“Those who the police believe ordered and implemented the murder of Kevin McGuigan are mainstream not mavericks.”

Via Newshound.  And for the, apparently, hard of understanding.  Suzanne Breen hones in on the important detail at the heart of the current political kerfuffle.  From Suzanne Breen in the Sunday Life

The North has plunged into a political crisis, the Stormont institutions are on the brink of collapse, and unionist and nationalist politicians are bickering as though the peace process never happened.

It may be argued that the events leading to this chaos matter not a jot to people in the Republic. IRA men killed an ex-IRA man. Big deal. Get over it. Sure gangland killings are a regular occurrence on the streets of Dublin. They don’t bring down the government.

This argument is shallow, flawed and deeply dangerous. Those who cherish democracy should reject it wholeheartedly. Excuses that the killing of Kevin McGuigan doesn’t merit a punitive political response amount to saying that the state should collude in murder.

Imagine this scenario unfolding next year. Sinn Féin is part of a coalition government in Leinster House. A Sinn Féin TD is Tanaiste and three colleagues also hold ministerial portfolios.

A prominent party supporter is shot dead in Dublin. The gardai launch a murder investigation and vow to bring the killers to justice. But senior IRA figures, who double job as Sinn Féin members, aren’t content with this.

They don’t want to wait on police officers, prosecutions, courts and all that tedious business. They prefer their own, alternative ‘criminal justice system’. They launch an investigation. They knock on doors, interview witnesses, and take statements. Then they meet, discuss the evidence, and decide that a father-of-nine is ‘guilty’ and should be shot dead.

Would Sinn Féin be allowed to remain in government in the Republic? Not a chance. Yet the above sequence of events is exactly what was played out in Belfast, culminating in the murder of Kevin McGuigan.

Those who the police believe ordered and implemented the murder of Kevin McGuigan are mainstream not mavericks. [added emphasis]

To repeat myself,

It’s not the still-extant Provisional IRA structures that are the immediate cause for concern, although “stupid” questions could, and should, be asked about their ultimate purpose, it’s the involvement of those Provisional IRA ‘structures’ in the events leading up to, and including, the murder of Kevin McGuigan, and the continued denials [of that reality! – Ed] which have followed.

As I mentioned previously

…a key element in the recent events under investigation, which I noted previously, [is] the Provisional IRA investigation into the murder of Jock Davison that preceded the murder of Kevin McGuigan, which police have stated they believe involved members of the Provisional IRA.

And from the “Provisional IRA investigation” link

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.

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  • Mister_Joe

    Sorry, Pete, but you seem to be slavering at the mouth, particularly with your “what if” fantasy scenario. There is no evidence whatsoever, even from the CC or senior politicos, that S.F. played any part in either of the two murders detailed. Perhaps you should wait for charges to be laid. Incidentally, you know that I am not a fan of S.F.

  • Mary Anna Quigley

    Do so called politicians gave one toss who was murdered past , here now no not in my opinion. Waiting for big kill pensions, more importantly passing time playing we houses, political games. Any excuses sit up in the house of horror- lets pretend all is well in their world. Law onto themselves. M15 British government have been spoiling these halfwits rotten. Like geedy needy little boys and girls who want more and more kill time. Politics NI is a laughing stock pity those in power so blind by their own ignorance that they can not see beyond their big fat selfishness pockets!

  • Granni Trixie

    Do present events not point to a hierarchy of deaths? Why has this death apparently impacted politically and not say Paul Quinn,Robert McCartney, Jock Davidson etc.

    Still think UUP started up a sham fight. Why at this time? Possibly they smell Dup blood with so much shit in the pipeline? Or are they indeed putting “country before party” (not).

  • Steve Larson

    The State collude in Murder, you say.

    I think most agree that the State in Northern Ireland has not colluded in murders since the 90s. Not that we are aware of anyway.

  • Steve Larson

    I don’t think that many in Northern Ireland care too much either way about this. I just don’t see it.

  • chrisjones2

    ….and thats part of the problem

  • Lorcs1

    “Yet the above sequence of events is exactly what was played out in Belfast, culminating in the murder of Kevin McGuigan.”

    It’s a bit of a jump from what has been discussed/disclosed publicly, to state that Senior members of Sinn Fein are “double jobbing” IRA Members who sanctioned the murder of Kevin McGuigan.

    Not even the UUP/DUP have went as far as to say that this is the case, even though the kind of insinuate the same by saying Sinn Fein can’t be trusted following recent incidents.

    Suzanne has added 1+1 to come up with 6 in the name of a cheap headline grabber, and Pete is being felicitous in describing this as “an important detail”. I don’t know if they are correct or not, but to talk about as if it is fact, in the face of a complete lack of evidence is divisive and damaging to the peace process. If any evidence exists then those members of SF should be brought before the courts, but as of yet nothing….

  • kensei

    As Mary Lou put it:

    “There’s nobody within Sinn Féin holding a candle for anybody who commits a criminal act. The Chief Constable in the North explicitly recognises Sinn Féin’s bona fides on this and he said we work very constructively with the PSNI.”

    As long as this is true, nothing to see. If I double job as a serial killer my company doesn’t need to collapse when I’m caught.

  • Sliothar

    At the risk of being accused of ‘playing the man’ in this discussion,
    are we now led to believe that Pete Baker, who is not behind the door in
    pulling contibutors up for not getting FACTS correct, accepts the loaded speculation of Suzanne Breen as gospel?

  • Robin Keogh

    You know things are getting deperate when people start making it up as they go along: double jobbing ? Please !

  • mickfealty

    I thought it was pretty controlled. If you take the trouble to read what it’s telling us, then its grim. No one should be happy at this turn of events. Oh yeah, why not try playing the ball Joe?

  • Barneyt

    I was waiting for Pete to dissect and counter Suzanne on some fronts…but it never came. The entry from Suzanne smacks of immaturity and detachment.

  • mickfealty

    It’s all in the detail Granni. Do you really think Unionists care if old IRA start bumping each other off? Far from it. By that metric, McGuigan’s murder is at the bottom of any unionist’s priority. So, it’s politics that’s at the base of this.

    Focus, for a moment, on who the IRA’s Head of Intelligence has been reported to be, then the same individual’s role within SF. Check Google if it doesn’t come quickly to mind?

    Factor in too, that SF as a party has privileged access to the PSNI and its intelligence and you may finally stumble upon the reason CS Geddes punched this material into the public domain.

    Then consider very carefully exactly what that means in the context of the rest period between the first murder and the second. If you are cool with government parties (whilst holding privileged office) engaging in political murder, fine.

    Nesbitt owns this issue. And when it dawns on everyone else exactly what it adds up to it will be a case of trying to play catch up.

    If this gets to next year’s election, he will ship seats AND votes in a way we’ve not seen since 2003. And they won’t be slow to point to just who moved and who pretended there wasn’t a problem.

    Personally, I’m not sure that’s going to be allowed to happen.

  • mickfealty


  • mickfealty

    You’re just not reading the source material here kensei. (See Idols of the Cave, appeal to authority) See my reply to Granni…

  • Barneyt

    Ye wonder if the PSNI gave any consideration to the impact their statement would have. The DUP went into power on the basis there was verifiable decommissioning and SF support for policing. That was the deal maker.

    The PSNI made the distinction between an IRA sanctioned act (which this was not) and a deed that was committed by a maverick associate (which this apparently was), but in doing so they put out “new” information that would alarm and force politicians to act. They would do so on the basis that they have hammered home that there is no separation between SF and the IRA and sold this time and time to their respective communities.

    The PSNI would surely have seen this coming? On that basis, does the PSNI not hold some level of responsibility for the dismantling of the NI state government if indeed it does occur?

    Maybe the police are sitting back enjoying this…or on the other hand, they might be saying, “those cluts know all about the status of the PIRA….they know they have not disbanded…they know this was not a PIRA act….etc)

  • T.E.Lawrence

    I am sure Nesbitt would share the sweety bag that he has earned by his actions (the moral highground) with the SDLP and Alliance if they came to ride on the same horse as him !

  • mickfealty

    Yep, its too late. To be fair to the SDLP they’ve been pistol whipped with the sectarian ace card for so long by the media that it’s hard for them to bless themselves going past a chapel without getting accused of siding with Unionists…

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Now is the opportunity for them and Alliance to step up to the plate, take this option and in doing so get the electoral benefit for maintaining and developing new structures for the Assembly to enable it to finally progress and move forward for all the people of NI. Nothing is Never Too Late in Politics !

  • mickfealty

    Don’t let anyone here stop you Barney.

  • mickfealty

    I’ll accept that criticism. Heaven forfend that any of us should make mistakes. My only other thought that you should ante up with what Pete has gotten wrong (preferably in this story).

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Surely the PSNI would have had to pass their Statement onto their Boss David Ford for his review and approval ?

  • Paddy Reilly

    Good luck to those who try. It’s not that the average Pete Baker thread comes with a reading list longer than the average Politics BSc student gets through in a term, it’s that each of these lists has at least one link to a previous Slugger thread, which itself has a Pete Baker posting, leading us into infinite recursion:-

    My name is Yon Yonson,
    I come from Wisconsin.
    I work in a lumber yard there.
    Everyone that I meet
    When I walk down the street,
    Says “Hello! What’s your name?”
    And I say: My name is Yon Yonson… (repeated again and again).

    I can only appeal for voluntary restraint. If you have something to say, say it, do not feel the need to prove it by infinite citation. Of yourself. And don’t link to Slugger threads. By Pete Baker. When you yourself are Peter Baker.

    Playing the ball is a good idea, but when the ball is not on the field, but allegedly in a locker, though actually when you open the locker there is a note directing you to another locker, etc, etc, what is one to do?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Even if the allegations are absolutely fundamentally “Word of God” true, all Sinn Féin supporters are gullible idiots, anyone who waits for proof like the SDLP and Alliance are gullible idiots, and those sticking things to Sinn Féin right now really believe they can hardball out the latent remnants of violent IRA membership.

    Then where is the difference between “Continuity Provo” supporters in Sinn Féin who use weapons for defensive purposes and the likes of Haughey and Blaney who conspired to bring weapons into the North and aided the IRA(s) in carrying out violence and so called “community policing” in their own area?

    Effectively Fianna Fáil already had this “Sinn Féin” in government, and they were kicked out once due process found proof of their allegations.

    Yet Haughey and Blaney are seen as mavericks, one wasn’t even Taniste he was Taoiseach. Where was the punitive action against mainstream Fianna Fáil who were left to deal with the mavericks who carried these actions under their own watch? Are Fianna Fáil using the same language against Sinn Féin that Fine Gael used against them during this period.

    Very little difference in my view.

    Also what punitive response is bringing down the government going to do … The Northern Irish Parliament was brought down by political violence, Sunningdale was brought down by political violence … history seems to suggest that getting rid of a political establishment is more gift-horse to the men of violence than a punitive action.

    If people needed to retaliate with violence in a manner they must know would put institutions in jeopardy, how is taking away the institutions a game changer?

    Articles like these make Sinn Féin seem like a sympathetic victim, they were made against Haughey during the arms crisis and aided his rise to power. If you want a punitive response wait to the mud sticks, look at the Sinn Féin vote collapse when shortly after the Enniskillen bomb the voters punished their support for continuing violence.

    Journalists do not seem to learn.

  • mickfealty

    That’s some re-working of the term victim there Kev.

  • mickfealty

    You should bone up on your Francis Bacon Paddy. Those backlinks are a means of tracking the story over time. Pete’s posts force you to think about the matter in hand, rather than tell you want to think. Pete’s Baconian approach means he’s far more resistant to coming to premature conclusions than most of the rest of us, which is nice.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I mean it in terms of “playing the victim card” and how it plays into the hands of Sinn Féin’s spin-doctors.

    Haughey was “victimized” and he won the premiership of Ireland.

    I think you know that Mick, let me clarify that for you in case you did not.

    The only real judge in politics is the electorate and this article attacks the dismissive elements of electorate.

    Give us something we can’t dismiss then, because everyone is dismissing everyone else right now.

    I believe dismissing the dismissive here isn’t going to work positively towards anyone’s affirmations.

  • William Carr

    Would it be possible to see some proof!
    This as has been pointed out by many is political all the unionist parties have defended having links with the very active loyalists.
    The important thing being ignored by many here is; how will this witch hunt (for without proof that is what it is) work out inside the nationalist community, Unless proof is furnished then it will regarded as just more sectarian stunts from unionists, the SDLP will look like UUP dupes if they jump on the bandwagon.
    We all know that SF is full of people who held senior posts in the IRA, we all knew that the IRA still had a structure the question is, is that structure involved in these murders.
    The CC says there is no evidence of this, he also states that SF is fully behind the peace process but a lot of people seem quite happy to ignore this.
    As a political tactic it is rather stupid, unless proof is forth coming then SF will milk the sympathy vote that may well cost the SDLP some MLA’s and if Mike is successful is taking votes back from the DUP and costing them a few MLA’s then Hey Presto Martin is first minister.
    so like i say without proof (of which there is none is Pete’s thread) Mike (and Unionisn) could find this coming round and biting them in the ass.

  • mickfealty

    Yes I guessed that much, but that choice of words has the unfortunate effect of dissipating focus on the core story.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I did use the word “like” … and to be honest the truth is Sinn Féin probably will get more sympathy than many hundreds of Troubles victims of the IRA will, especially if their opponents leave empathy for these victims to one side for posturing and agitprop.

    It is unfortunate, but probably an unfortunate truth.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I don’t think this will cost the SDLP anything, if Sinn Féin are making gains from the SDLP that’ll be down in large to constituency and electoral presence.

    I don’t think voters see Unionists attacking Sinn Féin as a positive they can gain from the SDLP, when every SDLP and Sinn Féin voter knows the reality there has to be a power sharing establishment with these unionists anyway.

    No one incentives anyone to get off the armchairs through political turmoil unless they have a way out of it.

  • mickfealty

    Proof of conspiracy is notoriously hard to recover William. That would be an unnecessarily wild goosechase when we know from the cops the IRA held an inquiry before the killing at which the Head of Intelligence was present.

    It’s for SF and the IRA to explain those circumstances and in what way if any those involved were able to exploit information given to elected members by the PSNI. It’s not for others to explain why it is acceptable/unacceptable.

  • chrisjones2

    Thats not Pete’s quote its Suzanne Breen’s – usually an incisive and dispassionate observer and hardly a mouthpiece for unionism or PSNI

  • chrisjones2

    If you dont justify here you are howled down by a Republcian WItchhunt shouting ‘prove it’ – except when it involves blaming the Army / Police / NIO / FF or FG or occasionally the poor old Stoops

  • chrisjones2

    “There’s nobody within Sinn Féin holding a candle for anybody who commits a criminal act.”

    Anybody told Seamus? Or Tom?

  • chrisjones2

    “Far from it.”

    Actually I do care. i care a lot. We all should no matter how much we regard the deceased themselves as murdering scumbags.

    Its about the sort of society we want. Its about the agreement we made to live within the law. Its about the foundations of our society

    I care about those things> They are critcial

  • chrisjones2

    Is the Director of Intelligence on the Assembly funded SF payroll?

  • Kevin Breslin

    So if this is a line of inquiry, why hasn’t the SF representative for the area Niall Ó Donnghaile been investigated for absent paperwork?

  • gendjinn

    Suzanne Breen is correct. So if people really want to see the PIRA gone-gone, then they need to turn their attention to the Unionist terrorists and make them gone-gone. Until then it’s just the continuation of the Dirty War by other means.

    As long as RUC Special Branch are still employed at the PSNI it’s not a credible police force in these matters.

  • Paddy Reilly

    Funny, I had the idea that because most of Pete Baker’s evidential links turn out to be by Pete Baker, that he was committing the logical fallacy of quoting the same authority twice:- “All men hate marmite, and so does Socrates” as well as breaching the rule of natural law, nemo testis in re sua.

    But if Francis Bacon said it, it has to be all right. But wasn’t Bacon dismissed for 23 counts of corruption? A practical lawyer, rather than a philosophical one, meseems.

    But does this not mean that the thread is a Baconian examination of the formulation of a conspiracy theory in Pete Baker’s head, rather than something that is happening in the world at large? Are we not intruding in this private process, which good manners dictates we should leave to the person it most concerns?

    Also, as the already unnecessarily over-long reading list has just been extended to include the entire works of Francis Bacon, I can’t see how it can reasonably be completed.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Irrelevant nonsense Mick, all my time knocking doorsteps moaning about unionists didn’t come up.

    The Sinn Féin ace card was “delivery” and the card is being questioned, as it was when the SDLP were ahead of them … they weren’t elected to annoy unionists, they could become a journalist and do the same job for less effort.

    For better or for Worst the SDLP has done what Margaret Ritchie did as social development to loyalists and cut funding to community groups linked to paramilitaries until trust can be restored.

    There’s a difference between giving the benefit of the doubt and giving doubt to the benefit.


    Maybe there is some illumination to be found transcending the lowest common denominator of politics and sniping at both sides from the gods in the theater, but I don’t believe in spooky action from a distance in that manner. Usually, the reality underneath escapes the judgmental monocle wearers dreaming through the act.

    Then again what do I know?

  • mickfealty

    Have to hand it to you Paddy, undaunted even by playing the father of the scientific method rather than the scientific method itself.

    So, which is it? “A reading list longer than the average Politics BSc student gets through in a term” or mere “quoting the same authority twice”?

    Let me know when you get back to playing the ball?

  • mickfealty

    I thought they’d all gone to the Palace Barracks in Holywood? Strictly MI5 these days, beyond the scrutiny of the Policing Board (by design, apparently)…

  • mickfealty

    Not to my knowledge.

  • August Hampner

    That is a good question. He was certainly speaking as a senior SF member when he mentioned that the provos had not gone away to try and get old Gerry out of his questioning.

  • chrisjones2

    ….if the facts are right why is it a sham fight because there have been other past murders as well. Eventually enough becomes enough and the evidence mounts that people are unwilling to comply with the criminal law.

    As all those Human Rights Lawyers (TM) lauded by SF so often remind us the State has a POSITIVE DUTY to investigate and bring to justice those who abuse Article 2 rights including those who encourage or organise or assist or collude in such acts.

  • chrisjones2

    It never seemed to take much whipping though

  • chrisjones2

    But delivery of what? Take West Belfast – it was a dump, after 20 years of misrule it still is with one of the highest per capita consumption of prescription medicines and DLA. Is that what voters really aspire to?

  • chrisjones2

    Oh you are CRUEL MIck!

  • chrisjones2

    Someone should ask!!!! We have had a bill on SpAds…what about the rest of them, on all sides?

  • chrisjones2

    “The only real judge in politics is the electorate” unless you commit a criminal offence and then the other Judges may become involved. Think of it as a bot like Canon law vs the Sates Law

  • chrisjones2

    I will wait for you to tell her that in person

  • chrisjones2

    Dear Lord!!! David Ford approving something significant and challenging!! The thought!

  • tmitch57

    Unless your company happened to be your former public relations branch.

  • kensei

    No, they force you into tl;dr. It’s an appalling style.

    I also believe Francis bacon was dead before the invention of the internet.

  • Paddy Reilly

    Ball? What ball? I’m still trying to work out what the article is about. The linkage structure as far as I can work out is as follows:-

    Link #1. Newshound. Links to articles about the crisis. I gave up counting after 100.

    Link #2. Slugger thread by Portrushian.

    Link #3. Slugger thread by Pete Baker. “The real story is not the existence of some skeleton structure, but the sound of gunfire…”

    Link #4. Slugger thread by Pete Baker.

    Link #5 News Hound. Suzanne Breen.

    Link #6. Slugger thread by Pete Baker. “Let no one interfere with that”

    Link #7. Journal.ie. Hooray!

    Link #8. Sinn Féin website.

    Link #9. Slugger thread by Pete Baker. “Members of PIRA carried out their own investigation” into the Davison killing…

    Link #10. Slugger thread by Pete Baker. PSNI Det Supt Geddes: “It is my assessment at this stage and my belief that people who are members of the Provisional IRA were involved in this murder, but we will not speculate on at what level.”

    Link #11. Slugger thread by Pet Baker. “Members of PIRA carried out their own investigation” into the Davison killing…

    I seem to have missed one but that will do for starters.

    It seems that the only person who knows anything about the matter is Pete Baker, and he is the only one worth referencing. Suzanne Breen is of value because she confirms PB, and Sinn Fein is quoted as a kind of pantomime villain, obviously wrong, in denial of PB.

    Somewhere in the backstory there is possibly an allegation or fact that one could take issue with, or which constitutes definitive proof, but I have not succeeded in locating it.

    Otherwise we are left to draw the conclusion that Pete Baker is right because Pete Baker says so, and if you are so foolish as to doubt this, I can only refer you to Pete Baker’s excellent article on the subject.

  • mac tire

    “Let me know when you get back to playing the ball?”
    A fair point.

    Pete’s 2nd sentence is “And for the, apparently, hard of understanding” – with a link to another’s thread.
    A fair dig?

  • kensei

    No, if I read more I won’t necessarily agree with you.

    What are these structures? What is their purpose? Is the PIRA recruiting? Is any of this being directed from within Sinn Fein (as an organisation or by enough individuals to suggest they are acting in concert, or by singular individuals)? Etc etc etc

    There will be answers to precisely none of those questions in Pete’s links, your links or any other links. So, you are speculating. Without answers to any of those questions there isn’t remotely enough to take down the Assembly. So the IRAs Chief of Intelligence is someone in SF. What is your evidence they were involved, knew what was happening, sanctioned it or refused to cooperate withe authorities. Unless I’m missing that due process has been suspended?

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. maybe look up confirmation bias too, since that is all anyone has.

  • kensei

    But you are missing FRANCIS BACON Paddy.



  • mickfealty

    I’m not asking you or anyone to agree with me ken. You know that.

  • mickfealty


  • Thomas Barber

    Seriously Mick have you even asked on any thread you or slugger have posted so far about where the PSNI is getting its information from as apparently they seem to know who was all involved, what each persons role was and what paramilatary organisation they belonged to. Was a state or state agents involved which wouldn’t be out of the ordinary in this part of the world or was covert surveillance used like the type used against Alex MCrory, Harry Fitzsimmons and Colin Duffy either way questions must be asked as to how they have all this information yet are unable to charge individuals who they claim were involved in murder and are or were senior members of an organisation which every victim of anti social behaviour, including knife attacks that have led to murder or serious injury in nationalist areas will tell you there is no PIRA.

  • William Carr

    Mick can we take it as read that the fact that the IRA still existed in some form was known to all?
    That the head of intelligence was present at any inquiry is not in the least surprising (nor indeed is it surprising that the IRA had a inquiry into the murder of one of their members), indeed the absent of such a relevant ranker would be very surprising at any such inquiry.
    Your point about information exchange is interesting but correct me if i am wrong but surely the policing board would not be briefed on the particulars (names, details of forensic evidence or surveillance data) so any Intel going that way would not be of a very high quality, and i think it would be a sound wager to say that the IRA has access to harder Intel from sources inside the PSNI structure.
    The question ) is, Was the murder sanctioned by the IRA command and/or SF. that will be up to the police to prove,
    “It’s for SF and the IRA to explain those circumstances and in what way
    if any those involved were able to exploit information given to elected
    members by the PSNI. It’s not for others to explain why it is
    this is of the “have you stopped beating your wife” type of question, and assumes guilt.

    Secondly, party’s (UUP/DUP/TUV) who are in a pact with the political wings of terrorist groups ( UVF/UDA) have no moral issues over working with terrorists (how many shootings have the loyalists been responsible for in the last couple of years) must be suspect when they get all uptight about a shooting.

  • William Carr

    Sorry i disagree, the victim card is always worth a few votes and the Shinners play it so well.

  • mac tire

    Fair enough, Mick. I just thought ‘the hard of understanding’ wasn’t a very nice way to link to another’s opinion. And while mine is only a minor point, I found the inference distasteful.

  • William Carr

    yeah right enough the Shinners will answer.
    The Faux outrage and surprise at continued existence of the IRA is amusing, did unionists miss the IMC telling us?

  • Barneyt

    I would have no issue explaining my views. Its a wide ranging article and meanders to far extents. I found it “young” in places and lacking insight with regard to the present. It was the sensationalist remarks that struck me as precocious….to be honest. I can’t help the pictures that form based on the words in front of me.

    I did feel that this remark “Those who cherish democracy should reject it wholeheartedly. Excuses that the killing of Kevin McGuigan doesn’t merit a punitive political response amount to saying that the state should collude in murder” should have been followed up with OMG Fail, Forevaaaa!

    SF and the IRA may jointly have a present, they have a joint past and and a more distant coupled past, that is far from savourable.

    I am happy with the place that SF occupies presently, and I don’t see the sense of such an attack and what it aims to achieve. Fine Gael in the Dail are sickeningly distracted by Gerry and his associations…associations that have partnered politicians and activists throughout the recent history of Ireland. I place this article in the same camp.

    Unionist politicians do not get a clean bill of health and for me it’s only right that we ALSO highlight the hypocrisy within Unionism and how they are prepared to excuse or ignore violence and insurrection from many pro-union sources when it suits. Her article fails to cater to that. Its important to hit out consistently, even if there are different degrees of association.

    I would equally welcome the PUP and any other party associated with para-militarism into a political forum, not to kick the daylights out of the them for political gain and to hide, but to hear what they are going to do going forward.

    Ironically it is the going forward with SF (politically) that scares many, and I suspect Suzanne the most.

    If the PSNI have evidence, they need to act quickly instead of loosing off assertions, that have proven harmful. I would say the same to anyone else who asserts this was effectively a SF sanctioned…if not SF committed act.

  • Kevin Breslin

    It’s a media show to keep the rank and file happy, it won’t drive out non-voters off the armchairs who are aren’t buying the newspapers any more.

    As for New Media If you look at Twitter feeds and Facebook posts of politicians on Twitter, you could probably understand why Gerry Adams would rather post about Bobo the bear, naked trampolining and squirrels chasing cats than a lot of the random nonsense his colleagues and opponents are typing about one another.

  • Kevin Breslin

    It’s too easy to blame SF custodianship of most of West Belfast’s Assembly seats and the seat they don’t take at Westminster for the area without asking, what have the other parties delivered for the area.

    It was hardly pre-Castro Havana under Unionist rule was it? Was the Shankill really any better than the Falls? What was its record on mental health problems in working class areas, unionist or nationalist?

    Thankfully you wouldn’t get the UUP, the party of the free prescription, denying there is mental health disabilities in the working class areas of Belfast these days?

    West Belfast is seen as a cultural hub, and Sinn Féin is ingrained to that culture whether it’s tourism or festivals or the Gaeltacht Quarter. So yes there is some positivity said about Sinn Féin in the area. Those who vote for Sinn Féin rather than SDLP, or PbP, or unionist or “anti-settlement” republican or other left wing groups probably vote the people who have given those in Poleglass, Twinbrook, across Andersonstown and beyond … jobs, investment and a voice rather than detractors with nothing positive to deliver.

  • chrisjones2

    No but SF have been in power years and achieved ziltch

  • cara

    “HMSU is now located within the PSNI’s C4 Special Operations Branch”

  • chrisjones2

    Hopefully all of it

  • chrisjones2


    Well Robin ………………..any views on this one? A child with a mental age of 9 murdered for daring to tell an IRA man off for hijacking a beer lorry

  • mickfealty


  • patrick23

    I disagree with this being Baconian, or if it is, it’s a corruption of the term.
    We essentially have a PSNI hypothesis. They’ve made some of that public, and some they’ve briefed to Clarke, Rowan and Breen. Politicians are quoted in reacting to that.
    The weight (volume?) of articles, or quotes are irrelevant as they are all variations on one piece of evidence “The PSNI said they did it”.

  • Lorcs1

    “The PSNI said they did it”.

    But they haven’t really defined who “they” are. Well they have, kind of, sort of, but not really. It was the PIRA, but it wasn’t the PIRA, who worked with Sinn Fein, but didn’t work with Sinn Fein.

  • William Carr

    you seem to be disagreeing with what you are saying in other posts?

  • gendjinn

    You mean to say the PIRA are almost as bad as the RUC for shooting children in the head?

  • Kevin Breslin

    I don’t think I am, agitational politics have their limits.

    My belief is that those who wouldn’t vote for Sinn Féin before aren’t suddenly going to come out for Sinn Féin because they are being accused of something without evidence. Nationalists or indeed other voters of Sinn Féin who are not Nationalists will need other reasons to vote for them, they did not have before.

    Look at Foyle and West Belfast, turnout is collapsing possibly because the youngest of these two youngest constituencies aren’t showing up as they would have ten or twenty years ago … and Gerry Adams’s arrest while it didn’t harm Sinn Féin, it didn’t really help bring new voters into the fold.

    It was “irrelevant” to Sinn Féin’s electoral success more than than a positive.

    If the SDLP go into opposition it will be because the Claire Hannas and Dolores Kellys who wanted the party to go into opposition won a conference vote on the issue. I don’t think it really changes the “siding with unionists” arguements because both parties will have one unionist group on their side. SDLP having the UUP, SF having the DUP and at least one Alliance member too. SDLP voters may want an opposition party or even be the opposition party.

    Maybe people actually care about policy issues rather than events?