McGlinchey urges dissidents to consider ending armed campaign
Senior republican wants ‘conversation about removal of the gun from Irish politics’
Dominic Óg McGlinchey: The most senior such republican to raise these questions with dissidents.
Senior republican Dominic Óg McGlinchey has called on dissident republicans to start “a conversation about the removal of the gun from Irish politics”. He is the son of Dominic and Mary McGlinchey, two leaders of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) and was present at their murders in Drogheda and Dundalk in 1994 and 1987.
“Republicanism is a very honourable thing if done in an honourable way. We shouldn’t be dishonouring it by the mindless use of violence,” Mr McGlinchey said in a wide-ranging interview with The Irish Times .
Senior dissidents are facing trial while hundreds of others have been prosecuted by the PSNI and Garda in recent years. “I haven’t said to anybody pack up and go home . . . what I am saying is that we should not be bound by the weapons. Just because they are there does not mean that they have to be used”.
In further conversation yesterday, he deplored the Good Friday murder of former Continuity IRA commander Tommy Crossan in Belfast, while sardonically adding that the killing had “little to do with the armed struggle”.
Mr McGlinchey, with a name and a pedigree that carries weight in dissident circles, is the most senior such republican to raise these questions with dissidents.
He resigned from Sinn Féin in 2007 in protest at the decision to support policing. He was also named in court as being the getaway driver in the 2009 dissident attack on Massereene British army base in Antrim in which British soldiers Patrick Azimkar and Mark Quinsey were murdered. He was interviewed by the PSNI about the attack. He denied any involvement.
He also claimed that his father, who was shot dead six months before the groundbreaking IRA ceasefire of 1994, was killed “to facilitate the peace process”.
Those responsible, he contended, were one of three groups: the IRA, British military intelligence or people acting for the Irish government. Mr McGlinchey’s comments about dissident republicans seriously considering ending their campaigns of violence come as the various groups face severe pressure from the PSNI, the Garda and MI5.