It’s going well

The Sinn Fein leadership believe they are on course for an Ard Fheis victory after a series of public and private meetings were generally supportive. At one of the meetings in Lurgan, Martin McGuinness dismissed the republican opposition to the policy shift on policing.

  • Crataegus

    I am wondering what the DUP are doing to prepare their supporters for sharing government with SF?

  • Way Icit

    Belatedly teaching their supporters to apply Matthew 5:44 (King James Version) “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”

  • Crataegus

    Way Icit

    Hope you are right, but interesting perspective given many of the leading lights make such a point of their religion.

  • Yokel

    The DUP have long known that it was coming. They’ll do a dance around the precise timing so as not to appear like they are dacing to the Blair agenda, then go in. They’ll lose some people but I expect none around the top table. It’ll be the same with SF come the weekend, some will go but no one of shockwave proportions.

    If they don’t they’ll lose more votes that they’ll lose by staying out. The DUP’s growth has been fostered by a unionist desire for a better deal, not no deal.

    If anything nationalists could do with the DUP staying relatively together. If it doesnt, a expect a UUP/DUP straddling bunch to emerge as a new unionist bloc which will leave the hardliners in a position that they were before the DUP had their big growth. In short it would threaten a stronger leading unionist faction as the end outcome. Unionists know how to get out and vote when there’s something that matters and they likely would in such a situation.

    Keeping SF & the DUP relatively together is the only way to keep the show on the road in the short term.

  • tom

    There they go again. Mc Guinness is portraying SF members opposed to the policing deal as being “opponents”.

    The SF leadership are totally incapable of taking on board any alternative views or having real consultation with the membership.

    Whats the point of having these sham meetings since the deal is already done with the brits?

  • Yokel


    Same reason as Tony’s apparently ground breaking MI5 statement. It’s window dressing the obvious.

  • Ulick

    “Mc Guinness is portraying SF members opposed to the policing deal as being “opponents”.”

    No he didn’t. Read the link.

  • Rory

    What many like me, outside of the loop as it were, can’t help but ponder is that if, as dissenting former members of Sinn Fein and the IRA keep insisting on this site, the leadership of Sinn Fein have got it all so wrong, have sold out, have turned away from republicanism, they keep winning the debate within Sinn Fein and indeed with IRA volunteers and it is the voice of the dissidents that has been rejected by the rank and file.

    How come that Adams, McGuiness, Kelly retain their leadership positions and the likes of McGeough are left to run around ranting like preachers from a breakaway sect howling about the “purity of blood sacrifice” and the One True Way to Republican heaven?

    Could it, quite simply, be that the leadership have won the argument because the rank and file recognise their strategy as the best way forward for the republicamn movement? Or would the dissidents have us believe that all their former comrades are unintelligent dupes except when they concur with them?

  • South Armagh republican


    could it be that SF have finessed control freakery to a fine art and have been deceiving the grass roots for years as to how infiltrated and under the cosh the leadership actually is.

  • DaithiO

    Far be it from me to question anyones credentials or right to express their opinions.

    The decision about policing this weekend will made at a special Ard Fheis. It really doesn’t matter what anyone who chooses to be absent, for whatever reason, from that Ard Fheis says or thinks.

    Sniping from the outside whilst offering no alternative is NOT an argument, it’s nothing more than sniping. It also perpetuates the divide and conquer scenario the British have used so successfully for so long.

    To all republicans who aren’t happy with the path Sinn Féin take I plead with them to join the party and make their points and cast their votes. The party decided before that the members will decide, if you aren’t a member you have no vote. Simple as!

  • Yokel

    South Armagh Republican

    Ok, I have no doubt that the British ‘establishment’ or whatever you want to call them, are probably lighting cigars at the fact they have got the main Republican faction is such a position where they really can’t go anywhere.

    The truth of the matter is though that either SF can sit outside of the justice & policing system as they have done or go into it and get into government. Living in perpetual opposition isnt much use to anyone, them included.

    Who’s to say the DUP demand over Policing & Justice wasn’t actually the British Governments anyway?

  • Yokel


    They do have a vote, come elction time. The AF isnt a test of anything, its the March vote.

  • Realist

    ‘The Sinn Fein leadership believe they are on course for an Ard Fheis victory after a series of public and private meetings were generally supportive’
    Like it was in doubt

  • DaithiO

    Yes Yokel that’s very true, but come election time do you really think that all those dissenting voices will really affect the SF vote?

    My thoughts are that they either unite as republicans and help shape the party to reflect ground roots republicanism, or they can continue as lone voices, with no strategy, military or electoral.

  • mickhall


    You are far to an intelligent man not to understand the dissidents have clear blue water between their position and that of SF, so please no not insult our intelligence by repeating Mr Adams propaganda and waffle about strategies. Whether the electorate will agree with the dissidents is another matter, as I would guess that most people these days just wish to get on with their lives and the less they hear from politicians of any persuasion the better.

    Now as to the Adamsites, getting their way on policing being some master stroke on the part of Mr Adams, well, they have had a little bit of help to say the least, the media is in favor of accepting policing, the British government is licking their lips at the prospect, as to is that guardian of the nationalist working class communities the PSNI; and if truth were told so to is the DUP and UUP.

    So the Shinner leadership have not exactly been pushing at a locked door now have they? They have had just a little help from others so it is being a little dishonest to portray this issue as an example of Ourselves Alone.

    People within SF understand only to well that if they reject the policing deal it will be back to the hard graft of struggle; and the power of the State, north and south will not be acquiescing to SF’s growth as they have of late, but doing all in its power to stop it and smash the party. For the last thing they are going to give a leg up is a left Republican Party, but a mockney republican party, well that would be another matter as it could be used and abused at will by the representatives of capital who serve in the UK and RoI governments.

    Of course whilst the Shinners put any criticism over things like holiday homes and businesses down to begrudgery, the UK and RoI State machines understands otherwise, for it knows that if it is straight choice between giving up such things and returning to endless rounds of pavement politics, then many within SF will bite the bullet of accepting the PSNI and UK justice system.

    On things like this human nature rarely changes; and men of property tend to be far more cautious with the future than those without, as they arrogantly believe they have more to loose, even if it is only a crappy flat in some Costa tourist trap..

  • Henry94


    Let’s imagine for a minute a scenario where the entire leadership of Sinn Fein was out of the picture. Shot as spies, retired to the sun or abducted by aliens.

    That would not change the fact that the people of Ireland by a huge majority suppport the consent principle, power-sharing and the Agreement.

  • parcifal

    A proper police service should function like any other emergency service.

    If there’s a fire you call the fire brigade.
    If there’s an accident you call the ambulance.
    If there’s a crime you call the police.

    It really doesn’t help to dress policing up as some sort of “imperialistic crown forces british rule Monster”

    Patten reforms have taken the politics out of the policing; and engagement with the DPP puts republicans in a strong position to make the PSNI accountable.

    In that sense SF have won the arguement, and opponents are just licking their sores and feeling sorry for themselves.

  • mickhall


    So the recommendations of a former member of the UK Thatcher cabinet is to be held up by Republicans as worthy of respect. Without meaning to be harsh towards you, it is a sorry day when socialists and republicans use a former Thatcherite and imperial Viceroy [hong cong] as a benchmark for best practice in the public services. This is a man who was a minister when the UK police ran a-mock during the great miners Strike of 1984.

    How times change; and in any case unless I am mistaken Patten has not been implemented in full, it has been cherry picked..


    Yes I think you are correct on the consent principle and the support throughout Ireland for it, it is one of the reasons why I feel armed struggle is no longer a viable option. But this does not mean at this stage SF should support the PSNI and UK justice system. As you yourself said it is for the PSNI to earn the support and respect of the Nationalist communities and imo only then should it even be considered to put such a motion to a republican party Ard Fheis..

    What is the rush from the Republican side, the community has done without supporting the police for decades, it will not hurt the PSNI to earn their spurs. It has taken the Met police over two decades to become acceptable in parts of north London etc; and no London politicians were strong armed to give a public declaration of support for the Police, and for good reason. For after Broadwater Farm they would never have been voted in if they tipped their hat to the Met police.

    It is not the Nationalist communities who are insistent that SF sign up for policing, if it were you might have a point. It is the Brit State and the DUP and for that reason you should not do it, and then we can all get on with producing a more realistic agreement between the two communities. Not one that came about by the “terrible war awaits” syndrome, which is so reminiscent of British diplomacy.

  • Henry94


    As you yourself said it is for the PSNI to earn the support and respect of the Nationalist communities and imo only then should it even be considered to put such a motion to a republican party Ard Fheis..

    I think the motion has to come first because without a decision people won’t even talk to the police. After a motion people can test them and see if they are serious about being the service they are supposed to be.

  • Pragmatist

    “If you’re not in…you can’t win.”

    While not wanting to oversimplify, Sinn Fein supporters should be in on policing. Todays ‘police’ is completely different to that which went before. ‘In’ and you can influence developments – ‘Out’ and changes take place anyway.

    If you don’t like what’s happening you can always get out again….

  • I Wonder

    “purity of blood sacrifice”

    Yep. Ritual hari-kiri would be the logical extension of such preaching. Sooner that than the wilful spilling of other people’s blood, i.e., the only “alternative strategy” such elements have to offer.

  • jimthomas

    I seem to remember the DUP stating that they would not sit on any policing board that contains SF (UU said it as well)

    This position is long gone, now we have the DUP stating that they insist that SF do.

  • Rory

    So you go for “the rank and file are passive, easily manipulated sheep” , South Armagh republican.

    But if you believe that to be the case what you are really saying is that even a bunch of idiots wouldn’t fall for the dissident line.

    Is that really more comforting than admitting that the mass rank and file of the republican movement, educated and tempered over long years of struggle have rejected your arguments in favour of those of the Sinn Fein leadership.

    Poor self-consolation for a losing team.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    parcifal: “It really doesn’t help to dress policing up as some sort of “imperialistic crown forces british rule Monster” ”

    Nor did it help when the police service lived down to the description.

    Pragmatist: “While not wanting to oversimplify, Sinn Fein supporters should be in on policing. Todays ‘police’ is completely different to that which went before. ”

    At the lower ranks, perhaps… but it will take a generation for the mid and upper ranks to clear. Its like flushing a fouled pipe — sure, once its fixed, you have clean water going in, but its going to be a bit of time before you have clean water coming out of the other end of the system. I am sadly certain that there is no shortage of shifty sticks in the upper ranks, holdovers from the “bad old days.”

  • mickhall

    ‘Poor self-consolation for a losing team.’

    A bit premature of you to announce the result before the election has taken place, I realize some might not believe the fat lady gets to sing at a SF Ard Fheis these days? but I prefer to live in hope that she might, despite O’Muilleor’s recent boasting about stuffing ballot boxes.

  • DaithiO

    Is that the same bloke who used to pay your wages Mick Hall? If you are the same Mick Hall.

  • LOL

    LOL How low they stoop, thanks for that, DaithiO, your bitchy comment made me laugh

  • I look forward to Mr McGuinness now proving he meant what he said by asking the good people of Kilwilkie to provide police with any details they may jave as to those IRA killers who slaughered two young RUC men by shooting them in the back as they went about their patrol in central Lurgan – about 300 yds from the hotel Mr McGuinness and the peace processors met.

    Pious words may set DUP hearts on fire, they mean NOTHING without action. Let’s hear McGuinness call for the “community” in Lurgan to provide police with all details of IRA murderers who operated from that area. Any bets he will…?

    No? Surely not?

  • Pat Mc Larnon


    can the people of Lurgan get an assurance that any police officer they contact was not connected to the MT Vernon RUC conspiracy or indeed to any of the multiple similar gangs that were operated by the RUC? When the good people of Lurgan get the assurances they need then they may deign to respond to your request.

    Given the reaction so far of the unionist body politic (of which you are a minor member) to the truth on the RUC killer gangs the chance of them getting any such assurance is minimal.

    Collusion denial is running rampant among those who remained tight lipped all the while the actual murders were taking place, so i suppose consistency should as least be recognised.

  • Ulick

    The antics of ‘Informer 1’ are nothing compared to the murders in Lurgan perpetrated by the RUC in collusion with Billy Wright and Robin Jackson, including that of Sam Marshall less than 150 yards away from their barracks.

  • Glen Taisie

    Sinn Fein Councillor Bily Leonard is believed to have been present(as an RUC man ) at the original arrest of Sam Marshall

  • Ulick

    Sinn Fein Councillor Bily Leonard is believed to have been present(as an RUC man ) at the original arrest of Sam Marshall

    You mean when he was arrested in 1990 preceding his murder? According to an interview I read with Leonard, he left the RUC in 1980. Someone telling porkies?

  • Glen Taisie

    Original arrest, republicans were arrested often in the 1970’s

  • Ulick

    Original arrest? Go ahead then, tell us more…

  • BeardyBoy

    I agree with Martin McGuinness as far as the analysis of the outcome of the AF. The SF leadership will win the day.

    I also agree that the votes in the ensuing election will be of a par with what has went before – they may go up or down.

    In the long term we will see another nationalist party growing from people – and I include myself in this – who can no longer vote for SF.

    This will take at least 10 years. Policing is not the only issue, the socialist leaning of the present SF is also of great concern and their stances on issues such as abortion.

    I would put Faith before Fatherland.

    So, in time a new party will evolve slowly.

    I think that SF will start to evolve into a partitionist left wing party, which will become in the South the credible opposition to FF, and in the North the working class stoopers to rival the middle class SDLP.

  • Henry94


    In the long term we will see another nationalist party growing from people – and I include myself in this – who can no longer vote for SF.

    Many of the people who oppose Sinn Fein are from the left. Some oppose taking seats in the Dail while others would sit there and in Stormont. Some think Sinn fein is too pro-abortion. Others believe it doesn’t go far enough.

    How do you build a coherent party out of such disparate element?

    I think it makes more sense to accept Sinn Fein as the veichile for republican politics and fight your corner from within. Once Ireland is united the coalition of republicans that Sinn Fein is will probably drift or fall apart as normal politics takes hold.

  • BeardyBoy

    I agree that a united nationalist front is preferable, but for a long time I have disagreed on SF policieson a range ofitems, I am also aware of how shabbily O’Bradaigh has been treated.

    Frankly some of the more extreme left w(h)ingers just alienate people.

    No – too late – policing has put a cap on it.

    No voting until a vote for the border – (it is the only one that matters anyway) – unless a party arises who reflects the majority of nationalists people outside Belfast who are not into participating in their own demise.

  • Cara

    I was at the meeting on Sunday and went with a heavy heart and have to admit that I was left feeling a bit more positive on the move about to be made on policing. That was untill the report on collusion was made now I am confident that Sinn Fein are making a big mistake in asking republicans to support them going in to clean up the dirty house which is the RUC.Blow it out of the water now and call for the disbandment of the RUC.Let the World know that this was just one small area in the six counties get it put into perspective. We all knew what could be exposed but to see it in print makes it so hard. And isn’t ironic that it took the death of a UVF member to get this exposed.No disrespect to the McCord family-fair play to them for pursuing this and hope they are given the chance now to pursue it through the courts and get justice.
    I am a republican and always will be and have supported Sinn Fein on every issue up to now but this is it for me now…I have witnessed the treatment of hardline Republicans in the North Armagh area by the Republican so called family and I have one question for them ” have you short memories”