“if the state won’t do that, others must”

Not sure how long this will stay online[RealPlayer file], but it’s worth listening to. In his Talkback Commentary Malachi O’Doherty paraphrases Maurice Hayes’ broader point into the question – “Do you really want to know everything that some of your Ministers have done even if it awakens old hatreds, revives disgust?” And he gives his answer – “Yes.”And he ends with a point that I’m in total agreement with

“I would not bury the past. I can see why pragmatic government institutions concerned with their own survival would not pay good money to unearth material that would jeopardise them.

But I would not trust the history of Northern Ireland not to erupt again as bloodily as before unless we had staked it down with the most comprehensive understanding.

And if the state won’t do that, others must.”

And, again, “Delay has its own heavy price. The poison accumulates in the system.”

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  • heck

    here here

    British and northern ireland ministers!!

  • Quaysider

    Nice one Malachi.
    Hayes is a disgrace.

  • Ulster McNulty

    I agree that everybody’s past should be out in the open, but…

    “…I would not trust the history of Northern Ireland not to erupt again as bloodily as before unless we had staked it down with the most comprehensive understanding.”

    That just isn’t going to happen, we live in a different world from the 1960’s. The various circumstances that lead to a bloody eruption then do not exist now. There’ll be some sectarian inertia over the next generation but there will never be a bloody eruption again like there was in the 1920’s and 1960’s. I’d put money on it.

  • BonarLaw

    heck

    “British and northern ireland ministers!!”

    Surely the same thing, doing the same job administering this part of the UK on behalf of the Crown?

  • Pounder

    Is this the start of calls for a South African style Truth Commission? Because I’m sure we all know what a farce that it turned into.

  • Dawkins

    Pounder,

    “I’m sure we all know what a farce that it turned into.”

    That’s not to say one can’t learn from SA’s mistakes.

  • “But I would not trust the history of Northern Ireland not to erupt again as bloodily as before unless we had staked it down with the most comprehensive understanding.
    And if the state won’t do that, others must.”

    Well said Malachi, it is naive in the extreme to believe that the past will not repeat itself, but that is not the only question here. Are we not entitled as citizens in a democracy to know what our politicians and security forces got up to during the bloody period of the long war, is an understanding of what occurred to be denied us. Is it only for those with power and influence to understand what caused and prolonged the long war and we
    mere mortals must accept their tales as fact as to how the sorry business was conducted. Do we not have a responsibility to get the truth out to future generations and history.

    What of the families who have had loved ones murdered by people in the pay of the security forces, those whose loved one’s were wrongly tarred as informers by State agencies and shot by their own people.

    Are we to sit contented whilst politicians who were party to state collusion in one way or another, govern over us. Are we to trust police officers and members of the judiciary to administer the law fairly when we know some of them colluded in criminality. What of the security services, how can we trust them to protect us today when we no not what they did in the long war.

    If the UK were a South American Republic coming out or a period
    of internal insurgency all good people and true would be agreeing that it is vital to analyze the past, not least for the reasons Malachi has given. Only the guilty need to fear and even they will not suffer the fate of their victims or indeed any penal sentence.

    Finally to suggest as Ulster McNulty did that there will be no rerun of the long war is with respect infantile, most people in the German Weimar Republic in the 1920s thought a rerun of WW1 was unthinkable; and so it was. For what happened was ten times worse; and included people within the most civilized European nation committing the holocaust. The reason being the underlining cause of WW1 was not removed, do I really need to remind anyone that Ireland is still partitioned and that being so, any unknown or unimaginable factor could once again upset the apple cart.

    Forward to a T@RC.

  • confused

    To Mick
    Ireland partitioned was the cause of violence in the past.
    If Ireland remains partitioned this might explain violence in the future. This is something you do not rule out and suggest that following the German example things might even be worse.
    You have left out another scenario.
    If a UI is imposed do you accept circumstances would be created where violence from a different source is inevitable?

  • Maggot

    Partition is a lazy excuse. There was sectarian violence long before partition – and unless sectarianism is addressed there would be sectarian vilence even if partition ended.

    I’m not even convinced that partition didn’t save us a lot of sectarian violence in the twenties.
    If partition had not happened and civil war had broken out there wouldhave been a lot more bloodshed than actually and regrettably did happen, if the faction fighting within republican movement was anything to go by.

    “Are we to sit contented whilst politicians who were party to state collusion in one way or another, govern over us.”

    Why not ? We are expected to sit contented while Martin McGuinness and Conor Murphy govern over us – if we are determined to pen cans of worms, lets open ALL the cans of worms – Paisley and his past, Martin McGuinness and his past, let’s open up the Churches roles in all that happened.

    If the people who are calling for openness want it for the reasons they claim, they will demand the whole truth from ALL the participants – otherwise it’s just another cynical point-scoring political game.

  • If a UI is imposed do you accept circumstances would be created where violence from a different source is inevitable?

    confused
    The very point you raise is surely yet another reason to have a T@RC, whilst myself I do not believe reunification is on the immediate agenda who knows what the future holds. If people understood what and more important who were actually behind some of the most violent and appalling acts of the long war period, it would make it much more difficult for the powers that be and other parties to carry out similar acts in the future.

    On reunification, I would like to think, that most Republicans have concluded from the 1969-97 war that the Unionist community cannot be made to join a reunited Ireland by force of arms. That may be unjust to republicans as the island was partitioned by the force of British arms, but little in my view can be gained by repeating Perfidious Albion wretched behavior in Ireland..

    “If the people who are calling for openness want it for the reasons they claim, they will demand the whole truth from ALL the participants – otherwise it’s just another cynical point-scoring political game.
    Maggot”

    I could not agree with you more.

    Regards

  • Pete Baker

    Maggot

    “If the people who are calling for openness want it for the reasons they claim, they will demand the whole truth from ALL the participants – otherwise it’s just another cynical point-scoring political game.”

    Malachi refers to two specific examples in his commentary – Bloody Sunday and the Claudy bombing.

    And, in the original post, I highlighted the question and answer

    “Do you really want to know everything that some of your Ministers have done even if it awakens old hatreds, revives disgust?” And he gives his answer – “Yes.”

  • Ulster McNulty

    Mickhall

    “Finally to suggest as Ulster McNulty did that there will be no rerun of the long war is with respect infantile, most people in the German Weimar Republic …”

    Thanks for the respect Mick. Might I suggest, with all due respect to yourself, you are being a bit juvenile when you suggest “..that Ireland is still partitioned and that being so, any unknown or unimaginable factor could once again upset the apple cart.”.

    Let me remind you that there has been endless sectarian violence in the NI area for the past 4 centuries. If you are suggesting it’s all to do with partition, well you simply don’t know what you are talking about.

    Some of the major differences these days – nobody gives a fuck about religion anymore – catholics aren’t discriminated against. The UK and Ireland, north and south, have a homogenised westernised culture. The British don’t tell Paddy jokes anymore. The Irish don’t resent the British anymore. The whole thing has been transformed.

    Mick, I’ll put a bet on with you now – 50 quid says that it will be as obvious to you in 30 years time (when you are more mature) as it is to me now that there will be no return to the long war. We’ll have different problems then.

  • Pete Baker

    Ulster McNulty

    Whether or not there is a threat of a return to ‘the long war’, I’d suggest the more pressing problem is the poisonous foundations we’re building on.. if the past is not addressed.

  • Maggot

    Pete – my post was addressing the quoted question from mickhall and the implied claim that partition was the cause of our problems. For me partition was a result rather than a cause.

  • “Mick, I’ll put a bet on with you now – 50 quid says that it will be as obvious to you in 30 years time (when you are more mature) as it is to me now that there will be no return to the long war. We’ll have different problems then.”

    McNulty,

    Im afraid I must turn down your offer of a wager, as I will be coming up for 90 in thirty years and I have no wish to anger the Gods by presuming I will reach that age. Whilst I agree we [inshaller] may face different problems in the future, history proves than they more often than not are of the same or of a similar making.

    One of the disappointments of getting older is you realize that little is new or indeed original in this life; and when any politician claims otherwize we should be on our guard.

    All the best.

    Mick

  • Briso

    Posted by Pete Baker on Jun 05, 2007 @ 11:50 PM
    >I’d suggest the more pressing problem is the
    >poisonous foundations we’re building on.. if the
    >past is not addressed.

    I’m afraid the Rev Dr John Dunlop does not agree with you.

    —-

    He said he would take as an example what happened in the Republic after the civil war. “They closed ranks and said, ‘let’s see if we can get on together’,” he said. It had led to stability. “I would shut down these inquiries straight away,” he said.

  • Briso

    Oh, I should say that Dr Dunlop is moderator of the Presbyterian Church and I got that from the Irish Times.