Those of my readers who were able to watch the television documentary ‘I, Dolours‘ will, I hope, remember that part of Dolours Price’s interview in which she described how, after being given a bye-ball by Brendan Hughes following her admission that she had been working for the British Army, the IRA in the lower Falls recognised Jean McConville in Hastings Street RUC barracks, draped in a blanket which was fitted with eye-holes, as she allegedly resumed her spying career by scrutinising a parade of IRA suspects who had been arrested by British troops.
Today I was watching Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, another brilliant film (which you can access on YouTube) made by that strange genius Adam Curtis, which begins with the end of empire in the post-war years, heralded by an uprising in Kenya, spear headed by the IRA of its time and place, an organisation called the Mau-Mau.,
One of the military minds leading the British fightback against the Mau-Mau was a young British subaltern by the name of Frank Kitson who would, some two decades later, as General Frank Kitson, command British military forces in Belfast in their war against the Irish Mau-Mau, the Provisional IRA.
Very early in the film there are scenes of the British Army in action in Kenya which those people who were paraded in front of a blanket-draped housewife in a Belfast police station all those years later would immediately recognise as mirroring their own experience. All that is different is the skin colour of those behind the hoods: