Off the record briefings are a feature of political life here and elsewhere, so éirígí complaining over being victim of one is nothing new. Sinn Féin redefined a word to describe British state forces involved in giving such direction to the media – securocrats. However, while SF previously bemoaned nameless and/or unaccountable sources giving briefings against them it seems the finger is being pointed firmly back at them over similar tactics. Mick previously noted SF were briefing against dissident journalists they felt werent towing the line. Now Tony Catney of the Republican Network for Unity has claimed SF are stating he is a leading member of the RIRA and says this has been confirmed by journalists – a claim he absolutely refutes. Similarly Rab Jackson of éirígí has raised SF making unsupported claims that his group was involved in the riots at Ardoyne – again something absolutely refuted by that group. Also, an Ardoyne man, a member of CFAD, arrested, then released, in front of an invited media audience claimed as he was dragged from his home that his arrest was due to allegations from senior members of SF. These issues are also addressed by Anthony McIntyre over on the Pensive Quill.
So have SF fully adopted the ‘securocrat’ tactics they previously raged against?