The IRA were morally justified

With Britain refusing to grant the people in the North of Ireland a vote for re-unification with the south and Republican armed groups re-arming it seems like violence from the last 800 years in the country could easily reemerge. I have created this thread to explain to many that do not understand the conflict in Ireland how Irish rebels are justified in resisting British rule. First it must be understood in 1919 in then general election the vast majority of this country voted for Sinn Fein, a political party that promised an independent Ireland if elected. Britain seen this once again in Ireland as an act of defiance and in their typical barbaric ways tried to scare, intimate and murder as a means to keep the populous down, Irish being quite a fiery people, this did not work so well as all Britain’s action done was harden the resistance against them and give the IRA all the tools and support it needed to push Britain out.

In the North primarily in four counties the majority of the population there were loyal to Britain and were brought up in a closed environment suspicious of anything Catholic, they were frightened if they lost their privilege of being the ruling class in Ireland that Catholics would treat them the same way they treated the natives, with severe brutality. They organised into a large organisation in which they threatened to attack not only Irish republicans but British forces if Ireland was given independence. Poor Britain getting battered daily by Irish soldiers and threatened by their own loyalists were in a tricky situation, they came up with a compromise that would allow most of Ireland it’s independence but 6 counties were to remain not just under British rule but under their loyalists rule. What then followed is a bitter civil war of brother killing brother, cousin killing cousin etc as Republicans and the IRA refused to accept this deal as it meant not only would the north remain under occupation but the institutions ruling it would persecute Catholics.

So as the years followed and the persecutions of Nationalists followed the people stood up and were sick of the unjust aggression and organised civil rights marches. The marchers were attacked by police and loyalists mobs and loyalists fearing that Nationalists were arising once more decided to organize once more into terror gangs and burn out Nationalists in the thousands in an attempt to force them out of the occupied 6 counties and into the south, helping these loyalists mobs was the British police force who were also joint members of these loyalist gangs. The IRA arose once more but this time to defend Nationalists communities, street gun battles would be a regular occurrence as loyalists attempted to push nationalists out of their homes and shortly after the British army was called in to ease tensions. At first British forces who were meant to bring peace were welcomed by nationalists but shortly after arriving not only did they stand back and allow loyalist mobs to continue with their attacks but they aided them by also attacking the Nationalists communities attempting to disarm and kill IRA volunteers by raiding homes and terrorizing the local populace once more. They introduced internment and over these several years jailed nearly 2000 innocent people whom they suspected of IRA involvement without trial. Britain once again was behaving like it’s usual barbaric self and the IRA gaining large scale support and finance decided that it needed to end the war by moving from defending Nationalist areas to launching a offensive campaign to remove British forces. Over the next 30 years there was a large scale conflict between Irish and British forces. The IRA were heavily vilified in by BRITISH media for their attacks against Britain, the British were heavily vilified by the entire world including many of their own people for continuing the occupation and conflict of Ireland for imperialist means. The result of the British occupation of Ireland was the deaths and persecution of millions of people, the result of the IRA and independence was the establishment of a New nation free from tyranny in which it’s people could thrive. There can NEVER be justification for imperialism in this day and age and Ireland must be reunited for peace to flourish.

I will add however that while many IRA attacks were unjust the VAST majority of it’s attacks were against British security forces however British forces killed more innocent civilians than IRA volunteers

Here is a clip of Tom Barry, a IRA veteran/hero from the Independence war of 1919-1921 giving his opinion on the recent conflict of Ireland

I am of the opinion and I do believe Church teaching agrees with me on this that attacking civilians is never Justified. I understand and sympathise greatly with Irish nationalism but the truth is the Irish Republican Army acted in a way that was not very Christ- like. I’m not .saying though that the Orange Order was any better

Completely agree.

There is no reason to suspect that a majority in Northern Ireland would vote for union with the Irish Republic. If there were such a desire, the British government could not prevent it.

I will add however that while many IRA attacks were unjust the VAST majority of it’s attacks were against British security forces

In fact, the number of civilians murdered in the Troubles was much, much larger than the number of British and Unionist military-security killed. The IRA trademark terror bombing of innocent civilians has no justification at all.

I do not believe that attacking civilians is ever justified either and so do the majority of IRA volunteers and commanders who never attacked any as all their attacks were against security forces. Has the US army ever behaved Christ like or British for that matter especially when they carpet bombed cities killing thousands of innocents at a time. Trying to discredit the IRA and the fight for national liberation based on a very tiny number of unjust attacks makes no sense to me unless you are bias, the IRA in most of their bombing attacks for example went out of their way to avoid civilians deaths and gave warnings unlike the American and British bomber planes who bomb indiscriminately and call it collateral damage. I feel the IRA made more than an effort than the British ever did to avoid civilian deaths, we had British soldiers shooting innocents in the street and undercover British army murder gangs killing what they classed as suspected IRA volunteers who later turned out to be innocent. The IRA were/are justified in resisting British rule, if they do so by only targeting British security forces then there is no moral unjust, the only evil is allowing the occupation to continue and thus the divided society we have which benefits Britain

You first of all have to come to the conclusion that the partition of Ireland was morally just. Did you ignore the fact that Ireland as one nation in 1919 voted for Independance which Britain rejected? Are we to allow Britain to cut up Ireland and retain the pieces that benfits them. Lets say Germany had conquered Britain and sent a number of colonists to a small area in England, then centuries later as Britain kept fighting for it’s independence Germany came up with a deal to allow independence for most of the country but the area where most of the German colonists were situated was to remain part of Germany would this be justified?

The number of civilians killed by US and USSR forces in WW2 was much higher than German forces they fought against, does that make WW2 an unjust war? The number of civilians the British killed here was MUCH higher than the IRA volunteers they killed? The bombings that targeted innocents were wrong however they were VERY few and most IRA volunteers were against such a thing. Compare this to daily gun attacks, snipers attacks etc against British forces which is what the entire campaign consisted of. The economic bombs of Britain where warnings were given to avoid civilian deaths were solely about causing economic damage to Britain on top of losing it’s forces to force them to realize that occupying Ireland would cost them dearly. If it were left up to some members on this forum dictators would rule absolutely as you would feel doing something to stop it would be more evil and than doing nothing, i suppose everyone must justify their cowardice

If you are to base the IRA campaign off a small number of unjust and regrettable attacks that shook it’s own leadership compared to the daily attacks which consisted of legitimate attacks against British security forces then can i base the US army off the much larger number of attacks where they carpet bombed innocents civilians? Lets forget that they majority of the US army then was trying to liberate Europe? The IRA didn’t have a trademark other than to fight against British forces, it seems you have been led to believe the pro British propaganda which is strange for a american, youns should know better. Though the trademark of the US army today is how it goes from one country to another destroying everything it contains, i’d say that a US soldier is more morally unjust than a IRA volunteer by a long shot. The US soldier won’t even know what he/she is fighting for other than what they are told which most of the time is quite vague anyway. Seems more like the imperialistic wars of the past that the Spanish and British would use to increase their power through greed.

In this discussion i have realized there is three core positions that people take. The first and most popular is that the IRA were morally justified as they were fighting to free their country against a tyrant who massacred and persecuted the Irish people, they were fighting to establish a peaceful unified nation and that the IRA attacks were legitimate apart from a small number of bombs that indiscriminately killed innocents.

The second point is held only by the British media and a small number of it’s sympathizers, that the IRA were wrong to resist British rule and that the British army were source of good to Ireland, yea sure they refused to stop loyalist attacks on Catholics and aided the persecution of Catholics but that doesn’t make them bad :wink: That the IRA ONLY engaged in bombing attacks that killed innocent civilians, ignore all the daily reports of gun attacks here or there, sniper or ambushes on British forces, the IRA didn’t do that, they only bombed innocents :wink:

The third view is from the moral agnostic’s who hold the view that the British and Irish were both wrong and each doing anything will result it them being morally unjust, they say it was morally wrong for Britain to try to invade Ireland and tyrannize it’s people however it’s equally wrong for the Irish people to fight back and win it’s independence

Great post. And so right.Since coming here I have understood it so much more and it has not stopped even today.

The same in the US. Some Americans will say it was morally wrong to tyrannize the American indian and slaughter millions of American Indians in a horrific holocaust, but they will say that it would be equally wrong for the American Indian to wage war on the USA and attempt to win back its territory. Similarly with Greece and Cypress. Similarly with Bulgaria and Macedonia. Similarly with the US and Mexico with all those states that America annexed from Mexico. Where does it end?
Israel and Palestine both claim territory in the area.
Pakistan and India both claim Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit Baltistan.
Israel and Syria both claim the Golan Heights.
Russia and Japan both claim the South Kuril Islands
India and Bangladesh both claim Muhurichar river island.
China and Vietnam both claim the Paracel Islands.
Canada and Denmark both claim Hans Island.
the US and Haiti both claim Navassa Island.
Cuba demands that the US return Guantanamo.
To a large extent, I do sympathize with the position of the IRA. But once you start waging war because of these border disputes, who knows what unforeseen horrors may ensue?
What are you going to do with all the Protestants in Northern Ireland, once and if a reunification were to occur? They don’t like Catholics. They march brazenly through Catholic territories, taunting Catholics there and trying to pick a fight.

I’m from the Rep. of Ireland.

The IRA during the “Troubles” were nothing short of terrorists. Granted, some may have been disillusioned or misguided but that sure as Hell doesn’t excuse people joining ISIS either. Some of the Unionists were equally as bad.

I’m sorry, but the IRA kidnapped innocent people and forced them to drive bomb loaded trucks into buildings. They murdered a mother of 8 kids, dragging her away in front of those kids, because she helped a dying soldier who was shot at her front door. Did they ever find Jean’s body? The IRA put bodies into slurry machines so that they would be ground up and spread across fields. They crucified people. They robbed banks, they were drug dealers and arms dealers. They told the police that the Omagh bombing would occur in the wrong location so that all of the people were herded into the location of the actual bomb and the maximum number of innocents were killed.

Anyone who was able to justify being part of that organisation was not right in the head. I abhor the IRA with every fibre of my being.

This is true; they killed more of their “own” than anything else.

Ah, sorry, but it was even illegal to interview Sinn Fein on IRISH TV until the 90s or something, IIRC. The IRA were villified because they were villians, just like ISIS.

I agree with you. Fighting for a just cause is never enough to make a group justified - they must also fight with just methods. It’s the difference between George Washington and Maximilien Robespierre.

Unless life itself is being defended, IMINWHO that armed violence is not just, however justified the case may be.


What brings this on, this discussion? Was there some news about it, or an observance of an anniversary?

I’ve done extensive research on terrorism and terrorists as it used to be part of my job, I can say that the only two terrorist groups I’ve felt any compassion for are the IRA and Hezbollah. Both seemed to be forced into a situation where they either had to sit and take it, or take extreme action. Neither choice is a good one and I’m certainly glad I was never in their shoes.

Thank you.
God bless you.

Might be the murder of the ‘Real IRA’ commander Aidan O’Driscoll in Cork?

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