POLITICOS AND PARAMILITARIES .......
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 .
Effectively , four people run the 'Ulster' Clubs : Alan Wright , who belongs to no political party ; John McMichael , who belongs to the UDA ; and Lisburn Councillor Billy Bleakes and Armagh Councillor Philip Black , who are both members of the 'Official Unionist Party' (OUP) .
Over the whole of the North of Ireland , the DUP outnumber the OUP's in Clubs' membership but , in Billy Bleakes' home area of Lisburn , there are now six 'Ulster' Clubs - one chaired by the DUP , two by unaffiliated people , three by members of the OUP . The Clubs claim about 8,500 members , none of them merely nominal ; their meetings , held in Orange Halls or Town Halls , are never held in a venue where alcohol is available and are always started by a Bible reading . They are 'closed' meetings , and are described as consisting of "...an awful lot of discussion .. "
As to what they will be doing in the near future , no one seems to believe in the likelihood of Unionists withholding car tax and rates , no matter what the OUP Spokesperson on Law and Order (well sic ..!) Ken Maginnis MP rashly committed himself to last week - an outburst attributed by the unkind (!) to his belatedly realising that Clubs' support in his constituency now includes a significant section of his party support .
What the Clubs are doing is placing pickets on British politicians who visit the Six Counties .......
FIRE AND BRIMSTONE .......
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 .
Sammy Wilson (DUP) wants the (1985) Hillsborough Treaty done away with -
" I don't like blood-curdling speeches , to be quite truthfull . I don't like issuing blood-curdling warnings , because we have to live amongst this , so I'll be quite careful in what I say . But all that I can say is that once we as a Unionist population feel that our future is under threat and that no one else is listening to us , and we've done all the political things we can do , there will be a turning to other methods . And my fear would be , and we have already seen this in small measures to some extent , that once that process starts , it's not the kind of thing you can turn on and off like a tap . ( ' 1169 ... ' Comment - a typical Unionist ploy : goad others into doing the killing ...then condemn them for doing it . And it still works for them to this day . )
Once you start along that road , people start to look to all of those they imagine to be enemies , for example among the nationalist community in Northern Ireland (sic) . People will say 'Well , they're the ones who've been harbouring the terrorists . ' Large sections of the nationalist population would then be open to the kind of retaliatory action which years of frustration would bring out . I imagine the republic would be seen as that threat , the ones who are pushing the constitutional claim , and you're not too far away either , so people would say ' If we're suffering , you'll suffer . ' How it all ends I would'nt even want to start dreaming about . ( ' 1169 ... ' Comment - .... not only 'goading' , but pointing in a certain direction , too .. )
I would no longer be a politician in that kind of situation ; people would have to opt as to whether they just wanted to drop out of everything or whether they wanted to maintain some degree of input and control . I myself would look for a role in whatever extra-parliamentary actions were available ....... " ( ' 1169 ... ' Comment - "...extra-parliamentary actions ... " : TRANSLATION - " ...killing Catholics... " . Then condemning the deaths of said Catholics and , whilst washing his hands of the matter , murmer something about those who carried out the killings being left to feel that they had no other choice ... ) .......
CHAOS IN THE GARDAI .......
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 .
Evelyn Glenholmes' supporters managed to get her into a car after the Free State Court released her ; but the gardai were'nt having that - once she was in the car and being driven off , there were attempts to physically stop the car from moving ; gardai jammed a car against the back bumper of Glenholmes's car and ordered the driver of the car in front not to move , thus immobilising the car . This involved threatening behaviour , unlawful detention , and innumerable criminal common law , civil and motoring offences .
The next stage of the offences involved harassment , intimidation and possibly unlawful detention , as gardai hemmed in Glenholmes and her friends and prevented them going about their business . Sometime around then , the gardai obtained their provisional warrant ; there were a number of common and actual assaults in O' Connell Street , Dublin , outside the GPO . Although the gardai had by now the right to arrest Glenholmes and to take whatever action necessary , including the use of force , to effect that arrest , they had by now blown the case .
Evelyn Glenholmes and her friends had been subjected to a number of offences over a period of about half an hour ; any Court would accept that citizens subjected to continual assault and threatening behaviour would have the right to defend themselves , using reasonable force . Those citizens could not be expected to accept , in the middle of a chain of assaults , that they should now acquiesce because a warrant had been obtained to legitimise the garda activity . The illegal acts performed by the gardai over a period of half an hour were witnessed by other gardai and had to be known to quite senion members of the force . No garda intervened to stop those offences being committed and no garda laid charges , then or later , as a consequence of those offences .
A blind eye was turned . This is a dereliction of duty .......