Less than 100 miles north of Bridgewater is the port of Gloucester, MA.
In 1984 the fishing vessel Marita Ann departed its shores bound for the south coast of Ireland.
On-board the vessel was seven tons of weapons, explosives destined for The Irish Republican Army.
The vessels ‘feeder’ was intercepted, crew captured.
I remember its capture clearly because at the time I was living in London.
People in the pubs wanted the crew shot and feed to the sharks.
As background the IRA had recently bombed Harrods and Hyde Park resulting in the same senseless deaths and mutilation we saw at The Boston Marathon.
Only the IRA’s terror campaign of England lasted decades and was not a random event by two malcontent brothers.
I was in Harrods two days before it was bombed.
I remember my tearful mum pleading with me on the phone to come home to Christchurch.
To this day I have never told her I was in Harrods that day.
Oh the irony therefore to see the population of Massachusetts cower under the cosh of terrorism when it was Irish Catholics from the North East of the U.S that had proudly and openly funded, supplied the IRA.
Yes, it was a minority of radical U.S Irish Catholics that had raised funds for guns and bombs in the same way it is a minority of Muslims that undertake terrorism in the name of their cause.
Still it’s hard for me to feel any sympathy for the Irish American population of Massachusetts given their sad legacy of funding terrorism.