The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

What Made Us Distinct

Now not the time for armed struggle,
(18/05/2004), Letters, Irish News

MAYBE it is because it is almost 20 years since Dolours Price put pen to paper and contributed to the Republican struggle that her latest views (the Irish News, May 11) smack of the ‘Good Old IRA’ complex. You know the score: “Ah, the boys would never have done that in my time.” Comfortable as it may well be too hold to this view, either historically or contemporaneously, displaying it does not now and has never helped to progress the Republican struggle. Coldly, clinically and – more importantly – calculatingly, the question should be asked: in the month of May 2004 what will hasten an independent Ireland? My answer and that of an increasing amount of people throughout the island of Ireland is to maximise electoral support for Sinn Fein. If this is not the way forward it is up to other Republicans to make their own proposals.

It would be easy for me as a “truce-aleer”, to quote Dolours, to fight to the last drop of everybody else’s blood and to cheer the ‘boys and girls’ off to ‘war’. However, it is well to remember that it will most likely be my noble sons and daughters (that will not have the luxury of dropping out of the struggle for long periods) that we will be cheering off.

Again coldly, clinically and calculatingly, in May 2004 this would be wrong and, more importantly, futile. The simple fact of the matter is that at this particular juncture in our history, armed struggle is not capable of making the necessary progress.

More importantly, there is an alternative that I believe has not been exhausted yet. That alternative is the dynamic created by the Good Friday Agreement. - SEAMAS O’NEILL, Ballymurphy

Tommy Gorman • 19 May 2004

Seamas O’Neil’s letter displays the same all seeing, all knowing arrogance we have come to expect from Provo apparatchiks. Just how does he know what Dolours Price has been doing during these past 20 years? The fact is, as stated, that Dolours Price wishes to have to no truck with the Stormont pact nor with those, who by their presence sustain and gift it undeserved respectability.

Seamas O’Neil, without a hint of embarrassment, equates the right wing nationalism and socio-economic policies of the Provos that owe more to Maggie Thatcher than to Countess Markievicz, with Republicanism and that people, like Dolours, who have the temerity to challenge or criticise have somehow forsaken the right to be termed Republican.

According to their Newspeak that particular mantle that can only be bourn by those who live in that Provo Never-Never land peopled by the glorious and divine leaders and their unquestioning followers.

Give me a break!

Mr. O’Neil then follows the usual trend of ascribing to Dolours Price things she didn’t actually write. When mentioning the presence or otherwise of the border, the effectiveness of armed action and other matters she was merely pointing out some subjects on which she might not agree with Eamon McCann but that the two were mature enough to discuss them without rancour. Mature thoroughgoing debate and analyses is alien to Provos of the latter day, born again and New Age varieties.

As for the insinuation that she would somehow be sending people out to spill their blood, anyone even half way acquainted with the Price sisters are their family would surely laugh. Dolours didn’t send anyone to bomb London, nor did she coerce anyone into suffering weeks being forced fed as she struggled against criminalisation in an English jail. Nor, indeed, was it she that sent young Keith Rogers to die in South Armagh last year.

In our formative years of learning of what it meant to be a Republican we were told at every opportunity that we weren’t merely about ‘Brits out’. What made us distinct from the other parties, who aspired in different degrees to a united Ireland, was that our ideology was comprised of all of the ‘isms’ required for our non-aligned Ireland of equals, Secularism, Socialism, Separatism, Anti-Sectarianism and anti-Imperialism.

I can’t, for the life of me, remember where I was when plan B was discussed and adopted. But all of a sudden out went all of the old, non-pragmatic ‘isms’ above and in their place we had Nationalism, Nepotism and Gangsterism.





Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews + Letters + Archives

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

29 May 2004


Other Articles From This Issue:


Door to Door: An Irish American House Call
Matthew Kavanah


Republicans who do not follow the Sinn Fein line are also entitled to their opinions
Dolours Price


What Made Us Distinct
Tommy Gorman


US Schools Must Disclose Information About Crime on and Around Campus - (Clery Act USA): Is Similar Legislation Required in Northern Ireland?
Sean Mc Aughey


Old Friends, New Friends
John Kennedy


Memorial Day on WBAI


No More Tears
Omar Barghouti


The Nothing Here to Celebrate Israel Parade, NYC
Mary La Rosa


Génocidaires In Gaza
Anthony McIntyre


A Writer's Writer
Henry McDonald


24 May 2004


Tipping Over Cash Cows
Seaghán Ó Murchú


Dying Easily
Anthony McIntyre


Danger to Society
Chrissie McGlinchey


The Moral Failure of the "Free World" in Gaza
Ghali Hassan


Colin Powell, DOA
Paul de Rooij


The Letters page has been updated.




The Blanket




Latest News & Views
Index: Current Articles
Book Reviews
The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
Republican Voices