The Bryson Incident And The Provisional IRA

CORRECTION (January 20th, 11:50 EST)

In the original piece the following uncorrected sentence appeared: “The RGJ account reveals that after a series of security force successes against the IRA in August 1973, the then Belfast commander, Ivor Bell planned a massive re-organization in the city: scrapping the IRAʼs battalion and company structure and replacing it with thirty-two cells or Active Service Units (ASUʼs).”

This should have read:
“The RGJ account reveals that after a series of security force successes against the IRA in August 1973, the then Belfast commander, Ivor Bell planned a massive re-organization in the city: scrapping the IRAʼs battalion and company structure and replacing it with eight cells or Active Service Units (ASUʼs), each with five men meaning that the active strength of the IRA in Belfast was just thirty-two.”

Myself and colleague Bob Mitchell have published this important piece on, a respected and widely-read Irish current affairs website edited by Malachy Browne and Vincent Browne. The piece revises an important part of the Provisional IRA’s own historical narrative and includes an internal British Army account of the killing of one of the IRA’s most famous characters in Belfast, Jim Bryson. It is well worth a read and can be found here. (this link was removed as the site involved no longer exists and replaced with this link.)

12 responses to “The Bryson Incident And The Provisional IRA

  1. Galloway's Valet

    Counter insurgency and black propaganda are two dimensions in which the Briitish military reign supreme, outstripping even the Americans, who have considerable expertise in both, as the traumatised survivors of US ‘dirty wars’ in Cental America can attest.

  2. Could not access this article from your link. Info. given as follows: Hackeado por High Tech Brazil Hack Team No/One – CrazyDuck – Otrasher

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  3. I presume the death of Dolours Price has gone gone unnoticed by your good self. When can we expect a response?

  4. As a relative of Jim Bryson can I register my total disgust at the RGJ website posting the above photo. Can’t say I am surprised at them, neither am I surprised that Ed Moloney has chosen to post the photo as well. SensationaIism, poor journalism, innuendo and SECRET source comments weaved through his articles seem to be the order of the day. I honestly hope that his family never have to see a photo of him lying in the morgue and that the Broken Elbow do the right thing and remove this photo.

    • so, let me get this right. when a journalist likes myself discovers a) that the british army has actually taken a photo like this (and maybe many more like it) and b) displays it on a regimental website like some sort of war trophy (the mindset is not dissimilar to GI’s in Vietnam who would collect the severed ears of suspected Vietcong) then I should hide it away and pretend it hasn’t happened. Isn’t that helping the British Army cover up their behaviour? Or am I missing something here?

  5. The point is simple, we as a family have been aware of the photo and the website for a number of years and have been taking legal advice on having it removed with the possibility of further legal proceedings. As a journalist you have every right to expose the truth, thats not in dispute. Far from pretending that it hasn’t happened we welcome investigative journalism that helps to uncover the truth but believe it neeeds to be sensitive to the feelings of families. A journalist with a bit of morality would maybe, just maybe have thought about contacting the family in a sensitive manner to let them know that A the website have posted photos and B to discuss using the photos in an article.
    Had you done this then maybe (but prob not) you would have exposed the fact without posting the picture.
    As for helping the British Army cover up their behaviour we along with the Mulvenna family have been to the fore in the search for the truth behind the state murders of Jim and Patrick and will leave no stone unturned until that truth is uncovered and the British Army and State have been exposed.
    I won’t ask you to remove the photo once again as it’s quite clear that sensationalism is as I have said before the order of the day.

  6. Absolutely agree with bill,of course the truth about the uneccessary killings of jim & his comrades should be told, & the barbaric behaviour of the british army in the taking of this picture & worse the publishing of it like some kind of trophy should be exposed, but there was no necessity to republish it, the feelings of the family of jim have been completely ignored, shame on you

    • you’re about four months behind events. it had been removed then but when i reloaded everything onto a new computer it re-appeared as it was in the memory. gone now. incidentally, do you think photos of dead people in syria should also not be allowed on websites or other media? or are they different?

  7. Pingback: The British Soldier Who Killed Jim Bryson Interviewed….. | The Broken Elbow

  8. An OP is an Observation post…Two men working in shifts to watch an area, or target…to report movements etc, so used to gather intelligence.
    You claim that it was an organised Ambush…But the RGJ Chronicle Article shows that it was just luck and good placement.
    Bryson and his colleagues were seen driving around with weapons pointing out the car windows and then parked up and started to look to set up an ambush of their own…probably looking to attack one of the S Company Foot Patrols that were in the area.
    Rules of engagement were observed and a shoot out took place…the first shots fired were not from the Soldiers.
    Fortunately the soldiers had the high ground and a hard to spot OP…a well trained soldier with an SLR took aim and hit his targets, under 200m away.
    They may have been trying to get away, via the car…but that’s no reason to stop firing at armed Terrorists, who have been shooting at you, and as allowed by the Rules of Engagement of the time.
    As for showing him dead laid out…thats nothing new and not as a trophy, just to show the end of a known terrorist murderer.

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