“Now he must tell the dissidents that he was in the wrong, too”

With the PSNI setting up a specialist team of detectives to examine “specific crimes”, “dating back to the 1980s and 1990s”, which they believe “may have involved present-day dissidents”, Malachi O’Doherty has some timely advice for Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness et al.

From the Belfast Telegraph article

History is letting the Provos off lightly in not plunging them into their own civil war.

On balance, McGuinness must surely see that this is not as hard as facing into failure would be.

He is already being told that he is a hypocrite for condemning the murder of Ronan Kerr, having endorsed the murders of 301 other police officers, a policewoman shot in the back outside Derry courthouse, men shot on their doorsteps, coming from church, visiting hospitals.

Hard, too, will be the challenge of preserving that memory as honorable while telling those who would use the same methods today that they are enemies and traitors.

Today, Martin McGuinness says that the police must win. Now he must tell the dissidents that he was in the wrong, too; that the best evidence that they can’t win is that the Provos didn’t win either.

And he must sit down with Chief Constable Matt Baggott – if he hasn’t done so already – and tell him everything he knows that might help him nail the old diehards.

Rather than continuing to send out mixed messages…

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  • They might not be old diehards – they might be younger guns who aren’t satisfied with what we have now. The Deputy First Minister condemning what went before won’t matter in fact he believed it then, fought for it then and then isn’t now, Also, they are unlikely to value his opinion now he represents the system. It’s all very sad but every society has its political extremists and we are no different even now. By marginalising people in their home communities we run the risk of creating something that is attractive to young people.

  • Hi, Pete,

    Who benefits most from the present upsurge in thwarted dissident activity, which hasn’t been claimed by any of the usual suspects, as far as I know. They would probably be favourites for responsibility and accountability for raising tensions in these last few weeks of canvassing for votes to the Stormont asylum.

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    “Today, Martin McGuinness says that the police must win. Now he must tell the dissidents that he was in the wrong, too”

    Comparing these 2 Irish insurgencies makes as little sense as comparing 2 British military campaigns and saying that Because it was wrong to invade Iraq it was also wrong to invade Afghansitan.

    Cheap and lazy political shot by the boy Mal.

    whas ltip

    There is no logic in that arguement

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    “Today, Martin McGuinness says that the police must win. Now he must tell the dissidents that he was in the wrong, too”

    Comparing these 2 Irish insurgencies makes as little sense as comparing 2 British military campaigns and saying that Because it was wrong to invade Iraq it was also wrong to invade Afghansitan.

    Cheap and lazy political shot by the boy Mal.

  • tacapall

    “With the PSNI setting up a specialist team of detectives to examine “specific crimes”, “dating back to the 1980s and 1990s”, which they believe “may have involved present-day dissidents”.

    Internment by other means, anyone convicted will only serve two years so will the PSNI also examine “Specific Crimes dating back to the 80s and 90s of members of the RUC and Special Branch or is this just for republicans who dont follow the British and Sinn Fein line of a normal society.

  • 241934 john brennan

    When it comes to condemning Dissidents, Sinn Fein’s older generation is in a weak “pot, kettle, black” position. Remember that “nobody should ever call murder by any name other than murder.”

    Also remember that evil is always morally wrong. No matter the cause, the principle is that a good outcome, or intention, can never be justification for an evil act – and in any context murder is always evil. At the very least murder is a gross violation of human rights. It violates the most basic human right – the right to life.

    Many of us have lived through a bizarre time when self-appointed paramilitaries assumed the right to act as judge, jury, executioner and undertaker – and defended their vile actions by dismissing their victims as legitimate targets, or the unfortunate consequences of war.

    In the nature of things, “political context” changes and evolves. But how does a changed political context enable the murders of Joanne Mathers and Mary Travers to be continuously and retrospectively justified and condoned, while the murder of Ronan Kerr is presently and rightly condemned?

    While rightly condemning the murder of Const Kerr, but refusing to acknowledge that past IRA killings were also “unjustified murder”, puts Sinn Fein in a ‘Janus faced’ position.

  • perseus

    I agree sammy,
    there was no political process back then. ( 70’s + 80’s)
    Ends arguement, MMG is NOT a hypocrit.

  • Henry94

    Such an approach would play very well with all the wrong people. The people we need to think about are the young men who are republican-minded and might be influenced by the arguments of the dissidents. Martin McGuinness speaks to them with the authority of someone who played a leading role in the struggle and then led the movement to a workable peace.

    So how would it help for him to say the peace process and the agreement count for nothing because the whole war was wrong only for republicans therefore by implication it was right for the British. What republican would be interested in the opinion of such a person. You might as well give them a copy of Gerry Fitt’s speeches to the House of Lords.

    It would put Sinn Fein off the field in the battle for the hearts and minds of the people who will either make or break the dissidents.

    There is no point in saying violence will fail to organisations for whom violence itself is the only success that matters. The existence of armed struggle is enough for them. The only failure is the failure to strike. If Sinn Fein stop offering an alternative republican analysis where would we be?

    How would it hurt the dissidents for Sinn Fein to come out with such a statement? Imagine a dissident newspaper reacting. Would they bury this dangerous story? Or make it their front page lead claiming it as final proof of Sinn Fein’s perfidy.

    Have we not see this before with The Workers Party. What influence had they with the young people who came after them? None.

    DeValera was quite capable of interning and even executing remaining active republicans without having to denounce the 1916 rising. It is always legitimate to argue that armed struggle is wrong at a particular time while holding it to have been justified at another time.

    I have no problem saying the war was wrong. But it was wrong for all sides and the people advocating bringing the British Army back on the streets are not only playing to the dissidents tune but are in fact guilty of the same error of seeking military answers to political questions.

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    241934 john brennan,

    “While rightly condemning the murder of Const Kerr, but refusing to acknowledge that past IRA killings were also “unjustified murder”, puts Sinn Fein in a ‘Janus faced’ position.”

    Many down south (and indeed the Queen) pay their respects to those who carried out “past IRA killings” of the RIC whilst presumably not too keen on the killing of RUC personnel – do you think they (and her Majesty) are being ‘Janus faced’ as well?

    Or does that only apply to Republicans?

  • tacapall

    241934 john brennan.

    Absolutely true, but the IRA were not the only ones involved in the past conflict who carried out acts that could not be justified, focussing on one particular group smacks of opportunism and turning a blind eye to acts carried out by members of the Security forces especially Special Branch who seem to have had a free hand to organise the murders of innocent people.

  • perseus

    Henry94
    “I have no problem saying the war was wrong”
    Inevitable though as neither side was ready to compromise.
    Do you agree with that statement?

  • socaire

    Not for the first time is Martin and the Provisional Alliance presuming to speak for ‘the people of Ireland’.

  • pippakin

    What people believe at twenty or forty often changes radically by the time they reach fifty. Maturity usually and should teach the value of life. Most of the dissidents are probably young, ‘it’ll never happen to me’ types. Of the few older, possibly bitter, people who refuse to see reality one of them may be a bomb maker: He must be caught.

  • socaire

    The Single Transferable Speech rides again.

  • Munsterview

    It must always be remembered and never forgotten that the GFA and St Andrews agreements etc are but the latest in a series of artificial attempts to make an artificial State operate to something like the norms of a representative democracy.

    Of course there are contradictions, absurdities even and these go back to the very foundation of the Northern Ireland statelet. When twenty eight counties voted to co-operate in setting up an independent Irish Republic, four counties with a Unionist majority declaimed to all and sundry that no one had the right to force them into an all Ireland Republic against their will and demanded that their democratic to ‘opt out’ be recognized.

    These Unionist paragons of democracy then insisted on annexing two of the Twenty-Eight counties that had voted to join in a Republic on to their own Starlet in complete violation of the stated wishes and democratic wish of the majority of these counties and the principles that it had set out for their own ‘opt out’ from the majority Island political consensus.

    The setting up of the Northern ireland statelet had all the elements of a Gilbert and Sullivan type operatic high farce and it’s subsequent history did little to endear it to the hi-jacked, alienated Catholics and Nationalists, the rest of ireland, to England or indeed to the British Empire they so proudly considered themselves part of.

    Finally the inevitable had to be faced by the Brits under international scrutiny and EU and Nato States encouragement, as a failed State it had to be closed down, it’s parliament ‘suspended’ never to return in the old format, it’s sectarian militia army, the URD dissolved and it’s sectarian, discredited police force disbanded.

    Just as Northern Ireland was born in contradiction, it will remain in contradiction : the majority of Republicans who accepted the Leadership analysis for constitutional politics only, believe that involvement will lead to a Thirty-Two County Republic and that the current political framework will give Republicans the scope to achieve this.

    The GFA however has never been sold to the majority Unionist population by their own leadership. The leadership were seen to be forced into the agreement and then emerged to tell their supporters that the GFA ‘copper-fastened the Union’

    Both political perspectives are mutually exclusive.

    “Now he must tell the dissidents that he was in the wrong, too; that the best evidence that they can’t win is that the Provos didn’t win either……”

    Without the Armed Resistance campaign by the Provos, Sinn Fein would not have it’s current National or International political status or prospects. We are where we are at this particular point on out history, we can continue on that political road. So marked has been the process that the GAA as an organization endorsed the progress and process in a way that few from Irish Ireland could have foreseen even five years ago.

    In this regard the moral courage of Mickey Harte and his actions at the recent police funeral stand in sharp contrast to the sectarian begrudgery and lack of generosity, never mind compassion shown to him from some Loyalist quarters following the death of his own daughter.

    If his behavior at the funeral has shown how far Irish Ireland has come in regard to the North and making the political settlement work, the attitude in some Loyalist quarters to his daughters death also illustrates just how far some in that community have to go, as did the face painted slogans displayed here on slugger from the last 12th, parades.

    I am not advocating that the past of the recent Insurgency and counter Insurgency be forgotten : however what McGuiness stands for now as a successful political advocate for his constituencies aspirations is far more relevant for peace and the future of this Island than what he stood for ten or twenty years ago and what capacities he acted in back then.

    While one square meter of Irish soil is occupied by British Crown Forces, then there will be Militant resistance to that. This has always been the historical position for centuries and this will no doubt continue. This response needs, at very least, toleration from the Nationalist Community to operate.

    The extent of that toleration and co-operation with militant forces is far more dependent on the effectiveness or otherwise of the political system Mcguiness operates, in terms of delivering the goods of equality and progress than on anything he may have to say. I personally have little doubt that both Mcguiness and Adams were in the receipt of calls from the political establishments in the South and in Britain demanding that the condemnationary language be ramped up but to what avail ?

    There is an ongoing struggle for hearts, minds and influence in the Nationalist communities for Republicanism brands. While the political establishments on these Islands are demanding the type of language that ‘will lock Sinn Fein in’ they should also appreciate that such language also alienates other Republicans and influence other political options.

    Some are so focussed in using every opportunity to sharpen up the divisions between Republicans and set them quarreling with each other that they loose sight of the bigger picture and the damage that they are doing to the peace process, a process that a significant sections of former republicans have neither faith or confidence in to begin with.

  • Kadfoomsa

    I am sure that even as we type that Gerry and Martin are preparing a statement accepting Malachi’s advice which of course is motivated by a strong belief in equality for the Irish nation in the Six Counties and a committment to a United Independent Ireland …

    …. Oh, yeah, hmmmmmm.

  • Henry94

    pereus

    “I have no problem saying the war was wrong”
    Inevitable though as neither side was ready to compromise.
    Do you agree with that statement?

    Both sides believed in a military victory that neither ultimately achieved. So when I say the war is wrong I am saying it from the perspective of the present. We can now see the outcome but the people involved at the time could not.

    A major difference between the provos and the dissidents is that the former believed they could win. At the time there were liberation movements winning all over the world often with Soviet support. There was a reasonable case for a successful armed struggle.

    The dissidents have no such basis for their actions. They know they can’t win and they appear not to care. the struggle is the end in itself.

    Of course it makes no difference to the family of a dead police officer what the nature of the analysis was that lead to death of their loved one. Nor should it. But if we are too see off the dissidents I think we will do better in pointing to the very obvious differences between their war and the provos war than looking for the similarities. In fact those looking for the similarities are inevitably those looking to damage Sinn Fein rather than damage the dissidents.

  • “What people believe at twenty or forty often changes radically by the time they reach fifty. Maturity usually and should teach the value of life. Most of the dissidents are probably young, ‘it’ll never happen to me’ types. Of the few older, possibly bitter,”

    Please save us from such cant. Why can you just not accept these people hold view that are different from your own and as sincerely held. The reason young people normally struggle for, and often bring about change, is they have more years invested in the future than us old farts.

    As to these armed republican groups, they have a raft of questions to answer, not least why they target lowly police officers when some of the Irish political masters of the said same police officers live freely in nationalist communities without sanction.

    Just so I am clear, I am not suggesting McGuiness should be targeted, far from it in fact, as I believe it would be better for all if these armed groups stood down, but I do wonder who is pulling whose strings here. If I were the parent of a young police officer serving in the north, I might wonder if some servants of the British crown in Ireland are more equal than others.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    ‘ major difference between the provos and the dissidents is that the former believed they could win. At the time there were liberation movements winning all over the world often with Soviet support. There was a reasonable case for a successful armed struggle. ‘

    ah, so if you think you’re going to ‘win’, then murder is fine!!! Ah, now it all makes sense….

  • Kadfoomsa

    “As to these armed republican groups, they have a raft of questions to answer.”

    The majority of people I personally know at theis stage are opposed to the Sinn Féin take on republicism.

    I realise that this does not seem the case from the ballot box.

    But I have never met anyone who would even voice any support for these armed actions. No-one.

    So who are they?

  • HeinzGuderian

    Whataboutery,at its finest !!

    Murderous Marty is a hypocrite,and a vile hypocrite at that !!

    The murder of a Police Officer in the 70’s,80’s and 90’s is as deplorable as it is now !!! Those of you trying to make excuses for murder,need to hang your heads in shame !!!

  • socaire

    They are the people who never voiced any support for the Provos in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. As a matter of fact according to the british Govt, the Free State Govt, The SDLP and all right thinking people they had no support. So how are they now in ‘government’?

  • “Rather than continuing to send out mixed messages…”

    So long as Sinn Fein finds favour in London and Dublin it can send out whatever contradictory or hypocritical messages it likes.

  • HeinzGuderian

    20 years ago a Police Officer was a *legitimate target *. Now he isn’t ??

    Nat/rep logic ?? Go figure………..

  • perseus

    you got it 100% wrong Heinz
    the whataboutery is coming from Malachi.
    I don’t expect you to see this.

    agreed Henry94,
    here we see the evidence of the naked “politicking”
    between those who focus on the “differences”
    between dissident/PIRA
    and those who focus on the “similiarities”.

    The emporer has no clothes!

  • pippakin

    Mickhall

    I’m more than happy to leave people to their misery, after all some people are never happier then when they have a grievance, they scour the daily news for fresh signs of it.

    It is wrong for anyone to assume that people who condemn the violence of today are somehow betraying the people and violence of the past. In condemning the murders McGuinness is not doing anything inconsistent with his past. He is proving he has grown beyond it.

  • modernfella

    in reply to munsterview : the view that ” as long as one square metre of irish soil is occupied by british forces , etc, etc. is remarkablely similar to loyalist views that ;as long as ulster is being attacked there will be armed force opposing that attack . surely people learn the lessons from the past or if the next generation can’t learn those lessons they are doomed to ruined communities with few economic breaks as a result of civil strife from both sides ?

  • Scáth Shéamais

    Henry 94: How would it hurt the dissidents for Sinn Fein to come out with such a statement? Imagine a dissident newspaper reacting. Would they bury this dangerous story? Or make it their front page lead claiming it as final proof of Sinn Fein’s perfidy.

    Have we not see this before with The Workers Party. What influence had they with the young people who came after them? None.

    The problem though is that Sinn Féin’s call for people to bring information to the cops, McGuinness calling the armed groups the “enemies of Ireland”, and the statements of support for the PSNI, has already ensured that Sinn Féin are viewed the exactly the same way by the still armed republican groups as the Workers’ Party once were by the (Provisional) Republican Movement.

  • JoeBryce

    MunsterView:

    Can I set out where I do not agree with that post.

    First, you say that without The Armed Struggle, SF would not be in power in the north. I disagree. The Scottish Nationalist Party has not fired a single shot in anger, is coming to the end of its first term governing on its own (not in a power-sharing arrangement) and seems likely to be re-elected. Nationalism in the late 60’s was more fluid and open in the north than it has been before or since, with protestants such as Ivan Cooper active within it, and radicals like Bernadette Devlin generating a good deal of sneaking regardery among many prods. The Armed Struggle closed down all that possibility and only the GFA has prised it open again.

    Second, and related to that, I know from speaking to some younger people (admittedly all middle class) from my unionist background that while, yes, you are right, there is some bitterness, there is as much and it has increasingly come to seem to me rather more willingness to consider movement in more nationalistic directions. Indeed – and I ask you, MV, to heed this – my impression is that in addition to the horror and disgust that is generated by the ongoing rejectionism of republicanism ultras, there is quite simply frustration and irritation at the way that such a campaign forecloses the full range of possibility for future political development in these islands.

    I do agree though that at the moment the greater number throughout the island are brought together by this outrage.

  • PaulT

    Off course those on Slugger and in the wider media who lecture republicans and Sinn Fein and what they must do before they can develop fully understand that they have been lecturing for several years and have not been listened to. During that time SF have topped the EU poll in NI, increased their MP tally and made big gains in the Dail.

    Why on earth does anyone bother reading (let alone repeating) these pointless lectures.

    Particularily pointless so soon after the Irish GE when SF and Adams ignored the lectures and topped the poll (which I guess means the majority of people also ignored them)

  • Munsterview

    modern….”in reply to munsterview : the view that ” as long as one square metre of irish soil is occupied by british forces , etc, etc. is remarkablely similar to loyalist views that ;as long as ulster is being attacked there will be armed force opposing that attack….”

    I have consistently recorded since I came on slugger that I supported the GFA. In addition I have argued and explained the reasons why I and others in the Mainstream Republican Movement that had previously supported Armed Struggle, now supported and advocated political means only.

    When a country is invaded and occupied by an outside force, there are but three principle course of actions by the occupied peoples, resistance, tolerance or co-operation with the occupying forces.

    The Planter/Loyalist view historically was first clear off the natives then occupy their lands and finally to be certain of keeping their ill gotten gains, kill off as many of the surviving natives as they could get hands on. This killing zeal by the planters very often did not have Crown approval. Such was the experience of Irish Catholics that for most of occupation history, however scarce their friends at Court were, they were still far more plentiful than in the Planter influenced administration in Dublin Castle. No need to revisit history on that one!

    In this latest artificial attempt to make an artificial State work, unlike previous attempts since 1969, the GFA imperfect and limited as it is from a majority Catholic, Nationalist or Republican viewpoint, never the less has a sizable majority support from the this community, but only as a work in progress and a means to an end. Meanwhile people from this community and young people in particular are coming to maturity secure and confident in their cultural expression and identity.

    There is also a significant minority of the Catholic, Nationalist or Republican community who do not subscribe to the GFA process. This community is divided with opinions that range from opposing any Six County administration but by peaceful means, through to those who would claim that conditions still exist for armed response to the political situation.

    The fifteen, twenty-five year old school dropouts and unemployed are already alienated from the process. When this group are also told that they are a defeated people and that they are ‘worthless Fenian scum’ etc by then some will set out to prove that they are anything but in the most effective way they can and that will be gun in hand.

    I was taken to task by ComradeS among others for drawing attention to this fact in the recent past. There is a difference between constructive criticism however harsh and the unnecessary gratuitous abuse and derision that some Loyalist politicians playing to their own backwoods gallery, embark on when referring to the Irish Language or other aspects of Irish Culture.

    Even here in slugger there are still calls for apologies and ‘sack cloth and ashes’ The SDLP consistently took the stand that the Armed Campaign was without qualification, wrong. What now is their percentage of the Catholic / Nationalist vote and what is the SF share ? The community concerned have already passed their veridic on that one.

    Until the Unionist community accept that most of the Catholic community regard Martin McGuiness and what he did no different to how their own community regard Tom Elliot or Ken McGuiness for what they did, also gun in hand, then there will not be understanding or appreciation of the majority Catholic/Nationalist journey made.

    The shadow boxing period is over, the incoming Assembly members will have some very serious pressing political issues to deal with, not least of which are the financial ones. It is time for real politics and in the absence of this those Republicans who claimed that it was a failed enterprise to begin with can say, “told you so”.

  • Alf

    PaulT,

    I suppose they are attempting to invite the Sinners to join the civilised human race.

    In terms of votes etc you are absolutely right of course. They topped the poll in FST at a time when they were gunning down local Protestants like stray dogs. Why should they give a shit about morality.

  • Alf

    “When a country is invaded and occupied by an outside force”

    Munster,

    When did this invasion and occupation happen?

  • Alf

    “Until the Unionist community accept that most of the Catholic community regard Martin McGuiness and what he did no different to how their own community regard Tom Elliot or Ken McGuiness for what they did, also gun in hand, then there will not be understanding or appreciation of the majority Catholic/Nationalist journey made.”

    Munster,

    Elliot and Magennis carried guns for self defence from people who were targetting them for murder. Coco and his Provos carried guns in order to murder people. Are you saying that the Catholic community are not sophisticated enough to recognise the difference.

  • Pete Baker

    Guys

    Could we focus on what’s in the actual post?

    Rather than hiding in subjective histories, or pre-prepared arguments about electoral endorsement – either retrospective or present.

    Those are fundamentally flawed positions. As I hope their proponents realise.

  • Munsterview

    JoeB

    In regard to your first point, been through all of these arguments and discussions with the Officials before the split. Agreed that potential was there but post the Battle of the Bogside there was a new dynamic that changed everything at that time almost as much as 1916 did in a previous area. Post the battle, the radicalization of the Catholic community also resulted in some radical protestants ‘considering their position’. and either going neutral or retreating to the Unionist corner.

    Over the years I have discussed this period and potentials with cultural figures such as the late Davie Hammond and James Simmons. Yes there was a new interest in Irish matters from Unionist cultural and academic circles but as the new educated Catholic third level started to make political demands on a system that could or would not change, the culture clash would have arisen anyway and the middle ground would have constricted.

    The political strategy persued by the Officials could not but bring the Movement into a collision course with both States, North and South while events like Richard Behal sending a rocket up the backside of ‘The Brave Borderer’ did not endear Republicans to the British Establishment either.

    All three Governments were totally committed to containment and elimination of Republicans, not accommodation. ‘Elimination’ may no longer be politically acceptable as an Establishment option for Mainstream Republicans, but both the current Con/Lib government and the Southern Stick / FG one are very much in the ‘containment business’ against Sinn Fein and other Republicans.

    I have long reflected on this and often discussed the what ‘might have beens’ The potentials were there certainly but for some of the factors delineated and many that I have not gone into that mitigated against the realization of these potentials. Back in Sixty-Nine to phara-phase Heaney hope and history simply did not rhyme !

  • tacapall

    “Elliot and Magennis carried guns for self defence from people who were targetting them for murder. Coco and his Provos carried guns in order to murder people. Are you saying that the Catholic community are not sophisticated enough to recognise the difference”.

    Amazing hyprocisy from Unionists who conviently ignore the fact that the UDR was a training ground for loyalist terrorists who used the British supplied weapons they stole to murder innocent catholic people. Can you not recognise that the majority of the catholic community saw no difference between the UDR and UDA, UVF. Are you saying the catholic community should just forget about that fact and accept what you think – that they were only doing a days work.

  • 241934 john brennan

    ‘An evil action cannot be justified by reference to a good intention’ (St Thomas Aquinas). The end does not justify the means.

    Murder is an evil action – irrespective of the age of the perpetrator, or the age in which he lives, or the cause he espouses.

    The goal of Irish unity, or defence of the Union, may be considered ‘good intentions’ or ‘good’ causes, but the principle remains the same – evil actions (and murder is evil) never are, and never were, morally permissible in any circumstance, not even to bring about a ‘good’ result.

    Proclaiming and Ireland of Equals, while at the same time denying some Irish citizens the basic right to life is, and always was, rank hypocrisy.

  • Munsterview

    Alf : As this thread and most posts are well removed from ‘whataboutery’ I will not descend into same to prove my point. There will no doubt other opportunities to go over this ground. I made a point to record a valid view not to argue it. Readers can either accepted it or reject it, given their inclination and or politics.

  • Alf

    “Amazing hyprocisy from Unionists who conviently ignore the fact that the UDR was a training ground for loyalist terrorists who used the British supplied weapons they stole to murder innocent catholic people. Can you not recognise that the majority of the catholic community saw no difference between the UDR and UDA, UVF. Are you saying the catholic community should just forget about that fact and accept what you think – that they were only doing a days work.”

    Tapacall,

    Amazing bigotry and stupidity from you. Over 40,000 men and women served in the UDR and only a minute minority were involved in terrorism. You apply to the UDR exactly the same standards that loyalist paramilitaries applied to the nationalist community. Something which I strongly suggest you disagree with.

    Btw are you seriously suggesting that either Elliot ot magennis were involved in any kind of terrorism? We know by Coco’s own admission that he was up to his neck in it.

    I hope that your assertion that the Catholic community regtards the UDr as being in the same league as the UDA and UVF is doian to your own personal stupidity. If there is any truth in it then it is extremely worrying and would provide some perspective to them voting for people who were cheerleaders for serial killers.

  • Alf

    Munster,

    You made a few claims that do not stand up to even the slightest of scrutiny. I can understand your reluctance to expand on them.

  • Alf

    “Agreed that potential was there but post the Battle of the Bogside there was a new dynamic that changed everything at that time almost as much as 1916 did in a previous area.”

    Munster,

    How many died in this ‘battle’?

  • Brian Walker

    We all have our own beautifully honed narratives of the Troubles, all of them tributes to our own wide experience and unique insight..But the only one that counts across the board is the one that says the civil conflict is over. My view is that even though I’m a history obsessive we’re left with little to learn from this particular past.

    It will be relief when all the old warriors have departed the scene ( and maybe all the armchair critics too much as I love them). They waged the war and we needed them to end it. Thank you, truly, and good night. As Malachi well knows (he makes great rhetoric),they will cling to their myths to the end. They can’t afford to recant. They are the last people to be different from the rest of us, who merely sound off in Slugger, in the pub or on Nolan. Sounding off is a therapy which requires a specially licenced context with its own conventions and constraints. . .

    What I’ ve seen and heard since the murder that impressed me as fairly new was not the long overdue public gestures from old antagonists but the vox pop statements from young and early middle aged people who I’m pretty sure were potential SF voters- that enough was enough and they supported the police and the other public instiutions.

    How long have I waited to hear that spoken – unforced and sincerely meant, as if it was the most natural sentiment in the world. These younger people with fewer direct memories of the Troubles have a different experience that we elders should welcome. In a way it’s the better part of our legacy to them.

    Is it really only a truism to say that this the great prize it has taken almost a life time to win?.

    Many of us might have a different narrative from theirs, if they were to join us in Slugger or on Nolan. But theirs is the public position for today that we one we all should surely listen to, perhaps marvel at, and applaud.

  • tacapall

    “Amazing bigotry and stupidity from you. Over 40,000 men and women served in the UDR and only a minute minority were involved in terrorism. You apply to the UDR exactly the same standards that loyalist paramilitaries applied to the nationalist community. Something which I strongly suggest you disagree with.

    Btw are you seriously suggesting that either Elliot ot magennis were involved in any kind of terrorism? We know by Coco’s own admission that he was up to his neck in it.

    I hope that your assertion that the Catholic community regtards the UDr as being in the same league as the UDA and UVF is doian to your own personal stupidity. If there is any truth in it then it is extremely worrying and would provide some perspective to them voting for people who were cheerleaders for serial killers”.

    Alf that was 40,000 men who viewed the catholic community as the enimies of ulster and yes the UDR and the UDA applied the same terror. I dont know what Elliot or Magennis roles were in the UDR was but I do know a lot of his colleagues were also loyalists terrorists who murdered innocent catholics and supposedly stole hundreds of weapons that were used to murder them.

    I also know that a lot of Unionist politicians were also UDR members I know I didn’t vote them in so who did, I doubt it was members of the catholic community.

  • Master McGrath

    One of the arguments that keeps being articulated is that the ‘dissident of whatever Republican hue’ know really that they can’t win in using the bomb and the bullet.
    Where is the evidence for this particular piece of whimsical thinking?175 bomb or bomb attempts logged by the cops last year suggests that they really do think that they can win – and the leaving of the viable device outside Newry just a few days ago and just after the funeral of Ronan Kerr, would suggest very strongly they are more than just intellectually convinced.
    My own feelings are that Malachi O’Doherty has very much identified correctly the schizophrenic problem that the ex-Provo politicians have in presenting themselves as men with nothing to answer for.
    To equate Elliot and Magennis with the Provo Leadership on the grounds that they were both UDR soldiers and carried pistols for their own protection is point scoring for the prejudiced audience consumption and entirely facile.
    Malachi O’Doherty is doing exactly what the Fourt Estate does best – raising the difficult questions that the politicians would much rather remained unasked and un-noticed, otherwise if they started to ask them too many of them would be seen to be dressed in precisely the same suit of the Emperor’s New Clothes. And then where would we be?

  • tacapall

    “To equate Elliot and Magennis with the Provo Leadership on the grounds that they were both UDR soldiers and carried pistols for their own protection is point scoring for the prejudiced audience consumption and entirely facile”.

    I think you miss the point, the “brushing under the carpet” by Unionism of the wrong doing by those small minority you talk about can be coupled with the actions of those members of the ruc special branch who also colluded with loyalist paramilitaries in the murder of innocent catholic people then point the finger at nationalism as somehow being the aggressor – This, to the majority of catholics is hypocricy.

  • Munsterview

    Alf : with regard to the UDR and how they behaved, I can give you plenty of incidents from my own direct experience when up there over the years. However I will sit this one out, no doubt there will be plenty that can give even more memorable examples of their activity against the Nationalist population.

    I have long since ceased to be amazed at the general lack of appreciation of Unionists for Nationalists perceptions of the Unionist State and State institutions such as the RUC and UDR. However I would have expected sluggerite Unionists to be a little better informed !

    Brian W : As to journalism and the reportage over forty years how many reporters such as Vincent Browne in the early days and S.Breen in latter years did the press produce. Oh yes plenty of analysis from the bar counter of the Europa or the BBC studios on the ‘Northern Situation’ but precious little from the sitting rooms of the Bogside or the Ardoyne ?

    I knew many of the main press people of the period, I worked with many of them on stories and to say that their attidute towards the North or underlying issues was not very dillegent is putting it very mildly indeed.

  • There is absolutely no point in trying to persuade Martin McGuinness to admit that the PIRA campaign was wrong. He wont.

    Sinn Fein know that they have a problem trying to distinguish the PIRA campaign from the dissidents. Their problem is not with their hard core supporters, who will willingly argue that “black equals red”, if that is what their leadership want them to do.

    Their problem is with the people who vote for them only because they see them as having the strongest Nationalist voice. It is worth recalling that even though the IRA had many more supporters than the dissidents have now, a majority of Nationalists were still against the use of violence during the PIRA campaign and voted for the SDLP.

    Every time there is a dissident attack, the contradiction flies into nationalist faces and the contradiction will become more graphic. Consider the following scenario. You have a dissident who is killed in action by (say) a police officer. There is then a funeral with a tricolour draped over the coffin and men in balaclavas carrying it. It looks exactly like it did in the past except that Martin McGuinness (having come out in support of the Police) and Gerry Adams are not at the funeral.

    Distinguishing the past is not going to be easy for Sinn Fein and it will get harder for them. Notwithstanding that, they are doing a job of preventing the dissidents from becomeing more popular. Unionists wont like to admit it but indirectly, Sinn Fein are playing a crucial role in curtailing violence.

    It is far better to leave them alone with their problem.

  • Munsterview

    MasterMcG. : “To equate Elliot and Magennis with the Provo Leadership on the grounds that they were both UDR soldiers and carried pistols for their own protection is point scoring for the prejudiced audience consumption and entirely facile….”

    This is what I posted…”Until the Unionist community accept that most of the Catholic community regard Martin McGuiness and what he did no different to how their own community regard Tom Elliot or Ken McGuiness for what they did, also gun in hand, then there will not be understanding or appreciation of the majority Catholic/Nationalist journey made…..”

    I personally can understand, and I have posted this in regard to Tom Elliot, that I appreciate that his community see him as a brave man, if not a hero for what he did.

    One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter as the saying goes. This is especially so in ex British Conolial countries, there is not one freedom struggle where the freedom fighters who later were to become National leaders and International statesmen, where these same fighters were not also branded terrorists etc in the Commons at the time of their freedom struggles.

    I did not ask anyone in the Unionist community to sanction or accept the activity of Martin McGuniess when he was a Millitant Republican, I asked them to appreciate that the majority of the Nationalist electorate see Martin and what he did in defense of his community as no different to what their community percieve Tom Elliot as having done for his.

    Of course we are then back to basics as to why there was a war and was that war necessary ?

    Both Nationalist and Unionist communities will have two different answers to that also and these answers will not be reconcilled tonight or any time in the forseeable future. This is why a contrived system of governance was necessary to begin with, it was one of the few ways two otherwise irreconcillable forces could be accomodated in an interm power-sharing arrangement.

  • Munsterview

    Seymour : understandable openion from a Unionist perspective but not I fear a correct analysis from a Nationalist / Republican viewpoint. However I will leave the detail for to-morrows post if this thread still has a head of steam by then.

  • Alias

    “With the PSNI setting up a specialist team of detectives to examine “specific crimes”, “dating back to the 1980s and 1990s”, which they believe “may have involved present-day dissidents”…”

    That criteria shows the British state’s warped sense of morality and justice, where a victim of a crime is only deemed to be entitled to a thorough police investigation and to justice if it serves the interests of that State but is deemed to be entitled to sweet FA if it doesn’t.

    Why else would those victims whose victimizers now serve the interests of the British state be treated as second-class cases by the State?

  • aquifer

    Do the crime, do the time.

    Unless you got a generous political deal that is. No wonder Martin and Gerry smile so much.

  • Mike the First

    perseus

    “there was no political process back then. ( 70′s + 80′s)”

    Yes there was.

    Terrible ignorance.

  • JoeBryce

    MV: Counterfactual history is always problematic and neither you nor I can prove our proposition. For what it’s worth, however, I maintain that absens the Armed Struggle nationalism would have made at least as much progress in the north as it has made to date, and in less time. And the Ireland that we might all then have been negotiating would be one in which we all felt secure. I can point to a comparator, namely Scotland: can you?

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    Seymour,

    There are a number of scenarios your one below first.

    Consider the following scenario(1). You have a dissident who is killed in action by (say) a police officer. There is then a funeral with a tricolour draped over the coffin and men in balaclavas carrying it. It looks exactly like it did in the past except that Martin McGuinness (having come out in support of the Police) and Gerry Adams are not at the funeral.

    Consider the following scenario(2). You have an unarmed Nationalist who is killed whilst driving through his home town at night by MI5 – he is alleged to be a dissident. His coffin is draped in tricolour and his funeral is attended by the SF leadership

  • 241934 john brennan

    Going by their record- Would you trust the present Sinn Fein leadership with your life?
    Would you trust them with your job, or your child’s education?
    Would you trust them to tell the truth about the past- even to an international truth commission?

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    Joe,

    “And the Ireland that we might all then have been negotiating would be one in which we all felt secure. I can point to a comparator, namely Scotland: can you?”

    Scotland is a very poor comparison, they did not have a Unionist population who were led by Unionist politicans who to paraphrase Dawn Purvis were ready to fight to the last drop of everyones elses blood nor did you have the requirement for a ‘foreign’ state and people to have a say in Ulster’s affairs(something now granted in Ulster). Also there is no way in the late 20th Century that British politicians would have allowed their security force to behave in Britain they way they did in Ulster.

    The devolution-Orange-statery already in Ulster was such a disgrace that unless it had been blown away by the Provos there would have arguably been no support for it in Scotland (or Wales).

  • Taoiseach

    It’s not just Sinn Fein – Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Ulster Unionists have to say they were wrong to support violence in the past and stop pretending that Larne gun running, Easter Rising, Michael Collins was substantially, morally different from what happened last week. Not only was it wrong, it didn’t work. It actually created partition, just as the 1798 rising lead to the Act of Union. We need a re-vision, we need to change the names of our streets and railway stations and start celebrating men and women of peace. We don’t have to do an historicial hatchet job and blacken their names – they thought they were right at the time, even had some or a lot of support – but they were wrong to kill people for political reasons.

  • Munsterview

    Taoiseach : ” It actually created partition, just as the 1798 rising lead to the Act of Union…..”

    Post the traumatic loss of the British colonies in the United States and deeply worried about the forces unleashed in the French Revolution, the British establishment ( and that included some Irish grandees ) wanted all visages of Irish Independence eliminated and the imposition of a formal union of both countries was a Crown and British establishment priority with or without the 98 rising. The rising merely provided a convenient excuse for what was already Crown and Goverment policy.

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    Taoiseach,

    Having concluded that all Irish military adventures were wrong will you now be extending that to all British military adventures as well?

  • HeinzGuderian

    The difference between British Military adventures,and Irish Military adventures is One is always successful,whereas the other One is NEVER successful !! 🙂

  • Taoiseach

    Guys I wasn’t supporting the British military ops – just pointing out that it’s very hard to attack last week’s murder while maintaining killings in 1920 were morally superior. I’ve relatives who took part in all campaigns, probably on both sides from one hanged in 1797 to the Boer War and so forth. I know how the British machine operates, and I know it’s role in the Act of Union and partition, but none of the violent activities of republicans prevented it. Significant change comes from non violent popular movements – like Daniel O’Connell and Catholic emancipation. Killing really has to be a last defensive resort or you are just the same as your oppressor

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    Taoiseach,

    You were not asked if you supported British military ops but whether you thought they were also wrong ?

    HG,

    “The difference between British Military adventures,and Irish Military adventures is One is always successful,whereas the other One is NEVER successful”

    Let start you off with 100 years war and Hastings.

    …and dont forget Britian was conqured and occupied by the Italians and French.

  • 241934 john brennan

    Taoiseach -“they thought they were right at the time, even had some or a lot of support – but they were wrong to kill people for political reasons.”

    Yes – but some still alive, wrongfully deny the truth of what they did, or admit to any wrongdoing.
    It is said that the truth will set you free – and that it costs nothing to tell the truth.

    Everyone knows that Jean McConville was abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the IRA. Yet Sinn Fein leaders steadfastly maintain denials that she was murdered by the IRA . Furthermore they do not even use the word “murder” in relation to her death – as they do when pointing the finger at murders, attributed to other organizations.

    It is simply beggars belief that any organisation, never mind a self-confessed democratic political party, has the brass neck to continue in this transparently duplicitous position.

    But it is much worse than that. Here we have a political party that proclaims an “Ireland of Equals” – while refusing equality to some of those in graves. Sinn Fein honours the memory of some deceased perpetrators of murder, but not the memory of some of their victims.

  • 241934 john brennan

    Taoiseach -“they thought they were right at the time, even had some or a lot of support – but they were wrong to kill people for political reasons.”
    Yes – but some still alive, wrongfully deny the truth of what they did, or admit to any wrongdoing.
    It is said that the truth will set you free – and that it costs nothing to tell the truth.
    Everyone knows that Jean McConville was abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the IRA. Yet Sinn Fein leaders steadfastly maintain denials that she was murdered by the IRA . Furthermore they do not even use the word “murder” in relation to her death – as they do when pointing the finger at murders, attributed to other organizations.
    It is simply beggars belief that any organisation, never mind a self-confessed democratic political party, has the brass neck to continue in this transparently duplicitous position.
    But it is much worse than that. Here we have a political party that proclaiming an “Ireland of Equals” – while refusing equality to some of those in graves. Sinn Fein honours the memory of some deceased perpetrators of murder, but not the memory of some of their victims.

  • JoeBryce

    Sammy McNally:

    As a matter of historical record, it was Bloody Sunday, not the Provos, that brought down one party unionist rule at Stormont. Bloody Sunday, 30th January 1972. Heath’s decision to prorogue, 24th March 1972. The intensification of the PIRA campaign came after prorogration.

    In other words, an atrocity by the Crown forces destabilised the Crown. And atrocities by republicans, undermine republicanism.

    As for the weakness of my comparison: well, we’ll never know, will we? Nationalism was already on the march in Scotland well before Burntollet: Winnie Ewing won the Hamilton by-election in 1967. I maintain: republican violence has hindered, not furthered, anything you believe in: as loyalist violence destroyed the loyalist state.

    I agree, incidentally, with those who observe the humbug from my tribe about who started it, etc: gun running in 1912 was terrorism too. We made a terrible mistake rejecting Home Rule in the 1880’s. But we are where we are now, and we only get somewhere better by talking and listening, and accepting that we all have the right to be who and what we are as long as we accept the same in others.

  • “….it’s very hard to attack last week’s murder while maintaining killings in 1920 were morally superior”

    Im actually not so sure. It is certainly not easy to justify it to somebody who has never lived in Ireland. Like yourself, Taoiseach, I have relatives who took part in “all campaigns.” My grandfather was a republican. He was a political activist living in Clare and an associate of De Valera. He died long before I was born but I got a bit of a taste of his political viewpoint from one of my great uncles.

    When he compared the troubles in Ireland (post 1968) with those of the 1920s, it was the old IRA who were the goodies and the later IRA (post 1969) who were the bad guys. That viewpoint is still fairly common today in many parts of Ireland and I know that there are many who will say that the “old IRA” were part of the history of Ireland’s birth and should be treated differently by the historians.

    I am not, I hasten to add, inviting a discussion to compare each IRA campaign and pass judgment. That would also be off topic. I am discussing the range of opinion amongst nationalists and republicans. The point is that Sinn Fein’s leaders have had some success in distinguishing the pre-1998 campaign from the current dissident campaign in the sense that a large proportion of their supporters have accepted it

    In a sense, they have followed in the footsteps of those who romanticised the events of the early part of the 20th century. Just like their predecessors, they found it necessary to protect the legacy of the campaign they previously supported by distinguishing it from the contempory one.

    Did the provisional IRA campaign damage the image of the insurrections at the beginning of the 20th century? I dont think so. The early 20th century compaigns became so inextricably entwined with the birth of a nation that it was always likely to find its way into legend.

    Today, the Sinn Fein leadership is telling its supporters that the armed struggle of the PIRA succeeded in bringing about the Belfast Agreement. As I have said, many of their supporters have already accepted that. However, there is still a soft underbelly of their support which neither has an opinion on the matter nor cares unless they are forced to take a view.

    The trouble for Sinn Fein is that at the extreme end of the continuum, they are accused of having sold out by the dissidents who say they have gained them nothing. The dissidents are an embarassment to them. Whether they like it or not, their legacy is put under the microscope every time there is a shooting or a bomb goes off. Time will tell whether their legacy sticks or crumbles.

  • Taoiseach

    it is just myth, Seymour, like the myth of the French Revolution and Bastille and foregetting the thousands of innocents butchered in the aftermarth.

    Sinn Fein like to talk about The Peace Process as if it were the Civil Rights Movement or Emancipation. It wasn’t – the reason we needed a peace process was that they and others spent more than thirty years trying to kill people. Perhaps it’s churlish to complain that they’ve stopped killing people but there’s only so much credit you can give someone for stopping killing you.

    And at the foundation of the State there was more wrong than simply violence. When you take the decision to summon the first Dail after the 1918 election, did anyone stop to think that they were by default setting up partition. It was clear the unionists wouldn’t come. Poor tactics, poor strategy, poor morality.

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    JoeBryce,

    “As a matter of historical record, it was Bloody Sunday, not the Provos, that brought down one party unionist rule at Stormont. Bloody Sunday, 30th January 1972. Heath’s decision to prorogue, 24th March 1972. The intensification of the PIRA campaign came after prorogration.”

    Bit of selective interpeatation of ‘history’ there – the fact is the boy Heath having organised the state cover up (and possibly the shootings) realised that the Plain Nationalist People of Ireland didnt take kindly to being shot up by what they considered to be foreign troops for demanding civil rights and were likely (as proved to be case) to make Ulster ungovernable. The Provos had to turn away a flood of recruits. We got the usual fuzzy-wuzzy treatment meted out elsewhere and guess what? We didnt like it up us.

    re. “humbug from my tribe”. That is a pretty enlightened Unionist viewpoint but neglects to take into account the antics of the nefarious Tories who encouraged mutiny to deny the democratic wishes of the people of Ireland and the British parlament.

    Trying to or allowing the pinning of the blame for the British inperial mess which is Ulster on the dumb Paddies (Unionist and Nationalist) just doesnt wash as is typical divide and rule tactics.

    The facts are we Irish dont like being fecked about by outsiders and the Provos are but another example of that.

    Taoiseach,

    (Repeat question)

    You were not asked if you supported British military ops but whether you thought they were also wrong ?

    How are you getting along with that?

  • Munsterview

    Heinz… : “The difference between British Military adventures,and Irish Military adventures is One is always successful,whereas the other One is NEVER successful !!

    Yeah Man, right on, true for you !

    Run this by me again,

    1) How many countries was the Union Jack flying over at the start of the 20th, century ?

    2) How many countries was the Union Jack flying over at the start of the 21st, century ?

    3) How many had Liberation Wars involving local Freedom Fighters and the British Army ?

    4) How many of these freedom struggles did the British Army successfully suppress ?

    No hurry with the responses, please take your own sweet time, in fact you seem to be the only person, post first level education, on this Island that do not already know the answers !

    PS Commando comics are not quite history books you know : try to make the transition once somebody have explained the meaning of the word to you !

  • Taoiseach,

    I dont disagree with what you say on a personal level. I often wonder how history would have turned out if Ireland had gone down the route of devolution after World War I. However, what happened happened and the myths still swim around peoples heads.

    “…..there’s only so much credit you can give someone for stopping killing you “

    There is a form of mass denial out there. I have said this before. It is not normal. It is a symptom of a traumatised community. Far too many people will not confront certain issues, unless they are “in their face.”

    That is why I ask the question – is the dissident campaign, ironically, taking that issue into people’s faces?

  • Alf

    Sammy,

    You seem to be the chief northern cheerleader for the Provos here, so perhaps you can point me to some of the pre 94 literature from them that claimed their murder campaign was designed to get them into Stormont?

    While you have been fixating about nationalists ‘getting it up them’ did you ever stop to consider that the British, including unionists, didn’t like getting it ‘up them’ either. That is why they put so much effort into defeating the PIRA murder machine.

    Try to remember that you are in the minority in Northern Ireland. Whilst we value your opinions they are not binding on us. Be grateful that unionists have had the good grace to share power with the representatives of murderers from the minority community. They do so in the interests of peace. Try not to lose sight of that when you are imagining the ‘gains’ made by the Provo murderers you clearly support.

  • Alf

    Munster,

    I suspect that Heinz may be referring to the Irish army’s adventures in the Congo. Where they were defeated and eaten by a tribe of Pygmies armed with blowpipes.

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    Alf,

    “You seem to be the chief northern cheerleader for the Provos here, ”

    I rather see myself in the role as that of helping inject some balance into proceeeding – but I can understand where your misunderstanding comes from.

    “so perhaps you can point me to some of the pre 94 literature from them that claimed their murder campaign was designed to get them into Stormont?”

    I guess that was dreamt up as a compromise between the British and the Provos with help from Johnny Hume – and good job two or both sides would be at it yet.

    “While you have been fixating about nationalists ‘getting it up them’ did you ever stop to consider that the British, including unionists, didn’t like getting it ‘up them’ either.”

    Yes thats why both sides compromised becuase they didnt like it up em as you rightly point out – and if I may so a rare moment of insight from your goodself.

    “Be gratefull that unionists have had the good grace to share power with the representatives of murderers from the minority community.”

    Fecking hell Alfie, credit for that simply goes to our new friends the British who dragged Unionists across the GFA and STA finishing lines under threat of Southern papal influence.

  • Alf

    Sammy,

    The Provos were defeated and the British, including the unionists, offered them a face saving way to surrender their guns and join in the democratic process. They have since been telling their drones that it was part of their cunning plan all along. Please don’t try to pedal the same crap to unionists.

  • Munsterview

    Alf : “The difference between British Military adventures,and Irish Military adventures is One is always successful,whereas the other One is NEVER successful !!

    Every soldier of the Irish Defense Forces that served abroad, did so while wearing the UN blue birette and neck scarf. As such they died to preserve International Peace as mandated by the United Nations.

    Your sneering reference to brave me who died in this UN service speaks for itself and is beneath contempt. During school days I heard a talk by one of their comrades who went in to investigate and recover the bodies, he did not spare the details. The fact that you or Alf to get a rise, can demean the memory of these men and mock their sacrifice for their living relatives shows where you and the mindset of your ilk are at.

    The fact that you and others like you are in this place is no surprise : what is a surprise to me is that in all probability none of your own side of the divide will take issue with you in the name of of common decency illustrates, if illustration is necessary that the sentiments face painted in those young teenage girly at last years 12th, did not arise in a vacuum.

    No point in chiding you or appealing to your sense of shame : if you had any to begin with you would not have written what you did in the first place !

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    “The Provos were defeated and the British, including the unionists, offered them a face saving way to surrender ”

    Alfie you’re a card.

  • anne warren

    I was going to reply to the following post on http://sluggerotoole.com/2011/04/11/adams-and-the-forces-of-the-british-crown-in-ireland-are-entirely-united/

    “Why do some journalists and Unionists continuously link every party member of Sinn Fein to the IRA and the IRAs past deeds when they can conviently turn a blind eye to the terrorist activities of some of the UDR colleagues of Unionist politicians, Tom Elliott, Jeffrey Donaldson, Ken Maginnis, etc, and the DUP who created their own paramilitary army who imported hundreds of weapons into the country that were then used to murder innocent people all the while, along with the UUP jumping in and out of bed with the UDA and UVF when they needed paramilitary muscle, do they forget that the UVF announced that the DUP advised them not to call a ceasefire, do they forget how many catholics were murdered using information they were given by members of the RUC, UDR and British army, do they forget how members of the RUC special branch controlled murder gangs – on both sides. This infatuation from Unionism that they are somehow morally superior and believe they can distance themselves from their associations with loyalist terrorists is beyond comprehension”. Tacapall

    I was going to use only one word
    “Denial”

    Then I saw Seymour Major’s comment here:

    “There is a form of mass denial out there. I have said this before. It is not normal. It is a symptom of a traumatised community. Far too many people will not confront certain issues, unless they are “in their face.”

    Well done, Seymour

    What is denial?
    “Denial is a defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. The subject may use:
    • simple denial – deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether
    • minimisation – admit the fact but deny its seriousness (a combination of denial and rationalisation)
    • projection – admit both the fact and seriousness but deny responsibility.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial

    It will also do as a reply to Alf.

    I can’t answer Seymour Major’s question as to whether
    “the dissident campaign, is ironically, taking that issue into people’s faces?”

    But God help us all if it is – because nothing/very, very little in the peace process has helped anyone on either side overcome sectarianism and denial.

    Alf’s comments on various threads are a good example of evidence supporting this statement.

  • JoeBryce

    All I am saying is that peace between 1962 and 1968 and now since 1998 (fingers remaining crossed) allowed and allow changes to take place beneath the arctic tundra of protestant feeling and opinion. Don’t over-understimate us. You would be wise to leave change to germinate, because the Ireland that may be secured by another route would not be worth living in.

    Taoiseach makes a good point.

    Sammy, the problem is that there is no such thing, unfortunately, as a single Irish people, any more than there ever was a “people of Northern Ireland”. John Hume’s single transferrable speech was right about that. So republicanism has a choice between negotiating with us, which Sinn Fein to its credit seems sincerely committed to do (and would you have believed unionists accepting that 10 or 15 years ago?) or trying to drive us out of Ireland. And I am absolutely sure you do not want to do that. And maybe one day, if the talking goes on long enough, there will be an Irish people. The dissident campaign delays that, and that I find frustrating, for the simple reason it shuts down possibilities that it may otherwise be prudent or rewarding to explore. You may regret it for other reasons, as it defeats your own goals.

    One other thing. The Scots and English are quite nice, really: an awful lot of Irish of every hue live happily on the bigger island. Demonising people is a dead end.

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    JoeBryce,

    “would you have believed unionists accepting that 10 or 15 years ago? ”

    Not according to the DUP who still claim a majority of Unionists voted against GFA – either way it was tight.

    “One other thing. The Scots and English are quite nice, really: an awful lot of Irish of every hue live happily on the bigger island. Demonising people is a dead end.”

    Not sure where you got that line from? Are you implying I suggested anything to the contrary – if so – please supply the quote.

    And speaking of the British people I would like them to have the opportunity to vote on the link with Ulster – not to force feed a United Ireland to Unionists (as we have the GFA) but to inject some reality into the Unionist psyche if the vote went – as most people suspect it would.

    Unionists looked down their noses and sneered at things Irish for decades (and still do) only to find that the British people rather than sharing those racist viewpoints are embarassed at such appaling atttitudes somehow being associated with Britian and fundamentally disagree with them based on their own world view.

    I’m a big fan of the tolerance and broadmindedness of the vast majority of the ‘British people’ characteristics rarely to be found in those opting to classify themselves as British on this side of the Irish sea.

  • Alf

    Munster,

    I must say that it is highly amusing to receive a lecture in having a sense of shame from someone who supports the PIRA murder campaign.

    Perhaps you could reflect on that the next time you are boasting about the Provos?

  • Alf

    “Alf’s comments on various threads are a good example of evidence supporting this statement.”

    Anne,

    A refusal to accept republican propaganda at face value is not denial.

    Trying to conflate the RUC and UDR with PIRA is a disgusting slur and one which cannot go unchallenged. It is PIRA’s way of trying to tell people that their cold blooded murders of farmers, breadmen and posties were justified. It doesn’t wash and I would suggest that it is those who think it does that are in denial.

  • Alf

    “Unionists looked down their noses and sneered at things Irish for decades (and still do) only to find that the British people rather than sharing those racist viewpoints are embarassed at such appaling atttitudes somehow being associated with Britian and fundamentally disagree with them based on their own world view.”

    Sammy,

    So it is not the mainland British that you hate. Just the Ulster Prods.

  • anne warren

    Alf
    The point is it runs both ways. Do you ever think that all your feelings of rage and enmity are probably felt by the other side?

    You wrote
    ” A refusal to accept republican propaganda at face value is not denial”.
    There is a certain amount of truth in your statement but let me turn it round
    .”A refusal to accept unionist propaganda at face value is not denial”
    This is equally true – which was the point Seymour was making about mass denial.

    You also wrote
    .” It is PIRA’s way of trying to tell people that their cold blooded murders of farmers, breadmen and posties were justified. It doesn’t wash and I would suggest that it is those who think it does that are in denial.”

    Let’s turn this one round too.
    It is the Unionists/Loyalists way of trying to tell people that their cold blooded murders of farmers, breadmen and posties were justified. It doesn’t wash and I would suggest that it is those who think it does that are in denial.”

    As I said, it runs both ways

    Please don’t deny that another point of view exists and has validity. The GFA/Belfast Agreement admitted that it did.

    I am not asking or expecting you to accept it but to realise that being at loggerheads is no good for any individual or for the community in NI.

    We all have to balance both truths and try to find a way forward for present and future generations to collaborate for the benefit al all.

    Maybe it’s time for you to start your own personal peace process.

  • Kevin Barry

    anne warren,

    I have found your comments on this and other threads to be pretty incisive and fair minded, I only wish we could hear from you more often.

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    Alf,

    “Sammy,

    So it is not the mainland British that you hate. Just the Ulster Prods.”

    You are a great man for making things up – so you can then get set about knocking them down.

  • Munsterview

    Alf : My post very specifically dealt with your sneering, denigrating remarks about the soldiers of the Irish Defense Forces who died on UN duty as your remarks and those of your fellow abusive poster were an affront to common decency.

    I have been polemic against the UDR and the RUC and their activities as a force but in my two years contributions to this site can you point to where I once mocked their service or resulting deaths while on duty ? Or that of the British soldiers that died in duty in Northern Ireland or the current Middle East or Far East Wars ?

    Whatever of the Provos and the recent Armed Conflict /War and your views on that, mocking the deaths of the Irish Defense Force soldiers who fell while on UN duty was a breach of common decency but interestingly, your transgressions were ignored by your own side. That silence speaks more eloquently in what says of mindsets than a hundred posts on the subject !

  • Munsterview

    It was…… Well is’nt he just ?

  • Alf

    “The point is it runs both ways. Do you ever think that all your feelings of rage and enmity are probably felt by the other side?”

    Anne,

    I am well aware of republican rage and emnity. I am also well aware that they think that it is only their rage and emnity, and indeed opinions, which count. Hence they think that they have the God given right to ride roughshod over the democratic wishes of the law abiding majority.

    “It is the Unionists/Loyalists way of trying to tell people that their cold blooded murders of farmers, breadmen and posties were justified. It doesn’t wash and I would suggest that it is those who think it does that are in denial.””

    When have unionists ever done any such thing? They have consistently condemned murders which were carried out by loyalists.

  • Alf

    Sammy,

    So you think that unionists are embarrassing racists with appalling attitudes who sneer at nationalists, but actually you quite like them?

  • Alf

    Munster,

    Permission for bottom lip to wobble Sah!

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    Alf,

    I dont ‘hate’ Unionists I dislike their anti-Irish and anti-Catholic attitudes – as do the vast majority of Irish and British people.

    Many Unionists dont share those intolerant views and are embarassed themselves at ‘Orange’ culture which propagates relgious intolerance and encourages bigotry.

  • Alf

    “I dont ‘hate’ Unionists I dislike their anti-Irish and anti-Catholic attitudes – as do the vast majority of Irish and British people.

    Many Unionists dont share those intolerant views and are embarassed themselves at ‘Orange’ culture which propagates relgious intolerance and encourages bigotry.”

    Sammy,

    I dislike the nationalist habit of murdering people and then whining that it is they who are being oppressed.

    Though many nationalists don’t do that and are embarrassed by the ones who do.

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    Alf,

    “I dislike the nationalist habit of murdering people ”

    I think you will find the war is over and Nationalists have made their peace with Britain and we have a reasonable basis for political progress – constant harking back to pre Stormo v2 is not good for you – why not try looking to the future?

    re. Orange marches – Unionists can surely can find some more positive way to celebrate the many positive apsects of their culture?

  • Alf

    Sammy,

    I thoroughly dislike hurling. Surely nationalists can find some other sport to amuse themselves with?