An Unrepentant Fenian

Tonight The Pensive Quill features Martin Galvin's speech at the recent commemoration for Brendan Hughes in County Louth.

An influential New York radio program, Radio Free Eireann, where Brendan Hughes’ voice was often heard, begins each week with a song that shouts the words “unrepentant Fenian bastard!” Years ago when first I came across the phrase “unrepentant” Fenian or “unrepentant” Republican, it puzzled me. Repentance to me meant remorse and contrition for some wrongdoing that one later comes to regret.

We mark Easter as our national day to honour Ireland’s patriot dead and pay tribute to their unbroken bond with the volunteers of 1916 by reading the Proclamation. That generation honoured the Fenians, whose very graves they said, guaranteed that” Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.” Later the word Fenian came to be commonly used as a label to abuse any defiant Republicans who did not bend the knee to British rule or the beneficiaries of sectarian privilege.

Either way I took the term to be a compliment, high praise, and another way of saying Irish patriot. No one speaks of a repentant patriot. Why should any Fenian or Republican be repentant and why would it ever be noteworthy to single out any Fenian for being unrepentant? Of course it is easier to see the meaning today.

Brendan Hughes surely lived and died as an unrepentant Fenian. He could have no more repented, nor disowned, nor denied his part in the IRA’s fight against British rule, than he could repent being Irish, or disown Belfast, or disavow the legitimacy of the Irish struggle by donning a British criminal uniform in the H-blocks of Long Kesh.

The very suggestion that he repent, disown or even minimize his part in the struggle to make himself more politically acceptable to the British, much less to a Paisley or Robinson led Stormont, would have been answered with that sly mischievous grin, perhaps a chuckle and an instruction to ”cop yourself on.”

Last week David Cameron managed to take time out from his busy schedule with more important matters, to visit what he repeatedly and deliberately calls “this part of the United Kingdom”. He patted himself on the back for the Bloody Sunday families’ hard won apology, said he did it to close the chapter, and spoke of honouring those who he says served with distinction in upholding British rule and law. There does not seem to be much repentance there for the Ballymurphy Massacre, or shoot-to-kill, or internment, or collusion murders with loyalist death squads, or torture or Hunger Strike deaths, Diplock Courts or any of the many other unjustified and unjustifiable acts, mere tactics, wielded in the name of British law and rule. His arrogance is of course in line with what Republicans have always heard from the British crown. Cameron by the way was applauded at Stormont.

Brendan Hughes took pride in counting himself as one of those men and women who” served with distinction” standing against these unjustified and unjustifiable acts committed by those upholding British rule and law, and against the very idea that the right of Irish people to national freedom vanishes into the air a few miles from here.

It should hardly be necessary for me to speak about his part in the struggle in the presence of some who were with him, with him in the streets of Belfast or the infamous H-blocks of Long Kesh.

However some mention must be made if only because some, in the name of the new political dispensation, seem to believe that it is permissible to dispense with the reputations and role played in the struggle of those like Brendan, who did not fall in line behind the narrative. Our presence here today, the memorial lecture of a few weeks ago, the murals of him, so fittingly near murals dedicated to Republican political prisoners, are proof if any were needed, that Brendan Hughes is beyond any attempt to discredit, diminish or dispense with his exploits.

Like countless others, I knew of him long before I would meet him. Like a Jim Lynagh, or Pete Ryan or Francis Hughes among so many others, Brendan Hughes was one of those volunteer IRA soldiers whose courage and determination seemed to overflow into those alongside them, somehow instilling confidence that the overwhelming military advantages held by British crown forces would someone be neutralized or overcome because he was there.

He was fearless, a leader who was there at the beginning in Belfast, rose through the ranks, and led from the front. He saw family members killed, faced imprisonment and was not deterred.

It was perhaps most characteristic of him that when he escaped from a British prison he did so not to gain safety in the south or even a respite, but to get back to Belfast and the fight within days.

In the H-blocks he had the unenviable, if not near impossible task of rallying the H-block blanketmen, the 300 Spartans, as Richard O’Rawe described them, keeping up their spirits and morale in the daily fight against British criminalization while at the same time, exercising the restraint and patience required by the Republican movement, to build the campaign which would eventually inspire countless thousands across Ireland and across the globe to rally behind the blanketmen against Thatcher’s brutal torture.

When all attempts at a political resolution, including that by Cardinal O’Fiaich were dismissed by Thatcher, and the ultimate protest, hunger strike, was forced upon Republican political prisoners, Brendan Hughes volunteered to lead. While himself suffering 53 days of hunger strike, on the back of years of protest, the responsibility fell upon him to end the first hunger strike in time to save the life of Sean McKenna. We would then see Thatcher throw away still another opportunity to resolve the protest, instead choosing tactics which would mean the death of ten hunger strike martyrs, in her vain effort to break the struggle by breaking the prisoners.

After his release from Long Kesh, Brendan volunteered to come to the United States to collect funds for the Republican Movement. It was not an assignment he relished, but one that was important to the struggle. He would begin meetings by explaining he was not there to seek monies for Irish Northern Aid or the families of political prisoners or even for Sinn Fein. He was raising money for the IRA.

He threw himself into the tour, meeting small groups answering questions and explaining strategy. He worked with patience, determination and some humor and succeeded nearly doubling his original goal. He was perhaps too successful. It is perhaps no coincidence, that when he returned to Ireland he was slotted into the IRA’s security department, where he could be checked by at least one prominent British agent, Freddie Scappaticci, while another paid British traitor, Denis Donaldson would be posted to New York the next year where he could knock down all that Brendan had built up.

In those days, the British trumpeted the propaganda fiction that the IRA fight was not due to the injustice of British rule but because so-called godfathers were profiting from the war. Anyone who ever visited Brendan Hughes would see this claim for the lie that it was, as he clearly never asked or accepted any profit, from a struggle in which he had given years of his life.

Later, he would come to question a deal that he feared would not only barter away acceptance of British rule and a unionist veto, but would hijack Republicanism,- maneuvering some well-meaning Republicans into positions within a British Stormont administration or constabulary boards where they inescapably would be used by the British to put a Republican front on British rule.

How easy it would have been for him to keep silent, perhaps be seen at the odd political event or commemoration and simply enjoy the prominence, fame and opportunities, which his part in the struggle might have merited. Instead the same beliefs which brought this Unrepentant Fenian out onto the streets of Belfast to join the struggle against the forces of the British crown now led him to decide that loyalty to the struggle demanded he speak against the deal, and direction in which the Movement was headed.

His arguments were seldom answered on the merits but sidestepped with fanciful claims that Brendan was affected by the hunger strike or his years of imprisonment. The worst and most hurtful of these was the slander that he was against the leadership on a personal basis. This was a movement led by some with whom he had fought alongside, been imprisoned and risked his life. The idea of speaking against a leadership which included such close friends must have been heartbreaking for him and harder in some ways than refusing the crown uniform in Long Kesh. Such slanders were created to enable others to justify themselves to themselves without dealing with the truth behind his words.

He became a rallying point for debate, for independent Republican analysis, and for legitimate criticism at a time when many who could never be intimidated into talking at Castlereagh were intimidated into silence by threats, pickets, slurs or ostracism so strong that it could push a strong individual like Whitey Bradley to take his own life.

Today it is important to return to the fundamental question of that debate. Is this Stormont deal a transition to a united Ireland? Will accepting British rule, taking Stormont ministries or places on constabulary boards, and banding together in partnership with the DUP, succeed in removing the injustices underpinning British rule, overcoming the unionist veto and uniting Ireland?

Or was the deal planned by the British to be a final resting place for Republicans? Will those who become wedded to a British administration ultimately be wedded to its injustices- their very presence and reputations as Republicans trotted out to present visible Republican faces behind which British rule will be administered in British interests? Will those from the unionist community be swayed to join them in a united Ireland or is it more likely that some from the nationalist community, who take up jobs and positions, begin to think that British rule is not so bad for me?

We need only look to Maghaberry, and the plight of Republican prisoners which was always so close to Brendan’s heart. Thirty years ago, Republicans were in the midst of a Hunger Strike in Long Kesh.

It had been forced on the prisoners by years of beatings and “naked brutality”, much of inflicted during mirror searches of naked prisoners. The British crown indulged the sectarian brutality and beatings because it served British objectives. Forcing Republican prisoners to wear a criminal uniform was part of a strategy, to claim the six counties as normal, and claim those in Long Kesh or Armagh as criminals duly convicted by Diplock courts.

Many who supported these Republican prisoners, Cardinal O’Fiaich first and foremost, did not support the armed struggle, but did so a humanitarian basis, noting that the Blanketmen were jailed under special laws, by special Diplock Courts, for unselfish politically motivated actions that would never have occurred except for the political situation. Which of these criteria does not apply to Republican political prisoners in Maghaberry today?

Why cannot Sinn Fein on this same basis halt this naked brutality and secure the enforcement of the reasonable agreement made last August 12?

Why today in Maghaberry under a compromised justice ministry, and handpicked minister, is this brutality allowed to continue?

Why do we hear DUP members and David Ford sounding Thatcher like in saying no concessions and Sinn Fein unable or unwilling to halt this naked brutality?

Marian Price is also in Maghaberry, not for anything she said or did at an Easter Commemoration in Derry, (although the day when it is illegal to commemorate Easter and its meaning in the six counties may be coming .She is there because a British official arbitrarily revoked her decades old license.

One of those then charged with her, has a top position at Stormont and on the constabulary board. Does that make her situation better or worse? When will she have an opportunity to challenge the crown’s use of a license as a license to intern at will?

Gerry McGeough is also in Maghaberry. He was jailed in 2011 for IRA charges that took place in the middle of the 1981 Hunger Strike. We know he was arrested in retaliation for running for election as an Independent Republican and criticizing a re-branded crown constabulary. How many members of the crown forces have been give a silent amnesty for shoot-to-kill, collusion murders, or even torture or perjury in cover-ups.

How can Republicans look at cases like this and not question whether seats at Stormont or constabulary boards are leading only to more seats at Stormont or more places at boards serving British rule in a partitioned Ireland.

Again last week, Cameron was at Stormont. His speech should have shattered the myths and illusions. He thinks it is done and dusted. He thinks when we speak of Ireland and unification we should be speaking of the north cemented together with England, Scotland and Wales. He thinks that the British crown has at last locked up movement towards Irish freedom within Stormont, as tightly as Brendan Hughes and the three hundred Spartans were locked away in Long Kesh. He was even applauded by Sinn Fein.

How many times did his predecessor, Thatcher think that she had Brendan Hughes and the blanketmen beaten? How wrong she was.

Brendan Hughes and his fellow political prisoners locked away in the H-blocks or Armagh were able to inspire a unity and determination which broke anything that Thatcher or the British could throw at them. Can Republicans today forge a unity and strategy which can break through once more, and get us back on the path to the united and free Ireland which this unrepentant Fenian and so many others sacrificed and suffered so much to win for us?


  1. Does this radio free eireann have it's own website or Facebook page? I've looked and can't find anything of much use.

  2. @Danny..SO WHAT???? TRUE Irish Republican beliefs NEVER were about Britsh parliament (Stormont) majorities (or bulging eyed bemused star struck PSF MLA's sitting in a Protestant Parliament 4 a Protestant People) or X-Factor like popularity contests. True Irish Republicn ideology is born in you & runs thorugh your veins. It CANNOT be MI5/MI6 manufactured, taught or thinks U sound very convincingly like one of Marty (Peter's Deputy Dawg's)MCGuinness's fisherman's friends? lol


  4. Danny hi Re your query re Radio Free Eireann click link below and see on left of page Resources and Links with one for Radio Free Eireann You should be able to access old archives of interviews and such

    NB check this site out. Is excellent and pertinent to Martin Galvins speech here

    Brendan Hughes Tribute site

    and lastly the voice of his generation - Ciaran Murphy Singer/songwriter/Activist is good value Just google his name.
    Song I recommend:
    ‘They will always be the RUC to me’ is great song and good video.

    See Link.


    @ The Rebels Yell you come across like a right windup from Amerikkka

  5. Ah, and the canonisation of Brendan Hughes continues……ironic that he who was an atheist should ascend to sainthood……

    ‘Can Republicans today forge a unity and strategy which can break through once more, and get us back on the path to the united and free Ireland which this unrepentant Fenian and so many others sacrificed and suffered so much to win for us?’

    As things stand the simple answer is NO – there are too many ‘egos’ standing outside of SF/MI5 for there to be a cohesive movement….. like the Blanket protest, these egos are on the wrong side of the door…..they can stand outside and shout in as loud and as frequent as they want but they will never, ever, achieve anything less than the derogatory laughter of their so called ‘former comrades’.

  6. Yip Niall its like the bit from Orwell,s Animal Farm,where all the other animals stood looking through the window watching the pigs and the humans laughing together and they could,nt tell them apart,!would genuine republicans want to have any truck with such a parcel of rouges!

  7. Marty,
    The difference between Orwell’s Animal Farm and what is happening to Irish Republicanism today is that the animals in Animal Farm couldn’t comprehend what was happening, not even until it was too late to act, but simply failed to understand at all from the beginning. They even went as far as to accept their fate as given by the pigs…..those Irish Republicans who are on the outside today were once with the pigs and fully understood what was happening….their response is to repetitively attack the pigs with words of back in the day….surely there must be something more potent out there than,
    Adams is a liar,
    Adams is a liar again
    Adams is lying again
    The pigs are gorging themselves on the sacrifices of Irish Republicans and all there is to offer is name calling…..

    By the way, just curious here, where would you find a genuine Irish Republican these days?

  8. Niall plenty of genuine republicans left out can tell them from the phoney ones,they are the people without the community sector jobs,Adams is a liar, nothing wrong with that,it is the truth after all,its a more honest call than psf,s "for effective local leadership" ask the vast majority of west Belfast and beyond how effective that leadership really is,unemployment figures on the rise and no sign of abateing,the only jobs psf have created are the jobs for the boys,it took psf 15 years and the deaths of 10 brave men to kick start their electoral march, plenty of time for groups like Éirígí and other groups to organise an effective alternative to psf,s and its cronyism.

  9. Adams was right about one thing; it was always a question of leadership. Quite simply, had the republican leadership rejected the GFA then the vast majority of republicans would have followed suit. The same applies to all the major decisions forced upon the PRM including decommissioning and support for policing. In my opinion the PRM was completely out maneuvered at the negotiating table by the British and Unionists. Once the principle of consent was secured the game was up. Everything else was down to how Adams et al managed the process within republican movement with the view to avoiding a major split. I believe many rank and file members failed to fully grasp the British/Unionist intentions behind the GFA. The unionist had one objective which was to secure the Union based on the principle of consent, the British another, the defeat of the IRA via assimilation. Both these objectives were achieved simultaneously.

  10. Says Niall.

    "...The pigs are gorging themselves on the sacrifices of Irish Republicans and all there is to offer is name calling...

    By the way, just curious here, where would you find a genuine Irish Republican these days?"

    Niall,you just could be the man we're all looking for. He who is not willing to sit on the internet criticising those who criticise.

    No indeed. You're the man who's likes hasn't been seen since they shot Connolly and Pearse.
    All you have to do is find another 'genuine Irish Republican' like yourself and we've got the beginnings of a real revolution.

  11. Niall,

    You had that coming from Dixie. I too think that leadership is an important factor in all of this as I make clear in my comment.

    You criticize people for possessing egos yet your last comment comes across as egotistical. Perhaps there is some leadership quality you could bring forward to straighten out the mess we all find ourselves in. We all all waiting for the new Messiah to grace our presence.

  12. Martin,

    thanks for posting this. Good piece.

  13. @ Saint?MaryHedgehog

    'you come across like a right windup from Amerikkka'

    lol no I'm Occuppied 6 county born & bred... not winding up..was bemused thst Danny cld only comment on Radio Free Eireann's lack of online presence...but this article is one of the best I have read in a while... contains the bare bones for at least another 10 articles and prob a few books for good measure in order to answer the multitude of pertinent issues regrding the 40 year Strugglethat it has flagged up ....

  14. Congratulations to Martin Galvin. A great speech, that was a pleasure to hear.

    Can anyone confirm that Arthur Morgan was there? A friend told me he was on the other side of the road with a small number of supporters and applauded Martin's speech.

    In any case it was a fantastic speech and a great day for Republicans to show what is possible if they know what to leave to one side for unity.

  15. John McGirr,

    I got waylaid at the last minute and failed to make it. But Arthur was there and has been at a number of them as he and Brendan remained friends throughout.

  16. AM,

    'But Arthur was there and has been at a number of them as he and Brendan remained friends throughout.'

    I am no fan of the Provos, but I admire him for that. It can't have been very comfortable.

  17. @ John,

    well he did give up his TD seat to allow the Bearded One safe passage into the illegitimate Dail...didn't he...

  18. Dixie and Alec,
    I make no apology in not accepting what is written on this site or any other site as being gospel, sorry, so sorry, I can’t use that term can I, God for bid, sorry can’ t use that either, damn…can I use that or does that imply a terrible afterlife….so confusing isn’t it….anyway, as being the absolute truth irrespective who has written the article….that is a stance I will no longer take…..a stance more in line with the sheep of SF/MI5….
    Fortunately I am no Connolly or Peasrse, thank goodness, as they are dead.
    And also I am not one of ‘the boys’ as I was made witness too many times. Who are the boys I hear you ask….well the super duper Reps…you would know Alec, those stalwarts and leading acolytes of Irish Republicanism who having spent their childhood school years, not watching adult programmes by the way, in P1 until they were aged16 and who now deem themselves to be the foremost political thinkers of their day and bask in the radiance of their own brilliance and demand to be revered at all times…..I’m sure you know who.
    In fact, on one occasion it was frankly and candidly pointed out to me by a ‘leading light’ that I wasn’t one of them by his remark to a comment I was asked to give on a certain topic…AM can confirm this as it was he who asked me to comment. This so called leading light’s response to my comment was,
    “Who the fuck is ? ?”, and this was after he in the same memo, courteously answered Bik’s comment and also another republican who’s Christian name (can I use ‘Christian’ or is this also not very PC? Or it could be simply bad grammar!) is Joe but who’s surname escapes me…..You see I am not of the required calibre Dixie…..
    So as I don’t fit the criteria and much to my dismay, I have to decline your gracious offer of joining your ‘real revolution’ but you do have my best wishes for every success and I do look forward to reading about your adventure and how ‘someone’ else spoilt it on you.
    Oh and by the way, this is not bitterness, just constructive cynicism derived from experience!

  19. Niall,

    'AM can confirm this as it was he who asked me to comment.'

    I would confirm if I could but I can't because I can't remember even though I have no doubt your account is correct.

  20. A little bit off side here re unrepentant fenian post but I note that Pat Sheehan declares in the newly updated register of interests that he owns four rental homes in Belfast,good to see that our leadership is showing us all that with prudence an industrail wage can really go a long way.

  21. Niall,

    it is difficult at times to suss what is actually being said, by whom and in what context. Some times we should all bring a little humility and humor to these exchanges. Like yourself I am of the common people, so to speak. I have no intellectual prowess worth showcasing nor letters after my name which denote academic excellence. But what I do have is an opinion and, like you, I will express that whether or not it suits the accepted discourse. I have often found myself in a minority of one in arguments and debates over the political direction of Republicanism with the "acolytes". My ability to think independently is what separates me from the "sheep" who are happy to blindly follow the leader.

    We should take a chill pill and relax a little.

  22. Attempt no 2; Alec while chillin out a cara,have a gander at todays vatican times and in particular Gorbels Gibneys column he states in relation to the touble in east Belfast the other night,"what happened to the people in the Short Strand,and it cannot be said often enough,was that they were the target of a cynical,carefully planned,organised and unprovoked attack by a number of individuals in the leadership of the east Belfast uvf who are nor representative of that organisations leadership ,regionally, or locally," oh really Jim is that how you saw that attack, maybe someone can explain if it was unsanctioned at the highest level of the uvf,then what was the Shankill based overall commander of the uvf doing standing shoulder to shoulder with the east Belfast leader.does this attempted invasion cause a strain on the friendly/working relationship between psf /uvf I expect nothing else from Gibney than bullshit when it comes to psf propaganda,but as an apologist for the uvf thats a step to far even for a Walter Mitty like Gibney.

  23. Marty,

    but his column has always been hopeless. It is standing joke in the world of journalism. More the pity because he can actually write.

  24. Jim Gibney has lost the ability to write and analytically on matters of politics. His wagon is firmly hitched to the Sinn Fein project which robs him of critical insight. He is a propagandist not a writer, there is a difference.

  25. Alec,

    that loss of ability seems to go with the turf. Maybe the critic has an easier task in that good copy seems to come easier. How do you launch a spirted defence of cutting social welfare benefits or slashing helth spending? It is always easier to attack the cuts than defend them.

  26. Too true, Mackers.

    Can we not deem typos legitimate targets and shoot the fuckers.

  27. Anthony Joseph Goebbles could write to a cara, after WW1 he tried to become a writer but his books were unpopular,so guess what ? he became a journo!

  28. Alec,

    ‘Quite simply, had the republican leadership rejected the GFA then the vast majority of republicans would have followed suit. The same applies to all the major decisions forced upon the PRM including decommissioning and support for policing.’

    This was always one of the more embarrassing things that would come up in conversation with unionists, academics et al – they would frequently ask how republicans could believe the nonsense they were being fed. It allowed them to cast serious aspersions on the republican commitment to a republican belief system.

    ‘I believe many rank and file members failed to fully grasp the British/Unionist intentions behind the GFA.’

    Which made me wonder at the time. It was so clear what was happening. Yet republicans on the ground were performing all sorts of gymnastics to explain it. Those of us who said it would turn out much as it had were accused of trying to say the leadership were selling out – that is because today’s outcome was in those days considered a sell out.


    Glad it wasn’t me annoyed you and got that scything for my sins!

  29. Read in todays paper that Ciaran Kearney took on the uneviable task of defending Adams West Belfast reign.
    According to Ciaran, the Master was the very essence of altruism and left a legacy that would stand up to any scrutiny.
    Is there another constituency named West Belfast? worst still, is there another Gerry Adams?

  30. Nuala,

    that would be a hard task. It would be interesting to see a critique emerge like the one made by Squinter a few years ago. Then the reader could have differing options for considering. But the critic is more than likely to face intimidation. I have never been a fan of Squinter but I must acknowledge the courage he showed in that critique. And intimidation was applied after it.

  31. Nuala hon I enjoyed that letter hope Feeney bites back, as for the contents of that letter when its broken down to actuall jobs for west Belfast,I dont believe the money spent has created to many jobs!

  32. Mackers,
    It is unbelievable how these pefectly intelligent and capable individuals seem to be taken in by Big head.
    Ciaran Kearney is a very capable individual, I was totally surprised that he put himself in the loop by defending Adams.

    It was a surface analysis, there was no depth to anything Ciaran said. There was no attempt to take Feeney to task about the economic deprevation which was the crux of Feeney's attack on Adams.
    I noticed that he signed the letter, 'Office of the MP for West Belfast'
    So a person as intelligent and articulate as Ciaran has ended up working for Paul Maskey.
    He must feel incredibly cheated!

  33. Nuala he is an in-law of Donaldson,swims in the same murky pool as da-in law,ambitious with an ego fits in perfectly, keep in touch with ultimate goal by keeping the head down untill the sordid past of family misdemeanor is well and truley buried,thats my take on the bold Ciaran hon..

  34. Marty,
    I am extremely fond of him. I don't think he can be tarred with the same brush as the father in-law.
    But then in the world of smoke and mirrors who knows.

  35. Any-one take a gander at that other letter by sean o fiach in todays Irish vatican news- he asks Sinn Fein to have easter commemorations on the shankill and newtownards road- where do we get them, thats just the excuse loyalists need to hear- by the way missed those who always say at this time of year that the orangemen will walk to and from drumcree next week- they must have got fed up saying it-

  36. Nuala,

    he was a neighbour of mine for a while in the same street in Springhill. I always found him decent.

  37. Volunteer Robin Livingstone was spot on in that critique a few years ago. So impressed before he gave that grovelling apology. With great respect to the many wonderful residents and this is no dig at them West Belfast has turned into a total dump the last few years.
    I don't feel safe at all walking alone on the Falls at night. Rapes, robberies, suicides. auto theft.
    Maskey wil have quite a time following up on the track record left by his predecessor.

  38. Ryan,

    I believe the apology was not his but was put out when he was out of the country. It was probably the most embarrassing action in the paper's history

  39. Ryan,Anthony ,maybe at last the people are begining to wake up to the rag that the Anytout news really is,even if the recession has played a part,but I hear that Mondays edition has been pulled, and Thursdays are the usual crap!

  40. Nuala Ciaran failed to mention in his attack on Feeney that the money secured for the upgrading of Conway Mill came from the prince Charles trust nor did he mention that Fred Taggart a rep of Charlie boy was at the offical opening,so if the bearded one as claimed by Ciaran secured the funding for the mills restoration then bangers may not be the only west Belfast friend of his highness Charles Col in chief of the parachute reg.

  41. marty,
    "plenty of time for groups like Éirígí and other groups to organise an effective alternative to psf,s and its cronyism."

    "I am extremely fond of him. I don't think he can be tarred with the same brush as the father in-law"

    Fuck me, are you people for real? Haven't you had enough of being fucked over?

    If you think SF/MI5 are controlled by the brits what makes you think Éirígí are any different?

  42. all authors of comments are reminded that the use of multiple identities will lead to them to no longer featuring on this blog. Stick to the one ID a a courtesy to other posters. If anyone is experiencing a problem with their ID contact us privately

  43. Mr Keraney may live to regret throwing down the gauntlet to Feeney. All the available stats support Feeney's case so barring Keraney's absolute adoration for the "Big Effort" he is standing on very shaky ground. Brain Feeney is one of the astutest political commentators on the circut.

  44. Olimor,
    It my personal preference who I chose to like or dislike.
    I can't dislike Ciaran, just because he is a member of Sinn Fein.
    I know him quite a while and I agree with Mackers I have always found him to be a very decent person.
    I also agree with Alec, that he amy seriously regret going down the road of contradicting Feeney.

    eirigi is a new party which is made up of people from different political backgrounds.
    There are a considerable amount of very credible people in eirigi.
    Are we know being told to be ultra-cynical of everyone. Are we to remain in political isolation, afraid that we will side with someone who will sell us out again?

  45. michaelhenry,
    the author of that letter was writing about parity of esteem.
    He was merely asking, that whilst Sinn Fein have kept quiet about the police, army, udr parading around our streets. Would unonists allow republicans to walk up the shankil or ex-republican prisoners to rally at the city hall?

  46. AM
    thanks for letting me know. If true, totally disgraceful and my apologies to Squinter.

  47. olimor "have,nt you had enough of being fucked over" ? well a cara having been "fucked over" for generations we are becoming quite adapt at spotting "fuckers",the bearded one got it right when he said "we are of our knees and we wont be going back down" even if he and his cronies have done just that the rest of us are still standing,how we deal with the new situation we find ourselves in,is the question of the here and now,some favour armed struggle,others argue quite rightly I believe, that it didnt work for the pira others argue for confronting psf on the political platform,now with the aid from the brits/Americans,and a healthy bank balance that is a mighty task,but I believe republicans must/will unite to expose the charade that the gfa is.will we get "fucked" along the way ? probably but it wont stop the quest for Irelands independance.

  48. The Rebels Yell

    'True Irish Republican ideology is born in you & runs through your veins.'

    Why would this be?

  49. I see the psni have just aquired 60 new armour plated landrovers that on top of the 350 they already have, Doesnt that give the "peace process supporters " one hell of a boost?

  50. AM
    Thanks for printing Martin's speech. As usual, Martin is very articulate at getting his message across and he did a fantastic job here.

  51. Marty,

    ‘I see the psni have just acquired 60 new armour plated landrovers that on top of the 350 they already have, Doesn’t that give the "peace process supporters " one hell of a boost?’

    The British state will do what it has to in order to maintain the type of stability it requires. What this suggests is that if all the methods of old are required they will be. The greater the armed republican threat the greater the draconian response. The strategic logic is as it always was. The fundamental republican critique of British state malpractice has not been obviated by the new dispensation. Many people may have abandoned that critique but it does not make it any less valid from a republican perspective. Would you really be surprised if Adams and McGuinness called for internment? That would not make internment any more ethical than it was when Adams was interned.