Brian John Spencer: If we are to stop the rewriting of history, we need to tell the horrible story of what IRA did during internment

The UK Supreme Court has ruled that the internment of Gerry Adams in 1973 was illegal.

Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 12:00 pm
The internment of Gerry Adams, seen above in 1984, has been found by the Supreme Court to have been illegal

The UK Supreme Court has ruled that the internment of Gerry Adams in 1973 was illegal.

Doug Beattie of the UUP is very right to say that we are “in very real danger of allowing a false narrative to be accepted”.

People would have it said that the IRA were gentle civil rights activist, while the police and state were the terrorists.

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Letter to the editor

This is an Orwellian state of affairs.

Given the decision of the Supreme Court to rule the internment of Gerry Adams as illegal, it is worth considering what happened in those dark days of internment, and in particular, the decisions and actions taken by the IRA at that time.

Ed Moloney, the leading authority on the Provisional IRA, wrote in 2015 on his personal blog in a post entitled, ‘IRA Campaign Has Lessons For US And ISIS...’

“Fully aware of all these pressure points and knowing that the circumstances could not be more propitious, the IRA in Belfast set out in the Spring and early Summer of 1971 to exploit them to the full and force the British into a premature and ill-prepared internment swoop.

“And so ... the IRA began a destructive economic bombing campaign in Belfast that soon had Unionists screaming for internment.

“The high point of the campaign, if such it can be called, was a provocative series of bombs along the route of the Twelfth Orange parade that exploded the night before.

“Belfast Orangemen marching to the field at Finaghy that July 12th morning, had to walk past devastated store fronts, the twisted remnants of car bombs, and wrecked buildings, all testament to this new threat to their supremacy.

“And so, internment without trial was introduced within weeks. Old RUC Special Branch records were scoured for lists of suspects and ... the new Provisional IRA escaped largely unscathed when the troops raided homes in Belfast and elsewhere.”

If we are to stop the rewriting of history, we need to tell this horrible story — a story of fiendish menace and wickedly cynical power play where the purported victims willed into being the very violence they cried against.

Brian John Spencer, Belfast