Radio Ga-Ga

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People sometimes complain that the south of Ireland ignores the north, sees it as not just a different state but a different country which has nothing to do with the  southern state, is a distraction to the economic recovery of the south. Not so this morning.

This morning, for roughly the first fifteen minutes of its main news bulletin, RTÉ Radio One devoted itself to interrogating Gerry Kelly about the statements of the PSNI regarding Provisional IRA involvement in the killing of Kevin McGuigan. The essential question that was asked was: has the IRA gone away?  You might think that question was answered about ten years ago. You might say there’s been no sign of any IRA activity for a decade or more. But you wouldn’t if you were an RTÉ interviewer. You would keep asking the Sinn Féin representative and put to him  “Does the IRA still exist?”  When he gave you his answer – No – you would talk around the subject for a bit and then come back again and ask “Does the IRA exist?” And when you’d done that you’d come back and ask it again. And get the same answer.

Gerry Kelly, beside the key word No, used one other vital word: evidence. There is something that would be hilarious if it were not so absurd that the PSNI, whose work centres around the accumulation of evidence for crimes committed, should send out its Chief Constable and another senior member to address the press, and should make garbled accusations of IRA involvement in a killing, without producing a quark of evidence to support their contention.

But as with most experiences in life, there’s a lesson to be gained from this affair. In fact two. The first is that the southern media are intensely interested in the north, providing it involves something that might diminish Sinn Féin in the eyes of the electorate. If this morning on radio wasn’t enough, check the main southern papers over the weekend.The second is  that the police service in the north, despite Chief Constable George Hamilton’s famous meeting with Martin McGuinness at St Mary’s University College a couple of weeks ago, is willing to play its part in nudging politics in the direction that the old RUC would have heartily applauded.

And if you can think of a more depressing thought than that on a Monday morning, I can’t.

20 Responses to Radio Ga-Ga

  1. paddykool August 24, 2015 at 8:27 am #

    Yes, Jude …It’s not unlike the conniptions in the like of the Daily Mail and the Times when discussing the “threat” of Jeremy Corbyn. There are some complicated knots being tied there too…..anyway when all the chatting, wrangling , tussling and talking are done and dusted , when will the experts on the police force show us the beef? They’ve talked all week now and nobody….nobody has produced a groat . We see every unionist politician that can sit up and talk, chatting about it and after twenty years of inactivity they want Sinn Fein to deconstruct something which they say does not exist and has not existed for many years .Do they want them to invent an organisation so that they can now destroy it to prove it existed in the first place? We really are in Norneverland when the security forces are chasing faeries that no one else can see..

  2. Iolar August 24, 2015 at 9:43 am #

    “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

    Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

    It is not difficult to spot the hidden agenda. We are back to ‘house training and flawed pedigrees’. Who is fit to govern? Who is fit to sit on a policing board?

    God be with the pre – 1968 golden era in the six north eastern counties of Ireland. We had Stormont, the RUC, law and order, the carnival atmosphere of parades, closed parks and no shopping on Sundays.

    Let us be optimistic and charitable this Monday morning to those busy with hyperbole in Dublin 4, things can only get better.

  3. TheHist August 24, 2015 at 11:14 am #

    The whole thing just becomes more controversial by the day. We are being told by the PSNI that the PIRA exist, albeit as a completely different organisation – NO EVIDENCE has been forthcoming, yet Unionists and the media so willingly accept at face value the PSNI assessment. Conclusions are being drawn too quickly, which is very dangerous!

    The words we “suspect”, “assess”, “line of enquiry” are all circumstantial – lack the strength and rigour of EVIDENCE! Chief Constable stated “We will go where the evidence takes us” – future tense? So, is he saying they have not gotten anywhere, as the evidence hasn’t taken them anywhere? The PSNI has caused utter confusion with their statements, Superintendent Detective Geddes statement the other day reeked of someone who didn’t really understand what he was talking about – “we don’t act on speculation”, yet “I suspect” … Conclusions based on assumptions, surely aren’t the way the PSNI operate!

    Big question for SF – They strenuously deny the PIRA exists and have evidence to substantiate that claim (IICD/IMC reports, Garda Commissioner, even Jeffrey Donaldson in 2012 stated the PIRA didn’t exist) … Surely they see the PSNI assessment as deceptive and wrong. Can SF continue to have a positive working relationship with the PSNI when such a serious allegation is being aimed at the Republican movement? Will SF continue to fully endorse and support the PSNI? Do they have confidence in the PSNI? That same PSNI, which senior Republicans stated at the arrest of Gerry Adams had a cabal within?

    I have no doubt Stormont will limp on, fatally wounded. But, to SF, what damage will this do them electorally in the South? We have a society that the assurance of evidence is not needed, if it suits ones political agenda, it’s enough!

  4. Ryan August 24, 2015 at 11:23 am #

    In the midst of all the speculation about the PIRA still existing or not, there are two families grieving over the death of their loved one but those seeking to score political points don’t care about that. This whole situation has been grasped by the DUP and UUP and they are talking about suspending the Assembly. Would the British Government, aided by Unionism, take this opportunity to implement Welfare Reform and at the same time blame Sinn Fein for the Assembly being suspended? This whole affair has also taken the spotlight away from the DUP and the whole NAMA scandal. A coincidence? I think not. Then I’m sure Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are gearing up to use this as a stick to beat Sinn Fein with in the South just when an election is coming up where SF are predicted to triple their seats. This is just me speculating but this whole affair seems planned and orchestrated as a means to attack Sinn Fein.

    Does the PIRA still exist? I don’t know but I’d guess they do, and so what if they do? The UDA and UVF still exist and Unionism isn’t on crying about that fact. One thing is certain and that’s the PIRA isn’t active. There’s just something funny about this whole affair, what it is I cant quite figure out yet. But over the past few days after reading many peoples comments and opinions, I’ve come to believe that the PSNI is more like the RUC than I thought….maybe they (The RUC) haven’t gone away, you know….

  5. billy August 24, 2015 at 11:59 am #

    george was heartily applauded at his famous meeting as you describe it whats changed from then,your easily depressed.

  6. paul August 24, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

    1000 RUC and Special Branch were hired into the PSNI. The PSNI is not a ‘new “police force. It has miles to go before it is an impartial upholder of the law. I beleive Einstein stated that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. case in point : policing in the North of Ireland.

  7. Belfastdan August 24, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

    It’s not just the southern media: in today’s Irish News Tom Kelly paraphrasing the Doobie Brothers was proclaiming “that only a fool believes that the IRA doesn’t exist.”

    Yes that is the same Tom Kelly who is a member of the Order of the British Empire.
    I suppose if you believe that the British Empire still exists then you are gullible enough to accept the word (without a shred of supporting evidence) of a “former” RUC man, or is there such a thing as, using Tom’s logic, a “former” RUC man.

    I’ll stick with the Doobie Brothers.

    • paddykool August 24, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

      The world always looks a whole lot more sensible with a doobie in your teeth, Belfastdan!!

  8. michael c August 24, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    Mike Nesbitt was at his condescending best on “talkback” today.Someone should have reminded him that after the UVF carried out a number of killings,the UUP responded by granting the PUP the UUP whip at Stormont.( I would have rung in myself only my thick South Derry accent does’nt transfer well to radio!)

  9. Patrick Pearse August 24, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

    “The fools, the fools, the fools, they have alleged the PIRA are not dead. And whilst the PSNI holds these claims, Stormonts existence, shall always remain in pieces.”

  10. Neill August 24, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

    Gerry Kelly a man of outstanding integrity a man you can trust what was he in prison for again?

  11. Perkin Warbeck August 24, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

    It’s early days yet, Esteemed Blogmeister, but a strong candidate for Gag of the Week has already emerged in the rather unlikely setting of a heavy duty, industrial strength RTE News Progamme at lunchtime today.

    ‘appened when M. Nesbitt, of the semi-comatose Ulster Unionist Party called his interviewer ‘Sonya’ while fairly setting about the Shinners, left. r. and centre. The inaccurately-named interviewer kept both her cool and her counsel, being the class professional act she is, and did not correct him.

    Not to mention forbearing to take out her slide rule, great though the temptation must have been for Aine Lawlor (for it was she !) to rap the k.-head across the knuckles. Aine, of course, is known affectionately to her myriad of semi-comatose fans in the F.S.S. as ‘Yawna’. Maybe that is where the confusion originated. In fairness.

    It certainly curried the yogurt of those same fans south of the Black Pig’s Dyke on this Black Monday.

    A bad day for catching names correctly. Perkie must fess up to not quite making out the first name of the interviewee, hence the initial (see above). M. was put down as it sounded something like On the Make Nesbitt, though it obviously couldn’t be that. Must say he did sound to the microphone born, as someone deeply in L. with the tone of his own baritone, so it might (possibly) have been a contraction of same.

    Like all RTE progs on the long-slog conflict in Norneverland with its catalogue of atrocities and pettifogging apologists from the PIRA, this prog was studiously balanced in its choice of interviewees: M. Nesbtt was samboed in between a Labour Party Minister from the FSS and the Editor of the Irish News in Belfast.

    Alan Kelly, MP for Tipperary North (for it was he and it !) bluntly contradicted his cabinet colleague, the Minister for Justice on the continued existence of the PIRA. It ought to be noted that Frances Fitzgerald (for it was she !) was Flowerymouthing yesterday down in Beal na mBlath at the annual Blueshirt Jamboree for Their Mick. It was the turn of Frances to get the Flowerymouth gig.

    And while A. Kelly is also -,surprise, surprise – the Director of Elections for the Labour Party (Free Southern Stateen branch), Frances F. had to think of the Collins Cupboard and its crammed cargo of completely comatose skeletons.

    A.Kelly, who, as he reminded Sonya/Aine/ Yawna, grew up ‘listening to news reports of the atrocities of PIRA’ and so, ‘demanded straight answers to direct questions’ from G. Adams or even G. Kelly (whose names straddle both).

    As it happens, Sean Tracey, of Tipperary North, was a patriotic comrade of The Big Fellow and was riddled by the righteous rifles of the B. and Tans on Talbot Street, Dublin 1 in 1920. (A fillum footage exists of the carcass of the Tipperary terr being thoughtfully and tenderly dumped into the back of a Crossley).

    Now, the curious coincidence here is that some 54 years later, and roughly the same number of yards away, the Big Kahuna of the bombs belonging to the British Labour Party Government’s undercover wing from the Glennane Farm Centre of Peace Studies was detonated.

    Only pressure of time prevented the old pro, Begonia Sonya/ Aine from pushing A. Kelly,M.P. on that potentially embarrassing point. In fairness, the Director of Elections of the FSS Wing of the British Labour Party (at least pre-Corbyn) was not born till 1975 and so could not have lived through that Talbot Street ‘atrocity’ of 1974.

    Besides, it’s a long way to Tipperary North.

    PS Naive folk in the FSS have wondered why its politicians and their spokesfolks in the paid press and bought broadcasting bunkers have been singing so dumb about the double murder by (gulp) samurai sword in South Belfast last month. One of whom was a Mandarin in the U.D.A. / U.F.F. Movement for Caprice and Wreckonciliation.

    Perhaps the clue lies in the nickname of Colin ‘Bap’ Lindsay (for it was he !). How different it might have been if his sobriquet had been ‘Pap’: what a difference a little letter can make. Wall to wall outrage would have been the order of the day in the FSS.

    -Thump ! Thump ! Thump !

    That would be Diognenes, Perkie’s pet dog once again demanding in his cynical canine way, an explanation by thumping his tail on the rubbish-strewn mat. (the mutt suffers from Diogenes Syndrome).

    In brief, so: back in the Fabulous Fifties one of the iconic, oops, emblematic hits was the great Slim Willet composition, made popular by Perry Como and the first lines of which went:

    ‘Don’t let the stars get in your eyes,
    Don’t let the moon break your heart’.

    It was the ultimate feel-good song and once you heard the opening chorus line you were hooked. This chorus line has been described as the pop equivalent to the opening four note short-short-short-long motif of Beethoven’s Fifth in classical music.

    In ‘Don’t let the stars get in your eyes’ the opening chorus line goes:

    ‘Pa, pap, pa, pia
    Pa, pap pa, pia, pia, pia’.

    During the Thirty Years Dirty War an applied version of this became the unacknowledged opening chorus line of every reported atrocity from Norneverland on RTE:

    ‘Pa, pap, pa, PIRA,
    Pa, Pap, pa, PIRA’

    This was the opening chorus line which immediately set the fingertips of the FSS a-tapping and which gave its peace and reconciliation loving politicos such a Feel-good feeling.

    A Feel-good feeling born,of course, of MS. Which stands for – cad eile? – Moral Superiority.

  12. Frankie Keenan August 24, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    I have to agree with you Jude, even the Jews were eventually forgiven for doing Jesus in, as can be seen up North with the support of the Loyalists for them!!!! It’s only a matter of time before the Prods come around!!!!

  13. colm August 24, 2015 at 8:11 pm #

    It got worse later on this morning when Michael Martin was given almost free rein to use the killing of Kevin McGuigan to attack Sinn Féin. According to him ex-RUC man Hamilton had “confirmed” the continued existence of the Provos and that these “terrorists” were also members of Sinn Féin, who indulged in criminal behaviour and “controlled” nationalist areas.
    After the SDLP slant from the editor of the Irish News at 1 o clock we got into some heavy-duty Sinn Féin bashing with that paragon of even-handed reasonableness Anthony McIntyre at the start of the Drivetime programme at half four.
    Surprisingly the only chink of fairness came from Tommy Gorman…yes, you heard me Tommy Gorman. Young Thomas dared to ask George Hamilton if the fact that the arrest of a suspect who hadn’t been in the jurisdiction at the time of the crime might not mean that PSNI intelligence was somewhat deficient.

  14. KopperbergCentral August 24, 2015 at 8:35 pm #

    Reading some of the comments on this platform and others, a person would think the RUC were a little better, reputation wise, than ISIS but a little worse than the Waffen SS. Rather than being someone’s father, son, brother, friend, colleague, a real living breathing human being, they are vilified as the devil incarnate. That seems the real reason, pure wanton blood lust, why 300 of them were needlessly killed and not for any military/tactical purposes

  15. michael c August 25, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

    Perkin,as someone who counts “Tipperary so far away” among my all time favourite songs,I have to take issue with your insensitive slur on Dan Breen’s right hand man.The “dying rebel” was called Sean TREACY. (TRACEY is a character in a North of England soap opera!)

    • Perkin Warbeck August 26, 2015 at 8:26 am #

      Mea culpa, Michael C. No excuse.

      No excuse, for the simple reason that we Warbecks like to think of ourselves as being kin to Sean Treacy. O Treasaigh being the leprechaun for ‘fighter’.

      Which has led one to become a card-carrying fan of the Sean Treacy Stickfighting and Stonethrowing Club in what is known as ‘Kathy Daly Country’ in Deepest Tipperary.

      Well,on mature recollection, perhaps there is an excuse.

      One once knew a cutie name of Tracey. The memory of whom one had thought one had eliminated all, er, trace evidence. No so, seemingly.

      Trouble was, her real name was Breathless Mahoney who took to calling herself Missus Tracy because she had a crush on Crimebuster Dick Tracy.

      Breathless Mahoney: Thanks for calling. I was beginning to wonder what a girl had to do to get arrested.

      Dick Tracy: Wearing that dress is a step in the right direction.

      Being a lounge singer, Breahless Mahoney, aka Tracy, of course was fond, very fond of both tips and Tipp.

      Tiobraid Arann abu !

      Biodh se i bhfad uainn.

  16. michael c August 26, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

    Did’nt John Wayne threaten to arrest Angie Dickinson in “Rio Bravo” for the same carry on!

    • Perkin Warbeck August 27, 2015 at 7:23 am #

      Please, Michael C. a chara, don’t hit me with the Angelic Angie, not least in her appropriately named role as Feathers in Rio Bravo.

      She was the first cutie to, erm, tickle one’s fancy on the Silver Screen until, like all the rest of them, ochon, her tickle proved to be but a prologue to her being fickle.

      As regards the scene in q., one can only defer to your superior knowledge as a fillum buff.If one may quote the ever quotable On the Make Mike Nesbitt this could well be a ‘single transferable situation’ peculiar to Movieland.

      (Where does old Nezzers get this turn of phrase from?).

      Apart from the Angelic Angie one’s abiding memory of Rio Bravo is the lush, celestial music. of the wondrous composer Dmitri Tiomkin. Not the first time did this native of Ukraine show the local good ole boy musicians just how to capture the soul of the West in sound. As he had previously done with the haunting score of ‘High Noon’.

      One has often wondered about the move of Dmitri Tiomkin from the old Russia to the new America. Where he was to thrive.

      Did it, perchance, presage the move of Larry Tiomkin from Kildare to Cork where he too was to thrive and has two Celtic Cross medals to show for it.

      Could they have been in any way related?

      Beir bua !

  17. michael c August 27, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

    When sheriff John T (Wayne) finally got to grips with Angie in the final scene,it was left to Walter Brennan to deliver the ultimate punchline : ” I wonder will I ever get to be sheriff”!