Turkey comes home to roost on Wren Day

Mr Adams’ claim that Republicans don’t commit crimes looks to have fallen on deaf ears in the media. While it was to be expected that the usual culprits in the Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Independent and the Sunday Times would rush to blame the Provos, even the Sunday Business Post gives credence to the theory in a story,Heist puts heat on Sinn Fein,which while having the obligatory dig at PSNI
competence, focuses on Garda Special Branch belief that this was the work of “current or recently-retired members of the IRA” with a South Armagh Connection.

  • Davros

    I’ll bet Jim Cusack at the Sunday Independent
    feels uncomfortable with his article last week
    Shadowy figures stand down as fresh breed takes over in new ‘legit’ Provos

    “The IRA will soon be able to raise all its funding from “legitimate” property, pubs and other businesses, and that is why the present head of finance – a prominent west Belfast republican – is due to retire, and is being allowed to pursue his own private business interests.
    A similar process is taking place in the “bandit country” of south Armagh.
    Some of the largest and most luxurious houses built in the border area in recent years belong to prominent local IRA people.
    Unlike Belfast, where clear efforts have been made to clean up the IRA’s image, the border brigades are showing no signs of moving out of smuggling and other forms of organised crime, particularly the production of illegal diesel fuel, which is highly damaging to the environment.”

    and

    “According to republican sources, a decision was made earlier this year to stop sanctioned hijackings and robberies, after the hijacking of a container lorry full of cigarettes on the border led to Sinn Fein being upbraided by politicians in the North and Justice Minister Michael McDowell.”

  • Michael Shilliday

    I thought Gerry’s outrage at raids on republican houses was very funny given that the CCTV footage of the getaway lorry was taken at College Square East – heading towards the Falls.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    Why would Cusack feel uncomfortable given thast the man has been a fantasist for quite some time.

    Michael,

    College Sq East also takes you towards the bottom of the Shankill. But why let your prejudices get in the way of the truth.

  • Davros

    Pat – I’m so disillusioned with the media these days – who, apart from Gerry and Papa Doc, can I trust to tell the truth these days ? 😉

    Cheers

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    I noticed you had become increasingly supportive of Mr Paisley,but really, Gerry.

  • Davros

    Actually Pat I’m disappointed in Gerry and co. I mean , the SF press office closed down on Wednesday for heavens sake. What sort of service is that ?
    Here’s people like me(and probably thousands of others like me) in the unionist community who want to hear their version of events and what do we get ? Releases from the 22nd ? For the past decade I’ve taken the DUP claims and the SF claims and worked out the truth by finding a position in between them.
    Of course I’ve swung towards Paisley’s version – there isn’t an alternative (set of lies)version of events.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Davros, very interesting.

    There are two possibilities; either that Cusack’s sources aren’t the best or (into blue sky territory here) that we are looking at severe splits in the republican movement, where the doves and those associated with Sinn Fein truly do not know what the hawkish elements are actually doing.

    We’re certainly in interesting times.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    ‘their version of events’, is that so they can be dismissed under the heading ‘what do you expect’. As far as I can see SF seem to be adopting a very relaxed attitude while every one else is getting a bit excited.

    Roger,

    Is your view on splits from the same sources who told you the IRA had been planning the Northern job for up to 2 years.
    BTW as a fine upstanding citizen have you passed your information on to the PSNI, i’m sure they would welcome it. Or would you be a tad embarrassed to do so.

  • Davros

    ‘their version of events’, is that so they can be dismissed under the heading ‘what do you expect’.

    That’s harsh, very harsh Pat, especially as I explained that I tend to plot a median between the claims of the two extremes. AND I still think that it’s rotten service from SF to shut up shop from the 22nd.

  • Michael Shilliday

    College Sq East also takes you towards the bottom of the Shankill. But why let your prejudices get in the way of the truth.

    You seriously think Loyalists could have pulled that off?! Either the Mafia have moved in or it was the provos, even you have to accept that.

  • Davros

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm:
    Cryptome on the heist.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    The view on splits is purely speculation Pat, and unfortunately I don’t have any information to pass to the PSNI.

    Davros, the cryptome posting is interesting but probably rubbish. The thing that immediately appears ridiculous is that the IRA seem to have counted the money quicker than the Northern Bank has, which seems difficult to believe on several counts. Further, the IRA would be incredibly stupid to have done some of the things suggested in the article which are inconsistent with the cleverness of the operation itself. For a start, the ability to use past mobile phone records to track the movements of people at a particular point in time is well established given the Omagh bomb evidence, so I sincerely doubt this would have been done. Secondly, if they had used any mobile phones at all they would have been destroyed by now, in the same way that everything else associated with the robbery that has been found has been.

  • Davros

    I agree with your line of thought Roger, but will offer up a remote possibility.

    Could this have been planned so as to embarrass SF by those within the IRA unhappy at the direction SF have been heading ?

    As regards stupidity, it accompanies arrogance. I wouldn’t have thought SF would have been so stupid/arrogant as to focus on the Colombia 3 and the McCabe murderers at this stage in negotiations, thereby reminding everybody of the reality of the linkage of Sinn Féin to Domestic and International Terrorism.

  • James

    “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm:
    Cryptome on the heist.”

    Davros, you take the Times, I think. Is the Cryptome copy of the Clarke article accurate? If so,

    “It has also emerged that Northern Bank does not have the serial numbers of the vast majority of notes stolen”

    Meaning, I assume, that since a little over half were notes they just printed, a “vast majority” would mean that they don’t have records on over half of their own stuff.

    Crikey, and people are complaining that the cops are incompetent?! Any thoughts on the violation of fiduciary trust as reason to bring charges against the bank employees?

  • Davros

    James, I have several Sunday Times articles downloaded. E Mail me @ ivan.vet@virgin.net and I’ll send you copies.

    The Clarke one is accurately reproduced and it does seem sloppy. On the other hand, this may have been part of the planning – forcing the more senior guy to destroy records of serial numbers ?

  • Davros

    Talking of The Colombia 3, is this true ?

    Letter Irish Examiner

    When three Irish ‘republicans’ were initially found guilty of travelling on false passports in Colombia, SF asked our Government to stump up the $17,000 bail money after that party decided not to pay the resultant fine, precipitating the Colombian attorney general’s decision to appeal the case to a higher court.

    Despite Sinn Féin being the wealthiest political party on this island, our sovereign Government paid this now outstanding bail money.

    If it is, How do Citizens of the ROI feel about their tax money being spent like this ?

  • maca

    I want my money back!

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Roger W. Christ XVII – This is for you my friend! You say that the “doves” and the “hawks” in the organisation may split!
    The Provos will be laughing as i speak, but I know how well organised they are! This is from the top!
    Do you seriously think that “bucket-mouth”. delinquent, North Belfast’s own, Gerry Kelly, puts those press releases out on his own???
    No he does not! Everything is vetted by the SF/PIRA Leadership!
    If you are looking for people who carried out the raid, then I am not being libellous,
    Not prepared to take the risk that you are being libellous A.U.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Another thing I would like to say is this:-
    Are you still living in the 1970’s Mr. Shilliday, when the nickname of the Ulster Defence Association was the “stick-men”, because of their lack of weapons?
    Loyalist paaramilitaries outnumber and frequently out-smart republican paramilitaries now, in the 21st Century.
    The Northern Bank robbery was a republican operation – speaking from a Loyalist perspective, I can say it is nothing but an OWN GOAL, on their part!!!

    ditto A.U.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    “…But why let your prejudices get in the way of the truth”
    You are the prejudiced, narrow-minded bigot Mr. McLarnon, as far as I can see…
    EVERYONE KNOWS IT WAS THE P R O V O S….even you!!!

    Ball not Man Please. A.U.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Why are you censoring the names I printed “AU”?

    Because they may be putting Slugger at risk. A.U.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Please tell me ‘Concerned Loyalist’ is a wind up.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    As my friend Eddie once said, life is like a box of sterling, you don’t know how many million you gonna get!

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Can you not handle the truth Mr. McLarnon???

  • CavanMan

    Concerned Loyalist
    In another post on slugger,you not only claimed the UDA and UVF were freedom fighters,but you praised their actions,so in essence Pat and nobody takes your opinions seriously.

  • Michael Shilliday

    frequently out-smart republican paramilitaries now, in the 21st Century.

    If that were the case they would have decomissioned and became registered charities three years ago.

  • mickhall

    I often read on Slugger that the Loyalist Para-Military’s are thick and stupid, myself I do not always see things that way. People at times over look who is often pulling their strings, some of whom have studied at the finest Staff colleges and universities the world has to offer, not least Sandhurst and West Point (exchanges). I in no way wish to puff up the British Armed Forces, but their historical record speaks for itself, as does the record of their Intelligence Corp. in the north of Ireland. If you add to this the petty ambition and street cunning of the likes of a John Adair, then you have a dangerous foe, as many a poor soul has learnt to their cost. Sadly the thug on the door of some down market club is not all that stands behind the Loyalist militias.

    I have no idea who carried out this robbery, but I have found it always pays to ask, who gains; and im not only talking financially, It is difficult to see how this robbery can benefit SF public political agenda in the short term. However if it does turn out to be SF, then as someone has already hinted at, a host of questions await to be asked.

  • CavanMan

    yes mickhall makes a great point.The loyalist paras could easily have pulled this off,by working with their special forces unit(The British Army).

  • Davros

    Aliens from Mars could be behind it CavanMan , but I’ll wager they weren’t 😉

    Poleglass ? Aye, right, sure the UDA and UVF are in and out of there very day !

  • CavanMan

    Davros
    It was close to christmas,has anyone thought that maybe Santa Claus was running low on funds?

    Poleglass?i am not familiar with most of Belfast,Is this a republican/loyalist area?

  • Davros

    CavanMan- it’s Provo Heartland, and as Malachi Docherty says in his column today :

    At the time of writing ,focus is on whether or not the Provos were responsible for the big bank robbery and I presume that debate will be still raging today.

    If it was them, it was an act of “war,” signalled by their rephrasing of their statement to exclude the anti-criminality clause, shutting down completely the possibility of even total, photographed decommissioning being enough to signal a plausible end to their campaign.

    The message is that it is only the words they use that mean anything. Read them carefully for the cumbersome ambiguities are intended and ultimately only simple clarity will mean anything.

    That’s how they want it. In the meantime – if it was them – the robbery is as significant politically as the attack on Canary Wharf and we are back to TUAS, tactical use of “armed struggle,” bombshells without bombs.

    Of course it might have been the Boy Scouts or some faction of the UDA that can operate confidently inside Poleglass.

    My highlights in bold, but it’s an interesting point that Criminality was excluded !

  • CavanMan

    My opinions on this is that it was the Real IRA/C IRA who were helped by some of the provos,who incidently received a ”cut”.i dont think the main body provo leadership is that braindead as to order this ”action” at such a crucial time in the peace process.

  • James

    I’ve always liked the little guy’s prose, Davros, although I sometimes disagree with him. This time we are of the same opinion:

    I don’t think that anyone would doubt that Sinn Fein does not want to stabilize Northern Ireland. If the PIRA is behind this it falls in line with that long term goal. I donno what you guys are going to do with the situation but it makes my next four years with Bush in power seem positively rosy.

  • James

    BTW, only 1485 Bush days left.

  • Davros

    James I’m enjoying the strop in the
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/letters/“>Letters section over Malachi’s article on the proposed statue in “Thanksgiving Square”. Have even penned a letter to the Belfast Tele myself.

  • Davros
  • Davros

    Oh dear, the Malachi article is archived, if anybody wants a copy, e mail me.

  • James

    I need to see a photo of the project, Dravos, so perhaps this will all turn out well…….but

    “The ring is based on the Ring of Thanksgiving, also a dominant feature in the original site in Dallas, Texas.”

    Perhaps the Fortress of Gratitude is the crux of the problem. Did you ever see the Fight Club scene the night Bob died where the object of the Project Mayhem mission was to roll some corporate art into a Starbucks? What’s downhill from the sculpture?

    “That one is gold plated. This one will be illuminated by gold light.”

    After the heist, who can afford the gold leaf?

  • unionist_observer

    Cavan man

    I am also coming to the conclusion after reading some of the sunday papers that the robbery is probably the work of the real IRA.

    Firstly, the firebombs in Lisburn, Ballymena, Newry etc were claimed by the Real IRA which would have served as a diversionary tactic away from Belfast whilst the bank robbery was going on.

    Secondly it was reported that the Real IRA are planning a whole rake a operations in the new year which would thus need funding.

    Finally, I don’t think anyone seriously thinks the robbery could really have been carried out by the loyalist, it was a much more professional job than what we are accustomed to seeing by the loyalists.

    By the way Concerned Loyalist, could you please name some of the operations to which you were referring to in an earlier post:

    “Loyalist paaramilitaries outnumber and frequently out-smart republican paramilitaries now, in the 21st Century.”

  • Davros

    James, they are indeed very coy about what the intended sculpture will be like. I’m a fan of
    The Angel of the North.

    But this has to be the nastiest thing I’ve seen and I can only hope what we are getting won’t be as ghastly as “The American”. Ugh! 176 feet of that ? Poor Tulsa.

    This is my favourite – Mosaic fish

  • mickhall

    It is often the small things that tell us more about people, like when after the robbery police raided Republican Eddie Cropland’s home, they were said to have taken 31 pairs of his shoes away. 31 pairs of shoes! most of us make do with two or three pairs. Some people drink or over eat to compensate for the pressures of their every day lives. If true it seems the gallant Eddie collects footwear. It will be interesting to see if any Belfast wag writes a song or gets the spray paint out about this.

  • Davros

    As a good republican , I hope they were Clark’s shoes 😉

  • Liam

    Davros

    “AND I still think that it’s rotten service from SF to shut up shop from the 22nd.”

    You reckon then that the Press Office should have cancelled all Christmas holidays and stayed open to respond to the deluge of hype and allegations that have absolutely nothing to do with Sinn Féin?

    Now, wouldn’t that just be playing to someone elses agenda.

    Lol

  • Davros

    Well Liam, it’s still closed today 🙂 And the message is then that SF is a 9 to 5, 40 hour week with statutory holidays Party, rather than working 365 days a year 😉

  • Liam

    Oh I wish that were so!! 😉

  • Davros

    Must admit, I’m puzzled – if SF is doing so well, how come they are launching a mega-recruitment drive next year ? And if they are going to celebrate 1905, does that mean that Griffith and his politics are back in favour ? Is this SF’s way round the problem of taking the Oath at Westminster ?

  • mickhall

    Davros,

    Ouch

  • Liam

    Not quite sure why you are puzzled Davros, do you tend to get puzzled easily?

    2005 is the Centenary year of Sinn Féin, the oldest political party in Ireland, for Republicans this is a milestone that is very well worth marking and celebrating.

    A little less begrudgery would really suit you better.

  • mickhall

    Liam,

    He does have a point, as you are surly, not celebrating a hundred years of SF being a Republican party. As Griffith neither saw SF as such a Party when he founded it, nor intended it ever to be a Republican Party, hence when it did become so, the ease with which he was able to say goodbye to it. Do not take offence, but this need by the SF leadership to celebrate something that has no real basis in history, appears to me to be an attempt to keep SF activist’s noses to the grindstone. Something the Stalinist Parties; and Trotskists sects called blind activism, which they practised to stop there membership’s asking awkward questions. Im sure you all have better things to do with your time, than organising mockney celebrations.

  • Liam

    Mickhall

    Any political party will go through changes in 100 years and any and every political party will celebrate its Centenary!

    Your post reminds me of what Brendan Behan said about ‘Begrudgers’!

  • Davros

    I’m disappointed in you Liam – I thought you had a sense of humour.

    As Mick points out Todays Sinn Féin has very little in common with the party Griffith founded.

    Secondly you’ll note that I wasn’t puzzled at the centenary celebrations – I was puzzled at the need for a recruitment drive, which to me smacks of insecurity. I could understand the UUP launching a recruitment drive in THEIR position, but as SF keep boasting of their successes….. Are numbers dropping ? Are SF running out of steam ?

    Thirdly – why organise events in England, Scotland, Wales , “Europe” (does Caitriona not realise that these Isles are in Europe?), Middle East, Latin America (Poor judgement that one –Make sure anybody you send has a valid passport!!!! ) and Africa. People there cannot join and have more to worry about than our petty squabbles and the fortunes of a minority-minority party.

    Fourthly –Caitriona Ruane “, a member of the party committee responsible for the celebrations, said: “This is a huge undertaking for us.

    “The last six months have been spent preparing for the centenary celebrations.”

    Golly Gosh, I thought they had been totally focussed on the negotiations and the Colombia 3 – seems not – or was THAT the secret mission of the C3 ? Planning a Huge Centennary party in Colombia ?

  • Liam

    Davros, Sinn Féin are going to enjoy 2005. It is a time to celebrate 100 years of our party. Now you can sit and whinge about that if you wish, but then you will just whinge about everything that Sinn Féin do anyway. Why do you bother?

    P.S. Did you find Brendan Behan’s reference to begrudgers yet?

  • Davros

    Liam, you can wriggle, but all that happens is that we enjoy your attempts to divert attention from the points raised 🙂

    Are you not getting confused with J P Donleavy ?

  • Liam

    Davros

    You can hop as many balls as you wish – doesn’t mean that I’m going to be daft enough to follow them. Sorry!

    Not getting confused with JP Donleavy – try typing ‘brendan behan begrudgers’ into google and you’ll get it first time!

  • Davros

    and balls to you too Liam 😉

  • mickhall

    Liam,
    I do not think I have ever come across any other group of political activists, who regularly use the internet and are as brittle as the members of SF. You all seem to regard anyone who offers an alternative viewpoint or asks a question as somehow always having malicious intent. Your immediate response is to rain down upon them daft insults which you have failed to think through, in your case we are Begrudgers. Your only reason for behaving in this way is to personalise the discussion, so that you do not have to answer any criticisms/questions, over here we call such a person as being full of bullshit and bluster. Now whilst in the flesh someone behaving in this way should be taken seriously and if possible avoided for obvious reasons, on the internet it just creates amusement. Of course this is why your web adversaries get such joy out of poking you in this manner, as they are only to well aware of the spectacle you will make of yourself, As the Dad of the Aussie crocodile hunter who appears on TV said to his son, Get a grip mate.

  • James

    “James, they are indeed very coy about what the intended sculpture will be like”

    Well, whatever you do, don’t piss the sculptor off.

    San Jose was in the last year of the McEnery administration. The McEnery family held some of downtown property and this lad did the most he could to focus on this area, The city, as part of this urban development, decided to commission sculptures at each of the cities “gateways”, wherever the hell they were.

    Robert Pena Graham was chosen to celebrate our Mexican heritage at one the gateways with a sculpture of Quetzalcoatl, the plumed serpent. The Catholic and Protestant fundies (the Buddhists and Hindus didn’t give a damn) got into the act as well as the political players and torpedoed several designs. Anyway, it was not regarded as Graham’s best experience with patrons. They finally settled for a bland approach, gave him a half million budget and put him to work.

    What they finally unveiled in Cezar Chavez Plaza stunned the city. It was a huge mound of doggy doo.

    Learn from our experience.

  • Davros

    Mick, what else do you expect from as insecure a group ? The vulnerability of running with the fox while hunting with the hounds. It’s also been a problem for Paisley in the past when he dallied with groups like UR… and for SF the answer is to do as Paisley did. Cut all ties. Only thing is that in Paisley’s case the ties were much looser.

  • Davros

    Bless you James, you saved a dreary day!

  • Liam

    Mickhall, regarding Sinn Féin Céad Bliain – of course you are a ‘begrudger’, you only have to read your first post on this matter to ascertain this!

  • Davros

    Liam, Céad Bliain ?

  • maca

    Céad = 100, bliain = year

  • Davros

    Ah, right, Thanks Maca ! I’ll not make any cracks about Mille Bliain Sinn Féin !

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    There has to be an investigation into these 16 pairs of shoes.
    Quite obviously there has been a major heist involving footwear and the Brits are saying nothing in order to save the blushes of the Shinners.

    The dog in the street took time off from the Northern investigation to state that a well known republican called ‘The Brain’ was called back to do ‘just one more job’.
    A senior security source stated that you would need to be on exorbitant wages to afford 16 pairs of shoes and that the republican involved definitely wasn’t in the PSNI.

    A senior republican dissident was also heard to say that it ‘was a sad day for the republic when patriots turned to podiatrics. Something definitely smells funny here.’

  • James

    “There has to be an investigation into these 16 pairs of shoes.”

    I’m busted after the holidays. Does this Shinner need a shine?

  • Jimmy Sands

    He is truly the Imelda Marcos of provisionalism.

  • Davros

    Will you be partying with SF in 2005 Jimmy ?
    Street parties on the Falls with ham sammidges and Orange juice ?