Top Irish Historian: Corbyn Didn’t Support IRA Ceasefire mdi-fullscreen

Asked this morning if he ever called for an IRA ceasefire, Jeremy Corbyn dodged the question and instead answered: “I always wanted there to be a ceasefire.” That is disputed…

In Rosa Prince’s Corbyn biography, the Northern Ireland historian Lord Bew directly addresses Corbyn’s views on a ceasefire. Bew says that as a supporter of the Troops Out movement, Corbyn shared Sinn Fein’s view that Irish unity need not be predicated on either consent or a ceasefire: “The terms on which Corbyn was in dialogue with Adams was on the basis that Adams wins”. Bew says “Corbyn was always out on a limb with the Provos”That is why Corbyn dodged the question this morning…

There are some other very revealing quotes in the Prince book. A former senior Royal Ulster Constabulary officer says Corbyn was a “useful idiot” of the IRA: “I used to look at him when he would visit Belfast in the 1980s, when he was running around with guys who had done some pretty horrible things, and think: who is this guy? What is he thinking coming here?” The Labour MP David Winnick also says Corbyn was well in with the IRA: “I strongly disagreed with the line he took. I constantly argued that there was no justification for the IRA. I thought he was wrong”. The Catholic Northern Irish writer Eilis O’Hanlon says:

“From Corbyn to McDonnell to Ken Livingstone, they all justify it these days by saying it was OK because it led eventually to the peace process. But that’s disingenuous in the extreme. When they were out defending the IRA, its fellow travellers also didn’t know when, or if, that campaign would end. They still happily supported, or had an ambivalent attitude towards, Republican violence. They knew exactly what they were doing, and how their solidarity was used by the Republican movement to paint its murder campaign as part of some wider struggle for social justice.”

The truth, in the words of Labour MPs and historians, is that Corbyn supported the IRA and didn’t call for a ceasefire. Hence his careful wording this morning…

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