Trevor Ringland begrudges the 'Hooded Men' their court fight, putting British torture victims "well down the list" in his "hierarchy of wrongs that need to be investigated". This solicitor and former candidate opposes nationalists pursuing legacy justice, "whether they're doing it through the ballot box or law courts". Why should Irish nationalists be allowed lawsuits or elected representatives troubling British rule?
Mr. Ringland prescribes his reconciliation formula. Everyone else takes full responsibility for their actions in the conflict. Everyone else repents political beliefs or "flawed ideologies" motivating their actions. See, hear, speak and remember no evil for which British rule and state violence could be faulted.
We pretend that Westminster had no responsibility for its Orange State, Internment, Ballymurphy or Springhill Massacres, collusion with loyalist killers and the like. Stop disturbing the crown with legacy cases in British courts, or by electing anyone who raises inconvenient truths.
If nationalists adopt this selective amnesia, (plus surrender hopes of a reunited Ireland), Mr. Ringland feels, it would "free up future generations from the legacy of hatred."
Mr. Ringland's hostility to the 'Hooded Men' fits in this puzzle. They were selected for Internment without charge by British military. They were then selected to be tortured by British troopers.
How do we explain the 'Hooded Men' without blaming Westminster? How do we fault sectarianism instead of the British regime? Brian Faulkner wanted Internment. Did Edward Heath, his cabinet and military really have to approve and unleash British troops to begin Internment, 'Hooded Men' torture and the Ballymurphy Massacre? Every court victory for these torture victims is a reminder that British officials backed Brian Faulkner with terror and repression because of Westminster's deeply flawed Orange State hegemony and ideology.
Mr. Ringland instructs the 'Hooded Men' to wait their turn. It has only been 48 years. There are unsolved killings of British forces more worthy of investigation than mere Irishmen being tortured. Does he imply the RUC did not bother investigating, when RUC members or British troopers were killed by the IRA? Did they jail twenty-five thousand suspected Republicans without really trying?
Mr. Ringland urges "challenging those who want to chain us to the flawed ideologies which led to so much tragedy". I challenge you Mr. Ringland!