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|From: Irish Political Review: Editorials|
|Date: May, 2011|
|By: John Morgan|
Of Vampires And Other Blood-Suckers
|Queen to visit on 37th anniversary of the Dublin Monaghan Bombings of 17th May 1974
Attention Shoneens. Let you all rise up and unite, for your hour is nigh. Unfurl your brightest banners and raise them aloft. Reach under the bed. Take out those medals. Make sure your shoes are shiny. Heels together. Toes at an angle of forty-five degrees. Arms held tight to the sides. Thumbs in lines with the seams of the trousers. Salute with right palm exposed Learn how to curtsy, bow and scrape. For the news has broken. She is to come amongst us. On the seventeenth of May, 2011. The Queen of England is on her way. All cackling ghouls rejoice. Oh, the Somme, the Somme. Some are put out of pain by this. Others have had their pain increased. The sale of drink will soar, for diametrically opposed reasons. She is to be the guest of said nation. Many citizens believe Her domain still includes part of said nation. Some will be drinking 'for' Her. Most will be drinking 'because' of Her. I might have one or two, myself. Poppies will come into bloom, early, too. But, where will She go? Her itinerary is unknown to me. Nobody told me. Though I admit this does give me the hump, it is not the reason that I am the way I am. Other matters impinge.
It is all so full of pathos. Bathos, too. By the seventeenth of May 1916, fifteen of the leaders of the Easter Rising had been executed. Casement still awaited the hangman. By then, fourteen bodies had been put into unmarked, quick-lime graves, in a corner to the rear of a little known British Army burial ground in Arbour Hill. Consigned to oblivion. (Thomas Kent had been executed and buried in Cork.) All this was done in the name of the ancestors of She who is to come among us. May, it seems, is a wicked month.
Irish elements of the British Army (I'll spare blushes and not name them) had been employed to put down the Rising. Even more ingloriously, they had supplied the Firing Squads, too. The final indignity. Tried by British Army Officers. Sentenced to death. Dispatched by fellow-Irishmen. Rushed, hastily, to their graves. Buried without a loved one present. In twos, threes and fours; One by himself; day by day at dawn they were shot and put under. The only kindness seems to have come from an occasional English soldier on guard-duty in Kilmainham Goal. Let it be said, too, that the prisoners were permitted religious ministrations before being executed. That was all. Soon the daisies would sprout. It would all be over. Forgotten. How wrong can you be?
I doubt that Talbot Street, Parnell Street or South Leinster Street will be on the visitation list. Or The Diamond in Monaghan town. These were the sites of the horrific bombing of the Seventeenth of May 1974, conducted under the aegis of the British Army and Intelligence Services (MI5) and utilising Irish Loyalist personnel of the UVF and UDA, as the pseudo-gang. (A system the British had initiated and perfected during the Mau Mau war in Kenya.)
In the Dublin/Monaghan Bombings, they had sought the maximum random killing of innocent civilians. Thirty-four, in all, perished. A coincidental bus strike in Dublin prevented a bigger blood-bath. Now, the anniversary of the Seventeenth of May, grotesquely, we'll witness the honoured presence in Ireland of the Commander-in-Chief of the Security Forces responsible. I believe She should be invited to the commemoration ceremony in Talbot Street. There She could apologise. In which case it should, I believe, be accepted. Atonement could begin. Perhaps it is all part of a master-stroke. Though I, for one, won't be holding my breath. I'll believe in the Moving Statues before I believe in that. (By now, 1400 hours on 31st March, all mention of the visitation planned for the Seventeenth of May has ceased on the Television news. Yesterday's gushing announcement has been replaced by silence.)
Is this all a gaffe or is it intentionally malign? The latter is hard to believe. The outrageous, inconsiderate date selection for the visit in question shows an insensitivity that is bordering on the unbelievable. Any rational being would have deemed this as inappropriate. It is so bewildering, so unconscionable, that it beggars belief. But the Seventeenth of May is the date that has been officially proclaimed. One wonders if the seeds of self-destruction will grow and choke this awful infliction. Surely, at least, they will have to change the date. Or has all sense of pride, or propriety, been lost. Either way, heads are sure to roll. What will She say when She finds out? Who would be the one who walked Her into this? It is a rare one. Will the Tower of London be re-activated? What about Dublin Castle? Do I hear the clink of keys? Could it all be serendipity gone mad? Or does it matter, anymore?
The Dublin/Monaghan atrocity occurred while the Ulster Workers' Council Strike, designed to scuper the Sunningdale Agreement, raged in the North. There was mayhem there. The striking loyalists ruled the roost. The British Security Forces—stood by on Red Alert, as the region teetered on the brink. The whole political system of the UK was under threat. Mr. Wilson, the elected Prime Minister, was powerless. His wings were clipped. He was out of favour with the Securitat. Decisive action was beyond him. He'd face mutiny and political downfall. The Securitat and the USW Strikers had the same objective. Sunningdale would have to go. There was the nod and the wink. Strikers struck and the Securitat watched over all, in a type of hidden benignity.
In the Republic, at the time, it transpired that there was an absolute, inexplicable absence of any security. It is mind-boggling. Turmoil north of the Border. Sleepy valley to the South. The threat of car-bombings, emanating from the Six Counties, was a stand-out. Near a certainty. Dublin, the capital, and Border towns, such as Monaghan, were obvious targets. There had been paradigms. The British Securitat, too, along with some misguided key Garda Chiefs, desired harsher State action in the Republic against Republican paramilitaries. They would force the hand of the Government.
They were foolish. Here existed a dire necessity for a Red Alert in the Republic. The Border towns in the Republic could be cordoned by a system of check-points. The Boyne Bridges (10) could be similarly dealt with. So could the northern and north-western approaches to Dublin. Mobile patrols could link these three security lines. Psyops could be employed. The media could, in a generality, convey the inaccessibility of Dublin and the Border towns to car-bomb attacks. It was all so easy.
But none of this was done. All stayed dormant. It was as if an invitation was being extended. Fáilte. It was accepted.
In this environment, a major military incursion was conducted. It was a conventional, professional operation. It involved a Main Attack (three Bombs) on Dublin, followed by a Supporting Attack (one bomb) on Monaghan, in order to create a diversion to enable all the Dublin participants to gain safe haven, back in the North.
It would never have been attempted but for the absence of any security in the Republic. The bombers knew it was non-existent. They knew it would stay so. They had collaborators in key positions in the Republic. It all went according to plan. In the fraught environment that existed; where mobs roamed and ruled; while anarchy let loose; a covert military operation—several months in the making—was launched. It penetrated through the heartland of the Republic, down to Dublin. It completed its business there. Unhindered. It withdrew successfully. Then ninety minutes later—still unhindered—it gained Monaghan town and bombed it, too. It is all quite mad. How could this happen? Why was it let happen?
British military and Intelligence ran the whole operation. Their main man straddled both services. He is well known. He is 'The Vampire Sans Merci'. He has been invited, on two occasions, by the Queen of England to Bucks Palace. There she has decorated him with an MBE and an OBE.
Loyalist paramilitaries constituted the pseudo-gang. They were mainly UVF members, from Portadown, though some UDA personnel were involved, too. All of them are well known to the authority. Quite a few are now dead. But some quite notorious ones remain.
At least five vehicles were used in the Main Attack on Dublin. These included the three bomb-cars (taken that morning in East Belfast) and two getaway cars. The cars retained their number-plates, so that, later, the finger would point to Belfast rather than to Portadown, which was the centre of the operation
All penetrated down from the North to Dublin, through a labyrinth of second-class roads (The Smugglers' Route) through Monaghan/Louth, crossing the Boyne at Oldbridge, aka The Obelisk Bridge. They proceeded to rendezvous at the Car Park of the Coachman's Inn, near Dublin Airport.
Meanwhile, Robin Jackson, aka The Jackal, a notorious paramilitary loyalist killer, had also gained the same Car Park. He had collected the three Dublin bombs in a farm-stead, well known to all and sundry, in Glennane, in South Armagh. In his chicken-truck, now bomb-laden, he crossed the Boyne at Oldbridge and made for the Coachman's Inn. (It had also been rehearsed, over and over, down the previous months.) There, in the Car Park, the three bombs were transferred to the three bomb-cars. The Jackal returned north.
The three bomb-cars, one by one, entered the city traffic-flow. They made their way, as rehearsed, to the city centre. They entered their selected city streets. They parked their cars, as planned. The removed the bomb-dowels. Time-systems were then in motion. The setting was 1730 hours. It was now 1715 hours, approx. The bombers withdrew. They proceeded quickly to a rendezvous, boarded a getaway car and returned north.
It had all been well thought out. The bombs were proportionate in size to the respective bomb-streets' traffic densities. The three streets were parallel. They ran east-west. All led from busy thoroughfares to rail and bus stations (Busarus, Tara Street Station, Pearse Station, Connolly Station). The streets were sufficiently far apart as to ensure that, if one bomb was located, the others would not be readily discovered, in the follow-up street-clearing. Not in sufficient time, anyway.
The detonation time, 1730 hours (peak city rush-hour), was chosen to ensure crowded streets and high casualties. However, the bus-strike—not a planning factor—helped diminish the awful cost. But for it, the slaughter would have been even more horrific. There was no warning. Naturally. Errors had been avoided. Shape and symmetry had been preserved. All three bombs could have been placed in Talbot Street, but this would have increased the risk of discovery. A bomb could have been placed in Henry Street. Many more lives would have been taken there. But, shape would have been lost. The dividing line between clean and dirty would have been violated. The bombers' withdrawal to a rendezvous in the clean (West-side) area, for their getaway, would have been jeopardised. But such pit-falls were seen. Professionalism ruled. It worked a treat. The blind-eye collusion in the Republic was vital, too.
I know it all sounds quite insane, but these are the facts. It gets worse. Ninety minutes later, at 1900 hours, a car-bomb exploded outside Greacen's Pub in The Diamond, in Monaghan town. This was the Supporting Attack. The bomb was assembled in the home of a loyalist terrorist, Harris Boyle, in Portadown. (He was killed later, along with Wesley Somerville, when their own bomb exploded prematurely in The Miami Showband massacre.) The bomb was transported to the Border. It was now positioned, most probably, at Ward's Cross. There The Vampire armed it.
It was now 1830 hours, approximately. One hour after Dublin had been devastated. But the Republic was still wide open. The Monaghan bombers drove the bomb into the Republic. (The Vampire remained in the Six Counties.) They had a bomb-car and a getaway car. After some mis-adventures, they parked the bomb-car at Greacen's Pub and returned North in the getaway car. As they crossed the Border, at 1900 hours, their bomb exploded in Monaghan. They had had a free run. The Vampire must have smiled in satisfaction.
The ready accessibility of Monaghan is the sorest point of all. The town lay there, all that time, a sitting duck. The Vampire had been a frequent visitor there. He had a special relationship with a Branchman in the town. A witness identified him as having armed the Monaghan bomb. He had been assisted by an officer of the Ulster Defence Regiment.
The State has all of this information. Its relevant principals have all be made aware of the situation by me. I have given evidence to the Barron Enquiry. As a reward for my endeavours, the Barron Enquiry misrepresented me grievously in its eventual Report. It put me at some risk too. Judge Barron, a former Supreme Court Judge, had erred badly. We fought it out in subsequent correspondence, wherein I had made complaints. Barron backed down. He agreed that he had erred in the matters complained of. He published two pages of Errata in a subsequent Report. I had won. But my victory was a Pyrrhic one. Had he not retracted, I believe he knew he was going back to the Courts. I was bringing him there. Into the dock. There, the whole Dublin/Monaghan outrage could have been teased out. He knew that. But I was deprived of my opportunity. He backed down. He published the Errata. Expert lawyers informed me I no longer had a case. I'm sure they were right. I was back to square one as regards bringing the true facts into the public domain. Ignored.
I am in a possession of a letter (copy), written by Mr. Michael McDowell SC, the former Minister for Justice. It deals with the Dublin/Monaghan atrocity. It shows some naivete, along with the hard-headed, hard-hitting style of expression so typical of the man. He states, without any nonsense:
"…From what I can see, there can be little doubt but that the car bombs in question were assembled with the active assistance of members of British Intelligence. It would be hard to believe that the Loyalist Paramilitaries had the expertise and the capacity to manufacture car bombs 20 years ago; but do not have and somehow lost that capacity in the intervening years… this suggests, in turn, that they must have had outside assistance in making the bombs. Discounting, as I do, the possibility that the IRA assembled the bombs for the Loyalists, the only available candidate is British Intelligence…"
But, did he tell Barron? If not, why not? Must the little people always fight the battles? Alone.
Another consideration is the institutionalised sectarianism of the monarchy, which is anathema to all pluralists and places the Queen of England beyond the pale.
But, above all, the British authorities have always refused proper cooperation in bringing out the facts over the Dublin/Monaghan Bombing. Important files have been withheld. So, when the head of that State is given the full honours of the Irish State on the very day that the Bombings took place, I wonder has the world gone mad!
Lt.-Col. Morgan (retired) has produced a military analysis of the Dublin/Monaghan Bombing which is in the course of publication
C O N T E N T S