Kate Nash RFÉ 11 February 2017

Radio Free Éireann
WBAI 99.5FM Pacifica Radio
New York City
listen on the internet: wbai.org Saturdays Noon EST

John McDonagh and Martin Galvin speak to Kate Nash of the Bloody Sunday March for Justice via telephone from Doire about the Justice for Veterans UK march that was planned to be held near The Bogside and about the status of the prosecutions of Bloody Sunday soldiers. (begins time stamp ~ 31:03)

Martin:   I believe we have on the line Kate Nash. Kate, are you with us?

Kate:   Yes, indeed I am, Martin. Hello.

Martin:   Yes, Kate, hi. Kate, I’m just reading something from BBC – Bloody Sunday, of course, where your brother was killed, January 30th 1972 – your father was wounded. There were thousands of people on the streets marching in a civil rights march against internment – shot down by British troopers. And there was almost another march, it was originally scheduled for March 4th but it’s been called off, and I’m just reading from the BBC about a group, Northern Ireland branch of the Veterans for Justice and how they’re upset by ‘false prosecutions’ of British soldiers. And the leader of that group said:

if soldiers break the law they face the rigours of the law and rightly so and it’s the same as it should be for any other member of the community. But where’s the investigation into my colleagues and friends who were murdered? It seems to be forgotten about.

Now Kate we thought we’d call you. You’re still marching for prosecutions of any British soldiers as the result of the murder of your brother and – actually a total of fourteen people, the wounding of so many others – in plain site, plain view, openly, observed by thousands of people in Doire. Exactly where are we in terms of getting prosecutions of British soldiers for that?

Kate:   Well, several months later we’re still waiting for the Public Prosecution Service to send us word that either these soldiers will be going into court or it’s not in the public interest to prosecute them. That’s exactly where we’re at. We haven’t heard anything from them. Actually, we have a letter here that I’m sure all families got and there’s a number on it for a care worker who we can liaise with at the Public Prosecution Service and Liam Wray actually tried that number and it’s dead. It’s a non-existent number. So that’s how much they care.

Martin:   Alright. Now, this march – it’s just fascinating to me, they are now claiming they were going to march, it’s been called off. I know you were involved – there are quite a number of people in Doire – the Saoradh political party, others – but I just – they say that no one, no Republicans, have ever been prosecuted for killing British troopers. About how many people, between internment, between charges, between sent to Maghaberry, between Long Kesh, between Crumlin Road – all the other prisons – how many people were inside, Republicans or Loyalists, were inside British prisons because of attacks on British soldiers?

Kate:    Well I’ll tell you: There’s been twenty-five thousand Republicans have gone through the courts and prosecuted. And there’s been twenty thousand Loyalists. So when they say to you that there are only – and in fact only a handful, I mean four maybe five soldiers, have gone through the courts in all that time. They got small sentences, even for murder. They got small sentences and in fact, came out, got back into the British Army and indeed some of them were decorated. As you know the Bloody Sunday soldiers were actually decorated for what they did on Bloody Sunday. But these soldiers went back into the Army and rose up the ranks.

Martin:    And one wonders, when they say they went to prison, like for the murder of Kidso Reilly and others, whether it just was that they were put into a different barracks or a different type of duty serving with the British Army. I just want to – you’ve used the term, or it has been used, that the British troopers have impunity’ – they had an undeclared amnesty – that they weren’t being prosecuted. And now, as it looks, you and the other Bloody Sunday families, the people in The North of Ireland who fought behind your campaign are at the point where prosecutions or acts – well files were sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, sort of like a District Attorney there, Barra McGrory, a decision will be made – it hasn’t been made yet – whether to prosecute or not. That seems to have gotten all this action: threats of marches, calls for amnesty, call for a statute of limitations which would whitewash everybody, calls in Westminster for there to be new laws that they shouldn’t be prosecuted. I just want to go through what your family and the others who support you have gotten, how much it has taken, even to get to this stage – after Bloody Sunday what happened? What was said about your brother, about the others who were killed that day? What sort of claims were made about them by the British?

Kate:    Yes. Yes. My brother – in the newspapers – they claimed he was a gunman. He was completely demonised. The whole family were, in fact. The British newspapers said that we were a pro-Republican, violent family – actually nothing was further from the truth. Although I did have brothers involved in boxing even at professional level – not then but later on. (One of them actually went to the Olympic Games in Munch that same year.) However, that was the sort of thing they said about us. As you know, we got hate mail. We got hate mail from everywhere and saying that he deserved to die. In fact, what we had to do was, because my mother wasn’t very well – she’d had a heart attack – we had to actually watch for the postman so that we could actually get the mail and keep it away from her – she was just so upset – some of the ugly, terrible things that were being written you know? So…

Martin:   …So I just want to explain to our audience: It’s a civil rights march, it was publicly called, it was well-known, there were thousands of people who attended. People had been interned without charge or trial in Doire and across The North that previous August.

Kate:   That’s right.

Martin:   Your brother and a number of other people, fourteen died – thirteen that day, a fourteenth later on – others were wounded, severely wounded, including your father.

Kate:   That’s right.

Martin:   They’re obviously marching. This is seen. It’s witnessed. And the British government says your brother was a gunman, others were nail bombers or assisted nail bombers or other excuses. You get hate mail. You get demonised. So you not only have to live with close family members being killed or wounded but you have to live with that type of demonisation – with hate mail, with being having him branded as a gunman, somebody who deserved to die – that sort of thing. Alright. It took months but because of the outcry, because of the campaign, you got a tribunal – it was lead by a famous Lord Justice who was going to bring justice to The North named Lord Widgery. And what happened at the end result of that tribunal?

Kate:   Well what happened was they basically blamed the victims and although they did admit that soldiers might have been a little bit hasty basically the victims were to blame for themselves. And that’s what happened. In fact, my father, at one stage, was actually told that he didn’t really know his son. You know, I can tell you… (crosstalk)

Martin:    …Well I remember the Widgery Report, it actually became famous because I remember being in Ireland just a few months later and somebody would tell a crazy tale or something like that and people would shout out: Oh! Widgery wouldn’t even accept that one or You couldn’t Widgery your way out of something (If you wanted to tell a lie.) It was a complete whitewash. So your brother stayed branded as a gunman. Others stayed branded as nail bombers or assisted nail, bombers. How much longer did you have to campaign, march, struggle to get something changed?

Kate:   Well the families marched I mean for years and then some fell away obviously because they didn’t want – because the Provisional IRA took over that march the families didn’t want the association with the you know – innocents victims really and the IRA – because they would have given them a whip, really, to beat us with, you know? But then again the campaign started again then in I believe in ’92 – well when the Good Friday Agreement happened and …(crosstalk)

Martin:   …Alright. Now that was in 1998. And because of Doire and Bloody Sunday being so important – I mean it’s unfortunate but there have been many, many families who lost people – innocent victims of either British troops or the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) or people that they hired, their hirelings – Loyalist killers, etc. For example, the Ballymurphy Families, that I know you’re close to, they still are branded as criminals, as gunmen – that sort of thing. Those killings occurred in August of 1971. But because Doire and Bloody Sunday was witnessed by so many people it was made part of the Good Friday Agreement that we’re now going to get justice, that we’re now going to – a new day has dawned, new justice will happen. How long did it take before there was a finding clearing your brother and the others who were victims of Bloody Sunday from that inquiry that was announced as part of this Good Friday Agreement in 1998?

Kate:   Well the inquiry took six years and then we waited a further six years to get the conclusions. And we got the conclusions in 2010, June of 2010. We’re now into almost the seventh, it’ll be seven years. And you would have thought with those conclusions, because they said the victims were killed without fear or panic, and the soldiers knowingly lied about this so you would have expected prosecutions to follow but that didn’t happen. We’re now seven years, almost seven years later, in June, and so – we wait.

Martin:   Alright. Now you’re on the verge of a decision being made on whether there’ll be prosecutions and all of sudden you hear about this march being announced by the Veterans for Justice group about who feel they are being mistreated. There are announcements in England, in Westminster – one person whose a Member of Parliament said he used to torture people in The North of Ireland. What was planned for March 4th in Doire?

Kate:   Well these guys had decided, these veterans, had decided they were going to march. As you know here, Martin, when you march here you have to apply to what we call the Parades Commission for permission to march – I think it’s usually thirty days notice – something like that. So these guys, the Parades Commission obviously gave these guys permission to march and it was announced in the press. And I can tell you all hell broke loose in Doire. The Parades Commission were inundated with phone calls and emails totally against – people, people telling them that they didn’t want these guys to march. There was just such a rage. And it was like you know – it could almost take you back forty-five years. This had the potential to turn into something extremely violent because the people of Doire, even though it’s been forty-five years, the people of Doire are still very raw at what happened and that was palpable. You could feel it in the city, you know? Everybody. There was rage everywhere.

Martin:   Alright. And there were also counter-demonstrations called – groups like Saoradh and others were going to march against…

Kate:   …Saoradh, a group here, Saoradh were planning to march from Free Derry Wall but you have to understand though, that this, these veterans, these old soldiers would have been marching to The Diamond which is literally a five minute stroll from The Bogside where all these victims died. So this is where these guys were going to come to.

Free Derry Wall after news of vets’ group march was published

And Saoradh was going to march from Free Derry Wall up to The Diamond and I believe the IRSP (Irish Republican Socialist Party), we call them the Irps, they were going to march and of course, we would have had to definitely arrange a counter-demonstration through the families and supporters of course and that would have brought, I know that would have brought thousands and thousands of people onto the street. I was very afraid, to be honest – very, very afraid – because I knew something would – there would have been a tremendous amount of trouble and you don’t want people hurt. I just wouldn’t want anybody hurt. So I was really, really glad when it was called off. But thank God, through the auspices of the pressure that the people here in Doire – and Belfast – other people were contacting us as well – were putting on the Parades Commission the pressure to stop that march and obviously they realised then that would have been the sensible thing to do.

John:   Alright now Kate, this was definitely a political decision – where to march. They could have marched Ballymena or some Loyalist area…

Kate:   Of course. Of course.

John:   …and they probably would have gotten a great reception as they marched through. But they deliberately said we’re going to march through Doire. And then how did it move…

Kate:   …Provocative

Martin:   …It was like the Ku Klux Klan when they wanted to march in Skokie or somewhere like that – they have to march in an area – worst type of area…

John:   …And what’s the official reason they’re not marching now?

Kate:    Well according to the Parades Commission they actually withdrew, they actually withdrew their – what they asked for they withdrew the – to ask for the march. They just withdrew that application. But I don’t believe that. I believe actually what happened was the pressure, I know the pressure was great. I had called all the MLAs in the city and strangely, the only one that didn’t get back to me was the Unionist, I’ll not name him, the Unionist MLA at Stormont – he didn’t get back to me though I really wasn’t surprised at that. But I called my solicitor. I was going to mount a legal challenge to have it stopped because I knew there was potential for great violence. And the people – just so raw – what happened here Bloody Sunday – it’s just so raw with the people and I knew it had the potential for (inaudible). We didn’t want that.

Martin:   Alright, Kate, there are – we’re at the stage, Barra McGrory is going to make a decision one way or another on whether there’ll be prosecutions or not. It seems all of a sudden the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) has said there should be a statute of limitations, a cut-off, so that none of those troops – it would cover all of them – give them that undeclared amnesty or impunity. It seems like there’s discussions in Westminster to put pressure on Barra McGrory or talk about new legislation. What – How do you react when you see the – I can’t tell you how many times I was on interviews with BBC and they always say: Well, if British soldiers did anything wrong they should face the courts. Everyone should face the courts. Yet now, at this point, you’ve fought for so many years since 1972 to get British troopers into the courts for the crime of Bloody Sunday which was seen by and witnessed by so many and which even a British Prime Minister has said it was ‘unjustified and unjustifiable’, how do you feel when you see all of these moves up there just to get that undeclared amnesty put into effect and continue?

Kate:    It’s appalling. It’s appalling but then that’s what the British have done here for as far back as I can remember. They’ve always bent the law, manipulated the law and broke the law so that actually they could just get their own way. They, I mean, the Bloody Sunday case could have been seen to very, very – could have been finished a very long time ago had the police, had the police here been allowed to do – or had the police done their job – this should have been through the courts very many great number of years ago. But because of government pressure and because of the, well British government pressure, that hasn’t been allowed to happen. The law of the land has not been allowed to take its course. Look, we just had dinner there just recently with a guy who was here on Bloody Sunday – an Italian photographer.

The Iconic Image by Fulvio Grimaldi

His name was Fulvio Grimaldi. And he wrote a book about it. And he told us, even at eighty-three years of age, he said he’s been to Syria, Afghanistan – he’s been all sorts of places where wars were taking place and he said he never got over what happened at Bloody Sunday. He’s never witnessed anything more brutal. He says the innocence of people and he said these soldiers just shooting at them. They shot at him, too, by the way – he had to get film out you know by way of – apparently Martin McGuinness, he was saying, helped him – get film out of the city and out of the country, you know – to save it because the British were looking for it, you know? But he said he’d never seen anything more brutal in all the wars that he’s seen than what happened here that day on Bloody Sunday. So I mean that’s says it all really.

Martin:   Alright, Kate. We’re talking to Kate Nash of the Bloody Sunday March committee…

Kate:   …Martin, can I say one more thing more, please?

Martin:   Yes.

Kate:   I heard you saying about keeping your station on the air. I didn’t know it was in any danger of not being on the air. I think it’s so important to keep that station on the air because I feel, and I know lots of other people here, we feel that that’s our voice. People in America, I urge America and others: Hear what’s happening, the real truth, about what’s happening here in Ireland and please, please get behind that station and support it. Keep it on the air.

Martin:   Alright. And we’ve been talking to Kate Nash. Kate, I want to thank you. I know you listen every week. You’ve helped us get guests on the programme to help to keep it going. (Martin makes a fund raising appeal/testimonial.) Alright thank you, Kate. We’ll be following and we’re hoping to have you on when prosecutions are announced and we’re hoping, finally, that you know – although it won’t be the top people – the people who gave the orders, the people who gave the commands – at least it’s a start that someone will face justice for murder in front of so many thousands of people in Doire in January of 1972. Alright, thank you, Kate.

Kate:   Please God. Thank you very much, Martin. Thank you. (ends time stamp ~ 50:40)

Kate Nash RFÉ 27 August 2016

Radio Free Éireann
WBAI 99.5FM Pacifica Radio
New York City
listen on the internet: wbai.org Saturdays Noon EST

Martin Galvin (MG) speaks to Kate Nash (KN) via telephone from Doire and gets updates on the Bloody Sunday cases. (begins time stamp ~ 39:48)

MG: With us on the line we have Kate Nash whose brother was one of the victims murdered by British troopers on Bloody Sunday and is still fighting to have those troopers brought to court and be publicly charged for the crimes that they committed that day. Kate, welcome back to Radio Free Éireann – I know you’ve been doing this programme a lot longer than I have.

KN:  Oh, thank you, yes, and thank you for inviting me.

MG:  Alright, Kate. Now we now have another milestone in the Bloody Sunday, in your fight to bring those British troopers to justice for the murder of your brother, the wounding of your father, the killing and wounding of so many other people. What is the latest that has happened with your fight for justice?

KN:  Yes well, we got an update eight days ago from the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) to actually say that they had finished questioning soldiers and that will be the end of questioning when this is all together so that’s very significant in our fight for justice and especially in this murder investigation because it’s taken four years to get this far so yes, you’re right, it’s a very significant milestone.

However, they have also told us that they will now sit and consider and see about compiling a case to present to the Public Prosecution Service. But however, there’s a little fear there, too – because they did warn us, the leading detective on this case, did warn us four years ago when it started that it could possibly be – they might not prosecute using that term ‘public interest’. It’s a (inaudible) term you know so they might not think it’s in the public interest to prosecute these soldiers.

MG:  Alright Kate, I know it seems – four years for this investigation, they’ve been through so much, you had a Saville Inquiry, you had the original investigation – for most of these troopers, they said they had to be questioned – all they did is said they wouldn’t answer any questions. Why did it take four years to get to this point and why is it you still – you and the other families have no idea whether they will even recommend that charges be brought and of course, that recommendation would have to be approved or disapproved by the Director of Public Prosecutions like what we would call a District Attorney here in New York.

KN: Well, we also have to remember that at the Saville Inquiry – Saville had the powers of a High Court and he himself could have recommended prosecutions at the end of that. He chose not to do that. And if fact, there was a lot of perjury committed by soldiers at the Saville Inquiry and he could have recommended even arrests for that and he didn’t do it. So I think just…I mean the delays in this case and the unwillingness, really, to actually prosecute soldiers – it’s been that way all along. We have fought from the very start and it seems, really, that before they get soldiers into court the idea really is for us to die off, you know, that seems to be – the judiciary here, as you know, Martin, the judiciary here have been unwilling to deal with any of these cases, any of these state murders, and that’s the way it is. We’ve become used to that. So it’s another wait for us now to find out if they will actually, if the Public Prosecution, will actually prosecute.

MG: But Kate, this case – we’re talking with Kate Nash whose brother was one of the Bloody Sunday victims who was killed, whose father was wounded on Bloody Sunday and is actually one of the people who leads the Bloody Sunday Marches each year – in this case you had a British Prime Minister say that this was ‘unjustified and unjustifiable killings’ – that’s a legal definition of murder if I ever heard one. You had Saville talk about how the testimony under oath was knowingly not truthful which seems to fit, pretty much, a legal definition of perjury. How is there any hesitation, how is there any hold up, how is there any doubt as to whether they would recommend charges of murder or manslaughter or perjury against those troopers?

KN: Yes, well the fact of the matter is there has been political interference from the start and went all through – not just in the case of Bloody Sunday – in other cases as well. And the fact is they simply don’t want to put soldiers in jail. I don’t know if it’s because there’s been deals made, I’m pretty sure there has been, the Good Friday Agreement – and I think they probably all decided that an apology would be enough. As a matter of fact it’s not enough. An apology certainly wouldn’t take the place of justice for anybody and it certainly won’t take the place of justice for us or most of the families. I believe there is one or two families who would be involved with Sinn Féin who are happy enough with this apology. However, we’re not – most of the families aren’t.

MG: Alright. Now, how far up do you expect, if there are charges at all, is it just going to be…

KN: …Yes, well if there are charges I would expect – I have asked, on many occasions, I’m in touch with the PSNI at least once a week by email. And I have asked have they questioned General Sir Michael Jackson, who took a leading role on the day of Bloody Sunday. He was the man who compiled the famous ‘shot list‘ where bullets went and also the man responsible for putting the story around the world in fact within twenty-four hours that those who were shot that day were bombers and gunmen and indeed, they did try to allude to the fact that my brother was one of those people.

MG: Now Mike Jackson is a senior British officer at this time. But it’s clear: British soldiers were brought together. They were given a scenario to comply with, to tell a story to try to justify what happened and concoct it – you don’t get that many different stories from that many different people. They all say the same thing and they all say something which is so different from what everybody saw on Bloody Sunday itself. They couldn’t have done that unless there was a concerted effort to concoct and stick to and give out a cover story.

KN: Oh, absolutely!

MG: Do you think that there’s any possibility of somebody, British officers who did that, who concocted the cover story, who started it and put out the cover-up of them being charged for perjury and for perverting the course of justice in a murder investigation?

KN: Well absolutely! I feel that General Sir Mike Jackson should be one of those who’s charged with perjury. There’s a very strong case actually for it. He actually appeared back at the Saville Inquiry and had to be called back a second time because of lies he told the first time. So absolutely there’s a case for it. However, when we do ask the PSNI about this they tell me: It’s inappropriate for us to answer these questions and you know, you’ll find, eventually, whenever the time is right, you know so – I don’t know. But certainly they won’t even actually confirm that they’re questioning General Sir Mike Jackson – but however and indeed the soldier who led them in, Derek Wilford, Lieutenant Colonel Derek Wilford, so we’ll have to just wait and see.

MG: He was knighted, of course. But in, for example…

KN: …Yes, he was. He was given an OBE at the end of 1972.

MG: …In the United States, if you had a case like this, the District Attorney, the police would attempt to liaise with the families of the victims. They would speak to them, they would keep them updated, they would brief them. Does any of that happen with you and the other Bloody Sunday families on any sort of regular basis?

KN:  No. We have probably met with the PSNI in four years probably about six times. Now last time we met with the PSNI was actually – and I’m talking the families – was actually almost a year ago – September – it will be a year since we met with them. Although my Liaison Officer, who is somebody who forwards my messages to the leading detective – you know, she’s what we have – a buffer – she told me that she didn’t think the PSNI would be meeting with the families soon so it’ll be interesting to see.

MG:  Just to show you how this is not something that just happened once on Bloody Sunday: During this past week there was something very poignant: Mary Murphy, whose husband, Joseph Murphy, was shot down in Ballymurphy in 1971, in August of 1971, in what is called the Ballymurphy Massacre and what happened the same regiment, the Paratroop Regiment which would fire on civil rights marchers and shoot down people on Bloody Sunday in Doire in January of 1972. In August of 1971 during internment they shot down a number of people. Mr. Murphy who was killed so many years ago – actually his body was recently exhumed. They found that he was shot twice and he had to be re-buried along with his wife. But those families, the Ballymurphy Massacre families, who are also a victim of injustice, also victims of British murder at the hands of the Paratroop Regiment, they haven’t even got to the point where you are, they haven’t even got an inquiry, they haven’t even got to the point where their cases will be taken up and there would be any consideration given about murder charges against the troopers?

KN:  Joseph Murphy, as you rightly pointed out, Joseph Murphy was shot between the ninth and the eleventh of August in 1971. That’s six months before Bloody Sunday and rightly you said, too, by the First Battalion of the Parachute Regiment. Now Joseph Murphy’s story is very sad: He was a forty-one year old father of twelve and Joseph was actually shot over that three day period in the leg. Now Joseph maintained – Joseph lay in hospital for thirteen days before he actually passed away and Joseph maintained to his wife, Mary Ellen, that they had actually him after they shot him the Army had actually taken him to the Henry Taggart Hall, which they were using you know, as a stop-gap, and they’d actually shot him in the same wound a second time! Now, how cruel is that? And he maintained that so his wife disputed that evidence all those years and finally Joseph was exhumed last year and lo and behold! There was the bullet! The family had known all along. Now the families of Ballymurphy are expecting inquests and I’m told that some day they actually – it was actually her lawyer, Michael Mansfield from London, is going to represent some of those families so I wish them all the best I really do. They’ve some struggle, the really had and they’ve had all along – they’ve gotten absolutely no where so they’re just putting everything they wish for on these inquests but it’s not prosecutions – it’s just going to get the truth out there – hopefully. Hopefully.

MG: Alright now Kate, you have been one of the leaders in the annual Bloody Sunday March which continues every year and I know you’re expecting to be marching next January again…

KN: …Absolutely!

MG: …which you have so many years. Why is it that it’s so necessary to march, to put pressure on the British government, to go forward if you’re ever to get justice in this for your brother’s murder?

KN: Martin, we just don’t actually do the march. We have a whole week of events and it’s raising and highlighting other injustices and many other victims of state killers actually. And indeed and for instance like Stakeknife. You’ve heard of him – he was a double agent. He worked for the IRA and the British government or MI5 and those are the kind of cases that we’re – because there was a lot of collusion in our wee country, an awful lot of collusion. And although the British say that they feel they were only responsible for ten percent in actual fact, with the undercover groups that worked in Ireland and just behaving as paramilitaries, really, and just the shoot-by-killings and stuff like that I mean, I would imagine they’ve killed many, many more people. And it’s incumbent upon them, you see, to cover that up. They don’t want to be disgrace in the world by perpetuating a war – and that’s what they did in Ireland – they perpetuated a war by their acts of aggression and their acts of murder and undercover, of course, and that’s what they don’t want to world to find out – what they have done in Ireland. Really they should be facing a war crimes tribunal, they really should.

MG:  Well what they did on Bloody Sunday was still – there were civil rights marches, there was internment and by shooting people down on Bloody Sunday they convinced many people that you were never get civil rights, you were never going to get any kind of justice from a British government that was prepared to answer marches for justice and appeals for civil rights with Bloody Sunday and shooting down civilians and lying about it.

KN: …And of course, we still have internment. Of course, we still have internment. And we still – there’s still political interference in the law. You know of the case of Ivor Bell. There’s one grand example and also the latest example would be Tony Taylor, a man who got out on licence and who was living his life and helping in the community, raising his family, one of his children is special needs, and Tony, who only has one kidney actually and a spleen – doesn’t have a spleen – Tony was arrested again and put in jail and he’s been there for five and a half months and there has been no evidence put up to show that this man should be in jail again. They’ve absolutely nothing at all and so they have him there – they won’t let him out.

I mean this is supposed to be a democratic country we live in. You know, this sort of thing? This is what we fought against forty-five years ago. This is why my brother died. And here it is all these years later and we still have that kind of thing hanging – that kind of dictatorship hanging over our heads.

MG:  Well one of the sad things is that Martin McGuinness and others with Sinn Féin have publicly said that Tony Taylor should be released. They have representation on the policing board. They’re there, they say they have political power within the Six Counties as Deputy First Minister and yet that means absolutely nothing – a British Secretary keeps him in jail.

KN: That’s right. Well, that shows you really who’s running the show.

MG: Alright, Kate. We’ll let that be the last word. And thank you again for being with us.

KN: Well, thank you for having me. Thank you very much. (ends time stamp ~ 55:47 )

Kate Nash RFÉ 21 November 2015

Radio Free Éireann
WBAI 99.5FM Pacifica Radio
New York City
listen on the internet: wbai.org Saturdays Noon EST

John McDonagh (JM) and Sandy Boyer (SB) interview Kate Nash (KN) via telephone from Doire about how the recent Stormont Agreement, called A Fresh Start, will affect the victims and survivors of the conflict in Northern Ireland in their search for justice. (begins time stamp ~ 40:30)

SB: And we’re going to Doire – we’re talking to Kate Nash. And Kate – we talked to Kate last week, of course – and her brother William was murdered by British Paratroopers on Bloody Sunday – her father, Alexander, was severely wounded. Kate, thank you very much for being with us.

KN: You’re very welcome, Sandy. Thank you for asking me.

SB: Well Kate, as I said, last week we covered the news that someone was finally arrested for your brother’s murder and the big news this week is the British government says they’ll pay his legal bills. How does that make you feel?

KN: Oh, my! Well, I got the news actually the way I usually get my news – from a journalist – I don’t buy newspapers anymore, Sandy, they’re so depressing – the news. But he called me and he told me about it – it was late afternoon Tuesday. Just stunned – it was stunned actually. I was kind of slow to anger but I did become angry within a few minutes because what they said was that they owed a duty of care to former soldiers so we’re going to foot their legal expenses. No mention, of course, of the duty of care to their citizens. And thinking it through I did come to some conclusions then about it. For instance, the MoD is not a caring employer…

SB: …Sorry, that’s the Ministry of Defence?

KN: That’s the Ministry, sorry – that’s the Ministry of Defence, yes. They’re not a caring employer because otherwise they would not have hung these soldiers out to dry in the first place. Remember, these guys carried the entire blame for Bloody Sunday as was concluded in the Saville Inquiry. So in effect they protected the higher ranks from any sort of investigation. And we know the plan for Bloody Sunday went right to government level so if they don’t support these killers then there’s a good likelihood that if this goes – when it goes to court – I’m going to be positive – when it goes to court – they’ll sing like canaries. So the government will be taking into account the current morale, too, of the military because those soldiers might be thinking: Is this something I’m going to have to face in the future? And as for them recruiting young people for the Army I mean that would seriously damage the numbers they could depend on, you know?

SB: And Kate, this guy – and we do not even know the name of this person who was arrested.

KN: No, no – Soldier J – that’s all we know.

SB: But he was a Corporal…

KN: …a Lance Corporal – a Lance Corporal.

SB: Well, any kind of Corporal – a Corporal’s a Corporal as far as I’m concerned. But they don’t get to decide where they’re going to go. He didn’t wake up in the morning and think: Oh, I think I’ll go to Doire. They’re having a peaceful civil rights march – I think I’ll go there. Somebody decided it for him. And we actually know who that was.

KN: Yes, we know that that soldier obviously followed orders – followed orders. And well, the whole thing’s questionable – but they took the blame, they took the blame for what happened on Bloody Sunday, of course. But you see this whole thing, Sandy, this whole thing and how it’s happening actually just reaffirms to the Bloody Sunday families that this did go right to the top.

SB: There was a guy named Sir Robert Ford – they’re all ‘Sirs’ now by the way.

KN: Yes, that’s right: General Jackson, General Ford – and they’re still there; they’re still alive. ** General Jackson, for instance, I think I told you actually last week, he was called back from I believe it was Iraq – he was at the Inquiry and was called back from Iraq because of his lies. And this guy should be facing investigation, too – and he’s not.

JM: Well, they probably all should be in The Hague. Kate, John McDonagh here – I wanted to get your take on the settlement that happened up in Stormont there during the week and it seems the one big thing that they were able to solve the problem – that they would continue to get paid. I mean that was a big obstacle to them – they managed to get over that. But what do you think about Fresh Start and what has happened now with the victims of The Troubles?

KN: Well, Fresh Start – I tell you what – and I know a lot of people on the ground, ordinary people like myself, and what they think about this Fresh Start – we had the Haass talks, we had the Good Friday agreement, we had the St. Andrews thing – it goes on and on and on and has been for what? Something like seventeen years. People here are now just becoming detached from the government. I mean they don’t make – for instance, welfare reform. Sinn Féin now started a big campaign over a year ago: Say No to Welfare Reform. Stand Up to the Tories. Say No to…all of that. Yet now, when they could be doing something about it then they just hand it over to the Tories to make the decision thinking, of course, that people here are stupid enough to believe that if the Tories implement it then they’d get the blame for it.

Of course, we know better. They’re just like Pontius Pilate – they’ve washed their hands of it. But we know who does it. And we know who’s responsible for what happening here – for making the bad decisions.And when they did finally pass it over to the Tories – they’d been fighting this for how long now – this welfare reform? And they ended up making a very poor decision and cost the country more money and so welfare reform is going to be less to go around. So it’s not a good government up there and like I said people are becoming detached. And I’ve even heard Nationalist people – Nationalist people – saying that they’d rather be ruled from Britain, you know? So that’s how ridiculous a situation we live in here!

SB: Kate, they did take care of their pay cheques.

KN: Oh! Of course, yes. But that’s all they’re worried about, Sandy, that is all they’re worried about is their jobs and their money. Like I said, they can’t even make good decisions for the citizens. And like I said they parked the legacy issues – of course they had to park that because they were trying to set up a process that quite honestly was not human rights compliant. The Justice Minister had already said publicly that they wouldn’t expect more than one or two arrests. But still no decision on that because Britain, Great Britain, won’t open their files, they won’t give any evidence, they won’t let people know what they were doing here during The Troubles and we know they were here doing plenty. They were complicit in many, many more murders than they would admit to.

SB: But Kate, as you say, if your relative was killed as the result of British collusion with someone like Stakeknife, Mr. Scappaticci, you are not even going to be able to get the information on that – let alone have anybody arrested.

KN: No, no. I know that. I know that and there’s lots of victims/victims’ families out there and just to be able to – I mean I call it a burden, obviously, and I use the words duty of care towards my brother because I loved him and that’s why we continue to fight because it’s just so important for victims and victims’ families to get justice on these things. But no, Britain refuses – it’s just it’s a secret – as they keep their secret files and their secret meetings and everything’s secret and their excuse is “national security” – but national security they use to cover their criminality, their involvement in the murders, many murders, that they were complicit in in this country.

JM: Kate, this is all part of a process of just wearing people like you down and hoping for other people to die that were – back then. And even with Sinn Féin – now we’re coming up in January where you’re going to have the Bloody Sunday March in January – how is that shaping up and how is the divisiveness going to be next year? Because we’ve seen other years: That there shouldn’t be a march. You should get over it. Why do you keep dragging up the past. While on July Twelfth somebody’s banging a drum in front of your house about 1690 but let’s forget about something about thirty or forty years ago.

KN: Well I can tell you – John, I can tell you something: For starters I do not intend to move on. I live my life – and I think I live it – I try to live it normally – I’ve got a son – I’ve got grandchildren who I adore. I love my life – I go on holiday but I fight this battle, too, and I will continue to fight this battle for justice – because my brother – I love my brother. My brother deserves to have justice. We’ve never had a level playing field here. I mean that was often mentioned, for instance, at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry – often you heard that saying you know: a level playing field. We’ve never been on one. They’ve always held all the cards – all the aces. But you know what? It’s going to stop me. It won’t stop my sister. It won’t stop my family and it won’t stop a lot of other victims’ families who are looking for justice. Because it’s just something that you need to have – a human being just needs to have that – absolutely vital – vital to your well-being and to your psyche – it’s vital to have it.

SB: Now Kate, I want to come back for a minute to this soldier who’s been charged with your brother’s murder and with gravely wounding your father: Now, he’s been released without having any to put up any bail whatsoever – never had to even go to court and face a judge. And now the British government says: Well, thank you very much – we’re going to cover your legal bills. Now maybe I’m just cynical, but it makes me wonder if he’s ever going to come to trial?

KN: Well, I live in hope – a glimmer of hope. I’ll tell you what – I can tell you something: One of the survivors of Bloody Sunday – just to give you a comparison here – one of the survivors of Bloody Sunday on the nineteenth of December last year tried to take out a case against the soldier who shot him – he was trying to sue him but he needed legal aid – he’s a pensioner – it’s a state pension – very basic money coming in. And he was refused legal aid to do that. That’s what I mean when I say, Sandy, about we’re not on a level playing field. You know, this man couldn’t challenge the soldier who shot him. They wouldn’t allow it.

JM: And Kate, the cost of this is going to be enormous! I mean I don’t know if it’s just The Six Counties but every time you hear the amount of money these solicitors and barristers get – it is unbelievable!

KN: I can tell you the British government will probably, in all likelihood, they will probably go for the very best in the country they will get for these soldiers but I like to think I have a good solicitor, too, you know – I have a good legal team, so I’m quite confidant. I’m confident in their work – I wouldn’t be fully confident that the British government will allow justice to be done nor seen to be done. But we will still continue to fight.

SB: Well Kate, we want to thank you very much but unfortunately Sinn Féin doesn’t seem to be in your corner too much here.

KN: No, no they’re not. They never really have been. But we knew that. We knew that.

SB: Well, we’ve been talking to Kate Nash whose brother, William, was killed on Bloody Sunday. And Kate, thank you very much for coming on and as I said last week we want to keep in touch with you about anything that happens on this case because you’re always welcome to Radio Free Éireann.

KN: Oh! Thank you. Thank you very much, Sandy, and you’re very welcome. Thank you. (ends time stamp ~ 53:28)

** Editor’s Note: General Robert Ford died three days after this interview.

Kate Nash RFÉ 14 November 2015

Radio Free Éireann
WBAI 99.5FM Pacifica Radio
New York City
listen on the internet: wbai.org Saturdays Noon EST

Sandy Boyer (SB) and Martin Galvin (MG) interview Kate Nash (KN) via telephone from Doire about the recent arrest of a British Army soldier accused of multiple murders committed on 30 January 1972 in Doire – the day known worldwide as Bloody Sunday. (begin time stamp ~ 32:00)

SB: And we’re now talking to Kate Nash, whose brother, Willie, was murdered on Bloody Sunday – her father, Alex, was very gravely wounded. Kate, thanks so much for being with us.

KN: You’re very welcome, Sandy. Thank you for inviting me.

SB: And Kate, before we get to the very serious political issues here I want to talk a minute just on a personal level: What does it feel like to you after all these years that someone has finally been charged with your brother’s murder?

KN : Well, I got a call a few days before that (inaudible) court delays in questioning soldiers and that they would resume as soon as it was practical – that was the Friday before and then Tuesday I had another call to say that they had arrested a soldier in connection with the murder of my brother, William, Michael McDaid, John Young and the attempted murder of my father, Alexander Nash. I was absolutely astonished. I couldn’t believe it.

SB: Do you feel any satisfaction that after all these years someone has finally been charged?

KN: I think the word would be relief. He’s not actually been charged, Sandy. They kept him for thirty hours and they let him out on bail pending further inquiries.

SB: Yeah, I do want to get to that but for a minute I’d like to just talk about the impact of this on your family because you told me that your father, Alex, felt guilty all his life because he was shot when he went to save his son.

KN: He was shot twice…he was shot twice. My father always felt that he should have died – he should have died. He just felt so guilty that he had survived that day. Of course, we didn’t feel – we love our father so we were glad he had survived that day – you know – an absolute miracle that he wasn’t. He actually went out to help my brother in a hail of bullets, according to eyewitness accounts. So he was a good father.

SB: And it kind of ruined his life.

KN: Well, yes. He suffered very badly for years up until his death; he died of cancer actually in 1999. But he suffered very badly with post-traumatic stress disorder – it was terrible. I mean he didn’t have it all the time but certain things started it off – you know? And it was horrible to watch – it was very painful for him because he went into that day all over again or he went into the fact that there was paratroopers coming out of helicopters and always worried about our safety. Even when he was ill in hospital he always wanted us to leave the hospital you know – to prove to him that we could get out – we weren’t there sort of arrested or something like that. You know, he was afraid for us and always sort of felt that paratroopers were there or around, you now? And that’s the way his life went.

SB: And so Kate now, finally, someone was at least arrested but do you really think that you’re finally going to get justice in this case?

KN: There’s more than a glimmer of hope, yes.

SB: But as you know, as you started to tell us – and we don’t even know the name of this former Lance Corporal.

KN: He’s known as ‘Soldier J’, that’s right. And actually there’s seven more soldiers, that we found out, have actually challenged in the high court in London – they put in an emergency judicial review against the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) arresting them believing this to be politically motivated – welcome to our world – that’s what I say to that. But they also want twenty-four hours notice of arrest so that they can present themselves to a police station. The PSNI have responded to this and they have said that they will be treated like any other suspect.

SB: Well, we’ll wait and see about that. But this individual has been released on what they call ‘police bail’. Now it’s a little better than – it’s even less than: If you are picked up for jaywalking in New York they give you what they call a desk appearance ticket. When you get a desk appearance ticket they give you a court date – he doesn’t even have a court date.

KN: No, nothing like that – nothing like that. Although the police have told me that there will be more eminent arrests. What I could say about this, Sandy, and I don’t know if you’re seeing it online, but we’re hearing that there’s going…the Para Regiment at their HQ are actually protesting this. And they’ve actually issued a statement of support for these Bloody Sunday soldiers offering welfare assistance for them and their families if needed. And there’s an online petition for the British government demanding pardons for these soldiers and a protest march for later this month in London is also being planned for the same reason. Apparently this petition they have online has twenty thousand signatures actually demanding that these soldiers get pardons. And could I further say, Sandy, at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry the terms of references were that these soldiers had immunity from prosecution. The only requirement for them was that they tell the truth. And the Bloody Sunday Inquiry concluded that this particular soldier, Soldier J, and many others of course, fired without fear or panic and only lied. These soldiers have already been given an opportunity to walk away from this and all they had to do was tell the truth – and they didn’t do it.

MG: Kate, this is Martin Galvin – I’m in the studio also.

KN : Hello, Martin.

MG: How you doing, Kate? You said that this case was, that the PSNI were saying it was like any other arrest. I remember, for example, some time ago Ivor Bell was arrested on an incident that happened in 1972. He was taken before a court and initially he was held before a judge would set bail, his name was publicised, formal charges were preferred, he was given a court date to return. How did what happen to this British trooper compare to that?

KN: Well, there’s no comparison. There’s absolutely no comparison. As far as I know to date Ivor Bell – and that is still pending – I mean that still hangs over his head even though I don’t believe there’s any evidence even in that case. Apparently others have been told that there will be no further – nothing pending on them. But apparently this still hangs over Ivor Bell. So this soldier – now this soldier was just questioned – I don’t know even if he gave any answers but this soldier was just questioned for thirty hours and then let go on police bail.

MG: So there’s no charge of either or murder or perjury – there’s no court date, he may never have to go back to court, his name is unknown – nothing like that that would happen with any Republican.

KN: No, absolutely! No comparison whatsoever, Martin, no comparison.

SB: So there’s very good reason to think though that this man might never come to trial and certainly might never be convicted.

KN: This has been delayed. This police investigation has been going on now for three years and of course suspects – always the police – if they have suspects – then they would question them first. Now obviously they’ve questioned something like a thousand civilian witnesses and there’s nothing else they can do but question these soldiers. I believe the delay – they have done everything they can to delay this – and do you know what, Sandy? I don’t know why this is happening now. I don’t know why. I’m just…I do see it as a positive move. And like I said there’s a glimmer of hope. I just hope and pray that these soldiers will finally be brought to trial and face a court of justice. And whatever punishment is deemed we’ll accept that. Whatever a judge considers as punishment – we’ll accept that – but we need to bring them to trial.

SB: Kate, I hate to be cynical about this…

KN: …Yes, I know. I’m very cynical myself. I’m very, very cynical myself, Sandy.

SB: You always wonder if, when something like this happens, if they might just be trying to prop up the peace process?

KN: It could be. It could be – absolutely! There could be many reasons why they’ve decided to do this now. I mean five days before they actually told me – they actually said they hadn’t questioned any soldiers for whatever delays they were having. And then suddenly they had a soldier? They had arrested a soldier? So I don’t know. I am very cynical, Sandy, obviously. We’ve waited almost forty-four years for justice. But I just live in hope. I just live in hope because it would give the families such peace of mind if this could finally be ended.

SB: Now, Kate, just to take the best possible interpretation of this: All they’ve done is charged a Lance Corporal in this. They haven’t charged anybody who gave him the orders to go in. For instance, there’s a Major General, Sir Robert Ford, who ordered that the Paratroopers be sent into Doire after they had massacred people in Ballymurphy in Belfast – so he knew when he ordered them in what he was doing. Any prospect that he would be charged?

KN: Well, as you know – the Bloody Sunday Inquiry concluded that this was all down to nine rogue soldiers – “bad apples” they called them – and one lowly officer. Do you know what? I’ve almost forgotten his name – I know he lives in France somewhere on the border of Belgium…

MG: …(Lieutenant Colonel) Derek Wilford?

KN: …and there’s no chance that’s he’s been – he hasn’t been brought in for questioning – not yet. I don’t expect General Ford because apparently he doesn’t have – they reckon these soldiers just disobeyed orders.

SB: But right on the ground – they like to call him Mick Jackson – Sir Michael Jackson, please!

KN: That’s right. He lied.

SB: The Chief of General Staff, yes.

KN: General Jackson was the man who actually took this to every embassy around the world and lied and said that the Bloody Sunday victims were bombers – gunmen and bombers.

SB: But this is the guy who went on to become the Chief of the General Staff of the British Army.

KN: He rose through the ranks and in fact would be the spokesman for the Army.

SB: And he commanded them going into Iraq.

KN: That’s right. In fact, he was actually brought back a second time to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry because of telling lies again.

SB: I mean, we’ve talked to Eamonn McCann about this, he’s written several books on it, and Eamonn believes – he can’t prove it – that this had to come up through the Cabinet – that – and very likely that Maggie Thatcher even knew about it.

KN: Actually, Edward Heath was the Prime Minister of the day and yes, there’s a lot of stuff there – that you might – we do believe: Yes, that it was ordered from the government, yes – it goes all the way up. But of course, they sacrificed nine “bad apples” and one lowly officer.

MG: Kate, just before that, originally the Bloody Sunday soldiers had been whitewashed – there was a whitewash by Widgery and one of the aspects of that whitewash seemed to be that after the incident the troopers were brought together – they were told to get together or they had assistance in preparing a version that they would all put forward to justify what had happened.

KN: That’s right. Yeah.

MG: There were British troopers involved with that in conducting this whitewash and getting that story together.

KN: That is right. Yeah.

MG: Didn’t Mike Jackson play a prominent role in doing that?

KN: He was the man who (inaudible) stuff like that and that was found out very quickly to be not true, you know.

MG: They have an offence in most countries, they call it subornation of perjury – wouldn’t that shot list come very close to making out that charge?

KN: Well absolutely, of course. But these soldiers – they simply weren’t – they never went up the ranks – they just didn’t go up the ranks – that’s the British government protecting their own.

MG: Alright, but you had – the British government – there was a Widgery Inquiry, there was a formal whitewash, they were said to try and vindicate them and put forward the notion that a British judge had said that they were totally innocent – that they were justified in the firing – that went on and on for years.

KN: Yes. Indeed it did. Yes.

MG: Okay, you still, you – your sister, are key people in organising the protests that still continue on Bloody Sunday…

KN: …Yes. The Bloody Sunday March, yeah.

MG: Is that going to continue? And how important do you think those protests continuing are in getting you to this day where somebody’s actual been questioned?

KN: It’s very important – of course it’s very important that’s why we picked it up, Martin, five years ago when the Sinn Féin actually dropped it. You know they didn’t want the march to go on after the thirty-ninth. Of course, at that stage we were very suspicious and my sister and I decided that we were going to do a little protest ourselves. I mean – we never thought – we just turned the corner – when they were going on to the Guild Hall we turned the corner into Rossville Street where the murders happened and delighted – delighted to say – and I never expected it – but thousands of people followed us. We knew we could continue on with that commemoration march every year.

MG: Alright. Now that continues. Do you think that that commemoration and the thousands of people – I’ve attended it on several occasions – the thousands of people that keep attending it, keep putting pressure on the British government, keep calling what they did murder – do you think that that is important in driving forward the process so that British troopers are not only questioned and released but that they actually end up in a court room on charges of either manslaughter, murder or perjury?

KN: It’s very, very important that that march continues. It’s important because the British government – they know that we have people – and people come from all around the world, Martin, to attend that march. And it’s very important that we have that support and thank God for it! But I believe that that is the telling factor – that is what’s making them – and our own protests that we do when we think something needs to be highlighted throughout the year. Yes, absolutely! All that support – support from people around the world – absolutely we believe that’s what’s pushed it this far – that is what’s got us to where we are now.

We’ve actually have stepped-up this campaign over the last few years. I don’t believe it was – because it was a campaign that was kinda organised by Sinn Féin and it was taken over by Sinn Féin from the families originally and I don’t believe it was a proper campaign in the sense that they were actually looking for justice for the families of Bloody Sunday. I think it was just something that they wanted to control and I do too believe there was collusion between them and the British government – I mean, nothing I can prove but however – I do believe it.

SB: Well Kate, this week, right after this individual was arrested Sinn Féin in Doire came out with a big statement that was in The Derry Journal, the local paper, saying how they were supporting the families and implying that this was a great victory for the peace process. How did that make you feel?

KN: Well – supporting the families – we actually asked to meet recently with all the political parties and Sinn Féin – I actually had an email from Gerry Adams, a man I’ve never met, telling me about a meeting. And I wrote back to him to saying: Well, just say when and where. And that hasn’t happened yet. So I don’t think Sinn Féin’s really, truly supporting the families. I do think they have to say that for their followers out there, people who vote for them, because it wouldn’t look too good if they didn’t support it – if they were seen not to be supporting families from the massacre – I mean this was a huge massacre in Doire and this still affects the citizens of this town even today.

SB: But Kate, before we let you go – first of all thank you very much for coming on but what do you think? Where does it go from here? Are you hopeful? Or do you think the odds are against justice ever being done?

KN: I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful. Sandy, and I would ask all your listeners, all the Irish-Americans, all the Americans that listen to your show I would ask them: Please, get your Senators and Congressmen – please let them know that these families are waiting for justice for almost forty-four years. And this is a burden we would like to lay down. We need justice. We need justice and if they could please contact their government – people they vote for – and let them know how important this is to the Irish people and to these families.

SB: Well Kate, again, I want to thank you for coming on. I want to just tell you something: You have my number. If anything happens, whether it makes the papers or not, call me – we’ll get you on. And I don’t have to tell you – sometimes the most important things that happen never make the papers. So, this is Radio Free Éireann. We’re not impartial between Bloody Sunday families and the British government. We don’t make any pretense of that. So please, we’re here to support you. Whenever anything happens get in touch and we’ve got to keep covering this.

KN: I will happily do that, Sandy. Thank you very much for having me and thank you very much for highlighting the Bloody Sunday massacre. (ends time stamp ~ 52:02)