Talk:Dunmanway killings/Archive 5

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There was no consensus, actually no discussion at all, of a move. So it's been moved back from Dunmanway Killings to Dunmanway Massacre. People can discuss a possible move but the article can't just be shifted on a whim. Jdorney (talk) 18:44, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the move should have been discussed first, although I've no preference for either title. I'll support whichever is the most common name for the event. Mooretwin (talk) 20:43, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
I too have no preference, but procedurally Sarah knows perfectly well that moves need to be discussed beforehand. I don't know what she was playing at. --John (talk) 23:43, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
It was correct if it's established that "killings" is the common name. If it is then no problem, but no one has established this. Jdorney (talk) 09:28, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
I would support it being kept at killings, less emotive, i'm sure Sarah will give her reasoning too. BigDunc 14:35, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Agree, less emotive. --Domer48'fenian' 15:06, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
We would do better to focus on what term our reliable sources use, not what editors here assert is a common name or less emotive (though clearly it is that). What do the sources call it? --John (talk) 23:22, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
The onus is on the edit warriors to show that "massacre" is the common name; not a Wiki-creation. Under policy, until then it must be moved to the WP:NPOV title of killings. I most certainly will not hesitate to move this to a title consistent with WP:NPOV pending a full discussion on the legitimacy of the title. Not after a discussion. Before a discussion. Sarah777 (talk) 02:01, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

:::::::I would also ask John to consider recusing himself from using his tools on Ireland related articles as he is clearly now a party to numerous disputes in this area. Sarah777 (talk) 02:04, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Ooops - that was JD not John. Apologies. And I note that JD has over a long period removed many references I have made to "massacres" of nationalists/natives in various articles on the grounds that though they may indeed be massacres they are not commonly called that. Same applies in this case. Though I was long aware of the incidents in and near Dunmanway the first time I ever heard the killings described as the "Dunmanway massacre" was when this article was created by JD. Sarah777 (talk) 02:09, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Just wondering why you made "many references" to "massacres" in other articles if you accept here that it is not an NPOV description? Mooretwin (talk) 09:25, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Sounds a bit POINTy to me. Please try to bring some NPOV to this. --John (talk) 18:46, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
So has anyone established which is the common name? Jdorney (talk) 02:46, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Consistency across related articles is an intrinsic part of NPOV. You might as well declare that changing references to the 26 counties as "Ireland" to "Republic of Ireland" is "pointy"; or that enforcing the MOS is "pointy". Clearly the credibility and NPOVness of Wiki is being brought into question when a conflict spanning centuries of colonialism and physical and cultural genocide produces numerous articles about "massacres" by the victims but hardly any by the settlers and their heirs. I don't really want to drag this article into a greater debate about the nature and NPOVness of "reliable" sources or Anglo bias; but one will not shirk that important debate if needs be. Wiki needs folk who can think holistically and place events in perspective and context. I hereby offer my services. Sarah777 (talk) 12:18, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
In fact given the acknowledged problem of systematic Anglo-American bias on En:Wiki the bar should be set much higher for claims of "massacre" of people identified with the Anglo establishment in it's various manifestations through history. NPOV would be better served by referring only to killings by the Anglo side of the dispute in pejorative terms. Though, as a generous compromise, I'll accept a spurious neutrality between the victim and the coloniser. Sarah777 (talk) 12:25, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
So have you established the common name or not? I notice no such controversey over McMahon Murders or Arnon Street Massacre. Jdorney (talk) 12:47, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Common name is Dunmanway killings. I must visit the articles you refer to and check for breaches of WP:NPOV. Sarah777 (talk) 13:35, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Checked. I think the naming of these articles is consistent with the principles I outlined above. I'm happy enough with them. Sarah777 (talk) 13:38, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Are you going to show us evidence of this? Jdorney (talk) 13:51, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
No. It's original research. And I'm trying to wean you off that. Sarah777 (talk) 13:53, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
I also know something more important: the common name is not "massacre". Sarah777 (talk) 13:55, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Let me see if I understand. You have some mysterious evidence that says the massacre is not the common name but you can't show us it because that would be OR? The mind boggles. Jdorney (talk) 14:27, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Conflicting conclusions

The entire conflicting conclusions section is needs a overhaul. Much like the Peter Hart article used to be, this section is little more than a coat-rack to attack and undermine Hart's work. Different academics have different interpretations of historical events. It happens. The right way to address these in articles is to state the cogent findings that are shared and in conflict, in a neutral manner without implying preference or validity. Here we have writing in the following format:

Peter Hart claims X, Y, Z. However, according to Ryan he got this wrong. Meehan points out he ignored this. Fr. Brian Murphy OSB (yet notice no "Prof. Peter Hart, Ph.D"?), notes that he says X in one book and Y in another book, therefore, according to Murphy, Hart must be wrong....

Surely it is obvious that this is not a nuanced, balanced way of addressing historical conclusions? It is fundamentally lacking neutrality to set up a position and then to attack it, irrespective if the attacks are hidden behind "according to...". Is it not highly likely that Hart (or others) has similar criticisms of the other historians work, yet nowhere are their interpretations pulled apart in that manner? I'm left with the strong impression that this section is all about furthering a position, rather than documenting the notable opinions.

I'm happy to tackle this in the same way I rewrote the Hart article (compare how it is now to how it was before and I hope it should be obvious I'm not out to defend Hart, simply treat him fairly.) However, I would prefer some consensus on the need for a rewrite first, as I have little stomach for another tedious line-by-line edit war over it. Rockpocket 02:47, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Are you really surprised, RP? Happy for you to attempt a rewrite. Mooretwin (talk) 09:24, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Actually, after reading through the article in greater detail, there appears a bigger problem. Meda Ryan's interpretations on the motive for the killings are reported as fact throughout the text, e.g.
Also that night, David Gray (a chemist) and James Buttimer (a retired draper) were shot in the doorways of their homes in Dunmanway. It was "firmly established" later that they had been informers, and that their information had done a great deal of damage to the IRA. (cited:Meda Ryan Pg.213))
Its not written as "Meda Ryan claims..." or "Meda Ryan writes...". It appears we only question Hart's work in the article. Why? Rockpocket 16:49, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

We only question Hart's work in the article because his work is questioned, Ryan's is not. Harts work has been comprehensively challenged and proved to be deliberately misleading with conclusions dependant on omissions and distortions. In addition, no source has said that those killed were not informers. Based on referenced sources it was "firmly established" that they had been informers, and no sources has questioned this. --Domer48'fenian' 18:41, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Rock makes a valid point. Writers who have a very strong POV on this matter need to respect our absolute requirement for NPOV. Domer, weren't you just talking about WP:SYN and WP:OR in another thread? Do you see how incongruous that is when you say what you just said above? --John (talk) 18:49, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
That doesn't make sense, Domer. If Hart's comes to fundamentally different conclusions that Ryan, then by definition they are challenging each other's findings. Hart is questioning Ryan's findings as much as Ryan is questioning Hart's. The difference, of course, might be that Hart keeps his findings focused on the actual history, while Ryan et al appear to focus their criticisms on the person and his writings. But this isn't an article about Hart or his works, its an article about the killings. Unless there is an academic consensus that Hart's work is wrong, then we simply cannot choose sides, as you appear content to do. Here we should be reporting, with due weight, the published interpretations and leave the reader to make up their own minds. Don't get me wrong, I think its clear that Hart's work is not widely accepted and there is strong disagreement from some of his peers (but not all, as reviews of his books by other historians show), and that should also be reflected when giving due weight to his interpretations. But we should not be picking apart one academic's findings using the arguments of another. That is simply not neutral writing. Rockpocket 19:22, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

When one of you provides a source to challange the information then there will be something to talk about. No sourece = no discussion, not intrested in your opinions or analysis. --Domer48'fenian' 20:02, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Is there a reason why the fact that they were informers was "firmly established" rather than merely "established"? Mooretwin (talk) 20:37, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Its not about sourcing the material, its about representing the sources accurately and fairly, giving due weight to the notable opinions, and avoiding using sources selectively to promote an editorial position. This needs to be addressed by someone who has no horse in the race, not discussed by those that clearly do (and I say that based on your unambiguous statement of disregard for Hart's analysis). Rockpocket 20:46, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Finally. If we can get past this we might eventually get to an npov article. This is going to need a lot of admin work however. Jdorney (talk) 02:45, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

When sources are provided to support editors opinions or analysis there will be something to talk about. Unless Rockpocket provides diff's to support their baseless accusations, they will be ignored. --Domer48'fenian' 09:49, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Sources have already been provided. Jdorney (talk) 09:59, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Per above. --Domer48'fenian' 13:41, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm hoping to tackle the rest of the article this weekend, on the same basis as I did the lead (below). It may take a few days and I may add a "undergoing a major edit" template to the article while I'm working. I'm prefer editors let me finish before the inevitable criticisms begin, as it may take a while to ensure the requisite balance. Rockpocket 02:05, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

The lead

I'll simply note that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The lead is currently written a hell of a let more neutrally than it was before (with thanks for help from Jdorney). Here is why:

  • By describing the dead as "Protestant males" in the opening sentence we were directly implying their religion is relevant to their killing. This has not been established, and thus such leading language is not appropriate. We get around it by simply describing them as "men" and stating their religion independently later.
  • Likewise, previously we noted anti-treaty side "controlled the area the killings took place" in isolation, a clear implication of responsibility. We now describe the geo-political relevance of both sides, which justifies why both are mentioned and why both were keen to distance themselves from the killings.
  • Before we set up one historian's claim and then undermined it with the suggestion it is "unsupported by the evidence". Its not our place to decide which historians analysis is correct and which is not. So now we state historians disagree on motive. Then state what they agree on and what the disagree on. Note that "Some historians have claimed that there were sectarian motives; others claim that those killed were targeted only for their role as informers during the War of Independence." Clear, factual, neutral and without editorial endorsement.
  • Finally, because of due weight consideration and because we have already noted the fact that all who were killed were Protestant, its fair to provide some documented justification for why it is thought they were killed only as informers, hence: "They argue that the dead were associated with the Murragh 'Loyalist Action Group' and that their names all appeared in captured British intelligence files which listed them as "helpful citizens" in the 1919-1921 conflict".

It should be clear that neutrality is not about ensuring an equal amount of bias for either perspective, its about removing all editorial bias and reflecting all notable POVs fairly and with balance. It could still be improved further, though (for example, the fact that all those killed were Protestant may be better noted alongside the belief that the killings had a sectarian motive, since this provides better context. I'm also not happy with the position of the This happened in a period of truce... sentence. I think it would better better positioned immediately prior to the Sinn Féin and IRA representatives condemnation of the killings. This would give some context of the political state of Ireland at the time).

Now we should continue and re-write the whole article in the same way. The involvement of many people as possible would be good, but if editors instead choose ignorance, there is little the rest of us can do about that. Rockpocket 20:57, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Nice work Rock. More of the same please! --John (talk) 21:27, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

No problem with the first two points. However as to the rest, it needs to be addressed.

  • Please cite the sources that Hart/Coogan have used to support there conclusions “that there were sectarian motives.” The sources cited who say that their conclusions are "unsupported by the evidence" can and have provided sources to support their conclusions. The authors who say they were targeted because they were informers provide ample evidence for this. So suggesting that their conclusions are just “claims” is misleading.
  • The above also addresses the final point you make on due weight considerations. The religion of those killed is circumstantial, and yet is being given undue weight. The preponderance of citable sources to support this makes the claims of Hart/Coogan almost fringe.

Based on the citable sources available the article should reflect that those killed were targeted because they were informers, and that it has been claimed that there were sectarian motives but this is unsupported by the evidence. --Domer48'fenian' 13:40, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Good work, Rock. Much improved. As for Domer's point, I've no difficulty if the informers theory is mentioned first before the sectarian theory. (I note Domer appears no longer to be objecting to the inclusion of the fact that the killings took place during a truce, despite launching personal attacks on me previously for restoring said fact to the lead.) Mooretwin (talk) 20:07, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
I think this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of WP:RS.
  • We don't need to cite the sources that that Hart/Coogan used. Wikipedia articles are not scholarly treatises, where the primary sources are debated and dissected. Our job is to report the what the notable treatises find. Hart certainly (I'm not familiar with Coogan) is a respected, published academic who has written a notable treatise. Our job is to note that, and also note that other notable historians disagreed with his findings and have a different interpretation of the primary sources. The reader can draw their own conclusion about who is right and who is wrong based by reading those treatises.
  • You say that the "religion of those killed is circumstantial" and it is "unsupported by the evidence". Who says? You say that (which is neither here not there). Ryan, Meehan et al also say that. That is fine, because we have noted their dissenting opinion and noted how their interpret the data.
So again, it is not our job to show editorial favor for one set of historical analysis over the other. All we do is report their conclusions.
Now. I have a question for you. Do you not think it odd that you are perfectly fine to accept only the modifications to address one POV (the one you disagree with), but not willing to accept modifications that remove the other (which you do agree with)? The fact that you have personally expressed your dismissal of Hart's work rather puts you in a conflict of interest with regards to reporting his work fairly. Given you believe his work is "deliberately misleading with conclusions dependant on omissions and distortions". Do your really think you are the right person to be judging whether our coverage of him is fair? Rockpocket 20:11, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

You have been asked to cite the sources Hart uses which support their conclusions “that there were sectarian motives.” The reason I asked is because as I pointed out above, the authors who say there were no sectarian motives provide quite a number of sources to support this. There is no question that they simply have a different interpretation of the primary sources because as far as I know, Hart does not use any of the sources they do? I have not personally expressed my dismissal of Hart's work I simply point to the fact that his work has been comprehensively challenged and proved to be deliberately misleading with conclusions dependant on omissions and distortions. Now if Hart like Coogan is simply expressing an opinion which is not based on any source documents that's fine, but it should not be given the same weight as the conclusions of authors which are based on detailed research supported by cited sources. The fact that their research has not been challenged, unlike Hart would also support the view I have suggested.

As to your insinuations and accusations as to my views and motivation, they can just be ignored as irrelevant. Now Mooretwin can provide a reference which supports the sentence “This happened in a period of truce after the end of the Irish War of Independence (in July 1921) and before the outbreak of the Irish Civil War in June 1922.” Or simply tell us which author has noted this information in relation to the killings otherwise it is an editor, taking two unrelated facts to the killings and leading the reader to make conclusions which are based on the editors WP:SYN and WP:OR. That the editor who originally added it readily admits that this was their intension prompts the need for sources. Rock can also provide a source which supports the view that “It is generally agreed that they were "sparked" by the fatal shooting of IRA commandant Michael O'Neill.” I my have missed it from reading the sources provided, but I can’t see it stated anywhere that it is generally agreed that the killing of O’Neill "sparked” the killing. Rock could you do likewise with “There is no consensus, however, on why the ten killed and three disappeared were targeted.” I ask in light of my comments above. Could you also provide a source that says it was only during “the 1919-1921 conflict” that they acted as informers? --Domer48'fenian' 21:00, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Rock is not going to provide sources for O'Neill, because Rock did not add that to the article. Regarding the lack of a consensus on why they were targeted, I didn't add that either, but it appears to me to be appropriate, summary style, coverage of the the different historians' analysis. If you wish to challenge that content, you know the process. I'll happily cite any of Hart's analysis to his published works. That is what we call a reliable source. Rockpocket 21:49, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Further to your point that "I have not personally expressed my dismissal of Hart's work I simply point to the fact that his work has been comprehensively challenged and proved to be deliberately misleading". Has it, really? You neglect to point out this "proof" is based on the work of other, competing historians who hold radically different views, and who are largely focused on discrediting Hart. Well, let me quote to you an independent historian (John Regan at the University of Dundee) in a published review of Hart's work:

His exploration of the plight of Protestants in the Free State illuminates the sectarian underbelly of the revolution that a nationalist historiography prefers to ignore. In escalating violence in Cork, Tipperary, or Dublin could Michael Collins, Harry Boland, or Ernie O’Malley be held accountable for raising sectarian tensions in Antrim, Down or Belfast? Was the cost of a southern state the institutionalisation of ethno-religious tensions in a compressed and reactionary northern state? Could revolutionary violence in 1922 and 1968 conceivably be part of one grotesque, protracted process? To accept this argument would, however, be to shatter nationalist icons important to a southern nationalist identity still rooted in its own glorious revolution. That open sectarian conflict was intrinsic to any war of ‘national liberation’ will remain a matter of embarrassment to those who conceive of the Irish Revolution as having wholly positive outcomes. In placing sectarianism at the centre of the Revolution, Hart does an incalculable service, retrieving his subject from the preserve of professional nationalists.

Now this provides a slightly different perspective than you would have us believe. An expert historian says he "illuminates the sectarian underbelly of the revolution that a nationalist historiography prefers to ignore" and retrieves the "subject from the preserve of professional nationalists." That is hardly consistent with "proved to be deliberately misleading" is it?
So, is Regan's analysis correct or are you correct, presumably referring to the allegations of Ryan et al? Who knows. But we don't need to know because we are not in the business of picking sides in academic disagreements. We documents what the reliable sources say, and let the reader decide who is right and who is wrong. Rockpocket 22:29, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Please, The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. Any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation. Are you now saying that you are not going to support the changes which you made! Now, since there is no "coverage of the the different historians' analysis" how could it possibly be an appropriate, summary style. I asked for the information above which could have supported this, but you have refused to provide it. Now I have asked for additional information on some other points, on the information you added, will that be forth coming or was that a blanket refusal above. --Domer48'fenian' 22:07, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Check the history before lecturing others. Rockpocket 22:31, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Rock I'm not lecturing anyone! Your the one with the attitude not me. Could you please explain to us what you mean by "An expert historian"? Who are these "professional nationalists" that John Regan talks about and what is a "professional nationalists." To answer your question, yes Harts work has been comprehensively challenged and proved to be deliberately misleading! So please take responcibility for your edits here and here and having offered your support in this tread for the edits to the Lead, your being asked to back it up. Now you said above you'll "happily cite any of Hart's analysis" and that is all I've asked you to do. Please cite the sources that Hart used to support his analysis? --Domer48'fenian' 23:16, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

For the first diff: Peter Hart, 1999, Taking it out on the Protestants in "The I.R.A. and its enemies: violence and community in Cork, 1916-1923", pp 273-93. The chapter title alone, should provide you with the thrust of his findings, but if you want more try, "Behind the killings lay a jumble of individual histories and possible motives. In the end, however, the fact of the victims religion is inescapable. These men were shot because there were Protestant... The sectarian antagonism that drove this massacre was interwoven with political hysteria and local vendettas, but it was sectarian none the less. 'Our fellas took it out on the Protestants' (quoting Denis Lordan in O'Broin, Protestant Nationalists 177)". This should be sufficient for supporting the claim of sectarianism. I take it you don't need a source for the claims of Ryan et al, which you've recounted on this page. Rockpocket 23:41, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
For the second diff. What do you want exactly, a source that a "male" is a "man" or would you like a source for the merging of two sentences? Rockpocket 23:41, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Ok, so Hart bases his whole analysis on one comment by one person 'Our fellas took it out on the Protestants' (quoting Denis Lordan in O'Broin, Protestant Nationalists 177)". So if a number of authors provide a number of citable sources to contradict this analysis, then more weight must be given to them. Was Denis Lordan talking about the incidents in the article? Now having supported the edits made to the Lead, are you going to address the issues I have raised, or are you, as you seem to be suggesting only be responding to edits you make despite your defence of the edits above. --Domer48'fenian' 10:20, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Was Denis Lordan talking about the incidents in the article? A reliable source appears to say so. If you are skeptical, why don't you do some research and find out for yourself? Rockpocket 21:20, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
Domer's critique of the inadequacies of Peter Hart is fascinating, but not really relevant to this article. The purpose of the article is not to critique Hart or any other historian, but to record what he and other historians say about the killings. If other historians have criticised Hart, then that goes into the article, too. Mooretwin (talk) 11:25, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
Relevant to this article when balance and weight is being considered. Now provide the references you were asked for a number of times now. --Domer48'fenian' 11:47, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
Sorry to rain on your parade, but the critique of an anonymous Wikipedia editor is never going to be relevant. Only reliable sources are relevant. And you want "references" to support a statement that the killings took place during the truce? Why? Mooretwin (talk) 12:42, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Agreed! That is why I'm looking to have editors WP:OR and WP:SYN removed. Now I have outlined the issues above a number of times now, and have had nothing but stonewalling, so the best thing for me to do is re-write the Lead and reference it to the point of overkill to stop the nonsence after all only reliable sources are relevant. Thanks --Domer48'fenian' 20:46, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

No, Domer. Hart provides plenty of other sources that support the same conclusion. But that isn't relevant because we are sourcing Hart's conclusion based on his scholarly analyses, we are not critiquing his analysis. Other historians also provide sources that lead them to a different conclusion; we mention and source their conclusions too, we do not critique their analysis either. You seem to be of the opinion that Ryan and Meehan's analyses go unchallenged while Hart's has been "proved" wrong. Not so, Hart has critiqued their use of sources and the conclusions they draw, just as much as they have his. So why do you think one historian is correct and the other isn't? And, even if you have a reason to endorse one over the other, why should your person opinion be reflected in a Wikipedia article?
The back and forth between Hart and Ryan et al can be expanded in further detail in the body of the text (again, without editorial endorsement of either position), but within the constraints of the lead, the two contrasting conclusions are what is important. Those have been sourced perfectly well. So lets move on from this and tackle the rest of the article. Rockpocket 21:15, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

"Hart provides plenty of other sources that support the same conclusion." That is exactly what you were asked to provide, and which you said said above you'll "happily cite" yet you only provide one, and even that is without any context at all. This is not about critiquing their analysis, it as you yourself said "balance" and "weight" and that can only be known by reviewing the sources. Now I'm asking reasonable questions and all I'm getting is stonewalling, so I'll be re-writing the Lead and referencing it up to the gills. --Domer48'fenian' 22:40, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

If you "review the sources" you'll find some sources say informers and others say sectarian. The article should reflect this. Mooretwin (talk) 23:24, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
How many times do I need to write this: We are not critiquing Hart, therefore we don't need to investigate his sources for that statement. He is a notable academic who has published a number of books on the subject, therefore he is a reliable source for his own conclusions. As for re-writing the lead. I would suggest you get consensus for that, because at the moment you appear to be the exception among editors on this issue. Rockpocket 07:06, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Domer, I know you are a good guy, but you need urgently to listen to Rock and the rest of us. Why not help improve the article rather than trying to point it in a particular direction? This article is not a place to be making points about which historian rubbished which other historian. We report the reliable sources and we summarize them. That's all an encyclopedia is. Rock has made good edits and explained them here. --John (talk) 07:32, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Get off Domers back John, I agree with his stance. Rockpockets lead is inaccurate and misleading.--Vintagekits (talk) 09:48, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't think anyone will be surprised that Vintagekits agrees with fellow nationalist Domer. In what way does Vintagekits think that the lead is inaccurate and misleading? (This should be interesting.) Mooretwin (talk) 10:14, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Vin no worries re: John, I'll simply ignore their drive by remarks, likewise Mooretwin's attempt to turn this talk page into another battlefield. --Domer48'fenian' 12:18, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

There would be no "battlefield" if you chose to collaborate with editors rather than attempting to ignore them in an apparently relentless pursuit of POV. Your remarks about John are quite revealing as they indicate (a) a disregard for the views of other editors, and (b) a confidence that he and other editors will soon become bored of arguing with the Tribal Patrol, eventually leaving the article alone for you and your colleagues to edit as you choose, and (c) a realisation that your success in controlling an article is largely dependent on restricting the number of editors involved (because the wider the discussion, the more likely the article is to achieve NPOV). Mooretwin (talk) 12:36, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Please cop onto yourself, that nonsense will not change the fact, that you have refused to address the issues I've raised. Now, I'm working on a Lead which is based on WP:RS and is WP:V. It will be free of the WP:OR and WP:SYN that is currently there, so pandering to the above nonsense is only encouraging the like of you. --Domer48'fenian' 13:53, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

There are no issues to address. The fact that the killings took place during the truce is sourced in the main article. I suggest to you that a collaborative approach is more likely to improve the article than a hostile one. Remember that the aim is to provide a good summary of the article, and that the article itself should adhere to NPOV. That means that interpretations other than those of nationalist historians also need to be reflected and given due weight. Try to take an objective look at things. Mooretwin (talk) 14:08, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
I've now had a chance to read some of the writings of those historian's who dispute Hart's findings. Of particular interest to this page is an article by Niall Meehan in the Irish Political Review Vol 23, No.3, 2008. The general thrust of the article is to forensically question Hart's analysis, which drew him to the conclusion that there was sectarian motive's behind much of the War of Independence. However, what is interesting about Meehan's writing is the following section:
The April killings were exceptional. This was recognised by those assumed at the time to be the intended targets, Irish Protestants. A highly significant Irish Protestant Convention was held on May 11 1922 in Dublin’s Mansion House. It resolved, ‘apart from this incident, hostility to Protestants by reason of their religion, has been almost, if not wholly unknown, in the 26 counties in which they are a minority’ (The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, May 12 1922; also, see The Irish Independent May 3 1922).
Now to be fair Meehan still refutes a sectarian motive for the killings:
The killings in late April 1922 in West Cork were not motivated by either land agitation or by sectarian considerations.
My point is simply that there are other historians cite primary evidence that supports the opinion there was a sectarian motive (apart from this incident, hostility to Protestants by reason of their religion, has been almost, if not wholly unknown) and clearly - given the fact Meehan cites it - this is not disputed by those who routinely question Hart's sources. I'm struggling to see how Meehan can consider these killings both "exceptional" in their sectarian nature (and cite support for it) and yet he still conclude they were "not motivated by... sectarian considerations", but that doesn't really matter. Rockpocket 20:19, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

No Republic?

JD, I have reverted your last edit. It implies the Republic ceased to exist before the Dail vote on the Treaty. You can only "re-establish" something that has already been "dis-established". Sarah777 (talk) 12:05, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Dail vote was on January 7. Treaty accepted, Provisional Government established. Republic dis-established. Troop withdrawals in question were February to April, after the Dail vote. Jdorney (talk) 12:45, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Never was good at dates. Perhaps if you explained your reverts in future we'd not confuse them with your edit warring? Sarah777 (talk) 13:36, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps you shouldn't change facts you're not so familiar with? Jdorney (talk) 13:50, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
I believe it is up to the reverter to furnish the explanation. Sarah777 (talk) 13:56, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I would not agree that the Republic was "dis-established" in January 1922. A vote is only a vote, not an act. It is well known that after January two governments existed in Ireland with almost, but not quite, total overlap. Until their respective deaths Griffith was head of the Dáil Government, Collins head of the Provisional Government; it was Cosgrave who effectively unified the two. The Republic was not officially "dis-established" until 6 December 1922 (and according to modern republicans was never dis-established at all). Scolaire (talk) 15:02, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Agreed it was a murky business, but in reality, the authority being established was that of the Provisional Government. Certainly the British were insistent that a 'Republic' would be counter to the terms of the Treaty and that is the point being made in the relevant sentence. Jdorney (talk) 22:31, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Title of article

On October 28 the title of this article was unilaterally changed, without consensus let alone discussion, from 'Dunmanway Massacre' to 'Dunmanway Killings'. This was a spiteful gaming tactic by Sarah777 who had been denied use of the word Massacre in a different context. The article under its previous name is referenced all over the web for some three years and should not be changed without due cause, else confusion results. According to Wikipedia a massacre is "the intentional killing of a considerable number of human beings, under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty, or contrary to the usages of civilized people." This is appropriate here and is usually the case if killings are in double figures e.g. Bloody Sunday when 13 people also died. I shall change it back shortly now that I know how. --Fynire (talk) 21:39, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Remove the personal attacks. --Domer48'fenian' 21:41, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
What do you mean 'personalattacks' and why rewmoce from Talk? You've never been averse to same.--Fynire (talk) 23:12, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Fynire (talk · contribs) has been blocked for one week, for the above and other comments. Anyone else who's thinking about making negative comments towards other editors: Cut it out. Instead, keep this talkpage for one purpose and one purpose only, discussion of the article. That's the best and most productive way to proceed. --Elonka 00:45, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Per Elonka, rather than speculate on the motive of those involved in changing the title, could we have some representations about why one or the other should be the preferred title (ideally with references to sources and policies)? Rockpocket 02:07, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
"Dunmanway massacre" should be the name if and only if that is how it is widely known. Now, I don't know one way or the other, so I looked at Google Books. Dunmanway IRA returns plenty of books dealing with the incident, none of which seem to call it the "Dunmanway massacre". "Dunmanway massacre" returns only two books: one by Mary Kenny, whose POV is obvious from the quote on the search results page; the other by Kingsmill Moore. I offer you these results without further comment. Scolaire (talk) 18:03, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Well I didn't wish to get anyone blocked but to address the points made by Fynire: The fact that the Wiki article is the main source of the name is itself an illustration of why the WP:OR policy is taken so seriously. (To an extreme degree as I have discovered in a row over description of the Great Famine). We are not supposed to make up names here and when I did a simple google for "Dunmanway massacre" I realised this article was the main source. Per our policy that is actually a very good reason to move to a more neutral name. I am not disputing (or claiming) that the events described here would today be described as a massacre. Sarah777 (talk) 18:59, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
My reading today doesn't find any significant usage of massacre. The most common descriptions seems to be "the killings at Dunmanway" or "the killings in Co Cork." In that basis I would suggest "Dunmanway killings" would probably be the most appropriate title. Rockpocket 20:23, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
In fact an interesting issue may well arise here: it is clear that this article is being watched (or even edited) by one or more prominent Irish journalists (term used loosely). If one or more of them decide to use the term "Dunmanway massacre" in their rags do they then become reliable sources? Could I then get my pal in the Irish Times to slip in a reference to the Great Famine as genocide somewhere and then use that??? Sarah777 (talk) 20:37, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
If you mean the "journalist" whose piece on the RTÉ programme is linked to from this article, I certainly would not regard him as a reliable source :-) Scolaire (talk) 21:16, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
I know he isn't! But per Wiki guidelines would he not constitute a "reliable source" - being a well-paid hack of the MSM? Sarah777 (talk) 00:24, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Article rework

I have started to rework the article into what I hope will be a more neutral description of what the sources tell us, with less editorial endorsement. I've hidden two sentences that I don't understand the relevance of. If someone wants to retain them, could they explain why there are relevant? Rockpocket 00:15, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

They appear to be contemporaneous claims that the killings were anti-British rather than sectarian. What is the problem with that? Sarah777 (talk) 00:27, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I follow. The hidden material is:
The IRA's Third Cork Brigade had killed 15 informers during the 1919-1921 conflict according to Tom Barry, "for those who are bigots" he said, nine were Catholics and six Protestants.[1]
Before this incident, on 13 April, Michael Collins had voiced concern about newspaper reports alleging attacks on Protestants in Ireland (particularly those of the Morning Post) to Desmond Fitzgerald. He said that while some of its coverage was "fair newspaper comment," the "strain of certain parts is very objectionable".[2]
One is about killings during the war, the other is about some other attacks. How does either claim "the killings were anti-British rather than sectarian"? Rockpocket 01:13, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

I reverting these edits per WP:BOLD and WP:NPOV. Information was removed which added context and clarity. Put forward suggestions here, and discuss the changes first. The alternative is reverting or re-writing the re-write followed by reverting, this should be avoided. --Domer48'fenian' 12:50, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, Domer. That was 5 hours worth of work which you reverted, WP:NPOV doesn't cut it as a justifiable reason. The only significant material that has been removed is that reproduced above and the lengthy critique of Hart's work by other historians. I have already explained why that is inappropriate in the sections above, and yourself excepted, there appears to be significant agreement on that. The rest of the content provided nuance and balance to what was, previously, an article crafted towards the promotion of a particular POV. Reading the article now, we have all significant POVs presented without endorsement of any. Rockpocket 18:12, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
And how is adding your own commentary to what sources say not an attempt to create "an article crafted towards the promotion of a particular POV"? People confirmed as informers in documents captured from the very people they informed for are not "suspected informers", they are informers. O Fenian (talk) 18:18, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
I'll be re-writing this whole section to address the serious problem of WP:NPOV. --Domer48'fenian' 18:17, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Actually, its not my own commentary but at all. Here is the problem with calling them "informers" in our lead: Ryan et al are quite clear that, in their opinion, the men informed on the IRA. Hart et al don't dispute that the IRA considered them informers, but their analysis of the evidence does not support that they were informers. So we have different historians coming do different conclusions. Ultimately, the men were not proven to be informers by any judicial or pseudo-judical process and (as far as I am aware) none of them or their families admitted to informing. So we have no objective standard with which to label them. Instead we are left with points of view. Therefore the best way to summarize this in the lead, appears to me to call them "suspected informers" (in the eyes of the IRA). This is widely agreed on by all scholars and explains why they were killed. Whether they were informers or not can be decided on by the reader by reading the evidence in the article. Our articles should be descriptive, not proscriptive. Its not for us to proscribe what these men were, simply describe how there were considered. We don't call the killings "sectarian" because that is simply the analysis of some historians, so we shouldn't call them "informers" either, as that too is the analysis of some historians.
Now I'm now going to revert, and I would urge that others do not revert O Fenian's edit either. Instead, I would prefer editors offer and opinion here and we can come to some sort of educated consensus. Rockpocket 18:30, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Not their opinion, no. Did you miss the part about them being named as informers in documents captured from the British? The fact that Hart's analysis of the evidence does not support that is covered by Ryan et all. Hart tries to say there were rarely informers on pages 305-306 of "The I.R.A. and its Enemies: Violence and Community in Cork, 1916-1923", where he quotes British Intelligence officers as saying "In the south the Protestants and those who supported the government rarely gave much information because, except by chance, they had not got it to give". A reasonable enough statement, except for the fact that Hart does not quote the rest of the paragraph in question. The rest of it reads "An exception to this was the Bandon area [that's the same Bandon area that features heavily in this article by the way] where there were many Protestant farmers who gave information. Although the intelligence officer of this area was exceptionally experienced and although the troops were most active it proved almost impossible to protect those brave men, many of whom were murdered while almost all suffered grave material loss". So the very source that Hart is using to say there were no or few informers is directly contradicting his own conclusion if cited in full! Given this selective use of sources, Hart's analysis of the evidence is rather suspect you would agree? O Fenian (talk) 19:18, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm not intrested in your WP:OR. Like I said it will be re-written per WP:NPOV. Some of your WP:SYN has already been addressed. --Domer48'fenian' 18:37, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

There is nothing like an exquisite selection of acronyms to destroy a reasoned argument. Sir, your towering intellect humbles me. Rockpocket 18:51, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Good work Rock, keep it up. --John (talk) 18:52, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Could you comment on content and not the contributor your patronising attitude does you no favors Rock. Also I assume 1RR applies to admins who are editing this page also. BigDunc 19:04, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Rocket, you are the first editor to actually make some progress in de-poving the article. There is no orginal research (whatsoever), or so-called 'synthesis' in those edits. They are an even-handed summary of the sources. Re the 'suspected informer' thing; some editors seem to take Meda Ryan's word as gospel proof, when in fact the sources dispute this point.
However, a word of caution, if you look carefully at Hart's account he does state that some of those killed did co-operate with British forces in the WoI. p286, "[William] Jagoe himself had helped the police", "the Fitzmaurice brothers had been friendly with the Auxiliaries and were suspected of passing them information", "David Gray and William Morrison went out drinking with the Black and Tans", "Tom Nagle was on a list of suspected informers", "Richard Helen...had been on good terms with the police, and helped them in Febraury 1922, when their barracks was under threat of attack", p287, "Alex McKinley of Balineen was another perceived friend of the police". So there may be more agreement in the sources about this than first meets the eye. Jdorney (talk) 19:13, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Where do any sources dispute that the majority of those killed were on the list of informers found? And do not forget Hart leaves out the conclusion of a paragraph which says many Protestant farmers in the Bandon area being informers also. O Fenian (talk) 19:19, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Well Hart says that they were 'suspected' informers. Not that this was the reality. To be fair, the dispute is more as to why they were targeted in April 1922. Jdorney (talk) 19:43, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't think anyone disputes their names were in the diary from the workhouse, and I don't think anyone disputes there were informers. The dispute is over whether that means these individuals were all informers. Here, on talk, everyone is calling it a "list of informers" but is there any evidence produced that that list was such a thing? Ryan certainly comes to that conclusion, she writes "only a very well informed spy system could account for some of the entries in the book." But that is her conclusion and he choice of words would suggest it at an inference rather than a documented fact. Why are we - as Jdorney points out - taking Ryan's conclusion as gospel?
My reading of Hart's conclusion is that things are not so cut and dry. Regarding the quotes Jdorney provides: I think he provides strong support for the fact that they were considered informers ("were suspected of passing them information", "had been friendly with", "had been on good terms with", "was another perceived friend"). I could be wrong here, but my understanding of his analysis is that the men killed may have been informers or may not have been informers, but the suspicion of them, couched in the "political language of the day.... spy, and informer" made their "individual identities... irrelevant." In other words, it was the suspicion that they were informers that is well documented, rather than the fact they actually were informers, and that was the key factor in their deaths. This suspicion appears to be the one things everyone agrees one.
Now, as I said, I could be wrong here. If others interpret the sources as being in agreement that they were all informers, then I stand corrected. Rockpocket 19:51, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
One things for certain, the dead will never admit to being informers, or not informers. GoodDay (talk) 19:57, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Rocket, I'd go along with what you're saying, Hart says that the IRA believed they were informers but that this was not necessarily the case. The point I was making is that the sources might not disagree as much as they appear to. Like Ryan writing that, "the outrages were 'sparked' Capt Woods shot IRA man Michael O'Neill" -ie citing revenge as motive. Hart acknowledges implicitly that many of those killed did have a connection with British forces prior to their evacuating the area. That doesn't explain why they were all killed on April 26-27 however, or why no Catholic informers were killed. But Hart does cite a connection and the article should also acknowledge this. Jdorney (talk) 20:13, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
And another thing. In the general area of the Troubles, a culture seems to have emerged whereby any constructive edit by someone appears fair game to revert, just because of the identity of the person making it. Consider this. The revert appears utterly pointless since there is no significant change in content, and there is no justification offered for why it is better to have the same content in one place rather than the other. What is the point of this?
It would be much more constructive if editors could provide a reason why an edit is an improvement, be it an addition or a revert, rather than make procedural comments. We are here to improve articles, not fight faction battles. Guess what? Sometimes someone who you have a fundamentally different POV from can make a great edit, and sometimes one of your mates can make a terrible edit. It would be nice to see the actual content be considered, rather than just the person making the edit. Rockpocket 20:07, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
So Domer has added back a whole lot of the material I removed [1] The section above explains in great detail why this is not appropriate and there was general agreement on that, yet Domer still feels it is appropriate to make a unilateral decision. In short, it is not our place to critique one historian using the words of another. That is rarely acceptable in an article about individuals, it is certainly not appropriate in an article such as this which has nothing to do with Hart, other than the fact his is a notable source. For example, how is:
Borgonovo described it as "irresponsible" of Hart to discount IRA claims of guilt in the killing of informers without offering any analysis of the IRA intelligence operation.
In anyway appropriate? It is one historian's opinion about the work of another, why do we selectively choose one historian to quote criticism of, unless the goal is to discredit him? I strongly urge all editors to get away from these attempts to promote one POV over another. I'm not going to get into a slow revert war over this. If editors can't see how utterly wrong this is, I'm going straight to WP:3O , and we can get the opinion of some editors who know how to deal with academic sources responsibly. Rockpocket 20:30, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
And so it begins again. Or should that be yet again. An editor changing from this [2] to this [3]. As usal no discussion nor any acknowledgment of previous discussion. First version is clear, easy to understand and pretty NPOV. Second version is a critique of Peter Hart's work by his detractors. Long, rambling, difficult to follow and (if you can get at the meaning), highly pov.
Domer, do you understand that we are supposed to summarising the sources here and not arguing for one interpretation over another? Can you not grasp that concept? Jdorney (talk) 20:35, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
The content is more less lifted from the critiques of other historians. I'm really finding it difficult to see how Domer fails to comprehend this basic tenet in the neutral use of sources, in good faith. Not only is it promoting a particular POV, but it is also highly selective.
I came to this article from the Hart article, where I had come in as an outside opinion to clean it up from the mess it was in (largely due to Domer's attempts to squeeze in all the critical material he could find). I try to do the same here, and exactly the same editor does exactly the same things. Its extremely frustrating and much more of a problem than blatant vandalism. I guess we have two choices. Either get more outside opinions (but seeing my efforts have been completely disregarded, I can't see that making too much of a difference). The alternative is to make a case for a pattern of disruptive editing and take it to AN or AE. I'm loathe to do that, knowing the blow back that will occur, but will do so if we can't find any other way of keeping the POV out of these articles. Rockpocket 20:47, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Third opinon: Use the source that says 'suspected informers'. GoodDay (talk) 20:53, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Rock stop cluttering this talk page with your comments and opinions on editors and their supposed motivation. These personal attacks while going unnoticed is no excuse to continue to assume bad faith. So take it were you like. I’ll be more than happy to show the same pattern of behaviour that you have used in your campaign against Vin, and your selective editing practice. --Domer48'fenian' 21:00, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

What can you say to this? So it doesn't matter what happens on talk, Domer, you're just going to do whatever you like, is that it??Jdorney (talk) 21:03, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Read WP:TPG and then read Comment on content, not on the contributor. Personal attacks do not help make a point; they only hurt the Wikipedia community and deter users from helping to create a good encyclopedia. Derogatory comments about another contributor may be removed by any editor. Repeated or egregious personal attacks may lead to blocks.--Domer48'fenian' 21:24, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Can't you see the extensive posts on content above? Jdorney (talk) 21:37, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Points, old and new, that have been missed or confused

I would appreciate if these were addressed instead of being ignored:

  1. The fact that Hart's analysis of the evidence does not support that is covered by Ryan et all. Hart tries to say there were rarely informers on pages 305-306 of "The I.R.A. and its Enemies: Violence and Community in Cork, 1916-1923", where he quotes British Intelligence officers as saying "In the south the Protestants and those who supported the government rarely gave much information because, except by chance, they had not got it to give". A reasonable enough statement, except for the fact that Hart does not quote the rest of the paragraph in question. The rest of it reads "An exception to this was the Bandon area [that's the same Bandon area that features heavily in this article by the way] where there were many Protestant farmers who gave information. Although the intelligence officer of this area was exceptionally experienced and although the troops were most active it proved almost impossible to protect those brave men, many of whom were murdered while almost all suffered grave material loss". So the very source that Hart is using to say there were no or few informers is directly contradicting his own conclusion if cited in full! Given this selective use of sources, Hart's analysis of the evidence is rather suspect you would agree?
  2. The absence of agreement is not the same as evidence of disagreement. Are there actually any sources that unambiguously dispute these men were informers?
  3. "Here, on talk, everyone is calling it a "list of informers" but is there any evidence produced that that list was such a thing? Ryan certainly comes to that conclusion, she writes "only a very well informed spy system could account for some of the entries in the book." But that is her conclusion and he choice of words would suggest it at an inference rather than a documented fact". This is a gross distortion of what Ryan actually says, and leads me to believe that Rockpocket has not actually read the book. The quote after "she writes" are not Ryan's conclusion at all, but the conclusions of IRA volunteer Flor Crowley who examined the diary (emphasis added for reasons which will become apparent), see page 209 of "Tom Barry IRA Freedom Fighter". The diary is a completely different document to the list of informers, see page 213 where she says "Only one Loyalist was listed in the diary, the others were in separate dossiers"

To expand on point one..I would expect a reputable historian to have quoted the source document in full, rather than leave out the part that does not suit his argument. Furthermore, if he still wishes to theorise that those killed were not informers, I would expect him to provide details of "many" Protestant farmers killed in the Bandon area other than those killed in April 1922, so there is no discrepancy caused by the British claim that Protestant farmers who acted as informers were killed. O Fenian (talk) 01:40, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Hello O Fenian. To address your concerns.
  1. I am not a professional scholar or Irish history, and I expect you are not either. Hart is. Ryan is. I think Murphy is. The others I am not sure about. These people spend many years training, researching, reading and synthesizing material and come out with their theses on history. This makes them reliable sources. But even reliable sources are not uniform. They agree with each other on some issues and the disagree with others. They criticize and counter each other, they point out what they see as faults and biases, they debate, they discuss and they argue. That is what they do. Us, mere editors and readers, may form out own preferences about which historian's analysis is correct and which is incorrect. But we we should not do, is take those personal preferences and use them to make criticisms of one historian by promoting the arguments of the other. This the the very definition of using sources selectively to further a position. In other words, while it is perfectly correct that we report what Ryan concludes by her own analysis, it is not appropriate to use Ryan's criticism of Hart's analysis. You appear to take Ryan's word as gospel and you ask whether "this selective use of sources" makes Hart's analysis dubious. Why? Why not ask whether Hart's criticisms of Ryan's work makes her analysis dubious? You too are making a selective use of sources to selective chose one historian to criticize!
  2. Hart states he finds no evidence that the men were informers.
  3. I have not read Ryan's book, which was why I speculated. Whether you would expect of a reputable historian isn't really relevent. What matters is what reputable historians say. Rockpocket 02:03, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
That is hardly addressing my concerns. I assume you are familiar with the locked room mystery? This is a similar problem we have with Hart's work. Allow me to explain:
Hart's own source says "many" Protestant farmers who acted as informers were killed. So, exactly who were these "many" Protestant farmers and when were they killed? If Hart wishes to say there is no evidence that the men killed in April 1922 were informers, he needs to explain who these "many" Protestant farmers were and more importantly when they were killed surely? If Hart could point to the killings of, say for the sake of argument six, Protestant farmers either before or after April 1922 and say they were the men being referred to as the "many" this would explain the discrepancy. It stands to reason that unless the "many" Protestant farmers can be accounted for as being killed either before or after April 1922, then the claim that there is no evidence of those killed in April 1922 being informers cannot stand. Unless the documented evidence of informers being killed can be explained away as referring to different killings entirely, it does not make sense. My problem with Hart is that as has been demonstrated, he leaves out evidence that does not suit his argument. He does not attempt to explain it away, or account for any discrepancies it causes, he simply leaves it out.
Your answer to point 2 is flawed. Hart saying there is no evidence (and I hope that argument has been covered enough) is not the same as him disagreeing.
Has anyone has criticised Ryan's methodology? I am not personally criticising Hart, only reporting the criticism he has received from others. So unless anyone has criticised Ryan, I do not see how I can be selective? Your evasion of the question was not helpful either, perhaps I should rephrase the original question so it is not a closed one: When a writer such as Peter Hart leaves out the second half of a paragraph that directly contradicts the conclusion he is drawing from the first half of the paragraph, what do you think of his methods? O Fenian (talk) 02:35, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
Look, you seem to think this is some forum for discussing the perceived flaws in Hart's analysis. And that takes the form of parroting the selective criticisms of a small group of his peers. I really don't know nor care which of these historians are right and which are wrong. I care that their notable conclusions are documented in a fair and balanced way without picking sides. No more, no less. Nowhere have I claimed anything Hart has said as a fact, everything is attributed. But to answer you question: yes, Hart has countered many of Ryan, Meehan, Murphy et als criticisms of his work with critiques of his own. Some of those historians even quote Hart's answers to further critique them. So if we were to document their criticism of him, we should document his retorts, and his criticisms of them, and their retorts.... when do we stop? Moreover, how is any of this even relevant to this article. We are a tertiary source. We document the notable opinions and conclusions, we do not set out to critique those conclusions and we certainly do not set out to critique those conclusions in a one-sided way. I mean, read back what you have written:
he needs to explain who these "many" Protestant farmers were
Really? Since when do editors dictate what notable scholars "need" to do before their published works are considered reliable? Rockpocket 05:38, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
The questions you should be asking are things like "is this a reliable source, and for what?", "how do we summarise the views presented in this source?" and "how do we represent differing interpretations contained in various sources?". Your own views of Hart's work are not relevant here. Angus McLellan (Talk) 13:02, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
If there are concerns as to whether or not the Hart source is reliable, please request opinions at the reliable sources noticeboard. If, however, the source is deemed reliable, then information from it can be used, as long as opinions from it are weighted appropriately with other reliable source opinions. If there are concerns that too much (or not enough) weight is being given to the views of Hart or some other source, then please bring this up at the neutrality noticeboard. --Elonka 16:27, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

That's a sound outline O Fenian, and it has not been addressed. Now I'll put together a list of points of concern about Hart's work and who has expressed them. I'll put together Hart's responces to the concerns he does address, and the ones he does not. All of the sources used have been and are WP:RS. --Domer48'fenian' 21:15, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Why don't you also put together the list of concerns about Ryan's work, or Murphy's work? Or are they immune to criticism? It sounds like you are trying to suggest that, because his work Hart's published conclusions somehow fail WP:RS. If so, then I propose you take that to reliable sources noticeboard, because by all reasonable standards he appears an ideal source (He holds a Canada Research Chair at a notable university, he is a respected scholar who spent his entire career studying this subject, his books have won a number of prizes and he is significant enough for his own WP article. In contrast, much of those criticisms are "published" in pamphlets that were handed out at meetings from amateur "historians"). The only other issues we need to concern ourselves over is whether those other opinions are notable and reliable, if they are, we can state their opinions too. You can reproduce the detailed critiques produced by each party here if you wish, but that doesn't change the fact that an article about Dunmanway killings is not the appropriate place for historians critiquing each other. If you plan to insist on adding lengthy critiques on Hart, then we all save ourselves some time and go to the BLP (since Hart is alive) and the NPOV noticeboards, since that is the effect of selectively critiquing one perspective, and get additional outside opinions. Rockpocket 21:41, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

I will look for concerns about Ryan's work, or Murphy's but it will be difficult to find sources that challenge their attention to detail. All information in relation to the Dunmanway killings is relevent to an article on the Dunmanway killings, common sense really. There will be no problem with BLP! I always edit to policy. --Domer48'fenian' 22:02, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

I think the point being made, Domer is that we are not about critiquing reliable sources in the first place, but giving them equal weight? Besides, this article is about an historical incident and should not get bogged down in a 21st century historical debate. Jdorney (talk) 22:36, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
Comment on content, not on the contributor please. This article is about the Dunmanway killings an historical incident and a 21st century historical debate about this event is as relevent as the event itself. --Domer48'fenian' 22:46, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
No personal atttacks were made. The 21st century debate is not as relevant as the event itself. Maybe in a media studies course or in a historical journal. But not here. We have a limited brief and that is to use the secondary sources to describe the event in a factual manner. Jdorney (talk) 22:54, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
There's no personal attack there. You would be well advised to retract this unfounded accusation.
All information is not relevant; information in reliable sources is relevant. Ryan, for example, is most relevant as a biographer of Tom Barry, and increasingly less relevant the further she gets from her subject. AHS/IPR materia is not relevant under most circumstances as explained at Wikipedia:Verifiability#Questionable sources. So you don't need to go looking for concerns about Murphy's work, not that you should be doing that in any circumstances, we already have a policy which explains why we should avoid it like the plague. Angus McLellan (Talk) 22:54, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
Its easy to express such respect for BLP, Domer. Sadly your actions tell a different story. I would draw you attention to:
Criticism and praise of the subject should be represented ... so long as the material is written in a manner that does not overwhelm the article or appear to take sides; it needs to be presented responsibly, conservatively, and in a neutral, encyclopedic tone.... Care must be taken with article structure to ensure the overall presentation is broadly neutral.
I put to you that your criticism of Hart clearly takes sides, since it is the only criticism presented, and it gives undue weight to alleged errors cherrypicked by Hart's critics, when there may be many more sources that Hart uses to support the same conclusion. For example, the "Clarina Buttimer" criticism is particularly non-neutral, since you pick one source and use it to try and undermine Hart's entire argument. The reality is Hart cites that among many sources for his conclusions about the identity of the killers. To focus on one criticism - the one his critics also picked - is inherently taking the side of his critics. It is also irresponsibly, non-neutrally presented in terms of article structure. As I have already described many times on this page, we cannot set up a supposed "claim" by one historian, then systematically undermine using the words of his critics. That is taking sides.
Particularly galling, from a BLP perspective, is your attempts to label Hart "sectarian": The person he identified as Frank Busteed and who's father was a Protestant Meehan writes, would have undermined Hart's sectarian thesis. Firstly, nowhere in the article do we say Hart named Frank Busteed (this is because nowhere in his book does Hart name Busteed) so why on earth are we criticizing Hart, in an article that is not about Hart, for something we haven't even used Hart as a source for? How biased can one be? Secondly, using "X writes..." as an excuse for labeling someone else "sectarian" is shameful, and not the work of an editor who even understands BLP, never mind shows respect for it. Finally, Hart's thesis is not a reliable source for the purpose of this article, so even discussing his thesis is entirely inappropriate. These additions of yours fall squarely into WP:COATRACK territory, so forgive me if your claim "There will be no problem with BLP!" rings rather hollow. Rockpocket 23:11, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Page Protection

Ya'll should consider it, until a solution is agreed to. GoodDay (talk) 22:04, 8 November 2009 (UTC)


Should the stuff on Cork in the War of Independence not be moved into the subsection "in Cork" and out of the "political context section"? It would make things a lot clearer. Aside from that, very good work so far Rocket. Jdorney (talk) 09:38, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

No objection to that. I was struggling to put all the background information in a format that was logical and semi-chronological. If you think you can improve on it, please do so. Rockpocket 18:15, 8 November 2009 (UTC)


First off, Brian P Murphy is not a member of Aubane, however some of his books are published by them books such as Michael Collins, (Aubane 2004) ISBN: 1 903497 19 1, A Defence Of Cork Political Culture, (Aubane 2005) ISBN: 1 903497 22 1, The Catholic Bulletin and Republican Ireland, (Aubane 2005) ISBN: 0 85034 108 6, and The Origins & Organisation of British Propaganda in Ireland, 1920, (Aubane 2006), ISBN: 1 903497 24 8 in addition to Troubled History.

He also has books such as Patrick Pearse and the lost republican ideal, ISBN 9780907606772 which is published by James Duffy, (1991), and John Chartres: mystery man of the treaty, ISBN 9780716525431 published by Irish Academic Press, (1995). Is it the suggestion that only his book that are published by Aubane are not considered WP:RS. What about books were Brian P Murphy is cited by authors, but the books cited are published by Aubane?

Some examples of this would include Enemies of empire: new perspectives on imperialism, literature and historiography, ISBN 9781846820021 by Eóin Flannery and Angus Mitchell and published by Four Courts Press, (2007), Religion and rebellion: papers read before the 22nd Irish Conference of Historians, held at University College Dublin, 18-22 May 1995, ISBN 9781900621038, by Judith Devlin and Ronan Fanning published by University College Dublin Press, (1997), and Harry Boland's Irish Revolution, ISBN 9781859183861, by David Fitzpatrick which is published by Cork University Press, (2004).

Are editors honestly suggesting that while Brian P Murphy a noted author and historian a source that is both WP:RS and WP:V can be only be used depending on which publisher he uses? No, I don't think so.

As another example, what about Media Ryan, who is as far as I'm aware a member of the Aubane Historical Society, but her books are not published by them. Books such as The Day Michael Collins Was Shot, ISBN-13: 9781853710414, published by Dufour Editions (1990), Biddy Early,(2000), ISBN-13: 9781856353168, and Michael Collins and the Women who spied for Ireland (2006) ISBN 13: 9781856355131, Real Chief : The Story of Liam Lynch, ISBN-13: 9780853427643, (2005), Tom Barry: Ira Freedom Fighter, ISBN-13: 9781856354257, (2003) all published by Mercier Pr Ltd, Michael Collins and the Women in His Life, ISBN-13: 9781856351669, published by Irish Books & Media (1998), The Day Michael Collins Was Shot, ISBN: 1853710415, published by Poolbeg, (1989).

Are editors honestly suggesting that while Media Ryan a noted author and historian a source that is both WP:RS and WP:V can not be used because she is a member of the Aubane Historical Society? No, I don't think so.

So to make it as simple as possible for everyone, the Aubane Historical Society is not the source being cited, its the author. We don't cite publishers. All publishers are subject to the same laws on liable. So editors who are concerned about WP:BLP need not be, so they can and should now consider some other policy to use. --Domer48'fenian' 13:55, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Meda Ryan and Brian Murphy are both cited extensively in the text. What is your point? Jdorney (talk) 13:58, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
There's no need. The consensus here is pretty clearly against you. The provisions of BLP are evident in the policy itself and have already been explained to you several times. There's no point in discussing either matter further here. --John (talk) 14:42, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Not so John what I see there are the following statements
  • ...the author is more important than the publisher in cases like this.
  • If it is clear that the author of a self-published book pass the bar... then it does not matter whether the publisher is a vanity press...
  • If the authors have been published elsewhere, we can consider them "acknowledged experts" and cite their self-published books.
  • ...when a source is published by Aubane, use caution. Look a bit deeper... see who the author is and what else the author has published.
  • Our policies do not "ban" self-published sources... but they do limit them. So you need to determine if the specific source and author pass those limitations

So my reading is that Aubane are not automatically discarded but we must look deeper and which is what Domer is saying. BigDunc 15:00, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, but this is with a view to do what in the article? Jdorney (talk) 15:12, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure Domer will let us know. BigDunc 15:15, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Thank you Dunc. --Domer48'fenian' 15:30, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

So, Domer, with a view to doing what in the article? Jdorney (talk) 15:39, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Look, Dunc makes a fair point. I think we need to get away from literalism and use our judgment. Aubane is clearly an organisation that promotes an ethno-political agenda. It should not considered a neutral, reliable source, then, in certain situations - but not all. Likewise, the Irish Political Review is published by the same organisation and the same issues hold. That said, some of the people that publish there are acknowledged experts in some aspects of historical analysis. Therefore it appears reasonable to consider the Aubane and IPR an acceptable source for the supporting Murphy, Ryan et al's historical analysis. I don't think it is reasonable to suggest that we remove all use of all these publications, just limit them to the scope of their reliability. But BLP is clear: Be very firm about the use of high quality references. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced—whether the material is negative, positive, or just questionable—should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion. So what might be an acceptable - essentially self-published - source for Ryan et al's own historical analysis becomes questionable when it is used for criticism of other people and their analysis. The editorial oversight, and thus neutrality, of a reliable source is lacking at Aubane and IPR, because the whole point of the journals are to promote one POV over another. In short, Aubane and IPR is fine for what the writer concludes, it is not fine for what they say some else concludes. This is how I have been using these sources and no-one has expressed any issues with that (yet).

I'm repeating here what I posted over at Peter Hart: I would strongly suggest we stop adding contentious material about a BLP to articles without a strong consensus for inclusion. If this continues henceforth, here and/or any other article where similar questionable material has been added, I will put a case to AE that a page ban be put in place for whoever does so, across all these articles. Rockpocket 18:40, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Since WP:RS and WP:V are addressed, WP:BLP is not an issue. At no time will Aubane be cited, however authors who have published their works through Aubane publishing will. Adding negative or positive material is not a violation of WP:BLP. --Domer48'fenian' 19:14, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
If Ryan, Murphy or anyone writing for Aubane, or whoever are used to source verifiable facts, that's fine. If they are used, as previously here, to argue one side of a partisan dispute against another, that is not acceptable. Jdorney (talk) 19:31, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Adding negative or positive material is not a violation of WP:BLP, and general criticisms are preferred to specific criticisms. However removing negative or positive material in a slective or partisan way is against WP:NPOV. --Domer48'fenian' 19:36, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Then why have you been trying to add specific criticisms, rather than accept the mention of general criticisms that are already there? And why would you think adding negative criticism in a partisan way as any less an issues of POV? You say one thing, Domer, by you do the exact opposite. The issues with you edits have been explained to you many, many times, by multiple people. At this stage there appears two opinions: either you move forward with your unique understanding of BLP and we take it to an admin noticeboard to ask whether you be permitted to continue to edit BLPs, or else you consider why your view is not shared by pretty much everyone else who has commented on this issue and, hopefully, reassess your understanding to community norms. Rockpocket 20:10, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

I see loads of options, you however only see two! Now since you appear to have a very limited scope I'll make it simple. Your unsupported opinions of me and my edits count for nothing! Now stop going on about ANI and just do it! I have not violated WP:BLP! Since your attitude and opinions are simply uncivil and nothing more than unsupported personal attacks I'll simply ignore them, as responding only encourages you to respond. Please read the talk page guidlines and stop using article talk pages for your petty little campaign. Now I strongly suggest that you confine yourself to issues which improve the article and comment on content, not on the contributor. --Domer48'fenian' 20:30, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Maybe at this point in the interest of sanity we just ignore Mr Alphabet Soup and the rest of us get on with improving the article. There's discussion and there's disruption. Domer, if you seriously don't understand where you're going wrong here, you should ask someone else. We are tired of explaining it to you. Sorry. --John (talk) 21:22, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, there is little point of continuing to discuss this, everything that can be said has been said. I simply want to make it clear the next course of action I will take, should we have a repeat of the antics of the last few days. Its entirely up to you, Domer, how you chose to proceed. But you will not be able to claim you were not warned this time. Rockpocket 21:29, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Could everyone please just count to 10 and lets try to sort this out without threats or name calling, as all that is happening is that you are talking at each other and not to each other. Is it possible to find a centralised place to discuss this issue as it appears to be taking place on numerous pages. Maybe if everyone stepped back for the night and came back tomorrow calmer we could get some compromise. I know there is bad blood so to speak between the main protagonists but from what I have seen you are all intelligent and possibly some of you stubborn so lets talk to each other and not at each other. So having said that any suggestions for a possible neutral venue for this discussion? BigDunc 22:05, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
No, Dunc. I take issue with this representation. From my perspective, there is no bad blood and no emotional investment. I, for one, could care less about these issues. I have stated previously that I take no opinion on whether Hart is right or wrong, or whether Ryan's et al are right or wrong. Therefore I have no horse in this race whatsoever. I bear Domer no will ill and I have said multiple times, I would much prefer he work together with the other editors on this issue, rather then go down the route of restrictions. So this isn't a partisan, ideological disagreement between two opposing protagonists. The bottom line: There is one editor (check the history and see how many others have added this material) attempting to add extensive criticism across multiple articles that a number of editors and admins, each of whom were entirely uninvolved when their attention was drawn to the issue from various noticeboards, have explained to him is simply not acceptable. Where is there to go when there is an absolute refusal to accept any opinion but one's own? I'm simply not sure what else there is to say.
Unfortunately Domer has now been put under probationary measures which rather makes all of this moot, so hopefully that will be the end of this particular matter. However, what still could be resolved is some sort of agreement on the informer/suspected informer issue, which was being discussed quite constructively until we got sidetracked by this. Would anyone like to offer an opinion on how best to deal with this distinction, or are we happy with the lead as is? Rockpocket 01:30, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Use of "informer"

I made the point several weeks ago that "suspected informer" is appropriate, given that there was no judicial process to determine whether or not those killed were informers. As I understand it, we are relying on a latter-day historian's hearsay account of an interview with an old republican. Mooretwin (talk) 00:18, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

The problem with any use of the word 'informer' is that it is pejorative and used as an heinous insult in Irish republican circles. Informers are thus bad people, but usually people who are in some way treasonable. This makes the word's use completely inappropriate in relation to the Dunmanway massacre as none of those killed had any loyalty to the IRA. They may well have been close to the security forces (RIC or army) and helped them but this is what they were brought up to do.
A neutral (NPOV) phrasing might be that they would probably have assisted the RIC and army or been informants. Their killings however had much more to do with vengeance (for the O'Neill shooting) than a coherent attack on 'informers' as republicans would have seen them. --Fynire (talk) 19:16, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
"Informer" is the best and most accurate word. Though I'd certainly support Mooretwins "suspected informer" as it is very clear that not all, or even most, Protestants were informers. But common usage in Ireland describes (then and now), local inhabitants who give information to the British as "informers". While personally I'd fully support both the description and it's implications the reasons why it must be included are not political. It is the most consistent with WP:NPOV. Sarah777 (talk) 19:35, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
There is an issue here alright. First of all the term "informer" is certainly used pejoratively in Irish republican circles - having a similar connotation to "traitors". While the IRA would have seen people in Cork co-operating with the RIC as traitors to the Republic, local loyalists would not have seen it that way.
Secondly, while it does seem as if many of those killed had been "helpful" to Crown forces, we don't know that's why they were targeted. As suggested above, it is much more widely suggested in the sources that they were killed in revenge for Michael O'Neill's death. I wouldn't delete the info altogether, but it does perhaps need to be modified. Jdorney (talk) 19:43, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
If most Protestants were not 'informers' that would probably be because they had no information to pass on. However I think Sarah unwittingly and superbly illustrates the reason why using the word 'informer' in this article is utterly inappropriate and far from neutral.
She says "common usage in Ireland [so] describes (then and now), local inhabitants who give information to the British."
But Ireland then and now also includes the Protestant north whose Protestant inhabitants see themselves as British and would no more think of not 'informing' than would an American who spotted an Al Quaeda operative setting up an ambush in Chicago. And they would not be pleased to have the epithet 'informer' thrown at them.
Irish Protestants in the south then, or the north now would never use the word 'informer' in this context and their view should not be disregarded in Wikipedia. Sarah may assume they do not exist or are irrelevant but their continued existence is the reason she is editing this article in the first place. Neutrality requires another phrasing. --Fynire (talk) 20:28, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
You may be presuming a bit too much Fynire. Were all Protestants loyalists in county Cork in 1922? (the term did not have extremist connotations in the 1920s btw). I'm not sure they were. But your point stands up. They would have seen themselves as helping the legitimate forces of the state.
Informant/suspected informer/infomer, doesn't make that much difference to me. What's more important is where in the text is placed. Right now it clearly implies they were killed because they had been informers. In fact we don't know this for sure either way. Jdorney (talk) 22:20, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
What they saw themselves as is irrelevant. What they are commonly called is what we should reflect here. Any inhabitant of Ireland who assisted with information given to the British was an informer. If they gave information on activity to the forces of British "law" they were informers per common parlance. Regarding the specif text I think it clear that they were killed because they were suspected of being informers. Perhaps some rebels believed (incorrectly) that all Protestants were informers. But that was the reason they were targeted. Protestants who openly supported the Republic were never killed. So it wasn't a sectarian matter. Sarah777 (talk) 23:20, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
You know - it really is a good thing that Wiki has me around to keep the obfuscation at bay here. Sarah777 (talk) 23:32, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
The issue as I see it, is whether the reliable sources tell us they were informers, or tell us the IRA considered them informers. My understanding of Hart is quite clear: his interpretation of the primary data favors the latter interpretation. Ryan, I'm less clear about. She appear to consider them to be informers himself (citing the list/diary), but according to O Fenian (who is more familiar than I with Ryan's work) she sources that conclusion to a former IRA man, which would imply that it is the IRA's opinion that she is taking as fact. Nevertheless, our job is not to question how Ryan interprets her sources, so we are left with a difference in analysis about whether they were informers or suspected informers. The question, then, is how we address this in the lead in a succinct and neutral manner. Any suggestions? Rockpocket 23:34, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Where there is uncertainty on issues like this it behooves us to be conservative and thus we should call them "suspected informers", would be my opinion. --John (talk) 23:39, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
In agreement, let's go with 'suspected informers'. GoodDay (talk) 23:49, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
For compromise 'suspected informers' is good.Cathar11 (talk) 00:14, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree that "informer" is regarded as a heinous insult in Irish Republican circles (although ironically the present-day Republican Movement has suspected informers highly placed in its leadership). But it is a heinous insult in most conspiratorial criminal organizations, like the Mafia. And the people termed "informers" are often in fact courageous citizens who take considerable personal risks in order to bring the bad guys to justice. In this case, it is pretty clear that these people were targeted because they were Protestants and as such were regarded as likely to be loyalists. So I would prefer to use the term "loyalist" or "likely loyalist" in place of "informer". I agree with the comment above that "loyalist" did not have the connotation then that it has today. After all, if these people were indeed passing information to the authorities then they were doing nothing more than their simple duty as loyal subjects of the Crown. Irvine22 (talk) 00:29, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Sources people. Sources. Our opinions are not releveant. Jdorney (talk) 00:43, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
You (Irvine) and Sarah are are like a pair, with your bad guys and knowingly provocative labels. How long before you work out all those sorts of aside achieve is to make others completely ignore the, sometimes valid, points within? Either way, the issue among all the reliable sources were about whether they were "informers" not "loyalists", so I don't see how that is really appropriate. Rockpocket 00:47, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
There you go again Rock. I used "bad guys" as a common colloquialism. And I can't be held responsible for folk being provoked by the truth. Though I do suspect our friend Irvine is trolling here with his "helping the police with their inquiries" line! Sarah777 (talk) 13:00, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Neither "informer" or "suspected informer" is sufficiently NPOV in my view, given the pejorative connotation of the word "informer" in the context of Ireland. Also, the word "suspected" implies that the thing a person is "suspected" of is a crime or otherwise wrongful conduct. Instead of "informer" I would propose "cooperating witness", and instead of "suspected" I propose "supposed". Irvine22 (talk) 02:10, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, Irvine, as you consider informers who were setting up their neighbours in the sights of British guns to be "loyal citizens" I'm not surpised you'd prefer to write this article in Newspeak! Sarah777 (talk) 12:51, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Depends what the neighbours were getting up to, I suppose. You should see my neighbours. I mean, really, the very thought of it. Irvine22 (talk) 14:10, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

That, in my view, is taking NPOV too far. In such disagreements we go with what the sources say. If you can find a good source that uses these terms, let's all have a look at it. Until then, if the sources say "informer" or "suspected informer", that's what we say too. I maintain the latter is better. --John (talk) 03:55, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

I'd still go with "suspected informers" rather than "informers" unless there is hard evidence from "reliable sources" that all the victims were in fact believed to be informers. I don't think the facts are as clear as that. Sarah777 (talk) 12:55, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
"Hard evidence"..."reliable sources"...sure sounds like Newspeak to me! Irvine22 (talk) 14:15, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
If it were not for that fact that calling another editor a troll is probably a breach of WP:NPA I'd maybe call you one! Sarah777 (talk) 14:25, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
First Newspeak, now Weasel words. Why don't you try an encylopaedic tone for a change? Irvine22 (talk) 14:33, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Agree with Sarah - "suspected informer" is the best we can do here. Names being on a list proves what? Probably that they were suspected of being informers. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 18:20, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
More likely just a list of Protestants who were available and easy targets.Irvine22 (talk) 19:09, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Do you have a source which says that? I presume not or you would have said so. Apart from changes necessary to make things clearer for the reader, the article should stick to the terms the sources use. If there's a real chance of confusion (suspected by whom?) you can always phrase it differently, something like "suspected by the IRA of being an informer". Angus McLellan (Talk) 19:25, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Well obviously the whole thrust of Hart's account is that the victims were in the main randomly-targeted Protestants, killed by the IRA in what was essentially a sectarian retailiation for the death of an IRA member. A bit like the LVF's "measured military response" to the assassination of Billy Wright, I suppose. Irvine22 (talk) 20:12, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I think there is a general consensus for "suspected informers". I have another question, in the conflicting conclusions section, do we think there is balanced coverage, with appropriate due weight, for the various perspectives? I'm a little concerned it is bit "Hart heavy", perhaps a little more details of Ryan's conclusions would be nice? Thoughts? Rockpocket 19:29, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
I'll accept anything, if it'll balance the article. GoodDay (talk) 19:35, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Is there any evidence that the victims were accused of being informers before they were murdered? Or is it all just post facto rationalization? Irvine22 (talk) 20:14, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Irvine. Please stop generalizing, such as changing every mention of "informer" to "suspected informer". Not only did some of them make no sense whatsoever, we have to respect the individual sources. If you are unable to edit with nuance on such delicate issues, then please leave it to someone else who can. Rockpocket 20:58, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
If they made no sense, then they were of a piece with much of the rest of the article. Irvine22 (talk) 21:40, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
That isn't helpful. Maybe we are done here, for now. --John (talk) 23:00, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
So nobody seems to be able to say whether the victims were ever accused of being informers before they were killed? Ok, that's what I thought - the whole "informer" thing looks like a tendentious post facto rationalization to which we should give no credence whatsoever. But I know you will... Irvine22 (talk) 00:25, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
WP:OR. Sarah777 (talk) 00:28, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Use or indeed overuse of the words 'informer' or 'suspected informer' alone remains pejorative and inappropriate here. Angus's suggestion of "suspected by the IRA of being an informer' is not unreasonable as it indicates that it is a concept or crime particular to that side of the dispute.

Sarah argues, "What they are commonly called is what we should reflect here. Any inhabitant of Ireland who assisted with information given to the British was an informer." She avoids my earlier point. 'Commonly' has to include, in Ireland, Protestants and Unionists (who were themselves British) and therefore the concept is not common currency unless you regard Protestants as people of no consequence at all in the matter. Can you inform yourself? And was it in 'common' use in Ireland that you would call someone who had reported a rape or a stray cow an informer? Sarah's other point that "Protestants who openly supported the Republic were never killed. So it wasn't a sectarian matter" is risible. As if you execute those who come across to your side? Anyway most Protestant Republicans became Catholics. The number of Protestants in Cork who were home rulers would have been tiny and the percentage who supported the separatists minute and can pretty well all be named like Miss Dorothy Stopford or Sam Maguire.

I will go for Angus's phrasing in my next edit. --Fynire (talk) 16:58, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Just noticed this - I think Fynire has conflated Dorothy Macardle and Alice Stopford Green as one person (Miss Dorothy Stopford). (talk) 02:03, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Agree "informer" is pejorative and inappropriate. Not least because it is playing into a post facto rationalization for sectarian murder. Irvine22 (talk) 02:34, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Do we call Israelis "Zionists" because some sub-section of a sub-section of the population uses that term? "Informer" was, and as importantly still is, the common description of people who engage in the suspected activity. It is to change that modern usage by using the power of Wiki which is your agenda , I suspect. Sarah777 (talk) 09:15, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Above is confused nonsense Sarah and you know it. Any suggestion that Republicans like Eamon Broy were informers would and will be resisted, fiercely. Angus's phrasing deals with the problem. --Fynire (talk) 21:11, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Never heard of the informer called Eamonn Broy. Sarah777 (talk) 21:14, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Even the modern Gardai/police themselves today commonly us the word "informant" to describe people who drop a dime on their associates and acquaintances! Sarah777 (talk) 09:20, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Well check the Broy article informer is used Fynire. BigDunc 21:20, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
The problem with you Sarah is only Catholics get massacred while Protestants only get killed. Lets compromise on both getting murdered. -- (talk) 21:41, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Broy was a Republican hero who informed on his (British) work colleagues. So could he be an informer if he was a Republican? Of course not. You get the point now? --Fynire (talk) 21:23, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
    • ^ Meda Ryan Pg.219
    • ^ Tim Pat Coogan, Pg.360