Martin Óg Meehan & GARC

As witnessed on this blog yesterday evening, Martin Óg Meehan has been severely censured by the Greater Ardoyne Residents’ Collective. GARC accused Meehan, a former republican prisoner, of having collaborated with loyalists. It is a serious charge to level.

The organisation to which Meehan belonged, the Republican Network for Unity, was sufficiently taxed by GARC’s complaint that after an inquiry it expelled Meehan, one of its more prominent figures with a public profile. A terse statement from the party website briefed readers that:
Republican Network for Unity announce that with immediate effect, Martin Óg Meehan has been dismissed from the party for a serious breach of the Code of Conduct. No further statements will follow.

GARC too said it would be making no further comment on the matter: both bodies, it seems, wanting to lay the matter to rest. In its own statement GARC, very caustically, asserted that:

Martin Og Meehan is tonight isolated and alone, found guilty of collaborating and colluding with loyalists, after passing information to them about a respected Republican and Community Activist ... A community that has suffered so much through collusion, will no doubt be scathing in their reaction to one of our own for assisting loyalists.

Strong stuff. Deemed guilty might be a more accurate way of describing the verdict than the more anodyne "found guilty". There was no trial that we are aware of and secret courts are something that republicans should be loath to recommend as just. GARC’s blistering damnation is the harshest interpretation possible to be placed on Meehan’s actions. Collaborating, colluding and passing information are not charges to be taken lightly. They can be totally ruinous of character and, in a volatile and fractious setting, of life.

Meehan hardly merits the label of collaborating, colluding or informing. GARC at no point showed what information other than the jaundiced opinion Meehan was supposed to have been passing to loyalists. Nor did it accuse Meehan of trying to set up GARC chairman Dee Fennel for anything other than political criticism from loyalism. It would take a very, and in my view unjustified, liberal stretching of Meehan’s supposed words that Fennell needs taken down a peg or two to interpret this is as Meehan suggesting that Fennell be physically harmed.

Meehan, for sure, has a case to answer in the eyes of those republicans and community activists he has worked with for having undermined their efforts. This emanates from his alleged suggestion to loyalists that they “use this”. The “this” that Meehan reportedly urged loyalists to “use” is a Facebook comment by Dee Fennell in respect of republican armed activity. Meehan is also said to have told his loyalist interlocutor that Dee Fennell “is hated in Ardoyne and needs took down a peg or two. You should expose him."

At worst this looks like Meehan being culpable for having backstabbed Dee Fennell to a loyalist while beefing up his sleight with the claim that Fennell is hated in Ardoyne. Perhaps Fennell is hated in Ardoyne but it might only be by Meehan and those who agree with him, hardly something that would lend itself to such a sweeping comment.

Meehan has foolishly, and in an underhand manner, undermined a political project his own organisation was heavily involved in promoting. It might have been a rush of blood to the head, the result of resentment at Fennell’s profile overshadowing his own. Whatever drove him, the criticism of Fennell looks petty, being devoid of substance. Meehan should step up to the plate and take responsibility for his actions, whether he feels they were justified or not. 

But to state on the evidence available that he is an informer, collaborator and colluder is grotesque. If liberally sprinkled about for the purpose of denigrating rather than explaining, such terms rapidly diminish in value. Their power of opprobrium lies in their being used sparingly. Tempers might be high but when things settle down as they will, GARC might consider its language to have been a much too intemperate characterisation of Meehan’s bad faith indiscretion.


  1. Fair play anthony, you had me worried for a while!
    Maith thu!

  2. he was caught by the balls. we can have friendships and conversations with unionists and come away from them enriched from the experience but we can never use such conversations to maliciously undermine a comrade. this is collusion in its vilest form.

    still, he can get a job in the belfast media group now and fill in the shoes of his comrade sean maguire.

  3. Well said, Anthony. Reaction has been way over the top and verging on the hysterical.

    What worries me though, (more than the alleged comments to a loyalist), is why are so many Republicans engaging with loyalists over the social media?

  4. As far as I can see the stuff mentioned was on a Facebook cite which is public domain!
    Geard can you critise the prm on one hand for being fork tounged and two faced then condem another indivdal for trying to expose it with regards to another rep movement? He was caught by the balls telling the truth which isn't always a bad thing! If people don't have dialogue with diversity they end up ignorant fecks! So dialogue in social networks has to be a good thing, don't think any secrets were told here, expressing an opinion, surely that's allowed even within the republican movement! Wake up! Arrogance, silence, coverup and hyprcriocisy should be left to the Brits!

  5. che
    he wasn't having a dialogue/conversation with a unionist, he was felon-setting against a comrade.

    dee fennel is hate figure for extreme loyalism because he has successfully organised an anti-internment march through Belfast for the past two years. martin og colluded with loyalists to undermine (and possibly harm) him.

    that is treachery.

  6. this is collusion in its vilest form.

    Really? Viler or on a par with the circumstances of Finucane murder?

  7. DaithiD
    og's actions are as vile as the initial comments passed between the RUC and loyalists to the effect that pat finucane needed taken down.

    we may not like each other nor agree on many issues but we should never betray each other. the reason why ireland is in such a mess is because the british have always found a ready pool of willing traitors.

    og set out to cause harm to dee fennel. he was caught by the balls feeding information to loyalists. in my book that is an act of treachery.

  8. Thought Gerard's attack on media employment was funny. Are you against the 'working' classes Gerard? Unemployed only need apply?

    Think Og trying to get loyalists to undermine any nationalist/republican politically was daft. It is underhand political antics and sordid. But hardly setting anyone up for physical harm. Thought he was clever, found out the hard way he aint.

    Dissos are too desperately short of action or and this is a scent of blood in the water. As usual, the casualty is one of their own.

  9. AS Brendan Behan would say"before we start lets get the split out of the way "is this going to end up as a Fennell v Meehan camp divided and conquered with truth as always the main casualty, I personally serve neither king nor kaiser and when I see or hear any politician (with the very odd exception )I want to shout bastard, we need more than ever to be reaching the hand of friendship to loyalists to engage and explain our position something we do regularly and no apologies. we have hot and heavy debates here on occasion with loyalists on TPQ.this is either a something or nothing storm in a tea cup two bitches with handbags at dawn affair or the sinister outworking of malicious miscreants, whatever one thing is for sure as far as I am concerned Put your fucking own house in order before you try organising mine ,

  10. Sure Gerard, screenshots of course prove nothing (you can edit any webpage direct from browsers these days), its not clear from the GARC statement whether he denied the allegations either.It might be worth delaying the tar and feathers until we, the Diplock judges have seen all the evidence?
    As an aside, I wish people would stop invoking the Mi5 name in every Republican difficulty, it creates the perception of an omnipresent (and unbeatable) foe, one they encourage the perpetuation of.

  11. suppose if your capable of stiring the pot with loyalist has made me think back to rumours from a few years ago regards the irps.

  12. Martin Og Meehan: I was set up on loyalist collusion claims

    'An online statement from GARC, which has since been taken down, accused the former republican prisoner of being found “guilty of collaborating and colluding with loyalists”.

    GARC is a group set up to oppose Orange Order marches going past the Ardoyne shopfronts. The group was initially set up by Mr Meehan.

    Mr Meehan said he had left GARC in November and could not be expelled from the organisation.

    He said he then contacted Republican Network for Unity – where he had been national secretary – to tell them what had happened.

    “They said they would investigate it which they did and took the laptop and it came back inconclusive, no evidence,” said Mr Meehan.

    “Then I was dismissed on Thursday.”

    Mr Meehan who has left Ardoyne in the wake of the controversy, claims that “the DMs (direct messages) were manipulated. I honestly don’t know by who, could be spooks or anyone”.

    He said his family “are very deeply annoyed and we are out of Ardoyne at the minute”.

    “I think there is something else going on, I believe the stuff was manipulated and I think there is a bigger picture to all of this.

    “Why produce all that against me and make me a scapegoat?”

  13. This is like comedy cent real! Tyrone boy rides his horse to belfast to tell tales of woe! Nobody seems to question Tyrone boy! The hard men go to methane house to insist on looking at the lap top! No Cory order! The psni would be so jealous! After an in depth investigation which lasted about a day, Meehan is guilty of collaboration with loyalists, even tho Tyrone boy done the same! Who is Tyrone boy? Who has the right to call to any ones doors to look at computers, that's right an ex pow! Ex pow so feck! You can't describe the Brits as being total besterd and then behave a total besterd! Espically if u do documentary with bbc and admit to using illegal drugs and funding a local drug dealing parasite that no doubt colbarates with loyalists! While poisoning our kids! So this whole episode just highlights the reason the bearded heaur has nothing to worries about, as there are plenty within the rep movement that are total Besterds ! Martin og and dee fennel both have the courage to stand up to the Brit state and it's agents! They don't have to like each other nor do have to agree! It's just a pity some shit stirring piece a crap as decided to create conflict that will only assist a corrupt state! Hope both can resolve through dialogue as what's at stake is to important! Cupla things has any one heard of photoshot, it can do all sorts of tricks, we all should have the presumption if innocence , an idepth investigation usually takes longer that a day or two, we should always be warey of the man that brings false gifts! We shouldn't jump on the band waggon for personal gain when so much at stake! This is school yard bully stuff, stir up a fight between two fellas then duck of laughing up your sleeve! Some sly dogs in the rep movement, as we can see by this exchange . Dee and martin I hope you can resolve this don't let the Besterds win! There should be a full investigation starting with Tyrone boy and look at the way the thing panned out! Too many people jumped on the band waggon and done far too quickly, the question is why? Show the feckers that we are not as dumb as we used to be! Let's talk it over and get it sorted!

  14. DaithiD,

    I understand what your saying...

    A simple 'Arp spoofing---- Man in the middle' attack and all any one has to do is harvest email passwords, twitter accounts what ever....

    Its actually easier done than explained.. Just a few keystrokes, go for a coffee or grab a cold tube of beer from your fridge and you'll have a result. maybe not the result you wanted to see... But a result none the less.

  15. Dathi d.

    The fact is mi5 have thier fingers in every pie! Heavily assured by sf via the St. Andrews agreement! The fact is they have been given the go ahead to destroy non conforming republicans and loyalists until 2016, in which ever way they feel fit! So unfortunately any shite, low grade or high there's a good chance them or thier agents may be behind it! The fact that so
    Many republician a despise each other makes thier job all that much easier, all you need is a total fecker to stir the pot! Take nothing for granted, they are everywhere! Don't believe me check out the St. Andrews agreement!

  16. Frankie, on a chrome browser, highlight text an then right click 'inspect element'. Can edit text in a few seconds for an incriminating screenshot. My friends made a daily mail article of me getting arrested for molestation that was indistinguishable from a real article, it's so simple. Without either laptop to verify by refreshing the page , it's a case of whose word you believe.

  17. Daithi I know about Chrome, Firefox etc and what 'fun' you can have with them...

    I've migrated to Kali linux (I use win7 virtually on vmware)

    My browser of choice at minute is Iceweasel..

    People get clued up on IT stuff... Once you understand the basics the rest kinda falls into place...


    Martin og and dee fennel both have the courage to stand up to the Brit state and it's agents! They don't have to like each other nor do have to agree!

    Dee and martin I hope you can resolve this don't let the Besterds win!

    I (for whats its worth) fully endorse what Ché said..

    I don't know Martin & Dee...grab a coffee, a beer or shoot some pool together and agree to disagree but Ardoyne needs you both and on the same side...

  18. Gerard,

    "Og's actions are as vile as the initial comments passed between the RUC and loyalists to the effect that pat finucane needed taken down."

    It seems to me as an outside observer that Martin Óg Meehan has behaved very badly. If GARC's statement is true and Meehan has in fact attempted to undermine a fellow republican activist, then his expulsion from RNU is justified. However, to accuse him of "colluding with loyalists" in the manner that British state forces did in the killing of Pat Finucane is not only daft, but it is dangerous and, frankly, malicious.

    From what I have seen, there is absolutely no evidence that Martin Óg Meehan wanted to do anything other than "expose" Dee Fennell to criticism and undermine him politically. While that is contemptible, it is certainly not collusion.

  19. What I find interesting in all this is the hullabaloo that has been raised over this , yet you can bet your arse the "back door channel"is well and truly opened and in full swing.

  20. The funny thing is that there is no evidence that he has done anything! Nothing ! It's in the word if an unknown cowboy from Tyrone ! Then the drunken cavalry jumped in the band waggon! Has any one asked to inspect general custards lap top? No! Didn't think so! This at best a witch hunt that exposes serious flaws the current republician movement! Hyprosciary, double standards, ignorance and absolute stupidity! At worst extremly sinister! It should end with an apology to both martin of and dee!

    It's ironic that peadofiles, drug dealers, criminals and all sorts if scum can live openly and happily in ardoyne without fear or favour, but some one like martin og who wether you like it or not has suffered more that most as a result if the republician struggle is forced to leave!

    Highlights the society we live in! Fools the fools!

  21. if any bog warrior from tyrone came into my house demanding to see my laptop hed get a pike through the middle of his forehead.

  22. "Perhaps Fennell is hated in Ardoyne but it might only be by Meehan and those who agree with him"

    I have to disagree with this bit because I have always respected and supported both people Dee Fennell and Martin Og Meehan...both have worked hard for the community. I do agree that people have jumped onto the band wagon too quickly. When I first read the GARC felt like something didn't add sounds out of character for Martin to have collaborated and colluded with loyalists for a start, yes he does debate with them, and if he had a problem with Dee then he would have met him and talked to him about it...that sounds more like Martin. Maybe he said it or maybe he didn't...I really don't know, but my question is who really gains out of it all? Certainly not Dee or Martin, but maybe loyalists... Dee had setup the anti internment marches over the past two years and spoke out for the people against the annual orange order parades in the media/public. Martin challenges SF and the loyal orders over the orange parades and tries to bring GARC to the table for talks when they are excluded from any talks to do with the orange order parades. Both Martin and Dee would be hated by loyalists. It is not the first time that loyalists have setup republicans against each other. If Martin was setup by loyalists, this would result in that he gets discredited by the community/GARC even though he has left it last November, and makes Dee feel unsafe in Ardoyne. If I am wrong then I'm an eejit, but I wouldn't trust anything given by loyalists. I just hope the two of them Dee and Martin can stay safe and sort this out because they are really on the same side at the end of the day.

  23. Grouch
    you missed you calling, you should be in D4 working in a consular capacity.

  24. Funny how "Republicans" will believe anything they read from Occupied Media. Any so-called messages could have been easily manipulated. Oldest trick in the book. Divide and separate. Surveillance and manipulation methods, technologically speaking, improve every single day. USA and UK governments have cameras and microphones the size of a grain of sand, literally. People jumping on a bandwagon assuming Óg is guilty.

  25. Surprising to see Hodgies and a few other Ex-POWs'jumping on the bandwagon to convict and demonise me, even though to date NO evidence against me has been published by either RNU nor GARC?

    An IT Expert agreed between RNU & GARC to investigate the laptop I regularly use to post items on the Internet through Facebook, Twitter etc, decided he couldn't say if I did or NOT send any direct messages on Twitter to a Ballysillan Loyalist on my Twitter Account. His report was deemed "inconclusive"!
    Therefore, how anyone can state I'm guilty of ""Colluding or Fraterning"" with Loyalists is beyond me?
    Over the past few weeks, my family and I have been badly let-down by many within the Republican Family in Belfast. However, I remain resolute and confident that my name will be cleared. It is only a matter of time and I intend doing all in my power to ensure that happens for the sack of my children!

  26. Fair play to ya Martin! I think you were used as a tester pot! It has been recently emerged that attacked you have demonised other good people in n bfast ! Tbh people's eyes are now open in how dangerous these people are! I hope there support base catch on before its to late! They have taken over the c2 project no doubt like every think they put their hands on will fall apart! Adh mor Martin!

  27. Wasn't he suspended from PIRA forgiving information to the RUC and trying to get another prisoner to do the same?