Monthly Archives: April 2021

How MI5 Used The RUC’s Kincora Probe To Place Spies Beyond The Reach Of The Law: Its Agents Can Never Be Questioned By Police

Some eighteen months ago, in December 2019, a British court, a body called the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, ruled by a 3 to 2 majority that MI5’s policy of allowing its agents and their informants to participate in serious crime was lawful, thus placing MI5 almost fully beyond the reach of the law.

The judgement, which the Tory government led by Boris Johnson enacted into law In September 2020, scandalized civil libertarians but unnoticed at the time went the fact that MI5 had effectively put its leadership and agents beyond the reach of the law some forty years earlier when the agency refused to allow the RUC to question a senior MI5 officer about what he or his informants knew about sexual abuse at the Kincora Boys Hostel in east Belfast.

The MI5 officer was Ian Cameron who worked at the British Army HQ at Thiepval barracks in mufti, described as an ‘Assistant Secretary (Political)’, but in reality one of three senior MI5 officers stationed in strategic positions in the security apparatus so as to monitor political and security policies during the Troubles. Cameron was, by one account, a seasoned spy and had run the equivalent of MI5’s office in Berlin before coming to Belfast.

A second MI5 officer had an office at RUC headquarters in East Belfast while in 1972, MI5 secured the position of Director and Co-ordinator of Intelligence (DCI) at Stormont and was thus in charge of all British intelligence operations in Northern Ireland.

Although MI6 continued to have a presence, and was represented by officers in Northern Ireland and had a seat on the MI5/MI6 Irish Joint Section (IJS) offices in both Belfast and London, helping to funnel intelligence to the Joint Intelligence Committee in Downing Street, by 1973, MI5 effectively ruled the intelligence roost in Northern Ireland.

When the Kincora scandal finally broke in 1982, the then RUC Chief Constable, John ‘Jack’ Hermon, who would later be knighted, appointed Detective Superintendent George Caskey to head the investigation into a scandal which we now know touched all three branches of the security machine in Northern Ireland, the police, the military and the spies.

Roy Garland, as a young Orangeman

Eventually, Caskey found himself knocking at the door of Ian Cameron at Thiepval barracks armed with thirty questions, only to be brusquely dismissed. This was not just Cameron’s doing but the action of MI5’s leadership in London, assisted by agency’s legal adviser Bernard Sheldon who later became legal adviser to MI6 and GCHQ.

An account of this episode is contained in the much neglected (by the media, this reporter included) report of the committee of inquiry into alleged abuse at childrens’ homes in Northern Ireland, headed by former judge Tony Hart whose commentary in his final report in January 2017 was suitably cutting:

Although Ian Cameron was by now retired, he remained subject to the provisions of the Official Secrets Act and therefore required authorisation from MI5 in order to discuss anything relating to his duties as the Assistant Secretary (Political). We are satisfied that the documents to which we have referred make it abundantly clear that MI5 were not prepared to allow him to be interviewed under any circumstances because, as it was put on 5 August 1982, it was their “principle that no serving or former member of the Security Service should be interviewed by the police”. That position was maintained throughout by MI5 despite repeated formal requests by the RUC that Ian Cameron should be made available for interview. Ian Cameron was never made available for interview by the RUC, nor was any statement prepared by him to the RUC in which he answered the 30 questions…...

Kincora detective dismisses VIP ring claims | Ireland | The Times
Kincora House

We consider that MI5’s “principle that no serving or former Officer of the Security agencies should be interviewed by the police” in the course of a criminal investigation was wholly unjustified. We are satisfied that in the ultimate analysis it was for the RUC and not for MI5 to decide what was relevant to that criminal investigation. We criticise MI5 for consistently obstructing a proper line of enquiry by the RUC by their refusal to allow the RUC to interview Ian Cameron, and by their refusal to authorise Ian Cameron to provide a written statement answering the 30 questions.

So, what was it that MI5’s bosses in London did not want Ian Cameron to talk about? And was it this and not just the principle that MI5 believed that to do its job, it had to be beyond the reach or normal law and order agencies that shaped the following events?

That story begins with a British Army intelligence officer based at Thiepval barracks in 1975, a Captain Brian Gemmell, part of whose job was to gather information about Loyalist and Unionist paramilitary groups and funnel it both to his own superiors and to Ian Cameron, who appears to have had the final say in his activities.

Gemmell, who was from Strathclyde, Scotland and was a born again Christian who harboured ambitions of eventually joining MI5, met Roy Garland, the former associate of Tara founder, William McGrath and the person who made the anonymous Confidential Phone call to the RUC in 1973 about McGrath and Kincora. They met through a mutual evangelical Christian friend who worked as a vet.

William McGrath

The Hart reports takes up the story:

He described how his personal contacts in Christian evangelical circles led him to meet James McCormick who raised the topic of McGrath with him. “The question of Tara was raised at one stage and that its leader William McGrath was a homosexual pervert. It was McCormick who actually spoke to me about this and he suggested that I should speak to Roy Garland who was ex-Tara and Garland was trying to expose Tara and McGrath”.

He then described what Roy Garland said to him in the following passage in the police statement:“I was introduced to Garland by McCormick and I remember the gist of what he said. Garland was afraid of McGrath and he mentioned that McGrath owed him a lot of money and also owed other people money. He told me how McGrath had recruited young boys into his circle of influence and it was partly religious and partly sexual – masturbation being the main theme – how McGrath had spoken to small boys about this subject. This occurred back in the 1960s and Garland was one of these boys. Some of it developed into homosexuality and I believe this also included Garland. I recollect Garland saying something about McGrath pursuing him after Garland got married and this was causing him distress and that it might break up his marriage”.

He went on to describe a second meeting with Roy Garland: “Again McGrath’s homosexual tendencies, his background and all aspects of Tara were discussed. Although I can’t remember if it was named I do know that Garland told me about McGrath being in charge of a boys’ home However, I do remember going to the Newtownards Road area looking for this home I went there to get the picture in my mind as to what we were working on. I remember seeing a large detached house which I thought it was. I did not go into this house. I remember that Garland was quite outraged that McGrath should be in charge of a boys’ home. I didn’t feel too happy about it myself especially for potential victims and the fact that McGrath was presenting an evangelical front”.

MI5 HQ, just across the Thames from MI6’s more modern home

Gemmell continued:

I made a written report of my second meeting with Garland I believe that this was a four side MISOR [sic], which would have been graded SECRET-UK eyes A. Because of the political implications surrounding Tara the information was only passed to Headquarters N Ireland and retained at 39 Infantry Brigade HQ. After this inter view I was debriefed by the Assistant Secretary (Political) in his office at HQNI I believe it was on a Saturday morning just prior to lunch. The Assistant Secretary, Mr Ian Cameron, was told by me the details of the interview I had with Garland. I believe that the interview I had with the Assistant Secretary was either tape recorded or his secretary, a female, took notes. When I told Mr Cameron about the homosexual involvement of various persons in Tara he reacted very strongly and said that we did not want to be involved in this kind of thing. He was abrupt to the point of being rude and instructed me to terminate my enquiries concerning Tara and in particular to get rid of another informant with whom I had been associating. This other informant was not throwing any light on the subject in question, ie the homosexuality. However, other events took place shortly afterwards which resulted in the Assistant Secretary reversing his decisions and allowing me to pursue the enquiry concerning Tara through the other informant. I can’t remember any other specific information regarding McGrath and the boys’ home. As I said I only had two meetings with Garland and it was he who gave me this information about McGrath and the home.” (MISOR should read MISR which stands for Military Intelligence Source Report)

Gemmell, using a false name, was later interviewed on the BBC Public Eye TV programme, an episode titled ‘Kincora – The MI5 Connection’. Here is the exchange:

“Question: Does Roy Garland mention Kincora?

(Brian Gemmell):Yes he tells me that at that stage McGrath has a position in Kincora and that Kincora is a boys’ home, he’s very concerned about that.

Question: Does he mention Kincora by name or does he just say boys’ home?

(Brian Gemmell):I believe it’s by name, I can’t remember exactly but I believe it’s by name He doesn’t know exactly what is going on but we are putting 2 and 2 together and making 4 when history shows that we should have made 6.

Question: Does he say that he believes that boys or young people are being abused in the boys’ home

(Brian Gemmell):I think he says he believes it but he doesn’t know it to be true.

Question: No evidence?

(Brian Gemmell):I do not think he has been into the boys’ home, put it that way.

Question: Are you concerned at the allegation?

(Brian Gemmell):I am concerned at the allegation Yes.

Question: Did you believe him?

(Brian Gemmell):I believed that Mr Garland believes he is telling me the truth. It obviously has to be investigated and enquired into”.

The programme continues with the statement that: “James wrote a report of his meeting and sent it up to his Army superiors as a matter of routine. He says it was then passed to MI5 who shared the same building at Army Head Quarters”

Much of the Hart report dealing with Brian Gemmell’s allegations is taken up with a dismantling of his claims. Like Roy Garland, he declined to give evidence at the investigation and thus missed the opportunity to answer the inquiry’s criticisms, which ranged from there being no four-page MISR, of the sort he described, in military records; that he had just one meeting with Garland, not two; that Garland never mentioned Kincora in any report sourced to him or which he handed on to Ian Cameron.

Against that this is a story that is replete with missing documents, fading memories and some inconsistencies that Judge Hart fails to address, such as why Roy Garland would not raise Kincora with Gemmell since just a short time before he was so exercised by the possible fate of the Kincora boys that he made an anonymous phone call to the Confidential police hotline which was entirely about his fears regarding abuse at the home.

Not only that but the MI5 officer to whom Gemmell reported was never allowed to be quizzed by the RUC’s George Caskey and the truth or otherwise of his part in the Kincora scandal scrutinised by a professional inquisitor. Nor, thanks to that precedent, will any other alleged misdeeds by MI5 committed in the course of their trade be subjected to outside dissection.

If refusing to answer police questions about a crime was the thin end of the wedge, the thick end will see MI5 and presumably its cousins in MI6, committing the worst outrages in the book and getting away with them.

The spies have won.

Did The RUC Special Branch Cover Up The Kincora Scandal?

By James Kinchin-White & Ed Moloney

Just after three o’clock on the afternoon of May 23rd 1973, the Confidential Telephone in Belfast – number: 652155 – housed at RUC headquarters in Knock, East Belfast, rang, a switch automatically turned on a tape recorder and the caller, a man, began telling a story he hoped would bring an end to the sexual torture of dozens of boys and young men, many of them orphans, and expose a scandal that had, in different ways, been covered up by some of the most powerful figures in Northern Ireland’s Orange and Unionist power structure.

When the phone call was transcribed, the message ran to over 500 words and the duty Chief Superintendent who read the document, thought the contents so disturbing that he did two things. He sent a copy to Special Branch headquarters in Belfast and ordered a senior colleague, an Inspector, to personally check the information that had been phoned in.

And so began a series of events that could and should have ended the ordeal of boys then lodged at the home, but didn’t. Instead the hostel, whose name was Kincora, would continue to be the site for a further seven years of sexual abuse of young, vulnerable boys at the hands of the three men charged with safeguarding their physical and mental welfare.

Kincora would become a byword for sexual abuse and a metaphor for the weirder fringes of political Unionism and Orangeism, but that did not happen until seven years after the anonymous phone call to RUC headquarters. It was not until 1980 that the scandal was uncovered but it took much longer for the fuller story to be told and even then, many suspect that the story of who knew what, when and how much was covered up and most important of all, why the Kincora abuse was allowed to fester for so long, remains unexplained.

Four years ago, nearly two decades after abuse at Kincora was exposed, another lengthy and expensive inquiry came to the conclusion that most people suspected was the one the British state hoped for, a verdict that would, ideally, bring an end to the wild speculation about the role of the state’s intelligence agencies. The Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry came to the conclusion that abuse at Kincora was solely the responsibility of the three wardens who ran the home. And that seemed to be an end to the matter.

Bored and made wary by decades of sometimes wild speculation about who knew what and when, the local media gave scant coverage to the report published by the inquiry’s chairman, former judge, Sir Anthony Hart in 2017. None appear to have examined the many documents that his inquiry had access to. Had they done so, they would have come across evidence that the intelligence agencies, particularly the RUC Special Branch knew much more about one of the key figures in the scandal than has ever been publicly admitted, enough to have asked the obvious questions about his work at Kincora. Unless, of course, they had reason to ask no questions at all.

The documents were part of a tranche of papers that were handed over to the HIA investigation by MI5, MI6, Britain’s domestic and foreign intelligence agencies, and the PSNI, on behalf of the old RUC.

The documents, which reveal much about the murky world of intelligence work during the Troubles, were cited in Aaron Edwards recently published book, ‘Agents of Influence…‘ but for reasons best known to himself, the author was more interested in what the papers revealed about the recruitment and handling of confidential sources than what they had to say about the Kincora scandal.

Nor is the existence of the confidential phone call or the identity of the caller news. The phone call, the thrust of what was said and the identity of the caller were all revealed in Chris Moore’s seminal book, ‘The Kincora Scandal‘. The caller was Roy Garland, also known for a while as ‘Mr X’, who was an important source, along with former Free Presbyterian missionary, the late Valerie Shaw, for coverage of Kincora by myself and former colleague Andy Pollak in The Irish Times in 1980 and 1981.

What is new in these disclosures is the full and extraordinarily revealing text of what Garland said in his confidential phone call, the inexcusable complacence and incompetence of the RUC officer tasked to investigate the call (and presumably his superiors) and the criminal dishonesty of the Special Branch which knew that much of Garland’s phone call was absolutely accurate but did nothing – presumably in the cause of preserving a source close to the leadership of Tara, the bizarrre and strange paramilitary body founded by McGrath.

But, first of all Roy Garland’s call to the Confidential Phone number and what he told the RUC about the man at the centre of the Kincora scandal, William McGrath, a figure whose influence over Northern Ireland’s two main Unionist parties and their leaders, and the course of Unionism before and during the early days of the Troubles, would be difficult to overstate.

Here is the text of Garland’s call to the confidential phone number as transcribed by the RUC:

So, as one would hope and expect, the duty Chief Superintendent assigned a senior officer to visit the Kincora hostel to establish what truth there was to these extraordinarily serious allegations. And so a month or so later the unnamed senior policeman, whose rank is revealed in the documents as an Inspector, visited the home and spoke to the senior worker on duty, a man by the name of Joseph Mains.

We now know, of course, that along with the third Kincora employee, Raymond Semple, Mains was involved with McGrath in sexually abusing boys at Kincora. All three pleaded guilty at their trials many years later, a course they took to avoid the salacious and scandalous details of their behaviour from becoming public.

The reproduction of the copy of the Inspector’s report to his superiors presented to the Hart inquiry is of such bad quality that it is only partly legible:

The important section is though partly legible on an iPad and reads:

“On 4.6.73, I spoke to Mr Mains, head house father at Kincora Boys Hostel, Upper Newtownards Road, regarding a social worker at the hostel William McGrath. Apparently McGrath has been employed since August 1971 and is 36……..According to Mr Mains, McGrath is a very decent type of man and has deep religious convictions and is high up in the Orange Order……Mr Mains is satisfied that this information came from some crank and that although McGrath is not popular with the boys at the hostel he is convinced no one there could be capable of this. Mr Mains has no idea of who might have passed this information on the phone.”

And this is precisely what was reported back to his superiors by the investigating Inspector on June 5, 1973:

This reads:

‘Reference attached copy of message received on Confidential Telephone line, enquiries reveal that the subject McGrath, is a decent type of person and there is nothing to indicate that he is engaged in the type of conduct alleged by the caller. It would appear from enquiries into this matter that the allegations are totally malicious and would not, in my opinion merit further investigation.’

A copy of this report was forwarded to RUC Special Branch, whose reaction upon receipt is not recorded. Ribald laughter would not have been out of order, however, in the light of the following report, received some two or so months before the RUC Inspector’s visit to Kincora took place.

Dated April 17, 1973, two months before Roy Garland made his call to the Confidential Phone, the document is a Special Branch report on Tara, originating in Newtwnards, which names McGrath as the ‘C.O.’ of Tara; Frankie Millar as his ‘assistant’ and Clifford Smyth, a senior figure in Paisley’s DUP as the ‘former intelligence officer. The Administration Officer was David Brown, deputy editor of Ian Paisley’s Protestant Telegraph.

Of McGrath’s sexual proclivities the Special Branch document reads: ‘McGrath is a reputed homosexual who is alleged to have kept members ensnared in the organisation by threatening to reveal homosexual activities which he had initiated.’

So, when Roy Garland used the Confidential Phone in an attempt to expose McGrath and save boys at Kincora from further abuse he was wasting his time. The Special Branch already knew about McGrath’s sexual tendencies and must have known where he worked and suspected that he was using his job to satisfy his sexual appetites.

When intelligence agencies know about or suspect criminality but do nothing, it is usually to protect sources. Did the Special Branch have an agent inside McGrath’s paramilitary group, Tara, feeding them intelligence on Paisley’s DUP, or the Ulster Volunteer Force which had infiltrated Tara after Gusty Spence’s imprisonment? Was that why they did nothing about Kincora?

How many young lives were blighted and destroyed as a result? The Special Branch knew who McGrath was, knew about his role as leader of Tara, knew about about who in the world of Loyalism he associated with, not least the leadership of the DUP and they knew about his sexuality. It stands to reason the Branch also knew that he worked in Kincora, and that the young charges under his control .were extraordinarily vulnerable and were ripe to satisfy his sexual appetite, yet they did nothing to protect them.

It is time the real truth about Kincora was told and the filing cabinets opened. In fact, beyond time. It is the least that is owed to the boys and young men whose lives were blighted by Britain’s spooks. Here is the RUC Special Branch report on McGrath and Tara, logged two months before Roy Garland dialed the confidential phone number at RUC HQ:

On McGrath

The Workers Party Splits Again, And Again, And Again…….Yawn

You can read about it here:

Trump, Biden & Afghanistan – US Media Bias On Show

Great piece here which reveals the inherent bias in the US media……the time will come when it will really matter.

Brainless British, Irish & International Media Responsible For Belfast ‘Riots’

The recent riots in Belfast, or minor street disturbances to be precise, are the direct result of a spineless media consensus, fed by cynical politicians, that Brexit would create circumstances which would re-ignite the Troubles, unless they were counteracted.

Here is the story the bulk of the media would not write:

The fulcrum of the Troubles was Belfast, especially the Catholic ghettos of Short Strand in east Belfast, the lower Falls, Ballymurphy, Andersonstown in the west, and, in north Belfast, Ardoyne. Now it is pretty hard to imagine how ordinary folk in these areas, relieved that the daily violence which scarred their lives for so many years had gone, would get so exercised over (mostly foreign) lorry drivers for huge multinationals being pestered by having to fill forms at or near the Border, many miles away, would throw their hands up in the air and declare in gruff, angry voices, ‘time to get pikes down from the thatch again’!

But that was precisely argument that southern political leaders like Leo Varadkar took to Brussels and Strasbourg and persuaded the well-fed bureaucrats that instead of a so-called ‘hard Border’, the protection of the precious peace process was better served by positioning it somewhere out in the Irish Sea.

And so was born the most extraordinary piece of nonsense since Lewis Carrolls’ allegedly LSD induced fantasy ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

The international and domestic media gobbled up this nonsense with breathtaking eagerness. I forget how many interviews I gave to foreign journalists at the time, arguing that what caused the Troubles, what drove ordinary, normal people into a viciously violent outfit like the Provos was something much more intimate than a ‘hard’ Border many miles from their homes. It was the daily experience of state violence, meted out by soldiers who spoke in foreign accents and sided with their longtime enemies that did that.

I don’t want to exaggerate the number of calls I got but I do remember how they went. Would a hard border re-ignite the violence, came the first question: ‘I don’t think so’, came my reply, the disappointment at the other end almost tangible. Only one reporter showed interest as I explained why, a Norwegian if my memory serves, but even so he buried my reply deep in his copy.

That was the only reporter who gave space to these thoughts. The rest ran away and filed stories that were indistinguishable from their colleagues and thus gave the most foolproof defence against incompetence and cowardice: “Well everyone else was filing the same!’ And so they retained their handsome salaries and expenses.

The result is that Varadkar and his like-minded colleagues got their way, with a Border that, theoretically, is on the same longitude as the Isle of Man. All to solve a problem that never existed except in the cynical minds of the Irish government of the day, the idiots in Downing Street and the likeminded fools in Brussels and Strasbourg. So together, they solved a non-existent problem only to create a real one.

And still the stupid, cynical, incompetent and unprincipled media can’t, or won’t, get the story right.

Sinn Fein And The British Royals

I cannot, for the life of me, make sense of the politics behind Sinn Fein’s response to the death of Prince Philip. Michelle O’Neill’s homage to a man whose politics and social attitudes were near neanderthal, followed not far behind that made public by Alex Maskey, who these days straddles the Speaker’s chair at Stormont were just, to put it mildly, unnecessarily over the top:

While many republicans, aside from those who have not imbibed the kool-aid, will be and have been appalled, Unionists, I suspect, will not have been impressed, accustomed as they are to regard everything the Provos do and say with the utmost scepticism and suspicion.

The only people who will greet SF’s expressions of sympathy for the Royals with undisguised pleasure are the two governments, in London and Dublin. I suspect the word ‘house-trained’ might figure in their conversations.

Northern Ireland: Memories of 1977 and a 'terribly tense' royal visitor |  The Independent | The Independent
The more traditional Provo response to British royalty – a West Belfast protest to mark a royal visit during the Queen’s 25th year jubiliee in 1977

When Is A Riot Not A Riot?

This is a real riot, June 1970:

This is not a real riot, April 2021:

Buses suspended after this tonight 4/7/21, 15:22

At Least Trump Is Gone…..

With thanks to RS for the tip.

‘Blown Away’, An IRA Movie worth watching….

At least that’s what I read on Facebook. You have to go to YouTube to watch so follow the link below. Enjoy:

Irish Times Remembers Bobby Sands But Forgets Richard O’Rawe

The Irish Times today (Apr 3rd) marks the victory in the 1981 Fermanagh-South Tyrone by-election of Bobby Sands, who just shy of a month later would die on hunger strike, the first of ten republican prisoners who would sacrifice themselves ostensibly for the cause of political status but in reality so that Sinn Fein could enter electoral politics.

And since that move into electoral politics would cause unsustainable friction between the political ambitions of Sinn Fein and the violent methods of the IRA – a battle which Sinn Fein would eventually win – it is at least arguable that the 1981 hunger strikers began something that ultimately we would recognise as the peace process.

There were two key aspects of the death toll. The first was the number who gave up their lives, so many that anger at the British – or rather the imperious Margaret Thatcher – spilled over from the traditional but limited republican constituency into more moderate Nationalist homes, threatening the SDLP’s traditional electoral hegemony in that community.

The second was the extent to which the hunger strikes normalised and legitimised electoral politics in a community that had long regarded elections as a virulent political poison, a sellout by any other name. When Bobby Sands died and the British banned serving prisoners from standing in the resulting by-election, Owen Carron, a Sinn Fein activist, stood and won the seat. And when a general election was called that torrid summer in the Republic, protesting prisoners stood and won seats in the Dail.

These election results terrified constitutional politicians on both islands, but persuaded hitherto republican zealots that maybe elections weren’t such a bad thing after all. This would not have been possible had the hunger strike been called off after Sands’ death, or when it became clear, as it did not long afterwards, that Mrs Thatcher would not give the IRA the victory its supporters wanted. And the longer the protest lasted, the more legitimacy was bestowed on the idea of fighting and winning elections.

It is therefore entirely appropriate that The Irish Times chose the anniversary of Sands’ election rather than his death to mark the importance of the part he played in these events. Nor is there much wrong with the paper’s choice of interviewees, tediously familiar though some of them are, especially those from Sinn Fein.

No, the problem is the dog that didn’t bark.

One of the reasons why the hunger strikes lasted so long was the failure of efforts to negotiate a settlement, particularly one that coincided with the by-election in Fermanagh-South Tyrone caused by Sands’ death and which Sand’s election agent, Owen Carron was tipped to win. Had the settlement been accepted and the prison protest ended it is probable that Carron would not have become the area’s MP and the North’s subsequent history might well have been very different.

The story of how all that happened was first told by the prisoners’ then public relations officer in the jail, Richard O’Rawe, in interviews for the Boston College archive. After he was interviewed by Anthony McIntyre he decided, very much against my advice, to write a book about the experience. I knew the Provos would make his life hell. But, seeing that he was determined, I then gave him as much help as I could.

To be sure the book was very controversial but as time has passed, the essential truth of his account has become more widely accepted, not least when Brendan Duddy, the Derry businessman who was the go-between to the British government in the episode at the centre of O’Rawe’s story confirmed the account.

But O’Rawe does not exist in The Irish Times‘ hunger strike universe. You can read Mary Lou McDonald’s view of the hunger strikes, Michelle Gildernew’s and Danny Morrison’s. But not Richard O’Rawe’s. It is as if he never existed. In such ways is history scrubbed clean.