1998 in its ceasefire statement the INLA said, We
have accepted the advice and analysis of the Irish
Republican Socialist Party that the conditions for
armed struggle do not exist. The Irish National Liberation
Army has now shifted from the position of defence
and retaliation to the position of complete cease-fire.
INLA was involved in a war of national liberation
against British Imperialism and its local allies.
In accepting that the conditions for armed struggle
against that imperialism no longer existed it recognised
that a particular stage of struggle had ended. The
time for taking the war to the Imperialists and their
reactionary loyalist allies had come to an end.
no section of the republican socialist movement thought
that the Good Friday Agreement was the end game. The
IRSP called for a no vote in relation to that agreement.
Six years on the question has to be asked were the
sacrifices endured by the republican population in
over nearly thirty years of armed struggle wasted
by sordid political trading that has in the end produced
little but electoral gains for one republican political
organisation? It should be noted that the current
electoral strength of Provisional Sinn Fein is just
slightly ahead of the electoral strength of Sinn Fein
in the 1950s.
still claims sovereignty over part of Ireland. The
divisions among working class people in the North
have sharpened and economic exploitation continues
on both sides of the border. Loyalist murder gangs
still exist and are manipulated by both the Special
Branch and British intelligence agencies. There has
been no satisfactory resolution of the burning issue
of collusion. Attacks on perceived nationalist families
continue and street demonstrations of a virulent anti-Catholic
and racist nature have been commonplace since the
first IRA ceasefire while the British overlords and
their lackeys either have done nothing or wring their
hands in mock despair. No amount of political tinkering
will change the virulent anti-Catholic nature of the
Northern Ireland state. Those who think
they can fundamentally reform that state are simply
wrong. The leaders of Unionism so long as they have
the backings of the British imperial state has no
desire or incentive to reach any satisfactory accommodation
with the rest of the inhabitants of the island. The
leaders of Unionism have shown by their complicity
in sectarianism that they are incapable of overcoming
their own historical baggage.
everything is doom and gloom however. It would be
churlish to fail to acknowledge the positive developments
that have occurred over the past few years. Many people
in nationalist areas now have slightly more access
to job opportunities. A new political self confident,
even arrogant political elite is emerging and the
Catholic middle classes have rising expectations.
Compared to many parts of the world the six counties
is comparatively well off.
ex-political prisoners have used the cessation of
violence to develop both their personal and political
skills. Many working class communities have used the
peace money flowing from Europe to benefit their local
communities and heroic work at interfaces have reduced
some of the sectarian tensions.
recent International Monitoring Commission Report
puts all the positives from the ending of the armed
conflict at risk. Political prisoners subsequently
released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement
had to acknowledge that they belonged to an armed
organisation that was now on ceasefire. Many of them
on release gave a commitment to work within the ex-prisoner
community to better the conditions of the whole ex-prisoner
constituency. They joined and supported Teach Na Failte,
the Republican Socialists Ex-Political Prisoners Association
on the basis that they were ex-INLA prisoners. Working
in Teach Na Failte, they have participated in peace-building
exercises, taken conflict resolution courses, mediated
in local disputes and encouraged the politicisation
of working class communities. Much of this work has
been on a voluntary basis as Teach Na Failte was denied
proper funding for a long period. Much of this work
has also been behind the scenes and confidential.
This work has involved them in direct contact with
members of the INLA as Teach Na Failte sought to consolidate
and spread non-violent responses to anti-social behaviour.
All sections of the Republican Socialist Movement
have endorsed the work of Teach Na Failte.
of this is in jeopardy if the IMC report is acted
on. The recommendation in 8.7 that no organisation,
statutory, commercial or voluntary should tolerate
links with paramilitary groups and that the
onus should be on the person believed to have paramilitary
links to show there is no basis for that suspicion
is a recipe for witch hunts, innuendo, gossiping lying
and demonisation. It is going back to the days of
Douglas Hurd who introduced political vetting thus
preventing many groups from funding because of alleged
connections to someone who may or may not have been
associated with armed organisations. How on earth
can a person show that there is no basis for suspicion?
is very clear from even a cursory reading of that
report that the IMC is not an independent body. We
totally reject that the members of the IMC are independent.
Lord John Alderdice is a failed politician who jumped
ship as leader of the Alliance Party to take up a
well-paid sinecure as speaker in Stormont. He supports
the retaining within the British Army of soldiers
guilty of the murder of Peter McBride. The two representatives
from Ireland and Britain both had portfolios for dealing
with so called terrorism and the USA representative
Dick Kerr was deputy director of the CIA, which produces
books on how to torture, kill, assassinate and so
on as well as having been involved in the overthrow
of democratic elected governments. During his time
in the CIA that organisation engaged in drug dealing
and illegal arms trading. Hardly an individual to
lecture any Irish republican on respect for the law.
produced its first report three months early at the
specific request of the two Governments and specifically
to address the Kellys Cellars incident of the
20th of February. It names the four individuals allegedly
involved in the Tohill affair. As of this moment they
are not guilty of anything yet are publicly named
in an official document. At the same time an individual
charged with the killing of a Catholic whose death
the IMC says was paramilitary related is not named.Why
the different treatments for republican and loyalists?
Furthermore, the report totally ignores the whole
issue of collusion. The running sore not only of the
Pat Finucane case but also of numerous other deaths
due to security force collusion with loyalist murder
gangs is not addressed. Yet the IMC sees fit to take
evidence from the same security forces believed to
be implicated in murder. The IMC cannot be seen as
independent. It even admits that the British Government
has not yet given it permission to address the whole
issue of demilitarisation of the British forces.
whole politically biased report is clearly directed
at Republicans. It also makes clear that it sees its
role as making the rule of law work. There
is still strong political disagreement as to what
constitutes the rule of law and who should be enforcing
that law within the Northern state.
the IMC seem to think that policing is not a political
issue. They believe all political parties should support
the current policing set-up. They miss the point entirely.
Many republican deny the legitimacy of the Northern
state and so cannot support the police force of that
is a highly charged political issue and the IMC miss
that point entirely.
evidence that the IMC reached its conclusions is not
available. They claim to have a wide variety of sources
including British security forces yet do not specify
what those sources are. This opens the door to malicious
muck spreading by people with their own petty vendettas.
It echoes the McCarthy era in the USA in the 1950s
IMC also acknowledge that they dont require
the same level of proof that would be required in
a court of law and yet they are prepared to name and
shame individuals. Their objective in Article Three
to promoting the transition to a peaceful
and stable and inclusive devolved Government in Northern
Ireland while political questionable is also
undermined by its recommendations in 7.7 to hold individuals
personally and publicly to account. This
is taking the society back to the days of political
censorship, of gagging orders. Furthermore it has
implications for the safety of the individuals concerned;
-to shine a spotlight will put peoples
lives at risk and would surely be in breach of the
human rights of the individuals concerned. Even the
IMC must recognise that International Agreements oblige
them not to put the safety or life of any person at
risk nor prejudice legal proceedings.
part of the report concerning the INLA is factually
wrong, politically biased, and based on inaccurate
falsified special branch documents. The IMC did not
seek the views of the Irish Republican Socialist Party.
No member of the Republican Socialist Movement gave
evidence to the IMC. Nor will any member of this movement
give evidence to the IMC.
declared a ceasefire in 1998 which still survives
after a fashion. The INLA remains active." (IMC
us be very, very clear. It is our very clear understanding
that the INLA ceasefire was not the result of an agreement,
negotiations or vague promises. The INLA did not make
any secret deals with anyone and the ceasefire did
not depend on gaining the goodwill of any group government
or agency. It is not for the IMC, the British Government
nor the Irish Government to define the INLA ceasefire.
That is solely a matter for the INLA itself.
reject utterly the following allegation from the IMC:
The group is heavily involved in criminality,
especially drugs, and finances itself by extorting
money from both legitimate and illegitimate sources.
No member of the INLA is involved in drug dealing.
The IRSP have challenged those journalists who have
made these allegations in the past to produce the
evidence. We repeat that challenge. We have specifically
approached two well know journalists who have repeated
these allegations in to produce the evidence of INLA
involvement in drug dealing. We are still waiting.
We note that one member of the IMC was a former leader
of an organisation that traded drugs for guns in the
1980s so we will take no lectures from those
who hands are stained with the blood of the poor of
Nicaragua. We are however aware that a small number
of pseudo gangs, and former members of not only the
INLA but other republican armies are engaged in extortion,
racketeering and drug dealing using the name of the
INLA. Some of these gangs are operating obviously
with the full approval of the so-called security forces.
The Irish Republican Socialist Party reject in its
entirety the first IMC report. It is a hastily prepared
cut and paste job totally devoid of intellectual rigour,
factually incorrect, politically biased, without any
understanding of the republican position on the national
question and based on a mishmash of half truths, gossip
and extracts from the more lurid stories of the gutter
press. The IMCs independence is a sham; it is
a tool of policy for both the British and Irish Governments
with a mandate to isolate and demonise republicans.
The haste with which the whole of the great and the
good, including the political and church elites endorsed
this badly researched piece of work only exposes their
own political bias. Those who have endorsed the IMC
report have been sold a pup.
Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews +
Letters + Archives