Irish Republican News · April 23, 2016
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Infamous Crown force handed victims’ funding
Infamous Crown force handed victims’ funding

bspecials.jpg

Former members of the B-Specials in the north of Ireland have been funded by a victims’ support group, even though the notoriously sectarian paramilitary organisation was disbanded just months after the recent conflict began.

The B-Specials were part of the Ulster Special Constabulary, which was disbanded by the British government in April 1970 after serious violence was provoked by its brutal suppression of the Catholic population.

The USC comprised three units known as the A, B and C Specials and was disbanded after a recommendation in the Hunt report, which was published after widespread disorder across the north in August 1969. Some former members of the B-Specials later joined the RUC Reserve and UDR, which were set up to replace it.

Several Crown-force linked groups have now received cash from the ‘Victims and Survivors Service’, which is funded by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister at Stormont. The grant scheme recently allocated some 13,000 pounds sterling to the association of former members of the USC, even though their exclusively Protestant units suffered no casualties.

They were responsible for anti-Catholic pogroms in every decade from the 1920s to the 1960s, and were heavily involved in the attempts to smash the civil rights movement of 1968-69, as well as the attacks on the nationalist areas of Belfast, Newry, Derry and other areas in the North in August 1969.

East Derry assembly member John Dallat said on Sunday night he is concerned that the USC Association has received funding.

“I have to ask myself where this all ends?” he said. “Do we go back to the Black and Tans with money or will common sense prevail and the money intended for people genuinely affected by the Troubles are the beneficiaries of taxpayers’ money?”

“How do the relatives of victims feel about sharing money going to an organisation which exists to keep alive the memory of the ‘B’ Specials an organisation which had a dreadful reputation from its inception in 1920.

“Even in the lead-up to the recent troubles they played their part in creating tension at checkpoints set up and focussing only on Catholics even if those Catholics happened to be their next door neighbours.”

For almost 50 years, the infamous B-Specials carried out a reign of terror against the nationalist population of the North as the armed wing of the old unionist regime. Set up in 1920, it carried out numerous revenge killings and reprisals around this time and members are believed to have been involved in the McMahon killings in 1922, when six members of a Catholic family were shot dead in north Belfast.

They also shot several Catholics in 1969 including father-of-three John Gallagher in Armagh after a Civil Rights Association meeting.

© 2016 Irish Republican News