THE BRITISH FORCES’ NETWORK IN IRELAND – Part Eight -THE TALE ENDS? by Donal Kennedy

The story so far was told in the August 2019 all headed  THE BRITISH FORCES’  NETWORK IN IRELAND

Part One    1st August 2019

Part Two     6th August 2019

Part  Three  7th August 2019

Part   Four  12th August 2019

Part Five     17th August 2019

Part Six        26th August 2019

Part Seven   27th August 2019

and I trust you’ve been waiting for the conclusion with bated breath.

                                                                                                                                                                     

This series is based on “THE IRISH TIMES:PAST AND PRESENT” by John Martin, published by The Belfast Historical And Educational Society in 2008.

The late Sir Andrew Gilchrist, British Ambassador in Dublin, whose October 1969  letter quoting Major MacDowell’s “WHITE NIGGER” characterisation of Douglas Gageby was accidentally filed in the Public Records Office in Kew, was a brilliant and murderous manipulator.

In 1965 he was Ambassador in Indonesia, and wrote to the Foreign Office “A little shooting in Indonesia would be an essential preliminary to effective change.”  The quotation is from The London OBSERVER % Sept 1999.

The following paragraphs are from “The Irish Times:Past And Present..”

“What follows was the overthrow of a left-wing nationalist government and the massacre of up to one million Indonesians in one of the bloodiest and most unreported coups of the twentieth century.

The British facilitated the slaughter of Indonesian Communist Party supportersby arraging that its allies in the region would not attack Indonesia over

border disputes while the  pro-western General Suhartoeliminated the communists.The British also supported Islamic militants against the left-wing

Government.

Gilchrist was particularly active in planting stories that the Communists were about to slaughter the citizens of Jakarta. The story, which had no basis

in fact,was beamed to Indonesia via the BBC and provided justification for Suharto’s murderous campaign.”

“Norman Reddaway,  who worked in the Foreign Office’s Information Research Department remarked on Gilchrist’s work in Indonesia: ‘I wondered whether this was the first time in history that an ambassador had been able to address the people of his country of work almost at will and virtually

instantaneously.'”

Reddaway was quoted in THE INDEPENDENT (London 16.4.20000.

I don’t think the tale has ended or that Gilchrist had neither predecessors nor successors of such ruthlessness in the British Diplomatic Service. The Irish Times today is his legacy as are the graves of the slaughtered Indonesians. The BBC is unchanged and I doubt RTE would disturb his ghost.

But there is hope yet. The attempt to honour the murderers of Thomas MacCurtain has been rejected by today’s Irish citizens, as have the Establishment politicians who cling on to power despite them.

Perhaps we have not come to the end of a tale, but to the beginning of an end. And while Ireland absorbs these truths she will never surrender?

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