“This is a read-back into the so-called ‘dirty war’…”

In yesterday’s Belfast Telegraph, Brian Rowan attempted to explained the thinking behind Sinn Féin’s expressed concerns about the “Dark Side”  [It’s “a sound working partnership and one that is to be commended” – Ed]  Indeed.  From the Belfast Telegraph article

…this is not a row for the sake of being awkward.  It is a serious attempt to engage Matt Baggott sooner rather than later.

I think it would be fair to say that a degree of briefing was involved in the writing of the article.

Which, if we are to take those concerns at face value, as the timely front-page story of today’s Irish News would suggest – the gist is in the BBC newspaper review and it relates to a previous intervention by the NI deputy First Minister in an ongoing police investigation – makes this section of the Belfast Telegraph article of particular interest.

The dissident threat means a continuing intelligence need. But explanation is required when suspected agents are seen at play in republican communities.

At play in terms of articulating the thinking and strategy of armed dissidents, including those behind the killing of Constable Ronan Kerr. And at play pulling the strings in riotous confrontations with the PSNI. [added emphasis]

This is a read-back into the so-called ‘dirty war’.

[Well, it worked the last time! – Ed]  That was before the dissidents, erm, dissented

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  • cynic2

    “the dirty war”

    Has anyone ever seen a clean one?

  • galloglaigh


    Was our most recent conflict a war?

  • cynic2

    No. It was a series of criminal acts for a political motive. SF just called it a war to try and justify the carnage

  • Pete Baker


    Focus, please.

  • galloglaigh

    So what was Bloody Sunday? State Carnage?

    The episode of Kieran Doherty in Derry, shows that the dirty war is wrong. It effects more than the combatants, and if history teaches us anything, it gets those involved in combat nowhere. Be that combat in Iraq, or Ireland!

  • galloglaigh


  • Pete Baker

    As I said,

    Focus, please.

  • Carrickmoreman

    The Doherty “incident(s)” is a dirty as it gets.

  • “Kearney, Kelly and Gibney have all described a policing ‘dark side’ – residual traces of the past they fear could contaminate the present.” .. BR in the BT

    Brian has overlooked a fourth and perhaps more senior recent SF complainant, Michelle O’Neill, who ‘engaged’ with Matt Baggott only last week – according to the SF website:

    Last week, the Sinn Féin Mid Ulster MLA had a frank discussion with PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott around areas of concern dealing with police activity in her constituency.

    Michelle O’Neill said:

    “I raised a number of issues of concern for my constituents. I wanted Matt Baggott to be clearly aware of the impact of certain PSNI actions upon the community in mid-Ulster.

    “The circumstances and heavy-handed approach of raids in July last year was raised, particularly the treatment of the Campbell family in Coalisland. Sinn Féin will not accept so-called intelligence-led enquiries or investigations which appear to be politically-motivated.

    Is this all part of a concerted SF campaign – or did Matt send her away with a flea in her ear? Is it in anyway influenced by the forthcoming Independent Republican Clonoe Martyrs commemoration? Perhaps an attempt to distract from the independent event? Perhaps Brian should have clarified what he meant by a ‘suspected agent’ ..

  • Mark

    ” The dissident threat means a continuing need for intelligence . But an explanation is required when suspected agents are at play in republican communities ” …..

    MI5 are hardly going to share the crown jewels in relation to their dirty war playbook . It didnt happen during the conflict and I doubt it will start now . They might wax lyrical about the new PSNI but in their eyes SF are all over the police board and the risk is too great .

  • Skinner

    Would the dissidents stop killing people if the PSNI and MI5 stopped their intelligence work? No.

    Would the PSNI and MI5 stop their intelligence work if the dissident stopped trying to kill people? Yes.

    – Debate ends –

  • DoppiaVu


    If anyone seriously thinks these guys were caught by using a bit of CCTV surveillance and a clever line of questioning then they haven’t been out much. You can call that a dirty war if you want – I’m more than happy for that to continue whilst the terrorist threat exists.

  • Carrickmoreman

    “But an explanation is required when suspected agents are at play in republican communities ” …..

    Come to think of it, I think the above is a reference to the Andrew Burns case. The dogs on the street where the convicted lad is from say everyone he was dealing with are thought as/known to be police agents. Notice, only Kelly was convicted. Stinks to high heavens.