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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

State collusion with pro British death squads – Irish journalism also stands in the dock

Lethal Allies - provides proof of systematic collusion

It seems that with Anne Cadwallader’s new and widely publicised book Lethal Allies, the dam walls of silence and censorship that have been built around the collusion story have finally been burst asunder. The decades long part played by the British state (acting in concert with the worst and most sectarian elements of loyalism in Ireland) is now accepted as an appalling fact. It is the fact, in my opinion, that the highest officers of the British state aligned themselves with rabidly sectarian murder gangs that made it a British Jihad.

Anne Cadwallader deserves great praise for her achievement, though I've no idea whether she accepts my Jihad thesis. I do know however, and more than most, what kind of traumas the writing of such a book entails. Not least the years of painstaking research involved and the way that certain media figures and journalists suddenly stop talking to you.

The Guardian’s Ireland correspondent – “collusion didn’t happen”.

The depressing reality is, however, that most of Ireland’s prominent journalists and media outlets have either ignored the collusion story or directly argued that it didn’t happen. Take Henry McDonald for example. Henry is not only the Guardian’s Ireland correspondent, he also contributes to the Belfast Telegraph and is regularly approached for comment. Last year he gave a Guardian master class in journalism to aspiring journalists in Dublin.

In the face of all the evidence to the contrary Henry McDonald says flatly that collusion didn’t happen. For example in his anti Sinn Féin diatribe Gunsmoke and Mirrors:

…if one examines coldly and objectively the casualties of war in the North of Ireland, the notion of a centrally directed, structured and state run policy of collusion does not stand up to scrutiny.”
Page 30, hardback edition of Gunsmoke and Mirrors

Readers can see my overview of Henry McDonald’s output here:

It bears repeating that McDonald’s shoddy book is nonpareil the worst and most poorly argued book I have ever read about the Troubles but it also bears repeating that McDonald has received great praise from leading academics like Richard English who describes McDonald as "brilliantly provocative", “lucid” and “honest”. This startling conclusion in the Irish Times from a respected academic on McDonald and this woeful book can be read here:

More understandably McDonald has received a ring-fence of support from his former comrades in the Workers Party like Sunday Times columnist Eoghan Harris.

This wouldn’t be so bad if the rest of the leading band of Irish journalists were not so similarly minded. Have you ever read an article about collusion by Fintan O’Toole? Moreover, one would have thought that the macabre and soul excoriating nightmare that is collusion was perfect material for a novel but have you ever read a book based on these serial sectarian murder plots by Colm Tóibín, John Banville, Roddy Doyle or Anne Enwright? Ever seen a play at the Abbey or Gate theatres about collusion or the apartheid system that prevailed in the northern part of our country?

Is Ireland the only country in the world where Hollywood and the international drama community has shown more interest in British collusion and oppression than its own scribes and dramatists?

Our “national broadcaster” RTÉ meanwhile last made a serious investigative film analysis of collusion, to my knowledge, in 1995 (yes you read that correctly 1995 - over 18 years ago!). This was Prime Time’s Friendly Forces film about the Dublin and Monaghan bombs, which this author made with reporter Brendan O’Brien.

In my view, the message that these leading opinion formers have continually broadcast is that the horror of collusion, with all the prolonged trauma and grief that it has entailed for thousands of Irish families, is unimportant when posed against the need for friendly relations with the colonial (and more “civilised”) colonial power. That these suffering people have been marginalised by the media is for me the worst aspect of this abdication of a sacred obligation to speak the truth and challenge those most powerful.

It seems their fierce antipathy to "feral" Irish Catholics , “tribal” nationalists, Sinn Féin, the Gaelic Athletic Association and Pobal na Gaeilge (the Irish language community) has led them to look away as their own citizens were slaughtered.

But the truth will always out as it is now and it is not just the “civilised” British state that has been left grievously exposed.

(Please remember frail and partially sighted Belfast Catholic Gerald Higgins - tortured, electrocuted and prepared for death by state agent Brian Nelson who said - "One down, two to go".

(Like so many - rubbed out of history)

@Paul Larkin
Gaoth Dobhair
Mí Deireadh Fómhair, 2013
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Title: State collusion with pro British death squads – Irish journalism also stands in the dock
Date posted: 24 Oct '13 - 12:47
Filed under: General
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