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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Yes, Let's Do


George Young • 9 July 2004

Let me start by saying that I am not an avid reader of The News Letter (they hold a completely different viewpoint to my own, regarding the politics of Ireland), but I couldn't help but be drawn to one of their editorials, entitled, Lets Never Forget The Price Paid By The RUC.

What the writer of this, let's call it an editorial for talking's sake, is doing, is criticising Dave Wood, the Executive Director at the Police Ombudsman's Office in Belfast, for his criticism of the RUC throughout the conflict, where he called their methods "Fire Brigade Policing".

(Not what I would have called them, but at least it was a criticism of one British Police Force by another, groundbreaking, by their normal standards.)

The composer goes on to tell us how the RUC were respected throughout the world for their professionalism, skill and bravery and cites the three hundred and two members who died from the late nineteen sixties to the mid nineties, while performing their duty, as he says, "to the whole community of the Province."

The first question that needs to be asked is, who were the people throughout the world who respected them?

The Romanian secret police? the KGB? the British Nationalist Party? ex-members of the SS and Gestapo?

Maybe I'm wrong, but I would have thought that to be respected throughout the world, you have to first, have respect within your own country and that is something that the police force of Northern Ireland have never had from the nationalist communities. And with good reason. I don't believe that I know anyone of nationalist or republican persuasion who has any respect whatsoever for the RUC, although maybe Gerry and his boys' perspectives are changing after his meeting with Sir John Stevens, but then, their perspectives seem to change from day to day, depending on who they happen to be in conversation with at that particular time.

The writer talks about skill and bravery, is that the same skill and bravery that was used by a certain RUC constable, from the Headquarters Mobile Support Unit, in the shootings of the unarmed Seamus Grew and Roddy Carrol, emptying the magazine of his Smith and Wesson into Roddy Carrol from a distance of six feet, before having time to reload and shoot Seamus Grew from a distance of thirty five inches, killing them both.

(Brave? I don't think so.)

In his editorial, the writer talks about duty.

Was it the duty of the Special Branch inspector, who was in attendance at the time of the shootings, to tell the HMSU constable, not to inform the investigating detectives about his presence, or was it the duty of the RUC Special Branch to order the constable to present a doctored version of the events to the investigating detectives, under the auspices of the Official Secrets Act, a fact which only came to light at the trial of the aforementioned constable.

(Adherence to duty? Again, I don't think so.)

Incidentally, the constable was acquitted of the double murder, (surprise, surprise) but I have to wonder why no charges of perjury were ever brought against any of the Special Branch people involved, but then again, maybe I don't.

And as for the RUC having performed their duty to the whole community.

Was it the duty of the RUC to aid the loyalist mobs in the burning of the homes of the nationalist population of the Falls Road, back in the sixties.

(Duty? Equality? Once again, I don't think so.)

Not that I want to keep going over old ground, but before the author of this _ _ _ _ _ _ _ editorial, put pen to paper, I think that perhaps, he should have checked out the historical relationship between the RUC and the nationalist/republican community and what he would have found is that, members of the RUC have murdered our friends and families, colluded in the murders of the same and committed acts of perjury against an awful lot of us.

Maybe he should have spoken to the families of Eugene Toman, Sean Burns and Gervaise McKerr who were shot and killed by the RUC, while committing the capital crime of driving in their car. In this case the accused police officers were commended by the judge and by the then chairman of the Police Federation, who said that when the police were involved in such incidents, it proved that there was not a shoot to kill policy, but more a shoot to live policy.

What this meant was that the three dead men were better in the cemetery than in jail. A typical RUC reaction to republicans at that particular time.

Or, perhaps he could have had a word with the relations of Rosemary Nelson and Pat Finucane, in whose murders it is now widely accepted the police colluded with loyalist paramilitaries.

Their dastardly crime? Successfully representing republicans and nationalists in court.

So, to our friend, the writer of this_ _ _ _ _ _ _ editorial, when he says Lets Never Forget The Price Paid By The RUC, I say, Yes, Lets Do.





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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent


Historians and economists {subsidized by governments} are very good at creating and perpetuating myths that justify increasing the power placed in the hands of government.
- Reuven Brenner

Index: Current Articles

11 July 2004

Other Articles From This Issue:

Miscarriages of Justice
Martin Cunningham

Dolours Price

Yes, Let's Do
George Young

Interview with Bill Lowry:
Forbidden Fruit
Out from the Shadows
Political Policing
Anthony McIntyre

8 July 2004

"Fury at Community Newspaper Funding"
Carrie Twomey

Don't Buy A British Lie
Geraldine Adams

Encouraging Debate
Mick Hall

Magpie's Nest
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Scargill in Ireland
Anthony McIntyre

Rev. Ian Harte
Davy Carlin

Family and Community Workers Concerned at False Reporting
Monkstown Community Resource Centre

Food, Trade and US Power Politics in Latin America
Toni Solo


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