“Like the Stickies.”

In the Sunday Business Post, Vincent Browne echoes Ed Moloney’s analysis of the power behind the expected Ard Fheis endorsement today and questions the Sinn Féin leadership’s rhetoric of a continuation of the “struggle” from within the PSNI.From the Sunday Business Post

They killed a total of 1,771 people (almost half of all those killed in the Northern conflict) and of these, aside from the 190 police officers they murdered, 149 were their own members.

They murdered 28 members of loyalist paramilitary groups, 176 members of the UDR, 23 members of the prison service and 636 civilians.

In all, they murdered 832 Protestants, including 350 Protestant civilians – and they wonder why the elected representatives of the Protestant community are reluctant to go into government with them.

Do they wonder what all this murder was about? Or even wonder what 293 of their own members died for?

The British presence is as much here now as it ever was.

Partition remains. There is no entitlement on the part of the Irish people as a whole to determine their own destiny. Indeed the Provos, along with the SDLP, the republican party in the south (Fianna Fail), the United Ireland party in the south (Fine Gael), have all abandoned not just republicanism but nationalism.

The central tenet of Irish nationalism for decades was that the Irish people as a whole had a right to exercise sovereignty.

That’s gone . . . gone in the Good Friday Agreement. Now the constitutional position can be changed, not by the sovereign will of the Irish people, but by the will of a majority in the partitioned north.

I suppose that, having abandoned the central element of republicanism and what it was the Provos were supposed to be about, capitulation on policing is relatively trivial. But, coinciding as it does with the publication of the Police Ombudsman’s most recent report on collusion between the RUC Special Branch and loyalist paramilitary murder gangs, it is all too duplicitous to ignore.

And on the new ‘struggle’ rhetoric..

If reform from within is now a good argument, why was it not a good argument when the 190 police officers were being murdered?

Gerry Kelly and Gerry Adams will talk about a continuance of the ‘struggle’ and this (support for the now discredited PSNI) is merely another way of going about it.

But what struggle? In what way does what they call the present struggle resemble what they said was the struggle when the IRA were murdering all around them?

In that 1986 ard fheis – the one that abandoned abstentionism – Ruairi O Bradaigh said the then leadership of the republican movement would lead it, the IRA and Sinn Fein into the same cul-de-sac (as he saw it) as the Cathal Goulding-Sean Garland leadership had led Sinn Fein the Workers Party.

Who can now say he was wrong? And you don’t need to be in favour of the killing of a single human being to make this observation.

The DUP has no reason to fear Sinn Fein – neither has Fianna Fail, Fine Gael or even the PDs. Indeed in a few years’ time they will be indistinguishable from any of them.

Like the Stickies.

, , ,

  • CS Parnell

    The reason the provies have followed this path is because it is tghe right one.

    Eoin O’Neill had it right in 1916 when he told the Volunteer Executive that there was no Dark Rosaleen calling them to action – it was them.

    The men who heard the voice of Rosin Dubh made a mistake (probably in 1916 as Easter made partition inevitable when conscription might have fostered unity against the Saxon foe), certainly in 1922, then again in 1969.

    There politics was the cul de sac which is why every other party in Ireland might have flirted with it, but they all gave it up.

    Today (inshallah) is the day Sinn Fin become like the rest of Ireland. It’s not abandoning Irish nationalism, its about stopping listening to the voice in your head.

  • CS Parnell

    One day I’ll start using the preview button.

  • aquifer

    How Irish was armed separatism anyhow. It was funded by Libya, and by Irish Americans who, to be consistent, should have handed their own country back to the native americans.

    “the now discredited PSNI”

    -because VB says so?

    There is a context to SF’s decision, guaranteed inclusion in government. If SF cannot articulate a case for Irish Unity from that vantage point, there was never a case for unity or for the uncivil war.

  • Shane O’Neill

    Below is a paragraph from Laurence McKeown, which I have seen on the Irish Republican News Bulleting Board.

    If it was the right thing to do, and in 1975 this has been known according to Laurence. Then why did the PRM carry out a needless war?

    At this time the Stickies were going that route, so why didn’t the PRM not take that route then?

    Lets also remember a big leadership shake-up took place and was against those who called a ceasefire to explore a posible negotiated settlement:

    Laurence wrote:
    Karl Marx once wrote: “Men (sic) make history but not in circumstances of their own choosing.” It took republicans some time to learn that. In the early 1970s, the slogan on the walls was ‘freedom ‘73’ followed by ‘freedom ‘74’. We never had a ‘freedom ‘75’ as reality began to sink in that it was going to be a long, hard struggle. It wasn’t until 1986, however, that Sinn Féin finally changed its position on abstentionism – a policy that prevented them from taking seats in Leinster House. The change in policy didn’t mean an acceptance of Partition – merely a recognition that the overwhelming majority of people on the island accepted the institutions of government in the South and republicans had to work with that reality. The change to policy was neither easily nor quickly arrived at, but it signalled a crucial step in a long road moving from wishful thinking to accepting material conditions and then working to change those conditions.

  • Henry94

    From Gerry Kelly’s excellent speech to the Ard Fheis

    Society needs proper policing. We stayed outside until now to get the tools to make change. We now have the tools; in fact we have far, far better accountability mechanisms in the North than in the South. Justice does not come as a miracle or a gift, when we achieve a united Ireland — we have to prepare beforehand, we have to prepare now.

    After getting this far we cannot leave this fundamental arena to be dominated by unionists who have dominated the same area for generations — and we especially cannot exclude ourselves. Every arena that Irish republicans have entered they have made radical change for the benefit of ordinary people. This is no different.

    There is no good time, comrades, but now is the best time.

    We have the confidence and the ability to help create a new beginning to policing which is free from partisan political control, representative of the whole community and accountable to the whole community.

    I said 5 years ago that we would get to this point. I appeal to all delegates to realise that we have reached that point and to back this motion.

  • Henry94

    Just to address Vincent Browne’s sticky jibe.

    What finished the stickies was their support for the USSR. When the wall came down they were engulfed in the same crisis that all European Communist parties were.

    They had allowed themselves to become a client party of a foreign power and had long been anti-republican.

    They went down a road and Sinn Fein are going down a road but it is not the same road. I think a fairer comparison (though far from 100%) is the road FF went in 1926 which let to the achievement of all republican objectives bar one, the end of partition.

  • Harris

    Here’s Adam’s speech from today (subs needed)


    He seems to be pretty vague when describing how exactly Sinn Fein/republicans will achieve a united Ireland.

    Sure he mentions the obvious strategies, like “stronger poilitical strength” north and south and “equality within a state health plan”, but is he puposely being vague?

  • Pete

    “They went down a road and Sinn Fein are going down a road but it is not the same road. I think a fairer comparison (though far from 100%) is the road FF”
    Agree the Provos are a populist conservative party not a socialist one.

    “which let to the achievement of all republican objectives bar one, the end of partition.”
    Your obviously not talking about the Republicanism of Tone, Stephens, Mellows, Connolly, Goulding, Garland… which was about establish a true democratic anti-secterian country of equal rights and care…no your talking more Provo drivle that led to the deaths of over 1,000 Irishmen due to a few bitter old men and uneducated kids – stop taking the piss out of republicanism when the Provos where formed they decided on Nationlism not republicanism… alos VB why weren’t you out with a gun now or then… oh sorry you where out with a gun then..

  • DMCM

    There is no specific united Ireland strategy from Sinn Fein. Their aim is to continue to increase their vote North and South but I think that is as far as the strategy goes.
    Im not aware of anything different as far as a strategy is concerned. Any SF activists care to enlighten us on this?

  • Henry94


    When we have self-government then people can vote for socialism if they want it. That’s democracy. The model of socialism Garland supported was the forced model which let to the murders of 100 million under Stalin and 70 million under Mao.

    To express concern for 100 dead in a post which praises Garland’s politics is about as genuine as a forged dollar.

  • Shane O’Neill

    FF is a Status Quo Party, not a Republican Party, Psf leadership has also claimed this so. They attacked republicanism from every angle, including murdering. They accepted partition after they swore to break it, instead they reformed as oposed to making the reforms. PSF have already shown much evidence of this path.

    Gerry Adams claimed at the Tyrone meeting that strategies for working towards a United Irlenad will have to be developed.

    I also heard him this morning on the Politics show BBC saying they have already developed strategies to move forward to a United Ireland.

    I wonder which is correct as both these claims had been made during the same week. I’d love to hear them and why keep them from the grassroots?

  • Confused

    Is it too early to write Adam’s political obituary?

  • Jesus Christ

    Henry94: With all die respect, you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about.

    Sean Garland was a physical force republican just like Cathal Goulding who lived in view of the famous statue of Russell. Garland led the ambush where Sean South and O’Hanlon were kia.

    Wht broke the old style Sticks (MacGiollas, Garland, Goulding, theat hairy Belfast fuck) were the following:

    1. they had principles, as witnessed by their 1950s’ acivities and by Goulding going bailsman for heaps of Sticks and losing his money in the process.
    2. they got caught on the spider’s web of OIRA connections.

    The opportunists broke away from them over that with Frank Ross denying he was ever in OIRA and winning a huge settlement from the Sindo. Ross’ equating his visits to North Korea to that of the Chieftains is like a leaf out of Adams’ playbook.

    So, to comprare and ocntrast:
    1. The principles of Mary Lou McDonald, the chair of SF/IRA, has not been tested the way the principles of the McKearnys were.
    2. SF want to hanfg PIRA out to dry. PIRA wil be like an update of FF’s heavies during the 1930s. Instead of Dev, it is another Big/Long Fella.

    Frank Ross was never in OIRA and Gerry Adams was never in PIRA.

    Call the Stickies all the names you like but they (mostly) hung up their guns in the early 1970s. The Provos went on so that Mary Lou could lead the next wave in the spirit of Jim Lynagh. Jesus wept.

    As James Connolly said ” Surely Christ did not die for these people”.
    For those of you who believe in Santa: don’t get Gerry a parrot for Chrsitams. He has more than enough already.

  • Pete

    I suppose you’ll be dragging up Tone’s support for the Jacobins next, and the hideous Red Terror of the French revolution. Look non-partition only became part of a form of Republicanism post ’22 – so what exactly was the ideology about before then – I put it very simply – Anti-sectarian, Anti-catholic church, pro-equality of all including sex, personal religious practice etc, equitable sharing of national resources and pro-international struggle – you Henry support a Nationalist party, you are objectively not a Republican and you seem to not even have the intellectual ability to see that. Your political movement fell for the machinations of some bitter old men and FF gold and I applaud and respect G Adams for managing to get your sorry asses out of the morass of hate you got into – but I will never forgive the damage you done to the Republican cause in Ireland.

  • Harris

    Here’s a good recent article from the “Blanket”, which kind of falls into the strategy, or lack there of, of the late Sinn Fein.


  • Henry94

    Call the Stickies all the names you like

    I haven’t called them any names. Except sticky which I hope is not offensive.


    If you are happy with your slogans then I’m happy for you. But if they translate into support for the Soviet Union as they did for the stickies then they are either bad slogans or badly applied. Even looking at the list you can see where the trouble starts.

    Anti-sectarian, Anti-catholic church,


    pro-equality of all including sex, personal religious practice etc,

    Do you think the Soviet Union was a good example in that regard?

    equitable sharing of national resources

    That has no meaning without a definition of equitable.

    and pro-international struggle

    I do remember the Sticky opposition to the free trade union Solidarity in Poland and their support for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. I suppose it depends on the struggle.

  • CS Parnell

    Jesus Christ, fair play to you. I have a lot of respect for the Sticks because they actually thought about what they were doing and how to do it. Adams is from the “keep blattering away” brigade and has been thinking on his feet ever since he realised his organisation was so riddled with Brit agents the war was truly unwinnable. He’s a show man, and a bloddy good one, but a showman none the less. As you say – Dev is a good comparison.

    The sticks gave up on physical force republicanism because it didn’t work, indeed it was actively re-enforcing the sectarian hostility that every United Irishman was meant to oppose – re read the 1916 declaration and see what it says about divisions and then think of Gerry’s stunning military actions against the Volunteers of the Ulster Poodle Society at La Mon.

    Today is a good day for Ireland – but let us pay tribute to the men who did the most to make it happen – Hume and Goulding. Gerry was merely the legal necessity.

  • CS Parnell

    ffs I’ve just read what Jesus Christ wrote about Sean Russell, waxing on about how great the SS were and the rest of it. My sincere apologies for even giving the suggestion you were worth talking to.

  • Garibaldy


    I think you’re right on the WP being the victim of the collapse of the USSR and on FF being the appropriate analogy.

    However, I disagree that they were clients of the USSR. Strongly, but not uncritically, supportive. not least on Ireland whenever the USSR was saying some silly things about NI at the behest of some of the nationalists in the CPI. As for being anti-republican, anti-sectarian and anti-terrorist certainly.

    The WP’s changes in policy came from a principled analysis of what republicanism meant in the modern climate. Not sure that the same can be said for either FF or PSF.

  • Red Mist


    I think a fairer comparison (though far from 100%) is the road FF went in 1926 which let to the achievement of all republican objectives bar one, the end of partition….

    Oh dear oh dear. Are you being serious? I’m new round these parts but I distinctly get the impression that you are at the very least a supporter of SF.

    If you are it speaks volumes that would would not only offer FF as a fair comparison to SF but also claim that they achieved all republican objectives except the end of partition. (Aka Achived all republican objectives bar establishing the Republic…how very noble.)

    I have to say this admiration for the achievements of FF doesn’t exactly fit in with the party line on FF or the Free State. Note Adams and Kelly’s statements in Clonard that they are not interested in bringing about a 32 county Free State.

  • Red Mist

    I really have to work on the old keyboard techniques – apologies for the typo’s folks.

  • Henry94

    Red Mist

    Don’t take anything I say as being in any way a Sinn Fein position. I vote for them but I do not represent them here or anywhere else. I’m simply offering my own opinion which would be well to the right of Sinn Fein on most issues.

  • tony

    The only road the workers party/official ira are on at the moment is racketeering road.

    Money lending and extortion to fund their latest ‘businness plan’ – buying public houses in Belfast to launder the money.

  • Jesus Christ

    CS Parnell: You are the one still in blinkers. You should look at all historical evidence objectively and empathize with your enemies. The old maxim about not speaking about waht one knows goes out the window on the Internet. This is funny to read concerning the SS/Sean Russell and the earlier years of the Troubles from younger commentators who know nothing about it.
    Today’s vote for the RUC wil inevitably lead ot the expulsion of the Slab Murphy types over the next few years.

  • Garibaldy


    Understanding why people do things is one thing. Doesn’t make it right. I understand why people carried out sectarian killings. Still repungnant. And as for the military efficiency of the SS – asses kicked by the Red Army, then asses kicked in Vietnam after lots joined the Foreign Legion. Up the Communists!

  • Jesus Christ


    Some “good” articles in the current Blanket. Here is what Rory Brady says about the peacemamkers: “Off course Messrs Adams and McGuinness remained with the Officials for a number of months in 1970 until they both found that the Provos were in the majority, whereupon they neatly switched sides. The lack of ideological conviction in such matters was already evident”.

    Sour grapes maybe but a good and very Irish post. There are many other “good” articles on collusion but most of us know all this already. Eamonn McCann makes the point that the Bloody Sunday killers got on well precisely because they colluded.
    I think Brady goes on a bit about the Provos killing Republicans in the future. They have the RUC to do that. And, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  • Garibaldy


    Thanks for that. Obviously O’Bradaigh wasn’t too worried by their lack of ideological conviction as they rose through the ranks of the Provisional Movement of which he was a leading member. And I found this bit laughable: “The British will seek to have them complete the work of collaboration by steeping their hands in the blood of Irish Republican activists” given that the Provos murdered numerous members of the Republican Clubs and boasted about destroying communists to their American masters. We saw the freedom he envisions for those opposed to his cult in the reaction to a loyalist march in Dublin. A bitter, twisted, sectarian hypocrite, with nothing to offer anybody except division and bloodshed.

  • Londonderry

    “Frank Ross was never in OIRA and Gerry Adams was never in PIRA.”

    Brilliant! 😀