IRA statement out…

THE IRA statement is now out, giving volunteers an order to dump arms – which we expected a number of years ago. The rest is the usual IRA-style statement – you could have written it yourself, it’s so predictable. As we’re watching the breaking news on Sky, there’s a collective shrug in this office. Frankly, no-one really cares what the republican movement says any more, because no-one believes it – it’s what it does that counts from here on in.

UPDATE: PA reports

The IRA today ordered an end to its armed campaign.

A statement by the IRA’s leadership also called on members to dump arms, cease all military activity and to assist in the development of a democratic process through exclusively peaceful means. But the statement said the organisation would not disband as Unionists have
been demanding.

233 thoughts on “IRA statement out…”

  1. darthrumsfield

    “Ahem- you mean like Sean kelly??”

    I have no problem with that

    Seán Kelly planted a bomb which killed people, including children. Therefore, by any definition (regardless of whether the was doing it for a ’cause’) he is a child killer.

    How can anyone be taken seriously if they say they have no problem keeping company with child killers?

    What next- popping down to the pub with Ian Huntley? Oh yeah, sorry- Huntley didn’t have a cause, so the deaths of those two kids were ‘worse’ than the deaths of the Shankill Road kids. Silly me.

    But then again, terrible things happened on all sides, blah, blah, blah…

    If Seán Kelly had been a loyalist bomber who blew up children in Mullach Bán for the loyalist ’cause’, would you be as happy to keep his company? As far as I’m concerned, there’s also no hierarchy of combatants.

  2. Chris:

    Do you believe Sean Kelly to be a “hero” who fought for the unification of Irish people and against the British presence?

  3. “Chris:

    Do you believe Sean Kelly to be a “hero” who fought for the unification of Irish people and against the British presence?”

    No

    I don’t indulge in hero worship of any kind.

    El Mat aka Gary McKeown

    I do not agree with the Shankill bombing but Seán Kelly’s re-arrest was a sop to rejectionist Unionism and I was only to happy to call for his release.

    Oh course his actions caused a lot of hurt in the Unionist community, how could they not!

    That said I have no intention of living in the past, it’s time to look to the future.

  4. Hi Chris,

    “That said I have no intention of living in the past, it’s time to look to the future.”

    A tad convenient that Chris. I take it ye’ll not be mentioning Bloody Sunday either then?

  5. Hi Chris,

    “That said I have no intention of living in the past, it’s time to look to the future.”

    A tad convenient that Chris. I take it ye’ll not be mentioning Bloody Sunday either then?

  6. As regards Chris claiming that he knows the true identity of El Matador- check your facts. After all, El Matador has previously been inaccurately accused of being a local councillor on these very pages!

    As far as the identity of El Matador goes, I think it best remains a secret (just like the writer ‘Brownie’ in Republican News in the early 1970s 😉 )

  7. I do not agree with the Shankill bombing …Of course his actions caused a lot of hurt in the Unionist community, how could they not!

    Welcome comments.

  8. Should close down the B-S enquiry then – after all, it was SUCH a long time ago…Ted Heath is dead…

  9. “I take it ye’ll not be mentioning Bloody Sunday either then?”

    You take it wrong

    Everyone knows what happened in Shankill

    Collussion is a different matter

    “As regards Chris claiming that he knows the true identity of El Matador- check your facts”

    I have, your sdlp comrades have been very good in that respect.

    “Should close down the B-S enquiry then”

    No jo, the families have a right to know

  10. Thousands of people went to their beds the night before last as republican activists, they got up this morning as republican activists.

    Likewise opponents of republicans, such as Micheal McDowell, got up this morning as opponents of republicans.

    The struggle continues, republicanism has never been stronger, yesterdays statement, in my view, was a statement of confidence and now the excuses for our opponents have been removed. Unionists may say that they want to see action or inaction, fair enough, but the people of Ireland will not wait forever. The people are impatient for progress, talk of lets wait and see for two years is nonsense.

    The onus is now clearly on the British to finally honour their committments under the Good Friday Agreement and also unionism, are they up for change because change is coming.

  11. CG

    “I do not agree with the Shankill bombing”

    Welcome comments.

    “Everyone knows what happened in Shankill”

    The full story is not known. Kelly and Begley planted a bomb in Frizells shop which killed 9 civilians and one of the terrorists, that is known. Just like on Bloody Sunday the Parachute Regiment opened fire with live rounds killing 13 demonstrators (a 14th dying later).

    However in the case of the Shankill bomb, who in the Republican command structure ordered/sanctioned it and why? Who was the bombmaker? Who provided the false information that a meeting was taking place? etc etc is not known.

  12. As regards Chris claiming that he knows the true identity of El Matador- check your facts”

    I have, your sdlp comrades have been very good in that respect.

    Surely you don’t believe everything they say. A red-herring perhaps…

  13. Hi Chris,

    You’ve said…

    “That said I have no intention of living in the past, it’s time to look to the future.”

    and…

    “Collussion is a different matter”

    So you decide which subjects are left in the past and which ones are turned over endlessly? BTW, I do think that the families have a right to know. But I mean ALL families.

  14. Sean Kelly was a child killer. What does that make the brave British soldiers and RUC men who also killed children? Child killers too, or brave and courageous members of the security forces fighting for their cause?

    War is a terrible thing, and only the hardest hearts would not feel regret at the loss of life over the last 36 years.

    As a Republican i wish no one had been killed, by Republicans or anyone else. But we cannot change the past, only strive to ensure we don’t repeat it.

  15. Can we lay off the unmasking stuff lads. It shouldn’t matter if it’s the ball you’re after!

  16. What does that make the brave British soldiers and RUC men who also killed children? Child killers too, or brave and courageous members of the security forces fighting for their cause?

    I agree- all those engaged in crimes against people should be held to account- I think it’s a disgrace the way army members seem to have had the law applied differently to them (Lee Clegg?)

    But then again, would the Brits have been here if the provos had called off their campaign thirty years earlier? After all, within a day of their standing down, army bases are being dismantled.

    As far as I’m concerened, all this is better late than never- now we need the unionists to fully implement the GFA- their excuses are gone. The provos are no longer giving them fuel for intransigence.

  17. Sounds to me like an awful lot of thinking will have to be done by the unionists now, you see the IRA move has played so well with the worlds media, do any of the unionists actually ever listen to the BBC world service and its round up of international coverage especially in the all important USA? Its doubles and back slaps all round for Gerry and Martin, and theres even a little gleam of post-IRA nostalgia growing in the US media “rebels who fought the one of the most formidable armies in the world ” was a quote on a world service vox-pop from LA. If the unionists continue to throw their rattles from the pram they are shown up, or if they enter negotiations then its seen to be a loss of face from they’re “NEVER NEVER” stance..Either way mark my words I have it on good authority,that theres now going to be a LOT of pressure applied to the DUP by the Brits and the Yanks…many of the senior civil servants are quite relishing putting the thumbscrews on them politically (since they are so personally obnoxious,one thing the provo’s never lacked was a serious and consistent effort to be pally with the Brit civil servants, whereas the DUP were almost always noticeably rude-ask any of the Brit support team at Leeds Castle )…You see the USA and Britain WANT this sorted BIG TIME, and the egotists and bombasts of the DUP will soon melt when confronted by the sheer heat of the power of US/Brit “gloves off” tactics which will now ensue.
    Now, the provies are the good boys in the class, and according to my sources theres the little matter of some quite smelly canards concerning leading DUP’ers and other Unionist obstructionists which may well be used to apply pressure….the Brits and most importantly the USA have all the cards. and a very full file on Paisley’s confederates,at least two minor functionaries of the aforesaid are said to be in the pay of the Brits anyway.This dynamite, it is confidently expected is sufficient powerful to blow a whole in this apparent wall of resolute obduracy, it should take about 6 months for face saving purposes.

  18. Chris G, you’re on very dodgy ground there. I agree with your point about looking to the future rather than the past, that is the only way things can ever go forward, but it seems mildly hypocritical to on one hand be calling for action against the Peter McBride killers, and on the other hand calling for the release of a Shankill bomber. You’re just not in a position to say what atrocities need to be forgotten about, and what atrocities should be properly addressed. I think that a truth and reconciliation committee is going to be the only way to sort that out, and I doubt there is any real enthusiasm to wheel out all those skeletons, either within republicanism or in the British government (I’d say loyalism, but there’s no way in hell they’d step up and admit to what they’ve been at).

    bertie, you’re annoyed about people associated with murderers getting into power. I share your annoyance every election, when I see parties who are connected with violent organizations, either through an inextricable link or through friendship or common cause, getting about 90% of all of the votes cast, whether they are founder members of the IRA or founder members of the Ulster Protestant Militia or the Third Force. I would like people to stop endorsing paramilitarism through the ballot box but they keep doing it. Ergo, whatever solution we come up with is going to have to account for that, and work around it in some way, either by securing disarmament and winding down or by bringing in some kind of security solution.

  19. Comrade Stalin

    “Chris G, you’re on very dodgy ground there. I agree with your point about looking to the future rather than the past, that is the only way things can ever go forward, but it seems mildly hypocritical to on one hand be calling for action against the Peter McBride killers, and on the other hand calling for the release of a Shankill bomber.”

    Please show me where I have ever called for “action against the Peter McBride killers” either on this site, my site or any other site for that matter?

    People need to remember that I am not a Sinn Féin spokesperson!

    By the British Army’s own rules they should be removed, I have never called for them to be shot or imprisoned.

    “I think that a truth and reconciliation committee is going to be the only way to sort that out, and I doubt there is any real enthusiasm to wheel out all those skeletons, either within republicanism or in the British government”

    I agree with you about a truth a reconciliation commission. I believe that all sides should co-operate as famlies need closure and yes the IRA should co-operate too.

    I feel all sides have a duty to do so.

    I know quite a few victims of State force collusion and they all said the same thing.

    I offer MY opinion on these matters Comrade as do you!

    No one here is Omnipotent

  20. Chris Gaskin
    The trouble is the RM, use all of these political tools (enquiries, commissions etc)as weapons to advance the cause, rather than opportunities to resolve things and bring closure.

    You have no real desire to develop political stability or to move on. There is no real engagement with people with a different view point. No attempt to find common ground and to build a Northern Ireland that everybody can be happy with (even as an interim to a different political alignment).

    You may feel that the recent statement is another great PR victory for the cause, and that once again the Unionists will be seen as obstinate and reluctant for peace and that this will advance your ultimate political goals in the Republic of Ireland.

    You may be happy with the political stalemate, you may not care what happens to the ordinary people of Northern Ireland (All can be sacrificed for the cause). If so keep on trucking.

    but if you really want social, economic and political progress then you have it all to do. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

  21. cg, alright. What’s your opinion on the McBride killing ?

    Moderate Unionist:

    “and that once again the Unionists will be seen as obstinate and reluctant for peace”

    But this is the truth. Unionists are obstinate and reluctant to peace, as they have been for years. It’s nothing to do with Sinn Fein and their guns; the unionists had plenty of opportunities to share power and cut a deal with non-militant nationalism, and they chose to squander each one. Unionists are not committed to entirely democratic and peaceful means, as I have pointed out rather repeatedly in this place.

  22. Comrade Stalin
    Your problem is that you treat everyone as if they were part of a highly disciplined organisation which includes an armed wing fully cognisant of the political agenda. I don’t know if this comes from your republican background or you communist background, but this is not the case with the Unionists.

    The loyalist paramilitaries do not speak, nor do they have any support with large sections of the Unionist population as evidenced by their poor showing in the elections. When people (anybody) take the law into their own hands whether they feel justified or not it rarely produces the results they want.

    Tell me this do you see any parallels between the civil rights movements in the US in the sixties and the Northern Ireland process. Do you think that we needed 35 years of civil war to address the issues? Do you think we need another 35 years? Why do you think the border campaign ran out of steam?

    As for the McBride killing, what do you want me to do? Get into a bout of whataboutery. Regretable as each and every incident is, it leads us nowhere in the quest to move things forward. In fact, it more or less stops any progress because it keeps opening up old wounds, which is not to say that I don’t have huge sympathy and compassion for many of those that were caught up in the conflict.

    So tell me how you see things moving forward or are we into a long period of political stalemate leading to another “phase” in the next generation?

  23. MU, I am not a republican (the reunification of Ireland is not very important to me) and I am not a communist (I’m more of a left-liberal). I think that should be pretty obvious.

    “Your problem is that you treat everyone as if they were part of a highly disciplined organisation which includes an armed wing fully cognisant of the political agenda.”

    Judging by what happens in this country, it is overtly the cage. Elected unionist politicians share podiums with loyalist paramilitaries, and they elect loyalist paramilitaries into privileged positions, and even permit them to join their parties. They stage paramilitary-linked coups and set up organizations with obvious paramilitary trappings. Yet they do not get punished for this appreciably by their electorate. What else is a reasonable person supposed to conclude ?

    “The loyalist paramilitaries do not speak, nor do they have any support with large sections of the Unionist population as evidenced by their poor showing in the elections.”

    The poor showing of loyalists in elections is irrelevant. Why are there loyalist flags and murals all over parts of Belfast which elect unionist politicians, if no-one supports them ? Why do they even exist ? Why aren’t the unionist politicians elected by these people leading the way in having them taken down ?

    On another thread here recently, a chap who outwardly declared his support for the UDA explained that supporters of those organizations felt their interests were best served by the DUP. I need say no more.

    “As for the McBride killing, what do you want me to do? Get into a bout of whataboutery.”

    I wasn’t talking to you about McBride, but CG. There’s an inconsistency in Sinn Fein between how they think justice is best managed relating the events of the past they were involved in, as opposed to events in the past the British were involved in.

    “So tell me how you see things moving forward or are we into a long period of political stalemate leading to another “phase” in the next generation?”

    Things cannot move forward until everyone faces up to their role in the problems of this country. There are signs that the republicans are doing this, but there are no sign that the unionists are. I would much rather the unionists wise up and admit that they have had shady dealings with the paramilitaries in the past; their denials fool no-one. I would like Ian Paisley to explain what his plans were for the Third Force and Ulster Resistance. I would like unionists to say that they will never again try to stage a coup in this country, like they did (successfully) in 1974, in 1978 (when Paisley ganged up with Andy Tyrie), in 1985 over the AIA and in 1997 at Drumcree.

    Is the IRA the only organization which is required to surrender and sign up to democratic standards ?

  24. Comrade S,

    You say [i]”Things cannot move forward until everyone faces up to their role in the problems of this country. There are signs that the republicans are doing this,”[/i]

    In this “great statement” they still say that all they did over 35 years was legitimate. They ain’t facing up to much.

    Oh and Paisley and co have already talked about UR etc.. When that group gean to move in a direction that involved gun smuggling and developing terrorist plans, they disassociated themselves from it. The DUP oppose loyalist terror. When loyalists killed people, the DUP would encourage people to go to the police with evidence not do what certain SF spokespeople did and call the people who carried out Omagh “fellow republicans”!!

  25. Windsor :

    “In this “great statement” they still say that all they did over 35 years was legitimate. They ain’t facing up to much.”

    I’m not heralding the IRA’s statement as a defining moment for democracy. It is merely a step forward; an acknowledgement that the way things were done up until now has to stop. That is a lot more than anyone is getting from the unionists.

    Try getting a unionist to condemn the methods used in the UWC strike, and tell me about it. Try getting a unionist to explain why loyalist murals exist in areas which elect unionist politicians.

    “When that group gean to move in a direction that involved gun smuggling and developing terrorist plans, they disassociated themselves from it.”

    Let’s talk about this subject a bit more. What was Ulster Resistance’s purpose prior to this so-called move towards paramilitarism ?

    When Paisley had a large group of men on a hill supposedly waving gun licenses, what point do you think he was trying to make ?

    “The DUP oppose loyalist terror.”

    The why did Paisley team up with UDA leader Andy Tyrie to try to stage a second UWC strike ? Why did Willie McCrea take a podium with a loyalist mass-murder and apparently get away with it ? Why did Paisley present himself at Drumcree among a group of people who were actively attacking the army and police, and who threatened to spray the army with petrol and set it on fire ? These are not the actions of people who oppose terror. These are not the actions of people who uphold the rule of law.

    “When loyalists killed people, the DUP would encourage people to go to the police with evidence”

    Really, now. Are we expected to believe that when W. McCrea was standing on the podium beside Billy Wright he was urging the crowd below to inform on LVF activites to the police ? Do you really believe your own propaganda ?

    What’s so hard about admitting that unionism was up to it’s neck in this crap ? Is it because it would destroy your entire worldview ?

  26. By the way, the second point I made a few posts up was to address this lie being put about that unionists would be only too happy to share power with people who were committed to democracy.

    It is a point which is contradicted on two counts :

    – unionists won’t share power with anyone who is not also a unionist, irrespective of their commitment to democracy.

    – unionists are quite happy to have people who are not committed to democracy in their midst, provided they are also unionists. This is how the UUP elected Hugh Smyth as Lord Mayor of Belfast, and the DUP tolerated that position and appeared with the Lord Mayor in public. Another year, the UUP elected Frank McCoubrey as deputy Lord Mayor.

    This year, despite the killing and despite the feuding, the UDA/UVF councillors on Belfast City Council vote under the UUP whip in that body.

  27. Comrade

    “Try getting a unionist to condemn the methods used in the UWC strike”

    I supported the strike, in that I supported the withdrawall of work in response to the Sunningdale Agreement. I condemn the intimidation that apparantly went on. In the same way that I can accept someone supporting the minors strike but deploring the intimidation of those who tried/continued to work. I use the term “apparantly” not to water it down and I do not doubt that it went on, to what extent I do not know – but because I have no direct knowledge about it and did not really hear about it at the time. (Details were sketchy, with no TV, pre-occupied with revising for my O’levels by candle-light in Fermanagh – showing my age now).

    To my knowledge there was little UDA etc presence in Fermanagh. My eldest brother did not strike or support it, (he’s a unionist too). I personnally thought his decision wrong. He was shouted at driving out of our lane by some louts. The substance of their abuse was to do with him being a disgrace to Protestantism, which was ironic considering they never darkened the door of the church and he was a regular attender. This was a very, very, very minor incident in the scheme of things but, not suprisingly I condemn these people verbally abusing my brother. In addition, it did nothing to persuade him of the justice of the cause.

    Appart from that I don’t even think that the reports of intimidation penetrated until the strike was over. I don’t have a clear memory of it being reported on the TV, on the few occasions we had the electricity to see it. It was the topic of conversation at school where someone had heard about it. I was annoyed not just because it was wrong, my primary objection, but becasue I beleived that it was not necessary and detracted from the strenght of feeling, that I beleived was behind the strike.

  28. Comrade Stalin

    Above you claim that “unionists won’t share power with anyone who is not also a unionist, irrespective of their commitment to democracy.”

    This is untrue. Unionists shared power with nationalists in 1974, and also in 1999-2000 and 2000-02. During the latter two occasions the nationalists included Provisional Sinn Féin, a party wedded to illegal death squads.

    In the late 60s and early 70s, unionists also included non-unionists in the NI Cabinet.

  29. BTW on the subject of Sean Kelly, could someone in the Provos advise him to shave off that moustache and grow his hair a bit. He looks like a 17-year-old spide.

Comments are closed.