" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."

(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)



IRISH BLOG AWARDS 2017 - ooops! It seems that our entry application was "not completed in time to be considered.." (?) and, as such, we are not now in the running. But we wish all the best to the successful entrants and to the organisers, and we hope all goes well for them on the day!


Friday, August 12, 2005

PREPARING THE DEFENCE OF ULSTER LOYALISM .......
Ten years ago this month the ' ULSTER WORKERS COUNCIL' strike brought down the power-sharing executive of BRIAN FAULKNER and GERRY FITT .
ANDY POLLAK talks to UDA leader ANDY TYRIE , one of the men behind the 1974 work stoppage , and GEORGE SEAWRIGHT , one of the new breed of hard-line Loyalist spokesmen , about the outlook for Northern Ireland's (sic) Protestants in the 1980's .
From ' FORTNIGHT ' magazine , May 1984 .

Andy Tyrie (UDA) says the Protestant paramilitaries ... "...have been seen as pretty inefficient and I think those people hope to try to change that by attacking high-profile members of the Republican Movement . " It is generally believed that the 'Ulster (sic) Freedom Fighters' (UFF) is an organisation made up of UDA members .

At the end of the interview Tyrie is still insisting he is an optimist - he still hopes that the 'Official Unionist Party' will go back into the Assembly . He clearly wants to believe that there is some way in which the ultimate sectarian confrontation can be avoided , the UDA can be put out to grass , and the politicians can find some basis for agreement : " Most people who live in the North don't want to slaughter each other .

But because they're conditioned they are inclined to build more efficient armies , more efficient 'anti-each-other' machines . I have watched people over the years trying to perfect their war machines , their machines for a 'Doomsday' situation .

But I have also seen people , when they do perfect these things , look for the alternative - to live together and work together . " (' 1169 ... ' Comment - It has always been possible for us here on this island to "live and work together ... " : but not under the present constitutional 'arrangement' - any other country that laboured with a part of its territory under the jurisdictional control of a foreign country would suffer the same 'troubles' as Ireland is . There is only one solution - a complete British military and political withdrawal from this island . Anything else will just 'manage' the issue in the short term (as our history has shown us) - the occupation must end , politically and militarily , to 'solve' the issue .)

[END of ' PREPARING THE DEFENCE OF ULSTER LOYALISM '.]
(Monday , 15 August - 'The Inevitability of Sectarian Collision ' - by George Seawright , DUP . From 1984 .)



THE IRA HAS TO DO WHAT THE IRA HAS TO DO .......
The Sinn Fein electoral wagon is slowing down . As a result , the IRA is likely to begin stepping up its war against the Northern State . GENE KERRIGAN reports from Belfast and also interviews Sinn Fein's DANNY MORRISON on the party's recent successes and failures .
From ' MAGILL ' magazine , September 1984.

Danny Morrison , Director of Publicity for Sinn Fein , interviewed -

DM : " Another explanation for John Hume's large vote is that the Alliance Party absolutely and totally collapsed . Will that vote go back to Alliance in the local government elections ? It's obvious that sections of the Catholic nationalist middle class , clearly perceiving the SDLP to be in trouble - and we probably hyped it up and actually created the motivation for them to cross from the Alliance to Hume - and the fantastic machine that we had ; I mean , I have no doubt that we actually drove SDLP voters to the polls on June 14 ! (' 1169 ... ' Comment - to knowingly physically assist others to vote against you and then class yourself as "fantastic... " for doing so ... ?)

John Hume got a big vote . Now , why did we get a reduced vote ? The unpalatable things are that perhaps it's not entirely possible to totally harmonise the relationship between armed struggle and electoral politics (' 1169 ... ' Comment - ...as has been proved in July last - despite what the same Danny Morrision once said re carrying on the struggle "..with an armalite in one hand and a ballot box in the other .. " : both well-manicured hands now reach for the ballot box only , when dealing with Westminster or the Free Staters . The 'armalite' will be reserved for Republicans who have not surrendered . ) . And the one thing I have to emphasise , that all Republicans are united on , is that electoral politics will not remove the British from Ireland . Only armed struggle will do that . (My emphasis - Sharon : when Morrison made that remark (1984) Westminster claimed jurisdiction over six Irish counties - now (2005) Westminster still claimsjurisdiction over those same six Irish counties . Westminster has not changed regarding that jurisdictional claim - rather , Morrison and Provisional Sinn Fein have changed . They are now a Six County version of Fianna Fail - trading on the slight smell of sulphur that comes from them ....)

If the IRA was an absolutely huge well-armed guerilla army there would probably be no need for electoral politics . Because in most revolutionary struggles going to the ballot box takes place at the conclusion , the successful conclusion , of the armed struggle - as for example with the 'Patriotic Front' in Zimbabwe - rather than in the middle of the guerilla war , as is experimentally happening with the Republican Movement in the Six Counties ....... " (' 1169 ... ' Comment - "...experimentally.. " ? You mean as de Valera 'experimented' in 1926 ? And as Tomas MacGiolla 'experimented' in 1969/'70 ? And what were the results of their 'experiments' , Danny ..... ?)

(MORE LATER).




CHAOS IN THE GARDAI .......
The Evelyn Glenholmes affair not only involved unlawful activity by gardai , it stemmed from the chaotic condition of the force which has resulted from ignoring the warning signs of the past decade .
By Gene Kerrigan.
First published in ' MAGILL ' magazine , April 1986 .

In the wake of the chaos in Prince's Street , Dublin , both the ' Irish Press' newspaper and Charles Haughey called for the resignation of the State Minister for Justice , Alan Dukes : this was knee-jerk reaction , pure silliness , given that Dukes is not a wet day in the job and cannot be held responsible for the chaos which has grown over the past decade .

Only if Alan Dukes follows the custom of expediency , of finding individual scapegoats rather than assessing the state of a garda force in which large numbers of gardai feel themselves entitled to commit offences in pursuit of political aims , albeit the political aims of the government - only then could there be a legitimate call for his resignation .

[END of 'CHAOS IN THE GARDAI' .]
(Monday , 15 August - ' THE INTERROGATION OF STEPHEN MOORE' : From 1986.)






Thursday, August 11, 2005

PREPARING THE DEFENCE OF ULSTER LOYALISM .......
Ten years ago this month the ' ULSTER WORKERS COUNCIL' strike brought down the power-sharing executive of BRIAN FAULKNER and GERRY FITT .
ANDY POLLAK talks to UDA leader ANDY TYRIE , one of the men behind the 1974 work stoppage , and GEORGE SEAWRIGHT , one of the new breed of hard-line Loyalist spokesmen , about the outlook for Northern Ireland's (sic) Protestants in the 1980's .
From ' FORTNIGHT ' magazine , May 1984 .

Andy Tyrie (UDA) agrees with the strong views of his 'chief lieutenant' , John McMichael , in an interview in March 1984 , in which he said that over the next five , six or seven years , the UDA had to ... "...get down to the nuts and bolts of preparing the Ulster (sic) Protestant community for a head-on collision to decide whether in fact it will survive as a people on this island . "

The UDA Commander points out that McMichael drew his conclusions from ... "...the fact that the SDLP have opted out of Northern Ireland (sic- the SDLP had/have no 'Party Branches' in Donegal) politics and Sinn Fein have no intention of ever going into them . ( ' 1169... ' Comment - not only did [P] Sinn Fein get "into" politics in the Six Counties , all the way to Stormont , but it "got" out of , and stopped supporting , other means of resistance.) So now you have the bulk of the nationalist groups saying there is no future for the Ulster (sic) Protestant community and their job is to destroy it .

If you're talking about the warring groups , the groups that are involved in the war - and you must see the SDLP in that , and after Cardinal Tomas O Fiaich's recent statements , you must see him as part of the war effort against the whole Protestant community ( ' 1169... ' Comment - sic : Republicans never declared , or carried out , war , "against the whole Protestant community .." ) - then there's a big build-up of everything that's opposing Ulster's (sic) survival . Based on all those facts ( "facts ..." ?) it does'nt give you much hope for a political solution at the end of the day . "

Andy Tyrie also thinks that Sinn Fein's Danny Morrison will defeat SDLP leader John Hume in the EEC election next month . He warns that his ' intelligence reports' indicated that the illegal 'Ulster (sic) Freedom Fighters' had re-grouped on a military basis and their attack on Gerry Adams - whom Tyrie called ... "...not only a member of its military council but also Commander-In-Chief of the IRA .. " - was the beginning of a trend that would continue .......

(MORE LATER).




THE IRA HAS TO DO WHAT THE IRA HAS TO DO .......
The Sinn Fein electoral wagon is slowing down . As a result , the IRA is likely to begin stepping up its war against the Northern State . GENE KERRIGAN reports from Belfast and also interviews Sinn Fein's DANNY MORRISON on the party's recent successes and failures .
From ' MAGILL ' magazine , September 1984.

' MAGILL ' interview with Danny Morrison , Sinn Fein Director of Publicity :

Magill - " In the European elections in June (1984) , Sinn Fein failed to retain the 100,000 votes they had achieved in the Westminster election . It fell to 91,000 . Why ? "

DM - " Well , firstly we made a mistake in that we scientifically estimated that we would not out-poll John Hume or take the seat , sometime before the actual election . Then , inside the steering committee in the six counties , it was probably my bidding - because people like Gerry Adams , for example , were saying that we should'nt be pitching the stakes high - and I was arguing successfully with the majority that in order to enthuse our people we needed to give them an ambitious objective . And that ambitious objective was that we could out-poll Hume . Now , we believed that we would have held onto the 102,000 votes which we had achieved in June 1983 . We believed that as a result of ongoing constituency work we would have taken extra votes .

We thought that in the three constituencies which we did'nt contest in June 1983 , that we were bound to pick up some votes out of those three areas - that is , Strangford , North Down and East Antrim . So , even allowing for a lower poll we still believed that we would have taken an increased share of the nationalist vote . But we did'nt do it . In fact we held on precisely to the exact percentages as in June 1983 . Analysing why we did'nt even pull out the 103,000 - obviously a lot of soul-searching has to be done . And perhaps some unpalatable conclusions reached . To look at things over which we had no control : John Hume definitely had an advantage as a sitting MEP . In retrospect , not using the forum turned out to be as advantageous to him as if he had used it .

He fought it on European issues , he was the sitting MEP , and a lot of people , farming people , who classify themselves as our supporters - not all of them , obviously - but some people told me , yes , they voted for Hume . They voted for us in June , they voted for Hume this time because they saw the European election not as a crunch election , but as one concerned with their agricultural interests . So they opted for Hume ....... "

(MORE LATER).




CHAOS IN THE GARDAI .......
The Evelyn Glenholmes affair not only involved unlawful activity by gardai , it stemmed from the chaotic condition of the force which has resulted from ignoring the warning signs of the past decade .
By Gene Kerrigan.
First published in ' MAGILL ' magazine , April 1986 .

5. CHAOS .

The chaos within the Gardai spilled onto the streets , in front of the cameras , on March 22 , 1986 : the methods , tactics and attitudes of a decade were there . Had Detective Christy Power of the 'Task Force' not fired some shots , had the cameras not been there , the incident would not have assumed the proportions it has . Only the circumstances were unusual .

For over a decade the Garda Force has been allowed abuse its powers when it thought necessary . Usually there was no comeback - when public unease arose about garda conduct , as in the 'Kerry Babies Case' , a few individuals could be thrown to the 'liberal wolves' and the structural and systemic faults in the force could remain . As long as there were results , no one cared .

On March 22 , 1986 , several gardai had walkie-talkies and were thus susceptible to the chain of command . Nothing was done to halt their unlawful activities . No one could predict that we would all end up seeing the thing on TV . On past record , garda sources agree , a few individuals can be found to 'take the weight' ; Detective Christy Power , who was shot two years ago , is an obvious fall guy . Gardai point out that in this force , unlike most others , there is no counselling , no re-integration , for gardai who suffer the trauma of gunshot wounds .

In the wake of the chaos in Prince's Street in Dublin , both the 'Irish Press' newspaper and Charlie Haughey called for the resignation of the (FS) Minister for Justice , Alan Dukes (FG) .......

(MORE LATER).







Wednesday, August 10, 2005

PREPARING THE DEFENCE OF ULSTER LOYALISM .......
Ten years ago this month the ' ULSTER WORKERS COUNCIL' strike brought down the power-sharing executive of BRIAN FAULKNER and GERRY FITT .
ANDY POLLAK talks to UDA leader ANDY TYRIE , one of the men behind the 1974 work stoppage , and GEORGE SEAWRIGHT , one of the new breed of hard-line Loyalist spokesmen , about the outlook for Northern Ireland's (sic) Protestants in the 1980's .
From ' FORTNIGHT ' magazine , May 1984 .

The UDA's 'Front' group , the 'Ulster (sic) Defence Force' will be , according to Andy Tyrie ... " ...a reserve army for a possible day of confrontation . We're not going to recruit people to go out and bomb and shoot people or parade or march about . What we want to do is to spend a considerable amount of time and finances training for the defence of their community . "

This , he says , involves plans to.... " ... change people's attitudes on defence plans for the whole community , put into operation semi-military schemes within the law , and make sure we have deep penetration within the community , in most (British) government offices and bodies , so that we have eyes and ears everywhere we can possibly get them . " Ultimately , the British government has more respect for the potential threat posed by the UDA , says Tyrie ... " ...they know rightly that in a crisis we can develop into a military machine very rapidly and they also know we have no qualms about defending this society . "

But he also emphasises that such a force (ie the 'UDF') would be used to stop the British government forcing Northern Loyalists into a united Ireland , and not ... "...to go out and attack the Catholic community . " ( '1169.... ' Comment - ..it did'nt work , then .... ) He also says he sees the attitudes of Unionist politicians to the UDA changing , with Martin Smyth of the 'Official Unionist Party ' speaking up for them and Ian Paisley of the 'Democratic Unionist Party' sharing platforms with UDA leaders in support of Loyalist prisoners ... "...they see the UDA working very hard to change the image of our organisation and they feel it's not as unrespectable as it was a few years ago to be associating with us , " says Tyrie .

" There's a big realisation that none of the Loyalist or Unionist groups can do anything on their own , and there's always a feeling that there is an impending crisis when we'll all come together ....... " The UDA was forecasting a 'head on' collision - Protestants , they declared , will otherwise not survive as a people on the island .......

(MORE LATER).




THE IRA HAS TO DO WHAT THE IRA HAS TO DO .......
The Sinn Fein electoral wagon is slowing down . As a result , the IRA is likely to begin stepping up its war against the Northern State . GENE KERRIGAN reports from Belfast and also interviews Sinn Fein's DANNY MORRISON on the party's recent successes and failures .
From ' MAGILL ' magazine , September 1984.

The British ' Representation Of The People Act ' was introduced after Bobby Sands won the Fermanagh-South Tyrone seat in 1981 - the 'Act' prohibits prisoners from standing in elections . British sources say that this applies only to prisoners , not to ex-prisoners . The Provos , however , claim that it will be used to hamper them . They point to their attempt to stand ex-prisoner Kieran O' Donnell in a by-election in Dungannon and the British insistence that O' Donnell could not stand for election until five years had elapsed since his conviction !

Since many of the Provo members most active in community politics are ex-prisoners such harassment would hit them hard . In such circumstances , or even prior to the elections if the IRA accept that the gains that are to be made have already been made , the war will be stepped up , using the methods which have by now become traditional . Even in such circumstances , with some newly-won political support draining away , it can be guaranteed that the activities of the security forces will continue to be such as to consolidate a sufficient political base for the Provos to continue their war as long as they consider necessary .

In the South the debate following the death of Sean Downes was not about the relationship between the forces of this State and the RUC - instead the debate quickly collapsed into a farical examination of the fine print of Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act , to see if there are any more 'blinkers' we can put on . In the light of this , of the successes and setbacks which Sinn Fein has had in the establishment of a clear political base , and of the possibility of the stepping up of the war by the IRA , 'MAGILL' interviewed Sinn Fein's Director of Publicity , Danny Morrison .......

(MORE LATER).




CHAOS IN THE GARDAI .......
The Evelyn Glenholmes affair not only involved unlawful activity by gardai , it stemmed from the chaotic condition of the force which has resulted from ignoring the warning signs of the past decade .
By Gene Kerrigan.
First published in ' MAGILL ' magazine , April 1986 .

The 'fall out' from the 'Kerry Babies Case' hit the gardai - Commissioner Wren met with the Executive of the Garda Representation Association ; 'GRA' President , Jack Marrinan , told Wren - according to the minutes of this meeting - that the GRA was unhappy with the treatment of one of the four gardai , Garda John Harrington . As the other three men were Sergeants , they were represented by the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors ('AGSI') , the GRA was not representing them .

Jack Marrinan ('GRA' President) , according to the minutes , said that Garda John Harrington was... "....not in the group threatening court action (and) was no way involved in the court threats " . He said that Harrington "...did not appear to be as deeply involved in the errors ... " as the others . Commissioner Wren said he would... "..very much bear in mind .. " this representation . In effect , the 'GRA' was accepting that all four gardai committed "errors" , although no one - not the Garda Commissioner , not the (FS) Minister for Justice , not Judge Lynch , not the media - could point to any such errors .

The 'GRA' was accepting that those 'AGSI' members who had considered court action against what they saw as unfair punishment (and as they no course of appeal) were " threatening" Commissioner Wren rather than using the judicial facilities available to them .

For the 'GRA' , as for everyone else , it was more expedient that individual gardai bear the brunt of the punishment rather than that there be a wholesale re-assessment of what had gone wrong with the garda force .......

(MORE LATER).







Tuesday, August 09, 2005

PREPARING THE DEFENCE OF ULSTER LOYALISM .......
Ten years ago this month the ' ULSTER WORKERS COUNCIL' strike brought down the power-sharing executive of BRIAN FAULKNER and GERRY FITT .
ANDY POLLAK talks to UDA leader ANDY TYRIE , one of the men behind the 1974 work stoppage , and GEORGE SEAWRIGHT , one of the new breed of hard-line Loyalist spokesmen , about the outlook for Northern Ireland's (sic) Protestants in the 1980's .
From ' FORTNIGHT ' magazine , May 1984 .

The UDA decided that the best way for it to get 'friendly' with all the Unionist and Loyalist groupings was to establish a 'front' group ; the organisation within an organisation that it started to build has become known as the 'Ulster (sic) Defence Force ' : Andy Tyrie is understandably reluctant to admit to its existence , preferring to say that "...it could exist with a bit of hard work .. " .

But he admits that over the past two-and-a-half-years the UDA has been trying to build up an 'Officer Corps' , which will be different from ' the big Protestant mob' which the UDA was seen as in the 1970's , which felt all it needed to do to make the British listen was to put on shows of strength in the street . Andy Tyrie also concedes that elements of gangsterism and racketeering discredited the UDA in the eyes of working-class Protestants . ( '1169.... ' Comment - .. "gangsterism and racketeering " is still rife within not only the UDA ; as I type , the 'UVF' and the 'LVF' [other Loyalist militia] are having a shooting match with each other over territory . Because territory equals extra drug sales . The 'UDA' was political when it was first established in 1971 , but now it is just a large drugs gang .)

Tyrie says - " We do have a lot of weaknesses regarding people who can work out tactics , finance , planning - the things you'd expect an Officer to know - we've been working very hard to change that . The Loyalist people always want a Loyalist army beyond what they see as the established , controlled groups . Because they feel that quite a lot of our security (sic) forces are bought . If there was a united Ireland tomorrow they would adjust very rapidly to becoming a branch of the Garda or any other branch of the security forces . It's only a job to them . The Loyalist community feel that people like us , who are volunteers in a sense , would be prepared to go to extremes which the people who have been bought over would'nt go to . ( '1169.... ' Comment - Andy Tyrie need'nt have worried - the British Army , RUC , RIR etc were just as vicious as the UDA and others . )

It's all right talking about compromise , but we can't compromise . We have nothing to compromise with because every move we make in the sense of compromise is a step nearer a united Ireland . We won't be bought by anyone . We feel there's so many people within the present society in Ulster who would possibly go into a united Ireland . We feel that it's going to be necessary to have our army so we can say to the British government - ' Don't forget about us ....... ' "

(MORE LATER).




THE IRA HAS TO DO WHAT THE IRA HAS TO DO .......
The Sinn Fein electoral wagon is slowing down . As a result , the IRA is likely to begin stepping up its war against the Northern State . GENE KERRIGAN reports from Belfast and also interviews Sinn Fein's DANNY MORRISON on the party's recent successes and failures .
From ' MAGILL ' magazine , September 1984.

The electoral campaign was never seen by the Provos as being central to their strategy . The belief is firmly held that only a prolonged and inexorable military campaign will force political concessions from the British government . Unfortunately (!) , there is all too much historical evidence both here and internationally to substantiate that belief . The nature of the conflict is such that the Provisionals have little leeway in changing military tactics . (' 1169... ' Comment - now they have no 'military tactics ' - just political tactics . They have neutered themselves .)

The Provisionals are limited to killing members of the security (sic) forces individually , usually off duty ( ' 1169.... ' Comment - those people were never 'off duty' - in the pub , or socialising elsewhere , they became the 'eyes and ears' of the State) , and mounting disruptions of the normality which the British seek to claim . It is these circumstances which have provoked discussion within the IRA on the stepping-up of the war against the State . Only the fear that massive disaffection by current sympathisers could lead to an obvious defeat in the 1985 local elections - which would be as much of a psychological blow as the previous victories have been a psychologist boost - could put the brakes on this .

Already , however , there is a belief that the electoral ceiling has been reached and that the intricacies of the electoral system will work against the Provos next year . The Provisionals believe that in the 1985 local elections they will be harassed and hampered by the amendment to the 'Representation of the People Act ' brought in after Bobby Sands won the Fermanagh-South Tyrone seat in 1981 .......

(MORE LATER).




CHAOS IN THE GARDAI .......
The Evelyn Glenholmes affair not only involved unlawful activity by gardai , it stemmed from the chaotic condition of the force which has resulted from ignoring the warning signs of the past decade .
By Gene Kerrigan.
First published in ' MAGILL ' magazine , April 1986 .

In the wake of the 'Kerry Babies Case' , four gardai were chosen for sacrifice ; there was absolutely no evidence of wrong-doing by Gerry O'Carroll , P.J. Browne , Joe Shelly and John Harrington . The criticisms of the garda by Mr. Justice Kevin Lynch did not include anything done by those four gardai - it was crystal clear to everyone that the four were being punished , but the garda authorities found a form of words which blocked three of them from gaining a review of the case .

The 'Kerry Babies Case' , even after the controversial 'Lynch Report' , presented the authorities with an opportunity for a re-assessment . The individual gardai were cleared of the Hayes' allegations by the Tribunal , there need be no singling out of individuals , the kind of thing which would provoke opposition from the garda representative bodies . There was simply needed an acknowledgement that the garda techniques and procedures , whatever about the actions of individual members , produced watertight but false confessions .

In that light there could have been a re-assessment , one which the gardai involved could have co-operated with . However , the government's 'Complaints Bill ' was up and running , an artificially-created compromise , gerrybuilt to push through the' Criminal Justice Act ' . The four scapegoats would suffice ! By then there was conflict even within the garda representative bodies ; on October 31 , 1985 , less than a week after the 'punishment transfers' , Garda Commissioner Wren had a meeting at Garda Headquarters with members of the Executive of the 'Garda Representative Association' - legal threats were made at this meeting .......

(MORE LATER).







Monday, August 08, 2005

PREPARING THE DEFENCE OF ULSTER LOYALISM .......
Ten years ago this month the ' ULSTER WORKERS COUNCIL' strike brought down the power-sharing executive of BRIAN FAULKNER and GERRY FITT .
ANDY POLLAK talks to UDA leader ANDY TYRIE , one of the men behind the 1974 work stoppage , and GEORGE SEAWRIGHT , one of the new breed of hard-line Loyalist spokesmen , about the outlook for Northern Ireland's (sic) Protestants in the 1980's .
From ' FORTNIGHT ' magazine , May 1984 .

The failure of the 1977 work stoppage was a turning point for the UDA : Andy Tyrie stated : " The British government stopped taking the loyalist community seriously after 1977 because they saw them so divided . What they did learn from 1977 was that people here are more concerned with their jobs , their British status and their respectable image because they're British .

Here more than anywhere else once a Loyalist becomes educated , he moves away and becomes part of a big bloc of people who will not become involved . The (British) government studies this and found that the most it can expect from most loyalists is to march about and protest . But if it means taking on the British establishment in a civil war situation , that is totally different . "

The UDA too learned from the 1977 failure - Andy Tyrie and his UDA 'lieutenants' resolved to turn the UDA into a permanent organisation . At first this involved going into electoral politics on an ' independent Ulster (sic) ' platform , which was less to do with 'territorial independence ' than "...identifying ourselves clearly as being Ulster (sic) people . " But around 1981-1982 it was decided to 'rest the political thing' because there was so much confusion among Unionists and in-fighting among their political leaders .

The UDA decided that if it was going to have to prepare , in the face of the rapidly growing Sinn Fein threat for an eventual 'doomsday situation' , it would need to be friendly with all the Unionist and Loyalist political groupings . A 'Front Group' would be needed .......

(MORE LATER).




THE IRA HAS TO DO WHAT THE IRA HAS TO DO .......
The Sinn Fein electoral wagon is slowing down . As a result , the IRA is likely to begin stepping up its war against the Northern State . GENE KERRIGAN reports from Belfast and also interviews Sinn Fein's DANNY MORRISON on the party's recent successes and failures .
From ' MAGILL ' magazine , September 1984.

Belfast city centre is now being advertised as one marvellous big shopping centre - which it is - and some republicans point , for example , to Great Victoria Street : " It used to be a derelict street , you go down there now it's like Los Angeles at night-time ... " This is not just spite on behalf of the Provos ; when the (British) authorities emphasise that there is a return to normality they are making a political point - that the state is governable under British rule despite the best efforts of the IRA . The Provos see a campaign of bombing as a way of undermining such claims and the prestige and credibility of the security (sic) forces .

The successes of Sinn Fein in the electoral field have acted as a political constraint on the IRA (' 1169 ....' Comment - ...to the point that the PIRA organisation was 'stood down' last month , July 2005 ) - most IRA activity is now concentrated on the relentless killing of members of the security (sic) forces , a military tactic which is certainly more acceptable to Sinn Fein supporters than is the bombing tactic . The killing of Sean Downes in front of TV cameras undermined the credibility of those in Belfast , London and Dublin who had claimed that the RUC was a reformed force and necessitated the entering of caveats . In the nationalist ghettos , however , that claim of reform was never accepted . There is awareness that Sean Downes was the fifteenth person to die from a ' baton round ' , some of the previous
deaths
being of children clearly not involved in violence .

The RUC shoot-to-kill policy , the resignation of the Armagh coroner , the complaints of lawyers about the 'supergrass' tactic , have all emphasised that the killing of Sean Downes was special only because it was so public . All of this created the circumstances in which Sinn Fein could make electoral gains even though the IRA was regularly killing members of the security (sic) forces in often horrific circumstances . In the short term , however , the Provos' political base is unlikely to spread very much wider . The electoral campaign was never seen by the Provos as being central to their strategy .......

(MORE LATER).




CHAOS IN THE GARDAI .......
The Evelyn Glenholmes affair not only involved unlawful activity by gardai , it stemmed from the chaotic condition of the force which has resulted from ignoring the warning signs of the past decade .
By Gene Kerrigan.
First published in ' MAGILL ' magazine , April 1986 .

In May 1984 the 'Kerry Babies' saga began ; a public inquiry was launched in January 1985 , supposedly because the Hayes family made allegations against the gardai .

4. Expediency .

Up to the Kerry Babies case , there was a knowledge within the gardai that rules could be bent and stretched ; the courts invariably sided with the garda story and convicted .

There was some 'rowing back' ; some judges were beginning to challenge the abuses of Section 30 , which most remarkably led to the release of Robert Trimbole , and there was an even more important decision on Section 30 last year by Mr. Justice Barr . But there was still no reassessment in political circles , still no acknowledgement that there was within the force a trend towards righteousness , a crusading spirit in which gardai could ' know ' something and could then set about 'proving' it , could take shortcuts .

In the wake of the Kerry Babies report expediency ruled - the Hayes allegations were unsustainable and the family was discredited . Yet there was the question of watertight confessions to a crime they did not commit (' 1169 .... ' Comment - ..shades of the Donegal 'hit-and-run/murder' affair .. ) . Four gardai were chosen for sacrifice .......

(MORE LATER).