“a small price to pay..”

Via Newshound. Interesting view-point from Kevin Myers on The Process™ and the ‘price of peace’. Room too for some archival links – on Gerry Adams, “armed struggle” was “necessary”, MI5 and the back-channel, and the US government’s role in the latter part of that Process™. Read the whole thing.

For the peace process was solely about ensuring the IRA never bombed London again; and as far as MI5 – the prime movers of the peace process – was concerned, the corruption of Northern Irish political life was a small price to pay.

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  • Prince Eoghan

    “For the peace process was solely about ensuring the IRA never bombed London again; and as far as MI5 – the prime movers of the peace process – was concerned, the corruption of Northern Irish political life was a small price to pay.”

    Am in complete agreement with this statement, though forcing Sinn Fein, alliance and the SDLP to do business with totally undemocratic Unionist parties was hard to stomach. Couldn’t MI5 have just finished what they started?

  • Reading Kevin Myers’ screed, I have only one question. Is Myers John O’Connell in disguise? If not, is he a reincarnation of the Cruiser c 1974? The Rangers should have gone into South Armagh? The Telegraph must be hard up for opinionated opinion writers.

  • Gregory

    The IRA had a veto on financial trading. They were not glass-friendly lobbyists, and there was no opposing imperative. No Royal navy, no Empire, and the Soviet Block a memory.

    When it started, it was different, the British Army couldn’t afford to be beaten by eejits, it wouldn’t be credible. The British Army had a self-image which still had strategic importance.

  • Ard Eoin

    Kevin Myers has a book out, so along with Mr Powell he thinks he can give his 2 cents worth and evrybody will buy his book. His article which is linked to from above is exactly that, his article. It gives his opinion on things and his diatribe is solely aimed at selling books, if I want to see adverts for books I will try Amazon, come on Slugger does this merit inclusion or debate?

  • Gregory

    So Gery Adams doesn’t sell books? I was there at some of the incidents Gerry describes and I didn’t see him.

    Small point.


  • Gregory

    Actually in fairness he might have been on the run, that was a bit of a cheap shot.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    There should be a vacancy for you in the Andytown News – cheap shot at Gerry, swift apology. You’d fit right in.


  • Quiz Master

    Kevin Myers is a unhinged loon at the best of times but saying the republic should have unleashed the rangers on south armagh over the border from the republic would have not been a very sensible thing to do IMHO

  • Kevin Myers is absolutley right, especially when it concerns the SDLP.

    MI5 sacrificed the North in order to save London: “the corruption of Northern Irish political life was a small price to pay.”

    Ireland as a consequence of this peace process is in a moral quagmire and the major cause of that is Gerry Adams’ lack of a moral position in relation to the Troubles.

  • RepublicanStones

    [Play the ball – edited moderator]

  • RepublicanStones

    you didn’t have to axe the whole post Admin……

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘and the Rangers, moreover, would have relished the job.’

    I wonder how many Rangers Myres spoke to?
    The wing would undoubtedly have had a little more respect for rules of engagement, than the ‘Who Dares Wins’ rabble.

  • Steve

    Why have you posted this Pete? its full of factual errors and misrepresentations

    The UUP were given a pass as a party even though they were responsible for 50 years of misrule

    PIRA didnt start the troubles and they lasted for longer than 25 years

    The SDLP were not sacrificed they just failed to represent nationalist voters so they were left behind

  • CTN

    Shame Kev can’t move on, however if wants to look back and to assess the present then he should factor in the biggest bombs within the conflict- the Dublin and Monaghan bombings actually carried out by MI5…

  • Gregory

    I’m holding out for the South Belfast News, if I can’t have a brothel raid front page once a month I’m not interested.

    I do get a sneaking suspicion the ATN are not going to help me with Ruane, don’t ask me why, I just have that sense they won’t.


  • PeaceandJustice

    “tea and biscuits … only [for] those who had blown the heart out of London, who had tortured people to death, who had been responsible for starting and continuing a savage war, got the hospitality, and in due course, a place in the power-sharing Executive.”

    “If there was a terrorist barbarity in the moral repertoire, short of suicide-bombing (though this would come later), the IRA tried it.”

    “It is important to remember that the IRA leaders did not want reform. They were moral absolutists who sought just one thing: the British out, by force of arms only, and the creation of an all-Ireland state, with a Gaelic, Catholic ethos.”

    “No IRA atrocity – La Mon, in which a dozen Protestants were incinerated alive by home-made napalm, or the murder of the British ambassador and his secretary in Dublin, or the extermination of the Mountbatten boat party of children and octogenarians, or the Remembrance Sunday massacre at Enniskillen, or other bestialities too numerous too list – was enough to make the Republic of Ireland destroy the evil in its midst. It is a shocking thing to say about one’s own country: but it is the abominable truth.”

    An accurate summary. Of course, it makes uncomfortable reading for those Sinn Fein PIRA death squad supporters we have on Slugger.

  • Ahem

    You’d almost wonder, were you a Unionist who doesn’t, as it happens, buy into this Process=Bombs-in-the-City crap, why, if it were such a wonder weapon, not use it to finish the job? Let’s see: either, it *wasn’t* a wonder weapon and was therefore incapable of finishing the job (as, in fact, it hasn’t), or, bombs-in-the-City *would* have won Ireland its freedom, but, at the very last moment, just as success was assured by this unstoppable terror, Gerry Adams and Marty McG had a ‘moment’, realised Peace was Right, Killing people was Wrong, and settled for Paisley as First Minister, partition and that great, big MI5 building. Hmmmmn, tricky one, isn’t it? Still, let’s all of us never have an unherded thought in our lives – be a great shame to break a lovely Slugger tradition.

  • Gregory

    Dear Pratistants, please pack yer bags. Dear Free State, the wee Ulster child returns.

    There was no military solution. As the IRA project found a V weapon, the V part looked as difficult to them as it would have done to General Collins if he had it.

    Banks were heading to Frankfurt etc. the Brits have something in that Square Mile.

    It definitely was hi-grade leverage.


  • Ard Eoin

    P & J, cna you take off your red, white and blue tinted glasses for a minute and see this article for what it is, a poorly veiled attempt to sell books, does anything contained in the article ring as a ‘revelation’? Didn’t think so, move on and pick a different bone.

  • Gregory

    “The UUP were given a pass as a party even though they were responsible for 50 years of misrule”

    I know, the Turkish horrors, the evil swine, naked Crowellianism, I hope the buggers have trouble sleeping with the guilt.

    The main thing is, Stormont was prorogued in a perfidiously British kind of way, and the IRA bombed the bad people until they brought it back.

    So up the Ra.



    I know playing the man isn’t the done thing

    [So play the ball – edited moderator]

  • Gregory

    I went to a public school in England,

    I got it on a freebie for disadvantaged urchins, and it didn’t stop me becoming an Irish patriot, well, perhaps it did,

    the Saxons are like Jesuits,

    once they poured a Pimm’s No.1 down your neck, on a village green, it is forever, now show me some Zulus to kill,

    Lieutenant John Chard: Mr. Bourne, there should be 12 more men working on this redoubt.
    Color Sgt. Bourne: They’re very tired, sir.
    Lieutenant John Chard: I don’t give a damn! And I want this wall nine feet high, firing steps on the inside. Form details to clear away the Zulu bodies, rebuild the south rampart, keep ’em moving! Do you understand?
    Color Sgt. Bourne: Yes sir… very good, sir.

    It made me quite useful at pub quizzes. I knew all of Henry Viii’s wives, could do cricket questions etc.

    Anybody remember Fra Coogan’s quiz nites?

  • Seamus Friel

    Kevin Myers The Fantasist West Brit
    Kevin Myers rantings on Northern Ireland politics are so out of touch with reality that they are humorous. He recently was interviewed by Radio Foyle about his latest fictional auto biography and I was moved to send the following e mail to the presenter Paul McFadden. i am sure many will agree with my sentiments.
    “Hi Paul just listened to your interview with Mr Myers on listen again.
    I have to declare at the start, never liked him, never will like him, pompous bitter little man
    with obsessive love of all things connected with the British military as shown by his rantings in
    the Irish Times for many years HOWEVER the interview had me in stitches.
    He sounded like a modern day Walter Mitty
    He just felt that there was to be an ambush on troops with no evidence,
    no one indicating anything to him, not even an observation of strange activity ,just his extra sensory powers DO US A FAVOUR KEVIN!!! Easy to claim these things 35 years on!!!.
    He is also an expert on gun battle safe locations, on guerrilla tactics and an Errol Flynn to boot,
    My sides were splitting at that stage!!!
    I lived through that whole period and was in the middle of riots and gun battles
    daily like most of the population over 50 years old here. I didn’t leave after a few years. We don’t need the Kevin Myers to tell us how bad it was. We know and we don’t forget. It was very interesting that the only group of victims he mentioned specifically out of the 3,000 + was The british army and the only group he criticised by name was the IRA . What a surprise from Kevin!!! Plus Ca Change …. I just hope that booksellers have his work in the right section FICTION. By the way Paul a bit disappointed in you, listen to it again, you treated him with undue reverence throughout the interview given the crap he was spouting!!! Anyway keep that comedy spot in your show. it was great!!!!!”

    He is a joke but we need a laugh now and then

  • I wouldn’t describe MI5 as prime movers in the ‘peace process’, more accomplices.

    I’ve previously noted the nimby appeasement approach of both London and Dublin, sometimes in unison, sometimes not. The whole sad sorry state of affairs was aptly summarised in the phrase: ‘acceptable level of violence’. We currently have an acceptable level of fascism and mafiaism.

  • Erm,

    Off Subject

    Why is there no lead thread on the mass sectarian attack on a Belfast Bar on Saturday afternoon which has left a young Catholic man fighting for his life?? The attack has been widely covered in detail in today’s press. The Mirror devoted two full pages to the attack which also left other innocent bystanders injured.

  • aquifer

    Personal attacks, whataboutery. Myers must be right.

    Why didn’t the IRA go on if the city bombs worked so well?

    Because the point would not be far off where they would be interned north and south, for the ROI knew they would be next for the meat mincer.

    The ‘RA always knew that their campaign would be tolerated by the republic up to a point, and by many others until the sectarian and undemocratic nature of their power grab was becoming apparent.

    The Onionists never challenged their MOPEY narrative, but significant others were sickening of it.

  • Gregory

    I think somebody had their throat cut in central Belfast.

  • blue leicester


    So the republic should have invaded south armagh, led by the rangers.

    I wonder would the Brits have counter-invaded monaghan led by the celtic.

  • Billy


    Was it just me or was there also a quotation about the widespread “dislike” (hatred would be more accurate)among Protestants for Catholics?

    Was there something ( not complementary) about the Unionist govt at Stormont?

    Was there something about Protestant bigots?

    Was there something about the DUP, a semi-religious sect and mockery of Paisley’s status as a “Reverend”?

    All these things were mentioned in the article I read.

    Weren’t they in your copy or did you just pick the quotations that suit your one-sided and bigotted view?

    I wonder which it could be?

  • “No IRA atrocity .. was enough to make the Republic of Ireland destroy the evil in its midst. It is a shocking thing to say about one’s own country: but it is the abominable truth.”

    Billy, Myers overlooked the role played by the then Irish government in the transformation of the ‘socialist’ IRA into the far more lethal ‘Catholic Ireland’ IRA ie the Provos. That process, however, had been completed prior to Myers arrival in 1971 but its nimby consequences lived on.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Myers overlooked the role played by the then Irish government in the transformation of the ‘socialist’ IRA into the far more lethal ‘Catholic Ireland’ IRA ie the Provos.’

    Care to enlighten us as to how the southern govt helped morph the stickies into the provies? Was Dáithí Ó Conaill in reciept of a ministerial salary???

  • Garibaldy

    He was in close contact with certain FF TDs.

  • RepublicanStones

    And what did these FF TD’s impart or instruct him to do?

  • Garibaldy

    Well it’s in the public domain that John Kelly and his brother were involved in the FF-sponsored Voice of the North; as well as the arms trial issue, where Kelly was again in no doubt that they were operating with the sponsorship of the Dublin government. And several people have testified that guns and money were offered if they would break with the Dublin leadership and agree to limit activities to the north.

    So there is a lot of evidence from differing political viewpoints that FF (or at the very least important elements within it) were involved in facilitating the establishment of the Provos.

  • RS, the RoI government pressed for the removal of the ‘socialist’ leadership and were left with a ‘Catholic Ireland’ one. I understand Adams ‘dithered’ before eventually throwing in his lot with the ‘Catholic Ireland’ faction.

  • RepublicanStones

    Obviously the southern Govt would prefer an end to the ‘Dublin’ leadership, and that the nordies limit their activity to their own locality, but to suggest they pushed for a ‘Catholic Ireland IRA’ is new to me. I would like to know more.

  • Garibaldy

    Well the IRA had adopted a secular and socialist ideology, and was re-emphasising Tone and the need to unite all the denominations. Elements like the Kerry cumann of SF which had refused to sell the United Irishman that called for an end to the saying of the rosary at commemorations were unhappy. People like Joe Cahill in the north – who had long left the IRA – and who were never any more than Catholic nationalists were unhappy. And the very ethos of Provisionalism has been from day one about being defenders of the Catholic people. See for example the boast of the leading Derry Provision in Eamonn Mc Cann’s War and an Irish Town that ‘all our Volunteers go to mass’. So given that this was the tendency FF promoted, I’d say Nevin’s characterisation isn’t that far off the truth.

  • RepublicanStones

    You actually believe the southern Govt, actively promoted the sectarian element????? Would it not be the case that in wishing to damage the ‘Dublin’ leadership, which the southern govt was looking to do to. (As no doubt an army council which saw itself as the legitimate govt of Ireland, based in the capital was an embarassment to the fellas in the Dail) and as a result of this policy, the provies emerged. I don’t think its fair to suggest that the Dail agreed with, actively promoted or wished to see a ‘super-catholic’ IRA develop.

  • Garibaldy

    I think it’s absolutely fair to say that elements of FF and the southern security forces (like Captain Kelly and his colleagues) promoted a split in the IRA. And Goulding et al had given up on the legitimate government thing. That was the preserve of the Provisionals, who cited the ending of abstentionism as one of their major reasons for their splitting. Yet still they were encouraged and facilitated.

    I think there was going to be some form of split anyway, but the events of August 1969 accelerated it. In that sense FF did not simply create the Provos, but they encouraged them.

  • RepublicanStones

    But are you saying they encouraged them because they preferred the ‘super-catholic’ version, or merely to precipitate the weakening of the southern style leadership?

  • Garibaldy

    Both. They recognised them as sharing a similar brand of Catholic nationalism (which was a lot more prevalent in FF then than now). But opposition to socialism was also key.

  • RepublicanStones

    Im afraid i have to disagree, i don’t believe the ‘super-catholic RA’ idea was in any way a mitigating factor. Weakening of the southern boyos, and their pale red policies was the main aim. To suggest that the Dail govt created the provies because of a liking for their less secular elements is like saying they created RSF when The provies then split in 86, because no doubt the Dublin Govt wanted SF to recognise Leinster House. However, its definitely food for thought……

  • Garibaldy

    There was a lot of common ground among elements of FF – especially rural FF – and the Provos. I fail to see on what grounds if not Catholic nationalism.

  • RepublicanStones

    could it not just be nationalism….granted they were catholics, but this is a default setting in the south, not a primary force.

  • Garibaldy

    Well there is the overhang of the Ireland Catholic, Gaelic and Free thing. We forget just how central this type of this was still in 1969.
    On the Catholic nationalist thing, I’m talking of it in terms of identifying Irishness with Catholicism, and in aiming to appeal to and to represent the Catholics in the north, as opposed to the Tone vision of republicanism. Or even the campaign waged by NICRA, which was never – as often said now – a campaign for Catholics to get rights. It was about all those who suffered discrimination – whether on religious or class grounds – getting equality.

  • Greg

    I think NICRA was 1960s leftist agitation orchestrated largely along the lines suggested by Eoghan Harris, the latter compared Big Brother No1 with Mugabe, or at least justified Michael McDowell comparing Gerry with RM.


    I’ve found it, it is kind of on-topic after three years.

  • RS, as I see it, the hoped for ‘socialist revolution‘ would have swept away the ‘conservative establishments’ in both Belfast and Dublin. Rights issues were a fashionable and convenient smokescreen.

    Dublin and the Catholic Church were under threat and so it was hardly surprising that they were rattled by the socialist/’commie’ prominence in the protests in Dungannon and Derry.

    October 5, 1968, IMO created a cleavage in the CRM and so it was only a matter of time before Dublin decided that the socialist leadership of the IRA had to be decapitated.

    Liam O Comain describes how senior Catholic churchmen called on John Hume to create what became DCAC; he also claims that Hume wanted to keep his distance from the socialist republican initiated NICRA.

    The departure of the IRA’s socialist leadership left a ‘Catholic-Ireland’ IRA that was much less threatening to Dublin and Church institutions; this was an expression of institutional nimbyism that was to greatly increase the pressure on events here.