IRA: Banquo or Begbie?

Over at Comment is Free, I’ve a piece which looks at the difficulties being thrown up by the activities of some (former?) Republicans which are creating problems for the apparently strong new parliamentary alliance between the DUP and Sinn Fein. Not least when it comes to making a discrete deal over the devolution of policing and justice in order to make the Westminster timetable of 8th May this year.

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  • Truth & Justice

    It is sad that when the majority of people want peace and voted for it that a very small minority on both sides are still trying to stir things up.

  • joeCanuck

    Interesting, Mick, that you made the comment about Ian Paisley being the IRA’s best recruiting sergeant.
    This of course worked both ways. The two parties had a de facto symbiotic relationship which resulted in both incrementally growing until now, when they are sitting side by side in government.
    What a funny old world we live in.

  • T.Ruth

    Pand J Devolution will not take place until the Unionist community is happy that the”Peace Process” and devolved government have taken root and Unionist civil rights are protected.

    The building of the necessary confidence is largely in the hands of the Nationalist/Republican community and to a large extent by the Westminster government.

    Repect for Unionist culture and heritage,civil and religious liberty and freedom of cultural expression are major issues for the Unionist people. An end to attacks on Loyal Order Parades and Orange Halls,and an end to organised ethnic cleansing programmes at interface areas would be some of the things that will build Unionist confidence to the level that would make devolution of Pand J powers a possibility.

    It will also be vital that Westminster enables our fledgling Executive to have sufficient resources and economic TAX devices to encourage inward investment and rebuild the infrastructure destroyed by Sinn Fein/IRA. When Unionists want the powers for Pand J devolved they will indicate that through their Assembly representatives.

  • nmc


    Most amusing. The devolution of policing and justice will come when Big Ian decides it, end of story. If it’s expedient for him to do it for his career, his pocket or for any other reason, he will go ahead without a second thought for the Unionist electorate.

    an end to organised ethnic cleansing programmes

    Jesus wept. Poor christian majority getting ethnically cleansed. You think interface prods face the same terror as Bosnians, Kosovans or Serbian Croats did? Sickening.

  • lib2016

    The truth is that the Unionist community have played all those cards far too often.

    If they want respect then they will have to earn it by showing some consideration in their dealings with their neighbours.

    That means an end to marches where they are not welcome for a start.

    It was good to hear that Orange Halls can now be used by both communities. Let’s have more stories with details of that type and it will be easier to dissuade Catholic bigots from the recent hall-burnings.

    Some things would be better if they were done on a cross-community basis. Since the Orange Order is seen by many as an antiCatholic movement it would seem simple enough to prove whether or not that view is out of date.

  • ulsterfan


    Instead of viewing the orange Order as anti catholic think of it as Pro Reformation and I think you get a different perspective.
    Let me declare that I have never been a member but an onlooker from afar.

  • T.Ruth

    Please remember that the Roman Catholic Church is extreme in its view that Protestant or Anglican churches are not churches in what they call “the real sense” At least the Orange Order is up front in its defence of the Reformation. Any Roman Catholic who attends my catholic and apostolic and Protestant Church of Ireland may take communion -I would not be permitted this courtesy and privilege in a RC Church. So lets not imagine the Pope is heading up a liberal inclusive organisation.His church is about as liberal and inclusive as the GAA.Lets have less of this demonisation of the Loyal Orders.

    As for ethnic cleansing =speak to the relatives of Protestants murdered in border areas by Sinn Fein/IRA over four decades=a vicious,fascist sectarian, campaign to remove Protestant people from border areas-ethnic cleansing by any definition.

    Look at the map of Ireland from 1900 and make a note every decade of how much is predominantly green and how much is predominantly orange. Then tell me there is not a clear pattern and that ethnic cleansing here has been any less effective than in other situations-different only in scale.

    Pand J powers will be devolved entirely according to the democratically expressed will of the Unionist community. Don’t bet on it happening according to the two Gerrys or a SF compliant secretary of State and certainly not in advance of Unionist requirements being met.

  • kensei

    “Look at the map of Ireland from 1900 and make a note every decade of how much is predominantly green and how much is predominantly orange. Then tell me there is not a clear pattern and that ethnic cleansing here has been any less effective than in other situations-different only in scale.”

    Look up “Non Sequitur”

  • Turgon

    I agree with most of your post. I do, however, have some concerns about this bit regarding devolution of policing and justice “certainly not in advance of Unionist requirements being met. ”

    That is my worry. The DUP have previously told us that they would not allow certain things to happen and then suddenly they have. I fear what is really going to happen is that P&J;will be devolved when Paisley and co. decide and that that decision may be made dependent on narrow party interests and not dependent on some higher minded set of requirements. I hope I am wrong.

  • nineteensixtyseven

    Some people in this country have no self-awareness nor sense of historical objectivity; Ulster unionists complaining of ethnic cleansing, give me a break.

  • Danny O’Connor

    If you look at ethnic cleansing in NI it was a 2 way street .Look at what has happened in Larne and Carrickfergus in recent years.If you look throuhout east antrim and just look at the declining number of Catholics ,look at the numbers,look how many Catholic schools have closed-and it has been going on for decades.Bobby Sands was a native of Rathcoole until his family were forced out.Things are improving over the last couple of years-Thank God.
    I am making the point that a place was created for those coming in-but to create that place someone had to be forced out.