An honest broker?

Gerry Adams TD has been calling for talks with those that killed PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr. He, like his entire party, have been absolute and unambiguous in their comdemnation of those involved but Adams at least has now expanded his party’s attack to other groups that clearly have no connection to the death. One of these groups, éirígí, has responded and as a result revealed while SF claim a willingness to have discussions on republicanism with those currently and actively engaged in armed actions they have refused to even acknowledge an offer for a discussion on republicanism from a non-armed but dissenting party.

In his recent statement condemning those involved in armed struggle or supportive of it, Adams moved on to a ‘thirdly’

And thirdly there has been no attempt to defend or explain the rationale behind their actions.

This thirdly included some that clearly support armed struggle but linked in éirígí, Independent Republicans (a mighty broad brushstroke) and ‘localised historical groups’ – these 3 sets of people clearly worry Adams/SF as much as those that endorse armed struggle:

There are political groupings which present themselves as republican. These include Republican Sinn Féin, the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, the Republican Network for Unity and Éirigí.

Others present themselves as Independent Republicans or as localised historical groups.

These are all entirely legitimate political groupings. They are fully entitled to disagree with Sinn Féin and to criticise us and our strategy.

But since the murder of Ronan Kerr they have all put their heads down.

He accused these groups of putting their heads down. éirígí via their Rúnaí Ginearálta, Breandán Mac Cionnaith have come out fighting against the attempt from SF to link them with the death of Constable Kerr (felon setting they called it): 

This is the latest in the long line of cynical attacks by Gerry Adams and others in the Sinn Féin leadership upon éirígí. These attacks are motivated by nothing more than Sinn Féin’s fear that éirígí’s coherent socialist republican message is gaining increasing support in areas that Adams & Co regard as their personal political fiefdoms.

éirígí’s position on the recent killing in Omagh and on other armed actions is clear and unambiguous. The party is not aligned to or supportive of any armed groups or their actions. This has been our position since our foundation five years ago, something Gerry Adams is well aware

They challenged Adam’s claim they were ‘running for cover’:

 It is hardly plausible for Mr Adams to claim that éirígí are ‘running for cover’ at a time when we are, in fact, running for election in his former constituency in West Belfast. Scores or our activists are canvassing daily on the ground in West Belfast

And stated not only have they made themselves available for comment on this issue but have offered SF a broader debate on republicanism – something that party has not availed despite their claims, via the media, of offering discussions to armed groups engaged in killing PSNI members.

 éirígí spokespeople have consistently made themselves available for public comment on every aspect of the party’s policies and we will continue to do so

éirígí is on the record as offering Sinn Féin a public debate on the future direction of the republican struggle, an offer which they have, so far, declined to even respond to.

If Sinn Féin is genuinely interested in engaging with republican Ireland, they will take this offer up

So are SF cynically using the death of Constable Kerr for political ends? Attempting to link small electoral competitors to something they have no connection to? Claiming to offer talks during an election when they refuse real offers of talks from political dissenters if an election isn’t imminent?

And importantly – which SF statement drafter forgot to hit the IRSP with the blunderbuss of link every fecker to the killing?

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  • Yeah. Yeah. Whatever.

    In essence it comes down to whether:

    ¶ one accepts the current settlement, and gets on with it, working for something better, but in full view,


    ¶ is out there, diddling, in the half-light playing (or watching others playing) with big boys’ toys.

    With respect, éirígí can’t have it both ways.

    And, incidentally, expressions like “the republican struggle” have overtones that don’t belong inside the metaphors of acceptable political debate.

    But what do I know? — I’m only a pinko socialist, a republican (both sides of the Irish Sea) and a democrat.

  • Alf


    It sounds like McKenna is scared that the murder is going to cost his lunatic fringe votes.

  • Mark McGregor


    You have the ‘you are either with or us or against us’ stifle all dissent language down pat.

    Well done.

  • pippakin

    I have suspicions about the not that red or even green Barons volunteering to talk to the dissenters but why should one political party agree to talks with another political party? If it happens its usually because one side is hoping to pull a fast one on the other.

  • TheWormsWillWin

    If we think of this logically, the dissidents cannot be brought into the peace process on their own terms. The politcal nebula of NI has formed a 4-5 political party planetary system which has found its equilibrium – allowing for the odd meteor shower.
    What could SF say to the RIRA? “You’re wrong and we’re right so houl your whisht lads”?
    Comprimise? How can SF compromise with them without endangering the GFA/St Andrew’s and the current concordat with the other parties?

    I’m afraid NI is going to have face the fact that we’re just another country with another terrorist problem. The easy thing is this time, there is almost universal consent for policing. In some areas, it’s non existant but you get areas of London where the police aren’t welcome.

    The dissidents are so small and devoid of the critical mass of support that they could be defeated militarily.

    Here is the rub.

    We have an acceptable police force but we do not have an agreed military.

    NI, like any other country, needs a military backup. Is it time the Royal Irish Rangers were disbanded and a cross community militia were formed which pledged allegience not to Crown or President but to the people of NI?

    Such a militia could be used to back up the PSNI and take out the dissidents.

    Such a militia would have the support of all sides.

    Without such a militia, NI has a gaping achilles heel.

    And we all know what happened Achilles

  • Mark McGregor @ 8:13 pm:

    Curiously enough, when it comes down to democratic discourse, you are absolutely correct.

  • George

    Adams is simply putting himself into Hume mode* for a specific reason – a call to the southern Irish middle classes rather than to any dissident republicans.

  • Mark McGregor


    Maybe, just maybe its a serious enough issue/set of issues to deal with without political posturing and playing to audiences – electoral or otherwise?

  • Skinner

    Whilst obviously it is good know that Eirigi “is not supportive” of armed groups, it would be a whole lot more clear and unambiguous if Eirigi just simply said “it is wrong”. Why don’t they Mark?

  • joeCanuck


    Are you really surprised at Adams’ doublespeak?

  • Mark McGregor


    That is a decent question. I think you have the massive morality question for republicanism there.

    If armed struggle (killing people) is acceptable in certain circumstances then condemning outright others for killing people for the same goal is a minefield.

    SF seem to deal with it by adopting a ‘Year Zero’ approach of every single death immediately after anyone that can be connected with ‘them’ is entirely ‘wrong’ – anything before that (up to Quinn is ambiguity)….

    I’ve previously asked questions on the morality of republican struggle:

    Given where that struggle arrived I’m increasingly convinced they were responsible for leading huge numbers of young men into a deeply immoral and unjustifiable ‘war’.

    Just as the leaders of this current smaller crop are doing with other young people.

    eirigi not being as directly critical as me or SF – so? It was exactly the way SF phrased it up to a few months ago.

  • The Word

    I grew up with republicanism in our society and it simply meant that they are allowed to use or support violence.

    That’s all they mean and as for all these different groups, that’s all front. They’re all connected.

    So as Gandhi said, “the battle has to be fought in our hearts first.”

    What does the heart say? No-one else is at fault for my problems. It asks what can I do to make the world better, and that means that there is some principle in my belief system that separates me from those I believe are oppressing me.

    Or am I just replacing one tyranny for another?

    What happened in 1916? Mayhem that wasn’t rewarded with any real or substantive change. Why? Because Ireland has been a country in the service of what may be deemed a God who just won’t set such precedents.

    Why does change not come through violence? That’s where unhappy people take on even unhappy people to create misery. So what was the goal?

    Happiness or misery?

  • ItwasSammyMcNally


    “That is a decent question”

    So decent that you might actually answer IT?

    Hint: The question wasn’t about SF.

  • George

    maybe it is and I’m not simply looking for a stick to beat Adams with.

    But Adams is now ploughing his southern furrow and I find it interesting that it is him making the offer rather than say McGuinness.

    It might not even be posturing, Adams might think that this is what is expected from him by his “new” (and potential) electorate.

  • Mark McGregor


    I don’t answer questions addressed to others.

    eirigi have given their answer – if you don’t like it take it up with them.

    Then ask the SF you support why the same answer was ok from them until recently.

  • HeinzGuderian

    As a non christian,(or any other religious brand),let me just say this………….Major Uri Gagarin was the first man in space,on this very day,50 years ago !! Now,you may be wondering what that has to do with ergil,sin fin,dissers,nat/reps,and slow learners…………..Let me explain………….major Gagarin,and the aforementioned groups,have all got One thing in common……………..SPACE CADETS !!! 😉

  • son of sam

    Sinn Fein using deaths for political ends; surely that would never happen would it ?Why stop the habits of a lifetime! Is it not ironic that Brendan Mc Kenna , a creation of Sinn Fein s strategy is now biting the hand that brought him to prominence.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “With respect, éirígí can’t have it both ways.”

    Isn’t that what they’re for?

  • Sinn Fein in the guise of leadership from Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness have failed and are failing the republican community for they have delivered nothing to them other than increased poverty to enslaving debt and now preside over, and administer a system which is cutting social services and raising taxes, to further inflict pain on the masses. They, of course, are ring fenced from the effects and have ensured that their public monies are not impacted at all, and have actually been raised. However, to be perfectly fair, is it exactly the same situation on the orange side of the field …… Great Political Game Play Area.

    Governments and their servants do not have any money of their own. It is all supplied by the public, and it is not to be used for building little personal empires and dodgy secret portfolios. And whenever your government representatives have no idea how to generate increased funds for necessary projects, like for instance, creating a fabulous nation because, let us say for the sake of constructive argument, another dodgy government’s block grant to its Administrative Assembly is arbitrarily slashed to create an understandably dissident environment, do they have any viable and innovative plan or will it be more crippling and increased punitive taxation against the population either by direct or indirect “stealth” taxations such as would be water charges and fresh air taxes.

    Now is a good time to ask them if that is part of their plan, to have the population pay more whenever the banks have all of the populations money. Seems to me like the place to go for everything, is where everything has been deposited for payment. And where do the banks get the interest which is due on the capital which the people deposited to save their sorry worthless asses and ponzi business schemes ……. apart from out of thin air just like magic, that is.

    How are the “leaders” you are going to elect into offices for, they would be hoping, another glorious money worry-free four year, and which you pay a fortune for, going to grow the economy both private and public, for really they’re both joined at the hip, and one feeds off the other to survive and prosper.

    Ask them those simple questions and settle down to listen to a right waffle which will try to avoid answering the question with its truthful answer …… “I haven’t a fcuking clue, mate, we’re hoping someone else will provide us with the solution without discovering our real ignorance and abiding arrogance in the matter of provision of good governance

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Surely Breandán Mac Cionnaith could simply have said ,’right if you want talks here’s the time and here’s the venue.’ But he is not saying anything like that at all.

    From their smaller position it is in their interest to have a public debate. By its very nature it would generate a lot of publicity and would give them the leg up they so desperately need.

    Why give a sucker an even break?

  • “The politcal nebula of NI has formed a 4-5 political party planetary system which has found its equilibrium – allowing for the odd meteor shower.”

    So what you are saying is the British governments justification for the six county statelet has not changed a jot since the late 1920s.


    An old beard once wrote a booklet called ‘our morals and theirs’ or some such, in which he basically sums up the gross hypocrisy of governments and their supporters when they start going on about morals in politics.

    It is still worth a read as it pointed out governments which sent millions of men to their deaths in the trenches have no right to lecture others about such things. I suppose one could fast forward to today and say that governments who were involved in Iraq and now Libya, are in no position to lecture the RIRA, or whatever these armed republican groups are called these days; and those who support them when doing so are either gross hypocrites or muddying the water.

  • Neil

    I do wonder what some folk think when they see the British government pondering whether to arm Gaddaffi’s enemies. Similar in a way to Gaddaffi arming Britain’s enemies some time ago.

  • fordprefect

    “Keeping their heads down”! Coming from Adams, that is a joke. For years, Adams and his ilk parroted on tv and radio etc., the party line: “the politics of condemnation get you nowhere”. Could any SF member or supporter on here tell me why, Adam’s an McGuinness and co. are squeeling the place down over the killing of Ronan Kerr, and calling it a crime, when, the same people won’t say the same about Jean McConville? They also come out with the usual platitudes about Jean McConville’s killing being “wrong” and “it shouldn’t have happened” and so on, but, not one of them have ever condemned it! Was it alright for the IRA then to kill people, but now it’s not?