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