|Organisation:||Irish Republican Writers Group|
|Contributors:||Tommy McKearney, Paul Bew, Liam O'Ruairc, Tommy Gorman, Brendan Hughes, Mags Glennon, Lin Solomon, Eamonn McCann, Henry McDonald, Patricia Campbell, Ciara Ní Tuama (see Carrie Twomey), Paul Little, John McAnulty, Anthony McIntyre|
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This edition of Fourthwrite, published by the Irish Republican Writers Group, appropriately is from the Winter of 2000/2001. At a remove of eighteen years it provides an useful insight into the period after the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement was signed.
The lead article is argues that the Patten report was ‘gutted’ and that ‘the British government is imposing its own version of slicing on the North of Ireland’. It continues ‘in reality there never was any prospect of things being different… control of policing is not an optional extra for a ruling power – it is a fundamental necessity’. It is deeply sceptical of the idea that there will be real change and argues that the British Government ‘has ensured that there has been a unitary police service in NI since partition’ and that this will continue with the ‘same authority’ controlling Special Branch and ‘taking charge of traffic safety, domestic violence incidents and regulation of addictive substances’. And it suggests that for Sinn Féin and the SDLP ‘such decisions [to come to terms with policing] will not be easy… evidence suggests they will wrestle with the dilemma for some time but in the end they will make some form of accommodation with the system’.
The editorial mentions ‘harassment of IRWG members, Anthony McIntyre and Tommy Gorman’ but states that its commitment to continuing publication remains unchanged. And it asks about what tasks continue to face radical Irish Republicanism – ‘is the new republic to be a workers republic’, ‘what economic benchmark do republicans set for the citizens?’, ‘how will republicans adopt an ethical and neutral foreign policy and can a foreign policy be both?’ are questions asked amongst others.
A wide range of contributions will be found in the sixteen pages, with authors as diverse as Paul Bew and Eamon McCann.