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Old September 16th, 2012, 04:22 AM   #1
odlum833
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First minister of the north wants an apology

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19601447


Quote:
First Minister Peter Robinson has called on the Irish government to apologise for its role in the early years of The Troubles.

Mr Robinson said Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny should apologise for the role previous governments played in arming and encouraging the IRA.

Is this guy for real?
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Old September 16th, 2012, 12:01 PM   #2
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I can see his point but I think he's missing the point himself. The Irish government didn't directly arm and support the IRA but the Garda and Irish Army were utterly useless at combating training, stockpiling and general IRA activity in the Irish Republic.


BTW he didn't say the Irish government 'armed' the IRA, he said;

Quote:
"Nobody should be apologising for the IRA, other than those in the republican movement," What he (Mr Kenny) does need to apologise for, is the role of the Irish government.

There is a clear connection between what the IRA did in its infancy and the government of the Irish Republic.

I think the Irish Republic would do well to look at its role and recognise that it was not the way it should have behaved in those days and apologise for it because massive death and destruction followed,"
What he said is quoted, the BBC has taken artistic license it seems with their headlines
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Old September 16th, 2012, 07:03 PM   #3
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More IRA members were jailed in the Republic than in Northern Ireland. How does he square that circle? Seems to me he does not know what he wants and is just playing to a gallery. Which is a dodgy thing to do because then people will want apologies left right and centre. There is far more evidence of collusion with loyalist paramilitaries on the British side than collusion with the IRA on the part of the government here - indeed in to bomb attacks in this jurisdiction.

If politicians keep getting the rake out and bringing up recent history than we are never going to move on.
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Old September 16th, 2012, 07:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odlum833 View Post
More IRA members were jailed in the Republic than in Northern Ireland. How does he square that circle? Seems to me he does not know what he wants and is just playing to a gallery. Which is a dodgy thing to do because then people will want apologies left right and centre. There is far more evidence of collusion with loyalist paramilitaries on the British side than collusion with the IRA on the part of the government here - indeed in to bomb attacks in this jurisdiction.

If politicians keep getting the rake out and bringing up recent history than we are never going to move on.
Where did you pull that from??

In 1997 40, (3 from Mountjoy and 37 from Portlaoise), were released from prisons in Ireland and over 300 were released from NI prisons.....

The VAST majority of IRA members jailed between 1969 and 1997 were jailed in Northern Ireland.
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Old September 16th, 2012, 09:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by belfastuniguy View Post
The VAST majority of IRA members jailed between 1969 and 1997 were jailed in Northern Ireland.




That's not true. I will search for the statistics which are difficult to find. I have read in two separate accounts on the troubles in full in recent years by very highly regarded historians of the troubles (Journalist Ed Moloney and historian Tim Pat Coogan) that that is absolutely not true. But feel free to contradict in the mean time.
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Old September 16th, 2012, 09:12 PM   #6
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His wife is a homophobe and an adulteress (and possible ephebophile). That much I know.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 01:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odlum833

That's not true. I will search for the statistics which are difficult to find. I have read in two separate accounts on the troubles in full in recent years by very highly regarded historians of the troubles (Journalist Ed Moloney and historian Tim Pat Coogan) that that is absolutely not true. But feel free to contradict in the mean time.
Well the evidence I've posted seems to contradict that. But I'll await your statistics, however I'm pretty certain more IRA members were imprisioned in Northern Ireland.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 01:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by manrush
His wife is a homophobe and an adulteress (and possible ephebophile). That much I know.
Don't even start me on her....!
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Old September 17th, 2012, 07:43 PM   #9
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'If politicians keep getting the rake out and bringing up recent history than we are never going to move on.'

... and we'd never find Irish politicions raking up the past now would we!

Whilst an apology might be asking for a bit much, it would be entire reasonable for the Southern government to acknowledge the part it played in destabilising the North and adding to distrust of the northern catholic community by its actions right from the treaty of 1921.

The ink was barely dry on the treaty before Collins was shipping guns north and planning more active intervention (stopped only by the civil war and collins' demise). De Valera added to the spirit of neighbourliness on the island by describing Northern unionists as 'the rock which needed to be blasted from the road to irish unity' and introduced his infamous constitutional claim to NI.

Such actions were hardly likely to be conducive to trust of a community perceived as loyal to the threatening state to the south. It is regrettable and wrong that this mistrust led to discrimination against the Catholic community, it is fair to say that the voices of inclusive unionism would have been stronger and the voices of Paisley & co weaker had there not been the constant threat and hostility from the South.

The actions of Haughey & friends only represent another stage in ongoing Southern meddling in affairs north of the border, sadly this meddling resulted in the creation of the most murderous terrorist group in western europe at a time when the official RA were looking at political options with the attendant lengthening and deepening of a conflict which should have petered out by the early seventies.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 12:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belfastuniguy View Post
Don't even start me on her....!
Actually, I thought she was in good shape for a 60 year old
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Old September 18th, 2012, 12:38 PM   #11
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Frankly, I think this is just playing to the Gallery by Robinson.

Granted, during the troubles the Irish Government at various times (usually under FF administrations) dragged its heels with regard to various issues such as extraditions etc, and tried to give the appearance of being supportive of extreme Republicans. However, for the most part it did vigouriously pursue terrorists. The Garda Special Branch in particular was extremely zealous in pursuit of IRA/INLA members.

Now, I have no doubt that there were individual members of the Garda and Defence Forces (Particularly Army) who are sympathetic to SF/IRA and passed on information. Indeed I am sure this remains the case. This sort of "lone wolf" activity is difficult to prove though, and is quite different from the British Government which was actively part of covering up illegal activity.

Blandy....I think blaming the Irish Government as being the sole creator of the modern IRA is extremely tunnel visioned, and ignores other factors such as Stormont opression, blanket internment of innocent people etc etc....and I say that as somebody who HATES SF/IRA.

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Old September 18th, 2012, 06:51 PM   #12
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Big C - 'sadly this meddling helped contribute to the creation of the most murderous terrorist group in western europe' - A reasonable correction I think.

'Stormont opression, blanket internment of innocent people etc' - lets deal with these.

- Stormont oppression - I think you're getting a bit OTT with your wording there. Let us not forget that the only legislation in NI's history to specifically discrimate on the basis of religon was the preferencial recruitment of Catholics into the PSNI! Yes, as noted in my last post discrimation took place, primarily due to mistrust of a significant minority with allegence to the hostile Southern state, a state which at the time had an explicitly catholic constitution, couldnt fart without the approval of the Catholic church and was enforcing the Ne Temerre decree on children of mixed marriages. This was also against the background of sporadic IRA violence right from partition and a hostile constitutional claim on NI. As I said before this was wrong, but just as we should look at the causes of the troubles we should also look at the causes of discrimination in NI.

- Internment - This is NOT a cause of the formation of the PIRA - it occured in response to escalating IRA violence. Yes it was a complete shambles & merely helped the RA but like a lot of republican cause celebres (eg Bloody Sunday), had there been no IRA violence it would not have occured.

- What other etc's then. Please ensure you note causes of the troubles NOT consequences of IRA violence.

I think the arms trial represents a fairly hefty cover up.

It is easy for Southerners to be sanctimonious about 'only a few lone wolves' - how many Garda had to check under their cars every morning? how many Garda had to bury their colleagues? How many Garda faced rioting night after night? Had the Garda lost the same amount of people & faced the same daily mayhem as the RUC did, the wolves might not have been as lonely.
(I mean no disrespect to those members of the Southern security forces who lost their lives, however, the RUC & army faced a radically different situation in the North!)
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Old September 19th, 2012, 02:17 AM   #13
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Hey Blandy

Firstly, that correction is a reasonable assumption. I certainly feel the State should and indeed could have gone ALOT further in tackling the IRA. You would be surprised how many share that opinion even if it isn't always expressed openly.

Secondly, I don't think I was terribly OTT regarding my statements in relation to the Stormont Government. Any objective assessment will show that they were dreadfully discrimatory. With regard to the South, I would agree that it wasn't a pleasant place for Protestants. However, it was a "cold house" as opposed to an openly hostile one. In fact, there were always Protestants occupying extremely senior positions in the Civil Service, Political Life and Commercial institutions of the Republic....the same can't be said about Catholics in the North.

You do raise a very valid point surrounding the issue of excessive Clericalism in the Republics constitution. I can fully understand why that would inspire fear in Protestants. It dismayed many Catholics also!

Again, immediately after partition particularly during the 1920s there was alot of reprehensible and disgusting actions carried out by what can only be described as Catholic fundamentalists against Protestants and what were deemed "Castle Catholics", but this was emphatically a personal crusade rather then State sponsored. It took many forms ranging from mild hostility to outright violence. One of the consequences was the destruction of many architectural wonders as Manor Houses were subjected to arson. As an aside, my Grandmother, who grew up in rural Westmeath, clearly rembers her brothers being "encouraged" to stop playing Cricket and play GAA instead!! Thankfully the Irish Cricket team seems to be bouncing back lately!!

As for internment, I think you are being very literal. Yes, the policy was brought in to tackle IRA mayhem. However, to simply dismiss it in that way is a dis-service to the many innocent people that were interned. Furthermore, it did play a huge role in allowing the IRA to expand.

Personally, I would be inclined to agree about aspects of the arms trial. When you look at the rogues gallery involved in the events that predated it....thats not surprising.

Lastly, I don't know why you think I am being sanctimonious when I state that collaborators with the IRA were "lone wolves" because thats exactly what there were. And you are wrong to infer that when I make that statement I am somehow denigrading the Security Forces. Actually, I have the height of respect for most of them. I can't begin to immagine what life must have been like for them. In my opinion it must be galling for the PSNI to have former terrorists on Policing Boards lecturing the police when if there was any justice they would be in prison! For the record, in Secondary School I was friends with a chap whos Dad was in Garda Ballistics branch...he was badly injured whilst inspecting unstable explosives recovered from an IRA arms dump. That incident occured in the late 1970s and when I met him in the mid-1990s he was still suffering related health problems.

C
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Old September 19th, 2012, 08:24 PM   #14
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Big C,

Thank you for a considered response.

I agree that anti-catholic discrimation took place at a higher institutional level in the north (http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/discrimination/sum.htm), however I do not equate it with apartheid or US discrimination, ie oppression - having grown up in NI i can safely say that there were never 'prods only' public bogs for example. As with the South, Catholics who were prepared to engage with and be part of the NI state did do well - Ronnie Flanagan for example. A former Chair of the UUP, Lord Rogan, was also Catholic.

When NI was formed there were conscious efforts made to include Catholics including an unofficial quota within the RUC, unfortunately most Catholics elected to sit tight and wait for the (expected) cavalry from the south. It is that initial unwillingness to engage with the NI state and the loyalty to the hostile state to the south which led to a profound mistrust of the catholic community within Unionism. Had the nascent Southern State engaged with the north as equals instead of giving the impression of perpetually fomenting a hostile takeover the history of relations within NI and within the island would have been radically different. I think it was Craig who said 'Northern Ireland should not only be part of the UK but also the most progressive part of it', sadly it was the more trenchant half of unionism, driven by a bitter mistrust, who were to take over the agenda. It should be noted that nationalists boycotted the inital local government boundaries commission in NI, quel suprise that unionists got the felt tip pens out big time.

(As an aside, the percentage of Catholic applications to the RUC doubled from 5% to 10% immediately after the IRA ceasefire, this dramatically shows the impact of RA imtimidation on Catholic relationships with the police. It is reasonable to speculate that an end to violence at the start of the seventies coupled with the civil rights protections in place by then would have produced a balanced police force by now without the intervening mayhem and 50:50)

I agree with you, internment only succeeded in helping the RA, however, without diminishing the impact on innocent people, it was fundamentally a (kneejerk & and wrong) response to IRA violence by a government facing an angry electorate. No RA, no internment in summary - a lot of innocent people would not have faced it but for the RA!

Arms trial - I think we agree? - for me the fundamental issue is that Haughey & Co were aquitted of 'offences against the state' because the defence showed that 'the state' - ie Lynch) was fully aware of, and actively supportng, their activities.

Sanctimonious - mmm - I see where you're coming from in some ways - I think the thing that annoys me is that a lot of southern and nationalist commentators like to tar the entire RUC with the collusionist brush and ignore the large numbers of loyalist terrorists placed behind bars by the self same force. Yes there were more and more senior/influencial 'lone wolves' relative to the garda, but the vast majority of officers did the best job they could. I think it was particular offensive and petty how an historic name and badge were sacrificed to placate the shinners, most of the the other reforms (on oversight etc) were already in train courtesy of a task force previously chaired by none other than a certain Mr R Flanagan!

I used the term more to apply to the Southern government who have always been brilliant at criticising the security forces in NI within a 'war' situation, whilst ignoring the brutal human rights record of the Southern state when faced with a similar existential threat in the twenties.

Regards, Blandy
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Old September 19th, 2012, 10:24 PM   #15
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So the house burning, gerrymandering, murder, intimidation directed toward the nationalist community before there was any provisional IRA in the late 1960's was a mirage? Wasn't that bad? I suppose those refugee centres on this side of the border that took thousands fleeing in terror of loyalist thuggery was also a mirage? Not that bad was it? How do you defend that?

It was not the Irish government engaged in that activity. It was supported and aided by the unionist government at Stormont which let me remind you is not allowed to govern on it's own now. Why do you think that might be?

I'm not having a go btw just putting forward the observation that things were bad indeed.

Can I ask you who what terrorist organisation committed the first act of terrorism of the troubles, what organisation organised the first house burnings, what organisation carried out the first murder? Hint: It was not the IRA.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 12:59 AM   #16
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Hey Guys

Odlum, those dreadful acts did indeed happen. However, I would add the proviso that the senior Unionists who encouraged the protestant mobs were not in fact the NI Government but extremist elements such as Paisley, Craig etc! Much of their ire was in response to Terrence O'Neill and Sean Lemass begining to move towards a kind of mutual understanding. Furthermore, in my opinion there is never enough attention given to the Civil War in Unionism in the 60s breaking out between the generally upper class leaders and the largely working class pretenders to the throne.

I think the "first shot" arguement is a red herring as by 68/69 the North was a powder keg that was ready to explode. It could have been either side that happened to light the spark.

Blandy, naturally I would not equate the Stormont Administration with the Southern USA or Aparteid South Africa. Such a comparison would be unfair to both NI and those who suffered the kind of police States Malans SA and Wallaces Alabama. In fact, there are more contradictions regarding religion in NI then even you have mentioned. For example, during the 1920s, due to an exodus of RIC officers from the South, the RUC was at that time over 40% Catholic! Also, prior to Ronnie Flanagan I believe there was also a Catholic Chief Constable during the 1970s James Flanagan (related?).

You actually raise fairly interesting points regarding Nationalist participation and general Government talks during the 1920s and 1930s. Fundamentally, partition was a knee-jerk reaction which was formulated by Bonar Law in contravention of his own legal System and enforced by Loyd George, who in time both Unionists and Nationalists felt betrayed by. When the two States were established it was genuinely only meant to be a temporary measure. As well as the Boundary Commission there was also an inter-governmental body which aimed to eventually integrate both bodys. However, for varying reasons both the Unionists and Nationalists refused to meet each other. It was a collective failure of nerve. Even Carson was appaled by partition if what we read is true. Strangely, the maximum deadline for a merger of both States was 1970.....right about the time that all hell would break loose!

As for the Arms trial. Having read a number of books on the subject, I have formed the view that there were informal and cabinet discussions regarding armed support. My reading of it is that at some point common sense prevailed and any hypothetical action was cancelled but that Haughey and Co went ahead. Subsequently, the reast of the Government felt compelled to insist that the Trio acted alone rather then admit that the matter was discussed. Whilst its no surprise that Blaney and Boland would be involved, Haughey is something of a mystery. Although in later years he was very much identified with the Green vote, in the 1960s he was very much a part of a modernising faction that wasn't interested in the "national question". Its been surmised that he made a political play to be associated with a populist move who subsequently set his career back a decade.

I would be inclined to agree that most RUC officers were just doing a job. Unfortunately, as experience all over the world has shown us when politics gets involved it does not end happily...particularly for the ordinary coppers who don't live in the ivory towers of those who make the decisions.

Perhaps there is somewhat of a contradiction in the Republic crushing all Republican attacks on itself 1920-1940 whilst turning a blind eye to matters North of the border, but, they wouldn't be the first Country to do that. I would add that the border campaign in the late 1950s was treated with equal severity by both Governments.

I guess, if sacraficing the name RUC was a price to be paid for peace then it was a relatively small one. It was much the same down here. The RIC, Dublin Metropolitan Police and Criminal Investigation Division were all merged and disarmed to form the Garda Siochana. Many of the officers from the old forces remained but it ensured the feeling of a blank slate. Its similar when old Military formations are remembered. Currently, there are the begins of recognition within the Irish Defence Forces celebrate the achievements of Irish soldiers in the BA prior to their formation. Its all part of a rather illustrious history of Irish soldiering through the ages, even if names and politics have changed.

One of the heartening aspects of today is the intense co-operation with regard to dissident Republicans (drug dealing gangsters) which is a hallmark of the current PSNI/Garda relationship.

C
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Old September 20th, 2012, 01:01 AM   #17
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As an aside....at least in dealing with Unionists on this site we can actually engage and talk to eachother. I've tried the same thing on politics.ie with SF supporters......they are like fcuking robots that have been programmed with a handful of responses!
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Old September 20th, 2012, 01:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Blandy, naturally I would not equate the Stormont Administration with the Southern USA


A lot of the emigrants to the southern states were of the Ulster Scots variety. When you think of Paisley for example and his preaching - what does that make you think of? It is identical to the bible bashing nuts in places like Alabama. And it's not only Paisley. I see a link between the two I have to say. The same attitudes, the same behaviour. I don't see a difference.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 02:08 PM   #19
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A lot of the emigrants to the southern states were of the Ulster Scots variety. When you think of Paisley for example and his preaching - what does that make you think of? It is identical to the bible bashing nuts in places like Alabama. And it's not only Paisley. I see a link between the two I have to say. The same attitudes, the same behaviour. I don't see a difference.
Ulster Scots were just one of a number of groups which emigrated to the Confederate States and in fact they were alot more numerous in Tenessee and Kentucky then they were in the likes of Mississippi and Alabama. Certainly, the preaching and style of worship was similar, but the likeness ends there. What happened to Catholics in the North was the Teddy Bears picnic compared to what happened to blacks in the Southern States!
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Old September 20th, 2012, 04:34 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odlum833 View Post
A lot of the emigrants to the southern states were of the Ulster Scots variety. When you think of Paisley for example and his preaching - what does that make you think of? It is identical to the bible bashing nuts in places like Alabama. And it's not only Paisley. I see a link between the two I have to say. The same attitudes, the same behaviour. I don't see a difference.
That's because you're poorly educated.......or so it seems going by your somewhat lacking comparison.

The behaviour of the southern United States and the behaviour of Northern Ireland in relation to the minority aren't even on the same level when it comes to comparison. I'll draw up a reading list for you if you like, highlighting the differences between Northern Ireland and the southern United States.


I think people forget that Roman Catholics were actually part of the administration, they were senior civil servants, professors, academics, doctors, solicitors, politicians, councillors, home owners and they were very much part of the system. Middle class Catholics in Northern Ireland did very well in early NI and continue to do very well. So it's wholly flawed to compare the situation of Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland to Black Americans in the southern United States, such a statement is wholly devoid of reality and intelligence.
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