Apparently Boris Johnson’s government wants to commission an ‘Official History’ of ‘The Troubles. One’s initial reaction is ‘that should be a good read’!
We may finally get to know which British military intelligence units were involved in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. We may get chapter and verse on the Force Research Unit (FRU) and its murderous forays into the 26 Counties. Possibly there will be a chapter on the use of CR Gas at Long Kesh and we may even find out where all the CR Gas shipped to the six counties as part of Operation Pagoda went. Of course on the naval front we may get more enlightenment about ‘Operation Awless’ etc and the bizarre use of submarines and Special Boat Service (SBS) personnel around Irelands coasts.
The list is endless; perhaps there’ll be a chapter on Captain Robert Niarac and his apparent meanderings through South Armagh before he disappeared. Niarac apparently wasn’t connected to the SRU so who was he working for or against? The list is endless and perhaps there could be a forward by Gordon Kerr the mysterious FRU commander who was eventually spirited off to China as a military attache when questions started being posed. Maybe Kerr could confirm if the FRUs predecessor the Special Reconnaissance Unit (Fourteenth Field, Security and Intelligence Company – SRU) were involved in the murder of Seamus Ludlow or whether they just supplied the guns! It was before Gordons time but he will have been brought up to speed…surely!
You would like to think this would be the big ‘Official’ expose of ‘The Troubles’ the inside story so that once and for all long hidden secrets will be aired. However it’s not to be according to Anne Cadwallader she points out in this article for ‘Declassified UK’ the British government is still burying files, like those on the deaths of two children killed by the Army, until 2060:
The article reveals that some other files haven’t even been handed over to the Public Records Office to be withheld; they are so sensitive they are held in a high security government communications centre in Buckinghamshire – miles and miles of files!
The other thing of course with Boris’s ‘Official History’ of ‘The Troubles’ is what respected academic would want to be associated with the project. The reputable Irish historian Diarmaid Ferriter, professor of modern Irish history at University College, Dublin when asked on BBC Northern Ireland’s “The View” programme whether he would accept an invitation to participate replied “I think I’d say get stuffed”. You can’t get much more dismissive than that.
Anne’s article focuses on the deaths of Julie Livingstone and Paul Whitters aged 14 and 15 years respectively. It’s shameful that files on their deaths and other young people are still closed and it’s past time the Irish government raised the issue with the UN Committee on the Rights of The Child!
Image: FRU Commander Gordon Kerr spirited off to China and enjoying his post FRU sojourn – Inset: FRU gangs ‘tooled up’.
Celtic League Military Monitoring (4th December 2021)