Anthony McIntyre RFÉ 9 September 2017

Radio Free Éireann
WBAI 99.5FM Pacifica Radio
New York City

Martin Galvin speaks to former IRA Volunteer now historian, author and political commentator, Anthony McIntyre, about the comments Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams made about the future of his party. (begins time stamp ~ 31:27)

Martin:   With us on the line – I referred to you in the announcement, you know, I always say ‘doctor’ Anthony McIntyre, because you have a doctorate. I always say he’s an author because you have the book, one of the best books, collection of essays and analysis of the Good Friday Agreement, Good Friday: The Death of Irish Republicanism. I say you’re the person who runs the blogsite, The Pensive Quill, but I had to put down that you’re a journalist because you’re able to get so many articles recently into the Belfast Telegraph.  And I have to tell you, Anthony, I actually was attacked by name by Ruth Dudley Edwards and she had some headline that Martin Galvin’s getting older and he still hates people – and Ruth’s certainly is not getting any younger and she’s never been behind a back door in terms of hating Republicans – but how and ever I had to get a lawyer and sue and make a complaint before I got even my right to reply in but you, now, are being listed as a journalist for your articles with the Belfast Telegraph recently so we welcome you with that new addition to your title onto Radio Free Éireann.

Anthony:  Well thank you very much, Martin, although I’ve been a member of the National Union of Journalists for seventeen years. And I never use the title ‘doctor’ – I’ve become so disillusioned with academia that I think the title ‘doctor’ is a badge of shame given the academics at Boston College rolled over. I would say that if Boston College were in charge of America at the time of Pearl Harbor everybody over there would be speaking Japanese today, but anyway…

Martin:  Okay. This week, there was – I read the newspapers on, I think it was Tuesday, and some of the most respected journalists – they heard an announcement that Gerry Adams gave at a party conference that he was talking about a ten year programme, a generational change and future announcements after he runs for Sinn Fein president again. And some of the headlines really surprised me. I interpreted it a certain way. Henry McDonald, one of the most reliable reporters in Ireland, writes for the Guardian, said: Gerry Adams signals intention to stand down as Sinn Féin leader. The president says he’ll seek re-election in November but wishes to implement a planned process of generational change.

Brian Feeney, again, one of the best columnists, very reliable, did a piece. Brian Feeney: Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald will succeed Gerry Adams. And he made that prediction that that’s going to happen in the spring or early summer of next year. Alex Kane, who’s a Unionist columnist but I like his work, he’s usually fairly accurate or a lot more accurate than some, has a column: Love Him or Hate Him is One in a Hundred. Now you had a piece that was more consistent with the way I interpreted the announcement: Gerry Adams has led Sinn Féin for more than half of his lifetime and there’s still no sign of him letting go. How did you interpret the announcement that Gerry Adams made?

Anthony:   Well I viewed it in very simple terms: It was Mr. Adams using the opportunity provided to him to announce an extension of his political career and to bamboozle the media and, unfortunately, some of them swallowed the bait, bamboozled them into pushing the line that he was actually thinking of standing aside. The whole notion of a ten year plan seems absurd. Why should the leadership in a so-called democratic party devise a ten year plan for changing leadership? Surely the grassroots should be making that decision not the leadership. The grassroots should be deciding when Adams goes, not Adams himself. But this is such a top-down, authoritarian party that democratic decisions of the type that would lead to a different outcome, a different leader, simply do not take place. It’s not like any other democratic party on the island or in Europe and in fact, it’s more like the right wings parties, with their authoritarianism and their deference to authority.

Martin:  Anthony, when I read that, actually a line that you wrote, I actually don’t recall exactly whether it was the Good Friday Agreement, the Downing Street Declaration or where ever you wrote it but it’s a line that always stuck with me – you said it was a British declaration of intent to remain in Ireland. And I read Gerry Adams’ remarks and it seemed like a declaration of intent to remain as president of Sinn Féin. And in fact I just – I have to credit Newton Emerson, he wrote in the Irish News I believe today, that last year there was a similar announcement that there was a ten year plan that Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness had agreed that was going to start last year, a year ago at this same conference. And now we’re here a year later and it’s still got ten years to go. How does Gerry Adams remain as head of Sinn Fein for so long? Why is he kept there?

Anthony:  Well, I mean Adams is a martial politician and he has always operated with a military mindset and that’s about hierarchy and authority and the imposition of authority and certain contempt for the people who are regarded as the grunts, or the privates, in the army. So what he does is he rules through a mixture of fear – because they use an awful lot of smearing, bullying and intimidation to keep people in line. We have an instance recently where the youngest councillor in the country resigned from Sinn Féin because she said the bullying was so intense – a twenty-three year old. But he also inspires an enormous amount of loyalty; I think Suzanne Breen has touched on this. He is very popular within the party, certainly with The North, I think people have seen him as standing up to the British. People also, many of the Republicans, respect him for his IRA credentials and he has managed through tight control, tight imposition of authority, ruling out all democratic challenges – and I mean snuffing them out at birth – any challenge that may come to his authority and he has ruled, and quite efficiently – his grip on the party has been quite efficient for many, many years – and he has always managed to convince the grassroots of the party that his political career interests are synonymous with the party interests so the party moves always in the direction that good for Adams’ career and as he wants to be a successful politician and he has used the movement as a launching pad for a successful political career. He’s around longer than any politician and I suppose, if one respects that sort of thing one, has to begrudgingly acknowledge that he has done it very, very well.

Martin:  Well one of the things I just want to ask about is how much control on party policy does he have? For example, when Martin McGuinness was there Martin McGuinness would have some kind of independent sway or independent position but how much, for example – you have Michelle O’Neill, who’s now the party leader at Stormont, you have Mary Lou McDonald, who’s the deputy leader – how much say does Gerry Adams have in terms of what Sinn Féin’s positions are going to be in the Stormont talks, in Leinster House, as opposed to those people around him?

Anthony:  Well I would say he would have the lion’s share of the say. I don’t think any movement in the world, even in Nazi Germany – you know Hitler himself was undermined by people within the party scheming, in pursuit of their own agendas – and I imagine that within Sinn Féin there are people who will issue challenges but the bulk of party policy would have the imprimatur of Gerry Adams on it. There’s very, very few decisions that would be made that he would be opposed to and I imagine that Mary Lou McDonald is very much a bit player as is Michelle O’Neill in terms of deciding strategy or formulating strategy. I think the main strategist in the movement has been Adams and McGuinness, I think, was useful for Adams in a way that Michelle O’Neill is not. I mean Martin could have carried a lot of people who Michelle may not be able to carry but at the same time Michelle would be someone who would not stand up in any way to Adams and would just be sort of a puppet and he would be the puppet master – and I don’t want to say this in any unkind sense.

But I remember taking to Tony Catney and Tony Catney said that when he attended Ard Comhairle meetings the only person at the Ard Comhairle who would challenge Adams or stand up to him was Martin McGuinness. But I tend to think that Martin McGuinness was undermined, to some extent, by Adams and I will often wonder and I wonder if it will ever emerge in the light of day that McGuinness was toppled in a sort of internal coup d’etat – and I’ve speculated on this before.

Martin:  Okay. I just want to read something. I want you to give an assessment of Gerry Adams’ career so far and I’m just going to read a couple of lines from the piece by Alex Kane, writing in the Irish News. Now Alex Kane is a Unionist. He actually – he’s somebody whose writing I enjoy, he’s very balanced in some ways but he quotes the – Love him or hate him – Adams is one in a hundred. He talks about how Adams has not only brought the struggle to an end and conceded constitutional arrangements but he has access to British and Irish Prime Ministers and the US President. He’s become a statesman admired around the world but still reviled by some at home. He says he has brought Sinn Féin within sniffing distance of reunification. Alright. How do you judge Gerry Adams’ performance or Sinn Féin’s performance or achievements, record, during the period in which Gerry Adams was president or the Republican Movement’s progress during the period in which Gerry Adams has been a leading figure?

Anthony:  Well, apart from the last comment by Alex Kane I think that’s pretty accurate. I mean he hasn’t brought Sinn Féin within an inch of reunification – reunification’s not going to happen. And Alex Kane is a very astute and very clever writer who I much admire for the clarity of his thought. Adams has, in many ways I think, has reduced the whole Republican project to a lie – there’s virtually nothing about him that he says that we can believe. Republicanism, under his reign, is one massive lie. He has de-fanged and de-radicalised Republicanism and he simply turned it into another constitutional-nationalist entity – no different from the people that went before him in the Official Republican Movement and Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil.

And if we want to take a longer historical view of it: We cannot place the current Sinn Féin in the Republican anti-treaty camp that emerged around the time of the formation of the Free State. We have to place him in the Cumann na nGaedheal and then that said, that camp, the pro-treaty party, the party that ended up endorsing partition because Adams does now endorse partition even though I read recently a strange, convoluted article from Danny Morrison saying why he wouldn’t/couldn’t, as a Republican, take a seat at Westminster – now we know all that’s nonsense coming from Morrison and if they take their seats in Westminster he’d somersault to endorse it. The taking of the seats is pretty immaterial to whether one supports or endorses partition. What endorses partition is the support for the Consent Principle. And once you support the right of a majority in the Six Counties to maintain partition then you support the partition, you support the partition principle, and there’s no getting away from it. So Sinn Féin under Adams has been very successful not in terms of furthering any Republican objective – he’s been no more successful in that than, say, Tony Blair has in furthering a socialist objective – but what we have is Adams being very successful in constitutionalising Sinn Féin and making Sinn Féin a constitutional party that can advance the case of Nationalists within the Northern state. But that’s not really what Republicanism was about. Republicanism was about abolishing the Northern state. And we see today that the greatest defenders of the Northern state, along with the Unionists, are Sinn Féin.

Martin:  Alright. There are people who have talked about: Well, we might get a united Ireland in the form of having Sinn Féin in coalition with either Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil in The South and at the same time being in coalition, or partnership, with the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) in The North and there would be some kind of cross-border bodies and this would be some form of a united Ireland. What’s your reaction? How does that compare to what you joined the Republican Movement to get a united Ireland? Hows does that stack up?

Anthony: 

The Belfast Telegraph
31 August 2017

Well, it’s not a united Ireland. It’s a partitioned Ireland. All we have is a bridge that sits over partition. And I mean Adams would probably tell you if Sinn Féin were in government in The North and government in The South that it was a united Ireland and then, if you object, he would tell you: Catch yerself on and you’re an anti-peace process element, you know – all the usual rubbish – but it’s a far cry from the type of Republicanism that I was associated with when I was a member of the Republican Movement. But against that you know there is no way for Ireland to be united unless a majority in The North say so. And that becomes the realpolitik of Irish politics. There’s no military campaign capable of doing it. I wouldn’t want the same military campaign doing it – it brings too much hardship, too much misery, too much death, too much pain and therefore, in my view, it’s not worth it. So even though we may criticise Adams and criticise his strategy and insist that we’re under no obligation whatsoever to believe the lies that he tells there’s no Republican strategy for a united Ireland. Republicanism cannot unite Ireland. It cannot bring Ireland to a point where the Consent Principle’s going to be abolished and the two separate entities at the minute are going to be drawn together as one political entity. So I am of the view that, and I’ve said this before and haven’t not too popular with Republicans for saying it, that the Northern state is not the failed political entity. Republicanism is the failed political entity. The only thing that can bring about Irish unity is constitutional-nationalism which Republicanism was always opposed to and the chances of constitutional- nationalism bringing about a united Ireland are very slim, indeed.

Martin:   Well, what – going into Stormont how – it’s said that the strategy of that was that Sinn Féin was going to work with the DUP. They would bargain away the injustices, they’d work together, they’d establish some kind of reconciliation and respect and attitudes are going to change and then you’d gradually gain acceptance for a united Ireland as a away forward that’s more prosperous for everybody. Do you see that ever working?

Anthony:  No. It’s wishful thinking. I don’t see how it would come about. I think the opposite would come about that when it settles down in the way that you’ve described, reconciliation and other things, that what would happen is that the Nationalists in The North would become more comfortable with rule from London and there would be no indication that the Unionists in The North would become more comfortable with rule from Dublin. There’s a ‘push-pull factor’ at play here and always has been. And in my view Nationalists have always been prepared to reconcile themselves with the British state to a degree much more strong than what the Unionists have been prepared to reconcile themselves with the Dublin state, Dublin rule, so I can’t see that situation coming about. I think what happens there is that it’s a veneer that Sinn Féin put on their constitutional-nationalist internal settlement strategy as a means to create an illusion of forward momentum just to keep people on board and to tell them that they’ve been doing the same thing they always do. Like I mean I listened to a friend of mine in Sinn Féin, a couple – a year back, Pat Sheehan. Pat Sheehan was a hunger striker, a very committed IRA Volunteer, almost lost his life on hunger strike, done lengthy time in prison – and Pat’s says he was doing the same thing today as he was doing in 1972. That’s patently absurd! He isn’t. He’s doing the complete opposite of what he was doing in 1972.

Martin:  Alright. We’re going to have to leave it there. We’re out of time. We could go on a lot longer with you and with questions like this. We want to thank you for being with us, Anthony McIntyre, former political prisoner – I won’t say ‘doctor’, can say journalist…

Anthony:  …Thank you very much.

Martin:  Okay. And look…

Anthony:  …All the best!

Martin:  …Anthony has The Pensive Quill. You can see Kate Nash’s interview from last week. She wouldn’t come on this week. You can see Dixie Elliott telling us, (Ed: In the comments section) quoting exactly, the words that Sinn Féin used when they were complaining about British troops being listed along side members of, Irish patriots in Glasnevin in Dublin. They don’t seem to have that objection in Doire in the Free Derry Museum. (ends time stamp ~ 52:07)

Anthony McIntyre RFÉ 22 April 2017

Radio Free Éireann
WBAI 99.5FM Pacifica Radio
New York City
listen on the internet: wbai.org Saturdays Noon EST

John McDonagh, Martin Galvin and Mary Ward, of Republican Sinn Féin, speak to Anthony McIntyre via telephone from Co. Louth and get his analysis on the call for a general election in Great Britain and on the continuing fallout from the BBC Panorama programme about Freddie Scappaticci. (begins time stamp ~ 21:10)

Audio:   Clip from the BBC Panorama programme, The Spy in the IRA, is played. (audio ends)

John:   And welcome back to Radio Free Éireann. And we’re hoping to have on Anthony McIntyre to talk about that documentary which aired last week on Panorama and Anthony played a major part in that in doing an analysis of what’s going on and I particularly like McIntyre’s take on it – it said – here’s from his website, The Pensive Quill:

The IRA should issue posthumous pardons to all those killed by its security department on the watch of the British agent, Freddie Scappaticci, a former Republican prisoner, he said. Anthony McIntyre last night said it would be hypocritical for Republicans who campaign against other miscarriages of justice to continue to rely on the corrupted and contaminated evidence. And he accused the IRA and Provisional Sinn Féin leaders of engaging in a massive cover-up when Scappaticci was identified in the media as the top British agent, Stakeknife. 

So Anthony’ll be telling us – because in the documentary it talks about Scappaticci when he’s recorded – about how he would break these Republicans. And let’s face it: They were all Republicans that were killed by him. He was the Internal Security of the IRA and if people thought another Volunteer was an informer he had to deal with them and how he dealt with them was just horrendous. And he said every man has their breaking point so people were confessing to things they didn’t do and then he would have them executed. So this is the way they were dealing with informers and like McIntyre’s saying, you’re going around condemning the British government and the kangaroo courts that they had – look what was going on in your own backyard and innocent Republicans were executed of course on behalf of the British intelligence units that were running that. But with us in the studio, before we get McIntyre on, is Mary Ward, she’s a member of Republican Sinn Féin, she’ll be speaking tomorrow up at Rory Dolan’s. Mary, a lot of people know about Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness – about Provisional Sinn Féin. Can you give us a quick history of Republican Sinn Féin?

Mary:   Republican Sinn Féin was founded in 1905. We’re the only political organisation still committed to the undiluted gospel of revolutionary Irish Republicanism and the re-establishment of the all-island republic of Easter Week. It is our duty to ensure that the message of Easter Week is carried forward and acted upon. The forces of reaction and revisionism are attempting to rob us of our history, of its meaning and relevance to make our people compliant and subservient to the present day forces of political and economic imperialism. But far from looking inward we, as Irish Republicans, are looking outward and into the future. We have a vision for the type of Ireland we wish to create. We believe Éire Nua provides the framework within which such a new Ireland can be constructed by all sections of the Irish people. We do not believe that the political and economic liberation of the Irish people can ever be delivered by participating in either Stormont or Leinster House. We believe there are no shortcuts to full freedom of Ireland. Our goal can only be achieved by adherence to fundamental principles and wholehearted commitments. One hundred and one years after the heroic 1916 Rising the continuity of Irish Republicanism, proclaimed in Easter Week, is unbroken by Republican Sinn Féin. We can trace our links back all that time.

John:   And that’s Mary Ward from Republican Sinn Féin. She’ll be speaking up at Rory Dolan’s tomorrow. I would recommend – go to irish freedom dot net if you want all the information about Woodlawn Cemetery and that. But I played a little clip of a documentary that aired about ‘The Spy in the IRA’ when it really should have been ‘spies in the IRA’ and Anthony McIntyre, longtime guest here at Radio Free Éireann, was featured prominently in it and you have Provisional Sinn Féin a lot of times condemning the British government about what’s going on, they condemned the American government about Guantánamo Bay, about black holes around the world where torture is going on where Sinn Féin hasn’t come clean about the torture that Freddie Scappaticci, under the direction of the British government, was committing torture that was just horrendous. And Anthony, in part of the clip we played Freddie Scappaticci says every man has his breaking point and I say: To what end? A breaking point? What? To confess to what you want him to confess to? Or actually confess that they were informers? And how there was a hierarchy in the IRA that some informers were allowed to walk away, like Denis Donaldson and Freddie Scappaticci, but some people who weren’t even informers were executed! Anthony?

Anthony:   Hello.

John:   Yeah. I know you were talking about it’s hypocritical of Sinn Féin to be condemning the British government for miscarriages of justice when you had Freddie Scappaticci upwards to, you could say, thirty Republicans that were executed.

Anthony:   Well that’s very true – can you hear me, John?

John:   No, no – we can hear you clear. Yes.

Anthony:   That’s very true I mean the sort of absurdity of all this came out in the excellent John Ware Panorama broadcast two weeks ago where we were exposed to this – I mean what we may describe as an appalling vista – and we now have a situation whereby many people, we have to say, are lying in graves up and down the country, sentenced to death by the Army Council of the IRA based on a trial and evidence provided by a British agent, Freddie Scappaticci. So while the British are absolutely up to their necks in this the IRA leadership have an awful lot to answer for.

Martin:   Anthony, one of the things that came out in the documentary – I know when your role in Voices From the Grave came out there were pickets in front of your home, there was a lot of intimidation – what happened – when Freddie Scappticci was revealed – there’s some sort of a press conference that goes on (just like Denis Donaldson) and then supposedly you know with Denis Donaldson, he was told to leave, but Freddie Scappaticci? There was an attempt to back him up and disclaim any problems that he had been an informer or denied that he was a spy. How did that come about?

Anthony:   Well that’s very true although the pickets at my home took place after the killing of Joe O’Connor and not after Voices From the Grave. When this guy, Fred Scappaticci, was exposed Danny Morrison and others, but Morrison was to the fore in covering for him, and saying that they didn’t buy into the allegations.

Artist: Brian Mór

And years later we have Morrison saying that he knew in 1990 that Scappaticci was an agent because he had been told by the IRA who had sent word into the prison where Morrison was. We had also a Dublin journalist, who is a lecturer – a senior lecturer of journalism, a man called Niall Meehan writing under the pseudonym Adam O’Toole in the Republican News, and he was also covering for Scappaticci and the whole Stakeknife – trying to rubbish the whole Stakeknife story – and accusing myself and Ed Moloney of having fabricated the whole thing and falling for the Brit line. Now in my view there was a reason for the cover-up and it was not so much that the Sinn Féin leadership had a great deal of sympathy for Freddie Scappaticci – I don’t believe they had any – but they wanted to cover up for him because a failure to cover-up for him would have meant a failure to cover-up for themselves and for their role in allowing this thing to continue for so long. And now we have the bizarre situation where they have colluded with a British agent in the deaths of Irish citizens and they – I mean I’m sure the Army Council unknowingly told Scappaticci to carry on – and what I mean ‘unknowingly’ they weren’t aware that he was an agent – but we have a situation now that they must have learned from and yet no moves have been made to exonerate the people from guilt and from carrying the terrible mark of informer and for their families who have suffered such an indignity to walk the Republican communities carrying the mark of Cain. And the word ‘informer’ that’s attached to anybody is a very powerful, derogatory term, a very negative symbol, and people simply must be given the benefit of doubt and there has to be an enormous amount of doubt in any situation which Freddie Scappaticci was involved in.

John:   Anthony, we always we have you on because the re-writing of Irish Republican history is going a lot faster than we can cover in the one hour. It was reported in the papers that Freddie Scappaticci reported directly to Martin McGuinness before they did these executions of Irish Republicans whether they were informers or not. But the re-writing of Martin McGuinness’ life is now getting into the bizarre range. There was a banner that was carried at his funeral saying: Martin McGuinness – Irish martyr. He did not go to war – war came to him. Blessed be the peacemaker. And then you have Martina Anderson stating in the European Parliament:  ‘…my generation went to war over discrimination, inequality, lack of civil rights and the denial of human rights.’  No where in there does it say anything about a united Ireland – that people were taking up guns and bombs to get fair housing and to get away from discrimination – and now during the week they unveiled a tombstone to Martin McGuinness and it said on it ‘Óglach na hÉireann’. Now I’m a veteran of the United States Army and when I die it’ll have ‘United States Army ’73 to ’75’. If you go to Dublin they give the years that you were in the IRA – you know, 1916 to 1918, 1921 but on Martin McGuinness’ there’s no dates when he was in it and there’s no dates when he left it. I mean even in death now they’re just putting out this mythic ‘Óglach na hÉireann’.

Anthony:   Well, that will be for internal consumption and I mean I simply don’t take Martina Anderson seriously when she makes these types of statements. I mean in a sense her generation, but not the IRA’s to which she belonged, but her generation did arise against the behaviour of the British state but I mean herself and others, myself included, over the years always argued that it was to get the British out of Ireland not to modify British behaviour while in Ireland even though the population did arise for largely different reasons and I think Ed Moloney has gone some way to explain this on your programme before. But the notion that Martin McGuinness having on his headstone ‘Óglach Martin McGuinness – Óglaigh na hÉireann’ – meaning really that Martin McGuinness was a Volunteer in the IRA – and for them to have said from 1970 to his death would have pointed out that firstly the IRA was still in existence but secondly that Martin McGuinness had been lying for decades in relation to it. And I notice that Shane Paul O’Doherty, who’s a fellow brigade officer on the Doire Brigade Staff alongside Martin McGuinness, has said that Martin did tell one ‘whopper of a lie‘ in relation to his involvement in the IRA and having claimed to have left it in 1974. So they’re not going to put up something on a headstone that would allow them to be openly mocked and ridiculed for basically saying Martin McGuinness was a liar but here we’ve buried him anyway. That’s more for internal consumption. And they’ve been going round whispering to their grassroots that basically Martin was an IRA Volunteer and he got all this Stormont thing up and running and really it’s an Army initiative – it’s not all a party initiative and people should keep faith in the programme and the project and that basically they will be telling people that they tricked Bertie Ahern and everybody else, Bill Clinton and Enda Kenny, into going to an IRA Volunteer’s funeral. And they’ll spoof things – like they put the gloves and the black beret inside the coffin – all nonsense for a gullible grassroots that’s prepared to swallow it. They’re prepared to swallow anything.

John:   Mary, go ahead. 

Mary:   Good Morning, Martin – sorry, Anthony – I have a cold here. Coming back to your original point about Martina Anderson’s joining the IRA because they were – for whatever reason she said: I, as president of Cumann na mBan back in the mid-’70’s, would have worked very closely with Martin McGuinness and I would have spoken to him quite a bit and he would have always said when I would have been proposing things or did things that I didn’t ask permission for and then had to go to apologise for doing – one of Martin McGuinness’ favourite sayings was: Why must our people always suffer? Why have we always to be on the outside? Well, I was on a different track and my late husband, Pat Ward the hunger striker, we were fighting for a united Ireland. Martin was fighting to be on the inside and all I can say is: Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis (May he rest in Peace or literal meaning: May his faithful soul be at God’s right side.) but he was hugely successful at that if one looks at the attendees at his funeral he was very successful on getting on the inside. Unfortunately, it was inside the British empire that he was – not in a united Ireland.

John:   Well as Ed Moloney brought up, or it might have been either Anthony McIntyre, that he was a failure with the Irish Republican Army because their basic goal was a united Ireland – that failed. He had the weapons surrendered to the British government and also politically he’s the one that organised the peace process, brought up Stormont, and that had to collapse because, politically, it just collapsed – yeah, Martin?

Martin:   That was Anthony McIntyre, who we have on the line, who made that point on this show. Anthony, I just want to ask you about something else: This week Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, announced that there’ll be a British general election on June 8th. It was immediately said by almost everybody that the talks between Sinn Féin, the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) whatever, are sort of – they’ll continue but nobody expects anything to happen until – well, after that election. I think now there’s a new deadline of June 29th that’s been put there by the British minister for The North of Ireland, James Brokenshire. People are being told that if they vote on the election, in Ireland in The Six Counties, that it’ll somehow have an impact on whether Brexit occurs. That seems to be just totally absurd. I just – there’s going to be almost an equal division between the DUP and whoever else, Sinn Féin, the SDLP (Social Democratic and Labour Party), Unionist and Nationalist parties. What do you think this election will achieve in terms of the North of Ireland in terms of Brexit?

Anthony:   It will make absolutely no difference to Brexit whatsoever. That’s the North of Ireland where people, politicians in the North of Ireland, feeling important about themselves again – their own inflated self-importance – and I mean they use issues like the peace process and they use the peace process like a begging bowl which they shake and ask people to put lots of political time inside that bowl – I think people are sort of largely fed up with the type of guff that is expressed in those sentiments. I’ve just noticed that the Brexit coordinator in the European Parliament, the former Belgian Prime Minister – a man called Guy Verhofstadt, has said that Theresa May even arguing that the general election will strengthen her hand in relation to Brexit negotiations is a total fallacy and that people simply shouldn’t believe her – that it’ll have no impact whatsoever. So if the whole Westminster Parliament being disrupted and reconfigured in the general election will have no impact it’s highly unlikely that we’re going to see that little place in The North having any impact. It’ll be a polarised election, a divisive election, whereby they’ll go out and shout about how Brexit is undermining democratic values and that The North’s democracy, as they term it, will have been undermined, has been undermined, by Brexit and now it’s time to put it right. All we’re going to have again is a sectarian headcount. Brexit does absolutely nothing. Nothing will happen as a result of that election in The North anyway in respect of Brexit. But it’ll stir up sectarian tensions and it will also put some wind in the sails of the Sinn Féin call for a border poll which will not happen until such time as the British decide, not Sinn Féin, that there will be a border poll – and even when we do have a border poll there’s no indication whatsoever that a majority of people in The North are going to vote in favour of pulling out of the British state and opting to become part of an inclusive united Ireland. So, all the same here, John. No change! (Or Martin, sorry.)

John:   Yeah well listen Anthony, thanks for coming on. We’re going to go to our in-studio guest but thanks!

Anthony:   Thank you very much.

John:   And that was Anthony McIntyre over in Dundalk. (ends time stamp ~ 41:34)