Decisions, decisions.. Redux

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.. Adds The RTÉ report has updated since I noted it. No decision tonight. They’ll try to decide again after Christmas… More Tommie Gorman on RTÉ’s Nine News[RealPlayer video] referred to a meeting in Dundalk tonight involving “different shades of republicans”… [not just those elected representatives then? – Ed]


  • seabhac siulach

    I think we can conclude from the delay in calling an Ard Fheis, after their meetings yesterday and today, that the Ard Comhairle is riven and cannot make it to the magic 66.6% figure. Any further delays in calling the Ard Fheis will merely confirm this…
    Will we be hearing news shortly, in the New Year, on the ‘split’?

    It is curious, though, if this is the case, why the Provos would call the media’s attention to these meetings, if they were not confident of actually calling a special Ard Fheis. It smacks of poor public relations or is there some benefit in focussing attention on their musings now…perhaps an attempt to show the Unionists and two govts. how earnestly they are seeking an agreement…puzzling…

  • Henry94

    It would be better to have no deal than a split in Sinn Fein. If it can’t be done then it can’t be done. But the objectives nationalists have for policing can best be achieved by engagement in my view.

  • George

    if it looks like a split in SF rather than an immediate agreement on policing I wouldn’t be surprised if they magically reach a deal that is acceptable to Blair and Ahern but which is unacceptable to the DUP.

  • jc

    seabhac just demonstrates his naivety or dishonesty with a posting like that suggesting that sinn fein operates democratically like ‘normal’ parties – nothing happens in that party at any level without the express approval of the big lad; you only get on to the ard-comhairle in the first place if you’re adams-friendly and if you show any signs of dissent you won’t last long – the big lad wants this deal and it will be done no matter what the majority or 66.6% of the leadership thinks – a more credible explanation for the hiatus over christmas is that someone needs a little more time to put the last touches to the rigging of the ard-fheis that will follow; that’s all – as the big lad would say himself: sine!

  • “put the last touches to the rigging of the ard-fheis”

    No truer words. This “special Ard Fheis” like the special one in 86 and like the special “Army Convention” in 97 will be rigged to suit the Adams camp.

  • gerry

    I’d put my money on jc’s post.

  • Pete Baker

    gerry et al

    I’m not convinced that Gerry A can dictate in the manner you suggest.

  • jc

    peter baker – so which cave in afghanistan have you been living in for the last 20 years?

  • Pete Baker


    Don’t confuse manipulation of events with absolute control.

  • Henry94

    From The Sunday Times

    PRESIDENT Mary McAleese has disclosed that members of her extended family recently joined the PSNI.
    In an RTE radio interview to be broadcast this morning, she reveals that her relatives play on the police force’s Gaelic football team.

    Asked to comment on the upcoming soccer and rugby internationals in Dublin’s Croke Park, McAleese compliments the GAA on making rule changes that aided reconciliation between Northern Ireland and the republic.

    “We have seen members of the PSNI Gaelic football team on which I have members of my own family — members of my own clan are members of that team — coming down and playing with members of the Garda Siochana,” she said.

  • Nevin

    Perhaps the Ard Fheis can’t be held because the ‘legitimate government’, the Sinner Army Council, is riven and so the Ard Fheis can’t be authorised?

  • roger de buirce

    The Ard Fheis is not being held in 2006 because they dont have TV coverage from rte until 2007.

    Gerry cant convince the hard men from armagh. Martin cant swing tyrone. blah blah blah.

    we’ve heard it all before and we’re so bored

  • Henry94


    Even if a decision was made today there is no way an Ard Fheis could be held in 2006 anyway. The is a key moment in Irish history and it need not be rushed.

  • roger de buirce


    obviously it could not be held in 2006 now! the decision could have been taken a month ago no prob. The stall is to keep SF in the media over xmas.

  • lib2016

    The deal has already been done but there are far too many ‘spoilers’ about for anything to be made public. It would only give opponents time to rally – good grief, they might even come up with a plausible alternative.

    McCrea and Dodds are already trying to erect further obstacles and though the republican dissidents are fewer they also have to be considered.

    Allister and friends don’t have the bottle or numbers to take on the Doc which is a pity – it would have made my Christmas to see them selfdestruct.

  • Hmmm, El Paso, Dundalk !!

    I wonder what input General Thomas Slab Murphy has had recently?

    Especially as Gerry Adams,and co have been guilty of “sitting on their hands” whilst the sectarian prosecution of General Thomas Slab Murphy continues.

    Lets never forget without the support of the Murphy family there would never have been any peace process.

    Jonathon Powell knew this early on, that is why the South Armagh Brigade were encouraged to smuggle, rather that the devil finding work for idle hands.

    The classic Jonathon Powell quote:

    “We (Brit govt) would rather, if confronted by an IRA soldier, he pull out a carton of smuggled cigs from his holdall, than a AK47”

    When the music finally stops, the least the Irish Republican movement can offer is a “Chair” for the
    man who is undoubtedly the bedrock of modern Irish Republicanism, General Thomas Slab Murphy.



    “seabhac just demonstrates his naivety or dishonesty with a posting like that…”

    A bit of both, maybe…with perhaps more of the latter than the former…

    I think that perhaps you misunderstand the depth of feeling relating to policing in that party…to my mind, the debate on policing is akin to that which took place over the oath of allegiance/partition in the treaty debates of the 1920s. It is primarily a debate over the continuation of revolutionary politics as opposed to reformist politics (the Michael Collin’s steps to the republic approach, which was shown to be false, BTW). Adam’s clearly wants to turn Provo Sinn Fein into a reformist party, little different from Fianna Fail or other formerly ‘slightly constitutional’ parties. To take responsibility for the police and British justice is a final step, beyond which lies administering British law, justice ,etc. in a partitionist assembly. A short step from there to taking seats in Westminster, perhaps…
    As you say, Adams has a lot of control in that party (too much?), but even the worms must turn eventually when faced with a decision as big as this one. It is a surprise that it has taken this long for the ‘truth’ to sink in among many of the members of that party…slow learners indeed…

    As usual, as in 1986, 1997 Adams policy will be in stuffing the Ard Fheis with his followers and keeping any split to smallish proportions.

    My own feeling is that the big ideological decisions (regarding partition, etc.) were taken at the time the Provos agreed to take seats in partitionist assemblies (1986?)…all the rest is window dressing, and in the case of the police, the final logical step for the Provos in institutionalising partition, that began with the acceptance that taking seats in Stormont was somehow complementary to their alleged Republicanism (breaking the link with England and all that). A bit hard to do that while accepting salaries from England, I would think.

  • parcifal

    seabhac I think you’ve put your finger on it:
    revolutionary or reformining.
    Change from without ( War )has been tried and failed; its therefore only natural to try change from within ( politics ) which, in this case means supporting the police.
    Its a mental hurdle to overcome, and I think GA is trying to get as much as he can from HMG, before he makes the speech of his lifetime; that we here are second guessing.

  • Henry94

    The problem in the past has always been that those who opted for the constitutional road became obsessed with southern politics and more or less forgot about the north.

    By building a 32 county party Sinn Fein is offering us the prospect of a genuine nationwide political movement. We have to see where it takes us.

  • gerry

    Henry why did you post about McAleese’s relatives joining the PSNI? Do you think because her family did it, then nationalists/republicans should do it? Do you think she is saying this to help SF with the policing issue?
    It would seem as other posters have suggested the next logical step for Sf, once they endorse policing, then call for nationalists/republicans to join, then westminister.
    If this is the case, this does not only copperfasten partition, but solidifies it more strongly than Collins ever could. Would you not agree?

  • lib2016

    “….then Westminster….”

    Even the SDLP don’t take Westminster seriously any more, and haven’t done so for years. Our future has been decided in Brussels and Washington and London will do what it is told.

    What is going on now is the culmination of British moves to bring unionism to heel so that they have a local administration to hand over to. It is in the interest of everybody here to co-operate in moves towards setting up such an administration.