“A man of high principles and quick exits”

Jude Collins is in fine form these days, and his latest blog offering deals with Fintan O’Toole’s hasty departure from this morning’s Nolan Show. Collins was also a contributor to a discussion including Gregory Campbell and others on Martin McGuinness’ nomination for the Race to the Aras which can be accessed here.

 Meanwhile, the Phoenix magazine has a great cover, revealing Martin’s new chuckling partner…..

  • granni trixie

    Just for the record JC gives a false impression. The Nolan programme involved quite a number of speakers including phone in contributors so you had to wait quite a while to hear the main contributors and this item went on for quite some time and O’toole participated for most of . it. It was not apparent to me as a listener therefore that O’Toole ‘left the room’ to go off in a huff as is hinted at.
    I know this is not the thrust of the post but JC version just is not accurate. I also note that he hmself is getting plenty of work as a acolyte of McGuinness (certainly in Belfast Media Group newspapers) and in BBC faux “show balance” exercises.

  • Limerick

    Does Collins get introduced as a Sinner spokesperson on these shows, or does he feign neutrality?

  • granni trixie

    His political orientation is all unspoken He is usually introduced as journo or commentator or some such.

  • DC

    Stephen Nolan, now there’s a gobshite.

  • Alias

    The Geneva/Hague conventions don’t apply to murder gangs. As private citizens, they can only be prosecuted under criminal law.

    The conventions wouldn’t even be applicable if it could be established that the Shinners were a state-sponsored murder gang since the conventions only apply during a time of war.

    So the Shinners are off the hook for atrocities that would otherwise qualify.

  • Chris Donnelly


    Should every journalist/ commentator be introduced according to their suspected political leanings or simply those you don’t agree with?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I don’t hugely disagree with Jude Collins here; as a not-republican, I don’t mind McGuinness that much (were I resident in the 26, I’d be giving him serious consideration) and I find the focussing on his past to be rather boring.

    What I don’t agree with, though, is Jude’s rather strange notion that the McGuinness presidency will be damaging to partition, or will somehow advance SF’s agenda. The Presidency carries with it a prestige of its own for SF, but on the other hand the office is highly restricted, and in that role McGuinness will essentially be a puppet of the FF/FG; if there is even a whiff of something that puts their nose out of joint, they’ll swiftly have him impeached and removed from office. President McGuinness will have precisely no powers or means to influence politics (constitutional or otherwise) at all, and given the fact that the constitution prohibits him from even leaving the state without authorization from the government, I think there’s plenty there to reinforce partition rather than undermine it.

  • I tend to agree with DC in respect of Stephen Nolan.
    I have never actually listened to his Show. But if Jude Collins is a regular, I might well listen.
    I have a lot of time for him.
    I can quite agree with “granni trixie” about BBC faux balance as certainly there has always been a tradition of having “accepted faces of local journalism” going back into the 1970s…..when Hanna, Pauley, McCreery and White were regularly trotted out by BBC producers…….and James Kelly was there for faux balance.

    But Jude is…..or rather was a marginalised journalist. He was off the “lets getalongerist message local TV likes to have………theres probably certain resentment that he is now getting airtime as squeezes out the usual suspects.

    Some journalists get lauded……….recentlye passing of Trevor Hanna, Jim Dougal and David Dunseith have had honourable mentions this website.
    But in the interests of balance…..faux or otherwise…….it would have been nice if the passing of 100 year old James Kelly had been noted.

    Clearly Jude Collins is really the James Kelly de nos jours.

  • Pete Baker

    “I find the focussing on his past to be rather boring”


    You’re missing the point. As does Jude, who forgets that “those pesky damned northerners” have recent history in the office being contested.

    The focus is not on McGuinness’ past, it’s on his denial of his past.

  • Alias

    The problem is that it isn’t the past, CS. If you commit a crime, do your time and reform, then people can make a judgement about that after a period of good behaviour.

    In Marty’s case, he hasn’t done any time (being a protected species) but has done plenty of crime. If he doesn’t do his master’s bidding then ‘leaks’ will emerge from the British security services about crimes that he is responsible for.

    What will leak, of course, is details of crime against Irish citizens comitted within Irish jurisdiction. For example, Marty was the PIRA AC member who authorised ISU murders (and the ISU was run by agents of the British state so they know what Marty did), and many of those bodies were dumped on the Irish side of the border.

    The Irish state would then be forced into indicting its own president for murder – and the scandal of that would be worldwide.

    On the other hand, Michael D is a rather nice chap from Galway…

  • sonofstrongbow

    Collins does nothing but the past for God’s sake! I expect he imagines himself as some kind of shinner St George fighting the dragon of Southern media interest in his boy Marty.

    There are a few bitter old republican types with a default setting to howl down anyone daring to question the antecedents of their tribal leaders. A little sprinkling of ‘gobshite’ or ‘West Brit’ simply flavours the miasma they raise.

    Our revenge will be our laughter as these oldies shuffle off this mortal coil with Northern Ireland remaining solidly within the UK.

  • Comrade Stalin

    In Marty’s case, he hasn’t done any time (being a protected species) but has done plenty of crime.

    In all fairness to Marty, there are a hell of a lot of people who fit that particular definition. Many of them have been in power in Western governments for quite some time.

  • andnowwhat

    Since Nolan has come up, I’d advise anyone to listen to the hatchet job Nolan did of MMG on his Monday show on the BBC Iplayer.

    I’d draw special attention to those with little time to listen to the caller by the name of Robert around 50 minutes in.

    O’ Toole has had a rough day.

  • Well, we can huff and puff all we want but not many, if any, of us have a vote in that election. The political situation is in turmoil in many countries and people are really pissed off so nothing would surprise me.

  • MonkDeWallyDeHonk

    Comrade Stalin

    An excellent post. I tend to agree – in the unlikely event of MMG winning, it would be a wonderful PR for Sinn Fein and certainly boost their standing. However, in practical terms, it would not be a real blow to partition and MMG would be extemely limited in what he could say/do.

    The focus on his past is predictable and tedious. There are many world leaders (Ben Gurion, Makarios, Kenyatta, Mandela) who were labelled and in many cases jailed by the British for being “terrorists”.,

    There are a lot of usual suspects on here who rant on about McGuiness’s past but have no issue with Unionist politicians associating with “Loyalist” terrorists and some of whom make excuses for “Loyalist” terrorism.

    I am not a SF voter and I can fully understand the feelings of many genuine victims about MMG.

    It’s the hypocrisy of many people that I can’t abide.

    I certainly don’t think that MMG will win. However, SF have played it tactically very well. FF look weak and unconvincing.

    Frankly, I doubt SF expect to win. In a political sense, they are trying to hit FF when they are at their weakest and also capitalise on their showing in the General Election.

  • granni trixie

    Joe: I agree!how well you put it!
    FJH: at least you are consistent ( in identifying with JD). I also resent that you compare him to James Kelly whom I have known since childhood. They are light years apart in attitude. What you state about James Kelly and the BBC is demonstratably untrue also. .
    Personally I wince when JC comes on. He seems incapable of nuance and you know what position he is going to take on any issue or person .

    Chris Donnelly: I would prefer it if JC were introduced as an apologist for SF. That would be honestand more respected by the audience. He is not the same as a proper journalist who at least makes an effort to “report” ,as far as I am concerned.
    ..Comrade: MMG past is not boring to me – I welcome that he has provided the opportunity to open the lid on his real morals .

  • granni trixie,
    I can do little about your resentments. But I would think it unlikely that the BBC will agree to your request that Jude Collins be introduced as an apoligist for Sinn Féin.
    I also knew James Kelly since I was a very young age. Well I suppose I should say that I knew him as one of the men to whom my father chatted on walks on summer nights.
    I merely state that James Kelly was as far as BBC circa 1971 was prepared to go to get an “alternative voice” for their cosy letsgetalongerist view of Norn Iron.
    Now in 2011 they have to embrace Jude Collins.
    Personally I see no problem.

  • Alias

    “In all fairness to Marty, there are a hell of a lot of people who fit that particular definition.

    If there are, none of them are running for president in Ireland, so that isn’t relevant. And I don’t know of any member of a Western government who has managed a sectarian murder campaign.

    At any rate, the orginal point stands: there is no statute of limitations for murder and other serious crimes in Ireland, and nor is he a protected species in this jurisdiction, so Marty’s past is very much a current issue.

    It wouldn’t just be Marty who would be controlled by British security services if elected since the Irish state would then be in a position where it would have to avoid ‘leaks’ in order to avoid international disgrace.

  • Alias

    Typo: ““In all fairness to Marty, there are a hell of a lot of people who fit that particular definition.” – CS

  • Comrade Stalin


    I detest the hypocrisy and I’ve ranted about it here enough to bore most people to death.

    The odds on a McGuinness victory have shortened over the past few days, Ladbrokes now have him on 9:4. I think he might just about nick it; I believe there are older school Fianna Fáil types who would have been sympathetic to the IRA who may plump for him in the absence of one of their “own”.

    granni, McGuinness’ past is not in itself boring, what I guess is more of a problem is the way people focus on it as if it was an isolated thing. I don’t consider the IRA’s campaign was justified (after all, most people in the neighbourhoods where they were strong never joined up) but I certainly don’t consider that it happened in a vacuum, or that there weren’t other actors with their share of the blame for the conflict. I mean, we all sat here and listened to the man who yelled at police officers “don’t come running to me when they burn you out of your houses” lecture us all about the need to respect and support the police and the courts. That man, considered to be one of the single most significant agitators behind the conflict, went on to become First Minister.

    The political process here for the past while has involved people drawing a line under things that were said or done (say) more than five or ten years ago, whenever there is a clear desire to move on. Speaking personally, how can I justify extending that leniency in moral terms to Paisley but not to McG ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Alias, I can’t really gainsay your logic, but I don’t think it’s realistic to expect that McGuinness would be investigated, especially as few of his activities are likely to have taken place within the jurisdiction.

    As an aside, I wonder where you get your faith in the law in the Irish republic from. As I seem to recall, back in the day, judges in the Irish court system had a knack for refusing to extradite alleged IRA volunteers back to Northern Ireland on the basis that they were being pursued for political purposes. More recently, not a single person has been pursued or prosecuted over the rank corruption that was endemic in the indigenous part of the banking system.

  • andnowwhat

    Mark Mc Gregor, do you fancy doing a blog about Danny Morrison’s contributions on the presidential issues?

    He’s been fantastic

  • Rory Carr

    “I don’t know of any member of a Western government who has managed a sectarian murder campaign.”

    Would that include the sectarian murder campaign against Catholics in Northern Ireland directed by British security forces, Alias ? No upward responsibilty there then; no ” the buck stops here” over there?

    It is also a pity that before sharing with us your understanding of the limitations of the Geneva/Hague Conventions in prosecuting suspected IRA volunteers you had not taken the time to read this contribution to Jude Collin’s blog from Paddy 1967 who had something altogether more informative to share with us on that subject:

    “When it comes to non-International Armed Conflicts (which the conflict here would likely have been classed as ) it is Additional Protocol II of the Geneva Convention which applies. However, the British Government failed to ratify this until 1998 (after the GFA etc.) for fear that they may be indicted over some of the dirtier acts of their war here. (My emphasis)

    “So, the reality is that, whether Fintan believes Martin McGuinness ‘should’ be indicted for war crimes or not, Martin McGuinness will/can not be indicted.”

  • To put MMG on trial now would risk unravelling much of what has been achieved. There are many around whose hands are not clean. What about Ted Heath to name but one, if he were still alive?
    I agree with Rory. It will never happen.

  • Kevsterino

    Joe, I don’t know how you got the yellow. You’re one of the more gentlemanly posters here. Regarding indicting McGuinness, I can’t imagine such a foolish step at this stage of the game, even if the law permitted it.

  • Alias

    “Would that include the sectarian murder campaign against Catholics in Northern Ireland directed by British security forces, Alias ? No upward responsibilty there then; no ” the buck stops here” over there?” – Rory

    It would if you could show that any member of the British government participated in it or, failing that, show which members of the security services – now elected – participated in it. To my knowledge, McGuinness and other Shinners are the only members of devolved British government to have participated in the sectarian murder campaign. MI5 and MI6 do not share details with members of the British government; and the agenda of defending the constitutional integrity of the UK is unchanged and unchangable despite many changes of British government.

    “It is also a pity…” – Rory

    What has the comment from ‘Paddy 1967’ got to do with anything? He wrongly claims that said protocol of the Geneva/Hague Conventions could have applied to crime committed by private citizens if the British government had ratified it, when, in actuality, they only apply to the High Contracting Parties (i.e. states that have ratified it) during a time of war. So while Fintan O’Toole is wrong, he isn’t wrong on the basis that ‘Paddy 1967’ claims. Now forgive me if I missed an important event in history, but exactly when did the Shinners become the government of a state and that state become a High Contracting Party? Contrary to fantasy, members of sectarian murder gangs were dealt with through the criminal justice system, not as prisoners of war, and that situation has not changed one itoa since the GFA or the ratification of the additional protocols. Indeed, they were released under criminal licence.

    “…few of his activities are likely to have taken place within the jurisdiction.” – Comrade Stalin

    Unfortunately, that is not the case. Freddie Scappaticci murdered circa 50 people on the orders of Mr McGuinness, and had a particular habit of dumping those bodies south of the murder.

    “As an aside, I wonder where you get your faith in the law in the Irish republic from.” – Comrade Stalin

    I don’t expect leaks to occur to An Garda Síochána (a former Commissioner was an MI5 agent) but much like other Shinners who have been outted by the British security services, they’ll occur in ways that can’t be ignored by vested interests.

    Since the Irish state would be highly embarassed by evidence of its president’s involvement in sectarian murder appearing in the press, it would be as compromised as its president and would then be forced by such expediency to grant protected species to McGuinness. It is only in the unlikely event that an Irish government put principle before expediency would such information come into the public domain.

  • Alias

    And in case it isn’t obvious (to some): only governments can declare war.

  • Kevsterino,

    Thank for for the personal comment; I appreciate it and try my best.
    But I made a comment (removed) on the Carál thread by Pete who felt that it broke a rule. In hindsight, I agree with his ruling on removal but feel that the Yellow Card was double jeopardy. But I have no complaint. The Moderator’s judgement isn’t always easy and I have no objection, besides which, arguing with a moderator can result in a higher penalty. I have only ever got one red card and queried it via e-mail so has not to publicly argue with a moderator. I an a SOT junkie and would not enjoy not being able to comment.

  • Cynic2

    I was barred without for 10 days for describing something as ‘specious’.

    Whoops…I hear the clatter of boots of the thought police coming with another black card.

  • Cynic2

    Ok suppose we forget the murders in NI.

    Do the people of Ireland want to elect a President who led a ‘movement’ that robbed, kidnapped and murdered people in the Republic over a period of 40 years and killed Garda? That stole from the Sate and committed crime after crime there?

  • aquifer

    “Fintan and his partitionist mates”


    Anybody who disagrees with murder for political ends when other avenues are available is a partitionist?

    There is a legal blind spot for insurrectionists and criminal paramilitaries who infringe civil and human rights including the right to life.

    We have the prospect of a succession of revolutions with civilians violated each time, but with the perpetrators absolving themselves once in government.

    So governments are currently in the business of licensing our torturers, even when not actually sponsoring them.

    Giving every nut and fanatic a bloody highlighter pen in case we fail to read their religious or political manifestos closely enough the first time.

    Where is there a human rights commissioner when you need him or her?

  • Limerick


    Should every journalist/ commentator be introduced according to their suspected political leanings or simply those you don’t agree with?”


    If a journalist/commentator has a specific political leaning then that should be mentioned when they are introduced. For instance Alex Kane should be introduced as a political commentator with special insight into the Ulster Unionist Party.

    Collins however seems to take it to a different level. Reading his blog it is obvious that he has a pro Sinner/Marty agenda and people should be made aware of his leanings before they are subjected to his pearls of wisdom.

  • Just yesterday at the UN General Assembly, President Obama held up Northern Ireland as an example of how ancient foes were able to settle they differences and come up with a workable solution to ending conflict.
    Does anyone know who SF’s principal negotiator was?

  • ..their differences…

  • Rory Carr

    “Does anyone know who SF’s principal negotiator was?” – Nice one, Joe.

    As for Alias’s assertion in defence of British governmental responsibility, or lack thereof, for the sectarian murder campaign directed by their ‘spooks’, that, “MI5 and MI6 do not share details with members of the British government” – this assertion, even if true, does not in any way absolve them of responsibility. Contrived, wilful, arms-length refusal to be aware of what nefariousness one’s agents may be committing on behalf of a government cannot in any way absolve governmebnt ministers who yet carry the responsibility and ought to have ensured a chain-of-command that allowed them to know.

    He is also disingenuous about the contribution from Paddy 1967 on Jude Collins’s blog asserting the sneaky little refusal of the British Government to ratify Additional Protocol II of the Geneva Convention until after the GFA, so ensuring that they, as the High Contracting Party to this particular non-International Armed Conflict might not find themselves in the dock for their war-crimes.

  • Reader

    joeCanuck: Does anyone know who SF’s principal negotiator was?
    John Hume.

  • Jude Collins: the man who called me an SDLP apologist!

  • Skeg oneill

    Jude was described as a 69 year old corner boy by a contributor to his blog.

    To that add “Provo groupie” and you have a pretty accurate description of Mr angry.

  • Cynic2

    “Does anyone know who SF’s principal negotiator was?”

    Jonathan Powell?

  • 241934 john brennan

    Gerry was never in the IRA. Martin left in 1974. So was it was leaderless from 1974 until the 1994 ceasfire? In that period was it run by double agents Denis Donaldson and Freddie Scappiaticci – acting for the IRA, MI5 and RUC ?To quote Del Boy: “A nice little earner”

  • sonofstrongbow

    The latest in from Marty is that he never personally murdered anyone, was never a party to the murder of anyone by another person and never fired a weapon at anyone.

    Pretty impressive CV from someone who became a Provo ‘commander’. No wonder the ‘armed struggle’ was so kack-handed when the leadership were ineffective operatives.

    It seems that the Tooth Fairy, Father Christmas and the Little People must have been roaming Northern Ireland toting machine guns. How else to explain the Republican body count?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Reader : touché. On the subject of the “chief negotiator”, SF’s contribution to the GFA consisted chiefly of Martin McGuinness standing up and ranting about the unionists, specifically about how David Trimble wouldn’t shake his hand or engage in dialogue. Everybody waited for him to get done, then the rest of the attendees got down to the real business.

    Those days seem so far away now, but I remember my sense of things at the time being that SF were merely winging it; they’d called for all-party talks for a decade, and now that they had finally arrived they had no idea what to do.

  • Comrade Stalin

    On the subject of things being boring, I might add that a significant proportion of the commentors here on Slugger are extremely boring. There are many people, including on this thread, who essentially have nothing to say. For example, “Limerick”‘s entire body of contribution to this place can essentially be summed up as “Sinn Féin are bastards”.

    I understand that view, and respect it, but I don’t need to keep hearing it.

  • Limerick

    For example, “Limerick”‘s entire body of contribution to this place can essentially be summed up as “Sinn Féin are bastards”.

    Gabshites actually. (Which apparently is okay)

  • ranger1640

    Gay Byrne, hits nail on head..

    “I’ve interviewed Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams and they are so well disciplined and so well honed that no interviewer gets anywhere with them.

    “You get nowhere with them because they lie.

    “They lie all the time. They don’t mind lying and they’ve rehearsed their lies and they’ve been trained to lie, and that’s what they’re doing.”

    Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/republic-of-ireland/gay-byrne-fires-astonishing-broadside-at-mcguinness-in-tv-rant-16053993.html#ixzz1YlGlK7QV

  • andnowwhat

    Irish Independant has reported that FG texted (I hate that word) members urging them to vote in the infamous Liveline poll


    They then sent texts with more precise instructions.

    The article also reports that MMG has topped the Radio Cork poll