One of the problems with the deputy First Minister’s attempts to dismiss the issue of the Provisional IRA, as reported in the Irish Times today [subs req]..
“The IRA have left the stage, they are totally and utterly out of the equation. “Any attempt to drag them back on to the stage is a big mistake.” Asked about the IRA army council, Mr McGuinness said he did not even know if it still existed. “I don’t believe that the DUP would have come into Government with Sinn Féin on May 8th last year if they thought that the IRA army council represented a threat to the institutions.” When it was put to him that some unionists and others might find it risible that he did not know whether the IRA army council was still in being, Mr McGuinness said his focus was on Government in Northern Ireland. “I haven’t had any cause whatsoever to be in touch with the IRA about anything in the course of the recent while.”
.. is that “P O’Neill” has continued to issue statements on behalf of “the leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann”. Another is that both the Regional Development Minister, Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy, and his party’s president, Gerry Adams, have by their own admission had cause “to be in touch” with them. It could just be that temporary blindness again..