Robinson is right to demand the recall of the Assembly

Morning View
Morning View

The distortion of recent Ulster history has been so rapid that it is often throwing up paradoxes that would be comically implausible if not so horribly real.

For example, not only have volunteers of the IRA – the great killing machine of the Troubles – escaped justice for most of their murders, but something even worse than that has been happening: their crimes are increasingly being blamed on those they tried to murder.

Thus not merely loyalist murders, but now even republican ones, are being blamed on RUC ‘collusion’.

Retrospective investigations into those IRA murders often now focus on the shortcomings of the RUC probe at the time.

The IRA killed almost as many people as did every other actor in the Troubles, yet Britain is being blamed for violence generally, and for more and more specific acts.

Now we learn, shortly after the police appealed for witnesses to come forward to assist the criminal investigation into Bloody Sunday, that republican terrorists cannot be prosecuted for calculated massacres.

This raises the prospect of old men being jailed for having lost control (to an appalling extent) as young men in a public order situation that they did not want to be in 42 years ago, while deliberate sectarian murderers get an amnesty.

The IRA carried out Bloody Friday, Claudy, Birmingham, Guildford, Kingsmills, La Mon, Hyde Park, Ballygawley, Enniskillen and Warrington, and laid the template for Omagh, as well as the template for the dissident murders of vulnerable individual targets.

Unionists have long known that many people in Whitehall, at the behest of pressure from Dublin (and Irish nationalists at home and abroad), would merrily wipe this slate clean.

But this latest revelation of secret letters to on the runs is so appalling, and reveals such a craven approach to Sinn Fein-IRA, that Peter Robinson is right to demand the recall of Stormont and to draw a line in the sand.