roger thornhill: Children are different, reporting any violence twards them is mandatory, I think however, in this case “children” means under 16s…although I could be wrong. Paramilitaries do not make children a target for punishment beatings…except joy riders. The odd time when a house is petrol bombed there will be kids inside, which is tragic.
Not all of the punishment beating are for failing to pay up or give respect to the big bosses. Sometimes they’re enforcing their own style of “justice”. That means joy riders, drug dealers who deal in their neighbourhoods and petty criminals are often the ones targeted. You will find many people from those housing estates who will claim that without the paras the crime rate would be much higher.
BrainGlutton-of course the political aims and ideals are still there. For these people their political ideals are at the very core of their identity. The crime is just how they fund their lifestyles, keep their communities in “order”, and raise funds for advancing their political agenda.
Political violence (and when you’re talking about extremism, it’s Loyalist/Republican, not Unionist/Nationalist) is not common in the ROI. There are IRA training camps, shooting ranges and weapons bunkers south of the border, which are occasionally found by the Gardai, but almost no sectarian violence. Dublin, Cork and Limerick have their own gangsters, but only a few of them will be associated with the IRA. Most shootings here are between drug dealers and gangsters, not politically motivated.
Most recently the big thing was the £30 million robbery of the Northern Bank in Belfast at Christmas time. It was widely believed to be the work of the IRA.
The reasoning of most people went like this:
- You don’t rob a bank in Northern Ireland without paramilitary connections, because even if you get away from the cops, the Paras will kill you.
- The gang was well-organised, got away with the money, and nobody got shot…so that rules out the Loyalists.
- The money had to be sent overseas to be laundered, meaning big connections in Eastern Europe…so that rules out the smaller Republican groups.
So…it had to be the work of the IRA.
Except for one Dublin taxi driver, who told me he thought the British Army did it to frame the IRA and recoup some expenses they’ve lost in Iraq, but I think we can safely discount that theory.