Anthony McIntyre
 shares his thoughts on a film about British state terrorism. 

I watched Unquiet Graves the night after it broadcast on RTE.  Having been too weary to view it live, I opted to record it. In the interim period I fortuitously picked up on some observations made by the journalist Malachi O’Doherty who was sceptical towards its objectivity. I approached the film with that in mind. 

I ultimately disagreed with O’Doherty’s take although his critique was considerably more measured than much of the online unionist reaction which basically amounted to little more than the film being the work of a republican propagandist: the evidence seemingly that the director Sean Murray’s father had a long association with the senior echelons of the Provisional IRA and had served a number of stretches in prison. The “mutant” gene must therefore have found its way into the grey matter of the son. Like father, like son, Sean Jnr was rendered genetically incapable of producing anything other than “Provo propaganda.” Sean Murray’s mother ran a café business at one time and I suppose it could as plausibly be said that because of that he sought to serve up some seriously overcooked republican cuisine just to annoy the taste buds of unionists and give them indigestion.  Just, that you would need to have the critical faculties of a bible basher to buy that sort of bull.

Murray explained his reasons for making the film. There was nothing untoward about them. He could of course be making it all up, just that there is nothing to suggest he is; and a lot of substance in the film to allow the inference to be drawn that he has made a compelling case for the Prosecution. The case for the Defence, if there is one, lies in the files that the British have been refusing to make public. The current Garda Commissioner while serving with the PSNI:

has been accused of fighting attempts to get information about the perpetrators of atrocities like the Miami Showband murders and of blocking access to files about the many murders carried out by the Mid-Ulster, UVF ‘Brigadier’ Robin Jackson.

In 2017 Brian Feeney referred to:

a lengthy self-serving epistle from the chief constable explaining why he is going to appeal a High Court order commanding him and his force ‘to expeditiously honour its enforceable public commitment to provide an overarching report into the Glenanne group of cases’.

It is hardly Murray who needs to explain himself.

UUP politician and former member of the British military Doug Beattie insisted that the film looked “like a work of fiction.” He is correct if the fiction he has in mind is something crafted by Stephen King. This was nothing short of a horror movie where the monsters were real. The one former RUC officer who ventured outside the fold in order to speak to the families was one of the few good apples in a rotten barrel.

As much as political unionism and state terrorism deniers might wax outraged, this film cannot be swept aside as conspiracy theory such as happened to an early work in the field of collusion, A Very British Jihad. Although in fairness to the author of that particular book, people should revisit it armed with the knowledge that now exists about the long history of British state terrorism in Ireland, around which there is a burgeoning and compelling narrative. The phenomenon has only this week led to the Irish President urging the British to face up to their terror role in the country.

Eamonn McCann concisely summed up the essence of Unquiet Graves:

It details how members of the RUC, UDR and MI5 colluded with loyalist killers resulting in the murder of over 120 innocent civilians.
These sectarian murderers assassinated workers, farmers, shopkeepers, publicans and other civilians in a campaign of terror.
Now known as the Glenanne Gang, they rampaged through Counties Tyrone, Armagh and into the South in a sectarian campaign that lasted from July 1972 to the end of 1978. 

 

This loudly echoes an earlier BBC characterisation in respect of the British running the agent Stakeknife: murder on an industrial scale. 

Much of the criticism of Murray's film has focused on the claim that at one point the Glenanne Gang had discussed killing all the infants and teachers in a Catholic primary school. This is not the first time the allegation has been made. What seemed new in Unquiet Graves was the suggestion that the idea was proposed by people in the Security Services. It was speculation on the part of former RUC member, John Weir,  and Sean Murray did not make it out to be anything else. Many of the people in the Glenanne Gang were Christian fundamentalists and biblical literalists. Former urban UVF prisoners have commented on the religious fundamentalism of some of their rural membership. Driven by Hate Theology, a quick rummage through the Old Testament would easily have convinced them that "Happy the one who takes and dashes Your little ones against the rock." It might well turn out that nobody in the British security services suggested any such thing. But they were running as agents those who thought it a good idea.

Perhaps, most disappointing has been the general silence of the media in the South towards the film. If the horrific killing of Paul Quinn can produce such intense media hostility towards Sinn Fein, its quietude towards Unquiet Graves makes the Quinn furore seem contrived, impelled by political considerations rather than investigative ones. That the media has not camped outside the Phoenix Park residence of Drew Harris in the wake of the film is a serious indictment. They clamped themselves to Mary Lou McDonald for less.  

The reason for the media reticence might be simple. The media has said much about the Provisional IRA campaign. What it does not want to say is that the Provisional IRA - despite all is faults and failings, its injustices and atrocities - was at war with British state terrorism. And that is a truth that must be given no quarter. Better that the graves stay quiet than allow something like that to emerge from them. 

⏩Follow on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre

Unquiet Graves

Anthony McIntyre
 shares his thoughts on a film about British state terrorism. 

I watched Unquiet Graves the night after it broadcast on RTE.  Having been too weary to view it live, I opted to record it. In the interim period I fortuitously picked up on some observations made by the journalist Malachi O’Doherty who was sceptical towards its objectivity. I approached the film with that in mind. 

I ultimately disagreed with O’Doherty’s take although his critique was considerably more measured than much of the online unionist reaction which basically amounted to little more than the film being the work of a republican propagandist: the evidence seemingly that the director Sean Murray’s father had a long association with the senior echelons of the Provisional IRA and had served a number of stretches in prison. The “mutant” gene must therefore have found its way into the grey matter of the son. Like father, like son, Sean Jnr was rendered genetically incapable of producing anything other than “Provo propaganda.” Sean Murray’s mother ran a café business at one time and I suppose it could as plausibly be said that because of that he sought to serve up some seriously overcooked republican cuisine just to annoy the taste buds of unionists and give them indigestion.  Just, that you would need to have the critical faculties of a bible basher to buy that sort of bull.

Murray explained his reasons for making the film. There was nothing untoward about them. He could of course be making it all up, just that there is nothing to suggest he is; and a lot of substance in the film to allow the inference to be drawn that he has made a compelling case for the Prosecution. The case for the Defence, if there is one, lies in the files that the British have been refusing to make public. The current Garda Commissioner while serving with the PSNI:

has been accused of fighting attempts to get information about the perpetrators of atrocities like the Miami Showband murders and of blocking access to files about the many murders carried out by the Mid-Ulster, UVF ‘Brigadier’ Robin Jackson.

In 2017 Brian Feeney referred to:

a lengthy self-serving epistle from the chief constable explaining why he is going to appeal a High Court order commanding him and his force ‘to expeditiously honour its enforceable public commitment to provide an overarching report into the Glenanne group of cases’.

It is hardly Murray who needs to explain himself.

UUP politician and former member of the British military Doug Beattie insisted that the film looked “like a work of fiction.” He is correct if the fiction he has in mind is something crafted by Stephen King. This was nothing short of a horror movie where the monsters were real. The one former RUC officer who ventured outside the fold in order to speak to the families was one of the few good apples in a rotten barrel.

As much as political unionism and state terrorism deniers might wax outraged, this film cannot be swept aside as conspiracy theory such as happened to an early work in the field of collusion, A Very British Jihad. Although in fairness to the author of that particular book, people should revisit it armed with the knowledge that now exists about the long history of British state terrorism in Ireland, around which there is a burgeoning and compelling narrative. The phenomenon has only this week led to the Irish President urging the British to face up to their terror role in the country.

Eamonn McCann concisely summed up the essence of Unquiet Graves:

It details how members of the RUC, UDR and MI5 colluded with loyalist killers resulting in the murder of over 120 innocent civilians.
These sectarian murderers assassinated workers, farmers, shopkeepers, publicans and other civilians in a campaign of terror.
Now known as the Glenanne Gang, they rampaged through Counties Tyrone, Armagh and into the South in a sectarian campaign that lasted from July 1972 to the end of 1978. 

 

This loudly echoes an earlier BBC characterisation in respect of the British running the agent Stakeknife: murder on an industrial scale. 

Much of the criticism of Murray's film has focused on the claim that at one point the Glenanne Gang had discussed killing all the infants and teachers in a Catholic primary school. This is not the first time the allegation has been made. What seemed new in Unquiet Graves was the suggestion that the idea was proposed by people in the Security Services. It was speculation on the part of former RUC member, John Weir,  and Sean Murray did not make it out to be anything else. Many of the people in the Glenanne Gang were Christian fundamentalists and biblical literalists. Former urban UVF prisoners have commented on the religious fundamentalism of some of their rural membership. Driven by Hate Theology, a quick rummage through the Old Testament would easily have convinced them that "Happy the one who takes and dashes Your little ones against the rock." It might well turn out that nobody in the British security services suggested any such thing. But they were running as agents those who thought it a good idea.

Perhaps, most disappointing has been the general silence of the media in the South towards the film. If the horrific killing of Paul Quinn can produce such intense media hostility towards Sinn Fein, its quietude towards Unquiet Graves makes the Quinn furore seem contrived, impelled by political considerations rather than investigative ones. That the media has not camped outside the Phoenix Park residence of Drew Harris in the wake of the film is a serious indictment. They clamped themselves to Mary Lou McDonald for less.  

The reason for the media reticence might be simple. The media has said much about the Provisional IRA campaign. What it does not want to say is that the Provisional IRA - despite all is faults and failings, its injustices and atrocities - was at war with British state terrorism. And that is a truth that must be given no quarter. Better that the graves stay quiet than allow something like that to emerge from them. 

⏩Follow on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre

52 comments:

  1. I've no idea what to make of John Weir though, didn't O'Doherty point out there was a question over why Weir didn't try to lessen his sentencing by naming names? Country Loyalists particularly of Armagh and Fermanagh were known as 'Fierce Prods' who were very bitter though I'd doubt they'd willing shoot weans, they weren't animals.

    If the doco had have been made by someone without obvious connections to the Republican movement even Dublin media could hardly have ignored it, it just made it to easy to throw shite at the credibility and move on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Steve - I don't know why you think they wouldn't shoot children. The British deliberately firebombed children in many German cities during WW2. The Nazis gassed them. The Soviets starved them. In my mind, given the wrong circumstances most of us are capable of just about anything. The Dublin media did nothing when Denis Faul and Raymond Murray highlighted the same thing. They had hardly obvious connections to the Republican Movement. To me much of the criticism is like rubbishing Johnny Adair’s daughter role as fashion influencer because of what her father did.

      Delete
  2. Steve R

    In the early 70’s some parents’ teachers and the Catholic Church took the threat of an attack on Catholic school children so seriously that they abandoned the wearing of school uniform simply because the uniform could identify one’s religion. Lest we forget also that its only a few short years ago (2001-2002) since loyalists were attacking Holy Cross primary school children with pipe bombs. So, the threat that an attack on Belleek’s catholic primary school had been discussed would be of no surprise to most of the nationalist community

    ReplyDelete
  3. AM,

    True, but even the fiercest of country prods I knew wouldn't have accepted that being an acceptable action no matter what the provocation. If it was a suggestion by Spooks it would have been given short shrift.

    Boyne River,

    Holy Cross was nothing to do with the kids and everything to do with what the residents of Glenbryn were put through by the Provisionals in that area. Unfortunately the residents walked right into the PR trap laid out for them by Sinn Fein. Nothing more.

    ReplyDelete
  4. TPQ does not publish comments from “Anonymous”.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Steve - Holy Cross had everything to do with kids. Had it not they would never have been targeted. Pot bellied thugs screaming "Fenian bastards" at four year olds. Even I was amazed at the level of hatred and I was no stranger to it. They laid their own trap and walked straight into it. Sinn Fein benefited from it but if you give the opposition a penalty kick don't complain when they score.
    I don't imagine that the majority of unionist country folk would have approved of the slaughter of Catholic infants. I doubt the spooks even suggested it. Weir said he thought it might have come from them and he gave an unpersuasive reason.
    But it doesn't take many hate filled people to come up with a hateful idea. And if armed with biblical Hate Theology they will find any amount of justification for it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ahh Holy Cross, what a time. The Provos carry out the sectarian murder of Trevor Kells, then wind up the interface tension and then sit back and watch the UDA shoot themselves in both feet! The evil genius of the Provos and the evil stupidity of the UDA in one incident.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter - my memory suggests that the Provos did not kill Kells although republicans did. I think there may have been a bit of tension between the Provos and those thought responsible after it. I might be wrong and haven't bothered to look online. The Provos were still killing at the time but I just don't think they killed him.

      I don't think there was a lot of genius on the part of the Provos around Holy Cross: just hate and bigotry from a section of loyalism that angered many within the unionist community and other loyalists. Who attacks infants? Our instinct is to protect them.

      Delete
  7. Steve R
    Holy Cross was all about the kids they were the innocents that were being spat on and attacked

    ReplyDelete
  8. AM
    If memory serves it was a Provo member that shot him with a Provo gun, previously used in Provo actions. The dispute was about authorisation.
    The genius from the Provos/SF was in setting traps for loyalist knuckledraggers to gleefully walk into. Holy Cross was not the first nor the last. It has been a policy that served them well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter - you could be right. But if the Provos did not authorise it then it can hardly be part of a Provo plot. What sinister trap is being set by sending four year old children to school? People the world over send their children to school. This was naked sectarian hatred wielded against kids.

      Delete
  9. But it can be part of an Ardoyne Provo plot. Whatever, it was a nakedly sectarian murder and it started the trouble that led to the Holy Cross dispute.
    Attacking any innocent person is never acceptable, kids or adults. All lives matter;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter - the plot weakens rather than thickens. I can see no evidence of any plot. There might have been but I think it unlikely.
      It is possible that some pot bellied porkers used the Kells killing as an pretext to vent hatred at infants. If so, it was a an excuse rather than a reason.
      The Kells killing no more caused the sectarian onslaught at Holy Cross than shops cause shoplifting. There is a link but we can hardly say it is a causal one.

      Delete
  10. I've often read that Holy Cross was a case of loyalism shooting itself in the foot. The same was said for Drumcree and the nauseating murders of the Quinn children.

    I don't see it - in what meaningful way was loyalism, or even unionism, negatively impacted by Holy Cross? Loyalism is insular, and seemingly unaffected by popular opinion from the mainland, let alone international.

    I'd love the UDA to have suffered as a result of their despicable actions at Holy Cross, but I simply don't see how they did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brandon,

      Fuck them, they have no respect among the wider PUL community due to rampant drug dealing and criminality. This is their legacy and their sentence.

      Delete
  11. I'm not saying it was a plot to cause Holy Cross, it was a plot to stir tensions. A blatantly sectarian murder does little else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have no evidence of any plot based on the Kells killing. We don't know the intention of those who killed him or the reasons for doing so. It might have been a visceral sectarian motive with no forward thinking. We can see nothing to indicate plotting on the part of a significant body of people.

      What we do know is that a substantial number of people believed it a good idea to vent hatred against infants.

      Delete
  12. TPQ does not publish comments from “Anonymous”.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Venting hatred at infants is dispicable, murder is much worse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. why does that sound so much like whataboutery and less like findoutery?

      If we really want to understand something it is better to try and find out what happened and why instead of digging in and shouting what about?

      Killings as horrible as they are were a pretty frequent occurrence. Holy Cross was without precedent and that is why it drew down so much attention and flak.

      Every point you have made on it seems to have fallen at the first fence. It is not as if we are unwilling to listen to reasoned argument.

      Delete
  14. If it was about the kids why , since it was open since 1969, was there no bother before the sectarian murder of Kells?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that is something best put to those attacking infants. If the mind is so warped that waging hate against kids seems a good idea how would the rest of us understand the Kells effect if any? Kells might just have been the excuse for kiddie bashing. Of more interest to me is trying to work out the sort of mind that would go for kids as a result of an event that had noting to do with them. We can be certain that not one of the infants was remotely associated with the Kells killing.
      It was about the kids. That is the stand out issue. All else is moonshine.

      Delete
  15. In your opinion. I remember it well because I was working in the shipyard at the time with boys from North Belfast. The Kells murder was the initial spark that started the unrest in the area. I've just checked the Wiki page on the dispute and they even mention the Kells murder. No whataboutery here. I have slagged off the UDA on the incident since it happened.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To state he obvious - is there anything else other than our opinion on these matters?

      The Kells killing might have sparked the unrest. That no more explains the hate project against infants than Linfield losing.

      How does being annoyed at the Kells death work its way into sectarian hatred of children?

      An excuse, not a reason.

      Delete
    2. Peter quit while you think you are winning the argument. I am from Ardoyne and the murder of Trevor Kells had nothing to do with Holy Cross...

      Delete
    3. Frankie,

      So you must have been front of the line ensuring Glenbryn residents right to use the Ardoyne shops. Aye, right enough. All the fault of the huns as per usual.

      Delete
    4. Steve - the sectarian hatred vented against infants was all the fault of those who vented it. No mitigation, no justification.

      Delete
  16. "How does being annoyed at the Kells death work its way into sectarian hatred of children?"

    From having known Provos escort their kids to the school directly after the sectarian Kells murder. This antagonized the residents in Glenbyrn and very easily led to what we saw.

    This is not an excuse.

    But when is violent action rational? I've absolutely no time for the wombles and they can all go and fuck themselves but I remember a distinct conversation with a UDA member who reported that they'd witnessed very overt actions were the parents of the kids wrote down the reg plates of every car parked on that route.

    This sent the locals berzerk, and understandably in my opinion. But this is no evidence of a conspiracy, but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck I'm betting it's no fucking eagle lol

    I've had a few bevvies and the far better half is giving me the evil eye but I've just remembered something else from around 90, I read a file which named three prominent RM names and how they were directed in Long Kesh to agitate residents groups upon release. Not naming names but what was prophesised came to be.

    Ten odd years later when Holy Cross happened it looked like the same playbook.

    Looks like collusion can shed some light LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So we have a situation in which it is not known if the PIRA killed Mr Kells. It is thought some of their members carried out the attack and from that it is inferred that a Provo plot to destabilise the community is in play. And because some known Provos have schoolchildren whom they escort to school, the children are than subjected to a hate wave.
      This is the outworking of hatred, not a grievance about Kells. If the people of Derry had set about a hate campaign at the schools where the children of the killer regiment from Bloody Sunday attended, I would see neither justification nor linkage. I would speak out against it and I would stand with the children not their attackers. If they tackle the Paras, fine. That is understandable.
      I think there is a reluctance to call this for what it is. Sheer, naked, visceral sectarian hatred of children because they were Catholics from Ardoyne. Why did the haters not go to the SF centre in Ardoyne if they were really concerned about the Provos?
      There are situations where passions get inflamed and people lose the run of themselves. But children must always be off limits. There was a clear plot here and it was very simple: Terrorise infants as a means of satiating some deep sectarian hatred.

      Delete
  17. @ Peter, @ Steve R

    I think a more likely explanation for the repeated public child abuse carried out by loyalists day in, day out, was that there was a ceasefire in place, and they couldn't get their guns out and stiff a few "Taigs" in reprisal. So, go for the softest of soft targets.

    I also rather suspect it likely that North and West Belfast UDA wanted an armed response from republicans so that they could break their ceasefire, which most of them were never particularly keen on, anyway.

    As with the despicable murder of the Quinn children, speculation after the fact doesn't take away from the fact that grown men targeted children for no other reason than the geographical area that they lived. May they be plagued with nightmares until the end of their pathetic lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brandon,

      That's far too simplistic an overview of which on this thread there's been much. If the kids were the target why were they not until the 2000's? The school reported no bother despite being open since 1969.

      This thread seems to be making Republicans uncomfortable.

      Delete
    2. Because it was a convenient excuse to vent sectarian hatred against infants. The IRA in its day did much worse to the unionist community - the Shankill bomb for example; the Shankill furniture shop bombing in which two tots died - no attempt by the residents of the Shankill to take it out on Catholic infants. This was pure venomous sectarian hatred.

      Delete
  18. "Why did the haters not go to the SF centre in Ardoyne if they were really concerned about the Provos?"

    LOL! Are you actually serious??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. so they were too cowardly and took the easy option of attacking the infants? It just gets worse, doesn't it. Perhaps you should revisit what Peter said about Provo cuteness. Had a group of Glenbryn residents protested at the SF centre, the Provos would have been too savvy to allow much to happen. There would have been no Ardoyne mob laying siege to the local Protestant school.

      Delete
    2. Fear is a powerful motivator, oft leading rational thought obsolete.

      What would the point being of going to the shinners in their mind? No difference between them and the Provos, y'know, the ones who shot Kells and antagonized them?

      Your hindsight is far more acute than theirs in the reality of what was a very tense time.

      Why didn't the IRA protest at Stormont rather than wage a war?

      You've hit the nail on the head there, the Provos were light years ahead of the Loyalists in exploiting the propaganda angle.

      Delete
    3. The pint of going to the SF centre is that the IRA don't have a centre. And if they see no difference between SF and the IRA, the SF centre would be the place to go. A dignified protest at a centre against the killing of Mr Kells would have given them the high ground. It just would not have given them an opportunity to vent hatred against infants.
      They knew the infants did not shoot Kells.
      Why didn't the IRA protest at Stormont rather than wage war? It would have been much better had war not been waged but state violence produces street violence. And as you know when people took to the streets in Derry they were the victims of a war crime.
      You are free to keep digging the hole. I am not going to try and stop you nor am I going to throw you another shovel.
      The Provos were light years ahead of the loyalists in PR terms. But bad PR does not equate with sectarian hatred towards infants.

      Delete
  19. "But children must always be off limits. "

    100% in total agreement. Perhaps if the residents of Glenbryn didn't feel so under siege and intimidated nothing would have happened either.

    What we have we hold.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no evidence has been presented of a siege - this is the typical hyperbole where Belfast is likened to Beirut and what happened in Cluan Place is like the Warsaw Ghetto. What we do know is the siege was put in place against infants by a sectarian mob. That was the one demonstrable siege.

      Delete
    2. Hyperbole like Morrison referring to Pogroms?

      Delete
    3. Morrison would be a practitioner of hyperbole.

      Delete
  20. @ Steve R

    "Fuck them, they have no respect among the wider PUL community due to rampant drug dealing and criminality. This is their legacy and their sentence."

    That wasn't what I asked - I asked how loyalism was negatively impacted by Holy Cross, in response to Peter's comment that "the UDA shoot themselves in both feet".

    As it happens, I think the UDA retains a degree of support and respect from significant elements of the PUL community, including the DUP. This is evidenced by UDA membership remaining high, and DUP endorsement of UDA "community leaders".

    The Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2003/dec/01/northernireland.faithschools) ran an article two years after Holy Cross which noted some responses from loyalist politicians:

    "Billy Hutchinson, a local loyalist politician, arrived swiftly. Though he blamed Catholic "incursions into the area, using the school as a cover", he tried in vain over the next few months to persuade the protesters to come up with a clear negotiating strategy."

    "What did little girls have to do with Protestant grievances? "Nothing," says Jim Potts, a community volunteer from Glenbryn. "It is the parents we have the problem with."

    "the Paisleyite MP Nigel Dodds argued that loyalists felt unheeded and "didn't care any more".

    Loyalist violence has been described as a:

    "circle of domination/humiliation’ which defined loyalist political perception, provoking ‘extreme ritual protests and dominatory violence'"

    The Guardian noted that:

    "The whole problem was compounded by loyalist insecurity: Catholic Ardoyne is thriving and overcrowded, while the Protestants of Glenbryn are in numerical decline as they evacuate to the suburbs and small towns."

    Loyalism is an insecure ideology. It requires repeated, public assertions of dominance and menace, but it is prone to repeated, public humiliations which are almost always self-inflicted.

    The schoolgirls of Holy Cross picked up the tab for decades of weak leadership within the PUL community, and the desperate inadequacies of vicious, bigoted men, and not a few women.

    The Kells murder might have been a small contributing factor, but pales into insignificance next to the political, social and psychological structures in place that nurtured and fed loyalist ideology and actions.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brandon,

      The Guardian? Really? Why not just source An Phoblacht for the same impartiality?

      They obviously never asked a resident of the area what kicked it off, a comment from a dupper self serving middle class semi detached moron is an equivalent. Funny that.

      Delete
  21. Frankie
    I never said it had anything to do with Holy Cross, I said it was an escalating factor that led to Holy Cross.

    AM
    "very simple: Terrorise infants as a means of satiating some deep sectarian hatred"
    Reductive nonsense. There was much more than that in play. Yes they are bigots, yes they terrorised infants which was dispicable but there were significant escalating factors from both sides. And the SF/IRA at that time were using residence groups to up escalate the violence. This is from the Guardian: "Residents [of Glenbryn] point to a series of attacks by republicans on their homes over the summer and... they also refer back to the murder of a Protestant taxi driver last December. Trevor Kells was shot dead by an unnamed republican group close to the 'border' between Ardoyne and Glenbryn. His killers made off towards Ardoyne." I have no problem attacking the UDA and the IRA for their pathetic violence but for you to say that the kids were attacked just for a random sectarian reason is plane wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By this stage I think I am more than happy to allow those following the thread to arrive at their own conclusions regarding where the nonsense lies.

      It was sectarian hatred vented against infants which you seem to accept given your comment that they were bigots who "terrorised infants."

      Escalating factors fail to explain the sectarian hatred hurled at infants. Nor did I say that the kids were attacked out of the blue as some random act that just happened one morning. What I am saying is that nothing that preceded the sectarian onslaught against the infants was a causal factor in that onslaught. It was an excuse to practice hatred. Visceral sectarianism alone is suffice to explain that. The rest is moonshine. There is nothing in this world that has ever been done to me that has resulted in an urge on my part to deliberately target and terrorise infants with sectarian hatred. I believe the same applies to you and most others including loyalists who cringe at what happened to those children. This is why this was unique to a point that it made world news.

      Delete
    2. @ Steve R

      Firstly, it's rather blatant projecting to accuse republicans on this blog of being uncomfortable when discussing loyalists attacking schoolgirls.

      If you'd read the article, you'd have noted that a Glenbryn resident had indeed been contacted. Her name is Gail Blundell. Read the article and see what she has to say.

      Lost Lives states that the Provos shot two men suspected of murdering Kells through the knees, ankles and hands. But regardless of whether provocation of the loyalist community was ever intended, surely what is worthy of examination is what has gone so badly wrong in a community where there remains a group of people who believe in the correctness of attacking schoolgirls.

      The indisputable fact is that sectarian troglodytes abused schoolgirls for a period of months, in full view of the world's media. After abusing those children, in fully sight of their wider community, they will have returned home to their lives, and then returned to abuse the schoolgirls the next day.

      Those sectarian troglodytes were not created in the days and weeks leading up to Holy Cross, they were shaped, influenced and socialised from a broad range of sources socialised to dehumanise. The pathetic response from the political "leaders" that I quoted earlier are indicative of the factors that influenced the dregs of humanity that committed these crimes.

      Isn't that what's really important? It was adults, mostly grown men, involved in these actions against children. It's irrelevant, and rather crass, to fixate on conspiracy theories about provocation from an external community.

      Why not examine the host community, and ask what created people capable of abusing schoolkids in that manner?

      Delete
    3. Brandon - that is as perceptive a take as I have heard. I don't think Steve or Peter are in the slightest bigoted but I find it troubling that as unionists they seem not to grasp that some things are so beyond the pale that any attempt to contextualise is mere alibi.

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  22. At the risk of seeming to make statemednts of the bleeding obvious, children should NEVER become targets for any sort pof abuse no matter what the context is.

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  23. Looks like we've reached an impasse and analysed the crap out of this. We'll just have to disagree on the catalyst but agree that the action was beyond reprehensible.

    Thank fuck those days are passed.

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  24. Sean Mallory says

    Peter and Steve R,

    While travelling to Westport many moons ago to a stag party I had the dubious distinction of taxing three prods with me.....I agreed to give them a lift at the stags request. One of the said travellers was an Orangeman who kept referring to the other occupants as ‘brethren’, never me of course.
    He went on to describe how one of his ‘Brethern’ friends from Dundrum on another recent outing to the Battle of the Boyne with his Lodge , Big Willie as he was referred to and which the others duly acknowledged, pointed out to the coach trip the battle deployments of the various regiments involved and how pointing to a hill described how they chased the bastards up there.....he found this amusing where as his two companions became uncomfortable and clearly felt it was inappropriate especially when one of the ‘bastards’ was driving and had kindly offered to taxi them there and back....he then went on to relay the night in Windsor Park when ‘our wee country’ defeated Spain, how King David was really a King and how they sang in to the small hours we’re not Brazil we’re Northern Ireland.....as you can imagine his other two chums were trying to constantly change the subject...I thought that he was half canned to have such a brazen attitude but as it turned out he was quite sober....he then finished off with the death of Robert Hamill and how Hamill had brought his demise upon himself by prior to his attack he had ran into a loyalist pub in Portadown town and shouted up the Ra and ran out again being chased by a few of the occupants.....I had kept relatively quiet up until this and responded that that was actually the first time I had ever heard that mentioned and that funny it was never ever mentioned before in the media reports or the investigation in to his death....I finished off with asking how did he come by such information....his response was that it was common knowledge among the brethren for they had been speaking to the loyalists in the bar and they told them!!!!!!!!!!! He really believed it irrespective what I had said....even his other two mates, one of whom was the son of a cop from Banbridge and who was on the periphery of the investigation, was adamant that what he had just said was horsehit for his father had told him the truth of what happened and made it very clear that he wasn’t to go anywhere near Catholic areas until this had blown over.....

    My point being that Kells was just the lie they needed to publicly express their hatred...just as the pub story was just the lie they needed to kill a Taig.

    Oh, the Orangeman and me, I had a word and so did the other two in the stags ear and afterwards, the Orangeman and me gambled on the football and drank together all weekend where he regaled me with stories of Orangeism and Orange Lodges.....I really enjoyed listening too....

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  25. Yes at that time the SF/residence groups knew how to yank the loyalist chain knowing how the bigoted knuckledraggers would react. And that is exactly what they did to their shame. That is my point. What is yours? Then SF played the hurt role as children had been exposed to hatred when the Provos from 70 to 96 murdered parents in front of their children and planted UCBTs which went off as the kids were being taken to school. A deliberate policy to terrorise families and children. There were a lot of sick bastards on all sides.

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  26. Let's not argue and bicker about who killed who

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