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1 June 2006 Edition

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Fifth Column

UVF shoot UUP in the foot

The UVF's pumping of eight bullets into their Mount Vernon leader, Mark Haddock, in Newtownabbey, County Antrim, on Tuesday brought a deafening silence from the new political ally of the UVF: Sir Reg Empey's Ulster Unionist Party.

The UVF is miffed that their man in Mount Vernon is reputed to be an agent of the British Government.

If republicans were shooting each other, Reg, Ken Maginnis and all the other UUPers would be banging on about "Sinn Féin/IRA" but no one in the unionist camp is screaming about UUP/PUP/UVF.

And what about the self-styled 'Independent Monitoring Commission'? Will it be calling for political sanctions against the Reg Empey/David Ervine axis at the Assembly and Westminster because of the UVF's blatant breach of its nominal ceasefire?

Barmy army agent

Ian Paisley Jnr looked very thoughtful on UTV on Tuesday when commenting on the 'Martin McGuinness is an MI6 spy' story by barmy army agent Martin Ingram.

Even Paisley Junior described Ingram's tale as "outlandish" while bizarrely calling for a statement from the British Government.

"It's an intriguing and outlandish story and it's very difficult to measure its truth," Junior said. "But with the seriousness of the allegations I think there should be an investigation.

"The British Government should be called to account on this and, indeed, so should Martin McGuinness. Allegations have been made and they must be answered."

Not the sort of probing approach the Paisley boy takes on allegations about his daddy's dalliances with loyalist paramilitary leaders over decades.

Confidence trick

And Junior's spiritual senior, DUP pastor Rev Willie McCrea, was singing from a similar hymn sheet.

The Cliff Richard of South Antrim wants answers from the British Government on political leaders attending "paramilitary displays".

Piping up in the Westminster parliament last week, 'Boxcar' Willie asked Peter Hain:

"If it is confirmed to the Secretary of State and the House that Martin McGuinness attended a paramilitary display in Londonderry at the weekend, will the right honourable gentleman now tell the House that he has thus proved himself totally incapable of gaining the confidence of the people in respect of playing a part in any Northern Ireland Executive?"

And while you're at it, Mr Hain, tell Willie if that applies to 'Big Daddy' Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson reviewing the paramilitary displays of the Third Force and Ulster Resistance.

SAS gunman unmasked

Former SAS terrorist-turned-author 'Andy McNab' "has officially 'come out", the BBC announced this week.

What? Who Dares Wears Make-Up?

No, no! Auntie doesn't mean that the SAS action man has done something really brave. No, the Beeb means that the writer of Bravo Two Zero turned up to face the public for the very first time, at the Hay Literature Festival in England at the weekend. Mind you, dark-suited goons circled menacingly and threatened any fans even thinking of taking a photo of their paperback hero.

McNab said the heavies were needed because of his past SAS activity in Derry (where he says he killed someone when he was 19) but he felt safe at the book festival.

"I did have a go at doing something like this at Oxford five years ago. It got cancelled because they found an incendiary device under the chair."


The film that shakes The Sun

Ken Loach's Cannes Film Festival award-winning film about the IRA in the Tan War, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, has shaken the hacks in the British media, including The Sun.

The film focuses on the IRA campaign against the Black and Tans in the 1920s.

The Oirish Sun's sister paper in England railed at Englishman Loach's movie. It is "the most pro-IRA film ever", according to someone called Harry MacAdam. "Its plot is designed to drag our nation's reputation through the mud."

The Oirish Sun, though, isn't being so vocal about their sister paper's pride in the reputation of the Black and Tans. Wonder why?

The good old Black and Tans

Over at the Daily Mail (not the Oirish Daily Mail but the mother ship in good old Blighty) wheeled out Orange Order groupie Ruth Dudley Edwards to get all steamed up about Loach's internationally-acclaimed production for daring to show the Black and Tans in a bad light.

Dud suggested that the film encourages direct comparisons between British rule in Ireland, 1920-22, and the present-day conflict in Iraq.

"This, of course, requires the portrayal of the British as sadists and the Irish as romantic, idealistic freedom fighters."

Yes, Ruth. And your problem is...?

Meanwhile, Ken Loach fired back at his reactionary critics that it is a true depiction of how the Black and Tans and the Auxiliaries behaved.

"Their brutality is legendary- no one would question that."

Except maybe The Sun and Ruth Dudley Edwards.

An Phoblacht Magazine


  • The first edition of this new magazine will feature a 10 page special on the life and legacy of our leader Martin McGuinness to mark the first anniversary of his untimely passing.
  • It will include a personal reminiscence by Gerry Adams and contributions from the McGuinness family.
  • There will also be an exclusive interview with our new Uachtarán Mary Lou McDonald.

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