“directing British policy and directing the occupation of Ireland”.

Ahead of tomorrow’s vote in the Northern Ireland Assembly on devolving policing and justice powers, The Guardian’s Henry McDonald has been speaking to the vice-president of Republican Sinn Féin, Geraldine Taylor, at the party’s Falls Road headquarters. From The Guardian report

But Geraldine Taylor, the veteran west Belfast republican and vice-president of RSF, said whoever got elected to the post would be “directing British policy and directing the occupation of Ireland”.

At the party’s Falls Road headquarters, flanked by a number of young republicans from the North Armagh area where the CIRA has a growing base, Taylor said a new justice minister would be “part and parcel of the British crown”.

Asked how the new minister would be regarded by what she called the “Republican Movement” (the umbrella term encompassing RSF and CIRA), Taylor replied: “They would be an enemy of the Irish people in just the same way as a British soldier or police officer serving in the PSNI/RUC.”

Also from the report

Between them the DUP and Sinn Féin have enough votes in the assembly to elect Ford to the post. The other two parties in the Stormont power-sharing coalition, the SDLP and the Ulster Unionists, confirmed over the weekend that they would not be backing Ford for the job.

Regardless however of the outcome of Tuesday’s vote in the assembly it is clear that in the small pockets of support that the Real IRA and CIRA enjoy there seems little chance that the final act of devolution will deter the dissidents from “armed struggle”.