End of war, but no repentance…

Kevin Toolis’s piece in January arguably kicked off an avalanche of criticism that set Sinn Fein on course to a nightmare PR period in the immediate aftermath of the Northern Bank robbery. Today he remembers the murder of Judge William Doyle after Mass at St. Brigid’s in Derryvolgie Avenue: ironically, the chosen time and place for several murders by both the IRA and Loyalist paramilitaries down through the years. Toolis notes a lack of remorse in the IRA closing of campaign statement yesterday.

22 thoughts on “End of war, but no repentance…”

  1. Toolis is looking for a surrender. They have apologised to innocent victims in the past, and their statements over the past two/three years have been more and more concilliary. If yesterday was to be their final statement, you can’t expect it to be made in ‘sackcloth and ashes’. It said what needed to be said, lets live in the real world and be grateful its over.

  2. If he’s that familiar with the ‘mythology’, Toolis will recognize the significance of yesterday. By saying what they did – its game over. For good. The line to Pearse has been broken etc etc

  3. I dont know about being grateful its over, as its something that shouldnt have been started to be over, but I think what we should hope for is that people believe that its over, and make their political and life decisions accordingly for the future.

  4. TCM Breaking news

    Adams expresses regret for grief caused during Troubles

    29/07/2005 – 13:49:21

    Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has expressed regret for the grief caused to the families of all those who died during the Troubles in the North.

    Speaking at a press conference in Belfast today, Mr Adams also said brave people, including soldiers and police, had fought on both sides of the conflict.

    He made the comments in response to questions about why the IRA’s statement declaring an end to its armed struggle did not include an apology.

    Meanwhile, Mr Adams also seemed to rule the possibility of the IRA men convicted of killing garda Jerry McCabe being released in return for the war-is-over declaration.

    Asked about the matter, he said the men had already “courageously” removed themselves from the equation, but they clearly qualified for early release under the Good Friday Agreement.

    The Sinn Féin president also said he believed it was only a matter of time before the DUP agreed to share power with his party as they had already conceded the principle during talks leading to last December’s aborted deal.

  5. I belive the IRA issued a statement dealing with some of this on July 16th 2002, although the Adams statement goes much further.

    It is interesting that there is nothing remotely approaching this from the British government – for example over Bloody Sunday – or for that matter the British paras or the British Army.

    No such appology over the policy of shoot to kill here – in comparison with the muder of a brazillian in LOndon recently.

    The general paradigm of issues about dealing with the past – such as recognised by the Healing through Rememberance group are the acknowldegment by the State participants to a conflict.

    This would lead to a broader more meaningful project dealing with the death and destruction of the last 30 odd years.

  6. Toolis Writes:

    “The IRA’s army may retreat more deeply into the shadows, but it will still be there waiting for the Planters of the Crown finally to admit defeat and sail home to England”

    I hope he is not effectively calling the IRA for ethnic cleansers. It took American bombing to stop the last lot in the Balkans.

  7. It’s a non-issue. I assume they’re not sorry so I see little point in trying to force them to pretend that they are.

  8. exactly

    Public apologies emitted by individuals who weren’t personally responsible for particular actions but are uttered for political expediency are completely vacuous and meaningless.

    No-one can change the past, and apologies ( genuinely felt private and personal ones excepted) can neither bring back the dead or lessen the suffering.

    The statement has been made and, like any other fancy well worded speech it merits no praise, it’s the actions of the future that count and let’s hope every community can do their best to make that future a happier one not just for their own community but all.

  9. A public declaration by the IRA, which is responsbile for its actions, that what it had done was morally wrong would lessen suffering. Yes, the IRA has told lies but because of the significance of them uttering these words would actually be credible, because it would be hard to see what the motive would be for saying it, if not meant. (but of course that would be possible and sceptisism would still be the most appropriate response).

    So although such a statement may not be proof positive that the IRA poses no threat, the absence of this is the proof that they have not materially changed, and so pose a real threat.

  10. But the provisional movement does not believe terrorism is morally worng, merely presently inexpedient. Would you believe them if they said otherwise?

  11. But regardless of what words are uttered now, there is nothing to stop the IRA in a year or two’s time if political developments sufficiently satisfactory to them haven’t materialised releasing a statement saying

    “conditions in the six counties have deteriorated to such an extent that we believe it is imperative that we resume the armed struggle as the British government have failed to respons appropriately to our purely peacefull and democratic overtures…. blah blah blah.

    Apologies uttered in 2005 wouldn’t mean much then would they?

    Words are always cheap , actions cost more.

  12. Look give over, even if they had said ‘sorry’ people wouldn’t believe them, their own sense of the world is defined by their adherence to the belief, so don’t agree with them or accept them or like them or whatever but don’t gurn about their lack of apology, after all a lot of the criticism about their apparent lack of remorse emanates from those with brass necks engaging in silly opportunistic moralising. Not all of it, but some of it. And no, that isn’t either to suggest that there isn’t genuine regret about non-combatants who got killed or that individual volunteers are not bothered by the killing of, say, British soliders. Some of them might be. In the overall scheme of things though they aren’t sorry for combatant deaths, to do so would admit that their entire analysis of the world was wrong and that they’re wrong still (which, for what it’s worth, they may well be, more now than then for that matter). They might be sorry that they lost the war but they ain’t sorry they had a crack at it. Why do people expect them to simply because they lost ?

  13. Sounds to me like an awful lot of thinking will have to be done by the unionists now, you see the IRA move has played so well with the worlds media, do any of the unionists actually ever listen to the BBC world service and its round up of international coverage especially in the all important USA? Its doubles and back slaps all round for Gerry and Martin, and theres even a little gleam of post-IRA nostalgia growing in the US media “rebels who fought the one of the most formidable armies in the world ” was a quote on a world service vox-pop from LA. If the unionists continue to throw their rattles from the pram they are shown up, or if they enter negotiations then its seen to be a loss of face from they’re “NEVER NEVER” stance..Either way mark my words I have it on good authority,that theres now going to be a LOT of pressure applied to the DUP by the Brits and the Yanks…many of the senior civil servants are quite relishing putting the thumbscrews on them politically (since they are so personally obnoxious,one thing the provo’s never lacked was a serious and consistent effort to be pally with the Brit civil servants, whereas the DUP were almost always noticeably rude-ask any of the Brit support team at Leeds Castle )…You see the USA and Britain WANT this sorted BIG TIME, and the egotists and bombasts of the DUP will soon melt when confronted by the sheer heat of the power of US/Brit “gloves off” tactics which will now ensue.
    Now, the provies are the good boys in the class, and according to my sources theres the little matter of some quite smelly canards concerning leading DUP’ers and other Unionist obstructionists which may well be used to apply pressure….the Brits and most importantly the USA have all the cards. and a very full file on Paisley’s confederates,at least two minor functionaries of the aforesaid are said to be in the pay of the Brits anyway.This dynamite, it is confidently expected is sufficient powerful to blow a whole in this apparent wall of resolute obduracy, it should take about 6 months for face saving purposes.

  14. I bloody well won’t “give over”.

    The fact that they are glad to have had a crack at it is the very reason that they pose a danger in the future.

    It’s a sorry state where we are in that “gurning” about murderers and “silly opportunistic moralising” would seem to be a greater vice than being unrepentant about murders.

    Another victory for the terrorists

  15. bertie

    A bit of manners if you would please. Look, they lost, plain and simple. That’s why the war is over and it’s over on the basis of republican defeat – the union is intact, SF will administer British rule and unity will only come about by consent which is impossible to see within the next 100 years. If that is a terrorist victory then it is one for the loyalists paramilitaries, not the repubican ones.

  16. Veritas, IRA move has played so well with the worlds media

    Obviously you haven’t seen this morning’s New York Times?
    They are not very impressed with the words of the IRA.

    The Daily Telegraph
    also has an illuminating piece on the semantics of the statement.

    Sometimes journalists are not quite as gullible as you might think.

  17. “IRA move has played so well with the worlds media”

    The Economist didn’t even have it on the front page, even though it was perfectly timed for them. Does that tell you that the statement, while important, is not grabbing people, either in NI or in the wider world, in the same way as the previous cesaefires. Perhaps the reason is that the conflict finished some time ago, as did the decommissioning argument.

  18. bertie

    A bit of manners if you would please. Look, they lost, plain and simple. That’s why the war is over and it’s over on the basis of republican defeat – the union is intact, SF will administer British rule and unity will only come about by consent which is impossible to see within the next 100 years. If that is a terrorist victory then it is one for the loyalists paramilitaries, not the repubican ones.

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