As a rule I don’t listen to Good Morning Ulster on the British Broadcasting Corporation, partly because its title flies in the face of geographical fact but more because I find it unremittingly dull. But I pressed the wrong button this morning and they were busy giving Martina Anderson a kicking.
You probably thought unionism had tired kicking Martina for That Tweet (the first one, Virginia, the first one of course) but clearly they hadn’t. To add vigour to their dig they had on a victim of the Dublin-Monaghan bombings of 1974.
Clever. In one stroke they presented the heart-felt words of a genuine victim while at the same time they had a man with a rich Dublin accent lambasting Martina and Sinn Féin. In other words, outrage at That Tweet knows no borders.
The man who had suffered cited the case of Sean Kelly, the man who helped carry the Shankill bomb before it exploded prematurely and who is a hate figure for many in the PUL community. How, this man declared, could Sean Kelly, a bomber, be equated with someone like him? Kelly had made the choice to be a bomber, he (the Dublin man) had done nothing other than watch his father killed in the 1974 bombing.
Clearly an effective witness for the narrow definition of a victim.
Pensions, as I understand it, are to go to victims of violence during the Troubles. But they must not be people who inflicted violence. Thus Sean Kelly, while he’d qualify as having suffered from violence during the Troubles, would not qualify because he was intent on inflicting violence.
In detective stories, the key thing that the gumshoe looks for is motivation – who would want to commit the murder. In other words, violent actions don’t normally come out of the blue. So the obvious question – and of course the one not asked on Good Morning Six Counties – was, what motivated Sean Kelly to risk his life and the lives of others by carrying that bomb into the Shankill fish-shop? To answer that, of course, you’d have to look at what preceded the Troubles and the actions of the ‘security’ forces once the Troubles began. Better stick with a nice uncluttered case of a true Dub who had clearly suffered grievously at the hands of the IRA and ….Wait a minute.
The IRA didn’t carry out the Dublin-Monaghan bombings: the official story is that it was carried out by loyalist paramilitaries. The general public belief is that they did so, aided and abetted at every step by British intelligence. Did Good Morning Six Counties examine that aspect of the ‘dirty war’, to quote Martina Anderson’s tweet? Not on your life. Because that would have opened up the whole question of who were the good guys and who were the bad guys, and as we all know, the public would rather hear a partial truth than the whole truth. Right? I said RIGHT?