IRA needs new context to leave the field of play

In the interests of balance I have temporarily abandoned my needy garden, to blog a couple of items. The first is Jim Gibney’s column in this week’s Irish News. He argues (as a senior member of Sinn Fein, he’s in a position to reflect internal RM thinking) the IRA are not going anywhere:

…the IRA will be part of the political scene here until there is a comprehensive peace agreement which works, which they can support and which deals with the removal of all armed groups involved in the conflict. There is not a comprehensive agreement round the corner so those jumping up and down demanding the IRA exit now should sit down and review what it is they are trying to achieve – a permanent peace or the defeat of the IRA? The first is possible the second is not


He goes on to turn attention away from where it has been in the last three months, on criminal behaviours of members of the IRA to the wider context, and the varous deficits that Sinn Fein feels its erstwhile partners in the Belfast Agreement are responsible for.