Tuesday 20 February 2018

Chronology of Troubles crucial

Sir -- Eoghan Harris's censure of columnist Martina Devlin's 'nakedly partisan apologia' for Sinn Fein/IRA's 30-year war deserves elaboration (Sunday Independent, October 9, 2011). Since the announcement of the McGuinness candidacy, myth-makers have peddled a narrative of that vicious and futile war as an honourable civil rights struggle.

Taking advantage of popular amnesia and an age group too young to remember, they airbrush out the real successes of the non-violent civil rights movement. Chronology is crucial here. The original civil rights demands had been won before the IRA campaign began.

The Hunt Report of October 1969 called for restructuring of the RUC and the abolition of the B Specials; the Macrory Report of May 1970 triggered a sweeping reform of local government to eliminate gerrymandering and housing abuses. These reform measures were well on the way to implementation, under British pressure, by 1971. Stormont itself was abolished in 1972.

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