Current Affairs History Military Politics

The Great Irish Media Cover-Up

Ian+Paisley+at+an+Ulster+Says+No+rally+in+Ballymoney+1986+
Ian Paisley addresses a militant rally while wearing the beret of the Ulster Resistance, the 1980s’ British terror faction in Ireland.

The pretence that the media establishment in Ireland is anything other than anti-Republican in terms of its collective political ideology has pretty much gone out the window over the last week. The arrest and prolonged detention without charge of Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams TD by the PSNI, the British paramilitary police force in the north-east of Ireland, in relation to the 1972 death of Jean McConville has been manna from heaven for the conservative press. With Sinn Féin predicted to do well in upcoming European and local elections across Ireland the opportunity to reverse that electoral steamroller has been seized upon and the propaganda is coming fast and thick from the party’s opponents. If anyone was under the illusion that we on this island nation have a free and pluralist media they will have been bitterly disappointed. Instead we live in a country under the axis of a media consensus that Fox News or other right-wing pundits in the United States could only dream of. There is an old Irish political term known as “Felon Setting”. At its most basic it means setting someone up, through public announcements or actions, for arrest and imprisonment by the British colonial authorities in Ireland (or elsewhere for that matter). In times past it was one of the gravest charges in the Irish political lexicon. The number of revolutionaries who paid with their freedom or their lives through this process of labelling is countless. Our history is replete with examples and more often than not it was fellow Irish men and women doing the labelling for their own personal, political or financial advantage.

So rather than fair and balanced reporting or level-headed analysis we have had the media acting as judge, jury and executioner. It says much for the parlous state of journalistic ethics in Ireland that even some of the press in Britain have proved more rational in their reporting than their Irish equivalents or that one must turn to the United States to escape the ideological feeding frenzy at home. The latest example of that latter phenomenon comes from the Irish Independent newspaper which has published some long public photos implying that these prove that Gerry Adams was linked to those allegedly behind the killing of Jean McConville. It reeks of desperation and displays the utter contempt the media have for the intelligence of their own readers. However, just to show how these things can be turned on their head, here are some examples that display the double-edged nature of the the sword the journalistic establishment is attempting to wield. Sic pilum iactum est!

Pictured above is Ian Paisley, the former leader of the DUP and First Minister in the north of Ireland, wearing the maroon beret of the Ulster Resistance (UR), the British terrorist organisation he helped found in 1986 with the co-operation of a number of known militants from within the British Unionist community. The UR participated with others in the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Ireland from southern Lebanon to rearm the British terror factions in the country during the mid-1980s. These armaments were procured through the Whites-only government of apartheid-era South Africa under the aegis of the British Security Service MI5 (and the tacit permission of the Israeli government) and were used to carry out hundreds of gun and bomb attacks over the following decade. Amongst the more notable victims of the British-procured weapons was the civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane, murdered by a UDA death squad in Belfast controlled by British Military Intelligence.

In the first image below we have Peter Robinson, the current head of the DUP and First Minister, marching alongside other uniformed members of the Ulster Resistance including a convicted terrorist. Robinson himself was convicted in an Irish court of militancy in 1986 after he led five hundred extremists in a cross-border “invasion” of the small village of Clontibret, a Crimea-style stunt that earned him his stripes with his peers. Underneath that we have the DUP politician posing with an AK47 assault rifle during a visit to Israel, close to the Lebanese border. From this same region some years later Unionist terrorists under the direction of Britain’s intelligences services smuggled hundreds of AK47s to Ireland. In the third image Robinson is pictured with former DUP party member and local candidate John Smyth Jr. The same Smyth who is the son of DUP councillor and convicted terrorist John Smyth Sr. and who was himself later tried and found guilty on charges of conducting terrorism.

Peter Robinson leads Ulster Resistance militants in a rally
Peter Robinson leads Ulster Resistance militants in a rally, British Occupied North of Ireland, 1987, including Noel Little, UDA terrorist and arms smuggler
Peter Robinson with an automatic assault rifle
Peter Robinson caught on camera in late 1984 during a visit to the Israel-Lebanon border with an AK47 automatic assault rifle similar to the weapons later smuggled from the region to rearm British terror factions in Ireland
Former DUP member John Smyth Junior pictured with his party leader Peter Robinson in 2010
Former DUP member and now convicted terrorist John Smyth Junior pictured with his party leader Peter Robinson in 2010. He is the son of DUP councillor John Smyth, who was similarly convicted of British terror attacks in the 1970s.

5 comments on “The Great Irish Media Cover-Up

  1. Without doubt there is a serious need for “justice” on all sides of the conflict and the timing of Adams arrest is contentious. But like it or not, I detect that the vast majority of people on this island do not believe Adams when he says he wasn’t in the IRA. It’s hard to believe anything he says after that…. However as regards the quality of this blog…
    YOU SAY,the independent published the picture “claiming that these “prove” that Gerry Adams was linked to those allegedly behind the killing of Jean McConville.”
    The independent doesnt use the word “prove” once from my reading?? Rather it says the image “LINKS” Adams to the gang which the picture clearly does albeit in a very sloppy and tabloid manner. I think you are being equally sloppy here in your effort to defend Gerry.
    Similarly despite the fact the issue here isn’t whether Paisley or Robinson are guilty of anything or not, you seem to infer their presumed guilt of paramilitary involvement in someway lessens any involvement Gerry might or might not have had to the McConville murder. Perhaps you can correct me on this matter, but I can’t recall numerous paramilitaries on the loyalist side linking Paisley or Robinson to any murders, nor naming either Paisley or Robinson as active commanders etc in death squads…?

    • Hi Diarmuid. On your criticism of that sentence you are correct, I phrased myself poorly. I have corrected it to the intended meaning and removed the scare quotes.

      On Gerry Adams’ membership of the (Provisional) Irish Republican Army I have no doubt that he was a Volunteer of (P)IRA and rose up the ranks from the Belfast Brigade to the GHQ Staff and Army Council. A number of articles on ASF have made that belief clear. The reasons for his continued denials of membership post-cessation have been proven by his recent arrest. The media in Ireland want Gerry Adams to admit his former membership of (P)IRA but then expect that if he does so that he should be arrested and charged with that membership. In renders their obsession with it as simply an extension of their anti-Republican or anti-Sinn Féin “war by other means”. Adams cannot do what you and others expect for the very reasons seen over the last week.

      The central issue in this particular article is not Gerry Adams or Jean McConville. It is the complete and utter hypocrisy of the Irish media establishment, their double-standards in relation to the historic conflict in the north-eastern part of our country. At its simplest Irish Republican militants are “terrorists”, British Unionist militants are “paramilitaries”. The Irish Republican Army “murders”, the British Army “kills”. And so on and so forth. My j’accuse is directed entirely towards those newspapers and journalists who will rightly campaign for the truth about the slaying of Jean McConville but who believe that the slaying of Joan Connolly must never, never be discussed. Why? Because those who slew that Irish mother and grandmother were soldiers of the British Army. And our journalistic establishment remain ideological bedfellows, and apologists, for Britain in Ireland.

      In relation to the DUP, Paisley, et al I recall numerous British terrorists, Ervine, etc. stating unequivocally that it was the Paisley and co. who ratcheted up the conflict and by doing so encouraged them to go out and murder. The DUP was the de facto political wing of the UDA-UFF, UVF, RHC, LVF, etc. and it is dishonest to argue otherwise.

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  4. Footnote: Andrew Boyd in his book “Republicanism and Loyalty in Ireland” specifically states Loyalists in the 1980s and 1990s were ready to seek the assistance of a foreign power in this case the government of south Africa – just like Carson had done with Germany in the pre-WWI crisis(see Larne gunrunning),
    A BBC Panorama programme exposed a conspiracy to exchange classified missile technology and blueprints (“stolen” from the belfast aircraft factory, majority Unionist/Loyalist workforce) for South African guns – which were later seized in part while others were used for the sectarian murder of catholics in Northern Ireland.

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