The British government has yet to take full responsibility for its’ devious political and military activities in Ireland. It has often been suggested, especially in academic and media circles, that the issue in the north of Ireland is that the people living here, the ‘Taigs’ and the ‘Prods’, have to learn ‘to live together’. It is my contention that the real issue is that they must be allowed to live together and this is unlikely while the British government refuses to reveal the state papers relating to many of its activities including the Dublin/Monaghan bombings.
Our history shows the malign influence of the institutions of the British and unionist governments and secret societies that kept the people apart, using discrimination, intimidation and murder. Throughout our history whenever Catholics and Protestants came together somebody was sure to put a spanner in the works. The classic colonial tactic of divide and conquer was clearly at work. The British acted in Ireland, as they did in all their colonies, pitting one section of the population against the other and then pretending to be ‘piggy in the middle.’
In 1932, when the two traditions in Belfast came together to campaign for better work and pay conditions they were soon set at each others throats by malevolent forces in the background. This is well documented in the late Paddy Devlin’s book, ‘Yes, We Have No Bananas’. It was another classic example of ‘divide and conquer.’
The first requirement in a truth recovery process is to analyse the British government’s malign role in Ireland over many years in fomenting division and instigating the killing of Catholics and the bombing of towns in the 26 counties during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
Anne Cadwallader’s book ‘Lethal Allies’ exposes some of their malign influence and shows that there is another narrative about the so-called Troubles that we have not heard too much about in the media. With the information becoming available in books like ‘Lethal Allies’, Brian MacDonald’s ‘The Pitchfork Killings’, and the RFJ’s ‘The Cappagh Killings’, it is now possible to see more clearly the extent of the British government’s role in fomenting violence in Ireland. It had been outlined early on by Brigadier Frank Kitson in his ‘Low Intensity Operations’.
The British army was sent to Ireland to suppress a rebellion by the Irish nationalists and was, as Kitson outlined, prepared to use any means necessary to do this, including shoot to kill and the use of agents and collusion with loyalist paramilitaries. Frank Kitson was appointed a Commander in the Belfast area in September 1970.
The Kitson strategy began to be implemented in 1970, with the planning of a new British offensive that was code-named ‘Operation Motorman’. This new strategy included an injection of massive force, the prorogation of Stormont (so that political and military decision-making would rest entirely in London), legal immunity for soldiers involved in killing of civilians, the distortion of truth through the development of the British army press corps at Lisburn and the very deliberate stoking of sectarian tensions so that Britain could portray its role to the world as ‘keeping the warring factions apart’.
This excerpt from History Ireland magazine (Jan/Feb 2014), is a summary of his role: One of the units under his command, 1 Para, was nicknamed ‘Kitson’s private army’ and had a reputation even in the British Army for being thuggish, but its role in the killing and wounding of a large number of civilians in Ballymurphy in July 1971 and Derry’s Bloody Sunday in January 1972 earned it even official British condemnation for being ‘reckless’ and ‘out of control’. The MRF was based at Kitson’s headquarters in Palace Barracks outside Belfast. In April 1972, within a few weeks of Bloody Sunday and his receipt of a CBE for his service in Northern Ireland, Brigadier Kitson returned to England to head the Infantry School at Warminster. It was a sideways promotion. According to Douglas Hurd’s memoir, the new secretary of state for Northern Ireland, William Whitelaw, saw Irish unity as the solution to the Northern Ireland problem. Kitson’s removal was a confidence-building signal to nationalists that Whitelaw’s approach would be focused on the political options, including negotiation with the Provisional IRA. Equally, it gave Kitson the opportunity to train and indoctrinate a new generation of British soldiers in his counterinsurgency framework.
It was also in the context of the Kitson strategy that, in October1972, the ritual murder of Michael Naan and Andrew Murray was carried out near Newtownbutler. It was part of a special SAS led operation, intended to strike fear in the local community, terrifying both Catholics and Protestants. It was as part of this policy that we have to re-examine the emergence of the UDA as a surrogate force that was armed and controlled by British intelligence. This ‘sectarianising’ of the conflict was essential if Britain was to convince international opinion and opinion south of the border that it was a neutral player intent only on ‘restoring the peace’.
There is ample evidence that members of the RUC, the British army and the local UDR openly colluded with loyalist death squads in killing republicans and innocent Catholics. They went after high profile solicitors like Pat Finucane, Rosemary Nelson and others. They targeted GAA officials and other prominent nationalists.
‘Lethal Allies’ shows that the entire edifice that supported the British lie that they were ‘peace-keepers’ is not sustainable. Thanks to the assiduous research of Anne Cadwallader, the Pat Finucane Centre, Relatives for Justice another narrative is emerging. The Dublin media –the Irish Independent, RTE and the Irish Times – simply do not want to hear that it got it wrong for so many years and that it is still getting it wrong.
The truth about Britain’s role in the conflict needs to be fully exposed. Too often it is shoved under the carpet with the focus almost entirely on republican violence. That one-sided focus only helps to prolong the hurt and frustration. Sooner rather than later, the British government must make all the relevant information and state papers available. This is a necessary part of building the peace and of ensuring that a violent conflict never returns to this island.
‘Lethal Allies’ shows that the entire edifice that supported the British lie that they were ‘peace-keepers’ is not sustainable. Thanks to the assiduous research of Anne Cadwallader, the Pat Finucane Centre, Relatives for Justice another narrative is emerging. The Dublin media –the Irish Independent, RTE and the Irish Times – simply do not want to hear that it got it wrong for so many years and that it is still getting it wrong
Pat Finucane was associated with the IRA and he used his position as a lawyer to act as a contact between suspects in custody and republicans on the outside.
Therefore anything that comes from the Pat Finucane centre has to be treated with caution as for Anne Cadwallader if you lie down with dogs…
Robert – I’m not going to put up any more post like this. There are two things I strongly object to in it:(i) your statement that ‘Pat Finucane was associated with the IRA’. Pat Finucane was a lawyer who represented -AMONG MANY OTHERS – IRA men.To suggest he was ‘associated with’ them suggests he acted with them, was himself in the IRA and the usual smears about a man shot dead in front of his family in his own home. I really do find that repulsive. (ii) ‘If you lie down with dogs’ – the last person I heard use such contemptuous language about people was Willie MrCrea. If you’re going to post any more on this site, I want nothing remotely like this kind of thing.End of.
I used Ken Maginnis words the Finucane family sued him over it and lost. Therefore what i said was legitimate however unpleasant. If you want truth you have to accept all of it not the bits you like.
I don’t care if you’re quoting the queen of the fairies, Robert. Try putting something like that up again and see what happens.
A prerequisite for a truth recovery process is a democracy. Prior to the referendum in Scotland, voters had an opportunity to examine issues in detail. They included such issues as why Scotland needs independence, what a newly independent Scotland would look like, the transition, Scotland’s financial and economic strengths, government policies and public services with independence, the consequences of Scotland voting No in the referendum, Scotland’s public finances on independence and early priorities for action within sound finances.
In contrast, there was a marked lack of detail prior to the Brexit vote. The term Brexit now has a high level of use and a low level of meaning. The reality, however, is that the majority of people in Ireland and Scotland wish to remain in the EC, hence the need for democracy.
In a democracy, the Irish Government would have a document similar in content to the Scottish National Party with its plans and priorities for Irish independence.
In a democracy, files on legacy issues would be made available to families and their legal representatives, they would not be destroyed or hidden from public view. In a democracy, the Devenney family would not have to wait for over fifty years in order to establish the truth of events that happened in Derry on 19th April 1969.
There is no doubt that British terrorists were the puppet-masters, but loyalists acted with Zeal in doing the dirty work. The murder of innocent Catholics by loyalist murder gangs at the behest of their British masters should have been treated as war crimes. And there is nothing under international law that says that we cannot argue about distinctions and have that happen.
Brit is to bad as Provo is to ?. Is it that simple?
Like I said . . . . Let an International court of law decide. Cowardly murdering loyalists never even once attacked anybody that had a gun. Very noble and heroic. Can any loyalist defender give me just one example of an attack that involved the victim having a weapon ? War crimes !
You are unlikely to get anyone trying to give you such an example,
I cannot recall (I am happy to say) any commenter on this site trying to defend any actions of loyalist terrorists
“The British army was sent to Ireland to suppress a rebellion by the Irish nationalists”
First, the Army was already in Northern Ireland, but I assume you’re referring to its deployment on the streets in 1969. That wasn’t to suppress a rebellion by ‘the Irish nationalists’, but it soon turned to attempting to suppress a rebellion by a minority of nationalists in the form of the PIRA and to a lesser extent other terror groupings.
A rebellion is armed struggle against a legitimate government. What you mean, MT, is an uprising. And what was the Brutish Army doing in somebody elses country? Why, they were peacekeeping. Like in Bosnia.
“A rebellion is armed struggle against a legitimate government. What you mean, MT, is an uprising. ”
“And what was the Brutish Army doing in somebody elses country?”
It wasn’t in somebody else’s country.
Well it wasn’t in Britain, was it? Do you really feel offended to be reminded that you are a planter or of planter stock? It’s not as if your antecedents were murderers. All they did was engage in dodgy land deals. Who hasn’t done that? Imagine you and me were born in the same village, in the county of Tyrone, in the same street even. I would be Irish and you would be British. A different race altogether. How can this be? Or maybe you are a troll.
“Well it wasn’t in Britain, was it?”
If you mean, Great Britain, yes it was there too. It was in all parts of the UK.
“Do you really feel offended to be reminded that you are a planter or of planter stock?”
Given that I’m not a planter, yes I do find it offensive. As for ‘planter stock’ neither you nor I have any idea. It’s possible but equally may not be the case. It may be the case that you are of planter stock.
What is offensive is the racistl subtext of making assumptions about people’s ethnic ancestry and judging them on that basis. That should be obnoxious to us all.
“It’s not as if your antecedents were murderers. All they did was engage in dodgy land deals. Who hasn’t done that? Imagine you and me were born in the same village, in the county of Tyrone, in the same street even. I would be Irish and you would be British. A different race altogether. How can this be? Or maybe you are a troll.”
I’ve no idea whether or not your or my antecedents were murderers or involved in land deals. As for your second point I am also Irish. The fact that you deny this is also disturbing.
You not me is engaging in troll-like behaviour.
Hi, a very important book left out in this blog is “A Very British jihad” by Paul Larkin. Is there a reason this excellent book was omitted?
Out of nosiness, jude, where do you get all the wee pictures for all your blogs? Some are very appropriate.
free flickr, fiosrach (mainly)
In an interview in the Daily Express in the early 70’s Barry McGuigan stated that he had turned against violence as a result of the death of two friends of his ” murdered by the IRA”, stabbed with pitchforks and their bodies dumped in the freezer of their butchers shop. The men in question we’re Michael Naan and Andrew Murray and they were murdered by a patrol of a Scottish Regiment. The murderers were found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.(Whether they, or any British soldier in fact seved their sentences is a moot point.) Neither McGuigan or the Express ever retracted these allegations. I read a recent interview wherein the same Barry referred to evil me
n slipping over the border from Monaghan to Armagh to commit nefarious deeds. Traffic from the other direction, resulting inter alia in the Dublin Monaghan bombings, apparently concerned him not. Barry is revered by the media, north, south and in Britain. I wonder why?
” Barry is revered by the media, north, south and in Britain. I wonder why?”
Probably because he’s a former world boxing champion and now world.champion manager.
Because his da won the Eurovision?
He did not win the Eurovision Fiosrach. He did represent Ireland in it.
Just testing,a Bhriain
Well MT his humiliating defeat by Steve Cruz which he took with very bad grace and immediately blamed on Barney (“Thank you very much Mister”) Eastwood did not prevent him subsequently being presented with his own (abysmal).chat show which duly and deservedly nosedive.We have had many great boxers in Ireland – Carruth, Collins, McCullough. Also sportsmen like Best, Jennings, Dougan. None were ever cosseted the way McGuigan was. Because he fits the required paradigm. Imagine if James McClean had claimed that the British Army had carried out e.g. Kingsmills. He would never be allowed to forget it. Yet McGuigan has never to my knowledge been held to account by the media for this downright lie. Oh and don’t expect James McClean to be offered a chat show any time soon.
“Well MT his humiliating defeat by Steve Cruz which he took with very bad grace and immediately blamed on Barney (“Thank you very much Mister”) Eastwood did not prevent him subsequently being presented with his own (abysmal).chat show which duly and deservedly nosedive.We have had many great boxers in Ireland – Carruth, Collins, McCullough. Also sportsmen like Best, Jennings, Dougan. None were ever cosseted the way McGuigan was. Because he fits the required paradigm. Imagine if James McClean had claimed that the British Army had carried out e.g. Kingsmills. He would never be allowed to forget it. Yet McGuigan has never to my knowledge been held to account by the media for this downright lie. Oh and don’t expect James McClean to be offered a chat show any time soon.”
So we get that you don’t like Mcguigan. Most people do, though. He was a unifying figure during a troubled time and struck a chord. Rather the opposite of McClean whose sporting achievements don’t match McGuigan’s in any case.
As for Best and Jennings they were/are both lauded. Dougan again doesn’t compare: a good journeyman striker but not in the same league as Best or Jennings or McGuigan.
It’s funny that I have been accused of being a begrudger (despite not having made any begrudging comments) yet posts like yours don’t invite similar criticism.
McGuigan,fraud Geldof et al………you get the picture? They all worked out that if you throw yourself into ‘letsgetalongerism’ there is great riches to be had. Especially so when the British establishment invests so much in getting the ‘native’ to be its own cheerleader.
Ironically a man who brought Irish people of all traditions together is despised by those.most desperate for (their version of),Irish unity.
Like you I don’t understand the contempt for McGuigan. He seems to be genuinely non-sectarian (letsgetalongerist)
I guess he is seen as having sold out his tribe in some way.
It is a very small world we live in.
MT I have never accused you of being a begrudger. However I have no difficulty with the term if applied to myself. I begrudge undeserving adulation. I begrudge don’t agree with preferential treatment for celebrities because they fit a received paradigm. I don’t agree with brainwashing by media or unity built on lies on Britain’s terms. And you made no attempt to address the isssue of his deliberate lies. But I respect the fact that you debate on this site, if that does not sound patronising.