La Mon relatives ask Paisley to stay away from commemoration

A number of relatives of the victims of the La Mon Hotel murders have asked Ian Paisley not to attend the 30th anniversary commemorations to be held at Castlereagh Borough Council offices on the 17th February.Paisley has stated previously that those who lost least have been amongst those to complain the most about the current political arrangements. Some of his party members have described those opposed to the current arrangements as “Flat earthers.” Clearly to denounce the La Mon relatives with such vitriol would be counter productive for the DUP. Hence, we have very similar remarks from Jeffrey Donaldson:

“I understand, and we understand, the sensitivities around all of this, and we recognise that there are victims who feel that what is happening at Stormont is difficult for them to accept. There are others who support it, and many of them will be at Stormont tomorrow to endorse what is happening.”

and from a DUP Spokesman:

“The party understands the hurt of victims and we understand the current arrangements at Stormont are not easy for some people. But we must build for the future so we don’t return to similar events such as La Mon.”

How many people would agree with the sentiments and the conclusions of the Le Mon relatives is of course unknown and the individual relatives stressed that they were speaking purely in a personal capacity. However, the DUP may have to get used to certain people for whom they once felt they were the leading political advocates now regarding at least some of them as unacceptable.

  • fair_deal

    Turgon

    Here is link to the Suzanne Breen piece in the Sunday Tribune on what the victims went through on that evening and since:
    http://www.nuzhound.com/articles/Sunday_Tribune/arts2008/jan27_thirty_years_on_La-Mon__SBreen.php

  • Blue Hammer

    A moving article from Suzanne Breen.

    Brings into focus quite the level of betrayal Paisley has led his party into.

  • Turgon

    Sorry fair_deal, apologies,

    I have fixed it.

  • pith

    Suzanne Breen’s article is an excellent piece of journalism. It is upsetting, moving and has immediacy.

  • Crataegus

    OH YEAH

    Your post is highly offensive, and obnoxious. To blame the victims instead of the murderous physco’s who carried out the slaughter says all about your own values and perception of the world.

    It is the violence and the injustice over centuries that has caused the problem. Violence is a part of the problem it is definitely not part of the solution.

    I heard vague rumours that this particular act was authorised by a leading suit who now enjoys a good salary up on the hill. I wonder if this rumour is in anyway correct? I can quite understand why the relatives feel aggrieved.

    There will be no justice here in Bongo Bongo land. Law and justice are inconvenient concepts and victims a real bind when there are all those new opportunities for gain. In the brave new world NI shows that might is right and Justice and opportunity is only for those with the potential to act with violence.

  • Delgado

    Oh Yeah,

    Do you not think the victims and families of the victims of Bloody Sunday still feel the pain or should they just get over it as well?

    The truth is, you don’t want to live as equals, you just want the brits out regardless of the cost.

    Typical provo mentality; all big talk, no substance.

  • On the 25th anniversary, on RTÉ news:

    “Friday, 14 February 2003 16:41

    Ulster Unionist MP Jeffrey Donaldson has urged the police to arrest Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams for questioning about the IRA bombing of La Mon House near Belfast in February 1978.

    Gerry Adams already rejected yesterday’s claims by a Democractic Unionist MP, Iris Robinson, that he was involved in the IRA bombing, in which 12 people died.

    Mrs Robinson used parliamentary privilege to make the allegation in the House of Commons, and she called for an independent inquiry to be held.”

    That was then and this is now …

  • USA

    I doubt Oh yeah is expressing a “typical provo mentality”. What he is expressing is an unacceptable attitude toward victims in the conflict. He is an offensive prick who has nothing to offer society.

  • Crataegus

    Nevin

    Thanks for the RTE news.

    I could not think how to introduce that name in the context of this incident so that the scale of the affront could be clear to all.

  • OH YEAH77777

    the la mon bomb, and bloody sunday were symptoms of the problem, not the problem. the problem was, and still is the connection with england. now until that connection with england is broken,these bigots need to learn that we’re not for sitting in the back of the bus any more. mrs mcdowell, fair deal, willie frazer and yourself and the rest of the bigots will have to get used to living as equals. thats the best way to ensure that the likes of la mon will never happen again

  • Crataegus

    OH YEAH

    the problem was, and still is the connection with england.

    That is your opinion, others do not share it and bombing them is not normally an effective way to pursuade.

    As for living as equals, I do suppose you mean we all enjoy equal rights, I have absolutely no problem with that but do you?

  • OH YEAH77777

    no, crataegus, not at all, i like peace and equality. but id like to see that connection with england broken so we can have permanent peace and equality

  • Blue Hammer

    So the rather esoteric “connection with England” caused your heroes such a problem that they simply HAD to incinerate the members of a dog club?

    Fuck knows what they might have done if they could have identified an ACTUAL problem.

    You want to live as equals? You are NOT equal. Not if you cannot condemn the manner of the deaths of those innocents.

  • The Dubliner

    Unfortunately, the moral question of whether organised murder gangs who use violence against civilians to advance a selfish agenda should ever be rewarded by society for their despicable methods has already been answered by society in the affirmative.

    The conditions that society attached to the affirmation – making it subject to a cessation of violence and a commitment to use only peaceful methods to advance their goals – are dubious qualifiers for those who know through painful experience how vile the methods are and how vile are those who use them. Those who haven’t suffered find it much easier to make the Devil’s bargain – mainly because they are happily ignorant of its profound meaning, and feel that they may benefit from any ‘peace dividend’ which may result from it (although the political parties have already squandered the goodwill from others which was to underpin it by putting their own machinations aimed at self-advancement before society’s best interests), and by insidiously inserting themselves into the role of the victims (sidelining the actual victims), seeking to benefit in place of them.

    The actual victims amount to tens of thousands. There isn’t any consensus among them on political arrangements which are de facto a transfer to their victimizers because they, like everyone else, are compelled by the two governments to honour the will of nationalists to vote for organised murder gangs, electing them to political office. I’m sure they knew that electing murder gangs would have the effect of ensuring that their victims would be ignored, but I doubt that those victims knew just how cynically systems would be put in place to serve that specific purpose.

    It’s really quite an ugly little society when you look closely at it.

  • The Dubliner

    Typo: “…which are de facto a transfer of State power to their victimizers…”

  • joeCanuck

    Oh Yeah has been on here before spouting vile nonsense and he has been red carded at least once.
    He is a classic troll with a sick underdeveloped mind.
    Best to just ignore him.

  • austin

    As one of many who has lost a close relative in a random sectarian attack, I understand how difficult events at Stormont must be for the La Mon relatives. However for the sake of peace and the greater good, must we all not bite our tongues and move on? The curreny political situation is far from ideal but at least families are being spared the horrific cycle of murders perpetrated for so long by killers from both sides of the community.

  • I’m going to ignore Oh Yeah as well as it’s time for him to crawl back under his stone.

    I fully understand the feelings of the relatives. Even many of those, unlike myself, who support this dispensation have been sickened by the Chuckle Brother routine, in which the Old Croc did not have to take part. Thank you Nevin for reminding us that once upon a time the DUP wanted justice for the victims. Now when the IRA murders their new buddies in the DUP look the other way. As for the DUP spokesman quoted above, the party used to attack Trimble endlessly for saying the same thing.

  • [i]”There isn’t any consensus among them on political arrangements which are de facto a transfer to their victimizers because they, like everyone else, are compelled by the two governments to honour the will of nationalists to vote for organised murder gangs, electing them to political office.”[/i]

    I’m getting a little tired of pointing this out but, since Dubliner doesn’t seem to be aware of the fact, here we go again.

    The forces that supported the continued union of NI and Great Britain murdered more than twice as many civilians as did the Provisional IRA. Yet, Dubliner and too many like him seem to close their eyes to the rampant terrorism of the British security forces and the unionist murder gangs.

    Once again, the British security forces and the unionist murder gangs killed 1,073 civilians. The Provisional IRA killed some 516.

    So, Dubliner, it appears that the citizens of NI are compelled by the two governments to honour the will of unionistsists to vote for organised murder gangs, electing them to political office.

    Or, are we still to believe that there was no linkage between the unionist political leadership and the loyalist, i.e. unionist, thugs?

  • Comrade Stalin

    oh yeah,

    The chuckies got over trying to justify bombings like this one years ago. Maybe you should get with the programme.

    Watchman:

    Thank you Nevin for reminding us that once upon a time the DUP wanted justice for the victims.

    I only ever remember the DUP wanting justice for unionist victims. Right up until recently, the DUP campaigned against justice for other victims, eg with their opposition to the Bloody Sunday tribunal, which never sat well with their public support for the Billy Wright enquiry. Maybe when you’re done being all misty-eyed about the DUP’s honourable past you might be able to make an effort at explaining that little anomaly.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Bob:

    Once again, the British security forces and the unionist murder gangs killed 1,073 civilians. The Provisional IRA killed some 516.

    According to Faye, Smith and Morrissey in 1998, the republicans killed almost 1100 civilians. What’s your source ?

  • Realist

    Bob,

    Your post will be of no comfort whatsoever to the innocent dog lovers slaughtered by sectarian militant republican gang members at La Mon.

  • Peter Brown

    Bob

    Are you seriously drawing some sort of distinction bewteen murdering civilians (sic) and other murders?

  • ciaran

    stalin, as far as I can make out from the cain website 711 civillians were killed by the ira, 846 by loyalists, 187 by british security services and 55 by unknown assailants.1799 in total and nothing to brag about by any of those involved.

  • Diomedes

    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/sutton/crosstabs.html

    Organisation vs Status

    This attributes 498 civilian deaths to the IRA

  • Turgon

    Ah we are back to the rather perverse statistical game.

    Firstly let us ask who gave the IRA the right to kill any of these people? Secondly why is the murder of a “civilian” any more a crime than that of anyone else. However, to play this game.

    Using the Sutton cross tables there are indeed 498 civilians who were murdered by the IRA.

    However: The IRA murdered:
    6 members of the Garda
    19 civilian political activitists
    6 British (unarmed) police officers
    39 retired UDR members
    14 retired RUC officers
    5 retired British army soldiers
    2 retired prison officers

    Which of these people were not civilians?

    This leaves out the murders committed by the various other pseudonyms that the IRA frequently used.

    Catholic Reaction Force 3
    Republican Action Force 24
    Direct action against drugs 4

    The reality is of course also that many of the soldiers and police men murdered were killed when off duty and unarmed. It also ignores the assorted IRA, other republican paramilitary and loyalists murdered by this organisation which set itself up with the alleged right to be judge jury and executioner.

    So yes with Sutton one can attempt to prove the IRA murdered fewer people. The reality as we all now is that that is a lie and the IRA only murdered people; not one of the people it murdered deserved to die and even had they done so the IRA had no right or mandate so to do.

  • Alex S

    To get back to the orginal thread, Paisley’s guilt stems not from his chuckle brothers routine pathetic though it is, but from his behaviour in the sixties when he thwarted any chance of avoiding the subsquent nightmare, and for what did he oppose O’Neill, Fuulkner et al, a seat at the top table?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Turgon: “Ah we are back to the rather perverse statistical game. ”

    There is nothing perverse about it, Turgon. Indeed, it is one of the most sterile ways to look at the conflict. All you are doing is quibbling about definitions.

    Turgon: “Firstly let us ask who gave the IRA the right to kill any of these people?”

    When the Protestant majority refused to acknowledge the grievences presented by the civil rights organizations, the Catholic minority had the right to civil disobedience — if the state is unwilling to accept correction within the system, then stepping outside the system is required. Once the civil rights protests started, followed by certain “over-reactions,” it was like as not too late to get off the Merry-go-round.

    To paraphrase the British euphemism, sometimes you play the game, sometimes the game plays you. If you’re lucky, you’ll know which is which.

    Riddle me this: Who sanctioned the British Army to kill the Bloody Sunday marchers, Turgon? Who sanctioned the RUC and B-Specials to run amok? Who sanctioned Special Branch’s use and protection of Protestant paramilitary criminals and murderers? The whole of this mess is rife with uncomfortable questions with no good answers — hell, there are those who rebel at the asking of the question, let alone the answering.

    Thr truth of the matter, Turgon, while I am as tired of Bob’s argument as anyone else, Unionism’s “look, Ma, my hands are clean” argument is just as much of a “lie” as anything Bob is putting forward, so your moralization above is just as “hypocritical” as anything you can accuse Bob of saying. Unionism permitted, and enforced the discrimination and inequality in Northern Ireland that led to this mess.

    Just as a man who beats his dogs will pull his own sled someday (if he’s lucky…), the majority that cheerfully discriminates against and marginalizes its minority population has no business looking suprised when that minority decides it has had enough.

    In the end sum, each sides’ mealy-mouthed moralizations are simply comfortable lies, meant to assuage the nagging consciences of those few who retain a sense of right and wrong. Where Unionists like to lionize the RUC and B-Specials as “agents of law and order,” there are those with a legitimate point who say they were little more than the Instrumentality of control, just as Unionist see “hoodlums and terrorists” where some Republicans see “heroes.” It’s all a matter of which end of the baton or bullet you happen to be on at the time.

  • The Dubliner

    Dread Cthulhu, that was a nice multi-paragraph exercise in equivocation, deflection, avoidance and waffle, but why don’t you try answering his question “Firstly let us ask who gave the IRA the right to kill any of these people?”

    The Travelling Community in Ireland have a far greater claim to discrimination than the nationalists in Northern Ireland (who enjoyed success in all strata of that society), but hopefully they won’t use your waffle as a pretext to launch a killing spree against the rest of society.

  • Fitzy

    while dc can obviously speak for him/herself, i think the question is a slightly more serious version of ‘have you stopped beating your wife yet?’
    i.e. it’s unanswerable in a rational sense. no man can give another ‘the right’ to kill. that includes people in state uniforms, sitting in govt buildings, or living in a castle. the social situation/circumstances drove the trouble to what they became.

  • Turgon

    Dread Cthulhu,

    How am I to answer your post? I could ignore it but that would be cowardice. I could rant at you and call you a bigot but that would be a lie. Neither of those are the sort of thing I feel comfortable doing.

    Yes of course there was discrimination in the old Stormont regime. I would submit it was less than many claim but it did happen and it was clearly wrong. It clearly did justify protest and violent attacks on peaceful protest by whomsoever committed them was and is wrong. I would also submit taht the discrimination which occurred during Stormont justified protest but no violence. just as opposing the current agreement or even a theoretical united Ireland would justify protest but not violence.

    Although I was only 1 when Stormont was prorogued I accept that unionism did things wrong and must ask forgiveness for that, especially those of us from a middle class background who probably gained the most. I do, however, submit that with dishonourable exceptions unionists individually were innocent just as nationalists with dishonourable were and are innocent.

    I cannot change the past and you know as I have said before that although I object to the current agreement; I do support power sharing. This is not the time to outline my views on possible ways forward but clearly some shared future (much as I hate those sorts of terms) is necessary.

    I am sure that will not satisfy you but it is honest.

  • Dewi

    Not sure that it adds anything but “Direct Action Agianst Drugs” claimed a good deal more than four victims to my recollection. Can’t Google but recall maybe a dozen or so….

    That aside could ask I the Unionist posters how best to move this on? There’s a truth commission to investigate the past. There is peace and has been for a decade and more. What’s a practical programme?

  • The Dubliner

    “…the social situation/circumstances drove the trouble to what they became.” – Fitzy

    That is a self-serving Provisional myth that is designed to create the impression that their murder campaign wasn’t organised by a small number of highly-trained sociopaths with a specific agenda (numbering less than .04% of the nationalist community) that was to be advanced by violating the human rights of others, but was a spontaneous rebellion by the other 99.6% of nationalists (the ones who didn’t feel an overwhelming urge to kill anybody) which was an inevitable and justifiable response to widespread repression of civil rights by an oppressive regime.

  • The Dubliner

    “…the social situation/circumstances drove the trouble to what they became.”
    By the way, Bob, I’m surprised that you didn’t claim that the attack by Provisional’s on 450 protestant civilians at La Mon was the result of unfortunate circumstances that prevented the warning for being delivered in time, as PIRA weasels claimed at the time. Perhaps the fact that PIRA mixed sugar into the petrol to ensure that it would stick to human flesh was an indication that they actually intended it to make contact with human flesh? I think so.

  • Fitzy

    dub, i’d have to disagree. the troubles that i was referring to are not limited to the actual acts of violence.
    during the last 40 years, especially during the 70’s and early 80’s, the nationlist/republican and unionist/loyalist working class population sheltered the orchestrators and perpetrators of violence. You’d be hard pressed to find a person living in a working class area in that period who didn’t know who the players were. I can’t ever recall hearing about queues forming outside an RUC station to provide information.
    this is the type of social circumstance to which i was referring. certainly equality issues didn’t drive everyone to kill (only .04% according to you), but they certainly did create a mood that allowed tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of people to turn and look away.

  • Turgon

    Fitzy,
    Whether or not individuals from working class communities knew what was happening is not as simple as that. How many people really know what their neighbours get up to? Also there are other emotions than support which could explain reluctance to go to the police. Fear of murder by the terrorists would be a pretty good explanation.

  • Fitzy

    turgon… i certainly agree. fear is definitely one emotion, so is the old us v. them scenario. i’d have to say i believe both of those reasons carried a lot of weight over the years. i think that was my point all along… this isn’t a black and white debate. there is a whole lot of grey area that has to be examined to begin to understand the whole situation. which brings me back round to the original question… who gave the ira authority to kill? that’s a loaded question typical to british and irish politics… and it’s not really answerable.

  • The Dubliner

    Fitzy, it is answerable to those who don’t have a vested interest in avoiding the question. The answer is that no-one gave the leaders of PSF/PIRA the right to murder – they conferred that ‘right’ upon themselves, concocting their grubby little Army Council AKA the self-appointed legitimate government of Ireland to disguise the morally and legally bankrupt nature of their enterprise, violating every law, international convention, moral code, rational modus operandi, etc. Those who support PSF/PIRA can’t answer the question because it must be answered in the negative – and they don’t have the integrity to admit that they supported murder as a means advancing their own selfish political, cultural and social interests at the direct expense of the other tribe and as means of giving cathartic expression to their sectarian grievances against the other tribe, having nothing whatsoever to do with republicanism and everything to do with fascist thuggery. But you are right to say that their methods had more popular support than some of us who are sympathetic to northern nationalists care to acknowledge. It seems that support was only deemed acceptable to express after its expression would not be tarnished by the next atrocity, so it’s more likely to be the case that the latent support you spoke of is what explains the rise of PSF, meaning that it wasn’t, as it is portrayed as being, an endorsement of their commitment to non-violence but is simply an endorsement that was always there and is now considered acceptable to express. I don’t know… if it was up to me, I’d make it mandatory for PSF to put autopsy photos of the charred remains of the La Mon victims on their election posters so that nationalists would be forced to acknowledge the type of demented sociopaths they are really voting for, and maybe they might ask themselves if the methods were worth the rewards to anyone other than the leaders of PSF.

  • That last post of Dubliner’s is one of the most concerted rebuttals of Irish republicanism that I’ver ever read.

    Comrade Stalin, I will do many things but not account for things done or said by the DUPers, as I am not a member or supporter, as you well know. For me, justice is blind.

  • willowfield

    Oh dear, “DISHONEST BOB” McGOWAN is back.

    The forces that supported the continued union of NI and Great Britain murdered more than twice as many civilians as did the Provisional IRA … Once again, the British security forces and the unionist murder gangs killed 1,073 civilians. The Provisional IRA killed some 516.

    This statement is disingenuous on three levels:

    1. In order cynically to reduce the number of people murdered by PIRA, Bob arbitrarily makes a distinction between “civilian” and “non-civilian” and removes the murders of “non-civilians” from the PIRA total.

    2. In making this distinction, he doesn’t even employ a reasonable or commonly-understood definition of civilian and classifies many “civilians” as non-civilians for the purpose of reducing the PIRA total further. (He excludes politicians, prison officers, ex-prison officers, police officers, ex-police officers, ex-soldiers, terrorists and ex-terrorists from the civilian total.)

    3. He also includes all those killed by the security forces, including those killed lawfully or accidentally, in the total number of people “murdered” by the security forces. The purpose of this is to increase the numbers of murders he attributes to one “side” relative to his favoured PIRA side.

    4. He makes no distinction between those killed by the security forces and those murdered by loyalist terrorists, as though they were one and the same, and in order artificially to create a simplistic dichotomy of one “side” against another; while at the same time he clearly separates the PIRA from other nationalist groups so as to decrease the numbers he attributes to his favoured “side”.

    Bob’s tactics of cynically and dishonestly playing with statistics are clear and I think his posts can consequently be ignored.

    For the record, though, according to the Sutton Index, the PIRA murdered 1,707 people, excluding 5 murdered by “Direct Action Against Drugs” and unattributed numbers murdered under other pseudonyms (e.g. Catholic Reaction Force). Of those 1,712 (including DAAD this time), 655 were military victims (comprising 455 in the regular British Army, 183 in the UDR, 7 in the RIR, 4 in the Territorial Army, 1 in the Irish Army, 4 in the RAF and 1 in the Royal Navy); leaving 1,057 civilians on the PIRA murder list.

  • willowfield

    That should, of course, have read “disingenuous on four levels”.

  • Jo

    However interpreted, the stats still show that the claim, promoted by some, that “the IRA killed thousands” is simply not true.

    If they had killed just 1 (as did Gusty Spence) its still a terrible human cost for the pursuance of any political ideology.

    Although I’ve never voted for him, I was very taken with Alban Maginness on last weeks H and M when he outlined that over decades, while others killed, the SDLP had pursued the aims of the civil rights movement – without ever taking one human life.

  • willowfield

    However interpreted, the stats still show that the claim, promoted by some, that “the IRA killed thousands” is simply not true.

    Do they?

    Define “thousands”? If it is more one thousand, then the PIRA did kill thousands. And to the nearest thousand, they killed two thousand.

    Also, “the IRA” includes more than just the PIRA: if you add on those killed by OIRA, RIRA, etc., the figure goes above 2,000.

  • willowfield

    … if you add on those killed by OIRA, RIRA, etc., the figure goes above 2,000.

    Although you need to include those attributed only to “republicans”, and also include INLA and IPLO (break-away groups from the IRA).

    PIRA 1,707
    INLA 113
    “Republicans” 89
    OIRA 52
    RIRA 29
    Rep. AF 24
    IPLO 24
    DAAD 5
    CRF 3
    “Saor Eire” 3

    TOTAL 2,049

    There are also 81 murders, the perpetrators of which are “not known”. Doubtless, some of those were PIRA or wider IRA murders.

  • RepublicanStones

    so we have descended into the numbers game….just how far back do we want this numbers game to go? if people want to play that game, they need to realise that the union jack will have a few dozen more spin cycles than the tricolour to go through before the blood is washed out. Oh and the counting of obscure groups such as CRA and RRA, would seem to fit snugly with general kitson’s policies with of ‘pseudo gangs’ so i wouldn’t rush to assume they were defintiely one side or the other, which shows the folly of this numbers game, we’ll just never really know.

  • RepublicanStones

    CRF* RRF*

  • willowfield

    “Dishonest Bob” introduced the “numbers game”, deploying figures in the most cynical and disingenuous way. Those figures could not go unexposed.

  • Johnny

    RepublicanStones, thanks for explaining to us why twelve innocent people had to be incinerated beyond recognition (I wonder if you’ve seen the photos?) at La Mon house hotel. Well done.

  • RepublicanStones

    Johnny quit throwing the toys outta the pram, i never done anything your stupid childish remark insinuates i did. please explain the absurdity of your post !

  • “There’s a truth commission to investigate the past.”

    There is?

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>The whole of this mess is rife with uncomfortable questions with no good answers—hell, there are those who rebel at the asking of the question, let alone the answering.<

  • kilian

    I am reminded of a favourite quote;

    ” Some use statistics, as a drunkard uses a lamp-post-

    For support, rather than illumination”.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I am with Turgon on the issue of the statistics. I find this numbers game sickening in general, but it’s worse looking at the obvious attempts by people to skew the numbers. You can’t count a retired RUC officer as an enemy combatant, not unless you are seriously disturbed in the head. This makes me strongly suspect that the statistics have been carefully massaged to favour republicans. I wonder how many of the civilians were off-duty IRA men – how could anybody tell, especially since the IRA has plausible deniability in it’s favour for any of it’s membership ?

    I also noted the way Bob McGowan lumped the security forces and loyalists together, and considered the IRA separately. It’s quite disturbing the lengths that people will go to to justify murder. I hope, Bob, this explains why your single transferable argument doesn’t seem to get through. It’s just sick.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Turgon: “I am sure that will not satisfy you but it is honest. ”

    Turgon, my point is that there is no satisfactory answer, was never a satisfactory answer and (assuming no sea change in human nature) will never be a satisfactory answer, neither in your quibbles or Bob’s stats or Dubliner’s ham-handed efforts to drag out the answer he wants. The fact is that the Troubles happened, and no amount of bitching about who started it or counting toe-tags to prove who was worse is going to change that fact — the Troubles happened and not a damn thing is going to unring the bell, ever.

    And, frankly, at least you’re honest about it. That is far more than most.

    Now, down to cases…

    Turgon: “Yes of course there was discrimination in the old Stormont regime. I would submit it was less than many claim but it did happen and it was clearly wrong. It clearly did justify protest and violent attacks on peaceful protest by whomsoever committed them was and is wrong.”

    The first assault against protesters justifies, if only in the minds of the assaulted and their allies, response in kind. This is a matter that some might tart up as a matter of “natural law” — the right of the assaulted to strike back, particularly if the state is perceived as operating on a “might makes right” basis.

    From there, escalation was inevitable.

    Turgon: “Although I was only 1 when Stormont was prorogued I accept that unionism did things wrong and must ask forgiveness for that, especially those of us from a middle class background who probably gained the most. I do, however, submit that with dishonourable exceptions unionists individually were innocent just as nationalists with dishonourable were and are innocent. ”

    Individually innocent, mayhap, but some the institutions… *BOTH* sides have institutions that are guilty, although that guilt taints even the “innocent” individuals, a bit like the bartender in the whore-house. There are those the individuals have elected who have had their relationships with the bully boys and hoodlums — I’m not sure if SF is more honest or simply less susceptable to shame when compared to other parties.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    kilian: ““ Some use statistics, as a drunkard uses a lamp-post-

    For support, rather than illumination”. ”

    I prefer Samuel Clemens pithy description…

    “Lies, damned lies and statistics.”

    Prince Eoghan: “And this Dread is what is holding Unionism back. Like alcoholics who need to hit rock bottom before they realise that they have a problem. Unionism’s lack of ambition to take stock of their part in the whole mess shows them up time after time, after time…”

    It’s the same thing that holds Republicanism back. Just as there are those questions for which Unionists can but fall back on spin and finger-point, there are those questions that even Marty or Gerry could do little more than filibuster and dance around the point.

    Comrade Stalin: “I also noted the way Bob McGowan lumped the security forces and loyalists together, and considered the IRA separately. It’s quite disturbing the lengths that people will go to to justify murder. I hope, Bob, this explains why your single transferable argument doesn’t seem to get through. It’s just sick. ”

    In Bob’s (very fractional) defense, those are the categories and definitions in the Sutton database.

  • Comrade Stalin

    In Bob’s (very fractional) defense, those are the categories and definitions in the Sutton database.

    As you say, fractional. The Sutton index is clearly pro-republican. You’re never going to get a completely objective assessment of the status of victims in the troubles, but that index takes the piss. Bob knows rightly what he’s doing, as he shows up here once every couple of months and wheels this tired old argument out.

  • feckit

    “And this Dread is what is holding Unionism back. Like alcoholics who need to hit rock bottom before they realise that they have a problem. Unionism’s lack of ambition to take stock of their part in the whole mess shows them up time after time, after time”

    And there we have it. On a thread about the anniversary of the La Mon massacre, it’s all themmuns fault.

  • kieran o connor

    I am reminded of a quote from a movie that was made after The goodfriday agreement as a couple talked about the troubles. I think it sums up how most people in the north feel ,I know I do ……..”in every conflict there are victims and survivors well I am a surviving victim”

  • I see my comment about the murders during the Troubles have aroused the usual hysteria. So. . .

    In the first place, in no way do I justify the terrorism of the IRA or of any other of the various armed groups that were involved in the violence of the Troubles. BUT, I am pointing out that, despite all the hoopla and hysteria, the Provisional IRA is hardly the only armed group guilty of terrorism. What I am trying to get through to too many ignorant or close-minded posters is that, if you believe the PIRA rab a terroristic murderous campaign, then you must ALSO say that the security forces ran an even MORE terroristic and murderous caampaign and that the UNIONIST — not loyalist — groups were nothing but organized murder gangs. So, if you wish to condemn Sinn Fein for its links, if any, with the PIRA, then you must be even more vocal in condemning HMG for its very clear links with the security forces and the unionist murder gangs and, also, the unionist political party leaders for their links with the murder gangs. Sauce for the goose means sauce for the gander. It seems to me that to do otherwise is both hypocritical and dishonest.

    Secondly, there is no clear evidence, merely wishful thinking, that the Sutton figures are anything but an honest attempt at a fair-minded assessment of the actions of the various groups that participated in the violence. And, IIRC, the compilations from [u]Lost Lives[/u] is not very different from the Sutton analysis. Bottom line: the Sutton analysis, whatever else may be said about it, is NOT intentionally either pro-republican or pro-Unionist.

    Thirdly, no matter how you try to wiggle and dance, there was a war on, a conflict between armed forces, with combatants and civilians on both sides of the conflct. Therefore, just as the armed forces of the state were allowed to kill combatants without warning, so also were the revolutionary guerrilla forces allowed to kill combatants without warning. And, it coesn’t matter whether or not those combatants were on duty and/or armed when they were attacked. And, the RUC were combatants, not civilians. The role the RUC assumed for itself from 1967 or so and the role they fullled during the remainder of the Troubles made them combatants — each and every member. They were not only the criminal police (the civic police) but also the political police, like the Gestapo though not as evil.

    Lastly, individuals and a community or people do have the right to resort to violence when they are attacked and lesser defenses are not sufficient. From what I have heard and read, there is no question that there was political, economic and social discrimination against Catholics in NI with the blessing of both Stormont and Westminster. And that Catholic demands for correction of this state of affairs were met with violence on the part of the majority and indifference on the part of HMG and Stormont. Seems to me that, given that history, a resort to violence on the part of the Irish/Catholic/nationalist community can be justified. So, we had a WAR and the actions of [b]both sides[/b] must be judged under the moral and ethical standards of warfare.

    Seems to me that far too many unionists are unwilling to take a good, hard look at the terrorism of the security forces and the unionist murder gangs. Let me point out that none of the unionst armed groups have disarmed as has the PIRA. Yet, we hear little or no complaint from those advocates of peace who demand even more of the PIRA.

  • willowfield

    Dishonest Bob is back.

    In the first place, in no way do I justify the terrorism of the IRA or of any other of the various armed groups that were involved in the violence of the Troubles.

    Yeah, right. We believe you, Bob.

    BUT, I am pointing out that, despite all the hoopla and hysteria, the Provisional IRA is hardly the only armed group guilty of terrorism.

    No-one has ever claimed that it was.

    What I am trying to get through to too many ignorant or close-minded posters is that, if you believe the PIRA rab a terroristic murderous campaign, then you must ALSO say that the security forces ran an even MORE terroristic and murderous caampaign and that the UNIONIST—not loyalist—groups were nothing but organized murder gangs.

    If that is what you are trying to get through, you are failing. And the reason you are failing is that it is not true. It does not follow that because the PIRA ran a “terrororistic murderous campaign” that the security forces must therefore have run an even more “terroristic murderous campaign”. There is no logic in that argument whatsoever. Regarding the point that loyalist groups were nothing more than organised murder gangs – no-one had disputed this.

    Bottom line: the Sutton analysis, whatever else may be said about it, is NOT intentionally either pro-republican or pro-Unionist.

    No-one has said that it was. But you cynically and disingenuously used figures to paint a dishonest picture.

    Thirdly, no matter how you try to wiggle and dance, there was a war on, a conflict between armed forces, with combatants and civilians on both sides of the conflct.

    Sorry, Bob, there was no “war”. Do you not realise that life continued as normal under the civil authorities, that terrorists were successfully dealt with through the criminal justice system and that the European Convention on Human Rights was applied?

    Therefore, just as the armed forces of the state were allowed to kill combatants without warning, so also were the revolutionary guerrilla forces allowed to kill combatants without warning.

    No-one was or is allowed to kill anyone with or without warning. Shame on you for defending murder.

    And, the RUC were combatants, not civilians. The role the RUC assumed for itself from 1967 or so and the role they fullled during the remainder of the Troubles made them combatants—each and every member. They were not only the criminal police (the civic police) but also the political police, like the Gestapo though not as evil.

    Your demonisation of the police in order to justify the murder of its officers is disgusting. Police officers were not members of the military: they were civilians. They were not “combatants”: they were police officers, enforcing the law. They were not “like the Gestapo”.

    Lastly, individuals and a community or people do have the right to resort to violence when they are attacked and lesser defenses are not sufficient. From what I have heard and read, there is no question that there was political, economic and social discrimination against Catholics in NI with the blessing of both Stormont and Westminster. And that Catholic demands for correction of this state of affairs were met with violence on the part of the majority and indifference on the part of HMG and Stormont. Seems to me that, given that history, a resort to violence on the part of the Irish/Catholic/nationalist community can be justified.

    So, Dishonest Bob starts by saying he does not justify PIRA terrorism, then goes on to justify it above! He’s not known as Dishonest Bob for nothing.

    “Political, economic and social discrimination” did not justify a 25-year murder and bombing campaign in Northern Ireland any more than much worse such discrimination with the blessing of state and federal governments would have justified such a campaign in the United States.

    Shame on you, Bob. Your sick attempts to justify murders and maimings mean that you share guilt for the misery inflicted on so many in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

  • willowfield

    Let’s just remind ourselves of how disingenuous Dishonest Bob’s claims are. He said that “The forces that supported the continued union of NI and Great Britain murdered more than twice as many civilians as did the Provisional IRA … Once again, the British security forces and the unionist murder gangs killed 1,073 civilians. The Provisional IRA killed some 516.”

    This statement was disingenuous on four levels:

    1. In order cynically to reduce the number of people murdered by PIRA, Bob arbitrarily made a distinction between “civilian” and “non-civilian” and removed the murders of “non-civilians” from the PIRA total.

    2. In making this distinction, he didn’t even employ a reasonable or commonly-understood definition of civilian and classified many “civilians” as non-civilians for the purpose of reducing the PIRA total further. (He excluded politicians, prison officers, ex-prison officers, police officers, ex-police officers, ex-soldiers, terrorists and ex-terrorists from the civilian total.)

    3. He also included all those killed by the security forces, including those killed lawfully or accidentally, in the total number of people “murdered” by the security forces. The purpose of this was to increase the numbers of murders he attributed to one “side” relative to his favoured PIRA side.

    4. He made no distinction between those killed by the security forces and those murdered by loyalist terrorists, as though they were one and the same, and in order artificially to create a simplistic dichotomy of one “side” against another; while at the same time he clearly separated the PIRA from other nationalist groups so as to decrease the numbers he attributes to his favoured “side”.

    And, for the record, though, according to the very Sutton Index that Dishonest Bob has used, the PIRA actually murdered 1,707 people, and that is excluding 5 murdered by “Direct Action Against Drugs” and unattributed numbers murdered under other pseudonyms (e.g. Catholic Reaction Force).

  • Peter Brown

    Although you and I may not agree about much Willowfield we can agree that Bob doesn;t know what a war is – I had a lengthy discussion with him about this on a previous thread, quoted the relevant portions of the relevant International Conventions and that was the last post on that thread.

    What Bob admittedly does know is what he thinks a war is which coincidentally is indistinguishable from what he wants a war to be which in turn is the same as whatever definition justifies the Republican campaign to the exclusion of the actions of everyone else in Northern Ireland’s troubles but it is a definition only he subscribes to…

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>Prince Eoghan: “And this Dread is what is holding Unionism back. Like alcoholics who need to hit rock bottom before they realise that they have a problem. Unionism’s lack of ambition to take stock of their part in the whole mess shows them up time after time, after time…”

    It’s the same thing that holds Republicanism back………….there are those questions that even Marty or Gerry could do little more than filibuster and dance around the point.<