Michael McIvor, the Sinn Fein councillor for Ballinderry on Cookstown District Council, Northern Ireland, wrote a controversial comment on a blog claiming that when the Provisional IRA bombed Canary Wharf and Manchester on February and June 1996 respectively, this caused the then government, led by John Major, to surrender to terrorism. His remark smacks of complete ignorance about British involvement in Ulster. The British have never been bought for bombs, and they never will be.

Considering Councillor McIvor was active in Sinn Fein during the 1990s, his memory should serve him better.

John Major's policy towards the Irish republicans was consistent throughout his term in office. He always maintained he would never engage in discussions with Gerry Adams until the Provisional IRA disbanded their weapons prior to entering peace talks. Major ignored Senator George Mitchell's report in January 1996, which recommended that the the IRA disband their weapons whilst engaging in dialogue with all the main parties.

The Northern Ireland Peace Process also caused relations between the US and UK to deteriorate. Major refused to return Bill Clinton's calls after the latter provided Gerry Adams with a passport to travel to the United States in 1994. Irish Taoiseach Albert Reynolds released IRA prisoners in the mid-1990s after he and Major issued the 1993 Downing Street Declaration, which committed every British government since to leaving Northern Ireland with the people's consent, thereby laying the foundations for the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

"One could argue the US and Ireland can be bought with bombs, not Britain"

Councillor McIvor, and the general view among Sinn Fein members, is wrong. Based on Ulster's history in the 1990s, one could argue the US and Ireland were bought with bombs, not Britain, if one observes Clinton's and Reynolds' actions then respectively.

Prior to the 1990s, the UK never surrendered to IRA bombings. Since the Troubles broke out in the late 1960s, Sinn Fein has disrupted the Peace Process every step of the way, but Northern Ireland still remained a part of the United Kingdom. If anything, it was the republicans that had to surrender because, eventually, they fully embraced the Peace Process in 2006 after the Provisional IRA disbanded their weapons in 2005.

Councillor McIvor, it would be in your best interests to get your facts right before writing ignorant comments. Northern Ireland will remain British until their people change their minds.