IRA: it's about extracting more concessions

The IRA’s actions (and inactions) are currently shaping politics (insofar as it exists at all) in Northern Ireland. But who speaks for them. Certainly not Sinn Fein. But, The Economist argues that neither Sinn Fein nor the IRA are interested in much else but another round of concessions:

“British and Irish intelligence services dismiss the idea of a clash between hawks and doves or a division between Sinn Fein leadership and the IRA. The two organisations are inseparable, as they always have been. There is debate, say the officials, but it revolves around the type and timing of concessions needed to get devolved government in Northern Ireland restored: promising to stop paramilitary operations; disbanding paramilitary structures; giving up weapons; and accepting Northern Ireland’s police service”.

  • slug9987

    Those are republican concessions in that list, Mick.

  • Belfastwhite

    Can someone enlighten me as to what all these republican concessions that have been gained and what concessions they are holding out for?

  • aquifer

    How about this for a concession:

    Don’t adopt the Republic of Ireland practice of jailing someone as an IRA member on the word of a senior police officer.

  • barney

    We must take the British and Irish intelligence services seriously. Look at the way they caught those bank robbers. And they…they…they did other stuff too to stop the bad lads. So there!

    BTW, it’s not entirely clear from the report but is it saying that the British and Irish intelligence services “are inseparable, as they always have been”? Talk about the bleedin’ obvious.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    If the Government is supposed to think that SF is putting clear blue water between itself and the IRA, would that not render SF largely irrelevant to Blair?

    Could it not be argued that Blair only keeps them on board all the time to prevent bombs in London, and if SF had no longer influence to prevent that, there would be little point in elevating them to the heights the British currently see SF in. Blair could find it easier to justify a security crackdown on the PIRA, as it would be seen as less damaging to the process in such a context. I have a feeling that if the stalemate starts to look long-term, the Government could go down this route. If the SF/IRA break wasn’t ‘clean’, it could also affect SF.

    RIRA was decimated – by foul means as well as fair – after it lost public support post-Omagh. What would it take for the PIRA to attract enough opprobrium to just go away? Nothing as serious as any more death, I hope.