Belfast Telegraph

Home Opinion Letters

Gulf between IRA killers and vast majority

In considering the events of our so-called Troubles, the recent Castlederg march debacle demonstrates yet again the gulf that exists between former militant republicans as represented by Sinn Fein, and the remainder (the vast majority) of the population who have no background in, or empathy with, militant republicanism.

It seems to me that the approach to these times, as taken by Sinn Fein, can only be seen as an attempt to assuage the conscience of those who were involved in the IRA campaign of violence. Their volunteers must surely have difficulty internalising the many lives they cut short most brutally.

Sinn Fein talk of the bravery of their volunteers, they compare their acts of commemoration with those of the British Legion. They fail to understand that the majority of the population accept the actions of IRA volunteers as requiring a certain type of courage, but it is akin to that of a criminal who sets out to rob a bank or security van. It is understood but certainly not admired and in stark contrast to the courage displayed by a soldier in time of war whose acts are both understood and admired, particularly if it involves self-sacrifice in protecting the lives of others.

And compare that to the cold courage of the ordinary working person who did not get involved in our "Troubles", on either side, but got up to go to work each day, to keep their family fed and the country running, knowing that some "volunteer" might that day place a bomb close enough to them to blow them to eternity.

STEPHEN JOHNSTON

By email

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph