Irish Republican News · February 27, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Sabotaging the peace process
Sabotaging the peace process

By Father Sean McManus,
President, Irish National Caucus

I am heartbroken by the turn of events in Ireland.

Shame on those you did the Northern Bank robbery, and shame on those who have used that robbery (bad enough in itself) to sabotage the peace-process.

First, we have Hugh Orde, Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) appointing himself judge and jury -- and proclaiming that the IRA did the robbery while feeling no obligation to place evidence in the public domain, much less before a court and jury.

Second, we have the Irish Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern( having been steamrolled by extremest , Michael Mc Dowell, Minister for Justice ) even outdoing Hugh Orde, by appointing himself not only judge and jury, but executioner as well. He charged that

Sinn Féin leaders knew in advance of the alleged IRA robbery -- in other words that Sinn Féin leaders were, before and after the fact, co-conspirators in the robbery. In making that remarkably irresponsible accusation Bertie Ahern thus became the executioner, the hangman, of the peace-process. And I say this as one who all across America has consistently praised Taoiseach Ahern for his previous admirable work on the peace-process.

Why, oh why, did Bertie Ahern make such an incendiary and irresponsible charge and didn’t he see the massive damage it would do? Didn’t the robbery, in and of itself, cause enough trouble? And even if he did actually believe it, was it prudent and responsible for him to make the charge, without due process? What right, legally and morally, does he have to dispense himself from the absolute principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty? Is there one law for regular folks, and another different one for a Taoiseach? How could this be described in any other way than as an abuse of power?

What is going on in Ireland? The very people who -- at such great risk and against such great odds -- made the peace-process possible, Gerry Adams, Martin Mc Guinness, etc., are now the very ones who are being blamed for harming the peace-process. How absurd and wrong is that?

And to make things even more bizarre, the very people who have made the irresponsible and defamatory charges, Bertie Ahern and Hugh Orde, both claim they want Sinn Féin to immediately join the Police Board in Northern Ireland and not be excluded from the peace-process. Come on now, is that really a tenable position?

The recently deceased Arthur Miller’s play, “The Crucible”(1953) -- about the Salem Witch trials of the late 1600’s -- is generally seen as an allegory to the hysterical American anti-Communist campaigns of the 1950’s. In it, Deputy Governor Danforth, in his speech justifying the witch-hunting court says: “But you must understand, sir, that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between. This is a sharp time, now, a precise time -- we live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world. Now, by God’s grace, the shining sun is up, and them that fear not light will surely praise it. I hope you will be one of those.”

But at least the witches were brought to a court, of a sort. Sinn Féin has not been even given that much.

Cui bono (who profits)? Who profits from the Northern Bank robbery? Surely not Sinn Féin, or the majority of Catholics in Northern Ireland who voted for them.

Who profited from the advise the British Intelligence service gave to British Prime Minister Blair that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction , which could be deployed almost immediately? And that is the same Intelligence Service that Hugh Orde used to blame the IRA for the Bank robbery? The same Service that was involved in the false and lengthy imprisonment of The Birmingham Six, The Guildford Four, The Maguire Seven.

But maybe it is irresponsible for this Fermanaghman to say such things? Maybe I should be uncritically supporting Bertie Ahern’s and Hugh Orde’s slanderous, violent , undemocratic and unproven charges and say with the Clergyman in The Crucible , the Reverend John Hale : “ Though our hearts break, we cannot flinch. There is a misty plot afoot so subtle we should be criminal to cling to old respects and ancient friendships” --- and to hell with due process, all witches and all Sinn Féiners.

© 2005 Irish Republican News