Short: IRA never targetted civilians

Former member of the British Cabinet Clare Short stirs the pot with an interview with Gulf News in which she sympathises with insurrectionists in Iraq as came father from South Armagh, but that targetting civilians is a terrible moral deterioration. Interestingly she also makes the claim that the IRA never targetted civilians. It’s already caused some fury amongst Tories in Bournemouth.

  • maca

    “Interestingly she also makes the claim that the IRA never targetted civilians”

    Maybe she specifically meant tall red haired, blue eyed female civilians born in between April 27th and may 1st 1956. But all other civilians were targetted??

  • Mick Fealty


  • maca

    i was just being a bit sarcastic there Mick. 😉

  • Keith M

    At least Mowlem had the excuse of having undergone brain surgery!

  • willow

    Good old Clare Short, the new Queen of Controversy!
    It is no surprise at all that a British Minister would come out with this dribble. They have been doing it for years. Further proof that English Ministers when referring to northern Ireland never have a clue.
    I wonder what the family of Jean McConville and all the other families of the disappeared think about her comments, plus all the workers killed at Teebane…….the list goes on and on and on…..

  • Conor

    I bet the relatives of the Kingmills massacre victims might not agree

  • yer_man

    This has to go down as one of the most crass comments ever made by a Provo sympathiser, even if that person happens to be the former Government Minister, Crossmaglen Claire.

    There are a list as long as your arm where the IRA actively went after those who couldnt be described as ‘legitimate targets’ by any stretch of the imagination.

    Shooting the only sons of Protestant farmers along the border so that the land would eventually be forced into nationalist hands is simply one example – and it matters not whether the victim’s father may or may not have been a part-time member of the security forces.

    Also, many people dont remember that on the day of the Enniskillen bomb, there was another device which mercifully failed to go off. That was set to target a Boy’s Brigade chuch parade in a small border village. I wonder how Ms Short would justify the Provos attempt to rid a border community of every Protestant male under the age of 18.

    The revision of history in Northern Ireland has already started, dont expect people like this to stop. Its just the first in a long line of fairytales which will attempt to paint the IRA as noble warriors instead of the sorded terrorist ethnic cleansers that they actually were.

  • Nathan

    Willow “Good old Clare Short, the new Queen of Controversy!”

    Controversies involving “KillJoy Clare” are nothing new. Take a hard snoop through her political closet, them dust-ups with the Labour leadership being the prime example. She twice resigned from Neil Kinnock’s shadow team, once over voting against the Prevention of Terrorism Act (she was supposed to abstain) and once over attacking the scale of the bombing in the Gulf war (she was supposed to wave the flag).

    Earlier on in her career, Labour’s canary had outspoken views on Ireland. She involved herself with the Labour Committee on Ireland founded in 1980, bringing together party activists prepared to provide Provisional Sinn Fein with a public platform.

    The LCI took a hard line from the outset, demanding British withdrawal from Northern Ireland, Irish unity and an end to all emergency legislation.

    In short, a woman who does not play by the rules of politics, she does not talk like a politician nor behave like one. Her political career was always so precarious.

    And for all you naff political activists out there, I’ll throw in a bit of juicy facts for you – Clare’s uncle, Paddy Short is a Crossmaglen publican, former civil rights activist and political pundit.

  • Millie

    Unfortunately Claire Short is wrong. The IRA have expressly targetted civilians because of their religion, and caused hundreds of fatalities through bombings, shootings, crossfires, own-goals, punishment shootings and general cock-ups. Having said that, every statistical analysis of deaths caused by the IRA during the Troubles have concluded that the majority of IRA victims have been members of the security forces.

    It’s sad to say but civilian casualties have become an acceptable part of warfare since the end of the 19th century. In just the last few weeks alone, the Israelis and the coalition forces in Iraq have run up considerable civilian casualities in their respective campaigns, out of all proportion to the original actions which prompted their military accesses. The Geneva Convention expressly differentiates between combatants and civilians but far too often these distinctions are blurred, ignored or even justified.

  • dave


  • dave

    Millie..Is that not what you are trying to do blurr the situation?

  • abucs

    Well, i think unfortunately most organised groups of violence both target civilians at certain times and are involved in violent acts where the chances of civilian death/maiming is great. This includes both freedom fighters / terrorists or conventional armies. I think the obvious bias towards “freedom fighters” from Clare is due to the kidnapping of Bigley which is understandable. With my country being involved in Iraq, i certainly support her statements that we shouldn’t be there, and we can’t expect Iraqis to simply sit back and take it. If violence is wrong then maybe it’s wrong from our side too ?

  • ulsterman

    The IRA alongside the Pope wished to exterminate the Ulster Protestant Nation. However we defeated the IRA, Dublin and Rome. The Ulster Protestant Nation is about to be born under the DUP controlled lexecutive.

    Soon my friends Ulsters enemies will learn the meaning of the word vengeance. To the victor the spoils.

    God Save The Queen,

    God Save Ulster,

  • maca

    What’s “lexecutive”, is that some sort of diarrhoea?

  • J Kelly

    Soon my friends Ulsters enemies will learn the meaning of the word vengeance.

    So we can expect another drug dealers fued.

  • chunkyguy

    we defeated rome? I must have too busy too watch the news that week when it happened or is he referring to rangers win against roma in the uffa cup a few seasons back!

  • Colm

    ‘ulsterman’ used to post under another name, I can’t remember what it was but “he” posted exactly the same moderate sensible sat on the fence comments in the same rational language.

    He went away for a while and has now returned after taken a few weekd to think a new name, and voila we have ‘ulsterman’ – what imagination eh!

  • Mike

    Leaving aside the infantile drivel of “ulsterman”…

    Short’s comments are so wildly inaccurate that it beggars belief. How she thought she could get away with spouting such garbage is beyond me.

    Surely as someone with such an ‘interest’ in South Armagh, Ms Short must have heard of the Kingsmills massacre and the Tullyvallen massacre, in which 15 innocent Protestants were murdered by the IRA smple because of their religion?

    Maybe she should speak to Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane, pal of Gerry Adams, who murdered five Protestants in a sectarian gun and bomb attack on a bar. Evidently, since he became IRA leader in the Maze, being a sectarian murderer who deliberately targetted civilians didn’t harm his republican ‘career’ too much.

    Wouldn’t Ms Short remember the Balcombe Street gang, lauded by Gerry Adams (in one of those moments of Provisional republican delusion) as “our Nelson Mandelas” – they deliberately murdered innocent civilans in a London restuarant by throwing a no-warning bomb, loaded with ball-bearings to cause maximum casulaties, through the window.

    As an elected representative, maybe Ms Short should dwell for a minute on Rev Robert Bradford and Edgar Graham, murdered by the IRA simply for being elected representatives of the Unionist community.

    There’s plenty of other examples of course but there’s no need for me to go on.

    I think it’s pretty obvious that Clare Short deliberately lied, and knew very well that the IRA deliberately targetted civilans time and time again. Which begs the question of what her motivation was for lying.

  • Millie

    ‘Maybe she should speak to Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane, pal of Gerry Adams, who murdered five Protestants in a sectarian gun and bomb attack on a bar. Evidently, since he became IRA leader in the Maze, being a sectarian murderer who deliberately targetted civilians didn’t harm his republican ‘career’ too much.’

    Actually it did, he volunteered to be a hunger striker but was refused because the sectarian nature of his offence meant he would have been a public relations disaster for SF.

  • Christopher Stalford


    “Having said that….”

    Says it all Millie.

    The relatives of those who died in the Birmingham Pub bombings will, I am sure, be very pleased to hear a representative from their city claiming the Ra never targetted civilians. This is classic Provo historical revionism, nothing more, nothing less…

  • Millie

    Just pointing out Christopher that there’s no such thing as a ‘clean’ war these days, in fact if republican kills had only been combatants it would have made them the most orderly and disciplined army the world has ever seen.

    Why our very own British govt has been bombing Iraqi civilians from the air these last few weeks to almost deafening silence, so on the topic of civilian casualties I wonder what their present
    combatant-to-civilian kill ratio is?

  • Christopher Stalford


    Moral releativism? The standard tactic of the revisionist historian.

    David Irving says the horror of the Holocaust (which he denies) needs to be sent alongside the bombing of Dresden. Millie claims the delibirate murder of civilians by wicked terrorists needs to be set alongside non-deliberate casualties of war.

    Why don’t you just say what we know you’re thinking – they were Brits and deserved what they got!

  • Millie

    What’s revisionist about what I said? The IRA killed civilians, soldiers and police. The Army killed civilians, republicans and even the odd loyalist. The police killed civilians, republicans and also the odd loyalist. Loyalists killed civilians and even the odd republican.

    Now if any one of that group claimed never to have targeted civilians they’re talking out of their arse.

    I can only conclude Clare Shorts comments were for a British audience, since people in Britain know next to nothing about NI, and more importantly, they’re not supposed to.

  • Davros

    NB: Today’s Irish News –

    Quote : Ms Short, said yesterday:

  • davidbrew

    IRA sympathiser tells obvious lies in attempt to cover up the true nature of the organisation…..not exactly a news story is it?

    Sinn Fein leader admits-“yes I am in the ‘Ra-have a packet of cigarettes”-now THAT’S a story

  • Mike

    Millie –