Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tagged under:

Killing Joe O’Connor

Today, on the 13th anniversary of IRA volunteer Joe O'Connor being gunned down by Stormont militia men, TPQ features this piece by guest writer Carrie Twomey. It was originally published to mark the 10th anniversary of his killing on Slugger O'Toole, under her pen-name, Rusty Nail, and is an article that bears repeating. It is hard to believe that Joe was not taken out on the orders of his MP, but all we have gotten on that was more lies.

Killing Joe O’Connor

Ten years have passed since the Provisional IRA murdered RIRA Volunteer Joseph O’Connor in Ballymurphy.

It was 1999 that Mo Mowlam gave a green light for the Provos to maim and murder their own people, when she classified the murder of young Charles Bennett – alleged to have been killed to keep him from exposing corruption – as “internal housekeeping”; the Provos routinely kidnapped and threatened other republicans, justified as necessary action to keep the movement from splitting, in order for the Adams leadership to carry the bulk of supporters through the peace process. As recently published memoirs have shown, that was a load of cobblers, but the governments were prepared to look the other way when it came to Provo violence. This free run of ‘housekeeping’ ran out of steam with 2 incidents, coupled with the Northern Bank robbery, that mark the ending of ‘peace processing’ and the beginning of the bedding down of Stormont as we know it today: the attempted murder of Bobby Tohill, and the murder of Robert McCartney. However, the bedding down comes with a caveat, as often happens when the Brits take the Mowlam line. The murder of Paul Quinn shows that the governments are still prepared to turn a blind eye to Provo violence when it suits them.

Prior to Joe O’Connor’s murder, Charles Bennett and Andrew Kearney had been murdered by the Provos in North Belfast. Andrew’s mother, Maureen, from Twinbrook, was one of the first to break ranks and speak out against the organisation that brutally killed her son. In a sense, her speaking out was the start of a shadow peace process, one that has never been acknowledged and today exists amongst those families seeking the truth of what happened to their loved ones.

By October, 2000, the stage was set for the Provisional IRA to assert its dominance and murder a dissident republican. In West Belfast in particular, challenges were being made: the RIRA was making some inroads in recruitment and beginning to shake off the shackles of Omagh. A dissident magazine, Fourthwrite, was being published and presented a threat due to the attention it was getting; respected republicans like Brendan “The Dark” Hughes were publically questioning the direction the Provisional movement was going, while writers like Anthony McIntyre were accurately predicting the inevitable future of that direction, in clear contrast to the propaganda being churned out by organs of the movement such as the British funded Andersonstown News. Financially, the Provos feared former members were starting to shift some money-making enterprises over to dissident organisations. Rumours of “Stake Knife” were doing real damage via the Sunday People, who relentlessly covered the concept of an informer at the top echelons of the Provisional IRA in its weekly stories. The tension was building; a relative of O’Connor’s was kidnapped and only rescued from being brutally tortured by the arrival of O’Connor kicking the door in where his relative was being held.

The Wednesday before the shooting, Sinn Fein had held a meeting on policing in the BIFHE on the Whiterock Road. Some challenges were made to them from the floor; it got heated. By Friday afternoon, Joe O’Connor was dead, shot seven times in the head in broad daylight at his mother’s doorstep.

Whitecliff Parade, where his mother lived, is one of those narrow Belfast streets where every front window looks into its neighbour’s sitting room. Privacy doesn’t exist; terraced homes cheek by jowl and cars scattered on the pavement – there are no driveways, as these homes were built in a time when having a car was not the norm – mean that a winding road becomes more serpentine as moving cars weave around the parked ones. Like many families in Ballymurphy, Joe’s family, the Notorantonios, tended to live close to each other, with sisters and brothers and aunts and mothers living on the same street. Whitecliff Parade was no different; Joe, murdered in front of his mother’s home, was killed on the same street his grandfather, allegedly targeted to divert the shooters away from the British asset, “Stake Knife”, was shot dead by the UFF 13 years to the very week before, in his grandmother’s home just a few doors up.

When Joe’s killers ran from the shooting, they were seen by dozens of people, and easily identified. They were all local volunteers known to the tight-knit community. Those who were lookouts at the street’s corners were seen and identified, and the killers were also seen and recognised as they ran through a nearby schoolyard. In an estate the size of Ballymurphy, to mount a shooting like that in broad daylight, on foot, was pure madness – unless dependence on the silence of the victims and witnesses was vital to the plan. Talking amongst themselves was one thing, but the Provos were confident victims would never go to the police.

Where the family did go was to Anthony McIntyre, a Republican writer who had contacts with the media. He and Tommy Gorman, another former Provisional volunteer and ex-prisoner, publicly condemned the murder of Joe, who left a widow and three small children, and, unknown at the time, a fourth to come. They wrote a statement identifying the Provisional IRA as the organisation who carried out the murder, which was carried in the Irish News. They never identified the individuals involved; the responsibility lay with the IRA. The afternoon the statement was published, Bobby Storey and Martin Lynch, the heads of the IRA’s internal police, called to the McIntyre home. Brendan Hughes and then Boston Herald reporter, Jim Dee, were present, as Jim Dee had earlier arranged for an interview to take place. Storey and Lynch went with McIntyre and his wife into the kitchen.

“Are you investigating the affairs of the IRA?”

“Did the IRA kill Joe O’Connor?”

Threats were made – Storey and Lynch were clear. The McIntyres were to shut up, or else.

After the funeral, the leadership of the Provisionals drove the point home when they mounted pickets on the homes of McIntyre and Gorman. Tommy Gorman’s wife was home that evening when the large crowd arrived in buses. The small cul de sac their home was on was filled to the brim with people. Many were people she knew, people who had been comrades during the long years when her husband was in prison and she was raising their children. The McIntyres were in town when they got a call about the picket at Tommy’s, and went straight up to the Gorman’s. While on their way to Andersonstown, a neighbour phoned: “Don’t come home. There is a squad of men in [the house across the street from yours]. There is a mob waiting for you to return.” The McIntyres did not return for four days.

Brendan Hughes and Billy McKee were working behind the scenes along with Fr Des Wilson to mediate, to help stymie the escalating tensions; no one wanted Joe’s murder to blow out into an all out feud. Unless that was the intention of the shooting all along: were the Reals to attempt to strike back, the Provisionals would have made it a night of the long knives. Word came back from the Provisionals that the efforts of Hughes and McKee were not wanted.

The picketers returned to the McIntyre home two weeks later. This time McIntyre’s wife, Carrie, who was six months pregnant with their first child, was home. Marie Cush, who is now a Belfast City Councillor for Sinn Fein, but was then a SF candidate, led the picket which Carrie confronted on her own. An editor of the Andersonstown News, Gearóid MacSiacais, who now speaks at events organised by the dissident group éirígí, was amongst the crowd shouting abuse at her. The Andersonstown News at the time was instrumental as a messenger of the hate campaign being conducted by the Provisionals. Twice weekly they were to the fore in spreading disinformation and malicious lies about those who had the temerity to stand up to Provo rule.

As the picketers left the McIntyre home, they ran into the widow of Joe O’Connor returning to hers. Harassed with hate mail (“Provos Rule. Scum Out.”) and malicious phone calls after her husband had been murdered, Nicola O’Connor now faced a 100 strong mob waving placards.

The hate campaign being waged against “dissidents” by the Provisionals was intense: it encompassed pregnant women, one a widow made by their volunteers.

All of this had the imprimatur of the State behind it: at the time of the murder the then RUC immediately raided offices belonging to Republican Sinn Fein in an act of deflection meant to stoke fires between RSF and the RIRA. Despite it being widely known who was involved in the murder and that numerous witnesses to the crime existed, nothing was done. Even the coroner, John Leckey, ruled that the police failed to act, with not one person questioned in connection with the murder over two years after it was committed.

As recently as 2009, Gerry Adams was frequently photographed with a bodyguard, whose name had long been associated with the murder of Joe O’Connor. It was a double message being sent, for Adams to have employed him in such a visible position: “We can get away with murder, we are untouchable”. It was a direct message to any dissidents thinking of challenging the leadership, an unsubtle notch on the belt.

Much more went on – the McIntyres eventually left their home for over a month, after the second picket and Carrie was hospitalised; a leading member of SF’s prisoners’ group, Coiste, had Tommy Gorman fired from his job; it became impossible for McIntyre or Gorman to work in West Belfast. Eventually, years later, the Notorantonio family was completely burned out of Ballymurphy, a campaign orchestrated behind the scenes by some of those most closely involved with the O’Connor murder and hate campaign. A digger was driven through the home of the elderly matriarch of the Notorantonio’s by a Provisional IRA volunteer.

Reading back through the material documenting the time, it is remarkable, in terms of republican thinking, how little has changed. What McIntyre and Gorman were saying back then, isolated and on their own, has finally become the accepted wisdom of many; the majority have caught up to their thinking. What is ironic of course is that many of today’s newly minted members of various dissident groups were to the fore at the time of the O’Connor murder defending “Provo Rule”, wilfully and energetically engaging in the hate campaign against those whose thinking they now endorse.

Killing Joe O’Connor and the hate campaign that followed was strategically important for the Provos to continue pushing their way through the peace process. It arrested the emerging growth of dissident groups in Belfast, closed all potential space for a republican political alternative to Sinn Fein and instilled a powerful fear throughout the community. The price of standing up to the Provos, speaking out against them or challenging them politically was extremely high. The attacks on McIntyre, Gorman and Hughes, intensified by the organised social isolation, ostracisation, and black-listing set an example few wanted to follow. For McIntyre, being silent was not an option, yet he recognised why many remained so: “It is important that we continue to reassert what we believe to be the truth. We live in a world where many are more afraid of being isolated than they are of being wrong.”

The hatred engendered during that time still runs deep; to acknowledge that McIntyre and Gorman were right, and not just about the O’Connor murder but in their complete analysis of where the Provisional Movement was going, means these new dissidents – Provos ten years ago – must acknowledge they were wrong, and accept some amount of guilt, not only for how they treated the likes of McIntyre and Gorman and other dissidents such as Brendan Hughes and, later, Richard O’Rawe, but for their complicity in enabling the Provisionals to lead Republicanism to where it is today: nowhere.


marty said...

A superb post Carrie,and one that reminds me that those who followed the leadership so blindly like the fascist thugs in Germany in the thirties,and now in some cases are trying to resurrect their failing political carers by hoping on the "dissident"bandwagon,as we have noticed by some ex quisling $inn £eind councillors,and other carpetbaggers need to be given short shirft if we are going to form any honest alternative to the thuggery that the PRM morphed into,the murder of vol Joe O Connor was a clarion call to warn all that quisling $inn £eind was now well and truly an extension of the brit security apparatus,hence the Broy title I like to attach to the monikers,that they can commit murder without fear of retribution in the same fashion as their counterparts the well paid community workers of the uvf says just how low they have sunk,the sick thing is that they dragged so many with them.

sean bres said...

Wow! Powerful stuff Carrie, I remember it all very well. I've only two things to say for what it's worth, those who participated in the early attempts to construct a critique of what the GFA meant for republicanism have been proven one hundred percent correct and thank God I was able to see this at the time and left Sinn Fein after arguing that what happened Joe O'Connor was absolutely wrong, although this was not the only reason for my departure, having seen the Agreement for what it was from the very day it was delivered through our door. Joe was vilified to republicans down here in Tyrone, which shows how far the propaganda was spread, and I was instructed that he was vermin - something I never believed. For a time I rejoined a few years later, in the absence of what I considered a credible alternative, no disrespect intended to anyone or their efforts meant by that, and in an effort to do something other than sit on my hands, until the Societies emerged round these parts. But never in the time since those days and the cowardly attacks on your home have I had any time for Adams and the Belfast scum in the leadership of the republican movement who done what they done during those tumultuous times. I only reference that because of the reference to yer man from eirigi who should apologise to those concerned

AM said...


Jake, who Carrie refers to in the piece, would stop and offer me lifts after it. Although he picketed the house I never fell out with him.

Fionnuala Perry said...

He was vilified everywhere ,as was Andy Kearney.
I think what I found most puzzling from the outset was the hounding of Tommy Gorman.
It took a while to filter around about Mackers and Carrie but I heard about Tommy the day after the picket and I heard because a friend lived quite close by.
When I was young, Tommy Gorman was already a Republican icon.
Apart from being an icon, Tommy was an incredibly decent person as was his other half Anne.
Therefore, like so many others I found it incredibly hard to reconcile Tommy's history with the circulating stories.

Just as in the case of Robert Mc Cartney and Paul Quinn the propaganda machine was in full blast to counteract any counter speculation.
All those who spoke out were incredibly brave as were those who spoke out in 83.
They paid a high price, but they shed a light and only for them many would have remained in the darkness.

sean bres said...

Indeed Nuala and it's in no small part thanks to their efforts that we have come as far as we have as you rightly point out. I remember being in Mackers' house in Ballymurphy not long after all this happened to do an interview in relation to a project I was working on and hearing all about the sickening, disgraceful way he and Carrie were treated. It played a massive role in my decision to walk away from and ignore the appeals to "stick with the leadership, they've brought us this far". I also spoke with Tommy Gorman in the Farset Centre round that period and the man's politics are one hundred percent republican. How these fella's were treated is indicative of fascism as Marty rightly points out. My biggest regret is that when Anthony offered to put me in touch with the Dark I said it'd be alright, I'd enough to work with, something I regret big-time that the man has passed away having never met him. I distributed Fourthwrite down here in this part of Tyrone at the time of its inception and I can safely say that men like Tony McIntyre, Tommy Gorman, Brendan Hughes and Tommy McKearney are far more influential over the body politic of true republicanism than the egotistical, scoundrel, pseudo-republicans that sold us all out long, long ago when McKearney and Lynagh were dying, when young Barry O'Donnell and the boys were mercilessly cut down in Clonoe, probably as far back as when McElwaine was tortured and killed in a field along the Fermanagh border by the murderous thugs of the British Army who that treacherous pack of bastards will have honoured when they turn Stormont red for Remembrance Sunday. Without going over the top I think we do indeed owe the likes of Anthony, Carrie, the two Tommy's, the Dark and the others who shone that light a depth of gratitude as you have rightly said and we're lucky to count them among friends and comrades. And so I thank them for everything, not least this wonderful forum that offers such a much-needed outlet for dissenters to discuss and debate all and everything

Dixie said...

Brilliant piece Carrie and utterly depressing reading, even though I'm well aware of it. It's like a reoccurring nightmare.

What the McIntyres and Gormans went through is beyond belief. Alongside Brendan Hughes they were not people who could be easily bookmarked as anti-republican, they were very much to the fore in the struggle unlike those who led from a safe distance.

As for Jake I remember questioning on the spy forum the reasoning behind Eirigi inviting him to speak at Hunger Strike anniversary events. I had said that I had seen him during that summer drinking tea in An Cultúrlann with O'Muilleoir and Storey.

I found it incredible that a person who was clearly an Adamsite be allowed to speak at events of a group who claimed to have broken from SF.

I got the usual replies that I was stirring it in regards to Eirigi.

Fionnuala Perry said...

Some good people stayed with them
Dan McCann and Choc Carmichael from Clonard were the first to expose how the leadership was going and were lucky to escape with their lives.
Dan returned to the ranks whereas Choc turned his back on them.
Does that take anything anyway from Dan absolutely not and the only people would try would be those who could never have laced his boots.
People like the Dark remained uncomfortable as he was, he remained for a quite a while and a lot of other dedicated people stayed even after the 1986

It's not so much about when people left but that they left and joined with others for the right reasons.

Picketing a person's home is just about as low as it gets .
I remember my mother telling me on a visit about having to go out to a mob of pickets outside a neighbours home who was just released from custody in 1981.
She heard the chants of 'what did you say in Castlereagh' and went out to have a closer look.
She said as she got closer she recognised a few who had swelled the ranks of the Peace People in 76.
Disjusted, she told them to 'clear off' which eventually they did.

Sadly I'm not too sure if we have entirely closed the door on that type of mentality.

AM said...


my take on it is this: all of us who left feel we should have left earlier. And you are right: there were good people left. It was people who were still with them who moved us about and sorted things out for us in terms of protecting us as best they could. They would easily be in trouble for it but it didn't deter them. Carrie was heavily pregnant at the time so moving quickly was hardly the easiest of things.

A side story is that in the middle of it I had to launch a book for a guy in Madrid so Carrie went out with me and him. But she went through Brussels and me London due to hers being a late booking. At Heathrow, the spooks made their move. Which turned into a screaming match with me roaring 'fuck off you whore' and drawing as much attention to the approach as was possible. It worked. She backed off mortified. I know the langauge wasn't PC but I wasn't giving a toss.

marty said...

Paddy Devlin had his home picketed as did Gerry Fitt,both ended up forced to leave their homes,a precursor of the fascist tactics used in an attempt to establish total control of these area,s and quell dissent,anyone even remotely involved in such activities need to be asked how this behaviour one step away from the lynch mob could ever advance a socialist republican cause,any party member who remained within such a party without demanding answers to such needs to be viewed with a skeptical eye ,leaving the party many many years later because the deputy first minister shook hands with his employer Liz the brit as an excuse is an example of what we are asked to accept as reconstructed republican leadership.those caretbaggers will get the same answer as quisling $inn £eind if they come knocking my door come election time.those who murdered vol Joe O Connor and those who gave that order were working for an agenda that was as far removed from the republican cause as is possible to get,the fact that they didnt admit this murder proves just how low it was,all revolutionary parties must have room to adapt and a pragmatic approach can be found to difficulties that does not include the complete destruction of the original agenda ,quisling $inn £eind turned the revolutionary agenda on its head,and it seems only a few noticed,what the fuck did they think was happening, hence the only conclusion I can come to is that Kitson was not just able to fuck the leadership he also fucked the sheep also. the waffen ss members used a similar excuse at the end of the war ,I vuz only obeying da orders I vuz a good guy.vol Joe O Connor,s murder was committed by people who can only be described as the enemies of this country ,those who gave them political or any other cover are exactly the same ..

marty said...

Sean "its better to walk alone than with a crowd going in the wrong direction" Diane Grant nuff said

sean bres said...

Marty I fully understand where you're coming from and agree with your comment for the most part but I reckon there's still decent, genuine people who were there through the hard years and who remain with Sinn Fein for a variety of reasons, and that such people are worth reaching out to. Part of the task at hand is to convince them that continuing on with this failed leadership is taking us further and further from our stated objectives. I agree though that at this point a lot of what remains are simply people in it for a job, from what I can see round here their activist base has been totally decimated and all they've left to perform those tasks we all fulfilled year-in year-out are those in the pay of the party, whatever young people they can dupe into thinking they're advancing the republican struggle by getting involved with them, but mostly those more of a traditional SDLP-type who have careerist interests at heart and have only recently entertained the politics of Irish republicanism for personal gain. Perhaps it's fair to say that most of a republican disposition have by now separated themselves from that treacherous leadership but by no means is that process complete or total. Even at this stage, and certainly round Omagh, it is by no means following the crowd to go against Sinn Fein. But the times are slowly changing and we have to keep working at it

Fionnuala Perry said...

Apologies! Still posting on phone, hardly ideal.
I have no regrets and no concern about those who say different.
I care very much about the people who mattered to the Movement and mattered to me and one thing I have always found they are the last to criticise.

All of you who were tormented and ostracised received that treatment because you spoke out!
You suffered years in the HBlocks, Tommy countless times in prison, Brendan the same, Big Dan the same Choc the same and all the others.
Yet in the end the Movement to which you were all dedicated was brutally callous and unforgiving.

Antaine McDhomhnaill said...

"many of today’s newly minted members of various dissident groups were to the fore at the time of the O’Connor murder defending “Provo Rule”, wilfully and energetically engaging in the hate campaign against those whose thinking they now endorse...

....Provos ten years ago – must acknowledge they were wrong, and accept some amount of guilt, not only for how they treated the likes of McIntyre and Gorman and other dissidents such as Brendan Hughes and, later, Richard O’Rawe, but for their complicity in enabling the Provisionals to lead Republicanism to where it is today: nowhere...."

Waiting 5 years to read that. Brilliant piece.

marty said...

Exactly Antaine.

itsjustmacker said...

They were bad and horrific times , no one was aloud to speak out.

I wont go into details , but , I have had a few run ins with them.
It was always the same wee crew.

They know they are guilty of Joe's Murder , but not man enough to admit it, yet, they were identified by neighbors. The black limousine was well used in those days, windows partly opened and calling out your name to come out to play , I never fell for that one, but always kept my wits about me.

All for what? , to suppress peoples thoughts , those who spoke out against the road SF were leading the movement , straight to a British Parliament and a British run Police service. Lest we forget!.

Fionnuala Perry said...

There wasn't too many descenting voices when Joe died or indeed Andy Kearney.
The problem with Andy's murder was, it just wasn't so handy covered up, blocking the lift registered with a lot of people as cruel, especially when they were trying to play the old punishment shooting gone wrong ploy.

Everyone practically knew the people who were actively speaking out about IRA and Sinn Fein policy. How did we know? We knew because some resigned, others were thrown out. Tommy, Mackers, Brendan, Dolours and the late John Kelly filled our screens and letter pages with confirmation.
Other people split from them in the 86 Ard Fheis and were overt and obvious in there support of other groups and organisations.
Others sat quiet but are now very vocal amongst the 'we told you so brigade'

To say people who remained were complicit is a difficult one. It is difficult because it acts on the assumption that all who remained were in full knowledge about what was taking place which isn't entirely true.
People still buying into ' not a bullet not an ounce' whereas in 1983 one person in particular was already predicting it could and would happen.
To say people knew is similiar to saying anyone who remained with them ten years ago was party to the sellout which is not only untrue it's
unfair. It also leaves people in an impossible situation, especially people who have parted with them in quite recent past because by this logic they are damned either way.

AM said...


we come to our senses sooner or later and sometimes we don't come to them at all. No matter when we left the person who left before could point the finger and say we should have left when they did. I think it is better just to be happy that people are not buying into it anymore. There are few black white situations in this world.

I still think there was a case for staying even after I had left. I know many of those who did had a hard time trying to make the arguments. Whereas there was a certain freedom in what I did. I didn't have the temperament for staying. So, I tend not to be critical of those who left after me for not leaving when I did. And I am indebted to some of those who stayed for the solidarity they showed.

At the same time it has to be acknowledged that some who are now vocal in their criticsm of SF were looking the likes of me to be shot for doing then what they are doing now. One of them even told me so over a pint one night. There is a frankness to it. But I am not going to bear a grudge over it. We shake hands and move on.

michaelhenry said...

When a brit lover like J O'Connor
shouts at Republicans in bars there is only going to be one outcome-the bat or the bullet-

He wanted war but never fought a war-he just wanted to shout at Republicans and he got his answer-
the bullets that took his life were the only bullets that he was going to hold-

Republicans removed the new Nazi start before it got of the ground-

Its a pity the Provos were not around Germany in the early 20s/30s-Hitler would have been sent to his grave early and Europe would have kept its peace-

Fionnuala Perry said...

I remember the day Joe was shot a taxi driver told me what had happened.
For days later I was hearing conflicting stories as no doubt the propaganda machine was in full throttle.
The first I questioned any of it was when I heard the stories going about in relation to both yourself and Tommy.

In my life I had always related people like Tommy with everything that was good and inspirational in Republican terms.
Like many others I found the very idea of a picket outside his home abhorrent .I found it even more abhorrent when I found out who some of the people were.
I never spoke out though! Apart from my own circle of friends I never actually done anything, well nothing of any consequence. I never challenged, wrote letters or rocked any boats.

Maybe that should make us all feel guilty, but I don't.
Nor do I believe people who have parted company with parties quite recently for whatever reasons should feel any guilt.
Some have been involved in very good work in relation to prisoners and other forms of injustice. I dont think the people they are striving to help are concerned with the why and wherefores, so why should we lambast them ? Is there now a line in the sand, a cut off point. Or should we appreciate the fact as you rightly say 'that people aren't buying into it anymore.'

I remember Dan Mc Cann God rest him once telling me, that he walked from his mother's home one morning to work.
He had met up with at least a dozen Republicans on the way and not one spoke. Why did they not speak, they not speak because of his stance against the leadership. Several years later they were falling over each other to carry his coffin. In fickle terms for me it says it all!!

James said...

Michael Henry; I read your last post about J O'Connor and these two statements jumped from the page out at me.

Republicans removed the new Nazi start before it got of the ground-

Its a pity the Provos were not around Germany in the early 20s/30s-Hitler would have been sent to his grave early and Europe would have kept its peace-

I automatically heard the Birdie song and visualized you dancing in tandem to it. I have heard many a thing in my time, but this is way out west man.....beyond the pale...

Please tell me there was drink involved when you wrote this....Statements with new Nazi's and old Nazi's, SF and Narcisstic Leaderships.

itsjustmacker said...


Have you been on the wee Whiskey's ?

"When a brit lover like J O'Connor
shouts at Republicans in bars there is only going to be one outcome-the bat or the bullet-"

Hope you can post evidence of that and post it on here at TPQ , Because that is big news to me , and I'm sure his family would not be too pleased to read anything like an accusation of Joe being a brit.

I find it disgusting , but , don't forget, You and SF are the brits, puppet strings pulled by them and your monthly british salary.

Shame on you mh.

sean bres said...

Shame on you Mickey is right, what a terrible way to speak of the dead... Can't believe you at times

marty said...

Just had my anal examination,when the doc left the room the nurse came in and whispered those 5 words that every person fears.....who the fuck was that? moral of the story .getting fucked when you dont realise it may be bad luck, but when you allow it to happen twice mmmm

Dixie said...

Just read michaelhenry's comments...

I'll quote the clown in other places, his remarks remind me of the bigoted mindset of blood-thirsty Unionism at it's worst.

What does one expect from a member of a party which protects paedophiles?

Dixie said...

Didn't the Provos deny the murder of Joe O'Connor?

Well here we have a SF Councillor not only confirming it but rejoicing in the fact.

itsjustmacker said...


I wouldn't be surprised if michaelhenry stuck his finger up his arse and sat on his elbow, and sucking another finger saying to himself, "What the fuck did I type that for?" , I have no doubt it is an admission , but , will mickeyboy get a visit from his comrades?, ach sure he can blame it on the auld booze. Ive never known him to write anything like that before, so lets see what he comes back with, maybe he is under to much pressure , So I will give him the benefit of the doubt until he responds to questions ask.

feargal mellon said...

In respect of the current discussion stemming from Carrie's excellent article I would have a differing opinion on a number of fronts. Whilst I welcome anyone leaving Sinn Fein or any arm of the pro British establishment at any time, I would have great difficulty in being involved with them at any level. That is something I make no bones about or apologies for. I still find it incredible that people who consider themselves republicans so readily accepted the Good Friday Agreement.

When I think back to when Joe O'Connor was murdered by Crown Forces I'm minded of those people who sat quietly, the phrase 'qui tacet consentire videtur' seems somehow apt.

The murder of Joe O'Connor was a rubicon, a defining moment, the point when I thought if people are happy to sit in or support a pro brit partitionist party when they are gunning down republicans then they are not people I could ever sit with. They are no different than Michael Collins who turned British guns on those who took the Republican side in the civil war.

The stench of hypocrisy is something I find hard to stomach, whether it comes from the parties that administer British rule in Ireland, or those who had little or nothing to say when their voice would've had a level of gravitas.

If Martin McGuinness saw the light tomorrow would you laud him as a great buck? Would you welcome him into the republican fold with open arms? I would hate to think republicans would accept people of that ilk, instead they should be sidelined as yesterdays men, they have done enough damage to republicanism.

The phrase 'its not where you're coming from it's where you're going' has often been used to justify the bringing of former pro partitionists and apologists for the British state back into the republican fold. I would ask why did you think the acceptance of the British claim over the occupied six counties was acceptable? The acceptance of the ruc, no matter what the name, the acceptance of the brutalisation of pows?

I'm not singling any individual out, yet some of the new found champions have only found their voice they left Sinn Fein, willingly or otherwise. I would ask these people where was your voice when you were with Sinn Fein? Were you so afraid to speak out that you sat idly by as pows were brutalised, where was you voice when they gunned down Joe O'Connor, where was your voice when your armed bullies went in and brutalised a family in Derry? Where was your voice then?

I will say on personal level I bear these people no ill, I am glad that they have seen the light, Nor would I ever lambast anyone who genuinely highlights state injustice, I would leave that for the agents of the state who operate under many guises. I would however argue that if it is wrong now why wasn't it wrong when you supported the system that inflicts its injustice upon us?

michaelhenry said...


Don't see anything that I wrote which was wrong-I would say and think the same tomorrow-


Write away what ever or where ever you want-it will not make a blind bit of difference to me-

itsjustmacker said...


You have accused a murdered combatant of being a brit lover.

You have stated that the provies killed him, well everyone knows that, youv'e just clarified on a public forum.

What I want to know is, Your evidence that the late Joe O' Conner was a brit lover? , that is something I would not attach to his name nor his memory, and , I'm sure his family would be fuming at reading or hearing such a slur..

Fionnuala Perry said...

Michael Henry,
A lot of people in Sinn Fein would not share your view.
They would not have shared it back then and I doubt they would share it now.
To be honest I don't even think you seriously hold that view.
Maybe James was right it could be bar stool talk or just for talk for talk sake.

I think you could have at least condemned what happened to principled people as a result of this killing.

Having said that I wonder would the price have been quite so high if all those apparently so aggrieved now had of spoken out back then?

Dixie said...

McIvor you have to be among...No I'll rephrase...The most idiotic clown that ever called himself a Shinner since Arthur Griffith founded the party.

In fact if Griffith had a cat which sat licking it's balls all day in the corner of his office, I'd say it had more brains as well as balls than you....

AM said...


I don't see it in such black and white terms. There are those who said nothing and who never would regardless of what the leadership would do because they go along with anything they are told. If there was a march down the Falls tomorrow calling the ten hunger strikers criminals they would be on it.

Others experienced a lot of confusion. The Provos found little difficulty in depicting the RIRA in Belfast as being on a par with the IPLO. They lied, spread rumours, intimdated, smeared - and many in the ranks who had been there through the Sticks being attacked, the IPLO being hit, didn't see it as a Rubicon even though they had reservations about it. A number of people I met thought we were demented for speaking out - they took the attitude that the RIRA in Belfast was a criminal gang. While that was untrue it had taken roots and was hard to dispel in discussions. It wasn't just grassroots Provos who did not speak out - a cloud of silence descended on the thing from on high: only for the Irish News letting us put our statement out calling the Provos out might never have got off the ground

Myself and Tommy were no longer with the Provos when Joe got killed. I don't know what we would have done had we been with them even though we had been speaking out while we were still there.

The break comes slowly. Unless there has been a steady build up of doubt preceding these events, on their own I doubt if they lead to a complete break. I am also sceptical about the overnight conversion.

But we are not all going to see these things in the same way.

marty said...

For anyone who remains within quisling $inn £eind and here I wouldnt presume to speak for any of them,but I can say with certainty the silence re vol Joe O Connors murder from that party and its members was deafening,therefore it must be a reasonable conclusion to draw that the party faithful were willing to accept the murder of another republican as another step on the road to a united Ireland or is that a united kingdom

frankie said...

One of my stupid Q..

To former provisionals and todays 'PFR's...Do/did you see yourselves as soldiers? And do you view loyalist paramiltaries in the same vein..?

I'm trying to understand something someone said on another 'blog'..Basically he called the IRA terrorists but views the UVF s soldiers of Ulster.

Fionnuala Perry said...

Of course people were confused and you will always have the 'I told you so'
Only problemb is you can't recollect them telling or doing too much back in the day.

What I find quite puzzling, is the fact that yourself, Tommy, Brendan and all the others who found yourself in the eye of the storm have much more empathetic understanding of those who fell short than the people virtually untouched by it all.

I think when people are judged they can take it to a certain extent when those acting as judges can be considered their peers!
Usually though, that is not the case, those acting as judge or in the back ground making up the jury usually are the very people who when it comes to the wire act quite differently.
The overzealous can quite quickly become transparently over self rated.

Of course people are entitled to part company with Sinn Fein and continue down another political path.
According to the 'Dark' you examine your conscience and if your happy you carry on, if not you do something about it. I don't remember him drawing up schedules or timelines or being judgemental but then that's the speak of ' we all told you so people' and not the likes of him.

There are some incredibly decent people in Sinn Fein, people who I will always have time for.
I don't know how they remain within that party or how they justify what they do but I consider them friends all the same.

I would feel more at ease,despite all our difference in some of their companies than I would with a lot of these people who's company I would avoid at all costs irrespective of what banner they are currently under.

AM said...


there are grey areas in life, pure and simple. I remember talking with you before about the 100 steps between a principle and a betrayal. You will get nothing done in this life if you are not prepared to venture out into the minefield. Take 49 steps but no more. That way you will stay on the right side. Okay, you might not have the comfort of hugging the principle safety rail as much as you might like, but as long as you stay closer to it than to the opposite rail you will come through.

Even those who wanted me dead, I have since shaken their hands and moved on.

michaelhenry said...


" Your evidence that the late joe
O'Conner was a brit lover "

Are you serious-

He was a Belfast O.C [ aye O.C ] of a armed group who had never killed a brit soldier or cop-how or why was he promoted then except
for shouting at Republicans on the streets or bars he done nothing-even today the reals have been took over by the new-[the new are the new brit lovers ]-

marty said...

To be easy in the company of those who support strip searching , the ruc/psni,secret courts and evidence,the primacy of mi5,no matter what platitudes individuals within that party spout would be to much to ask of this commentator, the dark was if memory serves me well was full of criticism,Voices from the Grave an example. I do agree however some who claim to be"dissident reublicians"are really just frustrated provos looking to ride two horses going in two completely opposite directions.Murphy,s law applies from here on...

Pauline said...

I would agree there are decent people everywhere and I for one would stand more comfortable with certain members of the SDLP and Sinn Fein than some of those I've had sheer misfortune to meet over the past two years. However lessons learned never to be repeated!

As a catholic I believe Jesus was betrayed with a single kiss!

Fionnuala Perry said...

There is always problems attached to taking risks.
You are right to be skeptical about people who remained in Sinn Fein and tolerated so many injustices.
However where it becomes ridiculous is when we expect people to remain within a party we hotly criticise.

I know people who have left the 'Provos' less than ten years ago.
Not only were most of these people the people who actually fought the war but people who have made exceptional contributions to new organisations.
I think like myself they don't mind being labelled Provos disgruntled or other because at least we were something.

Like yourself and many others I still have friends in Sinn Fein.
Lifetime friendships and friendships that were formed in a very different era.
I have no time for their politics and I say it and I say it from places a lot less comfortable than behind a computer
I know their measure and they know mine and I would take their company over people who don't have any measure at all.

itsjustmacker said...


"are you serious".

Yes, I'm very serious, he was O.C. of Belfast RIRA , so how doe's that make him a Brit Lover?. Your party with the Provies spread rumour after rumour about RIRA which was untrue.

But , what makes me laugh is , You are now calling the Proper and new republicans , "Brit Lovers". ffs mh , get a grip, you are digging a bigger pit for yourself , You and your party are no longer classed as republicans , you are a Nationalist party just like the old Gerry fitt party , SDLP , you's are now all brits , paid by them, supporting british police, supporting torture and strip searching, supporting Internment , getting your British Salary paid into your bank account every month, what do you do, When you withdraw the British Queens Money, Give her a big kiss! , Martyboy mcguinness even slept in her bed , but , also asking Nationalists to report proper Republicans to the British PSNI/RUC, only the Uniform has changed mh. welcome to the real world mh, It wont be long now!

marty said...

Statement from P O Neill,July 17th 2002 ,over 11 years ago."were very sorry"he then called on the IRA to complete decommissioning of its weapons and then "Disband" could we take it anyone still in the provos less than ten years ago were "Dissidents"?I suggest there may be those in "new organisations "who will be nothing more than quisling $inn £einds MK"2 or "Stickies"mk 4

Organized Rage said...

I forget the exact quote but it could be equally true of the provisional movement and its leader so I thought I would paraphrase it.

When asked, Trotsky replied along the lines of the greatest crime of Stalinism were not the gulags, the Moscow trials in which countless good communists were framed and sentenced to death, or the murders of some of the red armies best generals just prior to WW2, nor the Hitler-Stalin pact and its obscene secret clauses.

It was that Stalinism the world over, turned people who first became politically active to help create a better world in which freedom and equality reigned, into the accomplices of the gravediggers of socialist revolution.

It is a mistake to simply say people who took a wrong turning were simply corrupt, wicked, or psychotic, some may well be but many are not, and people know this to be true. Yes jobs come into it, however we ignore the outside forces at our peril. Political struggle is not an island and it is buffeted by the prevailing winds of the day. For a radical movement to prosper and bring about positive change it must be anchored with secure ideology, confident in its ability to put it into practice; and with its place within the class war.

The Provisional Republican movement never really had that, it's adapted to the prevailing winds, in its history it has been all over the place. It is no accident that the trajectory of the PRM and the ANC leaderships have travelled a very similar route.

Myself I would not criticise young comrades who join SF as long as its weaknesses are pointed out to them and they do not become enticed by 'political office.'

When there is an upturn in the struggle if they are worth their salt they will either turn the party in that direction, or if this is not possible join those who have kept the faith.

It is not an accident, but a mark of pride that Tommy G, Anthony, Tommy McK and others are feared and hated by the Provo top, for they remind them of what they once were and what they have become. An example of which recently appeared on my TV when I watched G Kelly on TV here the other day, telling people to inform to the police. Enough said!

marty said...

The original post here was to remember the murder of Vol Joe O Connor,it is accepted by almost everyone that this foul deed was carried out by and on behalf of the prm,those who are members like Mickeybroy have given their support for this and the intimidation that followed afterwards either tacitly or vocally as in Mickeybroys case,these are not people of any principle as declared by Tombstone Tom Hartley in his remark to the abstentionist debate 85 or thereabouts.He declared "My only principle is to win"I for one will not be fucked twice by carpetbaggers and their groupies ever again. sin e on this post.

Pauline said...

You get those who will spout all sorts of nonsense on public forums just as you get those 'hugging the principle safety rail' attacking no-one but putting forward their view. You get debate and those who berate!

I have been reading comments on this forum for a long time and what amazes me is how certain republicans will look down their nose at other republicans and result to throwing insults because they disagree with their view point. What ever happened to agree to disagree? And accepting that opinions will always differ.

The comment about people with no measure has led me to wonder what the litmus test for determining who measures and who doesn't actually is. On a personal level I measure people on how they treat other people and would never dream of measuring anyone on the word of another person or on their view point.

A few months ago I read a comment asking an individual on this forum what they did during the war? I couldn't help but wonder if this comment was in reference to the lack of a prison term or a form of intelligence gathering. To me this was way beyond fair comment.

Debate is good but when you stoop to berating whether it be directly or indirectly you show a lack of acceptance for a different opinion.

I would agree to berate would be much easier behind a computer screen I know from experience there are some who give it 'lilty' on-line and then when you're less than two feet away from them say nothing despite their keenness at 8am.

marty said...

Quisling $inn £einds have agreed to this;
Belfast,s Balmoral district quisling $inn £eind socialist republican lord mayor Martybroy O Millionaire has agreed to back plans to illuminate Belfast city hall in next months remembrance day poppy appeal,this action will of course be sanctioned by the whole quisling entourage who infest that place,this in effect recognises the contribution played by brit armed forces throughout the troubles including New Lodge massacre,Ballymurphy Massacre,and Bloody Sunday not to mention the countless other deaths ,and destruction and misery inflicted upon the nationalist population here ,and we hear that some of those quislings are really "good guys" the Maquis had a way of dealing with such people circa 1945

AM said...


I can venture a view although how accurate it is might be another matter as we often ascribe feelings to the past from the perspective of the present. I don't think I saw myself as a soldier as such because I tended to look on soldiers in the conventional sense. I felt I was part of a guerrilla army that was made up of guerrillas rather than soldiers. I didn't see the loyalists as soldiers. When they went in for aping the British Army command structures I felt it was a caricature.

feargal mellon said...

I agree we all don’t think the same way, however the morality of justifying the continuing occupation of the six counties and the administration of British rule in Ireland, for me will never be anything other than a black or white issue.
This thread stemmed from the discussion of Carrie’s article on the murder of Joe O’Connor by Crown Forces. And I see people who as republicans are happy to sit politically or otherwise with those who support the people behind that killing. After all they’re ‘not all bad’, I’m sure the para’s who deployed in Ballymurphy and in Derry on Bloody Sunday weren’t all bad too... Maybe they were just following orders?
To look beyond the state sanctioned shoot to kill policy that saw the death of Joe O’Connor and have empathy for those who still swell the Shinner ranks is something that to me defies comprehension. To give support to a leadership that criminalises republicans to me defies comprehension.
To support a party whose president is less than forthright in how he dealt with his paedophile brother and still denies wrongdoing defies comprehension.
To support a leadership that let brave men die on hunger strike and sullies their memory every time they call on people to support the crown forces defies comprehension.  Patsy O’Hara said “years from now they will ask you where, when your comrades were dying on hunger strike, shall you say you were with us or shall you say that you were conforming to the very system that drove us to our deaths”
Whether you regard the system that drove some of the ten hunger strikers to their deaths as the British state, or key figures in the current & recent British provisional leadership as Richard O’Rawe has proved time & time again is matter for personal reflection, I personally cannot fathom where one end of the vile beast begins and the other one ends.
But like you said, we all don’t think the same way.

AM said...


I think we have that empathy you refer to because we know how difficult it is to make these decisions and we know how often we came to not making them. And it was a rare occasion that it was not with the help of others. I might have opted for a particular course only to be advised that it was the easy way out. People only see the decision not the process that led to it.

AM said...


The old maxim ‘hard cases make bad law’ springs to mind. Yeah, the Paras were what you say they were and we can pick any number of hard cases to reinforce the point but how convincing it is? People don’t live their lives on the black or white margins but in that huge swathe of grey that exists in between. The Shinners have just become the SDLP and I don’t hate the SDLP; in fact I have a lot of time for those in the SDLP that I have grown to know over the years. They justify British rule in the same way that the Shinners do.

I doubt if there is a any political empathy for those still within the Shinners. There might just be personal friendships. When Peter Hamilton died two years back he was still with the Shinners but a heap of republicans no longer there turned up at his funeral out of sheer respect for the man.
I am sure there are some in the Shinners who simply go along to get along. The bottom might drop out of their world if they leave. It might be the wrong reason for remaining but these are the pressures that people face in the grey world.
Many republicans were on the conforming wings when the hunger strikers died. We didn’t like it at the time but we remained friends with them and never put them down over it.
There is simply more than one way to look at things; and there are degrees of rightness and wrongness.

AM said...

Pauline, I agree there has to be difference of opinion and the space in which a plurality of views can exist. I have long found republicanism intolerant and I find today's republicans are treading the same path as the Provos in terms of tolerating dissent from themselves. Maybe it is inherent to the mindset.

But I do think this discussion is being given a sharp edge that I don't think helps it. But I am not going to police it. Peering into the pit too long leaves us peering out of it.

marty said...

Fuck sake Anthony I didnt know you were talking about 50 shades of grey,

Fionnuala Perry said...

I think your right it's because we know what's it was like that allows us at times to be more tolerant.
Few would have put themselves through what you did and fewer would find it in them to be as dignified in relation to it.

A lesson that I learned in prison when I was young always stayed with me and it taught me to be guarded around big egos and so called ultra Republicans.
At night I would go down to the gate that seperated the wings and speak through to the women who had come off the protest.
Every night another Republican prisoner came out and called me for coffee, tea whatever but made it
obvious to all concerned that she did not want me speaking to the women because In her head they weren't as Republican as the rest of us.
Some months later this great Republican went for sentencing she vanished, well at least for while.
We were all concerned, no-one could find out what happened even Mairead the prison O/C drew a blank.
Several weeks later she turned up! Turned up on the 'criminal wing' as she liked to call it.
Apparently she had taken sick after her sentencing, too bloody sick to go on the wing with the protesting women but thankfully not sick enough to get sympathy from the women she tried to look down on.

I always think about her when I run up against the super staunch and when I think about her I'm sure people can forgive me for laughing.

AM said...


I think the principle safety rail has to be there otherwise we lack any compass to get us through the maze. I just don't think we can hold onto it all the time but it is always there so we can get back to it rather than cross the line and end up at the betrayal rail.

This is rooted in a discussion Nuala and I had a few years ago when we were discussing these sort of matters. I think her point is right about dificulties that arise when we are too rigid in making judgements. Hans Kung once asked how do you answer the question are you for or against France? I think a lot of life situations are like that. But you are right to say there is nothing wrong with the person stating a principle. Without the principle we can't make useful judgements.

AM said...


I know the type. I met them in jail too. But sometimes they too learn the hard way. But I still sense it today with some republicans just too eager to strut about and dictate to others. It is one of the things that has annoyed me about republicanism - it seems to have this inherent authoritarianism. That runs counter to my liberalism.

Pauline said...

Anthony in light of your last comment I would like to add my post was honest in terms of the behaviour of one other contributor on this forum. This person seems to be able to do and say as she likes which in the past has included accusations about myself that ran over a four day period without any type of moderation. I advised you at the time that this person didn't know me, this person judged me and did it on this forum you didn't 'police' it then so I wouldn't expect anything different now.

Opinions will always differ Feargal and I agree on sweet buckle all outside of the important stuff. He voted No to the Good Friday Agreement I voted yes and the list goes on. I'm not on here defending Feargal as I would disagree with the majority of what he has written. My point is our opinions differ, big deal accept it and move on.

From my first post on TPQ I bore the brunt of nastiness from this person and refuse to go there again.

Anthony and Carrie all the best!

AM said...


I don't doubt that your opinion is honestly held and expressed.

This blog permits a wide range of opinion and it can get heated at times. We don't moderate to the extent that we curb people. That applies even when we think they are out of order. The worst things said on this site have been hurled my way. I have let it go up.

I will not be intervening in this exchange but as I have said earlier, without attributing blame, I am of the view that it is becoming gratuitously sharp. But I am not going to curb it.

I think Feargal has a take which is legitimate but one that I nevertheless dissent from. But he is quite entitled to state his views.

I would like this blog to be primarily a forum where people exchange ideas and offer opinion. There is a lot which I don't like but in the interests of a freedom to write I permit.

marty said...

"I am of the view that it is becoming gratuitously sharp"Anthony a cara any comment posted by myself here on this thread has been entirely inkeeping with my views since I first posted here four years ago,I have never deviated in my opinion that the leadership and the eejits who infest quisling $inn £eind are traitors to the cause of socialist republicanism,and like your book title says "Good Friday Agreement"The Death Of Irish Republicanism,that says it all for me a cara, just sorry that my tolerance level for quislings and carpetbaggers was not more in keeping with other posters here ,if it was I,d lend them my new provo car to take them to the holy grail of Stormont..

AM said...


I can say the same thing to you as I said to Pauline earlier - that the views you have expressed have been honestly conveyed. I have no problem with either. Might not agree with everything but that is neither here nor there. And whether I think views sharp or not I am not going to police them.

Fionnuala Perry said...

I don't know if she learnt a lesson people like that rarely do.

She said one thing and done another .
Not that that is anything new!

In relation to a remark from Pauline Mellon,where do I come into what either you or your husband are speaking about? I didn't even read what either of you wrote ?

And answer this,if I was so terrible and so unfair to you why did you contact me privately and ask to make amends?

Pauline said...


I have no amends to make because i have done nothing wrong. The message you received was in relation to a text you sent me in a feeble attempt to justify your unwarranted and malicious allegations against me. I felt bad about letting you believe I had sent it to other people when I had only sent it to yourself and one other person as I know this caused you great distress.

I just fail to fathom your keenness to put people down, what is to be achieved from this? I don't know you, I work on a voluntary basis for a group you are part of and do you no harm. I'm not out to impress but won't be put down by you or anyone else!

Fionnuala Perry said...

At least be honest. No one wants to go there again or listen to this.

You did not send me that email in response to anything you are being very dishonest . You sent it after I stood feet away from you and it was all about making amends.

You caused quite a lot of us distress but that's neither here or there, people have long since moved on.

Where have I put you or your husband down as I said I never read anything you write?

I gave an honest opinion which is more than you seem capable of.
But then we both know the truth.

I am going to refer back to something your friend said earlier.
This post is about someone who lost their life very tragically! Therefore, no one what's to be re-engaged in this.

sean bres said...

Even after everything that's been said I don't think it's fair to consider EVERYONE who remained in the Provisional movement after the killing of Joe O'Connor as somehow supportive of what happened the man - even though it and the treatment of Anthony and a few others was one of the key reasons I finished up with them then myself. Down here it would not have been as big an issue for most people as it would have been up in Belfast, whether that's right or wrong that's still how it was. The propaganda fed to people down here was that the man was a criminal. That story came through the army not the party - most people down here at that time would have said if "it's coming from the army then it's good enough for me". I challenged people in Sinn Fein on Jo-jo's murder and was told allegations I won't repeat on here as I wouldn't want to sully the man's name by doing so. I remember going to an Irish Brigade function back in 2001 and being scorned by a former Cumann associate now deceased as "Real IRA - what are you doing here". Even recently I was challenged on a night out with my wife in the men's toilets of a bar by a drunken so-called republican for disavowing Sinn Fein's politics, "don't talk to him sure you know who he runs with" he retorted to his accomplice, stemming back to that period at the turn of the century when all this shit hit the fan. So I know what it's like to be ostracised. Even recently there was a bit of a whispering campaign against me that I'd 'lost the plot' and was "leading people down the wrong path, be careful of him" - daring to say something against Spike Murray I've been told recently was seemingly the biggest part of the problem on this occasion. But do I think that every-single-one in Sinn Fein is a pack of bastards? No. Because I also know plenty of people still there because they believe it's wrong to 'split the movement' and still see what they're at - despite everything we can point to that suggests otherwise - as the best option to seek progress. And surely at the end of the day that's their entitlement. The likes of Mickey McIvor coming on here and disgracing himself is one thing but not everyone in Sinn Fein down here in Tyrone would conform to that claptrap - I know it for a fact. We should still try and convince these people that the best thing to do is to leave and join forces with the rest of us rather than say we want nothing to do with you. That's just my take on it

AM said...


this thread has brought out firm views on when people should have left. It is something people feel strongly about. I don't feel inclined to be harsh on those who stayed after me. People make their choices for different reasons, and their reasons are not always bad, merely the result of the situational logic they were confronted with at the time.

To break with the Provos in Belfast after they killed O'Connor would have been very difficult as potential leavers knew the hatred being cooked up which would have been thrown their way. Even today, we have that councillor in the North West resigning in opposition to the bullying. Think of that magnified and amplified back then.

I recall talking with you after it while you were still there and my memory of it is that I advised you to be cautious. I didn't tell you to leave, or speak out while you were still with them because of the dangers.

The smear campaign is what they do. It is the way the totalitarian mind thinks. It can't engage and needs to repress.

What I will say is that, the longer people did stay the less solid their strategic judgement becomes. And this must impact on any claim they may make to be providing leadership in any alternative that might emerge.
That said, you know my view on the potential for republicanism - none. I have felt that way for quite some time. Said it in Belfast before I left.

Pauline said...


Firstly from my first ever post on TPQ you seem to have taken immediate issue with me or a serious dislike, for what I cannot find reason for. Secondly you want to talk about causing people distress. You felt you had the right to launch attack after attack on this forum at me and when challenged on this forum to present your evidence you failed to do so.

Further to that when I was unable to travel to Belfast after you had refused to meet half way to discuss your attacks on me because one of my children was hospitalised you claimed that I was using the fact my child was in hospital as an excuse not to meet you, and when I thought that was low, even by your standards, you felt then you had the right to question my parenting.

Why not tell the people here of your litany of abusive calls and texts to me starting at 8am one morning when I was getting my boys ready for school? I have the text messages and call logs.

When I stood 2ft away from you in Belfast at the anti-interment march, I had no amends to make, but you had every opportunity to raise your issue. I had no need to break breath to you, I wouldn't want you to as you said 'drag yourself down to speak to the likes of you', when you referred to me in a message, maybe you could explain how you felt you would have to drag yourself down to speak to anyone, who put you on a pedestal?

This will be the last time I enter into any direct communication with you on this forum or any forum. Nor will I contact you through the work I do for the 'Voices ex-prisoners group.' And rest assured the girls in voices have all read the abuse you have launched at me, furthermore Anthony was also kept aware of your abusive messages outside of what was published on TPQ, as and when you launched them at me. Those message are timed and date stamped electronically, so they can be verified.

I had no wish to engage with you outside of work for Voices and I made this clear to everyone. I did as you mention make contact with you on one occasion, this was because you are secretary of the voices group, and as I do voluntary work for the group I didn't want any differences between us to impact on a group set up for former republican prisoners.

You said you hadn't read posts on this thread, was that in the same way you commented on the 'Rights Watch report for Marian Price' thread but admitted you had not even read the report?

Lets establish a couple of facts, you don't know me other than a couple of cursory meetings in passing, yet from my very first post on this forum have felt justified in berating me and worse. You have made accusation after after accusation against me, but have never substantiated any of them, despite being asked to do so time and time again.

You have ranted and raved at me, here, you have ranted and raved at me by text and by telephone, one of your most hilarious rants was your text warning me to stay off the internet at 8.19am on April 30th...'This is the last time I am telling you to stay off my phone and Internet ! !' This was after you ranting at me down the phone all morning, I didn't ring you, you rang me!

I can stand over anything I say as I have every message and every text.

marty said...

I couldnt give two fucks if someone stays or leaves quisling $inn £eind ,its entirely up to the individual,my concern is however that some having seen that their future in the party has been usurped by bright new things with a clean sheet which new quisling $inn £ein sees as a way to ditch its past,having seen the writing on the wall these carpetbaggers jump ship and resurface in "new Organisations" my fear is that these "new organisations "will end up as a clone of what went before with the same political sellout that history keeps showing us" all I can do is issue my fears about carpetbaggers and I also personally believe that anyone who was involved in the last failed campaign should take a back seat and let like quisling $inn £eind let the bright new kids take the helm with our advice and guidance but not control,in the meantime without adequate explanation forthcoming from these "independent councillors"on why they dallied so long in such disreputable company,then I will exercise my democratic right and withold my vote and that in republican terms means that of my dead relatives also.

sean bres said...

Marty that's more than a fair comment and I agree with what you're saying, specially the part about anyone involved in leadership previously having to take a back seat. As a matter of fact we should have nothing to do with them, they can stay where they are. You're spot on

Fionnuala Perry said...

If I have already sent this please be good enough to disregard the second copy as it is embarrassing enough to re-visit this once never mind twice.
Initially, I was not going to answer but then after re-reading my posts I am satisfied that at no time whatsoever did I say anything that could even be remotely construed as being directed at Pauline Mellon or her husband.
Ms Mellon apparently took exception at my 'put downs' however she not did take any exception at the many put downs directed at me, but I don't mind it's a debating forum and a forum for exchange.
I think it is awful that this thread is now being used to open an old exchange, which people had assumed was dead in the water.
I also take issue at her reference to Voices, a group set up by altruistic women to deal with the disadvantages ex-women prisoners face, how or where or why it is supposed to fit here I don't know ? but it is a misrepresentation of those people and that group and it should never have been brought into this exchange.

Pauline you say I don't like you and that I have had issues with you since you first came to this site.
That is totally untrue anything that caused issues between us was caused quite a while before you wrote anything here. In relation to like or dislike, does it matter?
We are two people who don't get on and that's the bottom line. Hardly enough to justify what you wrote about me but I will respond.

You say that you were asked to travel from Derry because I would not meet halfway? I offered to go to Derry, bet that text isn't on show. Not only did I offer to go to Derry I offered to pay your fare when you insisted to come to Belfast. You said it wouldn't cost you because due to your husbands work you had a pass!!
Eva Shannon my friend offered her home and her daughters to collect from the bus station so that you would not incur one penny of expense, bet those texts have gone missing? Just as well we kept ours!!!!

Yes, you had to cancel because your child was ill. You texted me the night before and you know you were given nothing only sympathy and understanding.
Eva too was annoyed and I sent her best wishes also.
What came next was quite annoying and tantamount to betrayal, not the kiss on the cheek betrayal that Jesus got but the nasty underhand betrayal that undermines decency. You and your friend Marty took to Face Book and entertained each making a mockery of the pre arranged meeting with us and it goes on for quite a while .and yes I
have that also.

In relation to meeting you at the anti- internment march.
I fell on under a banner, a banner which you were behind for the first ten or fifteen minutes I was there alone, why did you not speak to me.
I would not have approached you because it was a very poignant march and to behave in such a way would be disrespectful, apart from that, as far as I was concerned the discussion was over and we had both gladly moved on?

After the march a week or two you contacted me. You contacted me in relation to making amends. You were apparently concerned that I had looked tired in Ardoyne.
Nice gesture, yes! And one that I would normally respond to in a positive way.
But then responding to you can prove quite menacing. Betrayal number two and again not sealed with a kiss, you took a private correspondence and posted it on the Internet. Whether you felt justified or not is irrelevant it's sneaky and it is underhand and some might say quite deplorable.

I know people reading this will be quite put out at the very idea of this type of exchange, but I thought it only fair to myself and Eva to tell our side of tale.

I wish you no ill will or do I hold any grudge.
I really hope this is the end! It most certainly is for me.
Anything else you put is between yourself and anyone who wants to read it.

Tain Bo said...


as usual you bypass the sublime for the ridiculous your latest masterpiece being more obtuse than usual.

If bantering and barroom heated exchanges were a crime then I am sure there would be plenty of dead people.
How pathetic is your reasoning that the man was brutally executed for expressing his opinion.
What exactly did the man personally do to you to warrant such a debasing almost comfortably sick sounding comment?

Once more your yard- stick for measuring the integrity and character of combatants falls short of commonsense I know former provos who did not kill anyone does that mean by your formula that they didn’t fight in the war?

I digress, how many Brits did you kill and what war did you fight in?

I believe you are a councilor and an active part of the British states apparatus I could easily express an opinion that you and the entire Sinn Fein party are collaborators.
Judging by your callous comment you seem to hold no empathy for the family of a man brutally murdered in what can only be described as doing the Brits dirty work.
Whilst the leadership was busy kissing British arse they went overboard setting loose the henchmen to prove to the British that they could keep a lid on anyone who dared defy their deal with the British.
You can fool yourself all you want but the murder was part of a deliberate campaign of terror waged against those who seen the PRM being bought and sold.
It defies reason your logic that he got what he deserved for shouting at provos whilst Liam Adams was protected by them and I imagine the murdering cowardly bastards enjoyed a few pints with the sick bastard.
Ask your leader why his brother was protected meanwhile the streets are full of the walking wounded punished for the lesser crimes of joyriding and hooding?

I wouldn’t ask you to delete your comments but would say to you that you owe an apology to a family that never caused you any harm or probably have never heard of you.
Are will you side with those cowardly bastards that murdered a man in the name of keeping the queens peace.

AM said...


while I don't intend policing this discussion, I am of the view that the blog is not a forum where any of it can be sorted out. I value both your input and Pauline's to this blog and hope you both continue to make contributions. I think TPQ would be much poorer were you both not here.

I feel strongly that the current exchange should be brought to close.

Fionnuala Perry said...

I started my post by stating that.
It has been a pain for all concerned and i have no interest In pursuing it here or anywhere else . We have both said there will not be any more correspondence so I would assume there will not. I went down the road of trying to be accommodating and decent and it didn't work.
Can I also apologise for the typos and the inconvenience to yourselves.

AM said...


then that should be the end of it. People don't have to eat humble pie or resile from their position. We just want people to understand that while all can have their say the blog can't bridge the irreconcilable.

Pauline said...


I agree that this can go no further in fact I feel it should have been stopped a few months ago when a number of unsubstantiated accusations were made against me on this forum.

I totally agree with free speech but understand that with free speech comes responsibility, I would refer you to your notice in regard to libellous comments. Either way it's no longer relevant.

On a final note I find the comment in reference to the Ex-Armagh prisoner to be disgusting not libellous but absolutely disgusting. “Never judge a person until you've walked a mile in their shoes.” Nor should you judge them on what you hear.

Thanks Anthony
Pauline Mellon

AM said...


you could have assisted the matter greatly by pointing out at the time what you thought was libellous rather than just plain wrong. You entered into the fray but did not tell me you thought we were allowing you to be libelled.

While I have not revisited the exchange (I no longer recall what article it was on) my abiding memory of it was that what was said about you was never substantiated. It just didn't strike me as something that, while offensive to you, might have been regarded by you as libellous. We do permit offensive views here and people who come to the site know that as a freedom to write site we can do little else. But I would like to think I protect people from libellous charges and don't take my eye off the ball to the extent that I have failed to do this.

It is only recently that this view has been expressed to me about that exchange.

However, we don't claim to run an infallible service here, and where we mess up we expect our contributors to pull us into line. So where you see room for improvement, we will take your views on board.

Pauline said...

Anthony I never mentioned charges. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and maybe I should have mentioned at the time that I considered the venom poured my way in the form of unsubstantiated accusations to be libellous. Maybe I should have mentioned that it was causing me distress, offensive I can deal with but this went way beyond offenisve and at a very sensitive time in terms of the campaign for Marian.

I would suggest that in the future when accusations are made you advise the accuser to either put or shut up. However I'm not in the habit of teaching my granny how to suck eggs.

AM said...


there was never any suggestion that you mentioned charges. I referred to charges in the sense of meaning protecting people from the libellous attack/charge, not that they were looking people 'charged.' But now in explaining it to you I don't feel charge is the appropriate word.

In terms of telling people to put up or shut up, I thought you made that point very strongly yourself at the time. And if I am right, I felt I made the point that there was a similarity between Marian being put down on secret evidence and you facing it here.

But the blog will throw up sharp exchanges and distasteful as they at times, I think it the lesser of evils.

frankie said...


Cheers I can understand you saying you belonging to a guerilla army and not a conventional one and you didn't see yourself as a terrorist. It clears a few things up in my head..

@Michael H..

You criticized Joe O'Connor for his 'lack of of a war record'. Serveral posters have asked you about your war record..? Is it as 'good" as say Robert McCartney's or Gerry Kelly's for example..I know you'd feel insulted if I paired your war record with 'disso's' like AM, Brendan Hughes....and a host of posters & readers here on the TPQ (hence I'm comparing yours with your contemporaries within SF).

I don't have one (war record)..Then again I've never made out I have one. You make it out at times to sound as if you fought the conflict single handed with an M60 strapped to your back and a pocket full of pineapples.

Your post about Joe O'Connors death sounds as if you are gloating over his death..What was he killed for..Speaking his mind? Gerry Adams protected someone who raped his daughter. I know what one i think is worse.