Thursday, October 06, 2005

Northern Ireland - the fight is now w/ the crooks

While it looks like the political fight over the Six Counties of Northern Ireland is winding down, "peace" is proving to be elusive. Instead of the Brits vs. the real Republicans (if there ever were any), it appears to be the new Northern Ireland govt vs the crooks who have used The Troubles as cover for their illegal activities for years.

One of the Brits main targets, for years, has been a guy named Thomas "Slab" Murphy. Slab (a nickname he inherited from his dad) is probably the lead PIRA figure in the legendary "bandit country" of South Armagh. However, his main business has long been suspected to be cross-border smuggling between the Republic and the North. His family estate, conveniently straddling the border near Crossmaglen, is suspected to be ground zero of the illegal operation, and has been rumored to be the focal point of the PIRA's South Armagh Brigade, one of the most active PIRA units at the height of The Troubles.

The Brits and the Northern Ireland government may have put a bit of a crimp in Slab's operation with this series of raids. However, Slab has proven himself a survivor and will, no doubt, be a thorn in the sides of all of the governments involved for some time to come, as will others of his ilk.

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