Myers: Nationalism's poor faith…

Kevin Myers fulminates (subs needed) against what he believes is the blind eye that nationalist Ireland turns towards its own breaches of good will and trust under the Belfast Agreement, whilst persisting in the belief that every breakdown is always the fault of northern Unionists.

By Kevin Myers (An Irishman’s Diary)

Will anyone notice or care? Well, of course, that west Brit stooge in the so-called Irishman’s Diary will probably refer to it, but that’s all right, because no one pays any attention to him anyway. But what about the rest of the media? What about that curiously incurious cadaver, the body politic? Can they all be relied on – as usual – to ignore the latest grotesque breach of the Belfast Agreement? Unquestionably!

Over the years, barely a week has gone by without some fresh violation of the IRA ceasefire, in spirit or in deed, and all have been ignored. Most recently, we had the million euro theft from Dublin Docks, the multi-million-pound tobacco theft in Belfast, the huge diesel-laundering and white-spirits stills being operated by Sinn Féin-IRA. Nobody really minds.

Government in neither Dublin or London says that this is unacceptable,
criminal behaviour which disbars the Shinners from power.

But what Niall Binead was found guilty of last week was of a different order from all that has gone on before. He is a senior activist in the constituency organisation of the Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh. He was arrested after gardaí investigated a van in Bray. The van had been lent to Sinn Féin – for “election purposes”. Inside the van, gardaí found four men as well as a sledgehammer, a black balaclava, a pickaxe handle, radios, and a fluorescent jacket with the word “Garda” on it.

Some election.

In a nearby Nissan Almera car with false numberplates they found a blue flashing beacon, a Long Kesh baseball cap, a stun gun, a canister of CS gas and a roll of masking tape. A subsequent raid on Binead’s home revealed that he had intelligence details on the movement of TDs, and on no fewer than three ministers for justice. Other documents found in the Binead home were regarded as too sensitive for disclosure – which is just marvellous. The IRA can know these things, the Garda Special Branch can know them, as can the Special Criminal Court – but the plain people of Ireland, who underwrite all this, may not.

What was Aengus Ó Snodaigh’s response to the shocking disclosures before the Special Criminal Court? Why, it was to call for the Court’s closure, of course. “There is huge outrage and anger that once again we have seen people convicted of IRA membership, not on any evidence, but on the word of a Garda superintendent.” And he’s right to be angry. The poor dear’s confused.

For the entire Sinn Féin-IRA tribe has been given every reason to believe, almost time without number, that they are immune to the law. There was the Castlereagh break-in by the IRA, in which the IRA made off with the master-disk of British intelligence in the North, but there was no political price to be paid.

This was followed by the Stormont spying scandal, and instead of Sinn Féin being suspended from the Executive, the entire process was put into suspension. The unionists were thus punished equally with the culprits. Who then paid the electoral price for this? Why, poor dead David Trimble did, that’s who, while Shinners dipped their digestives into their tea at Downing Street and nodded sympathetically while Tony Blair lamented about Gordon Brown.

So of course the Shinners believed they had the right to break the law
whenever they wanted, and on either side of the Border. What a hideous shock it must have been for them to run into dedicated, professional police officers such as Garda Michael Masterson, Chief Superintendent Philip Kelly, and Sergeant Joe Devine. It was men such as these – outstanding and conscientious individuals – who protected this State from fascist subversion and naked terrorism through the years, and do so still.

On the other hand we have Aengus Ó Snodaigh, whose high regard for An Garda Síochána is such that he – with three other Shinner TDs – grinningly posed in Castlerea prison with the killers of Garda Jerry McCabe. Sinn Féin-IRA never felt the cold breath of exclusion for this grisly post-facto endorsement of a vile and wicked deed, so naturally they thought that – for them at least – the rule of law and order simply didn’t apply. They could, under the Munich – sorry, Belfast – Agreement, do pretty much as they pleased.

Which is what they’ve recently been doing in south Dublin. The Garda
operation against the Bray IRA gang also netted intelligence documents
naming drugs gangsters. These were not targets for IRA punishment squads; no, they were targets for extortion – which merely puts the IRA at the top of the drugs food-chain in the capital’s working-class ghettoes.

The Irish and British states have watched in supine abjection as Sinn
Féin-IRA operated according to its own à la carte version of the law. Now even the political establishment of the Republic is open to terrorist intrusion and blackmail.

Will there be uproar? Will there be a frank declaration that Sinn Féin-IRA has put itself beyond all reasonable political dealing? No, there won’t. Just read the Letters page of this newspaper, full of fulminations against the unionists and the Democratic Unionists. And our readers are “moderates”.

Nationalist Ireland is already pointing the finger of blame at David Trimble’s bobbing corpse, even as IRA activities make any deal with the DUP simply impossible. Who then will we blame? Why, the Prods, as always, of course.

First published in the Irish Times Wednesday, November 24, 2004

  • Davros

    That’s impressive 🙂

  • aquifer

    Yes I’m a bit fed up with freedom for fascist gangsters and open plan political internment for the rest of us. These bogus ‘sovereign governments’ should attend to their tax funded duties.

    i.e. Jailing of persistent criminals and dealing death mutilation or flight to those who would usurp their legally and democratically sanctioned rights to the exclusive use of armed force in their territory.

    I hate deluded indulgent duds in high places.

    On the streets its terror, extortion, armed robbery, AND taxes. Give us a break.

  • Davros

    Give us a break.

    to which the reply would be …. which leg first ?

  • IJP

    Just occasionally, very occasionally, Myers does hit the mark, you know!

  • James

    “Just occasionally, very occasionally, Myers does hit the mark, you know!”

    Yeah, it’s one of those infinite number of monkeys with the infinite number of typewriters for an eternity things.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Kevin Myers writes anti SF rant, now there’s news.

  • Henry94

    Could someone with access to the Irish Times archives dig out his famous “The war is over and the IRA won” article about the Castlereagh break-in.

    It would show that Myers will believe what he wants to believe and who he wants to believe.

    What was Aengus Ó Snodaigh’s response to the shocking disclosures before the Special Criminal Court? Why, it was to call for the Court’s closure, of course.

    TD in call for the restoration of Jury Trials shock

  • davidbrew

    Yes indeed, a prophet is never welcome in his own country.
    Myers skewers the hypocrisy of his own government. I hope every DUP negotiator reads this.

    BTW he’s nothing like his brother Mike, is he?

  • Keith M

    The sheer unmigitaged brazen faced cheek of O’Snodaigh has to be seen to be believed. Here we have a member of the Dail hanging out with active criminal elements. Does he apologise? Does he try and explain? Hell no, he wants the court that found his friend gulty to be closed down.

    The Special Criminal Court was set up especially to deal with the threat that the like of O’Snodaigh and his pals posed to this country. The reason that it operates without a jury is because of the threats that the likes of O’Snodaigh and his pals made to witnesses, jury members and their families. We’re not talking ancient history here, read the transcripts of the McCabe trial.

    I’d love to live in a country where we had jury trials for all criminal cases, but before that I’d like to live in a country where jury members and witnesses can operate without intimidation, and where out elected representatives would work to ensure a fair judicial system and not set out to undermine it.

  • Henry94

    Why is it that the people most convinced that Sinn Fein and the IRA are inextricably linked always appear the most stunned when such a connection is suggested by events.

  • Davros

    Same reason that most SF supporters seem to be unbothered Henry ? 😉

  • barney

    Keith M

    Careful who you go around calling “gulty”.

  • Henry94


    I think most SF supporters have already embraced the reality that the IRA is on its way out.
    And they see attempts to hype up IRA activity as an attack on the process. And when you see the
    people and the papers responsible for the hype it’s hard to come to any other conclusion

  • Davros

    Come now Henry, that’s 10/10 for disingenuousness.
    What is being discussed is the relationship between
    SF and the IRA ( one and the same, so overlapped as to be virtually the same,subsidiary organisation or separate organisations) NOT whether the IRA is diminishing 🙂

  • Liam Ó Ráiste

    Amazing how Kevin Myers and his fellow traveller Keith M can ignore the elephant in the corner of ongoing British paramilitary activity while focusing their entire attention on a dubious quasi legal process in Dublin.

  • Davros

    Liam – the attention was focussed on the crimes …
    that elephant in the corner that you seem unable to see 🙂

  • Keith M

    Liam R, 10/10 on the “whataboutery scale”.

    As for “British paramilitary activity”, I assume you mean the UDA and UVF. Myers lives and works in Ireland (the Republic) as do I. I think the UVF/UDA are everybit as bad as the IRA. However, they are thankfully not operating in this country, not mixing with criminals in this country (at least not to my knowledge), not standing up in the Dail and falsly protesting their innocence. Hell they’re not even going to be in any new executive in Northern Ireland.

    For this thread they are all but irrelevant, unless you think the SF/IRA killing Gardai, kidnapping (and probably murdering) Catholics or helping terrorists in Colombia is somehow a response to loyalist activity. I’d love to see the case for that arguement!

    The UDA and UVF are lowlife scum in my book, but unlike SF/IRA, nobody that I’m aware of defends them on this site, and that’s a key difference.

  • willowfield

    Funny to see Pat McLarnon – REMEMBER HE’S DEFINITELY NOT A PROVO SUPPORTER! (although he admits to being a “sympathiser”) – weighing in with a constructive, engaging response … not!

    Care to actually deal with the substance of Myers’ article, Pat?

  • Pat Mc Larnon


    I rarely reply to you but in this case I Just have to rememphasise the point that you are a liar. I have never admitted any such thing and you are a liar for alleging such.

    I care to deal with the substance of Myers in much the same way as I deal with you, contempt.

  • willowfield

    I know you haven’t “admitted” to being a Provo “supporter” … hence my statement above!

    You did acknowledge that you were a “sympathiser”, though.

    Anyway, care to deal with the substance of Myers’ article?