Éamonn Ó Cuiv, RFE Call-in ---
The recent call-in to
Radio Free Éireann, (RFE) by Éamonn Ó Cuiv, a Fianna Fáil party
member of the 26-county parliament, has raised a few eyebrows,
more so in Ireland than here in the States.
The purpose of his
call-in was to lend support to the ‘release Gerry McGeough
campaign’ that has been promoted on a regular basis by RFE. Due
mainly to RFE efforts, McGeough has become a cause célèbre since
his imprisonment in HMS Maghaberry prison in the British
controlled six Irish counties on 'selective charges' enshrined
in and agreed to by all parties to the Good Friday Agreement
(GFA) including Provisional Sinn Féin (PSF). (Ubiquitous
language incorporated in the GFA allows for the use of punitive
measures to quell any form of dissent with respect to the GFA or
the ongoing British presence in Ireland).
supported the GFA he, nonetheless, became a victim to the ‘new
order’ pursued by PSF after the signing of the GFA. The ‘new
order’ required new skill sets and absolute loyalty. Active
volunteers who could not be relied on to conform were set
adrift. Volunteers serving time were released on restrictive
parole conditions that prevented them from engaging in any form
of dissent directed against the GFA or PSF. Those who opposed
the ‘new order’ were either disposed of, labeled as being
‘troubled’ or subjected to ‘selective charges’ as happened to
Ó Cuiv’s call-in was
not a “laissez-faire” happenstance as one would be led to
believe. To the contrary, Ó Cuiv’s advocacy on behalf of
McGeough could be part of a well planned strategy by Fianna Fáil
to; 1) position Fianna Fáil as the ‘legitimate’ republican
party, 2) stymie any attempt by PSF to cast themselves as the
‘republican’ party and 3) safeguard Fianna Fáil’s role as the
main opposition party in the southern 26-county parliament.
In either case what
better way for Fianna Fáil to demonstrate their ‘republican’
credentials than to intercede with the British on behalf of
McGeough, a former PSF member abandoned by his own party?
fact that few Irish politicians act out of compassion or a sense
of justice, Ó Cuiv’s intervention on behalf of McGeough is
welcome. One would hope that he will pursue the steps he
outlined on RFE including a meeting with the British Ambassador
to discuss McGeough’s release and the overall status of Irish
Republican prisoners on protest in Maghaberry prison.
As the maneuvering
for the republican mantle continues, let's not forget that it
was Éamonn De Valera, Ó Cuiv grandfather and the founder of
Fianna Fáil, who sanctioned the execution of Irish Republican
activists in the 1930’s and 40’s. How does that square with
Fianna Fáil’s claim to Irish Republicanism?
Putting a bow around
a pig’s neck does not make it a teddy bear.