Minister recalls separations of sectarian killings

At lunch time in the Seanad, the Justice Minister Michael McDowell laid heavily into Sinn Fein, making direct comparisons between the killings at Teebane with the ‘separations’ in the death camp at Auschwitz. In effect he gets at the sectarian nature of the operation, and the political direction behind it. The report will become live at the Oireachtas site in about an hour and a half.

Update: The minister obviously had his massacre’s mixed. Teebane was the result of an IRA bomb, whilst the separation happened at Kingsmill, nearly twenty years earlier.

Update to the update: the Minister later corrected himself on radio

The polemic is seering:

“The same intellectual activity which drove a man standing at the railway platform in Auschwitz – to send people right and left into different groups for different fates – was standing in a balaclava at Teebane crossroads when a group of workers was segregated into Protestant and Catholic and the former group was riddled by the Provisional IRA. On this Holocaust memorial week, this spirit is not dead – it is the same spirit which had Ratko Mladic and others separate the boys from others at Srebenica and bring them to quarries to execute them with the same ferocity. If what happened at Teebane crossroads is not a crime in the minds of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, it is they who have a problem – not us.”

We understand this is only the beginning of the kind of gloves off attacks that Sinn Fein may expect from all political sides in the Republic in the wake of a crime that few outside the Republican movement doubt was undertaken by the IRA.

  • murphii4word

    How do you get from robbery to sectarian murder to mass murder (millions). Surely, there is a distinction.
    Bob Murphy
    New Jersey

  • PaddyCanuck

    Mister McDowell seems hell bent on erasing the progress made since the 1994 IRA cessation. He also seems to want Republicans across the North and South to return to their working class ghettos while he and Irelands elite get fat on the Celtic Tiger.

    It is time to end exclusion across the Island, and to build an Ireland of Equals.

  • cgmoron

    With all due respect,
    Paddy what progress are you talking about?

    Secondly what is wrong with the Celtic Tiger?

    Finally incase you have not realised SOcialism/Communism is a failed concept. It does not work!!
    Would you like an Ireland of Equals under Adams/McGuinness

  • JD

    McDowell is just making political capital out of the Holocaust anniversary. Yet another indicator of how frightened the PDs are of SF taking their coalition partner role.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    murphii4word

    Clearly McDowell is comparing the mentalities of those responsible for the acts of separating people for execution.

    Obviously the scale is different, but is the thought process?

    Don’t see any mention of the robbery in the entry.

  • PaddyCanuck

    There has been plenty of progress, unfortunatley Mr Paisley and McDowell slapped a veto on that progress just before Christmas. They said no to the IRA ceasing all activity, standing down, and disarming.

    I am not against the Celtic tiger, I am against the Poverty, and growing inequalities, the gaps between the rich and poor that The Fianna Fail and PD coalition have failed to address during their tenure, mostly at the behest of the PD rump.

    Thirdly to promote the interests of those less well off in our urban and rural communities, is not communist nor is the desire to promote an Ireland of Equals.

  • ulsterman

    At last the Irish government has woken to the threat SF poses. If SF makes any gains at the next election it will be at the expense of FF.

    Another Domino falls in Adams’s equation.

    Bush does not give a dam about him, now FF realises the threat he poses.

    Oh happy days are here again.

    The Union is secure.

    God Save The Queen.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Gonzo,

    a pretty cynical exercise by Mc Dowell. By all means the gloves are off between the Staters and SF but the analogy used does not bear any comparison.
    Indeed such has been the rush by Mc Dowell to get his name in print that he cannot get the facts straight. Teebane involved the killing of workers in a bomb attack on their return from working at a barracks in Omagh there was no separation of workers.
    I think in his ineptitude Mc Dowell is probably referring to the Kingsmills killings. Poor Michael his grasp of the facts is probably secondary to his self publicity.
    His incompetence demeans TeeBane, Kingmills and Auschwitz

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Pat

    Fine. But what about his substantive point?

  • Richard Delevan

    McDowell clearly hasn’t heard of Godwin’s Law, which nine times out of ten is also a good rule in politics. On today, of ALL days, you would think people would be slightly more thoughtful about painting your opponents as Nazis.
    It’s the mirror image of Bush=Hitler signs held up by spotty 18 year olds at a demo.
    McDowell is wrong to do it, and foolish. Even if the Republic never wants to do business with SF again, it does need to do business with SF’s voters.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Gonzo,

    does he have a substantive point, or is he just flogging the anti SF line for all it is worth?

    I only hope his intelligence for the Northern job is more accurate than a very well publicised and historical murderous event that occurred in Sth Armagh in 1976. A Freudian slip indeed.

  • PaddyCanuck

    The Substantive point Gonzo?

    Kingsmill happened nearly 30 years ago. It was certainly an atrocity, one of many comitted by all sides in the conflict, during a time of numerous sectarian killing across the north.

    The substantive point is that we have moved on, and are trying to build a new reality and a new future, except that is for mr. McDowell and is fellow travellers, who seems intent on dragging us back to the seventies.

  • PaddyCanuck

    The Substantive point Gonzo?

    Kingsmill happened nearly 30 years ago. It was certainly an atrocity, one of many comitted by all sides in the conflict, during a time of numerous sectarian killing across the north.

    The substantive point is that we have moved on, and are trying to build a new reality and a new future, except that is for mr. McDowell and is fellow travellers, who seems intent on dragging us back to the seventies.

  • Davros

    The substantive point is that we have moved on

    try telling that to the young men shot in the legs and hands.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Mc Dowell certainly moved on, he moved on all the way from 1976 to 1992 all of 16 years. Remarkable to think that after murdering the 5 people at Grahams’ bookies the UFF put out a statement yelping ‘remember Teebane’, even those people had a better grasp of what happened than Minister Mc Dowell.

    In his rush for cynical opportunism the good Minister has come across as an ill informed oaf. But hey what’s a few atrocities between fiends and a ready headline. Remember the Northern Michael.

  • JD

    The “substantive issue” is that there are plenty of other examples of sectarian death on/ from all sides.

    Don’t see him mentioning those.

    Since her doesn’t, it’s pretty obvious that McDowell is just gunning for republicans, and he doesn’t give a rat’s arse about the “substantive issue.”

    He’s just making political capital.

    Oh, and the irony: McDowell in the past has been satirized in the Irish media by having him speak in a German accent and giving him the title of a nazi officer.

  • Young Republican

    what a stupid man mcdowell is.

    there was no seperation of ‘workers’ at teebane how could he have made this mistake what a stupid man the sad fact is is that some people may beleive this fool and he probably will never be challenged on this yet if a Sinn féiner made a statement simliar to this the media would become a lynch mob.

  • Young Republican

    what a stupid man mcdowell is.

    there was no seperation of ‘workers’ at teebane how could he have made this mistake what a stupid man the sad fact is is that some people may beleive this fool and he probably will never be challenged on this yet if a Sinn féiner made a statement simliar to this the media would become a lynch mob.

  • Young Republican

    what a stupid man mcdowell is.

    there was no seperation of ‘workers’ at teebane how could he have made this mistake what a stupid man the sad fact is is that some people may beleive this fool and he probably will never be challenged on this yet if a Sinn féiner made a statement simliar to this the media would become a lynch mob.

  • cgmoron

    I find the republican muppet show on this story repulsive. Ok the minister made a mistake . However his point is correct. SF/IRA are very similar to the Nazis.
    Murdering people is wrong period. This applies to all sides involved in Northern Ireland.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    cgmoron,

    Mc Dowell will be judged on his own actions. The media have been hanging on his every word for weeks now and printing these words as facts. This despite the fact Mc Dowell has been using the murky world of covert intelligence to level his charges.
    I find it amazing that he can waffle in a solemn tone about Auschwitz and then introduce a completely erroneous analogy in order for a bit of self promotion.
    The idiot was probably already reading tomorrows headlines, ‘Mc Dowell in Auschwitz shocker.’

    The fact is Kingsmills and Teebane are well known events separated by 16 years. If he can get something like that wrong what store can we put by his words on other events.

  • DCB

    Is it just me who finds it blackly funny that MM is being castigated for getting Teabane mixed up with Kingsmill. The sinner responce being “stupid man Teebane was when we blew up loads of innocent people, he means Kingmill”

    In saying that I hate it when we talk about our problems with reference to the Nazi’s. It’s a common mopery trait, present amongst both the green and orange varient of the affliction.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    I think the important thing must be the consequences of McDowell’s frequent interventions and comments on Sinn Fein. What does he hope to achieve by them?

    Certainly he wants to reverse Sinn Fein’s growth in the Republic – hey, he’s a politician and he has electoral considerations. Can’t blame him for that, or for his desire to ensure that the PDs and not SF are Fianna Fail’s bedfellows after the next election.

    Also, there can’t be any doubt that McDowell is completely sincere in his visceral hatred of Sinn Fein. That said, his remarks must be taken in the context of that visceral hatred.

    But he seems to disregard the effect his remarks have on the peace process. This latest remark comparing the atrocity at Kingsmill (and incorrectly, at Teebane) with the Holocaust, is particularly distasteful.

    Gonzo’s remarks about “thought processes” was equally fatuous.

    The Holocaust wasn’t the Holocaust because of the value of the idea behind it. It was the Holocaust because eleven and a half million people died. The Holocaust was more than a million times worse than Kingsmill.

    The Kingsmill workers were killed because of who and what they were – Protestants. The victims of every sectarian murder here was killed because of the same “thought process” as the Nazis. As though discriminate murder is a more evil thing than indiscriminate murder. The analogy is total bullshit.

    You see the character of McDowell when, faced with the enormity of the Holocaust, his instinct is to see what use he can make out of the dead millions.

  • DCB

    Pat

    The fact that they are seperated by 16 years only underscores his point. They’re both of the same nature and just highlight that the provos often engaged in a sectarian manor – they did not just have a few mad years in the mid 70s.

  • Davros

    SF have been known to use the Auschwicz analogy themselves to make a cheap and inaccurate point. Shall we talk about that then ?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    cgmoron

    “However his point is correct. SF/IRA are very similar to the Nazis.”

    Absolutely pathetic, idiotic, self-serving, self-pitying, intellectually cowardly, reactionary, lazy, childish, moronic, ignorant statement.

    DB

    “I hate it when we talk about our problems with reference to the Nazi’s. It’s a common mopery trait, present amongst both the green and orange
    varient of the affliction.”

    Hear hear. In fact, I’d say Mick should consider introducing a new rule to Slugger: no Hitler gambits. There hasn’t been a single debate that has been anhanced by someone introducing the Nazis to the discussion.

    (Obviously though, I acknowledge that on this particular thread it is appropriate that the Nazis be discussed.)

  • JD

    SF have been known to use the Auschwicz analogy themselves to make a cheap and inaccurate point. Shall we talk about that then ?

    Just as daft, if you ask me.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Davros.

    “SF have been known to use the Auschwicz analogy themselves to make a cheap and inaccurate point. Shall we talk about that then?”

    Anyone who invokes the Holocaust to score a cheap political point is scum in my book. End of story.

  • Young Republican

    DCB

    The fact that they are seperated by 16 years only underscores his point. They’re both of the same nature and just highlight that the provos often engaged in a sectarian manor – they did not just have a few mad years in the mid 70s.

    you are completely mistaken

    the kingsmill attack appeared to be motivated by secterianism.

    teebabane was carried out by the IRA against collabororaters maintaining the presence of the occupying forces.

    therefore it was not motivated by hatred of a particular religion practised by fellow irishmen.

    on the contary. the war of liberation was intended to rid ireland of the scourge of secterianism and it’s master – England.

  • Young Republican

    DCB

    The fact that they are seperated by 16 years only underscores his point. They’re both of the same nature and just highlight that the provos often engaged in a sectarian manor – they did not just have a few mad years in the mid 70s.

    you are completely mistaken

    the kingsmill attack appeared to be motivated by secterianism.

    teebabane was carried out by the IRA against collabororaters maintaining the presence of the occupying forces.

    therefore it was not motivated by hatred of a particular religion practised by fellow irishmen.

    on the contary. the war of liberation was intended to rid ireland of the scourge of secterianism and it’s master – England.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Billy

    I fail to see what was fatuous about asking a question based on the point that McDowell was asking, and which had been ignored.

    Bizarrely, you seem to have ended up largely in agreement with McDowell’s point when you state: “The victims of every sectarian murder here was killed because of the same “thought process” as the Nazis.”

    The IRA has always said it was not sectarian, because it considered itself at war with an enemy, and their religion was unimportant. Kingsmill shows that this was not always the case at all.

    If you like, I can start a thread on loyalism’s notoriously indiscriminate attacks for balance, but we’re all too aware of just how sectarian they are. Loyalist paramilitarism has always been much more blatantly sectarian than republicanism, IMHO.

    If you like, I can agree that McDowell is a political opportunist but that his timing on this one probably sucks.

    If you like, I won’t even drag up more events of the past, but that’s not easy given that unionists and republicans seem to spend a fair bit of time there.

    The point is, that despite our pious platitudes and our politicians’ hand-wringing, many lessons of the past have not been learned, despite the reminders that today provides.

    The scale is very different – I would be the first to say so – as the comparisons with the Holocaust are not justified in terms of the numbers of deaths.

    But is the thought process, or “intellectual activity”, as McDowell puts it, any different? Or is the only thing we’ve learned is how to teeter on the brink without falling over?

    S’all I was getting at.

  • Davros

    Ironic that the person who made those comments has been selected to stand in Lagan Valley for the Westminster elections! Promotion.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Who’s that then?

  • James

    This latest remark comparing the atrocity at Kingsmill (and incorrectly, at Teebane) with the Holocaust, is particularly distasteful

    Trust me, it’ll get worse. The maggots will gag before it’s over.

    And on this thread, too.

    This party never stops.

  • Davros

    Billy P – As seen by events in Dublin outside of the Dáil the history of extreme nationalism and it’s ties to extreme nationalism in Ireland is both relevent and current. Why should extreme nationalism be ruled out of bounds ? It’s a problem today – as is imperialism and capitalism. Shall we ban discussion of An Drochshaol ? How about Strongbow ?
    Shall we ban discussion about partition ?

    If someone makes an inappropriate remark the answer is for people to ignore the comment or to state that they feel it was inappropraite and refuse to get into a discussion.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Apologists for Mc Dowell need not worry it is impossible to embarrass the fool. He cannot escape the fact that he tried an opportunistic slant on Auschwitz in an attempt for a few more sordid headlines. He made a balls of it.

  • Davros

    Who’s that then?

    Butler selected for Lagan Valley

    ” Sinn Féin has selected Councillor Paul Butler to stand in next year’s Westminster election in Lagan Valley. The party has been a breath of fresh air to politics in the Lagan Valley constituency said Gerry Adams, welcoming the announcement.”

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Davros

    What did Paul Butler say? You lost me, as I couldn’t work out what you were replying to.

  • Davros

    Soory for the misunderstanding BG.

    Mr Butler caused a lot of offence in 2003 by comparing Long Kesh/the Maze with Auschwicz.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Ahhhhh…

    Anyway, just for the record, the Gonzo Research Bureau has uncovered another wee mistake from the Dail debate regarding IRA activity…

    Ahern stated: “The Provisional IRA is also believed to be responsible for the abduction and robbery at a Strabane bank branch on 26 September.”

    It was
    “>actually an Iceland
    store that was robbed on the 26th.

    The modus operandi of this gang and the Northern Bank gang is obviously exactly the same. Northern Bank official Chris Ward (see video) said his kidnappers referred to other robberies, and Strabane was mentioned, so it seems logical to assume that the gang had plenty of hands on experience.

    While Bertie may have gotten the location wrong, he seems correct to think that it was the same people who did the Northern, although there had been quite a few bank jobs involving ‘tiger kidnappings’ in the area around that time.

    Hat tip to C.

  • aquifer

    The IRA campaign was as sectarian as it could be without provoking a massive backlash against innocent catholics. IRA defiance could not extend to defence. The is no morality in recognising a military necessity.

    The true republicans were the Official IRA who knew when to quit a campaign that was destined to divide.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘The true republicans were the Official IRA who knew when to quit a campaign that was destined to divide.’

    The Official IRA exists to this day. Despite its’ ceasefire in the mid 70’s it continues to this day to carry out criminal acts.

  • Davros

    The most poignant thing about Kingsmill for me was that the protestant workers thought it was Loyalists and tried to protect their fellow worker from what they thought was to be his murder.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    true and indeed very brave, given that the UVF had murdered 5 members of 2 families the night before they had good reason for their assumption.

  • Davros

    Yes pat. I agree entirely.

  • cgmoron

    Billy Pilgrim
    Absolutely pathetic, idiotic, self-serving, self-pitying, intellectually cowardly, reactionary, lazy, childish, moronic, ignorant statement.

    Billy I am a gr8 believer in freedom of speech and strongly object to your attempts to having Sf been compared to the nazis banned on this site. I view this as censorship which is unhealthy in a democracy.

    You are entitled to your opinion. Likewise so am I.
    Keep on rocking in the Free world!!!!!

  • willowfield

    The Official IRA exists to this day. Despite its’ [sic] ceasefire in the mid 70’s it continues to this day to carry out criminal acts.

    Any evidence for that, Pat?

    LOL!

    PS. Young Republican’s comments are disgusting.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Willowfield, do you really require evidence? or would a nod and a wink from anonymous security sources do the job?

  • PaddyCanuck

    Willowfield, do you really require evidence? or would a nod and a wink from anonymous security sources do the job?

  • willowfield

    No, I don’t require evidence. I thought Pat did, though.

  • offer it up

    The Kingsmills Massacre was ‘fighting fire with fire’. It was a terrible and awful price to pay but the reality is that before Kingsmills, loyalists operated a sectarian killing campaign – seemingly at will – in the south Armagh area. That stopped after Kingsmills.