On August 14th, 1969, I was witness to a Pogrom, a planned eruption of sectarian violence, led by a police force, their reservists, and same bigoted mobs, who burned entire streets to the ground. In doing so they created a refugee procession unseen since WW2. There were approximately 1,800 families displaced in that Pogrom, in the sectarian answer to equality being demanded.
Days later the British army were deployed to Belfast, to protect Catholics.
I was a kid when that occurred, and today can still recall those events that led to a new mindset in my community. That those who professed loyalty to the British government, and who had since the partition of the Island of Ireland, imposed unjust cruel laws on Irish Catholics; had to be challenged. Make no mistake about it the actions of those bigots that night led to The Troubles, a description that demeans the nature of what it really was, a War.
That Pogrom created long lines of frightened refugees, whole families who left for the Irish Free State, only to experience another type of racism that I’ll write about in another post.
However, it is imperative that never forget those times because others wish us to. Nor should we allow the real history, the birth of those Troubles, to be re-written with omissions, casting blame elsewhere and portraying those sectarian bigots as reactionary when they were not. But, it will take further Posts to explain in detail a better understanding of what many like to refer to as a Conflict, rather than a war.
There’s also the fact that the term Northern Ireland, is more appealing to those of a loyalist, British background. A term anathema to many republicans, and seen as representing that past, and an artificial Apartheid statelet on the Island of Ireland. An illegal state formed after the forced partition of the Island in 1921, in a deal that saw the Brits receive 6 counties from a ‘9 County ancient Ulster’ and the Yanks, due to Eamon De Valera’s deceitful ways, grasp the other 26 counties.
But, it must be stated that the partition of Ireland was in fact cemented by those republicans who signed the Good Friday Agreement, (GFA), in 1998. A deal supported by the free state government who surrendered articles 2 and 3 of the Irish constitution, thus renouncing ownership of the six counties known as Northern Ireland, and ensuring Northern Ireland was enshrined as legitimate. Of course, money, and pass by jail tickets to those who were British informants, agents, and collaboraters within republcanism for their years of service that included convincing republicans to undertake two hunger Strikes, one fatal, was only part of their reward.
In truth, there was also a deal that would see those pass by jail tickets allocated to loyalists and british soldeirs, and others, who collaborated in many murders througout those troubled times.That was a big part of the deal, and agreed to by Provos/Shame feign, and when they pretend to throw a fit about british soldiers murdering people, it’s an act, those who were working for government agencies helped sway their cartel to agree to it. Indeed, be in no doubt that loyalists were also awarded the same benefits as the republicans.
Fact is, the aspiration for Irish Unity died with the Good Friday Agreement, and those republicans who signed that paperwork, in doing so, recognised Northern Ireland, helping legitimise it. Mainstream republican groups not only surrendered their aspirations to the British, Irish, and American governments, but to Northern Irish loyalists. In fact, they surrendered the Proclamation.
Twenty-five years later Northern Ireland is a legal entity, and seen now as a country within the country of Ireland, which is preposterous to those who retain any nationalist ideology. However, those pretend republicans who signed the GFA, and particularly the Provos, are, since 1998, a recognised british government paramilitary gang involved in criminal enterprise, who work hand in hand with their loyalist counterparts in drug distribution, beatings, harassing families, prostitution, blackmail, and much more than that.
That was not the GFA I envisaged, and while it is good to have kids, young families, enjoying a better style of life than those of us who grew up during the troubles; still, they haven’t gone away, you know.
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