The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
An Enemy Of The Republic
Liam O Comain • 6.11.03

John Hume is a likeable person and a man who has done much good but as a republican I see his ideas as a danger to the realisation of the republican objective. They are a danger because John is not a nationalist - he is a European Regionalist - and he looks forward to the day that Europe becomes one based upon a regional carve-up.

As a history lecturer John Hume in the fifties had previously been involved with others attempting to ensure that Derry would be the site of a new university; but again because of the sectarian bigoted mentality of unionism, Coleraine was granted the university instead. And because of his involvement in the university issue, at least one member of the Catholic church hierarchy, according to a Priest friend, had discussions with John Hume at the beginning of the civil rights campaign suggesting that he get involved with the campaign because of its control by Communists and revolutionary Republicans. His consequent involvement and the puzzling behaviour of Eamon McCann at its first meeting ensured that the Derry Citizens Action Committee came into the control of moderates and never formally affiliated to Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association; and this was a source of irritation for those who desired a united civil rights movement.

Hume's stance however was typical of a person who had political ambitions and a political agenda, and in many respects he was his own man. For John Hume held meetings with others, including representatives of the north's so-called security forces, without notifying the DCAC that he was doing so. He had also on occasions provided the Dublin Government with information relating to the goings-ons in NICRA, for he had earlier made contact with the moderates there. For example, Dr.Con McCluskey at a NICRA meeting attempted, with the help of other moderates, to get NICRA to break the connection with the USA-based National Association for Irish Justice led by Brian Heron; they were unsuccessful, but it was Hume who informed the Dublin Government of the outcome.

The Dublin Government via one of their top civil servants, Eamonn Gallagher, also received in strict confidence information from Hume relating to the proposed establishment of the SDLP approximately six months before the party came into being. In his role as a mole for the Dublin Government there is a note by the leading civil servant in which he states: "Mr. John Hume informed me in strict confidence yesterday that plans are going ahead for the creation of a new opposition party in the six counties..." and "The general colouration of the party is left of centre. It will be called the Social Democratic and Labour Party - the latter word in deference to Fitt and Devlin... he [Hume] is anxious that the Taoiseach and the Minister should know this in advance of any announcement of the formation of the new party but he is very anxious that no word of its creation should leak out in advance".

The Government warmly welcomed the development, the consequence of which represented a stab in the back to the late Eddie McAteer and the Nationalist Party of the north by their so-called allies in Fianna Fail.

The reasoning behind the Government's behaviour lay in their fear of the increasing influence of the Republican Movement both north and south of the border. They saw the appearance of a new moderate party as a possible means of destroying the ambitions of the revolutionary republicans. In fact, two Dublin Government Department of Justice memoranda in 1969 called for a tough political reaction to what was plainly seen as a major threat. Both, delivered to the government within the short time span of four months, expressed alarm at what the department saw from the republican movement. In the year prior to this (1968), the Army Council of the IRA had met in September and had taken some important decisions, but these decisions also appeared in the above mentioned memoranda which implied that a high-placed informer existed.

A close scrutiny of the Belfast Agreement, and Hume's contribution to the latter is revealing. Although Hume's ideas may have been filtered through other agencies such as the Dublin and British Governments, they still provide an insight into the structural developments which he has in mind for Europe. In fact, the Belfast Agreement is a possible prototype for what Hume envisages for the government of the continent.

Of course he should not be seen as the sole originator of the ideas, for their source is the Social Democrats of the European Parliament of which the British Labour Party and the SDLP are affiliated. It is indeed interesting that a European Union (EU) document pertaining to regional structure in Europe envisages that the island of Ireland will be divided into two regions: the 6 counties will be known as Ulster and the 26 counties will be known as Ireland. This does not bode well for our future and implies that the EU bureaucrats recognise Britain's illegal claim to part of our national territory.

Within this context it would be naïve to believe that the powers that be in Brussels paid scant attention to the struggle that was taking place in Ireland. In fact, they would have insisted to the British and the Dublin Governments that as they were trying to build a united Europe, the former had better get their houses in order and bring an end to the conflict. The type of unity envisaged by Brussels however is not one to which an Irish republican could subscribe, for its eventual reality is anti-nationalist. Whereas what constitutes authentic continental unity is a Europe of Free Nations, a Europe with a Republican heart - 'government of the people, by the people, for the people' - not a bureaucratic sweat shop for international capitalism.

John Hume shares the vision of those bureaucrats which is: the unity of people, not land, in the interests of capitalism. Whereas the concern should be for the unity of people on the land, that is, Ireland - a basic definition of our nationality, which, like Pearse, I believe is a spirituality. Both governments support the vision of the Social Democrats via Hume, and I'm afraid in its realisation there is no place for Tone's imperative of breaking the connection with England and self-determining our future as a nation.




Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews + Letters + Archives

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

7 November 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Ted Honderich Interview
Mark Hayes


Disappeared and Disapproved

Anthony McIntyre


HMP Maghaberry: First Flames from a Tinderbox
Fionnbarra Ó Dochartaigh


Housebreaking Ulster Style
Brian Mór


United Irishmen
Davy Carlin


From A Granny
Kathleen Donnelly


An Enemy of the Republic
Liam O Comain


Some Count, Some Don't
Michael Youlton


If Voting Changed Anything It Would Be Made Illegal!
Sean Matthews


Hackneyed Views of Cuba
Douglas Hamilton


Colombian Trade Unionist in Belfast: Meeting
Sean Smyth


2 November 2003


A Memo to Adams: Remember That Every Political Career Ends in Failure
Tom Luby



Anthony McIntyre


Ballot Papers and Elysium
Eamon Sweeney


Republican Prisoners and their Families Put at Risk due to Prison Strike
Martin Mulholland


Trust Without Honesty in the Peace Process?
Paul A. Fitzsimmons


The Letters Page has been updated.




The Blanket




Latest News & Views
Index: Current Articles
Book Reviews
The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
Republican Voices