The Indo and child soldiers


The Irish Independent  has been getting into  a moral lather of late about ‘child soldiers’.  It is expressing its horror that as many as nineteen republican ‘child soldiers’ died during the years of conflict here. Closer reading reveals that most were killed by the accidental discharge of guns or bombs and six were shot dead by the British army. The fact that the Indo emphasises that use of ‘child soldiers’ is a war crime tells you all you need to know about that organ’s concern: to pin another label marked ‘monster’ on prominent members of Sinn Féin.

There are several other points worth remembering on this issue.

The deaths of the young weren’t air-brushed out of existence by republicans during the years of conflict. In fact, the name of Na Fianna were published in An Phoblacht.

The notion that ‘child soldiers’ might be something exclusive to the IRA would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic. Many countries put considerable weight on training child soldiers.  What would you call the British Army Cadets, which advertises for recruits between 12-18, even widening their recruiting drive to include youngsters in Year 8.  Or the Air Training Corps? Here’s part of its advertising campaign directed at young people between 13 and 18:

We’ll teach you to handle a variety of weapons safely. Basic firing is always done lying on your stomach (the prone position) at static targets. Progress through the syllabus and you’ll experience different types of weapons, firing positions and could even take part in shooting competitions if you really prove your skills.”

The British Army Cadets and the Air Training Corps may not employ their recruits in active combat  until they’re 17, but they train them for that day. In its report, the Indo concedes that “During the early period of the Troubles, in the early 1970s, the IRA recruited large numbers of teenagers into the ranks of the Fianna and gCailini. They were mainly trained in basic firearms and soldiering in camps in the Republic.” Sounds like the British Army Cadets or Air Training Corps to me.

If it hasn’t been already clear, it should by now be clear that the Irish Independent and the Sunday Independent are part of a right-wing campaign as surely as Fox News is part of a right-wing campaign in the US. Fox News’s target is the Clintons (just watch how they go after Hillary); the Indo’s target is Gerry Adams and republicans.  In their ‘child soldiers’ story, they make reference to “the so-called Ballymurphy Massacre”.  Ask the relatives of those killed whether they think it was a “so-called” massacre.

The taking of human life and the training of young people to take human life is a terrible thing, regardless of its source. But for the Indo to pretend that this isn’t normal practice in Britain, where ads extolling the attraction of such training can easily be found, is to show how bankrupt the Indo/Sindo is as a reliable source of news.

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47 Responses to The Indo and child soldiers

  1. neill April 14, 2015 at 9:06 am #

    The British army legal the IRA an illegal movement so in the end really no comparison perhaps only really in your mind your terribly fixated on the Indo I can understand that it’s a fine paper and sticks it upto Sf all good in my eyes!

    • Jude Collins April 14, 2015 at 9:10 am #

      Well I’ll tip my cap to you, neill – you don’t hide where your loyalties lie. Now if we only had your name…

      • neill April 14, 2015 at 9:31 am #

        is that a threat or a question so you can invite me out to lunch? 🙂

        • Jude Collins April 14, 2015 at 11:58 am #

          No, no, Neill. Neither a threat nor an invitation. It’s just that every so often it strikes me there are so many people with strong opinions but hidden identities. I sometimes wonder why…Now if you wanted to stand ME lunch…

          • neill April 15, 2015 at 7:00 am #

            I certainly would stand you lunch give me a time and date!

        • steven miller April 14, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

          Watch out jude, I think Neils identify is becoming clearer. Especially after that last remark hinting at a lunch date, it could be David Norris in disguise.

          • neill April 15, 2015 at 6:59 am #

            Steady ; )

    • Gerard April 14, 2015 at 10:31 am #

      The truth is in the eyes of the beholder – British Army are illegal to me when it comes to its involvement in Ireland – IRA were not. Now Neill, you need to get your head round that fact. I can accept you have that view, can you accept that many many others don’t share your view and that you holding it does not make it right?

      • neill April 14, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

        I can absolutely accept you have an opinion I also accept you are wrong as well!

        • Francis April 15, 2015 at 5:51 am #

          A simple dichotomy of Republicans bad, Legal state forces legitimate holds little weight Neill. I do not think for a minute you believe, and endorse this simple split between the Dark and Good side of the force.
          Despite these interventions of which I’d suggest ” Devils advocate reactionary obstinacy….mostly, but not alwsys dominates your disabled senses s from reason. There seems not just a purging need to contest with plenty of spanners on hand to liberally throw in the works…Mischief methinks, plays it’s part in your stonewalling.

          I say with sincerity, that some of your posts have been engaging, and I respect your courage on forum with tolerance and patience, especially when you exercise reason, measure, and courtesy. (I do can be opinionated, and likewise apologise to you personally when I have in passion over stepped the mark with you in grated exchanges.

          In this issue Neill, the cadets groomed foe illegal resource Wars present a problem to the Indos selection of choosing Na Fianna to incur its wrath in a very partisan, and selective way. Think about it mo chara. Two sides to a conflict, and the people. You casually dismiss, believed the cause for which they fought and died. You do know better that to disparage the overview of these cogent contests for legitimacy, and the fascile assertion that one side in the confict merit pure disdain because illegally the disputed the legality itself that they contested because the establishment itself was seen, and rightfully, an agent of oppression. Put down your disdain, and offer productive critiques for examination. You ate more than capable of this, and I truly hope you with integrity engage.

          • neill April 15, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

            That’s very decent of you Francis much appreciated indeed you may will be correct!

    • RJC April 14, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

      Slavery was legal, Neill. Apartheid was legal. Colonialism was legal. Legality is a concept of the powerful, not of justice.

    • Ryan April 14, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

      Why is it that certain people always think if something is “legal” that makes it OK? The British Army is “legal” and they recruit children to fire weapons, learn basic soldiery, etc so according to Neil that makes it OK. But if the IRA recruits children, does exactly the same as the British Army, etc its not OK because their not “legal”…..Its just stupid logic lol

      Neill, does that mean if the IRA was legal and recruited children to train them that it would then be OK? Or is it not OK simply because you personally don’t agree with the IRA and its principles, regardless of others views and the facts? I don’t think we need Einstein to work out the answer……

  2. Antonio April 14, 2015 at 9:17 am #

    ”Child soldiers” is a phrase that conjures up images in my mind of children in parts of Africa and I think this practise is common in Congo. I do not know a great deal about it although I suspect I know more than the ‘journalists’ at the Irish Independent. What happens is both state armies and non-state militias ‘recruit’ or even kidnap young boys from the age of 8 or 9 and often make them addicted to hard drugs and therafter teach them how to use firearms and send them in to battle. A nasty business altogether and this is seemingly the image that the Indo wants to link with Sinn Fein.

  3. Brian Patterson April 14, 2015 at 9:45 am #

    Pro-Imperial elements here have been on a roll over the last 20 years or so extolling as positive everything to do Ireland’s connectionwith Empire. A few years ago it was revealed that the youngest soldier killed in action in the BA’s ranks during the First World War was a 14 year old Irish lad from Waterford called John Condon. No declaiming of ‘child soldiers’ there! A local group was set up to erect a monument to him and a mushy ballad was composed in his honour. Neither was there any condemnation when a certain school in West Belfast invited the BA to give ‘careers talks’ to children on the subject of killing for Britain. Nor when children of a tender each were sent on boot camps to learn the rudimentaries of killing.
    A few days ago during Easter Week I watched a concert featuring Dermot O’Rourke. A fine singer but a composer of some woeful ballads. He sang a song he had composed ‘The Children of 1916’, referring to the innocent children killed in crossfire. He clearly hoped to take the spotlight away from the adults executed by Maxwell and co. Fair enough. But I suspect we will wait a long time before we hear a ballad about the children who coughed their lungs out in the rotten tenements of 1913 Dublin or who starved during the lock-out by Dublin employers. Or about the dozen or so shot dead by plastic bullets. Or about Majella O’Hare. Or…..

    • Antonio April 14, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

      What school was that Brian and when did this unfortunate Redmondite behaviour occur ?

      • Brian Pattersin April 15, 2015 at 1:39 pm #

        I prefer not to give the name of the school Antonio, but it was a Catholic secondary school ( they now prefer to call themselves ‘colleges, in an area not known for its empathy with the BA. I’m sure you are ingenious enough to come up with a google search combination which will come up with the answer; Beir bua!

  4. IrelandSaoirse April 14, 2015 at 9:48 am #

    I stopped reading the Indo years ago,it’s turned into a freestate tabloid style rag.
    what really annoys me is next year we’ll have these same free staters out celebrating the 1916 rising,when it was the likes of them that sold out the dream of the 1916 leaders.

  5. Skippy April 14, 2015 at 10:32 am #

    Jude, don’t forget that the article also included the line: “the so-called Ballymurphy massacre” and attempted to question whether those killed were civilians or somehow at fault.

    I’m waiting for next week’s article on how the Bloody Sunday victims deserved it, or how the families of the victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings should blame republicans for their death.

  6. Iolar April 14, 2015 at 10:52 am #

    “They Shoot Children, Don’t They?”

    The title above was given to an analysis of the age and gender of victims of paramilitary punishments in the north of Ireland, published in August 2001. There was an interesting sentence in the conclusion of the analysis.

    “It might be argued that demands for treatment as normal political parties should be combined with the assumption of conventional democratic responsibilities.”

    The analysis did not address the fact that the RUC and the British Army used plastic or rubber bullets which killed, Seamus Duffy (15), Stephen Geddis (10), Carol Ann Kelly (12), Julie Livingstone (14), Stephen McConomy (11), Francis Rowntree (11), Brian Stewart (13), and Paul Whitters (15) to name but a few.

    Insult was added to injury, with the failure of the state to investigate the killings properly at the time and evidence of ongoing collusion between the security (?) forces, the Military Reaction Force, the UDR, the UDA, the UVF and the UFF. It beggars belief to suggest that heavily armed riot police and soldiers were unable to apprehend boys and girls with ages ranging from 11 to 15 years of age especially when live television pictures captured violent onslaughts on the PSNI by disloyalists during recent union flag protests.

    We have yet to see normal political parties with conventional democratic responsibilities in the north of Ireland. What would conventional politicians in Scotland, England or Wales make of masked flag protestors waving the union jack, especially outside a polling station or a candidate for election referring to his political opponents as “scum”? Love thy neighbour appears to be a redundant concept in the Bible belt.

    • paul April 14, 2015 at 11:57 am #

      Also Majella O Hare murdered by paratroopers in Whitecross Armagh with a ‘real’ bullet. The army concocted a story of a ‘phantom gunmen ‘ who shot at them and they returned fire. The soldier who shot majella spent very little time incarcerated and was returned to the BA

  7. Patrick April 14, 2015 at 11:31 am #

    Neill the penny hasn’t quite dropped with you yet i’m afraid. Something being legal doesn’t necessarily make it right. Slavery was once legal in some parts throughout the world, as was apartheid. But hey, as long as it was “legal” right?

    • Pat April 14, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

      The Nazis also a very legal entity in its time….

    • Ryan April 14, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

      Basically whatever Neill thinks is right is right and whatever Neill thinks is wrong is wrong. No if’s or buts. To hell with the facts or others opinion. A really deep thinker and broad minded is our Neill, he would rise quickly to the high ranks of the DUP if he joined (that’s if he isn’t already a member….)

      You can see why the Northern statelet has been such a success over the past 9 decades with Unionists like Neill at the Helm…..

      • neill April 14, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

        Those aforementioned qualities Ryan certainly would make me leadership material for Sf as well could you imagine me in charge of Sf?

        • Ryan April 14, 2015 at 6:38 pm #

          The SF leadership have admitted that they and the IRA have made many mistakes Neill and have apologized for them and wished they could’ve did some things differently.

          On the other hand most of Unionism still has difficulty to this very day in accepting that the state they ran was sectarian and discriminated against Catholics in jobs, housing, etc. Unionism still refuses to accept the RUC/UDR engaged in murders with the UVF/UDA/etc. Gregory Campbell even laughed when on the Nolan TV show when the obvious gerrymandering that was going on in Derry by Unionists was brought up. There was another time when Nolan on his radio show even asked Gregory Campbell does he want to apologize to Catholics on behalf of Unionism and Gregorys reply was “Apologize for what?”.

          Says it all really…..

  8. Perkin Warbeck April 14, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

    When you mention (with tongs, one trusts) the Indo, Esteemed Blogmeister, those of us who have now entered (some of us screaming) into the sere and yellow automatically think of the second part of that portmanteau word, now,alas, fallen into disuse.


    This term was common currency till the Vietnam Bother commenced in the early Sixties and it referred, one suspects to the general landmass which included, erm, the Indians of India and the Cowboys of China.

    Indeed, The Indo-China might not at all be a suitable sobriquet for the Sophisticated Screech-Sheet whose former owner, sadly, went, erm, bellyup on a featherbed of bills (unpaid) , thereby landing on his, erm, Tones.

    (Although you used the b for bankrupt word in your last sentence today, EB, Perkie’s inner prude is proud to claim he desists from using the b for bankrupt word out of consideration for the Indo-Chinese sensitivities where the b for bankrupt word is still a sore bullet point).

    Yes, indeed, the daily known as the Indo-China which is much given to belting out on the tang gu the fact that Chinese is now more widely spoken in the Free Southern Stateen than leprechaun. Little wonder that the Chinese themselves refer to the same political entity as a ‘Banana Repubric’.

    In China, those Chinese toad-eaters who defer to the intrinsic superiority(alleged) of foreigners are known as ‘bananas’: yellow on the outside, white in the inside.(But don’t tell the group thinkers of the Indo China).

    The tang gu is part of Chinese musical culture and is a ceremonial hall drum which is usually suspended by four rings in a wooden stand and walloped like good-oh by a pair of drum sticks. It is not to be confused with a teanga which of course is leprechaun for ‘language’.

    While the group thinkers of the Indo China delight in their expertise with the tang gu they would no more think of picking up even a cupla focal of the ‘teanga’ unless, of course, it was with a pair of tongs.

    The Vietnam Bother, incidentally, involved Operation Ranch Hand in which the Department of Agriculture in the USA waged a campaign for the betterment of Vietnamese farmers. placing particular emphasis on the efficacy of Agent Orange.

    Odd, how the colour Orange and the musical instrument, the Drum are so often seen marching in time, one with the other.

    Mind you, the same Orange Agent was not solely an American invention; rather, was it a joint venture of the USA and the (gulp) UK. During the 40s and the 50s their boffins worked in harmony to produce a herbicidal and defolial warfare in which coffins were not factored into the equaysh,, at all at all. Unfortunately, in all wars, including wars on want, even ideological want, there is collateral damage. Hence the coffins.

    By one of those spooky flukes (which the Dukes of Hazzard choose to visit upon the commonality from time to time) this article in the Indo China appeared on the very day the author of one of the most talked about (if not read) novels of the century disappeared: ‘The Tin Drum’.

    Its author being, Gunter Grass.

    The spooky flukiness is to be found in the hero of the novel, a (gulp) child soldier by the name of Oskar. Oskar decided at the advanced age of three that he would stop growing up, there and then, on hearing his ‘presumptive’ father declare that he, Oskar, would grow up to become a …..grocer.

    Which was (gulp) the occupation of not only Tones (see above) but also of the father of the heroine of Tones. The latter’s occupation, despite appearances, was not in point of factoid, that of a, erm, thatcher.

    Oskar of the Tin Drum (T.D.) who described himself as a ‘clairaudient infant’, was gifted with a piercing shriek which could pierce glass at 40.371 paces (remember, this is a German novel). Curiously, many T.D.s who find favour with the Indo China are gifted with a similar ability. And are afforded every opportunity to exercise this gift by the Sophisticated Screech-Sheet in q.

    It is possibly worthwhile noting that another of Oskar’s presumptive fathers is a Pole put up against the wall, executed for(gulp) defending the GPO of Gdansk during the German Invasion.

    Polish is also a language to which the Indo China pays, that which all languages crave, lip service. When not playing the tang gu (see above) they love to wax lyrical about the fact of Life (reality TD is what they do) that there is more Polish to be heard on the streets of Lublin, oops, Dublinthan the lingua france of Darby O’Gill himselfeen.. If one had a tune to the same lyrics one could dance the mazurka or even a polka itself to it.

    In Germany, the author of the Tin Drum was known as Uber-Grass. Not to be mistaken for that Poster Boyo of the Indo China: the Super Grass.

    To conclude on a Hopeful note: Gdansk for the Mammaries.


  9. paddykool April 14, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

    “Legal”…is a very nebulous idea really. I’m thinking of “Better Call Saul” ..the lawyer from the series “Breaking Bad”…. or the legality of Tony Blair or Margaret Thatcher’s little war adventures. Everything perfectly lawful but somehow not quite right. We could go into it in detail but i haven’t got all day, today.
    Then there’s the idea of the “innocent” teenager who is corrupted by his elders. I suppose the hundred or so youngsters who wrecked and rioted through a community last week were wee uncorrupted , innocent lambs too. As the wife said …”School’s out for Easter “…and the wee dears have to find something to do. A little light rioting will pep them up!!
    Legal…eh? Then there are “Legal Highs” …perfectly legal but a wee bit iffy too , somehow . As many are pointing out , legal doesn’t always really mean right, after all.
    There’s the many underage teenagers who blagged their way into the army so that they could get in on the action too.Nobody turned them away when they needed more bodies.If they needed them again , they’d introduce National Service again and make everything perfectly legal with the stroke of a pen.They’d adjust the age accordingly, dependant on numbers needed, so this tosh about child-soldiers isn’t going to fly.
    What did the Jesuits say …”Give us the boy and we’ll give you the man” …or somesuch. Get these lads when they are young and build them into whatever shape you like.
    In Ireland there have been some very curious ideas about legality.Politicians flirting with all sorts of killers… .Importing arms to threaten the King or the government. Forming all kinds of para-military organisations to threaten force with.Hiding behind or within the police or the army to get their dirty deeds done .All perfectly legal?
    Yes you could easily view the idea of “legal” or “legality” with a degree of cynicism here, but neill never teases out the logic of an argument in any critical way because the end result doesn’t suit his agenda or his thought -process. He works entirely on “faith” which is an entirely different thing.

  10. moser April 14, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

    The recruitment of young boys into the Fianna – some as young as eleven or twelve- was a bit haphazard and not well thought out. I’m talking about the 70’s when they were organised around battalions and companies. The young age and immaturity of some of these recruits made them vulnerable, when put under pressure, to becoming informers. The Fianna had it’s own methods of testing the metal of it’s members to try and determine if they might break under such pressure. And even more brutal means of dealing with them should they turn tout. For all it’s noble ideals, the republican movement on many occasions, did overstep the boundaries of what would be considered noble behaviour. I think it is better for us if we except that as fact. And at the end of the day, two wrongs din’t make a right. I for one would never measure my standards by what the British do.

  11. Ceannaire April 14, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

    Neill, you are entitled to your views on the Indo “sticking it up to” SF, if that floats your boat. What you are not entitled to is the straw man argument you have used here (British violence = legal, IRA violence illegal).

    Child soldiers, Neill. Let’s stick to that.

    • neill April 14, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

      no Ceannair the point I was making was that the army was under state control the IRA wasn’t it and could do as it wanted without being held responsible at all

      I am very clear on this point if the state agencies ie the army and the police force commit a crime they should not be exempted from the full force of the law

      As for children soldiers obviously I am against that should go without saying

      • Jude Collins April 14, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

        Neill – I accept your belief that ” the army and the police force commit a crime they should not be exempted from the full force of the law”. The thing is, they weren’t.

        • Jude Collins April 14, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

          Badly phrased that – mea culpa. The BA and the RUC shouldn’t have been exempted from full force of law – agreed. But they were exempted. We’ve had D Cameron’s gracious apology for Bloody Sunday – but no soldier ever served a day for it. And Mike Jackson did his career no harm at all by his part.

          • neill April 14, 2015 at 6:19 pm #

            Yes and that was wrong completely wrong and it set a very bad example in fact a stinking example that’s why I condemn all murders from wherever they come from

  12. giordanobruno April 14, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

    Is the information in the article accurate.
    I don’t see any commenters here actually addressing that.
    Apart from Neil of course, the only one you chide for being anonymous!
    A 12 year old girl and a 14 year old? Shame on the republican movement.

    • Antonio April 14, 2015 at 6:26 pm #

      who is 12 and who is 14? are you referring to the original article or Jude’s piece ?

      • giordanobruno April 14, 2015 at 7:01 pm #


        Cathleen McCartland aged 12 and Eileen Mackin aged 14.
        Their names have now been apparently removed from republican records. It is there in the article.
        So is the Independent report wrong?

        • Antonio April 15, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

          I didn’t say the independent was wrong. I don’t know if they are or not. About to read the article now I just didn’t know what you meant because i had not read the article as i could not find it when i went onto their ‘news’ web site 🙂

          • giordanobruno April 15, 2015 at 7:09 pm #

            I know you didn’t say it was wrong, I’m just asking the question; is it factually accurate.?
            The question is open to anyone since no-one here seems to be challenging its basis.

        • murph April 16, 2015 at 1:23 am #

          giordanobruno the indo is wrong on almost every aspect of the story in regard to these two girls Cathy Mc Gartland fell through a skylight in the roof of ver foster school and was found by school staff and Eileen Mackin was murdered by a loyalist sniper in springhill ave witness by lots of people and far from erasing their names from history a two minute internet search would show that there are 3 or 4 memorials to them and others 1 including pictures of them and a mural on the gable of a house with a portraite of Cathy and Eileen on it. We could be generous and say lazy journalism Mr Cusack but I fear much darker motives for the use of these girls untimely deaths in this way. Shame on him

          • giordanobruno April 16, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

            Thanks for the reply. Is it accepted that they were indeed members of Cumann na gCailini, the youth wing?
            I won’t dispute your version of what happened, although Lost Lives suggests the bullets that killed Eileen Mackin came from an armalite.
            Either way it is appalling that they were dragged into a conflict at that age. They could not have understood what was going on.

          • murph April 17, 2015 at 2:40 am #


            Lost Lives like Jim Cusack can say what ever they want but it does not make it true. I don’t know where you grew up but the area where these girls lived had seen the Ballymurphy Massacre, the Springhill Massacre, Kellys pub bomb and shooting dozens of deaths Hundreds of injuries, internment, daily harrasment, discrimination I would say that people their age knew all to well what was going on in their community and as I am a similar age as them I know that most of the youth in these areas had to be dragged out of conflict rather than dragged in.

          • giordanobruno April 18, 2015 at 9:43 am #

            Anyone of course can say what they want I’m just pointing out it was a coroner’s report,I think which identified the bullets as being from an armalite.
            Is it not even a possibilty?
            You do not say if the children were part of the IRA youth wing or not.
            And you are right that children did of course get involved in conflict. It should have been up to the adults in the community to protect them and keep them away from it,not put a gun in their hands.Do you not agree?

  13. Colm April 14, 2015 at 2:51 pm #

    The Belfast Telegraph should be added to the list of mendacious news outlets. One of the joint authors of the “Child Soldiers” piece , viz Jim Cusack has form. At the time of the Northern Bank robbery, speaking ex cathedra he told anyone stupid enough to read his pronouncements that the raid was carried out by many of the IRA’s most senior operators from the Belfast Brigade one of whom was a particularly nasty paedophile. A few weeks later, with no apparent sense of embarrassment he reported as fact that arrests had not yet been made as those crafty Provos had used new volunteers from rural areas in the heist… surprisingly no mention was made this time of any sexual misconduct

  14. fiosrach April 14, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

    And the converse. Homosexual behaviour was illegal in Britain so was it wrong? Now it is legal, is it right?

  15. Ryan April 14, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

    That line “the so called Ballymurphy massacre” tells us all we need to know on where the Irish Independent stands when it comes to the victims of British state murder/violence (as if we couldn’t work out that already anyway).

    The Irish Independent are being grossly offensive to people who had their love ones murdered by the parachute regiment, who never seen 1 British soldier in court over the murders and who had to endure the British soldiers mocking the murders of their lived ones just days after the murders occurred. There is even allegations that the parachute regiment involved in the Ballymurphy Massacre also committed Bloody Sunday in Derry.

    Why anyone in the 26 counties buys this “paper” is beyond me. It’s obsession with Sinn Fein is getting quite boring, you can basically guess the main story of the paper every week that’s how desperate it is in its failing campaign to smear Sinn Fein and to stop its advance in politics in the 26 counties. Journalists (I use that term loosely) like Ruth Dudley Edwards are obsessed judging by the amount of articles they write on SF, their agenda is so obvious its cringe worthy now. You’d think poor Ruth would at least change tact and try something new in her failing campaign against the shinners.

    On the subject of child soldiers. Every Army has its cadets. Every “illegal” army has its cadets too. Its nothing new, its a non-story. I think what the Irish Independent are trying to do is make readers think the IRA sent children out to war or are they trying to say any child shot dead by the British Army was an IRA soldier? If that’s the case then they are seriously crossing the line this time. My mothers childhood friend, Frankie Rowntree, a child murdered by the British Army was no soldier, he was a child, not involved in anything and Frankie being murdered was no accident either, it was deliberate. Frankie’s mother is still alive and she suffers every day from the murder of her child just as if it happened yesterday.

    Unionists aren’t the only ones on a pursuit to create a hierarchy of victims, there are those in the Irish Government/Irish media who are intent on joining with the Unionists in that pursuit too and that’s an extremely wrong and dangerous thing to do…..

  16. AP April 14, 2015 at 4:46 pm #

    Another crass comment refers to the ‘demented nationalists in the north.’ But I guess that is the risk of an electorate making an informed choice at the ballot box. You may vote but vote for who we like, and don’t forget to doff your cap and respect your betters. Democracy Indo style.