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Pól Ó Lorcáin
Paul Larkin

Chroniclers are privileged to enter where they list, to come and go through keyholes, to ride upon the wind, to overcome in their soarings up and down, all obstacles of distance, time and place.
Charles Dickens - Barnaby Rudge, Chapter The Ninth

Media airbrushing of the FRU’s Dirty War in Fermanagh bodes One Hundred Years of Solitude

Amnesia is upon us

Newly established fake Butcher’s shop Belcoo, Fermanagh

The seemingly permanently embedded Western media corps likes to scoff at countries like North Korea or even modern day China as places where news stories are tightly controlled and propaganda fabrications are regularly staged via a compliant, kowtowing media. Yet if citizens step back from this, dare I call it, “propaganda” and look at the picture in the round, the G8 Circus and its attendant media reporting resembles North Korea and Stalinist Russia far more than our gallant press band cares to examine or admit.

I’m not talking about the fake villages that have sprung up (so called Potemkin villages – how appropriate), which in fairness have been widely reported. I’m not even talking about the failure to alert British Premier David Cameron to the fact that the majority of people in Fermanagh would dispute his assertion that Fermanagh is in the “United Kingdom” - has Cameron spoken to anyone in Fermanagh one wonders before causing offence to most of its citizens by ignoring their identity and aspirations as enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement? Perhaps he would be less "proud" of Fermanagh an ancient Irish kingdom.

A deeper media malaise comes with the airbrushing from history of Britain’s Dirty War in Ireland. No not Cromwell and "Connaught" but very recently and in of all places Fermanagh, where Britain’s notorious Force Research Unit was based in the form of its “West Det” detachment.

Officially the British government is saying this about the purpose of this years G8 summit:

PM David Cameron is determined to achieve change on three issues which are critical for growth, prosperity and economic development across the world:
advancing trade
ensuring tax compliance
promoting greater transparency

See here:

So we are to ensure tax compliance and have greater transparency are we? Let me assist journalists with two questions for Mr Cameron that would certainly enliven the coming and no doubt highly stage managed press conferences:

“Mr Cameron Sir – With regard to your stated purpose of encouraging trade and tax compliance will you be putting a stop to the vast expansion of secretive offshore tax havens which, according to Guardian journalist Nick Davies* meant that by 2003 60% of world trade consisted of transfers made within multinationals passing their profits to anonymous subsidiaries in tax-free jurisdictions? Can I also ask you about your transparency campaign? Does this include transparency about the FRU assisted murder of solicitor Pat Finucane, or the activities of the FRU right here in Fermanagh, which carried out illegal cross border activity for nearly two decades?”

I will not be holding my breath whilst waiting for a journalist to ask such questions at the G8 summit.

Brig. Gordon Kerr - based in Beijing according to last reports

My point about the FRU in Fermanagh is a deadly serious one and it is this - there has been a deluge of comment about security in Fermanagh but not one mention of the fact that the head of the FRU Colonel Gordon Kerr (now awarded a Queen's gallantry medal to go with his OBE and promoted to Brigadier) instructed his units to do everything it could to destroy the peace process. This included the running of illegal operations involving attempts to help Irish Republicans opposed to the peace process to set up front companies via which they could import arms. Now we are told that those same dissident republicans pose the biggest threat to security because of their access to arms and explosives.

We could swap Fermanagh with Iraq or Libya of course - two other countries where the FRU (now called Joint Services Group) has served recently.

Ian Hurst (circled) and his West Det. Fermanagh FRU comrades

But journalists don’t need to simply rely on my evidence for this. They can ask the BBC for a copy of my film broadcast in 1993 – “Our Man In Fermanagh”, which provides the gist of this story and has never been denied by the British army or anyone else. The very able Mark Devenport was the reporter. Or better still, if journalists really want a view of the security situation in Fermanagh and a profile of dissident republicans they can go straight to that formerly ever willing media pundit Ian Hurst (named “Martin Ingram” by the Sunday Times) whose service in Fermanagh in the late 80s/very early 90s was the only time he ran agents for the FRU.

But here’s a strange thing - despite Mick Fealty’s protests to the contrary (see here - Hurst has been headlined as the expert-to-go-to on security matters in the North since 1999 but not one journalist has ever asked him exactly what he did whilst active in the FRU in Fermanagh. Not one.

Cien años de soledad** - 100 years of amnesia beckons - time to wake up

In Gabriel Garcia Marques’ wonderful Cien años de soledad (A Hundred Years of Solitude), Marques describes the way a multinational company moves into a rural area and not only wipes out the local economies but in the ensuing decades erases the memories of struggle against the big takeover – a colonisation not only of a country’s resources but also of the minds of the people.

Britain’s Dirty War, and by extension Capital’s Dirty War, in defence of keeping money and resources in the hands of the super wealthy, is being airbrushed from the record. G8 in Fermanagh is part of that process and we cannot, unfortunately, rely on the media to stop it.

It’s not about agreeing with me. Research it, work it out for yourself dear readers, then tweet it, blog it, discuss it in the cities towns and villages as Venerable Socrates would have wished. The power of ordinary language is indestructible and we all possess it.

Finally, rumour has it that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has studied the history of the FRU and Britain's security apparatus in Fermanagh very closely and approves of it so much that he wants to set up a holiday and re-education camp there. No better place and no better media compliance.


@Paul Larkin
Carrick, Gaoth Dobhair
Tír Chonaill
Mí an Mheithimh, 2013

*Davies, Nick (2011-11-30). Flat Earth News (pp. 36-37). Random House UK. Kindle Edition.
**El pintor colombiano Pedro Villalba Ospina
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Title: Media airbrushing of the FRU’s Dirty War in Fermanagh bodes One Hundred Years of Solitude
Date posted: 13 Jun '13 - 12:48
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