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’Informer’ killing in 1920-22 no different than it is now

Re the bodies of people shot as ‘informers’ and ‘disappeared’ by the IRA in the 1970s during the Northern conflict.

Many areas in the six counties, such as Derry, Belfast, Tyrone and South Armagh, where nationalist resistance to British forces was high, were ‘war zones’.

Informers/agents and British and loyalist death squads were common in the ‘dirty war’ to defeat nationalist resistance. They spared no money to that end.

The dilemma of shooting informers is perennial in guerrilla war, but Tom Barry, IRA flying-column commander during the war of Independence, said if they hadn’t dealt swiftly with informers, the flying column wouldn’t have lasted one week.

Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness have been crucial to the peace process and ending the conflict. They have acknowledged the injustice done to the ‘disappeared’.

FF leader Micheál Martin speaks at historic republican commemorations and then criticises contemporary republicans who fought in the North after 1969 — what a contradiction.

‘Informers’ and British soldiers were shot and ‘disappeared’ by the IRA during the conflict in 1920-1922. They were also difficult times and I am not making any judgement against that generation of freedom fighters, but I would suggest to Brendan Smith, TD, that he speak to his leader, Mr Martin, and advise him that rather than lecturing Sinn Féin leaders to deflect from FF’s crashing of the economy, he would be far better employed using his good offices, with his republican connections/contacts, to find the remains of the ‘informers’ who were disappeared in the Cork area by the IRA in 1920-1922. They also deserve a Christian burial.

Cllr Donnchadh Ó Seaghdha
Sinn Féin
Co Cork


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