Criminal dynamic out of anyone's control?

Just aside a slight addendum to Ambrose’s earlier post on Robin Livingstone’s fascinating op ed in the Guardian.

I thought the last paragraph was the most incisive passage in the piece. Robin is right on the money with this:

The McCartney affair is potentially more dangerous for Sinn Féin. The best outcome would be a quick and convincing conviction. But if the killer stays free, even without the aid of the IRA, that fact will come to be the fault of republicans for what they did or didn’t do in the days after the killing [my italics]. The ghosts of the disappeared and the grim search for their bodies have haunted the IRA for years. How ironic it would be if the last of the disappeared remained alive, was one of their own, and did them most damage.

Despite some of the ‘previous’ reporting on the bank raid recently (we still await any evidence that Jim Cusick’s claim that £10 million has been recovered and connected to the IRA, is in any way accurate), I would not underestimate its capacity for damage, both direct and collateral for whoever carried out that raid. Apart from anything else, it adds to a growing sense that certain areas (Loyalist as well as Republican) in Northern Ireland are simply out of anyone’s control.

  • Henry94

    Mick

    Any article that doesn’t cover the release of Tom Hanlon without charge is out of date at far as this story goes.

    If Hanlon had not been lifted the speculation would be all about republican dissidents given that the arrest of one of them appears to have sparked this off.

    The implications for the Hugh Orde theory would have been a live issue.

    So questions arise about the motivtion for the arrest of Hanlon. He was the link to Sinn Fein in the case. He faces no charge whatsoever and there is no suggestion that he was found with stolen money, around stolen money or within an asses roar of stolen money.

  • Henry94

    What we can be sure of is that “security sources” have already provided their pet journalists with tomorrows wild claims. But if we have learned anything from examining media reports on this site it is to treat such stories with scepticism if not derision.

  • Davros

    Henry – the article itself has all sorts of layers of meaning and significance – even though things have moved on since it was written it gave a fascinating insight into the thought processes and positioning of Mr Livingstone, which are worthy of examination as he is editor of ATN. Will he have lost any standing over this article ?

  • Henry94

    Davros

    I’d be more concerned about the arrest of an innocent man for political reasons than the standing of a journalist.

    The first report on Slugger for example of the arrests (from sky)gave the impression that the arrest of Hanlon took place as part of the raids that found the money. That was typical of the reports and is probably still widely believed.

    That is a clear injustice to Hanlon and a compplete misrepresentation of events.

  • Davros

    I’d be more concerned about the arrest of an innocent man for political reasons than the standing of a journalist.

    That’s right and proper Henry, but the thread is specifically about Mr Livingstone’s comments in the Guardian.

  • Henry94

    Davros

    The thread was sitting here ignored unoccupied with the keys in it so I decided to take it for a spin.

    If you have a point to make about Mr. Livingstone feel fee but the elephant in the room is the arrest of Tom Hanlon and the big issue for journalism should be they way reporters were used to convey to the public the false impression that he was arrested in proximity to the hot money when he was not.

    P.S

    Are you telling me you have never gone off-topic in a thread?

  • Davros

    Why so stroppy Henry ? I was agreeing with you !
    RL appeared to go off-message in his article. That’s worth discussing. There are plenty of threads more specifically to do with the rights and wrongs of the investigation itself!

    And it’s a wintery night here, but I have a ton of chocolate and loads of nice tobacco , including a wonderful Black Cherry Cavendish and I’m settling down to finish reading a fascinating article on the Irish Eugenics Movement.

  • Henry94

    Davros

    Why so stroppy Henry ? I was agreeing with you

    I was actually trying (and clearly failing) to be amusing not stroppy.

    I didn’t know there was an Irish Eugenics Movement. Is the article on-line? I understood the Catholic Church was opposed to eugenics so was the egenics movement mainly Protestant?

    Looking at the faces on the march today you’d have to call it a failure 😉

  • Davros

    Sorry Henry – deepest apologies for being po-faced. Grovel, grovel, grovel.

    The article isn’t online, and it’s fascinating.
    The movements were founded in Dublin and Belfast 1911. Lots of class considerations, City vs Rural, race suicide etc.
    The Catholic church went through all sorts of theological contortions over this issue.
    There was postive and negative Eugenics.
    Negative eugenics were out – birth control, sterilization and abortion. However there were attempts at de facto negative eugenics via segregation in institutions and manipulation of canon law (Ecclesiae vetitum) to forbid ‘unsuitable’ marriages.

    Positive eugenics was OK with the Hierarchy- that was known as pro-natalism …encouraging the suitable couples to breed to redress the balance as it were. France was strongly pro-natalist as it was concerned about a general population decline decades before the rest of Europe got worried in the 1930’s.

    All sorts of fuss about whether to extend the Mental deficiency act of 1913 to Ireland – mainly on grounds of cost ( not a lot changes , does it ? )

    Jones, G (1992) ‘Eugenics in Ireland: the Belfast eugenics Society, 1911-15’ IN: Irish historical studies : the joint journal of the Irish Historical Society. – 0021-1214 Vol. XXVIII, no. 109, pp. 81-95

    The more I read this guff the angrier I get!
    Some of the quotes remind me of some of the claims about Travellers.

  • Jacko

    Henry 94
    The provisional movement is up to its neck in criminality of all sorts, from threats to punishment attacks: money laundering to murder; from extortion to bank robbery; from taking a cut of the profits from drug dealers to fuel laundering; fake cds, dodgy cigarettes and even dodgier vodka.
    You know it, I know it and anybody with an eye to see knows it.
    So for Christ’s sake spare us the injured innocents act – it cuts no ice with anyone beyond the glassy-eyed devotees.

  • Davros

    That’s OTT Jacko. Henry is perfectly entitled to raise the Hanlon case …

  • Davros

    Having finished the article now, It’s fair to say that there was a more definitely protestant bias in Ireland towards eugenics Henry. The 1930 encyclical,
    Casti connubii, effectively closed the door.

  • Jacko

    Davros
    Sorry to interrupt your fascinating discussion on eugenics, but if you can stop crawling to Henry for a second maybe you might care to answer a couple of questions?
    In your opinion, are the points I make regarding the provisional movement correct or are they not? Are they obviously correct, or are they not?
    If you answer yes to both questions, then anyone playing the injured innocents nonsense deserves to be told in no uncertain terms to give it a rest for it is fooling no-one.

  • Davros

    Jacko – ball not man.

  • Jacko

    Davros – answers not evasion.

    You start off by trying to keep the discussion on thread. The other guy persists in dragging it to another subject to the point where he loses his temper. You wind up apologising.

    Right then, let’s deal with the broad subject he insists on discussing.

    Care to answer the questions?

  • Henry94

    Jacko

    Yesterday you were gleefully anticipating the production of evidence

    Yep, looks like anytime soon we’re going to hear to be presented with the evidence Orde, Blair, Ahern et. all, didn’t have.
    Either that, or the party activists about Cork and Derry have been selling one hell of an amount of ballot tickets.

    My own initial respone was

    Let’s make sure that the hysteria surrounding this case doesn’t interfere with anyone’s right to a fair trial.

    Others made similar points but you were dismissive

    I think it’s you guys, the minor apparatchiks, trying unsuccessfully to employ the old damage limitation and shifting of focus tricks, that need a rest.

    I can only conclude that you have no interest in the truth of this matter.

    For my part when the media wrongly linked Tom Hanlon to the money I took it at face value and made no attempt to deny how serious that was. Quite the opposite. Here’s what I said.

    The time hascome to decide what kind of party Sinn Fein wants to be.,/i>

    Republicans can’t be criminals the man said.

    What I want to know is can criminals be republicans. I won’t be voting Sinn Fein again unless I get a satisfactory answer to that question. Did the IRA lie to Martin McGuinness or did Martin McGuinness lie to the rest of us?

    So I am entitled to raise the issue of the misleading reporting and if you had a case to make on that issue you would be making it. But you have lost interest in the evidence because it no longer appears to lead where you had hoped.

  • Davros

    In a word Jacko – No.

  • Jacko

    Henry94

    I repeat: – The provisional movement is up to its neck in criminality of all sorts, from threats to punishment attacks: money laundering to murder; from extortion to bank robbery; from taking a cut of the profits from drug dealers to fuel laundering; fake cds, dodgy cigarettes and even dodgier vodka.
    You know it, I know it and anybody with an eye to see knows it.
    So for Christ’s sake spare us the injured innocents act – it cuts no ice with anyone beyond the glassy-eyed devotees.

    Davros – Just like I figured.

  • Henry94

    Jacko

    I repeat:-)Yesterday you were gleefully anticipating the production of evidence

    Yep, looks like anytime soon we’re going to hear to be presented with the evidence Orde, Blair, Ahern et. all, didn’t have.
    Either that, or the party activists about Cork and Derry have been selling one hell of an amount of ballot tickets.

    My own initial respone was

    Let’s make sure that the hysteria surrounding this case doesn’t interfere with anyone’s right to a fair trial.

    Others made similar points but you were dismissive

    I think it’s you guys, the minor apparatchiks, trying unsuccessfully to employ the old damage limitation and shifting of focus tricks, that need a rest.

    I can only conclude that you have no interest in the truth of this matter.

    For my part when the media wrongly linked Tom Hanlon to the money I took it at face value and made no attempt to deny how serious that was. Quite the opposite. Here’s what I said.

    The time hascome to decide what kind of party Sinn Fein wants to be.,/i>

    Republicans can’t be criminals the man said.

    What I want to know is can criminals be republicans. I won’t be voting Sinn Fein again unless I get a satisfactory answer to that question. Did the IRA lie to Martin McGuinness or did Martin McGuinness lie to the rest of us?

    So I am entitled to raise the issue of the misleading reporting and if you had a case to make on that issue you would be making it. But you have lost interest in the evidence because it no longer appears to lead where you had hoped.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Jacko,

    your arguments make be taken more seriously if you could give us positive examples of what you are waffling on about.

  • Henry94

    Jacko

    It is amusing to be called a glassy-eyed devotee of Sinn Fein when I have directly challenged statements by both Adams and McGuinness.

    Here I am again yesterday being critical of the RM

    cg

    I couldn’t help thinking that a political movement that embraced O’Cuiv, MaAliskey and Maskey would advance the cause of Irish unity more effectively than the current republican movement.

    Posted by: Henry94 at February 18, 2005 07:59 AM

    So cut out the smear tactics. They don’t stand up.

    There is an issue for the Gardai and the media concerning the arrest of Tom Hanlon and the way it was reported.

  • Mick Fealty

    “The thread was sitting here ignored unoccupied with the keys in it so I decided to take it for a spin“.

    A very apposite choice of words Henry. 🙂 I’m not sure you’d have gotten away with it if Type Key wasn’t keeping so many people out.

    I upgraded the software last week and the problem of access has gotten even worse. I’ve had a string of complaints from people who’ve not been able to get in. I hope to install an alternative when I return to Slugger Central next week.

    You are entitled to create over the media’s handling over the arrest of a party member. No one should deny you that right. I said right at the beginning that evidence would be needed to decide the outcome of the bank raid story.

    But that there have been arrests of Sinn Fein members confirms nothing so much as the Gardai’s still suspects that the Republican movement was behind the raid.

    I’ve attempted to open out the debate to who else might have done it, espeically given there’s a possibility that Sinn Fein’s defence that it is all poltically inspired allegations to make them look bad is the right answer to this vexing question. But alas, to little avail!

    What puzzles me is why the Republican movement is not following up its denial with some credible accusations of its own as to who really is behind the raids.

    In any case it does not alter the importance of Robin’s words:

    ….that fact will come to be the fault of republicans for what they did or didn’t do in the days after the killing.

    The impression given is that someone, be they IRA or not, can do what was done to McCartney and be seen to get away with it by withdrawing inside a largely unpoliced Republican area. That should be a bigger concern for the party and the movement as a whole than it seems to be at the moment.

    Will we see any due process? The days are counting down, and there still are no witnesses.

    Remember, it was the cover up that blew Nixon out of office not the break-in to the Watergate Building! And that took nearly three years to come about.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Mick,

    Watergate? Trimble already has that market covered when he stated that Stormont was bigger than Watergate.

    On the question of policing did anyone with even a titter of wit think that the suspicion and downright hatred of the police in nationalist areas would be overcome by one incident.

    The media, once again, have misread what is happening within nationalist areas and is another indictment of those ‘experts’ who are invited into TV studios to tell us what is happening on the ground .
    For the most part journalists are misinformed, lazy, lying bastards who can only find their arse because it’s attached to the rest of their body.

  • Davros

    On the question of policing did anyone with even a titter of wit think that the suspicion and downright hatred of the police in nationalist areas would be overcome by one incident.

    Some nationalist or republican areas, sure. But I don’t think it’s accurate to claim or imply that they are hated in all nationalist areas pat.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    i’m referring to nationalist areas in Belfast.

  • ShayPaul

    The problem Davros, is that a police force which is not “hated” is not really a valid criteria for credible policing.

    A police force has to be trusted, it has to confirm the legitimacy of the state, and confer stability to society.

    There is a long way to go from just not “hating” them.

  • Davros

    The problem Davros, is that a police force which is not “hated” is not really a valid criteria for credible policing.

    Different issue to the one I raised with pat Shay.

  • ShayPaul

    Still an issue, don’t duck it.

  • Davros

    Isn’t that just a tad presumptious Shay ?

  • mickhall

    Pat,

    You write, “The media, once again, have misread what is happening within nationalist areas” I would be interested to hear your take as to what is going on in nationalist area’s.

    Henry, you wrote, “Looking at the faces on the march today you’d have to call it a failure” Was this march anything to do with what we are discussing? Myself I would be interested to hear how Pat, Henry, cg and the others see SF moving forward from theses recent events. Is it going to be a case of circle the wagons and wait for better days, or do they feel there should be a new strategy.

    I am surprised that Mr Aherns attacks on SF seem to have taken the Party leadership by surprised, as once SF began to gain ground in the south this was bound to happen at some point. After all FF’s whole raison d’être for existence is government office, no matter what, so they were hardly going to act like the SDLP and roll over.
    Although even FF must have been shocked at the peg the PRM nailed up for them to hang their cap upon.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    I can only speak for the North of the town Mick. As for the Northern and the raids in the south people who I talk to think it is a big joke and quite amusing. As stated before after the siren voices are quietened and people are released the desperation of others becomes more apparent.

    On the Mc Cartney killing, there is anger at the killers and sympathy for the family, thats about it.

  • Henry94

    Mick

    But that there have been arrests of Sinn Fein members confirms nothing so much as the Gardai’s still suspects that the Republican movement was behind the raid.

    My concern is that the arrest (singular) of a sinn fein member may have been designed to link Sinn Fein to the crime in the public mind. It unleasehed a media frenzy which did not abate when he was released without charge.

    I’ve attempted to open out the debate to who else might have done it

    We’re told that the person charged is a member of the rira.

    What puzzles me is why the Republican movement is not following up its denial with some credible accusations of its own as to who really is behind the raids.

    Is the best way to oppose unsubstantiaed allegations against you really to start making them against somebody else?

    mickhall

    I want to see the end of the IRA today. They serve no purpose and should depart the scene. Sinn Fein should become the natural political home for all those who want to bring about the unity of Ireland by exclusively democratic and peaceful means. Because that is the only kind of unity worth having.

    My belief and hope is that Sinn Fein is heading in that direction.

  • ShayPaul

    mickhall

    “FF’s whole raison d’être for existence …”

    Bit of an overstatement ?

  • Jacko

    Henry94
    The final paragraph of your last post convinces me that directing my ire at you was mistaken – for that I apologise. Wrong person.

    Yes I did, and do, take great delight in the provisional movement finally being exposed for what it is. Though, like many, I indulge in more than a little hyerbole at times and, as Pat will surely testify, have an annoying habit of taking the piss, I actually don’t believe that all of those, or maybe not even the critical mass, of the provisional movement are criminal. But the leadership is, middle management is, and sections of the grassroots are.
    But what I do believe is the case and is almost worse, is that the grassroots follow blindly where the leadership takes them, they are unquestioning of leadership pronouncements and blind themselves to the obvious contradicions and downright hypocrisy of the leadership.
    That, to me, is not a healthy movement for any thinking person to be associated with.

    The future of Irish republicanism should not be considered as being dependent on the provisionals. The very opposite should be the attitude of decent republican men and women. Why should this cabal be allowed to claim ownership (never mind, by default, be gifted with) the legacy of Tone, Emmet, McCracken etc.
    The provisionals, in my humble estimation, are by far and away the greatest obstacle to the fulfilment of the great Irish republican dream of unity between Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter.
    As I said on another thread the other day, there are lots of Protestants who may not be that hard to coax – but not at the point of a gun or hanging on the coat tails of criminals and gangsters.

  • mickhall

    Cheers Pat and Henry.
    When Henry says, “I want to see the end of the IRA today.” Would you say this is increasingly a viewpoint held by SF voters, or is this just a southern thing. This is of some importance one would think because if more and more of their electorate hold this view, the more of a hindrance the IRA becomes to further development. I have found many of SF younger voters seem to support Henry’s viewpoint, which if you consider youngsters are normally the most militant, is very interesting and encouraging.

    shaypaul

    What I was trying to say is politically FF can be a tough bunch, who tend to think the top table is there’s by right. So they were bound to come out fighting at some stage.

  • Henry94

    mickhall

    I believe that it is the view of most Sinn Fein supporters and that the continuation of the IRA will eventually cause the collapse of the political project. If for no other reason than forcing the Sinn Fein leadership to constantly address the issue rather than address the issues that matter to voters.

    I don’t underestimate the difficulties facing the movement in bring about a post-IRA situation and as long as I think they are serious about it they will have my support.

    Jacko

    Apology accepted.

    The future of Irish republicanism should not be considered as being dependent on the provisionals. The very opposite should be the attitude of decent republican men and women. Why should this cabal be allowed to claim ownership (never mind, by default, be gifted with) the legacy of Tone, Emmet, McCracken etc.

    Who else is willing to claim it. Where are the other all-Ireland parties. I see much more chance of sorting out Sinn Fein than putting a new party in the field. But, to coin a phrase, I might be wrong.

  • Jacko

    Henry
    Why is it deemed necessary to have an all-Ireland party?

    The problem, from a republican perspective, is that a section of unionism has to be convinced.

    Bruton, Ahern, McDowell and, to differing degrees, the two presidential Mary’s as well as the sympathetic attitudes of many southern journalists and academics – all republicans by definition – have combined to change many unionist’s attitudes to the Republic.
    Obviously not to the extent that republicans would like, but once attitudinal change begins it tends to continue in a straight line.
    None of the above are all-Ireland in any real sense.

    Assuming that the people of the Republic would be happy to accept us (aside from the economic considerations, we are all nuts are far as many of them are concerned), it seems to me that it is here in NI that the work has to be done – by northern republicans and nationalists.

    By their actions and their behaviour, the provisional movement, far from convincing anyone, are raising unionist hackles and causing them to dig their heels in.

  • barnshee

    “there are lots of Protestants who may not be that hard to coax”

    Absolutely no way -protestants have had their position validated in spades –no UI

  • Henry94

    Jacko

    Why is it deemed necessary to have an all-Ireland party?

    My impression was you wanted a debate on the way forward for Irish republicanism. Republicanism is an all-island political movement and by definition requires an all-Ireland party.

    I don’t consider either McDowell or Bruton to be republicans. I doubt Bruton would consider himself to be one. But I would urge Ahern to let the people in the north who want to build a Fianna Fail organisation to do so.

    The case does of course need to be put to unionists and the existence of the IRA is a barrier to that. I hope that reppblicans are soon in a position to challenge unionism for votes not to pander to it.

  • Davros

    Henry – you write “I don’t consider either McDowell or Bruton to be republicans.” Does this mean that those in the 26 counties who believe in the 26 county republic and the republican form of government for the 26 yet are not enthusiastic about unification are somehow not republicans ? As for myself I would like to see Ireland united in a European Socialist Republic. Am I not republican ? Does one have to be nationalist to be republican ?

  • Ringo

    Henry94
    But I would urge Ahern to let the people in the north who want to build a Fianna Fail organisation to do so.

    If the rumours are correct (and I know you don’t put much stock in rumours but anyway..) the soldiers of destiny will head north is to take on Sinn Fein in its backyard. Ironically it would be to take on republicanism rather than promote it.

    That said, I am not really convinced they could make a big impact north of the border. It is more than half a century since they last had to work in an area where they don’t have a base. Or sitting representatives.

    I would agree with you that neither McDowell nor Bruton are republicans in the 1916 sense. Bertie is too pragmatic to be anything, but he probably resembles Lemass in his republicanism, rather than the Dev etc…

  • Jacko

    “Republicanism is an all-island political movement and by definition requires an all-Ireland party.”

    Well no, actually.
    Republicanism, as it sits today, is a reality in one part of the island but remains a mere aspiration in the other.
    Unionists have to be persuaded, why does that require an all-island party?
    You have failed to explain, or even try, why “by definition”, it requires an all-island party.

    In fact, your post suggests an elitism that runs completely counter to Irish republicanism when you talk in the singular of an all-island party, as though there can be room for only one “party” representing Irish republicanism.

    This elitism is confirmed when you dismiss McDowell and Bruton as non-republicans. Two people who have between them held the highest offices in the government of a sovereign republican state and, as far as I know, have never once sought to undermine that state or re-introduce, by fair means or foul, a monarchical system.

    Perhaps they became, in some peoples estimation, non-republicans for opposing a sectarian killing machine and an organised criminal gang. I would have thought, by the proper tenets of Irish republicanism, that this attitude would have confirmed their adherence to proper republicanism. Or is it really just about butchering and riding roughshod over the Protestants and the Dissenters.

  • willowfield

    Such “ideological elitism”, talk of the need for a “single party”, disparagement of those who don’t conform with the “pure ideology”, etc., sounds like the language of totalitarianism. Combine this with the paramilitarism, the extreme nationalism, the violence meted out against opponents, the intimidation, and the Provisional republican movement appears like something out of 1930s fascist Europe. Add in the “democratic centralism” whereby the leadership decides the party line and all adherents must conform, and we have the Stalinist characteristic thrown in for good measure.

  • Jacko

    Willowfield

    Exactly right. The people Bruton and McDowell have opposed so fiercely have dragged the name of Irish republicanism through the gutter for decades.

  • Henry94

    jacko

    In fact, your post suggests an elitism that runs completely counter to Irish republicanism when you talk in the singular of an all-island party, as though there can be room for only one “party” representing Irish republicanism.

    Do you read other peoples posts at all?

    I wrote this

    But I would urge Ahern to let the people in the north who want to build a Fianna Fail organisation to do so.

    Calling for Fianna Fail to organise in the north shows that I don’t want just one all-Ireland party. I want as many as possible but Bruton’s party and McDowells party are never going to do it. That’s why I term them non-republican.

    If you don’t accept the need for an all-Ireland party then I don’t consider you a republican either so a debate on the way forward for republicanism with you would be a waste of our time. It is a basic principle as far as I’m concerned for reasons that are so obvious that it would be tedious to spell them out.

    Davros

    Does this mean that those in the 26 counties who believe in the 26 county republic and the republican form of government for the 26 yet are not enthusiastic about unification are somehow not republicans ?

    Not to me. An Irish republican is someone who believes in an all-Ireland republic. The people you mentioned are perfectly entitle to their opinion and perfectly entitled to consider themselves republicans according to their own definitions but in practical political terms I consider them opponents an not people to discuss the future direction of republicanism with.

    As for myself I would like to see Ireland united in a European Socialist Republic. Am I not republican ? Does one have to be nationalist to be republican ?

    Look, according to himself George bush is a republican and according to Kim Il Sung North Korea is a republic. Dictionary definitions are one thing and practical politics is something else. In Irish political terms republican has a meaning that is well understood. It does not include the self-confessed Redmondite John Bruton.

    A debate about the future of republicanism for me would be worth having with people like Pat and mickhall with whom I share political objectives.

    That’s not elitist. It’s practical.

  • Jacko

    “It is a basic principle as far as I’m concerned for reasons that are so obvious that it would be tedious to spell them out.”

    Henry94

    That is a cop out. There is no “by definition” need for an all-Ireland party at this point to further the republican goal of a United Ireland. That is why you are incapable of explaining the need.

    You confuse nationalism with republicanism, or perhaps you just think they are the same thing.

    Though, with provisional republicans now describing themselves almost exclusively as both nationalist and socialist one wonders if, for once, honesty prevails – for they are like nothing else quite so much as just that national socialists. Don’t you think?

  • Henry94

    Jacko

    No disrespect but I don’t see any basis for an interesting conversation with you on this point. Our right to an all-Ireland party is not disputed so there is no need to defend it. If you don’t think there is a need for it then don’t join it and don’t vote for it.

    You might dispute the GAA’s need for an all=ireland championship too for all I know but again it is a position too extreme and bizarre to waste my time on.

  • Davros

    Not to me. An Irish republican is someone who believes in an all-Ireland republic.

    That’s different Henry, you didn’t write “Irish republican”, you wrote “I don’t consider either McDowell or Bruton to be republicans.” Not all republicans follow the essentialist school of nationalism.

  • James

    Mick:

    “But that there have been arrests of Sinn Fein members confirms nothing so much as the Gardai’s still suspects that the Republican movement was behind the raid.”

    The schizophrenia law enforcement has displayed has liquidated any trust I had. First there is this shower of arrests and leaks coupled with the lackadaisical attitude PSNI have taken toward the Northern Bank notes recovered in the south. Now all but one of the people arrested during that media feeding frenzy of leaks have been released without charge. The chef (what is it about chefs on this damned island?) is not even a Provo and has a tenuous, six years distant connection with Sinn Fein.

    Enter the media. What could only have been a Gardi leak was reported in Sunday’s Irish Times where the guy in Passage West who was caught with 7.62X39 mm ammo and coke. Without losing a beat they reported his release today. What? Ammo? Coke? Released Without Charge???? This fantasy leak should have been in Myers’s column, not the front page of The Irish Times.

    I am verging toward the opinion that the money laundering investigation of long standing was a lie to cover up the hurried arrest of the usual suspects to support an attack by Fianna Fail on Sinn Fein utilizing the feeding frenzy generated by the Northern Bank Job. At the very best an ongoing investigation was criminally accelerated for political purposes and sent the organization into deep cover. That is the way it reads. The cops are either a bunch of thickos that botched an investigation the FBI could do in it’s sleep or they were turned on by the political establishment to criminalize Sinn Fein by any means possible. It also gives me a new perspective on how or why Martin Ferris was shadowed by the Gardi around Kerry before he was elected. The media are complicit in fostering this hoax. If it worked for Ken Starr, it’ll work for Bertie.

    Patrick Bartholomew Ahern learned everything he knows from Charles Haughey’s Fianna Fail which beat the piss out of a TD in the very halls of government. Mick Hall is perfectly correct: It is an absolute certainty Sinn Fein would find itself in a knife-fight with these guys.

    “I’ve attempted to open out the debate to who else might have done it, espeicially given there’s a possibility that Sinn Fein’s defence that it is all poltically inspired allegations to make them look bad is the right answer to this vexing question. But alas, to little avail!”

    You’ve done a bang-up job there but I don’t think the present bunch of us has the connections to know. Besides it a hell of a lot easier to argue what event in 1690 is responsible for today’s headlines. Then there are all these incorrect place names on the island.

    “What puzzles me is why the Republican movement is not following up its denial with some credible accusations of its own as to who really is behind the raids.”

    Try this on for size: Their history is such that they have no experience at being innocent. Consider this: For years whenever an atrocity has occurred, it has usually been the PIRA’s doing. Sinn Fein has evolved a PR style of dealing with this guilt. So if the Provos really didn’t do it, this is a first time experience for them.

    “The impression given is that someone, be they IRA or not, can do what was done to McCartney and be seen to get away with it by withdrawing inside a largely unpoliced Republican area. That should be a bigger concern for the party and the movement as a whole than it seems to be at the moment. “

    Any thoughts on how to empower the Provos who hold these communities to give up their fiefdoms? Make their weapons disappear overnight and I’ll guarantee the local Provo commander that there will be a scene on his doorstep the next day resembling the villagers with torches and pitchforks in Frankenstien.

  • Jacko

    Henry

    I suggest you get someone to explain to you the difference between nationalism and republicanism. You might just find that interesting, if a little painful given world history of the former.

  • Henry94

    Jacko

    I suggest you get someone to explain to you the difference between nationalism and republicanism

    Like most people I have my own definitions. For me Irish republicanism means that the people who live on the island of Ireland should govern themselves.

    Nationalism has overtones of race and culture which I reject. I consider unionism to be a form of nationalism. I would also consider Irish language requirements for government jobs to be nationalist and not republican.

  • willowfield

    Our right to an all-Ireland party …

    Dear, dear, dear. This absurd use of language demonstrates the extent to which ultra-nationalists have made words such as “rights” meaningless.

    An “all-Ireland party” is not a “right”. If people want an all-Ireland party they can establish one. If nobody establishes one it is nothing to do with anyone’s “rights” being breached!

  • Henry94

    willowfield

    The full quote is

    Our right to an all-Ireland party is not disputed so there is no need to defend it.

    The full context renders your point meaningless.

  • vespasian

    Henry 94

    As far as I know there is democratic government in both parts of Ireland so the people who live on the island do govern themselves. We could get into a discussion about the failure of the British Labour party to organise and stand for election in the North but that is a different topic.

  • willowfield

    Henry94

    The full context renders your point meaningless.

    How????

    For me Irish republicanism means that the people who live on the island of Ireland should govern themselves.

    They already do. And I support the concept, so does that make me an “Irish republican”?

  • Jacko

    Henry94
    As you know, the discussion was actually around me challenging your assertion that “by definition” an all-Ireland republican party (in the singular as I noted) was needed.
    I asked, why “by definition”.

    As for – “For me Irish republicanism means that the people who live on the island of Ireland should govern themselves.”

    Well actually, republicanism is about a specific form of governance, nationalism is about territory and exclusivity.

  • Henry94

    willowfield

    How????

    It’s not for me to teach you remedial English. And I don’t find you interesting enough to care about defining your politics.

  • willowfield

    Henry94

    I’ll ignore your scornful ad hominem comments and ask you again how the full context renders my point meaningless. Your comment is based on the premise that an all-Ireland party is a “right”. The “context”, as far as I can see, is irrelevant.

    It would be interesting if you responded to the points about republicanism and nationalism made by myself, Jacko and vespasian. Or do you think you are above discussion of your statements?

  • Jacko

    Willowfield
    We have a generation of “republicans” who don’t actually know what (in the Irish sense) a republican is.
    Of course with likes of Slab as a role model its hardly surprising.

  • Henry94

    willowfield

    I have no reason to believe you have any more interest than usual in a real discussion.

    You tend to focus on the trivial and the pedantic.

    I believe for example that you knew the context of the quote made your point meaningless. That’s why you left it out.

    If you want to be taken seriously then be serious.

  • willowfield

    Henry94

    I believe for example that you knew the context of the quote made your point meaningless. That’s why you left it out.

    Well, let me assure you that I didn’t “know” that the context made the point meaningless. I fail to see how it alters my point. As I have already pointed out, your comment is based on the premise that an all-Ireland party is a “right”, and the “context”, as far as I can see, is irrelevant. I have asked you to explain how the “context” renders my point meaningless. You have refused to do so.

    If you want to be taken seriously then be serious.

    I am being serious. Tell me how the context renders my point meaningless.