Distinction between Sinn Féin and the IRA?

While describing the IRA offer to shoot the murderers of Robert McCartney as extraordinary and horrific, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern also says things have to move forward in the peace process and that there is a distinction between Sinn Féin and the IRA.

Is the Irish leader alone in this view or is Ahern merely saying this because he is worried that any criminalisation of Sinn Fein together with the IRA will be counterproductive to the long-term stability of this island?

  • levitas

    Its obvious, from what I have heard. and looking at the strain on the faces of leaders of SF that there is quite an internal battle going on between the IRA and SF. Some of the more gleeful commentators, exhilerated by the discomfiture of Gerry and Martin may wish to pause and consider that it is these guys who are holding it all together. I would not be surprised if there are significant elements in the IRA leadership who feel that they can not disband the “army” or downgrade it whilst the 6 counties remain occupied by Britain…similar arguments were presented by the 32 County sovereignty movement. Most of RIRA are now palsy-walsy again with those in the IRA who are deeply suspicious of the “political project”.Note also that the only “arrest” connnected to the money finds in Cork was Don Bullman a member of the RIRA. It seems to me that hard line elements inside the IRA are putting it up to Adams and Co- see Northern bank robbery- the recent statement on the McCartneys- all removing the wheels from the momentum behind the politico’s.Perhaps Bertie knows this very well, and realises that some of these “young turks”-and make no mistake they do exist- would not be crying too much about the end of the “peace process”, it is these boys who could take over.Adams and McGuiness may be beginning to feel that they no longer wanted to keep having to defend the actions of an organsiation, key elements of which, they no longer have any decisive power over

  • Alan

    Let’s keep our eyes on the prize. The prize is pushing violence off the political agenda.

    As long expected, the IRA are acting in exactly the same way as loyalist paramilitaries have done elsewhere. They are offering up death, disfigurement or disability by way of reparation for the actions of its members.

    The point at issue is that the IRA must somehow believe that doing so moves forward the cause of a United Ireland. Its belated stream of excuses, evasions and presentation of partial (in both senses)evidence must move forward the agenda of a United Ireland. Why? Because otherwise there is no point in the continuation of a violent republicanism.

    We seem to be witnessing the shattering of a polite fiction that the IRA is above all that criminality stuff. No matter what it may claim as victories through the years, the IRA is now a debased, defunct anachronism that appears content to pander to its own basest instincts. It is time that SF put paid to their older brother’s depredations.

  • George

    Interesting take levitas. When the initial IRA statement on McCartney came out it was mentioned that it wasn’t in the same measured tones of previous ones, which could indicate new people at the helm.

    The second certainly adds grist to that mill.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Ahern is not the most consistent of performers but surely even he can’t be allowed to get away with this one.
    He spent weeks after the Northern Bank telling us about the IRA leadership knowing about the robbery and that the leadership included Mc Guinness and Adams. We are told ad nauseum that SF and the IRA are one and the same. Now we are told there is a distinction.

    Michael won’t be too pleased about Bertie going off on another solo.

  • Holt

    Maybe I’m slow, but isn’t it time to ask “What is the IRA for in 2005”

  • mickhall

    Pat, levitas, and George, one of the reasons SF is in the hole it is at the moment is because they all tried to be to clever by half, resulting in no one believing a word they said, even when they may have been speaking the truth. Dont go down the same road again with this nonsense that Gerry and Martin have lost control of the PRM, or are fighting to maintain it against pro army militants. This is rubbish as you are well aware, there is no organised opposition within the PIRA or SF.

    These recent PIRA statements reek of Mr Adams and his pals finger prints. Or do you really feel the people who you suggest may be associating with the RIRA down on the border, are the type of individuals who give out public relations statements. Your be telling us next that the man in the wellington boots has hired Max Clifford as his PR guru. I think his run in with the ST and their backers was enough for him to stay clear of the media, dont you? PIRA is in trouble over this for two reasons, it lost control of some of its volunteers, for a host of reasons and more importantly a secret army is just that, Secret. It does not give out three press statements in one month, not if it wishes to remain so. It is time for SF members to demand of their leadership that it calls publicly for the Army to be stood down, in your hearts you all know there is no viable alternative. Or do any of you believe they should return to war. For if you do not and you still refuse to call for it to be stood down, tell me what purpose does the PIRA now serve.

  • Tyler Deemer

    tyler deemer–i’m irish and german i speak german but i want to speak gaelic i’m learning
    I THINK THAT THE IRA IS A GRAND THING AND SHOULD KEEP FIGHTING TILL THAT eastern island where the tyrants live (the royal family) england gets the hell out of BELFAST AND WHOLE NORTHERN IRELAND, IRELAND WILL BE TOTALLY FREE AND BE WON ONE DAY IRELAND WILL BE FREE BECAUSE WE DIDN’T GIVE UP LIKE THE scottish.IRA-SINN FEIN-ERIN GO BRAH-

  • Jimmy Sands

    I’ve always assumed that the bottom line was that the IRA was far too lucrative a proposition to be abandoned simply to futher Adams’ political ambitions. He’s finessed the point up to now as well as anyone could have expected but I don’t imagine he can hold it together indefinitely.

  • Gonzo

    Tyler

    You’re either a loyalist sock puppet or a brainwashed armchair general.

    Now which is it?