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4 Comments | Vintage
I’m reading a book about "The Troubles" called Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe, I highly recommend it, it’s probably my favorite non fiction book since The Looming Tower.
Here’s an edited excerpt about the incident surrounding this photo, the setting is an IRA funeral:
>Father Reid walked out of the church and joined the procession, seeking out Brady’s family, who were walking just behind his coffin.
>But just as Reid was reaching the family, there was a commotion. A car appeared, a squat silver Volkswagen, on the road at the edge of the crowd. The vehicle accelerated out of nowhere, then came to an abrupt stop, halted by the phalanx of black taxis that were leading the procession. A surge of anxiety radiated through the crowd.
>The vehicle accelerated out of nowhere, then came to an abrupt stop, halted by the phalanx of black taxis that were leading the procession. A surge of anxiety radiated through the crowd. Was this another attack? The Volkswagen suddenly reversed, scooting backward at a dangerous clip, then it stopped and was immediately engulfed by people. There were two men inside the vehicle. As hundreds of mourners swarmed the little car, one of the men flashed something. ‘He’s got a gun!’ somebody cried. ‘It’s the peelers!’ – the cops – someone else shouted. One of the men had indeed waved a pistol and, in a panic, fired a shot in the air. But even as the mob immobilised the car and several men climbed on top of it and someone else kicked in the window and the mourners began to drag the men out of the car and pummel them and tear at their clothes, they never fired on the crowd. They weren’t police officers. They were soldiers: two British corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, who had been driving in the area when they took what would prove to be a lethally misguided wrong turn. Upon realising that they had driven into the path of the funeral, Howes and Wood had panicked and tried to escape. But by that time they were hemmed and consumed by the crowd.
>The soldiers were thrown into a black taxi and driven to a vacant site near Penny Lane, about two hundred yards away. Father Reid saw the men being pulled out of the car, then dragged and shoved into a nearby park. There, the mob stripped their clothes off, so that the corporals were dressed only in their underwear and socks, then forced them onto the ground and beat them. There was a madness in the air, you could taste it.
>Reid was running towards the area when he heard the crack of gunshots. David Howes was twenty-three; he had just arrived in Northern Ireland to begin his tour. Derek Wood, who was twenty-four, was scheduled to go home soon. The two men were left there, sprawled in the rubble, their limbs akimbo, pale and stranded like beached whales. In the sky above, a helicopter slowly circled. But nobody intervened. Father Reid ran to the men. One of them was clearly dead, but the other stirred; when Reid leaned close, he could hear the sound of breathing. Reid looked up frantically at the people standing around and asked if anybody knew how to resuscitate someone. Nobody responded. They just stood there, watching. Reid crouched over the body and placed his mouth on the soldier’s mouth, trying to breathe the life back into him. But eventually the breathing stopped, and someone said, ‘Father, that man is dead.’ Reid looked up, and as he did, a photographer standing some distance away took a picture that would become perhaps the most indelible image of the Troubles: a priest, clad in black, on his knees, ministering to a man who has just died, lying with his arms splayed, like Christ, on the ground before him. Reid looks directly at the camera, a witness to the horror, his own thin lips smeared dark with the dead man’s blood.
People never deserve to die, but it should be given in context.
why was the naked necessary?
iif you find me naked and dying on the street DO NOT give me last rights. im not going to your bullshit heaven because you want it.