The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Pressure on Sinn Fein grows

Tommy McKearney • 8/1/2003

After his clever little intervention in the debate about IRA disbanding, William Hay MLA and member of the DUP may in time become known as ‘Slick Willie’. Playing what on the surface might be read as a reasonable role in the current impasse that has resulted in the suspension of the Stormont institutions, William Hay suggested that his party might well consider working with Sinn Fein at some time in the future. He added, however, that the Sinn Fein party would have to make some adjustments to its constituency. In short, the party would have to be seen to distance itself from the Provisional IRA.

That a leading member of Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party would suggest that his party could ever envisage working with Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness in the administration of Northern Ireland is a new and unprecedented development. Such a proposal would have been unimaginable only a short few months back. Now it seems that the diehards of the DUP are mellowing. Or does it? Perhaps not because in reality the shrewd little intervention by Mr Hay puts the Sinn Fein party leadership under ever greater strain.

During their meeting with British Prime Minister Blair in London, the Sinn Fein leadership will now be told quite bluntly that they are the chief cause of the difficulty in Northern Ireland. It will be pointed out to the Sinn Fein president and his deputy that at this point in time even the DUP appears to be willing to bend over backwards to accommodate an arrangement in Belfast. They will be told that the IRA alone stands in the way of a return of the Institutions.

For those who reflect on the nature of right-wing Northern Irish Unionism, it will be clear that the DUP is unlikely to have undergone a significant change of heart. This latest ‘gesture’ is at best an attempt at mischief making but it will never the less put additional pressure on Sinn Fein to further conform to the template created by the ‘Establishment’.

This is a rare example of DUP finesse. Who has put them up to it, one might well ask.


This article also appears in Fourthwrite and is carried here with permission from the author.










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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.
- Hamilton Wright Mabie

Index: Current Articles

9 January 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Pressure on Sinn Fein Grows
Tommy McKearney


Hiroshima non amour: Desmond Fennell’s predictable dissent

Seaghán Ó Murchú


Bush and Blair are going for it: Time to Act
Davy Carlin


Lied His Way In - Lied His Way Out
Anthony McIntyre


Six Soldiers
Annie Higgins


Imperialism - It Hasn't Gone Away, You Know
Brian Kelly


Picket In Support of Human Rights Activists


The Letters page has been updated.


5 January 2003


Hammering Dissent
Anthony McIntyre


Maria Duce non Dulce (et decorum est)

Seaghán Ó Murchú


Amnesty International & Israel: Say It Isn't So!
Paul de Rooij


A Northern Majority for Irish Unity is Not Too Remote to be of Relevance
Paul A. Fitzsimmons




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