“but the structures should be stood down..”

A report on the UTV news website points to a recent article by the NI Executive’s First Minister, and DUP leader, Ian Paisley in The House Magazine. As the report mentions, the article, dated Monday 15th October, was written before the killing of Paul Quinn, or any other incidents, occurred.

While republicans have pledged their commitment to law and order, the Army Council of the Provisional IRA (PIRA) continues to exist. The removal of this structure would be a confidence boost, not only to the Unionist community, but to all the people of this United Kingdom.

We welcome the recent report from the Independent Monitoring Commission, which revealed that PIRA has abandoned violence, but the structures should be stood down. All paramilitary structures, whether loyalist or republican, must be removed from our society.

  • slug

    A sensible piece and perhaps even Sinn Féin supporters might see continuation of AC as a political liability now.

  • Sean

    Slug If this all gets traced back to the IRA it will because they dont have enough control not because they have too much

  • slug

    “Slug If this all gets traced back to the IRA it will because they dont have enough control not because they have too much”

    Do you mean that the IRA are still needed to do the work that the police find themselves unable to do? If so is that a tenable way forward?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    A feeble smokescreen — which is more troubling, armed thugs in the streets with “demonstrations of strength” and the back-shooting of cops, or a collection of demilitarized ex-terrorists — to try and recoup from DUP’s obvious effort to protect the UDA’s danegeld.

  • Do you see what respectability and adulation can do to a man? The Paisley of old would have breathed fire and brimstone on the subject. Now we have a plaintive plea, perhaps addressed to his fellow Chuckle Brother (or should that be Chuckie Brother?) for a “confidence boost”. Even Trimble could sometimes sound less pathetic.

    As for the Republicans’ “commitment to law and order”, well, we shall see. As indeed Papa Doc should have done.

  • Overhere

    I still fail to see why there is all this fuss about an “army council” when the UDA etc are running about with guns firing at police making death threats and holding communities to ramsom !!

  • Sean

    No what I am saying is that the army council does not pocess the required structure to keep the low level hard men in line anymore

    Infact in my own weird conspiracy theory I am wondering if maybe there isnt some grass roots attempt to revitalize the lower echelons of the IRA. Not into a dissident movement but into a purely criminal organization along the lines of the UDA. I mean while they might not all know each other A knows B, B knows C, C knows D and so on and so on. These men know the easy life of a well organized gang and perhaps they are getting back in touch with each other and reforming into a criminal gang. Its funny all of a sudden there seems to be a wide spread return to criminality and violence

  • Turgon

    A harmless if hardly inspiring piece by Paisley. Slug’s comment that SF may see the army council as a political liability is fair in the normal scheme things. For most political parties to be linked to a terrorist organisation is a political liability.

    In SF’s case, it may be a political liability in the short term. However, in the past the existence of a terrorist wing was a great political asset. The existence of a terrorist wing allowed pressure to be brought to bear on politicans of all sorts. The IRA were frequently negogiated with even in the absence of any political representatives. The existence of the IRA was a spring board for SF. In more recent times I do believe the analysis that some began voting for SF in order to stop the IRA from going back to violence. This analysis, whilst being one I find extremely distressing is also I suspect, factually accurate at least in some cases.

    The maintaince of at least some paramilitary structure allows the ever present vague threat of terrorism returning. After all we are frequently told how we must not throw away the recent gains and that in a political vacuum we could slip back into violence. As such; although causing some current political embarassment the presence of the army council has past relevance and future significance. The Republican movement has always taken an extremely long view of things. In light of that I doubt SF would really want rid of the army council.

    Of course Paisley’s should remeber that asking republicans for things like this is in general a pretty pointless exercise. The only thing which might have such an effect would be a threat to collapse the institutions but I suspect that the DUP would be loathe to threaten let alone actually do that unless absolutely forced by reaction to the murder of Mr. Quinn.

    On a separate note I see he says this
    “Those who argued that we were abandoning our principles, but who themselves offered no strategic vision for Northern Ireland, were silenced by the ballot box”

    As I, and others, have said before quite a number in the unionist community voted for the DUP not expecting the abandonment of their political principles. They opponents of this current dispensation may well be silenced by the ballot box but it could be too early to say. Afterall the referendum on the GFA silenced the critics did not it?

  • eddie

    PIRA turned into a criminal gang in the early 80s.

  • Sean

    yeah yeah same old bleating

  • Pancho’s Horse

    How can the Army Council be dismissed – especially by Sinn Féin? It is all that genuine traditional Republicans have to hold on to. It is the de jure Government of Ireland.Is mise Pádraig and upon this rock I will build my Republic? All Sinn Féin members surely owe allegiance to the Army Council, don’t they? This is not a bargaining chip.

  • Ian

    Perhaps if the DUP were to nail down a date for the devolution of justice powers, this could be traded off with a standing down of the Army Council.