In September 1998 the IRA admitted to its newspaper, An Phoblacht, that it had murdered and secretly buried – disappeared – ‘a small number of people’ during the 1970s.
In March 1999, the IRA declared that it had disappeared the remains of nine victims. – it declared that it could not locate the remains of British soldier Captain Robert Nairac, and that it was not responsible for any other disappearances.
The IRA admitted disappearing the following nine:
Seamus Wright, Kevin McKee, Eamon Molloy, Jean McConville, Columba McVeigh, Brendan Megraw, John McClory, Brian McKinney and Danny McIlhone.
True to form and even at this moment of uttering some truth, the IRA could not help itself – it had to lie again.
The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains later added a number of other names to the list of the disappeared, including Gerry Adams’ friend, former monk Joe Lynskey (whose abduction and murder the IRA preferred not to become known – he had been one of the founding members of the Provisional IRA), Eugene Simons, Gareth O’Connor and Gerard Evans.
The case of Gerard Evans is highly unusual. In one of the areas most associated with the IRA’s institutional practice of horrific torture on victims before ‘executing’ and disappearing them, a most rare event took place – an outbreak of individual conscience.
In 2009 the Sunday Tribune’s northern editor, Suzanne Breen, received a tip-off from a member of the IRA in South Armagh who said that he was sickened by the IRA’s claims that it was not involved in the earlier murder of Paul Quinn, by its denials of involvement in the abduction, murder and disappearance of Gerard Evans and by its insistence that it did not know the whereabouts of Evans’ remains.
He said he was prepared to identify the secret grave where he and other IRA members had murdered and buried Evans.
He described as ‘blatant lies’ the denials by the IRA, by Gerry Adams and by Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy that there was any IRA involvement in the murder of Evans.
The unidentified IRA man told Breen that if the IRA discovered his identity he would be killed for speaking out.
He told Breen that Evans had been suspected of informing and had been abducted by 12 IRA members and that after his interrogation – whose brutality he did not detail – Evans was marched to his death in darkness across bogland.
“He pleaded for mercy. He pleaded not to be killed, and then he said his prayers. He was shot once in the back of the head.”
Following his passing of information to Suzanne Breen, later communicated to the ICLV, Evan’s body was eventually found in a county Louth bog.
The Evans case and the South Armagh IRA man with a conscience highlight the fact that the IRA cannot be relied upon to be truthful even in the cases of the disappeared.
Since the IRA and its supporters have blatantly lied in this case to the Independent Commission, together they can no longer be regarded as credible when denying knowledge of the whereabouts of Captain Robert Nairac’s body.
Ed Moloney, former Irish Journalist of the Year, wrote in his 2002 book, ‘A Secret History of the IRA’ that Gerry Adams was both an IRA commander in Belfast and the founder of the ‘unknowns’ – the secretive torture and ‘nutting’ squad that was to be used to counter informers and British agents operating within or against the IRA.
Moloney blamed Adams directly for setting in train the abduction, torture and murder of Jean McConville.
Strangely for someone who claimed never to have been a member of the IRA, Adams did not sue Moloney for libel, nor did he seek to have the book’s publication stopped by way of a legal writ for defamation.
The IRA disappeared Gerard Evans for the first time when it abducted him, interrogated him and later murdered him into a secret grave.
The IRA disappeared Evans a second time when in 1998 it lied about his murder, his disappearance and knowledge of his grave.
The truth only appeared following one man’s crisis of conscience over the IRA’s murder of Paul Quinn – which it also denied – and in which denial it was supported once more by Conor Murphy, MP and Gerry Adams.
Northern nationalism is choosing to be led by liars who – like holocaust deniers – will not admit the IRA’s atrocious human rights’ record.
See here for a discussion of the Catholic church’s acquiescence in the IRA’s lies.
See here for a discussion of the cases of The Hooded Men – Victims or Human Rights Offenders?
And here for an article about the IRA and Torture.