Newsnight names names

The BBC’s Newsnight programme has stated that Irish and British Government sources have told them that senior members of the Sinn Féin leadership, specifically Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and Martin Ferris along with four others(the video feed will be available shortly) are members of the IRA’s governing council.. and the Irish Justice Minister, Michael McDowell, referred to IRA “political glove-puppets” in his contribution. All of which brings into question who Adams was addressing in his speech. Martin McGuinness was interviewed immediately afterwards and denied the veracity of the report, emphasising that this was a report by the “British Broadcasting Corporation”[his emphasis] as he did so.. it was noticeable, though, that he was looking off-camera repeatedly towards the end of the questioning.. and he was probably thinking about walking out of the interview.

  • Mike

    MCT –

    The ANC and MK aimed for a non-racial demoncracy and majority rule in South Africa.

    The IRA’s raison d’etre was the pursuit of a 32 country Irish Republic by violent means.

    You are not camparing like with like. One was based on terriorial and nationalist aims, the other was not.

  • séannaboy

    Why have none of ‘the dogs in the street’ been charged with withholding information?

  • mucher

    Middle-class taig

    My guess as to why people vote for Adams is as good and as valid as yours. Which reminds me – what are your reasons?

  • Gum

    Just saw the interview – I think Martin McGuinness handled himself very well. Especially his ending on the reliability of British intelligence!

  • Dessertspoon

    Isn’t it funny how so many people can watch the same thing and have such different interpretations….Here’s mine…To me MMcG didn’t look particularly bothered at any stage just a bit pi$$ed off towards the end and seemed to want to leave the interview because Paxman wasn’t interested in hearing his usual interview script. It’s bit like every time Big Ian is allowed out unscripted it’s all about preaching to the converted. I don’t think any SF voters changed their minds after last night or those not voting SF suddenly thought “OK right I’ll show that Paxman one I’ll vote SF!”.

    As for Paxo himself – when the interview ended he did not look, worried, shaken up, drained, beaten or whatever else has been said he just moved on to the next piece. I don’t know why the Newsnight people bothered with this interview at all it didn’t tell anyone anything and the film before about the Army Council was a “made for everyone outside of Norn Iron production”. It was all a bit cringe worthy really.

    Did anyone see Big Ian on UTV news? Nice tie (hint of sarcasm). Paul Clarke didn’t exactly give him a hard time did he??!!

  • Jimmy_Sands

    So your theory is that he became recognisable (to the security forces presumably) in a way that the likes of O’Connell or MacStiofain were not and that this occured at the end of 1974?

    You’re right, it’s not rocket science.

    The relevance of S.Africa to this discussion I confess is lost on me.

  • middle-class taig

    David

    I gave you no lectures on your moral barometer. You lectured us on ours. I merely scoffed at your conceit.

    What’s morally wrong with the pseudonym “middle-class taig”? It is mere description. Don’t you have a “scouseprod” over there? Are you similarly critical of him?

    Are you still smarting over the BellyTelly? Diddums 🙁

    Mike

    “You are not camparing like with like.”

    That’s a matter of opinion. Irish nationalism is about securing democracy and self-determination on the island of Ireland. The ANC seem to perceive a certain kinship in that struggle.

    mucher

    I think he’s the best advocate for the republican analysis, i believe he’s the only republican who can deliver an end to the IRA without a major split and I believe that he’s a brilliant political strategist. I have reservations about him, but I’m not picking him as a best mate, I’m picking him as someone to deliver change.

    I also like him cos he winds up so many people I despise – I’m not proud of that reason…

    btw, unless you vote SF then your guess is not as good as mine – you’re entitled to it, however ill-informed and prejudiced

  • freddiescapp

    i suggest we hold a vote;
    who is the best liar in the provos? gerry adams or martin mcguinness?
    or is it really danny morrison?
    i’ll start – i propose morrison!

  • middle-class taig

    Jimmy

    O’Connell and MacStiofain were in the South – political considerations and different times.

    I really don’t understand how you think people like Adams and McGuinness can run ACIRA meetings. How would they keep them from the press? Or do you contend that they’re held in Connolly House?

    The fact is, the community who know these guys best, the nationalist community, is going to vote for them in increasing numbers because the don’t believe the half of what’s said about them. That’s what you and your bed-fellows have to reconcile with your self-indulgent provographic little fantasies.

    “The relevance of S.Africa to this discussion I confess is lost on me.”

    Quelle surprise…. Seriously though. Do really expect me to wade through PO’Neill press releases of 1971 to identify a social justice theme? I’m not your research assistant.

  • séannaboy

    Middle Class taig,
    I and a lot of people like me are going to vote for ‘them’ i.e Sinn Féin because we DO ( mainly) believe what is written about them.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    MCT,

    I don’t expect you to do anything. You made a claim which I believe is unsustainable. Whether you wish to attempt to sustain it is a matter for you. As to the logistics of the operation I wouldn’t presume to comment. As to their supporters accepting this nonsense, I believe that was my very point at the outset. SF supporters appear genuinely to believe them.

  • mucher

    Freddiescapp

    No! Not Morrison, he’s not a true Prove. Two of his brothers-in-law are Brit soldiers and are still alive!!

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Chris Gaskin,
    You said that Newsnight have “put these men’s lives in danger”. How?
    Around Christmas I named, on Slugger, the exact same 7 men as IRA Army Council members, but Mick took it off as he felt it could be libellous, which is fair enough.

    The point I am making is this. If I, as a civilian citizen of Northern Ireland, with no police or army connections whatsoever, knew who these men were, then aren’t the loyalist paramilitaries etc going to know who they are already with their vast array of intelligence officers, rather than finding out for the first time on Newsnight last night?

    As William McCrea said,
    “The dogs on the street know who these ‘men’ are”.

    At the end of the day, if you live by the sword you die by the sword, and some of the victims of IRA violence would perhaps say that ruthless murderers like South Armagh’s Sean Gerard Hughes would perhaps be as good a candidate as anyone to be made an example of this ancient proverb.

    Well done to Jeremy Paxman too for the way he outmanoeuvred McGuinness and made him look like a wee boy who had dropped his toys out of the pram!

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Chris Gaskin,
    You said that Newsnight have “put these men’s lives in danger”. How?
    Around Christmas I named, on Slugger, the exact same 7 men as IRA Army Council members, but Mick took it off as he felt it could be libellous, which is fair enough.

    The point I am making is this. If I, as a civilian citizen of Northern Ireland, with no police or army connections whatsoever, knew who these men were, then aren’t the loyalist paramilitaries etc going to know who they are already with their vast array of intelligence officers, rather than finding out for the first time on Newsnight last night?

    As William McCrea said,
    “The dogs on the street know who these ‘men’ are”.

    At the end of the day, if you live by the sword you die by the sword, and some of the victims of IRA violence would perhaps say that ruthless murderers like South Armagh’s Sean Gerard Hughes would perhaps be as good a candidate as anyone to be made an example of this ancient proverb.

    Well done to Jeremy Paxman too for the way he outmanoeuvred McGuinness and made him look like a wee boy who had dropped his toys out of the pram!

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Apologies, don’t know why it posted twice!

  • séannaboy

    The dogs in the street are innocent!

  • PatMcLarnon

    I absolutely loved Newsnight, it was the best political theatre witnessed for some time.

    Mark Urban quoting informers and MI5 was so poe faced he looked in need of a doctor. But the Paxman & Mc Guinness tet a tet was priceless. Paxman threatened to do a ‘Michael Howard’ and ask a questio all night. Mc Guinness’s contempt for him was hilarious.
    At the point of exasperation Paxman tried to quote MI5 and the retort from Mc guinness about these same people being responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis had poor Jeremy all at sea.
    After cutting off Mc Guinness (Cheshire Cat smile well in place) Paxman tried to link to a story on Iraq and his stumbling, bumbling effort was an indicator of just how upset the poor man was.

    More please.

  • middle-class taig

    séannaboy

    “I and a lot of people like me are going to vote for ‘them’ i.e Sinn Féin because we DO ( mainly) believe what is written about them.”

    That’s a matter for you. So do you believe McDowell over Gerry then? 🙂

    Jimmy

    Your posts are most interesting for what you choose to ignore. But its gratifying to have you confirm by acquiescence that you too can see no earthly way in which the GA and MMcG could be running meetings of ACIRA. For a minute there I thought you were going to provide some insight.

  • Chris Gaskin

    CL

    “If I, as a civilian citizen of Northern Ireland, with no police or army connections whatsoever, knew who these men were”

    How exactly do you know who they are?

    Where did you recieve your “intelligence” from?

    “murderers like South Armagh’s Sean Gerard Hughes”

    I would be very careful here CL, legally speaking, as Sean has never been convicted of any murder.

    I also find it cowardly, but hardly surprising, that you think you can throw someone’s name about and accuse them of all sorts when you yourself haven’t got the balls to revel your own identity.

  • harry

    concerned loyalist

    As William McCrea said,
    “The dogs on the street know who these ‘men’ are”.

    Yes,and Willie Mc Crea of the DUP would know all about terrorists,considering his support for mass murderer Billy Wright

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Chris Gaskin,
    My sources are my business and nobody else’s and why should I reveal my identity to a republican-gangster apologist like you? Do you want to gag me and stop me telling the people who use Slugger the truth about Sinn Fein/IRA? They have a right to know who they’re voting for!

  • Chris Gaskin

    “Chris Gaskin,
    My sources are my business”

    This basically means you are a liar and you don’t have a single source and the only way you came across these names are through tabloids and the programme last night.

    I don’t know who you are think you are fooling

    “why should I reveal my identity”

    I suppose you shouldn’t given the fact that you are a coward and have accused people of being murderers when that is in fact a lie.

    “to a republican-gangster apologist like you?”

    How exactly am I a gangster?

    “Do you want to gag me”

    I expect you to substantiate your claims the way the rest of the posters on this site do

    “stop me telling the people who use Slugger the truth”

    You are not telling the truth, you are lying and you are trying to suggest you have some sort of access to independent sources when in fact you don’t!!

  • Concerned Loyalist

    OK, believe what you want, but it’s a bit of a coincidence that I knew the names of the 7-man Provo Army Council last year-a full 6 months before Newsnight named them last night, and it must also be a coincidence that I was able to say that I believed another certain Ardoyne Provo commander to be on the larger Executive?

    You posted, “How exactly am I a gangster?”. If you actually read what I posted you would realise that I said you were a “republican-gangster APOLOGIST”.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    harry,
    When exactly did William McCrea come out and say he supported Billy?

  • Chris Gaskin

    “OK, believe what you want, but it’s a bit of a coincidence that I knew the names of the 7-man Provo Army Council last year-a full 6 months before Newsnight named them last night, and it must also be a coincidence that I was able to say that I believed another certain Ardoyne Provo commander to be on the larger Executive?”

    Hardly

    Seeing as these names or their nicknames have been bandied about for over a year, don’t try and pretend you have independent sources, it just shows you up as a liar.

    You have accused a man of something that is untrue and there is no evidence for such a claim, you should do the honourable thing and with draw the allegation

    “republican-gangster APOLOGIST”.

    How am I one of these?

  • JD

    It seems that Ed Moloney’s 2002 book (and hence his sources) is the origin of the Adams-McGuinness AC allegations. On the other hand, A and McG’s denials are the only sources of the objection to those allegations.

    It’s certainly possible that A and McG are no longer members of the AC, in which case their denials have at least the veneer of truth.

    It is also possible that they are still on the AC but as they are two votes out of a possible seven, they still need to convince a majority of the AC that the IRA should stand-down. Even if the AC is agreed, it would still need to convince the rank and file to accept the decision to stand down. This possibility makes the “talking to the mirror” analysis overly simplistic.

    If they are on the AC I’m puzzled by why they would feel the need to deny it, especially if it’s “common knowledge” and it’s not harming them at the polls. The vote has grown since the allegations were made public. So, what exactly is to be gained?

    On balance, I don’t see why it would be a bad thing to be on the AC. Surely it is a good thing because they are asking the IRA to dissolve itself?

  • Stet

    Middle-class taig,

    Big gap in replying, but I’ve been busy at work. Just to respond to your five points…

    1. Libel cases are not easy to win – I accept that. My point was that Gerry’s public statements as to why he cannot sue are spurious.

    2. You said: “Even without any evidence whatsoever, what are the chances of a British court (even in the event that it properly directed itself and treated the evidence with scrupulous fairness) finding that Gerry Adams was never in the RA? Zero.”

    My point was that Adams would not take a libel action because he would lose. You say precisely the same thing, even, as you say, in the event that the court procedure was scrupulously fair. We agree on that.

    3. Incorrect. The defendant still has to demonstrate the lie, and therefore prove that its claims are true. Take the time to look at case law and you’ll see that justification is a difficult route for the defendant to take. Libel defendants prefer other routes, especially fair comment and privilege.

    Qualified privilege was recently extended by the House of Lords in the action brought by Albert Reynolds against The Times. The extension gives the media a defence when it reports a matter of public interest, libellous or not, when it can show that it was justified – for example, that it has been properly researched and the subject has been given a proper opportunity to respond.

    Fundamentally, you and I agree that Adams would not take an action because he would lose. Read my original post. Where we differ seems to be my mild criticism of Gerry’s specious public statements on why he “cannot sue”. To be precise, he has said: “To be libelled you have to be able to prove that your peer group would disapprove of you if you were alleged to be involved in such and such activity.” Not so.

    4. Agreed.

    5. You happily equate Slab Murphy with Gerry Adams. Nuff said.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    JD,
    If they admit it they could be arrested and charged with the same offences as Johnny Adair:
    “directing terrorism”, and “membership of a proscribed organization”. He was sentenced to 16 years for these offences, and a lot of the evidence that got him convicted came out of his own mouth too, during converstions with undercover police officer Johnston ‘Jonty’ Brown.

  • Simon T

    JD said:’If they are on the AC I’m puzzled by why they would feel the need to deny it, especially if it’s “common knowledge” and it’s not harming them at the polls.’

    Membership of the IRA is illegal – they would be publicly confessing to a crime.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Gaskin,
    I am not withdrawing what I posted. I am 100% certain that what I have posted is true. I would put my house on it if I happened to own one!

    “Hawks” Keenan, Murphy, Hughes and Gillen, along with the so-called “doves” Ferris, McGuinness and Adams are on the IRA Army Council.

    THAT IS A FACT

  • middle-class taig

    stet

    thank you for your reply

    1. Agreed, exc the spurious bit

    2. Agreed, but for different reasons

    3. Point me to case law if you have it to hand; I’m interested. I’m not sure I share your analysis.

    Otherwise agreed.

    4. Spooky

    5. I’m not sure which of them would be more offended

    Cheers

  • Jimmy_Sands

    I doubt the denial is motivated by a desire to avoid prosecution. If so a “no comment” would suffice, a lie would not be required. Nor do I believe either government has any interest in prosecuting them, indeed one could argue that an admission by them would create far more headaches for the governments than it would for them. My view is that the denial can best be regarded a form of tv studio anti-interrogation technique. It’s not the question itself they fear, but the follow-ups. Denial, as Paxman found out, leaves the interviewer nowhere to go.

  • JD

    I understand the legality issue. I’m trying to understand the elaborate two step. If they are members of the AC and it is common knowledge it doesn’t harm their standing in the constituencies, then these denials must be for other reasons.

    If there is “common knowledge” of the “fact,” and they are not being arrested and jailed, then why aren’t they? It suggests that the British and Irish governments are treating the IRA as a de facto legal organization.

    So, what I’m suggesting is this: if they are truly members, then they could just stay silent. But they don’t. The fact that they don’t suggests that the denials function in a different way. If that is the case, then I’m suggesting that their denials must serve to “protect” the British and Irish governments.

  • Stet

    Yo Middle-class taig,

    Hi. We’re getting there..

    1. Good

    2. Good enough

    3. To be clear, I said that defendants prefer other routes. That is pretty much self-evident as fair comment and especially privilege are easier to demonstrate in court than justification, relying as they do on fairly clear-cut legal argument, rather than the need to demonstrate an allegation’s veracity.

    As to precedent, check out any of the 95 occasions between 1993 and 1996 when the Police Federation pursued libel actions against the media. All 95 cases were won.

    Without getting into the fine detail, the difficulties of justification almost without exception in those cases lay in the media’s vague descriptions of officers, without naming or otherwise specifically identifying individuals. Therefore, all (for example) 30-year-old white coppers got together to sue. Justification was virtually impossible and, where it was attempted, the newspaper lost. Justification was also made more difficult by the Police Federation’s tactic of suing 1 week before the statutory limitation period of three years was up. Finding credible witnesses after 3 years was tricky.

    Had an officer been named in a police statement, it would have been covered by privilege – end of story.

    As for the implication that I have a pile of legal judgments “to hand”, let’s not descend into sixth-form debating society nonsense.

    4. Indeed

    5. Me neither

  • Davros

    CL- if there is as you claim a “Hawk” Majority, How come the IRA is currently following a “Dove” Policy?

  • D’Oracle

    Suppose the shocking allegation up top is true, how can this be explained.?

    They cant really all be schizophrenic – not really, can they? Making all manner of allowances, surely the chances of that must be at least….maybe 527 to 1. Surely they would remember or at least get the odd flashback of their alternate personas and ..well..own up?

    Could it be all that clostridium or whatever in the Norniron tapwater? Cant be that bad if Coke at bottling it -right so..maybe its just for export then.

    So many questions, so few answers..

  • Jimmy Sands

    Unconfirmed reports suggest McGuinness now claims to have left the studio at 11.20. Slugger is flooded with posts claiming to believe him.

  • barnshee

    Spirit level
    “Barnshee I just love your siege mentality its priceless.. bye “

    Its not siege mentality its disgust that sf/ira exist in the same atmosphere I have to breathe in. Scum and their supporters– how do you separate them.

    Freedom for protestants from catholic republican ireland and her murder gangs. —

    Shoot police in the back and run away?- Don’t whine snivel and complain when “targets”respond in kind.

    (Incidentally mutt and geff deny all IRA membership is to avoid raising the spectre of an Omagh style civil action for Claudy or La Mon now they have few quid -mostly from the Brit Taxpayer- they want to hang on to it

  • middle-class taig

    stet

    “As for the implication that I have a pile of legal judgments “to hand”, let’s not descend into sixth-form debating society nonsense.”

    No such implication was intended. I’m sorry you took it that way. I meant the references. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

    I’ll have to have a look at those Police Fed cases. Why did it take the papers so long to stop screwing up? I suppose cops make quite attractive libel claimants.

  • Nicholas Whyte

    As a former senior US diplomat said to me on hearing that Adams intended to go and present his views to the IRA leadership, “Well, that will take him a long time.”

  • Stet

    Middle-class taig,

    The torrent of Police Federation cases halted in 1998 after the Guardian successfully defended a libel action taken by five Stoke Newington officers accused of drug trafficking by the paper. It cost the Guardian a fortune to fight the case, but that ruling, along with the eventual implementation of the 1996 Act stemmed the flow.

    The screw-ups mostly took place over the three-year period between 93 and 96, and because the libel actions weren’t taken until the limitation period (also of 3 years) was almost up, the newspapers did not suspect that they were in trouble. During this time, of course, allegations were repeated again and again in a variety of newspapers.

    PS sorry for misunderstanding your earlier comment. Have a good weekend!