“more a part of the problem..”

I previously noted the Observer’s extracts from Henry McDonald’s new book Gunsmoke and Mirrors – How Sinn Féin dressed up defeat as victory and on the Guardian website today he’s been discussing it – direct link to mp3 file here.

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  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    We are back in Life of Brian territory here

    so apart from the abolition of uninoist dominated stormont and the UDR and the RUC and the removal of British symbols from courts etc a system of government which gives Nationlaist guranteed power, and a constitional role for the Irish government (via GFA/STA), and all the prisoners out of jail and as Nelson Mc Causland said on Hearts and Minds last night “Direct Rule means Anglo Irish Rule” what achievments can Grizzly point to. Perhaps ‘enry is just telling a good yarn – but hey great title.

    p.s. Will need to add Nationalist (part) control over Courts and Police and Justice when Robbo

  • You’re misunderstanding McDonald’s point. Which was that the things you mention were available in 1974. And what makes you think it was the Provos that got rid of Stormont? It was a combination of Bloody Sunday and the withdrawal of nationalists from Stormont and the rent and rates strike that convinced the British to abolish Stormont as was.

    In 1974 the UDR was a recent creation, and the RUC had been disarmed and reformed. There’s no reason to think that the UDR wouldn’t have gone and the RUC been reformed if the 1974 deal had stuck.

    Of course, Mc Donald is wrong in that the Provos were not the reason for the failure of the 1974 arrangement. But what is clear is that their determination to continue delayed the establishment of a political settlement, the broad outlines of which were already well-known.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    War has its own momentum once it gets started – unfortunately it took the Englezes and Provos far too long a time to realise neither would win. But once the British agreed to a policy of Irishification (ie the GFA) of Norn Iron rather than Ulsterisation there was always going to be deal.

  • So where does the Anglo-Irish Agreement fit into your narrative? That seems to me to be the point at which it became irrevocably clear that the Irish government would be involved in the future regardless of what unionists thought. And this was to a large extent the product of John Hume’s absolute insistence that there would never be a purely internal deal after the failure of the British to support the Executive in 1974.

  • dunreavynomore

    The G.F.A guarantees partition as long as a majority of the 6 cos population wants it; Seems like the old ‘Unionist veto’ newly written! All the killing, all the dying, the years in prison, the broken homes that were supposed to be about achieving a ‘Declaration of intent to withdraw’ from Britain, is that really a victory for republicanism or even Nationalism? For the first time in history the Republican and Nationalist population appear to accept Britain’s claim to be here for our good, Old mother England loves us still!!! (of course, the Shinners tell their foot soldiers that it is all a fiendishly clever plot leading straight to a United Ireland.) It was sammy ……. you should ponder on who controls the purse strings, whose army can march through Belfast, who collects our taxes and on and on British rule continues although now with the blessing of those who still call themselves Irish ‘Republicans. McDonald has it right.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    IRA/Sinn Fein are not defeated. They are in transition. History of the republican movement tells us that they reappear after a certain amount of time, this has been the trend since the republican rebels took over Dublin from the old guards, while the Irish people were fighting in europe for everyone freedom.


  • Pancho’s Horse

    Just a small point of misinformation,Umh, in your otherwise incredibly accurate assessment. The murderous gunmen who fought in Baile Átha Cliath were not rebels. People who rise up against a legitimate government are ‘rebels’ but native peoples who fight to remove the imperialist yoke off their necks are ‘freedom fighters’.

  • josephine

    ulster my homeland: yes, you’re perfectly correct, they are in transition, from the counter top to the dust bin!

  • anne warren

    Ulster my Homeland seems to agree with Padraig Pearse or whoever said “Ireland unfree will never be at peace”.

  • Ri Na Deise

    Ulsters My Homeland posted something that made sense. Oh dear. Time to get doc to change me meds.

  • pith

    Ulsters (sic) my homeland,

    Are you hoping for it? It certainly reads like it.

  • Driftwood

    Adams and McGuinness were perfect MI5 stooges.
    They followed the money.

    As for taking part in British rule in Northern Ireland, yikes they practically broke the republican mould!!. Servants of the Crown. But sure they are well paid. About Captain level in the *British* Army.
    Everyone follows the money eventually.
    Martin and Gerry just didn’t try to pretend at the end.
    For the lower order sectarian mudrerers, well sure there are still smuggled fags, tax free.

  • stephen

    ulster my homeland is correct to a point,in that throughout the the most recent history,republicanism goes through transitions. However, it is REPUBLICANISM that changes and adapts, going from constitutional and then back to physical force, not IRA/SINN FEIN. These are just names of groups of individuals. REPUBLICANISM may re-emerge after the inevitable collapse of power sharing using these titles or other names. The monicker may change, the objective will remain the same.

  • Sneakers O’Toole

    Oh God I agree with umh too.. What is the world coming to. It won’t be the provos though, they’ve gone the same way Fianna Fail (“The Republican Party”) have gone; a slightly constitutional party. They’re part of the establishment now.

    What comes next? God knows. I have the sneaking suspicion some people, including umh, are looking forward to it…