Monthly Archives: February 2021

Greenslime Finally Comes Clean

You can read Roy Greenslade’s admission of his sympathy and support for Sinn Fein here. I can’t speak for the other journalists he names but for my part the problem with his semi-secret endorsement of the Provos was that when he joined their ranks he entirely discarded the critical faculties that good journalists regard as vital for their work. In short, he became a Sinn Fein hack.

Well Folks, It’s Back To Obama Time….

On the same day, the Dems cave in to an obscure parliamentary trick which bans the $15 minimum wage and the US bombs Syria, Plus ca change!

Life In The Trump Hotel Washington

Great piece in The Washingtonian magazine about the horrors of working in Trump’s hotel in the US capital.

US Media’s Love Affair With Biden

This is a very good piece in The Hill of all places, about the US media’s disgracefully uncritical coverage of the Biden presidency, contrasting the hardball handling of the Trump White House with the embarrassingly oleaginous coverage of Trump’s successor. This bit jumped out at me, bringing back memories of the Belfast media’s unctuous coverage of Mo Mowlam:

Donald Trump Accused Of Mob Ties

Did A US Diplomat Reveal Uncle Sam’s Bugging Operations Against The Dublin Government?

To his colleagues at Iveagh House, the ornate Georgian palace off St Stephen’s Green once owned by the Guinness family but now the headquarters of the Irish government’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Richard Ryan was known as ‘the man who dined for Ireland’.

With the Irish embassy in fashionable South Kensington as his base, it was Ryan’s task, during the months leading up to the 1985 Hillsborough Accord, to wine and dine Britain’s great and good, to discover what level of sympathy there was for Dublin’s ambitious hopes for an historic deal with Britain that would see off the burgeoning threat from Sinn Fein and to glean, if he could, the direction Mrs Thatcher and her ministers might be heading.

He also broke bread with fellow diplomats, especially those representing Britain’s allies, in an effort to discover what they might know. So it was that on or around April 30th, 1985, he lunched with one Peter Reams, an official in the US Embassy who previously had responsibility for Northern Ireland matters in the State Department in Washington.

His report of the meeting to his masters in Dublin was sent by courier service to Iveagh House. He had marked it ‘Confidential’ but on receipt his superiors upped that to ‘Secret’. A quick reading (thanks to the release of the document in 2015) especially of the final paragraph, provides the reason for that upgrading:

It is difficult to read that paragraph and not deduce two facts about the diplomats’ lunch. One is that Mr Reams, or was it Mr Ryan, had been a touch too generous with a doubtless excellent bottle of Bordeaux; the other was that the American diplomat’s remark was tantamount to an admission that Dublin’s favourite foreign ally was not beyond rummaging through Ireland’s dustbins, as it were.

Mr Ryan, who went on to become Irish ambassador to South Korea, appears to have had a knack at extracting spying admissions from officials of other governments. A month before his lunch with Mr Reams, he dined with Lord Gowrie, the second most senior minister in the Northern Ireland Office, who warned the Irish diplomat of a massive British spying operation targeted at Ryan’s colleagues.

As a result Ryan’s superiors decided to no longer trust electronic communication and instead used the services of a courier service, one of whose first missives delivered to Iveagh House seemingly warned of a similar exercise by the Americans.

Here, for posterity, is the full letter:

How Did The Dublin Govt Rate The Loyalist Threat On The Eve Of The Hillsborough Deal?