Peace & Reconciliation?

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merseymouth
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Joined: 23 Jan 2011, 11:16am

Peace & Reconciliation?

Postby merseymouth » 15 Mar 2019, 1:20pm

Hello here, Well, now we learn that a British Soldier (Soldier F) has been charged with murder in connection with the Northern Ireland Troubles.
This contrasts quite starkly with the Emunity granted to all of the offenders in both the Nationalist & Republican sections who have certainly killed many!
My point in this is simple, why has a body such as created in South Africa by Nelson Mandella not been created? In that country attempts have marked a line in the sand over all similar offences in the Apartied Era.
If they can do it why can't such a measure employed here?
My personal gripe over the "Irish Problem" is simple, why wasn't Sir Edward Carson hung alongside Sir Roger Casement, as the were both smuggling weapons into the country to use against British troops?
Even today the rancour continues unabaited, with the Northern Ireland Assembly dead none of the current gangs on both sides seem ready to learn the bad lessons of history, nor to seek a way out of the Bloody Mess! MM

Tangled Metal
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Re: Peace & Reconciliation?

Postby Tangled Metal » 15 Mar 2019, 2:07pm

If the ira see themselves as an army (it's in their name) then why only prosecute wrong doing in one army post GFA?

I'm sure there's people from NI on here and others who know more about these matters than I. So I will be quite happy to understand the reasoning behind such an asymmetric settlement. If there really is a good reason then I do want to know it. So far I've not found one other than the possible reason that without it being this way there would be no agreement. That reason isn't quite good enough IMHO.

pete75
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Re: Peace & Reconciliation?

Postby pete75 » 15 Mar 2019, 5:16pm

merseymouth wrote:Hello here, Well, now we learn that a British Soldier (Soldier F) has been charged with murder in connection with the Northern Ireland Troubles.
This contrasts quite starkly with the Emunity granted to all of the offenders in both the Nationalist & Republican sections who have certainly killed many!
My point in this is simple, why has a body such as created in South Africa by Nelson Mandella not been created? In that country attempts have marked a line in the sand over all similar offences in the Apartied Era.
If they can do it why can't such a measure employed here?
My personal gripe over the "Irish Problem" is simple, why wasn't Sir Edward Carson hung alongside Sir Roger Casement, as the were both smuggling weapons into the country to use against British troops?
Even today the rancour continues unabaited, with the Northern Ireland Assembly dead none of the current gangs on both sides seem ready to learn the bad lessons of history, nor to seek a way out of the Bloody Mess! MM


Amnesty was granted to people who'd been convicted and imprisoned. If new knowledge comes to light that a person has committed a previously unsolved murder then they are still prosecuted.

If any of the soldiers on Bloody Sunday unlawfully killed anyone it's the person who gave the order to shoot who should be prosecuted not the soldier who carried it out.

Ben@Forest
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Re: Peace & Reconciliation?

Postby Ben@Forest » 15 Mar 2019, 5:28pm

merseymouth wrote:Hello here, Well, now we learn that a British Soldier (Soldier F) has been charged with murder in connection with the Northern Ireland Troubles.
This contrasts quite starkly with the Emunity granted to all of the offenders in both the Nationalist & Republican sections who have certainly killed many!


What that means is that if the soldier is found guilty he should not serve a day in prison. But there have been cock-ups with the immunity letters, with suspected terrorists still being sought being sent such letters in error. Of course if they are prosecuting any of these soldiers then officers further up the chain should also be prosecuted, though the most senior officers will have passed away by now.

The fact that only one soldier has been charged stinks of an unbalanced attempt to show fairness, if there were no charges the authorities would have been accused of a cover-up; but this is grossly unfair to the one individual. And if this goes ahead there should be renewed vigour in charging either loyalist or republican terrorists whom so far have 'got away with it'.

landsurfer
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Location: Rotherham

Re: Peace & Reconciliation?

Postby landsurfer » 15 Mar 2019, 6:42pm

Justice is to be applied to all equally.
Thats what Justice means.

Prosecute Soldier F ... and every other Soldier that has broken the law.
And EVERY terrorist from whatever side that took part in the Long War.

Or none ...

I lived through it from the start, as a local resident, as an 11 year old in 1969, and to my return with HM Forces ....

Prosecute the Soldiers, the Police, the UVF, the IRA, Provisional IRA, et al.

OR NONE ....

Justice before revenge !!

Families often shout for Justice ... but they actually want revenge .... its cannot be allowed.

Peace and Reconciliation is the only way.
Not all those that wander are lost.

The Road Goes on Forever.

slowster
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Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Peace & Reconciliation?

Postby slowster » 15 Mar 2019, 8:07pm

pete75 wrote:If any of the soldiers on Bloody Sunday unlawfully killed anyone it's the person who gave the order to shoot who should be prosecuted not the soldier who carried it out.

Most of those killed were shot by 4 paratroopers who were on their own, i.e. there was no officer present. If you read the online accounts, they are pretty damning, this one in particular (you might have to register to read it, but the website allowed me to read the full article without registering).
Tangled Metal wrote:I'm sure there's people from NI on here and others who know more about these matters than I. So I will be quite happy to understand the reasoning behind such an asymmetric settlement. If there really is a good reason then I do want to know it. So far I've not found one other than the possible reason that without it being this way there would be no agreement. That reason isn't quite good enough IMHO.

If the UK and its police and army was the legitimate government and law enforcement, then it follows that members of the army and RUC were subject to the same laws. If murders by the RUC, army and intelligence services are covered up and not prosecuted, then it undermines the legitimacy of the UK to govern NI and of its police and army to enforce its rule and its laws. In other words it supports the Republican argument that the UK is an occupying power which they are entitled to resist by force of arms. The UK government and its forces have to hold themselves to the standards and laws they sought to enforce if they are to maintain their legitimacy. The alternative is to argue that it was acceptable for soldiers to kill innocent civilians because so did the IRA and UVF.
landsurfer wrote:Families often shout for Justice ... but they actually want revenge .... its cannot be allowed.

The families of 13 innocent unarmed civilians who were murdered want those responsible to be prosecuted and to face justice. That doesn't sound like revenge to me. In fact given that it's taken 47 years to get to this point and given that no one will be prosecuted for 9 of those murders, they have been very restrained and dignified.

merseymouth
Posts: 852
Joined: 23 Jan 2011, 11:16am

Re: Peace & Reconciliation?

Postby merseymouth » 15 Mar 2019, 9:01pm

Hi again, What is odd with a lot of the Irish issues is the re-use of quarrels.
When one says "Bloody Sunday" the nationalists always mean the one that the current trial will concentrate on, but if a Loyalist says "Bloody Sunday" he is most certainly not talking about that incident?
The original use for the expression dates back to the period immediately following the Easter Rising in Dublin.
That was when the folk who wanted to separate from Great Britain broke into a fair number of properties so that they could execute people who they considered to be British spies, shot in their beds! Hardly "Due Process".
Of course that escalated matters, whereupon revenge for that outrage was taken. That occured at Croke Park, which was holding the All Ireland Hurling Final. A machine gun was mounted on top of a stand, the pitch was strafed with bullets, spectators & players alike, horrific.
Of course Due Process never took place, just a perpetuation of mindless violence, Eye For an Eye etc.
Irish history is littered with such attrocities, lessons never seem to be learnt! MM

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Cunobelin
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Re: Peace & Reconciliation?

Postby Cunobelin » 15 Mar 2019, 9:14pm

pete75 wrote:
merseymouth wrote:Hello here, Well, now we learn that a British Soldier (Soldier F) has been charged with murder in connection with the Northern Ireland Troubles.
This contrasts quite starkly with the Emunity granted to all of the offenders in both the Nationalist & Republican sections who have certainly killed many!
My point in this is simple, why has a body such as created in South Africa by Nelson Mandella not been created? In that country attempts have marked a line in the sand over all similar offences in the Apartied Era.
If they can do it why can't such a measure employed here?
My personal gripe over the "Irish Problem" is simple, why wasn't Sir Edward Carson hung alongside Sir Roger Casement, as the were both smuggling weapons into the country to use against British troops?
Even today the rancour continues unabaited, with the Northern Ireland Assembly dead none of the current gangs on both sides seem ready to learn the bad lessons of history, nor to seek a way out of the Bloody Mess! MM


Amnesty was granted to people who'd been convicted and imprisoned. If new knowledge comes to light that a person has committed a previously unsolved murder then they are still prosecuted.

If any of the soldiers on Bloody Sunday unlawfully killed anyone it's the person who gave the order to shoot who should be prosecuted not the soldier who carried it out.


Not necessarily... there is something called an “Unlawful Order.

It was established after Nuremberg where soldiers on trial used the defence “I was just obeying orders”

landsurfer
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Location: Rotherham

Re: Peace & Reconciliation?

Postby landsurfer » 15 Mar 2019, 9:59pm

slowster wrote:The families of 13 innocent unarmed civilians who were murdered want those responsible to be prosecuted and to face justice. That doesn't sound like revenge to me. In fact given that it's taken 47 years to get to this point and given that no one will be prosecuted for 9 of those murders, they have been very restrained and dignified.



Slowster ...What part of Ulster where you living in during the Troubles ? .... I'm sure your comments are based on experience ...like mine ... not just utter B***ocks.
Not all those that wander are lost.

The Road Goes on Forever.

slowster
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Re: Peace & Reconciliation?

Postby slowster » 15 Mar 2019, 11:04pm

5.4 We have concluded that the explanation for such firing by Support Company soldiers after they had gone into the Bogside was in most cases probably the mistaken belief among them that republican paramilitaries were responding in force to their arrival in the Bogside. This belief was initiated by the first shots fired by Lieutenant N and reinforced by the further shots that followed soon after. In this belief soldiers reacted by losing their self-control and firing themselves, forgetting or ignoring their instructions and training and failing to satisfy themselves that they had identified targets posing a threat of causing death or serious injury. In the case of those soldiers who fired in either the knowledge or belief that no-one in the areas into which they fired was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, or not caring whether or not anyone there was posing such a threat, it is at least possible that they did so in the indefensible belief that all the civilians they fired at were probably either members of the Provisional or Official IRA or were supporters of one or other of these paramilitary organisations; and so deserved to be shot notwithstanding that they were not armed or posing any threat of causing death or serious injury. Our overall conclusion is that there was a serious and widespread loss of fire discipline among the soldiers of Support Company.

5.5 The firing by soldiers of 1 PARA on Bloody Sunday caused the deaths of 13 people and injury to a similar number, none of whom was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury. What happened on Bloody Sunday strengthened the Provisional IRA, increased nationalist resentment and hostility towards the Army and exacerbated the violent conflict of the years that followed. Bloody Sunday was a tragedy for the bereaved and the wounded, and a catastrophe for the people of Northern Ireland.

112.53 There remains the question as to whether any of these soldiers held a belief that he was justified in firing, notwithstanding that in our view none of the casualties was doing anything that could have led any of the soldiers to hold such a belief.

112.54 Having read the accounts of the soldiers and listened to Lance Corporal F and Private H, and in the light of the other evidence to which we have referred in the course of considering the events of Sector 4, we are of the view that none of the soldiers who fired did so in the belief that he had or might have identified a person in possession of, or using or about to use, bombs or firearms. No doubt the soldiers were correctly on their guard against attack from paramilitaries, and may have been highly apprehensive that such an attack might happen. We appreciate that the soldiers would have had little time to assess and respond to what was happening. But we cannot accept as truthful any of their varying accounts of what they say they faced when they went into Glenfada Park North.

112.55 In our view they must have seen people simply trying to leave the area, many frightened and in shock after seeing or learning of the events in Rossville Street and fleeing when the soldiers came in. We cannot see how any of the soldiers could have thought that he or his colleagues were in such danger from individuals among these people that firing at them was justified. It will be borne in mind that William McKinney and Jim Wray were both shot in the back and that none of the casualties (with the possible exception of Daniel Gillespie) appears to have been facing the soldiers when shot. We are sure that these soldiers fired (without warning that they were about to fire1) either in the belief that no-one in the area towards which they respectively fired was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury, or not caring whether or not anyone there was posing such a threat. With the possible exception of Private H, we consider it unlikely that they fired in a state of fear or panic.

112.56 Taking each of the casualties in turn, we do not find it possible to say with any confidence whether Michael Quinn, Joe Friel and (if he was hit by a bullet) Daniel Gillespie were specifically targeted, as opposed to being the victims of shots indiscriminately fired (one or more from the hip) at a number of people in the south-west corner of Glenfada Park North. In our view, however, both Jim Wray and William McKinney were specifically targeted, as there appear to have been few people near them at the time. We deal below with the second shot that hit Jim Wray. Joe Mahon may not have been specifically targeted but was probably wounded by a bullet that hit William McKinney.

112.57 As to the shot that in our view hit Jim Wray as he lay on the ground, we consider that this must have been deliberately fired at him. He was on his own. There is nothing to suggest that he could have been hit by mistake or by accident. No-one could have believed that Jim Wray was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury; no-one admitted firing at a man lying on the ground; and no-one suggested that there was or could possibly have been any real or imagined justification for shooting a man in this position.

112.58 Our overall assessment of what happened in Glenfada Park North is that the soldiers who went in, led by Corporal E, fired at fleeing civilians, and then, in the knowledge that what they had done was unjustified, proceeded to invent false accounts of what they had seen and done. It is possible that Private H, who told us he was frightened when he went into Glenfada Park North, fired in a state of fear or panic, without giving any proper thought to what he was doing, but we are far from certain of this. We repeat that we have found no evidence that suggests to us that any of the four soldiers might have believed, albeit mistakenly, that he had, or might have, identified a target at which he was justified in firing.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Peace & Reconciliation?

Postby Tangled Metal » 16 Mar 2019, 12:40am

I agree that if crimes by RUC or the army are not investigated and prosecuted under the laws of he land then that is wrong. The fact that they're part of the UK forces of law and order gives them no get out of jail card nor means they deserve prosecution for crimes more than anyone else.

By this I mean if a soldier or a civilian committed murder then here is no difference in the crime. Both should be treated the same in all instances, namely investigated and prosecuted under the rules and laws of the land.

Whether right or wrong I have the perception that equality in treatment of the opposing sides when they've committed crimes was unequal one way during the troubles but since the GFA that situation has flipped so the RUC and army is more likely to face calls for investigation and prosecution than terrorists. Instead it's politically expedient to deal with certain politicians than prosecute them for their past activities as terrorists.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Peace & Reconciliation?

Postby Cunobelin » 16 Mar 2019, 7:53am

landsurfer wrote:
slowster wrote:The families of 13 innocent unarmed civilians who were murdered want those responsible to be prosecuted and to face justice. That doesn't sound like revenge to me. In fact given that it's taken 47 years to get to this point and given that no one will be prosecuted for 9 of those murders, they have been very restrained and dignified.



Slowster ...What part of Ulster where you living in during the Troubles ? .... I'm sure your comments are based on experience ...like mine ... not just utter B***ocks.

One interesting interview with a family group saying that if found guilty, they were quite happy for them to be released (as with others under the GFA)

It was establishing what happened and knowing that the person responsible was acknowledged as such

landsurfer
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Re: Peace & Reconciliation?

Postby landsurfer » 16 Mar 2019, 8:01am

Cunobelin wrote:One interesting interview with a family group saying that if found guilty, they were quite happy for them to be released (as with others under the GFA)

It was establishing what happened and knowing that the person responsible was acknowledged as such


A very sensible approach ...
Personally i feel it should apply to all those that committed criminal acts in this theatre .... not just one side.
Peace and reconciliation worked in South Africa because it covered all sides.
Not all those that wander are lost.

The Road Goes on Forever.

Oldjohnw
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Re: Peace & Reconciliation?

Postby Oldjohnw » 16 Mar 2019, 8:39am

Being charged is not the same as being found guilty. It heralds the start of due process, at last. Far from being unfair, as some claim, the accused gets his 'moment in court'.
John

Cycling and recycling

slowster
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Re: Peace & Reconciliation?

Postby slowster » 16 Mar 2019, 8:41am

Those who testified at the Saville Inquiry were given immunity from self-incrimination. That was not the same as full immunity from prosecution, because it meant that individuals could still in theory be prosecuted based on evidence supplied by others. Neverthless, if Soldier F had given honest testimony to the Inquiry, I think it would then have been impossible for him to be prosecuted based on evidence from other sources, since it would not have been possible to form a jury of people who were not aware of his admission of guilt and who were not prejudiced by that knowledge.