Gerry Adams: still a revolting man and still trying to steal Irish history.

5 December 2013

I know this is not exactly breaking news but Gerry Adams is a vile man. Since no-one devotes much attention to Northern Ireland these days it is easy to forget this. Easy to file Adams and his Sinn Fein comrades into a musty drawer marked Ancient History. But the past is not another country.

In Dublin this week the Smithwick Tribunal’s report into alleged Garda collusion with the IRA in the murders of RUC officers Harry Breen and Robert Buchanan in 1989 was finally published.

The report confirmed long-held suspicions that the IRA had a mole or, less dramatically, a simple informant inside the Garda station in Dundalk, County Louth. The two policemen were murdered minutes after leaving a meeting with their Garda counterparts in Dundalk at which cross-border co-operation to combat IRA smuggling was the chief topic of discussion.

Just another squalid shooting in a squalid little war, you may say, and you would have a point. The Irish government has apologised to the Breen and Buchanan families for the likelihood that the IRA were told about the officers’ movements by a source inside the Garda Siochana.

But it is the reaction of Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein that, a quarter of a century after the murders, remains noteworthy. They haven’t gone away you know. According to Adams, the two RUC officers were asking for trouble. They invited their own execution. Speaking to a Dublin radio station Adams said:

“The former IRA volunteers said that one of the officers was spotted coming from the station, that they then used a house overlooking the station, to monitor comings and goings… So when you have that type of laissez faire disregard for their own security by both An Garda Siochana in relation to these two RUC officers and more importantly by the RUC officers themselves. Here they were in the heart of south Armagh, in the middle of a very, very severe conflict at that time and seemed to think that they were immune to attack by the IRA and tragically as it turned out for them, that wasn’t the case.”

That tragically as it turned out for them is a typically neat piece of Adamsian humbug isn’t it? As always, blame the victim and slide away from any responsibility for anything. It’s always tragic when hard things happen but you can’t blame the people who held the guns. Or the people who commanded the people who held the guns. The IRA, you say? Well, listen, what you have to understand is…

Actually, all you need understand is that Gerry Adams still has a pathological aversion to acknowledging his own past. He remains a moral dwarf. And aren’t we supposed to have moved on from that anyway? Besides, he was careful to note, he is “sure the same thing happened to IRA volunteers”. Doubtless it did. Doubtless the poor volunteers shot on active service might sometimes have taken greater precautions to ensure their own safety.

It is tiresome that some people are still impertinent enough to draw a distinction between the forces of law and order – however imperfect they might have been – and the actions of a terrorist group who represented no-one other than themselves. Most people lack Gerry Adams’ infinitely flexible powers of moral equivalence.

Not that Adams is alone. His entire party remains rotten to its core and incapable of addressing, far less overcoming, its murderous past. (Please, let’s not pretend Sinn Fein and the IRA were distinct entities.) In a remarkable edition of Tonight with Vincent Brown – which you can watch here – Sinn Fein’s Justice spokesman Padraig MacLochlainn maintained that the IRA were blameless.

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According to MacLochlainn, you see, the IRA members who murdered Breen and Buchanan “had a duty as much as Michael Collins and the IRA of the War of Independence, as much as Padraig Pearse and James Connolly“. The IRA “had a right to take a war in the absence of political leadership” and, anyway, the “RUC were a sectarian, orange state enforcer” and, for god’s sake, this was a “war situation” that was “tragically the same as the old IRA who killed almost 500 RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) members in the War on Independence.”

Again with the tragically. Terrible how these things just happened. But, jaysus, don’t be trying to pin responsibility for any of this on the people who made it happen. That wouldn’t be right.

But why, you might ask, does any of this matter? Isn’t it the same old dreary same old? To some extent it is, but it is also a reminder that Sinn Fein want to own Irish history and, by owning it, corrupt it. And that does matter because the corruption fouls all waters.

Whatever one thinks of the Easter Rising there is little denying that by the time of the War of Independence Collins and Co enjoyed a significant measure of popular support. The cause drew strength from that popular enthusiasm. That might not, on its own, be enough to justify the measures taken but even if we accept the comparison on these terms the contrast between Irish enthusiasm for the War of Independence and Irish enthusiasm for the modern Provisionals reflects pitifully on Adams and Co. In Northern Ireland they represented a minority of a minority; in the Republic they were an embarrassment whenever they weren’t an irrelevance.

But to listen to these people you could be forgiven for thinking they were the authentic voices of Irish nationalism. Forgiven for supposing there were no alternatives to the armed struggle. Except of course there were and those alternatives were followed by the majority of northern nationalists and the overwhelming majority of southern Irish men and women.

So this is not simply a question of corrupting Irish history it is also an attempt to steal it. It is their biggest heist yet. Sinn Fein don’t only wish to own the north’s story, they want to be seen as the representatives of all Ireland and the inheritors of all strains of nationalist sentiment. It shouldn’t wash but it might.

The further pity of it is that we – that is, the British government – have allowed and even, in some instances, encouraged this theft. Because the present division of power in Northern Ireland is so embarrassing we all agree not to mention it. Above all we agree not to acknowledge that it represents a tremendous failure of the peace process, not its triumphant success.

If, in 1992, you had said to the Irish people, north and south of the border, that the peace process would leave Northern Ireland to be carved up and shared between Sinn Fein and the DUP most people would, quite correctly, have demanded a different, better, process. Instead we have ended up with that precise failure but chosen to term it a success.

Even if you think it is a success it is a very heavily qualified success. Better that than nothing, many people will say and, as so often, they will have half a point. But only half a point. The peace process hollowed out the centre of Northern Irish politics. That is regrettable enough, still worse is the manner in which the British government colluded in the evisceration of the SDLP and the UUP.

It did so by elevating the process above its outcome. So long as the process continued, however imperfectly, all would be, if not well, at least tolerable. The process became sacred and everything else could be sacrificed to keep the process alive.

The Republican movement recognised this and appreciated how this belief – however well-intentioned it might be – stacked the deck in their favour. There were no good faith negotiations because Sinn Fein and the IRA knew that they would not be held to the letter or even the spirit of their commitments. Everyone else would be, however. At every crisis – whether over prisoner release or decommissioning or any number of other matters – Sinn Fein would slide away from its commitments and, far from holding them to these commitments, the British and Irish governments would redefine the process to render those commitments irrelevant. Keeping the ship afloat was all that mattered. The course did not.

The British government – and here the likes of Mo Mowlam and Jonathan Powell must take much of the blame – always blinked. Since failure was not an option any outcome could be redefined as a success.

It is true, I suppose, that a deal could not be done without Sinn Fein and the IRA. At least not the kind of epic, history-making deal politicians sought. But that had the effect of giving Sinn Fein a de facto veto. Worse still, it emasculated the SDLP and, more generally, the entire constitutional nationalist cause. They were saps. Who could be bothered with boring old Seamus Mallon when you could enjoy the thrill of talking with the hard men of the IRA? And anyway, weren’t the hard men the only people who counted?

They were not but the British government behaved as though they were. In return for conceding they had lost the war Sinn Fein and the IRA won the peace. They did not only win it, they were handed it. Keys on a plate. Because otherwise, you know, the process might have faltered. And that was the one thing that could not be permitted.

Which is why we now endure the sight of Gerry Adams and his chums parading themselves as big men big enough to make a historic bargain and old warriors arguing that bygones be bygones and all the rest of it. Besides, there was blood on all sides and who’s to say one murder is worse than another? Ancient history.

But, again, it is not ancient history as Sinn Fein’s attempt to rewrite and steal Irish history demonstrates. If you think this does not matter then you’re the kind of person for whom truth is also an irrelevance. But I like to think we can be better than that, even if only a little better.

There may be a kind of peace in Ulster these days and we may recognise the benefits that come from that but we should not be deluded or so blind as to fail to recognise its shortcomings. Just because it has turned out this way does not mean it had to turn out this way.

In that sense, I suppose we should be grateful to Gerry Adams this week if only for reminding us who he really is and what kind of political party he leads. Even so, I imagine we will soon agree to forget about all of that because, well, the human heart can only bear so many hard truths.

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Show comments
  • joeybegood

    Adams did his best in a terrible situation that was contrived and encouraged by the British establishment. If there’s blame to be laid at a door, Whitehall is the place.

  • JGS

    Thanks for this piece, very educational indeed.

    You would be surprise to realize that in Colombia, thousands of miles away (not only in terms of distance but contextually) from Northern Ireland, some left wing journalists and politicians, with the same ideological convictions, recurrently point out to the “IRA case” to justify negotiations with FARC, a Marxist-Leninist terrorist group that remain actively immerse, among other criminal activities, in drug-trafficking and in the assassination of civilians and non-civilians indiscriminately. These so-called “peace lovers” (a moniker to discriminate others as “peace-haters”) normally appeal to a very simplistic (naive) understanding of peace treaties elsewhere, making of the IRA and Sinn Fein almost a necessary mantra to invoke.

  • Swanky

    Well said, Massie, and I’m sorry about the simplistic and ignorant sentimental sympathies of my fellow Americans, who contributed so much in lucre (filthy, in this case) to the IRA/Sinn Fein cause.

    There are parallels here — they occurred to me spontaneously as I read the article — with Palestine and the Arab inhabitants thereof, and Israel. Remember: Arabs of any religion are better off in Israel than they are outside of it, in that subcontinent. And why? Because Israel is the only liberal-democratic regime in the entire Middle East. After five thousand years of civilization, that ought to be shocking. Why is no one shocked?

  • Perfidious Albion

    I received a few comments in response to another post in the comments here but such was my contempt for this article that I decided to articulate my thoughts on the flaws within in more detail, a virtual impossibility given that I deem there to be so many.

    In some respects I genuinely admire the content for provoking me, as it did, into probably the most elongated defence of Sin Fein that I could ever imagine writing, which isn’t bad when I hold them barely above the level of contempt.

    Yet for all their flaws, denials and hypocrisies, the article warrants an alternative view if only because Massie represents the absolute best of the moralising regressive.

    He accuses Adams of indulging in “a typically neat piece of Adamsian humbug” in his statement on Harry Breen and Robert Buchanan and within two paragraphs indulges in his own neat Massieism in referring to how:

    “It is tiresome that some people are still impertinent enough to draw a distinction between the forces of law and order – however imperfect they might have been- and the actions of a terrorist group who represented no-one other than themselves.”

    However imperfect they might have been. To take the recent additional MRF revelations as one example, “imperfect” apparently consisted of driving around in unmarked cars shooting bullets from submachine guns at civilians. In at least one documented case in John Ware’s Panorama programme the weapon of choice was the Thompson submachine gun favoured by the PIRA.

    These “forces of law and order” contributed to neither law nor order in their unaccountable rampages and further investigations (at least one of which I’m aware of which isn’t in the public domain) may well reveal the documented incidents to be the tip of the iceberg.

    I could suggest that “imperfect” similarly doesn’t come close to describing Bloody Sunday or a whole host of other murders committed or aided by the state but the truth is it’s neither insightful nor instructive to indulge in a retrospective murder count in an effort to somehow validate Adams and the PIRA. Throughout the troubles they committed thousands of murders that were variously indiscriminate, deceitful and nakedly sectarian. Whatever provocations or conditions that they can claim underpinned their actions, their actions were their own. On that point, if little else, I agree with Massie.

    Yet those provocations and conditions did exist and his willingess to casually airbrush over thirty years of history in a sentence because it doesn’t conform to the logic behind his wider polemic highlights a hypocrisy that doesn’t end there and is sadly consistent in his writings on the subject.

    Let’s take the parallel Massie draws between the Irish War of Independence and the troubles, a parallel even more stark than he gives even the slightest indication of appreciating. The dividing line between the two is apparently based on the “popular support” and “popular enthusiasm” for one over the other, neatly accompanied by the getout clause re the Irish war of independence that even that “might not, on its own, be enough to justify the measures taken.”

    Yet by his comparison Massie comes altogether rather close to proferring such a justification, albeit while conveniently leaving off where he actually stands on the issue of politically motivated murder. North of the border we absolutely know where he stands. South of the border we’re not nearly as sure.

    And what of those measures? Well they began with the Soloheadbeg Ambush in 1919 and the shooting dead of two policemen. And suddenly I sense we’re coming full circle and to the uneasy notion of “good terrorism” and “bad terrorism.” The political violence preceding the Anglo Irish Treaty would ultimately secure it and eventually, the Republic of Ireland.

    So it was okay to chase down and shoot policemen dead in the street because they got a result and their cause was just.

    By contrast Massie is clear that the Provisional IRA were a “minority in a minority” who lost the armed struggle and can’t lay claim to securing anything that wasn’t on the table already in 1973 with Sunningdale.

    Their failure to pursue an alternative to armed struggle like all right-minded people is thus their eternal shame where conversely it was and is a badge of honour for their feted southern forebears. This article is clear that there is no moral equivalence between the two in the eyes of the author, just as there’s no moral equivalence between IRA gunmen and historic agitators such as William Craig and Reverend Ian Paisley whose oratory marched gunmen to the top of the hill and then stood back, palms splayed, when they went over.

    To read Massie and his Grand Canyonesque gaps in context you could be forgiven for forgetting that the PIRA was formed in a country on the brink of civil war and in the midst of a civil rights crisis, an almost inevitable consequence of the Anglo Irish treaty that remains to this day the dividing line between those gobby northern nationalists and the high horse atop which ‘law ‘n order’ southerners and ‘black and white’ commentators such as Massie sit astride.

    To give credence to his “murder is murder” analysis is to forget Burntollet, the Battle of St Matthews, Bombay Street and the hundreds of other formative violent incidents that would shape the present in which the Provisionals were formed.

    It’s also to ignore the cumulative affect that loyalist mobs, systematic discrimination, British soldiers on the streets and their associated stop and searches, collusion, military death squads, military curfews and internment without trial would have on the psyche of any population, much less one with a pronounced and entrenched backdrop of sectarian strife.

    This is not in anyway to demean the experience of protestants and unionists who suffered greatly at the hands of the PIRA, but any serious discussion of legitimacy can’t take place without examining cause along with effect.

    Just how representative the IRA were of the wider nationalist population of Northern Ireland is something I can’t rightly or definitively say, even with growing up and living most of my life in Belfast. Politics remains a subject that is rarely discussed except in safe company and even rarer is such discussion forthright. Politely avoided in Northern Ireland workplace, it retains the power to accutely divide precisely because it’s largely impossible to discuss without taking a view on murder.

    It’s in my uncertainty that I accordingly resent such clear surety on the part of a commentator such as Massie who gives the impression of desperately needing to pick up a book.

    Remembering that he’s not any more qualified to assess this support than I am and provides no supporting evidence for his assertions, let’s critically examine his description of the IRA as representing “no-one other than themselves,” the aforementioned formative years in the late sixties and early seventies notwithstanding.

    This is the same IRA that essentially stood a candidate, Bobby Sands, in the 1981 by-election in Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Sands went on to be elected with 30,493 votes. Danny Morrison has pointed out, perhaps trivially in the minds of some, that Sands polled more votes than Margaret Thatcher when she was elected as MP for Finchley in 1959, giving some context to their respective political mandates. It doesn’t follow that this is true, though it is certainly debatable.

    What I found more interesting was that the Iron Lady was 25 when she first stood as a candidate in a UK General Election. Bobby Sands was 27. The similarities between the two begin and end with their age for while Bobby Sands was a convicted terrorist and IRA prisoner, Thatcher was well on her to way to becoming a career politican, rewarded with candicacy in the safe seat of Finchley by party machinery that took notice of her previous electoral efforts in reducing a big Labour majority in Dartford.

    To add further context on just how safe Finchley was, it was a Conservative seat from 1924 until its abolition in 1997. By contrast Fermanagh and South Tyrone was the most marginal seat in the Commons as of 2010.

    The increasingly cynical political class might weigh up the merit of their respective democratic mandates, one a gunman who starved himself to death for hs beliefs and the other standing for a seat where any face atop a blue rosette would fit on the way to a long career of privilege.

    But there’s no questioning which election was more hotly-contested or the signifiance of Sands’ triumph.

    In mitigation you might point to more general allegations of Sinn Fein electoral fraud and intimidation. They swirled in reports from 2001 and if the accounts of IRA stalwarts such as Brendan Hughes are to be believed, they were historically more widespread than has ever been documented.

    You might also point to Sands standing on an anti-H block ticket, an easier cause in name for a nationalist voting population to get behind with a clearness of consience that they weren’t overtly voting for the IRA. It’s alleged too that Sinn Fein and the IRA leadership exploited Sands and the hunger strike for their own ends.

    But the fact remains that over 30,000 people voted for an IRA prisoner and it is hardly an isolated incident. Gerry Adams was first elected MP for Belfast West in 1983 and won the seat six out of the seven times he contested it. 25.5% of voters in Northern Ireland voted for Sinn Fein in the 2010 General Election, the biggest share of the popular vote.

    Critics can rightly point to a paltry 9.9% of the popular vote in the Irish General Election of 2011, even with it representing an upward trend.

    Yet many were surprised that McGuinness could contest the Presidential Election and come away with 13.7% of first preference votes. It wasn’t bad for a man who essentially lived most of his life in another country and is widely recognised as a former terrorist commander to boot.

    It’s best if I finish with the most lamentable quote of all, that “the present division of power in Northern Ireland is so embarrassing we all agree not to mention it.”

    Who is ‘we’ exactly? I find most people aged in their late twenties and upwards who are actually from Northern Ireland are heartily grateful that the local news isn’t dominated by reports of someone being shot dead quite literally ever other day, as was the case when I was growing up. You’ll find Aldergrove and George Best City airports readily accessible as opposed to hours of waiting simply to pass an army checkpoint. I can’t recall a time in the last ten years that a family gathering broke up at the end of the night with dire warnings to be vigilant for retaliation from “the other side” on the way home after the latest sectarian atrocity. You can also drink in Belfast City Centre with a very low risk of being abducted and murdered. You can pass through staunch areas without being questioned and with the exception of interface areas your children can grow up without having to experience stone throwing and taunts from rival groups their own age.

    Such a statement doesn’t compare unfavourably with Jim Allister’s finest observations on the subject but at least Jim has the experience of living through terrorism first hand, lending an integrity to his vitriol for the current agreement in which he is, nevertheless, an active participant. It reminds me of chatting with a senior UUP politican during the DUP’s period of agitation when they were on the outside looking in and his resigned observation that even those purporting to oppose the agreement and the Assembly it created were nevertheless heavily engaged politically with the institutions.

    Criticisms of British and Irish Governments moving of the goal-posts to embolden Sinn Fein and the IRA is a theme in the article and yet nowhere does the DUP’s faciliation of all that came to pass warrant mention. Noble reconciliation or surrender of principles for political gain, whats not debatable and likewise isn’t acknowledged in the article is that the eventual agreement was attained with the agreement of the people and politicians of Northern Ireland. No matter how far the goal-posts were moved, the DUP still had to agree to take the field. Despite years of hard lines, they did.

    But rather than be proud of the overcoming impatience, deep mistrust and thirty years of murder, it appears we’ve all been gulled and should instead feel ashamed.

    Adams denials about his role are a continued embarassment to the modern Republican movement and he can rightly be labelled a villain, but for a commentator to denigrate the peace process that he helped faciliate and without, to the best of my knowledge, any stake in the proceedings is nothing short of disgraceful. Conflict to peace was a transition that encompassed decommissioning, various issues around triumphalism and two communities dealing with the violence and loss wrought upon one another.

    In 2009 Massie wrote vaguely in the Daily Mail about unsourced commentators suspicions that the PIRA were arranging for violence to continue but to have it attributed to dissident republican elements, a war by proxy in order to avoid political cost to Sinn Fein. In a climate that brought us the Stormont spying ring and the Northern Bank Robbery such deep mistrust was understandable.

    Yet five years before that I spoke with a former, let’s say reputed, INLA member who was as critical of the process but for the very different reason that it had seen an elevation to the fore of political representatives for the Republican movement who had “never fired a shot in their lives.”

    My profound disagreement remained unspoken because on the contrary, I actually saw that as a good thing. Looking further ahead, I welcome a time when Sinn Fein as a party will not be filled with former IRA members and I won’t answer a knock at the door to be greeted by Gerry Adams, Alex Maskey and an assortment of heavy minders as they canvassed for my vote.

    Political process engaged, I perhaps optimistically see that as an inevitable future for Northern Ireland.

    Perhaps this is my rosy and vague moral weakness. A denial of sorts. An avoidance of talking and a countenance of terrorism.

    And yet I find it infinitely preferrable to the darkness of an abstract alternative that I don’t see provided, least of all in this article.

    In times of conflict, claim and counterclaim, it’s sometimes wise to recognise that calling a spade a spade in Northern Ireland would mean calling a lot of people spades.

    And as Oscar Wilde wrote, “the man who could call a spade a spade should be compelled to use one. It is the only thing he is fit for.”

  • Fergus Pickering

    Adams make assassination look like an option.

  • Cailen Cambeul

    A good article saying what needs to be said. Now let us shine the same light of truth on another that is lauded by the Left and their liberal counterparts: Nelson Mandela. A man responsible for the murders of untold thousands. Guns, bombs and the ANC’s favourite terror tool, the ‘necklacing’ of opponents. As vile as Gerry Adams and his IRA are, they’re nought but kiddies in comparison to the sanctified tyrannical terrorist, Mandela and his ANC.

  • daly2

    What a hateful little article lol …. Praising Mandela on one hand for fighting against a created state in which the white Protestant zealots had all the power and voting rights and speaking down jerry Adams for doing the very same things as Mandela did. I will never understand how low creatures such as this author can not see the level of hypocrisy in what they say. However I won’t carry on I suppose some middle englanders need to believe in something.

    • Eddie

      Gerry Adams did the very same thing as Mandela?
      Errr…not in any way, shape or form.
      Mandela did not believe in deliberately killing innocent men, women and children. He was not riddled with hatred for those of another religion and heritage.
      The only reason the IRA surrendered is because 1) NI and Eire are now not that different in wealth; 2) the catholics in NI breed so much they’ll be the bullying majority soon; 3) the IRA was about to get busted big time – they had no choice but to quit so save their leaders’ skins.

      • daly2

        Well you are simply a hateful idiot. In the 1970s they had no vote and now they are in the government lol. Even somebody with your limited intelligence should be able to see the reasons.

        • Eddie

          It seems everyone you aim your ignorant hateful abuse at is, according to you, a hateful idiot. Interesting paradox there.
          Maybe you should calm down dear and stop flinging stones round that conservatory in your head, honey.

          They had no vote? Ummm…yep they did as part of the UK. And the people of NI were lucky enough to avoid the catholic abuse and corruption of the priestly south too.

          • daly2

            So they had equal voting rights did they lol. So what was the civil rights movement about then ? Just to be clear with you, I don’t hate you because you are a unionist, I’ve had many friendly conversations over beer with self styled unionists, my sister is married to one. I hate you because you a moron with no grasp of the reality of this situation and your existence only distracts from us all in regards to this topic.

            • Eddie

              You bigoted twerp. Where did I say I was a Unionist? So according to you, anyone recognising Adams for what he is (someone who approved of the killing of innocent people) is akin to Ian Paisley.
              You are the moron, matey – with people like you in NI it is no wonder the place has always been a F up. Probably genetic.
              Always best never to listen to NI nutters like you, I have always thought. Tribal, ignorant bigots the lot of yers, so you are!

              • daly2

                It’s quite obvious you are a unionist from your misrepresentation of the events. They are the standard telegraph readers understanding. Your comments about the “priestly south” and your lack of any knowledge about the northern irish economy encapsulate an intense ignorant bigotry. For your information I’m not from what you call Northern Ireland and I doubt you are either. If I had to guess I would assume that you are from england somewhere. You say the trouble in Northern Ireland is “probably genetic” as good as saying that you believe your genetic make up is in some way superior. Your way of looking at the world should have died out in the nineteenth century but still lingers in some of the intellectually challenged members of society.

                • Eddie

                  The only thing that is obvious is that you are a typical Northern Irish nutcase, obsessed with religion and tribalism in a way no-one else (well maybe a few irritating Scots) are in the whole rest of the UK. Get with the times, twerp, and out of the 17th century! You are SUCH an ignorant numbskull.

                  Time Adams are other killers fessed up about what they did though – they have murdered people. Don’t you care about that? Nope, course not, nationalist nutter.

                  Northern Ireland: the special needs country of the UK. It’s an awful place full of utterly absurd obsessives like you.

                  No-one in the grown-up parts of the UK gives a flying fuggle about people’s versions of Christianity; no-one else harks back to the 1600s as though they were yesterday.

                  The Northern Irish are all mad, and unpleasant, and silly.

                  And a fair number are angry closet gays – like you Mr Daly?

                • daly2

                  Im not from northern ireland

                  Imwilling to guarentee you dont know anything about northern ireland

                  Give me the name of one person adams killed

                  Explain tomewhy Ni is “special needs”, thoughit just makes you sound self superior.

                  “grown up parts of the uk” lol , thats a laugh. Every time the england football team goes abroad we all see just how grown up it is.

                  Nobody in northern ireland gives a toss about religion,it is nothing got to do with it , if you had any knowledge youwouldknow that, but then again you have gained knowledge only from the lowest sources.

                  Saying allof the northern irish are mad and unpleasant is deeply bigoted and ignorant.

                  I wish i was gay, they live longer and are happier. I am comfortable enough to say this. I have gay friends and they are nice people, i do not appreciate you trying tomake out that being gay is some kind of negative.

  • James Kelly

    I’m struggling with the premise of this article. The agreements in Northern Ireland constituted a carve-up between the unionist and nationalist communities, not between the DUP and Sinn Fein. The communities chose on a democratic basis that the DUP and Sinn Fein would represent them. You might think that’s a crazy choice (in much the same way that I can’t understand why anyone would ever vote for David Cameron), but it was an entirely free choice, and one that can be reversed at the next Assembly election if people so wish.

    Also, you may be able to have reconciliation between communities while leaving one of the principle belligerents out in the cold, but you certainly can’t have peace. It’s stretching the point to claim that the IRA represented “nobody but themselves” – even in 1983 Sinn Fein took 13.4% of the popular vote. A measure of public support does not in any way justify IRA murders, but let’s turn your point on its head – how can “the forces of law and order” be said to have “represented” the substantial portion of the nationalist community that was voting Sinn Fein?

  • Perfidious Albion

    This article is genuinely an insult. To have an Edinburgh-based, cricket-playing journo loftily label the peace process a ” precise failure” from the safety of the stump is testament to the original goal here which is that crazy writing generates hits and justifies ludicrous rants. That it’s about Irish politics makes it even more of an open goal. The fact is that the starting point for the article was a sentiment expressed by Adams that could be and was shared by most security sources then and now. Massie has form for thundering about law n order in a manner consistent with someone who has lived a life experiencing a breakdown of neither. Make no mistake, Adams is a reprehensible character whose consistent denials of his role in the troubles earn him no respect from any right-minded person. But Massie has always consistently penned his diatribes with an absence of any context around restorative justice or exploration of what actually motivates a human being to take the life of another outside a legal framework. Surprising given that it’s not an uncommon phenomenon of humanity but of course he has that luxury in his cricket whites.

    • Kennybhoy


    • justejudexultionis

      Bravo. Massie lives in Edinburgh, which probably means he doesn’t have any real experience of anything…

      • Fergus Pickering

        That’s a very silly remark. Where do you have to live to have real experience of things?

    • Jambo25

      I think Massie knows a fair bit about Irish history. He was a student at Trinity College and I believe still visits Ireland frequently.

    • CraigStrachan

      Massie is hardly a thunderer on law ‘n order. He’s a consistent civil libertarian and distinctly progressive on sentencing.

  • EwanUzarmi

    Wasn’t Collins murdered by the IRA?

  • Dr. Heath

    Does the term ‘moral dwarf’ mean ‘psychopath’? I’m sure that, in the case of Gauleiter Adams, it can mean nothing else.

  • FF42

    Gerry Adams is a nasty piece of work, even by the pathological standards of other IRA terrorists. So I agree with almost all you write here, but not this:

    There may be a kind of peace in Ulster these days and we may recognise the benefits that come from that but we should not be deluded or so blind as to fail to recognise its shortcomings. Just because it has turned out this way does not mean it had to turn out this way.

    We have signed a pact with the Devil, but we do have a pact. I am so thankful that those days are gone that I can just about put up with the Kneecapper-in-Chief and Head Baby Killer being falsely lionised.

    • SeanieRyan


  • gunterprien

    The Irish are facing the prospect of an electricity strike over Christmas.
    I dare say they are MORE concerned over that, than what Gerry Adams or anyone else says about the deaths of RUC.

    In Britain, very few people surveyed by the Guardian newspaper knew that Britain was IN the EU.So, I suspect Very few even know that Britain is in occuptian of Ireland.
    And of the few that do, it’s purely down to IRA violence on their screens.

    So, who DOES care about these RUC.
    The Unionists and that’s about it.

    And who cares about Unionists???? As already stated the Brits, don’t much about anything outside of X Factor, Eastenders etc..Let alone do they worry about 1690 and Unionist dinosaurs.

    If Gerry Adams could stop the Strike of Irish Power station worker, that would matter FAR more to the Irish people.
    Who don’t care about the RUC.

    • SeanieRyan

      Especially given than Chief Super. Breen was up to his neck in dealing with and supporting the UVF in Mid-Ulster.

      He was targeted for a reason. RUC officer John Weir, who himself was involved in the UVF had very compelling testimony on Breen.

  • gunterprien

    A subsequent report by Henry Barron into the Miami Showband massacre, the killing of Seamus Ludlow, and the bombing of Keys Tavern found evidence of extensive collusion with the same mainly UVF personnel, amounting to “international terrorism” on the part of British forces.

  • gunterprien

    The Irish Free state has thrown the Gardai under a bus on this one.

    BTW the Irish Oireachtas Sub Committee on collusion between Loyalists and Brit state .
    used similar Language Re; The Dublin/Monnaghan bombings.

    i.e they said the BALANCE OF PROBABILITIES indicated collusion.

    Why have the British Media focused on Smitchwick butr ignored the Oireachtas report.

    Could it be it doesn’t agree with the Orange wash that the Media likes to spin.

    • Jambo25

      Damn! those orangies get everywhere.

      • gunterprien

        Well not everywhere…West of the Bann, they are as rare as Hen’s teeth.

        And according to the Census over the last 20 years their numbers have been dropping at a rate of 5% per decade.

        Also over 60% of third level students in Queens and the UU are CNR NOT PUL.
        It seems the middle class PUL students go to UK for education and the only PUL left are knuckle dragging Fleggers..
        Whom I doubt have an 11 + between them.

        What do the educated protestants think is going to happen in future, If they are leaving the 6 Counties at such a rate???

        hmm….I wonder???

        • Jambo25

          Probably thinking what educated Protetstants from Scotland think when they relocate to London or educated Catholics from Ireland think when they relocate all over the world in their tens of thousands. Job prospects are better elsewhere.

      • Kennybhoy

        Oh ffs Maister J stop feeding the trolls! :-)

        • Jambo25

          I get a peculiar twisted satisfaction from it.

    • SeanieRyan

      British police investigations have also said that Loyalist terror was run by the British army and state.

      You never see that in a paper. If the media had told Britain the truth years ago then peace would have been possible as their public would not have tolerated it.

      • Kennybhoy

        Is that picture of you Maister S?

    • CraigStrachan

      “the Irish Free State has thrown the Gardai under the bus”

      And how does the IRA treat the Gardai? Let’s ask the family of Det Garda Jerry McCabe about that.

  • ConallBoyle

    “some people are still impertinent enough to draw a distinction between the forces of law and order – however imperfect they might have been – and the actions of a terrorist group who represented no-one ”

    How true. And how much more devastating that the elected British government authorised the use of hit squads to murder-on-sight. Where’s the moral superiority in that? (or in drone strikes come to think of it)

    • Jambo25

      And it appears that Irish government ministers got involved in arming the IRA at the start and that people in the Garda acted as ‘touts’ for PIRA; so snap.

      • SeanieRyan

        Some Ministers did at the start. As ever with Fianna Fáil it was to protect themselves and ensure that the Communist faction in the IRA was replaced and outgunned.

        Yes some Guards did help the IRA. The force overall was exceptionally hostile though. I wish that that were not so. The IRA and the Republican movement are as opposed to the Southern state as the Northern one, that still stands even if days of armed conflict are over.

        • CraigStrachan

          If the Republican movement is so opposed to the southern statelet, what is Sinn Fein doing in the Dail?

          (“Not much” it would appear!)

      • SeanieRyan

        The comparison is used because Germany is the only country that threatened Britain with invasion in last 100 years. The point still stands if Imperial Germany had won in WWI and started denying civil rights and killing people or even if it was Russia or France etc

        The state of Northern Ireland was a brutal,violent and discriminatory one, not Nazi’s.

        The natives would have taken up arms and German squaddies would have gone home in bags and people would have decided to take the conflict to the German centres of power to let them know that terror was not a one way street.

  • SeanieRyan

    He had no choice but to resort to violence. The idea that only the State has a monopoly on violence cannot apply when they State is manifestly unjust, denying democratic process, when it is killing its own people.

    If Germany had occupied Britain then it would have been no different.

  • SeanieRyan

    Didn’t the Smithwick Report itself say that they were careless with their security. Driving the same car, on the same road 3 times a week.

    People should google RUC officer John Weir and his testimony about Breen. Goes through his links and support for the UVF, which included procuring guns for the Mid-Ulster UVF.

    Personally I have no problem with their shooting, the RUC were a violent, sectarian militia, then they found that people were no longer willing to tolerate it and started fighting back.

  • Wessex Man

    I can’t believe it, I had to keep checking back to make sure it was dear Alex Massie’s article, I’m glad I stuck with it and congratulate you Mr Massie.

  • pandcoac

    The reader might be surprised at the level of dissonance afforded in Kanes gushing tribute to Mandela and this article but it’s in way surprising. His problem is not that Gerry and politically successful Republicans fought and ended the conflict on their terms, but that they still won’t recognise THEY’RE WRONG! and still justify their campaign (the meanies) in targeting members of an armed security force intent on crushing them, their aspirations and suppression of their community. Obviously they practice some kind of black magic (another proof that decommissioning is a lie and the peace process failed!), which is how they managed to sway the idiot population into voting for them and not the gallant SDLP~UUP alliance, because it certainly can’t be that they hold any modem of decorum within their community or that the population can be trusted in choosing their RIGHT representatives (okay, SDLP might be a spend ageing force directed by saps and the UUP incapable of leadership and consistency, but dammit you gotta love the principles they had during the negotiations, and that’s gotta count for something right?), and before any of you tut tut and label an outside spectator (appropriate naming) of the conflict of not checking their privilege, it doesn’t matter if you don’t belong to that community, live in that society or experienced their side of the conflict – sure if you once lived in Dublin, you’re basically a veteran of the Troubles anyway! The guff of those wee black folk in the north choosing their own path – IT DIDN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY DAMMIT!! Don’t they know if you cut off Gerry’s head, the entire Republican movement, their people will disappear and assimilate into happy, middle class, non segregated detached suburban life?! It’s simple! They’re only a minority of a minority, couldn’t have been more than a a few dozen of them, certainly no educated individuals among them (obviously), so that means they were just a very small persistent (and immortal) gang of thugs and baby bombing terrorists, amazing they could survive considering but that that must be up to the black magic.

    Ultimately Kane’s problem is not that Sinn Fein and Republicans are trying to rewrite history, it’s that they believe their own narrative but didn’t disappear like we all believed they should (damn Brits fault): Sanctimonious and condescending? Yes, but it’s just not cricket by universal standards here!

    • SeanieRyan

      Mandela was quiet open about his support for the IRA and cautioned Adams and McGuinness not to trust the peace by dumping arms.

      I guess Massie had to overlook that in his research. :)

      • rolandfleming

        Interesting. Care to share a link?

      • CraigStrachan

        By then I reckon McGuinness was listening much more attentively to Michael Oatley than Mandela.

        • pandcoac

          I like how you keep implying all progressive actions taken by Republicans were either manipulated or cajoled by it’s adversaries. And I don’t think the old Mountainclimber ever advocated the IRA should hang onto the weapons as a bargaining chip

          Only British spooks and Loyalists were capable of orchestrating a political solution….apparently

          • CraigStrachan

            Mountain climber he may have been, but he certainly reeled the Fisherman in!

            • pandcoac

              I think you fail to recognise on the grand scale that those talks only yielded results because there was a very determined motivation on both sides to reach an agreement. Oatley’s contributions were large, but in the end he was merely an acceptable middleman, had his offer on behalf of British government not been genuine and had SF’s response not been genuine, it would not have happened. Sometimes it was difficult and IRA broke their ceasefire to vent their frustration at lack of goodwill from British promises, but in the end it succeeded because there was a determination that a settlement offered advantages to both camps.

              • CraigStrachan

                Yes, and the motivation on the part of Republican leadership was an awareness that the war had turned decisively against them, which is why McGuinness approached MI6 for help in ending it, help that was forthcoming.

                • pandcoac

                  I don’t think so, otherwise why would the British have ceded many difficult things like police reform, disbandment of UDR, special branch, release of prisoners if they were on the push to victory? Growing up in that period and that community, there was a general feeling of malaise and demoralisation that while the Long War strategy was sustainable for the foreseeable future, it would not break the stalemate. The MoD came to a similar conclusion in their 2006 post-campaign report on Operation Banner

                • CraigStrachan

                  I think you’ll find the UDR was merged with the RIR in the early 1990s, six or seven years before the GFA.

                  You may perhaps be thinking of the re-branding of the RUC? If that was a concession, it seems very minor, compared to the what the Republican movement was obliged to concede: the principle of consent, indeed the very legitimacy of partition itself.

                  I think Francie Molloy summed it up very well when in the wake of the GFA he said that Sinn Fein was really “willing to help administer British rule in Ireland for the forseeable future.”

                  When I saw he said that, I knew for sure the game was up for the Provos. Sure enough, they’ve now gone the way of the Stickies.

    • Jambo25

      And what about targeting farmers on the Border; or mourners at Remembrance Day ceremonies; or my wife, son and I walking down a London street. Or shoppers; or people on a fish shop, in Belfast, or Jean McConville, or Catholic judges on their way to mass etc etc.

      • SeanieRyan

        Why would the fact that a Judge was Catholic make a difference, he was a target because he was a part of the war machine.

        The farmers shot in the border area were all involved in the Ulster Defense Regiment, a notorious local army regiment that was full of UVF members or Unionist politicians or the discredited RUC paramilitary police. Anyone that fell in to that was wrong.

        The remembrance day attack was wrong. McConville was an informer and paid a heavy price for that.

        As for attacks on London. I’m glad that your family were ok but attacks like Canary Wharf and Manchester educated Britain’s Govt. that a just settlement was needed and that they could no longer shirk or deny that. That it could no longer use proxy forces like the UVF and RUC to terrorize people in to lying down and not see what the reality of that attitude would lead to.

        • Jambo25

          Judge was a Catholic so part of the war machine. Christ on a bike.The Border farmers were all UVF members. Really! So it had nothing to do with the desire of the PIRA and their local supporters to create safe havens for their nefarious little schemes. That’s what the guy from Fermanagh, I knew, thought. He was the mildest man you could hope to meet but he and his family and friends had all had threats of one kind or another. They had nothing to do with the UVF or UDR. Jean McConville was an informer. Right. You are simply delusional.

          • SeanieRyan

            Are you deliberately refusing to follow the points.

            You mentioned the IRA shooting Catholic Judges. What had the Judges religion to do with his killing. Judges that participated in a corrupt legal system and that helped fight a war were shot for that, their belief or otherwise has nothing to do with it.

            Look at the people shot along the border, all members of the UDR or RUC or Loyalist org’s. They were shot for that, they were enemy combatants and paid the price. Even mad cap people like Willie Frazer accept that certain UDR men received extra consideration, ones that had a penchant for attacking people were first to be resolved. The violence that the UDR were noted for, their links to Loyalist terror groups made them deserving of special attention.

            Yes I believe that McConville was an informer, Brendan Hughes testimony in the case is key factor. He was very open about the warts and all role he played. There was a myth that she helped a dying soldier but even the British army admitted that no soldier was shot in the area where she lived.

            As for your mild mannered friend. If you believe that people were being shot to create a safe zone then why did they bother warning him. His argument is self defeating.

            • Jambo25

              The mild mannered man from Fermanagh was threatened but imply refused to leave.

            • CraigStrachan

              Ah, you “believe” she was an informer. No evidence, then?

        • CraigStrachan

          What evidence do you have that McConville was an informer?

  • cambridgeelephant

    Well said Alex. Adams is a repulsive lout.

    • gunterprien

      So is the entire British State….Repulsive.

    • Austin Barry

      Agreed: Adams is a vile reptilian creature.

      But I’ve always wondered why Adams, and his equally revolting chum McGuinness, seemed to be immune from arrest and trial, from ‘death’ squads and ultimately delivered PIRA’s de facto surrender to the British.

      Money just doesn’t talk, it walks all the way to Stormont and the Dail.

      • daly2

        Would you care to explain the surrender remark, because as a person who has knowledge about this situation I can only conclude you are some kind of self superior fool.

        • Diamond Draw

          did he mean the peace deal the IRA got? which the author termed a success, though it was a loss for the brits because of how it was a “very heavily qualified success” and they gave too much to keep the peace process going, and a defacto veto for the IRA.

      • Fergus Pickering

        No, Adams is much, much worse.

  • victor67

    When the British allowed the B Specials free reign against peaceful Republicans demanding civil rights in a racist gerrymandered state. That and Internment , Bloody Sunday etc undermined more than anything else Catholics faith in peaceful resistance. The IRA were brutal but they were the symptom ,not the cause.
    And is Adams any worse than Menachem Begin or Ariel Sharon. Both have far more blood on their hands than Adams.

    • grutchyngfysch

      I must have forgotten that bit where the British Army turned up the day after Bombay Street was attacked by Loyalist thugs to the resounding welcome of the citizens living in the Falls area.

      I happen to agree with you in opposing Internment, and I think the British government should have been far less lenient with the Northern Irish government over its opposition to Civil Rights, but the idea that the IRA were some kind of grass-roots reaction is complete bull. They were, like their counterparts in Loyalist paramilitary groups, thugs and murderers who committed atrocities not only against the opposing side but the same communities they purported to wage terror on behalf of.

      • victor67

        The IRA had its share of gangsters and psychopaths but so does any army. “Its the nature of the work”
        It also had some committed ideological people that were charismatic leaders. Saying that they only prospered due to British brutality and strategic blunders like Internment, Bloody Sunday and the Hunger Strikes.
        When Bobby Sands died 100,000 attended his funeral, defying Thatcher’s stance that they were criminals. All over the world Irish Republicanism gained massive support. I was in Chile a couple of years after the deaths of the hunger strikers and saw murals to Bobby Sands. Thatcher’s lust for vengeance after they murdered her mate (Airey Neave)blinded her to what needed to be done to end the conflict.

        • grutchyngfysch

          “The IRA had its share of gangsters and psychopaths but so does any army. “Its the nature of the work””

          Tell me, if someone had sought to play down the actions of Loyalist atrocities with such a remark, would you be particularly impressed by it?

          There is, undoubtedly, an attraction to men of violence to military work, but the problem I have is that generally speaking the armed forces don’t encourage such behaviour and tend to hold those who engage in it to account (as the most recent prosecution of the soldier who murdered a prisoner illustrates).

          Nor do the armed forces (in either Britain or Ireland) hold their constituent communities to ransom, or go around shooting them when they seek to expose wrongdoing. In fact, to call the IRA – or any Loyalist paramilitary group – an “army” in any sense of equivalence with professional soldiers is frankly obscene. The IRA were professional killers, but they have never been professional soldiers.

          • victor67

            The IRA were a paramilitary force but no matter how unpalatable it is for some, they would not have endured as long as they did if they did not have some serious people within it.
            I do not dispute though that it had a significant contingent of thugs, gangsters and cold blooded killers but it is just the propaganda of war and not rational reflection to describe them as just mindless killers.

            • grutchyngfysch

              I would never underestimate the seriousness of the IRA. If they were indeed all psychopaths it would be possible to have a modicum of pity for them having been born “wrong”.
              IRA volunteers weren’t, I generally assume, born psychopaths. They were and are men and women who consciously chose to undertake a campaign of violence that was deliberately targetted at civilians (both enemies and “their own”). That they have a developed philosophy that they use to justify the atrocities they committed certainly means they aren’t “mindless” – but I never described them as such.
              On the contrary, it’s precisely because they aren’t mindless that they deserve to be remembered and, in a perfect world, judged, for the evil they carried out deliberately, knowingly, and – as they often attest themselves – without a shred of remorse or regret in their hearts.

              • SeanieRyan

                Choice was limited, the democratic process was non-existent in the North and the RUC/UVF and army were killing at will. People had no choice but to fight back.

                Mandela was a supporter of the IRA. The laughable response of Cameron that he was his personal hero while the Tories and British State opposed the ANC and backed Apartheid South Africa all the way.

                The British people didn’t back them but the State and organs like the Army were stuck in a keep the natives down mentality, regardless of their nationality.

            • SeanieRyan

              I know several IRA men and women, all were driven to join by repeated attacks on their families and neighbours by the RUC, Loyalists and the Army.

              The Army were welcomed in Nationalist areas at the start as a protection from the RUC police. They acted though as a colonial force against the rising natives.

              They just did their duty and fought for their country and the defense of the families. It was a dirty war but people had no choice but to fight back.

              • Jambo25

                And they shot proddy farmers, car bombed people, knee capped people, blew up shoppers in fish shops, tortured and murdered elderly widows etc etc.

          • SeanieRyan

            You obviously didn’t watch Panorama were British soldiers talked about undercover ops were they went around nationalist areas shooting young men. They know of at least 11 innocent victims that were killed by them in 72.

            The idea that the British army was not involved in targetting civilians, or providing support to the UVF is laughable. The UVF was described by a British police Investigation as an operational arm of the Army.

            The big story to break is the involvement of British soldiers in the Miami band massacre, McGurks bar bombing, the Dublin/Monaghan bombings, the murders of high profile Lawyers Rosemary Nelson and Pat Finucane. The evidence is already there, Loyalists have admitted they had help in these.

            • grutchyngfysch

              One thing I cannot fathom having read your various posts is why you seek to justify the actions of the IRA. You consistently cite attacks on civilians, trigger-happy soldiers, and a deliberate attempt to suborn political processes as reasons to suggest that the British State was rotten to the core in Northern Ireland.

              Rather than do a tit-for-tat, let’s say we accept those arguments wholesale.

              We now have a standard by which we can say, under those assumptions, that the British were pretty horrific. Why then would we turn to the IRA and say of almost identical actions, “this was a good thing”?

              We could play a numbers game (CAIN statistics) – even if you total together all the deaths/murders caused by Loyalist and Security forces the IRA still grossly outstrips them in body count. But that would miss the point that, under our standard, even one murder is enough to taint an organisation.

              I don’t disagree with the general thrust of your criticism. Insisting on the highest standards of conduct and accountability is precisely what differentiates legitimate military force from terror and paramilitary thuggery. Where the army fell from that standard it should be held to account without favour or delay.

              But you don’t want accountability for the IRA. You want to justify their evil. You make an argument for equivalence to suggest that the British State has no moral high ground, but then claim instead for the IRA.

              Please don’t misunderstand me: I don’t think you are a feckless apologist because you favour Republicanism, I think it because you seek to justify the IRA’s violence.

              This is precisely what this article is talking about: it is perfectly possible to agree with NICRA and condemn the IRA. It is perfectly possible to desire and work for the unification of Ireland and condemn the IRA. You and countless others want to elide those sentiments so that the IRA appears as a necessary extension of political campaigns for equity and civil rights. It doesn’t. It never has been. It was, from the very beginning, about a circle of murderous opportunists who are a disgrace to Ireland.

          • gunterprien

            When Lee Clegg was released After a few months was that been held to account?
            He never missed a days pay…Many British soldiers were returned to units with FULL pay after committing crimes.

            So, how dare you claim “the tended to be held to account”
            You are engaging in red, white and Blue hogwash.

            • Jambo25

              As opposed to IRA killers some of whom now hold state positions.

            • grutchyngfysch

              If you think that there is substantial moral equivalence between a soldier at a checkpoint opening fire on a speeding car that is hurtling towards him and someone deliberately walking into a shop in order to plant a bomb it’s not just hogwash you’re peddling.

              • gunterprien

                British soldiers killing Irish people has no moral authority.
                Let the Paras shoot people in Northern England.
                I couldn’t care less.

                • grutchyngfysch

                  I’ll admit that I was expecting more evasion but inasmuch as it is an honest, if (to my mind) thoroughly discredible, reply, thank you.

                • gunterprien

                  Really so Paras murdering people in Ireland SHOULD bo OKay..But NOT Northern England right??
                  Cos their blue bloods?

                  Really have the SAS and paras..shoot your OWN people up. See how you like it?

                • grutchyngfysch

                  Given that I have never expressed anything like the views you appear to be projecting onto me, I don’t much see the point in protracted argument with you.

                  Edit: Just to ensure you are clear – my understanding of justice is not dependent on the nationality of either the perpetrator or the victim to determine guilt. It’s what people do that concerns me, regardless of what justifications they create for themselves.

                • gunterprien


                  Pvt. Ian Thain. Served just 22 months of his life sentence in an open prison for the murder of Thomas Reilly. His British army wage was never stopped, and he was re-instated in the British Army Parachute Regiment after his release. – See more at:

                  Guardsmen James Fisher : The Scots Guards Regiment, murdered 18 year old Peter McBride in 1992. A British Army review board reinstated this convicted killer and he was permitted to resume his career in their regiment, following his release from prison on licence in 1998. – See more at:

                  Guardsmen Mark Wright : The Scots Guards Regiment, murdered 18 year old Peter McBride in 1992. A British Army review board reinstated this convicted killer and he was permitted to resume his career in their regiment, following his release from prison on licence in 1998. – See more at:

                • grutchyngfysch

                  I’ll say it one more time: I wholeheartedly support the bringing to trial and conviction of members of the British Army, or the RUC, who have committed crimes. I am glad to see that like me you find the idea of releasing convicted murderers and pretending that nothing happened thoroughly unjust. The only difference is that I do not restrict my disgust to a single side – I am equally disgusted that PIRA – as well as UVF and UDA – murderers were released.
                  My point is extremely simple: if you find such actions by members of the security forces unjustifiable, why would you then go on to support or seek to justify an organisation that undertook precisely the same kinds of crimes, with substantially greater “success”, and which ruthlessly oppressed its “own” people through intimidation and violence?

                • gunterprien

                  Most right wing British wouldn’t share your views.
                  They are intolerant. And I saw the whinging that went on after Panorama and the MRF who murdered civilians
                  Read this hand wringing Whinging article and comments here:
                  Btw only a chap called Cenotaph comes out ok.
                  The rest are cu7ts

                • gunterprien

                  10 years in prison for marine A in Afghansty…And dismissal from the Forces.
                  That’s a hige contrast to what happened to Brit soldiers in Ireland…Who got a slap on the wrist ..tiny jail sentences and released under pressure from Tory party..Got ALL their Wages and GOT re instated after their Months in Jail..

                  You would almost think killing “Paddies” didn’t matter a jot to the Brits.
                  Wouldn’t you?
                  Why don’t you do some research into soldiers mis deeds.
                  Like the Scots and the Pitchfork murder case.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Are you suggesting than we would rather kill Paddies than Muslims. Do you really think so?

                • Bandicoot

                  I’m glad to see there’s someone who agrees with me on this. It is totally one sided. They’re happy to convict the other side but it’s a complete different story when it comes to accepting their own faults. They’ll want ethnic cleansing next.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  You said this. That’s three. How many IRA murderers walk round Ireland now. Rather more than three I think.

                • pandcoac

                  Rather you look at the difference in practice of prosecutions of paramillitary killers and British army killers. Where old men are still be been convicted for killing police 30 years ago, but we can’t even bring a prosecution to the soldiers who even their government recognises slaughtered a dozen civilians (and don’t count it will happen), no justice for julia livingston, no justice for Aidan McAnespie, just slaps on the hand, and a welcome back into service. The Brits can’t admit their boys do wrong, no no. But if its some poor Falls or Shankill sod. sure why not?

              • Fergus Pickering

                Or someone blowing up women and children on his own side?

        • Roger Hudson

          A country needs good governance, committed ideological people are the last thing anyone needs. Charisma is just surface boll**ks.

      • Roger Hudson

        The IRA and left wing successors PIRA and INLA simply exploited the situation , that Norther Ireland was a neglected corner of the UK that in 1968 felt like it was stuck in the late 1940s( or 1922?)
        Well governed , healthy, well housed people in good jobs don’t turn to extremism and don’t care what church you go to on Sunday.
        The Westminster government let the locals run a poor show and should have taken control at the time of the first civil rights demonstrations. There was no time when they couldn’t have squashed the extremists but rather than pump development in they used the stupid ‘police primacy’ and colonial army tactics , trying to do it on the cheap which always costs more in the end.

        • SeanieRyan

          Remember that Catholics were effectively barred from senior jobs, the Prime Minister of the North boasting that no Catholic higher than a cleaner worked in Govt. Buildings, one man, one vote only came in to the North in 72.

          • Jambo25

            There were Catholic judges and senior civil servants who the IRA targeted. Remind me of the large number of Protestants who ever held real power (Not some honorific rank such as President.) in the Republic. Remind me what happened to the percentage of the population which was Protestant in the Republic.

            • SeanieRyan

              What about senior IRA men that were Protestants. I personally know of 2 IRA members that were Protestants and were active all through the 80’s.

              Why wouldn’t IRA vol’s shoot Judges or senior civil servants who just happened to be Catholic. Why would that be a mitigating circumstances, they were being executed for their role in the war machine and terror state rather than where they went on Sunday morning.

              What has you obsession with religion??

              Off the top of my head there was the booth man who headed the GAA in the 90’s. Martin Manseragh, a senior FF adviser in the 90’s and a Minister. There are at least 5 Protestants TD in FG at the moment. Protestants are over-weight in Judges in Ireland and best of luck to them in that.

              It is hard to know because the idea that whether one was Protestant or Catholic is so immaterial in the south that it never comes up for discussion. I think your statement is actually quiet offensive and very ignorant. I myself have a Church of Ireland mother but grew up in a atheist household.

              Are you one of these dinosaurs who think that Twaddell is a civil rights camp and that everyone else is wrong.

              • Jambo25

                How many positions of real power (top ministries) have been held, over the years by Protestants? You’re right though. It wasn’t entirely religion. Up until fairly recently positions or real power in the Republic were blocked to a lot of Catholics as well as Protestants as political power tended to lie in the hands of a small group of men whose fathers, grandfathers etc had been prominent in the post WW1 ‘Troubles’ and the succeeding civil war. You couldn’t really understand the visceral loathing of the Haugheys, Fitzgeralds, O’Briens etc without knowing something of their family histories in the post 1922 period.

            • GUBU

              You are wasting your time attempting to engage these odious buffoons in anything resembling sensible debate.

              However, it is worth noting that whilst they rush to glory in the actions of the Provisional IRA, Mr Adams himself has repeatedly denied being a member of that organization, thereby demonstrating a remarkably laissez faire approach of his own, towards the truth in his case. This laxness when it comes to fact also applied to the small matter of his brother’s sexual abuse of his own daughter.

              What a lovely man…

            • Nedicus

              They have been a few Protestants who have held powerful positions in the FS/ROI. Robert Barton was Minister of Agriculture and later Economic Affairs and was part of the Treaty delegation. Ernest Blight was Minister of Finance under Cosgrave for ten years and in the final years of his term was also deputy PM. Before he became President Childers was a regular in FF cabinets eventually becoming Tanaiste and was part of Lynch’s inner circle. Martin Mansergh was a very very close advisor to Huaghty, Reynolds and Bertie (though that is a dubious distinction). Ivan Yeats was Min for Argiculture. The current Chief Justice is an Anglican..

              The FS/ROI was not perfect there were examples of discrimination (Fetard-on-the-Sea, Dunbar-Harrison) the most shocking was the Tilson case which did amount to was unacceptable. However trying to compare the FS/ROI to the Northern Ireland with regards to institutionalized sectarianism is not fair. Protestants in the South were a very small minority while Catholics in the North were a significant majority who were systematically discriminated against. This is not by the way an attempt to justify the PIRA.

              • AndrewMelville

                Protestants in Southern Ireland were about 10% of the population 1910. After the Free State was formed there was a hideous campaign of ethnic cleansing – when it was done Protestants were about 3% of the population. The vicious, Roman Catholic, bigoted character of Southern Ireland revealed itself very quickly. It’s different today, thank God – at least in the cities, but Southern Ireland was conceived and born in sin.

                • Nedicus

                  Not true. They were a whole raft of measures responsible for the decline in Protestants after the WofI. There were examples of sectarianism during the WofI and even more regrettably during the Civil War which were unacceptable they were not examples of government policy rather it was an example of criminality which occurs in the wake of every war and no doubt many fled- that was a tragedy and it left my country poorer.
                  The reasons for the decline were complicated . The Protestants were hit hard by WWI. A certain amount of that number were state employees (civil servants and soldiers) who moved to other posts once the British pulled out. Their fertility rate was generally lower than Catholics. Ne Temere played a large part in their decline. Many Protestants continued to take part in the traditional careers of the British Civil Service, Army and Colonial Service which meant a career outside Ireland. Also let’s not forget that emigration was a fact which effected people of every religion. The FS Seanad made particular space for Protestant interests.And many Protestants such as Sean Lester and Lord Glenavy played a vital roles in the Irish Civil Service-though the Irish language requirement did turn a few Protestants off the Irish Civil Service as they saw it as imposition. Many Protestants played an active part in politics: many unionists much like the old HR elite were absorbed into CnaG.

                  Despite their decline Protestants were usually more represented in the higher professions than their actual percentage amoung the population at large and many of the big name firms continued to prosper. Also the Protestant population didn’t suddenly jump from 10% to 3% between 1910-1923 . It reached 3% in 1991 and rose thereafter: it was a steady decline not a huge drop which one would associate with ethnic cleansing. I am not saying the FS/ROI was perfect with regard to Protestants but a privious posters attempt to draw a moral equivalence between NI and the South is far off the mark.

                  Also please don’t insult my country by claiming it was ‘conceived and born in sin’. The founders of the state for the most part was idealistic (and naive) men who aspired for something better and they were right to claim the independence which was they’re due. Crimes were committed in the course of the WofI but if these incidents discredited the project than every war is discredited: a minority will always use the situation to settle scores and abuse power.

                • AndrewMelville

                  Don’t forget bullets in the head, arson and general thuggish harassment. You are painting a very rosy picture of the hideous clearances that occurred throughout Southern Ireland.

                  That process continued as Southern Ireland sank further into the mire as a backward Roman Catholic state, hostile to all things British, and willing to play footsie with the Nazis.

                  I’m not insulting your country. I’m describing the ugly process by which it was born. Treason in wartime and a vicious civil war are not attractive. For that matter, neither is neutrality when battling the beast.

                • Nedicus

                  Yes, the 3% drop in the Protestant population during the WofI and the
                  Civil War was a horrible tragedy and reflect a darker side of those
                  conflicts. Though it must be noted that such crimes were not part of the
                  policy or ideology of the Irish Government rather they were the work
                  of criminals within the ranks of the IRA-in this the IRA was not much
                  different from the Crown Forces at the time (esp. the Black and Tans,
                  and the Auxies) The Dáil leadership for all there faults where not
                  sectarians indeed some of them were Protestants however like in any war
                  psychopaths, criminals and bigots came along for the ride. It should be
                  noted that many Catholics and nationalists were likewise displaced
                  during this time as well. That’s not a justification for any
                  displacements it just an observation that no one side was uniquely
                  guilty of those crimes. It’s not a rosey picture to state the
                  justification for the WofI( i.e. independence) was justified or that many of the participatents were idealistic young men who hoped for a better future. That does not justify the crimes which other participants did in the Republic. Do you really thing Barton, Childers (snr) or Blythe who for all their faults were principled men would support the pogrom of their own people?

                  You’re claim that this displacement was part of a process which continued after the WofI and Civil War is not true. There was not an official policy of discrimination against Protestants and the reasons for the steady decline are multifacited and in some cases pre-dated the foundation of the state. Many Protestants did feel a certain ideological dissatisfaction with the state and it was natural that many loyalists preferred to move to the ‘mainland’ (btw I am talking post 1923 here) . And in many ways Protestants remained a fairly privileged group: a disproportionate amount of Protestants were large farmers or part of the higher professions.

                  As for Ireland ‘falling into the mire’ post independence I don’t think that is a fair assessment: Ireland was poor during the Union as well. Things did improve gradually and even though we’re in a mess at the moment we are still a modern developed country and compared to many post-colonial countries we did quiet well in maintaining democracy.

                  As for taking the high horse with neutrality come on. All countries weighted up their self interest in the WWII. It’s a shame they weren’t privileged with your hindsight about the evil nature of Nazism (though Stalinism was a very clsoe second) when they decided from the information at hand to go neutral. Liberal Humanitarianism wasn’t the loadstone of any country at the time. We were a small country with a meagre army and to the people at the time it did not seem to be in our interests to be caught in war between world powers. WWII. Are you going to call the Americans cowards because they stayed neutral until they were sucked into the war by Pearl Habour?

                  As for ‘playing footsie’ with the Nazis-is you’re entire knowledge of Irish policy during the war derived form Churchhills victory speech? Yes Dev’s condolences to the German ministry was shameful. However I don’t think De Valera’s insistence on maintain the visual protocols of neutrality out weights the pro-British bias of Irish policy at the time which included close collaboration with British Intelligence, his strong crack down on the IRA or the Irish policy of ‘losing’ captured RAF pilots near the Border while their German counterparts were kept under close watch in POW camps.

                • Jambo25

                  You’re also missing out the attacks on British servicemen on leave in Dublin and a couple of other places on or about VE Day. You’re also missing out mob attacks on official UK buildings, by mobs, in part led by a certain young student name of Charles Haughey.

              • Jambo25

                I’m not comparing the Republicto Northern Ireland. After all the Catholic population of Northern Ireland has grown and that of the Republic fell sharply.

                • Nedicus

                  I assume you meant the Protestant population in the South fell sharply. Yes, it fell but it was a sharp drop around the WofI and Civil War and after that the decline was a slow and gradual one and occurred for a number of reasons. It’s being grown since the 90’s. Catholics tended to have more children than Protestants (though I suspect the gap is not as wide as it used to be) and this was also the case in the South. This would partially explain the % drop in Protestants but I suspect they was also a real fall as well- for a number of reasons discrimination in some cases, in others a feeling of ‘otherness’ in their own country, in the early decades when Southern Protestants still self identified as British emigrating to the ‘mainland’ wouldn’t have been a fairly natural choice and of course there was Ne Temere. Say you’re Protestant family with three kids which would have been above the replacement rate: son one gets the farm and marries within the community, son two emigrates and son three marries a Catholic- that’s you’re replacement rate potentially gone.

                • Nedicus

                  Since my last reply I have done some extra reading. It’s an oldish book called “The Irish emigration, Marriage and Fertility” and there is a chapter called ‘Nationalism and Protestant Emigration”. He debunks some of the claims I made in my previous reply and seems to claim that the Protestant population was declining prior to independence and he lays the blame not on direct discrimination but with a certain disappointment with the state. The full chapter is on Google books it’s worth the read:

                • Jambo25

                  Yes, it’s always somebody else’s fault. It had nothing to do with house burnings, boycotts, a state which handed over much of it’s social policy to the Catholic Church, ran an education system where it was difficult to get a fully secular education. etc etc.

        • Jambo25

          So since social conditions in large areas of Scotland were similar we should have started shooting ‘the Peelers’ and planting car bombs in Newcastle? I can see where the SNP went wrong now.

      • pandcoac

        >I must have forgotten that bit where the British Army turned up the day
        after Bombay Street was attacked by Loyalist thugs to the resounding
        welcome of the citizens living in the Falls area.

        Yeah, right before Catholics of the ghetto could witness first hand how contrary to the lie they were noble peacekeepers between sparing children, their ultimate role was support of an institutionally sectarian government and police force and bringing BRITISH order back to THEIR streets. Internment was just a bizarre fluke, it’s merely a co-incidence that loyalists weren’t targeted, they were too busy infiltrating them for good reasons 😉

        • gunterprien

          “Internment was just a bizarre fluke, it’s merely a co-incidence that loyalists weren’t targeted,”

          Hmmm..So the LOYALIST Brian Faulkner who brought in internment just forgot to Intern Loyalists…Did he???

          What revisionist rot you speak.

    • AndrewMelville

      You make a fair point. Adams, Begin & Sharon were all vicious, terrorist thugs. Each of them should have been hung. It is a real tragedy that all were not.

      • tastemylogos

        of all the freedom fighters/ militants/ terrorists/ guerillas/ paramilitairies/ thugs/ champions (delete accordingly).in the world, and their are hundreds of the well known in the hall of shameful fame if not thousands – you pick on the jews. I did wonder how long it would take for somebody to mention the jew. No matter how irrelevant, it is as certain as Dan Hodges shifting his opinion on Labour’s prospects.

        Weird. Indeed, You made one post on this forum – a forum discussing Irish violence – and it was to make it explicitly clear your disdsin for jewish leaders. Weird. Bloody weird.

        • AndrewMelville

          You would be right, if it were not for the inconvenient fact that I was replying to a post that tried to exonerate Adams by comparing him to … Begin and Sharon.

          The list you give is a list of thugs that I would happily condemn along with Adams, Begin and Sharon.

          I await your apology.

          • tastemylogos

            I bloody won’t apologise. You made one comment on this blog… one. and it was to do nothing but condemn jewish leaders. That kind of obsession with the Jew is worrying.

            • AndrewMelville

              You truly are a tw@t.

              Here is the post to which I was replying:
              “When the British allowed the B Specials free reign against peaceful Republicans demanding civil rights in a racist gerrymandered state. That and Internment , Bloody Sunday etc undermined more than anything else Catholic’s faith in peaceful resistance. The IRA were brutal but they were the symptom ,not the cause.

              And is Adams any worse than Menachem Begin or Ariel Sharon. Both have far more blood on their hands than Adams.”

              Here was my reply:
              “You make a fair point. Adams, Begin & Sharon were all vicious, terrorist thugs. Each of them should have been hung. It is a real tragedy that all were not.”

              Even a thicko like you should be able to see that my post was about Adams & my rejection of the poster’s attempt to whitewash him. So my post did not “do nothing but condemn jewish leaders.”

              For your information, I just put our menorah away yesterday. I think you are the one with the obsession about Jews.

              You have one last chance to apologize.

              • tastemylogos

                tw@t? calm down. Hiding behind your keyboard calling people such profanities is indeed the sign of a hard man.

                last chance? how scary. I mean, really.

                I know what I was replying to and I know the context in which you made your post. Nonetheless it is very strange for that to be the catalyst of typing the only message in that blog.

                I’m ok for the apology. Feel free to leave one yourself though.

                • AndrewMelville

                  You really need to take some meds.

                  Who said I was trying to be a “hard man” (who talks like that anyway)? I was expressing my disgust with your continued refusal to understand. Which I see continues – so tw@t again. Oops – I guess I’m being a hard man again, hee hee – honestly, grow up.

                  “Last chance”: meaning not that I’m going to find you in a dark alley with a tyre iron – sounds more like your approach, hard man, but that I won’t engage with someone who deliberately misconstrues other’s words. Even when corrected.

                  By the way, you’re quite wrong that that was my only post on this blog.

                • tastemylogos

                  Lots of people born outside the metropolitan guilt ridden bubble talk like that. hello, Real world.

                  Oops? Hello sailor.

                  You’re still engaging.

                  I thought you were quite wrong in making time to comment on the jews. not only wrong but weirdly obsessive.

                • AndrewMelville

                  Yeah, when they’re trying to start a fight in a pub.

                  I know that’s what you thought – that’s why I was happy to correct your error.

                • tastemylogos

                  Not only a closet judaeophobe but a pompous git, too.

                • AndrewMelville

                  Your batting score so far: .000

                  Your predictive ability matches your logic and reading comprehension. Zippo – not just your favourite lighter.

                • tastemylogos

                  Strange use of a cricketing metaphor. Your riddles are as unbecoming as your pompous and slightly benign judeaophobia but not quite as incomprehensible as your lack of self awareness.

                • AndrewMelville

                  Baseball actually. Your talent for misinterpretation continues to impress.

                  Any other baseless insults you’d like to spread around?

                • tastemylogos

                  baseball?! says it all really. It wouldn’t be an insult to suggest you get a job would it?

                • AndrewMelville

                  My, my you really are showing your smug, contemptuous, oily self, aren’t you.

                  It’s not a sport I favour, but the score analogy is spot on for pointing out your high error rate.

                  Nothing you say could insult me. So suggest what you like – you see for an insult to work, there needs to be at least a grain of the truth about it. Regardless, I’m confident my contribution to society ranks high above yours – whatever the scale. Except perhaps parasitism and baseless, offensive conjecture – there you’re in a league of your own. Hard man.

                • tastemylogos

                  Forgive the time taken to reply. Some of us work.

                  Obviously didn’t bother reading more vacuity from you. Just wind your weird judaeophobia in, will you.

                • AndrewMelville

                  I assume you made bail. Congratulations.
                  I’ll say a prayer for you at my seder table next passover – do try not to jump to utterly false assumptions, old chap.

                • tastemylogos

                  No I work to fund your welfare lifestyle.

                  And Course you will. Deary me. Not many Jews call it by its name, Pesach. Joker. (Google it).

                • AndrewMelville

                  Dream on, loser.

                  Sorry to burst your bubble, but we’ve been the host for the last six years. I’ve even been the leader a couple of times. Since we’re writing English, it’s a good practice to use English words rather than foreign ones. Who said I was Jewish – I’m not – just very friendly. Hard man.

                  Get off your child’s hobby horse. Be a man. Admit you were wrong. Go further, apologize. Then your conscience will stop pricking you. And you can go back to sleeping at night, after the self abuse with the blow up girlfriend, natch.

                • tastemylogos

                  10 lines in reply? have you got nothing better to do in the afternoon on a week day?

                  Haven’t you got a community centre to stand outside and protest at or, I dunno… a job or something?

                • tastemylogos

                  My days, just had a glance of your profile. how many posts do you make about the Jews of Israel? You comment on the Jpost too.

                  Not obsessed with the Jew supposedly. What a waster.

                • AndrewMelville

                  It’s comforting to know that I have a creepy stalker as well as an ignorant critic.

                • AndrewMelville

                  I thought to honour you in similar fashion. I must acknowledge that you are very sensible about Nelson Mandela – his accomplishments and crimes. There might be hope for you yet, if you can avoid the snap, erroneous judgements.

                • tastemylogos

                  Merely wondering why you feel the need to make a disproportionate amount of comments about the Jews of Israel. Of the tens of conflicts around the world too.

                  Tell me, what capital have you invested into that region? Do you have family there? Do you visit often? Did you study middle eastern history or politics?

                • AndrewMelville

                  I told you in my first post – I was replying to a very specific reference to Begin and Sharon in another post. I never mentioned Jews or Israel – only Begin and Sharon.

                  I have no capital there although I looked at buying an Israeli company with my (Jewish) partner a year ago. I have family living there and plan to visit for the first time this summer. The majority of my family would be considered Jewish by a rabbinical court. I live in a Hasidic neighbourhood. They are great neighbours although distinctly unfriendly to anyone with a foreskin. I read history but not focused exclusively on the Middle East.

                  I comment on lots of issues from local to global. I’m sure I comment a lot on Israel etc – mostly because it gets a disproportionate amount of coverage but also because there is always a spirited debate. I enjoy argument and flatter myself that I am open to new evidence, persuasive argument and am willing and open to changing my mind. I see nothing as black and white – except for freedom of speech.

                  Israel and the Palestinians are fascinating because if the complexity of the issue.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Are you a Jew? Just asking?

                • tastemylogos

                  are you a rohingya? Just asking.

      • SeanieRyan

        The stood up to an Army and police that were rampaging through areas killing at will. They returned the serve and the killing of men like these 2 RUC men, Narrowwater etc were necessary acts to force it to stop.

        • AndrewMelville

          That is a lie.
          Adams and all his foul companions are cowards, murderers and thugs. As are the thugs who are also loyalists.

          The forces of law and order are a different matter. The Army and the police are not thugs or terrorists. Some members might have committed criminal acts, but that merely underscores the true value of the institutions. There is no moral equivalence between those public institutions and the foul murderers of Sinn Fein/IRA.

        • AndrewMelville

          Grow up.
          Where did you learn such absurd nonsense?
          The IRA/Sinn Fein were/are vicious thugs and cowards. Ditto for their unionist counterparts.

          The army and the police are completely different.

          You and your buddy, Adams should be ashamed of yourselves to mouth such tripe.

          • Fergus Pickering

            I think it is unlikely that they are.

    • Kennybhoy

      First paragraph. F*****g eejit!

      Second paragraph. Fair comment.

    • SeanieRyan

      Exactly. The North was Europe’s South Africa. If Britain had pushed for equality and Justice then the conflict would have been over years ago. Instead we had UVF and state organized death squads and rabid discrimination right up to the 90’s.

      What were people expected to do when the RUC police and loyalist mobs were burning streets and killing people at will, while British soldiers stood back and watched. Then to see the British army undertaking joint patrols with the UDA loyalist paramilitary association.

      • Jambo25

        You really haven’t a clue. I know a couple of guys from the Divis flats. About as Republican as you can get but they would never make a straight comparison between Northern Ireland and Apartheid South Africa.

        • gunterprien

          Yap Apartheid South Africa would have killed for “The Special Powers Act”

          They were mad jealous of that Arachaic document…Not even Apartheid South Africa had laws which were that repressive.

          If you weren’t a dyed in the wool Orange(ist) , it would almost make you think wouldn’t it?

          • Jambo25

            You also know sod all about Apartheid South Africa or how lovely organisations like BOSS behaved or how the Pass Laws worked.

            • gunterprien

              In April, 1963, when the South African minister of justice, Belthazar Johannes Vorster (1915-1983) was introducing some new apartheid laws (The Coercion Bill) he publicly stated that he “would be willing to exchange all the legislation of this sort for one clause of the Northern Ireland Special Powers Act”. Vorster, in 1966, became prime minister of South Africa and then president.In fact the architects of apartheid in South Africa often quoted the Special Powers Act to justify their own repressive regime. (see South Africa and the Rule of Law, South African department of foreign affairs, April, 1968). In 1935 a London based civil liberties commission declared the Stormont law as “contrary to the fundamental principles of democratic government”.

              It IS YOU who knows nothing.

              • Jambo25

                Aye! right as we say up here. Do you have any idea how the South African authorities behaved during the Apartheid years. The Nazis often quoted British ‘Concentration Camps’ in the Boer War to justify Auschwitz. Not really the same thing though: were they?

                • gunterprien

                  Really…The South Africans and Loyalists are fellow travellers , which is why BOSS gave unionists guns in return for plans for the Short blowpipe missile.
                  Same Mindset. Isn’t it?

              • Kennybhoy

                Aye weel he would say that ya clown!

          • Kennybhoy


    • Jambo25

      Is Adams any worse than Genghis Khan ? Is Creamola Foam worse than Tizer? Your point is what?

      • victor67

        That those involved in ordering and executing brutal terrorist acts can become International Statesmen. While Adams is not this ,there are many that have perpetrated far worse crimes than him but have been lauded as respectable politicians.

        • Jambo25

          Not by me they haven’t and not, one hopes, by anyone opf any sense.

    • Fergus Pickering

      What on earth has that to do with it? There are Jewish shitbags as well as Irish shitbags, is that it?

  • grutchyngfysch

    Couldn’t agree more. One of the great difficulties, however, is in finding an answer as to how to proceed from the unjust mess that has resulted without capitulating (either in appearance or reality) to a form of Republican-bashing. The SDLP are, to all intents, dead in the water. The only possibility, then, is not an alternative Nationalist party – nor for that matter an “inclusive” Unionist party – but the groundwork for normal politics. We need an opposition in Northern Ireland, and we need viable political alternatives to the quasi-ethnic identity groupings we are currently offered.
    For the life of me I can’t understand why the left and right respectively in both Ireland and the UK don’t try to launch an NI-specific front. Why can’t Irish Labour and British Labour, for instance, run a backed campaign for a grassroots NI Labour party? The Tories have started running candidates, which is something, but the whole thing was quite clearly lacking in any kind of serious backing. I notice that UKIP have also started to put down roots – it will be interesting to see if they can manage to avoid being dumped into “Unionist splinter parties” subgrouping.
    The alternative is the status-quo. An endless shuffle of chairs with an increasing disregard for even the appearance of democratic accountability as they carve up public money between themselves. Public money, of course, largely subsidised by Westminster. Perhaps if this becomes a concern, our British leaders will be more inclined to start building something else.

    • CraigStrachan

      The Tory candidates who have run have all done abysmally, except perhaps Laurence Kennedy, who got 14,000-odd votes in North Down, 20-some years ago.

      A better option would be to restore the link between the Tories and the UUP.

      • gunterprien

        A better option is a United Ireland
        Thank you

        • Jambo25

          All you’ve now got to do is persuade people to vote for it. I’d like an independent Scotland but I recognise that little problem of getting consent. If only I could think of another way.

          • gunterprien

            Britain is in decline and HUGE debts.
            Just yesterday they agreed to up the age of pensioners.
            There are more over 65’s in Britland than under 15’s.
            Fastest growing age groups over 85’s

            Have you got enough Werther’s Originals to bribe the changing demographics.
            Unionists are dropping at a rate of 5% every 10 years.
            Project Ulster is dead…The protestant state for the protestant people is dead.

            And the aging Population in Uk has HUGE debts to pay.
            You don’t take out a Mortgage in your 65’s Do you?
            Britain has.

            • Jambo25

              And Ireland will follow much about the same demographic trend. It’s a trend obvious all over Europe. In fact, the demographic problem you outline is probably les severe in the UK than in most other parts of the EU.

              As for ‘Project Ulster’. I couldn’t care less whether it survives or not. Not surprising really given that I’m a Scottish nationalist grandson of Irish Catholics. I simply object to killers and torturers of whatever side.

              • gunterprien

                Ireland is folowing ..But it simply doesn’t have the same legacy costs of Britain.
                at present , there are 3.3 “workforce” per pensioner.
                by 2025 that becomes 2.8 to 1
                And by 2050 2 to 1.
                The pensions legacy is at OVER 360 % of UK GDP.
                BTW that term is workforce.. It includes the 2 million unemployed the 5-7 Million on LOW who get some form of assistance from the State..i.e Tax credits, Rent allowance etc.

                Britain is in REAL trouble.
                Irish Pensions are at about 100% of GDP.
                Bad…But not as bad as Britain.
                I wonder when Unionists are going to wake up as to what the future of the UK holds.
                Pretty bleak one…I should say.
                As for Europe Germany has worse demographics…But then..Germany is a FAR better run Country.
                Wouldn’t you agree?

                • Jambo25

                  I doubt that rUK will be in that much trouble no matter how much bitter and twisted Irish Republicans wish it.

                • CraigStrachan

                  Aye, you have to hand it to the Germans. They are very efficient.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Not as effiicient as they think. The gas chambers quite often broke down and they had to stamp people to death.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  No. I wouldn’t agree with anything you say. Germany’s well run country has a rather bad record over the last hundred years, wouldn’t you say? East Germany was the worst of the Russian satellites. I would be ashamed to be German. To be fair, many of them are..

                • gunterprien

                  Germans..ashamed to be German…Pray tell How many Germans have you met in your lifetime..I’ve been to Hamburg and Willemshaven..I never met any Germans ashamed to be German…You ARE a tool.
                  Did you read that in the Murdoch Press?

                • Fergus Pickering

                  More than you, old fruit. What did England ever do to you? Not nearly enough it would appear. Where do you live now and when did you live in England. I suppose you hhave heard of bader-Meinhof. They were ashamed to be German so they killed people, a typical response. Certain of the Irish are muh the same..

                • gunterprien

                  Tell me old bean..These Germans you have met,…Where they in the Uk with their Famous German Markets..Trying their best to spread Christmas cheer to you Nation of Scrooges and Grinches.
                  It seems the Germans know how to celebrate Christmas..And the Brits are useless at it.
                  My gawd the gross hypocrisy of the typical Englander is pathetic.
                  Answer me this. How much Christmas atmosphere exists in your cheerless Englander Barrio??

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Munich, Frankfurt. And you are a kraut, eh? Sorry about the war. Have you got a spiked helmet in the cupboard and how are your lampshades?

                • gunterprien

                  start making sense eh? Englander.

            • Fergus Pickering

              And it’s different in Ireland, is it? How is that when the young are all coming to England?

              • gunterprien

                More are going to Canada and Australia..than the UK sh*thole.

    • MSturdy

      The NILP has already been tried… and failed.

      • grutchyngfysch

        True, but we’re talking about the 1970s, when British Labour didn’t (for various ideological as well as practical reasons) feel able to substantially back it. You need something grass-roots to avoid the inevitable criticism that it’s a stooge for the Dail or Westminster respectively, but you also need the clout and support of parties with a history of campaigning. Personally, my voting preference tends towards conservatism, but I’d happily vote to support a mainstream centre-left party if it meant breaking the grip of identity politics in Northern Ireland.

    • Nedicus

      With regard to a UK and Irish Labour backed party in NI it already exists it’s the SDLP. They usually take the Labour whip in the commons. That been said quiet a few SDLPers have stood in the South under FG which I suppose makes sense while starting off as a purely Labour party the SDLP quickly became the main party of nationalism in NI as more conservative constitutional nationalists also lend their support.

  • GAM

    I also needed to get that off my chest – thank you.

  • CraigStrachan

    Besides which, Adams has been notably ineffective in the Dail.

    • gunterprien

      As in Cameron in Westminster..
      Anyone care to mention Clegg.
      And I mean Nick Clegg.

      Not thae Paratrooper Lee Clegg who was convicted of murdering car thieves ,and falsifying evidence and perjury.
      The Tories released him..gave him full pay and offered him a return to unit.

      THE SAME HAPPENED to the very few Brit soldiers that the state prosecuted with GREAT reluctance.

      This is why the Irish have exposed British Justice to be such an oxymoron

      • CraigStrachan

        Cameron does just fine in Westminster, fielding questions from all comers about areas of his responsibility on a weekly basis.

        Gerry Adams, by contrast, is very reluctant to answer questions about things he’s been responsible for.

        • gunterprien

          Gerry Adam’s isn’t responsible for being born into a divided island.
          Wher in the Northern half thr minority were treated as cattle class by a Sectarian Herrenvolk.
          That was bound to lead to violence?
          You agree..Yea or Nay.

          Most Irish do..And that narrative has spread to Irish America and Europe.
          So much so, that French President Mitterand wished to attend Bobby Sands’ funeral.
          Irish Nationalists have won the central argument.
          It’s only right wing Brits..Unionists and self loathing West Brits that are holding out.
          And who cares about ny of the above group.
          I certainly don’t..That’s for sure.

          • CraigStrachan

            Most people who were “born in a divided island” didn’t resort to violence. Adams did, although he got himself out of the front line ASAP. He should be at least as willing as Martin McGuinness to be honest about his past role in the IRA.

            (And if I’m a “West Brit” I’m pretty damn far west!)

            • gunterprien

              I never said Gerry Adams was “ordinary” you did,..

              He achieved what Collins and DeValera couldn’t achieve.
              And that is FAR from ordinary.

              And “most People” didn’t fight in World war 2.
              Are you NOW saying that conflicit is no longer the “good war”..Because
              “most people” sat it out.

              • CraigStrachan

                Sure Collins and de Valera accepted partitionist settlements too, just like Adams!

                • gunterprien

                  It was the freedom to achieve freedom.
                  Adam’s has realized that it’s better to be inside the tent and peeing out than the other way round.

                  I suspect the Brit hand wringers on here realize it too…AND that’s why they don’t like it.

                  The Demographics of the occupied 6 Counties are changing rapidly. and The SINN FEIN agenda doesn’t suit Unionists who will either leave the 6 OR even perhaps if SF fail to take power in the 26 ..Unionists may feel that a United Ireland is better than a GFA run 6 Counties where SF will be in the majority.
                  Time will tell.
                  Also massive changes are taking place in the UK re. Scotland and also the EU . If Scotland leaves in 2014..Then the 6 Counties will be jettisoned by the rUK
                  If UK leaves the EU,…Then the people in the occupied 6 will vote UI.
                  So Partition will not be for long.
                  If the Celtic Tiger hadn’t of imploded, it may have happened by 2016. But we’ll have to wait post 2017 and 2017..Either way..NOT long to wait. In the life of a Nation.

                • CraigStrachan

                  Ah, yes that coming nationalist majority that has been only FIVE YEARS AWAY..for the past thirty-five years.

                  Heard it.

                • gunterprien

                  Well good for you.
                  Thankfully by 2017..the Events I already mentioned should be making themselves felt.
                  So, neither of us have to wait too long.
                  Until then it’s he said..she said..But these events are on the way..And it THEN no longer becomes academic..but reality.

                • CraigStrachan

                  Well, it’s not really he said, she said. There’s the present reality of copper-fastened partition under the GFA. Then there’s the fantasy scenario you spin for 2016 and the 100th anniversary of the Easter Riding…oops I see that’s already slipped into 2017. Shame that, eh? So close and yet so far!

                • gunterprien

                  I never mentioned 1916..2017 is the year that Britain gets a vote on the EU..
                  As I already mentioned If UK leaves the EU..This will lead to UI…
                  It’s really quite simple..You should keep up. dear boy.
                  and Do vote UKIP..

                • CraigStrachan

                  Yes, best not to mention 1916…bit of an embarrassment, given the sort of predictions that were made by senior SF figures about what would happen by the centenary. Oopsie!

                • gunterprien

                  1916 has it’s place..But it’s not what I was referring to.
                  I’m feeling quite confident that the UK will break up.
                  Either the Scots in 2014..Or POST 2017..IF the UK is given a vote and IF the UK vote out of EU.
                  This will lead to UI.
                  And WE shall see…And those dates are as definate as I can be. I think you agree, that’s why you are becoming ever more upset. And I’m NOT upset in the slightest.

                  However most Irish Nationalist know that Carson did more than any other person to create an Irish free State. So Stormont should send his Statue to Leinster house.Collins would never have been able to do anything without Carson.
                  Irony that..Isn’t it..How Unionists did more to break up the UK than Nationalists. After all the Irish would have settled for home Rulr proir to 1916..and the 1914 UVF gun running etc..etc..etc… In which case Ireland would be like Wales now.
                  Will the UVF be in attendance in Dublin for 2016. After all they were an integral part of how thing worked out..Without them the butcher’s apron would fly over the GPO. and Dublin Castle.
                  Why don’t you pay a visit yourself??? See what you lot “gave away”???

                • CraigStrachan

                  Let’s see – Gerry Adams in 2000 predicted a united Ireland by 2016. No sign of that happening. Then Martin McGuinness in 2012 called for a referendum, under the GFA, on a united Ireland to take place in 2016. No sign of that happening, either.

                  So, let down by Gerry and Martin’s flawed predictions, somehow you’ve convinced yourself that a united Ireland would come about in 2017 as a result of a vote by the U.K to leave the EU? How does that wee scenario play out, I wonder?

                • gunterprien

                  You work it out yourself.
                  I’ll give you some help though.
                  CAP = Common Agricultural Policy.
                  From that you should be able to deduce my thinking.
                  And the role CAP plays in rural Ireland..Of which Fermanagh, Tyrone Derrry Down and Armagh are a part of.

                • CraigStrachan

                  Have to wonder why it was for years Sinn Fein policy to withdraw from the EU, then?

                • gunterprien

                  Is that Sinn Fein’s policy..I have NO ideal
                  I seriously doubt Sinn Fein are Anti EU…Can you post me the link that says they are? I’ve never heard them call for a vote to leave the Eu.
                  I do know they were Anti Lisbon..THAT I DO know..But anti EU..I doubt it.

                  Sinnn Fein may want MORE subsidies for Irish farmers..And the EU COULD well be cutting them.

                  ONE thing for Sure Britain has ALWAYS opposed the CAP..AND when you figure how the sh*te on British farmers over BSE Foot and Mouth..I doubt UK farmers will get much UK taxpayers money post EU?

                  Do you think different?
                  Farmers ain’t banker..Are they?
                  Can’t see UK farmers been better off outside EU..But their lobby is weak in UK..NOT so in Ireland. Is it?

                • CraigStrachan

                  No, it’s not their policy now because- as on so much else – they have changed their stance. But I’m really surprised you don’t know that Sinn Fein were opposed to Irish membership of the EEC at the outset, camaigning for a NO vote in the 1973 referendum, and that they first campaigned for the European Parliament (in 1984) on a platform of outright wihdrawal, which remained their policy until well into the 1990s.

                  It’s interesting to me that you evidently think EU withdrawal is the magic bullet that is going to deliver the united Ireland the IRA’s war failed to win, when withdrawal was Sinn Fein policy for decades!

                • gunterprien

                  Of course it will.And you know it will.

                • CraigStrachan

                  If that’s all it’s going to take, what was the dopey war about?

                • gunterprien

                  See Gerrymandering..Special Powers Act..RUC B Specials..Dupont..Craig Brookborough..The Orange Order…”Not a Catholic about the place” …” Protestant State for a Protestant People”… UVF gunrunning 1914…Gusty Spence Murdering Catholics in 1966…Ian Kyle Paisley…The UPV…RUC Special Patrol Group…MRF….FRU…etc etc
                  Economic Apartheid of the Unionist Statlelet…All contributors to your war.

                • CraigStrachan

                  Craig Brookborough? Is he an Aussie soap star?

                • CraigStrachan

                  Would that be that CAP that, according to Sinn Fein’s Martin Ferris. doesn’t serve the interests of farmers in rural Ireland?


                • Fergus Pickering

                  Ireland IS like Wales now, surely. Filthy weather and mired in debt. The Irish are a bit more cheerful, though.

                • Ron Todd

                  He might be in the tent but he is still pissing in the tent.

                • gunterprien

                  He’s pissing on the right people the Unionist class and their Tory Cronies.
                  Good enough for me.

                • CraigStrachan

                  In the Dail he’s more pissed upon than pissing. Evidently nobody can stand him, least of all Enda Kenny.

                • Ron Todd

                  What sort of person thinks pissing on anybody is good?

                • gunterprien

                  The kinda person who has experienced British Duality and Unionist sectarianism..Awful people like that..deserve a wetting.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Well it would be. For you.

                • Random

                  people will always choose money over princable maybe we could be a federation unlike the United Kingdom of the past because as a unionist i wish for scotland to get its inderpendece as little england or is that london has gone mad with greed and lust for power even if that means forgetting the very voices who voted them in .

          • Fergus Pickering

            No. You are a fool. Bugger off back to wherever you came fro

          • Random

            Oh aye here we go again and before those bad normans came to Ireland we were all sitting in no bog land and all cosy sitting on our pot of gold or is that bullshit stoppingletting on we ourselves were not accountable for volence as well. or are you like Gerry ? here no evil see no evil

      • Jabez Foodbotham

        Some might think that a justice system that prosecuted and convicted a soldier for firing at a car that had crashed through a road-block was rather perverse in the first place.
        Or possibly that a government that set up road-blocks manned by armed soldiers to maintain its writ was happy enough to duck out of the consequences of its policy and blame low level people when such an incident occurred,.

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