Awakening a sleeping giant?

Terrifying interview last night on Ch4 news with the real IRA.

After they showed the interview, they interviewed Andrew Brigden MP

and this morning, BloJo heads for Brussels with nothing on the table as the DUP have announced they can’t support it.

I think part of the problem is that Whitehall does not understand that the GFA did not eliminate the factions in NI - the Protestant & Catholic populations still live largely separate and segregated lives and the old tensions are only just below the surface.


I think that living separate lives exists in the large cities of Belfast and Derry.
Huge steps have been taken elsewhere to bring young people together.

Unfortunately the GFA has nothing to do with the “peace process” . It is only a document which allowed the terrorists and suspected terrorists to get out of jail and other political crap to continue. The IRA announced back in 2011 they would resume hostilities and did so and have done so ever since.
I lived in Ireland for some years in an area which was a relative stronghold of the IRA or brotherhood as the locals liked to call it. I have talked with some of the old garde and new ones for that matter, I have heard the gunfire on the Army ranges at 11 pm on a Saturday, when the IDF wasn’t even in the baracks. They all unanimously don’t give a flying shit about any GFA or other political documents or what Arlene Foster or Mary-Lou Macdonald mumble. For them the republican fight will continue, with or without a border.

Appreciate your pov @Rocam but surely you must agree that the GFA has nonetheless had an effect on reducing the killing both on the island of Ireland and the mainland?

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I agree within reason that the GFA has had some effect if only in the mindset of the politicians, Unfortunately the killing still goes on, both sides of the border it is just not classed as interesting for the general public and as such isn’t reported on in the media as it was back in the days.

Can you point us to the evidence - News reports - Arrests - trials - funerals of all these sectarian violence victims in say, just the past 5 years. How many PSNI victims v Guarda etc. I am having difficulty corroborating your statement that the killing is still going on on both sides of the border.

Edit: According to the Belfast Telegraph there were 19 murders in 2018 - up 20% from 2017 some, not all were believed to have been carried out by dissident republican groups. two suspicious fires took the lives of families - it doesn’t say whom is suspected. Others were gangland slayings and a brutal assaults on vulnerable people. Still trying to track down the killings in Eire.

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In all, by April 2018, a total of 156 people have died in what the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) refer to as security-related killings in the period since the Belfast Agreement was signed in April 1998. Political violence has been an ever-present reality in what is called, without irony, the post-conflict period in Northern Ireland.

While no one wishes to use the term “acceptable level of violence”, the fact that the killings have for the most part taken place in out-of-sight, deprived neighbourhoods means that they are a contained political problem, with only a small number of high-profile cases attracting any significant attention.

Whichever way the figures are counted the largest single victim group is Catholic civilians. This represents the continuation of a trend in the 1968-98 period. In that period they constituted 32.4 per cent of victims. In the period since 1998 the percentage share has moved up to 39.7 per cent.
The majority of Catholic victims were killed by republican paramilitaries. Out of a total of 62 deaths, 38 have been the victims of republican organisations operating within their own communities. Loyalists killed a further 22, and there were two killings where attribution has not been possible.
The second largest victim category in the 1998-2018 period is that of loyalist paramilitaries, who make up 26.3 per cent of all deaths. By way of contrast, loyalist paramilitaries made up barely 4 per cent of deaths during the 1968-98 period.

Security related killings 1998 – 2018

Catholic civilians 62
Loyalist paramilitaries 41
Protestant civilians 27
Republican paramilitaries 17
Police 3
Prison Officers 2
British Army 2
Others 2

The other distinct difference with the Troubles era concerns the number of security forces killed. During that earlier period the deaths of British Army personnel, RUC, RUC Reserve, UDR, Royal Irish Rangers and NI Prison Service personnel made up a combined total 27.8 per cent of all deaths. Since 1998 they account for just 5.5 per cent of the total.
This has been the period of the paramilitary. In the lists of security-related deaths, no one has been killed by a British soldier. No one has been killed by a PSNI officer in security-related circumstances. Instead, the violence has been visited upon the victims by paramilitaries in quite an intimate way: they have been known personally by their killers; they have lived in the same neighbourhoods or worked in the same workplaces.
While the killings are evidence of a very divided society, a number have been sectarian in the sense of people from one community killing a person from the other but there have been a increasing number of instances of loyalist paramilitaries killing Catholics, simply because of their religion.

(my sources will not be revealed or commented on) This is to satisfy your difficulties or doubts and concerns only the 6 counties.

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And in the 10 years leading up to 1998, or the 10 years before that?

From 1968 to the GFA in 1998, over 3500 people as a result of the “troubles”.

Yes, that’s the figure Wikipedia gives - about 116/year compared with 156 in 20 years.

I’m not saying the violence has stopped, nor that it has more then disappeared just  out of sight - but that is a heck of a sea change pre and post the GFA.


It didn’t disappear out of sight when the young journalist was shot and killed.
There were signs on lamp posts and hoardings threatening reprisals against anyone talking to the police.
It seems that there is a new generation of young thugs ready and willing to take over.

I agree Jane - one gets, perhaps, a sense of “any excuse” for things to flare up again.

I don’t know how well (or badly) the current deal will play out in Ireland - it’s less incendiary, I think, than previous suggestions but at the cost of making Northern Irish Unionists feel less British; the DUP appear to be holding fast against it at present.

The DUP, a bunch of politcal dicks. They refused to sign the GFA, now they refer to it as there own and to be preserved at all costs. The DUP are nothing but gold digging hypocrites who would shoot themselves in the knee if the wad of dosh was big enough.

I think you may be conflating political violence with common or garden criminality Roger. Nobody ever said the paramilitary thugs, of both flavours, would go away after the GFA, many of them just changed to full or part-time careers in organised crime, cigarette smuggling and diesel laundering for example. The politically motivated throwback interviewed above however is part of a small rabble led by old dying men. Who, sadly, aren’t dying fast enough. As Sara Canning pointed out, these scum are grooming some young, stupid hotheads and unfortunately they still seem to have access to weapons and explosives. Over time these old lags will dwindle and disappear.

The modern united Ireland activist is more likely to be found in Dublin 4 reading An Phoblacht while sipping a latte with two year old Síobhan gurgling in her buggy rather than camped out in the rain waiting for a clear shot with his Armalite.

The organised crime issue IMO could well be harder to handle than a few people playing at being the IRA.

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This is the pragmatic Northern Ireland of today, not the clown sitting in his mummy’s kitchen with his balaclava on. I obviously know Ireland and NI very well but earlier this year I took a couple of little tours up there (combined with some very fine meals) to test the water myself. My experience ties in completely with the views expressed in this article from yesterday’s Guardian. The trick now is to make sure that everybody, from the unemployed to CEOs have some skin in the game and something to loose.