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Uncovering the Truth About the 1981 Hunger Strike

Sinn Fein’s ‘negotiating skills’ seem to get rusty with time

Sinn Fein’s ‘negotiating skills’ seem to get rusty with time

Irish News, letters page
Carmel Hanna MLA SDLP, South Belfast
03/07/2009

Jim Gibney (June 18) is being self-serving when he writes about ‘Sinn Fein’s proven negotiating skills’ – ‘‘under the SDLP’s Sunningdale the RUC was left intact”.

Provisional Sinn Fein did not negotiate the ending of the RUC.

That came from the Patten Commission which was set up as a result of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA).

The GFA was primarily negotiated by the SDLP on behalf of northern nationalists and is based on SDLP ideas.

Even Ian Paisley acknowledged that.

Provisional Sinn Fein neither backed the agreement when it was made (April 10 1998) nor campaigned for it in the subsequent all-Ireland referendums.

Sinn Fein accept the Patten Report on its publication – they would not accept it until the Special Branch was abolished, among other ‘preconditions’.

Jim Gibney makes a snide reference to the 1973 Sunningdale Agreement and policing.

The GFA was a decent compromise but – particularly in its all-Ireland dimensions and the setting up of a Council of Ireland with real powers – Sunningdale was a better agreement for Irish interests.

A quarter of a century elapsed from Sunningdale to the Good Friday pact.

In that period over 1,600 Irish people died, most of them killed by the Provisional IRA and its offshoots.

They need not have died.

Today Provisional Sinn Fein purport to be enthusiastic for power-sharing.

But in 1974 they vehemently rejected the very concept – one of the central ideas of Sunningdale – as ‘reformist’.

During the 148 days which the 1974 Sunningdale power-sharing executive lasted, the Provisional IRA were the biggest single agency of killing.

Their killings included a five year old and a three year old blown to pieces and the shooting of an 82-year-old Protestant widow (Matilda Witherington) and a Protestant Fine Gael senator (Billy Fox).

Provisional Sinn Fein’s associates in the Provisional IRA persisted for another 20 years with their stupid and immoral campaign for nothing which was not on the table in 1973.

As is now being revealed, the leadership of Provisional Sinn Fein in 1981 (still in place) have, at the very least, a serious case to answer that they used the lives of six hunger strikers as pawns in a dirty game for political power.

Sourced from the Irish News

Category: 2009, Irish News, Media

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