What’s striking about the IMC’s list of IRA criminality is how short it is compared to the speculation of its real extent. The bank robbery is there, and the McCartney murder (with the usual caveats). But after that the list is comparatively modest. It only lists one arson attack, five shootings and six assaults since August 2004.Considering the IRA is still denying the robbery (despite a popular belief both inside and outside Republican areas that it did carry it out), it’s hard to know what to make of it. Other than to say these guys are being very careful not to run ahead of themselves.
It goes on to address Gerry Adams almost directly:
“How does Sinn Fein now view the claim made by PIRA (the Provisional IRA) to be the lawful government and representative of the people of Ireland, north and south?
“Does the party seek power in Ireland, north and south, using paramilitary muscle to back its participation in the political process?
“Does it ultimately intend to participate fully in democratic politics, and to observe all the standards that requires, but to reach that position maintaining for the time being some form of slimmed-down military capability?
“Or is it now ready to ensure that PIRA ends all forms of illegal activity and to engage wholeheartedly in democratic politics and in policing?
“In his statement of April 6, as president of Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams indicated views related to some of the considerations we have raised earlier in this section and if he is able to develop this and to deliver as he seems to have suggested, he will have demonstrated leadership of a high order.”
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