LET’S EXAMINE “THE EXAMINER” AND ESTABLISH ITS AGENDA by Donal Kennedy


The paper calling itself THE IRISH EXAMINER (14 SEPTEMBER)  writes of persons allegedly “disappeared “by the IRA during the 1919-1921  War of Independence. One of them, District  Inspector Gilbert Potter, was captured by the IRA’s Third Tipperary Brigade in April 1921 and held as a hostage to effect the release of an IRA  soldier, Volunteer Thomas Traynor whom the British had sentenced to hang as a criminal.

 The British were told by the IRA that D.I.Potter’s life would be spared if Volunteer Traynor’s  was but they went ahead with the hanging on 16 April  19321 in Mountjoy Prison in Dublin. THe IRA treated D.I. Potter with consideration and he was allowed to send letters to and receive them from his wife. He was regarded as a decent man. They shot him on 17th April 1921 in retaliation  for the hanging of their comrade the previous day.

Thomas Traynor’s body was interred in unconsecrated ground in Mountjoy Gaol until October 2001, when, together with nine other IRA soldiers hanged in Mountjoy at the time they were disinterred and given a State Funeral and Christian burial, to the chagrin of the egregious Fergal Keane O.B.E. and others of his ilk.

Though THE IRISH EXAMINER would have us believe that D.I. Potter was “Disappeared” by the IRA, he was buried on 30 August 1921 near Cahir, Co. Tipperary, following a service conducted by the Church of Ireland Bishop Miller of Waterford, and the funeral involved the band of the Lincoln Regiment, the Royal Field Artillery stationed there, and other Crown Forces.

Following the Anglo/Irish Truce of 11 July 1921, on the initiative of the IRA Chief of Staff, Richard Mulcahy, it was arranged that D.I. Potter’s remains, hurriedly buried in April, be returned to his widow.

At the time all of County Tipperary was regarded as a Martial Law Area by the British, where membership of the IRA or  possession of firearms could mean a death sentence. Following the shooting of D.I. Potter the  British military burned numerous houses as an official reprisal.

THE IRISH EXAMINER  of 14 September recycles a yarn from Dublin Castle’s Black Propaganda Factory which was comprehensively demolished  in HISTORY IRELAND  Volume 18 Issue 1 January/February 1910 .The HISTORY IRELAND feature is headed “Telling Tales:the story of the burial alive and drowning of a Clare RM in 1920” and is available online..

The story starts with the, perhaps accidental shooting of Alan Ledrum, a Resident Magistrate, and former Officer in the Inniskilling Regiment who had fought in the Great War, by an IRA Volunteer. But the British Lyin’ machine put it out that he’d been buried up to his neck in sand so that he’d drown when the tide came in.

In 1970 the late J.G. Farrrell retold the yarn in his novel “Troubles” part of his “Empire” Trilogy. And continues to serve Empire Loyalists to this day.

According to history Ireland the story was one of a series of unsigned tales from the RIC published by BLACKWOOD’S MAGAZINE of EDINBURGH which HISTORY IRELAND seemed to think was a paper of quality.

A single copy of it dated December 1922 used be at home and I read it the once when I was 12 or 13 -at least 65 years ago.  It had a poisonously anti-Irish piece, and was quite ignorant. It mentioned the Battle of Mount Street, which then and since I would have said was the name given to the epic battle of Easter Week 1916, but it thought referred to a minor skirmish on Bloody Sunday 21 November 1920. The IRISH CIVIL WAR was raging as the magazine went to Press, The conduct of the Irish, said the article, was so inferior to that of Mussolini’s Fascists.

A real EXAMINER might  take the trouble to dig out a copy of that issue,, instead of lazily recycling the lies of Ireland’s enemies.

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