The eagle-eyed Newshound spotted this report in the Irish Examiner. The latest Country Report on Ireland from The Ecomonist Intelligence Unit includes a warning to businesses on the potential for future political instability. The report by Dan O’Brien, senior europe editor/economist of The EIU, warns that “a central question for the island of Ireland’s political future is whether “the provisional movement Sinn Fein and the IRA” is evolving to become fully democratic or whether its use of democratic means is tactical and designed to achieve undemocratic ends.” and that “It is the view of the Economist Intelligence Unit that the evidence points towards the latter, more worrying scenario.”From Financial Editor Conor Keane’s Irish Examiner report –
Mr O’Brien argues that the IRA’s political capability relies heavily on methods incompatible with democratic politics such as surveillance and intelligence-gathering on electoral rivals and the use of cash from organised criminal activities.
“In those parts of Northern Ireland in which it holds sway, it uses violence to enforce its will and physically threatens those who would inform the authorities of its illegal activities.
“While the IRA explicitly committed itself in July 2005 to ending all such activities and to using ‘exclusively democratic means’, it is difficult to envisage an organisation with such a deeply ingrained culture of violence and lawlessness being capable of changing as profoundly as suggested by a recent statement, even if some of the group’s leading figures wish this to happen”.
And that Sinn Féin in Government with Fianna Fáil might seek to prevent Garda investigations into any illegal IRA activities –
“It (Sinn Féin) could also attempt to use its influence over the executive branch of government to prevent any illegal IRA activities being subject to investigation by law enforcement agencies and sanction by the judiciary.
“If this were to happen, it would disrupt the even application of the rule of law and undermine the institutional integrity of the Irish state”
The full report is, unfortunately, behind a substantial subscription barrier, but a summary of the other aspects of the report, relating to the future economic conditions, is available here