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
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
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
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
I don't think so.)
In his editorial, the writer talks about duty.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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