McGuinness on killing of innocents: “It’s quite legitimate for the term murder to be used…”

Hard ball interviews are vastly over rated in political journalism. A good example of the fruits of a ‘slow ball’ delivery is David McKittrick’s interview in today’s London Independent with Martin McGuinness. In particular this section:

The conflict in the city was bitter, he says, with a lot of people killed on all sides. “I lost a lot of friends at the hands of the British Army,” he says. “The person who actually introduced me to my wife, Colm Keenan, was murdered by the British Army. He was a member of the IRA but he was unarmed.”

The word “murdered” – would he apply it to anything the IRA did? This is a question that – when asked of IRA and Sinn Fein people – generally draws a flat rejection that any IRA action could be branded as murder. But from Mr McGuinness it produces a less combative response, and one that some in Ireland may see as a departure.

“The IRA were involved in quite a number of incidents which resulted in the accidental killing of innocent people and the term used by the relatives of those people who were killed was that they were murdered,” he says. “I wouldn’t disagree with that. I’m not going to disagree with their analysis of what happened to their loved ones.”

Is that the same as saying the IRA carried out murders? “It’s the same as saying that I accept that, in the circumstances where innocent people lost their lives, then it’s quite legitimate for the term murder to be used.”

That is, as McKittrick urbanely suggests quite a departure from past stances, and is bound to draw out further questions about who is or was innocent, and therefore murdered, and which of those killed were legitimate targets. It might explain Charlie Flanagan’s attempt to focus on the IRA’s killing of Gardai during and after the Troubles this morning on Morning Ireland.

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  • 241934 john brennan

    Joanne Mathers, a Derry census worker was shot in the back of the head by the IRA. AT the time of her murder, the IRA had designated census workers as ‘legitimate targets’. Martin McGuinness has yet to describe this murder as “murder” – nor that of another neighbour, Patsy Gillespie

  • between the bridges

    “It’s perfectly understandable. I’m not in the least surprised. In fact, I’m not in the least annoyed. I only really get annoyed when people tell blatant lies.”…indeed!!

  • SDLP supporter

    How can McGuinness have given “unambiguous support to the Armed Struggle”, as he was obligated to do by resolution of the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis, yet now say that he was “ashamed” of some of the IRA killings and acknowledges now that some of the killings were, in his mind, murder? Political schizophrenia doesn’t even come close to describe it.

  • cantwait4eire32

    I think you are missing MmG’s comments. He is not
    Admitting that the Ira murdered people, he is merely saying that he
    Is not going to disagree with the family of people who have
    Lost loved ones. It is called “taking the high road”. These people have already suffered once, he doesn’t need to stir the pot now. When are the people up there and in the Irish media going to move forward, and stop bringing up ancient history. MmG has obviously been following the law for 15yrs+ now and look what he has done for both sides of people in NI. Maybe we should elect a president on what they are actually going to do, and not on what they’ve done.
    P.s. The same goes for Norris, everybody writes letters of clemency, Clinton let murderers put of prison on his last month in office.

  • between the bridges

    martyr’s message is ‘i am just misunderstood by some, look i am just like you, i take the same ‘industrial wage’! i know some bad things happened but it wasn’t me it was the bad boys did it and ran away. anyway i couldn’t shoot straight and i went fishing for 8 years and then went on the road to damn-ski-mask-us. everyone but the west brits accept this, so why don’t you?’

  • Drumlins Rock

    “…on what they are actually going to do, and not on what they’ve done.”

    So no more inquiriies into Finucane, Ballymurphy, or even the Catholic Church? you now fully accept the British Army, Royal Family, Unionist community and British Government completely without any baggage carried over from the past? 1916, the famine, the hunger strike, the plantation, all forgotten?

  • sonofstrongbow

    Simply more of MMcG’s odious obfuscation.

    Take an example of his IRA pal’s “murder” by the Army. The criteria seems to be that he was murdered, although a ‘soldier’ fighting a ‘war’ because he was unarmed at the time.

    Setting aside for a moment the ‘it was a war’ nonsense, by McGuinness’ reasoning the many many police and soldiers shot and bombed at their homes, churches, visiting relatives in hospital etc, all unarmed, were also murdered (as indeed they were). Will McGuinness say so?

  • iluvni

    When was McGuinness last interviewed by the PSNI (or RUC) in relation to IRA activity?

  • Into the west

    With the help of Brendan Duddy , 20 yrs ago,
    MI6 Michael Oatley met Martin McGuiness,
    he described meeting MMG in the following way:

    “‘I thought him very serious and responsible and I didn’t see him as someone who actually enjoyed getting people killed,’
    Oatley told me. ‘I found him a good interlocutor – rather like talking to an army officer in one of the tougher regiments like the Paras or the SAS.’

    Again significantly, the subsequent secret contacts between M15 and the IRA’s Army Council that ultimately led to the IRA’s cease-fire were conducted through McGuinness.

    2:30min int clip here:
    secret peacemaker

  • Into the west

    preview ??

    secret peacemaker

  • Cynic2

    “the accidental killing of innocent people”

    La Mon?

    Enniskillen?

    I could list dozens, scores, hundreds. None of them were ‘accidentally’ killed. They were deliberately murdered in no warning bomb attacks, booby traps and shootings.

    Slowly though the admissions of responsibility are being dragged out of Marty. Bit by bit. Atrocity by atrocity. Body by body.

    Now he’s right to apologise. But unless he apologises comprehensively and tells the whole truth it will simply cause more and more damage

  • SDLP supporter

    ‘Into the West’, what on earth is your point? Oliver Cromwell said he didn’t like cutting off the head of Charles 1 (“cruel necessity”, he called it) and claimed he didn’t like killing thousands of innocent Irish people at Drogheda and elsewhere. But he did it all the same.

    It’s bad enough MMcG clutching for ‘character references’ from the likes of Ian Paisley. Now he’s looking for endorsement from MI6.

    When someone has endorsed and facilitated killing for decades, and then apparently changes his mind, I’m glad but he doesn’t deserve any bouquets for stopping doing something he shouldn’t have started in the first place.

    MMcG has a really high opinion of himself: Prince Charles is dying to meet him, but he won’t say who told him that; unionist politicians wish him well, but he can’t say who; he was in the IRA on Bloody Sunday, but his IRA oath precludes him from naming names, etc. etc. etc.

  • sonofstrongbow

    The questioning of McGuinness’ past by the, mainly, Southern media is starting to produce interesting results. Whereas McGuinness finds it impossible to leave behind his schooling in decades of the fantastical Irish Republican narrative the relentless bog-digging has come up with some bones.

    It is obvious why the hysterical Sinn Fein response to questions on the past happened. Party apparatchiks feared these ham fisted crude justifications delivered to the Southern electorate in pursuit of the Presidency would undermine Sinn Fein’s carefully crafted ‘truth’ of the past forty odd years.

    Hats off to the Southern journalists. With the results so far they could have had a job in Castlereagh back in the day. Hopefully their Northern colleagues are reflecting on their own questioning style for future reference.

  • SDLP supporter

    Where does MMcG’s statement today square with Gerry Adams’s assertion, regarding Slab Murphy, that “republicans can’t be criminals”? McGuinness’s statements are becoming more surreal by the day.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Murder is a criminal offence, with no statute of limitation obviously, therefore I am sure the Deputy First minister will call for anyone with information on these murders to immediately bring it to the PSNI.

  • Nunoftheabove

    So they’re only murder when they were (i) accidental; and (ii) deemed by the bereaved families as murder ? Soooo…the non-accidental killing of unarmed civilians is….not murder. Unless they’re innocent of course in which case….it probably was murder. If you insist on saying so. Neither is the accidental killing of unarmed civilians when the families haven’t described it as murder ? Or…..

    Well, that’s all nice and clear then. Shall we have him and the others all sign off on a matrix having placed each killing into the appropriate quadrant so we know what words ought to be used by whom depending on the circumstances or depending on what definitions we care to attach to terms such as ‘innocence’, ‘accidental’, ‘civilian’ etc ?

  • 241934 john brennan

    The murders of Jean McConville, Patsy Gillespie, Joanne Mathers, and Frank Hagerty et al were just that –calculated, premeditated, deliberate, cold-blooded, inhumane murders, on the worst scale of human depravity. All these were, and continue to be, justified by Sinn Fein leaders.

    If, as Provos claim, they were ‘fighting a war’, then its leadership should be indicted of war crimes, by the legitimate authorities acting on behalf of all people – not just the relatives of those who were deliberately, or accidently, killed, and who rightly use the word ’murder’ in relation to the deaths of their loved ones.

    For a start, all members of the IRA army council should a be charged with war crimes, including murder – And the Irish and British governments know exactly who was on the IRA army council at any given time.

  • westprog

    Apparently, the really, really painful thing for people who’ve lost relatives is being reminded about it by critics of Sinn Fein. That’s almost worse than the original bereavement. A sensitive, loving politician will allow the relatives to mistakenly characterise the accidental deaths of their innocent relatives as murder, because to dispute with them would be unkind. Their minds are confused by grief and they aren’t thinking quite right.

    The real villains of the piece are those who pretend to be concerned about these occasional mistakes but who really have a British Intelligence sponsored agenda to overthrow the peace process and bring the queen to Dublin. Which incidentally Martin would have no problem with if it happened again.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Coco knew these questions were coming and the answers are pre-digested and focus grouped. I can’t imagine why anyone would assume they bore any relation to what he really thinks

  • Munsterview

    sonofs…”….Setting aside for a moment the ‘it was a war’ nonsense, ……”

    I have posted this before from my files. It is from a ‘Hearts and minds’ security conference held in London in 2007. General Michael Jackstone was one of the speakers as was Colonel David Benset speaking specifically on Insurgency and Counter Insurgency in Northern Ireland in what they and the whole conference held was a War in Northern Ireland.

    I could include a plethora of other references form Small Wars Journal and other such publications about how the British Army and International Armed Forces regarded the Northern Conflict from an Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency viewpoint, but you have a polemic point to make and you will continue to make it unchanged no matter how often it is countered with Academic or other proofs.

    Keep it up however, you are winning and it is almost at the stage where I cannot be arsed with this anymore and you and others of like mind can continue inside your own wee Six County bubble or should I say the little North Eastern reactionary enclave of if that you are reduced to while the rest of us complete what we started.

    http://fass.kingston.ac.uk/activities/item.php?updatenum=533

  • Jimmy Sands

    Munsterview, unless you’e arguing that it was a situation to which the Geneva Conventions applied (and I assume even you aren’t arguing that) then it’s a purely rhetorical argument. Call it Betty for all I care. It won’t change anything.

  • “I can’t imagine why anyone would assume they bore any relation to what he really thinks”

    Jimmy, here’s another strange utterance in St Martin’s Letter to the Irish of the Rotunda – October 1:

    “As President I will attend any relevant event to celebrate the different cultural views and political identities that exist in Ireland. There is a need for political maturity and tolerance of the differing views on this island throughout this sensitive period.”

    The image of Robbo and Coco jigging down the Garvaghy Road at the head of an OO Parade does require a certain suspension of belief. Unless Coco has really flipped … or been flippered.

  • Munsterview

    Jimmy S: without going into my records there were over twenty countries such as Cyprus, Aden, Kenya, Uganda etc that The British were booted out of.

    Three questions for you and your and like ilk,

    1) Do you regard any Freedom struggles against the British Colonial regime as legitimate and a moral use of Armed force and,

    2) if some were legitimate, which ones were justified and,

    3) name one Anti-Colonial freedom Struggle that the British Prime Minister and Government of the day did not label as Communist, terrorist or whatever while they happened, or where afterwards they said “you Freedom Fighters were right and we were wrong ” ?

  • [contd] It seems St Martin is intent on extending the 7-year term to a 10-year one:

    It would be my intention as President to use the next ten years from 2012 ..

  • Jimmy Sands

    He would of course need permission to travel abroad.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Munsterview,

    I’m not sure that I have an “ilk”, still less would I presume to speak for it. You seem to have mistaken my meaning. My point was a narrow one, that unless you believe (and I assume you don’t) that the war/troubles/unpleasantness or whatever you want to call it were governed by the laws of war, then calling it a “war” is simply a rhetorical device. This is entirely different from the morality of the application of force in the struggle against colonialism. The normal Just War principles, essentially identical in both international law and the catechism, would apply. It can only ever be a last resort. In most if not all cases I would question the use of force to hasten what appears to me to have been an historical inevitability, but I’m open to persuasion in any given case. The Boxer Rebellion always struck me as one which ticked all the boxes. No doubt you could suggest others. I doubt you could persuade me as to our own case. I’m not sure i understand your last question. It’s a little vague. Who is “we” and is this not simply, like your General Jackson example, an argument from authority? And the conflation of “communist” with “terrorist” is bizarre.

  • “need permission to travel abroad”

    But, Jimmy, St Martin – like Bertie Ahern and Mary McAleese – inhabits an Imagined Ireland, nay a Global Ireland where the very concept of ‘abroad’ no longer exists.

    Strange things sometimes happen in this Imagined Ireland eg Department of Justice officials use Department of Foreign Affairs email addresses whilst operating in the Black Arts North. Tell that to Munsterview and he might not believe it.

  • Munsterview

    JimmyS “… And the conflation of “communist” with “terrorist” is bizarre…..”

    Fully agreed on that one : I was merely quoting the misused nomenclature and terminology of the British Ruling Class and Establishment in referring to Freedom Struggles where their Armed Forces Interests were involved

  • Jimmy Sands

    For what it’s worth I’ve never believed there was ever anything remotely progressive about the Irish physical force nationalist tradition.

  • ” the whole conference held was a War in Northern Ireland.”

    More ‘misused nomenclature’, Munsterview? You can probably see why I label McGuinness a parapolitician ie someone who takes his political direction from the PRM’s Army Council, the ‘legitimate government’ of the island of Ireland.

  • Mark

    Jimmy , do you think there is anything remotely progressive about modern day Unionism ?.

    If the comments emanating from the PUL community in relation to McGuinnesss is anything to go by , you haven’t move on at all .

    Would that be a fair reflection ?

  • Mark

    Nevin ,

    You’ve changed you have changed your tune about the DFM . I seem to remember ( I’m hoping you have the link lol ) the President in waiting appearing in various goodwill stories on your blog ? .

    Of course that was before ….

  • Jimmy Sands

    Mark,

    Not really.

    And who’s “you”?

  • Mark

    Jimmy ,

    I presumed you were part of the Protestant Unionist Loyalist community . But as i write this , I’m getting a funny feeling that you’re not …

  • “You’ve changed you have changed your tune about the DFM”

    Mark, I’ve composed a number of tunes about the dFM both here on Slugger and on NALIL. Perhaps you’re thinking of the one about Marty and the Minders when he was on a ‘charm’ offensive in the Kingdom of Moyle 🙂

  • Jimmy Sands

    Mark,

    I don’t think I qualify on any count.

  • Mark

    Nevin ,

    He was on a boat ….that’s all I remember ……

    Jimmy ,

    You may as well be .

  • Munsterview

    Nevin : “… the whole conference held was a War in Northern Ireland.”

    Should have read “….the conference as a whole held references to the War in Northern Ireland..” ( dylexia strikes again !)

    However anyone looking up the heads of the papers and seeing that something like seven out of the eight papers delivered had a significant Northern Ireland quotent or as in the case of Colonel David Benset, based entirely on his Northern Ireland experience, could i would imagine realize the point I was making.

    Now garsun you would not be about to join the nitpicker club on Munsterview would you ? Sorry there is a long waiting list, it is over suscribed already.

  • “Colonel David Benset speaking specifically on Insurgency and Counter Insurgency in Northern Ireland in what they and the whole conference held was a War in Northern Ireland.”

    Munsterview, you seem to be confusing insurgency with war. As you say, Benest was speaking about insurgency. Unsurprisingly, the PRM AC, in its alternative universe as the legitimate government of Ireland, was directing an act of war. It’s organised crime activities give it a Mafia flavour.

  • Munsterview

    Nevin : Jimmy Sands passed on this earlier to-night. Would you like to take it up?

    Jimmy S: without going into my records there were over twenty countries such as Cyprus, Aden, Kenya, Uganda etc that The British were booted out of.

    Three questions for you and your like ilk,

    1) Do you regard any Freedom struggles against the British Colonial regime as legitimate and a moral use of Armed force and,

    2) if some were legitimate, which ones were justified and,

    3) name one Anti-Colonial freedom Struggle that the British Prime Minister and Government of the day did not label as Communist, terrorist or whatever while they happened, or where afterwards they said “you Freedom Fighters were right and we were wrong ” ?

  • Jimmy Sands

    “Jimmy Sands passed on this earlier to-night.”

    If you’re going to try and get away with that you should probably at least have the good sense to try it on a different thread.

  • ” Would you like to take it up?”

    No, Munsterview, I prefer to keep to focus on ground that I’m more familiar with. I’m not sure where the ilk comes in 🙂

  • Jimmy Sands

    As a well known peacemaker once said, I only really get annoyed when people tell blatant lies.

  • Mick Fealty

    Mark, presumption of others identity is dangerously man over ball. Not to mention, incredibly stupid.

    You’ve just invalidated your whole argument because you presumed Jimmy’s identity wrongly. And it’s indicative of having no argument to speak of in the first place.

    Now drop the PUL animus, and please find the ball, and play it. Otherwise it’ll be the sinbin for you me boy!

    MV, I hope you and ‘your like ilk’ are listening too!

  • Mike the First

    Munsterview obviously prefers to spout about the “British establishment” rather than deal with the experiences and views of real life Northern Irish people.

    As for “Freedom struggles against the British Colonial regime” – hilarious. The Provos were trying to overthrow the democratic will of the majority of the people of Northern Ireland. So not so much a “freedom struggle” as a struggle against freedom, democracy and self-determination.

  • Mike the First

    As for McGuinness’s words – a new departure in his acceptance of the term murder, but the same weaselly double standards showing through.

    Killing innocents was murder, he is prepared to accept, but as sonofstrongbow points out, he calls the death of his IRA friend “murder” because he was unarmed. Spot the difference.

    And as Cynic2 notes, McGuinness tries to perpetuate the lie that the IRA didn’t deliberately murder innocent people. He says “accidentally killed” – does he have anything to say about those many innocents deliberately killed?

  • Munsterview

    Nevin : “….Munsterview, you seem to be confusing insurgency with war….”

    Typical Brit hair splitting…….. the whole world accepts what happened in Ireland was a war situation. Indeed General Mike Jackstone echo my arguments when he said that the roots of British Counter Insurgency are to be found in British Army activity in Ireland going back over centuries.

    But then of course Britain never suppressed or attempted to surpress a war of National Liberation anywhere in the World, they, by their own criteria had a legitimate right to be in whatever country they occupied, those who wanted them out were rebelling and so we get the Insurgency and counter insurgency nomenclature.

    May I refer you to our own War Of Independence of 1916 to 22, That for the British at the time was presented to the world as a ‘policing action’ where they had a regional problem with ‘murder gangs’ etc. That official record was never changed. There was never a British PM ‘dispatch moment’ such as for Bloody Sunday where a the British admitted that they were fighting a war and they were wrong in what they did.

    In my trade union days in the late sixties/early seventies I was shocked when I met British Socialists and discussed International politics with them. They could be objective about the French in Indo/China, About the Belgians in the Congo or about the Yanks in Vietnam but when it came to British Colonial activities it seems they were completely brainwashed and the ‘ifs’ ‘buts’ and ‘ands’ qualifications started. They were informed by the Sun and the ‘News of the Screws’ rather than by Karl Marks the communist manefesto.

    I need not go on Nevin old son, I could give a few rather recent examples of this blind spot in certain posters tendencies but that would be personalising it if I did and there is a certain gentleman with a hand of cards and very itchy fingers standing on his roof looking Southwards for any infringements, real or imagined, so I will have to leave the readers draw their own conclusions as to who should be included in ‘that ilk’ !

  • Harry Flashman

    Munsterview, Northern Ireland was not a colonial insurgency no matter how much Republicans wanted it to be, no more than the Basque situation is a colonial insurgency.

    I can fully understand how IRA men shooting or bombing British soldiers in Irish streets and fields might have seen themselves as soldiers fighting a war, and I have some sympathy for that position but that does not change the fact that;

    a) Northern Ireland was not a colony. It did actually constitute and is recognised by all international laws and institutions from the UN to the EU and the European courts and any other thing you choose to mention as an internal part of the United Kingdom.

    b) At no time did a majority, or even a majority of a minority, support the “war” against the British, in fact a substantial majority of the population of the territory in question was overwhelmingly in support of British rule and prepared indeed to fight in very large numbers against the “insurgents”.

    c) The nation adjoining the disputed territory and with whom the “insurgents” wished to unite also did not recognise the insurgents as legitimate military forces and indeed deemed them to be a threat to their own national sovereignty and shot them and locked them in prison whenever possible.

    So on those pretty massive grounds one has to accept that, despite superficial appearances, there was no war of liberation similar to anti-colonial struggles elsewhere in the world.

    There simply wasn’t.

  • “the whole world accepts”

    Obviously not, Munsterview, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this exchange. This imagined war waged by the IRA is a bit like the imagined Ireland articulated by the likes of Bertie Ahern, Mary McAleese and now Martin McGuinness; they’re both ego trips.

    Those who’ve been following my mitherings know that I’ve looked into various dark corners over the years; I’ve brought to light some of the lies, evasions and hypocrisy of folks in power in London, Dublin and Belfast.

  • Barnshee

    “the accidental killing of innocent people ”

    How does he view the DELIBERATE killing of innocent people ? (Tebane, Enniskillen etc)

    Munsterview

    1) Do you regard any Freedom struggles against forcedvincorporation into an Irish state as legitimate and a moral use of Armed force and,

    2) if some were illegitimate, which ones were they and,

    3) name one action by the republic of Ireland which suggested the ” Freedom Fighters” were wrong (until they were roundly booted up the arse in Dublin and Monaghan) ?

  • Mick Fealty

    GO and read the rules.

  • Donal Davoren

    The murder of Joanne Mathers was shocking at anytime but the thing about it is, who carried out or even ordered such a horrific killing just two days before the election of Bobby Sands???

    You would almost think that somebody from that part of the world didn’t want Bobby elected.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Harry Flashman,

    There was, of course, a Catholic nationalist majority in counties Fermanagh and Tyrone since 1921. Those people were never allowed to vote about being included in the hostile six county state. Hence IRA volunteers from those specific counties could have said they were fighting a colonial war against a foreign government they didn’t want or ask for in Irish counties where the majority of people wanted Dublin rule.

    The problem with the IRA position overall was they wanted all six counties pulled into a united Ireland and that was unfeasable with a Unionist majority across the whole six counties. If they had only wanted to take each of the counties with a nationalist majority into a united Ireland and were denied that democratic right by the British authorities then they could have justified their armed actions.

  • Alias

    “If they had only wanted to take each of the counties with a nationalist majority into a united Ireland and were denied that democratic right by the British authorities then they could have justified their armed actions.”

    That isn’t true. There is only one right to self-determination per nation. And as it is a collective right, the minority have no right usurp the right of the majority in the exercise of that right.

  • Republic of Connaught

    “That isn’t true. There is only one right to self-determination per nation. And as it is a collective right, the minority have no right usurp the right of the majority in the exercise of that right.”

    What minority and majority are you talking about? A minority within the minority community or the minority community of the two?

    Northern Ireland was created by virtue of a minority nation on the island usurping the right of the vast majority nation of the entire island for a 32 county Republic.

    If the Provisional IRA – with the agreement of all northern nationalism – had said re-partition for the nationalist majority counties was what they democratically wanted and were being denied by London then the Irish overnment/nation and everyone else would have had to change their entire perspective on the conflict. That they
    wanted all six counties despite the presence a nearly a million Unionists made their argument infinitely weaker.

  • manichaeism

    “That isn’t true. There is only one right to self-determination per nation. And as it is a collective right, the minority have no right usurp the right of the majority in the exercise of that right”

    I can’t believe that Alias (presumably a Northern Ireland Unionist) just made that argument. Given the history of how Northern Ireland was set up it is sidesplitting!

  • Munsterview

    manic..”…I can’t believe that Alias (presumably a Northern Ireland Unionist) just made that argument. Given the history of how Northern Ireland was set up it is sidesplitting!…”

    Nope, taking the man at his word from previous posts, he is an Irish Pasport Holder, a Citizen of the Southern State and as such has the very same rights as I through ‘Munsterview’ or ‘Greenflag’ do regarding commenting on the affairs if this State.

    However here is where it gets a wee bit complicated for Alias : he also carries an Isralie pasport and as such, as a good polemic, he always have to cover his bases lest some curious individual might point out contridictions between what he is adcovating for ‘Irish National Rights’ V Britian and the Rights of the Palastian Peoples V Opressive Isralie State Policies.

    Cut the man some slack here, he is trying to fight with one hand tied behind his back.

  • Alias

    “What minority and majority are you talking about? A minority within the minority community or the minority community of the two?”

    The minority nation within NI that declared itself to be part of the Irish nation and therefore must be bound by the will of that collective. That collective duly expressed its will in regard to how unity should be achieved but a minority of that minority duly committed treason against it.

    “Northern Ireland was created by virtue of a minority nation on the island usurping the right of the vast majority nation of the entire island for a 32 county Republic.”

    That minority wasn’t part of the Irish nation in regard to that nations desire to be a sovereign nation, declaring itself to be part of the British nation and declaring that it wanted to continue to reside within a sovereign British state. If it was part of the Irish nation then I’d agree that it must be bound by its collective will.

    “If the Provisional IRA – with the agreement of all northern nationalism – had said re-partition for the nationalist majority counties was what they democratically wanted and were being denied by London then the Irish overnment/nation and everyone else would have had to change their entire perspective on the conflict.”

    The Provisional IRA represent nobody other than their own members. Last time I checked they weren’t appointed as representatives of the Irish government or in any way designated as spokespeople for the nation.

    But let’s say that “all northern nationalism” voted for the re-partition proposal: so what? Unless a majority of the nation voted for it then it would have no democratic legitimacy as a proposal. Indeed, even if every single person in NI voted for unity under the GFA, the Irish nation still has a veto over it.

    A collective right means what it says on the tin. “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

    You will note it uses the plural “peoples” and does not mention individuals? The majority decide, not a minority. It is not an individual right or a right belonging to self-appointed groups of individuals such as the PIRA murder gang who illegitimately claim exclusive ownership of it.

    The sovereign state is simply the territorial political entity wherein the nation exercises that right via its elected government. Were it not so, different parts of the nation could declare policies that conflict with each other, e.g. folks in Munster led by *you know who* could award half of GDP to Cuba while folks in Leinster declare war on it. So there is only one right to self-determination per nation.

    “That they wanted all six counties despite the presence a nearly a million Unionists made their argument infinitely weaker.”

    Sure, but how many balls can a one-armed juggler juggle even if he did have all five fingers?

  • Republic of Connaught

    Alias,

    But the Irish nation as a whole would have agreed to Fermanagh and Tyrone, Derry City. South Armagh, South Down, joining the Republic if they had nationalist majorities in those areas and the remaining nationalists within the six counties agreed with their decision. The Irish nation rejected forcing a million Unionists into a united Ireland by force. We never rejected the concept of re-partition for majority nationalist areas.

    The fact the IRA never chose re-partition meant they could never gain the support of the entire ‘nation.’