Sinn Fein emergency summit…

Sinn Fein is to hold an emergency meeting, whilst Peter Robinson campaigns to have the IMC report brought forward, who will be assigned the ultimate job of apportioning blame.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Surely the IMC will merely be using the same ‘intelligence sources’ as those kept under wraps by Orde.
    The IMC will be using the intelligence that was used to such underwhelming effect to warrant raids across nationalist areas of Belfast. All a waste of money really.

  • lib2016

    I’m a Sinn Fein supporter who will be very disillusioned if this robbery is connected to senior figures in either SF or any other part of the republican movement. Having said that the appalling amount of official spin being put on this is reminiscent of the worst days of the hungerstrikes.

    The current carry-on by British security will solidify nationalist support around militant republicanism to an unbelievable extent. I just don’t care if some group of dickheads within or without the ‘RA were involved – this is becoming a much more important issue than a mere robbery!

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    I actually agree with Pat for once. The IMC reports are compiled by talking to the police and intelligence services, they’re not going to say anything different from the PSNI.

    Despite the fact that I’m personally certain that the IRA were behind this raid, there will be grounds for excluding Sinn Fein if and only if the police find evidence about the crime linking it to the IRA. I have a hard time supporting their exclusion in the absence of such evidence. But in those circumstances, either the IRA’s disbandment or Sinn Fein’s disassociation from that organization would have to be on the table. I don’t see what’s wrong with that – the whole reason why this is a problem in the first place is because Sinn Fein still maintain that link. It wouldn’t be possible to exclude Sinn Fein if the IRA were a separate organization.

    lib2016, that sounds suspiciously like a threat to return to war. Do you want to spell your opinion out a bit more clearly on that matter ? If so you’d be going into war in order to get into government in Stormont. It would be a bittersweet irony.

  • Davros

    “I’m a Sinn Fein supporter who will be very disillusioned if this robbery is connected to senior figures in either SF or any other part of the republican movement.”

    Can I ask if you were disillusioned by the robbery at Adare ? Aside from the obvious death involved at Adare, do you see these as different ?

  • Davros

    Roger and Pat – is the difference not that the IMC, supposedly independent, will see the material on which the Judgement call was made ?

  • George

    Peter Robinson says Sinn Fein should be excluded from government for 12 months. For Sinn Fein read the representatives of northern Irish nationalism.

    Why just 12 months? What will change in that period that will make the criminal Irish fit for a place in government? Why not go the whole hog and just make it 50 years like the last time?

    lib2016,
    like Lord Orde I don’t have any evidence for this statement but from listening on the southern airwaves I can see this actually solidifying support for Sinn Fein, especially if the northern electorate increase their mandate in May.

    Paisley Jr. and Robinson virtually calling over half of northern nationalists criminal accomplices and demanding things “move on” without Sinn Fein just does not go down well at all with the people likely to vote for SF.

    Will they ever learn?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros

    ‘supposedly independent’

    nice one, that’s worth a couple of boxes of duty free menthols in anybody’s book. lol

  • Davros

    George, when even the Guardian states:

    “Tens of thousands of people will to vote for Sinn Féin this year, as they did last year. Their votes are entitled to respect, and other parties – and the British government – are bound to continue to look for safe compromises and common ground with them. But respect for their party is another matter. Those who continue to vote for Sinn Féin should think about what they are doing. If nothing else, they have achieved the improbable feat of making decent people listen to the Democratic Unionist party and wonder whether Ian Paisley may have been right after all.

    we are in BIG trouble.

  • Davros

    LOL Pat- Actually, The one tobacco the Yanks do that I would be tempted to kill for is an aromatic pipe tobacco – peaches and cream. It’s heavenly, if you are a pipe man, try it!

  • lib2016

    Rodger – Sorry! I meant only that Sinn Fein are more militant republicans than the SDLP and I am convinced that there will be no widespread return to violence. This was why French was the language of diplomacy.(;-)

    Davros – I was very disillusioned by Adare and much else and have lost friends from both communities at the hands of narrowminded PIRA zealots. I suspect that killers aren’t very nice people whichever group they come from.

    Having said that Sinn Fein are committed to the Peace Process and I support them at the ballot box. Issues are what politics are all about for sensible people.

    Davros (again) – what makes you think that the Guardian’s demonisation of the largest unionist party is any great novelty? To them we’re all a bunch of revolting colonials!

  • Davros

    It wasn’t their attitude towards the DUP that surprised me, it was the mention that “Ian Paisley may have been right after all” ….

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    lib2016, that’s OK but a lot of Sinn Fein figures are going around using a lot of distantly threatening language at the moment. We need to be careful this thing doesn’t boil over.

    Davros, I don’t know if the IMC gets to see the intelligence material or not – I’d be surprised if it did. Quite frankly, given recent blunders over intelligence such as the Iraq business, I’m not convinced that “Mr X said it was the IRA, therefore it must be true” is going to count as satisfactory evidence upon which to base a conclusion, regardless of whether or not I would personally accept it. It’s going to take some kind of forensic evidence or eyewitness testimony to nail this one, and I’m sceptical about the prospects of such evidence ever being found.

  • lib2016

    ‘Ian Paisley may have been right….’

    Well – he was right that defeat at Drumcree meant the end of the Orange State among many other prophecies of doom for his vision of his community!

  • Michael Shilliday

    Having said that Sinn Fein are committed to the Peace Process and I support them at the ballot box.

    If you really believe that then there is no hope for you. This £26 million a peace fund is it? Noone got killed therefore not a terrorist act? Please.

  • Henry94

    Roger

    But in those circumstances, either the IRA’s disbandment or Sinn Fein’s disassociation from that organization would have to be on the table.

    Would you have Gerry Adams do a De Valera? He could. If the top people in Sinn Fein left to form a new party they would take most of the vote with them and they could leave the IRA to its own devices.

    Would that help? I don’t think so. Not if the objective is a real and lasting peace.

  • DCB

    H94 – surely there will be a point in the peace process that will involve SF either seeing the IRA disappear, or more likely formally demerging. Let them continue as an “old commrades” associtation who may or may not be involved in some criminal and semi-legit enterprises.

    I know that your convinced that the PIRA could not have carried out the bank robbery but you must accept that while the umbelical cord link between SF and the IRA exists SF will always be exposed to political fallout anytime an audicious criminal act occurs

  • lib2016

    Michael – Please remember that we have no proof of anything yet. Much more to the point is that fact that we are talking about movements of people with different tendencies and different opinions. There are Sinners whom I wouldn’t spit on if they were on fire! They can be just as bigotted and narrowminded as their opposite numbers in other parties.

    For a unionist to deny the credentials of Sinn Fein at this stage of the endgame is the same as giving up on NI completely! If unionism can’t work with Sinn Fein it is finished…..duh!

  • George

    Davros,
    “we are in BIG trouble.”

    I don’t doubt that but the Guardian does not have its finger on the pulse of the pool of Irish voters from whence SF gets its support.

    Just like there are people in NI who will always consider Adams et al murderers regardless of what happens there are many people in the Irish Republic who will always believe Paisley is a sectarian bigot looking for an excuse to disenfranchise the Irish minority.

    It’s not as if they’ve ever had even a small voice in the 84 year history of Northern Ireland to prove them wrong.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Henry, if evidence is forthcoming proving what everyone at this point assumes, I can’t support a government that has bank robbers in it who talk about peace right at the same time as they are organizing criminal activity. Among other things what message would that be sending out to people considering inward investment in NI ? It’s obscene. You can’t have a real and lasting peace if people are going to take it upon themselves to knock over local businesses.

    If the evidence is found to exist, the way I see it there will be no option but for SF to either have the IRA disband, or for them to disconnect completely from that organization.

  • CavanMan

    The IRA should sue the PSNI for slander if they cannot produce evidence connecting them with the bank raid.

  • CavanMan

    The IRA should sue the PSNI for slander if they cannot produce evidence connecting them with the bank raid.;)

  • Roger W. Christ XVII
  • Henry94

    DCB

    The end of armed conflict is the objective. Sinn Fein breaking contact with the IRA is not going to help except possibly in narrow electoral terms for Sinn Fein.

    I know that your convinced that the PIRA could not have carried out the bank robbery

    I’m not convinced of anything one way or the other. I await evidence to be presented. Of course the burden of proof lies with those making allegations.

    But for arguments sake let’s say they did it. It would indicate that the IRA is in good shape in terms of organisation security and discipline. Not an organisation, I suggest, which feels that it has to agree to the sack cloth and ashes humiliation that the DUP wanted to inflict on it.

    In that case I think that when the froth blows away there will be a more sober assessment of the basis of any future deal about the place. Do we want to see the end of the IRA? Yes.

    Is it possible or necessary to humiliate them? You tell me.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Derry Journal is claiming that attempts have been made to exchange large numbers of Northern Bank notes in Derry. Make of it what you will, I have hard time believing the provos would be this stupid but you never know ..

    link

  • alex s

    ‘whilst Peter Robinson campaigns to have the IMC report brought forward’

    Is this the same IMC that the DUPes called a toothless tiger when Trimble and the UUP first proposed it?

  • spirit-level

    Whomsoever is to blame for the robbery, Sinn Fein are on the back foot;whilst the Unionists are rubbing their hands together gleefully with the political capital they are making out of this.
    Evidence has to be produced one way or the other; but one way of gaining the initiative again is for the IRA to make a statement agreeing to photos of their decomissioning.
    What a move that would be?

  • Henry94

    spirit-level

    I’m quite sure it would be taken as an admission of guilt and rejected.

    I think we are all going to have to face up to the fact that nothing will happen until after the election. My modest suggestion would be to take the opportunity to have Assembly elections too so that we would not be facing elections for a few years.

  • Liam

    Emergency summit??

    This is just more sensationalism. Todays Ard Chomhairle meeting was scheduled a month ago!

  • cg

    Liam
    “This is just more sensationalism”

    Did you honestly expect anything else in relation to this entire topic?

    People are been pronounced guilty yet there is no evidence. It now seems evidence is not necessary when dealing with republicans.

    Ah the smell of British justice…

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    cg, come off it. Republicans have never required any evidence when making any of their numerous allegations about collusion, “securocrats”, and so on and so on.

    Here is what Gerry Adams said in the Irish Times on 14 June 1996 over the Adare incident :

    “I have made our position very clear on the tragic killing of Garda McCabe and the wounding of his colleague at Adare last week. This action was totally and absolutely wrong and this party has renounced and repudiated it.

    “We have placed on record our condolences and our regret to the family. The IRA for its part has denied any involvement and I accept that. Such killings can play no part in the republican struggle and those who are seeking to blame Sinn Féin know this.

    “Their agenda is to undermine Sinn Féin’s role in the search for a peace settlement.”

    This is exactly the same as what SF are saying right now. With Adare, SF and the IRA both denied it one of their number was arrested and charged. It is reasonable to assume that going by their past behaviour, if the IRA were indeed behind this robbery they will simply deny it until they are caught. Republican denials on this matter cut no ice.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Roger

    ‘This is exactly the same as what SF are saying right now. With Adare, SF and the IRA both denied it one of their number was arrested and charged. It is reasonable to assume that going by their past behaviour, if the IRA were indeed behind this robbery they will simply deny it until they are caught. Republican denials on this matter cut no ice.’

    You agree then that those who say the fact that there is no P O Neill statement is significant are talking nonsense. No matter what anyone says from the republican side at this moment is treated with incredulity from unionists and those politically opposed to SF.

  • Henry94

    Roger

    I wouldn’t expect IRA denials to cut any ice outside republican circles. Some hark back to an era when unionists believed everything P O’Neill said but I don’t remember it.

    But PSNI accusations don’t cut any ice with us either unless they are backed up by evidence.

  • Bean Nighe

    Just bought a Northern Bank £5 for £10 at a car boot sale today, one of the collectables, it seems the price of waste paper has recently doubled, the guy I bought it off had a russian accent.

  • Harris

    Henry94

    “Would you have Gerry Adams do a De Valera? He could. If the top people in Sinn Fein left to form a new party they would take most of the vote with them and they could leave the IRA to its own devices.”

    Maybe there is something to this. Maybe Sinn Fein, as part of their all-Ireland political legitimacy campaign, have been planning on subtly disassociating themselves from the soon-to-be defunct IRA. Even as Sinn Fein maintains their belief that the IRA were not behind the heist, public as well as political pressure will be crying even more for their genuine political presence north and south. If the IRA did committ the heist and are now ready for retirement, this would allow Sinn Fein to break the bond, while still maintaining their all-Ireland integrity.

  • Visioner

    “Surely the IMC will merely be using the same ‘intelligence sources’ as those kept under wraps by Orde.

    Yeah Pat, they should lay it all out on a plate for the IRA by releasing the names and sources of intelligence. It would save the IRA alot of hassle!

    “The IMC will be using the intelligence that was used to such underwhelming effect to warrant raids across nationalist areas of Belfast.”

    Yeah, you just can’t trust those ‘Brits’. Even though the whole country and the Government of the ROI accepts Hugh Orde’s statement.

    “All a waste of money really.”

    Certainly was, except for the £4.5 million.

    You got change for a twenty?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘Yeah, you just can’t trust those ‘Brits’. Even though the whole country and the Government of the ROI accepts Hugh Orde’s statement.’

    Factually incorrect unless you have polled the whole country lol.

  • ShayPaul

    Visioner

    Intelligence, thanks always wondered what the I in MI5 was.

    So these chaps you are talking about have told Hugh the whole story, they couldn’t tell it before because, as the Dupes explain :

    The PSNI ,unlike the RUC, haven’t been allowed to talk to the wee boys that do the squealing (ISO 9001 version 2005 new regulations or something).

    So the croatian football team in a white van disguised for pizza delivery are the prime suspects, and a pizza delivery note to a certain G. Adams (West Belfast) will be produced as concrete evidence that SF are linked to the heist at the highest levels.

    What was it we were saying about intelligence …?

  • DCB

    H94

    It does indeed show that the provos are Chelsea and the PSNI are West Brom.

    But while we all want to see the troubles consigned to the history books we will all suffer is we let our wee country descend to Sicily without the sun. Arguably though we already there.

    In terms of froth and blowing over the best that can come out of it is that the provos use it to invest in legitimate ventures and go quietly away and that SF completely severs the link.

  • Keith M

    Pat Mc L : “Factually incorrect unless you have polled the whole country lol.” True Pat it is only 9 out of 10 who believe Orde! (poll from Today’s Sunday Independent).

  • Visioner

    “So the croatian football team in a white van disguised for pizza delivery are the prime suspects, and a pizza delivery note to a certain G. Adams (West Belfast) will be produced as concrete evidence that SF are linked to the heist at the highest levels.”

    You provide a strong and effective argument.

    – Not.

    Even the Prime Minister of the country you identify with disagree’s with you!

    “09 January 2005 19:31
    Bertie Ahern has unequivocally blamed the main republican paramilitary organisation for the massive Belfast bank robbery late last year.

    In an interview for RTÉ’s ‘This Week’ programme, he said ‘This was an IRA job, a Provisional IRA job which would have been known to the political leadership’.”

    RTE News

    See you in Columbia!

  • Davros

    I wouldn’t trumpet having Bertie on-side visioner.
    He tends to say what the last person told him…
    Remember the fuss when he talked about Pictures ?