Ahern: why was Seán Kelly lifted?

Seán Kelly, the one surviving member of the two man team who planted the Shankill bomb which killed nine people in 1993, had his licence revoked at the weekend, the first member of the IRA to have done so since the Belfast Agreement. It came in the wake of rioting in Ardoyne. The Newsletter sees it as natural justice; Daily Ireland as an outrage. However Dublin government officials are somewhat puzzled and looking for clarification from Peter Hain’s office (subs needed).

…I do know that Seán Kelly is close to many senior SF people and was considered last year – subject to correction – someone who was very helpful in the [ July] 12th march in Ardoyne. I think that that is correct. I will try and get it as soon as I can. I have already asked officials [ the Anglo-Irish Secretariat in Belfast] to find out what happened. They have lifted nobody else. I don’t believe that they would have lifted [ him] without something. If there is [ something] it would be better to know. If there isn’t a reason it seems very odd that they would pick one person.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty