Former IRA commander joins Fermanagh DPP

A former commander of the IRA in the Maze, Sean Lynch, who was captured by the SAS in 1986 whilst trying to blow up members of the security forces on the Donagh to Rosslea Road is about to join the Fermanagh District Policing Partnership.

This has been roundly condemned by Fermanagh UUP MLA Tom Elliott who has demanded to know whether or not Lynch is still in the IRA. DUP MLA Arlene Foster has said “it is a difficult decision for me personally but criticism from the UUP on this matter stinks of hypocrisy.”

Mr. Lynch states that he has “as much right as any other citizen” to join the DPP though he does seem to admit to a certain element of surprise at this turn of events “But then there are many twists and turns that nobody, including myself, thought they would see”.

Chairman of the local DPP, Fermanagh DUP councilor Bert Johnston, admitted to certain grievances but said that he would work with Mr. Lynch and that Sinn Fein “has moved on a bit.”

  • overehere

    Poor old UUP there goes that foot in the mouth again. Maybe the UUP want the uvf/uda/uff/red hand ad infinitium friends on the board instead.

    For once and wait until I sit down here ” I am with Ms Foster ” on the hypocrisy bit, could not care less if it is a difficult decision for her, that is what she is there for, to make difficult decisions for all the community.

  • Steve

    Its a scary old world when the DUP can be regaurded as the voice of reason and tolerance

    There just might be hope for the place yet

  • truth

    As a republican from fermanagh i am totally disgusted but not suprised with sean lynch’s attempts to endorse the PSNI in fermanagh by joining the Dpp a worthlees talking shop. It was also no suprise to me that on UTV news at 6pm this evening sean wasnt able to do the interview himself and defend his decision to support the PSNI, THE LEADERSHIP got alex maskey to do the interview instead, what does this say for Mr Lynch? Im sure the Judge that sentenced sean lynch in 1986 would be happy today because obviously the years he spent in jail conformed him as he now is endorsing British law in Ireland. Very sad to say the least.

  • Sinn Fein “has moved on a bit.”

    Mr Johnston certainly has. Wasn’t he alleged to have chased a Fermanagh pro-Agreement UUP councillor through the streets of Fivemiletown about a decade ago when Trimble brought his roadshow to town?

  • perci

    so who do you think should deal with crime, if not the PSNI?

  • CS Parnell

    “truth” is clearly a DUP troll as he repeats their messages line for line 🙂

    Yes, I’m also with Arlene Foster on this one. Clearly the war is over when “IRA POW OCs” join he process of maintaining the rule of law.

    This is good news.

  • truth

    Sean Lynch claims his reason for joining the DPP is to hold the PSNI to account? This is misleading to say the least, its not within the remit of the Dpp nor do they have the power to hold the police to account.
    cs parnell
    IRA POW OCs” join he process of maintaining the rule of law.
    That line hits the nail on the head “maintaining the rule of law” not changing MAINTAINING.
    PERCI my problem is the lies that Sinn Fein are telling regarding policing, sean lynch is deluding himself if he thinks that he will achieve anthing joining the Dpp’s they are talking shops and are irrelevent to the lives of 99% of the people of fermanagh.

  • longlake


    i agree with your point. Haven’t we just heard Adams condemning the psni for not protecting the people of West Belfast so obviously according to the beardy one, Shinners joining D.P.Ps in Belfast didn’t do much good. They are decent wee payments to be got, though!! It would be an interesting exercise to get figures showing just how many Shinners are drawing good pay for ‘community’ and ‘safety’ work and just how much they are drawing.

  • interested

    There is always the capacity within unionism to seek out defeat as the first and obvious result of any development. This is/could be a prime example. Of course its horrible to have someone like that sitting on a DPP, but on the other hand this is someone who’s moved from seeing the Police as a ‘legitimate target’ to now p*ssing about in the belief that he’s going to have some level of input into a poxy local policing plan. Its hardly the revolutionary overthrow of the state that Mr Lynch served his time for.

    Its laughable for Tom Elliott to rant and rave about the fact that just over a decade ago he was in the Maze. Tom seems to forget his role in letting him out of the Maze! Its just such stupidity from the Ulster Unionists you can hardly sum it up.

    It wont take long on a DPP for Mr Lynch to lose any pretentions (if he had/has any) that he’s not going in there to “put manners on the police” as one Shinner sold the policing deal to the bog-trotters a year or so ago. He’ll get to as a few (very limited) questions to a District Commander and will be able to claim that he’s suggested something for the Police to put in their local plan – although they don’t actually have to take a blind bit of notice of the DPP’s input.

    Gripping stuff indeed.

  • PeaceandJustice

    We have a Sinn Fein PIRA Deputy First Minister who was involved with the SF PIRA death squads. So I’m not sure what the story is here. The UUP supported armed terrorists in Government. The DUP support a gang with a terrorist ‘army’ council in Government. And it looks like that Gerry Kelly (the bomber and convicted murderer) will be involved in any justice transfer. It’s a bit late for either the UUP or DUP to be complaining.

  • The Red Berets

    Christ-This is terrible. Next thing you know, we’ll have former members of Ulster Resistance in Government.

  • PeaceandJustice

    The Red Berets – “Next thing you know, we’ll have former members of Ulster Resistance in Government.”

    I’m not on here to defend the DUP or any other party. But while the UR were dressing up and shouting, Sinn Fein PIRA were out murdering. A bit of difference you have to admit.

  • Garibaldy

    Saw some great photos earlier on a thread on of Paisley marching in front of masked UDA men from the 1970s. A decade before the Ulster Resistance, and two decades before DUP people shared platforms with paramilitaries opposed to the GFA. Here’s hoping they’re finished with that.

  • The Red Berets

    Did Paisley’s former mates in the UDA carry out any murders, P & J?

  • Pancho’s Horse

    While the UR were ‘dressing up and shouting’, the UDR were out murdering. Same difference?

  • PeaceandJustice

    To Pancho’s Horse – Did you support the Sinn Fein PIRA murder campaign? You know that the vast majority of security force members were decent law abiding members – which was lucky for SF PIRA, otherwise their senior members wouldn’t be around today.

    Paisley’s Grand Old Duke of York routine was a reaction to the SF PIRA sectarian murder campaign. Meanwhile, Sinn Fein PIRA were out actually butchering people. And you supported it?

  • Garibaldy


    That thread also had quotes from Paisley when he named houses in the Shankill where Catholics were living. In 1959 I think it was. What was that a reaction to?

  • The Red Berets

    Seeing as you’ve ignored the question first time around, I’ll ask it again, ‘Peas and Just Us’.

    -Did Paisley’s former allies in the UDA carry out any murders, P & J?

    By way of an addendum, do you draw a distinction between violence inflicted by Paisley’s erstwhile marching partners in the UDA and that of the IRA?

    Also, why so laid back about Ulster Resistance? Significant numbers of illegal arms and munitions were imported by this illegal paramilitary organisation? Take the log out of your eye, mate.


    Usual whiff of hypocrisy and double standards doing the rounds here. I thought this would have been considered a victory for the Loyal Sons. The former H-Blocks IRA OC endorsing a partitionist British Police Force? It’s a funny logic these Unionists have! In addition did the UUP & DUP not vote for Hugh Smyth of the PUP in as Belfast Lord Mayor while the UVF were murdering innocent Catholics? Likewise Frank McCoubrey of the UDP was voted in as Deputy Lord Mayor while the UDA was up to it’s neck in death and drugs. Unionists didn’t stop to ask about the morality of these OR the feelings of Belfast Nationalists. I also agree with a previous poster, why did Sean Lynch not come on and justify this himself? It was very stage managed and embarrassing watching Maskey speak for him.

  • RepublicanStones

    P&J;I bet you think George Seawright was sound.

  • Billy


    “But while the UR were dressing up and shouting”

    Really – what about the considerable amount of weapons that they smuggled in (in conjunction with the UDA + UVF)?

    Were they just for show then?

    Here’s a thought – perhaps they were used by “loyalist” terrorists such as UR to kill any old Catholic they could get their hands on.

    You know – the same “loyalist” terrorists that could tell you the colour of the wallpaper in the homes of leading Unionist politicians.

    Or perhaps by the LVF, lead by Billy Wright (“loyalist” terrorist, sectarian murderer, drug dealer and supported by Willie McCrea).

    Funny how the DUP only made public their “split” from UR after UR had been caught smuggling in these weapons.

    There are other blatent examples (some have been mentioned by other posters below) of Unionist politicians supporting members of groups representing “loyalist” terrorists.

    I think many people in the UK long ago saw through the crocodile tears of many Unionists when innocent Catholics were being murdered by “loyalists”.

    Do you wonder why I and others get the idea that you make excuses (and sometimes outright denial) of “loyalist” terrorism.

    Possibly ridiculous statements like “UR were dressing up and shouting” may give you a clue.

    Why don’t you tell that to the relatives of the innocent Catholics that these weapons were used to murder.

  • agh

    Personally, I find it pretty tough to stomach any murderers being given jobs in any public body – loyalist, republican or otherwise.
    However, as someone pointed out we have ‘ex’-IRA members throughout government so a few in the policing boards isn’t going to make any difference.
    In fact, it does demonstrate that republicans are well and truely signed up to the state justice system so from that point of view there are positives to be taken.
    Perhaps one day it will finally click that these guys arn’t the best ‘role models’ for society and don’t have the educational background to make very good polititions either. But all this society is, is a sectarian carve up – who is the most green, who is the most orange?? No one cares whether or not they can do their job.
    Hence, Adams has allowed West Belfast to crumble to its knees but is still thought of as a hero. He moans on about the back of police in that area of the city? Sure he’s been trying to cleanse west belfast of peelers for decades and now he wants them back? For years the police are routinely attacked and now, overnight, he expects the bobbies to be on the beat? SF have helped create this animal, it’s going to take a while to tame it.

  • DK

    This is good news & a sign of normalisation: anything that gets both the extreme republicans and extreme unionists foaming at the mouth has to have merit.

    However, Fermanagh’s essentially a tourist resort these days, so I doubt there’ll be too much excitement for him

  • agh

    anything that gets both the extreme republicans and extreme unionists foaming at the mouth has to have merit.

    good point DK, I was always of the opinion, that any decision that p***** off both sides was a fair one…

  • PeaceandJustice

    To RepublicanStones – I suppose you think Martin McGuinness and other SINn Fein PIRA leaders are heros. Even though their murder gangs butchered many innocent people.

    To Billy – thanks for the usual essay. You should find a hobby in your old age. Which operations were UR involved in? And when are we going to get an essay on the evils of Sinn Fein PIRA?

    To The Red Berets – I don’t and have never supported terrorism of any kind. Can you say the same?

    Back to the main thread … a member of a Sinn Fein PIRA death squad joins the DPP. My point was, why are the UUP and DUP annoyed about it when we have murderers in the Executive?

  • darth rumsfeld

    poor old UUP
    Just when you think it can’t get any worse, I hear from reliable sources that next week they will unveil their latest convert…er Councillor Frank McCoubrey, ex UDP.

    Just the sort of cunning tactic from Reg to put clear orange squash between the party and those with former terrorist connections, and a clear indication that he learned the lessons of the debacle of hooking up with David Ervine last year. It just shows Reg has no vision beyond City Hall-probably just as well though, given his track record.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    P&J;are you man enough (or witless enough) to name the murderers in the Executive? Are they Unionist?

  • PeaceandJustice

    To Pancho’s Horse – you are almost amusing in a sick sort of way. You know I’m talking about Sinn Fein PIRA. Even the dogs in the street know that and have had to experience their death squads.

    I’ll ask you the same question as I asked ‘The Red Berets’ (funny he didn’t answer it): I don’t and have never supported terrorism of any kind. Can you say the same?

  • Pancho’s Horse

    ..and I say to you,P&J;-name the murderers that YOU said were in the Executive. Put up or shut up. And yes I am abhorred by terrorism just as I find your nasty, unsubstantiated and cowardly allegations abhorrent.

  • dominus est

    All gone silent on here, P&J;must be on the phone to his lawyer.

  • CS Parnell

    I’ll name one. Wee Marty. By his own words he was a senior officer in the IRA and therefore, even if he never pulled the trigger (unlikely, I’d say) he is guilty under the doctrine of “common purpose”.

    Does that mean I don’t support the GFA? No.

    Does it mean I am happy about it? No.

    Does it mean I think that it is price worth paying? Yes, of course.

  • McKelvey

    Did someone actually not think that when Sinn Fein signed up for policing that they wouldn’t appoint ex-prisoners to the policing boards? Why is this so surprising for people?

  • sammaguire

    “To The Red Berets – I don’t and have never supported terrorism of any kind. Can you say the same?”

    Posted by PeaceandJustice on Mar 28, 2008 @ 12:07

    I’ve never met someone who says they support terrorism. The problem is defining terrorism. Does it include bombing Dresden and Hiroshima?

  • PeaceandJustice

    To sammaguire – do you consider the actions of the various paramilitary groups in NI and RoI as terrorism? Or did you support for example the Sinn Fein PIRA murders of people in front of their families, the placing of bombs in shopping centres, the torture and dumping of bodies along the border etc etc.

  • sammaguire

    The terms terrorist/terrorism are propaganda tools. I don’t think what they (UVF PIRA etc) did was right by any means but I tend not to use the term terrorism. People that use the term a lot tend to turn a blind eye on other versions of “terrorism”.