Monday, August 01, 2005

Fionnuala O'Connor on the struggle for the Loyalist leadership as the politicians and their paramilitary allies gear up for a strike .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , March 1986 .

Alan Wright joined the Orange Order ; in the summer of 1985 , in Portadown , he watched Orangemen clashing with the RUC and organised an 'Action Committee' in the local Orange Lodge to protest at what he clearly saw to be the first 'fruit' of the unsigned Anglo-Irish Agreement ( the Hillsborough Treaty ) - that Committee grew . The ageing Orange leadership locally was displaced ; a meeting was called by two local Councillors , OUP and DUP . That meeting formed the 'United Ulster (sic) Loyalist Front' and elected Alan Wright as its Chairperson , as an 'honest non-party broker' . McMichael (UDA) was there from the start .

The two party leaders stayed away - Peter Robinson (DUP) came to speak ; the two parties swiftly formed their 'think-tank' working party . Ever since the politicians have been talking with ever greater urgency about the lack of time ..... no time for the Agreement to collapse of its own internal contradictions , no time to work out policies so that individuals will not spew them out at random . The political vacuum which fills with violence has become a staple of Unionist 'political-speak' , as it has been for the SDLP for years , and with only dim awareness of the irony .

So-called 'Fronts' started springing-up at local levels , though out of historical piety they were re-christened 'Ulster' Clubs ; a 'parent' Club for each Council area , 25 plus three for Belfast . The 'Front' still meets about a week before the Club's Acting Council , to 'direct' .

Effectively four people run the whole show .......


The Democratic Unionist Party would prefer a Civil War to acquiescence in a role for the Dublin Government in the affairs of the North of Ireland after the Anglo-Irish summit .
FINTAN O'TOOLE spoke to DUP activists about the depth of their opposition to the Anglo-Irish deal and their willingness to resort to violence .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , November 1985 .

Gregory Campbell , DUP , claims that the Hillsborough Treaty could bring civil war to the North of Ireland - " That's the logical conclusion of what I'm saying . I realise that . I see that as going very near to the edge of the Protestant faith , of what I have held dear for twenty-five years . Obviously I'm not going to do that lightly , and it's not something that I would relish . But knowing Margaret Thatcher as we all do , as Arthur Scargill does , it's not likely that she's going to back down and we have to prepare ourselves for the inevitable . Dublin and London are slowly coming round to the position of blackmailing the Protestants , of saying ' you either have your country (sic) and you have your peace , and you have your guarantees ... or else the alternative is that you have civil war ' .

Now , given that option we will not have Dublin rule ; we cannot have Dublin rule . And I know how terrible , how horrible , how awful the consequences of me going to the logical end of my argument are . But I will have to act in my community as a safeguard , as a safety valve , as somebody whom the community can use for letting off steam , and try and channel the paramilitary activities in the best way possible . And I will have to try and minimise the effect it will have on the country (sic) in the event of that type of Armageddon situation coming about . But I have to say that if these are the options , to have a greater degree of peace and stability than we have had and to have guarantees within the United Kingdom (sic) , if we let Dublin have a small role in a consultative way in Northern Ireland (sic) , or to have an opposition which will result in widespread violence , then I am going to be pushed into a position where I have to adopt the second role ."

Sammy Wilson said - " Unionists are not spoiling for a fight and we are not itching for a civil war . We've got to live in this country (sic) and I hope I have a long time to live here . Personally I would like to be as comfortable as possible and to live as long as possible . I don't want to be warring and fighting and living in a Lebanese type-situation for the rest of my life . If I was sixty-five maybe I could tolerate it for a few years , but not when you're fairly young . So no one is going to embark on any course of action unless we are sure that there is a real threat . But regardless of how innocuous it looks in the immediate term we'll be asking what lies behind it . If it does give a toehold to the Irish government (sic) then we'll be seeking by all political processes that are available to us to oppose it . Once that is exhausted , I think people will quite rightly say - ' We've done our best , and no one has listened to us ' .

At that stage the role of the politician is going to change ....... "


The Evelyn Glenholmes affair not only involved unlawful activity by gardai , it stemmed from the chaotic condition of the force which has resulted from ignoring the warning signs of the past decade .
By Gene Kerrigan.
First published in ' MAGILL ' magazine , April 1986 .

2. Crime In The Streets.

Before Noon (on Saturday March 22 , 1986 ) [Free State] District Justice Connellan ordered that Evelyn Glenholmes be released from State custody ; it cannot be known for certain if there was a prior conspiracy among a number of gardai to frustrate the judge's order - it may have been that , coincidentally , the gardai decided to break as many laws as necessary to extradite Evelyn Glenholmes .

The decision to frustrate the order of the judge and to effectively keep Evelyn Glenholmes in custody was contempt of Court - however , there were a number of other crimes committed by the gardai in the course of effecting this contempt of Court . The criminal activity of the gardai was conducted in a number of stages - first , there was an attempt to prevent Glenholmes from leaving the Courtroom ; then there was an attempt to prevent her leaving the vicinity of the Court ; then there was a period of 'walking custody' , in which the gardai effectively detained her and prevented her going about her business . This was followed by a number of assaults .

At some stage along there the gardai obtained a provisional warrant , which , on the face of it , legitimised their subsequent behaviour . Then the shots were fired . The political motivation for the offences is clear ; if Glenholmes could be kept within reach for a nuber of minutes a warrant might be obtained which would allow the gardai to send her to Britain . The first stage of the criminal activity involved blocking the door of the Court and preventing members of the public , lawyers and journalists from leaving ! This involved crimes of common assault , threatening behaviour and unlawful detention - not just of Glenholmes but of a number of people . The gardai then chased Evelyn Glenholmes , her lawyers and friends , through the Court : this involved common assault , threatening behaviour and behaviour likely to lead to a breach of the peace .

The second stage of the criminal activity began outside the Court , when gardai attempted to prevent Glenholmes from entering a car , when they used violence to attempt to reach her . This involved common assault , actual assault , threatening behaviour and behaviour likely to lead to a breach of the peace . She managed to get into the car . But that was'nt the end of the gardai criminal behaviour .......