Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Life Sentence Review Commission deny Brendan Lillis release

Tue 26 July 2011, 5:31pm

There’s an ongoing campaign for the release of former Provisional IRA member, Brendan Lillis, on compassionate grounds.  But the BBC report that the Life Sentence Review Commission have just confirmed the Prison Service’s view that there were not sufficient grounds to justify his release.  From the BBC report

Republican prisoner Brendan Lillis will not be released on compassionate grounds, the Life Sentence Review Commission has decided.

Mr Lillis, who suffers from a severe arthritic condition, was sentenced to life in 1977 on explosives charges.

The 59-year-old served almost 16 years of that sentence before being released on licence in 1993.

Secretary of State Shaun Woodward revoked this in 2009 after Mr Lillis was re-arrested on robbery charges.

The reason given was that he was “a danger to the public” and was told he would have to serve the rest of his original life sentence at Maghaberry Prison.

Earlier this year, it was decided Mr Lillis was too ill to stand trial, although he could face charges if his health improves.

According to their press release, Sinn Féin’s Jennifer McCann is meeting Northern Ireland Justice Minister, David Ford, tomorrow and will be “raising this case and pressing on David Forde [sic] the need for Brendan Lillis’ immediate release”.

Of course, the actual decision-making power on former terrorists released on licence lies elsewhere…

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Comments (37)

  1. Mickhall (profile) says:

    As far as Irish republicans in a British jail are concerned, it is a perpetual groundhog day, with the UK government repeating the same mistakes over and again as if they get their rocks off by behaving in such an infantile way. By all accounts Lillis belongs to no republican organization, his health is poor to say the least, and and the charge which caused his licence to be revoked was not preceded with.

    By any honest standard this leaves him as a political prisoner, now tell me, how does keeping him locked up help move the situation forward?

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  2. tacapall (profile) says:

    “But the BBC report that the Life Sentence Review Commission have just confirmed the Prison Service’s view that there were not sufficient grounds to justify his release

    The reason given was that he was “a danger to the public” and was told he would have to serve the rest of his original life sentence at Maghaberry Prison”

    Unlike the loyalist serial killer Torrens Knight. It just goes to show that nothing has changed in this part of Ireland

    http://www.u.tv/News/Loyalist-killer-Torrens-Knight-released-from-jail/6bfaa784-675d-47c1-ba66-4a6e272930a3

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  3. jthree (profile) says:

    Presumably he’s gone down hill rapidly since he was rolling about the back field in south Derry with a Taser in 2009?

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  4. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    I agree with Mickhall above, this bloody mindness on displayed by the authorities is proof positive for Republicans opposed to the Peace Process that having Sinn Fein Ministers in a power-sharing Government, do not change the nature of the State per se or it’s attitudes.

    Such behavior by the authorities do nothing other than diminish and undermine the authority of Sinn Fein with their electorate ( a probable deliberate ploy ) and it is a clear indication to any young Nationalist person contemplating involvement in politics that the gun and the use of physical force against such uncompassionate and obstinate State force is still a valid answer.

    The bloody mindness of this situation has very serious consequences, far more than the grief caused to Mr Lillis and his family. When will the Authorities learn?

    On the approach roads to many major urban centers in the South there are temporary roadside shrines commemorating and honoring the Hunger Strikers that died in Long Kesh. This is also an ‘in your face’ reminder to young Southern people of what the British did and what the Southern authorities collaborated with.

    For thirty years Republicans have used the British inhumane treatment of the hunger strikers and their deaths to advance the cause of Irish Republicanism and there is plenty more milage left in this particular situation for the coming decades.

    Last year I warned about the Derry Prison conditions for Republican prisoners and the likely effect as to how this would play out among the Nationalist Opinion and continuing militant Republicanism. Mickhall was one of the posters that took up and elaborated on my concerns at that time. The situation was left fester to long, what was conceded was as usual too little, too late.

    By common consensus among media commentators who should know, there are now another 150 to 200 militants, veterans and young new recruits committed to Armed Struggle on the Nationalist side who were not under arms at that stage. It is time that the general Northern Irish public woke up to the likely consequences of Whitehall acting tough and playing ‘silly buggers’

    Whatever of the the Bigger Island paying a price for this if the opportunity presents to the millitants, The Six Counties has already paid a price in a significant shift away from confidence in the Democratic Process and will probably pay a bigger one in acts of overt violence. Indifference to this by concerned parties irrespective of their motives for concern can but increase this Nationalist alienation from democratic politics with all it’s attendant consequences.

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  5. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    Torrens Knight and many other terrorist trash got the get-out-of-jail-free card, including many Irish Republicans (some of these have even become ‘politicians’).

    As these characters are allowed to move about amongst normal people it would appear that they are (presently) not regarded as a threat to society. If you have evidence to the contrary, about the Prods of course, make your way to the nearest RUC Barracks :)

    Should be becoming a ‘tout’, I believe that is the word, not float your boat you could always try writing a little play about the injustice of it all. It might make it as a late entry to Provo Fest soon to start in Belfast I believe.

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  6. aquifer (profile) says:

    I would think it unlikely that he will die in jail of a severe arthritic condition, so his martyrdom potential is limited.

    If he is still a violent iriish separatist much of that activity consists of spying, conspiracy to murder, and the movement of materials that do not have to be particularly heavy. This can all be accomlished despite many disabilities.

    And if we stop re-arresting recidivists we loose the capacity to scoop the UVF off the extorted and blocked up streets of East Belfast. No way..

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  7. tacapall (profile) says:

    Aquifer the courts thought him unfit for trial obviously on the recommendations of not only his own doctors but the prosecutions doctors else they would have had him in the dock. If he’s not fit or able to be placed with the rest of the prison population and is now destined to serve the remainder of his life sentence in isolation on a prison bed what purpose does that serve, is this in the best interests of justice or revenge. By the way where does it say anywhere in Pete’s post above about him being a violent Irish separatist or did you assume that too.

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  8. Ulick (profile) says:

    “I would think it unlikely that he will die in jail of a severe arthritic condition, so his martyrdom potential is limited.”

    Brendan Lillis suffers from ankylosing spondylitis (AS), an incurable inflammatory arthritis which can cause the spine to fuse with other bones. While it may not be fatal in itself, it can give rise to secondary conditions which are. Last I heard Lillis was down to 5 1/2 stone weight and been confined to bed for the best part of a year. Given his rate of decline it’s a very real possibility he could die soon.

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  9. Reader (profile) says:

    Munsterview: …and it is a clear indication to any young Nationalist person contemplating involvement in politics that the gun and the use of physical force against such uncompassionate and obstinate State force is still a valid answer.
    Except that challenging obstinate states is not a very attractive prospect. Surely if people are going to be setting themselves up for life sentences, it would be better for the old to do so, rather than the young? Or do you see it as the job of the old to recruit a new generation for the next round of blood sacrifice?

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  10. HeinzGuderian (profile) says:

    I knew it !! It’s all the Brits fault………….again.

    :-)

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  11. I’d like to know how a person who has been confined to a ‘hospital’ bed for over 600 days is a threat to society is beyond me?

    How can Brendan Lillis’ release from prison be refused, were exactly is the humanitarian aspect of this so-called Commission two of who are indeed former RUC members?

    Brendan needs to be put into a proper hospital and recieve adequate medical attention…

    After all, if people believe he’s getting that in Maghaberry..maybe they should consult all those families of former prisoners who have committed sucide at that Gaol in the past few years!

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  12. Statement from the friends of brendan lillis

    26th July 2011.

    The decision to refuse Brendan Lillis any compassion is vindictive and cruel. The man is critically ill and confined to bed and deteriorating as each day passes. He should be released to the care of his partner, Roisin, and an outside hospital properly equipped to deal with his condition.

    The continued imprisonment of Brendan Lillis is a travesty of justice and that travesty is multiplied a hundred fold by the inaction and/or inability of Sinn Fein to actually DO anything other than make statements purporting to support Brendan and Roisin.

    At this critical time we would call on Sinn Fein, as the dominant nationalist party and the appointee of David Ford to the Justice Ministry, to do the decent thing and secure the immediate release of Brendan Lillis. Brendan Lillis is a a threat to nobody, the British know this, Sinn Fein know this, yet collectively they all bury their heads in the sand and pass the buck from one to the other. Ends.

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  13. PLZ click on the following and join; Both pages are non-political and are for a humanitarian issue…

    http://www.facebook.com/groups/Friends.Of.Brendan.Lillis

    http://friendsofbrendanlillissupportgro.blogspot.com/

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  14. Pete Baker (profile) says:

    As Eamonn has tweeted

    It seems to me authorities do not consider prisoner Brendan Lillis to be as ill as is being claimed by his friends. Hence no release yet.

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  15. Pete, I’m not denying what Eamonn nor have said or even the Authorities chara…

    However, when someone is close to 5 stone of weight and has severe problems eating and taking fluids etc. There is a serious problem and the fact that a Court has already declared that he’s way too ill to stand trial because of his ill-health? How can the Commission rule that he’s fine to remain in prison?

    There are obviously serious complications and in the name of humanity this guy should be released – even to an outside Hospital.

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  16. Dearbhla (profile) says:

    Brendy Lillis is not threat to the public. I have seen the photos of him in jail. This is a humanitarian issue and he should be released immediately. Our so called Justice department has not covered itself in glory since it was established and if one of the first things that it claims is that one of its prisoners died on its watch when he could have been released to receive proper treatment then move over Maggie Thatcher you were an amateur. Anyone who thinks that this is a matter for jokes or sarcasm then your humanity is somehwat lacking. I hope you never find yourselves in the same position.

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  17. Mark (profile) says:

    If Brendan Lillis was an ordinary decent criminal ( as they say ) , he would have been released already . Playing Mexican standoff with his health serves nobody . This can only end in tears .

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  18. hodgie (profile) says:

    brendan lillis has no affiliation to any political party or organisation; he is not a rallying point for dissent nor a threat to anybody.

    he is a man who has no party political support structure with a well financed pr machine to support him; he is a small man, a man of no property and an abandoned man.

    his continued imprisonment is a travesty of justice; he is bed-ridden and immobile. had brendan lillis been a property developer millionaire our political leaders would be tripping over themselves to get him out.

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  19. pippakin (profile) says:

    It should not be up to courts to decide to release on humanitarian grounds. If independent doctors agree a prisoner is very sick then that prisoner should be released. The release would surely be on parole so if there were a miraculous recovery and a return to crime then the charges could be reinstated.

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  20. Mark (profile) says:

    Nicky Kelly was released on humanitarian grounds over his eyesight . This was still when he was in the frame for the Sallins robbery . He only got a pardon years later ..

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  21. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Reader : ” Except that challenging obstinate states is not a very attractive prospect. Surely if people are going to be setting themselves up for life sentences, it would be better for the old to do so, rather than the young? Or do you see it as the job of the old to recruit a new generation for the next round of blood sacrifice?….. ”

    No I see one of the tasks of this ‘Old Guard’ to prevent this very thing. That is one of the reasons that I make the time and effort to spell out the facts of the situations as I know them as they appear to certain Nationalists.

    Since, unlike some other posters who are trenchant, implacable critics of Republicanism and unable to part with their own past, I do not pretent to be other than what I am and do not attempt to disguise the road I came, my observations may cary some weight with those concerned with the ongoing progress of the Peace Process and any matters that may detract from that !

    I have spelled out where I stand on the issue of Armed Force in numerous posts to the extent that most regular reader of average intelligence and good will cannot at this stage but know where I stand.

    No doubt a few readers will have a different take on my views and motives but they also have agendas without the courage of their convictions to spell out what these agendas are. Rather than flog openly the dead horse of old securicat times and be seen for what they really are, they size on every opportunity to snipe and denigrate what they still see as ‘ The Enemy’

    I have no doubt that the same fair minded readers will see these attempted denigrators for what they are and also recognize the not very well concealed agendas canvassed.

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  22. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Mark “…Nicky Kelly was released on humanitarian grounds over his eyesight . This was still when he was in the frame for the Sallins robbery . He only got a pardon years later ..”

    Interesting observation in the context of the article and my post on the subject. Within days of the Salens Robbery the Southern Special Branch political police knew that the Provos had sold them a pup and to continue the metaphor, that they were barking up the wrong tree.

    The Branch however also needed an excuse to clamp down on the then INLA and took it prosecuting and jailing people, the police, Government, Judiciary, Media and Establishment as a whole knew to be innocent.

    Any surprise then that many INLA members developed a vicious and contemptuous attitude to the Southern State and in particular to the Security Forces ?

    Many I also add that this happened in the ‘Republic Of Laws’ that Taoiseach referred to. Some Republic and some Laws !

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  23. Reader (profile) says:

    Munsterview: No I see one of the tasks of this ‘Old Guard’ to prevent this very thing. That is one of the reasons that I make the time and effort to spell out the facts of the situations as I know them as they appear to certain Nationalists.
    That would be a two step process. “Look at the latest despicable act of the malevolent reptilian overlords” is only step one. The second step would be “However, a violent response would damage our community, and is ineffectual compared with the political options available”. You seem to omit the second step. Inadvertantly, I’m sure.
    As an aside, I want to say how much I enjoy your counter-intelligence work on Slugger. There’s always the comforting notion that you are refusing to take yourself too seriously, and having a laugh. But mostly your belief that you keep on locating astroturfers and securocrats is really a sign that you have spent a bit too long working for the Cause.
    If the reptilian overlords actually do bother to put a presence on Slugger, it’s going to look a bit like this:
    http://www.facebook.com/PSNI.WestBelfast

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  24. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Reader : “….your belief that you keep on locating astroturfers and securocrats…..”

    Heard from ‘Masky’ lately ? ( Now that Mick is going on holidays and may be taking his eye off the ball so to speak, why not invite him back and we can have a bit of craic ? )

    It is the old story, ….” if it looks like a duck…….if it walks like a duck…. if it quacks like a duck etc ”

    Reader : I can only go by the ‘quacks’ and these ‘quacks’ indicate a certain type of fowl to me… or as some would spell it, ‘foul’ ?

    I am reliably informed by those more intimate with Northern matters that this particular duck is relativly easy to spot, apparent it is a characteristic of the breed that they have a bright orange collar around their necks, save for West Of The Bann that is where a more red necked, slower witted variety seems to be gaining prominence ! ( Too much inbreeding ? ) However despite diverences in plumage they all share one same trait of heading off into areas where they are considered a nusiance by the locals and quacking loudly when their way is obstructed, but I digress.

    I was born and raised on a farm and well used to yards of noisy fowl and yet from time to time I have heard far more quacking here on slugger !

    Re…….” If the reptilian overlords actually do bother to put a presence on Slugger,……”

    I will admit to being no great fan of the Royal Family and I know the net is full of these ‘reptilian shape changer’ allegations regarding same, but given ‘Randy Andy’s’ well earned reputation to get up on a gale of wind etc, that lot have proved all too human and fallible. No, I would not go along with the ‘Reptilian Overlords theory’ regarding The Royals personally but perhaps that is just me being charatible.

    Would not mind being too much being proved wrong on that one however !

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  25. Reader (profile) says:

    Munsterview: Heard from ‘Masky’ lately ?
    There are plenty of reasons to hate the Provisional Republican Movement. Even republicans can do it – despising their failure, their authoritarian position, their vile and counter productive tactics. And a lot of people are pleased to express that feeling in their own way. I think Maskey was one such. Possibly, after a ‘rest’ he might be back. I look forward to the spectacle.
    But if it cheers you up, I don’t regard his anecdotal claims as all that much more authoritative than your own.

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  26. lamhdearg (profile) says:

    if i where this mans people i would not want him released into a hospital, the reason, he would spend that much time in the hospital getting needles put into him, he would get mrsa within a month, let him go home, and when/if he recovers put him on trial for the offence to which he was charged. ps tiger kiddnapings are evil acts.

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  27. fordprefect (profile) says:

    lamhdearg, yes they are evil acts and obviously traumatise the people they are visited upon, but probably not as evil as the lying b******* that are all things to everyone to get themselves elected and then shaft ordinary people once they have a bit of power, i.e. SF in particular.

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  28. fordprefect (profile) says:

    By the way, Brendan Lillis was deemed too ill to stand trial for that. He is being held now because his licence was revoked for his republican activities in the 70′s. Imo this is a vindictive and spiteful act, worthy of the boul Thatcher herself!

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  29. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    fordperfect : “….lamhdearg, yes they are evil acts and obviously traumatize the people they are visited upon, but probably not as evil as the lying b******* that are all things to everyone to get themselves elected and then shaft ordinary people once they have a bit of power, i.e. SF in particular…..”

    As they say in Munster ” ( from the Gaelic ) soft the wool grows on you…” !

    It is painfully necessary however tedious or pedantic the exercise may seem to restate historical facts and recent debate. Who knows the odd penny may drop even if it has the Queen’s head on it! I am currently corresponding with an English friend on the subject of ‘Hidden History’ in these Islands so, I can kill two birds with the one stone. Let’s briefly re cap here then and take an overview of the last century or to be more correct the last century and a quarter of life on this Island to see how we got here.

    1) An ever increasing majority of the population in this Island by in the main democratic politics, mass demonstrations, winning elections and 95% exclusively peaceful means were moving towards achieving a majority preference for governance on this Island, that of a local regional all Ireland Parliament operating under an overarching arrangement with the UK as a whole somewhat along the lines of present day Scotland.

    2) This movement for Home Rule, while Catholic/Nationalist in the main had a significant number of Anglo Irish Protestants, a disproportionate number of them in leadership positions and readily accepted as leaders my the mass movement. Indeed Home Rules finest and still revered and honored leader of that last quarter century was Charles Steward Parnell who was a Protestant and an Estate Landowner.

    3) This movement for democratic Home Rule was blocked and frustrated at every opportunity by an ever decreasing minority political grouping on this Island who used ever increasing violence to oppose the wishes of the overwhelming democratic majority led by a Southern Unionists Landed Gentry elite and a significant section of the Protestant Wealthy Industrial Establishment who ‘played the protestant card’ and resorted to sectarianism with the assistance of the Orange Order.

    ( Ford Perfect and Co. it was not all about you, you know : are you even aware that by the start of the Second Defense Of The Republic in 1922, otherwise referred to as ‘The Civil War’ hundreds of Red flags were flying over Southern business and Estates where the workers had declared Soviets and taken over. This briefly included some urban centers, Limerick being the largest example of this)

    In an open democratic election in 1918 using the same ballot boxes and the same ballot papers as the rest of the Peoples in the then United Kingdom, 28 of the thirty two counties of Ireland voted to establish an Independent Irish Republic. As a first step to that end they were candidate seeking election and standing for or supporting Sinn Fein pledged to the people prior to the electorate that they would not attend Westminster Parliament but instead set up a Home Rule one in Dublin.

    The Irish public of that period were some of the most politicized and actively participating in Europe : they knew exactly what they were voting for!

    4) Four North Eastern Counties Industrial Wealthy Elites see their class and business interests best served by continuing the existing political and other interrogations with Britain. These used the Orange Card, The Sectarian Card and every other card they could play including causing an Officer Munity in the British Armed Forces and other undemocratic means including naked unapologetic violence to cower the British Mainland public opinion and their own Four County minority Catholic/ Nationalist populations.

    5) In what must rank as one of the most blatant and cynical acts of hyprocicy to be found in any relatively recent events of European History, these Four Counties demanded and exercised their rights to opted out from inclusion the other 28 counties in a common political framework and then proceeded to hi-jack another two of adjoining Counties in trampling roughshod over the Democratically expresses wishes of those same two counties to be part of a 28 county Democratic Republic.

    6) Force won as force always do, in what later became ‘The Six Counties’ a segment of the population who came from a significant but by no means substantial majority was armed to the teeth by the British State to suppress and cower the Catholic / Nationalists in a complete suppression of their democratic rights. Electoral boundaries were farcically arranged and gerrymandered to even further increase this control with an artificially contrived even greater share of the vote.

    7) In the South the New Dominant Establishment who were as scared of the Red Flags as the Southern Unionist Business people such as Cleaves were, accepted 10,000 rifles and other guns, Artillery and assorted war supplies from Britain. This Free State grouping recruited thousands of trained, ex-World War, battled experiences and brutalized soldiers and used these in a Counter Revolutionary capacity to suppress Republican and Social revolution.

    8) The side with the most soldiers and guns won as they do most times in all wars especially as the Republican Resistance was half hatred and the Free State Military Junta showed a bloody minded capacity for extraordinary violence as in Ballyseedy Cross where they took out Republican Prisoners, tied them to a Landmine and blew them to Kingdom Come.

    9) The Red Flags came down, Estates were given back to the Landlords. In some instances the very small holders evicted as in Skibereen, were then forced through poverty into the Free State Army and after Basic Training these same ‘Troops’ were used in Waterford to evict other small holders like themselves who had taken over and divided estates

    10) The so called ‘Civil War’ ended with thousands of Republicans were in Jails and camps, thousands more on the run and unable to go home to their own areas or if home forced to live in dugouts on the hills and carry on farming while ready to run from constant Free State raids. In the North another rights suppressing State came into existence and both used methodologies that students of history studying the rise of Fascism in Continental Europe will be all too farmilar with.

    The fact that thousands of these Ex-Free State soldiers ended up in Blue Shirts during the 1930′s strutting around the country as did their wifes and trowing arm extended salutes at each other says all there is to say about this proud part of Fine Gael’s heritage and their visceral hatred of Republicans, a mutual feeling may I add!

    Thousands of these Irish Blue shirt Fascist went to Spain and hundreds fought against the
    Democratic Spanish Republic alongside like minded tugs seconded from Hitlers Brownshirts and Italian Blackshirts. As one of their TD’s said in Dail Eireann at that period ‘ The Blackshirts were victorious in Italy, The Brownshirts were victorious in the Germany as assuredly the Blueshirts will be victorious in the Irish Free State. ‘Republic Of Laws indeed’, a significant part Fine Gale’s heritage is far from the basic concepts of ‘Republic’ ‘Laws’ or ‘Democracy’

    11) Dev tried to get Republicans to accept the political structures and the status quo to ‘change things from within’ and failed. He left Sinn Fein and took around of 40% of Sinn Fein with him. He got power in 1932. It was the Peace Process all over again, one week Hundreds of Republicans were in jail as political prisoners serving long years and some, multiple life sentences, the week after the election these same IRA and republican people walked around the streets free men and women !

    12) Dev then cut the completely disproportionate pensions of the Former Free state Officers and in every legal populist way open to him, he clipped the wings and powers of Free Staters.
    To neutralize the IRA he recruited from the Officer Core of the IRA and formed these into his own Special Branch, with a first loyalty to him rather than the State per se. He also used the powers of the Government against the Armed Blueshirt Fascists at National level while at local level a ‘blind eye’ was turned to Republicans as IRA, Sinn Fein Republicans and Fianna Fail rank and file combined to literally beat the Blueshirts off the Irish Streets.

    13) That done Republicans began try and collect the political payment promises for action on the National question given ‘behind closed doors’ for co-operation with Fianna Fail in suppressing Fascism as a National danger to the body politic in Ireland. Instead they got jail, internment camp and forty-six people, most prominent, effective leaders, were judicially or otherwise murdered to make Ireland safe for Fianna Fail exploitation, the Industrial Schools, the Magdline Laundries, the continual export of Irish people, most to ‘The Enemy’ Britain and all the other perversions, stagnations and abominations that Fianna Failed in and finally paid the reckoning for in the last Southern election.

    14) While the external imposition of common British standards and advancing social prosperity after the war prevented the Six Counties of slipping into the same stagnating morass. never the less, the State as a whole was an anti-democratic, sectarian festering sore!

    15) The 1956, 62 IRA campaign did little other than disclose the total failure of the Republican Movement to connect with or motivate Northern Nationalism or to be of any relevance to the ordinary Nationalist people other than as an iconic force.

    16) Hundreds of middle aged and older IRA some who had four decades or more of activity behind them went back to their families, burned out and disillusioned. A new younger intellectual leadership of Garland, Gouldin and co. took over. The Irish Communist party for a variety of historical and other reasons never took off, indeed the Late Mick Riordan, General Party Sec. often told me that more priests and police than trade union leaders read his statements! The KGB for their then agenda need an effective organization in Ireland ‘Arrangements’ were entered into with most of the then Republican Leadership to use the Republican Movement as a popular front for their agenda.

    17) An increasingly educated and aware Nationalist Young Population and young Protestant liberals were dissatisfied with the Northern State and combined to march and protest for Civil and other rights, with covert Republican / KGB involvement and organization. The attack on one such perfectly peaceful march triggered off ‘The Battle Of The Bogside’ and the entry of the British Army into the scene when the controlled political agitation became a popular revolution that was as unwelcome to the then IRA /KGB strategists as it was to the Northern and British authorities.

    18) Kitson & Co, their covert warfare, their Counter Insurgency etc moved in on the heels of the British Army. There is a view of events there after from the Republican side and another from the Republican side, both are an incomplete picture.

    19) To get a real history and understanding of what happened in the North, one has to be farmilar with British Army Counter Insurgency methodologies as practiced in Cyprus, Aden, Kenya, Burma and the pseudo killer gangs etc. Goodness knows these activities are spelled out and indeed boasted often enough in COIN sites by British Army Officers for any with ‘Eyes to See’ and an open mind to google and find for themselves. My English ‘hidden history’ friend is on my wavelength in this but for all too many of supposedly enlightened slugger readers there is no ‘Big Picture’ there, it is all about a few painted kerb stones and who can claim them or whether UDA flags can be flown outside a Catholic Church.

    Yeah, right, dream on, they need dreamers asleep to the real world to keep their control.

    20) There is a real history of the conflict of the past four decades. Republicans do not have ownership of that and neither do the Unionists of whatever hue. In as much as ownership and a Big Picture, it is held by the people that operated The Insurgency and the Counter Insurgency Operatives. The former is known by those that took part and as I have frequently pointed out those that want to know the latter have only to conduct as systematic search of COIN sites.

    No ‘ fordperfect’ it was not about you but it was about leading the collective Union jack waving ‘yous’ up the same harmless cul de sack you have been heading into almost a Century and a Half on this Island, while those who pull your strings get on with the real business of an ever adapting but unchanging world Wide Financial Empire, the real British Empire!

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  30. Reader (profile) says:

    Munsterview: The attack on one such perfectly peaceful march triggered off ‘The Battle Of The Bogside’
    ROTFL. Who would have thought that Munsterview and the Apprentice Boys would see eye to eye over an incident!
    And I’m not sure you have quite got the measure of fordprefect yet. Though you and he and some loyalists might all be supportive of the controversial notion that the IRA and KGB were behind the Civil Rights movement.

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  31. OneFairMindedEnglishman (profile) says:

    My first post on this forum.

    Fascinating stuff, gentlemen / ladies. I would not pretend to have the in-depth knowledge of Irish history that most of you good people possess, but I do pride myself on more than a little understanding of how the British Empire and its ‘wizards behind the curtain’ operate.

    They will always strive to control both sides of any conflict as that is the best way of securing any outcome they desire or which furthers their own ends. Much the same as in a sports match – manage both teams and you can guarantee what the result will be.

    Most genuine opposition to them is fairly easy to nullify and marginalise given the staggering resources at their disposal, so whilst there is and has been much genuine opposition to their long term agenda for Ireland, I can guarantee that at least some of that opposition will be ‘fifth column’ and working towards the same ends as the Brits.

    ‘Reader’ stated: ‘…the controversial notion that the IRA and KGB were behind the Civil Rights movement’.

    Controversial it may be, but follow the pyramids to the very top – and by this I mean past the ‘top’ that is publicly visible and this will lead you to one place.

    The world is run and controlled by different forces to what we all may imagine.

    Apologies for duplication – finger trouble.

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  32. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Reader : I knew exactly what was happening then. I was quite active in Trade Union circles and held a number of offices at that time and was one of those approached and recruited. I also took a lot of former then young comrades by surprise by my decision to opt for The Provisional Republican Movement and all that entailed.

    In some of my last exchanges I had ‘The Big Picture’ explained to me and found as I suspected that a parallel but secret command structure existed with senior, older conventional Republicans out of the loop!

    I also had my own extended family history to draw on including dealing with Kitsons forerunners. A brother of one of my ancestors had his lodgings searched in London by Cecil’s agents and a Royal Intel Agency, the daddy of them all that is still there, buried deep and still in business. This man was envoy of the then Earl Of Desmond in the mid 1500′s and was on his way to meet with the survivors, children and grandchildren of the ‘Pilgrimage Of Grace’ people murdered by Henry The Eight with a view to having a co-ordinated rebellion against the Crown.

    Coming from this extended family that had a Irish Republican Brotherhood Head Center, a British Army decorated General and two MP in the House Of Commons within the period that I referred to, to name but a few, I too have a long pedigree and from childhood had been taught where the real power lay.

    I was left wing then and I still am. However in my book there was no difference between the KGB, Kitson or indeed Vatican power structures. The latter too always had the ‘Big Picture’ in mind as when the Pope of the Day send a Corps Of Drummers and Roman Catholic Gold to King William at the Boyne, or as when he ordered church bells rung throughout Christendom to celebrate the Willamette victory or when the same Pope also ordered Solemn High Mass sung throughout the principle Cathedrals to celebrate the Williaminite victory.

    This allied and association of political power suited the temporal designs of the Vatican and they had no difficulty in putting a Protestant King over a Catholic one or conceding huge swarths of the Continent to Protestantism over ‘The One True Faith’ etc when it suited worldly realities.

    Some years ago I shared a weekend seminar with a man who was a senior Unionist but also a High ranking Mason and Templar. We became friends and we were able to discuss the sweep of history across these Islands without argument or disagreement as to how it was done as both of us had the inside story from different sides.

    So Reader, no illusions about the KGB, The Vatican, or the real Power Brokers on the British Side that Kitson served, became part of, and later lapsed with for the Royal Family as the Queens Aid-De-Camp. I return to my main contention, all these things about Lillis, ‘Stake Knife’ Donlson or even the appalling activities of the Shankill butchers is but froth on the top. It has long been my personal belief that it is high time that this froth was blown away and all allowed see the liquid underneath which incidently is remarkably clear!

    This also is the basis of my contempt for Kenny and his posturing on a ‘Republic Of Laws’ etc. Sinn Fein people according to him are not fit to sit at a cabinet table yet he have people there that were once pledged and were quite happy to act as puppets, infiltrators or whatever was required for a Foreign Power and who now do their chameleon ‘Elder Statesman’ bit while garda Intel Files of the old C3 are bulging with details of associates ‘Fundraising’, that was used to build a modern sophisticated political machine. It is an area of Irish political activity that all bar Vincent Brown have given a very wide berth to indeed.

    Interesting indeed also to see where some of those demanding answers from the current Vatican as a Foreign Power are coming from. They do not need to worry too much about their pension plans : at the current International price of non-ferrous metals, their brass necks must be worth a small fortune ! As far as Hidden History is concerned it is a case of that famous movie clip of the Marine General and ” Truth, you cannot handle the truth” on all sides.

    My late grandfather spat at the mention of Tim Healy’s name and had no doubt that he was ‘A Donnelson of his day’ How can Southern politicians hold Police here to account for anything when these same police Intel Files hold information that could instantly discredit and crash political careers? So gardai are allowed do things ‘their way’

    Some chance then for full truth in the North, partial truth or indeed any truth at all given what went on there. However while Lillis and other such issues, vital as such issues are to the people victimized, continue do dominate and add to the froth, the establishment will buy a few more days, then weeks and then it is yesterdays news and back to Historians where they have their own people there too to make sure of the history perspectives that become the accepted narrative !

    Churchill hit this particular nail on the head with his ironic comment that ” I believe history will be kind to me as I intend to write it myself ”

    The Establishment have a thousand different ways for ensuring that History will be kind to them, it generally is and so the Bull S*** go on for another decade and another generation until the truth is buried or lost. Occasionally there is a conjunction of contemporary politics and past history where some event such as Bloody Sunday must be dissected for political expediency to allow events to move on and we get to see the truth….. or at least the minimum factual truth necessary to move the situation on but most times the spin dictates the poplar narrative and the poplar narrative becomes the accepted record of events.

    Yet in this internet age the true facts are there. Ten hours or so on Coin sites and directed research can reveal what the British Army methodology, tactics and strategy was in the North and based on that what they are still doing in furderance of the same goals and policies. Only those who are in agreement with this policies or those who do not want to know can deny their existence. And so it continues!

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  33. tacapall (profile) says:

    Munsterview I think what Reader was trying to say was that you have the wrong end of the stick regarding Fordperfect. A brief look at his posts would tell you that he’s no supporter of the Union in fact he’s nationalist and a republican who’s posts get stright to the point without going up the falls and down the shankill just to get to the city hall.

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  34. Reader (profile) says:

    tacapall: Munsterview I think what Reader was trying to say…
    Spoilsport. But at least don’t give him any clues over the Battle of the Bogside. ;-)

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  35. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Tacapall : Apologies then to fordperfect without hesidation as it was not my intention to place him in the Unionist camp : busy day and I am also covering quite a bit of other post today.

    I was merly pointing out, which is why I outlined the milestones in detail, that there is a long history here and even recent events must be taken in the round and over a past century and a half.

    fordperfect : rather than giving you a lecture or indeed lamh dearg either, all I was saying is this is how we got to this point, we did not arrive in a vacuums and neither can issues such as Brendan Lillis be raised in a void. I was also writing to clarify the Irish situation for some English and North American friends who are following this.

    It is very easy loose sight of the wood for the trees here or to become so preoccupied with the effect that we miss the cause. Someone sure as hell knew what was going on, and knew what the ‘master plan ‘ was. It is time everyone Republican, Nationalist and Unionist alike that do not know woke up to these facts as if we are to have real politics on this Island they need to be build in reality.

    As a historian I quite regularly take part in seminars where the accounts of the events that I participated in back then are nothing like what I remember. Once or twice these things were co convincingly portrayed and well argued that I looked up old comrades and did a double check.

    As McLuan said ‘ we view the past as through a rear view mirror, we walk backwards into the future’ That rear view of where we collectively came from is what will ultimately significantly shape where we are going ! Little use arguing about the players on stage without also taking the playwright into account.

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  36. Brian (profile) says:

    Munster View

    All well and good. I don’t disagree with most of your history up to about 1921 or so. But that is irrelevant.

    Please explain to me. what did the PRM plan on doing (if in their fantasists dreams they actually came close to forcing the “Brits” out)about the million or so people who considered themselves british? Were sectarian bombings and shootings part of the outreach program?

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  37. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Brian : “…….Please explain to me. what did the PRM plan on doing (if in their fantasists dreams they actually came close to forcing the “Brits” out)……”

    Brian, why did the British Government Take Republican leaders from prison and fly then to a meeting with Government ministers in England ? What do you think they talked about, the weather perhaps.

    What of the top level clandestine meeting with the British Government hosted by Dr John O’Connell under the cover of an Official British visit here ? What was discussed there, Dr O’Connell reminiscing about old medical cases ?

    What of the 1974 ceasefire and all the British authorized contacts and negocations that led to that predicated on a Brit pull out ?

    When the Elected British Government people sat across the table, it had to be taken that they were serious about what they said and the IRA acted accordingly.

    Here we are back to the re-writing of history and the denial of history as it happened and you Brian aside from being a dyed in the wool Southern Irish Establishment apologist are also a dab hand at that.

    As to the ‘one million Protestants’ I would expect that the likes of Ken McGuiness and Gerry Collins that had the craic, socialized at events like the RDS and enjoy themselves with mutual banter while people were dying because of their ineptitude would have been able to work out a thing or two once their self interests and that of their respective constituncies were seriously threatened.

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