Sinn Féin rejects HET findings on Kingsmill massacre

The BBC headline may focus on a different aspect of the statement from Sinn Fein’s Mitchel McLaughlin, but it’s clear from the quotes that Sinn Féin rejects the findings of the Historical Enquiries Team’s (HET) report on the Kingsmill massacre.  Specifically, the party rejects the HET finding that the Provisional IRA carried out the “purely sectarian” and “calculated slaughter” of 10 Protestants in south Armagh in 1976.

From the BBC report

The Historical Enquiries Team (HET) found the IRA was responsible and the victims were targeted because of their religion.

At the time of the massacre the IRA were on ceasefire and the South Armagh Republican Action Force claimed responsibility for the deaths.

Mr McMcLaughlin said he was prepared to accept the findings of an international reputable body that carried out an impartial truth process for everyone that had been involved in the conflict.

“I am prepared to accept the evidence if I have access to that independent process, I am prepared, even though I believe and have believed up to this point the denials by the IRA that they were involved in it,” he said.

“If someone has proof that the denial does not stand up to examination then I would be obliged to consider it as a republican and I would, because I do not believe republican principals [sic] permit people to be involved in sectarian activity,” he added.

And the Provisional IRA murder of 23-year-old schoolteacher Mary Travers and the attempted murder of her Catholic Resident Magistrate father, Tom Travers, was less inherently sectarian than the murder of PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr…

“I can’t see anything”, indeed.

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  • Hopping The Border

    “The party spokesperson on victims Mitchel McLaughlin said other killings in the area need to be examined.

    I do not dispute the sectarian nature of the killings, it was entirely wrong and I have no problem in condemning what happened in Kingsmills,” he said.”

    What part of this quote, stated directly underneath the headline you draw attention to, conveys in anyway that SF do not agree the murders were sectarian?

    As I have said on several occasions, I dislike SFs mafioso manner and they fact they seem to go out of their way to annoy “the other side”.

    However, how about a bit of journalistic integrity in re-reporting statements and less peddling of falsehoods/agendas?

  • Jimmy Sands

    Well that settles that then I suppose.

    “And when at last the police came by
    Sing rickety tickety tin
    And when at last the police came by
    Her little pranks she did not deny
    To do so she would have had to lie
    And lying she knew was a sin, a sin
    And lying she knew was a sin.”

    [Tom Lehrer, Irish Ballad]

  • andnowwhat

    On the money Hopping the Border.

    The blog is disingenuous anti SF, Breen style point scoring.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Is this the same fella who thinks the cowardly abduction and brutal murder of Jean McConville wasn’t a crime ?

    The purely sectarian and calculated slaughter of 10 protestant workmen was carried out by a pira death gang,fuelled by blood lust and hatred.

    I remember the Daily Mirror headline that morning,all too well…….TEN DIE IN ira MASSACRE !!!

    I can only imagine how swollen the ranks of the uvf/uda were that night,as a result of this heinous act of depravity ?

  • Pete Baker

    I see that comprehension remains a problem for some…

  • tacapall

    A truely sickining act and totally unjustifiable, lets not pretend it wasn’t sectarian, it was protestant workers, not members of the UDR, RUC, UVF, UDA, just workers how then can it not be sectarian. I know Sinn Fein would like to believe thats not true but during that period terrible things were done in the name of Ireland, it happened and no wriggling can make it look anyway other than it was. It would be better to throw all cards on the table, everyone, and that includes Unionism and be done with it maybe then we could forge a future that suits everyone.

  • The Raven

    Fully open and transparent Truth and Reconciliation process in which everyone comes forward and admits their previous wrongdoings/clears up what happened to whom, and when, anyone….?

    No. I didn’t think it would suit everybody…

  • Hopping The Border

    Pete,

    Having re-read your article I will concede that my initial comments were incorrect and apologies for any offence caused.

    However the fact that you initially state (and title) that SF reject the findings of the HET and then go on to clarify that actually they don’t reject all the findings but only one in particular (IRA involvement) is rather sensationalist and selective reporting in my opinion.

  • Nunoftheabove

    This is insultingly slippery work my McLaughlin; obliged to consider it if there was proof that that the denial did not stand up to examination ?! FFS.

    His “what about the six people who were murdered the day before?” reference is reminiscent of Gregory Campbell’s attempts to ‘contextualize’ the Bloody Sunday killings following Saville. That’s how reprehensible this is, that’s a mark of just how far the termites have spread and how long and how well they have dined.

  • orly

    Read the words carefully SF voters.

  • “it’s clear from the quotes that Sinn Féin rejects the findings”

    Was Mitchel McLaughlin speaking in a personal capacity? I can see no mention of his comments on the SF website or any reference to Kingsmill.

  • pippakin

    Sinn Fein are experts on whataboutery.

    The yellow card is making me nervous.

  • Framer

    The discussion on Good Morning Ulster was somewhat heated as Mitchel McLaughlin came under pressure from Mark Carrothers.

    However the one obvious question was not asked: why does Sinn Fein continue to call for enquiries into state killings like Ballymurphy etc when McLaughlin insisted there can be no truth ascertained without a full scale commission.

  • ulsterobserver

    Can someone explain to me how the murders were not sectarian ?

  • Hopping The Border

    UO-

    “Can someone explain to me how the murders were not sectarian ?”

    I would think it unlikely someone can since sectarian is exactly what they were.

  • socaire

    Simple enough. When members of one sect kill members of another sect then it is a sectarian killing. Got it?

  • Cynic2

    “I do not believe republican principals [sic] permit people to be involved in sectarian activity”

    …..an awful lot of dead people might disagree with Mitchell – but of course they never had a chance to before they were murdered

  • Limerick

    “Was Mitchel McLaughlin speaking in a personal capacity? I can see no mention of his comments on the SF website or any reference to Kingsmill.”

    Nevin,

    He was announced on the programme as Sinn Fein’s ‘Victims Spokesman’. They mentioned it again at the end. I don’t know if the presenter was being ironic or not.

  • ulsterobserver

    Socaire…I asked ‘how the murders were not sectarian’ not the definition of what sectarian meant ! Got it?

  • socaire

    Now you know what sectarian means you’ll be able to work out for yourself whether or not they were sectarian. Got it?

  • Nunoftheabove

    socaire

    That’s a pretty tame definition. An inaccurate one at that.

  • socaire

    Hey, nonny, give us a better more accurate one?

  • Nunoftheabove

    soccairoo, a member of one sect who purposely kills someone from another sect solely and exclusively as a consequence of that other person’s identification with or membership of that sect could be described as a sectarian killer. There you go. Consider yourself better educated.

  • socaire

    So if I was a member of a sect and killed a non-member, that would not be a sectarian killing? What about the Thugees? And I do consider myself better educated :0. Just trying to keep it simple for OB.

  • Nunoftheabove

    A non-member of any sect or just not a member of yours ? Depends on why you killed him or her. Simple, see.

  • april showers

    I am confused by the responses, SF does not deny that the murders were sectarian just that they were carried out by the IRA. Or am I reading that wrong

  • Limerick

    “I am confused by the responses, SF does not deny that the murders were sectarian just that they were carried out by the IRA. Or am I reading that wrong”

    april showers,

    That is the gist of it alright. Along with a healthy dose of whataboutery.

  • socaire

    No. If a sect kills anybody then it must be a sectarian (by a sect) killing. April showers you are right. Enough time has lapsed for the provos to admit sectarianism.

  • april showers

    Socaire there was no involvement with PIRA so therefore not provo sectarianism. Do simple concepts escape you?

  • socaire

    Did catholic sect members not kill protestant sect members exclusively because they were protestants? Or am I reading that wrong? (Thanks, nun)

  • april showers

    Still not provo, they seemed more equal opportunity killers

  • Nunoftheabove

    socaire.

    A member of a sect who kills anyone for reasons entirely unrelated to sect membership issues is guilty of plain vanilla killing. A member of a sect who kills someone else very specifically because – exclusively because – they ARE a member of a rival sect, is guilty of sectarian killing.

  • socaire

    Right right right! I’ll try to remember that if any sect member kills me. What if a sect loaned their materiel to be used to kill members of another sect?

  • Pete Baker

    Guys

    Focus.

  • socaire

    And what about inter-sectarian killing between two opposing sects?

  • socaire

    PB. Mind the language.

  • ulsterobserver

    Socaire are you saying PIRA had nothing to do with the Kingsmill Murders?

  • Limerick

    “Socaire there was no involvement with PIRA so therefore not provo sectarianism. Do simple concepts escape you?”

    april showers,

    That was not the finding of the HET report. They found that it was the Provos who carried out the massacre and that the weapons used had been used in over a hundred other PIRA murders. One of them was in the possession of that hunger striker from south Armagh when he was brought to justice.

    The Sinners are denying it of course, but then their denials aren’t worth a bucket of spit.

  • socaire

    No, that was april showers. I just said that they weren’t Republicans.

  • ulsterobserver

    Guys maybe a quick read of link below ref Kingsmill might help some have a better understanding of what they seem to be making comment on !

    http://www.newsletter.co.uk:80/news/local/kingsmills_six_named_in_het_report_1_2782872

  • Nunoftheabove

    Socaire

    I’m sorry, I genuinely can’t think of a simpler way to explain this to you. If the killing by a member of one sect of a member of another sect is motivated purely by the other’s sect membership/affiliation/identification then it’s sectarian. If the killing has nothing whatsoever to do with either’s membership of a particular sect (e.g. you’re of a different sect to me and I put a toffee hammer through your temple solely because I find out you’ve been making the beast with my missus (in which case more fool you, incidentally), without a single moment’s consideration (even knowledge) on my part as to your sect of choice (either before or during said slaying) then it ain’t.

  • socaire

    As the Yanks said when they nuked Japan -It saved countless American lives.

  • socaire

    Nun. I’m sorry for winding you up but at least I was ‘awarded’ a yellow card for it. And by the way your missus is not that bad.

  • april showers

    Limmerick SF reject the claim it was the PIRA not the claim it was sectarian, why can you not understand the difference?

    One of them was in the possession of that hunger striker from south Armagh when he was brought to justice. Right justice was often what republicans were brought to.

  • Limerick

    “As the Yanks said when they nuked Japan -It saved countless American lives.”

    Socaire,

    So what lives were saved by the Kingsmills massacre?

  • Limerick

    “Limmerick SF reject the claim it was the PIRA not the claim it was sectarian, why can you not understand the difference?”

    april showers,

    I fully understand the difference and I am telling you that SF are lying, and that it is blatantly obvious that they are lying.

    “Right justice was often what republicans were brought to.”

    Not often enough.

  • socaire

    What about the 30+ schoolchildren at Belleek Primary? April showers, don’t rise to their bait.

  • Limerick

    Socaire,

    What lives were saved by the Kingsmills massacre?

  • april showers

    Sorry Limerick if you are going to take the security force denial of collusion at face value then you have to accept the Provo’s denial at face value. They were both chockfull of lying murderers

  • socaire

    I refer you to my 11.11 post. Even though every second unionist in the six cos held a security post they still had no confidence in the ability of their British security services to keep the Taigs in their place. The boys needed a little help because ‘their hands were tied behind their backs’. So the alphabet murderers ‘helped’ them with liberal overlapping and transfer of info to up the body count. Some people were pushed to show that this genocide would have consequences. Agree or not, I try to show another viewpoint. Súil eile.

  • Limerick

    “Sorry Limerick if you are going to take the security force denial of collusion at face value then you have to accept the Provo’s denial at face value. They were both chockfull of lying murderers”

    april showers,

    So you accept the ‘security force denial of collusion’ then?

  • Limerick

    Socaire,

    Can you tell me what lives were saved by the Kingsmills massacre or not?

  • An Ceide

    Does anybody think it would be better to move on and abandon all these HET investigations as all they seem to serve is stirring up hatred and division.

    When silly young men have access to guns, they can go and commit atrocities without the orders from their particular paramilitary organisation, when the blood is boiling and the wits are gone, cruelty is the dish of the day.

  • socaire

    Limerick, how can anyone answer that question? It seems that a massacre of primary school pupils was ‘postponed’ by UVF because of IRA retaliation. I know that sectarian killing halted after a similar event in the Moy.

  • Limerick

    “When silly young men have access to guns, they can go and commit atrocities without the orders from their particular paramilitary organisation, when the blood is boiling and the wits are gone, cruelty is the dish of the day.”

    An Ceide,

    That is possible of course, but it is not what happened at Kingsmills. That massacre was in the planning for months. One of the Provos little rules is that their terrorists are not allowed to go around using weapons from their ‘dumps’ for their own use. I don’t recall any mass executions of renegade Provos in south Armagh.

  • Limerick

    “Limerick, how can anyone answer that question? It seems that a massacre of primary school pupils was ‘postponed’ by UVF because of IRA retaliation. I know that sectarian killing halted after a similar event in the Moy.”

    Socaire,

    If you can’t answer the question then why are you making the claim? To be clear. You are suggesting that the sectarian murders of ten Protestants was justified because it saved others lives. Who were these other people? You don’t need to supply names or anything just what particular group they came from.

  • socaire

    Put it bluntly then. It made the unionist terror gangs think twice about targetting catholics. That was its’ intention and to be even blunter that was what the catholic/nationalist population wanted AT THAT TIME.

  • Limerick

    “Put it bluntly then. It made the unionist terror gangs think twice about targetting catholics. That was its’ intention and to be even blunter that was what the catholic/nationalist population wanted AT THAT TIME.”

    Socaire,

    Therefore you, the IRA and the nationalist/republican population (AT THAT TIME) can accurately be described as being totally and utterly sectarian. If we follow your logic of course.

  • socaire

    Along with the unionist/loyalist/british/protestant population. Were you living here at the time?

  • Limerick

    “Along with the unionist/loyalist/british/protestant population. Were you living here at the time?”

    Socaire,

    You would claim that they were supportive of sectarian murders? On what basis? You have openl;y admitted that you were and have insinuated that the republican/nationalist community were also. What qualifies you to speak on behalf of the unionist/protestant community?

    You blatantly sectarian eejit.

  • socaire

    Where have you been since 1969?

  • Toastedpuffin

    “It made the unionist terror gangs think twice about targetting catholics”

    I think you mean it made them think about targeting Catholics twice. As if mass murder ever leads to sober reflection.

  • antamadan

    Jeez. Could we not agree that the provos initially attempted to kill/murder British forces (supportive of the unfair status-quo or just upholding ‘the rule of law’ depending on your point of view) initially, and when enough uninvolved catholics were killed by loyalists, eventually sunk to the same level themselves in Kingsmills?

  • april showers

    antamadan
    No, the lone surviving victim of this atrocity claims it was lead by an englishman. More likely to be special branch then the provos

  • Mike the First

    socaire

    “It seems that a massacre of primary school pupils was ‘postponed’ by UVF because of IRA retaliation.”

    You have this story completey arse about face (to use an earthy expression).

    The story that emerged in 2007 was that the UVF planned a massacre of Catholic schoolchildren as a response to the Kingsmill massacre, NOT that they called off a planned massacre of schoolchildren because of the Kingsmill massacre.

    http://www.nuzhound.com/articles/irish_news/arts2007/jul9_UVF_planned_kill_30_children.php

  • Mike the First

    antaman

    “Jeez. Could we not agree that the provos initially attempted to kill/murder British forces (supportive of the unfair status-quo or just upholding ‘the rule of law’ depending on your point of view) initially, and when enough uninvolved catholics were killed by loyalists, eventually sunk to the same level themselves in Kingsmills?”

    Hardly. The Provos were carrying out sectarian atrocities for years before Kingsmill.

    How would you explain, for example, the Four Step Inn bombing in 1971?

  • slappymcgroundout

    Mike:

    A handful of incidents does not define the whole. I would not otherwise call 2 dead an atrocity (unless they were tortured, mutilated, something like that). Otherwise, any instance of multiple murder ought be called an atrocity, no matter who the perp is. If you feel comfortable doing so, fine, do so. But be consistent. The next time some common criminal kills 2 in the same event I expect you to be here reporting on the “atrocity”.

    By the way, did you know that one of the reasons why Gerry, Ivor Bell and some others deposed the then existing leadership was that they thought that the existing leadership had a tendency towards returning the UVF’s serve a little too often and so going off on the sideshow and not staying focused on the war against the mainland British? That always seems to get left out of the narrative when some speak of Gerry and his faction. Not saying that you need regard Gerry as “hero”, but you might at least recognize that he played a role in lessening the frequency of the random Protestant being shot following the UVF’s, UFF’s killing of the random Catholic. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the reason for lessening the frequency of the returned serve was based on moral considerations but simply and only that the returned serve was viewed as a distraction from the primary purpose of the armed campaign.

    Lastly, when you relate the events and make charges, could you please provide the context. Thanks. For what I mean, either you or someone else mentioned the Red Lion bombing. Question for you, was there, or was there not, an RUC base or office immediately next door? So maybe the target was not the Red Lion but the Ormeau Rd. RUC base. Kinda changes the nature of the act.

    Almost forgot, but in apparent response to the Four Step Inn affair:

    09 October 1971 Winifred Maxwell (45) Protestant
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
    Killed in bomb attack on Fiddler’s House Bar, Durham Street, Belfast.

    And maybe you should be troubled by the following, as it explains why the Irish Catholic population had some not so pleasant emotions in relation to the the British Army:

    07 August 1971 Harry Thornton (30) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: British Army (BA)
    Shot while driving past Springfield Road Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) / British Army (BA) base, Belfast.

    09 August 1971 Leo McGuigan (16) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: British Army (BA)
    Shot while walking along Estoril Park, Ardoyne, Belfast.

    10 August 1971 Edward Doherty (28) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: British Army (BA)
    Shot while walking along Whiterock Road, Ballymurphy, Belfast.

    11 August 1971 John Laverty (20) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: British Army (BA)
    Shot while walking along path by St Aidan’s Primary School, Ballymurphy, Belfast.

    27 August 1971 Joseph Corr (43) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: British Army (BA)
    Died 16 days after being shot at the junction of Springfield Road and Divismore Crescent, Ballymurphy, Belfast.

    06 September 1971Annette McGavigan (14) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: British Army (BA)
    Shot during street disturbances, while standing at the corner of Blucher Street and Westland Street, Derry.

    15 September 1971 William McGreanery (43) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: British Army (BA)
    Died shortly after being shot by sniper from Bligh’s Lane British Army (BA) base, while walking at the junction of Laburnum Terrace and Westland Street, Derry.

    7 October 1971 David Thompson (38) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: British Army (BA)
    Shot as he stood at the corner of Seaforde Street and Sheriff Street, Short Strand, Belfast.

    29 October 1971 Michael McLarnon (22) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: British Army (BA)
    Died shortly after being shot, while standing at the front door of his home, Etna Drive, Ardoyne, Belfast.

    31 October 1971 John Copeland (23) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: British Army (BA)
    Died two days after being shot near his home, Strathroy Park, Ardoyne, Belfast.

    06 November 1971 Kathleen Thompson (47) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: British Army (BA)
    Shot in the back garden of her home, Kildrum Gardens, Creggan, Derry.

    4 December 1971 Martin McShane (16) Catholic
    Status: Civilian (Civ), Killed by: British Army (BA)
    Shot outside youth centre, Macrory Park, Coalisland, County Tyrone.

  • Limerick

    “antamadan
    No, the lone surviving victim of this atrocity claims it was lead by an englishman. More likely to be special branch then the provos”

    april showers,

    The HET report states that it was the Provos who carried out the Kingsmills massacre. The fact that the weapons used were also used in over a hundred other PIRA murders both before and after Kingsmills fully backs that claim up. The only people who are still going through the farce of denying the obvious are the Sinners.

  • andnowwhat

    Lord above Slappy.

    These people are so forgotten. I remember when the HET report came out last year about Robert Mc Greanery and the lack of media coverage was astonishing.

  • Limerick

    “I’m not saying that the reason for lessening the frequency of the returned serve was based on moral considerations but simply and only that the returned serve was viewed as a distraction from the primary purpose of the armed campaign.”

    Slappymcgroundnut,

    I don’t think you will find too many people who are grateful to Adams from switching PIRA’s targetting away from Protestant civilians and onto Protestant UDR soldiers, police officers, prison officers and people with any tenuous link to the security forces. The victims were still the husbands and wives, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters of the people in the Protestant community.

    I’m intrigued by your ‘primary aim of the armed campaign’. What was it? The Provos seem to be moving the goal posts on that one.

  • Mike the First

    slappymcgroundout

    I deliberately did NOT mention the Red Lion bombing, precisely because it could be portrayed as (and may well have been) an attempt to murder police officers in the station rather than simply Protestants in the bar – and the reason I did not mention it was so that you or someone else could not muddy the waters of the sectarian murders carried out by the PIRA and babble on about “providing the context”. You are therefore knocking down a straw man.

    The “context” of the Four Step Inn bombing was a sectarian attack by the Provisional IRA aimed at murdering innocent Protestants – that’s it. And of course it was an atrocity – an atrocious act.

    And again, I KNOW that the UVF’s response was to murder or try to murder innocent Catholics. Excuse me for sounding irritable here, but…that’s my whole fecking point – that the IRA and UVF were trading sectarian atrocities. Four Step Inn, McGurk’s Bar, Balmoral furniture showroom.

    Tit-for-tat sectarian mass murder, whereas you wanted to pretend that the poor noble Provos were somehow forced with the Kingsmill massacre in 1976 to finally whack a few Prods because of all the loyalist murders. In fact the Four Step Inn bombing took place while there was no UDA, and the UVF were pretty much dormant.

    As for your attempts to claims over Gerry Adams and his faction – did that faction include Brendan “Bik” McFarlane, the Bayardo Bar bomber? Murderer of five innocent Protestants and great friend of Adams, not to mention IRA leader in the Maze during the hunger strike and “respected republican” to this day.

  • Mike the First

    Typo the in penultimate paragraph, add “victim” after “UDA”.

  • april showers

    Limerick

    april showers,

    The HET report states that it was the Provos who carried out the Kingsmills massacre

    Which is the cut and dried reason that SF reject the HET findings

    Why do you find it so hard to understand

  • Limerick

    “Which is the cut and dried reason that SF reject the HET findings

    Why do you find it so hard to understand”

    april showers,

    I understand it perfectly. The Sinners are incapable of accepting the truth when it shows them up as the sectarian organisation that they are.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Mike/Limerick:

    317 versus 618. For the umpteenth time, it was NOT, repeat NOT “tit for tat”. Otherwise the world has a hard time explaining how the PIRA managed to have the highest kill total but yet were so feeble that they managed but 317 versus 618 when it came to “tit for tat”. Which isn’t to say that no act that is described as “sectarian” occurred. I have never said that there was never such an act. Only that such were substantially less (317 versus 618) than those committed by some others. Also, Rory’s citation of the McKittrick material makes a related point, which I myself have made. Some exhibited a hate that some others did not reciprocate. That not only accounts for 317 versus 618, in part, it also means that we cannot assume that Kingsmill was “hate” rather than “cold calculation”. I understand that such a distinction does not necessarily mean much to those killed and their surviving family and friends, but if one is seeking to honestly evaluate the conduct of humans then one ought to consider the same. And that applies to the other folks as well. Read Tim Pat, as he describes Andy Tyrie one time taking the list of names of known PIRA men and slamming the list down on the table along with a gun and telling the assembled souls, here’s the men that you want and if you need more guns they’re available, but there’s no point in shooting Catholics just because they’re Catholic. So when I evaluate the conduct of Andy Tyrie, I include in the analysis and evaluation the fact that he at one time tried to stop the killing of the random Catholic. Lastly, in this particular respect, I am also not saying no PIRA never was motivated by hate, only that it was characteristic of the PIRA.

    Oh, and Limerick, to include you here, since this is the appropriate spot, I didn’t ask you to feel “glad” but instead asked you to “recognize”. And I get the point about the folks in the RUC, UDR, etc., coming from the same community. But some assumed more risk (think doctrine of assumption of risk in tort law) than some others did. Some might also have been passive supporters of a bigoted Orange state while some others were active supporters of that same bigoted state. So there’s another distinction for you. And please be aware of the implications of your actions. Who brought down Sunningdale and O’Neill? And what message did that send, when the majority of your tribe brought the man who was actually trying to reform things so that the other tribe no longer felt quite the same weight of the state crushing them. So maybe one could say, I’m not, but entirely possible that one could argue that some weren’t as passive as they otherwise might have been.

    Lastly in your respect, you just don’t get it do you. The primary purpose was to inflict human and material damage such that the elected in Westminster would vote to quit Northern Ireland. One of these days you will finally accept the idea that in that calculus, you don’t mean the same as those on the other side of the Irish Sea. Why the BA was stood down into a secondary role and the RUC and UDR placed up front, as those in England won’t really notice your dead being buried but they will see the flag draped BA coffins being unloaded in England. And that’s why that change was made and the conflict was “Ulsterized”. You there ought to be even more upset than Tommy McKearney that such happened, and for the life of me, I cannot understand why you and yours are not. We Vietnamized the Viet Nam War, but they were Viets and it was their country and not ours. You, on the other hand, claim to be just as British as they are and part of the same country. There’s a lesson there and it might help if you learned it. But yet you were “-ized” as well. And while you have not consciously learned it, in response to Turgon’s Protestant Alienation piece I would submit that part of that alienation is that your subconscious mind is entirely aware of the fact that in the grand scheme of things you don’t count as the equal of the Londoner and the British policy Ulsterization proved the point. You can add in “terrorists in government” if you like and ask yourself, is that okay, or made okay, because the folk across the Irish Sea can see that there’s rather more votes in Westminster from England and a pittance for you, and you and not they will be the ones having to live under the rule of “terrorists in government”. If I were you, I’d start talking to Shin Fein and try to work out a vision of a mutually acceptable new reality, which doesn’t necessarily mean a break with those across the Irish right yet, since you need the subvention as of now, but simply and only that it is likely that the folks in Sinn Fein care more about you than the English folks in Westminster do. And if you doubt that proposition, simply consider the fact that we reduced Japan to near rubble, firebombed Tokyo, which firebombing was much worse than Dresden, etc., and Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but yet we built their country up after the war and so they have an economy in the Top 5 in the world. It was in our interests to do so and it is Sinn Fein’s interest to have you at your best as well (if they want the place firing on cylinders that includes you as well).

    And before I almost forget again, since I almost did, keep in mind your physical geography (put that way for emphasis). And know to a certainty that if Belfast was where Glasgow is, or NI as a whole where Wales is, that there would have been rather more action in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, etc. Since unless locally recruited over there, they need get men and material there. It wasn’t otherwise like they didn’t try and if you’d check the math, while they didn’t get a higher absolute number they took a higher proportion of the bombs without warning (as compared to bombs with warning), and the single greatest bomb damage in the conflict was when the PIRA blew the heart out of London’s financial district (Bishopsgate). And they apparently even tried to kill John Major with their one mortar attack. And that’s how you know who the real target was, since every time some on the other side of the Irish Sea were losing interest or appeared to be intransigent a bomb or mortar attack came their way.

    Now, back to Mike, I never said the PIRA was “forced” to do Kingsmill. I rather suggested that they saw themselves as partially responsible for Reaveys and O’Dowds as the UVF claimed to be killing random Catholic for purpose of putting pressure on the PIRA. I then posited that owing to the perception of some responsibility they made the cold calculated decision to kill random folks to communicate to the UVF the message, we too can play your game and can you see where it ends up if we do? The implied message was, come attack us instead (since they likely didn’t exactly envision the UVF laying down its arms). Which is why I related, on that one Short Strand thread, when the soul said that the PIRA were in Short Strand, fine, attack the PIRA and not old age pensioners. So I have never said that those being made war on by the PIRA were not at liberty to target the PIRA. And as I said a while back re Loughall, to the extent that some in the PIRA were killed when battle on, then they are KIA, end of story in their regard, and to the extent that some were killed when the SAS felt safe to remove themselves from cover and walk over and stand over and then shoot some lying defenseless there on the ground, then that was, to borrow your word, “atrocity”. And before you or anyone else claims that the PIRA never took prisoners, absolutely, since they had nowhere to keep them. Perhaps if your government had been generous enough to designate an area wherein the PIRA could keep their prisoners and which would not be subject to rescue effort, then perhaps the PIRA would have taken themselves some POWs instead of killing them. In other words, some had the capacity to take prisoners while some others did not so their situation was not similar or equal and that need be factored into the analysis.

    Lastly, some need to understand that some of us don’t have a horse in your race. And forgive and/or indulge me for hearing some of your side’s complaints as the complaints of some here over what they call “radical reconstruction”. Only “radical” if you take your history from The Birth Of A Nation. You too can pay your pounds or euro and purchase the review here, starting on the bottom of the page:

    http://www.jstor.org/pss/2701227

    I always remind the loons here that the “radical” consisted of the establishment of universal child education (which had not been the prior practice). That’s how “radical” it was. Well, that and the fact that reconstruction came with the notion that black folk do have rights that white folk are bound to respect. But other than that it wasn’t quite “radical”.

  • Limerick

    Slappymcgroundnut,

    Since you insist on carrying on with the ridiculous notion that PIRA was not sectarian let me quote you a piece from the ‘Pensive Quill’ written by a former Provo about the former leading Provo Brendan Hughes.

    “In Crumlin Road Prison Brendan was one of those leaders targeted in a British military organised poison plot aimed at creating paranoia and a debilitating mistrust. Along with Gerry Adams and Ivor Bell he helped rescue the IRA from the jaws of defeat and put in place a long war strategy. During the early days of that initiative the IRA almost lost him to the ranks of the INLA, so disillusioned had he become with the truce leadership and its sectarian strategy of targeting the Protestant community. After ten Protestant workmen were lined up and killed in South Armagh he wrote to the leadership appealing to it to abandon its strategy of sectarian killings. He went as far as to advocate shooting the Belfast leadership but was hauled back to his senses by Ivor Bell and Gerry Adams. ”

    As you can see he directly addresses the fact that PIRA had a deliberate policy of carrying out sectarian murders. Please stop making a fool of yourself by pretending otherwise.

    “Some might also have been passive supporters of a bigoted Orange state while some others were active supporters of that same bigoted state.”

    The so called ‘Orange State’ was a legal and totally legitimate entity created by the democratic vote. To suggest that because people supported their own government it was acceptable to murder them is utterly preposterous and sickening.

    However since that appears to be the way your mind works I have to ask you if being a supporter of an illegal terrorist organisation, or a voter for its political party, is a sufficient reason for that person to be murdered?

    “The primary purpose was to inflict human and material damage such that the elected in Westminster would vote to quit Northern Ireland.”

    Then they utterly and completely failed in everything that they set out to do.

    On Ulsterisation. Every republican campaign set up to attack Northern Ireland has been defeated by the people of Northern Ireland and specifically by their own security forces. Prior to 69 it was the RUC with the support of the USC which bore the brunt of this.

    At the behest of the nationalist community the USC were stood down in 1970 and replaced by the UDR. As the PIRA campaign ramped up the UDR and RUC were rapidly expanded, but because of the vacuum created by the disbandment of the USC it was necessary to import thousands of British soldiers to hold the line.

    As the local forces became more proficient, and the Provos were being ground down, the local forces were in a position to retake control of the Province in the late seventies. Something they were more than happy to do as their local knowledge and common sense greatly increased the ability of the security forces to finish off the Provos.

    Ulsterisation was a resounding success.

    “And before you or anyone else claims that the PIRA never took prisoners, absolutely, since they had nowhere to keep them.”

    When an army has no means of holding prisoners then it is obliged to disarm and release them. They are not permitted to murder them in cold blood. PIRA of course were not an army, but a criminal terrorist organisation which broke every rule of war. They even broke the rules of embarking on a war in the first place. Since you put great store on legality let me remind you what those rules are.

    Jus ad bellum

    Just cause
    The reason for going to war needs to be just and cannot therefore be solely for recapturing things taken or punishing people who have done wrong; innocent life must be in imminent danger and intervention must be to protect life. A contemporary view of just cause was expressed in 1993 when the US Catholic Conference said: “Force may be used only to correct a grave, public evil, i.e., aggression or massive violation of the basic human rights of whole populations.”

    Comparative justice
    While there may be rights and wrongs on all sides of a conflict, to overcome the presumption against the use of force, the injustice suffered by one party must significantly outweigh that suffered by the other.

    Legitimate authority
    Only duly constituted public authorities may wage war.

    Right intention
    Force may be used only in a truly just cause and solely for that purpose—correcting a suffered wrong is considered a right intention, while material gain or maintaining economies is not.

    Probability of success
    Arms may not be used in a futile cause or in a case where disproportionate measures are required to achieve success;

    Last resort
    Force may be used only after all peaceful and viable alternatives have been seriously tried and exhausted or are clearly not practical. It may be clear that the other side is using negotiations as a delaying tactic and will not make meaningful concessions.

    Proportionality
    The anticipated benefits of waging a war must be proportionate to its expected evils or harms. This principle is also known as the principle of macro-proportionality, so as to distinguish it from the jus in bello principle of proportionality.

    The Provos failed in every single one of those tests. Therefore any notion that they were justified in what they did, or in any way legitimate is complete and utter nonsense.