One law for the rich another for the poor?
I am not surprised in any measure about the revelations of Kiernan Conway that the Provos had contacts and assistance from inside the Garda in the 1970s and even later. I not surprised about help going to the Provos from the politicians or businessmen. I was puzzled by the reference to him as a barrister. Reading the articles in the press it says he came from an upper middle class family in south Dublin. But it clearly says that he was jailed in the Crumlin Road prison after being caught by the army in Londonderry. He even went on hunger strike for political status.
“The ex-IRA intelligence officer turned Dublin barrister”
So how does someone with such a conviction walk in the hallowed halls of justice? As an ex paramilitary prisoner one thing that has dogged me since my release is the constant discrimination shown in job selection procedures and interviews. Maybe it’s OK to get a Diplock conviction then move south and there’s no problem? Did the legal eagles down there vet his application to the bar? Or maybe it’s more a class thing? Maybe Conway’s family and friends moved in the right circles that could get things sorted? No harm in sliding him in if you were also turning a blind eye to the slaughter that was going on in Belfast and the border?
But what of working class loyalist men and women who decided to stand up in the ‘70s? Maybe our ideas then about collusion between the Irish government and the Provos were correct? And in some ways thank heavens we stood up for what was right. But ordinary loyalists have struggled to get good jobs to look after their families upon release from prison and long after they had left their organisation. Some of the discrimination I encountered was from middle and upper class unionists.
And not only loyalist ex-prisoners. I have followed the case of two ex-republicans who wanted to work in a homeless place in west Belfast. Bottom line. They cant. So if you are from the Shankill or the Falls i.e. working class, and not upper middle class, you cannot, and never will be, a barrister or such like. After such a revelation is it any wonder that ordinary loyalists do not, and will not, go into a United Ireland? What sort of life awaits us there?
Working class Prod and Diplock court sentenced.