Written on: 12. 10. 2022 in the category: Uncategorized


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Ooh, ar, up the RA, say Ooh ar up the RA.

The impossible has been achieved. An unrepentant IRA has been sanitised and turned into an identifying anthem of Irish soccer. The parity of esteem of the Belfast Agreement has accordingly joined the commemorations for the RIC down history’s plughole. These pitiful episodes remind us that the greatest impulse of all in Irish life is not nationalism or republicanism, unionism or loyalism, but self-destructionism. This has created a deep and repetitive appetite throughout Irish history, as we have seen in recurrent, self-inflicted financial crises, our insane property booms and most of all, our lunatic militarist escapades.

Unionist Ireland embraced the last-named folly with the Larne gun-running, which then served as an inspiration to unionism’s implacable enemies, who with mimetic frenzy similarly opted for weaponry over reason. Such reckless mirror-dancing has created a moral and psychological chasm into which thousands of lives were thrown during the 20th century. The centennial euphoria six years ago over the wicked 1916 April insurrection confirmed that nationalist Ireland remains as addicted as ever to capering on the edge of that chasm. There is now even a whiskey named “Proclamation”, with that deranged document as a label, though with the reference to “our gallant allies” – the butchers of Belgium and France – discreetly concealed.

But we cannot conceal yet another dimension: England. The English people – their leaders especially – know nothing about Ireland and for the most part, care even less. Words of affection from London are at best a well-meant but temporary balm for Irish sensibilities, which are as quickly forgotten as a brief eddy on the Thames as it brownly slides alongside the Commons. For the English, the treaties between various Irish factions and London have always had the intention of “solving” the Irish problem, which is another way of saying that they will free the English from any further involvement in a dispute that they helped to create but which they now wish to forget, in perpetuity.

A condition also known as “childishness”.

So, “the Irish problem” is made incurable because the ingredients for a solution are absent, whereas the sparks of perpetual conflict are constantly being supplied by the whirring whetstones of the rival factions on this island. Any attempt to “resolve” these various forces, at best ends in an ill-willed stalemate, as at the moment, or at worst, in conflict-renewal.

The recent United Ireland rally at the Point in Dublin, in which Jim O’Callaghan TD SC played a central role, is a further example of this addiction to emotionally appealing, self-ruining elixirs. Telling the unionist people that their future lies with a state that effectively stood idly by for decades as cross-border raiders murdered Protestants in Armagh, Tyrone, Fermanagh, and Derry is self-evidently absurd to all save those who are either uttering, or agreeing with, such piffle, which denies the following irrefutable truths.

*The Irish state funded the formation of the Provisional IRA with £100,000 in 1969-70.

*The Irish state allowed IRA training camps to operate with virtual impunity in its territory. The leakage of this truth by Garda Crinnion to MI5 did not lead to the closure of the camps but to Crinnion’s prosecution and (effectively) his expulsion from Ireland. This was a truth that Jim O’Callaghan seemed unaware of when he was questioning me in the Smithwick Tribunal, which later vindicated my allegations of collusion by a small number of Gardai with the IRA.

*From April 1990, the Irish state made it virtually impossible to extradite terrorists if it could be shown that they had murdered in a “non-terrorist manner” – ie, with a handgun – in the pursuit of a united Ireland, or if you like, a Sarajevo solution to an Irish problem.

*The Irish state never invested in essential security measures to cope with the IRA insurgency, such as troop-carrying helicopters.

*The Irish state refused to police border-crossings through decades of cross-border incursions in which scores of Protestants were slaughtered, and yet found no difficulty in managing that very same task during the foot-and-mouth epidemic of 2001 (which of course had been introduced to Meigh in South Armagh by the IRA’s cattle-smuggling wing).

There isn’t a Border Protestant who is unaware of these truths or who doesn’t dismiss with contempt the IRA’s disingenuous declaration that its volunteers only killed locally recruited members of the security forces, as if that made it all acceptable to their families, if true, which of course it wasn’t, as attested by (merely as examples) the White Cross and Enniskillen massacres.

Yet from Sfira, their useful idiots in the Irish media and our political classes, we repeatedly hear that the Troubles were “inevitable”, as if Ruairi O Bradaigh and David O’Connell and Seamus Twomey were forces of nature like a historical El Nino, rather than what they were, volitional terrorists who were determined to precipitate a civil war in order to bring down the Northern state. They of course were assisted in their homicidal ambitions by the Paisleyite right and by an English governing class that remained – as in 1911-1916, and again in 1918-21 and all the way to Brexit and beyond – astoundingly obtuse in their responses to these gathering Irish crises.

It would be nearly comforting if responsibility for these could be confined to such limited and definable groups, but not so. In 1979, with the Troubles over a decade old and having claimed 2,130 deaths (including the bountiful harvest from the recent Mullaghmore and Narrow Water atrocities) opinion polls showed that 40% of the population of the Republic supported the aims of the IRA, and 20% actively supported the IRA. Moreover, well before the emergence of Sinn Fein as a political force in the Republic, that support was electorally visible. Declan Bree from Sligo campaigned for the release of Thomas McMahon, the convicted murderer of Lord Louis Mountbatten (79), the Doreen Brabourne (83) Paul Maxwell (15) and Nicholas Knatchbull (14). He was duly elected TD for the very constituency in which the atrocity had occurred.

This was a democratic endorsement of one of the evillest events in 20th century Irish history, which was then legitimised by the Labour Party, which accepted him as one of its TDs without ever demanding a renunciation of his opinions on Mullaghmore. And that’s hardly surprising. After all, Labour’s spokesman on Justice, Michael Bell, in 1991 said of Unionists: “if they want to give their allegiance to Britain and the British crown, their place is in Britain, and they should give back the land they took by conquest.”

In the 21st Century, the IRA successfully rebranded itself as a peaceful civil rights organisation, a feat that could only be possible in a society which repeatedly generates truth-antibodies. I had naively assumed that David McKittrick’s Lost Lives would form a Maginot Line of truth that could never be denied, but the elusive power of myth has simply gone round it and truth has duly vanished like the allied armies of 1940. Who amongst those idiotic girls singing Oo Ar, Up the Ra knows that the IRA murdered seventy-eight Catholics as “informers”? That the IRA murdered forty Irish civilians merely for providing services to the security forces? That the IRA murdered a widowed mother of ten and covered up countless rapes by its members, including that of Gerry Adams’ niece by her father Liam from the age of eight onwards till her teens?

The sex crimes are of course forgotten, while – almost naturally – there are no nationalist commemorations of the 78 dead Catholics abducted and murdered by the IRA, while loyalists have made a communal memory of the other forty victims impossible. In the Teebane slaughter of January 1992, eight Tyrone workmen were blown to pieces, and six others maimed for life – the IRA intending to slaughter fourteen fellow Irishmen, a sort of 20th anniversary commemoration of the fourteen men murdered on Bloody Sunday. In commemorative terms, last January, the 30th anniversary of the butchery, should have provided an open goal for Unionists. But instead of having an ecumenical service and thereby fixing the atrocity in the public memory, the commemoration was handed over to the Reverend William McCrae, who even by the generous standards of Mid-Ulster is a frothing, ranting sectarian bigot.

Similarly, Jim O’Callaghan – who proclaims his devotion to a united Ireland – nonetheless publicly opposed a small private ceremony to commemorate the RIC and helped cause it to be cancelled. Why? Because, he declared, that both the RIC and the DMP “were complicit in the violent response to oppose and suppress the democratic wishes of the majority of the Irish people.”

He couldn’t even get this right. “The majority of the Irish people” in 1918 did not vote for Sinn Fein: some 53% voted for other parties, never mind the thousands of soldiers’ votes that were excluded and the vast amount of personation by Sinn Fein. Moreover, nobody voted for a war which began the very day the first Dail met and in which over five hundred RIC would be murdered. Nothing that the RIC ever did ever could match the barbaric ferocity of an insurgency that routinely consisted of killing policemen as they left church or even as they lay wounded in their hospital beds.

But as for binding mandates, did not the founders of Fianna Fail – his party – oppose the democratic wishes of the Irish people by starting a civil war against the new Free State government? And did not that government – unlike the simultaneously-attacked government of the new Northern state – embark upon a retributive orgy of (at best) quasi-legal murder that took the lives of at least one hundred unarmed men?

Instead of acknowledging that verifiable truth, he promised unionists that in a United Ireland the Ulster Scots/British heritage would be as valued as those of a Gaelic/Old Irish heritage. Now, I don’t expect him as a Fianna Fail TD to perceive the inherent contradictions here, but as a Senior Counsel he might possibly just understand that in a society that is addicted to commemorations, his successful opposition even to a modest ceremony to remember the RIC leaves little room for unionism as it actually is, rather than the convenient fiction of the pliable Ulster Scots/ British that he imagines it to be.

In his own words, a new united Ireland, “must recognise that many people in Northern Ireland will remain loyal to the British Crown and that, consequently, a United Ireland cannot demand the loyalty of all persons living on the island. It must earn that loyalty.”

Really? But he has already rejected any possibility of “earning” unionist loyalty with his ungenerous attitude towards the RIC. What does he say about commemorating the RUC and the UDR, to unionist eyes – and to mine – the real heroes of the Troubles?

But he is not alone in erecting barriers to prevent the implementation of projects that he apparently holds dear. Opinion polls show that A) a clear majority of people in the Republic say they want a united Ireland, but B) are not prepared to pay a penny to achieve it, nor are prepared for changes to the flag or the national anthem. This absurd stance presume that unionists were the suitors and nationalists were laying down conditions for acceptance, rather than vice versa. That is before we even consider the more unattractive aspects of the Irish state, such as the overwhelming-majority opposition both to abandoning our neutrality and to helping to arm Ukraine, two quite shameless abdications of moral responsibility towards our fellow Europeans.

Polls show a comparable resistance in the Republic to re-joining the Commonwealth, a vanilla-flavoured assembly of states that has recently been joined by Gabon, Togo and Mozambique, which were never part of the British Empire, so clearly membership cannot possibly imply a celebration of British imperialism. Even India, amid a resurgence of Hindu-nationalism, sees an advantage to membership of the Commonwealth. Nonetheless, after decades of unprincipled neutralist indoctrination and hypocritical nationalist blather, rather like their profoundly hypocritical attitude to the First National Language, most Irish people A) seek reunification, sort of, but B) refuse to make any compromise to achieve it.

A condition also known as “childishness”.

The Republic is happy to welcome Poles and Nigerians on their own terms, while vehemently refusing to welcome supposedly fellow Irishmen and Irishmen on their terms. It is the ineluctable paradox of Irish republicanism that those who apparently most want a united Ireland also insist on imposing conditions that will make it quite unattainable. This Sisyphean addiction means that the closer republicans come to achieving their goal, the more they will strive to make it unattainable. So Unionists must never use violence, or even threaten it, in response to their irredentist follies.

Remember. These are not serious people. Left to their own devices, they’ll inevitably vanish up their own arseholes.

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