Tangled Web Unraveling

Liam Clarke writes in today’s Sunday Times about Martin McGuinness’ IRA career, which apparently did not end in the early 70’s as he claimed to the Bloody Sunday Tribunal: McGuinness ‘lied under oath’ about IRA roleClarke refers to an interview given by Brendan Hughes in a book by Spanish academic, Rogelio Alonso that has been recently translated into English. Hughes describes a 1986 IRA meeting with McGuinness, which was about the strategy that would lead to the Loughall attack. Hughes had recommended against it, but Adams and McGuinness pushed it through in a bid to silence internal critics: “McGuinness believed the attacks would protect himself and Gerry Adams, now Sinn Fein president, against internal criticism as they tried to change the party’s rules,” Clarke writes.

The sister of Paddy Kelly, leader of the IRA ambush, says she “had been told the IRA leadership had advised her brother that it was dangerous to carry out any more attacks.” She is quoted, ““I find this account disturbing. I would like to speak to Brendan Hughes and Martin McGuinness about it. This is not what I have been told previously.”

Clarke asked Brendan Hughes about the contradiction in McGuinness’ public statements and sworn testimony about his IRA role. Hughes “stood by his account. “[McGuinness] will have to answer that question himself,” said Hughes. “When people get caught up in lies, they have to continue with the lies.””

Martin McGuinness did not answer directly Clarke’s questions, instead blaming them on people opposed to Sinn Fein’s efforts on policing and going back into Stormont. ““Over recent weeks Sinn Fein have made enormous efforts to achieve the new beginning to policing promised in the Good Friday agreement and to see political institutions put back in place. Obviously, there are those who are opposed to these efforts.””

Otherwise, presumably, they would continue the lie(s)?

Rogelio Alonso’s The IRA and Armed Struggle

The IRA is one of the oldest terrorist organizations in the world and conducted a ferociously violent campaign for almost thirty years. Now deeply enmeshed in the Northern Ireland peace process, Rogelio Alonso asks why one of the bloodiest terrorist movements of our time decide to swap weapons for the ballot box?
Based on over seventy interviews conducted with former and existing members of the IRA, Alonso also provides a rigorous evaluation of the personal and political consequences of the IRA’s campaign of violence. The analysis of these interviews radically challenges the dominant academic analysis of Irish terrorism. This book includes a strong criticism of the armed struggle constructed around the discourse of those who waged it and answers the question faced by many armed revolutionary movements: ‘Was the war worth it?’
Translated from the critically acclaimed Matar por Irlanda and available in English for the first time, this is a provocative and new approach to understanding the IRA. It is essential reading for readers and researchers with an interest in Irish politics and history, terrorism and political violence. (From the publisher)

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