Village Magazine, which has gained a reputation over the last few years for shining a light on some of the darker corners of Ireland’s recent history, particularly the military and political consequences of the 1966-2005 Troubles, has taken another look at the now well-documented – if rarely discussed – relationship between the Official Republican movement (the Official IRA and Official Sinn Féin; the latter becoming the Workers Party) and a number of high-profile figures in the Irish news media. While most of the journalists and newspaper editors commonly mentioned in these discussions have managed to obscure their past associations, through peer pressure or legal threat, too much of it is known for it to remain forever buried. Even if much of the Irish press is complicit in trying to keep it so.
There is a three part series over on the Village Magazine website by David Burke investigating events in the 1970s and ’80s and the alleged relationship between senior journalists and the Official Republican movement. I won’t link directly to the stories since there is speculation that the research might become the subject of litigation. However, since all three articles have been visible for some time now the weakness of the case against them may appear obvious. While I don’t agree with every conclusion in the pieces, having my own interpretations, I strongly urge you to seek them out for a fascinating airing of the alleged loyalties of some influential people working in Irish journalism in the latter decades of the 20th century. And as a reminder of the personal hypocrisy of some radical-turned-reactionary newspaper columnists and authors still plying their politically dubious trade in Ireland and Britain.
(For obvious reasons if you are going to Comment on this post and the revelations in the related Village Magazine series please do so in the most circumspect manner possible. Please refrain from mentioning individuals and exercise due caution if naming specific news organisations. I will be closing commenting under this post after twenty-four hours.)