He said he noticed that the 'old hands' were standing at the back & seemed to keep their distance except when Gerry Kelly took the podium to support the non-jury courts motion.
I thought this was ironic given that back in late 1976, while I was on remand in Crumlin Road jail before the Blanket Protest, there was a table in C Wing known as the 'back table' or 'touts table'.
It was a table, or tables, set aside for young IRA prisoners who had broke in the barracks often during terrible beatings. It was a disgraceful practice which was stopped after strong opposition almost resulted in fighting out in the exercise yard.
The journalist told me that after Gerry Kelly supported the non-jury courts motion he took his place at the back again (the touts table).
He also said that during a break in proceedings he caught a brief sight of Duckser wagging a finger at Mary Lou, clearly not pleased at something or other. She was wise to the fact that they might be seen and quickly walked off.
Whether it is true or not is debatable but what is not debatable is that the Boys and Girls of the Old Brigade have slowly been pushed to the back table, their days of selling out the struggle for the coin is almost nearing it's end.
Their usefulness is almost over and they are now seen as being the stain in Sinn Féin's new suit of clothes.
Many are now in their mid-sixties or older so it won't take much of a push to get rid of those who think that they still have power in Sinn Féin Nua. The others might be allowed to play the part of the old soldier, like those in the British Legion, at anniversaries.
Then again these things might be seen as being too Republican for the Sinn Féin Nua ...