What about Gerry Adams' statement about the IRA?

Levitas asked: Does the statement from Gerry Adams concerning the future of the IRA represent a positive development which has the potential to break the current logjam?

Brian Feeney said that the logjam will only be well and truly broken when the Sinn Fein representative on the NI Policing Board is the IRA Adjutant General – because one set of cops can’t be chasing the other.

Alex – Felt swapping statements between the IRA and Sinn Fein is ventroliquists’ act. “I’m offended, as someone who supported the project. I actually believed SF and IRA were serious. It does offend me when Adams gets up and says he’s talking to the IRA.”

Dan McGinn – Reaction to the statement has shown a general weariness – right from the off – once he made the statement the reaction was, ‘just get on with it’.

Chris – Timing is election-based, but the statement itself is a product of what happened before with the Irish government – pressure applied from Bertie Ahern directly is what led to it . The result will be a shoring up of the “vote for peace” for SF. But Bertie Ahern said criminality is the acid test.

Brian – The timing is important. It was held back until the election – they are trying to stand down the IRA – they had plans drawn up – they were going to stand them down – what they hadn’t agreed (I go to Bertie Ahern for this) is how to wind up what the Irish govt calls criminality – or if you prefer, revolutionary expropriations.

There were last year difficulties in Dublin docks – which the Army Council didn’t authorize. They just handed some of the money in – they still haven’t agreed to do it – I’m not sure they know how to do it.

The reaction will depend on how well they do in the election. Then they’ll issue a statement, in July probably. Once they’ve done that then we’ll know whether they’re prepared to go into negotiations, the prob is if a group guys in South Armagh pull off something, we have to wait a year til the IRA get a clean sheet because the DUP cannot go into negotiations.

“They’ll have to wait a year to get a clean sheet. They only way you’ll know the IRA has stood down is when Sinn Fein is on the policing board and it’s the adjutant general”.

  • peteb

    With Martin McGuinness appearing on Newsnight tonight, and Newsnight say they have the names of the members of the Army Council, who exactly does Brian Feeney think must be on the Policing Board then?

  • spirit-level

    we’ll have to wait n see

  • peteb

    Yeah s-l.. that free wine was always going to be too tempting for the panel 😉

  • spirit-level

    ouch peteb I’m on the dry…. well till friday 😉
    Could really do with a glass or two or three…
    20 mins till newsnight.. hope it’s Mr.Paxman.
    Just wondering if this is a neat stage show coming up, or is there going to be some teeth???

  • peteb

    Given past performances by all concerned.. I’d suggest no teeth and, at most, 5 minutes of stone-walling, not answering the question, and talking about where Martin wants everyone to be.

  • john


    The electorate will decide where Martin is going

  • harry

    “Given past performances by all concerned.. I’d suggest no teeth and, at most, 5 minutes of stone-walling, not answering the question.”

    Sounds like a comment which could be made when the DUP are questioned on their connections with the gun runners of ulster resistance

  • peteb

    LOL.. Michael McDowell has just described Gerry Adams as a “political glove-puppet” of the IRA.

  • peteb

    Not quite 5 minutes.. more like 2 or 3 minutes. But the predicted description of the ‘interview’ was right.

  • David

    Newsnight just decided to name who they claim is on the Army Council, including Ferris, Adams and Mcguinness.

    Paxman interviewed McGuinness, who denied the allegations repeatedly. After a bit of “Answer the question” “I have answered that question” they ended the interview, I don’t think that Paxman had his heart in it.

  • bik razor

    Wow – McGuinness was really rattled – a clear case of Paxman’s revenge!

  • Jim Bob

    Paxman looked well shaken up by that interview, and rightly so. He made an absolute fool of himself.

    That’s what happens when you try cheap propaganda stunts to affect the outcome of an election. All of this information has been in the public domain for years. The BBC in bringing it up just now have had their agenda exposed. It’s quite fitting that they fell flat on their faces with this pathetic effort.

    Hilariously enough the only sensible contribution came from Bill Lowry ex boss of RUC Special Branch.

    That shows just how bad the BBC effort truly was.

    Later they’re going to be getting the views of Unionists on the matter. Sinn Fein supporters must be rolling on the floor laughing at the ludicrous contrivance of it all.

  • PaddyCanuck

    I watched the newsnight interview online, however the first few minutes are missing, and all those named as alleged army council members are missing, can anybody repeat the names mentioned on newsnight?

    I did see McGuinnes deny IRA membership, Paxman tried to ask whether people had the right to know that someone standing for elected office was a member of the IRA army council. Given Martins previous denial, is it any wonder that he did not answer. I know of not one politician who would answer such a loaded hypothetical question.

    The original question was answered, he said he was not on the IRA army council, he had left the IRA in 1974, and he was not at an IRA convention in Cavan in 2002.

    Paxman, asked did he accept the evidence presented by the BBC? McGuinness rightly said that no evidence had been produced.

    If there is evidence then those named should be charged. Put up or shut up.

  • freddiescapp

    what i’d like to know is where have the provos attached the strings to brian feeney?
    the man is a byword for opportunism – when he thought he could get the sdlp nomination for west belfast instead of joe hendron there was no-one more anti-provo in his party – now the sdlp are history there’s no-one around who’s more pro-provo – pass the zinc bucket!

  • Jim Bob

    To Paddy Canuck

    McDowell admitted that he had no evidence. All he had was Intelligence.

    The interview was obviously cut short by the Newsnight studio directors. McGuiness was smiling and relaxed. Paxman was losing it.

    They later had Willie McCrea on ranting.

    These people just haven’t a clue how this contrived stuff plays in the North. I’d imagine the SF vote shot up a few points on the back of this.

  • mocha

    martin was not smiling and relaxed. He had a fixed grin and looked utterly false. As if he was lying in fact

  • harry


    “the man is a byword for opportunism”

    I think this label could be attached to most of the SDLP Westminster candidates

  • Intelligence Insider

    It’s a real pity that so many people who like to appear as being in someway decent give their vote to a party so clearly linked to murder, robbery and thuggery. I really hope that in this election people see the “men behind the masks” and vote for parties who see the murder of people like Jean McConville and Garda McCabe as the reprehensible crime they really are.

  • Jim Bob

    To Mocha

    “martin was not smiling and relaxed.”

    That’s precisely what he was. Paxman was the flustered one, so much so indeed that he had to be rescued by his producers. The whole thing was the most risible contrivance from start to finish. Even the dogs on the street could see this for what it was.

    “He had a fixed grin and looked utterly false. As if he was lying in fact”

    There was a series on recently about body language and what you could tell from it.

    But you need to be honest about what the body signals are firstly. And then you can move to interpretation.

  • harry


    Would you class the people who supported a government which ran the loyalist death squads as decent.

    There are those within this society who claim to be decent while covering their eyes to the crimes of the state.

    Was the murder of innocent catholics acceptable to a decent person like yourself

  • Jim Bob

    To Intelligence Insider

    People just aren’t so foolish as to be misled by partial accounts, whether it’s from you or the BBC.

    People see these selective accounts for what they are.

    And the sooner people who peddle these partial accounts understand that the sooner you get all the problesm sorted out.

    That’s of course if those who peddle these partial accounts are genuine in the first place. Mostly they’re not of course. And indeed mostly they are creators of problems rather than solvers.

  • GavBelfast

    The FORMER leading IRA figure was certainly “smiling and relaxed” if sitting with a surly expression and looking about as comfortable as someone with toothache looks “smiling and relaxed”. Clearly, to some, it does.

    Funny old world.

    Perhaps the named individuals will sue. Unless ….

  • Jim Bob

    “The FORMER leading IRA figure was certainly “smiling and relaxed” if sitting with a surly expression and looking about as comfortable as someone with toothache looks “smiling and relaxed”.”

    Toothache – Laughing gas.

    I see. It was a bit like that.

    “Perhaps the named individuals will sue. Unless ….”

    Unless it would be a waste of time, I suppose

  • Pronsias


    martin was not smiling and relaxed. He had a fixed grin and looked utterly false. As if he was lying in fact….

    …but c’mon you have to admit you just love him????

  • Jimmy Sands

    I thought Paxman was poor. He appeared to be taken off guard when McGuinness lied, which showed lack of preparation. Having asserted that he left the IRA in 1974, the follow up ought to have been “why?”

  • 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??!!