Jelly & Ice-Cream ~ One Of Them ‘No Wayyyyy’ Moments.

Stumbled across this on my travels today. You probably couldn’t make it up to be honest. If i have missed something here then please feel free to fill me in as i proclaim absolute innocent to the ‘Jelly & Ice-Cream’ debate.

I was sure (and still am!!) that it was nothing more than a friendly jibe towards Rangers in their current situation, albeit one that didn’t strike me as particularly witty.

Nevertheless, as I say, I stumbled across this today – I am sure it will give someone somewhere, something to say. I admit it is all very convenient, to an extent that it made me chuckle a little at the coincidence.

I’m sure not everyone will take the innocent, coincidental view that I have.

Call me warped, but I genuinely laughed out loud at this headline and all of the connotations that it comes with. A light break from the tediousness of Rangers & Admin. (Well, for me anyway)


Sorry, it would appear that i was not being clear enough here. For the purpose of those on (yes, i do find out where i am linked from) – I do not suggest that ‘Jelly & Ice-cream’ is an IRA related thing – I was merely pointing out the rather funny coincidence that I am sure will rattle more that one,small minded cage.

Maze party with jelly and ice cream

Twenty years on, republicans gather to remember the greatest escape of them all:

The handful of tourists who wandered into Letterkenny’s Holiday Inn on Friday night peered anxiously at their guidebooks and asked impatiently for the manager.Before they had reached the door of the hotel, they had been stopped by one of 20 black-clad security guards, who demanded their names, addresses and business on the premises.

The burly guards then bustled them into the lobby, where clusters of shaven- headed tattooed men and their heavily made-up wives chatted animatedly, occasionally stopping to greet someone whom they clearly had not seen for a long time. In the background, a barman whistled the signature tune from The Great Escape .

The tourists had arrived be a traditional Irish night of ‘music and craic’. They found themselves instead in the middle of an IRA reunion dinner dance to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the mass breakout from the Maze Prison.

‘Where are the police?’ said a heavily accented and barely contained Finnish woman tourist, when told the nature of the event she had inadvertently stumbled upon.

Just under 1,000 republicans and their families travelled to Co Donegal to mark the escape, still the biggest break-out in British prison history. In all, 38 men, armed with six handguns, shot their way out of the top security jail. Some were swiftly recaptured, 19 got away and three are still on the run. One prison officer, James Ferris, died after being stabbed with a chisel during the breakout.

Brendan (Bik) McFarlane, the senior IRA figure who led and masterminded the escape and also Friday night’s occasion, claimed the reunion was a ‘great chance for old friends and comrades to catch up’. Urging the IRA/Sinn Fein faithful to support the €28 (£20) a head event, he said this was the first and maybe the last such reunion. In the end, he did not need to do much persuading. The tickets were snapped up in a matter of days, along with most of the rooms in Letterkenny.

One of the first to arrive on Friday was Gerry Kelly, Sinn Fein Northern Assembly member and one of the more famous escapees. Kelly, who shot a warder in the head but did not kill him, wore casual slacks and a short-sleeved shirt and rolled his weekender case behind him. He greeted senior Sinn Fein figure Bobby Storey and fellow Assembly member Pat Doherty, before moving around to work the lobby.

The rank and file, whose numbers were beginning to build by early evening in the foyer and bar, greeted each new ‘star’ excitedly, giving them the sort of attention a footballer or film star might expect. Cars carrying the Republican VIPs pulled up at the main door and were surrounded by security guards who shielded the occupants from the cameras of the watching media.

The entrance of the Shankhill bomber, Sean Kelly, caused a ripple of whispers and nudging throughout the crowd. Accompanied by three men, he sat sullen-faced and apparently nervous in the lobby for several minutes, before taking an approach from a reporter as his cue to sprint behind closed doors.

The Sinn Fein organ, An Phoblacht , was the only newspaper allowed into the gala banquet, where families of nine escapees who have since died were presented with medals to commemorate their relatives’ part in the event.

However, Kelly did oblige the assembled media with a quick pre-dinner press conference outside the hotel.

‘Most people like an escape,’ he said proudly. ‘And in Thatcher’s own words, this was the biggest penal crisis in British history. In Republican folklore, this was and is a very symbolic event.’

Perhaps for the benefit of the Gardai who had made two visits to the hotel that day, he said the three escapees who remained on the run would not be making an appearance.

Eyeing another of Sinn Fein’s security men interrogating one of his customers, manager Michael Naughton said he had no problem with the organisation bringing private security. ‘But there’s enough of them isn’t there?’ He observed.

Clutching their pink raffle tickets, the 1,000 or so guests began to queue for a buffet supper around 8pm. The choice was chicken à la king, a cold meat platter and for dessert, jelly and ice cream or cheesecake. The faithful then settled down to a ‘wee bit of craic’ as Kelly described his, McFarlane’s and Storey’s speeches. At one point, Kelly and McFarlane reminisced about driving into Amsterdam’s red light area with 100 guns in the boot of their car.

‘Why couldn’t you have paid for it like anyone else?’ retorted Storey to hoots of laughter. Although the story of the escape is well documented, Kelly went on to relay ‘some never told before snippets’.

Almost inevitably, the music was by the Wolf Tones, who started their set with a rousing chorus of ‘The Men Behind the Wire’, the sound of which travelled up to the guest bedrooms several floors above. Other favourites were belted out over a 90-minute period. The penultimate song was ‘A Nation Once Again’, followed by the national anthem, which saw more people swaying than standing.

By the end of the evening, the oppressive security presence witnessed earlier was no longer in evidence and a few brave souls from the public bar ventured to stick their heads around the door.

What they saw resembled an evening at any working mens’ clubs. A few women and men dancing on the tables, a few slumped over the worse for wear, and most just drinking and chatting.

‘People got very drunk very quickly,’ said one of the waitresses. ‘But that’s the norm isn’t it? It was no different from any other dance really, apart from the security.’

Staff at the public bar worked until 4am yesterday while it was still light when the members’ bar closed. Despite speculation, neither Gerry Adams nor Martin McGuinness made it.

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One Comment on “Jelly & Ice-Cream ~ One Of Them ‘No Wayyyyy’ Moments.”

  1. perthlurker Says:

    Hey Gary

    Only in the land of the Micks and the Jocks and all those in between!

    I remember trying to describe to a tourist why it was ok to beatup the kids from the next door school at 4pm anf fight beside them at 9 pm because they live in same area and fought for the same gang!

    Heres to us, was likes us, gang few and they’re going in liquidation.

    Apologies to burns

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