Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Censorship’ Category

Bernadette McAliskey’s Speech to the January 2013 Bloody Sunday March for Justice – We Have Got to Get Our Act Together or We Are In for One Hell of a Hiding

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Bernadette McAliskey addressing the rally at this year’s Bloody Sunday March For Justice which had the theme ‘End Impunity’. Despite a wet, windy, wintry day around 3500 people braved the elements to march in solidarity with the victims of Bloody Sunday and other injustices

Link to a Video of Bernadette McAliskey’s Speech :

End Impunity! on Vimeo on Vimeo

via End Impunity! on Vimeo.

Some Key Points from the speech :

Is the state of Northern Ireland governed according to the principles of openness, transparency and accountability?

Lawyers and human rights campaigners had to spend a whole day in court to force the Northern Ireland Justice Minister, Alliance Party Leader Mr David Ford, to allow Marian Price spend four hours grieving beside the coffin of her dead sister Dolours. 

Nobody read about this because Mr Ford asked the judge to prevent public reporting of the case in the media.

But Bernadette McAliskey is not reporting; she does not work for the media; so she was only telling us :

The judge told Mr Ford  that his behaviour was “unlawful, unreasonable, and irrational”.

“We are not supposed to say this” advises McAliskey. Read the rest of this entry »

Column: Newspapers are seeking to outlaw the free exchange of ideas

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Written by tomasoflatharta

Jan 4, 2013 at 11:30 am

Pat Finucane – A De Silva British State Whitewash?

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Read this – and see that the British State is very unlikely to hold a Public Inquiry into the killing of Pat Finucane

The Broken Elbow

Corrected 14.40 EST

Correction – December 27th 2012 – The Force Research Unit member we identified as Peter Charles Jones from the two photos taken of the unit was in fact a soldier called Kevin Dodds. He was/is a friend of another well known special forces soldier, Charles Pettifer, a former member of the SAS who married Tiggy Legge Bourke, friend of the late Lady Diana Spencer and nanny to her two sons. Dodds and Pettifer, according to our sources, went into business together after military service and set up a risk assessment company (business-speak for private detectives). However as you can see here, Pettifer has since moved up in the world, literally.

Meanwhile the former SAS soldier turned thriller writer known as Andy McNab was obviously indulging in some sly humour at the expense of the former FRU member when he wrote the novel described below (cue tipsy laughter…

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Boston College Oral History Archive – Dealing with the Past: BBC Radio Ulster Talkback Transcript | Boston College Subpoena News

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Tommy McKearney (Former IRA Volunteer),  discusses the Boston Tapes Dispute with two other panelists – Norman Hamill, a former police officer, and  Roger Bailey, a psychologist. It is an excellent debate.

Link :

Former IRA Volunteer, an Ex Police Officer and a Psychologist Assess the Boston Archive

Norman Hamill’s Opinion :

The whole issue is enormously difficult but I think on balance I tend to come down on the side of thinking that the police are making a mistake in seeking these tapes because it is important that history is accurately recorded and that can make a contribution to our understanding.

And after all, we do have a mature attitude to the past now. People aren’t going to serve lengthy prison sentences for anything they’ve done.

So I think on balance it would have been better if the police had let this drop.

The Guardian (July 10) carries an Anthony McIntyre article :

Northern Ireland conflict archives should not fall into police hands

The British State is attempting to monopolise an “official version” of history :

Moreover, the double standards of the British state are on full display. It refuses access to the archives in the possession of its security services to the family of the murdered solicitor Pat Finucane, despite David Cameron admitting security force collusion in Finucane’s death.

What sort of history do we want? :

Ultimately, law enforcement agencies, which cannot escape culpability for Northern Ireland’s “dirty war”, are now trying to shape society’s knowledge of that war by seeking to monopolise control over what unfolds from the past while simultaneously relegating the role of academic and journalistic researchers. Any agency other than law enforcement is liable to be sabotaged. A law enforcement view of history is a partial and self-serving one, which seeks to conceal rather than reveal.

Link :

NI Conflict Archives Should Not fall Into Police Hands

Written by tomasoflatharta

Jul 10, 2012 at 11:13 pm

NUJ Dismay over Boston Tapes Ruling | Boston College Subpoena News

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National Union of Journalists : Dismay Over Boston Tapes Ruling

NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet said the ruling has “significant implications” for academic and journalistic research.

She said:

“These interviews were recorded between 2001 and 2006 and each participant understood the recording would not be released prior to their death. We salute the stand taken by Ed Moloney, Belfast Project Director and Anthony McIntyre, who carried out the interviews in good faith. It is regrettable that Boston College did not support their legal challenge in relation to the Price interview. It is deeply disappointing that the challenge has failed. As a union we are concerned at the chilling effect which this ruling will have on academic and journalistic research but we are also concerned at the possible threat to the safety of Anthony McIntyre and Ed Moloney.”

This Henry McDonald Guardian article is also worth reading:

Disclosure of IRA testimony held in Boston could stall search for truth

Link :

Fears US decision to hand over secret IRA testimonies to PSNI may make it impossible to establish truth about the Troubles


Are thieves falling out? Enda Kenny Versus Mainline Media?

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A recommended Cedar Lounge Article :

Thieves Falling Out? Enda Kenny Versus the Mainline Media?


Written by tomasoflatharta

Jul 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm


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Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre are pleased to announce that they are opening a second front in their fight to prevent the Police Service of Northern Ireland gaining access to the Belfast Archive at Boston College. In addition to the legal action currently ongoing in the federal appeals court in Boston, they have this week filed papers in the Belfast courts seeking a judicial review of the PSNI action alleging that the UK authorities are in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and the British Human RIghts Act of 1998. The Judicial Review asks that the British Home Office’s request of assistance from the United States be quashed, the subpoenas be declared unlawful, a discontinuation of the PSNI’s application for the material, and for an injunction stopping any material from Boston College being received by the PSNI. The two legal actions in Belfast and Boston emphasise our utter determination that the enormously valuable historical documents in the Boston College archive will never fall into the hands of anyone except those authorised by the terms of the solemn and unbreakable contracts we made with the interviewees. Ultimately these papers tell a part of Ireland’s recent troubled history and they should be used for no reason other than to educate and inform. Read the rest of this entry »

Boston College has undermined all researchers and journalists who rely on confidential sources – Liam Clarke Article

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A huge amount has been written about the Boston College Saga – and there is plenty more to come – but Liam Clarke sums up the central issues very well

His full article is here :

We need full open and honest debate on the troubles – that cannot happen when the state uses its power to prosecute people for actions they took during the 1969-98 Northern Ireland war which ended with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

The state is biased and will never – taking the most blatant example – prosecute the people responsible for the murder of fourteen unarmed demonstrators in Derry on Bloody Sunday at the end of January 1972.

The Saville Inquiry Found British Paratroopers Guilty of Murdering 14 Innocent Civilians - Nobody Prosecuted

Ed Moloney offers the example of Patrick McCullough :

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Ed Moloney defends sources – again

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Written by tomasoflatharta

Jan 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Boston College Saga Shows How the State Has Failed

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Written by tomasoflatharta

Jan 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm