The annus horribilus for the Republican Movement continues. The IRA continues to be attacked from within the nationalist community. Henry McDonald reported in The Observer yesterday, Grieving sisters square up to IRA , that “a staunchly republican district of Belfast may be about to turn in Provos who killed a young father“.The Irish News reports in Sister blames IRA for protecting killers :”The victim’s sister Paula accused the organisation of attempting to protect a senior republican allegedly involved in the murder.
She told the Sunday Tribune newspaper: “The IRA was involved in a clean-up operation in the bar so there would be no forensic evidence. The IRA threatened eye-witnesses.
“The IRA visited the local community centre and ordered people not to talk to the police and media, not even to talk to each other, about the murder.
“This raises very serious questions for Sinn Fein.” ”
John Kelly has weighed in from Maghera with a powerful letter, also in the Irish News (q.v.) in which he asks “For an increasing and questioning voice of concern within the nationalist/republican communities throughout the north of Ireland the questions most frequently being asked are: Have we exchanged a fascist and sectarian orange jackboot for an increasingly fascist and totalitarian green jackboot?
“Have we exchanged a sectarian RUC Special Branch for the special branch of a militia that imposes its ‘law and order’ behind a balaclava, a balaclava that brings fear and death into our communities?”
‘Law and order’ from behind a balaclava (subs only):
From John Kelly, Maghera, Co Derry
I write in support of Gerard Quinn’s courageous and compelling letter (February 11). His plea that justice is not denied following the murder of his cousin Robert McCartney was both dignified and calmly reasoned.
If justice delayed is justice denied then equally justice obstructed is justice denied.
The obstruction of justice and the covering up of an injustice by political or paramilitary groupings is no less acceptable than the obstruction of justice and the covering up of an injustice by government security agencies.
Equally, if the destruction of evidence by British securocrats to deny justice to those Irish citizens in whose murders they colluded is criminally reprehensible then the destruction of evidence by those who colluded in the murder of Robert McCartney is as criminally reprehensible.
Moreover, the cynical and despicable manipulation by political representatives of children as young as five years old to protest against and to obstruct an attempt to investigate the murder of Robert McCartney was an injustice that added to the injustice of his murder.
The murder of Robert McCartney had everything to do with civil law and nothing to do with political principles or the political process.
It was a crime and no-one had the right, whatever their political complexion, to threaten or discourage anyone from the community in which that murder was committed against cooperating in bringing justice to Robert McCartney, to his partner, to his fatherless children and to his mother, father and sisters.
For an increasing and questioning voice of concern within the nationalist/republican communities throughout the north of Ireland the questions most frequently being asked are:
• have we the nationalist/republican community exchanged a fascist and sectarian orange jackboot for an increasingly fascist and totalitarian green jackboot?
• have we the nationalist/republican community exchanged a sectarian RUC Special Branch for the special branch of a militia that imposes its ‘law and order’ behind a balaclava – a balaclava that brings fear, punishment and death into our communities?
I would ask those nationalist and republicans who have suspended their critical faculties in the pursuit of an electoral mandate to question whether that mandate can be used to justify actions and activities that not only offends the core values of republicanism but also offends the core values of Christian society.
I conclude by posing the same question Gerard Quinn posed in the last paragraph of his letter: How does murdering the innocent “protector” of a “respected family” in the local community build an Ireland of equals?
John Kelly, Maghera, Co Derry