Several editions of the Irish News, from as far back as the 2nd October, have carried a perturbing half-page advert for the purposes of recruitment to the British Royal Navy, an alarming development symptomatic of the normalisation process that has seeped into almost every sector of society over the course of recent times.
Given the black history of Britain’s armed forces, not only in Ireland but around the world – from Iraq to Libya to Syria in recent times alone – this represents a most troubling decision on behalf of the Irish News. To think that one of Ireland’s largest ‘nationalist’ dailies would feel comfortable in assisting the recruitment process for the killers of the British military shows just where things are at in terms of a willingness to paper over the crimes of the past for the sake of political expediency on the part of those holding positions of great importance in society today.
One need have looked no further than the following page of that October 2nd edition for a reminder of the chilling reality of British violence in Ireland, where an article by resident journalist Connla Young drew attention to the ongoing attempts to cover up the summary execution of eight IRA Volunteers and a passing civilian at Loughall in 1987, by those who claimed to be upholding law and order in Ireland, by elements of that same military apparatus appealing for recruits in the pages of the Irish News.
And by no means was this an isolated incident in the long and troubled history of the six-counties. From the earliest days of the Troubles – through internment and the Ballymurphy massacre, Bloody Sunday, plastic bullets, shoot-to-kill, the arming and directing of pro-state death-squads and their murderous campaign against the nationalist community – the blood-stained hand of the British military-machine has been there for all to see from beginning to end. Its record in Ireland is one of savage murder, no matter how some may pretend otherwise, and for this Britain has yet to take responsibility or be held to account.
That the Irish News would play any part in encouraging the youth of our country to entertain thoughts of a career with those who’s speciality is killing for empire, that it would assist those who would have our young folk go off and invade other countries – as our own – to serve the interests of British imperialism, is a disturbing development and in truth an indictment on those who agreed to such an ad being carried.
Clearly the advertising policy of the Irish News is in need of urgent review. An advertising campaign for Britain’s terror machine has no place in the pages of the Irish News given the legacy of its involvement in Ireland, as elsewhere around the world – a legacy of torture, abuse and even murder itself. The youth of our country deserve better, should have no part to play in any of that and it is wrong to encourage them otherwise.