"Facing the Truth" BBC2

#1
A year or so ago I posted a thread wondering if a version of the Truth and Reconciliation project that ran in South Africa would work for Northern Ireland. Tonight on BBC2 at 7.50pm is the first of 3 programmes bringing people together from opposite sides. Tonight the family of a Catholic man shot by a Green Howards officer are brought face to face with the GH offr.

Monday I understand its a UVF gunman and his victim's family.

It's being presided over by Bishop Desmond Tutu. I will be watching with interest.
 
#3
CRmeansCeilingReached said:
and will there be an IRA bomber and his victims? oh no, he's probably been allowed into the PSNI or serving in government or something.
You took the words right out of my mouth CR. Yet another media attempt, no doubt subsidised by you and me and
given the thumbs up by central office, to re-write history and redefine the word terrorist. Ensuring it has nothing to
do with Irish Nationalism obviously.
 
#4
You both talk crap. Perhaps there are people who would like to examine the events of those times with a perspective other than the one they took at the time. And as the programmes are overtly and neutrally observable, and show 3 of the main sides of the conflict it would be difficult to argue (in any kind of intelligent and debatable manner) that they are Republican propoganda........ perhaps you will accept my rather terse judgement of your opinion.

Has anyone else anything more thoughtful to contribute?
 
#5
Bore off son. Anyone who's going to get so anti about a couple of squaddies taking an understandably
cynical view of anything masquerading as a 'Truth Commission' in NI must have some link to it.
When I see who you've managed to find amongst republican terrorists who are willing to apologise to a family
whose lives they have destroyed without the promise of more UK PLC cash and allowances I'll change me tune.
 

Nehustan

On ROPS
On ROPs
#6
I actually watched the first of the programs this evening. I have to say that 2:2 (sorry couldn't resist the old university joke i.e. 'what was your final result?' 'Oh not so bad I got a Desmond.') annoyed me with his oh so pleasant smile, but then he is a Bishop, so I won't bash him too much. 8O

The first dialogue was between an ex 'sniper' from what I could gather, sounded like he was quite often tasked with being hawkeyes when things were afoot. The guy got really quite emotional when he admitted that there was a strong possibility that the man he took out (direct shot to the Sternum) may not have been who he thought, and it may have even been a stray round. This was done to the dead man's sister, who thanked him for helping her clear the name of her dead brother. Myself I was touched by it, but then I used to have long hair.

The second dialogue was between an IRA cell member operating in UK specifically out of Southampton who shot a PC who was pursuing them unarmed even tho' he knew the men he was chasing were carrying weapons. This was also interesting and the glint of intense feeling could still be seen in the eye of the provo, 21 years in prison for attempted murder had not softened his belief in 'the cause'. There appeared to be some mutual understanding, and also some respect. I do have to add that I detected a softness in the PC, tho' I obviously do not mean he was a 'wimp', after all he chased down two armed men unarmed and took two bullets.

It did get me wondering just how well equipped civilian bobbies are for the job in today's world. I don't doubt their committment, but I can't help thinking that many, even today at least initially, really do have a sense of working for the community, and coming across armed criminals and/or insurgents/terrorists is not why they join up nor what they expect.
 
#7
Victims from the Northern Ireland conflict who have never had any justice meet former members of the paramilitaries responsible for the violence.

An ex police officer who lost both his arms in an IRA attack meets a former IRA man convicted of murdering soldiers. A family meets a former member of the loyalist organisation which murdered their son in a drive-by shooting. Plus, a widow and a survivor from the IRA bombing at Narrow Water in which 18 soldiers died meet a former IRA man who killed an SAS officer
From the BBC website.
Sounds a little more balanced than some of you may think.
 
#9
nato_tato said:
Victims from the Northern Ireland conflict who have never had any justice meet former members of the paramilitaries responsible for the violence.

An ex police officer who lost both his arms in an IRA attack meets a former IRA man convicted of murdering soldiers. A family meets a former member of the loyalist organisation which murdered their son in a drive-by shooting. Plus, a widow and a survivor from the IRA bombing at Narrow Water in which 18 soldiers died meet a former IRA man who killed an SAS officer
From the BBC website.
Sounds a little more balanced than some of you may think.
Yes, very useful I'm sure. Why not have these victims meeting the people who actually caused their pain, instead of some random rent-a fcukwit? Load of pink fluffy bollox.
 
#10
I wonder how much each person was paid to appear on such a farce of a show, anyone in their right mind who lost a loved one due to these asshole terrorists would not tarnish the memories of their loved ones. Or is it just an opportunity for the scum terrorists to get some sort of point/excuse across, surely the BBC can spend the license payers money on something worthwhile, then again we are talking about the Biased Bigot Co-operation. Makes me fcuking sick.
If people want to do this sort of thing then do it private, if it brings or helps bring your grieving to a close then so be it, but for fcuks sake do not wash your laundry in public, it stinks and is very disrespectful to the innocents that were murdered by these fcuking evil little pr1cks.
 
#11
Nehustan said:
The first dialogue was between an ex 'sniper' from what I could gather, sounded like he was quite often tasked with being hawkeyes when things were afoot. The guy got really quite emotional when he admitted that there was a strong possibility that the man he took out (direct shot to the Sternum) may not have been who he thought, and it may have even been a stray round. This was done to the dead man's sister, who thanked him for helping her clear the name of her dead brother. Myself I was touched by it, but then I used to have long hair.
I am at a bit of a loss to understand what made this so relevant now. The 'facts' re wobbly night sight and bullet deflection on passing through glass were stated at the Inquest; iirc, these points were covered in the statement made by the officer immediately after the shooting. He had become a born again Christian some long time ago and at that conversion contacted the family and told them the story again. So - other than 'good' tv, just what was served by last night's performance? As for the comment on hawkeyes, GH had a number of snipers of officer rank. Again iirc, only matched by 1 Queens who also ran a sort of Safari Squad.
 
#12
There'll never be reconcilliation. I detest with a burning passion every man woman and child who were part of any organistion that murdered brave men and women, braver than those scum can ever be - brave because they stood up, pulled on a uniform and presented themselves as the thin green line against total civil war. I hate the PIRA and any guise they take, I now understand the 'troubles' much more than I did growing up - I now detest the all paramilitaries; not just Republicans - though Republican terrorists have an extra special place in my heart.
 
#14
I believe the point of the exercise was to offer a glimmer of what could be possible if people could face each other and ask questions of their protagonists. I thought, for example, the quesion asked by the NI ex-para of the IRA man about could he justify what the IRA did to members of their own Republican communities was a very valid one, and not one that the IRA man could come up with a decent answer to.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in S Africa offered some kind of opportunity for people to move on in their grief and anger and make some kind of sense of what had happened to them and their loved ones.

Some of the attitudes you have expressed here mirror the IRA man's "glint of intense feeling could still be seen in the eye of the provo, 21 years in prison for attempted murder had not softened his belief in 'the cause'. "

You , and he, may continue to hold those views - that is up to you. But for Northern Ireland to have any kind of normal future, for its children and young people to have any kind of hope that their lives will not be eviscerated by the old enmities of their fathers, then these enmities will have to be consigned to where they now belong - the history books. Why should our youngsters have to contine to endure our old wars?

Programmes like the BBC one are no more than an indication of one of many things that will help Northern Ireland to begin a process of healing. And heal it must gentlemen, because if it doesn't, then we are going back to the asylum.

(and don't call me son ........ I'm a woman, and probably old enough to be your mother)
 
#15
manchestercop said:
There'll never be reconcilliation. I detest with a burning passion every man woman and child who were part of any organistion that murdered brave men and women, braver than those scum can ever be - brave because they stood up, pulled on a uniform and presented themselves as the thin green line against total civil war. I hate the PIRA and any guise they take, I now understand the 'troubles' much more than I did growing up - I now detest the all paramilitaries; not just Republicans - though Republican terrorists have an extra special place in my heart.
Second that!!!!

Prodigal-sentimental drivel!
 
#16
What you say seems great prodigal - albeit somewhat naive. I dont know if you have spent much time in N Ireland , as you would maybe understand the cynical reponses. Reconciliation is great, but the NI version seems to consist of all the victims forgiving the terrorists - you dont hear many apologies from the IRA
 
#17
prodigal has your family lost anyone in the troubles if it has has i will read your comments again and still ignore it my family has been afected by the troubles in ulster and i hate everyone who was ever involved in paramilitary activities with all my heart i especially hate the people who went about murdering civilians just becuase of there religion. If i had been in that room and a"former" member of the IRA walked in and sat down in front of me i would have been across that table and smashing the hardest heavyest object i could find into there face becuase what all the apolegists for terrorists conveniantly forget is that the british army went onto the streets of ulster to protect the catholic comunity from loyalist thugs and the IRA saw it was loosing its grip on there own community and ther organised crime operation was under threat so they started on the army and suddenly every thing in northern ireland is/was the britishs army's fault i hope ALL terrorists die a long slow painfull death from a particularly nasty combination of tropical deseases
 
#18
The galling thing was the PIRA in the saturday episode. He is totally unrepentant, in fact openly proud of his shooting three unarmed men. As he was introduced you could see the emnity and hatred in his eyes towrds the policeman. What reakky grips me is the justifacation that he was a political prisoner, a soldier fighting a war- WHAT UTTER BOLLOX- he is a criminal terrorist. When he told of his history and how he become involved with the 'Ra, he mentioned his upbringing- likening being a Catholic in N.I to being under apartheid in SA- did anyone else notice the slight frown on Tutu's face for a brief second? Also, he mentioned how a female volunteer was shot when carrying a weopon for him had contributed to his hatred for the British. Well, what a big brave boy he is, shoots three unarmed policemen in the execution of their duty and is such a brave "soldier" that he has to get a woman to carry his weopon for him.
The copper showed greater restraint and forgiveness than I would have been able to. I'd have grabbed the b'stard by the throat and issued a good shoeing.

The second thing that got my craw was the poor sniper who is obviously still traumatised by guilt after all this time. He opened his soul and told of his regret and self-recrimination for his action, he admitted the mistake and asked the sister if she could forgive him. She said she could thank him for his apology but not forgive as only God can forgive. Well, theologically that's true, but I think at that point the GH just realised that for him, there will never be any closure on the event. All she had to do was say yes, but instead he is sentanced for the rest of his life.
 
#19
The responses don't surprise me and I would not argue that they are not justified.

But the alternative to moving on is......... standing still or moving backwards. Whether you like it or not the unpalatable fact is that most people who committed atrocities during the Troubles (of every persuasion) will never be held acountable in a court of law for their actions, for a whole host of reasons that are not of primary importance to this discussion.

In the absence of public legal trials some kind of informal process involving some of the people affected, who wish to do so, is an option. In fact, this has been going on quietly and informally in Northern Ireland for a while. The TRC in S Africa made it a more formal and public exercise.

For what it's worth, I don't think the same formal and public model would work in NI because there are too many people who have a vested interest in keeping people hating each other and too many people who are simply stuck in their state of hatred.

But I think an informal process is useful and valuable and is worth supporting.
 
#20
Reconciliation? Understanding? Forgiveness? - The eraly/mid 70s in NI were as close to a civil war as Britain has had since Charles 1.

Militarily the British forces won that war but were eventually betrayed politically. The IRA were exposed as idealistic and their cause was futile and poorly thought out. They have advanced their cause not one jot and it is likely(in my opinion) that much of the anti catholic prejudice and discrimnation that occurred before 1969 still happens today - because of the actions of the IRA.

The programme was initially interesting but soon lost its impetus, not helped by the nasal droning and over enthusiatic soft toned probing of the strange panel of experts!!