The Death of the IRA

Ed Moloney, writing in the Sunday Herald, contributes an astute appraisal of ‘why America has turned its back on Sinn Fein and the IRA’ – The Death of the IRA

I won’t excerpt too much from the article, it’s well worth reading in full. But I will note the statement that Ed Moloney quotes, by “Sinn Fein’s most dependable and loyal supporter in America”, Rep. Peter King –

His St Patrick’s Day statement was, this year, distinctly off-message. The IRA, he declared, should disband “without delay”. He continued: “The IRA pulled off a $50 million bank robbery – followed by the brutal murder of an innocent Catholic by IRA men in a Belfast bar-room brawl. This has caused me and other concerned Irish-Americans to conclude that the IRA must disband without delay. The war is over – there is a new Ireland, north and south. It is only when the IRA accepts this reality that we will truly be able to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.”

  • Davros

    Excellent article Pete. For me the most telling :

    “What has surprised observers has been the strength of political hostility from mainstream Irish-Americans towards Adams and Sinn Fein. Part of this can be explained by tougher American attitudes to terrorism in the wake of the attack on the twin towers and the ongoing threat of Islamic violence. But it is also to do with a feeling that perhaps Adams and his colleagues sold them a false bill of goods when they persuaded Americans to sign up to the peace process, that they were conned into believing that Sinn Fein and the IRA wanted peace when all they wanted was power. The Northern Bank raid and the McCartney murder may have combined to tip them over the edge.”

    [my highlighting]

  • Clady Cowboy

    Davros,

    I suggest Sinn Fein do want peace. I also suggest that it is extremely hard to stand down an army, with centuries of legacy behind it, before its objective has been completed.

    Its moving in the right direction, as quickly as possible

  • IJP

    so that a final peace deal can be agreed by Northern Ireland’s nationalist and unionist parties.

    But that’s just it – SF doesn’t want a deal, it wants a process. A process that enables it to keep its standing army, as CC suggests.

    A ‘final deal’ was never part of the plan.

  • Davros

    I suggest Sinn Fein do want peace.

    Depends upon what you mean by peace. As they still hold to sacred mantra “Brits Out” then as far as they are concerned they want peace but THEIR version of peace on their terms and their terms alone.

    It’s not in SF’s interest for NI to be at peace. A NI at peace would make their claim that ‘Only an Ireland United and free of foreign influence can be at peace’ nonsensical and damage their raison d’etre. At the heart of this is the problem for SF and the IRA. The GFA for them is a short-term mechanism towards a United Ireland. What everybody else is working towards is a long-term working model for Northern Ireland. If that’s successful then SF are in big trouble. So they go along with the pretence when it suits that they are working for a peaceful NI when they want NI to be destabilised to the point where unification occurs. The difference from 30 years ago is that then the leaders of SF were happy to destabilise by bombs and bullets. Now they are trying something more subtle – destabilisation by politics while maintaining an appearance that they are committed to stability and building a working NI. They failed 30 years ago and they are even less successful at acheiving political destabilisation while maintaining a show that they are trying to work at acheiving stability.

  • Clady Cowboy

    IJP

    ‘But that’s just it – SF doesn’t want a deal, it wants a process. A process that enables it to keep its standing army, as CC suggests.’

    So the deal you envisage is one where Republicanism ceases to exist?! I have for years said the IRA should disarm

    Davros

    Its the inexplicable desire to remain in political union with Great Britain that creates the lack of peace. This statelet had over half a century to create the foundations for peace while Sinn Fein and the IRA barely registered a blip on the political landscape. What this state(practically at peace) brought us was inhuman discrimination and near civil war.
    You’ve has your chances, now lets try something different

  • Clady Cowboy

    Davros,

    ‘It’s not in SF’s interest for NI to be at peace’.

    Its not in Unionist interests more like,hence the Ulstar Covenant and threat of civil war when it would have been easier for the whole country to have left Union with Britain

  • Clady Cowboy

    Sorry tyro with ‘Ulstar’ but i guess the signatories of the covenant would have pronounced it as such

  • Davros

    Why lump me in with the Unionist Party of the 20’s to the 70’s ? You give yourself away CC. For you it’s a zero sum game and when faced with difficulties you retreat into 70’s Noraid-speak claptrap about statelets. You either get what you want or else. What the rest of us want doesn’t count for anything in your mind.

  • Davros

    Its not in Unionist interests more like,hence the Ulstar Covenant and threat of civil war when it would have been easier for the whole country to have left Union with Britain

    Now don’t be trying to confuse people by melding the situation in the early 20th century into the 21st Century. I know republicanism hasn’t moved beyond the glory of blood sacrifice obsenity of Pearse, but the rest of us have ….

    Pearse :

    ‘We must accustom ourselves to the thought of arms, to the sight of arms, to the use of arms. We may make mistakes in the beginning and shoot the wrong people; but bloodshed is a cleansing and a sanctifying thing, and the nation which regards it as a final horror has lost its manhood.’

    CC – was the shed blood of Robert McCartney cleansing and sanctifying ?

  • Clady Cowboy

    Davros,

    You may not want to be associated with your ancestors but it is exactly their foul play, using weapons and racial stereotyping, that has created the dominant position for your unionist viewpoint and so they are not irrelevant.

    Its like a battered wife who after years of abuse strikes back and then the husband says, ‘och come on this violence gets us nowhere, lets try again, i’ll even do some of the housework’—um, no thank you i want a divorce.

    A united Ireland doesn’t mean you relenquish your nationality and heritage.

    I take the Robert McCartney point as a severe affront.

  • Davros

    Good CC… his family take his death as a severe affront. It shows what the IRA is and has been for decades. Dirty. I make no apologies for wrongs done by Unionism. That’s the difference between people like you (plural) and me.

  • Clady Cowboy

    Davros,

    ‘ I make no apologies for wrongs done by Unionism. That’s the difference between people like you (plural) and me.’

    So you make no apology for the countless deaths and discrimination caused by unionists acting in the name of Unionism. I’m speechless, why bother on this site, why don’t you go back to polishing your da’s ‘fenian-slaying’ rifle?

    ‘Sufficient until the day is the evil thereof’

  • Davros

    Why should I apologise for something I don’t approve of and whose actions I don’t support CC ? On the other hand you do support and approve of the history of the RM. Therefore you need to justify their behaviour. I don’t have to justify or apologise for Unionist behaviour.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Cowboy

    racial stereotyping

    Sorry tyro with ‘Ulstar’ but i guess the signatories of the covenant would have pronounced it as such

    Quite.

  • Clady Cowboy

    What exactly is your ideology then Davros? Apart from insinuating that i find the murder of Robert McCartney a good deed in the name of Republicanism?

    As for support for some republican ideology, not the total support you allude to above, would not your average Englishman give tacit support for a resistance movement in this present day if Nazi Germany had succeeded in invading England and proceeded to plant millions of Germans in England as a means of control.

    I think you’ll find you are lying delusionally if you think not!!!

  • Davros

    Apart from insinuating that i find the murder of Robert McCartney a good deed in the name of Republicanism?

    That’s not what I wrote 🙂

  • Clady Cowboy

    Its what you insinuated, so what is your ideology again?

  • Davros

    Its what you insinuated

    Nope 🙂

  • Clady Cowboy

    ‘CC – was the shed blood of Robert McCartney cleansing and sanctifying ?’

    No, and your question in inflammatory.

    What is your ideology?
    What do think of my Nazi/England scenario?

  • DXI

    The Moloney article is pretty bog-standard – versions of the same article have appeared in every outlet of the establishment media over the past few days. Bush wouldn’t find NI on map of NI. This is all Bertie/Blair choreography.

    The end of the IRA? Not unless SF are satisfied with the policing arrangements on offer I imagine. Not till then.

    But the fund raising thing is an important issue and an opportunity for SF. The notion of SF being clobbered by the Bush neo-cons will go down like a lead balloon in the South amongst the broad mass of younger people who have no inbred anti-Republicanism. SF should play this for all it is worth if they reckon the game is up in America. Electorally, it could be an Ace.

    Time to drop the anti-EU voodoo and hit US Imperialism and it’s collaborators with all they’ve got.

  • Davros

    ‘CC – was the shed blood of Robert McCartney cleansing and sanctifying ?’

    No, and your question in inflammatory.

    Inflammatory = uncomfortable for the heirs and supporters of Pearse.

  • Clady Cowboy

    No, inflammatory =that i took offence to your question that suggests that my answer would have be anything other than NO.

    Why would the ‘heirs and supporters of pearce’ be more uncomfortable with the question than anybody else?

    Robert McCartney’s murderer was not acting on behalf of the RM

  • DXI

    Pearse was a man of his time. Inspiring stuff I would imagine, back in the era of the Generals in their Armchairs ordering tens of thousands of young men out of their trenches into the wall of lead.

    As someone who led from the front, Pearse was clearly a cut above the average military leader of his day.

    My Mr Davros you are everywhere! Are you always as ubiquitous hereon? This is my first outing, this site is now appearing on GOOGLE in case ye missed the fact.

  • Alan McDonald

    Time to drop the anti-EU voodoo and hit US Imperialism and it’s collaborators with all they’ve got.

    Yes, yes, as a liberal Democrat from USA I say (in the words of GW) “Bring it on!”

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    DXI there’s no way that’s going to happen. Eliminating hypocrisy over the USA would be financially prohibitive for SF.

  • vespasian

    CC

    That’s differnece between SF/IRA and everyone else – the rest of us of all on all sides accepted and voted for a deal called the Good Friday Agreement, the party it seems you support signed no deal whatsoever and entered into a process that flew in the face of the deal.

    The GFA was about equality, law and order and consent and the removal of terrorists and gangsters, the process was about inequality, IRA law and order, no consent and gangsters being allowed to continue their dirty dealings.

    SF/IRA have used my vote for long enough to promote their illeagal cause, they should either get into democratic politics or tell the world they don’t accept the GFA and never have.

  • DXI

    Well CXVII, it was only in the context of them being frozen totally out of America as the meeja are suggesting will happen that they would go to plan B.

    While this may be forced on them it will be an electoral blessing in disguise if they react properly. My own view is they should cut with the US now. It is morally wrong to be pussyfooting with Bush.

    I guess they love America, but when you are dumped the best thing to do is dust yourself down and move on.

  • IJP

    Ves.

    Your 0755PM is spot on.

  • Davros

    “My own view is they should cut with the US now. It is morally wrong to be pussyfooting with Bush.”

    Why this Bush ? I agree with you about Dubya, but no Irish republican should endorse US policies since WWII – be it Korea, Vietnam, Central America, South America or the Middle East. Bush isn’t any worse than his Pa or Kissinger.

  • Clady Cowboy

    Ves/IJP,

    The GFA was about a lot of things, and a lot of these things are still unfulfilled,Patten and De-militarisation.

    Sinn Fein, using the mandate offered a deal to Unionists in Dec. By then,unionists had changed their minds and voted in an non-agreement party to represent them. Hence, no deal and unionists voting in fundamentalist bigots have wasted nationalist GFA votes.

    There has never been Democracy here, only the type acceptable to unionists-The Ulster covenant is the prime example. Maybe Collins shouldn’t have negotiated a settlement with Lloyd George whilst a private army stood armed in Ulster and threatening violence?

    That army should have been stood down first if you believed in true democracy – fair weather democrats!

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Clady Cowboy

    Point of information: Patten wasn’t in the GFA.

  • Clady Cowboy

    Review of policing was. Patten was the result. Hence Patten is in the GFA

  • Davros

    CC- where in the GFA does it say that Patten has to be implemented ?

  • Clady Cowboy

    Dav

    Where does it say that Sinn Fein MUST disarm the IRA?

  • aquifer

    The British have fulfilled all their requirements under the GFA and added in Patten for good measure. The Unionists, including the DUP, seem willing to respect this all-Ireland act of self determination and to operate the institutions.

    The Brits have stood back and allowed the RM to face its contradictions without the excuse of Brit oppression. This current British position on Ireland, and their tendency to negotiate with SF over the heads of democratic parties looks lax, spineless, and unprincipled when compared to their position on Islamic terrorism, but it has left the RM open to inspection.

    Things may change, but currently:

    The RM position looks macho, with power, guns, and money, but they have spectacularly failed to manage the expectations of 1M Irish people who believe an alliance with 50M more souls is a proven and prudent policy in a dangerous and changing world.

    With RM political credibility damaged, they cannot easily conclude a peace, so they invite instant repression should they return to violence.

    It is a tragedy. Promises broken, the promise of a progressive and integrative politics squandered.
    Populations suffering more intense suffering in other global conflicts robbed of a road map for a resolution.

    Irish separatist violence is in danger of becoming seen as a sadistic lifestyle choice rather than a political enterprise, with any chance of retrospective non-RM legitimation for armed actions lost.

    Acceptance by others of any legitimacy for past armed actions is now conditional on the RM making rapid progress in winding down the IRA.

    Stalling confirms people’s worst views of the IRA.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Cowboy

    To be clear, the GFA stated: “An independent Commission will be established to make recommendations for future policing arrangements in Northern Ireland…”

    It did not contain the recommendations themselves, nor was there any promise that they would be implemented – though of course it would be bad faith not to.

    Kind of like decommissioning, in a way.

  • Clady Cowboy

    The IRA offered to disarm. This is not what unionists wanted apparently, they wanted sackclothes etc.

    ‘The RM position looks macho, with power, guns, and money, but they have spectacularly failed to manage the expectations of 1M Irish people who believe an alliance with 50M more souls is a proven and prudent policy in a dangerous and changing world.’

    Some could argue that seeking alliance with a force who have created the conditions in which some of this terrorism breeds, with their colonialism and vested interest taking precence over morality, is not a prudent policy.

  • DXI

    Acceptance by others of any legitimacy for past armed actions is now conditional on the RM making rapid progress in winding down the IRA. Nonsense. You make this up as you go along, don’t you?

    Stalling confirms people’s worst views of the IRA.

    The worst peoples view, not peoples worst view!

    Davros – re your comments on US foreign policy – finally some common ground!

  • vespasian

    CC

    Get out of the past and into the present and the future. I could get into a spate of ‘whataboutery’ but what would it serve.

    We all know all sides did things they shouldn’t have, get over it and move on to stop it happening again.

  • SeamusG

    “would not your average Englishman give tacit support for a resistance movement in this present day if Nazi Germany had succeeded in invading England and proceeded to plant millions of Germans in England as a means of control.”
    Yes of course they would – if it happened today – but you’re talking about things that happened centuries ago. Deal with the here and now. We cannot change the past but we can shape the future.
    I’d also add that the allusion is implicitly repugnant. Are the Protestants of Ireland Nazis? Is “England”, by which I presume you mean Britain, a Nazi country? Pretty insulting to both Northern Irish Protestants and the British who lost countless thousands fighting in Europe to free people from Nazi tyranny.
    I have to say that as an Irish Republican, it never amazes me how often I find myself so much more in line with Northern Unionists than I do with Irish Americans.

  • IJP

    SeamusG

    I have to say as an NI-resident British Protestant, it never ceases to amaze me how much more I agree with sensible Republicans like yourself than with Northern Unionists!

    There’s a lesson in there somewhere…

  • SeamusG

    IJP, the lesson is that it’s not impossible for Ireland to have a rosy future, north and south. We just need to forget the past or we become prisoners to it.

  • levitas

    Davros et al, Irish Republicanism is not going to go away you know… and the sooner that you realise that the better.This whole thorny problem will indeed be solved eventually , but if you think that Irish Republicanism is quaking at the knees over the recent debacles, then you could be making the fatal misatke of beginning to believe your own propoganda, my advice is cop yourself on a bit.

    As someone older and wiser than me and with over 30 years experience in political matters, (who is incidentally a current Labour TD not a million miles from the West) said to me (otr) yesterday….”yes the Shinners have taken a hit, but it may be the very thing that Adams needed to move things on a bit.Whats more despite all the political pressure, Sinn Fein know that they can afford to concede a couple of goals when they’re at least eight-nil up. At the end of the day, they know that after the May elections, they won’t be any weaker and everyone will still need to make a deal, which they also fully know that they will have to be central to.”

    This may not be what you wanted to hear but “real-politick” is not often a close relative to the political “purity” currently being publicly espoused by charlatans such as Mark Durcan and Pat Rabbitte.

  • Jimmy Sands

    What do you mean by the expression otr in relation to the remark you repeated?

  • Alan McDonald

    otr = Off The Record

  • IJP

    SeamusG

    Correct, although we mustn’t forget the lessons of it:
    – Terrorism doesn’t work and causes suffering;
    – Majority Rule doesn’t work and causes unnecessary inequality;
    – Sectarian policies doesn’t work and causes competition rather than cooperation.

    The Republic has moved on, time the North did too.