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  1. #1
    bagel bagel is offline
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    Did Cosgrave and Lynch stop the slaughter in Northern Ireland?

    This already received a mention over in Liam Cosgrave dies. but I think it deserves a thread of its own. The content could be equally at home in several different fora on this site but I've opted for the Defence Forum on the grounds of so much 'military' mentions in the letter. I'm hoping readers will throw some light on the contents because most, if not all, of it is news to me. As its not strictly a newspaper article but instead a letter to the Editor, I assuming copyright doesn't apply so I'll post the entire contents:

    Cosgrave and Lynch stopped slaughter in Northern Ireland - Independent.ie
    "One Sunday in August 1969, when tensions were rising in Northern Ireland, British PM Harold Wilson "imagined" he had the immediate answer to end British involvement there. He telephoned the then-Taoiseach, Jack Lynch, on a secure line, informing him he would have no objection to the Republic sending the Irish Army into the North.
    Prior to the phone call, Wilson had in fact ordered the general officer commanding (GOC) of the British army in Northern Ireland to confine all troops to barracks from midnight on the following Tuesday, for 72 hours. He further directed that the troops in the barracks could only defend their barrack if it came under direct attack: they were to take no part whatsoever in any occurrence outside the barrack.
    On Monday morning, the GOC met the military attaché in the British Embassy in Dublin. He outlined the scenario that would ensue if the Irish Army attempted to 'invade' the North.
    The 'B' Specials had the same up-to-date armoury as the British army; the large number of gun clubs throughout Northern Ireland, with all members well trained in the use of firearms, by comparison to the then aged equipment of the Irish Army. They did not even have a wireless communication system. The GOC also pointed out the fact that if the Irish Army crossed the Border, it would be deemed an attack on Nato; placing the Government of Ireland in international hot water. Any Irish person imagining Nato would not have responded is indeed a fool.
    The main concern of the GOC and the military attaché was the danger of wholesale slaughter of Catholics by a well-armed militia, who at this stage were in a state of deliberately induced terror from unionist politicians, and clerical firebrands. Both men went to the then leader of the Opposition, Liam Cosgrave, to whom they outlined everything in detail.
    Mr Cosgrave immediately went to Jack Lynch who, when faced with the reality of the situation, ordered the Irish Army back from the Border. A month later, a number of the Army top brass held a meeting in Mullingar barracks to plan a coup d'etat: they were foiled by An Garda Síochána.
    Mr Cosgrave and Mr Lynch were criticised by those whose ideology on uniting Ireland was only by violent means. The fact remains, they prevented thousands of people being killed, or maimed, in what would have been sheer lunacy.
    Declan Foley
    Berwick, Australia"

    Is the letter absolute nonsense or is there indeed some truth in it?
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  2. #2
    redneck redneck is offline
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    I don't know, pity Mr Cosgrave never had to answer any questions about this matter. Also I am sure there are records in the Garda that could confirm or deny this.
    Interesting about the "coup d etat" allegation. I know that the regular Irish Army felt very frustrated about the North for the first 10 years of the troubles.
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  3. #3
    Catalpast Catalpast is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagel View Post
    This already received a mention over in Liam Cosgrave dies. but I think it deserves a thread of its own. The content could be equally at home in several different fora on this site but I've opted for the Defence Forum on the grounds of so much 'military' mentions in the letter. I'm hoping readers will throw some light on the contents because most, if not all, of it is news to me. As its not strictly a newspaper article but instead a letter to the Editor, I assuming copyright doesn't apply so I'll post the entire contents:

    Cosgrave and Lynch stopped slaughter in Northern Ireland - Independent.ie
    "One Sunday in August 1969, when tensions were rising in Northern Ireland, British PM Harold Wilson "imagined" he had the immediate answer to end British involvement there. He telephoned the then-Taoiseach, Jack Lynch, on a secure line, informing him he would have no objection to the Republic sending the Irish Army into the North.
    Prior to the phone call, Wilson had in fact ordered the general officer commanding (GOC) of the British army in Northern Ireland to confine all troops to barracks from midnight on the following Tuesday, for 72 hours. He further directed that the troops in the barracks could only defend their barrack if it came under direct attack: they were to take no part whatsoever in any occurrence outside the barrack.
    On Monday morning, the GOC met the military attaché in the British Embassy in Dublin. He outlined the scenario that would ensue if the Irish Army attempted to 'invade' the North.
    The 'B' Specials had the same up-to-date armoury as the British army; the large number of gun clubs throughout Northern Ireland, with all members well trained in the use of firearms, by comparison to the then aged equipment of the Irish Army. They did not even have a wireless communication system. The GOC also pointed out the fact that if the Irish Army crossed the Border, it would be deemed an attack on Nato; placing the Government of Ireland in international hot water. Any Irish person imagining Nato would not have responded is indeed a fool.
    The main concern of the GOC and the military attaché was the danger of wholesale slaughter of Catholics by a well-armed militia, who at this stage were in a state of deliberately induced terror from unionist politicians, and clerical firebrands. Both men went to the then leader of the Opposition, Liam Cosgrave, to whom they outlined everything in detail.
    Mr Cosgrave immediately went to Jack Lynch who, when faced with the reality of the situation, ordered the Irish Army back from the Border. A month later, a number of the Army top brass held a meeting in Mullingar barracks to plan a coup d'etat: they were foiled by An Garda Síochána.
    Mr Cosgrave and Mr Lynch were criticised by those whose ideology on uniting Ireland was only by violent means. The fact remains, they prevented thousands of people being killed, or maimed, in what would have been sheer lunacy.
    Declan Foley
    Berwick, Australia"

    Is the letter absolute nonsense or is there indeed some truth in it?
    A work of Fiction to be sure.
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  4. #4
    PO'Neill PO'Neill is offline

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    Far from it been seen as " an Irish army invading the UK ", it would have been supported world wide as the Irish army coming to the rescue of unarmed, beleaguered nationalists in Derry etc been attacked by British state forces of the RUC, B Specials along with supremacist unionist mobs. And nowhere more than America had the Civil rights movement international sympathy due to it's similarities with the Civil Rights movement there and of course Irish America in Boston, New York etc And the unionist state wasn't and still isn't very popular with the average English person, they'd rather be rid of it.

    Lynch, FF and the other cheek of the same ar$e FG didn't send the army in because the Gombeen men in the 26 govt - despite their rhetoric for 5 decades regarding a United Ireland - as it would have disturbed their cosy, corrupt, conservative, catholic set-up, and didn't want their profitable political life and little fiefdoms disturbed in anyway.These quislings have absolutely not the slightest care or concern for the ordinary people of Ireland, we seen it in 1969 and we seen it again with the EU banksters bailout with NAMA etc as they ditched the country so to protect themselves and their corrupt cronies at the expense of everyone else.
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  5. #5
    Odyessus Odyessus is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by bagel View Post
    This already received a mention over in Liam Cosgrave dies. but I think it deserves a thread of its own. The content could be equally at home in several different fora on this site but I've opted for the Defence Forum on the grounds of so much 'military' mentions in the letter. I'm hoping readers will throw some light on the contents because most, if not all, of it is news to me. As its not strictly a newspaper article but instead a letter to the Editor, I assuming copyright doesn't apply so I'll post the entire contents:

    Cosgrave and Lynch stopped slaughter in Northern Ireland - Independent.ie
    "One Sunday in August 1969, when tensions were rising in Northern Ireland, British PM Harold Wilson "imagined" he had the immediate answer to end British involvement there. He telephoned the then-Taoiseach, Jack Lynch, on a secure line, informing him he would have no objection to the Republic sending the Irish Army into the North.
    Prior to the phone call, Wilson had in fact ordered the general officer commanding (GOC) of the British army in Northern Ireland to confine all troops to barracks from midnight on the following Tuesday, for 72 hours. He further directed that the troops in the barracks could only defend their barrack if it came under direct attack: they were to take no part whatsoever in any occurrence outside the barrack.
    On Monday morning, the GOC met the military attaché in the British Embassy in Dublin. He outlined the scenario that would ensue if the Irish Army attempted to 'invade' the North.
    The 'B' Specials had the same up-to-date armoury as the British army; the large number of gun clubs throughout Northern Ireland, with all members well trained in the use of firearms, by comparison to the then aged equipment of the Irish Army. They did not even have a wireless communication system. The GOC also pointed out the fact that if the Irish Army crossed the Border, it would be deemed an attack on Nato; placing the Government of Ireland in international hot water. Any Irish person imagining Nato would not have responded is indeed a fool.
    The main concern of the GOC and the military attaché was the danger of wholesale slaughter of Catholics by a well-armed militia, who at this stage were in a state of deliberately induced terror from unionist politicians, and clerical firebrands. Both men went to the then leader of the Opposition, Liam Cosgrave, to whom they outlined everything in detail.
    Mr Cosgrave immediately went to Jack Lynch who, when faced with the reality of the situation, ordered the Irish Army back from the Border. A month later, a number of the Army top brass held a meeting in Mullingar barracks to plan a coup d'etat: they were foiled by An Garda Síochána.
    Mr Cosgrave and Mr Lynch were criticised by those whose ideology on uniting Ireland was only by violent means. The fact remains, they prevented thousands of people being killed, or maimed, in what would have been sheer lunacy.
    Declan Foley
    Berwick, Australia"

    Is the letter absolute nonsense or is there indeed some truth in it?

    Absolute nonsense of course.
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  6. #6
    between the bridges between the bridges is offline
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    No.




    Next...
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  7. #7
    Levellers Levellers is offline

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    Cosgrave lengthened the war because, like the Brits, he sought a military victory.
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  8. #8
    sparky42 sparky42 is offline

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    Any military action by Ireland against the UK, a) would have been suicidal and b) would have been laughed at by the world as they watched the UK shatter such an attempt. The suggestion that in the Cold War any NATO nation would have taken Ireland's side over a major NATO Nuclear power is divorced from reality.
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  9. #9
    PO'Neill PO'Neill is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparky42 View Post
    Any military action by Ireland against the UK, a) would have been suicidal and b) would have been laughed at by the world as they watched the UK shatter such an attempt. The suggestion that in the Cold War any NATO nation would have taken Ireland's side over a major NATO Nuclear power is divorced from reality.
    Yeah sure, just like the world support the Brits got in Suez in 1956 - and then couldn't get their asses out quick enough. Even the Brits learn the odd lesson. The Civil rights movement had international sympathy, especially in America, where one telephone call from Washington would have ended any British thoughts of all out attack of the Bogside, Newry and Dublin. If the Brits could have attacked as they pleased - then why didn't they do it when the IRA launched thousands of attacks from across the border throughout the troubles and escaped south again umpteenth times ?
    Last edited by PO'Neill; 7th October 2017 at 01:01 PM.
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  10. #10
    sparky42 sparky42 is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by PO'Neill View Post
    Yeah sure, just like the world support the Brits got in Suez in 1956 - and then couldn't get their asses out quick enough. Even the Brits learn the odd lesson. The Civil rights movement had international sympathy, especially in America, where one telephone call from Washington would have ended any British thoughts of all out attack of the Bogside, Newry and Dublin. If the Brits could have attacked as they pleased - then why didn't they do it when the IRA launched thousands of attacks from across the border throughout the troubles and escaped south again umpteenth times ?
    Because it wasn't worth their time against a non state actor of relatively limited threat, an offensive action by a State is a completely different matter. The North is UK territory, attacking it would have been an Act of War that no NATO nation would have intervened against, (So not Suez but Falklands in international support). Nor does that change the core and most vital point, asking the Defence Forces to go against the British Army in such a military action was and would be a suicide mission that would achieve the square root of feck all.
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