Starring: Matthew Sanders. // Brian Haner Jr. // Zacky Baker. // Jimmy Sullivan. Johnny Seward. // Jacoby Shaddix. // Jared Leto. // Shannon Leto. // Ville Valo. // Bam Margera. // Brandan Schieppati & Keith Buckley.
Summary: Ireland's torn by civil war. Terrorists or freedom fighters, lovers or haters, partners or spies, friends or enemies?
Genre: War / Drama / Thriller / Smut / Fluff / Angst.
Dedication: avengedbeckfold for turning me into a wild fucking fangirl. It's embarrassing >.<;; So addicted...
Author's Note: The product of a new obsession with the IRA and many discussions with my Irish uncles. Won't find this shit in the history books. Check out my shiny archive.
Warning: Contains themes unsuitable for some, such as rape, violence, death, heavy language and sex.
- Paul Arthur.
It started so far back that none of us are exactly sure what we're fighting for anymore. It's simply a thought lingering so far into the back of your mind that you only get the gist of it, your heart only catches the emotional side because the logical side that your brain usually picks up is too far out of reach. It's one of those things that makes you realise that your heart is way stronger than your mind, that its reach is greater, wing span broader, fingers long and delicate enough to reach into the nooks and crannies where the overly careful brain is too hesitant to reach. The heart is willing to make great leaps and bounds over every threshold where the mind simply stands back and raises a bushy brow.
Well, none of us were sure, until it started happening. Until everything tumbled out of hand and men were dragged from their beds. Kidnapped, tortured, for their tongues, for the information stamped within them like a glowing brand.
It never worked, of course. We are chosen for out loyalty, for our intelligence, our strength. That essence of brotherhood that pours from our veins thick and fast and suffocates anyone foolish enough to get too close. This war is ours and ours alone and those who wish to break us will never get close enough to even lay a finger.
That was when it started, really. My side of it. I could humiliate myself and come out with sprawling tales of William of Orange, of the 11th century onwards and all its injustice. Of partitions and religion and control. Or really, I could just tell you what happens as it happen. I could let you paint your own picture of the history, your own opinions of the good and the bad?
If you can make your own heroes and villains, then I can set the scene.
Poor little Ireland. It's always been the black sheep. Yanno, the awkward older sister that no one quite knows how to deal with? Yeah, that pretty much sums it up - Ireland is a pubescent female. I'm allowed to say that since it's mine, of course. My pissy older sister. That I... live in...
That metaphor's getting weird so I'm moving along. We've been Britain's oldest issue. He's been screwing around, playing the cad, breaking bitches' hearts, grabbing all the empire he wants then chucking it away. Only this pissy bitch is proving awkward. She can't settle, you see. Not in a satisfactory way, since there's too many different sides and too many different wishes. Hormones. No one's ever gonna be happy. So what did the big, brave British Empire decide to do? Leave us. Piss off, withdraw, and never call back.
Only, OOPSIE, they didn't use protection and so they're lumbered with a little screaming something that's part them. Also known as Northern Ireland, where the majority of idiots considered their selves 'British'. Who would wanna be a part of that? Seriously? Britain never wanted them. Even Churchill tried to trade them off! Sell his own grandma, that one...
So, the clever little people in all their tea-stained tweed glory decided to partition the country. Britain didn't like this much, because sobby little NI was a drain on their cash and also a big dent in the rep. But there's still that God forsaken chivalry, all owed allegiance to kith and kin and that bullshit. Well, actually, that bit I find kinda cute, but it's still thick. Cute and thick... reminds me of someone... anyway.
It wasn't just Britain who disliked this. No one else was happy, either. Smelled a little too much like compromise for them, and ya can't have that.
The state was already pretty much divided. You had the protestants who run everything, then you had the Catholics. They had fuck all, to be honest. See, to vote you needed to pay taxes and rates, but they were too poor to do so. They were always in the minority. When the divide happened the protestants fought tooth and nail to get something to change, whereas the Catholics thought it would all sort itself out. The idea was so ridiculous that eventually it would crash, seeing as God wanted the island to be a unit and all. Lots of battles and fights went on but the Bible bashers tended to stay out of it, until they finally discovered that praying for equality doesn't work too well, and that maybe the American way should be adopted. These are the days of Martin Luther King and civil rights marches. The beauty of it all was that the Catholics STILL weren't all 'yay unity!' they were more 'if we're so British, give us British stuff!' They wanted all the employment and housing and fairness and shit that was floating around that grand ol' empire but which somehow bypassed the awkward child. The step children are gettin' all the love but the bastard? Hide it in a corner, please.
The Catholics had nothing, they were second-class citizens, they lived in a place called 'Bogside' for Christ's sake. But they were politically impotent everywhere, because they still had no vote. But still, the government were freaked out by this. They saw it as another side turning away, and reacted so strongly to these requests that people started to rile up.
So, they decided to go the American way and lobby a campaign of non-violence.
Only, without the non-violence bit.
We're Irish. Shite, we're not gonna go out and allow ourselves to get the crap beaten out of us, are we? It's not our way.
So, you have one side (mainly students, to be quite honest, they've always been hippy bastards) who are the mainstream civil rights movement trying to make a moral case through peaceful numbers, and then you have the radical element who were riled up in the first place and can see through all the bullshit and know it will never work. We've been discriminated against for so long that they won't fix shit up now.
Of course, the happyclappy folks were in the majority, for once, and the poor radicals weren't getting anywhere with trying to persuade them to do things differently. But then years passed and nothing was changing. The Catholics were weary, prepared to turn towards much more militant, very sexy means.
Government switched in 1970, and these were tough bastards. Conservatives have always been the meanies. They decided the answer to all our problems was to crush the fight out of us. Coercion rather than conciliation. Troops were sent in, lining the streets, armed and dangerous and not exactly scared to punch a man square in the face if he got too lippy.
The militants were starting to crawl their way to centre stage, though. It was they who scared the respective leaderships into staking more extreme positions than they may have otherwise. The nasties were starting to beat the happyclappies, and everyone else was pretty much confused. Governments and religions and militants and radicals and students and more governments all taking different sides and making different decisions, and this was pretty much the collapse of the civil rights campaign. War ensued, everyone was fighting and pretty much losing, which lead to the virtual collapse of the NI government, and that was when the IRA came into its own.
Those who benefited most from the collapse of the civil rights movement were the militants on both sides. It meant that, in fact, politics as a process, which had never been strong in Northern Ireland, disappeared. It meant that the most strident voices and those who could command weaponry were the people who set the agenda.
In other words? If you have a gun you're the leader.
The Catholics were still pretty pathetic to be honest. They had no weapons and yet the British army was using tear gas in huge quantities against them, which sent things rising up dramatically. Those behind the barricades believed this was an attempt to destroy them all. Not just politically, but as people, so they had to resist. They finally grew some balls. What started as an ickle battle became a battle which spread throughout the land. The IRA had been hanging low until the burnings started. So what happened, really, was the Brits trying to crush us all down and instead getting the young people saying 'the only answer is violence, we gotta get involved, let's join the Irish Republican Army!'
Dontcha love it when it all backfires?
The sense of brotherhood was strong, as the place believed they had been disowned by everyone. The empire that had taken them into their grasp were the very ones making their eyes water. Stealing their men from their beds.
It was the Catholics them selves who started it all. They formed the Citizens Defence Community, representing about 75,000 Catholics, and the IRA just took advantage of this. These people were already organised, passionate, and in a strange twist it was the people rather than the militant elite that were responsible for this first wave of resistance. And this was just in motherfucking Derry! Imagine what was going on elsewhere.
So, the IRA began to recruit hardcore. But in Belfast the protestants and the caths lived too close to each other. The damage would be immense due to the proximity of neighbourhood upon neighbourhood. So even though it didn't exactly start there, it became the hub. People barricaded their selves in. Communities became independent, produced no go areas. The forces of law and order had no hope of entering. They produced their own media. Private radios, local newspapers, all shit that heightened this communal sense of togetherness. A greater need to defend each other. Then in other areas, across from rivers, they had no access to the hub so they got ever more defensive. Bigger barricades, sophisticated weaponry. Civil rights? Who fucking cares about civil rights anymore? This is war. This is being attacked by those who were meant to look after you. This was pure battle and battles need an army, and who were the only army on offer? The only army that could be trusted?
This, though, is where my introduction ends, cause this is the last I know. This is my world and everything that happens from now on is as much news to me as it is to you. Sorry to end it there, really, but if I'm writing this down I need the info first, yanno? Maybe I should end on something vaguely intelligent... a tip... hm...
Just know... no matter how glimmering the information is... it's all about the history. It's there, influencing every little action that unfolds and curls and draws a gun on the unwilling. Our memories are what make us, our histories that break us, our present that kills us.
Wish me luck?
And by the way, thanks for putting up with that God awful history lesson. Maybe if I get out of this I have some fucking hope teaching?