More damage than years of British/unionist invective

Jonathan Freedland’s been in Northern Ireland over the last few days talking to people who have previously been considered well outside the normal track for visiting journalists. He comes up with two competing theories: 1 there’s a split in the Republican movement; and 2 there is no difference between the ‘suits and the boots’ with the latter simply policing the Belfast Agreement on the ground. Freedland himself falls short of buying the Adams is Arafat line that seems to be gaining ground in the US, but is convinced the current dynamic will mean the leadership of Sinn Fein and the IRA will have to make a decision to move one way or the other soon.

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