The Chairman of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, Francis Mackey, has compared his Sinn Féin counterpart as retired British counter-insurgency expert General Frank Kitson following a statement in which he linked recent attacks on Dove House and Féile an Phobail with dissident groups.
In a statement in response to Mr Kearney, who wrote that dissident republican groups have been infiltrated by criminals and have been attempting to create division in nationalist areas, Mr Mackey said: “The irony will not be lost on most republicans in relation to Sinn Féin’s National Chairperson’s recent attack on Irish republicans.
“Having invoked the activities of General Frank Kitson in the past, Declan Kearney then engages in a Kitsonian rant against republicans himself.
“In a classic case of smear tactics and felon-setting Kearney attempts to lay the blame for the arson attack on Dove House at the door of republicans.
“Ignoring completely the facts which were firmly established at community level Kearney nonetheless exploits this attack for political gain.
“Kitson would undoubtedly be proud of him. In reality what this exposes for Sinn Féin is the growing realisation of their members that they are now seen by nationalist communities as an establishment party, Castle Catholics, administering British rule and austerity through Stormont.
“Those same communities are equally aware of the hollow rhetoric of Sinn Féin when it comes to the issue of policing.
“Nothing has changed for nationalists and republicans who daily suffer at the hands of the re-named RUC. By his own admission the ‘Dark Side’ of British intelligence still exerts a toxic influence on Six County politics despite the efforts of Sinn Féin to sanitise this toxicity via their control of events like Féile an Phobail.”
The 32CSM Chair rejected claims Sinn Fein have been attempting to open dialogue with dissident groups.
Mr Kearney said he had written twice in the last eight months to other republican groups inviting private dialogue.
But Mr Mackey said: “Eighteen years since the Good Friday Agreement has changed nothing of substance.
“Yet again Kearney raises the issue of dialogue with republicans.
“Yet again we will remind him that it was the 32 County Sovereignty Movement which initiated this dialogue with Sinn Féin who have singularly failed to address the issues we raised with them.
“Instead we have witnessed a series of public sound bytes on seeking dialogue, private correspondence announced publicly so that Sinn Féin could be seen to be seeking dialogue whilst simultaneously scuppering the basis on which such dialogue could be held.
“The issues we raised have not gone away, nor will they under British rule.
“We agree with Kearney on the issue of the political development of Irish republicanism but would point out two salient facts to him.
“It must also be re-stated that the so called Peace Process was not built on political development or democratic dialogue but by secret meetings between selective republican leaders and British Spooks.
“The ultimate outcome of that process was the political masters of these security spooks writing the speeches for Kearney’s leadership. Such a narrative will never be followed by Irish republicans.”