Adams’ Rubicon

Rumours of the Sinn Fein leadership bottling it and backtracking on policing are abound. How true they are, we won’t know until later. But a sense of panic is in the air for sure. This is a moment that was always going to come for Sinn Fein; to do the business or get off the pot. The question is, how prepared for it are they? Did they plan for managing this day of reckoning, or did they get so lulled by the easy ride they have had up to now, that they thought it wouldn’t actually happen?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘Rumours of the Sinn Fein leadership bottling it and backtracking on policing are abound.’

    Where are these rumours comng from? I have seen no reports of any such rumours, link to any substantive stories if you can.

    ‘But a sense of panic is in the air for sure.’

    Where is the evidence to back up this claim of panic? Again other than the wishful thinking of the thread writer no such evidence exists.

    I could go on and rip the thread to part line by line such is the dishonesty contained within. For the record there are enough public postions, committments out there to deal with in an honest and rorthright fashion. This thread is the type of dishonest and trivial pap that makes not one genuine contribution to the debate.

  • Dualta

    Barney Rowan’s right in his assessment that to pull back now from the ard fheis would be a ‘huge own goal’.

    SF have got to bite the bullet on this one. They cannot give the DUP the power to destroy them and by insisting that the DUP must be perfectly clear in there intention to follow through with the establishment of the executive etc, they are doing just that.

    They should play over the heads of the DUP. If they deliver the goods for the Irish and British governments, the DUP will be seriously under the cosh. Their vote will hold up irrespective of what challenges are made from anti-PSNI Republicans.

    If they do that then devolution will come in due course.

  • ingram

    The plight of Sinn Fein is encapsulated in the panic clearly evident in Pats post.That is very clear.


    On numerous threads you keep avoiding the invite from myself to explain and expand the current Sinn Fein position on:

    A. MI5 involvement in Republican policing.

    B. The OTR issue . I am very interested in your point made last week about them not being classed as scheduled offenders and would not be required to be released upon licence etc. In other words , why are they different than Ken Barrett?

    Thank You.


  • parcifal

    I’m not sure if its playing by the rules to flood the threads with your own personal requests for information.

    It distracts from the title which is:
    Adams Rubicon.
    and is a guaranteed pisser for the rest of us.

    perhaps you’d be better to call the SF office directly; or get into a personal email exchange with pat mclarnon.

    on the plus side, at least you <b>speak from your heart and not from the script

  • gerry

    You can smell the panic in the air. Pat as regards rusty linking you to stories where have you been for the past week? The shinners even tried to create a panic in the media to cover their own internal problems. This is sooo good to watch, and they won’t be able to drag this one out, it’s move by tuesday or the whole timetable is under threat. I’ll wager anyone if SF call the AF under these circumstances and the motion is passed, there will be others who will stand against them on a republican ticket. Call this AF and the shinners could get a slap at the polling booths from their own heart lands.

  • ingram


    Neither is it helpful to have Shinners come on this board and not answer reasonable questions that have been posed over a number of days.

    Sinn Fein are avoiding the issues at every turn. Just look at pats threat at the start of this thread to rip Rustys points to threads?

    I only wish he would engage in the substance and not make fleeting visits and then avoid any points raised in regards to their original post.

    lets see if he once more refuses to debate the issues, especially IRA OTR`s.


    The radio interview was excellent. Take a look mate.

    Ding Ding


  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Evidence anyone to back up the substance of this thread?

  • ingram


    Sinn Fein`s panic in the face of losing a boat load of MLA`s and your post featured above! Oh and then your continued reluctance to explain fully why you think IRA OTR`s are different and not subject to the GFA?

    very simple mate. Listen to the radio waves and national TV and take a look at my blogsite with Sinn Fein offices daubed with paint! Sinn Fein “PSNI” station.

    very simple really and your attempts to deflect that message on this board are clear example of that panic.

    Have a nice day.

    Off to lunch now.



  • Pat Mc Larnon


    ‘Sinn Fein`s panic in the face of losing a boat load of MLA`s’

    I thought the argument had been that SF had gotten rid of some of these people. Try and be consistent.

    ‘and your post featured above’

    Querying the evidence for starting a thread is a sign of panic?

    ‘Oh and then your continued reluctance to explain fully why you think IRA OTR`s are different and not subject to the GFA?’

    Explained in detail even for you, also the OTRs have nothing to do with the policing debate.

    ‘very simple mate. Listen to the radio waves and national TV and take a look at my blogsite with Sinn Fein offices daubed with paint! Sinn Fein “PSNI” station.’

    I have, that is why I am querying the evidence for this thrread. Wow graffiti is now cenrtral to your argument.

    ‘very simple really and your attempts to deflect that message on this board are clear example of that panic.

    There are dozens of threads on this topic, attempting to deflect anything is therefore pointless.

    You are perhaps one of the easiest to play on this site.

  • lib2016

    There’s an election coming up in the South and the DUP want to play ‘silly buggers’ with the Agreement. Sinn Fein have made a gentle request (too gentle some of us may feel!) for clarification.

    The fact that the only unionist powerstructure left standing, the DUP is unable to provide that clarification with a unified voice says all that need to be said.

    Trimble couldn’t or wouldn’t deliver his share of the deal. The only question left is can Paisley do any better or has unionism fragmented so badly that there is no-one left to speak for it?

  • J_K

    It is difficult to understand exatly what point this ingram fellow is making Рclearly for Sinn F̩in this policing move is very difficult and they admit it openly.

    Not quite sure what all this about boat loads of Sinners jumping ship is about other than wishful thinking – as far as I can tell only Ms Dougan in Mid Ulster has taken a principled position on policing(I don’t think that Ms Stanton or Mr Reilly are in the same position – as for Mr Hyland I suspect that had he been selected by his own local organistaion that he would be following the leadership position)

    I think that it is important that this is debated out fully because the consequences of having republicans fully engaged with policing is huge – and I bet they do a damm sight better than the unionists and SDLP who have become toothless cheer leaders – because clearly there are huge weaknesses and deficiencies with basic policing procedure here that have been masked by the conflict.

    I don’t know much abnout this OTR debate – but is it a big an issues as enimies of Sinn Féin make out?

    There are a lot of names in the Sunday media about potential anti-PSNI candidates but I don’t know if an anti-abortionist religious fundamentalist; a money orientated opportunist; a quite woman; will have much impact although young McGlinchy might have some pedigree.

  • parcifal

    I will when I’ve time thanks, but look mate email peteb with this MI5/OTR things and ask him to do a thread on it, then you can argue to your hearts content. I
    In my experience peteb accedes , but only if its something that supports his political views..
    ( which we have to guess and work out,
    not that its that hard LOL )
    I’d say 100% that the issue of MI5/OTR if it causes problems for SF you’ll get bingo.
    Go for it.
    Am off for a session with the Grand Master.. be back late tomorrow. Now be good 😉

    SF call the feckin’ Ard Fheis, put the ball back to the DUP, and we’ll then see how united they are !!!

  • Henry94

    I agree that Sinn Fein should go ahead with the Ard Fheis. They should pass a motion offering to join the Police Board and to urge public support for policing subject to the restoration of devolution and an agreement to devolve policing under an agreed time-frame. The party should look for a mandate for that position in the election.

    Let those with an alternative position put it forward and let’s have the people’s verdict.

    The scenario that faces us is not one that inspires optimism. No unionist poster let alone political figure has demurred from the Campbell position. That is a cause for concern but hardly a cause for panic. It confirms what many have long suspected about the ability of unionists to deliver on power-sharing.

    One way or the other we are approaching endgame for the process.

  • Crataegus

    SF have no alternative but to move on this. Because of the way they have handled this they will have internal discontent and they will have some standing against them. Their vote will suffer minor reduction and some seats they thought they would win won’t happen, but do they really need the additional seats this time round?

    The alternative is do nothing, prevaricate and waffle. If they do that they will be castrated in the election coming up in the south. Also the DUP will rub their noses in it at every turn if they are stupid, if they are wise they will take the statesman like position and simply say we gave them the opportunity what now. SF will be seen as incapable of political delivery and possibly an impediment to a united Ireland and they will see the SDLP start to regain position on the centre and the dissidents snapping at them on the fringes.

    The whole affair seems to have been badly handled. It is nearly always better to keep diverging views on board and present a broad church. Force a split by being too clever and manipulating and manoeuvring internally and whilst you may win each individual battle in the end you weaken yourself. So much in politics is dependent on volunteers and if you shaft a lot of your activists, who have put in years of unpaid work, for short term convenience you’re a fool to think that it won’t have a cost. The bitterness will last for decades.

    The problem SF finds itself in is of its own making not least because of previous painful prevarication. They screwed Trimble, shafted the SDLP and extracted all good will plus some and now no one believes a word they say, any wonder? This process is now going to be an exercise in pain, and it didn’t have to be like this.

    Jump or decline, that is the option, so just get on with it and stop wasting any more of our time.

  • Yokel


    The problem with such a motion is that its a ‘subject to’. Given Tony’s & Hain’s statements the idea is that the republican movement (as apparently represented by SF) show they are supporting the police & law courts on the ground. A ‘subject to’ as you suggest thus falls not just short but against Tony’s own statement.

    That Tony’s statement came as a bit of an unpleasant surprise to SF is perfectly understandable. When I read it and compared it to the posts by some on here suggesting that this was all part of the plan agreed with SF and really Tony was back to talk to the DUP I just couldnt see it at all. In fact, it looked much harder, much more concrete and much less compromising to SF than anything I’ve heard from Tony Blair.

    Somewhere in London & Castle Buildings the decision was made to attempt to lay down the law and SF (and their supporters if some of the posts on here on Friday were anything to go by) were clearly not expecting it.

    The British government keep emphasizing this sequencing in a way that they didnt so explicitly do in the immediate aftermath of the ST AA. I’m not wholly convinced at all that the problem for SF is Paisley as claimed, it’s the UK Government whos the main issue now.

    I would guess that such a ‘subject to’ statement is on the books as an option but it isn’t going to go down well in London and Tony can potentially take the hump or just shrug his shoulders and leave it to Brown. Whatever way it happens there will still be no elections for SF to try to grow their position in the Assembly and the potential split making decision before en election will still be required. The problem is that Brown’s regime will simply stick to the original line which is proof on the ground first.

    Thus SF are possibly still left with the same position but just a few further months down the line.

    Malachi O’Doherty’s post elsewhere on another thread is very ,uch along the lines of somethinG I’ve been ranting on about for some time. I think the DUP plan was to do a deal but to do it with Brown and give him this great early success. SF I would suspect have calculated that Tony represented their best cahnce to get the most out of. Suddenly there appears nothing much helpful coming from him.

    Of course, much can happen in a few days but it is going to require Tony to do a volte face on his statement on Friday. It isn’t in the UK government’s long term interest to help SF right now. All they have is Tony’s desire for a legacy but that seems to be running out of tarmac as well so someone will have to do some fast thinking.

    Meanwhile the DUP wheel Jeffrey out on RTE with apparently warm but but not much else words..

  • ingram


    Ok so we have established two things today.

    1. MI5 has no role in policing Republicans. You have been assured of that along wiith Chris Gaskin. Ok that is clear.

    2. Your quote “also the OTRs have nothing to do with the policing debate”.

    That is another hurdle overcome. So in the negotiations underway now Sinn Fein are not negotiating a return of the OTR`s outside of the GFA . That is clear also. Thank You

    Now that we have you on record we can archive the quotes for a rainy day. LOL

    Ding Ding


  • Pat Mc Larnon


    as long as you archive correctly and with a degree of honesty then archive what you like.


  • Comrade Stalin

    Henry94’s comments are, as usual, pragmatic.

    The thing about the Campbell comments is that everyone knows they are not realistic; I don’t think the DUP would get away with actually insisting on them as conditions, they are far beyond anything agreed at St Andrews.

  • ingram

    I have archived you response as noted above.

    That is accurate.Thank You


  • starbuck

    ENDGAME ? Jaysus if i see this word one more time

    this game won’t be over for decades

    can we add this to the banned list please Ed ?

  • Nationalist

    Martin, I think you know rightly that the negoiations on the whole deal did include the OTR issue and that of MI5.

    It would simplyt be total folly to enter Stormont on 26th March having agreed to support the police and legal system without being able to bring them to proper account and also have secured a deal for the OTRs and an understanding of what MI5 will be up to.

    I am sure you know better than most the role the British security services are undertaking throughout Ireland and Britian in relation to watching all of us.

    Can you imagine the scenario in Stormont on 26 March 5 mins after they all take their oath of office. The DUP will simply ask if the location of all those classified as OTRs has been made available to the PSNI by Sinn Fein in line with supporting the PSNI in their investigations.

    We have already seen the start of the lists of what Sinn Fein must provide to the PSNI by Gregory Campbell i.e. lists of names of fuel smugglers, DVDs Fags etc. evidence for the conviction of someone for the McCartney killing etc. etc.

    The DUP would then use the OTRs issue or lack of Sinn Fein information on their whereabouts as a reason to request that they be removed from office or simply to colapse the Assembly.

    One would have to be very stupid not to have this issue already cleared up with the British – wouldn’t you agree?

  • fuiseog

    Pat Mc Larnon

    Signs of panic? This Saturday night, murder in the swilly at the centre of which was a wealthy belfast provo.

    The hostile exchanges saw an ex-prisoner humiliated and publicly challenged over policing by a section of the crowd, former comrades and others who were the tail end of a wake of a well know republican in the area.

    This kind of thing until recently has been totally unheard of in such bars, the winds of change indeed …

    Republicans, male and female with years of service openly at each others throats over sellouts and self interest.

    Wont be long now !!!


  • Dualta

    Crataegus said:

    [i]The problem SF finds itself in is of its own making not least because of previous painful prevarication. They screwed Trimble, shafted the SDLP and extracted all good will plus some and now no one believes a word they say[/i]

    Well said Crat. I’d go further to say that they put the DUP centre stage, maybe even by design, through their sectarian campaigning on issues such as marching. They pushed an ethnic agenda for votes and they stirred up ethnic fear and loathing, the very thing we need to overcome.

    Now they need to do the right thing and not to worry about dissident voices. Armed struggle has failed at every turn in the past and it will fail again, especially if the vast majority of Nationalists are firmly and actively against it.

    If the DUP don’t want devolution then let it be. Enhanced joint authority will do just nicely. Let’s have southern Ministers, politicians and civil servants get involved in the running of our society and our lives. We want them to get used to it. It is an important part of building consensus and momentum for unity.

    We want Protestant people to get used to it too, so that they see that southerners are not the bogeymen the fear-mongers say they are. We want Unionist politicians to be happily sitting with southern politicians working together to build our society after conflict and into the future.

    Nothing will silence the guns and angry voices more than social, political and economic development in the North and between both parts of this island.

  • Crataegus


    Totally agree.

    SF should stop worrying about the DUP (or stop trying to use them as an excuse) and get on with it. It is so obvious, they have really no alternative. So please SF stop the pantomime it is cringingly embarrassing.

    SF should worry about the DUP later. It will be utter pain trying to work with them, but their choice of partner. If SF move forward the DUP will also feel pain. Do nothing and retreat to the blame game and they will have SF for breakfast. It has all the potential to turn into a major, humiliating, political, rout. One thing for sure is that the DUP is likely to change fundamentally within the next 5 years, if you want a change of emphasis better that that happens in an environment that is moving forward than one that is stagnant.

    If SF fails to move they will suffer electoral punishment. Yes their core supporters may believe whatever hog wash they are told, but a lot of people won’t, and importantly the two governments, political types and journalists wont. In the south they will get a hammering, and the bad publicity will be on the back of the fuel laundering, rackets, McCartney murder and all the rest. There will also be snipping from a growing band of dissidents. Eventually these things mount up and do damage.

    SF’s activists are used to political gains, how loyal will they be if the political empire goes into reverse and they start to be viewed as the obstacle to unity (which they probably already are)? How much more difficult will it be to get bright youths with ambition to join the party? Will some of the existing membership migrate?

    Cooperation and normalisation of relations benefits the republican cause, delays, navel gazing, petty points and narrow party politics don’t.

  • George

    It seems to me that Ahern thinks Adams already has crossed the Rubicon. Sinn Féin could by in government south of the border by 2012.

    Ahern said Sunday that if Fianna Fáil were returned to power, it would not be reasonable for his party to object to support from Sinn Féin in the next Dáil.

    But he said Fianna Fáil would not enter coalition discussions or a pact with Sinn Féin, or create a Government with them on the basis of Sinn Féin’s policies.

    Totally agree with Crataegus. There is a future for SF and it doesn’t involve playing games with the DUP.
    Let them have their county council any way they want it. It will still be a county council.

  • Pat Mc Larnon


    you do really have a difficulty with the basics, on another thread you alleged that I had said OTRs were a deal breaker, I told you that was incorrect.
    Now I have stated that the Annex on MI5 inserted at St Andrews by the British has now been removed. I further stated that I have not been privy to the negotiations or the full outcome, when I am i will comment further.

    I have further stated that the OTRs are nothing to do with the current policing debate.

    Archive that, that is the truth. If you want to lie and make up quotes and false positions feel free. It is simply an indicator of the weakness of your own argument.


    your anecdotal story of an alleged drunken brawl should be faxed immediately to the Sunday World, that is the level they operate at, forgive me if I opt out.

  • Fuiseog


    Thats a solid grass roots indication that the republican base is in some fracture and there is a degree of disarray in the ranks.

    Ive never before heard of the BB being so publicly challenged by their own base drunken brawl or not.

    People are finding the personal fortitude to face down the Sinn Féin message and line.

    That you opt to make a snide lowbrow comment about some sunday rag rather than engage and acnowledge the possibility that personally and politicaly there is a shifting of attitudes in our areas.

    For me this speaks very well to the notion that you and others ARE genuinely concerned. I use as an example the tone and tenure of Henry’s posts of late, there is a man chewing on something if ever I saw one !!

    Or is it with urself Pat maybe ur simply so arrogant as to be criminally careless over evolving and changing grass roots and republican core opinions?

    Is mise

  • godsdog

    Fuiseog, go ahead comrade name names, put up or shut up! Pats right plenty of rumours doing the rounds now – mostly eminating from counter revolutionaries.

  • Pat Mc Larnon


    I find that(alleged) Saturday drinking sessions are not the best barometer of gauging public opinions. Finding as I do most of the people concerned find it difficult to get off there barstool to go to the bookies, never mind finding the effort to free Ireland.
    I mentioned said rag to mirror the content of your own post, we were not dealing here with an ordinary ‘provo’ but a ‘wealthy provo’, very tabloid indeed.

  • fuiseog

    First of all ‘godsdog’ in the interests of clarity and to deflect any self delusions here let me be crystal clear … you are not MY comrade.

    I have not made the post as a titillation for sluggerites to snicker at and have no interest in embarrassing the BB any further than they were on Saturday night but what names were you looking? Do you think Im making it up? lol

    To my mind its a small but significant example of a concrete shift in attitude amongst life long activists in the republican struggle in West Belfast who were attending the funeral earlier that day of a former activist.

    Drink was taken, inevitably it will be presented as a drunken brawl by Pat et al. Fair enough. Yet at its core were very bitter differences of opinion on the present strategy of the republican movement. And which quickly degenerated into a row about those wealthy republicans on the BB staff who appear to have benefited financially from the struggle and those who haven’t a bean !! Like I said it wont be long now till drunken punches become planks of wood and such cudgels become 9mm rounds …

    Incidently by counter revolutionaries do you mean the likes of that ingram fella or in keeping with jail speak of the late eighties any republican who disagrees with, is at odds with, or who cannot support the “Camp staff” of Adams/Maguiness’ Blair-ite ‘peace’ strategy revolution?

    Just wondering,


  • fuiseog

    Dia duit Pat,

    You belittle yourself by belittling people like that. Your tone is so arrogant and self righteous. Don’t you realise the ‘war’ in west Belfast was mostly fought betwixt bookie and bar?

    That doesnt really suit the neo Sinn Féin imagery I know but isnt that what these posts are all about? The disparity between the representation of the issues and the reality on the ground?

    As I pointed out the bar was full of people commemorating a former activist who had died last week. The great and the good were there for that reason.

    I take your point about wealthy Republican, I used those words as they were used to describe one individual connected to a blanket article recently. The row centred around that very issue of the resentment between those provo who own two garages, two houses, holiday homes etc … and those who have ended up with nothing but their memories after 30 years of struggle and for what?

    These are real people, real issues, real concerns Pat you and Sinn Féin ignore them at your peril … but your ignorance and social snobbishness is to our advantage … fill your boots !!!

    Is mise

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Play the ball not the man. Comments making potentially libellous allegations against named individuals will be deleted. This is in reference to deleted comments. Moderator.

  • Joe Romhar

    Godsdog, if you had called yourself godsdonkey we could have accused you of being Tom Hartley

  • godsdog

    Fuiseog, not my comrade ? unlike some elitists i would refer to anyone who is working towards a 32county socialist republic as comrade. i am asking you to put more meat on the bones of what can only be taken as a Sunday World story until you do!I will give it no credibility until you expand on the story sin e.

    Fat Joe, glass houses and stones spring to mind. I wouldnt be too keen to slag off Tom, who is semi-retired anyway, unless you are prepared for a bit of it back comrade