‘Justice: now you see it, now you don’t’ by Tom Cooper

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The interjection by Yasmine Ahmed, Director of the internationally respected Rights Watch (UK), in regard to RTE’s recent documentary ‘Collusion’, is a welcome development. Rights Watch has stated that there is clear evidence of British state involvement in murders in Ireland and has supported those that have sought to expose it. Ms Ahmed said “The British government must now accept that nothing but an independent investigation will be sufficient to ensure the families and victims have access to the truth and an adequate remedy”. This statement is in line with Irish government policy on the issue of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974 and Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan raised the matter with Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers.
In 2011, Mr Flanagan, as chairman of the Fine Gael parliamentary party, called for the expulsion of the Papal Nuncio over his alleged interference in Ireland’s sovereign affairs. Mr Flanagan said if any foreign government conspired to break the law in this state it would have its ambassador expelled. Mr Flanagan said the behaviour of the Vatican in regard to the revelations carried in the Cloyne Report amounted to the concealment of a crime and the Irish government expects the fullest cooperation from the Holy See, the Catholic Church in Ireland, and all other relevant bodies to be fully and totally subject to Irish laws and requirements. Mr Flanagan went on “If it transpires that the Vatican was complicit in a cover-up on the sexual abuse of children in Ireland, all avenues, including the severing of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Ireland must be seriously considered. The safety of the citizens of this republic is paramount and it is the duty of government to uphold this principle”. Really.

On May 17th 1974 in Dublin and Monaghan, 34 innocent citizens of this state, men women and children, including a pregnant woman and a stillborn child, suffered the most horrific abuse possible. They were murdered indiscriminately in the most devastating attack in the history of the state. Following the publication of the final report of the Commission of Investigation into these bombings by Mr Justice Henry Barron, it was established that it was “neither fanciful nor absurd” that members of the security forces in Northern Ireland could have been involved in these bombings. Furthermore, it was established by Barron that files which may be of assistance in identifying those responsible for these bombings were in the possession of the British government. Despite repeated calls for these files to be released, the British government has refused. Surely this also is the concealment of a crime? No moves from Minister Flanagan to expel the British Ambassador to Dublin nor any move to recall Ireland’s Ambassador to London. Why? Surely if we are to be consistent in applying principles of justice and fairness, then all wrong doing must be exposed and those responsible made accountable. There can be no exceptions. The pursuance of truth and justice is the highest obligation and duty of society and the Irish government must never accept lesser standards of justice for her own citizens who have been murdered than the UK authorities do for theirs.

What would the consequences be if it were the case that the Irish government had in its possession files which might be of assistance in identifying those responsible for the Birmingham and Guildford pub bombings in Britain in 1974 in which 26 innocent people lost their lives, and if, following a request from the British government to release these files, they refused?  Both the British government and the British people would be rightly outraged. Ireland would be regarded as a pariah nation and treated accordingly. Furthermore, in seeking justice for those who were killed and bereaved in the Lockerbie bombing, the British government secured a trial, conviction, extradition and substantial compensation for the victims. Why does the Irish government accept lesser standards of justice for her own citizens who have been murdered than the UK does?  The possibility that this demand may cause diplomatic tensions between Dublin and London must not be a deterrent from our pursuance of justice for the innocent victims of these bombings. A friendship cannot be based on compromised justice.  If the new relationship between our two states is to prosper into the future it must be strong enough to confront and reconcile the past.

6 Responses to ‘Justice: now you see it, now you don’t’ by Tom Cooper

  1. Sherdy July 4, 2016 at 4:19 pm #

    Charlie Flanagan raised the matter of the Dublin/Monaghan bombings with Theresa Villiers.
    Well, I am sure we all reassured by that – like hell we are!
    Why can the Irish government not take this case, and possibly that of Pat Finucane, to the United Nations, as the ‘dispute’ is between two separate countries?
    But then it is very perplexing why Irish governments over the years have been very reluctant to find the truth about these and other offences where the British state were allegedly involved.

    • jessica July 5, 2016 at 8:19 am #

      Charlies party was offered to have those responsible handed over for questioning at the time by Harold Wilson who apologised but was surprised at their lack of response in accepting his assistance as they refused to accept the offer to question those responsible. He even went so far as to draw up a 15 year reunification plan but again, no interest from the then in power Fine Gael and the British army initiated his removal from office in operation clockwork orange.

      Thanks to Fine Gaels inaction at the time plus the disappearance, destruction or contamination of all evidence collected by the southern state,

      I imagine even if the United Nations were given unfettered access to information, it would more than likely conclude no more than the Barron report could, that there was ample witness statements which identified the vehicles right through their route and timeline, that directions had been asked for by the perps and that there was virtually no effort taken to hide their identities or even deny their involvement when they were arrested in the north and that there was collusion with British intelligence services whom those involved were known to work for.

      It would be interesting to know why Fine Gael at the time refused to bring them south for questioning, were they threatened by the British state or did they make a deal that all future attacks would be against northern citizens only?

      Either way, I think the first thing we need to accept is that the republic of Ireland state is on the same page as the British state in relation to the troubles and will put the economic growth and improving relationship above that of any Irish citizens, especially those in the north.

      What benefit would it be to them to bring up such a murky report?

      They were probably discussing how they could jointly make sure it stayed as low profile as possible.

  2. joe canning July 4, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

    One word… Puppets.

    • Sherdy July 4, 2016 at 8:57 pm #

      You shouldn’t be so rude to ordinary decent muppets with that comparison!

  3. Ryan July 5, 2016 at 1:39 am #

    I think we should just cut to the chase. Everyone knows the British Government was involved, whether directly or indirectly, in hundreds of murders here in the North and also in the South. They used Unionist paramilitaries (referred to as “Allies” in British files) to carry out numerous murders. They still to this day protect British soldiers, RUC men, Unionist paramilitaries, etc from prosecution by either destroying files or by delaying investigations as long as possible. The UVF/UDA still exist, are still involved in murder and are still involved in crime despite the British Government knowing who they all are, it’s literally no exaggeration to say the British Govt ran these groups and still do. The Secretary of State was pictured with an active UDA Commander from Bangor just a few weeks ago!

    So why isn’t anything being done? Why is it that when report after report after report comes out proving Collusion existed that nothing literally happens? No media outrage, no court cases, no prosecutions, etc? Its literally as if Irish people, especially Irish Catholics, aren’t entitled to Justice. The Irish Government and other nations too just sit back and turn a blind eye. The British Government has been involved in Mass Murder, its akin to what some crackpot African Dictators would get up to but yet the United States, the Irish Government, etc don’t want to know…..

    Are the Irish Government being blackmailed by the British Government? I remember reading about SAS men who were caught by the Irish Army trying to sneak into the South and they were imprisoned. When the Irish Government refused to release them the British Government threatened they would take a case against Ireland to the EU or UN to allow abortion rights, hence Black Mail.

    There is definitely some dodgy deal that has been made and I believe Sinn Fein has been party to it in some way, along with the SDLP and other parties. There has to be an explanation why the Irish Government does next to nothing to get Justice for people murdered here by the British State and why SF/SDLP only give out sound bites but do nothing of substance.

  4. Perkin Warbeck July 5, 2016 at 11:57 am #

    Your reference , TC, to the Irish Foreign Secretary’s reasons for withdrawing his ambassador from the Vatican is a timely reminder that he is one tough diplomatic dude who sure likes – to borrow a sporting term – ‘to win ugly’.

    Especially with those who formulate the foreign policy of the 26 C: that would be the Commentariat of The Unionist Times and its Broadcasting wing, RTE.

    His winning decision was following in the flat and sensible footsteps of Mary the First . It will be recalled that she was the pioneering President who broke the mouldy old mould of the 26 C when she became the first bareheaded Head of State to brazen it into the Residence of Old Red Sox.

    -Que exposicion de cojones !

    Hitherto, even Amazonian, erm, Heads of State, such as Hausfrau Saxe-Coburg-Goth veiled their threathening physiogs as they meekly played a diplomatic game of peekaboo with the Bish. of Rome in exchange for a supper of fish but no shoulder chips. Deference being their preference.

    Mary the Second has been strenuously if vainly attempting to follow in the flat and sensible footsteps of Mary the First. But, full marks for trying: she demerits a mere ‘Two Hail Marys’ for her valiant efforts to emulate her awesomely prepossessing predecessor.

    The Agreed Knorritive of the Souper-stars of Shoneenism on Liffeyside when it comes to the formulation of Irish Foreign Policy re. Vat 2016, is, of course, as follows; the market in paedophilia has been well and truly cornered by RC which, of course, is text for Arsy.

    One knows this because there wasn’t a bubble or a squeak itself from The Unionist Times when Mary the First showed her versatility in later times by opting to don the hijab. This happened when visiting the Middle East , in her capacity as Human Rites Commissionerette of the UN (a high jab she took after prematurely jumping overboard from her role in the Presidentship).

    It can have been no easy task for Missus R to hide her fabled tresses with muslin from the Muslim masses.


    To his immortal credit that broth of a boy, the Irish Foreign Secretary, showed his Robinsonian versatility (now, there’s praise / sin uber-mholadh) when he later opted ‘to ‘lose ugly’ by failing to disturb the consensual Knorritive.

    This of course occurred at a deranged ceremony in Grangegorman as part of the Easter 2016 thingy when the Silver Hammer Men of Maxwell were paid due reverence with a tip top rendition of Taps by the bugle boys of Company B, Oglaigh na hEireann.

    He could quite easily have taken the slow and aisy way out, by not lifting up the petticoat of Hausfrau Saxe-Coburg-Goth and for not rolling up his sleeveen for to tie up the buckle of her shoe.

    And for not doing so on the basis that it was a paedophile of epic, world-class proportions who sent out Irish boys by the ton for the Teutons to mow down by the thou all in the green meadows of France.

    That would have been a Kerryman. A Kerryman by the name of Kitchener. But, sadly, not a member of the Romanist Cult. Thus, it didn’t count at all, at all, after all.

    That of course would have been the slow and aisy way out. Instead, he opted ‘to lose ugly’.


    Regarding the Dublin Monaghan bombings, a former Blueshirted boss of flannel-voiced Flanners, the Bullock-Befriendnding Bruton, that plump-rumped rancher from Royal Meath, was on the broadcasting wing of The Unionist Times yesterday.

    Struck a Bob Dylan-esque note so he did. Deeply distressed he was by BREXIT and why wouldn’t he be, considering the Hausfrau’s eldest, Prinz Karl , is his B.F.F.

    A cap-doffer of note, Bruton this time opted to doff the C.A.P. aka, Common Agricultural Policy. Whatever could he have on about ? One can but speculate.

    Perhaps, he was referring to Maggie’s Farm, i.e. Glenanne. And the diminution of job opportunities there in the Post-Brexit Apocalypse, not.

    Indubitably, not.