I was flamed on twitter by a cluster of IRA apologist Republicans yesterday for suggesting that their approach to reconciliation and bringing communities in Ireland together was somewhat lopsided.
The prompting is news that a soldier, aged 23 in 1988, is to be charged with shooting a man dead at a checkpoint during the troubles. Good say the Republicans. Bad say I. The IRA apologists need to learn from the great Nelson Mandela and accept that wrongs were committed by all sides and just move on. Instead there has been an amnesty granted for IRA killers but British soldiers are still being prosecuted.
But one IRA sympathiser bites back. He argued via twitter
The difference is that the Irish are fighting for the freedom of their own country and the British for the subjugation of the same.
And says of the Soldiers and RUC men:
Indeed, and they get a promotion and a pension for toturing/injuring/murdering whilst the victims have to pay for that through taxation, how sick is that.
The irony is that this IRA loving bastard @Rory_Donaghy uses as his avatar a “free Catalonia” flag. I agree with Rory about the idea that a small area within a bigger country has every right to decide its future and as the IRA killed men, women and children across Ulster in the Troubles surely Rory must accept that most folk in Ulster then ( and now) regard themselves as British not Irish.
The IRA were fighting not for the freedom of their own country but to suppress the freedom of the folks of the North who wanted NOT to be part of another country. The British army and the RUC were there protecting the rights not only of the majority in Ulster but of all there not to be murdered for a minority cause.
As for the idea that all the soldiers were torturing/injuring/murdering ( and getting promoted for such crimes) in contrast to the IRA men who were, presumably, all angelic souls doing God’s work, that is ludicrous. There were some soldiers who did bad things, that we can all accept but try following @onthisdaypira to get a scale of the slaughter of men, women, children, soldiers, RUC, civilians, protestants and Catholics by the IRA and even the staunchest Fenian must surely accept that at least some of what the IRA did was indefensible.
Yet there is an amnesty for all that the IRA did. If the island of Ireland is to enjoy genuine peace and reconciliation, to ease sectarian hatred all must move on with the same rules for everyone. I can, as a proud wearer of an Ulster rugby shirt accept that idea and have no burning desire to see men and women who committed horrific and evil acts for the IRA prosecuted. The brutal blood lust and calls for revenge trials for one side only by IRA apologists smack of the highest double standard and only serve to set back the process of creating a lasting peace. It is almost as if that is what some want.