Darkened Belfast Streets: The Missing & Murdered Children by Donal Lavery

“Is Adult amusement killing our children, or is killing our children Adult amusement?” – Marilyn Manson 

“The Crown is a (secret) state within the state, surrounded by barbed wire, which is always in power.” – Ex British Cabinet Minister, Tony Benn MP (speaking during an episode of After Dark). 

I have long wondered why people in Belfast are so intrigued by the Jeffrey Epstein affair, as if somehow running “honey-pots” to trap Establishment perverts for blackmail purposes was new.

After all, in the East of our city lies Kincora Boys’ Home, which witnessed the exposure of a child brothel ran by state agents for very prominent people in society. In her compelling work, Lyra McKee cited how the former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, the now deceased Lord James Molyneaux, was among a number of “big names” questioned by the RUC concerning the rape and torture of children.

Suicides followed of some of those suspected and the rumour mill was wild. To this day, the victims have never been given the proper and fullest answers under inquiries and Courts of the Crown – ‘empowered’ in theory by the Queen to administer “justice” on her behalf. 


And it did not end simply at the spooky old doors of Kincora, no no. Well known child psychiatrist Morris Fraser was convicted of photographing and raping children in his practice at the Royal Hospital in Belfast. During his Fitness to Practice hearing over his perverse and evil deeds towards the vulnerable, he was accompanied by former Attorney General and NI Secretary of State, Sir Patrick Mayhew – who knew about Fraser’s past convictions against children. Yet, despite all the evidence before their eyes, the General Medical Council to the astonishment of the world left this man free to continue his depravity. 


I have always therefore been suspicious of ‘Authority’ generally and those who are “tasked” with exercising it. The late Reverend Ian Paisley in his prime preached a diet of fire and brimstone, which is well documented. And I am by no means alleging that he was part of this pathological circle of wickedness. However, one of his flock certainly was a key player in the Loyalist underworld therein, John McKeague.

I reference his name for a number of reasons.


1. McKeague had agreed to go public and name names regarding Kincora in return for a plea bargain. He was murdered on the orders of the Intelligence Corps by state agents before the trial to protect more valuable figures that would have been exposed  in open court. 


2. McKeague was also a primary “Kincora” suspect within Loyalism regarding the murder of young Brian McDermott – whose little body was hacked to pieces and burnt before being dumped in the River Lagan. 

Where on Earth would this be tolerated, but particularly in a so-called “Western Democracy”? 

This is one instance of child murder within the murky underworld of Loyalist paramilitarism.

A second such case involved a 13-year-old girl called Sonia Forsythe, who was bludgeoned to death with a poker in a house in the Shankill and her corpse discovered in a coal bunker years after the house had been torched with a petrol bomb by the man who killed her – James “Junior” Craig (now released upon society once more). 


These are two of the most nefarious cases of child disappearance and murder that stalked the society of urban Belfast for decades. As a community, we have a very bloody history when it comes to children and the undermining of their human rights (you will note the statistics in the article listed below that most such victims were Catholic and many were killed directly or indirectly by forces of the State). 


When Fiona Donohoe does see through her legal action in memory of her son Noah, with some of the finest professional people on this island assisting her, I like many would wish her God’s strength and determination, because rather than exercise the rights of the citizen to demand answers from public agencies, she may well come up against the same entrenched bureaucracy who recognise transparency only as letters in the dictionary. While I pray it does not occur, the case may actually, metaphorically speaking, reverse to amount almost to; “R (the Crown) Vs. Donohoe”, if our legal precedents are anything to go by regarding the disappearance and or death of children. 


As is stands, the Donohoe case does not add up and the press releases by the PSNI, including regarding this apparent “leaflet drop” (as part of a community consultation on his disappearance and death) and the post-mortem report citing drowning, reek of ‘consistent inconsistencies’ – How exactly could a 14-year-old teenage boy manage to die by drowning in a padlocked storm drain when people in the locality stated that their younger children could not get into the very same storm drain when playing around it? Why has “foul play” still been left off the table, when there is no real tangible evidence Noah ever fell off his bicycle other than an assertion by an anonymous lady from that locality?

I’m 28 and the state secrets legislation and “securocrat” bureaucracy the police are hiding behind mean that my grandchildren will be lucky if they ever get sight of the salient material surrounding this debacle, which can be delayed beyond the standard timeframe of decades. Even in J Edgar Hoover’s America there was a greater Freedom of Information culture arrived at by both main parties than exists in our own rotten “rogue state”. 
While trying my best to respect the family’s request for privacy and time to mourn, I think it appropriate that everyone, in the wider public interest, keep their eyes firmly on both their children and the Noah Donohoe case, for it all may serve as a timely nightmare reminder of the many children who have never gotten anything approaching “justice” years later under the system we live within.

As for our political class, wake up and shake up! It will be a stain on your records if you let this child become a statistic in a government computer. Up to the present and to his credit, I am only aware of John Finucane MP (out of all the primary senior political protagonists) having shown a repeated and detailed concern in getting to the bottom of this case.

References: 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/patriciadevlin.com/2019/04/01/killer-who-hid-childs-body-in-coalbunker-for-five-years-living-beside-nursery/amp/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/children-of-the-troubles-they-took-a-child-off-the-road-put-a-hood-over-his-head-and-killed-him-1.4037704%3fmode=amp

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-northern-ireland-35931482

https://www.google.com/amp/s/theneedleblog.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/kincora-john-mckeague-and-the-murder-of-brian-mcdermott/amp/

http://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2020/07/17/news/schoolboy-noah-donohoe-died-by-drowning-2007981/

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