The IRA.

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What with Britain declaring 'war on terrorism' along with America, do you think this will change the situation in Northern Ireland? How? Why? Personally, I don't think it will, partially because it would be tantamount to attacking ourselves if we took action. But I think it's an interesting sideline to all of this, if tricky.

Bill, Sunday, 16 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Might be revelations of links between the IRA and other groups. If the Colombia thing has even the most tenuous link to the WTC, expect shit to hit fan.

dave q, Sunday, 16 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

All-purpose declaration of war on terrorism and all who sponsor it >> downsizing of defn of terrorISM to exclude eg former terrorISTS turned "good guys"

(to avoid i. spiralling costs, monetary and political, of said war; ii. indictment and worse of "our guys", from Kissinger to Trimble to whosoever you care to call).

As of the declaration of this war, there are thousands less terrorists in the world, de facto and de jure. A result already, if only by (sanctioned, some might even say cynical) relabelling...

mark s, Sunday, 16 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Does rather stink of Nazi Germany's falling unemployment figures doesn't it? Blair should not forget the problem on our own doorstep whilst doing his statesmen thang...

Bill, Sunday, 16 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

This was something that was said by the British members of the Penthouse to the American members of the Penthouse (sorry, that was what the guards called our little refugee camp at the airport) whenever they started getting uppity about terrorism and how deplorable it was...

"Yes, if you're so anti-terrorist, why have you Americans been supporting the IRA for so damned long, then?"

kate, Sunday, 16 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

The IRA's vicious campaign of assassination, bombings and insurgency post-1916 directly lead to an undeniable military and political achievement. They succesfully defeated the world's most powerful Empire in its nearest colony. For years Ireland had agitated for greater autonomy/independence, now suddenly, thanks to use of force, in 26 counties it got it.

That victory was noted the world over and the tactics employed by Michael Collins et al widely emulated: Eg Radical Jewish settlers in Palestine directly copied them in their campaign of 'terror' against the UN-mandated British. Nationalists and insurgents everywhere were taught a powerful lesson in the uses of guerilla warfare against a seemingly stronger opponent.

Its legacy closer to home however was less glorious; Ireland was first scarred by a bloody civil war, and then stuck with lingering strain of violent republicanism, spectacularly rejuvinated in the early 70s, which believed/still believes that use of force is justified to end the British presence in the north, irrespective of the unionist presence. Call them 'terrorists' though and they'll gleefully point out that Pearce, Connolly, Plunkett etc all received the same epitaph and now they have stations, statues and streets named after them.

All of which is a clumsy attempt at illustrating the problematic nature of the term 'terrorist. I dare say Sinn Féin is now less likely to receive the red carpet treatment in Washington (espec. after the Colombian trio/FARC connection). This in itself is unlikely to increase the likelihood of a succesful peace settlement in the North. That will only come through achieving political solutions to genuine, long-standing grievances whilst marginalising the men of violence (+ it is mostly men) in their own communities. After the slaughter in the early '70s the Brits went in like a bull-in-a-china- ship against the IRA with large troop deployments, internment without trial, hard tactics etc, and only suceeded in increasing recruitment to the Provos. Lessons to be learnt there methinks.

stevo, Sunday, 16 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

That's a fairly accurate picture, Stevo.

"terrorism" in an Irish context will always bring to mind the various paramilitaries close to home. As someone born and bred in Northern Ireland, I happened to phone home shortly after the first vague announcement of this 'war on terrorism', to find that some people were automatically assuming that it included Irish groups. It is a very tricky one for the US, especially given the recent relationships they have formed with politicians from Northern Ireland.

Strangely, it seems to have slipped past the main bulletins that Sinn Fein 'chief whip' Alex Maskey was arrested today. In Istanbul. On a "fact finding mission". Perhaps anyone with links to anything remotely suspect will find themselves in for questioning soon.

Jonathan, Sunday, 16 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Sinn Fein are pinkos, I'm told. Is this still true?

dave q, Monday, 17 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

'Pinkos' Dave? Was your favourite era McCarthyite America?

For years Sinn Féin and the IRA allied itself with international revolutionary Marxist movements, espousing a form of radical socialism. 'The long-term objective of the the 'Establishment of a Democratic Socialist Republic'- The Green Book (IRA training manual). More recently Sinn Féin have distanced themselves from far-left posturing. Whatever the rhetoric,IMO extreme nationalism has always been their real fous, with 'socialism' a convenient (+ self- deluding) veneer to disguise the sectarian nature of much of their violence. They would vehemently deny this. Visit their web-site + decide for yourself.

stevo, Monday, 17 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Sinn Fein are good at tailoring their message. When hanging out with Third World guerrilla movements they're all lefty socialist liberation struggle, but there's none of that when they're trying to cadge money off reactionary Irish-Americans.

DV, Monday, 17 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

there's always been an unpurged quasi-fascist element, uneasily locked into the other tendencies: in WW2, this faction were explicitly anti-semitic and pro-Hitler, though not I think at ALL representative of the SF mainstream, let alone the Eire mainstream (I seem to remember that De Valera cracked down on them?)

mark s, Monday, 17 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

When hanging out with Third World guerrilla movements they're all lefty socialist liberation struggle, but there's none of that when they're trying to cadge money off reactionary Irish- Americans.

Quite. In fact, they quite explicitly target those whose more distant ancestors came to the US. A local article from last year :

"I have more faith in the average Irish-American to support us than most old-country and first-generation Irish. They're too busy getting themselves set up and established to get involved much with us," says Frank O'Neill, chairman of the Chicago chapter of the Irish Freedom Committee. "

It's more likely that they're more informed about things, actually. The George Harrison in the article is my grandmother's first cousin, BTW. As a result, I was shielded from these people when growing up. When my dad read about these benefits, he said, "Stay away from those bars! Don't let them know who you are!"

Kerry, Monday, 17 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

John Hume today resigned the SDLP leadership following health problems. A robust and brave politician, whose resolute opposition to republican violence, and attempts achieving constitutional solutions, did more to encourage peace and reconciliation in NI than any other leading figure. He will be missed.

Heard great anecdote of how he almost came to blows with a left-wing Labour MP during a drunken row. The later was left musing that the only person to ever threaten him physically during his parliamentary career was a holder of the Nobel Peace Prize.

stevo, Monday, 17 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

DeValera did crack down on the IRA in the second world war, I think because he was afraid they would attack the Brits and drag Ireland into the war on the side that wasn't going to win.

There is an amusing story in the interesting book "INLA - Deadly Divisions" (about mad republican splinter group, the INLA). The INLA were much more hardlinedly lefty (at least in terms of rhetoric) than the IRA. At one point the INLA decided to start milking the Irish Americans, and sent represntatives over. At meetings with these people they outlined how their struggle was akin to the struggle of the Palestinians and African Americans. Consequently they raised no money.

DV, Monday, 17 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Ah, the INLA, what happened to them in the end? I remember them popping about once a year in the late eighties/early nineties, shooting each other in some sort of internal power struggle and then quietening down again.

Richard Tunnicliffe, Monday, 17 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Dominic "Mad Dog" McGlinchey, their general, was killed, I *think* by another republican faction (but it might have been loyalists).

mark s, Monday, 17 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

McGlinchey had dropped out of active paramilitarism by the time he was killed, apparently by border smugglers.

The INLA... well, I think they had so many bloody internal feuds that eventually there were none of them left. I think. Or maybe all three surviving INLA members are on ceasefire.

The IRA shut down the IPLO (a splinter from the INLA) a bit before the first ceasefire; killed the leaders, kneecapped everyone else. Nice.

DV, Monday, 17 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

eight years pass...

Jesus Christ.

Chaim Poutine (NickB), Tuesday, 24 August 2010 11:32 (thirteen years ago) link

In the middle ages, some priests were known to take an active and enthusiastic part in battles, wearing armor and hacking away at the opposition with their broadswords.

Aimless, Tuesday, 24 August 2010 16:47 (thirteen years ago) link

one year passes...

Coventry City midfielder Gary Deegan has been suspended by the club after posting a pro-IRA slogan on Twitter.

The 24-year-old, who was born in Dublin, allegedly replied 'Up the RA' in response to Scottish-born team-mate James McPake who was called up for international duty by Northern Ireland.

Deegan quickly apologised but his club, who were relegated to League One last season, have suspended him for two weeks while they investigate.

dis civilization and its contents (nakhchivan), Thursday, 28 June 2012 22:15 (eleven years ago) link

one year passes...

Kids on my cousin's timeline are freaking out that lovable Twitter personality Gerry Adams has been arrested.

Yuri Bashment (ShariVari), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 21:06 (nine years ago) link

not sure how they are going to convict anyone forty years later unless the uvf get to select the jury

Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln (nakhchivan), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 21:13 (nine years ago) link

Assume they'd dispense with a jury but it's tough to see this making it to trial in the first place unless there's some remarkable new evidence.

Yuri Bashment (ShariVari), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 21:19 (nine years ago) link

Last month, Ivor Bell, 77, a leader in the Provisional IRA in the 1970s, was charged with aiding and abetting the murder.

There have also been a number of other arrests over the murder recently.

The case against Bell is based on an interview he allegedly gave to researchers at Boston College in the US.

The Boston College tapes are a series of candid, confessional interviews with former loyalist and republican paramilitaries, designed to be an oral history of the Troubles.

The paramilitaries were told the tapes would only be made public after their deaths.

However, after a series of court cases in the United States, some of the content has been handed over to the authorities.

Yuri Bashment (ShariVari), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 21:32 (nine years ago) link

there likely is and has been ever since the mcconville loop started to close with the boston college tapes xp

james lipton and his francs (darraghmac), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 21:33 (nine years ago) link

they are admissible because they were given either outside of jurisdiction of or freely volunteered without being part of the GFA and there was a hell of a battle to get them

delours involved in them iirc, stephen rea kept that one quiet didnt he

james lipton and his francs (darraghmac), Wednesday, 30 April 2014 21:35 (nine years ago) link

point to note on the boston college tapes- no friends there of the peace process nor of sinn fein, so pinch of salt, pinch of salt.

it'll be a muddy pool either way- MLMD on all the shows this AM leading the line that this arrest and the timing thereof have been politically motivated (apt enough, wasn't the murder?) as if 5 weeks interviewing others and gathering the evidence from the ivor bell arrest wasn't a reasonable delay (if they'd pulled in the big fish on day 1 that'd have been unfair too, you'd imagine).

i've a first generation cousin from london whose outlook on this seems v much coloured by having been an irish outsider there during the times of internment, live terror campaigns etc, drawing parallels btwn questioning a heavily implicated suspect in a murder and the guildford 4 etc, he's mentioned 'lynching'. idk, he's a reasonable enough fella besides.

i highly doubt we'll ever see adams on trial, and tbf we'll never know if he was involved in this- his denials of IRA membership are consistent but widely dismissed, and his denials of ordering this will prob go the same way- an openly accepted fact, fair on him or otherwise.

james lipton and his francs (darraghmac), Thursday, 1 May 2014 09:29 (nine years ago) link

re "his denials of IRA membership are consistent but widely dismissed" - I got quite a laugh out of this:

"While I have never disassociated myself from the IRA and I never will, I am innocent of any part in the abduction, killing or burial of Mrs McConville."

apt enough, wasn't the murder?


everything is politically motivated with SF. are they trying to position themselves as some morally neutral party? idk what they're trying to say.

either way, he was held overnight, but I expect he'll be out today.

gyac, Thursday, 1 May 2014 09:42 (nine years ago) link

also amused to see you still get this if you google "sinn fein ira"

gyac, Thursday, 1 May 2014 09:47 (nine years ago) link

NI, Friday, 2 May 2014 04:48 (nine years ago) link

astonishing interview with helen mcconville on newsnight last night.

rhetorically her "the dogs on the street know it" carried more weight than peter hain's "gerry adams always passionately denied to me having anything to do with it" regarding adams's ordering the murder, but of course that's not always a guide, it just makes sense.

Fizzles, Friday, 2 May 2014 09:42 (nine years ago) link

Will be interesting to see if they hold him beyond the standard 96 hours that's the upper limit for murder suspects. They can keep him in for two weeks under the Terrorism Act.

Yuri Bashment (ShariVari), Friday, 2 May 2014 10:05 (nine years ago) link

If they press now id read it as a sign that they dont have much now

james lipton and his francs (darraghmac), Friday, 2 May 2014 10:52 (nine years ago) link

Martin McGuinness says PSNI to ask judge for more time to question Gerry Adams in connection with the 1972 murder of Jean McConville

gyac, Friday, 2 May 2014 14:20 (nine years ago) link

terrorism act provisions to detain suspects for whatever length of time are there for cases of critical real-time significance, using them to detain a public figure for crimes committed decades ago is contrary to that in spirit if not in letter

Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln (nakhchivan), Friday, 2 May 2014 14:29 (nine years ago) link

is he actually being held under terrorism act provisions?


Mr McGuinness said Sinn Féin would "reflect" and "review" its support for policing in the region if Mr Adams is charged. But he urged republicans to remain calm if and until that happened.

gyac, Friday, 2 May 2014 18:19 (nine years ago) link

"I have never associated myself with the IRA and I never will. The IRA is gone. It is finished." Gerry Adams.


gyac, Sunday, 4 May 2014 21:06 (nine years ago) link

I thought he said he'd never disassociated himself with them.

pick it up for ripple laser (onimo), Sunday, 4 May 2014 21:09 (nine years ago) link

yeah I quoted this three days ago. clearly his ordeal has wrecked his memory.

"While I have never disassociated myself from the IRA and I never will, I am innocent of any part in the abduction, killing or burial of Mrs McConville."

gyac, Sunday, 4 May 2014 21:47 (nine years ago) link

dpp in ni is his solicitor iirc

james lipton and his francs (darraghmac), Monday, 5 May 2014 00:33 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

Gerry dropped the n bomb on twitter

Is Jack Nicholson really qualify as "Partyman"? (jim in glasgow), Monday, 2 May 2016 07:37 (seven years ago) link

He's a gas man on twitter

Daithi Bowsie (darraghmac), Monday, 2 May 2016 07:37 (seven years ago) link

lol, what a clown

(Henry) Green container bin with face (Tom D.), Monday, 2 May 2016 12:38 (seven years ago) link

four years pass...

recently found out about pro-IRA TikTok and it’s delightful 🇮🇪

— Sam (@halaljew) August 15, 2020

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 15 August 2020 22:56 (three years ago) link

lol bantz from little shits not even old enough to remember the Troubles brings the lols right enough

Master of Treacle, Sunday, 16 August 2020 03:58 (three years ago) link

me_ira has Skynetted

Donald Trump Also Sucks, Of Course (milo z), Sunday, 16 August 2020 04:03 (three years ago) link

This one is the best

all timer

— jack🚩 (@_jackhy) August 15, 2020

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 16 August 2020 09:03 (three years ago) link

two months pass...

comrade bezos is sound on the question

spruce springclean (darraghmac), Saturday, 14 November 2020 19:52 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

This is a good poem

bobby sands writing a poem for anwar ditta from prison

— Sita Balani (@sitainshort) January 11, 2021

xyzzzz__, Monday, 11 January 2021 17:27 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

... yeah, didn't think that would work, hold on...

Monthly Python (Tom D.), Sunday, 17 September 2023 18:38 (one week ago) link

Monthly Python (Tom D.), Sunday, 17 September 2023 18:44 (one week ago) link

Coincidentally right now I'm reading There Will Be Fire by Rory Carroll, about the events leading up to, the plotting of, and the aftermath of the Grand Hotel bombing in Brighton. I'm sure I'd heard about that before, but I didn't realize quite how close they'd come to taking out Thatcher.

omar little, Sunday, 17 September 2023 18:52 (one week ago) link

I remember seeing "Wanted: For Murder" posters of Thatcher on holiday in Kerry when I was a kid and thinking wow, this is cool - they really want to kill Thatcher here!

vodkaitamin effrtvescent (calzino), Sunday, 17 September 2023 19:08 (one week ago) link


imago, Sunday, 17 September 2023 19:16 (one week ago) link

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