Eamon Keane: The murdered can't sue, Gerry, what about justice for them ?
Dear Gerry, Yours sincerely, Eamon
So you want to sue for defamation?
Well, Stephen Rae, the Herald editor, can count himself lucky in my view.
There was a time when a few in that organisation you were never in would have issued him with a far worse threat.
Sure, didn't some of the IRA volunteers threaten to blow my brother Fergal Keane to pieces. Why?
He ran a story about drugs rackets in the North in which some of the boyos were allegedly involved.
Fergal had to check under his car every day for months.
You feel your reputation has been defamed.
Gerry, at least you're alive to sue.
Jean McConville was killed by the IRA.
Jean can't sue. She's dead.
Can't sue those who told her orphaned kids that she'd run off with a British paratrooper.
Of course, I know you know nothing about her.
So let's recap. She was a widow with 10 children.
Murdered because she rendered assistance to a wounded British soldier.
You were comfortable taking the queen's shilling as a non-sitting MP.
You are equally comfortable administering what is essentially British rule in the North. But to tend to a wounded Englishman? Unforgivable.
Gerry, can you imagine Jean's last moments?
Her killers won't be telling us about them.
That she was taken from her home.
Driven to a beach. Walked to her shallow grave.
Shot in the back of the head and buried there.
But Gerry, you know nothing about this.
You were never even in the IRA.
Yet, for some reason, the Brits felt you were key to negotiations.
You pulled in the IRA's Martin McGuinness, but that never suggested membership, did it?
You were just a friendly chap who key IRA members took advice from and warmed to.
Former IRA man Brendan Hughes alleged that you gave the order for her death. Sure, that's just Brendan being Brendan, as you said.
Incidentally, what would SF's justice spokesperson say in the Dail if a garda was killed during the course of a bank robbery by ex-IRA members?
In the run-up to the last General Election, SF campaigned for the early release of Det Garda Jerry McCabe's killers.
And Gerry, what is the party's view on State witnesses being intimidated to the extent that murder charges in a criminal trial are reduced to man-slaughter?
Not too many years ago, a court had its work undermined when State charges had to be reduced because of intimidation of witnesses.
And no it wasn't some gangland trial or one of those cases involving feuding families.
It occurred in the Jerry McCabe case.
You see, Gerry, us folk down South are used to broken promises but not broken legs and arms.
I note, Gerry, your deep felt concern about our recent loss of sovereignty.
One of the defining elements of a sovereign state is respect for and allegiance to the forces of law and order.
So, Gerry, where does your loyalty lie -- with the State or armed gangs of thugs?
Gerry, you spoke passionately about the youth of this nation who have to emigrate.
Any chance that we could bring home some of the youngsters who the IRA intimidated into leaving their homes?
I know, Gerry, that there are casualties and atrocities on all sides.
You yourself took personal risks to move the IRA out of violence.
British forces killed innocent civilians like 16-year-old Aidan McAnespie.
Indeed we had the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday.
So, in the interest for justice for all, how about a public inquiry into the death of Jean McConville?
I'm sure you'd welcome the chance to ease the pain of Jean's 10 children.