Ahern should follow Dev's example

Ruth Dudley Edwards argues that the liberal press in Ireland are too late in expressing their surprise at a possible connection between the IRA and large scale criminal activity:

Until now Orde had been in the forefront of conciliatory approaches to the Republican movement. However, circumstances intervened:

Officers are expected to allow rioters to inflict grievous injuries on their men and women rather than order the firing of plastic bullets, informers are kept at arm’s length, and many of the wise old cops who knew their patch have taken early retirement.

It was poor intelligence that let the Northern Bank heist happen and it is over-regulation and political nervousness that have been hindering the hunting down of the perpetrators.

In a world in which Denis Bradley, the nationalist vice-chairman of the policing board, can say “I have yet to meet a former or present republican who doesn’t believe that the IRA did this job,” the credibility of the PSNI was on the line. Though Orde and his political masters struggled to avoid fingering the Provos, the pressure to come clean became irresistible.

And she believes the movement has some spectacular form:

For the IRA to have been planning the robbery at the same time that Adams and McGuinness were negotiating the final acts of completion with the two governments “just beggars belief”. Huh? How soon they forget. These are the same guys who were planning the blowing up of Canary Wharf as Clinton was shaking hands with Adams in the Falls Road.

She’s little kinder to the DUP:

One major change is that no unionists can possibly negotiate with Sinn Fein with the IRA still in business. The DUP ‘bring-on-the-Mercs’ brigade (Peter Robinson and Jeffrey Donaldson) have been badly wounded. But for Ian Paisley’s insistence on photographs of decommissioning, the deal would have been done and they would now be reeling in the face of a betrayal worse than anything David Trimble endured.

Yet the Doc should be ashamed rather than self-satisfied, for he knows that if given enough to satisfy their grassroots, the DUP was united on a strategy of colluding with Sinn Fein in the Balkanisation of Northern Ireland, which is why they showed not the faintest interest in making criminalityan issue.

As far as the DUP was concerned, if the IRA wanted to rob and steal and mutilate its people and corrupt the South as they have corrupted the North, that was a problem for Taigs. Yet it is the criminality that has sunk a cosy deal.

But she reckons it’s Bertie Ahern who faces the sternest test:

It’s all up to Bertie now. As Taoiseach of a sovereign nation and hero of the EU, he has once again been lied to and humiliated by small-town terrorists and criminals. He has everything going for him: the Irish people and even the Irish Times are now in the mood to cheer a crackdown, the White House would back him and, as there is no longer any possibility of going into coalition with Sinn Fein, keeping the PDs sweet is amajor priority.

Tony Blair just wants Northern Ireland out of his in-tray, but it’s in Bertie’s power to persuade him to agree to an all-Ireland anti-IRA offensive and serious punishment of SF – possibly even their exclusion from the Assembly.

This is Bertie’s big chance to show us if he’s really a statesman, a worthy successor of de Valera, or if, at heart, he remains the ward boss who just wants to be loved.

  • armaghman

    She makes a number of quite good points and has an original analysis. However she can’t resist the temptation to overlay it with the usual self righteous Indo arrogance.

  • Henry94

    If she can’t see the differences between the position De Valera was in and the position Ahern is in then she does’t deserve to be called a historian.

  • Davros

    Please explain Henry.

  • Davros

    Crime and politics go hand in hand, always have and not just in NI. Unionists’ cattle smuggling, Harry West’s dodgy deals etc. So while we should be scandalised by families being terrorised and hi-jackings, let’s not pretend that Ireland was smelled of roses before the 1970’s.

  • smcgiff

    ‘The DUP ‘bring-on-the-Mercs’ brigade (Peter Robinson and Jeffrey Donaldson) have been badly wounded.’

    I surmise that no one is more disappointed that Big Ian was proved right than big Ian himself.

    You’ve got to love NI politics!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    It is now time to set up a tribunal consisting of a few ex Officials and Orange apologists that inhabit Middle Abbey St. They will adjudicate who goes to the guillotine.
    RDE can take up her position resplendent with knitting needles as the heads are loped off.

  • Davros

    Middle Abbey Street ?

  • GavBelfast

    I don’t like her writing style either – and you can just imagine how pleased she is with herself as her words puff herself up.

    But some great points, all the same, and not one to miss and hit the wall.

    Bertie must feel like he’s been made to feel a bit of a tube, mind. How will he react?

    And have we heard anything from Albert Reynolds – he thought he’d help convert the Provos, didn’t he?

  • Davros

    What was the reference to Middle Abbey Street about ?

  • D’Oracle

    Liberal press, is it Mick..very liberal indeed in giving lots and lots of space to poor old ranting Root. Come to think of it if she is as fearful as she says of the low testosterone quotient of the liberal press, how come shes “abitchin” in the Indo.

    Thats no more liberal than said Root, you know !

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Middle Abbey St is the home of Independent Newspapers.

  • Davros

    Thanks Pat 🙂

  • Ringo

    And have we heard anything from Albert Reynolds – he thought he’d help convert the Provos, didn’t he?

    Albert was on Q&A on Monday night – he said that if Bertie says it was the IRA thats good enough for him – he reckoned Bertie wouldn’t have come out and said it unless he was sure in doing so.

    He figured that whoever was behind it would have had to have been anti-GFA. He could barely hide his disgust when acknowledging that this has played right into Paisley’s hands.

  • George

    Pat and Davros,
    Independent Newspapers have since moved to Talbot Street.
    The Old Lady of d’Olier street, aka the Irish Times, is moving to Burg Quay this year.

    The Irish Examiner offices on Academy street are to be demolished and as far as I know, they’re moving to Fermoy.

    The Sunday World has already moved from Terenure to Talbot Street, where the suits live in fear of their lives.