Families urge big turnout for book tour

“Counterinsurgency and Collusion in Northern Ireland” is being described as a groundbreaking work


By Irish Echo Staff

Tyrone families are urging a big turnout for the AOH-sponsored book tour for the newly published book “Counterinsurgency and Collusion in Northern Ireland.”

Poilin Quinn, sister of John Quinn, who was murdered by the UVF alongside three other men in Cappagh, County Tyrone, on March 3rd 1991, said: “This book tells the definitive narrative of British state collusion in East Tyrone and elsewhere across the north of Ireland. It provides a voice to the families and is essential reading for anyone interested in Ireland, the conflict, the peace process, families’ struggle for truth and justice and addressing the legacy of the past.”

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

The book, said a release, is the product of years of meticulous research by the author, Professor Mark McGovern of Edgehill University in Liverpool.

Working alongside the NGO Relatives for Justice, his work, added the release, draws on forensic and ballistic evidence, eye-witness accounts, and legal actions by families involving disclosures, court cases and inquests. The book contains key interviews with the families of those targeted and killed by the UK government through its proxies within loyalist paramilitary gangs.

Added the release: “Placing these experiences in the context of British colonial policies, ‘Counterinsurgency and Collusion’ examines the deliberate targeting of republicans and their uninvolved relatives across the Mid-Ulster region of east Tyrone and south Derry from the late 1980s until 1994 in a series of attacks in which collusion was a key feature.

“The UVF murder of Roseanne Mallon, the elderly aunt of Tyrone republican Martin Mallon, features prominently in the book.

“This attack on the Mallon family home, in which Martin’s mother Bridget was also shot and wounded by the notorious UVF gang lead by Billy Wright, was watched by a covert unit of the British army who also recorded the attack.”

Mr. Mallon said: “This book is an important contribution to exposing the policy of British state collusion in east Tyrone. It speaks truth to power.

“I’d call on all Tyrone people living in the U.S. to attend the launches and support the families in getting the truth out about exactly what did happen to us and to expose Britain’s dirty war of terror and murder in Ireland.”

Speaking ahead of the tour Poilin Quinn concluded: “The families continue the struggle for truth and accountability. This book lifts the lid on Britain’s shameful and murderous record in Ireland through pseudo terror gangs. It shatters the myth that the British were neutral observers. British collusion claimed hundreds of lives and families are battling every day for the truth. I’d appeal to everyone to attend the launches, purchase the book, and read our truth.”

The tour is set to open in Philadelphia this Sunday, June 2, when Professor McGovern and Mark Thompson of Relatives for Justice begin their seven state launch of “Collusion Counterinsurgency in Northern Ireland” at the MacSwiney Club, 510 Greenwood Avenue, Jenkintown, Philadelphia, starting at 1.30 p.m.

“They will present shocking new findings in public events and congressional meetings in a tour organized by the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Relatives for Justice, but now supported by a growing list of Irish-American groups,” said a statement from the tour organizers.

The Philadelphia tour opener is being organized by Gerry McHale and Pearse Kerr who can be contacted at (267)767-7854.

“This venue was specifically chosen in memory of Liam Ryan, the former Clan na Gael member, whose murder is one of those investigated in the book, and who attended events there,” said the statement by organizers.

On Monday, June 3, McGovern and Thompson will be in New York City for an event at O'Lunney’s Times Square, 145 West 45th street starting at 7 p.m.

According to organizers, McGovern and Thompson travel to Washington, D.C. for a series of congressional briefings on Wednesday, June 5 and Thursday June 6 and are arranging an event at the National Press Club. Malachy McAllister's case will also be highlighted during these briefings.

Later on Thursday, June 6, they are scheduled appear in Rutherford, New Jersey at an event organized by McAllister and set for 7 p.m. at the American Legion Post 109, 424 Carmita Avenue, at the corner of Riverside and Carmita avenues.

McGovern and Thompson will speak on Friday, June 7 at the Watertown AOH Hall, 151 Watertown Street, near Boston, organized by Jack Lahey (603)560-8192 and starting at 7 p.m.

They go to the Newport Rhode Island AOH Hall, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 8 organized by Kevin Doyle (401)641-8183.

On Sunday, June 9, Bridgeport AOH will hold an event at the Gaelic American Club, 74 Beech Road in Fairfield, Connecticut starting at 2 p.m. Details from Tom Keane (203)256-8033 or (203)913-0375.

The duo will finish in Albany, New York with a Monday evening June 10 event at the Irish American Heritage Museum, 370 Broadway at 7 p.m. before meeting Irish American legislators on Tuesday morning, June 11, at the State Capitol.

Details on the tour at www.relativesforjustice.com