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Ongoing links to dissident republicanism? February 19, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Ailbhe Rea on the Guardian podcast said something that really made cough and splutter over my coffee.

Talking about a piece she had written in the New Statesman she suggested that SF in the Republic was for some voters ‘beyond the pale’ which is correct, but she went on to say…

As well as on-going reservations about the party leadership, their links to dissident republicanism, to ex-IRA figures, that mood and that balance…

Huh? What links to dissident republicanism? I suspect it was an error but it’s a loaded one to make.


1. Lancet - February 19, 2020

Strikes me as an error that would not have been made in a podcast directed at the Irish market. (Necessarily less editorial scrutiny of these details at the Guardian than there would be on this side of the Irish Sea.)

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - February 19, 2020

Absolutely and irritating that that is the case, btw she’s from NI so one would hope for more accuracy


2. Joe - February 19, 2020

Leadership links to ex-IRA figures? Sure half the leadership are ex-IRA figures. And that is a good thing.
But leadership links to dissident republicanism? There are none bar a consistent rejection of the dissidents and consistent reference to the dissident’s bankrupt strategy, if they have one, and a constant call for the dissidents to disband and desist. Also a good thing.


3. Phil - February 19, 2020

Half-hearted defence: “links” as in “know some of the names and addresses, although they’re unlikely to grass them up”? I’m thinking of Italy in the 70s, when the Communist Party most definitely did not have “links” with the Red Brigades et al, but did have better friend-of-a-friend routes to some of the people involved than anyone who wasn’t on the Left.

It may just be the usual folk-devilling of anything to do with the Provos, though – “Sinn Fein, who as we know have historic links to the IRA, at least they tell us they’re historic…”

Liked by 1 person

4. makedonamend - February 19, 2020

Per chance, a conscious (or possibly subconscious) desire by certain British classes to deflect attention from the fact that it was both the North statelet’s policies and the subsequent reaction of the British military especially during the early part of the troubles that directly lead to the formation of Sinn Fein? That the British state’s policies subsequently encouraged six county nationalists to support a Republican Sinn Fein? And from there SF moved into the South as FFG policies discouraged and alienated certain sections of Irish society?

I noticed quite a bit of revisionism coupled with nostalgia occurring during Brexit, and also the down playing of negative aspects of the colonial British Empire. It could be argued that the broader populist British view, through whitewashing their own near and long term history, can quite easily elide everything anti-British as being connected by virtue of different groups simply taking an anti-British stance.

There seems to have been a sea-change in British society. It is becoming quite unrecognisable from it 1970s – 1990s incarnation, and I’d argue a lot less prettier and narrower in aspect.


5. Gearóid Clár - February 19, 2020

Particularly bizarre since the main reason so-called dissidents are in the news this past week is for allegedly plotting a attack against members of Sinn Féin!

Liked by 1 person

6. tafkaGW - February 19, 2020

Don’t ever by surprised by British ignorance about Ireland, even among people who should know better.

I was listening to the impeccably (and sometimes laughably) liberal Talking Politics and there was some academic specialist on ‘European Politics’ who clearly didn’t understand the Irish voting system.

I guess to be fair, there’s a fair number of Irish people who don’t understand the voting system. But they don’t earn their trust by purporting to understand such things.

Liked by 1 person

tafkaGW - February 19, 2020

trust -> crust, but trust also I guess in this context.


7. Robert - February 19, 2020

I noticed when she said that, but in the context it seemed to me like she misspoke. Granted she could’ve corrected herself, but she may not even have noticed (unlikely, but possible).
Were she convinced that there were links to the dissidents, I imagine much more would’ve been made of it than one meagre mention. It does raise for me one intriguing possibility; that with the Provos off the scene, ‘dissident republicans’ is the default phrase for referring to those engaged in terrorist activities, and is used automatically to talk of such lads of any era.

Or maybe she just doesn’t like Mary Lou. I dunno.


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