New City, New York – 8/3/2015– The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH)
The Ancient Order of Hibernians is both disappointed and saddened that CNN, a major news network, would in its recent episode of the series “The Seventies” entitled “The Golden Age of Terrorism” continue to perpetuate a sadly dated, skewed and inaccurate depiction of the struggle for freedom in Northern Ireland
Per AOH Political Education Chair Neil F. Cosgrove:
“It was hoped that CNN’s series “The Seventies” in its episode “The Golden Age of Terrorism” aired 7/30/15 would take advantage of the forty years that have transpired between those dark days in Irish history and today to bring fresh perspective and analysis to the human tragedy that was “the Troubles”. Unfortunately, CNN’s segments concerning ‘the Troubles’ in Northern Ireland presented viewers only the same highly bowdlerized depiction of events as originally offered by the British State run BBC which were accepted uncritically by the American media of the 70’s and which CNN promulgates fresh again in 2015. CNN continues the sad media tradition of presenting a highly censored depiction of the conflict in Northern Ireland, completely omitting the “loyalist” paramilitaries such as the UVF and UDA who committed numerous atrocities in collusion with the British State. It was particularly reprehensible and inaccurate to describe the proximate cause of Bloody Sunday, a massacre which the Saville Inquiry held the members of the British Parachute Regiment fully accountable and vindicated the innocence of the Irish victims, as a reaction to “the Internment of terrorists”, when history shows that due to faulty British intelligence many of those interned without charges nor trial had no terrorist connections. The true root of “the Troubles” in the 70’s grew out of rampant discrimination in hiring and housing, the violent suppression of peaceful Civil Rights marchers who were attempting to emulate America’s Civil Right movement, and a military sent in as “peacemakers” who instead became active and partisan belligerents.
We also note that the series did not cover incidents such as the shooting without provocation innocent civilians by members of the same parachute regiment in Ballymurphy in August 1971, the invasion and bombing of the Republic of Ireland by Loyalist Paramilitaries supported by members of the British military and intelligence forces in the Dublin/Monaghan Bombings of May 1974 or the murder of innocent civilians by members of the UVF and UDR in the Miami Showband Massacre in July 1975, an event which we note with sad irony occurred one day shy of 40 years prior to CNN’s airing this skewed depiction of “the Troubles”. Though well within the remit of a show entitled “The Seventies”, CNN is conspicuously silent on these acts of loyalist and state terrorism in Northern Ireland. We also note that unlike other groups covered in the program, there was no contemporary analysis nor present day interviews with people who had actually experienced “the Troubles” first hand.
At a time when fresh revelations, are showing that the British Government was an active and willing participant in furthering the violence of the troubles, when weapons used by “loyalist” paramilitaries to commit murder previously declared “lost” by the RUC and PSNI are “found” on display in the Imperial War Museum in London; CNN’s coverage of the conflict in Northern Ireland as depicted in its program “the Seventies” is as dated as its title and instead of bringing illumination to that conflict merely parrots the flawed, and now discredited, sound bites of 40 years ago.”