Bell’s arrest may put new pressure on Adams and produce new cracks in omerta

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The arrest  of Ivor  Bell in connection with the murder and disappearance of Jean McConville  is  I’m sure already releasing a  flood of speculation about new pressure on Gerry Adams and is perhaps the  most dramatic sign yet of a final  breach  between Sinn Fein and old comrades who are opposed to their current political strategy. The timing and the IRA status of the arrested man are all significant but it will take time for the exact significance to become clear. Bell’s arrest involves a close calculation of risk, or did the old godfathers make it possible  some time ago? Has someone else talked and will more follow on now about other killings?

The issue is described in Ed Moloney’s Voices from the Grave based on the testimony of Brendan Hughes in the Boston college tapes  ps 124 -132  e.g. p128:

On the vexed question of how decided to disappear her and why, Hughes confirmed there was a dispute between Adams and his deputy Ivor Bell over whether to hide her body or leave it in a public place, with Adams advocating her disappearance… When the Jean McConville scandal worsened in the peace –process years, Hughes confirmed, Gerry Adams attempted internally to place the blame for her disappearance on Bell…”

Moloney’s own take on the arrest will make an interesting  read…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Morpheus

    We’ll find out soon enough when the police conclude their investigations. If he did it, good, he is in the right place and the courts will decide his fate but 180+ people were hung, drawn and quartered on here just a few short weeks ago even through they weren’t even wanted for questioning so until the investigations are concluded should this man not be given the same ‘innocent until proven guilty’ rights on Slugger that he gets in the real world?

  • Zig70

    I’ll lose money if Adams is arrested over these tapes. Reading the signs, the money is burnt.
    Bell probably can’t step back and see how much of a lift he would give the republican cause if he took the rap solely. The oddity of conflict is it would be harder for combatants to stomach that than take a life.

  • keano10

    There is more unsourced random speculation within this lead post, than within any post I have read on Slugger for quite some time (and that takes a bit of doing…).

    Mary Lou McDonald (during highly impressive performance on The Late Late Show last night) pointed out that Brendan Hughes was among several former Republicans who were vehemently opposed to the peace process. They wanted a continuation of armed Republican conflict. Quite clearly, Adams as leader of the Republican transition to peace, has been their main target for many years. If they discredited him, then they weakened the peace process.

    Brian, I fail to see any tangible evidence for your somewhat dramatic assertion that the arrest of Ivor Bell signals the final break between Sinn Fein and the former leadership of the old IRA. The vast majority of former IRA commanders are still fully supportive and actively involved within the Republican Peace Process (at varying levels).

    The quote from Voices from The Grave is nothing new and forms part of a version of events by Brendan Hughes which is vehemently disputed. I don’t see the arrest of Ivor Bell as having any significance whatsoever in terms of the overall process. After all, we recently a Loyalist, aged 75, also arrested in connection with an historic murder.

    I would argue that the recent arrest of Pairaic Wilson and several other Republicans on charges of IRA membership was much more contentious and potentially de-stabilising than the arrest of Ivor Bell.

    I cannot sense any new pressure within media or political circles in relation to Adams, following the arrest of Bell and would be curious what sources or evidence that you might have to the contrary?

  • Morpheus

    What gets me about stories like this Keano is that last week no one would have trusted Bell as far as he could be thrown but this week we are supposed to be hanging on his every word on the off-chance that he might utter something, anything, that may incriminate GA. It’s bizarre.

    We should just let the police and courts do their thing and then see where we stand

  • cynic2

    “The vast majority of former IRA commanders are still fully supportive and actively involved within the Republican Peace Process (at varying levels).”

    Is that from personal knowledge or a SF press release?

  • cynic2

    “last week no one would have trusted Bell as far as he could be thrown ”

    Aside form getting close to sub-judice just ,where is the evidence of that? Why is it that every old republican who opposes Gerry is

    mad
    bad
    drunk
    on drugs
    senile
    a combination of all of these

  • tacapall

    “What gets me about stories like this Keano is that last week no one would have trusted Bell as far as he could be thrown”

    There’s nothing like throwing mud and hoping it sticks eh Morph contrary to what you believe Ivor Bell is highly respected and trusted by the majority of those who would be connected to the republican movement. This one sided display of justice will cause ripples in this so called peace process and contrary to what you know or believe Morph theres lots of people including Ivor Bell that know those 180+ people who you claim were hung, drawn and quartered were not the johnny no-bodies and walter mittys you believe or promote they were.

  • babyface finlayson

    keano10
    “Brendan Hughes was among several former Republicans who were vehemently opposed to the peace process. They wanted a continuation of armed Republican conflict. Quite clearly, Adams as leader of the Republican transition to peace, has been their main target for many years. If they discredited him, then they weakened the peace process.”
    Everyone has an agenda. Why should that make their version any less credible than the SF version?
    The Hughes/Price version ties in with what most people seem to believe about Adams being in the IRA.So perhaps we are more inclined to believe the rest of what they said rather than the ever forgetful Mr Adams.

  • Brian Walker

    Morpheus, Keano etc.. I am of course speculating – what else can anybody do who wasn’t involved? I’m doing so on the basis of evidence long in the public domain and much discussed. If there is a trial – a non – jury trial I presume – it will come as a relief to test these matters on court and hearing where the evidence comes from.

    Discussion of the public record in cases of public importance is completely usual. I’ve come to no conclusion about his guilt or even what he might be charged with, if at all. But of course it revives pressure on Gerry Adams, whatever you think about his peace process record – which I uncomplicatedly welcome .

  • Granni Trixie

    Tac

    Not to get at you but in the interests of gaining a grasp into other perspectives, can you tell me how tangy one can “respect” and “trust” someone with Bells track record? Put it another way, if he comes to court and is found guilty of being involved in abducting the mother of ten, who will still trust and respect him? In other words are you claiming he is given a blank cheque. If so,why?

  • Granni Trixie

    Sorry about the tangy thing,it’s the IPad wot done it,gov.

  • Turgon

    Brian Walker,
    “I’ve come to no conclusion about his guilt or even what he might be charged with, if at all.”

    Both Pete’s thread to which you linked to and the BBC website (which Pete linked) told you what he had been charged with: He has been charged with aiding and abetting murder and membership of the IRA.

  • Brian Walker

    I’ve come to no conclusion about the charge or what the charge will be if or when it comes to court. Charges frequently reduce or increase during remand.,

  • Dixie Elliott

    keano10

    “Adams as leader of the Republican transition to peace, has been their main target for many years. If they discredited him, then they weakened the peace process…”

    A man with a proven track record of protecting paedophiles…And who now admits talking to the British about peace behind the backs of those he was encouraging to continue killing….A man who clearly kept the Hunger Strikes going to win an election….Is beyond mere discrediting yet the peace process has survived.

    Because people want it to survive and clearly the Brits are looking after their assets.

    Keano 10 also said…

    “I would argue that the recent arrest of Pairaic Wilson and several other Republicans on charges of IRA membership..”

    I think the less deluded among us know what they are actually charged with and its nothing whatsoever political and the need to protect the peace process prevents any attempt at receiving justice…

    Actually when any right thinking person looks that case and the cover up behind it and the fact that Ivor Bell just happens to be arrested when he decides to act as election manager for an Independent Republican they’d have to agree that this little corner of Ireland stinks like a blocked sewer…

  • Dixie Elliott

    Oh and Keano 10 also said…

    “The vast majority of former IRA commanders are still fully supportive and actively involved within the Republican Peace Process (at varying levels).”

    Would that be as landlords, bar owners, security firm owners etc? Overnight ‘success stories’ in most cases…

    Given those IRA commanders exposed in the recent past like Scap, Denis Donaldson etc I could be forgiven for wondering if maybe a good majority are still also actively involved with their handlers?

  • Turgon

    Brian Walker,
    “I’ve come to no conclusion about the charge or what the charge will be if or when it comes to court. Charges frequently reduce or increase during remand.,”

    He has, however, been charged which makes your statement above “what he might be charged with, if at all.” factually incorrect.

  • tacapall

    Grannie the Mc Conville family were in court today and made it known to all that they believed Ivor Bell had no part in their mothers death. Its obvious that some game is being played by the conservatives who are hedging their bets on the outcome of the next Westminster elections and are are fulfilling DUP conditions for their support in the event of a hung parliament.

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    That’s some convoluted conspiracy thinking, tac.

  • son of sam

    tacapall
    Since you seem to be privy to the views of the Mc Conville family on this charge,I presume you were present in court today.