Hume: publish your evidence!

The Derry Journal backs John Hume’s parliamentary call last night for the PSNI to publish its evidence. Although in any other jurisdiction, the voicing of such suspicions by a chief constable would be seen as an unremarkable event, in the context of Northern Ireland, as we’ve seen in recent days, it has potentially huge political implications. We can expect the pressure to bring whatever provisional evidence out nito the increase in the days and weeks before the IMC has to make its judgement on the case.

  • pakman

    Did anyone else notice Eddie McGradys’ body language when Hume spoke in the Commons yesterday? Are there any lip readers who can confirm the South Down MP’s asides contained a less than flattering critique of what his former leader was saying? Compare and contrast, if you will, Humes’ contribution to that of McGrady and deduce which one has given up on seeing of the republicans in May.

  • Mick Fealty

    I didn’t see it, but it would be good to hear from others who did what they saw?

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    One thing’s for sure – when the tally is made at the end of days, there won’t be any doubt who made the greater contribution to Irish life and world politics, Hume, the Nobel Peace laureate, or McGrady the Muttering nutter.

    What’s wrong with asking for the evidence?
    There’s a crisis of confidence in the body public – most unionists won’t believe Sinn Féin and IRA denials of involvement in the Northern Bank heist while most nationalists place no credibility in the word of Hugh Orde or Paul Murphy that the IRA was involved given they haven’t enough evidence to arrest any body and all the evidence that has come to light – of suspect notes in Craigavon et al – point in the exact opposite direction.

  • Christopher Stalford

    Eddie McGrady looked extremely hacked off. Then again, Hume, the Provo-lover has been semi-detached from the SDLP mainstream for at least 3 years.

  • cg

    Christopher
    There are very few Republicians who would describe Hulme as a provo lover 😉

  • Christopher Stalford

    They would be foolish not to.

  • cg

    I would love ton see your evidence of how Hulme is a “Provo lover”.
    I wish he was but unfortunately, or fortunately, he isn’t

  • Christopher Stalford

    Hume gentrified the Provos and made the respectable. He was also more than willing to use the threat of Provo violence to advance his political agenda. While the rest of the civilised world, including the SDLP members of the Police Board have accepted that SF/IRA were responsible for the bank heist, Hume continues to make excuses for them.

    Affection that refuses to listen to logic – sounds a bit like love to me.

  • cg

    No Christopher
    All Hulme and more importantly the nationalist community are asking for is that Orde provide evidence for his unsubstantiated claim’s.

    Seems perfectly reasonable.

  • Christopher Stalford

    No its not reasonable. To publish information at this stage could actually impede the police investigation, as you very well know. Hume’s colleagues on the Policing Board were briefed in detail about the robbery and they were perfectly satisfied that the IRA was indeed responsible. Is he calling his own party colleagues liars?

  • cg

    According to Orde there is no investigation.
    It was the Ra
    If that is the case then why won’t he produce evidence?

  • Keith M

    I really pity those noble souls in the SDLP who have made promising statements over the past week and tried to put some space between themselves and SF/IRA criminality. Then Hume stands up in Westminster and recites the same nonsense that SF/IRA have been doing. Bertie Ahern said it in his own unique way on Sunday; “do they take uis for eejits?”. Bertie, let me introduce you to the honourable eejit for Foyle. Anyone that expects to present evidence while an investigation is ongoing are eejits pure and simple. The sooner this eejit is put out to pasture the better for every democrat in Northern Ireland.

    Perhaps SF/IRA could provide us with the evidence for all the murders, the abductions and punishment beatings they’ve conducted down threough the years.

  • cg

    Sorry to leave this discussion but I have an exam.

    Slan

  • Davros

    Good Luck Chris.

  • Henry94

    John Hume yet again shows the courage to defy the consensus. Who can forget how he was vilified when he started the peace process with Gerry Adams?

    The police are suuposed to produce evidence to support their claims. Of course they are supposed to do it in court but if they make their claims outside court they have to produce their evidence outside court too.

  • TK1

    Hume’s intervention was calculated as it was cold. He rarely attends Westminster and his ego centricity came to the fore yesterday. Whatever his contribution to peace and the annals of Irish history – he continues to undermine his own party. I doubt if history will be as favourable to him as his contemporaries. His line was obviously out of kilter with that of his leader and deputy leader – not to mention his two colleagues in parliament. Hume refuses to countenance that he could have been wrong. When true irish democrats at last found a voice – Hume again abandoned them to the wolves. God help Durkan – as Hume will be quoted against him and the others – in the same way Gordon Brown foolishly has given an own goal to the opposition with his indiscrete comments about Blair. Obviously Hume cannot let go -hanging around like Banquo’s ghost when Mallon was Deputy First Minister and now shadowing every move of Durkan. For the love of this country and in loyalty to whats left of his party and out of respect for his colleagues – he should retire more gracefully.

  • Henry94

    So can we take it that all the people who believe the IRA did it are opposed to the evidence coming out and those of us who still have an open mind want to see the evidence.

    Interesting.

  • Alan2

    cg – “Most nationlists”…are you sure about that. Ahern, McDowell, Durkan and the Policing board all seem satisfied.

    When Hugh Orde determined that the UDA was responsible for violence and breaking it`s ceasfire without any convictions there was no outcry. These are criminal organisations. No doubt military / security intelligence will form part of any evidence which of course involves agents and informers….

    And that`s before the fact that the investigation is still ongoing to catch the individuals concerned.

    Hugh Orde released a statement because he had to address the Policing Board which is part of the process of the Good friday Agreement ensuring confidence, transparency and accountability of the Police.

  • mucky

    Although in any other jurisdiction, the voicing of such suspicions by a chief constable would be seen as an unremarkable event

    Completely agree Mick. Policemen voicing their suspicions/opinions to the press is far from uncommon, especially where a group of criminals are involved. In most cases, their just trying to deflect the fact their investigation hasn’t come up with much. It’s a PR exercise, a sign of a struggling investigation.

    Apparently Lembit Opik pressed Murphy on the same point as Hume.

    The one thing that leads you to believe Orde ( seeing as the evidence appears to be scant) is the fact that he’s put the peace process in serious jeopardy with his remarks, so surely he’s got something to back them up? Of course, if he’s wrong, Hume will have been perfectly right to press Murphy on this point.

  • TK1

    I see Hume having had a moment of ‘mature reflection’ has now issued a statement ‘saying he has no doubt the IRA were behind the robbery’. Pity that did not occur to him yesterday. But I suspect the storms in Derry on his return were not only of the weather kind!

  • Alan2

    Could it all simply be a scam (maybe even involving SF) to get SF to decommission to move the process forward?

    Cynical? Me?

  • Henry94

    Former SDLP leader John Hume has said he believes the Taoiseach’s agreement that the Provisional IRA was behind last month’s £26.5m (€37.8m) bank heist in Belfast.

    Mr Hume said Bertie Ahern had worked hard for the peace process and would not have pointed the finger at the IRA without clear information after Northern Ireland Chief Constable Hugh Orde said he believed the Provisionals were behind the raid.

    The Nobel Peace Prize winner also said the IRA’s denial of involvement could not be trusted because past statements by the organisation had not always been true.

    However, Mr Hume also called on the Irish and British authorities to release evidence to back up their accusations.

    He said he accepted that some information may be so sensitive it cannot be revealed, but that the two governments should release as much detail as they could and allow the public to make up its own mind on the matter.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Surely Hume was right to ask for information to be put into the public domain. Despite the predictable siren voices from unionists what we have is, a who do you believe question involving republicans on one side and the police on the other. In the event of one being a proven bunch of liars and the others being pillars of truth and justice, then it would quite an easy decision to make. Unfortunately that is not the case here.

    Unionists and other contributors to the site have listed the lies told by republicans over the years, in their eyes republicans are thus discredited.
    Howvever, have the police not been found guilty of telling a good few porkies over the years, something that calls their own credibility into doubt.
    That is somrething that I find disturbing about the analysis that has been going on. Apparently the police cannot be wrong or the possibility has not been entertained that they are capable of telling lies. There were a number of court cases in 2004 when people were acquitted that illustrate the fact that the police version of events has to be treated very sceptically.

  • Alan2

    “There were a number of court cases in 2004 when people were acquitted that illustrate the fact that the police version of events has to be treated very sceptically.”

    Erm forgive me – I realise that people are innocent until proven guilty but I also realise that several terrorists caught with a rocket launcher were acquitted of RIRA membership as it was not a proscribed organisation.

    The Police gather evidence and put it before the court. The Judge / Jury make the final decision

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘Erm forgive me – I realise that people are innocent until proven guilty but I also realise that several terrorists caught with a rocket launcher were acquitted of RIRA membership as it was not a proscribed organisation.’

    You’re forgiven, now could you explain why ‘the terrorists’ were acquitted on all charges including possession of the rocket launcher? Even the judge queried the involvement of a PSNI agent provcateur in the case.

    Why people were acquitted in similar circumstances regarding a bomb find in Newry in a case that involved PSNI officers getting at forensic scientists? This case also involved a PSNI agent provocateur

    Why all charges were dropped against a W Belfast man, when at his original hearing a PSNI witness stated that they had evidence that he forged passports etc and had plans of prisons etc?

    Republicans tell lies, so do the police.

  • El Matador

    Statement from Mr. John Hume showing his views are consistent with the SDLP’s generally:

    “The Northern Bank armed robbery has caused enormous damage to the peace
    process and to the Good Friday Agreement.

    “Sinn Fein has denied that the IRA was responsible for this robbery.
    However, their denials have not always been true in the past.

    “Also, it is not just Hugh Orde who has blamed the IRA for the robbery – the
    Taoiseach has been totally clear on this, based on the Irish Government’s
    own intelligence. I believe the Taoiseach. He has worked enormously hard
    for the peace process and I do not think that he would have said what he did
    without clear information in front of him.

    “As I said in the House of Commons, the two Governments should give the
    public as much information as they can on why they believe the IRA was
    responsible. That way the public will be able to draw their own conclusions
    on who is telling the truth. Obviously, there may well be some information
    so sensitive that it cannot be revealed – but the more the public know the
    better.

    “The Good Friday Agreement was approved by the people of Ireland, North and
    South. It is their will. It is time that the IRA – and loyalist
    paramilitaries – accepted the will of the people and wound up all their
    activities for good so that the political process can never again be held
    hostage by these kinds of events in the future.”

  • GavBelfast

    Seamus Mallon was also also unequivocal on the subject on ‘Good Morning Ulster’ this morning. (Maybe still available online or reported elsewhere.)

    It was a fine performance, though his criticism of the farce the peace/political process has become was somewhat ironic given his own role in it, what with ther resignation that wasn’t, and his offer to become a guarantor should the RM fail to live up to commitments to rid themselves of weaponry and wind down which, of course, they didn’t.

    Hume’s effect on the SDLP reminds me of Sir Matt Busby’s on Man Utd (and its managers) after he had ‘retired’. But does Durkan or anyone else in the part remind anyone of Fergie. Thought not ….

  • James

    This could be so simple. Let the evidence be known at the trial. Get a conviction first and then let the pundits spread the ink while the perps shower together in the slammer.

    Otherwise it’s just another game of slap and tickle with the IRA in which the prime minister and taoiseach are dangling the PSNI on puppet strings. Christ, even LAPD has more integrity than this.

    At the very, very worst, if the PSNI can’t do it, call in the Gardi. They were at least able to put McCabe’s murders away for a while. That manslaughter rap is scant solace to the widow but at least it is something.

  • Fraggle

    James, you wouldn’t be suggesting that the PSNI are incompetant would you?

  • James

    “James, you wouldn’t be suggesting that the PSNI are incompetant would you?”

    No more incompetent than our are. (A loaded statement, indeed, when you consider the FBI’s performance)

    I think that the political establishments are compromising the PSNI’s integrity (and hence their effectiveness in the long term) for sleazy short term goals that pull the politico’s chestnuts out of the fire.

  • Davros

    Your cops were able to catch the Fries-rage guy!

  • James

    “Your cops were able to catch the Fries-rage guy!”

    I yam whatay yam!! Freedom Fries are like spinach to Popeye.

    Christ, what a country! It beats me how these bozos figure out how to breathe.

  • Davros

    It was probably the final straw in a bad day 🙂 I’m not a fan of Michael Douglas, but he was in a great film where’s he’s a commuter stuck in traffic who loses it completely. I think we have all wanted to do something like that at times!