On the politics of killing Catholic policemen…

Ross Frenett at the Irish Human Rights blog has a fairly erudite take on the politics of killing Catholic PSNI men, and what kind of reaction it is trying to call out from the State:

Violent Republicans kill to engender a reaction from the establishment, to bring Ireland back to the ‘troubles’. To over militarise the response to this killing, and those that will inevitably occur in the future, would be to play right into their hands.

Taking someone’s life is not, in most human beings, an easy matter to achieve. It’s been a preoccupation in formal Armies down through the ages to get people to overcome the natural resistance most of us have to that most final of acts.

It seems that in this the killing itself is the motive. For now, the death of a Catholic policeman is the end rather than the means. Ross quotes one of the comments in a closed Republican forum who encapsulated some of the short term hopes of those involved:

[T]he feeling of the war will be everywhere once again and the spirit of Irish republicanism will spark in many of them, this is how we got some of the greatest volunteers during the conflict.

Anthony McIntyre is unequivocal in his assessment:

It is a miniscule achievement compared to what the Provisional IRA managed throughout most of its campaign. Yet for all their military prowess the Provisionals ultimately secured very little in terms of republican objectives.

They now sit ensconced in a British administration at Stormont in full support of the police force their descendants are currently determined to kill.

Gerry Adams who for decades approved attacks like today’s was one of the first to condemn the Omagh incident. There should be a strategic lesson somewhere in there for any republican discerning enough to find it.

Unfortunately, while a lesson that has been absorbed by many it will never be learned by all. There will always be some who without any chance of altering the future remain determined to repeat the past.

Ineffectual and immoral, armed republican violence is a scourge that can only deliver blight in place of betterment.

As Brian Feeney points out it has little chance of creating an effect with a generation of disenchanted Republicans for whom the armed struggle had become an end in itself.

Of course Irish Republicanism itself can be a highly amorphous beast. As the academic Margaret O’Callaghan has pointed out, unlike French or American Republicanism, without a single state to give full expression to its ideals, their Irish counterpart has had a tendency to submerge as a pure political expression for long periods each time to re-emerge as something radically different from its last incarnation.

But it is also the very inchoate nature of this post conflict outcropping of Irish Republicanism that makes it so difficult to deal with. For now, as Guevara pointed out, inculcating the hatred is the thing, not the long term political object. Belfast Magistrate, and victim of an earlier generation of Republican violence, Tom Travers writing in 1994:

“On the day my lovely daughter was murdered her killer tried to murder my darling wife (Joan) also. At that time Mary lay dying on her mum’s breast, her gentle heart pouring its pure blood on to a dusty Belfast street. The murderer’s gun, which was pointed at my wife’s head, misfired twice. Another gunman shot me six times. As he prepared to fire, I saw the look of hatred on his face, a face I will never forget.”

That was 1984, and countless hundreds went a similar way before Northern Ireland came to its bloodied senses… Others may take longer to work out what ends their means will realistically meet…

  • Cynic2

    Why do they selectively kill Catholic police officers?

    Well Perhaps Gerry more than most can explain that as PIRA did the same thing, but I think its a complex mis of reasons.

    First, as fundamentally racists, they see Catholic officers as race traitors who contaminate the purity of their twisted view of the Irish nation

    Second, they hope to deter other Catholics from joining and supporting the police

    Finally, in our divided society it may simply be easier and safer. They may have more information on them from local sympathizers. They may find it easier to mount attacks and get away. They may also hope that locals will be more reluctant to help police, although these days, thank heavens, that seems a more remote possibility

  • vanhelsing

    Great piece Mick. Couple of points.

    We shouldn’t over militarise the response Frenett is right about that, this indeed plays into the hands of the wicked men who murdered this guy. Of course they have a number of agendas but this would be one.

    I hope this does not discourage RC’s from joining the PSNI and Ronans mother echoed this call. NI needs to continue to move forward and this Unionist will do all he can to achieve a future for everyone in NI.

    Although I grew up in the 1980’s I am horrified by the account you have detailed about Tom Travers and it shows my own desensitization as to the sheer volume of senseless slaughter there was in NI – I didn’t even remember this incident. As I reflect on the out pouring of grief expressed over the last few days [and rightly so] over this poor mans murder it makes me wonder what is different about Ronan and Mary?

    It’s not their religion. Maybe it’s the time, maybe it was their job, maybe its the passage of time, perhaps even their family? Have the vast majority of the people in Northern Ireland had a morality shift? I guess I just see two people in their early 20’s, both Roman Catholics, both innocent and both murdered. What has changed peoples morality? Perhaps I’m being dreadfully naive here but how has the passage of 17 years changed peoples attitudes.

    Slaughter, senseless slaughter and those on this site who try to dress it up any other way I will not be engaging with.

  • nightrider

    There are places where there are no ambiguities, and the only appropriate response is flat condemnation. And we witness them every day.
    All around the world, people are killing and being killed; they are crossing the clearest, least arbitrary border we have. You don’t come back from death, and you can’t atone for extinguishing another life. There are no excuses. Life is not a video game, where your targets are smears of pixels with no history and no awareness. In the real world, those bodies are people, with 20 years or 30 years or 50 years or 70 years of stories and connections behind them, part of a web of humanity, and their every action tugs on the people around them.
    I know what it is like to lose someone you love, and it’s a pain so great that I can’t imagine reaching out to cause that pain in anyone else; what killers must do is blind themselves to the enormity of their act and wall themselves off from the empathy that all human beings should have. They also must bury that portion of their mind that can sympathize with their victims in an avalanche of pretexts, these excuses that later apologists will call “nuance”, or “shades of gray”, or “complications”. And they will dredge up the familiar roll call of empty ghosts to water down the evil of what is done. They will call it God. Country. Justice. Revenge. The priests and the preachers and the politicians are experts at softening the contrast and blurring the edges and persuading one person that that other person over there, so much like you in every way that matters, deserves to have everything important extinguished and brutalized and disregarded.
    They are so damned good at it that they can stir up the killing frenzy over anything at all. A gang of fanatics, driven by superstition and ethnic bigotry, kill in a terrorist attack in one country. So zealots stir up their own froth of superstition and ethnic bigotry, and convince the targeted country to attack and kill people of yet another country that had nothing to do with the terrorist attack. What a waste of lives, yet everyone on both sides is smug and confident that the deaths on the other side were warranted.

    *amended from a post elsewhere

  • Kadfoomsa

    For the life of me I can’t actually see any significant difference between Antony MacIntyre’s position and that of Gerry Adams.

    It is a pity, because if there were actually a dissident postion as distinct from Gerry Adams’ hating then a third way could be constructed.

  • between the bridges

    ‘Violent Republicans kill to engender a reaction from the establishment, to bring Ireland back to the ‘troubles’. To over militarise the response to this killing, and those that will inevitably occur in the future, would be to play right into their hands’…..
    vote sein fein sure it’s not our fault, and there will be more but sure thats how it is…

    ‘Unfortunately, while a lesson that has been absorbed by many it will never be learned by all. There will always be some who without any chance of altering the future remain determined to repeat the past.

    Ineffectual and immoral, armed republican violence is a scourge that can only deliver blight in place of betterment’

    …it was a pointless murder.

    see any significant difference now?

  • Niall

    Really well put article.

    BTB summed it up well, what did it achieve?

    This sort of murder is abhorrent to Republicanism, to traditional physical force republicanism of the early 70’s and even more so to the political Republicanism of today.

    The IRA did not start out as sectarian. The likes of Brendan Hughes and Ivor Bell were not sectarian. That changed when tit for tat killings became the norm, when volunteers were permitted to be non-political. Republicanism should never be us against the Protestant people; here its us (a sickening sect on the fringes of extremism) against the Catholic people.

    I’m a Republican, and like Ronan Kerr, I’m 25, from a Catholic family and work in law and order. This was an attack on someone like me, an attack on the Republican and Nationalist community from people purporting to be Republicans. Surely this can only serve to further alienate them from any potential support they might expect to generate.

  • Mothers Day and all that and we get to visit graveyards or (if we are lucky) the family home. And we tend to meet wider family circle. “Come back to our house for your tea”. And the conversation inevitably turns.
    Two of the nephews say they want to join the PSNI. WE smile at the 14 year old and hope we are not patronising him. We worry about and admire the 20 year old. “Finish your degree first anyway” is the best we can conjure up.

    Yet we all agree broadly. And teasing out the nuances between us all makes it appear divisive. We will go for the weakness in the other persons case. And saying too much invites criticism Yet thats dishonest in a way.
    Van Helhsing is maybe 20 years younger than me. He enters the stage as a thinking person in the 1980s. He goes onto the sage from wing wing. His views are quite properly formed by his own experiences and a family memory.
    I enter the stage as a primary school kid in the 1960s. From the other side of the stage.
    Different experiences of course. But experiences as I privately journaled last night are just a series of anecdotes.
    Be prepare to be offended. Just remember its true.
    The teacher circa 1962 who explained the difference between a venial sin and a mortal sin “if you shoot a policeman its a venial sin……if you miss him….its a mortal sin”. You might be offended or maybe you went to my school.
    The 1970s…the “Fenian bas**** years” shouted out from the landrovers. Strangely in Republican mythology the RUC was regarded as worse than the “Brits”. after all the poor squaddies were only doing their job (just like brave Republicans) but the RUC were traitors and mercenary. Oddly evertime I was arrested, I thought the exact opposite. Arrested? Oh yes mild mannered FJH was scooped a few times. But eveybody was.
    Offended yet?
    The 1980s and Mr and (now) Mrs FJH have a stake in society. Upwardly mobile. The Decade of “How Do We Get Out of This”? The RUC man who referred to Mrs FJH by her first name (rather unpleasantly). Yes she was on a yellow line. Yes she has a criminal record (£20 fine if I remember) and yes she should have fought it. We stopped at the shop for a bottle of lemonade because the hospital doctor had said to keep the child “drinking fluids”. But of course we didnt feel any better when the same land rover was parked on a yellow line while “the Orange Bas****” as mild Mrs FJH put it, got some cash from the ATM.
    Offensive?
    1990s……the “We Will Get Out of This” years. The road accident where I phoned the police and the garage owner said “no need to bring them into it” and my wife was taken to hospital the car a write off and our lovely Catholic neighbours passed by while I started the mile long walk with the bleeding knee. But I did get a lift home from the RUC. They started a prosecution case against other driver but it was dropped..the main witness a RUC officer was seriously injured in a terrorist incident.
    Makes ya think years. Could I have imagined my son getting a medal from their Community Relations Officer?
    But they are trapped and I am trapped.
    No longer offended?
    The New Century. We have lived thru it and more importantly the children and grandchildren will. And a new PSNI and whether you choose to believe that they were given a George Cross and honourably marched off into History or disbanded and sent to the dustbin of History..the point is that they are “new”. Its not just about Politics or Religion, its about canteen culture and professionalism (undermined by the baseball caps admittedly). The “Trevors” are just as likely to be “Sineads” or sadly Ronans.
    Its the polite conversation at checkpoints and “Does your Uncle Joe know youre in the RUC”. “He was all for it” she says.
    “Their” Police became “Our” Police. But I wonder if the “Our” is equally shared? Im offending you again. Sorry.
    But is the PSNI actually the creation of a Good Friday agreement that one side “nationalists/republicans” buys into more than the “unionist” community. A note of discord, inappropriate maybe but does that explain not just the targetting of Constable Ronan Kerr but the reaction.
    The anger in the Catholic Community is palpable. He was one of “us” (not just Catholic but a member of the police service that we demanded and got). Its almost personal.

    Will killing Catholic (or indeed Protestants) in PSNI it deter Catholics from joining? No. The stakes are just too high. We cant let the killers win.
    Killing RUC men (Catholic or Protestant ) deter committed people from joining? No

  • oops Gremlins….Committed people were not deterred by the killing of RUC men.

  • JAH

    Thank you fitzjameshorse1745 for a beautiful reflective piece. I’m about your age and could probably write a mirror piece from other side, but with the same conclusion. We lived through bloody hell forno gain by anyone.

    I genuinely believe the Province has moved on to a different level. This murder disgusts all of us together, no ambiguity or false words.

  • Zig70

    This piece is even more depressing. The strategy is that if they create enough mayhem we’ll all get interned again and therefore radicalised and fight for a UI. Have they thought the strategy through after that? It’s certainly an interesting puzzle. After that you guess they think the British will sign it over and that’s it. Dream over. Most of know what the effect of forcing our Loyalist friends into a UI will be and the will of the South to embrace it. The strategy in practice is kill everyone, sweet. It does work if your army is big enough; just ask Gadaffi, Hitler or Saddam etc.
    I don’t think a UI is an impossible dream, It’s just not on my todo list. However I do think there are lots of things that would make it more likely. Cheaper (than British) Irish passports – done and loads signed up, lower income tax in the South, advertise the fact you don’t pay rates in the South, Bleed in the Irish culture, get rid of Catholic schools and get state schools to play GAA and teach Irish, get rid of the Angelus (annoys both sides). Basically similar to the SDLP strategy without the incoherent politics and evangelical dislike for their nationalist bedfellows. So if you are a republican, think it through to the end game. Killing Catholic policemen is never going to help, shooting horses in Hyde park will achieve more.
    JAH, I would hesitate to agree on the for no gain bit, the argument maybe is on whether the civil rights movement would have delivered as much for Northern Nationalist without the brute force republicanism that came also. I think everyone has a different opinion on that one,

  • vanhelsing

    I see that some of our republican ‘usual suspect’s’ here on Slugger seemingly have not been able to get to a PC for the last few days as they haven’t posted on any of the threads on Ronans death.

    Noted. VH

  • anne warren

    Van Helsing has written the following in a couple of threads:

    I see that some of our republican ‘usual suspect’s’ here on Slugger seemingly have not been able to get to a PC for the last few days as they haven’t posted on any of the threads on Ronans death.

    Noted. VH

    It is rarely intellectually honest and usually rather cowardly to criticise a group using a term like “usual suspects” .

    Criticise the behaviour of individuals all you want and post names/pseudonyms . Though I don’t see why anyone has to justify their behaviour to you.

    I am sorry to see your interest in the threads on Constable Ronan Kerr’s death seems to lie not in examining the ideas/content of a post but in determining a poster’s adherence to one side or the other.

    I wonder what “noted” means. A black mark? Is it a threat of some sort? Has no meaning whatsoever beyond indicating a judgemental busybody?

  • Alias

    Ross Frenett is on the right track but he seems to think that it is normal – or can be ‘normalised’ – for one nation to rule another when it is profoundly abnormal and counter to universal political and civil rights as laid out in Article 1 of the UN’s ICCPR. Even in the UK state that is ‘shared’ by the non-sovereign nations of English, Welsh, Scottish, and Northern Irish, the consequence of that sharing has been resistance to it of the militant and political variety. It has never worked, and will never work.

    A major part of the problem in NI is the lack of organised political resistance to British rule, with all of the major Catholic parties in NI and the political parties in the Irish state embracing the legitimisation of British rule and the normalisation of it. éirígí, a political party that does not support the process that led to the formal constitutional renunciation of their former right to national self-determination, have not made any substantive progress and have often been subject to police harassment by the state in an attempt to censor their political agenda.

    It is likely not to have made any progress due to the scale of the state-proffered propaganda that supports the process that they have positioned themselves in opposition to, combined with an overwhelming ignorance by the community they come from about what national rights actually are. Plus, of course, a pragmatic approach by that community which will always place selfish interests before what they would be led to dismiss as irrelevant or out-dated ideology that leads only to violence such as inflicted on the young Catholic policeman.

    Given the lack of organised political options, the violence is essentially a form of on-going inarticulate protest. In that regard, the engineered condemnation around the murder is designed to lead to a consolidation of British rule and a further normalisation of it. That is turn will further marginalise the political message and lead to more of these abhorrent inarticulate statements.

    Suzanne Breen said that “Kerr’s murder will send shockwaves among young Catholic PSNI recruits, some of whom still are unfortunately under the illusion they can choose such a career without moving home and cutting ties with their own community.”

    That’s very interesting because it shows that British rule in regard to its policing has not been successfully normalised despite the monumental efforts to do so. Why else would Catholic recruits to the police force be exiled from Catholic communities?

    You could say that is simply an indicator that more of the same is needed as much progress has been made, but I think that fails to grasp that political arrangements were (mis)sold as transitional and are tolerated as such rather than on the basis that they were a final settlement that would be regarded as normal in time.

    Ross Frenett is on the right track but doesn’t really get it. Indeed, the abnormality is so widespread that it is picked out as the dynamic for why a Catholic member of the police is murdered and played out in minds despite the state-proffered propaganda. The Catholics will privately think “He’s one of ours, but he was a policeman” and the Protestants will privately think “He was a policeman, but he was one of theirs.”

    A beginning to an end to these acts will only come about when political opposition to British rule is tolerated by the British state – and that isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.

  • Munsterview

    vanh………. As I probably qualify for the ‘usual suspects’ list I did say many threads back in an exchange with Mick on friday afternoon that I would have to draw a line under our exchanges as I was about to take off for the weekend and likewise I took up certain matters with Brian Walker on my return this tuesday morning around 1AM.

    Life is not just slugger you know : one of the curses of modern communication is things can sure back up electronically during a few days absence and I am skimming the pile. Given the sensitivity of the subject matter I have no intention of rushing to print just to add my tuppence worth without reading what the other regular contributors had to say.

    This is especially so when about to close for a few hours much needed sleep before what probably be a another bloody long day to morrow. And for whatever it is worth, saturdays papers and sundays also are still in the back seat of the car unopened.

    Acceptable explanation or evasion mendacity ? Well of course that depends on just who the ‘other suspects’ reading this are !

  • I have lived in this house 17 years. Never ever saw a PSNI foot patrol in this small quiet nationalist village until 20 mins ago. Ever! I met them just as the big 4×4 was picking them up. Male officer about 40. A young lassie (cos they are mostly kids it seems) of about 21. Shook their hands and said “sorry for your loss”. I actually felt tears. Christ, I have been on a long journey for over 40 years.
    And Im not re-tracing my steps for anyone.

  • vanhelsing

    MV – you weren’t on my list 🙂 and I know you have PC issues…Would be interested to know you’re views through…

    Anne
    “It is rarely intellectually honest and usually rather cowardly to criticise a group using a term like “usual suspects”

    Most people on Slugger would know who they are.

    “I am sorry to see your interest in the threads on Constable Ronan Kerr’s death seems to lie not in examining the ideas/content of a post but in determining a poster’s adherence to one side or the other”

    Anne I have posted significantly on Slugger regarding Ronans death and I thought you would have gone to the bother of reading my comments before commenting the way you have. I have posted 4 times on these threads [not including my comments regarding the usual suspects] you have posted 1.

    I feel that this issue deserves unreserved condemnation by all sides of the community and this has been my blogging on the subject. There are people on Slugger who tacitly stand up for the people who murdered Ronan [a policeman serving the British State] or [a arm of the occupying forces] I would have liked them to justify the clear targeting of a RC policeman – if they have the will to murder surely they have the will to stand up for it.

    I’m sorry if you don’t feel this is important – you’re entitled to your view of course however the facts don’t back you up.
    VH

  • Alf

    Fitzjameshorse,

    You are a decent man.

  • anne warren

    Vanhelsing
    I have no wish to start a personal diatribe as a sideline to comments on a tragedy but your points require an answer. This will be my final comment on this issue.

    “Most people on Slugger would know who they are”
    Yet Munsterview thought s/he was among “the usual suspects”and you had reassure him/her to the contrary.

    “I have posted 4 times on these threads [not including my comments regarding the usual suspects] you have posted 1”.
    So?
    I expressed what I wanted to say.
    As I originally stated no one has to justify their behaviour to you.

    “I feel that this issue deserves unreserved condemnation by all sides of the community and this has been my blogging on the subject”

    But the repeated post I objected to was of quite a different calibre.

    ” There are people on Slugger . . . .”
    Again a group reference. Presumably to “the usual suspects”
    If you have an issue with someone about something why can’t you accuse the individual(s) concerned?

    “however the facts don’t back you up.”
    What facts?

    I observe you still have not explained what “noted” means.

  • wee buns

    I take issue with Vanhelsing’s view that silence on the subject is equal to condoning the murder.

    That contributors should be ‘noted’ for not commenting is..er..sinister.

    It’s perfectly understandable if people have got nothing to say that hasn’t repeatedly been said, either this time, or all the previous times down through the years. There’s an apprehension of platitudes, which feel insulting in themselves. Sometimes there’s a dignity in silence.

    Hpwever I’m very moved by FJH’s reflections.
    Thank the stars it was not one of my sons. A selfish and instinctive reaction. What more can you say apart from: yet another wasted life.
    The palpable sense of trauma that hijacks the collective heart each time something like this happens, it seems to grow harder to cope with as time goes on, harder to be forced to revisit the past on these terms, like a massive collective flashback. Against which I’m grateful to have the buffer of Donegal.
    I worry that it is they who are too young to remember; they alone have the stomach for murder.

    Like the rise of neo Nazism in modern Germany, the recipe of economic downturn, disposed male youth, a lack of political strategy apart from addressing the issue in sweeping generalities like ‘extremists’, does nothing to grasp the thistle.
    To some extent I agree with Alias therefore, that ‘the violence is essentially a form of on-going inarticulate protest’ and ‘that political arrangements were (mis)sold as transitional and are tolerated as such rather than on the basis that they were a final settlement that would be regarded as normal in time.’

  • Alf

    wee buns,

    There is a large element in the nationalist community that is offended by the fact that their ‘right’ to not belong to the ROI is being halted by the British unionist majority. They have been told that this is a temporary phenomenon and that the march of history is on their side.

    That is how the Sinners sold the halt of the murder campaign to their drones. Essentially that murdering people now is pointless because we will have a united Ireland shortly anyway. In 94 they told the drones that this would happen in 2016.

    The dissidents are a mixture of ex Provos, largely those who have lost family members in the troubles, and youngsters who think that they should have what they want now.

    They share a hatred and utter contempt for the majority unionist population who they regard as an utter irrelevance. Despite the fact that they are the people who have repeatedly defeated all republican efforts since 1798.

    That is the republican weak spot and long may it continue.

  • Munsterview

    Alf……”They share a hatred and utter contempt for the majority unionist population who they regard as an utter irrelevance. Despite the fact that they are the people who have repeatedly defeated all republican efforts since 1798…..”

    Nice one Alf……. do you and your kind ever stop to think that shite talk like that and the perceived attitudes that go with it, is responsible for Militant Republicans deciding that there is only one thing ‘these people’ will listen to ?

    ( Again just in and I am attempting to avoid responding in sound bites ! )

    However I will make this observation and can do so as I have consistently made the same point in slugger, if you Alf and others like you keep crowing on your rhetorical orange dungheap that Republicans have been defeated, some young Republicans will take note and not respond as I am doing but by putting a rifle stock to their shoulder, looking down a barrel sight, taking first and second pressure on a trigger and the result is another young life needlessly lost irrespective as to whether that target is in or out of uniform.

    They will have proven to their own and their groups satisfaction that ‘they have not gone away you know’ you and your kind will get to say ‘ told you so’ and we will continue not with peace but with an absence of war, or should I say large scale war.

    While such derision and mockery continue it is not very difficult for those against the peace process to argue the case with young Nationalist people that nothing has really changed, that they are still second class citizens, regarded as a defeated people by triumphant Unionists and that uniformed armed police are but a continuation of the RUC protecting the same unchanged status quo. Our recent history has all too clearly shown what can arise when the remaining dots are joined up.

    If you personally cannot be part of the outreach to make things better, then at very least would your consider the charity of your silence in certain circumstances to avoid making things worse!

  • wee buns

    Alf
    I hope you unnerstand that it’s possible to be a republican and NOT, as you say ‘share a hatred and utter contempt for the majority unionist population who they regard as an utter irrelevance’. It’s EVEN possible to be a protestant republican. So perhaps better to desist from such sweeping generalities.

  • pippakin

    The hatred is on this thread. The reasons the murderers use to justify their actions are visible and their apologists are champing at the bit.

    A terrible murder in a town that has known so much grief: unforgivable but when the murderers are captured and they demand political status….what then? I for one hope it is denied them. It is not for the likes of them or anyone to decide which job an Irishman will do.

  • Zachariah Tiffins Foot

    It goes beyond despicable to suggest that it is understandable that violence is a legitimate reaction to political disagreement. Not for the first time Irish Republicans employ the ‘themuns made me do it’ argument. That one poster, a regular fantasist on this site, makes the argument by describing firing a gun in breathless detail that smacks of a serious personality disorder is truly vile.

    Alf makes an important point about the arrogance inherent in the Irish Republican attitude to unionists. An attitude that has played a large part in leading us to the position we find ourselves in today.

  • wee buns

    Zachariah

    Of course you are free to call it a valid point, that hatred exists within the community. I’d call it a moot point.

    ‘’It goes beyond despicable to suggest that it is understandable that violence is a legitimate reaction to political disagreement.’’

    Where was this said/by whom?

  • vanhelsing

    Wee buns
    “I take issue with Vanhelsing’s view that silence on the subject is equal to condoning the murder.”

    Not what I said – I was suggesting that regular commentators here and other guest commentators who may stand up for, or tacitly support, or support the dissident terrorists who murdered Ronan seem to have nothing to say here on Slugger. In fact their silence is thunderous.

    I could give endless examples from History, where organisations and governments did and said nothing and allowed regimes to abuse their own people. In the school yard you see someone bullying a small kid but you say nothing or look away to cowardly to intervene. As that great Irishman Edmund Burke said ‘Evil thrives when good men do nothing’.

    I also don’t want to detract from the core of this thread which is the murder of a RC Policeman by dissident terrorists so this will be my last post on the subject. I will address some of Anne Warrens disengenous representation of what I said.

    Firstly perhaps I should have not used the term ‘usual suspects’ I’ll give you that.

    AW “As I originally stated no one has to justify their behaviour to you” – never asked them to! Why in fact should they? – their choices and morality are entirely their own.

    AW “I observe you still have not explained what “noted” means”
    Noted means I have taken note of the fact that they could not bring themselves to condemn or justify the removal of an instrument of the British Occupying Forces in the 6 Counties [in case you’re confused again Anne that is how THEY would describe Ronan]

    “Black mark” – it means I don’t respect them or their views.

    As I said last post. The murder of Ronan was a heinous crime and I hope they bring the scum to justice. My thoughts remain with his family.

  • townieman

    According to the BBC News, the funeral of PC Ronan Kerr was the first Catholic funeral ever attended by Peter Robinson.

    For some reason I was taken aback by that comment and also a touch saddened for some reason.

  • Alf

    “Nice one Alf……. do you and your kind ever stop to think that shite talk like that and the perceived attitudes that go with it, is responsible for Militant Republicans deciding that there is only one thing ‘these people’ will listen to ?”

    Munster,

    You don’t feel that your wide eyed boasting about your ‘exploits’ has any influence on them at all? Or do they just care about what ‘these people’ have to say?

    “Republicans will take note and not respond as I am doing but by putting a rifle stock to their shoulder, looking down a barrel sight, taking first and second pressure on a trigger and the result is another young life needlessly lost irrespective as to whether that target is in or out of uniform. ”

    Unless of course the target they choose happens to be someone of the calibre of Sammy Brush in which case the result is likely to be them running away with the skitter running down their legs.

  • Comrade Stalin

    “Nice one Alf……. do you and your kind ever stop to think that shite talk like that and the perceived attitudes that go with it, is responsible for Militant Republicans deciding that there is only one thing ‘these people’ will listen to ?”

    In other words “don’t say anything I disagree with or the dissidents might take it badly”. It’s bullshit.

    The dissidents aren’t interested in talking or negotiation. They’re not even interested in politics, so in that sense they haven’t even reached the point that SF were at in 1981. They are resolved to follow their current course, which they see as a matter of principle, and there are no words from anyone that are likely to change their minds. They don’t care if everyone hates them, indeed they draw succour from it as it helps them to believe that they are doing the same work that the rebels in 1916 did.

    I was reflecting today on the soundbite a politician might choose, that dissident acts of violence like this can’t change the path we are on. But in fact, they have actually provoked an acceleration in progress, rather than the regression they were hoping for. Years ago, an IRA shooting or bombing would have lead to any talks breaking down or institutions being suspended. Today it brought out the best in our political and community leaders, bringing them to show true leadership. Seeing the GAA and the PSNI in an honour guard at the funeral was very poignant and very symbolic, a reminder that the GAA fundamentally is an organization which is about communities. It was entirely appropriate that the First Minister was present at the Mass but notable in that it did itself mark progress.

    Today showed that we are not back at the brink of civil war as we were in 1969. Violence flourished because the community was decided. The community today is more united than it has been at any time in the past.

  • Comrade Stalin

    because the community was decided.

    should have been divided.

  • redstar2011

    Whilst I like most people find the killing of anyone, in or our of uniform or by anyone in or out of uniform, totally unacceptable theres one question I just seem NEVER to get an answer to from SF and their supporters- SF say they support PSNI-But how can any Irish Republican (not Catholics or protestants) be a member of the British security forces???? It just doesnt add up

  • Neil

    As a potential usual suspect, I would like to say that I hope Ronan Kerr’s murder is the last, and that the folks responsible decide to stop.

  • townieman

    Does no-one else find it unbelievable that the most powerful man in Northern Irekand (Peter Robinson) has never been to a Catholic funeral before PC Ronan Kerr’s?