“There is something innately toxic about a public position that demands of all of us…”

No statement yet from Cllr Dessie Ward on his resignation from Sinn Féin. [Adds – Apparently Sinn Féin “no longer reflects where [he stands] on the political spectrum”.] Meanwhile, in the Irish Times, Fintan O’Toole makes an important point about SF president Gerry Adams’ denial. From the Irish Times article.

The problem is that Adams has gone much further than simply drawing a veil over his role in the “armed struggle”. He has created the most brazen fiction in contemporary Irish history. He could have maintained complete silence. He could have adopted McGuinness’s line of acknowledging that he was indeed a senior IRA commander while refusing to talk in any detail about what he did.

Instead, Adams has told us again and again that he was never even a member of the IRA. He even told Gay Byrne on the old Late Late Show that he never even threw a stone in a riot, making him perhaps the only young man of his age on the Falls Road not to have done so. This matters for a number of reasons. The first is that no one at all believes it. There is something innately toxic about a public position that demands of all of us, not simply that we look the other way, but that we actually collude in a known fiction. It means that everyone else who talks about key episodes in the recent history of Ireland has to be regarded as an outrageous liar.

Read the whole thing.And, as another Irish Times report notes

Moloney said it was understandable the emphasis placed on Gerry Adams’s alleged role in the IRA, but stressed the current controversy was partly of the Sinn Féin president’s own making. “He chose to deny something the dogs in Ballymurphy knew was the case, which was that he was not just a member of the IRA but a senior member of the IRA and I think actually this has been an own goal for him in many ways.

“The effect that this had within a broad range of republicans, not all [of whom] are dissidents or against the peace process, [was] a considerable degree of discomfort at the fact that he seems to be absolving himself of responsibility for the bloodshed which, in their view, he ordered and helped to organise.”

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  • Henry94

    It is something that is an issue for a tiny minority of people and if Gerry Adams said that he had in fact been in the IRA would that be the end of it? Of course not. What was your role, what did you do, who else was involved. Blah, blah, blah.

    It’s nobody’s business who was in the IRA except the IRA and as they no longer appear to exist then it’s nobody’s business. Let’s move on people.

  • iluvni

    “It’s nobody’s business who was in the IRA except the IRA and as they no longer appear to exist then it’s nobody’s business. Let’s move on people. ”

    Aye, well, you move right along there if you wish. The rest of society will follow you in a while when this ghastly man is brought to book.

  • Michaelhenry

    maguinness was immune when he told of his i.r.a past because of the bloody sunday inquiry,if mr adams was in the i.r.a and said so he would be arrested and charged because he would have no immunity,it does not take a brain surgen to work this out,its just that some in the media are a bit slow.

  • Cynic2

    Is Nationalism finally waking up to what it elects?

  • Cynic2

    Henry

    Well, there’s no amnesty – actually because SF opposed one – so it is the business of the victims, their relatives, the police and the courts to bring to justice those who killed and maimed them and their loved ones.

    Your argument is exactly the same as that used by the Church in covering up paedophilia

  • Michaelhenry

    unionists woke up at the last european elections,nationalism was always awake cynic2.

  • Henry94

    iluvni

    The rest of society will follow you in a while when this ghastly man is brought to book.

    Brought to book? As in bring to justice or charge?

    Is that what you want to see?

  • slappymcgroundout

    I found this rather rich:

    “It is not good for that democracy to have a significant party behaving like a cult.”

    My first thought on reading that was, also not good for a democracy to forget that you have a county named Donegal as part of your Republic (but that’s just me).

    The writer of the piece otherwise need be a tad bit more objective. Gerry might simply have been mistaken on the date. He was interned on the HMS Maidstone from sometime in March through sometime in June in ’72. Was only let out because some others in the PIRA insisted that he be part of the talks then being arranged with the Brits. Was then reinterned in June ’73 at Long Kesh.

    Next, you ever consider Sean MacStiofain, who was the PIRA chief of staff at the time? And what about Seamus Twomey, who was also part of that same delegation, as he was CO of the Belfast Brigade at the time.

    With that in mind, consider, courtesy of Wikipedia:

    IRA informer Sean O’Callaghan claims that on 5 January 1976, Twomey and Brian Keenan gave the go-ahead for the Kingsmill massacre, when 10 Protestant workmen were killed by the Provisional IRA in retaliation for the earlier loyalist killings of five Catholics in the same area.

    If that is true, well, it shows that some sensitive matters are decided by the Chief of Staff and not the more local CO. By the way, there were 200+ comments on that one other thread and no reached an obvious possible solution to Mr. Hughes. Sure, Gerry gave him the order. But Gerry was first given the order by Twomey who was first given the order by MacStiofain, as there is a chain of command here and the orders flow from the top on down. So entirely possible that Gerry didn’t have the say on this one and in giving the order to Brendan, was simply passing the order down the chain of command.

  • The Blow-In

    So, ‘just following orders’ then slappy?

    Where have I heard that defence before…..

  • Henry94

    So, ‘just following orders’ then slappy?

    Where have I heard that defence before…..

    From Brendan Hughes?

  • Cormac mac Art

    Does anyone know WHY he has denied it?

  • Scaramoosh

    Does anyone know WHY he has denied it?

    Perhaps because he is the IRA; rather than being a member of it ….

  • Henry94

    Does anyone know WHY he has denied it?

    I can think of three possible reasons

    a) Because it’s not true.
    b) To avoid the inevitable follow-on questions which would distract everybody from the political agenda
    c) Because membership of a secret army is supposed to be a secret and there are probably standing orders which instruct members to never reveal what they know.

    Remember the DeRossa libel trial when he was asked about Group B. He said as far as he knew it was a Blood Group.

    But everybody who was involved with the Worker’s Party and most people outside who took an interest know what it really was. DeRossa was under oath and long committed to peaceful means and even then could not bring himself to admit it.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Sorry, let me clear up my initial post. Twomey was first CO of the Belfast Brigade and was so in ’72 when the PIRA executed Ms. McConville. Twomey later rose to Chief of the Staff of the whole shebang and was so in ’76 when Kingsmill occurred. So that’s why I said what I said re certain sensitive matter, say maybe Kingsmill, might be decided on by the Chief of Staff.

    Lastly, for The Blow-In, I wasn’t addressing that point. I was simply addressing all those who believe that Gerry must have been the one responsible for the decision to execute Ms. McConville, as a general proposition, and then next those who support that general proposition by way of Mr. Hughes saying that Gerry gave him the order. Again, sure he might have. Also again, might have only been Gerry passing the order down the chain of command.

    If you want my own opinion, again, revolutionary movements are singularly ill-equipped to administer “justice”. They have no jails to put her in and they have no POW camp to put that Brit soldier in. Therein lies the difficulty. So they ensure that he dies, so one less of the other side left alive to kill them, and if that means that all those who give the enemy combatant aid and comfort need be killed as well…

    And for why she was killed, and never mind the 10 kids, well, what was the PIRA supposed to do, allow her to live because she has 10 kids while killing the other woman who gave aid and comfort because she has 0 children? Sorry, but if the revolution says anything to the world, that thing is, to borrow the applicable Pauline phrase: the PIRA is no respecter of person. 10 or 0, you give aid and comfort to the one employed to kill us…

    Lastly, if you make the PIRA a nation-state that has jails to incarcerate those who would give aid and comfort to the enemy combatant, and POW camps for enemy soldiers as well, so they can be interned rather than killed as the means to remove them from the war as active combatants, then my opinion changes. On that note, if you see Mr. Maginness, kindly tell him for me that such is why his claim of “war crime” is absolutely preposterous. The PIRA as a non-nation-state cannot have the “regularly constituted court” that Mr. Maginness references in his condemnation of the PIRA in this instance. And call his failure to recognize that rather critical matter just one reason why, if I lived in that part of the world, I wouldn’t be voting SDLP.

    Well, there’s that and me not wanting to die in Derry because some others in the SDLP are even more stupid. You shall overcome? Right. Unlike with MLK, you all didn’t have a Congress passing civil rights legislation, a CEO and C-In-C (Pres. of the US) who was sympathetic to the cause, and the troops weren’t there to escort you to school as was the 101st Airborne Division with respect to the Little Rock Nine. In other words, you can provoke a violent confrontation when you’ve the Congress, the President, and the 101st Airborne Division to watch your back, but extreme folly to do so when such is not the circumstance. And so 14 died in Derry because some used a model that didn’t begin to fit the circumstance.

  • iluvni

    7.iluvni
    ..
    Brought to book? As in bring to justice or charge?
    Is that what you want to see?

    Posted by Henry94 on Mar 30, 2010 @ 11:11 AM

    Yes, of course. 100%.

  • union mack

    is there a possibility here that we could say Jean McConville was murdered, and not ‘executed’?

  • Mr Crowley

    The preposterous bleating in defence of Adams on this thread is pathetic. The man is a pathological liar, a hypocrit and a sociopath who is sheltered and enabled by the state, the media and his sheeplike followers.

    Adams’ reasons for his continued falsehood vis a vis IRA membership are an irrelevance when one considers how many informers were in position to take orders from Adams directly; Donaldson and Scappaticci for example. The state has had to have had sufficient evidence to prosecute but has chosen not to. Does anyone even recall Adams being arrested for questioning since the 1970s?

    Instead we have the sick spectacle of Adams’ continued public denials and the complicit acceptance of his lies. There is some question as to whether or not Jean McConville was a British asset but there is little doubt where Adams is concerned.

    Thousands went to prison yet Adams never even had to answer for himself in court; membership charges were conveniently dropped in the late 70s. Prosecutions for charges relating to the pre-GFA era continue today. Self confessed IRA man Gerry McGeough is currently on trial as are members of the UVF. Adams however, remains protected; his sociopathetic deceit tolerated and nurtured.

  • Henry94

    iluvni

    But you need a confession to get the case going? Good luck with that one.

    Either this is a political issue or a legal one. If it’s a legal one then the police will decide. If it’s a political one the good people of West Belfast will decide.

  • Mr Crowley

    Either this is a political issue or a legal one. If it’s a legal one then the police will decide. If it’s a political one the good people of West Belfast will decide.
    Posted by Henry94 on Mar 30, 2010 @ 12:30 PM

    It’s both legal and political as Adams is still, as always, protected from legal action for political reasons which is why thousands went to jail and he has never even been on trial and the likes of Gerry McGeough is on trial today while Adams is stil a protected species.

  • PJM

    Gerry Adams is not just a representative of the people of West Belfast. He is the leader of an all-Ireland political party and he is presented to the electorate as its figurehead. All other leaders are expected to answer questions about their activities, why should he not be? Especially in the South this does matter to people beyond SF’s natural support base. I suspect that a lot of that support base would cease to respect Adams if they really believed he was not a former IRA leader.

  • Neil

    other leaders are expected to answer questions about their activities, why should he not be?

    Adam’s would probably respond ‘ask away’. It’s the answer you don’t like though, not the prohibition of questioning. People have asked Gerry, and continue to ask Gerry a multitude of uncomfortable questions (like was your brother in SF for example). The problem arises in that no-one believes his answer, regardless of what that may be.

    So in essence you can ask til you are blue in the face, Gerry will give you the same answers he always has done. Move on. Nothing to see here. The only way Gerry can upset his own apple cart is by providing a different answer to the one’s he’s used up to now, which he won’t do as he’s not that stupid.

  • Henry94

    PJM

    All other leaders are expected to answer questions about their activities

    Did you follow Bertie at the Tribunal? I won it on a horse and my friends gave me a digout. He was under oath too.

    Adams has answered. He said he was not a member.

    Mr Crowley

    You are claiming to have knowledge that Gerry Adams is a British agent. So far that seems to be based on the fact that he wasn’t charged with anything while “self-confessed IRA man Gerry McGeough” was.

    Maybe the trick is not to confess. The Ombudsman is looking into his arrest which does look political. Any word of a report on that yet?

    To be honest I have little time for all that murky business about spies and agents. It’s an easy accusation to make. Gerry McGeough at the end of the day polled 1.7% in FST and Adams polled 70% in West Belfast. The nationalist people have spoken.

  • ding dong

    Folks we remain in a morally divided world, on one side we have collusion inquiries, saville inquiries, justice campaigns for the ballymurphy how many, and all sorts of investigations. The HET has another 3 years to run and goodness knows what else is coming over the horizon.

    So if if we are to “let’s move on people” then lets do that. Today, now, no more, draw the line, wish the victims well and stop the backward looks!

    Is this what we want – really want? do we really want to stop raking over the embers, no more commemorations calling for further inquiries?

    Truth be told we don’t, we want to pick and pick at this scab until it bleeds again, we want it solely for our own purposes not for information or resolution but to keep the hurting going.

    So its either/or – full on inquiries and investigations until everyone is satisfied or no more – you choose

  • Mr Crowley

    You are claiming to have knowledge that Gerry Adams is a British agent. So far that seems to be based on the fact that he wasn’t charged with anything
    Posted by Henry94 on Mar 30, 2010 @ 01:35 PM

    Maybe he has a guardian angel or has been protected from prosecution by the power of prayer. Mind you he did have help from the Vatican in removing the references to physical evidence linking him to a 1972 double killing being removed from his wiki page

    Maybe the trick is not to confess.
    Posted by Henry94 on Mar 30, 2010 @ 01:35 PM

    There’s a difference failing to disclose and telling deliberate untruths. Adams is a liar; a professional lair at that.

    To be honest I have little time for all that murky business about spies and agents. It’s an easy accusation to make. Gerry McGeough at the end of the day polled 1.7% in FST and Adams polled 70% in West Belfast. The nationalist people have spoken.
    Posted by Henry94 on Mar 30, 2010 @ 01:35 PM

  • Mr Crowley

    To be honest I have little time for all that murky business about spies and agents. It’s an easy accusation to make. Gerry McGeough at the end of the day polled 1.7% in FST and Adams polled 70% in West Belfast. The nationalist people have spoken.
    Posted by Henry94 on Mar 30, 2010 @ 01:35 PM

    What relevance does the F/ST election result have to Adams’ uncanny ability to avoid prosecution whilst surrounded by touts and surveillance? Does the election result make him any less of a pathological liar and criminal sociopath?

  • Brian MacAodh

    he can’t stop denying it now. He’s in a hole of his own making….although it would have been hard for him to foresee how things turned out when he was trying to meet with the Clinton administration and others back in the 90s. At the time it was better for him to deny being in the PIRA.

    Kind of reminds me of Pete Rose…

  • Henry94

    So its either/or – full on inquiries and investigations until everyone is satisfied or no more – you choose

    My vote would be for no more and draw a line because I don’t think either the British or the IRA will ever tell the truth about the past. It’s not a good option but the least worst one

    But perhaps the way Brendan Hughes and David Ervine left accounts could be an example for others. Not as something to be thrown into current politics but for the historical record.

  • Davros

    Maybe he wasn’t full time, as a consultant he would probably get better day rates.

  • J Kelly

    Its interesting that its now less than six weeks to an election and we have Ed Maloney and Anthony McIntyre doing all in their power to damage Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein. We have seen it all before.

    This time five years ago Mackers, Ed Maloney, Suzanne Breen and co were advising the McCartney family on a daily basis but come the day of the election all gone. The McCartney family were of no more use to them. In Derry recently a young man was murdered why no media frenzie by Mackers, Maloney and Breen, because it was some of their friends in the so clled IRA and it couldn’t damage Sinn Fein. If the murder of Kieran Doherty had the potential to damage Sinn Fein we would have had miles of newspaper columns and dozens of blogs calling for thruth, inquiries and so on.

    Ed Maloney was on the radio yesterday talking about truth and integrity and we are expected to believe that neither he nor Mackers have a political or financial interest in this story. If this project was about truth maybe Mackers and Maloney will tell us how much have they been paid. Will mackers tell us all of every action he was involved in while in the IRA. Of course they wont.

    The good people of West Belfast will give Maloney and Mackers their answer in a few weeks.

  • Mr Crowley

    That’s desperate and vindictive bleating from J Kelly and it does little to deflect from the realities of the revelations about Adams. It should also be noted that the book has been in the pipeline for some time and it’s release has little to do with elections but it’s content has everything to do with the type of person people are prepared to vote for. If Adams had a shred of decencty he would retire but alas decency is another quality in which he is absolutely lacking.

  • OscarTheGrouch

    We really do have to look at ourselves and wonder if we are a completely ethically bankrupt state.

    We made the compromises to get terrorists of all colours to stop killing people ( – most of which still amaze citizens of other countries when explained – you did what??!) I agreed with these because I valued my principles/sensitivities less than the cost of peoples lives. (A concept that the extremes of our body politic clearly disagreed with – they evidently thought that their principles were worth me dying for them… and were prepared to crash any peaceful attempt until the strange day when they got to be the ‘big’ men in Stormont – hey ho…)

    But as we have seen with Robinson (clearly ethically wrong in his dealings both regarding his wife and the responsibilities of his position) and with Gerry, who we all know was in the IRA, we seem to be happy enough to ignore this – because? either we are ignoring the obvious because we know these folks have a moral compass of a spoilt brat and are quite capable of wrecking the place if they lose their power, or we are just delusional?

    I am cynical enough to let Stormont be a sort of holding pen until some of these dipsticks start dying/cracking up/being lifted by the rapture, but, it does strike me that its a sad reflection on lots of honorable men and women from all over the island who thought that they were really fighting for something worthwhile…

  • J Kelly

    Mr C so the book is the offing for quite a while and its serialised and published now and it not part of a political campaign, and you really believe that. I would debate these issues if those involved were genuine about the victims. Anthony McIntyre was a member of the IRA for years and years and all this time Jean McConville was missing. What responsibility does he hold for any of these actions. The IRA couldn’t have existed or operated with the Anthony McIntyres of this world. His resigntion had nothing whatsoever to do with those missing or the dead civilians who died as a result of IRA actions, So excuse me if I will not be drawn into a politically and financially motiviated campaign against Gerry Adams.

  • J Kelly

    The IRA couldn’t have existed or operated without the Anthony McIntyres of this world.

  • Munsterview

    Fintian O’Tool’s article is a glaring illustration of why nothing really changes down here or indeed never will while the present status quo remains unchallenged.In making Gerry Adams the subject of his analysis to illustrate lies in public life, he has not only ignored an elephant in the room, he has ignored a whole herd roaming around the lawns of Linster House as long as I am in public life which is some years before the Northern situation exploded.

    Going back to those early days and the Arms Trial, either the Ministers that stayed on in Government were lying their heads off or those who were dismissed/resigned from Government were. Either way so great was the dichotomy between what both parties held as fact, that those on one side or the other were lying so outrageously as to be never again fit for public life. This did not happen and it was business as usual for all.

    On the other side of the political divide, the night of the famous contraceptive debate that Liam Cosgrave went into the opposition division to vote down the Bill proposed by his own Justice Minister Paddy Cooney, I was on the phone regularly with a Fine Gael T.D. regarding a young Republican Prisoner in the South. He was to see Cooney after the Vote. When he called after the vote later that night he told me of the antics in the Dail.

    My concern was..” How is Cooney taking it ” his reply, ” Ah for Christ’s sake Paddy has crawled into a bottle of whiskey again, there will be no good got from that man for the next two days at least, you had better go to the Bishop if anything is to be done” Cooney was not the only alcoholic on that cabinet notorious for their drinking binges as to be unfit for office while holding public office.

    Donigan’s drunken rant before a full Defense Force Parade against one of the most distinguished, accomplished and blameless people to ever hold office in this country, President O’Dalaigh, that he was ” a fucking disgrace” is another instance. Why has ‘Garret the Good’ not outed these ‘Low standards in high places’ over the years, he was in Cabinet, he has been voluble enough on Fianna Fails failings.

    However that was then and this is now etc, nobody it seems is concerned that a Minister For Justice of the day had, to quote the F.G. TD, crawled into a whiskey bottle for a few days, or that he did it regularly during his elected term. However why risk an outcry by examining drunk Ministers unfit for office, after all that was way back in the seventies….. Except Fintan is talking of these very times and holding Gerry accountable for back then.

    A selective indignation again while the ignored herd of elephants trumpets on. Fine Gael is likely to be in power after the next election, will anyone ask them to account for those times and their standards? In the infamous words of Gogarty will they F***!

  • Brian MacAodh

    “We made the compromises to get terrorists of all colours to stop killing people”

    As you implied, arguing about someone’s execution/murder 38 years ago is preferable to having people be executed nowadays.

  • Mr Crowley

    The IRA couldn’t have existed or operated without the Anthony McIntyres of this world.
    Posted by J Kelly on Mar 30, 2010 @ 03:43 PM

    How does this statement of the obvious deflect in any way from the fact that Adams is a lying sociopath complicit in the dissapearance of Jean McConville?

  • DerTer

    Would someone in Slugger admin please have Musterview’s last post removed. It is not only inaccurate but is deeply offensive and libellous.

  • Munsterview

    Which part of it?

  • Brian MacAodh

    How is it “deeply offensive”? Does it upset your rosy view of our political elite?

  • Michaelhenry

    my electric is back on,ill take a look to see if any of the anti irih birgade has told more lies about gerry adams.

  • Munsterview

    derTer

    Yes call for Mama!
    Too bad the Broadcasting Ban is not still around and it could be extended to the net!.

    I presume that the indignation is not coming from the F.F. side of the equation. That’s one of the differences between F.F. and F.G., F.F., say what you will about them, at least do not deny things done, they will just shrug the past off with a ‘ that was then and this was now’, and brazen it out!.

    Facts: The late President O’Dalaig was a Scholar of International repute, he was a Learned Legal Council who was concerned for his clients and on the Bench Of The Superior Courts, he was a distinguished presence.

    When offered the Presidency Of The Republic, he reluctantly accepted it as such high office was beyond his modest ambitions. He accepted as he did all his Judicial Postings out of Love for his country and service to his people.

    His occupation of the Presidency may have been brief but he will always be remembered for the grace and dignity that he brought to his office. He also brought a bright, sharp legal mind. When Cooney and Co cobbled a Bill together that had wide ranging implications, his lawyer’s training caused him grave reservations and he then did as the constitution allowed him to do, he acted in a collegiate way by referring the Bill to the Council Of State where he could avail of their collective advice.

    The President is also Commander in Chief of the Defense Forces under the constitution.

    Then along came blundering Donegan. A lot of things come to mind at the recall of that man but unlike O’Dalaigh, cultured, accomplished, graceful and learned are not the first to register.

    He as Minister For Defense reviewed troops and told them that the President of The Republic Of Ireland and their Commander-In Chief was what Newspapers back in those timid media days referred euphemistically to as a ‘thundering disgrace’. It seems however that the F. word was liberally and irrationally used when describing the President’s action in referring the Bill to the Council Of State.

    Donegan had insulted The President Of The Irish Republic on a solemn public occasion in front of it’s Citizens, The Commander In Chief of the Defense Forces in front of some of it’s Paraded Soldiers and finally the Constitutional Superior that he Donegan as Minister Got His Seal Of Office From! The President asked for an apology, he did not get it and he had to resign to protect the dignity of his Office.

    As to Cooney, I just repeated verbatim what the Fine Gael T.D. I was working with told me, no more no less. I have not forgotten the ‘Heavy Gang’ and the rest of the baggage of these wretched people that most of the Country could not wait to see the back of. I am not however surprised that you want to see it forgotten.

    Oh! and one more thing, when John Bruton as Taoiseach was told of corruption of some councillors by a concerned member about planning bribes, did he not tell him that Fine Gael was not a party of altar boys! It do not exactly reassure to know that his close political associate and brother is spoken of as the next Minister for Finance!
    Time to call for Mamma again, I am only getting started!

  • ordinary joe

    Facts or fables? There is currently on Wikipedia a slightly less hagiographic account of the late Cearbhall O’Dalaigh than the above canonization.

  • mcclafferty

    Not for nothing, but the majority of these posts are all about the “dreadful IRA” and pointing fingers at such men as McIntyre and McGeough along with Sinn Fein. You would think the IRA and political Sinn Fein were the only organizations entirely responsible for all the troubles in northern Ireland. I no longer support Adams, since the signing of the GFA, but not once did anyone in their posts accuse or even mention the infamous Ian Paisley, First Minister and leader of the DUP, who had links with Loyalist paramilitary or quasi-paramilitary organizations in the past and even sanctioned the attacks and murder of innocent Catholics at the hand of these Loyalist gangs, by his hateful and bigoted anti-catholic preaching’s and hate marches throughout catholic neighborhoods.
    I can’t help but notice that any time the mention of the “Troubles” come up, whether it’s in print, a radio talk show, TV program, or a Hollywood movie depicting the “Troubles”, the evil Orange order is never mentioned and very few people, not involved in the conflict or living outside of NI, unfortunately don’t know much, if anything, about these Loyalist paramilitary organizations and the pain and suffering they inflicted on innocent Irish nationalists/Catholics having nothing to do with the IRA. Why is that? Because the British government and its minions have made sure that only the IRA was to take the blame for the “Troubles”. People forget what really brought about the “Troubles” and it was actually since Northern Ireland’s creation, the Roman Catholic community had suffered from discrimination under the government. Even innocent civil rights marches were banned because Catholics wanted a one man vote, end to gerrymandering, end to discrimination in housing, end to discrimination in jobs and the disbandment of the B-Specials who were a sectarian force. However, as the civil rights campaign gained momentum (NICRA) back in the late 60’s, so did loyalist opposition and they burned Catholics out of their homes and Ian Paisley led those riots against the catholic minority with support and protection from the RUC.
    I always felt the IRA were the symptoms that arose out of the “Troubles”; they were never the cause of the “Troubles”. You need to look to the British government and the Loyalist population at the time of the Northern Ireland creation up to the present day to see who were and still are the real perpetrators behind it all!