Damien Kiberd argues that Gerry Adams’ attempts to bring the IRA on board, will ineviatably face a concerted campaign amongst the press. He identifies two problems in particular that he believes causes anxiety in the Republican heartland at the prospect of IRA disbandment:
In the first place the process of dismantling the IRA’s military machine was supposed to take place in tandem with the dismantling of Britain’s military presence in the six counties. There is no particular evidence to show that Britain has taken this task seriously: even the Free State minister Dermot Ahern – who is no friend of Sinn Féin – drew attention to this problem in recent days.
Secondly, what will happen if loyalists attack Catholic districts in Belfast and elsewhere this summer or in 2006 and 2007? Clearly, members of the republican movement will try to defend their areas against attack, but if they do so will they not be accused of hypocrisy by the Dublin and London media.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty
Living History 1968-74
A unique, once-in-a-lifetime 10-week course at Stranmillis University College Belfast featuring live, in-depth interviews with leading figures from this tumultuous era in Northern Ireland’s cultural and political history.
Live interviews with: Bernadette McAliskey, Austin Currie, Brid Rogers, Baroness Blood, Dennis Bradley, Baroness Paisley, Lord Kilclooney, Tim McGarry, Danny Morrison, Sir Kenneth Bloomfield and others…