Kieran Nugent back in the day of criminalisation

Alex McCrory today in the era of internment.


Two Former Blanket men

Kieran Nugent back in the day of criminalisation

Alex McCrory today in the era of internment.



  1. A few noticeable differences between then and now the POWs then, had a substantial network and support base as Kieran states it was not enough and it wasn’t.
    When Brendan Hughes called the hunger strike it was devastating in the sense that a hunger strike was needed not just to challenge the Brits but to motivate the people which it did.
    When the second hunger strike ensued there was a greater support not just for the hunger strike but to try and save the lives of those volunteers by smashing the criminal status along with the brutality of the prison regime.

    Today, we rarely hear a word about the prisoners they remain largely forgotten.
    There is no solid support base for them or at least that I am aware of.

    The British judicial arsenal has selective internment a tool that seems to be very effective as it is psychologically demoralising.
    This is reflective of the lack of any efficient strategy by militant republicans as without any strong political representation to not only speak on behalf of Irish republicans in British jails but to highlight and inform the public or (at least those whom hold an interest on the matter) of their plight and the abusive legislation that ensures anyone can become a prisoner if we refuse to toe the line.

    I am unsure if it is a crime to display solidarity for the prisoners but I am quite certain it is not unlawful to speak out against oppressive legislation.

  2. Internment by remand. It used to be called trumped up charges.
    It was always the usual suspects whisked off for lengthy terms of imprisonment and then eventually released.

    We were told that was all finished with.
    We were told it wouldn't be tolerated, we were no longer second class citizens.
    If anything it has gotten worse.
    There are conditions and pre conditions being set now that would not have been tolerated in the 70s, 80s or indeed the 90s. So why are we asked to tolerate it now ?

  3. I know a lad who was constantly getting harassed, in fact he's now out on bail, and the PSNI were searching his home one time. They came across a list of dates, times etc and he told them he was keeping a record of the times he was stopped and searched.

    A female cop leaned forward into his face and said...

    "You can do what you want, you're only wasting your time, Sinn Fein's on our side now."

    That in my opinion is it in an nutshell. The Brits have so called 'mainstream republicans' supporting their institutions and condemning anyone who would oppose them, even going so far as to encourage touting, how do you overcome that?

  4. I sense that there is an expectation from current prisoners and supporters that people should be interested or involved with their plight as they were during The Conflict. Situations and circumstances are very different today. That is not a defense that the powers of arrest, detention or the bedside manner of screws are improved.

    People saw different things in the IRA -from their ability to pull of what became known as 'spectaculars' to how they organized and protested within the prisons. The prison campaigns came about organically from what was happening both inside and outside the jails and popular support among the community.

    Violent dissidents haven't done anything that most people would respect, their actions have been sectarian, haphazard, reckless and unwanted. On the one occasion that they killed two soldiers they savagely tried to kill everyone and anyone in the vicinity which included a (catholic?) polish guy.

    Most people would not want to see any prisoner mistreated. Today's prisoners appear to be trying to replicate old campaigns, or at least that is my view. Certainly with some prison veterans currently in jail it would be easy for them to fall into doing what they know from previous experience but would that be the best response to a change of political circumstances even if the prison environment remains familiar?

    While some cases had all the hallmarks of internment that does not mean that anyone arrested and charged can be referred to as an internee. I don't know if any of the latest three arrests qualify as internees, or are on false charges but I would have my concerns. The Price case, while it involved unlawful detention it ultimately was an own goal when the woman pleaded guilty in the end. Maybe she had her reasons...

    There are questionable things being done and Diplock Courts are still very much alive and well but violent dissidents are not a reliable source about something in which they are both victim and a party of their own creation. It is difficult, certainly in the past things were more clearly defined that the IRA were responding and thus victim whereas today it is a different story and one where it is not that easy to be sympathetic with even if we do disagree with the current political/prison regime.

  5. Tiarna,

    you logic is persuasive. I have serious difficulties with physical force republicanism. But I will never abandon Alec. I will be there for him until the end. It is a personal thing, I know. Both me and him have been through too much together personally and politically, it would be unthinkable to say 'not my problem'.

    And I say that knowing you are not advocating that I do anything else. You are simply providing much valued political analysis.

  6. AM

    I wish Alec and Harry the best and they are two guys I would hold in good regard generally. I sincerely hope that things work out for them. My gut suspicion is that the charges are somewhat contrived or exaggerated in which case I hope things are resolved sooner rather than later.


  7. Tiarna,
    During ' the Coflict' the IRA was spoken about in the language you have in relation to so called ''dissenters.'

    In relation to Marian, where does the ' own goal' idea come from ?

  8. AM

    It was and on occasion it was true then also but not all the time. The IRA did have a more visible support base and eventually a proxy electoral mandate of sorts.

    I had thought that the MPrice Case was atrocious, and it was, but if you have a campaign calling on public support that you are innocent and simply victim of your past it damages other genuine cases if in the end you show yourself to have been fairly suspected all along and confirm that by pleading guilty. Price, we now know, was not being victimised because of her past but for the current reason the Brits always said that they were holding her and she now agrees.

  9. Tiarna,

    I think that reply was meant for Nuala rather than me.

  10. I was say that interpretation of the campaign differs from my understanding of it.
    It was fought on the issue of illegal detention andcill health.

  11. Owen,

    it is:

    Alec McCrory
    Roe House
    Maghaberry Prison
    Co Antrim
    North Of Ireland

  12. Apologies for the typos using my phone and not always such a good idea.

  13. Yes AM it was for Nuala.

    Nuala yes it started out over her holding a speech up for a masked man to read. The state overreacted and were disproportionate with her on that matter. Her health rightly became a matter of concern.

    There was much made of how her past made her a victim and ther was debate over whether she was originally released on license or royal pardon. People were concerned for her and how others out on license could so easily be imprisoned again.

    There was a whole collective of issues about how she was an innocent victim despite her background. I certainly believed that.

    Most people will be less sympathetic or understanding and may say 'ok so the state made a hash of detaining her but ultimately they got the right person'. My point is there is only so many times you can cry wolf and simply declaring that every dissident arrested is being interned or held on false charges loses its credibility.

    It is a fact that dissidents are trying to kill and some are going to go to jail and there may well be reasonable evidence to put them there.

    On a personal level I am mindful of the dangers to people going to jail falsely. I would like to help or support such people where I can. But if someone takes the risks and end up in jail then that is their call. Dissidents are responsible for their own actions but their friends and families suffer too.

    Whether you believe the IRA were defeated or were cheated dissidents are no way near the same league or potential that the IRA or INLA were, therefore, violent dissidents will not achieve more than the IRA/INLA ever did.

  14. Tiarna,

    I imagine the issue is not about guilt or innocence. It is about the law being used for political purposes. We don't believe for a minute that all the internees from 71-75 or even most of them were innocent. It is the imprisoning of people on secret evidence. Marian was bailed on both charges by the courts and then was held on secret evidence.

    I think the outcome has damaged a wider campaign in the sense that those who only lobbied because they believed her innocent and not because of secret evidence have experienced a sense of let down.

    When I listeded to Phil Scraton make the case for her it was not about her guilt or innocence but about her treatment and due process. He stated if there is evidence let it be presented. When the Brits lower the bar for the state to jump over there is a serious problem for civil liberties. The potential for abuse is enhanced.

  15. Tiarna,
    I didn't absorb myself with the innocence or guilt of the situation it was blatant injustice that initially brought me to the campaign.

    In the early 70s my brother was released after serving a prison term.
    As my father sat waiting outside the court word came out that he had been re arrested, subsequently he was interned.
    We never got to know the secret evidence against him, we just knew he had served his time for the gun 'offence' and in all likelihood was serving more time for it.

    In many ways Marian's case was similiar, she was released by a court and then re arrested.
    Where she differed was, there was an element of cruelty and blatant revenge in many aspects of how M15 and the British handled her case.

    There is a current policy operating of trial by remand and a manipulation of evidence, which skews the transparency of many arrests and convictions.

    Many, many people have went to trial on charges and there hasn't been a whimper.
    If however, a deliberate policy of internment by remand is operating, then yes people should flag it up
    Stephen Murney has been set up and I'm sure and certain there is a concerted effort to remove other people by any means.

  16. AM

    Yes that is true. There is a perpetual battle over civil liberties and human rights. The State usually holds the upper hand and when it does encroach upon the rights of the individual it is not helpful if the victim then owns up and says 'fair cop guv'.

    After the 9/11 attacks there was much debate about the use of torture, some legal experts (Dershowitz particularly) argued that courts should be allowed to grant torture writs for specific persons. What would have persuaded even moderates was the question around how reliable would be the results.

    An excellent real case example would be Gäfgen v. Germany. German police threatened Gäfgen with torture and had a trained 'specialist' on route to torture him before he broke his silence. The policemen involved were reprimanded but Gäfgen still had his life sentence. The case involved the abduction of a child who police were unaware was already dead, the Police were acting to save the child so had they got to the child before he died the police would probably not have been reprimanded at all. In effect the result can justify the means.

  17. Nuala

    I follow exactly what you are saying but when challenging the state about its abuses it is not helpful if the victim undermines the issue. There is no second place in these sort of issues in the end the State will point to its justification and that is what wins through even if concerned citizens try to layout the autopsy of what really happened. The concern about how vengeful and vindictive state officials were will eventually be obscured by other cases or other issues and sometimes like the Leonard Peltier Case life for everyone else moves on.

  18. Tiarna,

    if it was my child I would go for the torture. But society can't be run that way. Hard case makes bad law. I take the liberal philosophical perspective here: process legitimises outcome.

  19. AM

    Due process is there for a reason and common law has been developed over centuries aiming to ensure fair trials. When the State abuses due process to satisfy its objectives then convictions based upon state abuse cannot be seen as safe or reliable. Most people are concerned if there is reasonable doubt about a persons guilt.

    This was the case with Internment; who was interned that was proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt? Regardless of your suspicions or inside knowledge many of those interned remained innocent until proven guilty and most never were.

    If as Nuala has suggested, if I understand her correctly, she knew Price was guilty all along and she only objected to her mistreatment then that is a different matter. It is still a matter for concern but when arguments were made that the State was trying to frame Price that suggested that she was innocent.

    Should guilty people walk free because of a technicality? The issue of due process becomes bogged down in academics where the procedures can become a means to evade accountability. If it was known or generally accepted among republicans that Price was really guilty all along then that reduces any injustice campaign down to a strict set of rules no longer related with justice, guilt or innocence but one of political brinkmanship between the Brits and their quarry.

    I am not downplaying the treatment of prisoners welfare or detention because that was technically what the Price Case was really about and many people would still have concern for that reason alone. But my understanding was not that it was simply a matter of treatment and conditions but one of vindictiveness and fraudulent allegations over her involvement in the killing of two soldiers and the attempt to do the same to any civilians unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity. That was a brutal and savage attack by any standard. Many people would not respect or like being duped into, to be flippant, haggles over the procedural 'i's and 't's not being properly dotted and crossed. The State can rightly now say that had Price admitted her guilt sooner then she could have spared herself and everyone else all the bother.

  20. When hundreds of Republican's were in Jail and volunteers on the outside were facing a fearsome onslaught from the state, and their core support base was daily brutalised by the British army and police, there may have been an argument for being uneconomical with the truth.

    Myself I feel it is always a mistake to lie to one supporters, but I can understand why some might have chosen to do so.

    However I cannot see any reason for this to happened today as it will quickly become counter productive.

    I am not making accusation or pointing a finger at any individual or organisations, just reminding folk you cannot build anything worth having on lies, or by treating potential supporters with such contempt.

    If there is no option but to lie and these situation can arise in a revolutionary struggle, it is better to say nothing publicly, and await a better day.

  21. Tiarna,
    It's not a case of the victim undermining the issue more a case of spectators undermining Repbublcans.
    It's nearly a case of how clever can we be from the parameters.
    How judgemental can we be from the periphery. We will never venture where those people go just applaud them when it goes right but patronisingly put the boot in when it doesn't quite measure up .

  22. Nuala

    I neither "applaud them (violent dissidents) when it goes right but patronisingly put the boot in when it doesn't quite measure up." I think they are wrong either way and have always said so.

    You should know that nobody is more uncompromisingly judgmental than republicans -if someone broke or pleaded guilty republicans were highly judgmental and harsh.

    However my point was more how one should not take on the brits to only shoot oneself in the foot when things don't go according to plan. That undermines genuine cases that can stand up and go the distance.

  23. Tiarna,

    Legally everyone remains innocent until proven guilty by the law but that is a ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ perspective. Outside the legal world there is a different standard set – more akin to 'balance of probability' - and our knowledge of something is not determined by the courts otherwise OJ Simpson would be innocent.

    My point about internees is not whether they were guilty but the process used to imprison them. If I am right most people assumed that the bulk of the internees were involved but there was a serious question mark over how the process functioned. Add the politics and ...

    I was in along with many of the people convicted during the supergrass era. I never thought they were non combatants stitched up by a paid perjurer. A key issue again was process.

    I don’t know how it was assumed that Marian was legally innocent of the charge against her in the graveyard. I took it for granted from the minute I saw the footage that she was ‘guilty’ for the want of a better term. I expressed the view that it was a foolish move by her because it was an invitation to the state to move against her. Why give the opposition a penalty kick? My reasons for supporting her release were not linked to her guilt or innocence but to the fact that she was being held by the state, despite a court ruling, on secret evidence. Also she was in prison on foot of a conviction prior to 1998.

    I imagine for some who supported Marian it was less about the personality and more about the principle: a defence of process rather than person.

    So, the reasons I had for supporting Marian’s release are not in the slightest invalidated by her plea of guilty. I don’t take the ends justify the means approach here.

    Emotionally, and politically, you are most likely correct in that the guilty plea will have an adverse effect and that it will make it easier for the British to abuse process again.

    Should guilty people walk free because of a technicality?

    It can cause emotional problems but better that they should be in all cases than be jailed. It forces the legal world to deal with the technical deficiencies.

    If it was known or generally accepted among republicans that Price was really guilty all along then that reduces any injustice campaign down to a strict set of rules no longer related with justice, guilt or innocence but one of political brinkmanship between the Brits and their quarry.

    There was a lot of political too-ing and fro-ing. For her political supporters it didn’t matter whether she was guilty or not: For people like me who does not support her politics guilt or innocence also didn’t matter but for different reasons. Here was the British state increasing draconian powers in an era where we were supposed to be curbing such powers. That power is a threat to every ex lifer and I don't buy the logic that it will only be used if people seriously step out of line. We have too much experience to show that the police are not the good guys and that everybody else is somehow a child of a lesser god. One reason for strengthening citizen rights against the police

    The State can rightly now say that had Price admitted her guilt sooner then she could have spared herself and everyone else all the bother.

    But the judge granted her bail in both cases. Had the British abided by that rather than invoke secret evidence she and everybody else would have been spared the bother.

  24. Tiarna,

    nobody is more uncompromisingly judgmental than republicans

    A dangerous product of their inherent intolerance and authoritarianism.

    Many years ago we were calling for the democratisation of republicanism. A paradox that we should ever have felt the need to. And is it any better today? No. But such is the nature of the beast.

    Those republicans who today support armed activity invariably seem to come with an authoritarian mindset. Many of them not only differ from others in their support for armed actions but they seek to suppress any critique of that perspective. Everything that was negative about the Provos is being reproduced.

  25. Tiarna,
    I was not speaking about you undermining the victim. Just as I never stated or even suggested that I knew the person was guilty?
    I stated cleared and I would say you clearly understood, that from day one I was interested in the injustice that had been delved out by the state.

    There was never ever a time or a suggestion by campaigners, that the campaign was being fought on anything other than illegal detention.
    People were never lead to believe anything other than the fact Marian that was bailed and re arrested.

    During her long spell of isolation she became quite ill. At this time the onus shifted to her health.

    If you had something that highlights a different message or rally call and steps outside of individual interpretation I'm sure you will produce it.

  26. "It is better that some innocent men remain in jail than the integrity of the English judicial system be impugned" … Lord Denning

    We should never overlook how the English judiciary come at this and remember, Denning is still a great hero of many of those who teach law, and is regarded by them as a liberal judge.

    What he is basically saying is it's the integrity of the State which must never be impugned and the law is there to serve it.

    Law in any state is not an impartial thing but serves the interest of the ruling class, who ever it may be.

    "Due process is there for a reason and common law has been developed over centuries aiming to ensure fair trials."

    If only ah? If a state is threatened and in reality more often than not that means the power of the ruling class of the day, they do whatever they like. Special courts, nay today we have secret courts, not because of something which has happened, but due to what might allegedly occur. So much for due process and common law.

    By the way who sits on the bench of these secret court's, why the very same judges who waffle on about common law and how the British judicial system is the best in the world, the best for whom a wise head might ask?

  27. Anthony

    "I imagine for some who supported Marian it was less about the personality and more about the principle: a defence of process rather than person."

    I was in that camp with you. I fully understood and accepted that she had held the paper but thought the State had acted disproportionately toward Price. I saw things as did you with regard to the refusal of bail and secret evidence. I still see that all as wrong but in the grand scheme of things it is now done and over with and the State got what it wanted and arguments around the morality of how the State acted are all academic now as soon as Price pleaded guilty. But yes there was no dispute that she held the paper but the connection between her and the Massereene attack looked totally fanciful attempt at mud slinging. Balance of probability is civil court standard but yes with OJ he is innocent but we all know the truth Price removed all doubt once she pleaded guilty.

    It was an own goal because in the next case the State can say ok we can't properly formulate the charges yet but that happened in the Price case and we were right in the end. The Courts may huff and puff on formality but now it might come up with legal formula to justify a repeat delay in charges. Price started out with the Court on her side for a change and credit should be given to the court for that balance.

    We can all argue that the means does not justify the end but no State listens to those arguments they generally have to be formally defeated in open court or by greater authority, and after loosing, the State gradually resorts back true to form -like I say that is a perpetual battle in the area of human rights.

    "Should guilty people walk free because of a technicality?" That is and remains an ongoing legal and academic conundrum.

    As for internment the whole point of that form of detention is that there is no trial only detention.


    I seem to have misunderstood you along the way as I had thought you implied that she was guilty but should beat the Brits with their own rules. I am sorry I take the fault in that one.

    The whole issue of connecting Price to masseerene came across as concoction and foul means for prolonging her unlawful detention. The campaign made no dispute about her holding the paper but the masserene connection was rejected.

    While I do agree that proper procedures and protocols need to be adhered to ensure that fair trial principles are followed and it is fair game for Republicans to highlight when and where they break there own rules the same can be said for Republicans. Previously republicans had a rule that volunteers should not recognise the British Criminal Courts. They were after all soldiers and only recognise military Courts because they were not common criminals. The IRA changed that rule to allow its volunteers a chance to fight their case. An absolute no, no, was that its volunteers should not criminalise themselves and their struggle by pleading guilty to criminal charges.

    Organised Rage

    The Price case is a fine example where the Courts were fair and considerate of Price's case and circumstances. Of course the State will always abuse the system in its favour when and where it can. But you mistake my reference to the ideals and concept of common law and its history with the ability to politically sway the judiciary which is often part of that history but the two are not the same thing.

  28. OR,

    that quote tersely sums up institutiomnal instinct and logic. It was the exact same with the Catholic Church in relation to child abuse: protect the institution not its victims.

  29. "The Price case is a fine example where the Courts were fair and considerate of Price's case and circumstances"

    Mmmmm, maybe, but she failed to get through the court door and out onto the street. Even in the Diplock courts people were found not guilty, its how this system works, is how they portray their system as 'fair and impartial' but it does not make it so, now does it?

    Your use of the word 'fair' worries me, today this word is a particular favorite of the English ruling classes. Its been recently overused in the UK to justify cutting benefits, ie, it only 'fair' to people who are working to cap and reduce benefits. 'Fair' to whom the folk who suffer from low wages or those who suffer from low benefits, I think not, its just another nasty attempt to turn one section of society against another. How pray tell is that 'fair'?

    In their attempt to privatise the NHS coalition ministers have said it is only 'fair' to allow private business to tender for NHS contracts.

    'Fair' play had long been the mantra of the British imperialists, but there is nothing 'fair' about how they went about their business.

    English law sentenced children to hang in the name of fairness, sent gay men to jail, one famous chief justice used to cream his pants when he sentenced some pitiful soul to death. Was that 'fair' to the person who did his laundry, sadly he did not give a toss.

    In Ireland down the centuries English law has committed almost every ignominy known to humankind.

    Forgive me but a single swallow does not mean its spring, there is nothing 'fair' about English law. If there were, Marian would never ever have found herself in a British court, let alone British jails, and the same goes for countless Irish republicans.

    I'm sorry if I appear rude and harsh, but if there is one lesson from the peace process it is we use the exploiters language at our own peril. By the way it's not an accident that New Labour were intricately involved with that process, as they were the neo liberals frontmen within the British State.

    Neo liberalism created a language of its own which turned certain words into their opposite meaning, 'fair' is such a word as a cursory glance at how the ruling elites use it will show.

  30. Tirana,
    As I stated I was not interested in the charges just the fact that the person was detained unlawfully and then taken very ill.

    Too be honest innocence or guilt would not have swayed me in relation to the partaking in the campaign.

    There never were any hard and fast rules in relation to the courts.
    The only time I ever heard of IRA intervention in a trial was my father's trial, all the accused were ordered to recognise the court because of the severity of the punishment if they were found guilty!

    I don't see a big deal of difference between pleading and fighting the case.
    The former allows the defendant the right to bring the trial to a speedy conclusion . The latter allows them a chance to formulate a case but if we are guided by your logic both recognise the jurisdiction of the court.

    I have know too many decent Republicans who have entered a plea to arrive at the theory it advocates criminalisation.

  31. Tirana,
    As I stated I was not interested in the charges just the fact that the person was detained unlawfully and then taken very ill.

    Too be honest innocence or guilt would not have swayed me in relation to the partaking in the campaign.

    There never were any hard and fast rules in relation to the courts.
    The only time I ever heard of IRA intervention in a trial was my father's trial, all the accused were ordered to recognise the court because of the severity of the punishment if they were found guilty!

    I don't see a big deal of difference between pleading and fighting the case.
    The former allows the defendant the right to bring the trial to a speedy conclusion . The latter allows them a chance to formulate a case but if we are guided by your logic both recognise the jurisdiction of the court.

    I have know too many decent Republicans who have entered a plea to arrive at the theory it advocates criminalisation.

  32. OR

    You sound foolhardy not rude and harsh. Your extreme mindset seems to be that we should burn everything British but their coal.

    "Your use of the word 'fair' worries me..." Fair legal principles and decisions hold no comparison to the political use of the word fair or how national budgets are distributed.

    Common law is no longer the preserve of the British and it is widely recognised as one of the most fundamental justice doctrines in existence. The Brits do lay claim to introducing it throughout the world. The Brits are also founding architects of both the European Charter and The United Nations Covenant on Human Rights. As Churchill said of democracy, 'its not perfect but it is the best political system around'.

  33. Nuala

    "... but if we are guided by your logic both recognise the jurisdiction of the court."

    You mistake me for the IRA/Republican Movement it was not my logic.

    While I might be sympathetic to various prisoner issues but on reflection, no I can't say that I would have supported Price as fully as I had had i known that she was part of the attack that did not merely catch civilians in cross-fire but deliberately targeted them and tried its best to kill them. While killing civilians is not per say a war crime deliberately targeting them as in the massereene attack is or is an act of that dreaded term, terrorism.

  34. Tiana,

    You need to keep up, those who you seem to admire destroyed the British coal mining industry along with a hundred of thousand jobs along with their solid communities, and for no better reason than they hated organised Labour. To bring that about they used 'their' judiciary in the most corrupt way which proved just how pliable the so called rule of law here can be.

    With respect you really need to do your home work first when you start praising English law

    If you believe I am extreme, I suggest you take a look and the English ruling class, at this very time they are engaging in the most vicious class war that this country has experienced since before WW2.

    But hey you are not in the firing line so why bother to check out the facts.

    Just so I can be clear, your holding Churchill up as a paragon of the rule of Law?

    Thankfully my parents generation took another view of the old scoundrel, and the first chance they got the voted him out of office.(1945)

    I really am trying not to be cruel


  35. "As Churchill said of democracy, 'its not perfect but it is the best political system around'."


    Just one last point then I'm done. The type of democracy Churchill believed in was no democracy at all. He was a gross hypocrite on this subject as he believed passionately that the head of State and the second parliamentary chamber should be unelected, and for good measure the unelected chamber should be stuffed with his political place-men, friends and relations.(He did not believe in democracy at all for the indigenous peoples of the British empire)

    The whole point about the UK today, it's not a 'democracy' which would be acceptable in the USA or elsewhere in western Europe, as the undemocratic system Churchill helped set in stone exists right up until this day.

    So pray tell me, because I despise the democratic short comings of the British state and the legal system which under pins it, and as a citizen, some say subject of that nation, and wish to see the current mockney democracy replaced by a truly democratic system which is not based on class prejudice and advantage, how does it make me an extremist?

    Remember we now have secret courts here which can try in camera people who threaten the State as it exists. Try and remember this

    Mick Hall

  36. Mick

    "Just so I can be clear, your holding Churchill up as a paragon of the rule of Law?"

    Wrong! you are not very clear at all. I wasn't praising Churchill I quoted him. What I was saying was that of all the political ideologies and idiot-ologies around the world Democracy wins my vote. Again of all the various legal systems common law wins my vote. Both common law and democracy are bigger than the UK/GB whatever all the wrongs of the British echelons. I referred to you as an extremist because if I use British or Churchill in a sentence you then see red and somehow to you I admire everything about them -get real.

    Nothing I have said negates what harm British politicians have caused or what injustices the British judiciary have meted out. I merely pointed out that but for British Judges and Legal scholars international fair process and human rights standards enjoyed by many may not otherwise exist. Within the UK alone there are those who champion human rights and those who seek to undermine or abolish them. Do you suggest we condemn and shoot them all equally? That really is an extreme approach even if you refuse to think so. Oh, perhaps you would wish to see that awful english woman Anne Cadwallader's book Lethal Allies burnt at every street corner?

    I wouldn't agree with your view that "the USA or elsewhere" are better democracies that the UK because realistically there are swings and roundabouts between different democratic states that none really trumps the others, including the mighty USA. Perhaps I should mirror you and go off on a rant about your endorsing all the wrongs of US imperialists? But then I am not you.

    Let me link two of your comments which hold some relation:

    "But hey you are not in the firing line so why bother to check out the facts.

    Remember we now have secret courts here which can try in camera people who threaten the State as it exists"

    As matter of fact I am right smack in the firing line and in a way that involves or relates to the use of 'special advocates' (you refer to them as secret courts).

  37. Tiarna,
    I too read your piece as being high praise for British democracy which I found quite out of step for any Irish person, presuming that's what you are?
    Then, I remembered some of your responses to Alec's piece on the MRF,
    Where you thought we were quite fortunate us Irish that we were spared the wholesale butchery they visited on other poor unfortunates.

    You practically accused Alec. In fact you did accuse him of portraying the MRF in a better light than they deserved.
    Yet, here you are placing some of the very people who pull their strings as shining beacons of democracy on an international stage ?

  38. I think Tiarna was more wrong than right on the Alec thing. But I do think the posts from Tiarna try to avoid the facile black/white categories that we are susceptible to. As MLK once said of the law it will not make men love him but it might stop them lynching him.

    The law is not neutral. As was recently pointed out to me after the Seamus Kearney trial, if you want justice go to a brothel, if you want screwed go to the courts.

    But law remains essential. An old Marxist like Mick would appreciate better than the Trots that many bourgeois reforms, as they tend to call them, can be progressive and need to be defended.

    This is borne out by the incremental manner in which the state often moves to dismantle societal defences against state erosion. It uses a sort of reverse reformism to reform out of existence the rights that people can enjoy. Marxists and others go toe to toe with the state in defence of these matters.

    Tiarna, I think, is simply inviting us to be more nuanced in our view of these matters. I don't see in what he/she says an endorsement of the Brit state legal framework.

  39. Mackers,
    Tiarna can't have it every way or he/she might end up with a painful foot or forced to cover their own nets.

    The MRF were run at the behest of the very highest echelons of the British administraton.
    In that knowledge alone, I doubt we can sell them as a beacon of democracy.
    Tiaran refers to America as imperialist which of course it is, however during the hegemonic reign there wasn't any power that came quite near to the Brits on the scale of imperialism.
    They are the new masters and past masters of every dirty trick and covert manipulation of democracy ever played out.

    Instead of quoting Churchill maybe Tiarna should have used the 'brothel-court' example at least it would have give us a laugh.

  40. AM

    Not all admittedly, but many issues really are black and white, as Fionnuala wrote "The MRF were run at the behest of the very highest echelons of the British administration." I would just add, I have no doubt amongst this group of murdering thugs in Zoot suits were the British Attorney General, the chief legal advisor to the Crown. (Note in his mockney ruritanian democracy he advises the crown not the British people or even the state, how can this not be a black and white issue?)

    Indeed the overseer of the British judicial system is ever pliable when in the service of the State, when it comes to finding legal justification to chop off the heads of the monarchs troublesome wives, or raining down tons of TNT on unfortunate Iraqis.

    This was best demonstrated in modern times when Blairs AG Lord Goldsmith, first advised Blair the invasion of Iraq would be illegal and the more so without a UN resolution, yet when this displeased his master he came back with its perfectly legal old chap forward into the breech we go.

    I am not against law and I have no wish to shoot anyone, no matter what Tian implies, but I can understand why some folk do.

    The European Court has long been a pebble in the British ruling classes shoe. The UK State under the Coalition have become an international pariah which believes health and safety and human rights are bad things, (Is there anything more wicked and ridiculous than that?) hence they have mounted an ongoing campaign against the court.

    Who emerged last week at the fore of the campaign to get the UK to withdraw?

    Lord Judge the former Lord Chief Justice of England, Wales and NI, and head of the UK judiciary. Why doesn't that surprise me.

  41. O/R,

    preaching to the coverted!!

    I broadly endorse your take on the law. Having seen how it functions, malfunctions and covers up, I know only too well the purpose it serves: once described by a Greek thinker as a cobweb: strong enough to catch the weak, and too weak to catch the strong.

    But Tiarna, who alludes to a knowledge and experience of the law which I have not the slightest reason to doubt, takes me back to the point of strategy. And strategy is addressed to what can be done when it is not strategically possible to tackle what should be done.

    We live in the world we do not the one we would like to: at each end of the spectrum it is very black or very white but the in-between has 50 shades of grey. I think this is what generated Gramsci's Marxist approach.

    The rule of law to me is the law of the ruler but there is much that is progressive in it and the task I think is to strengthen that while seeking to weaken what is regressive. No easy task. But I doubt that a blanket dismissal of the law helps clarify much.

  42. Nuala,

    I agree that neither Tiarna nor anyone else can have it every which way. But Tiarna fights their corner against formidable opposition like yourself, Mick and Alec and in the course of doing so the rest of us are left with something to think about. As a blog it is as much as we can ask for.

  43. Mackers,
    Absolutely! And I would commend anyone who fights their corner whether I agree with them or not.
    On this occasion Tiarna appears to be at odds with past comments and ones that were rammed home with quite a lot of conviction.

  44. Nuala,

    if people fall on their own sword so be it, but the battle seems far from over. Interesting exchange.

  45. Nuala

    You are right: "Tiarna can't have it every way or he/she might end up with a painful foot or forced to cover their own nets."

    Equally, AM is right and he puts things in a way that I envy the ease with which he can do it: "And strategy is addressed to what can be done when it is not strategically possible to tackle what should be done."

    All too often the only thing that some people see or know about human rights are what the civil servants at the NI Human Rights Commission want them to know. Much of the image of human rights in NI is taken up by bored middle class house wives of whatever gender whose interest is more about their own feel good factor.

    I do not know you but I do know that you know that women with prams and toddlers from either community standing in the rain outside court houses and prisons did more to bring human rights to NI than did any of these current day imposters.

    The real nitty gritty of fighting for human rights is a dirty nasty business that only those who have no choice or those who are a very rare sort of people will ever face. These people will rarely experience the fine a la carte buffet luncheons and glossy brochures that the government funds in its human rights promotions.

    Some people only have a toe hold to do what they can and every effort will be made to silence or discredit them because maybe their message is more real, more meaningful. I notice the SDLP came under some flak for backing the Price campaign. They are a political party more able to absorb or deflect criticism others, like me, do not enjoy that luxury. Some campaigns are worthy and have merit the issues around both the Price and Lillis health concerns were such and I supported both.

    I did however remark that Price scored an own goal; she caused damage to people like me and to others unlike me. While I have no time for violent dissidents I am aware that the language used in the court would have been like this: supporting a terrorist organization, assisting a terrorist organisation to kill... you get the point. In somber and formal language MPrice acknowledged her guilt and the terrorist nature of the organisation to which she was associated, so she shot more than herself in the foot. As we know many will attack the motives or integrity of anyone on the fringes. Unfortunately, all too often those on the fringes can have a knee jerk reaction to support or defend someone who we expect better from and who does damage to more than just themselves.

    I note that AM picked up on my overall thinking because recently while being interviewed for a documentary I was asked about what I had said because it was unexpected and my response was that "in NI nothing is black and white".

    As for the MRF's ability to pull a trigger on an unsuspecting victim and escape fast I still fail to see Alec or anyone else's grounds to belief that these guys were elite and cream of special forces on that basis, they were a cowardly murder gang and no more than that. But if you lot want to make a boggyman myth that their training was exceptional and above that of average soldier then that is a matter for yourselves. I certainly do not see it as unthinkable that had a couple of unarmed teenage boys or young men at the time seen these cowards skulking about they likely could easily have run them off singlehandedly and thus saved lives. I think that is a more fitting image of these thugs than the one Alec and any of you wish to portray that they were elite combat soldiers. They never were.

  46. Tiarna,
    How did Marian damage you?
    That is just ludicrous. If you feel cheated or undermined in someway dust yourself down and move on.

    Nothing is black and white anywhere! That's life!
    We win and sometimes we lose a lot more but we get on with it.

    I am well aware what was said in the court in relation to Marian.
    I also know what was said about her in relation to the Old Bailey and the three hundred days of force feeding.
    Whendid what the media say about her change?
    Did you assume the campaign was for a different Marian?
    As I said before the campaign was open and transparent.

    The campaign was about highlighting the injustice, not ownership of the person and a say in the eventuality of the case a chance to dictate the outcome.

    Alec provided a very good review. He portrayed the MRF in a less than flattering light.

    I said at the time I failed to see what you were on about I still fail to see it.
    You were providing the same argument as Alec. Only where he appeared genuine and genuinely baffled by you. You appeared to take it to a more personal level as you appear to be doing with Marian.

    How could anyone attached to that campaign refer to her as 'the Price woman'?
    Even if this is about a genuine feeling of being aggrieved you certainly come on a bit strong at times.

  47. tiana

    Where we differ is I fear you see no difference between the slave who slaughters her/his master and the master who slaughters a slave.

  48. Nuala

    It is not what 'they' say of MPrice in the media or court rooms it is what she said that mattered in the end. She had much to say about her former comrades who sold out, but what, it is different if she does it because it now suits her? If Adams and McGuiness can fall from grace so too can Price, albeit, the exchange is not equal. We can be understanding to a point, in my initial comment about her I did make a point to add that perhaps she had her reasons.

    The IRA had a saying among themselves that, "Your only as good as your last op". Ok Price did not pull any triggers, but she admits to being involved in an attack that left two human beings dead and 4 others badly wounded and she then voluntarily concedes to being a terrorist and involved in terrorism. And none of these criticisms are a defence of any mistreatment she suffered or an excuse to be unjust with her.

    Are dissidents to be excused the same harsh or unflattering criticisms that are leveled at their former comrades now in armani suits? What was that again? ... something about not having it every each way ... was that not what you said? I think that I have a right to strongly disagree with anyone who believes that the killing of anyone, even solders or cops will achieve anything. And if dissidents believe that snuffing lives out is the right thing to do then they shouldn't back down and throw their hands up just because they got caught.

    Quoting Churchill innocuously was not an attempt to excuse him nor British imperialism, AND most of all, I am not so insecure to think that mention of his name removes or diminishes my identity.

    "You were providing the same argument as Alec" Me, and (I think) Alec, both, would probably not agree with your assessment on that.


    One difference between us seems to be that I don't believe that either the slave or the master should slaughter either for no other reason than just because they can. That would be an abuse of power, one over the other.

    Other than whatever "mockney ruritanian" means? I have no issue with one word you have said here: "Not all admittedly, but many issues really are black and white, as Fionnuala wrote "The MRF were run at the behest of the very highest echelons of the British administration." I would just add, I have no doubt amongst this group of murdering thugs in Zoot suits were the British Attorney General, the chief legal advisor to the Crown. (Note in his mockney ruritanian democracy he advises the crown not the British people or even the state, how can this not be a black and white issue?)"

    You say: "The European Court has long been a pebble in the British ruling classes shoe." Equally the House of Lords often made more progressive rulings on human rights than did the ECtHR such that the ECtHR was playing catch up. British judges sitting at the ECtHR have contributed positively to substantial ECtHR case law.

    Further still, members of the Brit government have periodically complained because the HoL/Supreme Court did not return verdicts they wanted -most recently Theresa May has openly been critical of judges for not going along with her and the government's desired regime of exportation's.

    Because not all Law Lords like the ECtHR means that those who do value it should be unfairly discounted because they conflict with the blinkered narrative about the Brits that you want to believe to be true. You may not be wrong to an extent but you are wrong to tar all with the same brush. If you refuse to look at contradictions to what you say then I ask why is it wrong for Brit Judges to do the same? (setting aside the fact that when they do it they are in better position and have more power to destroy lives than you do)

  49. Tiarna,
    You did not answer the question which I now believe is the crux of this debate
    how did Marian 'damage you'?
    I answered and told you I thought it was a ludicrous suggestion but you have chosen to ignore it?
    In actual fact, if you answered this I may be able understand better where you are coming from and where the hostility is coming from?

    Neither you or I are court room officials or jailers, infact, I think I would be right in assuming you supported and maybe assisted in the campaign?
    Which leaves me puzzled as to why you now feel antagonistic to a cause you formerly supported, to whichever degree.
    Why do I not feel as you feel Tiarna?

    Tiarna I never heard that 'last op' saying in my life but I'll take your word for it.
    Again, I am not understanding your point on this ?
    What I do think however, is you seemingly did not grasp that you were campaigning for a Republican?
    And I can tell you now without fear of contradiction ,that what you are citing here about Marian and McGuinness and Adams is not a view shared by life long Republicans.
    Infact, they would find it as repugnant as the own goal and shot in the foot theory.
    This is not a shared view outside your world Tiarna.

    In relation to the book review.
    A review demand that the reviewer presents in someway the views and beliefs of the author, otherwise what is the point of doing it and this demands a degree of objectivity.
    I simply could not see what you seen that, Alec was soft or portraying the MRF as other than what they were.
    I think if you re read the thread Alec was as baffled by you posts as I was.

  50. Nuala

    You posed a number of questions. But yes I did layout as much as I felt that I could do without identifying myself. You seem not to have read that. In essence I pointed out how a political party like SDLP can absorb criticism without it damaging them for suppoting Price but individuals who work/chip away in a certain area can more easily be undermined and discredited and whatever help they can be is easily negated and rendered invalid. Like I say the whole human rights area is a nasty dirty buisness and I am not a civil servant surrounded by the safety and comforts of a government supplied office at the NIHRC simply repeating the government line on human rights.

    I also some times confuse and muddle myself by trying to look at the whole picture. For instance when the pressure got too hot why did ten men choose to give their lives rather than to concede to being branded criminals? ; why too did other prisoners live in squalor and forfeit valuable visits with their families and lost remission if they too could so easily have pleaded guilty and got home sooner? Have dissidents found some previously unseen loop hole that Republicans before them could have availed off and would have saved lives? I don't think so.

    Me and Alec differed in this respect, Alec agreed with Cursey's hype that the MRF were highly trained and elite crack combat troops whereas I considered the facts in so far as the type of 'military operations' the MRF were involved or only capable of, Alec objected strongly to my view when I likened them to be closer to the lowest denominator of being misfits and dropouts no better trained than loyalists. Alec's opinion was based upon his speculation, presumption and the unchallenged word of Cursey --my assessment was based on the known factual evidence that they sneaked up on victims, they shot their victims in the back, and then they fled the scene. I thought, and I still do, Alec put them in better light than they deserved -I was prepared to concede that I was wrong on that but Alec came right back at me re-affirming his view that they were highly trained cream of the best of the best. You think that I was too personal with Alec for openly criticising him like that? But yet he did call me, and not the character Cursey, cowardly and that I crawl from under rocks because he did not know my identity. I saw his insults as intended to be a more personal attack than anything I had said but obviously you apply a different standard between what is criticism and what is personal depending who the subject is.

    I have noticed that more relevant questions around Price have not been posed? Such as if the State knew what they did about Price why the problems about disclosing the charge? I could be wrong but I suspect there is something there that the State did not want to reveal. I hasten to add that I am not suggesting that Price is an informer, in fact, all things considered, I would not rule out that the Brits knew the attack was going down and they allowed it to go ahead and therein lies their difficulties with leveling charges against Price.

  51. tiarna,

    You state,you answered enough as you felt possible without identifying yourself. Why is that?
    If you are so sure of what you are saying and so convinced of your stance why not fully stand over it?
    Or are you afraid if you did, all credence would slip away?
    In saying that, I am in no way being critical of pseudonyms.
    I fully appreciate people wanting to remain anonymous for all sorts of reasons.
    However, there is a degree of irony in someone wanting to lay another person's soul bare whilst covering up their own.

    I honestly don't know how you feel that Marian's decision rebounded on you.
    You must have known her history. You must have known she was a Republican.
    In real life terms you must have had some insight into the woman the campaign was for?

    What did Marian actually concede?

    Some of those prisoners that you speak about with such eloquence, those who lived in dirt and squalor pleaded guilty. I can think of at least seven as I sit here typing.
    Did it make them any less courageous? Not for a second.
    Marian was on hunger-strike and force fed and she conceded nothing. To this very day she bears the scars of a horrendous three hundred days of a despicable practice which was banned because of the damage it did to her.
    At the risk of sounding condescending, because I genuinely don't mean to be.
    would it not be better if you just wished her well and concentrated less on losing a bit of face?

    If you think pleading guilty in British courts is a preserve of the so called 'dissidents' you are wrong.
    Republicans and bloody good ones have being doing it for years and years.
    You mightn't think so but I know so.

    In the book review, Alec I believe had to present Cursey to us in such a way that we got to know the author, while also giving us an insight into how Cursey viewed both himself and the MRF.
    I though the review although objective placed the MRF in a bad light.
    I agreed with Alec's take on the book and the MRF.

    Where I thought it became personal and I did. There were quite a few times you appeared to be attacking the reviewer more than the review.

    I can't answer questions on the dirty murky world of British intelligence.
    They, as you know are people who move and act behind veneers
    I try to stick with what I know and if I don't know especially in relation to serious matters I try never to second guess.

    At this late hour, before I start to indulge can I just wish you a Happy New Year!

  52. Nuala

    As I told Alec I do stand up over what I say where it counts. I won't name myself just to satisfy you or Alec's use of the matter as a cop-out. Anthony may not fully understand my reasoning but if I am writing fiction as a fictitious character or simply trolling then he would certainly intervene, if not to identify me but to alert or question my honesty so others like you who are responding are aware. He does know who I am, and I was about to disclose myself to Alec but he threw a tantrum and I decided I wasn't going to identify myself on his terms like that. I did say that if I saw him in person I would reveal myself --you see, both Alec and I do know each other and we have done for many years. Whereas in your case I have no clue who you are nor do I care to know I simply take what you write at face value that is all that is required for this sort of discourse.

    I try not to allow emotion to cloud or inhibit the brinkmanship played out in legal and political woes of NI but that does not mean that at any time I do not wish Price well. I am very mindful of her state and have considered what possible impact return to prison may have on her. But that is a separate issue to what effect she has had. Martin Corey's internment is not dissimilar to the circumstances which I (wrongly) believe were Price's circumstances with regard to the absence of formal charges and ok maybe the converted like you support republican prisoners no matter what but it does not work that way for everyone else.

    I was being rhetorical about dissidents pleading. I am well aware of the politics of plea bargaining down the years and it has always been a big taboo. I know many people who have pleaded guilty and see it as their call to make and on occasion I saw it as the right thing for them to do. I also see the hypocrisy of someone taking an absolute stand and accusing everyone else of selling out and then doing so themselves. The Blanket protest they say was a great leveler because men who broke in Castlereagh (considered a pariah within republicanism) became the backbone of that campaign while many men who 'didn't' break in castlereagh squeaky booted.

    These past couple of posts you are not actually responding to what I write but obfuscating and if you really need to ask "What did Marian actually concede?" then read over what you missed, if you think nothing then be happy with that. I am quite entitled to think otherwise.

    But for someone so particular about should I not answer in a way that you want you are not consistent about ensuring that you answer awkward questions asked of you. I don't believe that is an oversight on your part I interpret that to mean that you can't or don't wish to answer.

    happy new year to you and all.

  53. PS I was not referring to you not answering questions about Brit intel even they can't answer questions on that stuff. Though Price's charge in the end was not a complicated one and so they had some problem unrelated to her.

  54. tiarna,
    With respect I have no concern as to who you are. It's just in my experience the people who point the finger are usually those least capable to do so.
    And because I have had that experience over a lifetime, I would say I could apply it to you also.
    It sort of reminds me of the gossips who hid behind their curtains, smiled into your face but you felt the pain once your turned your back.
    As I said last evening I don't have problems with people using a different identity to write under. But sadly in your case I think you use it as a protection rather than a necessity.

    You are the one who cannot answer a very pertinent question.
    How you were damaged. You made that statement not me and it is a profound statement to make and then when you are asked to explain it, you say you can't because the are exposing yourself, but to what ? The same ridicule that you can comfortably dish out to people who put themselves out there.
    You can't even answer a simple and straightforward question in relation to your campaign involvement?
    Too be honest tiarna doesnt seem too good at answering anything about tiarna, strange coming from someone so demanding of accountability from others?

    tiarna you not playing on a level playing field, you say what you like under your guise and then no doubt say something very different when your face is exposed, well depending on who it is exposed to no doubt!

    I can't believe that Marian conceded anything on your word.
    That is not to say you are not entitled to express your view, of course you are.
    I just prefer to seek out the views of tried and tested Republicans and ordinary decent people and they are very much at odds with you.
    Again, that is not to say there are not people who share you view, it just means thankfully I don't have to listen to them.

    On an end note you can't accuse people of not answering awkward questions and then hide from a very pertinent one just to ensure your face remains covered.

  55. Nuala

    "I can't believe that Marian conceded anything on your word." She pleaded guilty on her own word!! Don't shift that in silly little word games. And who are you; you could be a freddy scappaticci for all I know? But that would not matter because all that I can do is take what you say at face value which means that we are on equal playing field so do not hide behind the fact that some people have other things to consider than you might.

    You have played one distraction after another I came right out and made 'strong' statements according to you and I have tried studiously hard to bat any return -but churchill, my identity the health service and coal miners have all been used in some way as argument to get me off course (OR played part in that with you).

    It is not that you don't see my answer but you block it out. There are many ongoing campaigns out there beyond just MPrice and the Brits say one thing about them all, that they are false. Yes the Brits mistreated her but by Price's own account, not mine, she agreed that the Brits got it right about her and that she is a terrorist and she helped terrorists. I did not brand her nor had I any part in that directly or indirectly.

    Many SF MLA's have their own history, including excruciating ordeals on hunger strike but you sing an emotional love song only for Price but its they who sold out and to you Price is infallible. How does that work in your mind? Oh yeah she is part of the hard core dissident resistance. Ba!! I can't delude myself like you.

    People, mainly republican ex-prisoners, who feel they have exhausted all avenues contact me asking for suggestions and help. On occasion lawyers have asked for any ideas I have in certain legacy cases of theirs. One well known NGO working on behalf of many people have asked if I would meet someone who came to their door seeking help. I also voluntarily make my own approaches in some cases. And because you are not in the need to know category too bad, get over over it honey.

  56. tiarna,

    It was Alec who wanted the brown bag taken from you head not me.
    I think it was when you were calling him irrational and a bully.
    Or was it after you accused him of him of making 'no ball statements'?
    But then, you actually like Alec because you stated that at the start of this post.
    So pray tell where does that leave me??
    Or was the honey a genuine term of endearment?

    My point about your pseudonym was not an attack, just merely an observation that it allows you a cloak to cover your face, other than that who cares??

    Some of my favourite commentators on this blog write using pseudonyms it doesn't bother me as I would say most are genuine and up front, Tain Bo to name but one.
    I don't these people use a guise to be snide or undermine, but I think in certain instances you do.

    Anyway, I am quite aware of how Marian pleaded but what did she concede?
    You are the only person I have heard making such claims?
    Republicans don't have a problem with it.
    Yet, here you are a person who calls Republicans terrorists, offering your own brand of sell out theories?

    Where have I made one distraction after the other?
    You were the one quoting Churchill, we were just the bemused audience.

    Yes, you made strong statements alright, but when challenged you folded, citing you may be exposed if you answered a bit like Freddy come to think of it.

    I know all about the Sinn Fein MLAs and the hunger strike.
    It was you who were engaging yourself in a sad song to highlight the odious nature of the guilty plea.
    Then, when you realised you were talking claptrap you beat a retreat and covered it up by copying another writers words about people redeeming themselves in the 'Blocks'.

    You are the one person who has demanded infallibility from Marian and when she proved as fallible as the many hundreds of Republicans who pleaded guilty you accuse her of damaging you ??

    I just hope all those people who knock on your door keep living up to your expectations, because you seem to be incredibly unforgiving when someone does not deliver your required ending.

    What could there possibly be about someone like you that someone like me would remotely ever want to know?

  57. Nuala

    I think it appropriate to remind you of your question, "In relation to Marian, where does the 'own goal' idea come from ?"

    You asked the question I answered then you wanted me to be more elaborate and so I was. The lesson you might have learned in all of this is that you should not ask a question if you can't handle the answer.

    You should be careful with your unfounded allegation. I don't call republicans terrorists but if one voluntarily accepts the label in court is everyone supposed to pretend it didn't happen? And I fail to see any republican voluntarily conceding to being a criminal or terrorists as anything other than an own goal?? And while many may not comment I doubt many others would see it differently. Any IRA volunteer (certainly in Belfast) who pleaded guilty were dismissed from the IRA and never allowed re-entry on release from prison. I don't say you are wrong but I do doubt your claim about men criminalizing themselves by pleading guilty and then demanding political status. It is a contradiction I have never heard raised before even by Unionists.

    I am glad that Price has been released. That however does not prevent any examination of the whole debacle even where it is not as flattering about Price as you would like. And I did not beat any retreat by using anyone else's words I myself was in the 'Blocks' where I heard the one you have jumped on.

    You are unable to answer almost anything and you do so by playing this passive aggressive game of just asking questions and being comatose to answers you are given.

    Perhaps since Alec has been arrested you have changed your mind because when I demonstrated that MRF action was more akin to loyalists you yourself concluded in the following terms:

    Fionnuala Perry says:
    2:03 PM, December 13, 2013 Reply

    I think both groups wre very unsavoury but I can't fault you on this.

    You claim, "but when challenged you folded" are you even on this planet??


  58. tiarna,
    'She voluntarily concedes to being a terrorist and taking part in an act of terrorism'

    Work this one out for me? Are you or are you not calling Marian a terrorist?
    Don't got back to your old spin, she has done that herself because I don't run with that neither do life long Republicans .
    Only British courts and British legislation ever done that to us and here you are mimicking them and then telling people to 'be careful' who challenge you. Out of curiosity be careful about what?

    Hundreds of Republicans pleaded guilty. Hundreds!
    Unlike you they did not care about the label, we were being criminalised anyway. We still are.
    Ulsterisation and Criminalisation remember that one!!
    We are criminalised still through legislation and so called human rights legislation but by your logic anyone who pleaded guilty deserves that.
    Only the Brits don't quite agree with you either, they see us all the same, criminals.

    Here we go again with your unfounded allegations!
    'Any volunteer ( certainly in Belfast) were dismissed from the IRA and never allowed re-entry . Yeah dead on!!!
    In your world maybe not in anyone else's. That never happened. Not to one single individual .
    What about the volunteers who pleaded to get back out to get back into the war? Were they criminals?

    You know what I thought of your exchange with Alec.
    I told you I thought you turned it into something very personal, you were playing him for whatever reason he pointed that out.

    I agreed with you on one aspect of an entire exchange go back and read it? I couldn't fault what you said in implying they were both unsavoury.
    Anyone who knows what I think knows I would never agree Loyalists showed one iota of bravery.
    Therefore, I would not have been sharing your views I think in the end people were worn down. I think words like tiresome were being used or maybe it was a euphemism for get us off this planet.

  59. tiarna
    I note that AM picked up on my overall thinking because recently while being interviewed for a documentary I was asked about what I had said because it was unexpected and my response was that "in NI nothing is black and white".

    You said several times that you wont 'expose' yourself here for what ever reason..All anyone has to do is simply wait until the next or a previous documentary about the o6c comes out and simply listen for the response that you gave....Thus revealing yourself. I know (assuming) you are female. Otherwise you'd called yourself Tiarnan..

  60. Something else, the only person I have heard sharing your views recently in relation to Republicans pleading guilty has been Danny Morrison and let's be honest he is hardly one to talk!

    When I think of the sincere dedicated and decent people who pleaded guilty because they were the heart and soul of the war and wanted back to fight. And now all these years later to be berated by the likes of you and Morrison.

  61. Just on this pleading guilty thing, it is worth noting for the record that during the crucial 1976 months of the blanket protest when very few were on it in the face of big adversity, amongst those holidng it in place were republicans who had pleaded guilty, including the first blanketman, Kieran Nugent.

  62. Nuala

    You like to switch and change, I said that the language in court would have been 'supporting terrorism' and 'involved in a terrorist attack' to which Price voluntarily agreed. I would much prefer if you used a false name and be honest rather than the other way about.

    "Anyone who knows what I think knows I would never agree Loyalists showed one iota of bravery.
    Therefore, I would not have been sharing your views I think in the end people were worn down. I think words"

    So the MRF were fine brave elites highly trained. That is only you and Alec's opinion the empirical evidence says otherwise. Further your notion that a book review cannot be critical or scathing is very convenient way of defending the bravery of the MRF.

    Why did ten men die refusing to plead guilty or be criminalised? In fact why didn't Mandela throw his hands up for leniency? There is no question that scores of men pleaded in the past and it is a personal thing. In the Crum there were numerous statements read out preparing men for Trial and that no IRA volunteer was to plead guilty and that was without exception. I am repeating what the rules were and reasons given for them I did not create or contribute to their creation. But if dissidents solved the problem lets hear it?

    "When I think of the sincere dedicated and decent people who pleaded guilty because they were the heart and soul of the war and wanted back to fight. And now all these years later to be berated by the likes of you and Morrison."

    I am not berating them. I simply remarked that Price scored and own goal. Price set herself up as part of a hard core cadre accusing former comrades of selling out and then she pleaded guilty. If some of those former comrades have the same staunch/defiant history as Price then why is fair to accuse them of selling out and not Price? Like I say dissidents did not come-up with any loop hole that excuse them from pleading guilty.

    Your whole position has been to play up Price's history and so would be understandable that she is now frail. That I do accept completely but then you do not turn your outrage upon those who knew that also and used her putting her in such a vulnerable position that we are all now aware. Instead you scorn me for questioning the debacle.

    You made a whole song and dance about by identity then say you have no problem about it was Alec who did --Alec wasn't present in this thread.

    Anyway I will be traveling for the next week so you have the floor to yourself --but please don't twist or misinterpret what I say too much as you have a tendency to do.


    In similar way 'ODC's' were taken onto wings to make up numbers.

  63. Tiarna,

    we took them on the wings in the blocks but it was hardly to make up the numbers. We had more than enough. They might have came on the wing in the Crum for that reason. I had no problem in principle with bringing them on once the point had been made in terms of the IRA's political status but I had problems with some of the individuals we allowed on - people with rape convictions FFS.

    And while IRA jails staffs might have ranted and raved about no exception to the plead guily rule, it didn't stop people reporting back even though the staff swore they would never be allowed back in to the IRA.

    If I am not mistaken, one of the men killed at Loughall pleaded guilty. I remember it being cited in a jail debate about what the policy should be.

  64. Tiarna
    I don't really want to stick my neb in here, but, I would love to know where you got that one from, that: "any IRA man that pleaded guilty (in Belfast) at least would never be allowed back into the organisation again"!? Seriously!!!!!???? I know a lot of guys in the area where I live who did just that. Also, you said that Marian Price admitted being a "terrorist" on a "terrorism" charge?? The Brits use the term "terrorist" (cheek) when it suits them, not republicans. I know of people who were charged with "terrorism" related "offences" who were completely innocent, but their barrister/solicitor told them that if they pleaded "guilty" they would get, maybe, a few years but if they fought it, they'd get 18 years or more in gaol (and that's innocent people!). I (like Fionnuala) would also like to know how Marian's plea has damaged you.

  65. AM and Belfastgit

    Yes you are both right. I am already aware of what both you have to say and that was reason why I said to Nuala that she was not wrong (I was doubtful) about where people who pleaded might turn up because I know the IRA where selective about that policy.

    I specified Belfast because Belfast tried to maintain the policy but it was common knowledge among country men that it would not block their return especially if they had a level of training that was useful.

    I generally have no problem with anyone who pleaded it is a personal thing for anyone, my point was that there is an irony if someone sets themselves apart as the dedicated hard core and finger pointing at everyone else for selling out and then doing it themselves.

    Whatever one thinks of the Cease-fire it did provide all walks a breathing space to re-evaluate and take different approach. Some took a hardline approach and want to return to killing, Price being one example. The approach dissidents take is not above scrutiny or criticism and no one individual can be excused the same questioning about sell outs that are leveled at others. It is not pleasant for anyone least of all MPrice and for that I am sorry. I can't separate the futility of the attack and the consequences for those involved and their families, and I mean all involved without exception.

    Prices frame of mind should have been considered by those who used her not to mention the consequences would have been greater for her than had they used others with less colourful background. I don't agree with the dissidents anymore than I agree with Sinn Fein but dissidents bitch about everyone else's shortfalls and seem to belive that they are above reproach.

    Now I need to pack.

  66. Tiarna ,
    I speak under my own name through choice, people speak under pseudonyms through choice.
    Anything I have said this far and will continue to say I can stand over.

    Ten men didn't die so that you could now call Republicans criminals for whatever reasons!!
    If Marian had of lost her life during force feeding you would probably be now holding her as an example to beat others.
    But I forgot, she let you down so in your head it's hero to zero!

    I think Nelson Mandela was a bad example to use as he did plead guilty and he pleaded guilty to all 156 charges.

    I don't know anyone else who had that experience in the Crum and my partner was there on remand four times.
    He was there early 70s, mid 70s, late 70s and early 80s and mid 80s, So when exactly was this policy in operation because he was staff and has never heard of it either?

    Marian never set herself up as anything. She refused to go along with the sell out and she suffered for her stance.
    She worked tirelessly for prisoners and when she became one again herself, she initially refused a campaign incase it would detract from the 'boss chair' debacle and you think it's ok to accuse her of compromising other cases.

    There is a world of difference between Marian who remains ill ending her predicament ,than some former Republican strategist selling a cause and a people done the Swanee.

    You never proved your own goal theory. I asked you about fourteen posts back to point out where and when the campaign hinged on innocence or guilt you couldn't produce anything!!
    I asked, was there a banner or a statement you could refer to, but nothing, nothing other than the damage comment, which you can't stand over in case you compromise yourself.

    Then you moved onto the whole scenario of pleading guilty and IRA dismissal . You talked it up but then you couldn't produce anything there either.

    Then sell out! Marian didn't part company with former comrades because some pleaded guilty, if she had that actually might mean something.

    I don't need to play up Marian's history. She's a historic figure on her own steam, nothing to do with anything that I say.

    Your identity is of no interest. I did say, you are one person who I thought used anonymity to say things you wouldn't say in the open, if you don't and I am wrong then I apologise.

    Of course Alec isn't present on this thread. On another thread he asked for your brown bag to be removed from your head and you appeared to be loving it!
    You actually goaded him over it.
    I thought you thought is was me but no. No interest!

  67. belfastgit

    Your intervention was very welcome.
    You actually provided a bit of info that I forgot about.
    Yes, so many innocent people lay in jail for years.
    The plead guilty scenario died a death not just because of innocent people wrongly accused but also because of the amount and calibre of Republicans who said, sod this you can't fight the war militarily from a cell.

  68. Belfastgit

    In my haste I forgot to cover your point. Whatever language the brits use in court and one agrees with them in plea bargaining then it is weak argument to say afterwards that that part of the plea I didn't really mean as I had my tongue jammed in the side of my cheek hidden from the judge.

    You yourself highlight the issue of innocent people caught up in the web and some I know who did plead guilty --one guy who did that, I have been working with him on his case. In his case the existence of a plea makes it that much harder to reverse. Many innocent people did not plead and high level campaigns as MPrice's was are not helpful if after all the commotion and bother (she put herself through not to mention anyone else) she then pleads guilty. Her own lawyers in asking for a non-custodial sentence reference that she could have pleaded guilty much sooner but that she does now should still be considered. Martin Corey may be understanding and supportive of Price's change of heart and there is no reason to think otherwise but it is not unreasonable to think that if the secret evidence tactic was 'justified' in the Price case then the same is true with Corey. I am not saying it is justified but those who have the authority to apply it do and that is how it works.

    Unionists have been making the predicable calls that:
    "Now the SDLP and others owe an apology to those they criticised and attacked, who acted rightly in the interests of public safety. It is time for the SDLP to find its moral compass again."

    As I have stated repeatedly the SDLP can absorb and more easily blow off these kind of comments but individuals like me can suffer from them. NGO's have studiously to try and observe their independence and objectivity lest they too are damaged by such criticism but me, with my background, the work I do can be readily dismissed and undermined because I don't have the same back-up the SDLP have. That is how it can damage me. It can also damage the scores of less popular or lower profile cases and individuals who are easily swept under the carpet and who in the end might have otherwise proven their innocence.

  69. Tiarna,

    you are indeed correct situations and circumstances have dramatically changed.
    Whilst I remain an advocate for their rights that is not an endorsement of physical force republicanism I suppose in fairness the issue of support for the prisoner’s is personal preference or in my case a question of conscience.

    That personal conscience being dictated by decades of “rights” being wronged and there is no need to argue as for some including myself it is almost conditional reflex that British law was generally administered from the business end of a British riffle.
    A trip to a torture centre and onto lengthy periods of remand usually terminating in convictions based in minimal evidence or none.

    I do follow your argument and understand what you are saying I don’t see you shinning an exemplary light on either British law or democracy as in any democracy it is definitely not great but a step up from dictatorship which many in the modern world still suffer the brutal reality of living under.

    Due to our own unique political climate the qualities of democracy and law are and have been at times hazy to say the least.
    The line blurs when a democracy employs the tactics of a dictatorship (not to say democracy is clean)… political interment, death squads, and the violation of civil and human rights all spring to mind.

    I understand your position on the Marian Price case from your “legal” view and on that I am inclined to agree putting emotional involvement aside and looking at the cases you speak about at best we don’t tend to notice the ripple effect until after the fact.
    Legally the British would prefer a clean slate and not have to face many false imprisonment cases that are now surfacing.
    A high profile guilty plea naturally makes a big splash and will have the minor consequence of the ripple effect when a judge (already bias) takes into consideration the innocence or guilt of the case before the judge.

    I say minor but by no means am I trying to reduce the impact as the British legal system is hardwired and they don’t enjoy or relish the fact that they are responsible for sending innocent people to jail.

    The counter affect being there are well established high profile cases which resulted in the overturning of illegal convictions in the Guilford and Birmingham cases.
    Back then the term was manufactured evidence which holds a sneaky parallel to the more sinister sounding secret evidence.

    Without doubt it was a legal coup for the courts more specifically those behind it.

    My greater concern would not be the fallout from a plea but the method and circumstances on how that plea was obtained.
    We would be remiss if we refuse to examine the circumstances which does not lessen the plea but highlights the extreme lengths taken to obtain it.

    Due process mixed with undue process creates a vortex and anyone sucked in facing secret evidence will only be pulled out when or if those that tossed them in are satisfied that have attained their goal.
    The law circumventing the law in order to implement very questionable methods of detention should be held under the microscope more than those who find themselves on the receiving end of this improved selective interment policy.

    On the MRF issue I found your commentary more agreeable and believe I said as much on the issue.
    Given that Alec now faces a very uncertain time in fairness I don’t see the relevance of his article as something to highlight a point on this debate.

    Not to stifle discourse but with consideration he at the moment is unable to add or detract from the ongoing issue regarding the MRF personally the article and comments are minor and should be overshadowed by the stark reality of his detention.

  70. Tain Bo,

    Alec's article was not used to score points.
    It was brought up initially to remind tiarna who exactly ran the MRF.
    Yes, I pointed out tiarna personalises debates and of course I said about the debate with Alec, it was relevant.
    I also said about his tone in relation to Marian Price and at times myself.

    Alec, does not need to add to the debate. Just as I don't need to be reminded of his predicament.
    I always treated him and his posts with consideration as I do with most people.

    Am I understanding you right about the 'high profile guilty plea?'
    Are you reiterating tiarna's claim that, 'this undermines genuine cases that can stand up and go the distance?'

    If you are and I'm not quite sure you are, however, I'll make the point anyway.
    Legally one case can not have a bearing on another.
    Defendants charged with the same offence can not have a bearing on each other.
    The only time that rule changes is if one defendant testifies against the other.

    Cases, irrespective of whatever hype used to fill papers cannot be seen to be overtly causing a ripple effect.

  71. Nuala,

    whatever choice or decision Marian Price made/makes I fully support and respect.
    I did not say anyone was scoring points I said I don’t see the relevance of highlighting points on one article and using them on this article.

    You are correct Alec does not need to add or subtract to the debate it was just my opinion that the MRF article penned and defended by Alec holds no relevance to me on the ongoing debate.
    I also know you are very considerate of others and entitled to argue your point home.
    Reading the debate I can see a lot of wires getting crossed.

    No, I am not sounding off in complete agreement on the plea.
    I do however understand the point Tiarna makes from a legal perspective although I would not tend to see it having any great impact on other cases.

    The ripple effect would vary from judge to judge and case to case keeping in mind when any of “our side” face a judge they are usually guilty unless proven innocent which is due in part to one thing the judicial systems hates that it is not infallible and has sent many an innocent person to jail.
    Getting a judge to reverse an illegal conviction is no simple task.

    Understanding Tiarna’s argument does not necessarily mean full agreement as in Marian’s case it is not the plea that stands out for me it is the extreme measures taken to obtain the plea.
    I am sure in a normal court of law her case would have been tossed out given the circumstances of her detention.
    Since this is not a normal court of law but an enforced legal victory for those behind the scenes all we can hope for is a fair sentence of time served and the woman doesn’t spend one more day of her life in a British prison.

    On a different level on the “plea” I had raked Larry Hughes over the coals on her innocents not that it is of any great concern but if he returned and said I told you she was guilty as he maintained all I could do is offer an apology and concede to his original argument.

    The important issue for now is that she is not in jail and with a bit of luck she will remain free.


  72. Nuala

    You say: "Legally one case can not have a bearing on another." In text books maybe but in the real world it does not work that way. This is why so many allege unfairness, bias and prejudice.

    But I am flabbergasted at what you claim about Mandela:

    "I think Nelson Mandela was a bad example to use as he did plead guilty and he pleaded guilty to all 156 charges."
    This is no more than Mandela revisionism now that he is dead. You say Mandela pleaded guilty?? Wherever did you come up with that load of bunkum? I have flagged it several times before and I do so again; distortion and manipulation seem to be a recurring trait to many of your responses.

    Mandela pleaded not guilty on his arrest in 1962 and he defended himself at his trial in 1964 (when someone pleads guilty the process goes direct to sentencing without necessity for a trial as they have accept the charges against them and so nothing is to be gained by a trial).

    Accepting responsibility for his actions is not to criminalize oneself or to have a guilty mind. For instance it was common place for the IRA to claim responsibility for a wide variety of things but that in no way could be construed as conceding to guilt or criminality. (Mandela was a lawyer aware that two elements must be present before criminal liability arises, these are the actus reus (the action) and mens rea (state of mind) so he was laying bare to the Court his state of mind to demonstrate that he held no sense of guilt for his actions. Thus removing one of the required elements for guilt.)

    Mandela told the Court that, as a freedom fighter, "I am prepared to die" and "the violence which we chose to adopt was not terrorism."

    MPrice agreed to the language the Court used against her whereas Mandela and his co-accused did not.

    Engaging with someone with a different opinion is one thing but the frequency with which I find you to be either dishonest or deluded about some of the things you come out with that it is pointless trying to reason with the unreasonable.

  73. Tirana,
    Back already! Before anyone had the chance to wish you Bon voyage.
    Maybe you thought I was lonely on the stage by myself?

    Legally one case does not not have a bearing on the the other. ' in text books maybe not in the real world ' The real world for me was the dock and
    my trials and for me it doesn't get anymore real than that.
    I can present quite a few examples ,two of my own where people charged together do not have a bearing on each other.
    You were trying to be malicious with that wee quip but it will be interesting to read your ' real world' examples of a counter theory.

    Not like you to be flabbergasted. Must have taken a while for it to wear off as your response is usually a bit quicker.

    If I got it wrong about Mandela so be it but I did genuinely read that.
    Why look to South Africa,? Or is it because Mandela is in vogue doesn't last with you but does it. Six men sentenced to die here told the court the same thing and I can tell you now, none of them would have considered themselves better Republicans that Marian.

    'Distortion and manipulation' same old Tirana , everything reduced to the lowest denominator and then when something is said back. It's the ' be careful ' signs that are flashed.
    You said something unfounded and quite dangerous about me,. I simply pointed it out to you and moved on with the debate, however,,when you are pushed into a corner,,the tone of the debate is either lowered or it's screams of foul play.

    The only thing that I have felt deluded about recently is Republicans and it was after an exchange with someone like you.
    Even the SDLP stayed more consistent in relation to Marian than you did. Oh but they are buffered and you are not,.

    Mackers put paid to your own goal theory very early on but you ducked and dived from sell out to plead guilty all disproved but No!. It was all dishonest.

    You were asked to produce statements from the campaign or banners to back up your mis informed theory? None were produced.
    You were repeatedly asked to produce something that sounds kosher in relation to the plead guilty theory.
    Nothing either, only watery tokens, that when you were pressed further, no response!

    Why did you join a campaign for a woman who received two life sentences?
    Why did you put yourself out there? I'm sure and certain Marian didn't ask for you r intervention.

    Thankfully most campaigners and Republicans are not fair weather, as I said, even the SDLP showed for resilience and tact than you.

  74. Tain Bo,
    I didn't answer your last post as I thought your last sentiments were the most fitting end to a debate which I found very unsavoury at times.

    I do come to debates with emotion, especially if the debate is something that agree or entirely disagree with.
    I am very much a heart on the sleeve person, therefore I can't detach the personal from the experience.

    I always appreciated that Republicans tend to come at certain things from very different points. Some agreed and others disagreed with the guilty plea.
    What I agree with is, if you are genuine it's whatever gets you through.

    I tend to relate how I feel about something based on how I think I may or may not handle a certain dilemma .
    I know at one stage during a trial I wished I had of pleaded guilty.
    I was charged with serious assault on a policewoman while I was in custody awaiting trial on other charges.
    In court I had to listen to and look at fabricated evidence,even from a formerly sympathetic police doctor.
    It was a bloody circus and because I pleaded not guilty I felt I had allowed them to entertain themselves and all the other spectators. Of course I was found guilty!
    If I had of said 'guilty and proud of it' I think I would have felt a degree of pride instead I feel depleted and sickened.

    I don't pretend to know or presuppose why other people do what they do.
    However, how anyone can accuse a sick and tired Republican who has spent forty years of their life dedicated to that cause of scoring an own goal is puzzling to say the least.

    Strange,how someone who's opinions you could care less about can bring to the fore the same old feelings of being depleted and sickened just as the Brit establishment did.

  75. I am very content knowing that one level of Marian's suffering has been put to a halt - with the suspended sentence received today. I hope that she will be able to continue her path to recovery.

    A woman already suffering from the legacy of her incarceration and force feeding who went on to raise a beautiful family and then voice opposition at a time when opposition was essential. A person with strength beyond my own - who was ostracized and demonized by her former comrades as well as the state and its powers. A woman who was subsequently held illegally and effectively tortured over a long period of time. A person who suffered grave health implications because of the manner in which she was being held - who didn't originally want any campaign for her release as she didn't want herself to become a detraction from other prisoners.

    An ill and aging female destructed by the regime who wished to silence her and use her as an example chooses to do what she needs to do, to remain free from the bars of a prison cell and some how someone is owed some explanation or some kind of apology because it makes them feel uneasy?

    You are owed nothing - no one is. The only person with the right to make any judgement in this case is Marian and her family who made whatever choice was right for them. Who cares what any one else thinks? opinions here just like assholes......everybody has one.

    It is with naivety and a somewhat vanguardist approach to suggest that only purists matter - only those who meet your expectations of what a republican/revolutionary is, are worthy of your time and energy. Good luck in finding such a cadre - you'll be waiting around a hell of a long time.

  76. Nuala,

    there are times when no reply is necessary whether we argue from an emotional attachment or not the point being that argument is made.
    You and I may disagree from time to time but keep in mind it is respectful and shouldn’t be viewed any other way.
    Republican opinion and thought should only strengthen debate as we all have much to learn from one and other.

    The “own goal” point is actual mild compared to some of the more malicious misogynist remarks I have heard elsewhere more fitting with Larry Hughes mentality.

    The legal arguments in my view are fair but the mechanism behind the law is not.
    The legal machine when faced by republicans is on mince mode and we should expect nothing else other than the usual predictable result.

    It was a few weeks prior to Marian accepting a plea I was talking to a close friend about the ongoing detention and said I wish she would just make a plea and at least end part of her misery.
    Honestly the longer her detention went on it became less noticeable and support seemed to be tidal ebbing and flowing depending on the day.

    I am more troubled with the method used obtaining a plea and I think in general people overlook the conditions she was held in.
    The isolation one woman against the might of the British establishment the mental suffering along with all the other deliberate humiliations would break most if nearly not all.
    Her being a very high profile republican ensured one thing guilty or not she would never receive a fair trial.

    You have every right to be emotional given your own experience. I think from the word go it was a mistake on the RMs behalf to want everyone to accept a longer sentence when with a plea they could have been back on the streets in less time.
    I think it stemmed from male bravado rather than any clever strategy.

    It is sad to watch the prisons fill up again and more unfortunate there is no solid support base for their welfare.

    In Marian’s case I would wonder how much does republicanism demand from her and as I said I respect her decision and am happy that she is now around family and friends.

    There are some even to this day that would prefer the women’s role in armed struggle to be viewed as a footnote in the republican narrative.
    That view being far from the reality as women endured and sacrificed so much there is a whole narrative that needs to be told.

  77. Tain Bo,
    The own goal remark was put to bed very quickly by Mackers. His answer addressed it more comprehensively and adequately than any posts that followed.

    I was initially taken aback by it, but even more taken back by the spin off remark that it actually could harm others.

    I do learn something from every exchange. Just because I fight my own corner does not mean that I am closed to the other persons reasoning.

    Tirana and I did hit each other the odd verbal slap but i suppose it is power for the course when the tone drops.
    I just wish after an exchange which I found draining as well as unsavoury at times, there had of been a meeting of minds on anything. In fact I would say at the finish we were further apart on our position than we were at the beginning.

    Larry's misogynist tendencies are on hold at present I think. Mrs Hughes is now the ruler of the roost, Larry's words not mine.

    A friend remarked to me recently, that it is those who did the least that will have the most to say.
    Sadly that is true. People are and will always be entitled to their opinion, where those opinions become distasteful is when the giver advocates that, a person endures something that they would not expect from themselves.

    Women like Marian Price helped reframe how women were viewed within the context of Republican struggle. She walked a hard road so let's just hope from here on in the road gets easier.

    Mine won't unless Tiarna actually has taken that holiday.

  78. Nuala,

    the “own goal” l don’t think was used in a malicious manner the debate was heated and at times emotionally charged.
    Tiarna was holding on to the fact that Marian was innocent and perhaps from the legal perspective the plea became a personal let down for Tiarna.

    If I thought it was being used in malice I certainly would have spoken up.

    Part of the argument was in dry legal terminology that seemed to promote or infer Tiarna was supporting the Brit legal system in the north.
    That was not the case and although it got a little heated at times and a little personal that is par for the course.

    Personally I don’t see it as having any noticeable impact on other cases.
    In a case where a person is seeking to overturn their wrongful conviction they are still guilty in the eyes of the law and the onus is on the person to prove otherwise.
    At any of these hearings it would be laughable if the prosecution stood and addressed the court citing that Marian Price maintained innocents but after two years of illegal torturous confinement pleaded guilty.

    The judge would laugh that out of his courtroom the only real impact it could have would be by a very indirect bearing of a more sinister nature.
    Where bitter cops might apply pressure on those seeking to overturn their wrongful convictions with emotional threats an example could be that a cop could easily threaten the person to drop their case otherwise they might find themselves being detained like Marian Price.

    Outside of the opportunity to harass people I don’t see her case having any noticeable impact on other cases.

    I understand you feeling drained and disappointed that you both couldn’t find some common ground but it was a worthwhile debate and like most stalemate situations the common ground is usually the involved parties agree to disagree.

    If we break it down to barebones the “own goal” happened when Adams & Co decided to betray the volunteers acting like ruthless CEOs of some corporation handing them their cards without so much as thanks for service and sacrifice.

    The “own goal” in Marians case was the utter failure of the greater republican community to stand alongside her and demand her release, and to a lesser extent for societies failure to question illegal detentions.

    Even though we have something that resembles or passes for a normal democracy it is worthless if the law is paving the way for a police state.

    From a spectator point of view it was a well fought interesting debate and it is important that disagreement is hammered out it would make little sense if we all agreed on everything which would amount to paying lip service.

    I have a sneaking suspicion Nuala when or if not before this debate is concluded the next disagreement is only an article or a comment away and you will hold your own giving as good as you get.

    If I learned anything from this debate it is just to keep at it and thankfully here on the quill we meet some very challenging people.

    I believe Aine sums it up very well and I also couldn’t agree more with your sentiment that the road ahead of Marian gets easier.

    I am sure you and Tiarna can resolve the issue like any two reasonable people arguing the toss there is always room to meet in the middle without conceding.

    The other good argument between Anthony and Sean is worth following.

  79. Tain bo a cara bhliain nua sásta,could you please explain how its possible to meet in the middle without conceding,
    "those who did the least have the most to say" how very true.sin é

  80. Couldn't agree more Marty re "those who did the least have the most to say" have been thinking the same myself for days!!!!

  81. Tain Bo
    Like yourself , Aine always brings an invaluable insight to any debate.

    The problem was, that I never fully understood where tiarna was coming from and too be honest, he never really understood me either. Had he, he would of realised that i wasn't being dishonest, apart from the Nelson Mandela ,claim which was an own goal for me I spoke from experience
    and I had no need to colour the issue.

    I would have been happy for us to have found common ground, but at every stage we were coming from totally different points of view.

    I agree with you TainBo about the wider Republican community, it was a let down and a learning curve.
    However, to counter that thought, we met some great people and forged tight friendships.

    I did learn something though, it's par for the course not power and I still wish tiarna Bon voyage, that's if he has even started packing.
    If not, I'm sure he'll be back to tell me where I got it wrong again.

    Yes ,TainBo a great debate and I have impressed my son by regurgitating what both Mackers and Sean were saying.

  82. The" mare"in nightmare was a female demon who suffocated people in their sleep by sitting on their chests...I love nightmares..

  83. Marty,

    A happy to year to you my friend it was just a simple comment where we have two people diametrically opposed neither party conceding much.
    Nuala feeling drained and rightly so as the detention of Marian was and still is and emotionally charged issue.
    Tirana from a very dry legal position but none the less emotive at times highlights this with the term “own goal” which reads as a personal disappointment which most likely under different circumstances would probably have been worded different and not said out of anger or frustration.

    I may have jumped the gun as I don’t know if the debate is over as for meeting in the middle it is a way of agreeing to disagree and leaving the debate knowing that you are happy enough to have aired your view and satisfied that you defended your position conceding nothing knowing it is just one of those endless debates that ultimately end in a stalemate.

    I am not playing referee but indirectly displaying support for Nuala as she held her own to the point of feeling drained.
    And when one feels like they have exhausted their argument then there is little else to do but leave it behind knowing you made your position clear and should be content with that result.

  84. Nuala,

    I understand your point about finding common ground but as you know that is not always the case.
    On the up side the argument was tangible and worth following as with any prisoner issue it will always be highly emotive.
    There is of course the very common ground that the back and forth highlights the very questionable British judicial system in the north.

    Upon reflection I got it wrong and the mentioning of Alec was and is relevant as it highlights his uncertain future nowadays we tend to overlook the prisoner issue.

    In that sense there might not be agreement but there is common ground.

  85. Tain Bo,
    I have no idea if this debate is over, it really depends on tiarna? If he feels there is something new to add, well obviously I will read it and if I feel I have to I will answer.
    I would hazard a guess he is drained also, however he will probably say he's not just because I said he was.

    In this debate, I drew almost always on personal experience and the personal experience of people around me.
    I was never dishonest or misleading on one point I didn't have to be I was speaking at all times in relation to that which I had experienced first hand.
    Except for Nelson Mandela of course but I think I'll be forgiven for that.

    I wanted to understand Tirana. I wanted to understand because like so many of my close friends, supporters and those from the wider Republican family, I was part of the campaign for Marian from the outset until the end.

    Unlike tiarna however, I did not feel let down, just satisfied that end goal had been achieved.

    We disputed guilty pleas and sell outs and again I brought what genuine knowledge I had and again when I spoke about these things it was not through someone else's experience I spoke from my own.

    Tain Bo the only thing I disagree with you on is Larry.
    I don't think humble pie is the order of the day. I like Larry, I know he can wind up but deep down I think he is a realist.

    Now my friend ,unless tiarna dictates different, I think we can put it to bed and who knows what common ground Tirana and I might find?
    If none I'm sure we'll both survive.

  86. Martin

    All the world's indeed a stage
    And we are merely players
    Performers and portrayers
    Each another's audience
    Outside the gilded cage

    ps There are Red Devils at play and we are not talking the communist threat!!!!

  87. Tain Bo
    Just one last thing I meant to address in relation to the emotive issue of the campaign.
    It was very emotive and at times quite distressing.
    One of the reasons I felt confident in answering tiarna in relation the campaign was, as said, I was there from beginning to end. Every step of the way so to speak.
    I attended practically, every meeting every rally and every other aspect that was covered.
    As I said ,I spoke from experience, everyday experience at that and if anyone wants to dispute that aspect with me. I will perfectly happy to answer, if they direct their comments on that aspect to me.

  88. Tain bo a cara I am of the opinion Tiarna stood his /her ground very much alone here,he/she has put his/ her points across eloquently,and clearly understood his /her position, whether he/she found what went on as draining only he /she can answer that.anyone who has the slightest sense of humanity would be glad that the nightmare for Marian is now apparently over ,but knowing british justice I wouldnt hold my breath for it,the important lesson to be learned here for other campaigns trying to secure justice for the increasing number of political prisoners here imo is that communication,transparency and honesty is the key, Marians campaign was an example of how not to run a campaign, if this campaign had been a marathon it wouldnt have broken sweat except for the sterling activities of Pauline Mellon,and the rest of us just turned up ,every single suggestion blocked ,from the simple hanging of a banner highlighting Marians case on Carsons statue at Stormont to disrupting the Olympic games,to confronting deputy dog Martybroy Mc Guinness in his office up in Stormont, ,it was almost and I,ve heard it said many times by friends and "supporters" during that period that it looked like a deal had been done, no strategy was ever produced,and indeed there was mention of secrets being withheld in relation to the activities of a quisling $inn £eind mla diametrically opposed to the position that Marian had appeared to have taken.we witnessed the electioneering stunt by quisling $inn £einds Mc Guinness and McCann during the mid Ulster elections visiting Marian on election day we never heard how this was helpful,the own goal or guilty plea is a personal decision and from a legal point of view if caught with the smoking gun it makes sense ,it would however been helpful to those trying to highlight an injustice if they were made aware of the full facts , in this case we are left with the brits smirking,knowing full well that they now have driven the wedge of division deeper,we know from Richard O Rawes testimony about the danger of small unaccountable cliques and how their machinations can lead to ultimate disaster,we must learn from these mistakes,and stop allowing people to piss down our backs and tell us its raining,Marian is back home where she belongs I wish the rest of our pow,s were joining her and that futile acts of violence were a thing of the past .

  89. Nuala

    "... that it is those who did the least that will have the most to say. Sadly that is true." I suspect that is intended as very wishful speculation about me... but then, I took my beatings in Castlereagh (on one occasion it was so bad that a haebus corpus was issued) , I have grappled prison riot squads and spent my stints on solitary confinement, yadda, yadda, yadda, and the rest is on a need to need to know basis. The only person among us whose CV credentials are known to us all is AM's so running with comments like that is a cheap and easy way of trying to invalidate cogent argument simply because it does not fit with your world view of things.

    "The real world for me was the dock and my trials and for me it doesn't get anymore real than that." I have no clue what relevance that has with your objection to my referring to how procedurally unfair the courts can be? You felt very uncomfortable in court but I am not sure how that fits with your defence of proper legal procedure/process?

    What you said was "Legally one case can not have a bearing on another." On the matter of one person's case/charge impacting on others I remember specific cases where men wanted separate trials from others because they did not want a trail where they would be adjudged by who sat next to them in the dock; it was all too often the case that instead of one going down they all did. There has always been cross over or contamination of cases, one from another, thus the concern expressed by NGO's that the judges were case hardened. The whole legal system was designed to put people away and any failings in the system were usually bolstered by new laws or misapplying existing case law from one case against another. This is how it was but maybe I should accept your word on the matter that judicial procedure is much fairer now than I have said it to be. Yes, I would much prefer you to be right about that than me. Unfortunately, I am mindful that the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which considers applications concerning alleged miscarriage of justice cases, saw a whopping 64% increase in applications in 2013. The bulk of those cases I believe originate from the Conflict era which, I hasten to add, would not necessarily contradict your assertion about the procedural fairness of the courts now days.

  90. Nuala

    "If I got it wrong about Mandela so be it but I did genuinely read that." I accept your word on that but the point you wrongly attempted to make was that there is nothing lost by pleading guilty --if Mandela did it then why not MPrice, that was your point. To claim that a person can plead without conceding is pure folly. Conceding that one was wrong and now full of remorse in return for leniency is a complete contradiction to a position of defiance. Recognising the court was perhaps the best concession republicans could make that allowed them to maintain credibility and integrity as proclaimed freedom fighters.

    Consider in comparison if a veteran trade unionist was to break an official strike by going into work. I doubt very much he could credibly claim to be still acting in solidarity with those he left at the factory gates. While some at the gate might appreciate his reason for doing so, for instance, that he has children to feed, that does not negate nor alter the fact that he weakened the strike by breaching his solidarity with his fellow strikers. So your assertion that nothing is conceded is simply not logical or practical when considering the 'whole' no matter how sympathetic anyone might be for the 'individual' who makes the decision. Even were the decison has been obtained unfairly the damage is done and seldom ever reversed so the State can afford to count on such tactics in future especially where in its eyes it was successful.

    I still do not grasp why it is ok to accuse Sinner's (with similar historical background as some staunch 'hardcore' dissidents) of having sold out but its not acceptable to say the same about dissidents? That amounts to a double standard based upon nothing more than personal preference and not reality. I leave you with an apt quote from Aine, "It is with naivety and a somewhat vanguardist approach to suggest that only purists matter..." That succinctly captures the double standard with which 'purist' dissidents finger-point at everyone else while holding themselves up to be the last bastion of republicanism.

    I am sorry for MPrice's state of health and hope it improves I have certainly at any stage wished her ill I was addressing a bigger picture than one individual. Unlike you, I am unable to hold up MPrice rights (or her historical background) to the complete De-humanising of those killed or injured at Masssereen. Even after considerable reflection my comment about an 'own goal' is still a fair comment to the whole sordid debacle even if you continue to have a problem with it.

  91. Aine

    " The only person with the right to make any judgement in this case is Marian and her family who made whatever choice was right for them. Who cares what any one else thinks? opinions here just like assholes......everybody has one."

    I totally agree with you on that and from Judge Kerr's Judgment MPrice has personally expressed, completely understandably, that she has now had her fill of politics.

    "It is with naivety and a somewhat vanguardist approach to suggest that only purists matter..." like you I am not fond of extremists (purists) of any variety as they tend to be dangerous/unstable people who thrive on censorship, misinformation and oppression usually at the expense of the very people they claim to represent.

    In all of this not Nuala, or perhaps yourself, have one critical word for those who used Marion Price by seemingly taking advantage of her background and frail state of mind. Maybe I am wrong but it comes across to me that concerns for MPrice only extend so far as who it is acceptable to blame; unquestionably the Brits did do their part but dissidents have not got clean hands in the matter because they were best placed to consider any impact upon MPrice before using her. Their disregard of potenial impact a return to jail might have on Price suggests that she was no more than convenient cannon fodder/surplus to dissident requirements. Many have warned dissidents that the only predictable thing that they will achieve is that their own people are more likely to suffer; as Price has done; in other-words they were forewarned about scoring 'own goals' against their own people so the idea did not originate with me.

  92. Tain Bo

    I have noted that you have been the only one to have reasonably been highlighting that MPrice's mistreatment must have been instrumental to how she came to plead guilty. I initially had that in mind and that was where I thought the debate might have gone, but for, my remark about an 'own goal' :

    "The Price case, while it involved unlawful detention it ultimately was an own goal when the woman pleaded guilty in the end. Maybe she had her reasons..." At Post 9:30 PM, December 27, 2013

    I would imagine that the whole method of unlawful detention and mistreatment will await another situation to arise before it is again highlighted. On this issue I would not expect MPrice to take it further (for all the right reasons) as she has been through enough and there would be little for her to gain on the matter given the outcome.

  93. Tirana,
    I know you won't believe this but it is actually refreshing to see your name back on this page.
    I am busy with stuff right now but I will answer your posts when I get the time.

  94. Tiarna,

    Your response didn't answer why you felt that this particular case had a negative impact on yourself - which in my opinion is problematic.

    My point of commenting was to highlight the illness and psychological problems caused by this particularly vicious and draconian detention.

    In regard to placing "blame" (which is what it appears you seem to be searching for?)with those militants who "used" Marian . . . I am not sure if I can state that she was 'used' by them - Marian would most likely have made those decisions herself.

    In regard to highlighting British injustice and its continued use of illegal detention and solitary confinement, I don't think anyone needs to wait on another case - the evidence is plentiful and there are prisoners incarcerated as we all type who are in/directly suffering the consequences of said actions.

    I will always be a supporter of prisoners political and otherwise. When systems are so flawed its inevitable that jails will be filled with the unfortunate and the poor - just so happens that in the North of Ireland they are unfortunately poor when it comes to learning from history.

    I will continue to support all republican prisoners as I have always done and will not be swayed to cease even if I disagree with their actions/non actions that lead to that incarceration.

    If it doesn't sit easy with me fair enough because simply put it's not about me :)

  95. Nothing has changed , diplock courts still here,people being interned on the whim of a tout or MI5 or ruc/psni lying through there teeth.

    Scews still mistreating republican internees.

    But, Today , those same screws are to receive DANGER payments because of the threat from republicans.

    I say , Make them start earning there danger money right away.
    I might be ill in bodily functions , but, I can still think and speak logically. I see no other solution. They need all the pressure which is available to bear down upon them.

  96. Nuala,

    That was one of its strengths if any of the cases of illegal detention do not spark emotion then that wouldn’t bode well for the person being detained.

    If these issues don’t stir emotion then we are just conceding to the dry legal world were a person is robbed of their identity and given a number.

    Which is evident on this debate and rightly so as the issue for supporting the prisoners is based in personal emotion.

  97. Marty,

    I find it personally sickening that SF is at ease with disputable laws that are being used as a weapon not just on those unfortunate to be locked away but against a society at large.
    Wherein we find a sleepy public drifting off to the land of nod and awakening to a police state it is not just a matter for republicans but a matter for society.

    In any of the cases involving suspicious terms of detention SF could easily and effectively challenge these laws instead they abandon the people at the highest levels and call on the people on the street level to help lock up their own neighbours.

    This only adds to the argument amongst the divided anti-treaty community that we lack an efficient political voice to address and challenge these issues.

    The further we let ourselves be pushed over the political horizon the effects of these laws shall only increase.
    We can point the finger of blame in every which direction but until we address the disunity amongst ourselves all we can offer is token support which is a very visible weakness that the Brits are happy to maintain and increase the divisions.

    Outside of the notable cases getting a mention here and there how much do we hear about the prisoners in general… very little and they are to the greater extent locked away and barely acknowledged.

    If anti-treaty-republicanism doesn’t adapt then the Brits will be happy keeping our voices silent.

  98. Tiarna,

    I think the further into the debates we are developing a better sense of understanding.
    I am not a complete stranger to the very “dry” world of the law and overtime learned to step aside and begin to understand the language from an impersonal point of view.

    I am still highly suspicious of the method used as if the “law” had her dead to rights then there would be no need for her detention which when I say that it was no ordinary circumstance one would expect from a democracy but rather the kind of detention that exists under dictatorships and police states.

    Happily Marian is at home with family and friends and the much needed support that comes from such close quarters.

    Although we will indeed meet new cases under similar circumstances along with those that are still prevalent perhaps in oversight as these cases involve a great deal of personal emotion we tend to end our argument there.

    The greater problem is we do not challenge these laws or the legality or even why such drastic measures are taken.
    You mention as much as we wait the next case the problem being we “wait” I don’t have a great understanding of the law but I do understand that there needs to be a challenge to these drastic measures.

  99. Aine

    You might read over the thread before your joining this blog to get your answer.

    "I am not sure if I can state that she was 'used' by them - Marian would most likely have made those decisions herself." Like you I would normally assume people to be able to make their own decisions. Prior to your joining in here Nuala was at pains to explain MPrice's medical background before her latest traumatic experiences as a prisoner. Like you I was unsure so I was prepared to accept Nuala's argument highlighting Price's prior health issues and that lead me to consider that those who availed of her 'assistance' probably knew as much as Nuala did and so should be held proportionately accountable for their part in the debacle. They took advantage of a woman in ill-health (including mental ill-health) no matter how willing she was to help; (but 'accountable' being the operative word rather than simply 'searching for someone to blame'.) To put some perspective on what I mean, my son was eager to be allowed to use a chainsaw he could barely lift, it would be highly irresponsible of me to give in to his eagerness and not consider the consequences.

    If we go with the view that MPrice had the fortitude to make her own decisions then why did she put herself through all that hardship before pleading guilty when she could have avoided it all by pleading guilty sooner.

    The Brits tactic of secret evidence has in some ways paid off for them and it will be easier to use next time because a precedent has now been set. For example, if or when any judge objects to the secret evidence used to continue to detain Martin Corey the Crown will throw up the Price case and how they were right all along.

    You may or may not have picked up on the subtlety of Kerr J's Judgment that Price posed no danger to the public, all her loyal supporters might agree with that but the judge is also coming at it from a different political angle; the courts were always surprisingly more considerate and supportive of Price than they were of the NIO/Ford camp. Had Kerr J found that she posed a danger to the public then that leaves the 'securocrat' politicians able to throw mud in the judiciary's eye for initially getting it wrong for questioning the nature of the secret evidence.

  100. Tain bo a cara I couldnt agree more,the seeds of suspicion and division have delivered the brits a fruitful bounty,which their minions in quisling $inn £eind and the bigots in the dup are more than happy to feed of, the sickening thing is that the people can clearly see that these people are nothing more than leeches sucking the life out of this farce, we sit in a trance like state and watch our people being screwed. anti treaty republicanism as you say needs to adapt and it needs to do so fucking very justmackers says the screws get a bounty so in essence while the threat of militancy remains,republicanism subsidises these daft is that?we need to get our prisoners out and engage the state on its own terms,at the moment I can see no other alternative a cara .

  101. Marty

    You are right about the money issue. I have thought the entire security network is being pumped with millions, security jobs are safe and all because of a mishmash of dissident incompetency and violence. Dissidents do more to ensure job security with lots of fringe benefits for their 'enemies' and sparse room and board at Magaberry for their 'friends'. They seem to have their priorities about face.

  102. tiarna,

    Apologies for the delay in returning to this.

    My comment about 'those who do the least have the most to say', was in no way a 'cheap shot' at you it was a general observation following on from Tain Bo's post about people writing over the internet in relation to this case.
    I know you were in the H Blocks, you stated it quite a few posts back, but even if you were not.
    I don't know what you did or did not do? In relation to the campaign I don't know that either,
    therefore, you are basing it on your assumption not what I said.

    I asked you about your part in the campaign, not because I was overly interested but because I thought it had a bearing on you feeling 'damaged.'

    Not to go off thread, but the campaign from day one and I was there from day one, was essentially about highlighting an injustice.
    Marian had been granted bail, well twice as you know. However, instead of being released she was held and her license revoked.

    We all came to the campaign voluntary. We knew who the woman was we were campaigning for and we knew the history of the woman we were campaigning for.

    All of us who stayed in the campaign from start to finish, stayed because we had one goal in mind, Marian's release.
    We were driven initially by a Republican conscience, Marian was one of our own.
    A social conscience, Marian was in prison and a court had released her.
    Also collectively as ex- Republican women prisoners we had spent time in prison with her and we were moved by her plight.
    It wasn't just women, most of us who remained tight to that campaign were Republicans and the majority were ex-Republican prisoners.
    We followed nothing only the campaign ideal! Why would we need to?
    We had been involved in this type of injustice everyday of our young and adult lives.
    Our goal was Marian's release and we never deviated from that goal. Nor, did we ignore how central it was to us as Republicans and former Republican prisoners.
    We ignored distractions and sideshows and we simply did our best and in the end it worked.

    In relation to the courts. You stated that Marian's case may have a bearing on other cases who could go the distance?
    I refuted that and I refuted it on the grounds that people charged together can't influence each other.
    You continued to say it could and I asked for examples.
    tiarna by examples I meant examples readable examples?

    I spoke about my experience specifically because, in both my trials-nothing to do with the assault charge it was a separate issue.
    We had all been arrested together charged together.
    Yet in both cases one of my co-accused had their charges dropped.
    Both had offered credible explanations as to why they were where they where and it was accepted, one during the trial the other during the arraignment.

    I don't think the courts have got fairer but I do think we need some sort of evidence rather than a judge saying. 'Oh someone made a plea on that charge six months ago which ultimately means this one is also guilty?'

    I didn't feel uncomfortable in court-I felt bloody sickened.
    I was being stitched up for an assault which took place under severe provocation a fact that the police doctor had agreed with until he reached the dock.
    I told you that I had regretted not pleading guilty. I regretted it because wherever I can I like to spare myself circus entertainment and yet,here I was allowing the cops and screws a day off to lie and fabricate.

    We finally agree on something
    'The whole legal system is designed to put people away'

    Now if you don't mind I will leave my answer to the post Jan 9th 10-52am until another day.

  103. Tiarna,

    I stand by what i stated, Nuala of course speaks for herself and is completely entitled to her take on the circumstances - as are you - and as is my right to oppose your sentiments....

    As i explained in a previous post and as I believe several other contributors did : It was how this plea was not simply given.
    What concerns me is how this particular case has played out in the courts, by the various politicians,the media, the wider community. I am extremely grateful and proud of all those that campaigned on Marian's behalf.

    In regard to how the Brits played this out - I predicted it would go exactly the way it did, as did many - that those who held Marian would do all in their power to break her and once they did they'd let her go - after all this is what this case was really about - she was the example to the rest of us of what can happen when we don't shut up when we're told to......
    It's the entire process of this case - from the day Marian was arrested until the day she was released that requires examining! Not just the final days and what choice she did or did not make that dis/satisfies you.

    You state you have been incarcerated so maybe you should answer your own question
    "If we go with the view that MPrice had the fortitude to make her own decisions then why did she put herself through all that hardship before pleading guilty when she could have avoided it all by pleading guilty sooner."
    Tiarna do you know what happened to her inside those walls?? Have you any concept of it??

    Finally one more attempt at asking the question :

    Tiarna How did Marian Price pleading guilty to ensure no more prison time cause any effect to you and your life/work?

  104. Nuala

    Re; the comment that 'those who do the least have the most to say' was divisive remark. Ok then I mistook your reason for repeating/running with it during our head on marathon.

    Re: guilt by association or similar fact evidence, you query: "You continued to say it could and I asked for examples. tiarna by examples I meant examples readable examples?"

    In cases where signed statements or someone has 'taken a deal' (pleaded) arise there are scores of men who did neither affected by it and you likely know many of them without realising it. I know many of them but reluctant to name them because those who pleaded or signed years ago do not deserve to have to re-live their story being used in mere web blogging decades later. The system was unfair for a reason and if you feel that in that area in which we have disagreed the Courts had nothing but integrity then maybe it best that we agree to disagree.

    The thing of importance that I took from your last post above is that there are a core of loyal and supportive people such as yourself around to do what you can for MPrice. That I am sure will mean the world to her at this stage.

  105. Aine.

    By and large I did not actually disagree with you, I found, most of what you said concurred with my view even if your tone suggested that you were not intending to be helpful with me.

    Yet again you write something which in effect has been a point made by me, you state: "It's the entire process of this case - from the day Marian was arrested until the day she was released that requires examining! Not just the final days and what choice she did or did not make that dis/satisfies you." Albeit, I go a little farther and raise pertinent questions with regard to her mental ill health before her ordeal and anyone who took advantage of that. It is not good enough to say 'ah, Marion Price, she was some staunch provie years ago so its no big deal if we use her in our plans today'.

    If you think awkward questions should not be asked simply because it would put dissidents in bad light. I just think to do justice you have to be just not simply do the same old same old, brits bad, dissidents good, crap.

  106. Marty

    You have made quite a few good points. In relation to the campaign or any situation you can only account for your own actions, as I see it we did the right thing at the right time and for the right reasons and that certainly can't be argued with.

    I would however hope that 'republicans' take a unified approach to highlighting the ongoing prison issue and that the lessons learned from the campaign for Marian both good and bad are taken on board.

    At the top of this page is a photo of a fella called Alec who may spend years on remand before reaching trial like others currently incarcerated. I think this issue deserves more attention than issues which at this point are purely academic.


    Can you not accept that maybe Tiarna just doesn't want an in depth discussion here in the court of public opinion about how he/she feels?

  107. Pauline

    "At the top of this page is a photo of a fella called Alec who may spend years on remand before reaching trial like others currently incarcerated. I think this issue deserves more attention than issues which at this point are purely academic."

    It has crossed my mind periodically throughout all of the above though I hold a lions share of blame for getting so off track.

    I was wondering what news would come to light now xmas is past? Perhaps there will be bail hearings or such to test what evidence they are being held on?

  108. I am not 100% sure that Marian being free in the sense of the word is accurate.
    I doubt those behind her torturous case are quite finished.
    Whilst she is home she will still remain under heavy surveillance and always runs the risk of taking abuse from some of the bitter quarters.

    The debate like many goes off in a different direction and this one might have been the long way round but it does help if we focus on what awaits the prisoners.

    The ongoing commentary is helpful as each time we arrive on the page we are reminded that Alec faces very uncertain times.

    As I said at the top of the page:

    “I am unsure if it is a crime to display solidarity for the prisoners but I am quite certain it is not unlawful to speak out against oppressive legislation.”

  109. Tiarna - I am neither trying to help or hinder you. I commented on this piece primarily to ask a simple question that you have evaded (which is your right to do so) so lets leave it at that.

    I at no point have stated that "dissidents are good".

  110. Tainbo

    I would agree with your analysis on how this for Marian is far from over in terms of restriction and opinion.

    I much like yourself feel discussion is helpful but only when it comes to moving things forward although it does no harm either to reflect on the past and learn from it. However I know from personal experience that to continually dwell on the past stops you/things from moving forward.

    We could sit here all week debating who did what and who did when but the simple fact is that from the person who put a leaflet through a door to the person who stood on a white line picket we all played a part. To quote Bobby Sands...Everyone, Republican or otherwise has their own particular part to play. No part is too great or too small, no one is too old or too young to do something.

    Injustice will always be injustice injustice, inhumane and degrading treatment will always be inhumane and degrading treatment no matter what quarter it comes from. Do we ignore it because it falls under the guise of legality and normalisation or do we continue to highlight it?

  111. Tiarna,

    what is the purpose of intellectual life if awkward questions are not to be asked? It would go extinct.

  112. Anthony a cara "an intellectual is someone who has found something more interesting than sex" I think Edgar Wallace said that I,m sticking to the latter ...

  113. Aine,

    what some people don't seem to get on this site is that it is the right of anybody to disagree and oppose a view they don't like. At least, neither you, Tiarna nor Nuala seem to suffer from that problem. You might all be robust in your presentations but to your credit you can all live with disagreement and opposing views.

  114. Anthony a cara do you think the contributions from myself and others are unworthy of comment ,?

  115. aye Marty, I was just about to delete you!! You are around so often you have just become part of the TPQ furniture and I no longer notice you LOL

  116. Anthony,

    Who cannot live with disagreement and opposing views? And would you care to give a specific example?

  117. Marty,

    as I said to Larry I am getting ready for the whiskey! A former blanket man is on his way to the house with one!!

  118. Enough, I have so much to do but as usual am getting ensnared on this thing. Marty, I think I should cut my time down here to about an hour a day. It is getting to be a chore!

  119. Pauline,

    if you read that discussion on the Michaelhenry thing you can find my take on it. I am now being insulted (goes with the turf) for having a view that I always found a decent streak in Michaelhenry despite his obstinate and hateful views.

    The reason for mentioning Tiarna, Nuala and Aine here is that they are in a sort of three way exchange.

  120. Anthony

    Am I to assume then that this comment has been posted in the wrong thread given you have brought Michael Henry into a thread that he hasn't posted in? What I have also noticed is you have failed to upload my comment yet have responded to it, quite possibly an oversight on your part.

    Marty I notice you as does Tiarna and Tainbo. LOL

  121. Aine

    "Tiarna - ...I commented on this piece primarily to ask a simple question that you have evaded..."

    I answered the question repeatedly, and at great length too, long before your arrival into the debate if you can't be arsed to go back over and read things that is your prerogative. But you say that your 'primary' reason for posting is to ask only that question then one wonders what your motive is when the answer is detailed above?

    "I at no point have stated that "dissidents are good"." You never used those words but you have shirked or avoided any pertinent question where the answer might not leave dissidents with clean hands with regard to their use of MPrice who was already in ill-health to begin with.

    A significant part of the whole debacle is the secret evidence with which MPrice was being held on. You expressed interest in wanting to know ONLY what went on since her arrest until her release. Seemingly a nice clean safe cutoff points where only the brits hand can be seen to be involved. Consider the facts:: The brits used secret evidence because they did not want to disclose how they came about to get the information --it would have been an easy thing to simply trace the phone and maybe look-up a video but there is more to the story than that. Did the brits know more about that attack than they are at liberty to disclose? Was someone encouraged to make sure MPrice had a bit part to play? And based upon Nuala's account about MPrice's ill-health prior to her return to prison why did dissidents not have regard to it and do the humane thing and leave her alone?

  122. Pauline,

    sorry about that. The comments come thru on e mail first where they can be read in full and then get posted. Occasionally I reply overlooking that I forgot to put the comment I am supposed to be replying to up. And then nobody really knows what I am referring to.

    Ths is the right place for the comment given that in my response to Aine the debate around the MH matter is where I see a very fresh example of a clear intolerance towards 'disagreement and opposing views.'

  123. Pauline,

    you and Tain Bo also come under that description of being robust but able to live with different views!! Wasn't as clued into that exchange as I have been to the disagreement between the other participants.

  124. Pauline,

    All discussion is helpful and given the nature of the subjects there is always going to be room for stalling and working through the bumps.

    Tiarna brought the cold dry legal world to the debate which is something we are all too familiar with yet the language of the legal machine is not one we or some of us hold a great understanding off.
    Which is a view that I took onboard as it a necessity to gain any knowledge of that world and how it has, was and is used against the people?

    Nuala defended her corner to the point of feeling drained which highlights how emotive the issue of the prisoners can be.
    I for one don’t expect a highly charged debate to stay within the margins as I have done the same here in the past defending Marian Price from critics on the Quill.

    All those who have contributed to this debate have done so from the right place.

    “Injustice will always be injustice, inhumane and degrading treatment will always be inhumane and degrading treatment no matter what quarter it comes from. Do we ignore it because it falls under the guise of legality and normalisation or do we continue to highlight it?”

    It is imperative that we highlight and continue to highlight all of the above no matter which guise it is presented under.

  125. Anthony

    Pardon my ignorance but I fail to see how your comments re tolerance on another thread are relevant to this discussion. It is quite clear this comment was in some way directed at Marty having read your comments to him, although I fail to see why having read over Marty's contribution.

    When I consider the level of intolerance and venom displayed on this blog on a regular basis I can't help but wonder why you have singled Marty out with that delete comment. I could give you at least four examples of behaviour that warranted intervention/ moderation. Behaviour that was not only despicable but extremely dangerous. Clearly some are permitted to do and say as they like whilst others can be deleted.

  126. Pauline,

    the issue on another blog is relevant to Aine's comment but not to the general discussion on this blog.

    Can't for the world of me imagine why it would be directed at Marty. When did he ever show intolerance to other people having views? The 'delete' comment was me winding him up. Marty has never been deleted and as far as I am concerned never will be. I am sure if he has any concerns he will raise them to me.

    My initial comment here is as I said it was. Nothing more, nothing less. I can't really control how people interpret it but it struck me as straightforward.

  127. Pauline,

    spoke to Marty there and he is fine about it. The potential for any misunderstanding has been sorted.

    That said, where we are inconsistent we are obliged to try and sort it out.

  128. Anthony

    One million apologies for getting it wrong re Marty, I maybe should have contacted you privately before posting. Again sorry.

  129. Pauline,

    I published your comment before responding this time!

    There is no need to apologise: we fight, we disagree, we get it wrong, we make our case and then we move on.

    The thing about Marty is that he is not just a commenter on the blog but has become a close personal friend who I would call in on in Belfast when there. Consequently, I am so relaxed with him that I am not guarded with what I say to him on the blog nor he with me.

    And there is a procedure which evolved that where if he says something in a comment that might cause a problem in terms of legal issues I get on the phone to him or email him and explain the situation. So, even if he did say something that was a problem he would never be told on the blog he was being deleted, he would simnply be called on the phone and my query put to him.

    Now, he is not a bit slow to hit me a slap or two particularly in relation to my tendency to go easier on former blanket men especially when it comes to the hunger strike. He knows the weakness, states his mind and moves on. The thing is that he is totally at ease when I hit him a slap. It is what we do on this blog.

    Elsewhere on this blog there is venom and spite which I am far from happy with but in the interests of freedom to write I put up with it. The one person I never protect from the worst of it is myself.

  130. AH fuck it Marie was hoping it was a proper deletion ,she even had the insurance money spent problem a cara yer all a shower a fuckers...I,m only here to avoid friends on FB..

  131. Anthony

    Again I apologise I am a tad protective of Marty as he and Marie have been a God send for me I just hope Tiarna had his/her own Marty and Marie in fact I would hope everyone has their own personal Marty and Marie.

  132. LOL Pauline nice words if only everyone had Marie I,d have more time for the hills,I,m heading there next week to continue on the establishment of a chicken respite,man cannot live on sheep alone.
    On a more relevant note the sad and forlorn picture of Marian existing the courts last week accompanied only it appears by Gerry and Clare,made me wonder why such a republican icon could so easily be set adrift by cheerleaders,it reminded me of the saying Tiarna quoted and indeed a quote that I have used several occasions over the years on TPQ whether read or not and its that "your only as good as your last job"and before anyone gets emotional I sincerely hope Marian is left in peace to get on with the rest of her life,and as someone passionately opposed to the treachery of quisling $inn £eind she uses her influence and judgement to give succour to a passive resistance to those who sold out republicanism,todays papers and indeed Newton Emersons opinion in yesterdays Irish News would suggest that Tiarna is not alone in being hurt by the late guilty plea , the howls of rage from the bigots in unionism is to be expected ,but jurno,s like Emerson and Little,and Sullivan plus others are saying that those who campaigned for Marian on human rights grounds have been left "looking completely ridiculous"they are it saddens me to say making a fair point.I think that unless Marian has agreed to have no further input to any public utterances and if her health holds up,that she uses her position to argue for a more sensible way forward ,like almost everyone who knows Marian I truly wish her speedy recovery and good wishes, my abiding thought of those pictures outside the court last week were for fuck sake criminals ,drug dealers agents touts and sectarian murderers get a better reception..doesnt that say it all where "dissident republicanism " is today.

  133. tiarna,
    Apologies, again for the late return to this.
    I'm not even sure which point I came back to answer as there seems to be perpetual feel to both you and I in relation to this debate.

    We aren't really going to find a meeting of minds as to whether pleas and other concessions formed, or in my book did not form IRA codes and policies.

    I would not expect you to name anyone in relation to pleas. I would not name anyone either as I said, I am very much of the mindset, that providing a person is genuine it's whatever gets them through

    Yes, it was a marathon debate and during that debate we hit each other quite a few verbal slaps along the way.
    Yet, for all that I was glad to see your name return to the thread, because although we were deeply opposed on points on other aspects I felt we had a similarity.
    We had both been imprisoned for our beliefs and therefore we could both take the stage and thrash out those issues all day if we so wished.
    I could take the stage and be as emotionally charged as I like because I would be speaking about a walk that I have walked and not a bit of kudos on the back of others.

    I honestly wished that, throughout this exchange I had of understood better where you were coming from in relation to the feeling of being 'damaged'

    I am aware that the campaign is now water under an increasingly faraway bridge.
    In saying that, I believe it was fought for all the right reasons and I think all of us who took part did so for the best of reasons.
    Where, I differed with people who left or eased off for whatever reason. I thought we had more to unite us than at times was causing division.
    In saying that, I never ever in public or in private expressed any hard feelings towards anyone.
    Why would I? I was a campaigner like all the rest and the only thing I had a monopoly on in my books was myself.

    Yes, tiarna we were loyal. A young person in the campaign once told me, he was moved to join because he had observed Marian standing by herself or with a handful of others highlighting the injustice being delved out to prisoners.
    Therefore, those of us who cared about prisoners irrespective of whether we left or stayed felt we owed it to her.

    The final lap was a hard one as it felt that every avenue had been exhausted.
    Hopes raised, hopes dashed and that seesaw affect was felt by us all.

    Those who remained and I don't know if this includes you tiarna and I don't care either because it was a campaign not a competition.
    I am just stating a fact here when I say, those remaining were Republicans mostly from all over the North.
    Yes, I agree with you, I think it did help Marian to know they stayed with her.
    The calibre of people they were would make anyone grateful they stayed.
    I was certainly proud to have made firm friendships with them and to have had them accompany us over the finishing line.

    One an end note tiarna. I just wish you well and I'm sure at another date and on another thread we will lock horns again.
    Hopefully not for a long time though.
    THE END.

  134. Anthony

    Something that is raised a lot on this forum by one contributor in particular is the suggestion that only the views of ex-prisoners truly count in exchanges about republicanism and prisoner's issues past and present.

    Now as you know I'm not a republican but have many relatives who are. I have yet to hear one of my relatives dismiss the views of people who haven't served time in fact I have heard them refer to those on the outside as being the heavy lifters. One relative would often talk of how grateful he was for his parcel and how he also felt guilty as he knew of the effort and sacrifice involved in gathering the parcel.

    As some one who served a very long time in horrendous circumstances would you view republicans who escaped gaol time as being weak or unworthy of opinion or would you accept that their opinion is as valuable as the next?


    I have been disgusted by the press and would hope those republicans of a particular 'calibre' who stayed, four to be precise, will take time to respond to the suggestion that campaigners now look ridiculous. However I would also hope when they meet to discuss a response at number 10 they leave at a reasonable hour to avoid being ridiculed as in the past this was a common occurrence on a Friday morning.

  135. Pauline,

    I wish I was one of those republicans who had escaped gaol time.

    I was debating on Radio Foyle one time with some guy who said I had the right to comment because I had been in jail. I responded that it gave me no more right to comment than the next person. I just don't want to be denied the right to comment because I have been in jail.

    Having been in jail allows me to comment more authoritively about my experience of having been in jail but that's about the height of it. My experience may not be the same as someone else's.

    I do think there is a need to stop, where it exists, prioritising the views of people solely on the basis of them having served time. Ultimately, a view either stands on its own merit or it doesn't.

    My own view of matters is that given how hard it is to get many former republican prisoners to raise the issue of prison reform, I have to admire even more those non republicans who take up the issue. In a sense it could be argued that they have no dog in the fight yet they wade in and help the prisoners.

  136. Pauline it has been said in relation to the Marian campaign that campaigner,s have been left looking "completely ridiculous" and to a certain extent that may be true , however when we witness state abuse be it here in England the middle east or in places like Guantanamo Bay,when people like Ian Cobain flag up the horrendous abuse of innocent people by the state and its agencies (CRUEL BRITANNIA)then even though we may get it wrong to a degree sometimes,to say nothing in order not to make a mistake is a price that as a society we just cant afford,

  137. at the heel of the hunt there was nothing that Pauline or Phil Scraton said on Radio Ulster that does not hold to the good. Marian should not have been interned any more than she should be tortured. That remains true regardless of guilt. I think it was right to campaign. I think it remains right to campaign for those facing the same thing.

  138. Anthony

    I totally agree.I have just completed a piece echoing what you have just said re the campaign for my own blog which was set up yesterday.

    The first piece on the blog was to highlight the truth of the slush fund in their refusal to fund the most valuable service in Derry. This latest piece might be of interest to some of the contributors on TPQ. It's quite short but i feel it sums up the majority of the debate on this thread.


    I am just tweeking and changing the next article and will upload this evening.

  140. Pauline

    You are spot on about needing prison credentials. In two separate blogs here it felt like I must bare my soul before anything I said could be considered valid, and I am an ex-prisoner.

    I share AM's assertion that, "Ultimately, a view either stands on its own merit or it doesn't." But it seems others might not share that view and seem hell bent on disrupting any discourse because they don't have your blood type and insurance numbers.

  141. Tiarna,
    I wanted to reply to the points you addressed directly to me and be done – as I really don’t have the time to stay discussing this topic indefinitely. (which may be productive or not).

    Firstly I did read the entirety of the thread before commenting – I am at the point right now were I am not concerned with what you feel as you appeared to not want to share that and that is perfectly fine.
    In regard to implying that I shirked or avoided questions linked to accountability of “dissidents” I guess you are entitled to that opinion – I have no major love / no alignment to any such grouping/s. There is accountability on many levels of course – my knowledge of what, how or when in regard to the specifics that led up to this case is limited so I am not going to begin to make assumptions, however in my opinion no armed faction has “clean hands”.

    My point in raising the issue of time of arrest to release was to illustrate that in my opinion what caused the most damage to Marian and her mental health was the manner in which she was held and the torturous conditions she endured. In my opinion that is what “broke” Marian.
    In regard to Mar’s mental health before her arrest I would have to defer to Nuala’s knowledge as I had not seen Marian since moving to the US.

    The secret evidence game is a tricky one – was there any evidence at all or was this merely a dry run to see if this tactic could be implemented across the board? I have little faith in the injustice system and historically it has fucked over republicans from the get go.( I personally feel that the Brits always know more --- historical analysis alone illustrates that.) I am far from believing that everything that happens lies at the hands of the British .

    I hope that you can continue to support those prisoners whose human rights are being impinged upon. I will echo Pauline’s sentiments shared earlier “ everyone republican or otherwise has their own particular part to play, no part is too big or too small, no one is too old or too young”

  142. Ainé,
    The secret evidence game is a tricky one

    Sinister would (IMO) have been a better word. Not only are they using secret evidence against anyone who speaks out against the system. They are using secret courts and secret evidence to take children and babies away from their parents with no apparrent reason...

    One day people are going to have to wake up and smell the coffee (sooner the better)..But all the arguing over 'whatever' or who said what etc. isn't advancing anything..Apart from the powers that be's agenda. Again on face value, there isn't much seperating the various PFR groups or anti treaty groups..A lot of times I don't see any difference between working class catholics trying to feed and heat homes and working class protestants..

    Unless people put personal ego's, personality clashes etc behind them..Nothing will change, in fact it will get a whole lot worse.. (JMO)


  143. I would rather appear ridiculous and amongst the quality. of people who remained than fair weather!
    We had full and almost daily support from the 1916 Societies from Belfast ,Lurgan and Tyrone and they remained with us to the final hour as did D company those attached to the hooded men campaign as well as ex-republican prisoners and the nine or ten ex-Republican women prisoners in Belfast and lifelong Republicans from all over, certainly too many to fit into number 10.
    Not that precise were you?

    You were never asked to bare your soul. If you felt you had to justify your comments by giving up part of your past, that was up to you.

  144. Aine

    I note what you say and by and large would still agree with you. Yes human rights issues are still of concern to me and will remain so. What rights of MPrice's that have been violated to date will probably go unaddressed because of the complexity of the whole debacle --never much used that word before but it is now the most appropriate I find.

    Just one final word --obviously i was wrong about your view of dissidents for that i am sorry if I caused offense.

  145. My comment went last night before I could answer the first comment about ' a contributor' only placing value on the comments of ex-Republican prisoners '
    I assume that me. If it's not I apologise for answering !

    The entire thread has been about prisoners and prison issues. I spoke at all times from personal experience and if you can do that, why would you speak about someone else's experience?

    We moved onto guilty pleas, again I brought to the thread what I knew to be true in relation to that.

    I would grateful if you could point out where and when on the thread I disregarded someone's opinion by suggesting it was without merit because they were not in prison?

    Tain Bo, Frankie, belfastgit and others exchanged ideas on this thread. Where or how were they dismissed as not being ex-prisoners or Republicans which correct if I'm wrong was another gripe?

    Yes I said I could talk on stage if I so wished as could anyone who knows about their known subject.
    I own a beautiful West Highland Terrier and I could take to the stage all day and speak about her if I wanted. It doesn't mean anyone else is not entitled to speak about Westies it just means no one could speak about her in the personal and relevant way I could!

    Speaking of Westies, she now looking up at me as if to say, 'surely both of us have better things to do right now!'
    Anyway, I hope I cleared the misunderstanding if I did genuinely cause one !!

  146. tiarna,
    Just to reiterate from last evening. You were never asked to bare anything least not your soul.
    But realistically you knew that somewhere along the line you had to produce something to back up your misinformed claims especially in relation to guilty pleas.

    You rushed in as did others in relation to a general observation and comment I made to Tain Bo about a completely separate issue!
    If I struck a raw nerve , I did it quite inadvertently , however if that in turn led you to give more about yourself than you intended, unfortunately that's not my problem.

  147. Tiarna,

    I think “complexity” is a fair description which is part of the problem when it comes to the denial of human rights.
    Even if some legal wiz did find loophole the system is set up to protect those who use the law to circumvent the law and can successfully detain people under very suspicious legal methods.
    To prove any illegality of any method employed would be near impossible.

    The British have at their disposal the end all inquiry clause “national security” which is a license to block any inquiry regarding questionable “detentions” far from being over I believe they will apply lessons learned from Marian Price case and precede with even more complications in future cases of this nature.

    The catch all phrase being “in the interests of national security” meaning they don’t have to provide much reason to defend the practice of selective detention.


  148. Nuala there you go again, I made no "misinformed claims especially in relation to guilty pleas." You'd be good at Fred Halroyd's job. By chance here is a sample taken from UTV website now you read that and tell me that anyone who pleads does not concede anything to their captors?:

    "The judge said: "McGuigan still denies responsibility for his actions. He has shown no remorse and does not regret his involvement.

    "There is no information before this court that he has or wants to distance himself from these type of offences."

    The court heard that Turnbull had now "seen the error of his ways" and was no longer part of the dissident republican wings in Maghaberry prison."

    So if you and 'hardcore' dissidents think they can fold, roll over, and plead guilty once they get caught and still save face then you are living in la la land. Pleading for leniency comes at a price and as I have said before no one should set themselves up as hardcore accusing everyone else of selling out when they are doing the same hand over fist.

    I think Pauline was commenting on consistent experience other than just this one blog.

    Tain Bo

    Your understanding is a little off --'national security' was the old system where the grounds still had to be scrutinised by a judge who ultimately made the decision -the new system of secret evidence/special advocacy eliminates the judiciaries role and non elected civil servants or a government minister make the decision --neither the Courts nor Martin Corey are permitted to know what evidence justifies his detention.

  149. Yes Tiarna my comment relates to more than this particular thread. Thanks.

    Distortions and dogs!!!!

    “ I would grateful if you could point out where and when on the thread I disregarded someone's opinion by suggesting it was without merit because they were not in prison?”

    “We had both been imprisoned for our beliefs and therefore we could both take the stage and thrash out those issues all day if we so wished. I could take the stage and be as emotionally charged as I like because I would be speaking about a walk that I have walked and not a bit of kudos on the back of others.”

    Now whilst on the subject of people baring their soul, albeit at a different time......

    Fionnuala Perry says:
    3:37 PM, April 19, 2013
    Wonder what they used you for during the war?

    marty says: Response
    3:51 PM, April 19, 2013 Reply
    That reminds me of Martybroy Mc Guinness where were during the war rant.!

    Fionnuala Perry says: further response
    4:00 PM, April 19, 2013 Reply
    Answer it then?

    For those on their 'stage' playing to the gallery made up of God knows who I would remind you that self praise is none and that the truth is a very hard nut to crack!

  150. Tirana,
    The only place Nuala is going is off this thread!
    'Consistent experience' How ridiculous does that sound?
    Maybe I should ask what I'm allowed to say and omit the words Republican and ex- prisoner from future comments.

    All this with you, apparently stems from the fact that you believe that your ignorance on certain issues left you in a place where you felt ' damaged' through lose of face.

    I'm going to leave you with a quote that I read many years ago and I thought it was one of the most relevant and transparent pieces I have read in relation to this issue.

    'I have a certain peace of mind that I never devalued or deemed those comrades who thought differently-even if I disagreed with them at the time and argued the point strongly in earlier years-and who felt that to plead guilty was the best option for them and their families.
    They had given enough years of their lives already without adding to the tally in defence of a paper principle.
    Decent blokes, today I would be in their number. Pleading guilty I could easily live with-much more easily than I could with pleading ignorance.'
    Anthony Mc Intyre 8/6/2 The Blanket. A Journal of Dissent and Protest.

    The stage is all yours Tirana.

  151. Nuala

    Such drama!! What an exit!!!

    I had attempted to wind things down more amicably perhaps you saw that as an opportunity and tried to slip in another of your unfounded attributes about me, I quote, "misinformed claims especially in relation to guilty pleas."

    Where was I mis-informed??? was it about the language used in court when people plea bargain? or do you mean where I got it wrong about Mandela pleading guilty? Perhaps I made up the UTV news report above, or is it that what I say does not sit comfortably with whatever it is in your head?

    I have said pleading guilty is a personal thing to the individual --but it is not to the collective, to 'the struggle', or strike action, whatever the scenario may be, it weakens and damages the whole. As the Judge observed above as they do in every struggle in every part of the world, when someone folds in court it is because he/she has "seen the error of his ways" and that is the story that remains at the end of the day.

    I did not make the world to work that way, it just does. We can talk about what really happened 'til the cows come home about the right/wrong of why someone pleads, there are no second place prizes as we have seen. Dissidents took it upon themselves to try and kill people and accuse former comrades etc of selling out but when the pressure is on they tend to sell out. It seems you do not seem to like that what is good for the goose is good for the gander, or having it every which way as you put it.

    How much concern was there for MPrice? Sure there are the few who actually cared about her but on the whole I'd say only so far as she was an opportunity to blame the brits for something? But nobody seems concerned about how MPrice ended up where she did and who thought it was ok to use a woman in ill-health for something like that. Aine defined the acceptable cut-off dates to be from when she was arrested until she was released. Convenient if you just dislike brits but those dates are not necessarily fair to the whole MPrice debacle.

    You have repeatedly thrown up MPrice history and illhealth prior to her re-arrest and so I should have more respect when asking pertinent questions about the whole debacle. Dissidents didn't show her much respect by taking advantage of her. You have not complained one peep about that or was she in good enough health for them to use but not the brits?

    You can read the court judgment for yourself but it looks like MPrice twigged on in the end that she was used, and maybe, just maybe that broke her resolve more than anything else.