Monday 29 December 2014

McGuinness's IRA showed no mercy as they shot a Dublin civil servant

Kim Bielenberg on the 'peacemakers' who refuse to apologise for Eamon Ryan's callous murder

Sinn Féin spin-doctors promote Martin McGuinness as a "peacemaker'', but deep down there is little genuine remorse in the republican movement about the IRA killings of hundreds of innocent people, including a young Dublin civil servant.

Eamon Ryan, an innocent man who worked in the Department of Finance, was shot in cold blood by the Provos in the AIB Bank in Tramore, Co Waterford, on August 7, 1979 -- with his three-year-old son Peter next to him.

The 32-year-old father happened to be in the way as the republican gang robbed the bank in the seaside resort.

They showed him no mercy. He was gunned down by a hooded man from just a foot away as he lay prone on the ground. His boy was at his shoulder.

Martin McGuinness is said by several sources to have been the IRA's senior commander at the time. In his authoritative book on the IRA, Peter Taylor alleges that he was Chief of Staff between 1978 and 1982. McGuinness denies this.

Two men, Eamonn Nolan and Aaron O'Connell, were given life sentences for the murder.

A local IRA man, Bill Hayes, was a getaway driver during the raid on that tragic day in Tramore. He served nine years in jail.

Just a month ago at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis, Hayes was honoured and feted by his party as one of "six republicans who have given outstanding service in the cause of Irish freedom''.

The Sinn Féin citation portrayed Hayes as a model family man, keen on the GAA and the Irish language.

Needless to say, there was no mention of Eamonn Ryan, and the agonies of his children, Peter and Dorothy, as they grew up without a father. His wife Bernadette has never received an apology, or even explanation, for the killing from "peacemaker" McGuinness and his cohorts.

The presidential candidate this week implored those who draw attention to the IRA's atrocities to "move on'', but that is difficult for victims' families.

Eamon Ryan's sister Mairead Bolger told me this week: "People have actually said to me that I should have got over it by now, but I will never get over it.''

Mairead said: "The families of victims may speak out, but I am not sure that it makes any difference to republicans what we say. They will always tell you that they were in an 'armed struggle' and that in some way justified what they did."

Thirty-two years after Eamon was killed, Mairead hopes that the Irish people will not elect as president the one-time leader of the organisation that shot her brother.

At the time of the raid, Eamon was in Tramore visiting his mother, who lived in the town. While his wife Bernadette went shopping, he went around to the bank on Strand Street.

Eamon was just trying to leave the AIB branch when he was accosted by the raiders. They grabbed him by the neck, pushed him back inside and he fell to floor.

He was kicked on the ground and one of the raiders stood over him and shot him. Then he was kicked again.

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