“The Provisionals must accept that this will happen to them, too.”

Liam Clarke was invited to speak at the launch of Richard O’Rawe’s second book on the disputed offer to end the hunger strike in the Maze – Afterlives: The Hunger Strike and the Secret Offer That Changed Irish History.

In the News Letter he explains why and, in doing so, addresses a recent topic on Slugger.

It is long past time we were free of this heavy hand, this atmosphere of threats and intimidation for anyone who tries in a serious way to shed light on the Provisional IRA’s campaign. After a conventional war history is written, former combatants tell their story and inevitably some will question the decisions of the generals, even the rationale for fighting in the first place.

The Provisionals must accept that this will happen to them, too.

Responding to any sign of informed debate about their past with threats, boycott and intimidation leaves them with little moral ground to challenge the dissidents who, in the end of the day, are simply copying their example.