The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Answers Needed Now

Francie Perry • 22 January, 2003

As a result of coverage in some Sunday newspapers referring to the recent gun attack on my son Kevin Perry, I feel that a very imbalanced version of events is being fed to the public and that this should be corrected before innuendo becomes fact in the public mind.

Despite malicious rumours fed to the press over the past eighteen months by Sinn Fein councillor Eamon McConvey, my son is not a member of the Continuity IRA; nor is he a drug dealer, thief, joyrider, shoplifter, anti-social element, member of Al Qaeda, or whatever else the local councillor may, in his fevered imagination, allege him to be. In addition to the smear campaign against Kevin, other family members have been on the receiving end of McConvey’s poison. My wife, who has never as much as received a parking ticket in her life, has also been subject to the venom of this career politician. Up until now I have escaped it. Neither he nor his colleagues have bothered to lash out at me. But because I have been left with no option but to speak out against the violence, thuggery and verbal abuse my family have been subjected to, I am sure that I shall now be fair game for them. As one of this town’s prominent cowards, our Sinn Fein councillor will no doubt be eager to skulk in corners whispering in the ears of journalists. Unfortunately, there are enough hacks in the local media all to willing to listen and print anything - why let the truth get in the way of a good story?

Throughout the period of sustained slander we held our silence and only spoke of it for the first time in the online journal The Blanket. We were directed there by friends after the media all but ignored the attack on Kevin. After The Blanket carried our story there was a flurry of activity in last Sunday’s papers, for the most part inaccurate.

One newspaper report stated that a bullet had been sent to a reporter in a local newspaper. The inference was that my son was in some way involved in this incident. However, our family have been assured by people at the paper that they know there was no involvement on the part of any member of my family. Ironically it was also reported that my son Kevin had been shot six times by the Provisional IRA in what has been referred to as a mixed grill attack. My son was shot five times - perhaps we now know what happened to the sixth bullet.

Although Sunday’s media were spreading the story that the Provisional IRA came initially with the intention of warning Kevin, it seems strange that they would come equipped with firearms, hammers and a nail bar - what sort of warning was that meant to convey other than the one that he eventually met on the 19th of December when he was dragged from his home, shot, beaten with hammers and a nail bar?

It is libellous the way that newspapers have been able to label my son a member of the Continuity IRA. My son is not a member of any IRA. As for this other group, the Irish Republican Volunteers, who have been mentioned in the papers, my son wants nothing to do with them. He is not associated with them and they do not represent him or his viewpoint.

I often wonder why the unionists get so upset over the question of arms not yet being beyond use. The unionists must know that the arms of the Provisional IRA are not there to be used against them. The only people to be attacked by Provisional IRA guns are nationalists. This is the clause that the British government is happy to insert into any agreement that they reach with Sinn Fein - put the guns beyond use except when used against members of the nationalist community.

Kevin is at present unable to speak for himself as he is convalescing as a result of the injuries he received at the hands of Sinn Fein’s army. We firmly believe that it was not the local Provisional IRA that shot my son. They strut around this town like hard men but in fact are referred to locally as wood lice - creatures who only crawled out of the wood work when the ceasefires were called. Outsiders must have been called in to do it. On the 1st of December, after I had written to Connolly House and 19 days before my son had been beaten and shot, two members of Sinn Fein from Belfast and South Down came to my house to discuss all these issues. Two hours later they left promising to deal with the problems my family faced.

This is the crucial question I want to ask Sinn Fein and the IRA - are your guns now only to be used against those republicans and others who disagree with you? I want Sinn Fein to get in touch with me. They do not need me to tell them my address. They have attacked the house twice and as far as I am concerned they were behind sending the PSNI to the house to have it searched on two occasions. I have stood up with no balaclava and confronted Sinn Fein. Can the party have the courage to do likewise and confront me openly and honestly minus their army and its threats and tell me why my son was left in hospital over the Christmas period and why my family has been subjected to a sustained campaign of slander?



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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
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Index: Current Articles

23 January 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Answers Needed Now
Francie Perry


Where are the courts of Human Rights?
Victor Barker


Principle, Pragmatism and Lies

Ed Moloney


Historical Unconsciousness
Seoirse McLaughlin


Fallen Anglicans and Other Limping Analogies
Eoghan O'Suilleabhain


A Message from the Heart of the Empire
Michael Youlton


19 January 2003


Fair Trial Not a Farcical Travesty
Bernadette Sands McKevitt


For Whom the Bells Toll
Anthony McIntyre


The Republic: Of Connolly, of Costello, of Kearney and Campbell

Terry Harkin


O Bradaigh versus Adams
Classicism versus Historical Consciousness

Father Sean Mc Manus


Beyond the Border
Annie Higgins




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