To suggest that the "tacit support" in Northern Ireland for the IRA stems from a political set-up 70-odd years ago is to ignore the base sectarianism which has been the root of conflict in Ireland (and particularly in Ulster) since time immemorial. Most people support their local paramilitaries, whether loyalist or nationalist, because they provide a gratifying means of inflicting harm on people whom you have been brought up to hate because of "what they did to us back in ... " (insert date).
This is the stumbling block in the process of trying to involve paramilitaries in democratic politics. The republican and loyalist movements are, in all senses, fascist organisations, based on racist, nationalist (British or Irish) and sectarian beliefs and opposed to democracy and the democratic process. The graffiti that can be seen on walls all over Belfast, making fun of victims of the Greysteel or Loughin Island massacres or the Shankill and Warrington bombings are not pained political outcries, just naked, vicious hatred.
Lisburn, Co AntrimReuse content