PIRA/Sinn Fein: A Movement Without Morals (Part 9)

The 90s: Another Decade of Death

As the 1980s ended and the 90s began the situation in Ulster was more or less the same as it had been at the start of the previous decade. PIRA/Sinn Fein continued its murderous campaign whilst Loyalist paramilitaries attempted to force them to stop. Killings were followed by retaliatory killings. Violence was met with counter-violence. But whilst the UDA/UFF and UVF continued to target and kill men, and increasingly turned their sights on active republican terrorists, PIRA/SF continued to target men, women and children, often without regard to age or gender. Few could’ve foreseen in the first days of the 1990s that this would be the decade that would finally see an end to ‘The Troubles’. Indeed, many times in the 90s it seemed that the Conflict was, almost inevitably, going to escalate into a full-blown civil war. Indeed, all out war seemed more likely than peace. Yet before peace would arrive, before the final days of ‘The Troubles’, Ulster would witness some of the most awful and bloody atrocities in the whole sorry history of the Conflict.

Provo Godfather Gerry Adams. Still wedded to violence in the early 90s

Provo Godfather Gerry Adams. Still wedded to violence in the early 90s

The Provisional IRA were limited in their activities during this period because of the increasing effectiveness of Loyalist paramilitaries. Between 1989 and 1994 (when the CLMC ceasefire was called) the UVF and Ulster Freedom Fighters killed dozens of PIRA/SF, INLA/IRSP and IPLO activists as well as a large number of others who were providing Irish nationalist terror groups with information, financial and/or logistical support. This effectively neutered the Provo murder gangs in many parts of Northern Ireland. Despite this however, PIRA/Sinn Fein still did their utmost to cause havoc and commit murder. The Provos, becoming ever more desperate, sunk lower and lower, carrying out some of the most heinous crimes the ‘Western World‘ has ever seen.

Human Bombs

On Wednesday, the 24th of October, 1990, eleven members of the Provo’s ‘Derry City Brigade’ kidnapped 42 year old Patsy Gillespie from his home in the Shantallow area of Londonderry. While his wife and children were being held at gunpoint, Patsy was forced to drive his Vauxhall Nova car to a rural spot on the Co. Donegal side of the Border. Patsy Gillespie was then forced into a van loaded with 1,000lbs (450kg) of explosives and told to drive to the Coshquin permanent Border checkpoint on the Buncrana Road. Armed PIRA gunmen followed him in a stolen car to ensure he obeyed their commands, the Provo terrorists having already told Gillespie that his wife and children would be murdered if he did not follow their orders.  Four minutes from the checkpoint, the PIRA hoods armed the bomb remotely. When Patsy Gillespie reached the checkpoint, at 3:55 AM, he desperately tried to get out and warn the soldiers, but the bomb detonated when he attempted to open the door. The callous Provo bomb makers had installed a detonation device linked to the van’s interior light, which came on whenever the van door opened. As a ‘safeguard’, the bombers also used a timing device to ensure the bomb detonated at the right moment (ie. when the bombers were safely out of the way). Patsy Gillespie and five soldiers were killed instantly when the device exploded. Witnesses reported hearing “shouting, screaming and then shots” right before the explosion. The bomb devastated the base, destroying the operations room. The death toll would have been much higher if most of the soldiers hadn’t been sleeping in a recently built mortar-proof bunker. The blast also damaged 28 nearby houses, with many of the occupants of those homes requiring treatment for shock and minor injuries. At Patsy Gillespie’s funeral, Roman Catholic Bishop Edward Daly said that PIRA/Sinn Fein and its supporters were:

“the complete contradiction of Christianity. They may say they are followers of Christ. Some of them may even still engage in the hypocrisy of coming to church, but their lives and their works proclaim clearly that they follow Satan.”

Meanwhile in Newry, at the other end of Northern Ireland, members of PIRA/SF took over the home of James McAvoy (65). He was allegedly targeted because he served RUC officers at his filling station(!), which was beside the house. He was driven away in a Toyota HiAce van while his terrified family was held at gunpoint. At Flagstaff Hill, near the Border, members of the Provo’s ‘South Armagh Brigade’ loaded the van with a ton of explosives. James McAvoy was strapped into the driver’s seat and told to drive the van to Cloghoge permanent vehicle checkpoint. Before he drove off, one of the terrorists seemed to have a pang of conscience and told James McAvoy not to open the van’s door, but to exit the vehicle through the window. The cowardly Provo gang followed the van in a stolen car and turned into a side-road well before it reached its intended target. When James McAvoy stopped the van and climbed out the window, a soldier came over and began shouting at him to move the vehicle. Seconds later the device exploded. The soldier was killed outright and 13 others were injured. James McAvoy survived with just a broken leg. 21 year old Ranger Cyril J. Smith, from No.4 Platoon, B. Coy., 2nd Battalion RIR, was posthumously awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal, for leading James McAvoy to safety and trying to warn his comrades about the bomb rather than running for cover. Ranger Smith was a Catholic from Carrickfergus. He had recently gotten engaged. At about the same time, there was a third attempted “proxy bombing” in Co. Tyrone. A third innocent man was strapped into a car and forced to drive it to Lisanelly Army base in Omagh while his young wife and seven year old child were held at gunpoint. This third bomb weighed 1,500lbs (680kg) but, due to a faulty detonator, failed to explode.

A memorial to 'Proxy Bomb' victim Patsy Gillespie.

A memorial to ‘Proxy Bomb’ victim Patsy Gillespie.

These ‘proxy bomb’ attacks, or to describe them more accurately, involuntary suicide attacks, marked a new low, even for PIRA/Sinn Fein. A tactic so despicable, so disgusting, that it has not been copied by any other terrorist group anywhere in the world. Not even al-Qaeda, Hamas or Boko Haram. That alone is ample demonstration of PIRA/SF’s absolute lack of morality. To hold a civilian’s wife and children at gunpoint and force them to drive a van, laden with high explosive, to a target where the bomb will explode, killing the kidnapped man and anyone who happens to be in the vicinity, is a vile and cruel tactic. The work of individuals too cowardly to confront their so-called “enemy” face to face. Individuals too wretched and pathetic to wage war by the accepted standards of warfare.

The aftermath of a Provo "Proxy bomb" attack.

The aftermath of a Provo “Proxy bomb” attack.

Teebane: An Attack on the Entire Protestant Community

On Friday, the 17th of January, 1992, at a place known as Teebane crossroads in Co. Tyrone, the Provos carried out the single biggest planned mass killing of Protestant workmen since the Kingsmills massacre of 1976. Eight Protestant men, travelling home from work, were murdered and another six badly injured when a PIRA/SF roadside bomb exploded, destroying the Ford Transit mini-bus they were travelling in. The Provos later added insult to injury by declaring that the dead men were “eight collaborators engaged in rebuilding Lisanelly barracks”. It is very probable that the sick minded bigot that concocted that vile statement is now a Sinn Fein elected representative!

Teebane: The mass-murder of Protestant civilians coming home from a days work.

Teebane: The mass-murder of Protestant civilians coming home from a days work.

The victims of the Teebane bombing came from a wide area of Northern Ireland, from Doagh, Magherafelt, Ballymena, Cookstown. Many Protestant communities were deeply affected by the atrocity. One of the dead was Gary Bleeks (25) who had returned from England to his native Cookstown, taking up a job with Karl Construction Ltd., from Antrim. He lived with his elderly Grandmother, Elma. She later described how she and the rest of the young man’s family had learned of his death:

We waited in suspense from six o’clock. Didn’t know until ten. We rang the hospitals. He wasn’t admitted and we knew if he wasn’t admitted [to hospital] he must be dead. And a woman came yesterday and told us that her daughter had held his hand till he died. She asked him where he was from and he told her Cookstown. He was quick to tell her that. A lorry driver came and helped him till he died. And so it was a comfort, to know there was somebody with him, that he wasn’t dying on his own”

In a way the Teebane massacre was another case of “mistaken identity” by the Provo death squads. In the immediate aftermath of the atrocity the bungling terrorists had insisted that their innocent victims were employees of Henry Brothers, based in Magherafelt, a company that had been targeted repeatedly by the sectarian killers of PIRA/Sinn Fein. Needless to say that the Provos really didn’t care who the men worked for, just as long as they had been working at an Army base or police station, thus giving the hate-filled bombers an excuse to mask their deep-seated sectarianism, for Teebane was a sectarian attack. A deliberate act of savagery, directed squarely at the Protestant community as a whole.

More Dead Children: More Wrecked Lives

On Friday, the 10th of April, 1992, at about 9:20pm, Irish nationalist terrorism returned to London. A Provo bomb, containing one ton of explosives packed into a large white Volvo lorry, with a detonation cord made from 100lbs (45kg) of semtex, exploded at the Baltic Exchange, London. It killed three people: Paul Butt (29), a Baltic Exchange employee, Thomas Casey (49), and 15 year old Danielle Carter, a schoolgirl from Essex. Another 91 people were injured. Almost half of the wounded were women and children. The façade of the Exchange’s offices at 30 St. Mary Axe was partially demolished, the rest of the building extensively damaged.

PIRA/SF bombed the Baltic Exchange on 10th of April 1992, killing 2 men and a young girl. This was the sight that greeted those who came to inspect the damage the following day.

PIRA/SF bombed the Baltic Exchange on 10th of April 1992, killing 2 men and a young girl. This was the sight that greeted those who came to inspect the damage the following day.

The bomb led to the destruction of the Baltic Exchange which has now been replaced by The Gherkin. London had seen more than its fair share of PIRA/SF bombings and gun attacks but the murder of two men and a young girl was truly shocking. Irish republican apologists will try to warp the facts of the matter and claim that the civilians murdered that night were killed “in error”, but the facts speak for themselves. PIRA/Sinn Fein set out to destroy the Baltic Exchange and as much of the surrounding area as possible. The bombers didn’t care who died in the blast. They probably cheered when they heard that they had killed three ‘Brits’. PIRA/Sinn Fein’s sectarianism only being matched by their racist hatred for anyone and anything that is not Irish and ‘Gaelic’.

On Monday, the 12th of October, 1992, that xenophobic hatred was once again visited upon the innocent civilians of the UK’s capital. A Provo bomb gang left a small device, packed with ball-bearings and other deadly shrapnel, inside ‘The Sussex’, a busy pub on Upper St.Martin’s Lane in the popular Covent Garden area of the city. Five people were badly wounded in the attack. One of those unfortunate people, David Heffer (30), succumbed to his wounds the following day. The bomb attack on ‘The Sussex’ was just one of several such attacks in October of that year, although thankfully the other indiscriminate bombings caused only minor injuries to 12 people and no-one else was killed.

Any Irish republican reprobate who still foolishly clings to the notion that PIRA/SF did not deliberately target civilians should do some research. Not only did they target civilians, at times en masse, but the Provo thugs did it throughout the Conflict. From their emergence (aided and funded by the Irish government) in 1970, right up until their first ceasefire in 1994, PIRA/Sinn Fein targeted and killed civilians, deliberately, coldly, callously, without compunction. The sanitising of PIRA/Sinn Fein’s history needs to stop because it is farcical, it is damaging to the ‘Peace Process’ and it is insulting, not only to victims and their families, but to every decent, sane, rational person of a certain age who can remember ‘The Troubles’ as they really were, not as republicans would have the world believe they were.

NEXT WEEK: PART TEN – FROM WARRINGTON TO THE SHANKILL

What Ireland wants the rest of Europe to forget

Irish nationalists and republicans would like the world to believe that Eire (the Irish Free State) remained strictly neutral during WWII. They did not. Many in the Dublin government were quietly sympathetic to the Nazis. Some were more overt than others. One incident oft cited by Ulster Loyalists, which illustrates Eire’s pro-Nazi sentiments, is DeValera’s visit to the German Embassy to express his (and by default the Irish governments) condolences in the wake of Hitler’s suicide. Irish nationalists, who seem to be history experts to a man, either deny the incident ever occurred, or seek to downplay it. Every neutral country sent their condolences to Nazi Germany when the Führer blew his brains out they’ll say. But that is a lie. Merely diplomatic protocol they’ll say- a matter of good etiquette. That too is a lie. The most often repeated lie is the one that says ‘Ach sure it was only Dev. It was only one man’. So say the historical amnesiacs of Irish nationalism, but their lies are easily dis-proven.

Two days after Hitler and his consort Eva Braun committed suicide in their Berlin bunker, Irish Taoiseach, Eamon De Valera, who also served as foreign minister, and his aide, Secretary of External Affairs Joseph Walshe, visited the German Embassy in Dublin to sign a book of condolences for the departed Führer . They also met with the top German envoy to Ireland, Eduard Hempel, a committed Nazi . Irish envoys in other nations did likewise, including Leopold Kerney in Spain, who called on the German Embassy in Madrid to express his condolences and lament the loss of Adolf Hitler. Irish President Douglas Hyde also expressed his condolences for the Nazi leader.

And this after the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bełżec, Chełmno, Jasenovac, Maly Trostenets, Sobibór and a whole host of other extermination camps. After it had become clear to the world that Nazi Germany (and it’s allies, most notably Croatia) had committed genocide on a huge scale. After the full horror of the ‘Final Solution’ had become all too clear. Other (supposedly) democratic nations did not offer their condolences on Hitler’s death, for to do so would have been shameful in light of the Nazi dictator’s crimes against humanity. Indeed, no other Western European democracies followed De Valera’s example – he found himself in the dubious company of two European fascist dictators, Francisco Franco of Spain and António de Oliveira Salazar of Portugal, in voicing condolences over Hitler’s suicide.

By the time of Hitler's death, extermination camps like Auschwitz-Birkenau had already been liberated by the Allies.

By the time of Hitler’s death, extermination camps like Auschwitz-Birkenau had already been liberated by the Allies.

The global media saw it as an expression of pro-Nazi sentiment. An editorial in The New York Times said of De Valera’s visit:

“Considering the character and the record of the man for whose death he was expressing grief, there is obviously something wrong with the neutrality of Mr. de Valera.”

The New York Herald Tribune also blasted De Valera.

“If this is neutrality, it is neutrality gone mad – neutrality carried into a diplomatic jungle – where good and evil alike vanish in the red-tape thickets: where conscience flounders helplessly in slogans of protocol”

Many ordinary Americans also condemned De Valera. A Mrs.Walsh of New York wrote to a local newspaper saying:

“Have you seen the motion pictures of the victims of German concentration camps, de Valera? Have you seen the crematoriums? Have you seen the bodies of little children murdered by Nazi hands? Have you seen the living dead, de Valera? Skin stretched over bone, and too weak to walk?”

Ireland’s neutrality in a war that cost millions of British and Allied lives remains a messy and controversial chapter in European history. But support for neutrality was strong in the country, with many Irish even expressing sympathy for the Germans as an “anti-British” entity. De Valera had already inflamed the British government in 1943 when he sent a note of congratulations to Indian nationalist (and German and Japanese ally) Subhash Chandra Bose following the latter’s declaration of Azad Hind – a “Free India” government-in-exile“, which was basically a puppet regime of Imperial Japan.

David Gray, the U.S. ambassador to Ireland in the 1940s, believed De Valera stayed out of the war on the bet that the Nazis would defeat the Allies. Gray also contended that some top Irish officials were, in fact, colluding with the Third Reich. In addition, in the two years just prior to the outbreak of the war in 1939, Eire refused entreaties to allow German Jewish refugees and other victims of Nazi persecution to settle there. Practicing a policy of “Aryans only” up until the 1960s.

Sadly Anti-Semitism is still rampant in Ireland.

Sadly Anti-Semitism is still rampant in Ireland.

Interestingly, De Valera did not extend the same courtesy to Winston Churchill as he did to Hitler when the British statesman died in January, 1965. In December, 1962, Sir Ian MacLennan, the British ambassador to Ireland, wrote in a secret memorandum to the Commonwealth Relations Office that De Valera would never honour Churchill, still angered by his responsibility in “carving up Ireland” and for criticizing Dublin’s neutrality during the war. De Valera declined an invitation to attend Churchill’s funeral, but deigned to release the following statement: “Sir Winston Churchill was a great Englishman, but we in Ireland had to regard him over a long period as a dangerous adversary.”

These facts are inconvenient to Irish nationalists and republicans. They would rather deny these parts of their history rather than examine them. They would rather be selective with history rather than accurate. Historical revisionism comes naturally to Irish nationalists. It is done almost without thinking. Ireland likes to forget the parts of history that do not fit into the ‘romantic little Ireland’ narrative that has been so carefully crafted over the last hundred years or so. Irish nationalists simply ignore that which doesn’t suit them, they’d rather any wrongdoing was simply forgotten, not just by the Irish but by the rest of Europe as well.

PIRA/Sinn Fein: A Movement Without Morals (Part 8)

Slaughter at Enniskillen

On Sunday, the 8th of November, 1987, the people of Enniskillen gathered at the town’s cenotaph to remember the dead of two World Wars. For people all over the UK, Remembrance Sunday is a solemn and quiet day. A day of reflection. It should have been like that for the people of Enniskillen too, but PIRA/Sinn Fein were to make that impossible in the most horrific and violent way possible. Enniskillen, the largest town in County Fermanagh, is a picturesque and rather sedate place with a long military tradition, the area having sent many soldiers to the battlefields of the First and Second World Wars. It’s proximity to the border with the Irish Republic, a ready escape route, meant it was an easy target for the Provisional IRA.

A Provo bomb exploded during the Remembrance Day service, killing 11 people. It was the highest death toll in a terrorist attack in Northern Ireland for five years. At least 63 people were injured in the blast, nine of them seriously. The device went off without warning at 10:45 am at the town’s cenotaph where people had gathered to pay their respects to the war dead. The bomb was hidden in a nearby hall. It blew out one of the building’s walls, showering the area with debris and burying people in several feet of rubble. The dead included three married couples, a retired policeman and a young nurse. Thirteen children were among the injured. One of the wounded, Ronnie Hill, 68, lapsed into a coma two days after being injured and never regained consciousness. H.M. The Queen sent her “heartfelt sympathy” to the people of Enniskillen. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said the bombing was “utterly barbaric“.

Some of the victims of the Provo's 'Poppy Day bomb'. Innocent civilians who went out to remember the dead of two World Wars

Some of the victims of the Provo’s ‘Poppy Day bomb’. Innocent civilians who went out to remember the dead of two World Wars

Even for the Provo death squads, the ‘Poppy Day Bombing’ was a low. Not satisfied with massacring innocent civilians, PIRA/SF were now massacring innocent civilians as they gathered to remember their honoured dead. Wherever in the world conflict has raged, and whatever the brutality inflicted by man on his fellow man, there has been a time-honoured tradition that the burial and commemoration of the fallen should be respected as sacrosanct. As terrible as the Enniskillen bombing was though, the 8th of November could have been a lot worse, for on the same day, PIRA/SF had placed a much larger device in the vicinity of a Remembrance parade by almost 200 young members of the Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Brigade, 15 miles away in Tullyhommon. Had it exploded, the carnage would almost certainly have surpassed that of the Enniskillen tragedy. The victims would have been predominantly children. PIRA/Sinn Fein had deliberately set out to murder children, only good fortune and poor engineering on the part of the Provo bomb-maker prevented an almost unimaginable atrocity.

The ‘Fun Run Bombing’

On Wednesday, the 15th of June, 1988 at 8.50 pm, Irish nationalists once again shocked and sickened the world with a cowardly and unbelievably callous attack. The Provo cowards murdered six soldiers as the men made their way home after a charity fun-run. 4,500 people had taken part in the run, organised by Lisburn Borough Council (as it was then) and the YMCA to raise money for disabled children. Around 200 Army personnel had been among the charity runners. While the soldiers had been running the 13-mile (21 km) half marathon, a Provo murder gang had placed a 7lb bomb under their blue Ford Transit minibus. The soldiers, unaware of the deadly device under their vehicle, drove off. Nine minutes later, the van stopped at traffic lights at Market Place, in Lisburn’s town centre. As the van moved off, the booby-trap bomb detonated.

The Semtex device had been designed in a cone shape to channel the blast upwards (a so-called ‘up and under’ device), thereby causing maximum damage to the vehicle and killing as many people as possible, both soldiers and onlookers. The area around Market Place was crowded with people, including many teenagers and families with young children. In all, about 10,000 onlookers had attended the charity run. There was pandemonium as frightened parents searched for their children, whilst others rushed to give aid to the dead and dying soldiers before the Emergency Services arrived. Eleven civilians were injured in the attack, including a two-year-old toddler and an 80-year-old man. As well as the four men who had been killed instantly another soldier died on the way to hospital, whilst a sixth soldier died later that night after undergoing surgery for severe head injuries. The dead soldiers were stationed at Ebrington Barracks, Londonderry, and were returning to base when the bomb went off.

The aftermath of the Lisburn 'fun-run bombing' in which six soldiers died

The aftermath of the Lisburn ‘fun-run bombing’ in which six soldiers died

On the 16th of June, the Provisional IRA’s so-called ‘Belfast Brigade’ claimed responsibility for the bombing, promising to wage “unceasing war” against the Security Forces.  Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said that the Provo’s killing of the six soldiers was “vastly preferable” to killing members of the Ulster Defence Regiment or Royal Ulster Constabulary. In the wake of the bombing, the leisure centre where the soldier’s van had been parked was forced to remain shut for a time after the UVF (using their PAF cover-name) issued a warning that they regarded four members of staff working there as “legitimate targets“, inferring that the threatened men had provided information to PIRA/SF and had a hand in the bombing. Indeed, it would seem that someone had passed information to the PIRA bombers. Questions were raised as to how the Provos knew the soldiers were attending the charity run in Lisburn and how they recognised their unmarked van. Although no doubt, had the UVF/PAF or Ulster Freedom Fighters killed any of the threatened men, Irish republicans and the compliant media would have proclaimed their innocence in the usual, stomach turning way. The usual method employed by republicans and their pet ‘journalists’ is to almost canonise dead Irish nationalists, portraying them as ‘an innocent man’ or even as a ‘community worker’ or ‘human rights activist’, rather than admit that they were, in reality, political activists, terrorist collaborators and/or sympathisers, whilst at the same time labeling any Protestant (other than members of the Security Forces) killed by republicans as a ‘loyalist activist’ even if they were only a member of a flute band or an Orange Lodge.

The Murder of the Hanna Family

I would be the first to admit that I am hard to shock. Like many in Ulster (above a certain age) I am somewhat desensitised to violence. There is one incident though that sickens me to the very core. An incident that does shock me. I’am referring to the utterly disgusting, dreadful, cold blooded, sickening and cowardly murder of a family returning from a holiday. On the 23rd of July, 1988, the Hanna family from Hillsborough, Co.Down, (Robin Hanna, his wife Maureen, both 44, and their young son David, who was just 6) were returning home from a dream holiday in Disney World, Florida, when they were murdered by PIRA/Sinn Fein psychopaths, almost certainly acting in collusion with members of An Garda Síochána.

There can be no excuse, no justification, to murder six year old boys

There can be no excuse, no justification, to murder six year old boys

The Provo’s alleged target was Eoin Higgins, a Catholic Judge, who had flown from New York to Dublin with his wife and daughter , on the same day as the Hanna family returned from America.  The Provo scumbags said that Judge Higgins ”was unexpectedly delayed” near the Border, while the Hanna’s vehicle, traveling on the Dublin-Belfast road, was “mistakenly sighted as the judge’s car”. Mr. Hanna, a plumbing and heating contractor, his wife and their youngest child, died instantly, when a 1,000-pound mine was detonated by remote control. How did PIRA/SF know of Judge Higgins’ exact travel plans? How did they even know which flight he and his family had been on?  If they were not acting in concert with the Garda (and possibly the Irish Army), how could they have known that Judge Higgins had been “unexpectedly delayed”? At the funeral of the 3 innocents the officiating minister said-

“The spokesmen who represent the killers have made their excuses and expressed their regrets. But the fact is that Robin, Maureen and little David are dead because some people set out with lawless intent and deliberate planning to inflict injury and death on other human beings. If it had not been these members of the Hanna family, it would have been the members of some other family. The plotters planned death and death is what ensued.” – Rev. Gordon McMullan

There are no words for the horror the Provos inflicted on the Hanna family that day. The PIRA/Sinn Fein leadership issued a snivelling, disgusting ‘apology’ for the mass murder of the Hannas. They spun a web of lies, admonishing themselves of any responsibility. All that statement did was to add insult to injury. Once again the Provos had demonstrated their inhumanity. Once again they had revealed themselves to be amoral, hateful, child killers. Ironically, on the same day as the Hanna family’s funerals, there was another funeral, a few miles away in Belfast. This however, was not the funeral of an innocent victim. It was the funeral of a despicable, low life bastard. PIRA member Brendan ‘Ruby’ Davison, a republican terrorist, sectarian thug and career criminal. An Irish nationalist fanatic. He was cut down by a UVF active service unit at his home in the Markets area of Belfast. Unbelievably, the Priest conducting Davison’s funeral tried to compare the Provo gunman with the wholly innocent Hanna family. I would like to say that I am surprised by the Priest’s sick comments, but I’m not. The hateful, repugnant slurs of that Priest have been repeated over and over again. Irish nationalists, and their apologists, have attempted to equate dead murder gang members with innocent victims like the Hannas. Anyone with a shred of human decency should be sickened by that. Anyone with a shred of human decency should recognise that there is a world of difference between an innocent child, murdered on his way home from Disney World, and a wretched, gutless PIRA gangster who was motivated by pure sectarian hatred. Sadly however, there seems to be thousands of people in Ulster who cannot see the difference. I would describe such people as being little better than Brendan Davison.

NEXT WEEK- PART 9

PIRA/Sinn Fein: A Movement Without Morals (Part 7)

The Early 80s

The early 80s were a turbulent time in Ulster. PIRA/SF continued to target civilian and security force targets alike. The no-warning bombings and sectarian gun attacks continued. Meanwhile, a rejuvenated UDA/UFF was tracking down and killing leading Irish nationalists and republicans. The INLA/IRSP had been hit especially hard by the UFF Active Service Units, losing three of their ‘leading lights’- Miriam Daly, Ronnie Bunting and Noel Lyttle- in the space of just four months in 1980. But it was not only the largest of the Loyalist paramilitary groups that was inflicting serious damage on the Irish republican war machine. The Security Forces too were enjoying some success. Leading republicans had been convicted and imprisoned. PIRA/Sinn Fein, OIRA and INLA/IRSP had been infiltrated by double agents and were riddled with informers. By 1982/83 the number of violent attacks was decreasing and, at least for a short while, it looked as if the RUC and UDR, with the support of the Army, were winning. Some dared to hope that ‘The Troubles’ were drawing to a close. Sadly, such hopes were short lived.

INLA terror gang leaders Ronnie Bunting and Noel Lyttle, killed by the Ulster Freedom Fighters.

INLA terror gang leaders Ronnie Bunting and Noel Lyttle, killed by the Ulster Freedom Fighters.

Despite the fact that the volume of attacks had dropped sharply, PIRA/SF still managed to carry out some truly shocking and wicked atrocities. On Monday, the 15th of March, 1982, Alan McCrum, aged just 11, was killed and 35 other civilians wounded when a Provo bomb gang detonated a large device, without warning, in the centre of Banbridge, County Down. A little over a month later the Provos attempted to emulate the awful carnage of ‘Bloody Friday’, though this time on a countrywide scale, when they set off no-warning bombs in towns across Northern Ireland. Wilbert Kennedy (36) and Noel McCulloch (32), were killed by a no-warning bomb in the quiet market town of Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry. Five other civilians were wounded. Meanwhile bombs were detonated in five other towns and cities- Armagh, Ballymena, Belfast, Bessbrook and Londonderry- causing widespread damage to property and injuring a further 8 people.

On Wednesday , the 7th of December, 1983, Edgar Graham, an Ulster Unionist Party Assembly member, was shot dead by a PIRA gang at the Queen’s University of Belfast. Graham was also a lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the university. As the earlier murder of the Rev.Roy Bradford had shown, PIRA/Sinn Fein were uninterested in democracy, they couldn’t have cared less about Roy Bradford or Edgar Graham’s constituents, or the electoral mandate those constituents had given the two murdered politicians. For Irish nationalists/republicans it would seem that a democratic mandate only matters when it is given by nationalist/republican voters! Just 10 days after the sectarian murder of Edgar Graham, PIRA/SF once again decided to visit their hatred on the people of England. Three members of the police and three innocent civilians (including a journalist and an American tourist) were killed in a Provo bomb attack on Harrod’s department store, Brompton Road, London. Approximately 90 people were also injured as a result of the blast. Incredibly, PIRA/Sinn Fein later issued a statement claiming that the attack had not been “authorised by the Army Council” and that it “regretted the deaths”. I’m sure the weasel words of the mad bombers were scant comfort to the wounded and the bereaved.

The UUP's Edgar Graham, murdered by PIRA/SF.

The UUP’s Edgar Graham, murdered by PIRA/SF.

Nothing is Sacred to the Provo Psychopaths

Nothing is Sacred to the Provo Psychopaths, not even the Catholic Church. On Sunday, the 8th of April, 1984, the Travers family had just left St Brigid’s Catholic Church in Derryvolgie Avenue, South Belfast. Tom Travers, a local Magistrate, his wife and daughter, were making their way home after Sunday Mass when they were approached by two PIRA/SF gunmen who opened fire on them without warning. Mary Travers was shot once through the back and her father was shot six times. One gunman brought his gun to point-blank range at her mother’s face and attempted to fire twice, but the gun jammed. Tom Travers survived the merciless attack, his young daughter did not. Mary Travers, a teacher by profession, was just 22 years old. A young woman with her whole life ahead of her, cruelly cut down by unfeeling, inhuman terrorists. Many years later Tom Travers said:

“Mary’s murder was carried out by member of an evil and brutal criminal organisation. Some of her killers were members of the murder machine, self-named Provisional IRA. At least one was a member of political Sinn Fein… May I say that on the day my lovely daughter was murdered her killer tried to murder my darling wife also. At that time Mary lay dying on her mum’s breast, her gentle heart pouring its pure blood on to a dusty street in Belfast. The murderer’s gun, which was pointed at my wife’s head, misfired twice. Another gunman shot me six times. As he prepared to fire the first shot I saw the look of hatred on his face, a face I will never forget.”

After the attack the Provos claimed Tom Travers had been “a legitimate target because of his role in the British judicial system”. They also tried to claim that the bullet which killed the young schoolteacher, Mary Travers, had passed through her father’s body first. A post mortem found she was shot directly in the spine. PIRA/Sinn Fein are not only cowardly, amoral, sneak killers but also liars who would not know the truth if it came up and slapped them in the face. Their pathetic attempts to justify their repugnant actions only added insult to injury for the Travers family, and indeed, for all right-thinking people in Northern Ireland.

The Brighton Bombing

Brighton is a picturesque and somewhat bohemian town on England’s south coast. It features some unique architecture and has a laid back, cosmopolitan atmosphere, possibly because it is the (unofficial) LGBT capital of the United Kingdom. The bustling coastal town is very far removed from the divided, conflict scarred towns and cities of Ulster. Yet not even Brighton could escape the horrors of the Provisional IRA’s blood-drenched terror campaign. On Friday, the 12th of October, 1984, just before 3 o’clock in the morning, a Provo bomb containing around 20lb of Frangex (gelignite), exploded in the bathroom of room 629 of the ‘Grand Hotel’, Brighton. At the time, the hotel was the venue of the Conservative Party’s annual conference. The explosion tore through the building, leaving a gaping hole in the hotel’s façade. Had the building not been a solidly built Victorian structure, it is almost certain that part of the building would have collapsed, killing scores of people.

The aftermath of the Brighton bombing.

The aftermath of the Brighton bombing.

Five people were killed in the explosion, three of them women. 34 people were injured, with many of them left permanently disabled and/or disfigured. The dead were- Anthony Berry MP (59), Eric Taylor (54), Roberta Wakeham (45), Jeanne Shattock (52) and Muriel McClean (54). The Provo’s intention, so they claimed, was to kill Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her government. One can understand why PIRA/SF would regard the UK government as so-called ‘legitimate targets’, one can even understand the motivation for killing the PM and her Cabinet, after all, for Irish nationalists it is natural to wish to destroy the government of the country that , at least in theory, stands in the way of their aspirations. Why though did PIRA/Sinn Fein decide to target Thatcher and her Cabinet in such a haphazard way? The ‘Grand Hotel ‘ was packed with people that weekend, only a tiny fraction of whom were government ministers. Aside from the ordinary delegates and members of the Tory party, their wives/husbands and children, there were also scores of journalists, TV news crews, dozens of hotel employees and others. Clearly, given their ‘blunderbuss’ tactics, the Provos didn’t care how many innocent people had to die, just as long as they were able to murder a few members of the government and a few Tory grandees.

Today many republicans claim that the Brighton bombing was a “spectacular”. A hammer blow to the British government. A strike at the very heart of the Establishment. It was nothing of the sort. On the 12th of October, 1984, the Provisional IRA tried, and failed, to strike at the UK government in the easiest way possible. Rather than go after individuals, targeting one Cabinet member or another with, for example, an under-car booby-trap bomb or a well placed sniper, they instead chose to strike at the government in the one place, and at the one time of year, when they would all be gathered together (alongside hundreds of others), in a public, non-governmental, and unsecured setting, ie. the Party conference. Disregarding the amount of ‘collateral damage’ such a strike was undoubtedly going to cause, the Provos had no way of knowing which rooms the Prime Minister or government ministers (and their spouses) would be occupying, no way of knowing if they’d even be in their rooms at the time selected for the bomb to go off, no way to avoid causing huge damage to the building, and thus, no way to minimise civilian casualties. Of course, technically, all of those people targeted by the Brighton bombers were civilians, since regardless of the attitude taken by Irish nationalists, Margret Thatcher and her Cabinet colleagues were the democratically elected government of the United Kingdom. They were not Police or Army personnel, they were not volunteer soldiers of the UVF or Ulster Freedom Fighters, they were elected politicians. Like Edgar Graham and the Reverend Roy Bradford, they were democratically elected representatives of the people.  No, dear reader, this was no terrorist “spectacular”, plainly speaking, this was PIRA/SF using a large net to catch a lot of fish, in the hope that at least a few would be the fish they wanted! It was the only way the Provo murder gangs were ever going to stand a chance of killing Thatcher or any members of her government.

Collusion: The Murder of Maurice and Cecily Gibson

On the 25th of April, 1987, High Court judge, Lord Justice Maurice Gibson and his wife Cecily were murdered by a PIRA/Sinn Fein roadside bomb as they crossed the border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. Murdered as they drove the short stretch of road between leaving their Garda escort and rendezvousing with the RUC officers assigned to accompany them on the rest of their journey home, the incident remains one of the more controversial of ‘The Troubles’, with evidence of Garda collusion prompting a deeply flawed independent review by retired Canadian judge Peter Cory. Lord and Lady Gibson had spent the night of April the 24th/25 th onboard the Liverpool to Dublin ferry. They had been in England on holiday to visit friends and family. Tired but looking forward to getting back to their Co. Down home, the Gibsons drove their blue Ford Escort onto the ferry late that evening and settled down to spend what would be, unbeknownst to them, the last night of their 42-year marriage together.

At 7 o’clock the next morning, the couple were met at Dublin port by two officers from An Garda Síochána , whose job it was to escort the Gibsons up to the Border in an unmarked car. As Lady Gibson, who was driving, was unfamiliar with the streets of Dublin, the two detectives took the lead for the first part of the journey, allowing the Gibsons to pass them as they reached the open road. An hour-and-a-half later, as the two cars reached the Customs post at Dromad, Co.Louth, Lady Gibson pulled over to allow her husband to get out, as he always did after receiving an escort, to thank the officers for their assistance. After shaking hands, the gardai followed the Gibsons right up to the Border before parting company. They watched as the judge and his wife drove across the frontier, seconds later there was an almighty explosion. The detectives spun round to see a column of thick black smoke rising into the sky. Lord and Lady Gibson (aged 74 and 67 respectively) were already dead: killed instantly by a bomb left in a stolen car and detonated by radio control as they drove by. The RUC officers assigned to escort the Gibsons on the Ulster side of the Border, were just outside Newry, minutes from the designated rendezvous point, when the bomb went off.

Maurice and Cecily Gibson: Murdered by PIRA/SF acting in collusion with An Garda Síochána.

Maurice and Cecily Gibson: Murdered by PIRA/SF acting in collusion with An Garda Síochána.

Eyewitness reports indicated that the stolen blue Ford Cortina that carried the bomb had been left in it’s final destination only 20 minutes before the Gibsons passed by. Lord and Lady Gibson’s travel plans were a closely guarded secret, though somehow the Provo death squad had managed to track them almost by the mile and the minute. Moreover, they had struck at the only point in the couple’s 100-mile journey where they were without a police escort to check the route ahead. In his 1999 work entitled ‘Bandit Country’, author Toby Harden alleged that elements within An Garda Síochána  in Dundalk had tipped off the Provisional IRA as to the Gibsons’ precise movements. This assertion was repeated in an article in the Irish News a year later. Both sources also claimed elements within the Dundalk Garda had fed other information to the PIRA/Sinn Fein enabling them to perpetrate a large number of killings in the Border area. It was these allegations, proven to be factual by the Irish government’s ‘Smithwick Tribunal’, that prompted the review by Judge Cory, who was tasked to re-examine all evidence relating to the case and surmise whether there was any basis for a public inquiry into collusion. Cory found “insufficient evidence” to warrant a public inquiry into the incident. But the later ‘Smithwick Tribunal’ found that Cory had been mistaken in questioning the reliability of intelligence that a member of the Garda had helped the Provos in the Gibsons’ murders, and in May this year former Northern Ireland First Minister, Lord Trimble, called for an inquiry into whether there was collusion. If such an inquiry was to take place, if it were to be truly independent, and if the conclusions of such an inquiry were to be arrived at without regard to the “political sensitivities of the nationalist/republican community”, (to quote the NIO), then undoubtedly the murder of this elderly couple would be revealed as yet another case of Garda/PIRA collusion.

Irish nationalists and republicans used to bring up alleged cases of collusion ad nauseam, in recent times though they have been strangely silent about incidents of collusion. Is it coincidence that they have become more reticent about discussing such matters now that collusion between PIRA/SF murder gangs and the organs of the Irish state is a proven, documented, undeniable fact? Did nationalists/republicans really believe that Loyalists were not capable of calling for inquiries into incidents of collusion? Maybe they have started to believe their own vile “all Prods is stupid” propaganda? Or, more plausibly, they did not believe that the British and Irish governments would ever accede to Loyalist/Unionist demands for inquiries. Whatever their thinking was, they must now surely regret propagandising the issue of collusion quite so vociferously. The amusingly simplistic slogan, “collusion is no illusion”, seems to have backfired on Irish nationalism rather spectacularly.

NEXT WEEK: (PART 8) ENNISKILLEN, THE ‘FUN RUN’ BOMBING & THE MURDER OF THE HANNA FAMILY

On The Scottish Referendum

Prologue

The British Isles. The Islands of Britain. If you’re an Irish nationalist or republican- the archipelago off the North-West coast of mainland Europe formerly known as the British Isles (source: the Sinn Fein dictionary of Newspeak, 13th edition). A group of over 6,000 islands, many of which are inhabited, many of which are uninhabited. The two largest islands are commonly known as Great Britain (because it is the biggest), and Ireland, although I prefer to use the less common titles of East Britain and West Britain (and no, I’m not joking). These islands are subdivided into six distinct nations. East Britain is made up of England, Scotland and Wales. The more westerly island is made up of Eire and Ulster. The tiny island nation of Vannin (the Isle of Man) lies between the two. If one includes the Channel Islands, and there are arguments for and against doing so, the number of nations rises to 8. If one recognises Cornwall/Kernow as a distinct nation, and many do, that number rises to nine. The United Kingdom governs most of the British Isles. Eire has been an independent country since the early 1920s. The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey are not part of the United Kingdom, they are British Crown Dependencies, ergo- British but not part of the UK (Irish nationalists will, by now, be furiously scratching their heads!). 

A handy map of the British Isles for the geographically challenged

A handy map of the British Isles for the geographically challenged

On Thursday, the 18th of September, one of the UK’s constituent nations, namely Scotland, will hold a referendum on independence. At present, opinion polls suggest the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns to be neck-and-neck. The result will be close, or so it appears. As an Ulster Loyalist many people think they know what my views are on Scottish independence. Most of those people are wrong. Let me be perfectly honest: I am not in favour of independence for Scotland, but if the Scots people are in favour of it, or at least the majority are, then I say- so be it. If there is a ‘Yes’ vote I will not be slitting my wrists, nor will I be out looking for a sturdy bough from which to hang myself. The world will keep spinning, the birds will keep singing and I, like many other Ulster Loyalists, will get on with my life exactly like before. Let me tell you why…

Lord, Save me from the Hypocrites!

Most Irish nationalists and republicans struggle with logic. They assert that this island, West Britain (aka ‘Ireland‘) should be, neigh must be, governed as a single, unitary, homogeneous state but that the island of Great Britain should not be. Unionists however, hold an equally paradoxical view- that the nations of one island should remain separate but that the nations of the other (main) island should remain unified. Ok, maybe there are some Unionists who would argue that all the nations of these islands should be politically united but surely such Unionists are only a tiny minority? Holding two seemingly opposing views at the same time creates cognitive dissonance. Something I’ve never been too keen on. So how do Loyalists “square the circle” so to speak? Let me explain-

As an Ulster Loyalist I am loyal to the land of my birth, Ulster (pay attention at the back there). I regard my native land as being a distinct nation, a nation which (as the polity of Northern Ireland) is part of the United Kingdom because the majority of it’s citizens wish it to be so. I, like the majority of my compatriots, believe that Ulster’s membership of the United Kingdom is beneficial to our material well being. I do not believe that that membership is a prerequisite of my country’s existence, nor do I believe that the UK is somehow a ‘spiritual’ or undissolvable union. My primary loyalty is to Ulster (as it has existed since 1921, ie. the six county Ulster model of the modern era). I reject the idea that Ulster should be subsumed into a monocultural 32 county Irish state, not because of any enmity or prejudice against Eire or it’s citizens, but because the idea is anathema to me as a patriotic Ulsterman. I would be just as opposed to any proposed annexation if our neighbours on this island were the Dutch or the Swiss! I would also be naturally opposed to any effort by England to supplant Scottish culture, rewrite Scots history and/or fully ‘integrate’ those two nations into one.

Admit it, this isn't really how you imagined the Swiss army, is it?

Admit it, this isn’t really how you imagined the Swiss army, is it?

I regard the United Kingdom as a family of nations. But a family held together, not by inflexible bonds of iron, but by more subtle ties. Common outlook, common language (more or less), common history and common values. Should one part of that family of nations decide to go it’s own way and to break the ties which bind our countries together, then so be it. The rest of the family will simply carry on. No island, no landmass, is preordained to be a single, unitary political entity. Islands do not equal nations. Scottish independence will not make me, or Ulster, any less British. The people of the UK are of course British by birth, but in another way, a more intangible way, we are British by choice. Is it not then also valid to choose not to be British, if that is how one feels? And is it not also correct for each part of the Union, each nation, to have the right to self-determination? A Union held together by force or coercion is not a Union I would want any part of.

We’ll Still be Brothers

In the event of a ‘Yes’ vote, the people of Ulster and the people of Scotland will still be close relations. Political decisions, no matter how momentous, cannot alter thousands of years of history and kinship. I will still visit the Scottish branch of my family in Stirling, I will still welcome Scots into my home each July. I might even chance my arm and try to get a Scottish passport (one can never have enough passports!). An independent Scotland may even have unexpected benefits for Northern Ireland, after all, those nuclear submarines have to be based somewhere, and Lough Foyle is as good a place as any. It is my sincere hope though that this referendum is decisive, one way or the other. Is a 51-49% split a clear indication of the will of the people? Can Scotland transition to independence if, for example, 47% of the population didn’t want, or vote for, independence?

There is another issue here too. If independence is rejected, then surely it is time for a constitutional modernisation of the United Kingdom? A redefining of relationships between constituent countries, a reassertion of the inalienable rights of individual nations and the updating of the UK’s written constitution (contrary to popular belief the United Kingdom does have a written constitution: the Magna Carta Libertatum of 1215). And is it not time for English devolution? The UK has always been a federal entity in all but name, it is high time for our federation to be codified and it’s articles of association to be made clear.

Oh Alex, you're making this all far too easy. People will start to think you want to have the "pish ripped clean outta ye".

Oh Alex, you’re making this all far too easy. People will start to think you want to have the “pish ripped clean outta ye”.

Epilogue

The Scottish people should use their votes and use them wisely. People in other nations that constitute a part of a larger union or federation will never get a vote on their countries future. Wars have been fought for such things. Remember Biafra-  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20801091. One could argue that the American Civil War was about the right of constituent states to secede (or not), a conflict that cost over 600,000 lives and tore apart a continent. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the argument, it will at least be settled at the ballot box, not on the field of battle.

I wish my Scottish brothers and sisters well, whatever they decide. The choice is theirs and theirs alone. I will not wax lyrical about British identity, I will not use sentimentalism to argue for Scotland’s continued membership of the Union. Scots should vote with their heads, not their hearts, for Scotland will always be in their hearts, as Ulster is in mine. They will always have Scotland’s best interests at heart, simply because they are Scots. Therefore the choice must be made with cool head rather than warm heart. What is best for Scotland? Separation or Union? The Scots must decide. The rest of us must await the outcome of that decision, but I will leave you with my prediction- when all the votes are cast and counted, I believe that Scotland will say: “Naw thanks”.

 

 

Kosovo Terrorist Training Camps Reopen For Syrian Jihadists

Syrian ‘opposition’ studies terror tactics in Kosovo

A delegation of Syrian ‘rebels’ has made a deal with Kosovar authorities to exchange experience of ‘partisan’ warfare. Syrian Jihadis are sending militants to Kosovo to study the terror tactics of the KLA, the Kosovo-Albanian murder gang that continues to ethnically cleanse and kill Serbs and other minorities.

On the 26th of April, a delegation of Syrian Islamic extremists visited Pristina (on their way back from the U.S.) to hold talks on how to make use of the experience of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in Syria. So far, a poorly-organized Syrian ‘opposition’ has proven unable to self-organize and form a steady front against the forces of President Assad. Terror tactics used by militants allow them to kill military and governmental officials, but do not help to hold positions against a regular army.

“We come here to learn. Kosovo has walked this path and has an experience that would be very useful for us,” says the head of the Syrian delegation Ammar Abdulhamid, a leading dissident. “In particular, we’d like to know how scattered armed groups were finally organized into KLA.”

Syrian rebel leaders have promised to immediately recognize Kosovo once they seize power in the country- “We’re in vital need of joint actions as a coalition opposition,” stressed Ammar Abdulhamid, a long-time opponent of the Syria’s President Bashar Assad. In 2005, he left Syria to settle in the US.

KLA butchers pose with the severed head of a Serb civilian. Beheading seems to be a common tactic of such extremists.

KLA butchers pose with the severed head of a Serb civilian. Beheading seems to be a common tactic of such extremists.

The training camp on the Albanian-Kosovo border that has welcomed Syrian attendees was originally organized by the United States (particularly the CIA) to help the KLA train it’s terrorist members.  The KLA was considered a terrorist organization by the US, the UK and France for years until, in 1998, it was taken off the list of terrorists with no explanation given. The KLA used to have up to 10 per cent of underage fighters in its ranks, have committed numerous war-crimes, are the leading heroin importers and people traffickers in Europe, have links to the Provisional IRA and, perhaps most worryingly, close ties to Al-Qaeda, Hamas and ISIS.

Cause for International Concern

There were numerous reports of the KLA having contacts with Al-Qaeda, getting arms from that terrorist organization, getting its militants trained in Al-Qaeda camps in Pakistan and even having members of Al-Qaeda in its ranks fighting against Serbs. Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, has warned the UN Security Council that Kosovo should not be allowed to become a training centre for rebels. Churkin added:

“Turning Kosovo into an international training centre for insurgents of various armed units could become a serious destabilizing factor, one going beyond the Balkan region. We call on international presences operating in [Kosovo] to curb such slippage.”

That Jihadis are being trained in Southern Europe by experienced KLA terrorists should be a matter of concern for European governments. One would expect however, that the UK government will not show any such concern, indeed it will be a miracle if the British government or mainstream Media even makes reference to the situation in the Balkans.

After all, it was the UK government, the United States and their NATO proxies that turned a blind eye to the KLA’s war-crimes and atrocities. For reasons unknown, ‘the West’ decided to take sides in the various Balkan conflicts of the 90s. They took up a virulent Anti-Serb position and backed Islamic militants, first in Bosnia, then in Kosovo. No doubt they will continue to back their KLA puppets, even if that means ignoring the KLA’s increasingly close relationship with ISIS and other extremist groups.

Kosovo-Albanians Flock to Join ISIS

A large number of Kosovo-Albanians, many of them former KLA terrorists, have gone to Syria and Iraq to join up with ISIS. As of today, it is estimated that at least 160 Kosovars have been killed whilst fighting in Syria, Iraq and Kurdistan. There are hundreds more still alive and active, committing atrocities in those countries. Kosovo has become a significant breeding ground for the global jihad.

Europe was repelled when, on the 31st of July, a Kosovar in the ranks of ISIS, Lavdrim Muhaxheri, posted photographs on his Facebook page of himself decapitating a Syrian soldier.

Lavdrim Muhaxheri and other Kosovar Jihadi terrorists wave the black flag of ISIS [note the individual clutching his 'Kosovo Passport']

Lavdrim Muhaxheri and other Kosovar Jihadi terrorists wave the black flag of ISIS [note the individual clutching his ‘Kosovo Passport’]

Muhaxheri has a history in Kosovo of supporting extremists in Syria. On the 12th of May, the Kosovo daily web-portal Express, in a report by its intrepid investigator of radical Islam, Visar Duriqi, said that Muhaxheri had worked in the official Kosovo Islamic Community apparatus in Kacanik, a city near the southern Kosovo border with Macedonia. In Facebook posts before his atrocity photo was posted, Muhaxheri claimed he controlled the appointment of the imam at the Central Mosque in Kacanik, which has become a center of conflict between Islamist radicals and local traditional Muslims. Islamic extremist Muhaxheri threatened to kill Kacanik clerics as well as politicians and public figures in Kosovo who denounced incitement of young Albanian Muslims to fight in Syria.

Another Kosovar, Blerim Heta, blew himself up in Baghdad, killing over fifty people. Heta did not fit the ‘normal profile‘, in that he came from an intact family that was not poor, had no criminal record, and was employed (in fact he worked at Camp Bondsteel, the main US Army base in Kosovo); He attended sermons by Shefqet Krasniqi, the popular imam at Prishtina’s Grand Mosque, who praised the martyrdom of the first Albanians to die in the Syrian jihad.

It is clear that, unsurprisingly, Kosovo has become a fertile recruiting ground for the Jihadists. Furthermore, the Kosovar ‘government’ [such as it is] is amenable to the extremists and is quite prepared to allow Jihadi fighters to use Kosovo as a training camp and base of operations. What will it take before ‘the West’ opens its eyes to the reality of Kosovo, the KLA, and the real agenda of the Kosovo-Albanian Mafia state. Perhaps some will only open their eyes when some fresh terrorist atrocity is visited upon a European city. Maybe then the people of Europe and North America will wake up and ask their rulers why they sided with Islamist Kosovo-Albanian separatists and stole that province away from the Serb people, handing it over to the KLA heroin dealers and slave traders.

PIRA/Sinn Fein: A Movement Without Morals (Part 6)

1980/81: Horror Upon Horror

As the 1970s drew to a close it was obvious to the leadership of the republican ‘movement’ that any military victory was impossible. They had promised their supporters much but delivered nothing. The Westminster government had, unconstitutionally,  prorogued Ulster’s parliament but that action was influenced by the undemocratic machinations of Heath’s Tory party, not by the storm of violence ad death unleashed by PIRA/SF. The Provos had promised that 1975 would be “the year of victory”, yet in reality, it was simply another 12 months of senseless barbarity.

The leadership of PIRA/SF had promised their deluded supporters that they could gain some kind of victory in a short space of time.

The leadership of PIRA/SF had promised their deluded supporters that they could gain some kind of military victory in a short space of time.

As 1980 dawned, few in Northern Ireland dared to hope that the 1980s would be any different to the decade just gone. It would though turn out to be somewhat different. Many people forget that for a period in the mid-Eighties, it looked as if terrorism in Ulster was being defeated. The number of PIRA/SF and INLA/IRSP attacks diminished and it seemed quite possible that the nightmare was, perhaps, drawing to a close. We now know, with the benefit of hindsight, that it wasn’t. The nightmare would continue, and indeed get worse, before it was finally over. The violence picked up again in the latter years of the 80s, marked by some of the most savage acts ever chronicled in the annals of conflict. The 90s, contrary to popular (mis)belief, were much worse. Ulster was taken to the very brink of Civil War on at least a few occasions. Though tentative discussions about peace were already well under way, few in Ulster would have predicted (relative) peace before the end of 1994.

The first years of the 1980s saw PIRA/Sinn Fein carry out some truly heinous acts. The continued slaughter of innocent civilians, the indiscriminate bombing, the ethnic cleansing of Protestants in areas across Northern Ireland, the fire-bombings and the kneecappings. The continued use of weasel words and grandiose language, used by PIRA/Sinn Fein to try to defend the indefensible. Most people in Ulster, at least of those who had not used wealth to insulate themselves from the realities of war, would have described themselves as being fairly hardened to all the killing and destruction by the beginning of 1980, but few could have envisioned the horrors about to be perpetrated by Irish nationalist terror gangs. Few could have imagined the depths to which the Irish republican thugs would stoop.

By 1980, Ulster's conflict had been raging for over a decade.

By 1980, Ulster’s conflict had been raging for over a decade.

1980

The first months of the decade saw much terror and death in Northern Ireland. On the 17th of January, three civilians were murdered when PIRA/SF detonated a bomb aboard a packed Lisburn-Belfast commuter train. Those civilians, Mark Cochrane (17), Abayoni Max Olorenda (35) and Kevin Delaney (26), had no chance of escape. Yet again, the Provo murder gangs had deliberately chosen to visit mass slaughter on the civilian population. That republican apologists even attempt to deny PIRA/SF’s deliberate targeting of civilians is pushing credibility to it’s very limits. The facts speak for themselves. On the 14th of May, 1980, PIRA/Sinn Fein killed Roy Hamilton (22) in an overtly sectarian gun attack on a building site in the Ballymagroarty area of Londonderry. The construction workers on site were almost all Protestants, a fact soon learned by the local Provo death squad, who decided that they could not have such ‘Heretics’ in their midst. Two gunmen were dispatched to the site and as the Protestant workers sat down to their morning tea-break they were fired upon. Roy Hamilton, a young man who was just out to do an honest days work, was shot and killed. Three of his workmates were wounded. On the 15th of August, Ulster was stunned by a cold-blooded and senseless double murder. Two Protestant civilians, William Younger (87) and his daughter, Letitia Younger (57), were found murdered in their home in the Ligoniel area of North Belfast. They had been repeatedly stabbed before being shot. No group ever claimed responsibility for the vile double killing (unsurprisingly). There was some speculation, no doubt carefully crafted within the Irish nationalist community, that the deaths of William and Letitia Younger were not ‘Conflict related’. Quite frankly I think that is nonsense. There is evidence which points to this brutal act having been the work of PIRA/Sinn Fein. 

Provo 'Mad Bombers' often struck civilian targets.

Provo ‘Mad Bombers’ often struck civilian targets.

The day after the Youngers were brutally slain inside their home another civilian, Colette Meek (47) was murdered standing outside her own front door. Mrs Meek was standing in the driveway of her at home at Alliance Avenue in the Ardoyne area of North Belfast when a PIRA/SF gang opened fire on a nearby Police patrol. The Provo gunmen, clearly not the best of marksmen, shot and killed the mother of four “by accident”. No RUC Officers were wounded in the bungled attack which left Colette Meek’s children without a mother.

The IRA claimed responsibility. They said they were sorry and that she wasn’t their intended target. It makes me angry…I never got to know my mummy. I was deprived of her when I was growing up. She was the best in the world; she was my mummy.” – Mrs Meek’s daughter (from ‘Ardoyne – The Untold Truth’)

Abduction and Torture

On Sunday, the 31st of August, 1980, Wallace Allen (49), an RUC Reservist and farmer, was abducted by the Provisional IRA from the cab of the milk lorry he was driving, near Newtownhamilton, Co. Armagh. His mortal remains were found nearby on the 12th of September. He had been tortured before being shot in the head. What suffering the poor man must have known in those 12 days PIRA/SF kept him captive. What agonies must have been inflicted on him?. This was the Provo’s ethnic cleansing of Protestants in Border areas in brutal action. Wallace Allen was given as gruesome and as violent a death as possible, to serve as a warning to other Protestants in the area (the few who had dared remain). The Provo’s message was as simple as it was chilling- “Get out or this will happen to you or one of your family”. PIRA apologists will shriek that Wallace Allen was murdered because he was a member of the RUC Reserve, but that is not the real reason he was killed. He was killed because he was a ‘stubborn Prod’ who not leave the place he called home. He was tortured for almost a fortnight before being killed as a warning to other Protestants in South Armagh.

Not content with abducting, torturing and murdering one Protestant in the area, the Provo psychopaths decided to slake their thirst for blood by abducting, torturing and murdering another Protestant man. This time their victim was Ross Hearst (56). On evening of the 4th of September, Mr Hearst had been visiting friend across the Border in Co. Monaghan in the Irish Republic when he was kidnapped by a PIRA/SF murder gang (almost certainly acting in collusion with local members of An Garda Síochána). His body was found several hours later, at Wards Cross near Middletown in South Armagh. Like Wallace Allen, he had been tortured before being shot in the head. Thankfully the duration of his suffering was much shorter than that of Wallace Allen.

Wallace Allen. Abducted, held prisoner and finally murdered by a Provo killer gang.

Wallace Allen. Abducted, held prisoner and finally murdered by a Provo killer gang.

At the start of December, the Provos murdered another housewife. This time their victim was Heather Pollock (53), from Strabane, who was struck by gunfire in her own home after yet another botched PIRA/Sinn Fein gun attack on the RUC. A mobile patrol had been passing through the area when a Provo sniper opened up on them. Rather than hitting his intended target though, the incompetent republican thug shot and fatally wounded Heather Pollock. She died in hospital two days after Christmas. Sinn Fein made a stomach churning statement, absolving their terrorist wing of responsibility and spewing out the usual garbage about “intended targets” and how Mrs Pollock’s murder was a “mistake”.

1981

On New Year’s Day, 1981, the Provos tried their old trick of making someone ‘disappear’. Their unfortunate victim was Eugene Simons (27), from Castlewellan, Co. Down. He was never officially listed as one of ‘The Disappeared’ because, purely by chance, his body was found in a desolate bog, near Knockbridge, Co. Louth, in the Irish Republic, in May, 1984. Eugene Simons had lain in an unmarked, shallow grave for over three years. His callous killers hadn’t even the basic human decency to allow his family to give him a proper burial. Why PIRA/Sinn Fein murdered Mr Simons is not known. Perhaps he was a suspected informer. Perhaps he once had a conversation with a soldier. It is more likely though that he was killed (‘disappeared’) because he had insulted or disrespected some local Provo godfather. PIRA/SF, like the Mafia, don’t like to be shown up as the petty thugs and bully boys that they really are!

Eugene Simons, 'Disappeared' by the Provos. Thankfully his body was later found, although by accident.

Eugene Simons, ‘Disappeared’ by the Provos. Thankfully his body was later found, although by accident.

On Wednesday, the 21st of January, 1981, the Provos once again shocked the civilised world with their barbarism and cruelty. That night an armed gang of ten Irish nationalist terrorists crossed the Border, hijacked two vehicles and went to Tynan Abbey, the isolated mansion home of Sir Norman Stronge (86) and his son James Stronge (48), located near Middletown in South Armagh. The Provo gang murdered the two men. Shooting them dead in their own home. They then bombed the historic building before making their escape. Following the brutal double murder, the Provisional IRA claimed responsibility, stating that it was a reprisal for recent attacks by Loyalists on republican activists (so much for PIRA/SF not reacting to Loyalist violence!). Over the previous six weeks, four leading Irish republicans had been killed by the UFF. Just a few days earlier, embittered Irish nationalist militant Bernadette McAliskey and her husband, a senior member of PIRA, had been badly wounded. It seems that PIRA/SF felt that murdering an 86 year old man and his son would somehow ‘even the score’ with the Ulster Freedom Fighters, who were targeting and killing the republican leadership, seemingly at will.

The Murder of Joanne Mathers

Joanne Mathers (pictured with her baby son), murdered by PIRA/Sinn Fein because she was a Protestant.

Joanne Mathers (pictured with her baby son), murdered by PIRA/Sinn Fein because she was a Protestant.

Few incidents from Ulster’s dark past provokes as much disgust, as much horror, as the sickening murder of Joanne Mathers, a young wife and mother, cruelly cut down in her prime. Joanne Mathers was just 29-years-old when on the 7th of April, 1981, a cowardly PIRA gunman shot her dead on the doorstep of a Gobnascale home whilst she chatted to the man who lived there. Mrs Mathers was the mother of a toddler and was collecting census forms when she was ruthlessly killed. As Mrs Mathers casually chatted to the householder, a masked man dashed forward, snatched the clipboard she was holding with one hand, placed a gun to her neck with his other hand and fired. Mrs Mathers cried out and ran past the householder into his home. The man, to his credit, slammed a glass panelled door in the hallway shut in an attempt to stop the killer following, but the fanatical gunman kept coming, smashed through the glass door and as Joanne Mathers lay dying on the ground, took the rest of the census forms. He then made his escape whilst brandishing the murder weapon in the air as a deterrent against anyone attempting to apprehend him. Sinn Fein had issued a laughable diktat that no-one in the Irish nationalist/republican community was to complete or return their census forms, in a “demonstration of love and support for the Hunger Strikers”, but if that was the excuse for the murder of Joanne Mathers, why murder the young woman collecting the forms? Why not, as PIRA/SF had done so many times before, simply ‘make an example’ of someone in their own community who they knew disobeyed them and filled in the census forms? The answer is patently obvious. Joanne Mathers was killed because she was a Protestant. Because of the republican organised boycott of the census, anyone out collecting census forms was almost guaranteed to have been a Protestant. Going against PIRA/Sinn Fein orders by filling out one’s census forms was one thing, openly defying them by taking a job collecting census forms was quite another, therefore, those going around the doors collecting the forms were bound to be from the Protestant community. Joanne Mathers was murdered because of her perceived religious affiliation.

Former RUC Special Branch agent Raymond Gilmour lays responsibility for Mrs Mather’s death squarely at the feet of Martin McGuinness. In a revised edition of his bestselling book ‘What Price The Truth’, Gilmour states:

“Nothing, and I mean nothing, happened in Derry without the say so and nod from Martin McGuinness. He was top of the pile. There was no one higher up the ladder than him. McGuinness was the power behind the throne in Derry. Everything had to be cleared through McGuinness first. So I can say with absolute certainty that McGuinness gave the order to kill Mrs Mathers.’’

Raymond Gilmour was in a position to know. Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead, has much innocent blood on his hands, would any Loyalist be surprised to learn that he gave the order for a young wife and mother to be murdered? 

Did Martin McGuinness (circled) order the murder of Joanne Mathers?

Did Martin McGuinness (circled) order the murder of Joanne Mathers?

Desmond and Eric Guiney

On the 5th of May, 1981, PIRA gunman and firebomber, Bobby Sands, died in Long Kesh. Sands had been on hunger strike for 66 days. When news of Sands’ death broke, the Irish nationalist/republican community erupted (this is the same community who, it is claimed, never supported the Provisional IRA!). There was widespread rioting, disorder and destruction of property. Eric Guiney (45) a local milkman, and his son Desmond Guiney (14), both Protestant civilians, were driving along the New Lodge Road in North Belfast. When they got to the junction of the Antrim Road they came under sustained attack from Irish nationalist stone throwers. Eric Guiney had his window down and was struck on the head by one the missiles thrown by the baying republican mob. Their little milk lorry crashed into a lamp-post and Desmond went through the windscreen. When the ambulance and fire brigade arrived to help the injured man and his son, they too came under attack from the stone throwing thugs. Eric and Desmond were taken to the Mater Hospital, where both were sent immediately to the Intensive Care ward.

The aftermath of the vicious attack on Eric and Desmond Guiney.

The aftermath of the vicious attack on Eric and Desmond Guiney.

Desmond Guiney died of his injuries three days later. His mother was with him when he finally succumbed to his horrific injuries. His funeral was attended by thousands of people, including his traumatised school friends. Eric Guiney never regained consciousness after the crash and was not even aware of his son’s death. He died on the 13th of May. Many Irish republican sympathisers laud Bobby Sands as some sort of hero, but how many such people even know the names- Desmond and Eric Guiney? How many remember the ‘New Lodge Milkman’ and his young son, murdered by a republican mob enraged because one of their Provo poster-boys had starved himself to death in prison?

Sectarian Shootings

Throughout the rest of 1981, PIRA/Sinn Fein took many more lives. As more Hunger Strikers died the republican ‘movement’  became ever more enraged and blood thirsty. On the 21st of July, John Hazlett (43), a Protestant builder, was shot dead by a Provo murder gang as he renovated premises at Bank Square, Maghera, Co. Londonderry. On the 11th of August, another Protestant civilian, Charles Johnston (43), was shot by a PIRA/SF gunman, riding pillion on a motorcycle, in a ‘drive-by’ type killing in Belfast. On the 8th of November, 1981, Trevor Foster (17), was killed by a Provo booby-trap bomb outside his parent’s home in Co. Armagh. Two days later, Charles Neville (56), was murdered by a Provo gun gang as he left his workplace in Loughgall, Co. Armagh. The most high profile of this series of sectarian murders took place in Belfast on the 14th of November, when once again, the Provisional IRA would demonstrate their deep rooted hatred for anything and anyone Protestant, Loyalist or Unionist.

PIRA psychopaths often carried out random sectarian killings.

PIRA psychopaths often carried out random sectarian killings.

Rev Robert Bradford was a Methodist minister and UUP MP for South Belfast. He was conducting a constituency surgery in Finaghy, Belfast, when shortly before 11.30am on Saturday, November 14, 1981, three armed PIRA members carrying ladders and dressed in painters’ boilersuits arrived at the community centre at Benmore Drive, which Rev. Bradford was using to meet constituents and hear their concerns. At first their arrival did not arouse suspicion; there was ongoing work at the centre. One of the gang members, carrying a sub-machine-gun, took up position at the front door. One of his accomplices shouted “freeze” before opening fire on the caretaker, 29-year-old Kenneth Campbell, who was returning to the centre after a break at his nearby home. He died at the scene. While one of the nationalist terrorists pinned an RUC bodyguard to the ground at gunpoint, another gunman quickly turned to Reverend Bradford, the gunman coldly opened fire, shooting him in the eye, chest, neck and ear. The 40-year-old father-of-one died instantly. When Rev. Bradford and Mr Campbell were shot, children at a kids’ disco in the community centre witnessed the horrific murders. A 15-year-old DJ described how he threw a chair at one of the killers while shouting at other children to dive for cover.  “The gunmen pushed the children out of the way as they made their way out of the building,” he added. An 11-year-old told reporters afterwards: “They shot the Rev. Bradford about six times. We were quite close by. The shots were very loud.” Provo killer gangs care little for the fate of bystanders, even children.

The Rev. Bradford had become a Methodist minister when he was just 22, turning his back on a career as a professional footballer with Sheffield Wednesday FC. He joined the UUP when he served as a minister in the Loyalist enclave of Suffolk in West Belfast and was elected MP for South Belfast in 1974. He was an outspoken critic of PIRA/Sinn Fein and had demanded the reintroduction of hanging for terrorist killers. Rev. Bradford’s widow, Norah, was 33 at the time of the killing. They had one daughter, Claire. Speaking after the murder, she told reporters:

“They have tried several times at the advice centre. They came at least two times before and they were caught out watching the advice centre, but he would not give it up just for them. He knew it would be the most likely place for them to get him. He never feared he would be attacked. He felt it was a possibility. He did not fear it.”

The murder of a Methodist minister should be ample evidence of the deeply sectarian nature of PIRA/Sinn Fein. What would have happened I wonder, if at any point in ‘The Troubles’, Loyalists had killed a Roman Catholic priest? Even a priest like James Chesney, an active PIRA terrorist who had a hand in the 1972 Claudy bombing?. Or his un-named confederate, also a Catholic priest, also involved in the Claudy bombing, who fled to New York in fear of his life?. What reaction would there have been in such a hypothetical scenario? One can only imagine the furious uproar in the media, the hysterical hand wringing from certain, dubious, Unionists (so-called Unionists to be more accurate), the crocodile tears of the Irish nationalist/republican leadership. Rev. Roy Bradford was not a Roman Catholic priest though. He was ‘just an auld Prod’. Therefore, in the eyes of our controlled media, his life had little value. In the wake of his murder (and that of Kenneth Campbell), there wasn’t much handwringing from the Irish nationalist community. No calls for the killers to be cast out of their midst. One is left to speculate why?

Protestant clergyman and Unionist MP Rev. Roy Bradford, murdered by Roman Catholic extremists- PIRA/SF

Protestant clergyman and Unionist MP, Rev. Roy Bradford, murdered by Roman Catholic extremists- PIRA/SF

When Irish nationalists deny that PIRA/SF carried out overtly sectarian murders, or when they deny that “da RA” deliberately targeted civilians, they are vomiting out a carefully crafted lie. Not just a lie, but a snide, sneering, disgusting insult. An insult to hundreds of dead innocents. An insult to those who dared take a stand against the loathsome bigots of PIRA/Sinn Fein. This lie, is not repeated out of ignorance, even the most cursory glance at the historical record would be enough to acquaint anyone with the real facts of the matter, rather it is repeated because of pure, raw, visceral hatred. Sectarian hatred. When some republican bigot attempts to assert that the Provo death squads were non-sectarian, or that they did not set out to deliberately murder civilians, they are mocking you. They are insulting you. They may as well be spitting in your face, and they know it! You see, Irish nationalists don’t care how many innocent people died at the hands of PIRA/SF. In their heart of hearts they don’t give a damn. That some nationalists publicly condemn the actions of the Provos is merely a matter of expediency. Irish nationalism is incapable of reform. It is irredeemable. Just like Nazism, Stalinism or Ba’athism.

Don’t be fooled by the saccharin sweet smiles, the politically correct language or the sharp suits. PIRA/Sinn Fein have no remorse for the murder and mayhem they inflicted on this society for 30 years. In fact, far from being remorseful or showing any kind of contrition, they revel in their past misdeeds. They gloat about the number of Protestants their murder-machine cut down. They praise and adulate their ‘fallen comrades’, men like Thomas Begley, sectarian mass-murderer, sent out by Provo godfathers to kill and maim as many Shankill Road residents as possible. Sadly for them though, there are those of us on the Loyalist side who do not forget and who are not easily fooled (or bought!). We know our enemy. We remember their evil deeds. To quote the motto of a certain secret intelligence agency- “We Do Not Forgive. We Do Not Forget”

NEXT WEEK: PART 7

 

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.

NEXT WEEK: 1980/81 HORROR AFTER HORROR

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.

NEXT WEEK: La MON, MOUNTBATTEN AND ETHNIC CLEANSING ON THE BORDER 

 

 

 

Interview With an ex-Soldier

Introduction:

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.