Indeed the ex-PIRA leader and now deputy first minister Martin McGuinness, when responding to a complaint that there would be nothing but scorched earth left if the Provos carried on, said: “Aye, but it will be our scorched earth”.
Civil rights leader and Derry citizen John Hume never took up arms and he was at the coalface of the troubles from the outset. Could Mr O’Hagan ask him why he chose not to? Mr O’Hagan also contends the only recourse Irish citizens had to law and order within their communities was paramilitary organisations like the IRA. This is dishonest jounalism. You took your life in your hands in those days if you even bid the time of day to a policeman. Walking into a police station was simply was not open to people in Catholic communities controlled by the Provos. And yet we are asked to believe that Gerry Adams told Mairia Cahill to take her rape allegations concerning a senior IRA figure to this dysfunctional civil authority they were equating with the Gestapo? Does Mr O’Hagan not even think this a little odd?
Finally Mr O’Hagen mentions Sharia Law. Surely that’s what has been operating in Catholic areas for 40 years with street control of peoples’ lives by paramilitaries. Control over these areas has been further strengthened by the erection of the “peace walls”.