Republics need to think outside the box on the past…

The challenge for our politicians must be ‘do the big thing.’ The raison d’etre for this approach is to convey hope and above all to convince your former political enemy that you are genuinely part of ‘ a new dispensation.’ To state the obvious- Loyalists did their fair share of killing during the Troubles just as did the IRA. This week-end Nigel Dodds and Jeffrey Donaldson are in Libya seeking compensation for victims of the IRA’s campaign of violence. They take the view that Libya should compensate protestant families because that regime armed the IRA at one stage. How about this for a challenge?
Should Republicans have considered asking to be included in the delegation to Libya?

One can already hear the reponses “Are you ……mad?” That is fine. Just cool down and think this through! Wouldn’t such a gesture send a powerful message to protestants that Republicans do really care about the whole community not just about nationalists? Politicians at Parliament Buildings rarely surprise us. They are predictable and sadly perform on narrow ground and more often than not on narrow sectarian ground.

Is there not an onus on all of us in the media to put it up to our politicians to break rank and start the process of ‘doing the big thing’ in the interest of the whole community ?

, ,

  • aquifer

    Maybe the lazy media find it easier to re-tell the same old Sean and Sammy divided story. They owe it a huge debt of gratitude. All the banging and crashing, all that gore. No new research needed, we have seen it all before.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy Collins

    what is good for the goose is good for the gander— The amount of money per victim Libya pays (if it does) should be then matched by the queens gov’t and paid to Irish Catholic Republican victims killed by her majesty’s gov’t. Government to government. Seems the fair way to proceed.

  • fin

    From the BBC report

    “Victims were keen to see a “substantial part” of any settlement put into a fund to promote peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the wider UK.”

    I was surprised that HMG allowed this to proceed, but I wonder if a ‘get out of jail’ card is in play, that the Libyan compo goes into a ‘victims’ piggybank possibly matched by HMG, which without saying it is their compo to the nationalist community.

    And no, republicans should not be there asking for compo, republicans are not ashamed of the armed struggle, and to support a call for compo is to point the finger at Libya. As a republican, I have good feelings towards all the countries and individuals who supported the republican movement over the years from Gaddafi to Mandela.

    Republicans are healing the wounds by not chasing HMG, Israel and South Africa for compo.

  • andrew white

    what is good for the goose is good for the gander—- The amount of money per victim Libya pays (if it does) should be then matched by the queens gov’t and paid to Irish Catholic Republican victims killed by her majesty’s gov’t. Government to government. Seems the fair way to proceed.
    Posted by Kathy C on Oct 31, 2009 @ 05:15 PM

    kathy you need to speak to sinn fein,they murdered more catholics than anyone else

  • Reader

    Eamonn Mallie: Wouldn’t such a gesture send a powerful message to protestants that Republicans do really care about the whole community not just about nationalists?
    Wouldn’t it be quicker, easier and more convincing just for them to hand over some of the money from the Northern bank heist?

  • Rory

    Since the wages of the soldiers, police, intelligence operatives and hired government mercenaries who murdered so many were paid in part from my taxes I sure hope that no delegations come acalling at my front door claiming compensation.

    I’ll just have Herself tell whoever calls, “He’s not in and not expected.”

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi andrew white- the question is government to government. If a government is made to pay money…aka Libya for arms to the IRA…then the queen’s gov’t should pay for having their soldiers shoot and kill innocent Catholics and the queen’s gov’t should pay for arming the unionist groups and yes, even the old RUC. Fair is fair.

    Hi fin, It is fortunate when you speak of healing the wounds…you refer to symbolic wounds. How about Catholic Irish victims who have physical wounds they have to live with caused by the queens gov’t arms? If a protestant gets money from Libya (and it could be a million or so pounds or euro’s) the I think an Irish Catholic victim of the queen’s arms should get the same amount of money from the queen’s war chest. again…fair is fair

  • Dave

    “Should Republicans have considered asking to be included in the delegation to Libya?”

    As British citizens resident in the UK, and having signed up to the constitutional legitimacy of that, they are now just de-politicised Catholics and so they should of course seek to further the interests of their fellow British citizens, free from any bias based on religious preference or social practice. To do otherwise would be sectarian rather than political within the agreed constitutional context.
    I’m not sure that the media-whores that sustain the present dispensation would be much use in campaigning for a new dispensation, so they’re better suited to doing what they are told as they have always done rather than imagining themselves as self-appointed crusaders with a self-anointed political agenda.

  • Reader

    Kathy C: I think an Irish Catholic victim of the queen’s arms should get the same amount of money from the queen’s war chest.
    A lot of them did. Apart from the compensation schemes that ran during the troubles, there have been more since
    http://www.nio.gov.uk/victims_liaison_unit_newsletter_issue_4.pdf
    By the way, the original blog is probably seriously inaccurate. I very much doubt that there would be a religious-denomination test for the IRA victims that would be covered if the Libya scheme actually delivers.

  • Scaramoosh

    “Is there not an onus on all of us in the media to put it up to our politicians to break rank and start the process of ‘doing the big thing’ in the interest of the whole community ?”

    The media had their chance throughout the troubles to break rank and report what was really going on in N.Ireland; the collusion; the “D Notices;” Shoot To Kill; the blackmailing of companies (big and small); the bombs that were really just insurance jobs; the protection rackets; the pubs and clubs that funded terrorists; the opportunity to name names. To a man, they failed to take it.

    It is consequently a bit rich for “the media” to suddenly play the role of the good guys, through
    putting “it up to our politicians to break rank and start the process of ‘doing the big thing’ in the interest of the whole community ?”

    The media in N.Ireland contributed to the survival of a dysfunctional state. They can therefore not expect to suddenly step out of the shadows and be taken seriously by those muppets that now sit in government.

    You reap what you sow.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi Reader, the compensation that some Irish Catholics got will be just a drop in the bucket if the Libyans give a million or more. There probably will not be a criteria in payout based on religion but during the troubles…religion did play a role as to Catholics being victimized and even killed. Many times a person was targeted just because he/she was a Catholic. As a side bar–recently a Catholic Cheri Blair wife of the former prime minister of great britian stated that she felt Ian Paisley (at the time party head of the DUP and head of the Free Presbyterian Church) did not shake her hand because she was a Catholic. If this is true—then the reason he refused to shake members of sinn fein’s hand was due more the fact they were Catholic then Republican or even in some cases members of the IRA. Religion…especially if one is a Catholic…paid and is paying a part in northern ireland…and as a result…the queens gov’t should pay the same if not higher in monetary value to what they will ask and have the Libyans pay.

  • Daniel O’Donnell Lookalike@dup.org.ur

    And who WAS the UVF who received arms from the Libyan government?

  • Intelligence Insider

    Kathy C, your false based argument really gives the game away. I’m no fan of Paisley but Blair quite obviously lied as you can read on numerous paper and blog accounts.

    [Keep it civil – edited moderator]

  • Intelligence Insider

    Daniel O’Donnell, care to give us a link or quote from any serious source that would say that the U.V.F. got arms from Libya? I doubt it! lol

  • Asking Libya for compensation is like asking the United States for money for relatives of dead Palestinians murdered by the Israeli Air Force, because America supplied the planes..etc etc.
    I could go on and on..-how fatuous!

  • Intelligence Insider

    John, which palestinians are you talking of? Would it by any chance be the ones that the provo’s worked with? The one’s that sent bombs in to kill women and young children in shops,disco’s and cafe’s?

    Ironically the submit word is cars, one of the vehicles used by plo and pira to kill innocent civilians!

  • shorty

    Its well seeing that groups like Relatives for Justice are beholding to SF, otherwise they would already be initiating similar cases against the Brit govt.

    Who supplied the guns and intelligence to the UVF, UDA, etc?

    Are SF afraid that such a case would expose the many agents who worked for the Brits and that’s why they prefer to let sleeping dogs lie?

    And remembering that the victims of the Dublin/Monaghan bombings and other attacks in the South, as well as the fact that most of those murdered by British controlled unionist paramilitaries in the North were Irish citizens, the relatives should be demanding that the Dublin govt support them in any legal action.

    The precedent for such support lies in the case the Irish govt gave to the case of the “hooded men” – the ill treatment of internees- which the Irish govt took to the ECHR.

  • Danny O’Connor

    I wonder when they will be going to South Africa to seek compensation for those who lost family to the likes of Brian Nelson and to london to seek compensation for those who had family killed by stakeknife and co.

  • igor

    Great. Can us Prods sue the Irish Government for arming and sheltering PIRA for many years?

    Any why are the DUP only seeking compensation for Protestants victims? The IRA killed nearly as many Catholics as Prods so they should get a share too.

    And then there are calls for the victims of the state to be compensated too. Strangely it seems they only want a payment to thsoe killed by state agents in the loyalist groups There’s no mention of the heavily penetrated republican groups too, especially PIRA.

    Will Gerry and Martin not troop off to Downing Street to ask for compo for all those harmed by the informers in their own movement?

    Is this all not just very expensive dog whistle politics?

  • greagoir o frainclin

    I suppose everything has a price!

    Indeed, money solves all problems.

  • Frustrated democrat

    I think if someone can find the money that ALL convicted terrorists or those who have openly supported the murders they carried out should be put in a civil court and sued for compensation for the relatives of all their victims.

    Then when found guilty they should all be bankrupted and excluded from any public service jobs. Their organisations also do not seem to be short of money so maybe they could pay up.

    Before anyone suggests it, no, I would not include the RUC or the Army unless individuals acted outside their agreed rules of engagement when they would certainly be liable for the same treatment.

    We could then get rid of the victims commission as justice would have been seen to be done.

    Will it happen, not in a million years………..too many terrorists and their sympathisers are in power.

    So we will have to accept that they are in power and hope they will disappear in time, it is the price we have to reluctantly pay to hopefully get a better shared future for our children and grandchildren.

    Only time will tell if we have made the right decisions. This is not withstanding the possible success of the TUV in attempting to derail the process and exclude terrorists, but we have now come too far to allow them to succeed.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Given that the UK is one of the world’s largest arms exporters, the idea that suppliers should be liable for the consequences of the weapons’ use is not a precedent which you would expect them to support.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy Collins

    Hi Jimmy Sands….excellent point! It made me smile…just think of the precedent that would be set and open up a huge can of worms for britian. Now that in of itself would be worth having libya pay millions.