“One of the mantras of the peace process is that ‘dissident’ republicans have no support…”

The BBC has some details of a University of Liverpool survey – The ESRC Northern Ireland 2010 Westminster Election Survey – which asked some questions about peoples attitudes towards still-violent republican paramilitaries.

From the BBC report

Professor Tonge said the research also highlighted the difference in perception of the scale of the threat between the two communities.

“They were offered three options, major, minor or no threat. A majority of Protestants , 53 percent described the dissidents as a major threat,” he said.

“Whereas, only 17% of Catholics viewed dissidents as a major threat.

“I think that’s actually quite a disturbing statistic in some ways, because it does emphasis quite strong communal differences. Three times as many Protestants viewing dissidents as a major threat.

“When what is needed is to build confidence between the two communities, it’s statistics like that that can look fairly stark,” he added.

And Jon Tonge of Liverpool University has an article on the survey’s findings in the News Letter today

Asked whether they ‘had sympathy for the reasons why some republican groups (such as the Real and Continuity IRAs) continue to use violence’, a surprisingly high 8.2 per cent – that’s 14 per cent of those identifying as nationalists – said yes.

The groups had no support among unionists, and less than one per cent among respondents who identified neither unionist or nationalist.

Some 12.9 per cent of nationalists (7.8 per cent of the overall survey) claimed to ‘strongly like’ or ‘like’ Republican Sinn Fein while 7.5 per cent of nationalists (4.0 per cent of overall survey) strongly liked or liked 32 County Sovereignty Movement, associated with the CIRA and RIRA.

Eleven per cent of overall respondents believed the PSNI to be very similar to the old RUC.

Given the tendency of survey respondents to produce socially acceptable answers, these figures might be seen as disturbing.

The not-so-sneaking regarders are found in the most likely categories: they are predominantly male and young.

As a Guardian report based on the article notes

But Professor Jon Tonge of Liverpool University, in the Ulster Newsletter today, said: “One of the mantras of the peace process is that ‘dissident’ republicans have no support … yet the assumption that dissidents have no support has been precisely that – an assumption, untroubled by actual evidence either way.”

And, “No one in this small, enclosed biosphere ever told them this project was never going to work in the first place…”

Adds  Here are some interesting raw results from the summary findings [pdf file] – hopefully it’s understandable despite the formatting

Q15 And thinking about why some Republican groups used violence during the troubles, would you say that you have any sympathy with the reasons for the violence – even if you don’t condone the violence itself? Would you say you have?

Valid – Frequency Percent – Valid Percent – Cumulative Percent

A lot of sympathy 49 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.9

A little sympathy 42 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 9.1

No sympathy at all? 747 – 74.6 – 74.6 – 83.6

(Don’t Know) 55 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 89.1

(Refused / NA) 109 – 10.9 – 10.9 – 100.0

Total 1002 – 100.0 – 100.0

Q16 And thinking about why some Republican groups (such as the Real IRA and Continuity IRA and often called ‘dissident republicans’) continue to use violence, would you say that you have any sympathy with the reasons for the violence – even if you don’t [condone the violence itself? Would you say you have?]

Valid – Frequency Percent – Valid Percent – Cumulative Percent

A lot of sympathy 44 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4

A little sympathy 38 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 8.2

No sympathy at all? 755 – 75.3 – 75.3 – 83.5

(Don’t Know) 56 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 89.1

(Refused / NA) 109 – 10.9 – 10.9 – 100.0

Total 1002 – 100.0 – 100.0

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  • Coll Ciotach

    No – an United Ireland is

  • pippakin

    Well said MV.

  • Munsterview

    The famous Commandant General Tom Barry that took out the Auxies in Kilmichael Ambush and gave the British Establishment the same shock to the system as Warren Point did.

    His book ‘Guerilla Days In Ireland’ is well worth a read.

  • Munsterview


    “……..This is interesting who is ‘Barry’? I wonder if it is now available under freedom of information – might have a little go at finding out……”

    I suggest a call to the current PRO Irish Defense Forces GHQ and take it from there.

    I would like to do so myself, I have a few good Army friends from cultural interests but offecially I am still a ‘security risk’ in the South while I have no problem with the Brit archives. Ironic is it not!

  • joeCanuck

    The scary thing is that the sort of people who would commit such atrocities are alive and well and living amongst us; the latest European example being the Balkans.

  • Munsterview

    A brief foot note to the above

    When the Irish Gentry families such as a branch of the McGuires, mortgaged their estates and failed to redeem them or simply sold them, they were left in reduced circumstances. However their tenants were left in absolutely destitute circumstances.

    These former tenants became homeless’ wood kerns and had spend the previous years in the badlands and woods reduced from moderate comfort to starvation and mere existence. The new tenants were well armed and could protect their crops and animals.

    When the organized uprising Irish tenant / soldiers struck they disarmed the households and took their outside clothes and other clothing to in effect impose house arrest and then passed on to the next house or hamlet.

    The wood kerns then raided the disarmed housed and took whatever they could including any remaining food and clothing they could. The uprising destroyed the existing authority and the Gaelic soldiers were focused in completing military goals, they left a situation of mob rule behind and the ‘wood kerns’ after their years of starvation in the wilderness, loss of their own children, elderly etc. were simply insensible to the pain and sufferings of the people who took their homes as they see it.

    By the end of the fourth day the Gaelic soldiers joined in the abuse of the planters and there are indications at this stage that the leaders of the rising simply lost control of the widespread victimization’s, killings had started in day two and from there the rest is history.

    When these accounts were taken in Dublin from the survivors dreadful as the truth was, because these were the equivalent of ‘insurance claims’ they were exaggerated and Dublin castle in turn ‘sexed up’ the reports send to England as Dublin wanted a protestant standing army for Ireland.

    Then the accounts became part of the Catholic / Protestant narrative in England until by the time of Cromwell coming to Ireland the popular account had more protestants massacred in the North than in fact there were settlers numbers in the country as a whole at that time.

    Popular protestant Narrative ironically do not use the accounts as given in the dispositions, they rely on the accounts of the Cromwellian ‘sexed up’ documents prepared for propaganda purposes to fire up English protestant sectarian mobs to join up army for Irish service. A sect called ‘the levelers’ tried to spread the real account and be fair to all sides. They refused to go initially.

    Some of these ‘proto-socialists’ disobeyed orders and their leader Cornet Jones was hanged, his death was commemorated by the local labor branch every year up to twenty years ago, I do not know what the current situation is….I must try a google.

    I am explaining what happened historically, not excusing it. The events were as terrible as an example of just how bad one group of human beings could act against another, it is as dreadful as can be found in any of the other European countries of the period..

  • barnshee

    “When the organized uprising Irish tenant / soldiers struck they disarmed the households and took their outside clothes and other clothing to in effect impose house arrest and then passed on to the next house or hamlet.”

    And then the woodman rescues red riding hood from the nasty wolf

    Add it to the rest of the fairy stories

  • Didlee D O’Squat

    barnshee you talk of people who exist in myth and live lives through a prisim of their own perceived (exclusive) victimhood.

    Truly the MOPE.

    Given that the average Irish Republican today is consumed by their belief that they have been oppressed for “800 years” by the terrible British they dance happily on the graves of their ideology’s opponents robbing them of their humanity under a plethora of pejorative names; hun, jaffa, planter etc.

    Of course the mask of the inoffensive downtrodden innocent often slips. When their glee at ‘themuns’ downfall leads to knowingly dishonest hyperbole, for example “taking out Auxies” at Kilmichael is portrayed as a successful military engagement rather than the murder of already surrendered and wounded police officers unable to defend themselves as it was in reality.

    Indeed when holding the advantage the absence of basic human consideration is an Irish Republican trait, as it is with most other fascists. The anti Protestant pogroms of the 1920s that emptied, for example Munster of its unionist population, set in train the massive reduction of the Protestant people in the Republic of Ireland. Contrast this with the growth of the Roman Catholic population in the “British occupied Orange statelet” north of the border.

    But do not have any hopes of changing this mindset. It amounts to a psychosis. It drives the bombers of Londonderry as it did the murderers at Scullabogue and no matter what happens on this island it will tragically always be with us.

  • pippakin

    Didlee D O’Squat

    Terrible things happened, on both sides. Attack, revenge. Revenge, attack, for hundreds of years. By some strange coincidence each side portrays itself, with some justification, as the victim.

    The question is what good has it done. A few rich people and a lot of dead people. For nothing.

    I have yet to read an unbiased history book. If an atrocity was committed both sides insist it was either over immediately or very soon after and anyway it only happened because the other side were fascist murderers.. Rubbish, every atrocity has been pawed over and added to for centuries.

  • Reader

    Munsterview: When these accounts were taken in Dublin from the survivors dreadful as the truth was, because these were the equivalent of ‘insurance claims’ they were exaggerated and Dublin castle in turn ‘sexed up’ the reports send to England as Dublin wanted a protestant standing army for Ireland.
    But if you’re going to start routinely discounting the testimony of victims, how much of our history is going to remain?

  • Didlee D O’Squat

    Indeed all history is subjective, as is its recall to support contemporary arguments. I am happy to acknowledge the mote in my own eye when looking back.

    I am a unionist living in Northern Ireland and my family hails from what is now the Republic,chased out by Irish Republican militants when supposedly their ‘war’ was ‘won’.

    I can agree that ‘my side’ did terrible things and could not easily cast the first stone. However I challenge the exclusive Irish Republican victim mantra because I know that should the ‘British occupation’ end (whatever that means; me and my ilk continuing to live on the island I suspect) another aspect of the cause would be cited to justify further violence, internecine or otherwise.

    My redicule my not impact on its target but when at a loose end I feel compelled to challenge the dangerous nonsense posted by some of the slugger stars.

  • Munsterview


    .”…..for example “taking out Auxies” at Kilmichael is portrayed as a successful military engagement rather than the murder of already surrendered and wounded police officers unable to defend themselves as it was in reality.’……”

    And you were there I suppose ?

    I was not quite : I did however as a member of the FCA ( now Army Reserve, Irish Defense Forces ) with a few stripes in my sleeve and a platoon under my command, take part in the reenactment of that ambush as the field work of a sandbox exercise !

    Given my knowledge and interest in history even back then over forty years ago, I was…….wait for it……… in charge of the lorries of ‘auxies’

    I had the honor and privilege to know Commandant General Tom Barry for some years before his death and I heard him discussing the ambush on many occasions with others and he did so on five or six different times with me.

    On the evening of the ambush the IRA Flying Column rested in the farm of my children’s grandmother’s own childhood home.

    My children’s grandmother with other local girls and women help cook the supper for the resting Flying Column that night as indeed she did on many another day and night before and after.

    Not your lucky night or choice of subject, tonight, is it sunshine ?

    And you may not believe this but I just happen to have the list of those killed in action to hand also !

    * * * * * * * * * *
    Cadet : noun…… a young trainee in the armed services or police.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    Now let us see who these……… ‘cadets’……….. really were

    Ex Officers, Major rank ………….1

    Ex Officers Captain rank…………… 4

    Ex Officers Lieutenant rank………11

    Ex Motor Fitter ……….1

    Fredrick Hugo OBE. MC Mons Star; Ex Major Royal Engineers & Indian Army, and a native of London. Home address: Grove House, Southgate. Buried at Southgate.

    Christopher Wainwright; Ex Capt Royal Dublin Fusiliers and Royal Irish Rifles. He had 10 years army service, and was a native of Lancashire. Home address: 13 Brunswick Road, Gravesend.

    Francis William Crake MC:. Ex Captain, Hampshire Regiment, and a native of Northumberland. Home address: 22 Westgate Road, Newcastle on Tyne. Buried at Elswick, Newcastle on Tyne.

    Philip Noel Graham; Ex Captain, Northumberland Fusiliers. Home address: 14 Wooton Road, Abingdon, Berkshire. Buried at Abingdon.

    William Pallester: Ex Captain, West Yorkshire Regiment, and a native of Yorkshire. Home address: 71 Primrose Avenue, Sheffield. Buried at Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.

    William Barnes DFC Ex Lieut. RAF, and a native of Surrey. Home address: 47 Glebe Road, Sutton, Surrey. Buried at Bexhill Churchyard, Sutton.

    Cecil James W. Bayley:. Ex Lieut. RAF, and a native of Lancashire. Home address: 24, Reynard Road, Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, Manchester
    Leonard D. Bradshaw: Ex Lieut. Royal Field Artillery, and a native of Lancashire. Home address: 24 , Larkhill Terrace, Blackburn.

    James C. Gleave; Ex Lieut. RAF, and a native of Worcester. Home address: Crundale near Canterbury.

    Cecil J. Guthrie: Ex Lieut. RAF, and a native of Fyfe.

    Stanley Hugh-Jones; Ex Lieut. Northumberland Fusiliers, and a native of Hampshire. Buried at Holcombe near Bury.

    Albert George James Jones; Lieut Shropshire Regiment, and a native of Northamptonshire. Home address: 56 Swindon Road, Wroughton, Wiltshire.

    Ernest William H. Lucas: Lieut Royal Sussex Regiment, and a native of Sussex. Home address: 42 Fox Street, Shaldon, Tidworth

    Horace Pearson: Ex Lieut. Yorkshire Regiment, and a native of Co Armagh.

    Frank Taylor: Ex Lieut. RAF, and was a native of Kent. Home address: 21 Seaview Road, Gillingham, Kent.

    Benjamin Webster; Ex Lieut. Black Watch, and was a native of Lanark. Home address: 300 Langside Road, Crosshill, Glasgow.

    Arthur F. Poole; ex Motor Fitter/ Air Force, and was a native of London. Home address:

    * * * * * * * * *

    Not that it will make the slightest difference to you but the true account is this……

    Barry……” there are no good or bad shots at five yards range”

    In that re-enactment when I tumbled under the lorry everywhere I looked the rocks were bristling with guns, pointing, the sight is etched in my mind for life. My first thought was ‘ Jesus…. the poor bastards did not have a chance….’

    Most of the fighting took place with the IRA and Auxie soldiers only one, two, three or four car lengths apart.

    The carnage was dreatfull, it was literaly like shooting fish in a barrell

    After the first volleys some Auxies shouted we surrended and threw out rifles.

    Naive IRA farmer/ volunteers began to stand up, Barry shouted to ‘keep cover’ the auxies whiped out revolvers and fired.

    The IRA again began firing, the Auxies again tried to surrender, Barry gave the ‘keep firing’ order.

    All officers were killed outright bar two.

    The bodies were pulled out on to the road and searched, blood everywhere, some were trailing guts!

    Most of the IRA Column had gone into shock. Barry drilled them up and down the road pass the bodies !

    The shock slowly ebbed, once the IRA were again functional, they collected the gear and marched off

    They had to be ‘shocked out’ of their shock and ready to fight again if intercepted.

    Commandant General Tom Barry had life long guilt for not warning of the bogus surrender trick.

  • Munsterview


    Which noun best describes these Fallen Officers ‘ Cadets’ or experienced First World War experienced and bloodied Officers.

    OBE medals, Military Crosses, Mons Star etc….. Cadets?

    We have four main historical narratives in these Islands.

    1) We have the British Crown and State accounts.

    2) We have the Planter / settler narrative

    3) We have the Native Irish narrative.

    4) We have the examined and revised historical narrative that is the result of evidence and account put through an academically approved methodology to arrive at an authoritative narrative relative to the available information.

    In regard to 1)……….. in contemporary events would you trust Lenihans account of the Banking crisis or Robinsons of how he got that strip of ground for a fiver ? How about Tony Blairs account of the Iraqi War ?……….

    The ‘Official Records’ cannot be taken at face value then or now.

    Forget Ireland……… which American narrative is more likely true….. white settler or native indian ?
    The answer is neither ! both by concentrating on their own perspectives are telling but their part of the story; both stories need to be combined and reconciled with the irreconcilable identified as such and left to the reader to discern reach their own opinion from contextulasition.

    Take 1798 in the North, this was mainly a Protestant Civil War between radical , progressive, Presbyterians and fundamental, conservative Anglicans. The Anglicans won, the radicals were mostly slaughtered or driven out and now the DUP Presbyterian narrate and accept the Anglican version of events.

    Take 1600 wars in the South, history recounts how Crown forces massacres hundreds in Bear Island.
    Sullivan Mor and the majority of the clan was at war with a smaller sept Sullivan Beara. Donal Cam held mid Munster for O’Neill and swore allegiance and his possessions to the King of Spain. O’Sullivan Mor was loyal to the Queen and he was ordered by the Crown to crush the rebel. De Jura it was an English force under the Queens Banner, De facto it was an O’Sullivan civil war.

    O’Sullivan Beara and My clan were refused pardons after the 1600 wars and all historians agree that it was a bit petty in regard to our clan whatever of O’Sullivan Beara. But there is one little detail that historians were not aware of, our extended family was, one of our clan Chief Gentle men of his people had dispatches intercepted by Cecil’s agents while in Norfolk attempting to organize a joint uprising between Desmond and Norfolk Catholics against the English Crown.

    Now the peevishness of the Tudors makes sense, that would have pissed them off big-time !
    ( bet PIP is feeling very understanding towards Liz the First and what she had to put up with from us ?)

    Reader, history is now increasingly democraticised, those dispositions will be download for second level school projects and by regional historians who will be able to localize and particularize these events,. A new and factual narrative will emerge.

    Revision as a polemic re-writing of history is of course wrong. Revision in the light of new sources or qualifications of existing material is and should be ongoing.

  • pippakin


    It is often said the Republicans are a ‘family’. Are you related to all of em…

  • another

    “Irish State action against so-called dissident Republican groups was stepped up a gear yesterday when the Gardai announced that they had arrested a 71-year-old man regarded as a key player in one of the Real IRA factions. Nine other members of the group were also in custody after the swoops in Dunleer and Dundalk, Co Louth and in counties Wexford and Waterford. Among the nine were two men suspected of holding leadership positions in the Real IRA faction. The raids merely serve to confirm the widespread belief that all of the dissident Republican groups that are currently active in N.Ireland, are heavily infiltrated. An intelligence source said; “They are old men, people with a grudge and unemployed teenagers, mainly funded through smuggling and drug dealing.”

  • jim

    the bodies were pulled out onto the road and searched,,,,,,,,,,is ROBBED not a better word to use

  • Didlee D O’Squat

    I believe the convention is to begin such yarns as yours with ‘once upon a time’.

    I’m at a lose to see what baring your membership of an Oirish Dads’ Army, offshoot to a Defense Force (sic) that is to military competence what a pig’s turd is to a diamond, has on the matter. However if dressing up in military hand-me-downs and playing soldier is your thing: enjoy.

    Your excitement in retelling the fable is palpable, bet you typed it with one hand.

    As to Comedy Goon Tom Barry he was fond of drilling the troops, especially the younger pretty boys, a hobby he shared with Pearse.

    Now off with you back down the ruined well at Knocknasheega, the green celtic twilight awaits.

  • pippakin


    I’m never ‘very understanding’ toward wars! nor do I deny the obvious. For hundreds of years Ireland was a very serious threat to the British/English. I think if you acknowledge that you begin to understand why, even if you disagree with it. My, not always successful, neutrality is a luxury only possible in todays world. At almost any other time in our mutual history I would have had to take sides.

    Remember our history MV. We were not always a peace loving people happy to live off the soil, we were a very successful warrior race.

  • barnshee

    Its simple really all they have to do is run on for a few years(-5-10) Then see the light- “reject” violence and stand for election the RC community will vote for them in droves-it ghas worked before why not again?

  • Munsterview

    Pip….. rephase and clarify question please

  • Munsterview


    grow up will you……. you are so determines to seize every opportunity for propaganda and point scoring that you do not perhaps relies that your world view comes across as a child looking out over a schoolyard wall.

    In all wars all fallen soldiers are stripped of a) any war material that the victors can use and b) any personal effects that can be scrutinized at a later date by the Intel people to build up the bigger picture.

    Just go back to sloganeering a street corners, there is a good chap, you may be even able to give some leadership there, by loyalist street tug standards you could pass for an intellectual!

  • pippakin


    Only that I have noticed several references to family before.

    I am not a fan of Tom Barry. So removed from being a fan am I that were he alive today I would be more than willing to have a serious chat with him.

    I don’t care what the Brits did. He had no right to lower Ireland to that level.

  • Munsterview


    “………For hundreds of years Ireland was a very serious threat to the British/English. I think if you acknowledge that you begin to understand why, even if you disagree with it……..”

    I know all the English arguments. I have red them in the papers and I have listened to them here. They only take account of England’s position, but they are founded in the English delusion that Ireland is part of England.

    If there is anything that Irishmen resent more than anything else in the world, it is that we, with all our pride and tradition of an ancient Irish Nation behind it, are going to be leveled down to a mere province.

    ……..abstract from the anti-conscription speech of my cousin Captain D.D. Sheehan MP in the House Of Commons. As an MP he was only one of five elected MP to join the British Army and serve in front line conditions.

    He did so on the grounds that he would not ask his supporters to do what he would not do himself. He also was speaking as a disabled war veteran, his hearing was impaired and he could no longer function properly as an MP and his professional life as one of the leading barristers of his day was over.

    He also spoke as a bereaved father with the remains of his two fine Lieutenant Officer sons buried in France. I do not live in a one dimensional world regarding Irelands freedom or England’s necessities.

    Daniel Desmond’s family like mine came from a family that could go back in opposition to the Desmond Rebellion ( remembered and honored in one of his own names) and even before that to the mid 1500’s .

    ( Come on Pip….. let me hear how he was really a Brit hater etc…..)

    “……. I get so tired of the constant I don’t understand the situation in the north or the ‘history’. I deliberately choose not to! I don’t want to read about the events of hundreds of years ago (although I have read quite a bit) or even the last forty years. To go forward history has to be left behind.” ……. Pipppakin…..slugger o’toole post…. 2010.

    In the above you postulated a certain personal philosophical stance and as an individual you are entitled to propose and maintain that outlook and world view.

    Less forgiving souls than my benevolent self however, could very well conclude that it is nothing short of intellectual fascism, to then dismiss or contend with someone who work outside a different frame of reference that do not conform to the dictates of your views imposed by your limited parameters.

    In circumstances where the person you dismiss is working from over forty years of personal experience and four-hundred years of family history in dealing with what your British school educators defined as the…….. ‘Irish Problem’ ……… irrespective as to whether you agree with the person or not, it is just possible that this persons, views informed as they are by personal experience and extended family traditions, may be a little more authoritative in their assersions than mere uninformed personal opinion.

    As my Barrister cousin DD would have put it ….I rest my case !

  • pippakin


    I have not and never would suggest that Ireland is or could be a ‘province’ of England or the UK. I have simply tried to understand their side of the argument. Can you deny we were a threat, a very serious threat who did deals with the enemies of England?

    It is not that I care for England, quite the reverse, I care for Ireland and how important it is that we embrace all of our history, not just the bits that are convenient at this time.

    I try very hard not to take sides in this ‘debate’ because I feel to do so denies the ‘other’ side their history and their right to be different whilst at the same time being as much Irish as we are.

    A classic case is Tom Barry. Your comment on another thread sounded as though you hero worship him. I feel very differently toward him.

    My family are said to have a member of the IRA in their ranks. My reply when told I should be proud of him? Need you guess. The IRA have been besmirched by the likes of Tom Barry and I could not be proud of anyone who approved of him.

  • Munsterview


    Well squat you sure got squatted on that one…. cheers to the next time !

  • Munsterview


    In the words of Lenin ….” you cannot have revolutions and rosebuds ‘

    All war is degrading, inhuman and brutalizing. Christian Knights are supposed to represent the high point of Western Soldier Chivalry.

    At the siege of Acre in the Holy Land, to make a point they openly barbecued and consumed moslem human flesh in sight of the Moslem soldiers guarding the walls. What way did that American woman sergeant and the rest of her female army friends behave towards their Iraqi prisoners ?

    On a scale of one to ten what Commandant General Tom Barry did with his soldiers after Kilmichael do not even merit a half of one compare to the brutalization ‘ civilized’ democratic Nato Countries including Britain and the US currently put their Special Forces through to turn them into unthinking killing machines.

    These people are then returned to civilian life without any help or support although everything possible had been done to inculcate a killers mentality into them. Regretfully once again Pip you are outside your comfort zone, competence commentating expertise and contextulation of particulars.

  • pippakin


    You are doing it again!

    You are justifying an atrocity by saying the Brits and everyone did much the same. I say: So what!

    Barry murdered seventeen people who were trying to surrender, when he realised the condemnation would not just ‘go away’ he came up with the ‘false surrender’ story.
    He did it because he could. In fact it sounds a lot like IRA blaming the police every time one of their bombs hurt someone, up to and including Omagh.

    You are absolutely right the behaviour outlined above is way outside my comfort zone!

    And you’ve just gone back to the bloody Crusades!

  • Munsterview


    No, on the contrary, you, are doing it again……….

    One British Army Major,

    Four British Army Captains

    Eleven British Army Lieutenants

    All battled hardened, tough fighting soldiers who preferred continuing war conditions to peace, warmongers, to use your own term, who signed up for and vowed to take the fight to the IRA.

    OBE, Mons Star, DFC and a couple of Military Crosses : do you think these experienced soldiers got these decorations for making the tea ?

    Do you think that such distinguished soldiers of the British Army Officer class could ever show their face in England or any part of the British Empire again if they surrendered to what were portrayed as a bunch of armed farmers and shop counter jumpers led by a former mere British army sergeant ? …… which in fact that is what the ambushing party was !

    Do you have any inkling what so ever as to how foolish your statement seems to any one with the slightest inkling of military matters ?

    Do you not realize that it would have been like seventeen SAS in present time surrendering to an ambushing party of the Continuity IRA.

    Is your need to condemn the IRA so visceral that you succumb to emotion and abandon all reasoning and critical faculties ?

    You have left me totally flummoxed on this one !

    I can only think of one appropriate response and it is one that I first heard in the Ardoyne from the women there ( cheers Marie Mc !)

    ‘……Ach away out of it woman and boil yer heid !……’

  • Munsterview


    “…….I am a unionist living in Northern Ireland and my family hails from what is now the Republic, chased out by Irish Republican militants when supposedly their ‘war’ was ‘won’…….”

    Considering this is a unionist ethos site, I have never the less put my own past and that of my historical family on record, I have flown my colors for all to see.

    Since you are among your own here on slugger would you consider doing likewise and giving an account of what the male members of your extended family were doing in the late nineteen, early twentieth century ?

    Look forward to reading to the reasons of why they felt under threat…… that is of course unless you are personally ashamed of their activities and choose not to put it on record !

    Prison Warders ? Paid Informers ? Black and Tans? Common Criminals on the run from Republican Police and Sinn Fein Courts ?

  • pippakin


    I’m doing it again? Read this thread. You have been having a go at me almost all the time! Forever England my arse!!!

    I’m not the only one who thinks Barry murdered those men when they were trying to surrender.

    You cannot defend in one what you condemn in another, or at least most of us can’t. You may have made a career of it!

    You always present your little ‘histories’ as if they are cast in stone, completely ignoring the fact that there is more than one side to most things, especially the truth!

    Away le fhiuchadh do cheann féin leat amadán d’aois

  • pippakin

    Dont know what Didlee may have to say but here is a little cut and paste job from me:

    Samuel and son-in-law, Captain Herbert Woods. Faced by armed intruders at dead of night, Captain Woods fired at them and shot dead the IRA group’s leader, Michael O’Neill.

    The three Protestants surrendered. The IRA group took them away to the hills and killed them in dire circumstances. Their bodies have never been found. In Blood-Dark Track, Joseph O’Neill gives them the only epitaph they have ever received: “These three dead Protestants were multiply entombed. Their violent deaths were not reported in the Irish newspapers; their bodies were buried in secret somewhere in West Cork; and their remains, unlike those of Northern Catholics, shot dead as informers, were never officially missed.”

    But it did not stop there. Over the following nights, the IRA shot 10 ordinary Protestant shopkeepers, farmers and clergymen. Hundreds of terrified Cork Protestants packed the trains and sought refuge in England and Northern Ireland. Similar scenes were taking place all over Ireland. At least 40,000 southern Protestants left.

    Donald Woods directly confronts his self-imposed silence on the subject when speaking to another local historian, Colm Cronin: “We have been writing together on historical matter for four or five years now and I wonder why we never discussed these events of 1922?” Colm replies that many Catholics did not know the facts, and the hurt was so deep “they brought down a wall of silence around it”.

    Hazel Baylor speaks fluent Irish. She stands in the farmyard of the traditional farmhouse and points out where her uncle, Bertie Chinnery was shot dead. She says her mother had no hatred for his killers, and neither does she. You will have to see the film to feel her healing power.

    Charles Duff comes from London, where he lectures on Shakespeare. He stands at the grave of his grandfather, David Gray, a chemist, who was shot dead in the doorway of his shop in Dunmanway.

    After the murder the Gray family fled to England. It is Charles Duff’s first time seeing his grandfather’s grave and he has this to say: “I suppose I’ve thought a lot about how that family was once very happy and very united and it was a family, how on the grave it says ‘worthy of everlasting remembrance’ and how there hasn’t been everlasting remembrance.

  • old school

    Not much chance of a fair trial for those lads and lassies, thats for sure.
    Were’nt we told during the Summer that five men were arrested in Louth in a bomb laden car heading for the border, and they had fired shots at the Gardai.
    Only to find out later there were no explosives in the car and no shots were fired.
    The Justice system has got WORSE since the GFA and more draconian.
    Irish media is beyond repair, and is pathetic to be honest.
    That piece above is so blatant in propaganda I don’t know where to start.

  • tacapall

    “The raids merely serve to confirm the widespread belief that all of the dissident Republican groups that are currently active in N.Ireland, are heavily infiltrated. An intelligence source said; “They are old men, people with a grudge and unemployed teenagers, mainly funded through smuggling and drug dealing.”

    Quite the opposite in fact, British intelligence is running about like chickens with no heads trying to get a bit of info and theres nothing like smear tactics to stereotype those who dissent from the establishments way of thinking.

  • Munsterview


    here is another not on that list and never mentioned…….

    You may not recall but over the various threads dealing with IRA and history, either directly or tangentially I have continually referred to some of the South West Cork killings.

    I have also said that given the fact that many of these middle class West Cork Protestants also had male family members, Officers and soldiers in the war, they entertained British Army Officers, NCO and soldiers to dinner etc. Most of these practices ceased, not under IRA threat but when the activities of the Auxies became to brutal and outrageous for ordinary protestant decency to stomach any longer.

    I have also said that I have relatives living in what was Vitchi Southern France and that the average town there has more killing of local people who associated with the German Occupation Army and Native French Nazis than there was in the whole of the Twenty Six counties in the year after the war.

    Once again you have taken a particular and exalted it to a general.

    In North West Cork for example I only know of one incident where a local ‘ Big House’ military family were threatened. When the Troop train pulled out of Newmarket the IRA leason officer suggested to his British Army counterpart who was a local that it was about time he considered going too. This family had put a seventy four year old woman, Mary Ann Brown out on the side of the road during the Land Wars and they were detested.

    However the subject under discussion was the military our positions here are simple : I defended the conduct of Barry and the IRA in Kilmichael, you are on the side of the Auxies and Black and Tans. You write as if these brutalized hardened Auxie killers were a bunch or armed English tourists who just happened to be passing through West Cork when they were set upon by the IRA and murdered.

    Others can make up their own minds on that one !

    As for ‘ having a go at you’ I do not think you need worry too much on that score from now on, one can only have a reasoned debate and exchange of information with someone who is in possession of facts or who is willing to learn and take on board new facts. You Pip are unfortunately in the main devoid in the first requirement and have a consistently proven deficit on the second !

    That makes any direct exchanges on issues raised pointless.

    As to squat…….. there is still ‘ squat’ from that source, he is probably still wiping egg off his face!

  • pippakin


    I simply pointed out another reality and one that those who believe it are entitled to hold.

    If insulting me makes you feel better sure I would be churlish to object.

    Whatever I can’t do: I can read and more than one book or whatever at a time. You complain I don’t know my history. The truth is it’s you who only know one history and are blinkered to everything else.

    Now who’s having a temper tantrum.

  • Munsterview


    First off I did not set out to insult you, I have no reason to so and I should hope that as this stage of my life I should be well past a need to anything like that.

    I have consistently crossed swords with you on a number of items here but with good reason ! However before drawing a line under this for your benifit ( and that of other readers) a wee reprise rather than a reproach if I may !

    Other than the occasional brief comment, I do seldom contribute to financial threads on slugger for the simple fact, that I while I closely follow financial matters, I do not have the personal time to research the figures to back up my arguments. Without doing that, if I do take issue and argue a point on financial affairs, it is a personal opinion only.

    I am not in these circumstances, giving the informed bloggers and posters concerned the respect they are due. There is little point of offering uninformed comment, it can make little contribution to any debate but it can cause a lot of distraction and confusion!

    In regard to Northern politics, I do not take the views of an average Malone Road Catholic householder regarding what life is like for the Catholic residents of the Creggan or even the Ardoyne which is in their same city of Belfast as having much weight. Other than the name of a shared religion, there is little shared experience and consequently, neither knowledge or appreciation of how working class catholics live anywhere in Northern Ireland.

    In general Malone Rd Catholics know more about the intrigues of the UUP from their shared professional, business and social contact than they do of Republican groupings. They are of course free to hold and venture an opinion, but that is all it is, a personal opinion !

    I spend three and a half decades of my life actively involved in republican and left wing politics : so did many others. I closely follow trends inside this ethos…… and that involves phone and em contact with like minded people as well as regular trips North to see and talk to wider cultural and other social cross community contacts.

    As a result of these exchanges, I give what I would hope is a measured, informed comment based on these contacts. It is then exasperating to say the least to have this dismissed by somebody who have, it seems little or no direct knowledge of Nationalist working class communities, republican groupings or other qualification for their statements other than their own personal feelings.

    The fact that most of the serious informed posters on slugger from the republican and nationalist side in general accept my analysis or observations despite a diversity of background ( and some with no great regard for PSF or its supporters ) shows that I am getting fair comment and balance some way correct.

    As in the parades issue and proposed legalization I have not pulled my punches on Sinn Fein either when the occasion merited it !

    As historical narrative, be it recent or more distant, inform contemporary politics and form shape current opinions, I have a keen life long interest in this area. Since the narrative is of such significance, it is also of crucial importance that the narrative is factual.

    Any academic historian with a respect for their profession work inside certain parameters. They may have certain personal views but their authority inside their own peer review group come not only from their personal knowledge but also from the professionalism of their detached presentation and their ability to deal objectively with the facts they intrepid.

    The feet can never be cut to fit the shoes!

    There are several dangerous self serving myths circulating in the Northern Narrative masquerading as historical fact that do a disservice to and distort contemporary politics. The main one in Unionist circles of recent vintage, is that Unionist insistance forced republicans to abandon Armed struggle and embrace democratic politics !

    I have disputed that here in slugger. I have postulated that most revolutionary organizations such as the Irish Republican Movement go three stages. First there is the journey from the margins to the center by bomb and bullet with little direct participation in politics, then there is bullet and ballot box to consolidate their place in the centre ground and finally there is the ballot box only where the armed wing not alone becomes unnecessary to requirements, but also an actual encumbrance to achieving political goals.

    In recent Irish history two Irish Revolutionary groups made this journey some two decades apart, the Officials did it in the South after split and short, sharp shooting war with their breakaway, the INLA. The Provos made the very same journey at a later date…….and without a civil war against their former members.

    It seems that some loyalist armed groups, as we have recently seen, are not quite ready as a whole to progress from stage two to stage three. The majority of the membership are quite happy to keep their gunmen and throw democratically elected Assembly members overboard !

    The Official Republican Movement reached a political stage in their development where they had to ‘ loose the army ‘ some old hands resisted and that was only resolved by yet another breakaway when the majority opted for politics and formed a new party, the Democratic Left to pursue democratic politics by political means only, leaving behind a rump, the Workers Party, that still see a necessity for stage two continuing.

    The journey of the Democrats Left faction from armed struggle to reverse take over of the Labor party is well documented and not disputed, the requisites of full participation in full democratic politics by Democratic Left, dictated the absence of a covert armed force section.

    There are reactionary unionist forces that for any number of reasons oppose political and other dialogue with political opponents as they see mutual progress gained consequent to individual loss of power and prestige on the unionist side.

    In this political arena the battle for hearts and minds is of paramount importance. Raising fears of change and appealing to past self serving myth is part of their resistance arsenal. In this regard myth and legend must be challenged.

    Where possible facts as they are known and established inside achedimic historical standards must be taken outside Trinity, Queens and Oxford halls and made available to the people whose own people made history.

    I would personally love to see the protestant tradition reclaming most of Catholic culture heros from the ninteent century. Remove protestants like Thomas Davis, John Mitchel, Charless Gavan Duffy, Bishop Graves, etc and Catholics / Nationalists are then forced to question the priorities of the leaders of our ethos.

    Killmichael of itself as a millitary engagement is not of any great importance one group of armed men ambushed another. The ambushing group were on raised ground, they had good rock cover and they were firing down on the other group who did not have cover at colse quarters, it could have only one outcome.

    Then came the propaganda war………
    One Major, four Captains and eleven Lieutenants were still potrayed as ‘poliece cadets’

    Since the fact that seventeen were killed could not be denied the first off the record briefing
    to international journalists had ‘the bodies cut open with axes’ etc. by the IRA

    However truth will out and hard questions started to be asked…….how could such experienced soldiers have been killed in mass by ‘counter jumping shop assistants and farmers ?

    The false surrender by the Auxies and their killing of Deasy was by now common knowledge around West Cork, the British propaganda siezed the first ‘surrender’ , never said anything about the Auxies resumption of firing and used that as an explaination for the Auxies wipe out.

    Commadant General Sean Moylan after Toureengarrif ambush in North Cork in the same period took a number of RIC other forces prisoner after their surrender. One RIC man produced roasry beads, flund himself on his knees and started begging for his life. Moylan passed him by, looked at the next one and asked….” I suppose you are a Catholic too “? The man answered ” No, I am a bloody Black and Tan, you can shoot me” !

    Moylan holstered his revolver and extended his hand….” Well he said you a bloody man anyway…shake !” and they did. He then asked him….. ” Were you in the Army” the Tan said ‘Yes’ and them Moylan asked him ” tell us the best way to deal with the wounded ” and both IRA and English who were attempting to kill each other ten minutes earlier were binding up the wounded together.

    Barry did not hate the British Army, he had worn the same uniform and soldiered with them as an NCO in the WW1. Once he took over a dozen regular British Army prisoner and disarmed them. The soldiers of this particular batallion had just done their duty without abusing people, in fact they had on numerous occasions prevented RIC and Tans from abusing civilians.

    They were held captive overnight, there were a few chates of beet bought for them and they spend the night learning rebel songs from their IRA guards. They were released in the morning and went into Skibbereen in a number of sidecars singing IRA songs that would have got Irish civilians instantly arrested.

    So much for your blood thirsty monster Barry! Squat and his ilk however are not interested in history save for snatching anything that can be grabbed to belt the ‘other side’ over the head. Since Irish politics have to function the open wound of history with unfinished business everywhere, past historical narrative still plays a disproportionate role in shaping contemporary attidutes.

    In most other European countries history, save for commerations, is left to the academics, cultural societies and school children. Here in Ireland, because the past still straight-jackets the present and moulds the future, factual correct narrative is essecencial. Propaganda or instinctive emotional reaction to a past event can distort current perceptions and interfere with future possibilities.

    Given that this is the situation I will vigriously contest what I consider to be non factual narrative. Nothing personal. in that …..this is the business of any historian worth their salt anyway!

    Nothing personal, but when you unwittingly or otherwise become a m

  • pippakin


    There was nothing unwitting about it! I chose to put the comment there knowing it was in direct opposition to your own views. I wanted to show that there is (as I keep saying) another side.

    It makes no difference if you or I believe it. In order to win the peace we have to make room for it!

    The main difference between us is you appear to think IRA violence is allowable and I don’t believe it is any more allowable than the bombing of McGurk’s Bar. To tell me that the Brits did worse or more often is irrelevant.

    Avuncular comments about the equivalent of soda bread and apple pie dont fool unionists and wont persuade them out of their comfort zone, nor will barely suppressed triumphalism. How can Ireland triumph over the Irish? unless of course you’re a banker…

    Don’t know why you got cut off but never mind. I’m sure it was going to be very flattering.

    Here is the link to Saoise32: I know you will disagree with it completely but that is not the point. The point is many people do believe it and they are entitled to their views.


  • Munsterview


    For whatever it is worth while not from West Cork I married into a family who were resident there and who had a active participation in these times and events. I heard of those killings in the early seventies, I followed up some of the stories back then with people in the know in all sides.

    Unlike the tv program I had hours and afternoons where I heard many of these events discussed and the backgrounds. I have also spoken and discussed them with elderly republicans in other areas from Cork to Donegall. In all from West Cork to Letterkenny all I ever heard of is isolated incidents in localized areas.

    My guess is that these killings / sectarian murders were somewhere between thirty five and fifty for the whole area that became the twenty six counties, excluding Dublin. I do not know what the situation in Dublin was. Two things were never discussed except in exceptional circumstances, the incidents of rape and sexual assault of Irish women and these killings.

    I know of one incident in East Cork where three Irish ex-British army WW1 were on a bridge when a local IRA unit suddenly appeared and sniped at some British troops searching the lines below. They missed and their lack of shooting skills were subject to some jeering and adverse comment.

    The following evening the same unit passed the same group, more of the same comments, the IRA section leader pulled out his revolver and shot the man mocking him dead. The true facts of the killing were covered up and the IRA man was not held responsible. Terrible things happen in all wars and in guerilla wars especially. Ireland was no different.

    I do not deny that such murders took place. As a historian I welcome the recording of these events and their inclusion in mainstream history. What I do strenuously object to is these particular individual and collective events taken out of their time and place to be used out of context as a polemic battering ram in contemporary events.

    While I thread carefully lest I appear to adversely harass anybody, I would be a hell of a lot more impressed with certain peoples bluster and feigned concerns for democracy and justice, had I not known of an incident where this same person was responsible for individuals openly carrying arms and known to be part of a certain illegal organization coming into a broadcasting canteen for the expressed purpose intimidating staff and management who intended to do an in-depth investigation into that same illegal organization !

    Guess how sickened these non polemic journalists must feel every time they hear these polemic outbursts about human rights and concerns for democracy? Will there be any apology to those journalists for the fear and intimidation to which they were subjected.

    Sauce for the goose it seems is definitely not always sauce for the gander! As I have found in a few police cells in my time, some people can have a very strange understanding of democracy!

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    You are indeed a prodigious writer so apologies if I have missed this somehwre above.

    I suspect that the answer is a much lower number than their reputation might suggest – how many people did the Black and Tans actually kill and is there a breakdown of those killed into insurgents and civilians?

  • pippakin


    I had heard stories, some might say the old banger had been around the block a few times and was badly in need of an MOT.

    The only point I ever try to make is that there is more than one side. I actually, and surprisingly, agree with you in some respects.

    Ireland’s battles with the English may go back hundreds of years but independence and the troubles do not, they are too close to the surface of our emotions, and this is why I rarely refer to actual events except to say there is more than one side and to condemn all of them.

    As a nationalist and a pacifist (notwithstanding the bad temper!) I feel our best way to a UI is by acknowledging the faults on all sides. You have a depth of knowledge of the troubles. I bet you were furious at the contents of the link!

  • Munsterview


    “…..I bet you were furious at the contents of the link!……”

    A bet you would have lost !

    Have I not just said that I have been talking and telling about aspects of these killings since the early seventies?

    How if you took the full awareness of that in, it would mean a different mindset and that is not likely to happen. You have a mindset regarding people like me and you will continue to ‘cut the feet to fit the shoes’

    Time to move on!

  • pippakin


    You will never move on, you’re stuck with your ancestors.

  • Brian

    Of all the engagements in the War of INdependence where Crown forces were surrendered and at the mercy of the IRA, this is the only one where it has been claimed that the IRA killed prisoners.

    Seamus Fox has a 60 page document reviewing all the arguments and evidence of the Hart vs all the other historians who challenged his revisionist version. If you are interested I will dig up the link for you. I found it interesting and a good summary of the issue.

    It must be remembered that this very group of Auxies had terrorized West Cork since they had gotten there, including killing 2 innocent men (one was mentally handicapped.)

  • Munsterview

    Tapering off, academic work stacking up. Back to writing what Turgon refers to as’ British English’ this week……. slugger exempted of course !

    Narrative is all important and I went off the deep end with this one to tease out the some of the issues involved. I deferred submitting Articles only to end up writing five times as much as I need have done on a considered article!

    No getting through to some people of course but I have had lots of interesting International feedback especially from across the pond when the penny dropped regarding who the ‘cadets’ really were.

    I am really looking forward to general protestant readers who identify with the planter stock taking ownership of the Trinity accounts to the rising and surrounding events. It could prove to be the start of an agreed true historical landmark narrative that we can work forward and backward from in some sort of agreed consensus.

  • pippakin


    It is interesting and I would be grateful if you could find the link.

    I wanted to open the debate, although I’m inclined to the Hart version regarding Barry. My opinion of him is no more or less what I think of most soldiers, there are or have been occasions of real heroism but relative to the numbers, not so much.

    I’m not sure if the time is yet right for anyone to attempt a completely unbiased history of independence and the troubles. It still stirs so much anger and real pain, on both sides! I get into enough trouble just being a nationalist trying to be neutral! and even consciously trying I’m afraid my own view leans toward the nationalist side every time.

  • pippakin


    Not if you are the one doing the history laddie. Republicans must not be allowed to write their own.

  • Munsterview


    First off the remarks were addressed to…….itwas Sammy out of curtsey as I had not taken up his points and gave a reason.

    Once again you but show your crass ignorance as to how the academic world works as indeed you have consistently done with other areas of specialization in society like military organizations. However that has not stopped you of offering uninformed opinion as pertinent comment on these things.

    I went to the trouble of studying for history MA to formally learn the rules and parameters of the discipline. When I sit around a table at a seminar as I did last week with are several PhD, MA and Post Grads, etc all that matters there is any contribution that I assert as fact must have supporting evidence.

    Opinion and personal ideas on the subject must wait until the discussions over a few coffees, pints or whatever if there is enough interest to continue the discussion. Not lets have your take on this….

    “…….I get so tired of the constant I don’t understand the situation in the north or the ‘history’. I deliberately choose not to! I don’t want to read about the events of hundreds of years ago (although I have read quite a bit) or even the last forty years. To go forward history has to be left behind……. PIP

    “……..I get so tired of the constant I don’t understand the situation in the north or the ‘history’. I deliberately choose not to!

    I have repeatedly you challenged you on this……. You make a statement like that you deliberately choose to not understand the Northern situation or history and yet you are there and pontificating on everything and anything about the North as the fancy takes you!

    I take the trouble to go to the North regularly, I visit Nationalist and other areas and I talk to people on the ground there, especially business people. Through forty years of political and cultural activity I have a wide ranging contacts across the social spectrum.

    Your information….such as you have is second hand, yet you assert personal opinion as ‘fact’ despite having no basis for these ‘facts’ other than your own periodical mind set.

    “……To go forward history has to be left behind……. PIP……”

    That is the sort of inane ill considered sound bite statement that pass for ‘thinking’ in the ‘big brother’ house or a Miss World contest interview!

    “………. When their glee at ‘themuns’ downfall leads to knowingly dishonest hyperbole, for example “taking out Auxies” at Kilmichael is portrayed as a successful military engagement rather than the murder of already surrendered and wounded police officers unable to defend themselves as it was in reality………”

    One regular British army ex- Major, four regular British Army ex-Captains, eleven regular British Army ex-Lieutenants, OBE, Mons Stars, four Millitary Crosses and a DFC etc, battle hardens and well bloodied soldiers of the Officer Class some who had ordered men to death in their hundreds if not thousands over the war years.

    “………and wounded police officers unable to defend themselves as it was in reality………”

    Even that statement is not historically accurate……. they were not police officers as you described……. officially they were back then and have been since listed in all official British reports as…… ‘police cadets’

    Police Cadets indeed……. these people warmongers in the true sense of the word, they could have have remained decommissioned but choose instead to return to millitary service, to harass, injure and kill for civilian and militant Irish alike for a well remunerated daily pay who had vowed to ‘take the war to the IRA’.

    At Kilmichael the then Commandant Tom Barry a former British Army sergeant with a collection of trained farm lads, shop assistants and others mostly young men, one Deasy was only sixteen, armed with rifles and shotguns and revolvers and only an average off twenty rounds per man took on these soldiers.

    These professional warmongers of the British Establishment Officer had combined over seventy years combat experience in one of the bloodiest battlefields that the world had known up to then or indeed since since.

    Barry had poorly trained part-time volunteer IRA soldiers, most without any combat experience what so ever. Instead of the Auxies taking the fight to them they took the fight to the Auxies. It is no surprise that the event shook the British Millitary and Other establishments to their foundations or that the British should attempt to cove up the true enormity of what happened.

    Over the years Indian Congress people, Greek Cypriots and ex Mau Mau and ANC comrade etc all knew the details of Kilmichael. Using that as an example it was a matter of ……’Yes …..we….can ! long before Obama popularized the phase.

    Then again there could be a very simple explanation for your spleen…….. you have occasionally alluded to your London East End connections……. I would like to know what these are or were.

    The Cockneys traditionally provided a disproportionate number of British Army Officers and NCO’s……. are you perhaps identifying wits these warmongering former British Army Officers rather than those Irish who resisted them ?

    On a personal note why do you think the other pro British posters have dropped out on this one……. could it be that when in a hole they have the wit to stop digging rather than give furder expoure to the activities of a disgraced and discredited bunch of professional warmongers such as these ex-British Army Officer class paid killers really were !

  • pippakin


    I wasn’t interested in reading War and Peace tonight so I didn’t bother to read it all.

    I am sick of your little ‘fire side chats’ horror stories more like! Your barely suppressed excitement at the mere thought of more violence and your indepth knowledge not to mention relationship to every republican who ever fired a shot at the British. Then of course there are the English cousins, paraded forth every time you feel you need to establish your ‘unbiased’ cred.

    I posted a valid comment about Barr. This time I ‘came out of the closet’ and gave a link to prove there are other opinions out there. I repeat those opinions are valid and every bit as worthy of attention as yours.

    Get over your self. I say again republicans should not be allowed to write their own histories. I also believe the Brits should not be allowed to write their history. Difference is coming from me it’s true, coming from you it would be eyewash.

    I sincerely hope that where ever I had lived, whatever nationality I might have had. I would still care as much about truth, honesty and equality as I do now.

  • pippakin


    Oh. Like you’ve never dropped in on a thread!

    I wasn’t interested in reading War and Peace tonight so I didn’t bother to read it all.

    I am sick of your little ‘fire side chats’ horror stories more like! Your barely suppressed excitement at the mere thought of more violence and your indepth knowledge not to mention relationship to every republican who ever fired a shot at the British. Then of course there are the English cousins, paraded forth every time you feel you need to establish your ‘unbiased’ cred.

    I posted a valid comment about Barr. This time I ‘came out of the closet’ and gave a link to prove there are other opinions out there. I repeat those opinions are valid and every bit as worthy of attention as yours.

    Get over your self. I say again republicans should not be allowed to write their own histories. I also believe the Brits should not be allowed to write their history. Difference is coming from me it’s true, coming from you it would be eyewash.

    I sincerely hope that where ever I had lived, whatever nationality I might have had. I would still care as much about truth, honesty and equality as I do now.

  • JJ Malloy

    I found it on google, it is the first thing that comes up when you type “Seamus Fox Kilmichael” in google search. It is in PDF format.

    The same thing can be found here

    Just go down to the November 28 entry and click on the link where it says “More Detail”

  • pippakin


    Apologies for the double thread. mobile B/B being a pain.

    As for any relations I had or have in the East End. None I’m afraid. Anyone who knows anything about London knows the East End was a major starting point for people looking for work.

  • pippakin

    JJ Malloy

    Thanks for the link. At first glance it seems like more of the he said, she said, but I will spend a happy hour or two deciphering and checking against other material.

  • Seamus Eolach


    Do you believe that Ireland should maintain a Defence Force?

  • pippakin

    Seamus Eolach

    LOL Oh yes I do, very much so, but if you are suggesting that defence force should be the IRA, that would be a different subject, wouldn’t it.

  • Seamus Eolach

    You do release that the Defence Forces have live ammunition. In theory they would kill people.

    In a Kilmichael sitution Pip no modern infantry would be expected to take any prisoners in that kind of fire-fight at that range and in that confusion. I assure you of this.

  • Munsterview

    “…..Your barely suppressed excitement at the mere thought of more violence …….”

    That remark in the light of my expressed views in slugger is nothing short of scurrilous !

    That crosses the boundary of fair comment : it is not comment it is an unwarranted accusation that is unsupported by anything that I have posted on slugger.

    I demand and await your immediate and unqualified apology for it !

  • pippakin

    Seamus Eolach

    The problem may be you think that by condemning Barry I am somehow defending the British and their auxies. Not so. I firmly believe they were as bad as each other. And that is what I find so objectionable.

    We do not have the right to do to our enemies the things we condemn them for doing to us, that is wrong.

    I believe it is too soon to write the history of our independence or the troubles. It is too close, too painful for too many people, but, where they exist, we must begin to acknowledge any wrongs, If not we are as bad as the British.

  • Seamus Eolach

    I enjoy too much the freedom (however incomplete) won for me and my family by General. Barry and his like to judge what they felt they had to do to win it.

    No war is a nice thing.

    I see nothing in that engagement that would controvene any military law, then or today.

    You have a responsiblity to your own men first, the enemy second.

    It was be hypocrisy for the likes of me to accept money from the Irish State and condemn its creation.

  • Seamus Eolach

    Of course, I feel you must be challenged on one point.

    Why is it acceptable to you that the Irish Defence Forces are armed in defence of one part of Creggan Parish and yet it is totally imoral to bear arms in defence of Ireland in the other part of the parish?

    I support no armed struggle whatsoever, yet I feel that this is something – as a moralist – that you have to address.

  • pippakin


    Oh please! Spare me the histrionics. Of course! if you feel you have been mortally wounded by my comment what else can a pacifist do but apologise.

    By the way do you actually read your comments, you know before you press the send button. I suggest you take a long, slow browse through the archives. That was a full stop, might an exclamation mark have had more effect. Hmm

  • pippakin

    Seamus Eolach

    To be honest it doesn’t, but I do recognise the need for defence and, bear in mind the Irish Defence Forces have an admirable reputation peacekeeping in some very volatile areas. I would like to see that maintained.

    With regard to the situation in the north I believe armed action delays a United Ireland.

  • Munsterview


    I demand and await your immediate and unqualified apology for it !

  • another

    The end result of Independence has been fat boys with their fingers in the trough, who have contributed to the demise of state sovereignty.

    It is somewhat ironic then, that the so called dissident purists (who are of course not really purists, because they recognise the twenty six county state), have seemingly decided not to target said fat boys, because they are presumably corrupt Irishmen, as opposed to corrupt British men.

    One is left to wonder how many of the purists have read Mellows’ jail notes, with his call for state control of industry, transport and banks, as well as the seizure of the lands of the “aristocracy.”

    The dissidents are misguided; myopic and malevolent. I hear on the grapevine that a number of the so called leadership drive around in the twenty six county state in 4x4s and Mercs; whilst the foot soldiers claim the dole.

    Mellows used to says that the moneyed classes were hoodwinking the people. In the present phrase of the so called struggle, one is left to wonder who it is that is hoodwinking whom.

    Purists my ass….conflict junkies, most certainly.

  • pippakin


    I have apologised to people before. On this occasion you have had all the apology from me you are going to get and before you succumb to apoplexy I really do recommend you read all your previous comments and ask yourself what conclusion would a really neutral person draw.

    You might also consider the apology you owe me. For months you insult my intelligence not least on this thread, and yet as soon as I present you with proof of opposite and equal views your attitude changes completely. It could be described as threatening.

  • Munsterview

    “……..It is somewhat ironic then, that the so called dissident purists (who are of course not really purists, because they recognize the twenty six county state)…….”

    First off I have objected to the use of ‘Dissidents’ as a nomenclature ‘catch all’ as it conceals far more than it reveals about the groups concerned. I have also suggested that one of the three Northern regular article contributers, designate the various groups and give a general description of their political views.

    The Continuity Republican Movement encompass a number of different organizations, the main ones being the Continuity IRA and Continuity Sinn Fein. Both of these organizations have very specific attitudes towards the Twenty-Six County State, The Six County Regional State and the rest of Britain.

    I merely point this out, I cannot speak for the organization. However there must be a Continuity reader or poster who can set the record straight with regard to State recognition?

    How can we have a serious discussion on these groups without having clear designations and divisions between them. Are both main factions of the Real IRA now a united single organization, are they operating joint structures or are they even co operating ?

    A significant section of the Provo IRA dissented from The Mainstream but also accepted that the Armed Struggle had run it’s course and did not collectively oppose the GFA or remain a collective organization, in relation to separate structures etc.. While it appears that most of these dissidents from the majority IRA consensus have remained inactive, some, if media reports are correct, have returned to limited armed activity.

    If so the correct term for these would surely be the Provo dissidents, dissidents? ( The Double Dissidents…….. The Dissidents Squared etc )

    We cannot have an informed discussion on these groupings without knowing exactly who they are and what they are about.

  • Munsterview


    Very well, to morrow I will address an open letter to Mick on the matter and ask him to uphold my complaint as your assertion is a serious accusation that is without foundation and one that I am not prepared to let stand uncontested or unrestricted.

    Recently I inadvertently gave a certain impression of my attitude to the 1640 massacres of some Ulster Planters, I was taken up on it and I gave an immediate and unqualified apology for it to the poster concerned no if, buts or ands. I also extended to any readers and posters identifying with the ethos the planters shared.

    I am not demanding any other standards in this regard that I am not prepared to apply in the first instance to myself !

    ‘ Pesky’ or the poster persona posting as ‘pesky’ backed himself into another cul-de-sac some weeks back when he was repeatedly challenged to put up or shut up ! He did not put up but he did shut up…… at least in his ‘pesky’ persona.

    “…….I wasn’t interested in reading War and Peace tonight so I didn’t bother to read it all……”

    Some threads back I made the point that I did not usually comment on economic threads despite the fact that I get an international daily electronic International financial newsletter. I do not have the time to research figures to back up arguments I may want to make and I would not devalue the contributions of other informed posters who do their research by insisting that my personal opinion is as valid as their informed commentary!

    “………. so I didn’t bother to read it all….”

    and not for the first time either, apparently !

    Would not basic intelligence, whatever of common curtsy, then dictate that you either ignored the post all together or wait until you had time to deal properly with the contents if you felt replying.

    Or like some unionist ethos posters is it all about denigration and polemic railing against any ideas that do not conform to your mindset irrespective of content or political views?

    Is it too much to expect that the mind is in gear before the mouth…..or in this case, the fingers are in motion, especially as the dozen lines that started this spat did not concern you and were addressed specifically to another poster ?

    I come straight from the Six Counties as I did recently after spending a day meeting a whole cross section of people whose views would not normally be reflected in slugger……. unionist site for unionist people and fellow travelers and all to that……..

    I can accept most unionists contention and disputing of these views…. they live there and in general know what is happening, their perspectives are different to mine….. but at least they know.

    You most painfully and obviously do not and if I let your uninformed views stand uncontested then in effect I an accepting that somebody with no first hand knowledge and indeed a consistently demonstrated general knowledge of the situation is on par with mine or any other informed observation with a reasoned reasoned argument.

    Despite your vaunted claims to ‘fairness’ the consistent drift of your politics and observations seem to be to dismiss the nationalist / republican / catholic view and be it inadvertently or otherwise pander to a specific unionist prejudice that thankfully many are leaving behind..

  • Brian



    I was rather interested in the whole debate, having read Hart’s book when it came out and then checked it’s version of that fateful day with others in my collection and at the local university library in my spare time. Unless he uncovered some personal diary or could talk to the dead, I was unsure of how he could have come up with that version. (Apparently he could talk to the dead!)

    I kept up with it as the debate peaked several years ago in History Ireland. Whatever one’s view, I think it was a positive development as it heightened interest in the period among others who might never have discovered their interest or passion in their country’s history.

    Fox seems pretty unbiased and goes through the evidence, and arguments, on both sides logically and thoroughly.

    For my part, I don’t doubt a few may have been killed after general hostilities had ended. In a desperate, close quarter fighting like that the difference between life and death was not always immediately apparent to one caught up in the fury of moment. (Also, sheer emotion is often used by irregulars to overcome for lack of training and/or experience.)Hart’s story of Barry going around and making his trembling men shoot the Auxies in the head, however, is just absurd and IMO was fabricated to garner attention to his book and gain favor with the revisionist (then) in positions of power in academia. It’s rather telling that all of his controversial, and novel claims, happen to belong to anonymous participants in the ambush.

    Regardless, I’m sure you will find it interesting reading. If you spend anytime on public transportation, it will at least help you pass the time in a stimulating way. It may be refreshing to read the dispassionate tome of a professional historian compared to the polemics (and personal histories) common on here.


  • Brian

    For the “dissies”, the smaller their cells the better for them. The bigger organization the more likely it is infiltrated.

    Kind of like how S. Armagh hid all of their real secrets from their “comrades’ in belfast

  • Brian

    I really don’t think you can put Auxie’s on the same moral plane was the old RA.

    The irish people, at least in the south, voted overwhelmingly for independence. They set up their own government, court system, police force, etc.

    The Empire responded with arrests, force, increased troops, and then these toughs who were supposed to terrorize the population back into their ole submission or acquesiance of British rule.

    The RA were just defending their communities and the freedoms which were democratically expressed.

    In terms of tactics and fighting, however, both sides used tactics that could be described as terrorism. This is true of all wars, but this one stands out as it was almost solely small engagements so instances of terror and assassination, in part, define the fight.

  • pippakin


    ” Despite your vaunted claims to ‘fairness’ the consistent drift of your politics and observations seem to be to dismiss the nationalist / republican / catholic view and be it inadvertently or otherwise pander to a specific unionist prejudice that thankfully many are leaving behind..”

    I suspect any one who was anti violence would sound the same. The test would be my opinion of British and/or loyalist violence and in such a case you would find my comments would be the same.

    I have occasionally praised both republican and nationalist leaders. You will find that apart from signing up to the GFA The only time I have offered an opinion on unionist politicians has been to disagree with them.

    I will not excuse violence because the perpetrators happen to want the same thing I do. If anything I think it belittles what I want.

    I too have apologised from time to time. This time I suspect it is a distraction and an attempt at bullying, ie if you can’t ‘win’ one argument change the subject and attempt to ‘win’ that.

    I usually read all comments which is how I have become a fair expert on the style and tone of yours.

    Enough of this some miners are being rescued and that is more interesting and far happier.

  • pippakin


    The cause was better but it appears in at least one instance the method was not, or may not have been, since Barry is still the subject of intense debate.

    I think when the time is right and it is not yet, everyone will be able to look at the past calmly and see individual cases for what they were.

  • pippakin


    It is for all nationalists and republicans a fascinating subject! I try never to read one account without balancing it out with another. I’m really looking forward to ‘dissecting’ this one but may not have much chance before the week end. It is too big a subject and too engrossing. Soairse32 has an article saying 40,000 protestants fled the south. I find that hard to believe so when I can I’m going to try checking the census figures before and after etc. and see if that can be substantiated or denied. There were census before independence and after it should be interesting and not too difficult to verify or not.