Brendan Hughes, 1949-2008.

Brendan Hughes, the leader of the 1980 hunger strike, died in hospital last night. Here are some quotes from Brendan. He will be missed by those who loved him.

“In 1969 we had a naive enthusiasm about what we wanted. Now in 1999 we have no enthusiasm. And it is not because people are war weary – they are politics weary. The same old lies regurgitated week in week out. With the war politics had some substance. Now it has none. The political process has created a class of professional liars and unfortunately it contains many republicans. But I still think that potential exists to bring about something different. And I speak not just about our own community but about the loyalist community also. Ex-prisoners from both and not the politicians can effect some radical change.”

“Stormont is still there, but it is a Stormont with Republicans in it. Stormont has not changed. The whole apparatus of the Stormont regime is still there, it is still controlled by the British, it is still unjust, it is still cruel. The RUC is still there. The whole civil service are still there, the same civil servants who controlled the shoot-to-kill policy, who controlled the plastic bullets, who controlled the H Blocks of Long Kesh, who took responsibility for ten men dying. It is all still there. But, saviour of saviours, we have two Sinn Féin ministers there, who happen to close hospitals. The sad thing about all this is that the British set this up. This is the British answer to the Republican problem in Ireland. It’s a British solution, it’s not an Irish solution. It’s not a solution that we have control of. There are people up there and the British ministers are handing money out. But the whole thing is built on sand.”

“I am not advocating dumb militarism or a return to war. Never in the history of republicanism was so much sacrificed and so little gained; too many left dead and too few achievements. Let us think most strongly before going down that road again. I am simply questioning the wisdom of administering British rule in this part of Ireland. I am asking what happened to the struggle in all Ireland — what happened to the idea of a thirty-two county socialist republic. That, after all, is what it was all about. Not about participating in a northern administration that closes hospitals and attacks the teachers’ unions. I am asking why we are not fighting for and defending the rights of ordinary working people, for better wages and working conditions. Does thirty years of struggle boil down to a big room at Stormont, ministerial cars, dark suits and the implementation of the British Patten Report?”

“It has been the futility of it all. From a nationalist perspective alone what we have now we could have had at any time in the last twenty-five years. But even nationalist demands don’t seem to matter any more. And in the process we have lost much of our honesty, sincerity and comradeship.”

“The republican leadership has always exploited our loyalty.”

  • willowfield

    “Never in the history of republicanism was so much sacrificed and so little gained; too many left dead and too few achievements.

    Indeed, but don’t forget those murdered by “republicans” – who greatly outnumbered those “sacrificed”.

    “…what happened to the idea of a thirty-two county socialist republic.

    It died through lack of popularity.

    “I am asking why we are not fighting for and defending the rights of ordinary working people, for better wages and working conditions.

    Because there are few votes to be gained in such a fight.

  • willowfield

    MACSWINEY

    A sad loss.

    How can the death of the leader of a sectarian murder gang be considered “a sad loss”? On the contrary, I think it is a good thing that the generation of murderers and terrorists who caused so much misery is beginning to die off.

    MICK HALL

    A fine and complex man …

    How can the leader of a sectarian murder gang be considered a “fine” man?

  • Last Respects

    For those wishing to pay their last respects, The Dark’s funeral will take place on Tuesday with Mass at 11 o’clock in St Peters.

  • Briso

    Posted by Wise up on Feb 18, 2008 @ 10:28 AM
    >Not as great as the discrimination years – how I long for the good old days when the fenians knew
    >there place.

    I thought we still knew our place? Wasn’t that Hughes’ contention?

    Some people think things were better in the good old days of the troubles. I don’t. Things are not perfect now and never will be, but they’re undoubtedly better than during the troubles.

  • “How can the leader of a sectarian murder gang be considered a “fine” man?”

    willowfield

    I think you know the answer to your question, I do not accept Brendan belonged to a sectarian murder gang. Did innocent people have their lives stolen due to the activities of the PIRA,[and the British security forces] yes, but this no more makes it a sectarian murder gang than it does the British army.

    Although, it is a reason to conclude, as Brendan Hughes eventually did, that before Republicans go down the road of armed struggle again they would have to have a dam good reason for doing so. [see below]

    In my judgement at this time a good enough reason to return to armed struggle does not exist as there are other political avenues to explore. However this does not mean republicans have to dot every i and cross every T of the GFA.

    “I am not advocating dumb militarism or a return to war. Never in the history of republicanism was so much sacrificed and so little gained; too many left dead and too few achievements. Let us think most strongly before going down that road again”.

  • willowfield

    Mick Hall

    I think you know the answer to your question, I do not accept Brendan belonged to a sectarian murder gang. Did innocent people have their lives stolen due to the activities of the PIRA,[and the British security forces] yes, but this no more makes it a sectarian murder gang than it does the British army.

    So he was a “fine” man because the murder gang which he commanded wasn’t – by your reasoning – “sectarian”. Murders, maimings, bombings, robberies, etc., are okay and the perpetrators of such crimes are “fine men” so long as – by your reasoning – they are not considered to be “sectarian”? (I wonder would the families of some of the PIRA’s victims in the 1970s agree that their loved-ones were not murdered in sectarian attacks?) If he was not sectarian, why did he engage in a sectarian conflict, which was designed, and certainly had the effect of enflaming sectarianism, promoting sectarian hatred and widening sectarian divisions.

    Shame on you and all those who consider the sectarian (and “non-sectarian” as you believe), violent monsters of the Troubles to have been “fine men”. Such men caused misery and the sectarian hatred and division which they promoted and exacerbated remains with us today.

  • Wilde Rover

    “It has been the futility of it all. From a nationalist perspective alone what we have now we could have had at any time in the last twenty-five years.”

    While there is the realization of the pointlessness of it all, the lack of acknowledgement for those at the receiving end of this ideology stands out like an open sore, even with colonial oppression taken into account.

    Although those of a unionist perspective may not appreciate the parallel, the following words expressed at the end of the American Confederacy might be considered apt when trying to comprehend the mindset of the ideologically pure.

    “We are scattered, stunned; the remnant of heart left alive is filled with brotherly hate… Whose fault? Everybody blamed somebody else. Only the dead heroes left stiff and stark on the battlefield escape.”

    Mary Chestnut

  • Tommy gormant

    According to James Connolly, the apostles of Irish freedom have for ever crucified when alive but eulogised when dead. This has been True of Brendan. Unfortunately the vilification and hatred has come more from former comrades than the usual suspects. Gerry A was at the bedside when he died but never paid the man a visit when he was living in his humble flat in Divis. Totally in tune with the cynisism we have come to expect from these neo Paisleyites

  • Willowfield

    We are going to have to agree to differ on this for you are unwilling to place people like Brendan in the historical context in which they lived their lives. You just see the effect, without making any attempt to search out the cause. For as a loyalist paramilitary once correctly said “God did not sweep down one night and sprinkle Belfast and the north with looney dust, which turned some of its inhabitants into violent ‘monsters’.[the word you use]

    Brendan Hughes, like many other young working class catholics turned to armed struggle because he believed he had no other option, if he was not to endure a lifetime as second class citizens. If there is blame to be had lets put it on those who backed these young workers into such a corner by denying them equality.

    Some may argue that there were other avenues they could have used to bring about the necessary reforms, but the fact is there was no tradition of democratic protest in the north, as the Orange State had violently attacked all those who challenged how the Statelet was run.

    However there was a tradition of taking up arms, and you have to remember the south won its freedom by that very means, and the Orange State came into being due to the British government making dire threats about a terrible war. So no one with power could have been surprised that Brendan and his comrades choose the road of armed struggle.

    What was a crime was that the British government allowed Unionism to oppress the minority for decades and human nature being what it is, the lid was always going to blow off the place whilst such inequality existed. The fact that to some degree this gross equality has now been rectified is partially due to the PIRA campaign, now matter how much people wish to deny this fact.

    That it went on for four decades when it should have been brought to an end much sooner was totally down to the intransigence of both the Unionists and their backers in the British government.

    As I wrote at the top of this post, I do not expect you to agree with me, so we will have to agree to disagree, which in itself in its own small way would highlight a certain progress.

  • Elvis Parker

    ‘Its the futility of it all’ should be is epitaph. He wasted his life and he knew it.
    Tries to blame civil servants for the hunger strikes! -‘who took responsibility for ten men dying’
    I think you’ll find the responsibilty lies with the hunger strikers or the leaders who sent them to their deaths.
    His attempted self decption is not surprising as he had one brief burst of humanity when he disobeyed orders and shouted ‘feed them’ and ended the first hunger strike.

    ‘Rest In Peace Dark, the agony is over now’
    He might Rest in Peace but if you believe in Christianity you would have to doubt it.

    ‘Thou shall not kill’

  • Bob Mugabe

    The Dark was true to the call of freedom. South Africa got a gangster after Mandela. Look at what tge “niggers of Europe” got. The Bearded One.

  • Reader

    Mick Hall: If there is blame to be had lets put it on those who backed these young workers into such a corner by denying them equality.
    Sheesh. You make it sound as though the IRA was just a militant Civil Rights group. Are even real Republicans embarrassed to say that the IRA fought (frequently killed, and sometimes died) for a United Ireland?

  • kensei

    Reader

    Sheesh. You make it sound as though the IRA was just a militant Civil Rights group. Are even real Republicans embarrassed to say that the IRA fought (frequently killed, and sometimes died) for a United Ireland?

    Aside from the inane insistence here that people are all black and all white, or only have singular simple motivations, what you fail to understand is that the two are inseparable in the Republican world view. It doesn’t matter how nice the British are, their presence is illegitimate: it denies Irishmen the right to their own sovereignty and government.

    But it’s easy to tolerate when they are nice. When the denial fo rights is more immediate and in your face, there si more likely to be a reaction.

  • willowfield

    MICK HALL

    We are going to have to agree to differ on this for you are unwilling to place people like Brendan in the historical context in which they lived their lives.

    That is entirely untrue. I am perfectly willing to place Hughes in a historical context: indeed that is what I have done.

    You just see the effect, without making any attempt to search out the cause.

    I don’t: I see the effect and the causes.

    Brendan Hughes, like many other young working class catholics turned to armed struggle because he believed he had no other option, if he was not to endure a lifetime as second class citizens.

    His belief was misguided, his decision was wrong, and his decision resulted in the murder and maimings of innocent. “Fine men” do not hold such beliefs nor do they make such decisions.

    If there is blame to be had lets [sic] put it on those who backed these young workers into such a corner by denying them equality.

    The blame for the murders, torturings and maimings rests with those who perpetrated them and those, such as Hughes, who commanded the perpetrators. Shame on you for seeking to remove responsibility from the murderers. And Hughes did not join the sectarian death squads because he was a “worker”: he did so because he was an ethnic nationalist and to fight against Protestant and other workers.

    What was a crime was that the British government allowed Unionism to oppress the minority for decades …

    A lesser crime, though, than murdering 2,000 people, maiming countless others, destroying property, livelihoods and creating economic disaster.

    That it went on for four decades when it should have been brought to an end much sooner was totally down to the intransigence of both the Unionists and their backers in the British government.

    The entirety of blame for a 40-year terrorist campaign lies, not with the terrorists who perpetrated it, but with unionists and the government? Right. Shame on you for excusing murderers. Shame on you for considering those who took innocent life for no good reason to be “fine men”. Hang your head in shame.

  • willowfield

    “God did not sweep down one night and sprinkle Belfast and the north with looney dust, which turned some of its inhabitants into violent ‘monsters’

    Indeed that is true: there has been sectarian hatred in Belfast and “the north” for centuries, and it has manifested itself in violence on many occasions during that time. The violent monsters have always been there.

  • gareth mccord

    robbie you are typical of the morals of n.irish muppets who think that ervine created a ceasefire?? maybe a ceasefire in your book accepts up to 30 people being murdered by the uvf since 1994 but in my book and in the book of decent law abiding people that is not a ceasefire!! so maybe you could explain any murder by the ira or uvf uda since the “ceasefire” doesnt relly count in your world??

  • He said it

    Michael Collins once said – there would not have been a civil war in Ireland if there had been enough jobs for everyone.

  • Willowfield

    Let me get this right in your closed world the only people who have any responsibility for the four decades of war are those who fought back against the oppression they suffered and the occupation of their nation. The 800 hundred years of occupation, the bigotry and gerrymandering all pales into insignificance due to a handful of corner boys standing up for their rights and telling the unionists and the British no more of this crap!

    If human kind were to use your criteria, the UN charter would fall as it allows people to resist their oppression up to and with arms, if there are no viable political alternatives.

    What you are implying here is that the Czech resistance was responsible for Lidice, the destruction of Warsaw was down to the Polish Home Army, the ANC were responsible for Sharpville and the nationalists in Derry where to blame for Bloody Sunday, etc etc.

    It seems in your world people are not only responsible for their own oppression but they have no right to fight against it, which in my view makes any further conversation pointless as we are to far apart.

    I wish you well.

  • Dewi
  • Turgon

    Mick Hall,

    Willowfield is well able to defend himself. However, he has accepted that much that happened in Stormont was wrong, what he (and most of us) do not accept is that Stormont justified La Mon, Darkly, Teebane, Kingsmills, Enniskillen etc. etc.

    To hark back 800 years to justify murder is utterly morally bankrupt and to compare Northern Ireland to South Africa utterly specious. I am afraid I suspect you are actually clever enough to know both these things. If you are: you and your views are contemptible, if you are not then they and you are pitiable.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Turgon

    You support TUV. Really don’t see how you can be lecturing anyone considering that without intolerance, the party would not have a platform.

  • Wee Buns

    A great wee read from the hand of the dark;

    http://www.phoblacht.net/charliehughes.html

  • Reader

    Mick Hall: in your closed world the only people who have any responsibility for the four decades of war are those who fought back against the oppression they suffered and the occupation of their nation.
    He didn’t say that. So far as I can see, he is suggesting that everyone should take responsibility for their *own* actions. I really don’t see why you have a problem with that.
    Brendan Hughes wasn’t at Lidice, or Warsaw, or Sharpeville, I’m sure. But since you are an admirer, maybe you can tell us where he has been – La Mon? Kingsmills? Enniskillen? He is beyond the reach of the law now, so you can tell us his accomplishments.

  • PaddyReilly

    The Independent’s Obituary was very interesting. I was most taken by the bit which has him sitting up till 2 in the morning, night after night, talking to the newly arrived British soldiers: though at 16 or 17 they sound more like Junior Leaders.

    This basically reinforces my view of the troubles. The soldiers were sent by the Labour Government to protect the Catholic population of Belfast. Unfortunately Labour soon lost power to the Conservative and Unionist Party made the mistake of heeding their Unionist branch: eventually they realised that this was untenable and obtained a divorce.

    Naturally these people were not interested in good community relations and ordered the British Army to attack the Catholics of West Belfast.

    When finally the Conservatives were booted out by a massive majority peace was restored again.

  • mckelvey

    (Willowfield) Such men caused misery and the sectarian hatred and division which they promoted and exacerbated remains with us today.

    There is a small element of truth to this. But what you ignore is that such men also reacted against the misery, sectarian hatred and division promoted and exacerbated by men who enjoyed far more pleasant surroundings than Divis Flats.

  • willowfield

    Mick Hall

    Your reply to me is one of the most scurrilous I have ever read. We talk about straw men a lot, but some of the sophistry you have engaged in must be among the worst posted on Slugger.

    You would be better served responding to what I – and others – actually say, and not what your closed mind prefers to believe people have said.

    There are rules on Slugger about playing the ball and not the man, but surely there should be some kind of voluntary code among serious contributors not to engage in this kind of irresponsible posting?

    Let me get this right in your closed world the only people who have any responsibility for the four decades of war are those who fought back against the oppression they suffered and the occupation of their nation.

    I’ll ignore the melodramatic language, but will instead ask you not to misrepresent me. At no time have I ever stated that sole responsibility for the Troubles lay with any one group or individual. Retract your misrepresentation of me immediately.

    The 800 hundred years of occupation, the bigotry and gerrymandering all pales into insignificance due to a handful of corner boys standing up for their rights and telling the unionists and the British no more of this crap!

    Well, yes, the invasion of Henry II in the 12th century, for example, does pale into insignificance when discussing the horrific murders and other events that took place in recent times.

    Hughes’ wicked “belief” that he had no choice but to go out and slay his fellow humans is not justified by Henry II’s invasion, by Cromwell, by the Famine or by discrimination or anything else. Discrimination and gerrymandering were wrong but they are lesser evils than the slaughter and maiming of men, women and children.

    And Hughes bears responsibility for his decision to go out and kill and maim and inflict misery on his neighbours. He was a sane, rational man and was consequently responsible for his own actions.

    If human kind were to use your criteria, the UN charter would fall as it allows people to resist their oppression up to and with arms, if there are no viable political alternatives.

    To which of “my” criteria do you refer?

    The UN Charter certainly does not allow people such as Hughes to engage in a campaign of slaughter. To attempt to justify the unjustifiable by casually referring to such a charter is ludicrous to say the least, and an insult to its authors.

    What you are implying here is that the Czech resistance was responsible for Lidice, the destruction of Warsaw was down to the Polish Home Army, the ANC were [sic] responsible for Sharpville and the nationalists in Derry where to blame for Bloody Sunday, etc etc.

    I’m not implying anything of the sort. Retract those accusations immediately! The Czech resistance, Polish Home Army and ANC were responsible for their own and only their own actions just as anyone and everyone else is: they are not responsible for the atrocities mentioned and I have never indicated any kind of twisted thinking that might suggest otherwise.

    By inventing such outrageous straw men you merely expose the lengths to which you are prepared to go to justify the unjustifiable – to defend the indefensible – to trample over the memories of the many victims of terrorism in Northern Ireland. Shame on you. Shame on you.

    It seems in your world people are not only responsible for their own oppression but they have no right to fight against it, which in my view makes any further conversation pointless as we are to far apart.

    No, that is the world that you have constructed and into which you choose to place me so that – in your own mind – you can attempt to present your sick views in a veil of “right on” reasoning. It doesn’t work: the veil is too thin.

  • willowfield

    PADDYREILLY

    The soldiers were sent by the Labour Government to protect the Catholic population of Belfast. Unfortunately Labour soon lost power to the Conservative and Unionist Party made the mistake of heeding their Unionist branch: eventually they realised that this was untenable and obtained a divorce.

    I’m not sure it’s that simple: the soldiers were, after all, requested by the unionists after the police had been exhausted by two or three nights of sectarian rioting.

    McKELVEY

    There is a small element of truth to this. But what you ignore is that such men also reacted against the misery, sectarian hatred and division promoted and exacerbated by men who enjoyed far more pleasant surroundings than Divis Flats.

    I don’t ignore that at all.

  • mckelvey

    #

    Shane L :

    So, just as you take the bible as your spiritual instruction, we take the word of our Priest as God’s instruction.

    (Comrade Stalin) Even if he’s rogering alter boys ?
    —-
    That is in extraordinary poor taste.

  • McKelvey

    (PaddyReilly) The soldiers were sent by the Labour Government to protect the Catholic population of Belfast.

    —-
    I disagree. I think that soldiers were sent by the Labour gov’t to uphold the civil authorities, which were in effect the unionist authorities.

  • PaddyReilly

    The soldiers were, after all, requested by the unionists after the police had been exhausted by two or three nights of sectarian rioting.

    Presumably it was the police who were doing the sectarian rioting?

  • PaddyReilly

    I think that soldiers were sent by the Labour gov’t to uphold the civil authorities, which were in effect the unionist authorities

    The Unionists may have thought that, but clearly the troops initially believed that they were there to keep the peace in terms of UK law.

  • Bob Mugabe

    No point dragging deviant priests into it when MI5 had Kincora going. Are there some graduates of that place here? The Unionists of NI were and perhaps still are a terrorist people. The London government that underwrote and green lighted their terrorism ditto. The leaders of their counter gangs like Provo SFIRA ditto. That McCord and other Protestants cannot see that, is to use the cliche, part of the problem.
    Brendan Hughes was a good man. Can’t say the same about his brother.

  • willowfield

    Presumably it was the police who were doing the sectarian rioting?

    No.

    The Unionists may have thought that, but clearly the troops initially believed that they were there to keep the peace in terms of UK law.

    They were there to keep the peace in terms of UK law. That’s why they were called in.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>The Unionists may have thought that, but clearly the troops initially believed that they were there to keep the peace in terms of UK law.<< Keeping the warring Paddies apart would have been all that they were told I'm sure. However, I am equally sure that it would not have been long before they were informed who the real enemy was by your friendly Union flag wavers and the local constabulary. Squaddies being the simple souls that they are, need the reassurance of recognising an enemy. Open belligerence from soldiers soon replaced the smiling saviours from Protestant mobs, led by British militia members. In fact, the British army use the lessons learned from 1970's Ireland in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Diluted Orange

    I won’t go down the road of speaking ill of the dead. But is it really necessary for Slugger to indulge in a fanfare of sentimentalism for the relics of our past, whether they be Brendan Hughes or David Ervine, when they die?

    I can think of many, many other late members of the public much more deserving of our praise or gratitude than those whose only contribution to NI society as I can see it was to drag us into a civil war.

    Hopefully at some point in the future the penny will drop and the quaint nostalgia with which some of you persist in regarding your ‘fallen comrades’ with will be replaced by indifference.

  • Pat mccann

    I would like to pay tribute to a true republican namely Brendan hughes,it saddens me that a man of his stature in irish republicanism was treated the way he was,Brendan hughes was a modest man with modest goals for his beloved Ireland,instead all he found was treachery and deceit from the very people he helped put where they are now.The sinn fein leadership should hang their heads in shame,they and all the hangers on that have ruined a once proud movement,their contradictions are mind boggling.The saddest thing about this whole sinn fein charade is that they actually believe the nonsense they spew out day and daily,Brendan hughes didnt believe them,and in the end they will be exposed for what they are.

  • PaddyReilly

    I am equally sure that it would not have been long before they were informed who the real enemy was by your friendly Union flag wavers and the local constabulary. Squaddies being the simple souls that they are, need the reassurance of recognising an enemy.

    Well Prince I suspect that it was not the simplicity of the squaddies but the duplicity of certain other parties that switched things over. These things were ordered from above, not decided by the foot soldiers.

    The switch over was not accidental. It was not fuelled by Republicans reading in their history book about Henry II, Cromwell, or the Famine. It was achieved by careful lobbying on the part of Unionism and the providential rise to power of the Conservative and Unionist party: corruption from within.

    Strange really: if things had gone differently the troops could have been redeployed and Brendan Hughes ended up enlisting in the British Army to be with his new-made friends.

  • philip morris

    brendan like other genuine republicans hasent holiday homes in spain or portugal or donegal for that matter.he also hadent the trappings of wealth that the top leaders of sf have.he was a true soldier who never benefited one penny from the struggle…who else can put their hands up and say the same…rip the dark ..a true republican..

  • Robbie

    ‘robbie you are typical of the morals of n.irish muppets who think that ervine created a ceasefire?? maybe a ceasefire in your book accepts up to 30 people being murdered by the uvf since 1994 but in my book and in the book of decent law abiding people that is not a ceasefire!! so maybe you could explain any murder by the ira or uvf uda since the “ceasefire” doesnt relly count in your world??’
    gareth mccord

    Mr McCord, I’m not sure why I have been highlighted for attention when the substance of my position was in criticizing the perpetual, warmongering, stunted development of those who would consantly war and fight (such as Hughes), while at the same time paying tribute to those who understood that political violence could and should at some point be rejected and refuted (Ervine). There is clearly a difference between an Ervine and a Hughes; your focus on Ervine seems to me, with all due respect, to be lacking both in astute comprehesion of the realities of paramilitarism and the necessary realpolitick of talking to figures who may have at some point in the past have committed acts of violence. It would be insulting in most people’s intelligence to regard the violence committed by Loyalists since 1994 – however heinous – as being akin to that committed prior to 1994. The figures of people killed since the 1994 ceasefire, as reproduced in ‘Lost Lives’, would bare this out. The truth is that Spence and Ervine both committed atrocities in the past: but they worked and devoted energy, from a certain point in their lives, to peace initiatives, and the fortifying of political organisation (through the PUP, bread and butter issues). This was valuable.

    To see Ervine as akin to the Loyalist or Republican parmilitaries who GENUINELY refused and are still refusing to compromise or accept ceasefires or political organisation is a gross act of folly and frankly damn stupid. He was not sucked into the Unionist bubble of instinctively admonishing class politics and the labour movement – as so many myopic Unionists are – and along with Hutchinson (and Adams and McMichael), found some extraordinary way of bringing the more politicized and tougher elements of the Loyalist paramilitaries in on the back of the Good Friday Agreement. Neither did he reach for the old Unionist trick of instinctively ‘running to the British every time something went wrong’. In the words of Andy Tyrie, they’d start to ‘run to each other’ to solve their differences. To compare Ervine to a Hughes or some other brainless dissident is utterly ludicrous and foolish.

  • LURIG

    I used to see Brendan dandering up the Falls Road every day for his few pints. He looked like a haunted and tortured soul who had realised that the 35 years of war had achieved very little. He knew that a devolved Stormont wasn’t worth the deaths, decades in jail, hunger strikes and many many ruined lives. Whatever one thinks it must be very difficult for a guy in his 40’s, 50’s or 60’s who couldn’t get work because of their paramilitary records to watch Sinn Fein ministers administering British rule in Ireland AND getting very well paid for it. This proves the old maxim that every man has his price and how true this is. For many it was a complete and total waste as they lost their youth, ruined their marriages and missed their own kids growing up because of a tissue of lies and nonsense from a Republican leadership that had been in talks with Britain all along. Furthermore we see revelations now coming out about informers and agents at all levels within the Republican movement and let’s face it we haven’t heard the last of this as it appears the REALLY important ones are STILL there. The entire conflict was a big fraud because, as we are now seeing it was actually controlled and driven by the British intelligence agencies all along. Denis Bradley and Robin Eames have recently expressed their shock at what DID go on and how compromised the Republican movement was so Brendan’s scepticism was well vaunted. He remained true to himself, his convictions and principles right up to the end. Whatever happens now is between him and God and we shouldn’t forget that the man, like others, was a product of the times and circumstances. RIP BRENDAN.

  • Siphonophore

    Turgon,

    you need to rein in that high horse of yours and re-examine the moral high ground you imagine you occupy. Just recently you blithely justified the murder of hundreds of thousands of civilians in Dresden, Hamburg, Nagasaki and Hiroshima so you have zero moral authority to criticise anyone else when you imagine they are justifying the murder of civilians.

    I guess I’m just an unsophisticated mick that thinks Hamburg and La Mon were wrong – perhaps you can educate me on why the slaughter of tens of thousands of civilians in Hamburg was just fine and dandy but La Mon was a horrific and barbarous act. As the correlation that is emerging from your comments is that it’s justified when done by the British but not when it’s done to them.

  • The Light

    I admire the man greatly however his own words expose his views ——————

    After the split the Lower Falls had the largest concentration of Official IRA members in Belfast. Most of those had been there before the outbreak of sectarian and state violence in 1969. The Provisional IRA was small in the area but determined. The Officials had the bulk of the weaponry and in the area the majority of the support.
    ——————–

    Even though he accepted the majority oppinion within the catholic/nationist/republican community was opposed to his viewpoint he went on that night to try and kill those opposed to him

  • Bob Mugabe

    Lurig: What an excellent post.
    I came across this on BBC today: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7252746.stm
    The heading is like something The Bearded One would say, ie having sex with dead bodies is “wrong”. I read the Sunday Times a few weeks ago. It was going on about the poor GI jocks who slaughter civilians (not “guilty (sic)terrorists”) in cold blood in Iraq and how we must feel their pain. The fact is the US Marines like all other occupation forces are terrorists. Maybe resistance fighters are too. But let’s not forget big guns and big bombs and big lies are even more lethal than the puny weapons of the world’s resistance movements.

  • Bob Mugabe

    The original header had the geezer saying it was “wrong”. Looks like the securocrats have changed it.

  • willowfield

    Brendan hughes was a modest man

    Not so modest that he didn’t think he knew better than the people and thought that he had the right to murder and maim on behalf of a people who didn’t want murders and maimings carried out on their behalf.

  • Ahem

    Yeah, La Mon = Dresden, save for the fact that we were fighting Nazi Germany. Imperfectly no doubt, but we were trying to fight Hitler. If you can’t see the difference between trying to fight the totalitarian dictatorship occupying Europe and threatening the entire fucking planet with its genocidal wanderlust, and, burning to death dog breeders to death so that one day Martin could become a devolved British minister, fuckwitted becomes for you a rare rose of praise. Still, for all that Brendan Hughes died unhappy. It almost makes me wish I used emoticons.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Ahem,

    I presume you realise that the British were also fighting WITH a “totalitarian dictatorship” that went on to be “occupying Europe”.

    The boy Stalin was a greater mass murderer than Hitler – so let’s not get to self righteous eh?

    If Churchill had got his act together and given us back the occupied territories the Allies might of had the benefit of the Free State forces and Le Mon would never have happened.

  • Mayoman

    “trying to fight the totalitarian dictatorship occupying Europe and threatening the entire fucking planet with its genocidal wanderlust!”

    Sounds like a good description of Britains imperial past to me.

  • ingram

    Dark… Rest In peace.

    You can have your opinions of him and his past actions but what you must admire about him is the unblemished integrity he posessed.He enjoyed a rare vision that other Republicans did not share, he undoubtedly had the insight to actually see what and who was manipulating the Republican Movement for others gain .

    He also had the standing within the broad Republican community to survive one or two attempts to silence him….. enough said

    RIP Darkie a true soldier

    Ingram

    Ding Ding a Ling

  • Ahem

    He had no integrity. He was a killer who died a loser.

    As for those of you a.) comparing Britain to Hitler and/or b.) wondering why we ended up on the same side as Soviet Russia, we were fighting Hitler. I appreciate that’s a hard one for irish Republicans to get their heads round, but keep at it.

    And yes, saying “Britain = Nazi Germany, How Oirland suffered . . .” *is* why everyone on the planet laughs at Irish nationalists.

    Poor old Brendan, shafted by ‘Republicans’. Fancy.

  • ingram

    Ahem,

    Just because he was a murderer! ( and he was ) it does not follow that he has no integrity.

    From birth to death he fought and died for his belief, not many Republicans can say that. Just ask Eames and Bradley and the filing cabinets?

    Ding Ding A Long

    Ingram

  • Hi HUNY

    UP THE HUNS!!!!

  • PaddyReilly

    Somewhere among these arguments I detect a distinct lack of consistency. Would “the bearded one” have done better to keep the fighting going so that another generation of Brendan Hugheses could have had their lives spoilt? If not, then why is he being criticised?

  • realst

    He would have done better FROM HIS POSITION OF SAFETY to be TRUTHFUL to the foot soldiers on the ground so`s they would have the opertunity as to whether they wanted to remain as VOLUNTEERS.
    Telling them of one agenda in order to keep the war going whilst working to another which no doubt cost lots of lives.

  • realst

    Mr Ingrim
    I`m still waiting for an answer to the question from a few weeks back.

  • LURIG

    PaddyReilly

    You have to ask yourself did the ‘bearded one’ OR other senior Republicans have ANY real control or clout over whether the fight went on or not? I don’t think Brendan Hughes was suggesting it should have BUT he did vent his opinions on who was REALLY driving the Sinn Fein strategy. He had his suspicions and that was one of the reasons he got out. Some of the recent revelations regarding Stakeknife and Denis Donaldson seem to vindicate his views. He also had different memories of incidents and actions that seemed to differ from the Adams/McGuinness 21st century media friendly version i.e. ADAMS – I was NEVER in the IRA or his insistence that it was McGuinness who pushed for an IRA offensive in 1986. So could you blame anyone, particularly grassroots Republicans, for wondering what it was all about…..the deaths, misery, jail, hunger strikes etc? Brendan Hughes knew it wasn’t worth another devolved British administration at Stormont. He might have died a sad figure in his wee flat but, agree with him or not, he went to his grave uncompromised and loyal to his principles. It’s a pity the same couldn’t be said of others who drive in 4 x 4’s to their holiday homes, pubs and businesses in Donegal or who are too busy managing their property portfolios to remember WHAT Republican ideals were.

  • realst

    LURIG

    Its more than likely that the war was to come to a spectacular end in 1986 had all gone to plan.
    As mr Ingram was closely associated to an agent whom, known to the agent or not, he was an essential part of the overall plan which went terribly wrong forcing the brits and their Friends of Ireland back to the drawing board.
    This being the reason I have asked the question to mr Ingrim.
    Since asking this question a number of weeks back he had disappeared until now.
    So I will patiently await his reply.

  • gareth mccord

    ROBBIE, you are either a loyalist scumbag or you are just not in touch with what has happened and happening in loyalist areas. Why why why would anyone with half a brain try to say ervine went down the road of peace whenever he protected ignored and denied the murders drugs and illegal activities of the uvf until the day he went to hell????
    maybe you could explain ervines relationship with the top loyalist drug dealer who was shot dead? maybe you could explain why a man of peace would try and shift the blame of the murder of lisa dorrian on the lvf when it was uvf members involved??? maybe you could explain why ervine denied the uvf murdered up to 30 people after the ceasefire? maybe you could explain why ervine man of peace would not co-operate with ombudsman investigations into uvf murders by paid informants?? why did ervine tell tony blair “something had to be done about billy wright”?? Why did ervine not help any family in getting answers and justice in murders by the uvf since the ceasefire even though he sayed “the murders were not sanctioned” or “were committed by thugs”.
    i think you and people like you need to live for a day in the shoes of victims of ervines ignorance and denial and not in the shoes of loyalist spin and murder.
    BOB MAGABE,YOU HAVE SHOWN TO THIS SITE THE IGNORANCE DENIAL AND NO HOPE OF A DELUDED REPUBLICAN SCUMBAG, WHO THINKS THAT A MAN WHO DIRECTED MURDER DRUGS EXTORTION ROBBERIES AND INTIMIDATION TO BE AN INSPIRATION. AS FOR MY BROTHER HE DID NOT COMMIT MURDER ETC ETC.
    IF YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE ALLEGATIONS YOU HAVE GOT TO BACK THEM UP AS I HAVE ALWAYS DONE ON THIS SITE. WE ALL KNOW I DONT NEED TO PROVE MY ALLEGATIONS ON HUGHES AS THE REPUBLICAN SCUMBAGS ON THIS SITE HAVE GLORIFIED HIS PAST EVIL ACTS.