A view from South Armagh

Jim McAllister, a former Sinn Fein councillor who was previously elected to the 1982 Assembly (alongside Danny Morrison, Owen Carron, Gerry Adams & Martin McGuinness), from Cullyhanna, has written to The Irish News today in support of Davy Hyland.

This isn’t just about policing
Cullyhanna, Co Armagh

SOME recent letters in The Irish News on policing and Sinn Fein’s policies in general suggest that republicans who do not agree with that party are ‘dissidents’ with nothing to say except ‘sell out’, ‘no intellectuals please’ or ‘bring us back to the good old days’.

What utter nonsense.

I do not agree with Sinn Fein but I am not a ‘dissident’ republican, I am a republican with a different view point to which I am entitled.

Niall Vallelly (January 16) treated us to a lecture on history – presumably he thinks we need the education – and then said that power-sharing with the DUP would mean the failure of the plantation of Ulster.

It is equally valid to argue that the sharing of devolved power – with the purse strings, foreign affairs and security via M.I5 in the control of London and the new RUC in the guise of the PSNI – signals the ultimate success of the plantation with republican and nationalist politicians giving it their blessing. Niall also seems to believe that a more successful six-county state will increase the momentum towards Irish unity.

I just don’t get that and wonder if it is part of the ‘intellectualised’ republicanism ‘Derry republican’ spoke about (January 17).

Niall also spoke of Wolfe Tone’s words closely mirroring those of Bobby Sands and – while he may have meant it the other way round, which would be more logical – the fact is that Tone’s aim was to break the connection with England, not make it safer or more palatable.

Finally, on the question of some independent republicans standing in the coming election, if Paisley allows it to happen, I believe they are entitled to do so.

Davy Hyland has said he is thinking of standing in Newry and Armagh.

If he so decides, I will give him my support, however little that may be. This – for me and probably many others – is not a simple matter of policing but that Sinn Fein’s stance on this issue is the logical outcome of the reformist agenda they are on. I do not cry ‘sell out’ but I believe Sinn Fein went down a road without a map and with no desire to get to where they have arrived.

Davy Hyland has been a republican activist and then a good republican elected representative all his adult life and has been shabbily treated.

Jim McAllister

Cullyhanna, Co Armagh

  • seabhac siúlach

    I would agree with a lot that is written in this letter.

    In all of the debate on policing (which in fact is a wider debate on finally accepting British sovereignty over the six counties), it is strange that those that are against the present arrangement are generally being treated with impatience and a certain lack of respect. There appears to be no place for alternative, more traditionally republican views on the matter. Even ‘dissident’ views will not be tolerated, it seems, drowned out with cries of, ‘what is your alternative’. We are continously being told that the elections will show the support that PSF has among the people for its policing plans, suggesting that those with alternative views, because they are in a putative minority, should keep quiet…stop rocking the boat. Even when that boat is drifting far from the ideals of republicanism…nonsense. It is precisely now when voices should be raised as the final constitutional stone is being lain for the permanent partition of Ireland.
    The bottom line is that soon ‘republicans’ will take their seats in the Stormont assembly (despite all the largely stage managed bluster between then and now). Their ministers will exercise executive power on behalf of an assembly still in the United Kingdom and therefore still under the authority of the Brit. govt. and ultimately the Queen. Some republicans these, willing to serve her majesty! Sometimes pragmatism can be taken too far, as in this case where we have ended up with ‘republicans’ becoming royalists!
    I see no benefit, even if one has supports the rest of the peace process, of republicans agreeing to an assembly where unionism, a largely discredited and fragmented philosophy, will be given an important position of power in Ireland. Why hand unionism a lifeline at this time, when their power is diminishing (RUC gone, RIR gone, Orange order emasculated, etc.). Surely the idea is to defeat the idea of unionism, to show it an impotent philosophy, devoid of power, future, etc.
    How is this done by handing them the first minister position in Stormont. This is just basic politics.
    We are told that the Unionists are being pushed into Stormont because the alternative, Plan B, scares them so much. Well, if that is the case then republicans should be pushing for this plan B instead of providing unionists with a source of power in Stormont to frustrate any future moves to unity, cross border bodies, etc. It is madness, empowering your political enemies at a moment of weakness…

  • Yokel


    Whilst I understand your position, its alright you thinking that Unionism is a failing ideology but Unionists clearly don’t believe it and won’t.

  • Dessertspoon

    Sorry to wander off topic but I have an appeal for info. I thought that I had heard that David Jameson, former UVF and who knows what else….was arrested at the weekend re intimidation and blackmail charges. Anyone else hear this?

  • seabhac siúlach

    “Whilst I understand your position, its alright you thinking that Unionism is a failing ideology but Unionists clearly don’t believe it and won’t.”

    Just because you won’t believe it, doesn’t mean it is not true. The evidence is all for my case…every unionist institution has been in retreat for decades…
    And now they are being handed on a plate executive power in Stormont. You couldn’t make it up…
    Perhaps six county unionists can discuss their thriving (ahem) ideology with the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP)…? Or better still, the moribund Conservative and Unionist party in Scotland…The union, as it existed, is under threat, it is a failing ideology both in Ireland and Britain. BTW, it is a strange time, precisely now, with the SNP about to crack the union, for Provo SF to step in and hand a lifeline to unionism in Ireland, instead of letting it wither, impotent, on the vine…
    PSF should be promoting cross-border links and ignoring unionism, leaving it powerless and friendless.
    A joint global strategy with the SNP for the break up of the union would be more sensible for PSF, assuming that they do actually want to break the union with Britain, i.e., depriving themselves of those nice salaries, paid-for offices in Westminster, etc.

  • Yokel


    They have a vote, they are in the majority in the area of conflict as defined by every political major entity involved in this situation. Thats all they need.

    It’s how it is.

  • BonarLaw

    seabhac siulach

    “A joint global strategy with the SNP for the break up of the union would be more sensible for PSF”

    Hear, hear! I’m all for a party that advocates the partition of an island into different states!

    And you say unionism is withering, impotent on the vine.


  • kadenza


    “PSF should be promoting cross-border links and ignoring unionism, leaving it powerless and friendless”

    A reasonable and sensible point however their ability to do so is tempered by an non function executive and as long as a hostile suouthern media can portray republicans a danger to the free state then the ability of SF to influence southern policy is seriously curtailed.

  • seabhac siúlach


    “They have a vote, they are in the majority in the area of conflict as defined by every political major entity involved in this situation. Thats all they need.

    It’s how it is. ”

    Yes, but that vote only has meaning in the context of having and wielding political power. Depriving them of political power in Stormont would only serve to underline their impotence. PSF on the other hand has the opportunity to obtain power in the 26 counties while depriving unionists of a forum, the assembly, in which they can have any sort of voice. It is not in the interests of republicanism to be empowering the enemy…


    Named after the conservative who helped wrecked home rule, no doubt…a, eh, proud name…

    “Hear, hear! I’m all for a party that advocates the partition of an island into different states!”

    Very clever…

    Yes, into three different nations of Scotland, Wales and England…quite simple really, leaving the nation of Ireland unified and separate…

    The ideology of unionism, its support within the UK, as evidenced by repeated polls, is at a very low point, that is, withering, rotten, on the 300 year old vine…

  • pete Whitcroft

    Did Davy Hyland oppose the SF leadership before being deselected.

  • BonarLaw

    seabhac siulach

    You support a three state future for GB, world opinion supports a two state solution for Israel/ Palestine but seemingly the island of Ireland only gets one state.

    I’m afraid you’ve lost me.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘Did Davy Hyland oppose the SF leadership before being deselected.’

    No, there is no record of either DH or Geraldine Dougan expressing any dissatisfaction with the SF or the GFA.

  • seabhac siúlach

    “A reasonable and sensible point however their ability to do so is tempered by an non function executive and as long as a hostile suouthern media can portray republicans a danger to the free state then the ability of SF to influence southern policy is seriously curtailed.”

    Not true, the super councils could provide the necessary institutional backup for most/all of the different cross border operations. All the rest could be done at governmental level, no need for local involvement in road building, trade links, education, etc., etc. It can all be done, should be done, over the heads of recalcitrant unionists…
    You suggest that southern voters will be worried about PSF, presented by the media as a danger to the free state and so will withhold support. I disagree. There is a latent republicanism in the south, manifested by the surge in Fianna Fail’s vote following the 1916 commemorations last year. In fact, all evidence shows, ie, opinion polls, that since decommissioning, since the lessening of any overt (peaceful!) republicanism, PSF’s vote has collapsed (down now to 6% from 12% in mid-2005). There is a space for a vocal, strong, peaceful left-wing republicanism in the south that does not serve the long-term interests of unionism and which can argue this case…pussyfooting around as PSF does in case they might offend anyone, taking all positions at the same time on every issue, is a road to nowhere, certainly not the republic…
    The option is there, however, of PSF gaining power in Dublin, despite their limiations, and depriving unionists of a voice in the six counties. They should seize this chance, in my view…

  • seabhac siúlach

    “You support a three state future for GB, world opinion supports a two state solution for Israel/ Palestine but seemingly the island of Ireland only gets one state.”

    This faux naivety is very fetching…

    Ireland only gets one state, much as Scotland would only get one, even taking into account the many, no doubt unionists there as well as in Ireland…a minority is a minority is a minority…on the island nation of Ireland as in the nation of Scotland.
    Unionism is a minority philosophy in Ireland, the nation. We are not speaking of the artificial six counties statelet, engineered to produce a unionist ‘majority’ perpertually, and all within living memory, not in some dreamy distant past…

    You can believe otherwise but save us the false naivety…and please don’t bring Israel into it…

  • BonarLaw

    seabhac siulach

    given your postings here to date I do hope you blushed when you accused others of “faux naivety”.

    “The island nation of Ireland” is a strange phrase. GB is an island but you would have it split into three, Hispaniola is an island but accomodates two nations. What is special about the island of Ireland which allows you to equate land mass to nation?

  • seabhac siúlach

    Nothing to blush about, my friend…

    What does emote, in fact irritate, me is the fact that you do not address the points of my initial post and seek to engage me in semantic games on nationality…

    “What is special about the island of Ireland which allows you to equate land mass to nation?”

    Okay. I’ll continue the ‘game’ to humour you.

    Em, because that is what the nation of Ireland is, the whole island…look it up…you know, there was an Ireland before the partitioned border of 1922, it was a single entity called Ireland within the UK. It was/is an historical entity and was for hundreds of years after large numbers of Scottish/English planters came there. It was a recongised as the separate kingdom of Ireland, within the UK.

    I do understand your point, you wish to show somehow that it is valid that Ireland be partitioned because there is a different, eh, nation (is it?) north of the border. That, frankly, is crap. The present inhabitants of the six counties, in a large measure, are the descendants of those who quite happily called themselves Irish and lived in a place called Ireland until 1922, at which point it suddenly became Northern Ireland. The historical nation of Ireland did not suddenly cease to exist in 1922 because of an arbitrary line on a map. If unionists do not now consider themselves Irish that is their right, it does not mean though that there is no Irish nation, ie., the island of Ireland.

  • The Clockwoman

    I thought the DUP MEP had defected!

  • Yokel


    Did Ireland as a political/statist entity exist before the English dropped by?

  • Denis

    Pat Mc Larnon

    “No, there is no record of either DH or Geraldine Dougan expressing any dissatisfaction with the SF or the GFA.”

    You seem definate Pat. Are PSF keeping a “list”. Is there a database of potential troublemakers? Have you access to the “list” 🙂

  • BonarLaw

    seabhac siulach

    I take it back. Nothing “faux” about your naivety.

    “Em, because that is what the nation of Ireland is, the whole island”. That’s ok then.

    “That, frankly, is crap.” So true, I’ll go and wither, impotent(!) on the vine.

    “…it does not mean though that there is no Irish nation, ie., the island of Ireland”. But I thought the newly ammended constitution of Ireland defined the “nation” in terms of people not territory. Then again I’m a unionist so what would my failing ideology know about that.

    This has been diverting, but I wonder if it is part of a cunning republican stunt- you know spout amusing nonsence about the “nation” and lull those stupid Orangies into a false sense of security.

    Well, if so it’s worked. Unionist sense of security coper-fastened.


  • John East Belfast


    Go ahead and screw things up if you wish.

    But if you think unionists will just sit on their hands you are very misguided.

    There is a Plan C where unionists and constitutional nationalists move on without SF if the aproach you are advocating was adopted.
    The DUP especially would be up for that.

    What would you do about that ? – Go back to violence ?

  • gerry

    I think when all is said and done, if there is an election, paisley permitting, then its going to be a matter of leaving aside party politics and voting according to your own beliefs. I think a lot of people will hold back their vote this time, especially after the revelations of today. O’Loans report hasn’t helped any.

    As for republicans, SF are asking ex-prisoners to vote sf to support a force they cannot join, simply because they have a criminal r ecord due to their involvement in past events. How can they ask that?

    It’s going to boil down to what happens on the day, when peoples own personal choice and conscience and bias kick in. Its because of this, IMO SF will loose a lot of support. How that pans out, we’re going to have to wait and see.

  • The Dubliner

    “I do not cry ‘sell out’ but I believe Sinn Fein went down a road without a map and with no desire to get to where they have arrived.” – Jim McAllister, letter to The Irish News

    Unlike Jim McAllister, I do believe that the leadership of PSF factored the best interests of their party into the “negotiations” and placed them above the bests interests of PSF’s supporters i.e. those whose goal was Irish unity. Prior to the IRA ceasefire of 1993, the British government declared that they had “selfish military, economic, or strategic interest in Northern Ireland.” This was tantamount to a declaration that the British government considered that a United Ireland was a possible outcome of any post-ceasefire negotiations. But instead of negotiating with the British government (who could offer a UI), PSF chose to negotiate with those who could not offer that outcome, and to confine the British government (along with the Irish government) to the impotent role of facilitator and guarantor of the preferred ‘all-party’ negotiations.

    By choosing to sideline the British government and go the route of an internal settlement that was agreed between the north’s political parties, the only settlement PSF could possibly get was (a) subject to the approval of the majority of parties in those negotiations and (b) a majority of those parties were unionists, so the majority outcome of that negotiating arrangement would be a United Kingdom that contained some concessions to nationalists, and not a United Ireland. In short, they chose a route where the only outcome would be a strengthening of partition, not an abolition of it.

    I believe that the leadership of PSF (Adams and McGuinness) deliberately betrayed the goal of a United Ireland by placing party-political interests and ambitions above all others. Partition allows their party to be one of the biggest in the partitioned statelet and to to remain politically relevant and powerful. Most of all, it allows PSF to retain control of the goal of Irish Unity and to continue to cynically manipulate that goal in-order to advance its own party-political purposes, not least of which is its agenda of a quasi-Marxist socialist state. On an ever baser level, Devolution allows for hundreds of state-financed party-political careers, with the leadership being the undoubted darlings at the centre of it all.

    Now, PSP doesn’t have a republican strategy at this point. What they have is a cynical device which they hope will propel them onto the central stage of Irish politics as the central dynamic that all other political parties and individuals in the Republic rally around in the “shared” quest for Irish unity. They hope to prostitute Irish republicanism for party-political gain in the south in the same despicable manner that they did in the north. The collapse of their vote in the south to 6 points should tell them that their “republican strategy” is a non-starter.

    As Jim McAllister alludes to, the logic behind the PoC is deeply flawed. Should an internal solution lead to increased economic prosperity and the increased satisfaction with the status quo that will inevitably result from such prosperity, then that satisfaction with the status quo will not serve as a dynamic for change in the political status of the north, but will, in fact, have the directly opposite effect. So, the more stable and successful the north becomes (keep begging for those handouts), the more stable partition becomes. Apart from what Jim alludes to, there are a plethora of other reasons why the PoC is a guarantee of the north’s permanent status within the UK; one of which, but by no means least, is the increased prosperity will bring immigrants to work within the UK. As those people will have chosen to settle and work within the UK (i.e. the north) and not within the Republic, there are no prizes for guessing which way they will vote in the highly unlikely event that a referendum on Irish unity is ever called. PSF hasn’t done the math for its supporters on how the PoC will ever get over the 50% needed to secure what was once their core objective: a United Ireland. They haven’t done that math for those supporters because they know the numbers will never add up. And still those supporters follow blindly like lemmings with no understanding on what a cliff is.

  • The Dubliner


    Of course, you can’t be in government and earnestly serving the interests of a state that whose existence you have declared yourself to be in opposition to. So, you can argue logical progression and no surprise there, except that PSF’s leaders lied to those it now brands as dissidents by telling them that there would be no return to Stormont. Gerry Adams sent Gerry Kelly out to lie to PSF’s supporters and say “not an ounce, not a bullet” on demands for decommissioning, but they lied there too. They lied on policing, too. Now you have Gerry Kelly disgraced yet again by allowing MI5 in to “monitor” those they lied to; and distancing MI5 from the PSNI in-order to ensure that PSF’s leaders ares not embarrassed by its declaration of support for policing when the inevitable happens and MI5 fuck-up again.

    Jim McAllister is also spot-on about PSF Orwellian use of its master’s propaganda. As demonisation was once used against those who were formerly republican (i.e. PSF) but who have now been fully-integrated into the British political system under the realm, so now do PSF use demonisation against those who are still republican. The choice is not, of course, between blind compliance with Gerry Adams’ political interests of armed struggle, but watch PSF spin it that way for dear life.

  • seabhac siúlach


    “I take it back. Nothing “faux” about your naivety.”

    Is it important for you to feel superior as that is the ‘vibe’ you give off…? Just wondering…

    Despite all your ‘clever’ chat, and sophistry, nothing mentioned on the actual point in hand. Most diverting for you, I’m sure (and for me, literally).
    As for the 26 county constitution, that can define a nation any way it likes…nothing to do with me…
    In my view a nation cannot be defined solely by its people. What then of British people living in Ireland who are British by nationality (as I assume you are). Are we to call the small part of Ireland they live in Britain? Hardly.
    Dictionary definition: “a nation: a large body of people, associated with a particular territory”
    The associated with a particular territory is the important part, in this case the island of Ireland.
    Those changes in the constitution allow six county residents to obtain 26 county passports…as residents of an Irish nation in the six counties…therefore, the constitution is asserting that those areas of the six counties are parts of the Irish nation as nationalists live there, but the understanding is that it is because they are living on the island of Ireland that they have this right, i.e., living in the historical island of Ireland…
    Someone born in England does not have that right, obviously enough.

    All of this depends on your own definition anyhow and I doubt we will ever agree.
    Now please, by all means, go away and wither…impotent or whatever, you have bored the hell out of me and wasted my time…


    “Did Ireland as a political/statist entity exist before the English dropped by?”

    There was an understanding of Ireland as a state yes. Brian Boru was crowned Emperor of the Irish in Armagh in 1004 and was the High King (under opposition) of Ireland. He could only be that if it was recognised that such an entity existed. Her collected taxes, etc., minted coins as did the other High Kings (with opposition) that followed him. Of course, references in the old Gaelic poetry mention an state called Ireland (Balba, etc. and other poetical names) even further back.

    John East Belfast

    “There is a Plan C where unionists and constitutional nationalists move on without SF if the aproach you are advocating was adopted.
    The DUP especially would be up for that.”

    It would not last long, being inherently unstable, and the SDLP would be crucified at the polls for agreeing to it. You could not have power sharing with a large body of nationalists alienated from it…this is not 1974…

  • Is this the same Niall Vallely big-wig from Newry Sinn Féin, the group which oversaw Hyland’s demise? The group which has been briefing against Hyland in local newspapers in recent weeks? The group which, styling itself as ‘Newry Cómhairle Ceanntair’ [sic] wrote a letter to AP/RN to counteract the Hyland claims?

    And is this the same Jim McAllister who has written “The arrival of Sinn Féin on the councils was a culture shock to the established parties as Sinn Féin quickly made politics more open and politicians more answerable”? The same Jim McAllister who said “I’m not saying there aren’t some who are unhappy with the way some things are going, but there is no breakaway group in South Armagh. We know that this peace process is the only way to go and every single republican in South Armagh is going that way”? The same Jim McAllister who has commented “The reality is that all shades of IRA are one movement, with one broad membership, and one eventual goal”?

    My, my. How things change. First we have Connolly House directly intervening to ensure councillors stand down, such as Hyland and Lewis, then we have this. Have any more of the Murphy lads been beaten up lately?

  • Paul

    Funny how all these people were ridiculed by the SF leadership. Jim McAllister, Michael McKevitt, Rory OBradaigh,Price sisters, etc etc Ridiculed simply because they could see were all this was leading, to Stormont. As Republicans regardless if you agree with their politics or not thet were right all along.

  • Oakleaf

    El-mat you might be as well concerning yourself with the votes for sale carry on in Derry rather than annoying yourself with internal Sinn Fein matters.

  • seabhac siúlach

    John East Belfast

    “What would you do about that ? – Go back to violence ?”

    Didn’t answer this above…
    No, I see no need for violence…and am opposed to it…
    There are other more practical, peaceful, ways to push the republican agenda, something PSF now is not doing, taking their executive roles in a partitionist entity…

  • gerry

    What is this votes for sale in Derry? How much is a vote worth?

  • Oakleaf

    gerry this applies if you are a member of the sdlp. the mayor of derry is alleged to have paid the membership of up to 60 members so that she could become an assembly candidate.

    At the selection convention after a row and an impassioned plea from Mark Durkan didn’t have to stand for selection.

    Helen Quigley got 77 votes
    Pat Ramsey 55
    Gerard Diver 30
    Mary Bradley 28

    Democracy for sale.

  • Rory

    “No, I see no need for violence…and am opposed to it…
    There are other more practical, peaceful, ways to push the republican agenda,”

    Glad to hear it,seabhac siúlach. Perhaps you might tell us what this way is, everyone else on the dissident side seems much too bashful to articulate this principled, surefire, vote winning strategy and while their modesty is very becoming it is somewhat less than informative.

  • J Kelly

    I agree Rory this is the big challenge to the disaffected republicans, if you don’t agree with the strategy give us an alternative.

  • seabhac siúlach

    Rory, J Kelly

    I cannot speak for ‘dissidents’, not being one. I am dissenting from nothing…
    However, I have written on this site, in many posts , over the last two weeks or so about possible alternatives, including today. I suggest you try the archives if ye are that interested…I do not have the time to repeat myself here…
    All this blather about alternatives…but no one is actually listening for any possible answers…

  • The Dubliner

    Rory, perhaps the ‘alternative’ to accepting greater integration of the north into the UK is to not accept it? It seems odd that ‘republicans’ now insist, without a trace of comical irony, that there is no alternative to swearing allegiance to the monarchist crown. If so, then they should declare that they are pro-state, get on with living their lives under permanent British rule, and have done with the republican charade. Proclaiming themselves to be republican while serving the interests of the state in Her Majesty’s Government (err sorry, declaring themselves loyal to the state in-order to be disloyal to the state by seeking its dissolution while swearing an oath to serve its best interests and take their schizophrenia medication) is the stuff of unmitigated farce. You’re either pro-state or you are anti-state. At this point, PSF (and the majority of its supporters) are pro-state, and are ready to serve the best interests of the British state. I have no problem with that. But they should stop pretending to be a republican party while being a de facto monarchist party, serving in Her Majesty’s Government. They should also stop pretending that they aren’t there to serve the interests of the state, but are simply there as ‘monitors’ to ensure that the state they serve doesn’t revert to its dismal penchant for collusion in murder campaigns against them or relegate them to the status of second-class citizens.

    There was one opportunity for Irish unity post-ceasefire. PSF blew it. The second opportunity won’t come until devolution goes arseways (again) and the ball bounces back to the British and Irish governments. So, until then, keep dreaming of unworkable internal solutions, preferably ones that don’t take 13-years for local politicians to negotiate.

  • true irishman

    John Kelly,

    For starters why have you choosen to use the name of a Republican of considerable standing when you yourself are only a nationalist card carrying member of Sinn Fein.
    Do you think that somehow people reading your S/F paid for postings on this site will confuse you with the honest man with impeccable credentials steeped in traditional republicanism who’s real name is John Kelly (former S/F-MLA/IRA-gunrunner)

    You mouth on and on about an alternative yet cannot answer when this United Ireland that the failed leadership of Sinn Fein has promised is comming or how it’s comming.
    You can’t explain why this leadership is so keen to sip power through a shitty-rag, obviously the new motto for the Shinners is

    “if it’s broke don’t fix it, ask for an alternative”

  • BonarLaw

    seabhac siulach

    “What then of British people living in Ireland who are British by nationality (as I assume you are). Are we to call the small part of Ireland they live in Britain?” Let’ts call it the United Kingdom, after all that’s what it says on the maps.

    “Those changes in the constitution allow six county residents to obtain 26 county passports”. No they didn’t. That facility existed prior to 1998.

    “the historical island of Ireland”. Sounds like you’ve cut and pasted from a travel brochure.

    “Someone born in England does not have that right, obviously enough”. Er, depending on your parentage if you are born in England (or anywhere else for that matter) there can be a right to an Irish passport. Ironically, in response to economic emigration the Irish government has removed the automatic right to one of their passports from people born either in their state or this part of the UK.

    “you have bored the hell out of me and wasted my time…”. Result!

  • Rory (South Derry)

    John Kelly

    To Quote Denis Bradley:-

    There is nothing worse than a crowd of men and women raising their hands in assent as they bow their heads in embarrassment.

    Nothing worse except when they are not allowed to even raise their hands!

    All the provos want to do is have nodding dogs and they are so far down the road to a “United Kingdom that they have banned Dissent within their ranks

    The Stance of Jim McAllister must be appaulded by every right minded thinking person!

    Witness the Idea of National Unity and Self Determination sold out by the newest party in Britain Provisional Sinn Fein!

    Stop using the name of a proper republican!

  • Rubicon

    Rory South Derry – I’ve listened to you spout but I don’t understand your point. You say you WERE a SF supporter. I think I remember you saying that – but I could be wrong.

    IF I’m right – can you tell me what part of the GFA (that you supported) has led you to change your mind? If you were not a SF supporter after ’98 you have credence – but I believe you said that you were. You can put me right.

    IF you are ex-SF because of this move – could you tell us why you didn’t read the GFA? It’s nonsense for you to continually criticise GA if you signed up to the GFA.

    Can Sluggers know what your position is? Are you stupid? Are you careless? Was the GFA too long to read?

    Come on Rory – say it – say it as it is. Are you ex-SF? If so, why? What did you miss that wasn’t made explicit in the GFA?

    SF’ers ask what your alternative is. You’ve no answer. I’m no SF’er – but I would like to know why you signed up to the GFA without knowing what that required?

    Did it use too big words? Did it not have enough pictures? Did you rely on GA explaining it to you?

    It seems you’re blaming GA when the GFA was there for all to see. Sorry – but it seems to me that you decided to be told by GA (who you now blame) or you didn’t read the GFA. Either way – it does look like you occupy a dark and lonely part of Ireland.

    How many ex-SF’ers read the agreement they supported?

    It’s not a question I expect an answer to. Ex-SF’s need to deliver more than saying “SF deselected me” and “I now stand for completely different principles”.

    “Illiterates” in this context are voluntary. What part of the GFA did they not understand? Answer that and the likes of Rory (SD) will need explain why he supported something he now rails against.

  • Rory (South Derry)


    I have read the GFA from cover to cover – all the big words and all!

    Now in the beginning the Belfast Mob came to the locals and stated quite clearly that:-

    (1). They would NEVER decommission and that came
    directly from Sgt Gerry Kellys mouth. LIES

    (2). The Army would remain intact. LIES

    (3). Policing was brushed over like it did not
    matter – Arbys March 1999! LIES

    Gerry Kelly was he lying? (Adams & Marty Mc were also both there as well)

    Did he actually know how far the Brits would push them?

    Now is it me or was the PSF Leadership telling blatant lies?

    The ever changing face of Provo politics – tell me do believe your leadership can do no wrong?

  • Just on South Armagh Mick

    I attended the meeting tonight in Newry which was attended by 1,300 Republicans and the response was very positive.

    Peter John Carragher, who is also from Cullyhanna and a friend of Jim’s spoke very well on the issue. This is a man who fought in the border campaign and has remained a committed Republican all his life, a man that has suffered great brutality at the hands of the RUC. He has also lost a son to Crown forces and almost lost another.

    In fairness to Jim he has always been a commited Republican and has never been viewed in South Armagh as a “dissident”. Saying that it has been quite a few years since he departed company with Sinn Féin and so in relation to Davy Hyland he can’t speak about the selection conventions and what have you.

    Jim is of course entitled to his opinion and it is one which is respected in South Armagh.

    The reality is however that South Armagh is standing firmly behind the leadership on this issue and not one single Republican has walked away over the Policing debate.

    Most Republicans have reservations which is only natural but as Gerry Adams said tonight, after Sunday it isn’t going to be a case of finding a Peeler to hug, it is a case of putting manners on them.

    I believe that Republicans are up to that challenge.

  • BeardyBoy

    Dubliner and Seabhac Siulach

    I agree with you both in the general – I never agreed to the gfa and cannot comprehend how a nationalist could.

    However they did.

    They will agree to policing

    they will agree to partition

    They will agree to run the partitionist state

    the reason – they surrendered. The handing over of arms was an outward act of the inner disposition. The GFA was cover for their embarrassment.

    We now have an awful situation on our hands. It will take at least 10 years to get back where we where.

    Let us hope that the English make a mess of their economy and the economic environment here weakens

  • Observer

    I was at that meeting in Newry.
    Nobody stopped going in, Fionnuala O’Connor skulking around taking notes and no-one denied the microphone.
    One comment from a 70 year old veteran struck me as a good analogy. He said,
    “When you’ve driven a nest of rats back into their hole, theres only one place to go. In after them!”
    Lifted the roof.
    Contrary to the impression given on Slugger, SF seem to be in pretty good shape.

  • Jesus Christ


    The current edition of The Blanket is full of anti Quisling articles.

  • The Dubliner

    Rubbish, Observer. You are being assimilated ever-deeper into the United Kingdom. And these lies that are being told to you by your leadership are not contained within the oaths that will be swearing. You are there to serve the interests of the state and not the particular interests that are being spun to you. What is being spun to you as transition is actually permanency. One day you’ll see it without the sepia-tinting, and it’ll be too late.

  • Paul

    Chris dont be exaggerating there wasnt 1300 at the Newry meeting. I knew this would come up so i counted the seat. Top half the room 15 rows of 13 seats thats 195 and 13 rows of 16 in the back half equals 208 and 100 standing but lets throw in another 100 for the sake of the Peace Process. Thats a long way from 1300 isnt it.

  • Ingram

    Paul, 1300?

    That is Sinn fein counting, vote early and vote often it appears Chris can count imaginary chairs also.

    1300 DOWN 400 . LOL



  • DK


    “not in the interests of republicanism to be empowering the enemy… ”

    Appreciate your honesty. Unionists are the enemy. None of that flowery stuff about uniting green and orange.

    Ignore them. Let them wither on the vine. Deprive them of a voice.

    Your approach is bound to lead to a happy unified nation.

  • DK

    beardyboy: “Let us hope that the English make a mess of their economy and the economic environment here weakens”

    Lets hope that people become unemployed are paid less and have job insecurity!!! Is this the proud new republican movement – wishing ill on its own people to further its own selfish aims. You should be embarrased.

    However, it makes sense in the light of your pals bombing of economic targets like B&Q and JJB Sports etc. Nice to know that dissident minds think alike in more ways than just their opposition to policing.

    I would support a party that promised to improve the economic environment. You people are in the past. Republican indeed!

  • Paul

    I am not sure which meeting you were at but it must have been a different one than me. That is the official count from the meeting.


    You weren’t there so you comment means less than jack.

  • Paul

    Chris that is quite ridiculous, it you were to get the tape of either of the 2 camers you would be able to confirm the seating arrangements as I stated earlier.

  • Paul

    The Miller suite has a seating capicity of over 1000. Added to that the people that were standing, myself included. The place was bunged and that is the official count that I gave.

  • Paul

    Chris check the link below to the Canal Court Hotel and show me where there is seating capacity of over 1000 as you claim.


  • Paul

    Chris here is a seperate piece from the hotels own website where they clearly state that they can accomodate between 2-550 in a variety of rooms.
    The Canal Court Hotel is an ideal location for Business Meetings, Conferences and Training Seminars. At the Canal Court Hotel we take pride in our reputation as professionals offering the highest standards of service and expertise. From a major conference to an executive board meeting or seminar, our staff are trained to understand all your needs and requirements as an event co-ordinator.

    Our Conference facilities are ultra modern all with state of the art audio and visual equipment and we can accommodate between 2 –550 people in a variety of rooms.

    Our facilities are backed up with direct dial telephones, fax/photocopying facilities and secretarial services and our attention to detail will ensure a stress-free and successful conference everytime.

  • Tammy

    Chris, ask yourself if they would lie to you about something as simple and as easily checked out as the seating capacity of a hotel conference room, what else are they lying to you about?

    How much lipstick on the collar do you have to wash out before you see what is going on?

  • Even if the room was packed with 1,300 (which seems doubtful from what has been said here), what’s to say they would be intending to vote PSF in the forthcoming elections? The very fact that these people feel the need to attend this public meeting may indicate that many of them remain to be convinced. Or is it that it wasn’t so much a ‘public meeting’ as much as a provo show of strength?

  • seabhac siulach


    “Appreciate your honesty. Unionists are the enemy. None of that flowery stuff about uniting green and orange.”

    In uniting orange and green, the orange does not refer to the philosophy of unionism, which is after all merely a philosophy, a concept of the mind: it refers to the ‘orange’ people (the orange followers/adherents of protestantism who revere William of Orange from saving them from catholicism). There is no reason why these ‘orange’ protestants cannot exist in a united Ireland, much as their fellow religionists already do in the 26 counties, with the absolute freedom and right to celebtrate their religion, culture, hold orange marches, etc., e.g., in Donegal each July…

  • seabhac siulach


    Appreciate the time taken to show the true capacity of the Canal Court Hotel. At last, a lie nailed…
    As Tammy says, if one is willing to lie on so trivial a point, what else is a lie? How can one now trust a word that comes from this ‘source’, someone pushing a certain line about Mr Hyland since his deselection?

    Mr. Gaskin has gone unusually quiet…no doubt wondering how to spin this one…

  • Mr. Gaskin has gone unusually quiet…no doubt wondering how to spin this one…

    Not at all, I just phoned one of the bar staff to ask about the capacity of Millers.

    Millers has two different conference halls that can be added together, as they were last night.

    There was 1,300 at the meeting last night, I don’t really care what anonymous posters believe.

    Don’t accuse me of lying SS, I may be a lot of things but a liar is not one of them!

  • seabhac siulach

    Chris Gaskin

    Please accept my apologies re ‘lying’…I admit to being wrong, posted too hastily before (there is a lesson there somewhere)…too late I have had a look at the plans of the Canal Court and I see that the two Miller Suites together have a seating capacity of 830+630=1460 (if my mental arithmetic is holding up). In fact, it clearly mentions on the Canal Court website (if one looks…) that the Miller and Miller II suites can be added together for those larger occasions…

  • Paul

    Chris go to the link I provided to the Canal Court and add together the capacity for Miller 1 and Miller 2 suite and see what you get. Again I was there and there was half the number you claim, max 700. Tell us who provided you with the official count and I will contact them. As I said I was one of the first 5 or so into the place and out of curiosity we counted the rows of seats its very easy when the place is empty. If you persist I will meet you down there and we can both go to the manager and ask how many both suites combined will hold seated.

    Did you ever think for a moment that whoever told you the “official count” could have been mistaken. Typical case of the sheep mentality and also exposes the fact that you will swallow anything you are told.

  • The Dubliner

    Yup, Chris may be a lot of things (and I’m too kind to disgrace him by listing them), but a liar is not one of them. 😉

  • I have no intention of using up Mick’s bandwith with this futile crap.

    I have set out and explained the capacity of Millers, I contacted a member of staff to verify that it does have said capacity, I have the word of several Republicans that I trust who were charged with making the count and I have my own two eyes.

    You seem to forget that I was at the meeting last night and as I was one of the last in to the hall I saw exactly how many were there.

    If that is not good enough then quite frankly I don’t care, I have no intention of carrying on debating with an anonymous poster on this issue.

    Believe me or don’t believe me, your ramblings are irrelevent.

  • Paul

    SS, this is becoming ridiculous, you take the theatre seating for each suite you fool and combine them.

  • theatre seating

    That was not the seating plan for last night you fool!

  • Paul

    Oh and what was it the banqueting arrangements I suppose.

  • Tammy

    Theatre seating is the style of seating for maximum capacity. If, as you say, the two Miller Suites were co-joined you would get a maximum capacity of 300 + 250, which is only 550. Giving you the benefit of the doubt and throwing in the other large banquet room, the Clanrye Suite, gives you another 300, which brings you to 850. If you add all the rooms together, which is doubtful, you still only get 1140. Whoever came up with 1300 was thinking wishful. 1000 would be generous. Given that it was standing room only, it is most likely the amount of people there was between 600 to 900 (600 for the likely 2 suites, 900 for the not as likely 3 co-joined suites) people, which is still no small amount, but not 1300.

    I don’t think you are a liar, Chris, but I do think someone is lying to you.

  • Are you thick?

    Theatre seating relates just to the dance floor area of the room. If you look on the sister hotels website (Carrickdale) it lists theatre capacity as 300 for Laceys. Now I have worked at functions in Laceys where there was 500 seating. That is not taking into account the seating at the back of the room.

    Thus it is the same with Millers.

    You really are becoming a little tiresome on this one

  • Theatre seating is the style of seating for maximum capacity

    No it is not!

    Anyone who has worked in the Hotel sector will tell you that and as I have worked in it for over 6 years I am telling you!

    I will not be posting on this issue anymore, it’s like debating with a bunch of stupid 3 year olds.

  • Paul

    Thank you Tammy, common sense prevails at least someone can read and add. The hotels own site says that the max they can have seated is 550 and that is both Miller suites combined. At the very most and this is being generous there was 150 standing, split evenly with both sides of the room. It is very petty on my behalf to keep contradicting Chris on this but as I say I had counted the rows of seats at the start.

  • Tammy

    Chris, we aren’t talking about the Carrickdale, are we? Even taking the comparison in, that still put the count at @ 300/500 + 250/375 = 550/875 + standing, which could possibly put the figure to 600/900+, but not 1300.

    It’s common to boost numbers in the aftermath, but a good thing to still keep it realistic, which in this case, 1300 is not.

  • The Dubliner

    Paul and Tammy, while I commend your mathemathical skills, you left out an important factor in your respective calculations: PSF’ers are Marxists; so it is likely that they will have shared the resources of the assembled proletariat i.e the chairs. So, count two shinners per chair and you easily get the higher number. Lateral thinking solaves the problem.

  • Observer


    I hate sepia tones. You really should attend one of these meetings and restore your faith in old Marxists;)

    El Mat

    1300 would hardly constitute a show of strength for “provos”. Now the SDLP….

  • time will tell

    “Chris Gaskin is not a liar”

    Well he has stated on Slugger on quite a few threads that if Sinn Fein accept policing he “would find it impossible to stay in the party”

    I took the liberty of phoning the hotel I was told that it would be impossible for the Hotel to accomodate a gathering over 1000 in the same venue, they would have to be broken up throughout the hotel to seat that number even allowing for a hundred standing

  • BeardyBoy


    I am not a republican – loathe the freemasonic lie of fraternity equality and liberty which was a complete pile of crap to get the peasantry to fight for the middle class.

    So please do not call me that

    It is indeed in Irelands advantage to have a weakend England – I think that is a scenario which is to our advantage

  • pete Whitcroft

    They should have hosted the event at Jean Crozier’s or the Newry Olympic hockey club, either of which can take at least 13,500.
    If only we could have turned back the clock and used the top room at Billy Nummy’s.

    The grey unyielding concrate made a city of my town.

  • Paul

    OK this is settled once and for all.

    Chris Im just off the phone to Jean, conferencing manager for the Canal Court Hotel who tells me that the seating capacity for both Miller suites combined is 550-600. Another thing, just to let you know for someone who works or worked as you claim in the Hotel or related business that theatre style seating is rows and rows of seats from the stage to the back of the hall, exactly how it was on Monday night. So I would like to put the following points to you:

    Firstly please refrain from calling me a fool for suggestiong that the seating arrangements was theatre style for Monday night.

    Jean at the Hotel will confirm that there was 500 seats laid out (theatre style) for Monday night so with another 200 standing (and there wasnt 200 standing but lets just say there was) thats gives us 700, so whoever in SF gave you the official count of 1300 was the liar and you were happy enough to just accept that even though you were present.

    Who is the fool now ???

  • pete Whitcroft

    Is that Jean Crozier of Water St.

  • marty (not ingram)

    FFS, I can’t believe the anti-SF argument has now gotten to “debating” seating arrangements in a Newry hotel.

    Paul et al – there’s a bright future for youse in event management & trade fairs.

  • marty (not ingram)

    Oh aye – Who is the fool now ???

    Indeed Paul, I’m betting sure most readers have made their minds up on that one.

  • Paul

    I agree Marty, some difference between 1300 the figure argued by Chris and the real figure of 700. But no doubt they will come up with some other excuse. Blame the securicrats I say.

  • time will tell

    So Gaskin is a LIAR

    and he knew he was lying, if he were a man at all he would come on here and apologise to Paul

  • Paul

    Chris will come on and take his medicine at some stage he is fairly honourable that way.

  • Paul

    Maybe he wont surface after all/

  • Sorry but some of us have more in life than Slugger.

    Time to put this to rest. If anyone takes a look at tonights Newry Reporter, a publicdation not know for being pro-Sinn Féin, you will see that their reporter (who was there on the night) puts the crowd at “Over 1,000”

    The attendence was 1,300, End of!

  • Paul

    Chris why cant you just admot that both you and Sinn Fein are wrong on this. So correct me if Im wrong but what you are saying is that there was 500-600 seated (even the hotel agrees with this) and 700 standing.

    Chris you are losing respect on here, first was I wont be part of a party who supports the police. Then it was I wont be part of a party who supports the police if MI5 are involved and now like Jesus with he loaves you still say there was 1300 people in a conference room that holds 500-600 seated.

    Our day will come….