A new IRA emerges lashed together from the wreckage of the old…

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The big news of the weekend? The convergence of a wide range of republican paramilitary groups into a new one called, erm, the IRA…

So it hasn’t gone away you know… That’s the PR of it anyway. I suppose one might be tempted to say that it took them long enough to decide that the current spilts were killing any ‘credibility’ they might have had at representing a coherent idea never mind anything else.

What it proves is that you cannot legislate any anti state actor out of existence by merely saying it doesn’t exist any more… The IRA that ceased to operate after the 2007 St Andrews deal was only one of several incarnations of that organisation…

Now there’s another one….

How do we know they are the IRA? Well, simply because they say they are. That’s all that’s required, along with the commensurate belief in the moral efficacy of the ‘Armed Struggle’.

That’s all the Provisionals had when they rested the name off the Official IRA (the term ‘Official’ quickly becoming a term for a complacent status quo)…

So is it more dangerous than it was before? Well potentially, yes.

Pooling of resources should bring them more materiel and experience, not least in Derry where the latest recruits to the dissident cause where the most recent defectors from the Provisionals.

But they also have a problem that their Provisional predecessors did not have. There is no longer a maximal greivance amongst the wider Catholic population. For all its innumerable faults, the Stormont settlement has guaranteed nationalist represenation in the highest office.

These may be meaningless trifles to the various republican organisations that reject the Belfast and St Andrews Agreements on the basis that they provide no resolution to the ongoing ‘national problem’ but, along with fair employment legislation that’s been in train for nearly forty years they’ve helped to depopularise the ‘direct route’ to a united Ireland.

And that’s not to mention a list of names of the dead in which civilians far outnumber Republican volunteers; for which reason there is no wider appetite for armed revolution. Intended or not, salvation for the modern armed Republican has lain in the death of others than in the kind of self sacrifice of Pearse had in mind..

Sinn Fein (and the Provisionals) made a timely jump from a sinking ship for the calmer (and in Northern Ireland at least for now, more predictable) waters of constitutional politics. It remains to be seen what these dissident groups can make of the various bits of the wreckage.

But it is highly unlikely that they will ever again have the opportunities presented by the widespread social unrest of 1969/70. And it will be at least another generation before people forget the living hell of having (at least) two armies playing cat and mouse through the front and back yard doors of whole communities.

And critically, at the heart of this deal is the tying together the fates of the two former extremes. As result, Loyalism is not in the perpetual state of agitation and paranoia it was in the 50s and 60s.

Nor are the vast majority of Catholics in the Republican heartland (never mind the new Catholic middle classes whose kids now got to BRA and Methody as much St Pats and St Malachy’s)…

Some people may never abandon the hope of a glorious revolution that unites the island of Ireland… But they face (though more likely they will continue to ignore) the ultimate dilemma of non constitutional Irish Republicanism that in order to do so they inevitably kill Tone’s governing idea of building a Republic for Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter.

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  • Barnshee

    HG

    Its the naughty step for you -an enemy of the peace process that what you are.

    PIRA were misunderstood civil rights activists attacked and brutalised by the occupying forces

  • HeinzGuderian

    Indeed Banshee…….just how long will it be before this latest reincarnation is viewed the same way by our nat/rep chums ?

    My good friend Carl Marks makes the noble call for all terrorists,both republican and ‘loyalist’ to be dealt with by the Security Forces……I’m just wondering where that call was 40 years ago ?

    * as a disclaimer,I hope my pointing out of hypocrisy does not inflame anyone to violence……..

  • tacapall

    “My good friend Carl Marks makes the noble call for all terrorists,both republican and ‘loyalist’ to be dealt with by the Security Forces……I’m just wondering where that call was 40 years ago”

    Obviously you never watched that link about William Craig then Heinzy or maybe you’ve forgotten about Constable Arbuckle can you remember why he was murdered ?

  • Barnshee

    Constable Arbuckle can you remember why he was murdered ?

    Indeed -tried to uphold the law and got murdered –first of many

  • tacapall

    Indeed barnshee, but why did loyalists murder him, why did they bring guns on to the streets of the Shankill for ?

  • Jimmy Sands

    Indeed barnshee, but why did loyalists murder him, why did they bring guns on to the streets of the Shankill for ?

    Just a stab in the dark here but was it to shoot people?

  • tacapall

    Indeed Jimmy – here’s a couple of shovels.

  • Barnshee

    “Indeed barnshee, but why did loyalists murder him, why did they bring guns on to the streets of the Shankill for ”

    Because they perceived that they had been under attack from the catholic community for generations .
    remember perception is all —avoid getting bogged down by facts.

  • tacapall

    “Because they perceived that they had been under attack from the catholic community for generations .
    remember perception is all —avoid getting bogged down by facts”

    Well if you believe former members of the security forces sacked by a representative of your Queen also the head of your church, murdering other members of the same security forces they were sacked from as being “Under attack by the catholic community” then how can expect to be taken seriously.

  • HeinzGuderian

    tacy

    Do you think the pira,murder campaign was justified in any way ?
    If you do,you can hardly complain about the alphabet ra today.
    If you don’t,then please say so,clearly and succinctly,without the ‘whataboutery/mopery/whinging’ that so permeates your(and your fellow travellers) posts.

  • HeinzGuderian

    ‘Well if you believe former members of the security forces sacked by a representative of your Queen also the head of your church, murdering other members of the same security forces they were sacked from as being “Under attack by the catholic community” then how can expect to be taken seriously.’

    Ah yes,a pint of whatever he’s had please ;-)

  • tacapall

    Heinzy im a pacifist always have been, I have no time for those who would use violence for any purpose I don’t vote simply because there is no party out there worthy of it but im not blind nor am I stupid. I see you as a fellow Irishman who has a different view on how we should be governed and who expresses a unique form of that Irishness that although I cannot understand I wouldn’t physically harm you trying to change it.

    No murder can be justified.

  • tacapall

    Well Heinzy if you didn’t believe Constable Arbuckle was murdered because of a perceived threat of attack by the Nationalist community then the Unionist reaction to The Hunt Report cannot be seen as anything other than what I said above.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Well said sir,and I fully endorse every,single word of your statement……..except the fellow irishman bit……..which is what the little squabbles are all about in the first place.

    When you understand that we Unionists will never give up our British birthright,no matter how many times the ra re morphs,you may begin to understand your fellow Countrymen better.

    The bottom line is,Northern Ireland will remain part of the United Kingdom for the foreseeable future.
    Past,present and future alphabet ra’s won’t change that…..in fact they just make us more determined.

    Spread the good word Tacy……
    maybe someone in your community will listen ?

  • HeinzGuderian

    Well Tacy,like I’ve said on many an occasion,the dirty.little,sectarian,skirmish is over……..to all intents and purposes.
    The shinners may have promised a united ireland by 2016,but,in all honesty,there is as much chance of that as it happening at 2016 tonight.

    We can sit here and argue the toss over past battles/famines/massacres/injustices,until the cows come home. It doesn’t change a gaddamn thing.

    It is the way it is. Take religion out of schools,and maybe,just maybe,future generations will grow up together,without sectarian hatred and bigotry.
    I do hope so. ;-)

  • tacapall

    Heinzy I have no problems with you not giving up your British birthright but who governs us is for all the people to decide and whatever the majority say, then so be it, but both traditions must be able to be expressed equally.

  • carl marks

    “In other words there was absolutely no excuse for an ‘armed struggle’ 40 years ago, as there is absolutely no excuse for it now!!”
    Agreed, but will you also admit there was absolutely no excuse for the many years of unionist discrimination against catholics, the OV bombings, the Malvern St murders, snowballs at Taoiseach’s , Burntollet, UWC mass intimidation, the loyalist murder campaign, Dumcree, Harryville, holy cross, the uvf/uda. As there is none for the present displays of sectarian vitriol around the 12th,

  • carl marks

    HeinzGuderian (profile)
    1 August 2012 at 2:32 pm
    HeinzGuderian
    “My good friend Carl Marks makes the noble call for all terrorists,both republican and ‘loyalist’ to be dealt with by the Security Forces……I’m just wondering where that call was 40 years ago ?”

    This has to be your silliest statement yet, if you mean a statement from me well 40yrs ago I was 15 and obsessed with ladies of the teenage variety, also shockingly had not a lot of access to the media,
    If you mean Nationalists in general check the history of the SDLP, less of the silly blanket statements,

  • carl marks

    HeinzGuderian
    “terrorists,both republican and ‘loyalist’ to be dealt with”
    Care to explain the ‘Loyalst’, what difference was there between them and republician terrorists

  • Mister_Joe

    What I can’t understand is why intelligent people continue to engage with trolls long after they have displayed their obvious trollishness.

  • Dixie Elliott

    I saw a leaflet from Gerry Kelly MLA complaining about leaflets being handed out attacking the Peace Processing in Ardoyne and elsewhere…

    Now Gerry goes on to say in this leaflet attacking the leaflets…”If so then let me say we will not have our struggle hijacked nor be intimated – (a fine man with the words is Gerry ) – The British State tried it for 40 years and failed…blah blah!”

    Gerry the British State didn’t fail you ole eejit you. Sure they have the likes of shinners like yourself talking and acting like Gerry Fitt was 40 years ago.

    And what may I ask is this struggle you speak of Gerry K – MLA?

    The struggle to pay the mortgage on the Portuguese holiday homes?….Or the struggle to keep hiding behind the peace process when you lot are doing nothing for the people as you help the Tories out over here?

  • carl marks

    Mister_Joe (profile)
    1 August 2012 at 11:18 pm

    What I can’t understand is why intelligent people continue to engage with trolls long after they have displayed their obvious trollishness.

    Got ye. was stupid of me!

  • tacapall

    The bold Gerry is one of the biggest landlords in West Belfast, a socialist landlord where would you get it and the man spent most of his life in jail, you’d wonder how he done it. Its sickening when you see the likes of a certain republican paid a grand wage for running CRJ, also owns two fast food outlets and also a doorman at a nightclub, there’s other well known republican landlords with many properties and shops and they and their families with around 5 paid jobs each in community partnership or reconciliation schemes and im sure that’s the tip of the iceberg that is replicated in all republican areas, then there’s the Tour Guide racket and those so called republicans who run the security industry who provide the doormen for businesses so they don’t get robbed by the same people. Then again im sure the same is happening in loyalist areas. Its just all about individual families now keeping their dynasties and the money rolling in. The people and the country come second to money.

  • carl marks

    Dixie Elliott
    Gerry the British State didn’t fail you ole eejit you. Sure they have the likes of shinners like yourself talking and acting like Gerry Fitt was 40 years ago.”

    Sorry but you see if everybody talked like Gerry fit did 40 years ago, then the place would be a lot better.
    Kelly Adams etc, could be on to something copying the tactics of Democratic Nationalism, Certainly the other route wasn’t doing any good,
    Tell me Dixie, I was never too sure about the details last time round, how exactly will bombing, shooting and rioting persuade a 1000,000. Unionists into a united Ireland,
    I will tell you something now, if the layabouts who disgraced Ardoyne on the 12th are examples of the noble volunteers who will carry out this grand scheme then I’m fairly certain that you’re going to have to win your war outright because that lot started thumping each other when they couldn’t reach the cops, I don’t think they do strategy very well.
    Now like I said to AR next year no importing hoods into Ardoyne, if you really believe you have support in the district let’s see how big that support base you have is, let’s keep it Local.

  • carl marks

    tacapall (profile)
    .theres a lot in what you say, Another thing, one of many that will have to sorted out,

  • Dixie Elliott

    Carl marks, you’re a man [or woman perhaps] for putting words in peoples mouths…[keyboards even]

    Just because I’m a Republican who sees the shinners for what they are doesn’t mean I support violence. Far from it. In fact I often argue the point with those who see it as a way forward and not on any internet forum either.

    Yes Fitt and Hume were years ahead of Adams and McGuinness in their thinking and their peace processing, 30 bloody years ahead in fact….

    I wish more people, journalists etc would ask the Shinners when they go into Peace Process mode, the question…Were Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan right after all?

    You usually get ‘I’m not having it out with you’ or some other runaway reply.

  • carl marks

    Dixie Elliott
    Apologies, thought you were trying to justify this new set of fools by comparing them to the previous bunch with the same Name, and making a sauce for goose is sauce for the gander argument.

    “runaway reply.” please explain!

  • carl marks

    Dixie Elliott,
    still my question is valid and could i put it out there for anyone acting as a apoligist for any group the has a agenda of using force as a route to a United Ireland,
    Here it is.
    I was never too sure about the details last time round, how exactly will bombing, shooting and rioting persuade a 1000,000. Unionists into a united Ireland,
    “I will tell you something now, if the layabouts who disgraced Ardoyne on the 12th are examples of the noble volunteers who will carry out this grand scheme then I’m fairly certain that you’re going to have to win your war outright because that lot started thumping each other when they couldn’t reach the cops, I don’t think they do strategy very well.”
    Perhaps an activist, fellow traveller, or supporter can tell me,
    I would love to know how a strategy that ended in best at a stalemate will work this time, what has changed in its favour?

  • carl marks

    The questions have been put to the “IRA” and those who speak for them,
    The general message sent to them is STOP, now what do the rest of us have to do to ensure they stop for I don’t think they will listen.
    While we await their answer. Here are some thoughts, but remember no one section has to step up to the line here we all do.
    Nationalists (in general) will have to continually challenge them in all forums, make them debate with more than platitudes, Remember it’s our children who will be sent out to Kill, maybe killed or imprisoned.
    The people of Ardoyne, support the politicians and people of influence in our community who stand against them, and question them if they do not oppose them, Cooperate with the police and finds ways to stop the imported mob.
    Unionists face up to where you are, stop all the taig baiting that goes on, if you must have parades and bonfires do it without being offensive to your Neighbours, when somebody tells you that they find something offensive, believe them and act in a civilised manner talk it over with them.

  • carl marks

    Sorry this didnt cut and paste with the rest, oops

    Remember also if you want the dissidents to go away you will have to face down the loyalist groups or nationalism (indeed the rest of the world) will see the hypocrisy of your words.
    Police, use what assets you have to close these people down, if the past is anything to go by half of them will on your payroll anyway, work with the community to isolate these groups, and less of the pussyfooting around loyalists.

  • The Lodger

    “Remember also if you want the dissidents to go away you will have to face down the loyalist groups or nationalism (indeed the rest of the world) will see the hypocrisy of your words.”

    carl marks,

    Okay. How do you want us to do that?

  • carl marks

    The Lodger ,
    More or less the same ways that nationalists can tackle the Dissidents, remember not only do these people present a threat to society as a whole, but their involvement in drug, prostitution, and protection rackets, are damaging your community more than mine.
    I await the usual round of denial by Unionists about the loyalist groups, I’m also sure that we will also get the usual isolated community (never mind the reality) guff.
    Would a appropriate name for this be rather crude propaganda which tries to portray some places as ,’ small innocent, law abiding community, who never done anyone any harm surrounded be hordes of bloodthirsty bigots who want their houses’ be Asterixisn.

  • carl marks

    The Lodger

    Care to comment on my call for stopping the taig baiting on and around the 12th, a full condemnation of that sort of thing without any ifs and butts would be a good place to start,

  • tacapall

    Well lodger a first start would be to publically call on the UDA and UVF to decommission their weapons with as much enthusiasm and bluster as was made by Unionists for the IRA to decommission, then of course you should call for them to disband and never more be used as rent-a-mobs whenever those who like to do a lot of parading are refused by representatives of the government.

  • The Lodger

    carl marks,

    I see no proposals from you that I can personally take care of. If you ever manage to come up with any give me a shout and I will see what I can do.

    What btw do you intend to do yourself.

    As for ‘taig baiting’ from what I can see our very existence ‘baits the taigs’. Perhaps if we hid away out of sight they would be happy, though I doubt it.

    Tapacall,

    I seem to recall that unionists did demand that the UDA and UVF decommission their weapons. Indeed I’m fairly sure that most of them did do just that. Unfortunately as we don’r elect terrorists into government we don’t have much leverage over what they do.

    Btw I’m sure that you can now see that the unionist insistence on PIRA decommissioning has saved countless lives. Hence RAAD etc runnin around with replica weapons. Feel free to praise the unionists for their principled though extremely lonely stand on the issue when you reply.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Carl marks…

    “I was never too sure about the details last time round, how exactly will bombing, shooting and rioting persuade a 1000,000. Unionists into a united Ireland,”

    Quite simply it won’t – never in a million years will it do so.

    Not only that, violence gives the politicians in Stormont a smokescreen behind which to hide their failings.

    Without the Peace Process they would be exposed as to what they are; mini Tories attacking the working classes – all the working classes.

    Therefore I believe they are content with a limited level of violence.

    Violence keeps us divided, especially along sectarian lines and the politicians don’t want Catholic and Protestants uniting even peacefully to challenge their little cartel in Stormont.

    Believe you me, the politicians fear this over any amount of low level violence by Republican groups and they’d be the first to stir the shit should it happen that Republicans cease violence and the working classes unite against them.

    SF haven’t bought all Republicans with their jobs for the boys, however I believe most would not support continuing to try and bomb Unionists into a United Ireland.

  • tacapall

    “Tapacall,

    I seem to recall that unionists did demand that the UDA and UVF decommission their weapons. Indeed I’m fairly sure that most of them did do just that.”

    Lodger when did this happen ? Im 100% sure you’re talking bull….

  • carl marks

    The Lodger

    “I see no proposals from you that I can personally take care of. If you ever manage to come up with any give me a shout and I will see what I can do.”
    I should ask you to call for the stop (something you could certainly do) of the stupid and offensive sectarian displays around the 12th.
    “What btw do you intend to do yourself.”
    Take my own advice. See my above post
    As for ‘taig baiting’ from what I can see our very existence ‘baits the taigs’. Perhaps if we hid away out of sight they would be happy, though I doubt it.
    The very thought that I should ask call for the stop of the stupid and offensive sectarian displays around the 12th and you turn a reasonable request into a excuse for mopery.
    I’m beginning to suspect you see nothing wrong with them, just as you seem to be unable to see the roll that unionism played in the run up to the troubles, do you and your elk and I include the dissidents in that want both sides to stay in conflict

  • Dixie Elliott

    Carl marks asked…

    “runaway reply.” please explain!

    …..In regards to my statement – “You usually get ‘I’m not having it out with you’ or some other runaway reply.”

    Meaning standard SF responses to awkward questions.

    A fine example was when Declan Kearney ‘ran away’ when asked by Mike Nesbitt to ‘convince him of the merits of a United Ireland.’

    He ran away to hide behind the ‘Peace Process’. They are all programmed by the leadership to do so.

  • carl marks

    Dixie Elliott
    got ya

  • carl marks

    tacapall (profile)
    2 August 2012 at 4:33 pm

    “Tapacall,

    “I seem to recall that unionists did demand that the UDA and UVF decommission their weapons. Indeed I’m fairly sure that most of them did do just that.”

    Lodger when did this happen ? Im 100% sure you’re talking bull….”

    it’s called making it up as you go along, not long ago someone claimed that the IRA were defeated at motorman, of course the following 20 odds year of conflict after must have been carried by another outfit with the same name.
    Then we have the complete denial that the old NI was a society with sectarianism built into its core,
    Neither was there any history of conflict around OO parades before the shinners got involved.
    There are a lot of people out there who could do with a few history lesions.

  • sonofstrongbow

    Loyalist terrorist decommissioning was indeed fudged. As they had no hope of being major political players the focus understandably was on Sinn Fein as a potential party of government. I believe the same attitude was applied to the smaller Nationalist terrorist groups.

    The IRA were not “defeated” at Motorman. However having had the fantasy of its ‘liberated zones’ destroyed the continuation of a “war” with any hope of victory was clearly demonstrated as ‘no-go’ and futile.

    As to post 1922 Northern Ireland the region’s governance was initially designed to be fair, for example setting aside one third of the posts in the RUC for Nationalists.

    Given that Nationalists refused to play along, in the hope of the region being quickly subsumed within the Free State. Also a sectarian mindset in some of the leading unionist politicians ensured the state did not develop as was hoped.

    However there was nothing in law or at the official ‘core’ of the new state that made Protestant supremacy inevitable.

  • Mister_Joe

    ..However there was nothing in law or at the official ‘core’ of the new state that made Protestant supremacy inevitable.

    And that’s why N.I. today comprises all 9 counties of Ulster.

  • tacapall

    Where do they get them Joe, maybe Strongbow should read this –

    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/events/crights/pdfs/csj179.pdf

  • sonofstrongbow

    As Carl noted in his last sentence of his 5:03 post “a lot of people out there who could do with a few history lesions”.

    I am not so sure, but at least it’s good to know the exact malady some of our Nationalist poster chums are suffering from.

  • tacapall

    “I am not so sure, but at least it’s good to know the exact malady some of our Nationalist poster chums are suffering from.”

    sonofstrongbow (profile) 2 August 2012 at 10:02 am

    “As soon as I have their names I’ll leave the show and deal with the matter in my own way.”

    Nothing much has changed in the genetical mindset since 1920 then.

  • sonofstrongbow

    “genetical mindset” [sic].

    Now that itch must be mighty bad. I’m sure there must be some soothing balm you can get for those “history lesions” of yours.

  • ayeYerMa

    Mister Joe, modern Ulster consists of 6 counties because that is the way people voted in the ballot box, with a super-majority in support for the solution.

    The difference between Ulster Unionism and Irish Nationalism is that Ulster Unionists have not thrown their toys out of the pram because they could not live in an ideal world and accepted the democratic outcome.

  • Mister_Joe

    Just plain wrong. In the last election to Westminster before the Dail was set up, Ulster returned 15 unionists and 16 nationalists. Strange super-majority.

  • tacapall

    Joe ffs these people write their own history, they obviously never heard of the boundary commission or who actually threw the toys out of the pram and refused to accept the democratic outcome of the 1918 general election.

  • ayeYerMa

    Mister_Joe, from http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/h1918.htm here is the % vote across the historical 9 counties in the 1918 general election:

    Unionists 234,376 49.8%
    Sinn Fein 110,032 23.4%
    Nationalists 70,899 15.1%
    “Labour Unionists” 30,304 6.4%
    Labour 12,164 2.6%
    Ind Un 8,738 1.9%
    Ind Nats 2,602 0.6%
    Ind Lab 659 0.1%
    Ind 436 0.1%

    As you see, in the 9 counties Unionists had >50%+. In the 6 counties this was much greater at 66%+ — a supermajority:
    Unionists 225,082 56.2%
    Sinn Fein 76,100 19.0%
    Nationalists 44,238 11.1%
    “Labour Unionists” 30,304 7.6%
    Labour 12,164 3.0%
    Ind Un 8,738 2.2%
    Ind Nat 2,602 0.6%
    Ind Lab 659 0.2%
    Ind 436 0.1%

    (not though that elections should have been the basis — a true referendum is more likely to have been more in favour of the status quo and an even greater super-majority. Also unlikely that Labour and independents are Republicans (nor did all those voting “nationalist” want full independence either).

  • Mister_Joe

    ayeYerMa,

    I’ll assume that you are not stupid, just being disingenuous. A number of constituencies were uncontested and, so, the total votes you so kindly supplied, are not representative. Read what I said; unionists returned 15 members, nationalists returned 16. A referendum in Ulster alone could have gone either way. In no case would it have been a super-majority, for either side, however you wish to define that construct of yours.

  • ayeYerMa

    … in conclusion, Unionists were extremely generous in only maintaining an area with super-majority mandate for a democratic jurisdiction. The root problem is that Irish Nationalists have never been equally respectful in return, and repeatedly tried to undo the solution to Irish peace as decided in the 1920s.

  • tacapall

    Ayeyerma unfortunately in 1918 there was no general election for just the nine counties of Ulster, all Ireland voted and Unionists were the minority who refused to accept the wishes of the majority of people in Ireland.

    I can post you the real results of the 1918 general election if you like.

  • ayeYerMa

    Mister_Joe, not being disingenous at all — first-past-the-post seats are no way to gauge opinion on a matter that is usually decided by referendum. First-past-the-post merely decides a plurality, not a majority.

    Perhaps you are the one that requires a check for dementia?

  • Mister_Joe

    When exactly did they hold that all Ireland referendum in the 1920s to decide the future of the country? And, had the unionists been able to demand one for Ulster, what was to stop Fermanagh and Tyrone asserting their right to hold countywide ones?

  • ayeYerMa

    tacapall, the real results of the 1918 election for all of Ireland are at the link I posted.

    The 1918 General Election was not only for Ireland either — it was for the whole United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

    The accepted solution for Irish peace in the 1920s was one which allowed both Irish Nationalist and Ulster Unionist rights to self-determination respected with both having territories with super-majority support.

  • Mister_Joe

    Unfortunately we’re now drifting from the usual whataboutery towards whatifery, so I’ll say no more.

  • sonofstrongbow

    It’s a pity certain ‘history’ buffs don’t get around to actually reading some: and I’m not talking about the sort that comes in a green cover.

    The Anglo-Irish Treaty allowed for Northern Ireland to withdraw from the Free State should it come into being. When it subsequently did so Northern Ireland withdrew.

    The Boundary Commision’s report was suppressed by ALL three governments involved; the British, Free State and Northern Ireland. This followed leaks to the press of the report’s contents which resulted in protests by both unionist and nationalist representatives.

    We are where we are because nationalist Ireland ignored the wishes of the Protestant minority. No doubt hoping that they would wake up one day not as Irish Protestant British citizens but as true Oirish folks that nationalists imagine them to be.

    Now I can understand that our Nationalist History Dons wish that unionists had sat idly by back in 1922 and provided an opportunity for the ‘cutting edge’ of the IRA, and the social engineering of Ne Temere, to whittle their numbers down across the entire island rather than just south of the (fully ratified) border.

  • ayeYerMa

    Mister_Joe, I agree that there should have been a series of referendums, but all well and good in hindsight when discussing a differing era. Perhaps if that were the case all of Ireland would still be in the UK today.

  • tacapall

    The election

    Voting in most Irish constituencies occurred on 14 December 1918. While the rest of the United Kingdom fought the ‘Khaki election’ on other issues involving the British parties, in Ireland four major political parties had national appeal. These were the IPP, Sinn Féin, the Irish Unionist Party and the Irish Labour Party. The Labour Party, however, decided not to participate in the election, fearing that it would be caught in the political crossfire between the IPP and Sinn Féin; it thought it better to let the people make up their minds on the issue of Home Rule versus a Republic by having a clear two-way choice between the two nationalist parties. The Unionist Party favoured continuance of the union with Britain (along with its subordinate, the Ulster Unionist Labour Association, who fought as ‘Labour Unionists’). A number of other small nationalist parties also took part.

    In Ireland 105 MPs were elected from 103 constituencies. Ninety-nine seats were elected from single seat geographical constituencies under the Single Member Plurality or ‘first past the post’ system. However, there were also two two-seat constituencies: University of Dublin, (Trinity College) elected two MPs under the Single Transferable Vote and Cork City elected two MPs under the Bloc voting system.

    In addition to ordinary geographical constituencies there were three university constituencies: the Queen’s University of Belfast (which returned a Unionist) and the University of Dublin (which returned two Unionists), and the National University of Ireland (which returned a member of Sinn Féin).

    Of the 105 seats in Ireland twenty-five were uncontested. In some cases this was clearly because there was a certain winner, and the rival parties decided against devoting their money and effort to unwinnable seats. British government propaganda formulated in Dublin Castle and circulated through a censored press alleged that republican militants had threatened potential candidates to discourage non-Sinn Féin candidates from running. For whatever reason, in the 73 constituencies in which Sinn Féin candidates were elected 25 were returned unopposed (17 were in Munster). The constituencies in which Sinn Féin won uncontested seats were those which subsequently showed high levels of support for republican candidates.

    Results

    Sinn Féin candidates were elected in 73 constituencies but four party candidates (Arthur Griffith, Éamon de Valera, Eoin MacNeill and Liam Mellows) were elected for two constituencies and so the total number of individual Sinn Féin MPs elected was 69. Despite the isolated allegations of intimidation and electoral fraud on the part of both Sinn Féin supporters and its Unionist opponents, the election was seen as a landslide victory for Sinn Féin.

    The proportion of votes cast for Sinn Féin, namely 46.9% of votes for 48 “first past the post” seats won in the 76 constituencies it contested, is understated by the fact that 25 candidates in some of its strongest support bases were unopposed, reducing its real support level in these constituencies from a possible level of 80pc.[citation needed] (The party also did not contest four seats in a deal with the IPP (see below)) This is close to the total level of enjoyed by Sinn Féin’s three major breakaway parties after partition. Labour who had pulled out in the south under instructions ‘to wait’ polled better in Belfast than Sinn Féin.[4]

    The Irish Unionist Party won 22 seats, becoming the second largest in terms of MPs. The success of Unionists who won 26 seats overall[5] was largely limited to Ulster. In the rest of Ireland Southern Unionists were elected only in the constituencies of Rathmines and the University of Dublin. Nonetheless Unionists won 23 seats out of Ulster’s 37 seats, having only had a minority previously.

    Aftermath and legacy

    On 21 January 1919 thirty out of a possible 105 members representing thirty constituencies answered the roll of Dáil Éireann the Irish for “Assembly of Ireland”. Invitations to attend the Dáil had been sent to all 104 men and one woman who had been elected on 14 December 1918. Eoin MacNeill had been elected for both Derry City and the National University of Ireland. Thirty three republicans were unable to attend as they were in prison, most of them without trial since the previous May 17. Pierce McCann, of Tipperary East who died in prison would have brought the total to thirty four. Of the 73 republicans elected, most had fought in the Easter Rising.[7]

    In accordance with Sinn Féin doctrine, their elected members refused to attend Westminster having instead formed their own parliament. Dáil Éireann was according to John Patrick McCarthy the revolutionary government under which the Irish War of Independence was fought and which sought international recognition.[1] Maryann Gialanella Valiulis says that having justified its existence, the Dáil providing itself with a theoretical framework and set about the process of state-building and appointing a ministry.[2]

    However Unionists and members of the IPP refused to recognise the Dáil. At its first meeting attended by 30 deputies (other were still imprisoned or impaired) on 21 January 1919 the Dáil issued a Declaration of Independence and proclaimed itself the parliament of new a state called the “Irish Republic”.

  • ayeYerMa

    Very good tapacall, do you want a certificate in basic computer skills to show that you can copy-and-paste from Wikipedia or something?

    Wikipedia, the “encyclopedia” that “anyone” can bias — reminds me of the other excellent blog post from Mick the other day stating how bad the Internet was for long-term information.

  • tacapall

    Well Ayeyerma feel free to prove those FACTS wrong.

  • Mister_Joe

    I know that many people like disparaging Wiki but it is a wonderful invention and often a good starting point for information. Most “reputable” articles contain lots of references for further research.

  • tacapall

    Joe he could also read, The Making of a Minority Political Developments in Derry and the North 1912-25 and he would get the same results as are in Wiki along with a few other uncomfortable truths.

  • Dixie Elliott

    When the likes of HeinzGuderian talk about hypocrisy they have one eye opened and the other eye closed…

    Don’t forget that those sitting on top in Stormont today, happily acceptive of the GFA, were the same leaderships who opposed the same thing – different only on the actual wording – The Sunningdale agreement back in 1973.

    Oh aye, Bigot Ian had the loyalist killer gangs on the streets at the same time the IRA leadership was determined to bring down the power sharing executive.

    Like Adams and McGuinness, Paisley and Robinson always led from the back and pointed others in the one bloody direction.

  • Mister_Joe

    Dixie,

    I know you suffered because of your beliefs/actions but can’t you find some “peace” in your heart for yourself? Life is really short.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Mister_Joe

    Those who led eventually fled, leaving many of us wondering why we followed them.

    By that I mean the leaders on both sides.

  • Brian

    “Mister_Joe, not being disingenous at all — first-past-the-post seats are no way to gauge opinion on a matter that is usually decided by referendum. First-past-the-post merely decides a plurality, not a majority.”

    Not being disingenuous? Funny! You failed to mention the uncontested seats that would have gone overwhelmingly Sinn Fein, nor did you mention the electoral pact between SF and the Irish party in some districts that also affected overall results.

    ” first-past-the-post seats are no way to gauge opinion on a matter that is usually decided by referendum. First-past-the-post merely decides a plurality, not a majority.”

    Trying to combine results from the various first-past-the-post contests to show some kind of potential referendum result is questionable on its own….of course when you leave out uncontested seats and other facts that would hurt your conclusion, your analysis has about as much credibility as the Gerry’s “I wasn’t in the IRA” claim.

  • Mike the First

    tacapall

    “Ayeyerma unfortunately in 1918 there was no general election for just the nine counties of Ulster, all Ireland voted ”

    Brilliant. The shibboleth of the “1918 all-Ireland vote” is so ingrained in your thinking that you didn’t even realise the obvious response here – there was no general election just for the island of Ireland, all of the United Kingdom voted.

  • tacapall

    Mike if there was an general election tomorrow and the Conservative party ran on a manifesto espousing autonomy for England from Wales and Scotland and they were overwhelmingly elected with a massive majority then it would be clear what the people wanted and thats what they would get whether the people of Wales or Scotland disagreed or not.

    Same scenario except democracy was denied in Ireland.

  • sonofstrongbow

    So if Scottish independence was put to the vote across the UK and there was an overwhelming majority to retain the union should Scotland have to abide by the democratic will?

    If London, as the powerhouse of the UK economy, was encouraged by the mayor to vote for independence as a city state should it be allowed to wave bye bye to the UK?

    Or, as it has been regularly argued would be the case, if a referendum on the return of capital punishment in the UK was successful, then it would be ok to hang murderers?

    Democracy is not the blunt weapon you seem to believe it to be.

  • Barnshee

    “Same scenario except democracy was denied in Ireland.”

    And if there was referendum tomorrow and the clear majority in N Ireland/the north/ulster voted to separate from “Ireland” would that be a ” Denial of democracy”

  • tacapall

    Sonofstrongbow thats up to the Scottish people as a whole to decide thats why when they have the Scottish referendum its only for Scottish people no-one else. London is not a country its a city in England.

    Barnshee thats the problem, democracy was denied in 1918 and a separate state was manufactured to make the minority into a majority, republicans dont believe in the legitimacy of the northern state but nonetheless we are where we are today and nothing can change that except as you say a referendum and what the people decide so be it but unless there is real equality between the two traditions, Irish and British, then there will always be a problem and there will aways be a window of opportunity for those who would fight to the last drop of everyone else’s blood.

  • Barnshee

    And if a separate state had been created in 1918 and there was referendum and the clear majority in the nine counties had voted to separate from “Ireland” and been refused would that be a ” Denial of democracy”

  • sonofstrongbow

    Ok tac got it: for you democracy it’s a (specific) race/country thing.

    So we have Ireland, an island, must be a unitary state. Britain, an island, can subdivide along country-within-a-country lines.

    It all comes down to what, and from what date, you define as a ‘country’. Some plump for ‘Ireland’ as one unit, although at one time it was itself a number of kingdoms/regions/countries(?).

    For me I’ll punt for Dalriada. Independence, Freedom and Democracy for Dalriada. Now!

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    ayeYerMa, sonofstrongbow. Unless your version of the past fits in with the shinner spun revisionist view of the shinner drones, then you know everyone is wrong and their revisionist sectarian, bigoted version is the only correct version of events.

    If only we Unionists could be as pious Adams and omniscient as shinner posters, who can cut and paste and search Google like an Olympic champions.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Not sure where you are getting the ‘troll’ tag from joe ?
    Could it possibly be that I express an honest opinion about things,whilst you prefer to sit on the fence ?

    I said to my good friend tacy,many,many posts ago….’you can argue the toss about who did what to whom,until the cows come home…..it doesn’t change a thing !!

    Dixie,do you honestly think I don’t know the dupers are hypocrites ?
    Honestly ?
    paislys rabble rousing played a very large part in the dirty,little,sectarian skirmish…..but like I’ve already said,we are where we are now………..even The Mighty Zeus can’t change the past……no matter how many centuries people choose to argue the toss over it !!

    Alphabet ra will eventually realise that ireland is Two distinctive entities.
    The sooner they do,going on past ra form,the safer it will be for the nat/rep community.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    The PSNI have arrested another republican over the attempted murder of police by an IRA grouping. They fired 17 rounds from an assault rifle at police lines dealing with another republican riot in the republican part of Ardoyne.

    This latest arrest is of no young buck its a 57year old. Possibly an old provo coming out of alleged retirement.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19145120

    “Detectives investigating a gun attack in which a number of shots were fired towards police in north Belfast have arrested a 57-year-old man”.

  • The Lodger

    “I should ask you to call for the stop (something you could certainly do) of the stupid and offensive sectarian displays around the 12th.”

    carl marks,

    This would suggest that you believe that the republican movement’s thirst for violence is dependent on the existence of the Orange Order and band parades etc. You are wrong on so many levels that it is difficult to know where to begin.

    Let us start however with your suggestion that unionists should call for the Orange Order to stop their legal parades in order to somehow satisfy the illegal demands of violent republican thugs.

    1. Why should they do that?

    2. Does it occur to you that violent republicans would then simply discover something else that ‘outrages’ them?

    3. Does it occur to you that the Orange Order was once considered to be legitimate enough to have its colour included in the republican flag, and if so why do you think that it should no longer be considered legitimate?

    4. When you consider the little list you have built up in your head, for reasons to detest the Orange Order, consider please for a minute the list of things which the military wing of Sinn Fein carried out on this island (the organisation responsible for most of the murders no less). When you have done that then consider for a minute why unionists should turn against the OO whilst at the same time tolerating people who supported murderers in their government?

    Does that help you to get an inkling of how stupid your idea for curing the ills of Northern Ireland sounds?

  • ayeYerMa

    Dixie Elliot – I don’t remember an IRA surrender in 1973?

  • Greenflag

    Once upon a time a fair Repartition of Northern Ireland might have been possible and practical but now even that possibility could only be entertained after another uncivil war causing thousands of deaths and billions more in destruction .

    Here once again is the Horseman detail for those who look to solutions .

    http://ulstersdoomed.blogspot.com/search/label/partition

    http://www.nisra.gov.uk/archive/demography/publications/births_deaths/births_2009.pdf

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Good news for the Unionist part of Ardoyne. We will all sleep a little better tonight at this news. The PSNI have taken another Irish republican/IRA terrorist off the streets with his arrest, for aiding and abetting a gunman.

    If only Irish republicans/IRA terrorist could leave the legal Loyal Orders to their culture and their legal parades.

    But when your filled with sectarian bigotry, as they demonstrated again of the 12th of July. No amount of good will from the Loyal Orders is going to change their closed sectarian bigoted minds.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19173693

  • Mister_Joe

    ArdoyneUnionist,

    Great that you have the superb wisdom/superior knowledge to deem an arrested person a terrorist before a Court establishes the facts.
    BTW, kettle, pot, black.

  • ranger1640

    It seems that there is more in fighting from the republican part of Ardoyne. This can only be of concern to the peaceful community at the PUL part of Ardoyne.

    “North Belfast News (NBN) carried a number of articles relating to threats allegedly made to Community, Youth and Voluntary workers in Ardoyne. According to Sinn Féin, Community Restorative Justice (CRJ) and others. The ‘threats’ were apparently made by the Greater Ardoyne Residents (GARC), the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) and the Republican Network for Unity (RNU). One article alluded that RNU and others had in some way been involved in a number of attacks on members of the Provisional Movement including, Sinn Féin Councillor, Gerry McCabe’s home. This political-driven story is nothing but an attempt to misrepresent our Network. RNU did not issue any threat, we deplore the above attacks and demand they end”.