“While I was of the view that no military solution was possible..”

I don’t intend to comment much on the fulsome apology of Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, or the PIRA apology for their “mistakes” he referenced, beyond noting that the man it was directed at, Colin Parry, had already dealt with the possibility that such an apology would be proffered

“I don’t want an apology, I don’t expect an apology. That is not on the agenda, if I got one it wouldn’t mean anything.”

Nor do I intend to comment much on the attempt to usurp the consultation of the Eames/Bradley group, beyond noting that a focus on the perpetrators and what they have to say to their own people might be more beneficial than what Adams is suggesting.

However, he also called for a victim-centred truth process to help Northern Ireland deal with its bloody past. That process, he proposed, should involve all people, including those in England and the Republic of Ireland, bereaved or maimed during the Troubles. “A truth process must reach out to these people,” he argued.

But it is worth noting that his actual speech included his own version of his truth about the past..

On the one side there were nationalists and republicans who were denied basic human and civil rights, including the right to vote, access to housing and work. The north existed under a permanent state of emergency, with special laws, special courts and a range of state armed paramilitary organisations to implement its will. The civil rights campaign of the 1960s was an attempt to initiate reform. The demands were simple — the right to vote, an end to discrimination in jobs and housing, and the repeal of the special laws. On the other side was the unionist government, the unionist establishment and the British government.

Adams goes on to argue that

By the mid to late 1970s it was obvious that there was a military stalemate. The British could not defeat the IRA — the IRA could not militarily defeat the British.

And the violence continued with each side seeking to develop new strategies, new tactics, new and more deadly ways of killing each other.

Within republicanism, armed struggle was the dominating tendency. There was a belief that only the IRA could move the British government. There may have been misgivings or serious concerns about particular military operations but there was no real dissent from armed struggle. It was taken for granted that that was the way of things.

While I was of the view that no military solution was possible I also felt armed struggle was a necessary form of struggle and I defended this position without being dogmatic about it.

But how to break the impasse?

The Sinn Fein leadership carefully considered this and concluded that if the impasse was to be broken then republicans needed to go on a political offensive. And we realised very early on that this would require republicans taking initiatives. At its core it would require Sinn Féin constructing a viable political alternative to armed struggle which could deliver republican goals.

In a letter I wrote in the early 1980s to Catholic Bishop Cahal Daly, who was a vocal opponent of republicans I said: ‘Those republicans who engage in armed struggle, or who defend the legitimacy of armed struggle in pursuance of Irish independence, do so, not through any fixation with physical force, but through a necessity. Those who voice a moral condemnation of this tactic have a responsibility to spell out an alternative course by which Irish independence can be secured. I for one would be pleased to consider such an alternative.’

I have to say it became clear very quickly to me and to others in our leadership that if we were to wait on others providing the alternative it would never happen. They were locked in a mindset.

The quote from the letter dated in the 1980s, however, would not seem to be as conclusive as Adams would appear to believe.

And it ignores other elements of the struggle which were deployed – in a “campaign which drew its lessons from previous such periods in Irish history, as well as from contemporary experience around the world.”

And for an alternative analysis of the outworking of that Process™ see this previous post. Or this one.

After all, it might already be too late..

, , , ,

  • Irish Republican In America

    “I don’t intend to comment…” GAG.

  • Harry Flashman

    *On the one side there were nationalists and republicans who were denied. . . the right to vote*

    Simply not true.

    No one was denied any votes because of their political affiliation. There was one man one vote in all elections to Stormont and Westminster, at local election level the vote was on the basis of a rate-payer franchise which operated the same way for everybody and when it was abolished didn’t make the slightest bit of difference to election results.

    *The civil rights campaign of the 1960s was an attempt to initiate reform. The demands were simple—the right to vote, an end to discrimination in jobs and housing, and the repeal of the special laws.*

    The Civil Rights campaign was ultimately very successful in achieving its aims (with the exception of repealing the emergency legislation which also happened to be on the books in the Irish Republic) after a mere five years or so, peacefully and long before the neanderthals of the Provisional IRA decided to get the pikes out of the thatch “give her one more oul’ lash boys!”

    Pathetic attempt at justifying the unjustifiable by Adams, he’s saying “sorry we blew up your wee’ans but it was them’uns that made us do it”.

  • Billy


    I am no Sinn Fein supporter and have no time for Adams.

    However, you are being pedantic and, frankly, treating people as if they are stupid.

    It is a statistical fact that Catholics were disenfranchised by these regulations to a much greater extent than Protestants.

    I don’t think that even the Stormont Unionist govt would have been blatent enough to simply say Catholics cannot vote (which would have been illegal anyway). They were bigots – not idiots. They came up with this method which (in conjunction with gerrymandering) ensured they had total control of the state.

    The discrimination in jobs, housing etc was widespread and has been well documented and covered in numerous documentaries over the years.

    The Civil Rights movement was fully justified and largely successful in it’s aims. I can only agree with you about the IRA as I have never supported violence from any group.

  • USA

    “his actual speech included his own version of his truth about the past..”
    There is no “real” truth, truth and knowledge is merely a human constructions, arrived at through dialogue. Without dialogue we can never agree a truth and we can never develop real knowledge. So get off your high horse, you are annoyingly pompous.

    You are right….and the holocaust never happened either.

    Whatever you may think of Adams, his analysis is not without merit. I would say the same of Davy Ervine.

  • USA

    Sorry for the typo, should read:
    “truth and knowledge are merely human constructions”

  • veritas

    To even link the civil rights campaign to the ira is bollox.There were many protestant people involved in the civil rights campaign, and the most basic of all rights is the right to life.that rules out the ra then.

  • Richard James


    The rate-payer franchise was in operation long before Northern Ireland existed, to claim it was a Machiavellian scheme to disenfranchise Catholics is nonsense.

    As for discrimination in housing being ‘widespread’ I’m afraid that isn’t ‘well documented’. Richard Rose for example, found that most Unionist councils didn’t discriminate against Catholics. In fact they occupied a higher proportion of housing and were wealthier than Protestants living in council housing. That doesn’t excuse the actions of councils like Fermanaghs (or indeed Newry’s against Protestants, of which there has been a collective Nationalist amenesia about), but they were the exception rather than the rule.

  • Harry Flashman

    *and the holocaust never happened either.*

    DING, DING, DING, folks we have a winner! Only four posts in and we have the “Northern Unionists were just the same as Nazis” analogy, well done USA, nicely timed there old chum.

    Yes indeed having crappy electoral boundaries and voting sytem in local district wards in a back arse unimportant part of the north of Ireland, it really was just the same as Auschwitz and justified a thirty year long campaign of bombing and mayhem long after the electoral system was peacefully reformed.

    I mean I’m sure the families of Tim Parry and Johnathon Ball could really understand why their wee boys were blown to pieces in a Warrington High Street because of an electoral anomaly in Derry which had been reformed a mere quarter of a century earlier.

    I mean it makes sense to Gerry Adams, why can no one else work it out?

  • USA

    Great, i’m glad I won.
    As for your comments, I find them rather trite, specifically as I did not compare unionists to Nazis. Here in the US we use that expression to point our to people how baseless their positon is. But you will read what you want to read.
    And in your own words goof ball,
    “The Civil Rights campaign was ultimately very successful in achieving its aims… after a mere five years or so”. So by your calculations full Civil Rights were “granted” around 1974. That means then you agree that for 50 years there was a denial of Civil rights. Why should people have to wait 50 years for civil rights, that is a state asking to be overthrown.
    “Those that make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable”. John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
    I believe there are some unionists who cannot see, or will not see, that they and the state were as equally culpable in the whole mess as the republicans.

  • veritas

    why did the ira stil keep on murdering people?as i said earlier to link them to civil rights is just pure bollox

  • The Dubliner

    “At its core it would require Sinn Féin constructing a viable political alternative to armed struggle which could deliver republican goals.” – Gerry Adams

    It’s called politics and, contrary to Mr Adams delusion, his party didn’t invent it.

    Politics didn’t “deliver republican goals” for PSF. In fact, Northern Ireland is now more integrated into the United Kingdom than at any point in its history since 1949 (when Ireland became a republic and the UK parliment removed the right of unionists to join the south). Articles 2 & 3 of the Irish constitution have been amended by a referendum to remove the south’s territorial claim to the north. The democratic right of both governments to unite north and south at their discretion has been removed, and replaced with two vetoes on unification, with one veto held by the citizens of the south and another veto held by the citizens of the north. An internal solution has been put in place with its own administration that operates on behalf and at the discretion of Her Majesty’s government; and PSF’s only remaining useful function to the British government is to ensure that its supporters are as fully integrated into the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland now is.

    As the status quo improves, people become complacent with the improved status quo and, ergo, the desire to change it (such as by unification) lessons to the point of irrelevance. The dynamic of reunification fizzles out, making nonsense of the claim that “republican goals” are served by this ‘strategy.’ Likewise, no attempt is made by PSF to harmonise with those they claim they wish to unite with. In fact, the opposite of harmonisation is occurring: PSF are pushing their supporters towards socialism, which is a doctrine that is abhorrent to the south, making it highly unlikely that either the south would vote to accept the north in a poll (were one ever to be called) and equally as unlikely that the north would vote to accept the south. If that repugnancy wasn’t enough to ensure that unity is no longer an option and that the mechanism is now in place that ensures the continued integration of Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom, PSF (supported by the SDLP) would insist that the conditions of the GFA were a mandatory requirement of unity, ensuring that the south would dismiss the notion outright. Indeed, even if the SDLP and PSF didn’t insist on that, the unionists would insist on it, having the same deal breaking outcome.

    So, Mr Adams is a very deluded boy if he thinks that PSF have done anything constructive to deliver “republican goals” with either its sectarian murder campaign or its political campaign. However he doesn’t actually think that. He simply expects his party’s supporters to think that. He knows that the deal was that the Shinners kept their sectarian murder campaign going until a deal was offered to them that allowed them to get out of it in a better position that when they started it: a very wealthy mafia who would be lauded as peacemakers rather than mass-murderers. When he talks about “creating the conditions for peace” he simply means that they decided to keep on killing people until they had built their own political party up to the point where they could enjoy a continuance of their power over society by alternative means.

  • Harry Flashman

    *So by your calculations full Civil Rights were “granted” around 1974.*

    Er, no that would be by your own innumerate calculations, the Civil Rights campaign started around 1965, they achieved 80% of their objectives by November 1968, so my original figure of five years was pessimistic, they achieved their goals peacefully within three years.

    What Adams is attempting to do here is to conflate the history of that time in the minds of people like USA whose grasp of historical facts are at best fuzzy.

    He is attempting to conflate two very seperate and conflicting campaigns – the peaceful and ultimately successful Civil Rights campaign of the late 1960’s and the extremely violent and failed Provisional IRA campaign which began in the early 1970’s and which finally ran out of steam in 1998 – and present them as one seamless thread, they weren’t, they were polar opposites.

    The Civil Rights organisation wished to peacefully reform the state of Northern Ireland, the Provisional IRA rejected this instead opting to destroy the state of Northern Ireland using bombs and murder in order to create a united 32 county independent socialist Irish Republic.

    The PIRA loathed and despised the Civil Rights’ leaders with a passion and regarded men like John Hume, Austin Currie, Gerry Fitt, Ivan Cooper etc as lower even than the Brits and loyalists. They were later to be sneered at as “stoops” an expression of contempt on the lips of Sinn Fein members.

    The fact is that ultimately the IRA accepted that John Hume’s analysis of the propblem and his interpretation of the solution was indeed correct. Therefore after a mere 30 years of chaos the IRA Chief of Staff now sits up in Stormont peacefully administering a reformed Northern Ireland under the benign gaze of Ian Paisley.

    That the IRA have now finally agreed to go along with the original Civil Rights programme after bloodily rejecting it for 30 years is I supose a small mercy for which we should all be grateful, but please don’t insult our inteligence by claiming that the IRA campaign was merely an extension of the Civil Rights movement when it was in fact a total rejection of what the Civil Rights movement sought.

    Attempts by Adams to claim otherwise is simply bollocks on stilts.

  • The Dubliner

    “…to destroy the state of Northern Ireland using bombs and murder in order to create a united 32 county independent socialist Irish Republic.” Harry Flashman

    I wonder if any of them really had that objective? Those who gave the matter any thought must have concluded that the means would have the opposite outcome to the desired end. And if you decide to murder people for a particular end, then you’d need to be certain in your mind that the end was achievable by the means. To do otherwise is to act without conscience or intellect. And how exactly could they have believed that they could force the British government to abandon its obligations under international law to ensure that an ‘occupied’ society is stabilised before withdrawing from it when their murder campaign had the effect of destabilising it, ensuring that the British government could not withdraw? Did they think that the society wouldn’t degenerate into the civil war that was averted by partition? Did they think that the Irish government would accept the north under those conditions? Did they think that they would be in any position, post civil war, to overthrow the sovereign Irish Republic and establish their 32-county socialist republic? I don’t see them as anything other than a militant fascist movement that used violence to serve their own selfish sectarian agenda; and beyond the agenda level, as a group of thugs who used the label of ‘republicanism’ to disguise their hatred of those they murdered and to disguise their own criminal profiteering . They are not republicans. Indeed, their theft of that word along with their theft of the name Sinn Fein and Irish Republican Army had the effect to smear those honourable historical names with the same excrement that they used to smear their cells in Long Kesh.

  • Comrade Stalin


    Local councils had more powers at that time, including powers over the allocation of housing, the unfair allocation of which was a key component of the social unrest here. The retention of the property qualification beyond the rest of the UK did not help deal with the perception that unionists were trying to hold onto control of councils through unfair means. All this aside from the fact that unionists were personating and stealing votes left right and centre.

    Westminster elections would have seemed more or less pointless given that all the power was at Stormont and in the councils.

    I would agree that Stormont had successfully fixed many of the civil rights problems (the single biggest improvement being the establishment of the Housing Executive whose legacy lives on), however the unionists split right down the middle on this matter, but the majority of unionists were opposed to these reforms. Look at the results of the 1965 and 1973 elections on Wikipedia to see the effects. In order to see off the danger that unionism would defeat the moderate elements and reverse those rightful changes, powersharing was the only way to proceed. 30 years later, you guys are figuring this out.

    I regard the IRA as a group of criminals and psychopaths who had no mandate for their “war” which they waged on the Irish as well as the British people. However, it can’t be denied that it would have been more difficult for their poisonous ideals to take root had unionism stopped to think about the implications of opposing simple reforms over civil rights. Terence O’Neill, and subsequently Brian Faulkner, figured that out but got themselves ridden over like a Mack truck. The IRA’s campaign, along with the security campaign waged largely against it, could never have resulted in anything other than a long-term stalemate but the unionists, unlike the SDLP and the civil rights people, did have the power to stop it.


    Civil rights aren’t that easy to achieve, which, if you are an American you should well know. What are mortality rates like on Indian reservations these days ? And have you got a non-partisan electoral system that people can’t fiddle yet ? Interesting that you quote JFK who was elected partially thanks to votes stolen and rigged by the Mafia.

  • Aquifer

    The public aims of the civil rights movement were achieved quite early on in these ‘troubles’, but a street campaign of cross-community mass non-violent resistance and civil disobedience could not co-exist with PIRAs riots bombs and bullets and claims for irish cultural separatism.

    What were PIRA about? Not the last gasp of non-sectarian communist revolution, for the officials offered that and were rejected in favour of the traditionalist Provos.

    I think the truth was sadder than that. Economically, irish nationalism and ulster localism had failed, to the point where governments north and south were about to embrace multinational industrial capitalism as the engine for revival.

    This laid the inequalities in the north bare for sure, but it also exposed the backruptcy of the irish separatist project to its most sincere adherents, northern catholics, who had been interred in a gaelic cultural bubble by the catholic church and a disinterested stormont bureaucracy.

    Rather than reject their own political cultural legacy as flawed, PIRA raged against any ould enemy they could target.

    As the scale of a modern economy increased to embrace the whole island and beyond, politics would follow.

    Did PIRA sense that the northern catholics would switch from being a disadvantaged minority in a small statelet to being that in a capitalist larger one?

    An industrial capitalist island would not challenge inherited privilege, protestant or catholic.

    Was their only tactical hope to try to ensure that unity was achieved not on rational and republican terms, but on the basis of religious identity and cultural affiliation?

    Was their campaign really a campaign to unhitch English overlords, or one to hijack the island for a sectarian bloc?

  • Blue Hammer


    < <<< The Civil Rights campaign was ultimately very successful in achieving its aims… after a mere five years or so”. So by your calculations full Civil Rights were “granted” around 1974. That means then you agree that for 50 years there was a denial of Civil rights. Why should people have to wait 50 years for civil rights, that is a state asking to be overthrown. >>>>

    So when did your African-Americans achieve Civil Rights? 1968? 1974? 1980? even now?

    Since your country has existed since 1776, by my calculations this means that for 200 years there was a denial of Civil rights. Why should people have to wait 200 years for civil rights, that is a state asking to be overthrown.

    Life comfy in the glass house?

  • Petran

    “On the one side there were nationalists and republicans who were denied basic human and civil rights”

    This would be reasonable only if the aims of the IRA were to reverse any such discrimination and they had stopped when it had been eliminated (about 1973-ish). That was not their aims. Their aims were to annex territory to a state the majority of people living in (70%) did not want to be a part of, on the basis of ethnicity related claims. That was what made the IRA aims immoral. Until the IRA admits that that goal of (literally per dictionary definitions of both words) ethnic conquest was immoral then they have not accepted their guilt in contributing to the violence and the core problem still remains.

    If unionists must accept that the indirect discrimination of the past was immoral then nationalists must accept that the aim of ethnic conquest was immoral. In practice they largely have. Let’s see them also do it in terms of principle.

  • The Penguin

    “There is no “real” truth, truth and knowledge is merely a human constructions, arrived at through dialogue.”

    I have read some crap here at times but I think this one takes the biscuit. I was going to write “shades of Orwell’s 1984” but this nonsense actually puts 1984 in the shade. With this approach we could talk the Holocaust out of having ever happened.

    Does it ever strike anybody that exactly the same type of local council franchise as applied in NI was in operation in Britain until the late 1950s – they mustn’t have liked catholics there either.

    And that, as a local businessman, the likes of Mary McAleese’s father was entitled to multiple votes in council elections but non-business owning protestants (by far and away the vast majority) only had one vote.

    Job discrimination in the likes of Mackies, Shorts and H&W was not the responsibility of the unionist government, they were all private companies. Like everywhere else in europe at that time, an employer could hire or fire at will whoever he liked.

    The real discrimination was in housing allocation in SOME unionist controlled council areas and, ergo, as in Derry, gerrymandering.

    Adams is old enough to know all of this, he is just a plain liar trying to justify a largely sectarian campaign of butchery.

  • “The real discrimination was in housing allocation in SOME unionist controlled council areas and, ergo, as in Derry, gerrymandering.”

    Just unionist controlled council areas?

  • Thomas Neil

    As for the Stormont Parliament favouring Protestants: this is true insofar as it was an oligarchy, you had to be one of the few to take advantage of the club membership’s offers. As for the working classes of both Christian persuasions the only difference was that the parliament discriminated against their own kind whereas Stormont was always perceived to be alien to the other.


    Godwin’s law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies) is an adage formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990:

    “ As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin’s_law]

  • Nevin

    Harry, the rights campaign had been running from the mid-1950s; there were protests in the South as well as in the North.

  • DK

    My personal opinion is that the cultural situation in the world in to late 1970s-early 70s made revolution much more socially acceptable and morally defendable than it is now. The early pIRA in the late 60s-early 70s had a long list of other national revolutionary groups (Cuba, Vietnam) to follow in the path of, never mind the social uprisings going on at the time in Europe. And all this had the heady idealism of Marxism and Communism underpinning it. This was an attempt to have a marxist revolution and at the time that was much more morally defensible than it is now.

    We can now look back with the knowledge that the revolution collapsed due to lack of popular support, penetration and in-fighting, descent into base sectrainism, the rise of a loyalist counter-revolution that eventually out-gunned it, and the collapse of communism along with revelations that the far-left wasn’t the ideal that people thought.

    So the IRA started as an idealistic to try and overthrow the states, but the above factors doomed it, and the casualties per year show it petering out long before the ceasefires.

    Adams is right that a political solution was needed, but wrong in that the IRA were part of civil rights. The IRA never anything more than a revolution inspired by fashion and doomed by time.

  • An Amateur Anthropologist

    “Job discrimination in the likes of Mackies, Shorts and H&W was not the responsibility of the unionist government”

    = economic liberalism gone mad.

    Discrimination in the workplace is the responsibility of all governments. If they refuse to take responsibility, they can expect to be toppled.

  • Slieve Gullion

    DK you are a million light years off track. The Provos were set up with money from Dublin on the explicit premise that they would oust the supposed Marxists and Communists then in control of the IRA, stay away from social issues, especially in the south, and stick firmly to military operations in the north. The anti-communist line continued well into the eighties, when they started flirting with a few ultra-leftist groups in Europe. Anti-communism was even used to justify the killing of Officials in so-called feuds, for example at Halloween 1975.

  • “Discrimination in the workplace is the responsibility of all governments. If they refuse to take responsibility, they can expect to be toppled.”

    You’re talking about different times though. At that time there were few governments interfering to any great degree in employment practices of private companies. I’m sure I recall reading a quote somewhere about judging acts of the past by the moral standards of the present that would be quite relevant. Suffice to say it’s rather akin to comparing apples and oranges.

  • The Penguin

    An Amateur Anthropologist

    I agree with you, I am not seeking to justify anything but simply pointing out how things were throughout europe at that time.

    The idea of an employer having to justify why he refused to hire one person rather than another or why he sacked someone at a moments notice – or indeed being held to account by anyone other than trade unions for his employment practices – is a fairly recent development.

    In those days, the idea that anyone could tell any private employer what he must and must not do re his employees was so alien as to be laughable.

    This, as I say, was not unique to NI but the standard system through out europe.

  • Turgon

    Getting back to Adams and his debate, this seems to be a further attempt by Adams to pose as the liberal minded thoughtful intellectual of the Republican movement. He has always fancied himself in this role and I suppose with no other real political function (the Irish Presidency being as likey as him being spontaneously able to fly) he can indulge these fantasies.

    The fact that they are fantasies is of course borne out by his own words. Leaving aside the debate about whether or not any discrimination justified the IRA campaign (I clearly argue it did not); Adams thesis is still morally bankcrupt.

    He semems to feel that by the mid 1970s the IRA had failed to acheive thier aims and had no realistic prospect of so doing. However, he feels that it was up to someone else to propose an alternative and until that time it was morally correct to carry on killing people. Clearly he feels that murdering people is not of itself wrong and was morally superior to not doing so. This is a spectularly warped version of morality.

    Even following his own analysis, he must surely have trouble justifying the extremely frequent murders of people utterly uninvolved in the troubles. But of course they were actually responsible in his world view because did not provide an alternative to the IRA killing them and as such although it was unfortunate the IRA had to kill them it is actually the victims fault.

    It just shows the complete moral vacuum in which this man lives. A moral vaccum in which he has declared himself not to have been in the IRA and now to have not wanted people to die in the troubles but found himself forced to support their deaths because they (the victims) would not accept his world view.

  • lib2016


    Adams has admitted that in his own opinion ‘he did evil so that good might triumph’. The same might be said of many people, not least the pilots who bombed Dresden or the only country which has actually used nuclear bombs.

    The world isn’t simply black and white. There are infinite shades of grey.

    The acceptance by our leading politicans that working together is the best way forward should be celebrated and their lead followed. If it doesn’t work out you can always have your hate back.

  • Ahem

    I know, I know Lib – poor old Turgon, *so* consumed with hate, what with his horror at murder. Thank God we have love filled, Adams-loving types like you to show us what hate isn’t.

  • The Penguin

    ‘he did evil so that good might triumph’

    Exactly the kind of argument Stalin or Hitler might have used.
    The fact is that peaceful nationalism had acheived everything that was required by about 1973.

    Turgon, I agree entirely with all that you say.

    But this is also about retrospective justification. It’s about saying that really the prods brought all the killing and mayhem upon themselves.

    It’s also about continuing the SF project of completely disheartening the prods and trying to encourage, among other things, a self-hatred within that community.

    It’s also part of a “paint them as untermenschen to the wider audience” project.

    You see it on here every day from the SF apparachiks, “they have no culture”, “they’re stupid”, “they’re more racist than anyone else”, “they’re all bigots”.

    In short, it’s pure fascism, nothing more or less.

  • lib2016

    The Penguin,
    Every state needs a foundation myth and there is little doubt about which myth and which state will survive the present political struggles.

    Anyone who actually wants to know the truth can look it up in CAIN – just type ‘Discrimination’ into the search engine and prepare yourself for a good read.

    Your attempt to portray the SF leadership (whatever about some of the foot solders) as anti-Prod is simply wrong. They are modern politicans and a Prod vote is just as good as a Teague one or even my own atheist one. We are moving into a post-Christian Ireland and most of us recognise that fact.

    Unionism’s problem is that modern Prods don’t believe in all that political protestantism and are even embarrassed by it.

    No-one doubts that Northern unionists face difficulties in adapting to the end of the British identity but it is happening. Whether unionists can rise to the challenge is their own choice.

  • Harry Flashman

    *No-one doubts that Northern unionists face difficulties in adapting to the end of the British identity but it is happening.*

    Lib, are ye a betting man?

    Which of these two outcomes is more likely:-

    a) 2016 will see the centenary of the Easter Rising with a united Irish Republic


    b) 2021 will see the centenary of the founding of Northern Ireland with that state still part of the United Kingdom?

    Twenty years ago I would have said it was an odds on, dead cert option ‘a’, but now thanks to the activities of Mr G Adams esq over the past quarter century I’d put my money on ‘b’.

    Care for a wager?

  • lib2016

    1/Northern Ireland isn’t a state but you knew that.

    2/Whatever the legal position is I firmly believe that the actual situation will be that control over the North will be in Dublin hands by 2016. In fact we are well on the way towards achieving that already.

    Not sure whether there will still be a UK in 2021 but you may know better.

    I’m afraid I don’t gamble, drink or smoke so must decline your kind invitation to share your vices.

  • The Penguin

    “Anyone who actually wants to know the truth can look it up in CAIN – just type ‘Discrimination’ into the search engine and prepare yourself for a good read.”

    Some of us don’t have to look it up anywhere. When Adams said that nationalists and republicans were denied votes and jobs he was lying, simple as that.

    As for the non-sectarianism of the provos, don’t make me laugh FFS.

    It is a deeply fascist organisation you are a cheerleader for, which is entirely up to you.

    But just don’t expect the rest of us to buy the propoganda it spouts through people like you and others.

  • lib2016

    “some of us don’t have to look it up anywhere”

    How very Irish! De Valera believed he just had to look within himself. Didn’t work for him either.

  • Harry Flashman

    *I’m afraid I don’t gamble, drink or smoke*

    Christ of almighty!

    That explains your posts then. Have you tried fornicating? You’d be surprised how therapeutic it is.

    For the record Dublin had a hell of a lot more influence over Northern Ireland after the signing of the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement by arch-unionist Margaret Thatcher but renounced that influence along with Articles 2 & 3 of the Irish Constitution following the Good Friday Agreement.

    Good man Gerry, you played a blinder there old son!

  • andy

    Remind me how that influence was manifested again?
    I think we had this discussion before. The end result was they may have influenced the timing of one march

  • The Penguin

    “How very Irish! De Valera believed he just had to look within himself. Didn’t work for him either.”

    Christ, how thick do you have to be not to realise that there are still an awful lot of people about who actually lived through that period.

    Not everyone relies on the dubious Wiki, Cain or, worse still, Gerry’s Room 101 to find out what has gone on before.

  • lib2016

    The Penguin,

    I marched on a few of the marches and had acess to the pamphlets put out by the Dungannon Civil Rights groups from about 1966.

    Some at least of those pamphlets are on CAIN and the originals are available in the Linenhall Library.

    I found it chastening to have a read recently and realise just how different that world was. My memory had indeed failed me for the hopelessness of the situation then was much worse than I remembered.

    Maybe you should try a little research. Your memory also seems to be playing tricks.

    Harry & andy,

    If you imagine that British troops will ever again be used to police NI then you are very mistaken. Most of NI is now de facto republican and will remain so. The rest will follow.

  • ulsterfan

    This type of debate has been running for years and to tell the truth I am bored with it .
    Hibernation is perhaps more attractive than reading some of this nonsense but please waken me up when the Queens Writ no longer runs throughout the six counties which forms NI.
    For our American friends they should think that the local franchise which operated in NI was exactly like the arrangements in many large American cities such as NY but I don’t think the disenfranchised Irish went out seeking civil rights.

  • The Penguin


    If you are claiming like your leader that “…nationalists and republicans who were denied basic human and civil rights, including the right to vote, access to housing and work”, and were around at that time, then you are as much a liar as he is.

    And while we’re at it, let’s cut the crap altogether, Adams had no involvement at all in the Civil Rights Association.
    No one from those times can ever remember him playing any part.

    The disruption was used as an excuse by adams and his cohorts to launch a violent campaign to force unionists into a unitary state.
    The civil rights demands were achieved by about 1973, but Adams and his accomplicies continued with their deeply sectarian campaign for almost another 30 years.

    Similar violent methods are now being used to suppress people in nationalist areas.

    You are a cheerleader for a deeply fascist organisation.

  • Jocky

    Turgon, spot on, rather worrying that no one else picked up on that rather fantastic piece of justification by Adams. Quite simply staggering.

  • lib2016

    Well – we’re all satisfied then?

    Adams and the vast majority of Irish people go on winning friends and influencing people and Irish unionists persist in justifying their own refusal to do so.

    Remember that it was by your own choice and spare us the inevitable MOPEism 😉

  • The Penguin

    “Remember that it was by your own choice and spare us the inevitable MOPEism”

    The barely concealed threats cut no ice, this isn’t the Jews in Nazi Germany you’re dealing with.

    Your leader is a barefaced liar is where we started on this and you have be unable to mount any coherent argument to prove otherwise.
    For the simple reason it is true.

  • Shore Road Resident

    When Civil Rights Association founder Gerry Fitt was bombed out of his home by the IRA, was that because of the unionist reaction to the Civil Rights Association?

  • lib2016

    Both the nationalist and unionist mainstreams have decided that peaceful coexistence is the only way forward. Clearly you don’t want to be part of that consensus but what is your alternative?

  • Shore Road Resident

    Mine is peaceful coexistence, with Adams relegated to a national laughing stock – which means I’m quids in, because it increasingly looks as though relegating Adams to a national laughing stock aids peaceful coexistence. You can tell he’s noticed it too. He’s got the haunted look about him lately.

  • The Penguin


    Oh, but I do.

    But surely by peaceful coexistence you don’t mean unionists, or anybody else for that matter, having to sit mute while your leader spouts barefaced lies to try and retrospectively justify a sectarian murder campaign.

    Or maybe you do.
    But then that wouldn’t so much be peaceful coexistence as a forced orthodoxy.

    Sorry, peaceful coexistence, yes.
    Pretending barefaced lies are truth, no.

    There is no contradiction in my position, perhaps you should examine your own.

  • dewi

    Accept all Unionist views – it’s too historically close for objective analysis from your perspective. From afar, however, he stopped the war – a good thing – and largely stopped others pursuing it – another good thing.

  • The Penguin

    Did he and the IRA Army Council really have any other choice?

  • lib2016


    As you say – time will settle the argument. It does make one wonder what happens next in the unionist camp.

    Can the DUP hold onto their supporters or will they simply abstain? Can’t see the UUP coming up with an alternative political strategy and they certainly don’t have the young talent.

    Interesting to watch republicans being careful about Paisley and the DUP. “If you haven’t anything good to say, say nathing!” seems to be accepted without anyone actually saying it.

  • Turgon

    lib 2016,
    I see you are back explaining to us unionists that our time is up. I seem to remember that you at least thought our children had value. Care to remind me of the quote you made?

    I see you think Adams and the IRA did evil do that goos would trimuph.

    I suppose that evil to make good trimuph includes Enniskillen, after all here is your infamous quote:-
    “As for Enniskillen itself – the nationalist population was under attack from the British Army and the community which backed them. They fought back and when there is violence innocent people get hurt….end of story.”

    I think in your case lib the effect of your posts is to remind all unionists that amongst the reasonable nationalist and republican posters here there are also some proper cheerleaders.

  • veritas

    Sunningdale for slow learners-over 20 years of additional violence-that is even if accept the lie about the armed struggle being justifiable.

  • lib2016


    Tut! Tut! You are back to felon-setting now. If you can’t attack the argument attack the person making the argument? Seems like a sad way to demonstrate the paucity of your ideas but if you want to make a fool of yourself who am I to stop you?

    Enniskillen was wrong and lost Sinn Fein a great deal of support. They have apologised for that as for much else but you know all that and still want to rake up old and injudicious post which I made after you had MOPEd excessively as is your wont.

    This isn’t LuvUlster and it was precisely those sort of shoddy tactics which destroyed it. Don’t reckon much on your chances of destroying Slugger.

  • lib2016


    Just so that there should be no doubt – the IRA campaign was wrong and misguided in my opinion. Unfortunately after Bloody Sunday it was probably inevitable.

  • veritas

    Hey Turgon do you remember the one about the provos shooting two cows-for supplying milk to the security forces-pretty much sums up the futility of violence perpetrated by them mainly against their fellow Irish people.people just coming home from their work.or people in a gospel hall.yes those volunteers were so brave….hot.James Connolly must be turning in his grave.

  • veritas

    and before bloody sunday?

  • justthoughtidask

    “While I was of the view that no military solution was possible..”

    Was it before or after Bloody Friday and La Mon that you came to that view, Gerry?

  • Turgon

    lib 2016,
    I was on holiday when you made that post, so do not blame me for starting it. You are the one who made the above post. It was actually in answer to Dewi who is hardly a unioniost poster.

    The fact is that your leader is now claiming that he knew that the republican murder campaign was wrong and yet he feels it was other people’s moral duty to stop it and not the IRA’s. So actually it was the other people not giving in to what the IRA wanted which meant that the IRA had to kill them which in turn makes it the victims fault. His and, if you support him, your moral compass is spectularly derranged.

    You have accused me of attacking you yet you say this about me “….you can always have your hate back.”

    Yes of course lib I am a hate filled sectarian bigot and all the many posts I make here drip with my hatred of Roman Catholics, I guess that is why I am so supportive of the loyalist cheerleaders and indeed pronounce how I would do anything to stop a united Ireland.

    Care to find any quotes I have made on such subjects?

    You on the other hand are a tolerant, liberal minded, intellectual like your idol Gerry Adams.

  • Petran


    “Lib, are ye a betting man?”

    Actual real life bookie odds can be found at

    United Ireland by 2012 25 – 1
    United Ireland by 2017 20 – 1
    United Ireland by 2022 14 – 1
    United Ireland by 2027 10 – 1

  • Turgon

    Sorry of course you leader is not saying the IRA was wrong only that the campaign was never going to work. No not wrong. Clearly to pointlessly continue a campaign of murder which you do not hope to win is not wrong. No it is clearly the fault of the people who will not let you win.

    My how I misunderstand the world. It is great to have such moral guardians such as you lib to help us.

  • Petran


    Adams has admitted that in his own opinion ‘he did evil so that good might triumph’. The same might be said of many people, not least the pilots who bombed Dresden or the only country which has actually used nuclear bombs.

    The problem with that analysis is that defeating and democratising Nazi Germany or Japan was indeed good, but forcing Northern Ireland into union with the south without it’s consent was not “good”, in fact it was “bad”.

  • dewi

    “Did the army council have any other choice”

    Oh yes – ability of South Armagh IRA truly astonishing. Whatever your views how these people kept the war going a logistical miracle.
    That’s why I find the latest stuff so worrying.

  • I wonder…

    The Republican illusion was that, given the passage of sufficient time, what was irredeemably *bad* at the time it happened would somehow be absolved by history.

    Now, where did they did that idea?

    That idea, however, enabled them, good church-going Catholics like Gerry and Martin, to refuse to accept the Pope’s plea to stop the violence in 1979.

  • I wonder…

    On the s. Armagh issue – it was interesting that against the background of the murder of young Quinn, Eamon Collin’s inquest was finally concluded – revealing an even worse scale of barbarity, presumably perpetrated by the same clique of individuals.

    It was horrifying how republican blogs such as Balrog revelled in the murder of men like Collins. I suspect there will be moral consequences – even, and I’m sure SF shudder at the thought – electoral ones.

    To be deemed a “tout” seems to justify the most barbaric treatment imaginable. Unsurprising, against such a history, that whatever Mr Quinn did or was believed to have done, was deemed by some to merit what was done to him. In what was done to him and to Collins we see the utter perversion of morality – the complete loss of proportion.

  • Little Eva


    I never cease to be amazed at how deep in the gutter some people will look to find heroes. I suppose our own position on the moral scale can best be judged by those we look up to.

    Your knowledge of where the IRA campaign was at is extremely shallow if you believe that the S Armagh outfit could have kept it going much longer.
    The reality is totally different from the mythology.

    British security services had infiltrated the IRA from top down. Since the Anglo-Irish agreement, their Irish counterparts had increasingly come on board.

    Just as S Tyrone was all but wiped out because of their refusal to come on board with the Adams/McGuiness strategy, so too would the serious “operators” in S Armagh have been.

    Slab realised this and acted accordingly.
    That this decision would allow him to pursue at full pelt his economic activities – though he didn’t realise at the time the screw would gradually be applied there, as well – helped make his mind up.

    Be under no illusions, the IRA was finished as a credible force.
    Some areas, like S Armagh would have taken longer to defang.
    But they could never have sustained. Not with touts working at the highest levels of the provos who were actively working towards ceasefire, disbandment and politics alone.
    And caught, as well, in a pincer movement of British and Irish security services.

    Their day had passed them by and Slab, whatever we think of him, was smart enough to realise it.

  • Turgon

    Adams and the Republican movement in general rarely do things in a random fashion. Although as I have posted above some of this is Adams having little much political to do now presenting himself as the political philosopher and renessaince man to add to author (and cheerleader for; if by chance not actual sectarian murderer).

    Some of this is probably vanity but as the Penguin has noted there is another subtext.

    It is clearly an attempt to rewrite history so that the IRA campaign was an unfortunate, inevitable and necessary response to the evil unionists / Brits (this is the context in which people like lib 2016 function). Adams also by claiming to accept that the IRA campaign would never create a united Ireland also manages to avoid too much embarassment for abandoning “Ireland unfree will never be at peace” etc. In this shiny new version of history the Republican movement knew they would never get a united Ireland but carried on as that was the only way to get power sharing and SF in government. The implication can also be that all the IRA “volunteers” accepted this and were quite happy with it. This narrative also attempts to undermine people like Bobby Sands’s relatives and Republican SF by implying that the hunger strikers etc. knew all this; were quite happy with it and as such would support what has now happened. This is an important bulwark against the more extreme elements in the republican movement complaining about compromise and allows the views of the likes of Ms. Swift from West Fermanagh to be ignored.

    An additional aspect of the strategy is that it is another unionist engagement. It allows Adams and the IRA to parade themselves as not actually sectarian killers and cheerleaders. It allows them to proclaim they are sorry for the troubles. Of course they are sorry that the evil unionists / prods were so evil that they (the IRA) had to kill them. However, the semblance of some form of regret can be presented as showing how unbigoted the republican movement actually is.

    Then if unionists reject it they can yet again be presented as bigots and living in the past, unable to move on etc. etc. and this shows that actually the unionists were the problem all along , further justifying the need to kill them. If some unionists do accept Adams’s comments then it can be presented as a weakening in unionist solidarity and further proof of the sucess of republican strategy and of the nearing of a united Ireland.

    As ever this is a fairly clever move by SF but these moves always tend to flounder on the annoying tendancy of unionists and many others to remember that the IRA were actually a collection of sectarian murderers.

    Still all this does allow Adams to prance about as the liberal minded intellectual statesman. Ironic that this is the week when Prof Anthony Clare died. When Adams explained that unionists were suffering from false conciousness and needed to realise that they were Irish, Clare pointed out that this attitude was fundamentally fascist; something which seemed to amaze Adams. Maybe not quite so clever and intellectual then our Gerry. Still clever enough to have the likes of lib 2016 regarding him with awe.

  • veritas

    Eva I agree,I dont recall any law suit against the Sunday world over their claims about ” the fisherman”

  • I wonder…

    “When Adams explained that unionists were suffering from false conciousness and needed to realise that they were Irish, Clare pointed out that this attitude was fundamentally fascist”

    Is this true? When did this interview take place?

  • The Penguin


    Excellent, yet again.

    I am amazed at how many people literally do not realise just how fascist Adams and his crew actually are.

  • Dewi

    Sorry – objectively – South Armagh IRA managed to keep the most professional army in the world fairly fully occupied for a good while. Nothing to do with heroes just an analytical observation.

  • I wonder…

    In the absence of an answer to my previous question, I think I must point out that had an interview with Ian Paisley Snr taken place at the same time as that of GA, that Dr Paisley’s view at that time might SLIGHTLY have been at odds with his current position….

  • I wonder…


    I did understand your comment. A military perspective is that what happened to Eamon Collins DID work. It would appear that what he did – and you can read what he did in “Killng Rage” – justifid what happened to him.

    Did “British Intelligence”/the securocrats drive a chisel through Brian Nelson’s eye socket?

  • SaygoodbyetotheProvos

    Going back to the original thread, I think it is good that Adams faced the Parry family re the needless and cruel killing of their son. Maybe the British Army/RUC members who killed people – and didn’t lose a single day’s pay for doing so – during the conflict could feel similarly inclined…

  • Comrade Stalin


    At that time there were few governments interfering to any great degree in employment practices of private companies.

    There was an aristocracy in Northern Ireland which comprised the industry leaders, the politicians, and the other usual types. The government didn’t directly intervene but these people spoke to each other and I find it pretty hard to believe they weren’t all reading off the same hymnsheet.


    That explains your posts then. Have you tried fornicating? You’d be surprised how therapeutic it is.

    I didn’t know you had a sense of humour!

    Regarding the posts about whether or not there will be a UI .. I think all of that is besides the point. The question is when will we stop worrying about whether there is a UI or not. We’ve made a lot of progress towards that point. People accept the need to be nice to Ireland. Ireland accepts the need for good relations with the UK, and vice versa. People have loosened up a hell of a lot. I’m even starting to hear unionists calling themselves “Irish” again where previously they would not, and when you see the Larne borough council going to Dublin to ask for help upgrading a road, you know that things have moved on.

  • Turgon

    I wonder,
    Re Adams / Clare. I think I remember discussion about the interview though I loathed In the Psychiatrists chair and never listened to it. I am happy to be wrong and indeed I could not find any mention of it on the internet.

  • Dewi

    Anyway 9 hours from Dublin to Cardiff – ridiculous – could have got to Kabul in less time. Nos effing da.

  • I wonder…


    I don’t doubt you’re right.

    I was just wondering about the context.

    You’ll appreciate my point, as I am a deffo NON-SF person, that the chronological factor needs to be built in.?

  • USA

    I agree with a lot that has been said, even with those like Harry Flashman who were annoyed by my earlier posts. He and others make a lot of valid points from a unionist perspective. The last 35 years or so in the north of Ireland are a good example of what I mean when I say we “construct truth”. Even though all of you lived in the same place at the same time you all have very different views or positions on what happened in your recent history. That is why I said there is no “real” truth, only our own truth. Once we engage in dialogue we can begin to construct the truth by understanding events from a number of different perspectives. In this way we can construct truth as individuals and as a society, this will help us understand events and each other. Our own truth commission, one based on public dialogue.
    Truth is a social construction.
    Sorry if I offended anyone, Adams was giving his vesion of the truth and he is entitled to it, as is Ervine, Hume and many others ( I can’t include religious fundamentalists in this as I think they are retards). I think Adams actually stuck to the point well by apologising to the families of the dead British boys. He didn’t mention the Irish children killed in the conflict or try to score political points anywhere, he was focused and stuck to the task at hand which makes me feel that these and other comments were genuine. I feel this is to his credit but others are quick to denounce him, perhaps understandably.
    Blue Hammer,
    Yes there are racial issues here in the US, I think things have got a lot better but concede it is still a work in progress. I hope things continue to imporve.
    But no need to look so far over the ocean. Just over in Britain they have the same issues with Asians and Blacks, and in the north with anti-Irish, anti-Catholic, anti-Orange, anti-Chinese, anti-Immigrant, anti-Polish, anti-freeze.

  • Turgon

    Your claim that there is no truth is of course offensive. There is truth. The truth is that people were killed here. There is also intrepretation. Different people have different intrepretations. For example Gerry Asdams’s current intrepretation is that the IRA campaign could not win by the mid 1970s but that it was other people’s moral responsibility to find a way for the IRA to stop. My intrepretation is that this is a totally dishonest and morally bankcrupt explanation from someone who whilst styling himself as a liberal intellectual is actually a terrorist cheerleader if not a terrorist himself. Clearly others may have a different intreptration.

    There is, however, no getting away from the truth that the IRA killed people (as did the alphabet soup of loyalist terrorists). People some of us knew and no amount of spin, lies or historical revisionism will change that.

    ” I can’t include religious fundamentalists in this as I think they are retards”

    So everyone else is entitled to their opinion but not people like me. Why not? Oh yes I am a “retard”. Firstly the term “retard” is offensive to myself as well as those who have learning disabilities. Secondly I fail to understand why my views have no value. Am I some sort of sub human? Oh yes I guess as a “retard” I cannot understand why my views are invalid. Just like I cannot understand how the fact that people like me would not give in to the IRA forced the IRA to kill our kith and kin and it was actually the victims fault all along. Indeed I am a retard.

  • The Penguin


    If you ever find yourself in a court of law (hopefully somewhere like Texas), I suggest you try your truth theory out on them.

    Let us know how it goes, should be interesting.

  • Sam Hanna

    I would like to see the fact documented about the so-called “discrimination.” To my knowledge, both Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness both HAD jobs in 1969 and both gave them up to become fulltime genocide directors. It is also interesting that John Hume, Austin Currie et al also held lucrative jobs at the same time and that the majority of the protestors in teh Civil rights Marches in Belfast were from QUB – hardly indicative of widespread discrimination in education!

    As someone whose relatives were simply told by their employers in the Free State that they had to leave because they were Protestants, I am a tad irked by the constant one-sided revisionism of Irish history. My Grandfather simply moved across the border and took his family to Co Fermanagh. I certainly do not think his treatment justifies a Kingsmill or Ormeau Road no matter how the Bearded One now spins it. Of course, unlike the majority of Catholics in the North, Protestants in the main have no ambiquity about muderering in cold blood another human being just because he has a different religion!

  • veritas

    to say that the ira are entitled to their point but religous fundamentalists are not-weird logic-its ok to open fire into a gospel hall in Darkley but the people inside are religous and therefore their opinion doesn’t matter-that seems to be what you are saying.with a brain like your’s you should run for president.

  • veritas

    I can recall shops in larne needing workers putting ads on their shop windows with the suffix roman catholics need not apply.It may have been different in other areas but there most certainly was discrimination against catholics here ,maybe protestants got hard done by in other towns -it maynot all have been one sided but it most certainly did happen.

  • USA

    I apologise, I should not have used the term “retards” when referring to religious fundamentalists, as it is offensive those with learning dissabilities. I should have used the term “idiots” instead. And yes, idiots are entitled to have an opinion, even if their “reality” involves arks, Adam and Eve, omnipotent beings etc.
    All too often people on Slugger bring thier own agenda to the keyboard. I said people were entitled to their opinion and to express a viewpoint, at no time did I say it was okay to gun down unarmed civilians in a gospel hall. So don’t put words in my mouth, thank you very much.
    The Penguin,
    ‘A major focus of social constructionism is to uncover the ways in which individuals and groups participate in the creation of their perceived social reality. It involves looking at the ways social phenomena are created, institutionalized, and made into tradition by humans. Socially constructed reality is seen as an ongoing, dynamic process; reality is re-produced by people acting on their interpretations and their knowledge of it.”
    Go here to learn more about social constructionism