Wednesday, April 05, 2006

An enevitable execution or a suspicious hi-jack?

Sinn Fein man who spied for British is found shot dead

The above leads to a report in the Scotsman.

When, some months back, Sinn Feinn's Denis Donaldson was revealed to have been a former British spy within the IRA my first thought was that he had become a "marked man". Unless he disappeared or moved into protection on the UK mainland, his execution would be inevitable. After all, to the IRA, he would be perceived as a traitor in wartime and as such, despite a new era of de-militarisation, would need to be held to account. Strangely however, Donaldson retired to his home in the north of Ireland and no secret was made of his whereabouts - it was if he was inviting retribution.

His execution yesterday comes a no surprise - but, as a matter of timing, it is very curious. As the UK and Ireland prepare to re-institute a power-sharing government for Northern Ireland, Donaldson's killing at this moment serves nobody except those whose aim is to disrupt that process - namely the Unionist movement whose modus-operandi seems to forever discount any reconciliation with any part of Irish republicanism. They have used the last 24 hours to great advantage by making political capital of the events.

In a process started by John Major, Blair's early government made major inroads in bringing about a preace process in Northern Ireland - largely due to the impartial approach of the late Mo Mowlam, the influence of Bill Clinton and, one suspects, some guidance on catholicism from Blair's wife Cherie. Certainly, the IRA were persuaded that sectarian warfare, especially when reduced to the method of terrorism alone, held no future in an age of globalism where both Britain and Ireland were also partners in the European Union. Any reservations were probably wiped out completely with the rise of international Islamist terrorism which made the traditional inter-Christian battles of the Irish island seem petty by comparison.

Donaldson's death will presumably be treated as murder and become a matter for the police. How far they are able to persue the evidence remains to be seen. It is not an issue that should be allowed to disrupt the governance of Northern Ireland, the basis for which is already sound and the only obsticle being the inability of those living in the past to adapt. It will be a shame if they suceed in blocking renewed progress this week.

In Italy politics are reduced to "testicles" and in the US the government's own accountability office says that it's agencies are breaching privacy rights. The good news is that after 20 years, life returns to Chernobyl once more and someone has got Windows running on a new Intel Macintosh.


1 comment:

Gentleman-hobbs said...

As usual after someone dies they will say it is time to draw a line in the sand, cite any shortcomings in their eyes then commit to the future etc etc.