IRA tells freelancers ‘you’re on your own’?

Barney Rowan has a fascinating piece from a source, presumably close to the thinking of the four man IMC, or just as likely from the intelligence community, who are due to release their latest thinking on the conduct of the IRA. Whatever the content of that report due out in early October, the source gives an upbeat assessment of the current situation:

“We are still of the view not all of the weapons were handed in,” a source said. But the source was not suggesting that this was directed by the IRA leadership, but more an act of defiance by some within the organisation.

Inside the IRA “there’s nothing to quartermaster” – no evidence of weapons being procured or developed. It is hard to accept that the IRA is without guns – that there has been total decommissioning, but, that said, there is no suggestion of any war intention. The IMC still believes there are “people around” who have “intelligence functions”, but there is no evidence of targeting. Now “it’s mostly a political style of intelligence”.

On recruitment, he said he didn’t “see any evidence of people being ‘green booked’ ? no evidence of training in weapons”. But on organised crime, the picture is more confused.

“The leadership are clear, they can’t afford that now. It is too dangerous for them politically,” the source said. But, he added, “there are individuals, some of whom are very senior (who) have no intention of packing it in”. Some people are at a level, that you can’t throw them out without splitting the movement. It’s a dilemma.

“They (the IRA) can no longer do things by way of internal discipline . . . (but) there’s evidence of people being told ‘you are on your own’.”

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

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