Waiting for Gerry

As the hype continues, RTE, BBC, etc.. The Guardian’s Ireland correspondent, Angelique Chrisafis, sums up the situation well.

But timing is everything and many remain cautious. The republican machine prides itself on news management. It would not want to make its historic announcement when it was not guaranteed to top the news agenda. Having often bombed London, the IRA does not now want to be associated with Islamist suicide bombers or risk seeing its groundbreaking announcement relegated to a paragraph on the wider terrorist threat.

Although if you believed Niall O’Dowd, reported in the NYTimes, you’d think the statement had already been issued –

The Irish Republican Army has given up its armed struggle for a united Ireland, agreeing to turn solely to political methods, an American businessman [Niall O’Dowd] said yesterday after being briefed on a statement expected from the guerrilla group later this week.

The signs that the hype will be used to mask reality may already be there, tucked in at the end of the BBC’s Marie Irvine’s report

A senior republican told the BBC news website: “It’s going to be a managed disengagement by the IRA. They aren’t just going to switch off the light and leave the stage.

“Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness with the IRA army council have to manage their departure.”

And back to the Guardian –

However, in the past few days, Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and Martin Ferris, who represents Kerry North in the Irish parliament, are said to have stood down from the IRA’s ruling army council, a body they continue to deny ever being part of.

Some interpret this as paving the way for the IRA’s “new mode”. Veteran republican-watchers say that no matter what the men’s official roles, they still call the shots.

That could be seen to be a reference to the warning of the contrived divorce we previously noted here.

But whether contrived or not we should know by now that any hype, from any quarter, should be taken with a large amount of salt.

And to decode some of the indications already visible, and assuming that John De Chastelain isn’t left kicking his heels – Just as the decommissioning process appears to come to an end.. a process that has been dragged out for a decade and accompanied by many crises.. another process will take its place.

  • Keith M

    “The republican machine prides itself on news management. It would not want to make its historic announcement when it was not guaranteed to top the news agenda. Having often bombed London, the IRA does not now want to be associated with Islamist suicide bombers or risk seeing its groundbreaking announcement relegated to a paragraph on the wider terrorist threat.”

    I actually had a little chuckle to myself on the bus this morning as I read this. Heaven forbid that the actions of one group of nutters should distract anyone from the latest bit of vacuous nonsense from another group of nutters.

  • spirit-level

    I don’t understand the timing of McDowell’s ( friend of Bertie–enemy of IRA? )announcement , prior to the imminent IRA statement, that the SF leadership have left the Army Council; something which Adams & co have always denied. Because it means leaving journalists & co in the position of having to ask SF at their first press conference:
    ” Were you ever in the Army Council?”
    If its denied there will be a fuss; if its admitted there will be a fuss.
    This is surrendering a trump card to partisan and/or hostile elements to the peace process. Looks like a hi-jack to me, even before the statement has a chance of being discussed.
    Is McDowell pursuing his own agenda?

  • peteb

    KeithM

    Indeed.

    spirit-level

    From the Guardian report linked above –

    See the contrived divorce link for further details.

  • spirit-level

    cheers peteb

  • slug9987

    I think the significance is not that suddenly we think that McG or Adams are no longer IRA people.

    I think its longer term than that. When SF come to replace their leader, this divorce says that the new person is going to be a SF person, and the new SF leader does not have to be in the IRA.

    When the new SF leader comes, in other words, the connection with the IRA will be reduced considerably.