What exactly are former IRA volunteers to do when it comes to the Historic Enquiries Team (HET), asks Brian McFadden in today’s Irish News. His query is straightforward:
“As an ex-IRA volunteer, I would like to ask Martin McGuinness – British MP, future second minister for the occupied six counties and ex-IRA volunteer – and P O’Neill IRA, are they asking all ex-IRA volunteers to give their full cooperation to the RUC/PSNI?
“Should we provide the historical crime unit with information about others and their own past activities that this unit would deem to have been illegal?’’
“A prompt and public response would be appreciated to avoid confusion about what is expected of all ex-volunteers and ex-PoWs”.
The response, not so much:
“Brian McFadden does not take his direction from Sinn Fein any more. Let him go to those who are giving him his advice. He does not support us or listen to us; why would he take direction from us?” [a spokesman for Sinn Fein said to the Irish News].
Looks like they have taken the needle since the last time Brian McFadden had questions for them. Last year, the Irish News reported,
Mr McFadden said he felt compelled to speak out after Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams called on four republicans who failed to turn up at court to be sentenced for the abduction of Belfast man Bobby Tohill to give themselves up.
“I am worried Sinn Féin is determined to join the Policing Board and they have not realised that 25 years after the Hunger Strikes they still have not got the British government to admit we were prisoners of war,” Mr McFadden said.
“And those who are on the run still cannot come home.
“My four brothers were all in jail; my father was interned. Did we go through all that to make Sinn Féin a good political party? Where is the united Ireland?”
Mitchel McLaughlin answered for Sinn Fein back then:
Sinn Féin general secretary Mitchel McLaughlin insisted there was no question of the party moving away from its roots.
“Brian is entitled to his opinion, the same as anyone else. If he has questions he can ask them of the party. A number of the leadership live in Derry and if there are concerns they are available to deal with them,” he said.
Looks like Mr McFadden is persona non grata with the party these days.
When asked about cooperating with the HET by Irish News, “a spokesman for Sinn Fein said only that the party’s position on policing was “very, very clear” and had been highlighted on numerous occasions by leading party figures.”
So we are none the wiser to what former IRA volunteers should do in regards to the HET; Sinn Fein’s position on policing (a wide concept) may be “very, very clear” but what is the position on the specific point? Anyone know?