Friday, March 18, 2011
Rep Peter King and the IRA (and Gadaffi again)
It's a funny old world we are living in. I opened the Irish Independent today and saw this picture of House majority leader John Boehner, President Obama, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, and congressman Peter King. Congressman King, a New York Republican is currently in the news because he is leading the controversial congressional hearings into the radicalisation of American Muslims which many are calling McCarthy like. The thing is, Congressman King was an active supporter of the Provisional IRA which he called the "legitimate voice of occupied Ireland." King was personally very close to the IRA leadership, and not just Gerry Adams and the likes. He maintained close contact with IRA commander Michael McKevitt (among many others), who subsequently expressed his opposition to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 by slaughtering 31 innocents in Omagh. McKevitt (now a leading dissident Republican) was also the man who initiated the IRA's relationship with Colonel Gadaffi who would arm the IRA for much of the 80's, and whose 40 year regime only yesterday had its fate sealed by President Obama when he effective authorised a no fly zone over Libya. During the 80's King was forbidden from appearing on British TV or radio. He not only infuriated the British authorities with his support for IRA terrorism, he also angered the Irish government. The Gareth Fitzgerald led Fine Gael government (1983-87) of which Enda Kenny was a member, was the first Irish government that actively opposed the IRA campaign. In 1985 the Irish government boycotted the St Patricks Day parade in New York because its Grand Marshal was IRA supporter Peter King. It is indeed a strange twist to watch Peter King walk down the steps of Capitol Hill with the Taoiseach, considering Kenny's government once called King an "avowed" supporter of terrorism, at a time when King is now claiming that Mosque's which contain "Palestinian Paraphernalia" are becoming radicalised and potentially supporting terrorism. I can't help wonder if yesterday, this tapestry of events came up in conversation as Kenny, Obama and King chatted in private.