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LETTER: Young neither saw nor heard false surrender

July 15th, 2017 5:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

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SIR – What a pity Niall Meehan cannot face the facts (July 8th). His long-winded litany of false logic and obscure reasoning is hard to follow even for someone well versed in the Kilmichael-Hart debate. 

For brevity's sake, here I will correct just one of his misstatements. Meehan claims that the late Ned Young made ‘two statements affirming a false surrender' to Fr John Chisholm in 1969.  This is absurd. What Young ‘affirms' in Chisholm's interview (below) is that he neither saw nor heard a false surrender: 

YOUNG: I saw Barry coming up the road to, calling for Volunteers to come up to fight the second lorry. Then when I went down the road somebody called me. “Young come up off of the road or you'll be shot!” When then, ‘tis then I found out that McCarthy had been shot, and Deasy. 

CHISHOLM: Yeah, and the fighting was going on? 

YOUNG: And the fighting was stopped … 

CHISHOLM: It was stopped now? 

YOUNG: It was. Before that I saw [John] Lordan coming out. When I was going down the road, I saw Lordan coming out and hitting this Tan.  

CHISHOLM: Had he surrendered? 

YOUNG: He had. 

CHISHOLM: Surrendered? 

YOUNG: Surrendered.

CHISHOLM: Yeah. Was there another man who surrendered too? Another Auxiliary? 

YOUNG: Except in the first lorry, I don't know. 

CHISHOLM: No, but there were only two who surrendered from the second lorry so far as you know? 

YOUNG: That is all. 

CHISHOLM: The man who surrendered to you and then the man that surrendered there when Lordan hit him with the … 

YOUNG: Yes, but they told me afterwards that they said that the Tans said “We surrender” and then started to fire again, but I didn't hear that portion of it. 

CHISHOLM: No. You didn't hear any cry of surrender? 

YOUNG: I didn't. 

CHISHOLM: No. That was what you heard afterwards.  

YOUNG: That was what I heard afterwards. 

CHISHOLM: Can you remember who told you that? Did Lordan tell you? 

YOUNG: No, he didn't. I don't know who said it. 

CHISHOLM: You don't remember who said it? 

YOUNG: I don't remember who said it. 

Young says only that at some point afterwards other (unnamed) members of the column told him it happened. No-one, not Hart, not anyone, ever disputed that some Kilmichael veterans said this. The point is that neither the Young nor the Jack O'Sullivan Chisholm interviews support Tom Barry's version of events on a whole range of issues. 

Meehan's hocus pocus is clearly intended to draw attention away from what is now obvious. Hart interviewed everyone he said he did, and Meda Ryan's Kilmichael account (which Meehan accepts) contains more – and more serious – errors than Hart's. 

Over the nearly twenty years of Meehan's smear campaign against Hart, he has never once called on Ryan to release her interviews. 

If he is interested in the truth, he will now. 

Yours, etc.

Eve Morrison,

Trinity College,

Dublin.

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