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Tuesday night’s BBC Spotlight programme was the source of yet more allegations that Gerry Adams was not only in the IRA; he was Chairman of the Army Council.
Former IRA man Des Long made the latest claims and stated that he sat opposite Gerry Adams at meetings of the IRA Army Council.
He joins a long list of former IRA members who have said that Gerry Adams was in the IRA, including Anthony McIntyre, Brendan Hughes, Sean O’Callaghan and Dolours Price – indeed Price said he was her ‘commanding officer.’
Numerous journalists have also stated that Adams was in the IRA and no doubt the RUC and Army Intelligence files – which Sinn Fein are so keen to have released and seem to set great store by – would also make interesting reading as part of any Police investigation.
For a man who says he wasn’t in the IRA, he seems to have been present in uniform at colour parties at at least one IRA funeral.
In 1969 he also managed to be present in a car when an IRA man – Liam McParland – died in a crash whilst, according to An Phoblacht, ‘on IRA business’.
He also managed to be part of an IRA delegation flown to London for ceasefire talks in 1972.
That’s quite impressive for someone who maintains they weren’t even in the organisation.
The PSNI should be investigating this situation as a matter of urgency, because there would appear to be evidence to prosecute Gerry Adams on a charge of Directing Terrorism.
Certainly Sinn Fein is very keen to see former soldiers prosecuted for events of almost 50 years ago and they are still demanding inquiries into Troubles related deaths, which is why we feel Gerry Adams should be investigated, and if evidence is unearthed, prosecuted.
I can fully understand that there may well be political pressure — not least from London and Dublin never mind Sinn Fein — to avoid such a scenario, but the law must be applied equally without fear or favour, which is why there should be an investigation.
Doug Beattie MC MLA, Ulster Unionist justice spokesperson
With many thanks to the: Belfast News Letter for the original story
More than 190 legally-held firearms have been stolen in the North of Ireland over the last five years, police have confirmed.
Just 10 have been recovered by police.
The majority of the 193 guns – 114 – were stolen in the PSNI’s South area, which includes counties Armagh, Down and Fermanagh; 72 were stolen in the North and seven in Belfast.
Police said the number should be seen in the context of the approximately 160,000 legally-held firearms in NI.
They also said they have no evidence that any of the guns have been used in a crime.
“Any firearm that’s in the hands of somebody who shouldn’t have it, is a concern for any police service, we would be no different in that,” Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said.
“One is one too many, but, in context, we have 160,000 firearms certificate holders and that’s 160,000 firearms legally held in the North of Ireland.”
He said the numbers that have gone missing are about 0.1% of that total.
“That doesn’t make us complacent around it. We’d rather we didn’t have any, but it needs to be kept in context as well.
“There’s very limited evidence, if any at all, that the guns are then used in crime.”
Of the 10 guns recovered, six were in the South area and four in the North.
Gun owners in Northern Ireland include current and former members of the security forces who have personal protection weapons, people in rural professions such as farmers and gamekeepers and gun club members.
ACC Todd said the vast majority of weapons legally held in Northern Ireland are shotguns and other “relatively low-calibre” firearms such as .22 rifles and they were the types of weapons which are most often stolen.
He said these guns would not be attractive to paramilitaries and “there’s no linkage across whatsoever, from the weapons we are recovering from those [paramilitary] groupings and what we’re seeing stolen here”.
Police believe the vast majority of firearms thefts are opportunistic, ACC Todd said.
“Where you get criminals who want to break into a property, they may not be there to steal firearms in particular, but if they find them, they’ll take them,” he added.
“We didn’t see any criminal gangs that exist to conduct an illegal firearms trade, but criminals are opportunists by nature, and I’m sure they’ll exploit it as they find it.”
He said some guns unofficially disposed of, or lost, could also show up in the statistics.
The most recently reported theft of legally-held guns was in Newtownards in August.
A man was approached by two men on the Killynether Road and told to lie on the ground.
The attackers then stole two legally-held firearms from a car parked in the area.
Police said the victim was also punched in the face by one of the men during the robbery.
ACC Alan Todd said the majority of gun thefts were opportunistic rather than targeted
ACC Todd said there had been “isolated incidents” of personal protection weapons being stolen over the last five years.
“I’m talking ones or twos and again that tends to be opportunistic rather than targeted, but there’s no evidence whatsoever that they’ve been used in follow-up crime” he said.
He added that all such guns have been tested “so we would know immediately if any of those weapons were turning up in crime or in terrorist activity”.
“We constantly give advice to gun owners across the North of Ireland about how to make secure provision, and we’re very robust around people who don’t make the provisions they’re supposed to,” he said.
“Our firearms licensing system is designed to identify where there are particular risks and where we identify higher risks, we require higher security standards.”
With many thanks to: BBCNI News and Niall Mcglynn for the original story
I am pleased that Ian Paisley has tonight published this retraction. We all make mistakes – I’ve certainly made plenty. I thank Mr Paisley for accepting that there was never any truth in his claims & the matter is now closed. Thanks again to all those who have expressed support. https://t.co/dOo45XNM5S
— Sam McBride (@SJAMcBride) September 20, 2019
The device, which was discovered shortly after 01:00 BST on Tuesday, was found in an area known locally as the Back Row.
With many thanks to: BBCNI and Keiron Tourish for the original story
THERE’S an old proverb about the road to hell being paved with good intentions.
And friends of mine have occasionally tried to explain away unionism’s vice-like grip on the first 50 years of the North of Ireland by quoting it. They claim the unionist government which oversaw the North of Ireland always planned to do better, but never quite got there. There’s no doubt that in 1921 after the partition of Ireland was complete, unionist leaders had a chance to create a northern state where few Catholics would have opted to join the newly-formed 26 County Free State.
But religious bigotry at the heart of at the heart of the Stormont regime meant that opportunity was passed over. And instead unionism firmly pulled the shutters down tight. It viewed every Catholic citizen with suspicion. Unionist Party leaders ignored the parting advice of Sir Edward Carson – the public face of unionism – to be kind to the minority. And although not publicly acknowledged, some unionist establishment figures even gave the green light to loyalist gunmen to wage a war of attrition against Catholics. Pogroms were terrifying and real, with hundreds losing their lives as the contrived state of the North of Ireland became a political reality. A semi-secret plan was hatched where police officers like the infamous DI Nixon were allowed to run their own murder gangs. Their intention was to grind Catholics into submission and force them to accept that they now lived in a place where only those loyal to Britain ruled the roost. Rejecting unionist offers of top police jobs abroad. Nixon eventually quit the RUC to become an Independent Unionist MP.
And until the day he died, he repeatedly threatened to expose fellow unionist politicians’ involvement in violence at the foundation of the state. Eventually many Catholics accepted their diminished status and kept their heads down. Occasional IRA attacks in the north and in England posed no threat to the northern state. But the 1947 Education Act – forced on unionist by the British government – created an articulate Catholic middle class no longer willing to accept the status quo.
In 1967, along with other interested groups – including the remnants of the Irish Republican Movement – these people formed the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association. The organisation had the stated aim of replacing unionist discrimination in jobs, housing and voting rights with British liberal values. It was well received in Ireland and also in the rest of the UK, where people were shocked to learn that the North of Ireland citizens hadn’t the same rights as them. The North of Ireland Prime Minister Captain Terence O’Neill (who the unionist claimed was a Lundy) – steeped in the unionist landed gentry – knew in his heart that if the union was to survive, then things needed to change. But a rabble-rousing fundamentalist preacher called Ian Paisley – who led his own Free Presbyterian Church – had other ideas. He had an ability to tap into ancient Protestant fears and suspicions. And he helped form a series of new loyalist paramilitary organisations opposed to any reforms proposed by O’Neill. Paisley was following in the footsteps of his close friend and hero DI Nixon, a police officer turned politician who had terrorised Catholics at the foundation of the state. Much of Paisley’s involvement with the reconstituted Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) was denied because the authorities feared the clergyman’s Svengali-like powers. But this week – in the first of a new seven part series of TV programmes to mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Troubles – Paisley’s real role in the violence is exposed.
Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History goes out simultaneously on BBC Northern and BBC4 on Tuesday night. Using first-hand testimony of individuals who were around at the time, reporter Darragh McIntyre reveals how Ian Paisley personally financed the UVF bombing of a water pipe line at the Silent Valley Reservoir near Kilkeel in April 1969. Paisley and his cohorts attempted to give the impression that the explosion, coming as it did months before serious violence erupted on the streets of Derry and Belfast, was the work of the practically moribund IRA. But a retired senior British Army officer, drafted in to examine the aftermath of the bomb, told MacIntyre his suspensions were raised as soon as he saw the bomb site. “This just didn’t have the look of an IRA bomb,” he said. And he went on to claim that a senior RUC officer in Killkeel showed him intelligence reports which revealed the entire operation had been financed by Paisley.
As Paisley’s UVF mates were bombing the place, a young butcher’s apprentice by the name of Martin McGuinness was about to quit his job to assume the role of 2nd in Command of the Provisional IRA in Derry.
In newly emerged footage, McGuinness is filmed overseeing an IRA bomb being loaded into the boot of a car. McGuinness sits in the passenger seat and, minutes later, it is transported to Derry city centre and detonated. And in another remarkable clip, McGuinness instructs children on how to load bullets into a revolver.
It is almost beyond belief that 3,500 deaths later, these two men were sworn into office as the First Minister and Deputy First Minister in a new devolved administration at Stormont. But they also became close personal friends.
In an astonishing revelation near the end of the first programme, MacIntyre reveals written details of a top secret report by Sir Michael Carver, the most senior officer in the British Army. In the report, Carver advises the British government to consider an alternative strategy which doesn’t demand maintaining the North of Ireland border by military means, (what Brexit will mean).I.e. British withdrawal.
Spotlight editor Jeremy Adams say he’s proud his talented team of investigative reporters consisting of McIntyre, Jennifer O’Leary and Mandy McAuley, have been able to uncover new findings relating to the history of the Troubles. “This past has shaped our present and it’s vitally important that truths continue to be told,” he said. I’m in no doubt that this body of work from the awarding-winning BBC Spotlight team will become the definitive television history of the Troubles. This series of programmes – which uncovers much previously unknown material – is informative, revealing, shocking and at times very, very moving. It was an enormous undertaking for the reporters and filmmakers involved, but once again, BBC Spotlight comes through with flying colours. Don’t miss it.
Follow these links to find out more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-11313364