Jude Collins

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

That Mary McArdle move

The last time I wrote about Mary McArdle,  I got abuse - some spoken, some silently acted on - from those in high places and in conspicuously low places. So it's with my sinews, such as they are, stiffened that I tiptoe towards the topic again.

Mary McArdle, you'll remember, was convicted for being part of an IRA unit that attempted to kill Judge  Travers on his way home from Mass. They wounded the judge and they killed the judge's daughter Mary, who was with him. Mary McArdle was appointed a special advisor to the Sinn Féin Minister for Culture, and a campaign was mounted to have her removed, with the voice of Anne Travers, Mary's sister, most frequently heard. It didn't succeed. Or at least not at the time - McArdle has in the last couple of days been moved to another post within Sinn Féin. Anne Travers declares herself delighted that she's achieved a victory for her dead sister, and now calls on Mary McArdle to divulge the names of those who were on the mission with her.

I could repeat for the umpteenth time how horrible it must be to lose through violence a member of your family, but can we take that as read? Hundreds, thousands of people here have experienced it over the past forty years and the pain they live with is immense. The question is, was Mary McArdle forced out of her job because of pressure by Anne Travers? Probably not. Had McArdle resigned in the heat of the media onslaught, the answer would have been different. But the fact is, the case has sunk to the back of the public consciousness.  My guess is that McArdle was moved primarily because a gap occurred elsewhere in the Shinner organisation which they believed McArdle could fill effectively. At some secondary level, they may have felt that it might indicate that, while they're not prepared to be dictated to, they have sensitivity about the matter. If  Anne Travers feels entitled to claim that as her victory,  fine.

What's she's not entitled to do is to start another campaign to have Mary McArdle provide the names of the other people who were with her that day. Which she shows signs of doing: "Now I would just like it if Mary McArdle could just find it in her heart...to tell me who else was involved in Mary's murder and the attempted murder of my parents".   She clearly wasn't listening when Martin McGuinness at the Saville Inquiry and numerous other republicans  made it clear that they will not give information about their comrades in anything short of a full truth and healing engagement involving all sides, including the British state and its forces. Now there's a campaign that might have merit.


  1. Jude
    "What's she's not entitled to do is to start another campaign.."
    Neither you nor I nor anyone else can say she is not entitled to campaign for the rest of her life on this, if she wishes.
    Ann Travers is not a politician required to be balanced in her calls for enquiries. She is an individual looking truth.
    How rude of her not to listen to what Martin McGuinness has said!

  2. And the corrupt judges who knowingly put innocent people in jail for years just to remain part of the establishment.

  3. and spooks in the english government who sanctioned many state murders against irish people over many years they can hold whatever posts without any questions if your going to question 1 side question all, how many civilians are being slaughtered across the world at the moment by english and american troops in their quest for world supremacy

  4. eamonn cunningham14 March 2012 at 22:16

    wheres my post

  5. eamonn cunningham14 March 2012 at 22:25

    got it now put my name on it the 1 above

  6. If Sinn Feinn want to further increase their vote then they need to stop being so insensitive. There was just no need to appoint McArdle. The sooner SF have no troubles baggage the better with Doherty or McDonald as the new leader they are more likely to turn those remaining nationalists who realise the SDLP are dead otherwise I think they have reached a high point and wont further increase their vote

  7. Of course it is not possible to discuss Ann Travers' case without first condemning all British and American injustice everywhere. Maybe better condemn Israel too. Hope that covers it.
    Now about Ann Travers..?