Adams' public address to the IRA

Well, there you go. You pay’s your money and you takes your choice. This is the first public evidence of Gerry Adams asking the IRA to accept politics rather than the gun. Some will argue that nearly eleven years into a peace process, it’s a tad on the late side.

However, two thoughts occur from Axelrod’s Tit for Tat stratagem (quoted at length in A Long Peace?).

By calling attention to the viability of a democratic strategy and the (largely economic) changes that have taken place in the Republic over the last fifteen years, Adams is increasing the shadow of the future, and raising expectations amongst IRA volunteers and the hard core of the provisional Republican movement that a democratic future will be better than its armed past.

However, his opponents will also be mindful that these words do not signify actions. As one DUP member remarked to Slugger, Sinn Fein may be currently electorally strong, but its politically isolated, and in a weak position to spend any of its accumulated capital. Even in the wake of what most pundits expect will be an historic high point in the party’s 25 year long electoral performance.

Finally, if this keynote is to be judged politically significant for any longer than the election campaign, it will be deemed to be so only when the corresponding actions match Adams’ polemic in favour democracy.

But don’t hold your breath. As one of our Republican readers Henry has argued below, the significant time to have lost the guns by is the next Dail election in the Republic. And even that remains open to the vaguaries of certain, unforeseen circumstances!

  • Davros

    Well, that was a damp squib.

  • Mick

    That seems to have been duly noted in various news outlets I spoken with.

  • Levitas

    April 06, 2005

    Adams’ speech to the IRA
    Here is Gerry Adams’ statement to the IRA for all and sundry to make up their own minds. From the Sinn Fein website:
    I want to speak directly to the men and women of Oglaigh na hEireann, the volunteer soldiers of the Irish Republican Army.

    In time of great peril you stepped into the Bearna Baoil, the gap of danger. When others stood idly by, you and your families gave your all, in defence of a risen people and in pursuit of Irish freedom and unity.

    Against mighty odds you held the line and faced down a huge military foe, the British crown forces and their surrogates in the unionist death squads.

    Eleven years ago the Army leadership ordered a complete cessation of military operations. This courageous decision was in response to proposals put forward by the Sinn Fein leadership to construct a peace process, build democratic politics and achieve a lasting peace.

    Since then despite many provocations and setbacks the cessation has endured.

    And more than that, when elements within the British and Irish establishments and rejectionist unionism delayed progress, it was the IRA leadership which authorised a number of significant initiatives to enhance the peace process.

    On a number of occasions commitments have been reneged on. These include commitments from the two governments.

    The Irish Republican Army has kept every commitment made by its leadership.

    The most recent of these was last December when the IRA was prepared to support a comprehensive agreement. At that time the Army leadership said the implementation of this agreement would allow everyone, including the IRA, to take its political objectives forward by peaceful and democratic means.

    That agreement perished on the rock of unionist intransigence. The shortsightedness of the two governments compounded the difficulties.

    Since then there has been a vicious campaign of vilification against republicans, driven in the main by the Irish government. There are a number of reasons for this.

    The growing political influence of Sinn Fein is a primary factor.

    The unionists also for their part, want to minimise the potential for change, not only on the equality agenda but on the issues of sovereignty and ending the union.

    The IRA is being used as the excuse by them all not to engage properly in the process of building peace with justice in Ireland.

    For over thirty years the IRA showed that the British government could not rule Ireland on its own terms. You asserted the legitimacy of the right of the people of this island to freedom and independence. Many of your comrades made the ultimate sacrifice.

    Your determination, selflessness and courage have brought the freedom struggle towards its fulfillment.

    That struggle can now be taken forward by other means. I say this with the authority of my office as President of Sinn Fein.

    In the past I have defended the right of the IRA to engage in armed struggle. I did so because there was no alternative for those who would not bend the knee, or turn a blind eye to oppression, or for those who wanted a national republic.

    Now there is an alternative.

    I have clearly set out my view of what that alternative is. The way forward is by building political support for republican and democratic objectives across Ireland and by winning support for these goals internationally.

    I want to use this occasion therefore to appeal to the leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann to fully embrace and accept this alternative.

    Can you take courageous initiatives which will achieve your aims by purely political and democratic activity?

    I know full well that such truly historic decisions can only be taken in the aftermath of intense internal consultation. I ask that you initiate this as quickly as possible.

    I understand fully that the IRAs most recent positive contribution to the peace process was in the context of a comprehensive agreement. But I also hold the very strong view that republicans need to lead by example.

    There is no greater demonstration of this than the IRA cessation in the summer of 1994.

    Sinn Fein has demonstrated the ability to play a leadership role as part of a popular movement towards peace, equality and justice.

    We are totally commited to ending partition and to creating the conditions for unity and independence. Sinn Fein has the potential and capacity to become the vehicle for the attainment of republican objectives.

    The Ireland we live in today is also very different place from 15 years ago. There is now an all-Ireland agenda with huge potential.

    Nationalists and republicans have a confidence that will never again allow anyone to be treated as second class citizens. Equality is our watchword.

    The catalyst for much of this change is the growing support for republicanism.

    Of course, those who oppose change are not going to simply roll over. It will always be a battle a day between those who want maximum change and those who want to maintain the status quo. But if republicans are to prevail, if the peace process is to be successfully concluded and Irish sovereignty and re-unification secured, then we have to set the agenda – no one else is going to do that.

    So, I also want to make a personal appeal to all of you – the women and men volunteers who have remained undefeated in the face of tremendous odds.

    Now is the time for you to step into the Bearna Baoil again; not as volunteers risking life and limb but as activists in a national movement towards independence and unity.

    Such decisions will be far reaching and difficult. But you never lacked courage in the past. Your courage is now needed for the future.

    It won‚t be easy. There are many problems to be resolved by the people of Ireland in the time ahead. Your ability as republican volunteers, to rise to this challenge will mean that the two governments and others cannot easily hide from their obligations and their responsibility to resolve these problems.

    Our struggle has reached a defining moment.

    I am asking you to join me in seizing this moment, to intensify our efforts, to rebuild the peace process and decisively move our struggle forward.

    George Burns @ 06 April 2005 03:42 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    ——————————————————————————–

    Comments (50)
    What is the new thing here?

    Posted by: slug9987 at April 6, 2005 03:50 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Nothing new in the statement, but in the next couple of hours the choreography will become clear and the IRA will do – something.

    Posted by: Comrade Stalin at April 6, 2005 03:53 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Adams has gone a lot further than I would have dared imagine with this.
    A fair step towards getting off the back foot if you ask me. Of course the question is if any choreography with the IRA has been agreed, and if so what and when.
    Paisley’s comments indicate that he’s ready to retreat at top speed into his “NO” shell should his bluff be called, and that Adams speech is a step towards doing this.
    I think this was a good speech – seems to be a break in the clouds.

    Posted by: Circles at April 6, 2005 03:54 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Circles – what position has Adams taken here that was not his position before?

    Posted by: slug9987 at April 6, 2005 03:59 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Can you take courageous initiatives which will achieve your aims by purely political and democratic activity?

    Fascinating speech. I think the new thing is that it’s in the form of a question. It admits there is a possibility the answer could be no. Which is why Adams couldn’t answer any questions today — though if the choreography doesn’t kick in quickly he’ll have to answer the question.

    If the IRA says no to your question, what then?

    Posted by: Richard Delevan at April 6, 2005 04:00 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Would any IRA act at this time be seen as anything other than political manouvering in order to try and maximise SF’s vote and appear to be taking the initiative? It will be interesting to see if/how they ‘respond’ (although the idea of responding to yourself is a bit puzzling).

    While being no fan of Paisley, I could hardly blame him for being suspicious, given the timing of the announcement. I haven’t yet heard exactly what Paisley said, but it will take something big to reassure unionists after the events of the past 5 months.

    Posted by: beano @ Everything Ulster at April 6, 2005 04:01 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    “An address to the IRA”

    Presumably it was delivered into his bathroom mirror?

    Posted by: Stalford at April 6, 2005 04:02 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Actually the question to Adams should be: “If the IRA — or individual members of the IRA, such as those accused of killing Robert McCartney — don’t answer yes, what then?”

    Posted by: Richard Delevan at April 6, 2005 04:02 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    slug9987, perhaps it’s new because it asks the IRA to “lead by example” in the absence of a comprehensive agreement. And to do so “not as volunteers risking life and limb but as activists in a national movement”?

    But the ceasefire fits that description, i.e. this doesn’t necessarily call for decommissioning.

    Posted by: Occasional Commenter at April 6, 2005 04:03 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Out come the amateur comedians………

    Posted by: PS at April 6, 2005 04:03 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    So yet again GA commending the murders and brutality as well as NOT condemning any illegal activites.
    whats new.
    Just wait to see the IRA give up 3 or 4 rusty guns and maybe even a polaroid of them being buried at dusk!

    Posted by: queens_unionist at April 6, 2005 04:05 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    I wouldn’t expect an IRA response too soon. Adams asks them to ‘initiate’ an internal consultation ‘as soon as possible’.

    Posted by: Inch at April 6, 2005 04:08 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Occasional C

    “not as volunteers risking life and limb but as activists in a national movement”?”

    1. Didn’t the IRA always think of themselves as activists in a national movement?

    2. Also as you hint I thought that the decision on the end to the IRA as “volunteers risking live and limb” was taken quite some time ago – 1994 and then 1997.

    As for “leading by example”, ok but most people believe in that. It’s a bit “apple pie is nice”.

    Posted by: slug9987 at April 6, 2005 04:10 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    It’s also interesting that this news is being broadcast around the world very quickly with headlines like:
    Adams calls for end to arms struggle
    Armed struggle over
    Adams asks IRA to embrace politics

    Alot of people abroad not so schooled in NornIron political nuances will be praising him for his speech , and it’ll be lead item on Channel 4 News. BBC1 etc… Newsnight
    quite a coup.

    Posted by: spirit-level at April 6, 2005 04:10 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    PS, your website seems very ‘un-biased’.
    sorry for brief change of topic

    Posted by: queens_unionist at April 6, 2005 04:10 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Slug, this speech is billed as being directed towards “the volunteer soldiers of the Irish Republican Army”.
    As such it requires (at least in my reading of it) an answer from these volunteers, and thus that the IRA either accepts Adams analysis that “the way forward is by building political support for republican and democratic objectives across Ireland and by winning support for these goals internationally” – or they reject this completely. Now if SF had believed this call would have been rejected I believe the language used would have been a lot more cautious and cloaked in layers of ambiguity (and the whole “keynote” build up would not have been employed).
    I think this is a very clear “message” to the IRA (and most importantly the volunteers outside of the dialogue between SF leadership and AC) from SF/Gerry Adas – “in the past I have defended the right of the IRA to engage in armed struggle. I did so because there was no alternative …. Now there is an alternative.” This is an extremely clear farewell to arms. As is “Now is the time for you to step into the Bearna Baoil again; not as volunteers risking life and limb but as activists in a national movement towards independence and unity.”
    Basically it says – stop being an IRA volunteer and become a member of SF because thats the way forward. “Armed struggle” is not an alternative.
    And all this in an extremely public manner – not as part of an internal dialogue.

    My concern would be though what the IRA internal doubters and loose cannons, and those used to their pwoer and “perks” will make of it.

    Posted by: Circles at April 6, 2005 04:12 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Spirit-Level

    Good point on media hype. But seasoned Adams watchers will want to strip this speech down to see if it means anything new. I am no expert but I cannot see what is the new position here which is actually explicit.

    Posted by: slug9987 at April 6, 2005 04:13 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    QU – many people, such as myself, don’t claim to be unbiased in their blogs 😉

    Thanks for the heads up spirit-level, I’ll try and avoid the news tonight lest it enduces vomiting. I wouldn’t imagine many journalists would analyse the speech even to the level carried out on slugger, just try and extrapolate a story from a (fairly cheap) pre-election stunt.

    Posted by: beano @ Everything Ulster at April 6, 2005 04:14 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Circles

    Thanks for that – well explained and useful interpretation.

    The problem for me is that I thought all those points about taking a peaceful and political path had been accepted 10 years ago or so by the republican movement as a whole.

    Posted by: slug9987 at April 6, 2005 04:17 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Circles:
    “My concern would be though what the IRA internal doubters and loose cannons, and those used to their power and “perks” will make of it.”
    Swap your berets and balaclavas for suits and ties, put leaflets thru letterboxes not bombs.
    I think big dept stores should halve the price of new suits to give them a hand;)

    Posted by: spirit-level at April 6, 2005 04:18 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Sounds just as if Adams is asking the IRA to call a conventin to declare the war over. The difference is that until now the end of the war was predicated on the completion of the agreement. Now he seems to be saying that it can end now to enable the growth of republican politics, ie to serve the party agenda rather than to complete the agreement.

    Posted by: Malachi at April 6, 2005 04:21 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    There seems to be an assumption on the part of some posters that the IRA will follow through on what is at this stage a polemical argument for democracy. But how likely is this?

    I can’t see that anyone would not welcome the argument. But it’s genuinely hard to make anything of it if it’s not followed up by an action. Ergo, the expectation of real time movement.

    I guess we’ll have to wait and see (again)!

    Posted by: Mick at April 6, 2005 04:22 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    I think it’s safe to assume that the IRA response had already been drafted. The question will be whether it involves a unilateral step or simply a further declaration of what they might be prepared to deliver in return for their wishlist.

    Posted by: Jimmy Sands at April 6, 2005 04:28 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Maybe I’m just a pessimist and/or naïve, but would any such move not result in a considerable boost for recruitment in the ranks of dissidents?

    Posted by: beano @ Everything Ulster at April 6, 2005 04:28 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    As a political observer, I would expect any statement in a campaign to promise the most and deliver the least. The actual “destruction” of the IRA is not required, from the Sinn Fein point of view, until SF is in a position to enter government with Fianna Fail.

    Posted by: Alan McDonald at April 6, 2005 04:31 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    beano I refer you to Malachi’s 4:21
    This is what is new, and worldwide commentators/politicians will want to pursue SF to the hilt to get them to extrapolate, and push further.
    Because the world at large wants politics to work in Norn Iron. Sadly it seems DUP don’t want politics to work.
    I would hope that you’d at least like it to be true, whist acknowledging your unionist
    cynicism.

    Posted by: spirit-level at April 6, 2005 04:32 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Maybe I’m jumping ahead too much, but how will we know if the IRA has actually gone?

    I know some commentators say this will be the case when Sinn Fein joins the policing board – but what if the IRA still hung about in some form or other.

    And any statement by the Chief Constable to that effect would be seen as an attempt to derail the ‘peace process’ particularly after ‘ a huge, painful step’ by the Rep. movement.

    He would then be cast as someone who didn’t want a Shinner about the place…

    Like I said, I may be jumping ahead a bit…

    Posted by: Travis at April 6, 2005 04:35 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Surely Gerry Adams is attempting to spin his way out of the republican fiasco in Short Strand with the murder of Robert McCartney. The IRA didn’t exactly queue up to do what Gerry Adams said there – to give truthful statements – and they won’t disband now. Gerry knows this and he’s just being cynical.

    Posted by: john at April 6, 2005 04:38 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    I agree with Jimmy Sands, this isn’t a matter of Adams deciding one day to give a random speech, I think the sequence of events and the IRA’s reaction and statement will have all already been written and predetermined (I wonder if Adams was working out the details with the republican supporters in the USA when he was there). The likely reaction from the unionists has probably already been guessed and taken into account. Otherwise what’s the point in having a big speech and inviting the media ?

    As Richard D says there’s more to come.

    Posted by: Comrade Stalin at April 6, 2005 04:39 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Doesn’t this sound like a post split speech?

    I guess that the split has happened as a gradual sundering since the Northern Bank raid getting more polarised since the McCartney murder.
    As it was always going to be inevitable that there would be such a split it was only ever a matter of when. The question remaining will be how many will fail to move with SF and how significant they are.

    Posted by: Strewelpeter at April 6, 2005 04:39 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    “I would hope that you’d at least like it to be true, whist acknowledging your unionist cynicism.”

    Of course, I want it to be true that GA is calling for just what malachi said. I’m just worried that many will see GA’s statement as a step too far and simply jump ship to one of the other IRAs, and that’s assuming that the pIRA actually go along with it.

    Posted by: beano @ Everything Ulster at April 6, 2005 04:44 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Alan:
    I would agree that the statement could be seen in the context of the upcoming election. However interpreting it simply through this one lens isn’t enough in this case.
    Electioneering isn’t something that will particularly appeal to the boys and girls who have been enjoying the “perks” of being a known IRA volunteer (which is not IMO the majority), nor to the extreme hardcore who maybe never even accepted the ceasefire.
    This is not simply about fishing for votes – this speech was also made publicly to address it to the grass roots and the “volunteers” still on the streets and to get them on board. The internal discussion will involve harvesting their opinions on this and gaugin their reactions. I think its part of a consultation exercise with GA having set out his stall, and what better why to reach everyone than with a headline news story? The ACs reaction to this is possibly of much less interest than the reaction of the “foor soldiers” will be.

    Posted by: Circles at April 6, 2005 04:47 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    PS, your website seems very ‘un-biased’.
    sorry for brief change of topic

    To mis-quote David Vance, at balrog we have no “selfish strategic or economical interest” in a lack of bias!

    Yes, the website is biased, I freely admit that. It is run by two Irish Republicans who tend to give an Irish republican analysis of events. However it is not exclusively for Irish Republicans and posters of all politics and none are more than welcome. Indeed our most regular poster is from the unionist community! Hope to see you commentating Q_U!

    Posted by: PS at April 6, 2005 04:53 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    I’m keeping a running tally of headlines over at sicNotes – comments on whether the headline-writer has got it right, adds, etc. welcome.

    SDLP’s Alex Atwood on Newstalk106 as I type talking to George Hook. I’ll post that part-transcript as well.

    Posted by: Richard Delevan at April 6, 2005 04:55 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    beano
    I’m worried to , that’s why I think GA went to such lengths to praise the “volunteers”.
    The Palestinian Authority have the same problem with Hamas. This is a universal problem in trying to get past armed struggle, you’ll always have die-hards saying NEVER NEVER NEVER, until they feel they’ve got the prize.

    Posted by: spirit-level at April 6, 2005 04:55 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Circles,

    My political observations are strictly American. Our local Republican party would never make a public statement before all the party members were on board. I assume that your Republican movement works the same way.

    In other words, I believe that, internal to the Republican movement, the deal has been done. How it will be played out publically is a secret that only benefits Sinn Fein.

    Posted by: Alan McDonald at April 6, 2005 04:59 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    So the intelligence gathering and practice dry runs on government and military establishments and personnel (and their houses in Lisburn and Antrim etc) etc will cease? As will the liaision with and training of foreign terrorist forces ?(Columbia anyone?) Does that mean the training camps will also stop along with recruitment? Will Adams/McGuinness/Slab/ Brian G et al now resign from the PAC and let it be disbanded?

    Answers on a postcard to GOC HQNI BFPO 825…..

    Posted by: dave at April 6, 2005 04:59 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    We will have to wait and see whether this is electoralism or for real.
    Given the timing and all the word play that has gone on before, it smacks of cynical electioneering. But I hope to be proved wrong.

    Posted by: Jacko at April 6, 2005 05:36 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Circles – your comment intrigued me :

    Basically it says – stop being an IRA volunteer and become a member of SF because thats the way forward. “Armed struggle” is not an alternative.

    Years ago we saw a blessing given to be active BOTH militarily and Politically. ( Armalite and Ballot Box). With this Bullfeathers Gerry is trying to pretend that it’s always been a either/or thing – he’s implying that members of SF were not and could not have been IRA members at the same time … and all of Ireland knows that’s utter bollix. Does ANYBODY here honestly believe that there are NO SF members in the IRA ?

    This nonsense is about as useful and dishonest as Doris Day going on TV and making a speech calling for the “few bad apples within the UDA to quit as they are bring dishonour on a noble movement and cause”. That’s the same sort of crap that Gerry tried to feed us today.

    Marks : 0/10

    Posted by: Davros at April 6, 2005 05:44 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    First off this proves that the Republican Movement does respond when pressurised. The genuineness and meaningfulness of this reaction to pressure we will see and if people don’t SEE they won’t believe it.

    This doesn’t read as the ‘divorce’ option. It reads more like a full ‘merger’ proposal.

    Is a ‘army’ convention to be called?

    Will the IRA make conditional offers?

    Is the RM movement jittery about who will win the UK election result?

    I await with interest.

    Posted by: fair_deal at April 6, 2005 05:52 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Adams has been talking about this before. Read this
    interview he gave while the McCartneys were in America. He uses the word ‘alternative’ 7 times.

    Posted by: Gonzo at April 6, 2005 05:56 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Fair_deal,
    my reading of the statement is that there will be no offers.

    The idea is that the IRA will decide for itself where it wants to go and how it wants to develop, not wait on how far unionism or the British and Irish governments can push it.

    This is basically what many people, including myself (blows own trumpet loudly), said after the collapsed deal in December.

    I believed at the time that the IRA should have decommissioned anyway but not offer the photos. If they knew the armed struggle was over, then why wait?

    Now, they should stand down permanently, regardless of whether the Stormont assembly is reconvened or not.

    Gerry doesn’t mention the GFA. That agreement has served its purpose for the republican movement. It opened the door to the promised land, politicising the south. That is where the next push will come from.

    Or as Gerry now says:

    “The way forward is by building political support for republican and democratic objectives across Ireland and by winning support for these goals internationally.”

    Posted by: George at April 6, 2005 06:10 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    The majority of nationalists say good, other nationalists and the rest say bad. Predictable or what.

    Posted by: PatMcLarnon at April 6, 2005 06:26 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    This is fantastic news and I hope it gets a positive response from the IRA.

    Posted by: Henry94 at April 6, 2005 06:40 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Much ado about nothing. It’s clear that we need to hear from the bar brawlers, bank robbers and bullies are make up the IRA.

    Posted by: Keith M at April 6, 2005 06:45 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Much ado about nothing. It’s clear that we need to hear from the bar brawlers, bank robbers and bullies that make up the IRA.

    Posted by: Keith M at April 6, 2005 06:45 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    This will most likely split the IRA publicly. Others have said (rightly, I think) that a split has already occurred. I don’t see the “hard men” dumping arms at all. I’m cautiously optimistic about the others.

    I hope this works.

    Posted by: JD at April 6, 2005 06:48 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    “Years ago we saw a blessing given to be active BOTH militarily and Politically. ( Armalite and Ballot Box). With this Bullfeathers Gerry is trying to pretend that it’s always been a either/or thing – he’s implying that members of SF were not and could not have been IRA members at the same time … and all of Ireland knows that’s utter bollix. Does ANYBODY here honestly believe that there are NO SF members in the IRA ?

    This nonsense is about as useful and dishonest as Doris Day going on TV and making a speech calling for the “few bad apples within the UDA to quit as they are bring dishonour on a noble movement and cause”. That’s the same sort of crap that Gerry tried to feed us today”.

    Marks : 0/10

    Davros

    Would you have prefered no statement.

    = Same old crap

    Marks : 0/10

    Posted by: franc at April 6, 2005 06:59 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Franc,

    My reponse is the same as when they said they would do everything possible to help the McCartneys: sounds fine but let’s see what actually happens.

    Posted by: Jimmy Sands at April 6, 2005 07:23 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    I think the discomfiture of some of the regular…em let us say more unionist inclined posters is revealing…very revealing.
    You see Gerry Adams is doing precisely what you wanted him to do (or said you wanted him to do) now that he is setting about doing it unilaterally, all you can do is whinge and whine.

    There are lots of political parties who NEED the IRA to exist to ensure their credibility remains intact, only Sinn Fein is NOT one of them.

    The SDLP,and the DUP, and Fine Gael won’t be able to go on about Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness, or Martin Ferres in the South ,being on the Army Council when it err…does’nt exist anymore.

    That really does worry the traditional chorus line of anti-republican voices who are regularly wheeled out by the media. They will undoubtedly find a different tune to sing, but it won’t ever be as catchy as the old one.

    I gather this is going down a storm in the Stateside media according to my cousin in Philly, note the timing, optimum for news coverage both sides of the Atlantic.

    What price “Pop-eye” holding on to Foyle now??..GAME ON!