Athol Books Magazine Articles


All Articles
Articles By Author
Articles By Magazine
Articles By Subject
Full Text Search

Athol Books

Aubane Historical Society
The Heresiarch Website
Athol Books Online Sales
Athol Books Home Page
Archive Of Articles From Church & State
Archive Of Editorials From Church & State
Archive Of Articles From Irish Political Review
Archive Of Editorials From Irish Political Review
Belfast Historical & Educational Society
Athol Books Secure Online Sales

Other Sites

Irish Writer Desmond Fennell
The Bevin Society
David Morrison's Website

Subscribe Securely To
Athol Books Magazines

Church & State (Print) Church & State (Digital)
Irish Foreign Affairs (Print) Irish Foreign Affairs (Digital)
Irish Political Review (Print) Irish Political Review (Digital)
Labour & Trade Union Review (Print)
From: Church & State: Editorials
Date: October, 2009
By: Editorial

RTE's Dunmanway Mystery

In a previous issue we reported on an exclusive Conference, organised by the Anglican Bishop of Cork on the subject of the oppression of Protestants as a body by the State and society in the 26 Counties, and on the need to persuade Protestants to affirm publicly that they have been oppressed as a body. The persuading of Protestants that they have been oppressed, and that they should make a public issue of this oppression, was described as pastoral work by the Bishop in an exchange of letters with Jack Lane of the Aubane Historical Society.

A programme about the killing of a number of Protestants in the Dunmanway region of West Cork in April 1922 was broadcast by RTE on 5th October. Senator Eoghan Harris has said in his Sunday Independent column that this programme was the outcome of the Bishop's Conference. In view of Senator Harris's close association with the Bishop in organising the Protestant Conference—where he seemed at times to be the prime mover—we can take this statement to be authoritative.

We give below a full transcript of the programme, which was dominated by Harris. It should be explained that the narration was entirely in Irish with English subtitles. The interviews with Professor John A. Murphy and Senator Harris's statements were also in Irish with English subtitles, except for one sentence which Senator Harris spoke in English. The interviews with local historians were entirely in English. Only two descendants of the victims of April 1922 were interviewed. One of them, who seemed to be English upper-class, spoke in English. The other, who seemed to own a farm in the area, spoke in English sometimes and in Irish at other times.

The programme was not a special feature, but an item in the CSÍ series about murders. CSI Fada seems to be called after the American Crime Scene Investigation series. The transcript is presented in numbered segments for ease of reference:

Cork's Bloody Secret

Voice [Donald Woods]: "I suspect that these were local issues, rather than a campaign to kill Protestants. They were on somebody's black list, I would guess."

1. Senator Harris: "I don't know any Protestant who is able to say “My grandfather was shot dead because he was a Protestant and because people also thought his land was worth taking”." [underlined words in English.]

2. Narrator: "On April 26, 1922, a group of IRA embers visited a house in West Cork. They were led by Acting Commandant Michael O'Neill from the Bandon Battalion of the IRA. They wanted to speak to the owner of the house, local farmer Thomas Hornibrook, but he didn't answer the door. They waited half an hour but got no response. Then they found a half-open window. Soon they had gained entry to the house. Acting Commandant O'Neill made his way upstairs. Suddenly a shot rang out. Acting Commandant O'Neill was dead. The house was put under siege until 8 am when Samuel Hornibrook, his father Thomas, and Captain Herbert Woods surrendered. They were asked who shot O'Neill. Captain Woods admitted that he fired the fatal bullet. The three were driven into the mountains where they were executed. Captain Herbert Woods was killed first. The following day the Hornibrooks were killed: father and son, Thomas and Samuel. The massacre continued for three more days. Protestants were slaughtered in Bandon, Clonakilty, Dunmanway, and the surrounding areas."

3. White-haired English gentleman, unnamed: "The people who killed those men in April 1922 were never found, and I'm sure that there were rumours that people thought they knew who they were and that they hadn't been brought to justice for some reason which was expedient."

Narrator: "Even though the War of Independence ha ended the year before, the Protestant community of West Cork suffered a reign of terror which saw the killing of young and old."

4. Unnamed Woman: "I often think how different my life would have been if Uncle Bertie had lived. It would have been totally different, absolutely totally different."

5. Narrator: "Tonight some of the descendants of the Protestant victims speak out about the killing of their relatives. For the first time, they break their silence about this aspect of Irish history. The murders were reported in the local and national newspapers. The stories heightened the fears of the Protestant community and soon they began to flee. A Protestant called William Kingston wrote this chilling account: [In English] “From the train to Cork I took the precaution of hiding behind an old newspaper at each station. The train to Dublin was packed with Protestants fleeing like myself. All were nervous of their unknown neighbours in the train. Just as the train entered the tunnel at Cork there were several loud explosions and it's believed the train was bombed from the street. At Limerick Junction some shots were fired, and I saw a man on the platform with a revolver in his hand. That trip was a nightmare.” "

Harris: "Those were just poor Protestants, small farmers and shopkeepers. 60,000 of them were driven from this country. People say, [In English:] “Oh, they were hangers-on of the British Army, or RIC men." [In Irish:] No. But, when you take away the RIC men and the civil servants, and those who worked for the British Empire, you're left with 60,000. And that's a conservative estimation. So apart from the RIC men,the British Army, etc., another 60,000 Irish Protestants left their homes."

6. Donald Wood, Starai Aitiüil [local historian]: "Quite a few Protestants both before and after actually took the decision to leave, partly because of the unsettled times, but partly, some of them obviously felt they'd, for whatever reason, that they'd no future in a free Ireland. I know one relation of mine who was a Schools Inspector and went to the North in fact. But I suspect that was because he didn't know any Irish, and it suddenly became a requirement for his job, so he voted with his feet."

7. Harris: "What happened was they received a threatening letter or somebody in the community was shot, or someone showed them a revolver, or someone on the street said: “You'd better get off out of here or we'll get you out of here, will burn you out of here.” And so they left and there were forced sales. There were auctions nationwide."

8. Narrator: "Even though Michael Collins' Provisional Government was in place in 1922, Dail Eireann and the IRA were divided over the Treaty. This period of uncertainty created an opportunity for the settling of old scores."

9. John A. Murphy: "There certainly was a vacuum. The English were gone. The RIC had been disbanded. But a new system of law and order had yet to be properly established. It would be another six months or a year before that came about. So, it was relatively easy for people to get away with evil deeds. There was nobody to stop them."

10. Harris: "I wouldn't call it ethnic cleansing and the IRA didn't have a sectarian ideology. But there was a sectarian tradition in Ireland, among the rural communities, that dated back to penal times: The Prophecies of Pastorini, you know, “All the Protestants will be killed one bright morning”, had held sway since 1800."

Narrator: "An unmarried farmer, Bertie Chinnery, was killed on April 28, 1922. His grand-niece, Hazel Baylor tells the story to her daughter, Jennifer."

11. Hazel Baylor: [The women in No. 4. In English:] "I'm telling the story as my mother told it to me once, and once only. And I didn't question. There was just something about the way she said it, the way she told it, that I felt I didn't want' to open old wounds. So what she told me was that, on a certain evening, the family were in bed or going to bed. And living in the house at the time were my grandmother, my mother and my two uncles, Uncle George and Uncle Bertie. And Uncle George and Uncle Bertie were going to be in this room here.

[In Irish:] "They heard a knock on the door. The two men decided that Uncle Bertie should go downstairs. He came down and went to the stables. He brought out the horse. They crossed the yard here over to the shed. It was known as the 'car house'. He bent down to lift up the cart in order to hitch the horse to it and then a shot was heard."

Jennifer O'Flaherty [her daughter. [In English:]: "And it seems on this beautiful sunny morning. It's hard to believe something so horrible could have happened here in these quiet surroundings."

12. Narrator: "David Gray was a chemist in Dunmanway. He was married with three children. He was killed at his home on April 27th. David Gray's grandson, Charles Duff, is on a personal pilgrimage. He's visiting his grandfather's native town for the first time ever."

13. Charles Duff [the unnamed gentleman in No. 3]: "The Old Medical Hall it was called. I think that he must have called it the Medical Hall because he sounded better than a Chemist's Shop. That's what I always think. Do you think I can look inside?"

Person: "Yes, you can."

Narrator: "Charles Duff is searching for information about his grandfather with the help of local historian Tommy Collins."

Duff: "The references I'd come across to him, always it seemed he was a kind man and that he was an obliging, which a chemist indeed needs to be, doesn't he? He knows everybody in the community, and serves everybody in the community. It was obviously important to him that he was on the Parish Council, that he was a Church Warden. He was very community-minded, it seems to me."

Tommy Collins: "Yes, he was very well regarded in the community, as far as I can make out."

13. Narrator: "Some of Dunmanway's Protestants are quite famous, such as Sam Maguire. His statue is not far from the house where David Gray was killed."

Duff: "Is this the house?"

Tommy Collins: "Yes, this is the house where your grandfather lived."

14. Duff: "And this is the doorway where he was shot down. Alice was upstairs with the children when she heard the commotion downstairs and David would have been called to the door here. When he was shot, at the Inquest Alice said that they'd said: “Take that, you Free Stater”. He fell half inside the house and half outside the house, which she found when she came downstairs. And it was, you know, it was, it completely altered the family: really completely destroyed the family, but yet made them into something else. It is very, very strange to be here in the doorway of the house. I'm glad to be here…"

15. Narrator: "The murders of Protestants was widely denounced. Cork County Council and the Protestant and Catholic Clergy condemned the murders. At the same time there were atrocities against Catholics in Belfast. Catholics were being killed and driven from their homes. Was it connected to what happened in the North? Yes."

Harris: "Catholics were being rooted out in the North. You had 'anti-Catholic pogroms' in relation to Belfast, but we can't use the term in the South to describe the fate of 60,000 Protestants. Pogroms? Ethnic cleansing? I don't know, but it happened."

16. Professor Murphy: "Dail Eireann was divided into anti-Treaty and pro-Treaty camps. But they were all united in their condemnation of what happened here."

17. [Statements read against a background of photographs:]

Arthur Griffith: "Dail Eireann will uphold to the fullest extent the protection of life and property of all classes and sections of the community. It does not know, and cannot know, as a National Government, any distinction of class and creed. In its name I express the horror of the Irish nation at the Dunmanway murders."

Michael Collins: "I tender to the relatives of the men shot in Dunmanway, Ballireen and Clonakilty my deepest sympathy. I hope every friend of Ireland in South Cork will aid in bringing the guilty party to justice and in protecting their fellow citizens who may be in danger of a similar fate."

De Valera: "I ask the Irish people to remember they have a glorious record. A minority amongst them in the South had always been safe. Let us not tarnish that glorious reputation, that was unequalled by any country in the world, by acts against a helpless minority."

18. Prof. Murphy: "The biggest condemnation of the murders was by the official Republican newspaper." [Shot of The Republic Of Ireland. Editor, Erskine Childers, who a few months earlier had been damned by Arthur Griffith as an Englishman.]

Erskine Childers: "Sectarian crime is the foulest crime. We do not find words comprehensive enough to voice our sorrow at what has happened. But we look to very man with decent feeling to turn his face against this revival, in a diabolical form, of Hibernianism, and save us from the last shame of religious persecution."

Prof. Murphy: "That's highly interesting because the great noble tradition of nationalism—republicanism—is condemning and criticising the other tradition: sectarianism."

19. Donald Wood, Staraí Aitiúil: "There was an immediate, I think, response from the IRA leadership. They came down to West Cork and more or less issued an edict that they were to stop, and that anyone who did anything after that was going to be shot, in fact."

Colum Cronin, Staraí Aitiúil: "Weren't there even IRA Police put on some of the Protestant houses after the event?"

Donald Wood: "I believe so. Yes. They guarded some of the local Protestant houses against future attack."

20. Prof. Murphy: "The Protestants held no further power or sway. Their only source of protection was the IRA. As testament to that, the leaders admitted after the murders that they ought to have done more to protect the Protestants."

21. Narrator: "In West Cork, ordinary Protestants were driven out or killed, shopkeepers and farmers like Bertie Chinnery, sociable individuals with friends on both sides of the community."

Hazel Bayler: [In Irish:] "They say he was willing to talk to anyone, even the British soldiers who were garrisoned here. I don't think he adhered to any politics. He was a Christian. As far as he was concerned, every person was a child of God."

Narrator: "Hazel Bayler and her daughter visit the grave of Bertie Chinnery. Does Hazel think her grand-uncle was killed because he was a Protestant?"

Hazel Bayler: "It's hard to answer that question. I think he was killed because he was a Protestant and because he was willing to talk to British soldiers. It was probably a combination of those things."

Narrator: "Did they know who did it?"

Hazel Bayler: "I think they did know. But I never heard a name mentioned."

Narrator: "So you think that the people who killed Bertie actually knew him?"

Hazel Bayler: "I think so." [Is docha go raibh. Is docha go raibh.]

22. Narrator: "An old graveyard a few miles outside Dunmanway. Two historians walking among the dead. A Catholic who is still living in the area and a Protestant who was raised here. These two men often exchange information. Today they're visiting the grave of John Buttimer: a farmer and another victim of the massacre."

Colum Cronin: "And here we have the grave of John Buttimer of Cahir, who died on the 27th of April, 1922, aged 59 years."

Donal Wood: "That's right, he was killed on the second night, when he was visited in his home. His son apparently made an escape through a skylight and ran for it across country and they pursued him for quite some distance, I believe. But he did escape. But unfortunately also killed in the same house was their servant boy, a lad named Jimmy Greenfield, who didn't escape, I'm afraid. And that's the story of John Buttimer."

23. Narrator: "As evening approaches, Charles Duff pays his first visit to the grave of his grandfather: Chemist David Gray."

Charles Duff: "And this is it."

Tommy Collins: "This is your grandfather's grave, and your grandmother's."

Duff: "And grandmother's, yes. [Reads:] “In fond and ever-loving memory of my dear husband and our devoted father, David Gray, L.P.S.I., who died April 27th 1922, aged 37 years. Worthy of everlasting remembrance”. How charming! The awful thing is, though, that they weren't really remembered much, I think. I wonder the last time that anybody put flowers on this grave? Not, I guess, for quite some time. Anyway, do. To my grandparents with much love. And so here's that. [Lays wreath.] I suppose I've thought a lot about how that family was once very happy and very united. And it was a family where there on the grave it says "Worthy of everlasting remembrance”. And how there hasn't really been everlasting remembrance. Both David and Alice, and the circumstances which led to them both being buried in the Churchyard at Dunmanway, have been forgotten. They're getting that remembrance today, and that I do find moving. I'm so glad I'm here. I'm so glad I came and made this journey, and I'm so glad you were able to show me round, Tommy."

Tommy Collins: "I'm delighted to show you around the grave where your parents, or grandparents, are buried."

Charles Duff: "Yes."

24. Narrator: "Two months after the killing of Cork Protestants, Ireland was plunged into Civil War. Leaders on both sides were killed and the country was torn apart. With this early thorn festering in the country's heart, a silence descended that lasted for generations. Silence about the Civil War and the murder of Protestants. Even today, this ghostly silence is hard to break."

[Two Staraí Aitiúil on the lawn of an unidentified big house:]

Wood: "We've been writing to each other on historical matters now for four or five years."

Cronin: "Yes, indeed."

Wood: "And I was——And I scratched my head and wondered why we never discussed these events of 1922."

Cronin: "On my part, I think I might have heard just bits and pieces, but I had no idea of the greater story."

Wood: "I've sort of kept it to myself, and when weve discussed it, I didn't really know how to raise the subject with you, because I felt, I can't hurt your feeling on the subject."

Cronin: "The people of West Cork have remained relatively silent about all this down through the years. The reasons for that being, most of them, were unaware that it ever happened, and those who did, I think, hardly spoke about it. Because the hurt was so deep, they just simply brought dawn a wall of silence around it. Do you think."

Wood: 'But I mean both sides of the community agreed to that, I think, didn't they? So the silence is just as deafening on the Protestant side."

Cronin: "Absolutely."

25. Sen. Harris: "Nationalists don't tell their story because, firstly: the story doesn't fit with the image of Wolfe Tone republicanism: uniting of Protestants, Catholics and Dissenters. Secondly, there was land involved in some way in West Cork and no one wants to get into the issue of who has the land now. Thirdly, they're all alright now. "Their descendants get on well with each other.” [This sentence in English.] And nobody wants to go in and disturb that sense of community."

26. Hazel Bayler: "A great silence descended. And that silence is still there now."

Narrator: "Hazel Bayler didn't discover until recently that her great-uncle Bertie Chinnery was a part-time RIC officer for a short time in 1910."

Hazel Bayler: [In English:] "I wish so much that I had asked. My mother lived with me towards the end of her life, and we had many and many a chat, but the subject never came up. Nor did I even think of it. I'm quite sure if I had thought about it that I probably would have plucked up the courage to ask. But I didn't, unfortunately. And so much was lost. And so much has been lost all over the country. Because people didn't ask, and people weren't prepared to talk."

Jennifer O'Flaherty: "Yes. And it's all our history."

Hazel Bayler: "Exactly. And it should be told, and it should be remembered. And perhaps we'd be a better community if that happened."

Prof.Murphy: "For me, as a historian and as a member of the general public, I'm very much in favour of bringing everything to light, scrutinising it all under the microscope, no matter how sensitive the issue is."

Charles Duff: [Laying wreath:] "It is now the time where we can move on, and look at the history perhaps of Ireland in the 20th century with all its sorrows, all the horrors perpetrated by people on both sides, and think that that is over, that is the past, it can be built on, it can be learnt from, but it's gone now."

Hazel Bayler: [In Irish:] "I never heard that my mother or my uncle harboured any grudge against the people who came to the house that night. That's not the way they would have thought. Therefore I don't have any ill will towards those people."

Duff: "Do I personally feel grievance that——No, of course not. Absolutely none at all. I feel sad because……It's the sadness that perhaps I've taken on from the sadness of my grandmother, or the sadness of my mother and her sister and brothers. And it's sadness which I can imaginatively inherit, if you like. But, no, I don't feel any grievance at all. None."

Announcer: "And CSÍ Fada at the same time of half-seven next Monday, a look at the possibility that the Yorkshire Ripper may have had links to Ireland."


What, in substance, does the programme tell us? That there were thirteen killings in the Dunmanway region on 26th, 27th and 28th April 1922. Tree of the killings are described as "executions", and it is known, by and large, who did them. The others are described as "murders" and, over 80 years later they remain unsolved.

The theme of the programme, determined by Senator Harris, is that the alleged silence of three generations must be broken, and that people must speak out, regardless of the discomfort this might cause to some members of the community. But the striking thing about this revelatory programme is that it revealed nothing.

Only one relative of a victim, who is part of the local community was interviewed on the programme, Hazel Bayler, but on the vital issue of Who done it?—vital at least for a programme series on murders—she had nothing to say. She had no information. And it seemed that she did not even have gossip. Or, if she had gossip, she kept silent about it, even though everyone who was alive in Dunmanway at the time is now dead.

The murders happened a little over mid-way between the Treaty and the Civil War, before the Army that had fought the War of Independence was ruptured by Collins in response to a British ultimatum.

The statement attributed to a witness of a murder (No. 14) suggested that it was an incident in the Civil War. But the Civil War was two months in the future. The Republican Army was still holding itself together, and Collins still hoped through to carry through a fudge of the Treaty that would preserve the old Army for the new State he was constructing.

The following month Collins made the Election Pact with De Valera for the purpose of averting an election contest on the Treaty. Under the terms of that Pact, Dail representation would be maintained as it was in the Dail vote of January, and there would be a power-sharing Coalition of Treatyites and anti-Treatyites, with the former in the majority.

In these circumstances, who had a motive for shooting Protestants who played no part in politics, and calling them Free Staters when doing so?

In any murder investigation motive is looked for in the first instance. With regard to a murder committed 80 years ago, where there can be no witnesses to come forward, and there is not even an inheritance of gossip in the community about 'who done it, what else is there to go by, other than motive as a guide to probability? But the suggestion of an anti-Free State motive was left entirely unprobed by the programme.

Land-grabbing was suggested—more than suggested—by Senator Harris. But the programme did not investigate. If those who were killed were landowners, and the land passed to others in the locality, that would supply motive. But we were not told if land passed from Protestant to Catholic ownership as a consequence of the killings.

Senator Harris said that people kept silent on the land issue, for fear of disturbing an existing land settlement. Was he keeping silent about the particulars of the land issue as it related to the killings—or did he have nothing to say. And, if he was keeping silent, what was the point of the programme?

The only land which figured in the programme was the farm on which a relative of one of the victims was interviewed. We were not told that it was not her farm and that she was there merely as a guest for the purpose of the interview, therefore we assume that she owned the farm.

Regarding No. 26, Bertie Chinnery's RIC record of 1910 was hardly a motive for killing him in 1922, two or three epochs later.

As for No. 13: It would surely have been helpful to the audience to explain who this famous Dunmanway Protestant was. Possibly some viewers understood that the GAA Cup was named after him, but very few would have known that Sam Maguire was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and worked closely with Collins, conducting subversive activity in Britain.

Regarding No.15: If it is suggested that the killings were in response to the anti-Catholic pogroms in the North, this conflicts with the anti-Free State motive. The hardliner on the North at that time was the constructor of the Free State, Michael Collins. He was the organiser of subversive activity against the new Stormont system.

Regarding Loyalists in the Free State—there is a conviction in 26 County journalism that Loyalists and Protestants are exchangeable terms. This seems to be the result of extensive third-level education, which is where revisionism has gripped.

One might list many Protestants who were active and eminent in the Republican movement, and in the Home Rule movement before it, and it will be said that these are just eccentric individuals, and that Protestants en masse remained Loyalist—were loyal to Britain in defiance of Irish democracy. But how many eccentrics does it take to make a significant minority?

Protestants active in the Gaelic, Home Rule and Republican movements were, at any rate, very much greater than Catholics active in the Loyalist movement, South or North. And, while Protestant Home Rulers or Republicans were welcome, Catholic Loyalists were an embarrassment. The nationalist movement was predominantly Catholic in composition because the population of the country was predominantly Catholic. But, apart from the 'Hibernian' phase under Redmond, the nationalist movement did its best to be non-sectarian in the face of the fact that the Protestant body on the whole rejected it for reasons inherited from the centuries of religious/ethnic Ascendancy, the ethnicity being an Ascendancy belief scarcely distinguishable from simple racism.

Regarding No. 18: Childers was an upper class Anglo-Irish gentleman who joined the British Army for the Boer War and wrote a volume of the Times History of it. He then became a strong advocate of Home Rule, seeing it as a way of settling the relationship between Britain and Ireland on the lines established with South Africa. In 1914 he rejoined the British army for the war on Germany, which he had helped to instigate with a very popular novel, The Riddle Of The Sands. When Home Rule was brought to nothing, he concluded that Irish independence was the only thing and became a Republican.

Hibernianism was the secret Catholic society that was woven into the Home Rule party under Redmond's leadership in the decade before 1914. The Republican movement rejected it, but there was an echo of it in Griffith's denunciation of Childers as an Englishman in the Treaty debate.The programme did not say if there had ever been a police investigation of the killings.

Going by what was presented in the programme, it would seem that the first three killings were done by the IRA company which had been denied access to the house, and whose leader was shot when he entered by a window. There should have been no great difficulty in identifying the members of that company, and establishing why the IRA had gone to the house, but that was not done.

The viewers were then left to understand that the other killings on April 27th and 28th were of a kind with these killings: there were three days of "massacre" of Protestants, young and old. But, if there was a continuum from the shooting of the IRA leader to the killings of the 27th and 28th, how could it be that nothing was known of the killings on the 27th and 28th beyond the fact that they happened?

Leaving aside the killing of the men in the house where the leader of the IRA company was shot, the programme left the whole affair as much of a mystery as it found it.

Supposing the killings were done by Anti-Treatyites, it is a wonder that the Treatyites, who launched the Treaty War two months later and won it, never made an issue of it, and never set their police to investigate!

Supposing they were done by the Treatyites, it would be amazing that they did not appear in the Republican indictment of the Free State.

Senator Harris, who has been falling into disagreement recently with his revisionist colleague, Professor Murphy, conceded that such killings went against the spirit and practice of the entire Republican movement, but said that the Catholic community had been infected with sectarianism since the time the Penal Law system was imposed on it, and suggests that the killings were done by Catholics inspired by Pastorini's Prophecies from a hundred years earlier, possibly combined with a land grab. The programme investigated neither the Pastorini thesis, nor the land grab thesis.

If the killings were done by apolitical and/or landless Catholics of the locality, it would be remarkable that there was not even a local rumour about those who were responsible.

The one obvious possibility that would leave no deposit of local rumour was not even hinted at—that the killings were the work of outsiders.

The statement (No. 8) that "the English were gone" is not quite accurate. England was disengaging militarily, but was not yet disengaged. Two months later Collins had to launch the Treaty War to avert a resumption of British military activity. This was very feasible as its troops remained in Ireland. And the Provisional Government was operating on British authority under close supervision by Whitehall. And there was a rift in British ruling circles. There were those who held that Whitehall had negotiated the Truce with the Republicans when the IRA was on the point of being crushed, and had committed a kind of treason. One of these was Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson, who had played a part in organising the Great War in which 10 or 20 million people died, and who in 1922 was organising the paramilitary forces of the Stormont regime. It has been suggested that he organised the random shooting of Protestants in West Cork for a political purpose. The suggestion is neither politically or practically absurd. But the programme did not allow that the killings could have been anything but a local affair. (Wilson himself was assassinated in London within weeks of the Dunmanway killings on the orders of Michael Collins, whose man in London was Dunmanway Protestant Sam Maguire.)

The suggestion in the programme that these killings were not known about till it was broadcast is groundless. They were never in any sense a secret, only a mystery. And they were given sensationalist treatment ten years ago by Peter Hart in his inventive best-seller, The IRA And Its Enemies.

Altogether this CSÍ Fada was a very poor effort—not a credit to the CSI format.

The Bishop needs to come up with something better to keep the hare running.