What were they thinking of…?

Kevin Toolis writing in the Times today, believes Sinn Fein has made a huge miscalculation. Though his case that Sinn Fein will never again be trusted is overstated, he raises a number of questions that will reverberate in the crediblity vacuum created by the Chief Constable’s allegation that the IRA is the chief suspect of the Northern Bank raid.

There are still lot of questions to be answered. How could the IRA leadership, including Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness, be so stupid as to endorse/allow/oversee/be unaware of the consequences of their comrades’/subordinates’ heist at the Northern Bank?

Who was the political dunderhead on the IRA Army Council, one of seven men, who argued that the IRA could carry out such a robbery, using textbook IRA tactics, and that the finger of suspicion would never be directed at republicans? And where were every other IRA Army Council member’s brains when they agreed?

Whatever the exact answers, we can derive only two equally depressing assessments about the current status of the Provisional IRA.

One, the IRA, despite decades of political posturing, remains a malevolent, irreformable terrorist organisation incapable of adhering to the rule of law. Two, the IRA is a stupid, malevolent, irreformable terrorist organisation.

War is not likely to break out in Northern Ireland in the foreseeable future. The deal will hold, but the Northern Bank robbery places real question marks over where the future peace road goes.

Whether evidence is forthcoming in the near future sufficient to enable the IMC to make their definative judgement, this is one big chicken that is likely to come home to roost for someone in the know, whether it’s now or five years hence!

  • Young Irelander

    This crisis will be a good test to see just how idiotic northern nationalists will be.
    A vote for Sinn Fein is a vote for the border.
    Only a fool would think that SF will one day bring Irish reunification.

    Here’s Sinn Fein’s Ireland of 2105:

    Teacher:OK kids today we’re going to study history and the brave Irish people who won our freedom by gunning down Gardai and robbing banks.

    Kid:Um…how come they’re wearing balaclavas in the book?I thought only bad people wear balaclavas?

    Teacher:Oh my no.Balaclavas were worn to protect the identity of the freedom fighters from the terrible British securocrats.

    (School bell rings)

    Teacher:OK kids there’s the lunch bell now it’s time to go to Fairview park.

    Kid:Which one is that,teacher?

    Teacher:Why it’s the one with the numerous statues to Sean Russell,the great Irish patriot!

    It’s about as realistic as de Valera’s Ireland was yet northern nationalists have these dreamers as the biggest nationalist party in the North.
    Why?!

  • Davros

    One of the interesting discussions is always as to why northern nationalists vote SF. It’s a mistake to think they all vote for the same reasons , and that a SF vote necessarily implies support for the IRA.
    One of the reasons/factors I have seen proposed for some nationalists to vote SF was the hope that if they “rewarded” SF with electoral success then the IRA would no longer be on their backs. It will be interesting to see if the events of the past few weeks affects SF votes, assuming the Loyalists don’t do something equally dim and complicate matters.

  • Davros

    “assuming the Loyalists don’t do something equally dim and complicate matters.”

    well, well – another Orange Hall attacked.
    Provocation ?

  • Tully

    What were they thinking of…?

    Themselves alone, no doubt.

  • Young Irelander

    Funny you should say that Tully as I made a post about that over at my blog,United Irelander.

  • Fraggle

    YI, I would like to see Sinn Fein clean up and wipe out the SDLP in the next election.

    Why? To clear the way for Fianna Fail who could provide an effective ALL-IRELAND alternative to Sinn Fein for the nationalist vote.

  • Tully

    “Funny you should say that Tully as I made a post about that over at my blog,United Irelander.”

    Yes, I read you just after making my comment, honest I did.
    Great minds?

  • Davros

    One problem with that Fraggle. SF are in part demolishing SDLP as The SDLP has lost any trace of the left wing it had with Fitt and Devlin. Middle Class party. Socialism isn’t a dirty word up here.
    Are FF to the left of the SDLP ? It isn’t the impression I get.

  • Davros

    Liam Clarke takes it further than Toolis in today’s Sunday Times.

    IRA plots more bank heists in funding drive

  • Bean Nighe

    When you have the British government applying uncivilised standards of justice via the PSNI mouthpiece, the modern day Oliver Cromwell alias Hugh Orde, it is the PSNI and the British government who shall never again be trusted.
    The have deceived all sides in the past, lest we forget, so when you shake hands with the devil it is not only wise to count ones fingers, but check to see if the arm is still attatched.

  • Davros

    the modern day Oliver Cromwell alias Hugh Orde

    Splendid Bean, only one thing was missing… you forgot to mention the Famine ….

  • Young Irelander

    Fraggle

    “YI,I would like to see Sinn Fein clean up and wipe out the SDLP in the next election.

    Why? To clear the way for Fianna Fail who could provide an effective ALL-IRELAND alternative to Sinn Fein for the nationalist vote.”

    Well I agree with you that nationalists are crying out for an effective alternative to Sinn Fein and I also think a Fianna Fail/SDLP merger would be ideal.
    I posted about this issue a week ago.

    All you great minds need to check out my blog!(shameless self-plug,I know)

  • Henry94

    I would welcome any Fianna Fail decision to become a genuine ntional party. But I’ll believe it when I see it. In the event of Fianna Fail winning a Westminister seat would they be willing to swear loyalty to the Queen of England.

  • ShayPaul

    Young Irelander

    Why do people vote SF ?

    Perhaps simply because they see SF doing more for them than the other parties on offer.

    Collective demonising of SF is the easy option, the real question is what are the other parties going to do positively to propose a better situation for that electorate.

    The lack of leadership in Ireland North and South is the real problem.

    If you want to understand the North then ask yourself this simple question :

    “Why in 2005 do people in NI have Ian Paisley as their elected leader ?”

    The question is very simple, the answer is very complicated, and it is basically the same answer to the earlier question – “Why do people vote SF ?”

    I’ll give my answer with a question just to make things more complicated :

    “What are the alternatives ?”

  • ShayPaul

    How can the IRA let the governments know that they are not happy about the process, and at the same time show that they have to be reckoned with, whilst maintaining their ceasefire ?

    Pure speculation of course ……

  • ShayPaul

    Theoretical missive to Mr Kevin Toolis :

    Dear Mr Toolis,

    Canary wharf, Heathrow mortars.

    Were the leadership of SF aware of the decisions or able to influence them ?

    As you know well Mr Toolis, the process is more subtle than that.

  • ShayPaul

    I fear very much that we are slipping backwards in time.

    Once more Dr No has worked his mystical voodoo and breathed life into the corpse of the IRA.

    A self fulfilling prophecy of doom and disaster, powerful stuff for the gullible.

    Time for some Leadership to fill the vacuum.

  • Davros

    Canary wharf, Heathrow mortars.

    Were the leadership of SF aware of the decisions or able to influence them ?

    DavrosDevilAdvocate ( There’s a lawyer in all of us, it’s in the Bible )relies:

    There’s a school of thought that says “yes” and “influence ? they ordered them ” …. Thta’s how extortion works. Your henchmen burn down a shop or two in the area to prove that the “insurance policy” your salesmen are advising actually works…

  • aquifer

    If the first act of the government of a United Ireland would be to round up remaining members of the paramilitaries, does the question then become ‘why suffer in the meantime?’

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Seeing that Toolis and Clarke et al have all these reliable sources could these please utilise them to point the PSNI in the direct of a white van that seems to have gone missing, PSNI intelligence on the matter doesn’t seem to be very good.

  • Davros

    The media here seem to have avoided that sort of “co-operation” Pat. look at the fightsthere have been over footage of disturbances etc

  • ShayPaul

    Pat

    Someone has spotted the van, it was difficult to locate as they had disguised it as a pizza delivery vehicle (big Pizzas).

    They were rumbled by a very clever PSNI chap who found it suspicious that the croatian football team should be traveling to a match in armagh in a pizza van.

    Mr Orde will be asking that the chap be given an MBE in the next round of royal thanks.

  • ShayPaul

    Joxer Goes To Stuttgart

    It was in the year of ’88 in the lovely month of June
    When the gadflies were swarming and dogs howling at the moon
    With rosary beads and sandwiches for Stuttgart we began
    Joxer packed his German phrasebook and jumpleads for the van.

    Some of the lads had never been away from home before
    ‘Twas the first time Whacker put his foot outside of Inchicore
    Before we left for Europe we knew we’d need a plan
    So we all agreed that Joxer was the man to drive the van.

    In Germany the autobahn, ’twas like the Long Mile Road
    There was every make of car and van all carrying the full load
    Ford Transits and Hiaces and an old Bedford from Tralee
    With the engine overheating from longhauling duty free.

    There was fans from Ballygermot, Ballybough and Ballymun
    On the journey of a lifetime, and the crack was ninety-one
    Joxer met a German’s daughter on the banks of the river Rhine
    And he told her she’d be welcome in Ballyfermot any time.

    As soon as we found Stuttgart we got the wagons in a ring
    Sean Og got out the banjo and Peter played the mandolin
    There was fans there from everywhere attracted by the sound
    At the first Fleadh Ceoil in Europe, and Joxer passed the flagon round.

    But the session it ended when we’d finished all the stout
    The air mattresses inflated and the sleeping bags rolled out
    As one by one we fell asleep Joxer had a dream
    He dreamt himself and Jack Charlton sat down to pick the team.

    Joxer dreamt they both agreed on Packie Bonner straightaway
    And that Moran, Whelan and McGrath were certainly to play
    But tempers they began to rise and patience wearing thin
    Jack wanted Cascarino but Joxer wanted Quinn.

    The dream turned into a nightmare, Joxer stuck the head on Jack
    Who wanted to bring Johnny Giles and Eamon Dunphy back
    The cock crew in the morning, it crew both loud and shrill
    Joxer woke up in his sleeping bag many miles from Arbour Hill.

    The next morning none of the experts gave us the slightest chance
    They said the English team would lead us on a merry dance
    With their Union Jacks all them English fans for victory they were set
    Until Ray Houghton got the ball and he stuck it in the net.

    What happened next is history, brought tears to many eyes
    That day will be the highlight of many people’s lives
    Joxer climbed right over the top and the last time he was seen
    Was arm in arm with Jack Charlton singing, Revenge for Skibereen.

    Now Whacker’s back in Inchicore, he’s living with his mam
    And Jack Charlton has been proclaimed an honorary Irishman
    Do you remember that German’s daughter on the banks of the river Rhine
    Well, didn’t she show up in Ballyfermot last week and …

  • barnshee

    “One of the interesting discussions is always as to why northern nationalists vote SF. It’s a mistake to think they all vote for the same reasons , and that a SF vote necessarily implies support for the IRA.”

    Its certainly support for a party which condoned
    murder of protestants because the were
    protestant or had the temerity to serve in the police or army. A party where some of its memembers actually carried out these murders.

    A party which 50%+ (and growing) of catholics vote for.

    Protestants can draw their own conclusions on the catholic community`s support for the representatives of murder gangs

  • Davros

    A party which 50%+ (and growing) of catholics vote for.

    Have you figures that support that claim ?

  • Intelligence Insider

    50%+ of catholics?? What a load of bollocks! lol. I presume you mean roman catholics by the way. More than 50% of THOSE ROMAN CATHOLICS WHO VOTED may have voted for sinn fein ( probably several times if past history is anything to go by ) but that does not mean 50%+ of roman catholics support sinn fein.

  • Young Irelander

    ShayPaul

    The only thing Sinn Fein have done for the people is ensure that devolution is taken off the agenda for the foreseeable future.
    It is time nationalists stopped entrusting their faith in a terrorist organisation with occasional democratic tendencies.

  • Davros

    a terrorist organisation with occasional democratic tendencies.

    What a role reversal 🙂 That’s a bit harsh YI. There is a need for a party of the left in the North and it’s not right to portray all SF members and voters as Mr Hydes. My second disaster of 1916 was that Connolly threw his lot in with the IRB. Makes it difficult to see how we can ever get a cross community socialist party here up and running.

  • Young Irelander

    I don’t think it’s being harsh.
    From what we are being led to believe,Adams knew about the planned operation when he was on the Late Late Show with Pat Kenny defending the plans to have Garda McCabe’s killers released.

    True democrats do not behave that way.I know SF supporters are not necessarily supporters of terrorism but it is time they opened their eyes to the reality that Sinn Fein are stalling progress.

  • Fishfiss

    Young Irelander

    Progress towards what exactly ? A further embedding of the GFA which, if it happens, will sustain and deepen sectarian consciousness in this squalid political failure for another generation, that kind of progress ?