The Mitchell Principles – remember them? They were a series of pledges affirmed by all parties to the fledgling ‘peace’ negotiations on July 29th 1996. The IRA endorsed them through its false political frontage, Sinn Fein. Readers will know I no longer give any sort of credence to this ‘Sinn Fein’ rubbish. It’s the IRA – pure and simple! For those who lack memory of the wording of these principles (affirmed by ‘Sinn Fein’) let me remind them of two of the most important ones:
‘All parties affirm they will commit themselves to….
democratic and exclusively peaceful means of resolving political issues. To the total disarmament of all paramilitary organisations.
To renounce for themselves, and to oppose any effort by others, to use force, or threaten to use force, to influence the course or the outcome of all-party negotiations.’
There you have it. ‘Democratic and EXCLUSIVELY peaceful means of resolving political issues’. Words on paper supported by the republican movement. The meeting called on ‘supporting the PSNI’ will similarly involve words on paper that will, in all likelihood, be endorsed by the republican movement. So let’s see how good republicans are at honouring pledges they affirm on pieces of paper.
(Excerpts from the Sunday Independent)
‘Christopher O’Kane, 37, was shot dead outside a Derry pub on April 21, 2001. O’Kane was a small-time drug dealer who had a number of run-ins with local IRA figures. Eamon Collins; the 45-year-old ex-prisoner was beaten and stabbed on January 27, 1999, because he wrote a brutally honest book, Killing Rage, about his role as part of the murderous IRA’s south Armagh brigade. He also testified in the Sunday Times libel case against IRA boss, Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy. Police who attended the scene said they had never encountered such injuries, which at first made them think he had been mangled by machinery. No one has been charged.’
‘Paul Daly, 38, was sitting with his 11-year-old daughter in his car near the nationalist Unity Flats on May 4, 2001 when two gunmen approached and shot him. Daly was a known drug dealer and, although his death was never admitted, it was known to be another IRA murder under the pseudonym ‘Direct Action Against Drugs’ (DAAD).’
‘Andy Kearney, 33, was involved in a fist fight with a notorious north Belfast IRA man. The IRA man sent an armed gang to Kearney’s seventh-floor flat in the New Lodge area on July 20, 1997. They overpowered Kennedy tied his hands behind his back, dragged him out onto the landing and shot him three times in the legs. They then tore out the telephone and disabled the lift so Kearney’s girlfriend had to run down 16 flights of stairs to raise help. He bled to death.’
‘Michael Magee, 34, was recovering from a savage IRA punishment beating at his home in Downpatrick on June 11, 2001 when a masked gang broke in and shot him dead at point-blank range.
Local republicans said Magee was involved in drugs but his family and friends said he was not a dealer but was shot because he had a fight with a local republican.’
‘Gareth O’Connor, 24, disappeared while travelling through south Armagh on March 11, 2003. Gardai believe he was murdered by the local IRA and secretly buried, and, although the reasons remain uncertain, it is believed they were acting on behalf of a ‘Continuity’ IRA figure from Armagh.’
‘Matthew Burns, 26, was sitting in his car when gunmen opened fire killing Burns and injuring his brother at Castlewellan, Co Down on February 21, 2002. His family denied republican claims that he was a drug dealer.’
‘Brian McDonald, 51, was a taxi-driver in Dungannon, Co Tyrone who was on his way to pick a fare in the town when he was approached by two gunmen and shot dead on April 4, 2002. Local people said a close relative of Mr McDonald’s had been involved in a fight with a local IRA man and his murder was an act of revenge.’
‘Seamus ‘Shavo’ Hogan, 47, was shot dead by an IRA hit squad as he emerged from the Transport Club in Crumlin on July 14, 2001. Shavo, who once was a close associate of ‘the General’, Martin Cahill, refused to pay protection money and suffered the consequences.’
‘Edmund McCoy, 28, was sitting in a bar at Dunmurry in south Belfast when three gunmen walked in and shot him in the head and stomach on May 29, 2000. McCoy was a Catholic who associated with loyalist drug dealers. Again, the murder was seen as benefiting Catholic drug dealers who paid protection to the IRA.’
‘Nicholas ‘Mad Nicky’ O’Hare, 34, was shot dead in Dundalk on August 19, 2000. O’Hare was a former INLA man heavily involved in criminality. He was believed to have been murdered by the IRA in retaliation for the killing of a Dundalk man, Stephen Connolly, three weeks earlier.’
‘Patrick Quinn, 32, was also accused of being a drug dealer after his murder on September 29, 2000 as he sat drinking in the Depot Bar in Magherafelt, Co Derry, though his family and friends strongly denied the claim. He was shot dead at point-blank range by a lone gunman.’
‘Joseph O’Connor, 26, was a ‘Real’ IRA man who was shot dead near his mother’s home in the Ballymurphy estate in west Belfast on October 13, 2000. The IRA never admitted the killing, which local people said was carried out because O’Connor was muscling in on their local smuggled cigarette racket.’
‘Charles Bennett, 22, had joined the IRA after the ceasefire and was accused of being a police informant. He was abducted, tortured and then taken to waste ground in west Belfast and shot through the head on July 25, 1999.’
‘Brendan ‘Bap’ Campbell, 30, was another small-time Belfast drug dealer who was shot dead on February 9, 1998 as he left a Lisburn Road restaurant with his girlfriend.’
‘Bobby Dougan, 34, was a prominent south Belfast loyalist who was shot dead by the IRA on February 10, 1998. Despite denying the murders of both Dougan and Campbell, ballistics tests showed the guns used were also used in previous IRA murders and Sinn Fein was suspended for two weeks from the talks leading to the Good Friday Agreement. They were then re-admitted and the IRA issued orders to import new handguns from Florida so that they could avoid detection from ballistics. The gun-smuggling ring was discovered in 1999 after some 200 guns were sent through the post to safe houses in the Republic.’
‘Gerard Moran, 35, from Rory O’Connor House, Hardwicke Street, in north central Dublin, was shot dead while delivering takeaway food in Drumcondra on November 21, 1998. His murder was ordered by the IRA boss on the northside of Dublin, the same man who has been responsible for the series of container heists in Dublin city port and, ironically, the man believed to be sheltering the Belfast IRA man who stabbed Robert McCartney. Moran’s death was ordered because he had taunted IRA figures in the north inner city.’
‘PJ Judge, 41, was shot dead on December 7, 1996 as he sat in a car outside a Finglas public house. Judge had a deserved reputation as a brutal criminal. However, local people say the IRA gang which murdered him has close links to Judge’s rivals and were paid to carry out the assassination.’
‘Joseph Foran , 38, had been a partner in crime of PJ Judge who was shot dead by the IRA in 1996. He was sitting in a car in Finglas with his girlfriend when two gunmen approached and shot him dead on February 26, 2000. Again local sources say
Foran was shot by the IRA at the behest of his rivals in the local drugs trade.’
‘Thomas ‘Tomo’ Byrne, 41, married with one young son, was shot dead as he enjoyed a drink with friends at O’Neill’s pub in Summerhill in Dublin’s north inner city on April 30, 2000. The same IRA man who ordered the killing of Gerard Moran is believed to have murdered Byrne. Tomo Byrne was said by local people to have beaten up the IRA gangster in a pub fight several months earlier.’
‘Mark Robinson, 22, the father of a small baby was also involved in a pub fight with another notorious Derry IRA man. A IRA gang armed with scaffolding poles and a butcher’s knife pounced on him near his home in the Galliagh area on April 30, 2001 and stabbed and beat him to death.’
‘Robert McCartney, 33, the Belfast father-of-two whose sisters have brought the issue of the IRA’s brutal killing machine to international attention. McCartney was beaten with sewer rods and stabbed and slashed to death by at least 12 IRA at Magennis’s bar in the Markets area of Belfast. Despite Gerry Adams’ claims to want to help his family get justice no one has yet told police they saw the killing.’
As you can gather, the IRA are not very good at honouring promises made on paper. It is precisely in this context that the forthcoming Hard Fish should be seen, and appropriate action taken by the Unionist electorate.