A Season of Christmas Fear

I am a member of Sinn Fein and I support the position on talking to the police but this is harassment of people on Christmas Eve ... How are you ever going to build public confidence in the police after things like this? This sets things back. Me and other members of my family are disgusted – Councillor Sean McGlinchey

I have known Paul McGlinchey almost four decades since when as teenage republicans we first met in prison. He later went on to spend more time on the H Block blanket protest than any other prisoner resisting the British state’s criminalisation policy, having first refused to wear prison uniform in October 1976. Five full years of often brutal cellular confinement and persistent deprivation would pass before he would wear clothes again, his own. It is quite a distinction although he seems to have benefited little from it. That is the type of fortune that tends to come in exchange for abandoning beliefs rather than staying with them.

Frequently the target of PSNI attention, which he adamantly describes as harassment, his home was raided by armed British police on Christmas Eve. The search was the culmination of a long history of attrition which he traces back to his decision in 2007 to break with Sinn Fein over its about turn, leading to the party endorsing a force it had previously insisted upon being disbanded. His choice was totally consistent with a long history of republican activism which both he and his brothers were immersed in. One of those brothers, the late Dominic, was in 1977 named by the same police force that knocks on Paul’s door today as one of the North’s three most wanted men. Another brother, Sean, served almost two decades in prison and is currently a Sinn Fein councillor who for a time served as mayor of Limavady.

Paul McGlinchey is married with three daughters and a son. Through his irrepressible resistance he had hoped that the egregious effects of living in Britain’s political slum would be stymied and not passed onto his children. He readily admits to having been wrong about that.

What has changed? People don’t have to live behind steel shutters fearful of assassination by loyalists working on information provided by the police. We still get stopped and searched, take abuse, few will provide work to those who hold republican beliefs. 

Of the PSNI ill disposition toward him Paul said:

It is ongoing. My home which is situated on a dead end road has been raided previously and they also harass my family. My daughters are constantly hassled and pulled from their cars and body-searched at the side of the road. One of them was followed to her place of work and messed about by the cops in what would seem to be a bid to apply pressure to her employers to get rid of her.

The daughter in question was told at the weekend that she had in fact been ‘let go’ and now has no employment.

He has taken up the issue of harassment with solicitors and has previously been to the Ombudsman but the latter’s office has sided with the cops, on each occasion justifying the continuing harassment. Typical officialdom, always seeking to conceal and cover. 

In the days leading up to the Christmas Eve incursion the PSNI had been setting up checkpoints outside his home and along the road. According to the family this measure would be in place three to four times a day.  Cop cars would pull into the family driveway, rev the engine to announce their presence before turning around and speeding off.    

The homing in on Paul McGlinchey intensified in the wake of the killing of a member of the prison staff at Maghaberry, David Black, who was ambushed in an IRA gun attack as he drove to work in November. Paul believes the PSNI ire coming his way is directly related to his work with the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association, of which he is chairperson for the South Derry/North West South Antrim area. He is particularly annoyed by comments made by Martin McGuinness in the wake of the David Black killing which he feels were fashioned specifically to demonise those who supported the protesting prisoners and as such fed into the PSNI interest in himself. Paul claims that he will not be deterred from the work he does on behalf of republican prisoners, and that he will continue to both campaign against brutality in Maghaberry and to work to alleviate financial hardship incurred by the families of prisoners.

This is not surprising in the slightest given the longevity of his prison protest. He says that since his release from prison in the 1980s he has campaigned for improvements in the regime prisoners endure. He has been taught by experience that a prison regime that is not monitored will quickly revert to brutal form, something he and other blanket protestors know quite a bit about.  A frequent target of prison staff violence he is determined to ensure that no prisoner undergoes similar mistreatment.

I was in prison a long time myself and am only doing what was did for me while I was there. I feel very strongly about these issues. I know how difficult it is for families and I took many beatings from prison staff so I am certainly going to campaign against it happening today.

The raid on the family’s South Derry home came a full six days after a search warrant had been issued. The family feel that if the police really believed that the munitions mentioned in the warrant were on its property the warrant would have been executed immediately it was issued. Instead in the view of the family the decision to delay the search until Christmas Eve was an act of vindictiveness contrived by senior officials in the PSNI.

I complained to the leader of the search team about the invasion of my home the day before Christmas. He told me he no more wanted to be in my home than I wanted him to be there but he had got his orders that morning and was merely carrying them out.

Councillor Sean McGlinchey also drew attention to the lag between the warrant being issued and its execution. ‘This was a disgrace on Christmas Eve ... especially when you consider this warrant was signed on December 18 and the search could have been carried out any time.’ Few in Councillor McGlinchey’s party would seem to agree, or if they do they are reluctant to raise their voices. There was no gathering of Sinn Fein party members at Knock PSNI headquarters as there was in the wake of the arrest of Padraic Wilson.

When the PSNI arrived it was around 10.30am. Paul's wife Cindy responded to demands to open the door.  Thinking that the police might have arrived with bad news about a son abroad she moved to talk to the cops outside the front door as she did not want the daughters to hear the conversation in case there was anything that might alarm them. The mobility of Cindy McGlinchey at this time was considerably restricted. As a result of an accident in which she was injured by a horse she had sustained two broken arms. She had also been rendered housebound and unable to go out prior to the raid. Since her accident she had been unable to raise her hands above her head. Cindy McGlinchey in that condition, visibly evident to the PSNI as she was still in plaster, would in the minds of most people be capable of posing no threat.

Her husband explains that in spite of this, she was immediately attacked. Without explaining that they were in possession of a search warrant a female member of the PSNI threw Cindy McGlinchey up against the wall and forced her arms up her back.  One of her daughters heard her screams of agony and rushed to the front of the house demanding that the police cease their assault on her injured and by now visibly distressed mother. At that point a warrant was produced and the PSNI proceeded to raid the family home.

During the course of the search comments were made loudly in the presence of one of his daughters that the hatred of the police in the family was so severe it was cancerous. The daughter in question had survived cancer and found the comment unnerving.

They were being smart about it. They stood talking to each other but I could tell it was for my attention. When I raised it with the man in charge at the end of the search he didn’t want to know. The police had raided the home before and on the last occasion I had just been diagnosed which they were aware of. So it is hard to believe their supposed conversation was just an innocent chat.

In her father’s account of the raid:

The police dog had been muck covered when it entered the house, as if it had been lying in fields all night.  It smashed ornaments, fouled the bed, knocked over the Christmas tree, and climbed all over furniture. All locks on bedroom windows were forced and broken as was the lock to a wardrobe owned by our son to which a bolt cutter was applied. One daughter’s jewellery box suffered a similar fate due to the force used to open it. The whole thing lasted five hours.

After the violation of the family home Paul had to take his wife to Antrim Area Hospital where her blood pressure registered at ‘a very high level’. Cindy who has no history of hypertension says the incident has sent her BP ‘rocketing through the roof.’ The couple noted that the doctor who examined her had commented that she had acquired additional injuries to those sustained during her accident and that her progress had been put back a number of weeks.

The incident has left her traumatised and she is left feeling very vulnerable in her own home. Although the search team cleaned up the dog mess Cindy McGinchey hit out at the Chief Constable:

Matt Baggott should have his dogs properly trained before sending them into people’s home ...  I am the mother of two daughters and would be distraught if any of them were to attack an injured mother in her own home in front of her children in the manner that the PSNI woman did to me.

Paul McGlinchey, the former H-Block blanket prisoner at the centre of British police harassment, said he hopes that the matter can be resolved in a way that brings a halt to the ongoing PSNI strategy of attrition against him. ‘The family have been through enough already. I hope this is the end.’ He wants the issue investigated robustly and resolved justly ‘but that can only be done if the policewoman who assaulted my wife is brought to book.’

In terms of police harassment I suspect it is not the end for many republicans and in particular one carrying the family name McGlinchey. After I spoke to the McGlinchey family the following thought crossed my mind: what sort of outcome has the republican struggle delivered when an armed British police force is still able to target a former blanket man more than three decades after the H Block hunger strikes? Would Frank Hughes, a personal friend and IRA comrade of Paul, and the second of the hunger strikers to die, have regarded that as a success? Hey Frank celebrate our victory in which the British police can still charge you for all the times you shot them up. To term this horrible vista a victory robs us of the words to describe defeat: language has been rendered meaningless.  While arguably there are many members of the North’s police who want to move on and have no interest in fighting the battles of yesterday, as an institution – which crucially, rather than individual attitudes, is what determines behaviour - the armed British Police Service of Northern Ireland is intent on putting manners on republicans who refuse to con themselves and others that political policing ended with the renaming of the RUC.

The PSNI increasingly conducts its business as if the main challenge it faces is a republicanism that has spouted another head which must be cut off. It obsesses almost incessantly about republicans which it has placed at the centre of its public discourse. When every problem is a viewed as a nail then every solution will involve the use of a hammer. Seeking to hammer into submission the opposition helped fan the flames of the Northern conflict. 

A police force that has purchased a one way ticket to conflict, if allowed to go unchecked, will ultimately arrive at its destination. Yet nobody seems to be of a mind to take responsibility and put their foot on the brake. The North like every other society needs a policing agency but is one in the grip of revanchism the best that it can come up with? It was not for nothing that republicans demanded the total disbandment of the RUC. The legacy of having failed to achieve that is the burgeoning culture of impunity that permeates the activities of today’s PSNI.


  1. This reads like it's a piece from 1971. Hard to believe that over 40 years has passed and so many lives broken and lost yet nothing has changed.

  2. What has changed here for republicans is nothing other than the so called leaders of the republican movement now support those who carry out these all to familiar tactics, my grandfather would have recognised this behaviour,its same old story,once the Patton reforms were circumvented the chances of a new beginning to policing here was fucked and anyone connected with quisling $inn £ein should have walked then,the Mc Glinchey family are only to aware now how badly down the river the nationalist republican community have been sold,Adams can fly of to New York to have very expensive laser treatment on his arse and pay for it on his average industrial wage when as stated in the post Paul,s daughter was penalised for being the daughter of a republican,ex prisoners cant get jobs or insurance never mind visas to the states,the con job that is the gfa should be rammed up the bearded ones arse,and his cronies should be sent packing to London where they now belong,things here are not going to get better for the nationalist community if anything they,l get worse, some say in a few years we will be in the majority and can then push for a united Ireland, I say if they react to a democratic vote for flying the"fleg" on designated days in such a manner can you imagine how many taigs will die if the vote for reunification was successful,this is a corrupt state and it always has been and until we see it confined to the dustbins of history we ie,. the nationalist /republican community will be on the receiving end of their bigotry, how we deal with that is open to debate.

  3. Marty,

    Adams can fly off to New York to have very expensive laser treatment on his arse

    Why did Hartley need lazer treatment?

  4. Hahahaha!!!

    Rhinoplasty: the surgical procedure for removing the noses of others from ones well-cushioned arse.

  5. Anthony:

    Because he wanted to see through himself!.

    Sadly to this day and age, when Republicans are still being treated as if it was 1969 and onwards.
    The Mc Glinchey Family and other families are suffering at the hands of RUC/PSNI on the orders of RUC special Branch who have been rehired through agency work, let them hand back there big fat pay checks they received on the so called abandonment of the RUC and not forgetting MI5, How long will it take for all ex prisoners/Blanket Men to see what is actually happening, when will they learn they have been led up the garden path, there is no peace, you are still living in a six county state which is still under British Rule with British and Loyalist policing, also, British Military bases are still here, This was all planned by Paisley Sen and the dup, but yet again, SF were no saints either, They knew exactly the whole outcome, they knew it would still be six counties under british Rule and policing, and they stand and tell everyone to grass to that same british police force. Makes you wonder who is who at times,SF sure as hell are not kicking with the left foot, Its Ironic that at the same times Adams was on the political track,and telling The Dark (Brendan Hughes (R.I.P) and others, his other half in the Loyalist block was doing the exact same, Gusty Spence, makes you wonder!. At the 1986 Ard-Fheish, which I was one of the ones who walked out, He made a snide remark about ,"Not everyone could get in, he said , People were left outside, Now after extensive polling to get votes, he knew he had enough to win, He made sure all his supporters were in and seated first, that's all he required for a "YES" vote, that shows what a rat bag lying piece of trash he is, and for the McGuinness fella, he said, "Don't walk out, follow us to the republic", well you still have to drive or get a bus or train to it Martyboy and you have the audacity to call us TRAITORS, People take your blinkers off, The RUC/PSNI and the loyalist will bring us all back to the beginning of the recent conflict, which has still not ended. They the loyalist so called flag demonstrators are actually UDA/UVF led, who tried to start a confrontation in short strand, they realise they are getting nothing out of this gfa, no one is only DUP/SF, everyone else Gets Fuck All but harassment/Raided/Interned.

  6. Anthony ,why did tombstone Tom need laser surgery?is arrogance operable?
    itsjustmackers the 86 Ard Fheis was another con job half the delegates were from comhairle centair that under the existing psf constitution would not have had voting rights eg. St James area sent delegates Adams cronies of course but in reality no cumann existed Andersonstown was the same. lower Falls and Twinbrook all had very few activists or none which again under the constitution would not have allowed the voting rights Adams mustered, but as you say a cara all a fucking con job...I didnt attend ,it was obvious what was coming from the previous rigged internal conference re abstentionism debate,

  7. How would things in a united ireland be any better ? 90,000 people left the 26 counties last yr. Even worse than the 1950's. Almost as many Irish as British emigrate each year, THE LATTER HAS 14 TIMES AS MANY PEOPLE !

  8. Another brilliant read by the TPQ, sadly I'm not at all surprised at the level of abuse, harassment and intimidation suffered by Paul and his family.

    The only things changed about Political Policing in the Six Counties is the name and uniforms..The unreformed RUC are still managed & directed by MI5.

    Despite the massive PR battle by advocates of this British Police Force. Ordinary people know that they have the same aims and objectives!

    Thankfully, we have genuine Republicans like Paul and Anthony who are willing to highlight these human rights abusers, keep up the good work chairde.

  9. It's difficult for me to understand how Sean Mc Glinchey can remain in Sinn Fein. It's equally difficult to understand how Ian Milne can be on the policing board. This is not a personal attack by me on Sean but no matter how he justified his position before, surely he must know that his party offers nothing to the Republican/Nationalist people and that term "Conflict Junkies" which Mc Guinness used to describe people who don't support him should now be applied to the RUC/PSNI.

  10. From abroad, reading this post, the only think that I can think of, is that people outside Northern Ireland turn a blind eye to what's happening in the 6 counties, leaving the Brits finishing their business. In Quebec, the nationalist left was once involve in a solidarity movement with the civil rights movement and the republican. The Quebec-Ireland commitee was very active during the 81 hunger strike. In Quebec, Bernadette Devlin was a political star, Bobby Sands a iconic revolutionary. Since the GFA, because Sinn Féin was involve in it, the nationalist left has been acting as a propaganda machin of Sinn Féin. Everytime that I condemned a human right abuse in Northern Ireland, I was called a friend of the terrorists or naive. It's hard to make people understand that signing an agreement while you have your back against the wall is never good.

  11. Why do so many shinners turn a blind eye to what is going on in the NI Police State?

    The reason being, is that so many are so far up Adams arse they see fuck all but shite anyway. I'd say the laser treatment was an attempt to dislodge some of them.

    Any still with PSF are there solely for financial gain, any principles they may have had in the past have been bought by Adams and McGuinness with British money. Any halfwit can see that claims to holding the police force to account are lies as it's only a bank account that shinners are interested in.

    Interestingly enough a former Blanket man from Derry was photographed in the Sunday Life last week pretending to pull a celebratory pint in a pub on the Shankill Road, as ex-prisoner's groups from both sides received £4m in funding.

  12. Andre; I agree with your comments although I do think that signing the GFA was more about what SF would gain from it as opposed to them feeling their back was against the wall and they'd no choice.

    Dixie; I saw that photo. The Rex Bar. How many catholic mutilations were planned there? How many Catholics dragged into it and butchered? How many bomb plans made in it? I'm sure the families of those mutilated and butchered were sick to their stomachs seeing that wee jaunty snap.

    Absolutely disgusting that ex pow's even set foot in it never mind pulled a pint. Who else was in the bar? That's what I'd like to know.

  13. Dixie , that pic of Adams cronie pulling the pint in the Rex bar, was proof if ever needed just how far down the greasy pole those left in quisling $inn £ein have slipped, gangsters having a goodfella moment but as always the way with gangsters greed gets the better of them and the fall out will be brutal,roll on valentines day...

  14. Belfast Bookworm

    "Andre; I agree with your comments although I do think that signing the GFA was more about what SF would gain from it as opposed to them feeling their back was against the wall and they'd no choice. "

    You are absolutely right, there was a lot of personnal gain for SF. I was more thinking about the impossibility to seat as equal at the negotiation table. Denouncing police harasshment today would be admission to their weakness.

  15. Have to agree Marty, now a days they feel more at home celebrating getting British payoffs and Kickbacks with loyalist killers and drug dealers.

    At the end of the day Marty showed us that they are all really loyalists at heart.

  16. Belfast Bookworm.

    "Dixie; I saw that photo. The Rex Bar."

    It was one for the money, two for the show, now, you fenian bastard go go go. £££££££, that's all it was about, slapping each other on the back, but you can be rest assured they had a safe conduct in and out of it, Not like those who were dismembered in it. Proves a lot does it not what they thought about that bar.
    It should have been blown off the face of the earth, with everyone in it. that's how I feel!.


    The writing was on the table when Sinn Fein signed that document for the GFA, They signed for a six county Ulster to be run by the British, lets be under no illusion here, they knew exactly what they were doing, so, by signing that GFA they accepted British Rule, British Policing, The British Monarch, and, denounced Republicanism , how can they call themselves Republicans when they accepted British domination?, If the vote at the 1986 Ard Fheish was not fixed, They, "SF" would not be here today.


    a cara, you got it in one with your post. Another mountain to climb now.

  17. André.

    I remember you and your comrades solidarity and thank you so much, it was appreciated, But not by the SF leadership, Its very hard to ascertain who the spies were, who is the original STAKENIFE?, The British MI5 and the RUC special Branch with the MRU's were giving out so much disinformation SF should have seen what was happening, The Army Council should have known with all the raids and SAS involvement with the Premature explosions, A TRAITOR, or, I should say, TRAITORS were within, Scenario, If I was going on an OP with a Bomb, The first thing I would check was that the timer was NOT SET on that Bomb as that would be my job to set it and give the warning to a newspaper once it was in place, but, for some UNKNOWN REASON these bombs detonated prematurely , when I say UNKNOWN I am stating these devices were worked on by British Military Explosives experts which were passed to them by the Spies Handlers, So my view is, the only person who could do that was the original Bomb Maker, that is my serious conclusion, and then I would be told , TIMER SET, you have x hours to plant, those x hours at times turned into minutes. That makes me sick to the core.

  18. dixie, just for context, a close family member of yours is a drug dealer, selling viagra and cheap tobacco out of the corner shop. looks like you think some drug dealers good,some drug dealers bad dixie.
    especially good in your narrow mind seem to be those selling drugs legalised by the british parliament.

  19. 2dogz2catz,

    if you want to make the type of charge you made against a named comment poster you will need to use your own name.

  20. I find it scandalous that people are poking fun (sorry about that) at Mister Adam’s arse. He only had the operation because his mouth was over-loading with all the shite and lies he talks. Now that they’ve attempted to fix it, he has two holes to talk out of. Get well cards should can be sent to RUC headquarters at 147 Andersonstown Road. Get well soon Gerry. You’re the king. Sorry, I meant of course Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead. And as far as old Tombstone Tom is concerned? Monkey do what monkey see. He wanted an arse just like his master’s, and for equally the same reason.

  21. Tom I have been" informed" by those in the know ie, the community workers who infest Thatcher House on the Anytout rd the the great bearded one ie Gerrybhroy the quisling $inn £ein president for life, had to have that very expensive PRIVATE operation in New York to remove a serious blockage, hence the shit we,ve been subjected to for so long coming out his mouth, after an eight hour operation Bangers Morrison was sucessfully removed from deep within the bearded ones bowels the surgeon said what complicated the operation was that fucking stupid hat that was superglued onto bangers head..had the Harold Shipman stand in not been in receipt of the average industrail wage the operation would have been carried out by less competent surgeons which could have resulted in bangers head being left stuck up that orifice resulting in twice as much crap and lies spewing from the high flying td president for lifes mouth..The Northern Bank said no q$£,ers were mugged to pay for this op,and no volunteers died or were set up...

  22. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has been branded a hypocrite after choosing to have an operation in America rather than using the public health service in Ireland.

    Now Adams has been accused of being ‘incredibly hypocritical’ after criticising private healthcare on both sides of the border.

    hypocrite adams

  23. 2dogz2catz

    Firstly I told Mackers to put up your cowardly post which like most of your ilk you haven't the balls to use your own name to nor say it to my face.

    However I do have my suspicions as to who you are. Its all down to repeating how you write things on other forums - just ask the person who pretended to be a Polly Crosgrave on Facebook. Someone who was in fact a he, a shinner and an idiot who wrote the same stuff under another name on another forum.

    Never-the-less your only comeback to me was to refer to a family member who you claim sells cheap fags and viagra out of a corner shop. It shows for a start that you lot have no answers to your leadership's sell out if thats the best you can come up with...Cheap fecking fags and viagra. lol

    Anyway selling a few cheap fags, if that is one of the crimes, pales to insignificance compared to the container loads which were brought into Derry by certain people who took their own cuts and least you forget no one could sell fags in Derry without paying off certain people either.

    As for viagra; now thats a hard one and I'll have to think about it.

  24. 2dogz2catz,

    Your comment was posted because Dixie said he had no objections to it being posted. There is an Interesting take in the Irish Times on the phenomenon of anonymous posting on the internet

  25. Tom
    'He wanted an arse just like his master’s, and for equally the same reason.'

    to arrange that he'd need to exhume Gerry's oul Daddy. From what Gerry was telling the world about his daddy a while back, he was the one to sort everyones arse out..

  26. Dixie-

    I know you and me mostly [ always ]
    dont see eye to eye and its likely that we never will but i would argue about what you wrote not about any supposed family member was supposed to have done-a disgraceful comment made about your good self and clan- if that is all that can be made up behind your back you are flying- look forward to the political arguments in the future with you-

  27. Dixie
    Never worry about people taking unfounded toxic swipes. A woman scorned springs to mind.

    Slaggin is one thing but toxic is another

  28. Mick Henry thats the 2nd time someone tried using my family against me. The 1st time on Politics ie where I never post someone, an anonymous cowardly pervert, took a photo from my daughters facebook page and put it up with a crude remark.

    The thread was about the Hunger Strikes and that was their contribution.

    However it does prove they have no answers Michael and if they have no answers it only proves one thing, that I must be right.

  29. Dixie

    I wouldn't be to bothered about what anyone says, to me only a low life would do such a thing, Maybe Larry's right about the, "Nothings worse than a woman's scorn", and only you know the answer to that, If one of my brothers shot someone, would that make me a murderer, Its the same scenario, getting tarred by someone else's brush.
    But I do agree with you about the container's issue, we had the same going on, but that's all I will say on that matter.

  30. Anthony:

    That piece is interesting in the Irish Times, I'm against anyone who chooses to hide their identity to spew out abuse against a named or unnamed person, especially if that persons ID is known, to me only a coward would do such a thing, but some people have a reason not to identify themselves, "Myself included", would it have been better for me to make up a fake name and fake email address", I think not, you know my email address and my full name, that's enough for me.

  31. Fairly stinking comments from the dog and cat person. Well played by you Dixie insisting it's posted. Hopefully now dog/cat sees it in print and the ensuing responses they feel a bit ashamed of themselves - maybe even a bit foolish.

    Michael Henry, well said. Every time I think you're a lost cause you say something to redeem yerself!

    Larry: there you go again with your anti women rants!

  32. belfast bookworm

    Larry: there you go again with your anti women rants!??????

    out of context PC garbage again?

  33. Dixe "family members sell viagra and cheap fags"!A cara I wouldnt rise to that,,there,s no smoking gun...

  34. belfast bookworm

    cant even use a figure of speech these days ... lmao

    viagra and cheep fags? i dont smoke, mite be 'up' for the viagra!

  35. Marty,

    I take it then the 1986 ard fheis was Adams style democracy in action.

  36. Anthony it was an early indicator if needed the deviousness of that man and his cronies and the beginning I think of the decline of PRM.aided and ably abetted by all sorts of agents.

  37. Andre,

    Everytime that I condemned a human right abuse in Northern Ireland, I was called a friend of the terrorists or naive.

    This is what happens but if you condemn a human rights abuse by the home side you will be called a friend of the Brits! It has happened all the time. Pat Finucane was set up by the state for asasination because he deefended people against human rights abuses.

    It's hard to make people understand that signing an agreement while you have your back against the wall is never good.

    I made a point of going out and voting against the GFA but I never saw those who voted for it as having their backs against the wall in any real sense of the term. I have spoken to friends who voted for it and don't get that sense from them. The bulk of people voted within a historically constructed framework which made one outcome more likely than the other. But the Irish people had the chance to reject it and did not do so. In as far as we can tell it was vote for peace but whose violence were they voting against? The state/pro-state violence or republican violence?

  38. Ardoyne Republican,

    There is no doubt political policing is still with us. Sinn Fein showed how bankrupt it was on the question of political policing in the arguments it made after the arrest of Padraic Wilson. The party created the conditions whereby Padraic Wilson could in fact be arrested and also whereby Paul McGlinchey could go through that violent experience.

  39. Dixie,

    Who was the pint pulling former Derry blanket man? Missed that.

    Interestingly enough a former Blanket man from Derry was photographed in the Sunday Life last week pretending to pull a celebratory pint in a pub on the Shankill Road, as ex-prisoner's groups from both sides received £4m in funding.

    Disgusting episode with your daughter’s photo. Nothing too low for whoever did that

  40. Wee Tony Millar Mackers. But that was a while back. He was pulling a pint in the Rex Bar to celebrate getting £4m dirty money from the Brits.

  41. I always liked Tony. He was a solid wee man during the blanket.