A clean bill of health…?

THE next IMC report is due out next week and is expected to point to an ‘inactive’ IRA. However, this will be seen by unionists as an interim or ‘holding’ report, with another in January expected to lead to real pressure on unionism to re-enter government with Sinn Fein. Liam Clarke also reports that the reason decommissioning lacked enough transparency for unionists was to avoid a split in the IRA.

  • slug

    I am somewhat confused – how can the IRA be inactive if it is doing things like smuggling diesel and laundering money – as reported in the media over the last weeks? Does the IMC look into all the illegal activity?

  • Robert Keogh

    slug,

    how can the IRA be inactive if it is doing things like smuggling diesel and laundering money

    Cuz, they the same people are doing the same things but for themselves rather than for the organisation?

  • Robert Keogh

    Given Reid’s comments concerning a split in April would unionists have preferred either:
    a. photos, a split and presumably incomplete decom or
    b. no photos, total decom and no split?

    The situation reminds me of a little kid asking their parents for a pony and the parents gently trying to persuade the kid that this present is not realistic and all without destroying the illusion of Santa. One has their wishes but that’s what makes them wishes not reality.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Liam Clarke also reports that the reason decommissioning lacked enough transparency for unionists was to avoid a split in the IRA.

    I don’t understand how Clarke can make this assessment, given the lack of solid or consistent requirements concerning transparency coming from unionists. Irrespective of what the IRA might say or do, there is no guaranteee at any time that unionists will accept it. And if some unionists do accept it, you can be guarantee that the ones who don’t would be first out the door calling them traitors.

    Is there any act whatsoever from republicans that could ever have the David Vances of this world saying “OK, clearly things have changed. Let’s get Sinn Fein into government and see how to move on” ?

    It’s not hard to look at how far the goalposts have been moved. Back in the years around the Agreement being side, unionists used to say things like “even a token disarmament, just to prove their sincerity, would be a step forward”. Now the same unionists refuse to acknowledge that this complete and independently witnessed disarmament is a step forward.

  • slug

    Comerade Stalin

    That seems to be quite true – the positions have been changed. But this change might be perfectly rational for unionist parties, by the following reasoning.

    How are unionists supposed to believe that the IRA has not been engaging in ‘any activities’ when the media have been full of stories about mafia-style crime?

    The media have emphasised the notion that large amounts of illiegally-gotten money is channeled into electoral war chests.

    With stories like these, the voter in the street is likely to fear that one form of political distortion (guns) has been replaced by another (crime).

    In other words, to the average ‘unionist in the street’, the ARA swooping in Manchester tells a different story from the IMC’s, and the inconsistency is likely to leave him/her confused at best.

    Trust levels in the republican movement are very low. It’s not just the David Vances. The really significant thing is that it is the more middle ground people who are now more distrustful.

  • lib2016

    slug,

    The really significant thing is that the more middle ground people are opting out. If the SDLP can revitalise itself by getting the right candidates or if Sinn Fein can dispose of the recent allegations in the medium term then everything is up for grabs.

    Unionism has pinned its colours to the hardliners and whatever happens they face a split, the only decision is whether the true blues or the realists triumph.

    Is anyone surprised by the emergence of these stories at this time. Wasn’t it always obvious that there would have to be distractions provided from the ‘mopping up’ job being done on the unionist paramilitaries?

  • Pat, Upper Ardoyne

    What people have overlooked is the lack of confidence and trust that Nationalists have in Unionist politicians. Over the last few years we have seen and heard the DUP and UUP tell us what is and isn’t acceptable from “Democrats” yet as soon as the Orange Order are, (at last), told they no longer run the state and cannot parade where people don’t like or want them, then the ground rules change.

    Unionist politicians need to show us that they are sincere and true in their calls for “equality”, they need to come out and state that if they want Orange parades to be allowed where they are not wanted that the Unionist people will also have to accept Nationalist parades through their areas, an equality that many of their supporters may find they don’t really want.

    We have since heard the DUPs Dodds family, as well as Orange Order leaders, tell us on various political programmes on tv that there is no need for the Unionist terrorists to disarm and that they are different as they are “part and parcel of the loyalist/Unionist community”. What this is saying to the Nationalist community very clearly is that “Murder is not Murder” when the people doing the Murdering are Unionists.

    Additionally the Unionist politicians in the DUP and UUP need to stop voting the political representatives of the Unionist terrorists into high positions in councils throughout the 6 counties as this clearly demonstrates their support for those terrorist groups and murder gangs. If they won’t sit and talk to Sinn Fein because of their link to the IRA then they shouldn’t be so willing to sit and talk to, let alone vote for, the representatives of the Unionist Terrorist groups who have, and still are, murdering Nationalists and more recently members of the Unionist community that the DUP and UUP represent.

    People should also remember that Paisley himself stated not so long ago that Sinn Fein would also have to disband and then make a comeback with a different name before he would be prepared to talk to them never mind be in Government, but I think the DUP will eat their words on that one!

  • slug

    Pat – good points. It seems were are in a low-trust equilibium! Are nationalist voters keen to see devolution or, like unionists, are they rather unenthusiastic?

  • Brian Boru

    “I am somewhat confused – how can the IRA be inactive if it is doing things like smuggling diesel and laundering money – as reported in the media over the last weeks? Does the IMC look into all the illegal activity? “

    Presumably the laundered money being tracked down by the ARA and CAB (in the South) relates to proceeds of PAST criminal activity, rather than present activity. There’s your answer.

  • slug

    Brian – thanks. It will be interesting to see – there is so much in the papers about diesel smuggling that one gets the impression that it is still ongoing. But it will be fantastic if that sort of thing really is in the past.

  • Brian Boru

    “Brian – thanks. It will be interesting to see – there is so much in the papers about diesel smuggling that one gets the impression that it is still ongoing. But it will be fantastic if that sort of thing really is in the past.”

    Yes agreed. Having said that what I say does not preclude the dissidents and the Loyalists groups carrying on such activities.

  • Jo

    Hard to give Liam C too much credit as he repeatedly said on Talkback last week that Slab Murphy “was born in 1963” – maybe the poor man has had a hard life in that case!!!

    Anyone else hear that?

  • slug9987

    The Belfast Telegraph’s leader sums up in a much better way the sort of thoughts I have been expressing on this thread.

  • Belfast-Biker

    “how can the IRA be inactive if it is doing things like smuggling diesel and laundering money?”

    If that’s the sort of activity the IRA is reduced to, then I am immensely pleased with progress so far!

  • Henry94

    Mr Craven told reporters at a news conference he had never met or spoken to Mr Murphy, but he and Mr Pepper had done business with his brother Frank Murphy.

    But Mr Craven and his solicitor said they had dealt with Frank Murphy on only a tiny number of properties, and that he was bewildered by the raids.