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Why are some killings worse than others?

Saville has spoken. Like Widgery and Patton, he concluded what current political expediency required. No surprise then.

Equally unsurprising are republican assertions that the Bloody Sunday killings are worse than other Troubles' deaths because the soldiers represented the state, which owed a better duty of care to its citizens.

The premise has merit: suppose we accept it as a general principle. How then are we to construe killings by the IRA?

This organisation claimed to be engaged in armed struggle to oust the British and bring about Irish unification; to be, in effect, the army of the legitimate government-in-waiting. Does not much greater duty apply to treat citizens well? Better than the brutal forces of occupation?

Instead, the IRA caused approaching half of all Troubles' fatalities and, even more difficult to comprehend, killed more than twice as many Catholics as the Army and the RUC put together.

Speak up, Mr McGuinness.

DISSENTER

Carrickfergus, Co Antrim

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