Ahern lifts the veil on Sinn Féin in Dail?

Interesting punch-up in the Dail last night that does not yet seem to have hit many of the papers:

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin led off with an attack on the Taoiseach’s motive’s for making the accusations in the first place, getting in a personal dig at Ahern first:

He has a neck trying to label any other political party with the criminality tag when one looks at the daily unfolding reality in respect of his political party.

Ó Caoláin went on to accuse him of acting out narrow party motive:

Everybody knows that we represent competing parties not only in respect of general elections but of all other electoral endeavours in this State. It has become ever more apparent that with the realisation that Sinn Féin presents a real and substantial challenge to the Taoiseach’s party at the polls in this State, he has moved increasingly to what I see as a situation where he seeks to misrepresent Sinn Féin intent and tries to re-draw the contemporary history of the achievement of a new political dispensation on this island, the end of armed hostilities, the peace process and all that has flowed and has yet to flow from it.

After some heckling from Defence Minister Willie O’Dea, the taoiseach finally got in his reply:

I understand why Deputy Ó Caoláin is looking around for an angle, which in this case is that the reasons are to do with party politics. If I had wished to fight his political party in a party political way, I certainly would not have done what I have been doing in recent years, such as doing everything possible to bring his party into the centre by ignoring all kinds of things and by trying to convince the DUP recently and the UUP for years of the benefits of working with Sinn Féin.

He went on to recount the political capital he’d spent in trying to convince others that Sinn Féin were serious about their side of the peace process bargain:

I have tried to convince them of the security of doing so. I have tried to convince Presidents Bush and Clinton and President Prodi and others to put money into Northern Ireland to help peace and reconciliation. If I had only been interested in a political fight, I would not have taken those actions. Before we began taking those actions, the Deputy’s party was a party with 2% support, but now it has a strong political mandate because people on all sides of this House, from the Labour Party to Fine Gael to Fianna Fáil to the Progressive Democrats to the Green Party, all worked to try to bring Sinn Féin in.

Then he went for the ‘killer blow’:

The Deputy must understand that things must be equal. I refer to the kind of tactics in which some of his friends engage. In recent days a man was taken to a lay-by, shot in both hands and suffered a broken jaw. The reason for this assault is not known but it was carried out by the Provisional IRA. An 18 year old received gunshot wounds in both hands in an incident in Seaford Street in east Belfast, responsibility for which lies with the Provisional IRA. A punishment attack was carried out on a 19 year old man. He was shot in both hands and it is believed the Provisional IRA was responsible. The other day, a 19 year old man was shot in both ankles in an alley in Serbia Street, Lower Falls, and it is believed the Provisional IRA was responsible, and blah, blah, blah.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Ouch.

  • peteb

    The Irish Times has a report on this, Mick.

    The Taoiseach, Mr Ahern, has made the most forceful Government attack on Sinn Féin since the peace process began, directly linking the party’s five TDs to violent actions which, he said, were being turned on and off for political reasons.

    and

    He said progress now depended on how Sinn Féin responded to the Government’s questions on the issues of criminality and decommissioning and “that does not rest with me. “It is an issue which rests with the Sinn Féin leadership and the opposite side of the coin, the Provisional IRA.”

    More ‘tough-talking’, as blogged here

  • George

    If Bertie has directly linked the five TDs, who all live south of the border, then surely he can provide some southern examples.

    Or do the Gardai now only give him intelligence on northern crime and punishment?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    It got widespread coverage on RTE and is in a lot of the papers.

  • PaddyCanuck

    It is very interesting to hear that Mr Ahern put so much trust in the the Gardai intelligence agents and informers working in the Short Strand and the Lower Falls, who can attribute the Provisional IRA with blame for punishment attacks in those areas. I suspect those sources are sitting in the RUC Barracks in Madrid Street and Grovernor Road.

    I also suspect that his Gardai Intelligence on the Northern Bank Raid comes from similar sources, and from uncorroborated innuendo and second guessing.

    On a day that the Irish News calls for an apology for the miscarriages of justice, and incarceration of innocent Irish men and women, Mr Ahern would do well to remember that these people were also convicted on the basis of ‘Facts’, just as the Republican constituency both North and South of the border now stand convicted, and stripped of their democratic rights and entitlements, but this time by the soldier of destiny Mr.Ahern, and is buddy McDowell, hand in hand with Paisley and Donaldson.

    Remember little over a month ago the IRA had offered to stand down and disarm, as part of a comprehensive peace package only to be turned down by Mister Paisley demanding sack cloth, ashes and photographs while Michael McDowell attempted to criminalize the Republican movement.

    It is time to return to the Good Friday Agreement, and the peace table, the Nationalist people since the birth of the six county statelet, and long before has been denied their civil and democratic rights. Mister Ahern a Republican would to best to remember that and move to secure those rights, rather than to stand hand in hand with unionism in denying those rights.

  • cg

    Bertie claims all of these attacks were carried out by the IRA but the question must be, where did he get his information from?

    I very much doubt if he has an ERU in Belfast

    He got his so called intelligence where the Gardai got there’s, special branch

    It’s about time the Taoiseach and others stopped playing party politics with the peace process

    Either he puts up or shuts up

  • James

    “I refer to the kind of tactics in which some of his friends engage.”

    Hard words to bring the republican movement to heel spoken in the highest assembly of the Irish nation. Whadda effective concept!!!

    Sinn Fein remains in that assembly on full pay and they are so shaken that they launch Aontu tomorrow.

    Well, at least the Dail has moved beyond the 77 dead men …… progress of a sort.

  • PaddyCanuck

    “Sinn Fein remains in that assembly on full pay”

    James our you saying that TD’s should be removed from the Dail on the say so of RUC Special Branch?

    MK

  • James

    “James our you saying that TD’s should be removed from the Dail on the say so of RUC Special Branch?”

    No, you just said that. Never put words in my mouth.

    BTW, bright spark, the RUC went the way of the Free State.

    Elvis is dead too.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Hey James,

    I did not put words in your mouth, I asked you a question, there is a difference.

    RUC\PSNI not much other than name and uniform have changed, an image makeover, nothing of real substance, especially as far as the branch are concerned.

    As far is the Bright Spark remark is concerned, go throw a hissy fit somewhere else.

  • Davros

    “RUC\PSNI not much other than name and uniform have changed, an image makeover, nothing of real substance, especially as far as the branch are concerned.”

    On what do you base your analysis ? Is this a quote from an authorative source such as The Irish People ?

  • AndrewD

    “playing party politics with the peace process”

    cg,

    When did you adopt this line? – Obviously recently.

    Let me quote from Bertie Ahern, maybe you did see this bit:

    “I understand why Deputy Ó Caoláin is looking around for an angle, which in this case is that the reasons are to do with party politics. If I had wished to fight his political party in a party political way, I certainly would not have done what I have been doing in recent years, such as doing everything possible to bring his party into the centre by ignoring all kinds of things and by trying to convince the DUP recently and the UUP for years of the benefits of working with Sinn Féin.

    He went on to recount the political capital he’d spent in trying to convince others that Sinn Féin were serious about their side of the peace process bargain:

    I have tried to convince them of the security of doing so. I have tried to convince Presidents Bush and Clinton and President Prodi and others to put money into Northern Ireland to help peace and reconciliation. If I had only been interested in a political fight, I would not have taken those actions. Before we began taking those actions, the Deputy’s party was a party with 2% support, but now it has a strong political mandate because people on all sides of this House, from the Labour Party to Fine Gael to Fianna Fáil to the Progressive Democrats to the Green Party, all worked to try to bring Sinn Féin in.

    Seems fair to me. I don’t think hes playing Party Politics when he did all this for the likes of you.

    Without his input your party would be nothing. You and your party owe him alot. Maybe you should be thankful for that.

  • TroubledTimes

    Good man Bertie. We need people like you involved in Northern politics.
    Looking forward to Fianna Fail moving Northwards.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Davros,

    I know full well that the political opinion and bias of the RUC\PSNI has not much changed.

    You probably drink in the same pubs and golf clubs as they do, can you honestly tell me that thier attitudes have changed?

    The Special Branch is still up to the same mischief it has always been up too.

  • Davros

    I know full well that the political opinion and bias of the RUC\PSNI has not much changed.

    You probably drink in the same pubs and golf clubs as they do, can you honestly tell me that thier attitudes have changed?

    The Special Branch is still up to the same mischief it has always been up too.

    As I live in a ntionalist area it’s unlikely that I, if I drank, would meet many coppers …and I’ve never been in a NI Golf club 🙂

    But your evasions answered my question. You are likely going on the rantings of the Irish People or some such rubbish and as such aren’t worth wasting any time on in the future.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Good enough Davros, run away from the issue.

    I am sure as someone in a nationalist area you have seen a marked improvement in the attitudes of the peelers in your area, they probably hold your hand when you are crossing the road.

    I have drank with them, and been in many a golf club with them, and i know their attitudes have not changed. Just because Sir Alex Attwood has licked up to them, does not mean they have turned anything around.

    P.S. I knew Attwood at QUB, and his attitudes have not changed either.

    So Davros whine off!

  • Davros

    Good enough Davros, run away from the issue.

    You did the running matey 🙂

    I asked a reasonable question

    On what do you base your analysis ?

    and was given this in reply…

    Davros,

    I know full well that the political opinion and bias of the RUC\PSNI has not much changed.

    You probably drink in the same pubs and golf clubs as they do, can you honestly tell me that thier attitudes have changed?

    The Special Branch is still up to the same mischief it has always been up too.

    THAT’S running away LOL

  • PaddyCanuck

    There is plenty of evidence. e.g.

    PSNI decisions which have over ruled Parades Commission recommendations (Always in favour of Loyal Orders)

    Their continued reliance on Plastic Bullets (When used, they are still almost exclusively used against Nationalists, same with CS Spray)

    Continued willingness to point the finger at the PIRA, whilst turning their backs on loyalist activity.

    The continued clandestine nature of SB(REMIT).

    Read a few articles:

    http://www.serve.com/pfc/policing/040927an.html
    http://www.serve.com/pfc/policing/kearney.html

  • PaddyCanuck

    And BTW Davros, asking me what I base my analysis on is pretty rich coming from some one who believes whatever anonymous Security sources say about almost any subject.

    Where do you get your “FACTS” from, have you been able to verify any of them lately, any thing that would stand up in a court of Law?

  • Davros

    Ah, the good old Pat Finucane Centre LOL

    You are likely going on the rantings of the Irish People or some such rubbish

    I’m always pleased to be proven right.

  • Davros

    Their continued reliance on Plastic Bullets (When used, they are still almost exclusively used against Nationalists, same with CS Spray)

    How many Plastic bullets have been fired by the PSNI in the past 3 years then ? How many in 2002, 2003 and 2004 ?

  • cg

    “cg,

    When did you adopt this line? – Obviously recently.”

    Seeing as I only posted that post a couple of hours ago then yea its recent 😉

  • James

    PaddyCanuk did sweetly warble as if butter would not melt in his mouth:

    “I did not put words in your mouth, I asked you a question, there is a difference.”

    Bullshit

    “Do you still kill babies for the RUC?” is the same rhetorical device and just as phony.

    What puzzles me from that spastic patellar reflex, though, is the source of your hysteria. We get a few folks who do a bang up job of fighting the good fight from afar: The sources you have been repeatedly pressed to reveal might tempt one prone to idle speculation to conclude that you haven’t laid eyes on a cop in Northern Ireland or, at least, not for quite a while. But I’ll cut you some slack.

    So, have you been back to Ireland in the last couple of years? …… post Patten, perhaps? And, if so, what personal experience did you gather on the PSNI that would lead me to believe that you have bonafide experience and are not just another barstool republican wannabe from North America?

  • Davros

    PaddyCanuck – How many Plastic bulletswere fired by the PSNI in 2003 and 2004 ? You claimed the PSNI still rely on them.

  • Davros

    Lame answer from Mr Canuck :

    Largely due to the fact that the republican movement has up to now been very successful at marshalling the peace process, I agree that the PSNI not fired many plastic bullets since 2002.

    They fired NO Plastic bullets at riots in 2003,2004 or as yet in 2005 – which is why you are exposed as a summarizer and regurgitator of Republican Propaganda sites. You have no credibility. Remember what you claimed about the PSNI as justification for your ridiculous remarks ?
    “Their continued reliance on Plastic Bullets (When used, they are still almost exclusively used against Nationalists, same with CS Spray)”

    The PSNI came into existence in November 2001 … they have fired NO plastic bullets at riots since September 2002.

    So explain your claim that they still use them ?
    Why not admit that you don’t know a lot about NI and quit making authorative claims based on what you read on propaganda websites ?