It all started with the best possible motives, which was to set in hard memory the vaunted deeds and so-called ‘sacrifices’ of the sacred volunteers of the Irish Republican Army. Other people, with a more settled view of events, would call these ‘sacred volunteers’ by another set of names and adjectives, with ‘murderous psychopaths’ being one of the more printable versions, but perhaps back to the news.
The John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections at Boston College was to be the repository for the murderous memories of this bunch of killers, the preliminary meetings, between an American librarian, a journalist and an ex-IRA killer who had served seventeen years for the killing of a Protestant ‘volunteer’ was arranged, and this meeting was to serve as the start point for an ambitious project to record, for ‘history’, for future researchers who foraged after their version of the ‘Truth about the Troubles’. These three starry-eyed idiots, full of beer, patriotism and promises, forgot one teensy-weeny tiny detail. When they promised the killers anonymity, when they promised that no-one would see or hear the recordings until after the death of the person whose words were recorded; when they told the likes of the stone-cold killer Dolours Price that she would be remembered as a heroine of the ‘Freedom fighters’; they hadn’t put any of their ‘contracts’, their silly, stupid legally-binding promises before a trained American lawyer!
And that is why we are hearing of the arrests in Northern Ireland, of the detention of the leader of the gang of killers who snatched a widowed mother of ten from her living room, tortured her and then shot her in the back of the head before burial in an unmarked grave. He may well escape true justice, but there are many voices to be listened to, and the PSNI, in an attempt to maybe get ahead of the ridicule, have even bought new headphones!