Saturday, 25 January 2014


The Pensive Quill Self-confessed                             

Censorship by the enemies of Irish Republicanism is nothing new, we must continue to voice our opposition to it wherever it rears its ugly head.



"Q: What do you say to those people who are unhappy but are pulled the other way by feelings of loyalty?

A: Examine their consciences. Take a good look at what is going on. If they agree - ok. If not then speak out." - Fourthwrite interview with Brendan Hughes 

Dominic McGlinchey Interview: Saying What Needs Said

TPQ features an unedited interview that the republican Dominic McGlinchey gave toConnla Young of the Irish News. The interview initially featured in the paper today, Friday 24 January 2014. The unedited version was provided to TPQ by Dominic McGlinchey. 

Well known in anti-agreement circles Dominic McGlinchey has been a staunch opponent of Sinn Fein's political strategy. But with "little appetite" for armed conflict, the republican activist asks whether the time is right for an end to armed struggle as he urges "conversations" to take place on the future for militant republicanism.

A prominent opponent of Sinn Fein’s political strategy has said there is “little appetite” for armed conflict in nationalist communities in the north.

In a rare interview Dominic McGlinchey urged those opposed Sinn Fein’s strategy to hold a 'conversation about the future of  the republican movement' and 'question the integrity of those standing beside them'.

His comments come after a period of intense debate within anti-agreement circles  about the merits of various republican paramilitary campaigns.

In recent weeks a number of other high profile anti-agreement republicans, including former Provisional IRA hunger strikers Gerard Hodgins and Tommy McKearney, have said it is time for armed republican groups to “reconsider” their campaigns.

Mr McGlinchey believes republicans have little to fear from making tough decisions.

'Republicans have shown they are well capable of taking decisive action against the British,' he said.

'That’s not something that they need to prove and nobody is saying you shouldn’t do this or do that.'

Born into a staunch republican family from Bellaghy in south Derry, Mr McGlinchey’s decision to enter a public debate at this time will be viewed as significant.

There are currently several active republican groups including the IRA, Oglaigh na hEireann and the Continuity IRA.

The IRA, which was formed as after a merger between the Real IRA, Republican Action Against Drugs and independent republicans in 2012, and Oglaigh na hEireann have been particularly active in recent months.

Although he keeps a low public profile, Mr McGlinchey is a well-known figure in anti-agreement circles.

Speaking last night the father-of-three said that in some cases “armed action” was being used to 'stifle republicanism at the present time. It’s not that you are asking republicans to give something up, it’s not a matter of giving something up,' he said.

"It’s a matter of being pragmatic and astute about where the battle is at and where it needs to be brought. Republicanism need to be aware of where it sits and the battles that are opening up in front of it and if certain tactics are holding you back from entering a new field of battle."

The 36-year-old left Sinn Fein in 2006 partly because of its support for policing in the north.

He later joined republican socialist party Eirigi before resigning from that group in 2009.

He remains opposed to Sinn Fein and believes support for the party 'is support for British rule in Ireland and the administering of British rule in Ireland'.

In 2012 Mr McGlinchey was questioned by police about a Real IRA gun attack which claimed the lives of two British soldiers in Massereene in County Antrim in 2009.

He strongly denies any involvement in the attack and believes his name was connected to the ambush by 'the British media, MI5 and (PSNI) special branch'.

The Co Derry man believes there is little support for a paramilitary campaign in nationalist communities.

“I don’t believe the appetite exists among the people,” he said.

"That’s not to say there is not considerable support among certain segments of republicanism for particular types of resistance, but what is very clear is that the appetite is not there for a full blown campaign. Never has the groundwork been done for a campaign like that to be launched."

Mr McGlinchey says that republican groups must answer to the people they claim to represent.

'As republicans we say our loyalty is to the Republic and the people make up the Republic and our loyalty has to be to those people,' he said.

"For us to enforce rather than to persuade and debate and bring the people with you on a particular road map, what sort of Republic would we have at the end of it all?

There are those involved in a process who have already delivered us to one surrender and they have no right to deliver us to another surrender."

Mr McGlinchey is of the view that republican 'activists on the ground need to have an understanding of what they want'.

He said the activities of republican paramilitary groups do not constitute a sustained “campaign”.

He urged anti-agreement republicans to consider alternative methods to further their aims and reject any romantic notions about the Provisional IRA’s campaign.

'Resistance is good,' he said.

"But it doesn’t mean you have to be running around with an Armalite in your hand.

You can’t refer back to the "good old days", the fact of the matter is there was nothing good in it.

I am 36-years-of-age and I never saw the IRA walking the streets. There was a resistance movement but the IRA were on the back foot."

As a child Mr McGlinchey saw both his parents being shot dead in separate gun attacks in Co Louth.

His father Dominic, a former INLA Chief of Staff, was gunned down in Drogheda in February 1994 by gunmen who have never been apprehended.

His mother Mary, also a former senior member of the INLA, was shot dead in her Dundalk home in January 1987 as she bathed the then nine-year-old along with his brother Declan.

Again, her killers have never been caught.

Mr McGlinchey says alternative ways of expressing republican politics should not be dismissed by hardliners.

'There are hundreds of ways to expose the status quo for what it is,' he said.

'Through civil disobedience or not recognising institutions. Republicanism cannot be viewed as a one-trick pony, there needs to be a proper analysis of where it is at.'

The former Sinn Fein man believes that conversations about the future of militant republicanism can be held privately.

'I don’t think republicans need to say they are calling a halt,' he said.

'It’s clear that as republicans you have a duty to reflect, gather your thoughts and analyse our strategy. There needs to be a conversation about the future of the republican movement.'

He revealed that hardline republicans have already entered into a “period of reflection” but that efforts to move away from violence are opposed by elements within the British security establishment.

'MI5 and the security services have moved certain people from our streets that are of a more moderate persuasion to stifle that,' he said.

'The security forces, MI5 and British intelligence have a vested interest in keeping things going.'

He also believes that at times in the past British “agent provocateurs” within the Republican Movement have steered its direction.

'Whether we like it or dislike it at the minute the Brits are controlling both sides of the argument, or certainly have major influences in terms of both sides of the argument,' he said.

Mr McGlinchey believes the in recent years 'republicans are trying to swim in a dirty pond and there’s not even enough oxygen for anything to breathe in it never mind grow'.

He says this has been demonstrated more so in Dublin where hardline factions have descended into a “gang structure” whose members “masquerade as republicans”.

'There’s been too much sacrificed just to be lost on a gangland in Dublin or a corrupt person in Belfast,' he said.

"We are now many, many years since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement and the name of republicanism, especially in the 26 counties, has been trailed through the mud by people who should never never ever been allowed on the bus. There needs to be a crdible middle ground."

The South Derry man says militant republicans have encountered tougher challenges in the past.

'We have been shot by our own, hanged by our own, hanged by the Brits, we have been raped and beaten by the church and starved by colonialism – there’s nothing in this world we cannot face,' he said.

'By taking a step back you actually do move forward. You need a bit of luck, but you can’t have luck if you don’t have a plan.'

Mr McGlinchey is convinced the time is right for him to speak out now.

'We were told to go and sit in the corner and that’s not acceptable any more,' he said.

"I say this with the greatest respect to every other activist of my age, but it feels like I have lived five lifetimes within the Republican Movement. And all of my life I have been told you need to watch what you say and where you say it, everybody is out to get you.

You have a duty I think to say what needs to be said - what’s on your mind. Republicanism is a very noble and just thing to be involved in. Republicans also have a duty to do the right thing, to stand up and be counted and when that time comes to be honest about where it’s at."


5:00 PM, January 24, 2014Reply
Another voice of reason ,not treason speaking up and out for true republicans, the fight for an independent 32 county socialist republic can and must be moved on to new tactics not a rerun of the failed treachery that we have already witnessed,we must stop subsidising the brit security industry,if they want their big salaries and expense accounts let them earn it elsewhere,voices locked up are muted and the energy needed to expose the charlatans and carpetbaggers who are bleeding this place dry is wasted in the diversion that any military campaign creates at the moment .
7:39 PM, January 24, 2014Reply
Dominic covers a lot of ground in this interview. He is very articulate like his late father. It is an intelligent and thought out position. Let's see if the argument is dealt with on merit. If people think he is wrong - and I am sure there are some who do - a critique of the argument rather than the man will be the more enlightening.
8:27 PM, January 24, 2014Reply
I think that facts speak for themselves and that is the time has come to realise that support is no longer there for armed struggle.

If there are those who disagree with what Dominic and others, myself included, are saying then they need to explain how they hope to achieve anything going it alone.
9:28 PM, January 24, 2014Reply
AM , I don't think there are that many that disagree with Dominic. There is simply no support for armed propaganda. Waging war because your frustrated isn't enough. Maybe if armed groups call a ceasefire we'll get released. Nothing I've said here hasn't been said before but it's not until recently that I've been involved in these conversations and I find no support.
9:55 PM, January 24, 2014Reply
Thought provoking and well written petition for a cessation by all groups in language that dissidents should find hard to ignore but easily digested.
10:08 PM, January 24, 2014Reply
Very well said by Dominic. Armed actions never were the be all and end all of revolutionary action against state and capitalist. As other countries throughout Europe has shown us, the power of people on the streets can overthrow governments in days, as opposed to 40 years of guerilla military war by small units. The shinners destroyed the appetite for war and suppressed support for war but a smart revolutionary does not fight with arms alone.
11:18 PM, January 24, 2014Reply
From Michael henry 

A well thought out and well written article by Dominic paving the way for armed groups that never fought a war calling ceasefires in the year of elections-looks like some want to get their own peace process going-which is their own buisness-they can dust down old Army and Sinn Fein statements and just add their name on to them for release-you cant make this stuff up-
11:22 PM, January 24, 2014Reply

you are right. There aren't many but there are some. Getting prisoners released will be a hard one whatever happens but it should be pressed for.
12:39 AM, January 25, 2014Reply
who dares to speak of 98.
12:42 AM, January 25, 2014Reply
Every time I see a comment from Michael Henry McIvor I get this urge to slip him a bit of loose change to buy a drink and batter on with whatever I'm doing.... 
2:48 AM, January 25, 2014Reply
Fair play to Dominic, there is a vast difference in how he has approached this and the raft of others who choose the Newsletter.
Firstly he has previously had the debate within Irish republicanism (the comradely way) before talking to a Newspaper which (with all its faults) is not the Organ of the Ulster Unionist Party.
Unlike the Newsletter interviews he gives possible visions of what could be alternative strategies to current armed actions and has not allowed himself to be seen as simply renouncing and distancing himself from what the others called 'utter madness' !
Unlike the Newsletter posse, there is nothing in this article which the enemies of Republicanism could take comfort from.

Fair play to Dominic, he is a credit to his parents.
2:55 AM, January 25, 2014Reply
To the extent that Irish-America exists as an entity, it can operate only as support for decison-makers in Ireland.
We in the States were shocked when the "Irish" gov't worked with the Brits against us on every issue, from the B-6, to MacBride Principles, to Joe Doherty, to the GFA's surrender of the thereto-contested 6-Counties.
The US gov't began siding with Britain against republicans soon after 1989 when the Adams sell-out became clear here.
The IRB's demand for abolition of the 1922 King George V "Oireachtas" and its successors is a start. GAA players and supporters ought to take the GAA back from its new corporate owners. Ditto Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, which, under true Irish leadership, will undo its part in making Derry the 2013 "UK City of Culture." The resumed internment and criminal abuse of prisoners indicates the extent of Britain's triumph. So does the criminal immunization of the perpetrators of Bloody Sunday, Dublin/Monaghan, Ballymurphy, Loughinisland, Omagh, etc. It is surely time for a public reassessment of the current status of law and justice in what was Occupied Ireland until its surrender to Britain. A main problem, that of U.S. support for tyrannies everywhere, is no longer perfumable. The U.S., a dismantler of Britain's empire in 1776 and under FDR,has become what Britain was at its most criminal. U.S. crimes are finally acknowledged by its citizens. IMHO a new, law-abiding U.S. is only a finger-snap away in terms of history. To achieve it we all must reclaim our sovereignty from those we mistakenly entrusted it.

10:19 AM, January 25, 2014Reply
While the debate is constructive and I am enjoying reading them, am I right in saying the only contributor currently still actively pursuing republican objectives is Jim Slaven and his piece is by far the best of the lot, the rest is getting a bit repetitive to be honest.

I think its a result of a crisis in confidence within republicanism in general it reminds me of the short story of the elephant rope. People need to be inspired.

I also just hope all of the contributions are genuine and hopefully somewhere in there we 

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