Perhaps in response to another report in the same paper – “The IRA will not disband but will have no role other than to pursue the goal of a united Ireland by purely peaceful means, in the scenario now being considered by republican leaders.”, the Irish Times leader today [just] manages to avoid the Godot reference.. but the connection seems to be there – Waiting for the IRA to go awayFrom the Irish Times leader column –
Thousands of words have been spoken since the IRA called its first ceasefire in the summer of 1994 cajoling and encouraging Sinn Féin to decommission its army and pursue its political aims by exclusively democratic means. Such exhortations have not been heard in recent months, however, because the days of nudge and fudge are over.
The IT continues with a strong comment on – and notably making a distinction between – SF and democratic Ireland –
But, there can be no war of words now between Sinn Féin and democratic Ireland about the future of the IRA. The time has come for action, not further ambiguity.There are issues of crucial national interest at stake which touch the core of our existence as a democratic State. And, the events of recent months – murder, gangsterism, thuggery, cover-ups, money-laundering and downright robbery – mean that it will not be good enough to return to the promised statement of last December.
Whatever verb is used, the IRA has to cease to exist and be seen to do so. There is one Army in this State. There must be complete decommissioning of arms verified by the de Chastelain Commission. There must be a verifiable end to paramilitarism and criminality.
And it ends with a reminder to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern that the cause of Irish democracy must be at the forefront of his thinking –
It is hoped that, with the passage of time, the two governments have not lost the initial sense of outrage over the IRA’s double-dealing with democracy. It is also hoped that the end of the IRA as an army will see the onus placed on the Democratic Unionist Party to resume power-sharing government in Northern Ireland. It is Sinn Féin’s ambition to exercise power in this State, however, which places the ultimate responsibility on Mr Bertie Ahern, not Mr Tony Blair, in coming weeks. There are suggestions that Sinn Féin would prefer to do a deal with the British government. Whatever the disposition of the British, the cause of Irish democracy demands that the Taoiseach takes the lead and gets this right.