The Blanket


A journal of protest & dissent



The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.
- Hubert H. Humphrey




Liam Clarke and Kathryn Johnston respond


Dear Sir/Madam

A few points emerge from John O'Leary's latest letter:-

* Sean McPhilemy won a libel action against Liam Clarke and the Sunday Times. However he did not seek to defend the truth or accuracy of what his "Committee" programme. His case was that he had prepared it in good faith and had not deliberately fabricated anything. The publishers of his subsequent book, also entitled "The Committee" had to pay the full worth of their libel insurance to two people who McPhilemy wrongly accused of being involved in collusion with loyalist murder gangs. Other are now suing the books distributors.

* Despite what Willie Breslin said under oath at the tribunal Liam Clarke did interview him and has a tape recording of the interview. We received no leaks from Eversheds. This side of the story was reported in the Irish News and will no doubt come up later at the tribunal when we make a statement and give evidence as we have been asked to do.

* His account of Kathy's Johnston's contribution to the Channel 4 discussion of Bloody Sunday is incorrect. She stated quite explicitly that the Paras were not justified. If O'Leary believes that the fact that the IRA planned attacks "could in logic justify firing by British Paratroopers" which resulted in the killing of 14 demonstrators then that is a reflection on how lightly he values human life. It is not our view.

* If O'Leary views the book as British propaganda that view is not shared by Sir Edward Heath, who has complained bitterly about its portrayal of the British government's role.


Liam Clarke and Kathryn Johnston








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