Niall Collins calls for a Dail statement from Dessie Ellis…

Ah, so thirty years ago the British thought the now TD for Dublin North West Dessie Ellis had had a hand in fifty murders. It brought a flurry of defensive tweets suggesting Mr Ellis had been acquitted of conspiracy to murder, and thereby innocent of allegations.

Except of course these are not allegations. They’re just private notes from thirty years ago. In any case Mr Ellis has since spoken to Niall O’Connor in the Evening Herald:

…the Dublin North West TD cryptically admitted that he was forced into situations he “regrets” during his involvement with the IRA. “I’ve been a republican all my life and I don’t try and hide that. People across all movements, republican and loyalist, have been forced into situations that they regret and I’m no different,” htold the Herald. He then launched a ferocious attack on Fine Gael chairman Charlie Flanagan.

All Flanagan does is suggest Mr Ellis appear before a Truth Tribunal of the kind often advocated in the Dail by his party President Deputy Adams. A useful line to lay down the next time it gets raised. But the more interesting move comes from Fianna Fail’s Justice spokesman Niall Collins who has ‘requested’ that:

Dessie Ellis make a personal statement to the Dail after the Christmas break. He should outline all the facts of his involvement in these activities. An elected deputy to Dail Eireann cannot keep secrets crucial to their past concealed.

Such a statement would remove the British angle and make Deputy Ellis’s past a matter of business for Ireland’s sovereign parliament. And in the process get the story out of the mid holiday sheugh and into the press at the start of the New Year.

It would also burden Deputy Ellis with the responsibility not to mislead the Oireachtas. More importantly it puts the ball in his court. Will he play?

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  • David Crookes

    Thanks, Mick, here is a fascinating piece of news.

    Should it be considered along with Mr Kenny’s recent attack on Deputy Adams?

    Whatever the case, FF has got up from the canvas, and is starting to punch again.

    I wonder if the ‘request’ of Niall Collins may be taken as a sign of the change in Irish-British relations.

  • Zig70

    I was at the funeral of a neighbour’s father from the Shankill. The minister put it that he defended his community. Some people have no problem believing that the young men fighting in Afghanistan believe that they have moral right behind them. Not necessarily different during the troubles for a majority of protagonists on either side. Sinn Fein haven’t found the strength to explain their actions because they would also have to admit. Maybe SF would gain more from admissions and while suffering the persecutions may gain from the sympathy.
    The second point is accusations are simply that until the courts have it beyond reasonable doubt. Otherwise we have to leave him with his conscience.

  • boondock

    Dear me I think some of the other political parties down south are suffering from severe amnesia. FF,FG and Labour all have roots in the IRA.

  • Alias

    Deputy Collins should illustrate just how nasty and sleazy the Shinners were on this side of the border, where their activities revolved around a sophisticated criminal organisation and a plethora of rackets that were designed to amass wealth for various godfathers under the guise of raising money for ‘the cause’.

    These activities included kidnapping business people, extorting money from business, smuggling, counterfeiting cigarettes (made with arsenic) and consumer goods, property investments, bank, payroll, and post office robberies, etc. It also included rackets such as offering protection to drug dealers in return for a share of the profits, with front groups such as Direct Action Against Drugs being used to harass the drug dealers who didn’t pay up.

    However, given that FF agreed to implement a British state agenda to turn a blind eye to these criminal godfathers and the vast profits they amassed (and still control), it is unlikely Deputy Collins will want to go there…

  • Stephen Blacker

    If this story is true about the British Government having forensic evidence against Dessie Ellis on about 50 murders it will be another shameful revelation about the Government at that time. No warrant has been issued or the HET do not want to talk to Dessie Ellis so why all the fuss?

    Gerry Adams increased the SF vote in Louth even with a campaign against him from Jean McConville’s daughter so all this has done is elivate Dessie into a gold standard hero worship status and that guarantees him elected office until he leaves politics by himself.

    The people of all Ireland understand what the PIRA did and Sinn Fein members (not all) were active members so highlighting Dessie Ellie’s alleged actions will not amount to a hill of beans. A couple of questions I wonder about is if the British Government had forensic evidence why did they not produce it – was he protected by someone – was he a Dennis Donaldson?

  • sectarianheadcount

    50 eh? Would that be more or less than Michael Collins, to whom the Blueshirts like to trace their antecedents. Ah, but they were nice killings from the cuddly pre-treaty IRA of course.

  • Zig70

    I think we should have an amnesty so that culprits can tell their story and more importantly avoid the cost of all the investigations, tribunals and inquiries after which everyone will believe their own truths anyway. V tough for the victims but better for society as a whole.

  • Henry94


    I would say noting terrifies the leaders on all sides of the conflict than the idea of an amnesty which would free up everybody to tell their truth.

    As it stands to reveal anything might put others in trouble and that is a step many people won’t take.

  • Greenflag

    A pathetic attempt by FF to regain ground in what used to be one of their safest constituencies when they could rely on 2 of the 3 seats . Dublin North West is now represented in the Dail by former Junior Minister Roisin Shortall (Labour ) who recently resigned from the Coalition Government , John Lyons (Labour) the Dail’s first self confessed gay , and Dessie Ellis a Finglas local and SF TD and long time councillor .

    North West was also the constituency that elected Declan Costello (FG’s ‘Just Society ‘ radical ) .As one of the most disadvantaged constituencies in the country Dublin North West is I believe the only constituency to have turned it’s back to both FF and FG . The former FF TD for the constituency was the hard working Pat Carey who lost his seat in the FF near wipe out in the last election .

    Both Shortall and Ellis will be re-elected in the next election . FF are going nowhere in this constituency nor do I expect in any of the Dublin constituencies .

    Niall Collins nor his party has nothing to offer the people of Limerick other than ‘attacking SF ‘. Perhaps Collin’s is looking to safeguard his seat for next time out ? He made the 3rd seat in Limerick only 700 votes ahead of the Labour candidate. Perhaps he’s heard SF will be running a candidate in his constituency next time out ?

    Ellis may wish to write TD Collins a thank you note for his efforts in helping Mr Ellis to retain his Dail seat . FF haven’t learned how to be an opposition and based on Collins & Martin’s contributions it doesn’t look like they have even come to terms with their near extinction at the last election .

  • Greenflag

    @ Henry 94 & Zig 70

    ‘I would say noting terrifies the leaders on all sides of the conflict than the idea of an amnesty which would free up everybody to tell their truth.’

    True enough . It might not be amiss to do the same for the ‘brown envelope brigade of banksters and corrupt politicians ‘ It seems that our Justice Minister and the FF Shadow Justice Minister -Niall Collins of the above would prefer that these ‘matters’ are not highlighted and the ‘protected royal game ‘ are via the drawn out and lengthy bureaucratic procedures enabled to slip off the hook of further public outrage 🙁

  • David Crookes

    Zig70’s amnesty would be a lot more sensible than arbitrarily letting some people off, which is what we’ve done already, and arbitrarily pursuing some other people, while poisoning the atmosphere for the next twenty years with a load of expensive enquiries.

    There is a link here with the helplessly stupid idea of a truth commission. We are never going to get the truth about a multitude of matters, and we can’t pursue ‘truth’ in an arbitrary manner.

    Is it true to say that Gerry Adams was in Paul Channon’s flat in 1972 because he wasn’t a member of the IRA?

    If we can’t get a true answer to that question, let us hear no more tripe about truth commissions. It’ll be better for our present ‘society’ if we do as Zig70 suggests, and have an amnesty.

    Maybe when we’re at it we should pass a law making it illegal for witless journalists to make up fatuous outrage-anniversaries every ten or twenty years.

  • Greenflag

    @ david crookes ,

    ‘There is a link here with the helplessly stupid idea of a truth commission. We are never going to get the truth about a multitude of matters, and we can’t pursue ‘truth’ in an arbitrary manner.’

    Indeed . Any amnesty should apply only to acts committed prior to the GFA Agreement . Violent acts committed after that date were committed against the expressed democratically voted wishes of the vast majority of people North and South in two referenda .

    Violence committed by dissident republicans or their loyalist counterparts since the GFA was signed should be subject to the full rigours of the law -North and South .

    There is absolutely NO justification for them post the GFA agreement.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    How can there be an amnesty for pre GFA issues, the PSNI have started an investigation into the events of Sunday 30th January 1972.

  • David Crookes

    Agree 100%, Greenflag: thanks.

  • Alias

    “Indeed . Any amnesty should apply only to acts committed prior to the GFA Agreement . Violent acts committed after that date were committed against the expressed democratically voted wishes of the vast majority of people North and South in two referenda .”

    I wasn’t aware that murder only became illegal after 1998, and that it became so not via an act of parliament but via a popular vote.

    “There is absolutely NO justification for them post the GFA agreement.”

    And, as you implied, there was justification for murder pre-GFA…

    Incidentally, folks who think the Shinners are just itching to tell the truth just as long as they can escape the moral and legal consequences of their amoral and illegal acts are hopelessly deluded.

    There is, of course, a certain logic to the claim that the only thing stopping someone from being moral and doing the right thing is his/her lack of immorality. However, that lack of morality isn’t derived from fear of consequences, so removing the consequences won’t make him/her a moral person. They’ll still be degenerate scum whether they can be held to account for their crimes or not.

    It’s almost comical for folks to proffer the view that the only thing stopping Gerry Adams from telling the truth about Jean McConville is his reluctance to deliver justice to her family. That ilk won’t tell the truth because it is not in their self-serving interest for the truth to be told. Folks like that see themselves in a heroic role, and they don’t want the squalid reality to be told, either by themselves or others. They also enjoy the sense of power and control that concealment gives them over their victims and their families. The same goes for the likes of McGuinness.

    You will never get the truth out of that sociopathic ilk because they are simply incapable of providing it.

  • Alias

    Typo: “…right thing is his/her lack of morality.”

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Good piece in the irish Independent.

    “For anyone to be remotely surprised by the allegation that Dessie Ellis is responsible for 50 deaths is merely proof of how successful that great toxic lie, the peace process, has actually been. Through default, and through artful manipulation, the IRA war that took some 4,000 lives has been transformed into a Civil Rights Campaign, in which the only terrorism was by the beastly Brits, and their loyalist allies; and so the litany effortlessly trips off a Shinner’s tongue: Internment Day, Bloody Sunday, Widgery, Shoot To Kill, Collusion.

    In this grisly distortion of the truth, the Disappeared are truly Disappeared. No one really doubts that the IRA alone abducted people, murdered and buried them secretly.

    Yet that reality has vanished amid the generalised Shinner myth-making: indeed almost no one under the age of 30 today has any concept whatever of the ghastly reality of the IRA’s singularly brutal and utterly counter-productive war. At the centre of that war was what is now known as the Improvised Explosive Device. The prime innovator in that IED technology was Dessie Ellis, convicted bomb-maker and today, TD for Dublin North-West”.

  • Greenflag

    ‘I wasn’t aware that murder only became illegal after 1998, ‘

    That’s not what I wrote . Most of us have to live in the real world where political solutions have to be found so that societies can function . Unlike Israel where a 1,000 Palestine women and children can be murdered by ‘phosphorous ‘ bombing and where the perpetrators are unlikely ever to be brought to trial for war crimes -Northern Ireland has to find a political solution whereby the people of both traditions can live peacefully in the same polity .

    That’s what the GFA was all about in case you have forgotten

    It’s a work in progress as we can see . If you are looking for war criminals I suggest you look to Damascus and Jerusalem in the first instance .At least NI has made some political progress . Meanwhile the leaders of Israel and Syrian are preoccupied with killing as many of their local minorities as they can get away with 🙁

    As for the Indo article ? The Indo /Freeman’s Journal was never a fan of Irish independence . It has a not forgotten history of using paid for fascist thugs to break strikes and William Martin Murphy will always be remebered as the “Catholic reactionary ‘ who preferred to see the children of the poor of Dublin starve in the streets rather than let them be taken to England by the then English Trades union members while their parents continued to strike for a living wage .

    Neo conservative reactionary shite hawks then and now :(.