“So it’s right to assume it still exists..”

PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde’ comments in the Belfast Telegraph focus mostly on dissenting republican paramilitaries’ activities, and touch on international terrorism – given the “international land border here which no other police force in the UK has.” But he also comments on the Provisional IRA

“There is no evidence to say it’s disbanded,” Sir Hugh said. “No one has gone public to say the Army Council has gone away. So it’s right to assume it still exists. “What I can say with absolute certainty is that in terms of PIRA activity, that is to say terrorist activity, it’s not happening. “Does it mean all the Provos have gone into nine to five jobs? Of course it doesn’t. There are some involved in organised crime, without a doubt, but operating as individuals not operating as an organisation, and I think that’s the key distinguishing factor.

“On the other side of course, it must be hugely frustrating to those who don’t have that confidence. It’s easy to deny if someone is killed by someone who is inextricably linked to Provos for someone to say it wasn’t authorised. It’s quite an easy thing to say. “So I can understand. I think the unionist community are going to look for a lot more than just a statement that PIRA have gone away before they are satisfied — but we are not seeing activity.”

That’s in line with the comments of out-going assistant chief constable Peter Sheridan in the Sunday Times, also mentioned here. The “senior source in garda intelligence” in the Sunday Times report doesn’t necessarily contradict that line, but there is a different emphasis

“It [PIRA] has reduced in size but it is there,” the source said. “The organisation is dedicated to following a political path but it will not disband to the point where it could not carry out an operation if it needed to.”

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  • heck

    I know pete will be inclined to dismiss this as whataboutery but why all the focus on PIRA when the bigest threat to the public is from loyalist paramilitaries and their allies in the PSNI.

    after all they still have their, british supplied, weapons.

    Oh I know why, PIRA are fenians.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    So, a statement saying the IRA have disbanded won’t do? A total lack of activity won’t do? Eh? Come again? With self-serving logic like that he should become an editor on here!

    Might be handy if someone tells the public and republicans what will do.

    Had he anything to say about the Special Branch destroying evidence and running serial killers? Perhaps he could tell us why he named officers in his own force as “suspects” after the Castlereagh break-in.

  • lorraine

    i state i am not
    i am……………..

  • Mick Fealty


    As all the bloggers will tell you, they are their own men/women. They mostly fly solo without the aid of either editor or sub.

    Now if you want to try it out for yourself, you’re most welcome to give it a go (day job permitting, of course).

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    *yawns* Take a joke, FFS!

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    Mick: My bad. I think I misread your post. Apologies (though I was just taking the piss a bit.

    GYAC There’s a large packet of Rizlas by my side…

  • riverlagen

    The reason the spotlight is on the PIRA is because their political wing Sinn Fein are in Government. Sometimes you have to point out the obvious to the dim.

  • USA

    I have heard this claim of “being in government” before. It strikes me as nothing more than another Unionist excuse. All guns kill, the IRA went on ceasefire and then decommissioned. The UDA, UFF, UVF etc maintain their weapons and have killed dozens of people.
    Go tell this line of garbage to someone dim enough to believe it.

  • USA

    BTW, Sinn Fein are a political party and are entitled to be in government. I’m not keen on the hypocritical DUP and their links to paramilitary organisations but they are in government.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    anyone going to stick to the subject today? Oh yes, it’s about the Ra, better change it…

  • x

    Unionism particularly the DUP are caught on a hook of their own making.

    “The IRA hasn’t gone away you know” and few of us ever really thought they would. The issue was and is, how in a democratic society do you cope with an illegal, secret, armed organisation coming out of conflict. Especially when the membership of this illegal organisation, overlaps with a political party particularly a party that by right forms part of the Government.

    The Ulster Unionists took the pragmatic view that the IRA would sort itself out eventually and to a certain extent some in the DUP have accepted this position too. But unlike the UUP the DUP still indulge in the rhetoric of the IRA must disappear, even when they don’t mean it.

    This leaves the whole political process subject to the emotions of sections of our society. Should the electorate in Dromore or Enniskillen give the DUP a bloody nose, elements within the DUP will be strengthened in their anti power sharing stance and now with the confirmation that the IRA remain armed, the position of the DUP is becoming less credible – as the party not will to deal with unreconstructed terrorists.

    Ultimately until unionist politicians tell their electorate the facts, as they have accepted them rather than as they have declared them, then the whole process remains in jeopardy.

  • barnshee

    The Ira will not disband
    The Ira hold on to weapons
    The prods will hold on to weapons

    The entire process is a charade

    The SF/IRA strategy is the “long war” strategy. We are currently in a “ballot box” element of the “armalite and ballot box strategy ” of SF/IRA

    Some certainties –The sun rises in the east and sets in the west and republican violence will return. THere will be no permant peace until the communities live separately.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “It [PIRA] has reduced in size but it is there,” the source said. “The organisation is dedicated to following a political path but it will not disband to the point where it could not carry out an operation if it needed to.”

    So, it hasn’t disbanded?