54 1 min 9 yrs

Well, turns out that THEY haven’t gone away. We have a NEW IRA.

“Following extensive consultations, Irish republicans and a number of organisations involved in armed actions against the armed forces of the British crown have come together within a unified structure, under a single leadership, subservient to the constitution of the Irish Republican Army. “The leadership of the Irish Republican Army remains committed to the full realisation of the ideals and principles enshrined in the Proclamation of 1916.

The necessity of armed struggle in pursuit of Irish freedom can be avoided through the removal of the British military presence in our country, the dismantling of their armed militias and the declaration of an internationally observed timescale that details the dismantling of British political interference in our country.

“Signed Army Council … IRA.”

Hey Marty, you tell that violence does not pay…

Hang on….

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54 thoughts on “THE NEW IRA…

  1. Like the Bourbons in 1815, they are back, having learnt nothing and forgotten nothing (Talleyrand).

  2. If violence pays which of the violent players in the conflict got a better deal in 1998 than was available to them in 1973? What effect did all the violence have on the eventual outcome? None really. The DUP and Sinn Fein did better electorally but the essential deal was the same.

  3. “Like the Bourbons in 1815, they are back, having learnt nothing and forgotten nothing (Talleyrand).”

    Or put another way, perhaps they never left. The political gains made by the campaign of violence, may yet prove to be the means of achieving their long term objective.
    To me it all boils down to whether political arguments succeed through reason, or violence or implied violence.
    Anyone able to convince me that the Republican cause is the way to go
    (and there ARE pragmatic arguments in favour of it) based on reason, rather than intimidation??

  4. Good one David,though it would be nice if you had a go at loyalists as well every once in a while

  5. Martin,
    Agreed.
    There are always two sides to an argument, and as Phantom gears up to discuss real democracy in the USA, so perhaps it would be enlightening for all of us (especially myself and Colm as non Irish ATWers), to look at the problem again.
    Perhaps leave aside the personal/emotional experiences, the bully boys and the violence, and look at what people actually want to see as a workable solution for Northern Ireland.
    Lets set the historical facts and then move on to personal visions of a peaceful future for all.

  6. Agit8ed

    To me it all boils down to whether political arguments succeed through reason, or violence or implied violence

    Do you think it was the force of argument or the argument of force that let to the partition of Ireland in the first place? Violence for a nation under the occupation of a larger more powerful neighbor is a not a question or principle but of pragmatism.

    To my mind there is no reasonable pragmatic argument for violence in the context of the Good Friday Agreement.

  7. Thanks Agit8ed,I really have no problem with David having a go at the IRA,they are murdering scum after all but sometimes I feel he like a lot of unionists are somewhat soft when comes to loyalist killers,hope to be proven wrong

  8. Henry94,
    If you mean,
    “Violence then justifies violence now” then you have nothing useful to contribute.

    The past cannot be undone. Sharing our understanding of the (Irish-English) past does.
    Which is where the (I think) predominantly Irish contingent of ATW comes in.

    As a pragmatic Protestant Englishman who sympathises with the Irish sense of injustice and ill treatment at the hands of the English, but nevertheless says “We are where we are -what’s the point of wallowing in past injustices when the rest of the world is rapidly moving on”, you will forgive me if I ask how does this help us now??

  9. Because some of those injustices aren’t just past injustices but current ones. The partitioning of our country for example is a continuing injustice, not a just a past one.

  10. Seamus,
    “Because some of those injustices aren’t just past injustices but current ones. The partitioning of our country for example is a continuing injustice, not a just a past one.”

    So you are no different to Henry94!
    Nothing useful and nothing constructive to say. Not even how YOU would see a peaceful solution for the future.
    And you’re a youngster!

    If there are current injustices, they will be based on past ones, you plonker!
    I am asking people to DISPASSIONATELY share their understanding of how the problem came about, and then in light of where we are NOW, what is their solution to a workable future.

  11. I have plenty useful and constructive to say. The fact remains that Ireland continues to be partitioned and for as long as that continues people are going to be annoyed at that injustice.

    The problem is that for one group of people the problem is the existence of Northern Ireland. For another group of people the problem is the other groups problem with the existence of Northern Ireland. How you get those two groups to reconcile I don’t know.

  12. Seamus.
    I have already said “As a pragmatic Protestant Englishman who sympathises with the Irish sense of injustice and ill treatment at the hands of the English, but nevertheless says “We are where we are -what’s the point of wallowing in past injustices when the rest of the world is rapidly moving on”
    I WANT to understand the situation, but you are responding with your heart and not your head, and to me and the rest of the world it isn’t RELEVANT. It doesn’t SOLVE anything.
    The world moves on, but even a bright young fella like you is talking like someone stuck in the past.
    I just cannot believe that the people of Northern Ireland are incapable of taking some time out and looking at the problem dispassionately.

  13. Okay when France invades, occupies and partitions England we’ll check back and see if you look at that problem dispassionately.

    The issue isn’t that people aren’t willing to find a solution. The problem is that there is no solution. You have two different groups who want competing and mutually exclusive things. How do you solve a problem like that?

  14. Seamus,

    Why is partition such a problem? Many other places are similarly partioned, Cyprus to mention but one, by your criteria even America is partioned. So what’s you problem, it was after all parioned by agreement.

    Is it purely a religious thing? well so it is in most of such seperated places, are Catholics taking a leaf from the Muslim book, and declaring some silent fatwa against the CofE, perhaps it is even genetic?

    Perhaps if Ireland looked after what it has in better fashion they might have something to offer Ulster that might ease the path to a potential union.

  15. “Why is partition such a problem? Many other places are similarly partioned, Cyprus to mention but one, by your criteria even America is partioned. So what’s you problem, it was after all parioned by agreement.”

    In the same way that I would give a mugger my wallet by agreement?

    It was also agreed with the view of it being a temporary measure with both sides being of the opinion that partition wouldn’t last more than 50 years.

    “Is it purely a religious thing? well so it is in most of such seperated places, are Catholics taking a leaf from the Muslim book, and declaring some silent fatwa against the CofE, perhaps it is even genetic?”

    Considering the conflict between Ireland and England predates the Protestant reformation I highly doubt it.

  16. Seamus,
    As Peter says earlier,
    “Like the Bourbons in 1815, they are back, having learnt nothing and forgotten nothing (Talleyrand).”

    Going by what you and Henry94 have said, you have no solutions only recriminations.
    As I said before the English had their own bloody civil war, and then moved on. It was set on sectarian lines. Catholics versus Protestants, the Divine Right of Kings versus the voice of the people and the teachings of the Bible.
    We fought, we killed and we moved on.
    Why can’t you?

  17. And not to forget the vicious murder of Patrick O’Dingle in 1287 BC by marauding Welsh cavemen.
    Welsh bas*ards…coming over here, stealing our caves.

  18. Because we weren’t fighting on sectarian lines. Catholics versus Protestants, the Divine Right of Kings versus the voice of the people and the teachings of the Bible. The conflict here was based on an underlining problem that is still there.

    And the English Civil War didn’t stop. It continued arguably until the Williamite Revolution. It ended when one side enjoyed total victory, not through compromise.

  19. JM.
    Very funny, but I am hoping that those on ATW who can so readily recite the injustices, are also capable of taking a dispassionate position so as to share their understanding of WHY the problem came about and then the best way to move FORWARD.

  20. “And the English Civil War didn’t stop. It continued arguably until the Williamite Revolution. It ended when one side enjoyed total victory, not through compromise.”

    So what do you want, Seamus?
    Are you saying that the best way forward is that the British mainland pour all their military might into their Northern Ireland province and kill every last Catholic Republican/Whatever?? Declare it a Catholic free zone? What nonsense that would be.

    Or that the IRA try and sucker the American Irish community(again) into putting up the funds so’s the IRA can buy some dodgy Islamic/Soviet/Chinese nuclear bombs and nuke Westminster??
    Come on!
    Look back over this thread. What constructive thing have you or Henry94 contributed so far?

  21. Agit8ed

    The solution for nationalists and republicans is the ending of the divisions on the island. Not just the divisions that made Northern Ireland a failed state but also partition itself. The might of the British state coming down heavily in favour of division has been a problem but with the Agreement they have moved to a more neutral stance and that will lead in time to progress.

    The temptations of the “we are where we are” position is understandable but ultimately unhelpful. It takes partition as read which pretty much leaves you with a unionist position. That was inadequate to prevent the collapse of the NI state in the first place and it is no basis for a solution now.

    Of course armed struggle has no contribution to make either. From any side.

  22. What constructive argument is there to bring? It is a dispute with two sides who want different and mutually exclusive things. Short of getting one of the sides to give up their beliefs there is no solution.

  23. “The temptations of the “we are where we are” position is understandable but ultimately unhelpful. It takes partition as read which pretty much leaves you with a unionist position. That was inadequate to prevent the collapse of the NI state in the first place and it is no basis for a solution now.”
    Now that’s what I call helpful. Because I like to believe that most Unionists recognise that in mainland Britain, Catholic Jews and others are able to make their mark on society.
    The struggle between the supremacy of the Catholic church and the Protestant position has ceased to be an issue worthy of physical violence.
    On a personal basis I think RC theology is baloney and anti Christian; but I also recognise that there are many Catholics who are good, Godly people according to their understanding of Christianity.

    As a struggling Christian trying to find my own way back to faith, I am in no position to judge. But no matter how we analyse the problems of Northern Ireland, the bottom line is that we are all human, we all bleed, we all grieve and there has to be a better way.

  24. “The struggle between the supremacy of the Catholic church and the Protestant position has ceased to be an issue worthy of physical violence.”

    It also ceased to be an issue in Ireland about 400 years ago.

  25. “What constructive argument is there to bring? It is a dispute with two sides who want different and mutually exclusive things. Short of getting one of the sides to give up their beliefs there is no solution.”

    Seamus.
    If I remember correctly you are studying something in Hull University??
    Witnessed any outbreaks of violence along sectarian lines there recently?
    Maybe things have moved on outside Northern Ireland??
    Come on Seamus.
    Either you have been brainwashed or you are caught up in family attitudes.

  26. Or maybe the Northern Ireland conflict has bugger all to do with religion. Hull (firstly) isn’t a divided city. It is broadly homogeneous. Additionally it isn’t at the centre of a national and identity conflict. Hull isn’t being claimed by two different nationalities.

  27. “Or maybe the Northern Ireland conflict has bugger all to do with religion. Hull (firstly) isn’t a divided city. It is broadly homogeneous. Additionally it isn’t at the centre of a national and identity conflict. Hull isn’t being claimed by two different nationalities.”
    So you came to mainland (Oliver Cromwell shaped) Britain to get an education??
    Come on Seamus, you’re being disingenuous. If you simply said I came to (English) Hull to escape the stifling sectarian biases of Northern Ireland, I would sympathise.
    What you are trying to do is appease your historical position whilst looking to your traditional enemy for an education and a future.

  28. I came to Hull because the course I study is unique and only run in Hull. I love Hull to tell you the truth but if Queens or Jordanstown offered the same course I am currently doing then I would have gone there.

  29. Seamus,
    Well if that is true, and only YOU know that, then fine.
    But you still fail to provide a modern, dispassionate solution to the problem of Northern Ireland.
    And bear in mind I am an English Protestant;, sympathetic to the ill treatment of the Irish and the English during those centuries.
    Don’t think for one instant that all English people had a wonderful life. The English working classes suffered as much exploitation and deprivation as any other in the British Isles.

  30. That’s because there is no dispassionate solution to the problem in Northern Ireland. You can’t reconcile two peoples who want competing things without having one of them give up their ideals. That is the crux of the matter. If someone could come up with a solution someone would have by now.

  31. The link between the two ideals is Christianity.
    Granted two interpretations; with an expansive economic neighbouring power (which included Hull) to contend with.
    (Incidentally i

    In which said economic neighbouring power the religious struggle between Catholics and Protestants was ongoing. It wasn’t just the English Protestants who were set on exploiting/subjugating Ireland..)
    That’s the beauty of Catholicism!

  32. No the two ideals have bugger all to do with Christianity. It is about national identity, not religion.

  33. My response to your
    “No the two ideals have bugger all to do with Christianity. It is about national identity, not religion.”
    seems to have gone astray…

  34. Firstly to the main subject:

    Three anti-agreement Republican groupings have consolidated into one organization – so what? They were ineffective as disparate groupings what makes you think that they will be any more effective as one group?

    There’s speculation over at slugger that the man who delivered the statement to H McD is a British agent. That wouldn’t surprise me as the consolidation of the smaller groups into a singular bigger one make it easier to control and observe members. Indeed, it has previously been suggested that the Real IRA were a British Intelligence invention.

    Wee Suzy must feel her nose out of joint at not being the dissi’s main mouthpiece anymore missing this scoop. I wonder what happened there?

    I’ll try to address your questions dispassionately Agi:

    Firstly, and we’ve spoken about this before, you seem to view the problems in Ireland through the prism of religion. This, in my view, is a simplistic trap fallen into my many who have never been. Sectarianism is an element of the problem but it is a miniscule element. Sectarianism is a legacy of when the Orange Order ran the government through their proxies in the Unionist Party. The main problem which exists in Ireland is the problem of national integrity

    You’ve continuously compared the problems in Ireland with the English Civil War and how the English fought, killed and died and then learned to live together, but you miss a central point: Do you really think that those predominantly young men who are at each others throat every year give a shit about the differences in doctrine between two Christian denominations? The problem with your analogy with the English Civil War is that in its wake England was not partitioned with a sizeable portion of her people left to the devices of a contrived majority with absolute political power.

    This brings us on to Ernest’s (fairly patronizing) comment:

    Why is partition such a problem? Many other places are similarly partioned, Cyprus to mention but one, by your criteria even America is partioned. So what’s you problem, it was after all partitioned by agreement.

    It was partitioned by agreement Ernest in the context that I would agree to most things if a gun was being pointed at my head. Loyd George’s threat of “immediate and terrible war” was what made the ‘agreement’ happen. Is that your idea of an agreement?

    My solution to solution? In 1918 the Irish electorate voted overwhelmingly for independence from the Crown. In 2018 let’s have a referendum on the island of Ireland as a whole and the three constituent parts of Britain over the future of N.I. with 50 + 1% of the vote deciding.

    That way both peoples on both islands would decide the future and the issue would be put to bed.

  35. Thank you Paul.
    That’s constructive.
    And if I understand you correctly, you are saying that it ISN’T much to do with religion, but more to do with resentment towards a contrived group supported from mainland Britain, and left in control of an area in which other disparate groups struggled for a place of influence?

    Is that right?

  36. Paul,
    Well from what I understand, there are also Ulster men who have their view on things, Protestants who are not Orangemen, Protestants and Catholics who are not Protestants and Catholics: they just want to get on with their lives.
    I like the idea of a referendum, but what about all the other folk here with an interest in Northern Ireland? What do they think I wonder.

    PS I am pleased to see you posting again.
    Forgive me when I say that whatever wrong LU did or is responsible for, I hope that he will find his way to inner peace and reconciliation.

  37. I’d like to hear other constructive ideas to the problem.

    Whatever was said or done regarding previous posters is in the past.

  38. Paul,

    Apologies if my remark sounded patronising, it was not meant to be so.

    Guns were being held to everyones head ‘back then’, from both sides, and very debateable as to who was doing most of it. That there was a distinct possibility of a real war breaking out, was the threat used by Lloyd George. Something the republicans did not wish to contemplate, and neither did LG, if the truth be known.

    Did Eire really come out of it so badly, in the long term? badly enough to once again start holding a gun to our heads, and by doing so expect us to comply. By your logic it should be a mere formality. We are threatened, so we should comply, – if only life were so simple.

  39. Apologies if my remark sounded patronising, it was not meant to be so

    Apology accepted Ernest.

    Did Eire really come out of it so badly

    That’s not the point. The point is that it was an absolutely undemocratic ‘solution’ and how the Free State came out of it is really no relevance what is more relevant were the hundreds of thousands who were left to the absolute political power of the Unionist Party. Orange Order proxies who were at best indifferent and at worst brutally hostile to the plight of a sizeable minority.

  40. Pauly,
    It’s a shame that others are not contributing. But then again they are or were, in it.
    I wasn’t. Perhaps I am the one who is being too simplistic or social worker-ish! I had hoped by taking a step away from it people might reflect on their own position on the problem and how it could be solved.
    I think it’s quite possible to be friends with someone you disagree with -but probably outside the disputed location!
    I wish you and your family well Paul.
    Off now to watch the opening ceremony on tv.
    Goodnight.

  41. Seamus posted:

    The partitioning of our country for example is a continuing injustice, not a just a past one.

    Seamus

    As an (amateur) historian, I have always thought that the partition of Ireland in 1920 was at leat partly to do with the the treaty of Versailles in 1919 when the idea of national self-determination led to the creation of Czechoslokavia (later divorced into Czech and Slovak) and Yugoslavia (later divorced with extreme violence into Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Montenegro). In that context, it was easy to see that “Ulster” had a case for separation from the rest of Ireland, and of course the idea of partition had been around since 1912, if not earlier.

    But it seems to me that the European context is totally neglected by historians.

  42. Agit8ed – Sorry, meant to comment on this a few days ago, but I’ve been up to my eyes with family stuff. I wrote the following a couple of years ago. Don’t know if it’s of use to you, but have a read and let me know.

    “Séimí, on August 28th, 2010 at 1:13 am Said:

    ‘…you begin to wonder, are they both part of the same overall ploy? You know how it works: blame all the nasty, violent stuff on “dissidents, who have absolutely no support from the blah blah blah”, but don’t actually do much in real terms to condemn those “extremists” and hand them over to the police?’ – Tom Tyler

    Tom, if you replace one or two words in that sentence, you could be talking about the way some people refer to ‘Loyalists’ when talking about murders etc, but ‘Unionists’ when talking about ‘ordinary decent people,’ as if they are two completely different species.

    Let’s be honest here, NO side in the conflict here has blood-free hands – NO side. Everyone is guilty of something. The strange thing about it is – it’s the paramilitary groups on both sides who admit to this, whilst the so called Security Forces and Government consistently try to deny any wrongdoing, despite international condemnation of their behaviour. If there is any type of Heaven, where good, honest people go, then the section reserved for the British Government will be a fairly quiet one, because successive governments have, for generations, sent good men to pointless deaths, ignored the suffering they have caused globally, ADDED to the suffering they already inflict, and wilfully prolonged conflicts in certain areas, to suit their own needs.
    The largest group of victims in all of this have always been the same. They are called by different names – Lower Classes, Working Classes, Poorer Classes – whatever. It all boils down to the same thing – the poorer you are, the less your government cares about you.

    The old adage of ‘Divide and Conquer’ has never been shown to work more effectively than in this North-Eastern part of Ireland, where we have been brainwashed and bullied to such a degree, that some of us get apoplectic if the region isn’t referred to as ‘Northen Ireland.’

    We have been told for so long that the Other Side are the enemy, that we actually believe it.

    They don’t wash
    They smell
    They keep coal in their bath
    Their eyes are different

    All stupid lies that were spread, and unbelievably! – believed! By vast chunks of the population!
    We have been set at each others collective throats for generations now, to the point where we actually believe that it is just and right to do so, and not enough people have asked – Who did this to us? Does anyone actually believe the rants on here that we enjoy or revel in this!? How many on here actually believe that the Irish are an inherintely violent race of drunks, intent on self-extermination!?
    I, like many others on here, have lost friends and relatives because of this conflict. I have also lost mere acquaintances, people I knew only vaguely, and whose violent passing only helped to strengthen my belief that ‘Themmuns’ were evil, wicked people, who only lived to wish me dead. Know what? That’s bullshit.

    I have lived long enough, and met enough of ‘Themmuns’, to know that ‘they’ are much the same as ‘us’, and more importantly, ‘me.’ They want the same things – peace, security, jobs, a better standard of living etc. Why hate anyone for that? Logically, if we all worked together, surely we could and would achieve all that and more fairly quickly. So why don’t we? Because we are at each other’s throats, fighting over stretches of road, killing because of age-old dates on a calendar.

    As with all human beings, we seek to blame. Where we go wrong is who we blame. We blame each other. What possible gain is there in defeating people who are just as poor as you? We need to look to where the power is. We need to look up. We need to look at who has profited, while we struggled. Who’s standard of living rose, while ours fell? Who allowed this to happen?

    One easy answer is to blame it on the Unionists who controlled Northern Ireland from it’s creation. But maybe that is TOO simple. Maybe we need to look at who allowed and encouraged this state of affairs not only to exist, but allowed and encouraged it to continue.

    The IRA didn’t just pop into existence. Neither did the UVF. They were created because people felt that the situation was so bad, so dire, that the government and its army were so against the people, that they had no choice but to build their own army to challenge that authority. This, in itself, is a noble cause. To raise a people’s army to wrest control from an oppressive, or incompassionate state. The problem is – what if the state wins? The people’s army is then refferred to as ‘paramilitaries’, or ‘terrorists’ and its original ‘noble’ cause is sullied, and eventually lost. All that is left is the name, or initials, to be taken over by murderers, drug dealers and scumbags, who sully the cause for which the army was created in the first place, all helped by the state or government encouraging the growth of mistrust amongst the losers on both sides, the poor.
    I now await my post to be ripped to shreds….”

  43. Seimi,

    Only just noticed your last comment. Very, very insightful.

    That fear and loathing of the “other” is a phenomenon that’s probably universal. Likely it’s intrinsic to the species: a defence mechanism that evolved for the protection of the tribe. We may well “outgrow” it over time, but it’s my guess that we’ll need another few centuries—if not millennia.

  44. An honest appraisal Seimi,
    and better for coming from you, than an unconnected outsider like me.
    I believe that change will come, because ultimately people will suddenly wake up and see the pointlessness of it all.
    I look at the Irish North and South I have met and worked with. Just like anybody else. Good and bad. Caring and uncaring. Certainly the Catholics I know have been kind and thoughtful people, but all living productive and ordinary lives outside of Northern Ireland.
    It is the people who have suffered or lost most who will feel the loss most deeply, and feel the grief and anger which usually comes with it.
    I also agree with Richard’s point. It’s a part of our identity protection. How we make sense of things tribally or communally. How we justify even unconsciously our attitude to “themmuns”.
    Most of all though, this last little contretemps on ATW made me feel people’s pain and despair more than their anger. And as human beings regardless of the cause or focus, the rightness or the wrongness, you want to reach out to them as a human being.

  45. ‘ Certainly the Catholics I know have been kind and thoughtful people, but all living productive and ordinary lives outside of Northern Ireland.’

    But you don’t need to single out Catholics, Agi. As you said, Irish people are just like any other people, anywhere else – some bad, but most are good, honest people, who just want to live good, honest lives. It doesn’t matter what their religious background may or may not be. People are people, wherever you go. The whole Catholic/Protestant thing here is by and large an artificial construct, which, whilst certainly rooted in the religious persecution and hysteria of a few hundred years ago, has been used in NI to keep people at each others’ throats for the past few generations.

    ‘I believe that change will come, because ultimately people will suddenly wake up and see the pointlessness of it all.’

    But things are already changing, Agi. The main paramilitary organisations have been on ceasefire for ages, with only the dregs of both sides left, as can be seen by this ‘new’ IRA. They don’t have the support of the majority of the Nationalist/Republican/Catholic community, and never will. The vast, vast majority voted for an agreement that would, hopefully, bring about peace and prosperity. That the majority of the Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist community voted for the same, should show that most people saw this as the way forward. Certainly, neither ‘side’ saw it as ideal, but it was a huge step in the right direction. It is only the tiny minority on either ‘side’ who disagreed with it, and express that disagreement in a variety of ways, either by calling it ‘appeasement’, or by calling it ‘selling out’, or ‘treason’, and taking up arms again.

    The real fight now is to convince those people that there is no other way forward. Certainly, the Agreement isn’t perfect, but it’s so, so much better than what we had before. And whilst there will be an awful lot of extremely bitter pills for some people to swallow, again, on both ‘sides’, we need to remember that ‘the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.’

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