Thursday, May 21, 2015

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No Thank You Mr Windsor

Pauline Mellon as a citizen of Derry addresses the Colonel in Chief of the regiment responsible for perpetrating a war crime on the people of that city. Pauline Mellon is a rights activist and justice campaigner in the North West. She Blogs at The Diary of A Derry Mother.

Rest in Peace.

Dear Charles Windsor,

What I am about to write should be of no surprise to you. As you travel the length and breadth of our great country please keep in mind the suffering that has been caused to the Irish people for generations. Yes there is a “magic about Ireland that is totally unique” coupled with an “extraordinary kindness” yet it must be said for centuries these qualities have meant little to the British State and monarchy.

In 1868 British Prime Minister William Gladstone announced his plans to “pacify Ireland.” It would seem his plans are still operational today. The peace process we are reminded of daily is to be blunt a not so well choreographed farce, a farce of a process where truth and justice are merely buzz words. For the death of your uncle you have had justice and closure yet for others this right involves battling a system that is not only inherently unjust but clearly loaded in favour of the British State.

As Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment your call for reconciliation can only be viewed as hypocritical with not one member of your regiment ever arrested for the Ballymurphy Massacre or for the war crimes committed on Bloody Sunday. What compounds this is that the potential for justice is a step further with each day that passes and is further hindered by cuts to legal aid which are in effect undermining the rule of law.

Whilst money is no object in your world with your multi-million pound uncapped state benefits and not a hint of the bedroom tax for any of your state funded properties, in the real world finding money for legal costs can prove impossible. For confirmation of this please ask Martin and Gerry as these two men are from two of the most deprived areas in the north, Derry's Bogside and Belfast's Ballymurphy.

Following Bloody Sunday the Taoiseach Jack Lynch announced a national day of mourning. During this time to quote a friend the people of Derry were “left to bury their dead and clean the blood of friends, family members and fellow civil rights campaigners off the streets”. The blood of people who took to the streets on that Sunday in 1972 to oppose many of the injustices we continue to face today. Their main chant on the march that day was “peace with justice” yet sadly their call has not been fulfilled by subsequent political leaders who seem content to welcome and accept pacification masquerading as reconciliation.

A Derry Mother.


Robert said...


One can never Tango alone. What of Adams and McGuinness' culpability in the Bloody Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and indeed Sundays?

Cue Bono said...

A person with no knowledge of this place could easily be forgiven for thinking that it was the Parachute Regiment, under the direction of Prince Charles, who were responsible for the bulk of the murders here. Rather than the Provisional IRA under the direction of Gerry and Marty.

Peter said...

Your lack of balance or perspective reduces this article to a rant. If the people wanted "peace with justice" the IRA certainly didn't give them that.

larry hughes said...

Charles personal experience of grief brought a reality check. Incredible that for all the slaughter and angst colonialism and UK foreign policy has wreaked for centuries it took it coming home to the house for Charlie to recognise it.

Thought he spoke well. Pity Diana wasn't with him, she was easier on the eye.

As for bloody 'every day of the weeks' a line needs to be drawn and the whole lot let go.

Henry JoY said...

Pauline your words suggest continued feelings of hurt, an ongoing sense of injustice and intense frustration that understandably are still experienced by some.

Sadly and unfortunately many on all sides still bear the emotional wounds of the conflict and some are trapped in their trauma. I'm of the opinion that continually recycling the injustices and wrongs of the past does little save contributing to holding people in their grief and trauma.

Its far more useful to encourage a positive expectation for the future and some balanced reflection that acknowledges the resources developed and of necessity called forth during periods of struggle.
To overcome trauma it beholds us to create or find safe spaces to relax as best we can. Its only in such states of lowered emotional arousal that we can begin to explore and place our experiences in a bigger frame and a less personalised one, to see things in a less pervasive light and acknowledge positives that also existed even in the darkest days and challenge the fixation on permanency that protracted stress induces allowing for the more temporally realistic position that this too shall pass.

Situations and relationships are fluid. We can't always control them on our own but we can influence the tendency towards turbulence or calmness by both our actions and utterances.

Mr Windsor's actions and words I hold are viewed by the vast majority as a positive contribution. Alas sadly and understandably some can not see that yet.

AM said...


the past so heavily infuses the present that it helps define it. And it shows no sign of reversing.

larry hughes said...


Not to belittle anyone's pain on either side, but there is the danger of prolonging or even preventing the heeling process by continually opening old wounds. The Spanish for example opted to blank out those painful issues and indeed the Japanese refused to teach pre 1945 history to give other generations a 'freedom' from the shame of their predecessors.Fighting old battles endlessly is unfortunately an Irish addiction.

AM said...

I agree but that is not the way things seem to be going. It is the opposite.

Henry JoY said...


how we perceive our future also influences how we define the present.

There are of course reciprocal relationships and pattern matching elements involved between how we view the future and past, and our experiencing of the now.

I'd contend that there are more choices points and greater ease of implementation possible when attention is directed more towards the future than the past.

A friend of mine likens it to a shift from victimhood to becoming a volunteer for the cause of one's own freedom!

Those who make the change and adopt a more positive future tend to lighten their grip on the past (by contextualising and testing for relevance to current needs and goals) and can more easily come to a position where they can positively re-frame a lot of what went before.

But as Larry points out there are vested interests that prevent such developments.

AM said...

Henry Joy,

might be a good idea ... if we could understand it

DaithiD said...

Haha AM.
Henry, If we dont give due consideration to the past, we cannot seek to plot a transition. You would (in maths terms) conflate your constants with variables.You would be an empty vessel run on whim.

AM said...


after a late night's drinking the mind is a fragile thing, unable to sustain complexity

pat murphy said...

Pauline,a very good article,written from the heart. As for some of the comments it shows me how low some people can stoop. Others just spout shit.

DaithiD said...

I know what you mean AM, I dont mean this as an attack, everyone is free to form their own expression, but I always thought Liam O'Rourke had something excellent observations on the Blanket, but they were lost in some dense prose (to me at least).

Henry JoY said...

Maybe we could try again ... yes, I agree with your comment

'the past so heavily infuses the present that it helps define it'

but its not exclusively so. A positive expectation of the future can infuse the present too. It also can counter and ameliorate the pain of the past. Examples of individuals and peoples transcending a difficult past abound.

Larry points out some are addicted to fighting old battles endlessly. Some unfortunately are traumatised and involuntarily bound to the past. Others I'd say are blinkered and have become habituated to limiting their vision to misery and despondency. That this can be countered with possibility and hope is not that complex.

I'm sorry to hear you're having a bad hair day AM. If you behave tonight tomorrow will be better :)

(Dáithí read my previous comment again. I didn't nor do I discount the past. Though, with the exception of those with PTSD, the grip that the past holds over us has become greatly over-estimated through the prevalence of pop psychology. Incessant regurgitation of the past is bad for ones emotional and mental health).

AM said...


many years ago a woman told me that when speaking or writing it is vital never to alienate the audience we are trying to reach. Two sure ways of achieving that are prolix and bollix and while Liam never talked bollix he did tend towards the prolix at time. But he could be very self critical too. Great thinker - so clear and methodical. While I am often said to be the joint editor of The Blanket, I wasn't. It was Liam and Carrie.

Don't waste it on us Henry as we don't read it anyway LOL.

I do confess to developing a sense of trust in many of our commenters. So, I sort of assume those I place that type of trust in never leave us open to libel. The downside is that I don't always read them when I should.

And I have been bitten over it but ...

Moderating a blog can be fairly stressful because it is often boring. And I am not blessed with patience. In fact I am cursed with none.

mcclafferty32 said...

I always felt the Irish were never given the opportunity to heal from the wounds inflicted on them by the British throughout history and that includes up to the signing of the Stormont Agreement as well as 20 years after. From an outsider’s perspective, the only ones I see basking in this new ‘forgiveness-reconciliation’ process is Sinn Fein. They can afford to forgive the British now, seeing they were all given special dispensations (pardons) prior to the GFA and they are paid handsomely to administer British rule in the north.

On the other hand, republicans and nationalists are being asked to bend-over and put their justified grievances aside for the sake of “peace” and “moving on” while members of the security forces go unprosecuted for their parts in the murder of innocent Catholics. The Royal Family has nothing to lose by shaking the hands of McGuinness and Adams because they have no intentions of ever seeing justice done on behalf of such cases as Derry’s Bloody Sunday, Pat Finucane, Rosemary Nelson, Dublin Monaghan bombings, Ballymurphy massacre, just to mention a few in a long line of cases where innocent victims fell prey at the hands of the murdering security forces of the crown.

The healing process and moving on cannot be one sided. So far the score has been Brits 1, Irish 0 and while Sinn Fein continues to kowtow to the Brits, whether it is the Royal Family or others, the Brits won’t ever have to make good on seeing justice done for the families of the innocent victims they slaughtered in cold blood during the period known as the “Troubles”.

Pauline Mellon said...

Thanks for taking time to respond.


This short piece was to outline my feelings on the royal visit. A quick read at my older articles may provide the balance you feel is missing here. The article is the style of an open letter to the Prince who i'm sure is well aware of Martin and Gerry.

Cue Bono

I believe I have been specific re...Bloody Sunday and Ballymurphy.


I refer you to the above comments.

Henry Joy

I don't think it's a case recycling wrongs, more a case of looking for justice.

Larry Hughes

I believe for some justice is a key element in this healing process you refer to.

Peter said...


Another republican who only wants to see justice for his tribe.

larry hughes said...


thank you for taking the time to address our replies. I truly hope those in eternal pain find closure and peace. All of them.

Hard to trust the Brits, but whilst not being silly enough to do so, I think Prince Charles spoke very well and his pedigree as a victim is as good as most. And more respected than his family one. I also saw Paisley Jnr talk about Ireland re-joining the Commonwealth. Don't say I didn't tell you so, but SF haven't let a murmur out of them in response. Not that nationalists should be looking to them now.

Chin up Pauline.

Henry JoY said...

Well said Mr Hughes.

AM said...

From Marty Flynn

This visit is a distraction to the welfare cuts. It is also remarkable how quickly airport type scanners can be deployed for royal visits but not yet for Maghaberry.

Kennedy had a plaque on his desk stating that “the buck stops here”. Charlie is colonel in chief of the Paras. He is not averse to expressing his views about architectural and environmental issues. He could admit that murder is wrong and that those who commuted such should be brought before a court of law.

We are not slow in pointing the finger at Adams and the role of his cronies in the mistakes and dirty deeds during “the troubles”. So in that vein it is only fair to turn the finger 180 degrees and ask the same of those who prance around us as colonel in chief of a regiment seeped in blood of the innocent.