European Union

The Troobles: Back Because There's Never Enough Fighting Between Identical Peoples


Lest ye ever fail to be thankful for relative peace, remember that within living memory French and Germans, Hutus and Tutsis, Serbs and Croats, Indians and Pakistanis, Tamils and, um, the enemies of Tamils all bathed in blood over issues that were as intractable as they were hard to understand.

If barfly and leprechaun can live in peace, why can't we all?

Some of the above have been hollowed out by time, some are in remission, and others are merely in a quiet phase, but no matter what the reason, it's always nice not to have to hear about them. This weekend's sad reminder came from the least intelligible feud of all: the one in Northern Ireland. In those grey romantic climes, not only is there a Continuity IRA and a Real IRA, but they've supposedly hooked up for murder and mortar attack.

Comments from the parliamentarian who represents Louth, a county of the republic across the border. Details on the murder last week of Kieran Doherty, whom the Real IRA calls a drug dealer but who is called by his family a victim of machinations by MI5. Some background on hijinx by the Continuity IRA.

May the road rise to meet you, may the Prods and the Mackerel Snappers join in woozy, spittly embraces; may the Israelis and the Levantines join in circular dancing; or may all their descendants make peace with gentle strokes from their antennae.

NEXT: In Defense of Slums

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  1. What would a guy named Cavanaugh know about Irish conflict?

  2. To the Catholic Irish in Northern Ireland.

    The statute of limitations has expired. Northern Irelansd is part of Great Britain, a liberal democracy that grants you the full panoply of political rights.

    Get over it.

    1. Sorry to be pedantic, but Northern Ireland isn’t part of Great Britain, it’s part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Great Britain is an island, the UK is a nation-state.

      1. Technically correct, but they’re interchangeable in common US usage.

        Get over it. 😉

        1. Dave’s just pissed because every time he comes to the US, people think he’s Australian.

          1. True.

            J sub D: Americans think “London,” “England” and “Great Britain” are all interchangeable (I love how people talk about “the Queen of England”).

            They also think Switzerland and Sweden and “the Dutch” and “the Danish” are interchangeable.

            1. There’s an easy way to tell Aussies and Kiwis apart: hand them a cricket bat. If they grab the handle, they’re Australian.

              Just kidding. New Zealand is one of the few countries that allows home distilling, which gives it a big up AFAIC.

              1. Just kidding. New Zealand is one of the few countries that allows home distilling, which gives it a big up AFAIC.

                We’re also the only country in the developed world other than the USA that allows direct-to-consumer marketing of pharmaceuticals.

            2. And the English think Scotland is just a region and not a country.

              They also think Switzerland and Sweden and “the Dutch” and “the Danish” are interchangeable.


              1. Yeah, I have to call bullshit on the Sweden/Switzerland, Netherlands/Denmark thing.

                1. But Kiwis think Minnesota and Wisconsin are interchangeable.

                  1. actually, we can’t tell Americans from Canadians (even though we’re so similar to Canadians and have the same head of state).

                    You may call bs on the Sweden/Switzerland Danish/Dutch thing, but you fellows are intelligent and edumacated. I have come across this confusion on several occasions in America.

                    As for Minnesota/Wisconsin, I believe the only difference is whether they have Brett Favre in the present or the past.

                    Also, re cricket, we just beat the Aussies in a 20-Twenty international the other night. And we’ll hand their asses to them in the one-dayers (they’ll slam us in the tests, though — we’re not good at the five-day game).

                    1. Crap, I just checked the tests records. I should have looked at limited overs results before trying to slag NZ cricket, I guess.

                      Also, I agree with GoNavy & Art above – if I met an American who confused those countries, I would think they were an idiot.

                    2. “actually, we can’t tell Americans from Canadians (even though we’re so similar to Canadians and have the same head of state).”

                      Just ask the persons in question to say “about” – the difference will be clear enough. Also, if the person is clutching their side because their suffering from appendicitis and are still waiting for an operation after way to long – then their Canadian

              2. The English fought their wars in Holland, the Danes fought theirs in England. I bet the Brits know Dane from Dutch.

            3. We also think all Kiwis are sheep fuckers.

              1. Not all Kiwis! The lasses don’t do such things.

  3. Make testosterone illegal?

    Reminds me of a snatch of RAW:

    Most of the domesticated primates of Terra did not know they were primates. They thought they were something apart from and “superior” to the rest of the planet….

    Benny had actually read Darwin once, in college a long time ago, and had heard of sciences like ethology and ecology, but the facts of evolution had never really registered on him. He never thought of himself as a primate. He never realized his friends and associates were primates. Above all, he never understood that the alpha males of Unistat were typical leaders of primate bands. As a result of this inability to see the obvious, Benny was constantly alarmed and terrified by the behavior of himself, his friends and associates and especially the alpha males of the pack. Since he didn’t know it was ordinary primate behavior, it seemed just awful to him.

    Since a great deal of primate behavior was considered just awful, most of the domesticated primates spent most of their time trying to conceal what they were doing.

    Some of the primates got caught by other primates. All of the primates lived in dread of getting caught.

    Those who got caught were called no-good shits.

    This metaphor was deep in primate psychology because primates mark their territories with excretions, and sometimes they threw excretions at each other when disputing over territories.

    1. This is awesome! Where is it from?

      1. Get thee hence to Amazon, if ye have not a sufficiently goode bookstore near ye, and purchase Robert Anton Wilson’s Schrodinger’s Cat Trilogy, either in the single edition or, if ye be interested in getting some more really juicy/funny parts, the original and separate paperbacks: The Universe Next Door, The Trick Top Hat, The Homing Pigeons.

  4. Y’know I’ve never come around to believing that Ireland actually exists.

    1. It’s probably an elaborate joke? or a sinister scheme to hide whatever the Irish are really up to under the cover of hating each other.

      1. The Irish would concur the world if anyone ever shut off the distilleries.

        1. frak.


          Kids do not mix cold medication with a double whiskey.

          1. I don’t think that was really a typo: I’m sure the Irish WOULD be more agreeable if they weren’t soused all the time.

  5. The micks fighting is even less interesting than the Israelis and Palestinians fighting. Fucking tribal bullshit never fucking ends. How do people have the energy to hate “the other” so much? I barely have enough energy to hate Michael Bay sufficiently.

  6. I barely have enough energy to hate Michael Bay sufficiently.

    Is it even possible to hate Michael Bay sufficiently?

    1. Finally, someone who truly understands me. Do you see, NutraSweet? Do you see?

      1. He won’t see you though the dark times.

        And never have I praised Bay. Never.

        1. But you haven’t cursed him enough! You’re hiding something, like a secret enjoyment of Armageddon or thinking “Sean Connery was OK in The Rock“. I can tell, betrayer!

          1. Little known fact: The president in The Rock is the same president in Armageddon.

            1. You are also a betrayer. Now, you may ask “well, Episiarch, why is it that it’s OK for you to have seen Michael Bay’s movies?” The answer is simple: someone has to catalog his crimes against cinema and humanity. I have selflessly taken that duty upon myself. It may be horrifically painful, but my inner masochist handles it well. And I would never wish this terrible burden on any of you, except for possibly JW, since he already lives in hell anyway.

              1. *Swoosh!* In your face Satan!

              2. You pay money to watch Michael Bay films? Thus financing his next effort?

                1. I have HBO, biatch. I always have HBO.

                  1. It’s still morally wrong to watch his movies. It’s like exchanging Christmas cards with bin Laden.

              3. I betray nothing. I make no claims of inclusion in your Bay-hating, Bruckheimer-bashing circle jerk. I love Armageddon for the pure awesomeness that it is. (Yes, even Affleck’s participation.)

                I make no apologies for this, sir.

                1. How can you look upon the face of evil so blithely and with such joy? HOW?

                2. The Simpsons was wrong. YOU are history’s greatest monster.

                3. Yes, even Affleck’s participation.

                  He only ever made one movie better by being in it, Smoking Aces.

              4. You know he is remaking The Karate Kid, a crime for which death is not good enough.

                There is a special hell for Bay and Bruck.

                1. How can you look upon the face of evil so blithely and with such joy?

                  Don’t you get it? Armageddon is a modern day Rand novel with explosions! Harry Stamper is Howard Roark, except in space, and, um, he uses his private sector know-how to, um, save the Earth or whatever instead of just getting in people’s face about it. Or maybe he’s Galt, I don’t know. You figure it out.

                  The Rock I didn’t care for quite as much. Bay was going through his nuanced phase I think and I couldn’t follow the overly subtle plot as easily.

                  You know he is remaking The Karate Kid…

                  Please tell me Macchio is reprising his role!

                  1. Karate Kid, dude. Not Karate Washed-Up Actor.

              5. JW, since he already lives in hell anyway

                Wait a minute I thought J sub D lived in Detroit?

          2. Apparently, excessive hair gel use does lead to paranoia. Seek help while you still can, Epister.

          3. Um, Sean Connery kinda was OK in The Rock. As was Nicolas Cage. And the guy from Terminator. Also that guy who was in that Steven Seagal movie.

            1. And the guy from Terminator.

              Bill Paxton was in The Rock?

              1. You know he means Michael Biehn. Acknowledge Biehn’s greatness, please.

                1. I acknowledge that so much that I was actually rooting for his psychosis-addled character in The Abyss to nuke the water aliens. (But I also must note that he was briefly on my shit list for taking on the very awesome Val Kilmer.)

            2. Sean Connery’s compliance is never the issue. He’s always entertaining, even in junk. Which, of course, The Rock was,

              1. dammit.

  7. It is not perplexing at all. These types of conflicts have a momentum of their own. If you are a young psychotic, the IRA is a heck of a deal. You are a big deal. If there is peace, you go from freedom fighter to the thug that you really are. No one wants that. The IRA today has about as much to do with the British occupation of Ulster as the Costra Nosa has to do with the French occupation of Sicily.

    1. And, of course… “Anything’s better than having a job.”

      1. Ah, the lazy, lazy Irishman.

  8. Say the following aloud:

    1. Hooked, with the long “o” (like hooka) for the truly proper effect.

  9. At least all that IRA busywork – making bombs and suchlike – keeps a few Irish boys out of the pubs.

    1. I read that as “keeps a few Irish boys out of the pubes”

      I gotta get my eyes checked. It’s been too long.

  10. The Irish have spent so much time fighting with themselves that they earned their history of subservience to the Fops from England.

    The Scots, too – poster children for “clannish behavior” (hah!). Even the modern kilt is an English affectation.

    Ptui – I fart in your general direction, Celtards.

    1. It’s more like an affectation of the foppish 19th century Scottish lords who lived in London. Who, I’m sure, would explain in great detail why they’re not English, if only they weren’t dead.

  11. As someone who was raised by a Protestant and an agnostic, and then married a Catholic, and then became a Mormon, and have now become an agnostic again, I find it nearly incomprehensible that people would actually kill each other over such trivial religious differences.

    1. MAN, that is one twisted journey! I love it!

      I just went right to the end game: born into a Presbyterian family. It’s like having no religion at all – best of both worlds!

    2. Whats the sales pitch for Mormonism?

      I’ve always wondered.

      1. How can you not know? Yours must be the one door in the world the Mormon missionaries haven’t shown up at.

      2. The sales pitch, condensed to about 15 seconds, is this: Joseph Smith had a vision in the woods where he saw God and Jesus, and this wasn’t the result of him nibbling shrooms in those woods, and then he became a prophet and translated the Book of Mormon, and other crazy-sounding shit you can’t really condense into 15 seconds.

        Try inviting the missionaries in and listening to their sales pitch — while stoned on shrooms. It’s pretty funny.

    3. They’re not. The various IRAs are secular organizations, and the original IRA was founded by a protestant. What they’re fighting over is whether Northern Ireland should be ruled from London or Dublin.

      1. What they’re fighting over is whether Northern Ireland should be ruled from London or Dublin.

        Aye, but they also want Ulster to be ruled from Dublin by them .

    4. It’s not religious chauvanism, it’s ethnic.

      The Ulster Protestants are British in heritage. The ethnic (and largely catholic) Irish see them as colonists.
      It just gets mixed up with religion because the Irish remained Catholic after the Anglican church severed ties with Rome.

      1. They tried to push there religion on us but we didn’t want it. So they banned the church in Ireland that didn’t work. So people had mass in the fields while people stood and watched for the police. Religious oppression doesn’t work. Tom Barry an old IRA officer from the rising said once there will never be piece until britian leaves this country. And you know what he has wright. On youtube.

  12. Tim,

    You have erred egregiously. In this forum, the only appropriate title was “The Trouble with Troobles.”

    1. Agreed. And work in a quadrotriticale joke, for Shat’s sake!

      1. After all, it is William Shatner Month, a federal holiday.

        1. . . .which culminates in a massive, continent-wide f?te, the Shatnernalia, on his birthday (March 22).

          1. I was so proud of coining Shatnernalia until I googled it. I hate people who preempt me.

          2. March 22 is also International Talk Like William Shatner Day:

            1. As it should be.

            2. The 2:40 mark of that is one of the funniest things on the youtubes.

  13. Whiskey for the leprechauns!
    Whiskey for the leprechauns!

  14. Sinhalese.

  15. May the road rise to meet you, may the Prods and the Mackerel Snappers join in woozy, spittly embraces; may the Israelis and the Levantines join in circular dancing; or may all their descendants make peace with gentle strokes from their antennae.

    Uh, Tim. I know that you were just trying to be the lame jester who pretends to be impervious/retarded, but that was a genuinely beautiful poast.

    Touch my balls.

  16. They’re tragically malicious.

  17. Ya gotta wonder.
    MI5 involvement?…..622209.stm…..742783.ece

    Would the conflict faded away on it’s own?
    Beyond the point of the available ‘labor force’, there are also plenty HERE willing to quietly send $s to fund the IRA.

  18. We dont want to be British and never will. I carry an Irish passport not a british one. Our country has been occupied for so long now. Russia gave back all the eastern block countries. Britian give us back our Island and let us rule it as we see fit.

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