“What the f**k was it all about?”

Not all the weapons in the possession of the IRA (or as pointed out below, other extant Republican paramilitaries) were, it seems, decommissioned. The Sunday Tribune reports:

A volley of shots was fired by several gunmen at a ceremony in west Belfast yesterday attended by a 200-strong crowd which included prominent Sinn Féin members. The shots were fired beside the IRA garden of remembrance on the Falls Road where the ashes of former Belfast Brigade OC (officer commanding), Brendan Hughes, were being scattered. Among those in the crowd as the shots were fired were Bobby Storey, who was appointed head of Sinn Féin operations in Belfast last November, and west Belfast councillor, Fra McCann. The shots were dispensed from an alleyway, just yards from the monument. Sources said several gunmen were involve

It is far from certain how Brendan Hughes would have taken the ‘complement’ from Sinn Fein:

The last of the writings he gave me conveyed his inner torment: “I go to bed in pain, I wake in the middle of the night in pain, I get up in pain. What the f**k was it all about?”

  • “IRA: Firearms

    Lord Laird asked Her Majesty’s Government:

    Whether any members or ex-members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army have been allowed to retain pistols, rifles or sub-machine guns for personal protection or other use; if so,

    25 Jun 2007 : Column WA106

    how many and what types of weapons have been retained; what type of civilian firearms certificate was required; and with what restrictions. [HL4407]

    Lord Rooker: I refer the noble Lord to the statement by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning that,

    “the IRA has met its commitment to put all its arms beyond use in a manner for by the legislation”.

    Any person who seeks to hold a firearm for personal protection or other use must fulfil the suitability requirements contained in Article 2 of the Firearms (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 in order to legally possess firearms.” .. House of Lords 25 June 2007

    “The statement from “P. O’Neill” said: “The IRA has honoured all public commitments made on July 28, 2005. Any allegations to the contrary are politically motivated.””

    Guns ‘R’ U.S.

  • joe reid

    A quote from Brendan Hughes in the Sunday Tribune yesterday,” I would have taken a bullet for Adams, I am sorry now that I did not put one in him”.Good man Brendan and so say all of us.

  • Grassy Noel

    The shots were fired from an alleyway nearby in an area where dissidents are particularly active. Given that Brendan Hughes was strongly critical of the SF leadership and aligned himself with the views of those dissidents, it doesn’t take much to extraplotate that dissidents fired the shots to embarrass said leadership’s representatives at the event.

  • realst

    Would these shots have been fired by none other than SF/MI5/RA in honour for a great man whom they had written off as a NO HOPER and would no doubt be offended at this attempt to keep the flood of supporters who have recently relized the leaderships real agenda.
    Would this not be the same leadership who seek to criminalise republican prisioners, not aligned to them.
    Should the people in attendance now pass on information to the RUC or is it one law for them and another law for US alone.
    Such a cheap stunt will not cut and should be kept for the sheep.

  • baslamak

    A couple of interesting articles on the Blanket e-mag about Mr Adams behavior at Brendan Hughes funeral.


  • SlugFest

    Perhaps the republicans borrowed the guns from the yet-to-be-decommissioned loyalists.

  • picador

    I’m sorry to see people still engaging in these kind of stunts.

    On a separate but kinda related note a Sindo article on nuzhound screms that ‘Border Fox O’Hare’ finds God in a gospel hall’. I couldn’t access the article (by Alan Murray) but the premise is interesting. Maybe if evangelists had had the temerity to proselytise Divis Flats the Dark would still be with us. But then again maybe not.

    And while we’re on the subject of religion …. it appears that Eddie ‘Wheels’ McGarrigle from Strabane is still keeping faith with the IRPS judging by his latest court appearance.

  • picador

    How bizarre! I wonder what Willie Frazer makes of it.

  • “But victims’ relatives who are aware of O’Hare’s visit to the south Armagh gospel hall are unhappy that he is attending Protestant services in the area.”

    I’d think this would sum Willie’s thoughts up, Picador.

  • Turgon

    I saw and deliberately avoided blogging on the topic of Mr. O’Hare. However, since it has be raised. We must understand that Calvinists believe in Utter Depravity. As such neither Mother Theresa nor Adolf Hitler are any more or less deserving of hell than the other. Hence, Mr. O’Hare’s actions prior to his being saved are of little importance to God. He can and will wash them away in an instant.

    Next one must understand the concept of Unconditional Election. By this we mean that God accepts people unconditionally when He chooses to: again Mr. O’Hare’s past is of no importance. Related to that is Irrestible Grace: if God decided to save Mr. O’Hare there is no power on earth or in heaven or hell which could resist God, not even Mr. O’Hare himself.

    Of course his conversion may be difficult for some to understand or even accept. I can see that. I suspect Dessie O’Hare and the elders of the assembly (I suspect by the report it is the Brethern) will understand that. However, I am sure people will all try to handle this in a sensitive and Christ like fashion. Personally I hope that Mr. O’Hare continues with his Christian life and is not made a spectacle of by anyone who may have an agenda. Even Christians, I suspect, might be best not shouting too much about this as it will inevitably cause rows.

    There might be a question as to what Dessie O’Hare might say or not say to victims relatives. In reality I would submit that he does not need to seek out people to say sorry to and indeed it would probably be easier for relatives (even fundamentalist Christian ones) not to have him calling round and some sort of public contrition.

    One point which I must admit this reveals and I wrestle with is the fact that fundamentalist Protestant Christians are so often identified with hard line unionism (and indeed I am an example). I do worry at times that our unionism may damage our witness but I think most can see that there is a difference. I accept that the nature of our society is such that it is difficult especially for Roman Catholics to become Protestants as not only is there a religious issue to change but there is all the baggage of politics and culture. Of course it is entirely compatible to be a fundamentalist Christian and a nationalist or non violent republican. On this issue the Brethren are especially useful as they tend to be not merely apolitical but frequently oppose any involvement in politics; possibly creating a space for people who do not fit into the traditional Protestant = Unionist position.

    I hope and pray that Mr. O’Hare is not the only former terrorist I meet in heaven if indeed God does condescend to save my soul. I do not expect everyone to accept this and I am sure that Mr. O’Hare will be well aware of the problems but I hope and pray that he will continue on his walk of faith.

    Just a few thoughts on this. I would have blogged it myself but I think minimising the song and dance about this has merit as Mr. O’Hare is no longer in prison, seems no threat to society and both he and the group of believers he is associated with would probably be happiest left in as much obscurity as possible.

  • Bakunin

    That was really boring…I’d rather go to hell.

  • Mustapha Mond

    A very good post, not in the least bit boring, as the tulip is lovely this time of year.

    Can I send you an email regarding paragraph 1, 2 and 5?


  • Turgon

    “Can I send you an email regarding paragraph 1, 2 and 5?”

    Yes of course

  • oceallaigh

    Well said Turgon!