Originally Posted by Conall Cernach
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?
Yes and here’s why:
It’s not just a question of was the IRA fighting but who were they fighting for? An army derives it’s legitimacy from the government it serves.
The IRA of 1919-21 evolved directly from the Irish Volunteers of 1916 and was subservient to the Irish Republic that was declared in 1916. The entire premise of the first Dáil and the War of Independence was that since 1916 that Republic existed end of story, their mandate was simply to secure it’s independence.
This situation changes in 1922 after the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the Govt. of Ireland Act. The Irish Republic dissolves and becomes the Irish Free State. A majority in the Dáil votes to accept this. The IRA is reorganised into the Free State Army. Obviously the Civil War ensues and the so called “Irregulars” who believe themselves to be still the IRA and still associated with the 1916 Irish Republic fight against the Free State.
From this point onwards the IRA is no longer Ireland’s legitimate armed force. They are a rogue organisation for all intents and purposes and the same applies to all associated organisations: Provisional IRA, Official IRA etc.
The issue with Sinn Fein is that as far as their concerned the world stopped spinning in 1922. Their constitution doesn’t recognise the legitimacy of any State or Republic other than the 1916 Republic. They don’t recognise that we re-became a Republic in 1949. They don’t even recognise the authority of Bunreacht Na hEireann. This is the view of history that allows them to go about saying that the Provos and the “War of Independence” IRA are the same organisation and are equally legitimate.