No organised ‘from the centre’ criminality any more…

Less than a month after the cross-party group of MPs on the NI Affairs Committee delivered their report on Organised Crime in Northern Ireland, and the OCTF report, and a week after his MacGill Summer School lecture in which he suggested that Sinn Féin should co-operate on the ground with the police while withholding constitutional endorsement – a lecture described, in this report, by the SF leader Gerry Adams as “patronising republicans” – the Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Irleand, following his previous noting of a certain commitment, has given his assessment of PIRA involvement in organised crime[not the headline – Ed] Updated links

“There probably is still some localised individual criminality by former and maybe existing Provisional IRA members for their own private gain,” he said.

“What there is not is organised ‘from the centre’ criminality any more.”

“To that extent the IRA are delivering on their commitments made last July, not just in respect of shutting down paramilitary activity but also shutting down criminality.”

Press Association reports also remarks on the Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell comments, although those comments seem to fall slightly short of the backing claimed:

Claiming the IRA had brought a halt to both its paramilitarism and crime, he told how leading members of Sinn Fein had called for the police to investigate a recent vodka robbery in the Irish Republic when it was alleged that two members of the Provisional movement were involved.

Mr McDowell said: “I believe that`s the first time remarks of that kind have been made in relation to a matter of that kind.”

Asked if he believed the IRA`s war was now over following its declarations and disarmament last summer, he added: “The Irish Government and British Government are working on that assumption, based on the evidence we have.”

They certainly do not go close to the previous statement on PIRA involvement in organised crime from Taoiseach Bertie Ahern at the end of June:

“On criminality I’m glad to report there is no link whatsoever that we have traced in a long, long, long way back of IRA involvement in criminality of any kind in the Republic of Ireland.”

However, given their previous report in April which warned that…

We have no reason to amend our earlier view that money is a strategic asset and that the organisation [PIRA] will look to the long-term exploitation of discreetly laundered assets which were previously gained illegally.

.. whether the forthcoming September October IMC report concurs will likely be a more telling factor in any attempt to put pressure on the DUP or others. And there will remain the argument asked, and answered, previously by Denis Bradley, and a question that, perhaps notably was not put to Michael McDowell – “Is Sinn Féin fit for government?”

It’s also worth noting that the statements from the Secretary of State and the Irish Justice Minister came following a meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference, and a couple of paragraphs from the Joint Communiqué are also worth looking at:

Security Issues

The Conference reviewed the current security situation. The two Governments reaffirmed their belief that the PIRA leadership is committed to exclusively peaceful means. The two Governments condemned the continued activities of loyalist and dissident republican paramilitary organisations and stressed that such activities will continue to be tackled robustly by the relevant criminal justice agencies in both jurisdictions. In this context the Conference reiterated its expectation that all paramilitary groups, from both sides of the community, will cease their paramilitary and criminal activities, fully commit to the peace process and take the necessary steps to put their arms beyond use.[added emphasis]

and…

Loyalism

While noting with concern that loyalist paramilitaries continued to engage in a variety of violent and other criminal activities, the Conference commended the efforts being made within loyalist paramilitary organisations to move away decisively from such activities and to steer the organisations towards positive community development. The Governments reiterated their commitment to support these efforts at transformation.[added emphasis]

Of course, both statements in the communiqué tally completely with the actual approach being taken by the two governments in regard to the UDA… or by others in regard to the UVF.. and they are not, at all, being snookered by the rhetoric..

The question that keeps cropping up, in my mind at least, is do the governments believe that this really is the best we can hope for?

MoreThe Alliance Party’s David Ford has responded:

“This statement is unhelpful and it will not change the minds of those sceptical about IRA activity ending.

“We have suffered in the past, when Ministers have acted as cheerleaders for paramilitary organisations, and made positive comments when they have not been justified.

“This is yet more soundbite politics from Peter Hain.

“Whatever the motivation of Minister, it is time he realised that the sceptics are not listening to him.

David Ford concluded: “Mr Hain should not undermine or second-guess the work of the IMC. He needs to leave such statements to IMC, as it is their role, and their role only, to report on paramilitary criminality.”

, , , ,

  • heck

    the question now is ” what is unionism’s next excuse?”

    it was arms, then criminality, now what is it going to be. My bet is on support for the PSNI/UVF.

    excuses excuses

  • Londonderry_loyal

    A lame attempt to convince the DUP that republicans have given up violence for good and that the recent receovery of illegal fuel is being done by individuals. It will take more than this to bluff the DUP into government with terrorists.

  • lib2016

    It would seem that the DUP cannot enter powersharing without splitting their powerbase. Bit of a nuisance for any genuine political party with a programme to implement but no bother to the DUP.

    Time for Plan B!

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Heck,

    Remind me as to when they gave back the £26.5M. Wouldn’t holding onto this money be a crime?

    Ronnie Biggs must wish he called himself a Provo!

  • TAFKABO

    Withholding evidence about the killing of Robert McCartney is a crime. Since the IRA have offered to shoot those responsibile, it follows that they have information likely to be of use to the police.

  • Resolve

    FAO Heck…

    Can you read minds? Unionist leaders such as Ian Paisley may well be shifting the goalposts everytime, in order to postpone power-sharing. But there is an important issue of organised crime at hand in this thread, one that thankfully has been dealt with (assuming the IMC corroborate in September). Decommissioning and an end to criminality may not have come about had Unionists not put such pressure on them. So, you can choose to look at it cynically if you wish, but… to me, this is progress defined.

    FAO Pete…

    Sinn Fein are clearly ‘fit for government’.. we may want them there, we may not, but that is a different issue. They are the second largest political party in NI; they have used their influence to steer the IRA towards peace; people have endorsed this political approach… we have had that ‘time to reflect’, and now it is time to move on. For the DUP to refuse to answer your question in the affirmative would be sending out a very dangerous message at a very make-or-break time.

  • Henry94

    Congal

    Wasn’t that all burned in Cork. You can’t burn you cash and have it. Besides the notes are no longer valid and are therefore worthless.

    That’s assuming they did it in the first place which we only have Hugh Orde’s word for. And if you accept his word on that then you must accept that what he is telling the Sec of State about current IRA activity is correct too.

  • Resolve

    FAO Pete… Apologies, whilst writing my post, I forgot your final question. I was referring to “whether Sinn Fein are fit for government”, not “is this the best we can hope for?”…

  • seabhac siulach

    “Remind me as to when they gave back the £26.5M. Wouldn’t holding onto this money be a crime?”

    Yes, if it was proven in a court of law that they took it…otherwise innocent until proven guilty, remember?. Where is that annoying little thing called evidence in this case? After 18 months not a single arrest linking it to the Provos…despite the best and desperate efforts of the PSNI and the Gardai to pin it on them.

    Or is it that Republicans can be tried, convicted and sentenced solely in the court of public opinion presided over by a biased media…

  • Hurler on the Ditch

    Sounds like good news to me and a little unexpected for it to be this clear. Pete makes a very good point in that McDowell should have been asked about his view on powersharing with Sinn Fein in the south in light of this report. I’m sure he’ll be asked soon.

    As for unionist reaction it would be nice to hear a bit of positivity about it but I won’t wait up.

  • na

    So we’ve had two barriers to devolved government raised already.

    Any more?

    Unionists will never live up to their parts of the Agreement, they never had any intention of doing so in the first place.

    At least we have their leaders being honest about it now.

  • Resolve

    FAO Henry94 and SS….

    Good points there, though i doubt they;ll get through. As you well know, people believe what they choose to believe 🙁

  • Pete Baker

    Resolve

    The question, and the linked article, was from Denis Bradley.. his answer seems more than reasonable – and it’s partly why I placed it in connection to Michael McDowell.

  • Michael McGowan

    Spot Hain’s weasel words: he draws a largely fictitious distinction between (i) Provisional IRA racketeering on the one hand; and (ii) individual members of the Provisional IRA engaging in organised crime for private gain (why else do people engage in organised crime?). (ii) is apparently quite OK in the eyes of Hain, even though he is in no position to show that there is any real difference between (i) and (ii).

  • Resolve

    FAO Na…

    If, indeed, your mindreading of Unionist motives are correct, what is the evidence of them being honest about them? I can see no evidence of that…

  • Hurler on the Ditch

    Michael McGowan,

    You will therefore accept that any member of the DUP who engages in organised crime should be used to exclude the DUP from powersharing???

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Resolve: “Can you read minds? Unionist leaders such as Ian Paisley may well be shifting the goalposts everytime, in order to postpone power-sharing. But there is an important issue of organised crime at hand in this thread, one that thankfully has been dealt with (assuming the IMC corroborate in September). Decommissioning and an end to criminality may not have come about had Unionists not put such pressure on them. So, you can choose to look at it cynically if you wish, but… to me, this is progress defined. ”

    No, but one does note that there is little practical change in the Loyalist criminal activities. *REPUBLICAN* organized crime may be coming in from the cold — Loyalists talk about winding down their criminal activities, but, somehow, they still find time to extort from builders… Funny thing that.

  • na

    For those in the south, do you see any chance of returning to the old constituition if, as seems likely, Unionism swindled you into agreeing a change?

  • Resolve

    FAO Pete…

    I agree with Denis Bradley; it goes without saying. However, following on from my criticism of Heck’s comments, I was considering the DUP’s response to a SF endorsement of the PSNI. If, at that stage, they were to bring up another obstacle to power-sharing…. then, as I said, they would be…

    “sending out a very dangerous message at a very make-or-break time”…

  • Michael McGowan

    In answer to the last question, “no” because the DUP, unlike Sinn Fein, is not a political party joined at the hip to a private army. If it had been, it would have won a lot more concessions from Tony Blair. Individual members of the DUP and Sinn Fein who engage in organised crime should of course be excluded from power-sharing.

  • Resolve

    FAO Dread..

    Nothing funny about it. But there is a crucial distinction that you seem to be overlooking. Sinn Fein are looking into government…
    Now, I am not a Unionist, but I can well understand unionist concerns on this matter. I am quite sure that families like the McCartneys also can.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Henry,

    “That’s assuming they did it in the first place”

    An assumption that I’m sure most people accept. Even those who argue about it do so only for the sake of argument. Even you mention some of the money being burnt in Cork. Who was linked to that?

    “ which we only have Hugh Orde’s word for. And if you accept his word on that then you must accept that what he is telling the Sec of State about current IRA activity is correct too.”

    I accept Hugh Orde’s word. However, I do not accept the spin placed upon those words by Peter Hain.

    Hi seabhac siulach,

    “Yes, if it was proven in a court of law that they took it…otherwise innocent until proven guilty, remember?. Where is that annoying little thing called evidence in this case? After 18 months not a single arrest linking it to the Provos…despite the best and desperate efforts of the PSNI and the Gardai to pin it on them.”

    Except that there are quite a few terrorists released on license. Already proven guilty and sentenced for their crimes. They should be returned when suspected of revoking their license.

  • Pete Baker

    Resolve

    Well, as I’ve been trying to indicate, despite Hain’s offer of political cover for SF to make those required moves on policing.. the reaction, publicly at least, has so far been more political rhetoric – as in Adams’ “patronising republicans” remark.

    Unless those moves are made, and as I’ve mentioned before, SF have painted themselves into a corner on this with the quadruple lock, speculating about the DUP looking for another obstacle is just that.. speculation.

  • kensei

    “In answer to the last question, “no” because the DUP, unlike Sinn Fein, is not a political party joined at the hip to a private army. If it had been, it would have won a lot more concessions from Tony Blair. Individual members of the DUP and Sinn Fein who engage in organised crime should of course be excluded from power-sharing.”

    “Joined at the hip” to a private army that has stood down, given up it’s weapons and is now no longer involved in crime? When did the Third Force give up it’s weapons, by the way? And as I feel the need to repeat all the time on here, SF doesn’t represent the IRA. It represents the thousands of people that vote for it. Common confusion, glad I could clear it up.

    *Sniff* What’s that smell? I believe the stench of hypocrisy. I’m sorry, I’m afraid I have to leave.

  • Resolve

    FAO Pete..

    Apologies, though as you’ll note from my criticisms of Heck’s post above, I agree that it is futile speculation. SF’s endorsement of the PSNI is, and should be, a prerequisite to participating in government. To cloud the issue with speculations on the DUP’s motives only provides an excuse to those who want to excuse the inexcusable (what a mouthful)…

    Do you have any personal thoughts on the likelihood of such an endorsement by SF come november?

  • Henry94

    Congal

    Even you mention some of the money being burnt in Cork.

    I mentioned in a question because if you believe the money allegedly burned in Cork was from the robbery then you can’t call for its return. It is up in smoke.

    My own view is that there was no link between the Cork money and the bank money. On more than one occasion we were promised forensic evidence but it never showed up.

    Who was linked to that?

    A more interesting question is how the linking was done. A Sinn Fein member was arrested many miles from the money found by the Gardai and later released without charge. That was the link.

  • Hurler on the Ditch

    Pete;
    “Unless those moves are made, and as I’ve mentioned before, SF have painted themselves into a corner on this with the quadruple lock, speculating about the DUP looking for another obstacle is just that.. speculation.”

    I agree that policing is critical but I do wonder whether the DUP members wouldn’t walk if joined by SF members. Have to say I could never forsee a day where Paisley and McGuiness stand for the photo….

  • Pete Baker

    Resolve

    It is too soon to say. :o)

  • Michael McGowan

    In 1932-3, the Nazi Party also had a mandate from not just thousands, but millions of people who voted for it….as well as a private army to intimidate its opponents. So pursuing the “popular mandate” argument doesn’t really get you where you need to be.

    And no one has independently verified that the IRA has stood down, given up its weapons or disengaged from organised crime, have they? Its own assertions have essentially been taken at face value. What Catholic would take similar assertions from the UVF at face value? No one….and rightly so.

  • Hurler on the Ditch

    “And no one has independently verified that the IRA has stood down, given up its weapons or disengaged from organised crime, have they?”

    eh what??? where have you been???? read the top of the post!

    “What Catholic would take similar assertions from the UVF at face value? No one….and rightly so.”

    who knows… Bet they’d love the oppurtunity to be faced with it though!

  • Resolve

    FAO Michael McGowan

    1. Stood down? The IRA, like any army, derives its power from everyone knowing that they are “standing up”… so, on this matter, it is good enough for most people that they have publicly “stood down”…

    2. Given up their weapons? Didn’t John de Chastelain, the priest and the reverend “independently verify” this?

    3. Disengaged from organised crime? Successive IMC reports have confirmed that the inevitably gradual disengagement from centrally-authorised organised crime is, indeed, taking place. We will have to wait till September’s report to get the latest update, since I am sure Peter Hain’s word does not suffice for you.

    p.s. your extreme use of an analogy with the 1933 German election is crude and ridiculous. “Popular mandate” should not, and cannot, be dismissed.

  • Pete Baker

    Just a quick note to point to the updated text.. the next IMC report is due in October, not September as I had initial said.

  • seabhac siulach

    “And no one has independently verified that the IRA has stood down, given up its weapons or disengaged from organised crime, have they?”

    Eh, only the decommissioning body, and now the IMC, as well as Garda intelligence, etc., etc. Or could it be those pesky devious Provos have managed to deceive them all…all so they can sell some more smuggled diesel…

    “What Catholic would take similar assertions from the UVF at face value? No one….and rightly so.”

    No one is asking for anything to be taken at ‘face value’…aren’t the police & intelligence services briefing Hain on all of this (we assume) and won’t the IMC report report in October? Proof will therefore be shown. Or perhaps we should just accuse the Sec. of State of lying…and then rubbish the IMC report when it arrives if doesn’t anymore conform to preconceived notions, i.e., Republicans=Bad…
    For many people I do not think it is a case of ‘don’t believe’, rather a case of ‘won’t believe’…no matter what evidence is presented…

    Some objectivity would be appreciated.

  • TAFKABO

    Every time Republicans move an inch, they want credit for a mile.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    They’ll be telling us next the UDA and UVF leadership have nothing to do with crime it’s only a few isolated members and that the UPRG is a legimate political force.

    They will say anything to get what they think is best for everyone – just like the ‘Dodgy Dossier’and ‘WMD’

    Does anyone believe anything they say? Unless of course it supports the spin they wish to put forward.

  • Hurler on the Ditch

    TAFKABO,

    Thing is I don’t think they’re getting credit for the inch. As can be seen by most of the postings here

  • kensei

    “In 1932-3, the Nazi Party also had a mandate from not just thousands, but millions of people who voted for it….as well as a private army to intimidate its opponents. So pursuing the “popular mandate” argument doesn’t really get you where you need to be.”

    Actually, the Nazis never had a majority. But if they could have raised a coalition, they were perfectly entitled to form a goovernment. If they had stuck with democracy and won every election, then they would have had a legitimate right to form a government. The fact that they did horrible things is totally independent to their right to be in government.

    All of this talk of “fit for government” is bollocks. The public decide if you are fit for government. And under the current rules, SF are entitled to be part of an Executive. You don’t get to pick the other side.

    In the South the people also decide. If SF won 50% of the seats, no one would have a choice in the matter of “fit for government”. As it is, it is perfectly legitimate for other parties to consider the electoral impact of including SF in a coalition. If you like them rules, there’s an easy to way to get them.

    “And no one has independently verified that the IRA has stood down, given up its weapons or disengaged from organised crime, have they? Its own assertions have essentially been taken at face value. What Catholic would take similar assertions from the UVF at face value? No one….and rightly so.”

    You appaear to be stuck in a timewarp. Contact Steven Hawking, he’ll know what to do.

  • Michael McGowan

    There’s nothing crude and ridiculous about my analogy with the Nazi Party. They had a big popular mandate too and were invited into government because of it by weak-willed centrist politicians. They also invented the strategy of the armalite and the ballot box….so there’s a direct precedent. Shouldn’t you be using this to back up your case for power sharing instead of being so coy? After all, I thought that Irish Nationalists had a soft spot for Herr Hitler: didn’t the Irish Franco,De Valera, sign his book of condolence and didn’t some of the IRA work with German U Boat Command?

    The so-called “independent verification” farce consisted of three blokes being taken blindfold on a Saga Tour of what the IRA wanted then to see (i.e. not much). If that’s verification, I’m a banana.

    Hain is a long-standing supporter of the wilder fringes of Irish Nationalism so his assurances aren’t worth a row of beans. I place more faith in the cross-sides House of Commons Select Committee which reported recently that paramilitaries on both sides were busy with their rackets and gangsterism.

  • seabhac siulach

    TAFKABO:

    “Every time Republicans move an inch, they want credit for a mile.”

    But that we saw 1/16th of an inch from the ‘other side’…

    How full decommissioning, accepting Stormont and a partitionist solution and all the other hoops that the Provos have jumped through since 1994 be classed as moving only an inch is beyond me…there were some painful and large ideological
    shifts involved in all of that and all done peacefully…
    Credit where it is due…

  • TAFKABO

    seabhac siulach

    But it was all done incrementally and begrudgingly. Republicans have done themselves no favours in the way they have approached these actions. And honestly, why should the republicans expect any more credit for not killing people or committing crimes when most of us were always not doing these things?

  • Turbo Paul

    What happens if, after another good IMC report about PIRA criminality, Sinn Fein accept Policing,, the DUP reluctantly makes a deal and we have devolved power, only to find six months later PIRA have re-engaged in organised crime as before.

    This also applies to Loyalist criminals, if they abandon crime only to re-engage after power is devolved.

    If this were to happen would devolved power be suspended again???

    Or is the deal for November “The real thing” and nothing can be used to suspend devolved power in the future??????

  • Nevin

    Pete, I understand there is an IMC report due out in August. It will deal with aspects of ‘normalisation’. I wonder will it reflect further on a ‘culture of lawfulness’.

  • seabhac siulach

    “But it was all done incrementally and begrudgingly.”

    Begrudgingly is your perception of the acts…do you not think that the fact that it was done ‘incrementally’ might have been necessary to keep as many Republicans ‘on board’ as possible…
    If it had been known in 1994 that all arms were to be decommissioned in 2005, would we even have had a peace process? Unlikely…so part of this ‘begrudging’ you talk about was done for good reason…

    “And honestly, why should the republicans expect any more credit for not killing people or committing crimes when most of us were always not doing these things?”

    The credit should come for them having accepted a very painful partionist settlement and having done so peacefully and with most Republicans on board. Killing and ‘crime’ were part of the Troubles and blame for that cannot be attached solely to the Provos…but credit can be given to them for trying to find a peaceful way out of the mess of the Troubles and to take the gun out of politics.
    The acceptance of Stormont was a bitter pill for Republicans…but that is apparently never understood by Unionists. There has been no equal constitutional compromise on the part of Unionists…so some credit must go to the Provos for making all these compromises in the name of a power-sharing peace…

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Resolve: “Nothing funny about it. But there is a crucial distinction that you seem to be overlooking. Sinn Fein are looking into government… ”

    UUP/PUP/UVF…

    Its not as if the rest of the Unionist “alphabet soup” gangs don’t have ties to Unionist parties, Resolve. Their lack of explicit formal ties has more to do with their desire to maintain the status quo than any deliberate planning on their part.

    As for the McCartney’s, I would agree that PIRA’s attempted cover-up and lack of cooperation is deplorable. It is, however, the anomaly in recent history, not the rule.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    TAFKABO: “Every time Republicans move an inch, they want credit for a mile. ”

    As opposed to Loyalism, which want the mile’s credit for talking about giving an inch…

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Turbo Paul: “What happens if, after another good IMC report about PIRA criminality, Sinn Fein accept Policing,, the DUP reluctantly makes a deal and we have devolved power, only to find six months later PIRA have re-engaged in organised crime as before. ”

    Or, more likely, as has happened before, a British mole in the IRA play agent provaceteur and brings down another government?

    Turbo Paul: This also applies to Loyalist criminals, if they abandon crime only to re-engage after power is devolved. ”

    That’s the problem as I read this thread — Unionism DOESN’T apply this to Loyalist criminals.

  • kensei

    “There’s nothing crude and ridiculous about my analogy with the Nazi Party. They had a big popular mandate too and were invited into government because of it by weak-willed centrist politicians. They also invented the strategy of the armalite and the ballot box….so there’s a direct precedent. Shouldn’t you be using this to back up your case for power sharing instead of being so coy?”

    Are Unionists so used to being “the majority” (TM) that they think that democracy means “Doing what Unionism wants” or do they genuinely not understand the principle?

    “As opposed to Loyalism, which want the mile’s credit for talking about giving an inch…”

    Credit’s no good. It’s cash only I’m afraid.

  • heck

    I knew it –I knew it.

    More excuses for not having fenians in government. First it was decommissioning. I said at the time this was an excuse, not a reason. Then it was criminality. Remember the complaints about uppity republicans from Crossmaglen getting their cigarettes and fuel in the republic. Now I am watching unionists fish around for another excuse. Support for the PSNI/UVF; returning Northern bank money; the mccartneys, the disappeared, orange marches ,blah blah blah.

    I was a strong supporter of the GFA but with unionist support swinging behind the DUP at the last election I have come to the conclusion that the GFA is dead. The unionist community just don’t want fenians in government.

    Bring on plan B.

  • Michael McGowan

    I think some of you are missing the point. I am a Catholic and an Irish one as well. I don’t buy Protestant supremacism. But equally I don’t buy the idea that the falangist wing of Irish Nationalism can bomb and burn its way to power and that everyone should then be pathetically grateful when these people pick up a few votes in an election and then grudgingly tone down the intensity of their criminality….most of which was targeted at people such as Jean McConville whom they claimed to be protecting.

  • tra g

    I can sense a real mood of gloom amongst opponents of the republican movement in reaction to this news.Why so? Are republicans not delivering what their opponents say they want-a complete cessation.
    The fact that 18 months old events such as the tragic murder of Robert McCartney and the alleged IRA robbery of the Northern Bank are again being raised again smacks of desperation.
    Surely this is indicative of the fact that there are no more recent activities that can be attributed to undermine the intentions of the republican movement’s leadership. Believe me, when arch-enemies such as Michael McDowell are giving the IRA a clean bill of health, then it must be true.If only the same verdict could be reached in regard to unionist and loyalist activities-sad to say that very recent events including the murder of Michael McIlveen and the recent random victim of a loyalist assault in Derry along with this week’s co-ordinated attacks on nationalist homes in the Whitewell show that loyalists have now inherited ‘the men of violence’ tag so often bestowed on Republicans by democrats such as Sir Reg-yep, the same Sir Reg presently cosying up to PUP/UVF terrorists.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    No, MM, you’re “missing the point.”

    A blatant double-standard for criminality is being put forth — declining Republican criminality is still deemed an impediment to progress, whilst Loyalist criminality is conveniently ignored within this thread. Now, I cheerfully acknowledge that this is, in part, due to the difference between direct ties between SF and PIRA and the more nebulous “associations” between mainstream Unionism and Loyalism. However, when the best wheezes the Unionist community can come up with are 18 months old, whilst Loyalist criminality gets a polite “golf-clap” for talking about talking about moving away from crime, I can honestly say your post is disengenous, as a minimum.

    As for targetting innocent civilians, I would suggest you get a basic grip on the statistics of this dirty little insurrection politely called “the Troubles.” Before one can express an informed opinion, one needs to have acquainted oneself with the pertinent information. I would recommend the Sutton database as a starting place — its presentation is not perfect, as there have been several phases and mutations of this conflict, but it does give an good overall view who was doing what to whom in Northern Ireland. Loyalism’s efforts at deliberately targetting civilians, despite access to British weapons, training and intelligence, is made clear by the fact that just shy of 80% of their victims were non-combatants. Republicanism rides at about 34%, whilst PIRA, if broken out individually, is at about 30% — not a “good” number, but indicative some at least a rudimentary effort to direct themselves against the State’s armed forces, as opposed to the Loyalist’s “any taig will do policy.”

  • TAFKABO

    Dread.

    You’re scraping the barrel. when a thread about Republican criminality can only elicit whataboutery from you, it’s a sure sign you have nothing to add to the topic at hand. I, and from what I recall, most of the Unionists posting here, rounded upon the UUP and their links to the PUP. your claim that we are not interested in Loyalist criminality is indicative of a basic problem with comprehension at best, a deliberate mistruth at worst.

  • Prince Eoghan

    The point surely is that Unionism has a differing excuse not to have a Taig about the place every other month. The Brits seen through this a long time ago, it is only now that it is expediant to do something about it.

    Now as regards all the tangents about Nazi’s and falangists et al, don’t we all know that the people decide elections. Give the people what they want, and do it now!!!!!!

  • Turbo Paul

    I hope I am safe in saying most level headed Unionists/Loyalists and Republicans/Nationalists can co-exist together in NI.

    In a wonderful article from last sunday’s Sunday Independent entitled:

    Gardai sent in to spy on Costa gangs

    http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/index.php3?issue_id=14403

    These two lines sum it up:

    The exodus to Spain of the Republic’s criminals, prompted by the introduction of the Criminal Assets legislation, is now the key feature of organised crime in Ireland.

    Many of the criminals have worked out a modus vivendi with other criminals who would formerly have been rivals in both the criminal and paramilitary worlds.

    So it seems that even organised criminals , who once would be shooting at each other are dealing with eachother.

    That leaves the DUP as the only people who refuse to make a Modus Vivendi with Sinn Fein.

    We could even call the new assembley:
    “The Modus Viveni” of NI

  • Turbo Paul

    This back story highlights my point,
    if all other factions of Unionism/Loyalism and Republicanism/Nationalism can find a way to work together why should’nt the DUP?????

    http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=9&si=1658893&issue_id=14403

  • Dread Cthulhu

    TAFKABO: “You’re scraping the barrel. when a thread about Republican criminality can only elicit whataboutery from you, it’s a sure sign you have nothing to add to the topic at hand. I, and from what I recall, most of the Unionists posting here, rounded upon the UUP and their links to the PUP. your claim that we are not interested in Loyalist criminality is indicative of a basic problem with comprehension at best, a deliberate mistruth at worst. ”

    I know, TAFKABO — you condemn it and like to think that that ends it there, as if providing lip-service to the problem will satisate it, leaving it spent.

    Mine was a specific response to a specific post. Michael seemed to think that Republicans “did not get it.” Loyalist criminality is still robust, whilst Republicans are moving away, yet Republican criminality get’s the bull’s share of attention. Likewise, in an open thread, discussing Loyalist criminality is hardly “whataboutery.”

    From the OCTF most recent report:

    “2.8 Loyalist groups remain involved in drugs supply, intellectual property crime, importation and distribution of contraband goods, extortion, money lending and armed robbery. They are also known to use legitimate businesses, notably pubs, clubs and taxi firms as cover for their illegal operations. Ongoing feuding between the various loyalist factions has also led to a series of violent assaults and murders, attempts to intimidate individuals and businesses and civil disorder all of which increase fear and distrust within the community.”

    Sounds like the US Mafia — drugs, extortion, loan-sharking… all the high points… Contrasting with the IRA’s part of the Report dealing with their current activities:

    “While it appears that some members, including senior ones, are still involved in fuel laundering, money laundering, extortion, fraud and smuggling the IMC has made a clear distinction between the activities of members and those of PIRA as an organisation. The IMC ‘s tenth report stated “We have found signs that PIRA continues to seek to stop criminal activity by its members and to prevent them from engaging in it. We believe that some senior PIRA members may be playing a key role in this. We believe that volunteers who had previously engaged in illegal fundraising have been told to refrain from doing so. That said, there are indications that some members, including some senior ones(as distinct from the organisation itself), are still involved in crime, including offences such as fuel laundering, money laundering, extortion, tax evasion and smuggling. Some of these activities are deeply embedded in the culture of a number of communities, not least in the border areas, and increasing proportions of the proceeds may now be going to individuals rather than to the organisation.””

    At some point, PIRA is going to have to prune the hard-cases from the tree. Hopefully, when the full weight of the law falls upon Slab, it will make others stop and think. However, where are the Loyalist drug-bosses and king-pins? N.I. hasn’t the stomach to even try the Shoukris on their membership in illegal organizations on the first try, let alone their other activities. Meanwhile, the UDA makes a point of killing those who get too close to the courthouse.

  • TAFKABO

    Dread.

    Other than expressing my disaproval of Loyalist criminality, what else do you expect me to do about it?
    What Loyalist drug bosses?, name one? didn’t you see that report here on Slugger that said drugs were a bigger problem in the rest of the UK and, shock horror, the republic of Ireland?
    your whole Loyalist drug boss spiel is a deliberate lie, designed to suggest loyalist areas have some substantially larger problem with drugs that Nationalist areas, and don’t get me started on the IRA taxing of drug dealers.

    I’ll continue to condmen Loyalist criminality, but I wont play along with your lies.

  • TAFKABO
  • TAFKABO

    http://www.octf.gov.uk/

    * Police seized drugs worth £7m in the last financial year. While the scale of the drug problem is not as great as the rest of the UK or Ireland there is growing indication of a rise in demand and availability of cocaine. Seizures of the killer drug have soared by 800% since 2002/2003;

    What say you Dread?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    TAFKABO: “* Police seized drugs worth £7m in the last financial year. While the scale of the drug problem is not as great as the rest of the UK or Ireland there is growing indication of a rise in demand and availability of cocaine. Seizures of the killer drug have soared by 800% since 2002/2003; ”

    Sounds like nose-candy is a growth business in N.I. As for the scale of the problem is not the same as in other parts of the region — the factionated and fractionated nature of the “market” would full saturation difficult, as would the British infiltration of the Loyalists. When one has informatants in the dealers, one likely has decent intelligence. The lack of cooperation across intra- and inter- sectarian lines also would make N.I. less attractive.

    Face it, TAFKABO, when three quarters, give or take, of the economy is state-funded, you’re just not that attractive to entrepeneurs. Even with the depressing economy, however, cocaine is on the rise. Assuming the OCTF is not playing favorites, however, drugs are not a major part of PIRA’s market mix. Its number one, with a bullet, on Loyalism’s hit parade, again, per the OCTF.

    Likewise, your arguement elsewhere, that drugs were the third priority (after money laundering and armed robbery), is a little disengenous, since money laundering is a key element of a “self-contained” drug enterprise. Eliminate the money-laundries and the dealers are that much easier to find.

  • JR

    “your whole Loyalist drug boss spiel is a deliberate lie, designed to suggest loyalist areas have some substantially larger problem with drugs that Nationalist areas”

    Ahem, (Ballymena) cough!!

  • TAFKABO

    Nah, the point is that according to all the reports, drugs are a problem across the board, both in geography and paramilitarism. I don’t deny that there exists a problem with loyalists and drugs, I’m arguing that it is disingenuous to repeatedly suggest that Loyalists alone are involved.

    As for Ballymena, I’m assuming that’s a reference to the heroin problem. I’d like to see a direct connection between those selling the smack and Loyalists, as well as a comparison with those selling the heroin in Dublin, and exactly who is profiting from that little bout of free enterprise.

    Bring it on, I’m more than happy to have this conversation.

  • páid

    Well if it is true that “criminality” is not centrally controlled by the IRA, it is yet further evidence of the RM’s cast iron commitment to subsidiarity and devolution.

    But will we hear Unionists praising this?

    No.

    And then they’ll moan when Hain introduces Plan B.

  • heck

    I think the plan B that Hain and Honest Tony are threatening is not enough to get the unionists to share power with nationalists. I believe the DUP have come to the opinion that they would rather let nationalists west of the Bann have councils with a few extra powers and a few more Anglo Irish meetings that share real power in Belfast.

    This JA “lite” is not enough to move them. Nationalists should forget about the GFA and push for some strengthening of Honest Tony’s plan B.

    That way there is either some move to an all Ireland solution of the DUP bend and implement the GFA. A “win-win” solution.

    Either that or it is endless excuses about “criminality” from unionists. Witness this thread

  • Henry94

    heck

    I think it’s not so much that unionist don’t want to share power but that they are afraid to say so. If Paisley gave the nod in the morning Robinson and Dodds would have their bottoms in ministerial cars before you could say “Tiocfaidh ar la”

    But as long as the old man says no then nobody feels brave enough to take him on.

    So we wait.

  • Nevin

    Where did this leak come from? Is it likely to be from the Garda or the Department of Justice?

  • fair_deal

    If true this is good. However, we had the Woodward spin about this before and then some hasty back-pedalling. I think Ford has gotten it right better for the governments to shut up and let the IMC deal with it.

    This is the also movement that almost signed an agreement one week then robbed a back the next and the month after offered to kill people rather than let the courts deal with it. Although the political damage that caused and the investigation of the Provo’s money-laundering those events triggered hopefully means no repetition.

    There is also a very simple way to ensure there is no IRA crime, centrally or locally directed, the IRA disbands.

  • kensei

    “There is also a very simple way to ensure there is no IRA crime, centrally or locally directed, the IRA disbands.”

    What’s that? Sorry, I thought I heard another precondition.

  • seabhac siulach

    fair_deal:

    “There is also a very simple way to ensure there is no IRA crime, centrally or locally directed, the IRA disbands.”

    And then, of course, the discussion would start in Unionist circles about whether it has REALLY disbanded or whether it still exists, etc, etc…, no doubt again disbelieving reports from their own chosen govt., neutral international bodies and their own police service…sort of like the reaction to the TOTAL decommissioning of weapons, now end to criminality, etc.

    Not much point talking about history FD (even recent history previous to last year)…since July 2005 all reports suggest that the IRA has ‘gone away you know’…time for Unionist slow learners to accept that fact and let drop that old threadbare comfort blanket that allows them to escape their elected responsibilities…
    …but, then I guess it is more politically comfortable to let the direct rule ministers (the ‘adults’) take the heat on all the difficult decisions…while continuing to whine when those decisions seriously damage the Unionist constituency. Unionism’s position today is mere political cowardice dressed up as a moral stand re criminality, the PSNI, decommissioning, etc. (take your pick)! If a suitable ‘moral’ issue is not there then one more can easily be created, it seems…

  • fair_deal

    “the IRA has ‘gone away you know’”

    If they exist they haven’t gone away

  • seabhac siulach

    fair_deal:

    “If they exist they haven’t gone away”

    Gone away in everything but name…but besides that is not the point, the point is whether anything could ever convince you (and your ilk) that they had gone away. How exactly anyway do you prove the existence of a negative, something that isn’t there? So what would convince you seeing as how Unionists do not believe their own govt., police service or the intelligence services (when it doesn’t suit them too of course). Do you want he Pope to swear it?
    The Official IRA still exists, in any case, perhaps we should also call for this moribund entity to be also disbanded…if it makes you feel better…
    After all, this is all about symbolism, isn’t it?
    Time to come down from the high moral and deal with the political realities…all else is mere posturing and political cowardice. In terms of Unionist’s future I would suggest that it is Sinn Fein you need to worry about, not a dormant IRA (7 old yesterday’s men on a council)…

  • fair_deal

    “Gone away in everything but name”

    Which is way of trying to avoid or minimise the fact they haven’t gone away. Somethig that can be quickly achieved and is a natural consequence of what they said in July. There is also the issue of the retained weapons the IMC highlighted.

    “besides that is not the point”

    To me it is the point you may wish to ignore it I don’t.

    “whether anything could ever convince you (and your ilk) that they had gone away”

    Yes it can.

    “The Official IRA still exists, in any case perhaps we should also call for this moribund entity to be also disbanded”

    How is it moribund? It has been implicated in a multi-million international fraud. Yes it should disband like all other paramilitary groups.

    “After all, this is all about symbolism, isn’t it?”

    Nope its about the absolute end to paramilitarism.

    “mere posturing and political cowardice”

    Nope it is a tougher approach to negotiating. Sorry my ilk and I don’t roll over and play dead like we used to but that’s life.

  • kensei

    “Which is way of trying to avoid or minimise the fact they haven’t gone away. Somethig that can be quickly achieved and is a natural consequence of what they said in July. ”

    Irrelevant if they are not doing anything, and still wouldn’t be believed anyway.

    “Nope its about the absolute end to paramilitarism.”

    Balls. It’s about finding any excuse to refuse to share power.

    “Nope it is a tougher approach to negotiating. Sorry my ilk and I don’t roll over and play dead like we used to but that’s life.”

    This might actually be a threat if the greatest damage by the stance inflicted wasn’t to yourself.

  • fair_deal

    kensei

    Much quicker if you just put in I don’t believe anything you say because you are a unionist. It’ll save you time.

  • seabhac siulach

    fair_deal

    Re the Provo IRA…you should remember the old dictum…old soldiers don’t die, they just fade away.
    That is what will happen to PIRA…

    Still you do not answer…would you believe your own govt. (and its related agencies) if they said that the IRA had disbanded? And if so why, if you do not believe Hain’s claims re criminality or decommissioning? Why would the Provos think it worth their while, moreover, if such a step (even if possible), like all their others would be belittled and disbelieved despite the factual evidence from neutral independent sources. And I thought a lot of the DUP were men of faith!
    What happens if the IMC now says that the IRA is not involved in criminality, will they also no longer be believed as it doesn’t any longer suit Unionist wishes? Let us say that Nationalists hold no illusions on this score…
    If the IRA is not involved in ‘criminality’, does not possess the major bulk, perhaps all, of its weapons (incl. all of its large offensive weapons:high explosive, rockets, etc. (the exact amount of these was well known to the intelligence services)) and has stated that it is only interested in ‘exclusively peaceful means’, does that not effectively mean that it ‘has gone away’? What would convince you, Gerry running a big white flag up a flagpole? Even that? After all, an IRA could still exist even in hazy theory whenever seven old men sat together and discussed politics…how do you prove disbandment, when they stop issuing statements? And would THAT be believed. A suspicious mind can believe whatever it wants to believe, witness Paisley in 1966 ranting about an IRA that then didn’t exist. In all of this a little faith is needed (Paisley should have enough for all of us!).
    Unionists should be clever enough to see what they are being offered by the present situation, a local parliament still in the Union and take a chance…what’s that they say about not looking a gift horse in the mouth…
    Tide and time wait for no man, as they say.

  • pid

    Erm…….

    when I wrote

    “Well if it is true that “criminality” is not centrally controlled by the IRA, it is yet further evidence of the RM’s cast iron commitment to subsidiarity and devolution”

    I was intending (unsuccessfully) to be ironic.

  • kensei

    “Much quicker if you just put in I don’t believe anything you say because you are a unionist. It’ll save you time.”

    No, I believe what you say as long as it has some connection with the actions of Unionism. It doesn’t. No matter what hoops Nationalism jumps through, another one appears. If it was me, I’d be laughing my balls off at this stage.

    Fuck it. The Brits should set the deadline, and bollocks to all this talk of Plan B and definately not, no JA as a threat. It should simply cut off the money. All of it – health, education, police, everything. Living without a government should be a painful proposition.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    TAFKABO: “Nah, the point is that according to all the reports, drugs are a problem across the board, both in geography and paramilitarism.”

    Then why no mention in the most recently published OCTF report of an intersection between the drug trade and PIRA?

    TAFKABO: “I don’t deny that there exists a problem with loyalists and drugs, I’m arguing that it is disingenuous to repeatedly suggest that Loyalists alone are involved. ”

    Sure, the OCTF and I just concocted that so your blood-pressure would spike… If you have information on PIRA’s drug dealing, I’m sure the OCTF would welcome your assistance.

  • Congal Claen

    [a href=“http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/5217510.stm”]FYI in relation to topic…[/a]

  • Congal Claen
  • Dread Cthulhu
  • Congal Claen

    Hi Dread,

    I’ve no doubt Loyalists are up to no good. However, I also believe that to be the case with the Ra. Whatabout yerself?

  • lib2016

    In practice, as we’ve all known perfectly well for the last two hundred years, unionists don’t accept democracy for themmuns. If the DUP accept powersharing they will split unionism and destroy themselves, and if they don’t accept powersharing they will exclude themselves from responsibility while the Union is being broken over the next few years.

    The creation of the East Antrim ghetto has been about unionism preparing itself for becoming a minority within a United Ireland.

    Unionists have no ties to a modern multicultural England where they are openly despised. As Fair Deal put it so eloquently they feel no loyalty to any government. It seems reasonable that they similarly would feel no loyalty to a Crown which wishes to be Defender of all the Faiths, nor to a country which most of them have never seen except from the air as they flee the Twelfth and where they don’t even qualify for a council house in Bolton.

    Their only ‘loyalty’ is to the Empire and the half-crown, both of which have gone away some time ago, and their ‘leaders’ haven’t caught up with the 20th Century, never mind this one.

    No wonder even the loyalist paramilitaries are bailing out – the sh** hits the fan in November, and absolutely nothing will happen.

    In a few years Direct Rule will move quietly from London to Dublin. Will anyone bother to tell them?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Heya Congal:

    “I’ve no doubt Loyalists are up to no good. However, I also believe that to be the case with the Ra. Whatabout yerself? ”

    I’m not particularly impressed by the threat — its not as if *SHE* was the one in hiding, now is it? Knowing her location would most likely be a matter of surveillance — watching for the brother, if that.

    I would also not that the IRA’s role in this story comes as a result of inductive reasoning, rather than deductive, fact-based development of a hypothesis. Unfortunately, the peace-process has spawned a smattering of splinter-groups off of the IRA who are, if anything, more likely suspects than PIRA

  • fair_deal

    “As Fair Deal put it so eloquently they feel no loyalty to any government.”

    When did I say that?

  • TAFKABO

    Dread.

    Like a few other here , you often fall into the habit of lumping all Unionist and Loyalists into one group, yet talk about the IRA as if they exist in a vaccuum, with absolutely no other Republican groups operating out there at all. I provided the links that show the issue of drugs are not confined to Loyalist areas or loyalist paramiltaries. if you insist on bringing up the activities of loyalist paramilitaries every time you speak to me, then I’m just as entitled to link you to dissident republicans and their fundraising actions, including the drugs trade.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Dread,

    In general then, what do you think?

    Hi Lib,

    As you are quite open with your own despising of Unionists why on earth would you want their to be a UI where you’d be united with them? It’d be like saying…

    “that girl over there is a real pig. However, I wouldn’t mind marrying her”

    Unless you’re into that sorta thing 😉

  • fair_deal

    As for the rest of the diatribe any evidence to back such claims up? The claim about only flying over the place is a nonsense for a start considering the regularity and quantity of transport links to all the other parts of the UK.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    TAFKABO

    I took my cue from the OCTF report.

    2.8 Loyalism (drugs, #1 item)
    2.9 PIRA (No mention of drugs)
    2.10 Dissident Republicans (No mention of drugs.

    If the state is going to afford me this differentiation, not to mention support my arguement that the bull’s share of paramilitary -dealt drugs are dealt by Loyalists, FAR be it for me to rock the boat.

  • TAFKABO

    not to mention support my arguement that the bull’s share of paramilitary -dealt drugs are dealt by Loyalists,

    That’s a subtle shifting of your argument, which was that Loyalist areas and loyaist paramiltaries are awash with drugs.
    Who sells the drugs in so called nationalist areas, and is there a significant difference in the sclae of the problem depending on whetehr an area is loyalist or nationalist?

    Who sells the heroin in Dublin, and are republicans involved in any way from profiting from this trade?

  • lib2016

    Congael Claen,

    I don’t despise unionists. I just like having a bit of fun watching them disappear up their own fundamental origin in the attempt to rationalise the fact that unionism is all about keeping themmuns out. Apartheid is so-o-o passe.

    There is no rational reason for dealing with Westminster except in the context of finding shared interests in Brussels. We’re all neighbours after all and the pendulum will swing again.

    There was a time when Britain was a relatively forward-looking and prosperous place in comparison to Ireland and there was even a time when the Northern Presbyterians were the most republican people on this island.

    Paisley is the last kick of a bankrupt idealogy and I’ve great hopes for the loyalist working class when they start thinking for themselves. Whatever they come up with it has to be better than what we have now.

    Fair_deal,

    You got quite excited on another thread about the fact that unionists had no loyalty to any government. It’s a shame you can’t remember your own posts.

    Nice of you to point out that there were lots of ways to leave Norn Ireland. I’m hoping myself that lots of unionists will stay after reunification.

    To tell the truth I was quite relieved to see several threads on Politics i.e. recently which confirmed that others could see that the end is nigh for Norn Ireland.

    The level of denial on this board could almost persuade one that the Kaiser will come back to rescue unionism. In reality, of course, it will be a Democratic administration in America which will oversee the British pullout.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Heya Congal Claen!

    “In general then, what do you think? ”

    I think N.I. has the biggest collection of shit-stirrers in recent memory — whenever the muck starts to settle to the bottem of the pond and the water clear, someone has to say or do something incendiary to get the filth flying again. I think it might be time to look at what’s being put in the water, since it is about the only trait I can think of that TRULY transends the sectarian divide.

    THAT’S what I think

  • Dread Cthulhu

    TAFKABO: “That’s a subtle shifting of your argument, which was that Loyalist areas and loyaist paramiltaries are awash with drugs.”

    Now you’re putting words in my mouth, TAFKABO.

    Have I used the phrase “Loyalist Drug gangs?”
    Yup. That because the phrase “Loyalist Drug/extortion/loan-sharking armed robbery and money-laundering gangs” is just too damn unwieldly and “Protestant Mafia” seemed much too outrageous.

    As we are discussing affairs in N.I., I would say your whataboutery re: Dublin is out of place, intended to create more smoke than light.

    Is it your thesis that the OCTF is “covering” for the Republicans? That, somehow, the police have decided that it needs to hide evidence of Republican involvement in drugs?

  • fair_deal

    As I said when did I say that?

    “Nice of you to point out that there were lots of ways to leave Norn Ireland.”

    The transport links go both ways.

    “I was quite relieved to see several threads on Politics i.e. recently which confirmed that others could see that the end is nigh for Norn Ireland.”

    That’s your ‘evidence’. There is a website that people agree with me how dare people on this site think differently? Hmmmm.

  • TAFKABO

    As we are discussing affairs in N.I., I would say your whataboutery re: Dublin is out of place, intended to create more smoke than light.

    Actually mo chara, the thread topic is about IRA criminality ,and it is you who introduced other elements into the argument.
    If you don’t like whataboutery, don’t start using it and then complain when it’s returned.
    I note that you, along with others, keep avoidng the issue of who is profiting from the drugs trade in Dublin, but I think that if it is Republicans, then it is indeed very relevant to this discussion. Someone else joked about the IRA farming out criminality to various franchises, and if it transpires that this is what is happening, with the IRA taxing others involved in criminality, including the drugs trade in Dublin, then it is about as relevant as it gets for this discussion.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    In the context of a British report regarding N.I., TAFKABO.

    I remind you, my comment to Michael was a specific response to a specific gap in his knowledge base regarding the targetting of non-combatants, not the introduction of superfluous information to distract.

    Again, is it your thesis that the OCTF is “covering” for the Republicans? That, somehow, the police have decided that it needs to hide evidence of Republican involvement in drugs? How do you suppose that the OCTF has missed all this Republican drug-dealing you keep going on about?

  • Pete Baker

    If I may interject at this point.

    The thread is neither open nor exclusively about one, or t’other, group of paramilitaries’ involvement in organised crime.. it is, in fact, on the theme of both the British and Irish governments’ – to a greater or lesser degree – apparent, and in some cases sudden, ignorance of that involvement.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Pete:

    Then provide some wider resources to play with, if you would…

    All of the text and subtext of the lead paragraph are N.I. oriented.

    As for Dublin…

    “ORGANISED CRIME IN IRELAND : Greater cooperation between criminal gangs in Ireland makes increasingly hard to infiltrate, according to a new report from the European Union (EU), Organised Crime Report 2004. The report concludes that “all of those involved in organised crime in Ireland are known to each other,” which is becoming an increasing problem for police forces across the EU attempting to track cross-border movements of drugs, cigarettes and people travelling on forged documents. The report was compiled from submissions by police forces in the 25 EU countries and Europol. The illicit Irish drug market is said to be controlled by expatriate Irish criminals living in Spain, who are buying large quantities in Mediterranean countries and selling it back into Ireland and the UK. According to Europol, Spain is Europe ‘s biggest dropping-off point for drugs, accounting for 60% of the continental total. The report also finds that Irish criminals are heavily involved in smuggling cigarettes, which are later sold in large quantities onto the UK black market with the cooperation of organised crime gangs there. John Burke, “Crime Fraternity Outwitting Garda,” Sunday Tribune (April 10, 2005). ”

    Staggering through a series of news-paper articles and EU reports, nothing to tie to PIRA, some references to the INLA, some references to Unionist gangsters (Cahill, aligned with the UVF, killed by the IRA for his involvement with the UVF and his role in a South African gun deal), but mainly ordinary decent criminals.