“Members of PIRA carried out their own investigation” into the Davison killing…

In the Belfast Telegraph, Liam Clarke highlights a significant point from the police assessment of Provisional IRA involvement in the murder of Kevin McGuigan – a point that was not included in earlier reports of that police assessment.  From the Belfast Telegraph article

Police have confirmed that senior IRA members conducted an inquiry into the death of Gerard ‘Jock’ Davison, gunned down in May, and identified Kevin McGuigan as the likely killer.

Brian Rowan also mentioned that ‘inquiry’ in his UTV blog yesterday [21 August]

The McGuigan murder was a reprisal – the settling of a score after the killing of one-time senior IRA leader Gerard ‘Jock’ Davison.

A senior police officer told me yesterday that there is “no intelligence or evidence” to link McGuigan to the Davison shooting in the Markets in early May.

What happened then has developed now to the point of yet another political crisis.

The police assessment was nuanced, but it put the IRA firmly in the frame.

“Members of PIRA carried out their own investigation” into the Davison killing.

And “current members of PIRA” were involved in the McGuigan murder.

“Quite clearly we are saying PIRA still exists because current members of PIRA were involved,” that senior police officer said.

If there are current members, there has to be an organisation, and that brings that Gerry Adams’s quip of twenty years ago back into today’s thinking: “They haven’t gone away you know.”

Today, Liam Clarke adds

The Belfast Telegraph has received the names of four people alleged to have carried out the inquiry, and another Short Strand former prisoner who is now missing from his home.

The men identified to us are all in their 50s or 60s and were ranking members of the IRA in the past.  All but one comes from the organisation’s 3rd Belfast Battalion area, which covers most of the city outside west Belfast.  Its strongholds are Short Strand, the Markets and Ardoyne.

In 2000, Peter Robinson, then MP for East Belfast, named one of the men who is said to have carried out the inquiry as a member of the IRA Army Council.  He placed two of the others on the organisation’s general headquarters staff.

This was based on intelligence he received from a member of An Garda Siochana and was confirmed at the time by security sources in Northern Ireland.

The men who carried out the inquiry included a man who has been associated with the Restorative Justice movement, a former or serving adjutant general of the IRA who has been targeted by MI5 for surveillance in the past, its director of intelligence who himself had a recent death threat, and a former OC of the Belfast Brigade.

There is nervousness about how the situation will develop now.  There are fears of revenge attacks as the identities of people allegedly involved become the subject of speculation.  One suspect named locally has already left home.

And as Ed Moloney notes in the Irish Times today

To be fair to the Provisional IRA, the organisation itself has never said that it has disbanded and the most that Sinn Féin figures will concede is that, as Gerry Kelly put it on Thursday, “The IRA has left the stage.” The stage perhaps, but not the theatre. The assumption that the IRA went away when it made its July 2005 announcement ending the armed campaign against the British is due almost entirely to an over-reading of the statement mixed with a large dollop of wishful thinking.

Nowhere in that statement did “P O’Neill” say that the IRA was disbanding.

Adds  The PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton has confirmed that “some provisional IRA organisational infrastructure continues to exist”.  From the UTV report

Speaking publicly about the [Kevin McGuigan] murder investigation for the first time, the Chief Constable said: “We have no information to suggest that violence, as seen in the murder of Kevin McGuigan, was sanctioned or directed at a senior level in the Republican movement”.

“We assess that some provisional IRA organisational infrastructure continues to exist but has undergone significant change since the Belfast Agreement in 1998.

“We assess that in the organisational sense the Provisional IRA does not exist for paramilitary purposes.”

“It is our assessment that the provisional IRA is no longer engaged in terrorism.”

Mr Hamilton added: “Our assessment indicates that a primary focus of the Provisional IRA is now promoting a peaceful, political Republican agenda.”

However he noted: “Some current Provisional IRA and former members continue to engage in a range of criminal activity and occasional violence in the interest of personal gain or personal agendas.”

Further RTÉ has an additional quote from the Chief Constable

Individual [[PIRA] members cooperated in shooting dead Kevin McGuigan in East Belfast but organisational structures have brought members of the outlawed organisation along the path of peace, Police Service of Northern Ireland Chief Constable George Hamilton said.

Some structures have changed, some have been dissolved but those remaining are not being used for terrorism, he said during a briefing at PSNI headquarters in Belfast.

Mr Hamilton said: “They are not on a war footing, they are not involved in paramilitary activity in the sense that they were during part of the conflict.” [added emphasis]

Well, that’s all right then, George.  Obviously…

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  • kalista63

    George Hamilton: ‘The IRA doesn’t exist fpr paramilitary purposes’,

    http://www.u.tv/News/2015/08/22/IRA-doesnt-exist-for-paramilitary-purposes-43500

  • Adds The PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton has confirmed that “some provisional IRA organisational infrastructure continues to exist”.

    From the UTV report

    Speaking publicly about the [Kevin McGuigan] murder investigation for the first time, the Chief Constable said: “We have no information to suggest that violence, as seen in the murder of Kevin McGuigan, was sanctioned or directed at a senior level in the Republican movement”.

    “We assess that some provisional IRA organisational infrastructure continues to exist but has undergone significant change since the Belfast Agreement in 1998.

    “We assess that in the organisational sense the Provisional IRA does not exist for paramilitary purposes.”

    “It is our assessment that the provisional IRA is no longer engaged in terrorism.”

    Mr Hamilton added: “Our assessment indicates that a primary focus of the Provisional IRA is now promoting a peaceful, political Republican agenda.”

    However he noted: “Some current Provisional IRA and former members continue to engage in a range of criminal activity and occasional violence in the interest of personal gain or personal agendas.”

  • Robin Keogh

    Pete I have to say, i feel huge sympathy for your professors in university it must have been a nightmare for them correcting your submissions with all those citations and references leading to more links and and byways. 😉

    Anyway thanks for posting this piece. It clarifies what most of us have always known. Sinn Fein are not connected to any form of IRA or psuedo IRA grouping.

  • Mirrorballman

    Old news…you’d have known that if you’d read the Irish news 🙂

  • chrisjones2

    Your desperation is showing

  • Robin Keogh

    Your failure is obvious

  • chrisjones2

    So organisation that doesn’t exist carries out ‘an investigation’ and then strangely the subject of that against whom the police say there is no evidence ends up getting whacked. Now those carrying out the investigation do not seem to be connected to the said whacking, it is suggested. So that is all right then.

    Would at least 2 and possibly 3 of the persons who carried out this investigation not have been frequently seen in the Company of the Great Leader. How many of them were then presented as now converted from Murder Inc to caring sharing community activists in SF.

    Were any of the investigators on the SF or Assembly payroll?

    And who commissioned the investigation? Who did it report to? What evidence did it find? Was that passed to the Police? If not, why not? Above all, why was this done and how was it commissioned and coordinated?

  • Zeno

    “Anyway thanks for posting this piece. It clarifies what most of us have always known. Sinn Fein are not connected to any form of IRA or psuedo IRA grouping.”

    They are the political wing of the Provisional IRA. At least 25 of the Top Sinn Fein people including MLA’s are ex or maybe even current PIRA Members.
    But Sinn Fein are not connected in any way to the IRA?
    Eh?

  • Robin Keogh

    Proof?

  • Robin Keogh

    Your desperation is showing

  • Zeno

    What do you want proof of?
    Do you not believe that SF are the Political Wing of the IRA?
    Or do you not believe that a very large number of members of SF are or were IRA members?

  • Robin Keogh

    Oh i know that some members of SF are former members of the IRA. Show me proof that SF are currently the political wing of the IRA if they exist and show me proof that Sinn Fein elected reps are currently members of that same supposed IRA

  • kensei

    Yeah that’s the key take away there, Sheldon.

  • Zeno

    They have always been the political wing of the IRA. If that changed they didn’t tell anyone.
    You can’t ask for proof of something I didn’t write. Read my post again.

  • willieric

    The choreographed pantomime which was the very recent west Belfast festival was proof enough with members of top table, pre-arranged questioners and written down questions, and even bouncers provided from the ranks of past and present IRA volunteers.

  • Robin Keogh

    Can u prove any of that?

  • willieric

    You just had to be there.

  • LighterSide…

    Are the PSNI on drugs?
    First they make ambiguous allusions to PIRA’s continued existence and possible involvement in a murder.
    Then they come out with the mind-boggling statement that the Provisional IRA does not exist for military purposes, but has a primary focus of promoting a peaceful, political Republican agenda.
    It’s a good thing that Northern Ireland is a stable, peaceful democracy.
    In a country with a history of violence and sectarianism, such boneheaded remarks from senior police officers would be very troublesome.

  • Zeno

    Just out of curiosity Robin. Why do you think it is that people detest Sinn Fein?

  • chrisjones2

    What the Chief Constable said

    “The chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has said the Provisional IRA still exists.

    George Hamilton added that some of its members were involved in the murder of ex-IRA man Kevin McGuigan Sr last week.”

    and

    “Some current Provisional IRA and former members continue to engage in a range of criminal activity and occasional violence in the interest of personal gain or personal agendas,” he added.

    Now he did say that “accepted the bona fides of the Sinn Féin leadership regarding their rejection of violence and pursuit of the peace process” and that “we assess that the continuing existence and cohesion of the Provisional IRA hierarchy has enabled the leadership to move the organisation forward within the peace process.”

    So the IRA does still exist. What Gerry says is wrong. SF have a strong element of control / influence on PIRA and that has generally been for the good. But some PIRA members are involved in crime and other activities including the McGuigan Murder.

    So Robin

    1 its complex
    2 SF arent telling the whole truth
    3 PSNI believe that PIRA members were involved in the murder and, above all perhaps,
    4 Where did the guns come from when they said they had disarmed

    The bottom line is simple. Time for PIRA to disband completely and hand ALL their guns in and its time for SF to tell the truth

  • chrisjones2

    See above

  • chrisjones2

    “Were any of the investigators on the SF or Assembly payroll?

    And who commissioned the investigation? Who did it report to? What evidence did it find? Was that passed to the Police? If not, why not? Above all, why was this done and how was it commissioned and coordinated?”

    What are the answers?

  • barnshee

    “The men identified to us are all in their 50s or 60s and were ranking members of the IRA in the past. All but one comes from the organisation’s 3rd Belfast Battalion area, which covers most of the city outside west Belfast. Its strongholds are Short Strand, the Markets and Ardoyne.”

    “To be fair to the Provisional IRA, the organisation itself has never said that it has disbanded and the most that Sinn Féin figures will concede is that, as Gerry Kelly put it on Thursday, “The IRA has left the stage.” The stage perhaps, but not the theatre. The assumption that the IRA went away when it made its July 2005 announcement ending the armed campaign against the British is due almost entirely to an over-reading of the statement mixed with a large dollop of wishful thinking.

    Nowhere in that statement did “P O’Neill” say that the IRA was disbanding.”

    The next stage is now due to surface the “torch” will be passed to the next “generation” especially when a UI referendum is lost-The prods will reply in kind- welcome to the continuing story of Irish politics

  • ranger1640

    What this boils down to is this. As long PIRA murder their own, other republicans and Roman Catholics they are fine and there will be no political consequences for Sinn Fein.
    George Hamilton and the PSNI’s reaction to PIRA’s involvement in murder, rape, child sexual abuse, drug dealing, arms smuggling, criminality, internal investigations, fuel laundering, money laundering, punishment beatings, knee cappings etc, etc is fine. As long as they don’t kill Protestants, Unionists, Loyalists, or the PSNI they will not be classified as back at war.

    In fact what Sinn Fein/IRA have done is to make republicans and Roman Catholics legitimate targets, lets call them housekeeping targets. In effect they are treating and making their own community second class citizens.

    Go figure people.

  • barnshee

    And answer came none

  • Kevin Breslin

    You do realise the irony of condemning a trial by speculation by a trial by speculation.

    The chief constable hasn’t pointed the finger at Sinn Féin or Gerry Adams here, perhaps your problem is that presumption of innocence is a beurocratic handicap that lets too many bad guys go free.

    If this were a trial and he was the main prosecution witness all he would be saying is a small assembly of people from the Provisional movement made a determination of guilt and someone acted upon it.

    We don’t know if the killer acted on the hearsay from the group, was in the group themselves or if it was coincidental, that the killer and the group simply believed the same dogs in the street assumptions.

    Forensically, the automatic weapon or the bullet haven’t been linked to The Provisional movement either through the police investigation as yet.

    We have “no information” gives Sinn Féin, the Provisional Movemenr the Presumption of innocence, because that burden of proof hasn’t been tackled.

    Make no mistake, I hate the Provisional IRA, I despise what they did in the name of hate but my hate and everybody else’s hate doesn’t constitute evidence that is needed to say they were guilty of this execution. Hate is most likely why McGuigan is dead, but hate won’t determine who killed him any more than it did Gerald Davidson.

    To convict someone you need the burden of proof, and like it or not, hate it or not Sinn Féin, the Provisional Movement, even the Accusers the PSNI are talking about all have the presumption of innocence.

    However, If there’s no physical evidence to solve this case or to link it to Provos, willing it through correlation is causation arguments is not a substitute.

    Being from a physics background I don’t believe in witches … So I especially don’t believe in witch hunts.

  • Kemple End

    Mr Hamilton added: “Our assessment indicates that a primary focus of the Provisional IRA is now promoting a peaceful, political Republican agenda.”

    Can someone explain to me why the Provisional IRA are required to exist to do what is the raison d’être of Sinn Fein? If the PIRA are now a peaceful, political movement then do they differ on policy points to SF? Will they be seeking a mandate from the electorate separately from SF? Or are they more of a ‘lobbying’ group?

    If the PIRA are a peaceful, political grouping then why do they not have their own spokespersons instead of having to rely on the big hitters of Sinn Fein to do the speaking for them.

    From all the statements of the PSNI over the past few days, the contradictions and supposed curve-balls (call me a cynic) are making it very hard to construct a clear picture of what Republicanism looks like at this moment in time. Which will only feed the agenda’s of those who wish to believe they are present and active beyond a ‘peaceful, political… agenda” … and the natural cynics like me I’m afraid.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Think that statement’s a little but disgusting, the PIRA killed many Irish/Catholics/Republicans including 200 of their own members. Whether they vote SF, SDLP, other party, independent or not vote at all doesn’t mean that the community overall are okay with people who commit acts of violence getting away with it.

    Do you really believe these victims of the IRA are “okay with it” or that you need to be a Protestant or a Unionist to have feelings?

    Do you think Maria Cahill is okay with her treatment by SF?
    Or Anne Travers?

    Here’s a question … do you even care about the two Catholics killed over the last fortnight?

    Maybe by suggesting Catholics are apathetic to republican violence, you are painting them like second class citizens.

    When a Protestant or Loyalist is killed by Loyalist paramilitary I’d imagine they’d be angry, I wouldn’t use the weight of the PUP’s vote in their area to determine how okay they are with it.

  • Zeno

    “We don’t know if the killer acted on the hearsay from the group, was in the group themselves or if it was coincidental, that the killer and the group simply believed the same dogs in the street assumptions.”

    A top IRA MAN WAS KILLED. It was predictable that retribution would take place. It was only a matter of time. The IRA are not bound by the “burden of proof”. The man was killed in an act retaliation because the IRA reckoned it was him.
    So who murdered him? It wasn’t SF but all the evidence points to the PIRA. To leave this unavenged would signal that he IRA were really gone.

  • Further RTÉ has an additional quote from the Chief Constable

    Individual [[PIRA] members cooperated in shooting dead Kevin McGuigan in East Belfast but organisational structures have brought members of the outlawed organisation along the path of peace, Police Service of Northern Ireland Chief Constable George Hamilton said.

    Some structures have changed, some have been dissolved but those remaining are not being used for terrorism, he said during a briefing at PSNI headquarters in Belfast.

    Mr Hamilton said: “They are not on a war footing, they are not involved in paramilitary activity in the sense that they were during part of the conflict.” [added emphasis]

    Well, that’s all right then, George. Obviously…

  • Zeno

    Do you get the feeling that someone in the PSNI said something they shouldn’t have and a lot of backpedaling is taking place?

  • Kevin Breslin

    So our “evidence” is that it was the IRA is the fact a senior IRA member was killed by a gunman and the suspected killer was killed.

    Motives by themselves are not evidence,

    Other individuals outside the PIRA could carry out retaliation.

    And a line of inquiry by police is not a court or trial.

    Oh and are we making legal judgements the way the IRA do these days?

    Yeah that burden of proof thing is only optional.

  • IRF

    Two bodies were found in a Monaghan bog a few weeks ago. The likely identification of those bodies as two of The Disappeared is probably imminent. As and when that occurs, it’s worth reflecting on the fact that the continued existence of some form of command structure within the Provos, probably helped to facilitate the eventual (albeit belated) recovery of the bodies.

  • barnshee

    I think you miss the point as long as the IRA murder their “own” the prods won’t mind —Stormont will survive –to an extent the more the merrier as far as the prods are – in general- are concerned

  • tmitch57

    No, this is only the story of Northern Ireland or Ulster politics, the rest of the island–with the exception of a few deluded losers–has moved on long ago.

  • puffen

    what did you get that PHD for lol

  • tmitch57

    Pete,
    Back in the late 1980s Ulster University Irish politics Professor Henry Patterson published a book on the IRA in which he predicted that the Provisional Republican Movement was bound to go the same route as the Official Republican Movement before them. The Official IRA declared a unilateral ceasefire in May 1972, shortly after having carried out the first IRA bombing in England since WWII, and Official Sinn Fein gradually transformed itself first into the Republican Clubs in the late 1970s, then into Sinn Fein–The Workers’ Party and then simply the Workers’ Party. The WP was more successful in the Republic than in NI and eventually after a decade the vast majority of the party quit and formed the Democratic Party over the Workers’ Party’s continued ties to both Soviet Communism and to the Official IRA, which continued to exist for some two decades or more as an organized criminal organization providing funding to the Workers’ Party. The Provos seemed to have traveled that same arc since their ceasefire in 1997.

  • mary

    PIRA -who is PSF have wreck NI civil rights. Killed more catholics put thousands of catholics out of their homes bombed the hearts out of there own community. Scared the nation almost to death for power & control. Hard men were defeated in the end. Murder of pasty Gillespie Frank Hegarty more people communities had enough of them. People brainwashed, beat into submission. PIRA , PSF concentrate on building empires through business if your not in your out . Live a lavish life Corruption greed one big family of cults. THEYare British state men and women not freedom fighters , milking the system dry – government protection at all costs do whatever they like. Those who deny history doomed to repeat it. What heinous atrocities was done past was done for power & control vulnerable people – tribes will continue to vote them in.
    thats were we are hate breeds hate.

  • ranger1640

    Here is a prelude to Hamilton’s statement. As for Sinn Fein/IRA they use plausible deniability like people change their underwear.

    “Mo Mowlam, Northern Ireland secretary, last night signalled she would delay a decision on the status of the IRA ceasefire until next week, blaming communication difficulties with the United States and the Irish Republic over a republican gun-running plot.

    Ms Mowlam is coming under strong pressure from unionists to announce sanctions against Sinn Fein amid security force indications that the IRA was involved last month in both the murder of Belfast taxi-driver Charles Bennett, 22, an RUC informer, and a foiled attempt to smuggle guns from Florida into Ireland. The IRA said neither operation was sanctioned by its leadership.

    Sir Ronnie Flanagan, RUC chief constable, and Lt Gen Sir Hew Pike, army commander in Northern Ireland, who met her on Monday, believe that there was IRA involvement in both operations.

    But Sinn Fein is emphasising the terms used by the IRA when it announced its move just over two years ago. It called its suspension then a cessation of military operations, and republicans argue that the IRA has held to that.

    Ms Mowlam has acted against Sinn Fein before. She expelled the party from the multi-party talks in February last year after the IRA murdered Brendan Campbell, 28, a Catholic drugs dealer, and Bobby Dougan, 38, a Protestant and a leading figure in the Ulster Defence Association.

    Sinn Fein was removed from negotiations for two weeks, missing only six working days at Castle Buildings. A similar move now would allow the party back at Stormont in time for the start of George Mitchell’s review of the Good Friday agreement on September 6.

    But the five murders attributed to the IRA in Northern Ireland since the agreement was drawn up in April last year have all been of Catholics. Sinn Fein, while calling the killing of Mr Bennett unacceptable, appears to be arguing that murders of nationalists do not affect the IRA’s cessation.

    The government is uncomfortable on the issue. Anti-punishment beating campaigner Vincent McKenna, an ex-IRA man, said last week a Northern Ireland official differentiated between IRA murders, suggesting the Bennett execution was simply “internal housekeeping”. The NIO denies that.

    Adam Ingram, security minister, when asked if the Bennett murder would mean sanctions against Sinn Fein if the IRA was responsible, was equivocal. He said: “All these killings are unacceptable and that has been made very clear by the secretary of state.”

    He continued: “But these are decisions which she has to take in the round, set against other aspects of the legal implications of the judgment, and the legal analysis of the judgment as well.”

    Martin McGuinness, who led a Sinn Fein delegation to meet Ms Mowlam yesterday, insisted afterwards the IRA’s cessation of military operations was intact.

    Sinn Fein, which continually asserts its independence from the IRA, is considering legal action if Ms Mowlam acts against it.

    Ms Mowlam knows her decision will infuriate one side, and could spell the end to the failing peace process. Ulster Unionists are hinting they will walk away if she fails to act, while expelling Sinn Fein will provoke the IRA.

    Unionists believe that had she acted against paramilitaries engaged in punishment beatings and shootings earlier this year it would have put a brake on the violence. They believe that the IRA can now hold the process to ransom.

    The timing of her decision is sensitive, and the outlook gloomy. Next month will see Mr Mitchell’s review and publication of EU commissioner Chris Patten’s report on RUC reform”.

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/1999/aug/18/northernireland.johnmullin

  • chrisjones2

    I didnt condemn anything. I just asked questions that I think should be answered.

    I agree on evidence but as a scientist you will know that usually evidence doesn’t drop into your lap. You have to look at what you have. Search. Hypothesise. And then test. Again and again I assume a crime investigation must be similar

    That’s what we are doing here and what’s going on around this issue Asking the basic questions. But we are not getting answers – just evasions, denials and lies. Of course those too can help build up the evidence

    The fact that the DUP are not asking the really probing questions shows that nothing will happen as a result of this and that Robbos mutterings are all hot air . Still its a handy distraction from NAMA and the village idiots postings

  • chrisjones2

    To be fair he cannot answer. He’s just a Southern SF drone fed what the organisation wants him to hear and expected to toe the party line in the interest of the cause.

    Perhaps he will soon start to question what ‘the cause’ actually is

  • Kevin Breslin

    In other words sanctions against Sinn Féin will make them stop the violence … How can they stop and control everyone in the Catholic, Nationalist or Republican community from committing violence?

    There are obviously people neither Sinn Féin nor the PIRA can control by nice words and saying Please Stop, people who won’t take orders or requests from Sinn Féin…. What do you expect them to do about these people?

    Kill them? Terrorise them?

    Seems the only way to stop these people’s free will.

    Maybe we should sanction unionist politicians every time a loyalist commits a murder, it’s obvious that Carson’s Ulster Volunteer Force were behind the attacks.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Chris, maybe ask yourself why you want there to be a link?

  • Zeno

    Are you not from Belfast?
    Top IRA Man murdered,
    Someone will be murdered by the IRA to avenge that murder.
    It is simple stuff.

  • ranger1640

    IRF, your post reads. Thats thank the republican movement for helping find these bodies. But lets forget the fact it was the same republican movement who put them there and the same republican movement who took a calculated decision to lie and deny they had anything to do with murdering and putting these two people in a shallow unmarked graves never to be found.

  • chrisjones2

    I don’t want there to be a link but I do want 4 things

    * an end to the murders and the culture of impunity that makes them think they will get away with it

    * honesty on all sides

    * ALL the guns handed over

    * all the private Armies disbanded and their organised involved in crime stopped

    The Chief Constable was clear. SF were not involved in commissioning this or managing it but someone was and they know who. They are also lying about the true state of the IRA and their knowledge of that

    As always, its the cover up that gets them

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Chris, I want a Ferrari for Xmas, but I ain’t gonna get one.

  • Robin Keogh

    I would imagine probably for the sane reasons some people detest DUP or UUP etc.

  • Robin Keogh

    Who are you posing those questions to? Me? The Police? SF? DUP? everyone? anyone?

  • Robin Keogh

    I dont have orders to question anything especially on a Sunday Chris. Tuesday is question day. And as for the ’cause’ itself, you should know by now our dear leader has set that out time and again, so obvious jeez. Baaaaaa

  • Robin Keogh

    Where did the chief Cons state that Sinn Fein knOw who the murderer is?

  • Kevin Breslin

    So the proof is your opinion?

    To accuse someone of criminality under UK law means proving things beyond reasonable doubt.

    One of the great failures of the Early Troubles was the lifting and arrest of several Official Irish Republican Army members and indeed innocent people with the RUC turning a blind eye to the Provisionals and other nut cases with a gun.

    Think of how many lives would be saved if RUC didn’t act on a confirmation bias but kept all lines of inquiry open and were more willing to re-evaluate their findings!

    That’s what happens when pure speculation is the only evidence you have, and you seem to believe pure speculation is the only evidence you need.

    Don’t give me are you from Belfast thing, there are plenty of examples of this … Pure speculation no matter how logical it may seem doesn’t prove anything.

    You’d never get a single prosecution in the UK or Ireland under speculative evidence, so if the PSNI are saying that there’s no evidence of PIRA involvement in these killings, all the speculation in the world isn’t going to make that evidence appear.

  • AidanMc

    Investigations headed up by Spike, Padraig and Flash no doubt – cause they haven’t gone away you know!!!
    And to think that these people masquerade as peace people – The shame does not affect the current yes current army who hate anyone that stands in the way of PSF’s march to 26 County power that they so crave and the participation in administering Britain’s rule in Ireland – Shame on you – you foolish liar’s!

  • ranger1640

    Quite obvious Sinn Fein/IRA who told us that the provos had gone way can’t. So why should I or anyone else believe them when they say “anyone with information should go to the PSNI”. That we know now is a tissue of lies too as they are conducting their own investigations with their private stasi.

    The Bobby Sands laugh is not so much as the republican children, but the laughter from his former provos. Sinn Fein/IRA members have the nice homes, businesses, cars and lifestyle of the new rich. While tens of thousands of their voters don’t know where the money is coming from for the electric metre.
    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/mcguigan-murder-shows-that-the-ira-is-intact-armed-and-killing-31470930.html

  • Zeno

    “so if the PSNI are saying that there’s no evidence of PIRA involvement in these killings, all the speculation in the world isn’t going to make that evidence appear.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-34009501

  • willieric

    Check out Sunday Life newspaper p’s 2/3

  • Kemple End

    Without question however they just dig further for themselves.

  • Kevin Breslin

    They “believe” doesn’t mean they know, and doesn’t constitute the fact they have any strong evidence to back their beliefs on this matter up.

    The Guildford Four were believed to be guilty, the Birmingham Six were believed to be guilty …. These people may have or may not have carried out acts of violence in the past but mere “belief” that they carried out the crime of killing Kevin McGuigan is not enough.

    Sinn Féin might be lying, there might not be any real Action Against Drugs, and maybe some group of Provisional carried out this execution …. But where’s the hard evidence?

    Are we supposed to “believe” the gunning down of Kevin McGuigan was a perfect crime that left absolutely no means of proving it in terms of witnesses or forensics

    If people believed I killed Kevin McGuigan hard enough would I have to go to jail?

    How much weight are we to put in someone’s “belief” these days?

  • IRF

    I didn’t intend to come across as congratulatory in any way, but the fact remains that those who are best placed to assist in finding the bodies are those who ‘disappeared’ them in the first place.

  • chrisjones2

    “I dont have orders to question anything”

    What an interesting comment

    “now our dear leader has set that out time and again”

    ……. and in so many different ways!!!

  • chrisjones2

    Gerry told me. As you must know as he has been telling everyone it wasnt the IRA ….so he most know who it was or he couldn’t give that assurance. could he?

  • chrisjones2

    Nor am I. And if I don’t I have to ask if Stormont is worth it., It was founded on assurances that have been proved false. Time to take the ball away? Well half the ball anyway

  • Zeno

    Lets just step back here……..
    You wrote, if the PSNI are saying there is no evidence of PIRA involvement.
    I’ve posted a link that contradicts that . The PSNI haven’t said that.

  • james

    I’m not quite clear on how you are trying to wriggle in this comment. Do you somehow feel that IRA, or prior IRA or low-fat IRA or whatever they now are, killing Catholics (with or without the knowledge of current SF members) is all the fault of the dastardly unionists. Once again. Because that doesn’t make any sense, if you think about it.

  • james

    Our revenge will be Armani suits, secret offshore accounts and the laughter of our bank managers? Say it ain’t so!

  • Sergiogiorgio

    I agree with you, but for different reasons.

  • Kevin Breslin

    The PSNI are the ones who are saying this PIRA group are not engaged in terrorism, and Garda Siorchana are saying more or less the same.

    Now in my opinion so-called “house keeping” terror is terrorism and constitutes the criminal definition of terrorism in both Northern Ireland and the Republic, (if it doesn’t then it should whether it’s political or criminal) so if the PSNI and the Guards can’t link this group or groups like it to terrorism, then it’s obvious that either all they have is speculation or that they simply don’t understand its job.

    Journalists don’t need to bother with burden of proof.

  • Zeno

    Same applies to the UVF obviously, but I get your drift.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    not true surely, as isn’t it ‘the Prods’ – unionists at least – who are calling for consequences here?
    At some point the Republican Movement needs to stop all the ducking and diving and take responsibility for what it does. The victim act was already getting old in 1970.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    are you serious? “Not connected to any form of IRA”. Let’s just take that in for a minute.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    and there’s Republicanism’s problem in a nutshell. It just doesn’t get that being the political wing of a terrorist group should be problematic for anyone. People who object to that are just being ‘sectarian’. I don’t know why you bother arguing about whether the IRA is active now or not, since you seem to think SF’s connection with the IRA has never been problematic anyway, even at the height of their “armed struggle” against British people.

  • ranger1640

    The UVF & UDA.

  • Thomas Barber

    “as isn’t it ‘the Prods’ – unionists at least – who are calling for consequences here”

    Thats the thing here MU. Is the whole nationalist population who voted for individual Sinn Fein politicians to be collectively punished for the actions of people they in all likelyhood neither knew or supported. Is the whole republican community, which includes the SDLP, to be collectively punished and labelled for the actions of a tiny minority of people who call themselves republicans. Do you honestly see the British government allowing unionist politicians their political fantasy of an assembly without Sinn Fein. Do you honestly believe the majority of the nationalist population, who are already increasingly disillusioned with British politics, will somehow accept this punishment without recourse. It took a long long time to get republicans and nationalists to take part in British politics and to deny them or punish them for something unconnected to them would be not only undemocratic and unfair it would be near impossible to get them to rejoin British politics.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I was replying to Barnshee’s charge that Prods “won’t mind” as long as the IRA is killing Catholics, not Protestants, which I think is a groundless accusation. Quite the opposite, surely: unionists are objecting to that very thing, while many other parties seem to be treating it as not relevant to the peace process, because it has all happened within the nationalist community.
    Now the consequences are tricky, because SF are the majority nationalist party these days. Any attempt at government without them, on their current vote, is very undesirable indeed. At the same time, there are rules all political parties are supposed to play by, the Mitchell Principles, and they are the basis not just for being in devolved govt. but being in any kind of political process at all. Because if you don’t have or enforce them, it skews politics unfairly in favour of the party with the private army in the background. So those caring about civil society and democracy are forced to deal with this. God knows I have no desire for SF to maintain links with the IRA, or for the IRA to exist at all. I certainly don’t want this crisis. Yet another crisis.
    So SF’s electorate are at risk of being temporarily disenfranchised over this. Yes: and that is not a good thing at all and it cannot be allowed to persist for long. But SF’s voters should understand that when they voted for such a party, with its recent history and its known connections to the IRA, that they knew the score. This party has a history of being excluded, not just by other NI parties but by the Irish government as well as the British one and by international mediators like George Mitchell, for breaches of the ceasefire. The score is, SF has no more right than any other party to use or threaten violence, or be connected with groups using violence.
    If the IRA is active and if there is a close connection between SF and the IRA still, then SF benefits from the implied physical threat of the IRA in a way that is unfair to the representatives of other parties when dealing with SF. That cannot continue. I think SF accepts that. But I think it reckons the continued existence of the IRA is not a problem for society, as long as the murders are few and far between and are directed only against ‘its own’. I don’t agree.
    I don’t think the IRA are about to embark on another “armed struggle” against us Ulster Brits. But that’s not enough. Why should ordinary nationalists have to live in communities in which these people operate and continue to hold their status and throw their weight around as IRA members?
    It’s not enough for SF to be against AAD, or dissidents. It needs to be against the continued existence of the IRA – and side with civil society against any paramilitary grouping that rears its head, whether the IRA or any other. It’s just not acceptable and not what people voted for to have a party in government that maintains links to an active paramilitary group. They’re not just supposed to be off the stage, they are supposed to be out of the building.

  • Thomas Barber

    MU you still dont get the bit about thousands of individual voters being collectively punished even though they voted individual Sinn Fein politicians into an assembly that also has as assembly members the PUP who’s military wing murdered over a dozen people while supposedly on ceasefire yet I dont seem to recall any unionist politician calling for the PUP to be thrown out of the assembly nor collectively punishing any of those voters who elected them. The UDA is still active, so is the UVF and both are still engaged in murder, criminality, drug dealing, extortion, intimidation and yet unionist politicians still stand shoulder to shoulder with them and giving them a political voice in the assembly. There are no demands for the UVF to be disbanded, no hoops for the PUP to jump through before they are allowed a voice in the assembly. The GFA was a conduit for the PIRA, UVF, UDA to leave the stage not just the IRA and if unionism spent as much time and energy proactively encouraging the loyalist paramilitaries to decommission, stop murdering, drug dealing etc etc and disband, unionist/loyalist areas wouldn’t have loyalist paramilitaty drug dealers crucifying young protestants who then have to flee to Catholic areas for protection.

  • Kevin Breslin

    What’s your alternative to democracy?

    Do you miss the army on the streets, and the Thatcher government and the entire population having pretty much no say on how anything gets done here?

    Do you yearn for the Anglo-Irish Agreement protests again?

    Is isolating yourself from West of the Bann regions or regions of high Catholic or Republican sympathy, the great positive future that the likes of the Democratic Unionists and Ulster Unionists want?

    Using Life & Times Surveys as a substitute for real Roman Catholic or Irish identity/ Irish nationalist friends?

  • Kevin Breslin

    They are saying “no information” … perhaps I might infer that they don’t have evidence from that.

    I do not know if they have evidence … but it’s clear they are not saying they have any as of yet.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Thomas, I did address that exact point:
    “SF are the majority nationalist party these days. Any attempt at government without them, on their current vote, is very undesirable indeed …”
    “SF’s electorate are at risk of being temporarily disenfranchised over this. Yes: and that is not a good thing at all and it cannot be allowed to persist for long …”
    That is why we have a dilemma at all. If SF got 50 votes, they’d be excluded and we’d move on. But people voting for them in numbers makes it a genuine dilemma, as you can’t keep parties to the agreed democratic rules without that secondary impact on those voters. Especially in the NI system of community blocks and qualified majorities of both blocks to get legislation through.
    But what do we do if the IRA becomes active again and SF turned out to be closely linked still? Nothing? That would be to give up on the Good Friday Agreement and the whole peace process we’ve had. There have to be consequences for serious breaches of the rules, or we simply don’t have agreement between the parties to continue. Concessions were given in 1998 and subsequently on the basis there would be an end to violence – the ‘soft landing’ we gave Republicans, with prisoner releases, big changes to police, former terrorists allowed in government, army down-sizing its presence etc. If the violence is not over, then all that starts to unravel.
    Oh and I have no problem banning the PUP if there is UVF violence they are linked to. This applies to all parties equally.

  • Thomas Barber

    Are you attempting to portray that only republicans engaged in violence, that only republican prisoners were released under the GFA or that loyalist paramilitaries dont have the same access to the highest levels of government. The reality is unionism believes they somehow hold the high moral ground especially the UUP and Mike Nesbitt, wasn’t it the UUP who linked up with the political wing of the UVF in the assembly at a time when the UVF were murdering all around them in loyalist areas when they were supposed to be on ceasefire, where was all the calls from unionist politicians to boot out the UUP and the PUP. Yes there does have to be serious consequences for breaking the rules in the assembly but when those rules are cherry picked and apply only to one side then its a little hypocritical to punish a totally innocent population because individuals who may or may not be linked to the political party the politician they voted for is connected to but not the politician they voted into office.

    Im sure David Cameron would agree that just because a lot of Tory politicians are alledged to be peadophiles that doesn’t mean the leadership of the party support peadophillia or the abuse of children nor would any fellow member of parliament demand that the entire Tory party and its electorate be punished for the actions of individual MPs.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Just a reminder of the last thing I posted, which was: “Oh and I have no problem banning the PUP if there is UVF violence they are linked to. This applies to all parties equally.” So I’m not sure what prompted your response about double standards there?
    On the UUP thing with the PUP (back in the Reg Empey days), I thought that was a serious misjudgement too, I was shocked and I think there should have been consequences against them for it. Really, this applies equally to all parties – we need all parties to show zero tolerance for paramilitarism.

  • Thomas Barber

    Yeah hindsight is a great thing but unfortunately unionist politicians didn’t agree with you at the time or they simply didn’t believe the PUP was breaking any ceasefire. Im sure you dont have any problems banning the PUP when their military wing uses violence but unfortunately they have already murdered over a dozen people without being forced out of the assembly nor their electorate collectively punished like unionism is demanding for for the Sinn Fein electorate, once again unfortunately unionist politicians and their hypocritical morals dont agree with you MU.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    They can be their own worst enemy sometimes.
    That said, I’m not au fait with the exact circumstances around the PUP’s response to the UVF violence. If they condemned it, genuinely had nothing to do with it, I suppose they would be allowed to stay in on the same basis SF has with the various IRA operations since the GFA. As long as the same rules are applied to both. What I’m proposing is I suppose going further than we have so far and actually asking both SF and PUP to sever links entirely with paramilitary groups if they want to be able to stand for election again. I don’t think that’s been required of either so far.

  • barnshee

    “not true surely, as isn’t it ‘the Prods’ – unionists at least – who are calling for consequences here?”
    Pure theatre -of no consequence the show will go on- there are too many snouts in troughs The RA can murder as many of its “own” as it likes . No police dead no prods dead so what (nobody believes SF anyway)

  • barnshee

    The protestant murder gangs can`t get elected -unlike IRA members

  • Thomas Barber

    Who elected David Ervine and Billy Hutchinson and all those other loyalist councillors ?

  • Thomas Barber

    “That said, I’m not au fait with the exact circumstances around the PUP’s response to the UVF violence. If they condemned it, genuinely had nothing to do with it”

    The then leader of the PUP Dawn Purvis resigned from the PUP in protest at the party links to the UVF and the Bobby Moffett murder yet no unionist politician demanded the PUP or their electorate be collectively punished for the actions of individual UVF members. What they did do was continue to use the UVF for political muscle when the occassion called for indeed when you consider the violence carried out during the flag protests when those same people engaged in widescale violence and attempted to burn PSNI officers alive, a snowball rolled by the DUP and thrown by the UVF no calls were made to connect the violence to the PUP even when the PSNI were publically telling us the UVF were the instigators. We can look at the unionist controlled protests surrounding Orange order parades where loyalist politicians including the biggest hypocrite of all Jim Allister has no problems standing shoulder to shoulder giving a political voice to those same people who murdered over a dozen protestants when they were supposedly on ceasefire and attempted to burn PSNI officers to death.

    All political parties should have no links to private armies or paramilitaries to focus on one side but turn a blind eye to the other is farcical and cannot be tolerated its up to unionism to clean up their own houses before they lecture others.

  • barnshee

    You don`t leave the RA -see the “Green Book”

    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/othelem/organ/ira/ira_green_book.htm

    Once in -its for life

    Now explain ” some members of SF are former members of the IRA.”

  • barnshee

    Where are they now numbers please

  • barnshee

    Where are PUP elected politicians numbers and posts please

  • barnshee

    SF apologists disappear when the hard questions turn up