FAIR
Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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14/12/04
So there were no crims in the crum

Members of FAIR watched in disbelief last night as Sinn Fein / IRA leader Gerry Adams made the fantastic claim that no republican can be deemed a criminal. This chilling reminder of Republican duplicity comes at a time when there should have been an appreciative move away from violence and the profit from crime the IRA are famous for. Instead of putting Protestant minds at ease, the glorification of murderers, no matter about their macabre terrorist specialties, should be a loud wake-up call to all peace-loving citizens.

South Armagh is a case which soundly disproves his incredible claim. In this border region it is not without elements of truth that the statement is made "you can't be a republican but you are a criminal". The local population in sympathy with the terrorists provided information, safe houses, weapons dumps, getaway cars and set up their Protestant neighbours for assassination. Today the same local population encourages and benefits from the smuggling and racketeering operations run by the IRA. And those which are not exclusively run by the hardened terrorists in the land are certainly giving them their cut of the profits.

What is particularly galling about such statements made by Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness is not only their content, but the brazen bare-faced way in which they are stated. Not only are IRA volunteers past and present virtually deified, those who were opposed to them including the UDR and the RUC are automatically defined as the criminals. With such warped and evil minds there certainly seems to be no room for reasonable accommodation. After all, the IRA was famous for it's downright unreasonableness - a terrorist in the hedge shooting an unarmed family man as he comes home from work was and still is considered an act of heroism, another blow for a 'free Ireland'. If the mindset has changed, it has got substantially worse.

In South Armagh the saying goes that there "are more rogues than honest men". Certainly, the 'Slab' Murphy's of this world did not rise to the pinnacle of IRA Godfatherhood without the finances involved in millions of pounds worth of smuggled fuel and cigarettes. One relevant example of abject lawlessness is the case of the 2 men from the Electricity Board who were beaten with iron bars when they attempted to read electric meters - and had to be airlifted out by helicopter.

The South Armagh community has been controlled by fear to sustain high levels of criminality. The police acknowledge this when they flatly refuse to patrol key roads which are under IRA jurisdiction. And still we are forced to listen to their unashamed proclamation of republican criminals as heroes, attributing the equivalent of shahid status to those who died 'for Ireland'. Contrary to their demands, the IRA has not cowed all of the Protestant people of South Armagh. Some are still prepared to face them down - and perhaps the best way will be to reveal the names of those criminals involved in illegal activity in South Armagh….

 



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