And there’s been “attempted identification of covert human intelligence sources…”

Mark Devenport puts hammer to nail with some aplomb tonight…

Most striking was the assertion that “PIRA members” (presumably ones working for the British as agents) “believe that the Provisional army council oversees both PIRA and Sinn Féin with an overarching strategy”.

Think that’s pure fiction? Securocrats, much? Look at paragraph 13 again, and this bit in particular:

Some PIRA members are involved in gathering information of interest to the group including details of [Dissident Republican (DR)] activities and attempted identification of covert human intelligence sources [CHIS].

Or in common Belfast parlance, touts. It verges on taunting. Wherever this leaves the DUP, I suspect this is also a poke in the eye for Sinn Fein from “the Brits” themselves.

Clearly, judging by the rather more nebulous language of the southern AGS report, no one on the British side told the Irish they were planning to go by such a direct route.

  • Robin Keogh

    Oh sure there is mad stuff going on altogether ….

  • Zeno

    What’s the “mad stuff”Robin. Oh, and welcome back.

  • Robin Keogh

    Thank you Zeno xxx
    And back just in time it would seem !!

  • Zeno

    So are we still going with the IRA doesn’t exist line? You seem to be the only one who knows this stuff.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Yes Robin, good to see you back. I only occasionaly agree with you (two full moons in a month usually) but I genuinely value your contribution.

  • Robin Keogh

    Well as the report points out the IRA of the troubles does not exist and those remaining individuals styling themselves as the IRA and carrying out civil crimes do not enjoy the support of Sinn fein. On a personal note, the IRA who fought against Loyalists, The Orange state and the British and who desbanded in 2005 are the only IRA i regard as legitimate. They are gone. The Dupers are back in their seats, and apart from the sick murders of Jock and Kevin, the rest of it was all a very big yawn tbh

  • Zeno

    “On a personal note, the IRA who fought against Loyalists, The Orange state and the British and who disbanded in 2005 are the only IRA i regard as legitimate.”

    I don’t think you can pick and choose. You supported the IRA or you didn’t. The same ones who supposedly disbanded in 2005 murdered over 1800 people. They used people as human bombs, bombed innocent civilians and disappeared people. They carried out sectarian murders.
    Do you just support the ones they write the songs about?

  • Jack Stone

    If you cannot pick and choose does that mean If you wear a poppy it means you support the soldiers who gun down innocent civilians? Or is it possible to support a group and still condemn individual actions and actors?

  • Nevin

    Paragraph 14 is an illustration of the avoidance of a direct route:

    “14. Purpose: The PIRA of the Troubles era is well beyond recall. It is our firm assessment that PlRA’s leadership remains committed to the peace process and its aim of achieving a united Ireland by political means. The group is not involved in targeting or conducting terrorist attacks against the state or its representatives. ..”

    Suzanne Breen, on October 11, anticipated much of the ‘smoke and mirrors’ waffle that appeared in yesterday’s reports; reports that were designed to return the Stormont pantomime to the stage. Here are a few snippets which IMO are much closer to reality than the contributions of most media pundits:

    The three person-IMC style panel, appointed by the British government to assess the state of paramilitary activity here, is due to publish its report. Regarding the IRA bit, you don’t have to be a clairvoyant to know what’s coming.

    The assessment won’t contradict what the Chief Constable has already said about the Provos but it will provide enough cover for those who wish to keep breathing life into the political corpse that is the Stormont Executive.

    The report will read something like this: the IRA still exists but isn’t a threat to the peace process and while some of its members murdered Kevin McGuigan, the leadership knew nothing about it. ..

    Those at risk from the Provos are those who have the misfortune to cross them in their own community. Just as it’s working-class Protestants – and not nationalists – who have most to fear from loyalist paramilitary thugs. ..

    Don’t imagine for a second that by setting up a security assessment panel, the British government is finally interested in tackling the paramilitarism still plaguing our society. Far from it.

    This is about waffle and window-dressing before restoring business as usual. The government anticipates that the security report will help bring down the curtain on the killing of Kevin McGuigan, to remove the body from the stage so to speak.

  • Granni Trixie

    The IRA may have fought against “Loyalists,The Orange and the British” but they killed many more – a cross-community enterprise you might say.

    As a rule I try not to cast up but given you’re still n denial…..

  • Zeno

    The Poppy commemorates soldiers who have died in War. It is of course possible to buy a Poppy and not condone the actions of some military personnel. The problem there is most of the IRA actions would be condemned by most people.

  • chrisjones2

    “carrying out civil crimes ”

    a new low in sophistry Robin

    Very civil to poison Dundalk water, beat a man to death in a barn, shoot down another like a dog in the street, cover up rape and incest

    Very civil indeed

  • Jack Stone

    Those IRA actions doesnt seem to bother the voters any considering that members of the IRA who served time in prison for those actions were elected (one from his prison cell at the height of the Troubles). The British war dead have killed more civilians than the IRA ever did but of course you don’t think you can pick and choose. You supported the British Military or you didn’t. So in your world, war crimes like the firebombing of Dresden, hospital ships deliberately sunk by British aircraft, the massacre of thousands of people in Kenya and the “Malayan Emergency” during the Cold War are supported by everyone who wears a poppy.

  • Zeno

    Just so I know where we are coming from. Are you an IRA SUPPORTER?

  • Jack Stone

    Me? No, I havent been a supporter of Physical Force Republicanism since University. I was not politically aware until long after The Troubles. BUT, my father, who’s home was burned by loyalists, who left Northern Ireland with his young wife and everything they owned in a canvas bag, supported IRA attacks on what he classed legitimate combatants. Some of those you would agree are legitimate military targets like soldiers of an occupying force and paramilitary forces, some you might disagree with but could argue they were legitimate like double agents, touts, prison service officers and members of the constabulary and some you definitely wouldn’t agree are legitimate targets like judges, civilians working for military bases, politicians (like the Prime Minister) and economic targets. He did often speak out against sectarian attacks, attacks on innocent protestants and when actions were not taken to minimize innocent casualties. He had no problem supporting The Provisional IRA in what he believed a just war against an occupying power which stood by while a mob destroyed his life and punished no one for it. He believed that he did not have equality under the law in Northern Ireland and that the only way to get the British out of Ireland was to make it so costly to stay that they would be forced to leave. He felt by the time of the Good Friday Agreement that the “facts on the ground” meant that peace was the best way to accomplish the goal. A ceasefire. But he was always quick to remind me that if those facts change, if the British failed to live up to their promises and reneged on their treaties (again) that Ireland would still have it’s Fenian dead and hard men take up it’s arms again. For my father, the IRA has never surrendered, it is on ceasefire. It has never been ordered to disband. It disbanding has never been a condition of Sinn Fein’s place in the power-sharing agreement.

    I believe that if The United Kingdom does tear up their treaties and undo the policing, justice, equality and power-sharing changes built into Northern Ireland by international agreement, people could achieve greater pressure using political pressure (both foreign and domestic) civil disturbances, riots, non-violent protests, strikes and structural attacks without the need for a loss of life. The political, economic and instability would have such a great cost to the United Kingdom that they would be forced to accede to the will of the people. The political pressure both within and without the United Kingdom would be unbearable. It isn’t 1968. We have better tools. We should use them. I do not support physical force republicanism to achieve a United Ireland. I might feel differently if I stood over the burned remains of everything I owned and watched the RUC made no attempt to apprehend anyone or bring anyone to justice.

    I am also not a Sinn Fein voter. When I lived in Ireland I voted Fianna Fail. Although I am a centrist democrat here in the states and I do share a lot of politics in common with Sinn Fein. If I voted in Northern Ireland, it would depend on the candidate I was voting for. I am not sure what that means for the original question. I can support the American Military while condemning particular acts and actors like when they bomb a hospital. I do not believe that supporting an organization means giving that organization carte blanche and blindly supporting every act.

  • Zeno

    Fair enough and thanks for the reply.
    The IRA created 1000’s of people like your Father by murdering local people in Northern Ireland. There undoubtedly was a problem in 1969 but the IRA actions only made it worse. I’d have to disagree with any case that they achieved anything that could not have been achieved without the murder campaign.

  • John Collins

    Well Zen. Prior to the late 60s there was a view that the NI Nationalist Party, who for over forty years, perused their aims by totally peaceful means, were regarded as nothing more than an inferior source of amusement by successive Unionist Administrations. Their policy achieved nothing and ever since the early Nineteenth Century anything that Nationalism gained was achieved either by violence or the threat of it. As one who totally disagrees with violence, I read where Sir George Corvile, a prominent GB politician of his day, said Catholic Emancipation was only wrung from an unwilling King and Parliament because they were only left with a choice of ‘concession or civil war’. It was only in similar circumstances that the GB governments of the day conceded tithe removal, disestablishment of the Established Church and settlement of the Land Question. By contrast the only major peaceful Nationalist movement of the Nineteenth Century, O’Connell’s Repeal rallies of 1843, was put down with the threat of ‘awful force’. Until recent decades nothing was every conceded by GB with a bit of grace and goodwill. So sadly it was perhaps inevitable that things would flare up again in NI. Background and context should never be overlooked when assessing the past.

  • Zeno

    We are in a different time John. Look what the Scottish Nationalists achieved without a single bullet being fired.

  • John Collins

    Yes and I acknowledge that times have changed and as I say I am with O’Connell who said in 1843 that ‘the freedom of a nation was not worth the shedding of a drop of human blood’. However the British were very slow learners and should have intervened in NI long before things got out of hand in the early seventies and indeed in Ireland before 1916. In this regard A Plea for the Reintegration of Ireland (1907) by Dr Robert Ambrose MP is a Pamphlet which should be read by anyone interested in researching the background to the 1916 trouble. As regards the Scottish Referendum, I fear that the intervention of David Cameron, the morning after the result was declared, was about as foolish a move politically as I have ever seen.

  • Zeno

    The road to United Ireland has never been more simple. The problem is practically no one is remotely interested and those that are can’t even describe it.

  • John Collins

    Well that is probably true. Indeed anyone down here, with an ounce of wit, who saw the juvenile antics of politicians in NI over the past few weeks would not want to touch it with a forty foot pole.
    However I would take serious issue with your Scottish comparison. I would suggest you read that wonderful work by Linda Colley ‘Britons, The formation of Britain’. In it she highlights the fact that after the1745 rising Britain worked very hard at integrating the Scots into the political, military and commercial life of GB in a way that there were never willing to do with Ireland. There were of course reasons for this. After ‘the ’45’ the population of Scotland was overwhelmingly Protestant, there was a shared Monarchy and of course no sea dividing the two countries, which made overall integration easier. Ireland especially its Nationalist leaning parts, was only ever a colony, even after the Act of Union. So to compare what happened in 1916 or indeed 69 with the recent Scottish Referendum is not comparing like with like.