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
Jun 2015
5,620
UK
#51
I recall the Brighton, Manchester, and London bombings. But then if I were an Irish Catholic, and knowing the struggles of Collins, de Valera, and the history of English/British oppression in Ireland, I may have similar feelings. I wouldn't bomb, but I wouldn't have been pro-British by any rate.

The British were defending themselves, but then I think this is a huge moral grey area. Maybe violence IS necessary, if one is being oppressed. and nobody can say this hasn't been the case historically.
 
Jun 2015
5,620
UK
#52
And how does one define terrorism? Were the slave revolts of Nat Turner, or the Haitian Revolution, terrorism? The American slave owners and French would have thought so, or that their rights were being undermined. And in a strict legal sense they were. But then the slaves in either case were fighting for freedom, and were being oppressed in any reasonable sense.

The entire Irish question is hugely complex, and whilst deaths and bombings cannot be condoned, I think empathy dictates that the IRA had some point.

People can be morally high and mighty, but then it IS sometimes valid to use violence to fight oppression.
 
Likes: MamlukWarrior
Sep 2013
1,441
Ulster
#53
And how does one define terrorism? Were the slave revolts of Nat Turner, or the Haitian Revolution, terrorism? The American slave owners and French would have thought so, or that their rights were being undermined. And in a strict legal sense they were. But then the slaves in either case were fighting for freedom, and were being oppressed in any reasonable sense.

The entire Irish question is hugely complex, and whilst deaths and bombings cannot be condoned, I think empathy dictates that the IRA had some point.

People can be morally high and mighty, but then it IS sometimes valid to use violence to fight oppression.
So it was alright to murder Heather Thompson and John McClean ?
 
Aug 2010
15,477
Welsh Marches
#54
Ludicrous to compare the actions of the IRA to a slave revolt; this was country in which there were not only fre elections anddemocratic processes, but the the IRA were to trying use force achieve an end which was against the will of the majority. It is in fact not that difficult to define the nature of terorism in a modern European country, the IRA, the Red Brigades, ETA, the Baader-Meinhof Gang were quite simply terrorists whose actions should be regarded as lying wholly beyond the pale by civilized people. Obviously one has to understand the historical situation, but that doesn't excuse the methods that were used by the IRA (and by comparable thugs on the other side too).
 
Jun 2015
5,620
UK
#56
Ludicrous to compare the actions of the IRA to a slave revolt; this was country in which there were not only fre elections anddemocratic processes, but the the IRA were to trying use force achieve an end which was against the will of the majority. It is in fact not that difficult to define the nature of terorism in a modern European country, the IRA, the Red Brigades, ETA, the Baader-Meinhof Gang were quite simply terrorists whose actions should be regarded as lying wholly beyond the pale by civilized people. Obviously one has to understand the historical situation, but that doesn't excuse the methods that were used by the IRA (and by comparable thugs on the other side too).
Well the French would have said they were being wronged, wouldn't they?
 
Jun 2015
5,620
UK
#58
The IRA was/is a culmination of centuries of English/British oppression. Again, for me, I condemn and detest their acts, but can understand WHY they did it. The majority may havev chosen to stay part of the UK, but there were acts that made the nationalist community angry. I just think delineating it as "good vs. bad" without seeingthe wider picture is wrong.
 
Sep 2013
1,441
Ulster
#59
No. But then i don't think it's as black and white to say that they're evil and the British good. There is a huge context to consider, and I won't ever condone their actions.
When the 'troubles' started the British army were welcomed with open arms. The Catholic people came out to the soldiers with buns and tea. The IRA could not allow this to continue ..our people being friendly with the soldiers ! So they shot dead Robert Curtis the first soldier to die in the 'troubles'. The army then took on the IRA which was probably what they wanted and the rest is history.
 
#60
The IRA was/is a culmination of centuries of English/British oppression. Again, for me, I condemn and detest their acts, but can understand WHY they did it. The majority may havev chosen to stay part of the UK, but there were acts that made the nationalist community angry. I just think delineating it as "good vs. bad" without seeingthe wider picture is wrong.
Unfortunately some closed minded individuals don't appreciate lateral thinking, if you don't tow the PC line your obviously a terrorist sympathiser ........... rather than what I can see you're doing and that is neutrally look at it from both angles before making a final judgement.

Which is the way an unbiased person should look at matters, not cow to peer pressure.