Trawling the past for future clues…

Marie Ervine trawls the past for clues as to what the IRA’s statement might contain. The natural template is the one issued 26th February, in 1962 that ended the Border Campaign, and which declared “that the situation obtaining in the earlier stages of the Campaign has altered radically”. However, within eight years the situation had changed again and the IRA was back at war. One reason why Unionists are not prepared to count any chickens just yet.

  • middle-class taig

    Michael

    “However, within eight years the situation had changed again and the IRA was back at war. One reason why Unionists are not prepared to count any chickens just yet.”

    I think there’s an extent to which we (in the broadest possible sense) shouldn’t indulge unionists in their recalcitrance, their opposition to compromise and their extreme curmudgeonliness. The IRA were back at war within eight years because there had been no change in the life led by ordinary catholics/nationalists. Unionism and Britain did nothing to learn the lessons of the past. This time at least the British have done much to eradicate the reasons for war. There’ll be no going back.

    Unionists aren’t counting chickens precisely because they don’t want the eggs to hatch. Indeed, they’ve done everything they can to smash the eggs to bits. They don’t want the IRA to go away. They want to retain direct rule beacuse they’d rather serve in hell if reigning in heaven (and yes, I know that’s backwards) involves having to live on equal terms with their neighbours.

    The only people who will enjoy the succulent chicken supreme of the IRA’s departure will be the nationalist community and republicans themselves.

    I think it’s dangerous to allow unionists (as you seem to be doing) to spend the next eight years telling us that they are in fact, after all, allergic to chicken, therefore none of us can have wings.

    That’s that analogy well and truly stuffed. I’ve my coat already on me.

  • slug

    It is a fairly slow process. You can see in the people who post here, at Slugger O’Toole, a desire to emphasise their own side’s point of view. And, often, the righteousness of their own side.

    But in the future, with violence gone and its threat gone, there will be an opportunity for the better aspects of each tradition to be placed on view, and, it is to be hoped, people will come to respect the internal coherence and set of values, that are embodied in the alternative traditions.

    Alongside that must come an emphasis on the kind of ideas contained in the governments “A Shared Future”. The future will be more relaxed, and happier, if we learn respect.

  • Darrell Monteith

    “Unionists aren’t counting chickens”

    Years of hard experience has taught the wise in the unionist community that the pan – nationalist front is really driven by a desire to drive Protestants out of Northern Ireland as they done in the South and that any re-hashed bundle of lies from the Sinn Fein / IRA will be nothing more than an attempt to distance the two organisations in some way and therefore allow SF to claim at some point in the future that they are not associated with their IRA when they decide in whatever format to re-commence their sectarian murder campaign against Protestants

  • spirit-level

    Darrell nobody wants “to drive Protestants out of Northern Ireland” we want to live with you peacefully in a united ireland. MCT is bang on the money when he says : “They want to retain direct rule beacuse they’d rather serve in hell if reigning in heaven (and yes, I know that’s backwards) involves having to live on equal terms with their neighbours.”
    Sorry if that bone sticks in your throat 😉

  • Darrell Monteith

    “live with you peacefully in a united ireland” The nationalist idea of living peacefully with Protestants has been demonstrated very clearly in the South of Ireland over the last century and I do not need any lectures on that the figures speak clearly for themselves.

    Look at how Protestants are tolerated in that “shining example of tolerance” they forced to either get our or shut up and say nothing.

    When some people in the south try to allow Orangemen to take part in a festival in Cork they are bullied into withdrawing the invitation. No Orange institution parade is allowed anywhere in the South except for Rosnowlagh which is about as close to being pushed into the Atlantic as possible. That is a very clear indication how Protestants are viewed in the South and any Protestant who fails to recognise that needs a very serious history lesson.

    I remember very well the re-assurances that white farmers were given when the blacks took over the running of Rhodesia, and where are those assurances today.

    We have seen the colour of nationalist money for too long to be taken in by smooth words from habitual liars like Adams & Co

  • middle-class taig

    Mick

    I think Darrell rather proves my point for me.

  • Mick

    MCT,

    I try to listen and report what people tell me. It’s not a case of being indulgent of Unionists or Republicans (I’ve been vehemently accused of both). Fact is there are people of good faith on all sides. That’s one thing I think Slugger has demonstrated, if nothing else.

  • middle-class taig

    Mick

    woooahhh!

    I think youve gotten oversensitive here. My post was not a “mick is a unionist underneath it all comment”. I’m sorry you took it that way. It was meant to be a reply in what I hoped would be a conversation about why peace seems only to reqwuire challenges for nationalists, and to indulge unionists in their opposition to moving on; a conversation I assumed you invited by posting.

    My use of “we” was meant to include you and me in a broader non-Unionist family, just as, for example, Madradin Ruad (or whoever he is her, I lose track) might include you as part of “we” in a broad non-Republican family.

    I think that there’s been too much preparing of the ground for unionists to dash away this olive branch, and I thought your post added to that, so I took issue with it. I thought that’s what Slugger was meant to be about. But then, who the hell am I to tell you what Slugger is meant to be about.

    I’m rather gutted you feel you have to remind me of the absurdly twee political bonbon that “there are people of good faith on all sides”.

    If you see your role as reporting, good for you. Just because you’re the compere, host and increasingly-public svengali of the expanding network of sluggerettes shouldn’t mean you can’t voice the occasional uncomfortable opinion. But then, that’s up to you.

  • Denny Boy

    “The nationalist idea of living peacefully with Protestants has been demonstrated very clearly in the South of Ireland over the last century…”

    Darrell Monteith, you can’t be altogether blind to the fact that, for something like 800 years, Protestants to the “native” Irish represented oppression. (Penal Laws anyone?) This was a difficult generalisation to shake off.

    When the country was heading towards independence there was indeed a regrettable orgy of house-burning, eviction and murder, the “native” Irish taking revenge.

    But this antagonism died out in the course of the century you allude to, giving way to a state that not only tolerates Protestants but couldn’t much give a rat’s arse about a chap’s religion, mammon being the new, all-embracing faith.

    When Orangemen attempt to pollute this cosy secularism with their sectarian nonsense, then of course the Irish frown on this, as would any sensible person.

  • George

    Darrell Monteith,
    southern Irish Protestants don’t need your feigned concern thank you very much.

    Why don’t you ask yourself why the Irish Republic is the only part of this island where the % Protestant population is growing.

    And as for Cork, it was a member of the Presbyterian Church who pulled the rug under that event because he thought outrageous such a sectarian organisation would be allowed to march on Patrick Street.

    Just as it was the Church of Ireland who pulled the rug under the planned Dublin march a few years ago when they refused the use of St. Anne’s because of the thuggery of Drumcree.

    Old Irish saying:
    Aithníonn ciaróg ciaróg eile

    A beetle knows another beetle

  • Polo

    “The nationalist idea of living peacefully with Protestants has been demonstrated very clearly in the South of Ireland over the last century”

    As someone who went to a mixed religion school in dublin. And there was never problem. A us and them attitude never existed. It might suprise you Protestants can be nationlist or even Republican themselves.

  • Mick

    MCT, I wasn’t being defensive. I couldn’t be happier to hear your spake. You are one of the more entertaining and erudite of our commenters.