RTE’s ‘This Week’ features Policing Debate

RTE’s ‘This Week’ has two segments of interest to those following the story.
1. Tommie Gorman, Northern Editor, reports from Galbally Community Centre, Co Tyrone, where Sinn Féin began the process of consulting its grass roots on policing policy
2. Brendan ‘Darkie’ Hughes, who was a close colleague of Gerry Adams in the early 1970s, speaks about the rift within the Republican movement over policing and other issues
Links open in Real Player.

  • parcifal

    never heard so much tripe in all my life from Brendan Hughes; peaking with “Homes in Donegal”.
    And never quite realised just how brilliant and first-class a mind Gerry Adams has.

  • Pat

    Rift, what rift?The republican movement is totally united according to Adams. Yea, right.Its about time Gerry went in for some honest internal debate instead of bullying and spin.

  • honest

    Fair play to Brendan for telling the truth, pity he didnt mention gerry kellys holiday HOMEs in portugal or spikes wealth!

  • lib2016

    Sinn Fein won the argument and got a running start for their election campaign. The dissidents must live very restricted lives if they were able to fool themselves that they had widespread support.

  • John

    A commentator on another thread mentioned the trouble republicans have got into in the past for calling Adams a stick. These ungrateful disciples could be expected to be called up to belfast for a bollocking. But if memory serves me correctly did Gerry not originally go with the stickies and then only slide into the provos a couple of months later?

    Anyway its insulting to compare Gerry to the sticks. The sticks never became rich out of the struggle and would take offense at the comparison.

  • true fan

    honest, do you really think that the oppoenents of the Sinn Feinn strategy are commanders of any great support in the nationalist community?

    Recent public meetings would suggest not.

  • Sean

    lib2016

    Why do PSF call everybody who opposes the leaderships blunder “dissidents”? many within PSF also oppose this leadership direction as well you know. Much easier to label people than to present a coherent argument of course.

  • maurice

    true fan

    “do you really think that the oppoenents of the Sinn Feinn strategy are commanders of any great support in the nationalist community?Recent public meetings would suggest not.”

    You are of course talking about SF controlled meetings? Very few are brave enough to speak up at these. The signs of internal SF dissent are there for all to see. Why do SF not admit this and start an honest internal debate.

    Fact is that the leadership have already made their deal with London and this is all just window dressing.

  • lib2016

    Sean,

    Sinn Fein support the GFA which envisages peacefully working within the institutions of the NI state for a re-united Ireland. Any impartial observer looking at the current state of NI and Ireland as a whole can see the success of that policy by the way that Irish republicanism is stronger than it has ever been, and still growing.

    What else can anyone call the dissidents? They seem to have no collective approach apart from disagreement.

  • Sean

    lib2016 ,

    What do you call the current members of PSF who thing this is a bridge to far? Surely calling them dissidents implies they have some connection with the continuity, real ira etc.

    BTW I disagree with your comments about republicanism growing stronger. For the first time in my life I am starting to believe that partition is here to stay, thanks to the actions of the PSF leadership.

  • Yokel

    Sean

    Partition is here to stay. Republicans have had their better run under Tony Blair than they’d get under anyone else. What you see is the top and bottom of it for some time to come.

  • Sean

    Yokel

    Game over you say? Game set & match to the brits?

    A truely depressing state of affairs and Gordon Brown on the way!

  • lib2016

    Sean,

    Glad to see that you agree with me that the dissidents seem to have no unified approach. That was my point.

    Thirtyfive years ago Irish republicans were restricted and held back by petty bigotries, mostly unwritten. ‘Google’ up the CAIN website and put ‘discrimination’ into the ‘search’ engine and you will find details of that unhappy era.

    Now check out the names of the people currently leading the professional bodies in NI, or check the names of the companies occupying properties on the main streets in NI. You will find that they are integrated and frequently multinational. The Bad Old Days are becoming just that and the future ‘leaders of society’ in Queens come from Nationalist backgrounds of all classes.

    It was Fionnuala O’Connor who pointed out years ago that one only had to check the names of the rugby teams of the leading ‘unionist’ schools to see how society had changed. They increasingly contained the names of Malone Road teagues. I’m a working class socialist republican but I have relations who fit that description and not all of them vote SDLP!

    Sinn Fein is not restricted to working class ghettoes nor should it be. Sixty to eighty per cent of the population doesn’t fit that description and they are taking SF into government, as they should.

    It’s a pity about the guys who can’t keep up but we all know what happened the dinosaurs. It happened to the UUP and I don’t want it to happen to SF.

  • The lesson of the conflict in Northern Ireland is that true believers lose. Politics is about compromise. Idealists should write poetry.
    Those who took Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley at their word thirty years ago have emerged as the fall guys. The republican movement is no more concerned to produce a socialist united irish republic than the British Labour Party is to represent the workers and protect them against capital.
    And that’s fine; that’s politics. Many republicans said it before the Dark that politics would contaminate the cause. But where was the cause going? Nowhere.

  • lib2016

    “…Gordon Brown on the way.”

    Heh! Heh! The man who has already signalled his intentions to get on good terms with the expected Democrat regime in Washington.

    Do you expect Hillary to make it or will she settle for just being kingmaker?

    Either way the Clinton’s may have a few comments to make about Tony’s delay in implementing the GFA. It was after all Clinton’s big foreign success. 😉

  • gerry

    Parcifal, you think it is adams mind that is great? Whats great about putting down the calibre of person like the dark, or mc geough? Does it take a great mind to do that or does it take only great deception? What tripe was spoken by the dark? that he wasn’t in the struggle for gain? that they were tortured by the very people Adams is about to collude with? that after this deal is done people like him could be put back in jail for being a dessenter? What part of darkies talk was tripe specifically.

    Adams didn’t need a great mind to take people to whre he has taken them today, all he needed was great skill at manipulation, and a great need to lie.

    Todays papers will tell you of the very people still serving in the PSNI colluding with loyalist murder gangs to kill catholics. Looks like the dark was talking a lot of sense. Spot on.

  • Jeremy

    Malachi – Those who took Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley at their word thirty years ago have emerged as the fall guys.

    Thirty years is a long time. If anyone has the same outlook as thirty years ago then they have no ability to rationalise or adapt. Your statement is as false for Paisley as it is Gerry Adams.

    Lib2016 – Hillary and Obama as a hook up. It may be a step too far, the first Female president and the first afro-american vp. What a fresh pairing that would be for American politics.

  • mike

    Parcifal,

    Is this about adams being a clever speaker or is about the future of Irish Republicanism

    Just because Adams is charming to your granny doesnt mean that he is not destroying any hope for a united Ireland in our lifetime. I just hope you are happy being part of the UK because this is what is being cemented.

  • lib2016

    Jeremy,

    Don’t know enough about American politics to come down hard for any candidate but it is interesting that Obama is favoured by republicans who want to oppose the war.

    However Democrat voters are twice as likely to support Hillary. My belief is that the war in Iraq is already lost and Hillary will gain nothing by opposing it at this stage whereas her policies towards healthcare for all America’s youth are more important in the long run.

  • lib2016

    to get back on topic (sigh!)…..

    Anyone still holding the same positions they did thirty years ago is an eeijit. The position of the Catholic church in the South has changed radically as has the international standing of the South politically and even more so economically.

    Britain managed to survive the damage of the Thatcher years only for Blair to finish isolating Britain within Europe. Meanwhile the British economic position continues it’s slow comparative decline.

    The ordinary guy wants economic security for himself and his children. The road there leads through Dublin to Brussels rather than being permanently in second or third place behind London.

  • marty (not ingram)

    Brendan Hughes is sounding a tad bitter. He wants to get over this Donegal home ownership issue he has as that seemed to be his main point.

    Nice reference to “slavery” as well. RTE obviously caught him when he was just back from the boozer.

  • parcifal

    gerry, mike
    Darkie is wailing and gnashing, like a banshee and is in a hopeless state of victimhood; its childish and weak, unbecoming of a man of his experience.
    Its all a black cloud to him, constant rain.

    Adams has slogged his guts out for at least 10 years; he is a survivor not a victim; that’s very important to grasp.

    With his vision and leadership he’s taking republicanism onto the next phase; reaching a workable accomodation between orange and green, and building foundations towards the day when that translates to the whole ireland , not just the North.

    Unfortunately the dissenters on both sides are stuck-in-the mud.

    The awakening is happening, and its a shame to miss out on that by turning the lights out and wallowing in bitterness and the ecstasy of oppression.

  • heck

    calling adams a stick is a stretch.

    I think the analogy to dev is closer good and bad.

  • seabhac siulach

    From Gerry Kelly, (giving apparently the ‘most detailed explanation’ of their, em, ‘strategy’…God love us…)we hear that the Provo Sinn Fein (PSF) strategy is ‘all about gaining power, gaining in political strength’. The stronger they are, the more times they can go to the negotiating table, up to 20 times indeed! All so they can move to a resolution of the ‘struggle’. What would be considered, though, by the ageing PSF leadership, as an acceptable resolution of the struggle at this stage? Where is the detail in their strategy, beyond taking seats in the two partitioned assemblies on the island?
    And when, these ageing leaders in a few years pass into retirement, will the same ‘urgency’ be there in the party to ‘advance the struggle’ when the younger members are holding down comfortable well paid jobs in these two assemblies?

    We might also ask to what end they seek political power, when that political ‘power’ is to be diverted to what amounts to little more than a talking shop in Stormont. Unionism is on its knees, the 12 years of the peace process having radicalised it, fragmented it, removed or emasculated its institutions (the RUC, the UDR/RIR, the Orange Order) and now, when this has been achieved, PSF are ready to hand power over to the DUP in the Stormont talking shop, willing to give control over north-south links to instransigent unionism and to prop it up when it has been so weakened. A more sensible strategy would have been to deny the unionists any
    place which they can use to reform, restructure themselves. The aim surely is to defeat unionism not to resusitate it, by handing it political power, when it is on its knees? When I mean defeat unionism, of course, I mean the philosophy of unionism not the people. Perhaos a better strategy in this case would have been to go along with the peace process but to deny any forum to unionists, any place where they can again wield executive power in the six counties. If PSF is a 32 county party, what interest does it have in an assembly in only 6 counties of this? It can perfectly well exist as a party, holding only council seats in the six counties and parliamentary seats in Dublin, the capital of Ireland. In short, power, if obtained, should only be exercised from Dublin, denying unionists a platform. Recent opinion polls for PSF in the south do not make nice reading, down to 6% in the recent one, suggesting that southern voters are not impressed with its embrace of unionism and its turning away from the ideals of the Republic.

    Again we hear the mantra from Adams (and repeated parrot-like from all PSF supporters), that the ‘dissidents’ do not have a strategy. Well, where is the PSF strategy, apart from becoming the SDLP mk 2 organised on a 32 county level with a woolly commitment to unity sometime or other, i.e., the ‘struggle’? It is a strange way to forward the struggle by empowering unionists in a moment of historical weakness.
    I would not regard myself as a ‘dissident’ (I dissent from nothing, unlike others) but I have outlined above a possible alternative approach, which would not need any Stormont, nor recognition of the police, etc. I have mentioned it before, but in my view no republican can take a seat in an entity, that no matter at what remove, requires them to serve in an executive capacity for the British govt., and through it, the Queen of England. That is contrary to the whole idea of what a republican is, by definition. This new form of strange ‘republicanism’, in which one serves the crown, is what PSF is now offering through their ‘strategy’. No matter how you dress it up, if PSF recognise the police, take responsibility for them, exercise power in the six counties, along with the unionists, then they will be doing the work of the Brit. govt. there. The Brit. govt. will still be sovereign in the six counties. Where does this leave the exhortation to republicans in the 1916 proclamation to the ‘…unfettered control of Irish destiny, to be sovereign, etc.’

    Itt is reported that PSF have wrung a ‘concession’ out of the Brit. govt. that if justice and policing powers are not transferred by 2008 then the the Brits will remove the veto on this happening then. So, they are ready to accept to word of a Brit. govt., with Tony Blair, at its head that will not exist in 2008, when conditions are likely to be completely different. This is all aspirational stuff, requiring a level of trust in British good faith that history would show not to be wise…

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The argument coming from some of these people is tottering on the brink of the pathetic.

    The answer for them of couse should be to examine the plicies that SF are advocating through the GFA. the policing debate being an obvious consequence of the GFA.

    These people should go through the SF policies line by line, stating where they believe the policies are wrong and presenting workable alternatives.

    A few of the posts on this thread are an example of the debate that they have chosen. Not policies but holiday homes in Donegal. Spain etc. Individual wealth here, there and everywhere. The only striking feature is those smearing the mud are doing so from positions of anonymity, brave stuff.

    What is clear is that a lot of the criticism of SF is personality driven. It is of the standard, does Adams dye his hair? Does he wear Armani suits?

    It is the stuff of the schoolyard and is transparently seen as such. They can rotate their single transfareable mob around a few locations and present it as evidence of growing support. They are fooling no one but themselves and a few of the more sober personalities must already be regretting breaking cover and agreeing to fight the March elections

  • colum

    Pat – the B specials were answerable to stornmont and not london. why does answerability to stornmont rather than london matter so SF so much?

  • grimesy

    “It is the stuff of the schoolyard and is transparently seen as such. They can rotate their single transfareable mob around a few locations and present it as evidence of growing support. They are fooling no one but themselves and a few of the more sober personalities must already be regretting breaking cover and agreeing to fight the March elections”

    Pat,

    A backlash against SF in the Assembly elections is inevitable.

    In the absence of credible “dissident” candidates, people will vote SDLP in protest.

    Indeed, I find it interesting that Adams’ “Road to Damascus” conversion on policing should occur in the year of a Southern General Election..

  • In the absence of credible “dissident” candidates, people will vote SDLP in protest

    To suggest that Republicans would vote for the SDLP in order to hurt Sinn Fein reduces your credibility to zero!

    Republicans would never lower themselves to vote Stoop, they would either spoil their vote or else stay away.

    Vote SDLP indeed, you are living in cloud cookoo land!

  • Jim

    Pat Mc Larnon

    “The only striking feature is those smearing the mud are doing so from positions of anonymity, brave stuff.”

    Dead right Pat, It would be a very foolish man to put his name to these postings criticising Adams.

    I for one would not like to be around when badger and the boys come calling or stop my wife or kids in the street. Previous opponents of the PSF leadership have learned this the hard way.

    Any comments Pat on what happened to Joseph O’Connor when he confronted relatively small fry PSF members

  • seabhac siulach

    “To suggest that Republicans would vote for the SDLP in order to hurt Sinn Fein reduces your credibility to zero!”

    The question is, will people be able to tell the policies of the two parties apart, one, PSF, now being little more than a 32 county version of the SDLP…with the ‘struggle’ (towards a 32 county republic?) watered down to a mere aspiration…much like in the six county SDLP version…
    Where exactly are the major policy differences between the SDLP and PSF?

  • Siobhan

    I suspect that a lot of votes borrowed by SF from the SDLP will be returning home now that they have succeeded in decommissioned SF as a radical alternative.

    It suited some SDLP supporters to bring on SF in the last election.

    Something similar will happen in the south where the SF vote appears to be falling by the week.

  • Ulick

    A backlash against SF in the Assembly elections is inevitable.

    I don’t believe that. I’ve just returned from the meeting in Lurgan which was attended by about 500 including maybe a dozen ‘dissidents’ (who were given more than their fair share at the mic), former Provisionals and veteran republicans. Those people all said they would have “no problem” with SF representatives calling to people to cooperate with the PSNI in response to crimes such as rape, burglary, assault and murder. McGuniness said that’s all he wanted, so that he and other SF reps “were not forced to dance on the head of a needle” when put on the spot by the media in future.

    It was very noticeable that even those people would said they would never support the PSNI all called for unity within the movement whatever the difference of opinion on the Ard Fheis motion. I got no indication there would either be a significant split in the movement or fall off in support for SF. In fact I actually got the impression from a few veterans who spoke at the end, people I know haven’t been supportive of SF since the 90’s, may in fact be contemplating giving their support again in the election.

    This was a healthy and at times heated debate which was far from the “nodding dogs” scenario that Rory (South Derry) was trying to portray last night. SF should actually take a lesson from these debates – if they’d organised more of them over the past few years to explain their position to the grassroots, then they might not be feeling the heat at the minute from the disaffected (or should I say misinformed).

  • Fear na gCluas

    I am opposed to this current Sinn Féin move, both on grounds of republican principle and on pragmatic considerations.

    In relation to republican principle, while this has been well stated by some groups and individuals, none of them have so far backed it up with a viable strategy. I don’t have one myself, so for now there’s no point in me arguing from a point of principle.

    However, even looking at what we are agreeing to in pragmatic terms, it falls way short of a fair compromise. The leadership has already suggested that this is a very difficult thing for republicans, a huge risk, a huge step etc. Well, if this is true, we would need to see equal steps being taken on other sides, equal risks, difficult decisions. Will the Unionists have to take a pledge of office saying they will operate the all-Ireland ministerial council to its fullest potential? Are we getting any further development of our rights as Irish citizens (eg vote for Irish presidency, representation in the Dáil, breakdown of myriad of everyday transactions which remind us that we are citizens of the “uk”?) No, we are getting absolutely and totally nothing. We imagine that when “the process moves forward” and when the “institutions” are back on their feet that somehow the grass will be greener. It will not. All we are doing is allowing the unionists and British to draw a line in the sand behind us, asking us to shuffle back to that line, to which they will step up, and then they will negotiate from that point onwards.

    This motion should be rejected. A programme of practical demands be made for an increase in our Irish citizenship, after which we may consider endorsing policing, in a context where we have received compromises, as well as just making them.

    The nationalist community would accept a strong programme of demands for Irish citizenship rights. We are selling our community short, in my view. There would be no shame in the leadership losing this vote. Indeed, how they handle losing it would mark them out as a real democratic leadership. And they could come back and say “our community feels it needs more before it can accept these proposals”.

    I say this as someone who has respect for the leadership of Sinn Féin, even though my faith in them has been dented a bit recently. I think we have been harried into making hasty decisions, and the holy grail of “getting the institutions up again” has affected our good political judgement.

    The Brendan Hughes interview was a dismal sad performance… a lost soul, rather than a real alternative. People opposing this motion need to put a better case together…

  • grimesy

    CG,

    “To suggest that Republicans would vote for the SDLP in order to hurt Sinn Fein reduces your credibility to zero!”

    I said as a protest Chris.

    There’s a sizeable minority who do not agree with Gerry’s utopian view of the post-Patten police.

    In the absence of credible alternatives, it’s ridiculous to suggest that they’ll spoil their votes! The best way to hurt SF is to make them the 2nd largest Nationalist party.

    This would leave the SDLP as king-makers & make a mockery of SF’s policing policy.

    “Republicans would never lower themselves to vote Stoop, they would either spoil their vote or else stay away.”

    Republicans aren’t suppose to recognise tranches of British government (i.e. the Police, Stormont).

    SF now accepts the PSNI. True republicans don’t.

    “Vote SDLP indeed, you are living in cloud cookoo land!”

    Furthermore, the SDLP aren’t active in the constituency where my vote is based – this tends to make my support for them in elections slightly difficult. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of non-SF candidates on Suirside.

    Is that credible enough for you?

    SS,

    “The question is, will people be able to tell the policies of the two parties apart, one, PSF, now being little more than a 32 county version of the SDLP…”

    My thoughts exactly – something Chris failed to pick up on. Too busy jumping down the throat of a “SF dissident” I imagine.

    On policing, there are no major differences between both parties. The difference is that Mallon, Hume & Co. weren’t pursuing a policy of murdering RUC & UDR members 20 years ago.

    Siobhan,

    Nail. Head. Bang!

    Mary Lou is going struggle in Dublin. Other “targeted” gains (i.e. Wexford/Waterford) are pipe dreams.

    Furthermore, I believe Southern SF support has peaked.

    Why? The IRA have no further military concessions to yield to the British – they’ve decommissioned & now accept the rule of law.

    They’ve come as far as they can on the road to credibility, yet they hold only 5 seats out of a possible 166 & are ultimately rejected by the electorate.

  • impressed

    that is truly amazing, ulick, and heartening to hear. you mean to say that a group of dissidents went to this debate in lurgan only to come out of it convinced by martin mcguinness and vowing to go back to supporting sinn fein, wow. what a persuasive man and motivational speaker he and the others on the platform must be. truly impressed.

  • honest

    Question to “pat mc Larnon” Pat my old mate tell me, how did gerry kelly buy ALL his holiday homes in PORTUGAL? Did he sell his handicrafts too? Not to mention Spike,ENLIGHTEN

  • colum

    i find it hillarious to see Chrish talking about SDLP ‘stoops’ after PSF have just followed thei sdlp lead in most policies.

    if sdlp are Stoops then S.F. means S.toop F.urther.

  • Ulick

    No I did not say that. I said the “dissidents” responded to MMG by saying they would have “no problem” with his calls for cooperation in response to the crimes I mentioned (I’m sure this can be verified by anyone else who was there). They did not say they would accept or support the PSNI. MMG said he was not asking anyone to support or join the PSNI.

    The veteran republicans who spoke near the end, whom as I said haven’t been SF supporters for a long time, called for unity within the movement. The overall feeling in the meeting was that we all may have differences on opinion on this matter, but that the movement can live with such differences.

  • impressed

    like i said, ulick, that martin mcguinness must be very persuasive. imagine veteran republicans who haven’t supported sinn fein for years calling for people to suuport sinn fein after today’s meeting. impressive is an understatement.

  • Ulick

    “PSF have just followed thei sdlp lead in most policies.”

    I don’t remember the SDLP ever actively supporting the idea of a unified Irish republic until very recently. Who’s lead did they follow on that policy?

  • grimesy

    Ulick,

    Doesn’t matter who formulated the policy because:-

    The majority in the South will never accept a UI.

    Get.Over.It

  • Ulick

    Again that’s not what I said. The called for unity, not for support of the PSNI or SF. I got the impression that their call for unity may indicate they would vote for SF candidates in the privacy of the polling booth. I may be wrong, but either way, it’s far from the projected backlash and splits predicted in the posts above.

    Oh, and I found Leo Green the most persuasive speaker this afternoon, not McGuiness and certainly not any of the dissidents.

  • Ulick

    Doesn’t matter who formulated the policy
    Well it obviously mattered to you when you put the question to Chris above.

  • Irish Republican in America

    “holiday homes blah blah blah”. Gimme a break. Find a real argument.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    colum,

    ‘the B specials were answerable to stornmont and not london. why does answerability to stornmont rather than london matter so SF so much?’

    Local accountability. The measures in place now to ensure that accountability are of a greater comprehension than ever exisred before.

    grimsey,

    a backlash against SF is not inevitable and there is nothing to suggest any such thing.

    Jim,

    people criticise Gerry A all the time, it is just the cowards who do so from a position of anonymity. As for O’Connor he appears to have fallen foul to the same sort of tactics his family have used to decimate and try to intimidate the people of the Murph.

    honest (sic)

    you expect me to reply to the type of smears that I highlighed in my original post on this thread. Go out tomorrow and bring it to the local kindergarden, thats where that nonsense belongs.

  • clarification

    are you saying it is nonsense that gerry kelly owns property in portugal, among other places, and that spike murray also has quite a property portfolio? is is a smear to be an owner of properties?

  • grimesy

    Pat

    “a backlash against SF is not inevitable and there is nothing to suggest any such thing.”

    A cursory glance at the latest threads on Slugger makes a mockery of that assertion.

    You must tell which pub in North Belfast is your local – I’ll know not to drink there after work…

  • paintyourwagon

    GMcG owns property in Galway and Dublin. What’s your point?

  • grimesy

    Ulick,

    “Doesn’t matter who formulated the policy
    Well it obviously mattered to you when you put the question to Chris above.”

    We can argue the pedantics of “you said this” & “he said that” all night.

    Let’s deal with facts:-

    SF & SDLP now have the same position on policing.

    The Provos, however, have the blood of c2000 people on their hands in arriving at the same place.

    They’ve also set your goal of a UI back by generations by alienating the Unionists & FSers by doing so.

    “Sunningdale for Slow Learners” indeed.

    Conclusion? There’s an awful lot of stupid fuckers in SF.

  • paintyourwagon

    The ‘dissidents’take the Unionist, neo-con, route, throw around scandalous accusations without any basis in fact.

    Truth is in the honourable and productive tradition of dissent, these eejits don’t even deserve the title dissidents. They are muckrakers of the highest order.

    Question: ” Please tell your me alternative to SF strategy, I am listening, please convince me.’

    Answer ‘ Gerry Adams wears Ralph Lauren trunks and owns a row boat on the bann!’

    Well done, ‘diddymen.

  • Ulick

    SF & SDLP now have the same position on policing.
    No they don’t. SF are putting a conditional motion to their Ard Fheis. SDLP jumped on policing a long time ago, before the Patton recommendations were implemented and before a commitment on the devolution of policing and justice powers.

    The Provos, however, have the blood of c2000 people on their hands in arriving at the same place.
    I’ve no desire to debate the conflict with you but as I said they are not at the same place.

    They’ve also set your goal of a UI back by generations by alienating the Unionists & FSers by doing so.
    That’s your opinion, but a UI was never on anyone’s agenda before the political rise of SF.

    “Sunningdale for Slow Learners” indeed.
    Sunningdale was brought down by loyalists and unionists. If the unionists refuse to work the Assembly, the other bodies remain and continue.

    Conclusion?
    SF have learnt from the lessons for the past and are continuing to build on the mandate they have been given by people throughout the island.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    grimsey,

    ‘A cursory glance at the latest threads on Slugger makes a mockery of that assertion.’

    They don’t, Slugger is a yardstick only of the people who contribute here, most (including myself) have a very obvious political bias.

    ‘You must tell which pub in North Belfast is your local – I’ll know not to drink there after work…’

    I don’t have a local.

  • grimesy

    Ulick,

    Conflict??!? WTF!! Murder, Ulick – not conflict.

    Also, please explain the differences between the SDLP & SF’s stance on policing.

    Finally, SF have 5 out of 166 seats in Dáil Eireann….I’d say that 161 seats is a pretty big MANDATE (SF’s favourite phrase!) against a UI.

    Pat,

    The site crashed Friday night from the volume of traffic. Slugger’s popularity increases all the time, as Mick alluded to this weekend.

    You’re confusing regular bloggers with people who view this site as a soapbox.

  • Sean

    Looks like the PSF people here are becoming hysterical. It is informative how they react when the personal enrichment of their leadership is mentioned. There is something rotten about a leadership which becomes personally wealthy on the back of other peoples suffering.

    I suppose this accounts for the hysteria in the PSF responses.

    Bad enough that PSF and their enforcers took the life of Joseph O’Connor without slandering him as well. Shame on you Pat. Then again I suppose your slander is a small event compared to what does who took his life did.

  • Tkmaxx

    Its funny to watch this debate. The dissident view is correct- albeit from a militant republican viewpoint. But their ability to prove their position is well beyond its sell by date. SF has been on a point of no return for a long time. I think that is a good thing. Not good enough to vote for but certainly good enough to know- as the dissidents know – that the sacrifice of those already in the next world was in vain. SF have done a complete volte face in the past thirteen years years and they have rightly concluded that there is nothing that could not have been achieved through politics. In case any wing nut thinks otherwise have they not being telling us they are democrats since the ceasefire?It’s a pity the cost of the learning curve was so high. Their spokespeople are right that communities do need protection from rapists/racketeers/extortion/ joyriders/and general criminals -its time they told some of their supporters to pack up their activities. Of course – if they are serious about crime/law and order and given the particular nature of the legacy of our troubles with privatised paramilitary criminal activity on an all island basis from INLA/ UVF/IRA/IRSP/UDA and others perhaps they would like to lead the call for an Ireland Assets Recovery Agency and help us get funding into the front line services they may need money for – if they want to hold ministerial posts!! Somehow one thinks thats not quite what they were telling their own people in South Armagh or Tyrone

  • A cursory glance at the latest threads on Slugger makes a mockery of that assertion

    A cursory glance over this site for the last few weeks has shown a whole raft of new contributors and sockpuppets, yourself included.

    Some of those who are posting here are quite obviously spooks and anti-republicans trying to suggest mass revolt on the ground to suit their own personal objective.

    The reality on the ground is a lot differnt than what passes for debate on Slugger.

    There will be no split in the party over this issue, that is just a spook wet dream.

    Come March when Sinn Fein increase their mandate anonymous posters like yourself will have left the scene on slugger.

    Perhaps you will reappear as a disgruntled Unionist after that.

  • Henry94

    Sean

    I’m biased too but without a doubt but the only hysteria I see is in the attacks on Sinn Fein.

    There is also an amount of division on the dissident (some people object to this word and I’ll be happy to use an alternative if we can agree one) side.

    Some are opposed to the consent principle in the Agreement. Some wouldn’t even sit in the Dail never mind on the Police Board. Some are opposed to power-sharing at all.

    So it may be understandable that the only thing they can unite around is the abuse of figures in Sinn Fein. I believe the election can’t come soon enough because it will clarify the level of support for Sinn Fein’s strategy and that of the anti-Sinn Fein coalition (?)

  • Ulick

    Also, please explain the differences between the SDLP & SF’s stance on policing.
    I’ve done so in my post above.

    Finally, SF have 5 out of 166 seats in Dáil Eireann….I’d say that 161 seats is a pretty big MANDATE (SF’s favourite phrase!) against a UI.
    The SF mandate covers 32 counties and not 26. Their mandate has steadily increased over the past ten years. That suggests that people are approving their handling of the situation over those years.
    To be honest your assertion that the non-SF vote in Dáil elections are votes against a UI is not only ridiculous but insulting to all of the parties represented in the Dáil.

    Looks like the PSF people here are becoming hysterical. It is informative how they react when the personal enrichment of their leadership is mentioned. There is something rotten about a leadership which becomes personally wealthy on the back of other peoples suffering.
    I don’t see anyone become hysterical on this thread though I do see some people trying to cover the inadequacies of their argument by attempting to smear the reputation of some republicans. I have no idea whether Gerry Kelly has properties in Portugal (though I doubt it very much) and I strongly suspect you have no evidence to support your claims. Either way it’s a distraction to the policing issue.

  • grimesy

    Chris,

    I’ve followed this site for 2 years+.

    Harris (another man who’s right on a hell of alot of issues – cue more abuse from Connolly House!) gave it a plug in the Sindo in early 2005. I checked the site out & became hooked.

    My interest though, was limited time-wise to daily flick through the more popular threads.

    Fortunately for you, I now have more time on my hands!

    Also, a bit rich to have a pop at a new contributor when they oppose your viewpoint.

    As stated on another thread Chris, I come from a Republican family….

    ….& I still believe SF are dangerous bastards.

    Come March, I’ll still be here, giving it loads!

    Why?

    Because when the next high-level tout is outed in SF, I’m gonna be the first to rub it in your face!!!

  • BeardyBoy

    I would propose that this is the final piece of the jigsaw of the English Ulsterisation Policy falling into place.

    A victory for English policy in Ireland and defeat for the Republican strategy.

    Would anyone like to comment?

  • latcheeco

    Sean

    The elections may not show anything much. The dissenters vote probably won’t register because angry and bewidered reps probably will be too disgusted to vote but that won’t register either because Gerry A’s party will increase their vote from mcts. Which is the gameplan. In 22 most of the ra voted against the treaty but those votes didn’t matter because of the war weariness of the general public.

  • Gerry & the peacemakers

    “Because when the next high-level tout is outed in SF, I’m gonna be the first to rub it in your face!!!”

    Oh my God – what in the name of God are you going on about? This is what you are wishing for? You are from a republican family? I guess then one of them is a tout. Get real and join a debate and stop this my republican da is bigger than your republican da nonsense.

    You don’t agree with SF – we get it but live out this nonsense.

  • Sean

    BeardyBoy

    Sadly I have to agree with you.

    As regards the claims that the PSF have enriched themselves on the back of other peoples suffering. I can only comment on the basis of what I see in my own community. Unfortunately the answer is Yes. The only alternative is that perhaps these guys have won the lottery 🙂

    And of course we have the traditional “spooks and anti-republicans” smear, this time being raised by Chris. I was waiting for that bandwagon to be rolled out. Interestingly the only people proven to have been talking to spooks are senior PSF people.

  • grimesy

    Gerry,

    “OMG”!!

    Chris thinks I’ll be gone in March.

    Entitled to tell him I won’t.

  • Rubicon

    Henry – I understand the problem with this ‘dissident’ phrase. Recent events have clouded the issue – beforehand – dissidents were a bunch of psychopaths responsible for Omagh. For me, the dissident label fitted – they dissented from the principles of common humanity and dissented from the will of the Irish people.

    The ex-supporters of SF who now have problems with policing appear to have found common purpose with dissidents. I don’t know what you’d call the collective of the two – but previous SF supporters (now ‘dissidents’) are being unfairly labelled.

    Since this move was obvious since the acceptance by SF of the GFA I can only conclude the newly disaffected never read the agreement. If you need a new term “illiterates” seems apt.

  • Henry94

    Rubicon

    It’s hard to come up with a term to cover everyone from ultra-Catholics like Gerry McGeough to the Marxist-Lennist IRSP. They don’t really agree on much but find common cause on their opposition to Sinn Fein.

    What about the Anti-Adams Family?

  • Fear na gCluas

    Rubicon,

    Disagree with your point about “illiterates”. There are two problems with the GFA. The first one enshrined the principle of “consent” or the unionist “veto”. Some republicans couldn’t accept this, and left the organisation, as it totally compromised Irish sovereignty.

    The second problem is the one-sided implementation of the agreement to the advantage of unionism… the question of decommissioning and endorsement of policing have been made major issues upon which republicans have been forced to make the major compromises, but the whole area of our Irish citizenship, which was also a part of the GFA, has been ignored and rejected.

    I would say if the GFA had’ve delivered, then some of these compromises would be easier to take, as both sides would be feeling the pinch, and gaining something. However, I think it is only republicans that have been feeling the real pressure… and who have given the most for the least return…

  • Rory

    I would have liked to add some comment on this topic but unfortunately I remembered having a weekend in a friend’s flat in Southend some years ago while she was off visiting her sick mum and I must confess that I splashed out on a bag o’ cockles and half a Guinness, so I can see that the enjoyment of such decadent opulence would only weaken any argument I might make.

    If only I could have remained pure….

  • Rubicon

    Fear na – your points are valid – but only to a point. You are referring to those who voted against the GFA while not supporting the murder of those who disagreed. This is a perfectly valid point – but I’d not have considered such people dissidents.

    The ‘illiterates’ I refer to do not belong to the group you identify. Yesterday’s SF supporters & today’s SF critics could not have read the agreement they supported – and I’m being kind in that interpretation. If they had read it but only now realised what it meant then ‘illiterate’ would be unfair – “gob-shite” would be better.

    I agree with your points on the balance of concessions between nationalism and unionism. Trimble should have marketed the GFA but damned it through faint praise and tying political progress to institutional stability rather than the legal system. He didn’t and we now have Paisley leading unionism. SF had a large part in bringing that about. If Trimble was a fool it was for believing SF.

    For unionists, stopping the “armed struggle” wasn’t a concession. For SF it wasn’t a concession either – I don’t hear SF even suggesting they surrendered. The arms were over-played for the last political capital that could be got – but a wary eye should have been adding up the political costs. Trimble made the issue political, Paisley capitalised on this mistake and SF’s recalcitrance. Jesus! SF had almost negotiated an amnesty for every criminal working within the security forces.

    The concession nationalist ‘gave’ was the recognition that the people of NI would decide its future constitutional status. I can’t think many unionists will think this a concession.

    Your view that nationalists conceded more is a nationalist view. Nationalism that murdered needed to concede. Many non-violent nationalists saw in the GFA the basis for taking away the grounds for murder in its name. For them, the GFA was a cost – but not one caused by unionism alone.

    Ironically, it seems unionism is more concerned with rejecting the GFA (and perhaps the SAA). Is it because they are bad, ignorant and big-ted – or could it be that they too feel they are conceding that the poison of what has passed for nationalist/unionist politics up here has misled them too. It’s a painful place to find yourself – it’s nor a territory occupied by nationalists alone.

  • gerry

    Pat have you organised your meeting yet in the Landsdowne, or did you get laughed at?

    Still waiting for a date and time. considering mcguinness only had 200 show up in Lurgan today, perhaps SF aren’t feeling so confident?

  • Rory

    ….and just before retiring may I introduce a piece of good news from the events of today.:

    Arsenal 2 Man Utd 1

  • Ulick

    There were at least 400 in Lurgan today – the function room of the Ashburn Hotel was full with standing room only at the back.

  • Levitas

    Grimesy wrote

    GHarris (another man who’s right on a hell of alot of issues – cue more abuse from Connolly House!) gave it a plug in the Sindo in early 2005. I checked the site out & became hooked…..

    Thanks for the heads up on that Grimesy…Thats enough to be allow me to totally disregard your posts in future, until you disapear after the AF reflects grass roots opinion and votes yes to the policing deal, and when SF are returned with an increased mandate in March.

    It is true also that the spooks and D4 establishment NOW want a no vote at the SF Ard Fheis-

    An RTE insider has told me that Fianna Fail high ups want to boost the dissidents leverage so that a no vote can become a possibility…Leaving the way open for plan B and Bertie trying to take the credit and condemning SF as intransigent…Hence the boost up being given to dissident voices- The Dark got 7 minutes…..Was I the only one who thought that not only was his thinking deficiient but also that his speech was slurred especially towards the end ….The amount of outakes would have been interesting.

  • Rubicon

    Hmmm – I hadn’t thought of “innumerate”.

    Sorry Henry – I’m back to the drawing board on this one ;(

    Don’t like “Anti Adams Family”. Weren’t the Adams Family a bunch of freaks?

    This is a challenge – we need a word for the collective that could add to the English language. Fame beckons – a mention in the Oxford English Dictionary is the prize.

    Damn! I’ve just shot myself in the foot ;).

  • Ulick

    Levitas, in fairness to the Hughes, I think he has been ill recently which might explain the slurred speech.

  • Ulick

    Rubicon,
    the figure of 200 came from a PA report and has been carried by other outlets. The media were asked to leave before the meeting started after a show of hands from the floor. The only journalists to remain were Julie O’Connor from UTV and the editor of the Lurgan Mail. If you don’t want to take my word on the attendance, then wait for her report tomorrow evening.

  • grimesy

    Levitas,

    You proved me right on the expected response to Harris’ name…

    As it happens, I’m not exactly D4 material – something to do with my accent, I think.

    Sindo reflects the opinions of 1.1m FSers each week…If you remember, these are the people that you’re supposed to be “wooing”.

    Not that they’re likely to take the 6 counties back. Ever.

    Shinners “mandate” – 5 seats out of 166. Not exactly pulling up trees down there buddy, are we?

  • Rubicon

    Ulick – I took your 400+ count to be the more reliable but am quite happy to wait. The numbers don’t much matter to me. What’s interesting is that the row puts out “facts” to suit each position and then calls the other side liars, traitors etc.

    In any event, I wasn’t criticising you or your estimate. Perhaps I’m being unfair, just ‘cos the “illierates” didn’t read the GFA – doesn’t mean they can’t count.

    You say 400, they say 200 – who cares!

  • starbuck

    Credoists ?

    these people have become locked into a credo and don’t accept a need to change tack ?

  • starbuck

    heard that myself Levitas about the cute hoor Bertie preferring plan B to control via proxy

  • starbuck

    Sindo reflects the opinions of 1.1m FSers each week…If you remember, these are the people that you’re supposed to be “wooing”.

    bull.shit. many thousands of republicans buy it every week to keep tabs on “Sir” Anto’s propaganda

    most of the rest of the readership either skip over the anti SF stuff and chuckle at the blatant propaganda

    the Sindo has become a parody of itself

  • Henry94

    grimsey

    Sindo reflects the opinions of 1.1m FSers each week…If you remember, these are the people that you’re supposed to be “wooing”.

    That is a claim they often make but just because people buy the paper does not mean they agree with the political line.

    It will be interesting to see how their two favourite senators, Minihan and Hayes, get on in the election. Both have had the fawning support of the Sindo for the past few years. If the paper is really that influential they will walk in.

  • lies, damned lies

    It’s hardly surprising that an RTE news operation so slavishly in thrall to the SF leadership should choose to talk to the tracgically broken figure of Darkie rather than an articulate opponent of the sell-out like McIntyre, Mackie or McGeogh.
    Darkie should be left alone, he paid a heavy, heavy price with his health at the behest of traitors and is not in a position to talk rationally about the truly appalling state of affairs within ‘republicanisn’.
    I have no doubt that was the main motivation for his inclusion in this programme.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    gerry,

    I never stated that I was organising meetings, just that meetings are being organised.

    After a quick phone call to the SF N Belfast constituency office they confirmed that there will be a meeting in the Lansdowne at 7.00pm on Thursday.
    Also they stated that there will be one in Ligoniel on Wednesday at 7.00pm and that others are planned for Ardoyne and the Bone. Apparently the New Lodge had one on Saturday with input from Newington and Carrick Hill.
    So that is 5 in North Belfast alone.

  • Jesus Christ

    Darky does not sound like a politician. The Gerrys do. And some of our Catholics sound like Crown Catholics. It is good to see that socially upward Catholic climbers are now at rugby playing Orange schools. It means the whole war was worth it. That and dumb Polack capos. And, yes, houses in Donegal.

  • gerry

    Ulick, first you said 500 people there, then 400, bbc report 200? Inflating the numbers won’t score points.
    Parcifal, you said Hughes was talking tripe, I asked you for specifics, ie as to what it was he said was tripe, and you are either unwilling or unable to answer. Hughes wasn’t talking tripe, adams has got where he has on the backs of the dead.

  • Reader

    How about using the term ‘dissenter’ instead of ‘dissidents’? These days the original dissenters would normally call themselves Protestants instead, so the term is available.

  • Yokel

    So now Bertie wants to collpase devolution.

    Has anyone told the British government who actually are the ones who have the power in this situation?

  • Ulick

    “Ulick, first you said 500 people there, then 400, bbc report 200? Inflating the numbers won’t score points.”

    The BBC weren’t there I was. It’s interesting that the BBC report was put on their website a 3.57pm when the meeting didn’t finish until after 5pm.

  • Red Mist

    Hello folks,

    Some interesting contributions. I have to say that I am a bit disappointed at the slating of new contributors, I think it was by Chris. I am a new contributor and yes I have a bias like everyone. I have an agenda as does Chris, Henry, Ulick, et al. I’m sure Slugger wouldn’t appreciate the attempts to secure new contributors…bad for business Chris.

    No-one here is scientific. Everything is tainted with past experience, perception and bias. Let’s be mature enough to admit that.

    I have been an active republican for the past 16 years and that is a substantial part of my teen and adult life as I am only in my early 30’s.

    There are massive probelms within SF and the RM in general. Whilst public meetings have their merits, and I think they should be encouraged, there will always be a majority opinion in favour of those who called it. Many dont have the confidence to speak in public, never mind going against highly skilled debaters from the leadership. Particularly when the first contributors are aggressively shot down (excuse the phrase) by Adams a la Toome.

    There has been much made in this thread of people talking tripe surrounding the personal financial standing on some senior republicans. The fact is that many senior West Belfast republicans have got fat off the land. This is truth. Opening chippy’s, restaurants, homes in Donegal (or in Adams case virtual mansions), apartments in Portugal (as confirmed by Kelly’s brother-in-law who said it was out of this world, etc.)

    People have referred to this as smear. It is fact. By virtue of the fact that the SF bloggers here label it as smear goes some way in illustrating how abhorent these activities will play out with the republican electorate.

    The contradictions between platitude and practice will out, but it will take time. Once the people, the working class republican and socialist people, realise that the people who claimed to be for them are in fact pulling away from them they will revolt at the ballot box. When they realise that those who once lambasted the ‘castle catholics’ in attacks on the SDLP are now inhabiting the ‘big houses’ they will arise. When they realise that whilst they bled others fed they will know they have been betrayed.

    It is fact that many republicans and/or their families have become the bosses a la Balmoral Hotel. It will all become clearer in time. And it is then that SF will be dealt massive blows at the polls. So whilst they will take some ‘hits’ over policing this is not the end of the slide. People who feel let down should stay the course, start small, and think big.

  • Shankill estate,Lurgan

    Ulick, I agree Lurgan was a good meeting, with between 400-500 in attendance. You seemed to have overlooked a few points from yesterday’s meeting in Lurgan. Among those who stated their total opposition to the SF position on policing were the family of Sam Marshall, set up and murdered by the RUC/PSNI, and who left the meeting after they made their total opposition clear. Another person who voiced total opposition to policing was the brother of IRA Volunteer Eugene Toman who along with two of his comrades was shot dead whilst unarmed by the RUC/PSNI in 1982 during the shoot-to-kill policy.
    You also overlooked the fact that a Lurgan Sinn Féin councillor spoke for several minutes and posed a whole range of questions to MMG and co at the top table. Many of his questions were either not properly answered and indeed some were skipped over in the subsequent answers. These are all people who have given good service to the Movement over the years.
    I agree that the small group of what you term disidents did get more than ample time at the mike, but to fair I believe they weren’t dissidents but IRSP ex prisoners.
    I was speaking to people who attended afterwards and again last night and today and many are still unsure about policing, particularly in view of the queries raised over Garvaghy Road in Portadown.

  • Joe Romhar

    McLarnon’s local is over at Newforge Lane

  • Joe Romhar

    I remember Sinn Fein trying this type of nonsense on Eamonn McCann when he challenged them. He was a drunk, a coward, whatever. Same as they do on Darkie. They will do the same on him this time around in Derry. McCann and Hughes are cut from the same cloth. Good men who speak honestly.

  • Ulick

    Shankill estate,Lurgan,

    Apologies for not mentioning that but I did say there were a lot of voices opposed to the SF motion but I didn’t want to single anyone out by name. Regarding the SF councillor with all the questions you must agree that a lot of people were getting a bit pissed off with him – he read out at least a dozen questions from a note pad, many of which had already been answered. This was two and a half hours into what was supposed to last a hour and a half. I understand the concerns over a parade on the Garvaghy but SF rejecting the motion or no more going to prevent a parade on the road as it will bring back those murdered by the RUC.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    So we have evidence that at Galbally people (Mc Geough)were allowed to state their piece, without intervention, which was at variance with the SF leadership line.
    The poster from Shankill Estate Lurgan has posted that more or less the same thing happened at the meeting he/she attended.

    The odd one out seems to have been the Toome meeting where Rory alleges intimidation etc, something accepted as gospel by other contributors.
    Given the evidence emerging from other areas I would contend that Rory is being less than truthful on the matter.

  • watson

    well pat if there is anything you know all about it is how to tell a lie

  • Laugh

    Didn’t Tommie Gorman report that Darkie Hughes was dead?