The IRA – their only crime was robbery

A provocative piece by Lindy McDowell in the Belfast Telegraph this evening,(hat-tip to Andrew at ATW).Shinners in the altogetherIt starts with :

The IRA – their only crime was robbery. That, in a T-shirt slogan, just about sums up the odd attitude many people, particularly in the south of Ireland, have to the sectarian killing machine that is Provisional IRA.
Murdering almost 2,000 people, mutilating tens of thousands more, ripping apart lives, communities, town centres… all these things the IRA did and more. None of this counted as real “crime” though.

and ends with

But phenomenal though the sum taken was, all those millions and millions of notes are still not worth the life of even one child killed in the Shankill bomb, one person murdered in the IRA’s long war of terror.
Up here we count the cost of IRA criminality not in stolen money. But in stolen lives.