Hunger striker dies

I was saddened to learn about the untimely death of former 1981 Hunger Striker Matt Devlin. Sinn Féin General Secretary and MLA for Foyle Mitchel McLaughlin, has this evening expressed his sorrow at the death of former hunger striker Matt Devlin. Martin McGuinness has also expressed his sorrow at Matt's death.
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"It is with deep regret that I learned of the death of Tyrone Republican and Hunger striker Matt Devlin today. Matt was on both the blanket protest and the hunger strike in the summer of 1981.

"On behalf of Sinn Féin I want to extend my deepest sympathy to Matt's family and friends."

Matt lasted 52 days on Hunger Strike and joined the strike on 14 July 1981.

On behalf of the Balrog team I would like to offer Matt's family our deepest sympathies and indeed all of our Tyrone comrades during this difficult time.

A true Republican and comrade.

A chuit de Phàras da!


The great eye is ever watchful

Just popped in to Balrog HQ to see how you all are doing. I realise that I have been quiet for the last week but I am flat out working. I may not be commentating or posting a lot but I am watching, always watching.

I noticed that a few trolls have entered and they have been banned.
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I have neither the time nor the energy for trolls!

I told you some time ago that I would be making a few changes to Balrog and there will be some in January.

Balrog will be a trinity no more!

Don't worry, no one is leaving but we will be getting a couple of new additions. Some of them will be virgins to the whole blogging experience so I would ask that you show some latitude in this respect.

It has been a good year for Balrog and for Bloglaigh Na hÉireann as a whole.

When the Sunday Tribune describes you as "foaming at the mouth" then you know you are on to a winner.

It has been a mixed year for Republicans, we have had highs and lows but we continue on. We will face tougher challenges in the year ahead with an Assembly election and possibly a General Election in the 26 counties.

With our new arrivals I suspect a new dimension will be added to Balrog and the temperature will definitely increase. I always encourage provocative posts and I know this is something our new additions are keen to embrace.

I would like to wish you all a happy New Year

Jude's right

Jude Collins has an excellent article in the Daily Ireland in which he exposes the hypocrisy of many of our so-callled leaders in society. Hugh Orde, the SDLP and Berite Ahern come in for criticism. Jude was absolutely spot on as he showed the SDLP's hypocrisy over the OTR issue for exactly what it was;

So in deciding if policy finds verification on the ground, let’s address a few more questions.
(i) Is the SDLP’s anti-OTR bill stance motivated by a desire to support the families of victims of state collusion, or by a desire to do down their political opponents?
(ii) Does the SDLP’s track record on active opposition to state collusion give any hint as to how (i) might be answered?
(iii) If the SDLP has truly decommissioned their policy of post-nationalism and are, as several of their leaders have told us this year, republicans, what republican activities have they been engaged in during the past year?

Jude makes the same point about the SDLP's shameful stance which this blog has made many times, but for the fact that I don't have the same eloquent writing style. Regular readers of Balrog will know that I have long argued for a a more co-operative relationship between Sinn Féin, the SDLP and all other pro-unification but such a relationship is impossible when the SDLP's reason to exist seems to be to attack Sinn Féin whenever possible, regardless of the rights or wrongs of the issue. Sinn Féin translates as "Ourselves alone" but the arguemnt for re-unification should be about more than Sinn Féin alone but if other parties are unable to take up the challenge, so be it. Sinn Féin will not be found wanting.

Blair always wants the credit?

Commenting on Peter Hain's recent attack on the conversative party with regards to their apparent lack of support for Labour's policies in the north, Newton Emerson came up with an interesting and amusing comment which, in a a way, sums up Tony Blair's approach to both the north and politics in general;

But those hopes could come to naught if Tony Blair gets the credit for every peace process success while his secretary of state gets the blame for every failure.


Get your facts straight

I see Fianna Fáil Minister John O'Donoghue is talking rubbish with his claims that Ireland would become a "banana republic" with Sinn Féin in government as in his opinion Sinn Féin still retain a private army. Of course, this is nonsense. Firstly, the IRA were never controlled by Sinn Féin. In any case, the IRA have visibly put all their weapons beyond use. Mr. O'Donoghue is not only bringing General De Chastailean's integrity into question by his comments but he is also contradicting the opinion of his own taoiseach.

Mr. O'Donoghue claims that the IRA have not disbanded. Of course he is right but he entirely misses the point. Disbandment was never on the agenda, the IRA was expected to disarm and cease any illegal activity, I am convinced that they have done this. Mr O'Donoghue needs to get his facts straight, however it is encouraging that even the paper printing his rubbish can see straight through the minister;

The Government will reach the end of its five-year term in 2007 if nothing happens in the interim to precipitate its capitulation.

It will not escape a questioning electorate that Mr O'Donoghue's opinion about Sinn Féin and private armies may be related to that occasion, given the standing of that party in the polls.


Ku Klux Klan disown Loyalists?

In a strange story, the American based racist, hate organisation, the Klu Klux Klan have denied any connection to a racist grouping organising in North Antrim. Apparently a fascist, racist group containing Loyalist paramilitaries (who’d have guessed?!) has been active in the North Antrim area for quite some time. Personally I find this very disturbing. With an increased number of foreign nations arrived in the north, it is worrying to hear of these people organising. Racists have no place in our society and everybody with any influence in the area should do their best to stamp out this evil group.

Alex Maskey suffers heart attack

When checking the comments section on balrog this evening, I was very shocked and saddened to see from MR's comments that former Lord Mayor of Belfast and Sinn Féin MLA, Alex Maskey suffered a heart attack earlier today. he is described as being in a stable condition in hospital. Obviously my thoughts are with Alex and his family at what must be a testing time. I've met Alex on a number of occasions and he is a very down-to-earth, friendly and civil man. He always thanks you for the effort you make on his behalf and having canvassed for him in areas where Sinn Fein wouldn't be traditionally strong, I know what an asset his inclusive approach to politics has been to the party.

I hope all Balrog readers will join with me in wishing ALex a full and speedy recovery. He will be in my thoughts this festive season. Hopefully ALex can show the same spirit in battling against this health setback as he did when suriving attempts on his life from Loyalust paramilitaries. Get well soon, Alex.


Does McDowell love Ulster?

I see Loyalist pressure group LoveUlster have asked Irish Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell to speak at their proposed rally in Dublin. Willie "Only Protestants qualify as victims" Frzer is attempting to prove that LoveUlster is "not anti-nationalist, we're just anti-Sinn Fein/IRA."

Funnily enough, on the anti-Nationalist front, LoveUlster are making great strides towards inclusiveness and friendly relations. As United Irelander has highlighted, their website is a beacon of light in terms of good community relations. FOr example, one poster shows his great tolerance for the Irish state by proclaiming that;

"All-Irish and all-Ireland situs can go and jump!....the republics media machine and future marketing can piss-off back home to their republic as far as i'm concerned, us people in N.Ireland do not want any part of your society and your government and people shouldn't want us protestants to side with you to defeat the British

"You kill our folk and then have the cheek to tell us that we should unite as one and that the British are wrong!"

LoveUlster is run by bigots for bigots and the worst thing is that the proposed counter demonstration by Republican Sinn Féin plays directly into their hands. These people should simply be ignored. If Mr McDowell wants to have anything to do with this organisation, then in my opinion he is stooping to a new low, even by his standards.


Twas the night before Christmas.................

Just a quick goodbye note. I hope all Balrog readers have a happy and peaceful day tomorrow. Also good to see a Balrog version of a famous historical event the best part of a century ago. THose involved know what I'm referring to ;).

Best wishes for Christmas and a happy new year to all. I'll hopefully be in touch over the holidays (except tomorrow obviously.)

Enjoy yourselves but, most importantly, be safe.

Nollaig Shona, a chairde.

Little boy doesn't know his history or strategy

I see DUP wee boy Paul Givan has caused controversy over his comments relating to the leaders of the Easter Rising. Givan stated that he was happy to visit Kildare, the council twinned with Lisburn, because it is where the leaders of the Easter Rising were shot, and that is what they deserved.
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Now, firstly the leaders of the Rising were not shot in Kildare, they were executed at Kilmainham jail in Dublin.

This cockroach is just trying to create headlines for himself, he is an imbecile.

He is a wannabe Paisley with all the style and finesse of a grapefruit!

He does however demonstrate the lack of understanding of strategy that is all too prevalent in Unionism and the reason why Unionism will fail.

The Leaders of 1916 knew they would be defeated militarily. They set out to ignite the fire of a nation and that is exactly what they did. The colonial attitude of the British helped to burn the fires of patriotism.

You would not however expect someone like a DUPPER to understand forward thinking strategy; Unionism is a reactionary negative force with no future.

Givan may laugh and scoff, compared to real men like Connolly and Pearse he is a wee boy.

Republicans will have the last laugh Givan, remember that when the tricolour is hoisted over Stormont.


Sorry Donal but I can't agree.

Leading intercounty hurler, Donal Og Cusack has made a very controversial call for the GAA to abandon its amateur status. As chairman of the GPA, its clear now that the official GPA position will now be to argue for "pay for play", something which they have always said they were not in favour of.

Any move towards semi-professional status will amount to a bastardisation of our sport and should be opposed in the strongest terms possible. Professionalism simply isn't an option for the GAA, the money just isn't there. Yes, we have a thriving association at present but that association has been built for 121 years on the foundation of volunteerism at club level. Fundementally the GAA is, was and always will be about the club, about the fellas who give their hearts blood for their village and who don't get any fancy boot deals, media exposure or women hanging off them every time they go into a nightclub. They do it for the love of their sport. In a semi-professional game, the clubs would be the first to suffer. Look at what has happened in rugby since professionalism. Yes, the international and provincial game is thriving but the clubs are treated as a poor distant relation having to feed from scraps. The GAA can never allow a similar situation to happen.

I'm all for players who play for their counties and give up huge amounts of time and energy getting the best facilities possible and county board must make sure these players are treated correctly, given porper facilities, fed properly before and after games and given adequete compensation if they miss work due to injury, but to go down the professional would be a betrayal of all that the GAA stands for. the GPA have to understand that GAA don't go to watch individuals, they go to watch the team, the county. I'd support my county just as much if it was drawn from a pick of junior footballers. Under a professional setup, money not pride would become the be-all and end-all. Players would play for the team that offers them the most money, not the place where they were born. If that were to happen, it would be a sad day for the GAA and indeed for Ireland in general. The GAA is the most successful sporting organisation on this island and it got to where it is today on the basis that every member of the association is equal and every player, manager, administrator and coach contributes what they can for the love of the game. When the GAA loses that, then we lose everything that makes the association great.

Sorry if this developed into a bit of a rant but its a issue I feel very strongly about.

Festive Quote of the week

From Finian McGrath, Independent TD about Minister for Justice Michael McDowell;

“He probably has a file on Santa Claus because he’s a ‘red’ and gives presents to poor people.”

1916 heroes mocked by DUP

I see a DUP councillor has once more shown his bigotry as well as simple ignorance by saying that he enjoyed his recent visit to Kildare because "it is where the leaders of the Easter Rising were shot, and that is what they deserved."
Firstly, the ignoramous needs to check his history books as the heroes of 1916 were executed in Dublin, not Kildare. Mr. Girvan should take a long hard look at himself. I have no doubt that he said what he did simply to cause offence and controversy. The people of Ireland are rightly proud of the men of 1916, the founding fathers of our nation who fought bravely against all odds and they will not take kindly seeing them mocked in this fashion. Sinn Féin councillor Paul Butler has written to Kildare County Council asking them to sever all links with Lisburn COuncil condemning it as being “run and controlled by undemocratic and bigoted unionists for unionists".

I normally always approve of cross border links but I think there is certainly a case that Lisburn council should not have the legitimacy of relations with normal, decent councils. The sooner Lisburn City Council is condemned to the dustbin of history, the better.

I hate shopping!!!!

I have many pet peeves, being an opinionated person it would seem very natural. I do however have one pet peeve that gets exasperated during the holiday period, shopping.


I absolutely detest it and there is no way out of it. I can't even stand having to do the weekly shop in Dunnes. That said I would do 1000 grocery shops before I would 1 Christmas shop.
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Like most men, I am not being sexist it is just a fact, I do not like shopping. This is made 10 times worse when you go out shopping with your girlfriend/wife/her in doors.

I had an interesting experience lately when out shopping with the woman. We were out in Belfast and I was walking through Castle Court and some sales assistant stopped us and asked "would the lady like to try our new skin care treatment"

Now she bloody well wouldn't!

For the name of god I have been out shopping with her for 3 long, long hours and all I want is to go home and have a drink. Then he starts on about how I should buy it for her and then I get the puppy dog eye syndrome from the woman.

Sales assistants are the spawn of Satan!

Also, when you are out shopping with a woman they go into the first shop and try on the first outfit. They come out of the changing rooms and ask for your opinion. You say "it looks lovely honey" but does she listen?

Not a mission! She tries on every outfit in the store and then says she likes nothing, So you repeat this in the next 15 stores and after all this and 4 hours of your life lost she returns to the first store and buys the first outfit she tried on.

WHY DO WOMEN DO THIS?????????????????

Is it a means of torture? I believe so.

Then you move on to possibly the most uncomfortable shop, the underwear shop!

Now this might not be as bad if she took you to somewhere like Ann Summers when you can see a positive outcome i.e. sexy lingerie for your benefit as well.

No, we get brought to the shop for her conventional underwear i.e. granny knickers!

So you tell her, "I'll wait outside"

No, that won't do you have to go in with her. So when she is in the changing room you are stood in the lingerie department looking at the floor. Not daring to look up in case some one thinks you are shopping for yourself. Then you see some other poor man in the same position, looking lost and confused.

When will women learn, we don't like shopping!!


Beannachtaí an tSéasúir

From all at Balrog HQ I would like to thank all of our loyal readers for what has been an exciting year. Balrog has its first birthday in the New Year and I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who has made it a success, not least my blogging comrades Paddy and Hensons.
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In what is the season of good will to all men I thought this wee pic was rather appropriate ;)

I have just finished my IPLS entrance exam this morning and I am knackered!

I will be about Balrog all over the holiday period but I will be flat out studying/working/drinking as well.

Christmas, you either love it or hate it!

I am somewhere in between.

As my parents had a less than civilised break up and with younger brothers in the house Christmas has the potential to be a nightmare every year.

That said this year has went all right so far.

So to all

Beannachtaí na Nollag

DISCLAIMER: Pictures may not actually be those of Hensons and Paddy

Sinn Féin oppose OTR legislation

Sinn Féin have withdrawn their support for the OTR legislation. Speaking after a meeting between Collusion victims accompained by Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty and Peter Hain, Pat Doherty explained Sinn Féin's position saying that;

"Sinn Féin are absolutely opposed to the inclusion of the British Crown Forces in this legislation. There are no British OTRs. Their inclusion is an attempt to misuse the OTR issue in a further attempt to hide the truth about British state violence and collusion . This is totally unacceptable to Sinn Féin.

"Sinn Fein, our party activists, families and friends were a primary target for British controlled loyalist death squads. Sinn Fein stands full square behind the families in their campaign for justice and the truth."

The OTR issue was agreed at Weston Park but what was agreed at Weston Park was not what we got in the legislation. However it's important to notice that Sinn Féin MPs and MLAs were yesterday accompanying the victims of collusion in their meeting. Sinn Féin have always stood firmly behind collusion victims. The SDLP are interested in collusion victims only when it is politically expedient for them. Sinn Féin, on the other hand, have a track recored of fighting for the victims of collusion in an attempt to find out what really happened to their loved ones.



An interesting view of Republican opinion about the Denis Donaldson issue. The heartfelt sense of betrayal by this man is very evident from people who have known him all their lives. His popularity makes his betrayal all the worst. I thought these quotes summed the attitude up;

“If you gave me one thousand names of republicans and asked me to pick out those most likely to be informers, I would go through 999 before choosing Denis Donaldson,”

"He knew exactly what he was doing. He was the guy who told us in jail the greatest deterrent to volunteers breaking under interrogation was in making them more political, making them understand why they were republicans. So this was a very deliberate treachery by a man who knew exactly what he was doing.”

Republicans were duped by this traitor. That is a sad fact and one will must live with. What Republicans didn't do was support the organisation responsible for the deceit and allow them to carry on their activities during a time of supposed peace while pretending that this organisation had changed and the past had been eradicated when plainly the opposite was true. Can the SDLP say the same?

DUP Scrooges

Tis the season of peace and goodwill to all men - well except in DUPland, it seems.

The DUP have once again shown their disdain for elected representatives by childishly not inviting SF councillor Billy Leonard to the Mayor's reception in Coleraine. What a pathetic way to overshadow a celebration which is supposed to be about generousity of spirit. As Councillor Leonard rightly put it;

"This is a very informal and people centred event, it should be inclusive and recognise everyone in the borough, yet the mayor has ignored official advice to that effect,"

"Republicans and nationalists pay their rates, make a major contribution to life in the borough and the mayor with one decision based on political ignorance, has excluded them.

"This is not just about me,"

Billy is well used to being treated as an outcast by bigots on this council. He will not let it deter him from representating his electorate to the best of ability but it is sad that he has been put in this position.

The Church never learns!

I am saddened but hardly surprised to learn about the joke that is the new Child Protection policy of the Catholic Church. One in Four director Colm O'Gorman claimed the Church's new policy document on child protection, entitled Our Children, Our Church, was in direct conflict with the recommendations of the recent Ferns Report.
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Mr. O'Gorman said the Church was still trying to decide what complaints of child sex abuse by priests, if any, should be referred to the civil authorities.

The guidelines recommend that a Church-appointed director of child protection will immediately inform a bishop or religious superior of any allegation of child abuse against a member of the clergy. Where there are "reasonable grounds for concern", the director should also inform them if it is proposed to refer the case directly to the State authorities.

This is an absolute disgrace

For anyone who has child protection training, and I have, they will recognise the fundamental flaws in these guidelines. I have drawn up Child Protection policies for a number of different voluntarily organisations and you always air on the side of caution and the interest of the child.

The appropriate statutory authorities are always informed immediately and the person is removed from contact with children without prejudice until the allegation has been sorted investigated.

Some people who favour a due process system may have issue with the removal of the person before evidence has been adduced but that matters not.

Children’s safety is the only thing that matters

Pity nobody told the Church that!

Kelly lambasts Orde over Stormontgate comments

Gerry Kelly has launched Hugh Orde over comments that Orde made in relation to the Stormontgate affair. Orde attempted to justify the Special Branch operation which led to the collapse of the democratically elected institutions. His primary defence appears to be the allegation that the PSNI recovered documents from a house in West Belfast.
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Gerry Kelly said

"What Hugh Orde neglects to tell the public is that the documents were recovered from the home of Special Branch Agent Denis Donaldson. Denis Donaldson was at the heart of a British spy ring and a securocrat conspiracy which brought down the elected government. He was not acting on behalf of republicans or our peace process agenda. He was at all times working to the agenda set by the British State who employed him.

"It is clear that the British State agencies who mounted this entire operation knew that there was no value other than political theatre to raid the Sinn Féin offices in Stormont. No documents or evidence were recovered in that raid. The two disks taken at random and removed were returned to the party within days. Hugh Orde is unable to justify the raid on Stormont because it was unjustifiable. It was politically motivated and intended to
cause maximum political damage, a result which was achieved.

"Hugh Orde needs to face the reality of political policing. Attempting to justify the raid on the Stormont offices and the collapse of a democratically elected government will not advance the agenda of creating an acceptable and accountable policing service. Hugh Orde is being deliberately misleading in his comments concerning this entire episode."

Orde's attempts to try and shift the focus from Political policing and the role that RUC/PSNI Special Branch had in bringing down the democratic institutions are hilarious.

I am not even sure Orde's Securocrat officers told him about the whole situation which makes him just a lame turkey that will be sacrificed by Blair when the time comes.


Stoopus Minimus decides to join the fray

I see that Dominic Bradley has decided to enter the debate on the "Stormontgate" affair. According to Bradley Sinn Féin were trying to exonerate themselves from involvement in the spy ring at Stormont by expecting nationalists to believe the word of Denis Donaldson.
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What possible reason would Sinn Féin have for expelling Denis Donaldson if he was not a British agent?

The reason why he asks the question is because he knows that the vast majority of Nationalists do believe that and that has consequences for his party.

Which party told us that we had a new start to policing?

Which party told Nationalists to trust the RUC/PSNI?

"News that there are other British agents in the upper echelons of Sinn Féin calls into question the ability of that party to represent the interests of nationalists. The question now being asked by people is who actually runs Sinn Féin – and in whose interests"

Who said there were further British agents in the upper echelons of Sinn Féin?

Special Branch did when they slipped reports to their stooges in the press!

So there you have it, Dominic Bradley believes the word of Special Branch!

The same group of Securocrats that brought down the assembly and Dominic asks us all to believe the word of these people?

Catch a grip!

Sinn Féin's ability to represent the Nationalist and Republican community is not in question, the SDLP's was questioned and that is why Sinn Féin is the biggest Nationalist/Republican party.

Now crawl back under your rock Bradley, the other snakes are waiting!

Martin McGuinness put it perfectly when he said

“This isn't the first time a British agent has been uncovered and what we do in this circumstance, just like in the other situations we have had to deal with over the years, we pick ourselves up and we obviously learn the lessons and face the disappointment of what has happened over the last while. We have huge responsibilities and we have to go on and we intend to go on. The Sinn Féin leadership is not going to lie down.”


Irish Bishop calls for Priests to marry

A very important story broke this morning which has become a little lost in the furore over Denis Donaldson. It was that for the first time in a decade, an Irish Bishop has come out publically and said that he believes that priests should be allowed to marry. The last Bishop to say this publically was reprimanded by Rome but I sincerely hope that doesn't happen in this case. This is an important debate in the Catholic Church which should not be stifled but rather the opinions of all should be heard so that we can adress this important issue in a tolerant and accepting manner. Bishop Walsh believes that the celibacy rule has contributed to the lack of priests in Ireland currently;

“I have known some very fine priests who have left the priesthood because they found the challenge of celibacy not life-giving for them. Men like that are a great loss to the ministerial priesthood.”

With numbers of priests at an all time low in this country, perhaps the Chruch should open its doors to the many men who would be happy to commit their lives to God but also want to partake in a relationship. Bishop Walsh has been ahead of his time of a number of issues, indeed he was one of the first Bishops to publically face up to the Chruch's responsibilities with regards to the child abuse scandal when in 1999 he made a three-week pilgrimage of reconciliation in 1999 in which he personally visited every church in his diocese to apologise for the church’s failure to deal with clerical sexual abuse. He has also been active on the issue of rights for the travelling community. Fair play to Bishop Walsh for bravely sticking his head above the paraphet for a cause he believes in.

More filth surfaces!

Yes, it's the news that Stoop Vice Chair Eddie Espie has called on Gerry Adams to resign as the President of Sinn Féin in the wake of news that Denis Donaldson was a British agent.

Espie has an awful lot of cheek!
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He has said that "This project of super collusion happened under Gerry Adams` watch"

Now Espie listen very closely!

Gerry Adams will not be resigning as President of Sinn Féin, you worry about Mark "personality transplant needed" Durkan and let us worry about our party!

Gerry Adams is not to blame for Donaldson; the British have a very long history of using spies and informers in Ireland.

To suggest that any Republican worth his/her salt would be complicit in this affair is insulting to people’s intelligence.

The Stoops new found interest in the Collusion problem is a sight to behold.

-Where was the SDLP when our party members were being set up for assignation by the FRU and Unionist death squads?

They were applauding their efforts as is evidenced by the fact that McGrady expressed his satisfaction when an unarmed republican was shot dead by British State Forces in Downpatrick.

-In the 1980's the SDLP denied that there was a Shoot-To-Kill policy

-When the issue of Collusion was first brought up by Sinn Féin the SDLP described it as 'republican propaganda'

-The SDLP ignored the relatives of those killed through state violence when they lobbied MPs at Westminster and MLAs at Stormont

-The SDLP members of the Policing Board have abjectly failed to deal with the issue and in particular those PSNI members who were centrally involved in collusion

-Their lack of action in response to the passing of RUC/PSNI files on 400 republicans to loyalist death squads.

What a bunch of disgusting reptiles the Stoops are!

Just when you thought the SDLP couldn't stoop any lower they prove us all wrong by this whole campaign of Political opportunism.

Online spending to grow and grow?

Irish people spend €55 million buying Christmas presents online, according to a recent survey. Personally as we sit only a week before Christmas I still haven't bought any Christmas presents. However I'm not too worried, generally a couple of hours in a shopping centre satisfies my shopping needs but I must admit to never having been caught up in the craze for internet shopping. For some reason, despite all the safeguards, I still don't trust a computer with my money. I have a feeling I'm not the only one who fits into this category although it does seem that internet shopping is the way of the future.

What do other Balrog readers think? Are we mad to be braving the city crowds in the freezing cold when all we need is only a mouse click away? Or are the traditional methods still best?


Ahern is set to demand answers from the British

I welcome the news that Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern has said that he will be demanding answers from the British government following the latest revelation in the 'Stormontgate' affair.
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I, like many others, do not believe that Tony Blair knew about Stormontgate and I don't for one minute think he sanctioned it.

This was the work of RUC/PSNI Special Branch and their handlers in MI5.

That is what makes this whole episode so destructive, the fact that these Securocrats operate under their own direction and their own control.

I don't know where we go from here but one thing is certain

I and others have lost an awful lot of faith in the ability of the GFA to operate within this type of situation.

There will be no move by Sinn Féin towards supporting policing and if the SDLP had any backbone it would resign from the Policing Board and the DPP's and rescind its support for the RUC/PSNI.

It is obvious now that Patten could never have been enough to truly transform the RUC/PSNI; this leaves only one credible option.

Disband the RUC/PSNI!!!

We can't trust these people

An interesting quote from an SDLP supporter on slugger;

Have to say I would find it pretty bizarre for the SDLP to carry on as if nothing has happened on this one - surely the only way forward is to resign from the DPP’s and refuse to re-engage until there has been either a full public inquiry or a total, objectively supervised cull of Special Branch/C3 etc.. As an SDLP voter and someone who genuinely believed that policing was on the cusp of a transformed future I now wouldn’t touch the fuckers with a forty foot pole (with apologies to John Taylor).

Posted by Bemused on Dec 17, 2005 @ 02:17 PM

I think that in the light of what has happened, this new start to policing has been exposed as a sham. I was one of the Repunlicans who felt that the party had difficult decisions to make in the near future on policing and that we should not close our minds to the possibility of joining the Policing Board if there were assurations that things would change, that Special Branch no longer existed as a politically motivated tool of British securocrats. My faith that we can reach this state of affairs has been badly shaken this weekend. The SDLP need to realise that this issue cannot be ignorned. If the SDLP refuse to accept what is obvious to the rest of us i.e. that there acceptance of the Policing Board makes them complicant in the disgraceful actions of PSNI Special Branch then it will be difficult to ensure that there will ever be a new start to Policing. While PSNI still has its "useful fools" ready to try to sell the Nationalist people a dummy then they will continue to do what they do best - use what should be a Polce Service for all to promote their anti-Republican goals. If certain SDLP members wish to ignore this and try to place the blame on others to protect their beloved PSNI, then I think not only will the SDLP suffer but so will nationalism as a whole.

Bookies know best?

I've come across some very interesting odds at the bookies with regards to the next Irish General Election. Now of course, bookies aren't political experts but they are experts at making money so I always feel that a candidate's odds at the bookies are a decent way of measuring their chances at the polls. There are very few poor bookmakers out there!

The slight favourite still is a return of the present FF/PD government at 7/4 but what interests me is that the odds suggest that Labour are as likely to end up in government with Fianna Fáil as Fine Gael. This doesn't really surprise me as I think that Sinn Féin will at least double their number of TDs and if other parties are not interested in coalition or are unable to do a deal with Sinn Féin then the only other possible coalition will be Fianna Fáil/ Labour. It is unlikely that in such a scenario Pat Rabitte could survive as leader of the Labour given the way which he personally has indulged in a back slapping campaign with Enda Kenny. 10/1 are also decent odds on a Fianna Fáil/ Sinn Féin government. And yes I know what Bertie has said about coalition with Sinn Féin but we have to remember that Haughey said the exact same things about coalition in the late 80s before jumping into bed with O'Malley to save his political skin. There is also one other possible combination that the bookies haven't mentioned which may become a possibility - a fragile alliance of Fine Gael, Labour, the Greens and the PDs. Harney has not commited herself to Fianna Fáil as yet and if the numbers add up, anything is possible.

Certainly there are interesting time ahead in Irish politics and there will be many twists and turns before the makeup of the next government is known. I do feel however that the landscape of Irish politics is changing. It would not surprise if in a couple of decades we see a Fianna Fáil/ Fine Gael coalition.

Judas admits he is a Tout!

Former Sinn Féin Head of Administration and British secret agent Denis Donaldson has admitted that was indeed a paid spy and informer.
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The Judas told RTÉ tonight that the so-called "Stromontgate" spy ring was a fabrication and one manufactured by RUC/PSNI Special Branch.

His full statement below

"My name is Denis Donaldson. I worked as the Sinn Fein Assembly group administrator in Parliament Buildings at the time of the PSNI raid on the Sinn Fein offices in October 2002, the so-called Stormontgate affair"

"I was a British agent at the time"

"I was recruited in the 1980s after compromising myself during a vulnerable time in my life"

"Since then, I have worked for British intelligence and the RUC/PSNI Special Branch. Over that period I was paid money"

"My last two contacts with Special Branch were as follows: two days before my arrest in October 2002, and last night, when a member of Special Branch contacted me to arrange a meeting"

"I was not involved in any republican spy ring at Stormont"

"The so-called Stormontgate affair was a scam and a fiction. It never existed. It was created by Special Branch"

"I deeply regret my activities with British intelligence and RUC/PSNI Special Branch"

"I apologise to anyone who has suffered as a result of my activities as well as to my former comrades, and especially to my family who have become victims in all of this."

BBC has suggested that Donaldson was not the tout that engineered the "Stormontgate affair"; they suggest that there is another.

Now I am loathe to believe the BBC, I suspect that they are perhaps being fed this stuff by the same scumbags who handled Donaldson, namely RUC/PSNI Special Branch.

I would love to know how a man can do that

Go into work every day and look your comrades in the eyes knowing that you are fucking them and the struggle over each and every day.

Knowing that because of you your family will be shunned because make no mistake Touts are never forgiven or forgotten within Republican communities.

They are the lowest of the low and this piece of shit is the lowest of the low.

I know we sent in a motion to the Ard Fheis stating that Sinn Féin must never accept a six county police force and this revelation has vindicated that decision.

Even if we get devolved powers we will never have control of policing because of the Securocrats.

I will be going to the Ard Fheis in February and I will try and persuade my comrades to support the motion.

This revelation has made my position very clear and steadfast.

If Sinn Féin sign up to a six county police service of whatever hue I will be resigning from the party.


In light of the information from Sinn Fein at their Dublin press conference and the subsequent statement from Denis Donaldson, it is time for nationalist Ireland to grow a spine and say "Ya basta".

Confirmation that the PSNI staged a coup d'etat in 2002 and have continued to spy on Republicans should be enough to spur the immediate resignation from the Policing Board of Vice Chairman Denis Bradley and all of the members of the SDLP District Policing Partnerships who naively placed their faith in the PSNI.

The SDLP have maintained that their engagement with the PSNI has influenced change. They are wrong.

This latest incident confirms the disregard the PSNI has for democracy.

Nationalists and Republicans need to send a clear message to Blair -

"Come back to us when you have the problem sorted"

Until then stuff your talks.


British agent expelled from Sinn Féin

I am shocked, disgusted and angry to learn that Sinn Féin Head of Administration and secret British agent Denis Donaldson has been expelled from Sinn Féin. I heard about this shocking revelation this morning.
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I am extremely angry for numerous reasons

I have been at meetings with this man thinking he was a committed Republican and at the same time he was a British agent.

It proves that the whole British allegation that there was a spy ring is complete rubbish!

This man was supposed to be working for Sinn Féin in the assembly when in fact he was working for Securocrats and was doing his best to bring down the institutions.

I am angry as fuck, as I know other party members are!

Gerry Adams said Denis Donaldson had admitted to being a paid British agent for the past 20 years.

20 fucking years!!!!

Lads have died and questions need to be asked as to what role this "man" has played for the British.

Donaldson approached Six County Cúige chairman Declan Kearney after being warned by the RUC/PSNI he was going to be outed.

At a subsequent meeting with Declan and another Sinn Féin official, Leo Green, he admitted to being a British agent and was expelled from the party.

Asked if he suspected there had been an informer, Mr Adams said: "I was very, very suspicious and some of us were very suspicious when the events of 2002 unfolded, when we saw this hugely-orchestrated operation at Stormont because we knew there was no Sinn Féin spy ring at Stormont"

"More recently, when this case collapsed, when the British did not prosecute, that suspicion was deepened,"

"I had suspicions that there was somebody wrong within this – I had no specific suspicions about Denis Donaldson"

Gerry Adams also said "The collapse of the power sharing government was blamed on allegations of a Sinn Féin spy ring at Stormont"

"The fact is that there was no Sinn Féin spy ring at Stormont"

"The fact is that this was a carefully constructed lie created by the Special Branch in order to cause maximum political impact"

"The fact is that the collapse of the political institutions was a direct result of the actions of some of those who run the intelligence and policing system of the British"

"The fact is that the key person at the centre of those events was a Sinn Féin member who was a British agent"

"This is entirely the responsibility of the British Government"

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said: "This has certainly given an added twist to the entire Stormontgate scandal, and confirms our view that the reasons the court decided not to prosecute was because to do so would have compromised an agent of the state and sensitive security documents"

I am stunned and disgusted!

UPDATE: Bertie never really believed "Stromontgate"

Hensons Law

Over the past six months or so I have observed a issue in the media, on blogs and bulletin boards and at debates that everyone seems to agree is unspeakably evil.

Yes it is Suicide Bombers.

The very mention of this in any fora will lead to a collective tut tut and universal unqualified condemnation.

I have heard Republicans proud of the Irish ingenuity in IEDs sneer at the primitivism of suicide bombers, wingnuts in the same breath as celebrating the dropping of 2,000 pound JADMs in civilian areas coil in horror at the ruthlessness of suicide bombers, serious sociologists dismissing the phenomena to brainwashing and psychologists telling lurid tales of 21 virgins.

Even in rooms with the most adversarial groups gathered you can be fairly sure the one thing they will all agree on is the depravity, irrationality, cruelty and wickedness of suicide bombing as a weapon of war. From the SWP to the PDs, Democrat to Republican, Unionist to Stoopy, Blueshirts to Shinners a funnel of thought develops one powerful enough to stifle any individual dissidentism.

Why though?

The modern suicide bomber appeared in the early 80's in Sri Lanka as part of the struggle for a homeland by the LTTE. Popping up in Lebanon, it was employed by a variety of non-state armed groups until today it has developed into a serious weapon by mainly Islamic groups.

But we are not allowed to counter any suggestions that the usage of suicide bombers is a legitimate military tactic when used against military targets. I have a moral problem with the targeting of civilians in any conflict but if a young Iraqi/Tamil/Chechen guerrilla is so committed to their cause and so frustrated by their enemy that they are willing to sacrifice their own life to attack a military target then I acknowledge their bravery and I accept their decision to be informed and rational.

To me the major difference in a 20 year old acne ridden suicide bomber called Ali attacking a patrol of soldiers in Fallujah and a 20 years old acne ridden helicopter gunner called Alan attacking a group of Iraqi guerrillas in Fallujah is that Ali is the braver soldier.

After all suicide bombing is used only as weapon of last resort, although tactically one of the fundamentalists has spoken about it being 'most efficient', and I suspect would inevitably be used by any defending army facing an enemy with far superior technology, communications and weaponry.

I feel we need a variant of Godwins law so when in an debate about the Middle East or Iraq the first person to mention suicide bombers automatically forfeits the argument. Naturally it should be named Hensons Law.

This should cut through the moral posturing and assist with developing meaningful dialogue.

A related link.


Iran’s president calls Holocaust a ‘myth’

I see that Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has placed the cat amongst the pigeons by claiming that the Holocaust was a "myth".

Now I despise Israel with my every waking bone, they have turned into what they fought against. The same racial and fascist tendency that is contained within Lebensraum is also integral to Zionism.
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I fully support the Palestinians in their quest for freedom and Independence but to call the Holocaust a "myth" is just disgusting and as believable as Unionist claims that there was no widespread discrimination against Catholics since the foundation of the Northern "State".

The White House said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comments show why Iran must not develop nuclear weapons but I would love to know why Israel should be allowed Nuclear weapons.

I feel no safer with Iran developing Nuclear weapons that I do Israel. The US also needs to remember that it is the only country to every actually use Nuclear weapons.

So a little perspective here please lads!

I don't see the need for Nuclear weapons at all

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final word on all matters, has stood by the president, even calling this week for Palestinian militants to step up their fight against Israel to drive them out of Jerusalem.

Touring south-east Iran, President Ahmadinejad said that if Europeans insist the Holocaust happened, then they are responsible and should pay the price.

"If you committed this big crime, then why should the oppressed Palestinian nation pay the price? This is our proposal: If you committed the crime, then give a part of your own land in Europe, the US, Canada or Alaska to them so that the Jews can establish their country,"

I can, to a limited extent, see where he is coming with this one.

Why should the Palestinians have to pay the price for Nazi Germany?

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mark Regev said "The combination of fanatical ideology, a warped sense of reality and nuclear weapons is a combination that no-one in the international community can accept,"

Then why Mr Regev are the International community still accepting Israel?

You are a far bigger danger than Iran IMHO.

In unusually strong comments, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Iranians "do not have the president, or the regime, they deserve"

I do however take exception with this!

It is none of Barroso's business who the Iranian people elect as their leader; the West should keep its nose out of the affairs of the Middle-East. Mr. Barroso's time would be better spent doing the job his is paid to do.

Even if he is the President of a glorified Quango!

Keano joins Celtic

I am delighted to learn that Roy Keane, one of the best footballers that Ireland has ever produced, has joined Celtic.
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I am particularly delighted for Roy who always said he wished to finish up his playing days at his old boyhood club. Even at 35 Roy will bring a lot to Celtic, he is determined, talented and a born leader.

As a Manchester United and Celtic supporter this is the ideal solution. That said I am still angry with the way his relationship at the club finished.

I am sure that Manchester United fans will wish Roy all the best as he has given his life’s worth to the United jersey.

Celtic fans can sit back with a smug face and just watch the delight that is Keano

OTR legislation

Good article from Danny Morrison where he highlights the duplicity of Mark Durkan on the OTR issue. As Danny rightly points out, for weeks Durkan constantly shrieked about a "secret deal" between Sinn Féin and the British over the agents of State Collusion when Durkan knew that there was no such deal and on the 6th December had to admit such (sorry for no link to SDLP statements, for some reason the link for statements on sdlp.ie for 6th December is broken.)

As has been pointed out previously, the SDLP are no position to lecture Sinn Féin on standing up for the victims of collusion. Danny correctly states that "As recently as last October the SDLP refused to back a Sinn Féin motion to Derry City Council in support of the family of murdered Councillor Eddie Fullerton calling for a full independent public inquiry and for the Irish government “to insist on full co-operation from the British authorities to assist the Fullerton family in their quest for truth and justice”."

The agents of collusion were inculded by the British government, nobody else. they should not be part of the same legislation as "On the Runs" for the simple reason that they were never "on the run" but rather they had their deeds covered up for them by the British security forces. Why would they run from the force that was paying their wages?


Show me the Money

The self-styled Freedom Institute is one of the two, Neo Liberal Think Tanks (read four nerds with a website) that have sprouted up in Dublin. The main “Directors” of the site used to debate on the likes of Politics.ie and Slugger O'Toole but through sheer abuse from all just slunked away to their odious corner of the internet talking to themselves and nylon panted nerds in their wannabe motherland.

However their Annual Report 2004 is well worth a read, purely for its sheer pomposity. Aside from revealing a telling decline in interest in their wingnut bile they devote about eight pages to their piddling accounts.

But at the same time they are pronouncing the filling of grandiose sounding positions by evidently disturbed boys with the most preposterous avatars/pics, they appear to have the princely sum of €431 in the bank having spent the grand total of a whole €552 in the entire year.

These oracles of capitalism are spending a whopping €46 per month in spreading their parallel message of hate and free markets. Since we joined the Euro we have ceased to have a monetary policy and as such I fear the inflationary effect on the economy due to this massive injection of money.

The issue of impending economic meltdown aside the question to be asked is how do they afford to pay Richard Waghorne, their Director of Publicity who appears to have no discernable means to support himself as I was under the belief that his role in the FI was salaried.

Richard gets around, debating in Ireland and beyond, the Freedom Institute claim to have engaged Lansdowne Market Research to carry about a survey for them, Lansdowne would not meet you for less than €10k, and they must have running expenses that need to be met. Pocket protectors, subscription to the Fox TV bundle package (only $29.99!), American Rifleman Magazine membership and boxes of Kleenex’s.

So who are the mysterious backers to this US extreme right sympathetic, Israel loving UN hating, war lusting nerdfest and why are they so afraid/ashamed to tell the public.

In the name of Freedom we need to know.


Even by DUP standards, this one seems pathetic. It seems that as well as not respecting the mandate of Republicans, some DUP members won't accept the way they say the alphabet either!

Change the record, Paisley.

I see Unionist are still up in arms about the collapse of the "Stormontgate" case accusing Peter Hain of dirty tricks. It is very apparent what is happening hear. Despite the fact that the man involved have no case to answer, Unionists continue to attempt to blacken their names for political reasons to attempt to create a perception that these men are guilty despite the fact that they have been clearly found not to be so. Bad enough that these men had to live under the cloud of false charges for three years but for them to still have to put up with being tainted by these farcial charges is a disgrace.

Government backed bid to get Connolly sacked

"Justice" Minister Michael McDowell got Government backing for a campaign to have Frank Connolly sacked as executive director of the Centre for Public Inquiry (CPI).
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This whole affair just gets worse and worse, the man has not been convicted of anything and as well as dragging this mans good name through the mud they also sought to deprive this man of a livelihood.

The Green Party and Sinn Féin called on Mr McDowell to resign, saying he had "recklessly abused power". Fine Gael and Labour were also fiercely critical.

I really do believe that McDowell has lost the plot on this issue, McDowell told the Dáil yesterday that the CPI, an independent group established in February to investigate political and business issues, was a body "which, in subversive hands, has the capacity to gravely undermine the authority of the State".

I am sorry McDowell but you are the only one who is trying to undermine the authority of the state by substituting the rule of law with that of your own!

Gardaí were fully satisfied that Mr Connolly had participated "in an important way" in an IRA plot to provide explosives training to Colombian rebels, Mr McDowell said. Let's remember however that the case against Colm Murphy collapsed because the Gardaí told lies. They have also lied and covered up the issue of the McBreaty family.

The Gardaí are not judge, jury and executioner in this country and the rule of law is being besmirched here by McDowell and CO.

The Green Party’s Ciaran Cuffe said Mr McDowell’s actions had "a dangerous similarity to Senator McCarthy’s witch-hunts in the United States in the 1950s"

This is an absolute disgrace and that crazy right-wing nut should be removed from his office ASAP!!!

Gerry Adams nominated for 2005 Tipperary Peace Prize

I was intrigued to learn that Gerry Adams has made the shortlist for the 2005 Tipperary Peace Prize.
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Other nominations include former British Secretary of State Mo Molam and assassinated Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Inaugurated in 1984, previous recipients of the annual award have included Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Bill Clinton and Bob Geldof.

The Tipperary Peace Convention Committee will announce the winner on New Year’s Day and present the award in April.

Confirming the nominations, Tipperary Peace Committee spokesman Martin Quinn said: "We had a large response from the public. Any public figure who has worked to promote peace, justice or equality during 2005 is eligible for the prize."

I think Gerry would make a worthy winner as his input into the Peace Process has been crucial. His call on Óglaigh Na hÉireann to follow a purely peaceful path is unparalleled in Irish history. The chance to remove the gun from Irish politics would never have come about if it wasn't for people like Gerry Adams.

That said I think I can hear David Vance's screams from here ;)


McDowell must go!

"Justice" Minister Michael McDowell must be removed from his position. McDowell is under fierce pressure to go after the Connolly case. He must either resign or else Bertie must find his balls and sack him.
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I just watched the Prime Time show and what he has done is truly extraordinary, "dangerous and dictatorial" but extraordinary none the less.

McDowell now believes that he can do whatever he wants; he believes that he is above reproach and it is high time Bertie laid down some law in the Cabinet.

An interesting comment on Prime Time tonight came from a Senior Council who said that in the Special Criminal Court when someone is charged with membership of the IRA the conviction is usually only dependant upon the word of the Gardaí. The Gardaí will quote "Garda intelligence" as the reason for their belief. However when a defense council asks to see the confidential information the Gardaí will refuse to disclose such information.

Here we find ourselves in a situation where the so-called "Minister for Justice" (makes you laugh) takes it upon himself to pass on sensitive Garda intelligence information to the press, of all people!

Am I the only one who sees the problem with this?

McDowell has breached the spirit of his own Garda Síochána Act 2005 by disclosing confidential Garda information. The criminal offence is punishable by five years' imprisonment.

If Bertie Ahern had any guts he would demand McDowell's resignation but as Bertie is terrified of an early election I fear he will allow this right-wing nut to get away with abusing his position as Minister for Justice.

Stoops show their true colours

The SDLP's duplicitous position on the issue of State violence and collusion has been shown for what it really is. Last night Alban Maginness and other SDLP Councillors hobnobbed with the Colonel and Chief of the British Parachute Regiment, Charles Windsor in Belfast City Hall.
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Sinn Féin Belfast City Council Group Leader Cllr. Paul Maskey today said

"In recent weeks after being silent on the issue of state violence and collusion for three decades Alban Maginness and the SDLP have been using the issue to try and score cheap political points. Last night the mask slipped and Alban Maginness and his SDLP colleagues in Belfast City Hall hobnobbed with the Colonel and Chief of the British Parachute Regiment Charles Windsor"

"Nationalists and republicans need no reminders of the actions of the Paras on the streets of the six counties for the past thirty years and more. From the murder of civilians on the streets of Derry on Bloody Sunday to the promotion through their ranks of the convicted murderer Lee Clegg their legacy in Ireland is one of murder, violence and repression"

"Last night instead of challenging the head of this discredited regiment Alban Maginness instead chose to chat with Windsor who he described as 'a mutual friend'. This sort of pathetic bowing before a British Monarch, while not untypical of the SDLP, does show clearly the priority the SDLP place on the victims of state violence and the need for the British Crown Forces to come clean on their activities in the six counties."

I suppose the Stoops are only doing what comes naturally to them, stooping to the British.

Death Row strikes again.

Stanley "Tookie" Williams was executed this morning. He was a former gang leader who was convicted for the murder of 4 people in 1981. The man's crimes were awful but later in life he renounced his previous life and dedicated his time to trying to ensure that other young males didn't follow his lead into a life of crime. he wrote books for children imploring them to avoid gangs and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. His life was depicted in the film "Redemption Man". The issue is also covered on Joblog.

What has happened here is wrong. The justice system should be about the rehabiliation of offenders and the protection of society, not merely punishment. Mr. William's crimes were awful but he was making reparation and trying to shape a more positive society. He should not have been killed. Where is the justice in the state punishing a man by carrying out the same act as what he is being punished for. The death penalty is always wrong but in this case it is particularly abhorrent. Arnold Schwarzenegger should be ashamed of himself.

Abortionists demand legalisation of murder

I was sad to learn that Seventeen young abortion activists have mounted a protest outside the Dáil calling for the legalisation of abortion/murder in Ireland.
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The activists have imprisoned themselves in a cage fashioned from coat-hangers to represent the 17 Irish women they say are forced to travel to Britain for an abortion every day. The group is also calling for another referendum on the issue.

There we have it folks, once again the issue of abortion raises its ugly head. Both mine and Paddy's view on abortion is very clear and well versed on this site

It is Murder!

These people are of course entitled to their beliefs and opinions, as are they entitled to lobby the Dáil on what ever issue they want. In recent months I have had numerous conversations/arguments with friends and comrades on this very issue. It is an issue that people hold very strong feelings on and I am pleased to say that the vast majority of people in Ireland, North and South, Catholic and Protestant, agree with my opinion on abortion.

I feel very sorry for the seventeen Irish women who are forced to travel to Britain every day to have an abortion. I am sorry that society has forced them in to such a position but I will never countenance supporting the legalisation of abortion in this country. Britain's moral quagmire is an issue for them and them alone to address.

That society must look at the way it treats it's most vulnerable citizens.

Abortions are not about killing a fetus; they are about murdering innocent children and a human life because a mother has made the choice that her life and her worries and her welfare supersede that of her child.

I am sorry if this post offends people but sometimes you have to call a spade a spade.

The law is also a hypocrite on this issue.

According to the law you may not consent to GBH or murder, society does not allow you that choice as shown by the case of R v Brown.

In Brown the House of Lords ruled that in certain circumstances it is not in the public interest for people to give consent to acts of force against their own body.

Lord Jauncey of Tullichettle summarised the broad position stating:

"The basic argument propounded by all the appellants was that the receivers having in every case consented to what was inflicted upon them no offence had been committed under Sections 20 or 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. All the appellants recognised however that so broad a proposition could not stand up and that there must be some limitation upon the harm which an individual could consent to receive at the hand of another. The line between injuries to the infliction of which an individual could consent and injuries to whose infliction he could not consent must be drawn … where the public interest required"

The House of Lords upheld the convictions and decided that as a matter of public policy the violence associated with sado-masochistic homosexual practices was not something that fell within the exempt categories of violence. This is hypocritical considering the fact that they still see fit to allow a woman the option of murdering part of her flesh.

People may be surprised at seeing me quote British Law Lords to support my argument but I am merely showing the moral quagmire that Britain finds itself in.

Sado-masochistic homosexual practices are out but murdering children is in.

It is disgusting!

The ultimate test of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable members

We need to protect our most vulnerable members not kill them


New Forks

John Morton was a 15th century Archbishop of Canterbury and subsequently Lord Chancellor to King Henry VII. Aside from being the Karl Rove of his day, the legacy he left is a little know paradox, one whose logic is a simple as it is deadly for those subjected to it.

One of the Chancellor key roles was the setting of and collecting of taxes from the nobles, a difficult enough job, as in its day there were no bank accounts, auditors or expensive software payroll system to establish wealth. Morton applied this brilliant formula to solve his dilemma and instructed his tax collectors;

“If the subject is seen to live frugally, tell him because he is clearly a money saver of great ability he can afford to give generously to the King. If, however, the subject lives a life of great extravagance, tell him he, too, can afford to give largely, the proof of his opulence being evident in his expenditure."

Morton and King Henry would tour the country with a two hundred entourage in tow. Turning up announced at the castles and manors of his elite expecting and reviving full bed and board for as along as they desired.

In the event that the unfortunate host dined the King, Morton and entourage with the best clarets, finest quail, most succulent pig and sweetest vegetables served by numerous trained and knowledgeable staff in well kept grounds with Persian silk and Egyptian cotton to sleep on, it was obvious to Morton that the host was a wealthy man who could easily afford to pay the exorbitant tax demand from the King.

If on the other hand the host kept a draughty damp abode, with drunken wenches for maids and food fit only for lowly peasants, it must have been the host’s frugal nature and so it was obvious to Morton that the host was a wealthy man who could easily afford to pay the exorbitant tax demand from the King.

Fast forward 500 years and we see the ludicrous paradox of Morton’s Fork still in use when it comes to republican activities. For example with the Northern Bank Robbery the strongest evidence that the IRA was behind it was the lack of evidence.

This dearth was in actual fact The Evidence to convict the IRA of the crime. Think again then of the sophistication of the Castlereagh Robbery as The Evidence pointing to IRA involvement.

The topsy turvy judicial system that republicans find themselves constantly means that the onus is on republicans or those thought to be republicans for them to prove their innocence.

In the very latest development we see that the brother of Niall Connolly (one of the Colombia 3), investigative journalist Frank Connolly has been accused of visiting Colombia in the company of a senior IRA man in 2001. The accusations unveiled under privilege by Mc Dowell have caused a stink in Dublin, with a major scandal bubbling under.

The reaction by many is that although Mc Dowell has abused the rights of a citizen and abused his role as Minister of Justice it is now up to Connolly to prove his innocence.

The latest in this is the admission by the Minister that he released confidential documents to the media, ironic when you consider he wanted to bring in a law preventing Garda from doing the same!

This story is a grower.

McDowell urged to resign

Independent TD Finian McGrath has called on El Duce Michael McDowell to resign from his position as Minister for Justice after he abused Dáil privilege and falsely linked journalist Frank Connolly to an alleged IRA plot to sell terrorist know-how to Colombian guerillas.
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Calling on the Minister to stand down, Dublin North Central TD Finian McGrath said he had abused his position in the Dáil and his role as a member of the Cabinet.

"He has trampled on the rights of a citizen," Mr McGrath said.

"He has abused Dáil privilege. I asked him a question about the Centre for Public Inquiry he refused to answer about the centre, but used the opportunity to take out someone he disagreed with politically."

"Not only should he resign he should first of all apologise to Frank Connolly, and secondly to the citizens of the state for abusing his position, and if he had any honour and dignity then he should resign."

Mr McGrath has lodged a complaint over the matter with Ceann Comhairle Rory O’Hanlon TD. He also said he would raise the matter with the Committee for Procedures and Privileges to decide whether McDowell had abused his position as a Minister.

Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has also commented on this matter. He said McDowell’s attempts to defend his actions regarding Frank Connolly's role in the Centre for Public Inquiry "aren’t fooling anyone."

McDowell has a history of abusing his position within the Dáil to make outlandish and reprehensible statements. This is further demonstrated by his decision to hide behind state immunity in relation to comments he made about Daily Ireland.

He told them he would "meet them in court" but instead he chose to hide behind the cloak of privilege.

A coward and a liar that needs put out to pasture!

The age of sexual consent

I know the debate about lowering the age of sexual consent is normally in relation to homosexual couples but a debate has begun about the age in relation to heterosexual couples.
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It has been reported that Michael McDowell is considering changing the age of sexual consent in Ireland. According to reports this morning McDowell was worried that the current law on the matter did not reflect reality.

This follows a recent court case in Galway in which a man admitted to the statutory rape of his girlfriend when she was 15 and he was 19.

The couple, who are in a stable relationship, later had a baby and both their mothers were in court to support them.

The presiding judge gave an 11-month suspended sentence to the accused and also fined him €100.

Under Irish law, a man can be jailed for five years for having sex with a girl under the age of 17 years, while sex with a girl under the age of 15 carries a sentence of up to life in prison.

However, the age of consent for boys is currently just 15, so if two 16-year-olds had sex, the boy would be committing a crime and the girl would not.

I have mixed feelings on this matter.

I believe that the age of sexual consent for men needs to be in line with that of women. To suggest that if two 16 year old had sex then the man is committing rape is preposterous. It is underlined by the conservative notion that this country has of women.

I worked in teenage disco from the age of 14 and I can tell you that 14/15/16 year old Irish girls do not need protecting from boys their same age. In some respects it is the boys who need protecting.

In my opinion the age of sexual consent should be 16 for all and that includes homosexual couples as well.

I reject however any notion that what the lad of 19 did with the 15 year old was anything other than rape, statutory rape. It is unfair to call it "rape" in the sense that we normally use the term but he clearly took disadvantage of that girl. The age of 15 is much too young to make a reasonable and rational decision in relation to sexual activity. Even if at 15 a person is physically ready for a sexual relationship emotionally they are not.

The age of sexual consent should not be meddled with lightly.

Willie set to march on Dublin

I have noted with great bewilderment that Willie Frazer and the "Love Ulster" gang are set to raise the Union Jack in Dublin once again. Willie is planning a parade involving Orangemen and "victims" of IRA violence. They are to march behind bands and the Union Jack as they trundle through the centre of Dublin. This rag tag bunch are said to be planning this for the New Year.
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Willie has said "We want to take our message to the heart of Dublin and see if people there allow us freedom of expression,"

Willie will find that everyone will allow him and his follower’s freedom of expression. Unlike British state forces Irish ones don't shoot dead 13 unarmed civilians who go out to march.

I would love to know what end Willie is looking to achieve by this little endeavor, apart from proving to the people of Dublin that he is unbalanced and bigoted.

Strategy is a gift that Unionism has never been blessed with.

The more things change the more they remain the same

I was heading down to Belfast today with my Dad and we were passing the lower end of the Foughiletra Road (Outside Jonesborough) when we came upon a Brit patrol and cops in ski masks. We were having a conversation about what has really changed since the ceasefire.

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(Picture taken from Foughiletra Road)

From early morning three Brit helicopters encircled Dromintee and Jonesborough and the cops had saturated the Dromintee and Jonesborough area and had road blocks all over the parish. When heading down the main road we ended up at Cloughue roundabout when we spotted ten RUC/PSNI land rovers ready to head up the main road at a moments notice.

I am sure I had a point in all of this, yes; anyway we spoke about how even as little as one year ago the Brits would never have dared to "patrol Jonesborough market". While things in South Armagh have begun to change, i.e. the Brits and RUC/PSNI are getting braver in their patrolling technique; a lot of things remain the same. The Crown forces are still despised in the area, the people have no time for them and they continue to harass the local people.

The SDLP in the area know exactly what the people of South Armagh think about the RUC/PSNI and they will never come out and support policing in South Armagh the way they do in other areas. The use their stooges to try and set up meetings with community groups and such like, i.e. trying to get them in the backdoor. They never tell the community groups who will be attending and they never even mention the PSNI. It shows the realisation that the SDLP has in the area, namely that the RUC/PSNI and their stooges are not acceptable in South Armagh and under the current arrangements never will be.

I laugh at the RUC/PSNI's attempt to flex their muscles in relation to smuggling, do they think they are going to stop it? Are they actually that arrogant and ignorant to believe such a ridiculous notion?

Smuggling has been a way of life in South Armagh for generations and contrary to middle-class stoop and Unionist thinking the people don't view it as wrong.

Let's just look at this for a moment

Software, so I am told, is available on the black market in my area. Microsoft office suite which retails at 630 EURO can be bought for £5. This is a huge saving for working class families and means that their kids will not suffer due to their socio-economic position.

Am I supposed to feel sorry for a capitalist organisation like Microsoft?

Not a mission

The policing issue may change in the near future, it may not but one thing that will not be changing anytime soon is people’s perception of right and wrong and their cultural attitude to smuggling.


Soccer and Rugby set for Croker.

Following on from the decision of congress earlier this year, the Central Council of the GAA have today agreed to allow competitive soccer and rugby internationals to take place in Croke Park in 2007 while Lansdowne Road is being redeveloped. Now I was opposed to, and voted against the suspension of Rule 42, not because I dislike soccer and rugby (in fact I avidly follow both) but rather because my loyalties are first and foremost to the GAA and I felt that allowing the jewel of the GAA’s crown be placed up for auction would only harm the GAA in the long run. I was also annoyed at what I felt was the arrogance of both the FAI and the IRFU in thinking they had a divine right to use the facilities of others and allowing the media to fight their own campaign for them. However congress spoke in a democratic manner last April and I am glad that Central Council has gone along with their wishes since not to do so would be to ignore the clearly defined wishes of the GAA membership, even though I didn’t agree with them.

The next step is to install a committee of Cavan farmers to negotiate a price for rental with the FAI and IRFU. Them fancy Dublin boyos won’t know what’s hit them! if the FAI thought Roy Keane was hard to deal with.................


1916 can unify us

I see the issue of next year's Easter rising commeration has been raised in the Dáil. Bertie Ahern has come in for critism for announcing the the celebration at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis. Both Enda Kenny and Pat Rabitte felt that it should not have been announced at such a partisan venue and wile its not exactly the most important of issues, I would have sympathy with their arguement. The government has established an organising committe and invited the other parties to become involved.

I think it is very important that this parade has a cross-party feel for it. As was rightly pointed out, all parties have members with forefathers who took part in the 1916 rising and this celebration should be all the people of Ireland, regardless of party political loyalities. 1916 was perhaps the most pivotal year in Irish history and it is right that the founding fathers of the state should be remembered. TDs should also remember that the Republic proclaimed in 1916 was 32 county Republic and Independent TD Finian McGrath gave a timely reminder that the Dáil should be addressing the issue of the rights of Irish people living across the border to have rights in our national parliament. I agree with his statement that;

“In the democratic spirit of the 1916 Rising, it is time that northern political representatives were allowed to address the southern parliament,”


PSNI - at it again.

I see the case against the men alleged to have been part of a Republican spy-ring at Stormont has collapsed. This was the incident that led to the fall of the powersharing government amis these false claim of spying. Finally it has been proven that this disgraceful incident was merely a part of a pathetic attempt of behalf of the security forces to save Trimble's bacon and discredit Republicans. I would agree with Mr. Donaldson's solicitors that these men were "victims of a political operation by elements within the security forces who deliberately used their position to hamper political progress in this country".

The PSNI can never have credibility amongs the majority of Nationalists or Republicans while it continues to subvert the democratic process in such a manner. The PSNI have concocted a false case to try to criminalise Sinn Féin and its voters. The case may have been dropped but the political damage done was immense. I wonder if the PSNI are going to apoligise to the people of the north for destroying devolution since 2002? I doubt it.

With regards to the supposed new start to policing - the more things change, the more they stay the same.


Revenge of the Nerds

On Thursday last I attended the excellent Leviathan Cabaret night held monthly in Crawdaddy Club.

One of Ireland's best journalists, David Mc Williams, is the host and chair of this monthly political debate. On Thursday the debate was What Now for the US Crusade in the Middle East?

The panelists were Senator David Norris, Raymond Deane of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Israeli music professor and commentator Eyal Kless and Paul MacDonnell, director of the Open Republic Institute - "a neo-liberal think tank".

The debate was lively enough with only David Norris coming out well. Raymond Deane came over as a grump and conspiricist, Eyal Kless was just rude and irritating but the shocker was Paul Mc Donnell who quite simply demonstrated a level of stupidity and Pavlovian analysis that I was unsure if he was being ironic.

His answer to everything was that a free market is always right (see footnote) and would sort it out, except Iraq of course which needed an invasion! The audience were openingly laughing at him by the end and he and Klees ended up skulking off the stage in a huff due to the constant taunting they were getting.

It got me thinking about these "Neo Liberal Think Tanks" and I have realised that this is code for four nerds gathered around a computer who believe formatting a post into a PDF file legitimizes it with academic authority.

In the past couple of years quite a few of these nerdfest circle jerks have popped up with The Freedom Institute and The Open Republic being the main watering holes for privately educated Irish bullied spoilt brats to gather. In the 1980's and 90s these bullying victims would have expressed themselves in a different way and from time to time and you could always rely on a healthy self cull to reduce the odious nihilism that these losers inflicted on the rest of us.

Unfortunately, and whether is was Francis Fukuayama seminal End of History tale, an inability of Carl Mc Coy to sustain his songs of misery or the free availability of internet hardcore porn, they are surviving their teens. Being life's natural victims they want revenge. This takes the form of advocating a form of intellectual fascism imposed on us of which the answer to all of life's ills is a nebulous, spiritual concept called The Market. The Market is like Him, all powerful, the source of all solutions, to be respected and held in awe, like Him The Market works in mysterious ways but is really a great and benign influence.

Like Him the omnibenevolence of The Market is nonsense, but the extreme right participants in these "Neo Liberal Think Tank" needs to be pitied for they have suffered.

A future "Neo Liberal Think Tank" Director. (White t-shirt)

Footnote. The irony was not lost that Paul's real job is with the Irish Insurance Federation a body set up to represent one of the most cartelized, uncompetitive sectors in this country

This Berry is not for turning

I see that the Paul Berry saga has entered a new phase with the news that Paul has launched libel proceedings against the BBC, Sunday World and the Irish News.
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In a statement issued through his solicitors Madden and Finucane Paul said that he had initiated libel proceedings against the Sunday World over a report which claimed he met a male masseur in a Belfast hotel. He also rejected any notion that he would be resigning from the DUP.

It sounds like fireworks are only beginning on this one and already I am sick listening to this issue.

Paul Berry may be gay; he may not but to tell you the truth I neither know nor care one way or the other. I have sympathy for his family in what must be a very hard time.

What I do find interesting is the information that his legal proceedings has produced, namely that there are no internal rules and procedures worth talking about.

How ironic that Dupers cry about the dangers of "Rome Rule" when that is exactly what they have within their party.

"Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer!" would seem to be the order of the day. I can just hear their chant in the Ramada hotel now, "Lang lebe unser ruhmvoller Führer!"