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A frozen post-conflict situation December 12, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

The editorial in the SBP this weekend on the issue of Adams and Brian Stack was perhaps unusual given the broader tone of Irish media in this dispute. As it notes, the issue, and the personal confrontation at a news conference between Adams and Austin Stack was ‘another reminder that after more than 20 years since the IRA ceasefire, the hurt caused by the Northern conflict is very real’. How could it be otherwise. 20 years is both a remarkably long period of time and yet for those with personal histories like the Stacks and many more a blink of an eye. Indeed even the 43 years since the murder of Brian Stack is no time at all for that family.

And the SBP notes that ‘Adams has told the family… that he cannot go further in meeting their demands to discover who actually killed their father because he has no extra information. There is no prospect of him disclosing the identify of the senior IRA figures who he helped the Stacks to meet in 2013 at an undisclosed location in the North.’

And it adds:

It is a truly Faustian bargain for families of those murdered during the conflict. They have to effectively accept that minimal information about their loved ones last moments is the best they can hope for from shadowy IRA figures or loyalist paramilitaries.

And continues:

But this is the unfortunate reality of conflicts throughout the world. The victims rarely get the justice they deserve. There are cold case investigations by the PSNI ongoing, but the prospects of success are always remote.

And it goes on to note that the parties have been unable to agree on a peace and reconciliation process – in large pat because it would require an amnesty for those involved in the 1,800 unsolved murders. This it describes as ‘unpalatable’ for many.

And so this is where matters stand. Inching hardly at all forward, perhaps in some ways back – no one will admit to anything in the current context. And that central reality, that were a process to be set in place only information would be made available. There would be no charges and no prison sentences. I don’t know if people see it in quite these terms, but one has to presume that the ending of the conflict and the broad agreement on this is what is regarded as the quid pro quo. So what are we left with? Parts of the media and the political structure dancing around the edge of this, knowing full well that little or none of this will be resolved short of the processes described. Indeed what of the latest news, as reported in the IT, and also mentioned in the Sunday Times yesterday, that at least one, perhaps a number of other TDs, were aware of details of the Adams email on the Stack case? What perceptions does that generate?

And then there’s time. Those involved are getting older, some have already gone. Already one generation involved in the Troubles, a young generation at that at the time, are preparing to move out of front-line politics. But that addresses none of the substantive aspects of this. And in any event would prove merely a pyrrhic victory one has to suspect for those parts of the media and political structure referenced above. And yet that appears to be the way this all ends.


1. EWI - December 12, 2016

Someone ought to name (in the Dáil) the journalist who was allegedly trying to launder this muck through the national parliament.


dublinstreams - December 12, 2016

apparently he was named on SW w/ CB by Toibin http://ift.tt/2hxfJnB I don’t listen to it though


2. dublinstreams - December 12, 2016

is Alan Farrell an anti-GFA dissident?


CMK - December 12, 2016

I don’t know but I can confirm he’s a complete f**king cretin, if that helps.

The whole episode is sordid and while it is understandable that Stack wants justice for this father it’s clear he is being played.

What detracts from all of this is the fact that journalists in the South seem entirely unperturbed by the steady stream stuff coming out about the collusion between the British state and loyalist death squads (The Glennane Gang), the Military Research Units etc. That’s quiet apart from the still unresolved aspects of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings and the Southern state’s response to these.

The final thing I would say about this is that I think this is clearly shaking Adams, he’s not as sure footed as he usually is.


dublinstreams - December 12, 2016

I don’t know why he would “pass on names” he said he was told/asked about by Stack.


3. roddy - December 12, 2016

Could anyone imagine circa 1955 Dev being asked about killings carried out by anti treaty forces during the civil war or a senior blueshirt being asked about killings carried out by free state forces (the killing of Noel Lemass for example).Although Dev would have been more circumspect in his use of language ,he would have found a “nice ” way of telling them to fuck off and vice versa.


4. Starkadder - December 12, 2016

Regardless of how you feel about this ruckus, Adams should quit as President of SF. He’s held the position since 1983, for goodness sake!
If the party wants to avoid thinks like this in the future, they should pick a leader without a paramilitary background (Mary Lou MacDonald).


ivorthorne - December 13, 2016

To what extent are ambivalent volunteers kept on board by the presence of Adams and McGuinness at the top of SF and in the public eye? Whatever about SF’s polling figures, Adams has kept the paramilitaries in check and helped keep the dissidents marginalised. Would a SF led by Doherty or Mary Lou have managed the same?


Starkadder - December 13, 2016

I believe that if the PIRA paramilitaries ever decided to resume military action, most of the Irish electorate would drop SF like a hot Pyrex. As for the dissidents, I suspect they won’t be able to attract significant support unless we see something like the Bogside Massacre again.


5. Starkadder - December 12, 2016

“Things like this in the future”.


6. ivorthorne - December 13, 2016

What’s interesting from following radio debates on this is how defensive journalists get when it comes to even discussing the possibility that the email was leaked from the Commissioner’s office.

You don’t have to be a member of SF to be troubled by the notion of the Gardai playing politics – especially given how it involves INM contriving a way (via Dail privilege) to be able to publish a story complete with misleading headlines and a sinister tone.

People who think a Garda strike would mark the fall of civilisation seem to have few issues with the Fr Molloy case, the Mary Boyle case, the Clare Daly incident, the Commissioner briefing Shatter on Mick Wallace, briefing politicians in careparks or the formal policy of blackening the good names of whistleblowers.

I believe that – on the whole and inspite of poor structures – Guards do a better job than we have a right to expect, but it seems that in some cases the rot has risen to the top.


7. Alibaba - December 13, 2016

I tend to agree that Gerry Adams is telling the truth about the Brian Stack controversy. I don’t think he is under any obligation to supply the names of IRA figures which the family met years ago, as demanded by the sons of Stack. Nor do I believe the claim of the son, not advanced before, that he never supplied Adams with a list of names of those alleged to be associated with the death of his father. Of course, there is no way I can be sure of this. And Adams is well known to be a liar about his own role in the Troubles. Yet, he had no option but to give the supplied names to the Garda Commissioner. There was no rationale for not doing so.

The issue of ‘confidentiality’ is enshrined within the Good Friday Agreement and this is what Adams is at pains to protect or risk severe damage to the process. I never supported GFA because of its limitations and I don’t fly the nationalist flag. But it is an irony surely that the forces who seek to undermine that agreement in cynical manipulation are none other than Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.

It’s fairly obvious what is the dynamic here: it’s about ratcheting up the drive to damage Sinn Féin and get Adams removed from leadership. It strikes me that Stack’s sons are mere pawns in the game. Somebody whispered in ears and exerted powerful influence behind the scenes. Perhaps the Time To Go cannot be ruled out. I have to confess that when I was out canvassing for a non-SF candidate in the last election, I was surprised by those who told me they would vote for SF if Adams wasn’t the leader. Out of curiosity I asked why and they all replied “because he has lied about his membership of the IRA”. Although this is a matter for SF membership, the leadership will determine the outcome anyway. But I doubt it will happen around this issue. If anything, Adams is not wrong-footed. On the contrary, he is right and handled matters very well. He might keep the leadership longer than anticipated before.


8. dublinstreams - December 13, 2016

“Yet, he had no option but to give the supplied names to the Garda Commissioner. There was no rationale for not doing so.”

why should he give names that Stack said were based on gardai/journalist

GA’s statement/minutes of meeting for reference http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/42717c from it Im not sure if Stack verbalised the names but just referred to them.

why is there a demand for Gerry Adams to tell the Gardai things they already know?


Alibaba - December 13, 2016

‘why should he give names that Stack said were based on gardai/journalist’ We might add allegedly based on gardai/journalist. Because Adams was being goaded and put in a difficult situation. If he failed to supply these names, he would have been nailed for it and, as roddy noted, would be accused of covering up. One might take this as an arse-covering exercise. I take it as an astute move.


9. roddy - December 13, 2016

When Stack mentioned the names to Adams,he could have emerged at a later date and said “I supplied Adams with names of people I blame for my Fathers death and he tryed to cover that up”.Adams stated to the chief of police that he knew nothing about the killing but Austin Stack is spouting names x,y and z..Apparently Adams told x,y and z he did this and in doing so prevented any possibility of him being accused of covering up.


dublinstreams - December 13, 2016

how could Adams cover up ? its not like another situation where Adams might know something happened and the police might not know.


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