Ann Travers, equations and history


I had every intention of moving on to a new topic today, which is partly why I missed the Nolan Show  last night. But I’m listening to the radio version of the show now and Nolan is interviewing Ann Travers and the truth is that her argument is all over the place. 
She argues that special advisers are paid out of the public purse and that this is particularly hurtful to victims such as herself.  There is no doubt that this could well be the case. But then had one of my relatives  been killed on Bloody Sunday, I might feel it particularly hurtful that the person who killed my relative was being paid out of the public purse. If I were one of the Finucanes, I might feel it particularly hurtful that those in the British armed services who colluded in the death of my father was paid out of the public purse. And you can add many other names yourself, I expect. 

Ann Travers has just made it clear that she does not claim to speak for all victims – but she does say that this bill is for all victims. She may think so but a number of victims want no hand, act or part in this bill. They are firmly opposed to it. These tend to be people whose loved ones were killed by the British state.
The discussion has now moved on to a moving description of the incident that resulted in Mary Travers’s death. While this is moving it doesn’t  advance the argument for blocking ex-prisoners from serving as special advisers one way or another. 
What all it comes down to is the question of how you regard the Troubles. If you believe that it was something more than a mass outbreak of murder, involving thousands of people who prior to the Troubles were not involved in violence of any kind and who post- the Troubles have not been involved in any form of violence – in fact they’re working hard to make sure the peace we now have stays in place – you’ll disagree with Ann Travers.  If on the other hand you believe that every death inflicted by the IRA was murder pure and simple, you’ll think Ann Travers is absolutely right. 
One of Pat Finucane’s sons,  John I think, has just come on. Before the line dropped out he was saying that it was notable the difference in reaction to those who died at the hands of the IRA and those who died at the hands of state forces. That is the third leg of the stool – British state killings. In a simple equation, the argument could be stated as
IRA killings = murder; state/loyalist killings = legitimate response 
Whether we like it or not, or know it or not, this is about more than the death of one young woman. Whether Ann Travers likes it or not or knows it or not, this is about how the history of the Troubles is to be written. 

PS  Mike Nesbitt is now on talking about how Ann Travers should have been called before Mary McArdle was appointed. But I thought I had to draw the line somewhere and I’ve just switched off. 

10 Responses to Ann Travers, equations and history

  1. Anonymous May 30, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    So Jude doesn't think IRA killings were murders. Shame on you, Jude.

    As for murders carried out by “state forces”, anyone guilty of such is also disqualified.

    But most killings by the security forces, which were relatively few in number, wouldn't have been murder.

  2. Anonymous May 30, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    Perhaps you would explain how the attempted murder of a Magistrate and the murder of his daughter on their way from Mass advanced the “noble” armed struggle that the I R A were engaged in.Sinn Fein made a deliberate choice to appoint people such as Mary Mc Ardle and Paul Kavanagh.It hardly sends out the appropriate message to those with whom Declan Kearney seems so keen to engage.

  3. John Patton May 30, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    You may see it as a simple equation, Jude. Maths were always difficult for me but emotion makes this one much more complex than what a hundred years ago in Bishop St we called simple equations. Killings by the security forces have neither been accurately computed nor their extent admitted to by Govt. There are many on all sides who mourn grievous loss and unspeakable injustice but their voices are not as loud as Ms Travers. That does not invalidate her argument, nevertheless.

  4. Anonymous May 30, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    I would have thought that history will say

    IRA and loyalist killings = murder

    Gerry Adams stated that IRA killings were murders on Miriam

  5. Fra Stone May 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    the greatest trick ever played by unionists was to convince people that they were the victims…

  6. Anonymous May 30, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    I think there is a danger that those who are sincere in their defence of the Good Friday Agreement may blame Mrs Travers for facilitating this piece if discriminatory legislation. Mrs Travers is entitled to feel hurt at her sister’s murder and those who perpetrated it.

    Unfortunately with any agreed peace must come compromise and victims have had to accept the compromise which allowed ex-combatants to be involved in the political process and rehabilitation into normal life.

    Many victims do not agree with that compromise which most people accept was the price of a lasting and agreed peace. Indeed many victims belong to that significant rump of the population who were never in favour of the Good Friday Agreement.

    Mrs Traver’s case has been expediently used by the media and those who are uncomfortable about the out workings of the agreement and by Mr Allister who is an avowed opponent of the agreement.

    This discriminatory legislation targeted at republicans is going to be facilitated by the leadership of the SDLP who preside over a divided party membership many of whom harbour a deep resentment of the electoral success of Sinn Fein. Many are angry and believe that SDLP representatives have paid the ultimate price for peace in terms of dwindling electoral support in the nationalist community.

    Could this be the opportune moment for some to settle an old score perhaps?

    The principles of the Good Friday Agreement should not be held ransom to the feelings of any single victim of the troubles.

  7. Anonymous May 31, 2013 at 4:13 am #

    I think there is a danger that Ann Travers may be rekindling deep feelings of anquish, bitterness and unresolved trauma in thousands of people. The killers and supporters of the killers of Philomena Hanna should never work, the murderers of Mairead Farrell should never work, the murderers of Sheena Campbell should never work, the killers of Sheena Campbell should never work???? Come on Ann, lets have some logic here…sooo many people have lost sisters but are they trying to use this as a personal platform for self promotion, sympathy, cause harm to peace negotiations, destroy a nations people and their children from a future of hope and peace. Are you influenced by people who want war reignited at the cost of your children and grand children. What do you want Ann, your are doing nothing positive for any one, there is neither logic, fore thought or consideration to your personal revenge. Was Padraig Pearse wrong, was Michael Collins wrong, was Terence Mc Sweeney wrong, Was Bobby Sands wrong, Che Guvara, Nelson Mandela ??? Have you ever heard of freedom fighters Ann ? During war your father imprisoned them and was there fore a target and was one of the mechenisms of the British Imperialist establishment. If you were a target in war time, would you be in a public place with your children ? I wouldnt. I had great sympathy for you Ann as with all others who have suffered so tragically but now you are just vying to replace Jim Allister in his wickedness and craziness.

  8. Fra Stone May 31, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    state killings / collusion = ?

  9. Anonymous May 31, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    Anonymous 05 13
    Two points of correction 1— Although Ann can speak for herself,I assume she would say that Sinn Fein had a choice on whether to appoint Mary Mc Ardle.They did it in quite deliberate fashion and could hardly have been unaware of the consequences. 2 — As I understand it ,Mr Travers was a Resident Magistrate and was most unlikely to have sentenced anyone for “political” offences .His jurisdiction would have covered summary offences whereas the serious offences would have been dealt with at Crown Court level.In any case,who has the right to attempt to murder Judges?

  10. Anonymous June 1, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    No trick was needed. Many people slaughtered by IRA Fascists WERE innocent victims.