Tuesday, September 06, 2005

By Breasal O Caollai .
First published in ' New Hibernia ' Magazine , December 1986/January 1987 .

When Ruairi O Bradaigh and Daithi O Conaill walked out of the (1986) Sinn Fein Ard Fheis and announced Republican Sinn Fein , many comparisons were made with their walk-out from the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis in January 1970 .

They again were refusing to enter or give official recognition to the parliament of the 26 Counties ; and once again a group of reds had taken control of their organisation . And again a generation gap existed with the younger members voting for change . But this year there was one major ingredient missing - the Fianna Fail gold .

In the course of the media attention focussed on this year's event , the Fianna Fail front-bencher John Wilson stated on RTE's 'Saturday View' radio programme that his party had always condemned the men of violence and that they never had any truck with the dangerous 'Dan McGrews' of the IRA : while Mr. John Wilson himself has consistently adhered to such a stance his party has certainly not .

His current party leader , Charles J Haughey , while Minister for Finance in the Fianna Fail Government which took office following the June 1969 General Election authorised the payment of monies into a number of bank accounts . One of these bank accounts was opened in a Baggot Street bank on 14th November 1969 in the name of 'Ann O' Brien ' .......


As Sinn Fein has become more active , members of the government parties have sought to isolate the Provos politically .
The record shows , however , that some of those politicians have for years sought support from Sinn Fein - and some continue to do so in so far as it is politically expedient .
First published in ' MAGILL ' Magazine , September 1984.

On March 9th , Liam Kavanagh (FS Environment Minister) opened a road between Donegal and Ballyshannon : Eddie Fullerton , as a Sinn Fein member of Donegal County Council was at the opening and he says he was standing beside Liam Kavanagh . Afterwards , there was a lunch during which , he claims , he was sitting opposite Minister Kavanagh .

Later on there were two delegations to see the Minister - one from Ballyshannon Town Commission ; there were Sinn Fein members on both . Things got heated when Kavanagh said that he would not meet delegations with Sinn Fein members present . Both sets of Sinn Fein members withdrew but there was some confusion about the Minister's refusal to see Eddie Fullerton in February , his attendance at functions at which it would be reasonable to expect Fullerton's presence and his subsequent refusal to see delegations containing members of Sinn Fein .

Eddie Fullerton claims that he was at the opening of an AnCO centre (ie a State jobs training body) in Letterkenny a month ago at which the State Minister for Labour , Ruairi Quinn , was present . Quinn later pushed this issue to the forefront .......


From 'AP/RN' , 2 January 1986 .
No By-Line .

'The Sunday Tribune' newspaper noted - " Peter Barry himself is on record as opposing supergrass trials . Logically , therefore , he cannot go along with convictions arising from those trials and , equally logically , he must have some sympathy with the men who have now gone on hunger-strike arising from them .

If Peter Barry fails to deliver on this , the first thorny issue to confront him in his new role on the Anglo-Irish conference , then the omens for the success of the agreement as a whole are not encouraging . Merely appealing for the men to come off the hunger-strike will not suffice . "

But even if Peter Barry does deliver on the "...thorny issue.. " of paid perjurers and show-trials , although it will be welcomed by Republicans it will also be recognised for what it is - an essential smoothing of the rough edges of Britain's repressive machine in the Six Counties .......