It was republican terrorists, not the security forces, who killed the most Catholics during the Troubles

A letter from Davy Wight:

Friday, 14th May 2021, 11:50 am
Updated Friday, 14th May 2021, 12:03 pm
While republicans are protesting security forces killings, they omit the fact that their own paramilitaries killed more Catholics, the people they claimed to be fighting for, than the police and army together

Given the ongoing persecution against army veterans, and given the current uproar about the tragic deaths at Ballymurphy of eleven Catholics, some of the little mentioned statistics regarding other Catholic deaths make interesting reading.

Republican terrorist killings amounted to 60% of Troubles deaths, 2,100+ out of a total of 3,500+.

There is more than one list of Troubles dead but they have similar overall results. In terms of Catholic death totals, they are:

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Letter to the editor

Catholics killed by security forces

Army 254

RUC 44


Total 302

Catholics killed by republican paramilitaries:

Provisional IRA 337


Official IRA 23

Real IRA 13

Other republicans 37

Total 444

While republicans are protesting Ballymurphy and other security forces killings, they conveniently omit the fact that their own paramilitaries killed more Catholics, the very people they claimed to be fighting for, than the police and army put together.

And when comparing the figures above remember this. A large percentage of Catholics killed by security forces were proudly self proclaimed ‘volunteers on active duty fighting a just war’. For example mortaring a police station in Loughgall.

On the other hand, of Catholics killed by republican paramilitaries some were just unconsidered and inconsequential collateral damage in indiscriminate terrorism bombings such as four Catholic civilians blown up in Claudy alongside five Protestants.

Other Catholic fatalities were unfortunate victims of inevitable guilty verdicts in kangaroo courts ordered by IRA top brass paranoid about security and touting. like Jean McConville, guilty of making tea for soldiers (or perhaps also guilty of being a Protestant before converting to Catholicism?).

Whatever the reason it cannot reasonably be argued that those victims were legitimate targets. Should republicans not be demanding justice for those innocent murder victims too?

Matthew 7:5 comes to mind: Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Davy Wight, Carrickfergus

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