“major domestic political difficulties within the republican movement in south Derry”

The Irish News has further details of the brief comments[subs req] from the former Sinn Féin councillor Oliver Hughes on the resignation from the party of himself and fellow councillor Patsy Groogan, highlighting the commitment of “all sides” to openness and transparency in local goverment…From today’s Irish News[subs]

Speaking yesterday Mr Hughes, a brother of hunger striker Francis Hughes, said neither he nor Mr Groogan were willing to make their problems public.

“Myself and councillor Groogan have left the party”, he said.

“We will still hold out seats on Magherafelt District Council and support the Sinn Féin group on the council whenever we see fit.”

“I would like to make the point that we do not have any disagreement with the leadership of the republican movement.

“Our reasons for resigning are the result of major domestic political difficulties within the republican movement in south Derry.

All sides have agreed that we would not debate our difficulties in public.

Whatever you say, say nothing?

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  • jim

    It has long been known that the two councillors have done little or nothing for the party in recent years. unfortunate as it may be for sf they are better off without them

  • Brenda

    How can they talk about openness and transparency in local government, and not tell the electorate in south Derry, who elected them their reasons for resigning the party they were a part of.

    Effectively, although they are not defecting to another party they have by resigning from the party become independent councillors.

    Here again we have SF and ex members of that party becoming involved once again in a secret pact not to talk and to keep their electorate in the dark. Not a very good start to an independent councillors career by keeping those who elected you in the dark. We expect it from SF they are famous for side deals. Seems like they are going to take their old habits with them.

    Not too much change then on the council!

  • Little Eva

    “It has long been known that the two councillors have done little or nothing for the party in recent years. unfortunate as it may be for sf they are better off without them.”

    And so the name blackening begins.

  • Garibaldy

    When was the last time you heard an elected PSF person refer to the republican movement?

  • Here again we have SF and ex members of that party becoming involved once again in a secret pact not to talk and to keep their electorate in the dark

    No, here we have committed life long Republicans who do not wish what ever problems they have within South Derry to be used by the enemies of Republicans.

    A measure of their Republicanism that they will not allow themselves to be used as pawns to attack the Republican movement!

  • Bushmills

    Aye right Gaskin. Barf!

  • Chris

    “A measure of their Republicanism that they will not allow themselves to be used as pawns to attack the Republican movement”

    ROTFL!!!

    Do you really believe that or has LPC mangled your judgement already.

    Pull yourself together, man! It’s only September!

  • Brenda

    Chris, I appreciate they are life long republicans. But their particular brand of republicanism has chosen to administer british rule in Ireland. The two councillors say they want to do it transparently and openly, then begin as you mean to go on and not enter into secret pacts with the party you have just resigned from.
    So lets see where do they stand. They are going to hold on to their council seats but resign from the party, but they will support the party as they see fit. And they don’t have any problems with the leadership of the republican movement, only major political differences with in the wider RM in south derry, that they prefer to keep their electorate in the dark about and the wider republican constituency will be told cast your vote for us and shut up since it’s none of your damn business.

    We’ll do ‘as we see fit’ and NOT what the republican constitutents of south derry voted for. We’re leaving the party you thought we were part off. So just go ahead and flip the constitutents the bird.

    Start as you mean to go on lads. The gruesome twosome are on a roll.

  • jim

    Little Eva,

    No name blackening needed, and there’s a third in the area who wil prob go unless he’s prepared to put the effort in i.e serving constituency, attending meetings (esp party ones)

  • mickhall

    Garıbaldy

    Very estute.

    All the best

  • Nic

    “… the enemies of Republicans.”

    Feckin’ hell. The old Stalinist element is pushing to the fore now, eh?

    Assuming that really was Comrade Gaskin, it demonstrates once again the lesson people are slowly learning:
    All you need is for the winds of democracy and law-n-order to blow a bit harder, and the newly-laid armani modern transparent liberal topsoil erodes away, revealing the totalitarian bedrock beneath

    You can take the man out of the provos, but….

  • THE NEWS

    The row is over MONEY….. or missing to be exact, how a very very substantial sum sent to Belfast went missing

  • darth rumsfeld

    did they lodge it in the Northern Bank HQ before Christmas 2004?

  • ciaran damery

    The resignation of Oliver Hughes and Patsy Groogan is indicative of the ongoing disatisfaction with mainstream republicanism. It isn’t about money, as some poor fool suggested. Oliver Hughes is the brother of IRA H-Block Martyr Francis, who fought the Brits, side by side with Dominic McGlinchey and inflicted many many enemy casualties during the most recent phase of armed struggle. Oliver has been a committed and devoted Irish Republican throughout the years. Unfortunately for the Republican Movement and Sinn Féin, the republican base is diminishing. Sure the party might appeal to middle class voters in the 26 counties and others in the occupied zone. But without its core support, mainstream republicanism is headed nowhere and will soon be just another Uncle Toms party akin to the Stoops and the three southern conservative parties. Meanwhile the Orange parties are free to exercise their veto over political progress and, assisted by the tiny but neo-fascist Pee Dee party in the south. So, it’s time for results and if mainstream republicans cannot deliver, the broad republican family need to review the situation. The proposed review should include so called “dissidents”. For too long we have listened to Sinn Féin tell us to have confidence in their project and they (SF) frequently condemn ‘dissidents’. In fact, Martin McGuinness even went so far as to advise those Volunteers allegedly involved in the fracas with leading dissident Republican Bobby Towhill (sp?), (i.e. IRA Volunteers) to turn themselves in to SS/RUC. Is it any wonder that many of us are begining to have second thoughts about this GFA thing and the current attitude toward Unionists and British occupiers? Nothing has changed fundamentally in occupied Ireland since the GFA was agreed upon. Nothing has changed since the IRA’s 1994 ceasefire and the Army’s destruction of its weapons. What good will a few TDs and MPs do? We want our country back. If Adams et al cannot show tangible evidence indicating positive movement toward reunification, then its time to quit this charade and adopt another more traditional approach to the occupation.

  • unfair exchange

    “adopt another more traditional approach to the occupation.”.

    But Ciaran there is no way that will work. Not a chance.

    I am content, not happy, but content, to see where the current SF project leads to. If it has been a mistake, fine they ballsed up and its aregroup and restrategize by those who won’t be tainted by failure.

    After all the struggle for self determination is going on for hundreds of years, another 2 or 3 to see what happens won’t make a difference.

    Ps I live more in hope than confidence at the mo!!

  • ciaran damery

    ‘Unfair Exchange’ – Please bear in mind that Sinn Féin refer to opponents who are also republicans as “dissidents”. They dismiss these “dissidents” out of hand. When “dissident” POWs are maltreated we do not hear calls for political status from Sinn Féin. Why not? Afterall those republicans who are currently incarcerated were pursuing a political motive, just like Bobby Sands.

    SF dismiss the opinions of other republicans rather than engaging them in talks. Why talk to Paisleyite fascists and not to fellow republicans who disagree with the peace process? Why all the talk about potential SF and SS/RUC collaboration, whilst RSF and 32 Co. Sov. Movement are ignored by Mainstream republicanism?

    The fear is that SF is well on the way to becoming just another run-of-the-mill party. If so, it will quickly lose grassroots support. If Direct Rule continues, some people are going to get itchy feet. Historically, when people are denied a democratic process at the whim of a colonizer, they resort to violence. History will repeat itself ad infinitum, until Ireland is reunified.

  • ciaran damery

    “when people are denied a democratic process at the whim of a colonizer, they resort to violence. History will repeat itself ad infinitum, until Ireland is reunified.”

    Yet you cast “fascist” at others?

    BTW surely it’s PSSNI?

  • unfair exchange

    I agree Ciaran.

    But I am not sure why the focus on what (P)SF call the (other) SFs? The RSF call the PSF sell outs, who call the CSM dissidents, who call soemone else stoops …….and so on and so on.

    I despise this sort of negative self defeating crap. It serves no purpose.

    I am far from convinced that the GFA will lead to a path to unity, and would argue that it inconcievable that armed struggle could and to be frank I don’t/haven’t seen anything else evolving from the broad republican politic to sway me to support any other stratdgy.

    I think the GFA has achived some benefits ot nationlists, the real danger I see with the GFA and the PP, is that it beds down the status quo so to the extent that the nationalist electorate becoming increasingly comfortable, middle class and conservative – ie they become unionists!

    Anyway the next couple of months will give strong indication of where its going.

  • THE NEWS

    ciaran,

    212,500 pounds went missing and was used (alledge) to purchase a house for a leadership person who had been spying on other SF members in south derry, no doubt Mr Hughes was miffed as he considers this to have been his job which he done for years with a zeal seldom seen outside of a clonard monastry.
    Mr hughes is no republican, he was only related to one, and has disgraced his memory everyday since.

  • Bushmills

    Am I the only one who finds ciaran’s contribution utterly depressing? Tel us Ciaran, what age are you? Did you live through The Trubles?

    If you did, then there’s no way on G-d’s Green Earth that you would want to go back there.

    Cue Ciaran denouncing me, and anyone else who disagrees with him and his Ruari O’Braidaigh philisophy as a fascist/imperialist/west brit/Uncle Tom.

  • Bushmills

    “History will repeat itself ad infinitum, until Ireland is reunified”

    Surely if history repeats itself ad infinitum, republicans will kill people and Ireland will remain partitioned. Oh by the way, maybe Ciaran can tell us if he thinks the Omagh bomb was justified – he being so keen to see the SF/IRA leadership embrace the dissidents.

    No it won’t do, it won’t do at all – he must be a sock puppet from Connolly House trying to warn us Unionists of the “internal pressure” Gerry and the boys are under. I find that a more logical explanation for the views he expresses than taking them at face value – so repugnant and morally offensive are they.

  • ciaran damery

    ‘Unfair Echange’ I wish I could share yer optimism and hope that you’re right.

    As to those who took issue with my comment about the tendency of history to repeat itself? Read yer history books and tell me I’m wrong or else come up with a dacent argument.

    Finally, the ultimate goal of all republicans is to ensure that the horrors of war, Orangism and occupation end for ever. That noble and inevitable denuoument of the centuries old conflict, is certainly reunification. It’s only a question of when and how best to pursue the goal at any given point and time, in history.

  • ciaran damery

    Oh! ‘Bushmills’, to compare me to Ruari O’Braidaigh is an honour I do not deserve. In fact very few Irish Republicans have devoted their entire lives to such a noble cause. All the more so given Mr. O’Braidigh pivotal role in the 58-’62 border campaign and his election as a TD in 1957. O’Braidigh’s heroic, steadfast stand for the implementation of nothing what the signatories of 1916’s rising demanded. Both O’Braidigh and his family have suffered dearly for his role. He is a man of integrity who never sought the limelight but followed his heart. He may have little support now, but many on both sides have demonized the man for decades. Now that’s a disgrace. Never spent much time with him, but I can remembre in vivid detail meeting him in Bundoran when he came to visit my elder family, as we vacationed in the beautiful Bundoran and Beleek area. His aura and standing in Irish politics at the time, ensured that I never forgot the feeling or the emotion and passion he evoked.

  • DK

    Cairan,

    I think if you look at wider history, you will see that it is one of extreme political movements being eroded. Ruari O’Braidaigh is on the scrap heap of history along with Lenin and Hitler. History does not repeat itself, it advances. If it repeated itself, we’d all still be building pyramids for our god-kings.

    Ruari O’Braidaigh’s only hope is for some sort of oppression to come along that he can champion. Unfortunately, the best “oppression” today is a few localised orange marches and largely disinterested British & Irish governements trying to get the local parties to govern themselves. Meanwhile, the border is becoming less important as the EU slowly but surely integrates.

  • Bushmills

    Ciaran

    Was the Omagh bomb a legitimate act? You didn’t answer the question.

    BTW, Ciaran a per your instruction to “read yer history books”. I’ve read plenty of history, given that I hold a degree in it. Unfortunately your history book was probably the “Penguin Provo History of Ireland since 1180”, edited by R. O’ Braidaigh.

  • darth rumsfeld

    history does indeed repeat itself Ciaran

    republicans 0 Unionism 3

    -1920, 1950, and the recent failed attempt to bomb us into a United Ireland

    If you really intend to inflict another campaign of murder on the entire population of Northern Ireland at least you should know the outcome will be the same. I suppose all the suffering will be written off as “inevitable outcome of the conflict” and consciences salved with a few “ends justifies the means” arguments. You know, the way people like O’Bradaigh get hero-worshipped by the morally underdevelopped

  • Levitas

    “I can remembre in vivid detail meeting him in Bundoran when he came to visit my elder family, as we vacationed in the beautiful Bundoran and Beleek area. His aura and standing in Irish politics at the time, ensured that I never forgot the feeling or the emotion and passion he evoked..” ciaran damery

    Ciaran’s memories of meeting Ruari Irrelevant O’Bradaigh are touching- but also suggest he has a huge appetite for sentimental and romantic drivel-perhaps this explains his current attachment to RSF style rejectionism which is largely fuelled by the the same heady mix of romanticism and resolute irrelevance. Its easy to be a die-hard when no one cares what youb think anyway-since you represent no one except your own elite band of wide eyed purists.