Kevin Myers: The IRA had no better friend than the Paras -- wherever they went, IRA recruitment rose
Published 16/06/2010 | 05:00
YOU would have to be an idiot, psychopath or militaristic bigot to think that anything other than mass murder occurred on Bloody Sunday, January 30, 1972. But that day was not totally unique: it was merely an extravagant example of what the Parachute Regiment was already doing -- and would continue to do -- in Northern Ireland. And the real crime was not just the killings that Lord Saville has been investigating in his insanely wasteful enquiry, but the tolerance of the Parachute Regiment's conduct by both the British army and successive British governments.
That is the real mystery. Because the IRA had no better friend than the Parachute Regiment; wherever the Paras went, IRA recruitment subsequently rose. The price to be paid for their random and reckless brutality was the lives of other soldiers and the many, many more civilians killed by the IRA. So I want no lectures about Para brutality from those whited sepulchres of Sinn Fein-IRA, whose murders were far more terrible than anything the Parachute Regiment did and some of which I mention here.
These include the Birmingham pub bombings, which left nearly two dozen dead; the 10 Protestant workmen taken off a bus in South Armagh by IRA gunmen and massacred; the 12 Protestants burned alive in an IRA firebomb attack on La Mon House; and the IRA's M62 coach-bombing, in which 10 people, including an entire family -- Linda Houghton (23) her husband, Clifford (23) and their two children Lee, aged five, and Robert (2) -- were murdered.