“the Provos never claimed legitimacy on the basis of popular support but by reference to the mandate of history”

In The Observer, Eamonn McCann warns of further disaffection with the political process as “job losses, cutbacks and welfare ‘reform’” are imposed.  And he identifies the problem highlighted previously here.  From The Observer article Their allegiance was to the republic declared at Easter 1916. The dissidents have not budged from this position, whereas the Provos, they argue, abandoned the republic when they exchanged their Armalites for Armani and took executive positions at Stormont. In the new era of shared power …

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“No one in this small, enclosed biosphere ever told them this project was never going to work in the first place…”

In the Belfast Telegraph, Henry McDonald analyses the logically consistent, if callous, recent comments by independent councillor Martin Connolly.  From the Belfast Telegraph article No matter how repulsive you might find his response to what could have been a double-murder of a woman and a child, Connolly’s position reflects traditional republicanism and its attitude towards the security forces. It also, paradoxically, illuminates the central problem facing mainstream republicans, particularly Sinn Fein: the durability of ideology. Last Tuesday evening, the other …

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Republican protest doesn’t need or seek permission

This afternoon saw a large enough gathering of republicans in Lurgan (500+ seems a reasonable estimate). For those attending their intention was to demonstrate support for republican prisoners and protest against the conditions/regime they face in gaol. It also exposed an entirely different issue, a problem that could present an increasing challenge to the Parades Commission, PSNI, Stormont Justice Minister and the Assembly as a whole. The first large scale republican challenge to state structures on parading came with éirígí’s …

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Ardoyne violence: Some of those kids have real potential

A lot has been written on the claimed apolitical nature of rioting in Ardoyne and allegations many/most of those involved were motivated by thuggery, anti-social behaviour and sectarianism. Like a lot of those commenting, I wasn’t there and am in no position to fully judge who was doing what, why or through whatever motivation. However, as former IRA members joined the queues to lambast the young people at the forefront of the violence I picked up ‘Voices from the Grave’ …

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Is the Overthrow of the Constitution and deposing the Head of State true democracy?

Note: In this article the Constitution is taken to mean a set of parameters within which a state functions. If these parameters are breached  the state will cease to function. It is not the aim of any of my articles to convert anyone to the idea of a Federal Kingdom. It is put forward under freedom of thought mind and expression, and for what the idea is worth. I got an interesting comment to my article on— Whither Nationalism—from Stephen who …

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R.A.A.D. all about it!

Republican Action Against Drugs have been engaging in something of a PR drive in Strabane of late. The group, which claims to target drug dealers in republican areas has been mainly active in the north-west (i.e. Derry and Strabane) since last year, but have also claimed responsibility for a recent shooting in Newry. During election week at the start of May, the group released this photo to Strabane Chronicle journalist Conor Sharkey. It shows gunmen saluting dead RAAD member Roger …

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Dirty protest endangers prison staff…

There is genuine fear in government circles that another ‘dirty protest’ involving dissident republicans in Maghaberry Prison could lead to attacks on prison officers and prison staff. Twenty seven inmates in Roe House wrecked their cells in the past weeks as they continue to demand more freedom of movement and an end to strip searching. Prisoners are searched before and after visits and sometimes randomly at the week-end. Only three prisoners in Roe House are allowed to congregate on a …

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Republicans and Unionists both need to look at their directions of travel

Guest blogger Mr Crumlin argues it is high time both Republicanism and Unionism stop coasting in the same gear they were in during the conflict. And he asks: “Does unionism genuinely want to work with their fellow countrymen in the north? If so, then it is up to republicanism once again to show leadership and to travel the extra mile for the national good.”