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Dolours Price • 17 January 2005

Bear with me readers because what I am about to throw before you has not as yet fully formed in my own head as a concrete or conclusive opinion. Sort of "Who done it"? and "Why do it"?

I have been keeping a vague eye on this bank robbery business. I say "vague" because to tell you the God's honest truth I've had it up to here with the goings on with Provisional Sinn Fein and the Provisional I.R.A (the later being an Army I once proudly belonged to).

Call me old fashioned if you like, but there used to be standards, codes of conduct, that sort of thing when I was a Volunteer (stone-age I hear my children say).

Robbing a bank, various methods, go in ask for the manager, tell him that you were "liberating funds on behalf of Oglaigh na hEireann", that things would go well so long as he did as you requested. That worked as soon as you showed him your "credentials" tucked in waistband. Jump over the counter, announce who you were and do the job. These methods saved P O'Neill the bother of putting out a statement claiming responsibility.

The "liberated" funds would buy weapons, feed Volunteers on the run, help look after the families of those in gaol and keep the war machine ticking over...remember we were at War then.

The War is over we are told. Guns paid for from those bank robberies are to be melted down, some already have been. So this "big one" is not about buying guns, Provisional Volunteers are not on the run nor are they in prison (with the one or two embarrassing exceptions), so what is all this money needed for? Was it just irresistible, were some who think the "suited men" are getting too much evening up the score (in which case it was an "unofficial operation")? If so, are heads to roll?

Is the rumour true that Gerry Adams needed the funds to begin his Presidential campaign? (Nothing is beyond my realms of disbelief at this time!) Is the money to pension off those who still cling to the hope that Republicanism will survive despite the conversion of the "leadership" to Constitutional Nationalism? Is it to be a pension, a medal and a handshake?

Gerry Kelly said it was "wrong". Did he mean it was wrong to rob a bank? Did he mean it was wrong to rob a bank for "the Cause", or was he saying it was wrong because it put Sinn Fein in bother with their political masters Bertie and Tony? The quagmire thickens. Martin Mc Guinness uses the word "criminals" and some speculate that those who did the job were stood down before the operation and then reinstated once it was over, technically a "criminal" act.

Again call me old fashioned but Republicans always claimed and stood accountable for their actions, successful or disastrous. "Bloody Friday" was a total tragedy, a nightmare with nightmare repercussions. It was claimed and apologised for (useless apology we all know).

"La Mon"? Where to begin apologising? Does the reader see where I'm going with this? Lives versus money, and so much energy is going into denying the theft of money. The men in suits dodge around the question and answer with questions or not at all. "It didn't come my way," scoffed Gerry Kelly at one press interview. No, Gerry, but by the cut of you a lot is going your way. You are far from the 19 year old lad who walked into Brixton Prison with neither in you nor on you (and I mean that as a total compliment). It is coming your way in other ways.

The Provisional Movement claim to be Republican but seem somehow lost in a mad rush to get as much money from whatever source possible: governments, pubs, clubs, shops, banks, schemes, scams, skulduggery; and lost to them in all of this: integrity, principle and credibility. It seems to be everyman for himself, get on the bandwagon and you're a sorry eejit if you don't.

I remember Jack Hermon quoted as saying "everyman has his price". Not every, perhaps many.

I am reminded also of a line from a Yeats poem.
"A terrible beauty is born".

From where I see it, "A terrible beast is born".




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

17 January 2005

Other Articles From This Issue:

Fed Up With the Lies
Michael Benson

Dolours Price

Brian Mór

Strategically induced crises pay rich electoral dividends for Sinn Fein
Anthony McIntyre

Old Foes Discover New Ideas
David Adams

Celebrate 100 Years by Undoing Betrayals
Dr. John Coulter

Saor Eire
Bob Purdie

‘At No Costs to Prisons': Three Books on Beckett
Seaghán Ó Murchú

14 January 2005

Criminalising Republicanism
Anthony McIntyre

Brian Mór

Leading Human Rights Solicitor "Shut Down" by Law Society
Sean Mc Aughey

A Little Known Republican Military Group: Saor Eire
Liam O Ruairc

Too Bad The North's Future Depends On Tony Blair's Bravery
Paul A. Fitzsimmons

Free Tali Fahima - an anti occupation activist in the Israeli prisons
Iris Bar

Marie Wright
Anthony McIntyre



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