Not Speaking Ill Of The Dead

Two posts on Slugger O’Toole this week which seem to eulogise the life (or at least the later life) of Sean O’Callaghan. Of course it is wrong to speak ill of the Dead…but maybe there are limits to how much a man can be eulogised.

Such a man might be Sean O’Callaghan. Who was by turns a terrorist who killed two people and an informer on his former friends , who we are told by neo cons saved several lives and went on to advise to spill the beans to academics and unionist politicians.

Notwithstanding the unenvied place that the informer has in Irish history, I am not sure which of O’Callaghan’s two careers I would want to eulogise more than the other.

Certainly his portrayal on Slugger by someone called Gary Kent seems to invite a rebuke that could be dismissed as speaking ill of the dead.

I  am surprised that O’Callaghan was so readily accepted in polite society after his conversion. Certainly every interview I saw with him seemed self-serving. Tell them what they want to hear Sean?

If you have heard of Sean O’Callaghan and most of us have, I am not sure many of those singing his praises would be so familiar with the name Eva Martin, a UDR soldier killed in a mortar attack in County Tyrone in 1974. Ironically the second person killed by O’Callaghan was Peter Flanagan who was a RUC Special Branch officer.

It was a dirty, dirty war and almost daily we get new insights into just how squalid it all was.

Only last month a vicious loyalist killer received a light sentence of six years for five murders. Allegedly he also saved lives by being a paid informer.

There are other killers/informers out there. Some will never be charged with anything. They are in witness protection, not so much because of threats against them. They know too much.

Just who will be eulogised on Slugger when they meet their Maker?…just how many of the great and good will line up to praise them?

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