Cartoon by Brian Mór
Click to enlarge

Brownie in the Big Apple

Cartoon by Brian Mór
Click to enlarge


  1. F##kin brilliant Brian,hound that man to his hell! half way through Richard O Rawes Afterlives, I believed Richard,s version of the events surronding the hunger strikes in 81 in his other book Blanketmen, i.e,six brave men died needlessly,at the behest of Adams and his few cronies to promote psf on to a higher political plane,if anything Richards new book makes me think that Adams and his committee were acting without authority from the army council and withheld important and vital information from the council in relation to The Mountain Climber and the proposed deal to end the hunger strike,I now am of an opinion that those on the army council in that period around 1981 are just as guilty of cowardice in allowing Adams and his gang to usurp their authority,their lack of leadership allowed Adams and co to undermine and destroy the republican struggle for their own selfish political gains,bringing all those years of struggle to an ignominious end,those council members should be treated as guilty as the Adams crew for the needless deaths of six brave men!

  2. I doubt if they colluded in the usurpation of their own authority. I guess the Master did what he always does and manipulated the situation to produce an outcome that suited him. The council most likely believed that the committee was working for the best outcome and let it get on with it as happens when authority is delegated. Who would have suspected then that an agenda other than bringing the hunger strike to a successful conclusion was at play? No one really thought that the hunger strikers actual lives were being placed in the hands of such a character. It was quite some time before the penny began to drop just how self serving the struggle had become for the Master. And even today all we can be certain of is that a deal was offered that the prisoners accepted and the leadership rejected. As to why they rejected we can only speculate. But given the form of the Master it is now very easy to accept that it was for power no matter how inaccurate a conclusion that might be.

  3. The army council took their eye off the ball Anthony,they may have delegated ,and in that situation that may have been the way to go ,but they imo should have and I cant believe they didnt insist that all and every devolopments in relation to contact with the british goverment,that they must be kept informed, I couldnt understand when O Bradaigh seemed to come to the defense of Adams and his crew, but in hindsight and reading Afterlives I,m now of the opinion that Ruairi O Bradaigh and other army council members were blindsided by the treasonable activities of Adams and his committee, therefore this is why I cant understand why these people were not held accountable under green book rules,were those on the council in such awe of Adams that they allowed this man and a few others free reign with the lives of republican volunteers, if so they shouldnt have been in that position,Ithink they to need to come up with some answers.

  4. Love the headboard ,wonder does Gerry Iwasntme have one just like it in any of his gaffs!

  5. Marty,

    ‘The army council took their eye off the ball’

    I think that is indisputable now. Fact is the Master was on the A/C as well. Both he and the Deputy were Adj Gen and C/S respectively on the GHQ staff. The A/C would have regarded both as their own. Contact between the Master and the Brits was daily. A/C meetings were no where near as frequent. O’Bradaigh didn’t come to the defence of the Master but to the defence of the A/C against allegations that it had shafted the hunger strikers. He was a bit hasty in his delivery but he would know the score by this stage.

    Green Book rules are used by the Master and Co to bully and browbeat others, not to have their own actions called into account. Had the Green Book any meaning the A/C would have committed collective hari-kari when it decommissioned.

    You are right – all at the time should provide answers.

  6. Anthony,

    Just curious - is it for legal reasons that you're using the monikers 'Master' and 'Deputy'? Surely they wouldn't dare sue if referred to directly. I wouldn't put it past either of them, but it would lead to the mother of all libel trials, which they would most certainly lose.

  7. Alfie,

    no. Nuala termed Adams the Master because of Halloween cartoons by Brian Mor and I found it funny. So, once 'the Master' enters the discourse 'the Deputy' does the trick as a sort of double act. Just a stylistic technique, nothing else to it.

  8. I have some sympathy with marty's point on the A/C, given the HS at the time was such a huge event, one would have thought the whole A/C would have insisted at the very least in seeing minutes of all contacts between the brit State and its own representatives and any offers, no matter how trivial would be brought before them before any decisions were taken.

    Were they not responsible for overseeing the day to day running of the IRA including the well being of all volunteers. I have not yet read Richard's book, I suppose the real question is did the A/C delegate to Adams sub committee the power to accept or reject any British offer? If so marty would be correct about the A/C negation of duty, surely? It would also partially explain a great deal about why some people who are no friends of Adams, have remained silent on this.

    Just a thought.

  9. Mick,

    It appears not to have happened. The dominant figures in the council were involved in the sub committee and it seems that they have been identified as having refused the offer. As for seeing everything before decisions were made – easy to avoid in the circumstances of the time: a geographically dispersed council and contact with the Brits every day.

    ‘Were they not responsible for overseeing the day to day running of the IRA including the well being of all volunteers?’

    They would have been but power blocs operate with in power blocs and some animals are more equal than others as they say.

    I doubt if the council delegated the power to accept or reject offers from the Brits. So the council were not told that the offer had been made.

    How many of the council were aware of Adams’ contacts with the Brits during the 80s? I think Richard's point is that the council was not a monolithic bloc. He has spoken to people close to council thinking at the time.

  10. Just laughing at another of Nelson Mc Causlands outbursts, the minister for culture and arts was shocked at the bad language at a production of the Black Watch play recently,he wants to come and ask the nationalist people here about the activities and language of the brit regemints who served here throughout the troubles.

  11. I think Gerry would have made a
    brilliant Shakespearean actor, he most certainly would have excelled in the role of Macbeth.
    The soldier (only in private of course) who mercilessly murdered, lied and deceived in the pursuit of ambition and greed.
    They would have to leave out the banquet scene of course, too many ghosts.

  12. Nuala "the devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape, Willie Shakespear,s Hamlet ! the bearded one eh!

  13. Marty, I think Brian is right, the Godfather is a much more fitting tribute. The cartoon and the thinking behind it is totally brilliant.

  14. Marty, do you think Scapaticci would have taken the oath?
    He was apparently outed years before the story hit the press.
    Clearly he had made them an offer they could not refuse and they accepted it.
    His silence on other agents?

  15. Yeah hon him and John Joe both swore oaths but unfortunately it was to the brits, Scap was outed a few years before it all became public thats why he was retired ,he had/has to much dirt to spread ,thats why he is alive today,

  16. Nuala,

    ‘He was apparently outed years before the story hit the press. Clearly he had made them an offer they could not refuse and they accepted it. His silence on other agents?’

    Duice, some time before he died, told me they knew about him many years earlier.

  17. Mackers,
    In Ed's book the Dark had them sussed. Their entire security team or rather 'the nutting squad' was rotten to the core.
    Big Ruby lying in the republican plot, another named tout. I'm sure someone will contradict me if I am wrong but I believe JohnJoe Magee's name is on the Lower Falls roll of honour. Scum of the highest order allowed to avail of such accolades
    Adams actually presented Davidson's brother with a plaque, knowing full well he was an agent.
    Between that and all the thieving and empire building Brendan must have felt he was being nailed to that cross he had carried for so long.

  18. Nuala,

    I was a friend of Ruby. He wrote to me almost every day when he was on remand in the blocks and I was in the sentenced blocks. At first I did not believe the allegations as they seemed so poorly sourced. But as time went by it was people in the IRA who persuaded me that he was. And it was hard to disagree with what they presented. I see Alan Simpson the former CID big wig has named him in his book as an agent.

  19. Mackers,
    It is absolutely awful for friends and families when something like that is unearthed. I think Ruby Davidson was particularly vile, I beleved it the second I heard it and was castigated for believing it. What I will never understand is why they allowed him into the Republican Plot, they actually refused to bury Pat Mc Geough there and eventually caved in through pressure.
    Many in the IRA knew he was an agent, yet he was permitted to be buried amongst IRA dead, what an absolute insult.
    An even bigger insult was the fact that some years later in Dublin, Sinn Fein and the IRA had a massive reception for the families of the dead.
    In the Irish News the next morning a picture appeared of Adams presenting Davidson's brother with an accolade supposedly reserved as a mark of honour for IRA dead.

  20. Being over in Australia for a few years now I didn't know that about Ruby, I always believed he was thought highly off in the republican movement. Had an old tape that was put out years back from the Short Strand, it had a powerful poem dedicated to him on it. Surely they didn't know at the time?
    Nothing surprises me anymore about the prm and you're 100% right Fionnuala what are they doing honoring him by his presence in the republican plot.

  21. Davidson was first named by Martin Ingram a former member and whistleblower in the FRU.
    Since then, he has been named many many times and yes IRA security knew what he was when he got shot.

  22. Nuala,

    I think he was named long before Ingram entered the fray. I remember a report of it a long time before I heard of Ingram. Apparently a branch man told a journalist shortly after it that the loyalists were idiots for having killed a key agent.

  23. The words to that poem go something like "alone as I lie here in dark prison cell, my heart is angry with pain hard to quell, for they murdered big Brendan and i knew him well"
    Obviously not well enough!! Don't know who wrote it, but sounds like John Quinn. Or "to our big gentle comrade from over the bridge, he gave up his life so that you might live"
    Very sad when you realize the truth. Used to be a mural dedicated too him in The Market as well. All dedicated to a brussel sprout

  24. Mackers,
    You are one hundred percent right. Albert say Ingram only named him a few years back, whereas the story circulated a few weeks after he died.

  25. MartyDownUnder, I don't know why he was getting all these glowing attributes as Mackers rigtly said, a branch man outed him weeks after he died.
    Ingram merely put flesh on the vague stories that had been circulated. I remember being told by a very influential republican, 'that they found it disgusting that I would believe a British Agent.' I replied, that I did not believe Ingram had anything to gain from outing Davidson, so why would he lie?'
    To wreck the Peace Process' was his response.

  26. Think about it wasnt ruby Scaps brother in law the brits had the prm sewn up for years,and the leadership knew it and still allowed volunteers to die needlessly ,

  27. As I said nothing surprises anymore. And they're still bluffing people. I've often wondered why scap has gotten away with it. Has he the goods on other rats on board and all would come up if anything was to happen to him or his.

  28. MartyDownUnder,
    It is a guessing game all round. Apparently, people knew about the bold scap for years before he was officially named.
    Sinn Fein went along with his lies and deceit, I think it was Kelly (apologies if it was not) who said 'this man claims he is innocent, nothing has been proven against him' (maybe it was Pilot)
    Scap was a liar, a killer and a man who sold out his comrades for money.
    Like Davidson he was positioned where he could cause maximum damage, he interviewed people before they were shot. Scap, John Joe and Davidson also set up a lot of innocent people to cover their own tracks.
    Vile, vile individuals, yet Scap was able to sit in a solicitors office on the Falls Roda and plead his innocence.
    They were all in my friends house one time and she says that in hindsight, she should have phoned the cops and said, 'I have a house full of informers but only one is currently tied up.'

  29. You can bet your ass on that Marty down under,Scap held a winning hand,he,s untouchable,if he hadnt been publicy outed he to would probably be getting along service award from the prm

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  31. He's got the dirt on others locked away in the event of anything happening. Remember talking to a certain bearded figure in SF (not that one!) when the story first broke publicly and he was in a total state of denial or that was what he was trying to portray. I've been told several times that it was known he was a super tout for years.
    And Marty who's to say that he isn't on a nice little payout from prm Inc or his brit employers in exchange for his silence

  32. Is MartyDownUnder any relation to Marty up here? I agree with michaelhenry, surely there cannot be two of them. Whatever next, two Gerry's. Only there were two Gerry's the one in the black beret and the one who said, 'definitely not me your honour I was never a member.'

  33. No Fionnuala we're not the same, Marty over there is funnier than me! More jokes please Marty!
    Mind you Marty you're not as big a gag as MichaelHenry...

  34. Nuala hon there could be 3 of them Gerry,s that is the divine trinity the father,the son, and the one who ghosts people!and as for Marty down under who,s to say he,s not my doppelganger,Mickeyboy, Robert watch out St Mary Hedgehog pucker up girl ya ,ve been pulled!

  35. Nuala,

    I feel sorry for his family but it is the legacy he left to them. They are in an awful position.

    ‘Many in the IRA knew he was an agent, yet he was permitted to be buried amongst IRA dead, what an absolute insult.’

    If true that they knew a greater insult perhaps is the fact that volunteers were exposed to him. How many were caught because of that?

    I remember the Tirghra event in Dublin a few years back. Found that aspect of it embarrassing. But the whole event reminded me of the Last Supper where the Judas kiss was being administered to the IRA.


    ‘They were all in my friends house one time and she says that in
    hindsight, she should have phoned the cops and said, 'I have a house
    full of informers but only one is currently tied up”.’


  36. MartyDownUnder,
    A person who was believed to be passing on information was allegedly being questioned in her home.
    The persons leading the questioning was Scappaticci and his sidekick John Joe Magee, both later unearthed as top agents.
    Apparently when they were debugging the suspect their equipment went loco even though there was no bugs on him. Now we know why, the other two must have been wired to the hilt.

  37. Marty,

    If I recall the Stakeknife book claims Scap covered for him and got him off the hook.