Manufactured ‘crisis’ to discredit Sinn Fein blows up

On the 19 August this year the following political/military situation existed in Northern Ireland.

The Good Friday Agreement had been in existence for 17 years, the war was over. The Independent Monitoring Commission reported, year after year, that the Provisional IRA (PIRA) had indeed decommissioned its weapons and had ceased all military actions. All interested parties accepted this reality. How could they do otherwise, if the war was still on it would have been pretty obvious to everyone.

As with every war in history, particularly dirty little civil wars like that in Northern Ireland, there were some who refused to give up and some who turned to crime but the vast majority of those involved got on with their lives.

On the 21 Aug, the political/military situation was exactly the same as it was on the 19 August.

This was the day after Detective Superintendent Kevin Geddes of the PSNI, who was investigating the murder of former IRA man Kevin Mc Guigan, said that a major line of inquiry was that members of PIRA were involved.

Det. Supt. Geddes was very careful about the words he used.

My assessment is that this is a separate group from the Provisional IRA. A major line of inquiry for this investigation is that members of the Provisional IRA were involved in this murder.

The allegation that former members of PIRA may have been involved in the murder is not news. Former members of all paramilitary groups have been involved in all kinds of criminal activity including murder.

Det. Supt. Geddes’ clear statement that PIRA was not involved has since been confirmed by representatives of practically all interested parties including the PSNI, the Garda Siochana and the British and Irish governments.

Only complete idiots and those who want to collapse the Peace Process are claiming that the PIRA still exists. Nobody else seriously believes that the Provisional IRA is back on a war footing.

So why the crisis, what’s all the fuss about?

Without a shadow of doubt it is Sinn Fein’s growing political power that lies behind this latest crisis.

The political establishments in the North and the South have been trying for years to destroy or at least nullify the growing power of Sinn Fein with little or no success.

Their greatest problem is that, on the one hand they must be seen to support and even praise the major contribution made to the Peace Process by Sinn Fein while on the other paint the party as a serious threat to democracy.

There’s only one way to do this – talk out of both sides of the mouth at the same time.

So the PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton had to speak out of both sides of his mouth when he said:

Some structures of the Provisional IRA still exist but the organisation is not on a war footing.

The allegation that PIRA still exists keeps those opposed to Sinn Fein happy and the claim, from the other side of the mouth, that PIRA is not on a war footing keeps those who put the Peace Process together happy.

Apart from a few mad Unionists everybody connected with the Peace process have been popping up, one after the other, to ape the Chief Constable’s double talk.

The whole affair is nothing more than the usual manufactured ‘crisis’ that has now become a traditional political ritual in the run up to elections.

Here’s what I wrote on 21 August last:

Arrests will be made, Sinn Fein members will be brought in for questioning, outrage at the (non) existence of the IRA will reach epic proportions.

All so depressingly predictable but on this occasion the hypocrites have lost control. The plan of manufacturing a ‘crisis’ with the aim of discrediting Sinn Fein by associating them with criminality has evolved into a real political crisis that threatens the interests of all parties.

Now they’re all scrambling to back peddle in a desperate attempt to preserve their power and privileges. The irony is that if the Assembly collapses it is Sinn Fein that will benefit most.

Shock news: Sinn Fein/IRA admits Twin Towers attack

This is all supposition.

This is the only fact surrounding the latest claim that the Provisional IRA is still in existence, is still killing people.

PSNI detective superintendent Kevin Geddes said the Provisional IRA was not involved in a recent killing but also said the organisation could have been involved.

And that’s all Unionist politicians and establishment politicians down here need to jump on the anti-Sinn Fein bandwagon which, by this stage, must be in serious need of an NCT test, it has been used so often since the IRA didn’t disband.

The media and in particular RTE and Denis O’Brien’s media empire are more than willing to provide widespread coverage of the non-existence of the Provisional IRA. This coverage will continue and increase in intensity as the general election approaches.

Arrests will be made, Sinn Fein members will be brought in for questioning, outrage at the non-existence of the IRA will reach epic proportions.

The intelligence of ordinary citizens will be insulted again and again as bought, unprincipled, unprofessional ‘journalists’ analyse how the non-existence of the IRA threatens world order.

RTE will drag in Sinn Fein members and demand answers to such pertinent questions as:

Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the Nazi party?

Where were you on Tuesday September 11 2001 when the Twin Towers were attacked? We have evidence, based on very reliable fantasy, that Sinn Fein/IRA organised the attacks.

Where was Gerry Adams in December 2013 when the first person died (murdered by the IRA) from the Ebola virus? We’re not, of course, saying that Sinn Fein is responsible for the disease; we just want to hear you denying any involvement.

Yes, the election propaganda machine is up and running.

Unionist violence? Move on, nothing to see here

At least 20 police officers injured including one who lost an ear when hit by a missile. A 16 year old girl knocked down by a car and a death threat to a politician.

Standby for at least two weeks of hard questioning and moral outrage from RTE, Newstalk and Independent Newspapers in response to these sinister incidents.

Oh wait, the violence originated from the Unionist side, not Sinn Fein/Nationalist.

Ok, move on, nothing to see here.

Anti Sinn Fein campaign: The penny begins to drop

Irish Independent journalist Eamon Delaney used most of his 900 word article on the visit of Prince Charles to say something that can be summed up in the following sentence.

Sinn Fein made a political mistake in not meeting the Queen when she visited Ireland in 2011.

But Delaney did make a reference, even if only very obliqulely, to the massive elephant in the room – the ongoing anti-Sinn Fein propaganda campaign by the establishment parties and their many media supporters.

And it is strange that the main political parties here were reportedly opposed to such a meeting, (Adams meeting Prince Charles) given that four years ago they would have dragged Adams up the carpet to meet the queen.

Let us hope that the electoral threat of Sinn Féin has not made our political parties think only of themselves these days and not of the overall good of the peace process.

Ah I really love it when I hear the sound of a penny dropping.

Delaney is the first establishment journalist that I know of who is, slowly, beginning to realise that the attacks on Sinn Fein have nothing whatsoever to do with any unfinished matters surrounding the war in the North.

It is exclusively to do with the abject fear of the establishment parties/ruling elite of this country witnessing the entry of a powerful, well organised, non-establishment political force entering the previously exclusive domain of that privileged ruling elite.

Breaking: Gerry Adams foiled by anti-terrorist team

I’m shocked, absolutely shocked I tell you. I’ve just heard that Prince Charles is in the country and neither Gerry Adams nor Mary Lou McDonald have been arrested.

How could this be, how could the current leader of the still in existence Provisional IRA be allowed roam free while one of the terrorist’s prinicpal targets is on holiday here?

What…what did you just say – Adams is going to meet the prince, Jesus Mary agus Joseph who’s in charge of security? Whoever it is I want his balls cooked in a microwave forthwith.

Get me Michael Martin on the line immediately. He has all the facts about how Adams is still organising the IRA, he’ll know how to handle this security crisis.

At last, some good news. I’m told that Martin will accompany Adams when meeting the prince. Very clever, journalists with Independent Newspapers have known for years now that the bulge in Adams’ pants is really a pipebomb.

No doubt our hero Michael will leap in at the vital moment and grab the deadly weapon from between Adams’ legs thus preventing a sinister explosion.

What, what’s that your saying? A special undercover team of hard-hitting anti-terrorists experts has been formed to protect the prince from the terrorist and cult leader Adams.

Let me see that list, I want to make sure they’re hardened anti-terrorist operators of the highest calibre.

Independent Newspapers special forces personell.
Willie Kealy
Jody Corcoran
Eilis O’Hanlon
Jim Cusack

RTE special anti-terrorist team
Cathal Mac Coille
Sean O’Rourke

Irish Times anti-terrorist co-ordinator
Stephan Collins

Phew…ok folks, everybody relax. We have a best in the world anti-terror/anti Sinn Fein team on the ground ready for action if the evil Mr. Adams makes even a hint of a sinister move towards his crotch.

Formal complaint against RTE regarding blatant bias against Sinn Fein

Once again we witness blatant bias and intolerance by RTE when reporting/analysing the politics/activities of Sinn Fein.

I have submitted the following detailed complaint in response to the latest disgraceful example of so-called professional broadcasting by the station.

21 April 2015

To whom it may concern:

I wish to lodge a formal complaint against the presenter of Today with Sean O’Rourke, Sean O’Rourke, for a breach of section 22 of the Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality in News and Current Affairs, which came into effect on 1 July 2013 under Section 42 of the Broadcasting Act 2009.

On Friday 17 April last, during a panel discussion on the controversy surrounding the naming of alleged Ansbacher names in Dail Eireann by Sinn Fein TD Mary Lou McDonald Mr. O’Rourke was anything but fair, objective or impartial.

Mr. O’Rourke was obviously leading the panelists into condemning the actions of Mary Lou McDonald by attacking Peadar Toibin the Sinn Fein representative on the panel.

As soon as a panelist agreed with Mr. O’Rourke’s obvious view on the matter he moved on to the next panelist.

For example, when David Hall suggested that perhaps there were some questions to be answered by the body politic Mr. O’Rourke interrupted him demanding a direct answer to the question – Do you think it was an abuse of Dail privilege?

As soon as Mr. Hall confirmed it was an abuse Mr. O’Rourke moved on to the next panelist.

Mr. O’Rourke failed, deliberately in my opinion, to interrupt and challenge Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins when she made false claims in relation to the issue.

For example, Senator Higgins falsely claimed that Mary Lou McDonald had presented allegations as findings when she named names in the Dail. It is not acceptable to just allow a panelist to refute this false claim, as Mr. Toibin did. The presenter has an obligation to clearly state that the claim was false.

Mr. O’Rourke, in direct breach of Section 22 of the Code, strongly and emotionally expressed his personal view on the issue as witnessed in this exchange between Mr. O’Rourke and Sinn Fein representative Peadar Toibin.

Toibin: I’m saying to those people that they are innocent until proven guilty.

O’Rourke: No, you’re really saying, and what she’s using Dail privilege to do, is say they’re guilty until proven innocent because why won’t she say it outside the House to the people who are still alive?

Toibin: You have to let me answer the questions. You’ve been firing them at me left right and centre.

O’Rourke: Yeah, well if we got an answer to one or two of them.

It is crystal that Mr. O’Rourke was neither objective nor impartial in the following exchange. His tone was accusatory and condemning of Mr. Toibin, Mary Lou McDonald and Sinn Fein.

O’Rourke: Does the word smear mean anything to you?

Toibin: It does, of course. What do you mean by that?

O’Rourke: I mean the… by naming or reading extracts which name individuals in Dail Eireann under privilege, the cloud of suspicion is raised over these people.

Toibin: The best way to actually clear any cloud of suspicion over these individuals would be for the Government, the Taoiseach has had this information since last November and yet we’ve had no efforts by the Government to have an investigation into these allegations…

Mr. O’Rourke allowed Mr. Toibin’s political rival on the panel, Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins, free rein to interrupt Mr. Toibin at will. Mr. O’Rourke himself constantly interrupted Mr. Toibin to the point where Mr. Toibin was effectively prevented from making adequate rebuttals.

The very obvious overall tone of the discussion, and in particular Mr. O’Rourke’s contribution, was one of bullying, intolerance and extreme bias.

For your convenience I include a transcription of the relevant section of the discussion.

Yours etc,
Anthony Sheridan

Extract from Today with Sean O’Rourke.
Broadcast 17 April 2015

Sean O’Rourke: Brenda Power, do you think she deserves to be censured?

Brenda Power: I think she abused Dail Privilege. Whether or not it’s one that the public will have sympathy for is another question, I think she has possibly more support on this than you might suspect because I guess there’s a lot of unfinished business with regard to the period in Irish politics that she was highlighting and a sense that maybe all the issues weren’t ventilated at the time.

Sean O’Rourke: What do you make of it David Hall given that all the people named have vehemently denied they had these off shore accounts?

David Hall: I think there’s a significant amount of support for a certain period in Irish politics, not necessarily a certain period but a general integration of Irish politics where there’s questions to be answered. It is unfortunate for those people deceased who are not in a position and families….

(Interrupted by O’Rourke.) Do you think it was an abuse of Dail privilege?

Hall, Yes, all things being equal, yes, I do.

O’Rourke: Lorraine Higgins whether there was abuse or not it seems to (be it’s) being played by Sinn Fein as political/Dail insiders effectively defending their own and there’s no particular benefit attempting to censure Mary Lou McDonald?

Lorraine Higgins: Look, this has become part and parcel of the kind of stunt politics we expect from Sinn Fein. At the end of the day Mary Lou needs to reflect on presenting allegations as findings in the Dail and she’s a member of the Public Accounts Committee, that was the proper realm to bring up these concerns when they were investigating the Ryan report. I just think with privilege comes responsibility so Mary Lou needs to be mindful of that.

Peadar Toibin: Mary Lou didn’t present them as findings. Over and over again she said they were allegations. What’s involved here is an authorised officer of the State making very, very serious allegations and the only corroborated element of this whole process is that that officer handed the information to Minister Richard Bruton. For two years the Minister sat on those documents and only when Mary Lou raised this issue did the Minister decide to give the documents to the Gardai.

(Interrupted by Senator Higgins) Peadar, it’s not for the politicians to investigate revenue offences, it’s up to the Revenue Commissioners and the Gardai.

Toibin: Are you saying it was ok for Minister Bruton to sit on a document…

(Interupted by Sean O’Rourke.)

O’Rourke: You’re changing the argument there Peadar Toibin. First of all, the former chairman of Revenue Commissioners, Josephine Feehily, assured the PAC that these investigations (sic) had been thoroughly examined and were found not to warrant further action. And Mary Lou named individuals. For starters, I’m not aware that she or your party have accepted the denials made by the people she named.

Toibin: Well, first of all, I haven’t seen the documents from the authorised officer, I have no idea what’s contained in those documents…

(Interrupted by O’Rourke.)

O’Rourke: No,no, that’s not the question. Does your party and does she accept the bona fides of the people she named under Dail privilege?

Toibin: What I can tell you is that Mary Lou is not saying that these individual are guilty of…

(Interrupted by O’Rourke.)

O’Rouke: Does she accept the bona fides of those people and does she accept…

(Interrupted by Toibin.)

Toibin: You need to ask Mary Lou that question but what…

(Interrupted by O’Rourke.)

O’Rourke: Ok, does Sinn Fein accept those denials of the people that were named?

Toibin: What I’m saying to you is…

(Interrupted by Senator Higgins.)

Senator Higgins: It’s a yes or no answer Peadar.

Toibin: It is not about the individuals concerned.

O’Rourke: Yes it is, very much so. If you were Sylvia Barrett’s family and if you were Declan Costello’s family it would most certainly be about their bona fides and so what you are saying to those people?

Toibin: I’m saying to those people that they are innocent until proven guilty.

O’Rourke: No, you’re really saying, and what she’s using Dail privilege to do, is say they’re guilty until proven innocent because why won’t she say it outside the House to the people who are still alive?

Toibin: You have to let me answer the questions. You’ve been firing them at me left right and centre.

O’Rourke: Yeah, well if we got an answer to one or two of them.

Toibin: I’m saying that they’re innocent until proven guilty and I’m saying that Mary Lou is saying that she is just echoing the allegations by an authorised officer…

(Interrupted by O’Rourke.)

O’Rourke: Does the word smear mean anything to you?

Toibin: It does, of course. What do you mean by that?

O’Rourke: I mean the, by naming or reading extracts which name individuals in Dail Eireann under privilege, the cloud of suspicion is raised over these people.

Toibin: The best way to actually clear any cloud of suspicion over these individuals would be for the Government, the Taoiseach has had this information since last November and yet we’ve had no efforts by the Government to have an investigation into these allegations…

(Interrupted by Senator Higgins.)

Senator Higgins: Politicians don’t investigate revenue matters Peadar, I thought you would knonw that. It’s up to the Revenue and the Gardai.

Toibin: (continuing) And we know that very senior authorised officers in the civil service felt so strongly about these issues that they felt they needed investigation, that they lodged them with the Minister and that he sat on them for two years…

(Interrupted by Senator Higgins.)

Senator Higgins: Are you saying that members of PAC were wrong in deciding not to call Mr. Ryan to make an oral submission?

Toibin: PAC can’t deal with it. Members of PAC were given legal advice that they can’t actually deal with it.

Senator Higgins: You’re skewing the facts here Peadar, you’re skewing the facts absolutely.

Toibin: Attention is being focused on Mary Lou…

(Interrupted by Senator Higgins.)

Senator Higgins: Righty so, rightly so.

Toibin: (continuing) and all the attention is diverted off these allegations that are being made by this authorised officer…

(Interrupted by Senator Higgins.)

Senator Higgins: The Gardai have investigated, the Revenue has investigated, the Mahon and Moriarty tribunals have investigated and PAC has examined, how much more needs to be done?

Hall: It’s very important to remember this has been investigated, some people don’t like the outcome of investigations but this has been investigated by a number of State bodies and outcomes have been determined and to be fair to all concerned and particularly those named, they are innocent as has been proven by those investigations and it is unfair to suggest anything else.

Copy to:
Peadar Toibin
Lorraine Higgins
David Hall

Brian Hayes and the big gombeen lie

In 2006 the then Justice Minister Michael McDowell branded Fine Gael TD Richard Bruton the Dr. Goebbels of propaganda.

Shortly afterwards he unreservedly apologised and shook the hand of Bruton on the floor of the Dail. McDowell said his remarks were over-the-top, unacceptable and intemperate.

It’s unlilkely we’ll witness a similar response from Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes to his latest anti Sinn Fein rant in the Irish Independent.

Hitler, Goebbels, cult, murder machine, big lie are words and names littered all over Mr. Hayes’ article.

It’s grotesquely hilarious to witness the likes of Hayes accuse Sinn Fein of Nazi like propaganda strategies while employing those very same strategies himself.

There are two reasons why we won’t be seeing an apology from Mr. Hayes for his intemperate and unacceptable language.

Firstly, Michael McDowell and Richard Bruton are members of the ruling elite of this country, they’re insiders. Members of this elite do not refer to each other as Nazi’s. It’s unacceptable and intemperate behaviour. McDowell realised this and apologised.

Secondly, Sinn Fein are not only outsiders but are rapidly building a power base that threatens to bring down the exclusive insider’s club that’s directly responsible for leading the country over the cliff of misery and poverty.

Operating within his comfortable bubble of delusion Mr. Hayes seems to be completely unaware that ordinary citizens have woken up to the big gombeen lie that he and his fellow politicians have been peddling for decades.

Irish citizens are no longer prepared to put up with the corrupt political regime that has betrayed their interests for so long.

Copy to:
Brian Hayes

Sinn Fein’s choice

Letter in today’s Irish Times accurately outlining the political choice facing Sinn Fein.

Sinn Féin’s options

Sir,

I firmly believe that in the current political climate, Sinn Féin has a realistic chance of forming the next government, if (and it’s a very big if) it nudges Gerry Adams toward stepping down as party leader as soon as feasibly possible. It has two potential replacements in Pearse Doherty and Mary Lou McDonald, either of whom is capable of leading the party into the next election.

Gerry Adams, on the other hand has become a political liability as he has far too many skeletons that come clattering out of the closet at random and unexpected intervals. This achieves nothing but to hastily cordon off any inroads Sinn Féin has made with the middle-aged and middle-class electorate in the south.

It’s clear that a substantial number of these voters have grown weary of the centre-right and are looking for a viable alternative. However, they tend to squirm uncomfortably when reminded of Sinn Féin’s past.

For me, the party has a clear and simple choice; either strongly suggest to Mr Adams that he resigns as leader, then achieve substantial and tangible political success, or accommodate the man’s ego, let him continue to lead the party into the centenary year of the Easter Rising, and subsequently leave the door ajar for the formation of yet another centre-right coalition, in whatever form it takes.

Yours, etc,
Thomas Bonner
Donegal Town.

Marian Finucane and ‘ordinary decent wars’

Marian Finucane was not happy with the comment by Gerry Adams that people are ‘disappeared’ in every war.

Not all wars have disappeared. I remember the outcry across the world over Pinochet and Chile and the disappeared. Somehow or another that’s not kind of standard in your ordinary decent war.

This is the kind of ignorance that’s going to escalate as we approach the climax of the 1916/100 commemorations.

It seems that Ms. Finucane happily operates under the delusion that there is such a thing as an ‘ordinary decent war’ and that the participants in these ‘decent’ wars would be outraged at the idea that anybody would be ‘disappeared’.

Stuffed into ovens in millions, yes. Wiped out in mass bombings of cities, yes. Cut down in swathes by machine gun fire and artillery, yes. Systematically cut to pieces for practicing the wrong religion, yes.

But abducted and ‘disappeared’, no, nobody could be that evil – except Sinn Fein/IRA.

Ms Finucane, apparently, can think of only two conflicts, Chile and Northern Ireland, where people were disappeared.

She’s seems to be blissfully unaware the people are disappeared in every war. I would be genuinely astonished to learn of a war in which people were not abducted, murdered and ‘disappeared’.

RTE management really should insist that if a presenter is going to comment on current affairs/history they should possess at least a smidgeon of knowledge on the subject.

Or could it be that Ms. Finucane has so bought into the establishment’s anti Sinn Fein propaganda campaign that she now believes, without question, that acts of war committed by the IRA are, somehow, more gruesome, more reprehensible than any other act of war ever committed throughout history?

Yes, I think that’s nearer the truth.

Copy to:
Marian Finucane