BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND – There were enough deaths during ‘The Troubles’ in Ireland: it is sad that a pair of them were a case of mistaken identity.
Do you ever get that feeling when you see someone at a distance, are sure it is someone you know, and go up and say ‘Hi ___’, only to realise that you are the victim of mistaken identity? You usually feel pretty foolish after, don’t you?
Luckily, the consequences of getting this wrong are negligible. But what if it turns out more badly?
On this day in 1988
Two corporals in the British Army, David Howes and Derek Wood, were stabbed, beaten and finally shot dead by members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) in Belfast after having been mistaken for Irish Loyalists. Three days earlier a Loyalist had killed three PIRA terrorists at a funeral procession. PIRA believed that the two British soldiers were intent on repeating a similar action: the two had driven into another funeral march for yet another a dead PIRA member.
Our volunteers forcibly removed the two men from the crowd and, after clearly ascertaining their identities from equipment and documentation, we executed them.IRA statement
If I were a conspiracy theorist, which I am most certainly not, I would say the two corporals were there with nefarious intent. Whatever their purpose, is not condemnatory that the IRA beat, stabbed and eventually shot unarmed men?
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