A human rights group hits out at the BBC for an ‘appalling’ interview on a British army killing

Image of armed forces in Northern Ireland from the Troubles
Support us and go ad-free

Northern Ireland human rights group the Pat Finucane Centre (PFC) has hit out at the BBC. The controversy surrounds comments made by documentary filmmaker Peter Taylor during an interview on 6 July.

The PFC is demanding an apology because Taylor questioned whether the victim of a British army killing in 1974, 27 year old John Pat Cunningham, actually had learning difficulties.

Interview

The interview was about defence secretary Gavin Williamson’s proposal for an amnesty for all Troubles related offences. Taylor mentioned the prosecution of former British soldier Dennis Hutchings for shooting Cunningham, as previously reported by The Canary.

The interviewer put it to Taylor:

He shot a man with learning difficulties.

Taylor responded:

whether he had learning difficulties or not is again a matter of contention.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

He was not, however, challenged on this statement.

PFC response

The PFC were furious with Taylor’s comments and tweeted:

The PFC state Cunningham:

had a learning disability and also had a fear of men in uniforms.

Furthermore, Cunningham’s learning disability is reported widely in the media. This includes articles on the BBC website. The PFC told The Canary that anyone questioning Cunningham’s mental condition has not look at it in any detail.

The Canary contacted the BBC about the PFC’s demands. A spokesperson said:

We will give careful consideration to the concerns of the Pat Finucane Centre and will respond in due course.

Dealing with the past

There’s not a simple solution to dealing with past offences in Northern Ireland. But comments like this from an experienced documentary filmmaker can only serve to bring further hurt to victims’ families.

Get Involved!

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

– Contact Justice for the forgottenPFC, and Relatives for Justice.

Featured image Flickr/Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916

Support us and go ad-free

Do your bit for independent journalism

Did you know that less than 1.5% of our readers contribute financially to The Canary? Imagine what we could do if just a few more people joined our movement to achieve a shared vision of a free and fair society where we nurture people and planet.

We need you to help out, if you can.

When you give a monthly amount to fund our work, you are supporting truly independent journalism. We hold power to account and have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence the counterpoint to the mainstream.

You can count on us for rigorous journalism and fearless opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right wing mainstream media.

In return you get:

  • Advert free reading experience
  • Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
  • 20% discount from our shop

 

The Canary Fund us

Comments are closed