IRA happy to shoot accused men?

We’ve just heard that the IRA has made a statement saying that it is willing to shoot the people accused of murdering Bert McCartney. It may demonstrate its serousness to the accused men and (perhaps) its bona fides to the outside world. But what will the outside world make of such a threat? Particularly when it’s the general inability to effect due process that is the main concern of both the family and the larger part of outside opinion.

  • mickhall

    Mick,

    Have you got the link for this story please.

  • slug9987

    They are big on death.

  • slug9987

    Mick – go to BBC News

  • peteb

    BBC report.. MickH

    Mick.. perhaps an edit on the post title?

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s there now.

  • slug9987

    Maybe they have calculated that death would plays well in the US where the death penalty is still used?

  • willis
  • Mick Fealty

    Sorry, it was a bit of a surprise.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Any link to the 5 page statement mentioned?

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s always harder to find. The few journos that do have it will probably may not have the paper space to have it printed in full.

    If anyone does track down a link to it (or better, a copy), can you post/send it here? I’m off to check PA. I reckon the Irish Times may have some of it at least tomorrow morning.

    I’m sure there must be important context in the five pager but on first reading, it doesn’t look like the most inspired PR move they could have made.

  • JD

    I’m nearly positive that Matt Cooper said the opposite on The Last Word. The thing is, though, that Matt tends to get very tongue tied.

  • DCB

    I would be disgusted if I was a provo, after all haven’t their members been able to kill with impunity until now. A bit of heat and now they are looking for a scapegoat.

    I suppose that duputy heads will, potentialy quite literally, roll.

  • peteb

    It certainly was, Mick.. of course – according to the report – the statement seems to be mostly about how much the IRA have already done.. and, after their own internal investigation, attempts to blame the murder on, now, only two of the three they have expelled.

    The phrase “arrogant and self-aggrandizing” springs to mind.. again

  • George

    Small point,

    These guys are only the accused in the eyes of the PSNI, as I assume they have already been found guilty by the IRA courtmartial that took place in order to expel them.

    Therefore, in the IRA world of justice, they are the perpetrators of the crime and all that remains is for the sentence to be decided.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Pete,

    Posters on his blog, have been demanding that the IRA turns the murderers in, that no less is acceptable.

    How do posters believe that the IRA will be able to achieve this? Obviously the IRA would have to compel those involved to turn themselves in, they would have to compel them to confess in totality to their part in the crime. My question is; how do people honestly expect that this should be accomplished?

    Should they hold members of their families hostage? Should they threaten them with death? Should they torture them?

    Should they also compel peripheral people involved in the murder and cleanup to come forward in a similar fashion?

    Please, I would like answers to the very simple questions above?

    The IRA obviously “already done” a number of things Pete, what do you suggest they do next?

  • slug9987

    Paddy

    Maybe they should encourage those witnesses who were in the IRA to give evidence or face expulsion from the IRA?

  • PaddyCanuck

    Slug, you have avided the question HOW do you encourage\compel witnesses to come forward?

  • slug9987

    Well the penalty would be that if they didn’t give evidence then they would be expelled from the IRA, with all their IRA privileges removed.

  • PaddyCanuck

    The knifeman and accomplice have been aleady expelled, the other 2 involved in the attack were not in the IRA. So if we are to follow your logic through the IRA have done all they can to convince the people involved in the actual murder to come forward.

    If I am misrepresenting your position, please detail what further steps you would like the IRA to take, in order to compel these people to come forward?

  • slug9987

    I mean the IRA witnesses, not the IRA killers. Presumably there were IRA witnesses?

  • PaddyCanuck

    There were 4 people involved in Market Street were the murder occurred, there were no more witnesses.

  • peteb

    PC

    you asked – “what do you suggest they do next?”

    I suggest they go away, cease to be, disband.. take your pick.

  • slug9987

    There were a lot of people in the bar were there not? They can give evidence on the people involved. I am sure there were IRA witnesses who were not guilty.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Pete, in the context of this thread, and in relation to having people come forward, how do you suggest that the IRA compel people to come forward?

    I agree that the IRA shoul disband, but that is irrelevant to the McCartney familys quest for jutice.

    Slug, The murder did not happen in the bar.

  • slug9987

    Paddy – the events leading up to the murder did happen in the bar. And they will be important in the evidence. Furthermore, it seems likely that the IRA people in the bar *especally those associated or under the command of the killer himself/themselves* will have witnessed key things such as who went out at the time of the murder. Such people have not been expelled but the IRA have leverage on them and could require them as part of their IRA duties to give evidence.

  • peteb

    Once again, for the hard of hearing, PC

    I suggest they go away, cease to be, disband.. take your pick.

    That’s the only role they have to play.

  • mickhall

    This is becoming Kafkaesque , For a start by expelling the three volunteers so swiftly, these men no longer have to answer to the discipline of O’glaigh na hEireann, so all talk of ordering them to turn themselves in does not apply. If shooting people over this issue, was considered a serious option by PIRA it just shows how out of touch they have become. The fact is what ever PIRA does it will be seen as a damage limitation exercise because in reality that is what it will be. That they are behaving as they are; and fair dues to them, shows they are doing their best to resolve this dreadful situation, but and it is a big but, I doubt there is any thing the can do now bar the obvious and the sooner they do it the better for all. Including the legacy of the organisation they represent. History has taught us that organisations like PIRA cannot maintain themselves positively on ceasefire for any length of time. They are beginning to drag down Irish Republicanism into the sewers and it gives me no pleasure to say this. If they feel that war is not an option then what purpose do they continue to serve? The PIRA has been of three uses since 1997, it was a comfort blanket for nationalist areas like the Short Strand, A bargaining chip for SF in their negotiations with the British government and a fund raiser for the PRM. None of these reasons are now viable.

    It is time for O’glaigh na hEireann to stand down and dump arms, Probably in joint co-operation with the ROI government, as little else will satisfy the vultures awaiting their demise. It is beyond me why they hesitate, it would not be the first time a Republican Army has been stood down and there is no shame in doing so. They will leave behind a solid political Party and a strong base from which to build on and I say this despite any political differences I may have with SF, If this were to happen it would be a magnificent memorial for Robert McCartney.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Dump arms and disbandment was on the table in December, it was rejected as not enough, unless it was done in a significantly humiliating way.

    I doubt it will occurr outside of a comprehensive agreement.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    paddycanuck

    The IRA clearly had enough evidence to offer a ‘court martial’ to the McCartneys. If they believe that it was enough to ‘convict’ them in a kangeroo court, they should see that it is turned over to the authorities.

    After all, they said they would do what they could to get justice for the family. Now they know.

    What is worrying is that the IRA has obviously learned absolutely nothing from the debate on criminality over the past three months.

    Credit to the McCartneys for their stance.

  • spirit-level

    PC
    Funny how you’re always asking the wrong questions!

  • PaddyCanuck

    BG, so let me get this clear, the IRA should handover the results of their internal inquiries, and present them to the PSNI? Would thi be admissible? No, of course it would not.

  • Mick Fealty

    The first verdict round these non-Slugger reading parts (albeit from people who are not very focused on NI) is that this is some kind of political suicide note.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    paddycanuck

    The IRA may know, for example, where the knife was dumped, where the stolen CCTV tape is…

    …should I go on?

  • George

    I don’t know why people think the IRA are out of touch for offering to shoot two (four?) people, which would be a breach of the ceasefire.

    It’s simple really, lose the people of Short Strand and Aughrim is lost for the Provos.

    Three months ago total disarmament was on the table, now they are publicly offering to breach the ceasefire and take all that goes with it in this post 9/11 world to keep the people of Short Strand.

    To me it just says who the IRA think they have to answer to.

  • slug9987

    Good points Gonzo.

    If they offer to shoot when they know who the murderer was it looks bad to the rest of us. But is it almost worse for their credibility if they DONT shoot these guys – given what they shoot other people for?

    I mean the IRA shoot people for other much smaller offences – they reportedly shoot people in the hands in padre pio style. e.g. a 17 yr old for being in a fight (Guardian 9th Feb).

    So if they don’t shoot these guys they’re letting their own killers off with murder and applying a different set of rules for their own.

    Undermines their own claims of being just and fair if they don’t, but they look as though they are just responding belated to pressure if they do.

    Such a mess either way.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Belfast Gonzo, both the CCTV tape, and the knife are long gone, try the Lagan.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Try the Lagan? Good idea. Absolutely. Why not? Police divers frequently search for evidence this way, if they have a rough idea of where to look.

    Which is where the IRA could come in.

  • PaddyCanuck

    IRA divers?

  • ricardo

    The sequence of events as reported on newsline was that the ira expelled the killers, through a court martial, and then ordered them to go to the police.

    Wouldn’t it have been better if they had ordered them to hand themselves in to the PSNI while they were still IRA members? At least then they might have felt obliged to do it

  • samneilson

    IRA RIP

  • dave

    SF/IRA have no right or authority to judge anyone nor do they have the right or authority to hand down any sort of sentence for any reason.

    Enough said.

  • redeye @ the-chamber.org.uk

    In light of the current mess SF/IRA finds itself in, I think it was quite foolish to admit in public to having been prepared to kill yet more people.

    They have to take a tough stance in their community though, but it should have been done sooner, and in private.

  • Will

    Is this not one of the most surreal pieces of news that Northern Ireland has ever witnessed – If it wasnt so damn serious it wouldnt look out of place in the Portadown News!

    Only the Provos could seek to ‘apologise’ for a murder by carring out a few more cold-blooded killings/serious injuries.

    Sinn Fein/IRA have disappeared so far into their own self-importance that they now have lost all sense of reality (that is in the doubtful sense that they ever had one). They will give names to the Police Ombudsman but not the Police themselves, then they decide that the best way to help the investigation is to add another dozen or so serious casulties/deaths onto the already straining National Health Service to deal with. I’m sure the Intensive Care Ward at the Royal really just needs a dozen seriously injured provos to deal with (and that would be if they only got the ‘mild’ punishment!).

    What are they going to do if they finally decide to admit that it was IRA members who robbed the Northern Bank? Are they going to nip round their house and make off with the telly and video as some kind of mirror-image justice for that crime?

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    George, it wouldn’t be a ceasefire breach by the IRA’s definition of a ceasefire (“cessation of military operations”) any more than the McCartney murder itself was a ceasefire breach. It would however be another in a long line of ceasefire breaches by most normal people’s definition of a ceasefire (“stop shooting people”).

    Secondly, as the republicans keep saying, the logical of this whole process is among other things the end of the IRA. How can you say that entire logic is going to be unravelled over this matter ?

  • IJP

    Will got it right.

    This is just too unbelievable, not to mention sick.

    However, as always in NI, for every sick thug there’s a brave family somewhere determined to move on. It’s about time bravery won over thuggery.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    One wonders what planet the idiots who blog on this site have arrived from. The IRA is an illegal organisation. It has a history of using and being on the receiving end of violence. It has an admirable record of enforcing discipline among its own members.
    The fake shock of those who wax lyrical about being experts in this field is contrived nonsense.

    This is the IRA saying this is as far as it goes with them.

  • Will

    Pat,
    Yes the IRA is an illegal organisation and yes it has a history of violence, but how on earth does that justify the offer to murder.

    Gerry Adams is happy (well not exactly enthusiastic, but has been forced into it by a campaign launched by the McCartney sisters and a growing tide of public opinion) to say that the murder of Robert McCartney was wrong. The IRA are trying to give the impression that they oppose it too. How on earth is it ok then to murder other people, even if they happen to be cold blooded killers themselves?

    If the families of people killed in these punishment attacks managed to get a successful media campaign behind them would the IRA then punish the people who carried out the punishment attack? It has to be the sickest and probably most ill-judged attempt in the history of this country to offer some kind of legitimacy to murder and legitimacy to bloodythirsty terrorists.

  • Henry94

    There seems to be a massive contradiction at the heart of a lot of comment on this. On one hand we are appalled that the IRA would take it on themselves to shoot people without any legal trial or legal rights.

    But people who are suspects in this case have exercised their legal right to silence and are being condemed for it and tere appears to be a demand that the IRA order them to give truthful statements. What value such coereced statements would have as evidence is questionable.

    The only legitimate role the IRA can have in this in my view is to make it clear that they are not putting threats on anybody be they witnesses OR suspects.

    They tell us they know who did it. Hugh Orde tells us he knows who robbed the Northern Bank. In neither case is that good enough.

    The McCartney family have a right to justice but what is justice. You don’t have a right to convictions only to an investigation and a trail if there is sufficent evidence. And you don’t have a right to have the right to silence abolised on the fly by the IRA or the PNSI.

    Like everyone else here I would love to see the scum who did this murder convicted and to be honest I wouldn’t shed too many tears if they were shot.

    But we have to have law and law means that sometimes the guilty go free because there in’t enough evidence. But the alternative is the innocent get punished because we aren’t interested in evidence.

  • IJP

    Nobody wants the IRA to ‘order’ anything.

    We want the IRA to f-off.

    We want SF to disassociate itself utterly from an openly murderous and anti-democratic organization.

    And we want everyone with a genuine interest in democracy to tell people involved/present to come forward to the legitimate institutions of law enforcement.

  • Henry94

    IJP

    In the context of the case the demand has been for the IRA to “hand-up” the killers. You would hardly dispute that.

    By the way is that the royal we or are you speaking for an organisation?

  • Young Irelander

    To think Sinn Fein members had the audacity to criticise Michael McDowell,calling him the “Minister for Injustice”!

    I bet those people feel pretty stupid now.

  • IJP

    Henry

    You’re not a fool so stop pretending to be one.

    The demand (of the family) is for justice to be done through the legitimate institutions of law enforcement. The demand (of those who support the family’s rightful cause) is for SF to stop its stupefying indignation and do the one thing that can help the search for justice, namely recognize those institutions. A logical follow-on of so doing would be a demand by SF for the total disbandment of the IRA.

    We all know, of course, that it can’t do that because the IRA runs SF, not the other way around, so much is now utterly obvious. That is also why SF stands opposed, as I have said so often before, to any form of legitimate, accountable policing. It is why, indeed, SF does not actively support the McCartney family’s search for justice through legitimate institutions.

    By ‘we’, as you know fine well, I mean decent democrats, i.e. the vast majority in NI who believe in justice by accountable institutions of law and order, and in governance by people other than apologists for mafia and mayhem. It’s a pity so many of them don’t vote.

    A vote for SF is a vote for a political party accountable not to the electorate, but to a gang of openly murderous thugs who believe in justice by baseball bat and balaclava, not by accountable institutions of law and order. Instead of trying to catch people out on technicalities, you need to face up to that fact.

  • cg

    “that it can’t do that because the IRA runs SF”

    I always thought it was the Ard Chomhairle and the Ard Fheis but then again Alliance would know

  • New Yorker

    Dear Mick,

    You asked in your initial post what the outside world makes of this state of affairs. Here’s an Americian’s opinions. The IRA will not stand down because they’re raking in so much money. Various factions and their leaders will increasingly disagree and a gangland war will ensue. The Short Strand atrocity will be seen as miniscule to what is to come when godfather takes on godfather. Then the so-called political organization will disintegrate. We know from our experience over here that gangsterism and greed are a very lethal combination. My advice to my countrymen is to stay away from the place; it’s too unstable for investment or tourism.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Some people obviously haven’t been following this story as carefully as they should have, not surprising that the site was reduced to gable wall political comment for two weeks.
    Were people not squealing for the IRA to act or to do something? How does an organisation like the IRA react whenever its volunteers step out of line?
    Save me please the hypocritical hand wringers who have inter weaved the IRA into their every post but now wish they would go way.

    Intrinsic in the appeals of the Mc Cartneys and others is the fact that the IRA should act to bring people before courts and even make available evidence they may have relating to this case, regardless of how this evidence was assembled.
    Now examine that sentence very carefully. People are asking an illegal organisation to help the PSNI. This request was even made by Welsh MP Paul Murphy.
    The very people who supported this plea are now lining up to effect shock and horror. Quite frankly the whole pantomine is pathetic.

  • SeamusG

    Who do we petition to have the killers of Andy Kearney shot? And should Bart Fisher be nervous when he gets released?

  • Ringo

    Pat –
    Were people not squealing for the IRA to act or to do something?

    eh? Who in their right mind was asking for anything remotely like this?

    I think you’ve confused it with the rational desire for everyone, individual and organisations, no matter how tainted, to provide the police with all the evidence required to bring the perpetrators to justice.

    And if you really think that the people that post on here are somehow more detacted from reality than those that went to visit the McCartney’s with a kind offer to shoot some more people and then put out the statement about it then you need to get out more.

  • lámh dearg

    Pat

    “Were people not squealing for the IRA to act or to do something?”

    Yes, we want them to react to this by disbanding, recognizing the rule of law, the role of the legitimate police force, the prosecution service and the right of accused people to have a fair trial.

  • George

    This situation at least answers the question I’ve been asking myself for a long time: will the IRA now simply wind up because the majority of people want them to?

    The answer is clearly no. They obviously feel they still have “a role to play” even if the governments and political parties say they haven’t.

    The interesting thing is what happens next. A lot of people seem to be pinning their hopes on a policy that is tantamount to the criminalisation of Sinn Fein.

    Roger,
    take your point on the “cessation of military operations”. As for the IRA going away, I thought the objective of the peace process for militant republicans was that it offered another way for them to achieve their objectives. It certainly wasn’t for the IRA to simply go away. That was the objective of the overwhelming majority of people, north and south, but not the IRA.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Some contributors seem to be a tad confused in how dealings with the IRA actually pan out. The fact of the matter is you deal with them on their terms (no matter how repulsive you may find that prospect) or you do not.
    What is the business of the IRA? Answer – they are a military organisation. Organisations like that tend to deal in violence.

  • Bob Wilson

    Pat cut the chaff for a second.
    The IRA do deal in violence but they are on ceasefire.
    Secondly they are not merely dealing with their own members on their own terms 2 of the 4 in question are not/were not IRA members.
    If you say ‘we’ must deal with them on these terms or not at all then I think the IRA and Sinn Fein are perilously close to being told by the Bush administration, Dublin and London not to mention all unionists that they’d rather not. I simply cannot fathom why they issued this disasterous press release?
    An objective observer reading the headlines to day would be tempted to conclude Paisley is right and reasoanble!

  • vespasian

    Pat

    The problems we have had in NI in the recent past, ie since 1998, have been because democratic governments have dealt with terrorists, gansters and thugs and have been prepared to turn a blind eye to what they did for the so called greater good.

    That time is now past, the terrorists, gansters and thugs and their political advisors and associates should all be ostracised from the exercise of the democractic process. Votes for non democratic minority parties in a country give a mandate to represent those who voted for them not a mandate to rule over the majority who voted for wholly democratic parties.

    The democractic parties have been twisted and turned by the 3 governments involved for long enough, the price for the democracy they have tried to impose has been too high. Let the terrorists continue their evil ways if that is the price we have to pay for having democractic politicans then so be it.

  • DessertSpoon

    The vast majority of people in NI…

    People keep using this phrase if they are right and the vast majority of people in NI (and ROI) want an end to paramilitarism in all it’s forms why hasn’t it stopped? Why haven’t the freedom fighters looked at their people and thought ok it’s time to go another way……because there’s no money in it.

    Note to the IRA – get yourselves a new PR agent the one you’ve got now is rubbish! Better still feck off altogether.

    This post may not be full of searing political insight, intellectual claptrap and smug attempts to catch other posters out the way most of the other posts are but I’m entitled to my opinion too.

  • Hardy Handshake

    Would it not have been more apropriate for them to have ofered to rob a bank or cut the family in on a portion of the swag as compensation perhaps ?

  • joc

    Pat,

    Some contributors seem to be a tad confused in how dealings with the IRA actually pan out. The fact of the matter is you deal with them on their terms (no matter how repulsive you may find that prospect) or you do not.
    What is the business of the IRA? Answer – they are a military organisation. Organisations like that tend to deal in violence.

    We live in a democracy, North and South. Now I know you will come back with arguments that we don’t in the North – yet SF in practice (with the other parties) agree with this view – they participate in elections after all.

    In a democracy, the sort of justice the IRA are prepared to meet out is simply not acceptable. Period.

    Therefore, we do not need to deal with the IRA on their terms – rather they need to start dealing with us on democratic terms.

  • joc

    Pat,

    Some contributors seem to be a tad confused in how dealings with the IRA actually pan out. The fact of the matter is you deal with them on their terms (no matter how repulsive you may find that prospect) or you do not.
    What is the business of the IRA? Answer – they are a military organisation. Organisations like that tend to deal in violence.

    We live in a democracy, North and South. Now I know you will come back with arguments that we don’t in the North – yet SF in practice (with the other parties) agree with this view – they participate in elections after all.

    In a democracy, the sort of justice the IRA are prepared to meet out is simply not acceptable. Period.

    Therefore, we do not need to deal with the IRA on their terms – rather they need to start dealing with us on democratic terms.

  • maca

    Gonzo
    “The IRA may know, for example, where the knife was dumped, where the stolen CCTV tape is…”

    Long being destroyed, along with any other key evidence. I doubt there’s anything the IRA could turn over which could be used in a court of law.

    Does anyone think that the only possible *justice* the McC’s are likely to get is IRA *justice*?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    I agree with a lot of contributors re the IRA. The problem is a lot of people are asking for direct IRA intervention in this case to put the guilty people before the courts. If you don’t recognise that then you haven’t been reading the papers.

    Either you say the IRA should be ignored as they represent nobody but themselves and have no democratic mandate. Or if you believe that they should be involved in helping the Mc Cartney killers brought before the courts at least recognise the corrupting influence this has on a supposedly independent judiciary.

    Imagine someone being accused of the murder (guilty or not) and under cross examination admitting that the only reason he is in court was because the IRA ordered him to make statements.

  • slug9987

    “Does anyone think that the only possible *justice* the McC’s are likely to get is IRA *justice*?”

    There ARE witnesses.

  • IJP

    cg

    I always thought it was the Ard Chomhairle and the Ard Fheis but then again Alliance would know

    I note treating people like fools is the best you can come up with.

    You support apologists for murderous thugs who believe in justice by balaclava and baseball bat. What are you going to do about that?

  • cg

    IJP

    “I note treating people like fools is the best you can come up with”

    If you believe the IRA control Sinn Féin then you are a fool and shall be treated as such.

    “You support apologists for murderous thugs who believe in justice by balaclava and baseball bat”

    Incorrect

    “What are you going to do about that?”

    What do you want me to do about it?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    cg,

    best not to go down that road, moderators have a tendency to ignore the type of trolling that start these things off.

  • cg

    Thanks for the warning Pat 😉

    But if Ian thinks he is going to have a carte blanche to say what ever he wants unchallenged then he can think again.

  • Ringo

    Pat –
    The problem is a lot of people are asking for direct IRA intervention in this case to put the guilty people before the courts.

    who? where?

    Either you say the IRA should be ignored as they represent nobody but themselves and have no democratic mandate. Or if you believe that they should be involved in helping the Mc Cartney killers brought before the courts at least recognise the corrupting influence this has on a supposedly independent judiciary.

    Yes the IRA should ignored as they represent nobody but themselves and have no democratic mandate. The only ‘assistance’ required from them is that their presence will have zero effect on the the witnesses.

    Imagine someone being accused of the murder (guilty or not) and under cross examination admitting that the only reason he is in court was because the IRA ordered him to make statements.

    Deliberately confusing the issue or missing the fundamental point. The IRA should have zero effect on the court case. If that is the case then this hypothetical situation cannot arise.

  • willowfield

    In the absence of forensic evidence, are witness testimonies enough to secure convictions?

  • Bob Wilson

    The only logical reason for issuing this statement (which inflicts such damage on SF leadership in eyes of other players), the only logical explanation for the prevarication of recent days and the only logical reason for the Northern job must be a major spilt between the IRA leadership (or part of it) and the leadership of SF?
    (Sackcloth and ashes is a smokescreen as the Northern job must have been a long time in the planning)
    Hence why Ahern and Blair are making conciliatory noises towards SF and against IRA?

  • pakman

    willowfield

    “In the absence of forensic evidence, are witness testimonies enough to secure convictions?”

    Possibly.

    Much better for the killers to enter pleas of guilty before a court though.

  • Allrightthinkingpeople

    Agree with Bob,
    There’s a lot more dissent going on than is apparent from the media. McDowell spouting about the entire movement being under Gerry A’s control is nonsense and doesn’t help. There’s obviously an inconsistency between the SF and RA lines and that is why Bertie has suddenly gone all soft. The last thing the Celtic Tiger needs is a return to war. Noticeably, the Brit government are being even softer than the Irish. A split is immanent and, when it happens, all those who fuelled its fire will feign shock.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Pat, it’s not just a matter of people asking the IRA to do something – the IRA has itself, along with Sinn Fein, said that the killers should give themselves up. The question is, despite your weird claims that the IRA is actually a disciplined body, the request to own up is not being obeyed.

    Furthermore the family have repeated their allegation that the IRA are continuing to intimidate witnesses, which directly contradicts the IRA’s public assertions that witnesses have nothing to fear from the organization. Either the sisters are lying or the IRA are, which is it ?

  • IJP

    cg and pat

    Try answering the issue instead of making out everyone else is the fool.

    The fact is if you vote for SF you vote for a party which is an apologist for the IRA. The IRA (which SF regards as the legitimate government of Ireland) openly offered to murder people. SF is therefore an apologist for murderers.

    The logic is not that difficult.

    Now, what are you going to do about it?

  • IJP

    pat

    And you can give Roger’s question a direct answer while you’re at it.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Bob, I am not sure that Ahern/Blair’s position has changed much. The future of this process involves Sinn Fein, but expressly not the IRA, I think that’s been clear since December.

  • cg

    “The fact is if you vote for SF you vote for a party which is an apologist for the IRA.”

    I don’t accept your analysis of what Sinn Féin is. It is a political party seeking a 32 county socialist republic. At least we nail our colors to the mast unlike some other political parties.

    What do you suggest be done with the 342,000 people who vote Sinn Féin.

    “The IRA (which SF regards as the legitimate government of Ireland) openly offered to murder people. SF is therefore an apologist for murderers.

    The logic is not that difficult.”

    The logic may not be difficult but it is totally incorrect.

    The IRA offered to shoot the people who murdered Robert McCartney, Sinn Féin spoke out against this.

    For the last time Ian Sinn Féin does not believe the IRA is the legitimate government of Ireland and this is very clear so stop being obtuse.

  • IJP

    cg

    What do you suggest be done with the 342,000 people who vote Sinn Féin.

    What do you suggest be done with the 600,000 people who voted Unionist and acceded to an undemocratic majoritarian government in NI for 51 years?

    They were wrong. So are the 342,000.

    The IRA offered to shoot the people who murdered Robert McCartney, Sinn Féin spoke out against this.

    Nonsense.

    SF never once spoke out against the IRA’s offer. It merely supported the IRA’s conditional decision not to carry it out.

    SF was quite happy for the offer to be made – i.e. an offer to murder people before a shred of evidence had been presented to a legitimate, accountable institution of law.

    Therefore, if you vote for SF, you vote for a party opposed to an accountable justice system with no moral problem with murder and general thuggery.

    What are you going to do about that?

    I don’t accept your analysis of what Sinn Féin is. It is a political party seeking a 32 county socialist republic.

    … through violence and intimidation where deemed tactically necessary.

    The analysis is clear-cut, otherwise SF would’ve come out and stated clearly that the offer was unacceptable and morally repugnant.

    What are you going to do about that?

    For the last time Ian Sinn Féin does not believe the IRA is the legitimate government of Ireland and this is very clear so stop being obtuse.

    Ahem, but the SF Chairman said only a few weeks ago on RTE that the IRA is the legitimate government of Ireland. Furthermore, SF clearly believes that the IRA’s ‘disciplinary procedures’ are more important than a justice system accountable to the people.

    So can you explain where do you get the idea that SF does not view the IRA as a legitimate government (and law enforcer) from?

  • cg

    “What do you suggest be done with the 600,000 people who voted Unionist and acceded to an undemocratic majoritarian government in NI for 51 years?”

    Absolutely nothing but if you want to engage in this type of historical whataboutery then so be it

    You still haven’t answered my question

    “So are the 342,000.”

    What gives you the right to claim 342,000 are wrong to vote Sinn Féin?

    They made a totally democratic decision and you and everyone else have to accept that whether you like it or not.

    “accountable justice system”

    How exactly is the current justice system accountable, who exactly does the judiciary, answer to?

    “through violence and intimidation where deemed tactically necessary”

    When have Sinn Féin used violence and intimidation to achieve our objectives?

    “but the SF Chairman said only a few weeks ago on RTE that the IRA is the legitimate government of Ireland”

    Actually it’s chairperson and when did Mary Lou say this?

    “So can you explain where do you get the idea that SF does not view the IRA as a legitimate government (and law enforcer) from?”

    I don’t know. Say, Party president, Ard Fheis and the party constitution.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    “At least we nail our colors to the mast unlike some other political parties.”

    It’s when you’re nailing misbehaving kids to the railings that civilized people have a problem.

    Regarding SF’s voters and what should be done with them, I can’t answer that – it’s their prerogative how they use their vote. The issue that has to be addressed is that everyone else who does not vote Sinn Fein (the other ~90% of the people who vote on this island) will have anything to do with a political party that’s connected with criminality and stabbings, which stands back as it’s own voters are getting murdered for no reason. If you want to vote for people like that it is your business, but you can’t expect other people to want anything to do with you, and SF will find this the hard way if their sources of funding and support in the European Union and (more importantly) the USA turn their backs on them. Now the day may come when you get 50%+1 who are prepared to have people like that running the country, but until that time that matter needs to be addressed if power sharing is the desired outcome here.

    The way it will be addressed is either the disbandment of the IRA or some other kind of demonstrable disconnection between SF and armed paramilitarism, and secondly SF’s endorsement of a police force they accept within a Northern Ireland context (which has yet to be properly defined). One thing the recent McCartney matter shows is that there are some people in republican communities who vote Sinn Fein who have a degree of faith – I won’t say complete faith but they have some kind of faith – in the courts and judicial system. That needs to be built upon.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    cg I’ve an idea. How about I sum up in a sentence what I think you need to sign up to before I (as an individual with a vote, I’m not anything more than that) will support a political party which will share power with SF.

    “in the context of a fully agreed political arrangement between unionists and nationalists, and between the Irish and British governments, irrespective of constitutional configuration, no paramilitary organization of any kind has the right to continue existing and must disband immediately”.

    I’m trying to come up with a wording within which you would repudiate the existence of any paramilitary organization. Unionists would of course be required to sign up to this also (I saw Dodds complaining earlier on that the assets recovery agency were pursuing loyalists too much – quelle surprise). The big thing here is that SF need to get away from the position that the IRA have a right to exist as long as there isn’t a 32 county socialist republic. They essentially need to say the war cannot resume under these circumstances.

    [as an aside why haven’t SF dropped the talk of socialism ? It’s 15 years since the Berlin Wall came down… and surely socialists don’t believe in having two or three holiday homes in various parts of the country .. ? ]

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    BTW when I said “unionists and nationalists” I really meant all of the communities in NI. I’ve been soaked in the media so much for the past couple of weeks that I wrote a sentence which excluded me (I’m neither a unionist or a nationalist) – humpf.

  • cg

    “It’s when you’re nailing misbehaving kids to the railings that civilized people have a problem”

    Are you claiming either myself or other members of Sinn Féin have nailed kids to railings, if not retract this outrageous statement or else provide evidence.

    “The issue that has to be addressed is that everyone else who does not vote Sinn Fein (the other ~90% of the people who vote on this island)”

    So now you are claiming there are over 34,000,000 voters in Ireland?

    Clearly delusional

    “but you can’t expect other people to want anything to do with you”

    What people want and what they have to accept are two entirely different things.

    Some people don’t want to recognise Sinn Féin but have no choice because 342,000 people vote for them.

  • cg

    “So now you are claiming there are over 34,000,000 voters in Ireland?

    Clearly delusional”

    I withdraw the previous remark as it is incorrect

    apologies Roger, for that remark anyway 😉

  • cg

    “I’m trying to come up with a wording within which you would repudiate the existence of any paramilitary organization”

    That is not a problem but I have no intention of repudiating the IRA.

    “why haven’t SF dropped the talk of socialism”

    Because we are Socialist Republicans

  • willowfield

    cg

    What gives you the right to claim 342,000 are wrong to vote Sinn Féin?

    Despite the Provos’ attempts, we still live in a free society, and he has the right of free speech like anyone else.

    They made a totally democratic decision and you and everyone else have to accept that whether you like it or not.

    I’m unaware of a single person who doesn’t accept that Provo voters made “democratic decisions”.

    How exactly is the current justice system accountable, who exactly does the judiciary, answer to?

    In liberal democracies, the judiciary is independent of government.

    When have Sinn Féin used violence and intimidation to achieve our objectives?

    Its terror wing uses it all the time. The political wing uses the threat of it as a negotiating tool.

    Because we are Socialist Republicans

    Why, then, do you advocate capitalist policies??

  • IJP

    cg

    What gives you the right to claim 342,000 are wrong to vote Sinn Féin?

    Democracy and free speech. You may have heard of it.

    Same thing that gives me the right to say that 600,000 people were wrong to vote Unionist at each election 1921-72, or that millions were wrong to vote for the South African National Party, or that tens of millions were wrong to vote NSDAP.

    The only way we can move on in this country is fair representation of everyone (through an independent justice system and democratic structures involving power sharing by people committed to exclusively non-violent means), and the removal of a divisive segregationist public policy. Alliance has stood for this using the same democratic, non-violent, anti-sectarian means for 35 years. Where progress has been likely, it has involved all of these; where it has stalled, it has been because people moved away from them.

    SF stands in direct opposition to them, and as such delivers to communities murder, thuggery, and obstacles to real justice and fairness. SF is wrong.

  • George

    Roger,
    Bertie Ahern also says he is a socialist and I don’t think you can say socialism died with fall of the Berlin Wall. This is the usual right wing method of discrediting socialist ideas by directly linking them to Warsaw Pact dictatorships.

    Socialists would be the worst kind of counter revolutionaries for these people and are generally the first into the gulags.