Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Bored with the blather…

Thu 2 August 2012, 12:57am

IF you’ve ever sighed with exasperation or clenched your teeth with frustration every time you heard someone say “we are all to blame” for the Troubles, you may find Malachi O’Doherty’s latest column somewhat cathartic. The peace process patter that has evolved in our political discourse may be natural and second nature to those who wish to absolve themselves, but for the vast majority who got on with life and our neighbours, it can be uncomfortably Orwellian.

For the majority without blood on their hands or hate in their hearts, it can be grating to hear that vocal minority lecture us about how “we all” have a responsibility to build peace. Yes, but for most it means doing what they pretty much always did, although now they are supposed to be grateful for not being slaughtered at random.

Rewriting history through language, painting former ‘combatants’ (ie terrorists) as peacemakers, and heaping praise on the intransigent for finally seeing the error of their ways was all well and good to get them over the hill. But we are not ‘all’ victims, any more than we were ‘all’ responsible, and this tired message has been grating for a long time.

Anyway, here’s Malachi:

The point of all this sermonising we have endured about how to make peace with each other is to absolve those who did the actual killing and to make all of us responsible for what they did.

Those who love that message most are the killers and political movements which encouraged them, because it absolves them.

It seems not to matter to the peacemakers that those groups were always minorities; that peace came about through those groups moving out of the dark corners they occupied to take the very political ground they had previously sought to eradicate.

This blather, however, stems from the language used to initiate the peace process. Before 1993, no one ever called the Troubles a ‘conflict’. This was a new word to establish the idea that, at heart, we had a disagreement between equally legitimate positions inherited from history. It was clever, but it was a lie, for it overlooked the simple fact that there were attackers and attacked, that there were assailants and victims.

It even implies that the victims were part of the problem; they wouldn’t have been shot, or bombed, if they had not been part of the conflict, too.

If anyone was to blame, it wasn’t the person with a gun, but history and the failure of us all to find love and peace in our hearts. I feel like slapping people who say this.

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Comments (100)

  1. Dixie Elliott (profile) says:

    No harm Belfast Gonzo but you’ve wrote a right load of blather yourself in saying it bores you.

    Whether you like it or not it wasn’t just the IRA that had a hand in the conflict/ troubles or whatever is politically correct. The Unionists wound up the loyalists to murder, the Brits if not murdering got the loyalists to do it for them.

    Ah but they were murdering legally, above board etc so it was the Republicans and them alone to blame.

    Talk about rewriting history the likes of yourself could teach Adams and company a thing or two in that regard.

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  2. M’O,D is a champion grandstander. He writes for the ‘Tele’ which is Unionist Central. Mind you, McCann writes for them as well. Credibility goes AWOL.
    The Olympics tells you all you need to know about the Tele.

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  3. Dixie, what on earth gave you the idea that I was only talking about republicans?

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  4. HeinzGuderian (profile) says:

    This is how the narrative goes…..for every republican atrocity,there was an excuse…..the Brits/Unionists intransigence/mistaken identity…
    For every ‘loyalist’ atrocity it was just sectarian bigotry and bloodlust.

    Simples

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  5. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    Dixie,

    Couple of points. Although Gonzo can speak for himself, I might point out that, in quoting Malachi, he didn’t blame only “Republicans” but identified “political movementS.
    Secondly, although perhaps you were being sarcastic, there is no such thing as legal murder. The State did either sanction or condone murder and the guilty went free. But that wasn’t one sided either unless you believe that “Republicans” are not capable of committing crimes. One of your favorite sell outs said that, I believe.

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  6. Fergie Pie (profile) says:

    Dixie Elliott (profile) 2 August 2012 at 1:16 am

    The Unionists wound up the loyalists to murder, the Brits if not murdering got the loyalists to do it for them.

    - – - – - – -

    What tripe.

    The ‘Brits’ imprisoned thousands of Loyalists, seized hundreds of their weapons and were even willing to shoot them dead if the situation arose (Brian Robinson, Willie Millar, etc).

    Don’t let the facts get in the way of your MOPE.

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  7. Lionel Hutz (profile) says:

    I really like that article. And it is Orwellian, all this nonsense. I just can’t wait until a leading politician says the words “THE PEACE PROCESS IS OVER!!!!”

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  8. New Yorker (profile) says:

    I just spent some time in Belfast and on various occasions several people made the same point that Malachi makes. They said they were disgusted by the self-serving revisionism from whatever source. I take it as a sign of health that people insist on the truth of what went on and totally reject the excuses paramilitaries and their apologists spew.

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  9. aquifer (profile) says:

    Spot on Malachi. The Provos chose murder when other democratic options were open to them. A tiny minority of loyalists, unsupported by their community, killed people because they were catholics.

    We dare not forget because people would do it again.

    And should not publicly forgive for the same reason.

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  10. Garibaldy (profile) says:

    A large segment of loyalists and unionist politicians united to overthrow a democratically-elected government as well aquifer so let’s not pretend that the loyalist paramilitaries were isolated from the wider unionist community in a way that the evidence demonstrates they were not.

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  11. DoppiaVu (profile) says:

    Predictably, we see the usual reactions. The usual Themmuns arguments come to the fore; as does the man-playing and the “oh yes well that’s just what you’d expect from the Tele/Indy/Times/anything-but-the-Andytown-News”

    It’s really simple. Were you involved in or did you knowingly support terrorism and violence in NI?

    I’m glad that New Yorker came across critics of this “self-serving revisionism” (nicely put NY). This mirrors all of my family and NI friends, who are really getting to resent this nonsense.

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  12. Henry94 (profile) says:

    If you don’t want to go the peace and forgiveness route that’s a perfectly legitimate position. But the other route is the legal one in which everything must be proved against the individuals involved and everybody gets lawyered up and denies everything.

    there were attackers and attacked, that there were assailants and victims.

    So arrest and charge the attackers where the evidence permits and where it does not or is not sufficient then legal innocence is the position where legal guilt can not be established. It’s easy to mock the unsatisfactory nature of the reconciliation route but the alternative route is not a satisfactory one either.

    The default position then is to do nothing and talk the clock down until everybody involved is dead. That’s the easy way out and the only downside will be that future generations will see it as cowardly.

    Before 1993, no one ever called the Troubles a ‘conflict’.

    It was certainly called a war before 1993 and before 1973. So I’m not sure what the point is there. We need constructive suggestions. What I think should happen is that the governments should issue a general amnesty for all offences related to the conflict.

    The people who would be freaked out by such a move would include the leaders and ex-leaders of all parties to the conflict. It would free the people involved to start telling their stories because the danger of anding themselves or someone else in court would be gone. Books would be written and interviews given. More truth would emerge than from any other approach I have seen or can think of.

    The idea could only gain traction if victims supported it and if the remote prospect of legal justice is more appealing than the als remote prospect of truth then I can understand that perfectly.

    However we should just be aware that the people with the most to hide and the most to lose are happiest with the status quo. They are also quite happy for good and influential minds to stay up on their high horses.

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  13. The Lodger (profile) black spot says:

    “It was certainly called a war before 1993 and before 1973. So I’m not sure what the point is there.”

    Henry,

    Only by the attackers and the assailents though. I think that is the point. Now we have all sorts of hand ringing useful idiots adopting the terminology of the terrorists and giving them a form of legitimacy which they very much do not deserve. As Malachy points out placing a bomb under someone’s car is not combat, and going on an extended murder spree does not qualify as a war or conflict.

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  14. tacapall (profile) says:

    “For the majority without blood on their hands or hate in their hearts, it can be grating to hear that vocal minority lecture us about how “we all” have a responsibility to build peace. Yes, but for most it means doing what they pretty much always did, although now they are supposed to be grateful for not being slaughtered at random.”

    Gonzo when you consider that majority you talk about who although don’t have blood on their hands you cannot claim to know they didn’t have hate in their hearts. Didn’t that same majority elect the same parties that stoked the fires of hate and division, the same parties that rolled the snowballs for others to throw. Theres many a man who spent most of his life in prison for reacting to words screamed at rallies or parades by men who would claim to have similar views as yourself. We were all to blame for we still keep electing the same parties and the same people who are the root cause of the past conflict, we didn’t pull the triggers or make the bombs but we provided a public platform for those who fought to the last drop of everyone elses blood.

    I agree with Henry94 the governments should issue a general amnesty for all offences related to the conflict. That way the truth will eventually be outed and the public “The Majority” will see for themselves how they were fooled by those who had a vested interest in promoting and stoking the fires of hate.

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  15. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    One of the biggest and still growing lies of the “peace process” is the nonsense of ‘truth telling’. ‘Give us an amnesty and we’ll tell all’ is the cry.

    Utter tripe of course.

    All that would happen is that “self-serving revisionists” would get their fifteen minutes in the spotlight to ‘justify’ their actions and so twist the knife in victims a little more.

    That being said should the ‘truth and reconciliation’ circus ever come to town I’ll be in the front row when those responsible for the murder of a member of my family take the stand. As soon as I have their names I’ll leave the show and deal with the matter in my own way.

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  16. Henry94 (profile) says:

    The Lodger

    That’s is simply not the case. Ted Heath for example famously said “it had to be remembered that we were in Northern Ireland fighting not just a military war but a propaganda war”.

    The decision to try to portray the conflict as some bizarre spike in criminality was also part of the propaganda effort.

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  17. The Lodger (profile) black spot says:

    Henry,

    Coca Cola might be involved in a propaganda war with Pepsi, but we would not be talking about a Stalingrad type situation. Ted Heath was simply being elaborate with his language. At no time did the British government regard what was happening here as being a war.

    It was no bizarre spike in criminality. It was a criminal attempt to force us into a united Ireland. The actions of the IRA (and the UVF, UDA, INLA etc) were absolutely illegal which is why when caught they were sentenced to terms in prison rather than being placed in POW camps.

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  18. thethoughtfulone (profile) says:

    Spot on Malachi, and give them one from me as well while you’re at it!

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  19. grandimarkey (profile) says:

    The Lodger:

    It was a criminal attempt to force us into a united Ireland. The actions of the IRA (and the UVF, UDA, INLA etc) were absolutely illegal

    I don’t think the UVF and the UDA were part of any criminal attempt to force anyone into a united Ireland…

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  20. The Lodger (profile) black spot says:

    grandimarkey,

    Neither do I.

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  21. SK (profile) says:

    …going on an extended murder spree does not qualify as a war or conflict.”

    _________

    “God Bless our boys in Iraq though”

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  22. The Lodger (profile) black spot says:

    SK,

    Congratulations on managing to introduce an excellent example of utterly unrelated whataboutery into the discussion.

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  23. Henry94 (profile) says:

    The Lodger

    I’m not going to argue the point because it would divert the discussion from the important present issue and it is an debate that has been done to death here and elsewhere for years.

    The logic of your position is like Malachi O’Doherty’s that all what has gone before is a matter for police investigation. So everybody keeps their mouth shut and the normal rules of evidence apply. Are you happy that that is the best way forward and do you accept it is the logical consequence of what you are saying?

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  24. Fergie Pie (profile) says:

    aquifer (profile) 2 August 2012 at 7:06 am

    …A tiny minority of loyalists, unsupported by their community, killed people because they were catholics.

    - – - –

    Surely if their main motivation was religion (and not retaliation for IRA attacks on protestants) then they would still be killing catholics today even after the Provos have quit???

    Are they???

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  25. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    Gusty Spence’s instructions to his gang of killers when sending them out to murder an individual, in his own later words, “I told them that if they couldn’t find the man, any Catholic would do”.

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  26. The Lodger (profile) black spot says:

    “The logic of your position is like Malachi O’Doherty’s that all what has gone before is a matter for police investigation. So everybody keeps their mouth shut and the normal rules of evidence apply. Are you happy that that is the best way forward and do you accept it is the logical consequence of what you are saying?”

    Henry,

    I think that we are at a position now where a line should be drawn in the sand and we move on. That does not mean though that we should start treating the scumbags who terrorised our community for forty years as if they were ‘combatants’, ‘POWs’, ‘veterans’, or any of the other nonsense that they like to use to describe themselves.

    If they had any notion of how they are perceived in the real world then they would hide themselves away in shame. Instead they parade around in blankets and the likes, with their pot bellies, celebrating the hungerstrikers. Or in the latest effort in Londonderry they spent the day re-enacting the day in 1972 when they ran as fast they could to Donegal when the army moved into the no go areas. You really couldn’t make it up.

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  27. Fergie Pie (profile) says:

    Mister_Joe (profile)
    2 August 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Gusty Spence’s instructions to his gang of killers when sending them out to murder an individual, in his own later words, “I told them that if they couldn’t find the man, any Catholic would do”.

    - – - – -

    You have a reference for that, I take it?

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  28. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    From “The Shankill Butchers: the real story of cold-blooded mass murder” pages 20-23: (Gusty) Spence later wrote, “At the time, the attitude was that if you couldn’t get an IRA man you should shoot a Taig, he’s your last resort”.

    My first quote was noted in the obituaries following his death. I can’t find the source now.

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  29. Submariner (profile) says:

    Fergie Pie (profile) 2 August 2012 at 3:37 pm
    aquifer (profile) 2 August 2012 at 7:06 am

    …A tiny minority of loyalists, unsupported by their community, killed people because they were catholics.

    - – – –

    Surely if their main motivation was religion (and not retaliation for IRA attacks on protestants) then they would still be killing catholics today even after the Provos have quit???

    Are they???

    Right lets nail this Unionist myth that Loyalist terrorists were only reacting to the IRA for the bollocks that it is.
    Fact Loyalists committed the first sectarian killing of the present troubles in 1966, they then conducted a bombing campaign in 68/69, they also murdered the first Policeman of the troubles and also continued sectarian killings after the IRA had declared a cease fire so cut the bullshit.

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  30. ayeYerMa (profile) says:

    Indeed, time for the “peace processing” brigade to go home and leave us alone.

    Time also to stop dressing up the Republican “armed struggle” insurgency which drove the violence as “The Troubles” and call a spade a spade.

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  31. carl marks (profile) says:

    Fergie Pie (profile)
    2 August 2012 at 4:08 pm

    “Mister_Joe (profile)
    2 August 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Gusty Spence’s instructions to his gang of killers when sending them out to murder an individual, in his own later words, “I told them that if they couldn’t find the man, any Catholic would do”.

    - – – – -

    You have a reference for that, I take it?”

    I believe it’s a direct quote from Gustys book, Just before the chapter where he tells us about the support the OO give through his trail and after his conviction for Murder, apparently one of the things they did every 12th was stopping outside Crumlin rd prison and playing the sash for him followed by cheers and shouts of encouragement, he found it a great moral booster.
    Now did somebody say; “…A tiny minority of loyalists, unsupported by their community, killed people because they were Catholics.”

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  32. And whilst everyone is feasting on the tripe of the past, with their own special sauces poured over it to suit their palates, are they not revealed as having no exotic dishes to tempt all with enjoyment in the future.

    What are Northern Ireland’s plans for the future apart from the imposition of austerity measures which the intellectually challenged cuckoos in Stormont can continue to blame on Team GB to deflect attention away from the glaringly obvious fact that they haven’t a clue about what they should be doing to generate industry and prosperity.

    What a shower of useless leading frauds they are, whenever all or even any of the above is true.

    And I hope that is not ambiguous, nor disingenuous.

    The past has been and gone, move on into the future and deliver a present which is not held hostage to madness and mayhem, memory and ignorance, …. or is that all that youse have to offer?

    If that be the sad case, might I suggest you buy in some fabulous incredible ideas which cannot be dismissed as simple nonsense whenever they so sophisticated as to easily crash corrupt systems with Command and Control of Computers and Communications in Creative Cyberspace.

    And a Colossus of an AI Programming Project from …… well, you have no need to know any more than just that for now, methinks. Even those few lines will have many scratching their heads without a clue as to what is done and being done in AITitanic Holywood Hollywood style ….. a Class Act never imagined possible but nevertheless, easily delivered with a sure and inevitable outcome.

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  33. Alias (profile) says:

    Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the Downing Street Declaration.

    Does anybody other than those employed in the peace-processing industry and assorted political hacks want what is already the world’s longest peace process to drag on into a 3rd decade?

    Time to tell the hacks to ‘shut it’ methinks…

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  34. Fergie Pie (profile) says:

    Mister_Joe (profile)
    2 August 2012 at 4:32 pm

    From “The Shankill Butchers: the real story of cold-blooded mass murder” pages 20-23: (Gusty) Spence later wrote, “At the time, the attitude was that if you couldn’t get an IRA man you should shoot a Taig, he’s your last resort”.

    My first quote was noted in the obituaries following his death. I can’t find the source now.

    - – - -

    You’ve just proven my point.

    Loyalist paramilitaries’ main motivation was to kill IRA men – not catholics as originally claimed. They were a ‘last resort’.

    Thanks.

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  35. Jimmy Sands (profile) says:

    They were a ‘last resort’.

    Oh well that’s alright then.

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  36. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    Whatever turns you on, Fergie, and there’s probably a pill for that.

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  37. aquifer (profile) says:

    “let’s not pretend that the loyalist paramilitaries were isolated from the wider unionist community in a way that the evidence demonstrates they were not.”

    The votes they eventually got indicate they were not very popular even after they stopped most of their shooting.

    The 1974 ‘Workers’ strike could not be repeated. Paisley tried and failed, but it was an indication to the IRA, had they bothered to take notice, of the difficulties in forcing a large population in a political direction they did not want to go.

    The IRA prescription, more murder for longer.

    What a waste of time.

    Rewriting history is essential though, as it distracts people from considering what could have happened in the absence of violence. Hard to imagine that two English speaking countries within the EU would not have converged.

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  38. Jimmy Sands (profile) says:

    but it was an indication to the IRA

    And 1974 wasn’t?

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  39. Little James (profile) says:

    Why would the “peace process industry” go away? Far too lucrative a gig, mortgages are getting paid by it, extensions are getting built.

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  40. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    The “peace process” is simply a construct to ensure that those with blood on their hands, either directly or indirectly, will escape justice. That includes all sides. I’ll bet that none of those who unlawfully killed on Bloody Sunday will ever stand in the dock. Nor will he who ordered the murder of Jean McConville. Maybe it’s best to draw a line under the whole awful “troubles” but that’s cold comfort for those victim survivors whose lives were devastated.

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  41. Fergie Pie (profile) says:

    Mister_Joe (profile)
    3 August 2012 at 3:25 am

    Whatever turns you on, Fergie, and there’s probably a pill for that.

    - – - – - -

    I was merely correcting an untruth.

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  42. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    Fergie,

    What part of (slightly paraphrasing) shoot any taig if you can’t find your target don’t you understand?

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  43. Fergie Pie (profile) says:

    I understand that it confirms Loyalists’ main targets were IRA men.

    You seem to be arguing with yourself now.

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  44. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    And one of the random Catholics selected for dispatch by this murder gang was an unfortunate Protestant who happened to be walking in the “wrong” area.

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  45. Fergie Pie (profile) says:

    Not sure what that has to do with your point??

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  46. carl marks (profile) says:

    “You’ve just proven my point.

    Loyalist paramilitaries’ main motivation was to kill IRA men – not catholics as originally claimed. They were a ‘last resort’.

    Thanks.”
    Was your point that loyalists were cold blooded sectarian killers who killed people for no other reason than that they were Catholics.
    Then indeed it was proved,
    Do you also accept that the sectarian murders committed by Spence were the first of the troubles predating the IRAs campaign.

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  47. carl marks (profile) says:

    Also considering how few IRA men they killed they did the last resort thing a lot, also could you tell me when they ever give a warning for a bomb.
    How’s that moral high ground thing going for you?

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  48. HeinzGuderian (profile) says:

    ‘Also considering how few IRA men they killed they did the last resort thing a lot, also could you tell me when they ever give a warning for a bomb.
    How’s that moral high ground thing going for you?’

    You can almost taste this chaps sectarian hatred.
    Deary me,arguing the toss over which particular murder gang had the moral high ground ?
    If it wasn’t so very pathetic it would be laughable !!

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  49. Fergie Pie (profile) says:

    The original point was made that Loyalists only targeted people because of their religion.

    That is blatantly untrue. Even those trying to argue that point provided evidence showing it was incorrect.

    Everything else contained in the comments here is whataboutery, moving the goalposts or strawman building unworthy of further reply.

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  50. carl marks (profile) says:

    The original point was made that Loyalists only targeted people because of their religion.
    That is blatantly untrue.
    Loyalist paramilitaries’ main motivation was to kill IRA men – not catholics as originally claimed. They were a ‘last resort’.

    Do you have any idea how hypocritical your argument reads, as you try to make the exception prove the rule?
    How can you say all the drive by shootings, no warning bombs, machine gun attacks, on pubs and bookies, girls killed and stuffed in wheelie bins, the shankill butchers, and the many other random attacks which made up the vast bulk of loyalist activity where proof that they were not out to just kill a few taigs.
    “Everything else contained in the comments here is whataboutery, moving the goalposts or strawman building unworthy of further reply.”
    Sorry maybe you do see how hypocritical your argument is, as you are taking the line that any fact that shows you to be wrong is whataboutry, moving the goalposts or strawman,

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  51. carl marks (profile) says:

    HeinzGuderian (profile)
    3 August 2012 at 8:48 pm

    ‘Also considering how few IRA men they killed they did the last resort thing a lot, also could you tell me when they ever give a warning for a bomb.
    How’s that moral high ground thing going for you?’

    Deary me,arguing the toss over which particular murder gang had the moral high ground ?
    If it wasn’t so very pathetic it would be laughable !!

    Got it wrong as usual mate, I don’t think any murder gang Had the high ground but sure you already know that don’t you, and you are certainly the man to not to let facts get in the way of a bit of trolling.

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  52. HeinzGuderian (profile) says:

    LOL,if you consider ‘trolling’ as leaving your argument meaningless,then I guess you better get used to it,Wee Buddy.

    By the by…….not moral high ground in any shape or form. Just fact,

    60%
    30%
    10%

    You work it out.

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  53. carl marks (profile) says:

    HeinzGuderian

    60%
    30%
    10%
    “You work it out.”

    Now whos trying to prove a moral high gound with numbers. RLMAO

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  54. carl marks (profile) says:

    hould have been; ROFLMAO

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  55. HeinzGuderian (profile) says:

    ….and it calls me a ‘troll’ ?

    Ye gads…..

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  56. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    Enough of this carl-heinz rumination.

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  57. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    Yes, babyface. I suggest that, to end it, we all agree that the “loyalist” murder gangs never committed a sectarian killing, ever, (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

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  58. Fergie Pie (profile) says:

    Mister_Joe (profile)
    3 August 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Yes, babyface. I suggest that, to end it, we all agree that the “loyalist” murder gangs never committed a sectarian killing, ever, (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

    - – - – -

    No-one has said that though have they?

    You are beating up straw men again Joe. You should seek help.

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  59. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    You should seek help

    Tell me what works for you and I’ll give it a go.

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  60. Jimmy Sands (profile) says:

    Enough of this carl-heinz rumination.

    And that doesn’t get a card?

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  61. Submariner (profile) says:

    You’ve just proven my point.

    Loyalist paramilitaries’ main motivation was to kill IRA men – not catholics as originally claimed. They were a ‘last resort’.

    Thanks.

    Fergie are you on some sort of mind altering medication or just wilfully blind to the facts.
    Loyalists stock in trade was random sectarian murder of unarmed civilians. Out of 1016 people murdered by Loyalist terrorists between 1966-1993 41 were republicans,93 were loyalists 14 were security forces and 868 were innocent civilians, that my friend tells you all you need to know.

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  62. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    jimmy sands
    “Enough of this carl-heinz rumination.

    And that doesn’t get a card?”
    What! We get cards for bad puns now?

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  63. carl marks (profile) says:

    babyface finlayson (profile)
    3 August 2012 at 10:55 pm

    “Enough of this carl-heinz rumination.”
    Care to tell me in your considered opinion which half truths, made up histories, unfounded assumptions and outright sectarian slurs it would be ok for me to reply to.

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  64. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    Carl marks
    When the argument has reached the level of ‘ROFLMAO’ it may be time to call it a day.

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  65. HeinzGuderian (profile) says:

    ‘Fergie are you on some sort of mind altering medication or just wilfully blind to the facts.
    Loyalists stock in trade was random sectarian murder of unarmed civilians. Out of 1016 people murdered by Loyalist terrorists between 1966-1993 41 were republicans,93 were loyalists 14 were security forces and 868 were innocent civilians, that my friend tells you all you need to know.’

    Actually,that tells us less than half we need to know !! :-(

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  66. TwilightoftheProds (profile) says:

    To summarise so far for those just joining:

    Malachi O D writes an op ed questioning the softly softly language and narrative of peace processing. He’s particularly concerned about notions of collective responsibility for violent acts, which may falsely apportion violent sectarian impulses too widely. He’s annoyed about oversimplified, and sometimes unctious pleas, to let go of our collective hate.

    Many posters agree with this- and also add that this peace processing has gone on for far too long, we should draw a line under it and it was mostly just a bunch of tooled up vicious bampots responsible anyway. Nothing to do with how decent folk deal with things.

    The rest of the discussion then seems to be about apportioning blame/responsibility/motivation for a 46 year old sectarian killing. Its not really a cold case either. One of the chief perps was speedily caught, served time, and has since died of old age. Still, it gets quite heated.

    Sometimes we all probably get little flashes that we still live in a fairly fucked up society thats in a degree of smug denial. For me this is one of those moments.

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  67. Reader (profile) says:

    Submariner: Out of 1016 people murdered by Loyalist terrorists between 1966-1993 41 were republicans,93 were loyalists 14 were security forces and 868 were innocent civilians, that my friend tells you all you need to know.
    I see you found the “organisation Summary by Status Summary” cross-tabulation of the Sutton index of deaths on the CAIN site.
    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/sutton/crosstabs.html
    It certainly puts the lie to any claims by the terrorist groups to be protectors. It even puts paid to the lesser claim of being tribal champions.

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  68. carl marks (profile) says:

    Oh it got silly a long time before that, when someone claimed that the loyalists did not go out just to kill a taig indeed a look at their history shows it is the primary reason (although nowadays they are putting more effort into the pimping and dealing)
    But you have to admit that being called a bigot by someone who can barely admit that loyalists even had a terror group. Then accuse someone of trying to claim the high moral ground between terror groups (wonder could he show me where I done that), then tries to prove moral high ground with a league table, (does this mean the Yorkshire ripper was a more moral person than shipman because he killed less) then of course we have those who make up history as they go along and will never admit that their side never done anything wrong. ROFLMAO is not an inappropriate response.
    Then of course we have the amazing level of denial there is among unionist posters.
    A little example
    I posted,
    ‘Also considering how few IRA men they killed they did the last resort thing a lot, also could you tell me when they ever give a warning for a bomb.
    How’s that moral high ground thing going for you?’”
    The laughable reply was
    “You can almost taste this chaps sectarian hatred.”
    by the way maybe im misjudgeing you please explain the pun (sounds like the title of a Big Bang Theory episode, Sheldon rules OK)

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  69. carl marks (profile) says:

    Reader
    It certainly puts the lie to any claims by the terrorist groups to be protectors. It even puts paid to the lesser claim of being tribal champions.

    Just had a look at your link, indeed your very right in what you say, Only the most blinkered observer could find any support for the argument that their killers were protecting their people. None of the defenders on both sides ever did much defending.

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  70. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    carl marks
    You clearly argue with passion and I agree with much of what you say. So I’m sorry if my poor joke upset you.
    By the way the pun was on the well known (or so I thought) German footballer Carl Heinz Rummenigge.
    Well I did say it was bad. Jimmy Sands got it….I think.

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  71. Fergie Pie (profile) says:

    My point remains unanswered:

    If Loyalist paramilitaries only killed people because of their religion (and not in response to IRA violence) then why aren’t they still killing scores of people today – as they were in the early 1990s???

    Also, quoting CAIN doesn’t give the full picture. It counts IRA solicitor Pat Finucane and former IRA prisoner Gerard Slane as ‘civilians’. Had they been on the other side of the fence, the IRA would have happily viewed them as ‘legitimate targets’.

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  72. Submariner (profile) says:

    Fergie Pie (profile) 5 August 2012 at 2:06 pm
    My point remains unanswered:

    If Loyalist paramilitaries only killed people because of their religion (and not in response to IRA violence) then why aren’t they still killing scores of people today – as they were in the early 1990s???

    Also, quoting CAIN doesn’t give the full picture. It counts IRA solicitor Pat Finucane and former IRA prisoner Gerard Slane as ‘civilians’. Had they been on the other side of the fence, the IRA would have happily viewed them as ‘legitimate targets’.

    It is clear that you live in some sort of parallel universe. Loyalists did not kill Catholics as a last resort nor were they reactive.Loyalists committed the first sectarian killings of the troubles and continued to murder after the IRA ceasefire. As for CAIN are you arguing that Loyalists did not murder over 800 civilians?

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  73. Fergie Pie (profile) says:

    Why are they not killing the same number of people in 2012 as they did in, say, 1994??

    What’s changed?

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  74. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    Thick is as Thick does.

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  75. Submariner (profile) says:

    Are you really that stupid.

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  76. Fergie Pie (profile) says:

    Man playing is usually a good sign of being unable to play the ball….

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  77. Master McGrath (profile) says:

    Just listening to the BBC discussion on Nolan between Danny Morrison and Malachi and I have to say Malachi is just as good at dealing with this in person as he is accurate and far-sighted in his analysis in print.
    Danny Morrison wriggles like a worm on a fish hook and is as skillful as ever in evading tackling the issues Malachi has raised while only appearing to add something to the debate.
    Malachi only adds to his stature as a commentator on the recent past and present situation.
    His analysis is clear and correct in breadth and detail and raises absolutely vital questions about how we deal with the future, which have to be dealt with if there is to be a secure future for NI and by implication the RoI as well.
    DM does not seem to recognise that his bluff, and that of SF has now been called.
    Malachi will not be the only one to follow through with this particular line of questioning.

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  78. carl marks (profile) says:

    babyface finlayson

    this displays my terrible ignorance of football, strangly the only thing i understand about the game is the offside rule, dont ask!

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  79. carl marks (profile) says:

    Also, quoting CAIN doesn’t give the full picture. It counts IRA solicitor Pat Finucane and former IRA prisoner Gerard Slane as ‘civilians’. Had they been on the other side of the fence, the IRA would have happily viewed them as ‘legitimate targets’.

    There you go, problem solved ; look hard enough and you can find a reason for popping a cap on a taig.

    As to why the PUL terror groups are not killing catholics at the moment, well they are busy boys what with the drug and brothels etc.
    Does the fact that these people are harming your community and your youth with these rackets. not mean you should be attacking them and not trying to defend them

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  80. Fergie Pie (profile) says:

    If their main motivation was to kill Catholics they would still be doing it today.

    Stop changing the subject and just admit you were wrong.

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  81. Submariner (profile) says:

    Loyalist terrorists main motivation was killing unarmed civilian catholics. Statistics bare this out. As to why they are not doing so today,they signed up for the peace process,that and the fact that poisoning their young people with drugs is more lucrative.

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  82. HeinzGuderian (profile) says:

    “This blather, however, stems from the language used to initiate the peace process. Before 1993, no one ever called the Troubles a ‘conflict’. This was a new word to establish the idea that, at heart, we had a disagreement between equally legitimate positions inherited from history. It was clever, but it was a lie, for it overlooked the simple fact that there were attackers and attacked, that there were assailants and victims.”

    Indeed,and the vast majority of those victims,60% no less,were victims of nat/rep murder gangs.
    Someone was bleating on about ‘moral high ground’…….I’m not certain where the ‘moral high ground’ lies in a dirty,little,sectarian skirmish,but I am certain it isn’t with danny morrison and chums.

    ‘loyalist’ murder gangs were/are SCUM………absolutely no equivocation about that.
    If only a few more of our nat/rep contributors could say the same about pira…………

    I won’t hold my breath.

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  83. Submariner (profile) says:

    They were all scum .However the supposition from unionist posters that loyalists main targets were not innocent catholics and that loyalist had no support among the PUL community is laughable.

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  84. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    Indeed they all were/are scum.

    Loyalist terrorists did indeed murder innocent Catholics in the main, that is aside from a small numbers of their fellow travellers on the Nationalist side, their own members/affiliates and security force personnel.

    I would not flatter loyalist killers to use the word ‘target’. Despite the much hyped rampant ‘collusion’ allegations they appear to have simply gone to locations where the population would be mainly Catholic, or in the example of Catholic taxi drivers called their victims to them.

    They even in those circumstances, in their own terms, got it ‘wrong’ and murdered co-religionists. Not that I think it vexed them very much.

    Their support was minimal, their electoral support even more so. No killer Armani politicos at the top of their game, and the polls, on the orange side of the street.

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  85. Greenflag (profile) says:

    ‘Their support was minimal, their electoral support even more so. No killer Armani politicos at the top of their game, and the polls, on the orange side of the street.’

    Of course -why would there be ? .The ‘unionist cause’ had the support of the vast majority of NIPS (N.Irish Prods) and the backing of the Stormont Regime and British Government and military establishment . Loylaist factions were enabled to do the dirty work that the ‘establishment ‘ unionists could’nt be seen to perform .

    The majority of Prods were fat and happy whereas the same could not be said for the Taigs which is why a large number took to the streets .

    As for calling the loyalists and their republican counterparts ‘scum ‘ ? I suppose it gets all of the ‘establishment politicians ‘ off the hook for sitting on their butts for 50 years and hanging their hats on their pensions -paid for of course by the English taxpayer .

    Don’t let the reactionary politicians off the hook for as sure as night follows day they will repeat the ’50′ years butt sitting and it’ll be another case of deja vu and another several thousand lives lost in vain.

    Anyway the GFA is the ‘only deal’ in town and it’s NI’s to work with as best they can until they can find something better or until changing demographics and the world economy impacts in ways that are not yet seen .

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  86. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @ heinz barbarian ,

    ‘but it was a lie, for it overlooked the simple fact that there were attackers and attacked, that there were assailants and victims.”

    Troubles is an understatement so was the Emergency (1939-1945) .So too was ‘The Great Hunger ‘ We Irish may have to start calling a spade a spade and try not to downplay the conflicts in our history by understating the applicable term .

    In the broad flow of history it will be known as the ‘Troubles’ Part 11 -which of course presumes a sequel as in Parts 111, or Part IV and eventually the ‘Grand Finale ‘

    So you good folks in NI on both sides need to step back a couple of paces and realise that the world outside ‘Toad in the Hole ‘ -doesn’t much care what you call it or called it .All they want is for you to piss off with the sanctimonious crapology and get on with ensuring that a ‘final solution’ is agreed before the outbreak of Part 111.

    But nobody is holding their breath one way or the other .

    .

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  87. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    “The majority of Prods were fat and happy….”.

    Irish Nationalists seem to recycle their bigotry, perhaps it’s with being ‘green’?

    The Nationalist terrorist Sean Moylan back in the day talked of giving “a call to the fine fat unionists” of north Cork; his intention I suspect was not calling with them for tea and cakes.

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  88. tacapall (profile) says:

    “Irish Nationalists seem to recycle their bigotry, perhaps it’s with being ‘green”

    They have long memories ya see –

    http://www.sikharchives.com/?source=Patrick.net&p=8937

    “They came as slaves; vast human cargo transported on tall British ships bound for the Americas. They were shipped by the hundreds of thousands and included men, women, and even the youngest of children.

    Whenever they rebelled or even disobeyed an order, they were punished in the harshest ways. Slave owners would hang their human property by their hands and set their hands or feet on fire as one form of punishment. They were burned alive and had their heads placed on pikes in the marketplace as a warning to other captives.

    We don’t really need to go through all of the gory details, do we? After all, we know all too well the atrocities of the African slave trade. But, are we talking about African slavery?

    King James II and Charles I led a continued effort to enslave the Irish. Britain’s famed Oliver Cromwell furthered this practice of dehumanizing one’s next door neighbor.

    The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves

    Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.

    From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade. Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.

    During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.

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  89. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    “The Irish slave trade began when James II……..”

    Actually no. The slave trade began prior to the Normans when Irish raiders pillaged in Wales taking prisoners back to Ireland as slaves.

    I think a child called Patrick, later to become famous with something to do with snakes, was one of the Romano-British people spirited away.

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  90. tacapall (profile) says:

    I guess Patrick was a well behaved one then but then again, I dont believe in all that Christianity bullshit, maybe he was just kidnapped and held for ransom but decided to stay, anyhows you know the old saying, One swallow does not a summer make !

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  91. Fergie Pie (profile) says:

    Submariner (profile)
    6 August 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Loyalist terrorists main motivation was killing unarmed civilian catholics. Statistics bare this out. As to why they are not doing so today,they signed up for the peace process,that and the fact that poisoning their young people with drugs is more lucrative.

    - – - – -

    If they were motivated by religious bigotry (and not the urge to retaliate for IRA atrocities against protestant civilians) then surely they would still be killing today?

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  92. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    tacapall

    “One swallow does not a summer make”.

    Ok I see it now, one slave ok, x slaves not ok: you’re an accountant, not a moralist.

    Thanks for the clarification of your position.

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  93. The Lodger (profile) black spot says:

    “Loyalist terrorists main motivation was killing unarmed civilian catholics. Statistics bare this out. As to why they are not doing so today,they signed up for the peace process,that and the fact that poisoning their young people with drugs is more lucrative.”

    Submariner,

    Loyalist terrorists began by murdering catholic civilians for two reasons. (Before anyone accuses me of justifying loyalist terrorists please be aware that I am merely conveying their own analysis).

    1. Unlike republicans they did not have a ready supply of targets available to them. The Provos could murder a Prod farmer on the border and claim justification for it because he happened to be a part time soldier or policeman. Shamefully that excuse seems to have satisfied a proportion of the nationalist community. The Loyalists did not initially have intelligence on who the Provos were.

    2. The Loyalists reasoned that by targetting Catholics in republican areas they would bring pressure from within that community to bear on republicans to stop their murder campaign. This tactic proved to be a failure as republicans didn’t give much of a shit what uninvolved Catholics thought.

    The initial Loyalist campaign of the early seventies was brought to a juddering halt by the RUC through successful prosecutions, the supergrass trials etc. In 1976 they murdered 126 people and in 1977 28. By 1985 they were responsible for five murders whilst PIRA was responsible for 47. By this stage they were more concerned with making a living from crime. The general unionist population by that stage could also see that the union was safe and that the security forces were making progress in defeating the IRA, so the pool of recruits for the UVF etc was more limited.

    Then in 1987 came the Enniskillen bomb and everything changed. Recruits poured into the Loyalist paramilitaries and several of the old guard were ousted, or indeed shot dead and replaced by the so called young turks.

    They then began to turn their guns on high profile republicans and in the years leading up to the mid nineties they targetted and murdered several. These included at least two PIRA Brigade commanders, at least one former Brigade Commander, a number of PIRA/INLA hitmen and local commanders and some high profile Sinners.

    They also continued to murder civilians from republican communities in response to republican murders. A republican atrocity such as Teebane would lead to a loyalist atrocity such as the Bookies shop massacre etc.

    Notably there was never a sustained murder campaign against catholics in non republican areas like Coleraine or Ballymena despite there being a strong loyalist paramilitary presence in those areas.

    Therefore it is wrong to suggest that the Loyalists were primarily targetting ‘IRA’ men, but it is also simplistic to say that they targetted Catholic civilians because this was ‘their main motivation’ (whatever that is supposed to mean). Their motivation was to stop republicans from attacking their community. The fact that their tactics were as immoral as those of their republican enemies does not alter that.

    Ultimately whilst their tactic of targetting innocent catholics did not bring about a PIRA cessation they can and do argue with some justification that their targetting and murder of republicans did.

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  94. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    Reasonably argued post, Lodger.

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  95. tacapall (profile) says:

    Honest from a loyalist viewpoint I suppose although im sure you can understand now the Lodger why the people of Ardoyne who suffered more than most areas from loyalist terrorists dont want the same people parading past Ardoyne.

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  96. 241934 john brennan (profile) says:

    And for the more cynical (realists?) – The Peace Process also became a Pension Process for Paramilitaries and a Peerage Process for some Unionist politicians.

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  97. HeinzGuderian (profile) says:

    Well,the condemnation of pira,by our nat/rep contributors was certainly underwhelming…….. @mean fig did call a spade a spade,not sure that was really condemnation though ? ;-)

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  98. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    IF you’ve ever sighed with exasperation or clenched your teeth with frustration ..

    Yes, when I see brazen hypocrisy like this:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19165289

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  99. The Lodger (profile) black spot says:

    The man is obviously a great George Orwell fan.

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  100. The Lodger (profile) black spot says:

    “Honest from a loyalist viewpoint I suppose although im sure you can understand now the Lodger why the people of Ardoyne who suffered more than most areas from loyalist terrorists dont want the same people parading past Ardoyne.”

    Tapacall,

    I might have some sympathy for them if they didn’t offer their overwhelming support for terrorists themselves.

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