Liddington: what purpose the IRA?

David Liddington, Tory shadow Secretary of State for NI has just asked in the Commons debate. After voicing concerns at the dissonance between the IRA’s state of health, and it’s current illegal status, he asked: “…if for Sinn Fein and the IRA the war is over what purpose does this army now serve?”

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  • Niall

    Is he talking about the British army in NI

  • Mick Fealty

    Have just clarified context Niall.

  • Niall

    Sorry Mick Could’nt help it

  • Emily

    Its current illegal status?

  • David Vance

    The only way there will EVER be acceptable decommissioning from the point of view of the Unionist community will be when the provos decommission their members, preferably by mass suicide!

  • Is it not bloody obvious why the IRA can’t cease to exist?

    How would it stop existing? Let’s say it published a statement saying, right, bugger this for a game of soldiers, the IRA is no more.

    Subsequent to that you’d have interested parties insisting that there were suspicions that the IRA still existed, and that the only way for it to be confirmed that it really and truly had ceased to exist would be for the IRA to produce a clarifying statement confirming that the IRA really and truly no longer exists, at which point some braincell would point out that:

    (a)the 2nd statement was proof of the fact that they still existed, and were out to deceive the public all along; or

    (b)the 2nd statement was proof of the fact that the IRA had come back, thus reneging on their promises; or

    (c) (a)&(b) combined.

    The truth is that in its current state, the IRA is needed more than ever.

    I’m away for a pint.

  • Stephen Copeland

    There is no logical reason why the IRA should remain illegal, now that it has decommissioned. It has the same rights as any other voluntary organisation.

    And while Liddington has every right to pose the question, why is he bothering? An unarmed IRA is a political organisation which, within the law, should be able to do whatever it likes to further its cause. If the RM wants to have a constellation of political bodies, so what?

  • elfinto

    The only way there will EVER be acceptable decommissioning from the point of view of the Unionist community will be when the provos decommission their members, preferably by mass suicide!

    Why don’t you show them how it’s done David?

  • seabhac siulach

    “…if for Sinn Fein and the IRA the war is over what purpose does this army now serve?”

    Ah, so, it has come to this…tricky metaphysical questions…sounds of scraping of barrel bottoms…
    Hmmm, hard to say…
    Perhaps Mr. Liddington has some suggestions for the IRA?
    It is surely a burning topic of relevance for everyone…I, for one, will be kept up at night now pondering this tricky question…

  • lib2016

    “….what purpose..”

    Strangely enough that’s the very question I’ve being asking myself about the Tories for the last decade.

  • heck

    We need them for the 50%+1 day!!

    who else would you trust.

  • Robert Keogh

    …preferably by mass suicide!

    David,

    Perhaps you could give us a demonstration of your preferred method?

  • Overhere

    I am a little confused the ira have decommissioned, told their members not to get involved in criminal activity.

    Meanwhile the UVF et al are happily carrying on as though nothing had happened.

    Do I hear any thing about disbanding decommissioning……..am i missing something, am I the only person not “in the know”

  • DK

    He does have a point – what use is an army with no weapons? By 50%+1 vote they will all be too old to man the barricades (if that is even required). So what role are the IRA performing at the moment, apart from drifting off to do their own unsanctioned acts of personal enrichment or else join the dissidents. Anyone?

  • English

    Unionists are running out of excuses, because the IRA is inactive. The DUP continually harp on about the IRA, but can someone tell me what the IRA are doing wrong at this time? Has an IRA member been found guilty in court of wrong doing in the last year? I listened to Gregory Campbell on the radio today and he didn’t really have a great deal to say about the IRA following the IMC report, in fact what he said was of little substance. Are the DUP starting to run out of things to say about the IRA? Perhaps not, but their words are sounding hollow!

    The problem with parimiliatrism lies with unionist elements, and this is what the However their tribal politics does not allow for this – after all they need as many UVF, UDA and UFF voters as they can get! Such hypocrisy!

  • Rapunsel

    Does the IRA and other paramilitary groupings not already exist within the law in the form of the various ex prisoner support groupings? Many of these are meeting needs of their members and quite oftn the wider community and in doing so no doubt see themselvs as making a contribution to the ” struggle” in a different form. Does anyone believe that the armed groups from whom the members are drawn do not direct and conrol the actions of these groups? It seems from what you read that many of these groups are doing progressive work– that is apart possibly from those linked to the UDA and maybe the point is not only whether organisations are illegal or not but what they engage in regardless of status?

  • Brian Boru

    It would be nice occasionally to here the Tories saying that about the Loyalist groups. Had the agreement been worked in all its aspects since 1998 I doubt there would still be an IRA today.

  • Brian Boru

    A very large proportion of the Protestants killed in the Troubles were actually killed by Loyalists but we hardly ever hear the Unionists giving out about them to the extent of the PIRA.

  • DK

    Brian, that’s because, as Peter Robinson said yesterday, the loyalists are not trying to get elected representitives into power, so there is not as much interest. He also said that of course they should also disband.

  • denis donaldson

    trust me when i tell you

    the IRA

    they haven’t gone away you know

  • George

    DK,
    “the loyalists are not trying to get elected representitives into power, so there is not as much interest.”

    No but they do have them on the Policing Board. They’ll be inviting Ruari O’Bradaigh next.

  • Doot

    Stephen,

    “voluntary organisation”

    love it! Haha!