Daily we hear a diatribe of ideological warfare coming from ‘republicans’ that the UK State and its security forces bear core responsibility for the ‘Troubles’ and the result deaths.
Whether it’s their political representatives, paralegal/legal mouthpieces, supposed human rights focused organisations, sections of academia or others; there is a juggernaut of blame conversion which knows no signs of abating.
Let’s be absolutely clear; the facts of the ‘Troubles’ are these. 90% of ‘Troubles related deaths’ were caused by murder perpetrated by proscribed terrorist organisations.
Two thirds of this percentage and 60% of overall attributable deaths were caused by ‘republican terrorist organisations, 30% of overall deaths are attributable to loyalist terrorist organisations and 10% of deaths are attributable to the State and its’ security forces.
It is also important to understand further this 10% figure - this comprises lawful and unlawful killings with a smaller sub-section proven through due process to have been criminal murder.
It needs to also be understood that proscribed ‘republican’ terrorist organisations murdered more Roman Catholics than all the other organisations (proscribed or otherwise) put together.
They murdered more of the very people who they claimed they were in place to represent and also to defend.
Terrorism is in the mire and its mouthpieces cannot defend the indefensible so what does it require to do? The strategy is about pulling down the UK State and its security forces to the same mire which it resides, it’s about creating a narrative which suggests that all of us who lived within this society are victims of a system which was corrupt and which saw people needing to hit back through the use of justified violence, masquerading as the actions of freedom fighters and/or defence supports.
Innocent Victims United has been clear that where individual members of the security forces have breached the code and engaged in criminal activity but what we will not allow is the wholesale demonisation of our police, military and prison services.
The statistics are there to show the non-violent, restrained response of these servants of the State and community in areas such as County Fermanagh, Castlederg and other border areas. There was not a ‘Conflict’ or a ‘War’ raging in these areas.
No, instead there was a one-way campaign of terrorism which had the grubbiest sectarian and ethnic motivations which are not so far removed from the genocide of the Balkans or Rwanda, although accepted to be on a different scale.
‘Republicans’ are seeking to rewrite the facts contending that really the UK State is responsible for 10% plus the 30% of deaths attributable to loyalist terrorists and that furthermore they were somehow responsible for deaths also committed by ‘republicans’ themselves because they of the use of informants.
Whatever failings pre or post particular incidents which the security forces may have levelled against them, let us be clear; those ultimately responsible for death are those who pull triggers or detonate bombs, those who made that choice.
l Kenny Donaldson is director of services at Innocent Victims United