Gerry McGeough’s interview on American radio would be almost comical if it was not so sinister.
Imagine an English person talking about “English Protestant traitors” and “good English nationalists” in the way that McGeough talks about “Irish Catholic traitors” and “good Irish nationalists”.
Interviewed by Martin Galvin for radio in the US, McGeough said: “The English just need to get the hell out of our country. They don’t belong here, they have no right to be here. Their presence here has been at the cost of the blood of the Irish.”
For all the sneering about Nigel Farage, no leading member of Ukip would talk in that way about, say, Pakistanis or Poles.
Only the British National Party would use such repugnant terms. But even the BNP would seem ridiculous if they talked about “English Protestant traitors,” as if this was 1553 and the Catholic Queen Mary was on the throne. But that is the sort of time warp in which McGeough is caught, who complains that the south has “no sense of Irishness worth talking about”.
His threatening remarks about judges have drawn sharp criticism and are contemptible, but not in the least surprising.
McGeough implies the IRA have sold out because, for example, they no longer advocate the murder of Catholic judges.
Members of the legal system were murdered by such terrorists, including Judge William Doyle. Mary Travers was murdered when they tried to kill her magistrate father Tom.
Republican targets were much wider than security force personnel. They murdered politicians whose message they disliked, such as Edgar Graham and Robert Bradford and Ian Gow. They targeted businessmen and civil servants. They murdered many Catholic civilians. And in one massacre after another, from La Mon to Enniskillen to Teebane, it was Protestants who were ‘accidentally’ killed in large batches.
The Provisional IRA did finally move away from the vile thinking of McGeough, which achieved nothing except bloodshed and entrenched division. McGeough is an ultra nationalist and it is to be hoped that he remains a pariah.