Brian Feeney is on fire this morning (subs needed). Most of you will be able to pick it on Newshound tomorrow, but for now, here’s the last two paragraphs:
Look on the bright side: it means that the next negotiations will be streamlined. Gone are the days when Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness were able to suck their teeth and say they didn’t know whether the IRA would accept something or not, so everyone has to wait while they convene an Army Council meeting and draft a P. O’Neill statement. Instead, the IRA will be in ‘a new mode’ and have no role to play. It has to be like this because Dublin and London are never again going to risk concluding an agreement with republicans before its military wing is stood down. As for unionists, they won’t even talk to republicans before that and who could blame them? Wouldn’t they have looked right eejits if they’d signed up on 8 December?
So in the end it will not have been the unionists or the British but the IRA which put itself out of business and in doing so laid bare the polite fiction about the republican leadership we have all indulged which has been the fundamental flaw in the peace process.
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