Policing the Children

Tonight The Pensive Quill features guest writer Alex McCrory

Policing the Children
Alex Mc Crory

Last Sunday afternoon I was bringing my wife and two daughters, 11 and 2 year old respectively, to the cinema at the Kennedy Centre. On the way I called into the local garage for petrol and a newspaper. When I returned to the car my oldest daughter drew my attention to two police land rovers circling the garage like vultures waiting to swoop on some unsuspecting victim. However, she and I both knew who they were waiting for and we were not in the slightest bit surprised. My family have become accustomed to this type of special treatment from the new police service with their fine manners and sense of civic responsibility.

I was followed a short distance before being flashed to stop on the bypass. One of our finest new policemen, fresh from his passing out ceremony by the look of him, approached the driver’s door and informed me that I was being stopped under the Justice & Security Act. Of course, I demanded an explanation for this blatant act of harassment and he simply shrugged his shoulders and smiled. “I’m only doing my job, sir.”

“If you have a problem take it up with the Ombudsman,” says he. Some of the older RUC types had a giggle at his expense as I proceeded to give him a tongue lashing. That I had my wife and two young daughters on board didn’t cut me any slack with this young prodigy.

My family and I were hastily ordered out of the car onto the side of the road. Under section 21 & 24 my car was searched for munitions and wireless apparatus then, as my wife held our two-year-old baby in her arms, I was also searched for said items. The young constable looked slightly miffed whenever I refused to open my car bonnet or to raise my arms for the body search. Clearly unprepared for such a challenge to his authority, he took to his task with even greater gusto. Suffice to say, nothing was found and I was free to go.

The above experience has become common place for some republicans and their families. Normal activities such as going to school, attending the hospital, visiting a grandparent, have become fraught with anxiety and fear of being stopped and searched by heavily armed policemen. On one occasion the attitude of the police was so openly aggressive towards me that my daughter was left trembling on the street on the verge of tears. Now every time she sees a land rover she tenses up and prepares herself for the worst. I fear these unpleasant experiences are having a negative impact on her development leading to a deep resentment of those who are tasked with upholding “law and order” in our society.

The policy of legal harassment of republicans and their families must end. According to CAJ there is no enhanced protection for minors written into the legislation, an incredible omission when one considers the implications. What my daughter endures each time she is stopped with me is, in my opinion, a form of child abuse. This approach to policing dissent is counterproductive and seriously undermines the argument for an impartial, civic orientated police service: an argument which remains as unconvincing today as it did with the onset of Patton.

Finally, the children should not suffer for the perceived sins of the father.


  1. Alec,

    sorry to learn that you are getting such hassle. Angry too.The police response to republicans is as it has always been.

  2. While the majority can bury their heads in the sand believing that the PSNI represents a new beginning for policing in our troubled little society, republicans, on the other hand, are subjected to a daily routine of police harassment conducted within the framework of emergency legislation.

    To dissent openly from the current political arrangements is a surefire way of putting oneself under the microscope of the many agencies tasked with rooting out the enemies of the state.

    Although the methods used here are not as blunt as in other parts of the world, where the secret police stand on every street corner waiting to pounce, they are no less effective.

    To intimidate young children as a way of putting pressure on adults is a despicable thing to do.

  3. Agree with Alec,people just bury their heads with the atittude,'well they must be doing something for the ruc/psni to act like that'.
    The majority think we have peace and equal status and belive the fools on the hill.
    To dissent makes you an enemy and a lesser person who does not see the joys of this new wonderful green land,with its pots of gold and leprehauns....

  4. ruairi

    "Normal society" is happy to ignore political policing or, at least, to excuse it as something which is only used against dangerous people like the dreaded republican dissidents. By keeping the head down or turning a blind eye to these abuses, people kid themselves that all is rosy in the garden. It doesn't seem to matter to them that bad policing practices ultimately leads to deep seated grivances.

  5. Alec, I couldn't agree more with your post. Now imagine you are a West Belfast taxi man sitting in your own home and your door is kicked in. The kids cowering in the corner crying, shacking and terrified of what's going to happen to their father. Then try and explain to the kids that these people believe they represent a better future. Your blog is the most hypocritical piece of self deluded nonsense I have ever read.There is no difference between your story and mine except I see both as the enemy of Ireland.

  6. Paedar,
    What has any of this got to do with Alec Mc Crory? Better still what has this got to do with his wife and children?
    What you are effectively saying is, Alec Mc Crory's family deserved to be terrorised and the taxi drivers family did not. What sort of warped hypocritical language is that.
    Terror comes in many shapes and forms as do the people who perpetrate it.
    Which is why you should step out of your glass house before throwing anymore stones.

  7. Alec,
    unfortunately people such as Peadar believe, that anyone who deviates from the great delusion should be punished.
    He must also believe that your family are deviants and equally deserving, if only by association.
    All the dirt of the day are terrorising people in the areas or rat holes where the people have been left to live.
    People are terrorised in their work as well as their homes but the thriving informal security will not lift a finger unless their palms are well greased.
    'Enemies of Ireland' if that statement wasn't so pathetic it might even be funny.

  8. Alec,
    sincere condolences on your treatment. Apparently the PSNI didn't get the memo about "the new Northern Ireland" everyone keeps going on about.
    could you elaborate on your post, I find it interesting but very confusing.

  9. Peadar

    I fail to understand the point of you post. Are you suggesting I should not highlight this blatant abuse of my family? Like the taxi man, my door has been kicked in many times by the RUC/PSNI and my family held hostage in their own home. What makes my post hypocritical? If you are in some convoluted way defending the right of the state to harass my faimly then you need to take a hard look at yourself.

  10. FPerry, Peadar was not aying Alex had anything to do with his scenerio --but he did have a point to make in relating Alex harrassment and the effects that has on Alex's kids --as does house take overs --my own home has been subject to the same scenerio --of doors being broken down followed by armed men with blackened faces running up the stairs before you could get out of bed --in my secenerio the men were Brits --Peadar I think is referring to republicans --do children distinguish??


  11. Alec

    I don't think Peadar is defending or advocating that you should be harrassed. He is asking why its bad for the cops to harrass you in front of your kids like that but then silent on the impact of similar happening to him in his home in front of his kids by (I presume) republicans?

    It is fair comment.

    On another level, given your Biography and 'acquintance' with Raymond McCartney -does he not make objection to the Justice Minister?


  12. Alec,
    Quite simply that the harrasment, fear, intimidation of individuals arrives in many forms. when your children were ushered to the side of the road by armed thugs spare some thought for those people visited by other armed thugs. The fear is clearly the same the only difference is that I would condome none of it. The hypocricy is clear Alec and other than my point there is no political slant to my post


  13. Alec i am most definetely not advocating the harrasment of republicans by anyone. The hypocracy i feel is clearly that what I outlined continues on daily basis and needs to be condemned????

    FP Do you see a distinction then between a family forced by RUC/PSNI officers to endure harrassment because they are republican and a nationalist / republican taxi driver's family forced to endure a house take over.

    The point is simple with no reference to any one person and solely highlights that fear, intimidation fails to distinguish between who carries it out. Your attemp to drag my point towards "anyone who deviates from the great delusion" is total nonsense and Alec nor any other republican should have to endure harrassment.

    I think Tiarna got the point.

  14. Peadar

    I replied to you post with undue haste. Wrongly. I thought you were attempting to undermine my objections to the state harassing my family. However, as Fionnuala said, what has any of this got to do with my kids? My two daughters were not responsible for taking over your home and terrorising your children.

    You discribed my blog as "the most hypocritical piece of self delusional nonsense", a totally unwarrented outburst. Unleess you were directing your comments at me personally, which I doubt, then your juxtapostion was grossly unfair. I totally empathise with the situation you dscribed but you were wrong to use it to attack my critisim of the RUC/PSNI.

  15. Alec
    I believe the hypocracy is clear as I have read no condemnation EVER from all of your blogs / posts around these attacks. Again the fear and harrasment is clearly the same except in your instance the enemy is plain. The delusion is simply that the attacks by "republicans" on the people they claim they represent is futile in it's objective (end state). To place fear and hostility on republicans by republicans is wrong and will not move us or Ireland's cause one step further. Condemning (rightly)the RUC/PSNI for attacking kids for the perceived sins of the father only to ignore the wrong visited on other republicans because of the legitimacy you place on "as long as there is British rule in Ireland" arguement. Juggle your post a little and let it read "to intimidate your own people as a way of putting pressure on the establishment is a despicable thing to do" and you couldn't argue with it. If dissent places you under the microscope of enemy state agencies then fully understand that the silence from dissenting republicans on these attacks throughout the North places them under the microscope of those they claim and wish to represent.


  16. Alec
    What Peadar is trying to get across to you is that life can be tough for everyone even if they don’t have a political view , your republican life style has taken you into a confrontational situation with the armed forces of Britain , what Peadar is saying is that he don’t hold any view on any political outcome yet he was confronted by people whom say they are defending his rights by terrorising his kids , your defence is keep the kids out of it ,of which I agree but unfortunately the once mighty Provo’s often used kids as cover in many of their operations and here in is were we see the hypocrisy in your post

  17. Alec

    Your blogg is about the impact PSNI harrassment is having on your kids, you wrote, "... my daughter was left trembling on the street on the verge of tears. Now every time she sees a land rover she tenses up and prepares herself for the worst. I fear these unpleasant experiences are having a negative impact on her development..."

    Peadar is asking about effect of the impact a forced entry into his home caused to his kids. The effects of PSNI harassment on the formative years of your children is different to the effects caused by masked men taking peadars house over. The distinction between the two is only political.

    There is a wider issue here on the lasting impressions all of these kind of things have on kids -what various incidents we witnessed or endured as children is now properly identified as being traumatic and either child abuse or neglect.

    While I totally agree with you about the harrassment issue and its lasting effects on your kids --I totally agree with peadar point also and his kids welbeing are no less important.

  18. Tiarna,
    We all have had the door kicked in black face scenario. My son also had the experience, minus the visually blackened faces in so called peace times.
    Seeing as you are explaining Peadar's post to the rest of us.
    Perhaps you could outline what the hypocritical and self-deluded' line means?
    You are totally right that children cannot distinquish between perpetrators of fear.
    I for one, am very sorry that Peadar and his family had to experience what they did. But why unleash the anger on another tortured family?
    If I misinterpretated any points in the post, then I apolgise to Peadar.

  19. Undoubtedly, Peadar has a point which I will not endeavour to ridicule or diminish. But by juxtaposing the two experiences in the way he did inferes what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    I condemn the aggressive actions of the RUC/PSNI precisely because it impacts my children and family. I have not challenged Peadar's right to do the same regarding his particular experience.

    Having one's home taken over is trumatic whether it be by the police or by men with masks. The effects on young children is equally frightening as Peadar so rightly points out.

    But the is one crucial differnece: the people harassing my family are tasked with upholding the "law" in this truncated state. My children have commited no crime under the "law" to warrant such tretment.

  20. Alec,

    Thanks for posting, the law enforcement officers on both sides of the border have a license to do with the f*** they like. They have also a political agenda, and whatever it is it involves harrassing republicans.

    I love it when the suggest to me that I go to the ombudsman. Just another arm of the same regime.


  21. Recently I wrote a letter to the A/Town News, it related specially to the hypocrisy the 'mainstream' were currenlty displaying towards the on going prison situation.
    The first annoymous reply I received was from a person who stated if 'dissident' republicans stopped intimidating people then the prisoners would get more empathy.
    Immediately I thought of people like Choc Carmichael, Dan Mc Cann, Tommy Gorman & Anthony Mc Intyre. Republicans who were intimidated and in the case of the latter two, subsequently driven from their homes by the 'mainstream'
    Strange how I honestly don't recall too many people crying about that type of injustice.
    Then when Seamus Finnucane was allegedly threatened last year. The was a huge outcry, the business, community and every other thinkable sector came together to demand these threats be withdrawn.
    Then when a young family are intimidated by the police somehow people can actually justify it.

  22. FPerry

    Re: "Perhaps you could outline what the hypocritical and self-deluded' line means?"

    The remarks may be a little more emotive than was intended but they are sufficient for Alec to understand them as I do, Peadar, is, in Alec's view, 'juxtaposing' (making a comparative argument) between Alec's experience and that of Peadar's and Alec's outrage at one but seeming indifference or tolerence of the other.


    While you feel your position is unique from Peadar's in that the PSNI "are tasked with upholding the "law" which logically implies --in Peadars case, that the republican's involved are 'tasked with breaking the law'.

    Peadar indicates that he is republican --and if I understand it right --his challange to Alec is --why does Alec feel PSNI terrifying his kids is to be condemned by if Republicans terrify peadar's kids in their own home?

    Peadar is not, and has not, suggested that if his kids are terrified by republicans --then so too should Alec's --as Alec suggests above.

    Alec you clearly fail or refuse to grasp Peadar's point when you conclude;
    "But the is one crucial differnece: .... My children have commited no crime under the "law" to warrant such tretment." Peadar is rightly stating the exact same thing about his children.


  23. Fionnuala
    The problem some of us have with Alec’s argument is that when the republicans are terrifying children somehow there doesn’t seem to be a problem but when the state forces are terrifying kids it’s a whole different scenario , the terror of kids is wrong no matter which side is dishing out said treatment , let us not forget that the republican movement would have had us believe that they were our great protectors same as the current PSNI ,as always the people whom bore the brunt of republican and state violence are condemned to get on with their lives so the hero’s can moan

  24. My blog has become a bone of political contention for some on this site. I feel there is an attempt to use Peadar's counter argument to attack my position as a republican. The difference of opinion is based on not what I have said but rather on what I have failed to say in regard to Peadar's house being taken over by as yet unnamed parties.

    My blog had one simple purpose which is to expose a dimension to policing that many people are unaware of today. I will not be diverted into another argument by those who have an axe to grind. I have said I empathise with Peadar and acknowledge his grievance. At no point have I attempted to challenge his right to state his case.

    Both Interested and tirana have went to great lengths to explain Peadar's posts. They both accuse me of showing indifference and a lack of understanding in relation to what occurred at his home. Nothing could be further from the truth. Clearly, the is another agenda at play and I, for one, have no inclination to play the game.

  25. Alec

    Further to my earlier comment --in the way that you are distinguishing between your kids and Peadars is to suggest that we should expect the PSNI to have greater regard for the welbeing of children because they operate within the 'law' --in the alternative, Republicans do not have to have the same regard for the well being of children.

    While many Republicans are coming to terms with the profound sense of having committed years of their lives to 'the struggle'for which they have little to show for it --why should they now accept house take overs and all that that entails from a perplexing number of alphabet soup groups, splinter groups and maybe gangs?


  26. Alec --only after I posted did I see your comment. I picked up on you evasive or reluctance to distinguish between what the PSNI are doing and those bent on further conflict.

    We have all been round the block so to speak and whether you intend it or not, you come across as being disengenious when you refer to "as yet unnamed parties". Peadar has implied who they are and there can be good reason why he does not identify exactly who. Butit does not take a wild guess to figure that if there are active groups out there then they are doing as he has said.

    Rather than a bone of political contention maybe it could be more accurately defined as a bone of ethical conflict as it relates to children --most of those posting here, I presume, are republican so may share your views on many things --but not this one.


  27. Sorry Alec
    I am deeply sorry if I have offended you but I have no agenda other than the truth, if the truth in your eyes is an agenda then so be it, and why does the truth always have a hidden agenda for republicans I have listened to this bullshit for years that is the reason I question you not a hidden agenda, republicans and the British are clones of each other anyone whom disagrees with ye are to be treated with suspicion.

  28. I have not said, suggested nor inferred that what happened to Peadar's children was any the less frightening than what is happening to mine. I accepted in an earlier post the trauma of a house take over.

    What I took issue with is the abuse of children by those tasked with uphoplding the "law". If my home was to be taken over tonight by masked men, it would not detract from what I have said rearding the behaviour of the RUC/PSNI.

    I feel the tnere is no more to be said on the matter.

  29. Alec

    You qualify between the two forms of traumaticing of children --your complaint is that the PSNI do it but should not --and a sort of so if republicans do it --they do not have to have regard to the 'law' as the PSNI --if we strip it down --you said, "But the is one crucial differnece: .... My children have commited no crime under the "law" to warrant such tretment."

    On one hand you are conceding, reluctantly, ok Peadar's kids were traumatised by the forced entry and on the other (AND HERE IS THE DIFFERENCE) --Republicna are not governed by any law or regard for welbeing for kids.

    We are in a very different world than we were in the 1970's or 80's -these Alphabet groups cannot continue to fight a conflict based upon the norms & standards of the last conflict. Ireland, the world and human rights and welfare of children have moved on a long way since those days.

    Why do you expect a better standard from your enemy on how they should act in front of your children than you would from Republican Groups or how they should treat other Republicans children?

    Being a Republican is not intended as an intention to forfeit your childrens rights and welbeing should any Republican group decide to call to your house without knocking first.


  30. Alec-

    What happened to your-self and your
    children was a disgrace- no matter
    what else is going on- these p.s.n.i should be made accountable
    for their anti police conduct- i know some people can get used to bad policing- we live in Ireland after all-but none of us wants to see the next generation getting cop
    bullied-report them- will it make any difference- i hope it does-

    I hope you don't pick me up the wrong way- but some p.s.n.i see people thought as dissidents- easy targets for abuse.

  31. can we get back to the main point of this article which is that in 2011 the police are still allowed to just pull someone over and search his car and his person for no reason other than they can. And its not just republicans I know two non political young guys who had the same thing happen to them on the Falls while I was visiting.
    Pretty terrifying stuff.

  32. Tiarna,
    republicans have taken over houses for as long as I can remember.
    What happened to Alec Mc Crory and his family is an entirely differnet scenario.
    The state forces and republicans who adhere to everything the state filter out to us say we have moved on? ambigious but what the heck.
    So why are they behaving like this?

    Alec hit the nail on the head when he said it is the state that is dishing out the intimidation in his case.
    According to your former posts this is something you expect from republicans so whats the problem?

  33. FPerry

    You talk of Republican's taking house's over as Orangemen talk of traditional routes --its not an absolute right.

    The blogg is about hostile impact on children and if there is any genuine concern for the welbeing of children then we cannot look at in terms of whose agenda is best served by raising or dropping the issue. If its about police bashing then Alec should have said that up front and not use his own kids to serve his political agenda against them. But I did not take that from the blogg that that was Alec's intent or reason for blogging.

    My understanding was that Alec was reflecting on how a stop and search impacted upon his kids. Peadar, rightly, said how his kids were impacted --and there is a bit of a gawfaw --oh but that was Republicans did that --that must never be discussed or mentioned --it detracts from how bad the cops are.

    I don't buy that or the double standards being advanced in this blogg --if it is wrong for cops to do then it is wrong for republicans to do. Being a member of an armed republican group or whatever is not licence to do what it is unacceptible for cops to do.

    When I talk of a changed world I am talking of standards recognised today that are considered abusive or harmfull to children but were common place in the past --those days are over and republicans need observe human rights and dignity also --not just police or the state.

    As for why the cops are behaving as they are --it's a tit for tat game that the RUC and Republicans played for years. I can't but help think that if there were not those hell bent on starting a killing war all over again the harrassment would not be happening. That is not justification for it happening but lets be real there will be consequences or response from the cops over armed groups targeting them.

    Many Republicans are war weary and seeing Alec McCrory getting gripped at the side of the road is a way of life many old timers probably do not want to revisit, so it may serve that purpose alone. I don't think recent violence serves anyone other than brit intel and the security industry generated around it --and the best republicans can expect is getting hassled --it wont get a United Ireland.


    That Diplock Courts and emergency legislation are all alive and well should be a matter of concern most of all to Sinn Fein up at Stormont -I do not get the impression that it is --in fact I have at times thought some SF MLA's have become more Finchley than Thatcher.

    I think Alec should be making a stink to the relevant SF MLA's on the Policing Board or Justice Committee --he will probably get the same response as any of the best of Conservatives ever gave in the old days, the silent brush off.

    It is hard to make any effective point about these things while there are those out there creating the perception of danger which becomes the excuse for these measures.


  34. tiarna,
    what I was trying to be, was absolutely honest.
    Absolute rights or absolute wrongs do not come into it, nor should it detract from the issue Alec raised, I am saying this not him.
    Never in my life was I too perturbed about republicans taking over houses. This has nothing to do with double standards it has to do with the reality of guerrilla warfare nothing else.
    However, I do genuinely empathize with Peadar, why would I not?

  35. All,
    Isuppose quite a useful debate out of my initial reply to Alec's blog. As I said previously I have no political axe to grind nor any other agenda other than to highlight what I see as hypocracy and the deluded unwritten justification for the attack i mentioned. Empathy I can certainly do without and what is clearly needed is for high profile republicans like Alec to condemn these actions as verociously as he condems the actions of state forces. I see no difference in the terror inflicted on Alec's children and that of my own. To suggest there is a difference because one armed group are supposed to "police" within the law whilst the others operate outside of "the law" is wrong. These groups supposedly represent me so why attack me? These groups were active in helping canvass for votes so why attack those they wish to represent.
    To justify it Fionnuala as the reality of "guerilla war" is as ridiculous as it is laughable. Guerilla war!! do you honestly believe this was / is guerilla warfare? You can now see why I used the term deluded and I suspect from previous blogs that Alec would carry a similiar arguement to yourself. If this is not the case Alec, i apologise.
    Does attacking Nationalist/Republicans in their own home, terrorising children move us any further towards unity or does it fall under the earlier point Alec makes, that many actions lead to deep seated grievances and resentment (and on this occasion individuals with the same wish to see an a unified Ireland )

    go raibh maith agat


  36. michaelhenry

    Thanks for you comment.

  37. FPerry

    You are not purturbed at Peadar's kids "... cowering in the corner crying, shacking and terrified of what's going to happen to their father." but its awful if the PSNI stop Alec with his kids?? Really??

    You off course "genuinely empathize with Peadar", why would you not? --mere hollow words --until it happens again if the 'boys' feel like doing it again?

    And Republicans should tolerate that but run screaming abuse if the PSNI do it....

    In those terms the PSNI are starting to look like the good guys in all of this if you and Alec's responses are the best that republicans can expect in how they can be treated in their own homes by Republiacns.


  38. Peadar,
    I still have no idea what happened in your home?
    Tiarna must have a crystal ball or perhaps is a lot more perceptive than the rest of us.
    What I said about guerrilla war was not meant to be funny, nor was the empathy I expressed. I just have a feeling that, any expression of sympathy been will not be good enough.
    Just to end, I had an experience which I would imagine was similiar to what I think you went through.
    So I think you could say I have walked that walk. I genuinely hope you and your family have recovered from your ordeal.
    You probably won't appreciate me saying that either!

  39. tirana

    after numerous posts you have finally managed to show your true colours: "the PSNI are starting to look like the good guys..."

    I doubt people like you will hold the police accountable for their actions. Instead, you prefer to use deflecting arguments to off set any criticism.

  40. Tiarna,
    When I said, houses being taken over never perturbed me I was being genuine!
    I never suggested for a second that there was a difference between Alec's children and Peadar's.
    'My words sound hollow' based on what, your interpretation of how people should think and respond?
    Too be honest I have probably been a lot more up front and sincere than someone like you.

  41. FPerry

    "I still have no idea what happened in your home? Tiarna must have a crystal ball or perhaps is a lot more perceptive than the rest of us."

    If you did less defending and more reading then you would have read the same as I have --Peadars third sentence state, "The kids cowering in the corner crying, shacking and terrified of what's going to happen to their father."

    On one hand you are suggesting house take overs are part of the course for Republicans to put up with --but not take it from the PSNI --you can't have it every which way.


    You hit and run on your own blogg, I quote, "I feel the tnere is no more to be said on the matter."

    Then you come back to quote me out of context "after numerous posts you have finally managed to show your true colours: "the PSNI are starting to look like the good guys..."

    What I wrote was "In those terms the PSNI are starting to look like the good guys..." which is very different to how you are trying to dishonestly spin my words --I sat in the same prison cells that you sat in --so please less the underhanded twisting of meaning.

    Bow out of the blogg or participate --don't snipe.


  42. Fionnuala,
    Without elaborating I believe it's clear what occurred "you walked the walk" as you say so I reckon your up to speed. I am looking no sympathy, empathy or am i defending the PSNI actions against Alec and his family.
    My reply to Alec initially was to highlight the similar actions by "republicans" on their own community that occurs day and daily again without the same revulsion. My belief, and I think it has been vindicated is that many posters on here including yourself see these attacks as a legitimate part of the "war". I believe we could replace all of Alec's initial post to fit my scenario and all of your disgust and revulsion would vanish. Here in lies the hypocracy of it all.
    If for some reason you feel that you can make an articulated distinction for the actions of the "boys" for their attacks on nationalist / republican homes, vehicles or even places of work then I for one would like to hear it. To justify it as part of a guerilla war and ignore the resentment in our own communities for these people is republican folly.

    thanks for all of your comments and I sincerely hope that the harassment ends but my final point put into an analogy.

    What if I refused on that night to lift the bonnet or my arms.


  43. Peadar

    I am happy that you accept my comments regarding the incident at your home. I can appreciate its impact simply because members of my own family had similar experiences in the past. During the years of the conflict hundreds of families had their privacy invaded by the PIRA causing great distress. It should never be treated lightly.


    I am not one to hit and run but I recognise a circular argument when I see it.

    Any underhandedness has been your doing rather than mine. I have not twisted your words for it is clear to me exactly where you stand on all of this. I am entitled to condemn the police for harassing my family despite whatever else is going on within the world of republicanism.

    I really do have very little more to say on this subject.

  44. Alec

    Maybe you should read over what you wrote --some of it was disengenious and if you cannot recognise it for what it is then 'delusion' was an appropriate attribute after all.

    No-one here has thought anything different about how the cops treat your family --I have known you and your family for many years --I sat in the same prison cells as you --and on occassion with you.

    That it is a 'circular argument' means only one thing you disagree with the idea that Republicans should expect the same due regard for their children from 'fellow' republicans as you demand from the PSNI. ... that speaks volumes....and obviously the circle is closed.


  45. Peadar,
    I still have no idea what took place in your home, whether your home was being taken over, or you were being threatened for another reason I honestly don't know.
    How can I be expected to condemn something I do not understand.
    When I said I had never condemned a house being taken over including my mothers I was being honest.
    How you find that hypocritical I don't know?

  46. Fionnula
    I guess this has all became circular and we might as well draw the proverbial line under the blogs. Irrespective of what happened it is suffice to say that my children were left traumatized and in fear. Those who carried it out you continue to defend. To condemn (rightly) what happened to Alec then offer empathy with me is where the hypocrisy lies. If the terror inflicted on Children is wrong then it is wrong in both cases.
    If you cannot see yourself able to condemn it because one was carried out by the "boys" "volunteers" or any other moniker you attach, then you condone attacks on the people you claim to represent in your political viewpoint. If you honestly believe this is all part of guerilla warfare and my family were simply unfortunate victims of war then you really need to look deeper into your community to see the resentment against what you support. Militant republicans attacking republicans will not unite Ireland but will merely cause outrage and the same disgust that caused Alec to pen his blog.
    If you condone the attack on my family and many other families then have the gumption to say it. I might disagree but at least I know where you stand. If however your empathy is valid and you believe what is happening in our communities to the likes of myself and other then speak out with the same venom that drives you to condemn the PSNI and pen letters to the papers.

    Go raibh maith agat


  47. Peadar,
    I think you are right about drawing a line under this.
    As I already said, I would not know what I was supposed to be condemning, nor do I fully comprehend what it is I am supposed to be condoning.
    If republicans are actually harming their own people then of course I would speak out.
    If you read what I 'pen', I think I do try to give fair commentary. However, I cannot pretend to something that I am not.
    In reality, I think you and I have two very different view points.
    To finish, I was totally genuine in relation to your family's ordeal, just sorry you never felt that.

  48. Where or when I might ask have the manners been put into them?

    It never was and it was never going to happen anyway. 'Tell them anything and they'll believe it so to speak.'

    What happened to Alec and his family was carried out by the RUC which is incorporated in the PSNI as in their full title....The PSNI [Incorporating the RUC]. The political police force McGuinness said in 2004 they would never support.

    However we can play the game of whataboutery like a game of tennis; back and forth, but it doesn't change one thing and that is Republicanism is in a hell of a mess and going nowhere and people just aren't interested anymore.


    I've said it before numerous times, if older Republicans such as myself see nothing forward thinking in any of the groups out there at present, then how do they expect to attract the support of even the ordinary man and woman on the street?

    And believe you me, I know of many Republicans who think like me. And they are definitely not paid 'community workers'.

  49. FPerry

    Alec mentions cop harassment and your fully in tune with what he says --Peadar is graffic and explicite in what he writes, "door is kicked in. The kids cowering in the corner crying, shacking and terrified of what's going to happen to their father." And your lost, baffled even, and you simply can't grasp what happened? You can follow the trauma inflicted from a stop and search -it has nothing to do with damage done but who is supposed to have done it.

    For years in the Kesh I watched the effects on those who spoke out of turn, said something different than the party line --godforbid there should not be the rigid unity --false and forced -the repeated affirmnationbs that -only they do bad --we do good.

    I was on a wing with a man who by all accounts was said to "have some balls" he was around from 69 --in and out of prison --and lived whatever the life an IRA activist lives -on his last stint in jail he declined a camp position -he said that on this occassion he needs to prioritise his family and kids --he was bad mouthed and ostracised --spent most of his time in his cell --the Republican Polit bureu consumes all in its wake --like a cancer, nothing is spared --in the end I don't think this narcasistic form of Republicanism expressed by you or Alec is of any value to any one --least of the very people like Peadar and his family who its supposed to be for.

    Many have endured it in the prisons, or visiting prisons, week in week out without complaint --I don't think republicans need or deserve to be put through what Peadar has detailed here --the tactful confusion or prevarisation because Peadar asked what is the difference?

    The difference is simple -damage and hurt is only caused --so long as the narrative blames the Brits --there is no other permissible script.


  50. @ Alec McCrory Alec I don't know if you are familiar with a well known activism blog called as follows:
    The Newspaper for the Peoples of the Fourth World
    Just a thought you may like to submit some more on this article to them to get more international coverage You can also google The Angry Indian to see more stuff they do. It reaches all Indigenous nations north south east west.

  51. Fionnuala
    I believed I had drawn the line under this but finally from me

    My opinion is
    your failure to condemn is to condone

    You should be condemning the attacks on nationalist /republican homes, vehicles, businesses as loudly and with as much venom as when it is carried out by state forces. What gives these groups the right to attack me or anyone else?

    As a republican you should see that attacks on the people that you claim these groups represent is republican folly and takes us not a single inch further towards unity.

    As a republican I totally abhore the actions of the PSNI against Alec and his family but be aware that many many people see your watery, half hearted excuses and hollow empathy to these similar attacks on nationalist / republican people as equally abhorant.

    Sin é

  52. Peadar,
    because I won't comdemn what you think I should condem, I am 'watery'
    How would you know what I am you know absolutely nothing about me?
    However you chose to lift some of my words from a recent letter, maybe I should be flattered, whatever?
    I don't view your scenario like Alec's and that is it in a nutshell.

  53. Peadar,
    I read your post extremely late last night and appear to have missed the final paragraph, got the 'watery' bit of course, yet fail to see what relevance it has.
    At the risk of sounding off the cuff, I couldn't care less what people think of my opinions and beliefs. I have held these beliefs all my life and doubt if I'll change them just because they don't fit with how you and anyone believes republicans should think.
    I don't think your scenario, is similiar to Alec's.
    We have been told we have a reconstituted police force and yet his experience proves we have the same old.
    I think your problem with people like me go much deeper than the traumatic experience your children had to suffer.