The British government is to withdraw half of its troops from Northern Ireland over the next two years as part of its response to the Irish Republican Army’s ending of its armed campaign. The move has angered unionists, who say the IRA has yet to prove it will match its words with actions.
More irony from Northern Ireland. The British troops were originally sent in 1969 to protect Catholic civil rights protesters from unionist Protestants. That’s been one irony of The Troubles all along, that the IRA was targeting those sent to protect their civil rights. But, of course, for the IRA it’s always been less about civil rights or home rule (which would mean unionist rule) or even union with Ireland than about socialism or organized crime.