Defections from SF, and the IRA Army Council

Both the Tribune and the Sunday Times have the story of the resginations of Groogan and Hughes, and Bernard Fox from the IRA’s Army Council. Reasons for leaving cited as “annoyed by the party’s lack of internal democracy” (ST), and “Former H-Block hunger striker, Bernard Fox complained that Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, who left the Army Council last year, were effectively running it from behind-the-scenes” (Trib). Use this link for the Tribune piece if the Tribune website link isn’t working.

Update: More to follow? The ST article mentions an un-named senior figure, “a well-known jail-breaker”, who has also resigned, and there is ongoing speculation about further resignations.

  • slug

    In all respects the resignation of two councillors is no big deal. The SDLP lost people last year (Espie and that Belfast ex-councillor), the UUP lost councillors and MLAs, over the UVF link, and the DUP will probably lose councillors if they go into powersharing with Sinn Fein, even if Sinn Fein meet DUP criteria. Many people in NI hold their beliefs strongly and its possibly just a sign of the big changes that some people feel their party is no longer for them. Indeed the amazing thing is actually how few councillors have left Sinn Fein.

  • jimmy

    Sure the Tribune is telling us nothing new Rusty. We all knew Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, never left the army council. This
    was just a front to project that Sinn Fein had broken their links with the IRA. Gerry and Martin will do anything to decieve the process.
    Gerry and Martin have been caught with their hands in the till yet again.
    The denials will be flying as soon as the SF spin doctors waken up. This yet again shows how devious Sinn Fein are. If these 2 were car salesmen would you buy a car from either of them?

  • GrassyNoel

    Near the end of the Sunday Tribune ‘article’ – the line ‘One source said Brian Keenan had visited Fox’s home to try to talk him out of resignation. The IRA had since taken Fox’s ‘staff’ car from him, much to the annoyance of some activists. However, another source said he wouldn’t be surprised if the internal row was resolved.’

    sourcey material, I think you’ll agree.

    But sure, the headline ‘IRA veteran resolves row with AC’ wouldn’t fit with the agenda of the Tribune.

    It’s funny that the same story is carried by the ST. What does this tell us class?

    It tells the story of poor unfortunate hacks struggling to break the habits of a lifetime i.e. seizing on any piece of contradictory hearsay in an effort to smear the mainstream republican movement.

    I’m still waiting to read about the lad who lost a leg in a punishment attack last week in the ST – I wonder if the ‘sources’ who provided Liam and Suzy with these juicy titbits will be equally forthcoming on that.

  • THE NEWS

    Grasseynoel,

    If you are really interested in who shot the leg off a young lad.. go see the very senior member of the Provos in the Ballymurphy area related through marrige to a former communist and has the same initials as a type of sexual preference , he had a major row with the victim and told him in no uncertain terms that he would be dealt with..

    The top Provo then arranged for someone who flits between CIRA and the SUPER-STICKS to blast his leg off.

    *** IS THAT ENOUGH INFO FOR YOU NOEL ***

  • eyeball

    whos sexual preference….yours or the provos????

  • Army Council

    What a brilliant story, the Provos take a car off someone who won’t play with them anymore, rather like my mummy says we have to get our ball back.
    However one really must look at the Army Council member and ask how has it taken 12 years to find out what the rest of the world knew in 12 minutes, was this person so vain that a position on “The Army Council” and a wee car was enough to buy him off, extremly embarrassing when one examines it properly.
    Added to the fact that Adams and McGuinness apparently ran rings round and over-ruled the puppet Army Council, just how stupid if not moronic does that make the entire membership of the IRA look, if former members still run their organisation.
    Surely the question must be would they let Liam Campbell, Michael McKevitt, or Ivor Bell run the Provos… because they are in the same democratic position as Adams or McGuinness, except they are not members of Sinn Fein.

  • The Devil

    Hey where are all the PROVOS on this site, normally you couldn’t beat them off an IRA story with a big stick (or baseball bat)

    Is it because a certain office is closed today or is it because the story is TRUE and they haven’t been told what to post yet.

  • Grassy Noel

    If you are really interested in who shot the leg off a young lad.. go see the very senior member of the Provos in the Ballymurphy area related through marrige to a former communist and has the same initials as a type of sexual preference , he had a major row with the victim and told him in no uncertain terms that he would be dealt with..

    The top Provo then arranged for someone who flits between CIRA and the SUPER-STICKS to blast his leg off.

    *** IS THAT ENOUGH INFO FOR YOU NOEL ***

    Are you Jim Cusack? That has got to be the most absurd post I have ever read on Slugger. Hilarious!!!

    You could’ve tried to make it seem a bit plausible.

    Just to make sure I got this straight – a senior Provo in Ballymurphy employed a character who flits between the really ideologically aligned CIRA and the Sticks (!) to go and put himself out, and possibly risk jail, as a favour to someone who he probably despises.

    Try the sunday World with that one – you never know, they might take you on.

    Geddit?

  • THE NEWS is spot on with his assessment. The Provo was jailed for 12 years in the 1980s on explosives charges.
    The argument he had with Conor Weldon was over a broken car window.

  • Anna Dale

    The Devil
    “Is it because a certain office is closed today or is it because the story is TRUE and they haven’t been told what to post yet”

    I must admit the unusual silence from the SF’s internet wing on both this story and the councillor thread is all a bit eerie.
    Nothing on Balrog either.
    With the untimely demise of Daily Ireland, where am I going to read the *real* version about what happened?

  • Garibaldy

    GrassyNoel,

    The ‘Super-Sticks’ refers to the group calling itself the ORM. The IRSP were called the same thing by the Provos when they were formed. They are also known as the ‘Dick-Sticks’. The ORM has told its members to vote for PSF. Certain journalists withdrew their previous political allegiances at the same time the ORM was formed in 1996, so your joke is more apt than you think, but not the reasons you think.

  • barnshee

    The silence is classic SF tactics when there is real shitty stuff -put it in the too hard box and
    1 maybe it will go away
    2 people will forget about it anyway
    3 he probably deserved it

  • austin

    ‘ Certain journalists withdrew their previous political allegiances at the same time the ORM was formed ‘

    Keep peddling this myth Garibaldi and someone might believe it. The formation of the ORM was entirely irrelevant to those that remain OIRA/WP supporters within the media.

  • Garibaldy

    Austin,

    Refuse to believe evidence if you wish. I really am bored with trying to persuade people who aren’t open to reasoned argument, backed up with evidence.

  • from the SF’s internet wing on both this story and the councillor thread is all a bit eerie.

    Sinn Féin does not have an internet wing; I would suggest therapy for your paranoia

    Nothing on Balrog either.

    I have no information about it therefore I can’t blog on it.

  • austin

    ‘reasoned argument, backed up with evidence’?

    Austin-sorry must have missed this this the first time around-please be as comprehensive in the detail as possible.

    If you supply this, I will genuinely bow to your greater knowledge.

    look forward to hearing this.

    cheers

  • austin

    ’reasoned argument, backed up with evidence’

    Garibaldi

    it’s ‘put-up or shut-up’ time.

    Please provide the full evidence you referred to in order to support your assertion.

  • Brenda

    Aren’t we getting a little off topic? The point is, we have come so far along the road now does it matter who anybody votes for? What difference does it really make if you vote SF or SDLP? Does one or two defections matter? Wheres the difference really between the two parties?

    Bernard Fox is only the latest in a long line of traditionalist republicans to leave the PRM, they have either left because of a matter of principle or been shoved out. They’ve served their purpose and can now be disgarded. Off with the old and on with the new. It’s time for some more Catrionas.

  • The Devil

    ***********************************************
    Sinn Féin does not have an internet wing; I would suggest therapy for your paranoia
    ***********************************************

    YEAH YOUR RIGHT…. KEEP TAKING THE TABLETS

  • Garibaldy

    Austin,

    Did you look at the http://www.sudenham.blogspot.com link I put in the other thread? I’d say that is very clear.

    There were several articles around 1996 and 1997 in the SW, including one in the WHO column which came from a journalist on another paper (which one, do you think?), aimed at The WP. Guess who wrote the SW stories? Jim Cusack wrote at least one story in the Irish Times around the same time which gave the ORM line. Do you know who his co-author is? You can check all this out at the newspaper library if you could be bothered. The SW stuff wouldn’t take too long.

    I think you said yourself in another thread that the people under question had not for years been openly pro-WP, having been so in the past. Why become so silent all of a sudden (particularly when The WP needs publicity to rebuild politically), given that everybody knew their affiliations? They would fool nobody. The affiliations have changed is the reason why. If I remember right, one has discussed his political development into a liberal in a book. That’s easily available too.

    Why would an Observer journalist have been sent to the bar I referred to on the other thread if political affiliations had not changed? The patrons of the bar did not represent nationalist opinion. Why chose that one? What other reasons could there be? These things for such an important story aren’t done at random.

    This is all stuff easily available in the public domain. Other things are not, so I won’t state them here but people with an interest in socialist politics in Belfast are quite clear where the individuals in question stand.

  • Poor Devil, perhaps your paranoia is a safety blanket. It’s so much easier to think that those big bad shinners are plotting to overthrow the internet through Slugger.

    Pathetic!

  • not paranoid

    Maybe The Devil is really one of those Psychophants you were talking about the other day, eh lol

  • jackie

    Paragraph below taken from the Sunday Tribune****

    At the same time, Adams, McGuinness and Martin Ferris resigned their Army Council seats in an attempt to publicly distance Sinn Fein from the IRA. However, Adams and McGuinness continued to exercise power on the Army Council despite their formal departure. One republican said Fox had protested strongly about “a council within a council”. One source said Brian Keenan had visited Fox’s home to try to talk him out of resignation. The IRA had since taken Fox’s ‘staff car from him, much to the annoyance of some activists. However, another source said he wouldn’t be surprised if the internal row was resolvedibune:-
    This makes Adams, McGuinness and Ferris look like dictators which everybody knows they are. Little Hittlers.

  • austin

    Garibaldi,
    I appreciate the detail but the link didn’t open for me.
    Re. the rest of your narrative,it is entirely lacking in credible facts. I know very well (indeed since my schooldays)the co-author you refer to and believe me there is no change in the political views of this person. Nothing illegal there but does it impact upon his selection and slant of his articles?-of course it does.

    Separate to this person,I would love to tell you a story about Shuggie the Skirt and the Highlands and Islands Grants but discretion is the key

  • Do you believe everything you read in the papers jackie?

  • Garibaldy

    Austin,

    Just realised I mis-spelt the link. It’s

    http://www.suedenham.blogspot.com

    As for lacking credibility, go and look at the SW for the period under review. The WHO column is most interesting. You mightn’t see any change, but people in the political organisation involved certainly do. Hence why they do not speak to him, nor he to them. Again, why if his political loyalties were the same would a journalist have been sent to that bar? It wouldn’t happen. And writing columns in favour of Israel indicates a change in political direction. However he sounds to you, and whatever about hostility towards other political groups remaining unchanged, loyalities have changed.
    As for the other chap, a wealth of stories.

    On the issue of politics and newspaper stories, of course there is bias, and in every newspaper under the sun (no pun intended). What has not changed in these two is their hostility towards the Provos, but their positive sentiments towards others have long gone. You could always ask.

  • Fer Fecks Sake

    I’ve seen some spelling/grammatical howlers in my time but this from that blog above has to take the biscuit….

    “Some (not all )even aloud themselves to be registered as police informants…”

    Eh?

  • Yokel

    Any possibility that someone will put a gun to the head of the likes of Messr’s Adams & McGuinness?

    If any political organization is run by a very small group and the masses begin to fell neglected, that leadership will eventually get purged. May take months or years but it will happen.

  • Yokel

    feel….

  • herman goerings aunt malcolm

    I like to dress as Rhonda Paisley of a weekend.

  • Garibaldy

    Aunt Malcom,

    And rightly so.

  • Weapons of Crass Instruction

    Another big loss to SF, MLA & councillor Micheal Ferguson, one of the hardest working party members, died in his sleep at 6.00 this morning.

    He recently discovered that he had cancer.

  • Mayoman

    Headline says “defections”. Who did they defect to? Or did they just resign?