The IRA’s legacy of violence


Sir, – Danny Morrison’s letter of January 18th contains many inaccuracies but there is one which I simply cannot allow to go uncontested. He claims that in the early stage of the Troubles, politicians in Dublin refused to highlight the British use of gas on civilian demonstrators.

I can point to at least one politician who did. A Fine Gael TD from Monaghan named Billy Fox actually brought gas canisters that the British had used into the Dáil chamber to illustrate and condemn the practice. He was ordered to leave the chamber as this was a breach of procedure.

He didn’t get much thanks from republicans for his efforts. In 1974, he was brutally murdered by the Provisional IRA while visiting his girlfriend at her remote family home near Clones. – Yours, etc,


Fine Gael,

Castleknock, Dublin 15.

Sir, – Danny Morrison writes that “deaths at the hands of the RUC, B-Specials, unionist mobs and the British army” were a feature of the Northern conflict, “long before the IRA began its campaign”.

He is correct, but could have added that when the death toll was tallied after over three decades of violence, the IRA was responsible for 60 per cent of the deaths, the loyalists paramilitaries 30 per cent and the security forces 10 per cent. The IRA is responsible for the deaths of 698 Protestant civilians, but only 28 loyalist paramilitaries, 2 per cent of the overall death toll.

Mr Morrison lists the outrages visited on the minority community, but studiously avoids any reference to IRA atrocities, committed on both sides of the Border and in England.

He mentions the case of the “hooded men” who were tortured by the security forces, but doesn’t mention the kneecappings and punishment beatings inflicted by the IRA on members of the community it claimed to represent. It all reminds one of Christ’s reference to people who point to the splinters in a neighbour’s eye, while being unaware of the beam in their own. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 7.

Sir, – Danny Morrison observes that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael could have organised in the North during the 1960s. Perhaps these parties could have done more for Northern nationalists but Mr Morrison never asks if the Provisional IRA could have done a lot more for their compatriots by doing a hell of a lot less. – Yours, etc,



Co Tipperary.