“Just following orders”: SF Ministers are subordinate to their own command structure

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Tuesday night’s Spotlight on the killing of Mary Travers was indeed fascinating, not so much for the story of the ambush itself – although I had never seen the family members speak on camera before, and their continuing suffering was palpable – but for its insights into the inner workings of Sinn Féin.

SF’s arrogant attitude towards journalists is well-known (how dare they ask impertinent questions!), but it was the juxtaposition of Carál Ní Chuilín’s bad-tempered interview and her relationship with Mary McArdle in prison that got me thinking.

SF keep telling us they’re not just a political party, but a movement. I suspect many people have been too dismissive of that distinction. In a revolutionary movement, especially one as internally disciplined as the IRA, you don’t ask questions.

In an army, especially an irregular one, you do exactly as you’re told or your comrades suffer the consequences. The IRA may be no more, but there is a considerable overlap between its membership and that of SF, and the corporate culture is unlikely to have radically changed.

In a telling moment in the interview, Ní Chuilín says “Mary McArdle and I were both appointed by the party”. She didn’t have any say in her choice of SpAd. She’s just doing as she’s told. How better to explain the barely-articulate incompetents at the Executive table? The disastrous management of the water service, the incapability of forging consensus over transfer tests?

Management theory in government is an alien concept to someone brought up in a revolutionary movement. You get your orders and you give them, and you don’t care if your subordinates get the hump. Massaging egos isn’t part of the job description.

It also explains the lack of personal remorse by volunteers such as McArdle over troubles-era atrocities. Yes, there were tragic mistakes, but it wasn’t their fault. They were just following orders.

No, Sinn Féin is not a normal political party. It runs on military discipline. The bums on the Executive seats are not there because they’ve charmed, dealed, crawled their way up through the usual personality-driven political process.

They’re there because they can follow orders. So it doesn’t really matter which Shinner politician gets elected to the Assembly or who gets which portfolio – they’re not the ones making the actual decisions.

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  • USA

    This is just a rant.

  • slappymcgroundout

    ““Mary McArdle and I were both appointed by the party”.

    The justices of the US Supreme Court are appointed as well. Don’t read too much into one word. It isn’t like some others haven’t quit the party and lived to tell the tale.

    “are not there because they’ve charmed, dealed, crawled their way up through the usual personality-driven political process.”

    You left out, lied, cheated and sold their souls for campaign contributions.

    “In a revolutionary movement, especially one as internally disciplined as the IRA, you don’t ask questions.”

    Have you been in a revolutionary movement? You can ask questions, same as an army. The only restriction is that you never question your orders in the presence of lower ranked souls as that tends to undermine command authority.

    Lastly, for how misguided is your entire thesis, Gerry, Ivor Bell and some others more or less staged something like a coup d’etat and forced out the then existing leadership. The only difference between what they did and what a coup d’etat is defined as, is simply that what they did wasn’t quite as sudden as a prototypical coup d’etat. But make no mistake, they formed the intention to overthrow or remove the then existing leadership and they eventually did so. So they weren’t exactly command loyal automatons who simply followed orders.

  • Henry94

    Andrew

    I think it’s called democratic centralism and is Lenin’s bequest to revolutionary parties. But it never lasts long after engagement with electoral politics. The two are simply not compatible. An example would be the Workers Party. In the end the parliamentary party was not content to be dictated to by the “Committee” and the mandate of the voters trumped the decisions of the party. Rightly so.

  • Mick Fealty

    I would agree with that as an outlook Henry. USA, get a grip!

  • http://www.e-consultation.org/ davenewman

    In Mozambique in 1979 every FRELIMO party member had to take the jobs they were asked to do. One of my colleagues had to simultaneously teach Chemical Engineering at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, run a government commission looking at setting up an Aluminium industry in the country, work on another looking at the steel industry, and be head of the party’s womens’ movement. She felt stretched like a piece of rubber. When she got to Paris to do a Ph.D. she got married and stayed there.

    But in 1980, the Centro de Estudos Africanos, run by Ruth First, the late SACP and ANC leader, was teaching FRELIMO cadres about the dire straits of the economy, and how democratic centralism on a Bulgarian/Cuban model wasn’t working. So President Samora Machel started a campaign against corruption and inneficiency, which rooted out the incompetent party figures. For example, the director of the state airline was found to be hoarding goods as too good for Mozambicans (e.g. blankets). He was dismissed, sent to a remote province, given a hoe blade and a knife, and told to grow his own food (alongside hundreds of others moving to that province).

    Now if only Sinn Fein and the DUP were willing to run such a campaign against inneficiency and corruption here.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Henry:

    The phenomenon exists well beyond Lenin and well before Lenin. There isn’t any point in having a party if after reaching a party consensus, the losers go out and vote for something else. And your labor union will not be very successful if those workers who voted against the strike cross the picket line once the strike is called. Ditto the US football team, since if the play is X Red White, which calls for the wideout to run a deep post pattern, well, would be wise for him to run the deep post pattern, even if he thinks that the offensive coordinator ought to have called another play. Lastly, are we all expected to follow the mandates and obligations of the law? Democratic centralism. Lenin and the Bolsheviks otherwise allowed for dissent and critique within the party and very few were expelled. Was later Stalin who went from a democratic centralism to a dictatorship by purging and executing those who dissented. That was the beginning of the death knell for the USSR since under such a scheme, there can be no such thing as creativity and innovation of idea within the party. Thing go from top down and not possible for idea to come from bottom up.

  • Mark

    Along with a hoe blade , the Mozambique flag also has an image of an AK-47 rifle on it which kinda implies orders should always be followed .

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “I think it’s called democratic centralism”

    Henry94, I’m not convinced that democratic is the appropriate adjective to use when it comes to our loyalist and republican paramilitary organisations. An old friend of mine coined the phrase ‘baseball bats with blue flashing lights’ at a time when the Blair administration was contemplating the use of paramilitaries as police reservists.

  • Mark

    So Nevin , did your pal coin any phrases about Sinn Fein and the Policing Board ?

  • slappymcgroundout

    “I’m not convinced that democratic is the appropriate adjective to use when it comes to our loyalist and republican paramilitary organisations.”

    Apparently you’ve never heard of an Ard Fheis. They even had this on the table in 2010:

    If motion 61 is passed, future motions need not be submitted in Irish.

    And there was as well:

    Motion 81 reads: “This Ard Fheis reaffirms Sinn Féin’s commitment to the achievement of a democratic socialist republic. It also asserts that this is a core value and not an optional extra.”

    Obviously the writer of motion 112 was not aware of this, as the word ‘socialist’ appears to have been deliberately dropped. If passed, the SF constitutional aim would not be to “Establish a Democratic Socialist Republic”, but to “Establish a 32 County Democratic Republic to be governed according to the wishes of the citizens of a 32 County Republic”. And it would no longer be “based on Irish republican and socialist principles”, just “republican principles”. Clearly some Sinn Fein members are keen to drop the party’s socialist baggage and move to the right.

    All of that is courtesy of Belfast Gonzo’s reporting here on Slugger. Try keep up.

  • keano10

    Reassuring to know that after Short Strand was bludgeoned for 48 hours, that we have now had three lead threads ripping the hell out of Sinn Fein in the past 24 hours.

    Slugger is back to doing what it does best…

    No lead threads on the implosion within the UVF in East Belfast which may have far reaching consequences for the peace process over the next few summer months, . Perhaps you could have examined the excellent piece in today’s Irish Times which gave a very informed and well researched analysis in to the autocratic and egotitical leader of the UVF in East Belfast whose erratic behaviour is now threatening the stability of wider community relations within Belfast.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2011/0623/1224299454713.html

    Or possibly David McKittrick’s excellent piece in The Independent today

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/short-strand-an-enclave-stranded-in-a-sea-of-loyalist-hatred-2301360.html.

    Sinn Fein have been widely commended for their efforts to stop young people becoming involved in violence within the past 72 hours. Andrew Gallagher may wish to vent his own prejudices with comments like “barely-articulate incompetents at the Executive Table”, however the truth I feel is very different.

    The New Young Lord Mayor of Belfast was by far the most articulate and engaging of any of the political representatives who were interviewed over the past 72 hours and the continuing low level prejudice demonstrated by partisan lead threads such as, do little testimony or credit to any of those involved…

  • PaulT

    Keano, thats unfair to Mick, I’m sure he has posts planned on how the military mindset of Ulster vanguard and Ulster Resistenace impacted on unionist parties, after a final post on the queen been head of the armed forces, religion and gov, he’ll go ‘international’ and post on the Blueshirts impact on Fine Gael, and the IRA on Fianna Fail, and the OIRA on Labour.

  • Mick Fealty

    Nope. No false defences please!!

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “Apparently you’ve never heard of an Ard Fheis.”

    I have, slappy, though I’m struggling to find a translation. I associate féis with festival but ‘high farce’ would appear to be more apt. Mitchel McLaughlin, the former SF chair, has already acknowledged that the Army Council is the legitimate government of the island so I don’t see any SF gathering operating beyond an AC remit, let alone contrary to it.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “So Nevin , did your pal coin any phrases about Sinn Fein and the Policing Board ?”

    I’m not aware of any, Mark. Perhaps those republicans who’ve continued along the path trodden by Adams and McGuinness prior to 1998 will have coined one.

  • pippakin

    The new young Lord Mayor has two things in his favour both of which separate him from most of the SF ‘politicians’. He is young and so far untarnished by the past. Its not exactly high praise.

    Imo SF are the more important party because they have the most to gain and they must gain to win. All the DUP has to do is hold what it has.

    The UVF appear to have internal problems and in time that may prove to be a good thing. Its for the police to do their work properly and ensure public safety by arresting and charging all rioters.

  • ayeYerMa

    This piece is significant as the command structure highlights that all Shinners clearly are happy to take orders from the same people that ordered 2000 deaths over the last 40 years.

    Many people here trying to take this off topic (keano – that piece from the Independent has to be one of the most atrocious and unbalanced pieces of journalism that I’ve seen in a very long time).

    pippakin, disagree about the Lord Mayor – both his parents were “political prisoners”. The guy has been patently indoctrinated since birth – his gloating about the closure of the Short Strand police station is ever the more apt right now: http://glormhicairt.blogspot.com/2011/01/give-way.html

  • Mark McGregor

    I’m unsure what the gripe is in this post, all political parties select their own ministers from within their ranks. The method of selection is always internal and never transparent. Similarly every other SpAd is appointed by internal mechanisms and I can’t recall any of the positions being advertised or revelations of the mechanism used.

    So does the same hint at a secret cabal runs thing theory apply to all other executive parties at Stormont?

    There maybe is a debate to be had on the level of internal democracy within SF and its persistence in clinging to something similar to democratic centralism. However, most other local parties also have opaque decision making processes and often seek to impose democratic centralism to greater or lesser success. So maybe it’s a debate for more than one party?

    This post points a solitary finger at SF and doesn’t actually manage to hit the target at all.

  • pippakin

    ayeYerMa

    Surely the young Lord Mayor must be allowed to make his own, if any, mistakes. He will certainly have to take the blame for them.

  • summerhill

    ayeYerMa,
    (keano – that piece from the Independent has to be one of the most atrocious and unbalanced pieces of journalism that I’ve seen in a very long time) – do you mean ‘unbalanced’ in favour of the people in the Short Strand? From David Mc Kittrick? My, my, how things have changed and changed utterly if Shankill Road boy is accused of being ‘unbalanced’ in favour of Nationalists.

  • Mick Fealty

    Ayeyerma. There is some important stuff in there. Though Id like to ask whether those ‘communities’ do vote. And if so for whom is it cast. The UVF tried democracy and were eventually told to take a hike. So we know they do not represent the protestant people of inner east.

    Sinn Fein on the other hand seem now to have a problem with a dissident Republican faction that neither they nor any of the rest of seems to have been aware of before.

    Not sure what any off that has to do with the thread at hand.

  • Mark McGregor

    Mick,

    Unsure what it’s got to do with this thread but SF seemed more to be saying the armed dissidents that appeared in the Strand were external ‘forces’ – the addresses of those arrested by the cops would seem to support that suggestion.

    However, if they were suggesting there is no dissent in the Strand I’d dispute that, as the earliest meetings of éirígí in Belfast regularly took place in the centre of that area – and numerous members came/come(?) from there.

  • USA

    Mick Fealty,

    SF’s arrogant attitude towards journalists is well-known No it’s not.

    In a revolutionary movement, especially one as internally disciplined as the IRA, you don’t ask questions. Oh really, and you can affirm that sweeping statement how?

    In an army, especially an irregular one, you do exactly as you’re told or your comrades suffer the consequences Same for the US Army, British Army etc.

    the corporate culture is unlikely to have radically changed. hmmm, so where is the issue. Most other political parties on the island have a “corporate culture”.

    So the post goes, on and on. IMHO it’s just a guy looking to validate his own feelings for SF, not a serious examination of their internal workings or decision making process.

    Would it have been more acceptable to write “Get a grip” instead of “This is just a rant”?

    How about “Get a Gripe:-)

  • http://andrewg.wordpress.com Andrew Gallagher

    Mark,

    I’m not even sure myself if there’s an actual gripe in there. I’m just trying to get to grips with an alien corporate culture.

    I don’t believe in a nefarious “secret cabal” pulling the strings – you probably don’t have to look much farther than OFMdFM for the man in charge. And I never suggested there are no disagreements within SF. But in other parties, political disagreements are a daily occurrence. When was the last time you saw a Shinner go off message on live TV? Party loyalty has depths of meaning for them that outsiders don’t normally associate with politicians.

  • Mark McGregor

    Andrew,

    Well, there are actually people in SF with power and little profile – like most parties. From my experience the kind of people able to write policy or draft a coherent response to a matter of importance are rarely electable or interested in being elected. Though in SF’s case this may occur to a greater degree given the history of republicanism. While my expereince of SF is long out of date it wasn’t until I was working fulltime that I came across some of the figures setting policy that had never presented themselves before an Ard Fheis and were unknown to a sizeable majority of party members.

    As for going off message, other parties actually seek to emulate SF’s discipline – hark back to Tom Elliot just a few month’s ago, threatening to expel all round him. And who can recall the last time a DUPe stepped out of line? Ian Paisley Jnr. getting a bitch slap for daring question the level of debating at Stormont, not party ‘policy’ stands out.

    So while SF may be slightly better at maintaining control – most of the others just wish they could do the same trick and attempt to.

  • ulsterobserver

    Andrew,

    Very well written piece and spot on with your observations !!

  • keano10

    Mick,

    I’m a little confused as to why you say that Sinn Fein would have a problem with an unheard of dissident faction. In what regard exactly? There have been many local Short Strand people posting all across Social Networking sites in the past few days telling the dissidents to get lost and to stay out of our area. It was the mass of ordinary people in Short Strand who stood together on both nights.Dissidents are’nt wanted or supported in the district.

    Mark,

    I think you’re slightly overstating Eirigi’s support in The Strand to be fair. Eirigi have occasionally sent the odd flyer and they even saw fit to kindly distribute a copy of the Proclomation to every household in the area, but the bottom line is that almost 1100 people voted for Sinn Fein recently, culminating in the eventual election on Niall to the City Council. Eirigi always get a fair hearing but I would’nt think that they are in breakthroug territory just yet…

  • Rory Carr

    Surely, Andrew Gallagher you are not so young that New Labour under Tony Blair and his head honcho, Alistair Campbell as an example of rigid party discipline is lost to you in the mists of time?.

    When you say that you, ‘don’t believe in a nefarious ”secret cabal” pulling the strings’ do you mean that you do not believe in the existence of such a cabal (I presume you mean at the head of Sinn Féin)? No! Of course not. You mean for us to believe that such a “nefarious secret cabal” actaully does exist. Except of course that you offer no evidence whatsoever for its existence.

    Every party does of course have its own governing body, its central committee or whatever. In the Labour Party the body constitutionally elected to that role has long been merely a puppet of the Party Leader and a small cabal around him and none of the mainstream parties in any part of the democratic world of which I am aware (certainly not in Britain or Ireland) pauy any but the merest lip-service to the highest authority of all within each of these parties – the General Conference.

    The ruling body of Sinn Féin between Ard Fheiseanna is called the Ard Comhairle and all of its members have been chosen by the membership in democratic election and all are known to all members, to the press and the general public. Why do you then classify this body a “nefarious secret cabal” other than to distort the democratic reality of Sinn Féin which is at odds with the image of how you wish to portray that party?

  • Mark McGregor

    Rory,

    Lets not overlook the fact within SF an entire cabal regularly makes it into the Ard Comhairle without any true vote – women. Places are reserved for them and I can’t recall an instance where the numbers standing exceeded the places reserved.

    Maybe this is the cabal Andrew alludes to? Breeders? ;-)

    (though lets be honest, there are more decision making bodies/individuals within SF and several hold greater power that the AC eg. would you have crossed Ted Howell, the POC or even S.B-M)

  • otto

    POC? S.B-M?

    Wha?

  • Limerick

    In days of old wasn’t the head honcho of PIRA was regarded as the ‘official President’ of all Ireland? Did the Provos give up on that vanity when they joined the peace process, or are the Sinners still taking their orders from the decommissioned military wing?

  • Rory Carr

    No, Limerick, now you’re just being silly.

  • Limerick

    Rory,

    Isn’t there supposed to be some sort of unbroken line since 1916 or 1921? Iirc some old punter from that era gave his blessing to the Provos and they used that as a justification for declaring themselves as the true government of Ireland. Is that totally incorrect?

  • Rory Carr

    Mark,

    Those pesky wimmin again. Even the Tories are paying lip service to their advancement now (it wouldn’t have been considered under Maggie.

    Of course there have long been rumours of a Gay Mafia within New Labour and the LibDems and the Tories but I don’t think any of the parties in Ireland are quite that advanced yet.

    …speaking of which, before Peter Tatchell spectacularly lost Bermondsey for Labour after a vicious anti-gay campaign by the Liberals which led to their “straight” candidate Simon Hughes being elected, the long-standing Labour M.P. for Bermomdsey had been Bob Mellish who was also a Chief Whip for Harold Wilson from 1969-1976. Believe me, one would not have “crossed” Bob Mellish any more so than Ted Howell. All political organisations have their bruisers to keep the party faithful in line and Ted Howell was really a bit of a pussycat in that respect when I compare him to some in the ‘oh-so-nice’ parties.

  • Rory Carr

    Limerick,

    There is that unbroken line hooey all right which was a form of legitimisation via posterity that traditionalists deemed important but which pragmatists deemed unecessary hokum. Not even an arch-traditionalist such as Rory Brady, first President of Provisional Sinn Féin, however would would have considered for one moment that, for example, Séan MacStíofáin, first Provo Chief-of-Staff ought to have been considered as President of Ireland. Which, all things considered, is probably just as well.

  • alan56

    Is the SF position much different say from the DUP? Control from the central command, strict discipline and indeed bringing former paramilitary prisoners into elected office.

  • Limerick

    Rory,

    Admittedly this quote is from Wikipaedia, but is it not accurate? If so did the Provos ever renounce it, or do they still have this in their doctrine?

    “In December 1969, the IRA General Army Convention decided to drop its policy of abstentionism. This resulted in a split in the organisation, leading to the emergence of the (then) majority Official IRA and (minority) Provisional IRA. The supporters of the latter approached Tom Maguire, the last surviving member of the 1938 seven-member rump Second Dáil, who declared that the Provisional IRA was the legitimate successor to the 1938 Army Council and, as such, was the legal embodiment of the Irish Republic.”

  • HeinzGuderian

    A fine piece of writing Andy. Well thought out. Well presented and well received. ( You can always tell an article is ringing true by the reaction of shinner central,on Slugger) !!

    Excellent work.

  • Rory Carr

    Limerick,

    Look up ‘Tom Maguire’ on Wikipedia and you will get even ‘further and better particulars’. After Brady and O’Connell left the Provos in a huff, Maguire decided that the Continuity IRA were now the legitimate successors. I don’t expect that President Mary McAleese is much fazed by the lack of Maguire’s imprimatur though it is always possible that, should David Norris get into the Big House, he might prove to be a bit shirty about it all. He can always take it up with Rory Brady.

    Who knows, if you can persuade that Acora geezer to get in touch with Maguire ‘on the other side’ (and no, I don’t mean Short Strand) it might even be your turn next week.

  • Limerick

    Rory,

    Yes, but did the Provos accept that they were no longer the ‘legitimate government of Ireland’ after Maguire backed CIRA?

    Or did they continue with believing that it was them?

  • Rory Carr

    I am afraid, Limerick that, since the IRA have disbanded, we have no one from whom we can seek an answer to your question.

    However since they have disbanded in favour of giving full support to Sinn Féin to consolidate and develop the terms of the Good Friday Agreement and its subsequent all-Ireland endorsement I really do not think that this is a matter over which we need be detained.

  • Rory Carr

    p.s. Off now to watch a film version of Cormac McCarthy’s drama Sunset Limited on Sky Atlantic.

  • Limerick

    Rory,

    Have they disbanded? I don’t recall them announcing that. If they haven’t of course then the way these Sinner appointments are made makes perefect sense.

  • http://myplasticarmy.blogspot.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    From the original post.
    “SF keep telling us they’re not just a political party, but a movement. I suspect many people have been too dismissive of that distinction”.

    Nobody who knows anything about them or has watched them for 40 odd years would have dismissed it. The people who did dismiss it got and continue to get it wrong.

    “The bums on the Executive seats are not there because they’ve charmed, dealed, crawled their way up through the usual personality-driven political process”.

    Well on the subject of dismissal, theres also the small matter of 178,000 votes. Surely as democrats we believe in the bums on the Executive seats to be in proportion to the votes cast.

  • pippakin

    SF are the most highly organised and disciplined party on this island, probably within most of Europe, they do not brook internal dissent, and to be fair to them other party’s have done their best to emulate such discipline.

    The bums on the executive seats are there because they are obedient and that is not a characteristic that makes for either innovation or initiative.

    The appointment of ex terrorists to government funded positions looks like payment for services rendered. It also looks like SF put that before the electorate.

  • orly

    FJH
    “Surely as democrats we believe in the bums on the Executive seats to be in proportion to the votes cast.”

    -

    You mean the flawed version of it that we have were everyone’s in the government but none of them are accountable?

  • http://myplasticarmy.blogspot.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    But Pippakin……predictably the people who never thought much of Sinn Féin in the first place……are “outraged” but nobody voting SF is at all concerned.
    Its not unlike Dublin in the 1920s when a lot of FGs/and or FF old comrades got jobs in all kindsa places not just civil service posts.
    A lot of people who had kept out of things were overlooked.
    And theres a lot of History and Politics graduates (from say SDLP backgrounds) who have the capability of mooching around the Stormont corridors but have no intro to Sinn Fein and must therefore feel gutted about it all.
    Its not just about Stormont.
    A few years ago I retired and decided Id apply for community jobs (including unpaid) in West Belfast (MY people!!……giving something back and all that good stuff).
    Alas a man of my many talents was rejected….it was even suggested that I didnt really “belong” in West Belfast.
    Which is a bit hard to take from a person from another Western European nation.
    Its not what you know.
    Its who you know.
    And I honestly think that the McArdle case has just acted as a catalyst for many people such as graduates or aul lads like me (but Im past caring) who look on it merely as the most obvious case of cronyism.

  • http://andrewg.wordpress.com Andrew Gallagher

    FJH,

    Agreed. The question at hand though is not the number of bums, but their nature. Outside observers continue to profess incredulity that (for example) Catriona Ruane could make it in politics. But this is a category error – SF don’t do politics, they do revolution. Comparing them to other politicians is missing the point.

  • http://myplasticarmy.blogspot.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    But the people who decide on whether or not they are politicians are the voters.
    Sinn Féin say they are politicians.
    Voters agree.
    Jedward say they are entertainers.
    Voters agree.

    You wont agree with people who vote SF.
    I have problems with people who vote for Jedward.
    But neither are interested in the opinions of people like you or me, who think we know better.

  • http://myplasticarmy.blogspot.com/ fitzjameshorse1745

    orly,
    yes the “flawed” version that losers and liberal dissidents like to call it.

  • kinnegoe

    @FJ1745

    “You wont agree with people who vote SF.
    I have problems with people who vote for Jedward.
    But neither are interested in the opinions of people like you or me, who think we know better”

    Let’s hope the people that vote Jedward never have the hang ups we have – and Slugger turns into Bebo.

  • Trapattoni

    However, if they were suggesting there is no dissent in the Strand I’d dispute that, as the earliest meetings of éirígí in Belfast regularly took place in the centre of that area – and numerous members came/come(?) from there.

    Numerous Mark????

    In the interests of accuracy 3(2 of them haven’t lives in the area in years but to have family connections there)would be much closer to the truth. Not exactly numerous.

  • Trapattoni

    OK I’ll try that again, bloody Ipod.

    Numerous Mark????

    In the interests of accuracy 3(2 of them haven’t lived in the area for years but have family connections there)would be much closer to the truth. Not exactly numerous.