To spend millions more on murder of Pat Finucane would be insult to many other victims who have had little attention

https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/opinion/columnists/ruth-dudley-edwards-spend-millions-more-murder-pat-finucane-would-be-insult-many-other-victims-who-have-had-little-attention-3053592

 

I’m very relieved that Secretary of State Brandon Lewis did not cave into the pressure from politicians at home and abroad by setting up a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane.
Pat Finucane in late 1988 at a shoot to kill inquest of IRA men. months before he was shot dead in early 1989. Ruth Dudley Edwards says: “He defended republican paramilitaries and the occasional loyalist, for he hated the state. Yet Sinn Fein managed successfully to rebrand him posthumously as a human rights lawyer”
Pat Finucane in late 1988 at a shoot to kill inquest of IRA men. months before he was shot dead in early 1989. Ruth Dudley Edwards says: “He defended republican paramilitaries and the occasional loyalist, for he hated the state. Yet Sinn Fein managed successfully to rebrand him posthumously as a human rights lawyer”
He has not said there will never be such an inquiry, but he is quite properly waiting for other investigatory processes to be carried out, and unless after 30 years there is an uncovering of spectacular new information, I can’t see any responsible government ordering it.

There have been millions spent already investigating that dreadful murder, and it would have been pointless and deeply insulting to innumerable victims bereaved by murders that have been given little attention and would also be a shocking squandering of public money.

The Saville inquiry into Bloody Sunday cost £200 million, Prime Minister David Cameron gave a moving and sincere apology, but there are still many republicans who reject its conclusions because it failed to point the finger at Prime Minister Ted Heath, who they want to believe ordered the random killing of Catholics.

Finucane’s widow Geraldine has already said publicly that Margaret Thatcher “knew exactly what was going on” between “security forces, loyalist paramilitaries and the state”.

She is a woman of her word. I’m sure that she will keep her promise that “with every breath in my body I will fight them to the bitter end”.

And if there ever is an inquiry, I would be surprised if she would be satisfied by a judgement that did not point the finger at Downing Street.

Mrs Finucane’s position is understandable, but it appals me that Sinn Fein’s propaganda machine has been so successful in making even people who should know better swallow their take on the case.

Colum Eastwood, leader of the SDLP, for instance, outrageously announced that “The British state murdered Pat Finucane,” an allegation made by none of the investigations or reviews.

I’ll write another time about collusion and how bogus most of the accusations are, but today I’m thinking about other lawyers who were victims of terrorism, like Edgar Graham, the young barrister and law lecturer the IRA gunned down because he was a clever unionist politician and three Catholic judges Rory Conaghan and William Staunton, each murdered in front of a young daughter, and Tom Travers, who survived several bullets but saw his 22 year-old-daughter Mary shot dead.

Norman Baxter, a retired PSNI Chief Superintendent, put it well when he said: “The Finucane family are entitled to justice, as every citizen is. But the granting of a public inquiry creates a hierarchy of victims, which is in itself an injustice.”

I was closely involved with the brave victims who took a successful civil case against the Omagh bombers. Some of them, like victims of Kingsmill and many other atrocities wanted a public inquiry and didn’t get one.

And their victims really were innocents, unlike Pat Finucane, who was not the secular saint he has been made out to be, but someone inextricably linked to the IRA.

He defended republican paramilitaries and the occasional loyalist, for he hated the state. Yet Sinn Fein managed successfully to rebrand him posthumously as a human rights lawyer.

In 1999 former RUC Chief Constable Sir John Hermon said that “Pat Finucane was associated with the IRA and he used his position as a lawyer to act as a contact between suspects in custody and republicans on the outside.”

In 2003, during a new wave of media lamentations about St Pat, Sean O’Callaghan, a repentant IRA terrorist who had first met Finucane at an IRA meeting in 1980, was “angered at the sheer hypocrisy, the hand-wringing” in the British and Irish press.

He had first met Finucane in 1980 at an IRA meeting, and when in prison in the late 1980s was visited by him in his legal capacity fishing for information that might be of use to the IRA.

He was, said O’Callaghan, “first and foremost an IRA volunteer, and he exploited his position ruthlessly to wage his war on the state”.

Yet unlike three of his brothers, John, killed on active service as a volunteer and Dermot and Seamus who were imprisoned for terrorist activities, Pat Finucane, like Gerry Adams, was supposedly never in the IRA.

“Nineteen eighty nine was a grim year in Northern Ireland,” wrote O’Callaghan. “Eighty one people were killed, 57 by republicans, 19 by loyalists and two by the security forces – one of them a loyalist shot by the security forces after he had murdered a Catholic in the Republican Ardoyne.”

These included 26 soldiers and nine policemen: there were very few convictions.

Yet Finucane’s murder “dominates the headlines and all the other disgusting acts scream at their silence, forgotten, it would seem by all but close family”.

He reminded his readers that “the great majority of the security forces carried out extraordinarily courageous work in the most dangerous of circumstances and, lest we forget, died in their hundreds to make these islands are safer and better place for all of us”.

Along with other innocent victims, we should be thinking of the brave security forces today, as their enemies continue to demonise them.

• Ruth Dudley Edwards is the author of Aftermath: The Omagh bombing and the families’ pursuit of justice

Wullie Drennan In Lockdown 2020. Official Press Release.

http://www.theulsterfolk.com/2020/11/wullie-drennan-in-lockdown-2020.html

Wullie Drennan In Lockdown 2020. Official Press Release.

 

Wee Book/ Big CD Booklet with 24 track CD disc included.

It’s always as much about the story as it is about the music.

Why Press Release?

Up to March 2020 I regularly sold CD’s, books and DVD’s at live concerts.

All live concerts have been banned.

Independent freelance musicians no longer get radio airplay on mainstream media: not since the days of the legendary Gerry Anderson.

The last supporter of independent music on BBC
 

So, the only way to let folk know of my new product is through word of mouth and online social media: for now.

And through some newspapers perhaps??

Once upon a time, back in the good old days, newspapers would have had reviewers who would review new releases of albums and books, of even independent grassroots material. Gone are those days.

It is up to me myself, on my own, to somehow persuade folk that this is essential reading and maybe even essential listening. No mean feat.

If nothing else, surely the story of how a full-time freelance practitioner of the arts in Northern Ireland spent Lockdown 2020 adapting to a world turned upside down – is worthy of a media story?

Why would anyone want to buy this?

For several years now, a large portion of CD’s sold at our gigs clearly were purchased by folk as a souvenir of the event or as a gift for others.

So, in my way of thinking this combination of a CD disc with a wee book/big CD booklet would be an ideal gift for those interested in traditional folk music, folklore, history and culture: with its 50 pages of story, insight and imagery.

I haven’t noticed any other musicians trying this approach as yet. But it just might work okay if people have a way of finding out about it.

List of tracks on CD.

Also included in the book  are lyrics for relevant new songs that were recorded post mastering and duplication of the CD. Such as: The Whole Wide World’s Gone Mad.
When is the Official Wee book/Big CD Booklet Launch??

Good question.

Answer: somewhere in Belfast as soon as the authorities allow real live people to attend events with real live music and storytelling. Due to the fact that I made a dedication to Dr Ian Adamson, a “Launch” was being organised in December by the Reach Project, www.reachproject.co.uk, in association with the Dalaradia Society, www.dalaradia.co.uk, as Ian was their patron. Cancelled of course. Watch this space: www.williedrennan.org for updates on that.

Ian Adamson with his friend, Van – who also gets a wee mention in my wee book..

 

Where can this wee book/big CD booklet be purchased?

Best to purchase via www.williedrennan.org.

It is also available in the following independent shops: Belfast Books, York Road Belfast; Midtown Makers, Church Street Ballymena and Camerons, Broughshane Street Ballymena. That’s when they are open. When they are allowed to open again, get there early to avoid the queues.

Currently looking for other independent shops who might sell such a combo of music and story. Anybody know of any such shops still in existence?

Further Reading.

Extract from Introduction.

“This is somewhere between a wee book and a big CD booklet. It is a fusion of fiction and non-fiction. In tune with the times, it offers a fine balance of reality and virtual reality.

The Big Lockdown, that commenced in March 2020, and which hasn’t fully ended seven months later, has been a colossal shock to the world. For many it has been devastating: those who lost loved ones as a direct result of the new flu virus and the many more who suffered indirectly, in a multitude of various ways.

On the brighter side, the weather was wonderful throughout the spring of 2020 and there was a sense of peace and calm. Void of man-made industrial sounds this rare tranquillity allowed the sounds of nature to dominate the air. It was also a glorious opportunity for the likes of me, who’s busy schedule of recent years had not allowed the time to complete and manifest creative ideas that had been swirling around my wee brain for a long time.

It allowed me to develop creative thoughts in writing: it allowed me to record new musical material and rearrange older material. It allowed me to study how best to utilise the internet in order to make my material accessible to an audience who no longer could attend live events.

I worked on several creative projects, but my main focus was on what has resulted in the Wullie Drennan in Lockdown 2020 album and Wee book/Big CD booklet”

Selection of comments so far.

William McC: “It’s amazing. Wonderful to read the thoughts behind all the music…
A great perspective on an Ulster Scots life in Northern Ireland. There’s so much worthwhile information and thoughts in there.
Its a total joy to read. With the CD included it’s a wonderful piece of work and and a great historical document.”

Alister McR: “ Willie’s work here has a timeless quality and draws up from a well of Ulster history.:

Marie B. “This is amazing. I just loved every word of it”.

Anne McL. “A great Christmas present”.

Tam McW: “ Reuch n raa – the wye it wus aye meant tae be”

 

Other News.

My collaboration with rock guitarist David McClean produced an album of rock and folk fusion: 

Willie Drennan Band. Wired Up Again

See Wired Up Again Page on www.williedrennan.org.
There’s nothing else quite like it out there. It was recorded before Lockdown and was due for release in May. Postponed of course, due to you know what. It is now available as well. Look out for the big official release of Wired Up Again. For updates check www.williedrennan.org.

Lest we forget

This morning some members of Dalaradia paid our respects to our fallen friends and comrades at a time of reflection on Remembrance Sunday.

The service was located at Dr Ian Adamsons lampost Dalaradia installed a few months ago. Ian spearheaded the Somme memorials to the 10th, 16th and 36th Divisions, being Vice Chair of the Somme Association and the lamppost’s position adjacent to the Somme Memorial Park on Shore Road is most appropriate.

The lamppost was lit by candle as we will each Remembrance Day as Dalaradia members lay wreaths to remember all those who perished in the World Wars.

Rathcoole Row on Row closing ceremony

Folks on behalf of RATH. Community Group/Dalaradia can we say a huge thank you to everyone who attended the closing of Rathcoole Row on Row today.

One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can achieve anything.

Many thanks to George Lunn of the Belfast City Mission for his beautiful religious service.

Many thanks to Danny Kinahan, the Northern Ireland’s first veterans commissioner for his reading.

Thanks to Francis Strain Bagpiping Services

Thanks to young Clarke for his poem reading.

Many thanks to Robert Foster and the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough council for their help.

A massive thank you to volunteers of RATH and Dalaradia for their tireless work. The harder work starts now!

More photos and a video of the event will be shared in the coming days. The garden is an open space and is available to members of the community to lay crosses until Thursday 12th November, please feel free to at any stage.

The main aim of the garden? You can read our initial announcement here – https://www.facebook.com/104568031425159/posts/109030924312203/?extid=0&d=n

🌹 Lest we forget 🌹

We remember

This morning some members of Dalaradia visited graves of our former friends and comrades at a time of reflection in the run up to Remembrance Sunday.

When we come together to reflect, let’s remember our duty to educate future generations of our forebears’ sacrifices.

Honour – Service – Sacrifice

N.Williamson
L.Orr
S.Wasson
N.Anderson

and our dear friend R. Warnock

Rathcoole Primary School

Dalaradia/RATH. Community Group members had the pleasure of hosting some pupils of Rathcoole Primary School & Nursery Unit at Rathcoole Row on Row this morning.

Some children in attendance brought along some beautiful hand painted remembrance rocks they had created in school to lay alongside the poppy crosses. The children’s teacher Mrs Regan shared to them all about the importance of the memorial. A group of P5 children read a poem before having a a minutes silence.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the school for attending and we hope the children enjoyed it, they are a credit to the great work going on in the school.

Education is paramount to the future of our great country.

🌹 Lest we forget 🌹

World War fallen remembered in Rathcoole

https://www.newtownabbeytoday.co.uk/news/people/world-war-fallen-remembered-rathcoole-3022205?fbclid=IwAR3Z7RaUPdQ5g_K_d0CynM2xZMsSyfhGP69VE2NzgwpRHZjg3bAngb_RImk

Rathcoole residents are being encouraged to pay their respects to those who perished during the World Wars at a new memorial project in the estate.

The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Jim Montgomery, attended the service in Rathcoole alongside party colleague, Cllr Robert Foster.

Rathcoole ‘Row on Row’ is a community project currently underway in the estate.

It has been organised by the RATH Community Group and members of Dalaradia to recognise the men and women who sacrificed their lives in World War One and World War Two.

Due to Government coronavirus restirstions, the Royal British Legion is calling on members of the public to assist their campaigns as the pandemic forces many veteran volunteers to stay at home.

A spokesperson for RATH said: “Many Remembrance services have been cancelled. It is our aim to offer a small space within the estate for people to lay crosses in someone’s memory.

“With the current regulations there won’t be any public service as of yet. When ready, we ask that people lay their cross while social distancing and not to congregate in numbers around the space in the interest of public safety.

“The garden is an open space and our aim is to have it available to members of the community to lay crosses for one week, closing on November 7 at 11am.

“Rathcoole is the second largest housing estate in Europe. It is a travesty our estate does not have a memorial garden in memory of the great men and women of the World Wars. We hope one can be built in the future.”

Rathcoole Row on Row opened on Sunday, November 1. It is located in Rathcoole Park on the field beside the play area.

Poppy boxes are available for members of the community who wish to lay a cross.

Rathcoole Row on Row opening

Folks on behalf of Dalaradia and the RATH. Community Group can we say a huge thank you to everyone who attended the opening of Rathcoole Row on Row today.

The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.

A special thank you to:
Whiteabbey Royal British Legion
Rathcoole Red Hand Comrades Association
Rathcoole Friends of the Somme
Jim Montgomery (Mayor)
Robert Foster (UUP)
Billy Hutchinson, (PUP)
Paul Hamill (DUP)
Gillian Simpson-Kelly (TUV)
Sons of Kai flute band
Rathcoole Protestant Boys
Cloughfern Young Conquerors
Cloughfern Young Conquerors old boys
Billy Boys Flute Band

Many thanks to The Rev Campbell Dixon MBE, a member of St. Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast for his beautiful religious service.

Thanks to Francis Strain Bagpiping Services

Thanks to young Louisa for her poem reading.

Many thanks to Robert Foster and the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough council for their help.

A special mention to our very own Nathan who couldn’t attend today due to illness. He was a forerunner in the event and deserves a lot of credit for which he won’t want publicly.

More photos and a video of the event will be shared in the coming days. The garden is an open space and is available to members of the community to lay crosses for one week, please feel free to at any stage.

Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much! Not for glory nor riches, but for our people. We hope to see you at the closing of the garden on November 7th at 11:00am.

The main aim of the garden? You can read our initial announcement here – https://www.facebook.com/104568031425159/posts/109030924312203/?extid=0&d=n

🌹 Lest we forget 🌹

Row on Row

Dalaradia in conjunction with the RATH. Community Group have organised a community project entitled Rathcoole Row on Row to recognise those men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

During these testing times the Royal British Legion is calling on members of the public to assist their campaigns as the pandemic forces many veteran volunteers to stay at home. Many remembrance services will unfortunately be cancelled and with this in mind our aim is to offer a small space within the estate for people to lay crosses in someone’s memory.

Rathcoole is the largest PUL estate in the United Kingdom and the second largest housing estate in Europe. It is a travesty our estate does not have a memorial garden in memory of the great men and women of the world wars and with this small step we hope to build on it in the near future in the hopes it lays the foundation for one to be built.

Just a reminder Rathcoole Row on Row will open on Sunday November 1st at 1pm (located in Rathcoole Park on the field beside the play area). The Rev Campbell Dixon MBE, a member of the clergy at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, will be delivering the religious service during our opening.

Pastor George Lunn of the Belfast City Mission will deliver a religious service during the closing of Row on Row on Saturday 7th at 11:00.

 

Rathcoole Friends of the Somme

Jim Montgomery (Lord Mayor)

Robert Foster (UUP)

Billy Hutchinson (PUP)

Paul Hamill (DUP)

Gillian Simpson-Kelly (TUV)

Sons of Kai flute band

Rathcoole Protestant Boys

Cloughfern Young Conquerors

Cloughfern Young Conquerors old boys

Billy Boys Flute Band

Community representatives

 

We have tried our utmost to involve as many as we possibly can being limited to 15 people within the designated area at one time. If however your group is interested please contact us direct, we would be more than happy to accommodate and can clear the area for a second wreath laying if required.

Poppy boxes will be available for members of the community who wish to lay a cross. During proceedings there will be a short religious service along with a piper. Current guidelines for a religious event limits us to 15 people within the immediate area, although this number is subject to change in the coming days and weeks and we will update the community accordingly.

That said the community can of course watch outside the area within the park and adjourning road as this is a public area open to anyone. We would ask however that you stick to the current social distancing guidelines. The garden is an open space and our aim is to have it available to members of the community to lay crosses for one week.

The main aim of the garden? You can read our initial announcement here – https://www.facebook.com/104568031425159/posts/109030924312203/?extid=0&d=n

We very much hope to see you all on November 1st and 7th.

Lest we forget

Broadcasters have a duty to reflect that our history is complicated… Unquiet Graves didn’t do that

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/comment/broadcasters-have-a-duty-to-reflect-that-our-history-is-complicated-unquiet-graves-didnt-do-that-39661398.html


Trevor Ringland

Broadcasters have a duty to reflect that our history is complicated… Unquiet Graves didn’t do that

Trevor Ringland


RTE documentary Unquiet Graves gave a one-sided account of the past

RTE documentary Unquiet Graves gave a one-sided account of the past

“President Michael D Higgins suggests the British need to apologise for their past behaviour in Ireland. A better proposal would be for both governments to apologise for the atrocities committed supposedly in the interests of their national causes.

Perhaps naively, I thought we’d advanced beyond a caricature of history that portrayed one side as the wrongdoer. When the Queen visited Dublin, she set out a context through which to understand the past and build future relationships.

She said that, for all of us, “there were things we wish we had done differently, or not at all”. With these words, she opened up the opportunity to consign our hatreds to history, which is the best place for them, and avoid perpetuating them through our children.”