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Date Posted: Sun, Jan 02 2011, 14:17:46 PST
Author: CR Vets
In reply to: Civil Rights Network 's message, "NEW BOOK: Irish Chronicles 1" on Sun, Dec 12 2010, 16:01:48 PST

REVIEW – Michael Mc Monagle – Reporter. The Derry Journal – December 2010

A new book by Derry author and historian Fionnbarra O’Dochartaigh investigates the role played by British intelligence services in the North during the Troubles.
“IRELAND: England’s Vietnam 1960s to 1990s – Writings of a civil rights veteran” is a collection of articles written by Mr O’Dochartaigh from the beginnings of the civil rights campaign right up to the IRA cease-fires.
The book spans the author’s own political involvement through the years,, firstly as a co-founder of the N. Ireland Civil Rights Association in 1967, through the splits within republicanism, and the short-lived unity created by the Irish Front, as well as his numerous campaigns for republican prisoners.
It also contains photographs and original documents from various campaigns and political movements.
Patrick Mc Guill, secretary of the influential Dublin-based lobby group, the Irish National Congress, paid tribute to Mr O’Dochartaigh’s writings in his preface to the book:
“I was both honoured and humbled to be asked to write this preface for the writings of one of the Titans and founding members of Ireland’s civil rights campaign.
“The struggle that civil rights campaigners like Fionnbarra O’Dochartaigh teaches us is that regardless of the odds or the obstacles placed in our way, if you believe in the justice of your cause, endure whatever your opponents throw at you and relentlessly persist in exposing the truth, We Shall Overcome,” he said.
The book features articles written by Mr O’Dochartaigh throughout the Troubles about a range of topics such as profiles on Sean MacBride and Bishop Edward Daly, continuing discrimination, state collusion in loyalist murders, state bias and manipulation of the media, the N. Ireland civil service, and much more.
One of the claims the author makes in the book is that British intelligence officers were able to check what parties’ people voted for at elections.
He claims they then used this information to identify who voted for Sinn Fein, allowing them to target republicans for assassination.
Mr O’Dochartaigh writes that revelations from former MI5 agent James Rushbridger support his theories. “The retired senior official in the counter-espionage agency, MI5, permitted his name to be used when he made his leak. James Rusgbridger, who is the cousin of Peter Wright of ‘Spy-Catcher’ fame, went on to claim that trawling ballot papers was ‘quite common practice for MI5 officers after elections in Northern Ireland”.
Another claim which the civil rights founder also highlights centres on a book, The Nemesis File, which states that a secret SAS unit was involved in killing and secretly burying dozens of republicans and nationalists during the conflict.
The author reprints the claims from a former soldier, using the pen-name Paul Bruce, that he was involved in the murders of up to 30 Catholics, kidnapped in the Republic and then were secretly buried this side of the Border. Bruce also provided maps for the locations of the alleged burials, which are re-produced, in this new book.
Commenting on the claims, Mr. O’Dochartaigh writes: “One wonders, is Bruce really credible? Are the names of those ‘disappeared’ recorded anywhere?
“It seems very strange that ‘the authorities’, RUC, military and Garda, if they really wanted to totally rubbish these claims, that they did not carry out any official searches of the areas clearly identified.
“Bruce’s claims may possibly invite many to have a re-think.”
The book, running to around 275 pages, and illustrated throughout, was launched at the Museum of Free Derry, where it is on sale, and is available internationally both as an e-book and in paperback from www.lulu.com.

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