https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js“>http://<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>RTÉ is the first public broadcaster in the world to commit to showing “No Stone Unturned” feature documentary by <a href=”https://twitter.com/alexgibneyfilm?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@alexgibneyfilm</a> and Belfast journalists <a href=”https://twitter.com/trevorbirney?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@trevorbirney</a> and Barry McCaffrey on the Loughinisland Massacre. Watch <a href=”https://twitter.com/RTEOne?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@RTEOne</a> Wednesday 2 October 9.35pm <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/TruthMatters?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#TruthMatters</a> <a href=”https://t.co/96QqDunF2W”>pic.twitter.com/96QqDunF2W</a></p>— RTÉ Press Office (@RTEPress) <a href=”https://twitter.com/RTEPress/status/1174689592571760640?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>September 19, 2019</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
THERE’S an old proverb about the road to hell being paved with good intentions.
And friends of mine have occasionally tried to explain away unionism’s vice-like grip on the first 50 years of the North of Ireland by quoting it. They claim the unionist government which oversaw the North of Ireland always planned to do better, but never quite got there. There’s no doubt that in 1921 after the partition of Ireland was complete, unionist leaders had a chance to create a northern state where few Catholics would have opted to join the newly-formed 26 County Free State.
But religious bigotry at the heart of at the heart of the Stormont regime meant that opportunity was passed over. And instead unionism firmly pulled the shutters down tight. It viewed every Catholic citizen with suspicion. Unionist Party leaders ignored the parting advice of Sir Edward Carson – the public face of unionism – to be kind to the minority. And although not publicly acknowledged, some unionist establishment figures even gave the green light to loyalist gunmen to wage a war of attrition against Catholics. Pogroms were terrifying and real, with hundreds losing their lives as the contrived state of the North of Ireland became a political reality. A semi-secret plan was hatched where police officers like the infamous DI Nixon were allowed to run their own murder gangs. Their intention was to grind Catholics into submission and force them to accept that they now lived in a place where only those loyal to Britain ruled the roost. Rejecting unionist offers of top police jobs abroad. Nixon eventually quit the RUC to become an Independent Unionist MP.
And until the day he died, he repeatedly threatened to expose fellow unionist politicians’ involvement in violence at the foundation of the state. Eventually many Catholics accepted their diminished status and kept their heads down. Occasional IRA attacks in the north and in England posed no threat to the northern state. But the 1947 Education Act – forced on unionist by the British government – created an articulate Catholic middle class no longer willing to accept the status quo.
In 1967, along with other interested groups – including the remnants of the Irish Republican Movement – these people formed the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association. The organisation had the stated aim of replacing unionist discrimination in jobs, housing and voting rights with British liberal values. It was well received in Ireland and also in the rest of the UK, where people were shocked to learn that the North of Ireland citizens hadn’t the same rights as them. The North of Ireland Prime Minister Captain Terence O’Neill (who the unionist claimed was a Lundy) – steeped in the unionist landed gentry – knew in his heart that if the union was to survive, then things needed to change. But a rabble-rousing fundamentalist preacher called Ian Paisley – who led his own Free Presbyterian Church – had other ideas. He had an ability to tap into ancient Protestant fears and suspicions. And he helped form a series of new loyalist paramilitary organisations opposed to any reforms proposed by O’Neill. Paisley was following in the footsteps of his close friend and hero DI Nixon, a police officer turned politician who had terrorised Catholics at the foundation of the state. Much of Paisley’s involvement with the reconstituted Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) was denied because the authorities feared the clergyman’s Svengali-like powers. But this week – in the first of a new seven part series of TV programmes to mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Troubles – Paisley’s real role in the violence is exposed.
Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History goes out simultaneously on BBC Northern and BBC4 on Tuesday night. Using first-hand testimony of individuals who were around at the time, reporter Darragh McIntyre reveals how Ian Paisley personally financed the UVF bombing of a water pipe line at the Silent Valley Reservoir near Kilkeel in April 1969. Paisley and his cohorts attempted to give the impression that the explosion, coming as it did months before serious violence erupted on the streets of Derry and Belfast, was the work of the practically moribund IRA. But a retired senior British Army officer, drafted in to examine the aftermath of the bomb, told MacIntyre his suspensions were raised as soon as he saw the bomb site. “This just didn’t have the look of an IRA bomb,” he said. And he went on to claim that a senior RUC officer in Killkeel showed him intelligence reports which revealed the entire operation had been financed by Paisley.
As Paisley’s UVF mates were bombing the place, a young butcher’s apprentice by the name of Martin McGuinness was about to quit his job to assume the role of 2nd in Command of the Provisional IRA in Derry.
In newly emerged footage, McGuinness is filmed overseeing an IRA bomb being loaded into the boot of a car. McGuinness sits in the passenger seat and, minutes later, it is transported to Derry city centre and detonated. And in another remarkable clip, McGuinness instructs children on how to load bullets into a revolver.
It is almost beyond belief that 3,500 deaths later, these two men were sworn into office as the First Minister and Deputy First Minister in a new devolved administration at Stormont. But they also became close personal friends.
In an astonishing revelation near the end of the first programme, MacIntyre reveals written details of a top secret report by Sir Michael Carver, the most senior officer in the British Army. In the report, Carver advises the British government to consider an alternative strategy which doesn’t demand maintaining the North of Ireland border by military means, (what Brexit will mean).I.e. British withdrawal.
Spotlight editor Jeremy Adams say he’s proud his talented team of investigative reporters consisting of McIntyre, Jennifer O’Leary and Mandy McAuley, have been able to uncover new findings relating to the history of the Troubles. “This past has shaped our present and it’s vitally important that truths continue to be told,” he said. I’m in no doubt that this body of work from the awarding-winning BBC Spotlight team will become the definitive television history of the Troubles. This series of programmes – which uncovers much previously unknown material – is informative, revealing, shocking and at times very, very moving. It was an enormous undertaking for the reporters and filmmakers involved, but once again, BBC Spotlight comes through with flying colours. Don’t miss it.
Follow these links to find out more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-11313364
A HEARING into the case of a former soldier accused of the manslaughter (murder) over 32-years-ago, has been halted on the second day.
Forty-nine-year-old David Jonathan Holden appeared at Dungannon Magistrate’s Court last Tuesday – the first time since the charge became known. He is accused of unlawfully killing Aidan McAnespie on 21st February 1988. Seated behind him in the public gallery were around 50 family and friends of the deceased. It was the first time since proceedings began in which all parties were in attendance in court and there was a visible Police presence inside and outside court.
Mr McAnespie was shot dead as he walked through a British Army checkpoint in Aughnacloy, having been struck by one of three bullets fired from a machine gun. He was on his way to a Gaelic football match. Defence lawyer Iain Turkington (whose son was lately in the press for chanting anti-Catholic songs) told a previous hearing of an intention to challenge the evidence of nine Prosecution witnesses, as well as the main Police Officer involved.
This is by way of a Preliminary Investigation (PI) which was scheduled to last 3-5 days, due to the number of contentious witnesses, with District Judge Amanda Brady presiding. The content cannot be reported at this time, although the final ruling can be disclosed as it will form the decision on whether or not Mr Holden will stand trial.
However, on the second day, a decision was taken to halt proceedings to allow for some further preparatory work. This was agreed by all parties. Judge Brady ordered a number of reviews to monitor progress and ruled the PI will reconvene in October. A former Grenadier Gaurdsman, Mr Holden was 18-years-old at the time of the incident. He now resides in England.
With many thanks to: The Courier for the original story
Follow these links to find out more: https://www.europebreakingnews.net/2018/06/relief-for-family-of-army-shooting-victim-aidan-mcanespie-at-chance-to-learn-the-truth/amp/
The aftermath at the Horse and Groom pub in Guildford, Surrey, where an IRA bomb attack killed four soldiers and a civilian and injured dozens more.
The denial of legal aid for the family of a young female soldier killed in the Guildford pub bombings has been described as a “travesty”.
Private Ann Hamilton, 19, was one of five people killed by the IRA bombs which devastated two pubs in the Surrey town on October 5, 1974.
Private Caroline Slater, 19, Guardsmen John Hunter, 18, and William Forsyth, 17, of the Scots Guards, and a 21-year-old civilian, Paul Craig, were also killed, while 65 others were injured.
The inquest into the atrocity was suspended in 1975 following the conviction of Gerry Conlon, Paddy Armstrong, Paul Hill and Carole Richardson, known as the Guildford Four.
Their convictions, along with the Maguire Seven, were later quashed.
Earlier this year, the senior coroner for Surrey ordered the original inquest into the bombings to be resumed.
However the Legal Aid Agency in London has denied an application by Ms Hamilton’s family to allow them legal representation at the inquest.
The refusal follows a battle by the families of the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings to secure legal representation in the recent Birmingham inquest, following four years of pro bono representation by the KRW law firm and counsel on their behalf.
Christopher Stanley of KRW said the Hamilton family is “effectively being excluded” from participating in the inquest.
“Again, a family have been excluded from effectively participating into the inquest into the death of their loved one whilst the state agencies – the police, the MoD – have legal representation at taxpayers’ expense,” he said.
“This will be a long and complex process of investigation.
“We will make representations to both the Lord Chancellor and the Home Secretary, but unless the matter of public funding can be resolved or reformed then the family of Ann Hamilton will not be able to engage with this process, which will be a further injustice.”
Kevin Winters of KRW added: “Our firm cannot sustain pro bono assistance in this matter following our commitment to the Birmingham families.
“We have got to the stage of assisting the family of Ann Hamilton and Yvonne Tagg (a survivor of the blasts) and through our representations we have secured the resumption of the Guildford pub bombings’ 1974 inquest.
“There is now a long process of disclosure of material and determining the scope of this investigation.”
With many thanks to: The Newsletter for the original story
ON DEAF EARS: Family’s plea for inquiry ignored for years
THE wallet of a RUC special branch agent was found in a field behind the home of a pregnant Catholic woman shot dead by the UVF 25 years ago.
The Sunday World can reveal the discovery was made just weeks before Kathleen O’Hagan (38) was brutally gunned down in front of her children at the remote Co. Tyrone cottage in August 1994. The wallet, which included personal items as well as a formal identification card, was found in long grass to the rear of the secluded bungalow by Mrs O’Hagan’s husband Paddy. It was later traced to a man working for the security services primarily tasked with gathering intelligence on republicans. The revelation, made for the first time on Sunday August 11th, 2019, adds weight to the family’s firm belief that was security force collusion in what became one of the Troubles’ most sickening murders. It can also be revealed that details of the chilling find were passed by members of the family to the Police Ombudsman almost five years ago.
However, despite the new information and relatives’ desperate pleas for an inquiry, Mrs O’Hagan’s son Damian claims the watchdog has yet to respond. The 32-year-old told the Sunday World: “We have tried massively with no success to get the Police Ombudsman to open an investigation. But they just never got back to us. “I just feel my mother’s case was just put in a cupboard and forgot about. “Maybe they don’t want us to know the truth. “We know the truth but an inquiry would answer the very many questions we’ve had to live with without answers for over the last 25 years.” He added: “There is so much evidence showing that the security forces colluded with the UVF to the murder of my mother. That includes the cop’s wallet found behind the house a few weeks before she was murdered. “It was traced to a British agent who we were told was involved with planting [listening] devices. It was found by my father when he was up working in the field. “At the time, and I can remember it myself even though I was only seven, we were tortured by the security forces.
“One week they’d land in a Chinook, the next week a Huge helicopter, about 30 or 40 British soldiers walking around the house, everywhere. “A few years before it, when my father and mother were building the house, the RUC took to it with jackhammers and destroyed the place. “It put my father massively under pressure, my mother too.” There were also concerns over how long it took the RUC to respond to the call reporting Kathleen’s murder. According to details reported from a 1997 coroner’s inquest into Mrs O’Hagan’s death, officer’s took almost three hours to attend her home. The inquest also heard how a RUC helicopter failed to spot the loyalist killers’ burning getaway car, left just a mile away from the murder scene. It was eventually discovered by local residents.
The mother of five, originally from Bellaghy, Co. Derry, was shot dead by a UVF hit squad in the bedroom of her Greencastle home on August 7th, 1994. At the time she was seven months pregnant and had just put her five sons – aged between eight years and 18 months – to bed when gunmen callously blasted her to death. Sons Patrick (8), Damian (7), Niall (6) and Raymond (4) heard their mother beg for her life as the mid-Ulster UVF brigade killers opened fire. Her youngest child Tomas, who was just 18 months old, was in a cot in the same room where the killers gunned her down. Recalling that horrific night, Damian told the Sunday World how he was awoken by the loyalist killers smashing down the back door of their family home. “That’s what weakened us,” he said. “And next thing I heard was my mother saying, ‘no, don’t do it. No’. “That’s whenever we got up, me and Patrick, and we went into the room and found her, the blood coming out of her. “Patrick wanted to ring the neighbours and I wouldn’t let him, I thought the phone was bugged. So we just got back into bed.
“Sometime later my father came home and saw what happened. “He gathered us all up, we were all wearing our pyjamas, and carried us over the broken glass one by one, put us in the car and took us to Greencastle and alerted the people over there. “We all went to a neighbour’s house and stayed there, and after that I have no recollection over what happened next.” Kathleen’s murder – which happened just weeks before the IRA’s ceasefire – caused revulsion in Ulster and beyond. A statement released by the UVF claimed responsibility for her killing. They said it was in retaliation for the IRA murder of seven workmen at the nearby Teebane crossroads in January 1991.
It is believed the murder was ordered by the now deceased loyalist leader Billy Wright, who was then part of the UVF’s mid-Ulster brigade.
The intended target was Mrs O’Hagan’s husband Paddy, a former republican prisoner. Following the murder the family were hit by a series of tragedies. Three years after Kathleen’s murder youngest son Thomas died after he was caught up in a fire which broke out in a shed to the rear of the family home. In 2002 father-of-five Paddy O’Hagan also died after he suffered a massive heart attack. And on July 12th, 2008 19-year-old Niall was killed in a motorbike accident not far from the family’s Greencastle home. They were all remembered at a vigil held at the O’Hagan homestead on what would have been the 25th anniversary of Kathleen’s death. Family, friends and neighbours gathered with candles on Wednesday to pay their respects to the innocent mother. In a powerful speech by her niece Frances Hamill, crowds were told that although so much time had passed, the family would not give up the fight for truth. “We as a family know the truth and will fight until we get justice,” said Frances. “No family should have to stand 25 years later and say they are no further along.” Remembering his mother, Damian said: “She was as hard as nails. “I remember reading some of my father’s letters from prison to her and in one of them he said, ‘there’s no women that would beat Kathleen in a fight and not a man would beat her either.’
“My last proper memory of her is a few days before she was killed, it was my birthday and we had a big picnic out the front of the house and I got stung by a bee.” The 32-year-old added: “After she died we had aunts and uncles that helped out but we should’ve had our mother. “It’s still tough and it still hurts. “We have to live with the loss of our mother in the back of our heads everyday. “It definitely doesn’t get any easier.”A spokesman for the Police Ombudsman’s Office said: “The Police Ombudsman’s Office has carried out some preliminary inquiries and has satisfied itself that there are issues connected to Mrs O’Hagan’s death which require investigation. “We have decided that work will form part of a larger investigation into matters connected to the activities of loyalist paramilitaries in the mid Ulster area in the mid-eighties and nineties. “Given our limited funding, we have not been able to begin that investigation yet.”
With many thanks to the: Sunday World and the EXCLUSIVE story by Patricia Devlin email@example.com
Follow these links to find out more: http://www.judecollins.com/2016/09/the-tragic-story-of-the-ohagan-family-co-tyrone-by-joe-mcveigh/
It is shocking that the notorious terrorist, Wesley Somerville, who blew himself to pieces with his own bomb while in the act of murdering the Catholic and Protestant Miami Showband, was a guest of The RUC at their annual Police Christmas dinner-dance. #MiamiShowbandMassacre
An ex RUC man, based in Ballymena RUC station said he was shocked when he saw Billy Mc Caughey walking up the corridor in his RUC uniform. Quote, “everyone knew he was active in the UVF.” Names of this ex RUC man and the “inspector” who recruited Mc Caughey known.
With many thanks to: Stephen Travers for the original posting on Twitter
THE Republic’s national broadcaster RTÉ is to screen a documentary investigating allegations of British government involvement in the murder of more than 120 civilians in counties Armagh and Tyrone at the height of the Troubles.
Director Sean Murray said the showing of `Unquiet Graves: The Story of the Glenanne Gang’ is “major milestone on the road to justice”.
The Belfast premiere was in February at Movie House cinema on the city’s Dublin Road.
The feature-length documentary is narrated by the Oscar-nominated actor Stephen Rea.
Among the allegations is a claim by a former RUC officer that British intelligence tried to persuade the UVF to attack a Catholic primary school in Co Armagh in retaliation for the Kingsmill massacre.
Murray took to his Twitter account to tell followers: “I can now announce that Unquiet Graves will be screening on RTÉ 1 on Monday the 29th of July at 9.35pm.
“This is of immense importance to the ‘Glenanne families’ and is a major milestone on the road to justice. The Time for Truth is now.”
With many thanks to: The Irish News for the original story