Initial reactions to the IMC report yesterday is mixed. In Australia and the US, there are relatively upbeat accounts of yesterday’s news for the IRA. Today’s Irish Times similarly gives the IRA some encouraging noises (subs needed): As the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) observed in its latest report: the IRA is like an oil tanker. It will take time to turn completely and there will be turbulence in its wake. But the liberal Scottish Herald believes the talks about power are doomed, in the short term at least. In an Irish Times op ed, its Northern editor Gerry Moriarty has worked out a balance sheet:
Here’s what’s written in red: the IRA and/or its members have not decommissioned all their weapons; they are still engaged in intelligence gathering; still running massive smuggling and counterfeiting operations; still money laundering; still amassing a huge financial empire by breaking into the legitimate property and business sector.
And in black: the IRA has indeed end its armed campaign; it is not engaging in sanctioned violence and has no intention of so doing; it is no longer shooting people; it is not training, targeting or recruiting; it is telling its members not to riot; it has stopped robbing banks and post offices; it has closed down some criminal operations.
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