This is one of those difficult subjects, especially when the major part of the IRA no longer engages in terrorism.
However, now that there has been an upsurge in the violence, especially with the death of the young Catholic policeman, and now with the discovery of weapons caches, and a van packed with bomb materials, I do think that the subject needs to be addressed, and hopefully placed in some perspective.
A lot of us have Irish roots, and that also means Irish Catholic roots for most of us. In my family I have both Catholic and Protestant roots from England, Ireland and Scotland. As you can imagine the song that was popular in the late 1960s early 1970s from the Irish Rovers “The Orange and the Green”, makes a lot of sense because “my father he was Orange and me mother, she was Green”.
Anyone who knows the history of Ireland, and in fact the way that the English stole the land from the Irish are well aware of the suppression under which Irish Catholics lived in Ireland. This is also true in England up until the 20th century as well. I have not looked all that closely at the Scots history, but suffice to say, Mary Queen of Scots remained a Catholic and she was executed by her cousin (yes I know there were political reasons, and there was that plot and all, but Mary was held as a prisoner in Scotland by the Protestant peers!!). The truth is that the English also suppressed the Scots in the past.
Now, the first big rebellion in Ireland was not the stoush of the 1970s when Bernadette Devlin made her rousing speech in Parliament, but it was around 1917 at the end of the First World War in what is known as the Easter Rebellion. A lot of Irish families who had grandparents who fought against the English in that early part of the 20th century consider them to be Freedom Fighters. Most of those rebellious Irish songs also come from this same era.
The IRA and the Ulster Defense League did a lot of bad things during the 1970s – 1990s until the IRA became a legitimate political force in Northern Ireland. When that happened most of the violence died down. There are a few points to make about that period, one of which ties the IRA to Libya and Gadhaffi who saw them as the means of striking back at the British by stealth. Gadhaffi, probably through Moussa Khoussa, was sending weapons and bomb making materials to the IRA in Northern Ireland. In fact Gadhaffi sent semtex to the IRA.
It is difficult to see either the IRA or the Ulster Defense League as Christians because their behaviour was not Christian. Both sides were acting like terrorists.
This brings me to the present, and the death of the young Irish Catholic policeman killed by a bomb made out of semtex. It seems that a breakaway extreme group from the IRA are responsible for the death of this young man who joined the police force. He received death threats prior to the bombing. Since his death, the police have swooped on a few houses and discovered arms caches. One home was in Scotland, and the others are in Northern Ireland.
However, what I find very disturbing is the discovery of a vehicle packed with explosive that was meant to cause a massive loss of life. Could it be that this extreme group is still tied to Gadhaffi? Could it be that Gadhaffi ordered to them to build this particular car bomb? Miraculously, the car bomb was found before there was any detonation or opportunity to kill at least 250 people.
Whilst we correctly state that the majority of the terrorism is carried out by Muslims, there remains this particular extremist element who are allegedly Christian but have their ties with Libya, a Muslim country.