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The 'Shankill Butchers': Case Study of a Death Squad

Hosted by the Consul of the Global History Lovers Group
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Took place 1 month ago
Sun 16 Apr 16:00 - 18:30

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This screening supplements the subject matter covered by our April 11 event 'Trouble' In Ireland, Episode V. It is recommended, though not essential for you to attend both events. You will undoubtedly come to this event fully informed about the background if you do.

The documentary tells a story that remains uncomfortably poised between the category of straightforward crime (serial-killer) and political terror. The so-called 'Shankill Butchers' were a group of loyalist paramilitary members whose activity in the mid to late Protected content was designed to create a wave of fear in the catholic or 'nationalist' community.

In ways similar to the kind of sadistic killings one normally associates with serial killers, it is also clear that the 'butcher' murders also involved people who were not what we would term as psychopaths, but who were sucked into them by those that were. In addition, there remains deep suspicion that the 'gang' was given a free rein to carry out its ghastly deeds, under a blind eye being cast by the supposed 'forces of law and order'.

This places the gang much closer to what we might term a 'death squad' (ie. those operating with covert state collaboration), of a kind that is even today notorious across Latin America.