PIRA/Sinn Fein: A Movement Without Morals, Part Five

La Mon: No Greater Mark of Shame

The Provisional IRA have many shameful episodes in their dark and shadowy history, the deliberate targeting and murder of civilians, the killing of infants, the ‘Disappeared’, all shameful, repugnant acts, but few PIRA/SF attacks were as shocking, as blatantly sectarian or as gruesome as the La Mon bombing. Not only because 12 Protestant civilians, the majority of them women, were murdered, but also because of the way in which they murdered. Not riddled with gunfire, not blown to pieces, but burned alive. Just let that sink in for a moment. Twelve innocent civilians burned alive. Some of those poor people burned beyond recognition. Can you imagine the agony, the suffering? Can you put yourself in the place of the relatives, given the grizzly task of identifying the charred remains of a sister, brother, daughter or spouse? I cannot begin to imagine what those families went through, what they must still go through on a daily basis, left traumatised and mentally scarred by the actions of a gang of cowardly, uneducated, delusional republican thugs.

The La Mon House hotel/restaurant sits in the Castlereagh hills, just outside Belfast. Today it is a popular venue for weddings and functions, just as it was in the 1970s. At that time in Ulster, dinner-dances were all the rage, with almost every club, association, society and fraternity in the country holding an annual dinner-dance. The Irish Collie Club and the Northern Ireland Junior Motorcycle Club were no different. The two clubs having hired out the ‘Peacock Room’ and the ‘Gransha Room’ of the La Mon hotel/restaurant respectively, to hold their annual functions. On the night of Friday the 17th of February, 1978, the two dinner-dances were underway. The diners had just sat down to the first course of their meal when a Provo incendiary device, comprised of a small blast-bomb attached to four large canisters filled with a Napalm like mixture of petrol and sugar, exploded outside the ‘Peacock Room’. (The sugar having been added to the mixture to make it stick to whatever it hit.) The device had been placed against one of the function room’s large picture windows and when it detonated the explosion created an instantaneous and devastating fireball, 40 feet high and 60 feet wide, which engulfed the room. A single, vague warning had been telephoned in by PIRA/Sinn Fein, just 9 minutes before the bomb exploded. Later they gave miserable excuses for having not given adequate warning and thus avoiding, or at least minimising, the number of deaths and devastating injuries, at one point the Irish nationalist murder gang even suggested that the huge loss of life was down to the UDR, a unit of the regiment having stopped the gang’s car after they had planted their deadly firebomb and were, supposedly, on their way to a public call-box to telephone in a warning. Anyone with even a small amount of knowledge about PIRA/Sinn Fein however can see through their pernicious lies and vile fabrications. An inadequate, deliberately vague warning was given so the Provos could murder as many Protestants as possible whilst still maintaining the pretence that they gave a prior warning in order to avoid casualties. A cynical tactic used by these fanatics all too often.

Gordon Crothers (30) and his wife Joan (26) murdered by PIRA/SF at La Mon for not being Roman Catholic.

Gordon Crothers (30) and his wife Joan (26) murdered by PIRA/SF at La Mon for not being Roman Catholic.

“Like a Scene From Hell”

The massive fireball that engulfed the ‘Peacock Room’ killed twelve people. Innocent civilians murdered because of their perceived religion. Thirty others suffered horrible burns. Young men and women were left disfigured. Others lost limbs. Some of those injured in the attack are still receiving treatment for their injuries over 35 years after the event! One witness to the carnage described it as being “like a scene from Hell”. The survivors, with their hair and clothing on fire, rushed to escape the burning room. It must surely have been a harrowing scene. It took firemen almost two hours to put out the blaze, such was the intensity of the fire. Some of the victims were found beneath a pile of hot ash and debris, charred beyond all recognition, making identifying them extremely difficult as all their individual human features had been completely burned away. Some of the bodies had shrunk so much in the intense heat, it was first believed that there were children among the victims. One doctor who saw the remains described them as being like “charred logs of wood”.

In the aftermath of the bombing most Protestants recognised it for what it was, a sectarian attack against their community. They called for a return of the death penalty. More than 2000 people attended a lunchtime service organised by the Orange Institution at City Hall in Belfast. Belfast International Airport shut for an hour, while many workers in Belfast and Larne stopped work for a time. Workers at a number of factories said they were contributing their half-day’s pay to a fund for the victims and their families. A team of 100 RUC detectives was deployed in the investigation. As part of the investigation, 25 people were arrested in Belfast, including Gerry Adams. Adams was released from custody in July 1978 and became President of Sinn Fein shortly after. There were just two prosecutions in relation to the La Mon massacre. A Belfast man was charged with the twelve murders but was acquitted. He was convicted of PIRA membership but successfully appealed. In September, 1981, another Belfast man, Robert Murphy, was given twelve life sentences for the manslaughter of those who died. He was freed from prison in 1995, having served just 14 years, a little over one years imprisonment for every life taken at La Mon. Why was this repellent, odious, repugnant creature not charged with 12 counts of murder? As is often the case in Ulster, one is left shaking one’s head in sheer disbelief.

Ethnic Cleansing Of Ulster’s Frontier 

It is very common in literature on Northern Ireland and ‘The Troubles’ to see it portrayed largely in terms of a dominant Protestant majority and a Catholic minority. In the border areas however, it was Protestants who were in the minority and who suffered for it. It has been ignored in large part because it does not fit into the ‘oppressive Protestants/oppressed Catholics’ dichotomy, and yet it is an element of Ulster’s recent past that cannot, and should not, be ignored. It is also one where the brutal sectarian dimension of PIRA/SF is undeniable: the relentless bombing of Protestant businesses, the burning of farms, the shooting up of farmhouses to force the occupants out, and the relentless campaign to kill Protestants (in and out of uniform). One tactic employed by the Irish nationalist murder gangs that roamed throughout the border areas was to kill the only son (often the only child) of middle-aged or elderly Protestant farmers, thus ensuring that ten, twenty or thirty years down the line there would be no-one to inherit the land and it would have to be sold. With many Protestants having been forced out, and with Protestants in the minority to begin with, the buyers of such properties would, almost inevitably, be Irish nationalists. 

This loathsome tactic was used again and again in parts of County Armagh, County Fermanagh, South Down and County Tyrone. Protestants in the affected areas (the few stalwarts who remain) can list literally dozens of names of victims of ‘Only Son Murders’. Of course, some of those killed were part-time members of the UDR, or RUC Reservists, thus giving PIRA/Sinn Fein a way to attempt to justify the killings. At other times such killings were put down to ‘mistaken identity’ or excused by saying that the dead man was ‘not the intended target’. Words used to masque the truth, the truth being that such murders were part of a systematic campaign of Ethnic Cleansing, perpetrated by the Provos against rural, peaceful, working class Protestant communities. 

Ethnic Cleansing: A tactic still employed by Irish nationalism, even now.

Ethnic Cleansing: A tactic still employed by Irish nationalism, even now.

Many of the victims of this tactic were men in their twenties. Unmarried men. The reasoning for this was as simple as it was brutal- ‘Kill the Orange bastards before they have a chance to breed’. You see dear reader, Irish nationalists and republicans are obsessed with numbers- 6, 26, 32, 81, 1798, 1916 etc etc. They are also, rather disturbingly, obsessed with the procreation and mating habits of Protestants. There are even a few Irish nationalist/Gaelic supremacist blogs dedicated to that very subject! In the minds of some of these extremist half-wits, a Roman Catholic majority in NI automatically means the creation of an all-island unitary state, because in their completely sectarian little minds, Roman Catholic and Irish nationalist/republican are interchangeable terms meaning one and the same thing. They endlessly postulate on when the ‘glorious dawn’ will come and Catholics will become a clear majority. They misread and blatantly falsify census data. And they are utterly pre-occupied with ‘non-Catholic’ birthrates. You see, according to the likes of ‘Ulster’s Doomed’ et al, all Protestants are impotent old coots, 70 or 80 years old, obstinately refusing to die just to spite the vibrant young Catholics with their football (sorry, I mean ‘soccer’) teams of rosy-cheeked children. I have even seen one such blog suggest that almost all the ‘Prods’  in one particular Ulster council area could be killed off by ‘one bad winter’ (quick, someone pass me my tartan blanket and slippers!), the borough in question by the way, is at present, around 76% Protestant. That alone should serve as ample illustration of the depths of Irish nationalist/republican delusion and their, quite frankly creepy, obsession with what their Protestant (and Hindu, Jewish, Sikh, Atheist etc) neighbours do, or rather what they imagine they don’t do, in the bedroom. Is it any wonder that Irish nationalists have found they have so much in common with Hezbollah, Hamas and the fascist ‘Islamic State’? After all, religious fanatics are religious fanatics, it doesn’t really matter whether they’re firing rockets in Gaza or firing guns in Ardoyne, a zealot is a zealot.

PIRA/Sinn Fein used the Irish Republic as a safe haven from which to launch their campaign of ethnic cleansing

PIRA/Sinn Fein used the Irish Republic as a safe haven from which to launch their campaign of ethnic cleansing

There have been calls from Unionist politicians, for some sort of reparation to be made to those who were forced from their homes in border areas. It has also been suggested that the Dublin government should issue an apology for the documented collusion between ‘An Garda Síochána’ and the Provo death squads, as well as for giving republican gangs ‘safe haven’ in Eire. Of course such calls have, so far, fallen on deaf ears. The toxic and deeply biased Northern Ireland media don’t like to discuss such things. The wannabe ‘Guardianistas’ at Broadcasting House sneer at the very notion of Unionists/Loyalists being victims, or that the ‘RA’ were anything other than ‘freedom fighting revolutionaries’. Even former government employees have rubbished the idea of any kind of reparation or apology coming from the Irish government.  A former head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, Sir Kenneth Bloomfield, who described the Provos border campaign as “pure ethnic cleansing”, has also said that it would be “fruitless” to even seek an apology from the current government of the Irish Republic, adding that “It is almost as if you are going to invite the current German government to apologise for the Holocaust.” I would tend to agree with Sir Kenneth. It would though, be hugely encouraging if the Unionist ‘mainstream’ were to make their calls for an apology a little louder and a little more persistent. I won’t hold my breath!

Mountbatten: There Were Other Victims Too!

Yesterday marked the 35th anniversary of the murder of Lord Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl of Burma, and cousin of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Lord Mountbatten was murdered by Provisional IRA/Sinn Fein on the 27th of August, 1979, while holidaying in Eire. At the time of his death Irish nationalists and republicans celebrated wildly. A member of the Royal Family had been ‘taken out’ by their beloved PIRA, and on the same day as 18 soldiers were murdered at Narrow Water, near Warrenpoint in Co.Down. What had transpired in reality was that a Provo murder gang had blown up a 79 year old man, an 83 year old woman, and two young boys aged just 14 and 15. This was no ‘spectacular’, Mountbatten and his party were soft targets. Had one of the victims not been related to the Queen, this act would be seen for the atrocity that it was. Although, speaking from personal experience, I think the nationalist/republican community would have celebrated the murders anyway, even if Mountbatten had been Joe Bloggs from Manchester or Billy Bloggs from Portadown.

One of PIRA/SF's 'legitimate targets'. 15 year old Paul Maxwell

One of PIRA/SF’s ‘legitimate targets’. 15 year old Paul Maxwell

Lord Mountbatten and his family had traditionally spent their summer holiday at their castle at Mullaghmore in County Sligo, they had been doing so for many, many years. They did not try to keep their presence a secret. Local people would look forward to the arrival of Lord Mountbatten and his party. After all, they would provide a small but welcome boost for the village’s shopkeepers and did nothing to harm the reputation of the place as a quiet haven for tourists etc. On the morning of the 27th, Lord Mountbatten, his daughter and son-in-law, his daughter’s mother-in-law, the Dowager Lady Brabourne, the Earl’s twin grandsons, Nicholas and Timothy, and Paul Maxwell, a teenager from Fermanagh employed for the summer by Mountbatten, set out in the Earl’s 30ft sailboat, the ‘Shadow V’, when, a short distance from shore, at approximately 11:30 am, a bomb ripped through the vessel. The boat was destroyed by the force of the blast, and Lord Mountbatten’s legs were almost blown off. Mountbatten, then aged almost 80, was pulled alive from the water by nearby fishermen, but died from his injuries before being brought to shore. The Dowager Lady Brabourne was also pulled from the water alive, though terribly injured. She died the following day. The two boys, Mountbatten’s grandson Nicholas Knatchbull and Paul Maxwell, were killed instantly. Lord and Lady Brabourne, Mountbatten’s son-in-law and daughter, along with their other twin son Timothy, survived the explosion but were seriously injured.

In the immediate aftermath of the atrocity, while the bodies of the dead were still lying in Mullaghmore harbour, PIRA/Sinn Fein ‘President’ Gerry Adams crowed that “The IRA gave clear reasons for the execution. He knew the danger involved in coming to our country. In my opinion, the IRA achieved its objective”. He offered no words of apology for the murder of two children, or the killing of a frail 83 old woman. As he spoke he smiled broadly, truly the mark of a dangerous psychopath. How close he came to his comeuppance, when the Ulster Freedom Fighters came within a hair’s breadth of putting down this rabid dog in 1984 (his miserable life was saved by British soldiers, a fact conveniently forgotten by most Irish nationalists!). Adams has a very great deal of innocent blood on his hands, unsurprising then that he felt nothing for the lives of an old lady and two teenage boys. 

Unlike his fascist/supremacist killers, Lord Mountbatten took pride in enhancing intercultural understanding, and in 1984, with his elder daughter as the patron, the ‘Mountbatten Internship Programme’ was developed to allow young adults the opportunity to enhance their intercultural appreciation and experience by spending time abroad, immersing themselves in other cultures. The City Of Ottawa erected Mountbatten Avenue in his memory. The Avenue runs from Blossom Drive to Fairbanks Avenue. Lord Louis Mountbatten was not some boogeyman. He was not the ‘evil Brit imperialist’ that Irish nationalists made him out to be. What was the reason for his murder, aside from whom he happened to be related to? And why was being in this man’s company enough to earn Nicholas Knatchbull, Paul Maxwell and the Dowager Lady Brabourne a death sentence? I propose that they were murdered because the Provos hated the fact that Lord Mountbatten spent every summer in part of their territory. Or what they considered to be ‘their territory’. These Gaelic supremacist jackals simply couldn’t abide the fact that a cousin of HM Queen Elizabeth was happy and content to spend a few weeks of every year in the West of Ireland. Perhaps these deranged fascists thought that Mountbatten and his family might contaminate the ‘pure blooded Gaels’ of Co. Sligo with his Britishness. Their minds have been so warped by hatred, their judgement so impaired, their view of the world so skewed, that anything is possible. These are, after all, the same people who gave the order for 12 Protestant civilians to be burned alive, they are, in short, bloodthirsty thugs, and in any normal society they would now be snugly tucked up…below 6ft of topsoil.



PIRA/Sinn Fein: A Movement Without Morals Part Four

Wholesale Sectarian Slaughter

On the 5th of January, 1976, just after 5.30 in the evening, sixteen ordinary working men, all of them civilians, were travelling from their workplace, a textile mill in Glenanne, to their homes in the Bessbrook area. Five were Roman Catholics, the rest Protestants. Four of the Catholic men got out at Whitecross, while the rest of the men continued on towards Bessbrook. As their bus cleared the rise of a hill, it was stopped by a man in khaki uniform, standing on the road flashing a torch. The workers assumed they were being stopped and searched by the Army. As the bus stopped, eleven masked PIRA gunmen emerged from the hedges. A man “with a pronounced English accent” then began talking. He ordered them to line-up beside the bus before asking- “Who is the Catholic?”. The only Roman Catholic was Richard Hughes. His workmates, now fearing that the gunmen were Loyalists who had come to kill him, bravely tried to stop him from identifying himself. However, when Hughes stepped forward the gunman told him to “Get down the road and don’t look back”. The lead gunman then said “Right” and the rest of the murder gang opened fire on the workers. 

The Provo gunmen fired 136 rounds in less than a minute. When the shooting stopped, one of the gunmen walked amongst the dying men and shot each of them in the head as they lay on the ground. The sheer barbarity, the extreme violence and callousness of the attack, demonstrates quite clearly the extreme levels of sectarian hatred within PIRA/Sinn Fein ranks. Amazingly, one of the men, Alan Black, survived despite having been shot eighteen times. His ten workmates were not so lucky, all of them being pronounced dead at the scene. A police officer who attended the site of the massacre said that the road was “an indescribable scene of carnage”. At least two of the victims were so badly mutilated that  their relatives were prevented from identifying them. Although Kingsmill represented the most bloody episode of the period, PIRA/SF had been targeting and killing Protestant civilians throughout County Armagh since the start of ‘The Troubles’. In the 12 months before the Kingsmill Massacre, Provo murder gangs had killed 15 Protestant civilians and wounded many more. It is abundantly clear that in South Armagh, as in other border areas, it was PIRA/Sinn Fein policy to murder anyone who was not a Roman Catholic.

The aftermath of the Kingsmill massacre

The aftermath of the Kingsmill massacre

The Murder of an Entire Family

William and Elizabeth Herron had a small drapery shop in the village of Dromore, County Down. It was a family business, with the family living in the rooms above the shop. On the 7th of April, 1976, the Provos decided to firebomb the shop, probably because it was a Protestant owned shop in a predominantly Protestant village. William (64), Elizabeth (58) and their daughter Noeleen (26) were suffocated by thick, toxic smoke as their shop and family home went up in flames. All three were dead within minutes. The Provo vermin who firebombed the premises were bound to have known that the family lived upstairs. It is clear that they either didn’t care, or they had deliberately set out to murder the Herrons. Either way, the result was the same. The slaughter of an entire family. A family murdered simply because they were Protestants.

Two sisters from Portaferry and a Downpatrick man were jailed in connection with the firebombing, the man for 20 years on a manslaughter charge, the women – in 1980 and 1981 – for 12 years each on lesser charges. In 1985, then Secretary of State Douglas Hurd, exercised the Royal Prerogative of Mercy to remit part of the women’s sentences and they were released from Armagh Prison soon after. One can only guess why the two women were released early, no doubt some dirty deal had been done somewhere along the line. In 2006, as the 30th anniversary of the murders approached, the victims’ family submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the NIO, a request which was denied, without explanation. I would suggest that the most likely reason for the pairs early release from prison, is because they gave the Security Forces or the so-called ‘Security Service’ (ie. MI-5) information pertaining to PIRA operations or personnel. Whatever the motivation, the perpetrators of this vile crime got off very, very lightly. The remaining members of the Herron family circle deserve the truth, though when dealing with the NIO, the truth seems to be elusive.

Pub Shootings, Stabbings and Sectarian Slaughter

Between the 1st of May, 1976 and the 31st of July that year, the Provos murdered 22 Protestant civilians. Some, like 27 year old Richard Doherty were shot in their homes. Some, like Edward McMurray (41) and Robert Groves (45) were killed in bomb attacks on pubs frequented mainly by Protestants. Alexander Patterson, a 42 year old taxi driver, was lured to a bogus call by his Provo killers. Roberta Bartholomew (22) was killed by a PIRA bomb planted on a train travelling from Portadown to Belfast, and designed to cause maximum civilian casualties. 45 year old Tom McKenzie was abducted, tortured and stabbed to death by the Provos in West Belfast. The unfortunate man’s body was found dumped on waste ground near Divis Flats. Nine civilians were murdered by PIRA/Sinn Fein in gun attacks on public houses and social clubs.

Today, Irish republicans often deny that the Provos ever engaged in gun attacks on pubs and clubs. They bring up incidents such as Loughinisland and cite this as an example of how Loyalists (and only Loyalists) were the ones who carried out such attacks, asserting that the Provos would never resort to such blunt-force tactics. Like 90% of everything Irish nationalists say however, this is a lie. On Sunday, the 16th of May, 1976, two Protestant civilians, Roy McIlwaine (35) and William Martin (53), were killed in a PIRA/SF machine gun attack on the ‘Social Club’, on Alliance Road, Belfast. On Friday, the 25th of June, three Protestant civilians, Ruby Kidd (28), Joseph McBride (56) and Frank Walker who was just 17, were shot dead during a gun attack on The Store Bar, Lyle Hill Road, Templepatrick, Co. Antrim. The attack was carried out by a group calling itself the ‘Republican Action Force‘, but that was simply a cover-name for the Provisional IRA. On Friday, the 30th of July, 1976, the Provos carried out another sectarian ‘spray-job’, this time murdering four Protestant civilians as they sat in the Stag Inn, Belvoir, Belfast. The victims were- John McCleave (48), John McKay (50), Jim Doherty (70) and Thompson McCreight (60). 

More Protestant civilians were to die in such indiscriminate attacks before the end of 1976. Crangle’s Bar in Belfast was the scene of the next attack on the 24th of September. Two civilians died in the attack- Fred McLaughlin (27) and George Rankin (50). The following day two members of a Protestant family, James Kyle (61) and Rosaleen Kyle (19), died as a result of a gun attack on their home in Ormonde Park, Finaghy, Belfast. There is some doubt as to whether the attack was carried out by PIRA/Sinn Fein or INLA/IRSP. There is no doubt however who was behind the next sickening, sectarian attack. On Wednesday, the 13th of October, two members of another Protestant family, William Corrigan (41) and Leslie Corrigan (19), died as a result of a gun attack outside their home at Annaghmore, near Loughgall, Co. Armagh. The Provos were proven to have been behind this attack, although some have speculated on their motive. I suggest that there is no need for such speculation, a PIRA murder gang set out that day to murder Protestants, any Protestants. William and Leslie Corrigan just happened to be the unlucky ones picked out by the republican psychopaths that day.

1977- Baby Killers and Kidnappers 

If the long-suffering people of Northern Ireland hoped that 1977 would be a more peaceful year than 1976, those hopes were soon dashed, for on the very first day of that year, PIRA/Sinn Fein once again demonstrated their bloodlust and their shocking lack of morality. On Saturday, the 1st of January, 1977, a Provo gang left a bomb in a residential area of Glengormley, Co. Antrim. Some vague, mumbled warning was telephoned to a Belfast newsroom, just minutes before the device exploded. When the smoke cleared, 15 month old Graeme Dougan lay dead and many others were wounded. The Irish nationalist baby killers had struck again. Men who, when they planted that bomb, did not give a ‘tinker’s curse’ who was in the vicinity of the blast. Men who didn’t care who died in that explosion, just as long as they were not Catholics.

PIRA/SF have never apoligised or expressed any regret for the murder of children

PIRA/SF have never apoligised or expressed any regret for the murder of children

A little over a month later the Provos decided to widen their list of ‘legitimate targets’ yet again. This time business men were the latest group added to the ever-growing PIRA death list. On the 2nd of February, Jeffrey Agate (59), then Managing Director of the American Du Pont factory in Londonderry, was shot dead by members of PIRA/Sinn Fein outside his home at Talbot Park, L’derry. (This murder marked the beginning of a series of attacks on businessmen. There were further killings on the 2nd of March 1977 and the 14th of March 1977) but even these murders did not satisfy the blood lust of the Provo godfathers.

Robert Nairac

On the evening of 14th of May 1977, Robert Nairac, an undercover soldier, arrived at The Three Steps pub in Dromintee, South Armagh, alone. He is said to have told the men drinking in the bar that his name was Danny McErlaine, a motor mechanic and member of OIRA from Belfast. his objective was, apparently, to gather information about local republican terrorists. At around 11.45 pm, he was abducted, following a brief struggle in the pub’s car park, taken across the border into the Irish Republic, to a field in a wooded area known locally as Ravensdale, and shot in the back of the head. His body was never recovered. There are rumours that Capt. Nairac’s body was put through an industrial meat grinder at a processing plant in Co. Louth. Nothing would surprise me about the Provisional IRA. 

The Provos have always displayed a sickening aptitude for murder and gruesome violence. They seem to thrive on it. When it comes to those known as ‘The Disappeared’ words actually fail me. It is one thing to kill a person, it is quite another to make that person disappear without trace. Leaving friends and loved ones to wonder what exactly has happened to that person. Denying the victim (and his or her family) a decent burial. It takes a special type of psychopath to do such a thing, and on a regular basis, since making people ‘disappear’ became a speciality of the Provos in the 1970s and 80s. Thankfully most of  ‘The Disappeared’ been found in the last few years. Sadly though, some of those abducted, tortured and killed by PIRA/SF, still lie where they were buried in the dead of night by their killers. If Irish republicans had any decency, any shred of morality, they would have moved heaven and earth to try and locate the mortal remains of their victims. Instead a half-hearted attempt was made, by a few former Provo footsoldiers. Maps drawn on the back of beermats etc. are not enough, although what do we expect from the child killers and torturers of PIRA/Sinn Fein? They are a movement, a political cult, utterly without morality or decency.





Interview With an ex-Soldier


I decided a while back to conduct a series of interviews with a number of former combatants and others, including victims of the violence, political activists and ordinary NI residents, all of whom, like myself, lived through the Conflict, or at least the majority of it. I underestimated the difficulty of the undertaking. Most of my close friends fall into one or more of the aforementioned categories, however, Ulster folk are well known for being ‘tight lipped‘, and, for a number of reasons, I did not want to interview people I am personally close to. Therefore I sought out others who I felt had a worthwhile perspective and a personal story to tell. Making contact with, and introducing myself to, such persons wasn’t the hard part. The hard part was earning their trust, getting them to open up, and talk openly about their experiences. It is an ongoing process (and if you feel you would like to be interviewed please don’t hesitate to get in touch, via this blog or my twitter account), but a process I feel is more than worth the time and effort.

This first interview was conducted last week via Skype, (with everything recorded on an old fashioned dictaphone because I can’t type very fast!). I tried to ask pertinent questions, honest questions, and believe that I got honest and candid answers in return. The interviewee is a former soldier who served two tours in Northern Ireland, first in 1990/91, then in 1994/95. He is a native of Merseyside and a family man with three children. Due to security concerns, both his and my own, I will not reveal the regiment he served in, his name or a few other small details. To some, this may seem somewhat paranoid, but anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of Irish republican death threats etc, will understand the need to exercise caution, especially online. For the sake of this interview I will refer to the interviewee as ‘BH’. Questions are in italics, answers in bold. I hope you find it insightful and worth a read. 

First let me say thankyou for agreeing to this interview . Did you have any reservations about talking about your time in Ulster? BH: No, not really. It was a while ago but it’s still pretty clear in my head. To be honest I don’t really think about that part of my life too much. Thankfully I wasn’t involved in anything too bad. 

What were your first impressions of Northern Ireland? BH: Well my very first thought was how nice the place was. The countryside I mean. The scenery and stuff. When I was first over there I couldn’t really get my head round it, er, you know the reasons for all the trouble…all the killing. I suppose, like a lot of other lads I just thought it was all about Proddys against Catholics, you know, just like a religious thing. But I caught on quick that, er…that there was a lot more to it. I mean, the IRA and UVF boys weren’t exactly going to church every Sunday or saying their prayers every night, you know? I, er…still don’t know everything about the politics of it all, but I know much more than I did when I was a 22 year old kid coming to Ulster for the first time.

Did you feel like the Army shouldn’t of been here? Did you have an opinion? BH: No. I mean I felt like it was important for us to be there. What would have happened if the Army hadn’t of been brought in? In the early days, er, at the very start, in 1969 or whenever it was…the Orange side might have wiped out the Catholics. I mean, pushed them out. Forced them out. Then later on the IRA were just killing and blowing up pubs and stuff, er…just sort of leaving like a trail of blood all over the country, so, you know, they had to be stopped…they had to be prevented from just killing at will. I think a lot of the boys felt like that.

Did you ever come under fire during your time here? BH: Yeah, once. Thankfully that was the only time. We, ah, I think we were in County Fermanagh. Out in the middle of nowhere anyhow, just sheep and fields. We were very near to the border…if I remember right. There were two or three IRA behind a hedge…in this sort of, er, farmyard I suppose you’d call it. Full of old cars and tractors and stuff. They had a machine gun and opened fire on us but they hit nothing, we were up the hill from them, er, we must have been a fair distance away and it was really stormy. They couldn’t have hit a barn door. Lucky for us I suppose. They fired off a few rounds just, like…er, 12 or 15 rounds. They just left the weapon when we came down the hill. It took us a while, you know, to edge our way round, but er…they were just gone. I remember us talking and saying that they would probably get shot for just leaving the weapon there. 

What was your honest opinion of the republican groups, the Provos and the INLA etc? BH: Well, really I always thought of them, the IRA like, as being hypocrites, you know? They said they were fighting a war, that’s what they called it, a war, but they thought that nobody should shoot back at them. I mean, what the f**k? You’re supposed to be fighting this war but you’re the only ones allowed to fire? All this ‘Shoot to Kill’ s***e and that…all these, inquiries and everything, what’s it all for? If they were at war then fair’s fair, I mean, in a war you’re going to get shot at, you’re going to lose a few boys. Even the like of the Taliban and them lot, they er…they don’t even come out with this sort of s***e, you know? 

And what did you think of the Loyalist groups, the UFF and UVF? Well, you know, I…I wouldn’t say what they did was right. They killed a lot of…er, innocent people, people just going about round town or whatever, but, er…sometimes I have to say we were relieved when they got one of the real bad guys. One of the real players…you know? I remember there was this bastard in…ah, I don’t honestly know where this was but it was out in the country somewhere…and the Prods killed this f****r, this IRA guy, and after that there were no IRA attacks for, ah…about four months after he was killed in that area. I think the ordinary soldier felt, well, happy I suppose, yeah…happy. This bastard was out of the way, and he was one of their top boys, you know? I think the RUC and UDR lads were even more happy about it. The Loyalists should have concentrated on getting the top boys in the IRA. They could do it when they wanted to. I remember one Sunday afternoon…they, the Prods I mean…they wiped out 3 or 4 IRA boys in one go, so er, they could do it…that’s what they should have done. Killing innocent people, civvies I suppose you’d say…that was wrong, nobody should have been doing that. 

When you were in Northern Ireland did you feel under constant threat, did you feel like you could have been ‘hit’ anywhere? Er…no actually. There were places, even in Fermanagh and Tyrone that were…I suppose you’d call them ‘safe places’, you know? They were either Proddy towns or else just…sort of, quiet little places. The last time I was over there I…spent a lot of time round about Newtownards and that. Round that way we [soldiers] felt we were alright. We were, sort of, safe I suppose. I loved it round there. It was so nice…sort of more relaxed than a lot of places. More laid back than most places in England anyway!

So you do have some happy memories of your time here? [Laughs] Yeah. Yeah definitely. I had some good nights over there. Second time round, er…the IRA had called the ceasefire, the Loyalists were about to, we all knew that’s the way it would be, you know? Everybody knew. So things were sort of quiet. A lot of the time anyway. That wasn’t always a good thing but. When it was like that, they, the NCOs and that would find us something to do…usually something crap. But yeah, yeah I had some good laughs and stuff. It wasn’t all dodging bullets and that, er…a lot of the time things were, sort of like, just killing time and stuff.

Were you surprised when the Provos and then the CLMC called ceasefires? Well…like I say, er, the Loyalist ceasefire wasn’t so much a surprise. Actually the first time I was over there the Loyalists had had a ceasefire for a couple of months. What was the IRA going to do, just keep killing and bombing forever? They…they had to stop sometime, they were getting nowhere fast. A lot of the lads didn’t think it would last. They thought the IRA were just, sort of giving themselves a breather or whatever, but I thought…I suppose I thought it would probably last, I don’t know, I just sort of thought that they’d have to pack it in at some point. Then the Prods had to stop, you know? They said they were…defending themselves against the IRA, so…when they stopped, the Proddys had to stop, sooner or later.

Could the Army have wiped out the Provisional IRA, had the government taking the gloves off? I dunno. Really I just don’t know. If…ah, the IRA had come out and fought we…we would’ve wiped them out. In a stand up fight I mean. But they knew that…they weren’t stupid, you know what I mean? They knew that…that’s why with them it was always, sort of hit and run style. I think the S.A.S maybe could’ve gone into all their…sort of, strongholds and stuff. Wiped them out like that, but…er…would there have been other lads coming up to start it up again? Maybe not like, but…it’s hard to say. Probably we could have, yeah. I just don’t know.

What was your opinion of the PM’s apology for ‘Bloody Sunday’? Well…er…I think probably he needed to say it. In one way I agreed with it. But the, er, the IRA have never apologised for their, er…the stuff they done. At the end of the day if them people, the ones that got shot…if ah…if they hadn’t have been on an illegal march and…er, throwing stones and that, they would have been safe, you know? But…I think it was probably for the best, the apology I mean. If it helps people over there to move forward, but like I say…part of me was a bit f****d off by it I suppose.

Do you think Irish nationalists will ever achieve their aim of an all island republic? Er…no. To be perfectly honest I don’t…no. The thing is, er…when it comes down to it, how many of them really, really want it? A united Ireland I mean. It’s like, they say, ‘oh we’re Irish, we’re Irish, we want nothing to do with the Brits’ but…ah…you know, look at how they live. I suppose I mean, er, look at their life, how is it any different to somebody over here [Mainland UK]? They go out for a drink and that on a Saturday night, they come home, they go to work, their wives or girlfriends or whatever watch Coronation Street and X-Factor and that. Most republicans support an English football team [laughs]. If they had to vote tomorrow…if they had to actually do it, how many would, er…actually bite the bullet and vote themselves out? I can’t see things changing over there. Not for a really long time anyway, you know?

If you could turn the clock back, would you still join the Army? Oh yeah, yeah. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I…ah…made something of myself, you know? I went into the Army a boy and I came out of it a man. I’m glad I joined up, it’s something…er, at the time I was scared, you know? Like when I first joined up. Not scared of getting killed or that, it was just sort of…fear of failure I suppose. Fear of not being up to it. Not being able to do what I was told to do, but I was fine in the end. It turned out well, I’m glad I joined up, f**k knows what would’ve happened if I hadn’t joined the Army.

Thankyou for your time BH, and thankyou for your honesty. It’s been interesting listening to you. I hope people read this interview and get a wee bit of insight into what life was like for soldiers serving in NI. No problem. It’s been a pleasure mate. Good luck with the other interviews.

My sincere thanks to ‘BH’ for his time and co-operation. More interviews will follow over the next few months.



PIRA/Sinn Fein: A Movement Without Morals (Part Three)

Targeting Civilians

Beginning in January, 1975, PIRA/SF renewed their campaign in England. This fresh offensive was characterised by no-warning bombs, gun attacks on pubs and cafes and the indiscriminate murder of civilians. On the 27th of January the Provos set off five I.E.Ds in London and another in Manchester, wounding 26 innocent civilians. On Friday the 5th of September, a Provo bomb exploded in the lobby of the Hilton hotel in London, killing a man and a young woman. Sixty-three others were injured including a party of school children, some as young as four. On the 28th and 29th of September there were further outrages with bomb attacks on civilian targets in Caterham, in the Surrey commuter belt, and in London’s packed Oxford Street, although by some miracle no-one was killed. On the 9th of October PIRA/Sinn Fein detonated a bomb outside the busy Green Park Underground Station, killing 23 year old civilian Graham Tuck and wounding twenty others.

TV personality and author Ross McWhirter. Murdered by Irish nationalist extremists.

TV personality and author Ross McWhirter. Murdered by Irish nationalist extremists.

On Tuesday, the 18th of November, 1975, two more civilians were deliberately targeted and killed by the Provo murder gang operating in London. Audrey Edgson (45) and Theo Williams (49) were murdered when a bomb was thrown through the window of Walton’s Restaurant in Chelsea. Twenty-three others, diners and bystanders, were wounded. Disgusted by the mindless, indiscriminate bombing and killing, Guinness Book of Records co-founder, editor, and BBC Record Breakers presenter, Ross McWhirter offered a cash reward of £50,000 for information leading to the arrest of the Irish nationalist gang responsible for this latest wave of murder and maiming. The Provisional IRA did not take it well. They were incensed. In their minds no-one had the right to criticise them or their nefarious ‘cause’ , and having the audacity to actually offer a reward for the capture of their foot-soldiers could mean only one thing, a death sentence. On the 27th of November, the Provos carried out that sentence. When Mr McWhirter’s wife, Rosemary, arrived home, she got out of her blue Ford Granada and was approached by two men holding pistols. She ran into the house as her husband came to the front door and seconds later heard two shots.The killers then used her car to escape. Police later found the car abandoned a few miles away in Tottenham. It was a murder of which the Mafia would have been proud. The ‘removal’ of someone against whom the PIRA held a very personal grudge. Indeed, one could say that this was a vendetta. So much for the Provos being “an army“.

The Balcombe Street Gang

The Provo gang that killed Ross McWhirter and carried out dozens of other attacks in London throughout 1975, was apprehended two weeks later. Martin O’Connell, Edward Butler, Harry Duggan and Hugh Doherty, exchanged gunfire with police in central London on the 6th of December, and escaped to a flat in Balcombe Street, sparking a lengthy siege, (hence the gang’s sobriquet of ‘Balcombe Street Gang’). The siege began after a chase through London. The Metropolitan Police pursuing the four Irish nationalist fanatics through the streets after they had fired gunshots through the window of Scotts Restaurant in Mayfair, aiming to murder yet more civilians. The Provo gang had thrown a bomb through the window of the very same restaurant just a few weeks before, on the 12th of November 1975, killing one person and injuring 15 others. The four terrorists, the police close on their heels, ended up in a flat at 22b Balcombe Street, Marylebone, taking its two residents, John Matthews (54) and his wife Sheila (53), hostage. The couple were relaxing in their flat, watching an episode of Kojak on television, when the armed republican thugs kicked down the door of their humble home and ordered them to lie face down on the floor. The men declared that they were members of PIRA, and when police negotiators were summoned, the gang informed them they wanted a plane to fly both them and their hostages to the safe-haven of the Irish Republic. A lengthy stand-off followed. The gang only surrendered after several days of intense negotiations between Metropolitan Police Bomb squad officers Peter Imbert and Jim Nevill, and the gang’s leader Joe O’Connell. Mr and Mrs Matthews endured days of terror whilst the whole of the UK watched and waited, wondering if the unfortunate couple would live or die.

The siege of Balcombe Street. A Provo gang held 2 innocent civilians captive at gunpoint.

The siege of Balcombe Street. A Provo gang held 2 innocent civilians captive at gunpoint.

In 1977 the four Provo killers were found guilty, at the Old Bailey, of seven murders, conspiring to cause explosions, and falsely imprisoning John and Sheila Matthews. O’Connell, Butler and Duggan each received twelve life sentences, and Doherty eleven. Each of the men was later given a whole life tariff, the only Irish republican murderers to receive such a tariff. The Balcombe Street Gang’s reign of terror and murder was over but they had left many broken bodies and many broken families in their wake. The four extremists (and their accomplices) had carried out forty-one bombings, several gun attacks, and had murdered no fewer than 35 people. All of those murdered, with the exception of Police constable Stephen Tibble, had been innocent civilians going about their daily lives. The revisionist notion that PIRA/SF never deliberately targeted civilians is, in light of the evidence, almost laughable. The Balcombe Street Gang set out to murder civilians. They bombed restaurants, pubs and tube stations. They assassinated a much loved, inoffensive old man for daring to stand up to them, not with threats or actual violence but with the offer of a reward for information! The Balcombe Street Gang acted on the direct orders of the PIRA ‘Army Council’. The plain truth here is that Irish nationalist terror gangs have no qualms about targeting civilians, they never had. It didn’t matter if you were eating in a London restaurant or a café in L’derry, if you were not singing from the same hymn sheet as the Provos, you were regarded as a ‘legitimate target’. 

The Dolphin Restaurant Murders

 Four days before the start of the Balcombe Street siege, Irish nationalists murdered two Protestant civilians as they sat in the Dolphin Restaurant on Strand Road, Londonderry. The two men, Charles McNaul (55) and Alexander Mitchell (46), had no connection to the Security Forces, Loyalist paramilitaries or even any Unionist/Loyalist political party. They were murdered because they were Protestants. A cut and dried case of sectarian murder. As the two men sat eating, gunmen walked calmly into the restaurant and shot them dead. Today some claim that this cold-blooded double murder was the work of the INLA/IRSP. It was not. It was the work of PIRA/Sinn Fein! 

The INLA had been formed in December, 1974. It was born out of a split in the Official IRA. Initially, it was known as the ‘People’s Liberation Army’  and was the armed wing of the IRSP. For months after its formation the INLA/IRSP was involved in a deadly feud with the OIRA. In fact, that INLA vs OIRA feud continued, on and off, until 1977. During those years most INLA/IRSP attacks were directed at the Official IRA (and vice versa). The INLA were not adverse to sectarian murder. Their history is full of examples of it. But in December, 1975, the INLA/IRSP were far more concerned with trying to wipe out their former comrades in the OIRA than attacking their supposed ‘real enemy’, ie. Unionists, Loyalists and the wider Protestant community. The double murder in the Dolphin Restaurant was not the work of INLA/IRSP, a group at that time fighting for its very survival in a bloody republican feud. Far more likely that it was the work of PIRA/Sinn Fein. Part of their wider strategy to ‘ethnically cleanse’ Londonderry’s West Bank of any and all non-Catholics. A campaign which saw an estimated 30,000 people uprooted and forced from their homes. Some forced out at the point of a gun, some intimidated out, some worn down by years of sectarian persecution and harassment.

Whichever Irish nationalist/republican murder gang was responsible, the message was still the same. Protestants had better stay out of the City-side. Or else! Irish nationalists in Londonderry succeeded in their aims. Today the West Bank of the Foyle is almost exclusively nationalist, republican and Catholic (all but the small enclave of The Fountain, an area under almost constant sectarian attack from the Bogside). Now in other parts of Ulster they are trying to achieve the same objective. Exclusive claims of ownership have been placed on areas like the Crumlin Road in North Belfast, the Garvaghy Road in Portadown and the whole village of Rasharkin in North Antrim. Today though this cultural/sectarian Apartheid isn’t enforced with murder, it doesn’t have to be, for now PIRA/SF and their fellow travellers have the Parades Commission and the utterly corrupt PSNI to do their bidding and enforce their territorial claims for them. All they have to do is set up a ‘Residents Group’ and go crying to the PC or the PSNI, organs of the British state that they supposedly so despise. Tribalism has become so entrenched within the Irish nationalist/republican community that it is now seen almost as virtue. The years and years of murder and indiscriminate bombing have been forgotten and the nationalist community have once again decided to play the victim.

Next Week: 1976 and 77, the Herron Family, Pub Shootings and Indiscriminate Slaughter

PIRA/Sinn Fein: A Movement Without Morals (Part Two)

The Forgotten Atrocity

On Tuesday, the 12th of June, 1973, the Provisional IRA detonated two bombs in Coleraine, Co.Londonderry. The first device, 150 lb of explosives packed into a stolen Ford Cortina, went off at 3.00 p.m on Railway Rd, outside an off-license, killing six and injuring 33; several people lost limbs and several more were left crippled for life. Many of the wounded were children. A second bomb exploded five minutes later at Hanover Place. The Provos had sent a warning for the second bomb but said it had “mistakenly given the wrong location“. One would have thought that when dealing with deadly explosive devices the greatest care should be taken to avoid any error, PIRA/Sinn Fein though, did not give a damn about the deaths of civilians. Indeed I would contend that multiple civilian deaths was the very objective of such bombings.

The six innocent civilians killed by the Railway Road bomb were all Protestants, all over the age of 60. The victims were- Elizabeth Craigmile (76), Robert Scott (72), Dinah Campbell (72), Francis Campbell (70), Nan Davis (60), and Elizabeth Palmer (60). Elizabeth Craigmile, the Campbells and their daughter Hilary had been on a day outing and were beside the car-bomb at the moment of detonation. Hilary Campbell, whose parents had both been killed, lost a leg in the explosion. The bomb had left a deep crater in the road and the off-license was engulfed in flames; it also caused considerable damage to vehicles and other buildings in the vicinity. Railway Road was a scene of carnage and devastation, the mangled wreckage of the Cortina resting in the middle of the street, the bodies of the dead and injured lying in pools of blood amongst the fallen masonry and roof slates, shards of glass from blown-out windows blanketing the ground. Ambulance crews and firemen who arrived at the scene spoke of “utter confusion” with many people “wandering around in a state of severe shock“. Five minutes later, the second bomb exploded on the forecourt of Stuart’s Garage in Hanover Place. Although this explosion caused no injuries, it added to the panic and confusion caused by the first bomb. It also hindered the Emergency Services in their attempts to save the lives of the many seriously injured people on Railway Road. Undoubtedly this was the PIRA murder gang’s intention. Not content with causing horrific injuries, the unscrupulous killers seemed determined to hamper any effort to aid the wounded.

Only cowards murder pensioners, but what sort of people vote for such cowardly, murdering bastards?

Only cowards murder pensioners, but what sort of people vote for such cowardly, murdering bastards?

It has been alleged that no warning at all was given for the first bomb. This has led to speculation that the bombers intention was to draw people towards the bomb in Railway Road and inflict as many civilian casualties as possible. This would not be surprising given PIRA/Sinn Fein’s complete and total disregard for human life. Indeed, it would fit their modus operandi. The death toll would have been much, much higher had the bomb gone off just a few minutes later, when girls from a nearby school would have been leaving for home and walking along the street. In January 1974, a woman was acquitted of charges linked to the bombings. Her boyfriend however received an eight-year prison sentence for his part in the attacks, and the leader of the bomb team, 18-year-old Sean McGlinchey, was convicted of planting the Railway Road bomb. He was sentenced to just 18 years imprisonment in Long Kesh/The Maze. McGlinchey, the younger brother of former INLA ‘Chief of Staff‘ Dominic ‘Mad-Dog’ McGlinchey, later became a Sinn Fein councillor and, unbelievably, was elected mayor of Limavady in 2011. What sort of people go out and vote for a man that murdered six senior citizens? Throughout the conflict, the leadership of the Irish nationalist community (at that time mainly the SDLP) repeatedly gave assurances to their Protestant neighbours that the majority of Catholics and nationalists did not support the Provo death squads. Really? So then who’s voting for men like Sean McGlinchey? Ordinary, decent people in that community need to know, need to see, that every vote for Provisional Sinn Fein is a vote for those who murdered and maimed innocent women and children (or supported, aided and gave voice to those who did).

Birmingham Pub Bombings: Evil Beyond Belief 

Mention the Birmingham Pub Bombings to most people and the first thing many will say is “oh, the Birmingham Six“, to which the correct response should be, “no, the Birmingham Twenty-One”, for the focus should be on the twenty-one innocents slaughtered by Irish republican fanatics, not on the men wrongfully convicted of the crime! The Birmingham Six suffered an awful miscarriage of justice but it should never be forgotten that 21 people were murdered in cold blood, the majority of them under the age of 25.

On the 21st of November, 1974, a Provo bomb exploded inside the ‘Mulberry Bush’ pub. The bomb, containing 6lb of Gelignite and hidden inside a duffel-bag, went off at just after 8p.m. Ten people were killed and dozens wounded, many of them seriously. Police were attempting to clear the nearby ‘Tavern in the Town’ pub, on New Street, below King Edward House, when at 20:27 a second bomb exploded there, killing another eleven people and leaving many with appalling injuries. The bodies of the dead and injured were strewn about the ruined pub like ragdolls. The explosion was so powerful that several victims were blown through a brick wall into an area just below the main front entrance to King Edward House. Their bodies were wedged between the rubble and underground electric cables; it took hours for firemen to remove them. The scene was like something straight out of a horror film. The two devastated pubs were just 50yds apart. A third bomb had been left on nearby Hagley Road, but thankfully failed to explode.

A scene of devastation, Birmingham after the Provo's deadly bomb attacks.

A scene of devastation, Birmingham after the Provo’s deadly bomb attacks.

That PIRA/SF had set out that night to massacre innocent civilians is beyond question. However, I would also suggest a secondary, albeit subconscious, motivation. The Irish nationalist community, overlapping as it does with the Roman Catholic community, has always been deeply conservative in it’s attitudes. Despite the politically correct sound-bites of the nationalist/republican politicos, attitudes towards women, particularly young women, in that community have always been rather backwards and repressive. It is my contention that the real perpetrators of the Birmingham Pub Bombings, rather than being appalled by the deaths of so many young women, many of them just teenagers, would have , at least subconsciously, felt that those young English girls deserved their fate, for being out drinking and flirting with men, rather than being at home under the watchful eye of their fathers or brothers, as young women within the Irish nationalist community ‘back home‘ were expected to be, at least in those days. Like their friends in the Taliban or Hamas, the men of the Provisional IRA expected their women to do as they were told, be ‘seen and not heard’. I would argue that, deep down, the murderous scumbags that bombed those pubs were quietly pleased so many ‘English slags’ had been killed by their bomb. Perhaps I am completely wrong, it doesn’t really make much of a difference. The fact remains that PIRA/SF set out to murder as many civilians as they could. A final word about the Birmingham Six. PIRA/SF could have undermined those men’s convictions at any time. They could have ensured their convictions were overturned. Had the real bombers stepped forward, had they been big enough to take their punishment, those six innocent men would have walked free. To the Provos though, the Birmingham Six were expendable. They cared about their fate only marginally more than they cared about the fate of those they murdered and maimed.

The Second ‘Bloody Friday’

On Tuesday, 21st of January, 1975, the Provos set out to repeat the carnage and slaughter of ‘Bloody Friday’, that infamous day in July, 1972, when they had set off 26 bombs, killing eleven people and wounding 130 more. Now just two and a half years later, PIRA/Sinn Fein set out to do something similar. As the people of Belfast went about their daily routine, the Provo godfathers planned mass murder. Earlier that day they had sent out several young, misguided men to plant nine bombs across the city in crowded civilian areas. The intention was clear; to murder and maim as many innocent people as possible. Fortunately though, the Irish nationalist lunatic’s plans went awry. Two of the bombs were discovered and made safe by Army technical officers, the rest did explode but by some miracle no-one was injured. Details are sketchy but it seems that the RUC were vigilant and spotted some of the suspect vehicles containing the bombs, evacuating the areas in question before the bombs went off. Whatever the reason, vigilance or blind good fortune, the Provos were thwarted and many, many innocent lives were spared.

The people of Ulster had another slice of good luck that day. That morning two young republican thugs, John ‘Bap’ Kelly (26) and John Stone (23), had been dispatched towards Belfast city centre in a stolen car packed with explosives. No doubt instructed by their cowardly leaders to go out and ‘kill women and kids for Ireland’. The two would-be mass murderers set off, unaware that they were both about to pay for their actions with their lives. Just two more Irish republican gangsters who would die for nothing.

As the cowardly pair drove along Victoria Street, on the way to their intended target, the bomb they were transporting exploded prematurely, killing them both instantly. As their mortal remains were being scraped off the public highway, the leaders of the Provo’s ‘D Company, 2nd Battalion‘ met to discuss the failure of their attempt at mass murder. They undoubtedly knew that people would die that day, killed at the hands of PIRA/Sinn Fein, just not their people. Their intention was to murder people out shopping, eating in restaurants and cafes, mothers pushing prams down the street. It had not been their intention to kill two of their own members. I only regret that the doomed vehicle in which Kelly and Stone died had not been a mini-bus load of Provos. Maybe the violent death of 20 of their own men would have focussed the minds of the Provisional leadership, just as the killing of entire PIRA ‘Active Service Units‘, in Loughgall at the hands of the S.A.S and in Cappagh at the hands of the Ulster Volunteer Force, had focussed the minds of the republican leadership in Mid-Ulster in the late 80s and early 90s.

Next Week: Part Three, The Murder of Ross McWhirter the ‘Dolphin Restaurant’ shootings and the Balcombe Street Gang






In Proud Memory: Benny Redfern & Gary Lynch

At this time of year the minds of many Loyalists in Co. Londonderry are cast back in memory of two brave young men from that county who made the ultimate sacrifice. Benny Redfern and Gary Lynch. Benny and Gary were two dedicated, courageous, hard working Loyalists who were prepared to do anything and everything necessary to defend their country and their community. Both were to die tragic deaths. Both cut down in their prime, but their sacrifice will never be forgotten, they will live on in the memory of all true Loyalists.


Benny was from Desertmartin and was prepared to do whatever it took in the defence of his community and beloved Ulster. Benny was a well liked and respected member of the local community whom he strived to protect. Like many around South Londonderry and East Tyrone, Benny saw first hand the suffering being inflicted upon the Protestant community. Such incidents shaped Benny’s thinking and led him to become an Ulster soldier, joining the local brigade of the UDA at the age of 21. Benny’s fearless and loyal nature made him an excellent soldier and one whose memory will live forever. His excellence and great soldier like qualities quickly allowed him to rise up through the ranks of the UDA as a young man.

Vol. Benny Redfern. Sadly missed by all who knew him.

Vol. Benny Redfern. Sadly missed by all who knew him.

In 1977 the Londonderry and North Antrim Brigade lost a fine man when Benny was interned in Crumlin Road Prison and later charged in connection with the death of 3 Republicans, namely Joe McAuley, James Chivers and John Bolton. He was sentenced to 18 years in Long Kesh where he was also held in high regard by other Loyalist POWs. It was not in Benny’s nature to be locked up and he yearned to once again take the war to republicans, as he had so successfully done before his incarceration, which is why on the 10th of August 1984, Benny tried a daring escape from Long Kesh. Coming up with a plan to escape from the prison concealed in the back of a bin lorry. However, when he jumped into the back of the lorry, a tragedy occurred, the bin lorry was activated and Benny was crushed. Sadly he passed away the next day at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Many people lost a great friend and relative that day, but all of Ulster lost a true son and valiant defender. His death shocked and saddened so many in this local community and further a field where Benny was held in high esteem. Benny has since always been remembered as a great man of the local community and a brave soldier who took the war to violent republicans. Vol. Benny Redfern will be remembered always by the Loyalist community in South Londonderry.


Gary Lynch was a steadfast and dedicated young Loyalist, a member of the Ulster Democratic Party’s Londonderry Branch, and a popular and well liked member of his community. As a member of the UDP, Gary worked to try and bring about peace and reconciliation. Gary was also working on a number of community projects at the time of his death. An articulate and erudite young man, politically astute beyond his years, Gary was part of brilliant generation of young Loyalist politicos, alongside people like Gary McMichael and Ray Smallwoods. No doubt, had he not been cut down in his prime, Gary Lynch would have gone on to earn a senior position within the Ulster Democratic Party.

'In Honour of Fallen Comrades'. A mural dedicated to the memory of those men of L'derry & Nth. Antrim UDA/UFF who died during the long years of Conflict.

‘In Honour of Fallen Comrades’. A mural dedicated to the memory of those men of L’derry & Nth. Antrim UDA/UFF who died during the long years of Conflict.

On the 9th of August 1991, seven years after the tragic death of Vol. Benny Redfern, Gary was murdered by an Irish nationalist death squad. The cowardly gunmen waited for Gary to arrive for work at Foyle Meats, in the Lisahally area of Londonderry, and as he parked his car the PIRA/Sinn Fein terror gang opened fire, hitting Gary a number of times. It is widely believed that he was targeted simply because he had attended the funeral of his party colleague and friend Cecil McKnight, who had been murdered on the 29th of June that year, and acted as a pallbearer at his comrades funeral. Throughout the year the UFF had been successfully seeking out and killing high ranking republicans and the Provo murder gangs were struggling to hit back. In County Londonderry they were unable to hit back at a military target so instead chose to target the UDP, considered the ‘political wing’ of the UFF/UDA. The callous murder of Gary Lynch was a cowardly act. The actions of men who were deeply fearful of the rejuvenated Loyalist resistance. Those responsible probably thought that they could defeat the Loyalist people, they couldn’t have been more wrong. Loyalism will never be defeated and true Loyalists will always remember our honoured dead. Brave men like Gary Lynch and Benny Redfern. Men who gave their all for their homeland;

“They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them”


PIRA/Sinn Fein: A Movement Without Morals (Part One)


I was recently asked why I oppose Irish nationalism/republicanism. As though opposition to that repugnant doctrine were somehow unnatural or scarcely fathomable. There are many, many valid reasons for opposing Irish nationalism. One of my main motivations however is the absolute moral vacuum within which Irish nationalism exists. There is no better example of this than the vicious, genocidal, perfidious movement which now claims leadership of the Irish nationalist/republican body politic. I refer of course to Provisional IRA/Sinn Fein. An organisation so lacking in morality, so devoid of decency, that their deeds would shame Satan himself.

I will, no doubt, be accused of hyperbole. Those who, albeit surreptitiously, seek to defend the Provos, by downplaying their maniacal actions or attempting to justify their crimes, will accuse me, or indeed anyone who shines a light onto the nefarious Provo war machine, of fabrication, exaggeration and all sorts of other things. This is not unexpected. Because for PIRA/SF members, and supporters, criticism is anathema. This Fascist clique do not deal well with anything but unflinching, sycophantic praise. For their murderous actions and repulsive misdeeds though, they deserve nothing but criticism, scorn and contempt.

A History of Murder and Mayhem

Since it’s inception in 1970, the Provisional IRA have proven time and again that human life means nothing to them. The rules of war were not held in high esteem by these psychopaths and degenerate killers either. I have no intention of listing every PIRA/SF atrocity. Others have documented those tragedies much better and much more extensively than I. What I do intend to do however, is to highlight those instances of Irish nationalist barbarism, so disgusting, so utterly abhorrent, so completely depraved, that they will demonstrate, unquestionably, the lack of anything even approaching morality within the nefarious Provisional movement.

The politicos of Sinn Fein may sit in Stormont, playing at being statesmen, acting the very model of innocence and rectitude, but their actions can never be forgotten. The charges against them are written in the blood of dead women and children. Loyalists, such as myself, will not allow PIRA/SF to whitewash the history of ‘The Troubles’ or sanitise their role in that conflict. The pseudo-liberal apologists will scream “just move on, forget the past” but that will never happen. Those who squeal most loudly about ‘moving on’ are the very same cowardly vermin who used money and social status to insulate themselves from the realities of war. It is easy for them to repeat their amnesiac mantra, for it was not them or their families who suffered and died.

Baby Killers and Kidnappers

One of the most awful, most horrific incidents in the history of the entire Conflict occurred on Saturday, the 11th of December, 1971. Shoppers on Belfast’s exclusively Protestant Shankill Road, busily went about their business. Outside the Balmoral Furniture Showroom, unbeknownst to the people going in and out, a PIRA murder gang, motivated by pure sectarian hatred, lurked nearby in a stolen car, planning murder and destruction. At 12.25 pm, the stolen car pulled up outside “Moffats”, as the Balmoral Furniture Company was known locally.  One of the occupants got out, leaving a box containing a bomb on the step outside the front door. The hatefilled lunatic got back into the car and it sped away. The device exploded moments later, bringing down most of the building on top of the innocent people inside the shop and on passersby outside. The bomb killed four people. Two were grown men, employees of the furniture business, Hugh Bruce, aged 70 and Harold King, aged 29. The other two unfortunate victims of the blast were babies. Not children. Not teenagers. Not toddlers. They were babies! Little Tracey Munn, aged 2, and Colin Nicholl, who was just 17 months old. Both died instantly when part of the building’s wall crashed down upon the pram they were sharing. Nineteen people were seriously injured in the cowardly attack, including Tracey Munn’s young mother and a number of other women and children. Understandably the attack provoked much anger in the local community and many young men rushed to join the UVF and the Ulster Freedom Fighters as a result.

Provisional Sinn Fein/IRA, a gang of baby killing cowards!

Provisional Sinn Fein/IRA, a gang of baby killing cowards!

Over the course of the next twelve months many more innocent civilians (including children) died at the hands of PIRA/Sinn Fein, but it was one particularly disgusting murder, committed almost exactly a year after the Provos had murdered the two babies on the Shankill, that caused universal revulsion, and still does. Jean McConville, a widowed mother of ten young children, was badly beaten by female members of PIRA/SF at her home in Divis Flats, before being abducted by up to a dozen male Provo ‘soldiers‘, taken to an unknown location, probably in the Irish Republic, where she was tortured (physically and probably sexually) before being murder in cold blood. Her ‘crime’ was that she had given a sip of water to an injured soldier. After taken the terrified Mrs McConnville away from her children, torturing and murdering her, the Provo cowards hadn’t even the common human decency to return the woman’s mortal remains to her grieving family. Not content with killing Protestant babies in their prams, PIRA/SF was now killing widowed mothers. It seems there was no depth to which these thugs would not sink.

The Blood of Dead Children is on Your Hands

It is a mark of eternal shame upon this nation, that we have for a Deputy First Minister, a cowardly, snivelling, lying, murdering bastard like Martin McGuinness. McGuinness, by his own admission, was ‘Officer Commanding’ the Provo’s so-called ‘Derry Brigade’ in the early seventies. He has, without doubt, the blood of many innocent people on his hands. One of those innocents was nine year old Gordon Gallagher. The little boy was playing in the front garden of his family home in Leenan Gradens, in the Creggan area of Derry City, when a Provo bomb abandoned in the garden, exploded. Gordon Gallagher was killed instantly. Unbelievably, Irish republicans in the city actually blamed the Army for leaving a bomb in the garden of a residential area. The cowards could not even bring themselves to admit that it was their despicable gang of thugs that had killed the unfortunate child. In fact, they did not admit responsibility for the atrocity until 2012! 

Nine year old Gordon Gallagher. Murdered by PIRA/SF as he played in his front garden.

Nine year old Gordon Gallagher. Murdered by PIRA/SF as he played in his front garden.

No one seems to know just why PIRA/SF planted a bomb in an innocent family’s front garden. Maybe ‘Commander Marty’ ordered the bomb to be left there because Gordon Gallagher’s mother or father was a suspected informer. Maybe Gordon’s mother had once said good morning to a soldier or an RUC officer. Perhaps the intended targets were soldiers, who happened to have passed the house weeks earlier. We will never know. The Provos, like the Mafia, rarely break their oath of silence. The murder of a nine year old boy is completely unjustifiable. PIRA/Sinn Fein compounded their crime by not even having the balls to admit what they had done until almost 30 years after the event. Just as they could not bring themselves to admit the heinous killing of Jean McConville, they couldn’t quite bring themselves to admit the murder of a young boy either. Thus demonstrating once again that the Provisional republican movement are not only murdering scum but also cowards.

Part Two On Tuesday