Open and Frank Discussion vs. Dubious Facts and Fanciful Fiction

One of Sinn Fein’s former director of elections, Tony Catney, weighs in today with a hard hitting letter to the Irish News. It challenges the standard Sinn Fein line regarding debate and dissension within the party by exposing the repressive actions used to police those who disagree.

Always tell the truth

Within the past few days it has been brought to my attention – and confirmed by a member of the Sinn Fein leadership – that senior members of Sinn Fein have been briefing sections of the Sinn Fein membership about me and my alleged activities.

The content of the briefing is to state as ‘fact’ that I am “a member of an armed organisation which poses a threat to people or things unnamed.”

The alleged armed organisation does not have a name, and as far as the briefing goes I am the only member.

The basis of this allegation is information supplied by what a member of the Sinn Fein leadership describes as “a tout”.

Whose tout, working for whom and to what end is not made clear. However, on the basis of this evidence the instruction being given to the membership of Sinn Fein is ‘that they should not trust me, have nothing to do with me and that they should not talk to me.’

Now, apart from feeling like Wolfie Smith from the TV series Citizen Smith, it concerns me that internal Sinn Fein briefings are being organised to specifically name me as ‘the’ member of an ‘armed organisation’ – this is little more that an exercise in felon setting.

The motivation behind such a process of felon setting can be better answered by the leadership of Sinn Fein.

However, in my opinion the motivation has more to do with attempting to denigrate my name and by extension my views (which are critical of the direction in which the Sinn Fein leadership is pushing the republican struggle) than “information” which has any basis in the real world.

Nevertheless, for the purposes of a public record and as a means of addressing those friends and comrades within the wider republican community allow me to state categorically that I am not a member, let alone ‘the’ member of any armed organisation.

I am an Irish republican, I was a member of the republican movement for 37 years and resigned last year as a result of the lack of internal debate on matters of policy and strategy and the manner in which membership were expected to blindly follow a leadership-led policy without question or dissent. Since then, I have met on a regular basis with other republicans of a similar mind, to discuss ways in which open and constructive debate can be generated within the wider republican community on matters such as, policing, water charges, the St Andrews proposals and the achievement of an Irish socialist republic.

I shall continue to meet with any and all other republicans to discuss such issues because I believe that not only do I have a right to do so, but I also feel I have a responsibility to do so.

I have no reservations about discussing my views and opinions with anyone who would care to listen and I am prepared to be proven wrong on the views I hold. But only through a process of discussion and debate and not as a consequence of ‘Chinese whispers’, intimidation or leadership lines handed down from on high.

The republican people of the six counties struggled long and hard to win the right to have a voice.

Why should I have to give mine up because of other republicans? Republicans should be allowed to decide on who they want to talk with and listen to on the basis of open and frank discussion, not as a result of shady meetings held in secret and informed by dubious facts and fanciful fiction.

To end, allow me a personal observation with friends and comrades in the republican family.

On two occasions in the past I have been subjected to the process of Diplock courts as a result of my involvement in republican politics and was incarcerated for 16 years as a consequence.

From this experience I have first-hand knowledge of how ‘facts’ can be constructed and manipulated. Such corrupt dealings coming from an oppressor such as the British establishment are in many ways an expected evil.

Coming from former comrades, who claim to offer a better way forward towards the liberation of an oppressed people, it is inexcusable.

To those friends and comrades within the republican movement struggling to create an Ireland of equals, I wish you well.

However, I fear that if you do not speak your mind we will achieve an Ireland where some republicans are more equal than others.

Tony (TC) Catney
Belfast republican

  • ingram

    TC,

    I applaud your bravery in making those points public.

    You must though take responsibility for being prepared to be led upto this point of no return, you surely must have realised years ago that this IRA/Sinn Fein leadership was corrupt? and infiltrated? No?

    The tell tale signs are of course an unwillingness to debate the issues you highlighted in free forum and to take into account the views of the membership? surely that is obvious? No? This is not an overnight development but as been coming for decades,this party and movement have always been leadership led since the Adams / McGuinness double act came to power.

    Sinn Fein is full of Neville Chamberlains! only this time Her Hitler ( HMG SOS) has provided numerous pieces of worthless papers and on occassions have waved those papers as if to show real progress.

    The question is who can be Sinn Fein`s Winston Churchill? and any clown who mentions Connor Murphy at this point deserves a good slap.

    Personally I dont think Sinn Fein can recover this position, the long term Agents have destroyed the will of the movement and we await the Mexican “EL DEGUELLO” the final moments of a once principled party.

    Ingram

  • Quaysider

    Tony Catney has a conviction for murder. So excuse me if I have trouble feeling sorry for him because he thinks other people are talking about him behind his back. Perhaps he should apologise to the people he left bereaved before embarking on a petty lecture about what the world owes him.

  • Ingram

    Quaysider,

    In my experience in NI, it is those WITHOUT convictions who are the real high grade criminals? take a look at the arrest sheet of Freddy ? Dennis? Martin? then take a look at the body bags?

    so let us avoid taking the high moral road here.

    TC is entitled to his opinion, it is a shame that his opinion is not welcome in a desert free of dissent.

    I do not in any way agree with his ( TC) views but I respect his right to air them and to debate the free from intimidation.

    Ingram

  • Mickhall

    This is an important letter for the simple reason that its author was at one time involved at the heart of the Adams machine, unless I am mistaken he was Adams point man in Brussels at the EU in the late 1990s, whether he was sent over there to remove a free thinker from the heart of things I do not know, but in truth nothing would surprise me these days.

    This seems to be yet another example of what happens to Shinners who refuse to toe the leadership line, no matter what level of the party they are at. There is a pattern here that cannot be denied, from Brendan Hughes through to Richard O’Rawe on to Tony Catney. All of whom were part of the SF inner corp at one time, yet when they refused to accept the great leaders line, they all became victims of smears etc.

    Many decent comrades who stay within SF refuse to criticize what they know to be wrong, justifing this by demanding of the dissidents that they offer an alternative. Now whilst the dissidents may not be able to offer a repeat performance of Gerry Adams recent pantomime when he wrote about his adventures next to the ‘sweet thames’, whilst betty windsor read her governments queens speech. The majority of ‘dissidents’ do demand openness and democratic accountability of the nationalist communities political representatives. Is that such a bad thing, it seems to me this is something well worth supporting and a firm footing from which to build on.

    Whether ‘ingram’ is correct and the good ship SF cannot be returned to its true course, I do not know, but what I do know, is keeping silent when you know all is not well, is not going to help bring it about, nor build a better type of society. After all a society in which open democratic debate is feared, is not worth a candle.

  • parcifal

    getting fed up with those who criticize SF, who for over 10 yrs have negotiated with the British Gov’t and Bertie Aherne,and some Unionists, painstakingly, with long suffering and endurance.

    The energy these men have put into the process along with Blair is marathonesque. And its crap to say anyone would have done any better, and its crap to say they’ve sold out us out.

    Power-sharing is a very important ending of conflict resolution, and the beginning of a new phase of acceptance of the consent principle where persuasion is the future, not force.

    The Dream is not over at all. Trust them.

    this from an unbiased, non party apparatchick Irish-brit.

  • bertie

    Quaysider

    I totally agree.

    “by exposing the repressive actions used to police those who disagree. ”

    SF/IRA and “repressive actions” surely not!

  • Provisional Sinn Féin and its respective affiliated IRA: sitting in Stormont and the Dáil, ostricising republicans who still believe (rightly or wrongly) in accepting nothing but a united Ireland, demonising those other republicans already in other organisations by making claims that they have threatened the Sinn Féin leadership, ending a centuries-long campaign of armed struggle against British occupation, about to accept an NI-based police force, decommissioning, etc., etc.

    Personally as a nationalist opposed to the use of violence and disenfranchisement I am glad that these changes have come to pass, but is it not obvious to all and sundry what has happened?

    Could there have been a more concerted effort to bring the mainstream republican movement into line with what the British Administration would have wanted for the easy maintenance of governance here, without losing total respectability? Clearly not.

    So the question is: who are the plants?

  • Ingram

    Quote”The Dream is not over at all. Trust them”

    Don`t you just luuuuuuuv Em. LOL

  • Ingram

    Quote”So the question is: who are the plants?

    If you have not worked that one out by now, I have a litter of pups for sale.LOL

  • For a glance at the future of Sinn Fein, just look at how New Labour ditched all of its socialist principles and has become a centre right, some might say extreme right wing party diguised as representing the interests of the working person.

    The quickest way to convert a socialist is too give them junkets, power and a vested interest in keeping the majority quiet.

    It is not exclusive to Sinn Fein, all socialist parties that want to achieve power need to ditch policies that may prevent capitalism exploiting the workforce.

    Labour were labelled the looney left before born again Tony took the helm, ditched all socialist policies, and became mainstream right leaning.

    Sinn Fein, like New Labour before them, spin the line, ” When we achieve powersharing, we will implement socialist policies”

    Those in the Labour party who were staunch socialists tried to spin the line, “We are on the bus, keep your heads down, when we get power, we will mug the driver”

    It did not happen and as we have all seen, New Labour have adopted policies that the Tories would not have even dared to to impose.

    The holiday homes, the cars, junkets and all are the real reason why Sinn Fein are leading their supporters down a blind alley.

    It was never the fear of armed action that drove the Brits, it was the fear of socialist policies.

    Don’t be too hard on the likes of Gerry, Martin, Ian and Peter, from the other side of the divide, we should all have known they are scorpions, it is just they have hidden their stings.

    Catholic or Protestant, equality means both sets of working classes will be shafted.

    The same critisisms could be made of the ANC who since they took power in South Africa have looked after the educated middle class Blacks, leaving the poor Soweto people still living in their shacks.

    It could be argued that one form of aparthid in South Africa, White dominated, has been replaced by another form of aparthid, Middle class educated Black aparthid.

    The one real thing that will demonstrate equality in NI will be the “Shitting on both the Catholic and Protestant working class equally.”

    The working class of NI have been told that their povety is a result of sectarianism, well, what will be the excuse when the asembley is up and running and the working classes are still poor?

  • Ingram-

    Well it was more rhetorical. We wouldn’t want to land Mick with a lawsuit 😉

  • Ingram

    El Matatdor,

    You have no fear of that one, Freddy, Martin and Gerry have all threatened to sue me, none have and none will.

    One of them even argued that owed him a duty of confidentiality. LOL

    Keep yoy head down though, choppy waters ahead.

    Ingram.

    PS. Pups have been sold, plenty of slow people wanting to believe the next one is a champion. LOL

  • It’s at times like these that all manner of vermin emerge from underneath their rocks!

    (not referring to person mentioned in post)

    Stoops and spooks, all seek to capatalise at the expense of Republicans.

    I am more than willing to let the electorate judge us in March.

    We will be making gains!

  • Chris-

    I don’t see whre anyone has sought to ‘capitalise’ out of republicans. What is your definition of ‘republican’ anyway- is it defined by method of operation? And who has the right to define it?

    I think the most telling point (apart from the fact that you ignore the issues raised regarding the shifting direction of provisional republicanism) is that your key gauge of success is performance in British-administered elections. Can you not see the irony in that? Is Catney wrong?

  • It’s a chance for Irish people in the 6 counties to deliver their verdict the only way they can.

    The SDLP recieved their message already, that message was that you no longer speak for the majority of Nationalists in the 6 counties.

    I have no doubt that an even larger number of the Nationalist community will endorse the Sinn Féin position come March

    Stoops are yesterdays men!

    With regards Republicanism,Irish Republicans don’t announce an era of “Post-Nationalist politics” and then pretend to be Republicans a month later after the people renounce them.

    They don’t take seats in the British Imperial parliament.

    They don’t lick the British jackboot and come back for seconds.

    “By their actions shall ye know them”

  • brendan,belfast

    “Times like these” Chirs? times like what?

    election time? time for SF to be castigating former colleagues who have the temerity to disagree with them?

    Times like these when SF is about to swallow another indigestible pill?

    times like what?

  • At times brendan when difficult decisions have to be made. When people need to see past the short term, past personalities and past egos.

    That sort of time!

  • Whilst being friendly with all and asunder is good, it is not good enough. Such an arrangement blurs relationships and political direction and is used as an excuse to fudge the real issue of all-Ireland political cooperation between parties. Being in touch with the people is the most vital political relationship that any political party can have. This is one of the fundamental weaknesses of the Shin Fein. Some of their politicians have a good on the ground creed of working with the people. The unfortunate part of this is that it is not enough. Some high ranking representatives are anything but, public representative’s, and are more concerned about making money and getting some form of self publicity. When pushed, Shin Fein, can talk the talk about unity of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter, but what they mean is – Unity on their terms, otherwise you can lump it. And of course, they have always had a short way of dealind with dissenters of any kind. As for always telling the truth?

  • I am certain Sinn Fein will go from strength to strength both South and North.

    If socialist policies are put on the back burner Sinn Fein will attract even more middle voters.

    However, if anyone thinks that a deal in the North will create some kind of utopian society that gives everyone a fair crack, they will have a rude awakening.

    Still, at least poor working class Republicans will be able to take comfort that their shite life, shite living conditions, and shite low paid jobs, if they even have a job, is not because they are Republicans or Catholic, it is because they are working class poor.

    Instead of blaming, and quite rightly so, the Brits for the persecution of working class Republicans, post deal, working class Republicans can blame their own representatives.

    On the Loyalist side, what has their loyalty to the Brit Crown given them?

    Working class Loyalists have still had shite living conditions, shite jobs, although better than their Republican counterparts, and a shite existence.

    Being loyal to a country, Britain, that in reality wants nothing to do with you, regards Loyalists as senile, backward, disliked, distant relatives, by a bastard colonial relationship, a real £1.5 billion a year stone in the shoe of Britain, a party where Loyalists are sincerely not wanted, the true Black Sheep of Britain.

    Then again that is just the thoughts of Tony Blair
    and the Brit govt, although a poll of the mainland English, Scots and Welsh might endorse this rhetoric.

    Like the oppressed of Soweto under White rule,now under Black rule, they still are oppressed, but do get to vote every five years.

  • Pat Taffe

    The Catney letter suggests that what is so often denied on this site is in fact true – there is a curbing of debate in SF. I don’t really understand why SF deny it. Martin just sounded unbelieveable on Any Questions when he denied it in response to a West Belfast woman who made the same point as Catney. It would be much easier for SF to say they curb dissent and punish dissenters in the interests of party unity. They admit to it in private.

  • dpef

    TC gave great service to the Republican movement. He left just as decommissioning became an issue. I’ve heard no rumours or allegations being raised against him other than those he raises himself. I sincerely hope he is not involved in armed struggle regardless of those he admittedly seeks out to associate with.

    As far as I’m aware he didn’t leave over doubts about water charges or any other issues, regardless of how he portrays it. I believe he left because one issue was not being addressed in the way he wanted – decommissioning and the role of the IRA (something I believe only IRA volunteers had or should have had a say in, not political activists)

    I respected his decision to disagree and leave. I doubt anyone has ever briefed against him and I’m pretty sure his concerns over direction have little to do with water charges.

    I’d also like to mention that this site has yet again allowed spurious and man playing allegations against Republicans to stand without even a tiny comment (from Ingram) while deleting all sorts of other stuff – that’s the norm here but it deserves commented on.

    Additionally, the credibility given to a person that left SF nearly two years ago on internal dissent compared to the downplaying of current dissent of active members of the DUP is also notable.

    I suggest this site operates with bias.

  • Pat Taffe

    dpef, do you think Catney made it up about the briefing against him?

  • Mickhall

    Chris,

    It is not a difficult decision when you do what the most powerful forces in the north want, the difficult choice is when you refuse to bend the knee.

    The language of Bush and Blair seems to have infected SF, Blair claims by going to war in Iraq he made a tough choice, when in reality the whole world knows he made the easiest choice of all by siding with the worlds only super power. He would have made a tough choice if he had like the Germans stayed out of the war.

    He claimed he was making the same tough choice when he did away with clause four, which far from being a tough choice, he was bending the knee to the most powerful force within the UK, the City of London and International Capital. To stand out against these powerful forces would have been a tough choice.

    Doing what the powerful want is never a tough choice, it is the easiest of all choices whether in politics or in our personal lives.

    Your leadership in recent years has made few really tough choices, when they decommissioned arms in the manner they did it was what the UK state wanted, when they take responsibility for the PSNI it will not only be what the UK State wants, but what the most reactionary political party in Ireland demands, Chris how is that making hard choices.

    SF are simply bowing to the most powerful forces and where is it getting you? Your Stormont Ministers to their eternal shame, went along with the privatization of public services whilst in office; and when doing so they argued they had made this tough choice so as to stay in government; only to find themselves dumped out of office by the British a short time later. SF could have led by example the fight against the Blairite privatization of public services within the UK and Ireland, instead they took the easiest choice which neither benefited SF nor its constituents. Thus not only was this not a tough decision, it was a stupid choice

    To stand out against the continuos demands of the UK State would be the tough choice, to be honest with your electorate would be the tough choice, to say no to the British and open a debate within the nationalist community about where the republican movement goes from here, would be the tough choice.

    I admire your loyalty to your party, but SF is reaching the stage when it will have nothing more to give to the UK State, and when that point is reached the British will return their support to the mainly middle class nationalist SDLP, who will suddenly find themselves with a healthy bank balance, etc, etc. [One only has to see how the UK state treats its former agents and informers who have outlasted their usefulness to understand this will happen]

    SF will then have to look to its core working class republican support base to survive this period; and if you continue as you are you will have antagonized them to such a degree they will tip you bullocks, “you turned on your own when you were on the up, so do not come to us now,” they may very well reply; and in my opinion, for what it is worth, that would be the worst of all options.

  • parcifal

    Art Hostage
    “Being loyal to a country, Britain, that in reality wants nothing to do with you, regards Loyalists as senile, backward, disliked, distant relatives, by a bastard colonial relationship, a real £1.5 billion a year stone in the shoe of Britain, a party where Loyalists are sincerely not wanted, the true Black Sheep of Britain.”

    That’s a great arguement to put to Unionists to vote for a united ireland; which might be the only way the working class on both sides will get a better deal, and not have their poverty blamed on sectarianism.

  • dpef

    Pat,

    I have heard no such briefings. Neither has any Republican I know.

    TC is the only person I’ve heard of aware of these briefings.

    I’d be surprised if they happened, I’d be more surprised if he was told about them.

    He may believe it. He may have picked something up wrong.

    I’ve only lost respect for him with this pretty irrational and surprisingly timely intervention.

    The main thing I know is that since TC left the party he became an irrelevant figure and this is the first time I or anyone else has heard of him in years. So of course I find it hard to believe anyone is talking about him.

    Though he may believe Republicans haven’t got over him, we did that the next day.

  • dpef

    Mick Hall,

    I’d like you to explain why the IRA shouldn’t have endorsed purely political methods. (you clearly have a problem)

    I’d like you to explain why SF shouldn’t try to achieve a locally accountable civil police service our communities can rely on. (you clearly have a problem)

    Or are you just asking us to do your fighting for you?

    Your British problems with the US aren’t our problems. We aren’t your proxies. Explain your problems with decommissioning and wanting to support a police service.

  • Aaron McDaid

    dpef said: I believe only IRA volunteers had or should have had a say in [decomissioning et cetera], not political activists

    Apparently TC was a volunteer. Does he not have a conviction?

  • GavBelfast

    We certainly live in interesting times.

    SDLP have been consistent for at least a generation: power-sharing, Dublin dimension, totality of relationships.

    SF …. have not.

    They have delivered us Papa Doc at the helm (if he wants it), just as the DUP have delivered us Martin McG at the Top Table if they want power, too.

    Will the electorate be impressed???? I predict apathy, as already implied by failures to register.

    PS. What’s this ‘Republican’ with a capital ‘R’ stuff? How very elitist.

  • Gav

    The voters have gave you the DUP and Sinn Féin, why would they be unimpressed when they themselves made that choice?

    It wasn’t the parties that made that choice but the people!

    This democracy lark still seems to elude you

    Republican with a capital R relates to genuine Irish Republicans, not stoops or partitionists!

  • roger

    “resigned last year as a result of the lack of internal debate on matters of policy and strategy”

    Its a bit of a misleading statement due to a personal dispute over a family member around the same time, within his locality.

    Personal or Political ???

  • time will tell

    Republican with a capital R relates to genuine Irish Republicans, not stoops or partitionists!
    Posted by Chris Gaskin on Dec 03, 2006 @ 01:14 AM

    wow so Sinn Fein are according to Chris Gaskin

    ****** republicans with a small r *********

  • time will tell

    Roger,

    A Shinner from derry was having sexual relations with a UDR man for years during “the war” and she was never harrassed beaten snubed or had the disgusting smears and whispers about her, indeed she was promoted within sinn fein.

    now was that personel or political????

    A leading provo from belfast sister was a tout for MI5 she was not shot but let off with immigration to Canada.

    now was that personel or political????

    Mackers had his house picketed by a motley collection of sinn fein drunks the local riff-raff and a well known sinn fein drug dealer.

    now was that personel or political?????

    a well known british agent within sinn fein lied to the McCrory family for years and years about the disappearance of their son

    now was that personel or political????

  • Mark McGregor

    I’ll use my real name to say:

    O’Toole’s and Mick Fealty will only let crap stay on this site if it is anti-SF crap.

    Man – balls. Lies.

  • time will tell

    mark,

    i sincerly hope that last stupid remark was not directed at either of my two posts,

    because you and i have discussed at least three of of the above FACTS mark not statements or beliefs but stone cold FACTS and we have spoken about them in person so don’t dare come all coy about them now.

  • Dualta

    Chris Gaskin said:

    [i]”Stoops are yesterdays men!”[/i]

    Chris, the stoops won hands down.

  • Pat Taffe

    Clearly, watching this debate the Catney letter has hurt. dpef, you only feed the view that the party can’t deal with dissent. Lighten up. A SF buddy who disagrees with Catney leaving and who supports the strategy makes it clear to me that the briefings have been going on. Is it linked to the leaders believing they are under threat? I don’t get briefed as I am just a voter and not in the party. He also pointed out to me that Catney is a big loss who is being missed. He also made the point that those most hostile to Catney will be those who never put in the time or work that Catney has. He says that the dissenters or the disaffected, whatever they call themselves, are not hated by their old comrades but by the new breed who never took part in the war. They won’t miss Catney because they were never with him when it really mattered. Rab Jackson is the same. Great guy with the party until he wrote a thought provoking letter to the Andersonstown News on the policing question. The old party hands seem easy with it but the ‘never fought the war’ lot ripped the back out of him. I had thought that with these new people coming in they would bring more tolerance. The opposite seems to be taking place. It seems to be that those who are of the age to have fought the war but didn’t are most vicious in their criticism of people like Catney and John Kelly. My children are in Sinn Fein but they are just out of their teens and they seem easy enough with dissent. They were never the age to have fought the war.

  • Pat Taffe

    There is a report in the Sunday Independent on further discord. Hardly the most reliable source for stories on republicanism it nevertheless has quotes from a Sinn Fein activist, Laurence O’Neill, who seems to have been put under some pressure from within the party. It claims he took part in the first hunger strike for political status in 1972. I hope he is not going to be lashed out at now as well. Darkie got it in the back when he disagreed. Being a hunger striker provides no immunity from the knives when disagreement is aired. Why does the party not just live with dissent and get on with the business at hand instead of being made to look foolish by its most ambitious or vicious members? Sinn Fein never looks bad as a result of O’Neill or Catney. What makes it look awful is the response to them when when they speak up.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    I must admit it is very gratifying to see the DUP and SF fragmenting before our eyes.

    Both have turned their backs on their core values……..

    DUP – NO SF/IRA in Government ..now partnership with SF in Goverment.

    SF/IRA – BRITS OUT and a United Ireland ..now partnership with the DUP in a BRIT Government and an acceptance of BRIT laws and policing.

    What has the last 30 odd years and 3000+ deaths been about….?

  • Mickhall

    dpef

    If you do not understand why the arms should not have been decommissioned under the terms set by the UK State, then it is not for me to explain to you. For you have become so demoralized and confused you have moved into your enemies camp, for only a defeated army allows its enemy to oversee the decommissioning of its arms.

    If you fail to understand that any police force, no matter in what country they exists, protects the interest of the State it serves, and who pays the salaries of the said police, then it is not for me to tell you, for you subconsciously have moved into the camp of your oppressors.

    I have absolutely no argument against SF continuing the struggle by political means alone, although as the north is still occupied, republicans have every right to continue with armed struggle if they consider it is a viable option. [myself I doubt it is]

    What I object to is confusing winning elections with political activity as a whole, for when the structure of the State-let is written against reunification [GFA], then SF can win all the elections in the north it likes, but it will as far as reunification is concerned not amount to a row of beans. Only real pressure from the ground up will bring about the aforementioned type of change, and what SF is doing is policing any type of protest that it believes may restricts its parliamentary growth. Whereas they should be combining parliamentary and all the other forms of political struggle.[please do not attempt to smear me with armed struggle here]

    Republicans should if they so wish be engaged in elections, among other things, to expose the state-let for the inadequate edifice that it is. Not attempt to make the wretched state-let run smother and especially not try and make its police more efficient at oppressing republicans who disagree with SF along with working class communities. For by doing SF gives the State-let a veneer of democratic accountability it does not deserve.

    [As an aside here, sections of the nationalist community and certain nationalist politicians welcomed the British army in 69 only for that army to turn on these communities with a vengeance. Do you really believe the PSNI will be any different, there equivalent in Brixton or Hackney are not for example, why should the north be any different, same police, same UK government.]

    As to your silly, but oh so revealing attempt to smear me with a British tag, please SF has its hand so deep in the British governments Exchequer that I would be careful who you attempt to smear with that tag, you could not even run a bloody newspaper without the British subsidizing it via adverts, or so your gallant republican leadership wined.

    If you are determined to take this debate into the gutter, lead on.

    Mark,

    Your a decent man, you only rage against mick fealty because you are extremely uncomfortable with what is occurring as many others within SF are. Instead of taking a swat at the messenger why not engage in open and democratic debate.

  • slug@aaronmcdaid.com

    Don’t let the SF lackeys change the subject. We should be talking about the allegations made by Catney. Even if I did/do believe the new SF line about Catney, the childish behaviour of some of their followers on this thread doesn’t impress me.

  • Aaron McDaid

    That last comment (No. 15) was by me. Something screwed up the name field.

  • abucs

    Chris,

    what would you say are SF’s policies (north or south) in creating wealth for the community ?

    This is a big issue across both juristictions.
    The North in order to catch up with the South and become less government dependant, and the South in order to further develop what they have and extend it to more of their citizens.

    Do you see SF having the current policies to address this issue or do you see them necessarily changing tack ? Or not giving it a high priority at all ?

    In the absence of addressing this issue politically, can you see them furthering their support north or south ?

  • Dualta

    Mick Hall said:

    [i]”republicans have every right to continue with armed struggle if they consider it is a viable option. [myself I doubt it is]”[/i]

    Mick how can you support their right to continue with political violence when you don’t think it will achieve anything of political benefit?

    Surely you should be telling them that they have no right to use violence when it is, at least, futile and, at worst, making Irish unity evermore difficult.

    It strikes me that there are several Republicans, outside of the PRM, who do not support the current armed campaigns, but who are on the periphery of the traditional Republican groups and who spend more time taking shots at Adams and co, rather than using their energies to persuade traditional Republicans to end pointless armed campaigns.

  • disaffected

    Well Done to Tony Catney for taking the decision to tackle the scurrilous rumours head on. TC was an invaluable asset to Sinn Fein – if it hadnt been for his quick mind and efforts in his Director of Elections role, the party would not have made some of the gains they had. Gerry Adams himself speaks of gains in elections at one of the partys Ardfheiseanna – ‘under the tutelage of Tony Catney..’
    These briefings have been happening for a while now – and have been taking place because Sinn Fein cannot handle the fact that many people are now feeling at odds with party line. To have to sink to these depths to try and quash opinion are unforgivable of TCs former comrades.
    And, to the poster who says Sinn Fein did not miss Tony Catney, you are talking clap trap. I know that when he resigned, the movement were extremely worried about how they were going to fight elections with the same tactical thinking that TC had.
    Perhaps the republican movement should start welcoming debate instead of using bully boy tactics to stop it – it only weakens their cause further. Or maybe, they are trying to move into a more middle class party era?
    I hope that people will see this letter for what it is, a frank letter and vehicle to set the record straight – it doesnt strike me as an attack on the party, more of a personal observation. No doubt though it was one letter the republican movement could have done without, and will probably result on more spinning of buncum by the Shinners.

  • sean

    TC is a man of sound character, credibility and integrity. Unfortunately there is now plenty of evidence around the whole country of this type of behaviour from Sinn Fein against life long republicans.

    I suppose its part of the process. Open discussion is fair play, voicing opinion is fair play, disagreeing is fair play but when many individuals are being ‘bad mouthed’ one has to ask what is it the current SF personnel fear. I say the current as before we never heard of quite a lot of them.

    If I told anyone not to talk to someone else I would be making the assumption that I can control him or her and certainly undermining their ability to think for themselves. I would suggest the receivers of such crap take a good look at the giver of such instruction. Ask yourself – why am I being told this?

    TC and the countless others throughout the country command a great deal of respect in republican circles.

    Hold on – maybe that’s it!!!!!!