MANY Unionists were forced to look south for the only party in government – the Progressive Democrats – that was prepared not to turn a blind eye to the fact that IRA criminality was not covered in the ‘comprehensive agreement’. The PD Justice Minister Michael McDowell has backed the Chief Constable’s assessment of who was behind the Northern heist.
McDowell said, in a lengthy statement:
The people of both parts of this island must stand up to the deceptions, deceits, propaganda, and stratagems of the Provisional movement. There is no room for the Army Council in Ireland’s future.
There is no room in democratic representative institutions, North or South, for those who do the bidding of the Army Council and who cannot or will not operate independently of it. There is no way forward – North or South – for politicians with an agenda based on the existence, legitimacy, or continuity of the IRA.
Those of us who are genuinely Republican – who know the meaning of the term – must stand by the Republic which our grandparents, parents and we have created and serve- not the monster of the Provisionals’ ideology.
A liberal, successful, self-confident, generous and caring Irish society does not need the political insights of Havana or of FARC or of ETA – all of which have been the object of Provo ideological kerb-crawling. These are not models for Ireland, even for the creation of a so-called socialist republic.
As for the Provisional leadership, the moment of truth has arrived and in the starkest manner imaginable. Far from architects and drivers of a peace process, they are seen to be insatiable slaves of a divisve, discredited and destructive ideology. They are more in the mode of Mugabe than Mandela.
They are not republican. They are not committed to human rights or to civil or political liberties. They have betrayed the tri-colour and the reconciliation that it symbolises. They have hi-jacked History. They have put a gun to the head of Hope.
Instead, the Provos have by their actions opened up a gulf of mistrust. They have successfully polarised Northern politics at the expense of those who are reconcilers in the centre ground.
The true republican imperative of reconciling orange and green has been set back for decades by their actions. The door into exclusively democratic and peaceful politics is open for them and will remain open. But it is not a threshold which can be straddled or camped on by those who want to put one foot into democracy while leaving the other foot planted in terrorism.
Our freedoms, our democracy and our future all depend on that proposition. We must stand by the one and only republic that we have – the state that was built by the generation that won us our freedom and that has been sustained since by democracy and the rule of law. There is but one army entitled to be considered Oglaigh na h-Eireann – the Defence Forces maintained by the Oireachtas under Bunreacht na h-Eireann.