Would it have changed the course of events in NI?

Christmas can be slow enough and, as the turkey emulsifies into excess fat to be sweated off in the gym after New Year’s resolutions, you turn to thinking about the events of the ending year and, in my case, that means checking out old news stories as I toss the trash from my email box.

And so I came upon this…. story from the BBC:BBC Picture Stormont discussed Paisley arrest which says:-

Secret Public Record Office files from 1977 show senior Stormont officials believed Ian Paisley was associated with loyalist paramilitaries.

The remarks made by the officials reveal they considered arresting the now first minister for conspiracy.

Whoa…. I wonder if a decision to arrest Big Ian had been made would it have impacted upon the eventual length of our troubles at all? What do you think? Would a different decision have:-

1. Made no difference

2. Shortened the conflict

3. Made matters worse

Any opinions out there…… 20/20 hindsight can be great craic!


2 Responses to Would it have changed the course of events in NI?

  1. the watchmen says:

    I think at that particular juncture, had Dr. Paisley been arrested, Northern Ireland and probably part of the Republic as well, would, in a manner of speaking been “burned to the ground”

    However if he was to be arrested now there would be much rejoicing amongst Protestants.

    But then as you say. there’s hindsight—–

  2. talkni says:

    Now… that’s a really interesting point. Ye see… I suspect that, for a great many years, lots of Protestants would have preferred if he had been chucked in jail and had the key thrown away…. that way it could have been claimed that there was a degree of fairness in the operation of the law! No?

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