Brian Arthurs: “Republicans cannot see Irish unity in any of this.”

The ongoing saga of “prominent Co Tyrone republican” Brian Arthurs’ legal challenge to the ruling that he and his wife should stand trial in a non-jury court, on charges of converting criminal property and obtaining a money transfer by deception, received an update on Friday.

A panel of High Court judges had rejected Arthurs’ legal challenge in June this year.

On Friday the Irish News reported that “those judges [had] agreed to certify two questions to be put before the [UK] Supreme Court on points of law of general public importance.”

The first is whether the decision by the DPP to issue a certificate under the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007 should be judicially reviewed on grounds of procedural fairness.

Lawyers for Mr and Mrs Arthurs [] have argued that reasons for concluding there may be a risk to the administration of justice by holding a jury trial were never disclosed.

The second question is whether the DPP’s decision engages the couple’s right to a fair trial under the European Convention on Human Rights.

“Our intention now is to petition the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom for leave to appeal the judgement of the divisional court in Northern Ireland,” Mr and Mrs Arthurs’ solicitor Paul Pierce, of Kevin R Winters and Co, said outside the court [on Thursday].

With the case now due to go before the Supreme Court, the couple’s trial could be further delayed.

Meanwhile, in an interview in the Sunday Tribune [added link], Brian Arthurs has revealed that he was one of a number of former senior Provisional IRA members in Tyrone who, along with Sinn Féin party members, left Sinn Féin two years ago.  From the Sunday Tribune

Five Sinn Féin cumainn, and 90% of the East Tyrone Brigade, left in the move.  Arthurs said: “No one can deny that there have been changes in the North but it is an equality agenda being pursued.  People did not die, they did not take up arms, for equality.  They did so for Irish Freedom.

“Yet a huge £100m MI5 building has been built in the North and 5,000 British soldiers remain there.  A special British military intelligence unit has just been deployed in Derry.

“David Cameron told the Tory party conference that he was prime minister of Britain and Northern Ireland.  He stressed the importance of the union and said, ‘together is how we must remain’.  Republicans cannot see Irish unity in any of this.  It should be remembered that, as republicans, we were committed to fight on until Britain made a declaration of intent to withdraw from Ireland.”

As I mentioned in a recent post, and “No one in this small, enclosed biosphere ever told them this project was never going to work in the first place…”

Also from the Sunday Tribune interview

Brian Arthurs said the nationalist community should not “pass on information opr collaborate with the PSNI” as Sinn Féin and the SDLP urged:  “Young people now, just like young people during the previous phase of conflict, will continue to be attracted to the republican struggle.

“It can be argued that an armed campaign is not advisable at this point in time but it will never be right to inform on those who decide otherwise.  Informing on republicans will lead to their families being oppressed by the state.  It will lead to the arrest and incarceration of volunteers and, at worst, to their death.

“It was wrong to pass information to the police 20 or 30 years ago and it is wrong now.  The graveyards are full of young republicans put there because a small minority of the nationalist community passed information to the Bristish Forces.”

Arthurs said that the independent republican societies [now formed] in Tyrone [“six societies with around 200 members”] were “non-party political” and were not linked to Republican Sinn Féin, the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, or Éirígí.

Arthurs and [Peter] McCaughey said that, despite long-standing reservations about the direction of Sinn Féin’s strategy, they and others had remained loyal to the leadership because they didn’t want to split the movement.

“Two years ago, it reached the point that we couldn’t stay,” McCaughey said.  “We were told at a meeting in Tyrone that Sinn Féin’s support for the PSNI wasn’t just a written policy, we had to implement the strategy in full or leave.  So we left.”

McCaughey (40) had been a Sinn Féin member for over 20 years.  He served four years in the H-Blocks for possession of weapons.  Arthurs is a former election agent for Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew.  In 1995, he was sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment for possession of explosives.  He was released five years later under the Good Friday Agreement.  He was arrested in connection with the 2004 Northern Bank robbery and released without charge.

Two years ago?  That would have been in 2008… when a certain ‘deadline’ came… and went… [added text]

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  • redhugh78

    “Two years ago, it reached the point that we couldn’t stay,” McCaughey said. “We were told at a meeting in Tyrone that Sinn Féin’s support for the PSNI wasn’t just a written policy, we had to implement the strategy in full or leave. So we left.”

    Amazing, considering Arthurs was one of the provos ordering people to sit on policing boards.

  • Alan Maskey

    Interestingly, Willie Frazer’s victims’ mob do not support Arthurs, who is a victim by any yardstick. His brother, Declan, was illegally killed in Loughall and Brian had to spend some years incarcerated for being Irish.
    The actual charges seem petty enough and, though Arthurs has the dreaded PSF kiss of support, he must be regarded a a naughty, unrepentant Fenian if they are still hounding him and his wife.

  • Cynic

    “Brian had to spend some years incarcerated for being Irish.”

    …… of course he did, and he;’s currently only charged with mortgage fraud and handling criminal property and as Gerry always says you cant be a Republican and a criminal

  • socaire

    I think that the deviant Republicans who now sit in Stormont are very aware that their one-time supporters are getting very very uneasy. They now don’t really vote for the Provisional Alliance so much as against the Unionist bloc. As I said before, the staunch rural republicans who made up the bulk of republican electoral and military support cannot now look you in the eye when the subject of the new British police force is raised. They cannot justify the McGuinness/Adams line and will become more and more outspoken in the near future.

  • Donald Fraser

    Rarely anything more sickening in Northern political life than listening to blowhard republican bog savages blithering-on about their peculiar interpretations of democracy and their risible status as the only people qualified to decide who lives and dies in a 21st Century Ireland. Wankpots one and all.

  • Mark McGregor

    This is some of the republicanism that I was thinking of when I blogged on Facing the Lies.

    In this case Arthurs, McCaughey and others that seem to have formed a mainly commemorative group post 2009 have their own Year Zero approach and ignore how involved they were in allowing SF (and/or the ‘movement’) to arrive at the place they now reject.

    Until they face how up to their oxters they were in the situation they now find themselves with they will never go anywhere but deeper into self-deception and impotency.

  • Donald Fraser

    As per usual – any robust assault on the verminous stupidity of the North’s political tribes succumbs to ‘moderation’.

  • Alan Maskey

    Donald: I hope you are not including me or Socaire in your attacks. Sociare is using 1970s’ Sticky terminology (Provisional Alliance) and as such would not like to ceonsidered a self abusing bog savage, to use your words.
    As for me, I have problems with your conflations of the terms democracy and republicans. The USA is a republic, not a democracy, where res publica, the public affairs, are paramount. Democracy, a Greek concept, stems from demos, the will of the people.
    Napoleon, the Irish republican hero, used a republic to form an empire (as did many Romans much earlier). Napoleon,when asked about the will of the people, said a whiff of grapeshot was good enough for them. He had a point.
    I like to see the good in everyone and eveything.
    I take it you are not a “bog savage”. However, please go easy in your terminology. Tyrone people, those who were not wasted at Loughall included, have feelings too.

  • pippakin

    All of us should report criminal activity to the police or the Gardai. I recognise that some republicans are becoming impatient but if they look at their own recent history, the outstanding murders, child abuse and rape accusations they will know that everything has its place.

    Protecting someone accused of genuine republican activities is one thing but to protect someone accused of murdering a young man or raping a girl is or should be completely unacceptable. If some republicans cannot be trusted to abide by the law within their own community then clearly they cannot be allowed to ‘police’ that community.

  • socaire

    Mark, when conditions change and your previous leadership wants to take you where you do not want to go, what would you do? What did you do? People have allowed the provos enough rope to hang themselves and they have done just that.

  • Alan Maskey

    Donald: As per my so far unedited post, yours had its problems.
    Mark McG: Winston Churchill, whom we all admire, was once asked what he did when he was wrong. He said he changed his mind.
    Do you believe that all those who sinned by being associated with PIRA/PSF are lost beyond redemption and that neither Our Lady of Knock? If so, PSF would be very happy with that as their thought monopoly wil continue interminably.
    “All have sinned and all fall short of the glory of God”.

  • Mark McGregor

    I did a mixture of deceiving myself, deceiving others and being plain stupid.

    I admitted it and said sorry to a shit load of people.

    I didn’t just ignore the bullshit I’d been part of and hope everyone else would be party to pretending a decade or more just didn’t happen.

  • tacapall

    Yeah Alan because you were stupid once dosen’t mean you have to be stupid for the rest of your life. Lots of people have during these last few years got their eyes opened.

  • socaire

    Maybe others didn’t lose faith as quicly as you did. Maybe others were more reluctant to divorce themselves from leaders they once respected.Maybe the weakest trees are the first to fall.

  • Mark McGregor

    You still have another ‘group’ declaring itself and again expecting everyone to ignore the fact they are now opposing things they were party to allowing to grow.

    Every new republican formation refuses to address what the bulk of their membership were central to promoting.

    If they never admit what they were party to they’ll never have any credibility with the new direction.

  • Donald Fraser

    The bottom line is that filth like Arthurs continue to espouse the proposition that it is acceptable in a 21st century post-agreement Ireland to murder Irish people because you disagree with their political view. That proposition is utterly unacceptable and offensive to the overwhelming majority of Irish people. For Arthurs and others to espouse this fascist swill while spouting portentuous guff about how they and they alone are best placed to decide what is and isn’t right for the Irish people make them all the more gag-inducing. The sooner these bog trash are power-hosed off the face of the Island the better.

  • pippakin

    What is this, is democracy too tame for some? Does it not move fast enough?

    I have supported dissidents in some respects in the past, which is more than some have done previously, and I am one of those who believe the peaceful way is the only way!

    The thing is ideals are admirable, deserving of our respect but so is life only multiplied a thousand fold.

  • Mark McGregor


    Winston Churchill, whom we all admire, was once asked what he did when he was wrong. He said he changed his mind.’

    And it is as easy as that. Takes you to admit you did wrong first though.

  • Mark McGregor

    argh. Would this Pipakin person ever shut up when people are trying to have a conversation.

    We know you have an opinion on everything already.

  • Donald Fraser

    Is it because I is black?

  • socaire

    It thinks that it is on Thought for Today

  • pippakin

    Mark McGregor

    Like you don’t? Get over yourself! ex SF ec, ex, ex!

    it has taken you long enough and cost too many lives already! Don’t shoot the messenger, except of course that has been republican strategy for so long it must be hard to let go.

  • socaire

    Until the leadership deviated everybody was right. Then there was a right and a wrong. The rights have no need to apologise – just stick to their guns (as some obviously have)

  • pippakin


    I spotted you earlier.

    Change of heart is it? feeling a bit let down by the ‘lack of action’ are you?

    My how the leopard changes his shorts.

  • Alan Maskey

    What do you want? Some sort of mea culpa? Politicians and snakes win all peaces.
    The PIRA campaign was a crock of shit from day one. It was organised and orchestrated by the Britsh and Irish security services, who got it to take the form that suited them. Seminal events were the expulsion of Neil Blaney from Fianna Fail and the first PIRA bombing atrocoities which got the Brits and their loathsome Prod proxies off the hook in the USA.
    Other key events probably include vthe shafting of Ivor Bell and the promotion of characters the Brits could deal with.
    The abovevideo indicates a split here on Slugger O’Toole. Very sinister.

  • socaire

    Why bother to ‘organise and orchestrate’ it at all? Why did any form suit them? Why not just smack the insurgency on the head right away? I think you are ascribing ideas and actions in hindsight and may not necessarily be correct.

  • socaire

    Probably because of your schoolboy foulmouthedness?

  • Alan Maskey

    Socaire: Following the Battle of the Bogside and the terrorist attacks on the native Catholic community, the country went apeshit.
    1. The British were globally exposed as running an apartheid state. Having been exposed for the racist scum that they are, they had to change the rules. They needed the violence. OIRA, whose terminology you used in an earlier post, agree with my analysis in so far as it applies to the situation Ireland’s imperial masters found themselves in.
    2. The South was also in turmoil. Neil Blaney was hounded out of Fianna Fail by Hillery and other low life because the game Blaney wanted to play risked the cosy world Taca and FF had built up.
    3. If the Provos were true revolutionaries, they would have taken on the South as, from there, they would have a safe hinterland. Their policy of stifling revolution (bar bank jobs, kidnappings and shooting the odd cop or prize horse) meant that ther goals and scope were always limited. Maybe this was strategically right or wrong. From a revolutionary viewpoint, it was totally wrong.
    4. The insurgency was a civil rights one, not one for national liberation. Following Bloody Sunday, NICRA/OIRA had a chance to really get things going but they preferred an emasculated march in Newry. They surrendered the stage to PIRA and the murky agenda of those who controlled PIRA.
    5. To pretend that MI5 and G2 were not at it full scale from day 1 is to deny reality. MI5 seemed to control all of the murder gangs in the end and, in the early days at least, G2 proved itself to be quite effective.

  • redhugh78

    Amazing how when these disgruntled former SF supporters leave they all go whinging to anti-republican rags like the Sunday Tribune, a paper who were only too happy to stick the boot into people like Brian Arthurs and Peter Mc Caughey previously, now since they are against SF they are great fellas.

  • Granni Trixie

    So Republicans “did not die,did not take arms for equality. They did so for Irish Freedom”
    Good to have this clarifiied as when it suits, SF claim that the IRA was in existence to “protect ” people or because of systems of inequality.

  • lamhdearg

    5. To pretend that MI5 and G2 were not at it full scale from day 1 is to deny reality. MI5 seemed to control all of the murder gangs in the end and, in the early days at least, G2 proved itself to be quite effective.

    And they allways will. better just to live a quite life and peacefully look after yourself and your kith and kin, dont rock the boat, That’s my thought for today.

  • Cynic

    Tinfoil helmet time again!

  • barnshee

    “His brother, Declan, was illegally killed in Loughall”

    I understood hes was on “active service” when killed was this not the case?

  • Alan Maskey

    The PIRA campaign was “organised and orchestrated by the British and Irish security services…”

    What’s the authoritative evidence for this assertion ?

    The British ” Having been exposed for the racist scum that they are …”

    You do give the process of massive generalisation an even worse name than it already has in analytical circles. And labelling a people as “racist scum” says a lot more about you than it does about your intended target.

  • Alan Maskey

    The PIRA camapaign was “organised and orchestrated by the British and Irish security services …”

    What is the authoritative evidence for this ?

    The British “Having been exposed for the racist scum that they are …”

    You do give the process of massive generalisation an even worse name than it has already in analytical circles. And labelling a people as “racist scum” says a lot more about you than it does about the target of your invective.

  • It is becoming increasingly clear that many former PIRA Volunteers and Sinn Fein Activists who were the driving force behind the Movement for years. Have left over PSF’s support for British policing and the failure of Stormont.

    What isn’t clear is that the new breed of PSF Activists are just part of it because of the ‘popularity’ of Sinn Fein at the polls and have jumped on the bandwagon……

    Irish Republicanism needs to go back to its roots with Socialism and benefiting our fellow citizens, not the chosen few and the political elite.

    The objective for which so many lost their lives and freedom should never have been diluted, nor been compromised!

  • Alias

    “Why not just smack the insurgency on the head right away?”

    The “insurgency” was the civil rights protests, and they were neutralised by the British state immediately. What worried the British state was that non-revolutionary civil rights protests of the type promoted by black civil rights activists in the US and copied by catholic civil rights activists in NI would mutate into revolutionary civil rights protests of the type promoted by Ghandi in India that terminated British rule in India. Revolutionary civil disobedience does not recognise the legitimacy of the state and seeks to eject a colonial power, whereas non-revolutionary civil disobedience simply seeks reform of colonial rule but does not challenge the legitimacy of its sovereignty.

    Having recently lost India through revolutionary civil disobedience, the British state had no intention of losing another colony through that practice. Therefore it was imperative for the British state to direct civil unrest away from options that could lead to a loss of British sovereignty over its territory and toward options that would not have that outcome but would rather serve to consolidate it. The sectarian murder gangs performed that function.

    Killing uppity catholics like they killed Indians might have been the preferred option of the British military establishment but the folly of doing that with white Europeans rather than third world blacks can be seen in international reaction to events such as Bloody Sunday.

    Instead, the state recognised from the outset that it would have to fight a war of ideas. Essentially, it would have to persuade those who asserted a set of national rights that challenged the legitimacy of British sovereignty to renounce those national rights since, if they no longer asserted such rights, then they would no longer challenge British sovereignty. And that is what they did.

    The offending national right, now formally renounced, was the right to national self-determination. The state wouldn’t have been able to lead the uppity catholics to give up their longstanding claim to national self-determination with control of the puppet catholic parties and without having a murder gang who could claim to represent ‘republicanism’ and who have good authority among the catholics to successfully lead them to endorse the legitimacy of British sovereignty. After a few decades of the paddies murdering each other through state-sponsored murder gangs they’d be more than willing to trade their former national rights for a cessation of activity by the murder gangs.

    The murder gangs were also a very good way of containing any violence that might otherwise have arisen in asserting national rights to a few state-controlled entities with restricted membership rather than allowing the latent potential for civil war or a war between two sovereign states to materialise.

  • Alias

    Incidentally, the British state successfully contained 97% of all murders to Northern Ireland. Given that the ‘enemy’ was the government in London, that containment would not have been possible without control of the murder gangs. The advantage of so-called ‘spectaculars’ outside of NI is that they disguised how few attacks actually occurred outside of NI. And as Keynesians will argue, bombing a building creates economic growth through government investment in regeneration so the Provos were boosting the London economy with their occassional ‘spectacular.’ Of course, if the Provos did focus on the UK rather than focus on NI then that would have had the unwelcome effect of weakening British support for NI’s position in the union rather than the intended effect of weakening Irish peoples’ support for national self-determination.

  • Alan Maskey

    organised and orchestrated: Captain James Kelly and Neil Blaney are no longer with us. All the paramilitary death squads were massively infiltrated by the British up to and including PIRA’s equvalent of MI5. The British seem happy enough with the result so one presumes, as thye were the bigger player, they got what they wanted.
    As regards primary evidence and reams of references:MI5 don’t think this is the place for that. However, such an analysis as mine is in line with British military thinking and such relatively early atrocities such as Bloody Sunday and the Dublin and Monaghan bombings give credence to them.
    The alternative is that the British just allowed themselves be hostages of PIRA fortune.
    The above analysis is also that of SFWP/OIRA who were, of course, also heavily infiltrated.

    Racist scum: The British did underwrite Stormont for its entire existence. Not something to boast about in cilivilsed society. A full civil rights movement would hve done them much more harm than PIRA violence, which moved the moral centre away from the victims towards their oppressors.

  • between the bridges

    Arthurs said: “No one can deny that there have been changes in the North but it is an equality agenda being pursued. People did not die, they did not take up arms, for equality. They did so for Irish freedom.

    well that at least he is honest! if your british, unionist or northern irish do not expect equality in a ‘free’ ireland, tell us something we didn’t know brian!

  • Alan Maskey

    PIRA violence “organised and orchestrated” by MI5

    You postulate and theorise without hard evidence. “Back channel contact” ((Richard English “Armed Struggle” p 267) and cooperation with the RUC and C3 (Gardai) ( D Ferriter “Transformation of Ireland p. 648) is not the same as “organising and orchestrating”

    As for British “racist scum”, you avoid the issue here as well. One could criticise successive governments of independent Ireland for tolerating child abuse, public corruption, racism at the end of the 1990s, the inequality of women and the restriction of a number of personal freedoms BUT that certainly wouldn’t make the Irish people in the Republic generally “abusers” “corrupt”, “racist” or “undemocratic”. !

    Language matters and “racist scum”applied to the British people, as you did , is offensive , demonstrably incorrect and ,for the cause of peace and good relations in Ireland , unproductive.

    If you meant “British governments” , why didn’t you use that term ?

  • Alan Maskey

    organise and orchestrate: I do not currently have access to appropriate documents nor do I have the considerable time needed to academically prove what you ask. However, my line is the one SFWP/OIRA took at the time: that PIRA was set up to contain the situation in the six counties and to derail the civil rights movement. Developments elsewhere with Hamas and in Iraq would show this as part of British policy, as would the writings of Frank Kidson. The strange goings on of Captain Kelly and the backdoor links with McGuinness et al would indicate all was not kosher.
    Just how many back channels were there?
    The strategic bombing outrages in the South, especially the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, would indicate that Britain had a game plan, one that PIRA was a part of.
    As Mick Ryan, who was on the OIRA Army Council, was also on the MI5/C3 payroll, we can assume the security forces had their men in place from the very beginning and, as the sad demise of Donaldson shows, to the very end.
    The British controlled and then weathered the storm. Many PIRA volunteers, such as those in East Tyrone were patsies.
    You use the example of child abuse etc in the South. The Irish people were complicit in a lot of that. Certainly those upstanding Catholics who dumped their female relatives into the Magdalene laundries have a case to answer, as have those who continue to this day to vote for corrupt politicians.
    The hands of the ordinary Briton are not clean with regard to Ireland or any other of her colonies, past of present. The Germans were made pay after 1945 and they are still reminded of their excesses and probably always will. It is not hard to remind the British – or the Irish – of theirs.

  • Alan Maskey

    I know this is not a satisfactory answer but an enquiry into the career of The Jackal would be revealing. Just why was he trianed and allowed to operate so freely?

  • Alan Maskey

    “The hands of the ordinary Briton ..”

    And so “ordinary” Britons and Irish ( and others ) have sullied their hands in the past , one way or another.

    And are we entitled to refer to them as “scum” as a result of that as you did with the British ?

    Does that contribute anything useful to your blog ?

  • One who knows

    Talk about your conspiracy theory!!!!! Are you being serious? Surely not.

  • Alan Maskey

    Depends on the context but yes. Lots of people are scum. And yes it is a contribution as it prciks their prim, proper and self righteous bubbles.

  • Alan Maskey

    “Lots of people are scum”

    I’m glad that my experiences of “people” obviously have been very different from yours.

    As for your abuse , using the word “scum” pretty indiscriminately, IF they are “scum” then they won”t care about your attempt to “prick their prim , proper and self righteous bubbles” Bit of a waste of time in my view.

  • socaire

    Mick Ryan has survived your attempt at (character) assassination, I see. I know Alan Maskey – thank f**k he doesn’t know me!

  • Alan Maskey

    We cannot extrapolate from our own experiences. If you, however, feel that those who turned out for King Rat’s public appearances both before and after his demise are not the scum of the earth, we will just have to disagree.
    But then they most likely regarded their (yes their) Catholic victims as less than scum. That is why the Shankill Butchers used to deform their victims.
    Listening to the David Ervine stuff, he recalls how Protestant bars used to cheer when they heard they’d got another innocent non uninvolved Catholic.
    o build your altars but don’t expect us all to worship at them.
    Maybe you should read some of the War poets or Hugh MacDiarmid, whose views are not that far from my own.

    If I had a choice between incarcerating Btrian Arthurs or very prominent Republican politicians, I know who I would choose. But hey, to the victor the spoils.

  • Alan Maskey

    You labelled a whole people – the British – as “racist scum” (24th Oct) not just Loyalist terrorists ! You’ve moved the goalposts.

    I should read some of the War Poets ? I used to teach their works !

    How about a couple of lines from Sassoon’s “The Death Bed” ?

    “He’s young; he hated War; how should he die
    When cruel old campaigners win safe through ?”

    I suppose that includes armchair warmongers too !

  • Alan Maskey

    Was it Kipling who said there were just two sorts of people: human beings and Germans. When Germany won the 1954 World Cup, less than kind things were said about them – 9 years after.
    It was the poets who lived on to or near the end who abhorred war. They had got by the little foreign field bs.

    The imperial and colonial war crimes of the British, like today’s Americans, sit easy on their shoulders. I am glad to remind them of it. Britain ran a sectarian state in Ireland since partition and they frustrated democracy here before and after that event.
    If your last sentence was a dig at me, well, I have got worse.
    Some British did stand up for their consciences and were jailed as objectors. Most were Thatcher’s, and LLoyd George’s willing executioners.

  • sdelaneys

    “Irish Republicanism needs to go back to its roots with Socialism ”

    Unfortunately, A. R. those roots were never deep and republicanism surrounded itself with nationalism and even sectarianism to it’s detriment. We were good at selling the idea of highly politicised volunteers and sinn féiners while the reality was very, very different.

  • sammymehaffey

    so a workers socialist republic still exists in the minds of the deluded! Dream on and stop wasting your life

  • sammymehaffey

    so all the atrocities of the last thirty five years were organised by the British. Oh dear oh dear I wish I had the faith in MI5 that you have. How very very sad.

  • “And it is as easy as that. Takes you to admit you did wrong first though.”


    That reeks a bit like walking over hot coals to me, very catholic if you don’t mind me saying so.

  • Alan Maskey

    I am puzzled by whom you mean by British scum, do the war poets you mention or Hugh MacDiarmid fall into this category?

    Why anyone would be surprised by British intels penetration of Republican groups is a mystery me, the UK state spends billions of pounds to do just this thing. What was remarkable is how many Republicans refused Betty’s shilling, it is a fact of the long war that the overwhelming majority of republicans remained solid and true.

    If anything it was this fact which allowed the Adams leadership to manipulate to their own advantage people like Brian Arthurs loyalty.

    Having said that, I would say to Mark, when did loyalty become a crime? A mistake, misjudgement, a matter of regret, for sure.

  • Don’t agree with your statement on the First World War poets. They were not all glory boys at the start with their “little foreign fields bs” as you patronisingly put it.

    Try Charles Sorley’s sonnet “When you see millions of the mouthless dead ” sonnet which was found in his kit after he was killed on the Western Front in October 1915 at the age of 22.

    I got past the juvenile stage of the Good Cowboys and the Bad Injuns and the “Horrible Histories” interpretations of the past a long time ago.

    Until you do the same we can’t really go any further with this.

  • Tweedybird

    Alan Maskey: would you please take that massive chip of your shoulder…talk about conspiracies, am i one of your “British scum” just because I support the union? I have lived through the past 30 years of terrorism and i like you have seen injustices and death caused by the so-called freedom fighters of Ireland, have i no rights to my country (N.I.) ? we could spend all our time knit picking individual incidents, on either side but please don’t make yourself exclusive on all the wrongs that happened in the past, for gods sake move on instead of dissecting the past so that we all can live together and respect each others culture.

  • Alias

    The superior conspiracy theory is that the state’s security services follow agendas rather than set them.

  • G O’Neill

    I find the outburst against the SF way forward quite strange considering he benefited from early release via the GFA. Could it be that politics is just not as exciting as the ‘ good old days’ for some who used to wield power and influence?

    I’ve heard this line about 90% of the East Tyorne cumman leaving before the election with many old members actively hoping that Gildernew would lose the seat in FST. What actually happened as we all know is that SF INCREASED its vote.

    Now surley if 90% of a cumman in a stronghold for Republicanism left a party surley there would have to be at least some drop in support in that area?. If these people believe that they can offer something different then why don’t they put themselves forward instead of standing moaning from the sidelines.

    In any event they went to the rag that is the Sunday Tribune and SFs biggest fan Mrs Breen. Does ever a Sunday go by when shes not banging on about everyone leaving SF or some other rubbish about Gerry Adams.

    Last year we had a concerted effort before the election to try and damage the SF leader and we’ll have one next year before the Assembly election. funnily enough we don’t hear much after the votes have been counted…maybe they just don’t like the outcome…..