Bank heist led to dismantling of IRA…

Sinn Fein once had an impeccable reputation for strategic nous and know how. That was as true amongst the loyalists of the lower Shankill as amongst their near neighbours on the lower Falls. But according to Brian Feeney, it was the strategic blunder of robbing the Northern Bank of more than £26 million that finally robbed the IRA of its paramilitary force. His argument is worth quoting at length and in detail:

For about 15 years before the Northern Bank robbery the IRA had a couple of squads dedicated to fundraising or criminality as the Irish and British governments called it. These squads raised millions of pounds each year for the IRA and as far as the IRA were concerned did not come under the terms of the ceasefire. Amazingly the Irish and British governments accepted that definition, that is until the Northern Bank heist. It was one step too far. The IRA’s own success required an end to the IRA as an operational organisation.

I came in a context where the British were making it clear to the Sinn Fein negotiating team that it was running outof patience with the IRA’s ‘fundraising through robbery’ tactics within its jurisdictional area:

All through the autumn of 2004 the British government in particular had been complaining privately to Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness about IRA operations including a major cigarette robbery in September. Michael McDowell was the most outspoken on the Irish side, protesting about IRA robberies in Dublin docks. The governments warned Sinn Fein that the IMC would inevitably have to expose these ongoing activities.

Yet at the same time both governments were involved in intense negotiations leading to the Leeds Castle talks in September with the prospect of a deal with the DUP. It was when that prospect collapsed in December 2004 over Paisley’s ‘sackcloth and ashes’ speech and the DUP’s demand for photos of decommissioning that the IRA decided to do the Northern Bank operation in the belief that there could be no political fallout.

Well, there was, much of it starting and ending in the Republic:

Loudest in his anger was Bertie Ahern who admitted in the Dail that his government was well aware of the continuing IRA operations in 2004. He referred to robberies, punishment attacks and, in the

mid-1990s, the killing of drug-dealers and said: “This was tolerated in order to try to move the process forward. However 10 years on [after the ceasefire] we cannot continue to do that.” Amazingly the taoiseach went on, “I did not show anger regarding earlier events,” and then listed heists at Makro, Gallahers and Strabane totalling several million pounds. “We in this house took that coolly enough.”

Mind-boggling isn’t it?

Feeney points out what now looks like ‘the bleedin’ obvious’ (which was far from obvious to most mainstream opinion at the time):

Why did Ahern make most of the public running and not Tony Blair when the robbery took place in Britain? Think about it. If Blair had made the same kind of admission in Westminster, namely that he’d known about continuing IRA operations for a decade the Daily Mail and The Sun would have gone into orbit. Crucially Ahern’s speech in the Dail in January 2005 was telling the IRA the governments no longer accepted the IRA definition of its ceasefire. Any future statement from the IRA about an end to activity would have to include a reference to an end to criminality.

He concludes:

The Northern Bank robbery exposed publicly that the two governments had been merrily negotiating for 10 years with Sinn Fein while the IRA had been merrily exploiting its own definition of a ceasefire. The Northern Bank job led to the IRA’s demise.

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  • Brian Walker

    Mindboggling yes, but not that new, when Burning Bush picked up on it.

    http://www.ivanfoster.org/article.asp?date=10/9/2005&seq=2

  • really?

    Are you playing devil’s advocate?

    Do you seriously think that the IRA wouldn’t have foreseen possible political fallout from a 26 million quid robbery where families were held hostage and weapons were used?

    That wasn’t obvious at a time when Jeffrey Donaldson and others were seizing on every knee-capping or punshment beating to apply political pressure?

    Now that would be “mind-boggling”.

  • I find this revival of the completely unproven claims about the Provos being behind the Northern Bank heist most distasteful after the earlier empty attempt on another thread.

    Because the PIRA engaged in earlier bank robberies does not establish that it did this one.

    Actually, the robbery forced the PIRA Council to decide whether it wanted to go back to war or reach a settlement with Blair, who was quite clearly the driving force behind the effort despite Feeney’s claims about Bertie Ahern’s posturing, as this link, which I posted on the other thread, shows:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2005/jan/07/northernireland.northernireland

    We have had nothing but this false claim ever since it happened. When will it stop?

  • Mick Fealty

    Trow,

    The problem lies in your own debunking. We can’t know for certain that they did, but we can’t know for certain that they didn’t. Therefore we don’t absolutely know that the claim is false.

    In an information vacuum, you have to allow that speculation will thrive and grow. And there is very little that Sinn Fein or the IRA can do at this stage (short of throwing open the minutes of Army Council meetings to public scrutiny) to put an end to it.

  • Steve

    Mick

    (short of throwing open the minutes of Army Council meetings to public scrutiny) Sure I am thinking they have a more than adequate data base of written minutes to debunk this

    And sorry onionists dont speculate that PIRA were the robbers they flat out declare they were based entirely on other peoples publically stated speculations, so it is perfectly reasonable for Trow to write what he has

    But if you accept the premise of this piece then the robbery was obviously a good thing

  • Mick Fealty

    Steve,

    Two things:

    – The point I made to Trow was a purely epistemological one.

    – Are you now claiming Brian Feeney is a unionist?

  • Harry Flashman

    Oh come on, is anyone seriously saying it wasn’t the Provies what dunnit?

    And I suppose MI5 robbed Makro and the Dublin Docks too, just like they bombed Omagh, La Mon, Enniskillen and Oxford Street Bus Station, in fact you know what? It turns out the Provisional IRA never existed, no really, they are a complete figment of our imagination, the entire story of the past forty years was a complete fabrication.

    Turns out it was all a big conspiracy by Jews, neo-cons, Olaf Palme, MI5 agents, freemasons, the CIA and the Bildeberg group, apparently they were all rehearsing for taking down WTC Building 7 on September 11, amazing really how none of us caught on, all those people who we knew to be Provos, who made no secret of being Provos, who boasted in bars about their Provo activity and who worked hard for the election of Provo politicians were all in fact Stepford wife style plants created by the Duke of Edinburgh.

    Jeez suddenly it all makes sense.

  • Steve

    The only arguements for it being the PIRA are

    1) they had the infrastructure and knowledge to accomplish the task. Granted but from reading this site I am reasonably well informed that the provies couldn’t take a pee with out a securocrat doing the aiming

    2) It followed their modus operandi, possibly but as it was obviously a successful modus, and not patented, so any criminal gang would have been well advised to use it

    3) The government syas so, like you can take the government at their word

    The only real evidence against the PIRA is that onionists really really want them to have done it

    The only evidence that exists at all points to police involvement and as they operated as criminal gang for 70 years it is entirely feasable

  • really?

    Sometimes the IRA and others simply ignore such specious logic.

    Confident assertions that “it was the IRA wot did it” stifles debate and the possibility of serious scrutiny of other scenarios. the stormont Donaldson affair, for example.

    Decent bloggers might realise this but on here entrenched views and conventional orthodoxies are trotted out ad nauseum. It all ends up with the Ward thread farce of recent days.

  • Mick

    really?

    They are probably right to do that, since, as I point out above there is probably not a lot they can do to kill of the perception that they did do it.

    Other scenarios were, of course, floated at the time. One Republican news source suggested that Loyalist paramilitaries had been known to operate in the area between Loughinisland and Drumkeeragh Forest where the second tiger kidnapping took place.

    There were rumours of a former British soldier having led the robbers. To be fair we pretty much covered all the possible angles at the start.

    But nearly four years later the media and the political classes right across the piste (barring SF of course) have arrived at a consensus that it was the IRA wot done it.

    The tediousness of the argument around this is that no one is in a position to offer the required proof of innocence.

    So long as that is missing, the public perception will remain that they did do actually do it. Short of proof that they actually did, the damage will remain managable.

  • For the sake of Feeney’s argument, does it matter who actually did it? The perception that they did was more than enough for the patience of the governments to snap, and for the DUP to dig its heels in.

  • DC

    I would say the Colombia incident put more pressure on the IRA to wind down really, perhaps after 9/11 and all that followed the robbery wasn’t the precursor to the end, but maybe an end in itself.

  • Mick,

    The tediousness of the argument around this is that no one is in a position to offer the required proof of innocence.

    So long as that is missing, the public perception will remain that they did do actually do it. Short of proof that they actually did, the damage will remain managable.

    Have you abandonned the notion of ‘innocent until proven guilty’? Is ‘public perception’ your idea of justice? Why (and how) should anyone prove that they didn’t do something. The onus is entirely on the accusers.

  • Harry Flashman

    “Why did Ahern make most of the public running and not Tony Blair when the robbery took place in Britain? Think about it. If Blair had made the same kind of admission in Westminster, namely that he’d known about continuing IRA operations for a decade the Daily Mail and The Sun would have gone into orbit.”

    Oddly enough this is one of the weakest aspects of the issue, frankly mainstream UK opinion has largely never given a toss about the corner cutting that goes on in Northern Ireland compared to if it happened in the “mainland”. One remembers countless incidents; the Maze breakout, “My Darling Clementine” come to mind right away but there were others which if they had happened in relation to Birmingham or Clapham would have instantly resulted in a ministerial head rolling.

    I remember in November ’93 just after John Major admitted in the House of Commons that despite his assertion the previous week that it would “turn his stomach” to talk to the IRA he had in fact been in negotiations with the IRA for the previous three years. When Paisley pointed out that this meant the Prime Minister had lied to the Commons he was unceremoniously ejected from the House and the Daily Mail parliamentary sketch writer commented that it was a bit rough given that Paisley was telling the truth and Major was lying but ho hum it was Northern Ireland and normal rules didn’t apply.

    In contrast in the Republic Michael McDowell took a rather more robust and honest approach to law breaking and the role of the state and of course suffered accordingly.

    Northern Ireland, the land where the normal, civilised rules don’t apply.

  • DC

    Yea, lay off the IRA, dontcha know they nothing other than a bunch of peace loving international law abiding veterans.

  • Mick

    Horse,

    Public perception can be pernicious, and capricious. But it is not justice. And the two things should never be confused.

    If we required the same levels of proof to write a newspaper article or even a blog, no one but specialists or insiders could write anything. In short, that would involve smart return to a time just before the middle ages.

  • Rory

    “In short, that would involve smart return to a time just before the middle ages.”

    Much better then that we dispense with a required standard of provable evidence (or indeed, in this case, any evidence whatsoever) and continue to employ the modern journalistic equivalent of the ducking stool to convict without evidence those who fail to find themselves in what Mick calls “a position to offer the required proof of innocence”.

    How soon we forget: Sacco and Vanzetti; the Birmingham 6; the Guildford 4; Judith Ward; not forgetting the innocent “ordinary decent criminals” like the Bridgwater Two and more recently, Barry George – all of whom were deemed guilty by the press before trial precisely in order to aid the miscarriage of justice perpetrated by state police and courts in their manufactured convictions .

  • Terrible Terri

    Maybe some PIRA vetarans realized the jig would soon be up permanently and they wanted to pull off one more major heist. They knew their organization would soon cease to be able to operationally pull off something like this and wanted to go out with a bang (and millions).

  • Shore Road Resident

    It is progress of a kind that the SF apologists on this site at least appear to realise now that robbing a bank is wrong.

  • Mick Fealty

    Nice try Rory. But you have done exactly what I’ve argued should never be done: ie confuse public opinion with justice. Here’s the attempted elision:

    “…employ the modern journalistic equivalent of the ducking stool to convict without evidence.”

    There is no equivalence. Not simply because no one can ‘convict’ the IRA of the Northern Bank robbery, but because journalists cannot ‘convict’ in the way you disingenuously suggest. That is solely the function of a (rightly) highly regulated state.

    To take a completely unrelated matter, Shell was forced to change its plans over the disposal of the Piper Alpha oil platform by a clever and prolonged campaign by Greenpeace; even though the science suggested there would be few environmental impacts from the company’s plans to sink it to the bottom of the North Sea.

    Shell was not ‘convicted’ of anything, but that collective action and an unsympathetic hearing from the press (based in part on the poor record of oil companies in relation to the environment) meant they had an expensive alternative. They had to pay the price because public opinion mobilised against them.

    Now (and I have always made this crystal clear right from the ‘get go’) the IRA may not have done the robbery. But they have a record, and people like Brian Feeney and many other journalists of good standing are convinced they did.

    I’m not for telling anyone what they should believe in this or any other matter. But the weight of public opinion is (currently at least) against any claim that the IRA is wholly ‘innocent’.

  • New Yorker

    Feeney is making a very serious charge against the governments of the UK and the ROI by claiming they knew and turned a blind eye to such criminal activity. What does he have to back it up beyond the ‘everybody knows’ level of proof?

    If there is anything to this charge, it should be raised at Westminster and the Dail. Government collusion with criminals raises many serious issues at both the national and international level.

  • New Yorker,

    It seems fairly likely that the governments have inside information that goes beyond what Feeney knows. And it seems to me he is quoting Ahern saying that a blind eye was turned.

  • Steve

    New Yorker

    English government colaboration with criminals is beyond question, they did after all support the onionist death squads.

    It merely comes down to “with who on what”

  • Steve

    and Mick it would therefore be okay for me to say the UDA were all kiddie fiddlers and every one knows it!

    And wait for them to prove they werent?

  • New Yorker

    Garibaldy

    Thanks. Still it is a serious charge that the governments knew of this activity and did nothing to pursue the criminals and instead encouraged them. Has the issue been raised in the Dail and/or Westminster? Anyone in government who, in effect, sanctioned this criminality should be called to account with a view to prosecution. One is not surprised if this happens in Bulgaria, but the UK and the ROI? Not something you would want foreign investors to know about among others.

  • waffler

    There`s no doubt some one saunctioned the bank job as proven out by the casual return trip to lift the second van load.

  • Mick Fealty

    Steve,

    Comments concerning identifiable individuals are actionable, they could land us both in a lot of trouble. Accusing an organisation of doing things that come within the terms of its corporate activity is not actionable.

    BTW, I notice you still haven’t answered my previous question.

  • Steve

    You mean about Feeney?

    Wouldn’t know him if I stepped on him, Just seems odd that banging on about the IRA with out evidence would help the nationalist community in any way.

    I am not a memeber of any political party especially a foreign one but I would hardly feed ammunition to the enemy if it was me

    No I don’t see onionists as the enemy but its clear enough they see me as one for my pro-republican sentiments

  • Steve

    I will admit to a rather romantic Ideal about the IRA but its not in a context of violence but as the over arching ideal of a small raggedy ass army taking on and beating an immensly powerful enemy with almost unlimited reserves.

    I have never lived in fear of a random bombing by alphabet killers of any persuasion. I sure as hell never lived in fear of the police or the army(except the time I shop lifted some gum but nhh I was 12). No one has kicked in my door for a random search because of the neighbourhood I lived in. I have never been wrestled out of my car and had my posesions sumarily dumped in the mud because I had the wrong last name. I have never had a gun pointed at me never mind by a whole lorry load of peckerwoods in uniforms.

    In short I have never hated my government and my government has never hated me. So yeah I have no idea what it was like to live in the troubles, but I still wouldn’t side with onionists. To me they are just like the afrikaners of South Africa or the KKK in Mississippi

    Code word normal, come on Mick admit it your random word generator has a “taking the piss” algorythym in it doesn’t it ?

  • GavBelfast

    Yep, Steve, there’s definitely nowt queer as folk

  • Harry Flashman

    “a small raggedy ass army taking on and beating an immensly powerful enemy with almost unlimited reserves.”

    Beating them? We have a Brit free, unified, 32 county Irish Republic now do we? I must have missed the memo.

  • Reader

    steve: Wouldn’t know him if I stepped on him, Just seems odd that banging on about the IRA with out evidence would help the nationalist community in any way.
    It depends on whether you think that the well being, dignity, reputation, and future prospects of the nationalist population depend on everyone spinning defiantly for an organisation that killed nearly 2000 people in Ireland, retarded political progress for decades, and doesn’t actually claim to exist any more.
    However, since that seems to be your position, can we assume you will never deal frankly with us over what you actually believe about the IRA or their activities?

  • Now, let me get this thread’s claim straight before it became, as usual, completely unfocused.

    Mick’s claim is a variation of the one that UML advanced after Chris Ward was found not guilty of directing the Northern Bank heist – i. e., he is still essentially guilty until we find and convict the real leader since that is the public’s perception of him.

    Now Mick has advanced the claim that the PIRA Council is apparently guilty of the job, at least until we find the real felons, since that is public’s perception of it in the matter.

    If this is the case, all the politicans, organized media, and bloggers need do in an surprising, difficult case is to poison the mind of the public about it, and the police can simply forget about solving it – i.e., what the PSNI has done about the heist since it happened.

  • Sorry, I got Ulsters My Homeland’s (UMH’s) initials wrong.

    He certainly deserves always to be identified correctly after he called me a whopper after I agreed with other posters about his lies regarding Chris Ward.

  • Rory

    It is progress of a kind that the SF apologists on this site at least appear to realise now that robbing a bank is wrong.

    Now, now, Shore Road Resident, that is almost libellous. I acknowledge that bank robbery is illegal, but wrong? Now that’s another matter entirely and will depend upon the circumstances (and the ease of getting away scot free of course).

  • Shore Road Resident

    You should really check that position with Mitchel McLaughlin before going any further…

  • For an example of Mick’s poisoning principle in action, see this article by Newton Emerson where he righfully rips into the PPS for its empty prosecution of Chris Ward for the Northern Bank heist et al., only to join what MP David Burnside claimed under parliamentary privilege the Provos what done it:

    http://www.irishnews.com/articles/540/606/2008/10/16/600312_360374496345Accountabli.html

  • ciaran

    DC, colombia would have no effect on the IRA’s decision to wind down. After all the three men were found not guilty of terrorist offences in a court of law. Only guilty of travelling on false passports.

  • Rory

    Just to go back to the very beginning of this thread which states:

    Sinn Fein once had an impeccable reputation for strategic nous and know how.” (my emphasis)

    and then goes on to imply that this reputation is now diminished by unsupported allegations in the press that the IRA carried out the raid on Northern Bank funds.

    If that is the case then these assertions themselves become the means whereby the “reputation for strategic nous and know how” is diminished and which begs the question, is that the reason why these assertions were framed in the first place?

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Trow,

    It’s been a long day, but before I hit the sack…

    UMH was one of several people who skated on thin ice on that thread. I’m not convinced a legal line was actually crossed, but it was close enough. Which is one reason why that thread was closed.

    – This is simply wrong: “Mick has advanced the claim that the PIRA Council is apparently guilty of the job, at least until we find the real felons, since that is public’s perception of it in the matter.”

    Check back on the thread for what I actually said:

    “Now (and I have always made this crystal clear right from the ‘get go’) the IRA may not have done the robbery. But they have a record, and people like Brian Feeney and many other journalists of good standing are convinced they did.

    “I’m not for telling anyone what they should believe in this or any other matter. But the weight of public opinion is (currently at least) against any claim that the IRA is wholly ‘innocent’.”

    Quotations are a good way to keep your argument honest. You’ve either not read this, or you are attempting to mislead.

    I’ve made a clear distinction between public opinion and the level of evidence required to convict someone in a court of law. Within the judicial system there are even different levels of evidence required by civil and criminal courts.

    The press does not have the power to convict, but it has a duty to scruntinise and, within the law, come to conclusions about what passes in society. Even if those conclusions are proven wrong in the longer term.

    You appear to be arguing for the suppression of otherwise legally held opinion on the basis that it would ‘convict’ a given organisation in the ‘court of public opinion’. That, I respectfully submit, is the not so thin end of a potentially very fat wedge.

    And finally to that epistemological question from the beginning of the thread. You still haven’t explained how you *know* that the IRA did not do the Northern Bank robbery. What say ye Professor?

    Rory,

    Look you can disagree with my assertion. I don’t claim omniscience in these matters. But are you here claiming there is no link between one organisation and the other?

    In fact your focus on the IRA is actually letting others off the hook.

    Feeney’s piece is even more damning of the British and Irish governments since they excoriated the IRA for apparently committing illegal acts they had previously tolerated. And he implies that they played convenient little tag team opo, so that Tony didn’t get asked too many questions by Fleet Street.

    And of course there is that embarrassing little detail that NO ONE has actually been convicted of what was the largest ever European bank robbery at the time. That’s certainly not the RA’s fault.

    “…which begs the question, is that the reason why these assertions were framed in the first place?”

    That’s as elegant a formulation of L Ron Hubbard’s Fair Game law as I have seen. As our old Gaelic coach used to say, “if you can’t get the ball, get the man.”

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Don’t you ever answer a straight question?

  • ciaran

    funny we haven’t yet heard from the dup as to who the actual bank robbers are( using parliamentary privilege of course).

  • Oh, sorry, forgot your question about who killed Denis Donaldson, and why.

    I think it may have been the securocrat guys who carried out the Northern Bank heist.

    He was thinking about outing them because he knew who they were, and how they operated.

    Just should make any Provo think twice about doing undercover work with them.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    No, that was you, not me. I was referring to the epistemological one of how you know the IRA did not do the Northern Bank.

    Trow,

    I don’t want to lose you, but you need to pay closer attention to what other people actually say, rather than what you think they’ve said. UMH certainly played close to the line, but s/he did not say what you claim he did. I’d say s/he was trying to make trouble certainly, but chose his/her words carefully.

    The law has something to say about all of this. If you cannot take the care to get your details right, then I’m afraid you’re going end up on the list of ‘the banned’.

  • RepublicanStones

    So it seems because the Provo’s have form in the bank heist arena that is enough for us to naturally assume its was them until they are ‘proven innocent’. Does the simple fact that no provo has yet been convicted not do this. After all the only thing one must prove for innocence to be voided is that they are infact guilty. As this has yet to occur, what we essentially have here are unionists (who would blame the famine on the provos if they could) Stoops (who would do the same if they thought they might get a few crumbs of the table in the Big House) and not so subtle inferences from the two respective govts. Thats fine, if that is the situation we now find ourselves in, does everyone accept that say for instance, in every situation where there is even a whiff of collusion its fair for the public at large to assume that its was indeed Kitsonian in its origin? Or should we remember what happens to you and me when one assumes?

  • UMH did say what I said, especially that I was a “whopper” for denying his libels, so given your empty denials, I’m gone.

    Bye!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Steve,

    The only arguements for it being the PIRA are

    1) they had the infrastructure and knowledge to accomplish the task. Granted but from reading this site I am reasonably well informed that the provies couldn’t take a pee with out a securocrat doing the aiming

    That point does not negate the idea that the IRA were behind it. I’d not be at all surprised if, in the future, it came out that the IRA were behind the robbery, and MI5/MI6 were well aware of it and quite possibly had agents who were directly involved in it.

    It’s also quite possible that the intelligence services deliberately allowed the stupid and ill-conceived court case to proceed against Chris Ward, knowing that the case being thrown out would serve to protect their agents further.

    The intelligence apparatus in this country really is out of control.

    3) The government syas so, like you can take the government at their word

    I think people began to believe it was the IRA before anyone connected with the government had said a word about it.

    The only real evidence against the PIRA is that onionists really really want them to have done it

    That’s so wrong it’s almost a joke. Brian Feeney is a fairly consistent apologist for Sinn Fein. A lot of nationalists believe that the IRA did it.

    The robbery was certainly politically convenient for unionists, and they milked it as hard as they could. I don’t think the people who carried it out cared about that at all.

    The only evidence that exists at all points to police involvement and as they operated as criminal gang for 70 years it is entirely feasable

    The money found in the police recreation facility was planted there, and a tip-off called in. Whoever did that was playing a practical joke. To accept the idea that the police would conspire to keep the robbery secret, but yet inform the world about the money being found there, requires some serious leaps beyond rationality.

    Mick,

    To take a completely unrelated matter, Shell was forced to change its plans over the disposal of the Piper Alpha oil platform by a clever and prolonged campaign by Greenpeace;

    Hate to nitpick – that was Brent Spar, and it was an oil storage vessel. Piper Alpha was an oilrig which blew up.

  • What about the guy in Cork? Wasn’t that money proven to be from the robbery? Maybe the cops smuggled it down there too?

  • Comrade Stalin

    The Irish government/Garda have been very suspiciously reticient about providing any details on the individuals or the money found in Cork. Interestingly, those individuals have chosen silence rather than any attempt to take legal action of their own.

  • Steve

    CS

    So no evidence but public opinion makes PIRA Guilty

    The money found in the police recreation facility was planted there, and a tip-off called in. Whoever did that was playing a practical joke. To accept the idea that the police would conspire to keep the robbery secret, but yet inform the world about the money being found there, requires some serious leaps beyond rationality

    Evidence, somewhat dubious evidence, but evidence none the less isnot rational because it doesnt point the finger where you want it pointed.

    Particularily clever though to dispose of the new and therefore useless bills in this way. Maybe the police were having a laugh at themselves

  • Mick Fealty

    Trow,

    Your record on this thread is enough to suggest you don’t pay attention to what other people actually say. I’ve checked the wording of UMH’s (offline) statement and take it from me, it does not add up to what you claim.

    Thank you and good night!

    Comrade,

    Bang to rights.

    Steve,

    Have you been asleep throughout this thread?

  • DC

    “DC, colombia would have no effect on the IRA’s decision to wind down.”

    For the first time, the IRA showed up on the radar in the USA, it stood on America’s foreign policy and domestic policy and was involved in the opposite direction of that nation; America’s will or the IRA’s will – America won out in the end.

    Then it was 9/11 after and slowly but surely the weight was applied.

  • Steve

    Steve,

    Have you been asleep throughout this thread?

    Posted by Mick Fealty on Oct 18, 2008 @ 02:40 PM

    Why? Because I refuse to accept that wdely held public opinion should be enough to lay this at the door steps of the IRA?

    The only evidence in the whole robbery points to police involvement

    Sure the evidence appears to be manufactured evidence but who has form on manufacturing evidence if not the PSNI

  • Topher

    Why would a criminal organization with international ties ignore Sterling, US Dollars, euri, and Swiss Francs to take 6 county money which could be cancelled after the robbery?

  • Steve

    Topher

    Why would a criminal organization apparently unrivalved in their feild take brand new sequentially numbered bills that were easily traceable and therefor useless

    By the Way they did take euro’s as well didnt they?

  • ciaran

    Dc, The fact of the case is that the colombia three were innocent. Not only that but the american government at the time knew they were innocent, so your statement above is completely wrong. There was no evidenc whatsoever to prove the men were either in the ira or on a training mission. So there is no way colombia could have led to the ira dismantling.The motive of the colombians in this matter was simply to get aid from america while the americans hoped to get help in fighting the drug lords.

  • RepublicanStones

    Sure the Castlereagh raid was carried out by a provo chef armed with a fish slice and a bottle of balsamic vinegar.
    It was definitely, I repeat definitely not carried out ‘in-house’ to get rid of crucial documents involving collusion etc, oh and the fire in the Stevens inquiry offices was carried out by a miniature dragon trained by the provos as well.