Recently, a log was brought to my attention in which the dissident republican Anthony McIntyre, links me to the killing of a 26-year-old Shankill Road, Protestant man, Samuel Llewellyn. Back then, in July 1975, at 22, just out of internment and living under many aliases and stilll on the run until that year’s ceasefire, I had just been made editor of the Republican News. But, I had nothing to do with the killing of this innocent man who was killed after a car bomb attack close to our Republican News offices.
Having read what Anthony McIntyre said about me , my lawyers have told me that I am now the subject of arrest by the Historical Enquiries Team. Given that I never met Anthony McIntyre until my imprisonment in the H-Blocks in 1991, could it be that his allegation is related to something that has been said in one of his Boston College research interviews which he is now inadvertently/subconsciously referring to?
Anthony McIntyre and Ed Moloney have yet to reveal what they were paid for producing the ‘Belfast Archive’, to which, apparently, Moloney has exclusive rights, allowing him to profit from the confessions of veterans as they die. How the archive was hatched is still the subject of ongoing media scrutiny.
Moloney never served a minute in jail but Mackers served a million, though he has since squandered every second on behalf of the British state, out to historically undermine our integrity, motivation, our choices and decisions, however difficult, complex and perplexing, but informed by the circumstances we found ourselves in.
Anthony McIntyre served a long time in jail, including years on the blanket which would earn one a lot of respect. He has disagreed with the republican strategy for many years and provided a voice of opposition. But he has lost the run of himself, for whatever reason, and has now struck a new low which he will have difficulty in explaining.
I have criticised the fact that he and Ed Moloney possibly misled participants in the collection of the Boston College archive in that their interviews about their IRA activities would not be released until after their deaths.
I cited the fact that I and a dozen others were charged in 1978 in relation to an allegedly sealed archive in the Public Records Office which was seized by the RUC, and my belief that Antony and Ed would have been aware of that case. He has had months to deny that he was aware but I take it from his silence that he knew about our prosecution.
For the past fifteen years, if you read his writings, Anthony has been obsessed with Gerry Adams and this informs his views and responses. It makes for a sad life. This obsession may also have been a factor in his involvement in the Boston College archive. It is also likely to be replicated in the choice of people he interviewed or those willing to have been interviewed.
The only example we have about the nature of these interviews is that provided by Ed Moloney in his book, ‘Voices From The Grave’, where he quotes from the archive the late Brendan Hughes making allegations about Gerry Adams and the IRA.
Throughout this lazy book many other republicans are named and implicated in this and that. My complaint is that none of these republicans were ever given the right of reply because, of course, that would have required a bit of work and might well have undermined Brendan Hughes’s account so substantially as to have rendered him an unreliable witness.
Some months ago it emerged that the British authorities, supported by the US Department of Justice, have issues subpoenas to seize the tapes for their alleged evidential worth in unresolved killings, presumably involving the IRA. However, instead of refuting on ethical grounds the attempt to seize the material – which could still be potentially used to indict the interviewees or those they have implicated – Anthony and Ed’s first instinct was to run with the red herring that if the tapes were handed over they could be killed by the IRA (the IRA that sold out and was infiltrated up to its black berets – according to Anthony, when it suited him!).
I took umbrage at that nonsense and wrote so.
It was what Anthony McIntyre said next that shows the depths to which he has sank. After a long rant, during which he ignored every valid point I made, he then wrote the following about me:
“Does this deceitful hypocrite seriously expect to raise a head of steam against those involved in the Boston College project? More chance that he will raise Sammy Llewellyn from the dead. Pennies for your thoughts on what Sammy might tell.”
The only possible reading of this – unless Anthony has an explanation I haven’t thought of – is that he is insinuating that I had something to do with the 1975 sectarian killing of Sammy Llewellyn, who was known as the Good Samaritan. As I said, after a loyalist car bomb attack on the Falls Road, Sammy Llewellyn and other workers from the Housing Executive came out to board up windows. Sammy was from the Shankill Road, was kidnapped and shot dead. Republicans lost a lot of support after this innocent man’s killing.
Never, in the dozens of times that I came through Castlereagh was I ever asked about or linked to Sammy Llewellyn’s death (because, of course, I had no hand or part in it).
But Anthony McIntyre, presumably on the basis of a rumour, or more dangerous still (only he can clarify), possibly quoting one of those he interviewed for the Boston College archive, links my name to a sectarian killing and has set me up for arrest by the HET. In the old days there was a name for such activity.
What his impetuous remark does show, if its provenance is to be found in the archive, is that he has inadvertently brought to the public’s attention the potential dangers inherent in this archive. Was he quoting from an interviewee and abusing allegedly sealed information, however inaccurate? What was his motive? How would he describe what he has done? How would he justify it?
Increasingly we discover that the Boston College Belfast Archive is not an innocent historical academic project but a politically-motivated venture. It has placed not only the participants in danger but others who would only discover after the deaths of participants that those who politically disagreed with them had slandered and vilified then, leaving them with no one to challenge.
What a mess, what a disgrace.