Slugger O'Toole

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  1. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 18 February 2012 at 11:53 am

    Nevin

    Stop the obfuscation – You made a statement up above that viz referring to the SF/IRA:

    ‘We want to get out of violence but you have to help us’”
    Presumably that senior member was Martin McGuinness.”

    Your statement is incorrect. Those words. or their like, were used by Denis Bradley who in no way shape or form can be described as a Provo.

    Nevin, you can dodge my “fact” as much as you want but you have made an incorrect assertion. Rather than acknowledging this, you dissemble. A familiar tactic.

    The reality, God bless it, of a beautiful Saturday morning now beckons. May I (genuinely) bid you a joyful and relaxing day.

    PL

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  2. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 18 February 2012 at 11:17 am

    Nevin

    Please address my point – Foras na Gaeilge is an All Ireland governmental body –

    I repeat – nothing to do with simply “internal reform”

    With regards to Denis – and once again you and others have attributed a statement made by him to the IRA.

    This “IRA statement” was first put about by a FRU spook – as was the allegation that McGuinness (with fake text provided) was a spy for MI6. This latter was so bad that not even the Sunday Times would touch it and denounced the document as a fake.

    You are welcome to throw other points about to distract from the above facts but facts they are.

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  3. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 18 February 2012 at 9:02 am

    Nevin and Alias

    As an Irish speaker – I have attended various functions over the last few years both in Derry, Belfast and Newry that were either organised or sponsored by Foras na Gaeilge the all Ireland Irish language body set up by the GFA. By definition, Foras na Gaeilge is an all Ireland governmental body.

    Just one example of how your talk about the GFA being purely about internal reform is inaccurate – and probably just wishful thinking.

    The grass is growing over those border roads boys – get over it.

    With regards to Denis Bradley, whom I know personally, he was a million miles from SF’s position right throughout the Troubles. I don’t know who Denis voted for, if he ever voted, but the politics he espoused in my presence was pure John Hume.

    FRU spooks

    Isn’t it interesting that when tested – every statement or alleged/situation event put about by low ranking FRU spooks is found wanting – the IRA statement that was in fact Bradley’s statement, McGuinness was an MI6 spy, Scap was in a “nutting squad”, the IRA units that killed Buchanan and Breen were riddled with informers,

    Go figure

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  4. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 17 February 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Nevin

    The process in many ways was far more public than you suggest – In 1990 Peter Brooke declared that Britain had “no selfish or strategic interest” to be in Northern Ireland.

    by the way your quote – “We want to get out of violence” was said by Fr Denis Bradley – fact.

    Heres how Patto45 described it in the Guardian

    Once again an urban legend takes legs and is quoted as facts.
    Unfortunately for the poster the former Derry priest Dennis Bradley admitted that the phrase quoted came from him and not from the IRA.

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  5. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 17 February 2012 at 10:53 pm

    PaulT

    they are fantastic and fascinating statistics and info – well done/maith thú

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  6. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 17 February 2012 at 10:50 pm

    My apologies for posting so many times – I got a message – “Bad Gateway” so assumed that my message was not going through

    I shall only press once in future

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  7. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 17 February 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Reader

    The Portadown/Lurgan gang along with a Belfast unit which carried out the Dublin and Monaghan bombs was the same terror unit that carried out a whole range of sectarian attacks with the aid of the security forces. The main killer in these units was Robin Jackson whose luger pistol was used to kill John Francis Green (whilst the IRA was on ceasefire) and in the Miami Showband massacre. The HET has confirmed that RUC SB warned Jackson to get offside when the forensics about his luger came out. (He would have walked from court anyway as he did on four occasions).

    Jackson was a key suspect in the Dublin and Monaghan bombs but was allowed to kill UDR man Billy Hanna after he apparently felt terrible about children being killed. What is clear is that Jacskon was police protected.

    See the recent report into the Showband attack then read the account of an SPG (SB) officer (John Weir) who describes how these attacks were carried out and the assistance they received from upstairs.

    The Dublin and Monaghan bomb attacks were never repeated. Why? They had served their purpose – the South would not go near a peace process for a long time.

    You may also notice that right wing coups by the various “Junta” were quite popular at the time.

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  8. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 17 February 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Reader (profile)

    The Portadown/Lurgan gang along with a Belfast unit which carried out the Dublin and Monaghan bombs was the same terror unit that carried out a whole range of sectarian attacks with the aid of the security forces. The main killer in these units was Robin Jackson whose luger pistol was used to kill John Francis Green (whilst the IRA was on ceasefire) and in the Miami Showband massacre. The HET has confirmed that RUC SB warned Jackson to get offside when the forensics about his luger came out. (He would have walked from court anyway as he did on four occasions).

    Jackson was a key suspect in the Dublin and Monaghan bombs but was allowed to kill UDR man Billy Hanna after he apparently felt terrible about children being killed. What is clear is that Jacskon was police protected.

    See the report into the Showband attack then read the account of an SPG (SB) officer (John Weir) who describes how these attacks were carried out and the assistance they received from upstairs.

    The Dublin and Monaghan bomb attacks were never repeated. Why? They had served their purpose – the South would not go near a peace process for a long time.

    Go to comment

  9. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 17 February 2012 at 10:32 pm

    Reader (profile)

    The Portadown/Lurgan gang along with a Belfast unit which carried out the Dublin and Monaghan bombs was the same terror unit that carried out a whole range of sectarian attacks with the aid of the security forces. The main killer in these units was Robin Jackson whose luger pistol was used to kill John Francis Green (whilst the IRA was on ceasefire) and the Miami Showband massacre. The HET has confirmed that RUC SB warned Jackson to get offside when the forensics about his luger came out. (He would have walked from court anyway as he did on four occasions).

    Jackson was a key suspect in the Dublin and Monaghan bombs but was allowed to kill UDR man Billy Hanna after he apparently felt terrible about children being killed. What is clear is that Jacskon was police protected.

    See the report into the Showband attack then read the account of an SPG (SB) officer (John Weir) who describes how these attacks were carried out and the assistance they received from upstairs.

    The Dublin and Monaghan bomb attacks were never repeated. Why? They had served their purpose – the South would not go near a peace process for a long time.

    Go to comment

  10. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 17 February 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Reader

    The British state bombed Sunningdale out of the water at the same time as they aided and abetted a sectarian strike in the same week in 1974

    Only a few weeks ago Robin (The so called Jackal) Jackson was acknowledged to be a state asset as Fred Holroyd and Colin Wallace said all along.

    Power sharing was not an option in the 1970s

    In the 1990s things changed (wonder why) and as Peter Robinson has said – they were left with not choice.

    PL

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  11. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 17 February 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Dear all – A sluggerite (is that the term?) has mailed me privately and asked me to provide more evidence of Unionist opposition to the GFA and the referenda – what planet were some of you living on in 1998? And do you always have to be spoonfed all the time?

    DUP Opposition to the 1998 Belfast Agreement (if memory serves me rightly, Big Ian called his monarch Tony Blair’s pup – yes?)

    “Paisley’s DUP was initially involved in the negotiations under former United States Senator George J. Mitchell that led to the Belfast Agreement of 1998. The party withdrew in protest when Sinn Féin was allowed to participate after its ceasefire. Paisley and his party opposed the Agreement in the referendum that followed its signing, which saw it approved by over 70% of the voters in Northern Ireland and by over 90% of voters in the Republic of Ireland.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Paisley

    —————–

    The Grand Lodge (in other words the UUP effectively)

    The opinion of Grand Lodge on the Belfast Agreement as expressed in the run-up to the Referendum in May 1998

    The Grand Lodge makes its position clear (please note the stance taken by – Lord Molyneaux of Killead, the Sovereign Grand Master of the Royal Black Institution, and by six of our Ulster Unionist M.P.’s who are Orangemen: the Rev. W. Martin Smyth, William Ross, Jeffrey Donaldson, William Thompson, Roy Beggs and Clifford Forsythe (since deceased).

    “Belfast Agreement

    The opinion of Grand Lodge on the Belfast Agreement as expressed in the run-up to the Referendum in May 1998

    Orangemen and women, unionists and loyalists, should say ‘NO’ in the forthcoming Northern Ireland referendum, unless radical changes are ordered by Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Government on the agreement reached at Stormont on April 10.

    The concerns of the greater number of people in Northern Ireland must be directly addressed and acted upon if a political settlement is to have any credibility within the wider populace in the Province.

    To this end, the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has requested an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister and, if this is granted, Grand Lodge officials will be seeking firm assurances and, where necessary, the removal of proposals in the Stormont Agreement which are clearly at variance with the wishes of the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland.

    At its meeting last month the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland stated: “The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland takes note of the acceptance by the participants to the talks process of the document on April 10, but failing clarification of certain vital issues cannot recommend it to the people of Ulster”.

    Orangemen and unionists opposed to the agreement have been heartened by the stance taken by Lord Molyneaux of Killead, the Sovereign Grand Master of the Royal Black Institution, and by six of our Ulster Unionist M.P.’s who are Orangemen: the Rev. W. Martin Smyth, William Ross, Jeffrey Donaldson, William Thompson, Roy Beggs and Clifford Forsythe (since deceased).

    Opposition to the agreement is quite definitely growing at grassroots unionist and Orange Lodge level; and a number of County Grand Lodges and Districts have publicly declared their positions.

    The agreement is a very green-tinged document which has been carefully compiled to placate the pan-Irish nationalist front, of which Sinn Fein/I.R.A. is an integral component.

    The concerns of the unionist/Orange family and their opposition to the document are fuelled by the following;

    The over-riding role for the Dublin government in the internal affairs of Northern Ireland.
    Doubts over the future and integrity of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
    Failure to copper-fasten the decommissioning of illegal terrorist weaponry.
    The prospect of an undemocratically accountable Northern Ireland Assembly.
    The prospect of unrepentant terrorists in the executive of the proposed Assembly.
    The inclusion of mechanisms designed to make further concessions to the I.R.A.
    The spectre of the Maryfield Eire Secretariat operating under another guise.
    The early release of terrorist prisoners, both republican and loyalists, who have been convicted of the most heinous crimes.
    The promotion of symbols and culture which are alien to the great majority of people in Northern Ireland.

    As it presently stands, the agreement reached at Stormont of April 10 is something which very few unionists, if they are patently honest, could live with. Therefore we would implore pro-Union voters to have the courage of their convictions and, with the belief in protecting their birthright and heritage, they must do what is right for their beloved Province on May 22.

    Only a dramatic intervention by Her Majesty’s Government to make the agreement acceptable to the unionist majority in Northern Ireland will avert the disaster course our Province in now embarked upon.”

    ——————

    The point I’m making is the very legitimate one – that the Green side (shorthand) pro actively showed their support for the agreement. Anyone who denies this and says Scap and the FRU hoodwinked us all really needs to sit down and think about what happened.

    It is not about rubbing ones hands at Unionist discomfort (I welcome them as brothers and sisters) but to demolish this spook inspired myth that the GFA was a trap the Irish walked into.

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  12. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 17 February 2012 at 12:00 am

    A final word before life moves on, as it must. I’ve been trying to reply in between feeding kids and going out to listen to a string quartet – but the Slugger robot didn’t like the cut of my jib and kept shouting “Bad Gateway”. I was going to make a joke of this but, as is obvious from the above, there are some sensitive souls out there who may feel they are being attacked personally.

    @ Nevin

    Has this become the lets trawl the internet and find dirt on Paul Larkin thread – hilarious! I must call on to Slugger more often. The way the internet works, as you all know, is that every time my name is mentioned my Google profile gets pushed up a notch. Some tekkie tells me that I sell a book for every ten mentions so I am indebted (and further embedded) to you all.

    Guelke

    I agree with Guelke about the lack of an index in my book “A Very British Jihad”- in as much that it really should have one. Unfortunately, I had no control over that aspect of its production. An update is forthcoming and this lacuna will be filled at that point However to describe the book as “unusable” is not the opinion of the thousands of people who bought it and continue to buy it as a Kindle book. Take your choice. I stand over what I say.

    Also, I find it strange that in your quest for the truth Nevin you did not provide readers with my reply to Guelke’s “review”. In my reply I point out that Guelke confirmed both in an interview and via email that it was Brian Nelson’s sister who approached him and told him that the South African Bureau of Information had given intelligence to her brother about him. This is referred to on page 94 of my book which Adrian Guelke has obviously read very closely. Not only do my interview notes with Guelke confirm his description of this incident but Guelke himself confirms the Nelson/Bureau of Information connection in an e-mail to me on the 3rd of August 2001. Apartheid hitman Leon Flores was found to have a picture of Guelke on his person when arrested as he left these shores. What part of Apartheid/Loyalist collusion does Guelke not understand?

    Here is my full reply to Guelke
    http://www.fadooda.com/index.php?itemid=333

    All Ireland plebiscite

    @ Mike The First
    You said:

    “On Guardian CIF, you claimed that “the unionist parties” opposed the holding of these concurrent referenda. Have you got anything at all to back this up with, or shall we chalk it up as a rather glaring untruth?”

    This was my full quote on CIF,
    “It was the unionist parties (along with their old centurions in the RUC and the FRU) who bitterly opposed the idea of our All Ireland plebiscite on the 22nd of May 1998. ”

    The DUP did not just oppose the holding of an All Ireland plebiscite – they opposed the GFA full stop until 2006. They did this in conjunction with other unionist and loyalist groupings which accused the Ulster Unionists (facing a revolt from within) of base betrayal. Reasonably enough, the leadership of the Ulster Unionists that signed up to the GFA have since pointed out that the DUP has signed up to that very same “base betrayal” and that Trimble et al was simply used as a unionist shield – so that he could take all the flak for the “Dublin Diktat” – now there’s a phrase to conjure with.

    Never ever ever would “Dublin” have a say in the affairs of loyal Nor’n Ireland we were told ad nauseum and there’s me voting in my Cabra polling booth. Without our say in the South, the whole thing could not happen. Fact.

    Internal agreement how are ye?

    In conclusion and here is the key point, when all the above hot air and vehemence about my “wilful” untruths is put to one side: I worked as a journalist and film maker in the North for years and have family who live in Derry and elsewhere. I received off the record briefings from the security forces and quiet drinks that often turned out to be not so quiet – boy could those RUC guys drink. Never once did any member of the security forces speak well of the peace process. Quite the reverse. The FRU guys I met told me it was their mission to destroy the peace process. In his diary, Brian Nelson describes the head of the FRU encouraging him to bomb an oil refinery in Cork to warn Dublin not to meddle in Northern Ireland’s affairs. He also describes concerted attempts to kill Martin McGuinness.

    Now we are told that the FRU and its paymasters wanted the GFA all along, used Scap the Pimpernel to push the GFA through and McGuiness was an MI6 spy.

    Pure bunkum

    Never! Never! Never! was their cry.

    But as Billy Wright once told me – The Anglo Irish Agreement was the “Trojan Horse”, after that it was a rear guard action for loyalists. And after all – King Rat knew more than most, which is probably why they (probably) got rid of him.

    A wonderful experience fellow posters and my (genuine) thanks to Brian for starting the thread.

    Pól Ó Lorcáin
    Baile Átha Cliath

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  13. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 16 February 2012 at 11:05 am

    Terry B

    you said:
    “I don’t really care what history will record.”

    deary me

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  14. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 16 February 2012 at 10:51 am

    Intelligence Insider

    Your post doesn’t explain why he changed his mind. He had advised Smithwick that he he would attend. The shock at his sudden refusal was palpable. Only Toby himself can explain his snubbing of Smithwick.

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  15. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 16 February 2012 at 10:39 am

    Intelligence Insider

    As far as I know that statement was issued via Toby Harnden’s Facebook Page. What a way to treat a government inquiry that he, by his own admission, helped instigate!

    Nor does his statment answer the questions he would no doubt face under cross examination. Those gardaí whose reputations have been thrown into question, partly on his allegations, will now have no opportunity to question one of their main accusers.

    PL

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  16. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 16 February 2012 at 10:18 am

    Terry B

    I note your sneering use of the words “Dear Danny”.

    The unionist veto proclaimed Never! Never! Never!
    And there I was walking into a Dublin poll booth in 1998 – taking part in an all Ireland plebiscite that not only paved the way for the GFA but a fairly imminent vote on what’s left of the border.

    I was in South Africa a few years ago and both the ANC and the Boers I spoke to were stunned at Sinn Féin’s success. Sometimes you have to think outside those little boxes and consider what history will record. Out there in the big wide world (including liberation movements) our peace process has maximum respect.

    What’s not to like about “Nollaig Shona” being on the top of City Hall in Belfast?

    (<;

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  17. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 16 February 2012 at 9:24 am

    Terry B

    Ive already pointed out above that they were not my words (the IRA won the war – and yes I should have used the quote), what I was doing in my own blog – which was not fully quoted – was to present a scenario that gets closer to what many former RUC people and military say – that the Provos got much of what they wanted when they should have been crushed. See Eamon McCann’s brilliant blog on Norman Baxter here -

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/13/norman-baxters-long-crusade/

    As for Danny who is a friend. A small group of journalists in Belfast were absolutely adamant in conversations with me that Danny was Stakeknife (remember that period?) – now they are absolutely adamant that it was Scap.

    Go figure

    ps
    For the record, I do not believe that the IRA won its war (in terms of its own stated goals) but Clinton and Tony Blair’s camp demonstrated that it was the only organisation that mattered – a bitter pill for unionists I know. Hence the outrage of people like Norman Baxter and many others like him.

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  18. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 16 February 2012 at 8:45 am

    Hi Mick

    I know that people want to concentrate on the genesis and procedure of Cory but, in fairness, Cory was not the sole reason why Smithwick was established. In fact, Toby Harnden has stated that Smithwick would not have happened without his book Bandit Country and I tend to agree. (Whilst mentioning Toby, I may disagree with some of his security analysis but where he writes about the lives and experiences of British soldiers he is brilliant)

    The feeling amongst many Dáil observers in the South at least is that the Irish government wanted to facilitate unionist concerns by making some kind of false parallel with “Catholic” cases and that was an undoubted factor as well. When, of course, any possible Garda collusion with the IRA is a zephyr compared to the storm of RUC/Army collusion. My information is that the government just wants to get Smithwick over with (there have already been calls for this) particularly now the start witness has refused to show. I hope he changes his mind and if his evidence shows that I should have not have doubted him, I will put my hands up.

    However, my Guardian article is not primarily about the above. What I describe as the heart of the problem is journalists and writers using and emphasising security force testimony as if it is some higher form of truth.

    I make the point that Ian Hurst’s/Martin Ingram’s allegation that the IRA was riddled with spies – ergo the units that killed Breen and Buchanan were full of spies – received widespread publicity, whereas the testimony of witness 62 at Smithwick (a top RUC SB figure) fatly contradicted this and said that there was not one agent or informant in any of the IRA units – not even our new “Pimpernel” Scap. Witness 62 received nowhere near the same kind of coverage.

    There was not space in the Guardian article to show glaring faults in what has become the Scap and FRU narrative but they are there and that is my key point. A point to which I will return in much more detail.

    PL

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  19. Comment on Why did Toby Harnden refuse to attend the Smithwick Tribunal?
    on 16 February 2012 at 7:14 am

    Brian –
    Toby is also aware that I sent a private mail to him asking for his explanation for ducking out of the Smithwick Tribunal before I wrote my Guardian piece and he declined to offer a reply.

    Mike the First (aka Lord Mario).
    This may be hard for you to understand but I was simply expressing my amazement at how quickly people can respond to articles. The smiley face may have indicated that a certain amount of humour was involved … is it not yourself that is being a bit “touchy”?

    As for anti Larkin conspiracies, anyone who knows me will tell you that I really dont give a damn about such things. I state my opinions on matters and evidence that I have gathered and would hope that I do this in a perspicacious way. I usually get things right.

    In your response to my Guardian article you offer Eamon Collins as your star witness. I think that point was well and truly demolished by Danny Morrison. You will not of course agree. From my own research, it seems clear to me that Scap has been used as a catchall for reasons of politics or just plain controversy in relation to things in which he had no part. It is a fair and legitimate question to ask why.

    I actually worked in the BBC when Brian was in there (I was Paul Larkin Coyle then) and, as an aside, found him to be a very astute journalist and a gentleman on any occasion when our paths crossed.

    PL

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