Sandy Boyer (SB) and John McDonagh (JM) interview Kate Nash (KN) via telephone from Derry about Sinn Féin running a fund raiser on the evening of this year's Bloody Sunday March for Justice. Appreciation to TPQ transcriber.
Radio Free Éireann
WBAI 99.5FM Pacifica Radio
New York City
16 January 2016
(begins time stamp ~ 29:28)
SB: And we're going over to Derry to speak to Kate Nash. Kate, thanks very much for being with us.
KN: You're very welcome, Sandy. Thank you for inviting me.
SB: Well Kate, it's a sad occasion really because on January 30, 1972 you lost your brother, William, when he was murdered by British paratroopers on what is now is, of course, known as Bloody Sunday. And ever since then you have been – you and family and friends - people who knew and loved the fourteen men who died – you'll be commemorating that.
KN: Absolutely, yes. And we will be commemorating that this year on Sunday, the thirty-first of January and we always commemorate - we have the march on that day - the day that they died forty-four years ago.
SB: But something else is happening on that day which wouldn't seem quite so commemorative and it's – Surprise! Surprise! Sinn Féin is behind it. Why don't you tell us about that?
KN: Yes, yes. I was actually sent a poster on social media, Sandy, and the poster actually was advertising an event on the evening of the Bloody Sunday March in a well-known bar in Doire - an evening of song and dance at five pounds a ticket, obviously to raise funds - Sinn Féin. There was a number on it, a telephone number, and the name of the young man who was organising that event, but on behalf of Sinn Féin.
SB: Now I mean, Sinn Féin – well maybe I should go back – I was going to say that Sinn Féin talks about commemorating the people who died on Bloody Sunday and say they're outraged by the massacre but it seems a strange way to observe I mean, this is....maybe I'm naive, right?
KN: It's a disgraceful way! It's a disgraceful way to commemorate Bloody Sunday by using the fact that a lot of people come into town on that (day). They come from all over and obviously after everything's done they might go into a bar for a quiet drink and it's to maximise, maximise profits and that's why they've decided to do this. I did call – I called the young man in question who's organising the event and I asked him: Did he realise how hurt, how hurt that this was making me feel and likely many other families who lost loved ones that day? And he said: “Well, we've been doing this for twenty years.” And I said: “Well, I have never been aware of that” and I said: “Look, I'm extremely hurt” and I said: “You need to answer me a question.” And I asked him: “Where does the money go that you will raise from this event?” And he said, very honestly, he said “it goes to the Blood Sunday Trust”, which, as you know Sandy, is a subsidiary of Sinn Féin. The Bloody Sunday Trust at one time could have been representative of the families but I mean they now say publicly, they did say to us, that no, they don't represent the Bloody Sunday families. So why are they collecting money on the graves, on the memories, of the people we lost in a massacre forty-four years ago? Why did they chose that day to try and make money?
SB: But also they're advertising it as an evening of song and dance which, I mean, maybe on May fifth, when Bobby Sands died, they'll organise a grand banquet to raise money for Sinn Féin – it wouldn't be that much different.
KN: No. It's disgraceful!
JM: Kate? Yeah Kate, this is John McDonagh here. I just wanted to ask you: One of the problems that you're having with the march is that Sinn Féin is saying we have to put the past behind us and we don't have to march anymore whereby this year they will be laying wreaths to remember the hundredth anniversary of the Battle at The Somme. You have in Derry there the Apprentice Boys that goes by that Sinn Féin supports. You have every July Twelfth you have to remember 1690 and the Battle of the Boyne but for some reason the Bloody Sunday March, you know: Can't we just put that behind – that's past history? When this year Sinn Féin will be laying wreaths for the tens of thousands of Irishmen who were slaughtered on behalf of the British Empire.
KN: Yes, well John, it's total hypocrisy and something we've come to expect of Sinn Féin. Absolutely total hypocrisy! Sinn Féin, I think it's known, that in the Good Friday Agreement, I think this march embarrasses the British government because it's a reminder. It's a reminder to people round the world of what they did all those years ago. It's also reminder to the world that we still haven't got justice. It's a reminder to the world that there's soldiers out there, soldiers who actually killed more than one – there's one soldier who's actually is thought to have killed five of those victims that day and it's a reminder to people that we haven't got justice yet.
SB: And I think people may not know, by the way, that you don't just do the march.
KN: No, we actually do a full week of events to highlight other issues going on here and round the world. We do have a very full programme and it actually lasts the week. It culminates - it culminates in the march and when that march is over we're usually very tired people and we usually go home. And actually I did tell this young man that probably on the evening of Bloody Sunday I will probably mount some kind of protest – not right outside the bar but across the street - because I'm just so hurt at what they're doing.
SB: And I believe this year you're bringing the families from Ballymurphy – and not too many people know – well, our listeners are very hip and up-to-date – they may know that in Ballymurphy before the massacre in Derry the same paratroop regiment massacred people in Ballymurphy.
KN: That's right - eleven people over a three day period. We will have Briege Voyle coming down this year. Briege is actually here with us, some of the families are here with us usually every year. And in fact, in one of the panel discussion which I'm on myself talking about giving people an update on Bloody Sunday and we have a young woman called Janet Donnelly whose father, Patrick Murphy, was shot at Ballymurphy at that time. And actually his body was exhumed fairly recently because the family remember that their father said, he didn't die for thirteen days, and he said that when they took him - after wounding him - they took him to an Army barracks and they actually shot him in the same wound. And when the body was exhumed they found the bullet! Now, this man hasn't been re-buried. Obviously, this has impacted this family terribly! And we have Janet, his daughter, will be coming to talk on that panel just about what that means.
SB: That's very appropriate. What are some of the other panels that you're going to be having?
KN: I should mention also on that panel there's a young woman who was just a child actually when her mother was murdered. Her name is Shauna Moreland and her mother was Caroline Moreland. Her mother was murdered by a guy called Scappaticci. You may have heard that name before - he was a state agent and he's also been known as Stakeknife. But he was IRA. He was also a British state agent and was known to have killed apparently forty-nine people. So this young woman, she was only a child when this happened – her mother was a young woman – and she's coming to talk about that and how that made her feel. But this man that murdered her mother was known – well he was obviously a serial killer - being paid by the British government.
SB: Kate, thank you very much. Look, we're definitely going to have you on this programme, this station, the Saturday before, Saturday the thirtieth, and so you can give us the full update then. And we do appreciate that and I didn't think I'd be easily shocked by anything Sinn Féin did but this is a little cynical I would have said.
KN: Thank you, Sandy.
(ends time stamp ~ 38:02)