Interview with the RIRA

The Sunday Tribune website now has all today’s articles, mentioned earlier on Slugger, available online, including the admission of responsibility for the killing of Provisional informer Denis Donaldson. Suzanne Breen has the scoop.
1. Óglaigh na hÉireann (RIRA) Easter Statement
2. On Taking the Campaign to Britain
3. Massereene, Plans, Tactics and Beliefs
4. How Real IRA Killed Denis Donaldson
5. Analysis
6. Editorial: Terrorism has no place in modern Ireland

  • The Raven

    Anyone else sick to their stomach on reading of the Donaldson account? I really hope there are no apologists for these people about to stick their heads above the virtual parapet here…

  • DC

    The Real IRA representative says its seven-strongArmy Council debated at length whether to kill Donaldson:

    7 persons getting the media spotlight trying as they might to stretch the intent of 7 individuals over a nation of millions.

  • J Kelly

    Tactical use of armed struggle as a part of a political strategy could be seen as having some point but in the absense of a political strategy is violence for violence sake. A question for rory when he gets round to it, now that the armed tactic has been used, what is the next step in hte aftermath of masserene…negotiate, talk.

  • Scaramoosh

    “A question for rory when he gets round to it..”

    Isn’t he still in custody?

  • groundhog day

    raven

    why would you hope that apologists wouldn’t stick their heads over the parapet? they have as much right to their views as you. It is probably more important that their views are aired now. I welcome the sudden increase in the publication of the “apologist’s” views that the media had tried to ignore for so long. Would you rather they stay below the parapet and plan further attacks?

    this kind of moralism from the raven feeds the violence, you are responsible as those who pull the trigger

    when will people realise that this is political violence and it will never end until the politics is right. what really makes me sick is people condemning political violence from a high handed and self righteous moral position. We’re all in this together and none of is free from blame.

  • J

    I agree with ground hog day, good comment, it’s easy to judge what you are not a part of, media censorship has gone too far and for too long, you don’t know how it is unless your there, everything else is second hand, take our media with a pinch of salt. although I doubt the Politics will ever be right.

  • picador

    Morally, philosophically and politically bankrupt – that what’s these people are.

    Didn’t their leader get out of jail on ‘health grounds’? Put him back in!

  • picador

    There is definitely a whiff of sulphur about these articles. Bombastic words – very 1980s.

    I remember the 1980s – and they were shite. But evidently some people enjoyed them. While life was shite for everyone else their guns made them feel important.

  • Comrade Stalin

    What picador said.

  • Faolchu

    The whole of republicanism is morally and ideologically bankrupt. Whats the aim anymore?

    Is a United Ireland without the socialist principles worth the bloodshed? Would the leaders of 1916 be proud of the Republic’s capitalist state of today getting bailed out by the IMF?

    Is living under a socialist state in Britain any better? Red Ken for Prime Minister perhaps?

    Or should we just settle for plain old civil rights, denied in the previous generations of Catholics, which we seem to have gained under Sinn Fein? But is civil rights really enough?

    Nobody knows or seems to know. My own view is that the Republic’s model is not worth the lives it would take to achieve it. A socialist Britain would more likely appeal to me far more than a capitalist Eire. And civil rights should be a fundamental human right. Losing nearly 4,000 lives in the pursuit of such an aim seems overkill to me. So the question remains what are we doing? Or does it even matter with the impending takeover from the European Union?

    The problem with Republicanism is that everybody is pulling in different directions. Sinn Fein are defunct. They’re policies are flawed and they’ve settled for far too little from their original lofty aspirations. Both Eirigi and Republican Sinn Fein say they want a United Ireland based on socialism but that has been trotted out before by both Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein and look how they subtely forgot it. What makes these two parties any different? And who even knows what the strategy of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement is? Keep setting fire to JJB Sports stores and we’ll see what happens, hey?

    We’re at a crossroads and the only way to re-evaluate where we are and where we need to go is to take it back to basics. I understand the principles of compromise, and no doubt some shinner on here will remind me of that fact, but to compromise on such a scale surely wasn’t worth it, was it? A discussion needs to take place and goals need to brought back to principles. Where this comes I don’t know but the current mainstream Republican movement is obviously out of ideas and letting them further drag us blindly down the path of British acceptance is bringing us nowhere. The dissidents on the other hand are destined to fail because of the nature of their campaign. And therein lies the dilemma. Both the mainstream and dissident branches of Republicanism would do well to remember the following words from Michaelangelo.

    “The problem with man is not that he aims too high and fails, its that he aims too low and achieves.”

  • picador

    The whole of republicanism is morally and ideologically bankrupt.

    Now if you’d said that physical-force Irish republicanism was ideologically bankrupt I’d have agreed with you.

    Republicanism of the democratic, secular variety still has a future in Ireland. It’s up to those of us who believe in it to stand up to the insurrectionists.

  • Faolchu

    The two words are heavily intertwined. Its funny. I’d disagree with you Picador on the point of physical-force Irish Republicanism being the only branch that is ideologically bankrupt. In fact it is fair to say that the dissidents have held on to their ‘ideals’ far more than their comrades of the mainstream variety. They have however given up on their moral obligations. ‘Lets hold on to a picture of James Connolly while I shoot two pizza delivery personnel’ kind of mentality.
    On the flip side, mainstream Republicanism, whilst taking the moral high ground, makes whatever overtures they have to old Republicanism seem to stink of the very worst kind of hypocrisy. What possible Republican ideals do Sinn Fein possibly have left to cling on to? British paid ministers in a British political institution. Quite hard for the heroes of the past to give tham a green light on that one…

  • picador

    The Provos – and their offshoots – epitomise the bankruptcy of physical force republicanism. Adams & co. institutionalised armed struggle in the first place – the pernicious ideology of the ‘long war’ lives on among a band of numbskulls.

    Who gives a damn what the ‘heroes of the past’ think? They are dead. It is the future that matters.

  • Faolchu

    Well like it or not, all over the north today you’re going to have Easter orations from ALL Republicans commemorating these ‘Fallen Heroes’. Republicanism and old ideology go hand in hand. Even the great Gerry and Martin have to pay lip service to it.

  • Turgon

    I do not know if a unionist is allowed to comment but I will try.

    At an intellectual level I entirely agree with picador that republicanism per se is not morally bankrupt. However, in its Irish and certainly Northern Irish manifestation it is so closely associated with the “long war” etc. that it is bankrupt.

    Actually a similar thing has occurred with loyalism. Loyalism should mean loyalty to the crown or even just to the unionist population. However, it has become completely conflated with the paramilitaries and is bankrupt.

    This is not merely a political problem. look at the term fundamentalist. To me it means a person who takes their religion very seriously and accepts the fundamentals of it. To most of the world it mean some suicide murderer.

    I must admit that I think for many years republicanism as a term is going to be an albatross around the necks of decent non violent people. Nationalist I know smacks of Redmond etc. and some may dislike it. However, I suggest you might need a new term?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Turgon :

    Actually a similar thing has occurred with loyalism. Loyalism should mean loyalty to the crown or even just to the unionist population. However, it has become completely conflated with the paramilitaries and is bankrupt.

    Become ? You mean once it wasn’t ?

    Unionism has always relied upon force to enforce it’s will. Up until around 1918 or so it relied on the force of the state. When it became apparent that the state would no longer play ball, it established it’s own paramilitary organization. There isn’t a single unionist politician today who will dare to condemn Edward Carson for setting up the illegal and irregular UVF which was used to threaten the British. And we don’t need to do the roll-call of all the unionist-connected paramilitary organizations which came after that.

    Paramilitarism runs within unionism’s blood, it always has. You need to come to terms with that.

  • Scaramoosh

    Northern Editor’s Analysis Suzanne Breen – An analysis of;

    “nor the condemn­ation of wider Irish society, has affected the organisation one iota”.

    Well, what did you expect – psychopaths are by their nature immune to persuasion.

    “If the Real IRA had a slogan it would be, ‘An armalite in one hand and we don’t do ballot boxes”.

    If they had a slogan, it would be – “We are a bunch of backwoodsmen, with access to limited arms, and we have no electoral mandate whatsoever and nore are we likely to ever have one.”

    ” it’s a mistake to believe they’re stupid or insane.”

    By most people’s definition they are both. What are you a trained psychologist in your spare time?

    “The Army Council representative’s words were chillingly ruthless. But they were well thought-out.”

    No and No. It was the same old nonsense repackaged for a generation of disaffected youth.
    Nothing well thought-out here; these folk live in an intellectual cull-de-sac of their own making.

    “While the Stormont Executive has shown remarkable unity so far, pressure on it will increase in the event of further killings or bombings and community tensions will rise”.

    Really? What, you are also a trained clairvoyant?
    Put away the crystal ball. Further killings or bombings will merely serve to copper fasten the democratic process that is in place, through reminding people of what the alternative is.

    “The Northern peace process was held up internationally as a shining example. While it’s certainly not disintegrating, it appears slightly tarnished after Massereene and Craigavon. The days of the gunmen and bombers were meant to be well and truly over.”

    Sorry, but no ,it doesn’t. That a couple of psychos, that everybody knew to be lurking in the wings finally got lucky, is neither here nor there. I don’t remember anybody promising that
    the days of the “gunmen and bombers were meant to be well and truly over.”

    “The Real IRA’s open contempt for the Provisionals shows it doesn’t fear them.”

    Inadequate people, when given guns, always become brave men.

    “The Real IRA’s survival will depend on several factors: whether or not ordinary nationalists inform on it to police; if it’s developed shadow structures to function in the event of key personnel being arrested; and if it avoids such atrocities as Omagh in which 29 civilians were massacred.”

    Cutting analysis to finish off there. The Real IRA are nothing more than an irritant; a ragbag of ne’r-do-wells. And whilst they do seem to have impressed you, I am not sure that too many of us buy into the story. No doubt the organisation’s fat middle aged Southern leaders, may yet persuade some disaffected youth to do
    something silly..but this does not take away from the fact that their cause is very much a lost one;
    made more pointless of course, that the odds are very likley that they have a couple of Scaps in their ranks.

    The Real IRA are victims of history, trapped inside an ever shrinking bubble.

    The country has been brought to its knees by an inner circle comprising bankers, politicians and property deveopers.

    It’s inner cities and towns have been decimated by drugs, that are being peddled by people driving around in armoured plated BMW M5s, who are better armed than the army or the police; and then we have these jokers, wishing to create a little bit of local difficulty for Sinn Fein.

    If their motivation really is a love of Ireland (and not just a desire to retaliate for their bruised egos), then they could perhaps focus on some of the matters that are affecting the people of Ireland on a daily basis.

    Threats to kill Pizza delivery boys, do not really wash.

  • Turgon

    Comrade,
    By loyalism I mean the Orange Order, the Protestant churches, unionist culture etc. However, so completely equated has the term become with violence and the threat of violence that it is utterly devalued and cannot really be used as a positive by decent people.

    As to:
    “Paramilitarism runs within unionism’s blood, it always has. You need to come to terms with that.”

    I might say the same thing about nationalism and demand nationalists “come to terms with it.” However, that would also be a lie and as such nationalists would not need to.

    I could also point out that members of the Alliance Party when I was at Queens supported the honorary life membership of an IRA terrorist and as such the Alliance Party was a pro terrorist organisation. That would also be a ridiculous generalisation and utterly untrue.

    Some unionists may have supported violence: that does not mean I have to accept or come to terms with the idea that “Paramilitarism runs within unionism’s blood, it always has.”

    It is a simple lie and as such I do not need to come to terms with it at all.

  • T.R.O.H.V.M

    ‘The whole of republicanism is morally and ideologically bankrupt.’

    If thats the case it follows in the footsteps of unionism which from the outset was morally bankrupt through its attitude of superiority over the irish utermenschen !

  • The problem is by creating the border the British State, with the support of the two main parties in the South, have managed to push bread and butter politics to one side and the Stormont stitch up has simple reinforced that position.

    I hope he does not mind me saying so but Turgon makes a fair point when he writes of republicanism and loyalism being closely linked in the public mind with para-militaries.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Turgon,

    By loyalism I mean the Orange Order, the Protestant churches, unionist culture etc.

    When anyone in the public says “loyalists”, they’re almost exclusively referring to the paramilitaries. That’s been the case for decades, it’s not some sort of weird newfangled change in language, unless you’ve been living in some sort of bubble.

    “Paramilitarism runs within unionism’s blood, it always has. You need to come to terms with that.”

    I might say the same thing about nationalism and demand nationalists “come to terms with it.”

    Yes, except you’d look a bit silly because nationalists have already come to terms with it, and more so. Of course violent resistance has always been a part of republicanism. I can’t imagine a republican or nationalist ever trying to pretend otherwise.

    However, that would also be a lie and as such nationalists would not need to.

    It’s not really a lie. Sinn Fein will never say that armed struggle should never be used, and even a sizeable proportion of moderate nationalists, while condemning the IRA, would never have said that their cause was completely without justification.

    I could also point out that members of the Alliance Party when I was at Queens supported the honorary life membership of an IRA terrorist and as such the Alliance Party was a pro terrorist organisation. That would also be a ridiculous generalisation and utterly untrue.

    Not only that, but it would be seen for the pathetic effort that it was given that the student grouping of Alliance students is pretty much entirely independent from the party.

    Some unionists may have supported violence:

    That “some” happened to include it’s founders and, subsequently, it’s leaders.

    that does not mean I have to accept or come to terms with the idea that “Paramilitarism runs within unionism’s blood, it always has.”

    If you don’t come to terms with it, you’re in denial. It’s not “some” unionists, it’s the leadership of unionism ever since partition, and indeed before. The British government were threatened with an armed insurrection by unionism in order to achieve partition. Once unionism gained control of a state it used that state apparatus to achieve the means it previously used the UVF for. The paramilitary wing of unionism began to rise again and take prominence once political unionism began to lose it’s grip on that state, and once again in the 1970s, and again during Drumcree in the 1990s, threats by armed loyalists were used against the British government while unionist politicians looked on.

    The archives of the Belfast Telegraph are full of photographs of leading unionists talking to armed loyalists. How can you try to pretend a unionist having a cup of tea with a tattooed loyalist is some sort of strange anomaly ? It happens all the time and still does. It’s only a matter of time before the same is exposed in the TUV.

  • Turgon

    Comrade,
    Remind me about the Alliance Party sharing documents and such like with Dawn Purvis.

  • Turgon

    Comrade,
    Sorry that may be wrong but do remind me what was it that was raised a year or so ago about Alliance and Pirvis?

  • Turgon

    Comrade,
    Sorry that may be wrong but do remind me what was it that was raised a year or so ago about Alliance and Purvis?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Turgon,

    Pathetic. Are you suggesting that the links between unionism and loyalist paramilitarism, often to subvert the democratic process, are the equivalent to sharing documents in a public parliamentary setting with a loyalist politician ?

  • George

    Turgon,
    who were those people in strangely familiar clothing standing “guard” outside now First Minister Peter Robinson’s house after his little Clontibret foray back in the day?

    Friends of his?

  • picador

    Agree with Scaramoosh.

    [play the ball – edited moderator]

    Apart from that a good scoop.

  • picador

    I am sorry but that analysis was shoddy.

  • picador

    “The organisation has a strategy in the short- to medium-term”

    A strategy is supposed to be for the long-term. Short to medium term would be tactics. The SuperProvos have tactics, the same range of tactics as the Provos used for 30 years – without attaining their aim of forcing a British withdrawal.

    Contrary to what Ms Breen asserts the dissidents do not have a strategy.

    I rest my case.

  • Brian MacAodh

    For what it matters, Picador’s understandings of tactics and strategies is off.

    They could, for example, have a short-term strategy which is to force the Provos to use violence against them. This would lead to the destablization and discrediting of the current political setup, where the RIRA feel that the void created would be a better situation for their organization to be relevant. Once they achive that, a general increase in violence would make them stronger and more attractive, and eventually an all out “dirty war” could resuem.

    Their tactics would be how they plan and assasinate SF members, or how they lure Scap back to Ireland, etc.

    But, yeah, irrelevant anyway.

    BTW, nationalists were peaceful for 50 years, until it became apparent that the British govt, in the interest of the Empire, would surrender to unionism at the expense of the 2nd class Gaels once again. When people are finally getting fed up with the IPP, the Rising happened and the rest is history;.

  • Who are these ‘dissident republicans’?
    Personally, it is my firm belief that the killing of Dennis Donaldson was carried out by elements of the so-called ‘security services’.
    This ‘admission’, sounds if it was constructed in the M15 office in Hollywood. Spoon-feed to the populace, via the usual suspects, in terms of the political commissar which distort democratic debate in these islands.
    With a bit of inside knowledge, I could have claimed that murder.
    Extremely poor, poor article!
    Christ!! As long as you prostitute yourself to an extreme anti-republican/anti left agenda, your on the gravy train!!
    Thats how to beat the credit crunch, become a purveyor of political smear…….great!!!!

  • picador

    Their tactics would be how they plan and assasinate SF members, or how they lure Scap back to Ireland, etc.

    Sorry, that’s operational detail which is at a level below tactics.

    They could, for example, have a short-term strategy which is to force the Provos to use violence against them.

    This claim was not made anywhere in this series of articles but was introduced by yourself and in any case would amount to a tactical objective and not a strategic one.

    Their aim is to secure a united Ireland by forcing the British to withdraw. Nowhere in any of those interviews was any strategy to achieve that outlined. To say they have a strategy is to be disingenuous.

  • Brian MacAodh

    Don’t care enough to argue….

    But as you put it “to say they have a strategy is to be disingenuous.”

    They must be telling their footsoldiers that they have some kind of plan or strategy, though. I hope these people aren’t desperate or fanatical enough to risk death, injury, or prison just to say they “kept faith with the past”

  • Paul McMahon

    “They could, for example, have a short-term strategy which is to force the Provos to use violence against them. This would lead to the destablization and discrediting of the current political setup, where the RIRA feel that the void created would be a better situation for their organization to be relevant”

    God but if that’s true it shows an appalling cynicism regarding how they value the worth of their membership’s lives. No doubt the front line pawns will be the first to go, [i.e. “the upsurge of young people and others who seek to join our ranks”].

    Supremely cynical, [If true].

  • picador

    Don’t care enough to argue….

    Apparently you did last time you posted.

    They must be telling their footsoldiers that they have some kind of plan or strategy, though.

    They must be relying on their footsoldiers – cannon fodder, dupes – to be totally ignorant of the past, never mind keeping faith with it.

    Let’s say they have as an interim – tactical – objectives collapsing the Executive, getting the British Army back on the streets, forcing the British government to the negotiating table Well that would get us to round about 1974/1975. But what’s to negotiate – they’re not prepared to compromise? So then what – long war again?

    They say history is destined to repeat itself but that would be ridiculous.

  • Brian MacAodh

    “God but if that’s true it shows an appalling cynicism regarding how they value the worth of their membership’s lives.”

    Who knows how much they value their membership’s lives. They obviously don’t give a flying F about the lives of pizza delivery boys.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Turgon,

    There’s a massive list of things that we can talk about that show that unionist politicians aren’t serious when they say they are equally opposed to loyalists as they are republicans. Let’s take a recent example. Last week, Peter Robinson praised loyalists for showing restraint in the light of what could be seen as the provocation coming from dissident republicans.

    This item was headline news, yet Jim Allister did not comment on it – or at least, no comment is shown on his homepage. Do you think that, if Robinson’s comments had been about the virtues of republicans choosing not to murder people, he’d still have held his tongue ?

  • Turgon

    Comrade,
    Read this recent blog

  • The Raven, armed with new purpose

    “why would you hope that apologists wouldn’t stick their heads over the parapet?”

    Sorry. I make my own apology unreserved. It is quite natural to burst into a man’s house and mete out one’s own justice. I am sorry for my “moralism”. In light of my new-found rights, I am going over to my mate’s house to get his shotgun and deliver a bit of my own justice to some people. See, it’s ok…I’m just putting my head above the parapet.