Is it possible to be in the IRA and have “no victims”, as Paul O’Connor claims?

Closet IRA Volunteer and Director of the Pat Finucane Centre Paul O’Connor recently expressed one of the more extraordinary claims I have heard in many years – he admitted only under severe pressure and after being outed that he had been a fully active IRA Volunteer from 1970 until 1972 and yet HAD NO VICTIMS… ABSOLUTELY NO VICTIMS!

NoVictims
The pub with no beer, the IRA volunteer with no victims

Is it possible to be in the IRA and have No Victims?

Let us examine briefly Paul O’Connor’s extraordinary mindset in relation to his claim.

Collective Responsibility – Moral if not Legal

Paul swore an oath of allegiance to the IRA in 1970 to obey all of its orders and to further its cause – by armed struggle – by facilitating its campaign of murder and bombing.

Paul appears to imagine that while he was a member of the IRA – and perhaps leading a Company in the IRA – that when the IRA murdered soldiers,  police, UDR members, civilians and children with guns and bombs – and it did all of these things – and when it kidnapped, tortured, executed and disappeared persons it deemed to have no Civil or Human Rights – that somehow as a fully committed and active member of the IRA he absolved himself from shared responsibility, guilt or blame because perhaps he did not actually pull the trigger or detonate the bomb.

UDRPteKenNewell
Corpse of a kidnapped UDR soldier murdered by the IRA

So, standing alongside his sworn comrades – who believed [wrongly, evidently] that Paul O’Connor was a true brother in arms to them – who were shooting dead and/or bombing soldiers, police, UDR members, civilians and children for the cause – Paul now claims that he somehow dissented from the murders and bombings in his interior heart or mind, but did not express this dissent to the comrades who believed he had their back – they might kill or murder but he was secretly declaring his hands to be clean…

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Paul and a fellow IRA volunteer with clean hands and pure hearts…

In fact, Paul was stabbing all of them in the back – as Gerry Adams does – by distancing himself then and now from their actions, and yet wanting to appear as a True Republican supporting them at the same time…

So, while Paul O’Connor was deceiving his IRA comrades that he backed them in their daily efforts to “get kills” by handing them, say, rifles and ammunition, bombs and detonators – some of these actions he was actually photographed doing – he was really betraying them by interiorly distancing himself from them and telling himself that while they were making victims in front of him, he was effectively condemning them – that is what this betrayer was doing – he now claims.

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Paul O’Connor hands rifles to his IRA comrades – but has no victims – none

Paul does not evidently believe in any kind of loyalty to his men, to his comrades whereby he wants to share the burden of responsibility, share the outcomes – for good or evil – stand with these comradely fighters in courts or prisons – no, he wants the glory of IRA photography and membership and wages and accommodation and weapons and explosives’ training and the girls, but doesn’t want to take any associated responsibility…

ShaneCell
No prison years for Paul O’Connor

Well, boo ******* hoo Paul – I think you’ll find you were a willing co-conspirator, a willing enabler, a recruiter no less of persons younger than yourself into the IRA – I was one and I can name at least one other – and your claim to have NO VICTIMS is an appalling sell-out then and now of your IRA comrades in arms with whom you consented to ALL OF THE IRA’S MURDERS AND BOMBINGS.

Whether you were donating $$$ in Boston, petrol in Buncrana, an arms’ dump in Tipperary, the name of a Protestant neighbour member of the UDR or RUC, storing guns or ammunition or transporting same, or else making, planting or helping to plant bombs that killed people, you were a willing and – in your case – a PAID IRA Volunteer giving your assent to it all – to all of it…

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Paul O’Connor, IRA volunteer, armed but not consenting?

 

 

When you give your assent to it, you are a full part of it – you share in all the deeds of your sworn comrades – those you referred to when you also claimed you were NOT ASHAMED OF YOUR IRA ACTIONS that you now say amounted to nothing, nada, nihil…

And unlike many IRA volunteers known to you who decided to leave the IRA at various points and for various reasons – with all the difficulties and dangers that leaving may have involved for them – YOU NEVER LEFT THE IRA – you were kicked out of it and never got to experience the however inconsequentially small moral step of leaving the IRA…

A goodly number of our fellow IRA members from back then, Paul, have been in daily touch with me on social media since your most reluctant admission of IRA membership – ASTONISHED at your self-serving claim now that you have NO VICTIMS – all the other guys have victims, except you…

For a man who has blown air from both of his lungs into the Pat Finucane Centre balloon of “collusion”, you seem now to be mighty unwilling to admit your own COLLUSION in the IRA’s murders and bombings during your 2 years of proud IRA membership.

Are you re-defining Collusion now to only apply to those who pulled a trigger or planted a bomb?

PaulColluded
Paul O’Connor colluded with the IRA for 2 years but claims NO VICTIMS…

A flea has a bigger moral conscience and sense of responsibility than you, Paul – we who thought in 1971 and 1972 that you were one with us while all the while you were denying us behind our backs, having recruited some of us…

You may have fled Deanfield, you may have fled “Free Derry” and “Derry” but you cannot forever flee your conscience and responsibility for the armed struggle in which you played a prominent part in the early 1970s, and in the recruitment of teenagers younger than yourself who went on to be killed or imprisoned.

You have your Victims alright, Paul – you are just too much of a moral coward to admit them.

SpikePaulMarkI
Paul O’Connor with prominent Human Rights’ Champions

One thought on “Is it possible to be in the IRA and have “no victims”, as Paul O’Connor claims?

  1. You can hardly claim Shane that the Provo’s were an ‘immaculate conception’.
    They were a product of the environment that existed at the time … a reaction to an oppressive and discriminatory State. You seem to propose that the conflict occurred in a vacuum.

    Now, I’m not claiming that they were justified in the path and methods they choose. However your selective avoidance or allowance for context and timelines will appear somewhat unscrupulous to some and even irrational to others.

    Histories and the people who populate them are complex; they are rarely well understood through simplistic and binary interpretation. As unsatisfactory as it will seem, even to those who are not necessarily fundamentalists, Camus’s summation of the French/Algerian war “as unavoidable as it was unjustifiable” has far greater potential, than binary and condemnatory interpretations, in affording a more compassionate understandings of the past … and furthermore for developing pathways to sustained and cordial relationships between the divergent parts of our post-conflict society.

    Love your enemies, it’ll drive them nuts!

    Like

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