‘Victims’ by Joe McVeigh

Colonialism has done much harm on this island and throughout the world, dividing communities and provoking and promoting violence. Colonialism  is about greed and the lust for power and property. In many colonies people seeking freedom and dignity  have always reacted with physical force when they saw no alternative. Martin McGuinness did not wake up one morning and decide to go to war. No, as someone said, ‘the war came to him.’ The media never dwell on the violence of the state against the citizens. Their focus is always on the violence of the citizens who rebel against the state. That’s because the media like the BBC is owned and controlled by the state. Mr Stephen Nolan has chosen to be a mouthpiece for he British state.

There are those in the north of Ireland who are making a career out of being victims or representing victims. Some of them jumped on the media bandwagon when Martin McGuinness died. When the media are looking for an angry victim they have a list of people to contact. They have a list of people whose relatives were killed by the IRA. They are then interviewed once again on TV to remind viewers and listeners how they have suffered and to remind people that SF are responsible. When they have given their interviews they go home satisfied that they have struck another blow for ‘the vicitms’. Of course, according to this narrative, there is only one set of victims.

As Fr Canny said at the funeral Of Martin McGuinness in Derry, the IRA were not blameless and people ‘find it difficult to forgive and impossible to forget’. Why did the IRA carry out killings? Because that is what insurgent armies all over the world have done to achieve their goals, which is usually about achieving freedom from the colonial oppressor. There is a long tradition of physical force against colonial rule in Ireland. It is what Wolfe Tone and the United Irishmen did in 1798. It was how the Young Ireland and the IRB responded during the 1800s. It is what the IRA did in 1916 and afterwards when De Valera was in charge of the rebellion aimed at overthrowing British rule in Ireland. It is what Nelson Mandela’s ANC did in South Africa to end apartheid or what Che Guevara did in Cuba to overthrow the dictatorship. It happened in many colonies. To his great credit, and at great personal risk, Martin McGuinness moved the IRA away from armed rebellion towards the political path. After the 1998 Agreement, Martin McGuinness often said that he was prepared to deal with his past in a Truth Recovery process like they had in South Africa. As part of a healing process, he wanted the British also to deal with their past. He insisted that there were victims on both sides.

Those who wish to dwell on IRA victims are being dishonest and totally biased. They refuse to focus on British state violence and torture. It is time for truth. It is time to recognise how far we have come and to acknowledge and thank those who have made it possible rather than seeking to score points about the victims. I know all about the victims of state violence. I attended many funerals. I know the pain of those who lost loved ones. I sympathise with all victims in the great loss of their loved ones. But it happened on both sides. It has been brought to an end by people like Martin McGuinness.

We must always remember that there were victims on both sides of the conflict.

I want to deal with the victims of British state violence which included several friends who were killed by British forces. I include the RUC and the UDR and loyalist death squads in the British forces. Between them, they carried out hundreds of killings. Why were these people killed by the British? The answer is that in all their colonial territories the British organised and  killed innocent people in order to undermine the insurgency. It was part of their strategy to defeat an uprising by the downtrodden people. It was clearly described by General Frank Kitson in his book, Low Intensity Operations. None of these murders could be justified though many in the DUP like Geoffrey Donaldson try to justify them. The British were more interested in suppressing the people’s rebellion than granting justice and equality. They did the same in all their colonies. Of course the pro-British media will never mention this fact. They are too busy with the propaganda and people like Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and Sir Stephen Nolan are busy defending British murder.


52 Responses to ‘Victims’ by Joe McVeigh

  1. giordanobruno May 18, 2017 at 8:42 am #

    Finally an acknowledgement from Joe that the IRA actually created victims, even if the fiction that they had no alternative is still being propagated.
    I don’t like the idea of people who are victims being described as making a career out of it.
    Is that how Joe would describe John Finucane I wonder?
    Victims whether they are victims of state violence or paramilitary gangs,have every right to devote their lives to finding truth and justice if that is what they feel necessary.
    As for the ‘people’s rebellion’ I am not sure where to begin except to point out that only a tiny minority of the people actually engaged in this ‘rebellion’.

    • fiosrach May 18, 2017 at 9:41 am #

      If somebody takes something belonging to you, what sort of a calf would you be not to fight against it? Because we have been a British Overseas Territory for hundreds of years doesn’t lessen the wrong. Time has shown that there is no alternative only to fight t he bully and keep on fighting.

    • Wolfe tone May 18, 2017 at 10:43 am #

      Gio, history is littered with small numbers of people taking the hits and giving the hits in order to obtain the rights or freedoms of a wider population. Of that we should be thankful. Apologetically asking your oppressor for your rights/freedoms is cringeworthy and normally doesn’t work but each to their own.

      • giordanobruno May 18, 2017 at 11:51 am #

        Except that in this case giving the hits (do you mean killing people?) didn’t get us any rights or freedom
        But that is just my view.
        The point is it was only a small number,(which we seem to be agreed on), and can hardly be called a ‘people’s rebellion’.
        The wider point is how this attempted rewriting of history needs to be resisted.

        • Brendan Hewitt May 18, 2017 at 12:07 pm #

          you are doing a sterling job regarding the latter point, giordan. keep up the good work – you have more patience than most.

          • Oz 2015 May 18, 2017 at 1:15 pm #

            Yes Brendan.
            The Alternative History that the British were “peacekeepers” in Ireland
            is a disgraceful attempt to rewrite history.
            Britain used Terrorism in Ireland.
            People must be patient to explode these myths.
            I am so glad Gio spends his time fighting this and you for supporting him.
            Well done. both.

          • giordanobruno May 18, 2017 at 1:56 pm #

            Thanks for that.

          • giordanobruno May 18, 2017 at 3:47 pm #

            Was it a people’s rebellion?
            If so how?

        • Wolfe tone May 18, 2017 at 1:32 pm #

          “The point is it was only a small number,(which we seem to be agreed on), and can hardly be called a ‘people’s rebellion’.”

          As in every violent struggle,conflict or war not everyone does the heavy lifting I.e the dirty job. Most of us are cowards and will roll in behind whatever the oppressor demands of us because we simply haven’t the ability to tell the oppressor to go take a jump.

          Looking at the present day it’s obvious irish republicanism had sizeable support/sympathy amongst the people albeit for most folk it wouldn’t be wise not to publicise that fact. Yes, indeed lots of people would reject republicanism but you ain’t gonna get an entire population to agree on everything now are you? Perhaps the problem for the knockers and begrudgers of Irish republicanism is the fact that most Irish people will not banish or isolate those pesky republicanism from ‘normal society’ but in fact accept and even embrace them? Its not the way it supposed to be in the eyes of opponents of republicans thus the wailing. The wailers need to move on.

          • giordanobruno May 18, 2017 at 3:51 pm #

            Not Irish republicanism. Physical force republicanism.
            There was support of course, both active and tacit no doubt partly arising from fear, but there is no evidence to show it was anything but a minority who supported the bombing and the killing or as you call it the ‘heavy lifting’.

          • Wolfe tone May 18, 2017 at 6:54 pm #

            “There was support of course, both active and tacit no doubt partly arising from fear”

            Have you any evidence people tacitly supported Irish republicanism out of ‘fear’? I must have missed these referenda you obviously garner your claims from? Btw, the history of Irish republicanism is heavily linked with ‘physical force’ republicanism. You might not like that fact but that’s the way it is.

  2. Cal May 18, 2017 at 9:22 am #

    Violence by its nature is rarely expressed by a majority. Rebellions are the work of the few, not the many. This is the pattern throughout our history and indeed much rest of the world.

    • giordanobruno May 18, 2017 at 9:31 am #

      In what sense was it a ‘people’s rebellion’ then?
      By what right do the few decide to start killing in the name of the many?
      Sinn Fein consistently picked up a small percentage of votes throughout the height of the IRA ‘rebellion’.

      • Cal May 18, 2017 at 9:58 am #

        A people’s rebellion – in the sense it’s the weak rising up against those with the power.

        As regards who gives people the right to start killing, that’s not easy to answer, Gio.

        Rebellions by their nature can’t be passed by a democratic vote. They are instigated by the few driven by circumstances of a particular time.

        The lack of mandate makes little difference, history is littered with examples of what most would classify as a noble fight against tyranny- all without mandate.

        As regards SF election results during the long war, I’m sure they’re are many better informed than myself that could answer that although I’d mention – fear, targeting of SF representatives and intimidation of SF election workers and party members which were widespread through the troubles.

        Anecdotally, I recall a man in South Armagh being asked once by a journalist why the IRA were so strong in the area yet people voted for Seamus Mallon. His response was that people tended to support their own regardless, that is if an SDLP voter in the area seen a British patrol they would pass that info onto the ‘right people’ – in effect giving logistical and surveillance assistance and support to the IRA.

        Quite simply, I think it’s clear the IRA could not have operated to such a degree without a solid support base and wider tacit support network.

      • Ceannaire May 18, 2017 at 2:27 pm #

        “By what right do the few decide to start killing in the name of the many?”

        Yeah, because Britain has referendums on these issues while they gallivant through their regular military adventures.

        *Rolls eyes*

  3. Eolach May 18, 2017 at 3:37 pm #

    To the ‘ever so clever’ pedant who seemingly believes that the few have no right to reclaim ownership of their own country….could I ask , when had that other few the the right to steal our country…..did they ask ? take a democratic vote ? ,did they ask when they attempted genocide ….not once but several times…. did they ask could they murder us in our own country, willy nilly ,without compunction , remorse or consequence…..your attempt at implied impartiality is pathetic….This is Ireland ,not England ,Britain or any other imperialist murder machine and we have the right under International law to reclaim what belongs to us …..whatever way we chhoose !

    • Wolfe tone May 18, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

      Don’t be daft Eolach, if those violent Irish republicans had simply just asked nicely sure it would’ve been a given their requests would’ve been granted, wouldn’t it?

  4. Eolach May 18, 2017 at 3:39 pm #


  5. giordanobruno May 18, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

    Yes they have been far too eager to get involved and they have a lot to answer for in my view.
    That does not tell me how the few here had the right to start killing in the name of the many.
    Are you saying ‘it was wrong but hey the Brits do it too’?

  6. Bridget Cairns May 18, 2017 at 4:37 pm #

    Gio, I would love to know your thoughts on the British Empire, how it was established, why, and how it was maintained. Thanks

  7. Eolach May 18, 2017 at 5:03 pm #

    No matter how you try to absolve Britain by feebly trying to implicate others by default the fact remains ….this is our country , Britain is the aggressor , she has broken every moral ,civil and international law ….unrepentant for 848 years of moronic barbarity .In 1969 she started her wanton murder spree again….we only asked for Civil Rights and we had every right to use everything at our disposal…..sin e agus sin sin.

    • giordanobruno May 18, 2017 at 5:34 pm #

      You are entitled to that opinion, but the fact remains that physical force republicanism did not have the support of the majority of Irish people, not even of a majority in the occupied counties.
      I made no attempt to absolve anybody of anything.

  8. giordanobruno May 18, 2017 at 6:21 pm #

    Seriously? How many words do you want, and by when?
    Broadly speaking I think Empire building was a great wrong morally if not by the law of the times.
    The treatment of indigenous people, slavery, exploitation cultural destruction and so on were all wrong.
    That goes for other nations that built empires too by the way.
    I have no more knowledge on that than anyone else and it is a huge subject.
    Now what about our ‘people’s rebellion’ here. Any views?

    • Emmet May 19, 2017 at 8:35 am #

      So Gio, when the morally wrong, illegal Empire came to Ireland what you suggest we should have done? Just hide, and wait for it to pass?

  9. Eolach May 18, 2017 at 6:26 pm #

    You’re very knowledgeable about who supported whom….Could that same crystal ball tell you how many supported the British murder machine and their loyalist cohorts , how many supported the Unionists who helped create this mayhem by their 50 years of sectarian apartheid misrule …. I seem to remember ,because I was there , 100,000+ (at a conservative estimate) at Bobby Sands funeral ….the biggest funeral EVER in these islands….not bad for having no support !

    • giordanobruno May 18, 2017 at 6:41 pm #

      I am giving you the facts based on election results. You can ignore them if you like but they still stand.
      I am not trying to justify any British activities or loyalist groups so I don’t quite know why I am being asked to answer for the entire history of the British Empire and 50 years of Unionism.
      In these discussions it is the general tendency to go for the most extreme view and the use of hyperbole that jumps out at me.
      For example, ‘the people’s rebellion’ the’British reign of terror’ or your own use of the word apartheid.
      This kind of language weakens your case in my view.

      • Emmet May 19, 2017 at 8:39 am #

        Try to remember also that many nationalist and republicans did not bother to vote. Historically they were illegally manipulated into a tiny state- the area was carefully chosen to ensure democracy could not free them from Protestant supremacists.

        • giordanobruno May 19, 2017 at 10:16 am #

          Even in the local government council elections Sinn Fein were only getting 11% or thereabouts and that is even after the Hunger Strikes which would surely have brought a boost for them in public support.
          But I have a feeling you do not care whether they had the support of the people or not.
          Would it make any difference in your mind if they had little support?

          • Emmet May 19, 2017 at 10:50 am #

            No not really. If someone told me that the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto did not have ‘popular’ support and that most people supported the Nazi regime I would still believe they are right to try and fight back. In fact, most Jews just went to their deaths without fighting- it is part of our human nature.

            I don’t think any group that decided to bear arms against occupation really had popular support.

            Again I still believe many nationalist did not even bother to vote in local council elections. Also, not all republicans would have voted Sinn Fein.

  10. Bridget Cairns May 18, 2017 at 7:34 pm #

    Gio, thanks for replying, however, my own belief is that invading another country (imperialism) by militaristic means i.e (violence)does lead to insurrection by the indigenous populace and when that happens it results in more violence. Whilst many people did not support the use of violence in the north, many did. I remember several people in the SDLP stating that they did not support any kind of violence (Brid Rogers), with that mindset, Hitler would definitely have been parading up O’Connell St.

    • giordanobruno May 18, 2017 at 8:28 pm #

      Did Brid Rodgers really say that? I don’t recall it but I would be interested in the details thanks.
      It would be a very hard position to take to be against all violence whatever the circumstances.
      My own view is that each situation has to be judged separately.
      I do not believe the violent 30 year campaign of the PIRA was justified although I do think the fight against Hitler and fascism by many nations was justified.
      Some here obviously supported the violence of the PIRA particularly in the early days but overall they did not have the support of the Irish people.
      Perhaps that is considered irrelevant.

      • Emmet May 19, 2017 at 12:11 pm #

        So Gio, would you support the firebombing of Dresden, and the arming of the French resistance (who killed many collaborators/innocent victims- depending on your outlook)?

        • giordanobruno May 19, 2017 at 3:25 pm #

          There is no comparison between a world war and the level of injustice here in Northern Ireland in 1969.
          The fight against the Nazis was justified in my view and I think most people agree.
          Within that fight many wrongs were committed, which could be called war crimes. Dresden was one of them in my view.
          Similarly the French were justified in fighting back against a military invasion.
          They too may have committed crimes within that context.
          On the other hand the IRA were never justified in their campaign to begin with so all their violence was unjust in my view.
          Not only that but it failed in its objectives of removing the British from Ireland and to bring about a united Ireland.

          • Emmet May 20, 2017 at 12:42 am #

            There are lots of comparisons. Country invaded. People didn’t want to be occupied. Democracy denied. Violence used against people. People locked up without trail. Torture. Assassination. Genocide. Mass murder. Mass evictions. Police beating people to death. Denial of basic human rights. So what does it take to justify a war Gio?

          • giordanobruno May 20, 2017 at 7:58 am #

            Genocide? In 1969?
            That is precisely the kind of hyperbole that makes your argument so weak.
            I don’t know what it takes to justify a war or taking up arms, but just war theory offers a reasonable set of criteria which include:

            1, Right Authority; i.e. from a legal government or by the will of the people
            2. Last Resort; all peaceful means should be exhausted
            3. Proportionality; the force used should be proportional to the threat
            4 Likelihood of success; war should not be entered into if there is no realistic hope of achieving the aims.

            The PIRA in 1969 did not fulfil any of those criteria in my view.

          • Emmet May 20, 2017 at 9:40 am #

            1845? I think you’ll find the English have been here longer than that. Your lack of knowledge makes your argument weak. You can’t say that British oppression in Ireland started in 1969.

            1. A legal government? The French resistance had no legal government? The Jews in Warsaw had no legal government. The British removed the legal government in Ireland in 1801- It has never been re-instated.

            2. I think you’ll also find there has never been any other way to combat the aforementioned crimes (Country invaded. People didn’t want to be occupied. Democracy denied. Violence used against people. People locked up without trail. Torture. Assassination. Genocide. Mass murder. Mass evictions. Police beating people to death. Denial of basic human rights)

            3. Proportionality- The English caused more deaths in Ireland than the Irish caused in England. England used all the might of her empire to try and crush Irish independence movements. If anything the scale of the British ‘counter-insurgency’ was not proportionate.

            4. So if you think you might lose just surrender and accept you fate? No chance. Imagine the world said we might not beat Hitler lets just leave him alone. The IRA had a good chance, they almost succeeded in 1921.

          • giordanobruno May 20, 2017 at 10:22 am #

            I don’t think I said anything about 1845 did I?
            The point is about the situation as it was when the IRA decided to begin its campaign.
            On the issue of a legal government that is why I added the alternative criteria of ‘the will of the people’ which you ignore.

            Peaceful means were not exhausted and could have brought us to where we are now, much sooner without the loss of so many lives, and the alienation of communities.. It was after all the cessation of violence which led to the establishment of the GFA and devolved government.

            There was no proportionality in the IRA campaign. Instead of seeking to minimise the loss of life they often chose to do maximum damage.
            Instead of choosing targets where there would be no loss of life they chose easy targets such as off duty part time soldiers sitting in a remote farm eating their dinner with their family.

            As to your last point there was never any chance that the IRA could get the British out of Ireland through bombing and killing. How could it ever have happened?
            How did they have a good chance?

          • Emmet May 20, 2017 at 11:11 am #

            You said ‘or’ by the will of the people. (Most Germans support the invasion of Poland and it was a legal government- just war?)

            The British presence in Ireland is what the IRA were fighting- Irish people have been fighting for freedom for over 800. Same cause, you can’t decide it into neat chapters and say some of it was justified. The British presence in Ireland has always been an abomination that we have suffered dearly for. Many have resisted through the centuries.

            The GFA would never have happened without conflict. Also the GFA is not the rend of the road- the struggle continues. Peaceful means not exhausted- tell that to the people murdered on Bloody Sunday. Peaceful protest has never in Irish history gained us any freedom. It is naïve to think otherwise.

            Giving a warning is maximising carnage? Gio, the vast majority of bomb attacks had warnings. this does not fit your narrative of trying to kill as many people as possible.

            Look at 1921???? They freed most of Ireland.

          • Emmet May 20, 2017 at 11:19 am #

            Gio the French resistance with Help for the British kill off duty German soldiers. Does this make the war against the Nazis unjust?

          • Wolfe tone May 20, 2017 at 11:58 am #

            “There was no proportionality in the IRA campaign. Instead of seeking to minimise the loss of life they often chose to do maximum damage.”


            Hindsight is a wonderful thing. And in hindsight the IRA would never have existed if it weren’t for partition.

          • giordanobruno May 20, 2017 at 11:59 am #

            Rather than go through your points again I will just accept that you view it as a just war.
            I do not.
            I do not think we will get any further.
            My original point questioning the phrase ‘people’s rebellion’ still stands.

          • Wolfe tone May 20, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

            “As to your last point there was never any chance that the IRA could get the British out of Ireland through bombing and killing. How could it ever have happened?”

            More nonsense. For younger readers on here you’d be forgiven for thinking the IRA campaign was having no influence or bearing on British society. The fact is poll after poll carried out in Britain, during the conflict, pointed to the veiw ‘most of the British public’ wanted their govt to withdraw from Ireland altogether. There is no doubt the IRA campaign at that time strongly influenced this public opinion. There is no doubt the IRA brought the travesty of partition to the attention of the British public. And the British public agreed that it should be corrected. Alas no official poll was ever taken concerning British withdrawal for obvious reasons I.e the British state may have had to ignore their own people’s wishes just like they do in other countries. Whoever said democracy was like smoke in a bottle; an illusion, a trick etc may have had a point.

            Btw bigger and more bombs perhaps could’ve got the job done? After all that’s how govts/states do it in other countries it seems. Is it any wonder other groups and organisations practice what their invader practices?

          • Emmet May 20, 2017 at 12:34 pm #

            Well Gio, you haven’t really explained why the war against the British was not justified. I don’t see how you can view the war against the Nazis as justified when it included killing ‘off duty’ soldiers and targeted civilians also. You still haven’t said what we should have done in response when the British Empire was carrying out all the things I have mentioned. You seem to completely ignore my point on proportionality. You have not said how you think people should have reacted to British violence. I don’t believe you truly mean the things you write. You can’t even admit that the IRA got the British out of most of Ireland in 1921, why would you think they couldn’t do it again?

          • giordanobruno May 20, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

            I think I am wasting my time but I will give it one more go.
            Just War theory is not perfect but to me it offers a reasonable way of assessing conflicts objectively.
            Do you agree?
            If not then there is no point in us trying to apply it to the conflict here
            If you do not accept Just War theory what criteria would you suggest in assessing conflicts?
            If we can agree on some criteria we might make some progress.
            I already pointed out that within a just war wrong acts can still be carried out (jus in bellum).
            That does not change the right or wrong of the larger conflict.
            On your point about bloody Sunday I think you cannot use it as justificaton for the IRA campaign which began 2 or 3 years earlier.

          • Emmet May 20, 2017 at 11:43 pm #

            Well there is a first! “I already pointed out that within a just war wrong acts can still be carried out (jus in bellum). That does not change the right or wrong of the larger conflict.”

            If you believe this then you can’t bring up certain events to try and say the war against the British was wrong. I have already destroyed the idea (based on your 4 points before) that the conflict was not a just war (go back to your 4 points and my 4 points countering every one of them). Can you justify the British war in Ireland?

            “On your point about bloody Sunday I think you cannot use it as justificaton for the IRA campaign which began 2 or 3 years earlier.”

            The ‘campaign’ did not start as an offensive one. It started as a defensive one against state back loyalist pogroms aimed a cleansing certain areas of Catholics. Bloody Sunday is merely to point the British attitude to peaceful protest (I could hark back to Berntullet or the original Irish Bloody Sunday to prove this point). Bloody Sunday merely confirmed the sheer uselessness of peace protest- the IRA already knew it was ineffective.

          • giordanobruno May 21, 2017 at 9:19 am #

            You addressed my points mainly through whataboutery
            You dodge the fact that the IRA did not have the support of the people, that their method was not proportional to the situation and you fail to explain what their strategy was to get the Brits out.
            How did that plan go? Are we living in a united Ireland Emmet?
            A small number of people chose violence because the peaceful option was too difficult for them, like drunks brawling outside a pub..
            Do you think the just war criteria are a reasonably good starting point to assess any conflict or would you like to offer some of your own?

          • Emmet May 21, 2017 at 10:48 am #

            I addressed every one of your points through facts. You have clearly dodged every one of my facts (or as you call it whataboutery)
            The IRA had a lot of support from people (the idea of ‘one’ people is ridiculous) and they could not have operated without that support.
            I have already dealt with proportionality- The English killed at least 1,000s more people in Ireland than the IRA- so tell me about your proportionality?
            The plan isn’t over, and Ireland is closer to be united than it ever has since 1921 (the last time the IRA almost freed Ireland). The IRA brought about a dispensation that allowed the Orange state to be dismantled.

            ‘like drunks brawling outside a pub’?? What was the peaceful option?? March for rights then get murdered by her majesty’s finest, fuck off. The violent option was a lot more difficult than the peaceful one, any old fool can say ‘I’m keeping out of it’ and spend their days in blissful ignorance. Thankfully some had the courage to stand up against tyranny.

            Just war: when a foreign power tries to take your land.

            (by the way point 4 of your just war criteria makes the British war against the Nazi’s unjust- they never had a chance of defeating Germany).

            You certainly “do know the propaganda sheet well enough” Gio.

          • giordanobruno May 21, 2017 at 12:42 pm #

            Proportionality means the level of response from the IRA to the threat at that time, not the sum total of history.
            That is just one example of where you are going wrong.

            You have not told me your criteria for assessing whether taking up arms is justified or not. Do you think the just war criteria to be reasonable?

            It’s good to know the plan as you laughably call it is still ongoing:
            ’30 years of bombing and killing lads, then 20 years of devolved government and by that time unionists will be happy to join us in a united Ireland’.
            Good plan.

          • Emmet May 21, 2017 at 10:13 pm #

            Have you got any examples of the disproportionately of actions Gio?
            The British action in Ballymurphy, internment, Bloody Sunday, The (deliberate)shooting dead of Children, operation Motorman, Dublin Monaghan bombings, the killing of human rights lawyers, the number of troops deployed in Ireland, the number of army bases, the saturation of roadblocks, The falls curfew…., the ratio of ‘Security force’ personnel to Catholic males 18-56, the extra-ordinary use of FRU terrorist units. Proportionate? This is where you are going wrong.

            I don’t need to use the sum of all history, however the IRA were fighting the illegal British Presence in Ireland. They didn’t choose to say we are only fighting against the but after 1969. I know you only want to think about what you know in the short term and can’t see the big picture (I think that may be because of your fundamental attitude). You can see IRA actions quite easily as a response to what was happening.

            I gave you criteria for a just war already:
            Just war: when a foreign power tries to take your land.

            I pointed out a flaw in your just war theory:
            (by the way point 4 of your just war criteria makes the British war against the Nazi’s unjust- they never had a chance of defeating Germany).

            I personally don’t believe that a war can be ‘just’.

            I like your plan- sit on your asses lads- just go to the pub and wait for the British to get fed up repressing us and go home. Then just criticise anyone who tries to do anything.

            Funny you should mention laughter….

          • giordanobruno May 22, 2017 at 7:02 am #

            Is that the only choice you can think of.
            Either sit on our asses and do nothing or go on a 30 year killing spree.
            Nothing in between? What a lack of imagination.
            There was no chance the British were going to withdraw as per the IA demands.
            It was ludicrous.
            In the end they settled for an agreement that a referendum would determine the constitutional issue. That could have been achieved in the ’70s without the loss of life.
            The list of actions by the British which you cite happened after the IRA began their campaign so you cannot use them as justification for going to war.
            And again they never had the support of more than a small minority; a point you keep ignoring.
            Finally if you think there is no such thing as a just war are you saying the IRA campaign was wrong?

  11. Eolach May 19, 2017 at 7:39 am #

    Whether you agree with the armed struggle is immaterial ,thankfully we didn’t need your consent. How you can ascertain that the majority of Irish people did not support it is bewildering….it’s like proving God exists ,or doesn’t…..it’s an opinion , only that ! There was support throughout Ireland or the Provisional’s wouldn’t have lasted a week…..safe houses , arms dumps , intelligence networks , transport ,finances etc etc. That support was mostly latent and that is how it was so successful. These were ordinary 5/8 people who in a quest for freedom aligned themselves against one of the best equipped armies in the world ,with unlimited resources and who were enthusiastically aided and abetted by a quisling supine class in the free-state and a very compliant propaganda press. With the support of the people the Provisional’s became a world renown guerrilla army and an inspiration to freedom loving people everywhere !

    • giordanobruno May 19, 2017 at 8:26 am #

      Yes I know the propaganda sheet well enough thanks.
      The facts do not support it and I will stick with the facts.