The Troubles

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

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

Targeting Civilians

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

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

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

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

The Balcombe Street Gang

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

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

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

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

The Dolphin Restaurant Murders

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

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

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

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

Stuck In The Middle With Who?

Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right

Here I am, stuck in the middle with you. So the song goes (Stealers Wheel if I recall). I had asked my twitter followers what this blog article should be about. I had asked them to vote; Irish anti-semitism or the sectarianism of the PIRA murder campaign. They voted for the latter. Today though, I’m not going to write about either of those subjects. As serious and worthy of study as they are, I’ve decided instead to vent my spleen a little. After all, blogging is supposed to be cathartic. A way of letting off steam. So today I’m going to write about a group of people that (rightly) receive little attention from those who study, write about and analyse ‘The Troubles’. A group of people that have, in the last 2-3 years suddenly become very vocal and very opinionated. I would describe these people as the middle class but that would be unfair to middle class Unionists and nationalists, so I will instead use the term ‘pseudo liberals’ to describe this small, spiteful, cowering clique.

These pseudo liberals (or rather their parents) used money, privilege and the artificial social construct of ‘class’ to insulate themselves from the ravages of war. When Ulster burned around them, they sheltered in the leafy suburbs. They exempted themselves from the Conflict, yet were (and are) only too eager to offer their half-baked opinions and ill conceived ideas about how that conflict should be brought to a close. Politically and personally, they invested little or nothing in the communities on either side of ‘the divide’. Their motto, if they had one, would surely be ‘sod you Jack if I’m alright’. In terms of the history of The Troubles, they are an irrelevance, not even worthy of a footnote in the multiplicity of books written on the subject. In terms of the present however, as these pseudo liberals, emboldened by years of relative peace, suddenly find their voice (and a shrill, hectoring voice it is too), they are, at least, worthy of some study, albeit a brief and cursory one.

The Price of Everything, The Value of Nothing

The pseudo liberals of Cultra and the Malone Road (for example) do not think like ordinary Ulster punters. They think only in terms of money. For them, money is a sort of ‘cure all’. A wonderful remedy for all of life’s ills. For them money brings, not only happiness, but social standing, respect and a feeling of superiority too. The pseudo liberal looks down upon the ordinary mortal. Snubs their nose at the ‘spides’ and the ‘chavs’. In the mind of this repellent clique, such people shouldn’t be allowed out of their ghettoes. The pseudo liberal, faux intellectual, why-can’t-we-all-just-join-hands-and-sing-Kum-by-ya set cannot see the quiet dignity of the working class. Just as some maintain that might is always right, so the pseudo liberals maintain that money is always right. Not that they would ever admit to such a thing mind you. Oh no, the pseudo liberal will always think of themselves as a friend to the poor, unfortunate, vulgar ‘spide’, in much the same way as Colonial missionaries thought themselves to be the friend of the ‘savage’. Indeed, had some pseudo liberal ‘wit’ not coined the term ‘spide’, I’m pretty sure that ‘savage’ is what the spineless wonders would call us working class oiks.

"Eh, no thanks pal. We don't want your 'civilization'. The one we got works just fine"

Civilisation you say? No thanks, we’ve already got one”

Bad enough for people to harbour such elitist, petty bourgeoisie views in private. The pseudo liberal however, was not content with that, they had to make their twisted Weltanschauung, their malicious outlook on life, known to everyone. Well, everyone who uses social media in Northern Ireland. In 2012 the flag protesters stole Christmas, at least according to the pseudo liberals. Therefore, in their silly wee heads, the flag protesters ought to be vilified, lampooned, ‘satirised’ and attacked at every turn, on a daily basis, for the foreseeable future. And that is exactly what they have done. Every single day. Ad nauseum. At first Irish nationalists/republicans thought they had found a friend, somebody (actually a small cabal of people) who loathed and despised the pro-Union community as much as they do. Sadly for them, they were soon disappointed, for although the online anoraks hate Loyalism with a rare intensity, they seem unwilling to wholeheartedly embrace the tenets of Irish expansionism (for now at least). The reason for the pseudo liberal hatred of Ulster Loyalism and working class Unionism? The answer is simple…

"Changing society" one c**t 'joke' at a time!

“Changing society” one c**t ‘joke’ at a time!

Fear and Loathing in Helen’s Bay

(May Hunter S. Thompson have mercy upon my soul)

The pseudo liberal is one of nature’s true cowards. If Northern Ireland society was an ocean, the pseudo liberal would be it’s jellyfish. A nasty little sting but absolutely no backbone! The use of violence for political ends is an alien concept to them. Many would consider that a virtue, I consider it a contemptible vice, an irrational aversion to the realities of a cruel and inherently violent world. Politically motivated violence is not always wrong. Indeed, in certain situations, and at certain times, it is the only realistic option. During The Troubles, the pseudo liberal clique failed to see the big picture. Loyalists faced annihilation, extermination, at the hands of an enemy that, at times, seemed wholly psychotic. Violence, or rather, counter violence, became absolutely necessary. The Ulster-Scots people were fighting for their very survival. The pseudo liberal though saw only the detail, never the whole picture, and thus the handwringing and condemnation began.

To those safely cocooned in their mock Tudor villas and turnkey townhouses it must have seemed like their ‘social inferiors’ would tear Northern Ireland apart, and at any moment, rise up out of their sink estates and terraced streets, seize power or trigger a lengthy, all out, no holds barred, civil war. For these people, with their pseudo liberal sensibilities and their unrealistic political outlook, the Ulster Conflict was an inconvenience. A terrible, bloody sideshow. As long as the bombers and the trigger-men stayed out of their cosy little affluent enclaves, they couldn’t care less about who was winning or who was losing. They did not pay the price of failed security policy in blood. Their homes were never ransacked by the RUC, or damaged by republican bombs, the bars they frequented were never bombed or riddled with machine-gun fire. Money gave them distance from it all. Not distance as measured in meters or miles but distance nonetheless.

To the pseudo liberal, Loyalists were no better than the Provisionals. Today they will often recite the mantra of ‘both sides were as bad as each other’. Really? Because in my book murdering babies is a lot worse than killing a grown man. Let’s not forget though, the pseudo liberal doesn’t think like the rest of us ‘plebs’. To them it’s all the same. Mainly because it was happening to someone else. Anyway, somehow, somewhere down the line, the pseudo liberals came to hate Loyalists (and to a lesser extent ‘mainstream’ Unionists) with a passion. Maybe Mummy and Daddy were detained briefly at a UDA roadblock during the UWC strike. Maybe Daddy and wee Jonathan/Tarquin/Joshua missed the rugby two weeks running because of the Drumcree crisis in ’95. Who knows? What is obvious though is that the hatred runs deep. Today, in the mind of the pseudo liberal, Loyalists are worse even than the republican mad men who bombed and murdered, mostly it seems, simply for the pleasure of bombing and murdering. My own pet theory is that the hatred of Loyalists stems from pure fear. Undoubtedly the cowering, snivelling pseudo liberal fears republicans too, but Loyalism would have been, simply due to geography and demographics, a little closer to home. More familiar, and thus in a sense, more real? It is a curious quirk of human psychology that it is easier, more internally acceptable, to hate that with which you are more familiar. Maybe. Or maybe some (or most) of the middle-of-the-road brigade really do desire a unitary all-island state. That would at least explain their irrational hostility towards Loyalists, (and their moronic obsession with the Ireland rugby team!)

An Impotent Minority

The ‘two communities’ in contemporary Northern Ireland have reached an uneasy kind of plurality, no one ‘side’ can realistic hope to dominate (or obliterate) the other. There are however, still many minorities in the ‘new’ NI. Ethnic minorities, so-called Dissident republicans (who ironically have not deviated from republicanism’s stated principles as PSF has), religious minorities (such as the fast growing Mormon community) and, of course, the pseudo liberals. I sometimes wonder if minority groups, in any setting, feel a sense of impotence. A powerlessness that they can do little to change. In the case of the pseudo liberals, I am convinced that this is the case. Perhaps uniquely though, the pseudo liberal minority does have an infinitesimally small chance of overcoming that powerlessness. The pseudo liberals do not have to get the majority to change religion or somehow magically change their ethnicity, they just have to get the majority to change their outlook, their politics, and get the population to think like them. It’s a forlorn hope. It is impractical and outlandish, but still, it would seem that it’s a pipedream that is being actively pursued by a small number of pseudo liberal ‘clicktivists’, who naively believe that internet trolling and outright stalking can “change society here” (a direct quote). If nothing else, one must admire their sheer bloody-minded optimism, as misplaced and flagrantly unrealistic as it is.

Most within the ranks of the pseudo liberals however know that there is no possibility of turning the majority of people here into clones of themselves. They are, at least, realistic. For them, the sense of impotence must be palpable. No doubt some of them put it to the back of their minds. Play golf or drink chablis instead. Others get angry and frustrated, taking to social media to berate and sanctimoniously lecture others. Then there are those pseudo liberals who decide that they can not only launch malicious online assaults on Loyalists and Unionists, but also sneakily make a few pounds as well. Though maybe someone should have explained copyright law and intellectual property rights to them beforehand!

“Someone Has To Make The Coffee”

Much to the chagrin of pseudo liberals they do not really have any credible political voice. The lamentable Alliance Party of Northern Ireland being the closest thing they have to political representation. The pseudo liberal’s feelings of powerlessness must have reached an apex during the negotiations that led to the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1998. One would have thought that ‘The Agreement’ would have been a time for rejoicing in the cloistered suburbs and cul-de-sacs that the pseudo liberals call home, but no. Pseudo liberals, with their inflated sense of self worth and their utter contempt for the ‘riff raff’ (especially Loyalist riff raff) couldn’t quite bring themselves to celebrate. Yes, no doubt, they were delighted at the prospect of peace and so-called ‘normality’ (as most people were) but why, oh why, did that lovely Mr Blair have to include those Loyalist ruffians at the talks? The presence of Provisional Sinn Fein they could just about handle but the fact that ‘low-downs’ and ‘spides’ like the Ulster Democratic Party and the Progressive Unionist Party were playing an active (and vital) role in deciding the future of Ulster must surely have been too much for them to bear. They failed to recognise (as evidenced by contemporaneous online rants) that it was armed Loyalism that had forced PIRA/SF to the talks table. They refused to see Loyalists as anything more than thugs and cornerboys. Oh how they must have fumed when they watched the national news and saw Secretary of State Mo Mowlam, go cap in hand into Long Kesh, giving assurances to the Loyalist POWs, in order to obtain their support (which they had recently withdrawn) for the ‘Peace Process’. Oh how their bile must’ve risen every time they switched on the TV and saw Gary McMichael, David Ervine, Davy Adams et al, strutting confidently in or out of Parliament buildings.

"Oh Mummy, that terribly common little man is on our TV again"

David Ervine MLA

I am reminded of an amusing anecdote from that time. An off the cuff remark that illustrates just how irrelevant the pseudo liberal minority really is. A reporter asked a member of the Loyalist negotiating team what he thought of the Alliance Party’s input into the talks, completely deadpan he replied “Well, someone has to make the coffee”. That rather nicely sums things up. Alliance, the only real voice the pseudo liberals have ever had (ignoring the farce that was NI21 of course) were only in the room to make up the numbers. They couldn’t be excluded because they had a mandate, though who would vote for the likes of Davy Ford I’ll never know, but they were never considered serious players in the political process. At the time, everybody knew who the big players were, and aside from the UUP and the SDLP (Europe’s only right-wing Social Democrats) the ‘big players’ were the parties that spoke for the ‘men of violence’. Something which sticks in the craw of the pseudo liberals even now. The fact of the matter is, it was down to those who had made war to make the peace. Loyalism had made war very effectively, Loyalism had forced the Provisional republican movement to the talks table. Loyalists have a lot to be proud of. Pseudo liberals have nothing. For to have something to be proud of, or indeed ashamed of, one must first do something. The pseudo liberals of course, are renowned for doing nothing, aside perhaps, from bellyaching and complaining. My message to them is simple: You are powerless and irrelevant. Criticise Loyalists all you want, free speech is something Loyalists cherish after all. Keep bitching and moaning. Sit in your nice house, mortgaged to the hilt, dishing out sarcasm and self righteous dogma. Better still, do what your parents did throughout the Conflict, absolutely sweet f**k all.

‘The Troubles’ were fought by the working classes. Peace, as flawed and unjust and fragile as it is, was brought about by the working classes, the ‘spides’, the riff raff. The people you so despise. It was us, the nobodies, the ‘scroungers’, that determined the future of Ulster and we still determine it. You, pseudo liberals, will never know what that feels like, because you are political and moral cowards. Figuratively speaking, you crawled under the duvet in 1969 and have only recently found the courage to re-emerge.

“To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

COLLUSION: PART 2

PROLOGUE

In the first part of this article I examined the inflated claims of Irish nationalists & republicans concerning alleged collusion between militant Loyalists & the British state. There is however another side of collusion, one which is beginning to be exposed. Despite not recognising the legitimacy of the “partitionist 26 county state”, otherwise known as the Irish republic, republicans have, throughout the history of ‘The Troubles’, colluded with & accepted aid from the organs of that state. Irish nationalism is demonstrably immoral. That nationalists would cast aside their principles in order to advance their aims, is not in the least surprising. What is more surprising, indeed shocking, is that a supposedly modern, democratic, European nation state would sponsor terrorism against their closest neighbour. What is also shocking is the way in which this collusion between the Irish state & the crazed fanatics of PIRA, INLA etc has been covered up. That cover up is thankfully now being exposed. Loyalists & Unionists, indeed anyone interested in truth & transparency, need to ensure that that exposure continues.

HOW THE IRISH GOVERNMENT HELPED CREATE THE PROVOS

In October 1969, a meeting of ‘Northern Citizen Defence Committees’, which had been set up to ‘defend’ republican areas & which included senior IRA members, was held in Bailieboro, Co. Cavan, with Irish army intelligence officer Cpt. James Kelly in attendance. The meeting was told that £50,000 (sterling) would be made available, from the Irish government to buy weapons “for defence of Irish nationalist areas”. Later, Irish Minister of Finance, Charlie Haughey, held meetings with Cathal Goulding, so-called ‘Chief of Staff’ of the emerging (though as yet unnamed) Provisional IRA. Minister for Justice, Micheál Ó Móráin, reported one of these meetings to the Irish Cabinet, but Haughey dismissed it as a mere “chance encounter” & no further action was taken. Meanwhile, Neil Blaney, Minister for Agriculture & Fisheries, made plans with Cpt.Kelly to import weapons from continental Europe, with Haughey providing the money for the purchase & also arranging customs clearance for the guns. By late April 1970, An Garda Síochána Special Branch were aware of the plot & informed Taoiseach Jack Lynch. However, Lynch took no action until the leader of the opposition, Liam Cosgrave, became aware of the smuggling scheme & pressed the Prime Minister to take action. Haughey & Blaney were sacked by Lynch on the 6th of May when they refused to resign. Kevin Boland, Minister for Social Welfare, resigned from the government in protest at the sackings as he was adamant (as were the accused) that Lynch & most of the Cabinet, in particular Jim Gibbons, then Minister for Defence, knew about the plan to import guns with which to arm the Provo death squads, all along. Minister for Justice, Micheál Ó Móráin, who was in hospital at the time, was asked to resign on the 4th of May. He later claimed that he had in fact informed Lynch of the individuals involved weeks before.

On Friday, 28th May 1970, Haughey & Blaney went on trial in Dublin, together with Captain James Kelly, a Belfast republican leader named John Kelly & Belgian businessman & fugitive Nazi Albert Luykx, who had allegedly agreed to use his contacts in West Germany to acquire the weapons that would be sent to the PIRA death squads in NI. All charges against Blaney were controversially dropped in the District Court on the 2nd of July 1970 & as a result he was not tried. Following a second trial the other four accused were cleared on the 23rd of October. At the trial there was a direct contradiction of evidence regarding the sanctioning of the imports between Haughey & chief prosecution witness, Jim Gibbons, Minister for Defence at the time of the attempted gunrunning. Haughey admitted arranging customs clearance for the shipment, but claimed in his defence that he did not know it consisted of weapons. This directly contradicted the evidence of Gibbons & Peter Berry that Haughey was fully aware of all the details of the conspiracy. It also contradicted the stories of his co-defendants, who admitted that they had tried to import weapons for the Provos, but maintained that the shipment had been legally authorised by the Irish government! During the trial, the judge remarked that either Haughey or Gibbons had to be committing perjury. Sadly though, due to the efficient cover up of these events by the Dublin government, we will probably never know the truth. Was the proposed arms shipment sanctioned at the highest level? Were other shipments of guns & explosives successfully imported & turned over to the Irish government’s Provo allies? How much Irish government money found it’s way into PIRA/SF bank accounts? One can only imagine the uproar & the outrage amongst republicans if this affair had involved the UK government channeling money to, or attempting to import arms on behalf of, the UDA or UVF.

THE MURDER OF RICHARD FALLON

In April, 1970, Garda Richard Fallon, 44, was shot dead as he & another garda chased armed raiders who had just robbed the Royal Bank of Ireland on Arran Quay, Dublin. The robbery & subsequent murder were widely believed to have been the work of a small Irish nationalist terror gang, styling themselves Saor Éire . One might think that no stone would have been left unturned to uncover the killers of a police officer, especially when he had three brothers who were also Gardai. But The investigation was botched from the very start. No effort was made to cordon off the crime scene. Children found spent cartridges at the scene & handed them to the gardaí. Shockingly though, the investigation may well have been deliberately sabotaged by senior members of the Dublin government. Gerry L’Estrange TD told the Dáil on the 4th of November, 1971 that “one of the men who murdered Garda Fallon was brought down to Greenore ferryboat in a State car”. He did not name the minister responsible in the Dáil, but gardaí were convinced it was Neil Blaney. On the 29th of July, 1970, Blaney told the Dáil “I would query how active these forces [the Garda] have been in apprehending the murderers of Dick Fallon? The murderer was witnessed by some members of these forces & yet the people involved in the murder have escaped the net.” It seems that having had his driver, a garda now dead, help one of the wanted men to escape, he was now taunting the police.

Garda Richard Fallon, whose killers were aided by members of the Irish government.

Garda Richard Fallon, whose killers were aided in their escape by members of the Irish government.

Des O’Malley, Minister for Justice when Blaney made his reprehensible statement, told the Dáil in July 2001 that  “there is some reason to believe Garda Fallon may have been murdered in April 1970 with a weapon which had been part of earlier illegal arms shipments into this State. There is also reason to suppose that some senior gardaí suspected that a prominent politician was fully aware of this earlier importation and had turned a blind eye to it.” Investigators believed that Pádraig “Jock” Haughey had smuggled a consignment of pistols in through Dublin Airport the previous September. Jock Haughey, was the brother of the infamous Charlie Haughey, who was in charge of Customs at the time. Another Irish political dynasty, the Aherns, were also implicated, with one of those arrested for questioning on suspicion of possibly harbouring the raiders being Con Ahern, the father of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

Thirty years after his father’s murder, Richard Fallon’s son, Finian, went in search of the files relating to the murder, but they were withheld. He later told an RTE interviewer that “the Government, or elements within the Fianna Fáil Government of the day, were embarked on a common endeavour with subversives to supply arms to the North for whatever reason, & that one of the guns made its way into the hands of the gang, or members of the gang, called Saor Éire, who killed my father, & in the aftermath of that I believe that the Government had to cover up those circumstances.” A damning indictment indeed.

SMITHWICK & BEYOND

On Monday, 20th of March, 1989, a Provo murder gang killed two senior RUC officers, Chief Superintendent Harry Breen & Superintendent Bob Buchanan. The 2 were returning from a cross-border security conference in Dundalk, Co. Louth, in the Irish Republic, when Buchanan’s car (a red Vauxhall Cavalier) was flagged-down & fired upon by six PIRA gunmen. Buchanan was killed outright whilst Breen, suffering serious gunshot wounds, was deliberately shot in the back of the head as he tried to crawl out of the vehicle. They were the highest-ranking RUC officers to be killed during ‘The Troubles’. The Smithwick Tribunal, a judicial inquiry into the killings which opened in Dublin in June 2011, published its final report in December 2013. In the report Judge Peter Smithwick stated that he was satisfied there was collusion in the killings & that somebody inside Dundalk Garda station had passed on information to the Provos regarding the presence of the two RUC men. Irish Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore responded to the publication saying:

“Chief Superintendent Harry Breen & Superintendent Robert Buchanan of the RUC were murdered by the IRA on 20 March 1989 as they returned home from a meeting in Dundalk Garda Station. For years we have sought to get to the truth about their deaths. Today we must acknowledge & confront the central grave finding of the Smithwick Tribunal Report, that there was collusion with the IRA from within An Garda Síochána in the murders of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen & Superintendent Robert Buchanan. I am appalled & saddened by this finding; it is a matter of grave public concern. On behalf of the Government and the people of Ireland, I apologise without reservation to the Breen & Buchanan families for any failings identified in the report on the part of the State or any of its agencies”

Collusion between the Irish state (or agencies thereof) & Irish nationalist terrorist gangs had been proven, at least in one case, but there are many other cases of alleged collusion between republican killers & representatives of the Irish state.

Other high-profile cases of alleged collusion include the murder of Lord Justice Maurice Gibson & his wife Cecily in an PIRA bomb at Killeen, Co Down, 1987; Co. Louth farmer, Tom Oliver, who was murdered by the Provos in 1991 for allegedly being an ‘informer’; the murder of electrical contractor Terence McKeever, who worked in RUC stations & was brutally tortured & killed by a Provo gang in June 1986 in South Armagh. The deaths of four RUC officers- William Wilson, 28, Stephen Rodgers, 19, David Baird, 22, & Tracy Doak, 21, in the bombing of a Brink’s-Mat van in 1985 moments after the RUC had taken over escort duty from the gardai. The killing of businessman John “Big Note” McAnulty who was abducted by the Provos from a border pub in July 1989, tortured & murdered. There was also the sickening ‘mistaken identity’ murder of Robert Hanna, his wife Maureen & their seven-year-old son David in a bomb at Killeen, Newry, as they made their way home after a family holiday to Disneyland, Florida, in July of 1988. In a callous attempt to excuse the murder of an entire young family, PIRA/SF said it meant to kill Judge Eoin Higgins but had slaughtered the Hanna family “by accident”.

IAN SPROULE

Ian Sproule was 23 years old & lived with his parents at their home on the Lisleen Rd, just outside Killen, near Castlederg, Co. Tyrone. Ian was a joiner by trade & spent a number of years working for his father who was a builder. He left Ulster
for a short time to take up a job in England but returned home in 1991 & was again working in the family business. Ian was an avid Everton supporter, & was learning to play the guitar. On the night of Friday, the 12th of April, 1991, Ian attended a birthday party in Castlederg. He returned home around 1 am in the morning. As he parked his car in the street outside the family home, three republican terrorists, who were lying in wait, opened fire on him from close range. Ian died instantly. Follow-up searches of nearby fields produced no evidence & the security forces made no arrests. After Ian’s murder, PIRA/SF claimed their victim had been a member of the UVF, in a bid to distract media attention away from what was, in reality, another sectarian assassination of a young Protestant civilian.

After the murder of Ian Sproule, Unionist politician Gregory Campbell raised the issue of PIRA/Garda collusion.

After the murder of Ian Sproule, Unionist politician Gregory Campbell raised the issue of PIRA/Garda collusion.

In the week after Mr. Sproule’s murder the Provos tried further to ‘justify’ this latest sickening sectarian murder. A masked man, claiming to be from PIRA/Sinn Fein, passed papers to a reporter from the ‘Derry Journal’. The papers included copies of Garda security files alleging Mr. Sproule was a suspected member of the UVF, wanted in Éire for questioning in relation to a firebomb attack in Ballybofey, Co. Donegal, in 1987 (an attack that was the work of the Ulster Freedom Fighters, not the UVF) In any event, Ian Sproule had never been charged with, nor found guilty of any offence. He was an innocent man. The Garda Commissioner at the time ordered an investigation into how confidential files belonging to his police service were passed onto terrorists – an irrefutable act of collusion between members of the Irish republic’s police & PIRA/Sinn Fein. Mr. Sproule’s family was never advised of the outcome of that investigation, although it was referred to in the Smithwick tribunal in 2012 when an RUC witness (‘Witness 68’) testified that “beyond doubt that there was a leak from the Gardaí to the IRA” in relation to the Garda security document containing Ian Sproule’s details. Today, this disgusting act of collusion remains uninvestigated & largely forgotten. Ian Sproule’s family deserve to know the truth. They deserve to know, as do we all, who sanctioned such acts of collusion? Who was directing the Irish nationalist killer gangs that stalked the border regions of Northern Ireland for over 30 years? Why did the Gardai make false allegations against Mr. Sproule? And who among them gave PIRA/SF documents containing those heinous slurs? Surely now, nearly 25 years on, it’s time the Sproule family were told the truth.

CONCLUSION

Whilst Irish nationalist/republican propagandists repeat their lies, myths & half-truths about alleged collusion between the NI Security Forces & Ulster Loyalist militias, the issue of actual, proven collusion between republican death squads & the Irish state, in particular An Garda Síochána, goes undiscussed, unmentioned & largely forgotten. That is a travesty. The Unionist/Loyalist community suffered at the hands of (Irish) state sponsored terrorist groups. Innocent people, men, women & children, were murdered by blood thirsty fanatics, acting in collusion with (at various times) the Irish government, the police force of that state & it’s army. The truth must be told. The victims of PIRA/Irish state collusion deserve to be told the truth. The international community also needs to know that PIRA/SF & other Irish nationalist murder gangs, were state sponsored. There is blood on the hands of successive Dublin governments. Time that that was acknowledged. Loyalists will not allow Irish nationalists/republicans to whitewash the history of the Conflict any longer. We absolutely cannot, will not rest until the truth comes out, until justice is done & until the suffering, hurt & trauma inflicted on our community is recognised. For if it is not, if the demonisation of our community continues, if we do not see any prospect for truth & justice, then it will not be mere recognition that Loyalists seek, it will be retribution!