News reports that the Provisional Irish Republican Army has made a public apology for the non-combatant deaths it caused in its war against the British occupation of the northern six counties of Ireland failed to note a salient part of the the IRA statement which follows: .
“There have been fatalities amongst combatants on all sides. We also acknowledge the grief and pain of their relatives.
“The future will not be found in denying collective failures and mistakes or closing minds and hearts to the plight of those who have been hurt. That includes all of the victims of the conflict, combatants and non-combatants.
“It will not be achieved by creating a hierarchy of victims in which some are deemed more or less worthy than others.
“The process of conflict resolution requires the equal acknowledgement of the grief and loss of others. On this anniversary, we are endeavoring to fulfill this responsibility to those we have hurt.”
It should not be forgotten that the British armed forces and their allies in occupied Ireland killed six times as many civilian non-combatants as the IRA. The details can be found in “An Index of Death from the CONFLICT IN IRELAND 1969-1993 by Malcolm Sutton published by Beyond the Pale Publications, Belfast, 1994.
Certainly, sincere regrets are now due from the British side for the horrors they inflicted on Ireland and rest of the world during 800 years of brutal occupation and repression in the name of religion, “civilization,” and colonization.