The Blanket

Every Man Has a Choice

Victor Barker • 2 February 2004

Mr O Ruairc’s “response to Victor Barker” rushes to a number of conclusions particularly about my own position which I would ask him to reconsider.

It is a shame that neither he nor Anthony McIntyre (for whom I have the greatest respect) have been able to meet with me for a personal discussion about the issues surrounding the Omagh Bomb.

“I had in mind the fact that given the hostility of both Mr Mooney and Mr Barker to Real Republicans the book could have been a long hysterical attack against the Real IRA and the 32 CSM” is simply not true.I bear absolutely no such hostility to any Republican for it has always been my personal opinion that for geographical reasons alone, Ireland would best take its place in modern day Europe as an undivided nation.

My hostility is to Real Republican Terrorists who refuse to tread the path of democracy and who seek to further their political arguments by senseless acts of violence – and in the process murder innocent men women and children who have nothing to do with their so called “armed struggle”. If Mr O Ruairc had to live with the pictures of my son’s body lying in a mortuary at the age of twelve which haunt my family and myself on a day to day basis he would realise that this is the real “political critique” of that “political movement” which he seems unable to grasp.

Like many Republicans and Loyalists Mr O Ruairc’s discussion of particular classes of victims is also selective. He carefully pursues the position of the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings and acts of “State Terrorism” (inter alia Bloody Sunday) without referring to the numerous victims of Provisional IRA and other Republican Terrorists,and the thousands of families that have suffered as result. Enniskillen and the Brighton Bomb immediately spring to mind.

Perpetrators of such atrocities may regard themselves as “victims” but I do not. Every man has a choice to make between political persuasion and protest (even dissent) and violence – the men of violence are rightly those who deserve my condemnation and the condemnation of the vast majority of the people of Ireland who place the dignity of human life before political objectives.

When I met representatives of the 32 CSM I put forward this point of view – I suggest that if you have any doubts about my willingness to try to understand differences in a constructive manner then you speak to those present at that meeting. I would expect that your article would not have then been so condescending and from my point of view almost insulting.



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