McKenna has a valid point when she points to 'the
unequal way victims of violence have been treated
by our own political establishment and by our media.'
She was referring to the exposure afforded by the
European parliament to the murder of Robert McCartney.
As a Green Party MEP she tried 'without success,
to get the Dublin Monaghan bombings on the agenda
how must the relatives feel when they see
so much political and media effort going into this
one case while theirs has been covered up and ignored
for so many years?'
point cuts to the chase. The European parliament
is concerned not with justice but with using a justice
issue to apply pressure for the purpose of securing
a political objective. That objective is to bring
the interminable peace process to a conclusion.
Unfortunately for the relatives of those slaughtered
in the Dublin Monaghan bombings their demands for
justice simply do not dovetail with the imperatives
governing state behaviour in the European arena
at this juncture. Highlighting the circumstances
pertaining to the 1974 massacre while eminently
worthy, in the eyes of the state powers does little
to secure the conclusion of the peace process. The
massive pressure on Sinn Fein that has accrued from
the murder of Robert McCartney has a much greater
potential to do that. The European parliament wants
a result. If a justice issue is the wind in the
sails pushing matters towards that result, then
let justice be done; if not, justice is another
obstacle to be dismissed as the plaything of mischief-makers
who fail to appreciate the big picture.
as we might, wherever we go there is a hierarchy
of victims. It is not something exclusive to the
European parliament, our own political establishment
or media. When Joe O'Connor was murdered in a shoot
to kill operation, leaving a Ballymurphy widow and
four children, those most vociferous in their opposition
to shoot to kill suddenly morphed into its foremost
defenders. They gathered and howled outside homes
determined to suppress public discussion of shoot
to kill. IRA leaders stood in kitchens menacingly
intent on intimidating people into refraining from
calling for inquiries into shoot to kill. As Napoleon
said, amongst those who dislike oppression are many
who like to oppress.
may well be universal laws and rights but quite
often it takes local pressures to get them enacted.
The McCartney women are absolutely right to push
their justice issue, to act as a pressure group,
to bang their shoe and make noise when others with
vested interests shout 'silence.' How those in power
respond is beyond the women's control. What you
give is not always the measure you get. Here we
have a justice issue which is a success story in
terms of highlighting the core grievances. Yet many
bewail the fact that it has not faltered. Suddenly,
when cries for justice prick ears all over the world,
many of those who made a career out of shouting
'justice' seem no longer to want it. They would
rather no one have it if all can't have it. They
ignore the logic of Patricia McKenna that one should
have it - that all should have it; that there should
be a levelling up, not down.
a bid to maintain their hierarchy of victims and
obviously frustrated by their inability to thwart
the McCartney women, some goondas are now ratcheting
up the strategy of threat. The women have been warned
by the PSNI of threats to their lives and property
from criminal elements. This was followed by more
threats, the existence of which was again conveyed
to the women by the police. On this occasion, the
malice originated with republican rather than criminal
elements. Sinn Fein leaders have insisted that republicans
are not behind the threats. They may be right. But
it can hardly be disputed that the latest threat
to the family appeared on a republican website,
that owned by the former Sinn Fein publicity director
Danny Morrison. Posted at 9 minutes to eight on
the 21st of May by someone signing themselves 'Only
I MaTTeR', the message was both sinister and direct.
It read: 'The McCartneys Better shut the hell up
with their lies unless they want seriously injured...Then
the IRA won't be able to protect them.'
Danny Morrison is on public record as holding responsible
those who own websites and/or bulletin boards for
anything that might appear on them, those who know
different would be grossly unfair to deem Morrison
culpable. He does not monitor the board, leaving
it to an ability-challenged moderator. However,
as it is a board which can only be accessed by registered
users, Morrison has the authority to inform his
moderator that the identity of the person who issued
the threat should be made known immediately to both
the McCartney women and the Sinn Fein leadership.
Anything less would be a cover up. And republicans
wouldn't do that now, would they?