The secret present of the IRA?

The journalist and author of The Secret History of The IRA, Ed Moloney, gave his considered opinion on recent developments on RTE’s Morning Ireland(RealPlayer required) today – the ‘sabre rattling’ statements and the different realities compared to 10 years ago, including an end to the governments’ “destructive” habit of ‘turning a blind eye’. Most interestingly, though, he appears to suspect that there’s been a familiar hand “manoeuvring” the IRA into a position where it now has to make a “tough choice”. UpdatedHe acknowledged the complex reasons behind the decision to sanction the Northern Bank robbery, but wasn’t too concerned with the speculation on those reasons – “the thing has happened”.

However, when asked whether the IRA has a way out of its current difficult position, he referred to what he described as one of the “hidden motives” behind events –

“The SF leadership, Gerry Adams in particular, has very often used manoeuvring rather than straight-forward persuasion in order to get his people to a situation where they have to go and where he wants them to go.

And if you look at where the IRA is now, there really is only one way out for them, they can of course go back to war but, as I said, there are very negative and immediate consequences arising from that course of action. Or they can take the other road and start winding their operations up and to decommission in the way that is most likely to instil confidence on the part of unionism.

These are very tough choices. One has to wonder whether they would take these choices if they were faced with a direct choice. Clearly they didn’t in December. But now that they are in a position where they either have to do this or die politically. Then it’s in these circumstances that that may happen.”

(Transcribed from the audio file – If there are any inaccuracies let me know)