How Sad And Delusional The Last Twenty Years

Larry Hughes endorses some ideas of Sean Bresnahan.

It is doing no harm to keep the focus on unification and a potential referendum/border poll.

We can hardly wait on the likes of Bertie Ahern advocating a 60% RC majority in the wee 6 before that is undertaken. Obviously the Soldiers of Destiny want another lengthy spell fleecing the 26 counties and the EU, undisturbed by such triviality as national sovereignty. Bertie should follow his own advice of some years ago just before he stepped off the Celtic Tiger express train he deliberately slammed into the buffers.

The pressure you and the 1916 Societies are creating has already shown its first little shoots of success. It is important to note that SF who have sat idly by for a decade while the DUP fleeced the wee 6 and the UK treasury, has had to react to the groundswell of public opinion regarding Stormont corruption and ineptitude. Adams is aware that nationalists in the north won't take the abuse from unionists that his MLAs soaked up. His assertion in recent days that no return to the status quo at Stormont is the reality and not a negotiating tactic and that if there wasn't an election then joint authority was the only acceptable option is significant. It is perhaps proof that, if incapable of actually 'leading', SF has at least the capacity to detect the political mood. It has become clear that the 'leadership' of nationalism in the wee 6 needs to be pressured and directed from the electorate itself. So, keep the pressure up. They will react.

Also, what you are doing is a much better venture than dressing up in military garb and parading pointlessly around various towns and graveyards attempting to look menacing rather than like the state agents many believe a considerable number of those involved to be. That carry on with all the horrific revelations about agents and scoundrels galore does little good at this stage. Who wants their children involved in or at the mercy of such evil? People want away from that, not a return to it.

Those of us 'mere-mortals' who by common sense or sheer good fortune (or a combination of both) had nothing to do with republicanism since the 94-96 surrender and who watched with shock and awe the arrival of the GFA can all count our collective good fortune. We have survived unblemished politically the lies from left right and centre within the Republican Movement in the run up to the 94 ceasefire and the evil that prevailed back then amongst the so-called leadership. Our recent history has shown us beyond doubt that secret societies and the 'corner of the mouth' whispering brigade with the untouchables (British agents) in control is not the way forward. Quite amazingly some of those who have overseen the decommissioning, support for the RUC and all the other capitulations of the Provos still live mentally in the era where they had authority over mere underlings. How sad and delusional is that twenty plus years on? And how dangerous!

This new investigation under way in the North may lead to the unearthing of even more historical evil. New revelations and possible jail time for top ranking Provos just over the horizon looks like a distinct possibility. The British are hardly investing £26 million to jail their own soldiers. Who would bet against Barra McGrory presently being engaged in digging his own grave? They haven't totally gone away you know. It will all be something best observed from afar. Far, far, Afar!

Dignified commemorations of those who sadly sacrificed/wasted their lives for an 'equality' agenda (as now stated ) and what you are doing towards a democratic border poll is sound and provides the best and safest way forward for nationalists wanting to apply pressure for unification.

I for one wish you every continued success.


  1. Very interesting Larry....liked that about the parading and agents abound. I know of one 'top' dissident who never fired a shot and as far as I am aware has never been arrested yet his minions flaff around him...may be it's because their stupid or like playing at Volunteers without the threat of prison or actually doing something!
    As for the border's momentum is dying and the investigation, that will go the way of Maria Cahills investigation and O'Neill will be sitting in Stormont...McGrory is digging a grave alright but not his own you can be rest assured of that.

  2. Larry,

    the last twenty years were hardly as sad or delusional as compared with the thirty previous ones.
    By what measures could we evaluate the differences?
    In terms of sadness we'd have to first look at the casualty lists; the numbers killed and the numbers of catastrophic injuries. We'd have to count the numbers incarcerated and compare sentences served. Were the last twenty years sadder really?
    When it comes to delusion we'd have to reality-test the various aspirations and goals of conflicting parties for probable achievement. Realistically, the probable odds always lay in Unionism's favour. Britain was unlikely to have ever been coerced or to be seen to have been coerced by militant republicanism. What wasn't likely to have been won on the field of battle was never likely to be ceded in negotiation. Militant republicanism blinded by delusion repeatedly fails to grasp such thorny realities. To the degree that adherence to old shibboleth has receded over the last twenty years I'd contend that the quantity and quality of delusion has waned considerably too. There are still many cultural republicans and yet most are much more thoughtful and pragmatic in their considerations and less trenchant in their aspirations. For many its become a somewhat ambivalent identity issue rather than a doctrinaire position.

    Whereas I can accept the legitimate right which the Societies have to peacefully pursue their idolised republic, I'd contend that to accredit success to their efforts is delusional in its generosity. Changes in circumstances; Brexit and SF snapping at FF's heels have brought conversations about Unification to the table once again not any great consciousness raising from Sean and crew!

    If unity in any shape or form ever should come about it'll be far removed from Sean's and his ilk's ideal. I'd wager the house and the farm on that Larry.

  3. Thanks Larry. It seems to me the wheels of change are already in motion. Who is steering the bus is a problem at present but as you suggest in your article, those we are talking about are not immune to the wants and attitudes of the public. For groups like ourselves to succeed we must begin interacting with others of like mind, building a consensus together that can impact on power in the manner you suggest. There is still much to play for in Ireland rest assured - and that's not just in relation to the north. Change is not only required but is now harkened after by an ever-increasing number across the board and throughout all of this country. This will speed its own dynamic over the months and years to come. The hope must be that in time people will see the benefits that a 'New Republic' has to offer us all and that there is nothing to fear in this regard.

  4. Henry Joy

    In you haste to be critical you missed the thrust of it all. The delusion mentioned is that of those who oversaw 30 years of chaos, surrendered shamelessly but still retain an air of authority in their own heads. Read it again ten times for homework!

  5. Henry JoY 'Ilk' is a nasty word, rude and angry, reducing a person to a thing. In your cryptic response it sticks out like a sore thumb. What does not stick out is your any sense of your 'ideal'.

    Isn't it funny that one of your assumptions is correct i.e Brexit may have brought the issue of 'unification' to a head is one 'Sean crew' have constantly said. It is also funny that your other assumption i.e SF and FF etc had nothing to do with Brexit and everything to do with corrupting ideals and riding on the backs of opportunities.

  6. James,

    ilk can equally refer to a person or to a thing of similar nature or qualities. Nothing derogatory intended.

    Workable sustainable solutions take precedent over idealised and idolised guff.

  7. Just the type of analysis that should be expected from a Sinn Fein voter, be it latter day.
    Not too sure if people dressing up and walking through towns has any serious correlations with British Agents? Wooolifs in sheep's clothing might be out there, but I'm not sure that's quite how they are pinpointed.
    There's nothing wrong with Republicanism going back to its roots, and in doing so encompassing every aspect of a Republicanism including those in prison North and South,of the much discussed border.
    Any sort of poll depends on the acquiescence of the British, and that acquiescence in turn depends on the political climate. Britain still call the proverbial shots, the party you voted for Larry, Sinn Fein copperfastened that.

  8. The only 'guff' on this thread is the tired, defeatist nonsense that a New Republic is not a 'sustainable solution'. The trouble with those like 'Henry Joy' is they have convinced themselves of their own bullshit to the point it is now their mantra. There is certainly something bordering on fanatical regards his self-flagellating commentary on this site.

    Despite his constant playing down of the emerging strategic environment, there will be a United Ireland - whether in 5 years or 25. There is no doubt about that. The task for ourselves, as republicans of varying hue and who wish to see a sustainable solution, is to start imagining what that Ireland will look like - how it can best cherish all the children of the nation, in our differing identities and traditions, in an Irish Republic for all. To see this continually cast as idealistic or clinging to the past never ceases to amaze. What does not, however, is to see the slave mentality alive and well. It's par for the course unfortunately.

    The election upcoming will be reduced to a sectarian headcount - as will EVERY election going forward as nationalism continues to 'narrow the gap'. Stability will prove impossible against that backdrop and something will eventually have to give. Unionism should save us all the hassle and cut a deal now, bringing forward, through agreement with the rest of us, the New Ireland - an Ireland of the Planter and the Gael, based on rights for all in a progressive republic.

    Those who cling to the defeatist belief this is not what is coming anyway are stuck in the old ways of thinking that took root during the 20 years just past that Larry has written about. As Britain exits EU would be the ideal timing for all of this but of course this remains highly unlikely - if only for now. History is on our side no matter and a United Ireland is only a matter of time.

  9. Fionnuala

    It is the nature of 'politics' in the North that it is a sectarian headcount. SF offer little other than a measurement of the Nationalist vote. Republicans dreaming of Catholic Protestant and Dissenter (fairy-tale stuff) may not like a good old sectarian head count, but it is what it is. Theresa May has just announced another one in June. Republicanism provides us with many alternative groupings, the SF Deviant republicanism versus Dissident republicanism being the main two. But only the SF Deviants offer candidates standing against the Loyalists/unionists. Sean and the bhoys will want to get busy, until an alternative is offered I will continue to vote for the Deviants.

    As for going back to its roots, REALLY!? So we can expect a storming of Stormont or taking over of the sorting office in Belfast Tomb Street is it? Appropriate address for physical force republicanism. The saturation of paramilitaries has been well documented. What people were shocked at was how many were/are in place at the highest levels for so long. It is not a matter of ridicule or slander, just sad reality. It was ever thus. That is why to avoid fall guys victims and cute hoor tout careerism, democratic lawful agitation is the way forward. Not dressing up in army surplus for a day out. No offence intended BTW.

  10. Apologies that I lost the grasp of the point you were making in relation to people dressing up, you were actually saying those dressed up were or are potential informers trying to look menacing?
    I actually thought you meant uniforms were the first clue to unearthing a potential agent, which I considered to be both naive and bemusing.
    Predicting that Republicanism has nothing more to offer than a Scappaticci spiral is as denigrating as it gets, and is very much in keeping with the theory of normalisation being peddled out there by those adhering to the status quo.
    The policy that devised normalisation, criminalisation and Ulsterisation might have been British manufactured, however it has now become the language chosen by those who are seemingly lining up to lambast anyone or anything that deviates from a very British normalisation mandate.
    Unrepentant and unapologetic Republicans are stigmatised and criminalised in a way Gardiner couldn't have hoped for in his wildest dreams. The British destruction of Republicanism hasn't come solely from the British, but has been aided and abetted by those who precarious float and vote fair weatherly.
    Anyone who supports Sinn Fein and realistically talks about infiltration of any group or spy manifestation, has to be suffering from 'big picture' delusional syndrome, that has driven lesser mortals than Fear an Phobail insane......

  11. Fionnuala

    Like it or lump it flogging the military option to death repeatedly holds no attraction to anyone but the sado-masochist. Until republicans present an electoral alternative to deviant SF to confront unionism at the ballot box then then the deviants will get the vote. Over to you!

  12. 'Democratic and lawful agitation is the way forward.' That's precisely what Sinn Fein have told us since the the deviated from revolution to reform and I would be interested to hear from you or anyone what has been achieved in those 20 years, since they first stated it?
    Larry mocking people who failed to fall in with Sinn Fein's 'time out call' isn't a novel idea it is actually been around a long time.
    I grew up in a Republican family and we were viewed by the constitutional nationalists and those who believed in law abiding agitation as being socially unacceptable.
    My Da taught Irish, promoted the GAA, ran local the Fheis, but his downside for many, as was the case with my mother, they were both unapologetic Republicans.
    Then 1969 came and all of a sudden we were in vogue, Horray!!!. Suddenly everyone wanted to hear about Republicanism and all the great Republican daring tales.
    Suddenly it was no longer just our home being raided by Special Branch, the British Army were now dealing relentlessly with the new recruits and Republican disciples.
    That brand of Republicanism I grew up with always be on the table for me, and whether people like it or loathe it, that is my roots.
    The people of 1916 dressed in uniform Larry, and they were laughed at jeered and spat upon, which means realistically, there isn't anything that Republicans will hear or read now that hasn't been said by constitutional nationalism, the British and precarious detractors.
    Maybe if your piece had of been balanced instead of scathing in terms of recognising why Republicans are still going to prison it might have been more digestible.
    Do you believe the causes that drove the 'conflict' have been removed? Would you be aware that Republicans are hounded and can't exist in terms of citizenship or work and basically freely movement?
    We have interment by remand, the revoking of that sickening term 'licence', secrets courts, secret evidence and stitch ups by political demand.
    We have Republicans awaiting trial for saying 'join the IRA' , it's back to the days of 'Defence of the Realm' and the unpalatable mechanisms that were designed to keep everything Irsh and dissenting down, and people are expected to sit back in their easy chairs and take it?
    Revisionism driven by the the policy of normalisation has had unrepentant Republicanism in its sights for a long time. Sadly it's isn't the British who are now at the fore in unpacking every semblance of what was a proud ideal. It gushes from the mouths of those who claim to have their face set against the partitionist mindset, the very people who spent a lifetime criticising the SDLP?

  13. How come 20 years? One could go back and back and pronounce the same verdict on Ireland's history of corrupted, dishonest, immoral, politics. However, the present political scene has not progressed one inch. It is hard to find any good in the system and in all those who take part. We give out about spies, informers and agent provocateurs but as if it was the past but don't realise that this is part and parcel of the system and those organisations that strive to compete in the bastion of corruption. If not already the system sucks them in, like the adage 'business is business' and for some reason they can justify it's immorality.

    Anybody, organisation and even revolutionary armies need principles, ideals, honesty, humility and moral values. Once these are transgressed then we are no better than that which we fight against. As far as I can see this was the fundamental flaw in 'IRA' leadership and campaign and it is the flaw of SF today.

    Any alternative organisation standing for freedom, equality and justice must practice what it preaches even in the most adverse circumstances and they must instill this into young impressionable minds.

  14. Sean,

    to some extent we all inhabit our own bubbles.
    My own bubble was somewhat enlarged last weekend taking me from my rural retreat here in the west to county Wexford. On my journey there and back, visits to restaurants, coffee-shops and several crowded public locations I never saw a sole person spurting an Easter Lilly. Yet you'd try and tell us there's a republican heart beating throughout the land ... if we'd only listen!

    You're way of your rocker Sean if you really believe that there's going to be a United Ireland, at least of the type you aspire to. The 'New Ireand', should one ever come about will be closer to the one that Peter, the former UDR man, has envisioned on here. Its more than likely, even under new arrangements, your kids and grand-kids will be presenting their documents to the PSNI (maybe in the event of new changes it'll be known as The Police Service of Ulster, PNU) rather than to the Gardaí.

    I don't necessarily decry fidelity to an ideal Sean. Its just that I place a higher value on understanding, reason and learning. When you grow up you'll find its what most adults do.

    James Q.

    'and they must instill this into young impressionable minds.'

    Firstly James re-read the last part of my comment to Sean.
    Most people, at least those who aren't in the throes of some mental obsession, would want their young folk to become individuals in their own right and be capable of their own critical thinking.
    Like, I guess several others round here, I know how such inculcation and indoctrination produced legions of boy-soldiers. Get a grip of yourself James before opening your gob!

  15. Fionnuala

    The IRA had abandoned armed struggle after the pathetic 1950s border campaign. The people of the six counties rejected them then and their armed activity. The British poured petrol on the ashes instead of letting it die. Republicanism did not become popular in itself, a means of fighting back against what was unleashed by the Brits and Stormont suddenly became popular and necessary. Does republicanism have to be violent in nature regardless of the circumstances? Catholic Protestant and Dissenter is your motto, why not persuade the Prods, they have admitted they need RC votes to save the Union. People are in jail now because the only thing going on that anyone can see apart from dozens of people walking down the street in Derry dressed in combat gear is phone calls to the cops. Yes the men of 1916 wore uniforms, they also fought. I don't see any comparison to be honest, other than as a 'tribute' parade. I see RNU are decommissioning. Hardly a relief to anyone, more damage was done by the odd sawn-off shotgun in a bad weekend back in the day than they have managed in two decades.

    The IRA of the 50s disbanded in a dignified manner, the Provos were a disgrace, lying to their own and grovelling to the Brits at every turn. There may be an opening for a principled republican alternative, but jack-booting around town in self adoration isn't the way to promote it. Standing in the corner alone saying I am correct and until you all admit and accept it I am not playing ball with anyone is a road to no-town. What else do you have to say apart from 'I'm right - everyone else is wrong'?

    James Quigley

    'and they must instill this into young impressionable minds.'

    The Hitler youth I think you are suggesting.

  16. Fionnuala,

    apologies for the gender-bias in my previous comment.

    Inculcation and indoctrination produced child-soldiers. Obviously females were not spared falling prey to it either.

  17. Henry JoY
    I see you aspire to the right to critical thinking. Does that right trickle down to gobbing it even though we may not be as grounded or mature as yourself?

    No, I was not suggesting that but rather passing on by example and deed the 'higher value on understanding,reason and learning' as Henry JoY referred to.

  18. James,

    each time we post we expose our position to challenge. You have the right to express yourself as you see fit ... and the rest of us have the right to respond should we choose to.
    I'd still make a distinction between education and indoctrination and I read your comment as advocating for the latter. (As it seems Larry did too).

  19. Larry,

    "The IRA had abandoned armed struggle after the pathetic 1950s border campaign. The people of the six counties rejected them then and their armed activity. The British poured petrol on the ashes instead of letting it die. "

    Don't forget my lot were whipped up into a fear frenzy about a supposed renewed IRA campaign by religious bigots, we were then told the Civil Rights march was just a cover story for this and perhaps inevitably immense tragedy for all of us ensued.

    It didn't help but is perfectly understandable as to why former IRA old school members got involved.

    Hindsight is always 20/20 of course, but what sh*t's me is that NEITHER community had anything! Squalid housing, few prospects (no jobs in the shipyard for catholics-no chance of further education for working class prods-still not). I can still remember the cobble stoned streets, outdoor bogs that would freeze the arse off you and the horse and cart that would bring the coal. Those memories make me want a working class movement free of religion.

    Why'd I move to Oz again? lol

  20. Steve R

    Absolutely agree. Paisley and Gusty Spence and false fleg attacks all played into a Pandora's box being flung violently open and all 'Gerry and the Peacemakers' wanted all along was equality within the UK. Go figure!