Cherry picking and journalists found wanting

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                                                                                       Picture by Pete Riches

Ever wonder why, when they swear in a court witness, they ask them to promise they’ll tell not just the truth but the whole truth? If you’ve been following the reporting of events here over the last week or so, you’ll know how important the whole truth is. And how damaging its absence.

Let’s take the Chief Constable first. Here’s what he said:

““Our assessment indicates that a primary focus of the Provisional IRA is now promoting a peaceful, political republican agenda. We have no information to suggest that violence, as seen in the murder of Kevin McGuigan, was sanctioned or directed at a senior level in the republican movement. Although still a proscribed organisation, and therefore illegal, we assess that the continuing existence and cohesion of the Provisional IRA hierarchy has enabled the leadership to move the organisation forward within the peace process. Some current Provisional IRA and former members continue to engage in a range of criminal activity and occasional violence in the interest of personal gain or personal agendas.”

Now it’s true from the above that the Chief Constable says there are present and past IRA members engaged in criminal activity for their personal ends; but he also makes it clear that in his judgement, the IRA’ s primary focus is now on peaceful politics. If I had to break it down into percentages, I’d say some 20% of his statement suggests IRA members killed Kevin McGuigan and some 80% of his statement says that the IRA is committed to peaceful means of pursuing its objectives. The UUP and the DUP, for their own reasons, have taken the 20% and ignored the 80%. There is a contradiction in the Chief Constable’s statement which no journalist – as I pointed out on the Nolan Show yesterday – has sought to pursue.  Likewise no one has tackled the DUP and the UUP about telling the truth while ignoring the whole truth.

A parallel to this situation has popped up in the British Labour Party, and unionism here has reacted in the same way again.  John McDonnell has been appointed shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer . The unionist parties here have grabbed at some  of his statements thirteen years ago, when he praised the courage of the IRA in general and of Bobby Sands and the hunger strikers in particular. And they’re right, in the sense that McDonnell did make those statements in 2003. But on 3 June 2003 in the Guardian newspaper, Mr McDonnell wrote the following:

“Irish republicans have to face the fact that the use of violence has resulted in unforgivable atrocities. No cause is worth the loss of a child’s life. No amount of political theory will justify what has been perpetrated on the victims of the bombing campaigns…I told the harsh truth that the negotiations on the future of Northern Ireland would not be taking place if it had not been for the military action of the IRA. Let me be clear, I abhor the killing of innocent human beings. My argument was that republicans had the right to honour those who had brought about this process of negotiation which had led to peace.”

Has any unionist politician referred to this part of Mr McDonnell’s views on the conflict here?  Not one, as far as I can tell – if someone knows differently I’ll be happy to hear from them.

It’s hoodwinking the public, to present this one-eyed picture of public statements, whether from the Chief Constable of the PSNI or from John McDonnell, the recently installed shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. But it’s a scandal that no journalist has confronted either man with the ambiguity in their statements.

Speaking truth to power? Make that half-truth – at best.

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50 Responses to Cherry picking and journalists found wanting

  1. paddykool September 15, 2015 at 10:40 am #

    What it comes down to, Jude , is that there have always been two separated stories running parallel here in Norneverland . …running behind the doors and windows of homes for hundreds of years; sometimes hardly even talked about even though the people here were seeing the world through differing eyes, being educated in different schools, living different lives.It’s led to a “cherry-picking” state of mind in our politics. Nobody wants to accept the whole story…neither side of the debate wants to deal with the whole truth.They’d rather blank it out .
    No one wants to believe , for example , that the minute that the republican movement gave up their war, Sinn Fein suddenly gained all of those SDLP supporters who didn’t really agree with the violence that had gone before when they were rigidly attached to the IRA .I think unionism hasn’t got its head around that one yet. Sinn Fein would actually lose a lot of those “new” voters if the IRA was still functioning as a fighting force. Is the Establishment trying to prove to those “new” voters that the IRA and Sinn Fein are really still “at war” discourage those voters and make them vote for the SDLP again…. and hope to split nationalism as evenly as unionism seems to be on the very verge of doing to itself ….any day now.

    • Jude Collins September 15, 2015 at 11:38 am #

      I think you’re on the scent, pk…

    • giordanobruno September 15, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

      Everyone loves a conspiracy theory! The establishment eh? Scary!
      Do you really think they would risk bringing down Stormont and igniting loyalist actions against the nationalist community, by creating the impression the ra were still at war, just in the hope it would push voters to the SDLP. The game would not be worth the candle.
      There is no logic in that at all. I do not think you are on the scent!

      • Ceannaire September 15, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

        Why would Loyalists even contemplate attacking Nationalists because of two ex-IRA men being shot?

        There is no logic in that at all, even by Loyalist twisted logic.

        • paddykool September 15, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

          Who mentioned anybody attacking anybody Ceannaire ?I can see they mightn’t actually need any kind of excuse , mind.You’d think a loyalist would be glad to see any republican being taken out by whatever means . They used to kill random catholics in the hope that this scattershot approach might bag an odd republican now and again.Fact!

          • Jude Collins September 15, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

            I think they didn’t mind if they didn’t bag a republican – the policy was to terrorise the nationalist population and so dry up the pool in which the IRA swam…

          • Ryan September 15, 2015 at 6:15 pm #

            I don’t believe for a second when Loyalists/Unionists randomly murdered Catholic civilians that they were under the illusion that all Catholics were republicans, I believe they did it simply out of sectarian hatred for Catholics. They even murdered many a Protestant civilian thinking they were Catholics.

            Gusty Spence, UVF leader said: “If you cant get an IRA man, get a Taig”. He also stated too that he was paid by Unionist Stormont to start a “sectarian war”.

            Of course I also believe that the many gullible young men that joined the Loyalist/Unionist paramilitaries were brainwashed with sectarian hatred (if that was even needed, given the society they grew up in, especially when your from a community dominated by the Orange Order) or were used to do the bidding of older men or of the British Government itself. They were cannon fodder, to an extent. Just like at the Somme. Brian Robinson himself was killed after he murdered, yet again, at random a Catholic civilian. This was at a time when the British Government was coming under close attention due to its shoot to kill policy involving republicans, Robinson was killed just to combat this notion only republicans were being killed by the Brits.

          • Ceannaire September 15, 2015 at 10:30 pm #

            Paddy I was replying to Gio. You’ll find he brought the attacking up in his post.

        • Ryan September 15, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

          They would need permission from their MI5 handlers first.

        • giordanobruno September 15, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

          I agree. But I was referring to paddy’s theory of the establishment trying to “prove the IRA were still at war”. In such a scenario there would surely be a risk of loyalists looking to target the nationalist community.
          Which is why I find it unlikely that the establishment would want to do so.

      • paddykool September 15, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

        Well gio …I don’t necessarily believe it’s a conspiracy myself but there’s enough daft stuff in the mix already for anyone with any imagination to build a great old thriller out of it already. I’ve written earlier in the week about some stuff that outside of a Grimm’s fairytale would be frankly unbelieveable …except that we all know that it actually happened in real time . It’s just that some choose to forget or really can’t process the truth….or at best have bitten off a small part of that truth and conflated it into an entirely different story .Most people out there have n’t time to grab anything other than the blunt headlines and miss the details that really matter.
        { }
        The conspiracty theorist will already know that the British Establishment , or if you like , the spooks behind the government such as MI5 or MI6 ,have always used the “Divide and Conquer” rule throughout history… throughout the world.Everywhere that Britain went , there was a backstory of intrigue, so it’s nostretch to believe If they thought they could somehow break down the monolithic nationalist and unionist parties into easier to manage pieces…such as a half- and- half range of unionist parties fighting against each other and a half- and -half nationalist population dividing the votes between an equal Sinn Fein and an equal SDLP, they might all be a little more manageable and might just hold the status quo in check. In doing so it could slow down Sinn Fein’s republican plan for an all -Ireland socialist sort of state.Look what’s happening with Jeremy Corbyn at the moment . The press will slander the man with anything they can make up . Right there you’ve the bones of grand conspiracy theory….a thriller waiting to be written .Are they doing this ? Well I don’t think so personally , but I’d really like to know what is going on between the Chief Constable or some “mole” within his service , Theresa Villiers and Peter Robinson that allows Peter to plan out political moves on the strength of stuff that hasn’t happened yet and actually hasn’t much basis in any kind of reality either , it seems. Weeks after the Chief Constable’s “revelation” we still haven’t seen anything other than smoke and yet here we are in a “state of chassis” as the Captain once said.

        • Jude Collins September 15, 2015 at 5:56 pm #

          AND Theresa Villiers knew in advance that the arrest of Bobby Storey and Co was on its way. As M McG put it, “My aerial shot up 100 feet immediately” when Villiers tried to palm it off as necessary for her to know ‘in the interests of national security’. That sounds v much like MI5 territory to me.

      • Ryan September 15, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

        Gio, the Establishment ran the Loyalist paramilitaries (I’m not saying every UVF/UDA member knew this but certainly the entire leadership were agents and rest of the UDA/UVF were expendable, Brian Robinson is one example) and that’s no “conspiracy theory”, so yes, the British Government were involved in the murders of hundreds of Catholic civilians. The British Government could shut down the UVF/UDA tomorrow morning if they wanted to.

        So yes, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Establishment were trying to destroy SF’s political agenda in the North and ESPECIALLY in the South or do you believe their propaganda they were the peace makers holding back to sectarian tribes the past 50 years?…

        There’s a reason why the British Government has far more to worry about here in Norneverland (and Ireland in general, the Dublin/Monaghan Bombs weren’t the work of the UVF) than their activities in Iraq or Afghanistan

        • giordanobruno September 15, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

          Ryan and paddy
          I am not disputing the dirty tricks the British government got up to over the years. I am disputing the idea that they would want to portray the IRA as back at war so that voters would turn away from SF and to the SDLP. It would be lunacy.
          If the loyalist groups believed the war was on what would they do? Have a wild guess
          We would soon be back to the worst shit we can all remember. Why would the British risk that just in the hope of building up the SDLP, an objective which would then be futile anyway
          So that theory seems extremely unlikely to me..

          • Ryan September 16, 2015 at 2:44 am #

            Gio, the Loyalist paramilitaries are infiltrated, they are the poodles of the British Government, they are essentially under the thumb of the British Government and always were for decades, they could be shut down tomorrow morning if the British Gov wanted to shut them down. So if the Brits wanted to portray the PIRA being active and back on the warpath they could easily stop Loyalists from reacting, the entire leadership are agents, I would say only the low ranking, volunteers who take the orders are unaware of all this or they don’t care.

            If the PIRA wanted to go back to war tomorrow they wouldn’t let the likes of the UVF/UDA get in their way and they could react to defend nationalists. The PIRA tactic during most of the troubles was to kill British soldiers, that was a political tactic, they killed over 700 over the course of the Troubles. Killing Ulster Loyalists in those numbers wasn’t going to upset anyone in England or in the British Gov but killing British soldiers would put pressure from the British public to withdraw from Northern Ireland. In the 1990’s many Loyalist commanders were killed by republicans when republicans strayed from their political tactic, usually in reply to the killing of Catholic civilians, Cecil McKnight, Billy Wright, Joe Bratty, Raymond Elder, Trevor King, etc being examples.

            Point I’m trying to make here is Loyalist/Unionist paramilitaries are under the control of the Brits. So the Brits could portray the provos being on the warpath for the sole reason of disrupting SF’s political agenda while at the same time keeping the Loyalists at bay. The reason SF is saying “The IRA has gone away” isn’t due to any fear of Unionist paramilitaries, its fear of losing the votes of pro-peace nationalists, especially in the south.

            As the wife of Pat Finucane said about the people who murdered her husband: “We’re not interested in the ones who pulled the trigger (Loyalists), we’re only interested in the ones who pulled the strings (British Government)”.

          • Emmet September 16, 2015 at 6:14 am #

            I don’t think the British government has much say on Mi5 activities in Ireland. Mi5 and British government agendas are very different. Mi5 hate anything that could upset their operations, as it stands they have a lot of funding for their activities in the north and they have virtually no scrutiny. If peace or unification happens a lot of them would be out of a job. The theory is very logical to me.

      • Argenta September 15, 2015 at 7:36 pm #

        Martin Mc Guinnes is quoted as saying that “state agents” we’re involved in the Mc Guigan murder.One wonders if there is any evidence to back up this interesting assertion!

        • Jude Collins September 15, 2015 at 9:18 pm #

          I suspect he doesn’t have any, Argenta. On t’other hand, as GA pointed out on RTÉ last night, last time there was a big Stormont security brouhaha, there was a state agent – Denis Donaldsen – at the heart of it.

        • giordanobruno September 16, 2015 at 6:35 pm #

          Its a good point. There is no more evidence for that theory than there is for the rather more straightforward explanation that this was IRA or ex IRA personnel acting either on their own or (less likely to my mind) with the sanction of the hierarchy.

          • Jude Collins September 16, 2015 at 10:01 pm #

            Or maybe it wasn’t the IRA at all…Or even ex-IRA

          • giordanobruno September 17, 2015 at 8:05 am #

            That is possible, but it remains the most straightforward explanation, so I don’t see the need to race to more devious explanations without evidence.
            Surely rule out the obvious first?
            Confirmation bias in action.

  2. Neill September 15, 2015 at 10:50 am #

    Perhaps with the money you have earned from the Nolan and Talkback show you could set up a summer school to discuss “proper” journalism? ; )

    • Jude Collins September 15, 2015 at 11:37 am #

      What a good idea, neill! Maybe we could get you to chair a few sessions…

    • paddykool September 15, 2015 at 12:31 pm #

      Bit late for a summer school , Neill..what with Autumn calling and that….

      • Neill September 16, 2015 at 6:35 am #

        I was giving him a year to build up payments from the BBC

  3. giordanobruno September 15, 2015 at 11:17 am #

    Whether we agree with the CC or not there is no contradiction in his statement as presented here.
    Firstly he says that the PIRA in its present form is committed to peaceful means and there is no evidence these killings were sanctioned by the hierarchy. Clear enough.
    Then he says some individual IRA personnel are engaged in criminal activity and violence for their own ends, i.e. not sanctioned by the hierarchy.
    No contradiction.

  4. paul September 15, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    I think it is time for SF to respond to allegations and to highlight the hypocrisy of the DUP and others. The suspension of the executive seems like a well choreographed play that allows the DUP and others to try and prevent and SF and other repbulican agendas from moving forward. I would love to hear the media both north and south put Robinson to task by asking him about Willie McCrea’s OTR letter, his own links to Ulster Resistance, plus the fact that there have been many loyalist murders that no one has been arrested for. Where are the town criers from the Independent calling Peter to the carpet. Sadly no where to be found

  5. Perkin Warbeck September 15, 2015 at 11:44 am #

    The tradition of the one-eyed cherry-picking hack goes back a long way, Esteemed Blogmeister, not only on the island of Ireland but also, on some of its offshore islands too.

    Take Balor for instance. He was the legendary One-eyed High King of the Fomorians who took up residence on the tax-haven Island of Tory. Every generation (certainly down here in the Free Southern Stateen) throws up a successor (usually self-appointed, and nothing necessarily wrong with that) to the baleful Balor.

    By which time the vast majority of your A-list readership, EB, has, in all likelihood, twigged the identity of said successor with his one-eye and big,big brain. But for the benefit of the odd Densa among the overwhelming Mensas, here are a few clues:

    1. His aim is to morph the island of Ireland into Tory Island.

    2. The original Balor has been interpreted by the more distinguished of folklorists in the FSS as being ‘the personification of drought and blight.’ Which, oddly enough, bears an uncanny resemblance to his contemporary model.

    3. The respected antipodean genealogist, Professor Barry Humphreys, PhD of the University of Melbourne was the first to draw attention to the fact the common Tasmanian surname ‘O’One-eyed-trouser-snake’ was not in fact of aborigine origin as had been generally assumed.

    But instead was derived from the surname of the notorious deportee of the 19th Century, a cobber name of O’Toole who had been transported to Van Diemen’s Land for the not uncommonOirish offence of stealing the coppers off the eyes of corpses. The surname in time underwent a transformation to suit local conditions much as Van Diemen’s Land itself eventually morphed into Tasmania.

    As the devil resides in the above detail no doubt even the Densas will recognise whom one is referring to : Mensa Man himself, the hack with the highest IQ on the island of Ireland.. And after whom the eponymous CarraunToole (‘Toole’s inverted sickle’) is, not undeservedly, named.

    And it from that very eerie intellectual eyrie that the successful successor (he is, after all, is he not, Enda’s Agenda setter? Indeed, red setter) turned his baleful gaze towards another offshore island, the not-Tory Island of Skellig.Michael. (which later word itself is a variant of O’One-eyed-trouser-snake. See Tasmania, above).

    This showed him to be a true successor to Balor as it showed he was a worthy wearer of the adjective which is normally attached to the Big B: Beimneach. (Meaning ‘smiteful’ in the original leprechaun).

    Did Sickle-wielding O’Toole smite and hammer the louche Government-sponsored attempt by the Star Wars fillum- making crew to morph Skellig Michael into a colony of Disneyworld, or did he not?

    His monastic-based approach caught many naive folk by surprise; but not Perkie’s inner drooling Fintan O’Toole fan. Recognising as he did that the roads, the roundabouts,and the cul-de-sacs of Crumlin, the beloved native prole-roled parish of the scribe are named for/after the monasteries of ancient Eireland: Bangor, Kildare,Ferns, Clonard, Downpatrick, Leighlin and Lismore, to name but a few of the pew-sounding thoroughfares.

    Despite his current fanatical agnosticism, nonetheless the Abbot of the Costello Academy of Contemporary Comedy is not one to forget his roots, as he never tires of reminding his forgetful fans.

    Mind you, that wasn’t the reason for his recent Fomoiran-like fulminations. Rather was it the proposed casting of (gasp) Chewbacca as the central character in the upcoming eipisode of Star Wars on Skellig Michael (see Tasmania above). And even the presence of Dr. Darth Vader Veradkar in the castaway cast was not sufficient to give his fulminations pause.

    And the reason is simplicity itself. For Chewbacca (aka affectionately known as ‘Chewie’) does NOT speak English. Rather was his voice created from a melange of recordings of walruses, lions, camels, bears, rabbits and tigers, all belonging to the private managerie of the producer.

    (Mind you, the above sounds not at all unlike the very Yerra dialect of Kerry: think the Clan Healy-Rae. Little surprise that Michael – that recurring appendage !- of the same clan was Balor O’Toole’s shtoutest critic on this matter).

    The reason why one focussed on this particular topic, Esteemed Blogmeister, is that Balor O’Toole has yet to utter the ultimate, definitive, one-eyed, cherry-picking, supreme and courtly judgement on the stately and statesman-like statements of the Chielf Constable.And it would ill-behove Pekie’s inner drooling Fintan O’Toole fan, to pre-empt the maestro who is-is he not? – Enda’s red Agenda setter.

    To conclude: the topic du jour in Balor O’Toole’s Tuesday Museday column concerns the overnight broad-way hit which has swept the FSS like a withce’s broomstick; ABBA-ortion: The musical !, starring the highkicking hoofer Rosin Ingle.

    Although of the same parish as the scribe Fintan of The Unionist Times shows his fearlessness by putting all bias aside, all mere parochialism and describing her performance with variations of the v-word.

    Valor , incidentally, rhymes with Balor.

  6. Freddy Mallins September 15, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

    Giordanobruno, it would appear that Sinn Fein do not consider the latter to be IRA personnel. They have been described as thugs and criminals by McGuinness and Adams. They are beyond the pale and acting without sanction in a criminal capacity for their own personal gratification. So, should that have any relevance for the peace process / institutions? It all seems a bit odd. These people unfortunately exist in all societies, surely.

  7. Ryan September 15, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

    The DUP/UUP are masters at cherry picking, they’re almost as good at cherry picking as they are at hypocrisy. Almost. From the Good Friday Agreement to paramilitaries, Unionism loves to cherry pick. They endorse some articles of the GFA but not others. They like some paramilitaries but not others (especially not them’uns).

    Unionism is outraged at John McDonnell’s comments and beliefs in regard to the IRA. Its true that the IRA brought the British Government to the table, the British Government didn’t pursue a campaign of peace in the 1970’s, 80’s or the early 90’s, they were on a war path, sponsored by Unionism, to defeat the IRA, not the UVF/UDA or any other Loyalist terrorist group (they even allowed the UDA to be legal for over 20 years and allowed them to patrol with the British Army). Just the IRA. They failed. The Brits were brought to the table and the current peace process began.

    The Unionist parties are behind the current crisis at Stormont. Yes there was two murders but was Sinn Fein behind it? No, even the Chief Constable said he didn’t doubt SF’s commitment to peace. This is when Unionism, especially Mike TV, went into cherry picking mode. The motive for this sudden spur of cherry picking is Unionist rivalry with the DUP. The Unionist parties are at each other’s throats and that’s why Martin McGuinness would like an election. But there’s other motives behind this crisis too because its not just Unionist rivalry. There’s also an agenda to disrupt/destroy Sinn Fein’s political agenda, especially in the South.

    There’s very few, decent Journalists around, especially in Norneverland to point out the cherry picking, double standards and down right hypocrisy of Unionism. Sinn Fein’s past is always close at hand but the DUP/UUP’s past is carefully tucked away. Move along, nothing to see here….

  8. Bríd September 15, 2015 at 7:28 pm #

    Beyond the Pale! Please check your unaware references. Colonial ideology strikes again!

    • Ryan September 16, 2015 at 2:53 am #

      I may sound a bit of a bore here but I was thinking the other day when I heard that reference “Beyond the Pale” while watching a movie: “Is that in reference to the Pale that was beyond Dublin in the 1500’s in Ireland”? lol I’m sure a lot of people reading this are rolling their eyes and thinking: “Wow, your quick Ryan!”

      I’m sorry, I can be a bit slow sometimes 🙂

  9. giordanobruno September 15, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

    I agree that is the stated view of Sinn Fein.
    (It is a nice syllogism by the way. Republicans cannot be criminals, the people who did this are criminals, therefore the people who did this cannot be ewpublicans)
    It is the view of the Chief Constable I was referring to as quoted by Jude.
    There is no contradiction from the CC’S point of view in saying that some IRA members or former members are engaged in criminal activity on their own initiative. He is simply saying there is no evidence it was sanctioned by the organisation.

    • Jude Collins September 15, 2015 at 9:16 pm #

      You mean that’s your interpretation of what he said. It’s not mine – or, I suspect, that of many others.

      • giordanobruno September 15, 2015 at 9:51 pm #

        It is actually what he said according to the quote you provided.

        “We have no information to suggest that violence, as seen in the murder of Kevin McGuigan, was sanctioned or directed at a senior level in the republican movement.”

        “Some current Provisional IRA and former members continue to engage in a range of criminal activity and occasional violence in the interest of personal gain or personal agendas.”
        Where is the contradiction?

        • Jude Collins September 16, 2015 at 10:48 am #

          He said more than that, gio. He said the IRA had become committed to peaceful political actions to achieve its goal. He then says “Some current Provisional IRA and former members continue to engage in a range of criminal activity and occasional violence in the interest of personal gain or personal agendas.” Does he mean that some IRA or ex-IRA have turned criminal, with no sanction from what he says is the IRA? Then he should have said so. It’s clear that he provided unionist politicians with an excuse to say “The IRA haven’t gone away!” and walk out.

          • giordanobruno September 16, 2015 at 11:24 am #

            “Does he mean that some IRA or ex-IRA have turned criminal, with no sanction from what he says is the IRA? Then he should have said so”
            He clearly says:
            “We have no information to suggest that violence…. was sanctioned or directed at a senior level in the republican movement.”
            No contradiction in what he said.
            If you are speculating about his motives that is another matter.

    • jessica September 15, 2015 at 11:07 pm #


      If someone acted in a way that jeopardised the union with GB, would you be surprised that unionist politicians claimed they were not unionists?

      The current leadership of Sinn Fein have more right than anyone to say that no current armed groups have the right to claim the name of the IRA and have greater support than any other political party on this island to back it up.

      The CC is going to have to accept that sooner or later, he has already damaged the reputation of his post within Westminster and I doubt his reckless behaviour will be tolerated for too long there.

      • giordanobruno September 16, 2015 at 11:19 am #

        No I would not be surprised by that at all.
        My point is Jude has made much of the contradiction in the CC’S statement.
        There is no contradiction.
        If a Unionist was found to have been involved in criminal activity would it be contradictory to say his behaviour was not sanctioned by the Unionist hierarchy? Of course not, yet that is what Jude seems to be saying with regard to the CC’S statement.
        Perhaps you can enlighten me.

        • jessica September 16, 2015 at 3:37 pm #

          The CC said publically that the IRA is fully committed to peace and are doing nothing to harm the peace process.
          What is very contradictory is to then say but one of their current members was part of a shooting based on zero evidence or intelligence.

          He has also said he will basically behave in whatever way he sees fit regardless of whatever political turmoil their actions might result in, and to then arrest totally the wrong people with no valid reason is really proving they are not fit for purpose. He has gone beyond simple contradiction and needs to go before he does any more damage.

          • giordanobruno September 16, 2015 at 6:28 pm #

            He did not contradict himself. He said some individual members (with no evidence of sanction from the organisation) are engaged in criminal activity.
            It appears that many here are responding to what they think he said and not what he actually said.
            His subsequent actions are open to question and I have no doubt Sinn Fein will hold him to account on the policing board.
            Would you have him sacked before knowing his reasoning?

          • jessica September 17, 2015 at 5:59 am #

            The biggest problem and it is plain to see is that there does not appear to be any evidence full stop therefore, he is basing his words on what he is being told by informers.

            Yes, he is entitled to go after criminals and south armagh smugglers, but he is no longer entitled to brand them IRA. The war is over, it is time the PSNI started earning their wages and stopped turning a blind eye to criminal activity and causing political upheaval to protect their informers.

            Based on his following actions and arresting so many people withtout even a sensible question to ask them, it appears to me he has been given poor information and has decided to arrest anyone other than those actually close to whoever fed him the information as has been past form to protect their informants.

            You done seem to be getting the bigger picture.

            I have lost any confidence I had in the PSNI and a sizable percentage of the population here believe he has acted politically and is now protecting his agent informers.

            He is obviously unfit for the role and I expect the pressure from westminster will eventually lead to him resigning. Not because they care about good policing here, but because it has taken up so much time and effort which they would prefer to spend on their own more british relevant issues.

          • giordanobruno September 17, 2015 at 9:08 am #

            A lot of speculation there.
            We don’t know what questions were asked of those arrested.
            We don’t know exactly what information the PSNI has nor how strong it is.
            We do know he was a former IRA man and suspected of involvement in the murder of another highly respected former IRA man.
            Can you acknowledge there is a possibility at least that current or former IRA members are behind the killing of Kevin McGuigan,with or without the sanction of the hierarchy.
            Just a possibility?

          • Jude Collins September 17, 2015 at 9:51 am #

            There’s also a possibility you killed him, gio. Or I did. Or Peter Robinson. Possible…

          • jessica September 17, 2015 at 10:25 am #

            “Can you acknowledge there is a possibility at least that current or former IRA members are behind the killing of Kevin McGuigan,with or without the sanction of the hierarchy.”

            Certainly, but until there is evidence, a large percentage of the population here do not believe the PSNI on this, have no confidence that is the case and believe there has been political interference at play. Those are facts and not speculation. Even GB politicians have lost confidence

        • Argenta September 16, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

          You see what you’re up against here.The C Cs statements are relentlessly parsed and he is criticised for having the effrontery to suggest there there might be the slightest link between Mc Guigans murderers and the remnants of the I R A!Yet at 9-18 (yesterdays post)Jude acknowledged that Martin Mc Guinness probably didn’t have any evidence for his assertion that “state agents” we’re involved.Different standards of proof apply obviously!

          • jessica September 17, 2015 at 6:17 am #

            He didn’t suggest anything, he stated it as evidence based fact.

            He has come out publically and said he will say it as it is and follow evidence regardless of political consequences.

            Lets say he got the info from some informer now part of ex IRA criminal gangs involved in smuggling and whatever.

            It is now time to arrest someone, the best people would be those actually involved. But wait, MI5 have banned any such action against anyone close to their agent.

            You then have Peter in your ear demanding arrests prior to his forthcoming meeting and MI5 saying no.

            Oh dear, what do we do now, let’s just arrest anyone and hope something falls out.

            Peter appears to have known what was coming all along.

            Seems to fit to me.

            If so, this means you have MI5 still running agents here and the PSNI turning a blind eye to ex IRA criminality to protect them and the CCs inability to handle the situation he finds himself in leading to a political mess.

  10. Neill September 16, 2015 at 6:37 am #

    Republicans you mean Jude and lets be honest they have a record of not telling the full truth don’t they?

  11. Frank September 16, 2015 at 9:28 am #

    The good Friday agreement was a sham , the Irish were sold a pup in the guise of a fair shout from the British government , in reality the peace process was a “pacify” process growing intelligence along with the growing trend of internet use and the use of mi5 and mi6 obliterated the military strength of the ira , through loss of support and an increase of intelligence and peaceful times , , the brits played the long game and have won .There is more oil and gas in the west coast of ireland than a thousand north seas , I know that as fact , do you really think they will give up that kind of revenue ??

  12. Freddy Mallins September 16, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

    I think half the trouble arose as a result of Ass CC Geddis speaking in such a haunted, inarticulate manner from the outset. His poorly delivered and apparently cobbled together announcement really put the cat amongst the pigeons. It appears that Unionism saw an opportunity at that very moment. I don’t believe it would have mattered what rowing back the CC did after that.