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SF responsible for having MI5 in Holywood

Published 20/04/2010

In Voices from the Grave, Brendan Hughes expresses regret for IRA activities, saying: "What was achieved was not worth one death."

He expresses bitterness that former friend and colleague Gerry Adams continues to deny IRA membership. After Ed Moloney's book was published, Mr Adams said: "I will never distance myself from the IRA", but continues to deny membership and wash his hands of responsibility.

So what did Provo violence achieve? Well, instead of being an abstentionist party, Sinn Fein now only partly abstains, taking seats in Stormont, but not Westminster - a bit like being only slightly pregnant.

Also it got David Ford, a unionist with a small 'u', the job as Minister of Policing and Justice, with Raymond McCartney, who was an IRA member, as deputy.

But Sinn Fein's biggest achievement, apart from the education upheaval, was the introduction of 500 unaccountable MI5 agents into Palace Barracks.

Is that worth the crippling cost of the Troubles and the terrible price of lost lives?


Downpatrick, Co Down

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