Whether we like it or not there is a very bad smell emanating from the past….

So victims are ripping for justice whilst the Justice Minister tells them that the new arrangements will bring at maximum two convictions.

Those convicted before 1998 have served not more than two years, which neatly fits with the fact that no one has been convicted since then in accordance with a secret plea (bar individuals like Gerry McGeough who was arrested after running against SF in 2007) made by Gerry Adams (to the Brits) that such would be against the public interest.

DUP politicians are ridiculed for expressing their emotional difficulties in dealing with killers in government and struggle to communicate that their absence in government is an attempt to focus on abiding presence of paramilitaries 21 years after hostilities ended.

Meanwhile, the deputy First Minister says he’s proud of his past as part of the most efficient killing machine Northern Ireland has ever experienced.

Naturally he is shy of identifying specific actions (some fool might start looking for a conviction), but we do know with a high degree of certainty that Claudy was just one of many outrages that were conducted on his IRA watch:

Ballad of Claudy

The Sperrins surround it, the Faughan flows by
At each end of Main Street the hills and the sky
The small town of Claudy at ease in the sun
Last July in the morning, a new day begun

How peaceful and pretty, if the moment could stop
McIlhenny is straightening things in his shop
His wife is outside serving petrol and then
A child takes a cloth to a big window-pane

And McCloskey is taking the weight off his feet
McClelland and Miller are sweeping the street
Delivering milk at the Beaufort Hotel
Young Temple’s enjoying his first job quite well

And Mrs. McLaughlin is scrubbing her floor
Artie Hone’s crossing the street to a door
Mrs. Brown, looking around for her cat
Goes off up an entry, what’s strange about that

Not much, but before she comes back to the road
The strange car parked outside her house will explode
And all of the people I’ve mentioned outside
Will be waiting to die or already have died

An explosion too loud for your eardrums to bear
Young children squealing like pigs in the square
All faces chalk-white or streaked with bright red
And the glass, and the dust, and the terrible dead

For an old lady’s legs are blown off, and the head
Of a man’s hanging open, and still he’s not dead
He is shrieking for mercy while his son stands and stares
And stares, and then suddenly – quick – disappears

And Christ, little Katherine Aiken is dead
Mrs. McLaughlin is pierced through the head
Meanwhile to Dungiven the killers have gone
And they’re finding it hard to get through on the phone.

The Sperrins surround it, the Faughan flows by
At each end of Main Street the hills and the sky
The small town of Claudy at ease in the sun
Last July in the morning, a new day begun.

– James Simmons

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  • Zeno

    Republican dream. It excuses the UI fail and looks like progress and a victory for Republicans. The unionists won’t accept it.

  • Pasty2012

    You have a real bee in your bonnet Mick, and a really good pair of dark sunglasses when it comes to Unionists. The Late David Ervine pointed out that the DUP met with him and the UVF on the Shankill Road in Belfast in the early 1990’s and Begged them NOT to call a ceasefire. Now if the DUP didn’t want the UVF to call a ceasefire then what do you think they wanted them to do?
    When it comes to Murder and being associated with Terrorist Groups carrying out murder then the DUP tick that box also, the Late George Seawright being a DUP councilor and known to the security services involved with UVF Killings. Other members or ex-members of the DUP have been involved in various crimes through the years and the father of their latest MLA was involved in gun running for the DUP’s Third Force.
    The DUP and the UUP make all sorts of claims that they shouldn’t have to share power with Sinn Fein due to their past but have no problems in sharing platforms and committees with the UVF/UDA etc. and even try to justify the difference by claiming they are trying to bring them in and away from terrorism. Asking them NOT to go on Ceasefire back in the 1990’s wasn’t exactly trying to get them to stop being Terrorists was it!
    The DUP and UUP also make the difference that the UVF and UDA aren’t in Government, but that is down to the Unionist electorate. Maybe now that the Right Wing DUP/UUP are demanding that all Working and Social Benefits are Cut and that both the DUP and UUP have been so close to Terrorists that the Unionist people who will suffer from the DUP/UUP cuts may then change their minds and actually vote for a Party more in line with Working Class issues. If you take out the National Question and the Sectarian issues and leave just the Bread and Butter ones then the PUP are pretty close to Sinn Fein and would probably be better in serving the needs of the people on the Shankill Road than the current DUP/UUP ones.

  • NotNowJohnny

    It may seem that way to you but the idea that Unionists would swop a devolved Assembly with a unionist veto for joint North South solution with SF as part if it and no unionist veto is fanciful. The only alternative to a devolved Assembly is direct rule by Mrs Villiers and a small team of fly in Monday and home by Thursday unaccountable up and coming Tory trainees from the HoC and an ageing token rep from the HoL, none of whom want to be here.

  • raymonds back

    Again, in regard to the PSNI ‘certainty’ that there was IRA involvement in the McGuigan murder, why on earth should anyone give credence to that assertion given that their attempts to charge anyone with that murder (about which they are so certain) have led to 20 arrests followed by twenty unconditional releases? The PSNi knowledge about the murder would not seem to be very exact given those facts, therefore I would expect people to view their assertion that the IRA was involved to be equally uncertain and not to be taken as a proven fact – or an excuse to completely ignore the ministerial pledge of office and play silly games at Stormont.

  • Reader

    I had read down your list. You picked out a load of well known examples over years of observations, and used each one to tar hundreds of thousands of people. And you picked out hypocrisies from bad politicians, and made out that it was all one sided.
    Maybe you don’t even deny that republicans, and republican politicians, do bad stuff?
    In which case, your spin is that when republicans do bad stuff, it’s mere data (individuals, tactics). When unionists do bad stuff, it is replete with meaning (communal, hypocritical).

  • mickfealty

    Because the PSNI is accountable to among others, wait for it, Sinn Fein’s elected and mandated politicians. It’s not really credible to suggest SF is telling the truth here and senior cons tables are lying. Past behaviourial patterns suggest that lying is exactly what SF is doing.

  • mickfealty

    Btw, the grace reference has zero to do with electoral mandates, but rather the practical suspension of justice for victims of the Provisionals and their fellow Loyalist and Republican paramilitary groups. By all accounts from Stomont last week at least SF are starting to tell victims the truth now, ie they will be getting nothing from them or their British underwriters.

  • mickfealty

    As I’ve pointed out to Sub elsewhere, you cannot accuse someone of being hypocritical just for having strong feelings about a group of people who proactively set up friends and neighbours for murder for over a quarter century, after they have shared r offices in “The Castle” for over eight years. (The fact that they’ve been useless at collaboration, is another, if important issue, but we should be careful not to deliberately confuse the two).

    I would have thought It is SF’s own material position on this that puts Loyalist murderers and apologists for pro and/or anti state murder like our dFM) absolutely onside. It’s an awkward one, but it is the key issue at the core our poisonous foundations.

  • mickfealty

    Heh? There’s a language filter on Disqus which holds back certain posts. It might be that. Dissent from the author’s view is fully licensed on Slugger providing its legal and decent.

  • mickfealty

    Narrative vs Non Narrative?

  • mickfealty

    This is where that argument is at its weakest. They’ve been working with republicans for eight years at the top end. So the analogy is at best misguided.

    It’s war mentally carried into peace time. Future fear I’d call it, and it’s rising again because these two have so little to show for eight years in the top jobs.

  • Ciarán

    Well I’m not saying anyone needs to make their feelings go away, I’m saying three things:
    1. It’s hypocritical to profess to only having such strong feelings towards Republicans and at the same time as being in-league with loyalists.
    2. Even if you do have strong feelings then we should still expect professionalism and civility. Kyle Paisley made some good points on this.
    3. If you stand for election knowing you’ll have to share power with SF but yet this is emotionally beyond you well then I’d suggest you seek a new career or you shouldn’t be in the executive.

  • Ciarán

    fine. I’m not going to listen to that for the reasons pointed out above. Ignore my last paragraph on Mallon.

  • eireanne

    “examples over years of observations” – show contempt for Nationalists/Republicans/catholics is persistent over time

    “picked out hypocrisies from bad politicians” and also examples from the general public, though the post didn’t include 11th night bonfires

    “made out that it was all one sided” – the post was about Unionist/loyalist comtempt for NRC. It stayed on topic.

    Your last paragraph extrapolates (your own?) views with no evidence to back them up and attempts to attribute them to another person.

  • mickfealty

    Grand so. And the point about grace? You conceding that too?

  • Ciarán

    No. I think ‘grace’ is a really loaded word that you’ve deliberately misused to create the idea that Republicans can somehow feel themselves lucky to be where they are. ‘Grace’ if we are to use the word was shown all round including from Republicans.

  • raymonds back

    Well Mick, I did not mention Sinn Féin at all in my post because they are not relevant to my thought process on this question, which goes like this:
    1. Chief constable states that IRA members were involved in the McGuigan killing but that their involvement was not sanctioned by the organisation: I conclude from this that the chief constable has detailed knowledge about who exactly did the killing.
    2. The PSNI arrest about 20 people in connection with the murder and then release them all without charge: I conclude from this that they do not have a clue who exactly carried out the murder.
    3. Conclusion 2 contradicts conclusion 1 and, as conclusion 2 is based on facts rather than on a statement of opinion, I stick with conclusion 2. Further, conclusion 2 undermines the veracity of the statement that was the basis for conclusion 1.
    Anything wrong with this thought process? And not a Shinner Spinner in sight! 🙂

  • Paddy Reilly

    Let me explain to you. I was in the Boy Scouts, yet no-one has ever blamed me for the murder by Baden-Powell of Chief Uwini of Matabeleland.

    Several of my relations and friends were in the British Army, but I would not blame them for Bloody Sunday, if I knew that they were not in the Paras, but the Catering Corps, or the Amritsar Massacre, if this happened before they were born.

    For this reason, it is mere political rhetoric to blame Martin McGuinness for the Claudy bombing, when this was the work of a gang from the South of the County, which subsequently joined up with INLA. All of them dead now: they had their karma, and he has his karma.

  • Zeno

    Link?

  • Paddy Reilly

    When I was young the IRA would go on ceasefire and then, for no apparent reason, declare the ceasefire over and start fighting again.

    This was, regretfully, the only way Nationalists could hope to have an influence in politics. The SDLP, who at that time had many more voters, were sidelined and negotiations were conducted with the IRA, giving them everything they want for fear they would break their ceasefire.

    In the present situation it is obvious that no Unionist is worried that this might happen. The IRA is defunct, has gone away, and has surrendered its weapons. Technically it could quite easily rearm: but its former personnel are now decades beyond the age of military capability. Starting it up anew just three months away from 2016 seems wasted effort.

    Thus it is the very fact that the IRA does not exist which means that the Unionist parties can get away with asserting it does.

  • chrisjones2

    That rather depends on the command culture of the organisation and who authorised the attack doesn’t it???

  • chrisjones2

    Was the machine gun decommissioned or is it another of those souvenirs that was retained?

  • eireanne

    Direct rule from London entails an Emergency Act of parliament from Westminster and agreement from the ROI and USA, as well as setting aside the GF/Belfast Agreement , and the will of the majority of people that voted for it. Do you really think Mr Cameron is going to open all those cans of worms? PS Nothing would change with the status of the Unionist veto – which at times seems far more important than the actual link with the UK. Please do look at the answers to some FAQ on Joint Authority

  • Zeno

    “…..the Late George Seawright being a DUP councilor and known to the security services involved with UVF Killings”

    I don’t disagree with a lot of your post. Seawright got either 5000 or 8000 votes in an election after his “incinerate Catholics” comment in Belfast City Council. So if he had lived he could easily have been an MLA with a mandate. So can you understand that Nationalist MLA’s may have felt the need to put up with the stench to do business with him?
    By the way SF are not a socialist party, They are are a jump on the latest bandwagon party. They are on the brink of introducing welfare reform in NI. It is being explained to the faithful as the only option to stop Direct Rule and even worse Tory cuts. Don’t worry the faithful will once again swallow it and no damage will result. Beir bua.

  • mickfealty

    I see Andrew has done us all the service of linking Mallon’s speech now. Which means we can, if we wish, get back on topic!! ;-))

  • Barney

    Bring on lustration, only those deemed pure can have representation….

  • NotNowJohnny

    I’m not calling for an alternative to the assembly. Nor do I think the assembly will dissolve so the same ran issue doesn’t arise. I’m merely pointing out that if it did direct rule would be the only alternative in the short term anyway. The fact that it requires an act of Parliament is neither here nor there. Any alternative would require such an act so it’s hardly a sound basis for ruling it out.

  • Zeno

    I’d prefer only those with some brain cells being allowed to vote.

  • Barney

    I think you are missing the point, the thread is about the degree and depth of lustration that should be applied.

    I note your “humorous tone” however I have never been in favour of eugenics and would prefer not to read about your idea.

  • Zeno

    No, I got it ok.

  • mickfealty

    Listen lad, if you want to argue here, produce an argument. That’s pure ad hominem, and utterly void of content.