In 1972 CONOR CRUISE O’BRIEN  and MAIRE MAC an tSAOI , had a book published – “A CONCISE HISTORY OF IRELAND.”

They were both considerable scholars and he dabbled in DRAMA  and she was a renowned poet in Irish. Both were fluent in  Irish and other European languages and the book was obviously drawn on their deep study of their country’s history.

But it had one fatal flaw. It said that in January of that year (1972) British troops had fired on “rioters” in Derry.

In February 1982 I turned on the TV news to see O’Brien, in his role as Editor-in-Chief of THE OBSERVER, together with other newspaper editors confer the title  “EDITOR OF THE YEAR” on Harold Evans of THE TIMES.

The PRESS COUNCIL had earlier released for publication on that morning a judgement censuring THE TIMES for a report apportioning all the deaths in the unpleasantness in Ireland in the years 1969-1971 to Republican killers and stated that all the victims were Protestants. THE TIMES had tried to justify its transgression and THE PRESS COUNCIL acted as the paper’s advocate. A gentleman in Paris, and I in London, unaware of each other’s existence, had lodged complaints with THE PRESS COUNCIL after failing to get THE TIMES to correct its false story. I was constantly fobbed off with excuses by PRESS COUNCIL, but persisted, out of rage, for the best part of a year.

So I can name now blame some BLOODY LIARS without fear of a libel suit as they have since moved on, presumably to a warmer climate.

Dr Conor Cruise O’Brien, Maire Mac an tSAOI. Sir Harold Evans, Sir Humphrey Atkins. I don’t know who the Editors of THE DAILY EXPRESS.DAILY STAR & DAILY MAIL were in the Spring of 1982, but all in one morning, they repeated verbatim the lie for which THE TIMES had been censured, just weeks earlier. The lie went out in THE DAILY MAIL under the name of SIR HUMPHREY ATKINS.

Some years went by until at the end of the war fatalities had reached over 3,000.  By then according to British sources the IRA had killed 3,000 BRITONS.

That message was fed to White House Staff by a former Editor of THE TIMES in a failed attempt to scupper the Peace Process. Albert Reynolds prevailed on President Clinton to grant Gerry Adams, a holder of an Irish Passport, to have a Visa issued, over the objections of the Anglophile State Department. The former Editor, perhaps a fool rather than a villain, later boasted of his role in the lost Propaganda War, in the columns of THE TIMES.


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