My mammy Phyllis McGhee, was right about most things.

June 17, 2010

Many are questioning the £200,000,000 which the Savile enquiry has cost British taxpayers to clear the names of fourteen unarmed civilians shot by the British army in 1972. None of this would have been necessary if the original inquiry (Widgery) had sought the truth, instead of covering up for incompetent politicians.

The trouble with politicians they know everything with hindsight and can only see forward as far as the next election. People who can see beyond and the big picture are the activists, often called the loony left, people like Bernadette Devlin and my late mother Phylis McGhee, activists hang in there through thick and thin ignore the insults because they want to make the world a better place for their children to live in.

A steadfast dissenter

Derry was not the first bloody Sunday, that was in Dublin on November 21st 1920 when thirteen people were killed at a football match in Croke Park. My grandfather Richard Lanigan was one of the Tipperary players, his team mate and close friend Mick Hogan (Hogan Stand) was shot dead, granddad joined the IRA the following day. Dublin’s Bloody Sunday also had an inquiry, which  concluded that spectators  had armed themselves going to a football match and started  shooting  at the “Black and Tans” (British paramilitaries) who only were there to watch the match, no soldiers were shot. Since Oliver Cromwell the British have not covered themselves in glory in Ireland or many of their other colonies.

Derry radicalised many young second generation British Citizens like myself and as horrible as it sounds, I understand why British Muslims cheered the deaths of British soldiers in Iraq and  in Afganistan because I would have done the same in the early 70s. Thats what bad government can do to young people.

My kind of politician was 21 year old MP “Battling” Bernadette Devlin who crossed the floor of the chamber the day after Bloody Sunday and belted the conservative Home Secretary Reginald Maudling in the face and pulled his hair. If only television cameras had been there Bernadette’s brilliant political career would not have been ruined by having a baby out of wedlock, such were the times . The British Embassy in Dublin was set on fire as thousands of Dubliners demonstrators and hurled petrol bombs at the building. There were protests by students in many British universities.

IMG_1979 On the Tuesday after Bloody Sunday, the house of commons held an emergency “Ulster Debate” I sat in the public gallery with my mother and listened to the home secretary as he warned “activists” about supporting future Civil Rights marches. Mammy  jumped up  shouting “murdering Tory bastards, shoot us now”. It took four security men to drag her out and hand her over to the police, who arrested and charged her. Her “shocking” behaviour was reported in all the newspapers. It still gives me great pride to read about “The row” and the small part she played in the fight for justice for those innocent civilians.

My mother was right about Viet Nam and the government was wrong, my mother was right about apartheid and the government was wrong, my mother was right about the catholic church and the government was wrong and now 20 years after her death she has been proved right about the killings in Derry. The only one of her causes left is the US blockade of Cuba and I predict that will end during the Obama administration.

Irish Folk singer Christy More dedicated his song “Yellow Triangle” to my mother Phylis McGhee , however I am certain she would have wanted it dedicated to all people who campaign against social injustice in all its forms.

I tell you this because I do enjoy talking about my mother and because  Skeptics have every right to question chiropractic it is up to chiropractors to show them how wrong they are.  I know there are chiropractors out their who care much more about the chiropractic profession than I do, however they need the courage of their conviction and have to be prepared to step forward and show leadership for the profession  and confront our critics.

If there are chiropractors out there who would like to put there heads above the parapet and have something to say, I offer you the chiropracticlive platform to air you views. There is only one condition. If you have something worthwhile to say, you but your name to it and tell a little bit about yourself as to why your postings should be credible. I dont like all that anonymous criticism so loved by the sceptics community.

You must make clear that by blogging on Chiropracticlive you are not endorsing anything I may have written. We know what the GCC is like and by stating that you will only have to account for your own words.

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  • Paraic

    Hi Mal
    An immediate correction is toward as of yet still officially known city of LondonDerry. The City Council changed its name to Derry in 1984 and those within the city know it as Derry ( – indeed the Apprentice Boys themselves know it as Derry. Loyalist unionist apologists and bigots still describe the city as LondonDerry.
    “In Newry & Mourne, the story was reversed. I’ve rarely heard any armchair crusaders complain about the unfair advantage Nationalists had over Unionists in that borough though.” – this I would like to hear.
    “Paraic: You suggest that Few Catholics had businesses in Northern Ireland” – no Mal I stated it as fact.  “ “Protestant business owners rarely employed catholics.”This is a fallacy. Or rather, it is one half of an equation which, when presented in isolation, distorts the truth of the matter. The fact is that many people back in those days employed people by word of mouth. Often these people would be people of a similar background to the employer, or recommended by a person who walked in the same social circles as the employer. More often than not, too, members of the same families would be employed – and certainly members of the employer’s own family. This was not a phenomenon that was unique to Irish Protestants. It happened with Irish Roman Catholics as well.”
    An excuse – a cute whore type of excuse but one all the same.
    “One example of note, but one which is rarely referred to on the Internet, is the make-up of the Newry & Mourne District Council workforce. While the population ratio in the cachement area consisted of some 30% Protestants, the council as recently as 1988 only had 11% Protestant representation in its workforce and, at just under 14%, the situation of employment of office staff was barely much better.”
    In 1988 Mal – protestant men had the very lucratively paid pleasure of joining the UDR, their lady friends employed in the very lucratively paid pleasure cleaning the bases and their children signing up into the cadets – all paid jobs and much better than the lower paid council jobs, and so the bias in figures, since they never wanted to work for the council – why would they have?
    “Roman Catholics were treated more generously by public housing than non-Roman Catholics. In 1971, according to the Census of that year, about 16.3% of public authority housing was occupied by non-Roman Catholics (or “Protestants”). By contrast, about 20.45% was allocated to Roman Catholics.”Where do you get these figures that are clearly way off the mark from reality?
    “I find it a bit strange that you exclude the concept of being shot at or ‘interrogated’ by Republicans in your list.” Apologies – given its rarity for ordinary catholic folk going about their business I had forgotten this – do add in to this the concept of being shot at or ‘interrogated’ by loyalists, soldiers, local militias (sorry UDR and RUC).
    Mal you might feel safer for some obscure reason – the fact is crime has skyrocketed and is weighted toward serious crime.
    The reason that the army were initially brought into N. Ireland is of historical record – your distortion is just that, a distortion.
    The Ulster Scots Scam:
    Ulster-Scots is a random collection of some antiquated dialectal words masquerading as a language in order to line the pockets of those who propagate it. It has existed for less than 20 years, yet draws down millions in state funding North and South. John Laird has made a fortune out of this scam, as has Ian Parsley, convicted child abuser Stan Mallon, convicted bigot George Patton and quite a few others.
    Is there an Ulster-Scots tradition? Yes.
    Is there an Ulster-Scots culture? Yes.
    Is there an Ulster-Scots language, dialect, creole or any other term you care to utilise in reference to the nonsense propagated by the Ulster-Scots agency? No, and there never was until John Lard decided to graft one onto Ian Adamson’s Cruthin mythology.
    Its correct definition as a dialect is mid ulster english:
    The famine – the fact you just blow off the forced removal of food from a starving population to a neighbouring Island and the decimation of that same population by six million (yes similar surprisingly to the claimed numbers of the Jewish holocaust) is beyond any good sense or character. Most folks would describe it as a holocaust. It would appear because it was an Irish holocaust enforced by our English neighbours at the time is more than enough for you to decide it was never such.
    A late retort in all and poor at best – if it wasn’t so long and well thought out I would suspect it was a wind up.

  • Mal McKee

    Forgive the tardiness in my reply here. I had various problems which meant I lost track of things. However, I would like to respond again to the couple of posts made since my last reply.

    Gerrymandering implies a changing of the electoral boundaries to suit (usually) the party in power. However, the electoral boundaries for the City of Londonderry were never changed.

    I don’t know where you get the idea that the minority (Unionists) had six times the number of seats (than who?). “Six times” seems to be a common thread here! I can tell you though, that in the midst of complaints about the voting system (and accusations of gerrymandering) that the largest minority (Nationalists) in Londonderry Council were also more than generously treated.

    In 1967, for example, Unionists received 35.5% of the votes, but 60% of the seats. Shocking perhaps when looked at in isolation like that. However, Nationalists received 27.4% of the vote and took the remaining 40% of the council seats. None of the other political parties, including the Northern Ireland Labour Party, secured a seat. That was the real trajedy – that the politics had been allowed to become based so much on the constitutional status and basically a sectarian headcount.

    Now I work out 40% versus 60% to be some 1.5 times the number of seats – nowhere near six times the number.

    In Newry & Mourne, the story was reversed. I’ve rarely heard any armchair crusaders complain about the unfair advantage Nationalists had over Unionists in that borough though.

    With regard to the soldiers during WWII:
    The problem was though, that too many young Germans had been indoctrinated to believe that they were a ‘pure’ and ‘superior’ ‘race’ and he had hypnotised the masses into believing in Hitler’s cause. It’s a fascist view similar to that which is shared by many in the Republican movement to this day: the ‘pure’ and ‘noble’ Gael; the ‘downtrodden’ Catholic (conveniently ignoring any suffering by anyone of any other religious background, or of none). “We’re better than you because we’re more purely Irish [by which they mean, specifically, Gaelic]” tends to be their mentality.

    I was, by the way, slapped with a ruler for writing with my left hand in school!

    How times have changed.

    Paraic: You suggest that Few Catholics had businesses in Northern Ireland.
    Roman Catholics’ mainstay of business was the publican trade, and it still is. These people were proprieters – business owners, and were plentiful. There were some other trades and professions in which Roman Catholics dominated. But they were at a general disadvantage, certainly. This disadvantage was caused by many factors, of which history and a preferential treatment to Irishmen of certain persuasions in the past was only one factor. It was a complex situation which is only now being rectified as families, for example, tend to be better planned than they had been, and Roman Catholics have seen the advantage of sending their children on to further education instead of straight out to work in menial jobs at 14 years of age to help support a large family.

    Much has been made of comparing statistics of ‘Protestants’ versus ‘Catholics’ (no matter what these peoples’ actual religious beliefs, be they agnostic or atheist). Yet one report at least broke the Protestant category down into their various main denominations and discovered that it wasn’t Roman Catholics who were most at a disadvantage in terms of ‘white collar’ jobs – it was people from a Church of Ireland background. We can certainly say that this situation was ironic, considering the fact that it was the Irish Anglicans who had beem most at an advantage some one hundred to two hundred years prior, and more, in Ireland. Later, in the latter half of the 1970s, the FEA reported that the most deprived group with regard to education was also Anglicans.

    “Protestant business owners rarely employed catholics.”
    This is a fallacy. Or rather, it is one half of an equation which, when presented in isolation, distorts the truth of the matter. The fact is that many people back in those days employed people by word of mouth. Often these people would be people of a similar background to the employer, or recommended by a person who walked in the same social circles as the employer. More often than not, too, members of the same families would be employed – and certainly members of the employer’s own family. This was not a phenomenon that was unique to Irish Protestants. It happened with Irish Roman Catholics as well.

    One example of note, but one which is rarely referred to on the Internet, is the make-up of the Newry & Mourne District Council workforce. While the population ratio in the cachement area consisted of some 30% Protestants, the council as recently as 1988 only had 11% Protestant representation in its workforce and, at just under 14%, the situation of employment of office staff was barely much better.

    I spoke of “Protestants and unionists”, specifically to point out that it wasn’t just Roman Catholics who believed in the need for reform. While many Protestants were suspicious of organisations which were set up by Republican Clubs, Marxists and Sinn Féiners (and many more were simply apolitical), many aggrieved Protestants joined with their Roman Catholic neighbours and friends in support of the idea of being able to vote in the local franchise.

    In comparison to the general elections, in which there had been universal suffrage, about 250,000 people in Northern Ireland were denied the vote in the local elections because they didn’t own property or businesses. These quarter of a million people were the less well-off people of Northern Ireland, and did not constitute either Roman Catholics or Protestants, but rather both. Election results after the reforms set in motion by the Northern Irish government were not significantly higher for Nationalist candidates. In fact, the results were slightly in the favour of Unionists initially.

    Geraldine Gildernew’s plight at the hands of housing discriination is a much referred-to situation, and one that marks the exception rather than the rule. Austin Currie himself noted, “If I had waited a thousand years, I’d never get a case better than this one.”

    Roman Catholics were treated more generously by public housing than non-Roman Catholics. In 1971, according to the Census of that year, about 16.3% of public authority housing was occupied by non-Roman Catholics (or “Protestants”). By contrast, about 20.45% was allocated to Roman Catholics.

    Regarding safety on the streets:
    I find it a bit strange that you exclude the concept of being shot at or ‘interrogated’ by Republicans in your list. Again, I disagree with you when you suggest that it isn’t safer on the streets in Northern Ireland. While there are still areas in which it would be unsafe or unwise for a person of either persuasion to venture at a given time, I have felt much safer going up and down both the Falls Road, the Shankill Road and the Donegal Road, or even walking around the Lagan or through Short Strand. All this, despite the fact that there aren’t any regular Army patrols.

    It’s safer in town as well (in Belfast City centre). All the crime reports I have read suggest that crime, on the whole, has reduced in the last decade or so.

    Indeed, given the recent rioting in England, the incidence of ‘happy slapping’ not so long ago, and the fact that the ‘normal’ crime rate in Northern Ireland has always been much lower than that of England & Wales, it is probably somewhat accurate to suggest that it is safer on the streets in Northern Ireland than it is in England & Wales.

    Regarding the deployment of the Army in Northern Ireland:
    Whether or not police forces would have been “interested”, had the government given the order, it would have been their duty to do so, just as it is their duty to police London, Glasgow or the West Country.

    Although you say you disagree with me, I have to say that I can’t see anything in your paragraph which is in any way contradictory to what I had said. Yes, it was certainly felt that a smaller (and surrounded) Roman Catholic community in Belfast needed protection, but that was the RUC’s duty and they were stretched beyond limits – 180 policemen were expected to police a rioting crowd of 15,000 Nationalists at one stage in the early Troubles. This was at a time when Nationalists had organised rioting throughout different locations across Northern Ireland, specifically to stretch the RUC thin. It was either Currie or Gerry Fitt (I forget which) who actually made this suggestion publically. Now the rationale behind such a plea may well have been justified in some peoples’ eyes, considering what happened in Bombay Street and the surrounding area, but the fact is that the situation had left the police force particularly out-numbered and under-manned. So the Army was brought in to help contain the rioting and to try to prevent anything like Bombay Street (and those ‘Protestant’ streets in which rows of houses were set on fire too) from happening again.

    Regarding language:
    You’ll have to excuse me for generalising. I hadn’t meant to suggest that the Republican prisoners were the ONLY or sole reason behind any revival for the language, but it was certainly a catalyst – an accelerant – I think you could probably agree. Whether or not Ulster-Scots, or ‘Ullans’ is a dialect or a language, I think I’ll leave up to the linguistics experts. From what I can ascertain, Scots or Lallans (from whence Ulster-Scots is derived) is classed as a language, but Ulster Scots is considered a dialect. This difference is not logical to me, but it matters little. What matters is that our heritage, whether it be Gaelic or Ulster-Scots, should be protected.

    Regarding the question of famine equating to genocide:
    The Irish Famine of the 1840s is a whole other can of worms. Suffice to say that I don’t subscribe to the idea that it was a genocide: nobody forced the incredibly cold winters on us which so badly affected our staple diet. Nobody poisoned the potatoes. Like a bomb, the shrapenel and resultant explosion was indiscriminate in its damage. For the government, they were at first disbelieving (in a time before e-mails, TV, and mass-communication were possible) and then inept in their handling, having adopted a laissez-faire attitude to economics. Irishmen withheld food supplies from other Irishmen, in order to continue making a profit. Others did what they could to help.

    Calling it a genocide is, in my opinion, the most evocative overdramatism and smacks of MOPEry (Most Oppressed People Ever) seldom rivalled anywhere else. To compare it to the Jewish Holocaust is to insult the memory of six million Jewish people who were – deliiberately – taken and hoarded into execution camps, and horribly mutilated in biological experiments by the Nazis. The Famine was a terrible and dark time in the history of the people of this island, but I shun the idea of apportioning blame on a group or race of people (such as ‘the Evil English’ or ‘Brits’) for political expediency.

    The Famine of that period was part of a wider famine affecting the whole of northern Europe. In Scotland, some two million inhabitants were forced to leave for foreign shores. The Irish Famine is only so-called because it happened to hit us harder, and was far less well administered. Do I believe more could have been done at the time? Of course. Do I believe that some people in authority in central government carried the weight of responsibility for the lives of their fellow countrymen, and had been ignorant, uncaring and even, in some cases, callous about the disaster? Yes, I certainly do. But it’s not something I dwell on nor is it an event which I choose to remember by viewing it in terms of Good Guys versus Bad Guys, or use as a tool for the betterment of some modern political cause.

    Richard, I hope you don’t mind that I’ve used your blog to further this discussion, some months hence even. Perhaps, as you are obviously interested in the subject to some degree or another, it might inspire you (comments from all, and not just myself) to write another entry on the subject. Although I have disagreed with some comments here, I’d like to take the opportunity to wish all the participants well and that, despite a perhaps formal tone to my contributions, I do not post them out of any malice.

    Also, no disrespect is intended to the memory of your Mother – may she continue to rest in peace, and continue being right..

    about most things, if not all!

    about most things, if not all!

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  • Paraic

    Hi Mal

    Few Catholics had businesses in N. Ireland. Protestant business owners rarely employed catholics. Whilst some like Ivan Cooper did join the civil rights marches not many of them did and whilst this might sound like an oxymoron the unionists you spoke of where probably catholic (i.e. not wanting to be a 32 county Ireland but simply one man one vote and to be able to get on housing lists etc much like Michelle Gildernew’s mother).

    It is not safer on the streets. Whilst there is significantly less chance in getting caught up in a bomb, shot at by loyalists and getting a beating from the brits, UDR or RUC, with the influx of eastern Europeans and lack of policing on the ground (including that that was done by the IRA) things for many have become more dangerous and the figures for crime back this up.

    I have to disagree strongly with your assertion that the army were brought into N. Ireland to back the RUC. The british army were originally introduced to N. Ireland to protect the catholic community from loyalist attacks. Given how the police force and B specials were viewed at the time I doubt if any police forces on the mainland would have been interested in backing them up.

    The claim that the Irish language revival centred around republican prisoners is rubbish and often used to attack the language usage today. Although it was used by republican prisoners as you state it was not the beginnings of its revival (ie at the beginning of the 20th century rather than at its end) – its was a tool used during a particular set of circumstances. The loyalist prisoners simply did not possess this tool (even with claims that the ulster scot dialect is a separate and distinct language).

    Ervine was indeed forthright about his past and understood quite clearly the hows and whys of reaching that point in his life.

    And yes it is without doubt history has its ironies – perhaps for another often misrepresented event of Irish History this might be of relevance:

  • Richard Lanigan

    There was Gerymandering in Derry where Unionists were in the minority but had six times the number of seats on Derry council. However way you look at it it was unfair and undemocratic.

    However the Protestant V Catholic was too simplistic as traditionally many of the traditional home rullers going back to Wolfe Tone were Protestants. However it suited the IRA and Loyalist paramilitaries to define them self by their religion. I think many of those who spent time in the Maze prison like Spence and Ervine realised they had more in common with the IRA members that the establishment figures. Good people like Ivan Cooper were pushed to the side. Religion has never been a good cause for people to rally around.

    It occurred to me a few years ago when I visited the German cemeteries in Normandy, all these young men in the British, German and US cemeteries, who probably did not want to be there and had more in common with each other than the politicians who had sent them to Normandy. If they had recognised that early enough there would have been no World War Two and no Holocaust.

    I was a fluent Gaelic speaker having spent 4 years boarding at a Gaeltacht in the 60s. Colaiste na Rinne. I arrived from North London September 1964, aged 7 and had until November to learn Irish after which you were caned for speaking English.
    Made me anti religion and nationalism at a very young age, no doubt the beatings I got in Ring is why I have always had problems with authority especially bad ones.

    There was this woman a nurse who “looked after the children” she hated my “englishness”. I suported Arsenal and she set out beat me into submission to the gaelic way. She was called the Ban an Ti and the first time I saw Margaret Coats the Chief Executive of the GCC I thought it was the reincarnation of Ban on Ti, and I am still not sure.

  • Mal McKee

    Paraic, “The Brits having allowed unionist shopkeepers in Derry six votes to one catholic vote” – the “Brits” never did any such thing. The voting franchise for general elections was not affected, as it had been updated along with the rest of the UK. The franchise for local elections though, was limited to people with property and business. People, if they own more than one property or business, could have more than one vote. This applied to Presbyterians, Methodists, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, unionists and nationalists all alike – it was the reason that some Protestants and unionists initially joined the civil rights campaign.

    As for feeling “less safe” when walking the streets of Northern Ireland today – I thoroughly disagree. Since

    the IRA ceasefire, and the subsequent the Belfast Agreement, it has felt far more safe.

    Richard, you are right about not utilising the Paras – or the Army – to police civil disturbances. That was the biggest mistake the government made. With most other civil disturbances in the UK in recent decades, the police had been reinforced from other police forces through the country. The RUC (the Northern Irish police force at the time) was exhausted deliberately by rioters throughout Northern Ireland, and so the Army reinforced them. In the case of the start of the Troubles, the police should have been reinforced by other police forces from the rest of the UK.

    The Gaelic language was revived mostly by Republicans in jail in the early 1970s – a form of communication they could have so that most Prison Officers could not understand them. Interestingly, after Gusty Spence was jailed he befriended some Republican inmates and started learning Gaelic and was also taught about socialism. David Ervine was also a terrorist, like McGuinness, Adams and Spence. I don’t tend to respect terrorists, but Ervine never pretended to be anything other than what he was.

    And on the note of all things Gaelic, it’s interesting to note that the Gaelic romantic ‘revival’, although filled with inaccuracies and assumptions, was spearheaded mostly by Anglicans from Dublin. The 1798 Rebellion was also mostly spearheaded by Presbyterians in Ulster.

    History – especially that of the British Isles – is full of irony.

  • Richard Lanigan

    It was good, ageing Lakers V Pistons late 80s my favourite series. Rather watch paint dry than watch golf.

  • Garland Glenn


    I’m also a Lakers fan and have been for years. I watched all seven games. Overall I think it was the best Finals series I can remember. Down to the last minute of game seven, it could have gone either way. Much like the US Open yesterday. Graeme McDowell did a fine job.


  • Richard Lanigan

    David Ervine was a politician I admired very much and a great loss to Ireland, he spoke his mind and talked more sense than most.

    I remember unionists were upset because he sat beside Martin McGuiness at Georgie Bests funeral. The independent choose my tribute to George Best as one of their letters of the year in 2005, I was well pleased about that.

    Georgie Best lived in Surbiton and spent a lot of time in our local, under normal circumstances I would have loved to have spent the day boozing with him, talking about football and his goals, much more interesting than the GCC.

    Whats your interest in Chiropractic, I tried to e-mail you but it bounced.

  • Paraic

    Another interesting fact for you Richard, the Irish languange revival began in Antrim as I know it by Protestants and became Gael Linn. Wolfe Tone was a protestant. Many of the Irish rugby players are Protestants. At least one chap in my area who was a convicted IRA man had a Protestant father.

    It wasn’t about Protestants its was about a ruling elite – David Ervine always made this point – it was chess play using religion and culture against a subserviant class who refused to be further apathetic when they realised they were expedient.

    They were then divided and conquered, and within that division held back from achieving real wins for their families.

  • Richard Lanigan

    There was also an interview with Ivan Cooper who organised the Derry March. One of the many interesting facts about Cooper is that he was a protestant who campaigned for civil rights for working class people. Cooper is very critical of the fact that General Ford was not condemned for sending 1 Para into the Bogside.

    The political elite again protecting their own.

  • Paraic

    some excerpts…

    John Teggart’s father, Daniel, was shot 14 times while fleeing an area close to a joint army-police station on the Springfield Road during the violence. Teggart said his father had been visiting his sister’s house when the shooting started. An inquest later found that most of the bullets entered Daniel Teggart’s back while he was lying on the ground after being wounded, his son said.

    “We have been able to establish that among the 500 paratroopers deployed from 8 August, 1 Para – the same unit sent into the Bogside in Derry – was on our streets.

    “We have been able to establish that among the 500 paratroopers deployed from 8 August, 1 Para – the same unit sent into the Bogside in Derry – was on our streets.

    The death of the local parish priest, Fr Hugh Mullan, recalls the way another priest, the future Catholic Bishop of Derry, Fr Edward Daly, tried to help the wounded on Bloody Sunday.

    “The world saw the television pictures of Fr Daly waving a white handkerchief towards the paras in Derry as he tried to save a wounded man being carried through the streets,” said Teggart. “Fr Mullan had telephoned the army base to tell them he was going out to help those wounded in Ballymurphy. He came out waving a piece of cloth, walking towards a field where one of the men shot by the paras lay dying. Fr Mullan was shot as he tried to help a local man and he fell down as he prayed over that man’s body.”

    The Bloody Sunday report said it could “not criticise General Ford for deciding to deploy soldiers to arrest rioters…” Saville also concluded that General Ford “neither knew nor had reason to know at any stage that his decision would or was likely to result in soldiers firing unjustifiably on that day.”

    But the Ballymurphy massacre campaign group said that what happened six months earlier was a clear warning that the paratroopers should not have been deployed against unarmed civilians.

    “We were all delighted for the people of Derry. But it made me think that if the authorities had carried out a proper inquiry of what happened in Ballymurphy six months earlier, instead of calling in the military police to investigate, the paras would never have been deployed in Derry and all those people up there would not have lost their lives.”

    Not only would innocent teenagers been mowed down on the streets of Derry and accused of being nail bombers but perhaps a thirty year civil war would not have ensued with all its fall out both for the UK, Gibraltar, Germany and Ireland – North and South.

    Hopefully the result from the UK GCC will never have such a destructive fallout.

  • Richard Lanigan

    Paric todays Observer gives coverage to the eleven who died in Ballymurphy,

  • Richard Lanigan

    The BCA will avoid upsetting Margaret Coats at all costs. It has done them no good to date so why they should think she will change. Its like the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome. Look on the bright side, you have the NBA we have the GCC.

    Irish but I am not a Celtic fan and have supported the Lakers since Magic Johnson was drafted. Did you watch the game the other night? Last two minutes were exciting the rest was a grind. What happened to “Showtime”.

  • Garland Glenn


    Didn’t know about your mum. Glad I do now. What you may not know about me is that I’m an Irish citizen. Birth certificate, passport etc. Because I grew up in the US, I don’t know as much of the history as I would like.

    As for the GCC, I’ve posted my story here before. I have the documents that prove Greg Price had an inappropriate influence on the ASA in my case. I also provided evidence that showed I had been set up and framed by an angry college. Though I brought this up, it was never addressed or even considered.

    The state of South Carolina is on record as reviewing the GCC’s decision and finding no case worth hearing and in admonishing the GCC for what they did.

    You’ll notice that I’ve never failled to put my name on what I write. Two years ago it looked like we might be moving back to the UK. As such I asked to have my BCA membership renewed. I was turned down. I was told that I hadn’t taken seriously what I DID NOT DO!


  • Richard Lanigan

    Hi Paric,

    Everyone in Ireland knew the Paras in Belfast were right bastards, thats why they were sent to Derry that day. They got annoyed becasue the Derry kids jeered them and threw stones and they were not having that. These guys were always up for a fight and their methods recruited many for the IRA.

    Newspapers are describing these frightened kids fearing for their lives as they were shooting, paras did not have people like that in the unit they were all hard nuts and even other British sodiers were afraid of them. If you are going to fight a war they are the kind of people you want on your side but you dont send them in to police, the march against the war in Iraq. This is why British people dont get Bloody Sunday, imagine if the had opened up on the anti globilization protestors on the streets of London.

    These are the issues that determine the quality of ones society. Whether we go back 40 years or look at the treatment of muslims in the UK or the prosecution of the war in Iraq more recently.
    Essentially this blog is about abuse of power by a regulatory body, the consequences of that abuse is negligible compared to the victims of Derry, however the principle is the same.

    Sometimes I feel embarrassed about devoting so much time to something so trivial in the whole scheme of things. Then I remember it was by ignoring these abuses the Nazis came to power or Widgery felt confident about publishing a report that maintained the status quo and protected the political elite.

    The Civil Rights movement was consumed by Sinn Fein because they had the financial might and “terror”, they marginalised the SDLP, to gain more power and be the major player in NI political process. I have no doubt Martin McGuiness feels the ends justified the means (which earned him the name Butcher of Derry) and all those 18 year old Green Jacket squaddies were worth it, working class kids who joined up for a regular pay cheque.

    All politicians want is to be “in power”.If you had a 32 county Republic, Sinn Fein would be swallowed and become a minor player , so I doubt their commitment to their strap line “Tiochaig ar la” (our day will come). Out of this you have an Irish mafia determining who should be accountable for their crimes as in the murder of Rober McCartney.

    Believe me there are many parallels that can be drawn not necessary life and death issues but the need for people to put their heads above the parapet thus ensuring a judicial system that treats people fairly with the same due process. Doing that in Ireland or Iraq could cost your live, standing up to the GCC at worst would cost you 17% VAT.

  • Paraic


    You’re mum is a legend as is Bernadette Devlin. No doubt about that for those in the know in Ireland.

    Do you know the same paratroop unit including the soldier who shot not one but four children (U18s) shot 11 people including a priest in Belfast (Ballymurphy) before being moved to Derry.

    The Brits having allowed unionist shopkeepers in Derry six votes to one catholic vote then sent in a proven army unit to bring down the civil rights movement there and then in Derry.

    Unfortunately then this became an incident of hatred that drew in catholics en masse into a movement that was capitalised upon by the republican movement that engaged the N. Irish community in its entirety into civil war, including Bernadette Devlin’s daughter Roisin, and thus began the war.

    Then in the 90s Martin Mc Guinness furthered this with a push not to achieve a 32 county (as he told all and sundry) but to push the brits into political gains through brinkmanship of army loss, civilian casualty (aided and abetted by british interests separate to the government), worldwide political embarrassment and increased division on the ground that resulted in an agreement similar to that that he (the same Martin McGuinness) had previously discussed as the IRAs representative around the sunnydale agreement of 1973 – the Good Friday Agreement.

    How must those families who lost volunteers in this period feel? For those whose loved ones who were shot unarmed in many instances and in the case of one of my neighbours who was hit with 48 (yes 48) bullets.

    Also what has never been reported were the incidents where british soldiers were killed and who lay on roadsides whilst locals drove by and whose deaths were never reported in national nor british media.

    The nationalist movement was hijacked by SinnFein and there is a lot of animosity on the ground today as to the misdirection of the IRA / SinnFein grouping who have hijacked a christian catholic mainstream into a marxist agenda that many people do not understand as next nor near the original intention of one person one vote that was achieved well early of the military push of the late eighties toward the mid nineties.

    Then there is the issue of the pay off the IRA received via the Ulster bank robbery to bribe its commandants with to end the war and the why they needed to be …

    How were the loyalists paid off?

    The nationalist community feels less safe and more vulnerable than it ever has even without the threat of loyalist murder squads and with a better more inclusive police force than it ever had.

    People of either community feel less safe to walk the streets of N. Ireland today than they ever did.

    Perhaps too big and too emotive an issue to have brought up on a blog like this and with more trouble than the GCC to put an identity reaching nomenclature to…

    Oíche mhaith


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