Victim's View

Aileen Quinton, whose mother was killed in the 1987 Remembrance Sunday bombing in Enniskillen has decribed her difficulties with recent Government actions in the Belfast News Letter

By Aileen Quinton

Forgive me if I don’t set off poppers in an unrestrained celebration but I do not believe that the IRA is committed to peace. Of course I will be accused of jeopardising the chances of peace. As in Peter Pan if you say that you do not believe in fairies one of them dies. So any return to terrorism will be my fault not the IRA’s.

At the time of the Poppy Day Massacre, all the old clichés were trotted out about how “no stone would be left unturned to bring those responsible to justice” and of course “terrorism does not pay”. If only!.
Despite the hype of the Belfast Agreement in1998, the pronouncements that IRA/Sinn Fein were committed to peace, and the proclaimed “seismic shifts ” that they apparently keep having, we are still applauding them for words about not murdering.

This is Groundhog day.

Am I meant to be grateful because the IRA says that it is going to stop doing something that it had no right starting? In its statement it justifies its actions. So it will have no compunction in starting up again, when the concessions dry up. Our government shows no sign of stopping this flow at the moment, with moves like watchtowers in border areas being dismantled, the RIR etc. This is not based on an assessment of security requirements but merely because the IRA want it. We also face the prospect of an amnesty for the on-the runs. Even the Belfast Agreement did not include this abomination. Why should my mother’s murder be anyone’s ‘free go’? There have of course been lots of other atrocities as well and not only the IRA will benefit. I draw no comfort from the thought that so called “loyalist” terrorists will have their evil written off too. This does not make the score one all. It makes it two nil to terrorism.

So the IRA are talking about stopping something that was wrong, maintaining it was right and which is entirely reversible. Our Government is intent on doing something wrong and irreversible.

If the IRA are not a threat anymore, why are we having an amnesty anyway. It can only be because of the fear that without it the IRA will continue to murder, so our government is going to pardon people that even it considers a terrorist threat.

Her Majesty’s Government should be in the business of safeguarding victims’ rights to justice, not making a present of it to the murderers.

I expect a lot more platitudes about the ‘bigger picture’, ‘the common good’ and “yes, this is difficult for the victims”. But it is for the ‘common good’ that we should not allow the Criminal Justice System to be politicised, especially not at the behest of the criminals. Justice is one of the fundamental building blocks of a peaceful and decent society and the latter cannot be bought by giving away the former. That is like selling the television to pay for the licence. As for it being “difficult”, “difficult” does not matter, We have been doing “difficult” for over 30 years, We can handle “difficult” and would be prepared to do “difficult” for real peace, glad to in fact . This is wrong and it should be impossible.

Some will dismiss my opinions as “coloured by her grief”. Well the IRA broke my heart but my intellect and my values are intact. The ultimate victory for terrorism is when we give up on our values. Blair and Hain may have handed theirs over but I’ll be damned if I will.

First published in News Letter on 5th August 2005

  • The Watchman

    Good for Aileen. More truth in one article than in the rest of the pap that passes for analysis in the local media.

  • Ginfizz

    Tremendous article. Perhaps all those Provo-sympathisers on here who have been salivating over the concessions handed over to their comrades-in-arms would now care to curtail their gloating out of respect for brave souls like Aileen Quinton.

  • circles

    Aileen has of course sufferred as part of the troubles – like God only knows how many thousands of others.
    However that does not make her opinion particularly more insightful – or indeed in anyway constructive. In fact the article itself is even bereft of any vision as to what should have happened instead, and is built on the language of intransigence, with a move towards a normal society being seen as concessions to republicans.
    But what else should have happened then? Should they IRA statement have been completely ignored? Should the security forces have continued to hunt down republicans, using loyalist paramilitaries to do so if it threatened to get too dirty? Should more towers be put up to watch over republican areas becaude in some mindsets “they can’t be trusted”?

    I’m sorry that Aileen and her family have sufferred, that any family has suffered. I’m also sorry that the sacrifices that a settlement will require are seen by her as platitudes. But in my opinion these sacrifices won’t be as hard as the ones most of us had to make throughout the troubles.

  • levee

    Circles

    You have to admit, the Unionist community don’t have much to be optimistic about right now, given the news about the Bogota Three.

    I agree that she is not alone in her suffering, but surely you can see that the sequence of events starting with the release of Sean Kelly looks dodgy outside of republican circles (pardon the pun).

  • circles

    I agree with you levee that it may be hadr for some people to accept some of the things that are happening – but I still don’t see what the choice is.
    I don’t think for example that Sean Kelly is a menace to society, and his rearrest was controversial enough (a lot of people outside of unionist circles weren’t too happy about that).
    But the Unionist community surely have no worries – their rights are basically set in stone.

    But what is the choice that we have? We have all seen (and will continue to see) things happen that we find hard to deal with but after all deaths, peace was never going to be easy (as the last 12 years have shown us)

  • Levitas

    The majority of the entire island voted for the Good Friday Agreement, it and other initiatives have got us away from the situation which created tragedies such as Eniskillen and others. The latest initiative by the IRA is a bold step, which will further strengthen peaceful and democratic progress in the 6 counties. There have been stated and reiterated expressions of regret for the victims and their families….With the greatest of sympathy to Aileen, no community has a monopoly on grief, perhaps its time to move on.

  • Dessertspoon

    It’s hard not to feel sympathy and sadness for those who have suffered so much but we can’t allow it to hold us back. There comes a point in all grieving where you have to let it go and move on. I think we (everyone in NI) are at the point and I know that must be hard for people like Aileen to take. WHat is happening now is not a personal attack or insult it’s just what has to be done.

  • slug

    A good well-written letter.

  • Ginfizz

    Dessertspoon

    Presumably you adopt a similar attitude with the Bloody Sunday relaives or Geraldine Finucane?

  • circles

    I think thats the actual point Ginfizz – that no matter how distasteful you may personally find it, certain things will have to be swallowed.
    I don’t think the Bloody Sunday relatives actually expect anybody to be jailed.
    Its not about one side getting one up on the other – we’re not kids in a classroom vying for the teachers attention – its about sorting out our past and learning to live with it.

  • Ginfizz

    Oh right. Lets set up a Truth and Reconcilliation Commission whereby innocent people like Aileen Quinton will be lumped into the same category of “victim” as those who killed her mother.

    I’m sorry but you ask far too much. There are victims and there are terrorists. Terrorists are criminals and murderers. Victims are victims and innocent.

  • George

    Ginfizz,
    I suppose the difference between where we are with the Bloody Sunday massacre and with the Enniskillen massacre is that the former isn’t yet “formally” accepted as a massacre while the latter is.

    When that point is reached and both sets of relatives at least have the small solace of knowing that everyone accepts their loved ones were innocents who were senslessly butchered, then I suppose we can move on together.

  • Dessertspoon

    Yes GinnFizz I do but I know there are others that don’t agree just as Aileen doesn’t agree with what is happening right now.

  • Ginfizz

    George

    You are splitting hairs. The aim of republicans who argue “we are all victims” is simply to debase and minimise the suffering of the innocent people who suffered at their hands and reduce them to the level of the murderers themselves. There is a heirarchy of victimhood – Marie Wilson was a victim, Thomas Begley was not.

  • chris

    I’m trying to get my head round something that appeared in last Sunday’s Observer. Apparently the latest deal includes a Victim’s Commissioner who will;

    “Help heal the wounds of three decades of bloodshed” (brave soul)….”Sinn Fein is understood to have given assurances of fresh co-operation to identify…unmarked graves, allowing…families to lay (their missing loved ones) to rest….Hain said this plan would draw on experience in South Africa, where a Truth and Reconciliation Commission collected testimony from victims and confessions from perpetrators, who were granted amnesty from prosecution….However, it would be impossible to copy the South African idea exactly because the Northern Irish community was divided in a totally different way, he added…Nevertheless, the plans would involve directly confronting a painful past: ‘We will be looking at processes by which people can get at the truth and have some acknowledgement for their pain and suffering.'”

    Has anyone any more details and does anyone know what aspect of the SA process is not possible in NI?

  • Ginnfizz

    Quite frankly the guilty Boer can bugger off back to South Africa. The Unionist community will not be lectured by an ANC supporting Troops Out Movement degenerate on how to conduct itself.

  • chris

    ok then. glad I gave you the chance to get that off your chest. Unusual to call someone a Boer and criticize them for being an ANC supporter at the same time.

    anyone else?

  • G2

    “Good for Aileen. More truth in one article than in the rest of the pap that passes for analysis in the local media.”

    For once I have to agree with Watchman here.
    A genuine article from the heart . Blair and Hain dont have moral values regards the citizens (pawns) of Northern ireland. its just a game of political chess to them.

  • BogExile

    ‘certain things will have to be swallowed’

    And certain things will have to be admitted like the total lack of moral equivalency between people being blown up commerating the dead of two world wars and ‘volunteers’ who happened to be killed by their own bombs or in the act of taking someone else’s life.

  • George

    Ginfizz,
    I am not splitting hairs and I am sad that you think I am and this has nothing to do with republicans, this has to do with you bringing up Bloody Sunday.

    I will try and make the point clearer in case there is a misunderstanding.

    Could you imagine the extra hurt Aileen Quilton would feel if, for example, the BBC, as a matter of policy, only ever said her mother was killed and refused to call it a massacre, implying that somehow she may have carried some responsibility for her own murder?

    I know I would be more than a little upset if somebody told me to stop “splitting hairs” for getting upset about that.

    I would also be more than a little upset if then Thomas Begley was brought up in the next sentence.

  • circles

    Ginfizz:
    So what is your suggestion on how we should continue? Its very easy for almost everyone in the north to sit around, bitter and unforgiving because of what “they” did and the fact that “they” never really faced justice – but whats the use in that?

    And regarding Boers and unionists – I’m suprised you’re not aware of their cosey past (and then to through in the ANC for good measure… the mind boggles)

  • chris

    Makes sense now. It’s “guilty Boer” as in “middle class self-hating Boer”. Bit thick – sorry.

    So Hain is working off his self-loathing at the crimes of his Boer people against the native population of RSA by seeking to undue what he chooses to interpret as the parallel oppression of the native Irish people by protestant colonists?

  • Dave

    In reading some of the comments on this thread, I have come to the conclusion that i have missed something?

    “The latest initiative by the IRA is a bold step, which will further strengthen peaceful and democratic progress in the 6 counties.”

    Does this mean they are no longer going to murder people or destroy local business? for a while anyway, time will tell.

    Bringing down watch towers and disbanding regiments which are no longer required means only one thing….SF/IRA are out of business i.e. they lost the war.

    On top of that in order to get into government they must first please the DUP.

    Republicans are making a fair attempt to make the situation look as if the they have won something when in fact they have lost everything this is why they are surrendering their weapons , The so called united Ireland which of course the republicans will say is inedvitable, they would , wouldn’t they? will not be seen in our life time.

    The sooner Republicans get over the fact that they have lost the War the better for all concerned

  • chris

    undue? undo. really thick

  • Biffo

    “The sooner Republicans get over the fact that they have lost the War the better for all concerned.”

    Who won the war then?

  • Sean Fear

    Aileen Quinton’s article was superb. I’m afraid this government regards the vast majority of victims of republican and loyalist murder gangs as an embarassment, and just wishes they would go away.

  • bertie

    Levitas

    “With the greatest of sympathy to Aileen, no community has a monopoly on grief,”

    which she herself acknowledges in

    “There have of course been lots of other atrocities as well and not only the IRA will benefit. I draw no comfort from the thought that so called “loyalist” terrorists will have their evil written off too. This does not make the score one all. It makes it two nil to terrorism.”

  • bertie

    “For once I have to agree with Watchman here……….

    Posted by: G2 “

    OMG!
    This certainly ain’t part of Groundhog Day.

  • G2

    OMG!
    This certainly ain’t part of Groundhog Day.

    No Bertie, its all you FOTU girls together day.

  • aquifer

    “I draw no comfort from the thought that so called “loyalist” terrorists will have their evil written off too. This does not make the score one all. It makes it two nil to terrorism.”

    So at least one person is not buying the ‘you’ve got your paramilitaries, just like us’ line.

  • Levitas

    Dave I’m perfectly happy if you consider that the IRA initiative suggests as you put it “SF/IRA are out of business i.e. they lost the war.”…..Its a pity then that the current degree of angst, whinging, and discomfiture from across all the varied hues of unionism suggests otherwise? But perhaps thats just how unionists show their happy….”all together now hip hip BOO! hip hip BOO!” :))

  • reality check

    The unionist reacion to the ethnic cleansing in north antrim is the real problem in the road ahead for peace.look at history-loyalists are responsible for 90% of all sectarian attacks

  • circles

    This win/lose situation is a load of rubbish.
    I think we’ve all lost. The fact that we’ve discriminated against, insulted, kicked, punched, shot, bombed eache other over years makes it clear that we’re all serious losers, with a chance to win now.

    But if some insist on going on about winners and losers, as a fella said the other day “the IRA have lost but are too clever to admit it. The unionist have won but are too stupid to see it”.

  • Levitas

    Circles, glib aphorisms such as the one you quote are undoubtedly appealing, but unfortunately are rarely accurate. For example, before the recent IRA announcement, a version I which was equally commonly heard amongst loyalist cynics was, “We lost but are too proud to admit it,but the taigs won but are too stupid to see it, “
    These aphorisms are usually employed by either disenchanted Republicans or disenchanted loyalists…take your pick.

  • circles

    Well I think it was a unionist that said it.
    In any case its 6 of one and half a dozen of the other.
    The win / lose thing was actually in reference to Dave’s post from 06:51 08.08.05

  • Jo

    2 questions for SF:

    Have the IRA succeeded in achieving a United Ireland?

    Has the assertion that only violence will work been proven correct?

    No and no again.

    2 questions for Unionists:

    Is the Union intact?

    Can you have local government at Stormont back with Unionist interests represented there by a single large party?

    Yes, yes and yes.

  • Biffo

    Jo,

    2 questions for you.

    Now that Unionists have finally won the troubles and we are all heading back to where we left off at the summer of love in 1968, with Stormont imminently back up and running.

    Will the Beatles be releasing an LP of new stuff?

  • chris

    actually, if it helps, WE won.

    by WE I mean ie people who neither want to live in a loyalist apartheid state with a disenfranchised catholic underclass, or be driven into a hostile marxist republic (and that was the aim until fairly recently) at the point of a gun.

    Glib aphorism #3. The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend (Lincoln). Institutionalised conflict through particpative democracy in this case counts as making friends.

  • chris

    participative

    must get new teeth

  • Dave

    FAO Biffo

    Who won the war then?

    The British, of course!!

  • Biffo

    Dave

    Which war?

    The war for a 32 county socialist republic which the IRA lost and the Unionists won.

    Or the war to wring endless concessions from the British which the IRA won and Unionists lost.

    I think, for unionists, the answer to the question will always depend on what mood they are in at any particular time; either triumphant and victorious or full of self-pity.

  • niall

    The IRA neither win nor lost the war. I’m just happy enough living in a place where I have civil rights. Sounds a bit silly maybe, but that’s how I feel.

  • Dave

    FAO Biffo

    You can debate all you like as to who won and put whatever slant you wish, thing is, SF/IRA lost on all counts.

    SF/IRA will not be in a position to ditate by force of arms, they must go down the democratic road where they will be met by the voters and not the Army.

    I don’t here their guns firing or their bombs exploding that is not because they got what they wanted (a United Ireland) it is because they lost.

  • Dave

    FAO Biffo

    You can debate all you like as to who won and put whatever slant you wish, thing is, SF/IRA lost on all counts.

    SF/IRA will not be in a position to ditate by force of arms, they must go down the democratic road where they will be met by the voters and not the Army.

    I don’t here their guns firing or their bombs exploding that is not because they got what they wanted (a United Ireland) it is because they lost.

  • Dave

    FAO Biffo

    You can debate all you like as to who won and put whatever slant you wish, thing is, SF/IRA lost on all counts.

    SF/IRA will not be in a position to ditate by force of arms, they must go down the democratic road where they will be met by the voters and not the Army.

    I don’t here their guns firing or their bombs exploding that is not because they got what they wanted (a United Ireland) it is because they lost.

  • Biffo

    Dave

    I’m not putting any slant on anything. My comments reflect the nonsense I’m hearing from various sources.

    “I don’t here their guns firing or their bombs exploding that is not because they got what they wanted (a United Ireland) it is because they lost.”

    You sound like you subscribe to the loyalist interpretation I saw on a mural on the Shankill – “We accept the full and abject surrender of the IRA”

    It’s your interpretation and if it makes you happy to think your enemy “lost” – I’m happy for you…and I expect I’ll hear a lot of different versions.

  • Dave

    FAO Biffo

    You can debate all you like as to who won and put whatever slant you wish, thing is, SF/IRA lost on all counts.

    SF/IRA will not be in a position to ditate by force of arms, they must go down the democratic road where they will be met by the voters and not the Army.

    I don’t here their guns firing or their bombs exploding that is not because they got what they wanted (a United Ireland) it is because they lost.

  • Biffo

    Dave,

    Indeed, if you repeat something often enough it makes it true.

  • Dave

    FAO Biffo

    Not sorry for double posts!

    Here is a little bit of light reading for you:

    Dies IRAe

    Book Review
    Ruth Dudley Edwards • 13.12.03

    There wasn’t much to laugh at in this plodding compilation of lies, damned lies, and clichés, but one scene briefly lifted my gloom. It was March 1998, the negotiations that would culminate the following month in the Good Friday Agreement were intensifying, and, like several other Irish politicians, Gerry Adams was in Washington for St. Patrick’s Day. President Clinton, explains Adams, who is a master of the euphemism, “was going through a difficult time in his personal life and looked a little drawn,” yet somehow he found the time and energy to have a meeting with Adams in the Oval Office. “While most of our discussions were about Ireland,” says Adams, “I also raised the Middle East situation with him, as well as the question of Cuba and the huge problems suffered by Third World countries crippled by debt. I urged him to cancel Third World debt and I asked him to use his influence to get other countries to do the same.” So there we have the Leader of the Free World – in trouble for fibbing – sitting in his own office being unctuously lectured on foreign policy by a terrorist and mass murderer who lies for the planet.

    The effrontery of Adams’s lies is truly breathtaking. In this book, just as in his first volume of autobiography, he insists he was never in the Irish Republican Army (IRA), an organization he claims is completely separate from Sinn Fein, the political party of which he is president. Yet the truth is that for more than 30 years, Adams has been a senior figure in the IRA. In 1972, it was Adams who was in charge in Belfast on what became known as Bloody Friday, when 20 bombs killed nine people and injured 130. It was on Adams’s watch that Jean McConville, a Protestant widow of a Catholic man and a mother of ten, was kidnapped, tortured and murdered..

    In his decades on the seven-man IRA Army Council, Adams has authorized bombings and shootings that have killed around 1,700 people and have maimed and desolated tens of thousands more. In this grisly business his closest IRA colleagues have been Martin McGuinness and Pat Doherty, both of whom, like Adams, run Sinn Fein as well as the IRA and are non-attending members of the British House of Commons. When the Sinn Fein leadership announces it is off to consult the IRA leadership, it is largely talking to itself.

    “I’m telling the story of the Irish peace process,” says Adams. “I can only tell my experience of it, my role in it. It is not my business to offer an objective account of events or see through someone else’s eyes. My intention is to tell a story. It is my story. My truth. My reality.” Well, it certainly isn’t any normal person’s reality. Quite apart from the glaring lies, there are his grotesque distortions of Irish history.

    Ireland has two tribes, whose main distinguishing feature is religion. When the ruling British government partitioned the island in 1921, the largely Roman Catholic 26 counties became a confessional state. Protestants were perceived by violent republicans as British and disloyal; those not murdered or terrorized out of the country by the IRA saw their numbers further diminished because in religiously mixed marriages children had to be brought up Catholic. Being a tiny minority, the Protestants accepted defeat, kept their heads down and their opinions to themselves: Only now is the story of what they endured becoming well known.

    The very substantial Catholic minority in the six counties that became Northern Ireland and stayed part of the United Kingdom expressed their alienation from the state by refusing to participate in the political system and by insisting on segregated education; periodically, the IRA would do some bombing and shooting. Terrified of the enemy within, Unionists resorted to gerrymandering and discrimination to maintain power. What developed was what David Trimble – the most intelligent and articulate Unionist politician since partition and, unlike Adams, a good man – described in the speech in which he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize as “a cold house for Catholics.”

    In 1968, civil rights marches began in Northern Ireland; tribal violence followed, and the IRA came into its own. By 1972, after the British government had become reluctantly involved, all legitimate minority demands were met, but the IRA continued a terrorist campaign to force Ulster Protestants into a united socialist Ireland, while their loyalist counterparts murdered Catholics in order to keep Northern Ireland British.

    The IRA campaign failed dramatically: These days, most people in the Republic of Ireland as well as in Northern Ireland want to keep the island partitioned. You will not learn this from Gerry Adams’s book, since – in his reality – all this mayhem has been a struggle for justice and equality. (Since he wants to sell this book in the U.S., socialism doesn’t get mentioned.) You also will not learn that Sinn Fein, the richest political party in Ireland, is largely financed by IRA racketeering and has friendly links with terrorists in many parts of the world.

    Throughout this terrible period, the British and Irish governments and most people on the island longed for the peace both sets of paramilitaries denied them. Then, in the late 1980s, Sinn Fein/IRA realized they were defeated and decided to pretend they had won and seek the best deal possible. Adams’s work of propaganda describes in mind-numbing detail and with an ungenerous spirit the meetings and démarches and telephone calls and visits and papers and arguments and setbacks of the peace process.

    Much as I despise Adams for his cruelty, dishonesty, and hypocrisy, there is no doubt that he and his allies deserve some credit for eventually grasping that their squalid, sectarian war was getting nowhere. Nor can one doubt their energy, commitment, and cunning over the past several years as they fought their corner; they are ruthless and brilliant negotiators. Overall, however, theirs is a terrible legacy. Operating like Stalinists, they taught generations of children to hate their neighbors and have caused dreadful suffering to their own community as well as to those they see as the enemy. Even now, as Adams is fêted abroad as a peacemaker by idiots like Martin Sheen and cynics like the Clintons, back home republicans challenging his line are intimidated, beaten, and sometimes murdered.

    On top of all that, this nauseating man has reinvented himself as a charismatic, philosophical, politically correct tree-hugger: “Dialogue happens every day in all our lives,” he tells us. “Equality is good for everybody.” He also passes himself off as a writer. Well, when I got to page 271, from sheer boredom I counted the clichés and on that solitary page netted these: “Unionist hackles were raised”; “No easy task”; “We had an ace up our sleeves”; “the slippery slope”; “the Sinn Fein organization was at full stretch”; and “we had to go for it.” Anyone who encourages this man to write should be ashamed of himself.

    A Farther Shore: Ireland’s Long Road to Peace by Gerry Adams. (Random House, 448 pp., $25.95)

  • Biffo

    Dave

    Thanks for going to the trouble. But you are quoting Ruth Dudley Edwards. She writes such extemely stupid, bigoted, one sided nonsense and the only reason I can figure out why does it is that she enjoys the small degree of notoriety it has given her down south, and letter back to the papers.

    About Trimble, my brother-in-law remembers the paramilitary Vanguard organisation he belonged to marching through his street in North Belfast intimidating the locals. Dudley Edwards talks about him as if he was a pet labrador for goodness sake. No rational personal could take that kind of propaganda seriously.

    This would be like me quoting the definitive opinion of Gerry Adams to prove that republicans were right all along.

    I don’t care who feels they’ve won or lost. I don’t think anybody comes out of this looking good.

  • Jo

    Biffo:

    I understand that “The Slightly Off-White Album” is nearing completion. It will be released by a group entitled “The Beat” as unfortunately half the original band are no longer with us (although I understand that if the video of Live 8 is watched having consumed a large amount of certain fungi, the entire original Beatles can be seen performing live onstage.)

  • chris

    Biffo,

    Hume, Fitzgerald, Alderdice, liberal teachers, most clergy, education integrators, Gordon Wilson, Colin and Wendy Parry, nationalists who spurned SF while the violence continued (although they had a legitimate hope for their country to be reunited), most police, most army, most prison officers…tens of thousands of others who stayed decent despite personal loss or risk. And for that matter many in the Irish government, defence forces and gardai who saw PIRA for the red fascist organisation it was. In short anyone who works for pluralism and democracy against when sectarianism and majoritarianism were (and are) the default position.

    I think they look good.

    I’m still for a truth commission by the way. Who cares if SF trots out IRA volunteers as victims? There will already be a shooting report on them anyway. It will also justify inclusion of security force members and the output from the commission if competently presented will show the balance. I’d rather have that as the definitive history than the whinging and propaganda of the Unionists and SF.

  • Biffo

    Chris,

    I agree completely.

    I would have liked to see some kind of a truth commission set up originally as some part of a peace agreement. As far as I can remember both republicans and unionist opposed such an idea. I wonder why?

    Rightfully something like that should have been done.

    But the problem is how do you get the truth out of people who don’t particularly want it to be known, especially when it undermines their current posturing.

  • bertie

    G2

    “OMG!
    This certainly ain’t part of Groundhog Day.”

    No Bertie, its all you FOTU girls together day. “

    G2, for a while there, I thought that love and peace had broken out on Slugger, but it was not to be. Considering your (often surreal) antipathy towards members of FOTU who are anti-agreement, and particularly towards “The Watchman”, (to which I had decided I was not going to respond to in future), I felt moved to comment on your fulsome support of Watchman’s support of an article by another anti-agreement FOTU member. Unlike the reactions to the IRA statement, I think few could have seen this coming! A brief moment of unionist unity!

    Unless it is just a bizarre coincidence and I am being far too parochial, your response alludes to Ken Maginnis’s attack on Kate Hoey for her “interference” in support of Arlene Foster in the last election, (both of these ladies being part of the FOTU network), where he was very scathing of “all girls together”. Apart from the fact that he did not seem to have a problem with Kate’s “interference” when she was part of the “Yes” campaign, it was appallingly sexist. There are woman capable of being effective political operators and there are men who are capable of coping with and indeed appreciating that. This was not Ken Maginnis’s finest hour.

  • bilk234956

    I dispair of the attitude of people on this island, we cannot see the difference in the murder of innocents and the death of terrorists. Have we fallen so low? Do we even understand the difference between right and wrong anymore. Aileen has taken a heart rending journey in writing the article which started this debate, she has poured out her soul in the media, always a brave thing to do at the best of times, a very courageous thing to do in these times. What is she told?, put it behind you and move on, it’s the price of peace, she doesn’t have a monoply on grief(A bland provo statement, that is trotted out at every oppertunity to excuse there evilness). I can only assume that those who write this crap have never grieved. Only those who grieve for the loss of someone who went out to remember the dead of another time, and were blown to pieces by cowardly murderers could ever understand. Her mother went out, on a quiet Sunday morning to pay tribute to the dead of two world wars, Catholic, Protestant, citezens of the Irish Republic and the United Kingdom, for this she along with many others paid with her life. People here seem to have trouble comprehending the magnitude of this event. I can understand why she is not celebrating along with the rest of you the latest momentous anouncement by the provos on their ceasefire. Great article Aileen, don’t let those who criticise your stance get you down.