A gram of publicity in England is worth a tonne in Ireland – letter in the Irish News by Gerard Herdman

The dogged campaign for truth by families of the McGurk’s Bar victims has highlighted a sickening aspect of the English state’s war against the IRA.

Disinformation designed to weaken support for the republican movement heaped bitter insult onto injury of those whom their forces had maimed or killed directly or indirectly. Mourning relatives were made to endure further hurt when their loved-ones names were blackened and dragged through the media mire that passed for journalism in those shameful days.

The London government line has changed from a complete denial of collusion to effectively one of – we weren’t the only ones fighting so why is everyone picking on us. For decades they have frustrated investigation of what can only be described as war crimes and are unlikely to ever give the families the closure they demand. Perhaps it is time to hit the authorities where it hurts by embarrassing them publicly where it would irritate them most which is in London.

When Martin McGuinness was accosted by David Kelly over the death of his soldier father Patrick he badly damaged the McGuinness bid to be president. At the other end of the scale Father4Justice attracted huge media interest in their campaign for father’s rights via costumed stunts.

The latest ministerial clone, James Brokenshire will happily churn out glib statements about collusion here provided it is restricted to an Irish audience, but can you imagine how he would react if confronted by family members holding pictures of their victim relatives at Westminster or at his constituency.

A gram of publicity in England is worth a tonne in Ireland. This type of action may or may not help the search for truth, but families will at least have the satisfaction of seeing their tormentors squirm while promoting this vile injustice in the English public’s consciousness –
Lest they forget.

Ciarán MacAirt is an Irish writer and author of The McGurk’s Bar Bombing: Collusion, Cover-Up and a Campaign for Truth.

He also manages Paper Trail, an innovative charity and social enterprise which offers legacy archive research services and helps families unearth the truth hidden in public records.

Ciarán – who has written posts on The McGurk's Bar Bombing: Collusion, Cover-Up and a Campaign for Truth.


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