Professor Mark McGovern’s book is being heralded as a groundbreaking work
By Irish Echo Staff
What is being described as a U.S. tour for a “groundbreaking new book” that points to the British government arming, directing, paying and protecting loyalist agents as they carried out murders in Counties Tyrone and Derry is set to open in Philadelphia on Sunday, June 2.
A release announcing the tour centered on “Counterinsurgency and Collusion in Northern Ireland,” stated that a central claim used by British officials to justify their campaign during the Troubles is the statistic that crown forces were only responsible for ten percent of the North's killings. This figure, compiled decades ago, only accounted for only those directly killed by British troops or the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
“The number gets cited to claim the British played an impartial role in a sectarian war between nationalists and unionists. It is also used to claim that legacy investigations of killings should be artificially limited to a ten percent fraction of conflict related inquiries.
“Meanwhile nationalists in Tyrone, south Derry and across the North saw a pattern of murders committed with hallmarks of deep British state force collusion. Loyalist killers traveled freely in heavily patrolled areas where nationalists could not move without being stopped. Crown patrols often spiked hours before murders then vanished. Covert camera surveillance was disabled. Loyalists had precise intelligence of the sort only available to British forces, from searches of locations.
“Mark McGovern, Professor of Sociology at Edge Hill University in England, studied dozens of these killings in Tyrone and South Derry, applying academic research standards. Helped by Mark Thompson and Relatives for Justice, Professor McGovern combined original eyewitness accounts, and unpublished materials, with court transcripts and British military studies to put together a shocking new look at British collusion. His findings raises questions on hundreds of murders that were attributed to loyalists, but may have been carried out as part of an overall British strategy.”
Professor McGovern and Mark Thompson will begin their seven state American launch of “Collusion Counterinsurgency in Northern Ireland” at the MacSwiney Club, 510 Greenwood Avenue, Jenkintown, Philadelphia, starting at 1.30 p.m. on Sunday, June 2.
“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.
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, starting at 2 p.m. Details from Tom Keane (203)256-8033 or (203)913-0375.
The duo will finish in Albany 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.
Said AOH Freedom for All Ireland Chair Martin Galvin: "The British deny using loyalist criminals to commit murders. Again and again, victims' families asked how else could low-level loyalist killers get away with so many murders.
“How could criminals get through heavily patrolled areas undetected and undetectable? How did they turn off cameras, wipe tapes, and make British patrols vanish, unless these loyalist criminals were backed by planning, approval, and direction at a high level within the British military and constabulary?
“Victims' families deserve to have the shocking truth told. The AOH is proud to help bring that truth to Americans who need to hear it.
“Anyone familiar with any loyalist murders in Tyrone or South Derry during the late 1980s and early 1990s will find new facts detailed here. There is even new information about the murder of my own close friend, American citizen and Bronx resident Liam Ryan.”