Victims’ campaigner: Joe Brolly’s narrow ideological perspective means that he is not a credible pundit

On December 22 the GAA pundit Joe Brolly on Virgin Media Sport slammed the Republic of Ireland state for its actions and inactions during The Troubles.

By Kenny Donaldson
Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 6:24 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 6:28 am
Joe Brolly Zero failed in his comments to acknowledge the wider context of the Troubles, which was that Provisional IRA killed more people than anyone else
Joe Brolly Zero failed in his comments to acknowledge the wider context of the Troubles, which was that Provisional IRA killed more people than anyone else

The crux of his argument was that southern society effectively abandoned northern nationalists.

Mr Brolly’s claim that the Army were responsible for “machine gunning people to death” suggests that those from a nationalist community background were almost being picked off and shot dead on a large scale by soldiers. This is a blatant lie.

Zero reference was made by Mr Brolly of those who murdered the majority of his neighbours in The Troubles - the Provisional IRA. No mention is made of the Claudy massacre or many other acts of PIRA terror perpetrated in the area in which Mr Brolly was raised.

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Kenny Donaldson is a spokesperson for Innocent Victims United

Innocent Victims United (IVU) calls wrong out across the board whether perpetrated by republican or loyalist terrorists or by members of the security forces who departed from the code and committed criminal based activity.

We have not and will not ever defend the indefensible, all who committed criminal activity should be held accountable for such actions.

We allow the truth to speak for itself, we don’t need to embellish things or to excuse the inexcusable.

Mr Brolly is not a credible pundit; he expresses a narrow ideological position without any acknowledgement of the wider narrative. This sends out a dangerous message to those still involved in terror groups.

Let Mr Brolly be clear of some factual realities: some members of the then Dublin Government and others in the late 1960s/early 70s were certainly not guilty of inaction when ‘The Troubles’ unfolded - they procured arms and provide training which helped establish PIRA. Those armaments murdered many innocent people, including their own citizens.

The RoI State also failed to extradite substantial numbers of terror suspects and the state’s territory acted as the launchpad for republican terror attacks as well as providing a safe haven for many involved in terrorism. There are a growing number of cases which suggest collaboration between individual members of the Irish state’s security forces and republican terror groups. So, no Mr Brolly, the Irish state were not bystanders.

For all Mr Brolly’s MOPE (Most Oppressed People Ever) perspective, Irish nationalists do not have a monopoly on victimhood.

Mr Brolly should be clear that 90% of Troubles deaths were terrorist murders (60% by republicans; 30% by loyalists). The security forces were responsible for 10% of deaths, the vast majority of which were carried out while attempting to prevent civil war, as security forces in any democracy would do.

Mr Brolly also stated: southerners seem to believe “if they (nationalists) had not taken to the gun everything would be fine”.

This is the position of Sinn Fein and people like his friend John Finucane MP whose father Pat was murdered in a brutal, illegitimate terrorist murder. However let us be reminded that when Gerry Kelly claimed a few years ago the British were the main protagonists of The Troubles he had to dramatically row back within 24 hours.

When you define yourself as a hammer every problem looks like nail. Martin Luther King and Ghandi are just two men who demonstrated real change was possible — that alternate options to terror exist.

• Kenny Donaldson is spokesman for Innocent Victims United (IVU)

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