Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Ten years ago this month the ' ULSTER WORKERS COUNCIL' strike brought down the power-sharing executive of BRIAN FAULKNER and GERRY FITT .
ANDY POLLAK talks to UDA leader ANDY TYRIE , one of the men behind the 1974 work stoppage , and GEORGE SEAWRIGHT , one of the new breed of hard-line Loyalist spokesmen , about the outlook for Northern Ireland's (sic) Protestants in the 1980's .
From ' FORTNIGHT ' magazine , May 1984 .

The UDA decided that the best way for it to get 'friendly' with all the Unionist and Loyalist groupings was to establish a 'front' group ; the organisation within an organisation that it started to build has become known as the 'Ulster (sic) Defence Force ' : Andy Tyrie is understandably reluctant to admit to its existence , preferring to say that "...it could exist with a bit of hard work .. " .

But he admits that over the past two-and-a-half-years the UDA has been trying to build up an 'Officer Corps' , which will be different from ' the big Protestant mob' which the UDA was seen as in the 1970's , which felt all it needed to do to make the British listen was to put on shows of strength in the street . Andy Tyrie also concedes that elements of gangsterism and racketeering discredited the UDA in the eyes of working-class Protestants . ( '1169.... ' Comment - .. "gangsterism and racketeering " is still rife within not only the UDA ; as I type , the 'UVF' and the 'LVF' [other Loyalist militia] are having a shooting match with each other over territory . Because territory equals extra drug sales . The 'UDA' was political when it was first established in 1971 , but now it is just a large drugs gang .)

Tyrie says - " We do have a lot of weaknesses regarding people who can work out tactics , finance , planning - the things you'd expect an Officer to know - we've been working very hard to change that . The Loyalist people always want a Loyalist army beyond what they see as the established , controlled groups . Because they feel that quite a lot of our security (sic) forces are bought . If there was a united Ireland tomorrow they would adjust very rapidly to becoming a branch of the Garda or any other branch of the security forces . It's only a job to them . The Loyalist community feel that people like us , who are volunteers in a sense , would be prepared to go to extremes which the people who have been bought over would'nt go to . ( '1169.... ' Comment - Andy Tyrie need'nt have worried - the British Army , RUC , RIR etc were just as vicious as the UDA and others . )

It's all right talking about compromise , but we can't compromise . We have nothing to compromise with because every move we make in the sense of compromise is a step nearer a united Ireland . We won't be bought by anyone . We feel there's so many people within the present society in Ulster who would possibly go into a united Ireland . We feel that it's going to be necessary to have our army so we can say to the British government - ' Don't forget about us ....... ' "


The Sinn Fein electoral wagon is slowing down . As a result , the IRA is likely to begin stepping up its war against the Northern State . GENE KERRIGAN reports from Belfast and also interviews Sinn Fein's DANNY MORRISON on the party's recent successes and failures .
From ' MAGILL ' magazine , September 1984.

The electoral campaign was never seen by the Provos as being central to their strategy . The belief is firmly held that only a prolonged and inexorable military campaign will force political concessions from the British government . Unfortunately (!) , there is all too much historical evidence both here and internationally to substantiate that belief . The nature of the conflict is such that the Provisionals have little leeway in changing military tactics . (' 1169... ' Comment - now they have no 'military tactics ' - just political tactics . They have neutered themselves .)

The Provisionals are limited to killing members of the security (sic) forces individually , usually off duty ( ' 1169.... ' Comment - those people were never 'off duty' - in the pub , or socialising elsewhere , they became the 'eyes and ears' of the State) , and mounting disruptions of the normality which the British seek to claim . It is these circumstances which have provoked discussion within the IRA on the stepping-up of the war against the State . Only the fear that massive disaffection by current sympathisers could lead to an obvious defeat in the 1985 local elections - which would be as much of a psychological blow as the previous victories have been a psychologist boost - could put the brakes on this .

Already , however , there is a belief that the electoral ceiling has been reached and that the intricacies of the electoral system will work against the Provos next year . The Provisionals believe that in the 1985 local elections they will be harassed and hampered by the amendment to the 'Representation of the People Act ' brought in after Bobby Sands won the Fermanagh-South Tyrone seat in 1981 .......


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 .

In the wake of the 'Kerry Babies Case' , four gardai were chosen for sacrifice ; there was absolutely no evidence of wrong-doing by Gerry O'Carroll , P.J. Browne , Joe Shelly and John Harrington . The criticisms of the garda by Mr. Justice Kevin Lynch did not include anything done by those four gardai - it was crystal clear to everyone that the four were being punished , but the garda authorities found a form of words which blocked three of them from gaining a review of the case .

The 'Kerry Babies Case' , even after the controversial 'Lynch Report' , presented the authorities with an opportunity for a re-assessment . The individual gardai were cleared of the Hayes' allegations by the Tribunal , there need be no singling out of individuals , the kind of thing which would provoke opposition from the garda representative bodies . There was simply needed an acknowledgement that the garda techniques and procedures , whatever about the actions of individual members , produced watertight but false confessions .

In that light there could have been a re-assessment , one which the gardai involved could have co-operated with . However , the government's 'Complaints Bill ' was up and running , an artificially-created compromise , gerrybuilt to push through the' Criminal Justice Act ' . The four scapegoats would suffice ! By then there was conflict even within the garda representative bodies ; on October 31 , 1985 , less than a week after the 'punishment transfers' , Garda Commissioner Wren had a meeting at Garda Headquarters with members of the Executive of the 'Garda Representative Association' - legal threats were made at this meeting .......