A conspiracy theorist suggests

Writing in The Newsletter, Suzanne Breen looks at that IRA statement and their ‘offer’ to shoot those they claimed were responsible for the murder of Robert McCartney. As she points out, despite Martin McGuinness’ description of that ‘offer’ as a mistake, – “[The statement] wasn’t a rushed job.. There was five pages of the stuff.” Instead, she sees it as yet another PR cock-up by the PRM. And that, she suggests, could be evidence for the conspiracy theorists.

Suzanne Breen “suspect[s] the IRA offer was false. If the Provos had been serious about shooting the McCartney killers, they’d have just done it”

The reality is that the IRA leadership knew full well about the barbarism of some members in the Short Strand and the Markets for years. The Sinn Fein centre in the lower Ormeau was inundated with complaints about them…. They didn’t become thugs overnight.[emphasis added]

Sinn Fein was fully prepared to go along with the cover-up of the McCartney murder. If the PSNI hadn’t been hindered in its house searches, maybe the killers would already be behind bars.

Such alleged threats to shoot people should be measured against what was the reality on the ground for weeks after the murder.

Those responsible walked the streets freely until the McCartneys created a fuss. Maybe what the IRA is trying to do now is to widen the distance between itself and Sinn Fein.

Not, she argues, a strategy that would be beneficial to SF.

The IRA wants to shoot the killers (though, phew! The McCartneys don’t); Sinn Fein says it’s against punishment shootings. If that’s the strategy, it won’t work. Because if the governments were to accept the lie that Sinn Fein and the IRA are two distinct organisations, then there’s no point in having Adams & Co continually trotting in and out of Downing Street and Leinster House. They deserve no more special attention than any other politicians.

She does, however, suggest an interesting alternative theory, where the IRA statement is just another PR cock-up –

I suspect this week’s Provo statement is another blunder, and it’s amazing how many cock-ups they’ve made in recent months.

A conspiracy theorist might suggest that perhaps outsiders, who were advising or helping it previously, became fed up when it rejected the political settlement in December and abandoned the IRA to its own devices. Because things just aren’t falling into place for the Provos like they did for years.[emphasis added]

But, then, only a suspicious mind would suggest that people in high places perhaps offered a guiding hand to the IRA leadership in the past. And, you could (possibly) still be shot for saying so.


  • Alan2

    It is not beyond the realms of possibility that spooks and spy`s are steering the whole “peace process” with unseen eyes and hands. Criminalise Loyalists then the republican movement so that people on the ghround consider them all gangsters and thugs enabling parties to make a break without losing their support base…..could also just be that the paramilitaries ARE just gangsters and thugs

  • DessertSpoon

    Conspiracy theory. No nothing so sophisticated is going on here. Next thing we’ll here is that Gerry and Martin were behind the grassy knoll.

  • Circles

    I don’t buy this one at all – Belfast Gonzo’s was much more believable.
    If the spooks are sterring the process, then when did they start – 1969? And if so why did they not just sort it out between themselves and save us all the bother?

  • AW

    The statement was long and prepared and. I cannot imagine that someone who read it did not see the problems. If there are spooks they are not outside the Republican movement they are inside it. The PIRA were allowed to issue this on the full understanding that they would look like stupid asses and psychopaths when it was made public. They should check who read and authorised this and ask why the obvious was not raised prior to release. The government’s spooks are not good enough to carry this one off. It is an own goal and some must have realised.

  • Alan2

    I think thats the point. The spooks have much influence INSIDE all the paramilitaries…not full control but influence through years and years of infiltration…maybe

  • Circles

    I still prefer the theory that it was a deliberate move made in full knowledge of what the impact would be. The IRA may be infiltrated with bogey-men to a certain degree but I don’t think this is so much so that they no longer have control over the writings of Mr. O’Neil.

    I think what is more interesting is the clumsy handling of the statement by SF – ranging from Kelly, to Adams to McGuinness. It wouldn’t be beyond the limits of plausibility if the statement was issued in this form, without having been seen by SF, to put the cat among the pigeons a bit – perhaps as a direct response to Adams’ speech at the weekend. Now nobody really knows where the RM stands. Which may have been the point of it all.

    In the news broadcasts here in Germany, the statement made headline news on the Tagesthemen (the German Newsnight), with a lead report of about 7 minutes! What was interesting in their report was how clearly they separated Gerry Adams (and Sinn Fein) from the IRA showing clips from the Ard Fheis with the McCartney sisters. None of that SFIRA talk on the continent – unless of course you buy Die Zeit who seem to just copy their articles from the Telegraph.

  • Whatabout

    It is inconceivable that every word and it’s impact wasn’t considered. How much time and consultation goes into this type of statement? The McCartney family, in confirming the offer to shoot was made, and refused, gave the statement some credibility. The IRA knew this would happen and make it appear to be a mistake. Something done in a panic?

    The IRA being apparently so gung-ho in offering retribution to the family makes Sinn Fein appear the lesser of the two evils. By painting one side so dark, the other appears to be of a lighter hue. The fact that they haven’t escaped the fallout from (i) the Northern Bank robbery and (ii) their handling of the murder of Robert McCartney made this necessary in light of approaching elections. Sinn Fein had, and took, the opportunity to condemn the actions of the perpetrators in both. (Somewhat hypocritical – from a party whose leader has previously claimed not to ‘engage in the politics of condemnation’.) They have the opportunity to eventually capitalize with an appeal to the IRA and rescue the situation. Shall they now use one of the political slogans previously directed towards the RUC. – Is it ‘Time for peace, time to go’ for the IRA?