"a sophisticated, resourceful and multi-million-dollar criminal enterprise"

When Ed Moloney gave his initial reaction to the IRA statement, on RTE’s News at One he was met with a barrage of ad hominem attacks from SF ally Niall O’Dowd and, more particularly, former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds – listen here. Moloney expanded on the theme in an Irish Examiner article the following day, and the Sunday Herald carried another astute article by him yesterday “No matter what was in the IRA statement of this week, there can be little doubt that these activities [IRA criminality] will continue, and may even intensify.”.. it’s an issue on which, according to the only available poll, 87% of people seem to agree with him.

  • David Vance

    In summary – 87% of ordinary people agree the IRA can’t be trusted but 100% of the Irish and British political establishment insist they MUST be trusted.

    I was wondering why 13% of people would be so stupid as to believe the IRA until I figured that Sinn Fein supporters and/or the criminally insane make up that balance.

  • irishman

    Sunday Indo phone polls are as accurate an assessment of public sentiment as pre-1980s Soviet bloc elections.

  • Niall

    “…from SF ally Niall O’Dowd…” Pete Baker

    BALL NOT MAN and aren’t you supposed to be a moderator – the lunatics have taken opver the asylum!?!?

    I thought that NO’D was a NY based Irish-American newpaper editor who was instrumental in involving US individuals in the Peace Process which led to Grizzly’s visa from Clinton and then (or vice versa in chronological order) the first ceasefire. Can anyone point out to me any member of the media in Irel or elsewhere who was more productive in the Troubles?

  • GavBelfast

    “…from SF ally Niall O’Dowd…” – Pete Baker.

    Maybe he just meant it as a given fact? Or a compliment? 😉

    What’s the margin of error in that poll?

    Does anyone actually believe that a paramilitary organisation, even a retiring one, WOULDN’T be involved in illegal (money-making) activity. Illegal organisations tend to behave illegally.

  • crat

    Niall,

    Maybe Mr O’Dowd should stamp his foot and threaten legal action against the website in the style of Mr Moloney? Then instead of Pete, a moderator and blogger, attacking his integrity Mick would publish a grovelling letter praising him to the hilt.

    On the substance of Moloney’s article, there isn’t any beyond a Victor Meldrew like ‘I don’t believe it’. But given how the polemicist in question fritters away his and others time with moaning to and attempting to close down hobbyist internet sites the rather basic analysis could be expected.

  • Niall

    “Maybe Mr O’Dowd should stamp his foot and threaten legal action against the website in the style of Mr Moloney? Then instead of Pete, a moderator and blogger, attacking his integrity Mick would publish a grovelling letter praising him to the hilt.”

    Assuming that NO’D has been a productive member of the media (I can’t believe that there is such a thing) in the attempted solution to the SickCounties’ problems, I’m sure he has better things to do than sue the bloggers of Slugger or the petty Pete Baker. Attempting guilt by association isn’t very sophisticated, Pete.

    Anyone offer a more productive member of the media to NI’s issues? Anyone for the last choc-ices ?

  • Niall

    *…Maybe he just meant it as a given fact? Or a compliment? 😉

    What’s the margin of error in that poll?….*
    Posted by: GavBelfast at August 1, 2005 02:51 PM

    under those assumptions then I can make postings that…*I’m the best footballer on the field*. Unsubstantiated irrelevant drivel but trying to build a theme and underlying environment formed on the baseless opinions of the poster.

    A classic case of “man not ball” which should be forcibly highlighted as Pete ‘innuendo’ Baker is supposed to be a moderator.

  • crat

    It is important to note that Pete’s claim of a ‘barrage of ad hominem attacks’ is erroneous. Listen to his link.

    Ed gets questioned on his ‘disappointment’ and for seeming to have more insight into the IRA than anyone else.

    There were no ad hominem attacks.

    Along with questioning the integrity of a publisher and journalist if either man (Niall or Albert) contacted Mick they would be entitled to more than the grovelling apology and character affirmation that Moloney demanded from the site.

  • Robert Keogh

    What “barrage of ad hominem attacks”? I listened to the piece and I don’t see where pete finds two ad homs, let alone a whole barrage.

  • Robert Keogh

    What Ed Moloney says in the segment is technically correct. A Convention is required to bring the war to an end a General Army Council can’t do that. Ed interprets this to mean that the IRA are still at war and ready to resume the armed struggle should the situation prove favourable. In his opinion, so long as the IRA maintains this position any statement is meaningless and the situation has not changed.

    So what? The IRA are destroying their arms, demobilising their members and just like the campaign in the 50s, this campaign is over. The IRA can always restart whether or not this version of it performs all the constitutional requirements to end the republican movements physical force tradition. It is up to the people and politicians of 6 counties to create the equitable and just society that obviates the need for recourse to violence.

  • David Vance

    “The IRA can always restart whether or not this version of it performs all the constitutional requirements to end the republican movements physical force tradition. It is up to the people and politicians of 6 counties to create the equitable and just society that obviates the need for recourse to violence.”

    Couldn’t put it better. That’s why NO unionist should buy a word of the garbage spewed out by the Provo’s and their media pals. It is also why that terror organisation needs to DISBAND, DE-CRIMINALISE and DISAPPEAR for good.

    Slugger comment threads can always be relied upon to locate pure IRA drivel and I doubt that it could be bettered than by Robert. The more Unionists read this post the better -it might put some iron in their spines.

    The Provos deserve nothing but imprisonment or execution for their evil terrorist ways. Hain and Blair may reward them for agreeing kindly not to kill us – but I there will be day of judgement for republican murderers..sooner or later. At that point not even the BBC will be able to help…

  • Henry94

    What Ed Moloney says in the segment is technically correct. A Convention is required to bring the war to an end a General Army Council can’t do that.

    Isn’t it possible that an Army Convention was held and they just forgot to tell Moloney.

    Ob the introduction to this topic I think it is like someting out ATW which in fairness doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not. Slugger needs to make up its mind.

  • David Vance

    Peteb,

    That’s you told. We’re looking new bloggers on ATW if you get the sack for sounding like us 😉

    Henry94,

    And what pray do you think ATW is, exactly?

  • Fanny

    Niall O’Dowd is extremely litigious.
    [Let’s leave it at that – ed Mod]

  • circles

    Well at least you two have something in common Fanny.

  • Henry94

    David Vance

    And what pray do you think ATW is, exactly?

    I think it’s a political freak show if you must know.

  • Fanny

    Anyone in need of an insight into Niall O’Dowd’s insight into Sinn Fein’s insight into IRA thinking should read his latest article [This is the last time your posts will be edited.. next time they’ll be deleted – ed Mod]:

    http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2005/07/31/story6788.asp

    Truly hilarious.

  • Cahal

    DV
    “there will be day of judgement for republican murderers..sooner or later”

    Can you tell us what this means. I doubt if you are a religious person, having read some of your opinions on various issues, so I can only guess that you have foreseen some massive security crackdown involving state sponsored executions that nobody else is expecting.

  • lib2016

    “…some massive security crackdown involving state sponsored executions…”

    How very 1980’s of you! We’ve hopefully moved on from those days.

  • David Vance

    Henry94,

    Cheers – coming from one of those who have been consistent apologists for the IRA – I take that as a compliment.

    Cahal,

    How little you know about me but that’s OK – I forgive you. You’re in good company here though. Would a big security crackdown scare you?

  • Niall

    * Anyone in need of an insight into Niall O’Dowd’s insight into Sinn Fein’s insight into IRA thinking should read his latest article [see previous edit – ed Mod]:

    http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2005/07/31/story6788.asp

    Truly hilarious.

    Posted by: Fanny at August 1, 2005 06:49 PM

    [ed. Mod]

    ok, fanny, you’ve voiced your “opinion” and had another post edited by a moderater but you haven’t pointed out how NO’D is an ally to SF which was the original post made by Pete ‘inuendo’ Baker. The article about The SinnFeiners in the SBP can’t be considered more than nationalist rather than republican. How is he allied? Where is the connection between SF and NO’D? NO’D seems to have less republician writings / opinions than many in journalism in Irel.

    You nor anyone else has offered an example of any member of the media who made a constructive contributon to the peace process. Pete Baker shouldn’t the ball be in your court on that one?

  • Robert Keogh

    Henry94,

    I doubt the IRA could hold a Convention without the security forces or journalists hearing something, entirely possible and would render Moloney’s view invalid.

    Pete Baker,

    in your introduction you claim Moloney was subjected to “a barrage of ad hominem attacks”. Perhaps you would back your assertion up with some facts or withdraw the characterisation.

  • Fanny

    Why the hell should the media make ‘a constructive contribution to the peace process’?
    They’re just there to sell newspapers. That’s it.
    This idea that journos have some sort of political responsibility is a myth advanced purely by those who simply can’t believe all the papers don’t agree with them.

    Anyway, about the hilarious musings of the boul’ McDowd. He writes: “The notion of Adams and McGuinness being complicit in a bank robbery was truly shocking to Irish Americans.
    It flew in the face of everything they knew about the men, whose integrity has always been unquestioned.”

    What, all 50 million Irish Americans never questioned the integrity of Adams and McGuinness?

    Might our Niall be projecting, slightly, do you think?

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Fair, enough, the piece was probably not long enough to qualify as a “barrage”, but otherwise perhaps some of our posters were listening to a different link. O’Dowd referred sarcastically to Moloney knowing more about the IRA than anyone else and Reynolds suggested that he might have an ulterior motive (unspecified) in a mercifully brief contribution which reminded us of the great debt the State owes to Dick Spring. Neither actually answered the point.

    As to O’Dowd’s politics, all I can say if he has ever written an anti-SF piece, I don’t recall seeing it, but I’ll be happy to read one if someone provides a link.

  • Henry94

    Robet Keogh

    I doubt the IRA could hold a Convention without the security forces or journalists hearing something

    Yet they are alleged to have organised the Northern bank robbery which, to me, seems trickier.

    In any case we will probably never know but the Army Council has spoken and nobody from inside the IRA appears to be questioning their authority to make the statement they did so Moloney (while a briliant, distinguished and good-looking journalist) may have missed something.

  • Cahal

    DV
    “Would a big security crackdown scare you?”

    Personally, no. A big security crackdown would have zero impact on my life.

    I just have no idea what you are talking about. As the IRA have effectively quit, are you talking about continued loyalist violence – or are you suggesting a crackdown on criminal activity which is ongoing e.g. extortion etc.

    If that is the case do you really expect the government to start executing all criminals for crimes such as money laundering, smuggling, etc?

    Who are we executing again?

  • crat

    It’d be a lot easier if Pete was just honest about his SDLP bias and affiliation.

    It’s biased, it’s spun, it’s based on a SDLP agenda, it’s a PeteB contribution. Fair enough. Be man enough to admit it.

    Move him to the ‘politico’ section Mick.

  • Robert Keogh

    Henry94,

    Yet they are alleged to have organised the Northern bank robbery which, to me, seems trickier.

    I think it would be easier to pull off the NIB robbery in secret than organise all 500-1000 members for a convention, expecially when all the main players are under surveillance.

    The technical difference between a GAC and AC are all the anti-peace-process unionists have to cling to. No one is paying any heed, the governments and the rest of the world accept the ending of the campaign. Witness the almost immediate demilitarisation, the disbandment of the UDR/RIR. I think Adams call for a go fast on North/South if unionism tries to go slow on Stormont will be heeded.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    “The technical difference between a GAC and AC are all the anti-peace-process unionists have to cling to.”

    Which unionists did you have in mind?

  • Henry94

    Robert Keogh

    From what I’ve read an Army Convention does not involve the whole army. It’s a delegate conference. All levels of the IRA are entitled to send delegates to IRA General Army Conventions (GACs).

    So I’d imagine you would only be talking aboud a couple of hundred people. I could easily have been put together in Dublin on the weekend of the Ulster final for example. Major players would not have needed to attend. They could have been represented by the plenipotentiary delegates.

    I just can’t see the basis for Moloney’s absolute claim that no GAC took place. Of course I’m not claiming it did either. But it might have.

  • crat

    Henry,

    More surprising is Moloney’s belief that modern Republicans are bound to the IRA constitution like commandments in stone.

    Recent history has show the mainstream Republican movement is flexible rather than nailed to dogmatism. (Stormont eg)

    Moloney’s inability to recognise this while having written a book on the subject shows how weak his logic is in this piece.

    The man that argued the current Republican leadership was not bound to historical ideology and dogmatism (book) then arguing they are bound to historical ideology seems like a weird form of mental gymnastics to enforce a pessimistic opinion and it is just that an opinion, currently less informed than before due to geographical distance if nothing else.

    He is also an man of amazing literary talents and sexual prowess.

  • Niall

    “…Why the hell should the media make ‘a constructive contribution to the peace process’?
    They’re just there to sell newspapers. That’s it.
    This idea that journos have some sort of political responsibility is a myth advanced purely by those who simply can’t believe all the papers don’t agree with them….”
    Posted by: Fanny at August 1, 2005 07:41 PM

    I know it must be such trouble for you to read and understand what I’m writing but please try. I never said that a journalist had to make a contrib to the peace process.

    While you were slagging off NO’D without backing it up with facts and data (the mentioned article was light on republicanism), I was pointing out that he was INSTRUMENTAL in including the US element of the peace process. Therefore while I disagree with your unsubstantiated view of his journalistic abilities, (and you’re possibly breaking the “ball not man” rule – which doesn’t seemed to be enforced in this discussion, á la Pete Baker’s now ignored comment) I was just pointing out his contrib in bringing about the peace process which is far more than any other journo.

    So in summation, I can’t stand most journo’s based on their poor reporting in Irel. NO’D is a journo so I’d usually hold him a negative light based on his profession. However, he did produce something that I, (presumably) you, most politicos in NI and all journos in Irel have not done – he achieved progress in the peace process in harnessing the US interests. For that I made my original postings.

    I also proved you to be a poor debater but in proving that I don’t care about you.

    Slán

    “He is also an man of amazing literary talents and sexual prowess.

    Posted by: crat at August 1, 2005 10:03 PM”

    I’m posting against a blogger called Fanny and I didn’t even have to delve to these disgraceful depths.!?!? What ever happend to the “ball not man” rule?

  • Fanny

    “I also proved you to be a poor debater but in proving that I don’t care about you.”

    Good to see standards in the youth wing are as high as ever.

  • cladycowboy

    ‘”a sophisticated, resourceful and multi-million-dollar criminal enterprise’

    Are we talking about the Enron boardroom?

  • Niall

    *”I also proved you to be a poor debater but in proving that I don’t care about you.”

    Good to see standards in the youth wing are as high as ever.

    Posted by: Fanny at August 1, 2005 11:44 PM*

    It’s a long time since I’ve been described as anything close to youthful. Therefore I prove your assumptions wrong, again. You’re getting repetative and boring.

    Where’s PeteB and his answers to the exact question posted?

  • Robert Keogh

    Henry94,

    the scenario you outline is certainly plausible. If so word should leak out sooner rather than later. My hunch is that there hasn’t been a GAC and the constitutional issue is one that will be dealt with a few years down the line.

    Whether or not Moloney is technically correct doesn’t alter the reality that this IRA has ceased its campaign.

  • Robert Keogh

    Jimmy Sands,

    “The technical difference between a GAC and AC are all the anti-peace-process unionists have to cling to.”

    Which unionists did you have in mind?

    Those unionists opposing the peace process.

  • offer it up

    The Slugger policy on ball-not-man seems to be applied at the whim of the moderator, and therefore is not applied eqaully.

    The anti-republican bias on this website is an absolute digrace, and the very topic postings distort the discussion around it.

    Say what you mean and mean what you say, Mick – at least then contributors will know where they stand. This charade of impartial moderating is getting tiresome in the extreme.

  • Fanny

    As the number of stupid complaints from republicans about bias roughly equals the number of stupid complaints from unionists about bias, the site is officially balanced.
    “Anti-republican”, by the way, is such an infantile criticism. Why not just shout “But it’s not fair!” like you really want to?

  • Puzzled

    Why is it an insult to be referred to as an ally of SF, and why is it those who support SF that are seeing it as an insult?

  • offer it up

    *Fanny: Why not just shout “But it’s not fair!” like you really want to?*

    Because it is fair to criticise republicans, provided it’s acknowledged as that and not as ‘moderation’.

  • Fanny

    I’ll take that one Puzzled: Niall O’Dowd doesn’t like being portrayed as a Shinner stooge, so the Shinners generally defend their stooge against this accusation.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    Robert,

    Perhaps I was unclear. I don’t recall seeing any unionists raising this point. Did you have anyone in mind?

  • Alex

    Why on earth would anybody think the IRA would feel any more inhibited from resuming a campaign of violence because the golf committee General Army Convention rather than just the Army Convention or the Army Council had decided on it? Or be any less likely not to, having decided not to, for want of a circumlocutions and vexatious regulation directorate GAC decision? If they cared that much about constitutional niceties they wouldn’t have become terrorists in the first place. They are a secret army, not a parish council.

    This is, in fact, exactly the sort of desperate search for an excuse for more intransigence I’d have expected from Paisley, rather than a sensible man like Moloney.

  • Nic

    Moloney, in this interview and his other thoughtful articles is merely pointing out that despite the hype, “they haven’t gone away, you know”. He is reminding us that that should be the issue exercising every Irish person the most. Tellingly, the simple question: “does this statement mean they’ve gone away”? flummoxed both O’Dowd and Reynolds in this particular radio interlude. It seems neither was willing to either admit publicly that yes, the IRA is alive and flourishing thank you very much, or declare it dead.

    You may not remember last winter when Mrs. McCabe asked Bertie Ahern publicly who was running the country, him or the IRA? It caused such embarassment that it played a major part in crashing the peace process as far as the Irish government was concerned. With all the talk about the bank raid and the McCartney murder, the significance of that aspect sometimes gets overlooked. It was a telling moment, a hint that Irish people could get outraged enough about the embezzlement of their democracy to actually get noisy about it.

    Perhaps mindful of that backlash, it seems those most vocal in their support of IRA intentions have no desire to waken that particular beast again. For while Ahern is certainly reading his lines with gusto at the moment, hinting strongly at his desire to unproscribe the IRA, the poll mentioned here, at least, indicates a contrary deep antipathy towards the IRA among ordinary Irish people. Should it become received wisdom that despite all this show and palaver, the IRA is actually GAINING in power and influence instead of waning, that would probably finish all pretensions in that direction for good, and the peace process will have chewed up and spat out one more democratic leader (RIP B. Ahern). IRA progress must be made stealthily and under cover of darkness – you know, when opposition politicians are not around during the summer break and the like. Cheerleaders for IRA statements instinctively understand that – hence their reluctance to give a clear answer to one simple question from a radio moderator.