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15-02-2020, 20:31   #31
 
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Originally Posted by Sean.3516 View Post
Not war, terrorism. Plain and simple. No political objective justifies what they did.

The Old IRA fought dirty (it was a guerilla war, fair enough) but even they had rules, they didn’t kill civilians. They also had realistic political objectives and the backing of a legitimate government to pursue them.



The GFA wouldn’t have been necessary if not for the actions of the IRA. And political and civil rights reforms might have come along a bit sooner.
Yes they had only waited 50 years. Am sure that full and equal status was just around the corner. Uppity nationalists couldn't just wait another couple of decades to be treated equally
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15-02-2020, 20:36   #32
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We are two days on from the 98th anniversary of the Weaver Street bombing in Belfast, when a loyalist threw a bomb into a group of Catholic children playing. Two of the children were killed instantly. A further four died from their wounds. Churchill described it as the worst thing of the conflict. Craig called it a 'dastardly deed'.
Yep, I for sure did not word that correctly.
Catholics in Northern Ireland were treated like second class citizens. Their rights were ignored. And there is probably an argument that the Irish government should have done more to protect & defend this Catholics at the time.

Nothing however, justifies the atrocities committed by the PIRA, particularly the murders of other Catholics & innocent civilians.
There were other ways.
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15-02-2020, 20:55   #33
LuasSimon
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if the 6 counties of Munster remained in British hands instead of the six counties in Ulster be interesting to see what way it would have turned out .
The people of Bandon and kinsale etc probably be happy even Michael Martin I’m sure !
I’d think north kerry though would be the south arnagh of those six counties !!
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15-02-2020, 21:00   #34
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if the 6 counties of Munster remained in British hands instead of the six counties in Ulster be interesting to see what way it would have turned out .
The people of Bandon and kinsale etc probably be happy even Michael Martin I’m sure !
I’d think north kerry though would be the south arnagh of those six counties !!
That's all pointless speculation which adds nothing to the discussion. Your comments on Co. Cork towns would be better posted in Tripadvisor. If, if if....Your aunt would be your uncle in certain circumstances,

P.S. Are you sure North Kerry wouldn't be Alabama? Think Danny Healy Rae.

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15-02-2020, 21:03   #35
Ash.J.Williams
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Do you consider the IRA of 1919-21 and their actions to be legitimate and the IRA of 1969/70 to be illegitimate? Why is that?
It is of my opinion that 69/70 was legit,but like most Unregulated gangs they over stayed their welcome and became a pain in the hole to those near them
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15-02-2020, 21:09   #36
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Recently rewatched that famous clip of Gerry Adams debating Tubridy on this in 2010.

https://youtu.be/wIlTtudovPM

Tubs asks him if he loses sleep over the actions of the IRA and if he has “blood on his hands” and Gerry responds “you might as well ask if your grandfather (who was in the old IRA) had blood on his hands.”

Gerry does this thing that appears to be the standard Sinn Fein philosophy on complete and total moral equivalence between the IRA that fought for and achieved independence in the WOI and the Provisional IRA (which I would regard as a terrorist entity) that committed atrocities during the Troubles. Is this correct?
I wonder in a united Ireland how Gerry feels about unionist terrorists fighting with arms to free themselves from the Irish?

One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter ....
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15-02-2020, 21:14   #37
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I always find it's very easy to look back at historical events from a safe distance and decry individual acts of an overall struggle and pontificate that there were better ways. I have been guilty of it myself, and the further you get from the time the worse it seems to get.
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15-02-2020, 21:23   #38
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No they were not.
I'm looking forward to your defence of the PIRA bombing & murdering innocent civilians, & I will also include members of AGS, which the PIRA decided we're 'legitimate targets '
Why did the IRA target defenseless women and children when there was hundreds of British soldiers walking around the North holding machine guns.

Surely they were legitimate targets, not cowardly planting a bomb you know will kill children.
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15-02-2020, 22:34   #39
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The British army moved in and restored order after the attacks on the civil rights marches etc. John Hume, Seamus Mallon etc would have achieved peace and probably a united Ireland within 10 years - but the IRA had to go on killing, mainly Catholics, for 30 years. And some people want their apologists to run our Country. 30 years of murder and mayhem killing innocent men, women and children. It was never a war - it was murder by terrorists and gangsters.
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15-02-2020, 23:11   #40
sid waddell
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The British army moved in and restored order after the attacks on the civil rights marches etc. John Hume, Seamus Mallon etc would have achieved peace and probably a united Ireland within 10 years - but the IRA had to go on killing, mainly Catholics, for 30 years. And some people want their apologists to run our Country. 30 years of murder and mayhem killing innocent men, women and children. It was never a war - it was murder by terrorists and gangsters.
Around 400 of the 1800 people killed by the IRA in the Troubles were Catholics.
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16-02-2020, 00:10   #41
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To me there was one key difference in the War of Independence and the Troubles. The IRA in the Troubles had to contend with oppositional paramilitary forces in the shape of the UDA, UVF, UFF, LVF etc. In the War of Independence, because it happened largely in what became the 26 counties, Loyalist paramilitary forces of that nature were not really a major factor on the Unionist side, only state actors. It was pretty much the IRA versus the British state, and that was it.

Because Loyalists in the Troubles were so willing to murder Catholic civilians, it was a much more complex conflict, with effectively three sides rather than two (though Loyalists often had the de facto backing of the British state in the formm of collusion). Because of that more complex nature of conflict and because there was a Unionist majority in the six counties, it became apparent within a reasonably short period of time that the war was pretty much unwinnable, certainly in terms of achieving a united Ireland, and would merely descend into an endless tit for tat conflict.

As the Troubles progressed, the aim of a united Ireland faded from view, and the aim, though largely unsaid, was for the IRA to bomb its way to the negotiating table, and that's why in the early 90s they focussed to such a large extent on attacking England itself, and especially high profile economic and strategic targets, like the City of London, Canary Wharf, Heathrow Airport, Victoria Station, Manchester City Centre and Downing Street itself. In that, it can be argued they were largely successful, because back channels to the British were well and truly opened. But it was a very poor consolation prize.

In terms of comparing the actual violence itself, I don't think there's a moral difference, certainly in terms of attacks on the British state. The IRA in both the War of Independence and the Troubles ruthlessly killed policemen, soldiers and politicians. I don't think you can see a moral difference between Kilmichael and Warrenpoint. I don't think you can see a moral difference between the old IRA killing Henry Wilson, and the Provos killing Airey Neave or Ian Gow. Michael Collins was more than prepared to take the war to England and bomb economic targets and have civilians killed. The IRA in the War of Independence ruthlessly executed 196 people they suspected of being informers and there were sectarian atrocities and ethnic cleansing.

Is there a moral difference between Frank Aiken and Dan Breen and Martin McGuinness or Gerry Adams or Dessie Ellis?

Aiken is rumoured to have taken part in the sectarian Altnaveigh massacre and was certainly one of the leading members of an IRA unit which was fully prepared to engage in sectarian murder. Aiken ended up being Minister for Finance, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Tanaiste.

Dan Breen was eulogised and is still eulogised as a hero. But Dan Breen was involved in the shooting and killing of two policemen in the back, against orders, in order to deliberately start a war. He was an unashamed supporter of the Nazis. So was Sean Russell later on. Breen was a Fianna Fail TD for decades. Incidentally there's an interesting tidbit in Fintan O'Toole's article on Mary Lou McDonald today about how one of McDonald's first public appearances as a member of Sinn Fein was a commemoration of the Nazi collaborator Russell in Fairview Park in 2003.

I think the main moral difference one could argue between the IRA in the War of Independence and the Troubles was the length of the conflict. In 1916, the rebels surrendered after five days. In the War of Independence a truce was agreed by July 1921. The Troubles lasted until 1994 at least, really until 1997, almost a full three decades, and even then it took a long time for the violence to fully peter out with some very troubling legacy crimes in the following decade.

You can argue that war can really only be justified if there's a genuine chance of winning, but in saying that, did the French resistance believe they had a genuine chance of winning, or did the Soviet Army at Stalingrad believe they had a genuine chance of winning? When is the right time to stop a war? Who am I to say that young people growing up in the North in the 70s and 80s didn't believe that their cause was justified? I didn't have to live there.

What I do think is that Sinn Fein really need to knock the Up the RA rhetoric on the head now, because I don't see how it benefits anybody, most of all themselves. But I also think that there are some troubling questions about today's Sinn Fein. Like, can you be a member of Sinn Fein now and believe that the peaceful methods espoused by the SDLP during the Troubles were right and the IRA was wrong, even if you believe in Sinn Fein's stance on bread and butter issues? I don't think you can. I still think that the central requirement to be a member of Sinn Fein now is that you believe that the IRA during the Troubles, right up to 1997, was justified, and that the Troubles itself, right up to 1997, was justified.

Last edited by sid waddell; 16-02-2020 at 00:16.
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16-02-2020, 01:54   #42
jm08
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You claim that the GFA would not have happened only for the PIRA.
The sunningdale agreement was basically the GFA only years earlier. The PIRA wouldn't sign up to it in the 70s,
20 years later & hundreds of innocent victims murdered, they signed up to basically the same agreement.

You are killing your own argument here by saying that Sinn Fein/PIRA would not agree to Sungindale! They were not asked. John Hume / SDLP were the nationalist involved in that peace attempt. It was the unionists / loyalists who wouldn't agree and they threatened violence. There was also the general strike called by the Ulster Workers Council (rabble roused by Paisley).



So, in short, it was unionists/loyalists who collapsed Sunningdale. They were the 'slow learners'.
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16-02-2020, 09:13   #43
LuasSimon
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That's all pointless speculation which adds nothing to the discussion. Your comments on Co. Cork towns would be better posted in Tripadvisor. If, if if....Your aunt would be your uncle in certain circumstances,

P.S. Are you sure North Kerry wouldn't be Alabama? Think Danny Healy Rae.
Danny Healy Rae lives in South Kerry - get your facts right
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16-02-2020, 09:21   #44
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Around 400 of the 1800 people killed by the IRA in the Troubles were Catholics.
Being as they were supposed to be protecting them I suppose you have to ask......why?

That's a lot of accidents.
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16-02-2020, 12:33   #45
sid waddell
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Being as they were supposed to be protecting them I suppose you have to ask......why?

That's a lot of accidents.
I'm not defending it. All I'm saying is that there is a common line circulated in discourse that the majority of the people the Provos killed were Catholics. It's not true or even close to being true.

Why did the IRA in the War of Independence kill so many Irish people? That is not a line we ever hear.

Nor do we hear much about the ordinary Irish people killed by the rebels during the 1916 Rising.
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