Adams to speak on what's expected of IRA?

Gerry Adams has given Daily Ireland (unavailable) an exclusive interview ahead of a statement he’s to make in Conway Mill at 3pm this afternoon. The keynote speech is expected to launch the party’s election campaign. There are hints that it will talk about what’s now expected of the IRA. We’ll hold speaking our piece until we see the text of the speech itself, before we can say whether this is a significant or (as some commentators suspect) a purely electioneering gambit to take the heat off the party.

Adds: Richard’s been up before us, he thinks it could be genuine!

  • TroubledTimes

    Some years back it was “they havent gone away you know” This time it will be “Its time you have to go away you know”
    Its all nonsense.

  • Henry94

    The bottom line is the IRA have to be off the pitch by the next General Election in the south.

  • Liam

    “Its all nonsense”?

    Let’s just wait and see.

    There has been no sign of any of the other parties or either government acting to introduce positive momentum.

    It is high time that somebody injected some momentum into this process.

  • Richard Delevan

    I’m going to go into bizzarro-world here and agree with Henry94 – that has to be the perception, anyway. Either Adams succeeds in delivering that perception or the project collapses. Crunch time.

    But, Liam, seriously. “The ball is in SF’s court” has been the line from both Governments since December. That SF may, finally, with an election imminent, be responding, doesn’t give them the high ground.

    The time for ‘momentum’ and ‘process’ is over. This is the endgame.

  • Davros

    There has been no sign of any of the other parties or either government acting to introduce positive momentum.

    That’s because, having broken it, the onus is on the RM to fix it Liam.

  • Liam

    Davros

    “That’s because, having broken it, the onus is on the RM to fix it Liam.”

    I would disagree strongly and entirely with your view of why we are where we are Davros.

    But it would be a fruitless waste of energy to get preoccupied with that debate. It is the wrong debate.

    For those who are interested in moving this process forward then we all need to examine what we can add to encourage positive momentum.

    This is much bigger than elections and people should try to focus on the big prize, not on parochial entrenched viewpoints.

  • J Kelly

    If nothing else no one can argue with the facts of this peace process when defining leadership was called for Gerry Adams has stepped up to the plate. If this speech is what some are anticipating hten people should give Gerry Adams the credit for making this move.

    Unfortunately a lot of politics in this day and age is media focussed and how its packaged. So why shouldn’t Sinn Fein use the media and an election to their own advantage in the same way as any other party.

  • iluvni

    Surely Gerry could have waited a day or two until the McCartney girls returned from Brussells before his latest ‘keynote’ waffle…he wouldn’t be wanting to distract from the damage they are doing to Sinn fein in Europe, would he?!

  • Davros

    Of course you will disgree with my assessment, just as you’ll disgree with everybody else except SF 😉
    Look, everybody else in the band is out of step with our Johnny. And the “For those who are interested in moving this process forward then we all need to examine what we can add to encourage positive momentum.” is always dragged out of the cupboard when the RM has been caught red-handed.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    Watch what you’re posting there iluvni, you might end up hearing from a certain south Belfast politician’s lawyers!

  • spirit-level

    Adams should say that the IRA is like a battered child, and its NOT responsible for its actions, because it can’t be ( its not mature enough )
    It needs to receive and accept apologies for the wrongs its suffered, enabling it to forgive and heal itself and in return offer aplogies for the wrongs its caused
    Only then will this child grow up, and mend its ways, because it is free from resentment and victimhood and can now take responsibility.

    ( this is part of my paper on child psychology and the IRA for my dissertation .. called
    “IRA: schizophrenic patient or incorrigible criminal )

  • Liam

    Davros a chara, somehow begrudgery doesn’t quite become you? But it is particularly inappropriate when this begrudgery is so entrenched that it is coming even before the fact. You have already made your mind up to reject any initiative at all from republicans?

    It is surely not too testing for you to wait for Adams statement, then consider it and offer a considered response? Or is it?

    To belittle my statement that “we all need to examine what we can add to encourage positive momentum” is sadly reflective of a completely entrenched position.

    Spirit Level:
    It needs to receive and accept apologies for the wrongs its suffered, enabling it to forgive and heal itself and in return offer aplogies for the wrongs its caused
    Only then will this child grow up, and mend its ways, because it is free from resentment and victimhood and can now take responsibility.

    ….And how those very words could be addressed to so many different participants to the conflict!

  • DaithiO

    Perhaps all you detractors would do better by following Micks lead and wait to see what’s actually said.

    Break the habit of a lifetime and actually listen to what someone else has to say !

  • DaithiO

    Liam,

    You beat me to it and were far more eloquent about it, thanks.

    D

  • GavBelfast

    “This is much bigger than elections and people should try to focus on the big prize, not on parochial entrenched viewpoints.”

    Nice warm-up stuff for Dear Leader, and so very true.

    An end to massive bank robberies and brutual murder (complete with forensic cleaning-up the evidence techniques) will do very, very nicely for the rest of us, thank you very much.

    I’ll listen with interest, of course.

  • Davros

    Liam a chara (and now DaithiO) :

    I’m not discussing or speculating on what Adams will announce. I’m discussing the reasons as to why he will be making this ground-breaking announcement. He reminds me of the serial adulterer who promises his long-suffering wife that he’s turned over a new leaf, they can move on and build on a new beginning etc etc. Oh, let’s not dwell on the past dear,it’s soooo unhelpful … and here’s a new mink coat.

    I know you are both sharp enough to understand the difference 🙂

    As for being dismissive of the mantra, It’s been abused too many times by Gerry and co. We both know that this or some variant will be trotted out the next time the PRM is caught red-handed.

  • spirit-level

    “….And how those very words could be addressed to so many different participants to the conflict!”
    Liam
    That’s why there is much need for dialogue.
    Paisley is more of a child though than Adams,
    as he won’t even sit down with his enemy and talk.
    As Stalford would say:
    Pathetic

  • Keith M

    So is this the “the war is over” or “time for the IRA to diband” or just another bit of chuckie doublespeak. My money’s on the latter.

  • Bert Papworth

    It seems to me that for the likes of Keith M, Davros, GavBelfast, Beano, Spiritlevel,iluvni,(I wonder what this band of the usual suspects have in common?) there is little that Gerry Adams could say to satisfy them, they are determined to “diss” his contributions before he has even uttered a word….surely the ultimate indication of a closed mind.

    But if we want the problems to be resolved then Sinn Fein will have to take the initiative, so why should’nt credit be extended for Gerry Adams for continuing to grapple with these issues, if he does’nt who will?

    What I suspect motivates a lot of the posters named above is an ill-concealed hatred of all things republican, which really is a sublimated form of sectarianism, of the sort still being exemplified by Paisley and his ilk.

  • ricardo

    Bert, is it really that hard to understand that many unionists don’t believe a word that comes out of Gerry Adams mouth? and why should they?

  • George

    Gerry has said that the IRA should seize the initiative and embrace politics completely.

    There is no room for armed struggle as Ireland is now a completely different place.

  • ricardo

    Do you know if he said they should disband george?

  • George

    That’s all I heard them say in the RTE news headlines.

    I would hope embracing politics completely means standing down. I don’t know if disbandment was ever on its agenda.

  • PS

    Here’s the full text of an excellent speech by Mr. Adams, one which can hopefully break the political logjam and leave rejectionist Unionism with no corner left to hide in.

    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.

  • PS

    Sorry I hadn’t seen George’s blog above.

  • GavBelfast

    It’s more beating about the bush as far as I’m concerned.

    It’s quite simply time for all the paramilitary organisations to pack-up and get out of town.

    And any genuine prospect of unity on this island – in whatever form – is impossible with people like Adams and McGuinness on the stage.

    Now, are Adams/McGuinness et al prepared to help make the best of Northern Ireland, and see what flows from that?

    Still, the speech should keep the vote-up on 5 May so probably a job well done on that score by Dear Leader.

  • Travis

    I know full well that such truly historic decisions can only be taken in the aftermath of intense internal consultation.

    Meaning long after the election. It is really a nothing statement, prolonging the ‘peace’ at the end of the ‘process’ yet further.

    But, hey, wait for the spin to start…

  • PS

    Which would you prefer? A rushed anouncement by the IRA without consultated with its members possibly heightening the risk of dissent or a spolit or a considered decision taken after consulation which will hopefully engender a new era without arms?

  • Comrade Stalin

    GavBelfast, I rather suspect that Adams’ speech is not an isolated event. I’d speculate that it is the beginning of a sequence of moves which are likely to take place over the coming hours and days.

    Whatever SF do it will have to somehow defeat the criticism they have incurred following the Northern Bank robbery and the McCartney murder. There is no point in Adams going to this bother unless something real happens, and I think we’re looking at the end of the IRA as we presently know it.

  • iluvni

    comrade stalin,
    we should have been looking at the end of the IRA TODAY, not at another round of this interminable bullshit.

  • Comrade Stalin

    you shouldn’t ask too much, you might just get it.