Nothing Similar Today

"The most important thing at the moment is truth. The next most important thing is that people should be allowed free speech. The third objective is to force republicanism to broaden the base of debate."
- Brendan Hughes

Today The Pensive Quill carries a interview conducted by Gemma Murray with former blanketman Tommy McKearney continuing the discussion around physical force republicanism. It initially featured in the News Letter on 19 December 2013.

Dissident campaign bolstering Sinn Fein support, says former IRA man: Tommy McKearney gives his view on the current political state of affairs in Northern Ireland.

The dissident republican campaign could be bolstering Sinn Fein, ex senior IRA man Tommy McKearney has claimed.

Mr McKearney, 61, told the News Letter:

What is happening today is arguably adding to the Sinn Fein position in that they reflect the overall view of the nationalist community by condemning the dissident campaign. I think the dissidents do not realise that.

Sinn Fein have not scored well in dealing with the Welfare Reform Act, or housing and the economy, but this is one that they have performed very well with and can handle with confidence.

Mr McKearney does not believe many ex IRA members are now dissidents.

There is clearly a small number of former Provisionals who may well be associated with dissident republicanism. But I think, looking at it from my perspective, if there was a significant Provisional IRA input we would see a significantly different campaign. It would be much more damaging, and thankfully it is not. If you pick the entertainment quarter of Belfast coming up to Christmas, if you want to make yourself look bad, then that is what you do.

I think we are talking about a very small number of people with very little support. That is not to say there aren’t disaffected republicans, but in terms of the extent of support for a return to arms, I think it is very small.

He said another difference from before is lack of support.

'There was support and momentum for the Provisional IRA. That is not to give it legitimacy or anything, it is just a fact', he said. 'There is nothing similar today, in fact it is quite the opposite.'

Yesterday republicans Anthony McIntyre and Richard O’Rawe told the News Letter the dissident campaign was futile. Mr McIntyre said the Provisional campaign had been defeated while Mr O’Rawe said it was not “worth one life.”


  1. In todays news letter there is a piece called McGuinness ‘reacted angrily’ when told he could not visit IRA prisoners

    And oneline sprang out at me...

    The file contains a clipping from the Irish News in which Mr Adams was reported to have told a 1,500-strong crowd in west Belfast that legally he could not appeal to people to join the IRA, but that it was “the patriotic duty” of Irishmen and women to engage in the “legitimate armed struggle”.

    And it's the same argument that todays PFR leaders are using...Their patriotic duty to engage in armed struggle. And asking them to down/dump arms is going to fall mostly on deaf ears...

    What happens for talk sake the British pull out tomorrow and leave the north to sort itself out...PFR needs a politcal agenda. Attacking state forces just becasue they can isn't going to further their aims..Question I'm asking is simple..What happens when (for talk sake) the British pull out...Whats the plan when/if that happens? Who's agenda gets implemented.

  2. Frankie,

    there is no long term political plan if the Brits pulled out there would be only two scenarios played one being a civil war and the other the Irish government would send in the troops not to save us but to conquer us.
    And they would set themselves up as the heroes that united Ireland.

    The other option would be UN forces on the ground though I doubt they would do much good and certainly wouldn’t be able to establish much in the way of control.

    I have reservation about the Irish governments and that day when the North is reunited with the South.
    I doubt we will be as welcomed as we believe would we be treated equally as the southern governments looks north and fear its war like children.
    They are under no illusion that a new large voting bloc could and would change the face of traditional politics in the south.

    It is not a great mystery why they abandoned us.