IRA: public enemy number one in Catholic Belfast

So goes this headline in the LA Times. The staffers of the world’s press have stayed away for pretty much everything that’s happened in Belfast in the last four or five years. Not anymore. That’s one reason why Sinn Fein’s loss of the political ball at this point is potentially so damaging.

  • irishman

    What a load of b***ocks. Anyone who doesn’t believe me, look out for the Easter commemmorations in catholic Belfast in the next two weeks. I believe catholic Belfast will show its support for republicanism in defiance of the media’s attempts to portray a community at war with the IRA.

  • SeamusG

    Surely it’s possible to support Republicanism and abhor what happened to Bert McCartney. And in 2005 surely it’s possible to support Republicanism but feel that there is no need for the IRA. The community may not be “at war” with the IRA, it might simply have realised that it has no need for it.

  • Henry94

    I think a majority of Sinn Fein voters want to see an end to the IRA and if they were willing to do it for Paisley then they should have no problem doing it for us.

    We don’t even need photographs.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    irishman

    I would be surprised if the “Easter commemmorations in catholic Belfast” are not massively supported – as I’ve seen on more than one occasion – by republicans.

    But some republicans at least seem to be supportive of SF’s rise through politics and democratic means, not killings by IRA members. SF’s support in the past was related to IRA levels of violence. The recent poll seems to indicate that republicans were more horrified by the McCartney murder than the Northern heist – and rightly so.

  • j5o6hn

    when are both sides going to learn its 2005 not 1695

  • maca

    “when are both sides going to learn its 2005 not 1695”

    Probably in 2105, and then they’ll only be 100 years behind the times.

  • Alan

    Alex says,

    “They say they are responsible for all the cigarettes stolen in Northern Ireland, all the fuel smuggling, even for driving up property prices. To me, the IRA is not responsible for a lot of the things,”

    My question is how much is a lot?

    The IRA has been left to fester since the ceasefire, and this is what we get. It now looks as though SF’s overlong use of the existence of the IRA as a poker chip in negotiations has tainted their whole project.

  • DessertSpoon

    Irishman – your comment is a load of b***ocks. Like everyone else I don’t see why just because Republicans celebrate a key moment in their History it means they love, support and welcome the IRA in their communities. The IRA is not the be all and end all of Irish Republicanism it’s time they realised it. If they ever had a usefulness they have certainly outlived it.

  • lo_rre

    “Any day now the cartoonists will start drawing Gerry Adams, the president of Sinn Fein, his sidekick Martin McGuinness, and their gruesome accomplices in the Provisional IRA as the Addams Family — all fangs, claws, pointed ears, and butcher’s knives.”

    http://www.suntimes.com/output/osullivan/cst-edt-osul151.html

  • Belfastwhite

    The Nationalist Community is not at war with the IRA at least it wasn’t when I went to bed last night. The media and Sinn Fein’s opponents will like to think that this is so but for all the furore to say that republicans want the IRA to disband over the McCartney murder and the Northern bank robbery would be wrong. Republicans could have swallowed that as part of an overall power sharing deal as was agreed in December but if anyone thinks that republicans want the IRA to disband because of the media hype and flak from opponents are sadly mistaken.

  • SeamusG

    “if anyone thinks that republicans want the IRA to disband because of the media hype and flak from opponents are sadly mistaken.”
    No – we want them to disband because we don’t need them.

  • Alan2

    Irishman – I have no doubt the commemorations will be well attended..that does not necessarily mean support for the IRA or their actions tho. 12th July celebrations are extremely well attended..that does not mean everyone supports murderous Loyalist terrorists.

  • slug9987

    I believe the UK government under Gordon Brown will take a different approach.

    The government under Brown should no longer aim for negotiated IRA disbandment – which is a never ending process – but simply work on prosecuting the rule of law more effectively.

    That is build up the effectiveness of the police in fighting crime in all areas and don’t allow the IRA to be used to give bargaining leverage.

  • mickhall

    I think a majority of Sinn Fein voters want to see an end to the IRA and if they were willing to do it for Paisley then they should have no problem doing it for us.

    We don’t even need photographs.

    Posted by: Henry94

    Henry,
    This is the best post I have every read on Slugger, it sums up the current situation perfectly. The fact is as far as the Ra are concerned it has long been obvious they are more of a hindrance than a help in moving this process forward. If anyone doubts this they must answer this question, what purpose does the PIRA now serve. The old ways are very often the best and it was not for nothing that at the end of a campaign, the Ra and its for-runners were always stood down and arms dumped. History is littered with examples of why this must be so for a rebel insurgent army that does not achieve victory on the battlefield. It is worth noting even the Mafia started out as freedom fighters forced into rebellion against the State. In truth the PIRA has not yet deteriorated into a Rafia as has been claimed in the media, but sections have, both in their personal behaviour and money making schemes.

    As Henry has so clearly said, it is time the PRM leadership stopped worrying about how the media and their political opponents might respond; and started considering what are the needs of both the community they are there to serve and indeed their own organisation. Perhaps by keeping their eyes on the big picture, they have over looked much of the small detail?

  • Alan2

    Perhaps that is a way to disband without “dishonour”. Voluntary disbandment because they are no longer needed within the community and to ensure their arms do not fall into the hands of “criminal elements”

  • Circles

    I agree whole heartedly with Mickhall’s last paragraph – I think they can’t see the forest for the trees anymore and if they could they would see that that standing down is not only what is wanted, but what is needed.

    The media can interpret this as they will (“Cynical ploy to get hands on peace dividend” “SF make final desperate snatch at power” whatever..) it doesn’t really matter in the medium to long run.

    They have lost the initiative on current events and can now only react rather than be proactive – but even this is better than doing nothing at all.

    The Public Enemy Nr.1 headline though is a load of oul nonsense.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    You are wrong “mickhall”. The Provisional IRA has, like it’s “fellow” republican murder gangs, immersed itself in criminality, and is now no more than a Republican version of the mob – the “Rafia” as they have amusingly came to be known!

    Although criminality has always been evident in the Provos’ ranks, during the conflict they tried to qualify it by saying that “fundraising” was needed to “further the cause”.
    As the conflict has ceased, militarily at least, although not politically, the scales have fallen from the Roman Catholic and nationalist communities’ eyes, and they see “the RA” for what they are – cold -blooded, murdering gangsters!

    I am not just attacking one side however.
    The SO-CALLED LOYALISTS of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) continue to deal drugs and immerse themselves in criminality.
    This is in contrast to the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) who left everyone present at the John Gregg Memorial parade in Rathcoole, as to no doubts over their views on drug-dealing, and criminality in general, with Jackie McDonald saying,

    “A drug-dealer cannot be a Loyalist, and a Loyalist cannot be a dug-dealer”.

    The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) are also tackling head-on the issue of drugs in loyalist communities, with the front cover of their magazine “COMBAT” containing the headline,
    “JUST SAY NO”, with the illustration showing a disturbing image – a child injecting drugs before going to school!

    We need a future where paramilitary groups disband their military structures, making military actions a thing of the past, and turn away from criminality, and become a force for good inside their communities, providing initiatives such as the anti-drugs campaigns that I described before by both the UDA and UVF, and the attendance of leaders of both the UDA and UVF and their political representatives, the UPRG and PUP, at the Anti-Racism Rally at City Hall, Belfast.

  • maca

    CL – am I reading you right, do you expect people to believe that the UDA or UVF are anti-drugs or anti-criminality?? I presume you are, as they say in France, taking ze piss?

  • Circles

    Concerned Loyalist:
    You certainly seem to have a great insight into what goes on in Republican areas. I still have yet to hear anyone I know refer to the Rafia (unless of course they’re quoting form an “informed source” in a newspaper informing us that thats what everyobody says these days on the Falls).

    Amusing it may be, but not half as amusing as the claim that “A drug-dealer cannot be a Loyalist, and a Loyalist cannot be a dug-dealer”. If that were truly the case then there hasn’t been any loyalists around in over 15 years!
    And is the title “Combat” a tribute to their affiliates in COMBAT18?

  • Ringo

    CL –

    “A drug-dealer cannot be a Loyalist, and a Loyalist cannot be a dug-dealer”

    well thats ok so….it must be true. Just like Gerry Adams saying that republicans can’t be criminals?

    Aside from this ridiculous idea I am even more disappointed that you completely miss the significance of MickHalls thread, and Henry94’s too. Here you have two Sinn Fein supporters openly calling for the immediate disbandment of the IRA without condition and yet all you can do is to put forward the preposerous idea that the IRA should become more like the UDA/UFF.

  • Alan2

    And what were the UDA`s / UVF recommendations for dealing with drug dealers? Anything like the IRA`s DAAD? A knee capping or Padre Pio? Maybe just a damn good hammering with a sledge hammer?
    Whilst I welcome ANY initiative to combat drugs, racism or sectarianism it cannot be administered at the barrel of a gun or bomb….the proof is in the pudding.

  • Baz

    As an ex British soldier who served in the province in the 80’s I would like to ask – is it really about a fight between Protentism and Catholisism or is it a case of mindless thug versus mindless thug? We always used to think that the prods were on our side…..what a joke! The world looks at you biggots (Nationalist, Republican, Teletubbies or whatever) with contempt. Lay off the Special Brew and try to be normal you ignorant buggers – the lot of you. Happy Marching Season (Chucking blast bommbs at coppers trying to make a difference – how brave.) The world (and that includes the Americans…duhh) think you are pathetic…..like everyone else.

  • DCB

    CL – interesting parallels with the American Mafia, many of the old bosses were in the 60’s/70’s very anti-drugs and forbid their men from dabbling – didn’t stop it though.

    The pull of the free market is much greater. There’s just far too much easy money to be made.

    Likewise I accept that while some elements of the UDA/UVF (and indeed the Provo’s) are genuinely anti-drug, they won’t be able to stop the tide.

    It’s probably the case that those who are more anti-drug have their nests already well enough feathered from more traditional “fund-raising” ventures – shabeens, racketeering etc. The Provo’s presumably have no need to deal because they can, ironicially, make so much cash out of the border

    Some of the smarter loyalists (if that’s not a contradiction) will probably outsource the actual dealing and just tax the trade.

    Either way in 5 years time if loyalists areas of Belfast aren’t swamped with drugs, I will eat by words.

  • Wichser

    Baz

    You didn’t learn much while you were over here, did you son ?

  • Dick Doggins

    Don`t mention the loyalist feud for the sake of Ulster and God don`t mention the loyalist feud….
    Infact lets pretend its not happening, pretend everything is hokey dorey in Unionist areas….

  • barnshee

    “What a load of b***ocks. Anyone who doesn’t believe me, look out for the Easter commemmorations in catholic Belfast in the next two weeks. I believe catholic Belfast will show its support for republicanism in defiance of the media’s attempts to portray a community at war with the IRA.

    With west belfast effectively walled in by ahem “the wall” Divis/Black mountain and the M1 Protestants do not give the proverbial flying fuck what you do in “catholic belfast” you can celebrate anything you like in the reservation

  • barnshee

    “What a load of b***ocks. Anyone who doesn’t believe me, look out for the Easter commemmorations in catholic Belfast in the next two weeks. I believe catholic Belfast will show its support for republicanism in defiance of the media’s attempts to portray a community at war with the IRA.

    With west belfast effectively walled in by ahem “the wall” Divis/Black mountain and the M1 Protestants do not give the proverbial flying fuck what you do in “catholic belfast” you can celebrate anything you like in the reservation

  • kingb

    I think we should build a wall around the sectarian bigots at the bonfire site on the Newtownards road.

    £2500 funding to build a bonfire surrounded by paramilitary flags, supporters comatose by the drink and drugs, sectarian music and topped off with masked gunmen firing automatic weapons into the air.

    Now thats what i call money well spent.