Past, present and future at the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly in Donegal

Security will be tight in the wake of the recent murderous attacks by renegade republicans when parliamentarians in these islands convene next week in Donegal for the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly.There used to be a very heavy police profile at these events but it had been relaxed in recent years. Many long-standing members will recall the presence at a meeting in Adare of a courteous police officer called Jerry McCabe, who was murdered by republicans in 1996.

The Irish and British Co-Chairs, Niall Blaney, TD for Donegal, and Peter Hain MP will propose a motion condemning the murder of Sapper Patrick Azimkar, Sapper Mark Quinsey and Constable Stephen Carroll and conveying condolences to their families, friends and colleagues.

The motion also says that these killings were “intended to undermine the peace settlement endorsed in referenda by the people of the island, north and south” and “reiterates its full support for the democratic institutions and all those who work to build a better society in Northern Ireland.”

The Real IRA’s Omagh bombing of 1998 also figures prominently in the proceedings. The previous meeting of the Assembly in Newcastle, England heard impassioned pleas from many members, led by Labour MP Andrew Mackinlay, for intelligence on the perpetrators of the atrocity to be released to lawyers acting for the families of the victims in a civil case in the High Court in Belfast.

Senior members, Michael Mates, a former Northern Ireland Security Minister and former Ulster Unionist security supremo Ken Maginnis, dissented because they feared that handing over such intelligence could compromise the methods of the security service.

Members will discuss the British Government’s response to the debate as well as the merits of John Ware’s Panorama programme and which conflict over the possibility that intelligence could have prevented the attack in which 29 people died.

The impact of the past will also be examined in a session with Lord Eames and Denis Bradley, Co-Chairs of the Consultative Group on the Past, whose controversial report suggested, amongst many other points, payments to relatives of all victims, including those in paramilitary groups.

The Assembly will have a question and answer session with Mary Couglan, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, and Paul Murphy MP, Secretary of State for Wales and UK Minister with responsibility for the British-Irish Council. The Assembly is seeking a role in providing backbench scrutiny of the British-Irish Council.

Nigel Dodds, the Northern Ireland Minister for Finance and Personnel and Deputy Leader of the DUP, and Danny Kennedy, Deputy Leader of the UUP, will also address the Assembly and take questions.

This is only the second time in the 19 year history of the organisation that unionist representatives have attended after they dropped their long-standing boycott.

The Assembly has been given a new lease of life by becoming inclusive and needs to consider how to renew its role as it limbers up for its 20th anniversary next year.

The Assembly has 25 British and 25 Irish members drawn from the Upper and Lower Houses of both parliaments. In recent years membership has been extended, with representatives from the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Welsh Assembly, the Scottish Parliament and the Isle of Man and Channel Islands

  • OC

    Here’s to its success!

    Much like the threads on RoI joining The Commonwealth, anything that helps reassure those in NI who identify as British (hyphenated, or not) that they won’t be abandoned will help stabilize NI, and maybe even one day lead to a peaceful all Ireland, perhaps all British Isles, rapprochement, up to possibly a UI, but even if not.

    The flip side, of course, is to help the NI Irish that don’t particularly identify in any way with being politically British that they are still better off than in a UI. At least not worse off.

  • margherita

    anything less that unity will mean that enemy forces will need to be careful when they order pizzas forever and a day

  • The motion also says that these killings were “intended to undermine the peace settlement endorsed in referenda by the people of the island, north and south”

    No, they weren’t. They were designed to shore up support for Gerry Adams – wasn’t that their effect? This phoney peace process has to be exposed for what it is, an attempt by republicans to play a hand they no longer have. Their hand was effectively played out in 1986 when Gerry Adams became a liability, and they chose instead of ditching him to contimue with the setting of a precedent for a new dark Christianity based on violence and evil methods. There will be no true peace and unity on this island until those who embrace the Old Testament in their methods are dealt with.

    There is a more rational explanation as to why the Republican Movement panicked and allowed and I’ll say it again, allowed the dissident attacks. You must ask the question, who has infiltrated the dissidents more, Sinn Fein or the British or PSNI? The answer is evidently that it is not the British or PSNI.

    Bishop Seamus Hegarty’s unwitting intervention in writing to me to inform me that he would seek to have a professional theologian look at my book seems to have unnerved the Republican Movement. The book refers to my 1986 experience in discovering that Gerry Adams name comes out at 666 on a numeric alphabet.

    It seems that my attempt to get press coverage was a signal to them to try to underscore Gerry Adams’ position and make it seem unassailable by using their influence with dissident republicans who then attacked Massereen Barracks. The PSNI officer was the icing on the cake, in their perverse terms, keeping Adams even more sweet.

    Again the only (much delayed) coverage I get for the story came last Friday in the Derry Journal and that day there also appears a letter in the Irish News from a Cork priest, belittling Mark Durkan and the SDLP (and our support), and supporting the Sinn Fein position that the IRA violence of the Troubles was justified. My coverage was delayed in my opinion to give them time to get that opposing measure in place.

    The nature and extent of the evil I am revealing here is not lost on me, but I think that a cursory glance at the record of Sinn Fein over the years will reveal that they will do anything to protect their own interests.

  • joeCanuck

    John,
    You tell lies I believe.
    You say that the Bishop wrote to you.
    The article you link to says no such thing – just muses by an assistant to the Bishop about the possibility of some theologian looking at it.
    Why don’t you prove my accusation wrong by publishing, here, a transcript of the letter the Bishop supposedly wrote to you.
    Or are you just living in self-delusional fantasy land?

  • j6480

    renegade republicans? why on earth would sinn fein want to interfere with the british-irish interparliamentary shindig?

  • JoeCanuck

    You tell lies I believe.

    So the Bishop didn’t write to me and just announced to the Press that he was getting a theologian to look into my book based on my 1986 discovery that Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley’s names come out at 666. You’re becoming fanciful with your attempts to entrap me, Joe.

  • Bishop Hegarty made [b]no[/b] announcement you crazy little man! One of his aides said, on his behalf, yet they are looking into the possibility of having one of your books examined.

    I suppose you think that Gerry Adams is engineering further ‘dissident’ attacks as we speak? You are sick, dangerous and offensive little man. I suppose that makes me an agent of Sinn Féin?

  • Nathan

    BIC and BIPA should be merged into one…don’t see why our public finances should be paying for outlets which duplicate the same thing.

  • Cont

    I suppose you think that Gerry Adams is engineering further ‘dissident’ attacks as we speak?

    Yes, but I might be able to prevent him if we get enough mileage out of these posts. Show your support, Sluggers!

  • I don’t have much time for Adams but I hope he sues you for every penny you’re worth. Gransha need to step up your care you deranged, helpless little man. The claims which you are continuously making are grotesque and highly offensive.

  • Rory (South Derry)

    John

    When are you gonna stop implying that Grizzly is pulling the strings

    Do you not realise that most personnel connected with what you people term “renegade Republicans” would wanna see him wacked!

    I think that you are bordering on the insane with your claims even tough I hate Adams – your rantings are now beyond belief

    With no disrespect to you John we do not give a bollocks for the hypocracy of the Catholic Church.

  • joeCanuck

    So John,

    When are you going to publish the Bishop’s letter?
    How could that entrap you if you’re not lying?

  • joeCanuck

    OK. I guess we all can accept that you were lying. Shame on you.

  • sick

    anything less that unity will mean that enemy forces will need to be careful when they order pizzas forever and a day

    Posted by margherita on Mar 26, 2009 @ 03:27 PM

    what kind of sick shitebag are you?

  • “In recent years membership has been extended”

    It’s about time some regional balance was brought to representation on this body for the Archipelago. The Republic is grossly overrepresented.

  • Oilifear

    “…my 1986 discovery that Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley’s names come out at 666.”

    Please enlighten. Or do I have to buy the book?

  • I don’t have much time for Adams but I hope he sues you for every penny you’re worth.

    Make my day, Gerry.

  • Rory(South Derry)

    When are you gonna stop implying that Grizzly is pulling the strings

    When Grizzly stops pulling the strings.

  • JoeCanuck

    When are you going to publish the Bishop’s letter?

    It’s a private letter, Joe. I’m sure even you have had one from an eminent person. You wouldn’t want that to be the source of a row or anything.

    But thank you for informing me that you think that the letter is less than I say it is, because that implies that you have been talking to people who have seen the letter. But under my extremely precise Jesuitical insertions the letter says what it says on the tin. Gerrry Adams is completely finished.

  • Oilefear

    “…my 1986 discovery that Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley’s names come out at 666.”

    Please enlighten. Or do I have to buy the book?

    Gerry Adams’ secret fear

    I was a student at university in Galway this time twenty years ago when I had the most amazing spiritual experience that any human being could have. While writing an essay as an entry to the UCG Philosophical Society’s competition, I felt the most amazing sense of peace descend on me. I felt an absolute sense of love for all people and an overwhelming sense that I was loved too. I was filled with love.

    My essay concerned two babies, whose nametags were switched at birth, and who grew up in families that opposed each other, one a republican and the other a loyalist. These two children ended up murdering their natural fathers in violent incidents during the Troubles. The moral of the story was straightforward, I felt, and in a philosophical sense it meant that all violence was futile and that sectarian violence was simply patricide – or a desire to simply end the human race.

    But the feeling of love would not go away after I wrote the essay. I felt that I was in the midst of something really profound and my mind began to search for what that overwhelming significant matter could be. Then it struck me.

    It was like lightning struck me. It was to do with the other part of a calculation a friend had shown me in my days at St Columb’s College as a fifteen year old. That calculation worked out the name of Ian Paisley at 666. I had checked the references in the Book of Revelation at that time and I knew that there were to be two beasts.

    “Gerry Adams! It has to be!” I roared to myself in the kitchen of the small flat where I had my experience of great love and peace.

    I set down the same numeric alphabet, and calculated Gerry Adams’ name at 666. It was the icing on the cake. I now had an equation to back my essay up. My thesis, which in large part was the SDLP thesis, was being validated by God.

    I never had any doubt that the SDLP thesis was Christian in orientation, or that the republican campaign of violence was evil in orientation. But now I had the proof. I tried it out on a few people, mainly Sinn Fein members at UCG and they were very interested (and worried). It seemed that I had something on them.

    But it only impacted on them. It never impacted on others because others didn’t consider themselves to be doing anything wrong, as opposed to the Sinn Fein members who were assisting the IRA in their campaign of violence. I was left in no doubt that my discovery had gone straight to Gerry Adams.

    It wasn’t long before I heard from Sinn Fein. Others may make up excuses but I know that the attack on our home, smashing several windows, in August 1986 was a warning from Sinn Fein. But it was too late. Their war was over. I had taken out their king and all good chess players will know that that is the game over.

    Within months of that time, Gerry Adams was sending signals through Fr Alec Reid that he was prepared to end the IRA campaign. My experience had sown the seeds of doubt in Adams’ mind and unnerved him completely. He didn’t want to the Antichrist. More accurately, he didn’t want to go down in history as the man who was regarded as the Antichrist.

    In Spring 1987, a year after my experience, the peace process began in earnest with talks between John Hume and Gerry Adams arranged through Fr Alec Reid, and so the history books record a rational explanation of the ending of the IRA campaign.

    No-one – especially not republicans – really wants to contemplate the possibility that something got to Gerry Adams to make him decide finally, after months of dithering, to give up the violence.

    That something was God. Gerry Adams was confronted with what he had become by God – through me, his instrument – in 1986 and he very quickly developed a yellow streak. They say that Gerry Adams was never all that hot about the war and that has led to all kinds of speculation that he was a top level agent of the British and so on.

    But I can end that speculation. Gerry Adams finally came to the conclusion that the war had to end when he realised that history will record him alongside Ian Paisley as the one of the two beasts of Revelation.

    God had hit the Republican Movement at its weak point. It was thought that Sinn Fein was impenetrable because of its egalitarian structure which meant that Adams could have been replaced if got to. But the republicans had made a big mistake. They had relied heavily on Adams to fight their case in the public domain so he came to matter more than all the others. God got to Adams and it was checkmate.

  • joeCanuck

    Liar, liar, pants on fire.

  • Oilifear

    Click on my name for more, including the calculation of Gerry and Ian’s names.

  • joeCanuck

    What troubles my Canadian ex-St Columb’s, Derry, completely erratic knifer-in-the-back, great friend, sociopath?

  • joeCanuck

    Liar

  • How so, Joe?

  • Clady cowboy

    ‘Bishop’ Hegarty is a paedophile protector.

    You rise to bishop under a heap of broken young lives.

  • strabane boy

    Couldn’t have put it better myself Cladyman. I swear Bishop Len Brennan off Father Ted was modelled on old Hegsy. By saying this we are, of course, agents of Gearóid The Antichrist.

  • joeCanuck

    I will no longer be responding to any of Liar O’Connell’s spam posts.

    Thank you to all of you who have supported my campaign against this delusional poster.

  • The Continuity John O’Connell hereby declares an end to our campaign of responding to John O’Connell’s bizarre rantings and impersonating that individual’s callous, yet often hilarious, diatribes.

    We realise that this nonsense clearly emanates from a truly disturbed mind and, therefore, no longer wish to potentially add to John O’Connell’s sense of righteousness or worsen his fragile mental health as we realise that he thrives on this sort of interaction. Instead, we call on all others to either refrain from engaging with John O’Connell altogether or to nod politely and refrain from attacking or criticising his disturbed viewpoint.

    Q O’Neill

  • The Real John O’Connell

    Official John O’Connell,
    Did you have a hand in this ? Past,Present & Future.

  • JoeCanuck

    What campaign? Be fair. There are at least two of you operating your name, probably under orders from the re-convened army council. And you still haven’t nailed me to any cross. The reverse is more true. Isn’t that why yopu’re lifting the ball and telling us that it’s yours to play with. The sheer delusion of you.

  • The Conts

    I accept your unconditional surrender.

  • JoeCanuck

    I only ever speak the truth.

    Bishop Seamus Hegarty’s unwitting intervention just before Massereene in writing to me to inform me that he would seek to have a professional theologian look at my book seems to have unnerved the Republican Movement. The book refers to my 1986 experience in discovering that Gerry Adams name comes out at 666 on a numeric alphabet.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Hi John, Do you think there’s a possibility Mary may well be venerated and elevated from her humble position of mother of Jesus to God herself?

  • Ulsters My Homeland

    That is the thesis behind my book, but I don’t write strictly religious books. My book is a judgement of our poitical parties in this artificial statelet.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    John, I get some of your symbolism, but if you don’t write religious books, how can you explain God being female?

    I can understand how Catholicism would look at such an idea as pagan mother Earth symbolism is quite potent in their beliefs, but how did you come to that conclusion?

  • Ulsters My Homeland

    I have privileged information that God is a Woman because I am the Lamb.

    But you know it is able to be deduced from our Troubles, where there is an oppressor and oppressed, like in Jesus’ time. The over-arching theme is not the liberation of Ireland or Israel but of the woman. You cannot believe in freeing Ireland unless you wish to free women too from the shackes of their longer term oppression.

    But I had a symbolic injury to my ribs, ref. Adam and Eve, so it is one of the many Revelations that I have had that substantiates my position.

    But you really need to read the book.

  • Secret Squirrel

    I suspect there are those who’ve cracked a rib, reading some of the posts here.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    John, I’m sort of scared to read your book, just incase I get a symbolic head injury, like the time when Judas went mad and hung himself.

  • Ulsters my Homeland

    Be not afraid.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Thanks for those words of comfort John, you’re a true lamb of Christ.

    John, do you think God wants a united Ireland?, if so, would there be any room for Papacy in this new Ireland?

  • fionn

    UMH

    ‘John, I’m sort of scared to read your book, just incase I get a symbolic head injury,’

    LOL, classic!

    From the Derry Journal article..

    “The Derry author’s newest book, a novel, is the twelfth he has published. It follows Michael, who lives with bi-polar disorder and whose life is dramatically changed by a £100,000 Lottery win.”

    Semi-autobographical novel John?

  • Bishop Hegarty

    Be Afraid
    Be very Afraid.

  • Ulsters My Homeland

    John, do you think God wants a united Ireland?, if so, would there be any room for Papacy in this new Ireland?

    Undoubtedly, God favours a united Ireland. She certainly rejects the violence used by the British and unionists to subjugate the Irish people. You are asking, does God endorse the plantation strategy and that can never be. That was evil.

    I am the new papacy and soon international morality will be determined from Ireland.

    Fionn

    Yes, semi-autobiographical as I explain in the book. I won the Lottery in 1986, only realised I’d won in 1990 with my bipolar illness, but you wouldn’t have peace but for those two key components.