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1992
Ulster-nationalism: an IRA viewpoint

The Provisional IRA purports to be a national liberation movement seeking to free Ireland from the clutches of British imperialism. This clever lie is swallowed whole by many of the Provos' camp followers in the British left and among European nationalists and regionalists. Their `nationalism' is in fact a form of imperialism, chauvinism and sectarianism.

This is demonstrated by the IRA reaction to the growth of Ulster-nationalism. In the current issue of The Captive Voice, the Voice of Irish Republican Prisoners of War, IRA volunteer Damian Murphy writes, "Believe it or not, the banner of Nationalism has been raised in the Loyalist community. Some of our fellow countrymen and women are now clamouring for self-determination, and demanding that Britain withdraws from its last colony."

One would have thought that IRA volunteer Murphy would have welcomed such a demand. After all, don't the IRA just want the Brits out? Well, not quite. Vol Murphy regards Ulster-nationalism as a `crackpot theory'. He argues that nationalism is neither intrinsically progressive nor intrinsically reactionary. Vietnamese nationalism, to quote his example, combined with a socialist philosophy, is a 'positive force'. English, South African and Israeli nationalism are in contrast, "linked to theories which assert the superiority or one section of the people over another on the basis of race, colour and creed." Vol. Murphy places Ulster-nationalism firmly in the 'reactionary' camp. He does this by claiming that Ulster-nationalism has found its most fertile ground among the UDA and other loyalist paramilitary groups. This saves any bother in examining Ulster-nationalism's ideas and claims it is merely damned by association with the UDA!

Vol. Murphy accuses Ulster nationalists of advocating, sectarianism, discrimination and repression. An independent Ulster would be governed by, "the principle of domination and privilege for one section of the population."

We are convinced that the IRA is afraid that an independent Ulster would rob it of its claim to be fighting imperialism. Hence its attempt to denigrate the growing Ulster-nationalist movement. Vol Murphy's comrades will in due course add us to their burgeoning list of `legitimate targets', seeking to wipe us out before we get too influential. However, this ought to be a warning to us. For historical reasons, our movement has come from within the Protestant community. We must not be diverted into a sectarian dead-end by the IRA. This would weld Catholics to the IRA for good and stand in the way of lasting peace.

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