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Pól Ó Lorcáin
Paul Larkin

Chroniclers are privileged to enter where they list, to come and go through keyholes, to ride upon the wind, to overcome in their soarings up and down, all obstacles of distance, time and place.
Charles Dickens - Barnaby Rudge, Chapter The Ninth

Another murderous bomb in Omagh – does anyone in the dissident movement have a brain, never mind a political brain?

Leave aside, for the moment, the moral question of murdering a young Catholic police officer, which happened in a car bomb attack on Saturday afternoon - let us look at the overarching political thinking behind this murder. Or rather, the astounding lack of political thinking.

Ireland is in deep economic crisis – North and South. The left is talking about new initiatives to bring together those very large numbers of people who want to see a fairer and more just society. There is much work to do - campaigns need to be built around the scandal of the bank bailout - a bailout that has allowed the richest section of society to fly off into a new comfort zone to escape a meltdown which their own greed and avarice created. This is a golden chance to explain to a new generation why capitalism stinks. The anger of the Irish people was reflected in the recent election results which saw huge gains for the left.

So let us now look at a scene outside a newsagents in Dublin, where I live. There are four women standing chatting and smoking , with the inevitable gaggle of children either being pushed up and down in their buggies or running around on the pavement. A newspaper headline mentions a bomb attack in Omagh, County Tyrone. This headline neither makes, nor has, the slightest connection with their lives. Except, that is, in one possible regard - one or two of them will almost certainly remember that Omagh was the place of that awful bomb attack some years ago in which women and children died. Memories of a wave of revulsion strafe their minds.

Omagh, bomb, dissidents.

Like it or lump it. That is how the mind works. It is the same for everybody, but the dissidents ignore this basic principle of human thinking – causation. The relation of cause and effect.

In fact, the “cell” which organised and implemented this gratuitous and alienating act of terror went further in their pea brained political thinking – their denial of causation. For the "masterminds" will have certainly been aware that a charity fun run was to take place along a route which took in the scene of the bombing. I make this point not to suggest that the dissidents wished to murder the fun runners as well, but to highlight the complete lack of strategic thinking on the part of the dissident movement.

Irish history has shown that guerilla movements which fail to engage with the people and obtain its support will fall back into a bitter rump, continually prone not only to arrest and infiltration but also to precisely the kind of internecine feuding that we have seen in the past few years within their fraternity. But why bother consulting the charts of Irish history? Like dark Jacobean plotters, they become, instead, obsessed with their rivals whose star is in the ascendancy, which is why when the rest of the country is talking about economic survival and how to pay the rent, the only topic on their lips is “spineless peacenik Sinn Féin” and all its ills.

There is an even worse price than all of the above. That is the personal price that the dissidents themselves have paid and will pay for their actions. The flame of terror that burns so brightly in the minds of this tiny and self isolating group of people becomes an end in itself and incinerates all other considerations. They become blinded by their own bitter light to the exclusion of all else.

Omagh again? Charity fun run? – so fucking what?

Let us strike a blow for Ireland's freedom they cried.

@ Paul Larkin
Baile Átha Cliath, Mí Aibreáin 2011
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Title: Another murderous bomb in Omagh – does anyone in the dissident movement have a brain, never mind a political brain?
Date posted: 03 Apr '11 - 09:23
Filed under: General
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