Gardai taken by surprise…

According to the Republic’s Minister for Justice Michael McDowell, the Gardai had no idea that such an action was in the offing and consequently were not ready for the riot when it took place.

Amid growing criticism by Opposition TDs and Garda representative bodies about the level of Garda preparation for the event, the Taoiseach last night moved to defend Garda management, saying that they “did a great job on the day”. Bertie Ahern said garda� could have been kitted out with riot gear at the outset of the operation, but “if they did that, they’d be accused of over-reacting”.

Cabinet meeting this morning, which we understand will definatively confirm that there was no Sinn Fein or IRA involvement in Saturday’s riots. Dail Questions at 2.30. Dublin City Council to discuss next Monday.


  • So, if there was no Sinn Fein or IRA involvement in Saturday’s riot, why did you give center stage to the unprecedented, and most unexpected coverage by the Sunday Times, headed by ‘Martin Ingram’s close friend Liam Clarke, which claimed just the opposite in most certain terms? And if Sinn Fein and the IRA was not behind it, who was?

  • slug

    Does this mean SF and the IRA are no longer in control?

  • Mick Fealty


    I worry sometimes that you are not actually reading the same site I’m writing on. That was one of several stories we covered, and the reference in the article was oblique to say the least.

    It was followed with: “But despite some fevered rumours there is no evidence that anyone from Sinn Fein was involved in yesterday’s actions.”

    As for the highly ad homimen nature of your remarks, please read the Commenting Policy guidelines.

  • missfitz

    I dont think it means that, I still hold that a riot can happen in almost any set of circumstances, from a wedding to a wake, and that the control of this riot was the issue. (And by that I mean police control)

    There is without question an underlying failure to accept the cultural identity of our fellow occupants of Ireland, be they protestant, eastern european or african.

    One of the interesting comments I have been hearing, travelling down south recently and indeed on the interveiws was that people objected to the elements of the march. In other words, it was OK to march, but not with drums or banners. Leaving aside the appropriateness of such paraphenalia in the context of this march, I was interested in this idea of “well, yes you are welcome, but here are the terms”

    This is a more insidious type of intolerance, and one that we should admit exists widely in the south. People proclaim proudly that they live side by side, but this has been an evolutionary process with the whittling down of the elements of southern protestant identity.

    While parades were always more prevalent in the North, they certainly did take place pre 1921 in the south , and have now dwindled to almost non existence.

    Does the protest simply enlarge the underlying feeling of tolerance at a price?

  • Betty Boo


    Parades to demonstrate to oneself and to others the might and glory of ones existence have ‘dwindled down to almost non existence’ since the fall of the Berlin Wall nearly everywhere. It was more about scaring each other to remain in self dug trenches at safe distance so that a threat could be upheld anyway.
    The price of tolerance is the confidence of oneself which does not need a show of strength nor feels threatened by others.

  • Mick, I have read your commenting policy again, but it apparently has no bearing on my complaint – i. e., why did you first publish the article “Republicans told: ‘Do all in your power to stop it'” – which contained no ad hominem attacks

    The article was not only a hatchet job on Sinn Fein/IRA but it also advertised the work by other Sunday Times reporters – what culiminated in an editorial condemning Dublin and London governments for capitulating to Sinn Fein/IRA deceit.

    The article you posted clearly used unnamed republicans and Sinn Fein representative to make out that Sinn Fein/IRA were completely responsible for the riots – e.g., their identifying familiar faces, their using deceptive tactics to fool the Gardai, their making their way to Parnell Square individually or in small groups, etc.

    And for who the republicans were, the article suspected that RSF was not capable of mobilizing such rioters.

    Compared to what you removed by me on another thread regarding the riot, this piece never should have been posted because it is based on no real evidence

  • missfitz

    Parades exist everywhere, in every society and occur all the time. They are almost all a celebration and outward show of pride and validation of identity.

    I accept half of your final point, but I think that confidence of identity means the ability to accept the show of another identity. If we even look at the evolution of some of the more contentious parades in the north, there has been great progress in some areas, mostly down to the acceptance by other communitites of the right of one group to celebrate their heritage, while accepting that it is not at the price of the others’.

    It’s ok to march, its ok to celebrate, be it the 12th of July, May Day, Mardi Gras, Chinese New Year or whatever. And it needs to be OK for us to accept that right for everyone,

  • Betty Boo


    Celebrating your heritage is indeed the appreciation of your ancestors’ creativity and the pride to be part of it. This pride also means you want to share it, enjoy its riches with others. Celebrating battles won is mostly Schadenfreude over the defeated and therefore less inclusive.
    I do not wish to use the latter to validate my identity.

  • missfitz

    It may not be my idea of cultural heritage Betty either, but the most important fact in my view, is that it is important to the people who celebrate it.

    I have attended hundreds of parades within the tradition of unionism, and I have grown slowly to appreciate that my opinion as to the derivation of the parade is not the critical factor. The celebration is of a moment in time, and while it may be triumphalist, there arent too many parades that celebrate defeat!

    The parades within the orange and unionist tradition also are a mark of identity within a state of mental siege. I have genuinely come to bellieve that these celebrations are vital if we truly want an equal and peaceful republic.

  • Betty Boo


    Do you hope that by accepting these parades and with time the grip of their own siege will loosen on themselves and therefore prepare the way for entering equality?

  • missfitz

    Actually Betty, yes, that is the way I see it. If you look back to the foundation of the Orange order in 1785, and follow the trends of parades since then, it becomes clear that when under threat of any kind, parades become fiercer and more prominent.

    The Ireland of tomorrow will have to be an inclusive one. Now, I am not naieve enough to believe that will happen, beacuse I think there is a benign and sub-acute form of xenophobia that has never been challenged heretofore.

    In spite of that, all sides must continue to assert their indentity and inform themselves about each other. That kind of freedom of expression will expose exactly the intolerance I have mentioned, and that we saw on Saturday. Even though there was a high element of opportunistic riot and desperately poor crowd control, there was a loose reason for the riot, and that is what must be examined.

  • PAT
  • Betty Boo

    The method of excessive kindness works usually very well with easy excitable costumers. It just takes a lot out of you over time.

    Missfitz and this is only my impression, but I find that there is an insecurity about identity on both sides. It is properly inaccurate but I call it ‘post occupation stress disorder’ and xenophobia is its manifestation. Unusual though is that some are perceived to be a greater threat while others can be ignored as such.
    I would like to see as well a society where the cause of such perception has become irrelevant.

  • Bobby

    I don’t know why the garda and the goverment are so surprised about happened… Letting a loyalist Parade march down O’ Connell Street and passed The G.P.O.. The very heart of Irish Republicinism.. Does 1916 not mean anything to the Irish Goverment.. It’s Common Sense… The riots also happened because the Garda are not showing people in the city centre “RESPECT”… And thats all there is to it………..

  • JD

    And it needs to be OK for us to accept that right for everyone,

    Would not this also hold for NI?

  • where’s your specs ref?


    Confine your ad hominem remarks to the anti-SF threads where you can say whatever you want regarding the heinous treachery of Adams, Kelly, McGuiness, etc, without fear of sanction from the moderators. Intemperate and abusive language is a must. A large chip on the shoulder and a belly full of strong licor also helps.