Monthly Archives: March 2017

Black and Tans Chapter 11. Protest

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MORNING PRANDIUM

Several RIC officers sat around the table at breakfast.

Bulkeley said, ”You see Moore what concerted action can do? We took quick and decisive action and we have netted four prisoners already and a few firearms. We can roll up their organisation in a week!” he bragged.

”Yerra sir ” said Moore looking away and scratching his bald pate ”we have had success but I fear for the consequences. We already knew Lynne was a bad one but he is a respected figure in the town. Headmaster of the national school and all.”

”Nonsense” said Bulkeley ” and have you arrested no one since the IRA started shooting police over a year ago?”

”Sir, yes we have. We arrested two fellas for illegal drilling. They are up in Ballykinlar. That is it. Then as you know a month ago the real trouble started and we became virtual prisoners inside our own station. Only since your boys arrived have we been able to go on the offensive.” said Moore.

“We have taught these Shinners a lesson! Gave those perishers a taste of our spunk.” said Bulkeley proudly.

”That is right sir. But I am worried about ructions in the town.” said Moore.

”What sort of ructions in the town? Our only problem now is commandeering a cart and taking the prisoners to Macroom. We have no more room here and we shall be capturing more suspects soon I am sure. Macroom is a much bigger barracks. From there they can be transferred on to Cork. Did you not have horses here at the barracks?” said Bulkeley.

”Yes we did sir. But someone throw some poisoned carrots into the stables one night and that killed them both. We asked fro replacement draughts. Never got them.” said Moore.

Just then they heard a distant murmuring approaching. There was chanting out in the square.

Louis went to the window and looked out. He saw from the far side of the square dozens of people approaching. Men, women and children. They were shouting slogans and holding a banner. He read the legend, ”Release Peter Lynne”.

Louis turned to Bulkeley ”Sir, there is a crowd of protesters outside.”

”Oh my God. Real policing work. How am I going to handle this?” said Bulkeley seeming stumped.

”Sir, this is what I was trying to warn you about.” said Moore trying not to crow.

”Well at least they are not trying to shoot us” said Bulkeley.

”I would not be so sure sir. They might hide gunmen in the crowd. Then we cannot shoot for fear of hitting and innocent.” said Moore.

”Damn” said Bulkeley. ”if it is a battle then it is so straightfoward. But these bloody cowards bring a crowd of women and children with them.”

The crowd of demonstrators drew closer.

”What do we do sir?” said Moore.

Bulkeley looked agitated. For a moment he yearned to be a squaddy. He wished to ask Moore what to do but he could not let himself down in front of the men. That would not do. He gathered his composure and said ”Stay hidden. Do not provoke them. Let them tire themselves out get bored and go home. It might rain. That could help.”

”Sir, looks like they have most of the boys from the school” said Louis.

”Limtay – away from the window. Now tell the others upstairs. Draw the curtains.”

”Yes, sir” said Limtay. He closed the curtains and went upstairs to pass on the orders.

Over 100 people gathered outside the front of the station. They chanted and were in a party atmosphere. The Irish Tricolour was borne aloft. Then they turned to sing God Save Ireland.

”Their headmaster did not turn up so the whole school came to demand his release” said Moore.

In his cell Lynne heard the chanting and his name. He was bucked up. He imagined that pressure might be so great that he would actually be let go. He crossed his fingers that he would be released. What an occurrence. But then was the information that got the others lifted traceable to him? Oh God! It was.  Those handwritten confessions quoting chapter and verse on IRA activities. It was a who s who of the local IRA co^mplete with addresses of those who abbetted them. He uncrossed his fingers.

The RIC men stayed back from the windows. They occasionally glimpsed out of gaps in the curtains. They could see no guns.

Moore reported ”I see the other teachers from the school. Looks like Lynne’s colleagues brought their pupils along.”

”Damn. How they hell do we get out of here? We are being besieged. We need to go out on patrol, to deliver prisoners to Macroom, to get supplies or receive them. We are stuck here – kept in by an unarmed mob. ” said Bulkeley. This was not an eventuality for which he had been prepared at Sandhurst.

”Sir, it gets worse. They are not going away. More are gathering.” said Moore. Some of the protestors were astonishingly Young.

Upstairs in a bedroom Limtay sat with Short. They looked out the rear window onto the courtyard. The old stables behind had been turned into a dormitory. They saw the crowd was at the rear of the building too – outside the stable wall. Over 200 people had surrounded the station. Short went into the cell and started to Knock the male prisoners about.

”Short” said Louis ”Are you sure you should be punching prisoners?”

”Of course I should be hitting prisoners. What is wrong with you a big girl’s blouse or something?” said Short disdainfully.

”I mean is it legal.?” asked Louos gravely. If the prisoners were released with contusions all over them then it would pour fuel on the flames.

”Legal – what the fuck that mean?” said Short peevishly.

”Is it allowed by law” said Louis.

”I will be fucked if I know. I am a soldier. I am fighting. I kill the enemy. I do whatever I can to win. If that means beating the living crap out of a prisoner I do it. Who gives a shit?” said Short.

”Well I do. I want to do right. So I interview them softly. I get information out of them.” said Louis.

”Yes but that only works because they know that if they do not talk to you I am going to beat the hell out of them.” said Short.

”Well maybe I can get better and trick the truth out of them ”

”Maybe you can but it is going to take a long time.  Fists save a lot of time. It is like they said in training. Time is very important. Get the information fast before they move the guns and the wanted men,” said Short.

”I said to some of them like Lynne that he could go. It was a promise. I feel bad about that. He should be released. I can salve my conscience. He can go back to his wife and children but maybe it many years. He must pay for his crimes first.” said Louis.

”Yeah he can go back to them in a coffin” said Short with a smoker’s laugh. ”Why you so het up about right and wrong? This is war.”

”I never hit prisoners. ” said Louis.

”You threatened to kill them though”

”No I threatened that you might kill them – that is true.” said Short.

”Stop trying to be Jesus fucking Christ. We are fighting. We do whatever we have to and that is it. You kill? So why don t you punch? You fucking thick of somefing?”” said Short.

”Some methods are unacceptable” said Louis.

”Stop using long words that I don’t understand. We kill the IRA and that is it. We are nice that we have not killed this 4 already.” said Short

”I know you are not that bad. You did it to a man we knew was guilty. He was not a boy. He was a high officer. He had beaten many people to death.” said Louis.

”There you go then. You know how it works with the police in England. If they catch a man who they know is a criminal they beat him till he talks. They won’t do it to a boy under 15. They do not do it to a woman or an old man but if they know that someone is a toerag they do it. Particularly if they know he got previous. They know he gone to prison three times for burglary so they beat seven different types of shite out of them until he tells all. Sometimes he did not do that job but they say this gets the bastard back for all the times he did a crime and got away with it . That is the way it works isn’t it?” said Short.

”I suppose so but it is not really right. I want to be better than the enemy. We might have to bend the rules sometimes. I know you did not torture him just slapped him around. I mean there were no flames. Heard the Jerries used electric shocks. There were no threats to the family. No animals involved.” said Louis.

”So we is nice then” said Short

”But I know what the IRA are going to say – the English are beasts and they use horrible torture. Ok we were a bit rough but only a bit. They are outside the Geneva Convention – no uniform and no proper command structure.” said Louis;

”What the fuck is the Geneva what.?” asked Short.

”The laws of war.” said Louis. He knew he would never convince Short but by distracting Short this meant that Louis had saved the prisoners from a hammering.

”There is only one war of law. Win the fucking war.” said Short firmly.

Louis shrugged. He found that hard to argue with but he could not bring himself to agree. He wrestled with his conscience. Had he done wrong? The enemy had done worse. He knew that in war one had to do bad in order to do good. But this was not a war. This was a police action. Bending the rules. He had not bent them to breaking point – so he told himself. Maybe he could be better in future.

The chanting showed no signs of abating. There was a crack and the sound of another crack. The crowd had been out there for half an hour. They had began to fling stones at the windows. The glass in the windows began to smash. There were iron bars in the windows and barbed wire above the sandbags. The RIC did not fear being hit by the stones. Some of the protesters stood just below the upper windows laughing and jeering.

”What do we do sir? Read the riot act?” asked Moore visibly shaken. The crowd was growing unaccountably bigger.

”No.” said Bulkeley. ”In two hours they will get bored and push off – so I thought. But more of them have gathered; Sit tight. Remain calm.” he said nervously – avoiding eye contact with Moore.

A minute later Bulkeley turned to Moore ”On second thoughts Moore you are right. Read the Riot Act. You have had to deal with this sort of situation much more than me. What I wouldn’t give to be in Passchaendaele again. At least there I knew who the enemy was , where he was and that I was allowed to shoot him.” Bulkeley was having difficulty holding his nerve.

”Very good sir.” Moore had sensed that Bulkelely would relent so he had the Riot Act in his hands. He opened the window  popped his head in front of it and then ducked around behind the wall as the inevitable volley of stones pelted the the floor. In a loud and monotonous voice Moore slowly read the Riot Act. The crowed were puzzled that Moore would think reading Something would disperse them. *

*Bulkeley was in the mother of all quandaries. If he allowed the mob to mass they might break into the station and set it on fire. The number were so great that the police would be overwhelmed and beaten to death. On the other hand if he opened fire and some civilians were killed he would go down as a man who murdered children. Was this a protest or an attempt to storm the station? If the IRA did not take the station they would say it was the former.

”Sir I know a way to get rid of some of them.” said Moore

”What’s that? We cannot fire on them” said Bulkeley perspiring.

”Ah no sir we will make no martyrs. Get the prisoners buckets and slop out onto the mob.” said Moore.

”Bloody good idea. But not yet. Pass the order around. Every man to use a chamber pot. ” said Bulkeley.

With that the men all took turns to micturate. A couple managed to defecate. The chamber pots were taken away from the prisoners.

The RIC on the upper storey opened the windows.

The crowd suddenly hushed. The RIC had no shown themselves in the hour the noisy demonstration had been in progress. The crowd gazed up – holding stones ready for a volley. They were flummoxed to see steel buckets.

Then the contents of the buckets were emptied onto the people below.

A cry of shock and disgust went up. The protesters foremost were audacious young men. They found themselves covered in filth. They scattered muttering imprécations. Moore was glad to have robbed the mob of its dignity. It also hinted at what he made of the IRA;

The RIC laughed heartily.

”That got a good dozen of them” said Louis.

Those soaked in faeces and urine hurried off to change their clothes.

The crowd was still almost 200 strong.

”We cannot stay here all day. I think even more are coming. They might keep us trapped here till the IRA attack at night” said Bulkeley. He was silently praying for the heavens to open. A torrential downpour might send the crowd indoors.

”Should we even release Lynne?” asked Moore with knitted brow.

”If we do that then they will have won. They will come back and do this every time we arrest and IRA man. No  – we must not give in” said Bulkeley.

The volleys of stones continued.

”I have got it. We are going to have to scare them off and then nab the ringleaders. I have seen the crowd. Only half are male. Of the 200 only about 20 are grown men. We get the ringleaders and the others will run for the hills. We need a volley over their heads. Must be over their heads. We are not to shoot anyone – understand?” said Bulkeley.

”understood sir – not to shoot anyone” said Moore.

”Correct. Then we will have our fittest men baton charge. They will baton the stone throwers to the ground and drag a few of them in here for a good kicking – arrest them. Got that?” said Bulkeley

”Yes sir. ” said Moore.

”Right gather the men – leave two upstairs. I shall relay orders to them later. Plan will go into action in ten minutes. The party that baton charges will carry revolvers not rifles. Rifles could be too easily snatched.  Understood?” said Bulkeley

”Yes sir” said Moore ”In ten minutes.”

The men were gathered in the dayroom. Bulkeley told them the plan. They repeated it back to him. They went to battle stations. The two who had been left keeping watch upstairs were summoned down to be briefed.

Watches had been synchronised.

At 11 am the plan went into action. The chanting had slackened only a little. There was no sign of rain and the crowd had swollen to 250. Moore could have sworn he saw a couple of IRA faces in the crowd. They were becoming bolder.

Bulkeley blew on his whistle. The upstairs window opened. The crowd drew breath and pulled back. They expected more buckets of human waste. Instead they saw rifles peering out – the men kept their heads inside and out of the way of any stones. Some of the women screamed and ran off – taking their children with them.

The front door was unlocked and creaked open an inch. A volley stones hit it.

Bulkeley waited five seconds and blew on his whistle again. ”Fire” he shouted

Upstairs six rifles fired above the crowds’ heads. The crowd shrieked again and half of them legged it.

The door opened fully and six men including Louis dashed out holding truncheons. They were pumped up with adrenaline.

Louis saw a red haired young man with a stone in his hand. His eyes met Louis’. Louis pressed his lips together and wrinkled his crow’s feet He raised his truncheon. He saw the fear on the man’s face – the man raised his right hand in pleading as much as self-defence.

Louis managed to evade the raised hand and bring his truncheon down across the man’s forehead. That felled him. Louis dealt him two more blows for good measure.

A man tried to grab Louis’ truncheon. Louis kneed the chubb man in the groing. He then pointed the truncheon like a sword and stabbed him in the solar plexus one, two three times. The men fell to his knees. He put his hands up top stop the baton. Louis again stabbed it into the man;s face getting him in the eye till the man fell over.

The others were making short work of the few men who had not fled. Teacher delt a man a hefty blow. The unfortunate man’s scalp split and he bled heavily. The blood poured over his face and temporarily blinded him.

There was a third blast on the whistle. Battle had been joined outside for only twenty seconds. Bulkeley wanted the RIC to get back into the station while they still had the initiative. He feared a counter attack.

Louis grabbed the red haired man and dragged him by the legs. The man was semi conscious. and barely resisted. The other police officers dragged man each into the station.

Inside Bulkeley took a truncheon himself and clubbed them more for good measure. They were dazed but none were senseless.

The RIC went outside again. The six men dragged into another six men whom they had beaten to the ground. The heftier fellow was coming around and put up a fight. Louis had to beat him again and again. He was knocked out and was the dragged in as a dead weight.

March had to threaten his suspect with a revolver to get him inside.

The four prisoners from the day before were then handcuffed together in a group of four and held in the day room. The RIC tumbled plenty of men this day. Some of them gave dreadful shrieks as they were clubbed almost insensible.

The 12 rioters were then all piled into the cell. It was standing room only.

The RIC opened the door and dragged them out one by one to pat them down. No weapons were found.

The crowd had well and truly dispersed. This was contrary to their earlier vow not to disperse until Lynne was set at liberty.

*The dozen new prisoners were questioned. It had been unthinkable that these doughty republicans would peach on their comrades. Yet they suddenly felt disposed to be communicative. They were mostly republicans of doubtful repute. Not flying column men that is. There had been a heavy bill of damage to some of them when they had been subdued on the square. Louis was extraordinarily busy quizzing these men.

”Very good” said Bulkeley. ”Worked even better than I had hoped. The thing to do now is to regain the initiative.” He sent six men on a patrol around the town at a fast pace and with bayonets fixed. They glowered and jabbed at any recalcitrant civilians they saw. There was no more trouble.

The town was cowed by the RIC s déprédations.

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TRANSFERRING PRISONERS

Next day six men including Louis went out during mass. They commandeered two horses and carts. They took Lynne and Williams with them. They drove to Macroom and handed the prisoners over to the RIC there.

There the RIC took Delivery of some poultry. They drove back a circuitous route. They feared that the IRA would set up an ambush of they came back the way they gone out. They felt uneasiness because of the events of the day before.

” Funny how a truncheon sets tongues wagging ” Louis had quipped to his colleagues.

“IRA may try to spring an ambush on us” said Short;

“Dont try to scare us” said Louis

“I am not. I will not surrender; Fight to death. I know what them fuckers would do : cut us up alive” said Short. With this resolution taken they drove on in silence.

Once they got back t the barracks safely there was no more dampener on their spirits. They had made it. They hoisted a glass to the King.

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MASS

Fr Meagher said mass to reduced congregation. The mood was tense and subdued. Meagher chose to skirt around the ructions. Meagher noticed that several well known men were missing – under arrest. Others had gone to ground in the light of heightened RIC activity.

When it came to parish notices he said ”Fr Downy will no longer take the confessions of girls under the age of 16.” There was suspicious muttering in the pews and meaningful glances were exchanged. ”Let me repeat that. Fr Downy will no longer take the confessions of girls under the age of 16. He will take the confessions of boys, men and women. Girls under the age of 16 will confess exclusively to me. That is a parish order.”

Fr Downy turned the colour of beetroot.

”Good the mass is ended” said Fr Meagher authoritatively. Nunc dimitis was played. He felt embarrassed about the announcement he had made but was proud of himself for spitting it out. He had feared that his nerves would fail him. It was much easier to say once had simply begun saying it. Nunc dimitis was sung.

The congregation dismissed with unusual rapidity. Meagher stood at the door saying Farewell to his parishoners. Fionnulas mother tipped him a thankful wink.

Meagher hummed a melody to himself as he strode back to the parochial house. Then he had his cusomary tot of whiskey. Downy had not sauntered back but had instead gone to the house of one of his GAA team mates to bad mouth Meagher as little better than an Orangeman. Only after a few hours did he return to the parochial house.

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LUNCHEON AT THE PAROCHIAL HOUSE

At the parochial house the priests dined.

”Why did you have to say that?” said Downy.

”For the sake of the children. To protect them? Why did you have to commit lascivious sins with them.” said Meagher angrily.

Downy crumpled and ate his soup. A minute later he perked up

”Terrible what the English have done – shooting people outside the station” said Downy

”I don’t think they shot anyone” said Meagher

”Oh yes they did they shot lots of people men , women and children/” said Downy

”Did they? I heard they opened fire but I thought they fired into the air. No one got hit.” said Meagher

”Oh no they shot people.” said Downy

”Who did they shoot?” said Meagher

”I do not know but they shot a lot of people.” said Downy.

”Well you must know at least one name this is a small town.” said Meagher

”No I do not know any names I just know they shot lots of people the swine” said Downy

”I do not believe it. You have no corroborative evidence. Some false rumour has got around. Not a single person was shot. Was anyone killed?” said Meagher

”Ah well no but lots were shot.” said Downy

”How many were shot?” said MEAGHER

”About 20 shot.” said Downy

”20 shot and not one dead. I do not believe it.” said Meagher

”Yes 20 were wounded.” said Downy

”Yet you cannot mentioned any of the woundeds names. Did anyone go to the doctor?” said Meagher

”I am not aware of any going to the doctor” said Downy

”It just does not add up. 20 wounded and none went to the doctor. Fr Downy you are believing nonsense. It is political prejudice. You want to believe the English are rats so you believe lies about them. ” said Meagher

”Well you want them to be good so you believe they are all saints.” said Downy

”I do not. I know the English police beat up Mr Lynne.” said Meagher

”Ah well then so they are not all good.” said Downy

”Yes, people saw him being taken away on the cart bruises on his face but he may have resisted arrest. ” said Meagher

”’You see the ENglish cowards arrest a school master.” said Downy

”Well he is chief of the local IRA.” said Meagher

”So what he is a teacher and he should be allowed to teach his school” said Downy

”Come on even if he is leading men around in masks at night to rob people at gunpoint and beat them to death? All the world knows they have been robbing cattle and horses – burning down houses.” said Meagher

”This is revolutionary warfare” said Downy

”Sounds more like common crime to me. You think Lynne did not keep any money for himself? I noticed he bought himself a lot of nice clothes lately and whiskey. Even if this is a war then Lynne is a soldier and not a teacher. His enemies have the right to take him prisoner.” said MEAGHER;

”Ah well he is an army officer and he deserves a few perks.” said Downy

”Does he indeed? ” said Meagher

”The English are swine; Pure evil. The English are a filthy race hated all over the world: Arrogant They are stupid : an inferioor breed. We had a civilisation when the English ran about naked and could scarcely stand up straight.”  said Downy;

”If you were in their position how would you defeat the IRA?” said Meagher

”I would not. I would see the IRA are righteous and give Ireland its freedom” said Downy

”We are free. People protested outside the police station and were not harmed. Only when they stoned the police did the police break it up. The police used minimum force. They only hit men. A stone can kill a man. The police had guns but they did not shoot anyone. The police could have killed those who were trying to kill them. That is the mark of a humane police force. Would the police be s good in France or Spain or Russia? I doubt it.” said Meagher

”We are slaves of the English.” said Downy.

”We are not slaves. That is an outright lie. That casts doubt on everything you say. If we are slaves run away then. There really are slaves in the world in Arabia and China. The English and ourselves freed the slaves in Africa and India. It is an insult to those who are held in bondage that you should say that. Slavery is not a word to be used so glibly. You should be ashamed of yourself.” said Meagher

”You have a slave mentality.” said Downy

”No I do not I have a rational mentality. I say what actually happened. I do not invent lies or pretend to believe things I know to be false. I do not demonise a brother nationality. I am not guided by prejudice. I seek the truth and I tell the truth. I do not resort to preposterous hyperbole. That smacks of desperation. It shows how plain daft your claims really are that you are compelled to throw about such ridiculous insults. My mentality is as free as can be.” said Meagher.

”I have had just about enough of this” said Downy FURiously. He put down his spoon and got up. He stalked out of the room.

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SCREENING THE PRISONERS.

Louis and Short interviewed the prisoners one by one. Short would make short work of them. They would then be handed over to Louis after they had been softened up. The processed prisoners were blindfolded, cuffed and held in the stables. The unprocessed ones were held in the cell. They had soon worked their way through all 12. The prisoners were shown Lynne’s confession and the written confessions of the others.

Bulkeley realised he had caused some ill will in the town but that was unavoidable. He had not killed anyone and he had not let the station fall into enemy hands. He had defended his post. He had minimised the danger.

Only three IRA men were among them – Pascal Harrington, Michael English and Walter Perkins. All but two of the prisoners were sent to be interned.

Michael English was a weak willed man of 18. He had blond pudding bowl hair and a vacant  together with a Habsburg lip. Michael’s blue eyes indicated unintelligence and that he was easily cowed. Louis had interviewed him before letting Short loose on him. Michael English was more afraid than most but not terrified as some were. Louis perceived that this youth did not apprehend the situation he was in. Michael had opted into the IRA without taking on board that this could involve suffering and even death. He was very suggestible. Louis sat outside the cell where the screened prisoners were held. He remained silent and listened to their conversation intently for an hour. Michael spoke only when spoken to by the others.

Louis then went to Bulkeley, ”Sir, one young man we have arrested could be an asset to us.”

”What do you mean Limtay?” said Bulkeley sounding almost annoyed.

”Michael English – he was foolish enough to admit to being in the IRA. The other two IRA fellows denied it despite us having them in the book for about a year as IRA men. They realised that convincing us that they were not in the IRA was their only chance of release. It did not work but they had the gumption to try. I said to English what I said to all of them . You are in the IRA. I know because the others told me’ .  The other prisoners were not dim enough to fall for it but he was” said Louis,

 

”How do we know he really is in the Irish Volunteers? Could just agree with the gist of the question if he has no backbone? Maybe he said yes because he was afraid what would happen if he said no.” said Bulkeley putting his hands on his hips.

”Sir, remember I am sugar not shit with these men. I do not scare them. I try to get genuine information and not just any old nonsense they assume that I want to hear. He quickly made a confession. I took notes. Confirmed much of what we already know. Only a little bit of extra information which all seems plausible. I asked him to write it down. He agreed. So I have taken him beyond the point of no return. We can recruit him as an informer within the IRA. If he does not play ball with us we can show his signed confession to the others with all the secret information that he revealed.” said Louis

”Seems a decent idea but as he is such a weakling won’t the IRA suspect it if we release him? They might think he is being let go because he is a plant?” said Bulkeley.

”That is true sir but he only joined the IRA a month ago. It is credible that we did not know that. In fact we did not until he told us. I asked the others and most of them confirmed that he is in the IRA. Only his fellow IRA comrades were loyal enough not to dob him in. We can tell him if the IRA debrief him to say that he denied being in the IRA and we believed it. He is a pathetic boy and we simply did not consider it worth it to send him to internment.” said Louis.

”All right” said Bulkeley thoughtfully ”I am coming around to the idea. But what if he is exposed? What if the IRA do not fall for it? They are not stupid you know. They could question him hard. You said he cannot stand up to questioning for a minute. If he is exposed as a spy then he will be shot. Where are we then?”

”No worse off than we are now. In fact the IRA will be one man down. They will have alienated another family. He is no use to use if he goes to prison. He might be valuable to us if we let him go.” said Louis

”This Michael English – thick as two short planks he seems. How is he to communicate intelligence to us_? He can hardly come to the station to tip us off? The IRA intercepts and reads the post. We know that. I have seen enough letters stamped ‘censored by the IRA’ ” said Bulkeley.

”I am working that out. We can arrange a dead letter drop. We could also teach him to write in invisible ink. Maybe post things to an inoccuous address in Cork. And yes sir ‘ – English is short on the grey matter. I have seen his writing. He cannot spell to save his life and he has no grasp of grammar but gets the point across that is the main thing. Unemployed farm labourer. His poor English is not because he speaks Irish as his native language. He does not speak Irish at all. Only joined the IRA because he does what he is told.” said Louis.

”It seems this wretch responds to fear. So we have got to convince him to stand up to IRA interrogation. Persuade him to be more afraid of us than of them. He has got to believe that if he helps us he will be safe. The moment he stops helping us he is dead.” said Bulkeley.

”Exactly. Trouble is we cannot protect him.” said Louis.

”All right Limtay. I am going to authorise this. I leave it to you to work out the particulars. We are going to need someone inside the IRA. We know their addresses and they are aware of that now. If they have half a brain they are not going to go to known addresses . We found their HQ on Sweet Hillocks so they probably won’t go back there. On the other hand there might be a double bluff. They might assume we will not raid it again. If they had any guts they would have put up a fight,” said Bulkeley

”Too true sir. Cowardly fiends” said Limtay.

”What about the woman what did you get out of Mrs Ogley?” said Bulkeley.

”She was a tough nut to crack. Of course Short could not go to work on her as she is a woman. She told me she is in Cuman na mBann. She was truculent. No other information out of her.” said Louis

”Well we will intern her. If we let her go she will just be hiding IRA men in her house, carrying ammunition for them and so on.” said Bulkeley.

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GROOMING AN INFORMER

Louis had to speak to Michael English alone but he could not single him out. Otherwise suspicion would fall on English. Therefore all the prisoners were interviewed again – most not by Louis. For the most part this yielded no additional information. A few even retracted admissions they had made. This usually tended to underline the importance of the things that they had said.

Louis called English out of the cell about half way through the list of interrogations.

Michael English was brought into a policemen’s dormitory. Only Louis and English were there.

”Well Michael -nice to see you again” said Louis managing to smile believably.

”Nice to see you again” Michael mumbled.

”I am Jack, remember?” Louis said extending his hand

”Oh Jack I forgot” said Michael indistinctly.

”So Michael. You were very helpful. Thanks a lot. I like you. You were very brave to write all that for you. You know what happens now?” said Louis;

”You send me to gaol?” Michael whimpered

”Michael -come on I told you I did not want that to happen. You are not going to gaol not for one day. So long as you help me out” said Louis

”Yes I will help you” he said almost eagerly.”But the other man said I was dirt and was going to gaol. He wanted to beat me up” said Michael

”But I would not let him” said Louis. ”I know you are against the IRA. You are on our side. You made a big mistake joining the IRA. You did not want those people to get beaten up, to get robbed, those men to be killed. No you want Ireland to be free and so do I. Agreed?”

”Yes, agreed” said Michael.

”Great” said Louis meretriciously.”But what I need you to do is to go back to the IRA”

”What but you said the IRA is bad” said Michael sounding perplexed.

”It is. But you have to help us beat these bad guys. You are going to tell us what is going on in the IRA” said Louis

”Ok. But what if the IRA find out?” said Michael

”They are not going to find out. How could they possibly know? Only way they would know that you are helping us is if you tell them. That would be idiotic. You are not an idiot -you are smart. So you have to pretend that you are on their side. Say all the things they do. Say up the republic.  Do all the things they told you to before. Go along when they rob people. Only thing is you have to tell us what is going on.” said Louis

”So I come here sometimes and tell you?” said Michael

”No Michael no. You never do that. If you are seen coming to the police they think something is wrong. If you see police you avoid us. Do not look at us. If we arrest you act normal. Do not worry we will not hurt you. What you will do is write for us. Write what is going on.  Every day if you can. If there is no news or you do not have a chance then do not write it. There is an abandoned old cottage half a mile up the hill behind Corrigan’s.” said Louis

”Oh yes that is not far from my grandmother’s place” SAID mICHAel

”Even better. You have a reason to walk that way. Now in the old kitchen there there is a space in the chimney if you put your hand up ‘ remove the brick and hide you notes there. You are going to write notes about what you saw or heard. Who is in the IRA._? Any new men in it’? Where are the guns hidden? What are the plans? I might leave you notes there asking  questions. Where are they moving? Which houses do the IRA stay in? Understand. ? ” said Louis.

”I get it I write notes. But I am not good at writing. The teacher used to hit me every day for my writing” said Michael

”Your writing is brilliant. I used to be a teacher. I really like it.” said Louis

”All right then I can write notes” said Michael

”I will hide paper and pencils there. You do not put your name on it or my name on it. Do not give a clue as to who you are. You just write. Got that?” said Louis

”Yes I got it” said Michael

”All right. So you do that. .Be an IRA man in every way but give us the secret information” said Louis

”But Jack I am scared. The IRA said if we tell the police what is going on they kill us” said Michael lugubriously.

”They are not going to find out. I would not let them kill you. We beat the IRA.  Yesterday we beat so many of them. We have better guns. We arrested so many. We already have a spy in the IRA in the town. That is how we know so much. He never got caught. I am not going to tell you who it is. You will never guess” said Louis

”I am still scared. Can I just go home and leave the IRA.?” Michael English asked

”No you cannot . You made a deal. You agreed to work for us. Do you want me to tell the IRA that?” said Louis

”Ah no don’t tell them don’t tell them!” Michael wailed

”Good. You do not want me to show them this confession you wrote?” Louis inquired

”Ah no don’t please don’t” Michael wept

”Of course I won’t. Calm down. But I just need you to tell me what is going on in the IRA. Agreed?” said Louis

”Yes I agree I promise” said Michael English.

”Very good. Now the IRA might ask what happened. You tell about being arrested. You just said no I did not say I was in the IRA.I said no, no, no. The others did not accuse you. You are just a quiet boy who lives with his mother and is looking for a job” said Louis

”Ok so if the IRA ask me I say the police said are you in the IRA and I said no” said English

”That is it. You always denied it and we believed you. Now I need to help you prepare for this. The IRA might ask you questions. I am going to get an Irish policeman to come in here. He is going to pretend to be the IRA. Just make believe. He will act the IRA and ask you lots of questions. Did the police say this or did the police say that? You have to answer so the IRA do not believe you are working for us. Understand” said Louis

”Yes it is a practise. It is play acting. An Irish policeman comes in and pretends to be the IRA. I have to practise what I say to them later”

”Fantastic.” said Louis

Moore came in wearing mufti. He questioned Michael sometimes softly and sometimes aggressively. Michael said the right words but his facial expressions and hand gestures did not fit.

Louis had to come back in and coach him over these.

Michael was then questioned again by Moore and he stood up to it better the second time.

Then Moore broke character. He and Louis worked together on the fundamentals of credible lying. They had Michael do the right facial affect and avoid touching his face. He had to work on maintaining his gaze.

Then Moore had a third go. This time Michael stood up to it more or less convincingly.

The next morn there was a final preparatory session with Michael.

===================

RELEASE

 

 

Bulkeley chose to release one man of 68 named Fiachra O’Toole and a feeble boy of 16 named Aengus Snow. Bulkeley reasoned this would gain some good will. These two were not capable of causing much trouble. It would also spread the word that Lynne and others had broken. That would put a chill wind in the minds of the IRA. The other non IRA men together with English were released on Sunday.

By the end of Monday prisoner transfers were complete. Escorting prisoners to Macroom had been time consuming. Some men had had to stay behind to guard the station. This meant that the RIC had not been able to raid anywhere on Monday.

 

=====================

 

 

Black and Tans. Chapter 10.

Standard

RIC raid picks up IRA man –  RIC patrol to Ahabeg – Allegations against Downy.

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  1. Tall Northern Irish sergeant. Ian  North. Yorks.—————————————-

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2. Short Londoner soldier – blond sergeant aged 40. George Short. Anti Irish anti everyone—————————

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3. Davies. Benedict’s. Benjamin  David. Scotland. Not sectarian. Rangers fan—————————

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4. Watkins. John Watkins. Wales—————————————

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5. Tavi Moise. Octavian More. Southampton. Anti Catholic——————

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6. swimming pool guy from school. Alexander   Brokenshire. Liverpool. ————————————

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7. Major Neil.  Edward MacNeil. Geordie. Half Irish Catholic but raised Prod. ————————————–

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8. Col Olley. Oliver Sergeant.  Berks.—————————————————

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9. Mike Cunningham.   Mark Cunningham. Newcastle.————————————–

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10. Relu Marichenano.  Richard  March. Lancs. Catholic————————————-

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11. Richard chemistry pilot. Older officer. Richard Dixon. Suffolk.——————————

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12.  Louis Limtay. Born 1890. protagonist.—————————————————-

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13. Williams Bulkeley. William Bulkeley.

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14.    Blairmore teacher. Blair Teacher                  anti Catholic. Scots.——————————

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LOCAL R  I C

  1. N Lupton. Mayo. Nick Lumley. spy————————–

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2.  Anthony FitzPatrick. Midlands. Tony FitzGerald.

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3. Rick Forshaw. Wee North. Prod. Rick Forshaw. 

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4. Shaheen’s husband. Dubliner.  Sean Groom.  transferred—————

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5. O’Kelly. invalided out ———————————-

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6. Murphy. retired.————————————————

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7. Bill Moore. sergeant (W C C)

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8. Seamus Bolger (Spanish teacher) shot dead——————————-

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9. Donal   MacDonald  (Alec Scott) wounded———————————

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IRA

  1. Jim London. (JIM LSJ) ex soldier wants to be hangman. socialist. ———–

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2. Vinny Conlan (Vinny Cochrane) actor. brainy. inquisitive. ———-

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3. Gerry  Nagle (G Nagle) insurance company salesman. conman.

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4. William Hendricks. (Wesley Hendricks) builder. cousin killed in Easter Rising. ——–

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5. Peter Lynne (Pearse Lynne) teacher——– Arrested.

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6. Jonathan Wynn (Jonathon Roberts) painter and decorator. granny died in famine. hates blacks. ———————

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7. Pascal Harrington (Causkey)  labourer

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8. Alex East (Alex Asgari) labourer. Pal murdered by UPA. ————

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9. Damian Walsh (D W) farmer————————–

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10. Roger Tooth (Roger Tooth) travelling salesman robber

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11. Robert Johnson  (J Roberts univ) chemist

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12. Laurence Dale. (aMpleforth ex soldier teacher) ex soldier

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13. Sean Tussock (Zhangir T) coal importer’s son

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14.  Niall Tussock (Nurzhan) coal importer’s son

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15. Henry Tussock (uncle Hal) coal importer

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16. Gabriel Tussock (coal importer)

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17. Charles Williams (Will Charles) solicitor’s clerk. Irish lang enthusiast——-

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18. Benedict Thompson (B Thompson) solicitor’s clerk. GAA——-

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19. Kenneth Adams. ( A K ) farmer. religious reactionary——-

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20. Michael English (Magnus) labourer. tags along. feeble. becomes informer

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21. Seamus Simons (Simon I F ) barman————————-

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22. Henry Brannock ( Henry W B) labourer.

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THE RIGHT ADDRESS

Louis ran down to the dayroom where the others were tucking into a meal.

”I got the addresses  – 13 Stream Street Ahabeg . Then the other is Mooney’s Farm east of Clountreem.”

”I know where Mooney’s is” said Moore.

”That is all he said just two addresses?” said Bulkeley?

”Yes just two. I got them out of him not Short.” Louis warned his hearers.

”Right – Short you can see what else you can get out of him. But on no account kill him. Limtay you have done your bit. You stay here and have some tucker. I will lead the men. Moore, Forshaw. Teacher, Cunningham, Sergeant and MacNeil. You are coming with me. The rest of you man the barracks. Stand too. If the bastards have any guts they will counter attack.” said Bulkeley. To have such actionable intelligence was a rare occurrence and Bulkeley was eager to make the most of it.

”I don’t think it likely sir we have got them on the run” said Moore. His range of experience gave his words some weight.

”We certainly have because we have taken the fight to them. This is soldiering now not policing. I think you have not realised this till now Moore” sqid Bulkeley in a tone of rebuke.

”You are right sir. The Irish Fusilier in me is coming out again” Moore said brightening. He felt a little ashamed that he had disagreed with an officer in the presence of the men.

It was nearly dusk as half a dozen men ran out of the barracks.

”We will flag down a dog cart” said Bulkeley.

”Sir isn’t it a big dangerous for us to be going around at night?”

”That is why it is the last thing they will be expecting. Really but the wind up the enemy.” said Bulkeley. He caught sight of a horse and cart on the far side of the square. A man was drawing up at the pub. Bulkeley. ”I say my man. We are commandeering your horse and cart. Defence of the Realm Act.”

Bulkelely dashed over and his men behind him.

The round faced man with light Brown eyes. He was in his 20s about 5 foot and looked nonplussed and worried ”Yerra sir tis my horse and cart you can’t be having it.”

”We are having it and that is that. If you resist you will be arrested.” said Bulkeley.

“Yerra mister I have to do the messages like” said the man looking persecuted.

”Now drive us to Ahabeg.” Bulkeley commanded in a tone that brooked no dissent.

”Sir if I am seen driving the peelers around the IRA will put a bullet in my head.” the man whined.

”Very well we shall drive it. What is your name?” said Bulkeley.

”Gavin Sullivan.” he replied meekly.

”Mr Sullivan we shall return it to this pub this evening. Now on your way. ” Bulkeley gestured for Sullivan to hop off this cart.

Sullivan shrugged his shoulders and jumped down from the cart. He handed over the reins to Bulkeley and hurried into the pub.

”Moore you know how to drive one of these traps?” asked Bulkeley.

”Yes I can drive the yoke.” said Moore

”You hop on them” said Bulkeley. Moore got on and took the reins. The others piled on the rear.

”Drive like hell” said Bulkeley.

It was not long before they pulled into Stream Street in Ahabeg as the light was failing.

”Quick surround the house men” shouted Bulkeley.

Three men ran around the alley way 100 yards down the street and to the rear of the house to cut off any escape. Bulkeley then hammered on the door.

”RIC. Open the door please or we will break it down.” said Bulkeley.

Moore was amused to hear a threat to smash the door and please in the same sentence. He saw on the drumlin behind the house there was an oak coppice. He looked at it carefully : were the IRA going to run away and conceal themselves there?

Bulkeley then said more impatiently ”Open in three seconds or we will smash it down. One, two three.” Bulkeley nodded to Moore who was holding an axe

Moore used his boxer’s muscles to lay into the black painted wooden door. He struck it blows around the lock – one, two , three – slicing into the wood and going right through. Soon there would be a sufficient aperture to put a hand in and turn the handle. Bulkeley considered shooting the lock off but feared injuring a civilian.

”Ok ok we shall open up; merciful lord!” a middle aged female voice cried out

A woman of 50 odd years with curlers in her hair and pink night gown on opened the door. There was a watchfulness to her that aroused Bulkeleys suspicion.

Bulkeley holding a revolver barged in past her. ”Sorry ma’am now where are the IRA men!” he yelled.

The woman almost fainted ”there are no IRA men here” she squealed. Her face turned white as Moore and Teacher came in too.

Bulkeley then turned into the front room with his revolver held out. Two little girls seated in there screamed.

”Sorry children” he said in genuine embarrassment. Teacher then burst into the back kitchen. It was sparsely furnished and the peeling brownish wallpaper had seen better days. The woman’s husband sat there – frozen in fear with a bowl of soup in front of him.

”You in the IRA?” said Teacher gratingly.

”No, sir I am not.  I am a carrier. I deliver things on the horse and cart.” said the man fearfully.

”What’s your name” Teacher shouted with a tigerish gleam in his eyes.

”Paul Ogley” the man said fearfully. He had wet hair from a recent bath.

Bulkeley came around the corner. ”Arrest him. ”

”Hands behind your back” said Teachers gravelly voice.  the man stood up and obeyed. Teacher snapped the handcuffs on.

”Who else is in the house?” said Bulkeley to the woman.

”My two little boys asleep upstairs.” said the woman.

”You only got four children?” said Bulkeley seeking confirmation.

”AH no my oldest boy is in Cork Gaol.” said the woman atremble.

”IRA?” said Bulkeley his eyes keen.

”Well yes but we are not. My eldest daughter is in Australia” said the woman.

”I don’t need the whole family history”, said Bulkeley.

Bulkeley lead the way upstairs. Then he turned to the woman. ”You come up. Now.. Please”

She walked cautiously up the stairs.

”Faster” he commanded and she obeyed.

”Open this door” he said pointing to one bedroom. She opened the door. He saw the outlines of one of the two boys sitting up in their bed. The other lay asprawl.

”Turn on the gas lamp. ” said Bulkeley. She did.

”Now get the boys out of bed. ” The boys sobbed and got up.

“Jesus, Mary and divine Joseph do I have to wake up my children now?”

“You could have men or arms hidden Under the bed I have seen that trick before! The IRA think Nothing of hiding behind children” said Bulkeley in irritation.

The woman did as she was bade.

”Turn the bed over – open the closet” said the officer. The woman obeyed. There was nothing out of the way

Bulkeley turned to the master bedroom. ”Open this door” he said urgently

The woman fearfully opened it. ”Go in and turn the gas lamp on” The woman hastened in and did as she was bidden. She grew more confident. She was a little accustomed to armed men being in her house.

”There is no one here I am telling you” she said

”We have it from the head of the local IRA that yours is a safe house. Now why would he say that?” asked Bulkeley. He was keen to destroy faith in Lynne.

”No idea” said the woman unconvincingly.

”Unconvincing. You are an IRA man’s mother. ” he continued. ”Open the drawers.”

Teacher came up the stairs . ”Teacher” said Bulkeley ”search these two rooms thoroughly.”

Bulkeley looked at the attic door over his head. ”Open the attic” he said to the woman. ”You will find no one there.”

”No one is there” she blinked and looked away.

”Open it at once” said the officer.

”I cannot I am too short.” said the woman.

”Open it now or I will arrest you and your husband.” said Bulkeley furiously.

”No one is there” she rubbed her nose.

”I have a good mind to shoot up through the attic trap door” said Bulkeley. He heard some movement above him.

The woman relented and fetched a stick that caught onto a handle on the door. She pressed the door up and that released the latch. The door to the attic opened fully and a ladder came down.

”Undo the ladder” said Bulkeley. The woman did as she was ordered. ”But no one is there” she tried to sound weary and she blinked frequently.

”Go up with that lantern” he said

The woman took the lantern from her bedroom and climbed the ladder

”DOn’t look up my dress” said the woman

”Oh please. At your age you think i would?” said Bulkeley. ” You flatter yourself”

Just then a voice from the attic said timorously ”Ok I am caught. I am caught. I am coming down now”

”A -ha!” said Bulkeley triumphantly. The woman came down the ladder. Bulkely ordered her to stand face against the wall. He covered the man as he came down. A slim, wild looking young man with sandy hair came down.

”What is your name boy?” asked Bulkeley.

”Charles Williams” said a man of 21.

”Lie down on the floor- face down” Bulkeley screamed. ”Teacher handcuff this man.”

Teacher came and did as he was ordered.

Mrs Ogley, Paul Ogeley and Charles Williams were all taken into custody. The children were left to be looked after by the neighbours. The RIC did not have time for a more thorough investigation of the house since the IRA might attack

Mr Ogeley and Williams were made to jog in handcuffs. Mrs Ogeley was permitted to ride on the cart. The RIC men took turns to jog beside the prisoners.

“You will be cooling your heels in prison for a good 20 years if we do not shoot you tonight. So enjoy the run while you can” Bulkeley taunted them.

The prisoners reached the RIC station after dark and in a state of exhaustion. They were already broken before interrogation began.

The six RIC officers led their prisoners in.

”Look what we got” said Bulkeley presenting the haul with a broad grin.

”Well done sir!” said Louis.

”I am bloody exhausted. Right – Limtay and SHort. You see to this lot. Mr and Mrs Ogley  – sheltering a wanted man. and the young man is an IRA joker Charles Williams. At least that is what he said his name is. Got to see if that is his real name. ” said Bulkeley

Limtay went over to Bulkeley and whispered in his ear. ”Sir, please keep the woman down here. She will have the least valuable information. We will interview her last. Get the men first. But I have an idea. I want them to know that Lynne has been singing like a canary. Let me take them upstairs first.”

”Cerainly” Bulkeley nodded.

”Please blindfold the woman and make her stand. When she is jaded she will crack easily.” said Louis.

”Yes, good idea Limtay” said Bulkeley. He then sat in a chair and called for tea.

The prisoners looked glum and deeply apprehensive.

Limtay looked at Short and mouthed the word ‘blindfolds’ out of the prisoners line of view.

Short nodded and went to fetch three thick black scarves. These were tied around the prisoners as blindfolds.

Limtay then went to Short and whispered ”Lead them upstairs. I want you to blindfold Lynne. Get him to repeat his whole confession – names and address. Make sure it is their names. Ogley Mr and Mrs and this man  Charles Williams.  Once they see that Lynne had betrayed them they will tell us everything.” Louis knew this would leak to the wider community. That would set the cat among the pigeons. People would know that the head of the IRA had been broken. It would be a body blow to IRA morale.

”All right I shall. Nice” Short cackled. SHort then turned to the two men  ”Right up the fucking stairs” he poked a revolver in the back of one then the other.

The men being blindfolded and handcuffed tread very warily. Short forced them to walk much faster than they were comfortable with.  They stumbled but did not fall – up to the first floor. Short was eagerly looking forward to a busy time. He was confident that he could make short work of these prisoners.

They got outside the cell door. Limtay dived into a bedroom and got some socks. He put his fingers on the prisoners’ noses. They opened their mouths to breath and in went the socks. He took his fingers off their mouths – they could not talk. Limtay kept the two men out of the line of view from the door. He nodded at Short. Short took it as a signal. He went into the cell

”All right Lynne” said Short ”Now that confession. I want it again.”

”But I already told you three times. You had your pal writing it down.” said Lynne sounding tired.

”You did not tell me exactly the same thing again every time. Tell me the names and addresses or you get the treatment.” said Short.

”All right” he said weakly and breathed deeply – he resented himself ”Jim London is the head honcho. Vinny Conlan is another key member. Gerry Nagle and Roger Tooth are also in the IRA even though we know they are robbers. Fr Downy comes and blesses us. We got Charles Williams”

Charles WIlliams shuddered to hear his name. His courage suddenly eluded him.

Lynne went on ”Benedict Thompson. Damian Walsh and more and more. Over 20. Don’t even remember all the names. Some of them just joined and do not come that often. Pascal Harrington.”

”That;s enough names for the minute. Now where is your caches?” asked Short.

”Well Bridget’s Bothy which you raided. Will you please tell me which fellows you killed?” said Lynne.

”I ask the questions sunshine. But thanks to you we put a few bullets in their flesh.  Shut up. Thanks for that information. Thanks to you we killed some of your pals. Now more hiding places.” said Short with relish. Lynne was beginning to Wonder why Short was to eager to hear this yet again.

”Well like I told you the unbaptised graveyard. The Ogely’s house on Stream Street” said Lynne.

At this Mr Ogely felt a tremor run through him. So the RIC knew he had not been intimidated. he considered saying that he had only let Williams in at gunpoint – trouble was Williams did not have a gun when he was arrested. Ogley knew that Lynne really had dobbed him in.

”Then there is Mooney’s farm” said Lynne ”Then at Grainne’s field  – there is a dell behind a copse. He bury stuff there. Then there is a house abandoned since the famine in flowery vale…”

The list went on for a couple of minutes. Short was smirking. Lynne found that SHorts elation chafed on him.

Limtay then banged on the door. SHort looked through the grill and opened up. Lynne was still blindfolded. Limtay removed the blindfolds of the two men. Then he gestured to Short to take Lynne’s blindfold off. The door was unlocked for a moment.

Lynne saw them and they looked back at him. The horror and hatred in their eyes overcame their fear. Lynne was aghast and looked away in self disgust.

Limtay then put the blindfolds back on the men. He ushered them into a bedroom and called down the stairs.

”March come up here. ” said Louis.

March came running up.

Louis whispered into his ear ”right you take Ogeley and work on him. Softly. If he resists we hand him over to Short. At the moment I think sugar will work better than shit.”

”Agreed” said March.

March took his prisoner Mr Ogeley into one bedroom.

Louis took Williams into another bedroom.

Louis sat him on a chair and removed the blindfold.

”So Charles, I may call you Charles?” asked Louis.

Williams was formal and preferred Mr Williams but did not demure. ”Yes it is all right.”

”Good then. Well nice to meet you – sorry about the circumstances; My name is Jack.” Louis smiled and Williams smiled back instinctively.  He wondered whether this was somehow treasonable but he was in no position to offend this policeman. This was life or death he told himself. He had not choice. He welcomed the amicability.

Williams face expressed incomprehension. He had expected the beating of his life – maybe summary execution and this man was pleased to meet him? Williams was discombobulated.

”Nice to meet you” Williams mumbled – he could not believe what he had just said. But it was instinctive.

”My name is Jack. Wish we could shake hands” he giggled. Louis was minded to take the prisoner’s handcuffs off but he was alone in an unlocked room. Better not to in case Williams tried to grab the revolver in Louis’ belt.  He could take the cuffs off and interview him with a gun pointing at Williams but that would defeat the purpose of being convivial.

”So Charles” Louis continued ”As you can see Lynne is a rat. He is supposed to be head of the local IRA. He has betrayed you so why should you be loyal to him?”

”I am loyal to Ireland” Williams said with expression.

”Well me too – I am Irish too. Half Irish. And Catholic – Credo in ecclessia catholica sanctum romanum…”  said Louis with well pretended conviction.

Williams was taken aback.

”Let’s end this war. Then you can have Home Rule – maybe a republic. I don’t care. I just want peace. You joined the IRA with the highest of motives but it has not turned out that way. Brutes like Lynne and beating up old men and stealing money. So you help me – I help you. That way you can go free and I can go back to England. Sounds like a deal?” said Louis.

”Sounds good but I cannot betray the IRA.” said Williams.

”Charles you are smart. Do not be stupid. The IRA already betrayed you. A police officer was murdered last month. Lynne said you did it. That is not true is it?” he looked accusingly at Williams.

WIlliams’ courage deserted him ”No it is not true I know who did it!” he imagined a noose around his neck

”Who?” asked Louis trying not to seem to eager.

”London. Jim London did it . Hendricks was with him/” said Williams.

”Yes, we knew that anyway” Louis lied. ”See you were not betraying the IRA – just being smart and saving yourself. Lynne is a shit of the highest order. He is supposed to be your commander and he ratted on you to save his miserable skin. As you heard we raided a few of your dumps. We killed some of your comrades today. Others wanted to kill you but I said no. Williams is a decent guy. Arrest him – don’t hurt him.”

”Wow-  thanks Jack.” said Williams

”You are very welcome Charles. I saved your hide. Now you got to help me. Where are the other arms dumps/” said Louis

”Jack I cannot tell you that.” said Williams

”Oh yes you can – you are going to tell me” said Louis.

”Please. I cannot.” said Williams

”Charles what is your job?” said Louis

”I am a bank clerk.” said Williams

”I knew it. Lynne told us” he lied ”You are far too brainy to be in a stupid outfit like the IRA. Because you are smart you are going to tell me where the weapons are hidden. Then you can go on to be bank manager. ” said Louis

”I am sorry Jack. I cannot do that. I swore an oath…” said Williams

”To hell with your oath” said Louis with sudden anger ” I saved your life you ungrateful bastard. My mates out there want to hang you in the courtyard right now. Not a long drop but a slow strangulation. It is the most I can do to stop them. So you are going to tell me where the guns are stashed or I will not be able to hold the others back.”

”Ok, ok I will tell you – there are more hiding places. That old abandoned Protestant church outside Ahabeg – behind what used to be the altar – there are some loose stones about a foot above the ground. Behind that there is a long metal box. There is sometimes a rifle hidden in there.” said Williams

”Very good” said Louis taking notes.

”The other hiding places. All the ones I know are the ones that Lynne just told you.” said Williams

”And where might the men be hiding? Other than the places that Lynne mentioned?” said Louis

”They might have fled to Kerry. There is a house a mile east of Rathmore – Tynan’s. They sometimes hide out there. ” said Williams

”Any more addresses? ” asked Louis

”Yes some go down to Bantry. Number 5 the Square.” said Williams

”is that it?” said Louis

”That is all I know.” said Williams

”We are friends now. So you had better be telling me the truth. If I find you have been sending us on a wild goose chase I will not be your friend any more. Then Short will have you and his methods are not as civilised as mine.” said Louis.

”I am telling the truth.” said Williams

”Nothing you want to change? Last chance now? Nothing you want to add?” asked Louis. He studied Williams face and was tolerably sure that that man spoke true/

”Nothing else” said Williams.

Mr Ogeley gave out plenty of information. He warned them “The IRA are not easily caught. They will not be taken alive” He hoped to dissuade the RIC from going after them/ He wanted the IRA to get away for their sake. He was also petrified as being the source of the information.

“Thank you Ogeley you have been a mine of information” Bulkeley said to him; Ogley signed a several copies statement in his own hand with names and addresses.

“If we have any trouble from you then I will make sure this statement gets into the wrong hands” said Bulkeley ” and you will end up down a bog hole; The IRA s methods are mediaeval compared to ours and they have the cheek to call us brutes.”

The woman was interrogated too. She was made to stand and listen as her husband and then Williams and then Lynne repeated their confessions. She saw they had spilled the beans. When she was questioned she held nothing back. It turned out that she had nothing to add.

The prisoners were then told to write all they knew. These signed confessions were very useful. Moore found it much more gratifying than an anti poaching operation. He was getting back at bad men the type who had killed his comrade.

Mr and Mrs Ogeley were put in a cell with Williams.

Lynne was then brought down in his clothes to the day room.

”Thanks for this confession” said Bulkeley sitting at the table after supper. They other RIC men laughed raucously at Lynne. ”I see how brave you are” he said with sarcasm. ”Your IRA chums would find this confession very interesting indeed. Perhaps we should give it to them? Then release you. Leave you to the tender mercies of the IRA?” They all chuckled.

Lynne blanched and felt his knees wobble.

”Your IRA heroes would tear you limb from limb” said Bulkeley ”at least when we kill a man it is quick and clean. So you had better co operate or we will set you free. Prison has never seemed so attractive” said Bulkeley grinning. ” I am not sure what to do with you” he said cryptically.

Lynne found their chuckles very disagreeable. Lynne was then put into a cell with the others. He was very eager for company. They did not reprove him for cracking. He was at pains to convince them that he had been horrifically tortured and even the gallantest hero woudl have cracked Under such sadism. They did not believe him as he had only a few bruises.

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FR DOWNY

Fr Downy said a midweek evening mass. His family went

”Dear brothers and sisters – Ireland is in a state of war. The Catholic people are subjected to bestial attacks. Catholic Ireland is being attacked by Protestant England. Which side shall you choose?   This is a war for morality. We have a new lot of English Protestants in our town. One of them is a half caste. The English, the negro, the Jew and other enemies of the Catholic Church plot to destroy our race. Be on your guard against Orangeman, Freemasons and other agents of satan. Some heroes defend Ireland. Remember the Penal days and the Famine. Ireland is a nation dedicated to the virgin Mary. A sinful race attempts to stain our honour. We shall fight on. This is a holy war. Be in no doubt. ”

Fr Meagher was in the presbytery. By the fireside he was reading a copy of Joyce – smuggled from Paris.

There was a knock on the door. Fr Meagher went to answer it.

A middle aged woman was there with her 12 year old daughter.

”Mrs O’Grady – Fionnula?” said Fr Meagher. ”How very nice to see ye. Do come in.” There was Something positively uncanny about her facial expression.

He was very surprised to see these callers at this time of night.

The woman and her daughter came into the drawing room.

”Now ladies may I offer ye some tea?” asked Meagher.

”Ah no – no thank you” said Mr O’Grady a hefty woman in her late 30s.

”Ladies please sit down” said the priest. He knew the girl to be Strange tongued.

They sat on a sofa opposite him.

The brunette woman breathed deeply and looked down then up. ”Fr Meagher – we have something very important to tell you but very hard to tell you.”

He had perceived that it was not a social call. He sensed something grave had occurred. Surely Fionnula was too young to be pregnant.

”Fr Meagher it is about Fr Downy” she said

He guessed the woman would complain about the man ‘s vociferous support for the IRA.

”Fr Downy” said the woman ” he has been…. interfering;;; with Fionnula” said the woman looking sick. ”Now darling you have got to say what he did.” she struggled to ask.

”I cannot” said the girl in pigtails. She looked down and wept

”Please Fionnula – tell him what he did” she said to the youngster.

Fionnula looked at the priest and said ”He – in confession. He” then it all spilt out ” he asked me did I think of this and of that and of a boy’s…. thing … did I touch my, my… private..  my woman’s thing. Then he told me to stand and that he must touch it and I must say if I felt any pleasure and he made me show him my, my… chest. He said he was a priest and I had to do what he said or he would put horns on me. It is a sin to disobey a priest and I am a slut because I might want to get married one day. And I am disgusting and sinful and I have to do exactly as he says” she lowered her head and wept uncontrollably. She buried her head in her mother’s chest. ” He said I was like a beast”

”Oh my God. I have had people hint at this. Rumours. In fact one girl accused him last year but not of something quite so serious I will not say quite what”

”Please father” said the woman ”you have got to believe us. My daughter does not lie especially about things like this.”

Meagher knew the woman to be very prim and credible. She hated scandal and was not one to invent bogus stories.  But could this be an untruth?

”Why would she lie when almost no one would believe her? The word of a child against a priest. Even ten children against a priest. But priests are not all good” said Fr Meagher. ”I know Fr Downy and he has … weaknesses. How many times did this happen?”

”Three times” said Fionnula looking up her face red ”He said I had to come to confession every week or it was a sin. This time I did not go. I coiuld not face it so I am telling you. He has done it to two of my friends as well but they said they are too afraid to tell you. One of them did not even tell her mother. She is sick of herself – says it is her fault and she is filthy.” she said in a tone of alarm;

”Believe me it is not your fault” said Meagher ” it is a sin what he has done. A grave sin against God. And it is a crime. I could tell the RIC but they will never arrest a priest even for murder.”

”All the police here are Catholics. But there are some Protestant police in town now” said the  woman/ her face glistening with tears of angst and indignation.  Meagher could see the girl was psychologically wounded;

”They would not the town would be in uproar” said Meagher ” I can report him to the bishop. I have had to do this with another priest once before but the man was only moved to another parish. That is what happens. However many allegations however believable they just get moved from one parish to the next. If it gets really bad they can be moved to the far side of the world to America or to China. They never get thrown out of the priesthood. Now Fionnula – you have done the right thing. You have been very brave. People almost never have the courage to say what happened. You are no sinner but he is. You can have your confessions with me. I am not a man who wants women. Your mother can probably tell. A woman gets a sixth sense for a man who likes women or is bad to them but she will know that I am not”

”Yes” said the mother.

”All right Feather Meagher” said Fionnulla drying her tears.

”That is all we must go now.” said the woman standing

”I shall confront him” he said firmly. He was still startled by the news.

They left

Fr Downy came in

”Father” said Meagher ” I have had a very serious allegation.”

”I did bless the IRA’s guns so what?” said Downy

”Not that/ Something for which you cannot claim there is any moral justifcation.” said Meagher seriously.

”Oh yes” said Downy hands on hips

”Three girls accuse you of improper behaviour in the confession box” said Meagher.

”What is that?” said Downy defiantly.

”Sexual molestation.” said Meagher

”It was there fault the sluts. They led me on. I am a priest but also a man. They flirted with me the young trollopes.” said Downy.

”One of them is 12 years old” said Meagher accusingly.

”Ah so what they could marry at 12 in biblical times” said Downy.

”Not now it is 16” said Meagher.

”Ah so what. I am a sinner too” said Downy “No one says priests are perfect. I confess to another priest Fr Bolton in Ballyvourney. He does the same as me. wE GIVE each other absolution. So we lapse from time to time. God has forgiven us and that is all that matters; I spend nights prostrate in prayer and my sins have been paid off I can do it as much as I like so long as I then pray.”

”From now on you will not take the confession of any girl under 16. I shall” said Meagher.

”Why 16?” asked Downy.

”Well if a woman wants to be touched by you let her. You can disgrace the priesthood but not commit a crime against children” Meagher said with snarling disgust.

”All right then” said Downy with a laugh

”if I could have you defrocked I would. I could report you to the bishop I would but it would do not good. AT least people in this parish are starting to know you are no safe with underage girls. If they moved you to another parish you will just reoffend. You disgust me” said Meagher

”I am not perfect” said Downy ”I pray for forgiveness”

”You have urges for women . That is honourable. Leave the priesthood and get married. That is not harming anyone” said Meagher; “If you cannot control yourself get married”

”I have a vocation.” said Downy

”No you do not otherwise you would resist these criminal urges” said Meagher

”I am a priest and I always will be” said Downy

”Very well I am announcing in Sunday mass that I will take girls ‘ confessions.” said Meagher.

Downy did not dissent but found it astonishing. He knew plenty of his priest friends who did the same and they always got way with it.

“Don t you go telling what I did though. I will deny it. I can say the girl is thinking of converting to Protestantism which is why she is saying this. It is the devil possessing her/ She is making up sick stories about her own fantasies. Little slut! Priests never molest children. It is an English lie to smear the Church>. The whole thing is a huge conspiracy”

 

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Scotland shall stay within the UK.

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On polling day 2014 the opinion polls showed that 51% of people in Scotland would vote No. In fact 55% voted No. Therefore there was a bias towards the anti unionists. The people of Scotland were more pro Union than polls revealed. This is because pro Union people were subjected to pile by hate filled separatists. Not all separatists are wicked

Opinion polls show 52% would vote to stay within the UK. Therefore Scotland is more pro Union than it was before. Based on the 2014 discrepancy between the opinion polls and the actual vote it seems that 56% would vote for the Union.

Only 39% want a second referendum and 49% do not. Therefore compelling people to vote again especially so soon would engender great resentment.

Only Westminster can authorise such a vote. The Scottish Parliament might hold one anyone. Brian Souter held an unofficial referendum financed by himself in 2000. It was ignored and poo pooed by the establishment. It was about not encouraging homosexuality.

An opinion poll is not the real poll. There is a margin of error. Things could shift in the campaign. A huge new oilfield has been discovered in the North Sea. It is nearest to Caledonia. This is a fillip to the separatists. Even with world oil prices very low this would still held Scotland’s economy a bit.

Much depends on how the UK economy pans out and on what Brexit deal is hammered out. SNP standing will likely dip. The SNP has defied political gravity but cannot do so forever. The SNP is failing on education and health. Blaming the English will not cut it indefinitely.

Derry contradictions

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One of the curious facts to note is at the time of the Siege of Derry the Catholics were loyalists and the Protestants were rebels.  No one disputed that James II was the rightful king when the siege commenced. Only after the Apprentice Boys slammed the gates in the face of the Red Shanks did the 1688 Revolution occur. The Protestant citizens rebelled against legitimate government.

The Continuity IRA claim to defend Ireland. The Crown Forces have not killed a single person in Northern Ireland for about 25 years! In that time how many people have republican killed? It is scores. Notwithstanding the Omagh Atrocity. Alleged drug dealers are killed without trial by republicans.

 

The UDR was good.

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Overall, the UDR was moral. The Ulster Defence Regiment behaved ethically for the most part.

A tiny number of the UDR were in loyalist terrorist outfits. These men were sent to prison.

McGuinness was stopped by the UDR as he drove his car. McGuinness was a self confessed IRA leader. He was planning the murder of UDR soldiers. They were usually killed off duty and unarmed.

Despite all this the UDR were courteous and said please. McGuinness was not worried because he knew that the UDR would not harm him at all. They obeyed the law. His criminals did not.

Look at 3:25 on this video when McGuinness meet the UDR. Their courage is admirable.

Clinton’s revolting eulogy to McGuinness.

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It was apposite to see one of the most dishonest American politicians paying homage to McGuinness.

Clinton’;s mendacity is eclipsed only by that of Trump. It was partly memories of Bill Clinton’s deceitfulness that caused Hillary to lose the election.

It was quite staggering to see Clinton call Martin McGuinness a peacemaker. ”Finish the work of peace” said Clinton. It was finished a long time ago. McGuinness did so much to sustain the conflict. He was 19 when the conflict erupted. At that time the butcher’s apprentice seemed to have no political views. Soon he was attempting to kill the soldiers who came to protect his Catholic community from loyalist terrorists. No good deed goes unpunished.

Clinton said it was terrible that McGuinness had no indoor lavatory as a child. Clinton seemed to sympathise with this plight. Funny that Clinton’s regressive policies pushed more Americans into poverty.

”Free, independent and self governing and still inclusive.” that was what Clinton thought McGuinness wanted. In that case McGuinness should have admitted that he was British and welcomed Orange marches. Clinton did at least say that McGuinnness realised he should not hold someone’s faith against them. This was a tacit admission that McGuinness had been a bigot until the 90s.

Clinton went on to say that McGuinness wanted to reduce poverty. Until 1997 he was doing his utmost of wreck the economy and impoverish people.

”A faithful follower of the faith of his mother and father” – said Clinton of McGuinness. If that was the case then McGuinness would have renounced violent crime as the Catholic Church told him.

Throwing a stone can kill someone. Even if a person does not die from the stone he can be brain damaged. McGuinness stoned the army. The British Army had guns. They could have shot dead those who tried to kill them. The army showed gallant self restraint. They suffered injuries day after day and used only very limited force to fight back –  using batons and not bullets. If the army had shot back would the IRA not have used guns? They were already using guns. Thugs like McGuinness only stoned the army because he knew that the army was so mild that it would not use its full strength. The army fought with one hand tied behind its back.

If McGuinness had done that in the United States he would have spent decades in prison. Three strikes and you are ought was one of Clinton’s pet policies.

The security forces knew where McGuinness was in the 80s and 90s. Not just which building but normally which room. They could have killed him any time. But they did not do so because the security forces almost always adhered to the law. McGuinness’ plotted the death of members of the security forces. They were usually killed whilst unarmed. Those accused of petty crime were beaten and shot by him. No trials for them.

Bill Clinton is a hardline Zionist. His hawkish attitude did much to exacerbate the situation in Israel and Palestine. Clinton acted as an advocate for Israel. Palestine has been under illegal occupation for 50 years. Like anyone else the Palestinians have fought back. Their civilians have been killed in their 10 000s by the Israeli military. The US Government provides diplomatic support. The United States supplies Israel with arms – often for free.

Despite the flagrant injustice of the illegal occupation the US Government under Clinton stood behind Israel. Zionist aggression provoked resistance. The Palestinians fought in self defence.

It is true that Palestinian fighters sometimes deliberately killed civilians. This is of course shameful and never acceptable. It is probable that no armed forces has been entirely innocent.

The Palestinians fought mainly with small arms. Israel has nuclear arms. As the conflict was so asymmetrical it is not surprising that the Palestinians used unconventional and even unethical means.

Despite the blatant righteousness of the Palestinian cause Clinton called these resisters ”terrorists”. He praised the occupiers to the moon. The Israeli Government operated apartheid laws in the illegally occupied land.

It is true that William J Clinton helped to bring about peace talks between Israel and Palestine. But he was no honest broker.

It was sick making for a man like Clinton to take the moral high tone. He is an accessory to large scale crimes against humanity.

The Palestinians are not Israelis. They do not wish to be nor are they given the chance to be. Palestine has had a democracy for decades now. Despite this the will of its elected government was rejected by the USA. Clinton supported illegal occupation and the mass killing of civilians by a racist government in the case of Israel. When it came to Northern Ireland he was sympathetic to terrorists who strove to destroy democracy in one of the freest countries in the world. There was no illegal occupation. Northern Ireland is in the UK because most of its people want it to be. Even the pro terrorist party Sinn Fein was permitted to stand in election. Elections were so perfectly fair that Sinn Fein won some seats. Sinn Fein itself agreed to partition in 1921. The all Sinn Fein Dail Eireann voted for partition in 1922 as did the people of Southern Ireland in 1922.

The legal and moral case for the Crown Forces fighting the IRA was water tight. Yet still Clinton pretended that there was some moral equivalence between the security forces and the IRA. It is nauseating to see his hypocrisy and to hear treacly rhetoric. The IRA was the oppressor and the security forces fought to uphold freedom.

William Jefferson Clinton was chummy with Martin McGuinness. What would have happened if McGuinness had tried these antics in the USA? Clinton insisted an a very punitive penal policy. Three strikes as you are out.

The legs-it non-story.

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Theresa May lately met Nicola Sturgeon. The Prime Minister was discussing Brexit and a possible second Scottish referendum with the First Minister. As the two politicians met in Edinburgh they posed for a photo.  Both women wore knee length skirts and tights.

Jane Vine – a Mail journalist – quipped that it was legs-it. She wondered who had the finer legs. This pun has caused a shit storm of outrage from feminist whingers. These people are desperate to find something to moan about.

Most men are hetero. Men are usually more visually aroused than women are. Straight men tend to derive gratification from looking at women’s legs. Women often take pride in their appearance and compare themselves to other females. None of this should come as any surprise to an adult.

Feminists screeched that it was an abomination that Jane Vine should have commented on the appearance of these politicians.  Those who are so intolerant are not just women. Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn have joined in this crusade. The self righteousness is emetic. Does anyone genuinely feel so exercised about such an article? If so I pity them.

There are parts of the world where women really are oppressed. Try Saudi Arabia for male privilege. Take on the patriarchy there. Do not waste your breath with whining about an inconsequential article in the Daily Mail.

Women and men are a little bit different. Most people realise that. We are not radically different – we overlap very considerably. There is of course much diversity within the gender. But no one should be horrified that males usually care more about a woman’s body than men normally care about a man’s.

Jane Vine got enough of a pasting for her tongue in cheek piece. If a man had published this I suspect the fury would have been even more ferocious. She is married to Michael Gove – the former Tory cabinet minister. Could it be that some of the wrath was because of her perceived political outlook?

Feminists complain that women are frequently judged on their appearance. They are and people are entitled to judge others on whatever they want. You may find someone else’s attitude distasteful but do not say that he or she should not express it. I do not doubt the right of feminists to publish their preposterous screeds.

We are permitted to remark on the appearance of politicians. People do this less about men than women. Maybe because women do not rank appearance of the opposite sex as being so important.

This is a storm in a teacup. Feminists should grow up. Perhaps there are some sensible feminists who recognised this kerfuffle for being what it was: nonsense.