|About the Book|
What Adams had to say was even more instructive. He talked about the community once being on its knees -- an appeal to those scarred in memory by the loyalist pogroms of 1969. His speech was full of references to nationalist equality and parity of esteem. In short, he was re-packaging the so-called armed struggle as somehow the outworking of the old civil rights struggle.Gunsmoke and Mirrors challenges this epic piece of myth-making.Henry McDonald, himself from the republican Markets area of Belfast, talks to ex-IRA men about their real motivations for starting their war. It had nothing to do with civil rights. The settlement which Sinn Fein/IRA finally secured in 2007 is almost identical with one that had been on the table thirty years earlier. McDonald exposes the memorialist culture which continues to rewrite history to justify the unjustifiable.McDonald gets past the cheap hagiography of terrorists and the wasted lives of a generation to focus on one essential truth: none of the IRAs principal war aims was achieved. The whole sorry business was a waste of time. The people who died, died in vain.