IMC to be positive about IRA intentions

Gerry Moriarty reckons that the import of the IMC’s report will be positive towards the IRA (subs needed) but will fall short of a clean bill of health.

The commission’s report, which should be with the governments by very early next week at the latest for possible publication on Wednesday or Thursday, will be mainly positive about the IRA honouring its commitments but it will not provide a “total clean bill of health”, senior sources told The Irish Times. “It won’t be a 100 per cent clear report for the IRA. There will be questions about whether certain types of criminality were carried out by the IRA or by IRA members acting independently of the organisation. There will also be some references to those exiled by the IRA. But the report will be fair and mainly positive,” said one well-placed source.

  • Pete Baker

    Don’t you just love well-placed anonymous sources, Mick? 😉

    I suspect this one’s more accurate than most, though.. although how positive the report is will depend on whether there’s a benevolent interpretation of those complex assessments Woodward referred to.. and it’s still a distance from his original assessment.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    the term ‘clean bill of health’ has been devalued by its abuse by Peter Hain and co (including the Irish Times editorial) in their efforts to rely on the Police Ombudsman’s report on the Stormont Raid to clear the PSNI of all culpability in the spying controversy.

  • Pete Baker

    Yes Oilbhéar.. I know the Daily Ireland has run that particular angle today.. but if you want to discuss that aspect of the spy-ring case.. Slugger has a thread which includes the Police Ombudsman’s report on the investigation of the complaints from Sinn Féin..

    A time line and more of interest

    Here’s the criticism the report contains, which precludes the use of the phrase “a clean bill of health” – “No proper consideration was given by police to the fact that they were searching the buildings of a legislative assembly. This was a significant failing by police.”

    Now.. back to the topic.

  • seabhac siulach

    All largely irrelevant…even if it is only mildly critical of the IRA (or some of its (ex)members supposedly involved in smuggling, etc.) it will be eagerly seized upon by the DUP and others as ‘evidence’ of IRA ‘bad faith’…(evidence of ‘bad faith’ can always be found in any situation if one looks hard enough…and boy have they been looking…)
    As so often before, this will be enough to kill off any return to power sharing, unless the govts. are ready this time to square up to the DUP (and pigs might fly…) and gently coerce them into seeing sense…

    It is abundantly clear that the ground is being prepared (by the DUP and others, e.g. the media through leaked stories and opinion columns) for a limited return to a devolved assembly, following the plans being outlined by Paisley today to Blair and discussed elsewhere. A less than clean bill of health for the IRA can (and will) be used by the DUP to further halt any moves to a full power sharing while attention will be focused on an alternative DUP-inspired way forward (without those untrustworthy fenians). That the SDLP is apparently willing to go along with this and against the GFA is shameful beyond words. Ever heard of idealism, boys? Or the democratic process? All just so they can grab some perceived party political advantage…pathetic…

    The key question then is whether the two govts. will press the DUP to engage with Sinn Fein in the light of an overall positive IMC report or whether they will continue to indulge the DUP in their obvious attempts to deny republican voters, that is, 25% of the population, a say in the running of the 6 counties. Going by the precedents we have seen before, they will continue to reward the intransigence of the DUP…for whatever reasons…
    The govts. must ask themselves, do they want an aggrieved Sinn Fein or an aggrieved DUP, and which is the more dangerous in the long run…now that Adams/McGuinness have been weakened in the republican leadership as a result of the spying allegations…

  • seabhac,
    This’ll be whittled down to exposing over-exaggerated unionist fears and anxieties, because a few poor hard-up scally-wags are crossing the border with a gerry-can of petrol and a packet of Benson and Hedges, to sell to a few poor hard-up paddies who haven’t yet managed to take advantage of the opportunities of The Celtic Tiger economy.
    The cat and mouse game continues a foot 😉

  • correction, more a poker game.
    Unionist Ace has gone with IRA summer statement.
    King has gone with decommissioning.
    Queen has gone, as now DUP accepts devolution.
    All that’s left is the knave.
    So expect knavish tricks,
    Irish & Brit Gov’t need to finesse this one.

  • seabhac siulach


    I think you are being too optimistic as to the abilities of the two govts. to get the DUP to do anything. The DUP have been allowed to hold all the aces for years now…ably assisted by a supine media/press…
    Prepare for another year or more of pointless stalemate and growing frustration.

  • martin ingram


    I agree with you.

    Quote”I think you are being too optimistic as to the abilities of the two govts. to get the DUP to do anything. The DUP have been allowed to hold all the aces for years now…ably assisted by a supine media/press…

    Prepare for another year or more of pointless stalemate and growing frustration” Unquote

  • seabhac
    the cup is half-full 😉
    DUP are running out of cards to play, Blair wants a legacy. Ahern is in stealth mode for the election in ROI. UUP, SDLP and SF are kinda singing together. We have therefore to corner the Beast with some fancy footwork, sweetners, and some soft cushions. Like this sunset clause from the UUP. That’s the sort of thing.
    SF are experts at neotiations.
    The DUP are virgins to round table talks, we have to break the hymen gently. They’re frightened of change, so easy does it.
    No rough stuff.
    You might of course be right, but there’s a chance; and it’s worth a try.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    If it wasn’t for stories facilitated by ‘well placed anonymous sources’ the number of threads on the site would be greatly diminished.

  • Brian Boru

    If an IRA member carries out criminality activity in a private capacity, is it fair to label that as “IRA criminality”? I think not. Shaun Woodward is right.

  • Nic

    spirit-level: isn’t it a classic case of violent-republican schizophrenia to triumphantly declaim the shinners brilliant tactic of conceding the DUP’s demands one by one? To be honest, I’m not sure you’ve got who’s playing what cards under what pressure the right way round here.

  • Nic,
    They said of Tal a super chess grandmaster.
    “If he offers you a piece, he’s gonna offer you another one”
    They said of 1972 World Champion Bobby Fisher
    “If he offers you a piece … resign”
    I’m not worried about a few pawns. Once we get them to the table out comes the Queen!
    I do cede though that all chess players are paranoid. You have to be, because your opponent REALLY is out to get you 🙂

  • Nic

    Brian Boru: If a Fianna Fail politician is caught with his hand in the till, doing some dodgy VAT accounting or whatever, and it’s not an isolated case, this seems to be happening quite a bit, and always with Fianna Fail politicians and the conclusion is inescapable that they must be doing it with at least the implicit blessing of their leadership, is it fair to label it “Fianna Fail” graft/brown envelope culture etc., as we constantly do? You think yes, maybe? But if you would jump to answer no too quickly, I would suggest you close your eyes for a moment, breathe in deeply and place yourself on that bar stool with some RA mates and play the scene out in your mind and be honest with yourself about what you would be saying in those circumstances. If you would staunchly defend the Fianna Fail ethos and reputation and support the “few rotten apples” defence, well all I can say is hats off to your unshakeable faith in the intrinsic goodness of humanity and please accept my apologies for having doubted you.

  • Henry94

    If it wasn’t for stories facilitated by ‘well placed anonymous sources’ the number of threads on the site would be greatly diminished.

    It’s a bit like the close season in football. The hacks have to come up with transfer stories. Most of them are “speculative” but they can’t just leave the page blank.

  • Nic

    Fair enough, spirit-level. I would suggest the RA stick to chess in future, however, ‘cos they’ve been brutal at cards so far.
    One last observation: if conceding the principle of consent, neutering the military capacity of the provisional government of Ireland (I know I know, but that’s how they think of themselves, really) and taking the Queen’s shilling are merely “pawns”, this queen they’re about to pull out of the closet must be a real humdinger.

  • Ahh Nic, this queen move she’s a beauty.
    “A right ripper, mate” as they say in Australia.
    She’ll have em bobbing n weaving more than a fisherman’s float.
    Wrigglier than a spearment gum.
    They’ll be ducking n diving more than an Argentinian footballer.
    She’s a beaut!

  • slug

    The main thrust of the report it seems is positive. That can only be good news. Lets not forget were we are trying to get here and that is to a society in which the sort of diesel smuggling and bank robberies, and the DVD pirating, as done organised paramilitary type groups, is ground down. A society where this is no longer being done by groups like the IRA. This report seems to be saying that there is progress in that direction and we must be happy about that. Theres the big picture talking.

  • Nic,
    It’s one of those “gotcha with yer hands in the cookie jar ” moves. Lights turned on. Freeze frame. No hiding place. Front page exposure.
    All the more powerful and overwhelming as they presented themselves as whiter than white.
    It’ll finish them.
    One of those moves.
    As such, you can afford to sac all your pieces ( which you’ve alluded to above ) bar the King and Queen.
    Which together are enough to deliver checkmate.
    So now you know, keep schtum and keep yer pecker up 🙂

  • martin ingram

    SF Blogging Committee,

    The term Magic and mushrooms comes to mind, indeed if you put a spirit level on this subject it would be on ” Tilt” and like all good card players know when you have the opponent on tilt he tends to Bluff. Then he crashes and burns.

    “Which together are enough to deliver checkmate”

    Say no more, Republicans have us all in Check mate?

    I would like to play these clowns for money?


  • Belfast Gonzo

    Pat, I wonder if these awful ‘well placed anonymous sources’ would include P O’Neill? Would you rather there had never been a Deep Throat?