republicans prepare to commemorate the 25th anniversary
of the '81 hunger strike in a few months' time,
they do so under the shadow that IRA and Sinn Fein
strategy and tactics may have been heavily influenced
by the work of British spies in their ranks.
will be no comfort to the relatives of the 10 republicans
who died in the Maze if they suspect their loved
ones died as as result of British intelligence policy
dictated by the activities of informants and spies
within Irish nationalist circles.
many of the 10 could have been saved from the agonising
death which a hunger strike inflicts upon the human
body? More significantly, how many of the 10 were
deliberately sacrificed to ensure the republican
movement turned away from violence and firmly onto
the road of pure political activity?
unionism should definitely not dance about with
joy at Sinn Fein's acute embarrassment the republican
peace policies were conceived by paid agents of
MI5 and the police Special Branch.
informers can bring republicans into a power-sharing
partitionist parliament at Stormont as well as bring
about the decommissioning of the most powerful terrorist
group in Western Europe, then the Brits have enough
brains to heavily infiltrate Ian Paisley's DUP.
as republicans are asking does a mole exist
even higher up in the movement than Denis Donaldson,
their sacked Stormont head of administration, then
unionists must address the question has the
DUP's modernising wing which came so close to sealing
a deal with Sinn Fein in November 2004 been influenced
by MI5 agents?
the talks at Castle Buildings, Stormont, in the
run-up to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement,
and later in the discussions which spawned the power-sharing
Executive, there were unwritten rules within the
then ruling Ulster Unionists that there were certain
rooms where it was "dangerous" to air
your true opinions.
you wanted to hold some really indepth talks, unionists
used a certain staircase rather than the allocated
party rooms; you did not discuss confidential business
on particular telephone land lines and certainly
never over a mobile phone.
even when the first Assembly was up and running,
there were two influential UUP men you were told
never to hold confidential discussions with because
it was alleged they worked for MI6.
in some UUP personnel's homes, discussions were
held in scenes more reminiscent of the famous Mafia
movie, The Godfather, with the telly or radio blaring
in case the room was bugged.
makes intelligence gathering sense British spooks
would want to know not just the thinking and reactions
of republicans, but also of the two unionists parties,
the SDLP, and the centre Alliance.
the real bugging question is did the British
not simply stop at intelligence gathering; did they
progress their operations by using their paid plants
to influence and implement policy?
this is the case, then British spook hands are dripping
with blood because the peace process did not come
together overnight. To do that could have meant
suspicions being aroused and the identities of agents
like Denis Donaldson and Stakeknife being compromised.
British would need to have resorted to a policy
of "an acceptable level of violence" until
a deal was hammered out. It also begs the question
if the British knew about murder attacks, but let
innocent people be murdered simply to protect their
informants and the development of the peace process.
we see hurriedly arranged Press conferences in unionism
where key personnel confess to being British spooks?
as the intelligence community has pawed over the
private lives of republicans to find suitable candidates
to turn into paid informers, how many unionists
and loyalists have MI5 or the Special Branch recruited
because they were caught in a compromising situation
regarding their domestic arrangements, sexuality
or financial affairs?
you wonder that all of the Troubles were simply
a big melting pot to test British agents for the
eventual global war with an emerging militant Islam
and that the North was simply a convenient back
yard training ground.
Stormontgate, the ongoing saga around the Colombia
Three, and now the expose over Denis Donaldson have
left Sinn Fein's centenary year ending on a bit
of a bum note.
Arthur Griffith must not just be spinning in his
grave with rage, but puking up in his coffin with
if that's not enough egg on the faces of the republican
movement, there's a new rumour doing the rounds
of unionist circles Sinn Fein has adopted a new
buzz phrase for 2006, the 90th anniversary of the
'Our Day Will Come' is the battlecry 'The Unfinished
Revolution', which should go down a bucketful with
the Shinners' communist pals in Cuba and Zimbabwe.
The war may be over, but the revolution is still
running next target, the South of Ireland.
you want more proof, just read the Proclamation
of the Provisional Government signed by Pearse,
Connolly and Co in 1916: "Until our arms have
brought the opportune moment for the establishment
of a permanent National Government ..."
this all leaves a few unanswered questions for the
remnants of the feud-torn republican socialist movement
when will it be its turn to enter mainstream
politics? If Sinn Fein is planning to realign itself
in terms of ideology to make to more acceptable
as a coalition government partner in the Dail with
Bertie Ahern's Fianna Fail, surely the niche will
exist on the Irish political spectrum for a democratic
socialist labour movement?
do committed republicans go when they see Sinn Fein
reforming itself as a dark green SDLP? If the Irish
Republican Socialist Party could dump the INLA,
there may be a democratic home for those republicans
who feel Sinn Fein has become too Anglosised by
the peace process.
time for Sinn Fein to grow up and for the IRSP to
wise up. The 1981 H Blocks campaign proved there
were enough nationalist voters to get IRSP candidates
elected. Like Sinn Fein, the IRSP must come to recognise
that democratic mainstream politics is the only
path for the future.
model should be the former Irish Independence Party
created by the late Protestant nationalist, John
Turnley, who was murdered by the UFF in Carnlough
in 1980. The real question is, does the IRSP have
the political guts to take that all-important first
step and disband the INLA and decommission its arsenal?