More economical 'truth'?

It seems that the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs didn’t say what everyone thought he said – As reported in the Irish Examiner, in the D

  • maca

    I thought it was clear enough what he said, that someday SF will likely be in government in Ireland, but not unless there is a disbandment of the IRA.

    “Obviously if the circumstances change the view in relation to Sinn Fein going into government will change and I believe it is only a matter of time, that Sinn Fein will be in government in the future,” he said.

    “But until such time as the IRA demonstratively show that they’ve put down arms for ever and a day – there cannot be two armies, that’s the same in the north as it is in the Republic.”

  • willowfield

    I thought it was clear enough what he said, that someday SF will likely be in government in Ireland, but not unless there is a disbandment of the IRA.

    PSF has already been in government in Ireland and without disbandment: viz. NI Executive 1999-2000 and 2000-02.

  • George

    Ahern said nothing new.
    SF must be laughing at all the publicity they are getting over a non event. Mary Lou has been on Q&A, Sam Smyth and I’m sure other programmes to tell all and sundry SF’s “requirements” for going into government as a result.
    SF will not be in the next government south of the border even if they had their pictures taken at a mass decommissioning event at the Maze before meekly going under an Orange yoke (or should that be arch).

  • peteb

    That’s true, maca

    However, the realpolitik would indicate that the only way for SF to enter government in the forseeable future, assuming the conditions set out are met, would be in a coalition – hence the speculation and hence the reference to being economical with the truth.

    The only other interpretation of Ahern’s remarks are that he sees the ‘inexorable rise of SF’ (copyright G Adams) as being just that ‘inexorable’ – now I don’t think he really wants to imply that that is what he meant.

  • willowfield

    Ahern did say something new: he said the Provos WILL be in government in the South in the future. Nothing so definite had been said before.

    (I actually think he said he HOPED they would be in government, which is rather bizarre.)

  • maca

    Pete.
    ” hence the speculation and hence the reference to being economical with the truth”

    Getchya. And I guess it doesn’t help that “he indicated that when circumstances change his own party Fianna Fail would reassess its position on entering a coalition with Sinn Fein.”

    Willow
    “he said the Provos WILL be in government in the South in the future. Nothing so definite had been said before.”

    I don’t think he said anything about the Provos being in government. In fact he said clearly that they cannot be two armies i.e. no more Provos.

  • peteb

    I guess “reassess its position on entering a coalition” isn’t strictly the same as “postulate”, maca.

  • willowfield

    maca

    By Provos I’m referring to the political wing of the Provisional movement.

  • George

    Bertie Ahern, February 2002, on forming a coalition with Sinn Fein:

    “In our constitution there can only be adherence to one police force, one army. Until Sinn Fein make their position unambiguously clear, then that is not possible, and that is not going to be possible for some time.”

    So if SF accept President McAleese is head of Oglaigh na hEireann, that an Garda Siochana is only legitimate police force of the state and criminality ends and exclusively democratic means are used then things may change.
    Dermot Ahern merely said that he thought that SF will make these things unambiguously clear.

  • maca

    Willow, you usually like to be clear in your terminology. The Provos are PIRA. SF is SF. The Provos will never be in government in Ireland (the state), but SF probably will.

  • Alan

    I expect that I am to be corrected on this one, but were Sinn Fein not actually known as Provisional Sinn Fein see

    http://www.sinnfein.org/index2.html

    People certainly refered to both as the Provos, which may be where the alleged conflation of the two organisations began. If this was later changed then I apologise for my ignorance.

  • maca

    You are right Alan, they were referred to as PSF. However the term Provos is almost always used to refer to PIRA, afaik.

  • willowfield

    maca

    As we all know, PSF and PIRA are two parts of the Provisional republican movement. They are Provos. If you don’t realise that, you are hopelessly naive.

  • George

    Is that the royal “we” Willowfield. The overwhelming majority of people on this earth who have any grasp of the word would understand Provos to mean the Provisional IRA exclusively.

    Definition of Provo
    Irish Republican Army, IRA, Provisional Irish Republican Army, Provisional IRA,
    1. Provo — (a city in north central Utah settled by Mormons)

    You are causing confusion by using inaccurate terminology to fit your world view rather than using objectivity as your guide.

    The political wing of the Provos would be a more accurate description maybe. Or why not use Sinn Fein/IRA like other unionists?

  • willowfield

    Zzzzzz

    Stop being silly. Everyone knows the Shinners are Provos.

  • maca

    “hopelessly naive”
    That’s a new insult for me, there’s a first time for everything.
    “Provo” is the most common term for PIRA, simple as that. I have never heard SF called the Provos, except by you that is Willow.

  • Tom Griffin

    Last week, Dermot Ahern hoped for Sinn Fein in Government. This week he says he wasn’t contemplating a coalition between them and Fianna Fail, while insisting he hasn’t changed his position.
    If you believe all of the above then clearly, Ahern hopes for a situation where SF is on government and FF is in opposition.
    Alternatively, you can conclude that he’s trying to backpedal without admitting it, in a way which undermines the point of making the statement in the first place.
    The spectacle of Fianna Fail disassociating itself from a coalition with Sinn Fein is hardly going to persuade the DUP to enter government with them

  • Fraggle

    Sinn Fein were allowed into government in the NI executive but are not considered constitutional enough for power in the republic is a measure of the relative importance of the two different institutions. they were allowed power in the north because the executive isn’t as important as the government in the republic. all the real power still lies in westminster.

  • Fraggle

    ………good enough for the mickey mouse northern ireland nonsense but not good enough for the serious business of running a country…………

  • George

    “Everyone knows the Shinners are Provos”

    Define everyone Willowfield. You appear to be the only person I know who believes this. Or do people with differing views from your own not exist in Willowworld?
    “Inextricably linked with the Provos” is a view I can accept but “Shinners are Provos” is like saying a cat has four legs and a tail, a dog has four legs and a tail therefore dog = cat.

    Flawed logic I’m afraid.

  • willowfield

    If you want to believe that PSF are not part of the Provisional movement, who am I to spoil your fantasy?

  • George

    “If you want to believe that PSF are not part of the Provisional movement, who am I to spoil your fantasy?”

    Cats and dogs are part of the mammal family but they are not the same. As I said, flawed logic on your part.

    I said I’d accept inextricably linked but to call them Provos is simply incorrect. Hate to burst your bubble.

    At least I have managed to move you on from “Everyone knows” to “Everyone but George knows”.
    From small acorns….

  • Davros

    Provo and SF are not mutually exclusive terms lads –
    It’s possible to be both a SF member who is in PIRA and a PIRA member who is in SF!

    In fact, as PIRA membership is secret, there may already have been a Provo in Government in the ROI , just one who isn’t a member of SF 😉

  • George

    Davros,
    they are also not the same. That is the arguement.

    You can be a member of PIRA and not be a member of SF and be a member of SF and not PIRA.

    There may indeed already have been a Provo in Government in the ROI. Methinks McDowell doth protest too much.

  • Davros

    Dagnabbit George, I’m trying to be Davros Peacemaker! Oil on troubled waters and all that.

  • Keith M

    Ahern’s gaff has only managed to focus more attention on SF/IRA, something of a mixed blessing for them based on McDonald’s shaky performance on Monday’s “Questions And Answers” (cue to anyone debating with one of the nouveau shinners; keep mentioning “the disappeared” and watch them cringe).

    People here were willing to rubbish the Sunday Independent when it quoted FF backbenchers hostility to any coalition with SF and now it’s obvious that that unease was widespead and went to the top of FF (see Bertie’s interview on Sunday).

    As for the debate on “Provos”; the Provos were both Provisional Sinn Fein and Provisional IRA. When Official IRA went on a permanent ceasefire in the mid 1970’s the media tended to drop the “Provisional” from the PIRA. Likewise with SF, when SF changed it’s name to SF/WP and later just the Workers Party, PSF ended up being called Sinn Fein by the media.

    I’m old enough to remember the two factions being know as by the Dublin Street names on which they had their offices (Kevin Street and Gardiner Street) but to be honest calling today’s “Sinn Fein” “the Provos” is probably just as ridiculous as calling Fine Gael “The Blueshirts”, but it doesn’t stop people doing it.

  • George

    Keithm,
    for once I agree. Now davros, that’s peacemaking 🙂

    Re Mary Lou.
    why was she wheeled out this week of all weeks? Royston Brady on Ryan Tubbirdy (spelling?) too.

  • Fraggle

    “It’s possible to be both a SF member who is in PIRA and a PIRA member who is in SF!”

    Davros, read it again.

    I think you’ll find that every single SF member who is in the PIRA is also a PIRA member who is in SF. Unless you mean that not everyone who is ‘in’ the PIRA or SF are also members.

  • willowfield

    You can be a member of PIRA and not be a member of SF and be a member of SF and not PIRA.

    Doubtless you can, but they’re all Provos.