So it was that the little people who had been subjected to so many Human Rights violations at the hands of republican and loyalist terrorists in Northern Ireland, since their declared cease-fires had that abuse recognised and acknowledge by the President of the United States of America, Mr Bill Clinton.
The pressure continued on the republican movement to end its mutilations and barbarity against the ghettoised Catholic community over whom it wielded so much Mafia power. The republican leadership were being pushed and pulled in the right direction by the constitutionalists both at home and abroad. Senator George Mitchell was central to brokering the Good Friday Agreement; this agreement afforded all sides the opportunity to focus on the day to day bread and butter issues in the new Northern Ireland Assembly, while allowing the larger Constitutional issues to take a back seat following referendum in both Northern Ireland and the IrishRepublic. This concept is known as Consociational Democracy or in street language, agreeing to disagree. The concept while used in various forms in other jurisdictions was presented to all political parties in the north by a post graduate student at Queens University, Belfast, and its core threads were quickly accepted.
The Good Friday Agreement which was signed by all the parties including Sinn Fein on Good Friday, 1998, set out very specific responsibilities for all the signatories to that agreement including a commitment to exclusively peaceful means. All terrorist prisoners were released and a process of demilitarisation/normalisation continued with the British with drawing troops and dismantling military installations.
In June 1998 elections were held for the new Northern Ireland Assembly and in order to facilitate as many sections of the community as possible the Assembly would have a massive 108 seats. The election allowed the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) which represented the loyalist terror group the UVF to win two seats and this was useful. Other fringe groups such as the Women’s Coalition won two seats but soon evaporated. The reality was that the new Northern Ireland Assembly was up and running and power was now shared between Catholic and Protestant. Many commentators suggested that such power sharing had been available in the 1970s and that over 3,500 people did not need to die for a simple return to Stormont rule.
Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble became First Minister and Sinn Fein’s, Martin Mc Guinness became Deputy First Minister. The very Stormont that Gerry Adams said was propping up Imperial rule in Ireland was now being administered in part by Sinn Fein. However, all was not well in the republican movement, in their attempts to be all things to all people the Adams/Mc Guinness leadership had allowed criminals within their own ranks to do as they pleased. This manifested itself in November 1997 when the PIRA, Quarter Master, Michael Mc Kevitt left the IRA Army Council and took with him weapons, explosives and personnel. Mc Kevitt alleged that he was not happy with the republican leadership doing business with the Brits, yet he had been on the Army Council at all times when Martin Mc Guinness was having secret meetings with MI6 Agent Michael Oakley.
The IRA operate under the rules contained in what is known as the Green Book, I had read this book when I was in prison and it is a very simple book with a deadly set of rules. It clearly states that anyone misusing or misappropriating IRA weapons or personnel shall face Court Martial and will if found guilty of a serious offence be executed. However, Michael Mc Kevitt neither faced Court Martial or death, the reason for this is that the republican leadership believed that a few bombs and killings by ‘dissidents’ would help focus the minds of the Unionists, The British, The Irish Government and all other interested parties. This tactic had been used on many occasions by the republican movement, and while on this occasion the Real IRA were not operating under direct orders from the republican leadership they had the tacit support of the IRA Army Council.
The PIRA had on many occasions used flags of convenience to carry out murders at politically sensitive times. For example in the Kingsmill massacre in 1976, when the IRA stopped a bus load of work men in South Armagh and murdered ten of the eleven Protestant work men on board, the eleventh was left for dead, and told the only Catholic on the bus to walk away from the scene, the IRA used the cover name South Armagh Republican Action Group, indeed Michael Mc Kevitt was one of the IRA members involved in that massacre in 1976. On Sunday, the 20th of November, 1983, republicans entered the MountainLodgePentecostalChurch, in Darkley, near Keady, in CountyArmagh and murdered in cold blood three of the Protestant people who were praying there, seven other Church goers were injured in the cowardly attack. The terrorists used the cover name ‘Catholic Reaction Force’. Following the IRA cease-fire of 1994 the IRA used the cover name Direct Action Against Drugs (DAAD) in order to murder and mutilate drug dealers who would not pay protection money to the IRA. In 1996 the IRA murdered Garda Jerry Mc Cabe, Garda Mc Cabe was murdered by an IRA gang who were carrying out an armed robbery under the direct orders of the PIRA Army Council some of whom were now sitting in the Government of Northern Ireland.
On the 19th of July 1998 eight members of the PIRA in north Belfast smashed their way into the apartment of 33 year old Catholic, Andrew Kearney, and shot him dead in front of his partner and two week old baby. The criminal gang then ripped out the phone and jammed the lift so that help could not be summoned. This cowardly murder had been carried out as Andrew, a well known sports man, had stopped an IRA rapist from north Belfast attacking a child on the Falls Road in Belfast. The IRA wanted to keep their dark secrets and they would kill anyone who tried to expose them. Nobody would ever be charged with Andrew's murder as such crime was viewed as 'Internal House Keeping' by the British to whom the IRA were now surrendering. The peace process can therefore be seen on occassion to be a direct impediment to justice.
However, the republican leadership’s tacit support for the ‘dissidents’ would soon back fire or at least be regretted, momentarily at least. On the 15th of August 1998 the Real IRA planted a car bomb in the town of Omagh in CountyTyrone. The bomb exploded in a busy shopping street and 29 innocent men, women and children were slaughtered. This was a staggering blow for the ordinary people of Ireland who were left shell shocked. After so much hope being offered by the fledgling peace process the blood of the innocent once again flowed on the streets. The Real IRA had teamed up with members of the Continuity IRA in order to deliver mass murder to the people of Omagh. The republican leadership in the form of Adams and Mc Guinness were now forced to condemn the Omagh bomb, their hypocrisy not missed by many seasoned commentators who had remembered the many recent massacres under the Adams/Mc Guinness leadership. For example, three weeks prior to the Omagh bomb the 'dissidents' had planted a bomb in the mainly Protestant town of Banbridge where they injured 35 innocent men, women and children and the republican leadership failed to condem that outrage, the Banbridge victims were Protestants while the Omagh victims were both Catholic and Protestant.
The Omagh bomb was a milestone in the peace process, minds became focused and the business of politics continued. Much was promised by both the British and Irish Governments in relation to the catching and imprisonment of the Omagh murderers however as so often the case once the dust settled nobody was convicted of the Omagh bombing. The families of the Omagh victims would bring successful civil actions against some of those involved in the Omagh massacre but that would have no real impact on the activities of the ‘dissidents’.
In December 1999 the new Northern Ireland Assembly had power devolved to it by Westminster and direct rule finally ended after twenty-seven years. However, de-commissioning remained a serious problem, while ‘dissidents’ had been virtually inactive for a significant period after the Omagh bomb, the IRA continued to carry out murders and other forms of criminality. In February 2000 the British Government suspended the Northern Ireland Assembly as Unionists felt unable to continue in Government with Sinn Fein while the IRA continued with business as usual. The republican leadership was under continued pressure to stop allowing its members to continue with criminal activity. If the leadership could not control the criminality within its own ranks then it could not deliver its responsibilities within the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy who had been the IRA’s Chief of Staff for many years appeared before Courts in the IrishRepublic facing criminal charges relating to tax evasion, Ireland’s Criminal Assets Bureau had used FBI tactics to take down one of the Mafia Godfathers (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/bre … ing41.html). Murphy typified how so called republicans had made personal fortunes of the back of the conflict in the north.
In May 2000 the republican leadership agreed to surrender IRA weapons. This of course was like bolting the stable door after the horse had bolted as the ‘dissident’ bombs had contained PIRA semtex. The British responded in kind and power was restored to the Assembly on the basis that the IRA would surrender its arms. However, the IRA continued to dish out death and destruction, and while many friends of the terrorists in certain sections of the media and in particular in the USA continued to point at Unionist failures, the same media ignored the broken bodies of rape victims and other victims of IRA crime who were beaten into silence in the areas controlled by the republican and loyalist criminals. Eventually in the face of over whelming evidence that the IRA continued to murder, First Minister, David Trimble resigned as he could not tell his people that he had delivered peace when murder was continuing on the streets, indeed some prisoners released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement had returned to criminality and some would end up serving fresh life sentences.
The pressure mounted on the republican leadership and in particular from America where so much had been invested by the Clinton administration. In October 2000 the IRA were finally forced to surrender their weapons to a decommissioning body. Constitutionalists continued to push forward with the peace process and Sinn Fein followed behind with IRA criminality clutching at their coat tails. In 2001 three senior republicans were captured while training narco-terrorists (FARC) in Columbia and this was a significant embarrasment for those who had worked so hard for peace and in particular the American administration. In October 2002 the Sinn Fein offices at Stormont were raided by the police investigating an alleged IRA spy operation at Stormont, the Assembly was suspended and direct rule imposed. The reality was that some of Sinn Fein’s most senior people in Stormont were British agents, Dennis Donaldson to name but one, so it was hard to tell the good guys from the bad. In Belfast in December 2004 the IRA robbed the Northern Bank and stole twenty-six-million pounds sterling. In the ghettoes where the republican Mafia wielded control it continued to dish out death, mutilation and torture to anyone who stood in its way. One of the IRA’s most high profile murders, while on cease-fire, was in January 2005, when senior members of the IRA murdered an innocent Catholic, father of two Robert Mc Cartney. However, Mr Mc Cartney’s sisters pursued Robert’s terrorist killers with vigour and brought their call for justice to America (http://www.independent.ie/national-news … 93808.html).
During the first ten year period of republican and loyalist ‘cease-fires’ 1994 to 2004 there were:
179 terrorist murders
1,129 terrorist explosive devices uncovered
2,313 terrorist - mutilations and beatings mainly against children and young adults, many of whom had tried to report their rape or sexual abuse at the hands of terrorists to the authorities
5,650 terrorist weapons found
5, 908 criminal charges brought against terrorists
11, 307 people injured by terrorist related activities
Only twelve weeks after the IRA declared their cease-fire in 1994 the IRA murdered 54 year old Catholic Frank Kerr while the IRA carried out a robbery in Newry County Down. On the 9th of February 1996 the IRA exploded a bomb in London’s CanaryWharf murdering two innocent shop workers and injuring over one hundred innocent people. Republican and loyalist terrorists continued to murder at will and this murder would eventually be described by British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mo Mowlam as “internal house keeping”, in other words the terrorists were not breaching their agreed ceasefires if they were simply murdering and torturing people within their own communities.
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) which was lead by the Rev Ian Paisley had played hard ball through out the talks process and this had left them in good stead with the Protestant people who had suffered so much at the hands of republican terrorists. In the election of November 2003 the DUP would steal the UUP clothes and become the largest Unionist party in the north, this would now leave the DUP in the driving seat. In July 2005 the IRA said that it had ordered its membership to surrender their weapons and to pursue their goals through peaceful means.
The talking continued and the political choreography continued to be played out on an ever decreasing world stage as the world’s media moved on to more important matters. By the end of 2006 British Prime Minister, Tony Blair and Irish Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern had talks with the northern Ireland parties to see if devolution could again be achieved. Most now involved in the peace process were tired of the continued failure of the republican movement to stay within the parameters of the Good Friday Agreement.
In January 2007 the republican leadership agreed to support the new Police Service of Northern Ireland, PSNI, this had been a precondition of republicans being allowed back into the Assembly. Adams and Ian Paisley continued to work together in the Assembly after devolution was restored on the 8th of May and both the Ulster Unionist Party and the SDLP who had initially been seen as the champions of the peace process were left sitting on the side lines while the extremes of unionism and nationalism worked together. Ian Paisley Snr who once championed the Ulster Resistance (loyalist paramilitaries) was First Minister and IRA leader Martin Mc Guinness was Deputy First Minister. On the ground the IRA continued to engage in criminality, in October 2007 the IRA murdered 21 year old Catholic, Paul Quinn in County Monaghan, in the Irish Republic, this brutal and cowardly murder of an innocent young man showed again that the IRA had more in common with the Moores murderers than they had with republicanism. However, the republican movement had seriously weakened its position as the ‘dissidents’ it had initially armed were now taking on a new momentum.
On September 8th 2008 The Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) stated that the IRA’s ruling Army Council was no longer operational and that the IRA did not pose a threat to the peace process. So it appeared that the (IMC) was happy to turn a blind eye to the on going Human Rights abuses being dished out by the IRA in areas where they had control. It appeared that everyone now accepted Mo Mowlam’s view that the murder, mutilation and torture of Catholics at the hands of the republican Mafia was nothing more than ‘internal house keeping’. The on going Human Rights violations by the IRA would soon again be out done by ‘dissident’ republicans. On March 7th 2009 the Real IRA murdered two British Soldiers and wounded four other people at Massereene army base close to Antrim. Two days later a PSNI officer was shot dead by the Continuity IRA in Craigavon.
So who are the dissidents and have they any legitimacy. In 1986 when Ruiri O Bradaigh lead a splinter group of republicans away from the main body of Provisional Sinn Fein/IRA, he done so not because of policy shift in relation to abstentionism but rather in relation to power shift. Adams and Mc Guinness made no secret of their intention to take the power base of the republican movement to the north and shift the old guard lead by O Bradaigh out of power. O Bradaigh set up Republican Sinn Fein which is nothing more than a talking shop for old men who have lived in relative comfort far from the northern conflict for decades. O Bradaigh also masterminded the creation of Continuity IRA, however, it is only in recent times that Continuity have begun to cut their paramilitary teeth as their ranks have been swelled by former members of the Provisional IRA. In 1996 the CIRA exploded a 1,200lb bomb at a hotel in Fermanagh however this was the work of a small team based in rural Monaghan, in the IrishRepublic. O’ Bradiagh’s bluff about walking away from the main stream Sinn Fein/IRA organisation over abstentionism is easily exposed as Republican Sinn Fein have taken seats in the Republic when they can get someone elected to an urban or county council.
In November 1997 both Kevin Mc Kenna and Michael Mc Kevitt resigned their positions on the Provisional IRA Army Council. Kevin Mc Kenna who said in 1994, “As long as the lads with the balaclavas are there to keep an eye on things I am happy to go along with it”, Mc Kenna was talking about the talks between Mc Guinness/Adams and the British Government. However, in 1997 Mc Kenna decided he could no longer be part of the Sinn Fein/IRA organisation. There is no evidence to suggest that Mc Kenna went with the dissidents but that he has simply settled into retirement in CountyMonaghan. Michael Mc Kevitt on the other hand who had been the Provisional IRA’s, Quarter Master General would form the Real IRA. Mc Kevitt was in a position to take personnel, weapons and explosives with him. While the Provisional IRA has a long standing policy of executing anyone who misuses their personnel or weapons Mc Kevitt was given a free hand. The political mouth-piece for the Real IRA would be the, 32 County Sovereignty Committee.
From a republican perspective neither the Continuity IRA nor the Real IRA has any legitimacy. O’ Bradaigh for his part was happy to engage with the British Government when it suited his egotistical journey; he further split the republican movement over personal rather than long term political motivations. Michael Mc Kevitt was on the IRA Army Council while Martin Mc Guinness was having secret meetings with M16, Mc Kevitt was party to the surrender of militant republicanism and he was further party to the mass executions of Irish Republicans in the border counties due to the IRA leadership’s duplicity (http://theirishobserver.blogspot.com/20 … icans.html). Mc Kevitt’s lack of intelligence would eventually see him serving a twenty-year sentence in the Republic’s Portloaise Prison after Mc Kevitt did be-friend an FBI Agent who would later turn States evidence against him.
The journey of the Adams/Mc Guinness leadership is no different; however, Provisional Sinn Fein/IRA has now openly accepted their role as constitutional politicians in both the partitionist Assembly at Stormont and Dail Eireann in the Republic. The many failures of the Mc Guinness/Adams leadership, including their dishonesty and duplicity leave them with some burden in relation to the creation of the modern day ‘dissidents’. There is a very clear school of thought within Irish republicanism which suggests that Michael Mc Kevitt was given a free hand by the Provisonal IRA leadership as that leadership believed that low key dissident shootings and bombings would help focus the minds of the Unionists, The British Government and the Irish Government.
The Omagh bomb in August 1998 left the Provisional IRA leadership red faced as they realised the futility and recklessness of allowing Mc Kevitt to walk away with their semtex. However, it was too late, already Slab Murphy and others who may have had influence at one time, had lost that influence on the ‘dissident’ groupings. Even Martin Mc Guinness was given short shift when he went to south Armagh to try and gain some influence. However, while Omagh was a spectacular own goal for both the ‘dissidents’ and the PIRA leadership who had let them walk away with their semtex, the dissidents simply regrouped and lived to fight another day. Recent dissident attacks on the home of Sinn Fein MP Conor Murphy and other Sinn Fein/IRA members shows that the dissidents have taken on a new life form.
The Real IRA (now split but focused), Continuity IRA, INLA and many former members of the PIRA now make up the ranks of the ‘dissident’ threat. The recent killings of two soldiers at Massereene army base in 2009, the killing of PSNI officer Stephen Carroll in March 2009 shows clearly that the ‘dissident’ threat what ever its origins is prepared to continue with a futile, flawed and mainly egotistically driven campaign of cowardly attacks. The ‘dissident’ threat is driven in most instances by self serving and criminal enterprise. The recent emergence of the Irish Republican Liberation Army is described by the International Monitoring Committee as, “essentially a group of criminals taking a republican banner in order give supposed status to their activities”. Many dissidents have been imprisoned on the Island of Ireland for criminal activities ranging from extortion from lap dancing clubs to drug dealing. However, like the Provisional IRA/Sinn Fein before them these criminal dissidents will use the smoke screen of attacking anti-social elements to hide their own criminal intent.
There is no doubt that the dissident threat is presently higher in 2010 than it has been for many years, all of the various parts making up the whole of the dissident threat are now working closely together. In the working/underclass areas where these bandits operate little or nothing has changed for the ordinary people as a result of the ‘peace dividend’ and so the waters in which sectarian/criminality swims have never gone away. The security services lead by M15 have disrupted many dissident operations in recent months, however, they only have to get lucky once. The recent car bomb attack on Palace Barracks, in Hollywood which is also the HQ of M15 on the 12th of April to coincide with the transfer of policing and justice powers from Westminster to Stormont show that the dissident threat is one that is coordinated and determined, what ever its motivation. This bomb made up of approximately 100/20 lbs of homemade explosives was brought to Belfast and then placed in a hi-jacked taxi.
The dissidents have not strayed far from the path of their PIRA counterparts, the bomb makers are based in small rural locations mainly in counties, Louth, Armagh and Fermanagh. The personnel may have a different name tag now but they were mainly born out of the PIRA, some new blood has and is being recruited and this accounts for a number of botched operations. The ‘dissidents’ have also recently murdered 31 year old Kieran Doherty who was a member of their organisation in Derry, Doherty had been found operating a major drug dealing operation in County Donegal. It is not clear if Doherty was killed because he was operating an enterprise outside of the control of the Real IRA in Derry or because he was an actual drug dealer, the latter is unlikely. Doherty had been running a drug dealing operation from a house belonging to another senior dissident Seamus Mc Greevy, who was based in Meath. Seamus Mc Creevy hanged himself on January 31st 2010. In October 2009 another senior dissident John Brady took his own life while being held at Strand Road PSNI station.
So it is that there is much confusion and uncertainty within the dissident family. Their present tactic of causing discomfort to Sinn Fein and uncertainty for the Assembly at Stormont appears short sighted and counter productive. However, short sightedness is something the republican movement have never been short off. The political process continued in 2009 and progress was being made.
On the 27th of June 2009 the loyalist terrorists in the form of the UVF said they had completed de-commissioning and the UDA said it had started the process of de-commissioning, however, the loyalist terrorists like their republican counter parts remain fully engaged in Mafia type crime. Another republican splinter group the INLA said on the 10th of October 2009 that it will bring its campaign of violence to an end, the reality is that the INLA has been consistently torn apart by internal feuds and the main focus of its member ship continues to be criminality with some INLA joining the ranks of the Real and Continuity IRA.
The Northern Ireland Assembly got a much needed boost on the 12th of October 2009 when Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State addressed its members and talked with the political leaders in the north. Attention then shifted to the devolution of policing and justice powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly, the combating of terrorism however would remain with MI5. On the 25th of January 2010 the British and Irish Premiers, Gordon Brown and Brian Cowen, meet in Belfast to iron out any problems with the devolution of policing and justice. It was interesting to note that neither premier was having photo opportunities with Peter Robinson or Gerry Adams both of whom were reeling from personal scandals. Finally, in early February an Agreement on policing and justice was reached at HillsboroughCastle and this deal was signed of by the two premiers. On the 9th of March the Assembly voted in favour of the new arrangements for devolving policing and justice. David Ford of the non-sectarian Alliance Party would be the north’s Justice Minister in April 2010.
Now in May 2010 a new British Government has been formed out of coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats and the Northern Ireland Assembly is functioning well. Unionism is in difficulty as the Ulster Unionists failed to get any MPs elected to the House of Commons and the Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey has been forced to resign. The DUP remain strong although their leader Peter Robinson failed to get re-elected to MP seat for East Belfast which he represented as an MP for thirty-one years. Peter Robinson appears to have suffered due to the fall out from the scandal surrounding his wife Iris. Sinn Fein again out polled the nationalist SDLP, however, Sinn Fein remains in melt down in the IrishRepublic.
The problems for Sinn Fein in the IrishRepublic are that they have tried too hard to reach out to the middle classes. Republican veterans who should have been catered for in terms of nominations for elections have been cast aside and people who played no part in the conflict have been parachuted in. The traditional working class Sinn Fein representatives have been replaced by well groomed and articulate middle class newbie’s. A person like Mary Lou Mc Donald in Dublin, who is known within republican circles as Mary Who, was put forward as Sinn Fein’s Candidate for the European Elections while veteran republicans were ignored. Mary Lou is perceived a being middle-class, educated and the type of candidate that Sinn Fein now want to present to the electorate. However, in deciding to cast aside traditional republicans for newbie’s they are losing core supporters.
While people like Sinn Fein’s Caoimhghin O’ Caolain TD could be viewed as middle-class, the fact is that he has street credit as he was there during the hunger strikes and gave up his good job in the Bank of Ireland to work full time as a Sinn Fein community activist. It is this type of credibility that is lacking in so many of the newbie’s now being hand picked by the republican leadership as they try to reach out to middle Ireland. Yet another high profile member of Sinn Fein in Dublin has resigned from the party. Killian Forde said that he was leaving Sinn Fein because it was "Staid and unresponsive". Killian Forde joins three other high profile members of Sinn Fein who have left the party over the past year including Sinn Fein's bed rock in Dublin, Christy Burke. Christy Burke, Louise Minihan, John Dwyer and now Killian Forde have all decided to leave Sinn Fein at a time when the party should be enjoying the fruits of its role in the peace process.
Why then have the RA supporters club become the "RA -Ts" abandoning a sinking ship. It is not enough for Sinn Fein to issue mealy mouthed statements attacking each individual on a personal level every time one of them jumps ship. The Green Book tactic of "the best form of defence is attack" holds little water in a modern day democracy, Sinn Fein simply show themselves to be even more isolationist and insular when they attack individuals who feel the party has lost its way. Sinn Fein to survive in a modern day democracy must ask serious questions of them-selves, why are so many dedicated activists jumping ship when they should be riding high on the wave of all that has been achieved in the north. What is it that has left a once vibrant and vocal opposition party in such a shambles? In my day as a Sinn Fein activist I worked long and hard for many election campaigns, I never once took as much as one cent for my many years of committed work for Sinn Fein. When I needed lads to put up posters for Sinn Fein I could call upon an army of volunteers, when I needed lads to go round the pubs on a Saturday night to sell An Phoblacht I could pick and choose who I wanted, today however Sinn Fein is a party of paid activists and semi-professional spin doctors.
People like Christy Burke have been side stepped so that educated woolly jumpers like 'Mary Who' can woe the middle class vote, this is where Sinn Fein went wrong. From my own observations I see few in the ranks of Sinn Fein now prepared to make the commitment of people like Christy Burke, the hard working activist has been set aside. Now in Sinn Fein the activist expects to get paid, they want to know what’s in it for them, of course there will always be the fools that will do it all for the 'cause' but they are getting fewer by the day. Sinn Fein if it is to survive and I doubt that it will, particularly in the south, needs to get back to basics, it needs to ask why are the men who were once so ready and willing to volunteer their services no longer doing so, why are people like Christy walking away ashamed of what Sinn Fein has become. It’s not enough that Sinn Fein know they will get votes in the north because there is no credible alternative in communities long since forgotten by the State and its cheer leaders, its not enough to pay spin doctors to present a virtual reality when their own supporters are living in the real world.
Sinn Fein in the IrishRepublic will eventually be attracted to join the ranks of one of the mainstream political parties as did Official Sinn Fein before them. A significant number of leading republicans are heading towards their old age pensions and over the next twenty years Sinn Fein will have lost many of its key personalities, this in turn will lead to a north/south split. Sinn Fein will remain active in the north only, where its continued association with those engaged in criminality will be its down fall and an alternative politics will be found.
End Chapter 12
This Book is a work in progress and will be continually reviewed and up dated. Your comments are welcomed and where appropriate your comments will be used to improve the quality of its content.
Wednesday 19th of May 2010: A Cork man who was arrested during the Garda investigation into a money laundering operation involving the proceeds of the Northern Bank robbery in Belfast has been jailed for IRA membership.
The Special Criminal Court in Dublin convicted Tom Hanlon (43), a father of four from Pembroke Row, Passage West, Co Cork of IRA membership on February 16th, 2005 and imposed a sentence of three years and three months. He had denied the charge.
Convicting Hanlon, Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding, said that the court was satisfied that he was “intimately involved in highly suspicious financial transactions involving monies which have been proved to have included proceeds from the bank robbery in Belfast”.
The court was told that at least £26 million sterling was stolen from the Northern Bank in Belfast in December 2004.
But, the judge added, Hanlon had not been charged with a money laundering offence and did not have the opportunity to defend himself against such an accusation in court.
Mr Justice Butler said that the court accepted the belief of Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Quilter that Hanlon was an IRA member on February 16th, 2005 and that belief had been corroborated by Hanlon’s failure to answer material questions during his questioning by gardai.
The court heard that Cork chef Don Bullman, who was caught in possession of €94,000 in a washing powder box, had been jailed for four years in 2007 for IRA membership on the same date as Hanlon.
Mr Justice Butler said the court had to be consistent and was taking nine months off the four year sentence for Hanlon because he was not prosecuted until recently even though the evidence against him was available at the same time as the evidence against Bullman in 2007.
During the five day trial, the court heard evidence from Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Quilter that he believed on the basis of confidential information that Tom Hanlon was an IRA member in February, 2005.
The court also heard that gardaí found a Sinn Féin chequebook, photocopies of “joke” Northern Bank notes with images of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, two cheques for the so called Colombia Three campaign and other documents in Hanlon’s bedroom.
Gardaí carried out searches in the Cork area in February, 2005 and found £2.4 million sterling in seven bags in a locked cupboard in a house owned by financial adviser Ted Cunningham.
DNA samples taken from Hanlon matched DNA taken from the zip handle of one of the money bags.
21st May 2010 - Son of Senior East Tyrone, IRA volunteer, pleads guilty to the manslaughter of his girlfriend in New York.
Gary Mc Gurk (24) son of Aidan Mc Gurk has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Michelle Lee in Queens on April 27th, 2009. Gary Mc Gurk also pleaded guilty to tampering with physical evidence.
Gary Mc Gurk’s father, Aidan lived in Mullaghmatt/Kieran Doherty Park, Monaghan Town, during the 1980s/90s and was a senior member of the East Tyrone Brigade of the Provisional IRA. In 1981 Aidan Mc Gurk was captured along with fellow IRA man James Mc Ginley, both men where waiting for a British Army patrol to pass in order to detonate an IRA landmine, however, the two IRA men fell asleep while waiting on the Brits and were captured by the Gardai. While living in Mullaghmatt, Aidan then 32 meet with then, 17 year old Caroline, and they began a relationship. From this relationship baby Gary was born in Monaghan County Hospital in 1986. Gary was reared and educated in Monaghan Town until 1996 when the family moved to the United States. Aidan was regularly arrested and at one point faced extradition back to the north for his alleged involvement in a murder. Aidan Mc Gurk operated under the command of IRA Commander Jim Lynagh who was shot dead by the SAS in Loughgall in 1987. The other members of Mc Gurk’s gang in Monaghan were Laurence Mc Nally, Pete Ryan (both shot dead by the SAS in 1991), John ‘Dinger’ Bell, Colm Lynagh, Vincent Mac Anespie, Seamus Shannon, John Joe Coyle, Seamus Mc Elwain (shot dead by SAS 1986), Barry Kerr, all of whom operated under the supreme Command of Kevin Mc Kenna.
Aidan Mc Gurk and his family moved to the United States in 1996 when it was alleged that Aidan had been involed in a robbery on a cash and carry on the north road in Monaghan Town.
Gary Mc Gurk was studying to be a forensic investigator in Queens. He has now pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his girlfriend, whom police say was stabbed in the throat, beaten in the head, bound with cell phone charger cord and seared on the chest with a steam iron. The victim was found by her room mate, she was naked, tied to the bed with burn marks on her body. Gary Mc Gurk will be sentenced on the 16th of June and could face up to thirty years in jail.
Up Date 31st May 2010:
IRA involved in Counterfeiting Operation by theirishobserver.blogspot.com
Two well known republicans are among four men being held in relation to the discovery of a major counterfeiting operation in County Laoise today, 31st May 2010.
The four men arrested are in their 40s/50s and are well seasoned criminals and paramilitaries who are known to the Gardai. The men are being held at Portlaoise and Tullamore Garda stations under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.
A bunker similar to bunkers used by the PIRA in the 1980s to hide weapons imported from Libya was discovered under a prefab on a site in Borris-in-Ossory. The site is continuing to be technically examined.
It is believed that the equipment and materials seized were of the highest quality and would have been imported for the operation. It is believed that the counterfeiting gang were producing large quantities of 50 Euro notes which are easy to dispose off. Counterfeiting across Europe has been on the increase in recent months and it is believed that the Gardai operation today was the result of many months work in co-operation with other police forces.
 Seanad Éireann - Volume 147 - 11 June, 1996
Death of Garda: Expression of Sympathy.
An Cathaoirleach An Cathaoirleach
An Cathaoirleach: A number of Members want to express a vote of sympathy with the relatives of the late Detective Garda Jerry McCabe.
Mr. Neville Mr. Neville
Mr. Neville: I propose a vote of sympathy to the wife and family of the late Detective Garda Jerry McCabe. I pay  tribute to his work in the Garda Síochána. This was an appalling tragedy and a terrible act perpetrated against Garda McCabe and, by extension, against the institutions of the State.
It is difficult to convey the feelings of grief in Adare and surrounding areas over the weekend. The initial disbelief and shock gave way to anger and outrage at those who took Garda McCabe's life. There was a massive outpouring of sympathy in the area to his widow and family.
Detective Garda McCabe was an exemplary member of the Garda Síochána as well as being a great family man. He was a good neighbour and was known and loved throughout Limerick city and surrounding areas. The outpouring of sympathy by tens of thousands of people on the streets of Limerick for his funeral demonstrated the deep sympathy and love local people had for him.
He died while carrying out his duty. He exemplified what is best in the Garda Síochána, a Force that has served the State since its foundation in 1922. I also wish to extend our condolences to Garda McCabe's colleagues in Limerick city as well as to the Garda Commissioner and to the Force generally. I wish Detective Garda Ben O'Sullivan a quick recovery to full health and a speedy return to duty.
Our thoughts are with Detective Garda McCabe's widow, Ann, and his children, John, Mark, Ian, Stacy and Ross. Jerry McCabe died carrying out a noble duty.
Mr. Wright Mr. Wright
Mr. Wright: On behalf of the Fianna Fáil group, I extend deep sympathy to the wife and family of the late Detective Garda Jerry McCabe. I also extend sympathy to the Garda Síochána as a whole and wish Detective Garda Ben O'Sullivan a quick recovery.
I condemn out of hand the callous execution that took place last Friday and hope the efforts of the Garda Síochána will result in those who perpetrated the murder being brought to justice. That is the wish of every person I met  over the weekend. I sincerely hope the Garda Síochána's good work will lead to convictions for this murder.
Mr. O'Toole Mr. O'Toole
Mr. O'Toole: The Independent Senators also wish to be associated with the remarks that have been made. The beautiful and picturesque village of Adare is always a joy to drive through and a lovely place to stop, but its memory will be forever sullied by this heartless and vicious act which showed a total disregard for life.
In extending our sympathy to Detective Garda McCabe's widow and family, we should also recognise that the murder of a garda in the course of his duty, in effect, wounds the very heart of democracy and undermines the principle of law and order as determined by the people. Therefore, it behoves every one of us in public life to be absolutely unrestrained and uninhibited in our condemnation of this act which strikes a blow against the ordinary people. I hope his family can recover to some extent from this tragedy. I also extend our sympathies to his colleagues.
Mr. Dardis Mr. Dardis
Mr. Dardis: On behalf of the Progressive Democrats I offer our sympathy to the wife and family of the late Garda McCabe and to his colleagues in the Garda. We hope his colleague, Garda Ben O'Sullivan, will be quickly restored to full health.
We share the tremendous sense of outrage that has gripped the country as a result of this barbarity. It cannot be described as anything other than cold-blooded, bloody minded murder. It is very difficult to come to terms with the fact that two gardaí sitting in a car in the street of a quiet country town were wantonly gunned down. Our sense of outrage extends to bewilderment that Sinn Féin cannot find it in their hearts to condemn this activity on the curious supposition that the people responsible for it had nothing to do with them and, therefore, cannot be condemned. On the one hand, Sinn Féin finds it impossible to condemn people who are in the  IRA and now it finds it impossible to condemn people who are not in the IRA. It is about time the semantic gymnastics we have witnessed over the recent days were abandoned and people got down to the serious business of creating peace. That is the peace for which Garda McCabe laid down his life.
We should recall on these occasions that it is people like Garda McCabe, the Garda and the Army, who are the thin line between democracy and anarchy. We owe them a great debt.
Ms O'Sullivan Ms O'Sullivan
Ms O'Sullivan: On behalf of the Labour Party, I extend our sympathy to Ann McCabe, the family of Jerry McCabe and to the Garda Síochána. I attended the funeral in Limerick yesterday. I knew Jerry McCabe and I know Ben O'Sullivan. Anybody who saw the streets of Limerick on the night of the removal of Jerry McCabe's body and at the funeral yesterday will realise that the people of Limerick were speaking for the people of Ireland by coming out in their thousands and standing for many hours to pay tribute to a garda who was killed in action. Many of them did not know the McCabe family or anybody involved but they came to express the view that violence should have no role in this country.
I support Senator Dardis's call on Sinn Féin to condemn this murder. Saying that one does not support the politics of condemnation is no excuse. Anybody who is active in politics can surely extend themselves to condemn the killing of a garda on duty. Sinn Féin should unequivocally condemn this action, as the Seanad does today. Garda Ben O'Sullivan won the Scott medal for bravery. When I was mayor of Limerick I had the honour of receiving him in the mayor's office and hearing his account of how he won the medal. It was a matter of fact, brave account of how he disarmed a man who was terrorising motorists. That is an indication of the type of man Ben O'Sullivan is and Jerry McCabe was. Killing a garda on duty who is protecting the peace and safety of society must be condemned outright.
 I wish Ben O'Sullivan a speedy return to health.
Mr. Sherlock Mr. Sherlock
Mr. Sherlock: On behalf of Democratic Left, I wish to be associated with the sentiments that have been expressed. The gunning down of Garda McCabe was a violent act carried out on the streets of the small village of Adare. At a time when trojan work is being done for peace in this country, committing such an act was outrageous. I wish Garda O'Sullivan a speedy recovery. He has connections in Mallow and is a man of tremendous worth and merit, as we have seen from his record.
An Cathaoirleach An Cathaoirleach
An Cathaoirleach: It is the practice to hear one spokesperson from each group. However, Senator Rory Kiely wishes to make a contribution and, as he is a Limerick man, I will allow him to do so.
Mr. R. Kiely Mr. R. Kiely
Mr. R. Kiely: As a Limerick Senator, with Senator Neville and Senator O'Sullivan, I wish to be associated with the expressions of sympathy on the death of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe, whom I had the pleasure of meeting some time ago. It was an atrocious act to gun down two gardaí in the course of their duty. I join with Senator Dardis and Senator O'Sullivan in condemning this action unreservedly. I know members of his family and I am very friendly with his brother-in-law. I was at the funeral on Sunday evening. People turned out that night to pay their respects and to sympathise with Jerry McCabe's widow and family, and also to send a message they do not want violence in this country. I wish Detective Garda Ben O'Sullivan a speedy recovery.
An Cathaoirleach An Cathaoirleach
An Cathaoirleach: I join with the views expressed by Members, which will be conveyed to the McCabe family and the Garda Commissioner. We will now stand for a minute's silence.
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