Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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McGeough's Campaigners Proven Right

Martin Galvin with a response to a piece by Newton Emerson in the Irish News on 5 April 2014 - "Adams' actions counter McGeough’s claims." Martin Galvin's letter featured in the Irish News on 21 April 2014. 

A chara,

It was surprising to see the usually circumspect Newton Emerson swallow Norman Baxter’s questionable conspiracy theory without question. Baxter told a parliamentary committee that Downing Street and Gerry Adams 'conspired to keep McGeough free' even feverishly working the phones for his release. This heretofore hidden plot by the heads of British and Sinn Fein officialdom was thwarted, only because the self-same Norman Baxter refused to take Downing Street’s orders.

Ordinarily, observers treated to such vainglory could count on Newton Emerson lampooning the conspiracy theorist back to reality. Here was an easy target whose former boss, Hugh Orde was chomping to rubbish Baxter’s conspiracy theory, pointedly repeating 'at no time' and 'it never ever happened.'

There were patently obvious questions even before Orde’s demolition job. When the British were granting pre-1998 immunity certificates to Republicans, why were Gerry McGeough, Ivor Bell and Seamus Kearney left behind? Would British Prime Ministers really let their orders on international agreements like Weston Park be disregarded at the whim of constables, even high-ranking constables? Why, when McGeough’s solicitors made these immunity certificates the cornerstone of an abuse of process dismissal application, did the British and Sinn Fein refuse to back him?

Gerry McGeough drew support from a broad spectrum of nationalist parties and Republicans because his 2007 arrest at the polls raised questions about being railroaded in retaliation for his campaign as an Independent Republican. When charges, from 1975 and 1981 were lodged against him, it underscored an apparent one-sided immunity or impunity. Why else, we supporters asked, were there no arrests forthcoming for Bloody Sunday or the Ballymurphy Massacre, not to mention for crown force collusion with loyalist killers in murders carried out in Tyrone and across the north?

Seven years have passed. We have not seen the arrest or questioning of even one British trooper for Bloody Sunday murders or Saville perjury. The heroic families are put off with billboards advertising for witnesses and perpetrators to come forward. The Ballymurphy Massacre families cannot even get an Inquiry or billboards.

Thirty-two families have joined together in a civil action against the British Defense Ministry and Chief Constable charging complicity and collusion in 120 murders carried out by loyalists. These writs are votes of no confidence in the PSNI ever giving these families justice, if justice meant charging uniformed servants of the crown.

Ivor Bell, like Gerry McGeough lived openly in the six counties without arrest, but supports an election campaign for an Independent Republican and finds decades old charges trumped up against him.

Seven years have passed since Gerry McGeough’s arrest. Would it be premature to say we have been proven right?


Newton Emerson said...

I'm perplexed by Martin's letter for two reason. First, he's as credulous of Orde as he accuses me of being of Baxter. Second, Orde and Baxter's testimony did not actually conflict. Baxter referred only to calls to "the office" of the chief constable, while Orde referred only to not taking calls as chief constable.