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When any group takes unto itself the role of being arbiter of right and wrong there is the ultimate inevitably of mayhem, brutality and murder.
That sad reality is becoming ever more clear in relation to the activities for more than 30 years of the Provisional IRA and Sinn Féin in the North.
The Provisionals established their ghettos and took upon themselves the right to determine how each person should behave and to whom they should be answerable. Failure to comply with the wishes of the self-appointed bosses led to beatings, knee-cappings, tarring and feathering and ultimately to brutal murders. Much of this was given the gloss of being in defence of a beleaguered people. The reality is that the principal victims of those 30 years of mayhem were members of the nationalist community.
Some of the savagery was clothed with words to gave a veneer of respectability.
Thus we had ‘The Disappeared’, as if they walked off into the setting sun. The cruel truth is that they were kidnapped, brutalised, shot and callously buried in lonely bogs far from home and loved ones.
Sinn Féin, who now speak with such conviction about fiscal rectitude, allowed the Provisional IRA to hold Ireland north and south in the grip of economic depression for a third of a century. Maíria Cahill’s terrible story of being raped and arrogantly interrogated is another manifestation of the reality that has for too long remained hidden.
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