The front page of the Irish Independent – which tends to be much less activist on Sinn Fein and the IRA than its sister paper – is dominated with a report that Martin Ferris TD, Martin McGuinness MP, and Gerry Adams MP are finally stepping down as members of the IRA Army Council.Right through the last pragmatic ten years or so, all three men have denied such charges, but it seems this apparent move is being interpreted as a final separation of the ways for Sinn Fein and the IRA in preparation for concrete moves from the latter. Is it true? Significant? Well, watch An Phoblacht next week if there is to be an announcement.
At the same time, whatever the source of this story it would not be the first time the Republican movement wrong footed the press corp. I doubt if Betfair is shipping much money on this one!
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