“I have spoken to the IRA in his area..”

On Newsnight tonight, BBC2 10.30pm, Liz McKean will have a report on political tensions following the killing of Paul Quinn. From the Newsnight blog

Liz MacKean has a report on increasing paramilitary violence in Northern Ireland. The story centres on the murder last month of Paul Quinn in South Armagh. Both his family and the Independent Monitoring Commission point the finger at members of the IRA but politicians on all sides reject the claims. We’ll also be speaking to Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward.

They’ve already spoken to the Northern Ireland Executive’s Minister for Regional Development, Conor Murphy, MP, MLA.

“I have spoken to the IRA in his area and I am satisfied with the assurances they gave me, very solid assurances, that they weren’t involved in his death,” [Conor Murphy] says.

Indeed..

Adds The BBC reports that more than 200 people attended a public meeting tonight in Cullyhanna.

Update In the Newsnight report, available here [RealPlayer file], according to Conor Murphy, MP, MLA, the Provisional IRA is in the process of “requires a managed transition”.And From today’s Irish Times [subs req]

Mr Murphy yesterday evening called on Mr McAllister and the Quinn support group to “take decisive action” to end the campaign of “violence and intimidation” against Mr Treanor.

He said people associated with the Quinn group had falsely accused Mr Treanor and his family of involvement in the killing.

Mr Murphy repeated his call for anyone with any information relating to the murder of Paul Quinn to bring that information forward to the Garda and PSNI.

Mr McAllister, however, rejected Mr Murphy’s complaints, saying members of the group were not involved in any intimidation or attacks, and that the group condemned such actions.

He accused Mr Murphy of trying to create a “smokescreen” to distract attention from the IRA’s alleged involvement in Mr Quinn’s murder.

“Conor Murphy is struggling to cope with the fact that the majority of the people of south Armagh believe in their hearts the IRA murdered Paul Quinn, and that sadly their MP is trying to give them cover,” said Mr McAllister.

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  • harry

    is it likely that c murphy would say??……………. “i spoke to the IRA in my area… and ACTUALLY they did to it”

    is the IRA a legal organisation now????? if conor was speaking to them.. did he pass on their details to the cops??

  • Pancho’s Horse

    …………… legal according to who?

  • harry

    legal according to the laws of NI upheld by the PSNI< who SF now support

  • Frank Sinistra

    afaik the IRA (provisional) is not a proscribed organisation. If an organisation isn’t procribed; talking to them or even membership isn’t illegal.

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Conor Murphy spoke to the IRA in his area???

    Now as a republican who knows the crack about the complexity of things around the border I can tell you people clearly that the man MURPHY is LIAR!

    Lets be clear:-

    (1). No one moves in SA without the IRA knowing
    about it.

    (2). No one has the capability to abduct an
    individual like his IRA friends have!

    (3). No one has the capability to had out
    punishment without Mr Murphys friends
    being involve

    & Finally NO ONE has the capability to put up a wall of silence up when the cops come enquiring like the FORMER IRA!

    The people who killed Paul Quinn once fought for Ireland now they fight for personal financial gain.

    Now if the sources I know in Mullabawn are correct then his murderer is out on licence having previously been jailed in Long Kesh – Again for Financial gain or maybe because it was then for Ireland he’s a hero?

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Harry, old bean, when you don’t accept the right of the statelet of ‘Northern Ireland’ to exist, it sort of hits your definition on the head. Any insurgent body of native Irish have more right to bear arms than the mercenaries of a foreign colonial power and what New SF do or don’t do is irrelevant to Republicanism.

  • Shawn

    Well then Rory off to the PSNI with you before you are accused of being part of the problem and not part of the solution

  • agh

    I see collusion is still rife in south armagh. This time between local government and the local ‘peacekeepers’.
    ‘They haven’t gone away you know’.

    McCartney, Donaldson, Quinn… The usual pattern will no doubt return, whereby all will be quiet for 6 months, then a couple of the ‘lads’ will get a bit frisky and beat some other poor sod to death.

    How can such a barbaric act in such a small community go unchallenged. Are SF actively on the streets in south armagh demanding justice? They are usually pretty good at running off a few flyers and getting the odd protest going, or would it be in their best interest to see this one getting swept under the carpet?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Frnak

    “afaik the IRA (provisional) is not a proscribed organisation.”

    Eh? I must’ve missed that announcement?

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Shawn

    Now I am not a tout and it is not my place!

    But I am sure that many members of Provision Sinn Fein known the facts and surely as good wee servants of the British Crown it is their place to take the thirty pieces of silver!

    [See commenting policy - edited moderator]

  • Frank Sinistra

    Terrorism Act 2000? Groups are only illegal if specified? If the ‘SoS’ recognises a ceasefire they become technically legal? Membership of itself isn’t illegal if not specified?

    Maybe I picked it up wrong, I’ve had it in my head since Tohill that an IRA (provisional) membership charge of itself won’t get a conviction in a British court.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Isn’t it a big pity that the moderator has to step in and stop the felon-setting. You should be ashamed of yourself, Roger from Londonderry.What do you hope to gain by bandying names about like that?

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Terrorism Act 2000? Groups are only illegal if specified? If the ‘SoS’ recognises a ceasefire they become technically legal? Membership of itself isn’t illegal if not specified?

    Maybe I picked it up wrong, I’ve had it in my head since Tohill that an IRA (provisional) membership charge of itself won’t get a conviction in a British court.

    IS THIS NOT GIVING THE PROVO’S A RIGHT TO CARRY OUT STATE (& BRITISH IF YOU DON’T MIND) TERRORISM!

    BRIT LACKIES!

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Pancho’s Horse

    Get a life pal!

    Paul Quinn was killed by so called reformed characters! (The clue to his identity was given earlier)!

    Days leading up to his murder people were threatened, and terrorised about desiel smuggling and then this kid gets done in by thugs who all are Provisional IRA activists!

    Remember the WAR MAY BE OVER but the thuggery goes on!

  • Shawn

    Rory
    Just to clear up your position, you want the provos to do that which you wont?

    Very ummm convenient for you

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Shawn

    I just would not except any better!

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Nobody can be comfortable with Paul Quinn’s death but if you know everybody involved, maybe you should go to the PSNI or else shut your mouth. I haven’t a big pile of time for the Provisional Alliance BUT they fought and died for 30 years and if this is their chosen path then so be it. We have endured enough hurlers on the ditch in the past.

  • Frank Sinistra

    I can’t work that bit out either, Rory is against recognising British law in Ireland but seems to have a problem when he perceives others not complying fully with that law and even goes as far as trying to present a case that would be useful to the law he rejects.

    Go figure.

  • Garibaldy

    Frank,

    I think it was a real ira person that got off on that front. Although the legislation afaik now refers to any organisation calling itself the IRA or whatever. But didn’t when the people who got off were charged.

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Frank Sinistra

    I have a problem with the Hypocritcal Bastards like Conor Murphy who lie through their teeth and people like you and Pancho’s Horse who condone them!

  • harry

    years and if this is their chosen path then so be it. We have endured enough hurlers on the ditch in the past.

    but Mr Horse,

    if they do decide to down the road, well it is their own business, but why do they inist people inform to the cops on the activities of others.

    they didnt have a high opinion of informers when they were in business.

  • Frank Sinistra

    Gari,

    It was this that had me thinking being a member of a non-specified organisation wasn’t illegal of itself. What changed since 2004?

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Harry,old bean, it’s Ms horse actually and I agree with you 100% but so what? The point I’m making is that Sinn Féin have tried one way and now they’re trying another. It’s their business. They have proved that they can endure. Their pedigree is intact as they see it. No one can challenge their chosen route.Leave them be. If there’s a viable alternative let it show itself and the people will decide if it merits support. And don’t presume that people who no longer support New SF are in the Real/Continuity camp.

  • toecutter

    wil shame fein be on the streets in large numbers demanding something is done like they wer when that poor old man in belfast mr holland was murdered.they took to the streets in force then but not a shame fein man to be seen when young quin was murdered.in my opinion there wil come a time when the ordinary person on the streets wil cop on to shame fein for who they really are and stop voting for them .what ever happened to tiocfaidh ar la i havent heard that war cry in ages.

  • Mick Hall

    I am puzzled by Franks claim that membership of the IRA[P] is no longer a criminal offense in the north.

    The legislation that covered this offense in the north and south were very similar.[in the past] I do not believe they even referred to the PIRA/whatever but used the correct term Óglaigh Na hÉireann.

    Indeed only a week or so ago in the south a volunteer of that organization was sentenced to jail time for membership, admittedly not membership of the organization we are debating.

    Perhaps someone who knows this legislation could enlighten us here. i e is membership of Óglaigh Na hÉireann still a criminal offense in the north? I would be most surprised if this law was not still in force as the whole point of naming Óglaigh Na hÉireann specifically in the legislation, was because all volunteers believe they belong to the genuine article, as the organization they signed up to went by the name Óglaigh Na hÉireann, not provo, real or continuity.

    Or perhaps Im mistaken here, but if not then it raises the question whether members of the Provos have been given an amnesty that has not been made public? It would also explain some of the incidents mentioned in this thread.

    A very interesting thread.

  • Paul McMahon

    I’m somewhat perplexed at your approach to this Rory perhaps you could clear it up?

    You presumably would like to see justice for the Quinn family, [as would I], but tell me, how should this justice be attained?.

    Shiould people go and give any information to whatever relevant police force they feel is neccesary and if they do does that make them touts?, [of which you have previously professed you're not].

    Now, “as a republican who knows the crack about the complexity of things around the border” can you tell me if your “sources in Mullaghban” give the information that they obviously know to the relevant authorities? and, if they have, does that also make them touts?.

    If they haven’t do you think that they should, in the interests of justice for the Quinn family, or, perhaps you advocate some other kind of justice?

    On the other hand you could of course be encourageing other people to that which you wouldn’t be prepared to dp yourself, which, if that’s the case, you’d be a bigger hypocrite than those you accuse of the same.

  • harry

    what does conor murphy mean a period of managed tranition.

    transforming into

    1 full time commemoration organisers
    2 discipliners of young lads in south armagh.
    3 enforcers of gerry’s volksmeinschaft.
    4 sntach squads to show dissenting chaps whats what.

    ???????????

  • Garibaldy

    Frank and Mick,

    I looked the law up once I think a couple of years ago and it said any organisation calling itself the IRA. I think it was changed after the incident Frank refers to. I was probably mixed up about the Real IRA thing, though I do think that it was raised in defence of someone charged for that at some point.

  • The Raven

    The final sentence on the Beeb’s report pretty much says it all. “No-one has been charged in connection with Mr Quinn’s death.”

    Forgive my naivite among the hallowed company of this thread, but I do feel we are getting away from the point. Murder was committed; a man died at the hands of (if I read correctly) up to ten men, armed with the most blunt and brutal of weapons.

    And no-one has been charged. How far have we come in 12 years? Not very. I don’t live in the South Armagh area, nor am I from there, though I did spend a lot of time in it a few years ago.

    My skin crawls at the thought of how this man died…at how the murderers made their plans in such a cold and calculated way…and at how a wall of silence, induced mostly by fear, has thrown itself up around the area.

    Let’s not think about how stuff like this goes down with inward investors or tourists visiting the area. But more importantly, let’s not think (cos I ain’t seeing much evidence of it here) about how parents have been robbed of their son in the most brutal way over the head of something (it would appear) as meaningless as a cheap fuel fill for the boys’ latest Land Cruisers.

    Only my tuppence worth – frankly I don’t care how Conor had a chinwag with. The whole episode, matched up with the other similar scenarios on both sides of the divide, is sickening.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Many Nationalists/Republicans were once prepared to turn a blind eye to Provo activity which added nothing to their stated claim to be trying to unify the country. Whatever about the correctness or other wise of this position surely there must be NO appetite for such activity post SF in government. Conor is as convinving as Widgery and appeared to be trying that old Widgery trick of blackening the name of victims. If slab and co do not remove thmeselves from the scene and pronto surely the SDLP will be the main ones to benefit.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Frank

    That’s a very interesting argument re. the illegality or lack thereof of membership of PIRA. The Tohill case does seem to suggest that membership is not itself illegal, or at least provides a legal precedent that I’m sure some future defendants will be quick to avail of.

    Has the British government quietly legalized the PIRA, and done a REALLY good job at keeping it quiet?

  • Redhaze

    Why do people refer to the Tohill case when discussing the possible illegality of the PIRA?

    Was anybody involved in the case given an amnesty to your knowledge?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Redhaze

    Read the links. It appears that the charges against four men of:

    a) attempted abduction; and
    b) membership of a proscribed organisation

    were dropped because:

    a) Tohill testified that there was no attempted abduction and the four men were all just old mates that he was horsing around with; and

    b) the prosecution’s case was to prove the four men were members of PIRA. However the defence seems to have argued that PIRA is not actually a proscribed organization, as per the relevant legislation. And the judge seems to have agreed with this.

    Curious. I didn’t pick up on it at the time, I guess most people didn’t. But it does seem to suggest that PIRA’s legal status is shrouded in shades of grey.

  • elvis parker

    “I have spoken to the IRA in his area”
    ‘just after I finishing shaving’ he should surely have added?

  • willowfield

    All

    The Provisional IRA is definitely a proscribed organisation under the Terrorism Act 2000, and membership of a proscribed organisation is an offence under the same Act.

    Section 3 of the Terrorism Act provides that “an organisation is proscribed if— (a) it is listed in Schedule 2, or (b) it operates under the same name as an organisation listed in that Schedule”.

    The list in Schedule 2 to the Terrorism Act includes “Irish Republican Army”.

    There was a question as to whether the “Real IRA” was proscribed as it wasn’t listed in Schedule 2 when the Crown Court referred the matter to the Court of Appeal and thence to the Court of Appeal (from memory in respect of a case relating to the Omagh bomb), but the Court of Appeal ruled that the “Real IRA” was covered by Schedule 2 since the proscription of the IRA predated its fragmentation, and therefore any group emerging from a split in a proscribed IRA must also be proscribed. Thereby all organisations – Official, Provo, Continuity, Real – descended from the pre-1969 IRA are proscribed. The Court of Appeal decision was appealed by the defendant to the House of Lords, but the Lords dismissed the appeal.

    As for the Tohill case, I note that it was not the case that a court ruled that the PIRA was not proscribed: rather, the charges [of membership of a proscribed organisation] were dropped, apparently because the PIRA was not a specified organisation.

    This means simply that the PPS chose to drop the charges, i.e. not to pursue them. It does not mean that the PIRA is legal.

    Why were the charges dropped? The stated reason was because the PIRA was not specified. What does “specified” mean? Importantly, it does not mean the same as “proscribed”: while all “specified” organisations are proscribed, it is not the case that a non-specified organisation is therefore not proscribed. A specified organisation is a proscribed organisation which the Secretary of State has deemed not to be observing a ceasefire. (The purpose of specification is to identify those prisoners who are eligible for early release.)

    I am unaware of any legal reason why charges of membership of a proscribed organisation should be dropped simply because the proscribed organisation is not specified. One can possibly infer from the dropping of the charges that it was not deemed to be “in the public interest” to pursue them?

    Conor Murphy therefore has admitted to knowing and speaking to people who, by virtue of their membership of PIRA, are committing a criminal offence. Despite his professed support for the rule of law and the police, he has failed to pass this information on to the police.

  • iluvni

    Conor Murphy therefore has admitted to knowing and speaking to people who, by virtue of their membership of PIRA, are committing a criminal offence. Despite his professed support for the rule of law and the police, he has failed to pass this information on to the police.

    Posted by willowfield on Nov 29, 2007 @ 11:00 AM

    …and the DUP are content to continue to sit in Government with him.

  • Granni Trixie

    It was heartening (‘better late than never’I suppose)to hear a member of the Quinn Support Group on BBC news say something like “we’re a bit ashamed around here that we didn’t speak out before about this kind of thing”. I remembered for instance the case in Newry in the 90s when the mothers of two young men threatened with explusion stood up to the IRA.The Newry public were found wanting then. I have always found it ridiculous that republicans talk up the cause for the civil rights campaign, but seem blind about injustices of intimidation (punishment beatings,exiling etc).

  • Perplexed

    Connor Murphy claims he knows for sure it was not the IRA, I presume having a finger on the pulse of the local community, he has a fair idea who it was. Whilst this is not evidence in itself, it may encourage other people to co-operate if he was to say “I have passed on names of the suspects to the PSNI.”

    At the end of the day I know its only theoretical discusion, as the PSNI and the “guards” probably know who did it anyway.

  • RepublicanStones

    “guards” ???? why the speech marks???
    oh and its gardai.

  • Jo

    There was a lot of silence around the death of Eamon Collins and the barbarity of what hapepned to him.

    Perhaps people are reflecting on the silence that they exercised over the years – now that they see how that co-operation of silence is now taken as a given. Its not an easy lesson.

    Seems, in the past, it was only outsiders who thought: “that could happen to anybody”.

    Now, its not just the outsiders who think that.

  • Shawn

    Conor Murphy therefore has admitted to knowing and speaking to people who, by virtue of their membership of PIRA, are committing a criminal offence. Despite his professed support for the rule of law and the police, he has failed to pass this information on to the police.

    Posted by willowfield on Nov 29, 2007 @ 11:00 AM

    Isnt Jackie Macdonald the admitted leader of a proscribed organisation in the papers every second week?

    Willow how come you never advocate for his arrest. He freely admits to membership in a proscribed organisation

  • willowfield

    It is a lie to suggest that I never “advocate for” Jackie McDonald’s arrest. On the contrary, I routinely “advocate for” a zero tolerance approach to all loyalist terrorists. I am sure others here who have read my contributions to threads about loyalists can verify that.

    Retract your accusation, please.

  • http://www.w.com The Watchman

    6 months ago I took the DUP to task in a pair of op-ed articles for Slugger and drew a lot of flak for my opposition to what everyone else said was wonderful. I said that it would be interesting to see how the DUP would react to IRA criminality, given that the DUP sold their flip-flop on the basis that republicans had now embraced the rule of law. Not surprisingly the DUP has done its best to play down recent events in south Armagh because to do otherwise would be evidence of its own bad judgment.

    Here we come to the central contradiction in the power-sharing project. The project is built on “inclusivity”. But it can only survive if its supporters choose not to hold Sinn Fein politically accountable for the lawless actions of the IRA. The DUP is well aware that, for all Sinn Fein’s engagement with policing, the IRA is still criminally active. Everyone else knows that.

  • Mick Hall

    Willowfield,

    Thanks for the info on the legality of the IRA, the situation is as I believed. In the Tohill case did the judge dismiss the membership charges or was it the state who decided not to proceed as that stage had not been reached. As you know precedent is important in English law.

    Did anyone notice what amounted to an amnesty at the time or are we all as dumb as one and another.

  • New Yorker

    In the Newsnight report Mr. Quinn basically says ‘who else could have done it in this area’. Does any reasonable person not think the Provos actually did commit the murder? It seems that unless you believe the “wee people” did it, you believe Mr. Quinn.

  • http://www.w.com The Watchman

    For those who missed it, an excerpt from Jim Allister’s speech on Monday night:

    “Long held principles of the never, never variety have gone for the baubles of high, but shared, office; no terrorists in government was traded for an IOU in vanishing ink, meaninglessly called a “pledge of office”; democratic government was surrendered for the absurdity of mandatory coalition, whereby you can never vote a party out of office, nor have an Opposition; and long-standing, principled rejection of the iniquitous Belfast Agreement was meekly given up for empty cosmetic tinkerings of no substantive value.

    “As if all that wasn’t bad enough, the lowest bidder, IRA/Sinn Fein, was rewarded with the unbelievable give-away that they can hold onto the pride of their military structures, the Army Council, meaning that at every Executive meeting Mr P O’Neill is the unseen guest, and as a final sweetener they were given a pack of “get out of jail free” cards to be used when they feel the need to do the odd murder. One was just recently cashed in by the South Armagh brigade when they murdered Paul Quinn. Because of the sordid DUP/Sinn Fein deal and their mutual vested interest, the DUP, mark my words, will do nothing about that brutal killing, other than to twist and turn to pretend it wasn’t what it patently was, the IRA enforcing its writ in its territory. It was murder and it was murder by the IRA and because they’ll get away with it, it won’t be the last IRA murder.”

    Too right.

  • j

    New Yorker – who murdered Keith Rogers for example?

    Does Jim McAllister support everyone going to the Gardaí and PSNI? If so why was he anti ceasefire and anti support for PSNI?

    Ironic that he is representing the family when he is anti PSNI and SF have repeatedly called for everyone to give all information to PSNI and gardaí.

  • Red Diesel

    j
    I am prepared to bet the profit on my next run with the tanker that no one will ever be charged with the murder of Keith Rogers, for the very simple reason that the defendant would have a first-class case of self-defence to offer. Rogers was part of an armed group intent on administering a Cullaville ASBO when he discovered that the intended victim was tooled up. Tremendous efforts are being made locally to damage Jim McAllister to that little bang-bang. this is the last line of defence now that the Paul-Quinn-is-a-diesel-king gambit collapsed so ignominously, while the even sillier notion that the Quinns are targeting the family which had an altercation with Paul never even got off the ground. It got killed dead last night when Briege Quinn called again for no retaliation and said that included window-breaking “which hurts us, hurts our campaign and hurts Paul’s memory”. So J, you and Conor are going to have to scratch around for other attack points. Beware the risen people.

  • Jo

    Interesting to read of hardline, law and order, shoot to kill Unionists becoming oh-so-concerned about the killing of a Fenian by other Fenians.

    No whiff of self-interested headline grabbing sordid little politics there, then.

  • willowfield

    MICK HALL

    In the Tohill case did the judge dismiss the membership charges or was it the state who decided not to proceed as that stage had not been reached.

    The charges were dropped, and hence they weren’t put before the judge.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    New Yorker

    “Does any reasonable person not think the Provos actually did commit the murder?”

    The question is more complex than that. Smuggling is big business in south Armagh, the only industry of any significance there. The black economy of south Armagh used to bankroll the IRA to the tune of millions every year. The key men in that industry were senior Provos. Of course they were. That was their role in the “war effort”.

    Now the war is over, but the wheels of industry grind on, and those millions go into the pockets of guys who used to be senior Provos but are now senior organized criminals. The murder of Paul Quinn looks decidedly like a gangland hit (or a gangland beating gone too far), with of course a strong twist rural Irish republican paramilitary-style “justice” thrown in for good measure.

    So you see the question is complex. The people who did it probably were Provos (or at least ex-Provos) and the fact that they expect to get away with it probably stems from that fact. But that’s not the same as saying the Provos did it.

    Of course there is a precedent for all this. By the mid-1930s DeValera had to do what would have once seemed unthinkable and proscribed the IRA. He then set about hunting down his old comrades and, in some instances, hanging them. The old IRA men hadn’t realised that the situation had moved on, and that their former comrades had too much at stake for old loyalties to get in the way.

    What are the chances that the first act of our new Justice Minister Gerry Kelly will be to form a crack unit of reliable old comrades, whose job it will be to come down hard on the unreliable old comrades?

    Because make no mistake, this is a “to catch a thief” scenario. Only republicans can clean up south Armagh. No-one else can.

    Broy’s Harriers Mk II anyone?

  • andy

    Red Diesel
    Your may be right about Rogers death being self-defence, but surely that doesnt alter the fact that there are other people capable of killing in South Armagh rather than just Provos.

    I think Billy is right. Those involved must have provo connections..past or present… but that is different to the “provos done it” in the sense that it was an act carried out by the provisional ira.

  • Mick Hall

    Billy

    Your post is fine up to a point, however Dev’s Broys Harriers were no longer in the IRA, whereas to date many of the leading shinners are. Which makes the current situation completely different, not least because a percentage of the oil cash is in all probability still being used to finance the IRA[P] and its command structure which is still in place.

    So the only way the likes of Gerry Kelly could hunt Provos down, is if they had been dismissed from the ranks. The whole point of what we are being told by the family of young Quinn and others is that is not the case with those who murdered their son. It is unthinkable that a punishment beating of this type was a free lance operation. It is not logical to suggest this matter does not go to the very top of the IRA[P], as the individual whose writ runs throughout this area is CoS; and his approval for such a beating which involved so many men would almost certainly have been sought.

    So the situation is not comparable with what happened in the 1930s, if any thing it is far worse for the people on the ground. As neither the State nor their political representatives, which in this case is SF, are prepared to help them out. They are quite literally on their own against a State which is refusing to act and the PIRA which SF is backing to the hilt.

    This is an unforgivable betrayal on the part of SF, for after gaining the political support of the people of this area, they are shitting on their own constituency. Anyone who votes for Mr Murphy next time around after he has publicly lied and sided against his constituents and stood with people who are now masquerading as freedom fighters against a grieving family deserves nothing but contempt.

    Pastor Martin Niemöller magnificent poem springs to mind,

    First they came for the Jews
    and I did not speak out–
    because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the communists
    and I did not speak out–
    because I was not a communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists
    and I did not speak out–
    because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for me–
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

  • Sam Hanna

    A lot of families of murdered Protestants in South Armagh could be forgiven in asking where were the 600 people in Cullyhanna demanding justice for their loved ones over the last 30 years. Not many of tem came forward to even attend a funeral of a single Kingsmill victim.

    A cynic might suggest that the people of Cullyhanna have played with fire, profited from it for 30 years and now have got badly burned. Providence has a way of bringing back on you what you inflicted on others.

    South Armagh is a blackspot of genocide and human rights abuses aided and abetted by the local community – It would be nice to see it annexed to Cambodia or Iraq.

  • joeCanuck

    I find it hard to understand why someone could condemn a whole, totally terrified, community for not having the courage to stand up.
    It’s sad, indeed, but when standing up probably meant a death sentence, I can understand. I don’t know what I would have done, to be honest.

  • Fitzy

    just about the whole of the working class or rural north (90%) should then be annexed as even the dogs in the street knew who was up to what over the last 30 years. maybe you didn’t know who was pulling triggers or planting bombs, but i’m sure just about everyone knew about things that could have helped the police. To the best of my knowledge, there’s never been a queue of people waiting to give information outside a cop shop.

  • http://www.w.com The Watchman

    “Interesting to read of hardline, law and order, shoot to kill Unionists becoming oh-so-concerned about the killing of a Fenian by other Fenians.

    No whiff of self-interested headline grabbing sordid little politics there, then.”

    I think we should all be concerned, Jo, about any killings committed by groups ruling over us in government. Aren’t you?

  • New Yorker

    Billy Pilgrim

    You say “What are the chances that the first act of our new Justice Minister Gerry Kelly will be to form a crack unit of reliable old comrades, whose job it will be to come down hard on the unreliable old comrades?” But you also say “Because make no mistake, this is a “to catch a thief” scenario. Only republicans can clean up south Armagh. No-one else can.” So, who is going to clean up South Armagh? Anyone? Or are this pack of murderers being allowed to remain free while they wait for another kill?

    Your police do not seem capable, considering it is over a month since the murder, up to 20 involved, two eye-witnesses and no one arrested or held as suspects. Bertie Ahern says a criminal gang is responsible, and all agree, but then what – do nothing about it? He seems to be condoning murder on his turf. Maybe the British Army has to be brought back in full force in the area until it is cleared up if no one else can or will do what has to be done.

  • joeCanuck

    I have to agree, New Yorker. Under the circumstances, I’m somewhat amazed that the police on both sides of the border have not invited anyone in to assist with their enquiries.
    I say both sides because, although the brutal bonechilling murder was carried out in the South, there must have been a conspiracy carried out in the North.

  • New Yorker

    Joe Canuck

    Both governments, North and South, appear to be making no effort to solve this horrendous murder. In so doing, they are condoning it. How many more mangled corpses until they defend their citizens?

    This is the type of thing that could land a country on the US State Dept. “Do Not Travel” list and being on that list has not only a negative effect on tourism but investment as well.

  • Shawn

    LOL New Yorker

    the do not travel list? thats over selling it a little isn’t it?

    If Saudi Arabia can’t maker it onto that list how is nIreland or Ireland ever going to make it?

  • The Dubliner

    “Both governments, North and South, appear to be making no effort to solve this horrendous murder. In so doing, they are condoning it. How many more mangled corpses until they defend their citizens?” – New Yorker

    Quite a few. Organised crime depends on the threat of violence to succeed; and the threat of violence depends on acting on that threat in enough incidences to convince others that the threat is real. Murders like Paul Quinn would need to be scheduled yearly to be effective, backed up by regular so-called ‘punishment beatings.’

    The governments are fully aware that PSF/PIRA is an active mafia. They are also fully aware that turning a blind eye to that mafia in order to give cover to PSF allows it to conduct its business with de facto political immunity. I don’t think you should expect morality from a government who bribes a murder gang with political power. As the song says, “A king who would slaughter the innocent will not cut a deal for you.” The nationalist community also has a vested interest in turning a blind eye to the true nature of the movement it voted for.

    But it is encouraging that mainstream media such as BBC’s Newsnight is beginning to ask relevant questions about a government policy of turning a blind eye to organised crime because of who the criminals are.

  • New Yorker

    Dubliner

    This may have been a dirty secret of the governments but now it is getting known in the wider world. It’s not a situation that can be defended by the governments amongst their friends in the international community. The BBS Newsnight was good as is the RTE Primetime which includes an interview with his parents. But the print media do not seem up to the task so far. They should have reporters and researchers in the area on the story. They should be asking those in government with responsibility for criminal justice difficult questions. I hope your press is not as spineless as ours was in the run up to war in Iraq.

  • http://www.w.com The Watchman

    I agree with the last few postings. The IRA has not gone out of business and has no intention of doing so. Perhaps it’s the right time to recall the glib rubbish from the octogenarian Chuckle Brother that IRA/Sinn Fein had already signed up to policing and the rule of law. Paisley was totally wrong then and now he and his party are still helping to carry on the cover-up.

  • http://www.alliance-youth.net Pounder

    [i]Interesting to read of hardline, law and order, shoot to kill Unionists becoming oh-so-concerned about the killing of a Fenian by other Fenians.

    No whiff of self-interested headline grabbing sordid little politics there, then.

    Posted by Jo on Nov 29, 2007 @ 03:26 PM[/i]

    What a horrible little person you are, a boy gets brutally murdered and all you can do is try and score political points. Murder is illegal in this country no matter what goverment you look to. Look hard in the mirror before you accuse anyone of sordid little politics, especially since “hardline, law and order, shoot to kill Unionists” as you put them are the ones in government with Sinn Fein and actually tried to help the shinners brush it under the carpet by stating that it wasn’t “corporate IRA”.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    New Yorker

    “So, who is going to clean up South Armagh? Anyone?”

    Like I said, only republicans can – I can envisage a situation where they will be republicans in uniform. As I suggested, in Ireland we’ve seen this movie before. Broy’s Harriers in the 1930s. Reliable republicans mandated by a republican minister to hunt down unreliable old comrades – a task they carried out, undoubtedly with a heavy heart, but with a ruthless efficiency that once and for all finished off the IRA as an irregular force in the Free State.

    For an American example, it’s like giving Pat Garrett a tin star, in the knowledge that only he could hunt down Billy the Kid.

    “Or are this pack of murderers being allowed to remain free while they wait for another kill?”

    Come on, you’re a New Yorker, you know how difficult it is to deal with organized crime. No doubt there’s a hysterical reaction in your city every time there is a mob hit, but actually taking down the Five Families requires years of diligent, low-key, relentless hard work from police. It’s not a simple matter in New York, you know this. I would suggest that it’s even more complex in south Armagh.

    “Maybe the British Army has to be brought back in full force in the area until it is cleared up if no one else can or will do what has to be done.”

    With this comment you have taken your credibility, scrunched it up into a little ball and tossed it out the window. Clearly you understand south Armagh about as much as I understand advanced theoretical astrophysics. Your suggestion is (and I’m sorry to say this) quite literally the worst idea I’ve ever heard.

  • Red Diesel

    Billy Pilgrim I must correct you. Smuggling is not big business in South Armagh any more since the border has little meaning in terms of price differential. It is only in areas of differing fiscal policy such as fuel that there is much to be had. It is true that there is a particular attitude to smuggling which is simply not seen as crime in any sense, but more as exploitation of the closest thing to a natural resource that we possess. But this is not the popular pig-tied-to-the-crossbar smuggling of old. You still need enormous turnover to make much from the diesel, and most of all you are at the total mercy of whoever controls the retail outlets or commercial users you are getting into. It is impossible to sell smuggled diesel within 30 miles of the border since people can fill up themselves. The best market seems to be the Ards Peninsula, the markup is very good. There is little romantic cover for the diesel launderers, because everyone knows there will be an environmental disaster soon. The Cullyhanna operators are very crude bastards and have already let sludge into Sheetrim river.

  • Turgon

    I can claim little knowldge of South Armagh and none of the views of the nationalist population thereof. However, it seems to me that the population there are in a similar position now to that of the working class Protestant communities in areas controlled by the alphabet soup.

    I do not know what proprtion of the South Armagh nationalist population genuninely supported the IRA and what proportion simply kept their heads down and ignored the problem. To be honest one can see exactly why people would not stand up to the IRA. What does seem fairly clear now is that many are living in fear of a mafia style IRA leadership intent on making money from illegal activities and essentially keeping their malign grip on the lives of the community they keep in thraldom.

    The question is what can be done to stop this situtation? It seems that most people apart from some of our political masters wish to see it stopped. Our political masters be they the SF / DUP or those in London and Dublin simply do not wish to upset the apple cart let alone admit that their beloved process is resulting in legal immunity for a mafia.

    Asking the community themselves to save themselves seems to me (as a total outsider) naive. Giving information to the PSNI or Gardai would seem to be a good way to end up like poor Mr. Quinn or others before him. The fact that people are willing to stand up at all does, however, imply that many in the local population would welcome rescue possibly from people whom they previously percieved as the enemy.

    Whilst New Yorker’s suggestion is probably not applicable, I would suggest Billy Pilgrims has very significant problems. It means replacing one group of murdering thugs with another lot who may or may not remain loyal to those who send them to do the “cleaning up”. The new thugs could equally simply set themselves up as a new mafia and mutliple people would no doubt die in what would simply be gun battles bewteen a group of sanctioned criminals and another group of non sanctioned criminals.

    Also whilst it may have been semi acceptable 80 years ago such clearly extra judicial action now would ammount to massive formally sanctioned collusion. This plan would inevitably create grivance in the very area which is supposedly being liberated and might well drive the local population back into the arms of the local IRA.

    The next problem is that when De Valera sent in his supporters to stop the then refusnicks he (De Valera) had achieved most if not all he had wanted to with armed insurgents. The remaining IRA members were not only an embarassment but no longer politically useful. The republican movement of today is not yet satisfied with the status quo and still wants to move towards a united Ireland, in a way that I would suggest De Valera had stopped wanting in much more than an abstract and theoretical sense. This is evidenced by the suggestion of leading SF members that the IRA has not gone away and suggestions that a future generation of republicans might have to go back to violence. As such whilst the South Armagh IRA may be a temporary embarassment for SF they are still a most useful bargining chip and as such SF will continue to give them political cover.

    The only way by which SF might be made to think that the IRA and army council et al have outlived their useful function would be if the other parties demanded proper cooperation of SF with the police regarding IRA crimes, threatened to leave the coalition unless and until the army council was disbanded, proper cooperation with the police occured etc. Sadly now the DUP are not demanding that and in the absence of the DUP doing so the governments and other parties are not going to do so. Hence I would suggest that in this instance the IRA, SF, the DUP and governments are all effectively saying to the population of South Armagh “Croppies lie down”.

  • New Yorker

    Billy Pilgrim

    You solution as to who is to clean the place up as the Broy’s did down South assumes there are such men in today’s republican ranks. I doubt there are. In this case sending a thief to catch a thief would result in two thieves having a picnic. So, what’s your next suggestion? What other resources do the governments have to deal with the problem?

    Comparing a murder case to one in NY City is quite amusing. Over 8million versus under 40,000 in South Armagh. In NY if the police had two eye-witnesses and 20 suspects, there would have been arrests and arraignments in much less than six weeks.

  • The Dubliner

    “Come on, you’re a New Yorker, you know how difficult it is to deal with organized crime.” – Billy Pligrim

    Perhaps you should write to the NYPD’s Chief of Police and inform him that he should hire the Mafia to “clean-up” the Mafia. I imagine that his reply would be pure comedic gold.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Red Diesel

    Many thanks for a very interesting post. It tallies with much of what I know about the place. I’m a few miles to the north of you (Armagh city, Harps, Mid Board). I have a lot of friends from south Armagh and have been very familiar with the place since I was nine and scored a point as my school beat Crossmaglen in the McGreevy Cup. (Of course from then on, every other trip to Cross was to get a hiding. Of the football variety, I hasten to add!)

    But I know enough about south Armagh to know that mine is still very much an outsider’s knowledge.

    Turgon

    Just to clarify, I certainly wasn’t suggesting an extra-judicial force. I was suggesting a sort-of squad charged with breaking of smuggling and organized crime in republican areas, but one that would be very much within the PSNI, and under the direction of a local Justice Minister. (The realpolitik would be that it’d have to be a SF Justice Minister, or at least co-minister in charge.)

    Better yet, the squad could be a cross-border effort: existing within the PSNI/An Garda Siochana / Criminal Assets Bureau / Assets Recovery Agency and under the direction of the Ministries of Justice in Belfast and Dublin.

    And I’d also better clarify that I’m not suggesting they start killing people either – that would be totally disastrous and totally wrong. What I am suggesting is rigorous enforcement of the law by those who could actually do it.

    So perhaps I should say they’d be Broy’s Harriers for the 21st Century – ie more respectful of human rights than their predecessors.

    So they wouldn’t be “thugs”, as you suggest Turgon. They’d be that rarest of things – men in uniform who could effectively police the border areas.

    “The new thugs could equally simply set themselves up as a new mafia and mutliple people would no doubt die in what would simply be gun battles bewteen a group of sanctioned criminals and another group of non sanctioned criminals.”

    As I said, they’d be policemen.

    Admittedly the reference to Broy’s Harriers is not an exact one. I’m thinking out loud myself here. But the one thing I do know is that republicans will have to be part of the solution here.

    “The remaining IRA members were not only an embarassment but no longer politically useful.”

    Here I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I think the old IRA members are increasingly embarrassing to our new masters at Stormont, and I honestly do believe that Marty and Gerry are closer to a DeValera moment than you suspect.

    As I say, any reader of Irish republican history knows that the day there’s a republican Justice Minister in Stormont will be a bad day for Slab Murphy.

    And I wish I hadn’t mentioned New York.

    See? This is why I always try to avoid analogies!

  • border bandit

    quinn was a easy touch but the same mistake wasent goin to be made wit him as was wit the hog o c.the hog was carrying and done his attacker,s but the heavy mob went in heavy on quinn just incase he was also carrying.he wasent and got the lynching that wasent witnessed since winnie mandella and her mandella fc done stompy