Mayo-born, British Army deserter and tank thief Mike Flanagan
On This Day In Irish History writes:
On this day 72 years ago – 29 June 1948 – Mike Flanagan of Foxford, County Mayo – a Sergeant in the British Army – stole two British tanks and delivered them to the Haganah.
Flanagan [who had participated in the liberation of the Nazi-operated Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945] is said to have seen parallels between Jews fighting for a nation-state and the Irish 25 years earlier.
The tanks were hidden in Givatayim and later formed the basis of the Israeli Armored Corps.
Flanagan subsequently converted to Judaism, adopted the Hebrew name Michael Peleg, and married Ruth Levy, fellow soldier whom he had met on active service. They lived in Israel on Kibbutz Sha’ar HaAmakim.
He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Valor from The Wiesenthal Center in the United States.The Israeli Defense Forces honored Flanagan for his immense and critical contributions to the formulation of the IDF….
Aidan McAnespie was shot dead by the British army near Aughnacloy, County Tyrone in February 1988
‘The PPS [Northern ireland Public Prosecution Service] have today confirmed that a solider of the Grenadier Guards will now face prosecution for manslaughter arising out of the unlawful killing of Aidan McAnespie.
Aidan McAnespie was shot dead by a soldier of the Grenadier Guards as he walked on the Aughnacloy Road, Co. Tyrone on 21st February 1988.
Mr McAnespie had just walked through a permanent vehicle check-point (PVCP) which was manned by the Grenadier Guards, when he was fatally wounded by one of three shots fired from a General Purpose Machine Gun located in one of the military sangers at the PVCP. He died at the scene.
KRW LAW LLP previously lodged representations with the Attorney General and Public Prosecution Service arising which duly prompted a review into the original decision not to prosecute. The PPS have today confirmed that on foot of the review, a decision has now been taken to prosecute.’
Statement from KRW LAW LLP on behalf of the family of Aidan McAnespie, this morning.
Soldier to face manslaughter charge over death of Aidan McAnespie (RTÉ)
From the BBC:
In the early 1970s, the British Army ran a secret undercover unit. Its existence was deniable and its tactics were so controversial that the unit was disbanded after just 14 months. Now, for the first time in 40 years, some of the unit’s former members break their silence and talk candidly to [Panorama reporter] John Ware about how they took the war to the IRA, sometimes even imitating the IRA itself. The soldiers believe they saved many lives. But Panorama’s new evidence reveals that some members of the unit operated outside the law, firing on and killing unarmed civilians. The Ministry of Defence says it has referred Panorama’s allegations to the police.
Tonight, BBC 1 9pm.
Britain’s Secret Terror Force (Panorama, BBC)
Not so fast.
The Royal Navy’s most advanced frigate, HMS Portland, sailed into Belfast on Thursday to launch a major jobs and recruitment fair for the armed forces. The ship will be in the harbour until Monday, September 30 and during the five-day visit, it will play host to the public highlighting the diverse range of job opportunities a career in the armed forces can offer.
Armed forces jobs fair docks in Belfast (UTV News)
Previously: Irish recruits join British Army in record numbers (Ralph Riegel, Irish Independent December 2012)