“A meeting with the IRA is highly unlikely..”

The Eames/Bradley co-chaired Consultative Group on the Past have certainly been busy consulting. They have met the public, they may already have met with MI5, and it’s been reported that they’ve met with the UVF, but according to reports today republican sources are briefing the media that – “A meeting with the IRA is highly unlikely”. Whether, given recent comments on the issue, that’s connected to the point highlighted in an earlier Irish Times report noted here is unclear. That report stated

It [The Consultative Group] is also seeking to establish whether the IRA, in its dealing with the group, would be prepared to make a “solemn declaration or covenant” that it would never again use violence in pursuance of political ends.

One source said that such a commitment from the IRA could be pivotal in deciding whether Sinn Féin and the DUP would be able to reach agreement on the devolution of policing and justice powers to the Northern Executive.

Adds I should note that it was suggested, I think on Evening Extra by Ken Reid on UTVLive, that this indicated an intention on the part of the Provisional IRA to side-step Eames/Bradley and focus instead on the FOUR Victims Commissioners.. a potentially much less inquisitive group.

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  • heck

    is the british government prepared to make a “solemn declaration or covenant” that it would never again use violence in pursuance of political ends.

    Iraq anyone

  • steve

    Such a declaration by the PIRA would be useless in all reality because in the future it would likely be different names and different faces so a new name for the organization and away you go

  • PeaceandJustice

    The fact that the Sinn Fein PIRA terrorists will not even meet Eames/Bradley shows they are not serious about healing the wounds of the past. Something like the Bloody Sunday inquiry fits their political goals but the victims of SF PIRA death squads don’t matter. And the DUP let them get away with it.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    why are IRA/Sinn Fein not meating up with Eames and Bradley?, sure they surrendered their weapons, so why do they fear this? Do they think this will be the final nail in the coffin?

  • Greenflag

    How about a Consultative Group on the Future ? It is after all where we will live the remainder of our lives ? Those of us who are not immortal of course !

  • Turgon

    Yet another opportunity for Eames-Bradley to say that they cannot achieve meaningful reconciliation and that their activities would be best left for the foreseeable future.

    Yet another opportunity I am sure they will pass up. People have said before that this is because they are following an agenda set by the government(s). I have previously suggested it is simply the arrogance of their (little) power and a desire for the limelight. Either way I doubt they will achieve anything apart from increasing their own self importance which I guess is an end in itself.

  • URQUHART

    Let’s look at the last few days…

    1. Marty tells the lads that he would have loved to kill all the Brits in Derry in the 70s – if only he had the chance

    2. It emerges that SF is to organise a party in Stormont’s long gallery to commemorate Mairead Farrell

    3. Sources let it be known that PIRA will not be co-operating with the Eames Bradley show

    4. All this against the background of further revelations that PIRA was riddled from top to bottom with informers

    Anyone who still wonders whether the grassroots are being manipulated (by both their own and the NIO) into a position where the PIRA Army Council and structure is set to be dissolved, as demanded by the DUP, are to be pitied.

    Not that it’s a bad thing. I’m just saying.

  • Felicity is questioning the appointment process that produced Eames and Bradley, and presumably the rest of the team. Perhaps it was just cobbled together by the two premiers or their flunkies as a sop to the victims.

  • [aside]Allister lodges complaint against McGuinness:

    “Mr. Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden): To inform the debate on access to the House, will the Leader of the House make available the information about the terrorist activities of the Members concerned? At least one of them, Martin McGuinness, was to my personal knowledge the commandant of the IRA in Londonderry. I interviewed him when he was in that capacity and, during the interview, he told me that he had had a dozen Catholic informers killed. ..” 13 December 2001

  • Belfast Gonzo

    According to Barney Rowan in the Tele, Adams was due to meet the Eames-Bradley group today, but it was called off. At the meeting, the group was to formally ask for a meeting with the IRA.

    It would appear the timing of the IRA statement was designed to scupper this proposal to Adams.

    Here’s Rowan’s story:

    Planned talks between Lord Eames and Gerry Adams have been put on hold – just hours after the IRA moved to rule out a meeting with the Consultative Group on the Past.

    According to a source a “formal request” for a meeting with the IRA leadership was to have been made this morning – in scheduled private talks involving the retired Church of Ireland Primate and the Sinn Fein President.

    But the Belfast Telegraph understands that a face-to-face meeting at Stormont was postponed at the last minute at the request of Lord Eames.

    The talks are to be rescheduled when the co-chair of the Consultative Group has had more time to reflect on yesterday’s republican briefing.

    That was not conducted by the IRA’s ‘P O’Neill’, but by a senior republican source.

    On the Eames/Bradley Group, he said:

    The body was appointed by the British Government
    Its terms of reference were set by the British Government
    It’s reporting back to the British Government.
    “In that context they (the IRA) don’t have confidence in the body. Therefore it’s highly unlikely that they would want to meet them,” the source continued.

    In effect the IRA answered Lord Eames’ question before it was asked.

    But it is understood the Eames/Bradley Group will still make a formal request for a meeting.

    As exclusively revealed in this newspaper, the group recently held private talks with the UVF leadership in Belfast, including the most senior figure in that organisation’s ‘Command Staff’ – a man suspected of being a long-time Special Branch agent.

    Approaches have also been made to the UDA.

    But through an authoritative republican source the IRA has made its position clear.

    That will not stop the group from making its recommendations this summer.

    Its work is but one phase in a wider process.

    One source speaking about the group’s remit said its job “was not to sign, seal and deliver this” – meaning to settle every issue and answer every question at this stage.

  • DM

    Why bother with the monkey when the organ-grinder has already picked the tune eh?

  • kensei

    Turgon

    Yet another opportunity for Eames-Bradley to say that they cannot achieve meaningful reconciliation and that their activities would be best left for the foreseeable future.

    That’s a somewhat big ask for anyone. And I doubt that’s what they are trying

    “One source speaking about the group’s remit said its job “was not to sign, seal and deliver this” – meaning to settle every issue and answer every question at this stage.”

    I have no doubt the people involved are sincere in their motives. Even if you believe they are misguided, why assume otherwise? What basis have you for this other than your own personal dislike? It’s projection, not the first time you’ve done it and a very bad habit to be in.

  • Turgon

    kensei,
    Maybe but let us not forget that the group was tasked with producing a report for the government. Eames and Bradley then pronounced that no matter what they would publish the report. I am sorry but that smacks of self importance and arrogance to me.

  • “I am sorry but that smacks of self importance and arrogance to me.”

    Or an effort to persuade the cynics that they’re acting independently of the governments, Turgon. Don’t be fooled!!

  • dewi

    Turgon – Bradley played a key part in bringing the War to an end. Saving lives and stuff – good and honourable bloke.

  • kensei

    Turgon

    Maybe but let us not forget that the group was tasked with producing a report for the government. Eames and Bradley then pronounced that no matter what they would publish the report. I am sorry but that smacks of self importance and arrogance to me.

    So you believe the government should have finally say on what do and do not know about? If only everyone tasked with producing a report promised to do the same.

    It’s all done in a way that’s a bit too nice to really notice, but attacking their integrity is Grade A man-playing. You have no evidence to suggest they are anything but sincere. Stick to the ball, and don’t assume, and it might help your argument.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I think that was Turgon saying he’s prepared to turn a blind eye to certain things. He’s certainly not alone. The report could be sanitised anyway, but I’d rather make up my own mind.

  • kensei

    I think that was Turgon saying he’s prepared to turn a blind eye to certain things. He’s certainly not alone. The report could be sanitised anyway, but I’d rather make up my own mind.

    No, I don’t think he’s said that. And I note you’ll be unable to make your own mind up on a report that doesn’t get printed.

  • DM

    I wouldn’t bet on that, this is Northern Ireland after all…

  • Turgon

    kensei,

    I am attacking the integrity and validity of their claims about their work and objectives.

    They have been opposed by republicans including SF, the IRA will not meet them. The DUP and UUP have denounced their activities as have most of the victims groups. The reports of their public meeting include multiple rows and argument. The few victims I know have no interest in their activities. Practically no one believes they will get anywhere near the truth about what happened here.

    One might argue that if they are annoying everyone they must be doing something right. I would, however, argue the opposite. They were set up to help heal divisions etc. They are very clearly making the situation worse.

    In spite of this they continue piously pronouncing how important their work is and how they are helping our society in the teeth of everyone else’s opinion.

    That I regard as arrogance and self importance. The alternative is as Nevin suggests that they are following a pre set agenda and conclusions laid down by the government(s).

    So to my mind if they are not arrogant and self important they are fundamentally dishonest and corrupt in what they are doing as well.