The most charitable thing that can be said about Sinn Fein’s shameless rewriting of history is that they are making a mistake.
Republicans are relentlessly demonising the past activities of the security forces.
A host of people in positions of authority in Britain and the Republic seem prepared to assist republicans in this rewriting, which implies that the British state was murderous, and that IRA terrorists and the security forces were equivalent, thus implying that republican violence was justified.
This rewriting is taking many forms. The handling of informers is retrospectively portrayed as “collusion” in murder. In truth, it was collusion with privately disaffected IRA members in a bid to stop their more dedicated colleagues.
Inadequate RUC investigations into IRA murders are now investigated with greater vigour than the murderers. And a raft of inquests might now rule on “illegal killings”.
Anyone who looks closely at the statistics of the dead of the Troubles will see how restrained the British state was and how bad loyalist intelligence was. Loyalist terror gangs had minimal intelligence and so murdered innocent Catholics.
The SAS killings of an IRA gang at Loughgall in 1987 were a rare example of terrorists being stopped in their tracks. It was a wholly proportionate response to imminent murder.
Jeremy Corbyn stood in silence for that gang. But his foolishness has since been exposed globally. He could not even bring himself to say that Islamists in a situation such as the Bataclan theatre, picking off concert goers, should be shot dead.
Regrettably, many IRA gangs over the decades were not stopped as were the thugs at Loughgall.
The mistake republicans are making in pursuing the past is that it invites people to examine what really happened. IRA crimes ranged from sectarian murders of border Protestants to murders of Irish Catholics to large-scale massacres such as Kingsmill, La Mon, Birmingham and Enniskillen.