After the McGuigan murder: The Provisionals *really* haven’t gone away, you know….

As I noted some time ago, the biggest problem Sinn Fein pose to society  is their settled policy of partial disclosure. Do you believe Detective Superintendent Geddes’ assessment or Sinn Fein’s local representatives? On one level that’s matter of political choice.

But as we have seen over the Cahill allegations, the party only ever says what’s good for it, even if it turns out to be a lie. [When it gets serious, of course you have to lie! – Ed]  But if we (incl Sinn Fein) say we accept the lawful authority of the PSNI then Geddes is the only serious witness of the two.

Ed Moloney, who has been tracking this story more freely than most of the rest of us recently, notes:

…his statement clearly implied that a) the Provisional IRA does still exist and b) its members happily co-operate with dissident republicans opposed to the peace process and the ceasefire in an organisation that targets people accused of killing senior IRA members, viz one Jock Davison.

In other words determined opponents of the peace process work with and do favours for republicans whose leadership they abhor.

This is all so full of unasked and unanswered questions, as well as simply unsustainable propositions, not to mention the massive implications for the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement that it is difficult to know where to begin.

That’s quite a thing for everyone else to have to swallow and live with. It begs all kinds of unanswerable questions about the level of knowledge (and authority) of this operation within the higher end of Provisional movement.

Was this just Provisional friends of Davison or were they acting on orders from the centre of an organisation that we’ve been told no longer exists? And what does the political leadership know exactly? A leadership renowned for its control freakery.

And as Eilis O’Hanlon notes, Gerry Adams’ silence on the matter is deafening.

Folk I spoke with last night were somewhat confused by the statement. But Geddes is a cop and sticking rigidly to his own investigations. The question over higher involvement is the remit of the intelligence agencies (and their informers) which answers only to Westminster.

So far Sinn Fein is concerned they will try to get this mess as quickly as possible into the Someone Else’s Problem Field.

The DUP are talking to Assembly colleagues about excluding Sinn Fein from the Executive. Having watched David Trimble get severely punished for trusting the word of the Provisionals Peter Robinson has little choice but to fish or cut bait.

Of course the cynic would say what better time to tell the world that the Provisionals have not gone away than when Stormont is already near collapse anyway over Welfare Reform? [And what better demonstration of your material belief in a hierarchy of victims? – Ed]

What price a life? Not much it seems, when turf has to be protected.

Now I begin to understand (if only darkly) the wild reaction to my short report on the original killing, when I referred to Gambetta’s of coding between ‘Ordinary Decent Criminals‘ in my initial note on the killing of Jock Davison.

Meanwhile, Robinson has his excuse to move in Stormont. Any exclusion will require the help of the SDLP. Do they bear the moral and political brunt of this killing and or run the gauntlet of being accused of running to the side of Unionists?

They did it reluctantly (almost naively) when they passed  Anne’s Law.

But now we know the PSNI believe the Provisionals are still operational the stakes are much higher. Those tight electoral sums may give some folk pause for concern in the Republic too.

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  • Kevin Breslin

    Forget about the thugs, are you saying the victim was mindless for voting Sinn Féin afterwards?

  • james

    Irrelevant.

  • james

    You are trying very hard to read into what I wrote an insult to Sinn Fein voters which simply isn’t there in my comment (Try reading it again).I’m sure you have your own reasons for doing that, but only you yourself will know what they are.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Let me clarify, I do know victims of punishment beatings voting SF as you said. Exclusion from the Assembly, Excluding SF from the Assembly leaves the DUP two short of an absolute majority and 5 constituencies without the majority of their MLAs.

    If anyone thinks the DUP with 36% of the seats and less than 30% of the vote should be able to vote themselves into a virtual majority that can only be vetoed from changing the rules to consolidate its power by a three party petition of concern is naive.

    The Executive, The Assembly up in Stormont, even the Union itself would be undermined by such a power grab.

    Why support a Northern Ireland devolved administration where your votes and your influence don’t matter? Why pay taxes when your vote doesn’t even count?

    Where 75% have a say in how things are run and 25% have none.

    Local government would completely fall apart as well if exclusion were imposed.

    The anti-democrats killing people in the street would love more people to believe that democracy is futile.