McKittrick in the Independent profiles Pat Sheehan, who is following Gerry Adams as MLA for West Belfast. A reflective piece:
Then he came up with an unusual description of the Irish conflict: it was, he remarked, “probably quite civilised, if that’s a proper description to use”. Civilised? Was the IRA civilised, was it a civilised conflict?
“If you look at it in the round,” he contended, “the type of mass killings and genocide in other conflicts didn’t happen here. The IRA, for example, if it had wanted to kill Protestants, could have left a 1,000lb car bomb on the Shankill.
“Here there was never that sort of blood-letting. It probably doesn’t feel like that for victims, and when we were in the midst of it all it certainly didn’t feel like that, but it was certainly less intense than a lot of conflicts.
“People will talk about the Shankill bomb, or the Poppy Day killings in Enniskillen. I would in no way try to justify those IRA operations, but what I would say is that in most of those situations I don’t believe the IRA went out to kill civilians.”
Well worth a read.