When I was in Reform, we always made it abundantly clear that terrorism from all sides had to stop to allow for a peaceful solution to the ongoing problems that beset our country, North and South.
However, as can be seen from the following statistics, painstakingly, recorded in Malcolm Sutton’s definitive work, An Index of Deaths from the Conflict in Ireland 1969-’93 (updated and revised, October 2002), republicans were central to most of the killings that took place.
Total of all those killed by republican paramilitaries 1969-’01: 2,058.
Total of all those killed by loyalist paramilitaries: 1,018
Total of all those killed by British security forces: 368
Total of all those killed by others: 82
Put simply, out of 3,526 killings between 1969 and 2001, republicans were responsible for 590 more deaths than the combined total of all the other groups, including the British army.
Even allowing for possible errors in Mr Sutton’s work, would Tom Cooper not agree that republican groups have a lot to answer for?.