Irish republicans are unlikely to shed any tears today about the death of Margaret Thatcher. It will be interesting to see what statements are issued by Gerry Adams and others.
The BBC quickly posted this overview of her relationship with Ireland.
In Irish affairs Margaret Thatcher was a tough and uncompromising believer in the Union, and instinctively loyal to the security forces she saw as society’s bulwark against a slide into the anarchy of terrorism.
She was hated by republicans and despised them in return, and her blunt-speaking style won her few friends on either side of the border, even if many had a sneaking admiration for her status on the world stage.
We’ll update this post with more links through the day.
Adams, quoted in the Irish Independent:
“Margaret Thatcher did great hurt to the Irish and British people during her time as British prime minister. Working class communities were devastated in Britain because of her policies…”
The Irish Examiner reports “measured praise” for Maggie from Irish leaders.
Here’s a good overview from Bloomberg:
Thatcher’s uncompromising treatment of the hunger strikers led only to an increase in terrorism and the ascension of the IRA as a potent political force. … Thatcher’s unyielding position was that public sympathy for the hunger strikers quickly morphed into political support for Republicanism. Bobby Sands, one of the strikers, was elected to the British House of Commons for Fermanagh-South Tyrone while imprisoned.