Republicanism compromised by McCartney killers

Anthony McIntyre argues that the conditions that led to the killing of Robert McCartney were laid long before last January.

He believes it’s the work of a ‘freelance’ element within the IRA:

The Provisional Movement knew what it had in its ranks. Beatings, threats, intimidation were a way of life to what one Irish News letter writer termed the ‘do you know who I am gang?’ There was no republican objective associated with their activity, unless hanging out in bars a la the characters out of the movie Donnie Brasco, bullying those who crossed their paths at the pool table or who looked the wrong way – resulting in a forced visit to the toilets – had some discrete republican function that was never explained to the rest of us during political education sessions.

And they are now even defying the Republican leadership:

Some of them avoided republican activism like the plague when there was a risk to personal safety or freedom, but with the Good Friday Agreement found it easy to puff the chest out and ask menacingly ‘do you know who I am?’ They were the muscle that the Sinn Fein leadership relied upon to fortify its position on the streets. Greenshirt thugs always at hand to break a leg or kidnap a critic. Now that leadership has joined their lengthy list of victims as they treat with self serving contempt the calls by Gerry Adams and others for them to do the honourable thing and make themselves amenable.

Finally he argues that whatever happens the crime cannot be ever be seen as political:

Republican activism is not a license to murder members of the nationalist community in pursuit of self-gratification. Those who engage in it should be given no cover. If they want the cloak of political legitimacy, then, if jailed, they can do their time as political prisoners on the UDA wing in Maghaberry. Jim ‘Doris Day’ Gray would make ideal company for them. For now Robert McCartney is a name that hangs over the leadership of Sinn Fein like the sword of Damocles. A party that prided itself on challenging injustice will not be allowed to sleep easily until it delivers it. Prime Time was a Sinn Fein nightmare.

  • Dec

    The article seems to hinge on the whether the Prime Time reconstruction was accurate. I’ll admit I didn’t see it but I think it’s safe to assume that RTE’s version was based on one version of events.

  • Assume Nothing

    How about you watch it and treat us to an informed opinion instead of just guessing. It’s available online. We will await your informed opinion with bated breath. I am sure it will be much more impressive than your “safe” assumptions.

  • Dec

    Couldn’t find the link. Anything else to add or are you content enough with sniping at me?

  • Mick

    Dec, if you hit AN’s name it will take you to the page. Though I have to admit, I couldn’t get the clip to stream myself.

  • spirit-level

    Anthony McIntyre I salute you

  • carlosblancos

    McIntyre articulates perfectly the attitude of the ‘break the knees’ brigade who revel in their IRA membership as long as a few of the lads are about.

    I always wonder was Magennis’s only full of Short Strand residents that night or wasn’t there anyone from a non IRA controlled area.

  • Zorro

    Live by the sword. Die by the sword.

    It appears that too many in the Nationalist community choose to ignore what SF/PIRA/their supporters do, until it knocks on their door. So long as me and mine are OK, the Bhoys can do what ever they like and to whom. Would the sisters of RMcC still be voting for SF if what happened to their brother had happened to someone else, somewhere else? RMcC was an innocent man plain and simple. People know the hold that the Bhoys have over their community but sadly, the Nationalist community hides its head in the sand, prefering to believe what Gerry says to the cameras and ignoring what is said in the shadows.

  • PatMcLarnon

    The question of course is, if the sources who plied RTE with the version of events broadcast are so sure of the facts why haven’t they beaten a track to Townhall St to deliver a statement. Are they cowards? Or is it just another case of journalistic licence.

  • Fanny

    I’d quit now Pat if I were you.

  • Zorro

    …and PatMcLarnon looked in to the mirror and said “mirror, mirror on the wall, who are the greates spin doctors of all?”

    The mirro cried back “It’s not the Shinners, if that’s what you’re thinkin’! For there are those in the South who are are causing a dinn.
    It is they who are the masters of spin
    If you go looking you shall see,
    They go by the name of RTE!!!!!!!!!

    Pat, does this sound unlikely, too much like a fairy tale, not really convincing as an argument, noone goonna believe it’s true..?

  • bertie

    zorro
    “So long as me and mine are OK, the Bhoys can do what ever they like and to whom. Would the sisters of RMcC still be voting for SF if what happened to their brother had happened to someone else, somewhere else?”

    I have been on the verge of screaming this at the TV screen manys the time. Despite being a SF/IRA voter he should not have been murdered and I will accept that the women are brave to stand up to them and it has made some stupid people face up to what non stupid people already knew – terrorists are evil.

    However their previous support for these people and their failure (at least I missed it) to admit this was wrong means they are not heroines to me. I am sure there are many RCs/nationalists that IRA/Sinn Fein have murdered, there are some of the bereaved who have never supported them and I would like to see them getting some prominance and support.

  • PatMcLarnon

    Zorro,

    Do you support the calls by the McCartneys for those with information to come forward?

    Given the alleged detail of the Prime Time programme, if true, they must have been given information by some person or people in the bar.

    Do you think these people should come forward and make official statemets?

  • Davros

    Do you think these people should come forward and make official statemets?

    Are people right to be concerned for their safety if they were to give evidence to the police – bearing in mind what has happened in the past to people supposedly given assurances that all would be well …. Joanne Mathers, Frank Hegarty and Alan McCullough ?

  • Fanny

    Pat, this attempt to swerve discussion off topic is transparent.

    In any case, how do you know the sources for the programme HAVEN’T given also given statements to the authorities?

  • PatMcLarnon

    Davros,

    Given the lack of forensic evidence it is accepted by most sane people that the only way that people will appear in court is through withness evidence. If they are too cowardly to come forward then so be it.

    Fanny,

    The points made to Zorro apply equally to you. You seem to want to have a perpetual gripe rather than see justice done, which I feel is a sad state of affairs.

  • Davros

    If they are too cowardly

    Easy for you to say that Pat – would you risk your life ? Or the lives of your wife or children? Remember what has happened in the past to people who took assurances in respect of their safety.

  • PatMcLarnon

    Davros,

    I stated at the time of the murder that people should go to the PSNI if they were comfortable with that. I also stated that if I had been in the bar I would have furnished a statement.

  • Curious

    The clip showed Brendan Devine, apparently fully recovered from his ordeal. Does anyone know if he’s given a witness statement to the PSNI?

  • Zorro

    Pat,

    My point is this, I believe people would come forward with information but they are too scared. The Bhoys have a strong hold over some parts of the community.

    Don’t think for a minute there aren’t people who want to come forward. They are just, understandably; too fearful that what happened to RMcC could happen to them.

    It is one thing talking to reporter and another talking to PC Plod of the PSNI. Equally, when one is seen knocking at your door, it will be noted.

    I fully support the calls by the McCartneys for those with information to come forward. They are brave women indeed and I hope they achieve the justice they seek. I just wonder would they still be voting SF if this had happened to some other poor soul away from the Short Strand?

    I find it sad that too many Nationalists seem too quick to excuse and explaing away such atrocities. They seem to be saying “..so long as it doesn’t happen on my doorstep I don’t want to know.”

    They maybe too afraid to go along and tell what they know to PC Plod but on May 5th we still had an anonymous ballot box!

  • PatMcLarnon

    Zorro,

    I will try and answer your central points.

    The problem for potential witnesses is that regardless of any potential threat from the Republican Movement thay are having to overcome decades of their own mistrust of the police indeed that of the community they continue to live among.

    Whether any actual threat exists at this time against potential witnesses is something that could be discussed ad nauseum on this thread and any other. However, the damage done to the RM should any witness be in fact harmed would have fatal consequences for the organisation.

    As for the Mc Cartneys continuing to support SF if someobne else had been the victim, I can only state that they are on record as saying they were SF voters and people did die at the hands of republicans during that period. They are also on record as saying that if this case was resolved satisfactorily they would do so again.

  • Fanny

    Pat,

    A journalist investigation is not the same thing as a police investigation. You are attempting to force the comparison.

    Of course I want all available information made available to the police investigation.

    You have apparently dreamt up an argument involving the ‘cowardice’ of those who might talk to journalists but not to the police and are now prodding this conversation along that path.

    Why not just come out and say how you really feel?

  • Davros

    However, the damage done to the RM should any witness be in fact harmed would have fatal consequences for the organisation.

    it would be blamed on dissidents or people acting without sanction …and the line would be that ” the people whose mandate we hold cannot be punished for events outside of our control ” ….and bertie and tony would go along with it as they have gone along with everything else.

    Politics is a stinking business.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “the damage done to the RM should any witness be in fact harmed would have fatal consequences for the organisation”

    Pat, you know perfectly well that the leadership would affect to deplore any such attack and urge those to turn themselves in and that witnesses should co-operate with anyone with whom they felt comfortable. Those expressing skepticism would be accused of exploiting the tragedy for political gain. Rather like now in fact.

  • Zorro

    Ignore what you will Pat. Do you really think there would be fatal consequences for the organisationif witnesses were to be hurt? I would suggest not. The SF vote remained intact, albeit withstanding what some would call a protest vote but nothing fatal

    I find attempts to turn the arguement away from the central issue of justice and common decency, in to one surrounding the lack of trust for PC Plod, entirely abhorrent.

    There are many other forums for discussion on the policing issue but I don’t think this would be one of them. I can only say that I would feel as the sister feel if I were in their position.

    The people who killed RMcC, as well as those who cleaned up and covered up afterwards have a lot to answer for and I for one don’t like the thought that they are free to do it all again. They are counting on the fear the Bhoys evoke.

    They are using the fear of the Republican Movement to their own ends. No matter what you say Pat,people believe that if they wanted them to hand themselves in to PC Plod, it would happen.

    It is essentially a matter of trust. Gerry can say all the rigt things produce all the right platitudes for the media but really, do people believe him?

    People can see Gerry/SF for what they are and it isn’t the golden age freedom fighter image of 1916 they see. It is of a Republican Movement that is splintered, divided and out of control, unable to deal with its members who have turned on their own community again.

  • bill

    “I find it sad that too many Nationalists seem too quick to excuse and explaing away such atrocities. They seem to be saying “..so long as it doesn’t happen on my doorstep I don’t want to know.””

    Zorro

    The above comment could equally be applied to the majority within the unionist community.

    Dozens of young unionists are being mutilated by paramilitaries within unionist communities.

    A large ammount of these attacks are occuring within unionist East Belfast.there is no outcry against the loyalist paramilitaties within these areas.

    A 30 year old man was shot in the arms,knees and ankles over the weekend.
    Noone even bothered to try and explain away this barbaric attack.I have read no report in condemnation from politicians or community workers.

  • Liam

    Zorro

    You are as guilty as many others for using this tragedy to attempt to throw muck at Republicans.

    Gerry can say all the rigt things produce all the right platitudes for the media but really, do people believe him?

    Well…think about it…Sinn Féin have contested 3 elections since this incident and have made considerable gains at each one….so yes people do believe him, whether that fact suits you or not.

    And by the way….I am convinced that Gerry Adam’s is being completely genuine in all that he has said on this entire subject. You obviously are not. But then that’s just your own opinion which is tainted by being anti-republican anyway.

    People can see Gerry/SF for what they are and it isn’t the golden age freedom fighter image of 1916 they see;

    How do you know what people see?

    “it is of a Republican Movement that is splintered, divided and out of control, unable to deal with its members who have turned on their own community again.”

    ‘splintered, divided and out of control’….I don’t think so!

    ‘unable to deal with its members’….Now don’t be silly here. What do you really expect Sinn Féin to do that it hasn’t done?

    Members have been expelled, others resigned. Sinn Féin as a party have no more responsibility for the incident itself or the outcomes of any police investigations or trials than you do.

  • Davros

    Members have been expelled, others resigned. Sinn Féin as a party have no more responsibility for the incident itself or the outcomes of any police investigations or trials than you do.

    Liam – Have SF answered the list of questions asked by the McCartney family? If they have not your above claim about SF responsibility for the outcome of any police investigations or trials is open to question.

    Robert McCartney’s family appeal to Sinn Fein

    Robert McCartney’s family appeal to Sinn Fein

    McCartney Family • 24 April 2005

    In light of recent comments by Gerry Adams that he will do all he can to help the family and recent newspaper reports that another main suspect in Robert’s murder is still apparently, a Sinn Fein member the family ask Gerry Adam’s to address the following immediately.

    Sinn Fein’s response, in the interest of accountability and transparency, should be a public one:

    1.
    Clarify why it took Sinn Fein two weeks to approach the family after Robert’s murder, given that it was common knowledge that some of its members were involved?
    2.
    When did Alex Maskey and Joe O’Donnell become aware of the circumstances surrounding Robert’s murder?
    3.
    What led to both men’s immediate assessment that Robert’s murder was part of a growing ‘knife culture’?
    4.
    When did Sinn Fein become aware that Cora Groogan had been present in Magennis’, along with other party candidates, on the 30th January?
    5.
    What explanation did they give the party for not coming forward to the police, ombudsman or the party?
    6.
    When did the party launch its internal investigation?
    7.
    What is its purpose?
    8.
    If the party is conducting its own internal investigation will they make the outcome public?
    9.
    What is the timescale likely to be?
    10.
    Why did no Sinn Fein members go forward voluntarily and immediately to the police or ombudsman?
    11.
    How many members of Sinn Fein were in the bar on the night Robert was murdered?
    12.
    How many have been suspended?
    13.
    On what grounds is the suspension?
    14.
    When were they suspended?
    15.
    Who has resigned?
    16.
    Why have they resigned?
    17.
    Is the party aware that statements passed to Nuala O’Loan from Sinn Fein members have not been signed?
    18.
    How many Sinn Fein party members in the bar that night were or still are election workers for Alex Maskey?

  • prolefodder

    Isn’t it amazing how quickly the pro-SF position asserts itself, focusing on the technicalities of the case or questioning the motives of those who simply state the obvious about what the murder of Robert McCartney says about the republican movement (as per McIntyre’s article – which is what this thread began with, but look how quickly Pat and Liam have shifted the debate). The ‘movement’ (if not the ’cause’) has lost credibility, a coherent rationale and has only brute power to depend upon – the rise in SF votes is, in part, a vote for the IRA to go away (particularly in the South).

  • Fanny

    Perceptive post by prolefodder. Sadly the behaviour he highlights is not amazing. It is called ‘flooding the zone’ by the Shinner-spinners i.e. drowning a straightforward debate in mindless hair-splitting.
    The bad news for the Shinners is this only leaves them feeling like they’ve won an argument, while it leaves everyone else feeling frustrated and disgusted. That frustration and disgust then emerges as anti-agreement voting among unionists or non-voting among nationalists.
    This will come back to haunt us all.

  • Jo

    Fanny,
    A perceptive and succinct analysis, but whatever their bluster, they haven’t won.

  • Liam

    Prolefodder:

    The ‘movement’ (if not the ’cause’) has lost credibility…

    Do you really think so? In that case do you also believe with the exact same earnesty that the British Army, RUC, RIR, Special Branch, SAS, UDA, UVF, LVF, UFF, RHD, UUP, DUP, etc. etc. etc. have all ‘lost credibility’ when certain of their members were involved in disgraceful ‘rogue’ behaviour?

    “The rise in SF votes is, in part, a vote for the IRA to go away (particularly in the South).”

    Well thats your opinion and I could just as easily say that a vote for the DUP is, ‘in part’, a vote of approval for the all Ireland aspects of the agreement that was accepted by them last December. Of course thats just opinion too, isn’t it.

  • Liam

    Fanny

    I am genuinely at a loss to know what leaves you ‘frustrated and disgusted’ – and I mean that.

    There have been huge myths built up around all of this and it does not serve the truth well to perpetuate them.

    You know as well as I do that those who were already political enemies of Irish republicanism have cynically used the death of Robert McCartney for their own political ends.

    You and others will try cast blame and criticism on Gerry Adams when you know that he has done what he can to bring the truth of this case into the open – and you also know that he has no responsibility for that tragedy.

    But of course the reality is that we all have responsibility for contributing to finding just and proper political solutions to our problems.

    I could sit forever and say that the Brits are the root of all our problems (and they are), I could sit forever and say that the Orange Order, Loyalists and Unionists are to blame for so much (and they are).

    Or….I could try understanding that we have had a conflict where nobody is without fault, nobody is whiter than white and all sides have ‘sinned’.

    And having accepted that fact (and it is a fact) then we could try move on and find just and honest solutions.

    Can you do that?

  • Yes Voter

    What I find interesting here is how anti republican elements on this board hang on to every word of Anthony McIntyre. Forgive me if I am wrong but isn’t Anthony a non apologetic anti agreement “republican” who wants the war to continue and his only gripe with Sinn Fein was that they brought the IRA to a ceasefire.

  • Davros

    Forgive me if I am wrong but isn’t Anthony a non apologetic anti agreement “republican” who wants the war to continue

    AFAIK you are wrong.

  • Jo

    Liam, Just an observation, the man is only been dead a few months, but you (and I’m sure many others) sayits time to “move on.”

    I know other posters have adopted this strategy of “why go on about the past so much” but the issue hasn’t gone away, you know, however much you might wish it gone.

    I can see that what you call “enemies of republicanism” have seized on this one but, hey, they didn’t make it up, you know.

    You might dismiss me as another tenant of the “enemy” camp, but I’ll find it very very difficult to forgive or forget the attitude shown by many SF/RM posters here towards the McCartney family. Proof, if I needed it that vitriol spite and sheer venom aren’t monopolised by sectarianism.

  • Liam

    Davros

    Your question is a rhetorical one. I am quite sure that you have read probably all of Sinn Féin’s statements on this issue.

    Jo
    “I can see that what you call “enemies of republicanism” have seized on this one but, hey, they didn’t make it up, you know.

    I accept that. I also accept that the actions of former members of the republican movement were disgraceful. Do you accept that the culture that exists in the Short Strand and that the complete lack of trust or any faith at all in the PSNI is real and is based on the real experiences of that community and not made up either?

  • Fanny

    “You and others will try cast blame and criticism on Gerry Adams” – LIAM

    Nowhere here have I even mentioned Gerry Adams. You have. Why?

  • Paul Panther

    Bear this in mind, Mr McIntyre’s website is the only news outlet that carries statements from the Real IRA’s political wing.

    The Blanket is littered with fawning statements from dissident republicans who would happily plant a bomb in the middle of Omagh again tomorrow.

    A lot of the time he gives some decent analysis, but his motives must all be questioned.

  • Davros

    Your question is a rhetorical one. I am quite sure that you have read probably all of Sinn Féin’s statements on this issue.

    Glad to see you accept my point that your attempted absolution of SF of any responsibility in the failure of The McCartney Family to obtain Justice is
    questionable.

  • Yes Voter

    Davros

    Proof?

  • Assume Nothing

    What do they {supporters of SF] mean by proof anyway I wonder? They don’t accept the word of the courts. They think all reported information is due to “anti-republican securocrat elements in the media” and so forth.

    They appear to have a historical logic all of their own.

    What’s your definition of ‘proof’, Yes Voter?

    Posted by: Fanny at June 2, 2005 12:54 PM


    Fanny if you bother to read the thread I was refering to Davros’s reply to my comment (doh!) and for your information I’m not a Shinner (at the moment anyway)!

    Posted by: Yes Voter at June 2, 2005 01:00 PM


    Fanny if you bothered to read the thread I was refering to Davros’s reply to my comment (doh!) and for your information I’m not a Shinner (at the moment anyway)!

    Posted by: Yes Voter at June 2, 2005 01:03 PM


    Are the comrades who support SF really saying they were surprised that
    the Dublin political establishment, led by Fianna Fail used the
    McCartney families campaign for justice for their murdered brother
    Robert, to attack Sinn Fein and the wider RM movement.

    Once the killers of Robert McCartney, nailed up a peg for FF and its attack dog Michael McDowell TD to hang its political hat upon, FF were never going to pass up the opportunity to do Sinn Fein down. What did SF expect Fianna Fail to do once SF became a threat to their political dominance and longevity in the South, role over on their backs, kick their legs in the air and permanently act dead.

    The mistake SF made was not getting solidly behind the McCartney
    families campaign from the start, they gave their political opponents
    a helping hand by allowing drift to set in; and sadly many Provisional Republicans to this day do not really know what attitude to take towards the McCartney families just demand for justice for their murdered loved one.

    For example in the last couple of weeks we have had an article from Robin Livingstone, of the Andersontown News all but criticizing the SF
    leadership for being to hard on those members of the Republican
    movement who were disciplined for their alleged involvement in Robert
    McCartney’s murder, which was then followed by a forceful statement by
    Martin McGuiness that speaks for itself.

    “I take a very dim view of anyone issuing any threats against the McCartneys what we have to understand here is that the McCartneys have a just cause, they are seeking truth and justice for the murder of their brother.”

    There is nothing ambiguous about his statement, it is frank and blunt and one can only hope the rank and file of the RM will take it on board, however when one links it with Mr Livingstone’s article and taking into account Robin Livingstone is not known for challenging the Status Quo within the RM, is it any wonder the average SF member is still all over the place on this issue.

    In truth the manner in which SF has dealt with the murder of Robert
    McCartney and the subsequent campaign to bring his killers to justice
    has not been its finest hour.

    However with the unambiguous statements that are now coming from the Party’s leadership on this matter, plus Wednesdays arrests in Birmingham and Belfast, perhaps this tragic affair is coming to a conclusion.

    If so, those republicans who felt they were helping their cause by engaging in smears and innuendos against the McCartney family, should take a hard look at themselves, for nasty petty bourgeois back biting has no place in the Irish Republicanism of Connolly, Mellows or Sands which they claim to represent.

    Finally Yes Voter, instead of imagining what Anthony McIntyre writes, perhaps you should read it then you might be able to pass judgement on him.

    Paul, with respect you are being silly, the Guardian publishes articles by Tony Blair, does this mean the paper supports war criminals? Likewise the Belfast Telegraph publishes a column by Mr McCann, does this make it a socialist paper?

    Please. Your way of thinking leads to censorship, surely we have had enough of that in the UK and Irish Republic over the last 30 odd years.

    Best Regards

    Posted by: mick hall at June 2, 2005 01:14 PM


    Liam

    ‘Or….I could try understanding that we have had a conflict where nobody is without fault, nobody is whiter than white and all sides have ‘sinned’.’

    Is this the same Liam who hilariously claimed a few months ago that you never see anti protestant graffiti in republican areas, because sure everyone knows it’s only prods who do that . .

    surely not

    Posted by: Ricardo at June 2, 2005 01:15 PM


    Mick Hall for Ard Comhairle. Seriously.

    Posted by: Fanny at June 2, 2005 01:20 PM


    Davros

    You’re being just a little silly here:

    Glad to see you accept my point that your attempted absolution of SF of any responsibility in the failure of The McCartney Family to obtain Justice is questionable.

    When did you make that point? When did I accept it? Lets try sticking to reality eh?

    Let me give you an honest personal position on all of this and if you retort with just more silliness then I just won’t bother replying, for there’s really no point is there?

    1. As a member of Sinn Féin I fully support the McCartney family’s search for justice. That is unequivocal.

    2. Likewise I fully support the search for justice of ‘all’ of the families who have been bereaved throughout the conflict. That is also unequivocal.

    3. Like many others I recognise that political opponents of Sinn Féin have very cynically used this tragedy for their own political ends. Creating a hierarchy of victims and cynically using such tragedies merely to suit a political agenda is wrong. If you believe in justice for all, then you believe in justice for all and not that some deserve justice more than others. This must also be unequivocal.

    4. The complete lack of faith and mistrust of the PSNI is very real and is based on the treatment that republicans have received from the RUC/PSNI and other security forces for generations. Minimising this reality is only distorting proper debate.

    5. Supporting the McCartney family in their search for truth and justice does not mean that I do not have the right to criticise them when they engage in a political campaign against Sinn Féin. There is no contradiction in this.

    Now you can pick holes in this all you like, but maybe you’d just be better dealing in realities?

    Posted by: Liam at June 2, 2005 01:29 PM


    Finally Yes Voter, instead of imagining what Anthony McIntyre writes, perhaps you should read it then you might be able to pass judgement on him.

    Well Mick, I read his piece yesterday where he launched a scathing attack on the South Belfast RM on the basis of an RTE ‘reconstruction’ of the events in Magennis’ that night and then went relate how an unnamed friend describe a former SF member as ‘Hitler Youth material’. Not his finest hour. Maybe his next piece could be about what he got up to in the 70’s and how noble and brave it allwas.

    Posted by: Dec at June 2, 2005 01:29 PM


    Mick

    Can you broaden your point as I’m left somewhat confused by your post.

    Anthony McIntyre’s fall out with the Republican movement was because of Sinn Fein’s and the Provisional IRA’s Leadership direction change to abandon the armed struggle in favour of the peace process and the GFA in particular.

    Do you agree with that point or do you think Anthony woke up one morning in Long Kesh and realised he was a sinner?

    I have read Mr McIntyres articles in the past and listened to his comments on TV. But although I acknowledge his political awareness, I feel he is blinded by his hatred of the Provisional Republican Leadership and can’t be considered a neutral commentator.

    Posted by: Yes Voter at June 2, 2005 01:34 PM


    “Or….I could try understanding that we have had a conflict where nobody is without fault, nobody is whiter than white and all sides have ‘sinned’.”

    Agreed –however if catholic republican Ireland recognised and respected the protestant wish for separation from the aforementioned catholic republican Ireland and divided the rock up in an agreed fashion – no problems should ensue.

    However the refusal to do this exposes Republicans as the real “croppy lie down” merchants- its our way and everyone will obey our rules or else.

    Posted by: barnshee at June 2, 2005 01:39 PM


    “The complete lack of faith and mistrust of the PSNI is very real and is based on the treatment that republicans have received from the RUC/PSNI and other security forces for generations. Minimising this reality is only distorting proper debate.”

    Would this be related to the treatment that PSNI/RUC have received from SF/IRAcommunity and other members catholic community for generations. Minimising this reality is only distorting (hardly had to change a word)

    Posted by: barnshee at June 2, 2005 01:43 PM


    Let’s cut to the chase. You made a statement –

    “Sinn Féin as a party have no more responsibility for the incident itself or the outcomes of any police investigations or trials than you do.”

    My point- setting aside the fact that neither of us knows for certain whether or not Zorro has some responsibility in this matter.

    I’ll make a further point – I’m not saying that SF
    has or hasn’t responsibility, my query is only to do with your statement.

    Can you address the specific point ?

    Posted by: Davros at June 2, 2005 01:48 PM


    Barnshee,

    What should Republicans do? Move to the 26 counties? What about protestants who don’t adhere to your ultra protestant british ethos, should they lie down or maybe move to Canada?

    Posted by: cladycowboy at June 2, 2005 01:50 PM


    Yes Voter – and a neutral commentator is who??

    Posted by: DCB at June 2, 2005 01:51 PM


    “(McIntyre) can’t be considered a neutral commentator.” – Yes Voter

    Well d’uh! Are you a ‘neutral commentator’, Yes Voter? Accept this – shoot-the-messenger semantics don’t work any more.

    Posted by: Fanny at June 2, 2005 01:53 PM


    Has Anthony McIntyre called for the continuance of the ‘armed struggle’ ?

    His website , the Blanket, to quote Mags Glennon

    “has always made it clear that it opposes the continuing armed struggle of some Republican groups.”

    Posted by: Davros at June 2, 2005 01:57 PM


    Liam made a specific statement to Zorro:

    Sinn Féin as a party have no more responsibility for the incident itself or the outcomes of any police investigations or trials than you do.

    Until SF answer the questions put to it about it’s involvement, will Liam accept that his statement is open to question?

    Posted by: Davros at June 2, 2005 02:09 PM


    Sinn Féin IMHO does not have to explain itself to anyone, It has made statements and pledged it’s support for this campaign.

    That should be enough

    It should not stand back and allow certain individuals and groups to use this mans horrofic killing to attack it either.

    Posted by: Chris Gaskin at June 2, 2005 02:17 PM


    If you believe in justice for all, then you believe in justice for all and not that some deserve justice more than others. This must also be unequivocal.

    Liam – You say you and SF want justice for all – will Sinn Féin, for example, help obtain justice for the family of Jean McConville and those killed at Claudy ? Or do you have your own hierarchy of victimhood ?

    Creating a hierarchy of victims and cynically using such tragedies merely to suit a political agenda is wrong.

    Do you accept that Sinn Féin can be accused of this in respect of their championing such people as the victims of Plastic Bullets and Collusion while refusing to give support to Victims of IRA Violence ?

    Posted by: Davros at June 2, 2005 02:18 PM


    Sinn Féin IMHO does not have to explain itself to anyone

    Aren’t all political parties accountable to the citizens ?

    Posted by: Davros at June 2, 2005 02:19 PM


    Yes Voter

    Your point about McIntyre’s fall-out is incorrect. Broadly speaking, it was over the GFA, not the abandonment of armed struggle. McIntyre has never claimed to be neutral, either, nor has he ever presented himself as such.

    However, to say he is a war-mongering Real IRA supporting dissident who wants to continue armed struggle is well off the mark (and I suspect you know that). Even a brief reading of his work makes clear where he is coming from — try the article under discussion for starters.

    Posted by: Assume Nothing at June 2, 2005 02:19 PM


    The British Government does not have to explain itself to anyone, It has made statements and pledged it’s support for this campaign.

    That should be enough

    It should not stand back and allow certain individuals and groups to use this [collusion/Bloody Sunday/shoot to kill/take your pick] horrofic killing to attack it either.

    Does it work both ways, Chris?

    Posted by: Question everything at June 2, 2005 02:23 PM


    “Aren’t all political parties accountable to the citizens ?”

    Of course, Sinn Féin more than most

    The party has carried out investigations and made all of this known to the public

    I don’t see the problem

    “Does it work both ways, Chris?”

    No it doesn’t work both ways

    The British government was directly involved in each and every one of them activities and has not done anything to help the campaigns. Bertie Ahern has told the Dáil that he may have to take them to the ECHR because they have refused on several occasions to hand over documentation relating to the Dublin and Monaghan inquiry.

    The IRA has apologised to the Non-Combatants that were killed, has the British done the same?

    No

    The British also portray them selves as an honest broker instead of the active protagonist that they were.

    Posted by: Chris Gaskin at June 2, 2005 02:30 PM


    Fanny,

    I was replying to Mick’s assertion that I should read Anthony McIntyre’s articles before commenting. I’ve read and heard enough to know he is hardly an impartial commentator on the Provisional Republican Movement.

    [Ed’s note] YV, can you stick to the argument. There is no reason why McIntyre has to reveal his motives here any more than any of our commenters do!

    Posted by: Yes Voter at June 2, 2005 02:35 PM


    Davros

    You need to keep up to date:

    Sinn Féin have met with the family of Jean McConville and her family have specifically asked people to stop using the death of their mother as a political football. You should respect that.

    Sinn Féin have also supported those who have called for an investigation into Claudy.

    All of the answers have been given.

    Posted by: Liam at June 2, 2005 02:36 PM


    All:

    This thread (for the most part) has been exemplary in showing how a difficult and emotive subject can be discussed civilly.

    It’s been aided, on my part, by taking out the relatively few uncivil references to other commenters.

    Please, save my time (and the integrity of your own work) by having a look at what you have written before you hit the Post button! If it’s purely personal then take it out.

    Your post will be all the stronger for it!!

    Posted by: Mick at June 2, 2005 02:54 PM


    Assume nothing

    I did say the fall out was over the GFA in particular. At no time did I refer to Mr McIntyre as a dissident nor did I mention the Real IRA.

    While acknowledging Mr McIntyre espouses a peaceful strategy to remove the british presence from our country rather than armed conflict I’m confused as to how this can be achieved without the GFA.

    Posted by: Yes Voter at June 2, 2005 03:03 PM


    Moderators, it is not playing the ball to follow up on the earlier comments Dec made regarding Prime Time.

    Posted by: Assume Nothing at June 2, 2005 03:05 PM


    Moderators, it is not playing the man to follow up on the earlier comments Dec made regarding Prime Time.

    [Ed} No. True. But it’s also nothing to do with the argument. I’m sorry but I’m not making any apologies for sitting on not content remarks on this thread. – Mick

  • DCB

    I’m amused at how the removal of the British presence can be achieved with the GFA.

    The original non-watered down 1974 Sunningdale agreement with it’s Council of Ireland with executive powers was far more like the transitional arrangements that SF have spun the GFA to be.

  • Belfastwhite

    A majority of one vote DCB>;0P

  • Assume Nothing

    Moderators, Ball, man, sorry for the mix-up. What I mean is that to ask Dec for his informed opinion rather than his assumptions is not a slur on Dec’s character, it is merely a desire for debate based on fact rather than conjecture, and is a request prompted by his original comments at the start of this thread. This is what I am seeking, his opinion after having watched the documentary rather than his assumptions formed from his biases.

  • Dec

    Assume Nothing.

    Your last post is fair enough. However the use of language in your previous posts made me doubt your desire for debate. That being said, the link appears to be broken.
    However my assumptions about the programmes content and version of events would have been coloured by the Southern medias continued misrepresentation of established facts in this case. For example last weeks edition of the Independent on Sunday declared that Robert McCartney was murdered inside Magennis’ bar in front of dozens of SF members. That is simply not true. The McCartney family has an irrefutable right to justice but it seems elememts of the(southern, in particular) media are still determined to distort the cold facts of the case for reasons that appear to have more to do with politics than justice.

  • Assume Nothing

    Please, Dec. If you get the chance, watch the documentary itself. Really. As the RTE stream is not currently working, it is understandable you have not yet seen it but really, assuming it will be the same as the Independent on Sunday or whatever other outlet is not a fair assumption. This documentary was very well researched and put together, and it is an eye-opener.

    Bookmark this to come back later when it RTE fixes the stream

  • short strand resident

    i didn’t see the prime time show and the link on rte won’t open for me. was it a reconstruction or a report? if it was a reconstruction was it filmed in magennis’s?

  • Assume Nothing

    It was a very graphic and realistic reconstruction. I am not sure how much of it was filmed on location or not. I don’t imagine the owners of Magennis’s would have been amenable to such a request, but footage of the outside of the bar was used. Having not been in the street where the two men were gutted I cannot say if the place it was filmed was the very spot where Robert McCartney was stabbed and stomped upon.

  • Assume Nothing

    I should say that the show contained a graphic, detailed reconstruction as well as reporting, including an interview with Gerry Adams, amongst others. It was not just a reconstruction of the night in question.

  • short strand resident

    assume nothing:
    thanks for that, because like yourself, i don’t like to comment on things i have little or no knowledge about.
    I know what you mean by saying the owners of magennis’s wouldn’t want the bar to be used, and my question sounds like a bit of a silly one. However, i asked the question because i feel it is important that a bar similar to maginnis’s was used because the setting of the bar is an important factor to consider when disscussing the murder.

  • Assume Nothing

    I think you’ll find it an accurate representation. If you get a chance to watch it I’ll be interested in your opinion.

  • Fanny

    Murder charges are imminent, apparently.
    It will be interesting to see if SF follows the path Mick Hall sketched out above in dealing with things from here. Let’s hope so.

  • PatMcLarnon

    Mick Hall,

    Are you advocating that those in Magennis’s bar should give statements to the PSNI and consequently give evidence at any future trial?

  • Davros

    Sinn Féin have also supported those who have called for an investigation into Claudy.

    All of the answers have been given.

    I beg to differ. Calling for an investigation is NOT terribly helpful – especially when it should be remembered that a senior member of SF who was in the IRA invoked a code of honour to avoid answering questions at Bloody Sunday inquiry.

    Those members of SF who were in the IRA at the time of various atrocities could and should, if they are serious, speak publicly of their role, if any, in events we are discussing.

    Re political football comments – that’s a standard
    escape clause that I could as easily invoke in respect of the highly selective list of victims whose cause Sinn Féin champion.

    The only answers that have been given fall way short of what SF are asking in respect of causes they champion.

  • Pronsias

    Assume Nothing

    Were did u get all the information from ? From the Mc Cartney family ? Seems exaggerated to me from what stories have been going around.

  • Assume Nothing

    Both video links for Prime Time are working now (same video, different streams). They will launch in Real Player.

    Prime Time

    Prime Time

  • savatagefan

    while hearing the news that someone has been charged for the robert mc cartney murder , i think that there has to be a re think for republicans to who is let into the organisation, these so called post cease fire republicans are in all areas(i think their contribution to ireland is disrespecting the national flag by flying it in rags from telegrph poles)i once challenged one of these gorillas about letting the national go into ribboons and why not fly it from a flag pole on special occasions, then insued a tirade against, myself being unpatriotic and threatening to beat the crap out of me and this was over a flag so i can see how these situations can spiral out of control. did i forget to mention painting kerbstones