Home Politics and Debate

Should the IRA be allowed in Government?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
The IRA are in Government in Northern Ireland and in mainland Britain. Personally I believe they should not be allowed in Government as they have terrorised people for too long and are continuing to do so. What do you think?
«1

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    technically, Sinn Fein is one of the parties in government in n. ireland, and have refused to take their seats in westminster (because they have to swear an oath of loyalty to the queen). Sinn Fein is traditionally viewed as 'the public face of the IRA', so i see where you're comin from. however, most of the recent violence has been perpetrated by the 'real IRA', a splinter group not under the direction of Sinn Fein. the IRA themselves are (so far as i know) still maintaining a cease-fire, although havent begun decommissioning.

    honestly, i think that the views of the people of northern ireland must be represented, and if that means that former terrorist organisations take seats at the table, then so be it - we cannot exclude them for their prior actions. if the IRA was still active their would be a considerable argument against Sinn Fein being in govt. in n. ireland, but otherwise they should not be excluded - that would be undemocratic.

    sorry i dont agree, but if Sinn Fein is willing to stop fighting and start playing maturely, thenit is wrong for them to be denied a role in governemnt, if that is what the people choose. as for the real ira, they are a thorn in the side of the whole peace process, as they continue to tarnish the cause of ulster nationalism in the eyes of the rets of britain and the world.

    the IRA have done some horrific things in their time, but a part of the peace process must be the consent of all sides to put aside the past, and move on together. therefore, i think that if people choose Sinn Fein to represent them, we cannot deny them that right.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ok well dazed_dan has pretty much said what i was gonna say & probably better than i would have put it. But thought i'd reply sayin as im from n.i.

    I think if people vote for a party then those people deserve to be represented.
    However, i do see ur point cuz of sinn fein bein linked to the ira, tho technically they are still on ceasefire but i know its not really that simple as there is still violence from both sides.

    Usually i avoid all this political shite cuz its not worth the bother, i just get on with my life and let other ppl get on wey theirs.

    So let them have their seats in government - who cares? - its not gonna make that big a difference anyway.
    Totally off topic now, i hate they way politicians go after your vote and pure lick up your hole and then once the election's over you'll neva see them again <IMG alt="image" SRC="http://www.thesite.org/ubb/mad.gif"&gt;

    ~Dreamer
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by dazed_dan:
    the IRA have done some horrific things in their time, but a part of the peace process must be the consent of all sides to put aside the past, and move on together. therefore, i think that if people choose Sinn Fein to represent them, we cannot deny them that right.


    Excellent point Dan.

    If you read Irish history (I did it for O Level) you would find that most of the 'wrongs' were perpetrated by the British.

    To deny Sinn Fein a chance to seek a political solution now would be just another example of that.

    I am staunchly British but even I can see when we are wrong.

    Besides, when in a democracy you should listen to ALL sides. Even those you disagree with.


    "Cough up the rent, Mr Kent
    And don't go blame it on the government"
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The unionist are in the government...
    Does the backing of the british government to terrorise the catholic minority in Northern Ireland automatically get them a seat?
    The situation in Ireland is made up of villians and heros... Unfortunetly each group is a hero to thier own side and satan to the other. Exclusion of one party would only justify further violence.

    "Do as you would be done by"
    Jesus
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My point of view is neither that there is any justification for violence or that the IRA should continue to own weapons.
    The simple fact of the matter is that both sides have weapons and neither is willing to trust the other to decomission first.
    Plus its only a symbol of good faith to placatle the public, these organisations have no problems getting thier hands on newer and better weapons.
    Only a political solution to the current state of affairs will result in a long lasting peace and that will never occur if Sein Faine are left out of the peace process....

    Don't you think that the Unionist have rather tarnished souls too?

    Spade
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    We Cajun folk here in US have a bit of Irish among us...maybe this gives right to another viewpoint.

    The IRA are the only 'free men' in all of england. They will not stand down and turn in their arms (it is a death offense to do so) and become emasculated 'subjects' as many demand...and if it continues...under arms of course...the IRA just may save the british from themselves and could certainly rule more fairly than your current masters.

    'Ourselves Alone' says a lot...pay attention and you just might find your own freedom.

    Diesel

    88888888
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru

    If Sinn Fein could be said to represent the IRA in a political forum and make decisions that would be passed through to the IRA and acted upon then yes, I'd like to see the move from terrorism to government (not much difference after all, just slightly fewer guns). If the IRA could be tied down and their views represented as opposed to mindless acts of violence this would be a good thing. However I don't believe Sinn Fein represents everyone in the IRA, especially with splinter groups forming and continuing the violent tradition, so they may make promises about decommisioning weapons but these would be empty gestures.

    And as funds for their political and other practises still come from America and other places it seems time to convert their priorities from weapons to political propaganda.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It doesn't appear to matter whether they represent everyone or not...they have the guns and represent the power elite.

    As for funds coming from US...probably most do...the crown has robbed Ireland of everything worthwile...reparations are in order...another brave issue for the UN to take up...and soon.

    Maybe we, US, could get the UN to relocate to Ireland...what a charming thought...especially since they are so thoroughly despised here and the IRA appears to be very adept at dealing with offending institutions.

    Give up their guns...yeah, when turtles fly! Power comes out of the barrel of a gun...something the 'subjects' appear to have forgotten.

    Diesel

    88888888
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They will give up their guns in a flash as soon as they see a way to get political power in exchange for em.

    If it gets NI cleaned up faster then Sinn Fein should be allowed seats. The three sides have all done things equally horrific in the past. Lets just hope things start moving forward.

    Diesel, only reason the IRA groups are ever in England is to pick up cached weapons or to place bombs. I dont think I have ever read anywhere that the British want to make the IRA British subjects, or the Republican Irish for that matter. Methinks you are getting a lil confused again.

    I agree they would probably make a better job of government than our current one..But then thats not saying much

    "An Englishman's never so natural as when he's holding his tongue." --Henry James
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    it's all a bit of a farce...

    the only way peace will ever occur is if the british pull out of N.I. and ignore the pleas from many in there to stay. they can then run it how they want and at least mainland uk won't be attacked because of it

    then watch as people leave N.I. and come to what's left of britain...

    Playing with fire will ultimately see you burnt <IMG alt="image" SRC="http://www.stopstart.fsnet.co.uk/smilie/ukliam2.gif"&gt;
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I wish people would stop reffering to Sinn Fein as the IRA. They are two entirely separate organisations. Membership of the IRA is illegal anyway, while membership of Sinn Fein is not. Sinn Fein did however support violence which was wrong. If they have now totally turned their back on violence then they should be allowed into Parliament.

    People also forget that the British Labour government was also wrong to bomb Serbia and Iraq in 1999 as it breached international law that says that no country may attack another unless it is in self defence. The British Labour government are therefore as much terrorists as the IRA, as hundereds died as a result of the NATO bombing of Serbia and the country was devastated by the bombing.

    [This message has been edited by dragonfly (edited 14-08-2001).]
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by dragonfly:
    I wish people would stop reffering to Sinn Fein as the IRA. They are two entirely separate organisations.

    It might have something to do with the fact that Sinn Fein are the politcial wing of the IRA and that both Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness are both former (can you ever leave?) serving members of the IRA, by their own admission.
    Originally posted by dragonfly:
    But people forget that the British Labour government was also wrong to bomb Serbia and Iraq in 1999 as it breached international law that says that no country may attack another unless it is in self defence. The British Labour government are therefore as much terrorists as the IRA.

    Ok, with regards Serbia, what would YOU have done to try and safeguard the lives of the Kosovans? Do we not have a duty to try and protect people from tyranny? Wasn't it our failure to do precisely that which led, in part, to the massacre of the Jews in WW2?

    As far as Iraq goes, the attacks you mention (which continue to this day) are as a direct result of the ceasfire - signed by Iraq - at the end of the Gulf War. All the time that Iraqi forces target US/UK warplanes with SAMs there WILL be retalliation. You cannot blame the Labour Govt for the Iraqi breaches of this ceasefire. Saddam knows this and is relying on the bleeding hearts within these two countries to support him.

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The reall reason for the bombing of Serbia was Serbias' refusual to sign the Rambouliet agreement that would allow NATO troops access to all parts of Yugolslaia. It was a case of sign or we bomb!

    As for protecting the Kosavons from tyranny, that was just an excuse for the bombing because before the bombing only a few thousand Kosovans were being forced from their homes, and bombing Belgarde destroying schools, hospitals, factories, homes and killing thousands of civilians did not help the Kosavan refugees one bit. In fact after the bombing started, that was when the Serbian army started mass ethnic cleansing in Kosovo not before the bombing.
    Also what a bout NATO member Turkey who since 1984 have persecuted the Kurdish minority in their country destroying hundreds of villages and killing 15,000 Kurds. Not only have other NATO countries done nothing to stop Turkeys attrocites they are still selling arms to Turkey.
    The same is true of Indonesia where in 1975 the Indonesian army invaded East Timor and killed a quarter of the population in the war against the East Timorese resistance. Britain until recently still sold arms to Indonesia. More recently look at what is happening to the Palestinians under Israeli rule, yet the west is still supplying Israel with arms.

    As for a Iraq, before the Gulf War of 1991, Britain supported Sadamn Hussein during the Iran/Iraq war selling Iraq arms and even supporting him when he gassed Kurdish villages in 1988. The 1991 Gulf War was also only fought to protect the wests oil supplies and the profits of the oil companies. At the time of the Gulf War it was even stated that: "if Kuwait grew carrots we would not give a damn about the invasion."
    The bombing of 1999 was supposed to destroy Iraqs' weapons supplies after it kicked out UN weapons inspecters but loads of civilian targets were hit and there were thousands of civilian casualties.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just a note of hypocracy, the IRA and the PLO are about the same when you think about it. IRA does terror bombings on civilian populations for there own freedom (or so they say). That is exactly what the PLO says about it's terror bombings in Israel. So you are two faced. If it's in your country, kill the rebels, if its another country those poor people that the government is killing for there movement towards liberation. Which is it bubba?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by dragonfly:
    The reall reason for the bombing of Serbia was Serbias' refusual to sign the Rambouliet agreement that would allow NATO troops access to all parts of Yugolslaia. It was a case of sign or we bomb!

    As for protecting the Kosavons from tyranny, that was just an excuse for the bombing because before the bombing only a few thousand Kosovans were being forced from their homes, and bombing Belgarde destroying schools, hospitals, factories, homes and killing thousands of civilians did not help the Kosavan refugees one bit. In fact after the bombing started, that was when the Serbian army started mass ethnic cleansing in Kosovo not before the bombing.

    The bombing and the ultimatum were based on lessons learned from Croatia and Bosnia. What happened there? Did NATO start bombing before the ethnic cleansing? When the UN troops ALLOWED the cleansing to go on what did you think then? Was that acceptable? WOuld it have been acceptable to let it happen again?

    By your own admission the cleansing in Kosovo had started BEFORE the NATO bombing, BEFORE the ultimatum. Would it have stopped?

    Difference here was that Slobodan picked on someone willing and able to stand up to him.
    Originally posted by dragonfly:
    Also what a bout NATO member Turkey who since 1984 have persecuted the Kurdish minority in their country destroying hundreds of villages and killing 15,000 Kurds. Not only have other NATO countries done nothing to stop Turkeys attrocites they are still selling arms to Turkey.
    The same is true of Indonesia where in 1975 the Indonesian army invaded East Timor and killed a quarter of the population in the war against the East Timorese resistance. Britain until recently still sold arms to Indonesia. More recently look at what is happening to the Palestinians under Israeli rule, yet the west is still supplying Israel with arms.

    I don't disagree with you on any of those points. In fact as I am as opposed to those actions and have protested about them.

    But just because our actions were wrong there doesn't mean that they are always wrong.
    Originally posted by dragonfly:
    As for a Iraq, before the Gulf War of 1991, Britain supported Sadamn Hussein during the Iran/Iraq war selling Iraq arms and even supporting him when he gassed Kurdish villages in 1988. The 1991 Gulf War was also only fought to protect the wests oil supplies and the profits of the oil companies. At the time of the Gulf War it was even stated that: "if Kuwait grew carrots we would not give a damn about the invasion."
    The bombing of 1999 was supposed to destroy Iraqs' weapons supplies after it kicked out UN weapons inspecters but loads of civilian targets were hit and there were thousands of civilian casualties.

    Again I agree that the war was founght to protect oil supplies. I never bought into the 'fight for democracy' bullshit at the time - afterall only 5% of the Kuwaiti population is allowed to vote.

    But what was the alternative. At what point should the world's oil supplies be protected? After they are in the hands of a maniacal dictator - I know that Saudi isn't much of a democracy, but the comparison...

    The world runs on oil. Sorry if you don't like it, but it's a fact. Until that changes armies will fight over this precious resource.

    The problem with warfare is that people die. It is ALWAYS an innocent party who suffers, not one sigle soldier has ever declared war on another - it is always a politician who is miles away from the action.

    But at the end of the day, how do you think that nations should resolve disputes? How do you negotiate with someone like Saddam? Or even the Indonesian regime?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by thanatos-jr:
    Just a note of hypocracy, the IRA and the PLO are about the same when you think about it. IRA does terror bombings on civilian populations for there own freedom (or so they say). That is exactly what the PLO says about it's terror bombings in Israel. So you are two faced. If it's in your country, kill the rebels, if its another country those poor people that the government is killing for there movement towards liberation. Which is it bubba?

    There are one or two differences.

    1. The Northern Irish population has voted to remain British. When did the Pelstinians get to vote?

    2. The Palestinians are housed in refugee camps.

    3. We tend not to send gunships out to attack civilian targets in Ireland.

    4. We do not carry out reprisal attacks, no do we pursue a military option to its fullest extent. We prosecute terrorists in a court of law. "Kill the rebels" isn't national policy in this country.

    5. We do not practise ethnic cleansing. The areas known as 'Jewish settlements' were once villages or farmland belonging to the palestinians. And were are they now?


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    thanatus-jr, I never said that I supported the PLO. Just that the suffering of the Palestians is similar to what happened to the Kosovans, yet Israel is not being punished for its treatment of the Palestinians. The solution to the Kosovan refugee crisis would have been to send aid to the reugees. Also an arms embargo would have helped.

    Remember it is the international arms trade that fuels such wars so most of these wars would not happen in the first place if western countries had a strict ethical arms policy. Also the bombing of Belgarde and Serbia did not help the Kosovans, most of the Serbs hated Milosovic so why should they have been bombed.

    As for the Gulf War there are other sources of oil in the world and no matter who controlled the Kuwait oilfields they would still have to export oil. Kuwait itself was not a democracy either. The war was really to protect the profits of the oil companies who want oil at rock bottom prices so that they can make vast profits.

    There are alternatives to oil aswell, for example hemp can be made into fuel. One of the reasons that hemp was made illegal in America was because it was in competition with the nylon industry which used oil.


    [This message has been edited by dragonfly (edited 14-08-2001).]
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Actually, Diesel, you're completely off the mark when you talk about Sinn Fein/IRA being capable of ruling better than anyone else in the Isles. The reason? They're a load of hard-core Marxists, the most committed and extreme communists in the land.

    I won't even bother to argue against the "have guns, therefore free" line, since your mind is so very clearly set in permacrete on that score. Or maybe I will... Free to what? Free from what?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mac, all armed men are 'free men' and it will alwayse be so.

    It would be good if england would take the high ground and divest itself of interest in NI...and let the armed men of NI settle matters for themselves...I doubt that it would be the blood bath so many envision especially without the unwanted thrid party, england, in the middle supporting one side.

    As for being 'marxists' I can only imagine that they are willing to 'be' whatever side is willing to give them arms, straighten it out later if there is need to do so.

    Diesel

    88888888
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Diesel,
    especially without the unwanted thrid party, england, in the middle supporting one side.

    unwanted third party? While I appreciate you Americans have a problem with voting, the Irish dont...They voted to stay part of Britain..They voted for the British army to stay there....More than 850,000 people WANT the British there.

    Diesel, they arent just willing to go along with whoever will give them guns...They are hardcore socialists..Send the Sinn Fein press people an email from their site and ask them their take on gun control/field sports etc..The IRA may wellkeep their guns, but the Irish people will be disbarred the use of them..

    This is not a noble RKBA issue..The IRA keeps their guns because they are a good bargaining tool..Once they get what they want, they will disarm the entire population just like EVERY govt in the world does.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by MasterDevilish:
    it's all a bit of a farce...

    the only way peace will ever occur is if the british pull out of N.I. and ignore the pleas from many in there to stay. they can then run it how they want and at least mainland uk won't be attacked because of it

    then watch as people leave N.I. and come to what's left of britain...


    I'd agree.

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Man Of Kent:
    There are one or two differences.

    4. We do not carry out reprisal attacks, no do we pursue a military option to its fullest extent. We prosecute terrorists in a court of law. "Kill the rebels" isn't national policy in this country.

    5. We do not practise ethnic cleansing. The areas known as 'Jewish settlements' were once villages or farmland belonging to the palestinians. And were are they now?



    Just points 4 & 5, they are enough.

    4. Maybe you should tell the SAS this. They don't seem to know.

    5. The six counties of Northern Ireland were once the land, the farms, the villages of Irishmen and women before the English pushed them off it. Where are they now?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    5. Presently British TV...Every other presenter seems to be Irish/Scottish/Welsh/Pakistani these days.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Sean_K:

    Just points 4 & 5, they are enough.

    4. Maybe you should tell the SAS this. They don't seem to know.

    5. The six counties of Northern Ireland were once the land, the farms, the villages of Irishmen and women before the English pushed them off it. Where are they now?

    4 - Acts of reprisal, or act of natioanl defence? Which particular attacks are we talking about? Any where the 'heroes of the revolution' were CLEARLY unarmed?

    Remember that the SAS also cleared the Iranian Embassy - it the kind of mission they are called out for. Dealing with terrorrists, they don't go looking for them at home - each of the IRA members killed by the SAS were on 'active duty'. Apparently.

    If Britain had the balls to pursue the military option to its fullest then there would have been civil war, and both Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams would probably have been dead by now. but the British Govt didn;t want the give the IRA the credence is craved, but declaring a war on them it would have legitimised them as an 'army', instead they are treated as criminals (or were).

    5 - Er...still there perhaps or are you suggesting the there are NO ethnic Irish in Northern Ireland?

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    IRISH NEWS ROUND-UP
    http://irlnet.com/rmlist/

    Tuesday-Thursday, 14-16 August, 2001


    1. RUC INVESTIGATED OVER OMAGH BOMB
    2. Disappointment at revised policing plan
    3. Securocrat agenda seen in Bogota story
    4. Loyalists attack Catholic children
    5. Prominent defection 'a sign of disillusion'
    6. British border incursion
    7. Remembering Tom Mor McElwee
    8. Feature: Long Kesh revisited
    9. Analysis: Trimble can celebrate as process begins to unhinge
    10. Events in Ireland and Britain




    >>>>>> RUC INVESTIGATED OVER OMAGH BOMB


    The Police Ombudsman has launched an investigation into reports
    that the RUC knew of the Omagh bombing days before the attack by
    dissident Republican militarists in 1998.

    The decision to launch an investigation follows reports that a
    double-agent tipped off the RUC's Special Branch 48 hours in
    advance about the location of the bomb materials destined for
    Omagh, and the identity of one of those involved in the attack.

    It has also been alleged that Special Branch and 26-County Garda
    police were informed in advance about the car used to transport
    the bomb to Omagh.

    The RUC has always said it received inadequate warnings about the
    location of the bomb, which resulted in the heaviest death toll
    in any single incident in the conflict. It has also maintained
    that it had no prior warning of the Omagh bomb and has denounced
    suggestions that it failed to act properly as "abhorrent".

    But the inquiry, which was welcomed by relatives of the bomb's 31
    victims, has caused a furore. At the launch of a new police
    investigation into the Omagh bomb on Tuesday, the RUC was accused
    of engaging in a cover-up by Lawrence Rush, the husband of one of
    the victims.

    In the back of their minds is the fact that the RUC Special
    Branch is known to have allowed or even encouraged some
    paramilitary attacks for propoganda or military purposes. In the
    1972 Dublin and Monaghan bombings in which 33 civilians died, the
    Special Branch are understood to have colluded with the loyalist
    bombers in order to turn nationalist opinion in the 26 Counties
    against the IRA.

    The agent at the centre of the current allegations, who uses the
    pseudonym Kevin Fulton, has said the RUC could and should have
    prevented the Omagh attack.

    In an interview, Fulton, who is in hiding, also said that
    he told the detective leading the Omagh investigation about his
    warnings three months later and even showed him the site where
    the bomb was made, but was never asked to give a statement.

    Fulton's lawyer, Imran Khan, added: "I can confirm my client
    is cooperating with the Northern Ireland ombudsman with relation
    to an investigation into the RUC. I cannot give further details
    at this stage."




    >>>>>> Disappointment at revised policing plan


    The proposed new Implementation Plan for Policing, published
    today [Friday], has been criticised as only a minor revision of
    the existing Mandelson policing plan and not the hoped-for return
    to the policing reform proposals of the Patten Commission.

    The new implementation plan paraphrases much of the content of
    the old plan, drawn up under the former British Secretary of
    State, Peter Mandelson. His policing legislation was greeted
    furiously by nationalists as a dilution and a denial of the
    moderate Patten reforms.

    Strong new amending legislation is being sought to ensure there
    is a new start to policing for both communities. But the new plan
    is notable for a lack of progress on a number of key issues.

    The British government has given the parties a 'deadline' of
    midday on Tuesday to say if they will appoint to the new police
    board.

    While the other parties are still considering the 75-page
    document, Sinn Fein has said the plan is not enough for them to
    appoint to the board at this stage.

    In a statement issued on the eve of today's publication, Sinn
    Fein Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin said his party had carried
    out an exhaustive assessment of the document, but there were no
    substantive changes between the new document and the existing
    legislation and implementation plan.

    "The British government has failed to resolve many of those
    crucial issues that are vitally important to nationalists and
    republicans," he said.

    "Sinn Fein has been consistent in our criticism of the Mandelson
    legislation and implementation plan. We have argued that it does
    not form the basis for the new beginning to policing as promised
    in the Good Friday Agreement. Without a return to the Patten
    report as a starting position for change, any new proposals will
    remain unacceptable.

    "The Implementation Plan currently being offered by the British
    government does not go far enough. It does not constitute a
    genuine attempt to bridge the gap between republican and
    nationalist aspirations for a proper and consensual approach to
    policing.

    "Key issues which need to be resolved have not been resolved.
    These include the limitations on the initiation of inquiries;
    powers of and appointments to the policing boards; powers of the
    Ombudsman; protection being offered to human rights offenders and
    informers; and changes to the Special Branch.

    "With respect to all of these issues there are no substantive
    changes to what was already on the table. The Implementation
    Plan does not constitute a decisive effort to win nationalist and
    republican support for the new police service.

    "More importantly it does not deliver on the new beginning
    promised in the Good Friday Agreement."




    >>>>>> Loyalists attack Catholic children


    Two terrified Catholic girls have been attacked by a loyalist mob
    as tensions continued to escalate in north Belfast.

    The two were surrounded by thugs carrying iron bars and cudgels
    as they picked up a prescription from a chemist shop used by both
    communities.

    Sixteen-year-old Mary Jo Harvey said she feared for her life as
    the 40-strong mob descended on the chemists shortly after 5pm.

    The teenager said that she and her 13-year-old friend were
    attacked in the shop minutes earlier by a group of loyalist
    youths.

    "I was punched and kicked in the chemist's and then a crowd of
    men were shouting and waving iron bars and cudgels outside the
    shop," she said.

    "I was very scared and thought I was going to be beaten to
    death."

    The father of one of the girls received six staples to the head
    after being beaten as he tried to rescue his daughter. Another
    Catholic man had to be assisted from the nearby health centre
    during the incident.

    James Harvey said he was attacked by loyalists as he attempt to
    reach his daughter, and was further assaulted by the RUC.

    "I was just trying to get my girl. Loyalists beat me across the
    road and then I was hit by the police," he said.

    "Loyalists are trying to intimidate Catholics from using the
    chemist's and local doctors. It's an absolute disgrace."

    Sinn Fein representative Cathy Stanton said: "This is not
    tit-for-tat. It is being clearly orchestrated by loyalists. They
    are trying to draw the nationalist community into confrontation."

    Meanwhile, a sectarian attack on a 12-year-old Catholic boy in
    south Belfast has been widely condemned.

    The incident happened at the junction of Rosetta Road and
    Wynchurch Road at around 8.40pm on Monday.

    The boy was approached by three youths who questioned him about
    his religion. They then attacked him, inflicting a cut lip and
    bruising to his head.

    Sinn Fein councillor Alex Maskey called the attack "deeply
    worrying".

    "Given that in the past week we have seen an increase in
    stone-throwing incidents against nationalist homes by loyalists
    in the south Belfast area, it would appear that loyalists are
    slowly increasing their campaign," he said.

    He called on those with influence within the loyalist community
    "to do all in their power to end such attacks before they spiral
    out of control".

    Also on Monday night, Catholics homes on the outskirts of
    Glengormley were attacked.

    Fireworks were thrown in two separate incidents at the rear of
    houses, while a pipe bomb device was later described as a hoax.


    CHURCH ATTACK

    A priest was forced to hold mass in the sacristy of a Catholic
    church in County Antrim yesterday after an arson attack on
    Wednesday night.

    St Peter's the Rock Church near Stoneyford was set on fire around
    midnight, but was saved from destruction by a passing parishioner

    The fire damaged a window and caused scorch and smoke damage to a
    row of pews.

    A dozen parishioners who arrived yesterday for morning mass
    huddled into the sacristy for the service.

    Seamus Armstrong, who is a member of the parish committee, said:

    "I was driving down into the chapel when I noticed a fire
    extinguisher sitting outside the window and a fire inside the
    church.

    "I lifted the extinguisher and I hit the handle of the fire
    extinguisher, but it was like a flame-thrower," he said.

    This is the second time in three years that the church has been
    targeted by arsonists.

    The church, which is more than two hundred years old, was
    completely burnt out in 1998.




    >>>>>> Securocrat agenda seen in Bogota story


    Sinn Fein has accused the British government of using the arrests
    of three Irishmen in Colombia as a propoganda vehicle and an
    excuse to delay demilitarisation in the North.

    The party's Assembly member for Newry and Armagh, Mr Conor
    Murphy, said British intelligence had "hyped up" the arrests to
    stall moves on the dismantling of military installations across
    the North of Ireland.

    Three men, two of whom were once Sinn Fein members, were held by
    Colombian state forces as they travelled through a demilitarised
    zone near a rebel-controlled region.

    None of the men have been charged with any offence or linked to
    any organisation, but this has not prevented a paper-thin
    propoganda campaign by British and Colombian authorities.

    In contravention of the men's human rights, the three have been
    bizarrely paraded in front of television cameras by the Colombian
    authorities. Meanwhile, the right-wing media and political
    rivals in Britain and Ireland have spent the week writing
    wild stories involving cocaine, arms and Marxist politics in the
    clear hope that the public will not remember when the truth
    emerges.

    Mr Murphy pointed out that what information is emerging from
    Bogota has shown that the wild accounts of what actually happened
    in Colombia, if anything, are already beginning to unravel.

    "On Monday they talked about these people out dealing with drugs,
    and that proved to be bunkum. On Tuesday they talked about some
    video evidence, and we have yet to see any of that. And there was
    an attempt to try and sell one of these people as a Sinn Fein
    representative in Cuba, which has proved to be rubbish," Mr
    Murphy said.

    "The people who are spinning that story are the very people who
    are justifying their presence and their very existence in places
    like this [the North]."

    The Sinn Fein MLA called on the Northern Secretary, Dr John Reid,
    to "go back to the drawing board" on the demilitarisation issue.
    "The British government proposals on demilitarisation are a
    pathetic joke, and their presentation two weeks ago only served
    to undermine the peace process," he said.

    "The British Secretary of State, John Reid, has to go back to the
    drawing board and produce a realistic package and programme for
    demilitarisation that is credible and will build confidence in
    the peace process."

    While the proposed demilitarisation measures - the closure of one
    sangar, one base and two observation towers in south Armagh - in
    the two governments' package were "welcome in a small way", they
    were no substitute for actual demilitarisation, he insisted.




    >>>>>> British border incursion

    The Sinn Fein Chair of Dundalk Urban District Council, Sean
    Kenna, has called on the Dublin Minister for Foreign Affairs,
    Brian Cowen, to make a strong protest to the British authorities
    following a cross-border incursion on Friday morning last week
    by members of the British Army and the RUC who mounted a
    checkpoint on the southern side of the border. The incident took
    place at 10am in the Hackballscross area of County Louth 100
    yards south of the Armagh border.

    Councillor Kenna said that Sinn Fein had contacted the Department
    of Foreign Affairs requesting that Brian Cowen raise this matter
    with the British government immediately.

    Kenna said: "This morning members of the British Army and the RUC
    mounted a checkpoint south of the Armagh border. It was only
    after locals protested that the forces retreated.

    "These checkpoints are unwelcome and unnecessary in the Six
    Counties. They are completely unacceptable on this side of the
    border. This again highlights the urgent need for complete
    demilitarisation of the British war machine throughout the Six
    Counties."





    >>>>>> Remembering Tom Mor McElwee



    The 20th anniversary of the death on hunger strike of Volunteer
    Thomas McElwee, Big Tom, was marked on Saturday 11 August.

    A day of commemoration, organised by the local 1981 Committee,
    was held in Tom's native Bellaghy with an exhibition of personal
    items marking different stages of Tom's life, handicrafts and
    republican artefacts on show in the local hall.

    Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams attended the exhibition and
    unveiled a plaque at Tom McElwee's house, among the rolling hills
    of South Derry, close to where his cousin Francis Hughes was also
    born and raised.

    Of the ten men to die on hunger strike, five were from the county
    of Derry - that two were cousins whose upbringing was so similar
    and intertwined was remarkable. The boys from Tamlaghtduff were
    truly among the most remarkable of men; the bravest and most
    committed of republicans.

    After he unveiled the memorial stone at the McElwee household,
    where he was with Tom's mother and his many brothers and sisters,
    Adams attended a special memorial mass in honour of the dead
    hunger striker.

    The Sinn Fein President was then the main speaker at a
    wreath-laying ceremony in Bellaghy graveyard at the burial site
    of Tom, where he was laid to rest beside his cousin.

    Hundreds of people attended the ceremony, many travelling many
    hundreds of miles, including Cork hurling great Jimmy Barry
    Murphy.

    The MP for the Mid-Ulster, Sinn Fein negotiator Martin McGuinness
    attended, as did Francie Molloy, Sinn Fein chairperson of
    Dungannon council. Many ex-POWs from across the north, many of
    whom were on the blanket with Tom and his brother Benedict, were
    also there. Benedict, who was arrested and charged with Tom,
    spent around eight years in the H Blocks.

    As he addressed the crowd, Gerry Adams, repeating something he
    has said on many an occasion, reminded his audience that the
    thinking behind British policy was to hive off the prisoners from
    the greater republican family and break them.

    The policy of isolation was based on the thinking that the
    prisoners were the weakest link in the republican chain and if
    they were broken then the republican struggle would be broken or
    badly wounded.

    The prisoners and the hunger strikers in particular, he said,
    showed the British and Margaret Thatcher that the spirit of
    resistance ran deeper than they imagined and proved that the
    British just don't understand the value Irish people put on their
    freedom.

    Adams also disclosed how Tom, as he prepared himself for death,
    wrote it was his wish that the people of Ireland could live in
    peace with each other in the future.

    The Sinn Fein President was speaking the day before he was due to
    address the main commemoration parade in Belfast, where he warned
    republicans that the unionist and the British strategy at this
    present time was to pressurise republicans into giving ground. We
    need only look to the example of the hunger strikers to see the
    failure of British and unionist attempts to break the republican
    struggle, he said.





    >>>>>> Prominent defection 'a sign of disillusion'



    "It is clear that many Fianna Fail activists and supporters in
    Mayo and elsewhere in the west of Ireland are demoralised by the
    failure of their party hierarchy to address local and regional
    concerns," says Sinn Fein candidate for Mayo and party Ard
    Chomhairle member Vincent Wood.

    He was commenting on the recent defection of
    Ballaghaderreen-based Paul Whelan to Sinn Fein from the governing
    Fianna Fail party.

    "Paul Whelan was very clear as to why he left the Fianna Fail,"
    said Wood "He said that Fianna Fail had abandoned the west of
    Ireland. Many in Fianna Fail, including those in local leadership
    positions, are saying much the same and it must be difficult for
    their local public representatives to explain why the west has
    been so neglected."

    Meanwhile, July inflation figures of 4.8% showed a fall in
    26-County prices to their lowest level in over a year. The
    figures released last Friday also registered the fourth
    consecutive month of decline and had government spokesperson,
    Seamus Brennan, out plugging the "good news".

    But coming just two days after the announcement of the Gateway
    closure, the coalition government was desperate for any data that
    could show the economy in a good light. Rising inflation over
    the 18 months up to last March had become a hugely important
    political and economic issues, principally as workers
    participating in the partnership agreements were seeing the real
    value of the wage rises won through negotiations with employers
    eroded by increases in prices.

    Brennan offered an interesting analysis. He claimed "the
    underlying performance of the Irish economy still remains very
    strong and we continue to enjoy growth levels that are the envy
    of our European partners".

    But Ireland is not the envy of Europe -- it's high growth economy
    has the largest and still growing gap between rich and poor in
    the EU, has one of the worst health services and most underfunded
    public transport services.

    The positive side of what has happened to the economy is that the
    hard efforts of workers generated enormous wealth, but thousands
    more were and are being left behind. Many of those are deserting
    Fianna Fail.

    "Fianna Fail has been described as now having a 'republican' and
    a 'corporate' wing," said Wood. "The latter is clearly in the
    ascendancy and although we will see attempts by the Fianna Fail
    leadership to regain its republican credentials with a full state
    burial for Kevin Barry and his nine comrades who were executed
    during the War of Independence, many will note that there is more
    to republicanism then mere rhetoric.

    "Sinn Fein is a republican party. We are the only party organised
    throughout the 32 counties and are working towards equality and
    liberty for all throughout the island of Ireland. Increasing
    numbers of people, including many who previously supported Fianna
    Fail, west of the Shannon and elsewhere, can see this."




    >>>>>> Feature: Long Kesh revisited

    BY JIM GIBNEY




    At approximately 12.30 pm last Friday, 10 August, I stood in
    silence in the cell where Bobby Sands died 20 years ago. A few
    minutes later, I was in the cell where Francis Hughes died and a
    few minutes after that in the cell where Raymond McCreesh died.
    It was the first time I was in their cells in 20 years. I had
    visited them at various stages on their hunger strike and as I
    wandered around the wing of the prison hospital where they spent
    the last days of their young lives, the memories came flooding
    back.

    I saw Bobby lying on his bed, his mother and sister Marcella by
    his bed. He was close to the end yet there was a calmness, a
    serenity about him and the bedside scene. I saw Francis again, as
    he was, days before his death, lying sick on his deathbed with
    his mother and brother Oliver by his side. In Raymond's cell I
    recalled him telling me, "Francis had a bad night last night. He
    hasn't long left."

    As we stood in Francis' cell, Gerry Adams told the story about
    the time Don Concannon, Roy Mason's number two, visited Francis.
    He arrived at the gaol in a fanfare of publicity. He was a man in
    a hurry, on a mission. He was a courier with a very important
    message that Francis had to hear. It would change everything.
    Concannon told a man close to death, "You have no support. You're
    going to die."

    And the man who put fear into the British Crown forces and had
    them on the run in South Derry; the man who liberated Bellaghy's
    Scribe Road, where he played and grew up as a boy with his cousin
    Tom Mc Elwee, retorted sharply, "Close the door on your way out!"

    Everything about the prison hospital was different. Everything
    was smaller, the reception area, the canteen was narrower. The
    cells jumped out at you with their doors wide open.

    In the hospital canteen, Danny Morrison described a remarkable
    but heartbreaking scene. Sitting around the table with him were
    Mickey Devine, Tom McElwee, Kieran Doherty, Kevin Lynch, Laurence
    McKeown and Joe McDonnell.

    Joe was too weak to walk so he was brought in on a wheelchair.
    Martin Hurson was in his cell too ill to move. Throughout the
    meeting, the lads attended to Joe, making sure he was alright.
    Joe's only concern was to query Danny over whether he had
    smuggled in cigarettes. He smoked throughout the meeting.

    "Where was Bobby's cell?" Gerry asked me. "There it is," I said
    mistakenly, pointing to a warder's office. "No here it is," I
    quickly corrected myself.

    "And here up the landing," I said to Danny, "this cell here, this
    is where Raymond died." I shouted for Tom Hartley, who was going
    through the cells looking for items of historical interest for
    his vast collection in the

    Linenhall Library. "Tom c'mere. C'mon see Francis' cell."

    I watched Maura McCrory, who led the 'Relatives' Action
    Committee', the 'RACs', the support organisation for the
    prisoners, press her body into the corner of the cell where
    Bobby's head would have rested on his pillow. She moved her body
    slowly along the wall against which Bobby's bed was placed. She
    was engaged in an intimate, tactile ritual reaching back through
    20 years of her own life to touch Bobby on his journey's end.

    Marie Moore, now a Sinn Fein Councillor but 20 years ago an
    important figure in Sinn Fein's POW Department, wept quietly in
    Bobby's cell.

    I looked for the cell where I think I last saw Patsy O'Hara. I
    couldn't make up my mind which one it was but the image of him
    was powerful. Sitting in a wheelchair in a multi-coloured cotton
    dressing gown, gaunt, his dark hair lined with sweat, he smiled
    at me and waved his long arm, which lingered for a long time in
    the air.

    The visit to the prison hospital ended too quickly. I would have
    liked to have spent some time on my own in Bobby's cell.

    The visit was very emotional for all of us. During the hunger
    strike, we buried our emotions under ten ton of concrete. We
    couldn't afford to allow our emotions to surface naturally. Had
    we done so then we would have been overwhelmed by the sadness of
    it all, by the burden of watching ten young men slowly dying. We
    would not have been able to do our job of managing the hunger
    strike, of building support for the prisoners' cause on the
    streets.

    But there comes a time when one's emotions have to be freed up.
    The visit to the prison and the events commemorating the 20th
    anniversary of the hunger strike have helped all of us come to
    terms with the part we played in an epic human and political
    episode in the struggle for freedom.

    The visit to Long Kesh had started at 10am that morning. On board
    the mini-bus were Dessie Mackin, Marie Moore, Maura McCrory,
    Mairead Keane, Danny Morrison, Tom Hartley, Martin Ferris, Larry
    Downes and myself. Gerry Adams travelled separately.

    It wasn't long before the 'craic' started and the prison
    experiences were tripping off people's tongues. I noticed they
    were all humorous.

    We were met at the prison by two warders in civilian dress. They
    were our official guides, although Gerry quickly assumed the role
    as our unofficial guide. "There's the internees' visiting area,"
    he pointed out. "Is that the prison hospital?" asked Danny. "No,"
    said the warder, "That's the stores. The hospital is over there."

    "Is that Cage 2?" I asked. "No," said Gerry and the warder
    interjected, "It's further on down."

    "Where's the gate the lads escaped out of?" someone shouted out.
    "It's further up the wall. It is blocked up now," said the
    warder. "That's where I was caught trying to escape," said Gerry,
    pointing to an area outside the internees' visiting area. He was
    sentenced to three years for his efforts.

    The first Cage we visited was Cage 6. It was here that Gerry was
    interned with 'Darkie' Hughes and Ivor Bell. The internees had
    nicknamed it the 'General's Cage' because of the number of senior
    republicans held there. It was from here that the 'Dark' and Ivor
    successfully escaped and Gerry was caught.

    We moved onto Cage 17. Dessie made us all laugh when he told the
    story about a prank played on him by the 'King mixer', Martin
    Meehan and 'Cleaky'

    Clarke in the '70s. Martin wrote a 'Dear John' letter from
    Dessie's then girlfriend, now his wife. Dessie was so angry at
    being 'dumped' that he threw a necklace that his girl had bought
    him over the wire onto the football pitch. Over 90 men watched
    Dessie and fell about laughing.

    The following morning he had the entire Cage out on the pitch
    helping him to look for the necklace.

    I was keen to visit Cage 3, where I was interned for most of the
    time I was there. I was disappointed to see Cages 3, 4 and 5 no
    longer there. The passage of time had taken its toll. All that
    was left was the concrete base on which the Nissen huts were
    built.

    I went alone to the site of Cage 3. I quickly reflected about
    myself, an 18-year-old boy, captured, trapped in a strange world,
    a world that had suddenly shrunk and was framed by barbed wire,
    gates and locks. I felt sorry for the 18-year-old who never had a
    normal youth. In the midday sun, breaking through the clouds, I
    realised I was mourning for a lost youth.

    Standing in the middle of the concrete base close to where my
    bunk bed had been, I travelled back nearly 30 years. I could see
    the raw energy in the 18-year-old as he stormed around the Cage,
    pacing seven to the dozen. A lump came into my throat as I
    watched him receive the news of his father's death. I looked
    again at him as he walked from the Cage on eight hours' parole to
    bury his father in March 1973.

    A smile of pride flashed across my face when I recalled being
    asked to participate in the escape that saw John Green walk to
    freedom from Cage 3, dressed as a priest. From the same Cage I
    watched Mark Graham from the New Lodge Road trying to escape. The
    plan was that Mark would hide underneath the lorry that brought
    the internees their food parcels and escape when it left the
    precincts of the prison. The plan went disastrously wrong when
    the lorry went over a ramp and the axle snapped Mark's spine. He
    never walked again.

    I looked at the corner of the hut where a young Joe McDonnell
    slept or mostly didn't, because he kept our hut awake most nights
    with his peculiar brand of humour. Joe was a character.

    I 'bowled' round the yard and came to the spot where on 14
    September 1974, the prison governor called me and told me I was
    being released. And then I heard Danny shouting and looked across
    to his old Cage, Cage 2, which remained intact. The visit to Long
    Kesh was over.

    We gathered ourselves together, boarded the mini-bus and were
    transported to our own mini-bus for the journey home.

    The trip home to Belfast was in marked contrast to the one
    travelled earlier. There was no 'craic', just silence. We were
    lost in our own thoughts of what we had all been through. That
    afternoon I cried sore but I knew the visit did me good. I'll
    need a few more visits to the gaol to fully come to an
    appreciation of the role Long Kesh has played in my life.

    It shaped the person I am today and I know it did the same for
    thousands of others.

    That is why Long Kesh should be preserved as a museum, just like
    Kilmainham.

    There's a story to be told. Thousands of political prisoners,
    republican and loyalist, passed through its gates and locks.
    Prison warders also have their story. Let them all be told.






    >>>>>> Analysis: Trimble can celebrate as process begins to unhinge


    BY MICHAEL PIERSE



    Three cheers for David Trimble. The UUP leader can well afford to
    relax and savour success as he holidays in the serene hills of
    Austria.

    Far removed from the deepening, indeed the deepest, crisis that
    has faced the peace process since its inception, Trimble can
    reflect on his prophetic letter of October last year with
    satisfaction.

    At the time, he was facing into a crisis of his own, with many
    media pundits suggesting that his leadership might not survive
    the Ulster Unionist Council (UUC) meeting, convened on 27
    October. It did, by a narrow margin, and, lamentably, so too did
    the strategy his letter outlined.

    Essentially that strategy was, and is, to create a crisis in the
    peace process, blame republicans, achieve suspension and
    renegotiate the Agreement. And this isn't just idle speculation -
    it comes straight from the horse's mouth.

    In the letter, circulated to all members of the UUC the day
    before that body met, Trimble outlined what he saw as the way
    forward for unionism. Jeffrey Donaldson was also to put proposals
    to the UUC the following day, but these were, according to
    Trimble, "fatally flawed". Donaldson proposed to bring down the
    Good Friday Agreement institutions - which 'appeared reasonable',
    according to Trimble - but what Donaldson offered was "an exit
    strategy without a re-entry strategy". Trimble believed he could
    go one better.

    Outlining a course of action more appropriate to a Machiavelli
    disciple than a Nobel Peace Prize winner, Trimble pre-empted the
    events of the last seven weeks since his resignation:

    "Tomorrow I will outline a carefully considered response should
    republicanism continue to ignore its commitments on the issue of
    disarmament," he wrote.

    "The response is intended to increase pressure progressively on
    republicans and nationalists. This might result in a crisis for
    the Assembly and Executive. But if that arises we must do all we
    can to place responsibility on republicans. Only in that way can
    suspension be achieved. Suspension is preferable to collapse, for
    it is the only way we can hope to make progress afterwards."

    It is not uncustomary in this, at times, fragile and tentative
    peace process for a week that began with glimmerings of hope to
    end in political crisis. But this week's events were a sad
    revelation of the political strength and influence still held by
    unionism.

    What David Trimble outlined in his letter was a means by which
    unionism could retain, or regain (after a crisis), the elements
    of the Agreement they want - the Assembly, devolution - and
    frustrate, if not negate, those they don't - policing, human
    rights, demilitarisation. Thuis amounts to a de facto return to
    the Stormont rule that instigated 30 years of war.

    The British government, a malleable media, and, to some extent,
    the Dublin government, have been compliant in achieving this.
    'Poor David', the 'beleagured' leader of the UUP, has been
    afforded the space to destroy what is left of the peace process.

    The context in which this has been allowed to happen, and in
    which the IRA withdrew its historic arms proposal, illuminates
    why republicans are so angry at the past week's events. The
    withdrawal of the IRA proposal was the result of unionist
    rejection of that proposal by the UUP and the subsequent actions
    of British Secretary of State John Reid in suspending the
    Assembly and calling for yet another period of 'talks' - what
    David Trimble had envisaged all those months ago.

    Predictably, elements of the media and unionism reacted to the
    IRA withdrawal by branding it a 'fit of pique' by republicans.
    Their assertion that republicans are angry is correct. Why
    wouldn't republicans be angry when, following seven years of
    incessant harping on about 'decommissioning', the IRA makes a
    move on arms and it is rejected by unionists. Why wouldn't
    republicans be angry, when this unprecedented move has received a
    slap in the face from the British government, who again
    capitulate to unionist demands. Why wouldn't republicans be
    angry, when loyalist sectarian harrassment and attacks have
    characterised a summer of mayhem in the Six Counties, yet have
    induced little or no reaction from the British government or
    unionist leaders - while all the while they repeat and re-repeat
    the mantra of 'decommissioning'. Republicans are angry because
    whenever unionism takes a 'fit of pique' the British government
    has capitulated, whether it be on the issues of the stability of
    the institutions, policing, demilitarisation or the equality
    agenda. Republicans are angry and, if current conditions
    continue, that anger will grow.

    This is not to say that republicans have lost their faith in the
    process, but there is a realisation that, no matter what
    republicans do, unionists will still find a new obstacle to
    replace the old one. To date, the British have failed the peace
    process by failing to take on these unionist-imposed obstacles,
    such as the refusal to appoint Sinn Fein ministers.

    As soon as last week's IRA offer on arms was made, David Trimble
    was saying that he would not return as First Minister unless the
    SDLP backed his stance, and that of the British government, on
    policing. Yet, this glaringly obvious political cynicism did not
    merit one inch of column space in the national daily newspapers.
    Instead, they moronically waited for the UUP press release to
    emerge from their fax machines, and reprinted everything David
    Trimble wanted them to say.

    In terms of the British government, their assurances in private
    that they would not suspend the institutions, and their public
    welcome for the IRA proposal, meant nothing when John Reid
    suspended the institutions - the second time a British Secretary
    of State had done this in 18 months.

    If the British government strategy is to exasperate republicans
    and drag the whole process down crashing around our ears, they're
    doing a damn good job.



    >>>>>> Events in Ireland and Britain


    SF FUNDRAISER: Featuring Drop the Anchor. Friday 17 August, Jimmy
    G's, Watergate Street, BANDON, County Cork. Taille #5

    SEAN RUSSELL/HUNGER STRIKE COMMEMORATION: Memorial plaque
    unveiled at Sean Russell monument. Assemble 2pm Saturday 18
    August, Five Lamps, North Strand, DUBLIN and march to Fairview
    Park. Speakers: Gerry McGeough. Chair: Cllr Ruth Lynch; other
    prominent speakers in attendance

    VIGIL: In memory of Volunteers Tom Mcelwee and Michael Devine.
    3pm Saturday 18 August, Daunt Square, CORK. Organised by Cork
    H-Block/Armagh Committee

    MARCH AGAINST RACISM: Assemble 2pm Saturday 18 August, Daunt
    Square, CORK. Bring banners and placards. Followed by meeting in
    An Spailpin Fanach at 3.30pm. Sponsored by various groups,
    including SF

    HUNGER-STRIKE TRIBUTE: 8pm till late Saturday 18 August, The
    Blarney Castle, PERTH, Australia. Music by Brendan Woods and Sean
    Roche. Organised by Australia Aid for Ireland

    OGRA SHINN FEIN WEEKEND: 10.25am Saturday 18 August, Tower Hotel,
    WATERFORD. There will be prominent speakers form Coiste na
    n-Iarchimi and Sinn Fein Cuige Mumhan. Registration will begin at
    10.25. There will be a Hunger Strike march through the City at
    3pm with the Kevin Lynch RFB (Dungiven) and the Youghal
    Volunteers RFB (Cork) in attendance. Function to follow that
    night with Cork Rebel group Shennanagins. Everyone welcome. For
    further information contact Ger Murnaghan on 021 4311389 Cuige
    Mumhan Sinn Fein Office

    HUNGER STRIKE COMMEMORATION: Saturday 18 August from 8pm till
    late at the Haringey Irish Centre, Pretoria Road, LONDON,
    England. Nearest tube: Seven Sisters BR: White Hart Lane. Buses:
    149, 279, 259. Tickets: #10 door, #8 Advance. Tickets can be
    obtained from: Haringey Irish Centre, Four Provinces Bookshop,
    The Lion pub - Archway or by Tel: Peter on 020-8442 8778 or Cara
    on 01992-308 539. Come enjoy the unique experience of Seanchai
    (Irish American Rebel Hip-Hop band - ex Black 47), '67 (Irish
    Rebel band), and Neck at the Haringey Irish Centre in memory of
    the 1980/81 Hunger Strike. All funds raised for the 1980/'81
    Irish Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee

    HUNGER STRIKE MEETING: 8pm Wednesday 22 August, Hearmes Hotel,
    CLONMEL, County Tipperary. Speakers: John Pickering and Seamus
    Healy TD

    SF FUNCTION: Kildare SF are hold a function to commemorate the
    1981 Hunger Strike. Music by the Highwaymen. 9pm Thursday 23
    August (note change of date), Stirrups pub, NEWBRIDGE, County
    Kildare. Ex-POW in attendance. Info from Siobhan on 087-9579743

    DESMOND GREAVES SUMMERS SCHOOL: Commencing Friday 24 August, in
    Dublin. More details next week

    HUNGER STRIKE ANNIVERSARY BUSES: DUBLIN: Departing Sunday 12
    August, 9.30am, Ringsend Church, 9.45am Widow Scallan's, Pearse
    Street, 10am Municipal Gallery, Parnell Square. Taille #7 return
    From CAVAN TOWN to the National Hunger Strike March, Belfast.
    Cost #4, tickets must be booked in advance. Info from Cavan SF,
    39 College Street or Cavcan '81 Committee, 049-4373510 or
    087-9443899; Rostrevor 81 Hunger/Strike Committee are organising
    a bus to Hunger/Strike March in Belfast on Sunday 12 August. Bus
    will be leaving Hilltown at 11.30am Pick up points: Rostrevors
    Warrenpoint. Tickets #5 Under 18's free. Contact numbers for more
    information: Hilltown: Paddy O'Hare TEL 40631298. Rostrevor:
    Gerry Donan TEL 41738003: Annie Sloan TEL 41738633: Those
    travelling by car, allow 39 minutes extra time to get to the
    march; FERMANAGH Buses going from the following areas. Derrylin:
    11am--Mountain Hotel. Newtownbutler: 10.30am, Parish Hall.
    Donagh:10.45 am, Donagh Bar. Lisnaskea: 11am. The Bank Brae.
    Enniskillen: 11am, Rooneys Shop. Belleek: 10.30am Jolly Farmer.
    Garrison: 10.50am, Main St. Belcoo :11.15am, Clancy's Shop

    FUNDRAISER: Featuring Gerry Brown and the Stubliners. Friday 24
    August, Gray's, Newmarket Street, DUBLIN. Taille #5

    FLEADH CEOL WEEKEND: Commencing 10.30am Saturday 25 August, Mass
    in St Mary's Church, LISTOWEL, County Kerry in memory of the
    Hunger Strikers. Followed by parade to the Old Graveyard for
    plaque unveiling. Culminating in opening of North Kerry Sf Ofice
    in Market Street at 1pm. More info next week

    HUNGER STRIKE COMMEMORATION: Cainteoiri: Owen Carron and Coireail
    MacCurtain. Assemble 7.30 Saturday 25 August, Kennedy Bridge,
    Rossa GAA park and march to monument in square, SKIBERREEN,
    County Cork. Youghal RFB will head march. Commemoration will be
    followed by Oiche cheoil agus amhrean in Cellar Bar, various
    local musicians singers and followers of republican
    commemorations to participate .Organised by Cumann Francis
    Hughes, Sinn Fein

    HUNGER STRIKE MEMORIAL MARCH: Assemble 3pm Sunday 26 August,
    Devonshire Arms Hotel, YOUGHAL, County Cork for march to 1798
    Memorial Park. Speakers: Eoghan Mac Cormaic and Gerry Kelly. RFB
    in attendance

    SF FUNDRAISER: Featuring Bik McFarlane and Cruncher O'Neill as
    Tuan. 8.30pm Saturday 8 September, Decie's Country Bar, Decies
    Road, BALLYFERMOT, County Dublin. Taille #5

    HUNGER STRIKE ANNIVERSARY MARCH: Assemble 12 noon Sunday 23
    September, Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, LONDON, England and march
    for rally to Trafalgar Square. Speakers: Gerry Kelly (SF), Dennis
    Goldberg (sentenced with Nelson Mandela) and john McDonnell
    (Labour MP). Also reps from Turkish hunger strikers and music.
    Organised by the '80/'81 Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee,
    BM Box 6191, London WC1N 3XX. Tel/Fax 020-8442-8778





    RM DISTRIBUTION SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

    Annual subscription fees:


    Regular: US$25 (IR15, Stg15)
    Unemployed/Student: US$20 (IR12, Stg12)
    Sustaining: US$35 (IR25, Stg25)
    Sponsoring: US$50 (IR35, Stg35)

    ____________________________________________

    Payment may be made in the following ways:


    * Reply to this e-mail with your credit card info using the form
    below, or fax or phone in your details to the number at the end
    of this message.

    or

    * Use the online payment form at http://www.irlnet.com/rmlist/
    (Press `Other Commands', then `Pay Fee'). For SSL-enhanced
    browsers (e.g. Netscape), it is encrypted for secure transmission
    of credit card data - press `Pay Fee with Secure Form'.

    or

    * Send check or postal order (in _any_ currency) made payable to
    RM-Distribution, with your e-mail address, to either of the two
    addresses at the end of this message. Allow 21 days for payments
    not made online.


    ____________________________________________


    ** Credit card payment information **

    Regular | | Unemployed/Student | |
    Sponsoring | | Sustaining | |

    Visa | | Mastercard | | American Express | | Discover | |

    Credit card number:

    Expiration Date (Month/Year):

    E-mail address:


    ** Optional info (for contact information) **

    Name:

    Address:

    Phone No.:

    ____________________________________________

    Send payment **with your e-mail address** to:

    RM-Distribution
    PO Box 160,
    Galway,
    Ireland

    OR

    RM-Distribution
    PO Box 8630,
    Austin TX 78713-8630
    USA

    Web Address: http://irlnet.com/rmlist/
    Mailto:[email protected]
    Phone/Fax: (353)1-6335113

    RMD1010817125634u18
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Diesel, apart from being a long post that no-one is going to read, do you honestly believe that none of us know the news from Ireland?

    The problem with certain sections of the US is that they don't understand the REALITY of the situation and are too caught up in the romance of the 'old country'. We have LIVED this situation for years now. You may have this idealistic notion that this is some sort of freedom fight, that the IRA are the knights in shining armour come to save the day. Well it isn't and they are not.

    They are vicious thugs, they prey on their own as well as protestants and they are the major source of illegal narcotis into the whole of Ireland. They rule by fear and intimidation and are, in fact, no better than the mafiosi of 1940's USA.

    If, heaven forbid, they became the major party in Ireland, they would enforce a socialist regime - and we all know how free they are.

    As for the news, over the past 30-odd years criminal acts have been carried out by all sides. Do you want a list of IRA atricities too, perhaps some news reports.

    Even if the RUC DID know about the Omagh Bomb, you missed the most important questions. Who planted it? Who set it off?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh, you don't suppose that the Irish Republican News could be used as a propaganda tool do you? Or do you honestly believe that it gives a fair and even account of events?

    It certainly seems to have missed the fact that the IRA, in spite of several agreements, and the release of several hundred convicted terrorists, has yet to hand over one ounce of plastic explosive.

    But hey, we have nothing to fear from these upstanding members of the community.

    Do we?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I honestly see no reason why either (any) side should hand over their arms, explosives, etc.

    The first step towards freedom for both is for all to accept the fact that they can and should go about their business armed and equpped as they see fit.

    I really see the problem as a stepchild of the english who occupy NI and when they pack it in and leave the Irish will find their own peace...if the english settlers in the Irish territories choose to remain and be Irish then acomodation is likely...after all, the queen's soldiers make such splendid 'targets' for the propagandists.

    I do apologize for the long post...will figure out how to cut these things down to a managable size when I use them. Actually, I don't post them here so much for english consumption as for others, US, or otherwise to pick up on...many read this board.

    Diesel

    88888888
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Man Of Kent:
    4 - Acts of reprisal, or act of natioanl defence? Which particular attacks are we talking about? Any where the 'heroes of the revolution' were CLEARLY unarmed?

    Remember that the SAS also cleared the Iranian Embassy - it the kind of mission they are called out for. Dealing with terrorrists, they don't go looking for them at home - each of the IRA members killed by the SAS were on 'active duty'. Apparently.

    If Britain had the balls to pursue the military option to its fullest then there would have been civil war, and both Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams would probably have been dead by now. but the British Govt didn;t want the give the IRA the credence is craved, but declaring a war on them it would have legitimised them as an 'army', instead they are treated as criminals (or were).

    5 - Er...still there perhaps or are you suggesting the there are NO ethnic Irish in Northern Ireland?



    I suggest you do a bit more research into the actions of the SAS, both in NI and in Ireland proper. Yes, reprisals.

    Are you suggesting there are NO ethnic Arabs in Israel? The same applies.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Sean_K:

    I suggest you do a bit more research into the actions of the SAS, both in NI and in Ireland proper. Yes, reprisals.

    Are you suggesting there are NO ethnic Arabs in Israel? The same applies.

    Reprisals? Obviously I have missed something. When have the SAS killed a member of the IRA in cold blood, actually gone looking for that person with the sole intention to kill them - an assassination, you might say?

    If this truly had been policy, don't you think that the whole organisation would have been decapitated, it entire leadership 'erased'?

    When was the last gunship attack on an Irish city? When have the British EVER dropped bombs on Ireland?

    The RUC (and the 'intelligence' agencies) on the other hand... did actively persue people, that I cannot deny - it has been documented. However, I DID say 'fullest extent' - by that I mean all out assault, all of those who were incarcerated would have been dead. They have now been released.

    As for the ethnic settlements, before a single Jew moves into an area of Israel the entire Palestine population is moved out. Israel practises ethnic cleansing (not to the extent that Serbia or Hitler did) but they move out all 'undesirables' before moving their own settlers in.

    The two may have similarities but they are not the same.
This discussion has been closed.