[Marxism] Anthony McIntyre on IRA disarmament

Danielle Ni Dhighe danielle at irsm.org
Wed Aug 3 12:46:46 MDT 2005

At 05:36 AM 8/3/2005, Calvin Broadbent wrote:
 >It should not be forgotten that the INLA was riven with
 >British agents and criminal elements in a way that the
 >PIRA was not.

I think that's a very questionable statement.  The PIRA's head of internal 
security for a long period of time was eventually outed as working for 
British Intelligence.  This was the man responsible for ordering the 
executions of suspected informers within the organisation, and it's now 
believed that many of the people he had executed may have been innocent and 
were killed to distract attention from the actual British agents within the 
organisation.  Do you have evidence to suggest that the INLA was worse off 
than that in terms of infiltration by British agents?

As for criminal elements, the same accusations have also been made against 
the PIRA.  One can look at recent events such as the bank heist, the 
murders of people like Mark Robinson and Robert McCartney, etc.  I'm not 
denying that the INLA had problems with criminal elements in the past, but 
the movement took steps to correct that problem.  However, I think it's a 
stretch to say that the INLA was worse off in that regard than the PIRA.

 >Its appeal is somewhat limited by the memory people in
 >the north of Ireland have of its gunning down the
 >congregation of a Presbyterian church

The INLA didn't carry out that attack.  It was carried out by a rogue 
member acting with others who had no connection to the INLA.  It was a 
nakedly sectarian attack and was soundly condemned by the IRSM at the time, 
including by the INLA's then chief of staff, Dominic McGlinchey, who put 
his own freedom in jeopardy by coming out of hiding to publicly condemn 
it.  But if you're going to bring up something like that as a smear, what 
about the PIRA taking a dozen or so workmen off a bus, letting the lone 
Catholic go free, and then executing the remaining Protestants?

 >and its incessant internal feuding.

Every organisation has had internal conflicts, but the conflicts within the 
INLA have been blown out of proportion and distorted by the mainstream 
media.  Most of what the media called "internal feuding" were attacks on 
the movement by counter-revolutionaries, to which the INLA responded with 
force.  In each case, the INLA acted in self-defense only after another 
group had first killed one of its members.  Was the INLA supposed to allow 
its members to be killed?  Would the PIRA not have responded the same way 
had it come under attack in such a manner?

Danielle Ni Dhighe
North American Co-Coordinator
Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America
danielle at irsm.org - http://www.irsm.org/irsm.html

More information about the Marxism mailing list