Thursday, March 27, 2008

Poacher turned gamekeeper

In 40+ years I've never discovered how "brouhaha" is pronounced, but whatever way there's spade-loads of it in Fermanagh this week with the news that Seán Lynch is to join the District Policing Partnership.

Sinn Féin support policing and are joining the DPPs, which is good, and Lynch is the Chairman of Sinn Féin in Fermanagh, so no surprise that he's joining. Trouble is: he served 12 years in jail for terrorist offences and was the IRA's so-called Officer Commanding while he was there. And now he'll be policing the police.

Tom Elliott, our MLA and local councillor, is asking pointedly whether Lynch is still in the IRA. Good question. Aren't they still an illegal organisation? Amazingly, Bert Johnston of the DUP is taking an easier view of it, welcoming SF's involvement. I never thought I'd see the day those roles were reversed, but we've come a long way.

There's a harsh irony in this, difficult to swallow and obvious to any observer, but my take is simple. It's right to grit our teeth and accept it, encourage it even. I'd rather have Lynch ensuring our policemen did their jobs than ensuring they met early deaths.

This is democracy, folks. Lynch is elected to office, and whatever you think of his past you have to respect the votes of those who put him there. He's accountable to them, so "game on", I say.

I would really welcome it if Seán Lynch were to come out and say he'd left the IRA for good. Or if the IRA disbanded, as I think they should. And they should. But we have to believe people can change and encourage them to do so, not beat them with nasty words when they try to do something honorable.


At 12:43 a.m., Anonymous tony said...

Mr Lynch has nothing to be ashamed of for his service in the IRA BU. Your use of the DUP as some kind of moral barometer really shows quite a narrow view. However narrow that view may be at least it is positive.

If more Unionists were like you then the disharmony and distrust evident in Unionism to all and sundry would not be so evident.

At 11:17 p.m., Blogger B.U. said...

Tony, Other than Jesus I don't use anyone as a moral barometer, at least not a reliable one. I'm sorry if you find it a 'narrow view' that I'm abhorred by IRA membership. Tough. We've been through this so often here before: pursuing a united Ireland is a noble enough cause - and there are many others too - but killing peaceable fellow citizens as our so-called freedome fighters did is beyond the pale and without excuse. I roundly condemn every man jack of them.
That said, no one is beyond repentance, and no one cannot change. If the DUP (in the form of Bert Johnston) recognises that, I'll applaud heartily, but it doesn't make me a DUP supporter and more than applauding Gerry Adams for leading the front on PSNI support makes me a Sinn Féiner.
other Unionists. Don't consider me a Unionist, I don't. Merci.

At 5:47 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

seems like you are having truble with "powersharing". How many unionist/loyalist former paramiliraies are members of government ? Are you suspicious and distrustful of them as well. CONROY

At 11:22 a.m., Anonymous A Man of The Left said...

I always pronounced it as brew ha ha but you have made me question myself



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