For anyone out there with short or selective memories, the first time the evil of bus bombing was visited upon our capital city was July 7th, 2005 by Islamic terrorism. For those who care to cast their minds back another nine years, the first time London experienced such an outrage was when a 21-year-old IRA terrorist, Ed O’Brien, accidentally detonated 4kg of Semtex aboard a double decker at Aldwych almost 25 years ago to the day. To commemorate his self-inflicted death during this bungled outrage, the local Wexford branch of Sinn Fein (who we’re continuously told have absolutely zip to do with the Provisionals) wanted to organise an online remembrance. The event was only cancelled after local political outrage. However, we’re told the morally-bereft individual behind this sickening spectacle, Sinn Fein councillor Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin, has dismissed criticism as akin to political opportunism.
Events such as these are a daily reminder to folk like me, who grew up in London with the constant threat of Irish republican terrorism, that the subsequent attempts by Sinn Fein to present itself as just another political outfit will always be subject to periodic lapses guaranteed to reveal the horrors underneath. They have had 23 years to prove their unadulterated commitment to peaceful and constitutional means. In that time, the IRA have murdered 26 people at the same time as Sinn Fein has advanced to now become one of the most popular parties in the Republic, with a chance of getting into power sometime within the next decade.
All of this begs a question: If Poland and Hungary can be effectively ostracised by an EU machine determined to keep them out in the cold because of political machinations that pale into insignificance compared to Sinn Fein’s curriculum vitae, would the same apply to the Irish Republic in such circumstances? After all, Ireland would become the ONLY country in the developed world to have a sovereign government with links to a still-armed and illegal terrorist organisation. What we can say with reasonable certainty is the Belfast Agreement would not survive such a momentous change of direction in Dublin, as the Shinners have never accepted its constitutional premise.
But what about the legitimate forces of law and order in Ireland? The Garda? The Army? State intelligence? In fact, any arm of the Irish state which has played a part – however small – in fighting the scourge of bloodied republican irredentism would have its files available for scrutiny by politicians who not only wish to praise the illegal mass slaughter of their comrades, but in many cases have organic links to them!! How is that, by any reckoning, a basis for stability or democracy or the rule of law?
Media outlets often tell us the Irish youth flock to Sinn Fein ‘because they have no memory of the Troubles’. Yet these are the same youngsters who congregate on social media to give everyone else chapter and verse on what they supposedly know about Cromwell, the Plantation, the Great Famine and the creation of the Free State. Their naivety and downright arrogance could, if left unchecked, be responsible for parachuting a proto-fascist movement into power – thus poisoning Anglo-Irish relations, destabilising Northern Ireland and endangering the safety of those who’ve played a role against the IRA in previous decades. What London must make very clear in such circumstances is that things could never be business as usual. If the Irish Republic becomes, for all intents and purposes, a rogue state then it must be treated like a rogue state.
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