Changes from December to July

Mark Hennessy looks at the distance it will have travelled between last December and today, if the IRA’s statement is to have any political effect today. In December, “The IRA had been asked to accept the following text by the governments, that recognising ‘the need to uphold and not to endanger anyone’s personal rights and safety, all IRA volunteers have been given specific instructions not to engage in any activity which might thereby endanger the new agreement’.”

Forsaking agreed mechanisms Sinn Fein has none of the safety nets previously on the table in December:

Today, the IRA will have to travel on ground it refused to go down last December, but this time without a guarantee that the other parts of the jigsaw so painstakingly constructed then can be made to fall into place.

  • Ulsterman

    I cannot see any statement the IRA make making a jot of difference. They will never again serve as Her Majestys Loyal ministers at Stormont.

    Once bitten , twice shy.

  • Darrell Monteith

    I agree with Ulsterman, I do not envisage anything particularly significant in a new promise from the IRA/SF to surrender weapons. They have sold this old dead horse to David Trimble about six times now and any fool who believes it will start to gallop this time is a fool in the truest sense.

    Ulsterman… not even once bitten but several times.

  • Fishfiss


    So indefinite direct rule and disenfranchisement of 20% of the voting public is the proverbial way forward then, yes ?

  • Dr Snuggles

    That’s not what Peter Robinson’s been saying:


    I predict a Shadow Assembly in the New Year followed by full restoration next autumn.

  • Ulsterman

    Very unlikely that the DUP will ever join SF in government.

    The DUP are looking towards new Assembly elections with them getting around 40 seats.The Sdlp will have about 15. These two parties will form a government with the other parties serving as the opposition.

    The Agreement will be changed.

    I can see no situation arising in the next few years where the DUP would go into office with SF.

    A United Ireland ideal is dead in the water. What circumstances lead the IRA to believe it is close?.The Union is very secure.

    As for achieving power in the South. That is a long way off as the next southern election will show.