More than a year ago, provisional Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, said action was required on disputed issues arising from the troubles, more particularly he has since said on several occasions, the UK government has refused to honour commitments to the Good Friday, Weston Park and St Andrew’s Agreements. He further said on several occasions, “Mr Kenny needs to tell David Cameron that this is unacceptable.”
Adams gave several examples of commitments reneged on by the British, including inquiries into the murder of lawyer Pat Finucane, the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, the 1971 Ballymurphy Massacre, in which 11 people were massacred by British soldiers in Belfast.
Gerry Adams has further claimed that Prime Minister Cameron had stepped away from the peace process since coming into power, a very polite way of saying the British reneged on the Peace Agreement, an extremely serious political matter with regard to an International Peace Agreement of such significance, where the Americans are meant to be guarantors.
Gerry Adams has further stated “Since the election of the Tory/Lib Dem coalition the British prime minister has detached himself from the continuing promotion and development of the peace and political processes.” That is now more than three years ago and Mr Adams and his party have demonstrated considerable weakness by allowing this to run, permitting the internment and the arrest of several of its volunteers, meant to be protected under the agreement.
In 2001, the British agreed to give IRA fugitive volunteers an amnesty, so they could return to British Occupied Ireland without fear of arrest and prosecution, but the British government later reneged on its promises, citing lawmaker refusal to back the deal thus in reality violating all of the Peace Process.
Now all competent negotiators know, the devil is in the detail and you negotiate up not down, something obviously the experienced British are aware of but which the leadership of the Provisionals have seriously neglected. Now this is no small matter in such an Agreement
Last month British prosecutors charged a 61-year-old Irishman with the 1982 IRA attack on the queen's cavalry in Hyde Park that left four soldiers and seven horses dead. The surprise arraignment of John Downey in a London court, came on the 15th anniversary of the supposed ratification of the Good Friday Peace Agreement for British Occupied Ireland, which has tried to end four decades of bloodshed, in the British Occupied Irish territory. The British have failed to explain why they arrested John Downey at this particular time, after he arrived at London's Gatwick Airport, almost 31 years after the attack.
Provisional Sinn Fein naturally demanded Downey's immediate release, that is the least they could do for one of their own. The Irish nationalist party and former republicans, accuse Britain once again of violating an agreement to not pursue John Downey, who had been on a list of IRA suspects "on the run" from the British for years. Gerry Kelly called Downey's arrest "vindictive, unnecessary and unhelpful" and an act of "bad faith" by the British government to be still pursuing Irish Republican Army volunteers, in keeping with the spirit, if not the letter, of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
These continuous arrests of IRA veterans, with Sinn Fein connections, have raised tension in the peace process, which is still incomplete all these years later which local Councillor Murray for Mr Downey said he "should never have been arrested"."In 2007, he received a letter from the British Government, informing him that he was not wanted by any British police force. He then traveled to Britain numerous times without any problems.
"John has been a long time supporter of the peace process and as a peace worker he regularly engaged with unionists. He always put his head above the mark in promoting a new republic. I don't think the British government is going to wake up tomorrow and say Donegal County Council has told us what to do, but it was Donegal County Council laying out quite clearly that the Good Friday Agreement should be defended."
Mr Downey has been remanded at a preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey. A motion calling for his release was passed at a meeting of Donegal County Council. Mr Downey is being held in London's Belmarsh prison. This case along with the internment without trial of several other Irish republicans, including 63 old Martin Corey, who has been interned more than 3 years without trial, clearly demonstrates bad faith by the Tories, since their election three years ago and considerable secret service input from MI5, who have much money and power to lose, with a successful peace process in British Occupied Ireland.
With systematic dismantling of the process over more than three years now, the obvious question is why would the provisional leadership give up their armed struggle and their tons of armaments without having a serious input into power sharing in these essential matters. The agreement was sold to everyone on the basis of power sharing. Which takes us to the next obvious question of why the Provisionals are not exercising their considerable political empowerment under the process, to protect former comrades and volunteers, who helped put them in power in the first instance?
Which takes us to an even more fundamental and basic question, which is on the minds of most genuine Irish republicans. It is a very uncomfortable question, but after three years of political internment without trial of aging brave volunteers, there is no diplomatic way of phrasing it, other than in a blunt manner. Is the majority of the Provo leadership compromised to the British secret services. In other words are MI5 who have always traditionally blackmailed anyone of influence in their former colonies, to politically control them, pulling all of the Provo strings, within the political leadership of provisional Sinn Fein.
The last time I raised this subject, I was physically threatened not by Sinn Fein I might add but in the absence of ACTION rather than weasel words and with senior figures having gone AWOL on the subject, it is an obvious and basic question to ask. As someone who has come to reluctantly accept, that the peace process has been a reality for some time and that successful armed struggle is not realistic in the long term within such a small population, there are however, plenty of other options for Irish republicans.
The most obvious one starting with Provo withdrawal from Stormont along with a properly organized peaceful campaign of civil disobedience, like the non-republican SDLP last time. It is long overdue, it is time to call these Supremacist Tories in London to account, along with their sectarian Orange Order friends. The Provos did have commendable input in the release of the long suffering Marian Price and that is the sort of Republican Movement unity that will bring these warmongering Tory racists and Orange fascists to account.