Not exactly a one-two punch.. but Tom McGurk and Vincent Browne in the Sunday Business Post give their view on the way forward. McGurk takes the “softly softly” line – “Decision Time for SF”, while Browne is clear about what that decision must be “Disbandment is only option left for IRA”
Vincent Browne on the “capitulation”, to date, of the republican movement –
The capitulation has been significant. Republicans have been forced to deal with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and have been drawn into the web of the judicial system. Only a few weeks ago, this would not have happened.The PSNI was unacceptable without further reforms, as was the judicial system. Now both have been sanctioned. After years of linguistic evasions, republicans have been cornered into characterising as murder the deliberate killing of an innocent person by fellow republicans.
They have also been caught on the back foot over the Northern Bank robbery.That, too, is now characterised as criminal, and Gerry Adams, the president of Sinn Féin, no longer seems convinced that it was not carried out by the IRA. Did you see him on television at the Press Club in Washington? A characteristically adroit, if wooden, performance, but very unconvincing on the bank robbery.
and on what is still needed to be done –
Anyway, the clarity is this: the IRA has to go away, you know. Lock, stock, barrel, guns, explosives, baseball bats, knives.
Decommissioning isn’t enough; there has to be disbandment, a publicly declared disbandment, and then no more operations, no vigilantism, no assaults, no killings, no robberies, no racketeering, no protection rackets, no defending nationalist areas (that is the responsibility of the police).
And by the way, there also has to be unreserved, total and unequivocal support for the PSNI (if necessary, after further reforms) and the judiciary, and no more carry-on about courts martial or governments and armies, other than the official army of this state.
As he sees it, that is the new reality –
There can be no participation by Sinn Féin in government without all these obstacles being cleared – and being seentobe cleared. If that takes a year, two years, five years or ten years, so be it. That is now the political reality. The IRA, with all its mumbo-jumbo, has simply got to go. The former wriggle room on that issue no longer exists.The McCartney sisters and Bridgeen Hagans have done that. If the IRA does not go away, then no deal with Sinn Féin. If there is any equivocation on policing, then no deal with Sinn Féin.That’s the new reality.[emphasis edded]
And he appears to argue, a failure to take that decision now would tell us more about Gerry Adams than anything else –
It might be that Adams cannot bring the republican movement to this stage now or in the foreseeable future. In that case, we all know where we stand.