say these actions were not carried out in my name,nor for the cause that I aspire to , I know you are at times an apologist for the prm Mick but there is a line that even you must see cross,s from resistance to criminality..

  17. Che,

    invisible people, invisible rights. The first act of censorship in any piece of writing is when people censor who they are.

    We no more want rid of you than we do anyone else. You are welcome to stay.

    We are hardly a sensitive bunch here but we admire the courage of conviction more than we do the lack of it.

    I doubt if you could teach us anything about defying the censor.

  18. … just say the word and I will blogg away in New York were my stuff is appreciated…

    Im sure you aren’t deluded Che, are the Americans closer to the intellectual standard you require,or do you just speak less shite on those contributions?

  19. The only facts we're certain of is that Robert McCartney was murdered and Gerard Jock Davis was in the Bar the night of the killing with some seventy others. Its generally agreed that he did not leave the Bar when the fracas spread outside. Whether he made the hand signal as alleged is somewhat a red herring. If such a gesture (finger drawn if front of one's throat) were made how can we be absolutely sure it signalled 'Jock's' wish to knife someone to death. Such a signal could also be construed as a desire to 'cut it out' or to bring things to a conclusion.

    Of course there's now general consensus amongst most reasonable people that an organised effort was made in McGuinness's Bar that night to perverse the course of justice. Its unlikely that (that) could have happened without the encouragement and support of the 'Senior Republicans' present. That some acrimony still prevails in certain quarters against those perceived to be in authority or control on that eventful night is not unsurprising.

    Though that may be possible motive for retaliation against Jock I at least think that rather unlikely ten years on. The modus operandi of the assassin begs certain speculation.

    I happened to bump into a former senior republican (someone who knew Jock rather well) in town this afternoon and of course the conversation quickly moved to his killing. He didn't have any hard information over and above what's already in the public domain but did express an opinion that he believes it a 'sinister' development beyond anything concerned with the McCartney killing. We did speculate a bit: speculation that covered all of the possibilities, including the unmentionable and the unbelievable!

    In truth its still where this story is at save to say that one who once lived by the gun died by the gun.

  20. Was watching a great movie, twelve years a slave! In one take a slave is hanging by his neck alive for two days or so as the other slaves look on and watch and critise the slave for speaking out rather that n the master for their inhumane barbarity!

    Live by the gun die by the gun! What s load of John Wayne shite!

    I don't expect the great people of misspi co Antrim to understand the liberated and free mind , but please get the fuck out of the dark ages!

    Arbitrary killing is wrong, arbitrary arrests are wrong, this is what people come to accept in dictatorships and on the cotton fields!

    Stand up people!

    What I mean about more appricated blogging in the USA is that Irish Americans seem more able to accept that the six counties hasn't moved on one iota after 40 years of conflict! It remains a bigoted basket case with little or know hope of progression! Instead of republicans of standing against oppression like the slaves they are more likely to question those that critise it!

    To ask me to blogg under conditions not applied to others or exposing myself could be regarded as mild censorship!

    It appears that the six counties is as dangerous as ever for those people that stand up against the state wether its dee fennel, Brendan Mcconville or jock Davidson, the state will do what it wants with impunity with very little objections from the locals!

    So maybe I'm just dilusional, but tbh I expected more from so called for republicans!

    So keep picking your cotton people and maybe one day your shackles will be removed! Until then you are at the fate of your masters! The fact is if they can intern high profile republicans like Marion price , if they can murder high profile repubublician leaders like jock Davidson, without outcry from so called Irish republicans from any persuasion then gods help be with you all! You will need it!

    Thanks for the invite to stay with you am! Hope what ever I say lights a spark!

  21. And they say that a cuckoo is the first sign of spring

  22. Che,

    it seems you read as poorly as you write. So, I'll repeat it just for the record. You are not being asked to do something different from others. You are being asked not to hide behind a pen name for the purpose of attacking named people. Everyone is asked the same thing. You can sort it or we will. No more time being wasted on rubbish.

  23. Henry JoY et al

    Your comments about the Magennis Bar fray, I think, point out that much could be hearsay or a misinterpretation (i.e. the finger drawn across the throat which could mean several things, if it happened at all). I had to go back and read what Ed Moloney wrote about the incident in A Secret History of the IRA - did not realize that Gerry had to sit stony faced while Senator John McCain savaged what he saw as plain gangsterism creeping into the ranks of PIRA post-GFA. The plastic buckets that went around for Sinn Féin on that particular Adams sojourn came in conspicuously light.

    I bring this up mainly to comment on how the IRA has adopted so many conflicting images in the American psyche. On the one hand, you have the noble freedom fighter in the Che Guevera mode (the real Che that is, the Argy doctor who went to Cuba where after the revolutionary takeover he told my father-in-law Emilio Enseñat to get his family off the island with all haste in the early 60s). On the other hand, you have the sociopath not far removed from operators for Al Qaeda or Isis (or how they're perceived in the states at least). Of course too there's the lone wolf with crap Belfast accent (think Mickey Rourke and Brad Pitt) - this farcical IRA man is enduring given Hollywood's sway. A guy recently told me, "I don't know much about the IRA, but I do watch Sons Of Anarchy so that must be something." There you go. The Magennis Bar incident, for those over here who've tuned in, put the IRA in Goodfellas territory.

    On a more serious note, the US and Ireland are inextricably linked by history, culture, and too by resistance to an imperial behemoth, which is essentially what we Americans have become. The Magennis Bar murder changed or accelerated an historical course (decommissioning, PSNI endorsement) and we may look back in ten or twenty years time and still talk about it as a watershed moment, viewing this Irish pub brawl, murder, and response of the brave McCartney sisters to injustice as yet another bend in a long road.

  24. Che, in case you're unaware most Irish people no longer consider themselves victims. The shackles you perceive are for the greatest part a creation of your own imagination.

    Yes Irish society is unequal and imperfect, often unfair and sometimes unjust. Show me one that isn't.

    You're upset that some people don't see the world rhe way you see it. That's life. The way you perceive it though is a futile way to live it , in my opinion.

  25. Mike,

    I think the point Henry Joy makes is the very valid one of how do we know what we think we know? I don't for one minute dispute the McCartney womens' version of events. I wrote and commented on it at the time and had numerous conversations about it with a range of people. As a result of that I came to some fairly settled conclusions. But it is vitally important that people are free to make up their own minds based on the knowledge they have obtained. The notion that people cannot hold a different view of Jock Davison is anathema to thinking people.

    I tend not to discuss the "facts" of the case any longer. What does concern me is this figurative shrill scream of "be silent" that tends to emerge once a view not in tune with the victims campaigners airs itself.

    If Paula Bradshaw found Jock Davison in a certain light based on her experience, that is fine. She is not demanding that everybody else see him that way. And we can't demand of her that her experience be gainsaid by what is essentially the hearsay of others. Nor should she be beaten over the head for her view by the Editorial in the Belfast Telegraph which managed to sound more like a TUV press release than the voice of reason.

  26. AM & Henry JoY

    Yes, epistemology in play at all times. Reading back over my comment this morning, I can see that it did not convey my appreciation for Henry JoY's contribution to the discussion. He does a really good job of pointing out the thick fogs of the case, our second or third hand knowledge of what went on that day. Anthony, it's interesting to hear that you've come to some conclusions but that, as always, you defend the rights of those who wish to express opposing views. I did read the interview with two of the McCartney sisters in the Belfast Telegraph the other day and understand their frustration with incomplete closure. Apparently however, as you note, there became a bandwagon of opinion that stifled dissenting views with a shrill shout down. This happens all too often doesn't it?

    On a related topic, Republican funerals must have a different tone now in this post-Troubles era, their potency as a weapon greatly reduced and no longer the same companion to mourning. When Terence Bellew McManus was disinterred in San Francisco, his bones transported back to Ireland, and his remains reburied in Glasnevin in 1861, the parade that greeted his return, the whole theater of the event, may or may not have had a significant impact on IRB recruiting. The funerals of the hunger strikers undoubtedly did inspire recruitment. An ambiguity must now characterize Republican funerals. Has anyone to your knowledge written a whole book or long scholarly paper (e.g. Ph.D dissertation) on the customs and impact of Republican funerals? An old interest of mine, at Queen's but before and after too.

    (apologies if this was double-posted - my head's a marley, as is this computer!)

  27. Mike,

    Seamus P Mettress once wrote a paper on the Irish republican funerary ritual - but I don't know of a PhD.

    I think the sisters were mistaken in their handling of Bradshaw. But I would probably feel the same way if it was my brother killed. The problem lies in the editorial much more than it does in the interview.

  28. AM

    Yes, who knows how we'd react to a close relation's murder? I'd probably go berserk. Just now reading some of Paula Bradshaw's comments and the McCartney sisters' reactions to them. Thanks Anthony for the Mettress tip.

  29. ‘Che' 'Og',

    'A Chara'

    'STOP' right there!'

    Re your posts to this and 'Markets Murder' blog I'm staggered at your inability to type a sentence without you using the exclamation point, instead of the normal full stop.

    Why are you hectoring people this way? Why 'stop' there and not just type constantly in upper caps? Is it your version of the finger-in-the-chest? EXCLAMATION POINT.

    Do you 'fallla', 'fella'?

    I don't have the time to 'stop' and have a full chat with you about it, tho I'm more than willing to, if you're free at any time. Maybe a pint the Shamrock, at some point?

    But! While I’m here!
    Why the hectoring bile towards other contributors, no matter what point they were making? Are you a loyalist in disguise? Every single contributor got a verbal battering! They are entitled to their point of view, as you are, but contrast their doing so rationally with your ‘HEAVY’-handed use of exclamation points.
    Maybe your views would be enhanced if your exclamation key was disabled! Just a thought!

    Calm down, 'chara'!

    No one doubts your affection for 'Jock' and you're entitled to feel it.
    But why constantly lash out and address people and post about people like an ANGRYHEAD?
    Trying to follow your logic gives me a 'HEAVYHEAD!'

    Make your point but if you or me or someone counts up the number of times you use exclamation points, well, it's quicker to count the sentences where you don't USE THEM.

    Those sentences can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

    There is a '!' point to this!!!

    Someone using an exclamation point like this is basically struggling with some inner turmoil and pain. It's a recognised indication of a condition.

    Your pain for 'Jock' is patently clear, and it's patently heartfelt.
    But your animosity towards Dee and posters in the 'Markets Murder' blog surprised me. I didn't really follow how Dee was relevant to the 'Markets Murder' blog. I'm surprised for someone living in America to feel so strongly about Dee when you were blogging about 'Jock' in that ‘Markets Murder’ blog.
    Why be as triumphalist as a Ligoneil bandsman parading through Ardoyne about Dee when the topic was ‘Jock’s’ murder?
    You're clearly an ex-Belfast man with links to the Ardoyne and south of the city.

    But you hector and berate everyone for not being as good a republican as you yet you openly gloat about Dee's incarceration. Is there a personal reason for this? There clearly is as it jumps off the page.

    Republicans – and if you are one you would know - wouldn’t gloat if someone was banged up. I doubt ‘Jock’ would do it or appreciate it.
    And you ask the rhetorical question ‘would MI5 allow an agent to be killed'?
    Now, come on.
    The whole thrust of the allegations and evidence in inquests and official investigations shows collusion was a fact, so who can credibly doubt agents killed agents and innocent people and participants in the conflict?

    Your every second contribution is to slander and insinuate that anyone posting something, or replying to you or challenging you is a tout or agent. EXCLAMATION POINT!

    The whole sense of your posts - the repeated exclamation points, the personalised attacks on people/contributors, the spleen, the patronising 'regarding' remarks about the Markets people, reminds me of an ex-prisoner from Ardoyne who freely used this blog under a very-well-worn pseudonym, to constantly eulogise about the 'decent people' of Ardoyne.
    That truth never needed to be spelt out as often you - sorry HE - threw it out in his 'exclamation point-filled' posts.
    That fella himself was accused of meeting his security force handlers on the Somerton Road, and your parallel-hectoring makes me ask who you really are and if you want to let us in on your truth?
    Signing off, for now, 'A Chara'!

    The Ghost of John Gidman!!!!

  30. There has been a mountain of words written re the events of the brawl and subsequent murder of Robert Mc Cartney,they say that there is two sides to every story and in between is the truth, what cannot be denied that this murder goes well beyond a row that got out of hand, we know that the pub was forensically cleaned,only someone with knowledge of these things and authority would have been able to order this action had it been a normal free for all there would have been an immediate scattering match leaving the evidence behind thats how the cops work but as we know not in this case, now also we hear that almost 70 people were in the bogs at the same time and seen nothing again it would take an ranking member of an organisation to introduce that level of intimadation,the facts that highly placed members and elected mla,s were on scene within a short period of time to publicly denounce the police and their follow up searches suggests that this was an ordinary volunteer in trouble,the Prm did not need the Mc Cartney sisters permission to try and punish any volunteer for breaching green book rules but as we know with ranking volunteers and foot soldiers the rules seem to be one for us and another for them ,i could say that night the McCartneys lost a son a husband and brother the Prm lost nothing it had already lost its soul when Adams allowed good men to die needlessly on hunger strike and the following surrenders,
    John gidmans ghost did not miss the mark when dealing with the vociferous!!!!!! Che !!!!!! nuff said

  31. Leaving a side Jock D, although given his position within the Provos at the time its not easy. What is interesting about this murder is you had two sides trying to control the narrative. On one side you had what I would loosely call a state within a state, the PIRA and on the other the mainstream media which reflected the view of their respective governments.

    There is little doubt the side with the loudest Bullhorn won the battle of the public narrative and it wasn't the IRA. Although it might has seemed like it in Belfast.


    The reason it was not like any average bar brawl was because the participant were far from ordinary. (as far as pub fights go) One side also had the abilities to clean a crime scene, that they put these skills to good use does not admit guilt far from it, as far as they were concerned it was just good sense. There leaders new if they did not act quickly a whole bunch of people would have ended up in jail not for what they had done, or not done; but because of the organisation they were closely associated with.

    This was an opportunity the RUC would not have passed up, and looking back, bar the dead man and his family, the decision to forensically clean the crime scene surely benefited society as a whole. (if you believe ending the armed struggle was a correct decision that is)

    I agree with you the human loss was all on the side of Mr McCartney's family and friends.


  32. Organized Rage

    From afar I can see that you're absolutely right, there were two sides, maybe more, competing to dominate the narrative of the past two weeks. The May 11 editorial in The Belfast Telegraph (which took this bleary-eyed Yank a good while to find) is obviously a big piece of the bullhorn that you mention. Published on May 11, it had the benefit of a kind of near last word, at least in terms of the murder and funeral of Davison. The advert in The Irish News does raise a lot of questions. I'm wondering - and maybe Anthony and others you have insight too - why Paula Bradshaw was singled out for abuse when many other politicians also praised Davison's community service and standing in the Markets. Did this deliberate censure of Bradshaw result from the Alliance Party's perceived non-sectarian progressiveness and their past support for the McCartney family? Did she get slammed for a volte-face?

    Drawing back and viewing the Magennis incident in the grander scheme, do you all attribute as much significance to the event as say Ed Moloney in his A Secret History of the IRA? Organized Rage, you seem to suggest that a non-forensically scrubbed scene would have dragged down Davison and maybe have led to a conviction which in turn would have compromised the peace process given Davison's support for Adams/GFA. Am I interpreting that correctly? It's hard to know if the American government exerted much pressure on Adams in 2005, needling him with the Magennis Bar murder to cooperate on say policing. Who knows? Not me. Even if the pressure was there, Adams may not have cared or felt obliged to accede in any way. Thoughts much appreciated.

  33. Mick the cops dont need an excuse to bang republicans up Martin Corey,Gerry Mc Geough for eg,while those who toed the line in terms of the surrender were and have been giving carte blanche in robberies ,murder etc ,Joe O Connor and Paul Quinn , this was to me, using privilege and position to obstruct criminality and the prm were the loser in that as far as the truth could not be covered up no matter how much posturing Adams and his cronies carried out, this incident to me shows the true nature and hypocrisy of quisling $inn £eind,had their call for cooperation with the police been heeded and justice meted out either through Green Book rules or the courts then as an organisation the prm could have held its head reasonably high but the outcome of that night and subsequently Paul Quinns brutal murder has left what remains of a republican resistance movement nothing more than a criminal conspiracy,we have been left with a leadership that grovels to royalty and promotes touting how low is that

  34. How one would react to the murder of a sibling, a family member or a close friend is unpleasant to ponder ... no doubt in the initial shock most would probably experience anger and vengeful feelings. In a normal society and having worked or been supported through the initial trauma most of us however reluctantly would place our trust in the forces of law and order and the judicial process.

    At the time of the McCartney murder Northern society as far as many CRN's were concerned hadn't evolved to much more than having the mere beginnings of a thin veneer of normalcy.
    And then up pops this headline case where some of those attempting to apply that sheen of normalcy intervened, prevented and perverted the course of justice. Whatever explanation or justification that might be offered it did cause much shame anger and embarrassment for CRN's at the time and indeed continues to have resonance right up until the present day. Some will argue that it was the first crack to appear in what had been for many an idealised popular people's army (I remember a discussion with a GP here in the west who disclosed he had previously made himself available to injured volunteers but that offer of service was now withdrawn) and a harbinger of other deceitful events that since unfolded. Paradoxically this highlights how trust was afford to the 'army' too unthinkingly and strengthens, if not the will to peace, a reluctance to return to the past.

    That the McCartney women acted the way they did in pursuance of justice for their brother and reacted as they did subsequent to Mr Davidsons' murder is understandable. Both are clear examples of the evolutionary function of human emotional arousal i.e. a call to action. All calls to action though need to be weighed in the balance ... then accepted or rejected.

    I don't particularly wish to evaluate the legitimacy nor efficacy of their responses at this time save but to acknowledge them as understandable interventions for I do believe their responses were as effective or ineffective, as appropriate or inappropriate as they were interpreted and portrayed in and by the press.

    That discussion around these murders generate more heat than light is hardly surprising given their potential to heighten emotions for many and factoring in the removal and withholding of evidence in one and the apparent lack there-off in the other to date.

    The complexities of bedding down the peace in a post conflict society is never easy and these events with the passage of time I predict will be viewed as many of the other hurdles crossed as just that ... another 'event' that had to be managed ... another hurdled crossed.

  35. Why do comrades feel this murder still generates more heat than most. it's almost on a part with that of Mrs Jean McConville Could it be the British military and loyalist para militaries played no part in it? After in the scale of these things there were far worse.

  36. Fuck sake Henry Joy you could have just said "move on"

  37. Could have Marty (lol) but that may have seemed just as trite as your constant bemoaning of $inn £iend betraying your mythical and unachievable republic.

    Some of us made some poor choices in the past Marty. For me its important to unpick as much of this in a way that makes senses to me. If it frustrates you that's unfortunate. I don't require you to move anywhere. I do need to keep myself moving forward though.

  38. Mick as previously mentioned the McCartney murder was the initial crack in the idealised image of the PRM.

    Even though I didn't recognise quite how significant it was at the time I can now see I was confronted by the reality of a very dark side to the Irish republican movement. I had previously rationalised legitimacy for what I now realise were war crimes. The McCartney killing, even though not a war crime, left no escape route through rationalisation. I had no sense that justice was done nor seen to be done.

  39. Henry JoY, throughout the 80s in the wake of the hunger strikes and because of them the love affair between a sector of the American population and the Republican movement was strong. Long before the Magennis Bar brawl that love affair went sour. The romance died with Enniskillen. Undoubtedly pockets of Boston and New York continued to support the Provos through thick and thin, but post-Enniskillen the bloom was off the rose for most Americans who gave a nickel's worth of interest in Northern Ireland. Silly and trivial as it may sound U2 played a part in this image change. They took a song that Bono once claimed was "not a rebel song" and then in 1987 introduced that same song with his holiness yelling, "F%$k the revolution!" (ironically, when the song was used again in the credits of the film Bloody Sunday, the initial petrol bomb and bin lid evocation was partially restored). I know this might sound absurd, but pop culture has that kind of power in the states. Henry JoY, it's interesting to read your impression of Magennis Bar in the larger scheme of recent Irish history - maybe it will be just another hurdle crossed.

    Marty, as far as the policing issue goes, I was trying to say (not very effectively) that as a result of the Magennis Bar incident, Sinn Féin it seems was forced into expressing support for the PSNI as a truly revamped, more palatable and less sectarian police force. There was a big gap in my summer visits to Belfast in that period so I only know from reading after the fact that Gerry and Martin were compelled to endorse the new PSNI logo and shiny new white landrovers, to give the PSNI a big grin while holding the Patten Report. In some ways the Sinn Féin leaders' support for the PSNI has its parallels in Michael Collins and the new Free State's borrowing British artillery to hammer the anti-treaty republicans in the Four Courts. There are some similarities there, albeit imperfect given the gap of nearly a century. However, you have to admit, the new PSNI landrovers do look less menacing than the old gray RUC ones - for what that's worth. Entry to Stormont was secured with a curtsy to the PSNI, yes? This more robust Sinn Féin endorsement of the PSNI resulted in part from Robert McCartney's murder and also from the swirl created by the Northern Bank job - correct or at least partially correct?

    Thanks fellas for all your comments and insight.

    "Mick" Mahoney

  40. Henry Joy a cara do I then take it you have no inspiration towards a united Ireland socialist and free,if so I may be correct in pointing out you $inneresque tendecies,however you are correct re the Mc Cartney murder justice most certainly was not done ,nor indeed in Joe O Connors or Paul Quinns for that matter,
    Mick a cara the Robert Mc Cartney murder was nothing more than a bump in the road it played no part in Quisling $inn £einds acceptance of the PSNI as a legitimate force those deals had already been done. the choreograph may have been hastened slightly but it was a done deal before Roberts murder,as far as the paint on the landrovers is concerned its just optics a cara many republicans will testify that the inside is still full of bitter bastards ..

  41. Mick M. no more than Britannia's guns having been used by former republicans against those in the Four Courts who hadn't yet become former republicans its just in the grand scheme of things another minor detail of history. These minor events eventually become pretty much irrelevant in the day-to-day lives of ordinary people except of course for academics or those unfortunates who have become enthralled and seduced into trance by idols and ideals.

    (And yes white Land Rovers are an interesting symbolic manifestation!)

  42. No Marty I no longer aspire to geographical unity. I've woken up out of a long and deep trance.

    I do aspire to a peaceful, just, tolerant and caring society insofar as such a society is achievable. In what shape or context any of that might reasonable happen is secondary to those primary values and aspirations. So I'm not necessarily opposed to geographical unity if there is some consensus between all the citizens that this is a sustainable venture and offers enriching possibilities for all.

    I now have lived much longer in the west than I ever did in the North. Some of the scars of having grown up in what was the sick society of 'Northern Ireland' will always be with me to some degree but hey that's life, they're no longer weeping wounds though. My challenge is to create as best a future as I can for myself and those that are near and dear to me, the majority of whom are in the north.

    Essentially Marty I don't disagree with much of what you have to say about the PRM (even if it does seem repetitive at times). Its not just that the quisling $inn £iend narrative is false its the whole republican story in my opinion that is deeply flawed (and if we didn't have the republican myth we wouldn't have had the Provo's). Any claim that the republic was or is sovereign and indefeasible was and is seriously deficient insofar as there never was and never will be a snowballs chance in hell of ever achieving that without PUL acceptance and support. It was and is an illusion. So much blood spilt and so much suffering, so much jail-time served for a fcuking myth. I find it sad and frustrating that so many, including all or most of the parties and institutions of the southern state, to varying degrees sustain that myth in one shape or another for it perpetuates the mirage you aspire to.

    I hate to break this news to you Marty but there's no Santa Claus, grow fcuking up.

  43. Henry Joy loved your west brit rant it seems a bit ridiculous that you use the moniker of someone from Belfast who gave his life for the notion of a united Ireland free from the shackles of British imperialism,your rant does nothing for me but confirm to me your quisling $inn £eind mentality , I for one believe in the aspirations of Connolly and Mac Diamarada who died so people such as yourself you could sit in the west and wave your union jack at Charlieboy without fear of being burnt in your bed ,as for Santa claus as a member of the FSM church I have no belief in anything other than the ability of my fellow man \woman,I wont be distracted or put of in the slightest by the outpourings of a west brit like yourself , my advice to you is get yourself a manager instead of handling yourself...

  44. Wake up Marty its 2015 the great British empire no longer exists. The Brits would gladly be shot of the North if they could get someone to take on the cost of it and if they could find a responsible way to exit. Don't be expecting the 'republicans' down south to bail ye out either any time soon Marty, for many of them I'd bet would be as happy to go back into the Commonwealth if that were the price of some joint authority arrangement and as long as the Brits of course carried the financial can. That's probably the best you and all the boys of the old brigade can hope for now.
    The people down here are good little Europeans. Nationalism-lite is the order of the day.

    Scots nationalists on the other hand have more chance of exiting the Union than Northern Irish nationalists and they didn't have to fire a shot.
    Ooh ha and up the Ra, how are you!

  45. Totally agree re the attitude of many of the the people in the south ,they spat on those men and women in 1916 and since then denied their ideals yet they will honor them next year hypocrisy is as always alive and well in the south,the cute hoor politicans and the church have fucked the people stupid ,as for the commonwealth yes it wouldnt surprise me in the slightest to see that proposed even by quisling $inn £eind ,I spend a lot of time in Scotland and have watched and supported the rise and rise of the SNP and therefore you will probably not like it but yes I to am in admiration for the progress made by people using their heads for a change something that I have been calling for along time now, your closing remark is probably something you shout and bawl when your pissed and acting the big fella ,how I am well yes I,m doing fine and happy as a pig in shit ,and every day gets better. ,

  46. No problem with your take on Scottish Nationalism Marty. We agree on much but differ on interpretation.

  47. The fact is wether you like it or not, jock Davidson was highly respected, admired, liked and loved by the markets community and beyond, not because of his leadership position in the IRa , but as an individual.

    Knowing how much everyone loved him in the markets, it makes me feel sorry for anyone who got on his bad side, the whole markets would be against you and you would have no chance. He may have been loved but you do not become an IRA leader if you are not ruthless and cannot kill people. Seeing all the adulation makes it a bit easier to understand how donaldson and scap lasted so long