Monday, November 20, 2006

There is substantial evidence that a major crime was perpetrated within the Garda Siochana five years ago .
The evidence for this crime has certainly been available to senior Gardai ever since then , but no enquiry whatsoever has taken place , let alone any Garda being disciplined in connection with that crime .
By Vincent Browne and Derek Dunne .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , September 1983 .

Brian McNally further alleged that during the period when he was being interviewed between 11.45pm and 1.00am on the Wednesday morning , that the door of the interview room was burst wide open and that four or five plain clothes detectives came in , one of whom he identified as Detective Garda Joseph Egan : McNally said that he was made to stand , that he was called a " Northern bastard.." , was slapped across the face with the back of the hand ; was pushed from one Garda to another ; was struck by Detective Sergeant Patrick Culhane : had his shirt torn , the wing of his glasses broken , and that he lost consciousness .

He also said he was lying on the floor and that he heard screams and that Detective Garda Michael Finn came into the room , in the company of another member of the Garda Siochana whom he couldn't identify - McNally said he was caught by the shoulders and kneed in the stomach , pushed around , hit on the head and the left eye , pushed against the table and beaten on the shoulders , lips , ribs , back and shoulder blades and hit between the legs with a black jack , punched on the head and eye and that he was crying and screaming like a child . He said that he had to be helped off the floor to go to the toilet .

He denied in court making any statement , and he alleged that the statement was already written out and that when he refused to sign it , he was threatened with the black jack again and therefore did so sign it in order to avoid a further beating , at 7.00am on the Wednesday morning .......

(Martin McGuinness , left , with Henry Kissinger , as usual , on the right ...)

All (P)Sinn Fein leaders have a series of mantras and mini-speeches which they seek to get into every interview , regardless of the question .
The task of the journalist is to avoid setting off these reflex responses : the problem with Martin McGuinness is that he does it so pleasantly that it seems impolite to interrupt him .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , March 1999 .
By John Waters .

Martin McGuinness stated - " If we're on to this debate about what's best - the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement or the collapse of the Good Friday Agreement , in terms of is republicanism or nationalism or the people of Ireland better off , I have to say to them , from my experience , that the best scenario is the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

Because there are no guarantees at all about what will happen on the other side of failure . Conceivably , we could be handing to our children effectively a scenario that has armed struggle , of whatever variety , continuing for thirty more years . ('1169...' Comment - sic : was McGuinness involved in a 'struggle' for 'civil rights from Westminster' which began in 1969 ?) And I'm not prepared to be part of that * . I'm not prepared to accept defeat on this issue ." ( '1169...' Comment * - McGuinness is more than "a part of that " : he is one of the main players in a process which , similar to that which Michael Collins led , guarantees that future generations will be born on this isle whilst part of it will still be under jurisdictional control from Westminster . He himself will forge a career in the greasy till , as will most of those who , like him , gave up the job for the easy way out , having learned nothing from our history . For shame. )

By Michael Farrell .
From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1983 .

The SDLP's credibility has been battered over the last few years by the election of Bobby Sands and then Owen Carron in Fermanagh-South Tyrone and by Sinn Fein's success in the Assembly elections but each time an excuse could be found . The Fermanagh by-elections in 1981 took place in a highly emotional atmosphere during the Long Kesh hunger-strike and , anyway , the SDLP didn't stand in that election so there was no direct clash .

The Assembly elections , when Sinn Fein got 64,191 votes and five seats - narrowly missing a couple more - to the SDLP's 118,891 votes and 14 seats , were harder to explain away , but eventually the pundits came up with some excuses ; there was still an emotional overspill from the hunger-strike / the election was under PR so people could register a protest vote for Sinn Fein without wasting their votes / Sinn Fein only got one third of the total nationalist vote and there had always been a maverick hard core in the nationalist community who never backed the SDLP .

This time those excuses won't wash so easily : the effect of the 1981 hunger-strike can't be 'blamed' for ever - this election is under the straight vote so nationalist voters will have to make a clear choice between the SDLP and Sinn Fein . And the 'maverick vote' argument will collapse if Sinn Fein get more than one third of the nationalist vote - as they confidently claim they will . In fact a close look at the Assembly election tends to demolish the 'maverick' argument anyway.......