The dead have travelled with Shane Paul O’Doherty down the decades on a religious journey that has seen him transformed from IRA bomber and ‘Britain’s most wanted man’ to one of the terror organisation’s most searing critics intent only on exploding its lies and hypocrisies.
They come to him, these ghosts, bringing their memories of lives cut short, bothering his conscience. Those who, like him, were youngsters when they were recruited into the IRA. Here is 12-year-old Cathy McGartland and 13-year-old Sean O’Riordan, both “killed in action”, and David McAuley (14) who accidentally shot himself in the head with a weapon he was handling.
But O’Doherty’s most frequent visitor from beyond the grave is a young RUC officer Paul Gray, whose name is to haunt a wide-ranging interview with a man by turns reflective, angry, remorseful, indignant and utterly obsessed with helping victims get the truth.
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