The spread of British hypocrisy, from Gerry Adams and Northern Ireland to Syria

Posted By: May 13, 2014



BY ROBERT FISK –  Belfast Telegraph,12 MAY,  2014

The law is the law is the law. So I was taught as a child. But it’s all baloney.

Take the case of Gerry Adams, “arrested” and then released after chatting to the
Northern Ireland police – I notice the cops did not use the old cliché about
“helping the police with their inquiries” – about the torture and murder and
“disappearance” of Jean McConville. It is, to quote Fintan O’Toole, that wise old
bird of Irish philosophy, “an atrocity that cries out for accountability” – in which
Adams has consistently denied any involvement. Sinn Fein announced that Adams’s
“arrest” was political, a remark that got the usual tsk-tsk from Unionists and
British alike.

But alas, Theresa Villiers, the latest in the hordes of Northern Ireland secretaries
to be visited upon Belfast, also announced, a wee bit before Adams’s “arrest”, that
there would be no independent inquiry into the killing of 11 unarmed civilians in
Ballymurphy in August 1971 by soldiers of the Parachute Regiment, the most
undisciplined British military unit to be sent to the province, which later killed
another 14 civilians in Derry on Bloody Sunday. In the Ballymurphy shooting, the
Brits managed to kill a Catholic priest carrying an improvised white flag and a
mother of eight children who went to help a wounded boy. The deaths of Father Hugh
Mullan and Mrs Joan Connolly were also deaths that “cry out for accountability”. But
of course, there will be none. Ms Villiers has seen to that.

She also ensured that there would be no inquiry into the fire-bombing of the La Mon
hotel in 1978, when the IRA burned 12 people to death. Families of the dead have
their suspicions that transcripts of police interviews with IRA suspects to this
crime were removed from the archives to protect important people involved in the
“peace process” in Northern Ireland. No complaints about that, needless to say, from
the IRA. But you can see the problem: if arresting Adams just before the European
elections was not political, then surely the British refusal to inquire into the
slaughter in Ballymurphy – assuming the soldiers involved have not died of old age –
was political. After all, the Brits know who these soldiers were, their names, their
ages and ranks. They have much more than the statements of two dead IRA supporters –
the “evidence” against Adams – to go on.

Now you may argue that the Saville inquiry into Bloody Sunday cost far too many
millions of pounds to warrant another investigation into the Ballymurphy deaths. But
then you may also ask why the soldiers who gave evidence to the original inquiry
were given the cover of anonymity. This was something Gerry Adams was not offered –
nor, given the favourable political fallout, was he likely to have asked for it. But
then it would also be pleasant if the Brits who know something about the Dublin and
Monaghan bombings during the worst days of the Irish war could pop over to Dublin
and give a little evidence about this particular atrocity. No chance of that, of