Friday: 18.March.2005

Sinn Fein & the IRA

[For those not familair with Sinn Fein (pronounced Shin Fey-n), see here: SinnFein.org, and here: Wikipedia. Frontline has an excellent report here, especially this page for a history of the conflict, and here for a primer on Sinn Fein.]

[from the mailbox]

As you may know, the New York metro area is heavily Irish, so this issue with Sinn Fein and the IRA is a big deal. Whats happened is that Sinn Fein has become just another political party, albeit with a paramilitary army (the IRA) behind it.

Sinn Fein is probably hitting its peak in popularity, because many people in Ireland still see it as a revolutionary party, but theyve become hacks like any others. Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, both IRA men, were heroes at one time, but are increasingly becoming Mandela-like, whereby their political ineptness is creating problems.

The Sinn Fein they lead is more accurately called Provisional Sinn Fein (PSM) in Ireland, because there are other still-revolutionary groups that lay claim to the title, which is the original revolutionary party from 1916. PSM stepped into the fray in 1969 and did much good for Irish Nationalists and Catholics. They were proud of their links to the Provisional IRA, made up of kids who took over the defense after the Official IRA (now gone) lost their nerve in the 60s.

Now, Sinn Fein has negotiated their way back to what was on offer in the early 80s, and people are pissed.

People still love Gerry Adams here in New Jersey and New York. Hes here at the moment, and he gets NYPD escorts. But his time is short, I think. Hes being forced to disband the IRA, which may cause physical-force adherents in Ireland to begin following one of the two main IRA splinter groups (Continuity IRA and Real IRA).

continued

The Brits still rule the six northern counties in Ireland, with a standing British military police force. Photo below is one I took last, showing two soldiers on the street near a police station in Crossmaglen, Northern Ireland. The police towers are designed as such because the IRA used rocket-propelled grenades.

police tower

The photo below shows a typical police Land Cruiser, heavily armored. More than 90% of the police are Protestant, and unlike here in the United States, Protestants and Catholics do not get along well in Ireland. The cemetery in the background is Milltown, where Bobby Sands and many other Irish Republicans are buried. The photo beside it shows how a police station was built to watch over IRA funerals and activities. In recent years, Irish republicans responded by building The Felons Club directly next door. A very high percentage of Catholics between the ages of 30 and 50 were imprisoned at one time and are now ineligible for most work and travel to the US.

armored vehicle police station

Enough with my rant. Hows everything with you & the family?

Google search for query: sinn fein ira irish republican army





Posted by Rad at March 18, 2005 08:54 PM

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