Unionists will decide when IRA is sincere

Peter Robinson looks back over the IRA’s record and finds a plausibility gap between that organisation’s words and actions. He also argues that there has been an unseemingly airbrushing of last week’s statement’s ambiguity in an attempt to fast track political progress in NI.

Almost a decade ago the IRA announced it was all over but within a few months the murders and criminality were back on its agenda. Yet again they declared a ceasefire but they failed to cease. They have peppered the recent years with promises and carefully crafted statements. Each of their statements was heralded as groundbreaking and historic by governments and the media but after each the IRA always reverted to what it does best. A few days ago another statement made grand claims about the IRA’s intentions. Where it was imprecise or vague in its language its friends in government and the press provided a favourable interpretation permitting the IRA to avoid clarifying for itself.

He also notes:

The lack of transparency on arms decommissioning and the absolute silence on criminality will significantly prolong the assessment period the community will demand in order that we can judge whether the IRA’s war is over for ever and its criminal empire is closed down.

Time to get ready for another long wait…

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

Living History 1968-74

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