Hain confident of new IRA statement

Peter Hain appears optimistic that the widely expected IRA statment is imminent and that it will have the capacity to “open a new chapter in Northern Ireland politics“. Some of the speculation that’s been circulating over the past few weeks is that the statement will be modelled on the one that brought the border campaign to a close in early 1961. Though, this BBC piece speculates that the logic of putting the pike in the thatch may not be so strong today: given Sinn Fein’s electoral strength in Northern Ireland particularly.

  • Man Farang

    A new chapter?
    And pigs might fly!

  • spirit-level

    I am curious to know if the statement has been written and its now choreography time.. to fit in with ?? Apparently Ahern is to meet Paisley first, to check out something?? Does anyone know when the statement might be released? What are the bookmakers saying? I can’t bear the tension 😉

  • spirit-level

    Has no-one got an opinion?

  • spirit-level

    God help me.

  • Minesapint

    I think I’ve seen this one before.

    Messrs. Paisley and Ahern having finished their discourse, leave the stage.

    Pat O’Neill enters stage left. Looking suitably pensive in his mask, he begins to speak…

  • Dessertspoon

    …but unfortunately someone has given him an “old” script and everyone in the audience begins to mouth the same old words along with him.

    Paisley goes red and begins to rant, the cast of Sinn Fein rush to the costume department to put on their comfy jumpers to appear reasonable and non threatening in interviews, Bertie and Tony give a heavy sign, shrug their shoulders and start yet another “We were so close…” press conference.

    But don’t worry if you miss any of this it will be repeated again and again and again and again….

  • MARTIN

    Why arent all these deals carried out in public–

    why are Adams and co-leaving Paisley another escape route to have his cake and eat it by raising the bar yet again.

    the last time the Ira carried out a significant act of decommissioning Paisley suddenly demanded photographic evidence.

    Paisley should be made to commit publicly to non-ambiguous terms and conditions

    (1)FIND out exactly what his demands are in order for him to power share with Sinn Fein—be they decommissioning,war is over statement,disbandment,
    photographic evidence.or all the above.

    (2)get a definite timescale–if Ira disbands then paisley will share after a period of say 3 months

    (3)MAKE THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE-so that this man cannot go back on his word and then impose more conditions and demands–raising the bar,once he gets what he wants.(this time)

    (4)Call paisleys bluff by giving him what he wants,if he demands more then he will be exposed internationally as a liar and an enemy of peace.

  • TAFKABO

    “Why arent all these deals carried out in public–“

    Like IRA decommissioning?

    “why are Adams and co-leaving Paisley another escape route to have his cake and eat it by raising the bar yet again.”

    Because it suits them to have a neverending process?

    “the last time the Ira carried out a significant act of decommissioning Paisley suddenly demanded photographic evidence.”

    You mean he demanded that the deal be done in public, just like you demanded in the opening statement of your last post?

    “Paisley should be made to commit publicly to non-ambiguous terms and conditions”

    Hmmm, I suggest you take a look back at the attempts by the republcan movement over the last forty years to “make” Paisley and other Unionists commit to something.

    “(1)FIND out exactly what his demands are in order for him to power share with Sinn Fein—be they decommissioning,war is over statement,disbandment,
    photographic evidence.or all the above.”

    It’s all of the above, with a period of testing.What more do you need to know?

    “(2)get a definite timescale–if Ira disbands then paisley will share after a period of say 3 months”

    I would say more like a year.

    “(3)MAKE THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE-so that this man cannot go back on his word and then impose more conditions and demands–raising the bar,once he gets what he wants.(this time)”

    Well, you can make the terms and consitions public, but pailey is a poltician,and as such he will find any way to go back on anything he has promised.
    I refer you to handwritten pledges by Tony Blair and claims that the first IRA ceasfire was an end to all violence as examples of how this kind of thing works.

    “(4)Call paisleys bluff by giving him what he wants,if he demands more then he will be exposed internationally as a liar and an enemy of peace.”

    Yeah, that’s right, threaten to tarnish his impeccable reputation abroad, that’s gonna get him worried.

  • martin

    TAFKABO,
    they made unionists negotiate,come along way from whenn George Seawright was tearing down flags in SINN Fein offices hasnt it.

    What you dont seem to realise is that should he break his word -Republicans wont need to return to violence-get ready for the bloodless spectaculars if he does–theres more than one way to skin a cat,besides you should know from your buddies in the Uda,UFF,UVF,LVF,Ulster resistance,RIR,PSNI,Orange Volenteers,etc,etc—-that guns when they are not regularly greesed and fired decay quite rappidly-so really what will IRA be giving up any way

  • TAFKABO

    “they made unionists negotiate,come along way from whenn George Seawright was tearing down flags in SINN Fein offices hasnt it.”

    Alternatively, it hasn’t come that far from what was on offer in the early seventies, so what exactly was all the slaughter for?

    “What you dont seem to realise is that should he break his word -Republicans wont need to return to violence”

    Glad to hear it, but wouldn’t they need to move away from violence in the first place?

    “-get ready for the bloodless spectaculars if he does–theres more than one way to skin a cat”

    The pity is that they didn’t try these other methods before.I look forward to garry ghandi and his peaceful protests.

    “,besides you should know from your buddies in the Uda,UFF,UVF,LVF,Ulster resistance,RIR,PSNI,Orange Volenteers,etc,etc—-that guns when they are not regularly greesed and fired decay quite rappidly-so really what will IRA be giving up any way”

    I don’t have any buddies in any illegal organisations, and I do resent the implication in your post that I would support scum.

    Though like most people on this island, I fully support the PSNI.

  • Baluba

    TAFKABO
    ‘Though like most people on this island, I fully support the PSNI.’

    That’s an interesting assumption.

  • martin

    you support p.s.n.i fully

    so you have no problem with them standing idly by while Robert Hamil was kicked to death–their actions could be construed as incitement,re their seeming approval of what was going on–be careful using sweeping statements like “most people on this island” there never has been a poll carried out so you could be proved wrong sometime in the future–do you also fully support those former members of the Ruc involved in collusion with those”scum”you refferred to,who have managed to hold onto their jobs in the new police force—I find it very hard to believe that someone who can refer to another human being as being scum–what ever they have done or their political beliefs–does not have fascist tendencies themselves–Are you really a democrat?

  • TAFKABO

    “you support p.s.n.i fully”

    “so you have no problem with them standing idly by while Robert Hamil was kicked to death”

    I didn’t know the PSNI was around then, nor that it has been firmly established that the police acted in the way you describe.

    “be careful using sweeping statements like “most people on this island”

    Sorry, I just noticed a trend of people assuming they spoke for the majority, on any issue,and thought i would follow suit.

    ” there never has been a poll carried out so you could be proved wrong sometime in the future”

    until I am, I shall assume that the overwhelming majorty of public persons and organisations that speak in support of the PSNI represent the majority opinion.

    “–do you also fully support those former members of the Ruc involved in collusion with those”scum”you refferred to,who have managed to hold onto their jobs in the new police force”

    I support anyone who upholds and adheres to the law.

    “–I find it very hard to believe that someone who can refer to another human being as being scum–what ever they have done or their political beliefs–does not have fascist tendencies themselves–Are you really a democrat?”

    really?

    I have no difficulties whatsoever in referring to the Shankill Butchers, or the Poyntzpass killers, or the Greysteel murderers, to name but a few, as scum.

    You think that this makes me an undemocratic fascist?

    I think your reasoning is somewhat suspect.

  • martin

    I dont know-I just think Scum has a ring of lynch mob about it or crystalnacht,and I still think making a sweeping statement like most people on this island -you could also argue that until a poll proves that the majority do support PSNI -that they certainly do not–what if I was to convince myself that a majority of people of N.I want to join a united Ireland until a poll proves me wrong–it would be a BIT DELUSIONAL now wouldnt it-but like you i would be entitled to that lie to self–however not many would agree with us would they.
    I dont know you but just from your printed word i can sense the anger and seige mentality-

    Maybe im wrong-,but what exactly did you get so defensive about my wishing any further dealings between Sinn Fein and D.U.P to be in the public eye–including decommissioning which you wanted to begin with——MAYbe your just scared that this set of demands will be met and then youl have to find something new to gripe about.

  • TAFKABO

    “Maybe im wrong-“

    something we agree on.

  • martin

    Yes well i can admit to the possiblility of being wrong can YOU.

    By the way I also condemn the atrocities you mentioned including Enniskillen ,Omagh,Shankhill bombing Warrington ,Bloody sunday,Dublin monaghan,

    But dont use the histerical language that you do–
    there will always be something more atrocious to come afterwards and you wont be able to come up with something even more histerical.

    Be clear on this im not condeming the R.M s use of force against THE British forces of occupation
    I just never agreed With car bombs in shopping centers or use where civilian casualties were a possible outcome.

  • TAFKABO

    Martin.

    I’m gonna pull out of the discussion, since it seems to be heading into personal abuse territory, and I am not in the mood for that.

    Slan.

  • MARTIN

    sine

  • Paul

    Martin suggested:
    “you could also argue that until a poll proves that the majority do support PSNI – that they certainly do not”

    I think TAFKABO’s point was that the overwhelming majority of organisations making statements about the PSNI were in favour, so (in the absence of a proper poll of everyone) it might be reasonable to assume that the balance of the statements reflected the balance of views in the population.

    It is not entirely subjective, even if it’s not completely rigorous.

  • martin

    Paul,

    who were the organisations that were overwhelmingly in favour and when?

  • Paul

    Martin suggests dealing with Paisley’s unionists thus:

    1. FIND out exactly what his demands are in order for him to power share with Sinn Fein
    2. get a definite timescale
    3. MAKE THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE
    4. Call paisleys bluff

    That would seem reasonable – but the unionist turnout for the DUP shows considerable unionist scepticism that the process WOULD work like that – even if you could agree the conditions in (1).

    Here’s how it normally goes, as unionists see it:

    1. unionist make demands on IRA arms
    2. negotiation (jump and the IRA will not be found wanting… republicans will be imaginative… give peace a chance), followed by reduced demand being “agreed” — by a “totally separate organisation” with plausible deniability, but with an understanding that the choreography will happen
    3. deadline passes, just to show that the IRA won’t be pressured by unionist deadlines
    4. the IRA makes a response that falls short of what was expected or agreed
    5. republicans commentators hail a historic breakthrough,
    6. moderate nationalists hail the IRA’s progress in approaching a few of the demands, and demand that unionists consider the bargain fulfilled.
    7. unionists walk away from the failed deal.
    8. …wait a decent interval, then repeat, using the previous unionist concessions as a starting point for new negotiations.

    It’s slightly unfair, since in practice the IRA have made concessions as well. Trouble is, they have either been slight, or secret, or both, and a sceptical unionist population, which was assured that the war would be over by christmas (OK – that decommissioning would happen in 2 years) doesn’t believe it any more.

    As well as reassurance that Paisley will deal if his conditions are met, there needs to be reassurance that the IRA will decomission and stand down for their part.

    Right now, nobody seems to trust that the other lot will actually make and keep the necessary promises.

  • MARTIN

    Paul,

    thats why the entire deal should be open to public scrutiny–YOU DO THIS=WE WILL DO THAT.

    by way the last time around with Trimble the IRA made a significant act of decommissioning-according to the Canadian general whose name I cant spell(de Chastellaine) what exactly were all these concessions to nationalists received as a result

  • martin

    Paul,

    by the way if Paisley does get his decommissioning and disbandment–when he starts his dance of triumph of having defeated R.M,

    I think that his words of victory will ring very hollow to everyone on this island

  • Paul

    In favour (of the PSNI) to the extent that it’s at least a start on the road to accountable policing, and that people should join in policing consultation bodies… most political parties other than SF, the two governments, most churches, etc, etc.

    Nobody’s claiming everyone thinks the police are perfect, cos they are not 🙂

  • martin

    Paul,

    I think most people that you mentioned support the P.S.N.I as an improvement on the Ruc—thats not saying very much is it.

  • Paul

    I care much less about who gets to do a victory jig than about whether there are still thugs (of any hue) with guns telling people what to do, extorting money, and beating and killing people.

    Peace is not supposed to be a zero-sum game, and an end to paramilitarism should not be seen as a defeat for either community – quite the reverse, in fact!

  • martin

    ok,

    When the Ira is gone will we then all move on to Loyalist decommissioning and the 100,000 fire arms in the Unionist community.

    You cannot alter the fact that the IRA have decommissioned in the past and the unionists have broken all pacts and not reciprocated,raising the bar on every occassion.

    Is sack-cloth and ashes a new precondition after they disarm and disband or does it happen after disarmament and before disbandment.

  • marty

    the 100,000 fire arms in the Unionist community.

    Erm, is this figure accurate? Or have you plucked it out of the air to suit your agenda?

  • filledwithdread

    I have heard a very strong rumour this week that there is a new group active out there called something like saoirse na eireann, I heard they are a republican setup who apparently claimed responsibility for the recent marathon bomb attack on the chief constable. They also have claimed responsibility at the start of May for the Lisburn Civic Center building bomb in April and and numerous hoaxes and firebombs before xmas at B&Q for example. The version I heard came from someone working at the irish news and a friend heard something similar at cool fm. Yet its not been mentioned publically anywhere else. Any journos on here shed any light? Bearing in mind the Marathon bomb was a viable remote control device isnt it in our interest as members of the public to know if there is an emerging new threat from a republican terror group capable of targeting the chief constable with a remote control bomb capacity? Is this a covername for mainstream republicans? What does this say for the present political situation despite the imminent IRA announcement? I dread to think !!!

  • martin

    Marty,

    that figure was put to David Trimble not so long ago, he didnt offer any denials i dont claim that it is entirely accurate down to the last one but to the last 1,ooo. Its based on northern police’ s firearms licence records those are the licenced ones if the illegal ones are taken into account the figure would be even higher-

    What is the obsession with guns.The UDA the largest pariamilitary group in the north claims to have a hard core membership of 5,000 well armed men—-they probably dont mean cap-bombs and catterpults by well armed –so theres at least another 5,000 weapons to add to total

  • martin

    Its based on northern police’ s firearms licence records

    So these are legally held weapons? Why do they need decommisioned?

    I agree with you about loyalist paramilitary weapons by the way, but it’s false to suggest that every unionist who enjoys shooting rabbits or clay pigeons (which I don’t btw) is a potential threat to the nationalist community.

  • Paul

    There is clearly some confusion, since it seems that Martin is referring to legally held weapons – often by farmers, or for sporting use. Many of these will be shotguns, of limited military potential. I believe that under Northern Ireland’s gun laws, it will also include air-rifles!

    There are no figures kept as to whether a firearms permit holder votes for nationalist or unionist parties, even under the new rules, where they need evidence that they are not some sort of nutter 😉 , but it is likely that the holders of legal weapons reflect the unionist majority in Northern Ireland – particularly in rural areas.

    Martin may have reached his figure by including firearms held by the police and army – who are unlikely to be disarmed in the short term!
    Having said that, an unarmed police force would be welcomed by everyone, once the paramilitary threat (including loyalists and dissidents) has been dealt with.

    Unfortunately, the figures for legal weapons are sometimes used to distract attention from the problem of loyalist and republican paramilitaries, who are more of a threat to society than farmer Giles.

  • martin

    To all,

    Im not suggesting that every Unionist farmer who enjoys a bit of rabbit/clay pigeon shooting is a threat to the nationalist people . I know some quite decent Unionist farmers who enjoy clay pigeon shooting–Im against the shooting of wildlife whether they be unionist or nationalist rabbits.

    What i am suggesting is that a lot of these weapons could be held by persons with part time jobs as Loyalist paramilitaries-not the vast majority-say 10,000 of the 100,000 would be far to much.Bloodsports should be banned and if farmer Giles or sporty Fred wants to test his aim he should have to join a recognised rifle club.

    By the way I remember the results of a study carried out in the U.S.A-
    It concluded that ownership of /or possession of a firearm increases the liklihood of that person being killed by a firearm by 300%–these were the result of mainly domestic disputes and burglary/robbery just add our societys problems to that equation and the result would be—It would be much better if there was no weapons in N.ireland society

    unarmed police
    no British army
    no paramilitaries of what ever hue
    and no licenced weapons either
    IF farmer Giles chickens get killed by a local fox im sure he will get over it in time,and if sporting fred wants to shoot guns he can take a psycological test and if not a nutter he can join a gun club using their weapons having paid an exorbatant fee.