McCabe killers express regret for their actions

RTE is reporting that the killers of Garda Jerry McCabe have issued a statement expressing regret of the death of Mr McCabe and the wounding of garda Ben O’Sullivan.

“We deeply regret and apologise for this and the hurt and grief we have caused to their families. There was never any intent to attack any members of the Garda Síochána,” the men say in the statement, adding that they qualify for release under the Good Friday Agreement.

However, Jerry McCabe’s widow, Anne has already said they don’t and has also questioned the timing of the statement.

  • ulsterman

    As the GFA is now confined to the dustbin of history these scum deserve to rot in prison.

    Indeed there is a case for arresting and shooting the whole SF leadership for crimes against humanity.

    Despite their best efforts we defeated them as well as their fellow bandits in Rome and Dublin.

    Roll on Mat 5th for the ultimate defeat of the Papists at the ballot box. How sweet that day will be.

    God Save The Queen.

  • Poitin

    Ya know, if it wasn’t so horribly sad it would be funny… isn’t that so often the way of it.
    Could you point me to the link where the British soldiers apologized in the most recent Iraqi abuse scandal? Could you? I tried to find it, but when I typed in ‘british apologies’ into google I got 536,000 results, but all of them seemed to be requests for apologies… and not so much answers. So maybe you could help me out, eh? You are free to doubt their sincerity, as I am sure many do. However, when you are living in one of the larger glass houses in the world, you might think twice about tossing rocks.

  • Henry94

    It is to their credit both that they have apologised and that they are putting the interests of the peace process before their own rights.

    If the issue is off the table then it should make it easier to reach an overall deal. If a deal is done then it may be possible to re-visit the question of release in a transformed atmosphere.

  • aquifer

    Reminds me of the scene in the film “Michael Collins” when the news of Collins’ death at the hands of the rebel IRA reaches the prison where the rest of the rebel IRA men are being held. They drop to their knees and pray. For their mortal souls?

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    aquifier, that scene isn’t in my copy of the movie. After Collins’ death you see a shot of Julia Roberts looking upset, some footage of Collins’ actual funeral and then the end credits.

  • Peter Nolan

    “Could you point me to the link where the British soldiers apologized in the most recent Iraqi abuse scandal?”

    Although the Ulsterman is probably of a different tradition, my understanding of Christian morality is that we’re saved or damned as individuals rather than nations and must take responsibility for our own souls – or am I missing something?

    What’s worse – a spell in Abu Ghraib or the treatment Jean McConville got on Big Gerry’s orders?

  • Moderate Unionist

    Nope Henry an apology doesn’t do it. You can’t take someones life and just say sorry. It’s insulting. It may be strategic politics, or another clever move but it just reinforces the belief that the RA have a completely different value system to many of us.

  • Jimmy Sands

    They have also stated that in emptying their weapons into his head, they had no intention to attack. Let us hope that this gesture earns the response it so richly deserves.

  • Poitin

    It must be a great relief to see things so black and white. All you need to do is muster your wit towards condemnation of something. Logic, of course, is another useless complication.

    So, you are opposed to remorse then? Would you prefer a quick summary execution by security forces, so that we never have to hear the after-thoughts of someone who commits something you think criminal? Would that be easier?

    Be careful not to let any empathy or context or any nasty complexity like that creep into your evaluation of the situation.

  • Young Irelander

    They should throw away the key as far as these guys are concerned.

  • Jimmy Sands

    I’m all in favour of remorse, poitin, although I’m not sure sure what that has to do with this latest transparent cynixcal and self-serving attempt at manipulation. If they are genuinely remorseful, perhaps arrangements could be made for them to plead guilty to murder.

    I confess, the moral grey area you seem to have found in what these vermin did has indeed escaped me, although if you want to have a crack at explaining the bit where they claim they didn’t intend to attack their victims I’m all ears.

  • Alan

    I get the impression that this statement was more for the Republican Movement than for public consumption, so that, in the future, a concession cannot be seen as a concession.

  • Henry94

    Moderate Unionist

    Nope Henry an apology doesn’t do it

    I didn’t say it did anything. I just said it is to their credit and it advances the situation as far as the negotiations are concerned.

    So it is welcome. An apology can’t undo damage done and the McCabe family are perfectly entitled to reject it as I might do if I was in their position.

  • aquifer


    Where did you buy your copy of the Michael Collins video?

  • Pang

    “Could you point me to the link where the British soldiers apologized in the most recent Iraqi abuse scandal? Could you? “

    It should be pointed out that Gerry McCabe was a member of the Gardai, not the British army.

    Also, is this the way it works in your head Poitin? – Is this an extension of the idea of legitimate target? As long as your declared enemy is killing someone unrelated to you, you are free to kill someone unrelated to them?

    Anyway, as with everything SF do, this is just realism. The “soldiers” who brought national unity that bit closer by killing Garda McCabe will be out within 5 years anyway. Gerry + Martin know it may take that long to get them released through their current negotiating strategy.
    And please try and understand why some people see this type of statement as Crocodile tears. SF’s story on this murder changed quite a bit along the way as it needed to. This is just another change in the story to suit today’s needs.

  • Peter Nolan

    “It must be a great relief to see things so black and white. All you need to do is muster your wit towards condemnation of something. Logic, of course, is another useless complication.”

    I’m not aware of any moral tradition (and I straddle several) which condones armed robbery of the mails or the killing of policemen. Even the Provos aren’t cynical enough to condone it: If these maggots get out, I wouldn’t expect to see them appearing on a gable wall anytime soon.

    Think about the just war criteria (jus ad bellum)

    * War can only be waged for a just cause
    I’m sure we all recall the vast majorities SF gained in free and fair voting for the Dail and Westminster? No? Me neither!

    * “War can only be waged under legitimate authority.”
    Who elected the Provo Army Council? Ah, but I thought you said Gerry and Martin weren’t on it. And no, the Second Dail doesn’t count either.

    * War can only be waged with the right intention.

    And getting your hands on the registered mail doesn’t count.

    * War can only be waged with a reasonable chance of success.
    Sorry guys but Belfast remains, as Thatcher said so long ago, as British as Finchley.

    * War must be waged with proportionality in mind.

    Yeah, Jonathan Ball and Tim Parry had it coming.

    * War can only be waged as a last resort.
    i.e. only after losing elections and being suppressed by the Republic’s police and army, with the overwhelming public support.

  • Jacko

    Yeah, these guys really do deserve credit for apologising and expressing remorse.
    In fact they must have been so torn up with their sense of remorse, that it’s taken them 8 years to be able to express it publicly.
    They must have waited so long to apologise as well because, sensitive souls that they are, they didn’t want to intrude on the grief of the families of the two police officers.
    As for them being totally committed to the peace process, if the Adare action, 2 years after declaring a ceasefire remember, is them totally committed TO a peace process, then God knows how they would have behaved if they opposed to one.

  • Ringo

    There are two things here

    1) the ‘we’re sorry bit’ – impossible to see it outside the context of the current ‘PR difficulties’ the IRA are encountering. Mrs. McCabe and the GRA reponses sum it up.

    2) the ‘we won’t stand in the way of a deal’ bit – completely irrelevant. Yet again, another stunning bit of self-delusion by the Provo’s. Once Bertie – the man with splinters in his backside from sitting on the fence – got off it and made his ‘not on my watch’ comment, and joined McDowell, there was zero chance of them being in anyway connected to a deal.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Mc Dowell and Ahern are not opposng the release of the Castlerea prisoners out of any sense of morality or indeed solidarity with the Gardai or Mc Cabes’s widow. It is simply because of the failure to secure a deal before Xmas.
    It was very definitely on his ‘watch’ and his agenda that the releases were to take place, supported by Mr 3% Mc Dowell back then.

    The sight of both of them trying to come over all tough on the subject is hypocritical and to an extent untruthful. It was never a case of these men will never be released. It was a case of under what set of political circumstances. It has been political from start to finish.

  • Ringo

    Pat –

    On the whole, I agree. I wasn’t suggesting that a sense of morality or indeed solidarity with the Gardai or Mc Cabes’s widow had anything remotely to do with Bertie’s Road to Damascus-like conversion.

    It will remain a blot on his copy book that it was on the agenda before Christmas. However there is no political circumstances that I can envisage where it would be advantageous to Bertie Ahern as Taoiseach to advocate an early release for these men.

  • mickhall

    What is it with all this Blairite apology nonsense? When people with power apologies, whether it be a man with a gun or a government, it cut’s very little ice with most people. The more so if it is an ongoing situation as in the McCabe killing. To believe otherwise, you must be a charlatan or nincompoop. As to these prisoners, one would have thought the less one hears from them the better, as anything they say is going to be misinterpreted or interpreted only to well. If they were to serve there time and then privately apologise to Mrs McCabe, then that would be a different matter. For in a situation like theirs any repentance or apology must surly be a private, personal thing. Although if they were just following orders then they have nothing to apologise for, although they may have regrets.

    What can you make of all these PR statements from the PIRA and there members, some secret army? With each statement the hole they are trying to fill has got bigger, it is time these people worked out all publicity is not good publicity. Or is something else at work here?