“ONH and the other dissident groups cannot succeed where, as they point out themselves, the Provos failed”

Unlike the Guardian’s interview with the Real IRA, Brian Rowan’s interview with leadership representatives of Oglaigh na hEireann (ONH) was face-to-face and, as he admits, unnerving.

From the interview in the Belfast Telegraph

Rowan: Let me talk about contacts, quiet dialogue, involving mediators talking both to your organisation and British and Irish officials. Do you recognise that description?

ONH: I recognise the description, yes.

Rowan: I’m told it’s at two levels — alternatives to punishment attacks, and exploring a way forward without armed struggle/activity. Is that a reasonable description?

ONH: We are a people’s army. It’s inevitable that we will be interacting with the community. Some punishment attacks are resolvable, others aren’t. It’s a giant leap to get from that to a perception of engagement with the British or Irish governments.

People from all walks of life talk to us about non-violent ways. Again, we don’t see that as direct contact with either government.

Rowan: How do you respond to the description of dissident republicans as traitors — “conflict junkies”?

ONH: We think it’s farcical. Some of the hypocritical comments coming from former armed republicans who are engaged in demonisation of former comrades for upholding the proclamation and the IRA’s Green Book.

Rowan: We hear a lot about senior Sinn Fein figures being warned of threats. Are they legitimate targets in your eyes?

ONH: No. Ireland has seen enough of feuds while the British sit back and happily watch it.

Rowan: The IRA was better armed, supported, resourced, and they acknowledged a military stalemate. So, what makes you think you can achieve more?

ONH: The overview of the structure we pointed to |earlier in the interview, we |believe has more durability to penetration. We have no |desire to replicate or be a morph of the Provisional IRA. They failed — so, why would we want to copy them? There is a fragile Assembly. There is a forging together of political opposites that is much easier to undermine and defeat than the war that the Provisionals had.

Rowan: Do you think a war can be won?

ONH: We think a war can |create the conditions where republicans can create |dialogue that will fulfil |republican objectives.

Rowan: Brits out?

ONH: A 32 county democratic socialist republic. Brits out is simply not good enough.

Rowan: So it’s a pipedream then?

ONH: Some people say that Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness sitting in a room sharing power in a partitionist Assembly endorsing British policing was also a pipedream.

Rowan: Has killing become the cause, just to say, ‘we haven’t sold out’ — killing for killing’s sake?

ONH: As far as we are concerned we are not engaged in killing for killing’s sake. We are engaged in a war against the illegal occupation of our country and usurpation of Irish sovereignty.

Rowan: So you think that killing will work?

ONH: We think that a war will |create the conditions for |credible dialogue aimed at British withdrawal. Internal settlements are not what Irish republicans fought, died and went to jail for.

As Eamonn McCann pointed out, “they are doing nothing which the Provisionals didn’t do before them and with the same political rationale”.

And, even though they recognise that the Provisional IRA “failed”, “No one in this small, enclosed biosphere ever told them this project was never going to work in the first place…”

As Liam Clarke argues

ONH’s attacks may be unpopular with the general population, but they are playing to a different audience. They explain, “successful operations increase morale. It also gives republicans increased confidence to carry out more daring attacks. Republicans who acknowledge that Oglaigh na hEireann are doing the right things offer their services. That in turn increases Oglaigh na hEireann’s capabilities even further.”

They hope that they can become the new IRA, uniting all who support republican violence under their banner. ONH say they have “friendly and cordial relations” with other armed groups, but that they don’t mount joint operations or share expertise.

Nevertheless, security sources believe that they already provide training for Real IRA members at camps in the Republic.

For the security forces, the next 12 months is seen as crucial to disrupting ONH’s expansion. If they can survive that, and absorb the other dissident groups, they may be with us for some time.

Adds  In related news

A former leading member of the Provisional IRA and Crumlin Road prison escaper was remanded in custody with consent to bail when he appeared at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today.

Anthony Sloan (aged 56) a native of Belfast with an address at Ard na Mara, Dundalk, Co Louth was charged on Tuesday with membership of an illegal styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA on October 31.

, , , , , , , , ,

  • Neil

    Rowan: How do you respond to the description of dissident republicans as traitors — “conflict junkies”?

    ONH: We think it’s farcical.

    Well, they got that right. It is 100% farcical coming from Martin McGuinnes, and it’s so clearly a thought out soundbite. But it must make Unionists choke on their cornflakes to hear Martin describe people as ‘conflict junkies’ given his starting position.

    The hypocrisy coming from SF is designed to keep Unionsts happy and relaxed that the shinners have repented, but they might want to watch out about the rank hypocrisy having an impact closer to home.

  • Pete Baker

    Adds In related news

    A former leading member of the Provisional IRA and Crumlin Road prison escaper was remanded in custody with consent to bail when he appeared at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today.

    Anthony Sloan (aged 56) a native of Belfast with an address at Ard na Mara, Dundalk, Co Louth was charged on Tuesday with membership of an illegal styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA on October 31.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    It’s the vulnerable/gullible young Nationalists getting manipulated into joining these gangs that I feel sorry for.

    They’re going to waste away their lives in prison or maybe even end up dead for absolutely nothing.

  • Light23

    Why on earth does the Belfast Telegraph website always banjax my browser? Always seems to crash if I’m on there for more than 10 seconds.

  • pippakin

    ” ONH: We are a people’s army. It’s inevitable that we will be interacting with the community. Some punishment attacks are resolvable, others aren’t. It’s a giant leap to get from that to a perception of engagement with the British or Irish governments.”

    No one charged, tried and found guilty of intimidating, maiming or murdering Irish people should be allowed to call themselves ‘political prisoners’.

    I don’t care how Irish they spell their names.

  • Nunoftheabove

    “Interacting with the public”. Yes I think we can fully expect further interactions – such as those recently undertaken by Gerry McConnell, to go on. But other than the credulous, self-loathing, elitist, lumpen, politically illiterate vigilante sectarians that join and support them, that’s about as far as their definition of “people’s army” will stretch, is it ?

    Impressive, in its way.

  • …and the ‘ballot box in one hand, dissident in the other’ strategy manifests itself. SF are pulling the wool over no one’s eyes but the TeleLaugh it seems.

  • Interesting. Did that go for Sands & Co back in the day too?

  • pippakin

    st etienne

    As far as I am concerned I dont care what the name is if they deliberately harm Irish people they cannot call themselves or expect anyone else to call them political prisoners.

  • Carrickmoreman
  • John East Belfast

    “They failed — so, why would we want to copy them? There is a fragile Assembly. There is a forging together of political opposites that is much easier to undermine and defeat than the war that the Provisionals had.”

    interesting that they see the collapse of the Assembly to be one of their major objectives.
    However they dont elaborate on how they think they could achieve it – if anything their actions could bring it closer together.

    They also dont say how achieving that and bringing us back to the early 90s will work anymore than it did then.

    They really dont have any strategy other than violence in the hope it causes the British to want to wash their hands totally of the place.
    But the unionists wont role over in such a remote scenario.

    So they offer nothing other than death, destruction, misery and long prison sentences or an early grave for those taken in by their nonsense.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ‘Rowan: We hear a lot about senior Sinn Fein figures being warned of threats. Are they legitimate targets in your eyes?

    ONH: No. Ireland has seen enough of feuds while the British sit back and happily watch it.’

    So unilaterally decommissioning, signing up to partition, endorsing PSNI/RUC and administering a brit assembly won’t make you a legitimate target, but working in a bank will? With conflict junkies like these, SF will never have any need for an armed wing.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Why indeed would they want to copy them…even politically ? Mind you, I think they’ll find that they’ll have more opposition along the road of their futile, small-dick criminal atrocities than that of unionists or The Brits.

    I think it’s their political emptiness which will out and close them down, whatever about the moral bankruptcy of their activities.

    They are not being oppressed or discriminated against by a one-party unionist government and/or by the british state, they do not represent a groundswell of righteous anger from within any part of any community which in any respect WHATEVER finds its resolution in a 32 county socialist republic (which they can’t even be bothered to define, or is it unable ?), they loathe the very concept of political representation and have no regard whatever for what the bulk of the human beings around them want. This is simply would-be totalitarianism.

  • mark

    Nice question st etienne , pippakin plays to the crowd and jumps on any anti republican bandwagon. I mean her statement about how she didnt care how irish they spelled their name shows just how far her mask has slipped.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    “They really dont have any strategy other than violence in the hope it causes the British to want to wash their hands totally of the place.
    But the unionists wont role over in such a remote scenario.”

    Well said John.

    It infuriates me no end to talk to ignorant Nationalists who believe if the British left tomorrow Unionists wold just roll over and finally realise they’re Irish after all.

    Who teaches them this nonsense growing up??

  • pippakin

    mark

    I jump on any anti republican bandwagon?

    I support every effort to a UI that does NOT involve violence and so would anyone who took the ‘trouble’ to look at the last forty or more years.

  • Alan Maskey

    Have the dissidents a big or respectable following on the ballad scene? Where do the geriatric remainders of The Wolfe Tones stand on all this

    But they never said why
    Joe O’Connor had to die

    My old man’s a Continuity

    And a little sip of whiskey
    With my own Carlsburg Lite.

  • mark

    If history has taught us anything, It is that that sein fein will always had a need for an armed wing.

  • mark

    Pippakin, yeah exactly….

  • Stephen Blacker

    ONH and others will survive and flourish as long as romantic pictures are painted of republican campaigns.

  • pippakin

    mark

    Exactly? Nothing like!

    Mrs McConville, Peter Wilson, Charles Armstrong and so many more.

    Just how much clout do you think you would have if someone decided you had become ‘untrustworthy’?

    Grow up, and be thankful you can.

  • Munsterview

    “……. SF is designed to keep Unionists happy and relaxed that the shinners have repented,……..”

    This is the factual situation, not an exercise in semantics. Most republicans involved in the recent freedom struggle like those of other generations, regret what they had to do, but that is a long, long way from repentance for what they did.

    There is little repentance on the unionist side for what ‘their police’, ‘their prison service’, ‘their judiciary’, ‘their army’, ‘their bloody everything’ did to working class and not so working class Nationalists. However enough already the ‘whataboutery’ days are gone or should be for anyone concerned about the future.

    We are where we are as the saying goes : there is a finite time for Stormount to start working and producing results, other wise the alternative republican viewpoint is borne out, that there can be no compromise or that there is no middle way it must be all or nothing. If that happens all bets are off.

    In the early seventies having been within a locked down community in West Belfast and seen the excess of the British Army / UDR / RUC first hand, I personally ceased a rigid doctrinaire republican attitude to an all or nothing Republic. Once a settlement was arrived at that the majority of the Northern Nationalist working class could live with, I was prepared to live with that if they could and take a gradualist approach to unification.

    We got the GFA agreement and whatever credit Robinson had with republicans which God Knows was little enough already, is now all but blown as he tries to move to the right of Farmer Tom. Solicitors do not spout off the top of their head, that is contrary to their training and profession. When Robinson says something or acts to undermine SF for a sound bite, it is a considered, calculate act.

    It is also an act for which he is prepared to pay a price. All meaningful progress on any issue in the North is now shelved for Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, June. Anyone that thinks that Stormount as constituted, can look a year ahead and then decide not to make a meaningful decision on anything for the first 70% of that period and still have credibility with non SDLP Nationalists, is living in cloud cuckoo land !

    I talk to a wide range of Southern opinion in all parties who know I travel to various parts of the North fairly regularly. Privately these experienced Southern politicians on a one to one and off the record are bloody worried and with good reason, I share their concerns. It is not so much what ONH are going to do, it is a matter of what Stormount is not doing.

    Those farmilar with the ‘hundred monkey’ study know that the tipping point to cause a change in consensus can happen in one localized area and then leapfrog to other areas. When pockets of similar thinking already exist in other areas, then a new consensus may come about much quicker than anyone think.

    Who would have thought when Cowen took power that we would rapidly see Fianna Failure fall under 20% with more to go. The collective Sinn Fein Leadership can only do so much, they too must keep their foot soldiers together and foot soldiers are part of a wider community that is interfacing with the wider Nationalist community.

    There are circles in the Nationalist communities outside of which the ‘ on message, on cue and all singing from the same hymn sheet’ will not reach. Last week one of the ‘Old Guard’ in Mid Ulster who like my self is an observer these days summed up the reality of the situation. He said that Robinson could save Stormount and take a chance with the DUP or he could save the DUP and take a chance with Stormount.

    According to him all the ‘RA had to do was sit tight and Robinson would do their work for them, that he would put party first and he was hard put to see Stormount surviving. Given that there is no one in the UK government, and that includes the Northern Secetary, that gives a damm about the place or what is happening there, it is not an easy scenario to dismiss.

    The last time I wrote alone these lines I finished with….. meanwhile in a shed West of the Bann…. and there was a car bomb that night. I sincerely hope I am not tempting fate again now.

    http://www.heartlandsangha.org/100thmonkey.html

  • mark

    pippakin, It wasn’t the teddy bears picnic, it was a war, a dirty war by all accounts. Don’t tell me to grow up. I am well grown up. Your comments show how niave you are. A bit of advice, if you persist in posting on every single thread, don’t expect people to take what you say seriously. Slugger’s Elite my arse.

  • mark

    Stephen – Does that mean that that no republican campaign was a success ?

  • Alan Maskey

    The songs are probably more important. James Joyce had it off well in Uluysses wondering iff the got a hard on before the drop.
    Are there any good dissident ballads? Any good new fist in the air RIRA/CIRA ballads?

  • Pete Baker

    “We are where we are as the saying goes : there is a finite time for Stormount to start working and producing results, other wise the alternative republican viewpoint is borne out, that there can be no compromise or that there is no middle way it must be all or nothing. If that happens all bets are off.”

    That’s exactly the rationale behind the continuing republican terrorist campaign.

    The Provisional IRA campaign failed. Get used to it.

  • Munsterview

    Pete,

    How many times and in how many ways do I have to say it…. I believed that the armed struggle had run it’s course. If there is a return to some kind of widespread armed struggle it will be as different to the Provo one as the Provo one was from the 56 campaign

    It seems Robinson is in the horns of a d, he can as I pointed out save Stormount and risk the DUP coming in second to the UUP ……or he can stabilize the DUP by out right winging the UUP and risking a Sinn Fein pull out and yet another Stormount collapse.

    The current Stormount is so fragile that not one party there with the possible exception of Alliance is prepared to put Parliament before party. I can only give my personal opinion and as far as that go, if current attitude of all parties go on unaltered, then Stormount will go.

    Until Peter Robinson is prepared to put Parliament before the Party his hands are tied until after the election and I fear that it will be too late long before then.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    “This is the factual situation, not an exercise in semantics. Most republicans involved in the recent freedom struggle like those of other generations, regret what they had to do, but that is a long, long way from repentance for what they did.”

    Does that explain the suicide epidemic amongst former Provos and the hundreds of them currently suffering from serious alcohol abuse?

    Surely a guilty conscience and nightmares about past heroic deeds can be the only explanation?

    “there is a finite time for Stormount to start working and producing results, other wise the alternative republican viewpoint is borne out, that there can be no compromise or that there is no middle way it must be all or nothing. If that happens all bets are off.”

    And then Unionists can say ‘These Nationalists can’t keep an agreement – what’s the point in trying to compromise with them? A military solution is the only way.’

    “Solicitors do not spout off the top of their head, that is contrary to their training and profession. When Robinson says something or acts to undermine SF for a sound bite, it is a considered, calculate act.”

    Peter Robinson is not a solicitor. He trained as an estate agent before entering politics.

  • Munsterview

    “….. Solicitors do not spout off the top of their head, that is contrary to their training and profession. When Robinson says something or acts to undermine SF for a sound bite, it is a considered, calculate act……”

    Sorry Stephen, too late even for me. Yes it could have read as if I was calling Robinson a solicitor.

    What I had meant is that I would be very surprised if given the constitutional implications of what he proposed, that he has not first had a legal opinion on all his major proposals and the consequences of them. These in turn would have been given careful legal consideration by a solicitor and counsel.

    That is the system in the South and I would have thought that Robinson would not propose cutting Parliament numbers etc without legal advice……. or would he?

  • Nunoftheabove

    …it didn’t teach some of us very much about the use appropriate of grammar though.

  • pippakin

    mark

    If you are ‘grown up’ it must be in appearance only. You do not murder your ‘friends’ and neighbours because you can.

    You need to take the green blinkers off. PIRA were running amok in their own communities. The allegations in addition to the murders and maiming now include child abuse and rape.

    Slugger Elite? If Slugger has an ‘elite’ it does not include me lol, I don’t comment to gain attention silly boy! I comment because as I ‘said’ to MV I’m the kind of personality that yells at the tv when I disagree with it!

    Btw the ‘fan letter’ to him was a nice touch. No doubt he is still polishing his whiskers as a result.

  • Stephen Blacker

    mark,

    That is an easy question to ask but very difficult to answer. How would “success” be measured – the amount of Brits sent home in coffins, extra recurits after a reaction to an “operation” etc. etc. I was saying that as long as people romanticise about the actions of past republican groups the present groups will repeat that history and it is only a matter of time before the republican community backs these people 100%.

    Even at this time when people who say they disagree with these groups but….! I dont think they are to bothered at a bomb going off or PSNI officers or Soldiers being murdered or maimed. How can ONH/RIRA/CIRA not have heart when people tell them to get lost and on the next breath call others hero’s for doing the same thing a few years back and on a larger scale!

  • mark

    Pippakin , Your snide comment about my ” fan letter ” to MV has a touch of the Cybil Fawltys about it.Its funny really because most of your posts state the bleedin obvious which according to Bazil was his good wife’s specialised subject. I have a healthy respect for MV as he sticks to his guns ( no pun intended ) and is not a YES man. I am off to watch the All Blacks hammer England now Cybil so off you go and post about cheese or water or whatever takes your fancy.

  • Munsterview

    Pip,

    Just reminded me, some unfinished business that arose while 0ick was occupied with family matters and I told Paul to shelve it until he came back. I think you may well have another card to add to your collection. Cheers !

  • pippakin

    mark

    I have come to the conclusion that you have not been reading Slugger for very long.

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2010/10/24/the-events-of-1641-transformed-irish-history-and-as-a-result-can-be-justly-said-to-have-transformed-british-and-world-history-as-well/

    Is just one of the threads on Slugger where you can see for yourself if I would say anything ‘snide’ about MV. Mind, not saying I haven’t crossed swords with him. In fact it is what usually happens.

  • pippakin

    MV

    As I have said before nothing you write surprises me. You have been baiting the mad maskey for weeks/months? and I keep telling you don’t feed the troll!. I avoid him not because of any card but because I have decided he exists in his own poisonous bubble with no more intent than to cause the maximum offence to the maximum number of people.

    As to anything else do what you will but with less embroidery please!

  • Munsterview

    Pip,

    Thanks, I can allways rely on your understanding nature and pleasant character, I would never dream of baiting you despite out crossing swords occasionally I am never the less very symphatetic to your position.

  • pippakin

    MV

    Mark (seems a decent person) seemed to think I was making a snide remark. Not so. As we both know I don’t do snide. I lose my temper and let fly! BTW, talking of ‘flying, nice touch about the broom stick, suitable to the occasion.

    Don’t forget the historical posts.

    As for commenting. You are entitled to your opinion. If you allow yourself to become disheartened by the mad and the bad you are not the person I think you are.

  • mark

    Pippakin – Was that a fan letter to me in your last post ? and if so thank you .

  • pippakin

    mark

    When you grow up, maybe, until then – no.

  • Munsterview

    Stephen

    Correction : the previous Armed Struggle did not have one 100% of the Nationalist community support, it was never going to have or never would. Not all Nationalists favor a Republic, never did or never will.

    As to political mean only, this was always a majority Nationalist view, many nationalists who voted for Sinn Fein tolerated the armed struggle, they did not approve of it in general and were publicly opposed to aspects of it.

    We are where we are : whatever of the past the majority of Nationalists have now accepted Sinn Fein’s analysis of the present political situation as they have Sinn Fein’s plans for a way forward into the future.

    The attitude that Republican Nationalists will adopt to the future is not asParliament dependent on Gerry Adams or Martin McGuiness as it is on Peter Robinson.

    If Robinson puts Parliament first and do the correct things to stabilize politics, all the indications are that the UUP will portray him as soft on the Shinners and he could loose out to both the UUP and the TUV to the extent that the DUP party under him could become a minority.

    If Robinson do put the party first then this means there cannot be any real politics for the first 70% of the next twelve months. It is perfectly obvious that a normal healthy functioning parliament in say Canada or New Zeland or a regional parliament in Scotland or Wales would have serious problems if this happened.

    And this barely bedded down Northern Regional Parliament, with any number of external forces planning to pull it down can ?

    Will someone please tell me how because I personally cannot see it ?

    If it falls, I cannot foresee another situation where the republican leadership favoring constitutional means only, could ever again sell the concept of…… ‘give the Unionists one last chance’……. to their base.

    I would like to hear what the answers to this dilemma, if any, are !

  • Stephen Blacker

    Munsterview,

    Only Robinson himself can answer that question for you, he is in a dilemma and could end up like the UUP if he does not play it the correct way. He is damned if he does and damned if he does not. My guess is it is better to be damned but still be in power.

    My last post stated that it is republicans who will support these groups 100% not all nationalists. You stated that “nationalists who voted for Sinn Fein tolerated the armed struggle, they did not approve of it in general and were publicly opposed to aspects of it” – this kind of voting gave the men of violence the green light to continue.

    Sinn Fein are in a much better place today but my original point is still valid!

  • mark

    Pippakin – you mean like you !

  • Munsterview

    “……. If you allow yourself to become disheartened by the mad and the bad you are not the person I think you are…….”

    As I mentioned earlier my good friend Billy Flynn PI passed away on last Sunday afternoon and while at our age one should be used to these things, it do take its toll.

    Billy broke the Donegall Garda Scandal. All of this is in the Tribunal Report, at one stage he found out that a senior garda was phoning up various women who had made complaints, in the early of the morning and intimidating them.

    Billy phoned this Garda’s wife after one such phone call and told her what her husband had just done and also told her that every time her husband made such a call, he would phone her. Her home number was ex-directory. ( dozens of written complaints about this to Garda GHQ and to the Department of (in)Justice had been ignored )

    They threw the book at Billy, at one stage he had dozens of charges pending with the full co-operation with the courts and the legal system up there.

    Billy finally cracked I got a 3am call that he was packing up and pulling out.

    I was in the car and up there straight away, lots of blue language on both sides and one large pot of coffee later and Billy was back. Some days later he finally persuaded a Journalist to break the case.

    The rest is Judicial Tribunal History and there for all to see, including the fact that some garda had their own explosives manufacturing facility to make bombs to plant in Northern Ireland, so they could keep the overtime ramped up. And we are expected to believe Garda GHQ knew nothing of this ?

    ‘The mad and the bad’ nearly won that one and it almost became another ‘case managed’ garda scandal that, like dozens of others just as serious, would never have seen the light of day.

    Despite everything we still have not woken up by now to the fact that the ‘Mad and the Bad’ are running the country and running everything in the country.

    In one 3 am jail cell visit I was told by three Branchmen working for ‘The Mad and The Bad’ that I had two choices for my life, conform or emigrate and I was guaranteed that I would not have one days peace in my personal life or business life until I did one or the other.

    The ‘Mad and the Bad’ did not put me off then forty years ago and they will not put me off here in slugger either. The problem is that the ‘Mad and the Bad’ own and dominate the media so they get to brand anyone who oppose them ‘Mad and Bad’

    Are you aware that a Senior female Judge in the Family Law Courts in Canada who had multiple Afro Americans sex partners in a threesomes with her husband, is still in place with the full support of the legal community . Apparently she is amply suited to arbitrate impartially on divorce cases involving infidelity !

    The ‘Mad and The Bad’ rule and Ireland is not the only place !

  • pippakin

    MV

    I am sorry about your friend Mr Flynn, may he RIP and may you take the time you need to recover.

    The full phrase is: ‘Mad Bad and Dangerous to Know’ it was originally used to describe Lord Byron. Like all good sayings it has evolved in use and meaning!

  • Munsterview

    Pip,

    thanks. Just a week gone but life goes on.

    Thousands all over Ireland and some abroad were enjoying a peaceful sleep on Sunday night because of the justice he secured for them against the State, it’s agents and servants and from other institutions over a long lifetime.

    Quite a few corrupt people in high legal and financial standing were also sleeping easier on last Sunday night. As I said to his wife, that was as fine a legacy as anyone could leave behind.

    He had spend almost two decades building up a file on one particular Southern Legal individual who is a practicing paedophile, a coke head and well placed in financial circles also. This individual has more authority and influence inside the Gardai than an average chief superintendent.

    You want mad, bad and dangerous in high places, try this individual for size !

    Some ten weeks ago he uncovered information that would have put his life at risk from this person. He had been assisting an American trusted colleague with some Irish matters, the latter insisted on taking every scrap of documentation back to the States as he had no doubt as to what was involved and the looming risk to Billy and family.

    Like many of his other friends, he too considered Billy physically exhausted and towards the end of things and did not want this responsibility weighing on him. Very reluctantly Billy handed everything over. It has International implications also and this individual thinks that he can get the UN to take over the investigation.

    William George Flynns last big bombshell that will rock this State to it’s foundation will come from beyond the grave and beyond the wave. RIP Billy.

  • pippakin

    MV

    I hope you are right, the pervert is punished and Mr Flynn gets just recognition for his efforts.

    We are ‘stealing’ this thread on which you know we would be, as ever, on opposite sides.

  • A.N.Other

    Munsterview

    Does you analysis also cover the likes of the boys who were down in the containers in Borris in Ossory, engaged in operating Europe’s biggest counterfeiting ring?

    What exactly was their role and intention vis a vis the country?

  • Munsterview

    A.N.

    Take that up with Alias and his contacts, it was their operation !

    However do not knock counterfeiting, some thirty five years back ‘others’ ran quite a big operation. The printer became a newspaper reporter who was wined, dined and ferried around the place by the Garda Hq.

    Some more who were were in the organization that carried out the operation at that time are an election away from becoming government ministers. Since most Western Governments are responding to the recession by printing money anyway, it seems that we will have our own experts actually at the Cabinet Table. How neat is that !

  • The general consensus that society in the north of Ireland must now “move on” from the era of the Troubles is being seriously undermined by an on-going legal saga that is causing growing resentment among nationalists in Tyrone and which is now starting to gain attention elsewhere across Ireland and beyond.

    November 1, 2010 saw the resumption of a trial that is raising issues of major concern to international Human Rights groups as well as bringing to light matters that the British government, in particular, would prefer left untouched.

    At the centre of the controversy is 52-year-old Gerry McGeough, a teacher and published author from the Brantry area of South Tyrone, who is now the focus of a political and legal storm that has dragged in the Swedish government, the U.S. and German authorities and a host of interested parties from several other nations. Added to this is a growing litany of revelations that has opened a Pandora’s Box of secret deals and leaked intelligence memos that are beginning to cause major angst within some political circles.

    The saga began on March 8th, 2007, the day after the Stormont Assembly elections when Gerry McGeough, who had stood as an Independent Republican candidate in the Fermanagh/South Tyrone constituency, was dramatically arrested outside the Count Centre in Omagh. A convoy of PSNI vehicles took McGeough to Antrim, where he was eventually charged with membership of the IRA in 1975, when he was 16-years-old, and with wounding a part-time member of the UDR in 1981. The arrest became news headlines within the hour

    Shortly after Mr. McGeough’s arrest, Vincent McAnespie, an Aughnacloy Building Contractor in his late forties, was also arrested following a raid on his home. The charges against Mr. McAnespie were eventually reduced to possession of weapons in 1981.

    Explaining the unusual manner of Mr. McGeough’s arrest, the PSNI claimed that they had been looking for him for years but had not been able to locate him until his appearance at the Omagh Count Centre. Mr. McGeough’s lawyers dismissed this as “ridiculous”, pointing out that apart from the fact that he had been living openly in the North before the election; he was also one of the most high-profile candidates during the campaign, speaking regularly in public and making appearances on T.V. and live radio programs.

    Mr. McGeough’s arrest was politically motivated and sanctioned by the British government. If a political candidate was arrested during an election in Zimbabwe, or anywhere else, the British would be squealing about human rights abuses”.

    After three weeks in Maghaberry prison, Mr. McGeough’s lawyers finally secured bail for him following a considerable legal struggle during which the Prosecution tried to prevent his release by claiming that he was wanted in Germany and the United States for Irish republican related activities in the 1980s. When these accusations were found to be groundless, he was released on strict bail conditions, most of which remain in place over three-and-a-half-years later.

    Mr. McGeough, who lives with his Spanish-born wife and their four young children, spent the next couple of years making monthly court appearances during which the case was constantly put back, sometimes for the flimsiest of reasons, such as someone at the DPP had forgotten to post a letter crucial to the investigation.

    During this time, the family had to put up with many hardships including having a British Army helicopter hover and clatter over their remote rural home at eleven o’clock one night as small children struggled to sleep. They have also had to endure phone-tapping, e-mail and regular mail interception and disruption. In addition, because of the serious Troubles-related charges against him, Mr. McGeough has not been unable to find work as a teacher since his arrest.

    In July, 2009, Mr. McGeough suffered a massive heart-attack. That same month, the British government extended the use of the non-jury Diplock Court system for another two years. A notorious legacy of the Troubles, the Diplock Courts were supposed to have been finally phased out by 2009.

    On March 8th, exactly three years after his arrest, Mr. McGeough was put on trial before a

    Diplock Court in Belfast. The previous day, the Sunday Tribune newspaper revealed that a secret deal had been done between the British government and Sinn Féin allowing up to fifty “on-the-run” republicans to receive Royal Pardons since the signing of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

    Shaun Woodward, Britain’s then Secretary of State for the North, publicly denounced the revelation as “nonsense”. Shortly afterwards, McGeough’s lawyers produced one of the Pardons and the Northern Ireland Office has since confirmed that a deal had, in fact, been done.

    Arguing that their client, who is one of the listed “on-the-runs”, was being discriminated against for political reasons, Mr. McGeough’s legal team secured an adjournment of the trial after three days while they sought the disclosure of documents from the NIO for an “Abuse of Process” application.

    Despite ample evidence of the existence of such material, a judge ruled that the NIO need not disclose some forty-one relevant files in the interests of “national security”. He also dismissed the “Abuse of Process” application and the trial resumed on September 13th. That day consisted of having a PSNI detective read a full chapter of one of Gerry’s books to the court. He had “secured” the book from a library in Dublin. The novel itself, “Defenders”, is a work of fiction published in 1998. Incredibly, this has been accepted as “evidence” by the non-jury court.

    The trial against Mr. McGeough, which is estimated to have cost £1 million to date, was halted again the following day after McGeough was rushed to hospital where he underwent a further heart procedure on September 17th. He has since been released from hospital and the trial resumed on November 1st.

    If convicted, he will spend two years in prison under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement before being eligible for release on license. Mr. McGeough’s children, all of whom were born since the year 2000, are the real victims of the Troubles. This whole experience is a real trauma for them. Why should they have to be put through this?

    A staunch supporter of the Peace Process, Mr. McGeough and his supporters believe he is being singled out simply because he stood in the elections and expressed a viewpoint that upset the powers that be. People are verbally upset and now staring to question “why are no British soldiers being put on trial for Bloody Sunday”? And, what about those behind the Dublin/Monaghan bombings? Either the Troubles are over or they’re not. If not, then shouldn’t everybody be put on trial before Diplock Courts?

    Meanwhile, the Prosecution used alleged Political Asylum application papers from Sweden as the mainstay of its evidence against Mr. McGeough. The move has raised considerable alarm among some international Human Rights groups, who argue that this violates the whole concept of political asylum and is an attack upon the rights of refugees everywhere.

    Swedish Civil Servant Helen Hedebris, believed to be fanatically pro-British, obviously had been working in close collaboration with the RUC/PSNI over the years and her testimony for the prosecution, against Mr. McGeough in a Diplock trial, was disgraceful and the Swedish government should hang their head in shame for allowing her to testify for the prosecution.

    In their obsessive need to prosecute and imprison this Irishman, the British obviously were prepared to turn international political asylum refugee laws on their head. This move on November 4, 2010 by the British and Swedish governments now has widespread implications for the entire concept of political asylum.

    Ironically, under British law, Political Asylum applicants are guaranteed that their documents will be kept confidential and under no circumstances handed over to the authorities in the country they may be fleeing from. The Crown’s prosecution argued that this doesn’t apply to material from Sweden?

    Supporters of Mr. McGeough and the Good Friday Agreement are now asking that all international Human Rights organizations, especially those dealing with asylum-seekers, take the Swedish and British governments to task for their blatant disregard in using political asylum documents as evidence in the discredited Diplock Court system in the north of Ireland.

    What happened here is a stain on Sweden’s otherwise excellent record in the area of international Human Rights. Without this Swedish input, Gerry would now be a free man. The British and Swedish governments must now be held accountable for this and we are asking for these Human Rights organizations to press for a review of the decision on the documentation used in Mr. McGeough’s trial.

    mcclafferty