“I would go so far as to say that Ronan Kerr voted for Sinn Fein”

Jude Collins in conversation with Martin McGuinness and Mary-Lou McDonaldIs it right to claim a dead man’s vote?

About 120 people gathered in the Wellington Park Hotel in South Belfast to hear Martin McGuinness and Mary-Lou McDonald in conversation with Jude Collins. Part of a series of town hall events that Sinn Fein promise to hold each year.

They spoke about highlights from the political careers, the lack of backstabbing in the party given that everyone earns the same wage, and how to convince “dissidents” (a term that Martin McGuinness thinks is misused) to stop their campaign.

One question from the audience asked whether any “middle ranking or even junior members of Sinn Fein” had joined the PSNI. [About 31 minutes into the audio] After a long pause, Martin McGuiness slowly replied, not answering the question directly but referring back to his visit to the home of Ronan Kerr’s mother soon after her son’s murder.

I went down to see Nuala within hours of her son being killed. And it was very obvious from being in that household that many of the family circle were Sinn Fein voters.

And I would go so far as to say that Ronan Kerr voted for Sinn Fein, and joined the police because he wanted to be part of change and wanted to support the peace process.

Later Martin McGuinness went on to say that he would be as outraged if a young protestant policeman was killed in the morning.

It felt like a remarkable and inappropriate statement for a politician to make in a public forum. Others in the audience were taken back by his admission. And while uttered in response to a question that was clearly probing how far Sinn Fein were committed to the outworking of their policing policy, it felt very uncomfortable for the politics and voting record – true or perceived – of a dead man to be discussed.

I asked Martin McGuinness about it afterwards and he said:

It’s clear to me from my own first hand experiences that we are now seeing a situation where young people who are very nationalist-minded and republican-minded, who want to contribute to bring a change within policing and who want to support the peace process, have joined the police in the course of recent times. And that’s why I have made it absolutely clear that people who are prepared to do that – and I also include in that young protestants who have joined the police and do so for the best motivations – that if they are prepared to stand by the political process,  the politicians have a duty to stand by them.

But was it fair to politicise Ronan Kerr’s death by speculating on his politics?

I don’t think I was politicising his death. It has never been contested that he was an Irishman,  that he was nationalist-minded, that he was republican-minded, that he was a supporter of the GAA. So I don’t think that offends anybody. I actually think people should take encouragement from the fact that there are now young people who are motivated by the best possible ideals, prepared to join the police. And in doing so, continue to support the ongoing development of the process that has brought so much change to our society.

Whether Martin McGuinness is right, I suspect that claiming Ronan Kerr’s vote will be a controversial statement to have made.

Later on in the meeting, Martin McGuinness spoke about the need for political leadership:

We have to continue to show leadership, even if it means we’re risking our own lives. Because we are conceivably dealing with groups out there who wouldn’t think nothing of tomorrow morning coming and taking my life. But that’s okay. If that’s the price I’ve got to pay for peace, I am prepared to take that price. We have to show leadership, no matter how we’re threatened and no matter how what is used to undermine the process that we have built up over the course of the last 15 years.

They panel also covered anecdotes leading up to the Good Friday Agreement and the barriers to unification. Mary-Lou suggested that:

Sovereignty – like virtue – isn’t appreciated until you’ve lost it!

One member of the audience suggested that people in the south didn’t want to be joined with the north. This lead to a short discussion in which Mary Lou agreed that the media in Ireland was biased against Sinn Fein and Martin suggested that the Irish News was biased towards the SDLP, with the Newsletter sometimes running more photographs of him as Deputy First Minster than the Irish News.

Martin said that the negotiations at Hillsborough had been the turning point in his relationship with Peter Robinson.

They also covered the potential of the 2016 centenaries and ended with Martin McGuinness passing up on the opportunity to be trapped in a lift for two hours with political opponent Gregory Campbell and instead choosing Sammy Wilson.

UpdateJude Collins has posted on his blog about his experience last night and his opinion on Martin McGuinness’ comments.

Update – The Belfast Telegraph topped and tailed the post and ran it as their headline in Tuesday night’s paper. And both the Irish News and Newsletter picked up the story too.

, , ,

  • Let me firstly state that it is not right to claim anybody’s vote unless the person allows his/her views to be made public. We have a secret ballot. Secrecy should be respected.

    Is it right to claim a dead person’s vote? It is certainly not dignified and you wonder what lengths politicians will go to court popularity.

    My real concern is that, if it is true that the constable was a Sinn Fein supporter, some Unionists will start to trash the memory of the police officer. I actually hate to make the suggestion but there are many unionists who can not respect a person’s right to vote Sinn Fein or accept that many Sinn Fein supporters are basically decent people.

  • Bit raw. Unnecessarily politicising a moment that had brought people together. Crass.

  • Taoiseach

    More like three monologues than a conversation I suspect. Another opportunity for Jude Collins to put the boot into the Irish News. Of course they’re pro-SDLP. Newspapers are allowed to be whatever they want – you don’t have to buy them. Different when it’s licence funded TV stations though.

  • Alan, IMO McGuinness’ speculation about Ronan’s voting intentions was wholly inappropriate but considering Dublin’s involvement in our justice process since 1985 it’s hardly remarkable.

    Here’s a little bit more from that Joe Duffy programme, the one in which Anne Travers spoke so eloquently. These words were spoken by a mother of two young children who said she was a serving PSNI officer [my transcription]:

    “The only way forward is the way Sinn Fein are offering us in the North as young nationalists and I entirely endorse what they’re offering us”

    She said she’d met Martin when she was a student at Trinity College, Dublin and was ‘very impressed with him and impressed with what he had to say’.

    For those who’ve stood by the militant Republican tradition both she and Martin will be labelled traitors to Ireland.

  • iluvni

    “It has never been contested that he (Kerr) was an Irishman..”

    Where exactly is McGuinness going with that comment?

  • Taoiseach,

    > Another opportunity for Jude Collins to put the boot into the Irish News.

    I think Martin McGuinness said that.

  • Dec

    Presumably he received the family’s blessing to make that statement. If not, then he shouldn’t have made the claim.

    Seymour

    ‘many Sinn Fein supporters are basically decent people.’

    Many are thoroughly decent as well.

  • pippakin

    If Ronan Kerr was known to be a SF supporter then it would be reasonable to say so. If a member of his family has said Ronan Kerr voted for SF then it would be reasonable to quote the person who said it..

    To assume however that because you were in a nationalist or republican household that they must vote for SF is imo an assumption too far, and to conclude that Ronan Kerr did or would vote for SF is a rare mistake by Martin McGuinness.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Are police officers apolitical? For instance did 30 year RUC veteran Jimmy Spratt only develop his DUP tendencies after he left that organisation?

  • Pat, police officers, much like any other public servants, carry all manner of political, racial and religious baggage.

    Some may find it more difficult than others when it comes to dealing with conflicts of interest.

    Also, certain political protocols may prevent them from carrying out their duty to uphold the law ie there will be occasions when they can observe law-breaking but they can’t intervene without political clearance.

  • Dec,

    I agree. Apologies for my inaccurate emphasis.

  • Kevin Barry

    I think Pip has nailed this one on the head; I personally don’t believe there is too much wrong with what MMG said, provided that he knows that Ronan Kerr did in fact vote for SF, something which we will never truly know as it’s a secret ballot as Seymour quite rightly points out.

    To be honest, I think you’re rather sensationalizing this whole affair when you should perhaps be focusing more on the fact that an Irish Republican is defending the PSNI unequivocally.

  • lemonheadIII

    “It has never been contested that he (Kerr) was an Irishman..”

    Where exactly is McGuinness going with that comment?

    Insofar as he wouldn’t consider himself a British man, I suppose.
    I’d count this a shrewd endorsement of the PSNI by McGuinness.

  • I think its an inappropriate thing to say. But it is probably true.
    But we have had this kinda thing before from other parties…if not directly stated.
    Back in the early 1920s, there was a parade of politicians to say that the men of 1916 would have approved or disapproved of the “Treaty”.
    More recently we have had speculation that Bobby Sands would have voted for or against the Good Friday Agreement.

    But if I think it was an inappropriate thing to say, I am not exactly outraged. A total of about 300 RUC officers were killed during the Troubles (ie prior to 1998). And about 250 members of the UDR.
    As it happens I attended the funeral of two RUC men and two UDR people. I am sure that many here could say the same. Perhaps many more than four. But on all four of the coffins I saw, there was a British flag…..and Id reasonably speculate that none of the four voted for SDLP or Sinn Féin (even if the latter had been legal). None were Catholic.

    Surely the whole point was that the RUC and UDR (and we can disagree about the reason or degree) “belonged” to one of our communities. And we have changed the ground rules to ensure that both communities “owns” and “feels that it owns” the PSNI.
    And if we can make any judgement at all in the past ten days, it is that this new ownership has been successfully achieved.
    So I am not outraged by what Martin McGuinness said. Thats for the family to express…if indeed they feel outrage.
    By the way it is odd that one community tends to refer to “Constable Kerr” . The other community refers to “Ronan”.
    I dont actually rember that kinda affection at any point in the years 1969-1998.
    But logically……Ronan Kerr was a 25 year old Catholic lad who played Gaelic football and followed Tyrone at inter county level. The GAA fraternity rallied to his family. Lets be frank the Catholics of West Tyrone from Ronans background are Sinn Féin and SDLP voters (allowing of course for Dr Deeney).as they are in Crossmaglen and Downpatrick.
    In the case of Crossmaglen, they might lean towards SF. In Warrenpoint they might lean towards SDLP.
    Thats how it is.
    The young men and young women in the PSNI vote or dont vote………UUP, DUP, Alliance, Green, SDLP, Sinn Féin and TUV. Thats how it should be.
    Thats actually what we want……or is it?
    Mr McGuinness was in fairness pointing up that many of the Kerr family circle were Sinn Féin voters. Thats almost certainly true in West Tyrone. Perhaps even true of Ronan himself.
    But it stretches things to say he politicised Ronans death as is clear from the context. Those who claim he politicised it seem to be tackling the issue by politicising it again.
    To my knowledge I only know six people in the new PSNI. And I dont in anyway think its wrong to state that at least two are from family backgrounds which are SF orientated.

    Thats something that folks are gonna have to get used to. Those “Catholic PSNI” folks include Alliance voters, SDLP voters and Sinn Féin voters.
    Some may not like it. It wasnt supposed to be like this. But does that make the PSNI a service better or less able to deal with the dissident threat that is a danger to both our communities.

  • thethoughtfulone

    A more cynical person than myself could possibly claim that Mr McGuinness’ comments simply confirm that the huge outpouring of grief from the nationalist community was more for the loss of a republican than for the loss of a PSNI officer.

    Martin usually knows what to say, I think this is one time he’s got it badly wrong. Won’t matter to his own community but certain sections of protestantism will live off it for quite a while.

  • Many thanks for posting this thread, Alan, and for resolving my posting problem. I’m 50 mins into the first audio file. I’ll reserve further comment until later.

  • Scáth Shéamais

    Sinn Féin keep saying that Kerr was a nationalist and “republican-minded”, but what exactly does the latter mean?

  • nightrider

    Wonder what party Catholics like John Gorman vote for?

  • ranger1640

    Are Sinn Fein falling into the various Unionist parties quicksand, assuming that if you kick with a particular foot you must vote for them. Form McGuinness’ statement sounds like it.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “Are Sinn Fein falling into the various Unionist parties quicksand, assuming that if you kick with a particular foot you must vote for them. Form McGuinness’ statement sounds like it”.

    Problem is it doesn’t sound like that at all. Mc Guinness is clearly trying to establish solidarity with the Kerr family. Further it is obvious that there has been a dedicated conversation of sorts with the Kerr family to allow him to say what he did.
    Secondly, Mc Guinness will have been aware that there were always Catholics in the RUC. I don’t think he would have expected too many of them to vote for SF, especially when the conflict was ongoing.

  • ranger1640

    Pat:

    Can you substantiate the fact that “it is obvious that there has been a dedicated conversation of sorts with the Kerr family to allow him to say what he did”!

    The only obvious thing was that constable Kerr was a catholic and a GAA player. His politics were/are open to interpretation, being a nationalist or republican does not make you a shinner. For all we know he may well have been an Alliance voter????

  • The Word

    Martin McGuinness is saying that Ronan Kerr was one of us, and that is why Ronan was a good man.

    That’s why we were having the terrible problems that Martin made worse.

  • nightrider

    Maybe, like most people of his age group, the guy couldn’t be arsed voting.

  • ranger1640

    Forgot to mention, with Adams and now McGuinness saying that they will talk to the IRA murders of constable Kerr. The only obvious thing is the Sinn Fein project,s ability to use the IRA murder of constable Kerr for political gain.

  • Tomas Gorman

    I don’t think it’s appropriate at all, especially so close to an election. The young fella has barely been laid in his grave and this smacks of insensitive electioneering. This is pretty standard PSF practice though.

    Adams claimed a psychic moment during an oration at the 25th Hunger Strike Commemoration rally at Casement Park when he remembered “feeling” Mairead Farrell et al at his shoulder during negotiations with the British Government.

    McGuinness, perhaps more pertinently, claimed in the same year that if the ten 1981 hunger strikers were alive today, they all would have supported the PSF strategy; upsetting members of Sands family and the families of some of the INLA hunger strikers.

    This speaking for a dead policeman does strike me as slightly more perverse though.

    Pearses “the fools, the fools”, speech began a long Republican tradition of polemics at graveyards. This is maybe the first time that a self proclaimed republican has claimed the legacy of a dead member of a royal constabulary.

  • Alias

    What McGuinness is doing is promoting the British constitutional concept of four non-sovereign nations sharing a sovereign state. These non-sovereign nations are only deemed to have the right to self-determination under their shared nationalism of British, and are duly depoliticised as either of the four nations. In that way an Englishman may play cricket and enjoy other aspects of his national culture without a need for a sovereign English state to promote or protect Likewise, a Scotsman may enjoy haggis (if such is possible) or an Irishman may be a member of the GAA, and both of them may do so freely within the sovereign British state.

    A nationalist is anyone that supports a sovereign state for his nation. McGuinness, and the Shinners, in promoting the British constitutional concept of four non-sovereign nations sharing a sovereign state, is not acting as an Irish nationalist but as a British nationalist.

    So we see McGuinness at pains to point out that PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr could be a member of the Irish nation, embrace its culture, and that he could do so within a sovereign British state. In effect, it is not neccessary for a nation to have a sovereign state, so it is the depolicitised nation that makes no claim to a sovereign state that McGuinness is promoting. That, of course, is what the British promotes to ensure its continued existence.

  • socaire

    I think it would be reasonable to say that the basic duty of a police force in the modern nation state is to protect that state. Mostly from internal upheaval. But what we have here is a British state. How it came about and how it is maintained is a subject for debate but what cannot be proposed is that an Irish nationalist or Irish republican can serve in that state’s police force and remain an Irish nationalist/republican. They can be an Irish national but cannot, in conscience, have two masters. Let all the Catholics that are of a mind to join the PSNI go ahead but let’s not call them nationalists or republicans.

  • otto

    Nice and short that time Alias. Thanks. [Mod – don’t play the man]

    What strikes me is that a (temporary) period of 50/50 ownership seems to be the best basis to build a genuinely shared institution in our part of the world. In 40+ years this is the only time I remember politicians talking (almost) naturally about “the community” as a whole. What made that sound like more than naivety or cynicism was that it was used in the context of this institution and had genuinely cross-community consent.

    I’d suggest that if recruitment (or membership) ever slips below 2 to 1 (in either direction) the PSNI, and perhaps other region-wide public institutions, ought to be provided with an automatic 50/50 righting mechanism.

  • otto

    Socaire.

    The policing board is cross-community.

    The justice minister is appointed by cross-community consensus.

    So on this matter sovereignty might be devolved from Britain but so long as it is the administration of the police service in Northern Ireland is Irish.

    Whether you can accept input from unionist politicians is another question.

  • pippakin

    If it is wrong for Irish Nationalists or Republicans to work for the British State there will be an awful lot of resignations on desks of senior managers on Friday, which will be a bit awkward because many of those senior managers will also be on their bikes.

    People have every right to join a police force and still vote according to their conscience and their ambitions for their country. It may be that some Gards will in due course vote (holds nose) for the DUP. In that unlikely event I believe they should have that right.

  • socaire

    Nationalists and republicans, by the very definition, believe in the supremacy, legitimacy and sovereignty of the Irish nation on the island of Ireland. To join a non-native police force is the moral equivalent of a ‘gay’ policeman joining in a homophobic attack with fellow policemen. This is not a stable or moral outlook. Some posters here seem to confuse – maybe deliberately – the terms Catholic and Nationalist. I also think it fairly obvious that a nurse/binman being paid by the British state is far removed from being an armed and paid enforcer of a British substate.

  • Alf

    I think it is highly likely that people who vote Sinner are joining the police. I suspect though that experiences with other Sinner supporters during their service will lead them to reconsider their political opinions in a fairly short space of time. That is assuming that they are in the police service to uphold law and order and not to make a political point.

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

    what if the binman had to remove trash from the local nick? would he then be a target? or if a nurse gave a peeler a hep B injection? I guess that would be supporting british occupation of the lush green grass of ireland?

    ps when are irish americans giving their land back to the indians? 😉

  • TheWormsWillWin

    Anyone who has lingering doubts about the PSNI/policing should read the harrowing report in the New Statesman about the disgraceful, degrading, inhuman behavoiur and working culture of the Police Department of New Orleans in the USA.

    This is a tangent of the thread so I continue with the issue of this thread.

    I dislike inequality of treatment.

    All victims of mass murder or accident should be given equal exposure to the media, and not just the prettiest/youngest ones.

    Why was there not the same fuss when Constable McCarroll was murdered?

    I am not denigrating the murder of Const. Kerr in any way but I sometimes wonder had he been a Protestant, would there have been the same public dismay in Omagh?

    Or are we back to the language and ethos of the erstwhile ‘innocent Catholic’ while the epithet ‘innocent Protestant’ never entered our political dictionary.

    It is worth noting and it is an observation held by many.

    Is it wise for PSNI members to belong to civilian organisations which contain members sympathetic to dissidents? The GAA is not just a sporting organisation. It’s charter espouses a united Ireland and Gaelic way of life.

    That’s acceptable and their right but the trouble is, its a quasi sporting/political organisation.

    Therefore, is it acceptable for the PSNI to belong to an organisation which has an overtly political agenda?

    Correct me if I am wrong but name me one rugby, soccer or cricket club which espouses union with Britain in its organisational charter?

    I am not saying the GAA should not have its ethos before I am condemend. Definitely not. Not am I saying it should not hold a political stance. We are a free country but the police, as in any democracy, cannot belong to political organisations or parties.

    There is an argument/debate to had.

  • socaire

    If I was a binman and some terrorist group declared that all binmen were legitimate targets then I would have to decide whether to continue with said occupation. And I presume you mean the native Americans and not ‘the indians’?

  • socaire

    A good post, worm. But something you should understand. Britishness is the default position here and therefore no rugby/soccer/cricket club needs to assert it’s politics in it’s charter. If I go to the council and demand that a sign be erected in my language, I am a fanatic, a rabid Republican or at the very least, an eccentric figure of fun. BUT if I go to the council to complain about an Irish language sign erected in British Ulster, I am an upstanding citizen ‘doing the normal right thing. You follow? And the GAA is no longer a political body. A large carrot called ‘grants and subsidies’ was waved in front of them and the temptation was too much.

  • Alf

    “If I go to the council and demand that a sign be erected in my language, I am a fanatic, a rabid Republican or at the very least, an eccentric figure of fun. BUT if I go to the council to complain about an Irish language sign erected in British Ulster, I am an upstanding citizen ‘doing the normal right thing.”

    socaire,

    You can chalk that one down to the ‘success’ of the republican terror campaign.

  • socaire

    Also to deal with the ‘innocent’ catholic bit. The majority of catholics are IRA men/supporters and when the odd one is killed who isn’t, then it has to be pointed that he was one of the few ‘innocent’ ones. But ALL protestants are ‘innocent’ i.e. are british and support the union so there is no need to point out the fact that they are innocent.

  • socaire

    Alf, you have just proven my point.

  • Mark McGregor

    Voted for SF, aged 25 – absolutely no proof this young man ever had any republican tendancies then?

  • Alf

    “Also to deal with the ‘innocent’ catholic bit. The majority of catholics are IRA men/supporters and when the odd one is killed who isn’t, then it has to be pointed that he was one of the few ‘innocent’ ones. But ALL protestants are ‘innocent’ i.e. are british and support the union so there is no need to point out the fact that they are innocent.”

    Socaire,

    My understanding of the republican position is that they enjoyed 100% support in areas like Ardoyne, but that all the Ardoyne people who were murdered were entirely innocent.

    Also that the Protestants that they murdered were in the police or UDR and were therefore ‘combatants’ and were therefore not innocent.

    Oh and the Protestants that ‘unrepentant fenian bastard’ Bic Mcfarland murdered in the Bayardo bar were supporters of the UVF and therefore not innocent either.

    Can you clarify?

  • Alf

    “Alf, you have just proven my point.”

    Socaire,

    Your point was that republican terrorism set any chance of an Irish language revival back by a hundred years?

  • socaire

    Firstly, Alf, no area is 100% anything. Except the PSNI which is 100% unionist. Secondly, if a catholic was not in a paramilitary group then he was ‘innocent’. If you want to define all who voted Republican as guilty, then , what about all who voted unionist? The police/UDR were a paramilitary state body which people chose to join – like the IRA – and knew the risks involved. Because one side was pro British and the other anti British does not, in itself, make one side wrong and the other right. That any help?

  • Alf

    “Firstly, Alf, no area is 100% anything. Except the PSNI which is 100% unionist. Secondly, if a catholic was not in a paramilitary group then he was ‘innocent’. If you want to define all who voted Republican as guilty, then , what about all who voted unionist? The police/UDR were a paramilitary state body which people chose to join – like the IRA – and knew the risks involved. Because one side was pro British and the other anti British does not, in itself, make one side wrong and the other right. That any help?”

    Socaire,

    So to summarise. Nothing is 100% anything unless it is something which you detest.

    It is possible to be a supporter of murder and still be entirely innocent.

    The Prods knew the risks so it was okay to murder them.

    Neither side was right or wrong.

    Thanks for that. it doesn’t really help, but it certainly makes for fascinating reading.

  • socaire

    To summarise. My personal opinion does not change the % composition of anything. Do you support the murder of Afghani and Iraqi people? Are you innocent? It appears that members of opposing paramilitary groups were ‘fair game’ to each other and one side was wronger than the other. Oh, and I can remember way back in the 60’s, when this was a grand wee country with no Republican terrorists and there were riots in the streets as unionists fought for places in the local Tech to study Irish. If a republican speaks Irish, it is bad so when a loyalist speaks English, it is good. As I said, the default position. But if an IRA soldier speaks English, is that good or bad?

  • Mark

    Mark McGregor,

    Only asking Marko , not looking for a row ,

    What consitiutes a Republican tendancy in your eyes ?

  • Alf

    “But if an IRA soldier speaks English, is that good or bad?”

    Socaire,

    An IRA what?

  • vanhelsing

    Socaire
    “Nationalists and republicans, by the very definition, believe in the supremacy, legitimacy and sovereignty of the Irish nation on the island of Ireland”

    Bright future ahead of us together then – sorry would you like us to leave or can we stay in your all green white and gold shiney super state?

    “Except the PSNI which is 100% unionist” – of course it is – no wait – we know Ronan wasn’t a DUP voter – wait perhaps you’re rounding up the percentages…

    “I also think it fairly obvious that a nurse/binman being paid by the British state is far removed from being an armed and paid enforcer of a British substate”

    You so I know what you mean by this – in the good ol’ days these ‘enforcers’ were legitimate targets of Republican terrorists according to your logic. Does that mean that you personally believe these ‘enforcers’ are still legimate targets or ‘especially’ legitimate if they’re RC if they are enforcing the British substate?

  • vanhelsing

    Oh and Fitz – I believe that I have always referred to him as ‘Ronan’ 🙂 just so yo know…

  • socaire

    You know! A man who carries arms in an army with a command structure etc etc.

  • Alf

    “You know! A man who carries arms in an army with a command structure etc etc.”

    Socaire,

    And this relates to the Provos how?

  • socaire

    The sooner they learn the lesson, the sooner they will be in government? Glad too that you now accept the provos as fellow british democrats who saw the error of their ways.

  • Zig70

    I know several Irish nationalist in the PSNI. If the time came they would gladly swap for a Guards uniform and would vote for it. How are they not nationalist? Do you socaire, (if you live in the north) receive any money from the Brits, pay your taxes to the Brits? Are you by your own arguement not a Brit? An enabler of this foreign ruler? The police is a good job for a lot of younguns, good craic, well paid and you get a free blonde to sit beside you.

  • vanhelsing

    Socaire – you didn’t answer my question…you stated

    “I also think it fairly obvious that a nurse/binman being paid by the British state is far removed from being an armed and paid enforcer of a British substate”

    Just so I know what you mean by this – in the good ol’ days these ‘enforcers’ were according to your logic legitimate targets of Republican terrorists . Does that mean that you personally believe these ‘enforcers’ are still legimate targets or ‘especially’ legitimate if they’re RC?

    Boiled down – although you can spin it anyway you want – you seem to suggest that you believe that PSNI officers working in Northern Ireland are legitimate targets because they enforce “the British substate”

    A simple yes or no will suffice…

  • socaire

    A simple yes or no. I was merely answering the point made earlier and again in Zig70 @ 10.58 that I can distinguish between nurses/binmen paid by the British state (my taxes?) to do societal work and armed groups who enforce the will of the state and protect it. Can you not? I pass no verdict on their legitimacy as targets. OK? I’m sure that the Reich collected taxes from the French people when they occupied France but can this be interpreted as French support for the Nazis?

  • son of sam

    Good to see there was a totally impartial chairman!I assume Judes views were not a million miles away from Martin and Mary Lou.Presumably that was why he was asked along.What is the evidence that the Irish News is pro S D L P?-Brian Feeney is a well established critic of the party.Jim Gibney s column is Sinn Fein polemic.Even the one columnist with any S D L P connection [ Tom Kelly] is as liable to give his former party a belt of the crozier as anyone

  • Driftwood

    I know several Irish nationalist in the PSNI. If the time came they would gladly swap for a Guards uniform

    Well said Zig70, but the Irish Guards are one of the harder regiments to get in to. maybe the RIR? Although the pay isn’t as good as the PSNI the fact you cannot arse about all day and actually have to work for your money (along with the camaraderie) makes it a better option.

  • JR

    Socaire, like it or not we need a police force. There are many victims of crime here. Rape, murder, vandalism, burglary, car crime. What in your opinion are those victims supposed to do? I lived in a nationalist area through the troubles where the police were not effective. It nearly destroyed the area through crime and antisocial behavior.

    By the way I totally disagree with everything you have said on this thread.

  • redstar2011

    Mc Gunniess is talking out his behind-how in gods name could you be an irish Republican and a member of the british security forces

    Says a lot about Mc Guinness and his chameleon politics-still he should be Lord Mc Guinness soon enough for services rendered

  • JR

    “how in gods name could you be an irish Republican and a member of the british security forces”

    Easy, by believing the long term future of the Irish people is best served within a 32 county Irish republic and by knowing that the people in the north are as entitled to law and order as those in the south.

    Who would you call if your sister was raped? House was burgled?

  • Guys (and gals) – the comment thread has gone quite far away from the topic of the post … to Basra and back by the looks of it. Off-topic portions have been removed from view.

  • Kevin Barry

    AIB, rather unfortunate it went off topic in a very big way, but some trolls will always peddle their own agenda.

    I had the chance to listen to most of the post last night (not all mind), I’d be lying if I said I see what all of the fuss is really about but inferences may be made from my name as to why I have come to this conclusion.

    I think the point that is seemingly being overlooked here is that MMG was making the point that nationalists and republicans have bought into the provision of policing in NI as it now represents all of the community unlike before. While his death is an attack against the whole community, if we look at this as part of the bigger picture, it would appear that Constable Kerr’s family are SF supporters, he was a member of his local GAA team and yet he felt comfortable and indeed, driven to join the PSNI without fear of recrimination from the broader nationalist/republican community.

    Would I have preferred if MMG had not raised Ronan’s believed political allegiance? Yes, however, I think he was trying to make a bigger point as alluded to above.

  • Alf

    “The sooner they learn the lesson, the sooner they will be in government? Glad too that you now accept the provos as fellow british democrats who saw the error of their ways.”

    Socaire,

    That doesn’t mean that I have forgotten what they have been responsible for, or the fact that they continue to support what they did.

  • socaire

    But you have no trouble overlooking the mote in your brother’s eye. We got up off our knees and you didn’t like it. Just not cricket. Do you remember when the Taigs used to swoon over the bands at the Twelfth? The good old days when we knew our place.

  • fordprefect

    How does MMG know that he would have voted for SF? It’s back round to the same old question, would Bobby Sands have been behind the so-called peace procezzzzzzzzzzz! It was blatant politicking at it’s lowest form (as usual). We all know that McGuinness and Adams and Co. would do or say anything for a few extra votes (they would go up an entry, drop their trousers and bend over a wheelie bin, and, tell whoever was behind them: “this will take the procezzzzzzzz further!)

  • pippakin

    Fordperfect

    Ronan Kerr was right to join the police. A young man choosing a good career with a future quite possibly leading all the way to the Gards. Its important to remember that the people who murdered Ronan Kerr would not have hesitated to murder a Gard if it had suited their purpose.

    McGuinness was almost certainly right that the family are nationalist and probably SF supporters but if he lacked actual proof or a quote from a member of the family then imo he was wrong to say so publicly.

  • fordprefect, pippakin – Liam Clarke/Amanda Poole wrote in Wednesday’s Belfast Telegraph (morning and evening editions) that “senior SF sources said that Ronan Kerr’s mother told Martin McGuinness directly her son would have voted for the party.”

  • pippakin

    Alan in Belfast

    Thanks for the update, assuming Mrs Kerr gave Martin McGuinness permission to use the information, I think that covers it.

  • fordprefect

    Alan, Pippa
    Do you really believe that crap? “senior SF sources” confirmed this! I take it one of the senior SF sources was Gerry Adams, who, to this day has denied ever being in the IRA.

  • fordprefect – to be honest I’d put money on it being Martin McGuinness himself, but you can never be sure. It’s a journalistic device to cover being told something by someone who didn’t want it to be directly attributed.

  • fordprefect

    Alan
    fair enough.