Down was always viewed by republicans as a strange
place. In prison, Pat Livingstone was fond of saying
that the bulk of Catholics in the RUC hailed from
that neck of the woods. Big Liv would
also point to Eddie McGrady, the areas SDLP
representative, by way of illustrating his point.
In his view, McGrady was the epitome of the most conservative
elements within a not very radical party - the type
of nationalist Catholic cops would vote for.
Fein MLA Mick Murphy, aware that his tenure in Stormont
is now on a very short lease given that he has been
deselected by his colleagues in Sinn Fein, may now
be calculating that if he is remain a denizen of the
one parliament in Ireland administering British rule,
he too may need the support of Catholic RUC men. How
otherwise are we to explain his recent comments, reported
by the Sunday
Business Post, that the RUC (or PSNI as Mick
Murphy prefers to call them) is failing to clamp down
on the Real IRA and is giving them a free run in order
to split the Republican Movement? You would
nearly think they were working to bring down the Good
Friday Agreement along with the likes of the DUP.
There is a lot of dissident activity in the area,
but the PSNI has done nothing about it. Murphys
party colleague, Councillor Francis McDowell, in language
strikingly similar to that used by the DUP in relation
to the Provisional IRA over the decades, complained
that the PSNI know who the Real IRA are but
continue to work to their own agenda. This has been
going on steadily for three or four years.
of this is really surprising. The only people likely
to be shocked by it will be the type that couldnt
even see decommissioning coming; those who, by their
own admission, find somebody like George Orwell too
intellectual, and thus deprived of his
incredibly simple but piercing insights about the
twists and turns of the power crazed, indulge in cultic
idiocy believing any old nonsense they happen
to be told by whatever leader is about on the day.
But as Gerry Adams admitted in the televised debate,
in which he trounced the inept Labour Party leader
Ruairi Quinn, Sinn Fein is an establishment party.
And what else does an establishment party do but support
the forces that safeguard the establishment, even
if it does display a bit of tardiness in getting there?
the autumn of 1983, Cathal Goulding, a former chief
of staff of the IRA and first chief of staff of the
Official IRA could be found supporting the British
states use of supergrass evidence in the North.
In an ironic twist Mick Murphy was to come into prison
shortly after Gouldings comments on the evidence
of a supergrass. While there he found the decision
by Sinn Fein to enter Leinster House so unpalatable
that he resigned from the Republican Movement and,
if my memory is right, aligned himself with Republican
Sinn Fein. How the worm has since turned.
Adams on yesterdays BBC Radio Ulster said that
a friend observed of the PSNI that if they look like
the RUC and behaved like the RUC then they were the
RUC. What may we say, therefore, about those who sound
like Cathal Goulding and behave like Cathal Goulding?
Perhaps as one of Mick Murphys Sinn Fein MLA
colleagues told Kevin Bean in England we are
all Sticks now.
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