Terrorist Supporters in Northie

I’ve smacked Henry Farrell at Crooked Timber more than a bit – and regret none of it – but the guy made sense on something this week, and I won’t be able to live with myself until I compliment him for it.

He suggested that President Bush not receive the Sinn Fein representative at the White House this St. Patrick’s Day.

If the government wants to send out the right signals it should go ahead and hold the function – but invite only representatives of those political parties that are committed exclusively to democratic politics. This may sound like diplomatic niceties – but it would send a quite powerful signal, and, I suspect, have a substantial chastening effect on a group of people who are in sore need of chastening.

Makes good sense to me.

And it’s timely. Here’s the Guardian today:

Sinn Féin was in crisis last night as another prominent member in the Irish republic was dragged into the multi-million pound IRA money-laundering investigation police say could connect republicans to the £26.5m Northern Bank robbery.

As the first of the seven people arrested in raids across Cork and Dublin this week appeared in court charged with IRA membership, a former Sinn Féin vice-president and one of the most well-connected bankers in the country was helping the police with their inquiries.

The depth of U.S. support for the IRA during the bloody 1980’s can’t be overstated.

And it’s a shameful thing.

12 thoughts on “Terrorist Supporters in Northie”

  1. As someone who at the time spent a lot of words criticising people in the USA for supporting the (Real, Provisional, etc) IRA terrorists, let me say one thing:


    We’re now all in this together, and saying “I told you so” isn’t helpful. Just, yes. Justified, certainly. Helpful, no. God knows innocent Americans paid the price, and some. If you screw up, you learn the lesson, and move on. The US seems to have done this, so I for one am content – providing there’s no repetition.

    “Forgive them, for they know not what they do”. But now we do know, and there’s no excuse.

  2. Thank you. Thank you. I’ve long wondered when a rightwing blog would pick this up. It’s amazing how the centrist is the one to talk about it.

  3. John O’Sullivan made the same case in an op-ed last week. It makes sense, but also remember that the lack of effort put into the Good Friday agreements by Mr. Paisley and his thugs is always under-reported in this country. Sinn Fien has made a number of concessions, and the IRA until recently has been relatively quite. The same cannot be said of Mr. Paisley and his ilk. This is not meant to sanction IRA activities, especially those of the RIRA, but there is a reason why the IRA has gooten support from the USA , especially in NYC.

  4. There may be stated justifications for supporting the IRA. I would not use the word “reason” in that context, however.

    I would also hope that the full force of the Patriot Act and any other applicable U.S. laws comes down on anyone found to be engaging in such activities.

    Query: Has the IRA been put on “the list” of terrorist organizations with international reach (because if not, that needs to be remedied ASAP)?

  5. I’m British and couldn’t agree more – I’d prefer it if Tony Blair treated them in the same way. Unfortunately he allows them to take MP’s expenses from the UK taxpayer without pledging allegiance to the Queen. The following link should show you why Sinn Fein shouldn’t be allowed to legitimise themselves anytime soon: “Terrorists”:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/02/21/nira21.xml&sSheet=/portal/2005/02/21/ixportaltop.html/

  6. Sometimes, desperate people endow special powers to some of them to go beyond the established legal frame in order to achieve certain objectives, that they think it is impossible to reach in other way. This is very dangerous, because that group won´t give back to the people those powers easily, even when their goals are fully achieved. They are used to be responsible before nobody. For them law and agreements are malleable and can be circumvent.

    Respect for the law is a basic characteristic of a democracy and when there is a political group that is beyond it, democracy becomes a fake, even if elections are held every month. All the political players must follow the same rules. An unarmed man cannot negotiate with someone that is pointing to him with a gun, that is not negotiation or political debate. That’s not democracy.

  7. Done, thank goodness. Not only is the IRA and Sinn Fein not getting invited to the White House, Bush is invited the McCartney sisters whose brother was killed by the IRA to the White House.

    See here.

  8. If any one of yous knew what the people of northern Ireland gone threw and the people of Ireland for the past 80 and 850 years respectively then you would understand, but clearly you dont understand what a terrorist is. BUSH is a terrorist, thatcher was a terrorist. What is the difference between bush going to iraq with no hard evidence, or England not returning the land that rightly belongs to Ireland and the IRA who were the founding fathers of my nation. Many of them gave their lives for their country. And millions more have died over the past 800 years of oppression and penal laws that stated that we must not practice Catholicism. You people make me sick and I sympathise completely with the IRA, and not only that there are hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) in ireland that agree with me. The IRA was reintroduced in the 1960’s by the common catholic me of Northern Ireland to protect their neighbourhoods from the RUC who were ‘terrorising’ the people of the Falls road where my mother has recollections of seeing women tarred-and-feathered to lamp posts by the RUC drunk at night and being raped. This is a fact. Not only do the IRA accept the protestant community, it welcomes any protestant who wishes to be irish. there have been many protestant members of the IRA in the past. If you want terrorists biggots or racists then look to your Unionist equivalent who are clear terrorist organisation, the UVF, who are not interested in anything but religion. They are a shower of racists. Of the 400 or so people the killed over the past 30 years, 360 approx. were innocent civilians, 20 were RUC members (irony) and only about 10 or so were actually IRA members. If the Unionists of Northern Ireland dearly love england then its there they should be. The irish people of Ireland (as a whole) have the ancestral right to their own land. If you even watch how the members of the main political parties in Northern Ireland speak.

    Ireland Unfree will never be at peace and Neither will its people. I sympathise entirely with the Iraqi and the afgani people. No one has the right to do this. BUSH and BLAIR are the TERRORISTS.. The IRA defend their people and struggle to reclaim the land that was left by our for-fathers. The BUSH admin. is only interested in money and power.. the anti-christ has come in the form of G.W. BUSH… and for BLAIR he makes me laugh, he is the epiphany of cowardice and greed humping at the leg of BUSH… IRELANDS DAY WILL COME

  9. Niall

    In all my 37 years living in Northern Ireland I have never heard a more ill-informed (or perhaps dishonest) rant than the one you just gave.
    Here are a few facts
    1. The IRA have killed more Catholics than any other group in the troubles, and up until the last few years, they had killed more Catholics than the Brits and Loyalists combined. A poor job of “defending their people” I’m sure you will agree.
    2. “Tarring and Feathering” was a tactic used soley by paramilitaries, mostly by the Provos as a punishment on those who they regard as collaberators.
    3.The IRA do not accept the protestant community, most of whom regard themselves as Irish, but mostly Norhtern Irish. The Bombs in Enniskillen, Claudy and the Shankill were put there to kill Protestants. The IRA gang who carried oyut the Kingsmills massacre told the sole catholic among the group to run away before it riddled the protestants with bulets.
    4.There have been many Catholics in the RUC, whose bravery was unparallelled in Northern Ireland. Many were never even allowed to return to their family homes due to IRA intimidation of their families. The RUC were not perfect, but they were one of the few things that stopped us descending into civil war. The last RUC man murdered in NI was a catholic killed by loyalist rioters.
    4.Loyalists paramilitaries care not one jot about religion.They are not religious people. They are pure criminals, and in many cases partners in crime with the provos. Many are indeed racists, but two of their top members are Egyptian. Go figure.
    5. 400 people killed in the troubles – try over 2000 you fool. The IRA alone have killed at least 45 in crime and drug feuds since their “Ceasefire”. Loyalists have killed a few more, mostly in internal feuds. Many more than 20 members of the RUC were murdered. That is just a lie.
    6. As for Unionists going to live in England – the protestant population of Ireland was there long before the whites settled in North America. Maybe the non native-american population of the USA should leave en-masse and give the land back to those they stole it from. (I am being sarcastic here by the way).
    7. Millions in Ireland supporting the IRA. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! A tiny minority, North and South, especially south.

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