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Rose McGowan and the IRA: what does she know?

September 11, 2008

It’s one thing to be a movie actress portraying a character in a secretive anti-government group, but it’s a far different to be a person in real life battling a government every day. In movies, guns fire blanks; in real life, they shoot bullets.

So, when actress Rose McGowan told reporters at a Toronto film festival press conference for her new movie ”Fifty Dead Men Walking” that if she had lived through Northern Ireland’s ”Troubles,” she would have joined the Irish Republican Army, she almost immediately drew a protest from the very man upon whose life the film is based.

Rose McGowan

“I imagine had I grown up in Belfast I would have 100 percent joined the IRA,” said McGowan,  35,  who plays a high-ranking IRA femme fatale in the movie, alongside British actors Jim Sturgess and Ben Kingsley.

“My heart just broke for the cause and I have a lot of respect for the intelligence and the honor that these people carried.”

“Fifty Dead Men Walking,” which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival on Wednesday, is based on Martin McGartland’s best-selling 1997 memoir of a young Catholic hustler living in Belfast in the late ’80s who was recruited by British intelligence to infiltrate the IRA.

McGartland, who is still in hiding and lives under a false identity on the British mainland, responded with a statement on Thursday slamming McGowan’s off-the-cuff remarks.

“Such comments are deeply offensive and hurtful to victims of IRA terrorism,” he said.

McGowan, whose father is Irish, was born and raised in Italy. Could she really know what it meant to be an IRA member just because she was in a movie? Are statements such as hers made by actors ”deeply offensive and hurtful” to people on both sides of an issue who have suffered in real life? They are interesting questions, and we’d like to know readers’ views.


Who really cares about the opinions of another talentless freak from the USA who thinks she knows about the Troubles just because she was in some film and her daddy drove her across Ireland when she was a spoiled brat staring stupidly out of the car window listening to his rants?
I would like to see her justify her comments to the faces of the families of the Disappeared and the victims of atrocities from the Mainland and Ulster.
To make such a tasteless comment on the eve of the anniversary of a terrorist attack on her own adopted country shows how crass the idiot is.
Did she want to be a witch when she was in Charmed as well?
I suggest the next director casts her as in astronaut and she can get all fired up about that ’cause’ and get lost in space.

Posted by donna | Report as abusive

I love the completely clueless responses from Americans who somehow think that the IRA, who were ‘representing’ a small minority of people in Northern Ireland, were somehow a force for good. They were murderers and torturers.

Rose McGowan does, of course, have every right to say what she said – and we have every right to point out how sickening a point of view it is.

She’s clearly a clueless, naive woman with little grasp of history or politics.

Posted by Cicero | Report as abusive

Americans say Brits out of Ireland, we will when you return America to the people you stole it from. Americans: murderers, colonialists and robbers from 1776 to now.

Posted by tracey | Report as abusive

Having grown up in Northern Ireland, seeing first hand the pain on both sides of the conflict these remarks are, in this day and age and on the anniversary of September 11th stupid, thoughtless, insulting and not helpful in a time when Northern Ireland’s wounds are only just healing from 30 years of bloodshed. I’m sure this Z list two a penny actress has some romantasized view of Northern Ireland made up from hearing ‘one sided fireside stories from the homeland’. I think she should retract her misguided views.

Posted by Alan | Report as abusive

I wonder if McGowan gave money to the IRA and if that money was spent buying arms from Arab states, money then used to train individuals to do things like for example fly into towers.

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

Saying that she would have joined the IRA doesn’t necessarily mean that she is expressing sympathy.

Posted by Relland | Report as abusive

Did she give a thought for those children murdered by the IRA or when she took tips from the torturers of the IRA in secret meetings did she ever consider the children who have had to grow up fatherless because of these torturers and killers.

I wonder how she would feel if her mum or dad was shot dead at a dinner table, or if she had a child showered with glass at a bombing or if her brothers legs got blew off?

May God forgive her evil and sick comments.

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive

Saying something is the case doesn’t make it true.

The IRA were not terrorists, they fought a war against an army of occupation. Terrible things happen in wars, the IRA never intentionally killed innocent people. If we are talking about terrorists let’s talk about the British Army, bloody sunday for starters eh? If the IRA hadn’t existed then it is doubtful that any people who were not Unionists would be left in the North and Ireland would have no chance of being united. The Provos didn’t start the war.

The girl has done nothing wrong, shame on all of you who attack her and paint her to be some kind of evil person because she does not agree with your misguided views on Irish politics.

Posted by Tommy | Report as abusive

i grew up in belfast and there was bad stuff on both sides but we are trying to move on now, why does anybody really care what she thinks ? its because deep down nothing has changed my side wants the brits out and the prods know they are on the rocky road to dublin, the ira were a means to an end and that end is coming soon, give ireland back to the irish,do you not think 800 years of pillage is enough

Posted by colum | Report as abusive

For someone of Irish descent to say they would have supported the IRA’s struggle against British tyranny during ‘The Troubles’ is about as controversial as an American saying they would have supported George Washington and the Patriots during the Revolutionary War. Well, duh.

Posted by Robert in USA | Report as abusive

I don\’t usually write comments on things like this but I really feel compelled to do so here. I really felt as though affter the 9/11 attacks that any IRA support in America would have disappeared. I think support did decrease but there are clearly some people who continue to sympathise, despite of it or maybe they are re-sympathesing as 9/11 becomes more and more a distant memory. Al-Queda and the IRA trained together!! WAKE UP!!! Part of me doesn\’t necessarily blame their ignorance – I certainly don\’t know all there is to know about places like Sudan or Zimbabwe etc but then I don\’t try to pretend that I do. The absolute vast majority of people in N.Ireland do NOT support the IRA or any of the loyalist paramilities. Only a small pecentage of people decided to join the IRA during the troubles. Does Rose think everyone wanted to be part of the IRA? Get real! The vast majority of people do not support them and it is extremely frustrating when people like Rose think they know it all. Those people who say Al-Queda are nothing like the IRA are talking rubbish. The IRA (and other paramilitary groups) had (and still to some extent have) the people of N.Ireland living in fear of their lives, feeling threatened and scared for their families. I still get scared when there is a fire alarm in a shop – coming from Belfast myself, I guess its a psychological thing that I immediately think of a bomb scare! Al-Queda brought those same fears to the US and I can only ask Americans to empathise with the majority of people in N.Ireland who like them, want to live in peace. Yes, the British Army did kill people – but 2 wrongs don’t make a right!!! Terrorists like the IRA should not, under any circumstances, be given the moral go ahead to kill innocent people.

Posted by Teresa | Report as abusive

GOOD ON YOU ROSE!!! :D I love her even more :D

I remember when she was in the Felons on the Andersontown Road … where would you get?

And to “UVF1690″ The IRA wre drug dealers etc .. What was the UVF? Saints? Don’t think so!

And if Rose had said she would of joined the UVF or UDA it would be a completly different matter

Big Whoop, people really have to get over it, seriously!

So build a bridge and get over it!

Posted by randomer | Report as abusive

Did no-one tell Ms McGowan that the people of Ulster have accepted the unconditional surrender of the IRA? The war is over.

Ulster says no.

Posted by Tarquin | Report as abusive

Garth said: “Universities and education was denied to most catholics” – so how come a majority vote of Queen’s University of Belfast’s Students’ Union, during the troubles, voted to have all their communication in English and Irish? Simple – the majority of students were Catholic Nationalists. Don’t slabber nonsense without at least backing it up with fact.

Emmett – fair point re Bloody Sunday. Was that a planned massacre, or a dreadful cock-up though? General Sir Mike Jackson, present on the day, takes the latter view and can see why it ended up as a recruiting triumph for the provos. He was there to ensure hangers-on didn’t cause problems at the Civil Rights march – they did though – and terrified 18/19 year old soldiers got involved and the rest is history. For us who lived through it, we can at least see that when people like Rose McGowan spout nonsense it is because they are over-simplifying a complex issue. People on all sides who would otherwise be sane and rational did awful things. Plenty of people did good and heroic things too. Plenty of young, impressionable teenagers were drawn into stuff they didn’t understand and would later regret – from both sides.

Ciarán – Do you agree the people who hijacked planes and drove them into the World Trade Center had a fair point, because of percieved American oppression? Yes, many nationalists were downtrodden – have you read of the contribution of Devalera and the Catholic Church to keeping it that way?

Blissett – do your homework. What references can you cite in support of the British Army killing and maiming ‘countless’ civilians? Yes, they did kill people – the vast majority of whom considered themselves to be soldiers fighting a war. When a group takes up arms against legitimate government and civilians, this is what happens. What references can you cite in support of their non-apologies when mistakes happened (they do admit them – read General Sir Mike Jackson’s biography on this). Where, exactly, did the IRA apologise? Ballymurphy – tragic, yes. An inquest would help, yes. Will the Republican movement assist an inquest into Enniskillen?

UVF1609 – Surely the UVF were part of the problem too?

Tommy – the British Army were in Northern Ireland, part of the UK. How were they an occupying force? By your logic, the British Army presence in the Falklands, Scotland and Cornwall is one of occupation.

“If you need an explanation of Northern Ireland, you will never understand it. If you understand it, no explanation is sufficient” – Anon

Posted by Minerva | Report as abusive

Rose finds the national flag of the UK “Offensive” in a part of the UK, in which the majority wish to remain.

I regret to have to point this out but if 9/11 had happened 10 or 20 years earlier things would have been very different for terrorist supporting irish Americans!

Wake up and smell the coffie, Irish America


What a bloody idiot. I am Scottish and have always been keen on independence and can understand the anger of the Irish people. Yes, of course we sympathise with the troubles in Northern Ireland. But has this stupid, ignorant fool any idea at all of the suffering that went on, of the methods used by the IRA? The British Army were also entirely a huge part of the problem – the British Government were giving instructions – but if she had any, any idea at all about what happened then she would keep her pretty mouth shut. Its easy to glorify a cause you don’t understand – perhaps she would agree that Al-Qaeda were entirely justified in the horror they caused the USA. Perhaps she also thinks that the genocide in Africa is justified. Stupid, stupid girl. She needs to get an education, speak to the victims and then, only then, let her ridiculous views become public. An apology is needed immediately. Boycott her film. Bloody idiot.

Posted by Fiona Young | Report as abusive

Minerva, the North of Ireland is not a country, it is a illegal state. In the only fair and democratic vote on the matter of an independant Ireland, the vast majority of the people voted for a free united Ireland. “Northern Ireland” never was and never has been a legitimate part of the UK, it is Irish territory under occupation from British forces. I do actually think that Britain is illegally occupying the Malvinas (Falklands) and comparisons like Scotland and Cornwall are not fair comparisons, both places created the Union and willingly accepted it. Unlike the North, created to ensure the supremacy of one group of people over another.

By the way, the IRA were the most efficient guerrila warfare army the world has ever known, far more organised and with far better weapons to strike at any target than any Islamic cell ever had. They chose not to go for mass murder, they took the war to Britain in order to show the plight of the Irish people to the British public. No civilian deaths were ever intended, but war is terrible and terrible things happened unfortunetly.

Wullie Frazer? Come on, are we really taking what this man has to say seriously. We all know what this guy is like.

Posted by Tommy | Report as abusive

A few points here:

While the Omagh bombing was carried out by the ‘Real IRA’, they are a split-away faction of former IRA members.

To the IRA supporter (Sean) from Armagh:

The IRA did indeed kill more Roman Catholics than any other organisation – this is not made up. (see – IRA: 341; next highest = 278 by the UVF). Republicanism, as it was two hundred years ago, did indeed have many Protestant leaders (the United Irishmen, for example). This changed over the next hundred years though. People like James Connolly, James Larkin, Jack White, Arthur Griffith, John O’Mahony, Eamon de Valera, Seán Mac Stíofáin, Joe Cahill and Sean Russell were all Roman Catholics.

What is a “half Protestant”, by the way?

To Garth: “Universities and education was denied to most catholics, civil service jobs were off limits”

This is completely untrue. I think you should stop talking about stories you might have heard, ironically calling others “ill-informed revisionists” and read up on how Northern Ireland’s Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Education was a Roman Catholic, and a (quite high up) civil servant no less, back in the 1920s. I implore you to check your facts first, and don’t listen to made up stories in future.

To Breandán: I think you’ll find that the IRA’s goal, as stated by them on more than one occasion, was to create enough destruction and mayhem as to make Northern Ireland un-governable. Thus their very raison d’être was the destruction of the state. The consequences on peoples’ lives, rights, families and businesses weren’t even secondary.

You speak of the “Irish [whose] land [was] usurped by the British”, yet you seem to forget, or not to be aware, that the Irish were British, just like Texans are American. When you speak of you not having “cast the first stone”, I’d love to know who “we” are. Are “we” the Gaels, who invaded Ireland so entirely and completely that the natives ended up speaking their language? How about the Normans, who ruled from the Pale and were invited over initially by an Irish land-owner, and from whom many ‘Irish people’ are now descended having become “more Irish than the Irish”? How about the Roman Catholic Church, who gave the kingship of Ireland to an English monarch?

Would I defend my country? From the likes of the IRA, yes – possibly.

To Blissett: “The british army killed and maimed countless civilians on behalf of an apartheidesque regime”… it was counted, in fact. The British Army killed 151 civilians during the Troubles. That compares with 517 by the IRA (from 1970 – 2001) and 359 by the UVF (same period).

Democracy was very real in Northern Ireland. Like anywhere else where a majority rules, there was corruption and favouritism. The changes to the law that the Civil Rights Movement had campaigned for were implemented by the time the Provisional IRA started their campaign in earnest – it wasn’t about civil rights. It was about getting what they demanded, ignoring democracy.

To Tommy: The IRA were terrorists. There was no “army of occupation”. Saying “the IRA never intentionally killed innocent people” is particularly subjective to start with, never mind untrue. Equally, the same could be said of the British Army, the police or even other terrorist groups such as the UVF or UDA. As for the Provos not starting the ‘war’, well that may be true. However, the Provos are the descendant organisation of the original IRA, which did have its part in starting a ‘war’. Remember 1916? Remember the campaign in the 1950s? The Provisional IRA continued violence when other, less extreme members of the Official IRA had more or less decided enough was enough. So they certainly kept a ‘war’ going.

To Colum: “rocky road to Dublin”, eh? Sounds wonderful. As an Irishman, I’ve got Ireland, by the way. Perhaps it’s about time the twenty-six breakaway counties rejoined those who remained.

The comments made by this actress are insensitive and insulting to all right-minded Irish people who abhor the violence and killing in the name of some dated ‘romantic’ political cause. The actress should apologise as soon as possible.

Posted by Robbie | Report as abusive

100% would have joined the IRA!!!!
You need to choose your words carefully Rose Mcgowan or whatever your name is, yep, you don’t seem to be aware of all the innocent people you died in Northern Ireland…

Shame on you – hope your fans see the real you.

Posted by Scott | Report as abusive

The woman is an idiot – while she’s at it, why doesn’t she issue a statement showing her support for Al-Qaeda. Then she’ll have the American’s on her back too.

Posted by NI | Report as abusive

‘Minerva, the North of Ireland is not a country, it is a illegal state. In the only fair and democratic vote on the matter of an independant Ireland, the vast majority of the people voted for a free united Ireland’.

Tommy, are you for real?? The protestants in NI remain in the majority and a democratic vote established NI. because of this.
The Falkands were uninhabited islands and for the last 100 or so years people from GB settled there. No Argentinian has ever settled there, unless you include a mass armed invasion. Forcing falklanders against their will to be Argentinian would be a complete travesty. If China laid claim to New Zealand doubtless you would support that claim??
The IRA planted bombs in pubs in Guildford & Birmingham and also outside Harrods & other shopping areas including Manchester & Omagh – no innocent deaths – don’t make me laugh, and what of irish catholics killed for knocking an IRA man’s pint over?? when the family and friends complained they had a ‘visit’ from the boys ‘shut the feck up or you’re next’
Meantime they deal Colombian drugs and get cosy with Muslim terrorists in Palestine and elsewhere (IRA trained and suppled by Libya, the same country that blew up the Lockerbie Pan Am flight). They had a cause but they just became gangsters who would happily kill you or I tomorrow. They could have killed Ian Paisley but never would because they needed an ‘enemy’ to keep attention away from their Mafia type activities.
Finally, Rose McGowan is seriously misguided and should apologise, I thought Americans had learnt a bitter lesson about terrorists but I guess I was wrong.

Posted by Bernard | Report as abusive

I believe that Miss Mcgowan meant no offence or disrespect to anyone with her statement. I believe that her comment was just a point of view that was purely meant as a means for her to explain her opinion of her new role.

Much respect to Rose Mcgowan, From her Biggest Fan!


Tommy – how is Britain illegally occupying a group of islands nowhere near Argentina, that Argentina only got interested in once oil was discovered? The people there are descended from Scottish fishermen and such like – and chose to remain British. If the people there choose independence or to be part of Argentina (or Brazil, USA, whoever), that’s another matter.

If Britain hadn’t settled this island, the Spanish would have and used it as a staging post to attack GB – right now, we’d be having a discussion in Spanish about the Spanish presence in Ireland. If you resent the British influence in Ireland you should remove the infrastructure and become a Spaniard. Indeed, as your ancestors are Celts and not the pre-Celtic inhabitants the Celts took the island from, you should clear off back to southern Europe.

You say the North was created to give supremacy – do you deny the cultural genocide on protestants living in the Republic post-partition? Do you deny the RC Church’s part in organising boycotts of protestant-owned businesses? The North was created in response to protestant fears – justified, as it turned out. I agree the vote was in favour of all-island independence – though in the area now known as the north, it was overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the UK. That which remained in the UK prospered, had industry and did well. The other 26 counties became a backwards state trapped in superstition until the EC pumped billions of Euro in.

Those who joined the IRA (or UVF, UDA, INLA, etc), did so because of poor circumstances and a one-sided view of history. At one time I would have happily joined the UVF but I was too young – and I am glad. I grew up, got an education and realised that all sides – SF and DUP especially – peddle myths and lies to back up their own positions. Indeed, the lies I was told by Loyalists are not unlike the lies my ex-Republican friends were once told – “the other side kept us poor, didn’t want us to be educated, etc.” Lies, told to children who know no better and who believe it until they spend time with people from another background.

Ireland’s problems will not be solved by forcing unification on northerners who do not want it or by denying either side their cultural heritage. Recognising each other’s common humanity and a need to peacefully co-exist on the same rock and work to our mutual benefit – that might be a start.

Posted by Minerva | Report as abusive

All of these people expressing “outrage” at Rose Mcgowan’s comments need to take a deep breath and calm down. Please, consider the source here. In reality, will the comments of another vapid Hollywood actress really have such a profound effect on your lives? Actors and actresses are the last people I turn to for opinions on world history and politics. If you are truly “hurt and outraged” by this idiotic hottie’s comments, you need to re-evaluate your own life.

If Little Rose had bothered to be educated on the subject rather than just memorizing lines for a film, I doubt she would hold the same opinion.

Posted by Mr. Big | Report as abusive

Rose McGowan is entitled to her view, I hope she’s not bullied into an apology. I think she has obvious feeling for Ireland. I don’t condone violence but i can understand where the IRA are coming from. I am catholic living in Eire.

Posted by Jay | Report as abusive

she is disgusting, i’m english and fair enough ireland wanted to be free but to blame it on the actual people when it was the government who rule britain who wanted to keep southern ireland not not the actual people, tbh british people couldn’t give a toss about ireland being part of the UK, WE DONT CARE, so stop blaming the wrong people. she has abosolotaly no idea what it was like during the ‘troubles’ seeing as she was in italy the whole bloody time, innocent people died and she’s backing that, well at least she has shown what kind of person she is, i hope this taints her like it should. God she is so sick.

Posted by evie | Report as abusive

Rose McGowan – Rose tinted glasses more like. How dare this idiot glamorise the suffering of all affected by the troubles by showing support for the murdering cowards who shot RUC Officers in the back and left chilren without fathers and mothers throughout our land. Come over here, speak to the victims, see for yourself what the IRA did first hand or else shut up and wise up. You owe us all an apology and we are waiting.

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

In a Response to Johnny Anderson

“The IRA killed more Catholics than did the British security forces and Loyalist paramilitays combined, not to mention the 1300 Protestants, over 2250 in total so what’s she saying.”

The I.R.A was Catholic!

Posted by Maddy | Report as abusive

I found it hard to believe the unintelligent comments I read attributed to Rose McGowan. I too liked Rose, now I see her as a very evil twisted idiot. I also read the two books which the film was made in to. And I for one will be boycotting it. I suppose she also has sympathy with the 9/11 bombers too. Shame on you Rose.

Posted by Dineen | Report as abusive

This point’s already been made, but its a good one: saying she would have joined the IRA because her father was Irish is akin to saying she’d join Al Quaeda if her father was Muslim.

Just as such a comment would be far more offensive to Muslims than to Americans, so too are her comments far more offensive to the people of Northern Ireland than to those of the British mainland – both have suffered at the hands of the IRA, but like Al Quaeda, nobody has suffered more than the people they claim to be fighting for. No doubt she hasn’t ever encountered the victims of the IRA, both Catholic and Protestant, Irish and British, the people who lost relatives, friends and limbs in their cowardly bombing campaigns, the people who were tortured or the women who were raped.

Her arrogance is shocking – she claimed she was “offended” by the sight of Union Flags in Belfast – did she not pause to think that these were people of Northern Ireland flying those flags? Or that the largest elected party on the Northern Ireland Assembly is Unionist? Or that she herself was not from Northern Ireland, and was not in a position to pass judgement over the respective choices of national identity in the different communities in Northern Ireland?

If she really felt strongly about Irish Republicanism, why not voice her support for the SDLP or some other democratic republican organisation?

Posted by Nick | Report as abusive

The conflict in the North of Ireland was created by the British Government’s anti-democratic partition of Ireland based on a sectarian headcount (that’s why three of Ulster’s nine counties were excluded from the ‘Northern Ireland’ state) and the threat of the Empire’s might in 1922.
Rose McGowan expressed an opinion of how she might have reacted in a specific geo-political situation based on history and she’s entitled to her opinion.
If she’d said the same about joining the MI5/MI6/Military Intelligence ‘James Bonds’ who ran loyalist paramilitary death squads no one would have batted an eyelid.

Posted by John, Dublin | Report as abusive

“tbh british people couldn’t give a toss about ireland being part of the UK, WE DONT CARE”

Actually, we do.

John from Dublin:
“The conflict in the North of Ireland was created by the British Government’s anti-democratic partition of Ireland based on a sectarian headcount (that’s why three of Ulster’s nine counties were excluded from the ‘Northern Ireland’ state) and the threat of the Empire’s might in 1922.”

There was conflict in the south of Ireland, the west of Ireland and the east of Ireland too. It was created by people who wanted a compromise between the wishes of some Irish people and the wishes of other Irish people. Some refused to accept the compromise, though it was ratified democratically by an international treaty. Sinn Féin was invited to take part in the border talks, but they declined.

“If she’d said the same about joining the MI5/MI6/Military Intelligence ‘James Bonds’ who ran loyalist paramilitary death squads no one would have batted an eyelid.”

Those same ‘James Bonds’ who ran Loyalist “paramilitary death squads” also ran Republican “paramilitary death squads”. For the same reason too: counter-terrorism.

Posted by Robbie | Report as abusive

robbie, thats ridiculous, theres no way you can compare mi5 and the IRA, for one, mi5′s job is to protect the people in britain, and prevent bad things happening, whereas the IRA are the complete polar opposite, their intentions are to harm innocent people whos goveronment are the ones at fault, i said the UK as in the acutual people couldnt care less if we are joined with ireland or not, our government does, not us…. i think we should all just rule ourseleves, in our own separate governments but still help eachother out as we are sister countries, ie with food, merchandise etc. still have a uk but just rule ourseleves in our seperate countries own main issues…

Posted by evie | Report as abusive

ps. i agree with nick. she’s obviously made a lot of people angry at her stupidity, she needs to do her research. i feel mostly for the victims in northern ireland and britain than just her attack on the UK, it must be making their blood boil. i dont think it was wise to make the book in to a film just yet, people are still bruised from this and its not helping us to move on…

Posted by evie | Report as abusive


Perhaps you misunderstood me. It’s not ridiculous: the book McGartland wrote was an account of how the likes of MI5 used operatives within the IRA, as they did with other terrorist organisations. That had been my point – I wasn’t comparing the IRA and MI5. Maybe you missed the quotes around the second-to-last paragraph of my last comment (I was quoting John from Dublin).

MI5′s job is not just to protect the people in Britain, by the way – it is to protect the people of the whole of the UK, and to protect national security. While they are not above the law, that doesn’t mean that covert operations haven’t been acted outside the law.

Again, you assert that the people of the UK don’t care “if we are joined with Ireland or not”.. again – we do care. Also, it’s not “Ireland”, it’s Northern Ireland only.

As for your opinion on “ruling ourselves” – I thought that’s what we were doing. You presumably mean that you support the breaking up of the UK, and you’re very entitled to your opinion. My own opinion, for what it’s worth, is that we are stronger united. I do support devolution though: I think that’s important.

Posted by Robbie | Report as abusive

I suppose that blowing up women and children out shopping or shooting dead a dad at a dinner table infront of his children is OK because “My heart just broke for the cause”?

This woman should have thought about what the IRA did (just like all terrorists in Northrn Ireland).

Iwonder just what it is about the murderous activities of the IRA which she finds appealing,” he said.

As an IRA member would Miss McGowan have been happy to participate in the abduction, torture and murder of Jean McConville, a widow and mother of 10?

Perhaps she wishes she had murdered shoppers in a bomb outside Harrods? Fire bombed diners in the La Mon restaurant? Shot dead people doing a days job? Set off no wraning bombs killing scores of people? Or does she wish she has been responsible for the murder of two young boys in Warrington?

If Miss McGowan can develop such a misplaced sense of sympathy for murdering terrorists after making a film about the IRA, I sincerely hope she is never asked to make a film about the terror attacks on the Twin Towers, lest she come out with some rubbish about sympathising with Bin Laden and wanting to join Al Qaida.

Murdering men, women and children is never justified. Never.

Posted by Peter | Report as abusive

No surrender, we will never forget our fallen comrades nor those that seek glory or wealth in their deaths

Posted by UDA | Report as abusive

People are incredibly stupid. I’m not talking about Rose McGowan. I’m talking about the media, the movie’s producers and the public, who are taking the position that the actress is advocating the violent actions of the IRA.

No one really bothered to stop and contemplate what she was really saying. Reading some of these comments has made me realize how moronic the majority of the human race can truly be. Especially when they listen to the likes of the media, with their history of misinterpreting celebrities.

Posted by Lee | Report as abusive

“No surrender, we will never forget our fallen comrades nor those that seek glory or wealth in their deaths”

Does that include the comrades you killed during in-fighting over drugs? I also presume the glory was achieving ownership of a particular drug dealing territory in Belfast not to mention the wealth!

UDA/UVF/LVF/UFF (so many more due to in-fighting) etc were an absolute joke, no one took them serious. Now look at them, washed up junkies destroying the communities they apparantly defended with HEROIN and COCAINE.

Pure and utter benefit leeching junkie gangster scummers.

Posted by Emmett | Report as abusive

she needs to learn to shut up and grow up. her dad wouldnt have let her do anything with the ira. why cause its a dirty job. what a cow she dosent think of the kids with no moms. the moms with no babys and the fathers with no sons. dosent matter what freaken side you are on….. people have lost there lives…. familys left behind….. I say she should be canned and never put on tv again. what a lippy cow.


Rose Mcgowen happens to be my favourite actress, and have followed her work and press reports for some time. a huge fan.

but i’ve just stumbled across this article and feel very dissapointed, surely she does not support the ira? i don’t think she thought very carefully about what she was saying. but im sure if you placed her in the real situation instead of a make believe one then her views would be very different.

Posted by Carl Holton | Report as abusive

robbie, you are presuming that i want the UK to break up which is not what i said, if you read what i wrote…no we are not ruling ourselves, most of Englands mps are scottish with posh accents… scottish mps can vote in English situations but english not in scottish… i said i would prefer it seeing as we are all apparently ruling ourselves to have the natives of those coutries to rule there’s its only fair seeing as natives will do best by their own countries because they actually care, i said ireland because nothern ireland wanted to be part of the UK but southern did not…. fact is rose’s comments make me feel sick and what she said is basically she is a proud terrorist… she has people my age (19) who are her fans….she really gross.

Posted by evie | Report as abusive

just to make this clear, the only reason that britain interveend was to stop northern and southern ireland blowing eachother up, and we get alot of the blame for it i don’t think alot of people realise that. and it was all just because of religion and wanting to be part of the UK… im pretty sure rose only knows the facts of the film and films are not exactly somthing to belive by, ie. media and magazines she should know this…she’s famous in american right?

Posted by evie | Report as abusive

Not long ago Nelson Mandela was seen as a terrorist by the British Govt. as well as many other democracies.The fact is one mans terrorist is anothers freedom fighter,it just depends on what side you’re on.A life’s a life no matter who,what or where they are.However,if i awoke tomorrow and a foreign power had taken rule of my country & my civil rights were denied i would most certainly be motivated to join a group that stood against them – any right minded person would.Standing up to violence by using violence isn’t terrorism it’s common sense.Violence is abhorrant but in the world we live it is also inevitable.The British have a long history of violence & i’m sure the many peoples who have suffered at their hands don’t see them as heroic soldiers,again it just depends on what side you take.Rose McGowan was asked a question & answered it.Maybe if politicians were to adopt the same policy the need for violence would be diminished.I wouldn’t hold my breath though.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

i think that everyone is entitled to there opinion and just cause rose is a woman and famous doesnt mean she cant do it. GO ROSE!!


I think evie like many others was not a student of a complete history. While Rose may have made her comment off the cuff, I believe there may be quite a few people who didn’t live in Ireland through the troubles that would have joined the PIRA. This is evidenced by people in the states, as well as Irish throughout the world engaging in many acts to support those brave volunteers on the home front. I will not deny, war is never pretty. While we romance it afterward, war at its most vicious is an ugly affair. But a bid for freedom from a historically oppressive government is never a wrong move.

Posted by Eric | Report as abusive

Everyone believes the propoganda about the IRA, and if someone speaks the truth, people say they don’t understand. The IRA does not deliberately target innocent civilians, which is requisite for catagorization as ‘terrorists’. The British government calls them terrorists, as they would call the founding fathers terrorists in the history books, if they had won the Revolutionary war.

Posted by Buck | Report as abusive

I can’t believe she said this, it is so hurtful. I have lived in Belfast all my life and the damage that the Troubles have caused is inexplicable. It a shocking that anyone would wish to assosciate themselves with a any group involved in the Troubles. To date, 1500 have died. Why would she involve herself in that? She obviously does not understand her subject matter.

Posted by Ashley | Report as abusive

She would have joined the IRA? What utter tripe. I am personally sick to my stomach of Americans espousing romantic notions about the IRA. Just because they may an uncle who has the odd pint of guiness they are suddenly “Irish” American (whatever that means!).

The IRA, UDA, INLA, UVF were all the same, murdering terrorists. Ask the shopkeepers who had to pay them protection money, or the people whose sons were battered to death with iron bars in “punishment” attacks (when the paramilitaries set themselves up as judge jury and executioner) or the normal people they intimidated every day what they think. These people were thugs, period.

They were criminals under a flag of convienience, nothing more. As a former soldier I had the good forutne of coming face to face with some of these vermin and treating them like the scum which they are, which they always found difficult as they were so used to everyone bowing down to them out of fear. Words cant describe how much hate I will always have for paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, no matter what flag they waived. McGowan needs to hold that in perspective.

If the IRA were so wonderful, do the Irish Americans never wonder why everyone who lives there is so glad to see the back of these scum now peace has taken hold?

Posted by Daffy Duck | Report as abusive

I think one should be wary of what the actress Rose McGowan said, the context within which it was said, how the question was posed to her, and what the media has chosen to publish and chosen to edit out.

If the quote is an accurate, verbatim copy of what she said, it doesn’t on the face it appear to be a tacit support for the IRA. The sentence “I imagine had I grown up in Belfast I would have 100 percent joined the IRA,” sounds like she was trying to posit the view that, had she experienced a childhood in that troubled, blighted city, and been a Catholic – which being part Italian/Irish I would imagine she is – then she can envisage experiences and ingrained views that would have led to her support to the pro-Republican cause, even to potential support for the paramilitary terrorist groups of differing complections. That doesn’t sound to me as though she was advocating explicit support as such. I’m sure, upon reflection, she would have considered wording it a little differently. It isn’t, it should be noted, a very articulate or considered Englsih sentence. And by that, I don’t mean to attempt to make the statement a little more innocuous, diplomatic or objective. It appears the answer was on the spur of the moment. ” … would have 100 percent joined the IRA” ? Well, either you join or you don’t; one doesn’t join 50 percent, do you ? Of course, you may argue, whether the sentence is literate or not, it will still betray the thought and opinion that underwrote it. It still suggests that she tried to give an instant sound-byte reply, but put her Gucci booted, perfectly pedicured foot photogenic foot well, truly and squarely into her loose mouth.

Rose McGowan is not a heavyweight intellectual, political commentator or leading voice of someone caught up in The Troubles. She’s a Hollywood actress. Her comments, insensitive or offensive, ill-informed or downright ignorant, were made from the cushioned, luxurious, fully air-conditioned insulation of La-La Land, USA. It can be assumed that the media put a loaded question to her in such a way that the response was practically pre-governed, then taken out of context, and then advertised around the world’s media platforms like some dubious sermon from the Mount. Why, I ask myself, was this comment published ? What, you have to ask yourself, was the desired reaction the media wanted ? Controversy ? Insult ? The anger whipped up based on lies by omission of the whole truth ? Well, it seems to have worked, doesn’t it.

The fact that as story is reported in the news doesn’t infact mean that it has any news-worthy value or importance whatsoever. Better to regard the comments as those of a silly woman who was put on the spot, wished to say something with intelligence or merit, and was found wanting.

Posted by Gary | Report as abusive

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