'Gone too far' by two.

The Guardian carries two articles today. In the First, Paper to sue over minister’s IRA claim Dan Milmo reveals that 3 men associated with Today Ireland have instructed lawyers to issue libel writs against Michael McDowell. Elsewhere, Time to lose the men in berets, Gerry David Aaronovitch expresses frustration and outrage that Gerry Adams kept company with men in combat fatigues and berets at a commemorative event in Strabane

Quite a contrast. On the one hand Mairtin O’Muilleoir, Robin Livingstone and Peter Quinn are taking on Michael McDowell for “repeated allegations that the Daily Ireland, an all-Ireland republican newspaper, is backed by the IRA. Last month he compared the Belfast-based newspaper with Völkischer Beobachter, a Nazi propaganda sheet of the 1930s.” Minister McDowell also named Senior SF officials as members of the IRA Army council – Mairtin O’Muilleoir is reported thus:

he was not surprised that the attack on his newspaper had come in the “same breath” as criticism of the largest republican party in Northern Ireland.
“It’s open season on northern nationalists and especially northern nationalists who are sympathetic to Sinn Féin. There is an attempt to criminalise that body of opinion.”

Meanwhile, David aaronovitch, who admits that Adams is a “man I’ve come to admire” describes a scene which would come close to a modern-day version of a Nazi Rally Where Mr Adams addresses men who
participated in a :

“republican rally in the town of Strabane last weekend, a rally in which 1,000 marchers paraded through the streets chanting, “IRA! IRA!”

and asks

But what the hell is he doing still in that company? Behind him and around him are men in combat fatigues and berets, some in the stand-at ease position, one with a flag. Whose army, exactly, are they? Whose taxes maintain them? What parliament or assembly appointed or regulated them? The newspapers call them a “colour party”, but what battle honours are on their flags? Enniskillen? The Baltic Exchange? Warrington?

To quote Dan Milmo :

Mr O’Muilleoir said he was not surprised that the attack on his newspaper had come in the “same breath” as criticism of the largest republican party in Northern Ireland.

“It’s open season on northern nationalists and especially northern nationalists who are sympathetic to Sinn Féin. There is an attempt to criminalise that body of opinion.”

Photographs such as those taken Strabane, February 2005, of the President of Sinn Féin as seen in various newspapers do not help Sinn Féin and indirectly the Daily Ireland’s cause.

When one’s admirer writes:

There isn’t another mainstream party whose leaders make speeches flanked by members of their own private armies; there isn’t another mainstream party whose activists carry out punishment beatings; there isn’t another mainstream party whose overt political organisation is covertly interlinked with that of a secret paramilitary organisation. In a normal democracy you can expect just a little criticism for these practices.

surely it’s time for some serious reflection?

  • Jimmy Sands

    The attempted intimidation of their critics is a standard move in the Angrytown playbook. What is new here is that they have chosen someone both capable and willing to stand up to them. This may have been a miscalculation on their part. Alternatively of course it could turn out to be a lawsuit in the Richard Perle sense and no writ ever materialises.

  • Alan

    Aaronovitch has got it dead on the money. What was Adam’s doing making that speech while floundering in the trappings of inchoate, violent republicanism. How many discordant messages went flying through every TV set?

    If Adams is serious about peace – and I believe he is – then he has to be serious about the whole of the message. If we are ever to get back on track again, then we need SF to rise to the questions being asked of them, not fall into the detritus of their violent past. It is time to take steps, it is not time to glorify a brutal past.

  • Henry94

    I would expect that no matter where the peace process takes us there will always be a republican colour party at republican commerations.

    The reasonable proposition that the IRA evolve into an old comrades association would cleary include a commerative role in relation to republicans who died in the conflict.

    I think we should try to keep the debate in the area of possibilities rather than get diverted with unreasonable and unachievable demands.

  • the truth

    I am glad to see that Daily Ireland is challenging Michael McDowell. I hope that he is not allowed to use public money to defend himself. If he wants to throw out allegations then he should bear the burden himself.

  • spirit-level

    I don’t think McDowell should be making his assertions over the head of Bertie Aherne;
    even if he’s right its just downright disrespectful.

  • Alan2

    A “Colour Party” is at most half a dozen flag bearers not 40-50 people dressed in combat fatigues, black berets and sun glasses. By all means hold Republican commemorations but to lambast Loyalist parades with paramilitary trappings and lambast Unionist politicians for debating on the same stage as paramilitaries and then not do the same when Republicans march in full paramilitary regalia and the Sinn Fein president addresses them is sheer hypocrisy.

  • Jacko

    spirit-level
    I take the opposite view – Bertie should not have backed McDowell to the hilt.
    All he had to say was: “The government has always been of the view that SF and the IRA are inextricably linked and are in fact two sides of the one coin. Minister McDowell is merely articulating what most of us already know to be fact.”
    He has, instead, allowed the notion to develop that there is daylight between their positions.

    Of course these guys aren’t stupid, it is the good cop/bad cop routine. Bertie is allowing room for the shinners to come back if they are so inclined and can measure up to what is now required of them.

  • Henry94

    Alan2

    If the Strabane parade passed through a unionist area without the consent of the residents I would agree with your analogy.

    Let’s not give the impression that anyone wants to stop the Orange from marching where they are welcome.

  • eamonndelft

    Of course in general terms he’s right, you can’t have private armies. However, I can’t help thinking that it comes a bit ill from someone who supported the use of real armies to slaughter thousands of civilians in Iraq. He’s suffering from a relatively benign form of Myersitis, a condition that leads suffers to condemn militarism when it’s practised by republicans while endorsing it when UK governments – past or present government – are involved.

  • Keith M

    spirit level “I don’t think McDowell should be making his assertions over the head of Bertie Aherne”. Can I suggest you read the editorial in today’s Irish Independent. It is Ahern who is being disrespective to the Irish people. Most people I speak to want the government’s position on this to come from McDowell and not Ahern. We’re fed up with the “softly softly” approach when it comes to murderers and big time gangsters.

  • Henry94

    KiethM

    Most people I speak to want the government’s position on this to come from McDowell and not Ahern.

    Ahern knows the mood better than either you or McDowell. There is a backlash brewing against McDowell’s attitude. Ahern has picked up on it.

  • barnshee

    “We’re fed up with the “softly softly” approach when it comes to murderers and big time gangsters.”

    Tough– your state nurtured and armed them protected them from extradition and is reaping what “you” sowed pardon my smile

  • spirit-level

    Jacko
    in view of Henry94’s post can you provide evidence that Bertie has backed McDowell to the hilt, my understanding is that he’s said that he doesn’t know who’s on the Army Council.
    Other than than that I’d like to agree with you when you said:
    “Of course these guys aren’t stupid, it is the good cop/bad cop routine” but as Henry94 said this might backfire?

    Keith M
    happy to debate with you but could you cut n paste the editorial as its reg only, if not for me then for the other posters.Thanks

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    For every admirer of Mc Dowell there are ten who despise him and that is only from within his coalition partners in Fianna Fail.

    The Daily Ireland action has been brewing for a while but it seems Mr Mc Dowell, egged on by a hungry media just kept playing and playing to the crowd and couldn’t see the trouble he was storing up for himself.

    My reckoning is that Ahern did and that is why he has quite publicly tried to put clear water between himself and Mc Dowell. Mc Dowell is being left to stand very much on his own regarding these issues and his vulnerability has been picked up by his allies at Independent Newspapers. A loss in such a case that will eventually become very high profile will leave the minister in an untenable position, thus the stakes are very high indeed.

    It is apparent that Mc Dowell has become arrogant to the point of reckless. It is all very well slagging off people convicted of IRA membership, but this is a whole new kettle of fish.

    In my opinion a court case between Mc Dowell and Daily Ireland can’t come quickly enough. The financial wherewithal of Daily Ireland et al will ensure that this is a very expensive venture all round. The minister shouldn’t pick the curtains for his very expensive holiday dachau in Roscommon just yet.

    We will also have a chance to get an insight into the much vaunted intelligence that Mc Dowell using as his back up. How this will save his skin against a company that undergoes strictly audited financial restrictions will make great entertainment.

  • Alan2

    “Let’s not give the impression that anyone wants to stop the Orange from marching where they are welcome.”

    I wasn`t talking about the Orange. The location is irrelevant. Paramilitary parades by the UDA or IRA are unacceptable. Paramilitary trappings relating to illegal terrorist organisations should not be allowed. People have the right to march and /or protest anywhere they like but it should be peaceful and non intimidatory and that goes for Orange parades and all other types of parades. The point is the president of a major political party was addressing what looked like paramilitaries…any peace process needs such things to stop. By all means hold a parade but there re many things that can be changed in this era to make it seem less threatening. The parade does not build confidence in others with either Sinn Fein or the intentions of the Republican movement. Maybe that does not matter, maybe they do not care as it probably will not affect their voters. If however a genuine peace and accomodation is sought then such things are not productive.

  • Davros

    Pat – as I understand it for a libel action to be successful it will have to be shown that what was written has damaged the Daily Ireland in the eyes of it’s peers. How easydo you think that will be to prove ?

  • Ringo

    Pat –

    McDowell’s star has never been higher than in recent times – and Fianna Fail would never really warm to him – too blue. But he’s bitten off more than he should have in this instance in naming the three. The court case will come to nothing in my opinion.

    Bertie has pulled a stroke in difficult circumstances. He’s managed to put McDowell in his box and portray himself as the measured voice of reason and honesty between the shrill accusations of McDowell and the incredible denials of Sinn Fein. Keeping his powder dry regarding the Army Council has lent further weight to his claims regarding the bank job.

  • Henry94

    Davros

    It’s not that simple in this case. If Daily Ireland could show that it has been commercially damaged in terms of sales and advertising then McDowell could find it a costly business.

  • spirit-level

    Ringo brilliant
    D’ya think that McDowell and Aherne actually worked this out over the last few days, as to who would say what, to whom, and when, to produce this stroke. I am naive on these levels

  • Davros

    If Daily Ireland could show that it has been commercially damaged in terms of sales and advertising

    That would be very difficult for a new paper to prove surely Henry? In fact as it’s target audience will be SF voters, surely if anything it’s prestige would have been increased … thinking here of Martin McGuinness avowal of his pride in his IRA membership and in the IRA generally ?

  • Henry94

    Davros

    It would be ironic if the popularity of the IRA saved McDowell’s bacon.

  • Ringo

    Ringo brilliant
    D’ya think that McDowell and Aherne actually worked this out over the last few days, as to who would say what, to whom, and when, to produce this stroke. I am naive on these levels

    Cheers Spirit!

    No, I’d say McDowell just went off on a solo run. Bertie just stepped in to do his thing.
    Wait for the firm defence of his minister and the job he’s doping in response to allegations of a rift, which McDowell will graciously lap up. We’ve been here before many times… Seamus Brennan & Noel Dempsey are prime examples.

  • Jacko

    spirit-level
    Sorry about that. Read your post and wondered what you were on about then re-read my own and wondered what the hell I was on about.

    Remove the offending and inadvertent “not” from the first line – “I take the opposite view – Bertie should “not” have backed McDowell to the hilt.

  • Alan2

    It is worth pointing out that MDowell is a qualified Barrister.

  • Jacko

    Pat
    “The financial wherewithal of Daily Ireland et al will ensure that this is a very expensive venture all round.”

    What financial wherewithal would that be then?
    From the mouths of fools and children, eh.

    Mut be Pat 1 on duty again this morniong.

    Please Jacko, Ball not man. Red cards are rare. A.U.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    i’m working on the assumption that the legal advice they have received merits a libel case, it will of course be decided, as it should, in court.

    Ringo,

    I believe that even at this stage Ahern is still keeping all his post election options open.

    Jacko,

    ‘What financial wherewithal would that be then?’

    The assets of the ATN group and the individual investors.

    ‘Mut be Pat 1 on duty again this morniong.’

    By that spelling it must be the one and only Jacko trying (once again) to get personal.

  • Davros

    i’m working on the assumption that the legal advice they have received merits a libel case, it will of course be decided, as it should, in court.

    They should settle it at lunchtime behind the bicycle shed 😉 My money would be on McDowell…

    Incidentally – How should that be pronouced ? Gerry calls him Mc-Dough-ell, the ROI reporters call him Mc-Doo-ell. Is This one of those Haitch-aitch things ?

  • Davros

    Whereas round saintfield it would be pronounces Ma’dole.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Davros.

    “as I understand it for a libel action to be successful it will have to be shown that what was written has damaged the Daily Ireland in the eyes of it’s peers.”

    Didn’t he compare it with the Nazis’ hate sheet? Surely we can all accept that such an allegation is one any newspaper would have to treat very seriously, and would be damaging to that newspaper in the eyes of, well, everyone. (Except perhaps actual, card-carrying Nazis. Of whom, I assume, there aren’t all that many these days.)

    I did laugh a few weeks ago when, after a few pints, my mate hit on the idea that the IRA should sue Hugh Orde for slander – then we could just let the courts sort the whole thing out.

    Could be a risky strategy though, just ask Oscar Wilde.

    Perhaps one of the legal crowd – Davidbrew, where are you? – could help me tell the cautionary parable that barristers tell potential litigants, about the man accused of being a highwayman. (I believe the gist is that he takes a libel case but the case is thrown out. He is then immediately arrested, taken out and hanged – for being a highwayman.)

  • Davros

    Didn’t he compare it with the Nazis’ hate sheet?

    The VB sold well despite being criticised by opponents of the Nazis BP. I imagine loads of lawyers are licking their chops in anticipation.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Where is the libel in what McDowell said? This looks a ridiculous case on the face of it and it would appear to be a distraction.

    Still, if sales need to improve, styling the paper as a victim of the big bad government might put them up.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Davros.

    I believe it’s Mc Doo-el, though that’s probably because of RTE. But sure they pronounce Dun Laoghaire as Doon Lay-o-ra. And Portlaoise as Port Lee-sha.

    (which in fairness are the correct phonetic pronunciations, but everyone outside Montrose pronounces these towns as Dun Leery and Portleesh. All sorts of existential questions abound… I’m off for lunch before my pretentiousness goes into overdrive and I start talking about Saussure or something.)

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Davros.

    Surely you would accept that today (not the 1930s) and in this country (not post-Weimar Germany) being associated the Nazi regime can only be construed negatively?

    (Or are you so entrenched in the self-serving fiction that the republican movement are the Nazis back from the dead that you actually believe republicans see themselves in the same way? As though SF voters go home at night, put on the uniforms and goose step around the living rooms to old recordings Live from Nuremburg?)

  • George

    “Tough– your state nurtured and armed them protected them from extradition and is reaping what “you” sowed pardon my smile”

    Ah Barnshee,
    the Irish government as the institutional supporter of terrorism. I was wondering how long this chestnut would stay under the surface.

    Incredible really that such a rogue state as ours would get a seat on the UN Security Council and also act as President of the EU and help agree the European Constitution.

    But blame southerners for everything if it makes you feel better. You can even call us the Great Satan if you want but really should you smile? Schadenfreude is such an unbecoming trait.

    By the way, would it be fair to say that you don’t care how many people die through political violence on this island as long as it can all be blamed on the Irish Republic, you know the place -the functioning democracy with a functioning economy and functioning parliament south of Newry?

    We’re reaping what we’re sowing alright, the fastest growing developed economy in the world.

    What is that bastion of democracy, Northern Ireland currently reaping? What has it ever reaped? What will it harvesting in the near future.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    ‘They should settle it at lunchtime behind the bicycle shed 😉 My money would be on McDowell…’

    I wouldn’t get out of bed to watch Mc Dowell and O Muilleoir trading handbags.
    For a poltical (celebrity) boxing match i’d like to see Alex Maskey and Sammy Wilson, or even DT and Young Geoffrey, or even even Gerrry Kelly amnd Mark Durkan.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Jacko,

    there’s an invite for you.

  • Ringo

    Ringo,

    I believe that even at this stage Ahern is still keeping all his post election options open.

    agreed.

  • davidbrew

    everyone outside Montrose pronounces these towns as Dun Leery and Portleesh

    ..er no actually. I pronounce them “Kingstown” , and “Maryborough” :0)

  • davidbrew

    BTW George, do you believe that FF helped in the establishment of PIRA in 1970- or was the Arms trial all a mirage?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    David

    Cheeky sod.

    What, fundamentally, was the arms trial? It was the trial of a group of people, up to and including government ministers, for gun-running to the north. The Irish legal system proved that it functioned well enough to bring charges against some of the most powerful people in the state.

    The involvement of senior FF members does not equate to government sanction – indeed the ministers involved had to resign their offices (most noticeably one CJH). Fianna Fail are not the government of Ireland – they’re just a party that has periodically held office. The arms trial showed that when FF members in office exceeded their brief, the other arms of the state did what they are supposed to do and restrained them. The system worked.

  • James

    ..er no actually. I pronounce them “Kingstown” , and “Maryborough” :0)

    I sense the Slugger Perpetual Annual Derry Debate coming on.

    Strap on your Boogie Shoes and Tally Ho!!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘..er no actually. I pronounce them “Kingstown” , and “Maryborough” :0)’

    Wouldn’t be like unionists to be stuck in a time warp at the start of the 20th century.

  • George

    Davidbrew,
    I don’t believe that Fianna Fail helped in the creation of the PIRA. Do you want to accuse someone? Fire ahead but don’t forget people have been taken to court for libel over this.

    Do you believe 50 years of Unionist single party misrule in Northern Ireland along with a police force that did nothing to stop the pogroms against Catholics, especially in Belfast, helped in the creation of the PIRA?

    Do you believe decades-long British government funding, arming and supplying of intelligence to countless loyalist paramilitary death squads helped in them killing hundreds of innocent Catholics or do you think they would have managed that tally on their own without British help?

  • Davros

    Davros.

    Surely you would accept that today (not the 1930s) and in this country (not post-Weimar Germany) being associated the Nazi regime can only be construed negatively?

    (Or are you so entrenched in the self-serving fiction that the republican movement are the Nazis back from the dead that you actually believe republicans see themselves in the same way? As though SF voters go home at night, put on the uniforms and goose step around the living rooms to old recordings Live from Nuremburg?)

    important points here Billy.

    IF newspapers MUST have a right to be negative about politics and politicians in a democracy then surely politicians also have a right in turn to be negative about Newspapers and their staff ? ( Red Ken fuss springs to mind )

    There ARE important similarities in Ireland between events in 30’s Germany. There are differences as well. So the subject merits examination. (As an aside – the RM hasn’t been above drawing it’s own comparisons , has it ? Or have you never seen SS-RUC daubed on walls ? )

    “In this Country ” ? Which one Billy ? The 32 counties can hardly be called one country …
    More akin to Austria and Germany pre-anschluss.

    Lastly – We were discussing the Party leadership and it’s fondness for associating with people in Paramilitary uniform. The uniform of those who held a march not a million miles away from the Rallies that used to be held to commemorate the dead of the beer-hall putsch … In that context the comparison between those SF supporters who buy Ireland Today in the knowledge that it is sympathetic to SF whose leadership EULOGISE the IRA and Ordinary Germans who despite knowing what the Nazi’s were upto before they assumed power bought the VB is IMO reasonable if slightly far-fetched. Then as now policing and control of policing was seen as crucial.

  • Davros

    And continuing the long list of associations
    Arrested men ‘posed for pictures with Sinn Fein leaders’

    Worth reading for this alone

    Senior counsel Brendan Nix said his client, Thomas Barry, had already spent five months in custody.

    “What has he learnt? The first thing he`s learned is that he doesn`t like it,” he said.”

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Davros

    “IF newspapers MUST have a right to be negative about politics and politicians in a democracy then surely politicians also have a right in turn to be negative about newspapers and their staff?’’

    A free press IS an absolutely essential component in any democracy. Without a free press you don’t have free expression and you don’t have a free exchange of ideas. IMHO, the free exchange of ideas is the beginning and end of what civilisation is, and without it, you got nuthin’. A free press is the sine qua non.

    (Of course when you have a free press you’re going to get an awful lot of trash printed, but that is something that must be accepted as a fact of life.)

    But as in all things there are competing rights. The state (be it north or south of the border) will not penalise anyone for something they say (except in instances of incitement to hatred or violence, but that’s another issue.) However individuals and corporate bodies can seek redress for what others say. So if Daily Ireland or any other paper carries a libellous story about, for example, Michael McDowell, he can seek redress not by calling the cops but by suing. In turn, if McDowell says or publishes something slanderous or libellous about a person or corporate body, they can sue him. That’s all this is about.
    In short, there’s nobody calling for McDowell to be locked up – just that he be challenged in the manner provided for by law.

    “There ARE important similarities in Ireland between events in 30’s Germany. There are differences as well. So the subject merits examination.

    “(As an aside – the RM hasn’t been above drawing it’s own comparisons, has it? Or have you never seen SS-RUC daubed on walls?)

    Agreed. Those comparisons are every bit as fatuous than your own. (Sorry to use an inflammatory word, no offence intended. But you need to put away this `republicans (and therefore fenians) as Nazi bone’ you’re gnawing on. It’s always poison to a debate and is generally indulged in by second rate minds with third-rate understandings of Germany history c.1918-45. I know well that you are far better than that. You know that I could draw parallels too and start developing a `unionists as Nazis’ argument, but – not to put too fine a point on it – I’d like to think I’m past that.)

    “In this Country”? Which one Billy? The 32 counties can hardly be called one country …
    More akin to Austria and Germany pre-anschluss.’’

    I certainly do call the 32 counties one country, as you well know. Of course I am aware that there are two Irish states, and I am aware of our political and sectarian differences. I respect the integrity of the conflicting orthodoxies held by people here and passionately aspire to the day when those differences are reconciled. However I will never give credence to the pantomime concept that there are two distinct countries either side of the Irish border. Ireland is one country, divided. As a country we voted in 1998 and agreed on our present division, and the modalities by which that division might potentially be ended. That’s where we are.

    (The anschluss remark was very disappointing. Out of the very great respect I have for you, I won’t use any of the other adjectives I have in mind.)

    “Lastly – We were discussing the Party leadership and it’s fondness for associating with people in Paramilitary uniform. The uniform of those who held a march not a million miles away from the Rallies that used to be held to commemorate the dead of the beer-hall putsch … In that context the comparison between those SF supporters who buy Ireland Today in the knowledge that it is sympathetic to SF whose leadership EULOGISE the IRA and Ordinary Germans who despite knowing what the Nazi’s were up to before they assumed power bought the VB is IMO reasonable if slightly far-fetched.

    Slightly far-fetched…

    All I’ll say is this: it took you a hundred words to make your `link’ between the readers of Daily Ireland and the Nazis. One could easily link Captain James T Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise directly to the Holocaust in less. Jesus, you could argue that Papa Smurf was a guard at Dachau in 100 words, if you were sufficiently anti-Smurf to invest the energy. But why would anyone with an ounce of wit bother?

  • Davros

    All I’ll say is this: it took you a hundred words to make your `link’ between the readers of Daily Ireland and the Nazis.

    Have you not read the thread Billy ?
    From the very first post :

    “Meanwhile, David aaronovitch, who admits that Adams is a “man I’ve come to admire” describes a scene which would come close to a modern-day version of a Nazi Rally Where Mr Adams addresses men who participated in a :

    “republican rally in the town of Strabane last weekend, a rally in which 1,000 marchers paraded through the streets chanting, “IRA! IRA!” “

    You’ll struggle to compare the Unionist wish to be part of a greater unit with the Nazi wish to BE the greater unit and to expand. The underlying
    themes are very different, even if some of the personalities involved are not that much more attractive 😉

    Failed putsch
    Paramilitary element
    Turn to Politics ( Ballot box and Mauser ? )
    Anschluss
    Dodgy ethnic/racial component
    Demonisation of and violence against opponents.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Davros.

    Nope, I won’t bite.

    Just say: “Fenians are Nazis” and be done with it.

  • willowfield

    Henry94

    If the Strabane parade passed through a unionist area without the consent of the residents I would agree with your analogy. Let’s not give the impression that anyone wants to stop the Orange from marching where they are welcome.

    I wonder if anyone who lived in the vicinity of this Strabane parade objected to it, would he or she dare to make his or her feelings public?

    I doubt it.

    Might end up the same way as Robert McCartney.

  • Davros

    Just say: “Fenians are Nazis” and be done with it.

    That’s not what I’m saying Billy. I’m specifically comparing physical-force ultra-nationalists, be they
    ‘ballot box and armaliters’ or Arkan’s thugs to the physical-force untra-nationalists of the 1920’s and 30’s. Sinn Féin in Dr Jekyll mode has a lot going for it … and like a lot of other people I want to see them put clear blue water between themselves and paramilitary crime and violence.

  • George

    Davros,
    when you mention physical force ultra-nationalists are you talking about the Ulster-British imperialist private army the UVF and its successors, the A,B and C Specials?

    Or do you not recognise state-run paramilitary organisations which carry out murder and mass pogroms on civilians?

    By the way, Arkan’s forces used to do a bit of arms dealing with the UVF.

  • Davros

    I knew you would come back with something like that George … and I have absolutely no problems in agreeing with you about ultra-Unionism.
    Is there anything even remotely like that associated as blatently with mainstream Unionism in the 21st Century ? No.

  • barnshee

    George

    “Incredible really that such a rogue state as ours would get a seat on the UN Security Council”

    Along with Russsia? China? some company join the slush funds

    “act as President of the EU and help agree the European Constitution.”

    Buggins turn

    “By the way, would it be fair to say that you don’t care how many people die through political violence on this island as long as it can all be blamed on the Irish Republic, you know the place -the functioning democracy with a functioning economy and functioning parliament south of Newry?”

    Strictly no -I don`t mind how many the RA kill or rob in the ROI I really don`t mind if they kill each other in N Ireland- I just don`t want to see any prods killed or anything that costs me money –OK

  • Cadiz

    “I am glad to see that Daily Ireland is challenging Michael McDowell. I hope that he is not allowed to use public money to defend himself. If he wants to throw out allegations then he should bear the burden himself.”

    The Daily Ireland went and reviewed a lap-dancing club in Dundalk (of all places) for their very first edition.

    The same issue, will be on the wall if their paper lasts a hundred years.

    McDowell on the other hand has a different view, one which leans to voter pleasing equality and moral certitude.

    Lap-dancing in Ireland is about harvesting girls in impoverished parts of the world and exploiting them.

    The Daily Ireland has lost track of the bona fide moral imperatives that are legitimately associated with Irish Nationalism.

    Morality when it becomes relative, also becomes myopic. It becomes less and in that diminishing process, kindness as a function of society is made redundant.

    The Daily Ireland went in the wrong direction from the get go.

  • Cadiz

    ‘Lastly – We were discussing the Party leadership and it’s fondness for associating with people in Paramilitary uniform. The uniform of those who held a march not a million miles away from the Rallies that used to be held to commemorate the dead of the beer-hall putsch … In that context the comparison between those SF supporters who buy Ireland Today in the knowledge that it is sympathetic to SF whose leadership EULOGISE the IRA and Ordinary Germans who despite knowing what the Nazi’s were upto before they assumed power bought the VB is IMO reasonable if slightly far-fetched. Then as now policing and control of policing was seen as crucial.’

    If it is far-fetched it can’t really be reasonable. McDowell was being very silly in the same way the Irish President had also been recently rather silly.

    There is nothing so wrong with the Daily Ireland that can’t be fixed with a bit of a church page and a prayer for today. The moral tone will arrive in tandem.

  • Davros

    If it is far-fetched it can’t really be reasonable.

    It can be reasonable if it is only slightly far-fetched….

  • Cadiz

    “The arms trial showed that when FF members in office exceeded their brief, the other arms of the state did what they are supposed to do and restrained them. The system worked.”

    Catholic Belfast burned, the Irish State was seen to fail. The IRA were allowed to attach politics to defenderism, they became important.

    A dead Britisher became a holiday in our hearts and we were less because of, we accepted the unacceptable as strategy. The war in Ireland was a squalid affair.

    The IRA, like the IRB before it, sought to be the highest court in the land. It made its own morality and ethics up as it went along.

    Many of us simply became accomplices in what was our own self-deception.

    However Catholic Belfast burned and the Irish State was certainly seen to fail and lose standing as a real object.

  • lámh dearg

    I’ve been frustrated at not being able to comment on this thread due to problems with signing in, but Aaronovitch’s article really reflected my feelings .

    I am an Irish nationalist brought up on tales of ’98 and ’16 but I could never support the violence of the IRA and could never vote for SF, and then the ceasefires and the GFA and the apparent change being brought about by Adams, and I, like many others, was prepared to give him any doubt, to turn a blind eye to whatI knew was still going on. He had to bring the more extreme people with him gradually, a split could plunge us back into chaos, etc.

    But that was then and those excuses sound lame and passé now. I now feel conned and the pictures from Strabane looked like a scene from 30 years ago which no longer has a valid place in any society now. It may have reassured the core of the RM but it pushes me and my vote once again away from a movement and people I cannot trust and do not wish to be assoociated with.

  • Davros

    And will mainstream Unionists have the wit to show good faith to nationalists such as lámh dearg ?
    I doubt it.