Adams on Cahill & how the IRA dealt with these issues in the past

Over on his blog Leargas, Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams TD has written the following post on the recent Spotlight programme on Mairia Cahill;

The recent allegations made by Maíria Cahill are of serious concern to myself and Sinn Féin. While I refute completely Maíria’s allegations against myself and Sinn Féin it does raise the significant issue of how allegations of abuse had been handled in the past by republicans.

Abuse respects no political boundaries. It affects all classes, creeds and social groups. Women and children in the main suffers as a result. It is now accepted that one in four citizens have experienced abuse.

Our society has been extremely bad, until relatively recently, in facing up to this matter and developing the necessary responses and supports. This has been the case in both states but in the North these failures were further exacerbated by conflict.

In conflicts civilians suffer the most, particularly women and children. This is especially the case when communities are under military occupation. During the conflict in the north many nationalist and particularly republican communities suffered grievously under British military rule. In the main since partition, these communities had never accepted unionist one party rule. They were resentful of, and oppressed in, the Orange state which rejected all attempts at reform over the decades.

After the pogroms of 1969, Internment in 1971 and Bloody Sunday in 1972 the vast majority of nationalists withdrew any consent to be governed from the Northern state, it’s institutions and agencies.

The conflict itself caused widespread hurt and suffering, but so too did the absence of the structures and institutions which are the norm in peaceful, democratic societies. These citizens never had a policing service. Policing and the Legal process were subverted to the primary objective of defeating republicanism at all costs. The RUC was a quasi-military arm of the state which acted against nationalists and republicans as if we were the enemy.

In many cases the absence of a civic police service also disconnected alienated communities from the support of social services. These communities policed themselves. The vast majority of people were law abiding and decent. Strong and empowered and progressive communities emerged. New and innovative restorative justice systems were developed as part of this collective experience. But there was also, particularly in the first two decades of the conflict a more brutal form of rough justice.

Some journalists and political opponents of Sinn Féin continue to perpetuate a particular myth about life in nationalist areas of the North during the conflict. They portray republicans as having oppressed republican/nationalist communities through political control and vigilantism. This was never the case. The IRA could never have sustained itself without popular support and Sinn Féin would not have developed as we have unless we had the support of the people.

The reality of course is that a professional, accountable and impartial policing service was absent and unattainable in a society that was manifestly unjust. In many republican areas the community put pressure on the IRA – which sprang from and was sustained by the community – to fill this policing vacuum.

The IRA itself often viewed this role as a major distraction from its central function. It suspected that the RUC indulged criminals in order to tie down IRA resources and demoralise the nationalist community.

IRA ‘policing’ was most evident in those areas where it had strongest support. The bulk of this activity involved mediation between those in dispute, and went unreported.

However, the IRA often punished petty criminals, car thieves, burglars and drug dealers. The IRA, inevitably also made mistakes.

Despite the high standards and decency of the vast majority of IRA volunteers, IRA personnel were singularly ill-equipped to deal with these matters. This included very sensitive areas such as responding to demands to take action against rapists and child abusers. The IRA on occasion shot alleged sex offenders or expelled them.

While this may have been expedient at the time it was not appropriate. Victims were left without the necessary social service support and abusers without supervision. It ultimately failed victims and the community alike. That is a matter of profound regret for me, and many other republicans.

But these actions were of their time and reflected not only a community at war but also an attitude within Ireland which did not then understand or know as we now do, how deeply embedded abuse is in our society. For decades the institutions of both states including successive governments, the RUC, An Garda Siochana, the courts, social services, churches and others did not deal with these matters properly.

Many senior republicans, including me, had major issues with the IRA acting as a policing agency. Martin McGuinness and I are on the public record speaking out against punishment shootings since the 1980s.

This facet of IRA activity was gradually discontinued over a long period as republican activism evolved despite sizeable and understandable opposition in some communities, which were contending with a Loyalist murder campaign alongside British military aggression and ingrained disadvantage and discrimination. They had little patience for anti-social behaviour, drug pushers, death drivers or sexual abusers.

Despite the alienation from the RUC it was the accepted de facto practice that they dealt with traffic accidents, car insurance and such matters. Incidents of rape were also reported to them in some cases and no thinking person would have made a case against that. But many victims or families of victims were reluctant to bring cases of child abuse forward. This was part of the larger problem all society and particularly victims faced at that time. But where a case emerged there was the added problem for some about reporting this to the RUC. They wanted the community or the IRA to take actions.

As society became better informed as to the issue and handling of abuse, republicans began to develop victim centred approaches, ensuring that victims received the necessary supports, counselling and advice.

As Sinn Féin developed our constituency services we also developed our policies in relation to abuse.

I advocated that we direct victims to the Social Services if they did not want to go to the RUC, in the knowledge that the Social Services could go to the RUC. In other words Republicans including the IRA, could not deal with these issues. Sinn Féin would direct people to counselling services and advise victims of legacy issues but we also told everyone that we would report all cases in which children could be at risk to the Social Services or the HSE.

Following the IRA cessation in 1994 and the developing peace process legacy cases of abuse emerged. Many of these are in the public domain. Some involved republicans. My father was an abuser. Some also may have involved IRA volunteers. Those who wish to have these cases dealt with have that right.

The recent publicity surrounding the case of Maíria Cahill has brought this particular issue to the fore in public consciousness. Maíria alleges she was raped, and that the IRA conducted an investigation into this. The IRA has long since left the scene so there is no corporate way of verifying this but it must be pointed out that this allegation was subject to a police investigation, charges were brought against some republicans who strenuously denied Maíria’s allegations. They insist they tried to help her. They were all acquitted by the court.

Maíria has also accused Sinn Féin and me of engaging in a cover up. That is untrue. When I learned of the allegation that Maíria was the victim of rape I asked her grand-uncle Joe Cahill, a senior and widely respected republican, to advise her to go to the RUC. He did this but Maíria did not want to do so at that time.

When Maíria subsequently did go to the police, I co-operated with the police investigation.

Any of the other Sinn Féin representatives named by Maíria have assured me that they at all times sought to support and help her. They advised on counselling, on speaking to her own family or approaching social services or the police. The people she spoke to are decent, thoughtful citizens and compassionate people. There was absolutely no cover up by Sinn Féin at any level.

Sinn Féin has robust party guidelines and processes on the issues of child protection, allegations of sexual abuse and/or sexual harassment, which were adopted by An Ard Chomhairle in 2006 in line with changes to the law.

Sinn Féin adopted New Child Protection Guidelines in 2010, which were produced in consultation with the HSE and Social Services and the PSNI.

Maíria has said that there are other victims who are living in fear, and perpetrators at large who are a danger to children at this time, as a result of how republicans dealt with these issues in the past.

No one should be living in fear and no child should be at risk.

Anyone who has any information whatsoever about any child abuse should come forward to the authorities North or South and they will have the full support of Sinn Féin in so doing.

That includes Maíria Cahill, who says that there are perpetrators at large who are a danger to children at this time. Whatever information she has on this she should give to the appropriate authority.

Healing and rebuilding a society still emerging from conflict demands that many difficult issues will need to be faced up to and dealt with as a necessary part of putting the past behind us.

That will require a huge amount of courage, compassion and humility across our society.

How Republicans dealt with the issue of child abuse should be one of these issues, if that is what victims want. Sinn Féin will accept our responsibility in contributing to the resolution of these wrongs. We are committed to creating a society which is no longer bedevilled or haunted by the legacy of any harm or injustices. Sexual abuse is a challenge which still challenges all sections of modern Irish society.

Looking after all victims and their families is a significant and important part of building a peaceful and just society. And victims include a wider category than those killed or injured as a result of armed actions by any of the protagonists.

It includes those who were brutalised or had their lives limited or adversely affected by growing up in a society scarred by war and the absence of agreed, stable, democratic structures and institutions.

It also includes those badly served or mistreated by the forces of the State and those badly served or mistreated by non-State actors and armed groups, including the IRA.

David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

  • Thomas Girvan

    I see the papers are all over a report that Joe Cahill was a paedophile and an informer..
    “British spies recruited paedo IRA chief:Spooks used pictures of Joe Cahill to ‘turn him’ ”
    Daily Mirror.
    Would you believe it?
    Nothing would surprise me.

  • chrisjones2

    Gerry has the old green tinted glasses on again

    Perhaps 10 years ago – note the time as it was post process – I spoke to a businessman running a shop in a county town. We were discussing the still relaitevely new peace. He related how he was being plagued by the son of a local IRA commander. This lad was about 15 and out of control. He would walk in take what he wanted and walk out. if he was asked to pay he threatened staff. They were all afraid of him.

    The business man approached his local SF Councillor and asked could someone perhaps have a word with his father. The response was simple. “Are you mad? That’s now how the system works.”

    The Councillor did however try to be helpful. He promised not to tell the IRA Commander that he had complained about his son.

  • chrisjones2

    Or it could be a plant by the Brits to discredit Joe and by inference his garanddaughter as she now seems to be a threat to their pet project. Nothing must be allowed to tarnish the Shinners

  • Jag

    So the Brits could have prevented all those IRA bombings, shootings and suchlike. But didn’t. Bethehokey, as they say down my way.

  • chrisjones2

    “As Sinn Féin developed our constituency services we also developed our policies in relation to abuse.”

    What, as you applied them to Liam, Gerry”?

  • Robin Keogh

    I spoke to a guy 15 years ago who owned a fish shop in county clare, he told mte thats his uncles wifes nephew knew a fella who knew a fella who was in the IRA and he was a very bad man………………..really??

  • barnshee

    We did not do definitely did not do it noo noo noo didn`t OH you mean THAT BIT– oh well we did do THAT BIT it but we had to— it was the BritsOrangiesRUCPBSNI —fault -they made us do it —sure everyone knows it was the their fault

  • SeaanUiNeill

    How can you say such a thing! Just look at the exceptionally clean record of British rule in Ireland since the sixteenth century, oh sorry, having some trouble keeping my face straight……..

  • Tacapall

    The bottom of the barrel is well and truly being scraped.

  • chrisjones2

    I know .. ……….. SF have scarped it for years

    All poor Gerrys bleating. Remember the campaign of beating young people with baseball bats then when that didnt work, shooting them? It became a mark of honour among West Belfast spides who had a hierarchy and until you had had both knees done you weren’t a made man in the joyriding business

    SF created this.

  • chrisjones2

    No Robin. My colleague was complaining bitterly about his PERSONAL experience.

    Try and wipe it away as much as you like …. the reality is that SF oppressed many people in Nationalist communities

    SF talked about human rights as its fellows in the Movement abused them. Gerry seems to claim the poor IRA (Lord bless them) were FORCED by public opinion to beat and maim young people.

    Do you suggest that was right? What about due process? The rights of the children involved? Fair trial anyone – naw lets just shoot them.

    In may cases it was child abuse pure and simple – just like the activities of the UVF and UDA in many Loyalist areas.

  • Robin Keogh

    But you openly contradict yourself there. You claim that republicans denied many nationalists the right to due process and access to the services of the civil justuce system and then you also claim that the same due process should be now denied to SF members. We should just believe they are bad eggs even though successive court rulings and police investigations have shown the contrary. If you feel you have the right to afford principles of justice retrospectively but not currently; that smacks of hypocrisy to me.

  • $33309652

    “……….mark of honour among West Belfast spides who had a hierarchy and until you had had both knees done you weren’t a made man in the joyriding business…”
    The Paratrooper Lee Clegg springs to mind here and “joyriders”
    And he was sent to prison and was released thanx to rifght wing Tories and the Daily Mail and he recieved FULL back pay and was reinstated in his unit.
    You really aren’t thinking before you write your posts Chris.
    P/s Didn’t know you were “concerned” for Joyriders

  • $33309652

    “….seems to be a threat to their pet project..”
    Hmmm.. Lets see. Stormont is in danger of collapse over various issues and perhaps the most contentious is the past.
    The Republican movements past is been brought into sharp focus. So Sinn Fein will be under massive pressure to accept whatever the unionists say about how the past is resolved in order to make the past …ehm..just that the past.
    So the Brits pet project you could say is Stormont.
    But yes the timing is weird of this story and bizarre to say the least.
    A real head scratcher.
    The only thing you can say is that We aka the general public are been manipulated by Dark Forces.
    And Chris..Some people Definately are enjoying been abused by these dark forces and how they manipulate us.

  • Tacapall

    And you know all this because someone told you so or were you one of those joyriders ? By the way the IRA in those days were obviously far more lenient on joyriders than those employed by the state to enforce the law. What other country in the world supported its police officers and soldiers executing children for joyriding.

  • chrisjones2

    I am concerned for children who are abused and think personally that Clegg should still be inside.

    Now aren’t you concerned for them? Or do you regard what the IRA did to them as acceptable? Come on. Man up. Are you in favour of this child abuse or not?

  • chrisjones2

    See below and my question applies to you too. Do you think it was right for the IRA to shoot children? Come on?

  • chrisjones2

    No I dont. Where have I ever said that?

    But there is mounting evidence that there was collusion among senior people in the Republican movement to cover up child abuse, rape and incest

  • chrisjones2

    The Brits pet project is really SF.

    They have no selfish or strategic interest in NI and see SF as a vehicle to channel Nationalism and keep it corralled

  • $33309652

    I guess on a lot of occasions I would debate with people and score points.
    But on this occasion I am truly out at sea.
    I can see some merit in your argument..But anti agreement Nationalists who whilst they are OPPOSED to violence would call Sinn Fein a British Party and that they will fail to deliver a United Ireland.
    Until now I would have disagreed. But the timing of this Joe Cahill story whilst I acknowledge that it puts a dim view of how the British State dealt with Paedos, So in short you could be right. I simply dunno.
    Logic would tell me the Brits want out.
    But logic and the Brits don’t go hand in hand.
    Just saying I don’t disagree with your analysis. I gave you mine earlier but I am not exactly standing over it, myself.
    Except for the fact that I believe we are been manipulated. But by whom exactly and to what end. I can’t say.

  • Tacapall

    Im a pacifist so obviously I dont think its right for anyone to use violence against children but Im also wise enough and old enough to remember who was shooting dead teenage joyriders and murdering young children with plastic bullets.

  • $33309652

    Must say never expected you to say that about Clegg.
    As for the IRA, they are what happens when the state fails.
    I guess you could have a look at ,out of control crime and drug abuse in both Glasgow and Dublin. In the latter city it seems more people are been gunned down every year than there was in the troubles ( certainly during the latter years of the troubles)
    So, Law and order, they don’t do what they oughta according to the band Stiff little fingers.
    Strangely West Belfast has escaped the worst of both Glasgow and Dublin as they are today.
    Could that be down to the IRA? Perhaps?
    Jeremy Clarkson made a point about airbags. In his own way he states that if car makers instead of fitting airbags and give drivers a nice pillow to make a crash as comfortable as possible; If they fitted a spike instead , drivers would drive more carefully.
    Two things to take from that.
    Thank Gawd Jeremy doesn’t make the laws.
    But he would be right I should say.
    Am sure the IRA would have shot child abusers.
    If this story is true. Then they missed a few and that is terrible.
    Just heard on BBC radio news today.
    The UK police have details of over 50,000 paedos.
    They now have to decide which ones are the worst and deal with those.
    There are no winners here. Coz If you think the state “cares” about us. They don’t.
    British state ..Irish state.We are numbers in a ledger.
    Not saying don’t try for a better world. Just saying don’t be disappointed when it fails to arrive.
    This is really a looking Glass moment with the British secret state leaking information. We are been led by the nose for some purpose. I don’t lke it.
    I want the truth so I can make up my own mind. Not to be spoonfed from British intelligence who have dubious motives in Ireland to say the least.

  • Tacapall

    If the British have no selfish or strategic interest in Ireland then just why are they, in your opinion, using Sinn Fein to channel nationalism and keep it corralled.

    On the contrary Britain does have a selfish and strategic interest in Ireland they have invested a thousand years of manpower keeping its presence in here. Ireland is Britain’s Cuba, we are simply too close for comfort for those London city types who manufacture all the reasons why the cannon fodder are shipped off to murder and plunder in Africa and the Middle East.

  • chrisjones2

    As for Clegg, crime is crime. And the Prods were up to just as bad as witnessed by the young women rugged raped murdered or just disappeared

    WE all really need to get our of the sectarian hols on these issues

  • chrisjones2

    “why are …….. using Sinn Fein ”

    Politically they are stuck with NI so they use SF as a pacifier for a quiet life – or as we call it in Belfast a Child’s Dummy

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh dear, BronzeEchoTwoFive, perhaps if you were to read my comments in support of Maíria on “Mairia Cahill: Uncomfortable truths for Sinn Fein” perhaps you might be slower to label me a simple Republican apologist. I’d like to think that I’m nobody’s dog in the usual dreary support by standing order politics everyone else seems to engage in.

    Blame were its due, and the five century long record of British self interest and manipulation in regard to the wee six shows clearly through any amount of whitewash. Political morality has never been an up-down see saw, and both polarities can be grievously at fault each in their own particular way.

  • chrisjones2

    I agree with you. Both ‘sides’ are manipulating this for a shared goal

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hey, chrisjones2, “They have no selfish or strategic interest in NI” that’s a big statement! You mean that no-one anywhere at all on the British mainland has “no selfish or strategic interest in NI.”

    Business, bankers, let alone the military, no one? But they were so unconcerned, so completely laid back, when the Scots nearly voted “yes” so you must be right.

  • chrisjones2

    As the great Bart Simpson said

    “Big Boys Made Me Do It”

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Yes, I’ve met and talked with a few of those British politicians who would convincingly confirm that, chrisjones2. But its the others that Tacapall and myself are really worried about. Sure we’re a burden on them financially, but the post war political (if not financial) rush from other colonies contrasts strongly with the turgid retreat of British interests from the wee six. Ope your eyes and don’t simply repeat what you are told by “authoritative sources.”

  • $33309652

    Ok Then.
    Well then can I skip forward a few leaps here and ask you a question?
    If you believe that the Brit state is heading towards a UI and that means you can’t trust them.
    Then A) Why would you be “loyal” to the Brits?
    And B) Why wouldn’t you ignore the Brits and cut the best deal you could with the others on this island? for a one nation state.And thereby taking matters into your own hands. ( when I say you I mean both you as a person and your community. So I would be looking for both a personal view and the view from your community)
    My point being if you don’t trust those who you are loyal to, then why belong in their club?
    Or to put it another way. What is the best option for you, in light of what you are saying. What do you see as the endgame?

  • chrisjones2

    I ws quoting Peter Brooke

    Thats the UK Government position as we understand it – and wasnt that under the evil Thatcher

  • chrisjones2

    Look…why do you assume i am loyal to anyone.

    Being anti the murderous thugs on both sides is a reasonable position

    You seem desperate to label – themus and oursumns – which is what the DUPS and SF ae desperate for

  • chrisjones2

    What makes you think I or Nationalists can trust the Irish?

    In general they regard you as dangerous gulpeens and the Unionists as nutters who could destabilise their wee statelet

  • chrisjones2

    This is not Scotland or Finchley or Lusk

    Do start thinking about your opinions and not recycling what others tell you. They all want a zero sum game – it doesn’t have to be that way

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh dear, chrisjones2, just try telling most of east Belfast “This is not Scotland”. And, hey, even if you did not get the significance of the allusion, i still imagine that most people did.

    I like to think that my analytic training as an historian goes some way towards protecting me just a little from not simply “recycling what others tell” me, and I’ve long had what my Californian friends speak of as “trust issues”. Are you entirely certain that your fear that I am playing a sort of recording machine back to an unsuspecting readership is not, perhaps, an instance of what they (the Californians in the hot tub) would describe as psycological projection? After all, you yourself state below, “I ws quoting Peter Brooke”!!!!! And by now most of us have learnt to take anything politicians tell us without benefit of a lie detector with just a smidgen of salt. I genuinely believe that ruling out very mixed opinions across the spectrum of policy making over the water can only be the act of a very innocent observer, with little experience of the big bad world. I’ve found very little genuine concensus even in most busness meetings of five people, so I doubt that the vast spectrum of interests in the UK speak entirely as one over the future of our little province.

  • $33309652

    Like I was saying I was asking for both your opinion and your communties opinion.
    I was trying to broaden my own mind, here.
    And I was basing my assumptions on what you were saying.
    And I was asking your opinion as to what you would regard as a suitable end game, based on your comments, for my own sake, really.
    So, in order to do that I think I had to resort to labelling of some sort. in order to get you to address the issue, that I think arises from the logic that I applied to your opinion.
    It was/is my logic.
    You have proved that you have used logic, I have accepted that whilst I am unsure about whether you are right or wrong . I have NOT disputed that, based on the evidence that your logic is necessary faulty.
    Ergo, When I see somebody who can read in between the lines and apply a logic, that if even resulted in an opinion that I might not share. Then I sought to follow up on that person. That’s all.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I’ve been told too many scurrilous insider anecdotes by the few members of the Westminister “elect” that I personally know (usually through family) to even begin to hear “Thats the UK Government position” with anything approaching a straight face! You will really have to try harder to convince an old cynic with forty long years experience of how little one may trust political statements.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Being a former member myself I’d say the bad men were mostly at the top of PIRA as well as PSF.

    Their new-found wealth would be proof of that.

  • Dixie Elliott

    I’d say it was a case of the Brits throwing out mud in an attempt to shut Mairia Cahill up in order to protect their assets in PSF…

    Look at what you done now Mairia Cahill if you had shut up your Uncles name wouldn’t be sullied….

  • Dixie Elliott

    Oh they’re using PSF alright. Every time Marty sings the praises of HM the British Queen Ridiculous Nicholus Witchell wets himself with joy at the thought of the cause of Irish ‘Republicanism being put back decades’…. (see his comments on the trips to Oz and NZ of Wills, Kate and Fat Future King. )

  • Dixie Elliott

    Talking about stories, theres one doing the rounds in Derry which forced a recent ‘change’ at the top….one kept relatively quiet or so they thought….

  • NMS

    Reading the Adams statement from a Dublin perspective, his statement seems directed not at an Irish readership, rather at the Northern core.

    Justifying criminality in the form of vigilante actions may seem reasonable or even understandable if you live in Belfast or Londonderry, but clearly makes no sense if you live in Dublin or Cork. The attempt to put serious criminality in an “historical context” is laughable. Imagine for example, the reaction of people if the murder of say Pat Finucane was justified or “explained” by putting it in the “historical context” of his three brothers, John, Dermot & Seamus being Provos.

    Mr Adams tells us, “Many senior republicans, including me, had major issues with the IRA acting as a policing agency. Martin McGuinness and I are on the public record speaking out against punishment shootings…..”. I am afraid that most rational people would wonder about these conversations that the two had with themselves. Was it like a comedy sketch where the one person plays more than one role? Easy of course when you can wear a balaclava!

    Using the crutch of names of the long dead is akin to the Clintonian approach to the Whitewater scandal, “I cannot recall.” Or better described as “prove that I am lying through my teeth.”

    Adams, like all amoral people, has the ability to suspend the truth as ordinary people understand it. The truth in his eyes, is as he now sees it. Not how he saw it at the time, or even how it actually happened. In that way, he is similar to Bartholomew Ahern.

  • chrisjones2

    I would guess that around 70% of the people in the South East of ENgland couldny point out NI on a map

  • chrisjones2

    …or Irish rule in Ireland for the last 100ish years!!!

  • barnshee

    “70% of the people in the South East of ENgland couldny point out NI on a map”

    I would not worry too much about that– from direct experience
    70% of the people in the South East of ENgland” couldny point out Newcastle U Tyne on a map”

  • Robin Keogh

    The Brits need a healthy SF because they are depending on the shinners to end the life of the artificial state

  • barnshee

    “five century long record of British self interest and manipulation”

    You might revisit Irish history and try to identify where”Irish” activities supporting enemies of England ( Spain, France-twice, Germany) a least helped fuell a” five century long record of British self interest and manipulation”

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh yes, I fully agree! But wait a minute, whose legal system did the Free State inherit? What system of representative government did they emulate? Who even printed their currency, for goodness sake, until the ROI entered the Euro? Whose “culture” pretty much forms the background to the experience of contemporary “Irishness”?

    “Irish” rule? We’re hardly looking at an “Irish” Ireland, and simply because the politicians do not have English accents, it dose not mean that they are any less engaged in administering an essentially British system with a little bit of Irish graphic as local colour.

    As usual these big sweeping convenience reifications (“British”, “Irish”) require a lot of very careful fill in detail before they even begin to make any sense.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh yes, barnshee, I fully agree that everyone kept upping the stakes in the colonial poker game played on our poor old land over the centuries, but you have only to examine the economic history of colonial rule in Ireland to watch how both natives and planters were cynically courted or slapped down as successive British commercial interests exploited the auld sod in the interest of the British economy over the water. The revisionist historian’s strident championing of the virtues of British law and fairness over five centuries is beginning to wear thinner and thinner as younger historians with a knowledge of Irish are at last feeding non-English language sources into our historical record. The result is that the knee jerk reaction to seemingly disciplined “Britishness” against the old romantic nationalist histories is itself being revised into a lean and athletic re-apprasial of vices of colonial self interest where the suppressed voices of the Gaelic intelligentsia are at last playing a role.

    I myself have been revisiting Irish history at a primary source level in archives across Ireland, Britain and Europe for near twenty years and have found little to contradict the image of “five century long record of British self interest and manipulation”.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Do tell!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The problem is that all too many people running U.S. hedge funds probably can. They need to know where the real estate they are investing in was left by the last user. Britain is not the sole source of financial and political interest groups who continue to have “selfish or strategic interest in NI”, alas.