The IRA By Numbers (Guest Post By Sammy McNally)

Guest Post here from Sammy.

The nomenclature of the Irish insurgency groups is clearly in need of overhaul given the relative nature of the terms ‘old’ and ‘new’ when referring to the ‘IRA’ as highlighted in the post below by FJH – and I think  we can perhaps look to technology to provide us with a more useful and workable alternative.

We could, in the interests of clarity, ignoring the United Irishmen and the Fenians et al, just start with the Easter Rising and simply use the term IRA (Irish Republican Army) in the generic sense to cover all Republican insurgency groups from that point forward.  That would then give us the IRB as the first version of the IRA or version 1.0 and perhaps the anti-treaty IRA as version 1.1.

The hitherto‘old’ IRA would now be referred to as the Version 1s.

Given their relative lack of activity and their limited impact, it is perhaps not necessary to allocate a separate Version number to the IRA involved in the ‘border campaign’ in the 1950s and they might be fairly categorised as BETA Version 2, with the full Version 2 relating to the insurgency that emerged in the late 1960s.  That would make the Provisional IRA Version 2.1 and the Official IRA Version 2.2. I think it makes good sense to include the sundry other insurgency groups in the same numbering system – so we could have the INLA as 2.3, the IPLO as 2.4 etc, with the flexibility in the system to accommodate the likes of the South Armagh Peoples Resistance Front(or whatever they were called) who may or may not turn out to have actually existed.

So the hitherto ‘New’ IRA would now be referred to as the Version 2s.

So what about the currently active batch of IRAs, the Dissers, are they the new Version 3s?

Well Unionists would probably argue that the Version 1s and Version 2s and the prospective Version 3s should all just be lumped together as they would see them as all being all cut from the same papal cloth, so I think we should therefore listen very carefully to any submissions from Unionists – in an outreachy sort of way – and then ignore them. So although arguably there is considerable overlap in terms of timespan and volunteers with the Version 2s we should make the Dissers – Real IRA, Continuity IRA, Oglaigh na hEireann, Republicans against Drugs et al (formerly known as the‘New new IRA’) the Version 3s – but given the propensity of the groups to merge and splinter themselves – perhaps best not to allocate them exact(3.1, 3.2) Version numbers.

Arguably, if there had been proper versioning in place we might have actually seen improvement in later Versions – rather than the reverse, as we have seen up until now – and we might have had some proper and realistic assessments of what had gone before.

In FJHs post below he recounts that an old New IRA man (a Version 2.1) states that  “He wasnt going to apologise to anyone for anything. ……….if people apologise, then it belittles those comrades who died for his and their beliefs.”

… and that is fair enough.

For many, however, myself included, what is required from him and his colleagues is not an apology but an explanation about the nature of the campaign they were involved in  e.g. repeatedly putting large bombs in civilian areas and shooting ex-members of the security forces, or shooting serving members in front of their families.This is important as we move ‘forward’ in Irish history, not just because we have a right as Irish people to know what was done in our name but also because if we had a bit more discussion of the validity of some of the tactics of the Version1s (e.g. shooting Prods) then we would not have so many questions to ask now from the Version 2.1s – and arguably the Version 3s might not actually, currently at least, be with us.

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31 Responses to The IRA By Numbers (Guest Post By Sammy McNally)

  1. Some good points here from Sammy.
    Id probably inlude “ex-prisoner” as a description in itself. I was actually trying to work out the significance of “ex-prisoner”. I referred to it yesterday as “coded”. Generally speaking the term is taken to mean “IRA men” but not “the IRA”.
    First and foremost people cannot admit to being members of the IRA. That provides information to the “enemy” but the word “ex-prisoner” is not quite saying that.
    I also wonder if the IRA existed better as the IRA…….in prison.
    Certainly in Belfast in the period between the formation of the Provisional IRA (late 1969) and Internment (August 1971) the Provos in Belfast had three battaions each with six companies, located in very precise geographical areas of the City.
    But I wonder how really connected they were to each other and to the IRAs other Brigades outside Belfast.
    I suggest that it was only in Long Kesh Internment Camp and Crumlin Road that men from Coalisland, Crossmaglen and Belfast actually met each other and formed a cohesive organisation.
    Of course the internee and felon have always had a semi-mystical reputation in “republican circles”.
    Indeed we are very coy about words which describe people…….not least because of legal constraints and concern for “felon setting” or “setting up” people…..but the very phrase “well known Derry (or West Belfast or South Armagh) Republican………IMPLIES “militant Republican” which of course IMPLIES “IRA”.
    On Sammy’s chronology there might be some debate as to whether Version2:1 (the Provos) have numerical precedence over 2:2 (the Officials). I think Sammy calls it right……as Id think the Provos are more credible “keepers of the flame” of militancy as the “Officials” who pre-date the Provisionals had given up militancy in the 1960s.
    Im not saying that a case cannot be made for the Officials to have “seniority” here……..merely that two cases can be made.

  2. An interesting read Sammy.

    Due to familial reasons, I would definitely agree to the Provisionals being given precedence over the Stickies though that is merely a clear knee jerk reaction on my own part.

    I think it is safe to say that the dissers are a separate kettle of fish to v2.1 and most definitely v2.2. The ‘band’ disbanded and they are reminiscent of INXS touring without Mick Hutchence, it’s not INXS is it? It’s a covers band and a poor one at that.

    I think the wanting to question those who committed actions for Ireland or an Ireland that they wanted to create is a fair enough point. I would only like to know who should ask the questions and why? I agree that the version 1s have been pretty much sainted here in the South, and why not? The country achieved partial independence from a great power. Whilst some of the tactics I could not conscionably agree with, I do not believe that in the main they did so many things that caused their fight to go from being viewed as one of being about liberation to one of sectarian genocide. I would say that most ‘sane’ people would agree with that (I will not even bother saying something like that over on SOT, could you imagine how many shitty replies that would get?!)

  3. sammymcnally says:

    fc,

    “who should ask the questions and why?”

    Although I normally have little difficulty in speaking on behalf of the Plain People of Ireland – I will in this instance limit myself to answering on my own behalf – I simply dont think it is healthy in a democracy for those (the Version 2.1s) engaged in political activity and particualrly violent political activity not to explain their actions properly.

    In relation to the version 1s, I largely agree, but I do think as I mentioned above – a bit more critical discussion of their tactics should have taken place and perhaps still needs to take place.

    • Sammy,

      ‘I simply dont think it is healthy in a democracy for those (the Version 2.1s) engaged in political activity and particualrly violent political activity not to explain their actions properly.’

      I would have largely agreed with you above, but for one thing, we do not live in a ‘normal’ or even a healthy democracy, we live in Norn Iron, a nation set up against the democratic will of the people as a sectarian head count (and yes, I mean every word of the above), whilst I am not the fan of violence I perfectly understand why men in the IRA went to arms and whilst I also criticize a lot of what they did (Enniskillen springs to mind), I think, in general, a lot of their targets were perfectly legitimate (security forces, whether on or off duty, destroying commercial centres).

      At the end of the day, nations usually are not gifted independence, especially in Europe so tactics which we largely balk at are used by those who we may most definitely dislike but sometimes are necessary.

      I could get into a big case of whataboutery about all participants here but I won’t. Again, aside from some pretty isolated cases of naked sectarianism with the v.1s, I have nothing against them, only those who decided to accept the treaty.

      • Mister_joe says:

        Only against those who accepted the treaty.

        Do you really understand the situation back then? The IRA were on the verge of defeat. If the treaty had not been accepted, we would probably all now be still part of the “Empire”.
        The Welsh Wizard sold a pup, with his nods and winks about the Border Commission. You can’t possibly know what dreadful possibilities went through the minds of the representatives at the Dáil.
        Hindsight is bullshit, delayed.

      • football cl says:

        Nice to have you hear Mr. joe.

        Do I really understand the situation back then? Yes, I believe I do.

        Do you understand the situation back then, or are you just as conveniently looking at it with hindsight also, aka bull shit delayed?

        We would still be in an Empire? Really? And what crystal ball did you use to come to this conclusion? Where can I get one? Please don’t perform one of the biggest sins anyone can perform when reading history, guessing what may have been.

        I will simply ask you, so no fluff please, do you KNOW what may have been if we did not accept the terms of the treaty? Yes or no?

      • Mister_joe says:

        Thanks fc.
        No, I don’t know what the situation would be, that’s why I used probably. And that’s why I don;t condemn those who signed the treaty, after long discussion of all the issues.

      • football cliches says:

        Joe, I do condemn those who signed the treaty as I do know what happened next, as do you. And, to be fair, at the time it would have been a near sure bet that Nats, de facto disenfranchised due to the creation of a sectarian state, would be treated with utter contempt by their neighbours for no other reason than by the grace of god they were born kaffliks.

        I condemn those who signed it as it was also noted that the British government could not be trusted and that their boundary commission would be a smoke screen for the entrenchment of undemocratic partition.

        It does not matter how long discussions are, or how forthright they may be, if the decision made is incorrect.

      • Mister_joe says:

        Fc,
        Looks like we will just have to respectfully disagree. Cheers.

      • football cliches says:

        Indeed Joe.

        As an aside, good to see you have made your way over to FJH’s blog to comment. Looking forward to hopefully hearing some more from you. I would also recommend you check out Bangor Dub’s page too.

        http://bangordub.wordpress.com/

  4. sammymcnally says:

    fc,

    Well we will have to agree to disagree.

    I dont think it is sustainable for one of combatants (e.g. SF) on behalf of the Nat community to demand enquiries into different aspect of events and have their own leader pretend he knows nothing of it. I really think that the 2.1s have some serious explaining to do.

    I appreciate that ‘whataboutery’ is the normal reaction to the points I have raised above but I dont think it is sufficent either to make general statements such as the the old omlette and egss arguement

    ‘so tactics which we largely balk at are used by those who we may most definitely dislike but sometimes are necessary’

    …without examining those tactics.

    • ‘I dont think it is sustainable for one of combatants (e.g. SF) on behalf of the Nat community to demand enquiries into different aspect of events and have their own leader pretend he knows nothing of it. I really think that the 2.1s have some serious explaining to do.’

      I think they do also, but do you see some amnesty in place where they can bring this up without the full force of the law coming down on them? Boston tapes anyone? Or do you expect them to merely ‘fess up’ whilst others stay sufficiently quiet?

      I believe they are entirely correct to demand inquiries into state collusion, as well as unlawful or extra-legal killings by the state and its agents, whether legal or paramilitary. I do not see the state rushing to tell us what they did, how they are sorry for what they did it and why they did it.

      ‘I dont think it is sufficent either to make general statements such as the the old omlette and egss argument’

      And why not? History is not made in a vacuum so to speak. Most do not just wake up in the morning and decide to take the life of another. Do you actually want to go over each and every single killing by v2.1 and ask, why without putting this same kind of heat on other actors?

      If you are actually asking why did v2.1 decide to bomb city centres and kill those in or affiliated with the security forces, well, I think we all know the answer to these questions. If you are looking for them to give detailed answers, I suggest you read Declan Kearney or Brian Rowan and what they have been saying over on Eamonn Mallie’s page. It would appear to me that you really only want one side’s answers while in fact there are many more sides, one of whom is a government that not only created the conditions for the blood shed but helped make it even worse.

      By the way, it is not whataboutery if others also have questions to answer on the same matter. When two cars collide we seek answers from those in both cars before apportioning blame.

  5. sammymcnally says:

    I dont think an amnesty is required for the 2.1s to fully explain their tactics, SF should really be doing better than the s*hit happens in a war angle.

    If you want ‘truth’ and or ‘reconcilliation’ (I think most Nats do genuinely want that) then I think you have to say when you got it wrong tactically as well as just saying an individual action was regrettable.

    The British have already gotten off to a good start with Bloody Sunday enquiry, the Provos should reciprocate – moral equivalence and all that.

    • ‘The British have already gotten off to a good start with Bloody Sunday enquiry, the Provos should reciprocate – moral equivalence and all that.’

      Sammy, the above actually proves my point though. The evidence gathered by the tribunal cannot be used in any trial against the soldiers. Further, the decision of the tribunal cannot be used against the soldiers, they are immune from this. How on earth do you think they would be prosecuted now? The case is predicted to take up to 4 years; what age will some of the soldiers be? There is every chance some will die before sentencing which means they have been given de facto immunity. Further, Bloody Sunday is a particularly unique case as not only were they innocent civilians shot dead by an army in broad day light, but it’s apparent that the institutions of said state were then used to not only exonerate the murderers but to heap blame on the victims.

      An Amnesty is most definitely required if you do want to see people being able to tell the truth as they would still be open to prosecution from the authorities (see Boston tapes, though why they are being considered as ‘evidence’ is beyond me as they cannot be used in a court of law to prove anything) for certain matters they may raise of a criminal nature.

      I would love to see some form of truth and reconciliation, but a tit for tat, a quid pro quo for this is not going to really get us anywhere. ‘People’ want to avoid the costs of something like the Saville inquiry (fair enough, but what cost justice?) and most use this as some form of political point scoring, I’m undecided as to whether this is fine.

      ‘I dont think an amnesty is required for the 2.1s to fully explain their tactics, SF should really be doing better than the s*hit happens in a war angle.’

      But ‘who’ would you like to do the explaining, and to whom? I think a lot of us already know why the tactics were used, is an explanation really needed to explain why a policeman was shot? A lot of the time, v2.1 would release a statement giving its reasons for why it killed someone, sometimes it appears to be following a line people can say is a fairly accurate reason, sometimes (Enniskillen) it’s horse shit.

      But, if you do answer questions on 1 travesty, what next? Do we expect the state to provide answers on the Ballymurphy massacre? How about shoot to kill? And what of v2.1; if it provides answers on a travesty cannot it be expected to provide follow up to other questions raised? I think this is pretty dangerous stuff as it may raise more questions than answers. If you want to replace ‘creative ambiguity’ you will need to do this with something all parties can agree with and

  6. bangordub says:

    I am reluctant to comment on the Versions 2 and particularly 3 aspects of this, I am a Dub and we bear a responsibility for what is in the past but was shaped by our actions. I have family history on both sides of the border but no personal experience. I Think Gerry Adams is disingenuous by denying his involvement. I cannot understand it although I know it would be exploited politically. At the risk of getting burned I suggest there is a latent guilt on the part of Southerners about partition. That guilt is not yet articulated and has not been maturely addressed.

  7. sammymcnally says:

    fc,

    I really dont see the need for quid pro quo on this – the versions 2.1s have some explaining to do – their situation is differnet from others. It is not inconcievable that they will be the 2nd largest part in the south at the next election and have a say in matters of security/defence – even from their own (electoral)perspective they really need to deal with the past a lot better.

    bd,

    re. “is a latent guilt on the part of Southerners about partition. That guilt is not yet articulated and has not been maturely addressed.”

    I’m not sure I’ve ever really detected that anywhere except in the border areas.

    • football cliches says:

      ‘I really dont see the need for quid pro quo on this – the versions 2.1s have some explaining to do – their situation is differnet from others. It is not inconcievable that they will be the 2nd largest part in the south at the next election and have a say in matters of security/defence – even from their own (electoral)perspective they really need to deal with the past a lot better.’

      How is there situation different from others? What, because they might get into government down South? One of the ‘participants’ IS a government, of varying shades of blue or red over the years and we are yet to hear any explanation from them for a lot of things.

      Perhaps the reason you ‘don’t see the need for a quid pro quo’ is that you are coming across as myopic on this matter. Simple question Sammy, do you want v2.1 to come clean even if everyone else does not? If so, why, and no, I don’t for one instance believe its because they may become part of a government down here, otherwise Eamonn Gilmore might have some explaining to do about things 40 or so years ago.

    • bangordub says:

      Sammy,
      You wouldn’t detect it. Whatever we say, we say nothing and us “Free Staters” are very good at the denial thing as well. Trust me, it exists though.

  8. sammymcnally says:

    bd,

    Until the boy Jordan made his film about the boul (Saint) Mick you may have been right.

    fc,

    The 2.1s should plough their furrow on this. I know it would be a bit silly to talk about them getting the high moral ground when discussing episodes like Eniskillen, Le Mon et al – but they have serious questions to answer as have others – but let the 2.1s answer them first. If the Britsh fail to do likewise we can draw our own conlcusions.

    There is no need for an amnesty for anyone because they would be discussing/revealing their tactics not individuals actions. For me their failure to deal adequately with the past pus a question mark over their suitablilty to deal with the future e.g. government in the South.

    … and we couldnt be sending Grizzly over to London as Foreign Minister and when he’s asked about his first visit there as a leader of the 2.1s – he says he was only over on his holidays visiting his auntie in Kilburn.

    • ‘The 2.1s should plough their furrow on this. I know it would be a bit silly to talk about them getting the high moral ground when discussing episodes like Eniskillen, Le Mon et al – but they have serious questions to answer as have others – but let the 2.1s answer them first. If the Britsh fail to do likewise we can draw our own conlcusions.’

      Again, why should they ‘plough their furrow on this’? What do they hope to achieve by this other than satisfying the whims of their enemies. You want answers re tactics when large swathes of Nats already know the reasoning behind a lot of killings. Just go to the Roddies or Kellys on a Friday night and I am pretty certain you will find out all you need to know by about 10pm once they have a few in them.

      Regarding the British failing to do likewise, do you honestly think that everyone will tut tut at them for not revealing the logic behind some of their actions or apologising for them? To be honest, this is the case at the moment, I and many others tut tut at them and lo and behold, they are not held to account by others. Do you honestly think the media will hold them to account? Safe answer is no, they will not. So no, I think the v2.1s are right to keep schtum. If you want to know why they did what they did (is it not obvious?) then a quid pro quo will need to be in the offing.

      Regarding Grizzly, he can say whatever he likes, it’s his prerogative. And when Robinson is in the White House meeting Obama is he questioned on his involvement with Ulster Resistance? I am intrigued as to why you would expect more from the v2.1s than others, and no, the whole ‘they may be in government down in the South’ line of reasoning does not, nor will it ever, wash with me. Again, why are we not asking Eamonn Gilmore about his dealings some 40 odd years ago? Peter Robinson and Ulster Resistance?

      It’s not whataboutery when there are many different players, all of whom are liable for many atrocities.

      Though to be frank, the chances of these guys (v2.1) coming out and stating why they did something without others also doing so, or for a mechanism to be in place, are none, not even slim.

  9. sammymcnally says:

    fc,

    There are very few clean pairs of hands for anyone(Robinson and Gilmore et al) but the scale and nature of the activities of the 2.1s means, in my opinion, that if they want to get elected down South and make peace with their neigbours (ie the Prods) they need to do better than they have done so far. There are aspects of their campaign they really need to explain.

    What the British do or dont do is a separate matter – we should set our own standards.

    As mentioned in the post itself, the Version 1s weren’t questioned on their tactics and in some way I believe that contributed to the same mistakes being made by the 2.1s.

    • football cliches says:

      Scale and nature? How so? Are you saying that a state employing extra legal methods or colluding with other paramilitaries is fine? Is this better than what was undertaken by the v2.1s?

      The v2.1s have made some kind of a peace with its neighbours, that’s why a ceasefire is in place, that’s why it’s called the ‘peace process ™’. Also, for it to move to a more solid foundation it would require the other side (themmuns) to be willing to actually make a more lasting peace, something which after the hijinks up in North Belfast I’m certain they do not want to do really. No, we have nice old creative ambiguity. It’s actually a terrific idea as everyone got something and signed a deal where they could tell there own, hey, the other guys capitulated.

      What the British do is not a separate matter, it is nicely entangled in the problem. What you appear to want Sammy, is to have your cake and eat it. You are being noble in wanting for a major party to come forward and say why it did what it did; this I actually agree with as I would love to hear a large and frank discussion about our sorry little mess. However, and this is where I largely disagree with you, I find it slightly naive that if the v2.1s were to come out and say ‘hey, we did the following because of x,y and z’ that this would help in reconciliation, especially when the other major parties are under no obligation to come out, and when one in particular has a history of either (i) denying culpability across the globe for its actions or (ii) burying the truth. It is much like the concept of ‘past consideration’ in contract law. I did something, expecting you to pay me back later but never made an agreement with you, you are under no obligation to pay may.

      Who will say truth to power (the British government) in this instance if the v2.1s give an account of why they did what they did? The media? Can you imagine the editor of the Bele Tele, or the Telegraph, or the Times, or the news room at the BBC asking when the British government will tell me it’s truth? I won’t hold my breath, as they will not. It is not in it’s interest to do so, and whilst a mechanism is not available for everyone to say its part, free of criminal prosecution and where they all know that everyone is putting all of its cards on the table, our old friend creative ambiguity suits me and lots of others just fine.

      http://eamonnmallie.com/2012/08/playing-politics-with-the-past/

  10. sammymcnally says:

    fc,

    basically i think the 2.1s should do the ‘right’ thing – I also think that politically there will be benefits (to them) in doing this and it should not be dependent on others.

    I think their failure to address the past properly is a sign of weakness. They should invite others (e.g. the British goverment ) into a process of ‘review’ and if the others decline that inivite then leave a couple of empty seats (one with a big Union Jack on it ) and plough ahead anyway.

    • And those benefits would be what exactly Sammy?

      I like also how you dodge some of the points I have raised previously, so I will reiterate them verbatim below:

      ‘Who will say truth to power (the British government) in this instance if the v2.1s give an account of why they did what they did? The media? Can you imagine the editor of the Bele Tele, or the Telegraph, or the Times, or the news room at the BBC asking when the British government will tell me it’s truth? ‘

      This sign of ‘weakness’, is this also applicable to other parties in the conflict?

      ‘if the others decline that inivite then leave a couple of empty seats (one with a big Union Jack on it ) and plough ahead anyway.’

      And what ‘benefits’ would they get from this precisely? Honestly, if I didn’t know better I would say you are deliberately trying to wind me up as your points are naive in the extreme (I’m sorry, I’m not trying to cause offence here but they are patently ridiculous). You have not made any kind of attempt to address any of my points raised as we go along and you just repeat yourself ad nauseum.

      When you are challenged you repeat a mantra like a man who is deep in meditation and when I highlight contradictions or gross hypocrisy you just brush it off, you don’t even try and give a decent account of your argument.

      As you said yourself ‘There are very few clean pairs of hands for anyone’, yet you still haven’t come back to me on your opinion re extra legal killings sanctioned by the state, so I’ll ask again:

      ‘Are you saying that a state employing extra legal methods or colluding with other paramilitaries is fine? Is this better than what was undertaken by the v2.1s?’

      So, I am intrigued as to your thinking behind this as I am not convinced about ‘SF getting into government down South’ line as Gilmore is already in government. Also, SF are in government up North as is Peter Robinson, yet he doesn’t get questioned about Ulster Resistance, so how about you give up the ghost Sammy and tell us your real reason behind pushing this line as your reasoning so far doesn’t stand up to any kind of scrutiny mate, sorry

  11. sammymcnally says:

    fc,

    Lets keep it simple – the core of my arguement is I think the v21s should explain what they have been up to in many aspects of their campaign – I think it is the ‘right’ thing to do becuase of some of the tactics they used.

    Do you understand that?

    Do you understand that I want US to put OUR house in order – what the British do is a matter for the British (though as a seperate point I would like them to come clean).

    The fact that you dont agree with that is fine but surely you can grasp the concept?

    If you do understand – then most of your quesitons are irrelevant.

    e.g.
    “Can you imagine the editor of the Bele Tele, or the Telegraph, or the Times, or the news room at the BBC asking when the British government will tell me it’s truth? ‘”

    e.g.
    “‘Are you saying that a state employing extra legal methods or colluding with other paramilitaries is fine? Is this better than what was undertaken by the v2.1s?’”

    p.s. Feel free to be as abusive as you like – things are a bit too cosy round here.

    • Sammy,

      You have kept something quite complicated very simple.

      I agree the v2.1s have some explaining, however, I disagree with them having to do this in isolation especially seeing as the crux of the problem here in NI is a British problem in Ireland.

      ‘Do you understand that?’

      See above, it’s patently obvious I do, however, you seemingly want them to do this and are content for others not to, why is that?

      ‘Do you understand that I want US to put OUR house in order – what the British do is a matter for the British (though as a seperate point I would like them to come clean).’

      Yes, but seem more concerned with us putting our house in order and not with anyone else, or should I say everyone to put there house in order. You want truth AND reconciliation, however, you want it from us and not from the other parties, why? Do you honestly think that if we come clean that will sort everything out? If so, why? How will this transform matters, because in my own opinion I cannot see it happening.

      ‘The fact that you dont agree with that is fine but surely you can grasp the concept?’

      Again, see above, I do grasp this concept, however, where I massively disagree with you is that we alone should do this. You call for us to do this, and I have acknowledged (and, btw, I was not being sarcastic or patronising, I genuinely agree with the premise behind your thinking) that truth and reconciliation is a massive benefit for us all in NI, however, for one party and one party alone to do this and then pressure others into doing this is naive in the extreme, even you have to admit this Sammy. The v2.1s would say what they did and that would be it. Honestly, Sammy, putting aside the fact that you and I have been going at this for a while, are you saying that if v2.1 did actually come and gave explanations that you honestly expect answers from others?

      Sammy, I would genuinely like you to answer my questions, because I think you and I both know that what you are asking for, whilst it would work in an ideal world, will never work knowing what we know about all participants.

      ‘p.s. Feel free to be as abusive as you like – things are a bit too cosy round here.’

      No Sammy. I like this blog because we have arguments, but we never (I hope) descend into abuse.. That’s SOT and its lot. Here we have an argument, we disagree and if I have stepped over a line please do let me know and I will without hesitation apologise.

      To be fair, I enjoy sparring with you here and on BD’s page, I think you are a good guy and think that both of are opinions are not too far away from one another when it comes to the crunch on many things. At the moment, we are arguing the bit out, and yes, I massively disagree with you, but I will not descend to a level where it gets personal or this gets out of hand.

      For your amusement. Most people do not know about the crunch of an argument, though you most definitely do. Not everyone’s cup of tea mind…

  12. sammymcnally says:

    fc,

    “however, for one party and one party alone to do this and then pressure others into doing this is naive in the extreme, even you have to admit this Sammy. The v2.1s would say what they did and that would be it. Honestly, Sammy, putting aside the fact that you and I have been going at this for a while, are you saying that if v2.1 did actually come and gave explanations that you honestly expect answers from others?”

    I’m not saying that because the 2.1s do it ‘others’ will be pressurised into doing it – I’m saying it becuase I think they should do it – as I have repeated MANY times – irrepective of others..

    Why do we need to have a British administered ‘review’ anyway? Do we need Owen Patterson to give us the nod and the terms of reference?

    There must be a budget somehwere for peace-type-making – perhaps get a cupla buachall in from the ANC – they owe the 2.1s a few favours. I’m sure the boy Nelson wouldnt mind a few trips to Dublin.

    • Yet, you expect reconciliation to happen if only one side happens to go along with this, right?

      We don’t need a British administered review; I couldn’t care for a review from them of them. No, I want a review of their actions because they are a major party to this whole mess, and I want this from a third party who is audited. We don’t need Owen Patterson to tell us what he thinks (what does he do at the moment?). To be frank, as you may have garnered from my previous statements, I don’t trust them as far as I could spit them. They have a habit of causing trouble and then acting as an honest broker. They are trouble makers and have never been any kind of honest broker.

      Get Nelson Mandela in all ye want (health permitting). Hell, go the whole hog and get his Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Because (how I hate starting a sentence with that word), there is a greater chance of him sorting it out than us getting truth and reconciliation from one side coming forward and telling all alone in a vacuum as opposed to ALL parties not coming forward and telling the truth.

      With that in mind, I shall pose another question Sammy, I would like to hear your opinion (others, also please, the more the merrier btw). Do you believe peace and reconciliation will come from one party telling in isolation its truth, whether it be the v2.1s or any other party coming forward and describing the reasoning behind their tactics and if no one else will?

      And, to be slightly pernickety, if you do believe this, why?

  13. sammymcnally says:

    fc,

    re. “Do you believe peace and reconciliation will come from one party telling in isolation its truth, whether it be the v2.1s or any other party coming forward and describing the reasoning behind their tactics and if no one else will?”

    No, little chance of that – you only get that sort of stuff when you have a clear winner and Ulster’s last skirmish was a score draw.

    We cant tell the British what to do but we can organise ourselves (alone) to put our own house in order.

    So the 2.1s, Irish Nats and relevant others(if they make themselves available), should get on with the job – they can then set the terms of reference whilst ensuring international credibility.

    Contrary to FJH likes – I do enjoy the odd bout of conflictresolutioning.

    • ‘No, little chance of that – you only get that sort of stuff when you have a clear winner and Ulster’s last skirmish was a score draw.’

      Agreed

      ‘We cant tell the British what to do but we can organise ourselves (alone) to put our own house in order.’

      But why? It will not help bring about any kind of reconciliation, as you acknowledged above, so why would v2.1s go ahead of everyone else and do this?

      ‘So the 2.1s, Irish Nats and relevant others(if they make themselves available), should get on with the job – they can then set the terms of reference whilst ensuring international credibility.’

      Are you sure about that? Whose going to be the Irish Nats in this instance? The Irish govt going to be included in this because I’m sure Inda and the pink rags would love that. They seem incredibly constructive guys.

      ‘Contrary to FJH likes – I do enjoy the odd bout of conflictresolutioning.’ – You let me know what you would resolve with your going alone, I’d be intrigued to find out.

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