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January 15, 2005

01/15/05 – Raid Could Have Been Crossroads With IRA

Overall Table of Contents
Table of Contents - Jan 2005

IT 01/15/05 Raid Could Have Been 'Crossroads With The IRA'
IT 01/15/05 Griffith's Legacy: The Competing Claims
IT 01/15/05 Provo Claim To SF Legacy Based On Brazen Falsehood
IT 01/15/05 Prostitute (17) Was Accompanied By Mother

The Northern bank robbery is turning out to the biggest whodunnit in our troubled history. Sinn Fein continue to deny IRA involvement, but no-one else is convinced. This week Martin McGuinness expresses Republican anger in the face of the concerted accusations. We ask can the whole jigsaw can be put back together again, or is it time to think again?


Raid Could Have Been 'Crossroads With The IRA'

Mark Hennessy, Political Correspondent

The Northern Bank robbery would have been a "crossroads" in the relationship between Sinn Féin's political leadership and the IRA if the IRA had said they carried it out, Sinn Féin leader Mr Gerry Adams has said.

In an interview in today's Village magazine, Mr Adams said he was "quite frankly beyond caring" whether people believed him or not when he said he did not know about the robbery in advance.

He said he had believed the declarations made to him by a senior IRA figure that the organisation was not involved in the pre-Christmas robbery, which netted the gang more than £26 million in new and used notes.

"If the IRA had told us that they did it then I think that that would have been a crossroads [ in our relationship with the IRA] for the likes of me and those of us who are in the political leadership," Mr Adams said.

The IRA, he said, had waited for days until after the robbery to deny involvement: "So presumably the persons who issued this [ denial] had plenty of time to check the facts," he told Village.

"Clearly this isn't an individual IRA volunteer or something happening in some local command. This is a big operation. For anybody to contemplate within the IRA doing such a job was just to kill off the peace process and one thing that can be said about the IRA leadership is that it is supportive of this peace process," said Mr Adams.

Following repeated questioning, Mr Adams said republicans holding information about the robbers should pass that "to a respected member of the community".

"If they make the judgment that that is a garda, that's fair enough." However, he refused to issue the same call to republicans to pass information to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

"I do have a problem going to the PSNI but if people have information and they feel they should give it to the police, they should give it to a respected member of their community," he said.

Speaking in the Mansion House last night at the launch of a year of celebrations to mark Sinn Féin's 100th birthday, Mr Adams said the party was being attacked by its enemies once more.

"Predictably enough the year begins with Sinn Féin once again under attack. Can any one here remember a time - any time - when the usual suspects weren't lined up against us.

"The political establishment was at it 100 years ago. The media establishment was at it 100 years ago. If those who founded Sinn Féin were alive today and watching recent events they would conclude that the more things change the more some things remain the same.

"Well, those who vilified and excluded us need look no further than tonight as evidence of the failure of their strategy," he told up to 1,000 supporters who attended the gathering.

"We are back in the Mansion House bigger and stronger, and better than ever," said Mr Adams, who warned other political parties that "they have seen nothing yet".

Sinn Féin, he told the gathering which included former taoiseach, Mr Albert Reynolds, and foreign diplomats, must form a cumann in every electoral ward in the Republic, attract more women and promote them.

Gerry Moriarty Northern Editor writes The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Ahern, and Northern Secretary Mr Paul Murphy will meet in Dublin on Monday to begin charting a way around the current political shambles triggered by the alleged IRA £26.5 million robbery of the Northern Bank.

The issue of possible sanctions against Sinn Féin is likely to arise when the two ministers meet in Iveagh House but no definitive decision will be taken on this matter until after the Taoiseach, Mr Ahern, and British Prime Minister Mr Tony Blair meet at the end of this month or in February, sources said.

Mr Gerry Adams has stated that he expects Sinn Féin to be penalised by the British government over the Northern Bank robbery, and that he also expects the Government to support whatever action is taken by London.

While Mr Adams this week complained that he was being cold-shouldered by the British and Irish governments, Mr Ahern and Mr Blair nonetheless are prepared to meet him in the coming weeks. Mr Ahern's spokeswoman said that the Taoiseach would meet Mr Adams shortly after he returns tomorrow week from his visit to China.

© The Irish Times


Griffith's Legacy: The Competing Claims

Mark Hennessy

Sinn Féin is generally taken to have been established by Arthur Griffith in November 1905, following the publication of a document which argued that the 1801 Act of Union was illegal.

Before the year is out, most of the major political parties of today will have claimed some part of his legacy as their own. Last night, the Sinn Féin of today led by Gerry Adams was the first to do so.

Fianna Fáil said last night it would be commemorating the 100th anniversary of Sinn Féin with a series of events aimed at the party membership and general public. "The events will seek to emphasise the link between the principles of traditional republicanism and modern republicanism as espoused by the Fianna Fáil party," an FF spokeswoman said.

Because the Act of Union was illegal, Griffith argued that the dual monarchy which existed after Henry Grattan's 1782 triumph, when he refuted Westminster's claim to legislate for Ireland, was still in force. In the years before the War of Independence, the Sinn Féin tag was used to describe anyone who disagreed with the mainstream constitutional politics of the day.

The surviving leaders, led by Éamon de Valera, took over the party following the 1916 Rising, though the party nearly split the following year between its monarchist and republican factions.

In a last-minute deal, the party's ardfheis agreed to back the establishment of an independent republic, following which voters could decide whether they wanted a monarchy or republic. This was subject to the condition that if the public decided to choose a monarchy, no member of the British royal family would serve as head of state.

Boosted by popular revulsion at the 1916 executions, Sinn Féin won 70 per cent of the Irish seats in the December 1918 elections.

Sinn Féin split after the Treaty, with pro- Treatyites forming Cumann na nGaedheal.

In 1926, it fractured again when de Valera left to form Fianna Fáil after he failed to get Sinn Féin to agree to a motion recognising the Free State.

Following the outbreak of the Northern Troubles, the party broke apart in the early 1970s once more, with some leaving to form Provisional Sinn Féin and the IRA. The party rump, known first as Official Sinn Féin, became Sinn Féin the Workers' Party, then the Workers' Party, then Democratic Left, before its members finally joined the Labour Party.

© The Irish Times


Provo Claim To SF Legacy Based On Brazen Falsehood

The Provisionals are not Griffith's heirs, writes Michael McDowell, Minister for Justice.

Any claim by the Provisional movement to be the inheritors of the legacy of Sinn Féin founded by Arthur Griffith in November 1905 is as bogus and discredited as, say, their claim not to have been involved in the Enniskillen bombing or their president's claim never to have been in the IRA.

What we are witnessing this weekend is the start of an attempt to fool the gullible into accepting a brazen falsehood in terms of fact.

The Sinn Féin party founded by Arthur Griffith in 1905, as any historical study will show, developed and mutated and divided into the mainstream parties of the independent Irish State. Those who combined to build it into the representative party of Irish nationalism carrying mass support between 1917 and 1921 never abandoned the democratic principles on which it was founded.

As nationalists and republicans, they believed that legitimacy derived from popular support and not from ideological purity. Griffith, Collins, de Valera and Cosgrave all, in their own way, believed that the cornerstone of the independent Irish State which they brought about was the ongoing support of the people of that State and the democratic control of its institutions by the elected representative of that people. Each, in his own time, used representative democracy and the rule of law to progress the establishment firstly of independence and subsequently of a republican constitution for Ireland.

For the Provisionals to claim any right of succession to the actions of Arthur Griffith in 1905 is pure fantasy and sinister propaganda. The founders of independent Ireland would have been shocked to see the cynical rip-off of the name of their democratic movement by the Provos.

We have seen in the last 40 years the communist takeover of the bogus Sinn Féin party, creating in turn Sinn Féin (Gardiner Place), Sinn Féin the Workers' Party, and the Workers' Party. The process of subdivision went on in parallel, yielding Sinn Féin (Kevin Street), Republican Sinn Féin (RSF) and Provisional Sinn Féin.

Gerry Adams's claim to be president of the party founded by Arthur Griffith is as sham and as bogus as the same claim made by Ruairí Ó Brádaigh of RSF. Each of them is president of a party using the label. But nothing more. Neither of them is the political successor of Arthur Griffith.

Nor, for that matter, is Seán Garland the secretary-general of the party founded 100 years ago next November by Griffith.

The truth, of course, is that the attempt by the Provisionals to hijack the centenary of Griffith's Sinn Féin is nothing to do with any empathy with Griffith or what he stood for or stood against.

It is to do with popularising the delusion that the Provisionals, in the guise of the IRA, are the legitimate government of an all-Ireland republic founded in 1916 and betrayed by the vast majority of the Irish people.

Contrary to popular belief, the 1916 Rising was not a "Sinn Féin rebellion" (as the British and unionists described it). It was an IRB rebellion. And the IRB mainly went pro-Treaty some six years later.

The Provisionals believe that the Provisional IRA is the legal successor to the First and Second Dáils and that the actions of the IRA are the legitimate actions of the Irish people authorised by their lawful government.

That is why Gerry Adams maintains that the shooting of Jean McConville in the head and the shooting down of Jerry McCabe at Adare, among countless cowardly atrocities, are not crimes.

The Provisionals require their members to believe that the IRA will continue to be the lawful government of Ireland until it hands over its powers to the elected government of a 32-county socialist state.

Their internal documents reveal that this doctrine is the cornerstone of their movement - requiring acceptance as an "ethical fact" by all volunteers.

Sinn Féin, as part of the Provisional movement, silently but relentlessly acts on that "ethical fact" as justification for the IRA's actions. The party, as the Independent Monitoring Commission has pointed out, has a joint leading elite with the IRA and defers to the IRA, never criticising it.

The Marxist agenda of leading Provos is carefully concealed and only hinted at it in the use of the euphemistic term, "socialist republic".

Hints are to be found in Sinn Féin's close relationship with the FARC (the guerrilla wing of Colombia's communist party), the maintenance of a full-time party representative in Castro's communist Cuba, and the use of Marxist images by Ógra Sinn Féin. All of the leading ideologues of the Provos are classical Marxists.

Those views have nothing at all to do with pre-independence Sinn Féin.

In one sense, the Provos' attempts to celebrate the centenary of Arthur Griffith's foundation of Sinn Féin are a shabby, pathetic and threadbare charade, and should be treated as such. So much more Provo mendacity.

But at another level this attempt should serve as a warning to all democrats. Truth, lives, rights, and even history are expendable in pursuit of the Provos' goals.

They rob; they kill; they mutilate; they torture; they extort; they arm; they spy; they lie; they rewrite our history - all in our name.

They are seeking our benediction for their campaign by every propaganda means at their disposal.

The great majority of Irish people - North and South - do not want the Marxist socialist republic which they are planning. That majority voted overwhelmingly in simultaneous referendums to endorse the principle that a united Ireland will come about only by the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland freely given.

They put reconciliation of Orange and Green on this island in priority to paper unification. That decision is still not accepted by the Provos.

If the generation that built Arthur Griffith's Sinn Féin from modest beginnings into the vanguard of the Irish movement for independence and democracy were here to witness their legacy being hijacked by the Provos, they would warn the Irish people to turn their backs on the Provos.

© The Irish Times


Prostitute (17) Was Accompanied By Mother

A teenage girl worked as a prostitute with the full knowledge of her mother and in the presence of her six-year-old sister, a court has been told.

The 17-year-old had been accompanied by her mother and sister when she was engaged in an act of prostitution in a laneway with a 50-year-old man, the Dublin Children's Court was told yesterday.

Judge Catherine Murphy heard that the girl's mother may also be prosecuted for her involvement. The girl claimed that her mother was present to "mind her" and prevent her from getting pregnant.

She had been charged last week under section 7 of the Criminal Law Sexual Offences Act for loitering in a public place with intent to solicit or importune another person for the purposes of prostitution, at Stoneybatter, on January 3rd. She was granted bail on strict conditions compelling her to obey a nightly curfew and to stay away from Benburb Street, a red-light district.

However, Judge Murphy heard yesterday that the girl had been re-arrested for breaching these bail conditions.

Garda Mathew McKenna said that she had been in breach of the curfew. He had called to her residence, a B&B, during curfew hours and was told by her mother that she had gone out to buy drugs. He objected to bail, saying there were significant concerns for her welfare.

Garda McKenna said that when the girl was arrested she had "been engaged in an act of prostitution" with a middle-aged man. The girl's mother was present as well as another daughter, aged six, he said.

He said a file was being prepared for the DPP. "We followed the accused and her mother and another child down a lane, with a man aged 50. We believe that her mother was involved with her, and a child aged six."

The distraught girl begged the judge for bail. "I want to go home to my mother and sister. I learned my lesson, I don't want to go back to prison," she said. She said of her mother: "She was minding me, making sure I don't get pregnant."

Judge Murphy noted that in a probation report last year concerns had been raised that the girl was at risk of getting involved in prostitution. "It is a very sobering report indeed and the concerns anticipated seem to have materialised," she said. "This is a matter for the health board to become involved very quickly." She remanded the girl in custody until next week for her own safety. "I would be putting you at huge risk if I were to let you out today," she told the weeping girl.

The girl said: "I love my mother; I just want to go back to my mother."

© The Irish Times

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Table of Contents - Jan 2005
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