Irish Workers Party president facing extradition to US

Back in 1996 the US General Accounting Office discussed efforts to combat international counterfeiting of US currency, in particular the high quality counterfeit known as the superdollar. Last year the BBC’s Panorama programme alleged that Sean Garland President of the Irish Worker’s Party [formerly the Official IRA] was involved in its distribution in an investigation which highlighted North Korea’s, and the former Soviet Union’s, involvement in the operation. On Friday, at the party’s ard fheis in Belfast, he was arrested, and today has been released on bail pending his potential extradition to the US on counterfeiting charges.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Counterfeiting — it won’t work without the worker’s party.

  • crat

    Is questioning where the Workers Party spent the money, if they had involvement, censorable material?

    [See Commenting Policy – edited moderator]

  • Dick Doggins

    When it comes to crimianlity and the alledged links to Workers Party members, the dogs on the street know this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Why its taken so long for the American authorities to act, should be the question?

    The official IRA are still armed, still carry out attacks albeit against the Nationalist community only, and are still involved in every money making scheme under the sun.

  • crat

    I’m sure the candidate they endorsed in the European elections will be saddened to hear rumours one of his sponsors may have gained large sums of cash through counterfeiting.

    (this is not how I wished to phrase my post but previous attempts met stricter moderation criteria than currently applied on other threads)

  • peteb

    crat

    The Commenting Policy is there, and is applied, to protect Slugger [and Mick] not any other individual or group.

    Please try to keep that in mind when commenting.

  • crat

    This is farcical. I’m allowed to mention ‘the candidate they endorsed in the European elections’ but not the name of the candidate or even who ‘they’ are.

    Stunned. Confused.

  • crat

    Peter,

    The moderating policy is not being applied. My comments made no allegations at all. They revisit a previous alliance the Workers Party forged in light of the blog.

    The wisdom of this alliance and even the potential future legal issues for those involved in the alliance are legitimate and non-contentious points.

    My posts did not put Mick or the site at risk.

    I believe the moderation on this thread was not only over zealous but unwarranted and a deliberate and continuing attempt to curtail a line of discussion.

    Of course the site has the get out clause of the mods can delete what they like. In this case the moderator has merely censored a line of discussion.

  • Jeyho

    Crat

    Just tell us where we can find the information peteb is censoring

  • crat

    Jeyho,

    I have contacted Mick in the hope he will disagree with this moderator’s (Pete?) opinion.

    Then hopefully this minor point will be allowed to see the light of day without ridiculous unnecessary censorship.

    Until then I am barred from referring to information already in the public domain regarding the Workers Party and who they supported while being investigated for counterfeiting.

  • jude

    Any word from Pat Rabitte about the arrest of his old mate ?

  • Mick Fealty

    I’ve asked both parties for the offending text. Please leave it with me. Can we continue with the ‘game’?

  • Mick Fealty

    This seems to be right on the edge. I can see why the mod pulled it. There were one or two inferences that go beyond the asking of awkward, but entirely legit political questions. But I cannot see why the question at the heart of the post should not be asked.

    Please post your original, minus the inference Crat and we’ll call it game on.

  • trident

    crat

    post to we find out, i’ve got interested now

  • crat

    Mick,

    Thanks for the go ahead. The point was so unimportant that it doesn’t matter now.

    The point that now matters is the fact that I was accused of breaking the posting rules when I hadn’t.

    The mod got it wrong. The posts remain deleted or altered and I have not received an apology.

    Even though I explained your own rules and the law to this moderator they continued to remove my legitimate and relevant posts.

    He/she/Pete has tried to control the direction and content of posts, removing and deleting entirely valid entries.

    I am disgusted you haven’t pulled him up.

    I played by the rules. Disagreed. Persevered.

    He censored and deleted my posts for no good reason.

    I have no comeback unless I email you and plead for intervention (something neither of us have the time for). He would have got away with this unless I complained.

    How many other valid points has he deleted quoting the rules incorrectly? Or even worse deleted without explanation?

  • TAFKABO

    Crat.

    It’s an internet site, not the United nations security council.

    Wise up ferfuxsake.

  • crat

    If you had just spent 4 hours trying to ask a simple question like;

    Did Kieran Deeney receive financial backing in addition to political backing from the Workers Party during his European election campaign and if he did get financial support from them during his campaign is his vote likely to be called into question if the allegations of counterfeiting stick to one of his sponsors?

    you’d be pissed off.

    It was a valid question. Why wouldn’t Pete let me raise it?

    (This post is now back to it’s rawest form. Why was it bloody deleted, deleted again and again and altered??????)

  • tra g

    It does raise the question of moderators being able to influence and control the nature of a particular thread.

    Off course some control is neccessary for obvious reasons, but perhaps the particular leanings or personal preference of moderators may stifle the debate into a a certain issue.

    Its not a criticism, but free speech is essential (within the rules) for the site to remain credible.

  • TAFKABO

    I happen to think that moderators with their own strong opinions makes for a better site overall, as long as there are enough of them with opposing views.

    If it was bland neutrality I wanted, I would have logged on to the Alliance Party website.

  • crat

    TAFKABO,

    One moderator tried to stifle my valid but small point. He did this again and again and again. No matter how I phrased it, he removed it.

    Crap/biased moderation is as bad as none.

    I was banned from using the word Deeney. What is that about?

  • tra g

    “I happen to think that moderators with their own strong opinions makes for a better site overall, as long as there are enough of them with opposing views.”

    Don’t disagree

    But its about legitimate points being censored
    by individual moderators, because of their own particular preference, thats is the problem.

    I’m all for moderators expressing their own views on a subject, i agree, its healthy, but if they have overall control of what they deem to be acceptable, surely the debate is tainted.

    How can you form an objective view if contributors are unable to express their opinions freely.

  • Cui bono?

    Phew!

    Thought you’d actually be discussing what’s actually at play here. US taking a bunch of half-assed frame-up charges out of the fridge from 1990 (when the Berlin Wall was still erect) at a time when ‘Republican’ politicians like DeLay and Frist are paddling up their very own creek of corruption in DC.

    Even His Honour the Recorder of Belfast, Tom Burgess, was alive to this!

    These charges are proof were it needed that the main US foreign policy concern is not stopping ‘Islamic fundamentalism’ or the ‘War on Terror’ but crushing discourse abroad anywhere which challenges the hyperimperial agenda.

    “The people are divided, each party afraid and jealous of the other; they have only the justice of their cause to support them, and that plea grievously weakened by the acknowledged exclusion of three quarters of the nation from their rights as men: Government, a foreign Government, is a small, but a disciplined and compact body, with the sword, the purse, and the honours of Ireland at their disposal: It is easy to see the event of such an opposition to such an administration.
    It follows, that to oppose it with success, the people must change their plan. Do we not see the conduct of Government at this hour, and shall we not learn wisdom, even from our enemies?” – Theobald Wolfe Tone

  • harry flashman

    Bit of a shock to discover they rebuilt the Berlin Wall in 1990 after they knocked it down in 1989 C B, but then that’s as factually based as the rest of your post. I am prepared to lay as large a wager as you like that the de Lay indictment gets precisely nowhere. It’s the most jumped up piece of nonsense ever produced, I advise you to study it not just absorb whatever spin the Irish Times, BBC and Guardian have put on it. Same with Frist, you might want to check up however on the activities of leading Democrat Charles Shumer, now that definitely looks illegal. What, you haven’t heard about it in the mainstream UK, Irish and US media? Quelle surprise.

    If a political party which had substantial support in the Irish media was involved with the murdering goons of North Korea and engaging in criminal activity here then I want to know all about it. The Yanks take a very dim view of international terrorists counterfeiting their currency. You can quote ol’ Theobald all you want but if they’re bang to rights well I for one will be happy to see them get theirs.

  • Alan

    *Did Kieran Deeney receive financial backing in addition to political backing from the Workers Party during his European election campaign and if he did get financial support from them during his campaign is his vote likely to be called into question if the allegations of counterfeiting stick to one of his sponsors?*

    But . . . Kieran Deeney didn’t stand in the European Elections did he?

    See http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/politics/election/re2004.htm

    The Workers Party signed for John Gilliland – as did I. So what was all the bluster about?

  • Dick Doggins

    Why would the American establishment be concerned with or want to stifle the views of a very small group such as the workers party, a party no bigger and with less support than all those other extreme left-wing parties such as the Communist and Socialist parties of Ireland!

    The point surely is that this group still has an armed wing alledgely,namely the Official IRA an organisation which is heavily involved in criminality then and now.

    Now anyone who has seen this programme must see the Workers Party have a case to answer and lets not forget they`ve refused to answer or counter this accusations since they were first asked.

    If this was another party would they be so fortunate??? But then again with a couple of ex-workers party members now prominent journalists here and in Britian, would it be beyond belief that these allegations were always buried!!!

  • Fishfiss

    Are people like John Lowry and other senior party members still carrying legal weapons for personal protection puposes as they did throughout the 1980s and 1990s ? Are the WP’s accounts formally audited and do they drinking clubs they own, directly or indirectly, included as assets ?

    Has the WP ever been investigated by the ARA ? If not why not ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’m almost astonished by how quickly republicans (of the non-Official kind) have taken up the very tactics which have been used against them following the Northern Bank robbery.

  • Freeman

    These are not just allegations that have appeared from no-where about the Workers Party. These along with the continued existence of its armed wing are common knowledge especially in Nationalist areas and more importantly amongst the police.

    For a party with such a miniscule membership and a smaller number of supporters there have been numerous questions wondering how they where able to fund election after election from the 1980`s to the present day, elections where they always lost their deposit in every case!

    There also have been numerous cases where Workers Party members have been jailed for anything from robbery to the pocession of guns.

    Now they say theres no smoke without fire?

  • andy

    Seems there’s a certain amount of schadenfraude (sp?) among the non-official republicans, as Mr Stalin suggests.
    I would probably have to say the panorama programme was pretty damning on Garland and the stickies (compare and contrast with the recent Dispatches programme about the Northern Bank robbery), and so its not quite the same as the recent allegations against republicans.

    Also, the stickies had a long and distinguished record in supporting the security forces in the North over the past few decades, both verbally and operationally. Given that, its hard to generate sympathy for them now.

    And that’s before their love-affair with North Korea & other despotic regimes…..

  • Barty

    The official IRA or sticks, they haven`t gone away you know!

  • bob

    Coming soon, to a building site near you.

  • Sinéad

    I’ve heard that if Garland is extradited he will be sent to Guantanemo Bay?

    Is this the case?

  • peteb

    I think that’s unlikely, Sinéad.. although the involvement of North Korea in the counterfeiting operation does raise the possibility of heavier charges than just the criminal conspiracy of distributing counterfeit currency.

  • Sinéad

    If the alleged counterfeiting charges are true, the money wasn’t used to keep Club Ui Chadhainn on Gardiner Street going – it closed very recently apparently due to lack of funds.

  • peteb

    It is always possible that the accusations, and subsequent attention, contained in the Panorama programme necessitated a re-assessment of wider concerns?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Freeman:

    These are not just allegations that have appeared from no-where about the Workers Party. These along with the continued existence of its armed wing are common knowledge especially in Nationalist areas and more importantly amongst the police.

    When I used this argument in another thread, the republicans threw the book at me for reverting back to the discredited “dogs in the street” argument. I’m sure they’ll be along shortly to condemn you for same. After all, we can’t possibly tolerate hypocrisy in the republican ranks, can we.

    By the way, I agree with you about the OIRA’s ongoing existence, but far from being a serious menace, they seem to be just involved in the odd skirmish now and again. I don’t think they’ve stabbed anyone outside a pub lately, for example.

    For a party with such a miniscule membership and a smaller number of supporters there have been numerous questions wondering how they where able to fund election after election from the 1980`s to the present day, elections where they always lost their deposit in every case!

    How much money do you think it takes to run an election exactly ?

    There also have been numerous cases where Workers Party members have been jailed for anything from robbery to the pocession of guns.

    Care to name a few recent ones ?

    Now they say theres no smoke without fire?

    I’d prefer to say “Northern Bank robbery”.

  • jimmy

    The Workers party are still ivolved in various criminal enterprises.

    Money lending and protection rackets are still common.

    The armed wing tend to be used to threaten some poor sod who happens to offend a family member or has a punch up with someone in a bar.(As happened earlier in the year when workers party members shot a a man in the street after a row in a workers party controlled pub)

    They also control various clubs and bars in Belfast.

  • Cui bono?

    Sorry Harry Flashman, I was off having a life there. Your rightwing diatribe took some absorption.

    January 25 1990 – wiki and see.

    What other facts am I to extrapolate from your rant? That American policitians are all corrupt? Right, shocker, that one.

    We happen to have an old-fashioned idea here called the presumption of innocence. It pre-dates Camp X-ray, and kind of withstood the Troubles.

    You’ll excuse my nausea at your labelling of N Koreans as “Murdering goons”. I could have said that about your chums in the US military, but hey, there’s a fine distinction between polemics and hypocrisy.

    No doubt you think Scooter Libby and Karl Rove are similarly men of high principle to deLay et al?

  • Fishfiss

    Can anyone reasonably account for the lifestyle that a fellow like John Lowry enjoys please ?

  • Henry94

    Leaving aside the guilty pleasure of seeinga big stick on a sticky wicket Comrade Stalin (oh! the irony) is right to suggest that we need to see the basis of this extradition request before deciding if he has a case to answer.

    Of course the Repsol fiver making factory in Dublin does suggest the party has form in this area but it is an individual who has been charged and he has rights.

  • Kim Il Sung

    The sticks are still on the streets beating up kids and threatening anyone who has the guts to stand up or either report them to the police, a waste time in most peoples eyes and inevitably, nothing ever comes of police investigations.

    Now everyone knows the sticks social clubs have their own opening hours, open and close when they want with no hassle at all from the police.

    Why are the sticks so cosy with the police????