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Jeering those who “take to the streets”

June 9, 2012

Today TPQ features guest writer Martin Galvin with a letter that first appeared in the Irish News on 6 June 2012.

Reply to Gerard McGee

A chara

How does Gerard McGee advance Republican unity by jeering those who “take to the streets” the day before a march for Marian Price, which was joined, to their credit, by Sinn Fein ex-prisoners? When did it become “anti-Republican” to campaign for Republican prisoners, including those jailed on Provisional IRA charges or licenses?

It is disappointing to know that Gerry McGeough and other Republicans need more than press statements and Ard Fheis motions, only to find that sincere appeals to put action behind the words in support of Republican prisoners are now misrepresented as an attack on Sinn Fein.

Gerry McGee may see “those within the British state trying to defeat Republicans” but can he not see that part of that British strategy is to make Republicans turn their backs on Republican prisoners?

A “heartbroken” Councillor Anita Cavlan said the party was failing Republican prisoners and had settled for an illusion of power. There are inconvenient questions which arise from her resignation.

Owen Paterson shifts blame for the internment by license of Marian Price and Martin Corey onto David Ford’s parole commissioners, adding smugly that the compromised justice minister serves with Sinn Fein backing. When will the deal to appoint Ford be used to free Marian and Martin or halt brutal strip-searches at Maghaberry?

Diplock trials, internment by remand, and fanciful conspiracy charges are now imposed by Barra McGrory, who appears determined to undo his father’s years of fighting such injustices.

Britain arrests no British troopers for Bloody Sunday or any “unjustifiable killings” by crown forces, but rather than highlighting Gerry McGeough’s case to illustrate this one-sided amnesty, another Republican writes to defend this arrest.

For years Republicans urged the SDLP to threaten withdrawal from councils and assemblies which made them complicit in the administration’s H-Block brutality. Peter Robinson silenced calls to remove the crown’s symbol from British prisons and warder’s uniforms by threatening to leave Stormont. Why is it wrong to ask Republicans to do as much for Republican prisoners held inside these British prisons and brutalized by those wearing these uniforms?


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