IRA walks off an empty pitch…

Interesting discussion of last night’s IRA statement on Morning Ireland this morning. Tommie Gorman implied that the IRA’s withdrawal of its offer was something of a political non sequitur, in that there had been no political table since all other players had long since resiled from any deal with them.

Update: Martin McGuinness is asked if this is just another twist in the IRA and Sinn Fein’s negotiation tactics (sound file)?

One section towards the end of the (in IRA terms) longish statement seemed to imply a renewed attempt to address criminality within its ranks:

We will not betray the courage of the hunger strikers either by tolerating criminality within our own ranks or false allegations of criminality against our organisation by petty politicians motivated by selfish interests.

An interesting description of the Taoiseach! From what Slugger hears from growing sections of the Taoiseach’s own party, the feeling is mutual. In the absence of any clear statement, speculation is likely to continue about the internal state of play within the Republican movement.

  • drumcree

    Perhaps there was no political table in light of the complete breakdown in confidence that any commitments made by PIRA would turn into actions (cast our minds back to the charade of the Hillsborough negotations with the UUP).

    More interestingly was John Humphries suggestion to Martin on Radio 4 this morning, that PIRA’s action was merely another negotiating ploy on the poker table (as opposed to political table) whereby they could then re-offer the arms issue again in the future in aniticipation of further concessions to them – even Martin was lost for words in response to this analysis. I hope the collective democracy in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland recognises that it is time to call PIRA’s bluff and move on with the political process, with or without them.

  • willowfield

    Forget them. Let them have their tantrum.

    They’ve had their chance – plenty of them.

    Time to move on. If they want to join the rest of us, they know what they have to do. It’s hardly unreasonable to expect them to give up illegal weapons, stop committing crimes and commit to peace.

  • DessertSpoon

    “We do not intend to remain quiescent within this unacceptable and unstable situation. It has tried our patience to the limit.”

    My patience is pretty much at it’s limit too and I’m getting tired of all the game playing, threats and intimidation too. Who the hell do they think they are? How dare these idiots hijack us like this? Time to call all their bluffs and get on with things without them. In fact here’s a tip for the next election DON’T VOTE FOR THE EXTREMES!!! VOTE FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO WORK TO MAKE YOUR LIFE BETTER AND NOT HOLD YOU IN PERPETUAL STASIS.

  • Alan2

    Yes. Sinn Fein has a mandate (as do the PUP) but it is their own actions and associations that are holding up the process. Everyone else should move on. If and when Sinn Fein / IRA and PUP / UVF decide to sever their links with armed paramilitaries or those organisations disband, disarm or “transform” in a transparent manner that gives confidence to the community they should be welcomed into the political process and into government.

  • DerryTerry

    Walking off an empty pitch is a brillant image of exactly what happened. Unfortunately it doesn’t explain where everyone else went, when they went or why they went. Anyone for a photo?

  • Davros

    How can one walk off an empty pitch ? If one is on it then it’s not empty.

  • smcgiff

    Tut! Tut! Davros. Next thing you’ll be telling us you don’t know what sound one hand clapping makes! 😉

  • mickhall

    Whilst I understand your frustration, the blame game will not move this process forward; and the fact is SF has a political mandate despite their links with PIRA. Links I might add which existed when unionist politicians first entered into negotiations with them. There was a deal on the table, whether PIRA were serious or not, one would have only found out by picking up the deal and running with it. The truth would have soon come out. But no, the DUP, with there leaders sack cloth and ashes photo etc, speech, did what no negotiating partner would do unless they wished to crash the talks, they allowed their negotiating partner, SF no room for manoeuvre, The majority of the people of Ireland have shown at the ballot box they want a deal, no political party comes out of this with any credit, not SF, and certainly not the DUP.

    I would just add this, to those who remain safe in their belief that PIRA is a dads army, thus a busted flush as far as returning to war is concerned, should remember this. Those who founded the PIRA were also dads army types, who having been members of the IRA in the 1940-50s had given up all activity, Yet by uniting with those like the man who never was, they were able to build a formidable urban warfare outfit within a few years. Does anyone seriously want to chance their arm on going down that road again.

  • Rebecca Black

    Well, its hardly a huge change, they have gone from doing nothing to….doing nothing!

  • Davros

    Yet by uniting with those like the man who never was, they were able to build a formidable urban warfare outfit within a few years.

    Lot of water under the bridge since those days Mick. They won’t have any support, overt or covert, from the Govt’s or Mainstream Politicians of the ROI or the USA, they won’t have any support from the RC Church and they won’t be compared to partisans but al Quaeda in the world Press. They won’t be able to point to a sick and corrupt society.

  • mickhall


    All of what you say is true, but you know what they say about backing a dangerous animal into a corner? Plus many of their mates in Eta these day’s do not seem to give a toss about such things. All the parties to the negotiations seem to be retreating to their own particular bunker. If there was any justice not one of them come May and I mean right across the spectrum from Blair to SF would get a single vote, for none of them deserve any. They were given a clear mandate by the electorate to sort it out, yet still nothing.