As Useful To The British As He Was To The IRA

Via The Transcripts John McDonagh and Martin Galvin speak to Kathryn Johnston -  RFÉ 25 March 2017 - co-author of Martin McGuinness’ biography, via telephone from Co. Antrim, about Martin McGuinness’ role in the IRA’s cessation of violence that ended The Troubles.

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(begins time stamp ~ 18:11)

Audio: Portion of Martin McGuinness’ speech at the 1986 Sinn Féin Ard Fheis is played. (audio ends)

Martin: Alright. With us on the line we have Kathryn Johnston. She is the co-author of Martin McGuinness’ biography, Martin McGuinness: From Guns to Government. Welcome back to Radio Free Éireann.

Kathryn: Thanks very much, John. Nice to talk to you.

Martin: This is Martin. John is actually in Boston. But he’ll be asking you a question in a moment.

Kathryn: Okay. (inaudible)

Martin: We only have a few minutes for you and we have a number of guests on. But I was intrigued. I was reading a piece that you did for Slugger O’Toole, the website, and you asked the question: Could anyone else have brought the IRA to a cessation of violence without an admission of defeat? What was there about Martin McGuinness? The young man from Doire, a religious man, family were Nationalists more than Republicans, who got involved in the Irish Republican Army, who took senior positions and put him in that position where you would say that he is the only person – it was unlikely that anybody else could have brought the IRA to a cessation of violence without an admission of defeat in your article?

Well if you look at the early days of Martin McGuinness’ involvement in the IRA, specifically after Bloody Sunday when he became the Commander in Doire, Seán Mac Stíofáin was up at a couple of meetings in Doire and he very, very quickly picked out the young Martin McGuinness as somebody that was basically someone to watch – somebody who could go places. Now Seán Mac Stíofáin wasn’t alone in coming to that assessment. Seán Mac Stíofáin – Martin McGuinness’ real big elevation in the ranks was when he was flown to Cheyne Walk in London as part of a delegation of IRA men going to talks with William Whitelaw. The talks themselves never actually produced anything concrete but what they did produce – there was an MI6 officer there, Frank Steele, and he gave his assessment very quickly, that Seán Mac Stíofain had done: This boy’s the one to watch. This boy’s articulate – he could go places. And as soon as McGuinness returned to Doire after the Cheyne Walk talks it wasn’t very long before Frank Steele had arranged to meet him in Donegal and the relationship then continued with Michael Oatley in 1974 until he returned in 1991. So I mean, Martin McGuinness was marked by the British state and by his comrades in the IRA as a boy that was going places.

Martin: Alright. Well, what positions did he hold with the IRA and how was it that he was so influential he could make that speech that we are playing clips from in 1986 and that that would be credited and trusted more so than somebody else might have been?

Kathryn: Well I think if you look at the – Martin McGuinness attained the very highest rank within the IRA and that was in 1978. He was first appointed Chief of Staff after Gerry Adams was arrested for questioning after the La Mon Massacre. And straightaway Martin McGuinness sought to make his mark. He had this goal: He was going to make a ‘liberated zone’ along the border. Of course, very, very close to the front of his mind as well was this idea there had to be some kind of revenge on the Parachute Regiment for what happened on Bloody Sunday.

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Now, very quickly in 1978 he became aware of a local IRA plan to assassinate Earl Mountbatten. He’d (Mountbatten) spent every August since 1969 in Classiebawn Castle in Mullaghmore in Sligo. So they dummy-run this plan and in August, the 27th August 1979, two plain-clothes officers of Mountbatten’s security detail were lying on the cliffs overlooking the boat, Shadow, as it sailed out when suddenly there was a massive explosion and we know what happened after that – Earl Mountbatten died as did Lady Brabourne, Paul Maxwell, a young boatman from Enniskillen and one of Mountbatten’s nephews, a great-nephew, was killed in that. But that was already quite a coup for the IRA to carry out in those days – just along the border there. And of course, the British Army and all security force personnel were immediately put on the very, very highest alert. But McGuinness hadn’t stopped there. There was a convoy of four Land Rovers coming to Ballykinler camp to Narrow Water on the shores of Narrow Water Lough there which marks the Irish border. And as they drove in an eight hundred pound bomb was detonated blowing up their Land Rovers and instantaneously IRA men on the other side of the lough opened fire on the British troops who returned fire and one English holiday-maker, Michael Hudson, was tragically killed. But you know I’m really beginning to feel like Jiminy Cricket here – But there’s more! But there’s more! – because after that when two Wessex helicopters had come to airlift the wounded soldiers, the survivors, to hospital, as their aircraft were taking off another couple of Land Rovers, laden with injured soldiers, was coming along – another twelve soldiers were killed with another eight hundred pound bomb – added to the six that were killed in the first explosion that was eighteen soldiers from the Paratroop Regiment – their highest single loss since Arnhem, not even in peacetime, since Arnhem in World War II. That was quite some coup for a boy from the Bogside in his first year as Chief of Staff of the IRA and I think that shows the kind of chilling, strategic and tactical genius that he had, that he devoted to both his political life and his life within the IRA. He was a (inaudible) man. And I think, I think if you look at Martin McGuinness and the tours that he did after the ceasefire was announced – the tours that he did and Gerry Kelly did and Gerry Adams did – I think that Martin McGuinness was picked out to go to the areas where they might be less ready to settle than others.

Martin: Okay. Alright. Thank you. That’s Kathryn Johnston. She is the co-author of the book, Martin McGuinness: From Guns to Government. We’re trying to get to a number of different people. We’re going to go to another clip. I think – John, are you back on the line?

John: Yeah, no – I’m back on the line but just one final question for Kathryn that it seems – we did an interview with an MI5 agent, Ian Hurst, and he was talking about how the British government wanted to arrest Martin McGuinness but they were told not to, over the Frank Hegarty killing of an informer. And then after his funeral it came out about the Claudy bombing that the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) wanted to arrest him and they were told not to arrest him and he was known within the security forces there as a ‘protected species’.

Kathryn: Yeah. At one stage Martin Ingram (aka Ian Hurst) revealed that he was known as ‘the fisherman’ and that wasn’t unusual for Martin McGuinness. Don’t forget, John, he had been in secret talks with the British since what was it – ’72 – since that first meeting at Cheyne Walk. And when he was in the meetings with ‘Mountain Climber’, Brendan Duddy, and so on, in those very early days when the background dialogue had been established McGuinness was given several code names – one of them, strangely enough, was ‘Walter’. So I mean that was the start of a situation which saw Martin McGuinness and that’s being perhaps uniquely – perhaps being uniquely in the position of being as useful to the British as he was to the IRA.

Alright. On that note we’re going to go to – we’ve got – this is something where everybody we’re going to have on today we could do the whole programme with but we want to thank you, Kathryn Johnston. Her book…

…And thank you very much…

Martin: …co-author of Martin McGuinness: From Guns to Government . We’re going to go to another clip and when we come out we’re going to have Anthony McIntyre, former IRA Volunteer, author and analyst and commentator on with us.

(ends time stamp ~ 27:08)


  1. In the same vein as I imagine people thumped tables in 1922 and declared 'if its good enough for Mick Collins t'is good enough for me' subsequent cadres of volunteers obediently ditched what heretofore were principles and, either blindly or reluctantly, followed the personalities.

    Such, I suppose, was the way it had to go. Especially so, given that coercion of Unionism was implicit in militant republican principles. Given the evidenced reluctance of the British establishment to abandon Irish Unionism that design was always flawed, always flawed and always unachievable. It was not just flawed, and not just unachievable, it was unacceptable to a majority too. Just as the electorate overwhelmingly rejected coercion in the GFA I'd contend a majority would have deemed coercion, or at least the consequences of it, unacceptable too had Mick Collins and the other plenipotentiaries rejected Lloyd George's settlement way back when.

    Irish Republican ideology has been exposed of its shortcomings time after time, again and again found wanting, and ultimately failed at every outing. Its time for reason to prevail and well past time to put the old nag down ... time for a hood or a blindfold, time for one behind the ear and time for the useless worn-out old nag to be dumped unceremoniously under darkness in a bog-hole!

  2. I dont know how he took the jailed part of the Movement with him into constitutional nationalism. Those guys who gave their youth, and lived naked in rancid cells, whose daily grinding monotony was only punctuated with damn near rape from the screws, they did their part. Martins war on the outside was very different to theirs, yet the jailed vols still held the line. No warnings from the security services when they were being targetted by loyalists.

  3. Henry Joy

    Lloyd George simply used greater coercion in the end-game against and in spite of an overwhelming electoral majority in 1918. Obviously fine by you. Maybe republicanism simply lacked the bottle to coerce enough. They simply weren't ever ruthless enough, that's the reason for its endless failings. In that regard I agree with your assessment of that political creed. You sound very much like a republican to me though TBH in that regard. Will a majority do you think, shortly be coerced again into accepting whatever a minority in Ireland as a whole, as well as a minority now in the 6 counties also, the Prods, want? I suspect you would be all for that. Is that a shocking stench of SHITE you are inhaling deeply and enjoying there? lol

    Anyhow regarding the article. McGuinness is given way too much credit here regarding Mullaghmore and Warrenpoint. There is not a chance in hell in my opinion that he knew the precise details of those operations as they were being carried out on the ground. Volunteers in S. Armagh running about while a man in a wee house in the Bogside knew their every move? Cop yerself on love! No more chance than he would have known of the shooting of that toxic screw in Dublin. Or indeed any more a chance that volunteers were canvassed about any of the many sell outs the SF leadership were busying themselves with during the lead up to the so called peace process. There was a detachment and it worked in both directions. This is pure hype to sell a book perhaps. But what's interesting is that it seems to acknowledge very clearly that McGuinness was in contact with Mi6 from 1973. He had no need for a bullet proof vest I imagine. At this stage though, who the hell cares. It would however I think, take some balls for any former Provo 'capitan' to attempt to put any living soul on the back foot at this stage regarding informing. They really should desist from all mention of informers or infiltration. Or what little credibility they have left, if any, will evaporate forever. This article simply attempts to elevate McGuinness in the same way the British media did throughout his career in my humble opinion. The most telling part is the very open acknowledgement of his spooks connection.

    Martin McGuinness is dead and buried and unlike Tebbit I personally hope he is in a better place and with peace of mind. It seems the Brits may be shaping up to unload the wee black North, they now contend that unlike Scotland in the event of the north voting to join with the rest of the country no application would be required for EU admission. Reports suggest this announcement in London was greeted with SHOCK in Loyalist areas of the wee 6 and with ELATION throughout the diaspora globally. The TDs in the Dail in Dublin cannot comment as they still haven't recovered from the collective COMA they slipped into on hearing the news.

  4. Fucking Stupid.
    The Brits at Warrenpoint were travelling in Bedford 4x4 4 Ton Trucks.
    If the "journalist" cannot get even this basic right.. What hope for the rest of the "meticuolus" research.

    Seems like an alternative Pro British Boot Licker Brit History is now been pedalled here.
    Just paint the mast head in red and post gay ball soccer results and be done with it. I say.

    And BTW JFk was killed riding in a Hyundai. in Dallas in 1985.
    I have a book I'm writing about that. i wish to plug.
    Four fucking Landrovers.. Jesus Christ almighty.
    How stupid do they think we are?

  5. Daithi D

    There were two wars going on. One in the jails and one outside. Republican assessments/stats suggested in the late 1980s about 2% of released prisoners returned to the war effort on the outside. A huge part of the peace process was the release of long term prisoners. These long term prisoners in particular, being returned to their families and their communities was viewed as a tangible undeniable result for the republican side, but it also cemented the 'movement' into the process. They were no longer bargaining chips/hostages in jail but positives for the process on the outside. The families were unlikely to tolerate any back sliding on that development.

    Just watching Spotlight on the BBC and this book and lady in question is on it. If I had just arrived from Mars, the amount of people blaming McGuinness directly for attacks and plotted attacks I would be convinced the IRA was a one man army. British myth making goes on.

  6. Is there some truth in the rumours about Mountbatten having questionable moral standards? Of course the moral standards may be quite acceptable to the world of royals and gentry but if it came out it may well be particularly embarrassing. Questions about the royal's sexual proclivity really died with his death. That was pretty handy.
    Another question was why Mountbatten was allowed to even be in Ireland at the height of the troubles and with scant security?

  7. James Quigley

    Sexual deviance and touting... best avoided for republicans... best to stick with Brexit lol

  8. Larry, I could understand Tebbits assesment of his life (given his wifes state), but the I understand many other commentators were nearly as gleeful. For someone who became the symbol of the republican projects end, strutting the politcal theatre like a lion struts around the cage of a zoo,they dont seem to realise how demoralising this was. In their estimation keeping all the vols locked up and arresting further activists at a same rate would of been better, failing to realise it was seeing MMG in this zoo that was a key part in hobbling any other nascent movements.

  9. Daithi D

    A zoo is a good analogy. It is a good job SF are not negotiating for Dublin regarding Brexit. We would all be back under London Tory rule wrapped up in a massive victory with cavalcades and fleg waving. I have a feeling the UK and Ireland will be drawn closer rather than pushed further apart by all this Brexit and Irish border negotiations. As for Tebbit he is of an era and generation that sought total victory and of course his wife's suffering has not softened his outlook on life. These EU negotiations are an amazing opportunity, it will be interested to see if that is squandered.

  10. Larry,

    ultimately freedom is inextricably about the act of choosing.
    We are not free if we merely re-act. To be free we have to rise above the responses of the Pavlovian dog which are condition within us all.
    Freedom sometimes is the act of choosing between what we want and what we don't want. Other times its about choosing between what we want and what we want more, chocolate or vanilla choices. Yet other times our options are constrained within a range of less palatable choices. Then the reasonable and free person will sensibly choose the least unpleasant option. Neither the ideologue nor the theist is rarely that free.

    The majority of Irish people are more pragmatic and freer than the the ideologues can grasp. Had Collins rejected the Treaty would there have been universal support for a continuation of hostilities? The mandate of 1918 was a significant event but its a mistake, I believe, to take what was merely a snapshot of majority sentiment at a particular point in history and not see it for just being exactly that. There's no firm guarantee that given significantly changed circumstances and significantly changed implications that the electorate would have returned similar representation as 1918 had the Treaty been rejected.

    The more educated and the more exposed a people are to difference and alternative ways of doing things the less purchase extreme ideologies have. Hence over the years various generations through various political manifestations have had to ditch the core republican dogma. In doing so they've all had to shape and work themselves into a constitutional nationalist form. There is something that lacks integrity, even slightly schizophrenic, in the way they all attempt to maintain a veil of republicanism. Wouldn't it be more useful if they'd just fess up to the realpolitik nature of choices and actions along the timeline of our history and replace that veil of republicanism with a shroud?

  11. James, it is well-established at this point that Mountbatten was a child molestor. That is what his business was in the Donegal area.

  12. Henry Joy

    I have said numerous times republicanism is a dead duck and the inability to break out of the historical straight jacket of that creed is a mistake. I think SF have actually got the right idea in trying to modernise and move forward under present circumstances, but the personalities and underhand duplicitous approach of their 'strategy' / lack of, leaves me depressed. I am fast getting to the stage where I want nothing more to do with any of it, not even as a spectator and take the piss critic.

  13. Sean,

    "it is well-established at this point that Mountbatten was a child molestor. That is what his business was in the Donegal area."

    I had a bit of a google but can't find anything concrete apart from hearsay from David Icke and the like, have you anything more damning than his quackery?

  14. The only thing worse than child abuse is child murder, which is exactly what the IRA are guilty of here on two counts.

  15. Peter,

    killing children is abominable. The security services, republican and loyalist combatants all have much to explain when it comes to the vile practice.

  16. You would know all about child murder Peter, saying as you were up to your necks in it. As for Mountbatten, don't look on Google - go and ask the ordinary people in Bundoran and Ballyshannon. His links to Kincora are well known also. Pedophile scumbag who some with knowledge say was allowed to be taken out.

  17. AM
    I am not diputing that. I just find it ironic that commenters on here want to discuss whether or not Mountbatten was a child abuser without even mentioning that republicans murdered 2 innocent children to get him.

  18. Peter,

    a fair enough point. Whatever rationale proffered for the death of Mountbatten there was no justification for the deaths of the children.

    As for the allegations of child abuse, like Steve I have come across nothing substantive.

  19. Sean Bres
    Yet another comment about Mountbatten and child abuse without so much as a word for the innocent children killed with him.

    I take it you have left the catholic church after the latest revelations of mass child murder at Tuam? That on top of the widespread child abuse and cruelty carried out in the name of Gentle Jesus?

  20. Larry,

    if republicanism is a dead duck then why not bury the duck? (preferably in concrete)
    The purpose of history is that we learn form it. Its function that we record, dissect and analyse the past and ditch the less than useful strategies while on the other hand affirm, develop and repeat the more useful parts of that narrative.

    Placing any hope in SF is just repeating the cycle that various republican manifestations journeyed through before and their efforts are totally at variance with what the historical form book suggests. No doubt many of those that followed Collins felt and believed he too 'had the right idea in trying to modernise and move forward under present circumstances', and really genuinely felt and believed that it was a useful strategy towards the republic. As did those that followed Dev, McBride, Tom McGill, Fffrankie Woss and the rest!
    If you were to measure their performance against the proclaimed destination then the form card still reads 0000!

    I'm glad you're depressed Larry. Its a proper and reasonable response to the `chicanery and callousness of the current batch of republican ideologues. Though they still try to remain aloof form the immediacy of the intimidation and violence, such as that visited on AM and his at the time pregnant wife, the barbaric attack on Mickie Donnelly and family, the raw savage attack and murder of Paul Quinn and so many other horrific & grievous events, these ideologues and the ideology they propound are inexorable linked to and tainted by such reprehensible actions.
    No sane, sentient or thinking person ought hold reasonable hope for their distasteful, duplicitous and dastardly machinations. Unfortunately many are still blinded by their passions. Its important, I believe that alternative and dissenting narratives are proposed and expressed. Keep sniping away Larry,none of us are right all of the time, nor do we need to be for our contribution to be useful. As AM rightly pointed out recently,as he attempted to deflect some complimentary feedback from Steve R. and I, critical thinking is a social enterprise!

  21. Peter, yet another comment from you with no mention of your bloodstained past or the war of terror you visited on those same Irish Catholics kids you pretend to be concerned for.

  22. When people ask for proof concerning Mountbottom and his ways, are they seriously suggesting that eye witness accounts etc should be produced? In case you have not been paying attention, most victims would need to be made of serious mettle to even dare make allegations against the British establishment. They would soon realise that the deep state has far more powerful tools and allies that it will use against you in order to make you go away..............the deep state would make the IRA look like Boy Scouts and amateurish when it comes to denying and making sexual abuse allegations go away.

  23. Henry Joy

    You give way too much credit to the green fascists running SF. They are not ideologues by any stretch of the imagination. Adams was exposed in 2007 on tv with McDowell as a numpty and there is no plan or strategy beyond the next election. Storey and Co. basically have nothing else to do with their lives at this stage to be following Adams hand and foot. The lack of strategy or a plan can be seen in the fact that it was pressure from the people that forced SF to finally exit Stormont when they had zero notion of doing so. They are not leaders they are clueless followers.

    Sean Bres

    I have never seen any evidence regarding Mountbatten being a kiddie fiddler. But sure there has been no shortage of it in the SF ranks at the highest level. As for Peter and the UDR I suspect Peter was a money oriented opportunist rather than a closet UVF man of which the regiment was full. Regardless of Adams recent assertion there was nothing brave about being in the UDR or RUC it was handy cash in comparison to Group 4 security on a building site I guess. Too good to pass up. More casualties on the roads than in the security forces so as far as bravery goes crossing the road was a more daring pass-time. I am not sure where your venom is coming from though, did I miss something?

  24. Larry, there is no venom. It was not me who introduced the line about Mountbatten but I sensed that James, being a Donegal man, was aware of what is alleged of him and was simply responding to that. It is well known at this point that a pedophile ring was being operated from Bundoran to Buncrana and that Mountbatten - a rapacious child abuser - was complicit, assisted in his deviance by the same political establishment that covers for the child-rapist murderer of Mary Boyle. He, Mountbatten, has been named in the stuff that has come out about Kincora Boys Home and identified as a regular 'visitor' - so there is more than just smoke to this particular fire.

    If Peter wants to drag the IRA into what I'm talking about then well and good but he should be prepared to account for his own actions in that instance. That is the only reason for my replies to him but is not what I was here to discuss. For those who say they have yet to see anything other than quackery in relation to the pedophilia at the heart of the British political system just remember that the very same excuse, for want of a better word, was once used in relation to Ted Heath, who has recently been exposed as a predator on a par with Saville. The 'Royal' Prince Andrew has also been exposed, though again it's all very 'hush hush'. The British establishment is rotten to its core. Those who pretend otherwise are deluded.

  25. Sean Bres

    It seems to me that power and abuse go hand in hand. Whether sexual fraudulent or any number of vices that are engaged in by those who think they are above and beyond the rest. RC church, Adams family, MPs at Westminster and intelligence agencies all seem to be in the sewer together.

  26. Larry,

    call it as you will. I agree, Adams was/is weak on economics and McDowell sure did a fine job on him. I think you're way of the mark in your evaluations though. SF is a cult, a cult through and true ... a disciplined, well organised and dangerous cult who's raison d'etre is an outdated, futile and largely irrelevant fixation on geographical unity.

    I'm also of the opinion that your assessments about the collapse of Stormont are significantly off the mark too. The Provos knew McGuiness's chuck had chucked, Brexit was coming and with that the probabilities of constitutional uncertainty arising in Scotland and the North. Add to that the pressure that Brexit puts on the Southern State and top it all off with the bitchy stupidity of Arlene and the DUP and one could well argue that the decision to collapse the Executive was Provo leadership led. As usual the leadership massaged and managed the optics and succeeded in making it appear as grassroots driven.

    On Mountbatten:
    On the 27th Aug. '79 I was on the way home from the Fleadh in Buncranna and called into Joe O'Neill's in Bundoran to wet me whistle. I'd heard the breaking news on Mullaghmore on the car radio on the way down. The first reports of Narrow-water were coming through too.
    I'll leave it to the reader to imagine the party atmosphere in big Joe's that afternoon and night. In all the exchanges and discussions I heard no references from anyone present to any allegations or references to paedophilia.

    Though I didn't view it as so way back then I now see it as a ruthless operation. I now view the deliberate targeting of non-combatants including women and children as heartless and indefensible. There may be some who'd argue that Mountbatten was a legitimate target and others to point out that it was reckless of him to continue visiting during the conflict. Neither position though can justify the murder of women and children. The intentional collateral damage inflicted on the innocents that day in Sligo was abhorrent to most right thinking people.

  27. Regarding mountbatten and his penchant for children. Was there not some recent investigation into historicsl child prostitution and the involvement of leading political figures and it suddenly came to halt due to one of the key witnesses retracting their evidence?
    Now the mainstream media didn't report it to the same degree as other media streams and those other media streams reported from early in the investigation that Mountbatten was one of the figures under investigation....needless to say, why the sudden halt through retraction!!!!!!
    It was a while ago and I can't for the life of me remember exact details but will try and look it up....Cyril Smith comes to mind but also that may be a completely different investigation.

  28. Niall,

    there was a heap of evidence against Cyril Smith which has since been accessed. The cops or somebody with power covered it up for long enough. There were over 140 allegations of abuse against him but prosecutions were blocked and they might be doing the same with Mountbatten and Heath if they were both at it. If so they should be outed for it where it can be demonstrated but up to now the evidence has not emerged anywhere near the extent it has in respect of Smith. Jenner was to face trial but got away with it because of dementia. Then there was the allegation against Lord McAlpine which turned out to be wrong. Our critique is always stronger when we stick to what we know. And if our allegations are too fanciful or the result of wishful thinking it has the impact of tainting whatever else my might say.

  29. AM,
    Totally agree but I do distinctly remember reading about Mountbatten being one of those under investigation and at the time thinking to myself that this seems to be very quiet in the media. I'll go back over my web history to see what turns up but I may have deleted the damn thing.....

  30. Niall,

    it has been alluded to for sure. There has just been nothing of substance that I have come across. And once these allegations emerge they can fly off in a thousand directions. And sometimes I think they are designed to do just that so that any kernel of truth gets flushed away in the deluge of falsehoods.

  31. AM,
    I know exactly what you mean. With allegations like these the person sometimes by their very position in society is assumed to be guilty and when evidence emerges a cover up is the resulting reason given.
    Just going back over the Web history and all I have found so far is some rather obscure (area 51 type sites) that seem to focus on his time in India and unsupported allegations and unsubstantiated inneundos...I'm going to leave it at that for it will allude me just like our friend and the fireworks attack on the parochial I have made my own mind up and that's good enough at this stage....under these circumstances it's great being part of the Roman crowd!!!!

  32. Sean B. says

    "And just on something said earlier. Unlike certain other contributors, I have never partied or celebrated the death of anyone - never mind innocent children. I don't know the ins-and-outs of the operation where Mountbatten was killed, as in whether the children were known to be there or if the plan was to get him on his own and they were there by pure happenstance. Either way it does not alter that Mountbatten was a known pedophile. Take what you want from that as it's the last I have to say on the matter."

    Oh yeah, you're such a calm mannered chappy ... you'd never understand or condone outbursts of raw emotion!

    My behaviour was pretty ignoble all right but such comments coming from you sir are risible.

    You're fond enough of 'hearsay' on many matters so let me give you my bit of same on the operation ... its alleged McGirl and McMahon placed the remotely controlled charge on the lobster pot vessel during the night (though McGirl probably remained on the harbour wall) and that the charge was later detonated by a woman who viewed events from a nearby mobile home along the cove. It was a fine bright summer's day and visibility was excellent.

    (Down the years there have been several rumours and much speculation about the disappearance of Mary Boyle. I even remember one which linked a religious brother who worked from a monastery in Cloonamhon, Coloonmey, Co. Sligo to it. As Simon says elsewhere much of this stuff is irrelevant and speculative. As usual you introduced it to misdirect attention from more pertinent debate.)

  33. The Lord mcAlpine case was a deliberate set up in order to put a halt to the growing public outcry at all the allegations that were being revealed at that time. The state got a 'victim' to claim he was assaulted by mcAlpine. Then shock horror the 'victim' said he made a mistake and thus the media narrative was directed to a stance of 'oh my god we need to be careful with all these claims now because that poor mans reputation has been ruined etc'. This case took the pressure off Cameron and the British state. The public were demanding the govt investigate these claims swiftly at that time and mcAlpine gave them wriggle room and allowed them to stall things. Btw, in spite of the Westminster child abuse inquiry that is apparently ongoing atm, that inquiry has been constantly hindered by resignations and disputes(more stalling?). As for mcAlpine if you will look further into these child abuse claims you will find a lot of other people have claimed mcAlpine was assaulting them around a north wales care home. Ironic that the BBC managed to select the one 'victim' and only run with his story? It's also ironic that the BBC quickly agreed compensation with mcAlpine. Some would argue that was to stop any major case going to a court were some real investigating and questions would have been asked that could reveal mcalpines past.

    If you read this woman's account it should become apparent how the British establishment can sophisticatedly nullify and silence those who dare to ask too many questions of prominent people within society:

  34. Henry Joy,

    that comment by Sean was not meant to appear and was withdrawn the moment it was realised it did appear. I presume you got automated email notification of it because it was up for such a very short period of time.

    So, basically, what you have attributed to him as having said has in fact no standing.

  35. The comment was removed for reasons that don't relate to 'Henry Joy'. But saying as he has read and repeated the section that related to him (presumably through email notification) I have no bother standing over that part of it. Unlike his good self, I have never partied or celebrated the death of anyone - never mind innocent children. What he has spewed in turn merits no further response and changes not his own behaviour. Risible? Risible are the self-righteous who come here to judge and prance with their pseudo intellectual clap-trap when, by their own admission, they celebrated and even partied upon the death of innocent children - whether they were 'collateral damage' or not. Good day to you 'sir'.

  36. Sean,

    that is correct. The reason you had the comment removed was entirely unrelated to the above discussion.

  37. Sean,

    you're not just a crackpot, you're a dangerous one and a liability.
    The moderator would be well advised to keep your posts under close scrutiny.

  38. Thankfully the moderator can speak for himself. A faceless goon however, who admits to partying in celebration of the death of innocent children, is another story. It's plain from your troubled responses, no doubt relating to what you revealed of your true self, that you know full well your sanctimonious judgements stand exposed as wanton hypocrisy. Slán.

  39. Henry Joy

    Not very nice invoking the 'moderator' coming from a recently converted 'moderate' lol

  40. Larry,

    I don't pretend to be always a very nice man.

    As the great republican ideal moulders we really must expect such caterwauling as Sean emits, and likewise from his ilk. We must allow for their outbursts and not be taken in by them. We can only hope that the suppuration around their wounded and infected thinking will eventually lead to a cleansing of sorts.

    Shouldn't someone organise a rehab programme for these unfortunates?

  41. Henry Joy<

    comments are moderated or are supposed to be but why should Sean's comments be moderated any more tightly than your own or anybody else's? He is as entitled to practice his ideas as anyone else on this site. That is the service it provides. And because he actually stands over his ideas, despite many people having bona fide reasons for using a moniker, his ideas will always have more standing.

    I hope people come here for the ideas that are promoted and discussed rather than to spectate on bun fights.

    If the inference to be drawn is that you advocate he be silenced so that we might not get to hear his ideas and make our own minds up about them, forget about it. Not going to happen.

    His latest piece generated a lot of discussion and it is most welcome for that.

  42. AM,

    let me be clear on this ... I do not in any way advocate for the silencing of others. Given that I read the full comment that Sean posted, as I suppose all other commentators on this thread received by email also, my short response was just, albeit uninvited, some cautionary advice. I am free to offer that by way of commentary surely? You are equally free to reflect upon it or to reject it totally out of hand. You have choices. If I see a loose cannon on the deck ought I not call it out?

    The service you provide allows commentators to review their comments after publication. If the need arises, as it sometimes does, the commentator can delete his own posts.If this option is enacted upon then other contributors can see this is what has happened. The scenario that unfolded on this occasion was somewhat different and was initially confusing for me. I was on the move a lot yesterday and didn't get a chance to review what was going on until late in the evening. My response was an off-the-cuff one. I assure you there was no inference that he be silenced.

    On reflection it seems that the moderator caught him just in time and pulled the comment.

    It does seem that when differences arise between Sean and I you're more than quick to 'chastise' good old HJ and Sean rides on. The vehemence of his comments on the last abortion thread you allowed to go totally unchecked. Maybe you should consider reconstituting the court of enquiry you and he were contemplating for me some years back lol!

    Here's the deal you moderate him and I'll continue to challenge his position as best and as respectfully as I can. Otherwise its probably going to be more of the same.

  43. Henry Joy

    Did I read you were in O'Nell's bar in Budoran celebrating Mountbatten's demise as news of Warrenpoint came in? Would that have been a 'rite fucking up them' kind of afternoon? lol

  44. Agreed Anthony, Sean the religious is a pain, 100% opposed to those and not entirely on board with all his political opinions, however unlike the bold Michael Henry(remember him?),Sean posts his genuine beliefs and does so with honesty ,you provide an open forum and hopefully will continue to do so for many a long day, keep it up a chara ..

  45. Henry Joy,

    as his comment was pulled by him almost immediately after he posted it - and for reasons not remotely related to what is being discussed above - the comment has to be treated as not having been posted. There was no pulling of the comment whatsoever at this end. Had he left it up it would still be there. He opted not to, free from any advice from me. I only object to a comment being pulled if it has prompted a response that would remain in the wake of the comment being pulled. It then has the feel of one hand clapping.

    You can call out a loose cannon if you perceive it as such. But the free ride that you get should not be abused. When a person stands up in full public view to state his case, it can come at a cost to reputation. In order to give the idea some standing he waives the use of a moniker. The poster who uses a moniker risks no reputational damage. And I think that brings a certain onus to those who use monikers to do so responsibly.

    Sean makes the same sort of complaint that you get away with it but he doesn't. I don't pay any attention to that sort of complain no matter who makes it. We let comments go unchecked for the very reason that their free flow is considered more healthy than their suppression. If there is an onus on us it is to protect the named commenter from abuse (not criticism) from the unnamed.

    You were "chastised", to use your own expression, for suggesting he be moderated. There is no more reason for his comments to be moderated than your own.

    Ads for your deal I will moderate you and him, not just him. And by moderation I mean I will post his and your comments via the moderation facility - which simply means they don't go up automatically. The contents of your comments or his will not be policed.

    Deal with his ideas as he should with yours.

  46. 'Henry Joy', you are clearly a bitter man and not wise in the head. It was myself who removed the comment and not the 'moderator' - for reasons other than what you've assumed. There was nothing in it that presents me a problem or that needs 'moderated'. What I said was a fact. I just thought it better not to introduce that other man's name - even though he is dead (not that you've much earn complaining given what you've alleged of others in your own comments, which you were more than happy to post in temper). It doesn't alter what I said in the post.

    Your real problem, I suspect, is that your carefully crafted, utterly false image of 'Henry the Enlightened', which you've been at pains to present through a never-ending sea of pseudo-intellectual guff, has been exposed as nothing other than hypocrisy. Macabre is one word I'd choose to describe your grisly antics. Hardly the actions of a man as that you pretend to be. Your mask has slipped and full well you know it. Your flailing around since is a desperate attempt to avoid reality.

  47. Marty, I have no problem with people who don't share my religious views but when they take to bombarding your Facebook Page with their silliness then sometimes it's better to delete the comments. One such comment from yourself was after my aunt had died and I posted something in her memory, which you then posted under with something that simply had no place there. I assume that my deleting of your comments, which were starting to wear thin, is what pained you at the end and why you blocked me but it's your own concern and not mine. Good luck to you regardless.

  48. AM,

    where specifically have I acted irresponsibly on this thread?

    Larry and I were having a banter. I didn't get engaged in any of the paedophile speculation for in truth that's all it is ... unproved speculation. I choose to throw in a bit of anecdotal personal experience around the Mountbatten events, nothing more. I also ignored the somewhat sectarian squabbling between Peter and Sean on children casualties.

    Sean choose to reference my comments in a post which I viewed in my email accountant but which didn't appear in the thread. (Having re-read that email I can see the wisdom of it being pulled). Had the usual protocol of where we can see the author has pulled the comment I probably wouldn't have bothered to copy and paste the bits which referenced me into the commentary. Why the protocol changed changed and how it was effected was and still is somewhat confusing to reconcile. I was working from the assumption that each other subscriber to the thread had received the same email notification as I had. I think it was fair enough to claim right of reply on what concerned me. However lets not dwell on that and I'm happy enough to draw a line under it.

    If you're going to infer I abuse Sean please be specific. My challenges are robust and yes provocative at times but this isn't nursery school! We're discussing murderous events or policies and dogma which has led to innumerable casualties over history and potentially can lead to more. This dogma and ideology needs to be dissected and turned each way and every way. Some of the positions I take I can acknowledge are challenging to the 'believers I can't for the life of me see how we're never going to get by that.

  49. Marty, part of me feels like taking that last post down before it airs but I won't and just want to add something on top for purposes of clarity. For me it's quite strange that up until that point (when I started deleting your comments if and when they had no place and were inappropriate) you had no issue with me, engaging regularly on my Facebook - and here on TPQ - without ever taking umbrage with anything regards my politics. Indeed you AGREED with them for the most part and in almost every instance. That's how it read to me and to be perfectly honest I was surprised when I realised what you'd done. I never said anything previously, though many times I felt like asking what happened, as this is the first time you've said anything about or to me in the time since. Only for that I wouldn't be commenting on the matter. This is a conversation I'd prefer not to be having but it is what it is at this point. And I understand of course that when you give your opinions, as I do, that it will not be to everyone's taste or liking. I would have enjoyed that pint we often spoke of having in the Drowes, going over the greats of Gaelic Football then and now, but c'est la vie and no harm done. When all's said, I respect your honesty - always have - even though it comes on this occasion at my expense. Adh mhór agus Thír Eoghain Abú a chara.

  50. Henry Joy,

    I don't think you behaved particularly irresponsibly on this thread. I make a general point as to how people who use monikers should conduct their business. Calling a named contributor a crackpot is point scoring rather than point making. Not that we will get particularly excised about it. If you were using your own name and not a moniker and taking the same risks as Sean takes in terms of risking a loss of face or facing ridicule, I would be much more nonchalant about it all. The question is: do you feel it is right to expose him to a risk you do not expose yourself to in these sort of exchanges? There is no pressure being exerted on you to use your own name but there is an expectation to behave responsibly with it. And part of behaving responsibly is not seeking to expose a named contributor to ridicule. I don't think you seem to get that. Or maybe you don't want to get it.

  51. Marty,

    to be fair to Sean he tends to leave all that religious stuff off this blog. Go and read the dross from Wolfsbane and then you will get a sense of how dispiriting it is to have to post that gunk. I don't even read it. The eyes glaze over and I hit the upload button.

  52. Henry Joy

    Best hope Tain Bo doesn't spot that admission of yours. He will be like two guns Doc Halliday, 'I got two knives, one for each of ya'. lol

  53. Lol Anthony , Sean a chara if memory serves me well and it usually does up to this point in time I deleted any and all religious commentators on my timeline ,principally it was because of the constant crap (as I read it from a muslim doctor and her constant reference to Allah )religion in any form apart from FSM just bores the fuck clean outa me .my puter was running slower than a quisling $inner out of the subsidised Stormont restaurant,and travelling back and forth from Scotland , Leitrim, and Donegal this last two years has tied my time down and yes I may not entirely agree with you politically we are not that far apart,funny enough we are travelling to Donegal/Leitrim this week and shall drown a few worms in lough Melvin followed by a few pints in sunny B,shall pick Anthony up a bottle of falling down water in grateful thanks for all the reading material he supplies ,we will have that chat and maybe even a few jars and indeed wouldn't it be great to see the Ulster counties footballers back on top again ,it will happen,sin é

  54. Marty a chara, fair enough - knew it was something along those lines. That aside, first round on Larry Hughes should we ever get that long overdue session organised...

  55. Larry,

    death is becoming a more and more attractive option that anymore of this thread!!
    Time to close the door on this one.

  56. Sean Bres/Marty

    Not even a problem... no wives permitted!! My one and only stipulation. Maybe we can got o O'Neill's in Bundoran for Mountbatten's anniversary?

    Henry Joy

    Get 12 or 14 beers down yer neck and slate the be-jaysus out of a GGA funeral, THEN tell me about death being a preferable option or self loathing and revulsion. I was afraid to get the bus to Dublin in case John McGirr had organised a road block at the Ballygawley roundabout. You my good man are still only an apprentice! lol

  57. O'Neill's is long gone Larry - even the auction house further up town is gone now to my knowledge (was sold upon Joe's passing). Hungerstrike Commemoration is on Sunday 26th August. That would be the weekend for it if it were ever to be done.

  58. Larry O,Neills is also like Monthy Python,s parrot no more ..its called the Emerald as it was when we called in, Big Joe exited stage left a few years ago now,As for Mountbatten I,m still trying to complete the jigsaw several thousand bits missing though,,,,

  59. Sean Bres / Marty,

    August 26 sounds like a potential plan. We can mingle with all them terrorist types and wanabees and very questionable sorts. It just goes to show Marty I never look up at the name above a pub door. More like a turbo charge, tunnel vision, shortest route to the Guinness pump, head down like a bloodhound and wee legs going like a cross between the Anthill Mob and the Flintstones. We should entice Frankie on here along too. I may very well spoil myself to a room with a view in the HollyROD. With breakfast of course, which I can throw up about Donegal town square on the way home.