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Truth, lies and Martin McGuinness

15 April 2014

15 April 2014

Melanie McDonagh wrote a piece on Friday objecting to ‘those pundits who find Mr McGuinness’s presence anywhere intolerable.’ As one such pundit I would like to exercise a right of reply. Not to pick a fight with Melanie – who was very nice about my book on ‘Bloody Sunday’ and whose judgement for that reason, among others, I would not therefore like to call into question. And not because I disagree with the blame that Melanie rightly says should be laid at the door of the Conservative Party. But to add to this last point and come back on another.

Because Melanie says in her piece:

‘…unless anyone has got any actual evidence to convict Mr McGuinness, then I think he’s better in constitutional politics and welcome at the party, than out of it.’

Which forces me to return to old, but necessary, terrain.

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It is very hard indeed to come up with evidence to convict someone when successive UK governments – starting with that of John Major – have contrived to remove such evidence from the public realm. As I wrote in the Spectator three years ago when McGuinness was running for the Irish Presidency, the facts are these.

‘In 1993, The Cook Report investigated a number of murders in which McGuinness was personally involved.  Among them was the case of Frank Hegarty, whom McGuinness lured back from England in 1987. ‘Don’t worry — I’ll bring him home to you,’ McGuinness had sworn to his mother.  When he returned to Ireland Hegarty was interrogated and shot, his body subsequently found bound and blindfolded.

In the wake of that documentary, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) set up a secret unit to investigate the charges. By late 1994 it had located at least three witnesses willing to testify to McGuinness’s involvement in the killing of Hegarty, among others. The RUC investigation was codenamed ‘Operation Taurus’. But while the painstaking investigation was going on, another process was at work. John Major’s government was in talks with Sinn Fein/IRA. The results of Operation Taurus were sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions who, in a move that startled those involved, reported back that there was not a case. As one of those involved in the investigation drily remarked, this decision surely had nothing to do with ‘the incipient peace process’.

Of course it had. The legal process had been scuppered by the political one. As a pertinent memo on the police files at the time noted, ‘the UK government may soon be meeting … Mr McGuinness, to plan the future of Northern Ireland’.

Sinn Fein/IRA were aware of the investigation. The delegation told Downing Street that they would not attend talks without McGuinness and that he would not attend if the threat of prosecution hung over him. As a result, John Major’s government ordered that the relevant files should be ‘disappeared’. Which they duly were.’

Now to pick up Melanie’s challenge, it is all very well to taunt individuals with the challenge that we should come up with the information on McGuinness. As a former IRA commander – by his own proud admission – McGuinness was either responsible for some deaths or the most inept and incapable IRA commander in IRA history. I have reason to plump for the former possibility.

But it is rather difficult for individuals to investigate – or even bother with – all of this when our governments have continuously contrived to ensure that information is deliberately hidden, justice never happens and that McGuinness and various others among the Sinn Fein / IRA leadership remain above and beyond the laws of the land or any wider laws of justice.

Of course there may be another explanation for McGuinness’s untouchability. It may be – as I suggest in passing in my book on Bloody Sunday – that McGuinness worked for British intelligence through all or part of this period. Equally strange things have already come to light about the period.

Of course some day some people may well find out about the full story of McGuinness and the British authorities. However, certain to be released under a 100 year rule at the earliest, when that information does come out it will, sad to say, be long after Melanie, I and anybody else who cares about any of this will have long ago gone down to the dust.


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Show comments
  • Glenn Bradley

    Wow, what a thread.

    Keeping to topic: HMG have a centuries old book of ‘lets get out of here’. Sometimes the tactics are great and sometimes they’re completely wrong but one thing is for certain: after years of reducing imperial influence, England is now dealing with it’s own back yards – Ireland and Scotland.

    As a former soldier, I suppose command and control comes more easy for me than that of a policeman or civilian. History is full of soldiers 1 day fighting and the next day sharing a cuppa with former enemies.

    As a loyal Irish subject of Her Majesty, governments come and go, but peace building with Nations never stops.

    During June 1972 I was a casualty of a PIRA bomb which destroyed our corner pub “The Woodvale Arms” locally known as ‘Cornetts’. I carry the scar to this day & at the time I was 6 years old. In 1990, as an NCO in HM Field Army, I identified the tortured and mutilated body of my Uncle, a Detective Constable in the RUC who’d been kidnapped by PIRA. A month later friends in our Regiment were victims of a Human Car Bomb by forced Suicide-Proxy by PIRA.

    No doubt Martin McGuinness has a questionable past under the governance
    of law but under the governance of peaceful stability a certain amount
    of flexibility for him and his comrades adding in same conditions for those in Loyalist paramilitaries is required.

    Peace building requires open minds focused on the generations to come.

    Anyone of us who suffered or served or who is simply racist against the Irish could choose to adopt a selfish agenda; anyone of us could choose to be narrow minded focused on 1 person to the conflict; anyone of us could demand moral justice out of context to history but it’s all a fools errand.

    Alternatively, we can all sit together and engage.

    You know, that having the courage of your own position which enables you to engage, eyeball to eyeball, with those you once hated?

    Having that generosity of spirit that says this evolution of Nations is much greater than me or our family suffering?

    Having that humanity which says: I will try walk in your shoes to understand?

    Having that magnanimity that reaches out stating: we won’t let anyone else suffer.

    Anyone of us can harp back to the past whether. One thing is for certain: none of us can change 1 jot what has happened.

    However, we can, this day, choose to meet people, interact with them and judge them on their words and actions in the here & now.

    Martin McGuinness is elected by a size-able democratic mandate. He is dFM by the constitutional arrangement established here in Northern Ireland. His duty is to serve all the people of Northern Ireland, here and now. He is entitled to be a persuader for Irish Republicanism, just as all people for the Kingdom must choose to persuade on it’s merit.

    • Kennybhoy

      “History is full of soldiers 1 day fighting and the next day sharing a cuppa with former enemies.”

      Soldiers? Maybe… but no’ inevitably. Who would sit down and share a cuppa with, for example, the SS? And terrorists are not soldiers. There is a difference.

      • Glenn Bradley

        During WW2 Hitler referred to the French Resistance and indeed UK Airborne Forces as ‘terrorists’. Successive His or Her Majesty’s Governments once referred to Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela as ‘terrorists’. It’s a label created for comfort so that people don’t need to think too deeply.

        Terrorism has no specific international criminal law definition and so the common definition refers to any violent act intended to create fear. Given that reality there are many who could be rightly labelled as ‘terrorists’ throughout British and Irish society, not just those in PIRA, UVF, UDA etc.

        Peace building and creating stability for the generations to come is exactly about sitting down with people with questionable pasts. It’s exactly about engaging, debating and resolving issues that led to violence or acts of terror. It’s about stepping outside comfort zones, engaging with former enemies and learning to resolve issues without the threat of violence.

        Specific to the SS reference, after WW2 West Germany transitioned to a reformed, model democracy. Many former Nazi’s including members of the SA and SS were chosen for senior government posts, Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger but 1 example so yes Allied Soldiers and Politicians did meet with the likes of the SS.

        • Kennybhoy

          As per my first post on this thread above there is the pragmatic acceptance of morally repugnant necessity. And then there is the more difficult practice of genuine forgivesss. And then there is immoral equivalence mongering. I leave it to your conscience to decide into which category this obviously much rehearsed effort of yours belongs…

          • Glenn Bradley

            “I leave it to your conscience to decide into which category this obviously much rehearsed effort of yours belongs…”

            With the greatest respect, I was replying & answering statements you made in your 1st post, some of which hold no accuracy to facts or reality.

            We don’t live in a moral world so I’ll not pretend that we do, nor will I self righteously appoint my morals as above or better than anyone else.

            You’ve your perception, I’ve mine. We clearly disagree on the fundamental risks required with regard authentic peace building for the generations to come. Time will tell whose perception is correct.

  • Paddy O Farrell

    Another blog to plug her ridiculous book.

    • Kennybhoy

      lol

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Go on home British soldiers, go on home
    Ain`t you got no “”””ing homes of your own?
    Sing it for yourselves, lads.

    • Kennybhoy

      Back under yer rock pond life!

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Mine`s a double Irish with a Guinness chaser.
    Do you know how to make an Irish car bomb? Drop a shot glass of Irish whiskey into half a glass of Guinness.

  • Oisín SF

    Look: do you want an end to armed conflict, or not?

    In the absence of a clear, outright military victory by either side, what do you suggest?

    In the absence of a shared framework, do you expect either side to unilaterally accept the moral framework for assigning guilt or culpability of the other side?

    Does it not make sense to work from a platform of political responsibility without that framework for liability?

    Elizabeth Windsor is the head of the armed forces that – unlike the Federal troops that enforced Civil Rights in America – enforced the status quo of a systemically bigoted state through the end of a gun.

    It’s not easy for us either.

  • CraigStrachan

    When you consider that the end-result of the peace process – after all the uncomfortable compromises along the way – has been the neutralisation of the IRA and the copper-fastening of partition, the most likely explanation is that McGuinness worked for British intelligence.

    • Kennybhoy

      You now the joke about any given PIRA Army Council meeting…? :-)

      • CraigStrachan

        Tell it again, Kenny!

        • Kennybhoy

          At any given meeting at least one works for MI5, another for MI6, another for Army Int and another for RUC Special Branch and none of them any the wiser about the others! :-)

          It was always easier to buy the cunni than slot or gaol them. Kept their activities within “acceptable” limits…

          • SonOfSands

            Kept their activities within “acceptable” limits…

            I’m sure the city of London would disagree – what did the last one cost? 1 Billion i think the figure was…..

            • CraigStrachan

              Well, now the city of London is back, better than ever. Shame about your cousin.

              • SonOfSands

                Yeah but at least they know where to go should you lot start you bully boy antics again. You’re quite a vile individual.

                • CraigStrachan

                  You think the IRA still has the capability? No one else does…

                • SonOfSands

                  The IRA have disbanded – they are no longer on the scene – no need to retain an army once a war has been won

                • CraigStrachan

                  Well, if your definition of victory is SF accepting the principle of partition and helping administer British rule, that’s something we agree on. I also regard the GFA as a victory.

                • SonOfSands

                  It was a victory as for the first time the British government have agreed that once the people of Northern Ireland decide a United Ireland is their desired fate – the British will ensure it happens regardless of the unionists – from the last census figures – that’s only a few years away now :)

                • CraigStrachan

                  Right, the people of Northern Ireland will decide in a 6-county referendum. For long enough, that was rejected by republicans as “partitionist” and “an internal solution” that they would never agree to. Until they did.

                  As for that coming nationalist majority, it’s been only FIVE YEARS away…for the past thirty-five years. Heard it!

                • SonOfSands

                  Check out the 2011 census figures and then you will see it never mind hear it :)

                • CraigStrachan

                  You’d think SF would be clamouring for a border poll, then, wouldn’t you?

                • SonOfSands

                  Have you ever been to Ireland? I mean ever? SF are clamouring for a border poll. After the asembly election in 2016 they will get one too.

                • alabenn

                  Will the Republic accept you and can they afford to, that will be the hardest part.

                • SonOfSands

                  It is enshrined in the republics constitution that Unity will be accepted and promoted. It is also enshrined in the GFA that once a border poll is called both governments will promote Irish Unity.
                  We are not about having Northern Ireland swallowed by the Republic – unity will mean the creation of an entirely new country that will better the lives of every single man, woman and child on our Island.

                • CraigStrachan

                  What’s in the GFA is that the Secretary of State for NI “shall” call a border poll, when s/he determines there is a demand for one. Pretty hard to make that determination, when polls show support for the Union growing steadily amongst Catholics in the years since the GFA, don’t you think?

                • SonOfSands

                  Very easy to make that call actually once SF are the single largest party in the North – Lets see him/her refuse to call one once that occurs.

                • CraigStrachan

                  Easy peasy. SF could become the largest party with under 30% of the vote. And even they don’t want a poll they know they’ll lose.

                • SonOfSands

                  Even if its lost – the GFA states that once a border poll is called another will be called automatically every 7 years until unity is achieved – if you fail the first time……

                • CraigStrachan

                  No, it doesn’t say that. It says there will not be another poll for at least seven years after which it is again up to the British Secretary of State to determine that a demand for one exists. Nothing automatic about it. Quite the opposite in fact.

                • alabenn

                  You can enshrine as much as you like, until the hard headed reality of cost is addressed moonshine would be more apt description of that position for now.

                • SonOfSands

                  Can’t put a price on freedom :)

                • CraigStrachan

                  Yes, many times. In fact, I was there when Gerry Adams predicted that there would be a border poll to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Easter rising in 1916.

                  I remember having a wee chuckle at the time…

                • SonOfSands

                  Maybe not 2016 more likely 2018 – though you can chuckle at the thought of SF being in government in both the North and the south by 2016 – It’s a kinda unity don’t you think? :)

                • CraigStrachan

                  Yes, I remember certain people predicting SF would be in government in the south by 2011. Didn’t happen then, although I see no reason why a constitutional nationalist party like SF shouldn’t get into government there one day. Maybe in a coalition with Fine Gael?

                  And I rather suspect Gerry’s timetable for a border poll will slip by more than a couple of years. But, to be fair, there were a lot of exuberant predictions being made in the aftermath of the GFA. I believe even poor old Joe Cahill said he expected to die in a united Ireland. In the event, he died in the United Kingdom!

                • SonOfSands

                  In coalition with FG? – you show your complete ignorance of Irish politics – SF would rather be in opposition for a 100 years than enter into government with the right wing blue-shirts of FG. That party makes the Tories look like a party of the left.

                  True the hero Joe Cahill didn’t live to see his dream come true. His children will though……

                • CraigStrachan

                  Ah, but SF is now a constitutional nationalist party just like FG. And Adams and McGuinness have followed Michael Collins in the proud tradition of compromise with the reality of partition, and British rule in Ireland. They have more in common with FG than you allow.

                • AndrewMelville

                  Fool. That has always been the Brutish position. It will never happen. A clear majority of Ulstermen (including about half of the a Roman Catholics) want to stay British. Nice to see that they have ambition, taste and common sense.

    • SonOfSands

      Any evidence to support your silly theory? The republican movement is more powerful now than at any time during the IRA campaign. Maybe British intelligence made another balls up or maybe they too want a united Ireland….

      • Kennybhoy

        ROTFLMFAO

        What age are you…?

        • SonOfSands

          Lets see – 2nd largest party in Northern Ireland, soon to be the largest. Soon to be the largest opposition party in the South. Richest political party in Ireland. More TDs, MPs, MLA’s, MEPs, LC’s than at any time since 1918 – open your eyes KennyBhoy. :)

      • CraigStrachan

        The republican movement is indeed more powerful, now that they have given up violence and become constitutional nationalists who have accepted partition and are willing to administer British rule in Ireland for the forseeable future.

      • Radford_NG

        At last you’ve got the message!The British establishment in Westminster/Whitehall wanted rid of those b——s in the North;but they could not do it while the provos were attacking British interests.

        In just the same way they want rid of Gibraltar and the Falklands[but that is not so easy].

        • SonOfSands

          Kinda agree with you on that one. The British should see the unionist for what they really are – backward, sectarian – spongers I believe Harold Wilson once referred to them

  • SonOfSands

    Your complete obsession with MMcG and the desire that he should be imprisoned onr banned from representing people of Ireland at the the highest levels of government would be more compelling if you also demanded that the British Army soldiers that caused murder and mayhem on the streets of Ireland were equally hunted down. Remember over 400 people murdered by the British Army and only 2 convicted of murder..Now who really got an amnesty??

    • Colonel Mustard

      The IRA murdered between 600-650 civilians and 60% of all the casualties. The British Army killed 10% of all the casualties, of which nearly 50% were paramilitaries.

      When you take up arms against your own people and kill indiscriminately don’t whine when you receive return fire.

      • SonOfSands

        Don’t expect justice if you’re not willing to give it yourselves. It’s amazing to me that only in Northern Ireland would the British public accept their Armed forces murdering 14 year old girls on their way to Mass, innocent men protesting for basic human rights. Remember it was your forces that brought war, torture and murder to the streets of Belfast before the PIRA were even formed. Just like you did to Iraq. British hypocrisy knows no bounds.

        • Radford_NG

          No;the British Army was sent in to protect your people from ethnic cleansing at a time when Dublin was setting up refugee camps along the border.

          Some four years later the hard-minded men of the IRA declared there was no longer a place for armed struggle and opted for politics…..this call was ignored by the hot-headed young Maoists who formed the Provos.

          • SonOfSands

            Partially correct – We welcomed the British army as our protectors from a loyalist pogrom until the British army began to turn their guns on us – remember that the government placed the Army under the control of the Unionist government until 1972. It was never going to help the catholic community when it was under the control of a sectarian fascist government.

            • Radford_NG

              The British Army should never have been under the control of the Unionists;and should not of been on the streets on `Bloody Sunday`.

              • SonOfSands

                Once a state turns it’s guns on its own people – war against that state is not only justified, it is morally right.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  It’s never morally right to murder innocent civilians. You can try to justify what Republican extremists did but it won’t wash.

                • AndrewMelville

                  Rubbish

        • Colonel Mustard

          Get lost. I’m not interested in the tripe you spout.

        • Kennybhoy

          “…murdering 14 year old girls on their way to Mass…”

          Name and date please? Would this be 13 year old Margaret Gargan? God be good to her.

      • SonOfSands

        So the IRA murders but the British Army kills…Can you explain the difference?

        • Kennybhoy

          Identical actions can have completely different moral content ya intellectual pygmy.

          • SonOfSands

            How is the deliberate shooting in the back of a 14 year old girl in any way moral? You’re a hypocrite Kenny.

            • Kennybhoy

              Kathleen Feeney by any chance? God be good to her. She was actually murdered by PIRA. They adnitted same nearly a decade back.

          • SonOfSands

            no response to that Kenny? didn’t think so…

        • AndrewMelville

          Terrorists vs the army. Thugs vs decent men. Simple really.

        • Colonel Mustard

          No-one needed to be killed if your IRA thugs had not been intent on murder in the first place. You could have campaigned peacefully. Instead you began a terror campaign. Trying for moral relativity just makes you more repugnant.

      • Kennybhoy

        “Your IRA brought war and mayhem to Northern Ireland. No-one else.”

        First bombs were planted by Ascendantists to frame OIRA.

        First British soldier to die, albeit the lad was home on leave, was killed by RUC when they machine gunned a block of flats
        .
        First RUC officer to die was killed by Ascendantists.

        Army intervened to prevent an Ascendantist pogrom and were attacked by Ascendantist mobs. On a personal note my older comrades were certain that during these riots the first shots fired at them were fired by Ascendantists. Said comrades also pretty certain that they slotted some of the cunni but the bodies were removed…

        • Kennybhoy

          Having taken SonOfSands to task for making cyphers of the dead I note that I neglected to name the soldier and the RUC officer mentioned in this post. Mea maxima culpa…

          Trooper Hugh McCabe and Constable Victor Arbuckle. God be good to them.

  • Kennybhoy

    Most wars/conflicts end like this Maister Murray. I doubt that McGuinness has any more innocent blood on his hands than, say, Menachem Begin. An Irgun terrorist, he was banned from entry into Britain in the 1950s, went on to be PM of Israel and do lunch at Downing Street …

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix

    • Mr Grumpy

      So you agree with Murray that there is no serious doubt that he has a considerable quantity of innocent blood on his hands.

      • SonOfSands

        Of course he does, as does any general in a war. Just like your former generals and police chiefs, not to mention your Prime Ministers. That is the very nature of war.

        • AndrewMelville

          Not a general. Just something squishy one might find on the smoke of one’s shoe.

          • SonOfSands

            Still good enough to dine with your Queen as an equal :)

            • AndrewMelville

              The Queen has enormous dignity. She has held her nose to do her duty and greet many murderers. Too bad she didn’t offer him a Sand-wich. That would have been funny.

              And if course they were not dining as equals he was the guest of his monarch. Nice to see the thug bend his knee after all.

              • SonOfSands

                Funny to whom? You’re correct your Queen as enormous dignity, a pity many of her subjects do not.

                • AndrewMelville

                  Funny to any normal person who thinks Robert Sands was a waste of skin, along with all his fellow URA thugs and murderers.

                  I’m glad that the UK has good relations with Southern Ireland. We showed great restraint to overlook the foul traitors that formed it, ethnically cleansed Protestants and gave succour to the Nazis in WW2.

                  I’m glad too that there is peace in Northern Ireland and that most Roman Catholics and Protestants can live together in peace.

                  I am sad that thugs and murderers from the IRA and “Loyalist” groups continue to plague their communities and have been spared from the punishment they so richly deserve.

                • SonOfSands

                  The IRA have disbanded and handed over the struggle to SF – only loyalist thugs terrorize their own community in Northern Ireland.

                  You comments on the South are highly ignorant of the facts. Why would we join forces with a country that only 20 years before almost completely destroyed our country – no thanks. Neutral we are and neutral we will stay. Though we never interned a single Allied soldier who happened to find themselves in the republic unlike the Germans.

                  “ethnically cleansed Protestants” – wrong again – we just made 4 of them our President

                • AndrewMelville

                  I’m afraid you are the one who is wrong.

                  The several filthy versions of the IRA are still terrorizing their communities.

                  One would have hoped that Southern Ireland would have chosen to join the allies rather than giving succour to the Nazis. Alas it was not to be – to its eternal shame.

                  And yes, the terrorists who became the government of the Irish Free State had all participated in the killing of Protestants. The population of Protestants dropped sharply in both absolute numbers and as a percentage of the population as they were violently attacked, driven out, denied employed and generally discriminated against.

                  The (also unacceptable) condition of Roman Catholics in Ulster was always more favourable than that of Protestants in the south.

                  Token Protestant Presidents don’t change that shameful record of the destruction of Ireland’s largest and most accomplished minority.

                • MacRiada

                  I can give a list as long as your arm detailing the aid the Irish gave the Allies. Will you be prepared to write a retraction if I do. Or is this just an empty exercise where you vent some prejudice?

                  Why is there no animosity between the different faiths in the Republic of Ireland?

                  Victoria White, talking to the BBC about her father’s book: Minority Report, “an anatomy of the Southern Irish Protestant.’

                  “My father believed that no minority in similar political situation to the
                  Irish ascendancy as such had ever been as well treated as the Irish Protestant by the Irish Republic.”

                  In his Protestants in a Catholic state: Ireland’s privileged minority (1983), Kurt Bowen reported that in 1955 80% of Protestants worked primarily with other Protestants and 90% worked first for a Protestant firm. The higher up one went within the managerial hierarchy, the more Protestant exclusivity was encountered.

                  Four-and-a-half per cent of senior civil servants were Protestant in 1961, while senior banking positions had a 25% quotient in 1972.

                • AndrewMelville

                  I know that the Southern Irish leaned towards the Allies in their neutrality. But that is not the same as taking an active and clear stance against evil They didn’t do that. They chose to remain neutral. End of.

                  I am quite sure that individual Protestant families did well and were happy in the the South. But that is at the level of anecdote. At a population level, they were driven out through violence.

                  I am sorry that these facts are so shameful.

                • TheUntalentedRiply

                  Jesus, it’s like reading some warped pro-Irish Republican version of 1984. I assume that you don’t actually live in Ulster? Punishment beatings, knee-cappings, intelligence gathering – all continued by the IRA (albeit by even their cowardly sub-human standards) they don’t have the guts to admit that they are behind these little outrages (against their own community of course).

                • SonOfSands

                  Actually I live in Belfast and I’m fully aware that the IRA disbanded in 2002, if you have any information to the contrary I suggest you contact the PSNI as they seem to have missed it :)

                • CraigStrachan

                  The ” succour to Nazis” needs to be balanced with the many thousands of folk from the South who volunteered to fight Nazism in the forces of the Crown. They were unacknowledged by the southern statelet for too long. We should acknowledge them here.

                • SonOfSands

                  And I must say I actually agree with you on that point – Southern Ireland bent the rules of neutrality in many ways to help the Allies.

                • AndrewMelville

                  I agree. Britain has always welcomed the Irish people for temporary employment, permanent settlement and military service. Many Irish served bravely in WW2 – despite the hideous example of the governmental leaders.

                • MacRiada

                  The Irish government didn’t give Hitler Czechoslovakia, or let Fascist Italy through Suez to conquer part of Africa (then again Britain had many colonies there)…or sign the naughty document with stalin
                  Ireland, was one of the few modern democracies in the world at the time, its leaders opted for neutrality, albeit with plenty of support to the Allies.

                • AndrewMelville

                  It also didn’t fight against the Axis. Instead it gave them succour.

                  I’m so sorry for you. You are clearly deeply ashamed of your country’s war record. As you should be; it does you credit.

                • MacRiada

                  No, it didn’t give them ‘succour’.
                  The OSS regarded Ireland’s support during the war as akin to being a full participant. Coast watching service; weather reports; use of Irish diplomats for information gathering in Europe; cooperation between G2 and British intelligence; The Donegal Corridor; allowing the RAF to base a spotter plane at Foynes; allowing the RN to have armed tugboats in Cork (and I think another one in Donegal). Ireland maintained its own armed forces. It supplied Britain with a secure food supply, indeed the Irish merchant navy lost many hundreds of men. Etc., etc.
                  I would say the majority of Irishmen who joined the British Army (including from my own family) thought that neutrality was the best option for their homeland.
                  At the outbreak of the war: almost a third of Europe was fascist, much of it was communist, and much of the rest was good old fashioned imperialist with subject people all around the globe.
                  Ireland was one of the few modern democracies that existed. It is one of the oldest surviving Republics.

                • MacRiada

                  Andrew,

                  “I’m glad that the UK has good relations with Southern Ireland. We showed great restraint to overlook the foul traitors that formed it, ethnically cleansed Protestants and gave succour to the Nazis in WW2”.

                  The Irish State was formed by the people of Ireland who decided to elect representatives who established the first Dáil -approx. 80 out of 100 chose to establish the Independent Irish parliament -sadly the British state chose to ignore the clear democratic will of the people (yet again) and used military force to snuff out the will of the people.

                  You are delusional if you think these people, and their representatives were ‘traitors’.

                  The first elected President was a protestant -indeed a quarter of Ireland’s presidents have been of that faith. Some of the greatest Irish heroes have been of that faith. It is a nonsense to say the state ‘ethnically cleansed’ protestants. I might add that it is still illegal for a catholic to be even married to the head of state in the UK.

                  As for your allegation that it gave ‘succour to the Nazis’, again nonsense. The Irish Republic was one of the few democracies in the world at that time; its constitution was the first to give express recognition to the Jewish faith. The country opted for neutrality (as did most countries in Europe, and indeed the US at the beginning). Nevertheless, the Irish government gave extensive aid to the Allies. The RAF even had a spotter plane based in Foynes, etc.

                  Sadly, at the close of the war, their was still a place in Western Europe where there were a subject people living in a one party police state -and it was a region of the UK.

                • AndrewMelville

                  1. I’m not disputing their election. I am describing their character. Traitors in time of war. Active killers of Britons and Protestants. Sorry if you don’t like the truth.

                  2. I agree that the Protestant community produced some of Ireland’s greatest citizens. In fact I said so. All the greater shame that they were ethnically cleansed in the Irish Free State. Token Protestant Presidents don’t change that sorry record. Sorry if you don’t like the truth.

                  3. It chose to be neutral in WW2. That decision helped the Nazis. Its President, the former terrorist, De Valera, even send condolences to the German government on learning of Hitler’s death. Sorry if you don’t like the truth.

                  4. Ulster was such a horrible place that Roman Catholic Southern Irish flocked to it! Protestant Southern Irish had to flee for their lives from Cork, etc. etc. etc. Sorry if you don’t like the truth.

                • MacRiada

                  (1) If you ‘don’t dispute the election’ then how on earth can you call them ‘traitors’? Quite clearly they were the very definition of patriots. If you don’t dispute the election, then how can you support the military violence the British state used to try and snuff out democracy in Ireland?

                  (2) Protestants were not ethnically cleansed in the South. They enjoyed equality with their fellow citizens, in a way that Catholics in the North did not. What you are calling ‘truth’ is nothing but propoganda designed to offset guilt at how Northern Irish unionists behaved. Even to this day a Catholic couldn’t be head of state in the UK. I believe the number of Anglicans fell in Northern Ireland after 1920, I suppose they were ‘ethnically cleansed’ were they?

                  The 2006 Census in the Republic of Ireland showed that the numbers of people describing themselves as members of the Church of Ireland increased in every county. Strange isn’t it, that when the Irish economy started to grow strongly that numbers began to increase, hmmm.

                  In the 2011 census of Northern Ireland 48% described themselves as Protestant, which was a decline of approximately 5% from the 2001 census. Were they ‘ethnically cleansed’ ?

                  Would you like to have another go at understanding the ‘truth’ you seem to care so much about.

                  (3) Ireland was a democracy (I know you are struggling with the concept) the people wanted to remain neutral. De Valera, Patriot, Statesman, President of the League of Nations, called on the League, and in particular Britain, to try and stop Fascist Italy taking over part of Africa -Britain didn’t even bother closing the Suez (it had plenty of its own African colonies). It was Britain who signed the Munich Agreement that gave Hitler another small country in return for ‘peace’. De Valera just followed empty protocol when he gave his condolences to the German ambasodor (when he was overseeing the production of the Irish Constitution of 1937, he included an express recognition of the Jewish faith -the first such enclusion in a constitution and very different to the legal developments elsewhere in Europe).

                  Ireland aided the Allies, and in maintaining neutrality and minding its own borders, it meant that Britain did not have to divert anti aircraft guns and fighter planes to protect Irish cities etc. Ireland had a better pound for pound record in arresting spies. Ireland’s G2 worked closely with British intelligence, and when the British asked the Irish government to establish a coastal watching service -they did, and the concrete shelters are still on the west coast. The OSS and the British Ambasodor to Ireland, all commented on the support the Irish government provided. The story of Ireland’s support for the Allies is a very interesting one -almost as interesting as Britain’s reluctance to hear it.

                  Again, your ‘truth’ looks decidedly untruthful.

                  (4) Are you now claiming that active descrimination did not occur in Northern Ireland? I thought you cared about the truth.

                • AndrewMelville

                  1. They were traitors to their country in time of war. Simple really. If the Women’s Knitting Guild votes in a new President and sells military secrets to the national enemy, then they are traitors who fairly elected a new leader for their guild. Geddit?

                  2. I’m sorry, but the Protestants were driven out of the South. It’s not happening now, so the ones that are left are kind if like favourite pets. Similar to French Protesants, everyone like the few that were left after most were murdered or driven out of the country. Oh my ain’t we tolerant!

                  3. Why do you keep telling me that Southern Ireland was a democracy. I know this, believe it, have never doubted it or suggested otherwise. I am equally sure it was the democratic will of the Southern Irish they they give succour to the Nazis and remain neutral in WW2. I have never disputed that. I merely point out how shameful a record it us.

                  4. Again you keep making things up. I have never that that Roman Catholics were never discriminated against in Ulster. I do say that their treatment was much better than the treatment of Protestants in the South. The pattern of settlement shows how those groups agreed with my assessment quite emphatically.

                • MacRiada

                  You have failed to prove a single point you made.

                  You have failed to engage with any of the facts and statistics I have set out -doing your best to sidestep them and their impact upon your comments, and then you just repeat yourself again.

                  You are making things worse by insulting the southern Protestant community.

                  I have backed up my points with facts, while you rely on myth.

                  To say that Catholics were treated better in Northern Ireland, than Protestants in the Republic of Ireland, shows that you have no interest in the truth.

                  You say that I keep ‘making things up’.

                  Here is what you said previously:

                  If “Ulster was such a horrible place that Roman Catholic Southern Irish flocked to it!”

                  Clearly, this is questioning the descrimination that Catholics faced.

                • AndrewMelville

                  Nonsense on every point.

                  It’s ok to be ashamed of your country’s past. It’s appropriate, but stop telling porkies to deflect.

                • TheUntalentedRiply

                  Such as yourself?

              • Jackthesmilingblack

                Hyphenating “sandwich”, don`t tell me Jock McNutter is back.

                • AndrewMelville

                  I’m always up for a picnic with hunger strikers. So long as their gaolers have used hoses to wash their nasty selves.

            • TheUntalentedRiply

              So do Corgis and other dogs.

    • SonOfSands

      Or a certain Mrs Thatcher or a Mr Blair

      • Kennybhoy

        Look up “immoral equivalence” eejit.

        Oh and do me a favour and take back that up vote ya’ morally challenged loon…

        • SonOfSands

          Kenny – eat a snickers…..

    • Tom M

      Slight difference. Begin was fighting to establish his own country (which had been promised but not delivered by the UK government). When the UN agreed on the partition plan for Israel Begin became part of the State Of Israel’s government. He didn’t become part of the government he had been fighting as McGuinness has done.
      When he visited the UK Begin came as a member of a foreign power not like McGuiness who, as a retired combatant committed to an armed struggle, now dines with the very organisation he vowed to overthrow.

      • AndrewMelville

        Really no difference – both were/ are terrorist, racist bigot thugs who got away with it and made good.

        • Tom M

          Wouldn’t be a comment these days unless somebody was a racist I don’t suppose.

          • AndrewMelville

            I agree that the term is overused.

  • anyfool

    Tourists can now walk around most places in Northern Ireland, that is about it, for that thousands of people died, the political class debased the law of the land and they dispensed with all honour in the upper echelons of governance in doing so.
    This became the de facto position that Blair inherited, under him this became standard practice with a vengeance, you only need to look at the damage done to the whole of the UK under him.
    That a human dung beetle like McGuinness is now allowed to enter the highest reaches of society is a stain on the dignity, of all who died for this country throughout its existence.

    • SonOfSands

      MMcG was elected by the people of Northern Ireland. What right have you to dictate who we can and can’t elect?

      • anyfool

        You say.
        MMcG was elected by the people of Northern Ireland.
        Its welfare bills are paid by the Westminster government, go and ask the Dublin government if wants to take you lot on its books, its divided people supported leaders so degenerate that each in turn had to be protected by military force.

        • SonOfSands

          I don’t say it, he was! He was elected MP, MLA, Deputy first Minister. You talk about degenerate leaders? Have a look at your own. The war criminals of Thatcher and Blair. Yeah, the British would never elect a degenerate leader…….

          • anyfool

            You still have not answered, the piper calls the tune, the hated British even as recently as three years ago help the south out with financial backing, that gives people the right to comment.
            I also noticed that the scum who call themselves Irish Americans supplied trash like McGuinness with plenty of money to buy weapons, weapons they were supposed to use to murder British troops.
            Actually the filth you and you kind support used the weapons to kill more Catholics than the so called Loyalists and the Army combined.
            When as I said earlier the British helped out the whole of Ireland where were the sewer rats from Boston and New York when you really needed them.
            Take your mindless drivel that sours your life and see how much food that puts on your families table, because the likes of McGuinness and his boss the child molester protector Gerry Addams will not

            • SonOfSands

              I think your name sums you up quite well – fool :)

              • DWWolds

                And doesn’t your’s?

                • Jackthesmilingblack

                  yours

              • TheUntalentedRiply

                Can we take it that, as son of sands, you too wish to commit suicide, perhaps in some pointless, lingering and self-aggrandising manner? The plain fact is that in a democratic system, those who hide amongst the civil population and plant bombs or shoot unarmed civilians whilst hiding their features are not soldiers. They are terrorists; cowardly scum.

                • SonOfSands

                  Like the French resistance maybe?

          • ADW

            Why was Thatcher a war criminal? She only went to war after British territory was attacked. Afterwards, the Argie Junta fell and the country became a democracy. She should be a national hero to the Argies, if anything.

            • SonOfSands

              Ordering the summary execution of citizens of the UK makes her a war criminal. Belgrano makes her a war criminal.

              • ADW

                The Belgrano’s own captain, Hector Bonzo, disagreed. He accepted that as a naval vessel in international waters during wartime, the Belgrano was a legitimate target. And don’t forget, a few days before the sinking, the Argentine gvt had been warned by the British that they would not limit actions to the exclusion zone if Argentine military units were deemed a threat. The task-force commander, Admiral Woodward, deemed the Belgrano a threat. What was Thatcher supposed to do – countermand her commanders on the ground? No politician with any sense would have done that.

                • SonOfSands

                  International law disagrees but then again that means nothing to any British government – anything on the murder of UK and Irish citizens? Torture of UK and Irish citizens?

                • ADW

                  International law does not disagree. The UN charter provides for the use of force in self defence. British territory was attacked. Britain acted in self defence, by among other things sinking an enemy vessel which had (by the open admission of its OWN CAPTAIN) hostile intention. Britain never complained about the sinking of its warships, or the merchant vessel Atlantic Conveyor. What was the difference between Britain sinking the Belgrano and Britain sinking the Bismark?

                  As for the troubles, Sinn Fein/IRA would have liked to have assassinated every British politician in favour of the union, but did not have the capacity. Britain had the capacity to assassinate all of Sinn Fein, but chose not to.

                  I’m not saying all of Britain’s actions during the Troubles were admirable – but neither were those of the IRA. Wars/crime fighting tend to be like that.

                • SonOfSands

                  Who mentioned SF members? I’m writing of innocent citizens Mrs T’s government was involved in collusion with and directing of loyalist paramilitaries to murder innocent civilians. Civilians which she claimed were citizens of the country that she governed. All of which is confirmed by Sir John Stevens and numerous other investigations That is a crime is it not?

      • AndrewMelville

        You are indeed free to elect loathsome vermin such as McGuiness, because you live in the British state which has defeated the vile terrorist thugs of the IRA.

        You’re welcome.

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          Amazing the number of people that still can`t spell “Guinness”. All you have to do is reach in the bin and pull out an empty.

  • swatnan

    When the definitive truth is told about McGuiness, they’ll say : He served his country well.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      I think you’ll find the criminal terrorist bully is loathed and feared in equal measure in the South as well. Sentient beings down there realise having his type in power is a truly dangerous matter especially in a small state like their own. It doesn’t take too much poison to spread through the entire body politic.

      • SonOfSands

        Clearly you don’t reside in or visit the ROI very much……

        • Hexhamgeezer

          Check my privilege? How English.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Indeed Mr M. Personally I’d like to see some money spent on an enquiry into how much incriminating and inconvenient information has been deliberately destroyed by the British Govt/Civil Service. An amount on a par with that blown on ‘Bloody’ Sunday and Finucane enquiries f’rinstance would seem fair and proportionate.

    • SonOfSands

      There is an awful lot of of information that has been destroyed by the British state in relation to the Army colluding with Loyalist sectarian murderers to kill innocent civilians. Documents that show that the highest members of successive British governments ordered the murder of their own citizens. Including my own cousin. Who was 19 years old and shot dead while holding his new born son. Sentenced to death by MI5 – his crime. He was a catholic.

      • AndrewMelville

        Sorry for your cousin’s death. Unless he was an IRA thug in which case good riddance. There was a war on; harsh measures were required to preserve the state from the utterly foul IRA cowards. We won. Now we thrown that victory away. Pity.

        • SonOfSands

          Thank you – He was a innocent man, nothing to do with any paramilitary group. Though his death led to many a young man becoming a member of said groups. We can disagree on who won the war but the fact remains – it was the war that changed the British state’s entire thinking with regards to NI. They want out and the sooner the better.

          • AndrewMelville

            I am ashamed that most Britons wish to abandon the majority of people in NI, both Protestant and Roman Catholic who want to live peaceably under the British Crown.

            • SonOfSands

              You’re probably ashamed they gave up India too – racist imperialist backward nutter that you are

              • Andy

                Fascist scum like you never understand that a huge number of people don’t want to live under your jackboot and that of racist Irish Nationalism.

              • AndrewMelville

                What a silly thing to say.

      • Andy

        And what about all those people (including the Queen’s uncle) who were murder by the IRA and Nationalist because they were protestants ? No one cares about them.

      • CraigStrachan

        I did a quick search of the CAIN archive and couldn’t find a victim that fits the description of a 19-year-old Catholic civilian shot dead by loyalists while holding a newborn.

        What was your cousin’s name?

        • Kennybhoy

          Seconded.

          Incidentally. For all of those seeking insight into the Trouble CAIn is an absolutely invaluable resource.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        Oooh! Victim Top Trumps! Can we all play?

        • Kennybhoy

          Undignified.

          • Hexhamgeezer

            as is co-opting (alleged) dead relatives to add weight to a point..

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