Letter which was published in today’s Irish News – Monday December 16 2013 – Martin Galvin, Bronx, New York.
FERGAL Hallahan was more right than he imagines (November 25) about the derision accorded anyone with the temerity to accuse Britain of deploying a Military Reaction Force (MRF) of plain-cloths British troopers who gunned down unarmed nationalists using non-military weapons.
During my years as both editor of the Irish People weekly American newspaper and national director of Irish Northern Aid, I was tasked with presenting such facts to the American public and especially congressmen. The contention we republicans repeatedly made was that the crown had sent out the MRF and later wiped British fingerprints from their killings by shifting from the MRF to having the shots fired by loyalist proxies. This tactic had obvious advantages, including avoiding British army ccasualties like those inflicted by the IRA at the Four Square Laundry. It allowed the British plausible deniability. Collusion in murders carried out by loyalists could be denied outright and blamed on a cadre of crown force bad apples, no matter how much targeting intelligence, agent control or safe passage the British had supplied. Britain’s answer to these charges never changed. British officials would declare, self-righteously that “Her Majesty’s government” would never stoop to deploy such a unit. The British army ‘yellow card’ rules were sacrosanct, they scoffed and this code was rigorously applied whenever British troopers opened fire.
These sanctimonious British denials were believed by the public, politicians and journalists to the extent that this handpicked death squard remained largely unknown to the public. Panorama’s Britian’s Secret Terror Force proves that republicans were right about Britain’s deployment of a terror force, the MRF. It proves that those high-ranking British officials who denied that the crown would stoop to such tactics were either deliberately misled by the crown or deliberately misleading others on the crown’s behalf. Members of this British terror squad have no worries that they will face justice for killing unarmed Irish civilians like Daniel Rooney or Patrick McVeigh. They freely boast of their misdeeds, for the television cameras. Confident that they enjoy a selective immunity and impunity, not granted to republicians like Gerry McGeough, Seamus Kearney or John Downey. We republicans were right about Britain’s tactical shift from the MRF terror force to doing their ‘dirty war’ work through loyalist proxies. Must we await another documentary before people face the facts about Britain’s complicity with loyalist killers in collusion murders?
With many thanks to: Martin Galvin.
- Amnesty International demands inquiry into British Army shoot-to-kill revelations (VIDEO) (irishcentral.com)
- Northern Ireland : Military Reaction Force (MRF): Time for Truth (democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.com)
- Police urged to probe MRF claims (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Army unit members ‘killed civilians’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Revealed: Bbc Expose on Secret Army ‘Ghost Squad’ Which Hunted Down Ira Members (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Army ‘sanctioned shoot-to-kill policy’ in Belfast – Irish Times (irishtimes.com)
- #Panorama to show absence of very good tools to critique the state (sluggerotoole.com)
- Death Squad Britain – The Past That Won’t Stay Hidden (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Veteran reveals secrets of life inside British Army ‘ghost squad’ accused of murdering IRA suspects during the Troubles (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- British to investigate claims on 1972 shoot-to-kill policy (irishtimes.com)