Friday, January 16, 2015

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Blair, On The Runs And Gerry McGeough: Criminalising Republicanism Through The Back Door

Sean Bresnahan looks at the OTR issue. Sean Bresnahan is a Tyrone republican who frequently contributes to online discourse.


Much ado the past few days about Blair, 'On The Runs' and the peace process, but let's keep in mind that without the Troubles there would have been no OTRs to begin with. And also that some should have profited from this scheme but instead were thrown to the wolves by their own, likely deemed unworthy of inclusion by an arbitrary decision-making process that excluded potential adversaries at the behest of the Sinn Fein leadership.


Gerry McGeough


Many in the Unionist community take issue that a 'deal' on OTRs was reached at all, when the truth is the scheme did not go anywhere near far enough. My issue with OTRs is not that it let anyone off the hook but that it didn't go far enough and (like everything else the leadership negotiated) we got the short end of the stick.

Like everything else it was done on Britain's terms with a carrot thrown in to keep us happy – or more accurately to keep THEM happy and to secure their position, with no threat of two years in gaol for some. The greatest leadership in history my arse. Spin that yarn to Gerry McGeough, who spent two years in Maghaberry thanks to their ineptitude. Or was it ineptitude? Perhaps something more was afoot.

The dogs in the street know McGeough was shafted to put him out of the picture politically, while Michelle Gildernew, the Adamsite darling, could only be the better-positioned for it. God forbid an independent-minded voice within the republican movement. A calculated political move which raises its own set of questions regarding the relationship of the leadership to the state and a disgrace from start to finish – from the original selection convention in June 2000 to the carting away in the back of a police car at the count in Omagh nearly seven years later. I’d venture the two are connected at some point, if only in terms of the agenda being served.

That aside, the reasoning in McGeough being gaoled is it sets his actions as an IRA Volunteer inside the paradigm of an acceptable British law. In this narrative McGeough is breaking the law and being suitably punished whereas state agents, like his direct opponent, are elevated to a higher moral plateau – as are the mechanisms used to ensure a conviction. That OTRs pose a threat to this narrative is the source of the recent hullabaloo.

The key aim of the British is to frame the conflict as a criminal undertaking and the arrest, political show-trial and unsafe 'conviction' of those like Gerry McGeough is part of its strategy. Many, out of blind loyalty to the leadership and its pathetic negotiating abilities, are sadly content to go along with that, regardless of how it impacts on the legitimacy of men like Pete Ryan, Jim Lynagh, Martin McCaughey and their actions.

This approach would see such men happily subjected to British Diplock Courts today, if they'd somehow managed to escape the death-trap set for them, went on the run and returned home years later thinking it was safe to do so – absent of course that all important letter, which some were deemed worthy of and others not. Would Jim and Pete have been deemed worthy? Would Martin? Who knows but who would trust it.

 Some would have it they should just be grateful no matter, sure what’s two years away from your family and loved one’s anyway. That's the pitiful notion those like Sinn Fein Councillor Michael McIvor promote when publicly claiming McGeough done alright and should be thankful for his lot – whether they see it or not.

Constitutional issues aside, the 1998 Agreement was poorly negotiated around such issues as prisoner-releases and conflict-related 'offences'. It created a situation whereby it was acceptable practice for a British Diplock Court to try and convict this man, and others such as Scotchy Kearney, using all the various legal manipulations and lowering of the standards of 'law' long employed against and objected to by republicans.

That some now accept the legitimacy of these legal processes is a victory for Britain and a shafting of the IRA Volunteers who stood up against and called such reactionary 'laws' for what they were and are – repression. That ‘letters of comfort’ are set to be withdrawn while the republican leadership continues to sit in Stormont is just the broom-handle being rammed up their backsides all the harder.

Under the British-imposed narrative, in which republicans now acquiesce, the state had a right to prosecute its violence whereas republicans had none – not even to defend themselves and their community. The evidence around Bloody Sunday, collusion in the murder of Pat Finucane and the refusal to grant inquests into a plethora of state killings speaks for itself, the British justice system is designed to protect its own and set them apart from 'terrorists' like Gerry McGeough, who are to be gaoled while the state and its agents walk free.

Those who consider the underhand mechanisms employed to stick McGeough and his like behind bars as acceptable fare, and anything other than the product of inept negotiating at best, the deliberate removal of a political foe at worst, are either fooling themselves or are that far removed from the republican struggle they no longer care about the broader picture.

What amounts to the effective collapse of the OTR scheme, at the behest of political Unionism, serves the same end for Britain as the gaoling of McGeough and Kearney, to show republicans their place within the British law, which can be altered and employed against them at will, if and when required. The only difference on this occasion is that ordinary Volunteers were not alone in being shafted, this time the leadership was shown its place in the order of things too.

35 comments :

mcclafferty32 said...

Sean,
This is a very good article and tells it exactly the way it is.
Thanks for the piece.

Henry JoY said...

Too late, too late, is the cry.
T'is all over boys and girls.
Best get used to it. Find something useful to do with yourselves.

larry hughes said...

Sean

A decent enough read but although SF played very little effective role in the GFA negotiations, (there for the optics), they got the prisoners out. That was the big issue for the families at a time when the war was on its knees and as good as over.

What confuses me is that those republicans who lambast SF are gearing up for a run at electoralism themselves in the UK Stormont Parliament and local government councils in the North. Surely physical force republicans of today would prefer to wreck the 'piss-process' with a well placed van bomb? Unfortunately for them they cannot light a sparkler at Halloween, but can manage to get 50 men arrested for the 'conspiracy and attempt' to do so. Like vultures on the clothes line waiting for an event, 'old hands' cannot believe their inability.

I think this is the dilemma they have faced for some time. We all know the nature of SF at this stage, complaining about them in order to copy them seems daft. There is a taig in the speakers chair today at Stormont, I cannot believe that goes down well with the old guard loyalists; probably was enough to dispatch a few dyed in the wool old bigots to the here-after with a fatal stroke.

If these investigations launched by Barra McGroary (can't believe that either) into the shoot to kill crimes go anywhere, there may be an even greater consolidation in the GFA. Time will tell.

There is something very ill about SF and we all know it. A family like Adams has, full of paedo ugliness, would be run out of every street in the country. But Gerry shamelessly hangs on in there to the adoration of his cult following. Big Storey must be the pinball wizard to continue backing that. But that apart, I see nothing new in what Gerry McGeogh and the likes are offering. They will go into councils and Stormont if elected and out verbal the shinners...so what gives?

In the meantime, anyone opposed to 'peace' will have all the freed up resources that are idle after the PIRA campaign ended pointed at them. As will political agitators. Which reminds me...are you writing from jail...yet? lol

grouch said...

like what, be a tit is it

AM said...

Larry,

disgusting as it is for you to have to put up with such comments just spare a thought for wifey who when asked how much she paid for you can only say she won you as a booby prize LOL

AM said...

Which reminds me I have to reply to your email FFS - head like a sieve. I'll probably respond when you arrive here at the end of the month!!

AM said...

Grouch,

terrible experience.

larry hughes said...

AM

she tells anyone who will listen to her she was LIED to....she was told if you catch a leprechaun you get a crock a gold....all she got according to her was a crock a shit!!

AM said...

Same sort of thing I hear from Carrie !!

mcclafferty32 said...

IRISH TD’s RAISE CRAIGAVON TWO IN IRISH PARLIAMENT ...


seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/irish-tds-raise-craigavon...

May 21, 2013 · ... Craigavon Two in the Irish Parliament. during a motion discussing 15 years since the Belfast agreement. Find below some transcripts of the debate Eamon ...

mcclafferty32 said...

Eamon O Cuiv speaking about Maghaberry Prison, Gary Donnelly and The Craigavon Two...













The Late Debate


Cormac O'hEadhra presents live debate and analysis of all the news and political stories of the day, including coverage of today's events in the Oireachtas


rte.ie

Sean Smith said...

An chara
Larry I'm in agreement with you in regards to the amount of anti threaty republicans in jail.we have failed to build a political or military alternative to GFA.sadly all the groups are inflintrated or being controlled by sinn fein in my view but we are were we are and this has being said a thousand times we should stop sending men and women to jail and try build a unified republican alternative to the GFA.Then an only then will our oppents take notice of our politics.At present sadly all were doing is jail.

larry hughes said...

Sean Smith

That is the reality and in fairness the only people wanting a return to 'war' are the unionist/loyalists who see it as a return to full time employment. It is a mini version of the west being desperate for a major conflict somewhere for an exit opportunity from the global financial crisis.

We taigs are much better equipped to survive economic hardship than the pampered over paid under educated loyalist community.

On the republican front, whilst I respect Sean Bres and Co. and am in shock and awe at his relentless drive, commitment and stamina, for me reviving 1916 is akin to retrieving an old classic motor from a scrap yard and restoring it. A thing of great beauty and worth and a joy to behold surely, but not much practical use. They should be thinking about 2016 societies!

China, Soviet Union, Cuba are all moving with the times. It is 2015. Historical pride and our history are one thing, these 'treasure' are abstract in nature. Deal with the realities of today.

On the jail front, Eamon O'Cuiv seems to me to be as honest and decent a political figure as we have at this time. I am delighted that someone of his stature and credibility is engaged in the jail issue. If I were back in jail I would certainly put more faith and hope in him turning up than any SF chancer. Emmet Doyle for all the age of him was more genuinely engaged too. Fingers crossed something can be done on those issues.

The PIRA was a nationalist defence force in the wee 6. If the conflict was over, then politics may have been better left to the Dublin government on our behalf, Stormont is a joke. SF involvement in the Republic is only bringing the southern civil war parties together, not sure if that is good or bad. Time will tell. Keep our youth in the North out of jail and give them a vision for the future, not a time machine back to model T Fords.

Peter said...

Larry
Who are these "unionists/loyalists" who want a return to war? I've never met any.

larry hughes said...

Peter

I would say they are all the RUC/UDR men like yourself now side-lined on the dole without their massively inflated wages for doing nothing productive and just driving around all day in a land-rover harassing Catholics.

Not to mention the SB manipulators and wreckers and the service industries making a fortune from security force contracts. 40% of Northern Irelands employment was 'security' related. Being as it was also 100% Protestant, all I can say is THAT'S GOTTA HURT!!

May be wrong, but I doubt it. Be honest Peter, go on, give us a genuine insight from the 'dark-side'.

Henry JoY said...

@ Sean Smyth

There's nothing much Republicans can do at the moment. Mostly they're still trapped in a cycle of grieving, cycling between points of anger, shock or denial.

Anthony (McIntrye) rightfully called his book "The Good Friday Agreement - The Death of Irish Republicanism". Most Republicans are trapped in grief. They are still punch drunk from the betrayal they where led into. They haven't the capacity to understand what happened, nor understand the part they have played themselves by their acquiescence to a corrupted leadership.

Unfortunately there's no redemption. The cause is lost. Finito. No way back this time.

It may be given false hope by various commemorations next year by "Free-Staters" northern ones included, but nothing really can assuage the lie of the proclamation of 1916.

In truth it had no potential for complete achievement. The Republican ideal was built on sand in so far as it never trully addressed Unionist opposition.

Peter said...

You're just making stuff up again aren't you Larry? I have yet to meet an ex-colleague in the flesh or online who yearns for the old days. You do know all RIR got over £100,000 each + a pension + a job in Iraq and the peelers and P.Os more? And we all got a few K each for loss of hearing a few years ago too. Don't you worry your wee head about us, we got the job done and looked after into the bargain.

Henry JoY said...

I imagine Peter there's a few disaffected republicans with hearing problems fantasising about the Provo's coming to power in the South and processing a claim against a SF minister for health or defence for acquired heading loss.

Wouldn't it be strange if one of them could call John Downey as a witness for the plaintiff!

larry hughes said...

Peter

you got your own version of the 'bullet' same as republicans did. We were sold, you were bought. But you sold the future generations of wee huns. The demographics and time belongs to us. There's really nothing but never ending taig advancement ahead for your lot to suffer and you all know it. That is the best part. Great result and cheap at half the price! (for the UK exchequer)

Peter said...

Larry

"Never ending taig advancement" doesn't bother me in the slightest, it is good to see Ireland's young people growing up in a peaceful and more secular society. Anything to fuck up the DUP and their assorted god bothering friends is good for us all. The important thing for the island is that SF/IRA joined the establishment and confined armed republicanism to the dustbin of history. Demographics and time matter not a jot when faced with economic choices, the Wee 6 will be around for a while yet.

Henry Joy

Was that not what the Northen Bank job was for? LOL

frankie said...

Larry

" Never ending taig advancement"" doesn't bother me in the slightest,

it is good to see Ireland's young people growing up in a peaceful and more secular society.

Anything to fuck up the DUP and their assorted god bothering friends is good for us all.

The important thing for the island is that SF/IRA joined the establishment and confined armed republicanism to the dustbin of history.

Demographics and time matter not a jot when faced with economic choices, the Wee 6 will be around for a while yet.

larry hughes said...

Peter

on reflection 100k was the price of 'loyalty'? Jesus wept there's more gambled in a weekend by scoundrels in casinos and a half baked smuggler would not even break sweat running that figure up. If all the poison that was inflicted upon the Irish nation by your mob was about 100k then sad, sad YOU. If you recon that was a life changing sum I almost pity you. Those who bought you were having a laugh. Sure hope you have something more meaningful to fall back on.

Demographics will mean plenty, and unionism is that deflated and worn out the show is as good as over already. Not even a raised eye brow when Mitchel took the speakers chair at Stormont. Carson will be tore down and melted down in good time.

Maybe you crowd, not being Irish, will opt for Judaism and fuck off to Israel hahahaha

frankie said...

My last post should have read..What Peter means Larry (need more coffee..wayy too much mellow yellow over the weekend)

Peter said...

Larry
Back to the original conversation, you said unionists were the only people wanting to go back to war. You have since ceased defending that absurdity, talking ballix. As for the horror we inflicted on the Irish people, it pales into comparison to the abject futility of the horror inflicted on Ireland by republicans. 2000 dead for what?

larry hughes said...

Peter

Unionists/loyalists are the ones who made a living from 'security'. They are the only ones missing it. But great to know the price of a loyalist/unionist 100k and a free hearing aid! BRILLIANT.

Suppose the jailbird loyalists didn't get that even....most of them weren't crafty enough to don a uniform and get paid for nothing. I suppose the mind-set is the same though...'clean' and 'dirty' murders of taigs being the measure of morality.

The conflict was only lost in my opinion because the Provo leadership was bought, for a lot more than 100k I'd suggest. AND the nationalists were too PC and didn't give the loyalist community anywhere near enough of its own medicine.

The brits and Yanks don't run this planet by being PC and keeping one eye on media coverage. They are evil and control the media. That's how they do it.

Now they are telling UK Muslims it is their Imams duty not to let their youth become radicalised. PRICELESS...we will bomb and murder your grandparents and cousins in your homeland....but you must NOT get upset... they will be telling them it is British culture next...oh wait....there may be something in that!

frankie said...

Peter.. Militant loyaists are re-arming becasue some of them want to go back to war becasue they think that repbulicans/nationalists got the carrot and not the stick...

I can link it... But resreach it yourself..

Peter said...

Frankie

I don't believe there are more than a handful and do not pose any threat. Box will have them behind bars with their micro group republican loser friends in no time.

grouch said...

peter, the brits, by way of mi5, have been responsible for all the huge bombings here from dublin monaghan to omagh. and i have my doubts now about mountbatten too, something seriously fishy going on there that day. i think we are only beginning to realise now, thanks to net mainly, how dirty the dirty war was/is. and the dirt emanates from that putrid bunker outside belfast. dont forget, these guys/gals set up young people to be sexually abused/tortured and in some cases killed by powerful people, videotape the abuse secretly, then blackmail the politician/diplomat/businessman. thats why i am always going to be a very simple 'brits out' republican. they are truly evil bastards. 2000 killed in a day would not lose them a wink of sleep. irish people, of every and any faith, have to expose these demonic fucks. seriously peter, the crown of england is evil. not the english, the crown of england, which hasnt had an english arse sitting on it in centuries. the current occupant, is a german-transylvanian called elizabeth saxe coburg gotha, who is in fact a descendent of dracula (her son, the friend of jimmy savile, has a castle in transylvania). there is so much on net now about the rampant paedophilia and psychopathic mind set of our overlords that i firmly believe the good english people are going to change the course of history on their island and consequently ours. brits out.

Peter said...

Grouch

All power is corrupt. The Brits, the yanks, the Chinese, Russians, RC church all will do anything to keep power, it is the nature of the beast. I would still rather take my chances with the Brits than live in a 32 county socialist, catholic republic. Thankfully that fox has been well and truely shot.
The Brits aren't the only evil bastards on these isles, have a look among your own ranks.

larry hughes said...

Grouch

2046 society...loyalist free island and oath of allegiance, or a one way ticket to London or Tel Aviv... simples.

grouch said...

fair enuf peter, ill keep an eye while you avert yours. who among our ranks compares to the genocidal maniacal paedophilic and psychopathic crown of england and the destruction they have wreaked all over the PLANET. and its a fairly big planet. or were the gaels evil and had to be genocided. food shipped out under armed guard as millions starved to death. if the irish had a colony and did something like that there, we would rightly be called an evil empire. the only thing we did when we sailed off to foreign shores was spread the word of god to our pagan neighbours.

larry hughes said...

Peter

easy come easy go...made round to go round lol

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/7-7-widow-jailed-stealing-sons-compensation-121709794.html#GoULNsv

frankie said...

Peter have you ever lived in a 32 democratic socialist republic? I haven't.. What I do know is it hasn't been tested yet. we know partition causes blood being spilt, creates sectarianism, hate, division, unemployment... and a whole host of other things that are wrong with Ireland..

What the PUL community can't grasp, fail to relalize, can't see or other is the PUL community wil have as much say in how the place evolves as the next person.. Your fellow god fearing christian brethern in the 26 have as much rights as 'taigs' in the 26....

Basically why keep knocking something that hasn't been tested ?

larry hughes said...

Frankie

greed and exclusionism is why

Peter said...

Frankie

"...blood being spilt, creates sectarianism, hate, division, unemployment... and a whole host of other things that are wrong with Ireland". Republicanism played a major part in that too, let's not forget. Though I am glad you used the word 'democratic' and that 'revolutionary' has been dumped through lack of interest. We both agree that the current system of global capitalism only benefits the 1%, but what socialist model do you want to replace it with in Ireland? The problem for socialists is that no-one wants to vote for socialism. is there a party on the island worth voting for?