For various reasons I was out of action yesterday. Still no word on the IRA statement, although PA had this fascinating quote from an unnamed source first thing yesterday morning:
“With unionists not rushing back into government, it would give Assembly members something to do while they wait for the IRA to live up to its promises,” a source said. It would enable Assembly members to debate issues affecting the people of Northern Ireland, even scrutinise what direct rule ministers are doing. It may take a year or two before unionists are convinced that the IRA’s pledges are for real.
“Over this period of time the reports of the Independent Monitoring Commission (which assesses republican and loyalist paramilitary activity) will be critical. The IMC`s reports will tell unionists if the Provisionals have really wound down their paramilitary and criminal operations. They will provide unionists and those in the Irish Republic who are sceptical about republicans with the evidence of whether or not Sinn Fein is fit for government. If the IRA honour their part of the deal, we could see a return to full blown devolution.”