Republican News · Thursday 24 August 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Easons accused of censorship

Eason and Son, the largest book retailer in Ireland, has been accused of political censorship after it emerged that it has refused to stock Bill Rolston's new book about British state killings in the north of Ireland, Unfinished Business.

The reason offered by the company when questioned by An Phoblacht was that its lawyers did not have the time to check in detail the allegations contained within Unfinished Business and that they were not prepared, therefore, to risk any potential legal action by putting it on sale.

Unfinished Business is published by Beyond the Pale publications, a small independent company who are unlikely to risk potentially hugely expensive legal proceedings themselves by publishing allegations (regarding direct or indirect British state involvement in killings carried out by Crown forces or loyalists) that have not been thoroughly checked prior to publication.

Further, Easons are content to stock Lost Lives by David McKittrick and others, listing all the deaths arising out of the past 30 years of conflict. Included in Lost Lives are many of the allegations of state involvement in killings such as, for example, the assassination of Pat Finucane by the UDA. Presumably, if the company's lawyers had time to comb the 1,600 pages of Lost Lives, then they could have also found the time to check Unfinished Business, less than a quarter of the length.

Amazon UK Ltd, the internet bookseller currently involved in a legal battle with David Trimble over the sale of The Committee and no doubt rather cautious as a consequence about the titles it stocks, has included Rolston's book in its catalogue. Waterstones, the largest book retailer in Britian, also stocks it, listing Unfinished Business as an ``essential read''.

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