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Yes Yes RUC - It’s The Force To Set Us Free
‘Since when is a Minister of State not part of the Establishment?'
- Fintan O’Toole

Anthony McIntyre • 15.09.02

South Down was always viewed by republicans as a strange place. In prison, Pat Livingstone was fond of saying that the bulk of Catholics in the RUC hailed from that neck of the woods. ‘Big Liv’ would also point to Eddie McGrady, the area’s SDLP representative, by way of illustrating his point. In his view, McGrady was the epitome of the most conservative elements within a not very radical party - the type of nationalist Catholic cops would vote for.

Sinn Fein MLA Mick Murphy, aware that his tenure in Stormont is now on a very short lease given that he has been deselected by his colleagues in Sinn Fein, may now be calculating that if he is remain a denizen of the one parliament in Ireland administering British rule, he too may need the support of Catholic RUC men. How otherwise are we to explain his recent comments, reported by the Sunday Business Post, that the RUC (or PSNI as Mick Murphy prefers to call them) is failing to clamp down on the Real IRA and is giving them a free run in order to split the Republican Movement? ‘You would nearly think they were working to bring down the Good Friday Agreement along with the likes of the DUP. There is a lot of dissident activity in the area, but the PSNI has done nothing about it.’ Murphy’s party colleague, Councillor Francis McDowell, in language strikingly similar to that used by the DUP in relation to the Provisional IRA over the decades, complained that the PSNI know who the Real IRA are ‘but continue to work to their own agenda. This has been going on steadily for three or four years.’

None of this is really surprising. The only people likely to be shocked by it will be the type that couldn’t even see decommissioning coming; those who, by their own admission, find somebody like George Orwell too ‘intellectual’, and thus deprived of his incredibly simple but piercing insights about the twists and turns of the power crazed, indulge in ‘cultic idiocy’ believing any old nonsense they happen to be told by whatever leader is about on the day. But as Gerry Adams admitted in the televised debate, in which he trounced the inept Labour Party leader Ruairi Quinn, Sinn Fein is an establishment party. And what else does an establishment party do but support the forces that safeguard the establishment, even if it does display a bit of tardiness in getting there?

In the autumn of 1983, Cathal Goulding, a former chief of staff of the IRA and first chief of staff of the Official IRA could be found supporting the British state’s use of supergrass evidence in the North. In an ironic twist Mick Murphy was to come into prison shortly after Goulding’s comments on the evidence of a supergrass. While there he found the decision by Sinn Fein to enter Leinster House so unpalatable that he resigned from the Republican Movement and, if my memory is right, aligned himself with Republican Sinn Fein. How the worm has since turned.

Gerry Adams on yesterday’s BBC Radio Ulster said that a friend observed of the PSNI that if they look like the RUC and behaved like the RUC then they were the RUC. What may we say, therefore, about those who sound like Cathal Goulding and behave like Cathal Goulding? Perhaps as one of Mick Murphy’s Sinn Fein MLA colleagues told Kevin Bean in England ‘we are all Sticks now’.






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Acceptance of dissent is the fundamental requirement of a free society.
- Richard Royster

Index: Current Articles

15 September 2002


Other Articles From This Issue:


Suppression of Dissent: What it is and what to do about it
Brian Martin


Chief Constable Orde
Terry O'Neill


Yes, Yes, RUC, It's The Force to Set Us Free

Anthony McIntyre


2 Quit Human Rights Commission
October Fifth Association


What's Good For the Goose
Anthony McIntyre


A Burning Issue
Davy Carlin


The Letters Page has been updated.


12 September 2002


Controlling the Streets

Anthony McIntyre


Prevent the Bush Turkey Shoot
Davy Carlin


The 96th Life
Halime Tokay




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