From ‘Phoenix’ magazine , April 1986 .

Michael O’ Leary’s credibility problem would , of course linger on , even in the PD’s. But what are his options? Recent opinion polls have confirmed the message of last year’s local elections – that there is no longer a Fine Gael seat in Dublin South West – and he has long since worn out the guarded welcome he received from the local Fine Gael Party organisation .

Unless he gambles on another double departure , the seventh and final age of Michael O’ Leary could well be , as one colleague in the bar library put it – “…second childishness and mere oblivion..” : sans teeth , sans balls , and , worst of all , sans a seat in Leinster House !
(Next- ‘The Seeds Of A Police State’ : from 1983)

<img src=" (Martin McGuinness , left , with Henry Kissinger , as usual , on the right …)
All (P)Sinn Fein leaders have a series of mantras and mini-speeches which they seek to get into every interview , regardless of the question .
The task of the journalist is to avoid setting off these reflex responses : the problem with Martin McGuinness is that he does it so pleasantly that it seems impolite to interrupt him .
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine , March 1999 .
By John Waters .

Martin McGuinness stated re Bertie Ahern’s interview in a British newspaper ” Some people put his Sunday Times interview down to the fact that a vote on the determination was being taken and David Trimble was in difficulty and the feeling was that some of his people were going to jump ship . And some people believe that it was all part of Bertie’s way of doing things . It certainly confused a lot of people . But I have spoken to the Taoiseach* , and he has told me – and I have no reason to disbelieve him – that he is rock solid behind the Good Friday Agreement and is not interested in rewriting it or renegotiating it .” (* ‘1169…’ Comment : Wow! Martin can get an audience with ‘the Taoiseach’ ! One knows one has ‘arrived’ when that happens…)

All of which is perfectly sweet and reasonable . But later in the interview , in response to a different question , when McGuinness poses questions about what he perceives as the renewed opposition to (P) Sinn Fein from various quarters in Dublin , there is no sense that he is excluding from his criticisms the present leadership of Fianna Fail .

Place that beside the fact that he never mentions the former Fianna Fail leader , Albert Reynolds , without pressing his ‘most-courageous-Taoiseach-since-the-foundation-of-the-State’ button , and you have at least an interesting question about the subtext to present relationships within the ‘pan-nationalist alliance’ . (‘1169…’ Comment : such an ‘alliance’ was always on offer to Republicans – what was asked in return was that they abandon Republicanism and place their faith in constitutionalism . de Valera did so , as did MacGiolla and Adams . But not all can be bought. )…….

EDDIE ROONEY looks at the transformation of the
Official Republican movement from a revolutionary organisation run by its military wing to a social democratic electoral party .
From ‘Fortnight’ magazine , 1983 .

In the heart of Belfast’s Lower Falls , the Cyprus Street club is one of the few remaining buildings in a redevelopment wasteland : it used to be the Headquarters of the Official IRA’s Northern Command and of its political wing , the ‘Republican Clubs’.

It now houses the Lower Falls branch of the Workers Party – the club is one of the last relics of the Official Republican Movement , which has ‘evolved’ , through intermediate name changes , into ‘The Workers Party’ . On the wall beside the door to the main hall there is a mural portraying an armed man in silhouette flanked by the words ‘ Army Of The People’ . On the far wall , an image of James Connolly overlooks a quote : ‘ The cause of Ireland is the cause of Labour ; the cause of Labour is the cause of Ireland’. Such nationalist and militarist sentiments are a long way from the public image currently being projected by the leaders of The Workers Party .

Yet it is from nationalist working-class areas such as the Lower Falls that ‘The Workers Party’ draws most of its membership – many have been associated with the ‘Officials’ for more than a decade , and many have seen the inside of prisons as a result of their political activities . These members are truly the party faithful , remaining loyal* through a period which has seen significant changes in the character of their movement’s aims and strategy ( ‘1169…’ Comment – * In other words , they followed [ “remained loyal “] to the man , not the Cause) …….

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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