The Dirty War in Irish HistoryA dirty war is fought every time the parties involved don’t play by the rules of the game. The dirty war in Irish history is a war in which one of the opponents applies dirty or terrorist tactics. Such is the case of the IRA or the Irish Republican Army who refused several times to disarm and continued to get involved in illicit tactics.
Dirty wars manage to go on for years simply because one party just doesn’t care about civilian causalities. Britain has asked the IRA to disarm several times. Only in October 2001, the IRA showed signs of disarming, but it refused to acknowledge it publicly. But when incidents started to happen in 2002, the truth showed that the Irish Republican Army had lied and it continued to arm itself in secret. They also continued to perpetrate their paramilitary activities like bombings and other terrorist attacks. Their involvement in bank robberies, smuggling, counterfeiting and extortion shows that the rules of dirty war do apply to them. The IRA is not afraid to use criminal activities to finance its actions.
Dirty wars also involve covert operations and tactics. Historians agree that Northern Ireland’s paramilitary groups have long played a dirty covert war game with England’s security apparatus. This type of dirty war that involves covert operations usually also involves spies, assassinations, informers on both sides and cover-up techniques. Other methods used include blackmail, torture, financial rewards and imprisonment.
Dirty war are considered a threat to democracy because dirty covert techniques used by governments in counter-terrorism operations lack accountability. People don’t know who is responsible for certain crimes because covert agents aren’t allowed to reveal their true identity. That is why fighting dirty wars can never be a safe path to solving conflicts. Dirty wars are extremely popular in Irish history because sectarian differences have allowed them to grow.