44% of Sinn Fein voters believe IRA should disband

The big news is not the demise of Sinn Fein, but the strength of sentiment within the party against the continuation of the IRA. “Almost 60% of Sinn Fein supporters say the IRA should decommission all of its weapons”.

  • J Kelly

    56% say the should stay is another way of looking at it but the significant thing about all this is that if the DUP hadn’t obstructed a deal last December we wouldn’t need a poll to talk of the IRA they would have decomissioned all their weapons and exited stage left.

  • fair_deal

    The DUP did not obstruct a deal. The Republican Movement rejected the proposals of the UK and RoI government.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    56% say the should stay is another way of looking at it

    Wrong.

    SF voters:

    25% – decommission some weapons
    59% – decommission all weapons
    Disband – 44%
    None of above – 13%

  • J Kelly

    Gonzo if 44% say disband does that not mean that 56% either do not agree with disbandment or are happy with the way things are.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    As the results of the poll show, this was not an either/or question. You are clearly incorrect and your statement is grossly misleading. The 56% have different views, only 13% at most could possibly agree with your own statement.

  • J Kelly

    Gonzo how do you know that all those who want decommisioning also want the IRA to disband.

  • Jacko

    J Kelly is right.
    60% of all nationalists say disband.
    44% of SF supporters say disband.
    You cannot, without further specific indicators, extrapolate anything else from those figures beyond: that 40% of all nationalists don’t agree with disbandment or they would have said so, and similarly with 56% of SF supporters.
    If they don’t agree with disbandment it is fair to assume they think the IRA should stay.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Gonzo how do you know that all those who want decommisioning also want the IRA to disband.

    *sigh*

    Why is Northern Ireland full of people who only see things as a choice between two options?

    This is basically a ‘sliding scale’ type question, which is arguably leading the interviewee towards a particular conclusion – a negative reaction towards the IRA – by only offering one alternative: “None of these”.

    If you want the IRA to ‘Disband’, in this poll that is the ‘toughest’ action you wish to be taken. The second is ‘Decommission all weapons”, followed by “Decommission some weapons”.

    The only alternative to a negative reaction is “None of these”, which doesn’t give the interviewee to state a positive reaction to the IRA.

    While it may be a leading question, you still cannot conclude that “if 44% say disband does that not mean that 56% either do not agree with disbandment or are happy with the way things are”.

    Those 56% who didn’t state a preference for disbandment stated a preference for other action the IRA should take to wind down its activities. They certainly did NOT state that they were “happy with the way things are” – they all wanted decommissioning in some form or other, apart from 13%.

    If the question had been phrased differently, the outcome would have been different I grant you, but you cannot infer from it what you have concluded.

    It’s a bit like saying “20% of people chose bananas as their favourite fruit in a poll, therefore 80% of people hate apples.”

    It’s nonsense.

  • smcgiff

    I can’t read the BT link –

    BELFAST, March 10 (Reuters) – Six out of 10 Northern Ireland Catholics believe the Irish Republican Army (IRA) — rocked by accusations of involvement in a bank raid and a bar killing — should disband, an opinion poll said on Thursday.

    The poll’s publication comes the day after the United States called on the IRA to “go out of business” following the outlawed group’s admission it had offered to shoot two of its members involved in the fatal stabbing of Belfast man Robert McCartney.

    But the Belfast Telegraph/BBC Newsnight poll also suggested support for the IRA’s political ally Sinn Fein has not been significantly dented by accusations from opponents that its leaders are implicated in IRA crime and so unfit to hold office.

    The IRA, which called a ceasefire in its violent campaign against British rule in Northern Ireland in 1997, draws its support from the province’s Catholic minority.

    The poll said 60 percent of Catholics, and 44 percent of Sinn Fein voters, thought the IRA should disband, and that 70 percent, including 59 percent of those who vote Sinn Fein, thought it should get rid of all of its weapons.

    The IRA and Sinn Fein have been plunged into crisis over the killing of McCartney, a Belfast Catholic, by a gang including IRA members. It came only the month after the guerrilla group was blamed for a 26.5 million pound ($50 million) bank raid.

    London and Dublin say there can be no progress on restoring the province’s regional government — set up under a 1998 peace deal to share power between divided Protestants and Catholics — until the issue of IRA criminality is resolved.

    McCartney’s family have accused the IRA of intimidating witnesses to his death in a bar fight and destroying evidence.

    Their high-profile campaign prompted an extraordinary IRA statement in which the shadowy organisation said it had been willing to shoot those responsible, but that the family had rejected rough justice and wanted the killers tried in court.

    However, a question on voting intentions in Thursday’s poll suggested Sinn Fein has not been badly hurt by the scandals, showing it tied on 20 percent with the moderate SDLP, its main rival for Catholic votes.

    Historically, polls in Northern Ireland have almost always underestimated Sinn Fein support. A poll before regional elections in 2003 put the SDLP 22-20 points ahead of Sinn Fein, but the latter defeated its moderate rival 23.5-17 when votes were cast.

    The poll was carried out by Millward Brown Ulster with a sample of 1,010 people.

  • Jacko

    Gonzo
    “It’s a bit like saying, ‘20% of people chose bananas as their favourite fruit in a poll, therefore 80% of people hate apples'”.

    Bollix.

    *SIGH*

    Actually, it’s like saying that: if 44% of people, WHEN ASKED, say they are not happy with bananas on the menu, then the other 56% of people who were ALSO ASKED must be happy with bananas remaining on the menu as they didn’t take the opportunity, WHEN GIVEN IT, to indicate otherwise.

  • Henry94

    Was anyone asked if they thought the UDA should decommission or disband?

  • JD

    UDA? What’s that?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Jacko

    they didn’t take the opportunity, WHEN GIVEN IT, to indicate otherwise.

    They did. It was the one question, with multiple answers. 44% thought they should disband. The others – apart from the 13% – thought they should do something else (decommision all or part of their weaponry). They clearly did NOT think that everything was hunky dory if the IRA doesn’t disband.

    I was crap at maths at school, but isn’t this obvious?

  • Mick Fealty

    What I find surprising is that such a high figure of party supporters should (in essence) agree with Paisley’s position on this issue: that the organisation should just be gone.

    The 60% supporting the decomm position are simply where the Trimble Unionists and the SDLP are/have been.

    Perhaps it lends some perspective to the variety of opinions held by those ordinary voters who continue to back Sinn Fein?

    It certainly doesn’t look like a blank cheque for robbing banks.

  • cg

    “It certainly doesn’t look like a blank cheque for robbing banks”

    No one suggested it was Mick, would you like to elaborate further on this?

  • Mick Fealty

    I’m not suggesting anything other than what it says.

    There is clearly no reason for anyone (be they inside or outside the Republican Movement) to believe that a strong showing for Sinn Fein means they have a ‘mandate’ to pursue ‘criminal’ activities.

  • PaddyCanuck

    Mick, I am a Sinn Fein voter, even fom here in Canada.

    I want the IRA to disband, and I agree that most other Sinn Fein supporters probaly agree with my viewpoint.

    But I realise one thing, they will not disband under pressure from the media, opponents et al, they will only do it in the context of a comprehensive agreement, and they will only do it if they exit the scene in a dignified fashion, heads held high if you will.

    I think december was a great opportunity missed, and it will be a while before we get back to that position.

    People point out(allege) that they were insincere because they were planning the NB heist, but if a deal had have been reached, this could have been called off in a second.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    The IRA only started decommissioning under extreme pressure from all sides.

    When public opinion, all parties, three government and the republican community itself agrees that the IRA should do something, what reason does it have for not listening?

    I know it’s convenient to believe that the IRA never bows to public pressure, but change comes most decisively when it comes from within the republican community.

  • DessertSpoon

    “People point out(allege) that they were insincere because they were planning the NB heist, but if a deal had have been reached, this could have been called off in a second.”

    AHA!! So it was the IRA!!! Quick someone phone Hugh.