Dr John Coulter ✍ While there can be no doubting that political Unionism and Loyalism received one heck of a loud wake-up call after the Provisional IRA’s political wing, Sinn Fein, easily snatched the crown of being the largest party in Northern Ireland’s local government scene, the council poll should also serve as an equally loud warning to the Dublin establishment parties as to what is coming down the track at them potentially at the next Dail General Election.

If the Northern Sinn Fein surge is replicated in the Republic’s next General Election, then Leinster House will be firmly in the hands of Sinn Fein TDs and Taoiseach Mary Lou McDonald will be leading a majority Sinn Fein government.

Much as it sticks in my throat as a Unionist to admit this, but the IRA’s political wing ran an almost perfect council election campaign in Northern Ireland in terms of voter turnout, vote management and especially propaganda stunts, such as the Coronation attendance.

If there was any fault which the IRA’s ruling Army Council did not tell Sinn Fein, it was that the party made the same mistake as in the last Dail General Election - Sinn Fein did not run enough candidates across Northern Ireland’s 11 super councils.

Even the most enthusiastic of pundits was predicting that while Sinn Fein would become the largest party at council level in Northern Ireland, it was estimated Sinn Fein would peak at around 130 councillors Province-wide.

Instead, Sinn Fein returned 144 councillors - up from 105 in the 2019 local government poll. Given the precise nature of Sinn Fein’s vote management, had the party run more council candidates this month, Sinn Fein could have even pushed through the 150 councillor total.

Indeed, the only way the Dublin establishment could keep Sinn Fein out of government in Leinster House was to form an historic political shotgun marriage between traditionally bitter enemies Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

So just as Unionism and Loyalism need an urgent conversation about greater electoral co-operation, so too, do Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil - and indeed anyone who is not Sinn Fein - need an urgent conversation to establish a new Pan Nationalist Front in the Dail if the Provisional IRA’s political wing is to be denied the ultimate double whammy - in power in both the republic and Northern Ireland simultaneously.

If the DUP agrees a Windsor Framework cash compromise which will enable the party to trigger the Stormont power-sharing Executive, Unionism will have to swallow the bitter medicine of having to serve under a Sinn Fein First Minister even though the posts of First and deputy First Minister are supposed to be joint.

But knowing the Sinn Fein propaganda machine, Sinn Fein MLA Michelle O’Neill will easily be spun in PR terms as Northern Prime Minister.

The key issue now becomes - have all the Southern parties and Independent candidates enough political savvy to form a cohesive Pan Nationalist Front to once again deny Mary Lou McDonald both the Taoiseach and Tanaiste offices?

The problem any new Southern-based Pan Nationalist Front against Sinn Fein faces is that there is a new generation of first-time voters and young voters as well as middle class voters for whom the atrocities of the Provos during the Troubles are merely dates and times in history books.

Sinn Fein has been very effective in its revisionism of Irish history and especially in its ‘we must move forward’ campaign. It has been able to keep its republican heartlands on board with commemorations for dead IRA terrorists, without the wider Southern community becoming too annoyed about terrorist atrocities and massacres in Northern Ireland or the murder of Gardai in the Republic.

If the Southern opinion polls are accurate and Sinn Fein does make significant gains in Leinster House, then this will be the most historic situation Sinn Fein has been in since the 1918 Westminster General Election when the entire island was part of the British Empire.

In that immediate post Great War poll, Sinn Fein raked up around 70 of the 105 House of Commons seats on offer to assume the mantel of the largest political party in Ireland. But Sinn Fein was incapable of doing democratic government.

Having established the a Dail and negotiated the Anglo-Irish Treaty, instead of using it as a springboard for eventual all-island Irish Unity, Sinn Fein split over the Treaty sparking a bloody civil war which saw more IRA people executed by the pro-Treaty Free State forces than were killed by the Black and Tans during the previous War of Independence.

Put bluntly, does Sinn Fein have the political maturity to run a democratic government north or south in geographical island, or would its loony Left-wing policies - especially on social housing - bankrupt the Irish Republic, bearing in mind - post Brexit - there are no British millions to bail out the Celtic Tiger economy if Sinn Fein tries to covert Southern Ireland into some kind of old-style communist East German mythical utopia?

Perhaps what could kill off any notion of Irish Unity for at least a generation to come, would be a good dose of Sinn Fein in government in both Stormont’s Parliament Buildings and Dublin’s Leinster House?

Up until the 1981 republican hunger strikes, Sinn Fein was nothing more than a social club to mark the failure of the 1916 Easter Rising as well as an apologist for Provisional IRA terrorism.

The republican movement realised the power of the ballot box when the first IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands won the Fermanagh South Tyrone Westminster by-election in 1981. After his death, the seat was held by Sands’ election agent Owen Carron.

Then again, the republican movement cannot get over that it is merely a protest organisation. The British Government was effectively willing to give in to republican demands after the second hunger striker, Francis Hughes, died in 1981. So why did republicanism insist on letting the other eight IRA and INLA hunger strikers die?

In short, Sinn Fein’s political Achilles heel is that it doesn’t know when to wind its neck in and say ‘enough is enough’. It needs to constantly protest and ‘be agin something’.

So Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Irish Labour et al have some political soul searching to do before Christmas. Do they form a genuine, workable Pan Nationalist Front that no matter how many TDs Mary Lou McDonald walks into Leinster House with, she will again be denied the top posts in the Dail?

Or, do they accept the polls, allow Sinn Fein into government and watch this traditional party of protest wreck the economies north and south of the Irish border. Sinn Fein’s new East Germany vision would be punished at the polls in later years.
Follow Dr John Coulter on Twitter @JohnAHCoulter
Listen to commentator Dr John Coulter’s programme, Call In Coulter, every Saturday morning around 10.15 am on Belfast’s Christian radio station, Sunshine 1049 FM. Listen online

New Pan Nationalist Front Needed To Derail Sinn Fein Rollercoaster

A Digest of News ✊ from Ukrainian Sources ⚔ 9 May 2023.

News from the territories occupied by Russia

This bulletin is put together by labour movement activists in solidarity with Ukrainian resistance. Moreinformation.

We are also on twitter. Our aim is to circulate information in English that to the best of our knowledge is reliable. If you have something you think we should include, please send it to 2022ukrainesolidarity@gmail.com.

The bulletin is also stored on line here.

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News From Ukraine 💣 Bulletin 45


A Morning Thought @ 1804

Anthony McIntyre ⚽ The past few seasons with the close run title race between Liverpool and Manchester City invariably meant that, come the final day of the campaign, the focus was on what was happening at the top of the table. 

Today it was different. While Liverpool were never contenders, for long enough the title battle was anything but a one horse race. Prior to shooting themselves in both feet the Gunners looked well placed to repeat Leicester's surprise smash and grab of seven years ago. With nothing left in the arsenal to reload, the Londoners could only gaze north and watch City cruise to their third title in succession. With matters settled at the top, the periscope was pulled and all eyes this afternoon were averted to the bottom of the table clashes, where three clubs were fighting for survival, only one of which could avoid the drop. 

Our game of choice was the decider at Goodison. Whatever happened with Leeds or Leicester, the Toffees held the fate of all three relegation rooters in their hands. Ensconced within a Liverpool hoodie, alongside my son I watched the game hoping Everton would stay up. He is always incredibly well informed about players and stats so I am constantly in receipt of a live feed when viewing a game with him. 

While an avid Liverpool supporter who hates to see the blue side of the city triumph over the red, when it comes to the wider city, on this occasion I very much wanted to see the Evertonians get their victory. The people of Liverpool deserve it. The one city that has told the monarchy where to go and has persistently been a bane to the establishment is welcome to a respite from the opprobrium thrown its way by officialdom.

Liverpool FC’s derby rivals, Everton are the second longest side in the topflight of English soccer, only Arsenal with a longer pedigree. On occasion they have almost let go of the safety rail but somehow managed to stay up. Today’s side is a long way off from the great team of the 1980s. Always in the shadow of their illustrious rivals, it has struggled to do the city proud. But today, it came good when in that formidable Scouse determination the blue side of Liverpool brought out its sticky toffee attribute and glued itself to the Premiership for at least another season, courtesy of a super strike by Abdoulaye Doucoure. It was almost as good as Graeme Sharpe's goal of the season against Liverpool in 1984. 

Had today's match been played mid season it would have seemed pedestrian. But the final game of the season with everything hanging on it, it was even more highly charged than many cup finals. With ten minutes added time, even my wife's fine Mexican cuisine could not tempt us away from the screen to the table she had laid out in the back garden.

While rooting for Everton to stay up it was with a tinge of sadness that I saw Leeds United go down. Their performances this season left them unworthy of Premiership status. It is not that they did not have enough time to steady the ship and guide it through choppy waters. Once Bielsa got the chop Leeds' destiny always looked to be the drop. Although as Barry Gilheany reminded me. Bielsa sealed his own fate with his exciting but wayward brand of soccer, leaving the club with little option but to look elsewhere for the leadership that would have put the brake on its rapid descent.  

A new season beckons the other side of July. Everton have come perilously close to being relegated in their last two outings. The ominous thought of three strikes and you are out must be hovering like a bad smell at this evening's victory banquet. 

Still for now, a glass shall be raised to my old friend Kevin Keogh, a very relieved blue.

Follow on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre.

Toffee Time

Only Sky ✒ If I’ve never mentioned it, my pronouns are he/him.

Adam Lee

I didn’t grow up with people stating their preferred pronouns, and it used to strike me as a strange custom.

But now that I’ve gotten used to the idea, I’ve come to see the logic of it. It’s not only for the sake of transgender people. It helps us all to be polite.

If your pronouns are obvious, there’s no harm in mentioning them. And if your pronouns aren’t obvious, it saves strangers from committing an embarrassing faux pas. 

Not everyone conforms to gender stereotypes; some people have an androgynous appearance. Making your pronouns known when you meet someone clears up any potential confusion. It’s no different than using “Mr.” and “Ms.”

However, one Christian college didn’t see it that way:

A New York Christian university terminated two employees for putting pronouns in their respective email signatures, these former workers allege, according to reports.
Raegan Zelaya and Shua Wilmot, who were residence hall directors at Houghton University, said administrators told them to take the words “she/her” and “he/him” off their email signatures.

Yes, you read that right. A Christian school fired two employees for merely mentioning their pronouns in their e-mail signatures. It’s Christianity against pronouns!

Continue reading @ Only Sky.

Christians Against Pronouns

National Secular Society has warned members of Boston Council against characterising criticism of religion as 'hate speech'.

In a letter, the NSS expressed concern at comments made in relation to Councillor Mike Gilbert at the council's AGM on May 22.

In accordance with the council's tradition, as the longest serving member of the council Cllr Gilbert had been due to be appointed Mayor of Boston.

However, he was denied the role following accusations that a number of Facebook posts made in 2022 constituted 'hateful speech' towards Muslims.

The comments relating to Islam were made during the football World Cup hosted by Qatar, and raised concerns about aspects of Islamic doctrine which criminalise homosexuality and severely restrict the rights of women.

At the council meeting (pictured), Cllr Gilbert said: "I hold no prejudice against anyone on any inappropriate basis, but I do have specific views on politics, ideology, and religion that I am not willing to suppress in my political position".

Councillor Anne Dorrian, who was serving as mayor at the time, said that councillors had a political and moral obligation to "refrain from using hate speech". Failure to condemn such speech, Cllr Dorrian warned, could be interpreted as expressions of "approval or support".

Continue reading @ NSS.

NSS Warns Council On Free Speech After ‘Islamophobia’ Allegations

Right Wing Watch 👀 Conspiracy Theorist Clay Clark Brags of Connecting ‘The Prophets’ to ‘Trump’s Inner Circle’.

Kyle Mantyla 

Clay Clark is a far-right conspiracy theorist who has been organizing “ReAwaken America” rallies where various election, Covid-19, and QAnon conspiracy theorists are brought together in churches to spread their disinformation all over the nation.

Clark’s events are a nonstop cavalcade of outlandish conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric mixed with aggressive Christian nationalism. For For example, during a recent event at one of former President Donald Trump’s properties in Florida, a self-proclaimed “prophet” named Amanda Grace warned about the dangers posed by technologically advanced “mermaids and water people.”

Speaking alongside Grace at this event were Eric and Lara Trump, and Clark recently bragged that through his ReAwaken America event, he has been able to connect Trump”s “inner circle” to prophets like Grace.

During an appearance on the Elijah Streams network last Wednesday, Clark reported that he has been successful in his effort to directly connect with Trump and has been working to ensure that Trump will be “surrounded by both prophets and pastors” if he is reelected to the White House.

Continue reading @ Right Wing Watch.

Connecting The Prophets To Trump

Lynx By Ten To The Power Of Five Hundred And Sixty Two


A Morning Thought @ 1803

Brandon Sullivan ✍ with the third part of his dig into the British state's Dirty War in the North.

Part one available here, and part two available here. It’s probably best to read them both before getting into the detail contained in this part.

How Did Clive Fairweather Come to Believe that UDR Sergeant William Black was the UFF’s Captain Black?

A commenter described William Black as “shady.” Perhaps he was. It is clear that some people who might nowadays be described as “securocrats” wanted other people to believe so. I have come into possession of some documents that will evidence either the smearing of William Black, or the identification of him as a paramilitary figure.

A document titled Restricted - Special Handling, and with a copy list containing: Mr Cooper; Mr Howard-Drake; Mr Goddard; Mr Adler; Mr Gilliand; Mr Carter; and Mr Reid, was compiled. I believe that the copy list are probably senior members of the Northern Ireland Office, and that the information was provided by elements of British military intelligence. It says:

“BLACK is an “easily led” man who has the nickname of “Hallelujah” and “Bible Black” on account of his following the Brethren religious sect. He often becomes belligerent and enjoys arguments and rows. His ex UDR Company Commander stated that he would happily join anyone who wished to volunteer to go out into the streets and shoot up Roman Catholics.”

The document also claims that William Black’s brother, as part of a family feud, shot him with a shotgun, and that that brother, like William, was a UDR man, and also dismissed for “irregularity and nonattendance.”

Another RUC document stated that:

Police enquiries have established that the stolen property consists of freezers (part of a consignment hi-jacked on 20 November 1973 in the Lisburn Road area)’ wines and sherries (hi-jacked on 13 December 1973 in the Mountpottinger area) and carpets (hi-jacked on 24 January 1974 in the Tennent Street area). From a delicate source the police have reason to believe that the stolen property referred to was stored on behalf of the Shankill UDA.

It is worth remembering that the RUC did not see any of the stolen goods when they first visited the scene of William Black’s February 1974 shooting, and that William Black lived among Catholics in several of his previous addresses. Should the documents above be accepted at face value, or seen as after-the-fact smearing of a man that became the target of totally discredited and vengeful British army undercover soldiers?

I’m speculating, but I think Fairweather remembered William Black’s name, and the smearing of him by various British army personnel, and conflated the two. I am not sure if he would have known, or remembered, the minutiae of the case. My former military contact knew exactly who I was talking about as soon as I mentioned the SAS claim to have killed Captain Black of UFF infamy.

Who Killed UDR/UDA Member John Thomas “Jackie” Todd?

Photo from CAIN. Note also Michael Morrison,
UDA member killed in 1993 Shankill bomb


I finished my last article on this subject with a number of questions, one of which was:

Why was Jackie Todd killed? And who within the British army killed him? And how did his personal weapon end up in a house which had been taken possession of by the SAS?

Having been given an entirely plausible account from a military source, I believe that the man who shot and killed Jackie Todd was a Corporal with the Light Infantry, and I further believe that, as was standard practise at the time for a British solider killing an “insurgent” that the Corporal received the Military Medal in due course. It’s conjecture as to how his personal weapon ended up in a house occupied by SAS men, but I doubt the Corporal would have been decorated had he been obstructive or asked too many questions. A Light Infantry Corporal receiving the Military Medal in a time frame fitting with Todd’s killing was Neville Robert Robson. However it might not be the same person. 

The manner in which Todd was killed, and his killer honoured, was similar to scores of other British army killings, except that Todd was a loyalist, in the UDR, and (arguably) from the PUL community. This type of killing was almost routine. His personal weapon ending up at the scene of an SAS operation is not.

Who shot William Black?

The Commanding Officer of the men involved in ambushing William Black in February 1974 was a Major, who retired as a Brigadier-General and went on to have a high profile career in a United Nations organisation. His name was Antony Mornement. One of the gun-men, the officer in charge, was described by Black has having a “flint like face” and by an RUC officer as looking “murderous” with “sideburns and a dark beret.” Black described and drew the insignia of the man’s beret, which the journalist instantly recognised as belonging to the SAS.

I believe that this man was Lt Julian 'Tony' Ball (ex SAS, Parachute regiment, and commissioned in 1970).

Photo from Noonans.co.uk

Ball was previously implicated in the shooting of two politically uninvolved nationalists, as well as a number of other incidents in and outside Ireland. For more information, please read this excellent account in TheBrokenElbow.

Ball is on the far right with camo cream,
photo from TheBrokenElbow.com

You can see how the British government decorated its killers by looking at an auction of Julian Ball’s medal collection here. In the blurb, Ball is described as “a slim, thin faced individual who had an excess of nervous energy.”

What happened to Sean McNamee?

One of the saddest things I discovered researching this complex set of stories is the fate of Sean McNamee.

Photo source: Belfast Telegraph

As I have noted in previous parts of this story, Sean McNamee was an entrepreneurial man, employing many in west Belfast. On Friday, October 10th, in the midst of the Sticks feud with the Provos, two men and a woman entered McNamee's business premises at the Whiterock industrial estate. The trio were members of the Official IRA and they were after the wages packets that Sean's brother, Denis, was making up. As they were collecting the money, one of the robbers asked if that was all of it. Sean replied "you forget that " and pointed to some loose coins. At that moment, he moved across the office, and as he did, 20 year old Official IRA man Charles Anthony Fitzpatrick shot him a number of times with a revolver.

Sean fell to the ground, fatally wounded, and one of his colleagues struck Fitzpatrick over the head with an iron bar. Fitzpatrick’s comrades fled, whilst McNamee’s brothers “set upon” him. Fitzpatrick went to Long Kesh for murder. The OIRA didn’t get any money from the raid.

Sean McNamee left behind two children. One of his cousins, Brendan McNamee, also died in 1975, in June, killed by the Provos.

I think there is still much more to this story. It reads like fiction, but is all too real. In the right hands, a compelling documentary series could be made out of this source material.

I’d like to thank all of the sources who helped me with this three part article. Unfortunately, I think this may be the last in-depth piece of research I’m able to do for the Quill for a little while – but as ever, I welcome comments, constructive criticism, and most importantly, bits of information I can look further into.

⏩ Brandon Sullivan is a middle aged, middle management, centre-left Belfast man. Would prefer people focused on the actual bad guys. 

Killing Captain Black? The Curious Case Of The UDR Sergeant Targeted by Undercover British Soldiers – Part Three

Michael O’Rourke ✍ It is accepted generally by historians that Ireland’s fight for freedom over the centuries has been central to and disproportionately of greater importance in geo-political terms to its actual size. 

 Our struggle against British colonialism and the British Empire was a constant rebuke marring its dreams of glory. Ireland’s struggle against British occupation inspired the peoples of the world, reigniting into the modern era with the heroic Easter Rising of 1916, it impacted worldwide, resonating and triggering the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, and seen as a portent for the demise of the British Empire.

Naturally all republicans are familiar with this history and rightly proud of it, just as they are proud of the republican struggle against the continued occupation of the Six-Counties. However, needless to say, British imperialism and its partners, ie NATO, have not gone away; they still dominate the world through predatory military and financial means, and economic warfare on subject countries.

A cursory examination of the origins of NATO will show that it is in military terms the iteration of the British Empire. Britain is the second power in NATO after the U.S., and as we know they are currently pursuing a proxy war against Russia and the people of former eastern Ukraine by means of the fascist police state of Ukraine which they took over through the Nazi led 2014 coup in Kiev. At this time the war in Ukraine is the epicentre of the clash between Imperialism led by the U.S./UK and the lesser European powers, and any people or country resisting Western diktat and domination.

Therefore it is absolutely incumbent on republicans to call for the defeat of NATO and its fascist proxy regime in Kiev. We should demonstrate openly our support for the forces of Russia and Donbass through every means. We should consider picketing of U.S./UK embassies, EU Commission offices, and the pro-NATO, pro-Unionist RTE who dish out mountains of lies and propaganda daily on behalf of the Irish government’s obsequious support for the U.S./UK warmongering.

In directing our political energies in this way, we will be asserting the revolutionary and internationalist principles of our patriot leaders of 1916. We will demonstrate republican leadership against imperialism, and we will rebuke all of the Leinster House politicians who have shamed our country by siding with our traditional enemy against Russia and the civilian population of Donbass, currently enduring Storm Shadow missile bombardment supplied by Britain.

These same Leinster House politicians, while supporting NATO’s proxy war, have sought to completely marginalise republicans by moving ever closer to British imperialism and NATO. Consequently it is imperative for republicans to grasp the significance of a decisive political campaign against British NATO, which regardless of the numbers involved it will, without doubt, resonate internationally, bringing us greater support here at home and elsewhere.

This does not in any way mean a diversion from our immediate national priorities and political tasks. On the contrary it will be the opposite. It is these geo-political currents that are driving events here in Ireland, and it is our responsibility to intervene politically as part of our fight against British occupation and 26 county collaboration. In so doing we will not only win more support here at home, but we will also deepen our understanding of the complexities of the international context of the issues and tasks before us in furthering the republican agenda against the political establishment’s attempt to marginalise it. These matters are urgent, and they will be decisive regarding the political future of republicanism.

Indicating how far they have prostrated themselves before U.S/UK hegemony, Micheál Martin proclaimed in the Dáil that Ireland’s security is no longer safe, that we are in danger possibly from the Russian military. He was obviously alluding to his new favourite theme; Ireland joining NATO and bringing us back under the “protection” of the British military. Naturally though, it didn’t occur to Martin when he was alluding to this farcical nonsense about a Russian threat that his speech coincided with the 49th anniversary of the British/UVF Dublin/Monaghan bombings. Or that his government’s whole relationship with the British is founded on that bombing, only recently to be interrupted by a breakdown over Brexit.

Neither did he recall the more recent deployment by Boris Johnson of the Unionist paramilitary drug gangs, threatening to “march” on Dublin over their Brexit gripes with Dublin. Instead Micheál Martin sees no threat there and wants us to join with the British and their Unionist paramilitaries under NATO. Republicans need to oppose all this treachery of the Irish nation and Irish independence. We need to starkly stand out from the various political parties and groups who in one way or another are in tow with the pro-NATO 26 county government.

We will do this by standing on the side of Russia and in real terms the people of the whole world outside of the Western powers led by the U.S/UK. This is in line with the revolutionary principles of the 1916 leaders. It is incumbent on us therefore to politically fight against the reverberations of NATO’s proxy war and its supporters in our own country. And it is our pathway forward to a successful political future strengthening the republican cause.

🖼 Michael O’Rourke is a former POW imprisoned on behalf of the INLA.

The International Perspective

Marty Flynn is full of praise for the staff and pupils of a Poleglass primary school.

There has been a lot of bad press regarding Poleglass over the years.

However, tonight I spent the most wonderful hour and half or so in St Kieran's Primary School watching their production of Oliver Twist.

I can only say that this production by everyone involved was as good as any professional stage show.

The kids were outstanding and their enthusiasm showed in their performance. The singing and acting was flawless and natural. The choir lighting and sound top class.

The background artistry was brilliant. To pick out any single performer would be remiss as it was definitely a team effort.

All credit to those over worked and the underpaid teachers who produced and organised this. To generate such a spirit in children takes dedication. 

And to the children who took part - large or small parts. They are a credit to the school and to Poleglass. 

A great show worth catching if you can. I am sure there will be calls for this to run and run.

Marty Flynn is a Poleglass resident 

A Great Twist

Lynx By Ten To The Power Of Five Hundred And Sixty One