IRA is no heroic resistance movement!

In the English language version of Der Speigel another indication that Sinn Fein’s international profile is in rapid decline. Although Bono might have a thing or two to say about the journalist’s description of U2’s classic Bloody Sunday, he pulls many less punches than we’re accustomed to in the British or Irish press:

The issue of brutal suppression by the British is a thing of the past. The IRA has used up its moral capital. In fact, they have a new nickname for the IRA in Catholic neighborhoods these days: the “Rafia.”

It gets its funding from burglaries and from smuggling cigarettes and diesel fuel, and it spreads terror in the areas it controls, while Gerry Adams and other buttoned-down types tend to the group’s pathetic political window dressing.

It doesn’t matter that the Protestant Ulster militias are criminals and drug dealers, that they assault Chinese immigrants, paint swastikas on walls and have managed to turn Belfast into the world’s most racist city.

It doesn’t matter because it’s the IRA that still counts in Northern Ireland. It’s the IRA that has the power to help bring about democracy in the region. And it’s the IRA that promised to disarm. But now it is becoming increasingly evident that these are no heroic members of a resistance movement, but instead are nothing but a corrupt group of people whose internationalism is limited to learning about explosives with Columbia’s drug-dealing FARC insurgency movement, attending conferences with Spain’s ETA Basque separatists and laundering money through Libya.

  • Ziznivy

    Belfast is the world’s most racist city? What a load of pish!

  • spirit-level

    “Romantic’s Ireland’s dead and gone
    Its with O’Leary in the grave” W.B.Yeats

    This maybe far fetched but there is a new breed
    typified by the likes of Jacko, Young Irelander, Dessertspoon and others who embody the soul of Ireland.Let’s also not forget the Strand Women who right now are the bravest of the brave.

    When and how long before its our turn at the wheel?

  • DCB

    Zizney – it may not be the most racist in the world but by reported attacks per capita I’d reckon its by far the most rasicst in the UK

  • DessertSpoon

    Well said spirit_level!!

  • Davros

    DCB – this caused confusion last year. I’ld be surprised if Racist attacks in Belfast approach the levels seen in some English cities.

  • DCB


    I’m sure you can play it a number of ways by using statistics, but my own experience of bringing non-white friends over to Belfast would suggest that it is openly one of the most racist places in western Europe never mind the UK.

  • Christopher Stalford

    “But now it is becoming increasingly evident that these are no heroic members of a resistance movement”

    We always knew that you pompous ass! Maybe you should have thought about that before you pranced into Northern Ireland to sell an agreement that released these thugs from jail!

    Am I the only person who who hates the sound of Bono’s interventions? (prepare now for barrage of abuse from SDLP types who think he’s great!)

  • MakeHayNotWar

    Er, i don’t think those words were Bono’s…

  • Young Irelander


    “This maybe far fetched but there is a new breed typified by the likes of Jacko,Young Irelander,Dessertspoon and others who embody the soul of Ireland.”

    Well,it’s clear who my new favourite Slugger contributor is:)

  • Hardy Handshake

    I take strong issue with the description of U2’s ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ as a classic – it’s toe-curling banal Fifth Form drivel, one of their worst recordings.

  • Davros

    If one defines ‘classic’ as representative of their usual standard, then ‘toe-curling banal Fifth Form drivel’ sounds a good description of classic U2.

  • Hardy Handshake

    Not ‘alf, pop pickin’ Davros. Bonotastically fab mate.

  • Davros

    The chairman of the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM) today slammed comments made in a leading international magazine which branded Belfast as the most racist city in the world.

    Nigerian Alfred Abolarin hit back at the claim, which was written in German magazine Der Spiegel, describing it as “unjustified”.

    “I do not think you can describe Belfast as the most racist city,” he said.

    “Racism is not only peculiar to Belfast and it would be hypocritical, untrue and unjust for anyone to suggest it.”

    Racist tag ‘is unjustified’

  • PaddyCanuck

    I think the Headline, and your link Davros are misleading. I think “Most Racist tag ‘is unjustified’ would more accuratley describe Mr.Abolarin’s remarks.

    Davros does the abscence of your usually sharp pedantic observations imply that you go out of your way to downplay racism, just as it could be said that you often seek to come to the defence of loyalist paramilitaries, and downplay the sectarian nature of the 6 county state?

  • Davros

    The claim: that Belfast is the world’s most racist city.

    The post: contains the thoughts of Alfred Abolarin, chairman of the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities disagreeing with that claim.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Your link, and the Telegraph headline state:

    ‘Racist tag ‘is unjustified’

    This is not what Mr.Abolarin said, he said belfast was not the “Most” racist city, your pedantry nature seems to have alluded you in this case.

  • Circles

    Man – the German press!?
    I’m sorry but I find the article to be really poor and lazy journalism – and extremely like one that appeared in the German weekly Die Zeit about 4 weeks ago (including the Rafia tag etc.) – although it is apparently by a different author (maybe he just translates and gets an author credit?)
    As another German journalist who lives in Ireland recently informed me – most of the German hacks sit in London in a big incestuous story swapping ring and have barely a clue about the north.
    In any case – perhaps another blow for SF? Who knows – but their star is fading a little. I just wonder who actually reads Spiegel-Online (I’m not saying nobody does – just asking who does)
    And surely the Nobel Prize is slipping out of Bono’s grip now the whole world knows that he has tried “to permanently enshrine members of the IRA in the roles of victim and heroic resistance fighter” – oh dear! And Stockholm is so beautiful at that time of year

  • Davros

    When linking I usually, but not always link via the headline. I’ll leave misquoting to others.

    To what “racist tag” was the objection?

    To the tag in der spiegel that Belfast is “the world’s most racist city”.

    By your own admission Mr Abolare says Belfast ISN’T “the world’s most racist city”.

    Therefore the headline is justified.

  • johnhidd

    On the subject of Bono and his guest appearances promoting the GFA, this revealing article by Gerry Anderson may or may not be relevant. I would love to know the truth.