A little overtime, or another breach of GFA?

This will be interesting. Three men out of a ‘team’ of six arrested yesterday for hijacking a Vodka lorry are said to be supporters of the IRA and of the Peace Process. Either a case of mistaken identity or they have allowed themselves considerable lattitude in their interpretation of last summer’s directive from P O’Neill: “All Volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means. Volunteers must not engage in any other activities whatsoever”.

  • seabhac siulach

    There is the lazy assumption, of course, that these were ‘volunteers’ and not just three men out for their own gain…
    There is a laughable attempt to link two of the men with the provos…i.e., supporters of the IRA and the Peace Process. In that category, you could count tens(hundreds?) of thousands of Irish men/women.
    Sinn Fein has already characterised it as a criminal act. I think that says it all and it should be left at that.
    What next…crisis in the peace process as former IRA man gets parking ticket? Scraping the bottom of the barrel for excuses to beat up on Sinn Fein and attempt to derail the peace process…

    One could equally wonder at the little crime that has resulted from releasing hundreds of former IRA men onto the streets after the GFA. Statistics alone would show that some of these would turn to crime (as in any demographic) to support themselves, as is clearly the case here.

    It is also amazing the way McDowell hogs a microphone when there is an attempt to blacken Sinn Fein, and the complete opposite when there has been another gangland killing in Dublin or gunfight along the M50 (i.e., more serious than an attempt to rob vodka). This man’s interests are to prevent at all costs any coalition between Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein. All his statements should be seen in this context. He is a sickening opportunist.

  • I’m struck by the language being used in the various reports so far.. including the “supporters of” line from the Independent.

    Take this RTÉ report, which notes that “One of the men arrested is a former IRA prisoner who was released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.”

    and that –

    “Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin denounced those involved in the incident.”

    And yesterday’s RTÉ report links to a video clip of Tommie Gorman’s report, describing the statement from SF as – “cutting them loose”

  • Yokel

    It’ll be swept under the carpet. Either way, if it was a ‘sanctioned’ money raising act then they’ll be housed with other friends in the prison….if it wasn’t then of course we can expec the movement to discipline said individual(s) appropriately.

    I wonder what type of guns they were using…

  • Yokel

    Maybe so Pete but the politicians of Sinn Fein maycut them loose,question is will their former colleagues in the armed wing cold shoulder them?

    Everybody knows there are tensions there and incidents like this only serve to increase those. They become reference points, issues to finger point with the movement.

  • I remeber stealing a barrel of beer right under the noses of a restaurant, we put it in a tesco trolley and wheeled it to our squat.
    Mick got the tools out, and done the biz.
    Maybe Paisley is driving us all to drink,
    that’s what I’d tell the Judge anyway, and would hope my solicitor could sway the Jury into sending me to a re-hab for depressed republicans, who chew their paws of at the lack of input being made by the DUP.
    The bottom line is, everything is Paisley’s fault 🙂

  • Comrade Stalin

    Like the next man I expect Sinn Fein to fully disassociate themselves from criminality.

    I see nothing here to be concerned about because it appears that they are doing so – to quite an unprecedented degree. RTE reports SF stating that the law should be allowed to take it’s course – which is the closest I’ve ever heard them coming to saying that people, even if they are known republicans, should be arrested and prosecuted. While it would be right to say that SF should receive no particular credit for conforming to the same standards as the rest of the world, it is important to recognize that there are clear improvements in their approach to law and order. I personally think they’re showing great leadership.

    Compare all of this with the conspicuous failure of DUP politicians to call for the law to take it’s course last September in the aftermath of the Whiterock riots. When the law took it’s course at the Alexandra Bar a month or so ago, Nigel Dodds wrote to the Chief Constable to protest, and didn’t offer so much as a word of congratulation to the police for their excellent work in removing criminals from circulation. The DUP seem to do nothing except complain when loyalists are arrested, or have their assets confiscated by the ARA. It increasingly appears that SF and the DUP are swapping roles.

    My theory on these incidents is that they have been made aware of the IRA’s position on criminality and have been ordered to stop. However the IRA has almost certainly told them that it is no business what they do in their spare time and therein lies the problem. Either the IRA enforces it’s orders or the IRA’s members continue to engage in criminality – either way they are screwed. To me it seems unreasonable to stall the process for this reason; the best that we can expect is that the republicans do not interfere when there the police move in cases where there is clear evidence of criminal activity.

  • slug

    This is a serious matter.

    Irish Republicans are caught in crime AGAIN.

  • Brian Boru

    It says “former” IRA members. Are the DUP responsible for what their former members do?

  • Yokel

    How do you resign from the movement, is there a months notice?

  • J Kelly

    Either the IRA enforces it’s orders or the IRA’s members continue to engage in criminality – either way they are screwed.

    Come on the IRA enforces it’s orders and the DUP Mc Dowell and company would love it remember the Tohill incident does anyone believe that the dup had any love for him. The reaction of McDowell last night indicates to me that even at this early stage he and the guards know that these guys were acting for self gain.

  • seabhac siulach

    “This is a serious matter.

    Irish Republicans are caught in crime AGAIN.”

    Were any member of Sinn Fein caught engaging in crime? No. Did Sinn Fein condemn the crime? Yes. Did they call for those who commited it to be prosecuted by the Gardai, no less, and the courts? Yes.

    What more is there to say?

    This is a storm in a teacup stuff, whipped up by a willing media and a media-obsessed minister of justice (when it suits him). Meanwhile, this morning in Dublin shots are fired as an attempt is made to rob a security van…perhaps McDowell would do better preventing the rampant crime in Dublin, than try to score more cheap points off Sinn Fein…
    And as if on cue, we get the usual unionist suspects jumping on the McDowell bandwagon…this robbery apparently will ‘cast a shadow over the political process in Northern Ireland’ – Jeffrey Donaldson. So, that would be another shadow then…absurd…

  • Comrade Stalin

    Brian Boru, indeed quite correct. Wasn’t Paisley a former supporter of Ulster Resistance ?

  • Overhere

    I must admint I find this a little laughable if only for the language used “said to be supporters of the IRA and the Peace Process”

    Logically speaking if I was a member of any organisation for example ” a local knitting circle” and was arrested for a crime would that make the local knitting circle also guilty?

  • sean

    “The IRA was not involved in the raid,” chief negotiator Martin McGuinness said today.

    “It appears someone who was previously associated with Irish republicanism, who was a prisoner in Portlaoise, who was released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement eight years ago, and did not become any way involved with republican politics in the area in which he lived, is suspected of being involved in a heist of some description for personal gain in Co Meath.

    “I condemn it unreservedly and I do believe that anyone involved in criminality of any description should be arrested, should be charged and should be brought before a judge or jury.”

    The above are quotes from Martin McGuinness this morning regarding the hijacking. Now lets take it for talks sake that those involved were not on a “sanctioned” operation.

    Read between the lines of what Martin is saying, if you are a foot soldier with no huge importance to Sinn Fein or PIRA and you carry out such a job then Sinn Fein will come out strongly and condemn you as a criminal operator who should face the full rigors of the law.

    Now on the other hand if you are Slab Murphy who for the time being is of the utmost importance to Sinn Fein and the stability of the Peace Process and you have been up to all sorts of very high level “ordinary” non IRA crime like murder (Eamon Collins), intimidation of locals(O Callaghan family, resulting in the death of Keith Rogers), oil smuggling, money laundering etc etc well then Gerry will come out publicly and back you as a good Republican and a “supporter” of the peace process from its earliest days.

    Has anyone else seen this or is it just me ?

  • slug

    Sean well spotted. But who today believes in the integrity of Gerry Adams?

  • Yokel

    Does it matter what Sinn Fein say? I see no reason why it should. What matters is what the armed wing of the republican movement think of these people’s actions.

    As for Gerry’s integrity, I’ve just realised that hsi beard always seesm to be of exactly the same length and consistency for about 20 years. Does he get a tape measure out to keep it so consistent?

  • Bob Wilson

    Of course this game is never ending. Crime happens – its linked to IRA/SF – Unionists get cold(er) feet – crisis ensues – deadlock continues.
    Of course if SF signed up to Policing – North and South and the IRA disbanded – as it has no legitimate reason to exist – then maybe we could make progress.
    Time to stop cutting Republicans slack!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Time to stop cutting Republicans slack!

    To be honest with you the chuckies don’t get a lot of slack. They rightly take a hammering when they get engaged in bad stuff, but it’s disappointing that people do not recognize how far they have come. They have effectively jettisoned all of their principles in order to try to reach an accomodation with unionists. For almost every roadblock the unionists have set up, they have moved – albeit belatedly in many cases – to overcome the issues only to have another roadblock put in their place.

    The chuckies have abandoned their all-Ireland self determination principle (the second justification for the IRA’s campaign); abandoned their total opposition to regional government (the original justification for the IRA’s campaign); come to terms with the fact that unionists need to be worked with and not ignored or subsumed into a future all-island state; and are at the point where they will get behind the police. Effectively the IRA has surrendered in all but name and effectively they have accepted that their campaign had no basis; Sinn Fein have moved to work with partition rather than try to undermine it. All of this represents remarkable progress.

    Meanwhile unionists are just barely at the point where Terence O’Neill stood at the end of the 1960s. 40 years on they are still coming up with silly excuses not to share power with taigs. They are still cavorting with loyalist paramilitaries and they refuse to unequivocally get behind efforts to see them removed from the equation. They haven’t been asked to abandon any principles; all that they are being asked to do is be civilized to “foreign” governments and their fellow countrymen, and work with them to secure a better collective solution. Apparently, nearly 100 years after partition, this is still far too much to ask.

    Are we at the point where we should stop cutting the unionists so much slack ?

    [BTW I’m not a republican, I’m happy enough with partition and I quite like the Brits, most of the time. I want to see power sharing and at the minute it is the unionists who are saying “no”.]

  • mickhall

    Very perceptive post Comrade Stalin, but what you forget is that good old British tradition of never missing an opportunity to kick a man when he is down. Plus the belief amongst the English ruling classes that if a man is fool enough to offer his naked backside, it would be a crime not to take the opportunity to give it a good Rogering.

  • elfinto

    Has anyone been charged with anything yet?

    So why are we even debating this?

  • Yokel

    It makes sense to kick a man when he’s down, can you name me a better time?

  • sean

    “Has anyone been charged with anything yet?” Elfinto yes 3 men have been charged. Funny going back to McGuinness and Co this is a line they would usually use when they are under pressure yet very early yesterday they were running with the line that this has nothing to do with Republicanism etc Normally they would be saying lets wait and see etc They obviously had their homework done very quickly with McGuinness saying things like this/these individuals havent worked politically for Sinn Fein since being released from prison. So its a case off regardless of wat u have done in the past for the cause you are on your own boys.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Thank you Mick, although I’m not sure who you think is following British tradition or who is doing the kicking. The Brits themselves ideally want shot of the place but would settle for us shutting up and doing some work to sort ourselves out for a change.

    I think the problem with unionism is the absence of constructive self-criticism; ultimately it hurts their own cause.

  • Yokel

    Comrade or……should I say Marshal Stalin. i always wanted a moustache like that, it would go down well in the clubs of Derry…

    Never mind a lack of self criticism in itself, its a lack of using their loaf thats the issue. Unionism now has a very powerful weapon which they seem to either too stupid or too up their own rears to use and its called democratic will.

    Now that pretty much all of the major exploitations they made of their majority rule status in the days before the direct rule have been ironed out(thank you direct rule) , they actually have a case that nationalism can’t ultimately top, the majority of people in the North want to remain part of the Union. It’s ultimately primacy of democracy. Doesn’t mean you don’t recognise the country to your south or the the fact that a sizeable minority are not in favor of the Union, but it is a democratic statement that should hold ultimate sway.

    Do unionists use this to bury the constutional issue and get down to day to day politics? Nah, too bust raising scare stories and biting on those scare stories. Too busy associating with little men in bowler hats marching down roads, too busy getting involved in sectarian minuate. If they left that to those in the nationalist community who choose to involve themselves in these issues they might get somewhere, including with much of the disaffected Unionist electorate. If they’d actually look at themselves first they may nto even even need to go through much self criticism, theyd catch on that they’ve been thick for some time.

  • funny

    Yokel: “It makes sense to kick a man when he’s down, can you name me a better time? ”

    rofl man !!!!!

    very good

  • abucs

    What happens if it is found that at least 1 of the 3 voted for the PD’s at the last election.

    Will Mr McDowell berate himself ?

    I’d pay good money to see that. :o)

  • ingram

    Elfinto,

    Quote”Has anyone been charged with anything yet?

    So why are we even debating this

    Cos it is fun watching the Shinners squirm. He He

    Marty.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Yokel,

    Comrade or……should I say Marshal Stalin.

    I prefer “Vozhd”. Or “the Generalissimo” at a pinch.

    Seriously though, agreed on everything you wrote. In a better-functioning democracy unionism would have been thrown out by the electorate a long time ago. At the moment they get voted back in because their electorate are scared, and that suits certain people just fine.

  • fair_deal

    elfinto

    The three have benn charged

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/0411/meath.html

  • The Devil

    To be rid of the IRA, Adams needs them to commit suicide.

    The happiest person on the Island that these vodka swilling republicans were caught is Gerry Adams ……. how happy!!!! well he was driving the Coke lorry behind them

    I’ll drink to that…….