Did the IRA unneccesarily escalate the violence in 1970s?

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Joined: 26-09-03
Nov 12 2004 20:03
Did the IRA unneccesarily escalate the violence in 1970s?

I think it's safe to say that when Brit soldiers came in in 1969 large sections of the nationalist community supported them. Did the pIRA set about consciously destroying this relationship by targeting people who helped the security forces?

I've always believed that it was the Brits -- especially the paras -- who started alienating *both* communities with their heavy-handed ways, but recently I've heard a different point of view, that the IRA began to target the soldiers in order to create a conflict from a standing start. This theory seems to chimes with the tactics of Maoist 'foci' -- escalate the people's war to strengthen the vanguard, etc.

Anyone more clued up than me want to comment?

Nov 13 2004 19:18

Interesting speculation lacking any evidence.

What about the clear evidence of loyalist collusion with the forces of the British State and the fact that the RUC fired rubber bullets at civil rights marches without provocation. (I am sure you don't have any rattling in your head.) Bloody Sunday, Pat Finucane etc etc. Such are the divisions the British State likes to sow amongst the workers, who have more in common etc...

cantdocartwheels's picture
Joined: 15-03-04
Nov 14 2004 01:52


kinda irrlevant to the question, but you mention the provos annd ignore other factions, like the IRSP, Official IRA and even the INLA (although admittedly they didn't have any real impact till the 80's) and so on, do you take the same postion on them or is it different for each group.

I dunno enough to comment much to be honest, i just wondered what you thought of the various factions.


Joined: 24-10-04
Nov 14 2004 13:00

I'm no expert on this subject. But eventhough the IRA were provoking the Army, it seems that the Army were quite prepared to use that provocation and act in a disproportionate manner, ie Bloody Sunday, internment.

I think the aim of bloody sunday was to destroy the civil rights movement which was bringing a lot of unfavourable embarrassing worldwide attention to Northern Ireland, and British policies.

The British army have never been any good at tackling non-violent direct action, and probaly thought they'd have an easier time if they went up against terrorists. That way they can justify hard tactics like interment, which they thought would quickly finish of the provos, but they were wrong and their tactics backfired.

The IRA managed to gain a load of recruits, whereas the civil rights movement died away.

Soon after bloody sunday, with the help of the media, the army and government spread the myth that IRA gunmen were amongst the demonstrators, thereby justifying the shootings. The army always got unquestioning support from the media, and from the political/judicial establishment.

Joined: 2-10-04
Nov 16 2004 09:57

I’m gonna add some ‘evidence’ to this thread, concentrating on the early seventies as that seems to be the period Lazlo is referring to. Again this is not a denial of the existence of collusion (the real surprise in relation to that would be that, given the nature of the conflict in Northern Ireland, it hadn’t happened), nor is it a denial of the loyalist backlash against the civil rights movment, internment without trial, shoot to kill, or anything else the state, loyalists and other factions got up to or continue to get up to.

The reason for posting this is to point to occasions of indiscriminate and sectarian violence carried out by the IRA early on in the ‘troubles’ which resulted in the deaths of many many working class people who were by no means combatants in the conflict, inflamed violence and increased sectarian division - and drove many working class protestants into loyalist paramilitary organisations in order to ‘defend’ their ‘own’ communities (and no that’s not a justification for paramilitary Loyalism). None of these actions would contradict the aim expressed on Sunday 24 October 1971 by Ruairi O'Brady, then President of Provisional Sinn Féin, at that organisations Ard Fheis in Dublin, that the North of Ireland must be made ungovernable as first step in achieving a united Ireland.

But first a bit of background info. The IRA had split on Sunday 28 December 1969. The breakaway group became known as the Provisional IRA and the remaining group became known as the Official IRA. The split in the IRA became public knowledge on 11 January 1970 when Sinn Fein itself split between those who were in favour of ending the abstentionist policy - of not taking part in the parliaments of Belfast, Dublin, and London - and those where against. The split resulted in two SF organisations: Provisional SF, who were to remain abstentionist for a while, and Official SF who went on to become the Workers Party. Where I have said IRA it refers to the PIRA.

In January 1970 the RUC officers began to patrol the Falls Road area of Belfast for the first time since August 1969. In March the Police (Northern Ireland) Act became law. The act provided for the disarmament of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and the establishment of an RUC reserve force. The Act established the Police Authority of Northern Ireland (PANI) which was meant to contain representatives from 'across the community' – it didn’t, none of the main Nationalist parties ever took part (and I’m not saying they should have but disarming the police was something that isn’t even on the agenda in the current peace process).

At the start of April 1970 Ian Freeland the General Officer Commanding the British Army, warned that those throwing petrol bombs could be shot dead if, after a warning, they did not stop using them. If arrested those using petrol bombs could face a sentence of 10 years in prison. At the end of the month the 'B-Specials' were officially disbanded. They were however replaced by the UDR.

May saw Irish Premier Jack Lynch sack Charles Haughey and Neil Blaney, then both ministers in the Irish government, over allegations of illegal arms importation. Lynch then survived a vote of confidence in the government. The trial began on Thursday 28 May 1970 Haughey and Blaney, together with Capt James Kelly, then an Irish Army Intelligence Officer, and John Kelly, a Belfast Republican, were charged in a Dublin court with conspiracy to illegally import arms for use by the PIRA. The men denied any involvement and Blaney was found not guilty on 2 July 1970, Haughey and the others were found not guilty on 23 October 1970.

At the end of June serious rioting was taking place in Belfast Friday 26 June 1970 and around 500 Catholics were forced out of their jobs at Harland and Wolff shipyards. The Prevention of Incitement to hatred Act (Northern Ireland) was introduced. And for many the relationship between the catholic community and the British Army, already under increasing strain, was shattered with the imposition of the Falls Road Curfew on 3rd July 1970. The British Army carried out extensive house searches in the Falls Road area of Belfast for members of the IRA and IRA arms. A military curfew was imposed on the area for a period of 34 hours with movement of people heavily restricted. The house searches lasted for two days and involved considerable destruction to many houses and their contents. During the searches the army uncovered a lot of illegal arms and explosives. During the period of the curfew there were gun battles between both wings of the IRA and the Army. Four people were killed in the violence one of them deliberately run over by an Army vehicle.

Just a couple of weeks later the usual gauge of sectarian tensions, the annual 'Twelfth' parades pass off without serious incident.

Then on the 15 September 1970 as a the one hundredth explosion in 1970 occurred members of the RUC actually voted (albeit narrowly) in favour of remaining unarmed. The government was to later overturn this in light of later events and rearm the RUC.

On Thursday 12 November 1970 the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) was formed. The NIHE gradually took over control of the building and allocation of public sector housing in Northern Ireland. The responsibility for public sector housing had previously rested with local government and the Northern Ireland Housing Trust and discrimination in housing allocation had been a major source for concern for the civil rights movement.

On Saturday 6 February 1971, shortly after the Sinn Fein split the Official IRA shot and killed Gunner Robert Curtis, the first British soldier to die during the current conflict. The same day Bernard Watt, 28, a Catholic civilian, was shot and killed by the British Army during street disturbances in Ardoyne, Belfast. James Saunders, 22, a member of the IRA, was shot and killed by the British Army during a gun battle near the Oldpark Road, Belfast. Three days later five men, two of them BBC engineers the others construction workers, were killed near a BBC transmitter on Brougher Mountain, County Tyrone in a landmine attack carried out by the IRA. It was believed that their vehicle was mistaken for a British Army Landrover.

On Wednesday 10 March 1971 Dougald McCaughey, 23, Joseph McCaig, 18, and John McCaig, 17, all three members of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, were killed by members of the IRA. They were off-duty and lured from a pub where they had been drinking. Their bodies were found at Squire's Hill, in the Ligoniel area of Belfast. There was widespread condemnation of the killings and increased pressure on Chichester-Clark, then Northern Ireland Prime Minister, to take a tougher line on security in the region.

At the start of June Harry Tuzo, then General Officer Commanding the British Army, said that a permanent military solution to the conflict could not be achieved. On Thursday 8 July 1971 Seamus Cusack, 28, a Catholic civilian, was shot and mortally wounded by a British soldier during street disturbances at Abbey Park, in the Bogside area of Derry. The death of Cusack led to further disturbances in the Bogside and at approximately 3.15pm Desmond Beattie, 19, a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by British soldiers at Lecky Road. Again the circumstances of the shooting were disputed. Rioting in Derry intensified following the two deaths. The SDLP withdrew from Stormont on 16 July 1971 because no official inquiry was announced into the killings.

Then on Sunday 11 July 1971 the IRA exploded a number of bombs in the centre of Belfast injuring a number of people. Many commentators and indeed many working class protestants saw these bombs as an attempt to increase tension and confrontations between the two main communities. On Monday 9 August 1971 internment was introduced – by the Stormont administration not, as Bandu seems to believe, the British government. In a series of raids across Northern Ireland, 342 people were arrested and taken to makeshift camps. There was an immediate upsurge of violence and 17 people were killed during the next 48 hours. Of these 10 were Catholic civilians who were shot dead by the British Army. Internment was to continue until 5 December 1975. During that time 1,981 people were detained; 1,874 were Catholic / Republican, while only 107 were Protestant / Loyalist. Internment had been proposed by Unionist politicians as the solution to the security situation in Northern Ireland but was to lead to a very high level of violence over the next few years and to increased support for the IRA. BTW in the initial raids only two protestants were interned, Ronnie Bunting of the IRSP/INLA and John McGuffin a civil rights/Peoples Democracy activist and an anarchist.

During the 9 August 1971 and the early hours of the 10 August Northern Ireland experienced the worst violence since August 1969. Over the following days thousands of people (estimated at 7,000), the majority but not all of them Catholics, were forced to flee their homes. Many Catholic 'refugees' moved to the Republic of Ireland, and have never returned to Northern Ireland.

On Wednesday 25 August 1971 Henry Beggs, 23, a Protestant civilian, was killed when the IRA planted a bomb at the Northern Ireland Electricity Service office on the Malone Road in Belfast. On Wednesday 1 September 1971 the IRA exploded a series of bombs across Northern Ireland injuring a number of people. The next day there were further IRA bombs across the region. The explosions resulted in further injuries to a number of people.

On Wednesday 29 September a ‘protestant’ pub the Four Step Inn on the Shankill Road in Belfast was blown up, two Protestant civilians, Alexander Andrews, 60, and Ernest Bates, 38, were killed. No group claimed responsibility but it was believed to be the responsibility of the IRA. On Tuesday 2 November 1971 the IRA exploded two bombs on the Ormeau Road in Belfast, one at a drapery shop and the other at a ‘protestant’ bar, the Red Lion, and killed three Protestant civilians; John Cochrane, 67, Mary Gemmell, 55, and William Jordan, 31. On Saturday 27 November 1971 two Customs officials, Ian Hankin, 27, a Protestant and James O'Neill, 39, a Catholic, were shot by an IRA sniper who fired upon a British Army patrol investigating a bomb attack on a Customs Post near Newry, County Armagh.

On Monday 3 January 1972 the IRA exploded a bomb in Callender Street, Belfast, which injured over 60 people. Then on Saturday 4 March 1972 the Abercorn Restaurant in Belfast was bombed without warning. Two Catholic civilians were killed and over 130 people injured. The IRA did not claim responsibility for the bomb but were universally considered to have been involved.

The Stormont government refused to hand over control of law and order to Westminster control, destabilising the north appeared to be working quite well. On Monday 20 March 1972 the IRA exploded a car-bomb in Lower Donegall Street, Belfast, which killed 6 people and injured about 100 others. Two of those killed were RUC men trying to evacuate people from the area. Another was a member of the UDR and the rest were Protestant civilians.

On Friday 14 April 1972 the IRA exploded 23 bombs at locations all over Northern Ireland. On Wednesday 10 May 1972 an IRA bomb started a fire that destroyed the Belfast Co-operative store.

On Wednesday 17 May 1972 the IRA opened fire on workers leaving the Mackies engineering works in west Belfast. Although the factory was sited in a Catholic area it had a predominantly Protestant workforce. On Friday 26 May 1972 the IRA planted a bomb in Oxford Street, Belfast which killed a 64 year old woman.

Secret Talks Between IRA and British Government took place on Friday 7 July 1972. An IRA delegation held direct talks with William Whitelaw, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and other Northern Ireland Office ministers in the Chelsea home of Mr Paul Channon, then Minister of State for the North. The IRA delegation also included: Gerry Adams, Séamus Twomey, Seán MacStiofáin, Dáithí Ó Conaill, Ivor Bell, and Martin McGuinness. The talks failed and the breakdown in the IRA ceasefire finally occurred because of a dispute over the allocation of houses in the Suffolk area and the IRA and the British Army became involved in gun battles in Horn Drive, Belfast. The 'Bloody Friday' bombings on 21 July 1972 were part of a decision by the IRA to step up its campaign with a view to trying to bring ordinary life in the city to an end.

On Sunday 9 July 1972 five Catholic civilians were shot dead by the British Army in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast. Three Protestants, one of whom was a member of the Territorial Army, were found shot dead in Little Distillery Street, Belfast. They were shot by Republican paramilitaries. Also in Belfast a Catholic man was shot dead by the British Army and a Protestant man was shot dead by Republican paramilitaries. A member of the UDA was shot dead by the IRA in Belfast.

On Friday 21 July 1972 events that were to become known as Bloody Friday saw the planting and exploding of 22 bombs by the IRA which, in the space of 75 minutes, killed 9 people and seriously injured approximately 130 others. In addition to the bombs there were numerous hoax warnings about other explosive devices which added to the chaos in the streets that afternoon. Many people believe these hoax warnings were deliberately used to reduce the effectiveness of the security forces in dealing with the real bombs. The killings and maimings had a profound impact on most people in Northern Ireland.

'Bloody Friday' also led to the decision by the British Government to implement 'Operation Motorman' on 31 July 1972 when, in the biggest British military operation since the 1956 Suez crisis, the British Army entered and ended the 'no-go' areas of Belfast and Derry. Prior to the military operation 4,000 extra troops were brought into Northern Ireland to take part in the dismantling of barricades on the boundaries of 'no-go' areas. Some 12,000 British troops supported by Saracens and bulldozers smashed through the barricades. Two people, a Catholic teenager and a member of the IRA, were shot by the British Army during the operation in Derry. The number of house searches and the number of Catholics interned increased over the coming months. On the same day the IRA exploded three car bombs in Claudy, County Derry killing six people instantly while a further three people died of their injuries over the next 12 days. Five of those who were killed were Catholic civilians while the other four were Protestant civilians.

On Tuesday 22 August 1972 a bomb that was being planted by the IRA exploded prematurely at a customs post at Newry, County Down. Nine people, including three members of the IRA and five Catholic civilians, were killed in the explosion.

On Friday 2 February 1973 a Protestant civilian, James Greer, 21, was shot dead by the IRA at his workplace in Belfast.

On Thursday 8 March 1973 the IRA exploded two car bombs in London and killed one person and injured over 200 people. One of the bombs had been planted at the 'Old Bailey' court in London. Two other car bombs were diffused. Nine people were later found guilty of the bombings among them was Gerry Kelly who went on to a leading member of Sinn Féin and played a role in the negotiations that led to the Goody Friday Agreement on 10 April 1998. There were bombs in Belfast and Derry.

On Tuesday 12 June 1973 six Protestant civilians, aged between 60 and 76, were killed when a car-bomb exploded in Railway Street, Coleraine. The attack was carried out by the IRA who had given inadequate warning of the bomb.

On Monday 10 September 1973 there were two bomb attacks at train stations in London carried out by the IRA. At 1.00pm a small bomb exploded at King's Cross Railway Station, London. At 1.05pm the Press Association received a phone call warning of a bomb at Euston Railway Station. At 1.15pm another small bomb (estimated at 2-5 pounds of explosives) exploded outside the Rail Bar at Euston Station, London. There were no deaths but 12 people were injured in the blast.

On Christmas eve 1973 two members of the IRA and a Protestant civilian were killed in a bomb attack on a public house in Monaghan Street, Newry, County Down. The bomb was being planted by the IRA and exploded prematurely.

On Wednesday 17 July 1974 the IRA exploded a bomb at the Tower of London which killed one person and injured a further 41 others. On Thursday 7 November 1974 the IRA threw a bomb through the window of the King's Arms public house in Woolwich, London, and killed one off-duty British soldier and one civilian. The explosion also injured a further 28 people.

On Thursday 21 November 1974 the IRA planted bombs in two public houses, the Mulberry Bush and the Tavern in the Town in Birmingham and killed a total of 21 civilians (two of whom died in the weeks following the explosions). There was widespread outrage amongst the general public and the British government came under pressure to be seen to be acting against the threat of further bombs. Of course the wrongly arrested Birmingham Six are remembered by Irish nationalists, republicans, and the left but the indiscriminate bombing of these bars fades into history. On 29 November 1974 the Prevention of Terrorism Act was passed.

On Saturday 23 November 1974 a Catholic civilian and a Protestant civilian were shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries at Clifton Street, Belfast. Two Protestant civilians were killed at their workplace on Crumlin Road, Belfast, by members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Despite the short-lived December 1974 ceasefire this list of events could go on. Again I’m hoping to counter the dangerous myth that the IRA did not carry out sectarian attacks, that they had no role themselves in escalating the conflict, that their republican ideals somehow put them above sectarianism. Their campaign in the early seventies to de-stabilise the Northern Ireland state was often deliberately sectarian and relied on increasing tension at a time when reforms were actually being implemented and the RUC were disarmed. The campaign also drove many working class protestants, and protestants in general away from seeing themselves as Irish and has actually made the prospect of a united Ireland (that doesn’t involve coercion of unionists) less as opposed to more likely. The campaign undoubtedly drove many working class protestants into loyalist paramilitary organisations.


circle A red n black star

Joined: 8-10-04
Nov 16 2004 13:44

At the risk of throwing cats among pigeons, where do the revelations about Scappatuchi (or agent steak knife as military intellegence knew him) leave us as far as the original question is concerned?

From an outsiders point of view, it looks to me like whitehall has run both sides of this conflict for at least the last decade of open hostilities.

I wonder how much of that "unnecessary escalation" was truely pIRA instigated. It's obvious to me who's agenda it served. Is there something I'm missing, or was that conflict largely stage managed from Whitehall?

You guys seem to know enough to make a judgement.

Joined: 28-10-03
Nov 16 2004 16:54
Boulcolonialboy wrote:
I’m gonna add some ‘evidence’ to this thread, concentrating on the early seventies as that seems to be the period Lazlo is referring to.

The 'sutton index of deaths' gives a very detailed killing by killing, year by year breakdown. It's at http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/sutton/chron/1971.html It's well worth browsing this for a detailed sense not only of who was killed but also the circumstances in which they were killed.

Looking at the key year of 1971 these would suggest that at least some of the apparently sectarian killings listed above may have been more complex. For instance the Ormeau road bombing of the Red Lion and a drapery shop becomes more complex once you know that the building between these two premises was the 'Ormeau Road Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base'. This coupled with the 'Inadequate warning' makes it more likely this was yet another botched attack on the police rather then targetting protestants.

The killing of Henry Biggs is another 'Inadequate warning given', more apparently sectarian was the nail bomb thrown at Mackies earlier on which killed Willain Atwell a (protestant) security guard. This however was never claimed and given that it was a nail bomb it may have been more random then planned. On the 'Inadequate warning given' its worth pointing out that a number of IRA men died in this year victims of thier own bombs going off prematurely as well.

The Four Steps Inn bombing has no apparent motive beyond a sectarian one and the UVF retaliation that followed when the 'Fiddler's House Bar' was bombed killed another protestant. After Dec with the UVF bombing of McGirks bar (15 killed) things start to become a lot more complex in terms of this discussion as this was the start of a prolonged period of loyalist bombings and assainations aimed at catholic which by mid 1972 was to see a republican tit-for-tat campaign with either individual sectarian murders not claimed by any organistion or claimed in the name of non-existent cover groups.

Anyway I think the evidence is quite weak for a planned sectarian escalation by the republicans in 1971. The pattern is much more one of carelessly conceived shoot outs and bombings in which civilians were killed (as often as not catholics). I certainly don't think there is anything like enough evidence to base a political theory on. Of course you also need to address the preceptions of what was going on and some loyalist paramilitaries do cite the Four Steps bombing as key to convincing them that a sectarian war was underway. But perceptions are not reality even if as in this case they contribute to making reality.

On a more minor note - you give the internment figures on the catholic/repulican v protestant/loyalist basis. But as you mention at least two of the protestants were not loyalists, any idea if this is also true of any of number of the others?


On the original question 'did the IRA escalate the conflict' the answer is very clearly yes. The IRA were never (politically) a defence group even if at times this was the basis they recruited on in the early 1970's. Politically they had no interest in seeing the Northern Ireland of the 1970's reformed as this might have demoblised their growing support base. But this escalation was one based on military and economic rather than sectarian targets.

The point would be that the IRA were only in a position to engage in this escalation because of the role played by Stormont, the British government and the security forces in suppressing the civil rights movement. Some 15 years previously the IRA had tried a 'foci' like approach with the border campaign which was a complete flop what won them no support. It was their ability to appear as the defenders of the 'nationalist community' that enable them to grow in the 70's. In that sense its also the case that it was the ability of the UVF and UDA to appear as the defenders of the 'loyalist community' that allowed them in turn to grow.

Nov 17 2004 22:23

Not being an expert, but a person with a view, I find it bizarre that revolwhoeverbelfaststudentulsterman finds it expedient to respond with invective (although I gather from other posts that this is your style). I assume you are a youngster and therefore an angry youth.

It all rather misses the point of anti -imperialist politics and what the British were doing in Ireland anyway? Primacy of politics folks.


Joe (still not dead)

Nov 17 2004 22:25

And revol - it's 'foment' not 'ferment'.

Joined: 28-10-03
Nov 18 2004 13:17
joehill wrote:
Not being an expert, but a person with a view, I find it bizarre that revolwhoeverbelfaststudentulsterman finds it expedient to respond with invective ... It all rather misses the point of anti -imperialist politics and what the British were doing in Ireland anyway?

His stylle drive me nuts as well as it tends to lose whatever point he is making. But if you look it is still there and it is a good one. That is that its not really a great starting point to automatically assume republican cock-ups and sectarian killings are automatically down to M15/MI6/FSU etc. If there is evidence of this in particular cases its worth highlighting but its quite clear most of these incidents do not.

Joined: 8-10-04
Nov 20 2004 04:20

Direct evidence of this would be fiendishly difficult to come across, but the revelations of MI involvement force us to re-examine the whole period in this new light.

If Scappatuchi was pIRA's main enforcer. The man who ordered many of the mainland spectaculars, and oversaw the heirarchy of pIRA was a British agent, Then why did so many attacks come as a complete surprise? Why were so few uncovered? Why did they not know who the bombers were? Or where the next spectacular would happen? Why was there not a roundup of the leadership?

We also know about the loyalist paramilitary's connections to Whitehall, so what was really happening

I'm not saying that Whitehall controlled everything, but I find it hard to believe that when they had such deep involvement in the running of both organisations, that the conflict escalation had nothing to do with them.

Look who gained.

I'm pretty ignorant about the politics of it all, but it looks to me like there's stuff here that doesn't add up. Infact, it begins to look decidedly stage managed for maximum advantage to Whitehall.

Nov 30 2004 23:03

So we agree with Revol darling that the British had every right to be in Ireland and Imperialism is great/ doesn't divide the workers purposely and in a deadly fashion and that Drohegda was a great thing (it certainly spawned a new saying - beyond the Pale - of Dublin)? (oxymoron, like, British Intelligence).

revol does sometimes have good points that are worth looking at, but his position on Ireland is not good (reactionary) - it almost makes me think he is in the the SWP. The protestant working class got a really bad deal through the troubles and most of them don't agree with violence in fact. Why else does the UVA/UVF not progress politically? What a farce - you've all been sold down the river by the ruling classes (who happen to be white, anglo-saxons and head of the church of England, how silly. Hopefully we can pull this back) - Altho' Eammon Mccann is OK-ish.

Long live the revolution.

Lots of love

JH (No gerrymandering darlings) Wake up!

gav's picture
Joined: 22-09-03
Dec 1 2004 01:43
nuclearcivvy wrote:
If Scappatuchi was pIRA's main enforcer. The man who ordered many of the mainland spectaculars, and oversaw the heirarchy of pIRA was a British agent, Then why did so many attacks come as a complete surprise?

because scappatuchi was the enforcer, ie finding spies, torturing, killing, etc. so he wouldnt necessarily have anything to do with the organising and planning of bombing campaigns.

Dec 1 2004 23:25

Think about it comrade

Joe Hill
Joined: 2-12-04
Dec 2 2004 22:22

I know plenty and my location is not important. Like the post you directed me to. Solidarity.

Joe Hill
Joined: 2-12-04
Dec 3 2004 00:03

This is probably the subject of a PhD, so get to it revol and KEEP YOUR MIND OPEN.

Joe Hill
Joined: 2-12-04
Dec 4 2004 22:36

We'll leave it that then... (I love it how everyone seems to hate each other on this forum - it is probably a waste of time and we should really be out there doing things and fighting against the real enemies rather than hiding behind a keyboard arguing nonsense with people we probably have more in common with etc - the curse of the anti-capitalists.)

I could enter into a silly polemic with you revol but I don't think it would be useful. All the best anyway. We can agree to disagree.

Also, you can ask Jack what he thinks.


Dec 27 2004 15:52

On Wednesday 17 May 1972 the IRA opened fire on workers leaving the Mackies engineering works in west Belfast. Although the factory was sited in a Catholic area it had a predominantly Protestant workforce(Boulcolonialboy)

While it is undeniable that the IRA did carry out some sectarian killings, the IRA never carried out a deliberate sectarain campaign. After carrieying out some research and have heard some eye witness reports, which claimed that the IRA during this times outside Mackies fired over the heads of the workers beacause of fears that a loyalist incursion of the local nationalist area whould ensue. Others have claimed that frequently workers going to Mackies would provoke local people by flying Union jacks etc, which does not justify targetting 'innocent' civilians. So as in all conflicts, their is alot of conflicting reports about who carried out what and intentions. We must also take into consideration that as in all conflicts in which the British Government have been the main protaganists, they have claimed for propaganda reasons that they are the neutral force against to warering religious tribes. So the real truth still remains to be told, lets not forget that!

Dec 27 2004 16:10

How the fuck am i being an apologist for the IRA, im just giving a different side to the account of sectarian killings being stated in that list. By the way, it wasnt my da told me you fuckin twat as he didnt live in the springfield area. I YOU READ MY COMMENT I did say that the IRA was involve in sectarain killings. As to your last commnet, you know fine rightly that the shit is spinning out of your arse!

Dec 27 2004 16:12

Unlike, yrself. im a wee bit more open minded willing to CRITICALLY listen to others yet still remain firms in my beliefs and principles!

Dec 27 2004 16:23

your wrong again, most people i mess about with like yrself our not lefties and some our prods. Why not? i already know one of the main reasons at the time which is kill as many taigs as possible, so that they reject the IRA and show their inability to defend Nationalist areas. Taken from reading Loyalist books not to mention the autobiography of David Ervine.

Dec 27 2004 18:09

Relating to your first point, firstly if the IRA were sectarian how come they killed more Catholics than British Crown forces including the Army, RUC and Loyalists. In terms of the bombing campaign, undoubtedly the IRA targeted pubs and clubs and i am not an apologist for the IRA nor its defender but unfortunatly the security forces drank and socialised in mainly protestant bars which didn't help and mainly came from that community. Of couse, these attacks were totally fuckin reactionary and only played into the hands of the British Government. Religion does not come into it, when you look at the facts on the ground, although the Brit Governement has played on it! When the ra were targetting Soldiers they didn't give a fuck about ones religion.

The IRA of course were a reaction to the pograms carried out by the RUC and Loyalists in the late 60s.

Of course as a class struggle i am opposed to nationalism and imperialism, but there is nothing wrong with discussing the ins and outs of the conflict in Ireland. Yes, unfortunately, the campaign waged by the Provos served to increase sectarian divsions within the working class, but they were never the root cause of the problem.

Yes, i do have protestant friends, maybe not from a Unionist or Loyalist perspective but that does not means i don't understand their thinking which you gather from reading and listening to them non-stop in da media!

Dec 27 2004 19:19

I do think that my first point negates the fact that the IRA were involved in a deliberate sectarian campaign against one section of the community, although as in all wars innocent civilians were caught up in the conflict. You are mis-interpreting my points, as i have already stated that i am opposed to the ideology of nationalism. The fact is if it wasn't for the British Army and Loyalists the IRA would not have existed and therefore not the root cause of the problem.

Of course i am opposed to any national liberation struggle, not only on a tactical or strategic level but also morally and on the the grounds of opposition to nationalism and its aim of establishing new states were one set of oppressors are replaced by another set, and capitalism based on domination and exploitation remains in place.

Anyway, it seems that this debate is pointless, as you know that we keep covering the same issues and slight disagreements. Most importantly, it remains the task of Anarchists in Ireland to show the pratical relevance of Anarchism and whu nationalism and loyalism etc and constitutional issue is a load of bollocks and for most people is far from their minds when preciding over day to day needs. :red: circle A

Dec 27 2004 19:54

look through the past posts, and u will understand that we keep covering the same ground. Yes the IRA were partly responsible as i have said before and some sectarian attacks did push prods into the arms of loyalists. You end up putting words into my mouth and as you know from talkin to you outside of the boardrooms, Loyalism does have its own dynamic and interests and wernt totally stooges of the Brits. For example, the UDA objective is suppossedly committed to an independent Ulster and historically their has always been divisions within Unionism both pre-partition between the Ulster, British and Irish Unionists and still divisions today between those sections of m/c unionists as well as m/c taigs who won't to reamin under rule form Westmenister and those who wont power devolved to Stormont.

Joe Hill
Joined: 2-12-04
Dec 28 2004 22:07

revol has multiplied

Joe Hill
Joined: 2-12-04
Dec 28 2004 22:40

Anyway, what do you know? Silly person. Love. JH