Talk:The Troubles/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3



Please join the discussion at Talk:The Troubles in Omagh#2011? --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 09:55, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

not still going on?

Many of the terrorist organizations are still fighting and believe the war to still be going on. Shouldn't this be noted?--Samusaran253 (talk) 05:16, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Data on Status and Responsibility for casualties

The tables in the Casualties section currently show the number of casualties by status and the number of casualties by responsibility. I’m curious as to whether data exists that combines these two pieces of information to show the number of casualties of each ‘status’ caused by each group. (i.e. number of civilian deaths caused by republican paramilitary groups, number of civilian deaths caused by loyalist paramilitary groups etc). Franmars (talk) 16:40, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

not still going on?

Many of the terrorist organizations are still fighting and believe the war to still be going on. Shouldn't this be noted?--Samusaran253 (talk) 05:16, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Data on Status and Responsibility for casualties

The tables in the Casualties section currently show the number of casualties by status and the number of casualties by responsibility. I’m curious as to whether data exists that combines these two pieces of information to show the number of casualties of each ‘status’ caused by each group. (i.e. number of civilian deaths caused by republican paramilitary groups, number of civilian deaths caused by loyalist paramilitary groups etc). Franmars (talk) 16:40, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

In the interests of balance

Can we have a section on the collusion between Irish garda and army/ government and the IRA? Hachimanchu (talk) 18:51, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Birmingham pub bombings

This atrocity which cost the lives of a large number of people-mainly young- needs to be mentioned in this article and not repeatedly deleted as not being relevant!--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 17:58, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Misleading lead-in

Hello. I don't know about this topic (which is why I'm here!), but the end of the lead-in paragraph states "As of 2011, sporadic violence nonetheless continued.[9][13][14]," but the most recent of items [9],[13], and [14] is from 2008. To my mind, "As of 2011, sporadic violence...continued" means that as recently as 2011 related violence has been reported. The citations given do not support this idea. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Onelokikitty (talkcontribs) 01:22, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Etymology of the term

Does anyone watching this page have information on the etymology of the term, "The Troubles"? That is to say, who coined it, when it was first used in a publication, etc. It would seem to be an euphemism, ironic in its understated nature, but I'm curious how it gained currency. —DragonHawk (talk|hist) 17:38, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

I'm also curious, anyone know? Amleth (talk) 02:04, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Proposed changes

I made the following changes but all were reverted by User:One Night In Hackney, so I will propose them for discussion here.

  • Add references to Operation Demetrius where internments are mentioned. Its in the infoboxes, I think its relevant.
  • A reference to the Diplock courts in one of the 1970s sections when they were created and used most.
  • The 1990s material should be split from the 1980s section.
  • The late-1970s, 1980s, and 1990s should be folded under the Timeline section with the 1960s and early-1970s.
  • A section on the 2000s. There were still riots, assasinations, terrorist incidents, etc., pretty much just like the 1960s-1990s, by some of the same players. Diplock courts are still legal and still used. I have not tracked down whether indefinate internment regulations are still authorized by law, but my guess is they are (not that regulations have been issued though.) It doesn't have to be considered part of the Troubles, maybe a "Subsequent events" section is in order.

Thoughts? Int21h (talk) 01:06, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

I've no problem with most of those, subject to the changes I made to inaccurate additions. I also object to any insinuation that the Northern Ireland Assembly is anything to do with the Parliament of Northern Ireland. The current campaign by dissidents is not part of the Troubles, and it was this massive undiscusssed rewrite and this alone that forced me to revert wholesale to an earlier version. 2 lines of K303 10:50, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
So as I understand it, you reverted all of my edits because of my edits pertaining to the Assembly and because there was no discussion, even those edits unrelated to the Assembly. Then I believe there are several problems with your reversion:
First, and most importantly, there has still been no discussion, other than you saying you do not object to some of what you reverted but defending your revert of other parts, and it seems there never would have been ever further discussed in the future either, saying as the discussion was archived (which should not be edited and hence discussed further.) Hence, your objection could never be cured, no matter what the merit of your other objections. For example, if I did concur with that objection (about the Assembly) and thereby not continue my part in the discussion, all the edits would still remain reverted due to your objection about the lack of discussion, including those which you appearently do not object to. I would, in effect, be required to state my edits, that appearently are not objectionable, before doing those edits; if no one replied, there would be no discussion, and hence would be reverted (by someone like you.) Your reasoning, if upheld, could prevent edits to Wikipedia by pure silence, even unobjectionable edits, and hence, your reasoning must be rejected. Such a reason sounds like a good reason to reject things without ever having to argue why, taking advantage of a lack of interest or readership of the talk page.
As to your second argument about the Assembly, as I understand it, both the Assembly and the Parliament are legislative bodies of Northern Ireland. My understanding is that something that is a legislative body of Northern Ireland is intrinsically related to something that is a legislative body of Northern Ireland. Furthermore, the Parliament was established after the Assembly was disestablished, to give Northern Ireland a legislative body that was disestablished during the Troubles, giving them even more connection as consecutive interations of a legislative body of Northern Ireland. I should note that, as I understand it, both references to "Northern Ireland" are to the same jurisdiction/body/land/people, and not different or consecutive versions or anything (like the French Third Republic versus the French Fourth Republic.)
And the problem still remains as to what should be done about the revert of the edits that have not been objected to but reverted anyways. No matter what, in my opinion, for me to revert them makes for my 1 revert. And if anyone re-reverts, even without merit, I would need to take it to arbitration. Int21h (talk) 09:21, 6 February 2012 (UTC) Int21h (talk) 09:24, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
As to the other point, that the current "campaign by dissidents" is not related to the Troubles. The Troubles were, as I undertand it, was conducted by groups described as a "campaign by dissidents" as well, and were also described as terrorists, murders, and all sorts of other things. Is the description exclusionary, in that this description, as applied to a group, disqaulify events when caused by such a described group from being described as part of the Troubles? Or is it just insufficient for such events and groups to be described in such a manner, in that those events and groups must also be described in other terms, such as having political representatives elected, be related to a group or event that does have a sufficient description, carrying arms, or some other property? Int21h (talk) 09:46, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

It seems you don't understand much, based on "So as I understand it, you reverted all of my edits because of my edits pertaining to the Assembly and because there was no discussion, even those edits unrelated to the Assembly". I wrote three sentences. The last of them reads "The current campaign by dissidents is not part of the Troubles, and it was this massive undiscusssed rewrite and this alone that forced me to revert wholesale to an earlier version". The word "this" clearly cannot refer to the Assembly, and this is proven by a quick look at the page history. You introduced incorrect and policy violating material in this edit, I removed it in this edit, I was then forced to make a further revert due to your massive undiscussed (and incorrect in several places) rewrite of the article.

While I understand the words you use about dissidents, your point (assuming you actually have one) is a bit like Burt Reynold's toupee. Do you have any sources saying the Troubles were still ongoing in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 or even now in 2012? Or are you just going to keep waffling to advance your own fringe POV?

As for the lack of discussion, well that's obvious. I posted here on 6 January, you failed to reply until 6 February. So the reason it hasn't been discussed is for one reason - you didn't bother to reply for a month!! And when you did, you totally misrepresented my short, succinct, clear post and also failed to reinstate the changes I said I had no problem with. Why exactly?

And finally, you go right ahead with your threat to go to arbitration if you don't get to own the article. I could do with some entertainment, namely you being laughed at. 2 lines of K303 12:09, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

British government stance

In the overview part of the article we find this sentence: "On the other hand, the British Government recognised for the first time the principle that the people of the island of Ireland as a whole have the right, without any outside interference, to solve the issues between North and South by mutual consent." (This is sourced to a parliamentary debate in 1994.)

I think this sentence is misleading in two ways. First of all it could in context be taken as saying that this recognition came as part of the Belfast agreement, when the citation shows it was given 4 years before the Belfast agreement was signed. Secondly, it is unclear what this recognition entails. As far as I understand the British government's longstanding position was that Northern Ireland would become part of the ROI if and only if the majority of the population in Northern Ireland voted for that. Despite talking about the people of Ireland as a whole, this still seems to be their position. MathHisSci (talk) 23:11, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Top image.

It doesn't really relate to the article in question much. Perhaps a montage picture such as the ones we see in the WWII article could be made/used? I say keep the current image but move it just below or something. --OfTheGreen (talk) 01:07, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

I like your idea.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 13:05, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Thank you! I've been taking a look at some possible images. I would propose; 6 images - one of a Unionist Murial and one of a Republican Murial, two pictures representing both Unionist and republican paramilitary incidents, and possible two more political orientated images from both sides. If we could include images that are currently not in the article it would be better. --OfTheGreen (talk) 19:49, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

NPOV dispute with image accompanying article on The Troubles

The main image for this article depicts only the island comprising Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This seems at best misleading - the two countries concerned in the conflict are not fully represented, therefore a reader may be lead to believe the conflict was between North and South of one island, rather than two different countries. At worst this suggests a political bias towards the Republican viewpoint that the island should be one country, which does not represent the Unionist view and fact that Northern Ireland is part of the UK. An image including Britain would be both more informative and less biased as it would show the two countries concerned in the conflict that the article described. The use of colour in this image emphasises the probability of a republican bias of the images author. Depicting Northern Ireland as a shade of green does in visual terms unify it with the south. The file history suggests the North was once depicted in red - which may also have suggested a unionist bias. Historically and currently colour is key indicator of bias in the ongoing conflict (see ongoing riots regarding the removal of the Union Flag from Belfast City Hall) so perhaps for neutrality's sake in this article Northern Ireland should not be represented in colour as it would be difficult to find any colour completely neutral to its people. White might be the only option, although this too might be a misleading suggestion of peace, perhaps grey... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:42, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Catholics in the UDR

Asarlai, it doesn't seem to be correct in my mind to keep removing the fact that Catholics were intimidated out of the UDR or assassinated for being members. This is fact and it, coupled with intracommunal intimidation, caused the largest loss of recruits. There's no reason why you can't do, as I have done here, provide a little more information about why Catholics lost confidence in the regiment because of state actions which were held up by Sinn Fein and the SDLP as anti-Catholic. What we must avoid doing however is falling for the trap of asserting that state forces were behind everything. That is revisionist history and we can't allow a continuation of its use here. SonofSetanta (talk) 14:40, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

There are a number of reasons why Catholics left the UDR. Some left due to IRA threats and pressure from their own community. Some left in protest at the British Army's actions or the actions of their colleagues. Others were intimidated out of the regiment by Protestant fellow soldiers. If we mention one reason we must also mention the other reasons, for the sake of balance. However, doing so would be straying from the topic (collusion) and would take up too much room, so I think it's better just to say that Catholics left "due to a number of factors". If readers want to find out why they can go to the UDR article.
Also, this issue is already being discussed here: Talk:Ulster Defence Regiment#Loss of Catholic soldiers. ~Asarlaí 15:27, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
I see no reason why we can't have an article specific discussion her as well as the one on the UDR talk page. My knowledge of the UDR is quite comprehensive and I am pretty solid in my view (with sources) that the major cause of loss of Catholic soldiers was IRA intimidation and the campaign of harassment organised in their own communities by Sinn Fein and the IRA. It far outweighs any loss of recruits or soldiers as a result of internment, Bloody Sunday or whatever. If you're going to have such detail about loyalist paramilitaries trying to subvert the regiment then you've got to have balancing information about why there was less of this from republicans and how the UDR came to be so predominately Protestant. So in this case I am disagreeing with you. We shouldn't simply gloss over this fact with such a trite statement. SonofSetanta (talk) 15:43, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
I've been thinking over this and have this to say: the concept that Catholics, en masse, left the UDR or the RUC following state sponsored incidents is a fantasy. These incidents occurred at around the same time as the IRA and Sinn Fein campaign against Catholic UDR soldiers was in operation. So the fact that many UDR soldiers left after, say, internment, shouldn't be seen as a measure of Catholic soldiers' confidence in the UDR. It should be measured more in terms of how the campaign against them was applied. Sinn Fein publish propaganda, the intent of which is to persuade the world that the RUC, UDR, USC and the old Stormont administration were anti-catholic. This is pure bunkum and has been shown as such by many eminent scholars. It was essential for PIRA to get Catholics out of the UDR because for them to have stayed in would show the government was getting it right. It was also essential for their policies to demonise the UDR and RUC so that they could argue for their disbandment. The problem now is that this fantasy put out by Sinn Fein has been going on for so long that some people accept it as truth. What any editor working on articles such as this about the Troubles has got to do is to set aside the propaganda and concentrate on fact. That's difficult to do if you're one of the people who believe the guff that Sinn Fein put out, or even think there's a glimmer of truth in it. There isn't - not even a teensy weensy bit. What us non-POV editors are trying to do is to remove all this nonsense from articles and concentrate on the absolute facts. We can do it by mitigating the Sinn Fein line or we can do it by removing the bastardised version of history altogether, which is really what we should do. Our problem is always going to be however that somebody will find something in a book somewhere which supports the Sinn Fein line and the next thing we know, that is appearing in an article as "properly sourced". One prime example is the suggestion by Tim Pat Coogan that the army and UDA patrolled together. That's a fantasy but because Coogan has fallen for it and published it, some editors will try to assert it's true. No POV means no POV. Separate the truth from the fictionalised version. You might ask why I don't say the same about loyalist POV? I do, but being quite honest, they're nowhere near as good at it as Sinn Fein so it's much easier to cut the cruft with them. after all, Sinn Fein have been doing it since 1919 with the campaign against the RIC and the auxiliary forces, which worked, so they thought they'd do the same again. It hasn't worked as well this time. Everything I've said here is supported by sources btw, the very same sources I use when editing articles. If anyone has any objections to what I say just do a Google search for "Sinn Fein propaganda" and do some reading. SonofSetanta (talk) 17:20, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

I agree with Asarlai's comment as there was more than one reason, even though the IRA could be cited as the main one, however if it is too much to detail the main factors (is it really too much off topic?) then when stating "due to a number of factors", we could link it to a section in the UDR article specifically dealing with the various factors. In regards to Coogan, he is as biased a "historian" as I have ever read. I'd classify him as being a unreliable source for general statements, and only fit for claims that are cited to him, i.e. "Coogan, has claimed..." etc. etc. Mabuska (talk) 19:04, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Rewriting the Collusion section

My plan is to rework the section to cut it down and provide links to the UDR article. With regards to the accusations about individual battalions I moot we cut down and link to the various battalion articles where there is plenty of room to detail matters comprehensively. When I get a minute I'll do so and ask for my sandbox to be viewed and commented on. I see Asarlai's point ok and recognise his concerns. BTW I quite like TP Coogan. I thought his book on the Long Fellow was excellent. You are correct though, he does make some very dubious claims. SonofSetanta (talk) 10:55, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

Here. I've done my best to cut down on the wordiness and instead of waffling on about this, that and the other regarding the UDR I've created a bulleted system which takes readers directly to areas of interest. Items can be added to this in the future. There is also scope for Asarlai (or anyone) to edit battalion specific articles and include more detail where it's felt necessary.

Something I noted btw which I hope others will take note of too. Robin Jackson was quoted as being a "UVF brigadier". I've commented on this before and think there should be a convention on using self appointed ranks like this. Many readers from foreign countries with no knowledge of Irish terrorist organisations will read these articles believe what they see. Bestowing titles such as "major" or "brigadier" on terrorists is according them a respect they don't deserve. A brigadier in the real world commands upwards of three battalions (c2200 men). The UDR was commanded by a brigadier and it had 9000 soldiers. These organisations didn't have anything like those sorts of numbers. The "Mid Ulster Brigade" of the UVF was probably about 30 people. So can we please, when referring to these fantasy ranks, include the words "self appointed" or some such other which indicates they're not really a major or brigadier or whatever. SonofSetanta (talk) 12:38, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

Not bad, and good job doing it in your namespace to avoid potential trouble from ones seeking to get you into it. I would suggest getting rid of the bulleted list and put it as prose as that is more of the preferred method on Wikipedia. Mabuska (talk) 14:20, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for looking at it. Ok I'll do that. Pity Asarlai isn't around today. I would have liked his comments too. SonofSetanta (talk) 14:22, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
Changed as suggested. I'll wait until tomorrow to see if Asarlai wants to work his magic on it (good pun eh) or if anyone else wants to intervene. If there's no further comment then I'll incorporate it into the article. BTW does anyone know an easy way to type a fada? I note Asarlai has one in his name and I feel terribly rude not including it. SonofSetanta (talk) 14:31, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
Just came across this - not an area of expertise for me so all I've got is a pedantic suggestion for readability - change the following sentence from: "finding that Special Branch knew of this but had given informers immunity, ensuring they weren't caught, helped them during police interviews, made false notes and blocked searches for UVF weapons". To: "finding that Special Branch knew of this but had given informers immunity, ensuring they weren't caught, helping them during police interviews, making false notes and blocking searches for UVF weapons" --HighKing (talk) 15:04, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I'll drop that change into my sandbox now. SonofSetanta (talk) 15:27, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
There are currently three articles that have 'overviews' of Collusion during the Troubles: this one, Operation Banner, and Ulster loyalism. SoS, is your re-write only for the Collusion section here, or is it also for the Collusion sections on Operation Banner and Ulster Loyalism? As your re-write involves removing a lot of sourced content, and as this is such a sensitive topic, I think we should find out whether other editors agree with it first. Currently only three editors have aired an opinion.
I agree that the Collusion section on this article needs to be re-written a bit, but I think your re-write removes too much content about the UDR. I think we should either:
  • Use the same wording that's used on Operation Banner and Ulster Loyalism (which a number of editors, including yourself, helped to write), or
  • Make a new article about Collusion during The Troubles. This would be an overview of loyalist and republican collusion with state forces during the conflict. It wouldn't go into depth on every single person and incident, but it would tie everything together. The Collusion sections here, on Operation Banner and on Ulster Loyalism could then be cut down to a paragraf or two with a link to the new article.
Also, you should be able to add a fada by holding down Alt Gr while typing the letter. ~Asarlaí 21:17, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
I was only thinking of using the rewritten section here when I was working on it but it could possibly applied in those other articles although as the context may be different maybe some rewording would be necessary. I'm not sure that I've removed any content about the UDR, I felt I'd added more but I've done it in such a way as it's all linked inline rather than wordy on the article - using the layers in Wikipedia. I've done it that way because I, and I think Mabuska, felt there was far too much weight on the UDR part of what is effectively an overview of the troubles. You could put an RfC in to get more comment from uninvolved editors. I think it would be a good idea to invite someone like User:Scolaire too. He's good with Irish articles and is very neutral. There would be others from the Wikipedia:WikiProject Ireland Collaboration who could give views too. I'm very wary about bringing contentious editors in - would you agree?
Personally I think the concept of a Collusion during The Troubles article would be a good idea but it might be an idea to see if there's any support for it? Such an article could be used to group all the incidences together and then cut down on collusion in other articles. I'd certainly be willing to help. My objections thus far have all been concerning edits made by others (not you and I) which seem to have the sole purpose of discrediting state forces. While there is possibly discredit due for the way some of this stuff happened it was only a very small part of a much larger problem and I think it has assumed undue weight on Wikipedia because of people's passions, which are understandable. If we can channel those passions into producing a true history of the troubles then I'd be delighted and we'd be doing the world a service - don't you think? SonofSetanta (talk) 08:13, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Should we start a "Collusion during the troubles" article?

  • For. I think it's a great idea. SonofSetanta (talk) 08:16, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
  • For. Why not, it is a highly notable subject. Don't be afraid of being WP:BOLD and starting one anyways. Just make sure there are no issues such as copyvios and the like and you'll be fine. Mabuska (talk) 10:32, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Replaced the section

As there have been no further objections I have replaced the section. It looks and reads fine and it a lot less than the previous one. I think we can build from there. SonofSetanta (talk) 14:47, 20 August 2013 (UTC)


Could it be described as sectarian rather than merely ethno-nationalist? Pass a Method talk 15:24, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

"Troubles" nonsense

That this stupid term is the most widely used is merely opinion, and relates mostly to media. Most people I know don't use it, and it's political rather than factual in any event. This is meant to be an online Encyclopedia, not a political instrument. A situation where thousands of people on both sides died aren't 'troubles'. The term 'The troubles' was conjured in a political attempt to down - play what really went on in NI, which was urban warfare. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:32, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

The term has long-term wide-spread use. I can't think of any better term, but if you can, then suggest it here. Some may agree, but I think we should leave as it. --Dmol (talk) 05:54, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Until the 1960s, The Troubles was routinely used in Ireland to refer to the 1916-1922 conflicts, as is noted in the disambiguation page. The colloquial term was then revived sometime during the early part of the recent upheavals, maybe 1971-ish. The opening paragraph here does not make that historical link clear. If I can find some suitable references, I'll add some clarification. jxm (talk) 15:11, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
It is a common name for it used in everyday speech between ordinary people. Agree that it could do with some clarification as the trouble in Ulster during the early 1920s, especially in Belfast, was also known as "The Troubles". Mabuska (talk) 16:30, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Ok, so here's some text with references that I'm planning to add as a separate section, probably near the end, with forward links from the introduction and overview.

Colloquial usage of The Troubles to refer to politically-linked violence in Ireland dates from at least the 1880s, and is found at that time both in general news reports[1] and in specialised scholarly writing.[2] In early 20th century political debates in Ireland, the expression appears in the 1921-22 proceedings of both of the new parliaments in Dublin and Belfast, specifically in relation to the contemporary conflicts during that period.[3][4]

In subsequent decades, the term retained that usage in common parlance all over Ireland, until the resurgence of significant political violence, when The Troubles re-emerged during a 1969 Stormont debate about the deteriorating security situation. [5] More recently, concern about using the term "The Troubles" has been raised in the Northern Ireland Assembly, as some considered the period of conflict to have been a war.[6][7][8][9][10]

  1. ^ See for example Wanganui Herald, Volume XXVI, Issue 7737, 10 June 1892, Page 2.
  2. ^ W. M. Griffith, "Ireland and her Troubles", Hamilton College, Clinton NY, 24 June 1880 ([ cf. New York Times archive)
  3. ^ The Stormont Papers, Vol. 1 p. 311, 29 Nov 1921
  4. ^ Dail Eireann Debates, Vol. 1, No. 32, p. 5, 29 Nov 1922
  5. ^ The Stormont Papers, Vol. 72 p. 1431, 29 Apr 1969
  6. ^ "Troubles 'not war' motion passed". BBC News. 18 February 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2009. 
  7. ^ "NI Assembly Minutes Of Proceedings". 18 February 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2009. 
  8. ^ "Troubles must not go down in history as a war". 18 February 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2009. 
  9. ^ "=DUP Living In Twilight Zone". 2 November 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2009. 
  10. ^ "Frost over the World — Ian Paisley – 28 Mar 08 – "7:19 Paisley Describes Troubles As War"". AlJazeera. 28 March 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2009. 

Any thoughts or comments? jxm (talk) 02:33, 6 November 2013 (UTC)


The table of figures is misleading, unionist paramilitaries killed more innocents/civilians than anyone else, it is wrong to include one total figure that groups all categories into one. The republicans may have killed more people, but the vast majority were the armed forces who colluded with unionist paramilitaries, unionists are responsible for more innocent/civilian deaths than all republicans combined and the table does not reflect that.

Also there is nothing in the lede or the section on who was responsible for the Troubles; for example how Catholics/Nationalists attempted to gain equal civil rights through peaceful means which were brutaly cracked down and denied to them, the formation of loyalist paramilitaries 1966 who started an inherently sectarian campaign to facilitate such a crackdown, people say it was the burning of Bombay Street and other Catholic, Irish nationalist areas of Belfast when loyalists/unionists attempted a pogrom. The fact is the IRA (Provisionals) were formed in response to repeated loyalist aggression (4 years later after the loyalists/unionists paramilitaries started their terror campaign) against communities and original aim was to defend said areas due to the failure of peaceful politics to rectify the constant threat against the nationalist community, not to achieve a united Ireland (at least initially).

None of those points are addressed in the article, least of all the lede. This article (and whoever maintains it) smokescreens all the above. ÓCorcráin (talk) 02:40, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Can you please provide a reference to back up your claim that the table of figures is misleading, or alternately provide a better referenced table. Also please provide reliable neutral references that back up your claim of "the vast majority were the armed forces who colluded with unionist paramilitaries". Until such time as consensus is reached, the referenced info should stay. --Dmol (talk) 06:07, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
"Until such time as consensus is reached, the referenced info should stay." That does not apply if there was no consensus originally to include the table in its current form. Can you show me where there was consensus for that, because I do not see any.ÓCorcráin (talk) 18:12, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Verifiable facts cited to a reputable source should not be removed because someone doesn't like them - especially if they don't like them for political reasons. That's censorship. In any case, the casualties of each faction are broken down to show how many victims of which faction were state security forces, paramilitaries or civilians, as percentages and as absolute numbers, so your objection is covered. --Nicknack009 (talk) 18:53, 8 November 2013 (UTC)


Shouldn't loyalists be in the same column as the UK govt forces/Republic of Ireland forces? Even if there was no collusion, there was no conflict between them, was there? Unless there was, we shouldn't put them in different columns.

And why were supporters removed from the infobox? The edit summary by Nicknack009 says "Suppliers of arms are NOT COMBATANTS", but from what I know, arms suppliers are always listed in war article infoboxes. Let's take the current Syrian Civil War for example. Iran, Turkey, the US, Russia and all other countries that support the either side of the conflict are listed. --Երևանցի talk 02:01, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Officially, the UK state forces weren't on the same side as the loyalists. They may have colluded with them from time to time, but they also arrested and imprisoned them. The Republic government and loyalists certainly can't be considered to be on the same side, as loyalists carried out bombings and other hostile actions in the Republic - see for example the 1972 and 1973 Dublin bombings and the invasion of Clontibret.
As far as supporters are concerned, paramilitaries in Northern Ireland acquired arms from a variety of sources on a fairly ad hoc basis. To include such a source in the "belligerents" column, their support would need to have been consistent and ideological, not opportunistic as it was. Incidentally, the source cited in support of the USSR supporting the IRA in fact doesn't say that - it says that the Workers' Party, a left wing group that grew out of the old IRA, was not connected to the Provisionals and had no involvement in violence, requested funding from the USSR. --Nicknack009 (talk) 08:33, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the detailed explanation. --Երևանցի talk 21:53, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
I am really trying to wrap my mind around the Republic of Ireland being (a) considered a belligerent and (b) being listed along with the UK. Juan Riley (talk) 23:11, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Renaming Article to "The Troubles (Northern Ireland)"

Hello, There is an active nomination to rename Category:The Troubles (Northern Ireland) to match the name of this article at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2014 September 24#Category:The Troubles (Northern Ireland). Usually, with a category, we blindly imitate the naming convention from the article space but, in this case, there is broad consensus that the article name is too vague because of the other topics in Troubles (disambiguation).

What do you think of this rename? RevelationDirect (talk) 10:16, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

I'm hesitant to rename the page because of the fact that when we speak of The Troubles we don't call them The Troubles in Northern Ireland. The name we use for the phenomena should probably be name we use for the wiki page, but I understand the impetus to clarify what the page is and what it is about. Despite my misgivings the name should probably be changed to reflect a more specific designation. Amcorbe (talk) 21:00, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

Excessive source-waving in lead

We do not need the excessive, ever-lengthing lines of redundant citation going on the lead in several places, e.g. after "ethno-nationalist". One high-quality source per potentially controversial statement in the lead section is sufficient, or two at most (in some cases it might be helpful that sources favored by each side can be cited as agreeing on a point), with other sources cited in the body of the article where relevant. It makes the lead harder to read, and frankly looks like a cock-waving contest between the two camps of perpetually squabbling editors here. "Look, my line of citations is longer than your line of citations, boi-oi-oing." Enough, already.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  11:06, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. There are 25 citations justifying three sentences in the first paragraph. It looks visually silly, and no sane novice reader is going to follow each ref link separately. Another solution might be to group these refs into three actual note entries, one for each sentence, with a explanatory phrase or two as appropriate. That way, we don't lose track of their apparent relevance to the lead, and they still remain individually citable elsewhere. I'm not sure how to do notes like that, but it probably involves moving the reflist into a new References section, rather than keeping it under the heading Notes where it is currently. Just a thought.... jxm (talk) 16:14, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

Not religious?

Maybe you all should check out the comments made by Ian Paisley or the oppression in northern ireland of catholics. Saying this wasn't a relgious conflict is like saying 9/11 wasn't religious. Trust me, this was a conflict between the IRA and fundamentalist protestants. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:30, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Religion was a major factor but it wasn't the IRA against fundamentalist Protestants it was a mixture of political ideology, political hatred and sectarianism on all sides. And 9/11 was primarily political. Mabuska (talk) 00:44, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Welfare State as a primary "cause" of the Troubles

This is a quite excellent article, with nuances expressed in a respectful way to both sides which everybody familiar with the conflict will understand. However, I note there is no mention of the role which the introduction of the Welfare State played in creating the conditions for the Troubles. Specifically, in providing free health and education poorer members of society had more chances open to them and were not under as much pressure to emigrate. This led to a rise in the Catholic population and more Catholics educated about their grievances and their rights. And this created its own dynamic of seeking further advances when their initial claims were fulfilled and greater loyalist insecurity at both the growing Catholic population and its assertiveness. Todd and Ruane in particular place a strong emphasis on the importance of the Welfare State in creating the conditions for the Troubles. (talk) 21:22, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

Usage of the term

I obviously wasn't watching the page when the section Usage of the term The Troubles was added in November 2013. I see that it was added following this brief discussion. I think it is problematic and should be removed. The quote from CAIN does not say that it was used "at various times in the past", only that "it has been used before". The reference to 19th-century use in "general news reports and specialised scholarly writing" is sourced to two primary sources, neither of which specifically use "The Troubles" or suggest that that term was in any sort of widespread use. The following three sentences are statements of the obvious – which are worthy of mention in the article, but not a section of their own – and again use primary sources in an inappropriate way: the speech of Mr. Caldwell in Stormont only uses "troubles" in its normal sense, not as the capitalised "Troubles" which did not come into use until the early 1970s. The debate on whether it should be called a "war", as well as being recentism (or rather, it would have been recentism if it had been added in 2008; there was no point in including such a damp squib five years later), gives the erroneous impression that people are trying to replace the word "Troubles" with "War", when in fact the debate (such as it was), was over whether the Troubles were a war or a terrorist campaign. In short, the whole section is essentially original research. And while I understand the concerns that led to it being added, it is inappropriate and should go. Scolaire (talk) 16:15, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

Well, I obviously wasn't watching when Scolaire removed this section! :-) The term Troubles certainly has had a long history as a colloquial expression well before the 1970s, both in the north and south of Ireland. For example, the OED offers several examples of the capitalised 'Troubles' from as early as 1682, as well as nineteenth century usage of the quoted 'year of the troubles' in reference to the events of 1798. Writing in the early twentieth century, James Joyce also uses 'time of the troubles' in Ulysses (novel) when referring to events a century earlier. That being said, I agree that it probably doesn't merit its own section, as Scolaire notes. Instead, I suggest that we think about reinstating some revised form of the Usage paragraph to clarify this long-standing colloquialism, but perhaps a few sentences in a footnote or a reference entry directing attention to some suitable sources as appropriate. Thoughts? jxm (talk) 05:06, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
I didn't just delete the section, I added the relevant information – citing reliable secondary sources – as the second sentence of the Overview section. I think that ought to suffice. Scolaire (talk) 14:42, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
I have added a footnote that the "troubles" was used in legislation by all three Parliaments to describe the troubles now known as the "Wars of the Three Kingdoms". Contrary to what is written above, troubles in the 17th century was a term that was used rather than wars, because if the wars were given legal recognition it opened up a can of legal and political worms. Indeed during the debates on the wording of the Act of Oblivion in England, the hotter heads in Parliament had to be warned not to antagonise the other side (eg using the terms "rebellion" and "rebels") for fear that the political compromise would break down and the wars renewed, therefore "troubles" was a convenient politically neutral term. It seem that it still is. -- PBS (talk) 12:10, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

The lead...

defines "The Troubles" as an "ethno-nationalist" conflict. Wouldn't it be fair to say there is also a religious factor here? Perhaps "ethno-nationalist and religious", or "ethno-religious nationalist", or... something like that? The lead goes on to say this "wasn't a religious conflict". Is that not somewhat debatable? - theWOLFchild 16:18, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

There are four citations for "ethno-nationalist conflict" and a further two for "not a religious conflict" in the lead. There is nothing in the article body that conflicts with that. This is not a debating chamber. Scolaire (talk) 18:35, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
"debating chamber"...? Wow, thanks sooo much for your wonderfully reasoned response. (I see you're from Dublin, and you've made many, many edits to this article, but you're not 'involved' at all, right?) You say there are cites that depict this conflict as ethno-nationalist, and there are further cites that claim religion is not a factor. I can see those cites for myself, so thanks for pointing out the obvious. And what if I were to produce multiple cites that claim just the opposite? Anyway, my point is, do we really believe that religion plays no part in this conflict? No part at all? That's all I was asking. - theWOLFchild 21:40, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
It seems like it'd be hard for us to find a strong justification for emphasizing the religious component in the lead section. The core dispute primarily concerned the locus of secular authority and civilian control. It was not over religious issues like the key role of the Eucharist or biblical inerrancy in everyday life. While some Orange Order views and activities may seem to be outwardly anti-Catholic, there isn't really a corresponding form of religion-based counter-aggression in the opposite direction. Catholic Church leaders and Sinn Fein/IRA activists didn't really base their stated political viewpoints on religious tenets, but relied more on their visions of civil rights and secular nationalist aspirations. jxm (talk) 07:07, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Agree with jxm. The lead does say that unionists/loyalists are mostly Protestants and nationalists/republicans are mostly Catholics, so it's not as though religion is ignored. But if you read the article, it's clear that it was not "about" religion, i.e. it was not a "religious conflict" in the way that, say, the European wars of religion were. Scolaire (talk) 15:05, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
I disagree with Jxm and you too Scolaire. Thewolfchild has a point and regardless of what some sources used try to claim... religion was a major motivating factor for quite a lot of beatings and attacks. Hard to argue events like that of Kingsmills, the Rising Sun pub, and the Darkley Gospel Hall massacre weren't religiously motivated. Or the claims of the "ethnic-cleansing" of Protestants from the border areas. The fleeing of tens of thousands of Protestants from the west bank of Londonderry. The dubious claims that the IRA got involved in the first place to "protect Catholic areas". These are all sectarian and don't require disagreements over religious technicalities such as the Eucharist or biblical inerrancy or such to quantify a religious context. The lede could be altered as such: "ethno-nationalist" conflict with sectarian overtones. Mabuska (talk) 16:22, 10 March 2015 (UTC)


Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Christian terrorism (2nd nomination)‎ may be of interest - one of the main sections in the article affected concerns The Troubles. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 17:13, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Citations to other Wikipedia articles

There are a number of citations in this articles to other Wikipedia articles. The either need to be replaced with citations to reliable third party sources, or they ought to be moved into {{efn}} comments making it clear they are comment, because Wikipedia articles are not reliable sources, and using them in footnotes makes it looks as if some of the text is supported by citations to reliable sources when it is not. -- PBS (talk) 11:55, 13 July 2015 (UTC)


Mabuska, why do you describe Derry as republican rather than nationalist? Gob Lofa (talk) 15:46, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

As my edit summary said, why change republican to nationalist, but not change loyalist to unionist? Do you know what exact areas of Londonderry the picture is referring too? Is it the Fountain and Creggan? Is it Irish Street and the Brandywell? For all we know the flags are being flown from loyalist and republican areas or maybe unionist and nationalist areas. Just because Londonderry has always been a SDLP stronghold, doesn't mean that its not also a republican stronghold, as evidenced by the large amount of dissident IRA activity in the city this past few years. Mabuska (talk) 21:00, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
By that argument, one could also describe East Belfast as loyalist. This position is directly opposite one you took not long ago. Gob Lofa (talk) 21:09, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
Hardly and your attempt at convolution of previous arguments is ridiculous. The infobox makes it clear it is on about areas of the city, but doesn't make clear what areas. Is it the two halves of the city, the Bogside and Waterside, or smaller areas such as those as I highlighted above. For all intents and purposes we don't know where exactly in the city they are on about, so your East Belfast comparison makes a joke out of your argument. If you wish to have nationalist used, then by all means change loyalist to unionist and I won't revert you. Mabuska (talk) 21:19, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
To clarify that when I say "Just because Londonderry has always been a SDLP stronghold, doesn't mean that its not also a republican stronghold" - obviously not the whole city is, though specific parts are, and without a source to state what parts of the city are being referred too we can only guess. Mabuska (talk) 21:21, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
So you're guessing the area is republican, despite Derry's nationalists bucking the trend toward republicanism? Why? The photo's taken from the Fountain. Gob Lofa (talk) 13:03, 30 August 2015 (UTC)


I think my version is better. I have read Coogan's works and everything in my edits can be found in his works, except for the rather ugly triumphalism that has tarnished much of his later writings, especially those commissioned by Niall O'Dowd. Everything in my version is accurate unless you can prove otherwise and wholesale revert is inappropriate unless you can find factual errors. Quis separabit? 02:28, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Why do you say the term 'planter' was pejorative? Gob Lofa (talk) 02:32, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
The planters were planted by London for a reason and it's not a term of endearment. I know you know all of that. Quis separabit? 02:58, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
Source? Gob Lofa (talk) 14:57, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

List of books about the Troubles

The List of books about the Troubles has been nominated for deletion, you are asked to participate in the discussion. Thank you. IQ125 (talk) 11:50, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Against Northern Ireland

Mabuska, your wording is unclear. You might as well say that the French Resistance launched attacks "against France". My wording is clearer. Gob Lofa (talk) 22:46, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Recent edits

There is a contradiction between this edit summary and this one. Both the Red Hand Commando and the Official IRA were deadly, and both played a relatively small part over the thirty years of the Troubles. If the article is going to list only the main two loyalist groups, it should do the same for republican groups. Also, there is no point in removing "such as", only to later add in "the most predominant of which were". The second edit also says that the Official IRA was "supplanted" by the Provisionals. This is inaccurate. Two IRAs were formed in the 1970 split. One, which called itself the "Official" IRA – there was nothing official about it – ceased military activity in 1972, and the other did not. I am reverting to something like the status quo ante. Scolaire (talk) 12:20, 5 December 2015 (UTC)

Related AFD (2nd nomination) pending

Hard to believe only two editors (including nominator) had anything to say, during 1st nomination, which resulted in non admin closure due to lack of consensus, which is an intolerable and inexplicable outcome. See here. Quis separabit? 15:25, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

Questions about recent edits

  1. Did nationalists argue that the state was neither legitimate nor democratic, or that partition was neither legitimate nor democratic? They're not the same thing. One was changed to the other here but the citation was not changed. Which did Peter Taylor say? I'm inclined to think it was the former.
  2. Did civil rights campaigners call for reform of the Ulster Special Constabulary (B-Specials)? It says so here, but I'm pretty sure they called for it's disbandment, considering it incapable of reform. Again, a good citation would be useful.
Scolaire (talk) 15:00, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

Also, re this edit/edit summary: home rule meant an Irish parliament subordinate to Wesminster; repeal of the union meant an Irish parliament independent of Westminster answering only to the king/queen. It's nonsense to say that the larger measure of repeal would have led to the smaller measure of home rule. I will not revert because there have been a lot of threats bandied about over 1RR lately, but I believe it should be changed. Scolaire (talk) 15:06, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

None of these questions has been answered. Instead there has been more "rewording etc." which change the meaning of sentences while purporting to cite the same source. So, "alienated and radicalised" is not the same thing as "[led to an] upsurge in violence". The CAIN source for internment figures uses "Catholic / Republican", not "nationalist". And I see no reason not to mention that the Provos arose from the IRA split. There is also this edit suggesting that Protestants did not see the higher birth rate among Catholics as a threat because they knew that it was balanced by a higher emigration rate. I am reverting all recent edits until the editors engage. Scolaire (talk) 13:38, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

You're right, '"alienated and radicalised" is not the same thing as "[led to an] upsurge in violence".' - the upsurge in violence was not just from nationalists, as your edit implies. Why have you deleted the explanation for the Catholic proportion of the population remaining stagnant, and why do you imply in your comment above that Protestants knew about it and that it relaxed their fears? Why do you interpret a statement that the USC were part of the police as some demand of NICRA? Why do you ignore the Protestantism of some of the original internees? Why do you weasel about "allegations" of torture? Why do you repeat the derivation of both IRA wings? Why do you include Bloody Friday in a paragraph about the Officials, and break the chronology? Gob Lofa (talk) 22:56, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
First of all, it is nonsense to use phrases such as "as your edit implies" and "why do you ignore/weasel/repeat?". None of my edits added new content: they were all reverts. Secondly, it is not for the person reverting a controversial edit to justify their revert; it is for the person adding controversial content to justify the addition. And that necessarily includes citing reliable sources. It is not acceptable to alter a sentence to give a different point of view, and pretend that it is backed up by the reference that was already at the end of that sentence. I gave you an opportunity to justify your edits before I reverted and you declined to do so, making further questionable edits instead. Thirdly, the reasons for all my reverts were clearly spelled out in my edit summaries, which referred where appropriate to the discussion here.
Now, as regards the growth or non-growth of the Catholic population, I did not imply in my comment that Protestants knew about it and that it relaxed their fears, rather I complained that your edit implied it, when it said, "The prevalence of large families and a more rapid population growth among Catholics were seen as threats, even though this was offset by a higher emigration rate for Catholics until the 1950s." And where do you get your assertion that the Catholic proportion of the population remained stagnant? It was always my understanding that the Catholic population grew faster than the Protestant population during the entire period. Jonathan Tonge tells us that it rose from 35% in the 1960s to 45% in 2011. See, this is why I ask for reliable sources to back up any added content.
As regards the USC, again I did not "interpret a statement that the USC were part of the police as some demand of NICRA". The bulleted list gives the goals of NICRA and other organisations, and you edited it to say "reform of the police force (Royal Ulster Constabulary and Ulster Special Constabulary)". I disputed the contention that their goals specifically included reform of the B-Specials rather than their disbandment. Again, you have the option of providing a reliable source – if such a source exists, which I doubt.
Finally, please do not make edits such as this, where a convenient line break hides the other edits you made to the paragraphs. Or if you do, don't complain when somebody does a blanket revert rather than try to sift out the good edits from the bad. Scolaire (talk) 11:40, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
I wrote "higher emigration rate for Catholics until the 1950s." - why are you quoting statistics from the 1960s onwards? I didn't say NICRA sought reform of the USC, I mentioned that the USC were part of the police. Gob Lofa (talk) 12:07, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
Okay, I missed that "until the 1950s". But so will the reader, and the sentence still gives the misleading impression that Protestant fears of a growing Catholic population were groundless. And it's still unsourced. The "reform" phrase says "reform of the police force: Royal Ulster Constabulary and Ulster Special Constabulary". The use of brackets instead of a colon does nor change its meaning. It still specifically includes the Specials in the bodies that were to be "reformed", which is wrong. And it's still unsourced. Scolaire (talk) 12:20, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
Why do you believe the reader will miss the same things you do? Those fears were groundless, until the 1950s. Reform of the police doesn't preclude the disbandment of part of it. I don't believe sourcing will be an issue; insert cite requests where you believe they're appropriate. Gob Lofa (talk) 12:29, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
Adding templates is not necessary. You know where citations are needed and for what. If you do not add them, your edit will be reverted. Scolaire (talk) 12:33, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
Templates? I'll look for sources for the issues you've raised here; feel free to add other cite requests, it'll save you posting here. Gob Lofa (talk) 12:41, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
Yes, templates: specifically citation needed templates. You know all of my concerns regarding your edits. Every one of the "facts" that you added and I reverted – with a clear rationale and a request for sources – and you added back can, should and will be re-reverted unless it is sourced. Scolaire (talk) 12:50, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
I'll get to work on these so-called "facts". Gob Lofa (talk) 10:35, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

In this edit: 1) the citation added does not say that population growth rate was offset by emigration, 2) the citation added does not say that reform of the B-Specials was part of the NICRA demand for police reform, 3) a reference was added that "polity" is a word, but nobody denied that "polity" was a word, there's just a consensus not to use it, and 4) a number of other "facts" were added back without any attempt at referencing. Scolaire (talk) 14:03, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

1) - what do you think the higher birth rate was offset by? 2) - the citation doesn't need to say that because the edit doesn't say it. 3) - that's an unusual reading of that reference. 4) - care to point out any of these 'so-called facts', for example by appending citation requests, rather than being vague? Gob Lofa (talk) 14:11, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
1) Saying what we think something was caused by is original research. We don't do that here. If there isn't a reliable source somewhere that states the fact that you are trying to add, then you can't add it. That's policy. 2) The edit says that they wanted reform of the police including the B-Specials. Putting together the fact that they wanted reform of police and the fact that the police force officially included the Specials, in order to say that, is synthesis, which, as part of the No original research policy, is not allowed on Wikipedia. 3) There is a consensus that "polity" is pedantic language, and as such neither necessary or desirable. Just adding a citation where the word "polity" is used does not justify going against that consensus. 4) I spelled out my difficulties with your edits in the posts at the top of this thread. To this day, you have not deigned even to acknowledge my questions, much less try to answer them. It's not helpful to ask me to add tags to the article. Just read those posts, and my edit summaries when I reverted your edits singly, and you will see what needs to be discussed, what needs to be cited, and what can't just be added back without first getting a consensus here on the talk page. If you took the trouble to actually articulate what you think is wrong with wrong with the article and how you think those problems might be addressed, instead of edit-warring coupled with aggressive demands that I justify reverts that I have already justified, you might find me willing to discuss how the article might actually be improved. Scolaire (talk) 17:02, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
You didn't answer my question. Are you really saying that you've no problem saying that the higher Catholic population growth rate was offset, but you're unwilling to say what it was offset by without a source? Gob Lofa (talk) 17:33, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
I don't see the point of adding the information (conjecture?). The article as it stands makes a point: that fear of population growth among Catholics was a factor in unionists' attitude and behaviour towards them. This is consistent with the published sources. The edit seems to be trying to mitigate this in some way, but without actually saying so. Why? No, it wouldn't be true to say I have no problem saying that the higher Catholic population growth rate was offset by emigration, because I have no way of knowing whether or not it is actually the case (which is different from saying I have or don't have an alternative explanation). How do you know that it is the case? Where did you read it, or hear it? If there was a source where we could find the fact, then we could also see what conclusion the source drew from the fact. Failing that, it is wrong to make the bald statement in the absence of corroboration.
And please don't say "you didn't answer my question", when you still apparently haven't bothered your arse even reading my question. Scolaire (talk) 18:10, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
But you accept it was offset? I've counted four questions in a quick scan of your previous comments, not including your last; which one do you mean? Gob Lofa (talk) 19:48, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
No, I don't accept anything. This appears to be something you have just decided for yourself. That's not good enough for me. You could start by answering my very first question at the top of this thread. You keep reverting to that edit without explaining or attempting to justify it. Here is your most recent revert. Every single change made in that edit is controversial; every single one needs to be explained, discussed, properly cited and agreed. WP:BRD says, "Leave the article in the condition it was in before the Bold edit was made". Please leave the article as it is until you get a consensus for your edits. Scolaire (talk) 22:26, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
Probably nationalists argued all those things; I don't know what Taylor said they did. You're not seriously trying to tell me that a higher Catholic birth rate wasn't offset by something until the 1950s? If it wasn't, why did the Catholic proportion of the population decline? Either there wasn't a higher birth rate, or it was offset by something: you can't have it both ways. I also find it difficult to believe that you really consider removing a sentence about Bloody Friday from a paragraph about the Officials "controversial" and that it "needs to be explained, discussed, properly cited and agreed". Tone it down. Gob Lofa (talk) 22:38, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
"Probably nationalists argued all those things; I don't know what Taylor said they did." It's an honest answer, but it shows that you are arguing from a position of ignorance. Whoever originally wrote that sentence took the trouble to read Taylor's book and say what was in it. You can't just say "I'd like the sentence to say something else" and put in your own personal thoughts in a way that implies that what you have added was taken from the cited source. That's why we have WP:V, WP:RS and WP:NOR. The same goes for all your other tinkering. You cannot just say what you think, or what you like better; "you must be able to cite reliable, published sources that...directly support the material being presented." If it's not policy-compliant, it can, should and will be reverted.
As regards Official, Provisionals and Bloody Friday, since you have decided to explain and discuss it I will say that I have re-read those two paragraphs and I agree with you. The problem was that you made those changes in the same edit that you changed other things without justification, and so I reverted the whole edit. If you were to edit only to change the two paragraphs beginning "In 1972, the Provisional IRA killed..." and "The Official IRA killed..", I would not revert you. I would also agree with removing "emerged from a split..." from the paragraph before, but not with changing Moloney's "the nationalist community" to "nationalist communities". Scolaire (talk) 15:49, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
Aren't you arguing from a position of ignorance about what Taylor said? Disliking one part of an edit is no excuse for deleting all of it, that's just laziness. It's good that you've retreated from your earlier hyperbole but with more care these issues wouldn't arise. What nationalist community do you believe Moloney is referring to? Also, can you address the questions I asked about the Catholic birth rate in my last? Gob Lofa (talk) 16:52, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
1) No, I'm not arguing from a position of ignorance, because I'm not making a content argument, just a policy argument: changing cited text without knowing or apparently caring if the changed text is verifiable is wrong, full stop. 2) Wrong edits should and will be reverted, and there is no onus on the person reverting to sift out what may be good parts of the wrong edits. Calling it "laziness" is just being provocative. 3) I have retreated from nothing. Any of your disputed edits that you cannot explain and source may not be restored. Anything that you can justify and get agreement on can. 4) I have answered your questions about the Catholic birth rate more than once: it doesn't matter what I think or what you think. If it's not verifiable, it doesn't go in. I asked you some questions about it here, and you never answered them.
Now, this whole business of recycling the same bogus arguments and haranguing me about stuff that I didn't even say is verging on trolling. I have made my position crystal clear. Unless you have something new to say and you say it in a civilised way, I'm not going to continue with this any longer. Goodbye and happy editing. Scolaire (talk) 18:04, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
The usual tactics from Gob Lofa; ask loads of questions but refuse to answer any; keep asking the same questions over and over even when they have been repeatedly answered; and always refuse to provide reliable references. I agree with Scolaire, unless each contested edit is fully explained and reliably referenced, then it should be reverted. Snappy (talk) 20:48, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
I see. So because your revert is by your own admission wrong, you've no problem with me reverting it, right? You've certainly retreated from saying every part of the edit is controversial. You haven't answered any of my questions about the birth rate; have a look at my last. Which makes Snappy's 'more heat than light' interjection all the more Snappyish. Gob Lofa (talk) 23:28, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
As has been said your usual tactics. You mix known controversial edits with routine ones and expect other editors to sort between the two. You are running a long slow edit war for your rejected use of 'polities'. You are using misleading edit summaries. 'See talk' should mean that there has been an agreement here, not that you have just repeated an assertion of your opinion. You can work with other editors when you want to so please do it will make life easier for everyone. Edits which you know have disagreement should not be made without agreement on the talk page If you can't get it call an RfC. ----Snowded TALK 06:25, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
All of that applies to all of you. I'm not implying agreement by that edit summary, I'm pointing to where my arguments for it lie rather than trying to make them in the summary. The Officials weren't responsible for Bloody Friday so stop your controversial slow edit-warring to that effect. Gob Lofa (talk) 21:10, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Scolaire, you removed the bolded from the following: "The two sides' positions became strictly defined following this period. From a unionist perspective, Northern Ireland's nationalists were inherently disloyal and determined to force unionists into a united Ireland. This threat was seen as justifying preferential treatment of unionists in housing, employment and other fields. The prevalence of large families and a more rapid population growth among Catholics were seen as threats, even though this was offset by a higher emigration rate for Catholics until the 1950s.ref></ref"

As this sentence is describing attitudes in the decades immediately after partition, when the Protestant proportion of the population increased, can you explain why you removed it? Gob Lofa (talk) 22:02, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

I already did: because the CAIN page says nothing about emigration, therefore it fails WP:V. Don't pretend you won't told this already. Unless and until it is properly sourced it can't go in. And unless you bring something new to the discussion and stop being confrontational, I am not going to respond again. Certainly not to answer questions I have already answered. Scolaire (talk) 22:59, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
None of that sentence is now referenced, but that doesn't seem to bother you as much as me adding a reference for the fact that the population increase was offset. Why not remove the whole thing? I added information to a totally unreferenced sentence, part of which I referenced, but while removing the referenced information I added along with the unreferenced, you leave a whole pile of unreferenced material. Please stop. Gob Lofa (talk) 23:33, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
If you think the sentence should be removed, then go ahead. I am only concerned with reverting edits that are against policy. Adding content that purports to be referenced, when the content is not supported by the cited source, is against policy and does not improve the article. Scolaire (talk) 10:26, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
The offset was sourced. Gob Lofa (talk) 20:04, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
If it is not reliably or verifiably sourced then it shouldn't go in. Simple. Mabuska (talk) 22:10, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

First British troops

At what point in the Troubles were the British army first deployed, and what was their brief? Valetude (talk) 18:15, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

They were first deployed in Derry to restore order, after three days of fighting between nationalist rioters and police. It's in the August 1969 riots and aftermath section, fifth paragraph. Scolaire (talk) 22:47, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

Plan to Add Section, "Childhood."

I am a university student and will be examining the childhood of children during the Northern Ireland Conflict, or “The Troubles.” This was an extremely hostile time in a “Western” nation fairly late in the twentieth century making this issue already unique, however the history of the child experience is downplayed in Wikipedia. “The Troubles” page on Wikipedia features only some sentences about how their parents were often toxic due to stress and that teens consumed a high amount of alcohol. I plan on enhancing this page with a “Childhood” section under the history tab which would go into greater detail as this was a generation that grew up during a chaotic time and would go on to live in their country during peacetime. I plan to provide more information on the psychological impact on children from the violence, socioeconomic effects and issues, their general ideas of what was occurring in their country, the attacks that children were involved with, and details on their day-to-day lives. This is a preliminary list of sources and will be enhanced. Any suggestions are welcomed.


Browne, Brendan, and Clare Dwyer. “Navigating Risk: Understanding the Impact of the Conflict on Children and Young People in Northern Ireland.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 37, no. 9 (2014): 792-805, doi:

Cairns, Ed. Caught in Crossfire: Children and the Northern Ireland Conflict. Belfast: The Appletree Press Ltd, 1987. Google Scholar Edition.

Connolly, Paul, Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Tony Gallagher, and Paul Harris. “Addressing Diversity and Inclusion in the Early Years in Conflict-Affect Societies: A Case Study of the Media Initiative for Children- Northern Ireland.” International Journal of Early Years Education 14, no. 3 (2006): 263-278, doi:10.1080/09669760600880027.

Downes, Ciara, Elaine Harrison, David Curran, and Michele Kavanagh. “The Trauma Still Goes On…: The Multigenerational Legacy of Northern Ireland’s Conflict.” Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 18, no. 4 (2013): 583-603, doi: 10.1177/1359104512462548.

Goeke-Morey, Marcie C., E. Mark Cumming, Kathleen Ellis, Christine E. Merrilees, Alice C. Schermerhorn, Peter Shirlow, and Ed Cairns. “The Differential Impact on Children of Inter- and Intra-Community Violence in Northern Ireland.” Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology 15, no. 4 (2009): 367-383, doi:10.1080/10781910903088932.

Powell, Fred. “The Effect of the Northern Ireland Civil Conflict on Child Welfare.” International Social Work 23, no. 2 (1980): 25-32, doi:10.1177/002087288002300205. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lordofsharks (talkcontribs) 22:56, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I think this is excessive for an encyclopaedia article. The Syrian Civil War, Bosnian War, and even Boko Haram insurgency articles do not have sections on childhood, despite the fact that children have been systematically killed, abducted etc. in those conflicts. While the size of your bibliography gives the impression that the topic is notable (in Wikipedia terms), in fact it consists only of a not well known 1987 book and articles in specialised journals. To include it here would give too much prominence to a facet of the conflict that doesn't have widespread coverage in the sources. Have a read of Wikipedia:Undue weight and you will see what I mean. Scolaire (talk) 08:30, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes if there was going to be an article I think it should be on the subject of childhood and war not Northern Ireland. And my understanding is that the suicide rate in Northern Ireland was quite low by British standards during the Troubles and has only soared to a bit more than the Scottish rate since there has been peace there. And the ones committing suicide now are not ones that were born or brought up during the worst of the troubles but when they were starting on the peace process. So it sounds like it might be interesting to figure out exactly what is happening but I wouldn't jump unthinkingly on the ohh the trauma the trauma sort of thing to explain it. Dmcq (talk) 13:47, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
I like the proposal. The Troubles is one of the most studied conflicts in the world; I don't foresee any shortage of background material even for such a specific aspect of it. Gob Lofa (talk) 20:21, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
ATTN: @Lordofsharks -- as per @Scolaire and @Dmcq, I don't think it is appropriate. Wikipedia is not a doctoral thesis. It is not fair to single out one conflict and ignore all the others regarding childhood traumas related to same. The article will be subject to AFD if it POV-pushing. Quis separabit? 21:17, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Just to clarify: what Lordofsharks is proposing is not to create a new article but to create a new section in this article. Scolaire (talk) 22:06, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Interesting thesis subject and if it is picked up and published in various sources then it might be a section. Too much danger of original research at the moment ----Snowded TALK 22:07, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Lordofsharks, I like your plan, but I think you need more historical sources, and less psychology. I also think it may be more productive to add material about children to the existing text, rather than create a new section. And is there a specific incident which especially affected children, that you could add? Keep reading and finding more sources, and let's talk more about this in person. Cliomania (talk) 19:00, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

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A huge wodge of text has been added here. The editor concerned raised the question of adding the content here on the talk page, and was told by five different editors that it was excessive detail and not suitable for addition to an encyclopaedia article. I can't see any alternative but to revert. Scolaire (talk) 18:08, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

Scolaire, your concerns are heard but not accepted. I question these "five different editors" who believe that this addition would bring "excessive detail" to this encyclopaedic article. I do not believe that you should speak for other editors as you were the only one that brought up this specific issue. Other editors questioned if this was "point of view pushing" or have original research in which my addition features none. Removing information from a "C Level Article" is counter productive to an informative source such as Wikipedia and perhaps rather than simply deleting this information you could provide some specific problems with my submission rather than just stating that it has too much information. Lordofsharks (talk) 08:47, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
In addition to my objection, Dmcq said "I think it should be on the subject of childhood and war not Northern Ireland", Quis separabit said "I don't think it is appropriate. Wikipedia is not a doctoral thesis", Snowded said "Interesting thesis subject and if it is picked up and published in various sources then it might be a section" (emphasis added), and Cliomania said "it may be more productive to add material about children to the existing text, rather than create a new section", by which, I would guess, she did not mean "add the equivalent of a small article but don't give it a section heading".
So, to my specific problems. Your edit added 1,000 words to a section that previously only had 300 words, and 200 words to another section that previously only had 200 words, all on the basis of six journal articles out of all the countless books and articles that have been written about the Troubles. It made those two sections completely unbalanced. The social repercussions of the conflict are not "all about the children", and the Casualties section is not meant for a discussion of Dr. Sarah McDowell's "hierarchies of victimhood". As Snowded said, this is not a doctoral thesis, and neither is it a showcase for the work of doctoral students. If you could present the "take-home message" of your sandbox page in 100 words maximum, I believe it would be a useful addition to the article, but it is up to you to do the editing down. Trying to re-add massive blocks of text will only result in the edit being reverted again. Scolaire (talk) 11:19, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
I find your summary of that discussion wanting, Scolaire. Gob Lofa (talk) 11:42, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
Scolaire, could you not try editing the text contributed, rather than removing it wholesale? You might disagree with the length or weight of the entry, but suggesting that all of it is unworthy of inclusion seems to go against the spirit of Wikipedia. I believe all editors are encouraged not to bite the newbies. The alternative to reverting is to make constructive suggestions about what you think is really wrong with LordofSharks's contribution, besides saying that the literature on children's experiences in this conflict pales in comparison to the massive literature on the conflict as a whole. Is undue weight the only issue here? I don't think you can argue that the conflict didn't have a demonstrable effect on the education system, for example. These effects are documented in sources that are NOT dissertations, but books and published articles in reliable academic journals. Cliomania (talk) 23:01, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
1) I haven't said that it is "unworthy" of inclusion, only that the addition of a 1,000-word block of text unbalances the article and places diproportionate emphasis on something that is not a key element of the conflict. 2) I am not biting any newbie. I and others advised him two months ago that what he was proposing was excessive, and I have simply stated here that since he ignored that advice I could see no alternative but to revert. 3) It is not up to me to edit down the text. It is up to those who want content added to add it in an encyclopaedic way. You could do it yourself instead of instructing me to do it. This, for instance, was a good edit of the Casualties section. 4) I have suggested what might be done: that if Lordofsharks (or you) could present the "take-home message" of his sandbox page in 100 words maximum, it would be a useful addition to the article. So now, can we stop the criticism of my behaviour and start talking about the content? Scolaire (talk) 07:26, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I have to agree with Scolaire's concerns over the edit. Due weight must be given as well as a balanced approach. If it could be summarised adequately then I see no further issues. Mabuska (talk) 22:17, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

Breach of NPOV in infobox

The first source cited is very clear on this;

Even with almost 40 years of hindsight there is no absolute agreement on the date of the start of the recent violent conflict in Northern Ireland. A number of dates have been used by different writers: the Civil Rights March in Derry - 5 October 1968; the beginning of the 'Battle of the Bogside' - 12 August 1969; the Deployment of British Troops - 14 August 1969; or the re-emergence of the UVF in 1966

The lede reads "The conflict began in the late 1960s" and The Troubles#Late 1960s reads "There is little agreement on the exact date of the start of the Troubles. Different writers have suggested different dates. These include the formation of the modern Ulster Volunteer Force in 1966,[54] the civil rights march in Derry on 5 October 1968, the beginning of the 'Battle of the Bogside' on 12 August 1969 or the deployment of British troops on 14 August 1969". So why is the infobox contradicting both of those and the first source cited?DanceHallCrasher (talk) 16:43, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

Since the editor changing it has failed to reply here and admitted "69 is also fairly common" then it is a breach of NPOV to simply state 1968, and it contradicts the lede and the main body of the article. I do not see what the problem with "Late 1960s" is, since it covers all the bases without picking a favourite.DanceHallCrasher (talk) 18:12, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

Dates next to organisations in infobox

I, like other editors before me, have removed the attempt to add these to the infobox by Gateshead001. It is not clear to the reader exactly what they signify. In fact it is not clear to me, and I am relatively knowledgeable about the subject.

For example "Continuity IRA(1994–)" would suggest the date refers to the date the organisation was active from, and to were there an end date. It cannot refer to the date the organisation existed from, since the Continuity IRA were formed in 1986.

But then we have "Ulster Resistance (UR)(1986–)", when Ulster Resistance's known activity is involvement in a joint arms importation in the 1980s. The Continuity IRA were busy acquiring materiel before 1994, so if UR are classed as active then why not the CIRA? Where is the evidence for continued, or indeed any, activity by UR? Other than a brief media appearance by people who "claim they are members of Ulster Resistance" (source's words) in 2007 there is no indication of activity, or indeed existence.

Similarly the LVF. While they nominally still exist simply as a criminal organisation according to reports, this article insists their activity is ongoing while the corresponding article says they have been on ceasefire since 2005 and their last known activity was carried out in 2001.

The Real IRA claimed (1997-), when 1997 is when the organisation was formed, their first attacks took place in 1998. Using the previous organisations as an example, we are talking about dates of activity not dates of existence. But if that was the case, why would the organisations ceasefire from late 1998 to early 2000 not be mentioned?

The UDA is also troublesome, since in 2001 their ceasefire ceased to be recognised. Obviously this does not change that they claim to have been on ceasefire since 1994 (for most of the time, but the date shown in the infobox is misleading. The same applies to multiple other organisations. The dates are unclear, incomplete and in some cases unsourced, I am removing them.DanceHallCrasher (talk) 17:48, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

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Serious Bias and partisanship - Terrorist

It seems that some people have been quite busy making sure that the deaths due to loyalist activity are not described as terrorist activity but those killed by republicans are labeled such. This deserves attention due to NPOV. An example of this is the Miami Showband massacre - one of the worst incidents during the 3 decades of violence is not even described as such. — Preceding unsigned comment added by K Danc1213 (talkcontribs) 20:54, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

Eh, no. Deaths due to republican activity are not labelled terrorist. The term is avoided altogether. There's a guideline on that but I don't remember its name. Scolaire (talk) 18:24, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes it is better to try and avoid the term, see WP:LABEL. Otherwise I'm sure we'd have trolls calling the people involved in the American War of Independence terrorists for instance. Dmcq (talk) 19:49, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
I've checked the article. The word "terrorist" is only used twice, both in reference to loyalists. "Terror" is used once, of the Military Reaction Force, a covert British security unit. "Terrorism" is used only in the link to the Terrorism portal. No uses of any such words have been removed since the original poster posted his comment. --Nicknack009 (talk) 20:05, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Major +Cat renaming request

See here. IQ125 (talk) 10:57, 21 January 2017 (UTC)

Edits by Alfie Gandon

User continues to include the sentence "political campaign to end discrimination against the Catholic and nationalist minority by the Protestant/unionist government and police force in 1968". I don't object to the entire line -- however much it is beating a dead horse -- but the words "and police force" is unduly POV and frankly inaccurate. There was no discrimination against Catholic membership in the RUC, and Gandon facilely includes it as though the claim were an accepted fact, which it is not. References to nationalist claims against the RUC have not been under-detailed; for instance, in the NICRA manifesto, it clearly cites one goal as "reform of the police force (Royal Ulster Constabulary) – it was over 90% Protestant and criticised for sectarianism and police brutality", which is covered in depth in the body of the article and does not need hyperbolic factoids strewn about which destabilize the hard-fought battle to keep the article as NPOV as possible. Quis separabit? 15:13, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

Of course there was discrimination against Catholics in the RUC; they said it themselves: [1] Alfie Gandon (talk) 15:17, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
I am referring to discrimination in recruitment or being hired/permitted to join. Before 1968 there were more Catholic constables than after (including the fathers of Mark Durkan, Francie Coulter, and Marilla Ness). Almost all the incidents cited here occurred after 1968, and long after NICRA ceased to the crucible of the Troubles with body counts rising and tensions boiling over. I am not justifying anything but, timewise, almost all of the incidents cited in the Independent came after the violence erupted in earnest, not before nor at the time when NICRA was composing its manifesto. Quis separabit? 15:26, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
I'm finding it difficult to follow your reasoning. Alfie Gandon (talk) 00:18, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
How is it suggesting such a thing?Apollo The Logician (talk) 13:44, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

The sentence in question is "The conflict became a matter of global attention amid a Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association political campaign to end discrimination against the Catholic and nationalist minority by the Protestant/unionist government and police force in 1968." I wouldn't read that as saying that there was discrimination against Catholics in regard to membership of or recruitment to the police force, but rather that there was a difference in the treatment of Catholics and Protestants (or nationalists and unionists) by the police force (for instance, the treatment of the march of 5 October 1968). Does it need to be there? Well, certainly "discrimination against the Catholic and nationalist minority" needs to be followed by "by somebody". Leaving out who the discrimination was by isn't a matter of NPOV, it's a failure to state the salient facts. Should the "by" clause include the RUC? I'm not bothered either way, but if it's covered in depth in the body of the article there seems to be little reason not to. Could the police bit be re-worded so that it's clear what is actually being said? It's something you might think about.
Also, I don't see the usefulness of adding "in part due to Catholic reluctance to join" to the paragraph about the RUC: if a force is perceived as being hostile towards the minority, then of course the minority is going to be reluctant to join. Adding that parenthetical comment is in effect saying "it was partly their own fault", whaich is certainly not NPOV. Scolaire (talk) 17:02, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

Opening Line

"The Troubles (Irish: Na Trioblóidí) is the common name for the ethno-nationalist[11][12][13][14] conflict " I take issue with this classification of the conflict as the INLA was not just ethno-nationalist but Marxist. It attempted to achieve not just a united Ireland but a Marxist Ireland. Apollo The Logician (talk) 12:44, 21 January 2017 (UTC)

They were a minor group in the Troubles. Dmcq (talk) 08:56, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
Still, it is worth a mention Apollo The Logician (talk) 10:49, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
In their own article, sure. In the lede of this article? No. BastunĖġáḍβáś₮ŭŃ! 20:13, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
Concur with Bastun's assessment. Finnegas (talk) 22:20, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
Concur with Bastun. The article is good IMO and adding data on every small political/paramilitary organisation (and there were many between 1969 and 1990) would wreck the flow. Wikimucker (talk) 13:18, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

RUC and "police brutality"

RE: @Scolaire
@Alfie Gandon
"Undid revision 766186996 by it was criticised by the Cameron Commission, among others, for brutality, not for being 'prone' to brutality"──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think, first of all, that certain editors need to remember that we are talking about the criticisms made in 1968 not later. If we are going to purport to cite the Cameron Commission Report, not once does it mention the term "brutality" or "police brutality". Therefore rewording for NPOV is required here, IMO. References to what is described as RUC misconduct or failing are worded thusly:

One very unfortunate consequence of these breaches of discipline. which occurred in predominantly Catholic areas of Londonderry and were directed against Catholic persons and property, was to add weight to the feeling which undoubtedly exists among a certain proportion of the Catholic community, that the police are biased in their conduct against Catholic demonstrations and demonstrators. Thus it is said that when the police have to interpose themselves between Unionist demonstrators on the one hand and a similar body of Catholic or Civil Rights demonstrators on the other, they invariably face the latter and have their backs to the former. The corollary is that if stones or other missiles are thrown from the Unionist crowd the police do not see who is responsible while they concentrate their attention against the non-Unionists. The fact is undoubted; the reason given for it - that Unionists being loyalists do not attack the police - is not accepted as satisfactory or a sufficient reply to the charge of partisan bias. This complaint however is not confined to the events under investigation but is one of general application and long standing. What in our opinion is perhaps more unfortunate is the criticism, which has been made and which these events illustrate at more than one point, e.g., especially at Dungannon on 23rd November and 4th December, at Antrim on 2nd January, and at Burntollet Bridge and Irish Street, Londonderry, on 4th January, that the police did not take early and energetic action to disperse growing concentrations of persons who were obviously hostile to the Civil Rights demonstrations and were at least likely to resort to violence against them. On the face of the evidence there appears to us force in the criticism. On the other hand the police pointed out that these people are committing no offence which would justify police intervention nor were they carrying arms. In addition, such bodies were usually composed of persons to whom the appellation ‘loyalist’ was applied and it is easy to appreciate the difficulty which would face any police officer in attempting to disperse or move on’ individuals or groups of such persons whose conduct at the time was in no sense technically obnoxious to the law. Further, and this is a point of substance, the less police action could be regarded as provocative or likely to lead to dispute or conflict with members of the public the better the chance that the peace might be preserved without a display or use of force by the police. But, there is again no doubt that the appearance of things led many of the Civil Rights demonstrators to infer that the police were not disposed to be unduly solicitous for their safety or protection against missile and other attack from counter demonstrators, who had been permitted under the eyes of the police to concentrate themselves and so be in readiness to attack demonstrations or marches. This inference again did nothing to lower the temperature or to increase confidence among Civil Rights supporters in the impartiality of the police in dealing with these events and their participants. In the case of the Burntollet ambush there were even suspicions - wholly unjustified - among certain of the marchers that they had been led into a trap by the police themselves. Such a suspicion, baseless and indeed ridiculous as it is, could never have arisen at all if there had been such general confidence in police impartiality throughout the community as one would hope and expect to exist. It is not as if the R.U.C. was recruited wholly or exclusively from among members of one religious faith, because in the course of our Enquiry we had occasion to note the extent to which the RUC. had Roman Catholics within its ranks...

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── If you are going to use the Cameron Commission as a source then the letter and the spirit of its criticisms of the RUC must be upheld, otherwise there is no difference between the Cameron Commission and An Poblacht.────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

In addition we find that there was unauthorised and irregular use of batons by certain unidentified policemen in the Duke Street cordon at a very early stage of the confrontation between police and demonstrators. We also find that their use was at that stage not warranted by the circumstances. It was at this time - very early in the proceedings - that Mr. Fitt, M.P., and Mr. McAteer were struck by police batons. The baton charge which followed the speeches by leaders of the demonstration, took place after advice to disperse had been given, and while in fact a large proportion of the demonstrators were in the act of dispersal. The charge itself was ill-controlled and degenerated into a series of individual scuffles. We have to record that, as indeed was admitted by the senior police officer present, there seems to have been neither reason nor excuse for the indiscriminate use of water cannon on pedestrians on the Craigavon Bridge. While we make these criticisms we do not omit to recall that the demonstration itself was not well organised or stewarded and that there were certainly a small element in the crowd in the lead, mostly of youths from outside Londonderry - members of the Young Socialists Alliance - who were quite prepared to provoke and initiate Violence. We are of opinion however that it was plain, and should have been plain to the police officers in charge at the time, that they were in a small minority and could readily have been dealt with and dispersed once the major part of the demonstrators had melted away. Further, although certain I.R.A. members were identified among the crowd and among the stewards, there was no evidence available to the police that they intended or were likely to provoke a riot or stir up violence in the demonstration. ... One consequence of the unfortunate events of 5th October in Londonderry was injury to the reputation of the R.U.C. and the measure of confidence and support which they enjoyed in Northern Ireland. Subsequent police handling of events in Londonderry and elsewhere showed much greater skill and discretion in the disposition and use of available police forces. The R.U.C. in Londonderry had a most difficult task to perform in the maintenance of law and order, and in the control and repression of outbreaks of violence and riotous conduct which came from mainly youthful and hooligan elements. These elements were actuated not by political faith or motives, but were ready at any time to take advantage of a situation of tension to cause disorder and riot. However we have no doubt that inflammatory speeches and actions by extremists on both sides incidentally, if not deliberately, incited such disorderly element to violence and attacks on the police. ... The battering ram pressure of a crowd with linked arms to breach a physical barrier in the shape of a cordon of police is in its way just as much the use of force to achieve an object as the use of batons by police to achieve the dispersal of a hostile and recalcitrant crowd.

Quis separabit? 14:53, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Your idea of NPOV is strange: it seems to consist of saying that, yes, the police beat people, but on the other hand, some of the people they beat were violent people too. Quite why you included the lengthy bit that offered an explanation for the police not taking action against loyalist thugs at Burntollet I'm not sure – it certainly doesn't make their clubbing of peaceful protesters in Derry seem any less reprehensible. The bits that are worth bolding are "breaches of discipline. which occurred in predominantly Catholic areas of Londonderry and were directed against Catholic persons and property", "unauthorised and irregular use of batons", and "neither reason nor excuse for the indiscriminate use of water cannon on pedestrians on the Craigavon Bridge." A person does not have to use the word "brutality" to criticise brutality. But if you want citations to secondary sources, there's Paul Dixon: "an estimated 400–600 marchers defied the ban and were brutally attacked by the police"; and Richard English: "'the march was trapped between two cordons of police in Duke Street and batoned into disarray.' State brutality was here evident internationally." As far as I'm aware, neither of these authors has written for An Phoblacht. Scolaire (talk) 18:29, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Religious component

Is there any sort of consensus as to the role played by religion among historians? Neither of the quotes from sources 11 and 29 seem to claim nor confirm that the Troubles were "not a religious conflict." To my eye they appear to be saying that religion was not the only factor at play - trumped by political and ethnic concerns - not that religion did not play a role. The dividing line for many events was explicitly between Catholics/Protestants. The way this is currently phrased in the header may potentially mislead people about this religious component.Cestsibun (talk) 05:14, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

The quote in reference 29 says, "It should, I think, be apparent that the Northern Irish conflict is not a religious conflict". It doesn't get more unambiguous than that. And reference 11 says "that religion is an ethnic marker, but that it is not generally politically relevant in and of itself." That is, "Catholic" was used as shorthand for those who believed in a united Ireland, and "Protestants" for those who wanted to maintain the union with Great Britain, but the conflict was not in any way about religion. People were not fighting about papal authority or justification by faith alone, which would have been the case in the religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries. This is adequately summarised in the lead when it says, "It also had an ethnic or sectarian dimension, although it was not a religious conflict." It may be, though, that it could be brought out better in the article body. Scolaire (talk) 08:53, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
I agree with you that the root causes of the violence seemed to have little to do with religion, so it is important to draw a distinction from European holy wars where religion was a primary focus. But can't religion still play a role without becoming the driving force? The fact that religion could be used so clearly and effectively as shorthand is problematic and shows that it at least had something to do with the conflict - if only to better facilitate sectarianism. I think there is some potential confusion for readers seeing "this is not a religious conflict" in the intro and continuing reading down the page how, for example, in Kingsmill gunmen asked for Catholics to identify themselves, and then killed the Protestants, and other religious rhetoric coming from both sides over the course of the conflict. So basically in the first line we establish that political factors were most important, which I think is fair, but I think it is potentially misleading the way religion is excluded outright. I'm just suggesting listing it with ethnicity and sectarianism as having a "religious dimension." Something like "It also had ethnic, sectarian, and religious dimensions."Cestsibun (talk) 02:21, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
No, see, the targeting of people based on what religion they are is sectarianism. So when the lead says it had a "sectarian dimension" it refers to the strife between Protestants and Catholics. To say "sectarian and religious dimensions" would be to say that there was conflict between religions and also over religion, which we agree was not the case. Having read it again, however, through your eyes as it were, I agree that it is not clear. It might be a good idea to expand it to say something like, "It also had an ethnic or sectarian dimension: on the one hand, the descendants of English and Scottish settlers who were Protestant and unionist; and on the other, the descendants of the native Irish who were Catholic and nationalist. It was not, however, a religious conflict.". Scolaire (talk) 12:34, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
Religion was and still is the biggest factor to the divisions in Northern Ireland. Mabuska (talk) 13:05, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
So whether a person believed in a 32-county Irish Republic, even whether he believed in achieving that by violence, was less important than whether he believed in transubstantiation? Why was Ronnie Bunting killed, then, if he was on the right side? Where are the pronouncements on religion in the demands of the Civil Rights Association? In IRA statements? In Ulster Unionist manifestos? Or I could just go all Wikipedia on you and ask, what are your sources? Scolaire (talk) 15:43, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
My humble personal opinion, which I must vent, is that the violence was stoked by mistrust, apprehension, and hatred between Catholics and Protestants. There main person whose activities are largely responsible for that was Michael Collins. Although beloved by lowlifes like Tim Pat Coogan and idiots like Neil Jordan and hypocrites like William John Neeson OBE (aka Irish-American Liam Neeson), Collins's subversive and counterintelligence tactics were successful enough to garner him the first lasting Irish victory against Britain in centuries (albeit only partially, which cost him hos own life, which makes me happy) but those same tactics necessarily and logically created suspicion in Unionists that nationalists and Catholics were inherently disloyal and/or subversive. Hundreds of thousands of nationalist had volunteered for war service and the RIC was 90% Catholic and loyal, a price for which many of its members would made a gruesomely high price during the Anglo-Irish War, triggered by the December 1918 elections in which Sinn Fein murdered the Irish Parliamentary Party, but still only had the support of 48% of the population. Later, even war service did not guarantee loyalty. Some decorated veterans, including a WWI Victoria Cross holder (surnamed Dillon, I believe) -- had become radicalised and joined the IRA upon their return home and being demobbed (including Tom Barry; Emmet Dalton; Reg Dunne/Joseph O'Sullivan who were hanged for Sir Henry Wilson's murder; etc).──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── NO, I am not suggesting Collins was a religious bigot or ever made a religiously bigoted comment in his life (although I can't swear either way). GB Shaw and Robert Barton, among others, may have imagined themselves his friends, but self-delusion is universal. Collins' spies, moles, assassins, bank robbers, etc were virtually all Catholics. Brits and Protestants are accused of being ignorant of Irish history. On the contrary, I think they understand it, at least the bullet points (no pun intended), well-enough. I have felt this way for a long time but if anyone can prove me wrong I's appreciate it so I can move on myself. Quis separabit? 16:55, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
I don't think that sectarianism implies a specifically religious divide, so we should be careful not to conflate the two. I definitely prefer that version, but I'm still not sure why a religious dimension should not be included. I also don't agree that acknowledging a religious dimension is equivalent to saying that this was a conflict over religion. It does not need to be a doctrinal or papal dispute for religion to play a role. The fact that the conflicting sides could be divided relatively coherently between religious groups confirms that there is a relevant religious aspect, and I've found a few sources that speak to this "nuanced role," for example Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. As it is currently written we find a somewhat unclear and incongruous article: one that in the opening denies or fails to recognize a religious component and just a few lines later states that people who were mostly Catholic were pitted against people who were mostly Protestant. Some readers, like myself, may feel this smacks of religious apologism. I think the scope of this division merits recognition, and that we call it out specifically as a "religious dimension" or some similar variation.Cestsibun (talk) 21:44, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
It is often called either a religion or secterian divide here. Both terms are used synonymously. Oh religion was a big factor. Look at the IRA atrocities at Darkley, Tullyvallen and Kingsmills... all directed against Protestants. A church of all places! How sectarian can you be? Mabuska (talk) 02:49, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
Sources Scolaire? Every day living in the country in question. The Troubles were fuelled by two things... religion and political ideaology/fantasy. Ethnic background such as Planter versus Gael has very little substance and was used as an excuse by idiots and apologists to justify terrorism and brutality but had little real relevance once you scratched the surface. How many Sinn Fein party members have planter names? Quite a lot. Every day I see people who have planter surnames but are Catholic and nationalist and people with Gaelic surnames who are Protestant and British. Every day I see children of mixed marriages whose political views, football teams, and other community stereotypes that are formed by the school they go to, I.e. Catholic controlled or Protestant state schools. If they went to the other their views would be the exact opposite. Religion is and always will be the biggest factor in determining what the political views and ideaology of most people here. Deny it all you want Scolaire in a vain attempt at trying to justify it but its the truth. Mabuska (talk) 17:32, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
"How many Sinn Fein party members have planter names? Quite a lot." -- I always wondered about that. Including volunteers and civilian supporters, I was always amazed by such (20th century) surnames as Livingstone (although I emailed Robin Livingstone once and he emailed me after I contacted him that his paternal grandfather was born to a mixed couple but raised by Catholic aunts in the Falls Road), Sands (Bobby Sands' paternal grandfather was a Protestant apparently), Graham (descended from Wolfe Tone-era Protestant nationalist Watty Graham), Crawford (apparently radicalised after father's murder), Copeland (apparently radicalised after father's murder), Leonard (Billy Leonard former RUC married Catholic republican and joined Sinn Féin, but later left), Nelson (Rosemary Magee Nelson's husband just has to be Catholic), not to mention such surnames as Montgomery, Price, Lochrie, Saunders, Best, Groves, Hazzard, Kent, Green(e), Osbo(u)rne, Savage, Roberts, Newell, Steenson, Lyttle, Marks, Henderson, Harris/Harrison, Morrison, Sutherland, Miller/Millar, Elliott, Wright, Carson, James, Stewart, Eastwood, Steele, Watt, Vernon, Evans, Hunter, Hardy, Andrews, Robinson, and even Marlow (!!) and even Turnbull (!!) and even Bleakley (!!). I think it is mostly due to intermarriage. Sorry but I just can't be bothered to alphabetise them. Quis separabit? 01:07, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────(updated further by Quis separabit? 02:37, 19 March 2017 (UTC))
Most often mixed marriages, though with a mix of British Catholics and Irish converts to Protestantism. The biggest refute of the ethnic component are the arch anti-Irish bigots Gregory Campbell and Nelson McCauslan. Both names derive from Gaelic, with Campbell both a distinct Irish and Scottish Gaelic surname. Don't forget Shinners like Dillon, Milne, Cooper, de Bruin, Fleming, Jackson and many more. Heck the Catholic/nationalist strongholds of Moyle and Strabane are only so because of Scottish Catholics (Hebridean and Highlander) brought over in the Plantation of Ulster. Mabuska (talk) 02:46, 26 February 2017 (UTC)──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Campbell is Scottish. Dillon is Irish. De Brún = Brown (can be anything). Some branches of the McCausland family are Catholic due to late 19th century or early 20th century conversion. (Look up late Marcus McCausland, murdered by republicans.) Don't know about Fleming or Jackson, except that people from both religions carry those surnames. , particularly the former. In Australia, Costello and McMahon were Protestant politicians; while Nelson, Pyne, and Calwell are/were Catholics. Quis separabit? 02:53, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
Dillon, Fleming, Costello are from the Normans. They aren't Gael or Planters which screws up the apologist idiot argument. Campbell is Irish and Scottish. Mabuska (talk) 13:45, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
@Mabuska: "... which screws up the apologist idiot argument." -- don't understand this reference. Quis separabit? 00:01, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
The argument of the apologists is idiotic. Mabuska (talk) 12:29, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
@Mabuska: "Campbell is Irish and Scottish." -- see Campbell (surname) Quis separabit? 00:03, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
Did you click on that bolded link in the introduction? The Mac Cathmhaoil one? What is an Anglicisation of that distinct non-Scottish Irish name? Mabuska (talk) 12:29, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

Comprise versus compose

Doesn't comprise mean "consists of" and compose means "to make up"? So, for example: 23 districts compose the entirety and the entirety comprises 23 districts. (talk) 07:52, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

Since there seems to be endless disagreement about comprise/compose/consist I'm going to change it to "make up". Thanks for suggesting the wording. Scolaire (talk) 11:39, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

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Lead sentence

"This protest campaign was met with violence by loyalists who viewed it as a republican stalking horse." Would it not be more appropriate to use the word "Unionist" in place of "loyalist" and "force" in place of "violence" in this sentence as it was initially the Stormont Government, that used force to try to contain the street demonstrations. -- PBS (talk) 13:02, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

A tricky one to try and summarise in a sentence in the lead, PBS. Certainly, there was loyalist violence, as it says in the article: "Loyalists (especially members of the UPV) attacked some of the marches and held counter-demonstrations in a bid to get the marches banned"; "At Burntollet Bridge the marchers were attacked by about 200 loyalists, including some off-duty police officers, armed with iron bars, bricks and bottles in a pre-planned ambush"; "the RUC, backed by loyalists, tried to storm the Bogside." It could be argued that the Stormont government, per se, did not use force, that it only banned marches. The RUC (police) used force/violence officially (batonning the October 1968 march), unofficially (the night-time incursion into the Bogside in January 1969), and semi-officially (the April 1969 raid in which Samuel Devenny was beaten, the aforementioned "storming" of the Bogside in August 1969 together with a loyalist mob). If you can get all that into a pithy sentence in the lead, then by all means do so. Scolaire (talk) 11:45, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
The problem stems from the next sentence: "This eventually led to the deployment of British troops, initially to support the police and protect Catholic civilians, and subsequent warfare over the next three decades". This sentence in itself is problematic, but the two sentences juxtaposed carries the implication that the Stormont Government was a neutral actor in the events. Part of the reason for deploying troops was precisely because the security forces of Northern Ireland were not perceived as neutral in Westminster, it seen was not primarily as few rotten apples in system, but a systemic social problem, not just confined to the security forces. That may or may not have been true, but both Westminster, and more so Dublin, saw it that way. These two sentences in the lead are therefore misleading. -- PBS (talk) 12:12, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
I think the government aspect is covered adequately by the first sentences in that paragraph and we're much better off not sticking the government aspect yet again into the sentence aboout the loyalist reaction to the marches. Dmcq (talk) 12:20, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
PBS, as I say, you're welcome to propose an improved wording that more clearly describes the situation (just changing "met with violence by loyalists" to "met with force by unionists" wouldn't do that). The lead in general is woefully inadequate. It deals with the origins of the conflict in 55 words and the subsequent 30 years in seven! It's been tweaked often enough down the years, but it needs some serious hard work to improve it. Scolaire (talk) 15:03, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
Looking at that second sentence again, "to support the police and protect Catholic civilians" is very badly phrased indeed. It suggests that the army was supporting the police, who in turn were protecting Catholics, when in fact the opposite is true. Officially, the troops were deployed "to aid the civil authorities"; in fact they were deployed to get between the police and the civilians. I would favour re-writing that. Scolaire (talk) 16:53, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
Agree with that about the second sentence okay, but I think overall the lead is about the right size for the article. It doesn't have to go into everything. Dmcq (talk) 18:24, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
The sentence does seem a little one-sided, suggesting that republicans protested peacefully whilst unionists used violence, when the body of the article (and other sources) explain that the origins are more complex. Certes (talk) 11:20, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

PBS, can you look at my recent edits (only three months later!) and see if you think it better describes the events? Scolaire (talk) 17:06, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

Your positioning of The emergence of armed paramilitary organisations led to the subsequent warfare over the next three decades. at the very end implies they only appeared after all that preceeds it. Maybe we could balance the lede by stating that the NICRA was founded by republicans (in the guise of the Wolfe Tone Society) as a tool to undermine the state (even though they lost control of it to people who actually cared about civil rights). The fact sectarianism as a factor is not stated at the start alongside "ethno-nationalist" despite the selective sources used in the second paragraph of the lede is something that needs addressed. Sectarianism played as much a role as "ethno-nationalism". But sure things like the Darkley Gospel Hall and Kingsmill massacres were about ethno-nationalism not religion or that republican Brendan Hughes stated that sectarianism was "destroying the whole struggle" amongst other things. Mabuska (talk) 22:29, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
It is a fact that at the time of the deployment of troops in Derry in August 1969 there had been no significant action by armed paramilitary organisations, i.e. no shootings or bombings, and that their subsequent appearance marked the beginning of warfare. That sentence doesn't imply anything, and isn't intended to imply anything. The Wolfe Tone Society is a straw man. --Scolaire (talk) 09:11, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
Now your changing the argument stating "no significant action" before this period because the statement in the article is wrong. And yes it does imply it. trawman? No. Trying to balance the lede a bit considering its bias to one side, yes. Mabuska (talk) 13:21, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
I think the edit has resulted in a better summary. -- PBS (talk) 09:18, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
I agree the change more accurately reflects the source and reality. However the troops were officially deployed to support he RUC even if relations were a bit strained and this support did lead in a large measure to nationalists turning against them. SO I'd put back something about in support of the RUC, even though the original hope in Britain was a bit more nuanced that was how the official line went and it is how they were used. Dmcq (talk) 13:36, 20 October 2017 (UTC)