You pays your money and you take your choice. The Irish Independent speculates on a move by the IRA to decommission ahead of the Leeds Castle talks, whilst the Sunday Life says no.Time will tell. But an act of decommissioning now would single a different dynamic in the process, with the IRA being seen as taking the lead in the process rather than being pushed into to it by their political opponents. The other crucial question will be how much will General de Chastelain be permitted to reveal of what he witnesses.
Clearly the IRA will want to put limits on what is publicly revealed, but without some form of open verification of quantities, it’s unlikely to pass muster as a ‘confidence building’ exercise for their Unionist opponents.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty