The reaction to the INLA announcement was welcome for afficianados of Irish politics but for the ordinary person on the main island, what does it all mean?
An excerpt from IRA Guerilla Tactics says:
When the original IRA went Marxist, the Provos split off, and dedicated their lives to war. The war they fought is an example of what a few hundred dedicated Europeans (Celts) can do in the modern world of terrorism. With two thousand men like the hardcore, the IRA or Provos, any European nation could conquer and destroy Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran, the Taliban, al-Qeada, and the psychotic tribes of Iraq.
As to those tactics:
The ASU organization is very decentralized, and the members may actually be in contact for only the few minutes of the combat action they are conducting. Their movements to the objective, equipment pick up, movement from the target, and equipment drop off, is all conducted individually. They execute an assault swarm and dispersal pattern of remarkable grace.
Grace? Still, this is the pattern that terrorists worldwide have followed and it’s quite a little industry, this terrorism game.
Who are the Real IRA and the INLA? Wiki is not bad on the RIRA:
The RIRA’s ultimate objective is a united Ireland by forcing British withdrawal from Northern Ireland through the use of physical force. The organisation rejects the Mitchell Principles and the Belfast Agreement, comparing the latter to the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty which resulted in the partition of Ireland. The organisation aims to uphold an uncompromising form of Irish republicanism and opposes any political settlement that falls short of Irish unity and independence.
The INLA was a splinter group which went rabid Marxist and was not even appreciated by the PIRA [Provisionals]:
On 20 February 1975, Hugh Ferguson, an INLA member and an IRSP branch chairperson, was the first person to be killed in the feud. One of the first military operations of the INLA was the killing of Billy McMillen, a leading OIRA member in Belfast and this was followed by several more assassinations on both sides, the most prominent victim being Seamus Costello, who was shot dead on the North Strand Road in Dublin on 6 October 1977.
Costello’s death was a severe blow to the INLA, as he was their most able political and military leader. It has also recently been claimed by some in the Republican Socialist Movement that one of their members killed in 1975, Brendan McNamee, was actually killed by Provisional Irish Republican Army members.
The Protestants, of course, are just as bad and I couldn’t be bothered going into their atrocities but they were as much terrorists as the various manifestations of the Catholics. That thousands mourned at Lenny Murphy’s paramilitary send-off, when “an unnamed loyalist paramilitary leader from the UDA described Murphy as a “typical psychopath”‘ says enough about the sickness among those people.
I’ve been trying to place the killings when I took a holiday in Northern Ireland around 1992, give or take a year. All I can remember is that there’d been a Peace Train and a lot of women were involved, that when I’d had a beer in Cookstown and left there, there was a bombing two hours later and when I got to Newry, it was closed off as there’d been a bombing and I found myself staring down the muzzles of British Army weapons in the hands of youths and hoping they’d been well trained.
I can also remember making the mistake of driving off the main road past Belfast and finding my UK reg car in the Falls Road, wondering why I couldn’t see flagpoles every hundred metres with the Union Flag and getting the hell out of there.
The bottom line is that they’re all murdering swine, low-lifes who are so into the freedom-fighter hero thing that the only important concern for them is “the struggle” and it matters not how many women and children get blown up in street markets. Like Darfur or Beslan, it matters not what the cause was, these people have taken leave of their reason and given over their souls to evil.
Adams plays the elder statesman, as does Paisley but the bottom line, again, is that they are murderers, either in fact or in rhetoric and they will meet their Maker and account for that.
I’ve mentioned on my blog before when I was in London how our kids went to a basketball demo game near Canary Wharf when the IRA warning came that the place had a bomb. The panic, the fear of the kids and the way one girl with a mobile phone kept us in touch [this was before mobiles were widely used] – all of that is a clear memory.
But more of a clear memory was the Geography teacher, Brendan, telling us afterwards that we’d brought it on ourselves because of our policies in Northern Ireland.
That memory will also never leave me, nor will the Euston Station bomb alert I was caught in.
McGuiness and Adams clearly see the way forward to be representation and possibly outpopulating the Protestants in the end. At least their condemnation of the recently renewed violence is a step in the right direction.