In a letter to the Irish News this week Martin Galvin responded to:
Trevor Ringland - Polarized politicians still pressing hate button when it comes to elections - November 19th
After Pat Finucane's murder, I flew to Washington to get a letter from Congressmen protesting crown force complicity in his assassination. The British Ambassador quickly contacted some of these Congressmen insisting "her majesty's government would never sully its hands conspiring with murderers", and calling me a "scurrilous liar." The only question, given the known extent of collusion, was whether this British official was deliberately misleading Congressmen or been himself misled by superiors.
Trevor Ringland's letter raises similar questions. Can he be oblivious to Britain's malign role in events like the murder of Pat Finucane? His letters follow a pattern. Mr. Ringland laments some event, like the hate filled banners aimed at Pat Finucane's son John for standing in north Belfast. He then faults Republicans and unionists, for whatever wrongs he piously laments.
Mr. Ringland blames everyone but Britain, solemnly adding that violence "outside the law" is never justified. He seems to imply that murders or collusion killings by British crown forces were "within British law" and always justified.
His difficulty is that the facts and reality belie his fairy tale version of noble British rule. Does Mr. Ringland not understand why a banner bearing Pat Finucane's likeness would remind nationalists about violence "inside British law," where the role of British Army officers and RUC constabulary would be shielded?
How can he ignore the da Silva revelations, Cameron's apology for shocking state collusion or the family's heroic fight for a public inquiry and real truth?
Is Mr. Ringland unaware British Minister Douglas Hogg targeted the civil rights lawyer in Westminster, when complaining about "solicitors unduly sympathetic to the cause of the IRA?" British military intelligence agent Brian Nelson, passed on Pat's photograph, pointed out the Finucane home and abetted the killer gang. Almost all members of the death squad were paid British crown agents. An RUC checkpoint was pulled. Members of the RUC threatened Pat, asking loyalists why he was still alive.
Today's banner merely revives old slurs created by British forces to justify Pat's elimination.
It is time to ask, as he self-righteously ignores Britain's hand in the murder and banner, has Mr. Ringland been completely misled about these facts, or is he wilfully attempting to mislead others?