IRA unit disbanded as a political liability

According to Professor Henry Patterson speaking to an Irish Studies conference in Spain recently, Sinn Fein lent heavily on a local IRA unit to disband, because its activities put its attempts to broker a common nationalist front with the SDLP in jeopardy.

His address made reference to the IRA in Fermanagh carrying out a number of widely condemned killings including the Enniskillen bombing in 1987 and the shooting of Jillian Johnston, a 21-year-old Protestant girl sitting in a car with her fiancé. Professor Patterson said that the potential political costs to Sinn Fein of such activities led to the standing down of the local IRA unit.

“Unlike other struggles for national liberation in Africa and Latin America, it was the self designated ‘anti-imperialist’ force that killed far more victims of the Troubles than did the state forces,” Professor Patterson said.

He said that the Provisional IRA was responsible for 48 per cent of deaths while the RUC was responsible for 1.4 per cent and the UDR 0.2 per cent. Even if it was accepted that there was widespread collusion between state forces and loyalist paramilitaries and 50 per cent of those killed by loyalists was added to the security forces’ figure, it would still amount to only 17 per cent of all deaths, he said.

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  • CS Parnell

    Yes, the IRA’s campaign was a failure – looking at it from purely nationalist terms, even.

    Never mind the human cost.

    And yes, as the above shows, the SDLP won. Their vision of Ireland – based on consent and strengthened and strengethening links between North and South – is the only way.

    Two phrases: Sunningdale for Slow Learners, Not a Bullet, not an Ounce. Only one of them will ring down the years.

  • J Kelly

    the SDLP won i hardly think so as they will soon become the alliance with very little support in the larger nationalist communities…24 members in west belfast one councillor and hopefully no mla’s very soon

  • Occasional Commentator

    If the justness or otherwise of a military campaign can be judged by the number of killings, then surely he must look at the figures showing that Germany lost many more soldiers than the UK in WWII.

    The reality is that simple victim headcounts tell us nothing.

  • CS Parnell

    If I had a cent for every time some Sinn Fein parrot came on here and said the SDLP were finished I’d be almost as rich as Slab Murphy.

  • Occasional Commentator

    CS Parnell,
    Add that the the cents collected whenever the demise of the UUP is predicted, or even the Labour party or the Tories over the decades.

    There are going to be 4+ big parties in NI for the forseeable future, and no party is going to be wiped out unless some other party splits.

  • DK

    OC,

    I think the Profs point is that it doesn’t really count as a military campaign if only one side is doing the killing, more a failed attempt to try and kick off a proper conflict that eventually fizzled out as politics worked better. I heard once that the roads killed more people than the “troubles”.

  • abucs

    Or one of the current strictly southern parties organises in the north.

    Sunningdale for slow learners. :o)
    We still haven’t got powersharing and by the looks of it we may not get it.

    But there’s a much better chance now than in 1974, and a much better chance that if we don’t get powersharing something acceptable to nationalism will be its replacement.

    The difference between now and then is that NI is no longer controlled by unionists. That’s a big change. And what’s even bigger is that the British government has been driving that change for over a decade now, and continues to drive that change.

  • Occasional Commentator

    DK: “the Profs point is that it doesn’t really count as a military campaign if only one side is doing the killing”

    What? Are you now saying that Republicans carried out 100% of the killings? See the Sutton database.

  • DK

    OC,

    Oh yes – forgot the 3rd force in the conflict. The assorted loyalists. They didn’t succeed either.

  • BogExile

    ‘…potential political costs to Sinn Fein of such activities led to the standing down of the local IRA unit.’

    I wish I could believe that this refers to the local as opposed to the national and international political costs to Sinn Fein.

    The aspect of collusion with IRA terrorists by some members of the local catholic community in south fermanagh in the murders of their Protestant neighbours is well known. It leaves as big a scar in that community as the collusion by security forces with protestant paramilitaries does on the other side of the grief equasion.

    This form of collusion is not really ever discussed but has created a legacy of bitterness and mistrust particularly if you examine the cyncism of Sinn Fein locally at the time Henry Patterson describes. They were inevitably quite happy to off a few Prod farmers with the temerity to exist on a border which should be bright green. Until, that is, the political as opposed to the moral cost became too great.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    CS Parnell,

    Last week the SDLP leafleting team in the Cliftonville area of North Belfast was Alban Magennis, Convery and Mulligan (3 councillors) and three aged female pensioners in various stages of decay. That makes six people to cover the North Belfast constituency. With any luck they’ll have it all done by 2016 and can then go straight to the GPO for their medals.

    BTW the hostility between Alban and Pat, especially over the Milk Marketing Board site is almost comical, trying to avoid one another in a phalanx of six takes some doing.

    North Belfast SDLP makes the Attwood (mini) fiefdom in West Belfast seem like Olympus.

  • Keith M

    CS Parnell “Two phrases: Sunningdale for Slow Learners, Not a Bullet, not an Ounce. Only one of them will ring down the years.”

    Both phrases have been an embarrasment to the sides that uttered them, that’s why you don’t hear them anymore.

  • Occasional Commentator

    Ah well Pat,
    At least the SDLP and they’re supporters can be proud that they’re not trolling on a blog to distract attention away from the reality of what the PIRA allowed to happen in its name on too many occasions.

    I can’t take the PIRA seriously until at the very least killers like these are court-martialled and dishonourably discharged by the PIRA. I have heard that in some instances, the PIRA did take such discipline seriously and did shoot some of its members, but now that SF and everyone else are looking for “truth”, it’s time for PIRA and SF to be more honest too.

    I have a lot of time for physical force republicanism but some so-called republicans were just killing civilians because of their religion.

  • Pat-

    “and three aged female pensioners in various stages of decay.”

    Aside from your thinly veiled attempts to distract from the point of the thread and your clearly ageist attitude, if faced with the option of having either a few old dears or convicted bombers knocking on my door, I know which I would choose to welcome.

    Old people may smell of cabbage, but at least they don’t stink of cordite.

  • CS Parnell

    True, we don’t have power sharing. But we’ve got “the Irish dimension” in spades as well as a new police force and a police ombudsman.

    Seamus told me he wouldn’t use the phrase “Sunningdale for slow learners” because he got lots of letters from the parents of “slow learners”. Sinn Fein won’t use the phrase “not a bullet, not an ounce” because it was a lie.

    So, whose embarrassed now?

    And remmeber this: there is nothing in the GFA that could not have been achieved maybe 20 or even 25 years earlier without 3000 deaths if the civil rights movement had continued.

    Bernie Mc once said IRA Volunteers hadn’t died for an all-Ireland teachers’ qualification. The reality is nobody needed have died for it.

  • WOODKERNE

    Pat Mc Clarnon Sinn Fein are a very dodgy pseudo-political party and they owe much of their recent success to the charisma of St Gerry and co, the naivety of some of the electorate and the fact that during election campeigns SF can mobilise an army (pun intended) of ‘volunteers’ to canvess, pick up spare voting cards and intimidate rivals.

    I have lived in Lenadoon for the past 10 years and watching Sinn Fein at work has realy opened my eyes to how sleazy and corrupt their politics is. The reality on the ground is that SF have a grip on the working class areas of Belfast and the people in them akin to a totalitarian Stalinist type state. Freedom of speech outside of the relative safety of your own house is virtualy non existent. Sinn Fein and their other half are and have been for decades in a perfect position to manipulate the people in the Catholic ghettoes because they control the local press (A’town news etc), community groups, social housing, local Housing Executive offices and many of the businesses (inc most of the bars and clubs). They presently aspire to have statutory control over law and order (oh the irony of it) hence them holding off from the policing board until they get it. I have told the truth enough for now but there is more, lots more, that people need to know about the reality of Sinn Fein and their minions.

    Ps Pat this proves my rant (to myself at least) I asked my girl if she wanted to hear what I have written, she looked at me in horror and said “no dont do any such thing, can’t you see the windows are open!” Capiche

    The greatest coup that Satan ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist

    “They haven’t gone away you know” Gerry Adams

  • BogExile on Jun 02, 2006 @ 11:26 AM wrote “…The aspect of collusion with IRA terrorists by some members of the local catholic community in south fermanagh in the murders of their Protestant neighbours is well known. It leaves as big a scar in that community as the collusion by security forces with protestant paramilitaries does on the other side of the grief equasion.
    This form of collusion is not really ever discussed but has created a legacy of bitterness and mistrust …”

    That’s a very interesting and highly topical theory you have there but can I ask that you back it up with at least the slightest scintilla of fact or evidence. You compare the PIRA’s activities in Ferm to the collusion in the security forces without offering any examples for this claim altho we don’t need examples of security forces’ misbehavior.

    “Well known…as big a scar…legacy of bitterness” are tabloid generalizations. Please give us something tangible else you’d be considered scaremongering rabble rousing!

    Shurely W Frazer should have some irrefutible examples / documentation for you to forward us ?

  • mervyns turnip

    Hey Bog Exile explain this,

    the protestant population of Fermanagh fell by something like 10 % in the period 1991 – 2001. Were there any IRA murders in Fermanagh in that period??. Did ALL of those people move out of Newtownbutler over parades hahaha.

    Isnt it odd that protestants feel the need to retreat into places like Ballinamallard during the most peaceful period this county has EVER seen?.

    Or maybe they feel uncomfortable as the playing field gets more and more level.

    Isnt it time that unionists admitted that there were two sides in the awful conflict that we are hopefully moving beyond.

    I will quote a UDR man I used to work with: “We used to have some crack up about Roslea and Donagh, smashing houses up and making life miserable for the locals”.

    And then there was the night the UDR put a checkpoint outside a catholic church in Fermanagh, stopping every car leaving and asking ” where are you coming from”.

    Hardly the stuff of hearts and minds eh?

  • Reader

    mervyns turnip: Isnt it time that unionists admitted that there were two sides in the awful conflict that we are hopefully moving beyond.
    There were three sides, not two.

  • bertie

    El Mat

    well said!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    OC.

    Ah well Pat,
    At least the SDLP and they’re supporters can be proud that they’re not trolling on a blog to distract attention away from the reality of what the PIRA allowed to happen in its name on too many occasions.

    Follow the thread from the first Parnell post, it is he who brings up the present position of the SDLP and their likely future. It is they who move off topic!!!!!!

    El Mat

    ‘Aside from your thinly veiled attempts to distract from the point of the thread and your clearly ageist attitude, if faced with the option of having either a few old dears or convicted bombers knocking on my door, I know which I would choose to welcome.

    Old people may smell of cabbage, but at least they don’t stink of cordite’

    This in an area where the DI pointed out was the only area of SDLP expansion. The SDLP is rotting, just like it’s female supporters. Six workers in the whole if N Belfast is pathetic, bye bye.

    Woodkerne,

    Look up the yellow pages and phone the Samaritans, i’ve no interest in your inner most ramblings. I hope for your girlfriends sake you don’t talk in your sleep.

  • WOODKERNE

    Pat Mc

    My ‘ramblings’ I hope go some way to explaining why socially liberal (non violent) parties find it difficult to organize and campaign in Catholic ghettoes.

    Maybe the reason for the 3 little old ladies of the SDLP being on the mean streets of N Belfast is that local SF drones wouldn’t give them too much abuse.

    Incidentally I occasionaly talk in my sleep but in gaelige which (being a St Roses girl) she doesn’t understand.

    The grass is always greener on the other side, but beware of the sinister TROLL.

  • Dualta

    J Kelly said:

    [i]”the SDLP won i hardly think so as they will soon become the alliance with very little support in the larger nationalist communities…24 members in west belfast one councillor and hopefully no mla’s very soon”[/i]

    Success and failure should not be measured in terms of the numbers of votes cast for any party.

    It is results that matter and the result of the recent political process in Ireland reflects, almost completely, the policies of the SDLP regarding the national question.

    The Provisional Republican Movement have accepted that the SDLP were right all along by now adhering to the SDLP’s broad analysis and policies.

    It just so happens that the PRM has been very successfully whipping up sectarian tensions at every given opportunity in order to garner votes.

    The result of this will be even more failure and when they finally reaslise that, then they might abandon sectarian rabble-rousing and realise that a United Ireland requires persuading Protestants to join the rest of us on this island building a new nation together, and not antagonising and alienating them any further.

    The Republican Movement have failed utterly and they will continue to fail because they are utterly politically inept.

  • elfinto

    To Pat McL,

    BTW the hostility between Alban and Pat, especially over the Milk Marketing Board site is almost comical, trying to avoid one another in a phalanx of six takes some doing.

    What’s that about then Pat? Private v Public Housing I would guess.

    Antrim Road Exile – self-imposed 🙂

  • elfinto

    Aghh, I just found out. What a dumb proposal!

  • peter

    as a republican who does not trust sinn fein as a party though recognise the there are decent individuals within the party. would it not be much more constructive to take our arguements to the dup. this monday in ballymena cllr davy tweed questioned the upbringing of micheal mcilveen. stop taking ur anger out on the sdlp and sinn fein and speak out on comments such as this and do not let the dup think they can do anything. within ballymena may i commend declan o loan (sdlp) on how much he has spoke out in the wake of this murder. this was a heartless comment that must not go unchallenged

  • peter

    the above comment is for cs parnell and j kelly