Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hoping history doesn't repeat itself

Another morning and after Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar, another victim of terrorism for a wife, children and Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom to mourn.

One thing which Gordon Brown said stuck in my mind on Sunday, the murderers will be caught. If Northern Ireland is to have any chance at becoming a normal decent society, where policemen aren't gunned down answering a distress call, then obviously the murderers will have to be caught.

I would love to be confident of that becoming recognised universally as an undeniable *fact*, I really would. But after those atrocities of the past and those which occured post the Belfast Agreement, we heard exactly the same promises, promises which weren't delivered mainly for reasons of political expediency. The "micro-groups", basically Adam's Bastard Children, don't operate in some micro-alternative universe, they come from exactly the same housing estates, neighbourhoods, villages and towns as the original IRA. And the reason the original IRA, the original Adam's bastards, were able to operate, almost with impunity, even after committing such crimes as La Mon was that they continued to have enough support within those housing estates, neighbourhoods etc to make the effective military action required against them politically inexpedient. If the Real/Continuity IRA enjoys even 10% of that tacit support enjoyed by the *real* IRA, then exactly those same rules of political expediency will apply. All the Stormont debates in the world, all the (genuine) outpouring of "cross-community" grief won't change the fact in whose court the ball now very firmly lies.


Kloot said...

What depressing news. Nothing short of a complete crackdown on these dissidents and the full prosecution of those involved is acceptable.

Disgusting, depraved, senseless.

Another family having to suffer needlessly.

Kloot said...

Claimed by the CIRA apparently..

O'Neill said...

Thanks Kloot, now updated.

Ignited said...

Very worrying times. Unfortunately the Massereene and attack on PSNI will only increase the confidence of the CIRA/RIRA.

We're all going to have to put faith in the security and intelligence community to thwart and fingers crossed put these people behind bars.

Anonymous said...

They cant be put behind bars without the full and unequivical support and "action" from the republican community. Alas I dont think that will be forthcoming.

tony said...

I can understand just why these attacks have left you shocked, the atavistic relics who are carrying them out need to be caught quickly for all of our sakes. However to blame Adams and the Republican family in general goes much, much too far. What promises are you on about and from whom?

The so called dissidents have practically zero support as far as I am aware. Unless you believe that anyone Republican or otherwise with any sense wants to take 10 steps back into the past. These are dark days but throwing mud is easy, it is a time for reflection not reflex actions.

O'Neill said...

Promises from Blair post omagh for example. The promises made by security chiefs and our political masters. re the Quinn, McCartney murders.

These are dark days but throwing mud is easy, it is a time for reflection not reflex actions.

It's not an immediate, kneejerk post I did after Saturday, but a reflection of the reality as I see it. And the reality, whether I like it or not (and I don't), is that these crimes will not be solved by real policing or detective methods, but only if SF and their electorate wish them to be solved.

Realpolitik post 98 dictates how far the PSNI can go in performing investigations and there is most definitely a line imposed by the Republican movement (and occasionally by the loyalist terrorists) which they will not cross. The ball is in Adams and his movement and his electorates' court now, how far will they permit this line to be moved.

Anonymous said...

I'm a republican.
Republicans are supposed to be democrats, this is an attack on democracy.
I will go nuts if I hear anyone trying to justify these murders. I haven't felt like this since Omagh.
I just can't understand why this is happening, what it's supposed to achieve. Self gratification through violence is the only thing I think of. It's like re-living a nightmare.

Joe said...

It is clear that the CIRA and Real IRA are deluding themselves if they think that 10 + years on from Omagh that the population is in some way suportive of them and has some desire to go back. My worry is that if the small number who are involved are not detected and in the event of further killings by them that the UDA and UVF who haven't decommmissioned will retaliate. Should this happen on an ongoing basis it's my fear that the perception of them by the nationalist community may change and as in the early 70's the CIRA anticipaite that they are seen as defending nationalists. That is a nightmare scenario deeper than where we are at present.

tony said...

>>It's not an immediate, kneejerk post I did after Saturday, but a reflection of the reality as I see it. And the reality, whether I like it or not (and I don't), is that these crimes will not be solved by real policing or detective methods, but only if SF and their electorate wish them to be solved.<<

You seem to be a wee bit out of step chum, try watching the news, but like I say mud throwing is easy. It is a shame that your reactions are not knee-jerk as they might be forgivable as I have previously stated.

Anonymous said...

Well said Joe.

O'Neill said...

You seem to be a wee bit out of step chum, try watching the news, but like I say mud throwing is easy

If the self-styled community leaders and their electorate want such crimes to be solved, they will be solved- nothing that has happened over the last 48 hours disproves that point.

tony said...

Ye Gods O'neill SF or the redundant members of the Ra have practically no sway, in some cases none at all in the areas that have seen a resurgence in these activities.

Quit the reactionary coverall attacks on Republicans re your original post, it serves no purpose and is wholly and factually wrong.

O'Neill said...

They may have no sway but we are not talking about vast metropolises here- do you really think with the kind of network SF still have throughout such areas, they don't know who's involved in these organisations

Two other crimes in particular that I mentioned- the Mccartney and Quinn murders; why, despite the large number of people involved in the murders, did/have they proved so difficult to "solve"? Answer that and then you've got the point I'm driving at.

Anonymous said...

I thought Sinn Fein did not have the popular vote or support when they were carrying out such vile acts??

kensei said...


You are laying more at the door fo SF than they are capable of. They can call on people to support ht epolice. But they can't force people to do it, and they don't have some mind control ray to tell people what to think. Many murders go unsolved even in normal circumstances.

tony said...


Your comments are only in context if we can take into account the Republican movement's understandably uneasy relationship, indeed distrust of British justice. A bit like that which Unionists have with equality. You have snafued on this especially given the reaction of mainstream Republican leadership, and in light of public opinion.

Alan said...

The Maguiness speech helped me reconcile myself with the SF of today than from history. I think NI will do alright and get through this.

O'Neill said...

Many murders go unsolved even in normal circumstances

SF, more than any other party on either island are a part of the community that votes for/supports for them (backhanded compliment I suppose). Their electorate listen to them in a way that other parties can only dream of and again, I come back to the Omerta post Quinn and Mccartney murders.

Now, it may be their attitude towards the reporting of "political" criminality has changed over the last few days and if it truly has, then, I'll be delighted.

tony said...

Whilst reading slugger(unusual for me this weather) I came across this comment and immediately thought of you O'neil;

"A famous French clown did a routine in which he was searching for his lost key underneath a gas-lamp. Passers by came and helped him. Eventually they became impatient and asked him was he sure he lost the key in this spot. No, he motioned, over there. Then why are you searching here they asked? Because it’s light here and dark over there he replied.

In the current emergency, we have murders committed by RIRA and a murder committed by CIRA. So, we might legitimately ask our resident clowns, why are you rabbiting on about the non-existent, historical, weaponless PIRA? The answer is simple. PIRA has a membership overlap with Sinn Féin, and it is the political eclipse of SF we desire above all things, and which consumes our interest at the moment. The tears which we shed over our lost peace and dead state servants are of the order of crocodiles."
Posted by PaddyReilly on Mar 11, 2009 @ 11:21 PM

C'mon O'neil fess up, it sums up your totally askew stance on the latest developments.

>>Now, it may be their attitude towards the reporting of "political" criminality has changed over the last few days and if it truly has, then, I'll be delighted.<<

Oh dear conditions on conditions, on conditions.

O'Neill said...

You think I'm a French clown?! It's not so much the "clown" bit I object to....;)

I don't know how much farther we can go round on circles on this one; I dislike the SNP and Plaid Cyrmu and like Sinn Fein I'd love to see them given a good old thumping at the ballot box. However, the question of SF moves well beyond normal political issues and put bluntly, their prior "commitment" to removing criminality, no matter its source, mean that a degree of scepticism still exists in my mind at this time. Alex Hilton, a prospective Labour candidate, puts it much more eloquently than me:
Talking about the McCartney murder:

The investigation was immediately hindered by an impromptu riot at the scene of the crime. Sinn Fein’s initial response focused on the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s use of riot police to try to access the crime scene. Sinn Fein politician Alex Maskey said: ‘It appears the PSNI is using last night’s tragic stabbing as an excuse to disrupt life within this community.’

The publicity around the McCartney campaign pressured the IRA and Sinn Fein into expelling a number of their members over the murder, with the IRA even publicly offering to shoot the suspects. But the sisters instead sought arrest and conviction. They criticised Sinn Fein because, like the 70 people who claimed to be in the pub toilet at the time, two of its council candidates were among those who saw nothing. At that time McGuinness warned the sisters against bringing politics into the matter.

It took two years for Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams to publicly call for co-operation with the police. The suspects were eventually found not guilty in court due to the lack of witnesses and forensic evidence.

This week’s statements from McGuinness and Adams have been sincere, but there is a difference between honesty and sincerity that politicians often forget. You can’t fake honesty. And excessive sincerity when honesty is required is the reason politicians are so mistrusted.


You can have the last word on this one.

tony said...

>>You can have the last word on this one.<<

Now now don't get petulant ;¬)

I suppose in a normal society your point could be taken slightly seriously................at a stretch! Though crucially you neglect to take into account that the north of Ireland has been something other than a normal society. As I have pointed out the often brutal relationship that the security forces have had with even ordinary Nationalists is not easily forgotten. A whole swathe of society that are just not used to dealing with a "normal" police force who have often in the past(and may still yet) have used any information gained to pass onto death squads amongst other detrimental and illegal uses. Context is crucial, and the evidence of the last few days may still yet not be registering with you. Sadly!

Your TUV membership card is in the post. I suppose you can believe what you want no matter how foolish it makes you look.