IRA must bring its historical role to an end

Danny Morrison has been pushing the line that the IRA has to fade away, whatever the risks, for some time. Again in Daily Ireland, he argues that even if people see it as a gamble it’s the only way forward.

  • pollster

    You can vote on where the best quality discussion occurs on NI, including Danny Morrison’s forum, at Whose forum has the best quality discussion of NI on the web?

  • Davros

    Pleasantly surprised by this article from Danny Morrison – OK, a fair bit of Spin and some misrepresentation for face-saving but a sensible piece.

    I’d have like him to have put more stress on the fact that the IRA should go because the Irish people have told them to go, although I think it’s hinted at in “The largest popular support for the IRA came in the 1970s and was directly fuelled by violent unionist opposition to the civil rights movement and its demand for equality.”

    It’s hardly fair to criticise Tony Blair for
    his ““my country, right or wrong”” considering that all the players here have that attitude and none more so than Sinn Féin and the IRA in respect of acknowledging and helping fully address events of the past – as seen for example at Saville – although the criticism of our government for it’s refusal to cooperate fully in respect of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings is, IMO, justified.

    7/10 Danny

  • michail Darley

    A good article and very hopeful. I agree with Davros to some extent that the Irish people are telling the IRA to go; it’s actually more important IMO that the core Republican community in the North is telling them to go. There probably has never been a time since 1920 when the ‘Irish people’ supported armed struggle.

    I think some of the comments from DUP supporters suggest that they will have difficulty sharing power with SF, even with a demobilised IRA. Some of the conditions they are talking about leave a lot of room for interpretation.

  • Jo

    RE:

    the header, the IRA has to fade away “for some time”, or Danny has been pushing his line “for some time”? 😉

  • Davros

    There probably has never been a time since 1920 when the ‘Irish people’ supported armed struggle.

    To some extent I’ll agree with that Michail. However for a lot of that time most people while not supportive were neutral, these days they are antagonistic.

  • JGK/blue-kite

    I am not always keen on Danny’s work but this is better and he hides the spin with greater skill than usual.

    Interestingly if you check out his board and the McCartney thread amongst others you’ll find a whole of reasons why the IRA is staying… whether you like the reasons or not is another thing. You’ll also see a lot of banned people for not toeing party line.

    Cheers
    Blue-Kite

  • heck

    Just a hypothetical scenario. Imagine that in 20 years time there is a 50%+1 majority in favor of a united Ireland. This is a very plausible scenario. Given the history of Northern Ireland does anyone doubt that there would be a violent loyalist reaction to this? In this scenario could the nationalist people depend on the RUC (PSNI) to defend them? Does anyone believe that the Irish government would do anything other that “stand idly by?” And if anybody believes anything the lying war criminal Blair says then I have some weapons of mass destruction to sell them.

    I have not lived in Northern Ireland for more than 25 years but I can remember loyalist attacks on Ardoyne. I can remember the UWC strike and witnessing the police standing at a barricade at the bottom of the Westland Road (across the Cavehill Road) chatting to hooded loyalist paramilitaries and I had a close friend murdered by the Shankill butchers. In all those cases people looked to the republican movement to defend them. If the IRA had not acted the RUC would have let Lenny Murphy continue for years.

    It’s OK for Danny Morrison in the heart of west Belfast or Chris Gaskin down in south Armagh to talk about the IRA “leaving the field” but what about nationalists in North Belfast or North Armagh. To paraphrase Richard Nixon when asked about South American dictators “ the IRA may be brutal SOBs but they are OUR brutal SOBs”

    If unionists really want the IRA to go away then they will have to do something to guarantee nationalist security-and the last election results did not suggest that is going to happen anytime soon.

    Perhaps joint authority with Irish troops permanently garrisoned in exposed nationalist areas is one solution. This would mean the Irish government could “not stand idly by” in my (plausible) scenario. I may be a minority of one but I believe the disbandment of the IRA should be at the end of the peace process not some interim step.

  • Mullaghbawn

    I agree with Heck – that the IRA should not be stood down now. It should only be disarmed and disbanded by the leadership upon the arrival of a 32-county Ireland. If the predictions are correct and this is 20 years off, that is a hell of a long time, and anything could happen in the interim. What then, the IRA reforms and starts all over again, or better still, another splinter group emerges who are ill equipped and lack experienced and strong leadership?

    I also strongly believe that even if the IRA was to disband tomorrow, Unionism, the British and Irish Governments would have realised their ultimate goal, and there would no longer be any incentive to implement the remainder of the GFA or make any progress to achieve a lasting peace.

    My long-term view has always been that nothing will be resolved unless both the British and Irish governments display strong leadership. By that I mean, the British government stand up to unionists once and for all, and that all the politicians in the Dáil take their snouts out of the trough and focus on reuniting their country.

    Finally, you cannot rely or even expect unionists to all of a sudden consider nationalist demands for equality, safety or anything else, so even though support for armed struggle supposedly isn’t there at this point in time, it is way too premature for the IRA to ‘leave the field’.

  • Liam

    michail: “…..the core Republican community in the North is telling them to go.

    The above displays a complete lack of any understanding of what the ‘core republican community’ is feeling.

    Mullaghbawn and Heck (above) are much closer to understanding that.

  • Henry94

    heck, liam, Mullaghbawn

    If there is a need for the IRA again then it will emerge. The current IRA is no longer viable because of its involvement with the political process. It needs to go so progress can be made through peaceful means.

    If that progress proves impossible anyway and nationalists are again attacked by the state and by loyalists then who would look to leadership to the people who led us down the primrose path in the first place.

    The provos must go but the IRA as a concept won’t just disappear. If we’re lucky and everybody is playing straight then it will fade away.

  • Davros

    question for those who don’t think the IRA should disband – are you happy with the notion that the UVF and UDA will also want to remain in existance ?

  • Paul

    There is a downside to having a bunch of unelected and unaccountable paramilitaries carrying on their business, on the offchance they may be needed as defenders in two or three decades, that goes far beyond the harm they do to building peace.

    Some of the day-to-day disadvantages are probably less evident if you live outside paramilitary-controlled areas – or if you left the province a quarter of a century ago.

  • Henry94

    Davros

    question for those who don’t think the IRA should disband – are you happy with the notion that the UVF and UDA will also want to remain in existance

    They will anyway. There is no real pressure on them.

  • Davros

    neat side-step Henry! You are good !

  • Henry94

    Davros

    It’s a fact. The UDA and UVF will remain. The question is will they force nationalists to turn to the dissidents.

  • groucho

    …Except that the IRA killed more Catholics than it protected.

  • Henry94

    groucho

    …Except that the IRA killed more Catholics than it protected.

    I think you need to look at that again,. In any case what is arguable is not the point here. The point is what will happen and the fact is that the loyalists are probably the only people who could win support for a new IRA if the old one shuts down.

    Who can claim to be optimistic that they won’t step up their ongoing attacks.

  • Liam

    Henry, you make some very valid points here.

    However you must consider that the IRA at present represents the intact and largest element of the insurrectionary republican community of the North. Now is it wise to fracture this structure for a promise of….well nothing really.

    Unionists and even the most ‘moderate’ unionists, if there really are such creatures, will demand that the IRA should go away. But have they really thought about the risks and possible consequnces of that? The communities from where the IRA is drawn are not going away, ever.

    That is what unionists need to gface up to. I have no confidence that at heart they will ever embrace power sharing and equality. Where is the evidence of that?

  • Davros

    Interesting post Liam. I have seen something similar, assuming I read you right, argued in respect of the Loyal orders – that they are both a safety valve and comfort blanket for community that feels under threat.

    Is there a niche waiting to be filled for a revived AOH ( or one of the other fraternal organisations) or a new nationalist fraternal body ?

  • mick hall

    The question that needs thinking about is if the PIRA stands down and SF enter government, will the three government South, North and UK allow the loyalist paramilitaries to go about their business as if nothing has changed. I find this doubtful, the British will no longer have any need of them as the Provos will have left the stage, the northern administration will certainly not want these paramilitataries morphing into crime families, or destabilizing the state-let whenever they wish; and the ROI government has never had any time for them.

    So it is possible the Brits would provoke internal feuds so the more violent elements end up killing each other, sweeteners will entice the more able elements into either business, politics, or straight society, whilst the neanderthal men who are left will eventually go to jail, the key of which will be thrown down a drain on the shankill road above which a blue plaque will be erected.

    happy days.

  • Henry94

    Liam

    However you must consider that the IRA at present represents the intact and largest element of the insurrectionary republican community of the North. Now is it wise to fracture this structure for a promise of….well nothing really.

    How insurrectionary can they be when everything they do is used to prevent the political progress we actually need to break out of the stalemate. Even an undefeated army has to go home when the war is over and this war is long over. The Agreement is not nothing. I would argue that from a republican point of view it is a pearl beyond price if we use it properly.

    “Neither peace nor war” was a disaster for Trotsky and it won’t work for us either.

  • Mullaghbawn

    Liam,

    The argument that no political progress is currently being made because of the continued existence of the IRA is a falsehood. There will always be some other obstacle put in place by either unionism, Blair or Ahern not to implement the GFA. At this point in time, direct rule benefits unionism, and Ahern doesn’t want an united Ireland even if it were handed to him on a plate by Blair tomorrow.

  • Betty Boo

    I don’t know if Ahern does or doesn’t want a united Ireland, but sure it will give him a hell of a headache how to pay for it, never mind policing.
    Greetings from Donegal.

  • heck

    Do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that the IRA should not go away eventually, I am just saying that this focus on them is putting the cart before the horse and smacks of the “it was a good wee Ulster until they came along” mentality.

    The IRA had two roles. One was to wage war against the British government to force them to leave Ireland and the second was to act as protector of the nationalist community. I believe that the GFA was to address these by 1: providing a method for republicans to work towards their goals in a non-violent manner and 2: through a TOTALLY reformed police force under community control which would provide an answer to the second.

    Up until this recent election I was a supporter of the GFA but along with a lot of posters on this site I recognize that it is dead. (“gone to meet its maker”) The election showed that the unionist community do not want to share power with nationalists and are not willing to embrace an equality agenda. The CFA is dead and nationalists, as well as unionists, should recognize that.

    I would suggest that an alternative proposal, which would address both issues and allow the IRA “to leave the field” would be a system of joint authority. Allowing northern representatives to sit in the Dail and to have an iris government actively pursue (in a non violent manner) Irish reunification. This would address the first issue. The garrisoning of Irish troops in nationalist areas in such a manner that they would be drawn into any conflict and could not “sit idly by” would address the second.

    No normal society needs and underground secret army. The problem is that unionists seem to argue that they would have a normal society if that underground secret army went away. Nationalist need to argue that the secret underground army will go away when there is a normal society.

  • Davros

    heck – the crunch question – my community thinks the only “normal” society that will be acceptable to the IRA and it’s supporters is a United Ireland – true or False that no matter what sort of society we have in the six counties they will always maintain that it’s “abnormal and unacceptable”, justifying their continued existance ?

  • Liam

    Davros

    ..”my community thinks the only “normal” society that will be acceptable to the IRA and it’s supporters is a United Ireland – true or False”

    Very true. And what on earth is wrong with that? Really surprised that you needed to ask Davros….lol

    …that no matter what sort of society we have in the six counties they will always maintain that it’s “abnormal and unacceptable”, justifying their continued existance?

    Well thats a very wide question? What does “no matter what sort of society we have in the six counties” mean? Would remind you that we’ve only tried one type of scoiety…..and it didn’t work!

    Davros a chara – the reality is that this country was partitioned against the democratically expressed wishes of the majority of the people. It was partitioned by threat of force and that partition was maintained by military force. The people were denied there rights, their culture, their identity and suffered very real and brutal oppression. Lets just be honest about this – the 6 county statelet was designed to exclude Catholics – and still today the political leaders of Unionism oppose power sharing.

    To perpetuate a wrong never makes it right. That is the bottom line.

    Republicans have a strategy to right that wrong, using purely political means, Meanwhile’your community’ has one strategy only – to try to defeat republicanism, to try deny the legitimate aspirations of republicans to unite this island in peace and to continue to cling to the old status quo and the old mindsets that have caused all of this conflict in the first place.

  • Davros

    Davros :that no matter what sort of society we have in the six counties they will always maintain that it’s “abnormal and unacceptable”, justifying their continued existance?

    Liam : Well thats a very wide question? What does “no matter what sort of society we have in the six counties” mean? Would remind you that we’ve only tried one type of scoiety…..and it didn’t work!

    can you answer the question Liam ? 😉

    The point was made that the IRA will go away when there is an acceptable society… the obvious question followed … will the IRA and their followers deem any society that isn’t a 32 county Ireland acceptable ? I doubt it and therefore they won’t go away until they get what they want.

    I could write an essay on this 🙂 But it’s hugely important.

  • Liam

    can you answer the question Liam ?

    I already did – you’re asking me to answer a rhetorical question and attempt to predict what the IRA might do in a different type of society, without even outlining the nature of that society. Why play silly games? I notice that you didn’t respond to the rest of my post!?

    …will the IRA and their followers deem any society that isn’t a 32 county Ireland acceptable ?

    Already answered that – of course not – they wouldn’t be republicans if they did!! But because its not ‘acceptable’ doesn’t mean that we cannot work politically to change it.

    “I doubt it and therefore they won’t go away until they get what they want.”

    The IRA ‘going away’ seems to be very important to you Davros?

    Well guess what – the UDA, UVF, LVF, RHD, etc etc going away is important to me, but I cannot wish them away or call for them to disband. For the people that comprise these groups won’t be going away – the reality is that we have to live with them somehow.

    And you know what? None of the men and women that make up the IRA are going away either. And you have to learn to live with all of us you know.

    We all have to learn to live together – and without throwing insults or seeking humniliation as the political leader of your community seeks to do.

    So forget about groups ‘disbanding’ or going into ‘new modes’ – thats all window dressing – and try addressing the problems at the core of all this. You know what they are!

  • heck

    Davros

    Under the GFA the issues I mentioned were being addressed (albeit not as quickly as they should have been) Arms were being destroyed, and if what I read is correct, two thirds of them already have been. Reform was slowly coming to the police—again not fast or far enough -but coming. And the IRA would have eventually “left the field”. The equality agenda was being addresses and some of the more offensive loyalist marches (such as at Drumcree) curtailed.

    Your community killed off the GFA by voting for the DUP and it is up to them to come up with an alternative. I have given mine for what it is worth.

    Until then arms and IRA disbandment should be off the table.

  • Davros

    Already answered that – of course not – they wouldn’t be republicans if they did!! But because its not ‘acceptable’ doesn’t mean that we cannot work politically to change it.

    Right – so the IRA will always be with us until there’s a United Ireland …

    I’ll explain myself here Liam – I’m addressing a point made by

    Heck“No normal society needs and underground secret army.”

    Now- according to you no matter what we do in NI it will be regarded as abnormal and therefore unacceptable. That knocks “stepping stones” and “stages theory” into touch. All the posturing about having a decent NI and leaving it upto the people to decide is a fraud – the IRA won’t be going away until there’s a 32 county Ireland.
    Nothing that the communities agree will be enough for the IRA and it’s supporters, it’s all or nothing. That’s fair enough, it’s honest and consistent. I wish republicans had the courage to be blunt about this.

    next question – will there be an IRA if the 32 county Ireland isn’t a socialist republic ? I uspect the answer is yes – and that violence post unification would be from your side of the fence – civil war II similar to the ’20’s.

  • Davros

    Sorry heck – you dodged my question which was very specific and aimed at a point you made.

  • mick hall

    Davros,

    As you say Republicans will always believe the north is an abnormal society, for the simple fact it was and to a degree still is, admittedly due to a host of reasons, not least the armed struggle of the IRA and the unionist communities steadfast response to it; and the war weariness of both communities, this has changed somewhat, hence the acceptance of the GFA by a majority of Republicans. Republicans are as you say always going to find NI unacceptable, why would they not? after all they believe in a democratic socialist Republic, which even you will agree NI is not. However this does not mean they will not, with the GFA accept NI as a political reality and work within it. Using democratic means to bring about both democratic change and more equality.

    You have a every right to be skeptical as the IRA has not yet been stood down, but you have to understand Republicans also feel skeptical, as amongst other things Patten has not yet been fully implemented; and it is simply no good unionists saying, “well x percent of it has already been implemented” , for I ask you, will unionists be satisfied if x per cent of the IRA is stood down, of course not, so you should at least begin to understand how republicans feel on policing.

    heck is mistaken in his understanding that the IRA has two roles, one of them being to protect the nationalist community in the north. It had one role which was to drive the British state from Ireland by armed struggle. Protecting the more vulnerable sections of the nationalist community was a side effect of the war. In truth whilst the IRA did its best, loyalist para militaries took their toll of victims within these vulnerable nationalist communities; and at times the IRA was unable to stop them. So even with a fully active Ra it was not always possible to defend certain nationalist areas, something those who wish to return to war should remember when they take out their rose covered glasses.

    Liberation movement go to war when their is no viable options left to achieve their aims by peaceful means. The leadership of the PRM now feel there is a window of opportunity to move their struggle forward by peaceful, democratic means. They may be right or wrong about this, only time will tell, what I do know is this situation cannot move forward without the PIRA standing down. Although I made a joke of it in an early post, it is simply unthinkable with the IRA stood down the loyalist paramilitaries will remain in place as if nothing has changed. What those who are against the IRA standing down, especially from a distance, should consider is there is no example of a standing army being kept on permanent ceasefire successfully. Those who have tried it have almost all morphed into a criminal gang who pray on their own communities. If this were to happen, would this not be to spit on the graves of all those who gave their lives for this struggle. In any case, whether they support the GFA or not, does anyone really think going back to war is such an attractive option?

  • barnshee

    “Lets just be honest about this – the 6 county statelet was designed to exclude Catholics – and still today the political leaders of Unionism oppose power sharing”

    The “6 counties” were set up to protect the protestant from catholic republican I reland and her murder gangs. The need for such protection has been confirmed in every decade since its inception. The last 30+ years are just the latest component in the long war aginst the protestant. (There were 317,000 Church of Ireland parishoners in in the south in 1922 and now there are just 60,000.)

  • Davros

    Mick Hall- I’m not being critical when pursuing this, I’m seeking clarity. I won’t have a problem if the IRA was to announce that it is to disarm , the war is over and that it stays in existance.

    As you say, republicans feel NI is abnormal. That’s fine by me , I recognise their right to think differently from me.

    I was pursing a point made in the discussion as to whether or not the IRA will or CAN go away.
    Using Heck’s criteria, I don’t think they can.
    That doesn’t mean I’m saying we cannot have a peace progress or move forward. It’s purely and simply looking at a specific – as to whether we will have an IRA in some shape or form for the foreseeable future.

    I’d just like it all to be straight.

    Cheers mates, interesting discussion.

  • heck

    Davros

    Your specific question was about whether I could see a situation, sort of a united Ireland, were the IRA would be gone. The answer is yes –of course- and I though the GFA was leading to that eventuality. There would be a situation were republicans could work toward a united Ireland in a non violent manner, that the security and equality of nationalists would be guaranteed as long as NI was part of the UK, and the Irish identity of 45% of the population would be respected and appreciated. That ideal was being (imperfectly) worked toward under the GFA. The recent election ended that.

    Now what is your alternative to achieve these goals? Mine is joint authority.

    Mick Hall may be correct that the official role of the IRA was to achieve a 32 county republic and this is probably true in places like west Belfast and south Armagh but I would bet that the reason they are tolerated in places like Ardoyne and Short Strand (in spite of their recent—and past-criminality) is that they are seen as “our brutal SOB’s”. In spite of what they do people still believe that they well defend these communities when the chips are down. Early in this thread I proposed a hypothetical scenario and asked what would happen and who would defend exposed nationalist communities. Would it be “our SOB’s” or the brutal SOBs in the British army and RUC ( PSNI)? I know what I believe.

    I am old enough to remember the graffiti in west Belfast “IRA –I Ran Away”.

  • Liam

    Davros

    I did not say that: “the IRA will always be with us until there’s a United Ireland…”

    Truth is, I don’t know that and neither does anybody else. But what we all do know is that Republicans will always be with us until there’s a United Ireland. You’ve really just got to face that fact.

    Neither do I accept at all: “that violence post unification would be from your side of the fence – civil war II similar to the ’20’s.” This in my view is highly unlikely and improbable and is very wild speculation on your behalf.

    I would remind you of what the ’20s were like for Nationalists in the 6 counties – or perhaps you would like to completely airbrush those wholescale vicious pogroms against unprotected Nationalist communities from history?

    This quote from you is interesting: “republicans feel NI is abnormal. That’s fine by me , I recognise their right to think differently from me.”

    You think differently? You really think that the North of Ireland is or has been “normal”?? Face it, it just hasn’t worked!

    I really think you need to do stand back and ask yourself why you are so fixated on the existence of the IRA? Do you really believe that the IRA is the problem? Can you honestly say that you believe that the IRA is the only problem or even the biggest problem?

    I think anybody who thinks that is really only kidding themselves.

  • Davros

    Heck : “Your specific question was about whether I could see a situation, sort of a united Ireland, were the IRA would be gone.”

    My question was very different heck – it is about whether the IRA can ever “go away”, i.e. disband, BEFORE there is a United Ireland. I’m not seeking to score points or make trouble – I’m seeking clarification.

    For me , personally, the words “the war is over” would be enough without decommissioning. For others decommissioning . I think those are both possible. I don’t think it’s possible and probably not desirable that they disband.

  • Davros

    Liam – you guys don’t like polite questions, do you ? Don’t seem to be able to handle any discussion unless your opponent fits within your neat little framework of Orange bad, Green Good.

    So I’ll try again – will the IRA be around if a 32 County Ireland isn’t socialist ? How important is the Socialism in the equation – fighting for a 32 county socialist republic ? I’m old enough to remember the slaughter when the Provos abandoned socialism – are you going to deny that happened when the stickies and the provos were killing each other ? OK the wheel has turned full circle, SF supports socialism and Stages Theory has been changed to stepping stones ….

    You really think that the North of Ireland is or has been “normal”

    If you want to play games, find someone else 🙂
    I suspect you are out of your depth once I ask you to think outside of the rut you are in. But without realising it you are answering my questions with the bluster – you don’t want the IRA to go away until there’s a 32 county Ireland.
    Why not be honest and say so straight out ?

  • Davros

    I really think you need to do stand back and ask yourself why you are so fixated on the existence of the IRA?

    I really think you should check out the blog Liam – what else should we be discussing on this thread but the IRA and it’s existance considering the article blogged asks
    Is it safe for the IRA to completely go away?

    DOH! 🙂

  • Liam

    Davros

    You do really need to stop losing the run of yourself. Does this always happen when you can’t handle the debate?

    “So I’ll try again – will the IRA be around if a 32 County Ireland isn’t socialist ?

    Well if you keep asking the same question, you’ll keep getting the same answer….

    Truth is, I don’t know that and neither does anybody else. But what we all do know is that Republicans will always be with us until there’s a United Ireland.

    You’ve really just got to face that fact.

    “If you want to play games, find someone else”

    Now thats just a silly comment.

    “I suspect you are out of your depth once I ask you to think outside of the rut you are in.”

    Oh I disagree. Am not out of my depth at all would point out (for the second time)that you failed to respond to the points made in my 6.34 post, when you were asked to think outside of your own wee rut!

    “But without realising it you are answering my questions with the bluster – you don’t want the IRA to go away until there’s a 32 county Ireland.
    Why not be honest and say so straight out ?”

    Oh believe me, I realised quite well that I was answering your questions!

    And I have been more than honest so maybe you’d read this s-l-o-w-l-y and you might understand:

    NO – I do not particularly wish for the IRA to go away!

    The IRA are not the problem – but then you’re not very good at recognising what the real problem is, are you?

  • Davros

    Glad to see you have realised it’s proper to discuss
    the existence of the IRA on this thread 🙂

    part II – will the 32 county Ireland have to be a socialist republic for the IRA to go away ?

  • Davros

    my 6.34 post

    You didn’t make a 6.34 post Liam 😉

  • heck

    Davros

    Sorry if I have not answered the question you posed. I though I had. I also hope I do not seem intolerant of your opinions. While I lived there I never had a discussion with a northern Ireland unionist on the political situation in Northern Ireland. –It was kinda like race in the US. It is a major political issue but few people talk about it across the racial divide and it does not make for polite conversation.

    I hope this answers your question.

    Could the IRA disband before a united Ireland occurs? Yes—or at least fade away,

    Should they say the war is over? Yes-infact they should have said it years ago.

    Is the war over? Yes it was 11 years ago.

    Should they disband now or have further decommissioning under the current political situation? In my opinion no they should not—not that I have any influence anyway.

    Now a question for you. If you believe the scenario I outlined is plausible imagine yourself as an apolitical person living in the Short Strand. Under that scenario, and given the history of Belfast, who would you look to defend you?

    I do not think that there has been sufficient reform of the PSNI (to use an Americanism -the RUC-lite) to depend on them; the Irish government would say they “will not stand idly by” and stand idly by; and there is absolutely nothing the Downing Street liar could say to convince me I could depend on him or his successors.

  • Davros

    heck – If I was a Roman Catholic I could never look to the IRA as defenders in any way – history shows they killed more RCs directly during the troubles than the Loyalists from whom they were supposed to be protecting their communities. Indirect ? Tit for Tat activities. Shankill bombing didn’t protect RCs, it led to Greysteel.

    Any more than as a protestant I felt that somehow the UVF or UDA were in some way protecting me when I lived in Tate’s Avenue off the Lisburn road.

    Thanks for an interesting discussion.

  • heck

    davros

    I can’t argue with your statistics as I don’t have the information, but from my experience I the only person I knew killed by the IRA was at the Oxford Street bus station. I knew at least 7 people killed by loyalists.

    For myself the closest I came to any danger was being with a friend the night he was killed by the shankill butchers. And it was the IRA who eventually stopped them. If i knew who the active service unit that killed lenny murphy were I would buy them a beer and shake their hands.

    I agree that the IRA have been brutal, negligent and bloody but try and answer my question honestly. Who else is there?

  • Davros

    heck – there’s the police and army and the man above.You say you don’t have confidence in the first two, fair enough. Recent events show that you should have even less confidence in the IRA.

  • heck

    Davros

    you accused me of not answering your specific question. For the (very plausable) scenario I described, and accepting that the IRA are (very) far from ideal who would you look to for protection? Come on– think about the scenario-put you hand on your heart-consider the history of Belfast- and pick one.

    The two ways out of this hobsons choice that I can think of are

    1: the full implementation of the GFA and a complete reform of the RUC along with exposure of those elements in the british political and security apparatus who colluded with torture and murder (not to put them in jail but just to name and shame and make sure it does’nt happen again) or

    2: a system of joint authority where the irish government has 45% of the responsibility for running the six counties. This would include stationing irish troops and police in a “trip wire” arrangement so that if there were pogroms similar to 1969 they would have to become involved.

    of these two your community has made the pick for the nationalists.

  • Henry94

    Davros

    If I was a Roman Catholic I could never look to the IRA as defenders in any way – history shows they killed more RCs directly during the troubles than the Loyalists from whom they were supposed to be protecting their communities.

    That is not correct.

    According to the Sutton Index Loyalists killed 730 Catholics and the IRA killed 340.

  • JGK/blue-kite

    Heck

    Yes Lennie was taken care of by the provos and thank god someone took care of him… but wasn’t it through information supplied to them by the UVF.

    BK

  • filledwithdread

    I have heard a very strong rumour this week that there is a new group active out there called something like saoirse na eireann, I heard they are a republican setup who apparently claimed responsibility for the recent marathon bomb attack on the chief constable. They also have claimed responsibility at the start of May for the Lisburn Civic Center building bomb in April and and numerous hoaxes and firebombs before xmas at B&Q for example. The version I heard came from someone working at the irish news and a friend heard something similar at cool fm. Yet its not been mentioned publically anywhere else. Any journos on here shed any light? Bearing in mind the Marathon bomb was a viable remote control device isnt it in our interest as members of the public to know if there is an emerging new threat from a republican terror group capable of targeting the chief constable with a remote control bomb capacity? What does this say for the present political situation? I dread to think !!!