Irish Politics


The Irish republican armed struggle, was, is and always has been about removing the British presence from Ireland. Sunningdale offered more to nationalists than the Belfast agreement and like the treaty in 21 all have been less than the Republican objective.


Except the treaty was accepted and endorsed by the IRA at the time who became the free state army/government. A United ireland has never genuinely been on any of the major free state party agendas since. That is surrender if anything is yet very little said about that in here. The PIRA on the other hand continued their objective by a political and peaceful means under the banner of SF. Most people that thought different joined dissident groups and believe the armed struggle is the only option and have continued the campaign.


This what your up against. An agenda will always obscure the facts


Is it not worth considering to encourage private business to set up? They are very dependent on the public sector. And they could put out the begging bowl to London to make up any shortfall.

Lefties need corporations to set up first so then they can tax them.


The IRA opposed the treaty on the grounds it would never deliver a United Ireland and a British withdrawal. Those who accepted the treaty, believed it to be a stepping stone to a United Ireland. They like the provos were wrong and are wrong.


They were wrong due to the distraction of a civil and a change in UK leadership.


That doesn’t address my point in any way. All great believing it to be a stepping stone but none of the successive free state governments did anything to peruse a United ireland, none. The Provos been accused of surrender for going into politics to peruse the same aim that they had fought thirty years for is not the same thing at all.

On a somewhat related issue, I honestly think in time future generations will look back on that era and wonder “why the hell the south did nothing when they’re fellow citizens in the north were been persecuted” at least the Provo’s did something. They carried out some of the most despicable acts ever to happen on this island too, I am in no way condoning that. However, there’s not a normal minded person in this country condones what the Catholic Church did to the people of ireland over the past few decades, I’ve always said what the British government did in the north was every bit as bad. For some reason us southerners are quicker to lay into the republican movement than the British armies acts. Actually there is a reason, the systematic censorship and bias in the free state media during that time and continues today to a lesser extent.


The provos were always in politics, the difference now is they have surrendered the armed struggle to pursue their aims solely by political means. I believe and always have believed the free state are as much an obstacle to nationhood as Britain. If you believe that the gfa/belfast agreement is a great achievement by provos remember the free state were also a party to it. The provos celebrated their surrender as victory, directing their minions in their black cabs to screech around Belfast draped with tri colours proclaiming the war was won.The truth like in 21 was and is very different. Unfortunately the Republican struggle was hijacked and compromised by traitors, who have like others before them delivered for Britain at the expense of future generations of Irish men and women.


The provos were always in politics, the difference now is they have surrendered the armed struggle to pursue their aims solely by political means

Always in politics but on an abstentionist ticket. It’s believed by some that the hunger strikes was the catalyst for abolishing anstentionism (excluding Westminster) as it was an indication of the potential for political support for republicans, although granted some of the votes the hunger strikers got were to try to prevent their deaths more so than wanting Gerry A to represent them in anyway shape or form.

I just don’t believe the provos going solely into politics was surrender in the definitive sense. The Provo leadership I’m sure finally believe they couldn’t achieve their aims through the armed campaign but the brits also wanted it to end as they knew they wouldn’t beat the IRA anytime soon despite their military mite. Therefore I believe it was a stalemate.

I believe and always have believed the free state are as much an obstacle to nationhood as Britain


if you believe that the gfa/belfast agreement is a great achievement by provos remember the free state were also a party to it

I believe the GFA agreement was a great achievement in the sense that it brought long overdue peace and a virtual end to the death and suffering the people up north endured for too long, on both sides. I would not however attribute that to the free state government, rather they jumped on the opportunity to be part of something positive on an issue they ignored for too long. I would say though that the IRA forced the hand of the brits over the years which ultimately led to better conditions for the nationalist community and an end to their persecution. I know that’s not the idealistic aim of the IRA but perhaps it should have been one of them


The hunger strikers did not die so that the IRA would accept “Sunningdale for slow learners.” What was accepted in 1998 was on the table in 1973.

Of course northern Catholics not having to live under constant fear of loyalist and state violence is a positive development, but that is not what the IRA campaign was about.

An armed campaign was not necessary in order to turn NI into a relatively normal part of the UK, which it now is. Armies who surrender and disband without achieving their sole objective have not won. That seems to be pretty straightforward.


Sunningdale was a better deal for nationalists.

The provos were highly compromised for years, after the brits achieved their objective in the northernisation of the movement they then went on to control its leadership and direction to a large extent. 30 years of armed struggle achieved less than was already on the table in sunningdale 30years previously.
The provisional support base have as a legacy from the armed struggle always liked to believe their is a public and private agenda and method to the party, it was something the leadership liked to promote and use to their advantage to counteract the truth of their failure. The reality is much simpler, the provos are outside of the republican movement and are seen as a highly compromised nationalist party actively supporting British rule and it’s institutions.


Didn’t realise there are many types of wrong. They were wrong simply. If you require further clarification read over the treaty debates of the time.


I tend to view anyone who claims the GFA was just Sunningdale 24 years later as either naive or disingenuous .

The Unionists were bullish enough to torpedo Sunningdale straight away.

Two decades later they wouldn’t do the same to the GFA (which was far worse than the GFA from their perspective) and frankly it was the two decades of the Provos that were behind that sea change.


That’s always been the Republican ideal…but it’s a flawed argument to say it has to be exclusively through armed force.

Plus the bottom line is that the conflict was a standstill. It had run its course.

Seamus Mallon described the GFA who Sunningdale 2 for slow learners. And in some ways he was right.

But regardless of what republicans did back then…Ian Paisley, in combination with Loyalists, brought power-sharing down.

It would take a few decades later - and with prize of him being First Minister - did he finally agree to share power.

The people that pulled a trigger are responsible for the people they killed. From all sides.

But I’ve often wondered how many lives would’ve been saved had the DUP agreed to power sharing all those years ago.


I think you need to reread your post, your contradicting yourself which is possibly being naive and disingenuous.


I hear what you’re saying.

But by the mid 90’s…most republicans knew they were fighting a war they couldn’t win.

And by that stage the British were much smarter. Convictions rates were increasing…British soldiers were replaced with the RUC / UDR so reducing negative publicity back in Britain…and as you saw with Stakeknife, they had moles at the very top.

And the events of 9/11 ensured sympathy in the States would be harder.

Sometimes it’s easy to make a big decision when you’ve little choice.


Your are insinuating that the IRA brought down Sunningdale agreement yet the IRA/SF were not even aloud into a room with the governing parties to discuss its terms, so how was the IRA responsible for it failing? It was the unionists who striked and rioted amd protested against it.

Also are people just going to ignore the difference in the political arena in the early 70s and mid 90s. This is the most important reason why Sunningdale did not appeal to both sides and GFA did. Put simply, times had changed.


For a so called man of God…Ian P helped forment the troubles.

In the 70’s, he brought Loyalists paramilitaries on to the street to bring down Sunningdale …through threat of force and intimidation.

He’d do the same during the Anglo Irish Agreement when he formed Ulster Resistance.

Thankfully loyalists had copped to his tactics by the 90s. David Ervine especially.

After he died…I think it was Brid Rodgers (former SDLP) who said Ian Paisley has blood on his hands without pulling a trigger.


The republican movement have never stated that armed force alone was a strategy and have always used it as part of a combined strategy.

That’s purely just an opinion, it could equally be argued that the provos were defeated.

Point being made was that sunningdale was a better deal than the gfa for nationalists and yet was unacceptable to republicans. To argue that 30yrs of armed struggle won us the gfa is a disservice to people’s intelligence.


Well the walls were certainly closing in. War fatigue had grown in republican communities. Loyalists were now killing more than Republicans.

Britain had become very effective at intelligence, People were being sent to prison if not killed, operations being thwarted, weapons dumps uncovered.

On the flip-side…Britain still feared a one-off ‘spectacular’ bomb in its financial district.

Either way. Both parties recognised the only option was to sue for peace and negotiate.