A Lack Of Hot Pursuit

With Stormont in stalemate, commentator Dr John Coulter uses his Fearless Flying Column to call for an all-island security forum to protect Ireland from the threat posed by jihadi cells.

A Fine Gael/Unionist coalition could effectively dominate a badly-needed North/South security forum of TDs and MLAs.

If Fine Gael Taoiseach Leo Varadkar wants to make the most of his forays north of the Irish border, he needs to prepare for the eventuality that the DUP and Sinn Fein will not agree a deal to kick start the Stormont institutions.

Emperor Leo needs to box clever and have a magic security rabbit up his sleeves. With a Dail General Election looming, Big Leo doesn’t want to find himself relying on other parties to prop up a Fine Gael minority government – especially not Sinn Fein.

Big Leo needs a clear FG majority government. He does not want – or need – a mirror image of the hysteria which hit Theresa May when she had to team up with the DUP and many folk on the British mainland reacted as if the Protestant Taliban had swept to power in Downing Street.

Big Leo could face similar street and media hysteria if he had to swallow the bitter medicine that in order to form a stable coalition partnership in Leinster House – especially with the challenges of Brexit looming – he had to climb into bed politically with the Provisional IRA’s apologist wing.

As for the Stormont institutions, why should Arlene Foster’s DUP be in a rush to get devolved government back when Tory PM Theresa May has to rely on the DUP’s 10 Westminster MPs to keep her in power, especially when the seven Sinn Fein MPs don’t take their seats so their Commons presence is totally meaningless.

As for Sinn Fein back home in Ireland, the party has realized that the path to eventual Irish unity lies via Leinster House, not Stormont. Party president and Louth TD Gerry Adams will want all republican resources pumped into guaranteeing that whichever of the two main parties emerges as top dog after the next Dail poll – Fine Gael or Fianna Fail – that Sinn Fein will have enough TDs to make sure it becomes a minority partner in the next coalition.

With the Yanks squaring up to knock seven bells out of North Korea, and the Israelis preparing the kick ass again in Lebanon and Palestine, there a real chance Islamic militants will use Ireland to launch a suicide bomb blitz on Britain, and even Ireland itself.

With the peace honeymoon still in full flow, the Dail and Stormont need to maximise the cross-border luvvy-duvvy mood even if Sinn Fein and the DUP can’t reach a workable Stormont deal.

As an urgent matter, they should set up a joint Leinster House/Northern Assembly all-party security body to combat the threat posed by international terrorist nutters.

There is the danger with all the legal migrant workers and asylum seekers pouring into our island, a few illegal terrorists could slip through the immigration net and use cover of the Celtic Tiger as a training ground for more 9/11s and 7/7s.

What is required is a workable all-island security policy allowing free access for the Gardai, PSNI, Southern special forces, SAS, MI5 and MI6 to roam anywhere in Ireland – north or south – to nab potential suicide bombers.

During the Troubles, because of a lack of ‘hot pursuit’, the Brits could not chase republicans into the South, and the Irish Defence Forces could not pursue loyalists into the North.

How many terrorists could have been caught or shot if Northern and Southern security forces had been allowed to roam the entire island at will, leaving no hiding places for Provo or UDA gunmen and bombers?

Ok, we would have been facing the mother of all diplomatic rows if the SAS had carried out a Gibraltar-style execution of known south Armagh Provos as they shopped in a Cork street.

Not to mention how Unionists would go ballistic if a Gardai undercover unit had wiped out a UVF bomb team as it left the loyalist Shankill Road.

Add to the mix allegations of collusion between the Northern security forces and loyalists, as well as Southern security personnel and the Provos and you have a real argy-bargy international shouting match.

But this is different from the sectarian conflict which gripped Ireland for eight centuries. Modern Middle Eastern suicide bombers don’t care who they kill.

For them, everyone is a target so they can earn their reward of 70 plus virgins waiting to serenade them as they enter eternity.

The mere mention of ‘shoot to kill’ of known terrorist activists, or putting suspects in detention camps will have the human rights lobby down on you like a ton of bricks.

What about the human rights of the island’s innocent citizens going about their business? Surely, Northern and Southern elected representatives have a moral duty to protect us from suicide bombing nutcases?

So as the overwhelming majority of people in Ireland can live in peace, we need an all-island draconian anti-terror policy which is just as effective in Sligo and Wexford as it is in Ballymena and Derry.

And there are enough Right-wing TDs and MLAs to form an effective all-island voting block to ensure such a policy is passed at a future North/South Security Forum.

If Emperor Leo’s Fine Gael group of TDs joined up with Northern Unionism’s MLAs, it would form a united Right of Centre power block of more than 100 politicians.

That’s a slim majority over Fianna Fail linking up with a Northern SDLP/Green coalition to form a 101-strong Left of Centre group. I can’t see Sinn Fein wanting to get involved with any security policy which suggests a ‘shoot to kill’ approach.

Modern Irish politics is full of groups, cabals and coalitions. The bitter medicine is that they don’t have the luxury of time on their side to implement an all-island anti-terror strategy.

Leo and Arlene need to realise that amid all the jolly-making at Pride 2017, the sleeper cells of Ireland’s Middle Eastern terrorists are awake.

They need to be stopped before an unsuspecting Irish town or city wakens to another Omagh or Monaghan – only this time ISIS’s chums will have been responsible. 

Follow Dr John Coulter on Twitter   @JohnAHCoulter

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

1 comment to ''A Lack Of Hot Pursuit"

  1. Makes far more sense just to 'disappear' the jihadi's(!)

    That would put the fear right up them. Sure, to hell with human rights for expediency.


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