Tangled Web Unraveling

Liam Clarke writes in today’s Sunday Times about Martin McGuinness’ IRA career, which apparently did not end in the early 70’s as he claimed to the Bloody Sunday Tribunal: McGuinness ‘lied under oath’ about IRA roleClarke refers to an interview given by Brendan Hughes in a book by Spanish academic, Rogelio Alonso that has been recently translated into English. Hughes describes a 1986 IRA meeting with McGuinness, which was about the strategy that would lead to the Loughall attack. Hughes had recommended against it, but Adams and McGuinness pushed it through in a bid to silence internal critics: “McGuinness believed the attacks would protect himself and Gerry Adams, now Sinn Fein president, against internal criticism as they tried to change the party’s rules,” Clarke writes.

The sister of Paddy Kelly, leader of the IRA ambush, says she “had been told the IRA leadership had advised her brother that it was dangerous to carry out any more attacks.” She is quoted, ““I find this account disturbing. I would like to speak to Brendan Hughes and Martin McGuinness about it. This is not what I have been told previously.”

Clarke asked Brendan Hughes about the contradiction in McGuinness’ public statements and sworn testimony about his IRA role. Hughes “stood by his account. “[McGuinness] will have to answer that question himself,” said Hughes. “When people get caught up in lies, they have to continue with the lies.””

Martin McGuinness did not answer directly Clarke’s questions, instead blaming them on people opposed to Sinn Fein’s efforts on policing and going back into Stormont. ““Over recent weeks Sinn Fein have made enormous efforts to achieve the new beginning to policing promised in the Good Friday agreement and to see political institutions put back in place. Obviously, there are those who are opposed to these efforts.””

Otherwise, presumably, they would continue the lie(s)?

Rogelio Alonso’s The IRA and Armed Struggle

The IRA is one of the oldest terrorist organizations in the world and conducted a ferociously violent campaign for almost thirty years. Now deeply enmeshed in the Northern Ireland peace process, Rogelio Alonso asks why one of the bloodiest terrorist movements of our time decide to swap weapons for the ballot box?
Based on over seventy interviews conducted with former and existing members of the IRA, Alonso also provides a rigorous evaluation of the personal and political consequences of the IRA’s campaign of violence. The analysis of these interviews radically challenges the dominant academic analysis of Irish terrorism. This book includes a strong criticism of the armed struggle constructed around the discourse of those who waged it and answers the question faced by many armed revolutionary movements: ‘Was the war worth it?’
Translated from the critically acclaimed Matar por Irlanda and available in English for the first time, this is a provocative and new approach to understanding the IRA. It is essential reading for readers and researchers with an interest in Irish politics and history, terrorism and political violence. (From the publisher)

  • Belfastwhite


    If the dark was right he is guilty of touting do you agree?

  • gerry

    The dark is right, and no since adams has declared the war over and gone over to the other side, there is no such thing anymore as touting. Therefore the more people of the calibre of the dark tell their story the more the truth will emerge.

  • east tyrone remembers

    Belfastwhite- its only touting if you tell the enemy something they don’t already know not something that is in the public domain anyway. It is reprehensible of you to try and implicate Brendan Hughes anyone who knows him will know his integrity is impeccable- can gerry or martin say the same????

  • The Dubliner

    “Also does Liam Clarke really think everyone else who gave testimony at the Bloody Sunday Tribunal told the absolute truth?” – Belfastwhite

    The issue isn’t the testimony of others; it’s the allegedly false testimony that Martin McGuinness gave under solemn oath to the Saville Inquiry.

    If he lied, then he should be subjected to due legal proceedings for his perjury. If he lied, then it’s a damning indictment of Northern Ireland society that proven pathological liars are willingly elected to political office. Are people really saying that Martin McGuinness is permitted to commit whatever crimes he wishes, wherever, whenever and against whomever he wishes? He is not above the law. If he committed perjury, then he should face sanction for that.

    Unfortunately, the reality is that people in Northern Ireland will elect those who are not fit for public office without understanding how profoundly dysfunctional that is. Indeed, living in a corrupt statelet that is utterly beyond the redemption and reform that pro-state partitionist parties such as the SDLP and PSF wish to subject it and all of all to, there is nowhere for heads to realistically go but back into the sand. This is your corrupt state; these are your corrupt leaders, and, not to put too fine a point on it, you’re all fucked.

  • Crataegus


    if he lied, then it’s a damning indictment of Northern Ireland society that proven pathological liars are willingly elected to political office. Are people really saying that Martin McGuinness is permitted to commit whatever crimes he wishes, wherever, whenever and against whomever he wishes?

    There are people in NI that appear to be above the law and it goes a lot wider than McGuiness. It has to change as it is one of the very basic problems with the place. Trust us we are liars, murderers, gangsters, or we readily collude with such people.

  • The Dubliner

    I agree with you, Crataegus. I just don’t agree that it will change. The state will not allow itself to be investigated, except within carefully controlled realms. I think most people accept this to be the case (and if they don’t, they just need to reacquaint themselves with how consistently the state impedes attempts to subject its actions to public scrutiny). I don’t see any dynamic that can circumvent the state here, as the state is not subject to the will of its Northern Irish citizens; and the will of its local political leaders is that the state not be so subjected. The two nationalist parties had an opportunity to put massive pressure on the state on the issue of inquiries into outstanding matters by the simple expedient of linking them to devolution as a precondition to it: could the government continue to deny justice if that denial now meant that it would be seen in the eyes of the world to have wrecked its own settlement proposal because of having an appalling vista to hide? There was no way either the SDLP or PSF would take that risk and possibly end up losing those hundreds of state-financed party-political careers that all the loyal party workers worked so hard for; and no way that PSF would force an issue when they knew that the government would link it to enquiries into their own sordid history of collusion. So, the parties sold the people out for self interest. Having no dynamic but external pressure from third parties such as the US Congress, the Irish government, and organisations such as Amnesty International hasn’t worked in the decades that those parties have pushed for justice (the government outright refused to cooperate with Dublin’s Barron Inquiry into the collusion of the British state in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings that killed 34 of the Republic’s citizens, for example). SDLP or PSF have invested everything into their acceptance of partition, the improved status quo, and the knowledge that without partition both of their parties cease to exists. They can’t acknowledge that the state is irredeemably corrupt without invalidating their stance on the ‘peace process’ (assimilation process) thus far. That just isn’t going to happen. It’s this insistence that everything has to be linked that is working so well for the state as a blocking tactic. Nothing is linked; all are individual cases, and case A should not be conditional case B, C, D, ect. In a normal society, it wouldn’t be, but Northern Ireland is a pathologically abnormal society. Martin Ingram was right about Stakeknife: there a can of worms that PSF do not want touched. 40 years from now – long after McGuinness, Adams, and that sociopathic ilk have been buried with the British citizenship with which they were born – folks will still be calling for truth and justice. A fundamental need for resolution just won’t go away, you know.

  • Couple of points.

    It’s entirely possible that Adams didn’t know about Canary Wharf specifically, but he knew something big was about to happen, as – IIRC – he put in a call to Clinton a couple of days beforehand warning him.

    In Ingram’s evidence to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, he’s clearly champing at the bit to say more about McGuinness. I think he believed McGuinness was a tout even then, although there is better evidence to back the ‘protected species’ theory.

  • Picador

    I spent 4 hours reading through MMcG’s testimony to the Bloody Sunday Tribunal last night (not much to do obviously). The phrase ‘economical with the truth’ springs to mind. The people of Derry, who he claims to stand for, deserve alot better.

  • Sean

    Ingram is completely discreditable as a source of information, inside or otherwise, he keeps making vague and unsubstanciated charges with information that will all be made apparent at some nebulous time in the future

    And you will all see that with the evidence that the security forces release about ingram at some time in the next 5 years

  • Roisin

    [i]What’s your point anyway? – marty (not ingram)[/i]

    He’s not breaking anything, Ingram that is. He’s still on the payroll.

  • Watcher

    On a follow on to the Sunday Times story, this site puts some light on things: http://turn-coat.blogspot.com/

  • Nevin

    Gonzo, have you got a reference to Clinton? This one says that Tony Lake got a call one hour before the bomb exploded.

  • Crataegus


    It’s this insistence that everything has to be linked that is working so well for the state as a blocking tactic.

    Of course they shouldn’t be linked for in truth progress on any one case often sheds light on another. I have no illusion about the state and its ability to bury, but people should persist to endeavour to unravel this. As for the political parties I have zero confidence in most politicians on this issue and as you say most act out of self interest.

    When the structures were first being formulated many suggested a Peace and Reconciliation type approach linked to pardons. It is very clear why that suggestion got nowhere. Its omission was in itself a clear indication of the calibre of the agreement being drafted.

    As for Ingram and those suggesting he is in the payroll still. What you have to ask is what exact purpose is he then fulfilling? The problem with this whole murky business is the wall of silence reinforces by state deviousness and blocking moves and chinks should be welcomed.

    One thing for sure you will never get to the bottom of this with many of the current crop of politicians in place. How can you when so many want to bury their own past? Who knows what is known about some of them and what is being held over them? Some of them have been responsible for murder some encouraged vile actions. We should quietly sit down and ask can we really trust many of these people? We now need clean hands and it would be very much in our interests to deliberately vote in a new generation.

    You would also need greater power devolved to NI.

    We need to encourage any progress on any of the outstanding cases. It is not a them or us situation but all of us are being denied justice and the state and our politicians are colluding to suit themselves. We are being short changed, we are being expected to endorse a steaming heap of manure. Trust us it’s the best on offer.