From: Tom Cooper <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, 26 October 2020, 10:30:58 GMT
Subject: William Matchett
Dear Kennedy Institute member,
Your organisation’s name continues to be used to attack those who seek justice for victims of British loyalist collusion. I refer to an (attached) article by William Matchett in the Newsletter of 18 September last, and Ruth Dudley Edwards’ 20 October Newsletter reference to Matchett and the Kennedy Institute, in her attack on those who strive for justice.
Your organsiation’s name is now synonymous with ‘republican terrorist’ baiting of civil rights organisations, their supporters and relatives of those killed by loyalists acting in collusion with state forces, who call British power to account. Your ‘adjunct fellow’ and ‘senior researcher’ claims academic respectability for his crude propaganda.
What are you going to do about it? I wrote to you before about this (copy below) and received no reply. Are you so spineless that you are incapable of replying or perhaps you agree with Mr Matchett. Do you?
Dear Kennedy Institute member,
Part of your stated mission is conflict prevention, which involves analysis and understanding of conflict in Ireland. Is the abuse, false reasoning and simplistic thinking evident in adjunct fellow William Matchett’s recent (28 November) Newsletter article in conformity with your mission?
The article is available here:
I sent the letter below this email message to the newspaper, in response, which the newspaper has seen fit, so far, not to publish.
Mr Matchett criticises those who provide evidence of collusion with loyalist killers by RUC Special Branch, an autonomous ‘force within a force’, and by British Military Intelligence. Allowing those convicted of an offence duringthe conflict to speak on the subject constitutes, in Mr Matchett’s closed mind, a ‘gutter mentality’. One criticism of the law in Northern Ireland is that it protected those who broke it on behalf of the state. Mr Matchett’s evident
delight that few of his colleagues were charged with an offence is proof of very little. His statistical tally of security force related killings forgot examples like the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, the Miami Showband Massacreand the Loughinisland Massacre. Bloody Sunday in 1972 and the 1971 Ballymurpy Massacre were earlier ignored examples of security force killing that took place without benefit of loyalist third parties.
Mr Matchett asserts that the subject of collusion constitutes ‘fake news’. The author of Lethal Allies (2013), Anne Cadwallader spoke on RTE Radio One this morning about the loyalist Glennane Gang and on the many killingsit carried out in collaboration with security forces (listen at https://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/html5/#/radio1/21668089).
The closed down HET investigations established that collusion was a fact. So too did the Stevens Inquiry, the Stalker Inquiry and the Da Silva Inquiry. There is now a new inquiry by another English policeman, John Boutcher. It isMr Matchett’s view that such people are not suited to investigating collusion that, in Mr Matchett’s closed mind, did not exist. Given the preponderance of evidence, thus far, it is Mr Matchett’s selfserving view that is demonstrably fake. Mr Matchett is entitled to dream up his own opinions, but not to invent his own facts.
I have no objection to you employing Mr Matchett if you can show me who is there to counterbalance his eccentric opinions on behalf of the controversial abolished force in which he once served. He mentioned, in a quitestupid aside, ‘diehard provo Tommy McKearney’. The latter is a respected analyst and author. Would you consider it appropriate to make Mr McKearney a Fellow, or do you agree with Mr Matchett that that would constitute a
descent into the gutter? What of Anne Cadwallader? Would her expertise on the matter of collusion be welcomed by your Institute as a balance to the views of Mr Matchett? Or are you content that the name of your instituteand that of Maynooth University is used to promote RUC propaganda?
A final point, Mr Matchett’s view is entirely at variance with those of the late Edward M Kennedy or indeed of any member of the Kennedy family I am aware of, living or dead. In fact they constitute an insult to the memory ofthe late Senator Kennedy. Your claim, in the circumstances I have outlined, to speak in the late senator’s name is astonishing.
I would appreciate a response.
LETTER TO NEWSLETTER (Belfast) from Tom Cooper,28 November 2019
William Matchett’s response (28th November) to criticism of RUC Special Branch refers to “the gutter morality of convicted terrorists being given a platform [by the BBC] to badmouthsecurity forces”. Mr Matchett, aka ‘theAdjunct Fellow for conflict prevention’ in Maynooth thinks it sufficient to badmouth them instead. ‘PIRA diehard’ Tommy McKearney will, I am sure, be surprised to be described in those terms. So too will anyone with morethan a passing acquaintance of someone who thinks before he speaks. Mr Matchett should try it.
Abuse is no substitute for analysis.
Mr Matchett finds hearing those he tried to imprison taxing. He disdains collusion conclusions from London policeman John Stevens. How about criticism from a fellow RUC officer? Johnston Brown wrote in Into the Dark (2005) that RUC Special Branch attempted to sabotage a prosecution of the killer of solicitor Pat Finucane. That CID detective was convinced that SB was colluding with loyalist killers. It was not just English cops that detected ‘a forcewithin a force’, RUC officers saw it with their own eyes. No friends of the IRA, they also feared Special Branch, that broke the law with seeming impunity.
The only difference between colluders and Special Patrol Group killers John Weir plus Billy McCaughey is that the latter were caught. That was only after McCaughey talked during a mental breakdown.
John Weir has a lot to say about collusion but Mr Matchett ignores those who have seen prison bars from the inside. That is a blinkered approach for someone now claiming academic expertise. Such an attitude may havesufficed as a SixCounty policeman. It will not go far in academia, I fear, unless police-state methods are adopted there.