Thursday, 17 July 2014

Kincora and the Covenant

The Belfast Telegraph is carrying a series of articles about the Kincora scandal. In one of them, former PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan McQuillan says that the claims of involvment by the intelligence services "may be credible" and calls for a full investigation. In another, framed psy-ops specialist Colin Wallace promises to "reveal the secrets":
"Since leaving the Army he said he had been told that boys from Kincora were being taken to Brighton to be abused. 
While in the Army he believed well-connected paedophiles were using the home, including Sir Knox Cunningham, who was parliamentary private secretary to former PM Harold Macmillan.
The abuse allegations in the home centred around a secretive loyalist paramilitary organisations known as Tara, which met in Clifton Street Orange hall at the time and was largely made up of Orange Order members. Some, like William McGrath, who was later jailed for child abuse at Kincora, were in an Orange lodge known as Ireland's Heritage."
Other deceased Northern Ireland movers and shakers sometimes mentioned along with Sir Knox are Joss Cardwell and Sir James Kilfedder, although rumours about them may concern homosexuality as much as paedophilia.

If boys were taken from Northern Ireland to Brighton, it would strengthen suspicions that there was a link between the Kincora and Elm Guest House scandals, perhaps with some of the same personnel involved, in which regard those suspects with known connections on both sides of the water, people such as Anthony Blunt, Knox Cunningham, Lord Mountbatten, and Maurice Oldfield, are likely to be of interest. That calculation would also apply to any Northern Ireland politicians elected to Westminster during the period and falling under suspicion, as well as to some military personnel.

It is noteworthy that the article states that "abuse allegations [...] centred around [...] Tara". Although some takes on the scandal hold that McGrath was spared simply because of his (separate) usefulness as an agent provocateur, and although fellow paedophile John McKeague of Red Hand Commando was also involved with the organisation — along with, at one time, numerous members of the UVF — the claim that Tara was central to the abuse is, as far as the Blether Region is aware, new.

In that context, the third article, by political editor Liam Clarke, provides interesting clarity.
"Not all members of Tara were involved, but within its ranks there operated a ring of outwardly respectable and born again Christians who were also child abusers. They were ripe for exploitation by intelligence agencies and William McGrath, the leader of Tara, often boasted to other members of his links to the intelligence service."
Tara was once memorably described as a "bizarre homosexual army", a tag that has caused some consternation. In Chris Moore's book The Kincora Scandal, he states that "it has never been alleged nor is there any suggestion that any other members of Tara were homosexual" (p. 9). As we have seen, however, paedophile abusers of young boys may come from a "heterosexual" as well as a "homosexual" background. Moreover, the confused mixture of liberalism and bigotry that constituted 1970s attitudes to sexuality may not adequately have distinguished between being gay and being a pederast — something, one might argue, also true of Chris Moore's book in parts. To the Blether Region's knowledge, William McGrath was the only member of Tara ever to be convicted of child abuse. Whether he and McKeague, who was assassinated in January 1982 and whose membership of Tara is disputed, together could constitute a "ring" is open to question.

That suggests that other abusers, insofar as they are still with us, have not yet been brought to book.

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