The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Shooting The Fenians
'Hell was not hot enough nor eternity long enough to roast the Fenians.’ - Bishop Moriarty
Anthony McIntyre • 27 January 2004

Over the past number of weeks, West Belfast has witnessed an upsurge in shootings carried out against victims ranging from local hoods to republicans who dissent from Sinn Fein’s brand of state republicanism and remain loyal to the old Fenian tradition of physical force exclusivism. It stretches credulity to believe that such attacks, widely assumed to have been carried out by Provisional nationalists, are not related to Sinn Fein feeling itself squeezed in the wake of the assembly elections despite its success at the polls. With the DUP bouncing on the balls of their feet, determined that Sinn Fein’s balls will be tightly squeezed, the nationalist party can do little but huff and puff. It knows the terrible political price that will be exacted at home and in the US if it targets British security personnel or members of the unionist community. And when its leaders hint at dire but unspecified consequences if the DUP is permitted to renegotiate the Good Friday Agreement, most observers accept that the only people under threat are those from within the nationalist community. Evidence, if any were needed that the British still treat some as second class citizens, whose lives and physical wellbeing should not, unlike other citizens, be allowed to stand in the way of the peace process. They alone can be murdered and maimed for peace. A friend who still subscribes to the physical force tradition captured both the irony and the bankruptcy of Sinn Fein.

You know, I can join the UVF, the UDA or the cops in these areas and I will not be touched. But I stand to be shot by the Provos if I go to an alternative republican organisation.

Such a fate is what befell Geordie McCall, who defiantly detailed to a number of media outlets how a gang of Sinn Fein Greenshirts arrived at his Twinbrook home, manhandled his elderly mother, pulled him out to the garden and then shot him in the ankles. McCall said he believed he was targeted because he opposed the peace process and worked on behalf of IRA prisoners. Others say matters are more complicated than that. According to McCall, when the intruders arrived:

"One identified himself when he came in through the door as Provisional IRA. They then proceeded to drag me to the garden area where another four men were waiting. They held me down on the ground and consequently shot me twice, once in each ankle."

Listening to a Greenshirt leader being interviewed on New York Public Radio yesterday and spuriously claim that his organisation's guns were silent was less irritating than the failure of the interviewer to point out that the vow of silence is invariably broken in the presence of physical force republicans. The dearth of probing was all the more remarkable in such a forum as WNYC due to the fact that Geordie McCall is a US citizen.

Least amongst the things that worried people who supported us while we were prisoners was armed SDLP gangs breaking into their homes and shooting the occupants; that task belonged to the loyalists ably assisted by British state security agencies.

As a means of protecting themselves, some supporters of the Fenian physical force tradition have been toying with the idea of disclosing the identities of their attackers and intimidators to Sinn Fein leaders Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams, and then telling the International Monitoring Commission that they have done this, but without providing any information to the Commission. A different route they could consider would be to seek to enlist the support of Sinn Fein MLA Catriona Ruane who gave as her reason for joining the party: ‘apart from all its great community work, Sinn Féin has placed human rights at the core of its agenda, and this is very important to me.’ Perhaps it is time to find out just how important.








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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

27 January 2004


Other Articles From This Issue:


A Land Fit for Heroes or a Party Suited to Peelers?
Tommy McKearney


Rest in Peace
Brendan Shannon


Shooting the Fenians

Anthony McIntyre


On the Theme of Forgiveness: An Open Letter to Victor Barker
Karen Elliott


A Response to Victor Barker

Liam O Ruairc


TV Times
Eamon Sweeney


Eamonn McCann and Marion Baur


“All bureaucrats are equal but some are more equal than others”
Peter Hadden


Airport Workers Reply
Gordon McNeill, Madan Gupta, and Chris Boyer


20 January 2004


Demise of the Dinosaur?
Eamon Sweeney


The Price the Working Classes Pay for a Pedestal These Days
Mick Hall


The One Eyed Observer

Anthony McIntyre


The Spark in Jeffery
John Fitzharris


Anti-Racism Rally

Davy Carlin


32CSM Condemns PIRA Shooting of Republican Activist
Andy Martin


Semantics of Empire
M. Shahid Alam




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