I’m from the North of Ireland which was until recently a conflict area and where Irish Catholics were for along time oppressed and discriminated against. As many probably already know a group named the Provisional Irish Republican Army or IRA campaigned in the North to “liberate” it from British rule. This group used tactics such as bombing of streets, murder of civilians and hit and run tactics against the Army.
When you here things like murdering of civilians it would make you question the validity of their campaign. It is however …difficult seeing as this group was and still is seen by many (not by all) as the only group that could protect the Irish community and stand up for them. One could argue that the violence used wasn’t justified and instead there should have been negotiation between the Irish community and Northern Irish State.
This I believe however could not have been possible after 1972 when the 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment opened fire on a Civil Rights March and killing 14 innocent people on 30th January of which would come to be known as Bloody Sunday. This action was a turning point in The Troubles, the British Army was no longer seen as a force that was there to protect the Irish community but rather to suppress them.
The IRA is an organisation that is seen by many as an organisation who acted to free the Irish form a oppressive State who favored British Protestants. Others see it as a terrorist group that murdered innocent people and was unnecessarily violent. This is the Irish community in the North that i’m talking about which is divided in their view of the IRA, the British Protestants without a doubt see them as terrorists.
I want to know if the Just War Doctrine while only applied to States can be used to justify Paramilitary Groups in an armed campaign when all other options have been exhausted and if the IRA was left with no choice but to mount an armed campaign so the British State would eventually come and negotiate which I believe was the result of The Troubles.
This is a question of morality and theology which I struggle with on, the legacy of our past wont let us move on as a single community and we are still in some areas bitterly divided. I would like an outside view on this and Catholic one as well.