Does The IRA Still Exist? Follow The Money For The Answer…..But Don’t Listen To Eoghan Harris!

I don’t know why or how but this story about new Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan refusing to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the question of whether the IRA still exists and is active in Ireland, passed me by. I only became aware of it when I noticed Eoghan Harris’ article in today’s Sunday Indo.

My first thought on reading his piece was that Harris had one hell of a nerve complaining about the media ignoring the story of a political party seeking office in Ireland while continuing to operate an armed wing. As he put it:

“Why is the fact that the party well poised to take State power may be secretly controlled by an armed criminal conspiracy not seen as a major news story?”

My, my! Aren’t Irish memories conveniently short? It wasn’t so long ago that Mr Harris’ comrades in the Workers Party (WP) were doing exactly the same as Sinn Fein is doing now, lying about the existence of its armed wing as they sought office. And I don’t recall him complaining at the time.

In fact the Workers Party, with the armed Official IRA (OIRA) still intact and running brothels with the UVF in Belfast and building site rackets alongside the UDA,  helped shore up Charlie Haughey’s second spell in government in 1982 when a deal was struck with the WP’s three TD’s. And the OIRA got involved in such dubious schemes with one main purpose: to raise money for the WP’s electoral efforts in the South – just as the Provisional IRA does for Sinn Fein.

And what about the media in those days? What did Irish journalism have to say about this sordid confection of political party and armed wing propping up an Irish government, or running brothels so that Prionsias de Rossa and his ilk could become TD’s? What did Eoghan Harris have to say about this deplorable state of affairs?

Well aside from one or two of us, myself and Vincent Browne in particular, my memory is that media behaved in exactly the same way as Mr Harris accuses it of behaving now when faced with a Sinn Fein that is being every bit as dishonest and devious about its armed wing. They turned a Nelson’s eye to the WP’s armed wing.

In fact it was worse than that. To write about the lie risked damaging your career – and even your health. I remember only too well the day I discovered that half an entire Northern Notebook had been censored by The Irish Times – removed in its entirety – because I dared write about the secret wing that Charlie Haughey’s new buddies were running. I learned about this only when I picked up the paper on that Saturday morning. The Irish Times had not even the courtesy – or was it courage? – to tell me.

The truth was that the Workers Party had infiltrated The Irish Times and much of the media – as well as semi-state bodies scattered throughout Ireland. The purpose was to bend them all in the direction of the WP’s ideology. And I don’t recall Mr Harris complaining about that!

Not only that but back in 1982 Harris ruled the news and current affairs section of RTE with an iron rod, inflicting a Stalinist-like purge of the station of any elements not considered reliable on the anti-Provo question, while advancing the careers of WP fellow travelers and imposing a WP analysis on the news stories of the day, especially those North of the Border.

When you think about it Harris is the last person in Ireland who should be lecturing the media about ethics or their refusal/reluctance to cover certain stories!

Manipulating the news and current affairs coverage of the national broadcaster to suit the ideology of a party of which you and many or your staff are secret members, is a far greater sin in my book. Irish journalism has still not recovered from the experience.

Those few journalists who did try to tell the truth about the WP were not only the target of venomous verbal attacks but came under physical threat as well.

I know that Browne was the subject of one very sinister threat while I learned from the UDA that two well known WP activists had tried to persuade the Loyalists that my job as Northern Editor of The Irish Times was really a front: I was actually an INLA intelligence officer. They wanted the UDA to kill me but thankfully the UDA knew me well enough to doubt the story and they checked it out.

(Incidentally I have always suspected that, via the same mechanism, the Official IRA/WP had a hand in assisting the UDA assassinations of Ronnie Bunting and Miriam Daly)

So when it comes to political parties seeking office while running an armed wing secretly in the background, the Sinn Fein/IRA nexus is not new and no-one knows that better than Eoghan Harris.

Nonetheless as it was then, so it is now a very legitimate question to ask. Organisations like the Provisional IRA and the Official IRA are, like their political fronts, essentially undemocratic and conspiratorial. The fear that should haunt most citizens is that once in power they will be reluctant to give it up. Elections are, in their minds, merely tactics by which power is achieved; they don’t really believe in them.

As for the continued existence of the Provisional IRA, the answer is obvious. Of course it still exists. There may not be the elaborate structures of old, the Northern and Southern Commands, the Brigades or the ASU’s but there is a skeleton organisation out there for sure.

I know for a fact that the IRA’s intelligence capability is still active, that a unit dedicated to collecting intel for the leadership, including presumably the SF leadership, exists.

We know the name of the man who heads it and the names of some of those who are active in it. And from the experience of colleagues and friends we know the sort of activity they have been engaged in. As the man said last May, ‘They haven’t gone away, you know!’ (Incidentally the strenuous efforts subsequently to remove his words from the internet are the equivalent of the bloody fingerprint left on the assassin’s knife)

An intelligence unit needs to be steered and directed, to get its marching orders and somewhere to deliver the actionable intelligence.  The logic of the unit’s existence is the presence of a leadership, an Army Council for instance. And where there is a head, a body is never far away.

There is though an even more compelling reason to believe the IRA still exists and has a leadership, even if only in skeleton form. That is the IRA’s money.

Back before the Northern Bank robbery the Irish Department of Justice estimated the IRA’s property portfolio at the €400 million mark and intelligence estimates suggested the IRA had businesses and homes not just in both parts of Ireland but in Europe, especially Portugal, and in the US and the Caribbean.

This was not a new practice for the IRA. The most senior republican in the organisation has a house in West Belfast which was originally bought and owned by the IRA and was gifted to him in the mid-1970’s by the then head of IRA finance in Belfast, a veteran republican who recently died. The house was in that veteran’s name – it is now in the name of the senior republican’s wife – but it really still belongs to the IRA.

There is more than one elected Sinn Fein politician who now enjoy the delights of a holiday home in places like the Algarve, people who would never have the wherewithal to buy such property themselves. And again the villa or apartment may be in their name but just let them dare sell it!

Now while the DoJ estimate was calculated before the 2008 property crash it was also made before the Northern Bank raid swelled the coffers even more, so the chances are that one way or another the IRA still has a very healthy portfolio of businesses, holiday homes and the like.

And with the property market gradually recovering, the portfolio will grow, making money available for the political wing to spend on elections and to reassure internal skeptics that if the peace process does collapse the wherewithal exists to replenish all those decommissioned weapons stocks.

But this is a pile of wealth that can never be liquidated and distributed amongst the rank and file. It was amassed by and for the IRA and belongs to the IRA. No individual can claim it. As long as that money is there it must be owned and administered by an organisation and that organisation is called the IRA.

 

‘…Sinn Fein Is Not Going To Transform The Lives Of The Majority Of Ordinary People….’

Three weeks ago Pearse Doherty, Sinn Fein rising star and rival for the party’s leadership should Gerry Adams ever step down – and don’t hold your breath on that one – penned an article for the Irish edition of The Sunday Times which seemed designed to calm nerves abroad, in the offices of Goldman Sachs for example as well as the European Central Bank, about what could or would happen should SF ever take power in the 26 Counties.

Would Sinn Fein set up a metaphorical guillotine in St Stephens Green to chop into tiny pieces all those promissory notes signed by previous Irish governments committing the Irish taxpayer to years or even decades of impoverishment so that speculators and bankers will get their interest-laden loans repaid?

Or will SF make the right noises to get elected and then perform a majestic U-turn once bums settle into the back seats of the ministerial Mercs or those oh-so comfortable Meelano office chairs in Government Buildings?

I am indebted to a friend, who shall remain nameless, for the following analysis of Pearse Doherty’s thoughts which came not from him but from someone on the same analytical wavelength. His friend, nay comrade, put into words very adroitly what anyone who has observed this party for any length of time instinctively knows.

Here are his thoughts:

“Once the froth evaporates, here’s what SF finance spokesperson and possible future leader, Pearse Doherty, says to the Sunday Times of March 8, which he knows is read by the people with money, who want to know the real intentions of SF. What’s notable is the declaration never to repudiate private bondholders debt, only renegotiate debt to public institutions. So the private speculators, and the existing arrangements for privatising the profit but socialising the losses, (know as the Wall Street solution) are safe. The last paragraph is the logical sequel to the earlier promise to leave the wealth of the speculators untouched: ‘….there are a lot of things we would like to do for individuals who are struggling out there, but we simply can’t do it. We can’t increase tax revenue… because it would be unfair on people and would hurt industry, it would hurt the economy and business.’

“A dig at the left, similar to what comes from Labour, is part of the dampening of expectations. There might be a few tweaks, but the substance of the status quo would remain untouched. Nor could it be, with no change in the balance of taxation, no wealth tax or implementation of the actual 12.5% rate of corporation tax on the profits of multinationals – as against the 2.5% they pay on average. Instead SF will move to reduce corporation tax in the North, mirroring a development strategy based on tax breaks to attract multinational inward investment and in effect an all island race to the bottom.

“This is also expressed in the way SF relates to political struggles. With the household tax they would not call for non payment, and the same now with the water charge. Why not? Would calling for non payment effect SF popularity or poll ratings? If anything, it would possibly improve them. But it would make SF an unsafe bet for big business, multinationals and the rich minority of Irish society that is doing well at present. For if you champion mass action and breaking the rules on one issue, what’s to stop that spreading? SF is looking to be a safe pair of hands on policy and in politics.

“How should the left relate to SF? I’m in favour of joint action to defend the rights and living standards of working class people, but without illusions. By their own declaration, SF is not going to transform the lives of the majority of ordinary people, even if they were the biggest group in a coalition government.”

Watch This Video And Be Frightened. Be Very Frightened……

It is a little known fact that international treaties can be and too often are the greatest threat to a country’s democratic life-style, decision-making and traditions.

Cobbled together by civil servants and lawyers, often in great secrecy and with no public oversight, they are invariably rubber-stamped by legislatures and only later when it is too late are their inherent dangers recognised.

In the past four years I have had personal experience of this. For example, the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, under whose terms the British state have confiscated interviews from Boston College, gives the British government the right to subvert rights that are guaranteed to American citizens under the US Constitution, for example the Fourth Amendment whose protection of requiring probable cause before court orders can be issued does not apply to the MLAT.

Equally, new UK guarantees on privacy can be brushed aside by the MLAT as though they never existed, as former Red Hand Commando leader, ‘Winky’ Rea is in the process of discovering in the Belfast courts, as the PSNI attempt to confiscate his BC interviews.

Bad enough as the MLAT is, it is though in the ha’penny place compared to a new international trade treaty currently being negotiated by the major Western capitalist powers.

Called the ‘Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership’ or TTIP as it is more widely known, the powers that this treaty gives corporations to subvert domestic governments and to brush aside democratic decisions makes the US Supreme Court’s decision to grant corporations the same status as human beings seem like a petty thing of no consequence – although others might argue that the Supreme Court decision and the TTIP are two faces of the same beast. (A similar treaty between the US and Pacific powers called the Trans-Pacific Partnership is also close to final negotiation. Between them the two treaties will encompass the entire planet.)

The video below is an explanation of the TTIP and its hidden dangers given by David Malone who runs an excellent blog called GOLEM XIV. He gives the clearest explanation that I have yet heard of a very complex and arcane subject. He calls his talk “The Death of Democracy” and once you have heard what he has to say I am sure you will agree that it is an appropriate title.

The TTIP is very close to becoming a reality. Be frightened. Be very frightened.

 

Britain Continues The War Against The IRA And Sinn Fein Stays Silent

The leaked story in today’s Sunday Telegraph reporting the British police’s intention to pursue six IRA activists who had been given so-called ‘comfort letters’ by the Blair government is another indication that the British are determined to continue waging war against the IRA despite the peace process and the reality that the Provisional movement has effectively accepted British rule in Northern Ireland.

This, along with the Cameron government’s expressed intention not to stand over the Blair letters to the so-called ‘On The Run’s’ or OTR’s – IRA suspects given promises of non-prosecution – and the pursuit of Ivor Bell, who will learn in a fortnight whether he will face charges in connection with the disappearance of Jean McConville, amount to a British default both from the spirit of the peace process and the commitments given during good faith negotiations with Sinn Fein and the IRA.

That the British intention to continue to pursue IRA suspects, try them in the courts and then imprison them amounts to an act of war against the IRA is undeniable in the context of the conflict since 1969.

Whereas the IRA’s campaign was characterised in the main by the shooting and bombing of British targets, the British response in the main took the form of trying to put as many IRA members as they could behind bars, using the police and the courts to do so (while the British also shot and killed many IRA members the greater part of their energies was spent trying to imprison them).

The fact that the IRA has completely abandoned violence against the British, has stopped shooting or bombing them and furthermore co-operated in the destruction of its arsenals while the British now trumpet their resolve to keep putting former IRA activists behind bars whenever they can, highlights an unspoken and unacknowledged reality: the IRA has ended its war against the British but the British have not ended their war against the IRA.

This would be completely uncontroversial had the Troubles in Northern Ireland ended in any way other than by a series of negotiated accords with each side making and giving concessions and no side claiming victory over the other.

This latter commitment was the defining principle of the peace process, the oil that greased the wheels: no-one came out and said ‘We Won!’ and by not doing so this enabled the already difficult process of making and demanding concessions to happen.

Implicitly and in an unspoken way, at least in public, the Troubles ended in a draw with every participant agreeing on ways of enabling each other to withdraw from the field of battle. It wasn’t easy and it took a long time to happen but without that agreement it probably never would have.

The fact that the British, or to be precise the Cameron government, are now flouting this principle amounts to a declaration of victory over the IRA and a hollowing out of the core of the peace process.

Had the Provos done something similar, for instance by announcing that the IRA was back in the business of acquiring weapons, how loud would be the cries of anger from London? And from Dublin? How grave would the resulting crisis be for the peace process? How quickly would Unionists have withdrawn from the GFA institutions?

But the Provos haven’t, and they won’t. And nor have they raised as much as a squeak in protest, at least in public, even though one very real consequence could be the abandoning of former comrades to jail time (except when their leader was briefly threatened with the same fate and that protest was quickly put down).

And ultimately it is this silence from Sinn Fein that is making it possible for the British to behave in this way. And by staying silent Sinn Fein is also admitting that the British are right; they won and to the victors go the spoils, including the right to put former adversaries behind bars, peace process or no peace process.

 

“Gerry Adams Increasingly Politically Toxic”: Washington Post Blog

An intriguing explanation for Gerry Adams’ “on-again, off-again” head to head with the US State Department during the St Patrick’  Day festivities in Wahington has come from Henry Farrell, author of the ‘Monkey Cage’ blog on the Washington Post’s online site – and it makes sense.

According to Farrell a combination of distaste at the persistent allegations that Adams ordered the disappearance of widowed mother-of-ten, Jean McConville – given added profile and credibility by this lengthy exposé in last week’s New Yorker magazine – along with the claim that he knew about the child abuse committed by his brother Liam but did nothing about it and what Farrell calls “a swirl of abuse” about rape and sexual abuse by IRA members, have transformed Adams in the eyes of Washington power brokers into “an increasingly controversial figure”.

Changed times indeed. You can read full the article below but first this piece of gossip. I understand that on the periphery of the Hillary Clinton lunch in New York hosted on Monday by Niall O’Dowd, the wannabe Irish ambassador for the next Clinton White House, Gerry Adams had a ten-minute tete-a-tete with Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs.

It would be sensible to presume that Blankfein wanted to get his own take on the leader of the political party which was about to be described as the greatest single threat to Ireland’s economic future by his Chief European economist, Kevin Daly.

The report, which warned that Sinn Fein in government could well take the same stance on Ireland’s debt as Podemos does in Spain and Syriza once promised in Greece, was published a day or so later so presumably Blankfein, whose Goldman Sachs empire was once memorably described by journalist Matt Taibi as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money,” did not have the opportunity to influence Daly’s report.

A pity for Sinn Fein because according to reliable sources Blankfein later told friends that he had been “….greatly impressed” by the Sinn Fein leader, “….and re-assured”.

So the banks of Ireland and Europe can breathe easily.

Anyway here is that Henry Farrell blog piece. Enjoy:

Monkey Cage

How the White House snubbed Irish politicians on St. Patrick’s Day
By Henry Farrell

March 18

 

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations (never St. Patty’s Day — take it from a native born Irishman) in Washington are usually uncontroversial. Irish politicians aren’t particularly sentimental about shamrocks, leprechauns, green beer and all the rest of it. They are, however, happy to take advantage of the occasion: They fly over to the United States in droves to lobby for Irish interests, and American politicians (who like a good photo opportunity) are willing to play along. Tuesday’s celebrations, however, were different. The Obama administration snubbed two major players in Irish politics — one accidentally, the other deliberately.

So what was the accident?

Vice President Biden is genuinely proud of his Irish roots, with a particular fondness for Irish poetry. He’s also widely and genuinely liked by Irish politicians. However, when welcoming the Irish delegation (led by Ireland’s taoiseach, or prime minister), he cracked a joke that is causing great unhappiness among one, somewhat unwilling group of Irish people — Ulster Unionists. When opening the door to the delegation, he joked that “if you’re wearing orange, you’re not welcome in here.” Orange is traditionally the color of Ulster Unionists, who have historically wanted to preserve the union with Britain, and have been strongly opposed to all strains of Irish nationalism and republicanism. However, the main Ulster Unionist party is now in an uneasy power sharing arrangement in Northern Ireland with Sinn Fein, the Irish republican party. They have expressed their anger at the joke, claiming that it was a disgraceful slur against their political tradition.

This may seem like a non-issue to most Americans. But symbols can be incredibly important in Northern Ireland. Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, has done a lot of work promoting peace in Northern Ireland. As he notes in this video interview with Gideon Rose, symbolic issues like parades and flags are incredibly important, and incredibly divisive within Northern Ireland.

And what was the deliberate snub?

Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Fein, claims that U.S. leaders were unwilling to meet with him. Adams says that a meeting with the State Department was initially confirmed — but that he wasn’t invited to any high level meetings with the president or high officials, instead being consigned to the general reception with the hoi polloi. The United States hasn’t said anything about why Adams is being frozen out, but it likely has to do with Sinn Fein’s intransigence in a current stand-off over power sharing. Adams has also become an increasingly controversial figure. As an article published in last week’s New Yorker discusses at length, Adams has been accused of ordering the cold-blooded murder of a single mother at the height of the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland. He has also admitted that he knew that his brother, Liam Adams, was a child abuser, but did not reveal it to the police, and is in the midst of a swirl of allegations about rape and sexual abuse by IRA members. While Sinn Fein’s popularity hasn’t suffered as badly as you might think, Adams himself is increasingly politically toxic.

What consequences will these snubs have for Irish politics?

Northern Ireland’s political system is going through one of its periodic crises at the moment: The power-sharing arrangement is not working, because of disagreements about spending cuts. Many had hoped that the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Washington would offer an opportunity for the United States to bully and persuade the different parties to resolve their differences. This is now more complicated than was initially expected. The accidental snub is less important. Biden’s joke will probably do no more than to temporarily complicate negotiations. Ulster Unionists will find it moderately useful in pushing back against U.S. pressure to reach a deal. The more overt snub of Gerry Adams is more significant. It hasn’t been accompanied by any statement or explanation, and it’s less a complete refusal to meet than a downgrading of relations. But one plausible interpretation is that it is a signal from the United States to Sinn Fein, suggesting that Sinn Fein (and in particular, figures like Adams) will find a cold welcome in future unless they fully accommodate themselves to current politics, participate in power sharing, and properly resolve their past association with terrorism.
Henry Farrell is associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University. He works on a variety of topics, including trust, the politics of the Internet and international and comparative political economy.

 

Irish Media & Niall O’Dowd Greet New Yorker Expose Of Gerry Adams With Embarrassed Silence

200px-Original_New_Yorker_cover

Yesterday (Monday 16th March) was the official publication date of The New Yorker issue that carries the 15,000 word exposé of Gerry Adams’ alleged part in the IRA disappearance of Jean McConville and the 1973 IRA bombing of London.

To readers of this blog especially in Ireland who may be unaware of The New Yorker’s place in the world, a word or two in explanation: The New Yorker is undoubtedly America’s premier weekly magazine with a subscription exceeding one million readers and a hard-earned reputation for credible, investigative long-form journalism, excellent reviews, cartoons and new fiction. Its subscribers include the nation’s decision-makers, movers and shakers, the most important members of American society.

You can be sure, for instance, that a copy of this week’s edition of the magazine will be on the desk of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Boehner, most US Senators, US Supreme Court judges and a majority of the higher echelon of Washington’s bureacracy and security leadership.

And this week America’s best & brightest will have read these words written by the author of “Where The Bodies Are Buried”, Patrick Redden Keefe about interviews given by Brendan Hughes and Dolours Price concerning Gerry Adams’ alleged involvement in the disappearance of Jean McConville:

Nevertheless, it’s hard to explain away the very specific, and similar, recollections that Hughes and Price shared about Jean McConville’s murder. When the journalist Darragh MacIntyre pressed Adams about McConville in a 2013 BBC documentary, “The Disappeared,” Adams, looking like a cornered animal, flashed a hostile grin and noted that Hughes and Price had “demons.”

Keefe’s 15,000 word article also demolishes Adams’ claim never to have had any connections with the IRA:

Several former I.R.A. volunteers confirmed to me that Adams was a member of the group, and a photograph taken at a Belfast funeral in 1970 captures him wearing the black beret that was an unofficial uniform of the organization.

And his article definitively links Adams to the planning of the 1973 bombing of London, the first attack by the Provisional IRA on the British capital:

According to both Dolours Price and Hughes, the meeting (to choose members of the bombing team) was run by Gerry Adams. Generally, the I.R.A. issued warnings before its bomb blasts, in order to minimize civilian casualties. But sometimes these warnings did not allow sufficient time for escape: in July, 1972, twenty bombs were detonated in a single day in Belfast, killing nine people, an episode that became known as Bloody Friday

“This could be a hanging job,” Adams told the group, explaining that if the perpetrators were caught they could be executed for treason. “If anyone doesn’t want to go, they should up and leave now.”
Were comments such as these to be made by an Irish journalist, Sinn Fein spokespeople would be queuing up to condemn the reporter’s motives, insinuating the existence of a hostile political or personal agenda while other journalists would be sharpening their knives to perform a similar exercise in their various columns.
This is exactly what happened last May in the wake of Gerry Adams’ arrest by the PSNI on matters not a million miles away from the subject matter of Mr Keefe’s impressive article. Leading the field in this type of onslaught back then were The Irish Times, The Irish News and the publications, online and print, produced from Niall O’Dowd’s stable.
So far The Irish Times has given the article two mentions but neither The Irish News nor Niall O’Dowd’s organs have given Mr Keefe’s work any mention at all – at least that I can find. Neither of those two publications has even mentioned the existence of The New Yorker article even though it has been available online for more than a week and has been the talk in journalistic and political circles in Ireland, Britain and America.
What we are witnessing is to be sure an embarrassed silence – embarrassed because Mr Keefe can hardly be accused of being a dissident republican, so better to say nothing. But it is more than that.It is depressing evidence of the success Sinn Fein has enjoyed in intimidating sections of the Irish media from discussing issues they should be discussing, especially since those doing the intimidation are doing so on behalf of people who are very likely to be members of the next government in Dublin (as well as Belfast).

The fact that The Irish Times has at least acknowledged Patrick Keefe’s journalism is to be welcomed; but such a pity that it took an outsider to open up issues that should have been the focus of that paper’s investigative resources long before this. The question that The Irish Times should be asking itself is this: ‘Why The New Yorker and not us?’

Issues such as the disappearing of widowed mothers, the deaths of six hunger strikers or a host of other dubious events in the IRA’s more recent history that defy or challenge normal explanation are unfortunately now regarded by too many in the Irish media as off-limits since to regard them any other way risks being branded as anti-peace process. And the treatment meted out to those who have tried to tell the truth about such issues, or even to explore them, serves as a chilling example of what could happen to them.
It is also the reason why the Irish media now expends so much more energy pursuing the various sex scandals in which Sinn Fein and the IRA have become embroiled. To be brutally blunt, it is safer. No-one can accuse you of being anti-peace process if you are fighting to expose the cover up of a pedophile rape. After all the Catholic Church went through the same examination and that wasn’t at all politically motivated – at least not obviously so.

In saying this I do not wish in any way to understate the gravity of rape, especially underage rape, nor the arguably more heinous offence of covering up and lying about it. Nor do I question in any way the validity of the media’s pursuit of those responsible for the coverup’s, nor the worthiness of their journalism.

But no-one died as a result of those scandals, at least that we know of. This is not an argument not to pursue SF/IRA rape cover-ups’, just to broaden the field of investigation. Like Patrick Keefe and The New Yorker just did. Over to you, Irish media (Niall O’Dowd excepted).

PSNI’s Double Standards On Investigating The Past Illustrated By Scappaticci Case. One Law For Boston Interviewees, Another For British Agents

This was a story carried by Ulster Television today. No comment from me is necessary because the implications are obvious. Note the ‘no comment’ from PSNI. And not a squeak from the British military:

IRA victim’s father calls for Scappaticci probe

A man whose son was murdered by the IRA in 1993 has called on Freddie Scappaticci to be investigated for his alleged involvement in the killing.

Frank Mulhern’s solicitor Kevin Winters, who is representing a number of victims’ families in civil cases against the alleged Army agent, the Ministry of Defence and the Chief Constable, is urging more people to come forward.

Joe Mulhern was just 22 years old when he was abducted by the IRA.He was accused of passing information to Special Branch, interrogated for 10 days, shot and his body dumped near Castlederg, Co Tyrone.

No-one has ever been charged or convicted of the murder.

Six weeks after he was buried his father Frank – who first spoke to UTV’s Insight programme in 2013 – said Freddie Scappaticci, who at the time was alleged to be a senior member of the IRA’s internal security unit, told him about his son’s murder.

Frank Mulhern said: “I asked him again how he died and Scap said that the first shot had hit my son in the back of the neck and he told the guy whoever shot him to shoot him again, so the second shot hit him on the back of the head and apparently that’s what killed him.”

Scappaticci was named in 2003 as the highest ranking Army agent working inside the IRA, a claim he consistently denies.

Frank Mulhern is convinced the security forces could have saved his son but chose to protect their spy codenamed ‘stakeknife’.

“It’s about time Scap was brought to court and that’s all I really want,” he said.

Frank Mulhern, together with a number of other families, are now taking a civil action against Freddie Scappaticci, the Ministry of Defence and the Chief Constable.

Their solicitor Kevin Winters believes all the abductions and killings allegedly linked to Scappaticci, along with the role of the state in protecting the agent from prosecution, need to be fully investigated.

Frank Mulhern continued: “The PSNI have files which could solve a lot of these murders but for one reason or another they’re not acting on them, probably because Freddie Scappaticci is involved.

“I say my prayers at night and one of the prayers includes Scap, that he is brought to court and charged or whatever. I mean all I want is my day in court with Freddie Scappaticci – I want absolutely nothing else.”

The PSNI said it would not be making any comment.