“we can only conclude that publicity was indeed his agenda”

The reports of “ground-breaking talks” to be held in September between Sinn Féin and the 32 County Sovereign Movement appear to have been somewhat exaggerated…

From the iol report

The 32 County Sovereignty Movement later, however, played down the expectation of talks.

It said it believed talks were to focus on issues surrounding dissident republican prisoners held in Maghaberry prison in Co Antrim.

It claimed no firm arrangement on a wider meeting was yet agreed and accused Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams of publicising the talks.

The group said: “If Mr Adams felt it necessary to publicise this correspondence before any meetings took place we can only conclude that publicity was indeed his agenda as opposed to working constructively with us, away from the restrictions of the public glare, to resolve the ongoing crisis in Maghaberry.

“We remain focused and will not be distracted in organising on behalf of the prisoners and their families.”

And on the situation in Maghaberry

A spokesman for the prisoners’ families, Gerry Hodgins, said the protesters are demanding political status and access to legal representation.

“A prison will only work when there is co-operation between the prisoners and the prison staff,” he said.

“There is no co-operation in that prison at the minute – it is being run in a very vindictive and punitive manner.”

But Finlay Spratt from the Prison Officers’ Association said the inmates just wanted control of the jail.

“It’s down to this old argument about who runs the prisons – is it prisoners or is it the authorities?” he said.

“The prisoners want to run the prison. Well, that’s not what prison is for.”

Adds  More of that exaggeration in this UTV report, which ends with

Earlier this week Mr Adams also held face-to-face talks with the loyalist north and west Belfast parades forum, which the party described as a “breakthrough.”

Which would be another exaggeration…

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  • joeCanuck

    It’s down to this old argument about who runs the prisons – is it prisoners or is it the authorities?

    It might serve both sides to read what The Encyclopedia Brittanica says about how prisons actually run. It’s an extensive article. The gist of it is that both parties play a role in the effective functioning of a prison. Mutual respect has to be given and maintained and minor rules are generally not enforced. I could go on but the article is worth reading. Don’t know if it’s on-line; I have a set of the encyclopedia.

  • Mark McGregor

    Seems SF are attempting to use the prisoner issue for their benefit – who says history doesn’t repeat as farce.

  • You do not smash your toilet facilities and then complain you cant go to the toilet, not if you actually want to be taken seriously.

    There are countries where the condition the protesters have deliberately reduced themselves to is the norm. The problem for the prisoners is that everyone now knows that.

  • Sorry last paragraph dropped off b/b

    To find GA has been using something/one for publicity is a surprise?

  • Alan Maskey

    If you hate the prisoners maybe you should not reply here. But tell me Mark. Who do the supporters of the prisoners want to get on board? The H Blockers targeted FF, SDLP etc supporters. Surely your target audience is Sinn Feiners and surely Gerry Adams has a stake in that. Now obviously he does not want these prisoners upsetting his applecart, no more than Charlie Haughey did in his day.

    So what is the plan? Who of import do you want to come out and support you?

  • Alan Maskey

    “If you hate the prisoners maybe you should not reply here.”

    What? What is this thread – a fan club?

    I have some respect for genuine political prisoners, but none for the current ‘dirty’ protest. It has been done before! the world has moved on and unless the protesters can come up with some attack dogs and prison officers in the process of of actually abusing prisoners, the protesters have little chance of succeeding with the wider public.

  • joeCanuck

    The only two things that I hate are onions and broccoli. Hating other people for an extended time is self destructive.

  • lamhdearg

    I would be interested in a break down of the convictions for the so called dissident how many where connvicted of actully fighting the brits and now many for crimes such as dealing drugs. If someone is jailed for battering an old lady then joins some group who speak only for themselves and a few others then i dont think they should receive any special status.

  • joe

    I thought I was clear enough: I dont hate the prisoners, I dont even hate the dirty protest. I don’t think I hate anything, with the exception of spinach.

    Anyone knowing what some prisoners have been through is unlikely to have much sympathy for such antics.

  • lamhdearg

    How can you hate onions and broccoli, I hate you for that, Only joking.

  • lamhdearg

    lot of veg hateing going on here, UP THE VEG.

  • lamhdearg


  • lamdhearg

    Im not really sure about spinach, its been so many years, perhaps it has improved…

  • West Sider

    Adams is sooo evil.

    Imagine it, trying to engage those who killed 29 Irish people in a single incident. Trying to persuade them that since that action in 1998 and all the murders since they are as close to their objectives as those who took part in the Border Campaign were.

    Please, please, please, everyone read Ed Moloney’s A Secret History of The IRA to understand and appreciate how this man saved the lives of countless Irish citizens.

    If he can do it again, then I’m petitioning the Pope for canonisation.

  • joeCanuck

    I didn’t mean that to be a reply to you, just a comment. I think I know you.

  • joeCanuck

    Baby spinach is pretty good. My wife likes to microwave it – yuck. I like it raw.

  • Kevin Barry

    I think this is a good idea. Someone needs to start talking to these people to try and help stop events like Ardoyne happening again.

    As for the accusation of Gerry wanting publicity, I think that he most definitely does and that it’s not necessarily a bad idea. Their are bound to be a few dissidents or those in Eirigi who want to talk (this is self-evident) and if he can bring a few back into the fold or persuade them that they will not get the same kind of support that SF has and also achieve their aims then who knows.

    It’s a whole lot better than sitting on the sidelines and just condemning their actions; it’s being pro-active.

  • joe

    My mistake.

  • Asparagus, thats another one.

  • Jimmy McGurk

    Agreed that hating does more damage to the hater then its object.

    Not sure if you’re up with the events of East Timor Joe, but Xanana Gusmao, the current Prime Minister and former guerrilla leader, has been advocating a policy of forgiveness to Indonesia after its brutal 24-year occupation. His reasoning, that the Timorese have suffered enough and that hate will only extend the suffering and inflict more damage.

  • joeCanuck

    No, Jimmy. I didn’t know that. I followed the events there over the years but I get a lot of my world news from BBC World and they haven’t mentioned that. It’s a very forgiving attitude considering what they suffered.

  • Sinn Fein have a knew objective; how to asses that New Mandate that is a refusal of the (PN) service, not the blind faith that has defined a unholy mob.

  • JH

    True progress here can only happen here when we take EVERYONE with us. That means victims of the conflict and their families, workers, and even so-called dissident republicans. If Sinn Féin are meeting with the dissidents then fair play to them, it’s more than anyone else would do.

    Reminds me of a report on Al Jazeera where a London based political analyst said that the dissidents should be caught and tried as common criminals. Proof of how the ‘educated view’ can entirely miss the point. Not only is that treating the symptom but how do you try those that can intimidate the jury? Try them in unjust diplock courts and feed into their ideology?

    Pass it off as a publicity stunt if you like, but history has shown that the only way to handle these cases is to eventually sit down and talk and find a way to include them in progress. It’s happened here more than once before and it will happen eventually with the Taliban in Afghanistan as well.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    I have to admit it was galling when political parties enagaged with SF when they still have their private army. However, history has shown that by engaging these groups, by bringing them into the system, progress can be made – what is the alternative really?
    on the surface it appears to be a positive move from SF.

  • circles

    well at least the 32CSM got a bit of publicity out of it….

  • A N Other

    The perverted logic of the dissidents sees them bombing their way to the table with Sinn Fein, when all they really need is to book their leader a one way ticket on to the psychiatrists couch.

  • percy

    do you mean for votes?

  • Roibeárd

    I would have thought Sinn Fein/PIRA and the 32CSM would have had representatives in the same neighbourhoods, and in some cases they may even be neighbours, or family members. So who’s to say they’re not actually talking on a daily basis. I just don’t think life is as clear cut as the media perception of reality would lead us to believe.

  • Wasted Ballot

    if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime… or should I change that to cold blooded killing and expect to be called a hero.

    They can rot and I find it a joke that they can argue they are not getting steak dinners every night. Anyone who endorses it is also a joke in my view.

  • Alan Maskey

    All of that applied to the Provo campaign. Add do you think it should also apply to British and American war criminals?

  • Alan Maskey

    Also, given recent events in Bangor, I tihink any gain any PRO gain for Adams would be small. I would like to know who in authority (besides a latter day St Tomas O’Fiaich), the prisoners would like to come to their aid.

  • aquifer

    The ROI Govt called this one. Ignore them.

    We have had enough of the politics of the last five eejits with a pistol and a fuel laundering plant and DVD copier and stolen tractors toxic waste and a cut of the local cocaine market rental properties and control of impressionable teens. All tax free.

    For these criminal politics is a cover story, not a serious objective.