Just watched a documentary about the execution of Garda Gerry McCabe in Adare in 1996. As most will remember, both Gda McCabe and his partner Gda Ben OSullivan were sitting in their parked, unmarked car escorting a postal van in Limerick. The IRA unit, with designs on robbing the postal van, rammed the Garda car from behind, jumped out and riddled the two Gardai who were still sitting in the car with AK47s. Neither Garda had drawn a weapon.
We have all heard the line that the IRA had to engage in criminality, (bank robbery, drug running, cigarette smuggling, protection rackets etc), in order to fund 'the cause', and their supporters would accept the line that murdering policemen in the North was simply an attack on their British enemies.
But the question I was left with having watched the documentary was, what possible legitimacy could the IRA offer for killing an unarmed Irish policeman sitting in a car in the Irish Republic? Why would they not just point the gun at him, threaten him while the robbery took place? Were they frightened of him? Or did they deliberately want to kill him, did the IRA see him as an enemy of Ireland?