Controversy over ‘Breakout’…

For anyone who didn’t catch Breakout on BBC NI early this week, it’s well worth a watch again, not least because as one or two readers here on Slugger have commented it gives a pretty sympathetic rendering to the Republican perspective of the matter. It features the story of the Maze escapers of September 1983, as told by three of the leading figures in the escape: Gerry Kelly, Bik McFarlane and Bobby Storey. Unsurprisingly, it’s caused some outrage in the Unionist community not least since the criticism of Mr Kelly in particular:

To all decent-minded people, it is an insight into the depraved mind of an IRA man.

The lawlessness and brutality on display that day 25 years ago was the hallmark of the IRA and the fact that Mr Kelly showed no mercy or hesitation when he pumped a bullet into the head of a prison officer tells us all that we need to know about him.

Yet Mr Kelly now holds senior political office in Northern Ireland with every prospect of even becoming a future Minister for Policing and Justice.

Kelly first broke his 25 year long silence on the matter in an interview with Jason O’Toole (subs needed) in Hot Press earlier this year…

  • RepublicanStones

    Turgon I take it you’ve met the many, many families affected by the numerous british crown forces and their actions in Ireland down through the many, many generations here. Or are you also one of those Ivroy Tower squatters who believes the clock in this conflict merely started with the first republican bullet?

    How apt, keyword is: past

  • Turgon

    Mick Hall,
    Try addressing the simple fact that you describe a pack of murderers as part of a noble tradition and yet tell us that you did not support but merely “understand” these killers.

    Then try why explaining that you want some inclusive Irish republican socialist state yet you dislike all middle class unionists because you once met a Northern Irish doctor whom you did not like and you want to brand working class unionists.

    I would be surprised if you come to NI often as if by misfortune you became sick in here, middle class unionist doctors might look after you: and that would never do. You might horror of horrors discover that we are just normal people actually rather like you.

    I am always a little disappointed that despite seeming to be able to string a few sentences together rather well on your blog and on the late lamented blanket you are incapable of defending your position without descending to insult. Still stick to the insults; it is better than the behaviour of your friends in times past.

  • Turgon

    To be fair unlike Mick Hall your posts do usually require a bit of thought to answer: not this time. I have frequently pointed out that this conflict has gone on for centuries and is in some ways an ethnic conflict. I have also frequently pointed out that loyalists started the latest round of blood letting. It all fits with my basic thesis that a return to violence is sadly and tragically inevitable.

    I have also repeatedly said that I feel that no cause here, neither NI nor a united Ireland in the last sixty years was worth a single death.

    Now go and think of something to say which makes me exercise a bit of intelligence to answer: you are more than capable of it.

  • andrew

    “I have frequently pointed out that this conflict has gone on for centuries and is in some ways an ethnic conflict.”

    One thing this isn’t is an ethnic conflict. It’s a war of religion and allegiance amongst one ethnic group. Call them the Gaels if you like (excepting the influence of the Huguenots amongst others). If you really want a start date try the burning alive of Patrick Hamilton at the gates of St Andrew’s in 1528 for his crime of importing the heresies of Erasmus and Luther. It pretty much follows the traditional reformation pattern after that.

  • yap yap

    Poor ol turgie mad as a march hare.Suggest you take some time out in the barn with elenwee and the kids baaaaa baaaaa lololololol fuk you to mick you could bore for ireland only i think your a wee brit at heart.THIS SHOULD BE UP FOR ABOPUT 10 SECS LOLOLOLOLOL

  • dumb and dumber

    lol @ turgon losing the plot over red mick…go on ya boy ye…lol hahahahahahahahaha breathe hahahahahaha cough hahahahaha breathe ha ha ha turgon, calm yersel man lol

  • Ann

    Turgon you spoke well, it’s usually better to skim over mick halls posts, he’s never seen suffering from the troubles first hand in my opinion. Best to ignore. The stuff mick comes out with is also offensive to catholics/nationalists, (oh wait a minute most times he is simply hillarious) he really does talk out of his rear end…..

  • Dave

    Mick Hall (I think) is a Trotskyite, so he has a particular view about revolution by the proletariat. In so far as he is sympathetic to the Shinners it is to the very few of them who genuinely believed in the revolution to establish a 32-county socialist republic. I can’t fault him for that. Marxism is a legitimate political ideology. He is most definitely not sectarian, and it’s unfair to hurl that label at him.

  • Turgon

    It would be unfair except that he has said that he dislikes middle class unionists and when challenged based much of this on a conversation whilst on holiday with a unionist doctor and his wife. He has also proposed branding things on working class unionists.

    Despite supposedly not supporting the IRA he lauds the majority of their members, writes eulogies of them in republican magazines like the blanket and brushes over their assorted crimes.

    Yes I agree he is probably not sectarian in that he does not hate Prods because of their religion. However, he seems pretty much to hate practically all of them because of their politics and some of them because of their politics and their social class. He then cannot bring himeslf to condemn the people who murdered them.

    Lumping large groups of people together and hating them because of supposed group characteristics does seem a bit sectarian.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘I have also repeatedly said that I feel that no cause here, neither NI nor a united Ireland in the last sixty years was worth a single death.’

    Ahh but Turgon I take it you think that the partition of Ireland and the establishment of the little Rhodesia here in the north was more than worth the denial of the democratic will of the vast majority of the people of Ireland, which resulted in what was to follow. I realise your not one of the eejits who only highlights violence form republicans (which in many instances was wrong) but you seem unwilling to recognise how such violence was in many ways a result of unionisms refusal to accept what the democratic will of the irish people was. Also in respect of Mick’s analysis, I too happen to believe the media have willingy labelled the wrong set of republicans as ‘dissident’.

  • Turgon

    In absolute honesty I do not think that what happened in Ulster in 1912 and thereabouts was wonderful. I do not know what I would have thought or done at the time. The past is a another country we did things differently there.

    I say the last 60 years because I am deliberately leaving out 1912 and 1916. Clearly I am from one side of the community and as such am more comfortable with one set of events.

    I also agree that 1912, 1916 and 1922 helped set in train what happened here but it is now so long ago that I think it difficult to fully understand how our great great grandfathers were thinking.

    I guess I am saying that I would and never will celebrate 1916 but I can fully recognise that a person can do so with honour and without supporting the squalid murder campaign of Gerry’s mates.

    In terms of the term “dissident” I tend to agree a bit but the term republican which seems to stem from people like the United Irishmen has been wrapped around many people of many ilks and I am afraid to unionists the term Irish Republican is utterly debased and simply means killers or their fellow travellers. I know that is unfair but it is the way it is now: just like the term loyalist has been debased by the alphabet soup killers.

  • RepublicanStones

    Turgon unfortunately, for me at least, the term ‘unionist’ engenders more trepidation than ‘loyalist’ does. Loyalists were murdering to protect that which was set up at the expense of a basic right of the irish people and which was set up by unionism. Loyalists were in many instances pawns of the unionist state, convenient and to be encouraged here and there and discarded when they became inconvenient. The wallapaper quote rings true. The main ideal of republicanism is a noble one, while admittedly many ignoble things were done in its name. Many would seek to paint the means of certain strands of republicanism as the cause itself thereby rubbishing the whole ideal. Whilst a good case may be made, it is I feel wrong. You may not like to hear it Turgon, but for me, while the cordite is on the cuffs of loyalism, the blood is on the hands of those who see themselves as their ‘betters’ and founders of this statelet.

  • observer

    Slugger has managed to plumb new depths. I didn’t think it was possible!
    The depraved gloating about a young woman being shot in the head are particularly disgusting.
    The fact that no other unionist contributor appears to be disturbed by this suggests that mere conditioning isn’t entirely responsible for the salivation response whenever someone suggests the unionist analysis of something may not be entirely accurate.
    Perhaps a few hundred years of inbreeding within a very small gene pool has created a few blank areas in the frontal cortex, where insight normally resides.
    Obviously the “perhaps” in the previous sentence is superfluous.