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Pól Ó Lorcáin
Paul Larkin

Chroniclers are privileged to enter where they list, to come and go through keyholes, to ride upon the wind, to overcome in their soarings up and down, all obstacles of distance, time and place.
Charles Dickens - Barnaby Rudge, Chapter The Ninth

Jane Winter and British Irish Rights Watch settle privately with News International over hacking

Secret agreement raises serious questions for both Irish law enforcement agencies and the Irish media

Times Newspapers - dragged into the News Int. hacking scandal

No doubt the revelation that human rights lawyer Jane Winter and British Irish Rights Watch (BIRW - of which Ms Winter was the former director) have settled out of court with News International over hacking will surprise many Cic Saor followers as much as it has your author.

This secret settlement seems to have been agreed in early February just passed, and whilst the exact details, by definition, will be confidential (normal in out of court settlements) the fact of a settlement it usually reported and our first question has to be why the silence? This question is particularly pertinent given that Jane Winter is a highly respected human rights lawyer and one would have expected a statement from her on this vital media/rights-infringement issue.
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Henry McDonald misreports the Jean McConville case - Guardian reporter seems to forget "live" court prosecution

Ivor Bell - the Guardian implies he spoke “openly and freely”
on Boston College tapes

Whatever side you take on the Jean McConville affair, there is no doubt that it’s an important issue. In 1972, a woman with a large, young family was abducted by the IRA and shot and secretly buried. It’s important for the McConville family and wider society that the truth about her murder be established if possible. In my view, this can only be done when we have a fully comprehensive Truth Commission.
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My short statement in defence of Solicitor Peter Madden after Mairia Cahill’s offensive and insinuating attack on him today on Twitter

John and Geraldine Finucane with solicitor Peter Madden (r)

I don’t follow Mairia Cahill on twitter. I don’t regularly check to see or hear what she has to say. I hardly need to, given that any statement she makes is given blanket and largely uncritical coverage by a willing Irish media. Make of that fact what you will dear readers.
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Why the Dublin 4 elite have no interest in an entirely innocent Galway man Jerome O’Connor - vanished from history

The Southern Establishment mantra - "See no Evil. Hear no Evil. Speak no Evil." Unless it involves the Provos

In all the Sound and Fury over the last few weeks relating to kangaroo courts and paramilitary justice (or the unsurprising lack of it) not one Irish politician, journalist or media outlet has ever mentioned the murder of Jerome O’Connor, shot dead in Galway in August 1974. The value of his life and tragedy of his death has simply been vanished and here's why.
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Why I highlighted Mairia Cahill’s link to dissident republicans

The blogger An Sionnach Fionn published a blog yesterday evening that quite rightly highlights my tweet last Friday as being part of the catalyst for Mairia Cahill’s eventual admission that she had been a member of the dissident republican group Republican Network for Unity (RNU). See An Sionnach Fionn -
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Taoiseach Enda Kenny himself sits in government with people whose former party had an illegal armed wing

Taoiseach Enda Kenny - keen to remind us about Mairia Cahill, not so keen to talk about the Official IRA

It is a matter of clear and obvious record that Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his Fine Gael party sits in a coalition government with the Labour Party. That Labour Party is made up of an old traditional labour group and a new group that originally came from the Workers Party not that long ago (the 1990s).
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On International Translators Day, the Irish Translators Association defends its sponsorship of Freemasonry

On International Translators Day (the feast of St Jerome September 30th), An Cumann Aistritheoirí agus Teangairí na hÉireann – the Irish Translators and Interpreters Association defends its sponsorship of Freemasonry

In May of this year, I mailed the national translators association of which I'm a member to protest their support and sponsorship of a European Literature Night event in Dublin; not, as readers can imagine because I'm against European Literature Nights, but because this particular event was being held at the Headquarters of the Freemasons in Ireland in Molesworth Street

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The Cork Brigade's 2014 Phoenix Park Ambush

Tomás Mac Curtain Cork Brigade Commandant and some of his staff, including Tadhg Barry and Terence Mac Swiney - picture taken 1915


The Cork Brigade's 2014 Phoenix Park Ambush

Down at the bottom of a deep stairwell
at the Phoenix Park Hotel
they faced me with their bold stares
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In praise of Billy O’Shea’s Steampunk novel, set in post-Apocalypse Scandinavia

The Kingdom of Clockwork

Author and translator Billy O'Shea

I am obliged to warn Cic Saor aficionados that the subject of this blog, author and fellow Irishman, and indeed fellow professional translator, Billy O’Shea, is a friend of mine, and also that Billy has paid me that great honour of placing an extract from one of my poems about Copenhagen at the beginning of his novel Kingdom of Clockwork. Some readers may remember this poem – A ‘Christmas homage to Copenhagen’. See here-
Having now read Kingdom of Clockwork, I can see why Billy O’Shea would want to include this passage (below) from the poem as it is almost presciently redolent of the atmosphere in parts of his book:

strange that in fog
we feel the mechanics of things
Tycho Brahe’s whirring mental cogs
Copernican spheres and trajectories
softly rending the thick air above me
planetary charts over Denmark and Sweden

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State agent Peter Keeley still in the care and protection of the PSNI during life of Smithwick Tribunal

Peter Keeley (aka Kevin Fulton) - not a glamorous spy but an utter scoundrel

In my previous Cic Saor article (see directly below) on the increasingly questionable Smithwick Tribunal, there was not space to refer to serial dissimulator and hacker Peter Keeley (aka Kevin Fulton) who told the Tribunal that MI5 had taken control of his case and were paying his expenses and accommodation – see page 262 of Smithwick report.
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Why the UVF’s “World Cup” massacre at Loughinisland could sink the Smithwick Tribunal.

How could Judge Peter Smithwick ever have accepted MI5 and the PSNI’s Legacy Unit as honest brokers?

Judge Peter Smithwick - Naive to a fault?

Many Cic Saor readers will not be aware that the findings of Smithwick Tribunal are being challenged in a judicial review, which will be heard in Dublin later this year.

In broad terms, Judge Peter Smithwick’s report published at the end of last year found that certain unnamed members of An Garda Síochána had in fact colluded with the IRA in and around the time when two senior RUC officers were killed in 1989. These RUC officers were Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan – the most senior RUC men to lose their lives in the Troubles. However Smithwick could find no direct evidence whatsoever to link any Garda officer with the murder of the two officers.
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Fintan O’Toole’s amnesia over Paul Bew in the Irish Times


The forgetful Fintan O'Toole

In Saturday’s Irish Times, that scion of democracy Fintan O’Toole sprang to the defence of Paul Bew who has been heavily criticised for his role in the Boston College fiasco. Anyone who has the temerity to question Bew’s political motives, he wailed, is an opponent, not only of scholarship, but democracy itself. In other words the people who question Bew are the enemies of democracy. They are also, readers will note, "insidious":
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The Chronicle of Higher Education declares that it stands over its assertion that Lord Paul Bew recommended Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre for Boston fiasco

Last week in the Sunday Independent Lord Paul Bew stated that he did not appoint Ed Moloney or Anthony McIntyre to the Belfast oral history project whilst a visiting Burns scholar at Boston College in 1999-2000. Thus:
As a visiting scholar I did not appoint Ed Moloney, Anthony McIntyre, or indeed Wilson McArthur who covered the Loyalist archives. However, I was an admirer of Moloney's detailed knowledge of republicanism which was widely respected in Ireland.
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My response to a counter terrorism expert's article on the Belfast oral history project

Regarding Timothy Hoyt’s article on the Belfast oral history project for the "War on the Rocks" website

Timothy D. Hoyt is Professor of Strategy and Policy and John Nicholas Brown Chair of Counterterrorism at the U.S. Naval War College, and his article can be read here -
-----------Paul Larkin’s response:
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The significance of Paul Bew’s name on Anthony McIntyre’s employment contract lies in the simple fact that he signed it.

(The law, when it is good law, deals with facts, acts and legal consequences but journalists deal with facts, acts and the wider context)

Needless to say, I got a big reaction to my article on Lord Paul Bew and his witnessing of Anthony McIntyre’s February 2001 employment contract with Boston College. The contract shows McIntyre being engaged as an interviewer of "republican activists" (anti-Gerry Adams republican activists as we now know). See directly below on this site
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In February 2001, Lord Paul Bew signed an employment contract between Ed Moloney, Anthony McIntyre and Boston College - why has he hidden this fact?

Look closely at the two signatures below.


One name is fairly obvious, because it’s also typed – “Ed Moloney”. The name that countersigns Moloney’s name is not so obvious but readers will see that they contain three initials and then the name “Bew”. The initials are PAE or Paul Anthony Elliot and then the surname Bew.
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Lord Paul Bew tries in vain to whitewash his Boston tapes and "Sticky" past

Believe it or not – Lord Bew is Chair of the UK’s Committee on Standards in Public Life.

In the Sunday Independent today, Lord Paul Bew has issued a poor apologia for his role in the Boston College oral history debacle. It neither befits his role as one of Ireland’s leading academics nor his position as Chair of the UK’s Committee on Standards in Public Life, whose principles he has clearly breached. If this story, indeed this scandal, becomes a public issue in the UK, I cannot see how Bew can continue in his £500.00 per day role as the UK’s primary guardian of ethics for public officials.
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Lord Paul Bew should not be allowed to vanish from the record of the Boston tapes fiasco

Will the chairperson of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, Lord Paul Bew, now apply his own ethics charter to the flawed and inflammatory oral history project he instigated?

Lord Paul Bew - created the discredited oral history project.

The instigator of the discredited Boston oral history, Lord Paul Bew who became a peer in 2007, is the chairperson of the UK’s “Committee on Standards in Public Life”. This high profile committee advises both the British Government, and public figures generally, on ethical issues they need to be aware of whilst carrying out their duties. The Committee bases its principles on a code of ethics – the Nolan Principles – which the UK parliament has adopted as a basic ethical guide for MPs and Peers. Lord Bew was appointed by David Cameron in July 2013 after an open competition and he took up the post in September of that year. Lord Bew, in other words, operates at the heart of the Cameron administration. The BBC reported that Bew would earn £500.00 per day as part of the remuneration for this post and that he will continue to teach Irish History and Politics as a professor at Queen's University Belfast.
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Revealed - the academic who in 2002 rang alarm bells over the Boston tapes - he was never contacted by the PSNI or any legal body

Cic Saor can now reveal the identity of the experienced and highly respected academic who blew a loud whistle over the poor standard and slanted nature of the Paul Bew/Ed Moloney Boston tapes project. Bearing in mind that it was Queens Academic Paul Bew who effectively appointed Ed Moloney to the project and Bew who also selected his former PHD student McIntyre as the man to do the interviewing.

Meet the real, impartial and forensic whistle blower who gave a devastating account of the Boston tapes project:
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Lord Paul Bew and the GAL - the Get Adams League

Though we didn't know it at the time, the instigation of the Boston College oral history project signalled the launch of the GAL – the Get Adams League

Paul Bew - In 2002 he referred to Gerry Adams as smelling like “rotten cabbage”.

Up until a few days ago very few of the reports regarding the interview tapes of ex IRA members that led to the arrest of Gerry Adams, carried a mention of ‘Lord’ Paul Bew – a central figure within the British establishment and signatory to the neo-conservative Henry Jackson principles.

Yet it was Paul Bew who initiated the fiasco that was the Boston College oral history project and Paul Bew who appointed Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre to work on the project. This is not me saying this but both Ed Moloney and Boston College themselves – look at this from the preface of Ed Moloney’s own book Voices From The Grave, which was based on some of the interview tapes. The book’s preface was written by Boston College officials Professor Tom Hachey (head of Irish Studies) and Dr Bob O'Neill (head of the Burns Library at BC):
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McGuinness “backshooter” Norman Tebbit unwittingly lets the Black Ops cat out of the bag.

(A cautionary, yet celebratory, tale for Ireland’s Easter Celebrations)

Veteran fighters of the ANC at a vigil for Nelson Mandela

When the Apartheid regime was leaving office in South Africa, its hated and feared secret services left a series of booby trap stories and false leads in its files and archives. For example, the names of perfectly honourable MK fighters (the ANC’s armed wing - Umkhonto We Sizwe) who had fought valiantly to overthrow Apartheid were deviously marked in fake files as informers and traitors and left to be “discovered” by officials of the incoming regime.
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Ed Moloney wrote lengthy submission in support of FRU spook Ian Hurst

Some Cic Saor aficionados will already be aware that the Guardian has now upheld my complaint against its Ireland correspondent Henry McDonald over its coverage of the Smithwick Tribunal and his use of Ian Hurst as a supposedly credible witness. The Guardian’s ruling can be read here:

I won’t go into the details of my arguments – either against Hurst or McDonald, which will be familiar territory to most of you. Rather, I will point to something very revealing that Henry McDonald says in (vainly) trying to undermine my argument. For McDonald correctly says that my complaint was an attempt by me to expose a source “widely used in the media”. Look:

The Guardian's Ireland correspondent says that this is an attempt to undermine the credibility of a source, Hurst, widely used in the media, including the Guardian.
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The Irish Government and Garda Special Branch have consciously ignored the hacking scandal for years – one has to ask why.

(All the indications are that the Ireland section of News International used the same hacking and phone blagging system in this country as it did in the UK – why would anyone think otherwise?)


In November 2011, a BBC Panorama programme revealed that the Dublin offices of News International had been used as a repository for hacked material via fax communications – faxes were used because News International was aware of the dangers of using emails. Panorama correctly named senior News International executive Alex Marunchak as the head of the Dublin office (he was in fact the all-Ireland executive). The programme also showed evidence of his central role in the commissioning of computer hacking.
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The invisible lives and philosophies of workers and immigrants (Guildhall Press set to publish Paul Larkin’s debut novel)


Below, I provide an extract from my forthcoming novel, but before I do that, I beg readers’ forbearance whilst I give some background to the genesis of the book.

(I publish this essay on the anniversary day of the death of my grandmother - Nana Larkin - Sarah Larkin nee Laverty, who was truly a saint and truly a Manchester Irish saint.)

Where prose is concerned, my great passion is for, mostly, 19th Century writers like Herman Melville, Dostoevsky, the two Scandinavian Henriks - Ibsen and Pontoppidan, then James Conrad, Thomas Hardy, Dickens and Jack London. Some readers, especially given the title of this essay, may be surprised that I also include Jane Austen in that great literary canon.
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Prime Time’s Dirty “Harry” and its "star" Smithwick witness Toby Harnden – my extraordinary correspondence with RTÉ

In the correspondence below regarding the Smithwick Tribunal, RTÉ’s Prime Time editor Donagh Diamond admits to quoting the wrong programme in his reply to me, describes a discredited witness as a “perfect guide” and is obliged to retract a smear on my journalistic integrity. RTÉ’s compliance officer meanwhile tells me that the Prime Time editor has responded to me “meaningfully, professionally and with courtesy."

I was so startled by this correspondence with RTÉ that I have decided to make its key points public. I will publish the full unedited version at a later date.

(NB As many of you are aware, I am a seasoned journalist and film maker. In 1997, I was awarded both the overall European Journalist of the Year award and also the National Radio and Television category. I have worked for both the BBC and RTÉ as a film maker and journalist.)
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