Provisional IRA during the Troubles: Freedom fighters or terrorists?

Opinion of PIRA?

  • Freedom fighters/heroes

    Votes: 5 16.1%
  • Terrorists

    Votes: 26 83.9%

  • Total voters
    31
Sep 2013
1,441
Ulster
#31
This could apply to the IRA

The Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism defined terrorism as ' the deliberate, systematic murder, maiming and menacing of the innocent to inspire fear in order to gain political ends.' From a statement read at the closing session by US Senator Henry Jackson, reported by the Jonathan Institute,1979.
 
Likes: Invicta
Jun 2012
783
#32
Whether we like it or not the IRA was supported by the Irish people, defacto making them their representatives, Sinn Fein was practically the Gov't of Ireland and the IRA was their military wing.
Sinn Fein stood in 3 general elections in NI before the peace process. They got 13.4% of the vote in 1983, 11.4% in 1987, 10% in 1992. Each time they were far behind the vote share of the SDLP, a nationalist party that was not involved in violence.

Sinn Fein vote share in elections in the Republic of Ireland:

1973 - 1.1%
1977 - 1.7%
1981 - 1.7%
1982 - 1%
1987 - 1.9%
1989 - 1.2%
1992 - 1.6%

How a party that never achieved 2% of the vote can be termed "practically the government" I don't know. The truth is the vast majority of people in Ireland, north and south, rejected the IRA and their political wing.
 
Jun 2012
783
#33
Irish patriots or terrorist, really depends on what side your rooting for. The way the brithish treated them as second class citizens for the longest times , what do people expect, you cant put down people for so long and not expect a violent response.
It wasn't the British that treated the catholic minority badly in NI for so long, it was the devolved NI government. Just like in the US, where the southern states used the law to oppress the black population, NI used the law to discriminate against Catholics. The civil rights movement in the US sparked off a similar civil rights movement in NI, and just as in the US, where the federal government forced the states to change, the UK government forced the NI government to give equal rights to catholics.

The tragedy of NI is that whereas blacks in the US were pushing for equality, the IRA weren't interested in equality, they wanted to force Irish unification with violence. The British government pretty much dealt with the civil rights problems by mid 1970; the violence really kicked off after that.
 
Likes: Linschoten
Sep 2013
1,441
Ulster
#35
Sinn Fein stood in 3 general elections in NI before the peace process. They got 13.4% of the vote in 1983, 11.4% in 1987, 10% in 1992. Each time they were far behind the vote share of the SDLP, a nationalist party that was not involved in violence.

Sinn Fein vote share in elections in the Republic of Ireland:

1973 - 1.1%
1977 - 1.7%
1981 - 1.7%
1982 - 1%
1987 - 1.9%
1989 - 1.2%
1992 - 1.6%

How a party that never achieved 2% of the vote can be termed "practically the government" I don't know. The truth is the vast majority of people in Ireland, north and south, rejected the IRA and their political wing.
Yes, the dates you give are probably right at that period. However, in other times they were voted into government despite their track record of violence. The SDLP was a non-violent alternative but they were deserted as nationalists opted for their political wing Sinn Fein .
 
Sep 2013
1,441
Ulster
#36
The IRA freedom fighters

Heather Thompson 17 Civilian Protestant and John Thomas McClean 24 Civilian Protestant, filling station attendant and garage manager...

She was shot by the IRA together with John McClean in the office of the Edenderry filling station on the Crumlin Road where they both worked. They had been serving morning customers when three youths arrived in a Ford Cortina car. Both employees were ordered into a back room and made to kneel down.

One gunman emptied his handgun into the teenage girl while the other youth fired nine bullets into James McClean. The bodies were found ten minutes later by a regular customer, the room still filled with smoke from the guns. In a subsequent court case, prosecuting council described Heather Thompson who came from Mountainview Gardens, and her workmate as the innocent victims of sectarian killers.

Three members of A company of the 3rd battalion of the IRA's Belfast Brigade, all teenagers from Ardoyne, were jailed for life for the killings. One was also jailed for IRA membership. The judge said he had confessed after realising ' the enormity and infamy of shooting down an utterly innocent young girl '. He said the defendant had deliberately tried to conceal the fact that he was acting under the orders of a terrorist organisation.
 
Sep 2013
1,441
Ulster
#37
It wasn't the British that treated the catholic minority badly in NI for so long, it was the devolved NI government. Just like in the US, where the southern states used the law to oppress the black population, NI used the law to discriminate against Catholics. The civil rights movement in the US sparked off a similar civil rights movement in NI, and just as in the US, where the federal government forced the states to change, the UK government forced the NI government to give equal rights to catholics.

The tragedy of NI is that whereas blacks in the US were pushing for equality, the IRA weren't interested in equality, they wanted to force Irish unification with violence. The British government pretty much dealt with the civil rights problems by mid 1970; the violence really kicked off after that.
What were the equal rights they were not getting ?
 
Jun 2015
5,620
UK
#38
Both. The Northern Irish issue is naturally highly complex.

For the BRitish, they were terrorists.

But given the British history in Ireland, it's understandable why the IRA would exist.
 
Oct 2013
13,528
Europix
#39
What you said wasn't even my point, my point was that Kingdoms / Countries with professional armies label rebels who can't afford a professional army "terrorists" whether they target civilians or not and they've been doing that for centuries.
I'm sorry, but your point is a moot point.

Firstly, "terrorist"/"terrorism" is a recent term at historical scale.

Secondly, terrorism remains what it is: a savage, criminal way to impose one's ideas.

That some throw left and right the word on anyone they dislike and contests them, doesn't change what a terrorist and terrorism are.
 
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#40
I'm sorry, but your point is a moot point.

Firstly, "terrorist"/"terrorism" is a recent term at historical scale.

Secondly, terrorism remains what it is: a savage, criminal way to impose one's ideas.

That some throw left and right the word on anyone they dislike and contests them, doesn't change what a terrorist and terrorism are.
Your opinion means nothing if you can't even grasp what the point your commenting on was in the first place.

As you say terrorism is a "new" word .......... my point was it used to be called rebels, and as was then as is now, its a word used by the aggressors and their superior propaganda machine to demonise those they've conquered and who can't field a proper modern army, basically locals who won't give up.

By the way I'm discounting religious terrorism or ones based on political ideas, I'm talking about for example Lebanon, Ireland or places which have been conquered by a foreign invader.