Ben Lowry: People are fed up with the rewriting of history to justify IRA

News Letter article Jan 30 2016 by Ben Lowry, attacking the rapid rewriting of history
News Letter article Jan 30 2016 by Ben Lowry, attacking the rapid rewriting of history

Twelve days ago I wrote an article about the bewildering speed with which history was being rewritten to justify IRA violence – violence that was overwhelmingly deemed terrorism by people across the island.

I envisaged the blackly humorous scenario in which republicans and their apologists would seek to blame even their worst atrocities, such as La Mon and Enniskillen, on state failures, as they tried to do with Omagh and Shankill.

After that the victims campaigner Kenny Donaldson wrote to point out that the 1987 crime against humanity at Enniskillen was already being blamed on the security forces (by implying to the families that information was being held back from them).

Why, I asked in my article, was London standing mute as this rubbish about the past came thick and fast?

In the last 48 hours, two more things have happened, one of them welcome. Theresa Villiers made a speech countering the distortions.

And on Wednesday it emerged that – you guessed it – the Birmingham IRA slaughter was being blamed on the state too.

It is disagreeable enough when a mass murderer successfully hides from justice. But then to blame the authorities for your own calculated killings takes a special kind of wickedness. And it takes a special kind of naïveté for anyone to fall for it.

It is no exaggeration to say that republicans might try to implicate the state in each of their own heinous crimes.

Either outright collusion is alleged (ie state instigated atrocity), or the state is said to have misused informers (ie calculatedly let massacres go ahead), or the state is said to have bungled the investigation after the event (comically, republicans, who tried to murder the security forces, have even joined in criticism of ‘inadequate’ probes into their own crime!).

Now London and a quiet majority is fighting back.

Meanwhile, I hope that grieving relatives of IRA murder victims are not fooled into believing that the state was responsible for the loss of their loved ones.