Daithí McKay: Sinn Féin will not be deflected by ‘old guard’ within the police

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Slugger is pleased to host a piece on the recent arrest of Gerry Adams from Sinn Fein’s Economy spokesman, Daithí McKay MLA

Last week those who have opposed the Peace Process and Sinn Féin got what they always wanted – the arrest of Gerry Adams.

It served a number of interests, those anti-Sinn Féin voices who have sought to undermine the Good Friday Agreement; the selfish and strategic interests of the NIO who want to distract public attention from the fact they are preventing families of those killed by British Government policy during the conflict from learning the truth; and the small minority within the PSNI who want to settle old scores and who have never accepted the need for the wide-ranging reforms that we have seen in policing since Patten.

Failure to deal with the past creates space for those within policing structures who wish to continue pursuing old agendas. The timing of the arrest of Gerry Adams was no coincidence. The forthcoming elections in little over two weeks could see Sinn Féin become the largest party on the island of Ireland.

If one wanted to maximise the impact this would have on the outcome of the forthcoming elections, particularly those in the south, you could not have chosen a better time to carry out this arrest. Republicans like myself did not come up the Bann in a bubble and that is why there was considerable anger within republican circles. There is also recognition on the doors that we are canvassing at the moment that this is not a coincidence and that is from Sinn Féin voters and non-Sinn Féin voters alike.

We will continue to give total and unflinching support to those officers and staff within the PSNI who wish to serve the community fairly and impartially. We will support the progressives and the reformers. Those who want to move society forward. That support is not in question.

It is their interests and the interests of the entire community that Sinn Féin challenge the ‘old guard’ within the police who are more than willing to shake the foundation stones of political stability in the north. We will challenge that agenda robustly and effectively.

It is in everybody’s interests that we return to Haass. The vast majority of people that I speak to want political parties to deal with the past in a sensitive and mature way and focus primarily on building a better future for the entire community. That is what we in Sinn Féin want to see.

If we do not deal with the past in a collective way it will damage our future.

A better future is also reliant on democratic processes north and south operating free of interference.

The arrest of Gerry Adams and the timing of it was a direct interference with the democratic process and structures that are in place north and south.

However Sinn Féin won’t be deflected from the task of strengthening the political process and providing positive leadership. On the contrary this has given fresh impetus to our efforts to bring about lasting change.

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  • http://www.thedissenter.co.uk thedissenter

    Nothing new here. Just same old same old. Big monsters under the bed sort of fears. Complete lack of political maturity. Surprised the visionary of Sinn Fein didn’t see the arrest coming. Not as if Sinn Fein has lacked legal advice, so it must have been an considered possibility. Only Sinn Fein is excited by this. Rest of us bored already at the self-righteous whines.

  • katemcc

    would carry more weight if SF named the ‘old guard’ whom we must presume must have been acting against the advice of the PSNI ‘new guard’. So erffectively they must have told Baggott to do one when he pointed out the vindictive, opportunistic and illegal motives of Gerry’s arrest.
    We are also to believe that SF’s legal advice was so bad that all possibilities were not covered when he made that phone call weeks before offering his counsel.
    The only ‘Old guard’ on show was Bobbey Storey saluting like someone from Dad’s Army and thrilling the crowd with the fatigued and shallow ‘we haven’t gone away, you know’ rally cry.
    SF has proved it is still on top of the spin game but when the ‘old guard’ in the party move on (which they will, Bobby one day you will go away) their supporters will look around them and ask ‘what did they leave behind’! A look at West Belfast will answer that, ‘not much’!

  • GEF
  • quality

    Didn’t Gerry present himself? Why would he do that just before an election?

    While it was probably pointless to arrest him, as he’s teflon, I find the following:

    “the selfish and strategic interests of the NIO”

    Amusing when Sinn Féin continue to do the exact same thing. Just protecting a different set of actors. Presumably Sinn Féin feel that the families of the disappeared are less entitled to justice than other groups?

    Even funnier that the rank and file, particularly those in the youth wing I know, continue to eat this nonsense up.

  • http://www.thedissenter.co.uk thedissenter

    Unsuprising that this entire article manages not to once mention Jean McConville. All about themselves alone.

  • Son of Strongbow

    Self-serving tosh.

    McGuinness claimed to “know” who the police officers he made serious allegations about are. Has he contacted the PONI?

    As the dogs on the street might bark – put up or shut up, grrrrrrr.

  • Brian Walker

    Unfortunately this is boilerplate. Sinn Fein have passed up the opportunity to make a case beyond yesterday’s cheer lines. That said “ return to Haass” is a constructive position which the unionists have to answer.

    SF could further question the strength of evidence that merited treating Adams as a suspect under the Terrorism Act rather than a conversation alongside a solicitor “helping police with their inquiries “in the old fashioned term. I don’t know what the police know but the Adams exercise seemed like a fruitless and high risk fishing expedition. Perhaps we’ll get a better view of it from the chief constable this afternoon if MPs questioning extends beyond the OTRs I suspect the police did themselves and justice no favours by getting embroiled in the Boston tapes .

    It’s quite interesting that the piece doesn’t press hard for action on demonstrable police collusion and army shootings. They may still do that of course when the PPP gives a final view of the case. Up to now SF have hung back slightly from total campaigning commitment to the Finuane Centre. It’s true of course that the whataboutery pendulum doesn’t unambiguously favour the republican record to put it mildly . And their political interest favours statesmanlike concentration the future and no great zealotry over more prosecutions.

  • Charles_Gould

    Sinn Féin certainly know how to be propagandist and annoying. I didn’t get past the first sentence, which sums up the “with us or against us” attitude that they share with George Bush:

    “Last week those who have opposed the Peace Process and Sinn Féin got what they always wanted – the arrest of Gerry Adams.”

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    So let me see if I have this correct:

    A man, an important man, walks into a police station near election time regarding questions for a crime decades ago.
    Police have lots of questions for said man and arrest him.

    Said man’s colleagues question the ‘timing’ of said arrest and to underline their collective (and spontaneous) miff they manage to find wall space and artists and erect a mural of him before he is released.

    In addition to this difficult global-TV-coverage-laden episode, marches of solidarity were held (in front of impromptu mural) with polished pictures of the man with another man who happened to be really, really famous, respected and recognised across the world (including the countries that were lapping up this story, such as Australia).

    Man’s colleagues accuse dark (and hitherto ne’r before mentioned) dark forces in the PSNI.

    Said colleagues, indignant and wronged and not known for taking things lying down, seemingly ‘lie down’ and do not name these dark forces or (presumably) report them to the relevant authorities.

    Furthermore, said man’s colleagues are so convinced that the event is designed to hobble their chances in the elections that they are surprised to find that people on the streets are agreeing with their (mass-media-propagated) message of “this is designed to hurt us, let’s be stronger than ever and unite against the dark forces!! *COUGH! VOTE FOR US COUGH!*”

    If there are such dark forces with the PSNIRA/PSNIRUC/’PSNI’ (delete according to desired delusion) then could we have them sit some sort of IQ test please:

    Dark Forces Cop: “We need to hit the Shinners where it hurts”

    New cop: “Why?”

    Dark Forces Cop:”Cos that’s what we do!”

    New cop: “Won’t this increase our chances of bad PR and maybe even getting killed”

    Dark Forces Cop: “Yeah! So?! It’ll be worth it, just to question old duffle coat again!”

    New cop: “Do we have the evidence to charge him?”

    Dark Forces Cop: “No…?”

    New cop: “So, he’ll go free eventually? In the gaze of the world’s media a few weeks before an election?”

    Dark Forces Cop: ‘Yes! Dammit, it was so much easier before Patton turned this organisation ass-about-face!”

    If it is the work of Sith Sleuths then could we at least refer to them as ‘dim forces’?

  • Morpheus

    “I suspect the police did themselves and justice no favours by getting embroiled in the Boston tapes .”

    The police didn’t have much of a choice, the gulf between claims in an academic exercise and having enough verifiable evidence to secure a conviction is monumental so the PSNI would have faced a barrage of ill-informed calls of ‘political policing’ had they not questioned Adams.

    The PSNI knew they had to question Adams despite a lack of evidence and Adams knew that he had to be questioned despite a lack of evidence so they went through the motions knowing full well that the DPP, an independent buffer, would make the final call. The PSNI did their best, GA has his standard response for every interview from now on and Marty lets the hardliners know that he recognizes that there is still an issue with ‘dark forces’ which needs addressed – everyone’s a winner.

    Everyone except the McConvilles.

  • Charles_Gould

    “Everyone except the McConvilles.”

    And those who care about justice for victims.

  • Morpheus

    And justice for the victims is served by attempting to prosecute someone without the evidence to secure a conviction is it?

    The victims are very, very low down the list of priorities in this whole debacle, both on Slugger and in the real world. Watch how the McConvilles are dropped like a hot potato when the realization kicks in that they are of no use in the ‘Get Gerry’ campaign

  • GoldenFleece

    Does anyone realise in the last few elections Sinn Fein has engineered “peace process in crisis” moments right before a vote? Most likely to rally the troops. Last time it was police devolution a belief? Now this. Can’t wait to see next years doozy.

    I mean Gerry Adams could have volunteered to go to the police station AFTER the election, or way before. If SF were worried this would harm their electoral chances. They knew it wouldn’t though, in fact they knew quite opposite.

  • Coll Ciotach

    This is a Sinn Fein campaign, compare and contrast with the campaign for the release of Gerry McGeogh, (now there was political policing, Marian Price, or more recently Ivor Bell. Why is no one bringing down the RUC/PSNI over these cases, is I because they are not one of us perhaps?

  • Morpheus

    GA notified the police that he would meet them 7 weeks ago GoldenFleece – it was the PSNI who decided on the date, time and venue. I am sure GA would have preferred it to happen 7 weeks ago

  • Son of Strongbow

    Imagine the police having the temerity to force a clash in the Dear Leader’s diary!

    You can imagine the scene, Jarry tells his PA to ring up the rozzers: ‘tell them I’ve an opening tomorrow, two to four in the afternoon. Can they send a car?’

    Shockingly, as it seems for Jarry, the cops were conducting an investigation into a murder and wanted the “discussion” (as Jarry so arrogantly described what he was making himself available for) to occur at a time that was appropriate.

    Seems too that Jarry would have preferred the chat to happen over lunch at a nice restaurant given that the food he was served, no doubt brought from the police canteen where the poor plods are fed, challenged his refined palate.

  • Dixie Elliott

    The election’s nearing, are the Shinners going to sign up for Welfare Cuts after the election?….The Nolan Show, The View and various other such like programes….What have they done for the People of West Belfast? And Derry who had Stream before Stream took the £2m in grants, took off and went to Belfast where they pocketed another £3m in grands, cheered on by Marty.

    Gerry presents himself to the PSNI and of course is arrested…

    MAYHEM!

    According to Daithi even the non-Sinn Féin voters’ were aghast… At this point he should have just battered ahead and said that the Papal Envoy was despatched from Rome.

    Marty points to the Dark Side while Big Bob does a Big Ian

    Everything in the papers and on TV is about Gerry the Martyr and no pre-election questions about social issues and things which affect the ordinary Joe and Josephine Soap.

    Gerry, the Irish Mandela, walks free and saith onto them….”I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove savage beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country and the Boston….

    Well if Daithi can rip the arse out of it why can’t I?

  • Rory Z

    To quote Mark Steyn, writing about another political scandal involving expedient political lying while dead bodies lay on the ground, “Healthy political cultures punish the first lie – because otherwise it never stops”.

    Sadly probably half the population on the island simply can’t be bothered with the truth anymore. The failure for the society to hold to account a powerful individual for direct involvement in a war crime, makes the whole society complicit in the perpetuity of that lie. What’s sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander; be they SF/PIRA, the Gardaí or Crown Forces. Let truth shine a cleansing light on all involved in the war.

    If we want to live in a free society, the correct use of language and truth telling are the pre-requisites of such a society.

    Unfortunately, we’re not there yet.

  • Politico68

    I think the piece really just reflects what most Republicans feel is the case,
    I agree with Am Ghobsmacht, I think he hits the nail on ts head ….

    “Dark Forces Cop: “We need to hit the Shinners where it hurts”

    New cop: “Why?”

    Dark Forces Cop:”Cos that’s what we do!”

    New cop: “Won’t this increase our chances of bad PR and maybe even getting killed”

    Dark Forces Cop: “Yeah! So?! It’ll be worth it, just to question old duffle coat again!”

    New cop: “Do we have the evidence to charge him?”

    Dark Forces Cop: “No…?”

    New cop: “So, he’ll go free eventually? In the gaze of the world’s media a few weeks before an election?”

    Dark Forces Cop: ‘Yes! Dammit, it was so much easier before Patton turned this organisation ass-about-face!” “

  • Dixie Elliott

    What is it with these shinners? First Daithi McKay on here then tonight Conor Murphy on Nolan…

    Every door they knock at the people are angry at the Injustice inflicted on Adams…

    Knock Knock!

    “Who’s there?”

    “I’m canvassing for SF.”

    “Ah it’s terrible what they’re doing to poor Gerry, if I wasn’t up to my eyes in debt I’d give the priest a few pound to say a Mass for him.”

  • Politico68

    Dixie,

    Nice stereotyping there fella

  • Politico68
  • Reader

    Politico68 – wake up. Some hacker has got control of your account and is using it to spam dodgy links across the whole of Slugger. You need to change your password, pronto. ‘ILuvGerry’ probably wasn’t a good choice.

  • Politico68

    Reader, that was no hacker. I just wanted you all to get the chance to read the Gaurdian article because I feared Slugger would try to bury it or at least ignore it.

  • Reader

    Politico68: I just wanted you all to get the chance to read the Gaurdian article because I feared Slugger would try to bury it or at least ignore it.
    It’s very thin stuff. The content may be summed up in a headline thus: “Man who denies everything writes article denying something”. And then it could be relegated to:
    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/