IRA states it is now an unarmed organisation

P O’Neill makes a return…

  • Henry94

    P O’Neill

    Enjoy your retirement.

  • circles

    Aye P – take it easy fella. And remember, we don’t really want to see you again :o)

  • Denny Boy

    Amen and hear, hear!

  • Baluba

    Go n-éirí leis an dea-obair amach anseo, a dhaoine uaisle chróga!

    Roll on the same courageous leadership in the loyalist community.

    We are holding our breath…

  • ulsterman

    Oh whoppee,

    a group of lying murdering thugs have disarmed. Where is the proof?. Where is the photograph evidence?. Paying a Lundy Protestant Minister thirty pieces of silver will not be anywhere near enough. As for the priest, will the Pope would say anything to try and defeat the Ulster Protestant Nation.

    Why hasn’t the IRA disbanded?.

    If they think that this will make Martin McGuinness a British Minister of the Crown, then think again.

    There will be no negotiations with murdering SF/IRA scum or their cohorts in Rome and Dublin.

    No Surrender and No compromise ever.

  • circles

    now, now ulsterman – nobody likes a bad loser, so chin up and keep swallying the tablets :o)

  • Baluba

    That was a hilarious post Ulsterman, just hilarious! Thanks for the belly laugh.

  • BogExile

    GUNS

    Guns, guns, glorious guns,
    Nothing quite like it for arming the Huns
    So follow me follow
    To some bunkered hollow
    And there we will wallow
    In glorious guns

    Guns, guns, bye-bye to guns
    But what do we do if we need some more funds?
    We’ll keep some, yes thanks
    For robbing the banks
    The public will swallow
    A few missable guns

    Guns, guns, visible guns
    We need a few photos
    To score some more runs
    So give us a pic
    To put up on a stick
    And win a few votes from your
    Truprinted Guns

    Guns, guns
    You can buy them like buns!
    And Semtex take Visa
    To buy a few tons
    So apart from today
    We’ve not gone away
    And we still have money
    For glorious guns.

  • spirit-level

    Get a load of this ulsterman
    No surrender to the DUP

  • Concerned Loyalist

    To quote Gerry Adams, “we (Provo murderers) haven’t gone away ya know”…

  • spirit-level
  • circles

    He actually said “THEY” – and that was more than 10 years ago CL.
    But whats difference does that make – they got rid of the weapons.

  • redeye

    Maybe they did, maybe they didnt… but you can bet your ass they still have some sort of huge bargaining chip.

  • martin

    Ulsterman,
    that was fcucking hillarious-especially the bit about the Lundy Protestant church minister–What possible reason could he have to lie to you—get help for the paranoia–and as for the no compromise no surrender–is this the start of show me your true colours by the DUP.

  • Robert Keogh

    Great news!

  • martin

    “Maybe they did, maybe they didnt… but you can bet your ass they still have some sort of huge bargaining chip.”

    Yeah its called an electoral mandate

  • Henry94

    Democratic Unionist Party leader the Reverend Ian Paisley said there had been no transparent verification of IRA decommissioning in today’s announcement.

    He said today’s announcement showed the “duplicity and dishonesty of the two governments and the IRA”.

    He said there had been a “cunning cover-up” and no announcement of what had been decommissioned, as was required by unionists.

  • pacart

    Agreed RK, great news. The begrudgery and suspicion is totally expected, and to some extent understandable. Even GA said he would wait for a few weeks before looking at the response. My overwhelming feeling is of relief. The real debate about the future of this island can start now. Michael McDowell’s weekend comments should be seen in that context.

  • smcgiff

    ‘but you can bet your ass they still have some sort of huge bargaining chip.’
    Parity of Esteem?

  • Jocky

    The ability of the DUP to sieze defeat and misery from a good outcome is staggering.

    Never has the term leadership been so abused.

  • Denny Boy

    Jocky

    “The ability of the DUP to sieze defeat and misery from a good outcome is staggering.”

    They HAVE to be seen as misery-guts, Jocky. They have to be seen to have been “right” all along, no matter what the cost to their own well-being, not to mention everybody else who’ll have to endure their sulking from here on in.

    The DUP/TF clearly never heard the line: “I’d rather be happy than right.”

  • The Watchman

    Where in that statement does P O’Neill use the word “all” in relation to the quantity of the decommissioned arms? Answer: nowhere.

    It’s the same verbal formulation as the last “historic” statement where the word “all” was pointedly not used in that context, despite what our splendid media tried to tell us.

    We seem to have had a lot of spin that the IRA has just destroyed all its arms. I don’t believe it, and nothing from P O’Neill changes my mind.

  • Zorro

    “The IRA leadership can now confirm that the process of putting our arms verifiably beyond use has been completed.”

    Verifiable to whom and how? Because the IRA leadership has said they have put all their arms beyond use, can they be believed? As an oranisation the IRA has shown itself to be self-serving and untrustworthy. Surely it is foolish to take the IRA on their word?

  • Shay Begorrah

    Leading Unionist figures today announced that until the last republican had been imprisoned or executed decommissioning could not truly have been said to have taken place as they could still have hidden weapons or simply convert common household goods into explosive devices at some future point.

    Even more worryingly since not all republicans have revealed their thought crime everybody must be imprisoned to achieve full decomissioning.

    War is peace.

  • Bill

    I’m nearly tempted to to over to ATW and see Mssrs. Mc Cann and Vance tearing their hair out and beating their little fists in a tantrum, although I think I’ll have to resist. It tends to tire you out reading anthing they post.

    Although they’re probably saying what Shay Begorrah has quoted above about what Unionist politicians are saying. 😀

  • SlugFest

    Bill,

    ‘ATW’?

  • Bill

    SlugFest – ATW = A Tangled Web

  • Brian Boru

    “To quote Gerry Adams, “we (Provo murderers) haven’t gone away ya know”…

    That was a hell of a long time ago. And there was no agreement back then. False comparison.

  • Shay Begorrah

    Holy Shit! Sorry for my bad language but David Vance’s “A Tangled Web” attack on the Rev Good beggars belief. I will not quote from it but it does seem in pretty poor taste.

    I did not know he was holding back on Slugger but not only does David dislike republicans, he dislikes people who do not dislike republicans and so on, probably ad infinitum. Intense stuff.

  • Keith M

    BB. Robert McCartney was murdered by members of the IRA of December 31st 2005, “a hell of a long time ago”, I think not.

  • Bill

    Shay – David Vance seems to have a taste for saying things in poor taste lol.

    The only thing I will say is that he’s not just bigoted against the nationalist community in General, he’s bigoted against every one who has a political outlook that varies in any way from his.

  • Shay Begorrah

    Thanks Bill.

    That kind of hate mongering right wind blog jocking is not for me though. Enough hate in the world (and in me) already.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Shay, indeed. To my knowledge the IRA have not decommissioned their kitchen knives, scissors, bags of fertilizer etc.

    A cursory scan of Vance’s hate-site for chickenhawks confirms everyone’s expectation. Vance thinks that Good has gone native with the fenians.

    Tasteless as it is, I feel that Vance is merely articulating what a lot of unionists believe but are hesitating to say, which is that Good has gone native with the taigs.

    A person who is unconvinced that a huge act of disarmament is taken place is a person who believes that Good, Reid, the IMC committee and the British, Irish and American governments are all conspiring to assist the IRA to hide it’s armoury and merely pretend that it has disarmed. It’s an utterly outrageous and unsupportable position, and it will do tremendous harm to unionism.

  • Duncan Shipley Dalton

    Though of course the point is that it remains an organization. For this to truly be a day of celebration the IRA would need to be decommissioned as well. The fact that it is not tells you all you need to know. The problem with decommissioning as a demand was this very point. The IRA could always physically decommission today but not change their mindset and that is exactly what they have done. I really wish I felt good about this but I don’t. I don’t trust them and I don’t believe in their genuine intent to become committed to peaceful means. The fact that a substantial quantity of weapons have been put beyond use is positive but it doesn’t yet make me feel more trusting. I hope the DUP have a very good game plan ready as the ride will now be very rough. The IRA have essentially done what was demanded of them but in such a way as to drain it of widespread credibility in the unionist community. The fact that unionism got so hung up on the issue at all is going to be a long term regret and is going to difficult now to escape from paying a price for.

  • Greg

    I like the bit on the BBC report where it says:

    ‘Democratic Unionist leader Ian Paisley said there had been no transparent verification of IRA decommissioning in the announcement. He said the church witnesses had been agreed by the IRA and as such could not be considered “independent”.’

    Ahhh, right, so since the IRA allowed them to see the decommissioning take place, they were inherently tainted. In other words, the only people who could be trusted to tell the truth on this are ones that the IRA would never allow watch? Ahhh.

  • liz

    BB. Robert McCartney was murdered by members of the IRA of December 31st 2005, “a hell of a long time ago”, I think not.

    December 31st 2005 ???

    So it hasn’t happened yet.

    keith m

    You have little interest in the death of this young man, you are only interested in using him for your own selfish ends.

    And he was not murdered in December, he was murdered on the 30th of January 2004.

  • Yoda

    I must admit that I’m perplexed by the attitude of some posters here, and I wonder if they are representative of unionism in general.

    Decommissioning has happened and amazingly (to me at least) unionists (if those who post here are any gauge) are saying that they will carry on as if nothing has happened. It now seems to be a case of a simple refusal to work with SF.

    In fact, a cynic might suggest that the decommissioning issue has been swept aside so quickly that it may never have been the issue.

    So, I have to ask, what does unionism really want? Direct rule seems to be suiting the DUP, and their refusal to take part in devolution continues to get them what they want. Is that really what unionists want?

    Also, could a unionist help me with the following questions?

    If unionists are voting mainly for a party that is basically happy with direct rule (the DUP), but the British government is saying “devolution,” what exactly is the “union” these unionists are in support of if they are refusing to listen to it? Who are they being “loyal” to when they refuse to form a devolved government, even if that is the wish of the British government?

    Is unionism asking itself these questions?

    I’m genuinely interested.

  • red kangaroo

    As a social democrat SF is not a party i would have much in common with however Unionists are just showing what alot of people around the world always feared, they have no interest in sharing power. Perhaps they are right the GFA is dead so let SF, SDLP, Alliance, Dublin and London move on. If unionists want perpetual direct rule let them have it by being represented by the government of the UK and let everyone else be represented by the people they vote for in devolved assembly. The IRA (who I have no time for) have done what has been asked of them. So lets move on and get some real politics happening that might actually improve peoples lives.

  • GavBelfast

    A lot of sniping and rather pointless point-scoring going on here.

    For the record: Robert McCartney actually died on 31 January 2005.

    I doubt if anyone REALLY cared or cares about him other than his nearest and dearest.

    The mock sympathy from some republicans and mock outrage from some unionists continues to be as distasteful as it is pathetic.

    The more arms and expecially explosives that are taken out of circulation, the better. What decommissioning there has been must surely be progress. We need to see the same from others.

    And we need Sinn Fein to back up their (former) private army’s moves with a change in their own attitude, away from agitation. And the DUP simply must step up to the mark. Can they?

  • Mick Fealty

    The McCartney case is clearly relevant to the period ahead. I know it’s a very emotional issue, but I’d appreciate if people could try to stick to politics rather than getting too het up over detail.

    Yoda,

    The DUP’s seven principles begin with the statement: “the DUP is a devolutionist party”. Like Tony Blair, the DUP tends to be accused of stealing way more sheep than they could ever have stolen.

    I’m by no means singling you out for criticism, but there has been a little bit too much putting words into mouths that bear little relation to reality of what people say. If you suspect a divergence between words and actions, then you should make that suspicion specific.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ”A person who is unconvinced that a huge act of disarmament is taken place is a person who believes that Good, Reid, the IMC committee and the British, Irish and American governments are all conspiring to assist the IRA to hide it’s armoury and merely pretend that it has disarmed. It’s an utterly outrageous and unsupportable position, and it will do tremendous harm to unionism.”

    Pretty much a mirror image of SFs stance on the Northern Bank robbery comrade — they believe that the British, Irish & American govts, not to mention the Gardai & PSNI are all conspiring to blacken their good name by pinning the big heist on them. An ‘utterly outrageous and unsupportable position’ indeed.

  • Richard Dowlng

    The IRA is now officially ‘armless. Who’d have thunk it?

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ”So, I have to ask, what does unionism really want? Direct rule seems to be suiting the DUP, and their refusal to take part in devolution continues to get them what they want. Is that really what unionists want?”

    Much as I would love to see a swift return to the squabbling, pointless, toothless money pit that is the stormont assembly, I feel it’s only fair to delay until such time as the southern parties feel SF are fit for govt.
    Why spoil the shinners ‘all-Ireland dimension’ by allowing them in govt in one part of the island but not the other?

  • Yoda

    The DUP’s seven principles begin with the statement: “the DUP is a devolutionist party”. Like Tony Blair, the DUP tends to be accused of stealing way more sheep than they could ever have stolen.

    No bother, Mick. I’m aware of the website.

    The reason I phrased my question the way I did was due to the current DUP position which, it seems to me, effectively and practically suspends devolution and necessitates direct rule. (I’m specifically looking at what effects their actions have produced, not what their manifesto says.)

    Given the rhetoric I’ve been hearing (photographs, decontamination periods, etc.,) there doesn’t seem to be much desire to get any devolved assembly up and running any time soon. What we’re left with is de facto direct rule. I’m asking those who voted DUP to indicate how long they will tolerate things remaining as they are despite IRA decommissioning. Six months? A decade?

    Is that what those who voted for them voted for? If not, will they be punished at the polls for it? If not, why not?

  • Yoda

    Much as I would love to see a swift return to the squabbling, pointless, toothless money pit that is the stormont assembly, I feel it’s only fair to delay until such time as the southern parties feel SF are fit for govt.

    You see, this is what I’m wondering about. Hardly an endorsement of devolution, is it? Sounds to me like DUP supporters can just live with a suspended assembly and direct rule.

    It seems like there’s a million reasons out there (some plainly contradictory) why direct rule can continue. They may not form a coherent, reasoned position other than “we won’t work with shinners,” but the end result is continued direct rule.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    For the record Yoda, I’m not a DUP supporter.
    I doubt the DUP would appreciate a non-religious, non-homophobic, pro-choice, non-sectarian supporter anyway.
    What I don’t understand is why any NI party is expected to rush into an assembly with SF when:

    1. All the southern parties treat the idea of SF in govt as akin to dining out on a dead rat.
    They just might change their tune come next year’s elections, but why should we have to jump first? SF/IRA did a hell of a lot more damage up here than in the republic.
    2. The conduct of the previous stormont assemblies appeared to be at best juvenile and singularly devoid of any major acheivement, indeed any acheivement at all that couldn’t have been done just as well (and considerably more cheaply) by any half-compotent direct-ruler.

    The truth is that the three govts want to see the assembly up and running again so that they can get this bloody place off their radar screens and get down to solving/excacerbating their own problems.
    The Unionist parties certainly have no stomach for a swift return to stormont, and I don’t honestly believe that SF are genuinely interested in working a British puppet assembly with any sincerity either. Power in the south is their ultimate goal (prior to a UI), where they can wreak merry hell as part of a (presumably) FF coalition.

  • Brian Boru

    “1. All the southern parties treat the idea of SF in govt as akin to dining out on a dead rat.
    They just might change their tune come next year’s elections, but why should we have to jump first? SF/IRA did a hell of a lot more damage up here than in the republic.”

    The Southern context is different because we don’t have “Troubles” down here.

  • Yoda

    For the record Yoda, I’m not a DUP supporter.

    Fair enough. Are you a unionist voter of any stripe?

    Either way, my question still remains: if the unionist parties (as you say) are in no hurry to return to Stormont, did the unionists who voted for them know they were effectively voting for indefinite direct rule despite party literature?

    I’m also still wondering about my questions to unionists I posted above.

  • David

    I believe that the complete lack of transparency in the decommissioning process means that this issue will continue to haunt us for a long time.

    Nobody wants to stake their political career on the word of as habitually untruthful a group as the IRA.

    It seems that a lot of arms have been decommissioned. Unfortunately this has been done under the following conditions:

    1. There has been no transparency about the amounts.

    2. It has been claimed, almost certainly falsely, that the IRA has decommissioned its entire arsenal.

    The problem with all of this is what happens when the IRA does its next Robert McCartney or whatever? It seems almost certain that at some stage in the future the organisation will shoot someone with one of the weapons it has kept. It will demonstrate that the claims that its entire arsenal are gone are false.

    Unionists are currently very sceptical about the IRA’s word, though many of them want to believe that there has been major decommissioning they cannot bring themselves to do so.

    The absence of transparency means that it will not take much for that scepticism to be translated into outright disbelief; all that is necessary is one use of a weapon by the IRA.

    Does anyone seriously believe that the IRA now possesses no weapons? Does anyone seriously believe that the organisation will never use any weapon again?

    Unfortunately this could have been avoided in part by a public decommissioning. The sight of the destruction of weaponry would give people some reason to believe that the bulk of the IRA’s arsenal is gone.

  • Pancho

    So these arrogant Republicans think they can pull the wool over our eyes once again. They think that after 35 years of murder, mayhem and criminality they can choose the moment to turn the tables, to test our will, our committment to keep Ulster British. Do they seriously think that a has been general, an apostate priest and a lame duck PM suckered by a cunning Republican Teeshock, will make real loyalists budge one inch from the Union, move one inch towards a United Ireland; well they can think again.
    They’ll never darken the door of our parliament at Stormont as government ministers so long as loyalists unite to keep them out, to keep Stormont a British parliament.
    Gormless Gerry the Grinning Goon of Gaelic Gutlessness can spout all the gibberish he can manage, not much as even we can see, but it won’t wash with the people of Ulster. They attack our beliefs, our committment to our British heritage, but we won’t be intimidated, we’ll see off the beggars as we’ve so often done in the past. God bless Ulster.

  • Millie

    The whole business about photos and videos and a Free P witnessing the destruction was never really a concern about placating unionist sensibilities but simply a mechanism to take the piss. de Chastelain explained how some measure of confidentiality in the decommissioning process was inevitable, since without that very thing none of it would have taken place at all. I’ve never held a gun in my life but the IICD’s word is good enough for me. Even if Paisley himself was witness to the whole thing he would have said it’s pointless because no-one knows how much weaponry the IRA have meaning they could still be holding back – which is precisely why decommissioning has always been a red herring. Failing that Paisley would probably claim they slipped him some magic mushrooms and he hallucinated the entire event.

  • Brian Boru

    Keith M, regarding Robert McCartney, that was long before today and while naturally what happened is to be condemned, the PSNI have said that the PIRA leadership did not order the killing. So it is not relevant to what has happened today. I understand anyway that someone has been charged with killing Robert McCartney, so it looks like the McCartney’s will have justice.

    Pancho, do you really have to be so paranoid?

  • LloydAlexander

    No political party in a civilised democratic country should have a secret store of weapons for murder in the event they dont get what they want. Thats Proposterous. IRA/SINN FEIN should hang their heads in shame for this very fact, instead they want to be treated like heroes for reaching a state that most parties have always been in.

    The issue is that nobody honestly believes anymore that the IRA could beat the british with a load of old ex communist grenade launchers and eastern european rifles. They were pretty damn useless these arms dumps. They have much more profit from drug running racketeering etc, who wants to run about in a forest over the border shooting targets in the rain when you can cruise the streets of belfast.portadown in your Subaru Impreza bought with drug money? Not them, not anymore.

    So youve got a load of useless guns and other equipment; you know if you ever want to carry out a big job you just buy the guns from eastern europe/ florida and get them shiped over that week or make the bombs yourself from everyday materials. Its probably only a matter oftime before some of these old arms are found and then we keep getting grilled by veryone when were campaigning and trying to reroute ancient orange marches. So how do you deal with the problem, make your own gun amnesty and get rid of the lot.

    Make a big public deal about it, because in a relatively prosperous UK where people want to get on with their life and family, slitting peoples throats in bars and generally waving guns and robbing banks etc, isnt proving oo popular. make big statements about the significant step youve made and say you want your demands fulfilled because of this momentous step (well if you can remember anything you used to want that Blair hasnt already given you that is).

    But when people ask about the private army, the IRA, ARMY. Give them the old line, they havent gone away you know! well more subtle but make sure they know the IRA arent going anywhere, although emphasize they won be casing any trouble, private army drip fed all their lives on crime and terrorising local communities, yeah theyll still be there and what are the public to believe???

    Maybe theyll give knitting lessons or hold harvest teas?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’m typing this from the departure lounge of Belfast City Airport. Amusingly earlier on, at about 8am, Gerry Adams (MP) passed through the security point right behind me. Better still, they searched *my* bags for explosives and such, but not his. It’s going to be damned hard getting used to this new non-armed republican thing …

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ”The Southern context is different because we don’t have “Troubles” down here.”

    Judging by last weekend’s delightful SF ‘family’ parade in Dublin, the ‘troubles’ are being exported right to your front door BB.
    That notwithstanding, the fact that SF have until recently been merely a nasty smell on the other side of the border, and given their supposedly welcome move into exclusively political campaigning, surely the southern parties should have little excuse for not ushering the prodigals into coalition.
    The DUP by contrast, have seen their community butchered over decades by SFs military wing and are newly mandated by an electorate who won’t give them any brownie points for rushing into an assembly with SF ministers. Remember David Trimble anyone?

  • Ringo

    Remember David Trimble anyone?

    Yeah, today his legacy looks pretty good.

    I’m amazed that Paisley has completely forgone the opportunity to claim the final decommissioning for himself. And more to the point, how did the DUP allow Sinn Fein to appear to be the winners yesterday?

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Yoda, I have voted both UUP and Alliance in the past, but like a huge swathe of ‘moderate unionists’, there really isn’t a local party that I can readily identify with. What the Unionist parties fail to recognise is that a very large percentage of their potential electorate couldn’t give a monkeys about the OO or flags, and simply want to remain within the UK for the forseeable future. We don’t in any way feel ‘Irish’ — I personally find both GAA and the Irish language parochial and irrelevant — but in the event of a border poll, thousands of ‘soft’ Unionists like myself would have no problem turning out to maintain the union — and that’s where SFs big ‘consent principle’ problem kicks in. Whether they see it or not, SF are the biggest obstacle to any hope of a United Ireland by consent.

    Concerning your earlier question:

    ”If unionists are voting mainly for a party that is basically happy with direct rule (the DUP), but the British government is saying “devolution,” what exactly is the “union” these unionists are in support of if they are refusing to listen to it? Who are they being “loyal” to when they refuse to form a devolved government, even if that is the wish of the British government?”

    The simple answer to that is although Unionists regard themselves as British, that doesn’t mean they have to do everything the current British govt says. Westminster for better or worse does not operate on a PR system — if they did they could quickly have the uncomfortable experience of shoring up a coalition with the likes of the BNP or extreme muslim parties (should they ever choose to stand for election), and that being the case, how many of the British electorate would wish to have Osama’s supporters in govt given their track record on suicide bombings?
    The DUP came out early on as an anti-agreement party — they subsequently softened their stance and an eventual move into Stormont with SF looks inevitable, but from a purely electoral point of view, if big Ian were to rush into an assembly next week and a major SF faux-pas occurred around say Christmas(again), his electorate would desert him in droves. To be fair, the DUP have been careful not to rule out going into govt with SF –just not yet.

  • Comrade Stalin

    if big Ian were to rush into an assembly next week and a major SF faux-pas occurred around say Christmas(again), his electorate would desert him in droves.

    Where is there to go if you want to be more extreme than Paisley ? The chances of David Vance actually putting his money where his mouth is are slim.

  • Jo

    Comrade
    Attacks on the decommisioning are the salami slicing type

    Discredit the witnesses

    Home in on every nuance from De Chastellaine

    Cast doubt on how comprehensive the inventory was

    No photos

    Inventory only accurate as of 1994

    Florida brought in much more which wasnt included

    Personal protection weapons

    Weapons secretly handed to or obtained by dissidents

    – conclusion: themmuns are not to be trusted and they might as well still be at war.

  • darthrumsfeld

    thankyou jo for explaining in brief exactly why the decommissioning process is a farce

  • barnshee

    “Nobody wants to stake their political career on the word of as habitually untruthful a group as the IRA”

    This is the nub of the problem. If the DUPERS were convinced they would be in with SF tomorrow.
    Remember above all else politicans want to be (re)elected. Once elected they all have their eye on a bigger job or “the big job”. Sooo tread very carefully –NOBODY in the DUP wants to be “trimbled”

  • Jo

    ..lets extend the farce to include all Loyalist weapons. Sure theres no harm in it..

  • Henry94

    Comerade Stalin

    Amusingly earlier on, at about 8am, Gerry Adams (MP) passed through the security point right behind me. Better still, they searched *my* bags for explosives and such, but not his.

    This is an attack on the whole slugger community. If we respond by rioting then clearly the British government would be to blame and have to give us money.

  • Yoda

    GLC, thanks for taking the time to reply.

    We don’t in any way feel ‘Irish’ — I personally find both GAA and the Irish language parochial and irrelevant

    Interestingly enough, I share some of your views on the GAA and the way in which Irish is portrayed, and so would a large chunk of those I went to school with in Dublin in the 80s. In fact, that concept of “Irishness” alienated me and a lot of my friends.

    And yet we still coded as Irish.

    Even back then–in the shitty 80s–“Ireland” was already a larger concept than any “diddle-dee-eye” “Irishness.” To me, “Irish” is not an exclusive concept, and I always resented being told what it should entail. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. In fact, I’d probably go so far as to suggest that some of us would have a lot in common with “soft” unionists of a certain stripe.

    It’s perhaps also worth noting that a lot of unionists and protestants in the 19c did a great deal to preserve both the language and Irish culture: those things that you and I have some problems with.

    The simple answer to that is although Unionists regard themselves as British, that doesn’t mean they have to do everything the current British govt says.

    So, “unionism” as you see it, maintains the right to exist beyond all democratically elected British governments? How does it give itself the right to pick and choose what it will listen to? You see, I’m having trouble just with the practicalities of this. It seems to boil down to “we want to be part of the union, but reserve the right to not listen its democratically elected government when it suits us.” I cannot see how these can be reconciled. In fact, it actually seems that NI unionism maintains the right to act independently of the UK.

    Westminster for better or worse does not operate on a PR system — if they did they could quickly have the uncomfortable experience of shoring up a coalition with the likes of the BNP or extreme muslim parties (should they ever choose to stand for election), and that being the case, how many of the British electorate would wish to have Osama’s supporters in govt given their track record on suicide bombings?

    Apart from a desire not to respect democracy, I’m not entirely sure what you are driving at here.

    I started this line of questioning because I was interested in the contradiction of how showing loyalty to the union means defying it, and was wondering what “the union” actually is for those who support it.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Yoda — it’s pleasant that we agree on the Irish culture issue — I can’t help feeling that you’re somewhat in the minority though, given the huge crowds at GAA and the upsurge in interest in the Irish language.
    Regarding the Unionists & British govt issue — there is the example of the Welsh assembly, which barely attracted enough votes to exist. The obvious inference is that a sizeable proportion of the Welsh simply didn’t want an assembly and preferred ‘direct rule.’ The British govt are (and will continue to) doing their best to persaude unionists to enter an assembly with SF, but should the ultimate decision be no (which I personally don’t think it will be), they will have to abide by that decision. The fact that the UK is a democracy gives it’s people the right to disagree with their elected representatives if they feel their interests are not being served.

    My hypothetical example may not have been very clear. Basically, if Britain adopted a PR system and Al-Qaeda stood candidates following a ‘cease-fire’, how would the British public feel about them sitting in a coalition govt?
    Or more to the point, what is the excuse of ALL the southern parties for refusing to have SF in the next govt? If they won’t do it, why should the northern parties do so?

  • Yoda

    Yoda — it’s pleasant that we agree on the Irish culture issue — I can’t help feeling that you’re somewhat in the minority though, given the huge crowds at GAA and the upsurge in interest in the Irish language.

    Not really. My generation has been largely responsible for breaking the stranglehold of the Catholic church in Ireland. We’re (for better or for worse) also responsible for embracing mammon and cuddling it to our breasts. There’s a lot of us.

  • Henry94

    GLC

    Or more to the point, what is the excuse of ALL the southern parties for refusing to have SF in the next govt? If they won’t do it, why should the northern parties do so?

    In the south voluntry coalitions are the norm now. If you want to go into government you have to find willing partners with whom you can form a majority. It’s the same for Sinn Fein as it is for every other party.

    In the north the system is that if you get enough votes you can be part of the executive. It’s the same for Sinn Fein as it is for every other party.

  • Robert Keogh

    Brendan O’Brien gives an assessment of the size of the decommissioniong event.

    * Apparently de Chastelaine says the IRA decommissioned more than was on the list provided him by the two governments.
    * Between 700,000 and 800,000 rounds of ammunition. dC thinks that’s all the ammo.
    * There was no permission given to retain arms for personal protection.
    * IRA decommissioned a wide range of home made weapons and weapons parts which were not on any list.

    In this event:
    Semtex 1.2 to 1.5 tonnes
    Handguns 400
    AK47s 280 to 380
    Machine Guns 40 (including the russian anti-helicopter MGs)
    Shotguns 40
    RPGs 40
    Old Rifles 300 to 400
    Old Handguns 100
    Pistols 15 or 16
    SAMs 4 or 5
    Sniper Rifles 1 or 2

    We know dC isn’t talking and I suspect republicans are leaking the details.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ”In the south voluntry coalitions are the norm now.”

    Sounds somewhat bizarre Henry, not to mention undemocratic. So if a party get say 35% of the vote, but the other parties don’t want to speak to them, they just get left out in the cold? Why not go for the first past the post system then?

  • Pádraig Ó Muireagáin

    So when are the UDA/UVF/UFF/LVF/RHC/YCV/UPRG/DUP/Ulster Resistance gonna hand their weapons in?

    I suppose they will ahve photos and transparency?

  • Brian Boru

    “So if a party get say 35% of the vote, but the other parties don’t want to speak to them, they just get left out in the cold? Why not go for the first past the post system then? “

    Because we rejected it in 2 referendums. Fianna Fail – which historically has got between late 30%-51% of the vote (41% last time) tried to introduce FPTP 2 times. FF has always been the largest party in % terms since 1932. If we had FPTP therefore, we would have had one-party FF rule for the last 73 years. Which is a bit much.
    Under our constitution, doing that requires a referendum. We said No both times in the 50’s and I believe 60’s too. This is because, even FF voters – and especially Opposition voters – do not want one-party FF rule. Nor do we want one-party rule of any kind.

    We have seen in recent years revelations from the corruption tribunals down here the abuse of power certain FF ministers engaged in during the Haughey era. The point is, we would not have found out about these but for the holding of the Tribunals into planning corruption and payments to politicians. In turn, FF would not have agreed to these tribunals (in my opinion) but for the fact that their Coalition partner, the Progressive Democrats, demanded it in their first term. Multi-party government, therefore, helps to expose corruption.

    Who knows how much political corruption goes on in the UK that we would now know about were Labour forced in Coalition there?

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Thanks for the info BB — I’m learning a lot about southern politics via slugger — many of us in the north can tell our pups from our uups but don’t have the first clue about what goes on over the border, so it can only be a good thing.

  • middle-class taig

    David

    “Unfortunately this could have been avoided in part by a public decommissioning. The sight of the destruction of weaponry would give people some reason to believe that the bulk of the IRA’s arsenal is gone.”

    This doesn’t follow at all from your previous knowledge. Look, you didn’t get the totem of surrender you wanted because you weren’t prepared to negotiate for it. Live with it. Don’t come crying to nationalists now.

    “I doubt the DUP would appreciate a non-religious, non-homophobic, pro-choice, non-sectarian supporter anyway.”

    No, if those values are the ones which define you you should be voting SF.

  • Mark Baxter

    “I doubt the DUP would appreciate a non-religious, non-homophobic, pro-choice, non-sectarian supporter anyway.”

    No, if those values are the ones which define you you should be voting SF.

    Cheers for the laugh MCT. 😀

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    I doubt the DUP would appreciate a non-religious, non-homophobic, pro-choice, non-sectarian supporter anyway
    ”No, if those values are the ones which define you you should be voting SF.”

    Presumably a different SF to the one whose military wing carried out a 30 year sectarian murder campaign against protestants.

  • Declan

    Very good points made Brian Boru.

    The Progressive Democrats, distasteful as they are (sorry, but I have no time for right-wing conservatives), have pretty much brought the corruptive excessives of Fianna Fáil to heel in the last two decades. It was Dessie O’Malley in the first FF/PD coalition that instigated the Goodman Beef Tribunal, which was the first crack in the wall that ultimately collasped on CJ Haughey, and took Ray Burke, Beverley Cooper Flynn and Liam Lawlor with him. Remember the Ben Dunne scandal? Harry Whelehan and the ‘X’ case? The Philip Sheehy affair? Brian Lenihan phoning Hillery asking him not to dissolve the Dáil in ’82? In terms of sleaze, Fianna Fáil make the Tories look like the Sally Ann.

    Earlier comments about SF being part of a coalition in the south brought one point to mind: Democratic Left served in the 94-97 Rainbow Coalition. They were formally the Workers’ Party, linked to the Official IRA. They committed themselves to peaceful means and (successfully) served in Rialtas na hÉireann; what’s so different about SF?

  • Sunny

    Unarmed is bullshit. Maybe, alot less armed. IRA/Sinn Fein planned decommissioning years ago. It was all set up. FL arms route was designed to resupply decommissioned weapons. “Offensive” and obsolete weapons to be replaced with shorts that were clean/no ballistics. At some point, believe the Brits even approved retention of these weapons as 1)deterrent to dissident republicans(Joe O’Connor)2)appease the IRA so they can police nat.areas punishment shooting3)allow IRA to defend nationalist area as a last resort.

  • fair_deal

    Pádraig Ó Muireagáin

    The first act of decommissioning was by a Loyalist group, the LVF. The decomissioning of the small amount of weaponry they handed over took place in front of television cameras.

  • Brian Boru

    Fair_deal, the quantity decommissioned by the LVF was very small, unlike the massive (de Chastelain’s word) amounts decommissioned by the PIRA. Also, they went back to violence since then, and are involved in a feud with the UVF. They are also implicated in the killing of Lisa Dorian from Bangor. The PIRA, on the other hand, has demonstrated good faith by not killing Protestants for nearly 10 years. The last member of the security forces to be killed was in 1998. Evidently the PIRA is the only paramilitary group demonstrating good faith as of the July statement.