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Donal donaloc at
Mon Apr 15 13:40:20 MDT 2002

Danielle, I just noted you posted a piece by Brendan Hughes - I will attempt
to respond to that in more detail as it is probably more worthwhile.

The following appears to be the Times - however, I checked the date and it's
actually the Sunday Times. To anyone experienced in Irish politics - that
publication is renowned. It is effectively the voice of British Intelligence
(for some reason the daily Times is not the same).

London Times
14 April 2002

>IRA in split over weapons handover
By Liam Clarke

For a start the title gives it all away. When I went to read this I was
surprised that I hadn't heard anything about it. Little did I know that the
heading was a Sunday Times article - Danielle why don't you start posting
pieces by Ruth Dudley-Edwards (the double-barreled name gives that one
away!!) or Eoghan Harris (former Republican - then Stalinoid Reformist - now
self-confessed Liberal) or Sean O'Callaghan (a British agent within the
Republican Movement) - they also all write for the Sunday Times!!

>An IRA army convention will have to be held before any further acts
of decommissioning can take place. The widespread opposition of
grassroot members to decommissioning means that a question mark now
hangs over the continuation of the process.

As for my last comments - this almost confirms it. Information on when IRA
army conventions are to be held doesn't be leaked to journalists like the
details of next week's British budget. It must have came from Brit
Intelligence. How do we know the rest is not similarly influenced??

> Last year the IRA's seven-strong army council approved just two
acts of decommissioning before they would need to be reconsulted.

Again, I guess they heard this late on Saturday night in the lock-in at the
Rock bar on the Falls Road?!

>Security sources believe that an act of decommissioning probably
occurred nine days ago on April 5. Gerry Kelly, the Sinn Fein
assembly member for North Belfast, travelled to Co Donegal that
morning as part of the preparations.

When I hear those sources believe... my mind starts

> Those opposed to the process are thought to include Thomas "Slab"
Murphy, the IRA's chief of staff, who has had a number of
meetings with leading dissidents. Gerry Adams, the president of Sinn
Fein and a member of the army council, was pushing for the second act
of decommissioning for more than a month and had hoped it would
happen before the meeting of the Ulster Unionist Council on March 9.
However, he agreed to wait until after Easter to minimise dissent and
facilitate wider consultation.

I can't confirm the veracity of these statements - I don't know. However,
the stuff on timing seems at least slightly misrepresented to me. I think
the last sentence might be only partially true - wider consultation - it
kinda undermines McIntyre's image of the Stalinist masses!

>In the interim a number of assurances were given by the British and
Irish governments to ease the move. They have agreed to use their
best influence to have three IRA suspects being held in Colombia on
terrorism charges returned to Ireland to serve their sentences if
they are convicted.

Again, this might be true. However, the source and direction it's used in,
need analysis.

> Assurances have also been given that on-the-run terrorists will be
allowed to return home without facing prison sentences. The British
government is preparing to make these proposals public next month.
They are thought to involve a truth and reconciliation element, with
fugitive offenders admitting their crimes and being released on
licence. About 60 people are expected to benefit.

Well, the 'On The Run' issue is high on the agenda (see my post on
Republican politics recently). I don't think that the Brits are going to
give way entirely in this matter immediately - more likely that they will
try to give it piecemeal - this source looks wrong here.

>Later this month Dr John Reid, the Northern Ireland secretary, will
speak about normalising the security situation and may suggest bases
for closure. This is part of the reciprocation for decommissioning
designed to encourage the IRA to continue the process.

So the Brits are going to remove some security apparatus back to Britain -
that's good - not quick enough for me though. Plus, they could bring it back
overnight. They aren't 'decommissioning' their weaponry!

>Most security sources now accept that Adams, Martin McGuinness and
their inner circle are committed to the peace process, to
decommissioning and to winding down the IRA, or if this is not
possible, of separating it from Sinn Fein.

This is the point of the article: to spread the rumour that one or two
people, allegedly, are committed to 'winding down the IRA' or of 'separating
it from SF'. Well, just in case British security sources haven't discovered
yet, let me state on this 'well-read' forum that the two are entirely
distinct entities already and have been for quite some time.

Danielle, a chara, the article is informative in the way that gossip is
'informative'. I ask that at least you try to put some context to it so that
people reading this can know where this is coming from and for what reason -
also what do you want to say with it? Is it a means by which you will get me
to say something I shouldn't? It's taken me an hour and a half to respond to
the two because of this.

The article by Brendan is tough and I disagree with it; however, Brendan is
someone I respect. I will attempt a response to his article which I believe
has some value. Stuff by McIntyre and the Sunday Times doesn't come to his
quality, nor the quality of IRSM material - there's enough there without
resorting to poor sources and Brit Intelligence gossip.


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