UPDATED Recrimination of the day: Adams blames policemen for their own death.

Gerry Adams’ ‘let me put this as sensitively I can’ mannered bombshell on NewsTalk (that’s Newsweek to Gerry, BTW – Ed] this morning, ie that the two deaths were the victims own faults.

It did achieve one thing for the cause of a united Ireland. It persuaded Talkback to run a live or near live feed into the programme from Dail Eireann, to listen to Micheal Martin and the Tanaiste take advantage of the clear water he’d just offered them.

What Mr Adams and Sinn Fein get out of such retrenchment to a past about which the deputy First Minister only last week said “there’s no point recriminating about what happened, it doesn’t get us anywhere”.

[Another week, another tactic? – Ed] Uh? Maybe.

Update: Gerry contextualises his original remarks.

‘Betwixt the stirrup and the ground, mercy I asked, mercy I found’

William Camden, 1605

,

  • socaire

    Mick, if you walked up the Shankill with a Celtic shirt and wrapped in a tricolour on a Saturday afternoon and got your face kicked in, do you not think, that by your laissez faire attitude that you must shoulder some small responsibility?

  • HammerTime

    Please Gerry, just…….go away…

  • summerhill

    Please, Mick, just……answer Socaire @ 9.03

  • “Mick, if you walked up the Shankill with a Celtic shirt and wrapped in a tricolour on a Saturday afternoon and got your face kicked in, do you not think, that by your laissez faire attitude that you must shoulder some small responsibility?”

    @Socaire,

    This undoubtedly comes from someone who blames Thatcher when ten men choose to starve themselves to death.

  • tacapall

    Like this Tmitch

    “The district judge, Barney McElholm, said that if there was such a thing as a good time and a good place to play the Wolfe Tones it was not driving up Spencer Road during a Twelfth march. He said that it was a “seriously stupid action” and added that Johnson would need to change his attitude”

  • socaire

    tmitch, if you don’t blame Thatcher, then I presume you don’t blame the Provos?

  • @Socaire,

    I don’t “blame” the Provos in a moral sense. I accept that they were legitimate targets from the republican perspective, but I wish that republicans and their sneaking regarders would be consistent and not go bleating about killing British citizens when the security forces took a similar attitude as at Gibraltar.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Perverse, sick, disgusting, vile comments from adams and his sycophants above. Barely human.

  • Agree, DR. Just when we think that Adams has stooped as low as he can be, he proves us wrong.

  • Mick Fealty

    socaire,

    There’s a parallel between your scenario and the one in which these policemen were shot? There’s some latitude for interpretation of these events certainly, but let’s not take the “Mick” out of ourselves just for the sake of it?

    At the end of the day, the judge is clear there is indirect evidence that the local RA had been trying to get Breen for some time and had failed (one of the things the judge notes the former IRA men denied/omitted from their evidence.

    The laissez faire thing is a figleaf distraction on Adams’s part. It was common practice for cops to cross the border in their cars for meetings like this. Being at the right place at the right time is quite feat if you don’t know when what you’re looking for is on its way.

    You really should get into the detail of that report, it makes for fascinating reading.

  • sectarianheadcount

    I’ve missed the retrospective condemnations of RIC and Black & Tan killings by Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to accompany the denunciations of PIRA RUC killings. Anyone know when Martin and Kenny will issue statements?
    #forgottentheirpartyroots #surelywontcommemorate1916violencewithoutmandate?
    #notnauseatingselectivehypocrisyatall

  • Tir Chonaill Gael

    A high-ranking RUC officer drove the same unprotected car through the backroads of south Armagh and Louth multiple times (at least twenty-five, if I’m not mistaken) in the late 1980s: how is that not idiotic, or not asking for trouble?

    To label it as such is not to detract from the brutality or illegality of the murders. In fact it could well be described as a war crime.

  • “Mick, if you walked up the Shankill with a Celtic shirt and wrapped in a tricolour on a Saturday afternoon and got your face kicked in, do you not think, that by your laissez faire attitude that you must shoulder some small responsibility?”

    That to me sounds deliberately provocative. I’m not sure that driving an unmarked car is.

  • Mick Fealty

    TCG,

    Have you ever talked to old RUC men about their time in the field?

    Some will tell you that a key to survival was not to provoke local provisionals at check points and the many other occasions they’d come face to face with people they suspected of being ‘involved’.

    Provocation in those circumstances involved actual provocation, rather than just ‘driving through our area’.

  • socaire

    Mick, read up on the Grew/Carroll case and the RUC in Armagh. Don’t cry for me, Enda Kenny.

  • socaire

    And I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than talk to RUC – old or new.

  • Tir Chonaill Gael

    Mick

    not sure what your second-hand anecdote adds here.

    I’d say it was unbelievably naive of Buchanan to think he was untouchable when repeatedly driving through an area controlled by arguably the most formidable unit of a formidable paramilitary organisation – one which rarely respected the laws of armed conflict.

    It’s also some coincidence that the British Army withdrew from the area – after having been dug-in for weeks – just five hours before the attack.

  • tacapall

    I think what TCG is hinting at Mick is that known high ranking RUC officers driving the same car multiple times during that period was treating their own security in a cavalier fashion. Its a fact the IRA had people watching police stations night and day ( certainly in republican areas) recording the number plates, colours, makes of all cars etc that went in and out the gates. In Socs case he is simply stating the obvious that these officers, considering the facts above, were taking an unnecessary and dangerous risk, a risk that cost them their lives.

  • Mick Fealty

    I get that tac/TCG. I’m not arguing against it either. I’m just pointing that ‘provocation’ is catch all term that means very little in and of itself in this case.

  • socaire

    Look,Mick, all things considered. Most people were behind the Allies in the fight against the Nazis. How many could say we weren’t glad that Hitler was trashed. But can you stand over -blushless – Dresden for example. If the provos had been more successful and the English went home, would you and your ilk have been scrabbling through the various military actions of the combatants or would you have morphed into loyal citizens of the new state?

  • Gopher

    At time like these I’m glad the border exists when I see a sovereign nation on the verge of subverting itself. Hard to see how the nation will preserve its constitutional freedoms when the cult start sharing government and subverting everything to its ends. I don’t really think its institutionally strong enough to survive a sustained assault from within. Indoctrination it seems is a double edged sword and it looks looks like a nation is going to collectively fall on it.

  • babyface finlayson

    This argument is very like the victim blaming debate surrounding rape.
    As any feminist will tell you the onus of blame is completely on the perpetrator, i.e. rapist, or in this case killer, regardless of the risk-taking behaviour of the victim,such as wearing revealing clothes or walking down dark alleys.
    And society should focus on stopping the perpetrator rather than preventing Mick Fealty from walking up the Shankill in a mini skirt,as it were.

  • megatron

    I think the headline above is a it sensationalist – is that really the best way to provoke thoughtful discussion Mick?

    I think Gerry was probably a bit insensitive but what do you expect him to say? I think he should refuse to comment.

    PS lots have raised Gibraltar 3 but it takes some leaps of logic to imply that if GA said Buchanen/Breen were laissez faire with security they must also have been. Personally as a republican I don’t have a big issue with that British operation (I may be in a minority). It was a war.

  • Mick Fealty

    socaire,

    None of this is about whose side you’re on. In the post above I do question politically how one week you ask that people do not recriminate and then next week, kind of just do that thing.

    I don’t personally find it offensive, just more that it is puzzling how/why you’d contradict yourself so quickly.

    You really should read the report, or at least dive into some of the witness statements. It’s pretty forensic. Smithwick puts in notes correcting any misleading detail he’s picked up for any given witness.

    It’s a damned good read, whatever your politics.

  • BluesJazz

    Crass statement by Adams. But the Army (heavily armed) rarely travelled by road in that area. Helicoptered (gunship) in and dug in. With air support round the clock.

    ‘Bandit Country’.

    If Buchanan genuinely (as he seemed to) believe God would protect him, well, that’s just sad.
    This didn’t make the UK national news, Nigella top, (no pun intended) followed-much later- by pension reform.
    We’re yesterdays papers.

  • Charles_Gould

    Megatron

    Don’t you think that Gerry Adams should apologise for the IRA’s role in the collusion , mirroring Shatters much-appreciated apology?

  • Charles_Gould

    Also: he should apologise for the stupid and crass commentary he provided today. He is clearly under pressure and exercising poor judgement.

    He should simply say “I apologize for the hurtful comments I made yesterday. They were out of line.”

  • mrmrman

    The problem with the Smithwick report is that it has no direct evidence that there was any collusion. There is *a lot* of conjecture and circumstantial evidence. The deal breaker seems to have been the “live and of the moment” evidence given to tribunal by the PSNI.

    The tribunal were not allowed to examine the raw sources of this evidence. As such the credibility of the evidence leaves a lot to be desired. Or as a Garda lawyer put it “nonsense on stilts”.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-22985978

  • mac tire

    “the Army (heavily armed) rarely travelled by road in that area. Helicoptered (gunship) in and dug in. With air support round the clock…”

    As British as Finchley, my hole. Discuss.

  • mac tire

    Charles, with respect, Mr Adams merely expressed facts – the RUC (and differing occupants who happened to be in charge of the area they drove through) drove the same car, many times along the same few roads. That was reckless, considering the area, whatever your view.

    He further said in the Dáil, that both (RUC and IRA and even calling the former brave!) were doing their duty, as they saw it. What is the problem here? What is new?

    In fact, Charles, before this site, did you know about the conflict? It must be said, your naivety suggests otherwise.

    @Mick, no-one is usually responsible for their own deaths. That is silly.

    The unloaded question, then, is did they make it easier/could they have prevented it?

    The answer is yes.

    So, in answer to your (poorly) posed OP – read the report fully and you will find that the IRA were, seemingly, more truthful than those British informers.

    The report shows that the IRA made a genuine attempt, after so many years, to give some sort of story. Others would be well advised to do the same.

  • Mick Fealty

    Not sure how quickly Ill get round to it but I was up later last night than I wanted to be reading some of British Army and Garda stuff.

  • GEF

    “Mick, if you walked up the Shankill with a Celtic shirt and wrapped in a tricolour on a Saturday afternoon and got your face kicked in, do you not think, that by your laissez faire attitude that you must shoulder some small responsibility?”

    socaire, that Gerry Adams view is like stating, if a couple of 13 year old girls walked up the Falls road dressed up in a sexy manner like some 18 year olds they deserved to be raped or abused by a member of the Adams family or a former Priest in the RC church called Brendan Smyth.

  • GEF

    What intrigues me about this case is the outright revulsion coming from leaders and members of other Irish nationalists parties (FF,FG) in Dail Eireann and now here from Column Eastwood SDLP MLA

    ‘Gerry Adams’ comments on Smithwick Tribunal over slain RUC men show crass and cruel disregard for families’

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/debateni/blogs/colum-eastwood/gerry-adams-comments-on-smithwick-tribunal-over-slain-ruc-men-show-crass-and-cruel-disregard-for-families-29810258.html

  • aquifer

    Internment got very bad press.

    The politics of the last five pricks with a pistol threatens us all.

  • Comrade Stalin

    socaire,

    A bloke getting attacked (probably not shot dead in fairness) for going up the Shankill with a Celtic top on might be accused of lacking common sense, but I certainly wouldn’t expect to hear an elected politician who styles himself as an international statesman and peacemaker justifying it.

  • BarneyT

    If you are saying that this operation could not have succeeded without a tip off then this bit is just not correct Mick, “Being at the right place at the right time is quite feat if you don’t know when what you’re looking for is on its way”

    Eyes were everywhere.

    So, did they bring it on themselves? Militarily they were guilty of suicide and on a another level, arrogance and stupidity.

    This case and Gerrys words needs to be examined in terms of the combatants involved i.e. RUC and IRA and the time and place. It is entirely consistent for Gerry to take the view he has, as anything else would be revisionism….and I don’t intent to open up other debates with that last remark.

  • tacapall

    Comrade obviously you have forgotten about the Sinn Fein lord mayor who was attacked by an angry mob in the Shankill area lately, I dont think he was wearing a celtic top and Im sure Im remembering correctly that most unionist politicians blamed no-one but the lord mayor himself for what happened to him.

  • GEF

    If my memory is correct the attack by the angry mob of loyalists on the SF Lord Mayor was verbal. Had he been hit with a brick on the head, like what happened to the MP for N Belfast during a loyalist riot earlier in the year, SF would have had something to complain about.

  • tacapall

    Im pretty sure the Sinn Fein lord mayor was assulted and had to be protected from the loyalist mob by the PSNI and those unionist politicians who blamed the mayor for his own assult did so because they viewed his presence in a loyalist area as showing a red flag to a bull. In fact we even had some Unionist politicians coming off with statements saying they predicted what would happen, that it was inevitable.

    The fact that there wasn’t front page headlines for months and calls for the army to be redeployed speaks for itself as who carried out that attack on the Unionist MP who happened to be at a loyalist riot.

  • Sp12
  • IJP

    Tacapall

    But Comrade‘s not a Unionist.

    Would you like to try that again?

  • Son of Strongbow

    Predictably reprehensible commentary by the active service posters who have been out in force to defend the ‘reputation’ of the nationalist murder gang.

    Shoot dead a couple of unarmed men (one, although already injured, shot in the back of the head at close range – autopsies, unlike terrorists, don’t lie)? Nothing to do with us mate it was the dead cops wot done it.

    Unbelievable stuff. However fair play at least to Slugger’s rule system that has forced some moderation in commentary; and I say that as someone who has been both red and yellow carded in the past.

    Go visit some of the single-view nationalist partisan vanity project sites and smear yourself with some pure hatred. From ‘nothing to see here’ – second guessing Smithwick without the bother of studying the tribunal’s material, to gleeful celebrations of the murders, laced with a multitude of accusations about the dead officers.

    Some of the authors of same make visits to this site although constrained by Slugger putting some manners on them when they pop up here.

    As for Adams? Well really what did anyone expect from the likes of him?

  • Tir Chonaill Gael

    “Would you like to try that again?”

    Is that what David Ford said to you after your second liaison with the Tories?

  • Doug

    GEF (profile) says:
    socaire, that Gerry Adams view is like stating, if a couple of 13 year old girls walked up the Falls road dressed up in a sexy manner like some 18 year olds they deserved to be raped or abused by a member of the Adams family or a former Priest in the RC church called Brendan Smyth.

    ———————————————-

    Just a smidgeon of man playing coupled with reductio ad absurdum there in that comment?
    Anyway, if you want to continue with a sexual assault analogy ( and I’ve no idea why you would ) surely the closer equivalency would be a woman repeatedly going into the house of a known rapist, who had publically stated that she was a legitimate target for rape and would have no hesitation in committing the act given the chance.
    No doubt the responsibility still lies with the perpetrator.
    But would you view the victim’s actions with regard to her own safety as somewhat ” laissez faire “?

  • megatron

    Son of Strongbow

    For the sake of clarity:

    (i) I am absolutely prepared to believe that there was a “mole” in the Gardai in Dundalk. The support for PIRA was in all levels of society.

    (ii) The PIRA are responsible for their deaths

    (iii) The men could have been more careful with their security

    (iv) I think the PIRA actions were reasonable in the context of the time

    (v) I wish that context hadnt existed

    I know you disagree and I dont really care. That is my truth.

  • socaire

    Correct me if I’m wrong but Adams did not say that the two elderly unarmed policemen were to blame. He said that they were sloppy about their personal security – like Mick in his mini skirt on the Shankill. Do you think that had the positions been reversed and an undercover patrol of cops had ambushed an ASU of the provos, would they not have gunned them down? That’s right. They would and did.

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    Surely the point is that whatever Gerry thinks personally, surely he should have the common sense, as the ‘international statesman and peacemaker’, to not blurt it out publicly? Is Gerry beginning to dote a bit? He seems to be stumbling from one foot-in-mouth outbreak to another. Time to move on methinks

  • Framer

    It would have been wiser for Adams to stay off the media but he seems drawn to appearances and interviews like a moth to the flame.
    He would still have got a pasting in the Dail but could have read from a prepared script.
    His position as a current Free State politician is impossible however:
    If he condemned the collusion then he was slagging off his own set of informers (like Ned Broy with Collins in 1921).
    If he condemned the murders he would be betraying army comrades.
    Nor can he praise or encourage any improvements in Garda culture.
    He can never condemn the IRA campaign. Ever. Only express sorrow and regrets. Which is why the Truth and Information Commission is a nonsense and dead in the water.

  • 241934 john brennan

    Drawn ‘like a moth to the flame’. More like a mouth to the mike?

  • megatron

    Gerry should have given Martin / Gilmore a bit of Colonel Jessup in the Dáil yesterday.

    Why won’t Gerry admit to being in the IRA? Give me a break.

  • DoppiaVu

    Droch_Bhuachaill –

    He’s not doting at all. He’s a sociopath. He genuinely believes that it’s everyone else’s fault and struggles to understand why the rest of us don’t. That’s why he is so convincing in interviews – he genuinely believes the guff that he’s spouting.

    Framer –

    The answer to why he’s continuing to speak to the press is, because, he’s a sociopath. He genuinely doesn’t see anything wrong with what he views/thinks, so why would he avoid talking to the press?

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    “That’s why he is so convincing in interviews – he genuinely believes the guff that he’s spouting.”

    Methinks that people are beginning to see this…

  • Barnshee

    I am amazed that the cops went to Dundalk unarmed -presumably some protocol involved ?

    If they were unarmed in accord with some such protocol -relatives should sue the arse of the govt of the ROI,

    Message for Gerry -a closed mouth gathers no feet

  • Barnshee

    Megatron

    (i) I am absolutely prepared to believe that members of a rioting mob were shot dead in Derry ( happened to be there)

    (ii) The British Army are responsible for their deaths

    (iii) The men could have been more careful with their security (ie not been part of a riot)

    (iv) I think the Army actions were reasonable in the context of the time

    (v) I wish that context hadnt existed

    I know you disagree and I dont really care. That is my truth.

  • megatron

    Barnshee,

    If you believe that I have absolutely no problem with it. I dont think you are some sort of lesser human being. Good to hear the truth.

    It was indeed a crazy time.

  • Morpheus

    Well your ‘truth’ is wrong.

    “(iv) I think the Army actions were reasonable in the context of the time”

    You, and people like you, need to get it into your head that that you are talking about innocent C-I-V-I-L-I-A-N-S, like you and me. Loughgall is a fair enough comparison but not Bloody Sunday.

  • Barney

    Barnshee Wrote

    “(i) I am absolutely prepared to believe that members of a rioting mob were shot dead in Derry ( happened to be there)

    (ii) The British Army are responsible for their deaths

    (iii) The men could have been more careful with their security (ie not been part of a riot)

    (iv) I think the Army actions were reasonable in the context of the time

    (v) I wish that context hadnt existed

    I know you disagree and I dont really care. That is my truth.”

    The only comparison to be drawn between these two sets of murders is in the rigour of the cross examining and general testing of the evidence presented.

    The Smithwick tribunal is clearly lacking in thoroughness

  • cynic2

    Has Gerry been arrested yet tio see what he knows about the masked men who spoke on the platform in Crossmaglen with him just fterv the murders. They seemed to know all about this dreadful crime so I am sure Gerry will be keen to help

  • sean treacy

    Perhaps those who accuse Gerry of insensitivity would like to comment on the Garda commissioner offering sympathy to “Dan” Breens relatives.For those unfamiliar with Irish history Dan Breen started thr Tan war by shooting 2 RIC men at Soloheadbeg in 1919.Talk about “Thick Guard” syndrome!

  • foyle observer

    Wasn’t Harry Breen a loyalist?

  • Dec

    Have I missed something? There’s just been an inquiry into historical killings, and not one single Unionist has complained about the cost. Quite bizarre.
    Still, if ‘riddled with contradictions’ is your favourite literary genre, then Smithwick’s for you.

  • Son of Strongbow

    Here’s a possible clue about unionists’ views and the Smithwick Tribunal costs: the border.

    Given some nationalists’ desire to pretend the border doesn’t exist I can of course understand how it would be “missed”.

    Unionists have (and wish to have) no say about how the Irish Republic spends its public monies.

  • Barney

    Son of Strongbow wrote
    “Here’s a possible clue about unionists’ views and the Smithwick Tribunal costs: the border.”

    You would have no opinion on the cost or conduct of this tribunal if the findings were not to your liking?

    That certainly demonstrates a forensic mind……….

  • foyle observer

    You’re right SoS, the only money Unionists are concerned with is the massive hand out that England transfer to this statelet to sustain it’s existance.

    Utterly pathetic.

  • Dec

    SOS
    Is that seriously the best you can come up with?

  • Son of Strongbow

    Barney,

    I have an opinion on many things that are not to my liking, Irish nationalism to name but one. As to Smithwick, there is little to ‘like’ about the need for the investigation .

    On the findings: the culture, history and conduct of AGS has no more interest to me than that of the, for example, French Gendarmerie. However that being said that some Gardai are alleged to have been involved in a conspiracy to murder in this jurisdiction I do find interesting. In a very disturbing way that is.

    fo,

    My second political geography lesson of the evening. NI is a region within the UK and in common with other regions monies are allocated on a clearly defined system based on need. I do of course wish that our region was not burdened with such high numbers of economically needy souls. Indeed there is a city in your neck of the woods that has been sucking-up handouts for many a long year.

    Dec,

    Well “seriously” if the “best” you can come up with on the topic of this thread is a pathetic tilt at unionists you leave me nothing much to respond to. It was ever thus.

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

    ‘Have I missed something? There’s just been an inquiry into historical killings, and not one single Unionist has complained about the cost. Quite bizarre.
    Still, if ‘riddled with contradictions’ is your favourite literary genre, then Smithwick’s for you.’

    nope, I complained about the cost as soon as it came out. If the families get something out of it then that is great but as with all of these enquiries, it doesn’t really take us much further on. Great to see Adams getting tortured in the media but that’s about it really.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Future’s bright:

    “nope, I complained about the cost as soon as it came out. If the families get something out of it then that is great but as with all of these enquiries, it doesn’t really take us much further on.”

    The inquiries attempt to establish truth, FB. No moral person should fear the truth in Ireland or Britain.

    In the viper’s nest of lies that is Northern Ireland, the truth is used by the gutter politicians and many of their voters as merely another tool in the propaganda wars. Protestant politicians don’t care about victims; they only care about Protestant victims that bolster their propaganda campaign against Republicans. And vice versa. What does Gerry Adams care about Catholic victims when the IRA killed as many Catholics as anyone in the conflict?

    But Dublin and London cannot take such a backward view of the truth; they should not be afraid of these inquiries and what they might uncover. We should all be glad they have the integrity to pay for them in the first place. I want to live in an Irish state that’s transparent and just. I think all right thinking people in the British state want the same. If these inquiries shine a light into failures of the past that can be learned from; that’s nothing to be feared. The money could be spent on a lot worse things, after all.

  • Barney

    Son of strongbow wrote
    “However that being said that some Gardai are alleged to have been involved in a conspiracy to murder in this jurisdiction I do find interesting”

    Would you not be interested in discovering which Guards? This tribunal has not illuminated the circumstances surrounding these murders one iota.

    I suppose taking pride in having no interest in stuff is an achievement in its self

  • redstar2011

    Whilst not a fan of GA what he says is actually correct.

    The nauseating hypocrisy for some is simply pathetic

    If these had been 2 IRA men shot by the RUC the same lot decrying GA now would be using exactly the same terms- ie they contributed to their own death.

    Those who joined the RUC to fight the IRA knew the risks- and vice versa.

  • Rory Carr

    One only has to listen attentively to Gerry Adams speaking on the radio link provided above to give the lie to that contrived headline above – “Adams blames policemen for their own death.. Because Adams most certainly does no such thing.

    Firstly, context is all, and Adams is speaking here in the light of an unwarranted conclusion drawn by Smethwick and unsupported by any evidence, that one or more Garda officers were complicit in the killing of RUC officers Buchanan and Breen. Adams is pointing out that, in the circumstances of the Gardaí failure to offer protective escort for the RUC officers to the border, the failure of the RUC to insist on such protection and the naive attitude of C.S. Breen in particular towards his own safety all contributed heavily to the ease with which IRA uits in and around Dundalk and the border area were able to monitor the pair’s comings and goings without the need for any internal assistance from a colluding Guard.

    In these circumstances the RUC officers were most certainly careless as to their own safety but that irresponsibility (and irresponsible they surely were) does not in any way make them responsible for their own deaths. Nor does Adams infer that it does. The IRA killed them. We know this for certain because the IRA said that they did in a following bulletin at the time.

    What I find disturbing about this is that the author of the post, Mick, is a seasoned journalist, well attuned to every nuance, twitch and shade to be taken from any statement by any of the leading actors in our great drama and he must surely know that Adams had no intention, made no attempt in the excerpt linked to lay the blame for the killing of these two policemen on their own undoubted disregard for their own safety.

    If Mick or any other contributor wishes to make an argument that C.S. Breen was not in the least irresponsible in his duty of safeguarding his own life and that of D.S. Buchanan or that the Dundalk Gardaí did not fall down on its own duty of responsibility in this regard then, please, let us have it.

    But I rather doubt that such an argument will be forthcoming for the simple reason that all parties, including Breen and Buchanan, were appallingly lax as I have already stated and they ought not to have been – their duty was otherwise.

    The nonsense of all this is that, on a day when we receive the conclusion of an extremely lengthy inquiry into the question of possible Garda collusion with the IRA in the deaths of two senior RUC officers, the whole business is being spun, with quite wicked and deliberate misinterpretation, to any and every word of Gerry Adams. Meanwhile, the Gardaí, against whom no evidence of collusion has been discovered, have nevertheless been labelled as being guilty because Smethwick says so and, we must suspect, because he assumed that such was required of him.

    Disgraceful. Quite disgraceful.

  • SDLP supporter

    By the same warped, vile ‘logic’ Jean McConville might be alive today, and her poor family not destroyed, if she had not been so ‘irresponsible,’ by failing to lock and barricade her front door that night in December 1972.

  • Barnshee

    foyle observer
    “You’re right SoS, the only money Unionists are concerned with is the massive hand out that England transfer to this statelet to sustain it’s existance.

    Utterly pathetic.”

    I suggest you begin your observations er on the Foyle

    Start in Creggan (Westway probably) travel thru the city to Shantallow via the public funded jobs in Rate Collection Agency Derry City Council and Tax and Benefits offices –Pause on you way to count the benefit claimants and (endless) taxpayer provided housing.

    Exactly who is sponging off the taxpayer exactly who is being sustained?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Socaire

    “Do you think that had the positions been reversed and an undercover patrol of cops had ambushed an ASU of the provos, would they not have gunned them down? That’s right. They would and did.”

    Although not a justification of gunning them down I nonetheless feel compelled to highlight a teeny-weeny difference:

    EVERY ASU member had a desire or indeed a duty to ultimately take a life or work towards taking a life.

    That was what they were going to do. That was their aim.

    Despite the many black deeds that the RUC could be accused of (and indeed found guilty lest someone jump on that) over the decades no one with the faintest grasp of reality could say the same of ALL or indeed even MOST RUC members.

    Also, I’m pretty sure that over the years the RUC might have arrested the odd IRA man or two and not put a bullet in the back of their head.
    I could be wrong.

    Secondly;

    “And I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than talk to RUC – old or new.”

    Well that just inspires hope, doesn’t it.

    Former SS and allied soldiers can meet up and have civilised chats, old Jews can return to Germany to have some sort of ‘closure’ (can’t really think of the right word).

    But you’d rather resort to self mutilation than talk to someone whose words might carry some interest.

    F**k it, some of them might even voice tones of regret but you wouldn’t know as you’d be distracted by the immense pain of a punctured cornea…

  • tacapall

    “EVERY ASU member had a desire or indeed a duty to ultimately take a life or work towards taking a life”

    You have evidence of this or is that your expert assumption.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    tacapall

    Amateur assumption.

    Do you thing it’s wrong?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    BTW

    For what it’s worth, when I say ‘desire’ I don’t imply a sense of enjoyment.

  • looneygas

    Am Ghobsmacht,
    “Former SS and allied soldiers can meet up and have civilised chats, old Jews can return to Germany to have some sort of ‘closure’ (can’t really think of the right word).”

    I know that David Ervine and Gusty Spence were big on seeing things from the other guy’s point of view. And I saw a video where a Loyalist named Smitty and a Republican whose name I forget did a documentary tour of the Maze together. And the one where Martin Meehan sits down for a beer with the guy who apprehended him and gives him a belt.(leather belt, not a belt in the gob)
    So there’s some history of ex-combatants sitting down with other ex-combatants, and probably lots of other examples.
    But these are examples of lions lying down with lions, or murder-gangers with murder-gangers, if you prefer.(except for Meehan’s soldier)
    What I’d like to see, and what I honestly think would benefit the peace process, or life in general, is for those who championed peaceful protest to lie down with those who championed armed struggle.
    Especially considering that the armed strugglers have now been political strugglers for 20 years. That oughtta count for something.

    .

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Food for thought indeed Looneygas.

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    Looneygas,
    Completely agree – it’s too easy for the “honour amongst thieves” of Republican-Loyalist contacts to pass as some kind of inter-community reconciliation. It’s the ordinary people like us that the paramilitaries need to face up to.

    The key to moving forward now is clearing the fog of moral obfuscation that crept in as an unwanted by-product of the peace process – giving the terrorists a soft landing at the end of their failed campaigns. It was necessary in the 90s to some extent to avoid some issues temporarily to soothe the defeated and give them a reason to buy into the Good Friday Agreement. But we’ve out-grown the need for it now – indeed it’s poisoned the body politic.

    I’ve been very struck by reading some of the Kirk Simpson ethnography how much psychological damage the terror wreaked. I’ll sound polemic here but I really feel this: it’s time the people who did not perpetrate the Troubles to claim back the telling of Northern Irish history from those who did. And I mean in both communities. This has become urgent.